Chat With a Mormon Online
My name is Brian Andre... I grew up in Newport Beach,California. My father was Greek from the island of Samos. My mother's family immigrated from Sweden. In high school my passions were surfing, volleyball, and as hobbies I loved to draw and play guitar. I have made my career as an art director and graphic artist in the advertising industry. I owned and operated my own firm for about 20 years. I now am a teacher at several community colleges and universities in Orange County, California. I am married to my best friend Bonnie and we are the parents of four really awesome children (two boys and two girls) and one exceptionally cute granddaughter! (sorry for bragging!) I still enjoy the beach, coaching volleyball, fly fishing, golf and ultimate frisbee.
My dad's faith began as Greek Orthodox and then later his mother became a four square gospel Christian minister which became the Bible based faith of my father. My mother was Lutheran by tradition. In my youth I attended a private Christian Academy in Los Angeles, CA. Once my sisters were old enough to understand things my parents sent the three of us down the street to a Seventh Day Adventist church on the corner each Saturday. It was within short walking distance from our home and the pastor there was a good man. Later when we moved to Newport Beach most of my friends were born again Christians and my best friend was a Jewish boy. This wide range of religious background taught me to appreciate good people of all faiths. In high school I met a girl who was a "Mormon". As I attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with her and other LDS teens I watched how the members interacted as families. Their devotion to the ideal that families are eternal and that God is literally our Father in heaven touched me deeply. After graduating, I decided to read the Book of Mormon and discovered that it truly was another witness that Jesus is the Christ. A short time after that I decided to travel to Salt Lake City to listen to the leaders of the Church whom my Mormon friends believed to be modern day apostles and prophets. I came home from that experience with a conviction that these men truly represented everything I believed Jesus would wish of His disciples just as in Bible times. Later I prayed to ask the Lord to confirm the truth of what I was learning and received an unmistakable witness that joining the Church would be right for me. This decision has been the most important and guiding decision of my life. Everything good in my life stems from my choice to be baptized as a Latter-day follower in the Church of Jesus Christ.
As you may have read above, I grew up with a good exposure to many different denominations of Christian faith. As a child it was confusing to me that there were so many different ways to interpret what the Bible taught. When I began my investigation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many well-intentioned yet misinformed people cautioned me against reading the Book of Mormon. They told me it was "another Bible" or "an addition to the Bible", etc. They told me "Mormons" believed in a "different Jesus" and to beware. This all actually made me more curious because the Mormons I knew were some of the most kind, honest, family oriented, Christlike people I knew. So, after some time I decided to read The Book of Mormon for myself. As I began expecting to find some strange twist on who Jesus was or what He taught I found the exact opposite... page after page testified that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world and the only name given under heaven whereby we can be saved. In fact the more I read the stronger my faith in Him grew as well as my conviction that the Bible is the word of God. The Book of Mormon truly became a Second Witness to me that all I had learned growing up was true. In fact, The Book of Mormon did not confuse me in any way but instead gave me a clearer understanding of core Christian doctrines like God's eternal plan, the saving power of grace, Christ's infinite atoning sacrifice for sin, life after death, baptism, the power of faith, the importance of studying the word of God, the relationship we can have through prayer and more! The Book of Mormon has blessed my life and my relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ more than I can express. It has deepened my love for the Bible and together they stand as dual witnesses that Jesus truly is the Son of God, the Redeemer of the World!
This answer will be short... simply stated I do my best to live my faith by studying the life of Jesus Christ in the scriptures and then trying to follow His example. I believe that Jesus doesn't just want us to "believe" in Him but more importantly He wants us to "become" like Him. This is my goal and though I fall short in too many ways to count I am encouraged because I know in whom I follow and because of His loving grace and tender mercies I know He will make something out of me as I press forward in faith.