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Young Latter-day Saint Father Finds Perspective in Hard Choices

Jivarne Joseph, from Auckland, New Zealand, is nearing the end of his university training on the path to becoming a dentist. He is currently enrolled at Otago University in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Having gone through most of the theoretical courses, much of his time now is spent in clinical labs.

He is married and the father of two children. Jasana Joseph, his wife, is expecting their third child.                                       

“Going through dental school is difficult at best,” he says. “And I have had to learn some juggling skills along the way.”

He adds, “It would be easy for me to think that my studies should come first, but learning to find balance has become very important in this whole process.”

Because he is married and has two children with one on the way, he knows that even though his education is important, his family is more important. “I try to help out my wife when I can and give her a break with the children and chores. I also try to spend quality time with my kids.”


Both of the Joseph’s sets of parents live in distant cities so there is no backup plan or running the kids to the grandparents for a break.

When asked why he had chosen this difficult path, he responded, “Obviously when you choose a difficult course in life, you make a lot of mistakes along the way, but my choices to do hard things have paid dividends in many ways including a greater perspective on what matters most.” 

Jivarne recalled being in Oakland, California, USA from 2011 to 2013 where he was serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As well as giving service and teaching the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, he received service from the members of the Church and others.

“At one point on my mission,” he says, “I was experiencing dental problems. Not having the funds to get the work done, I talked to the bishop in our congregation and he directed me to several members who were dentists.”

“The treatments were provided in several appointments and the services were provided to me without fees. That was also a driving force in my decision to take this journey—I wanted to give back and serve as I was served.”

Jivarne advises young people to “bite the bullet and take the leap of faith—when it comes to marriage, family and education.” “Don’t procrastinate—try to find reasons to follow your course and enjoy the process.”

Mormons believe in pursuing a course of study that will provide for a stable family life.

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