Jacob Wallace’s religion brings him to new interests

Determination is found in many different forms. It’s rare that you find someone like junior Jacob Wallace who finds their determination through their religious beliefs at such a young age.

Jacob has been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – better known as the Mormon church – for his whole life. His religion has left a large impact on his daily life and continues to do so.

“I don’t think I can describe fully just how much [my religion] shapes me,” Jacob said.

Jacob was not as connected with his religion until around eighth grade.

“I really didn’t care all that much until middle school,” Jacob said. “Toward the end of middle school, around eighth grade, my religion really started clicking with me, and I started caring about it.”

His beliefs have always been an important part of his life, but his new strong faith in those beliefs gave him the motivation to improve himself as a person and as a student. Jacob now takes advantage of his opportunities to learn at school rather than just getting by.

“[Before,] I didn’t want to challenge myself and learn,” Jacob said. “After, because of what my religion teaches about how to live your life and what you should be doing here on Earth, it’s been one of the main driving factors for why I’m taking the classes I’m taking.”

Jacob is a very active member of his church. He goes to church for three hours every Sunday, reads scriptures and prays daily, and also stays after church for the choir. He has been singing in his church since he was about five or six years old and has become more passionate about it as the years have gone on. Singing in the choir has even been a factor in building his faith.

“Singing in the choir has helped me more fully believe what I believe and what I know about life and religion,” Jacob said.

This year, his love for choir has moved to school as well. FHC Chorale has been a dream for Jacob, and, ironically, that’s exactly how he signed up for it. During scheduling week of his sophomore year, he had a dream that convinced him to sign up for choir the next day.

“It was either of me singing with a school group or maybe in front of the school,” Jacob said. “It was during the time we were scheduling, so I was thinking about what [classes] I wanted to take next year. [Signing up for FHC Chorale] was because of that dream.”

Outside of singing, Jacob can play the ukulele and is currently teaching himself to play the piano. He learned to play the ukulele after he got one for Christmas a few years ago and has been playing it since then. Recently, Jacob has been more focused on the piano and uses an app to help him learn.

“Before [the app,] I wasn’t seriously trying to learn [the piano],” Jacob said. “I would just hear a song [and think] “hey I wanna learn that,a�� look up a tutorial on Youtube, and learn it that way.”

Jacob’s faith has allowed him to discover many of his interests. Additionally, he discovered his wish to participate in a mission trip. He hopes to be able to go on a two-year mission trip with his church at some point.

On the mission trip, he will be teaching people about the Gospel, God, and the church. Jacob will have little contact with people at home, so he will be able to focus solely on the mission. He will also be postponing college for it.

“I don’t think it matters where I go,” Jacob said. “I could go to Kentucky, and I’m still going to learn from the people there, and they from me.”

Jacob’s passion for his religion has also helped him improve as both a student and a person. He hopes to keep his faith equally close as he gets older, if not closer. He is determined to stay an active member of his church.

“It’s tough to say what the future holds as a whole, but outside of that, I already try to make [church] as big of a part [of my life] as possible,” Jacob said. “I don’t [know if I] see [myself] as being more dedicated or not; I just see [myself] as being a fully active and believing member.”