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Hi I'm Nathan

Californian, engineer, volleyballer, humorist, rock-climber, syndactyl, romantic, skeptic, scientist, believer, Mormon.

About Me

I'm a recent college graduate of Brigham Young University, where I studied mechanical engineering (with an emphasis in controls, if you speak engineer). Along those lines, I love math, science, learning, and won't believe it unless you back it up with solid statistics. I love design, creation, and problem solving - guess that's why I'm an engineer. I've got a passing interest in all sorts of fields, from finance to biology to theoretical physics. I listen to tons of podcasts - Radiolab, This American Life, Stuff You Should Know, Motley Fool Money, Planet Money, Car Talk, BusinessWeek, Freakonomics, The Naked Scientist, and Why I Believe, to name a few. To balance out my nerditude, I spend as much time as I can manage playing volleyball, rock climbing, hanging with friends, and dating. My bucket list includes doing a stand-up routine in front of a huge crowd (and getting them to laugh) & climbing El Capitan in Yosemite. I've spend this summer as a counselor at Especially for Youth, a youth summer camp that, in addition to being tons of fun, teaches youth the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ as understood by the LDS (Mormon) church. I love spending time my family and laughing until it hurts.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in the Mormon church, but from my early teenage years I started to seek the truth independently. Just believing has always been insufficient for my scientifically skeptic mind. My search for truth was based in a few simple questions. Is Jesus Christ real? Is the Bible true? How accurate is it? Was Joseph Smith called of God? Did he really translate the Book of Mormon by the power of God? Is the Book of Mormon an accurate historical record? I sought to answer these questions through study, reasoning, and asking for revelation from God. For more than 11 years, I've consistently studied the Bible, Book of Mormon, and other relevant material. Because the Book of Mormon is so pivotal in answering the aforementioned questions, I've given it a very particular attention, now having read it 8 times and studied the history of its emergence in modern times. My search continues, but I have learned much. As a scientist who has never seen God, I find it difficult to be absolutely certain of many things, but to the best of my knowledge the Gospel of Jesus Christ is real and true. Why? Because it rings true. Everything - including what I know scientifically - fits together. The prophecies and historical record of the Bible and the Book of Mormon agree very well. The Book of Mormon is incredible in content, style, and power. It changes how I act, who I am, and teaches me profound truths. One who gives it a passing glance sees it as just another book, but one who studies it knows it could not have been written by any man, much less an uneducated 19th-century Appalachian like Joseph Smith, except it were the ancient inhabitants of the American continent, its purported authors. Their testimony of Jesus Christ, passionate sermons, and eyewitness accounts have been key in building my own beliefs in Christ and his gospel. Finally, I have felt the Holy Ghost confirm the truthfulness of the gospel. I invite you to study, especially the Book of Mormon, and see for yourself.

How I live my faith

Anton Chekhov once said, "man is what he believes." I think that's absolutely true. So what do I believe? Well, bear with the goody-two-shoes-ness here, but I seek to emulate Jesus Christ in my everyday goings-about. I seek to be understanding, empathetic, patient, caring, upstanding, honest, and really just to be the kind of person you'd want to be around. I don't always succeed, but I think that if that's what I believe, then that's how I'll act. I seek to learn more through study & experiment, prayer & observation. I think that being obedient to the laws of the gospel of Jesus Christ is important. That includes all sorts of standards and practices you can find more about on mormon.org, from not drinking or smoking to paying tithing to conservative dating. I live this way because I've seen in mine and others' lives how obeying the commandments of Christ helps to accomplish our goals and make us the happiest. Really, though. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul tells us that no matter what we accomplish, if we have not love, it means absolutely nothing. I think that is quite literally true. At the end of this life, it won't matter that much how perfectly I've obeyed gospel standards, how respected I am, or the professional accomplishments I've garnered. What will matter most is how loving, like Christ is perfectly, I have learned to be. And so I seek to be charitable like He is. I hardly do a very good job, but I try, and I trust that He will help me fill in where I lack.