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Hi I'm Jake

I live in Russia. I miss my family in Indiana, but I'm glad to be here on the Lord's errand. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I seem to be a normal person, but I love to shake things up with a good outlandish statement or impulsive cathartic experience. I have two little brothers, two little sisters, and two big parents, and they are all the best. My parents have taught us from our youth to love our Heavenly Father and follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I grew up in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, the jewel of the Mid West. Sports didn't come naturally to me as a kid, but I did swimming and wrestling and ran cross country (which I really had no business doing). In school I also participated in music and was a founding member of the Lawrenceburg Shakespeare Company. I worked at a local movie theater and also as a group fitness instructor. I liked growing up in a small town because you can really do a lot of stuff if you want to. I was the only active member of the Church at my school. Sometimes I had to choose between doing what is popular and doing what is right. Often I felt like kind of an alien at school because of my faith, but all the same I made a lot of great memories and friendships. My dad is a doctor, and after high school I spent a year and a half at Brigham Young University following that career path. I also spent a lot of time listening to, playing, and performing music, often with my roommates, who are my cousins and long-time friends. All of us are serving missions for the Church right now. Right now I am serving a mission for the Church in Russia. I love it.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in the Church and always loved it. The Church and my family are the greatest things in my life. I remember when I was 8 years old I was preparing to be baptised. My parents expected that I would be baptised, of course, but they did not force me to choose it. They guided me in such a way that allowed me to understand the decision, and learn that it was right. My dad sat down with me and had an interview. I don't remember much of what was said, except one thing. He said, "Okay. So after Saturday you will be baptised and will be clean of all of your sins. Now this doesn't mean you should go and do a lot of fun sinning before your baptism..." We laughed. He might have just had in mind to make a joke to lighten the mood, from this I remember and know that following Christ is not an event or action, but a way of life. Baptism was a symbol of my inner desire to live life the way God wants me to. Near the time of my baptism, my mom also approached me. She told me that to be baptised, I needed to receive a testimony that the Book of Mormon was true. I had studied the book a little in church and with my family, maybe a little on my own. She told me to read by myself and pray to know if it was true. I read a little bit, then got tired of that and put the book down (its not light reading, especially for an 8-year-old). Not really knowing what it was about but wanting to do what my mom asked, I knelt and prayed. I was kneeling there, and I had an intense, hot feeling in my chest. It felt indescribable, like a physical sensation of love and emotion and gravity. I began to feel this very strongly. I went to my mom, who asked how it was going. I described the feeling to her, and she hugged me and told me it was the Holy Ghost, telling me that it was true. I consider this to be the first of many real spiritual witnesses in my life that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. It is as real to me as anything in this world, and I rely on it to this day.

How I live my faith

The Book of Mormon reads, "men are that they might have joy." This is pretty much what I try to do. I am the happiest when I am keeping commandments and keeping it real. I am really grateful that God has given us His Church and commandments to help us be happy in this life. I live my faith by being obedient to God's commandments, and I know from experience that this is how a person can find the greatest joy. Right now I have the special opportunity to share the Gospel as a missionary in the Ekaterinburg, Russia mission. For two years I am spending my days helping move this great work forward.

What is being a Mormon like?

Jake
Being a Mormon is like being truly and fully happy. Show more Show less

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Jake
It is extremely important because it defines what is true and real and what is not. If the authority weren't important we could just have a big pool party and call everybody saved. A line must be drawn to define baptism; how it must be done and by who. God clearly defined the ordinance of baptism for the remission of sins in ancient times. This same ordinance is performed today by the same authority in the restored Church of Jesus Christ, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Show more Show less