Missionaries’ duties and tools have changed drastically in the last few years, and the social expectations of 18- and 19-year-olds have dropped just as dramatically. With school out, take advantage of this time to ensure your prospective missionary won’t find ‘adulting’ as mysterious a set of skills as their peers.
Along with running a successful Texas-based dental practice, Dr. Jeffrey T. “Jeff” Erickson has put several of his favorite pastimes and passions into practice—and into presentations and print as well.
“I have a passion for writing and speaking about the gospel of Jesus Christ, especially to youth,” Dr. Erickson says. He’s put that passion to good use, serving as a Gospel Doctrine teacher for six years, participating as a speaker at Especially for Youth each year since 2001, and, when serving as a bishop, writing “more than 250 weekly letters of encouragement to missionaries all over the world.”
Fifty-two of those letters were later were compiled and published in the now popular book, A Weekly Letter to Your Missionary, available at Deseret Bookstore and online at Amazon.com. Dr. Erickson has also authored the “Greater View Series,” 20 mini-books addressing gospel topics—or what Dr. Erickson calls “aha principles” from the Book of Mormon—everything from contention, to pride, to gratitude, to dwindling in unbelief. The series titles include The Fourth Nephite Effect, Waterproofing Your Vessel, The Virtue of the Word, Shake the Chains of Sin and more.
Dr. Erickson says his favorites include Because of Ease. “I like some titles better because they are better for me personally,” he explains. Others have value because they address a common problem or concern, Dr. Erickson says. “The one about pornography. I can see the value of it. Pornography is a huge problem and we are seeing only the tip of the iceberg.”
He credits his mom for instilling in him a love for the gospel.
“I grew up in a part-member family,” Dr. Erickson explains. “My mom was as faithful as can be,” and he says he’s grateful for “the gift of faith, the testimony of faith in the messages of the Book of Mormon.” As a young man, Jeff served a full-time mission in the Canada Halifax Mission, where he learned to love the Book of Mormon even more and to understand that “the Book of Mormon has hundreds of principles that teach us and bless out lives currently.”
He says an important aspect of those principles is learning to put them into practice and live them with real intent. Recognizing that his love for the game of soccer would always clash with the principle of keeping the Sabbath Day holy, he co-founded the NSFC (Never on Sunday Fútbol Club) Strikers. Now in its fourth year, the soccer club serves more than 550 young people, attracting them from all across the East Valley and into Scottsdale, to participate in competitive soccer with a focus on skill development and fair play, while strictly observing their rule to never play on Sunday.
Members of the Lindsay Third Ward in the Chandler East Stake, Dr. Erickson and his wife, Christine, are the parents of six boys and a girl, three still living at home, one currently serving a mission.
To learn more about the NSFC Strikers, visit https://www.nsfcaz.com/ or call 480-277-4351. For more information about books by Dr. Erickson, visit his author page by searching “Jeffrey Erickson” on Amazon.com.