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Hi I'm Jacob

I'm a high school history teacher, I'm a husband and father, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I teach history to high school students, and I love it. In addition to teaching history, I advise the Model UN Club and coach Speech and Debate. I also enjoy cooking, reading good literature, and spending time with my wife and daughter.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in a Latter-day Saint (Mormon) family; faith in Jesus Christ, and following His plan for us, was a central part of my home life as a child. During my teenage years, I began to question and push back against what I had been taught, and to question my own ability to live up to what felt my family, my church, and God expected of me. I had read the Book of Mormon as a young boy, and I had been fascinated by the story of Joseph Smith being called as a prophet of God at such an early age. I had read and heard the stories of Jesus' life, and knew that He died for our sins, that because of Him we could return to our Father in Heaven. But I began to wonder if I had a place in that picture. I remember one Sunday afternoon when I was about 17 years old. I was sitting in my room, reading the Gospel of John in the New Testament. I hadn't been very consistent in reading the scriptures, and I was trying to rekindle a certain spirituality I felt I had lost. I came to John chapter 17, in which Jesus prays to the Father for his disciples, and all who would later believe on their words. Somehow it hit me, like nothing had ever hit me before, how much Jesus Christ loves me personally, how much He sacrificed for me, and how unwilling He would ever be to give up on me. That experience has stayed with me through the years, and as I have made my faith in Christ, and my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a central part of my life, I have experienced spiritual growth, an increasing closeness to God, and richer relationships with my family members and friends.

How I live my faith

Jesus told His apostles that they would be recognized as disciples of Christ if they loved one another. I believe that the most important moments to live the Gospel of Christ are the moments in which our lives intersect with the lives of God's other children. Like most Latter-day Saints, I have the opportunity on a monthly basis to visit the homes of other members of the Church to study with them the scriptures and the teachings of modern-day prophets and apostles, and to serve them in any way I can. I love these visits because in the act of serving others and strengthening their faith, I feel my own faith strengthened. Though I don't always do as well as I would like to, I try to let my faith in Christ influence all my interpersonal interactions--at church, at work, or wherever else I might be. When Jesus told his disciples in the 5th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew to "let your light so shine before men," I believe He meant that he wants us to hold Him and His works of love, service, and compassion, and forgiveness before the world. The more my faith in Jesus Christ grows, the more I want to love and serve the people around me, to show compassion, to be less judgmental and more willing to forgive. These are things I am still working on, but I know that my relationship with Christ is what drives this growth.

What is faith?

Jacob
In the New Testament, Paul says that faith is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." As we go through life, we can know things through our senses: I know what the weather is like outside because I see the sun shining, or feel the rain on my face.This is often called empirical knowledge. We can also know thing through our faculty of reason: I know that if I heat water to 100 degrees Celsius, it will boil and evaporate, or that if I drop a rock it will fall to the ground. This is often called rational knowledge. Both of these kinds of knowledge require evidence--evidence from our sensory experience, evidence from our logical thought processes, or both. Faith leads to a different kind of knowledge--not necessarily empirical or rational, though it can have components of both--it leads to spiritual knowledge. Faith comes as God communicates truth directly to our spirits, through both our minds and our hearts. This communication serves as evidence for things we cannot always see empirically or understand rationally, and it provides the foundation for our faith--our belief in things which are not seen, but which are true. Show more Show less