Modern Mormon Men Co-Founders
Seattle Jon is a family man, little league coach, urban farmer and businessman living in Seattle. He currently gets up early with the markets to trade bonds for a living. In his spare time he enjoys movies, thrifting and is an avid reader. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and the Japan Fukuoka mission field. He has one wife, four kids and five chickens.
Twitter: @ScottHeffernan. Tumblr: ScottHeff.tumblr.com.
Scott Heffernan is an artist, designer, and photographer living in Seattle. He works on the creative team at Archie McPhee, doing all manner of strange things. He grew up a child of the 80s in Salt Lake City and loves skateboarding, toys, and thrifting. He served a mission in England/Wales and has a degree in American Sign Language from the University of Utah. He has one wife and two kids.
Modern Mormon Men Contributors
Aaron currently lives in Portland, Oregon, but grew up in the Midwest. After a mission to Argentina and a degree from BYU, Aaron received an MBA from the University of Washington. Consequently, he is a data-driven corporate sellout who thinks the government should generally mind its own business. A lifelong Mormon and former counselor in a bishopric, Aaron feels that the eccentricities of Mormon culture should be made fun of as much as possible, that the main point of the gospel is to be like Christ and help others, and suspects that – whether openly or covertly – everyone likes Neil Diamond. He and his amazing wife have two boys.
Raised by a self-declared "Zen Mormon,” Aimee was exposed to a unique, open approach to mormonism. This allows her to easily relate to people of all different backgrounds. She will be contributing to Modern Mormon Men with her insights as a marriage and family therapist and has the great pleasure of writing on topics regarding mental and emotional health, parenting, couplehood, sexuality, and anything else she sees fit to share. Aimee served a mission in the beautiful countryside of Sendai, Japan. She graduated from Seattle Pacific University and practices in Redmond, Washington. She loves her (above-average) charming husband and son. Aimee is world renowned for her parallel parking skills and vertical leap. If you ever run into her, she will be happy to demonstrate either.
Twitter: @andrewcolinbeck. Portfolio Website: andrewcolinbeck.com.
Andrew Beck, born 1986 in Pheonix, Arizona, is a Graphic Designer and recently graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He was raised smack dab in the middle of Provo Mormondom. His favorite calling so far is: nursery leader. After serving a mission in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Andrew married Ashley, his college sweetheart in the Mount Timpanogos Temple. They recently had a healthy mormon baby.
Ben Johnson grew up in the heart of Mormon country, just outside of Salt Lake City. Given the unsophisticated nature of his palette ("what's a filet?") he was sent to Denver on his mission, where he grew to love even more types of cereal. Post-mission Ben broke his mother’s heart by attending and, *gasp*, graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in Finance. Whether he does anything with that degree is another matter. Determined to prove that the system works, Ben met his future wife Katti in a single’s ward. It was nothing like the movie. Ben currently lives just outside Salt Lake City with his beautiful wife and three wonderful kids.
Twitter: @bishophiggins. Blog: bishophiggins.blogspot.com.
Bishop Gerald Higgins is the bishop of the 3rd Ward and the first thing you should know is that Bishop Higgins loves Jesus. Also apple juice, marching bands and things that are soothing, like sunsets, the holy spirit, and hand lotion. Now, hasn't he met you before? Perhaps 2.5 million years ago in the pre-existence. It seems you've changed some since you've taken on this mortal coil. Remember how we could never wear hats in the pre-existence? Too windy.
Bradly Baird is the father of two amazing children and has been married for almost twenty years. He served a mission in Finland, though he was really supposed to serve in Uruguay. His professional meanderings include everything from education to economic development, to human capital management in the IT industry (hopefully this one sticks); and spends his Saturdays hanging out with the missionaries in Provo, or racing back and forth between his children's activities in tae kwon do and elite cheerleading. Bradly also survived an MBA program; developed a somewhat limited interest in music, theater, film, urban planning, judaica, liberation theology, politics, israel, and latin american history; studies the influence of graphic imagery on public space; wrote a thesis about Leonard Bernstein, is obsessed with the American Symphonists, and reads publications like The Tablet and the Jewish Daily Forward.
Born in Salt Lake City, Brett Merritt lived in twelve different homes and four different states by the time he was nineteen. He served his church mission in Alabama and is currently an average primary teacher. Brett has a B.S. in English and is a Content Editorial Director by day. A huge supporter of the performing arts, he spends his spare time writing, acting, improvising, and watching a lot of films. He lives in Provo, Utah where his brilliant wife and kids patiently watch as he tries to be a better Modern Mormon Man.
Brother Jake is the caboose of a big Mormon family. He enjoys playing video games and making silly videos. After serving a mission in Peru, he married a violinist, transferred schools, and finished his undergrad at Indiana University. He is currently pursuing a Master's degree in analytics (a dumb word for "statistics") at NC State. He has extremely stretchy elbow skin.
Casey Peterson is the Director of the BYU Center for Service and Learning where he loves working with over 22,000 BYU students learning life lessons through service and volunteerism. Casey is completing his doctoral degree at BYU in Educational Leadership, which gives him the unique current status at BYU of being a student, teacher, and administrator. Casey is married with 5 beautiful children who stay busy through church, sports, and community activities along with their work on the small family farm they operate in Salem, Utah.
Dustin currently lives in Houston, Texas with his wife and four children. After serving a mission in Puerto Rico, he set the tone for a happy marriage by failing Dating and Marriage Prep at BYU-Idaho. He then showed why this happened, dragging his family around the nation with nine moves in seven years, all in the name of figuring out what to do with his life. He found his way into leadership development and now works at YES Prep Public Schools training teachers to be leaders and as a private consultant for businesses and non-profits. He especially enjoys helping people figure out their best-fit career and get into it and spits serious game on the topic at petersonleadership.com. He loves bacon, Dallas sports teams, and long walks on the beach. Email him at dustin (at) petersonleadership (dot) com.
Eliana Osborn was raised on cold weather and wild animals in Anchorage, Alaska, setting the stage for her adult life in the Sunniest Place on Earth in Arizona. She grew up in the church and didn't know there were places where conformity was preached. She has degrees. She writes. She teaches. She has some kids. She even has a husband. She's trying to do her best.
Kevin Shafer, or the guest child formerly known as Cougar Buckeye, is currently a resident of Springville, Utah after growing up in Columbus, Ohio. He is a convert to the Church, having joined in his PhD program at Ohio State. Today, he is a professor of social work at BYU where his convert status and lack of degrees from said institution adds just a hint of diversity. In contrast to his own family history, he thinks that his wife’s ancestors may have missed the April 6, 1830 church meeting, but were definitely there on the 13th. He and his wife and three beautiful, rambunctious, and zesty children. He thinks the best part of MMM is the relatively easy peer review process, which stands in contrast to his professional life.
Kyle works in Democratic politics, yet somehow his bishop still lets him participate in church activities. He hails from Washington DC, but is embarking on a year of living in Salt Lake City and being a stay-at-home dad, while his amazing wife brings home the bacon. Actual bacon. No, seriously, she works across the street from a grocery store. It's delicious. Kyle's Mormon street cred comes from the fact that he is the youngest of seven children and is only five years older than his niece.
Twitter: @laurenruthie. Blog: laurenruthie.blogspot.com.
Lauren Johnson first wrote for the Modern Mormon Men team about being a 32-year-old single. It's sort of a blur, but somehow she found herself engaged later that year, and married at 33. She considers herself a story-teller, and was a television reporter in both Idaho and Salt Lake City, most recently with ABC 4. Some might recognize her as the founder and original host of "The Cultural Hall" podcast. She's now living in Boston, and experiencing what is being a newlywed. She loves the Mormon tradition of calling each other Brother and Sister. Since serving her mission in Cleveland, she prefers Brotha' and Sistah. Sistah Johnson's 2014 New Years Resolutions are to become a better tweeter, and to continue wearing something from a thrift store every single day—something she semi-regrets committing to during the summer of 2013.
ldsbishop grew up in the land of Shakespeare, Milton and Monty Python. Looking for some culture, he moved to Utah for a while where he seduced his future wife with his accent. They now live back in the UK. He was called as the Bishop of his ward in his mid-twenties. That's where the similarities between him and President Monson end, though he can also wiggle his ears. He and his wife are the parents of two sons, the type of boys that have people suggesting we need more talks on reverence. He keeps his sanity by tweeting his thoughts under @ldsbishop.
Laurie Jayne (LJ) Stradling began her writing career with horrible grade-school poetry (the kind with illustrations in the margins). She has since moved onto blogging and the occasional piece of fiction, which has improved slightly since she gave up the illustrations. LJ is a quiet feminist, a loud mom, a well-kept wife and a fervent believer in prayer. She also believes that most dogs came to the earth after the Fall of Adam.
MAB has fond and therefore suspect memories of living his pre-teen years in rural Central Utah with his five brothers and one sister. As a teenager he moved with part of his family to the suburbs of Salt Lake City then left for a mission to Honduras. Having survived that he went to college in Rapid City then married an open minded Californian who helped put him through graduate school in Seattle. In the summer of 2011 his employer will relocate his family to Amsterdam, a move they are excited and anxious about. He considers himself a Mormon from a cultural standpoint but is philosophically agnostic. He attends church to support his family, to participate in familiar rituals and to enjoy the quirks and benefits of an LDS community.
I've lived in New York, Texas, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. I've traveled to four continents, shopped in Fez, parasailed in Tunisia, eaten caviar in Moscow and would love to visit my namesake and great-grandfather's stomping grounds in Italy. I was married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple four years after graduating from BYU, so you could argue at one point I was a ‘menace to the community.’ I'm a former singing gondolier at The Venetian in Las Vegas and BYU Young Ambassador. I work in digital public relations and travel to consult and speak about corporate communications and social media. I graduated in 2013 from the University of Utah's Executive MBA program. My awesome wife and I have two great kids, currently twelve and eight and full of life.
Reid is an endocrinologist from Henderson, Nevada. He's blessed with wonderful wife and three great kids. His interests are charitably characterized as eclectic: cycling, fly-fishing, history, travel and the coinage of the Flavian dynasty of Imperial Rome. With a deep-seated belief that people habitually do dumb things, he's trying really hard to keep things positive. People are not making it any easier these days. The gospel has helped a lot.
Saint Mark is one of those oxymorons: a Mexican who speaks fluent Japanese, a bibliophile even though he did not grow up with a book, pen or paper in his home, and a mormon who grew up in the casino lights of Las Vegas. After becoming a modern-day Ammon in Kyushu, Japan, he returned to the States to become a lifelong student, literally. He has a bachelors from Brigham Young University, a masters from Georgetown University, and a juris doctor from Boston University School of Law. Mark is a husband of a wonderful woman who is done with Mark being a student, a father of two intelligent and rambunctious boys who beat him at chess and football, and an active participant in his ward and community. He identifies himself as someone who quickly tires of chit chat and wants to know "the five things you want to do before you die" when he first meets you.
Twitter: @TheLowTechWorld. Blog: low-techworld.blogspot.com.
Scott Hales lives in a small house in a suburb of Cincinnati with his wife and three daughters. He spends a lot of his time reading Mormon fiction and trying to come up with original things to say about it. On weekday mornings, he gets up at 4:40 to teach seminary. On weekday evenings, he and his wife watch network television and wonder what it must be like to have a satellite dish and 400 channels. During the daytime, he is a graduate student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Cincinnati. He doesn't like pets or home repairs. He always likes to watch superhero cartoons with his kids. Sometimes he rides a mountain bike in the woods behind his neighborhood. When he's feeling particularly nostalgic, he'll pull out his masterfully written mission journals and remember the days when he didn't sport sideburns.
Twitter: @MoTabEnquirer. Website: motabenquirer.blogspot.com.
Shawn Tucker grew up with amazing parents and five younger, wonderful siblings. He served as a missionary in Chile during the Plebiscite and the first post-dictatorship election. After his mission, he attended BYU, where he married ... you guessed it ... his wife. They both graduated, with Shawn earning a BA in Humanities. Fearing that his BA in Humanities, which is essentially a degree in Jeopardy, would not be sufficient, Shawn completed graduate work in the same ... stuff ... at Florida State University. He currently teaches at Elon University in North Carolina. He and ... you guessed it ... his wife have four great children.