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Hi I'm Brandon.

I'm a designer, programmer, father and musician. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up latch-key in a loving, middle-class home. My parents adopted foster children. I have 2 half-brothers. When I was 9 my parents got a divorce and I lived with my mom most of the time. Both of my parents, converts to the church, stayed active in the church and ensured that I continued to grow in testimony of the Saviour and knowledge in their love for me. I lettered in Soccer, Band and Choir in high school, even though we moved just about every year of my life. I attended college for a year then served a 2 year mission for the church in the Bacolod Philippines mission. When I returned I met and married my wife at a church dance. I received 3 BA degrees in music and theatre, then moved to Indiana where I received a MS degree in interactive multi-media and we had our first child - a girl. After I lost my job 4 days after Christmas in 2004, we moved in with my mom while I looked for work. A few months later I found a job in Washington state. Our son was born there in 2007. Around October 2007, my wife and I received promptings from the Holy Ghost to move our family - that the Lord needed us elsewhere. We'd been preparing ever since. During the first Sunday of September 2008, we received our answer - we were needed back in the Philippines. A week later, while trying to figure out how we were going to pull that off, now with 2 small children, I was fired from my job. I smiled and told them they'd answered our prayers. They've never seen a happier guy get fired. I was able to find work that allowed us to live anywhere in the world for more money. We moved to Bacolod and had some fantastic experiences as a family. We have since returned to the US and continue to follow any prompting we receive from the Lord knowing that our lives will be richly blessed by doing so. We very recently were blessed to receive our 3rd child - another boy. We're very grateful for this new spirit's presence in our lives and the opportunity we have to raise another of our Heavenly Father's children.

Why I am a Mormon

My parents were converts to the church before I was born, so in essence, I was 'born a Mormon', but this is really not a correct statement. We believe that everyone must make a choice and gain a testimony for themselves. So even though I was raised as a member of the church and baptized when I was 8 years old, I was always encouraged to make decisions for myself and find my own testimony. I believe that I was given the gift of faith. I've always had incredibly strong convictions of things I know to be true. As I studied the scriptures, attended seminary and church classes, talked with my friends of every faith, I grew stronger and stronger in my faith that Joseph Smith is a prophet, that the Book of Mormon is true, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's kingdom on Earth. While I was serving as a missionary in a small town called Pontevedra, Negros Occidental, Philippines, I met an old Seventh Day Adventist pastor we called Grandpa Gilpo. He was a very wise scriptorian, and was a joy to discuss the gospel with. One day I challenged him to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it - I told him that if he did, the Lord would answer his prayer and tell him of its truthfulness. He thought that was a very provocative promise and asked me to share my experience with him. Having always believed, I'd never prayed about it myself - it always had just felt right. I thought that maybe if I DID pray about it, I'd offend the Lord who'd given me so much faith to start with. Grandpa Gilpo told us that until I had prayed about it myself, that he would do no such thing. This bothered me quite a bit over the next few days. The morning before we were to return to his home to teach him and his family, I'd still not prayed about it. I came to the conclusion that if I didn't, I wouldn't be able to help Grandpa progress, and I'd probably not be a very effective missionary. So I found an empty room in our apartment, knelt down, and began to pray. I explained to the Lord what I knew, what I believed, and what I hoped to be true. I explained the situation I was in, and asked him to help me by answering my prayer: Is the Book of Mormon true? ...... no answer. I asked again - no answer. I know some people take days, weeks, months to get answers. Brigham Young studied for 2 years before he got his answer. But, being where I was (on a mission) I had kind of a shortened window - I really needed to know now. But the answer didn't come. About that time doubts started to enter my mind...what if it's not true? What if it's all a sham? In all fairness, either it's true, or it's one of the greatest scams, shams and lies ever foisted on the human race. If I go home now, I'll embarrass myself, my family, my church, my friends. Everything will change. It'd really just be easier for me to go along with everything...but that would be wrong. If it's not true, no sense in wasting the next 2 years of my life telling people to believe in something I myself did not. So I read Moroni 10:4 "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." I noticed that asking if something is NOT true can be interpreted 2 different ways. I'd been asking if it IS true - but the harder question for me was - what if it's NOT true? When I came to this realization, that no matter what the answer was, I'd do what the Lord asked of me, I felt a calmness come over me. So I asked: "Heavenly Father - is the Book of Mormon wrong?" Then He answered me, as if ticker-tapes of words streamed into my mind: "You know it's true." Envigorated, I followed up: "OK - so, is Joseph Smith a fraud - or was he really a prophet?" Again, the answer streamed in: "You know he was a prophet. You've known all these things your entire life. No go forth and preach my gospel." That was all the answer I needed! I ran out, grabbed my companion Elder Lovendino, rode the first jeepney we could find to Grandpa Gilpo's house and told him of my experience. Because I'd answered his challenge, he answered mine. He, his daughter and grandchild were the first people I met in the Philippines, the first people I taught, and the first people I baptized. It was an incredibly moving experience. Why am I a Mormon? Because it seemed right, it felt right, my parents taught me good values, I studied it out and sought my own answers from the Lord. He told me it was true - so I continue to live the gospel as revealed to his prophet Joseph Smith, and our living prophet Thomas S. Monson.

How I live my faith

One day at a time. I'm not a poster child for Mormonism. Everyone thinks I'm an investigator when I go to a new congregation. I dress a little different, act a little different, talk a little different. I hate minivans and station wagons. I didn't attend BYU because I didn't want to shave :-P I'm my own person. Most people would never guess I'm LDS to look at me - but about 5 minutes into a conversation and it'll come up one way or another. I'm not ashamed of the gospel or my religion. I appreciate truths and knowledge from all sources - Buddhism, Star Wars, Dr. Who, Science - wherever. If it's true, then it's part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I embrace it. I love being a Mormon. I love the fellowship of the Saints. I love knowing that literally, wherever I am on the planet, there's a congregation of like-believing people who will embrace me as a brother.

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Brandon.
No - we help everybody we can. Just last week 7 of us helped one of my coworkers move into a new apartment because he needed some help. That's how we roll! I plugged his address into the LDS website to find out which ward (congregation) he would be living in. The website gave me the bishop's name and phone #. I called him up and said - hey, I've got a friend who could really use some help unloading a U-Haul tomorrow night. He called the Elder's Quorum President who then showed up with 6 guys the next night and we had everything done in under 45 minutes. I didn't know those 6 guys and they didn't know either of us, but we're commanded to love our neighbour. So we try. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Brandon.
Yes. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You'd think that'd be enough. I've been told I worship a 'different' Christ. I'm not sure what that means. All I know is that Christ said in Matthew 7:20 "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." Look at how we live, the things we say, the things we do - both as an organized religion and as individuals. Do we act like someone who worships Christ? Show more Show less

Why did your church previously practice plural marriage (polygamy)?

Brandon.
Because the Lord commanded it. So they did. Then the commandment was lifted. So we don't. Show more Show less