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Hi I'm Ben

I'm a father, a husband, a scoutmaster, an instructional designer, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a graduate student studying instructional design. I served a two year full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Brazil. I have lived in six different states in the United States (Utah, Virginia, Texas, California, Oregon, and Michigan). I love learning and teaching. I also love travelling and the outdoors. I've been involved in sports, choir, theater and politics. I've been married for almost four years and I have a nine month old son.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born and raised as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. For most of my youth I walked by borrowed light from my parents' examples and testimonies. In the Church it is expected that young men serve as full time missionaries and representatives of the Church for two years when they turn nineteen. As the time for me to serve a mission drew near I did a lot of questioning and soul searching to figure out what I believed and what I knew to be true. I got a job away from home and decided to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover. I received a powerful witness from the Holy Ghost that the book was true and that it came from God. As I continued to pray and study the Book of Mormon and apply the principles that I learned I had many special spiritual experiences. I learned that if I sought Heavenly Father's guidance humbly, I would always find it. I learned that God lives and loves me, that his Son Jesus Christ is my perfect and infinitely compassionate Savior. My life has changed dramatically since I learned for myself how to seek and listen for Heavenly Father's guidance. I have learned how to hear His voice and recognize His influence all around me. I have learned many lessons about the character and love of His Son Jesus Christ. I have learned to trust and follow His ordained servants. I am a Mormon because it is what God wants me to be but also because of the abundant and choice blessings and experiences that come with it.

How I live my faith

Living my faith is something I strive to do every day. It is a difficult but very fulfilling challenge. As part of my faith I strive to have an attitude of confidence and trust. I know that God is in control of my life and seek through prayer and scripture study to align my will with his. This includes looking out for ways that I can serve those around me. I know that the atonement of Jesus Christ makes it possible for me to change and be more like Him. Each day I strive to do and be a little better. Living my faith also often includes giving up doing things that I want to do because they distract from the more important things in my life like my family and church responsibilities. I obey certain standards of behavior that bring me peace of mind and deep fulfillment. These include abstaining from alcohol and drugs and being completely faithful to my wife. They also include giving 10% of all the money I earn voluntarily to the church. I believe that faith is not only a personal and private matter but a communal and group experience. As such, I am an active participant in my local congregation. I am the scoutmaster of the troop that my congregation sponsors. I mentor young men, organize activities, fundraise, teach, camp, tie knots, and do all sorts of other things. I visit several members of my local congregation with an assigned companion and I am also visited by a companionship of my peers. We visit at least once a month and offer a short spiritual message. We consider ourselves responsible for the welfare of the people we are assigned to and offer support however we can.

Why is family so important to Mormons?

Ben
Having strong families is more than just a norm or a suggestion in the church. The family is the core of our doctrine and practice. We believe everyone to be part of the family of God, His spiritual offspring, with divine nature and the potential to become like Him. We believe our earthly families to be crucial to our eternal progression and destiny. Each of us as fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters have important roles in helping each other return to our Heavenly Father. Show more Show less

Who founded Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Ben
In upstate New York in 1820 there was a confused 14 year old boy named Joseph Smith. He had profound religious feelings but he did not know which religious group to join or which set of doctrines was correct. So, he went alone to a grove of trees near his house to ask God which group he should join. God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him. They told him that he was not to join any church. This began a series of events that led to the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1830 and eventually to Joseph Smith's death in 1844. However, members of the LDS church do not believe that Mormonism began in 1830 or even 1820. We refer to to the work of Joseph Smith and his contemporaries as a "restoration." We do not believe that Mormonism was a new idea but an old one. One so old that it had been lost, corrupted, and forgotten over centuries. We believe that God reveals eternal truths about life, death, family, and spirituality through prophets when people are willing to receive them and live by them. Joseph Smith was such a prophet. Show more Show less