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Hi I'm Jay

I'm a musician. I'm a Software Engineer. I'm a remarried widower. I'm a father and grandfather. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

In college, I studied Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in Signal Processing, but I have worked as a Software Engineer ever since graduation. Music has been a big part of my life since I was a child. I started taking piano lessons when I was 8 years old and thoroughly enjoyed studying classical music, but as I got into high school, I developed an interest in jazz and played piano in my high school jazz ensemble. I also sang in our concert choir and swing choir. I took clarinet and saxophone lessons for a couple of years, but didn't really keep up with those studies. I have taught myself to play the organ. I've been taking voice and cello lessons recently, and joined a chorale as well. These new musical experiences have been a wonderful source of expression and an outlet for the feelings of my heart. I was 30 years old when I first married. My wife and I had a daughter born to us, but then experienced what is known as "secondary infertility". We subsequently adopted another daughter. We were married for 21 years before my first wife succumbed to stage IV breast cancer. A few years later, I was married to a wonderful woman who had been widowed herself. She has 7 kids. She shares my love of music and a desire to serve our Heavenly Father as best we can. We couldn't be happier!

Why I am a Mormon

I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for my whole life, and my life has afforded me many experiences that have strengthened my faith in God and Jesus Christ and my membership in the Church. I believe that the life of Joseph Smith and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon make no sense other than in the context of him being a true prophet of God and the Book of Mormon being a true book of Scripture. If Joseph Smith is a fraud, then he wasn't very bright to take the time and risk to fabricate a tale involving gold plates and a new book of scripture that could be meticulously scrutinized by the world. As for me, I believe that the Book of Mormon is a true testament of Jesus Christ, His Atonement, His Resurrection, and His love for us. I believe that the LDS Church is led by a living prophet and apostles. I believe in continuous scripture and revelation. I believe that God is not arbitrary and I am skeptical that to be exalted in God's post-mortal kingdom, it's simply necessary to be an arbitrarily "good" person and receive arbitrary ordinances from individuals of arbitrary authority. I believe that God expects us to be obedient to His commandments and will, but that we are unable to "earn" post-mortal glory of ourselves. I believe that glory can only be received through the grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. More than anything else, I am a Mormon because of very specific spiritual impressions I have received which have come to my mind and heart through prayer. I cannot deny those impressions nor attribute them to some mystical, magical arbitrary "force". I know that my Heavenly Father and Savior live and love me!

How I live my faith

For about 3 years, my wife and I served as Sunday School teachers for the 15- and 16-year-old kids in our congregation. We were recently called to serve as teachers to a class of 3-year-old kids, some of whom have special needs. We love the enthusiasm and spirit that they bring to church, and we feel that we probably learn more from them than they do from us! I also visit fellow members of my congregation to find out how they're doing and discuss gospel topics. My wife and I receive fellow members into our home for the same purpose. It's a wonderful opportunity to get to know fellow members of my congregation and look out for one another. On a regular basis, my wife and I endeavor to pray and study the gospel of Jesus Christ together and individually in our home. We love to discuss the things we read and the thoughts that come to us. Many of our discussions are not planned and just occur spontaneously. They might happen as we enjoy a meal together or while we're taking a walk.

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

Jay
First of all, I think the accounts of prophets--as recorded in books of scripture such as the Bible and the Book of Mormon--are compelling. It's hard for me to believe that so many people--over the course of centuries--would elect to participate in a collective hoax regarding the existence of God and His dealings with mankind. It just doesn't make sense to me. More importantly, however, my own interactions with God persuade me to believe in His existence. No, I haven't seen Him. :) However, I've received identifiable blessings as a result of obeying His commandments, and I've received answers to prayer that would be difficult to attribute to simply an arbitrary life force or entity of some kind. One experience, in particular, involved praying about a decision between (for brevity) path "A" and path "B" in which path "A" seemed to be the clear way to go. However, through prayer I was very unmistakably directed to choose path "B". I did choose path "B" and have had numerous opportunities since then to appreciate the blessings that have come to me and the misfortunes I avoided because of that unexpected path "B" decision. Show more Show less