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Hi I'm Jaren

I am happy. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am studying to become an optometrist. I want to help people to see. I have horrible vision, but thanks to contact lenses I am able to see the world clearly. I love to be outside. I like hiking, swimming, kayaking, rafting, snowboarding, and anything that brings me into nature. I like spending time with my wife, siblings, parents, nieces, and nephews. I also enjoy playing music on the violin, piano, and organ. I grew up in Clifton Park, New York. I now live in Rexburg, Idaho.

Why I am a Mormon

Both of my parents have been active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints their whole lives, so naturally I grew up going to church with them. That is why I started going to church, but that is not why I am still a Mormon. I have always had a good feeling about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When I was a teenager, I started putting the challenges God lays out in the Book of Mormon to the test. He says in Moroni 3:4-5 to pray and ask if it is true. I did and I got an answer. It wasn't anything huge, but it is a consistent answer that I continue to receive. I get peaceful feelings when I read the Book of Mormon. The Lord helps direct my life when I pray. Most importantly, I feel His love when I reach out to Him and I know He cares about what I go through. I know He forgives my sins because He has. I feel clean when I repent. I have seen miracles done through His servants in His church, some in my own life. I guess you could say I'm Mormon because that's how I was born, but I say that I'm a Mormon because that's what I know to be true.

How I live my faith

I serve in the church in whatever way I can. One of my favorites ways was when I played the piano for singing time with the children. Little children have such pure love and faith. I love to hear them sing about Jesus.

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Jaren
I really believe that there is a prophet like Moses alive today. It makes sense that God would want us, His children, to have a connection to Him. Of course we can connect through prayer and that is important. It is also important to have someone like Moses who talks with God "face to face" (see Exodus 33:11). I am grateful for a prophet today that can help me know God's will for me. I know he is a prophet because I can feel God's Spirit when I listen to him. It feels right when I follow the prophet. When I pray, God gives me the assurance that the prophet truly is His servant. Show more Show less

Why are Mormons asked to donate 10% of their income to their Church?

Jaren
I pay 10% of my income to the Church because the Lord asked me to through one of His prophets. This is the same reason I follow the ten commandments. It is amazing to see what the Church does with that money. As I move to different parts of the United States and even as I have visited different parts of the world, there are meetinghouses and temples I can worship in which are paid for by tithing. I don't think I could spend it as well as the Church does. Show more Show less

Do Mormons regard the Bible as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Jaren
Yes. The Bible is Holy Scripture and is the word of God. It is a record of God's dealings with prophets and Christ's personal ministry to the earth. I love reading about the miracles He performed. My favorite chapter is Matthew 9 where Christ heals the man with palsy both spiritually and physically. I know that Christ has healed me spiritually and physically and that He will help anyone that will turn to Him. Show more Show less

Can you tell me about Mormon customs: how you dress for church, what holidays you celebrate, etc.?

Jaren
I wear a white dress shirt, dress pants, dress shoes and a tie to church. I do this because for me, this is my Sunday best. I like to show respect for the Savior when I worship Him on Sunday. I celebrate Christmas, Easter and the national holidays for the United States. I love to remember Jesus Christ and other men and women who gave their lives for my freedom. I love the Christmas music because of all the music I hear about Jesus. I also enjoy celebrating birthdays with friends and family. One custom I love is how throughout the week, we have many social activities involving food, sports, games, music and other activities. They are usually held at the church to get to know each other better. Anyone is welcome to attend these and it is always great to meet new friends. Show more Show less

Who chooses the Mormon prophet?

Jaren
Just like God called prophets in the Bible, God calls prophets today. They are not elected or chosen because of what family they are born into. God knows who He needs to lead His Church, so He decides and reveals it to the leaders of the Church. Show more Show less

Why is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Mormons or Mormonism?

Jaren
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has no other official title. Because of our unique belief in the Book of Mormon, we have the nickname "Mormon." Mormon was a great man (he was a prophet you can read about in the Book of Mormon) and I consider it an honor to have a nickname after him. I do not worship Mormon and Mormon is nothing compared to Jesus Christ. Christian is a much better nickname to describe who I worship. Show more Show less