The latest iteration of Mormon.org invites members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to create personal profiles that share their testimonies describe their own experiences living and learning the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here is mine.
Hi, I’m Dustin
I love cities and subways and learning about the world. I work from home as a freelancer and look after my daughter. I’m a Mormon.
I’m a freelancer who works from home, which means that I have the blessing of looking after my daughter every day. She and I are best chums. We love going to the playground and sliding down the slide together. We love riding the subway and making friends with people from all sorts of different places speaking all sorts of different languages and with all sorts of different beliefs. We love looking up at the buildings of the city we live in, hearing the sounds and seeing the sights and smelling the smells of its streets. But I think our favorite moments are just before bed, sitting quietly in my daughter’s bedroom with her in my arms, totally safe and cozy and warm.
I think the world is an amazing place. I pause daily to look at the colors of the sunset, sad that it’s so short but grateful it will happen again the next day. I have had the opportunity to travel to many different places. (Of course, I always want to see more.) I marvel at humankind’s creativity and ingenuity. It is a thrill to see New York’s skyscrapers, to feel the rush of France’s TGV, to admire the grace and beauty and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.
In my professional work, I work to build great cities, cities that benefit our planet and, more importantly, those who call them home. But my greatest work will always be in the walls of my own home.
Why I am a Mormon
This is the faith I grew up with. My mother was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when I was four years old. After she was baptized, we moved around the United States a bit. We finally ended up back in my home state. I still remember our first day at church there after we moved back. It was long, and it was tough for me to stay awake (I was 9). But I felt something; I felt that my family and I were in the right place. On the way home, I asked my mom if we could never miss church again. And I pretty much haven’t ever since.
I realize now that what I felt that day was the Holy Ghost. He was testifying to me that what I was doing was right and that what I was learning that day at church was true. I have felt that feeling often at church and when reading the Bible and the Book of Mormon. It’s never been loud or flashy. Rather, like the ancient prophet Elijah felt (1 Kings 19:12), it has always been “a still small voice.”
That’s not to say I’ve never had any doubts. I think we all have occasions in our lives—or looking at events in the world—to ask tough questions. Does God really exist? If so, does He really care about us—about me? In a world of so many conflicting messages—religious, scientific, political, philosophical—who, if anyone, is right?
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have found my answers. I certainly don’t know everything—and my church and its leaders don’t claim to know everything, either. But we know what we need to know: that God exists, that Jesus Christ is His Beloved Son, and that They love us.
I know that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior, that He lived a perfect life that I strive to emulate in my life every day—and that I always fall short. I know that His Atonement and His gospel make it possible for me to overcome my mistakes and my shortcomings and get through the pains and trials of life. I love my Savior; I know that He lives and that this is His Church.
How I live my faith
I strive to live my faith every day. It begins in the morning; before my family and I leave our home each day, we gather in a circle and pray. Throughout the day, we strive to follow the example of Jesus Christ in our interactions with others. Before each meal, we bow our heads and thank our Heavenly Father that we have food to eat and we ask Him to bless it. We try to read the scriptures together each day as a family and individually. (In our family reading we are currently studying the Old Testament; in my personal study I’m reading the Book of Mormon again.) Then, before we go to bed, we kneel, usually in my toddler daughter’s room, and thank our Heavenly Father for the day we’ve had and ask Him to keep us safe through the night. In our evening prayer, we also try to remember others—sometimes people we know, but often people we don’t know but have heard about in the news.
Once a week, usually on Monday evening, we set aside as a time to spend together as a family. We usually have a brief lesson on a topic related to Jesus Christ and His gospel, followed by an activity or game together and a treat.
Each Sunday we go to church. I was just asked (or “called”) to be a clerk for our congregation. The job is basically just like it sounds: I help my congregation’s leaders handle many of their administrative functions, including recordkeeping and finances. Though at first glance this job may not appear to be “spiritual” in nature, it is still an essential part of the Lord’s work: the spiritual work of the Church is strengthened by making sure its practical affairs are in order. Beyond that, I rely upon the guidance of the Holy Ghost in fulfilling this job. The fact that I receive this spiritual guidance tells me that my job is important to the Lord. It also gives me experience in obtaining and following this spiritual guidance that I can use in other areas of my life, especially in my most important roles of father and husband.
This article appeared on pages 10–11 of Issue 5 | January 2012.