Portfolio: Mark J. Sanderson


Mark J. Sanderson

CO-AUTHOR at Latter-day Chiasmus

chiasmus_family_cover_FINAL_smallAfter helping my dad publish his scholarly writings for several years, I developed an eye for identifying chiasmus, an ancient poetic style that is prevalent throughout the Bible. One day, while sitting in Sunday School, I noticed elements of a chiastic pattern in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, a prophetic declaration released in September 1995. I showed my dad what I had found and he was able to use his highly trained eye to identify and diagram chiasmus throughout the entire document.

Excited by what we had discovered and enlightened by the new insights we had gained, we decided to share our findings in an e-book, A Chiastic Analysis of The Family: A Proclamation to the World. In process of writing this book, we identified several additional examples of chiasmus in the writings of modern prophets, so we also launched a blog, Latter-day Chiasmus.

Our hope is that, through our writings, more people will see the value of a chiastic approach to studying the words of the prophets. One major benefit we have identified is that chiasmus serves to reinforce the meaning of a particular passage, making it virtually impossible to misinterpret a prophet’s message.

Here is a list of our articles, so far:

New Beginnings: David A. Bednar’s Facebook Chiasm (16 January 2017)

• Teach Us How To Pray: Chiasmus in Brigham Young’s 1867 Dedication of the Salt Lake Tabernacle (3 January 2017)

• The Faith Necessary To Persevere: D. Todd Christofferson’s Three Facebook Chiasms (30 December 2016)

• To Be Honest, To Be Kind: Chiasmus in Robert Louis Stevenson’s “A Christmas Sermon”  (21 December 2016)

• The Happiest People You Will Find Anywhere: Quentin L. Cook’s Facebook Chiasm (4 December 2016)

• I Am One Of His Witnesses: Chiasmus in Bruce R. McConkie’s “The Purifying Power of Gethsemane” (22 November 2016)

The Mountain of the Lord’s House: Chiasmus in the Salt Lake Temple Dedicatory Prayer (12 November 2016)

To All the Kings of the World: Chiasmus in the 1845 Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles (31 October 2016)

• Nations Cannot Endure In Sin: Chiasmus in Ezra Taft Benson’s “A Message to the World” (14 October 2016)

• He Lives: Chiasmus in “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” (12 October 2016)

Peace Is That Which We Seek: Chiasmus in Thomas S. Monson’s “We Never Walk Alone” (5 October 2016)

• His Answers Will Come: Robert D. Hales’ Facebook Chiasm (8 September 2016)

• To Love As He Loves: Chiasmus in Henry B. Eyring’s “Our Perfect Example” (8 September 2016)

• I’ve A Mother There: Chiasmus in Eliza R. Snow’s “O My Father” (29 August 2016)

• Like Doves to their Windows: Chiasmus in Orson Hyde’s Dedication of the Holy Land (29 August 2016)

• Facilitating Our Growth: Chiasmus in Dallin H. Oaks’ “Opposition In All Things” (13 July 2016)

• The Downfall of Nations: Chiasmus in Joseph Fielding Smith’s “The Law of Chastity” (11 July 2016)

Seer Stones: Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s Facebook Chiasm (5 July 2016)

Courageous Things: Chiasmus in Russell M. Nelson’s “Becoming True Millennials” (5 July 2016)

The Complement of the Priesthood Powers: Chiasmus in J. Reuben Clark’s ‘Our Wives and Our Mothers in the Eternal Plan’ (27 June 2016)

• The First Vision: Chiasmus in “Joseph Smith—History” (27 May 2016)

I Love Trees: Chiasmus in Gordon B. Hinckley’s Description of the Conference Center Pulpit (26 May 2016)

• My Witness: Henry B. Eyring’s Facebook Chiasm (26 May 2016)

• The Standard of Truth: Chiasmus in Joseph Smith’s “Wentworth Letter” (13 May 2016)

Chiasmus in Howard W. Hunter’s “The Great Symbol of Our Membership” (28 March 2016)



After completing graduate school, my wife and I moved to New York City in December 2009, so I could pursue an advertising internship. I spent 6 months at Greencard Creative, a Latin-focused boutique located in BBDO office space in Midtown Manhattan. During this time, I was fortunate to work with a variety of clients and rub shoulders with many people at BBDO. Below is a list of the major clients I worked with.

1: Ecuador — By applying my understanding of green marketing, I helped win an account with the government of Ecuador.

2: Origomu — By drafting professional letters, I secured the acceptance of this innovative art technique and movement by the New York City Department of Education.

3: Petit Nectar — By analyzing research videos and surveys, I helped develop a strategic plan to expand the U.S. distribution of this Guatemalan beverage brand.

4: Contemporary Latin American Art Space of the Heights (CLASH) — By studying the neighborhood of Washington Heights, I helped develop a strategic plan for this cultural space prior to its construction. Ultimately, it became the Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center.

In the final tally, I contributed to ethnographic research and the creation of online surveys; drafted letters, press releases, blog posts and PowerPoint presentations; and reviewed research videos, social media sources, and professional reports.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT at Brigham Young University

At Brigham Young University, I experienced a rigorous, challenging, and rewarding academic experience — ultimately earning a BA in History and a Minor in English. The most valuable part of my education, however, was my campus employment, which gave me hands-on experiences in professional situations.

My first two years, I worked at KBYU Television, where I wrote and produced 50 television spots, assisted with pledge drives, and made the first Membership spots for BYU Television, which aired internationally. My last two years, I worked as a research assistant for a Church History professor, helping with two books and six articles on topics related to the American West. I am indebted to these employers who trusted me to make major contributions to their work, thereby helping me learn new skills and develop my talents.

For my Senior Paper, I demonstrated the value of two Mormon immigrant databases by using them to write about the immigration experience of my great-grandfather, William Blake.

  1. Mormon Immigration Index — a database containing journals and ship logs of 93,000 immigrants who traveled to the United States between 1840-1890.
  2. Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel — a database containing historical records of the overland journeys of Mormon immigrants between 1847-1868.

William Blake came to America as a youth during the Civil War and experienced the dangers of traveling through a war zone — both on land and on sea. In later years, he wrote a brief account of his immigration experience, detailing the route his family took and highlighting a few noteworthy experiences along the way. By interviewing two of my great-uncles, who knew him as children and were familiar with family oral tradition, I was able to expand upon the story.

Next, the Mormon Immigration Index and the Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel databases provided invaluable contextual information that helped me gain a more complete understanding of his harrowing experience. In the end, his story contains all the drama, action, and suspense of a Hollywood film.

CONTENT MARKETER at Morgenroth Development

One of the clients I work with at DesignCo Marketing is Morgenroth Development, a general contracting company in Pleasanton, CA. I chiefly write for their Builder’s Blog, but I also provide copy for their website and I wrote their e-book, Remodeling v. Moving.

Below is a list of some of my favorite articles I’ve written for their Builder’s Blog, which include interviews with subcontractors, book reviews, and current housing trends:

  • “Preparing Your Home for Resale to Millennials”
  • “Hardwood Floors: Prefinish v. Job-Site Finish”
  • “Quality Over Quantity — The Not So Big House”
  • “6 Ways to Make Your Home Staycation Ready”
  • “Home On The Range: Gas Ranges v. Electric Ranges”
  • “Man Caves That Match Their Men”
  • “5 Artisan Smore Recipes for your New Outdoor Fire Pit”
  • “Hardwood Flooring: Pre-finished Engineered v. Pre-finished Solid”
  • “3 Rules of Green Building Projects”

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF at Capital Ward Newsletter

A valuable part of my graduate school experience in Austin, Texas was being involved in my church, which had an active student congregation, an Institute of Religion next to campus, and a Latter-day Saint Student Association (LDSSA) campus club.

During my first year, I volunteered as Editor-in-Chief of the Capital Ward Newsletter, a weekly tri-fold with a readership of 100+ that told of the weekly happenings of church members. Now, this wasn’t your usual church newsletter. The Capital Ward Newsletter blended fiction with reality in a fun, Onion-like, photoshopped publication that was known throughout the state of Texas. Each issue featured a cover story, a student spotlight interview, an advice column, humorous quotes overheard during the week, articles about current events, and an inspirational quote.

Church leaders complimented my work for its role in generating energy, excitement, and unity among church members. However, since it made it difficult for people to focus, they requested that it be distributed after the church service. I could see their point, since I had one girl tell me — in all seriousness — that the reason she came to church was to get the latest issue of the newsletter.

capital ward_hassel trough



Brigham Young University is famous for its dating and marriage culture. While lasting relationships often form, there is no shortage of drama and heartache along the way. In the spirit of “if you can laugh at it, then it can’t hurt you,” the BYU Date Club was formed to help students cope with and seek to understand the realities of the love quest.

It all started as a funny t-shirt design, but it quickly grew into a social force when it received front page media coverage in The Daily Universe. This was soon followed by Date Club Prophecies, a collection of my philosophizings and musings about dating, and Date With Destiny, a 30-minute no-budget sci-fi film about the 500th anniversary of the Intergalactic Federation of Romance.

Today the BYU Date Club, which has never been a sanctioned campus club, exists on Facebook, where people often post interesting articles, hilarious pick-up lines, memes, and personal stories. The hope is that it will continue to help people in their quest to find an everlasting love.

daily universe front page

BLOOD DONOR at American Red Cross

Since July 2012, I have donated over 4 gallons of blood at the American Red Cross for the exclusive use of newborns .

Somewhere along the line I had the idea that I could help promote blood donation by posting pictures of each of my donations. By making it fun and involving others, I could help rebrand the experience so people would no longer associate it with fear, discomfort, and needle pricks. Instead, it would be seen as an inviting, desirable experience that promoted good.

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SOCIAL MEDIA VOLUNTEER at Walk to End Alzheimer’s

In October 2015, I served as a Social Media Volunteer for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Walnut Creek, CA. Throughout the event I took video and pictures and posted them to their Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts.

Content included short videos spotlighting individuals and their reasons for participating in the walk, and photographs and short videos of the day’s happenings. At the end of the event, I recorded a brief “thank you” video of Karen Stevenson, President of the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California and Northern Nevada, which was viewed over 600 times on Facebook.


CONTENT MARKETER at DesignCo Marketing

In the summer of 2015 I began working for DesignCo Marketing, a small marketing agency in Pleasanton, CA. In addition to contributing blog posts and web copy to the web design and marketing campaigns of their clients, I wrote for their agency blog, where I spearheaded the article series, “How Small Businesses Use Social Media Sites.” This involved interviewing small business owners from across the United States on how they use social media to grow their business. Below is a list of the small businesses I interviewed:

  • RushTix (March 18, 2016)
  • Aryana Afghan Cuisine (March 12, 2016)
  • Squatty Potty (March 10, 2016)
  • Moravian Book Shop (March 9, 2016)
  • Chi’lantro BBQ (February 26, 2016)
  • Charity Cab (February 24, 2016)
  • Red Iguana (February 21, 2016)
  • A-Lamp Design (February 18, 2016)
  • Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum (February 16, 2016)
  • American Bronzing Company (February 14, 2016)
  • Altra Running (December 23, 3015)
  • Waffle Love (December 7, 2015)
  • Wood Thumb (November 4, 2015)
  • Madonna Inn (November 2, 2015)
  • Beau Ties, Ltd. (October 26, 2015)
  • The Welsh Baker (October 9, 2015)
  • Leninade (October 6, 2015)
  • Pop’nSweets (September 25, 2015)
  • Jeffrey Hale, Artist (September 18, 2015)

In addition, I wrote articles on current events and trends in advertising:

  • “Podcasts Are a Groundbreaking Advertising Medium” (April 8, 2016)
  • “Taylor Swift and the Magic of Marketing to Millennials” (April 6, 2016)
  • “Find a Need and Fill It: Jim Bachor’s Pothole Mosaics” (April 6, 2016)
  • “Texting, Emoticons, and the Death of the Period” (March 25, 2016)
  • “Infographic: Local Giving is Good for Business” (March 23, 2016)
  • “An Interview with Adele Revella, Author of Buyer Personas” (March 14, 2016)
  • “Should Cinemagraphs Be Included in My Brand Messaging?” (February 11, 2016)
  • “Poop Sells: Viral Squatty Potty Video Increases Sales 600%” (February 9, 2016)
  • “Pat’s King of Steaks and the 6 Surprising Secrets to Marketing Success” (February 6, 2016)
  • “The Coming Winter Yellow Craze” (February 5, 2016)
  • “Peeps Targeting Millennial Moms” (February 4, 2016)
  • “Dr. Zizmor, Dermatologist and Ad Pioneer, Retires” (January 28, 2016)
  • “Should I Be a Blogger?” (December 9, 2015)
  • “REI and the New Black Friday Rules” (November 4, 2015)
  • “How to Design an Effective Logo” (October 28, 2015)
  • “Banking on Back to the Future Day” (October 22, 2015)
  • “Embracing the Snark: A Lesson from China” (October 21, 2015)
  • “Cinnamon Toast Crunch Breeds Controversy with Selfie Spoon” (September 28, 2015)
  • “Are Buyer Personas Useful for Small Businesses?” (September 22, 2015)
  • “How Often Listicles Show Up in Blog Title Generators” (September 15, 2015)
  • “17 Reasons Listicles Are Dead” (September 11, 2015)

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