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Hi I'm James

I'm an artist and oil painter. I love food, friends, and family. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm an adjunct university professor of art, who paints for galleries on the side. I love the school atmosphere and the joy of learning, despite the long hours of homework (for a student) and grading/preparation (for a professor). I'm also finishing my MFA degree online. I love breakfast and food immensely, and have chosen to paint those subjects in many of my gallery paintings. Most importantly, I'm married to a wonderful wife who is also an artist, and we have a really cute little baby girl who grins most of the day and sleeps most of the night.

Why I am a Mormon

Though raised Mormon, I consider myself a convert to my faith. During my senior year of high school, I was experiencing a lot of personal and social struggles. I did not really know God, only about Him. I felt insecure and unhappy until I began to take my religion – and it’s wonderful teachings – seriously. Through reading the Book of Mormon in a quiet place, with a hungry heart, I learned about Jesus Christ, that I was a son of God, and that He really loved me. I learned that the way to true happiness is to know Him, and to serve people – a truth I’ve had confirmed to me over and over again. While it’s takes a lot of faith to come to know God, including much study and prayer, the results have come for me as surely as in any science experiment (though not always as quickly). While many of these truths are admittedly taught in the various other Christian denominations, I remain a Mormon because of additional truths that add to (but do not diminish) those found in other faiths, and that conform to the gospel taught in the Holy Bible. In this age of rapid change and lowering moral standards, it is especially comforting to know personally, by the power of the Holy Ghost, that we are led by a living prophet, possessing true authority, who communes with God as did Moses and Peter in their days. I am Mormon because of that authority, because the Savior Jesus Christ leads this Church, and because its teachings makes me happy and free.

How I live my faith

My faith permeates everything I do, from my paintings to my personal relationships. As a painter, I try to be honest in the way I interpret both the beauties I see and how they make me feel. I want people to feel grateful for the beautiful gifts God has given us, including light and color and good design. In my personal relationships, I try to look at the goodness within people and not at their faults or weaknesses. I try to be unselfish in the way I spend my time at home, trying to put the needs of my beautiful wife and children first. I think it’s in the home where I most have to put to the test the truths I believe: but then, that’s where I’ve found the greatest rewards in so doing.

What do Mormons believe about “eternal life?”

Mormons' belief in "eternal life" is one of the most significant doctrinal departures from traditional Christianity, though it encompasses others' beliefs as well, which by and large are not as much false as they are incomplete. We do believe that people are rewarded according to good deeds. We also believe in the grace of Jesus Christ, and that all who believe in Him will be saved. But here’s the key: what does it mean to be “saved”? We believe that we are all “saved” FROM physical death, the separation of our spirits from our bodies: we will all be ressurrected and live forever, just as one day, all men will eventually confess that Jesus is the Christ. But we believe it is another thing to be “exalted,” that is, exalted TO “eternal life”, where we may live in the presence of God forever with our families. Only those who have demonstrated their belief in Jesus Christ through obedience will be worthy and comfortable to live eternally with Him after this life. These are they who Paul described as being “caught up to the third heaven” – alluding to heaven as consisting of various degrees, which would mean there is not just one heaven and one hell, but several heavens. We’ll ALL get exactly what we WANT. For those willing to obey Jesus Christ with all their hearts, "eternal life" will be their reality: living with God and their spouse/family forever and becoming like Him (see John 17:20-22). Show more Show less