Hi I'm Brennan
I'm the kinda person who really loves to do most everything, as long as I'm not doing nothing. I'm the kind of person who is up for pretty much anything from sitting around talking to going bungee jumping or sky diving (not that I've ever been, but I want to someday). I love to be with my friends and the people that I care about. I enjoy gaming (most any kind, from video games to D&D), most any outdoor activities (except for skiing, i tend to break things when I try to ski), I absolutely love cooking and baking, working out, going for a good run, dancing, sitting around at home reading a good book, playing guitar. I love having new experiences and seeing new places. Personality wise I'm a very stubborn person, but only when it comes to things I'm passionate about. I am a very caring person, I love to be there for people as a shoulder to lean on and to lend a listening ear. I am also a very quiet person, which many people have taken to mean many things about my personality, really it just means that I'm quiet, I prefer listening to talking.
Why I am a Mormon
I am a mormon because I know that being a member of this church is the only way to achieve true and lasting happiness in our lives on this earth and in the life to come. I am a mormon because living by the standards and the commandments that we accept and embrace as a church makes me the kind of person that I know that I want to be. And I am a mormon because it gives me hope, because if I weren't a mormon I wouldn't know what to think about whats coming next, where I'm going in my life or what I should do. Being a member of this church lets me know that there is hope, that I will see and know those that I have known and loved in this life and that there will be no end to happiness, love, joy, or anything good.
How has your knowledge of the Plan of Happiness changed/benefited your life?
One thing sticks out in a major way. About a month into my mission I was told that my grandfather, who I very dearly loved and who I had many questions I needed to ask, had slipped into a coma and died the night before. After I heard the news I just shoved it down and said I'd deal with it later because we had work we needed to do. After we did what we needed to do I went back to our apartment and called my mom I had permission under the circumstances and made sure that she was okay and things were okay at home, and then after I had to hang up the phone I just had to kneel down and pour my heart out to God, I was angry, I felt robbed of an opportunity to get to know my grandpa because I thought he would still be there when I got back. At that moment I had brought to my memory all the aspects of the Plan of Happiness and I knew that I would still be able to go and talk to my grandpa one day, it is still a little ways off, but one day I'll have the opportunity to ask him all my questions and I'll have the opportunity to tell him that I love him and really thank him for all the great things he did for me in my life. I know now more than ever before that the Plan of Happiness, also known as the Plan of Salvation, is truth, and if I didn't know this, and if I didn't receive strength from God to push through that trial, then I wouldn't have stayed on my mission, I would have had to go home, because I would not be able to endure that if I didn't know I'd see Grandpa again. This is the truth, I know it. One quick admonition to anyone reading this, do not let this day pass by without telling your mom and dad, your brothers and sisters, your friends, your grandparents, all those around you, how much you love them, ask those questions you want to ask them, don't worry if you think they're stupid just ask, tell them how much you appreciate all that they've done for you. You never know when that day will come that it is too late.
Can you think of a specific challenge in your family that Gospel Principles helped overcome?
One thing that I guess would count as a challenge in my family has been my youngest brother's medical condition. My youngest brother has been blessed with some very unique trials, at least compared with the rest of our family. He has relatively severe epilepsy, hypotonia which makes it extremely hard for him to build muscle in his body, he has to work about twice as hard for about half the results as normal people, and he has ausbergers syndrome. With these medical problems obviously has come a lot of stress and some additional trials for the rest of my family. However, ever since he was born I have seen my family grow closer to God and increase in faith and love and patience, all attributes that we, as a church, try to develop. I know that without the wonderful love and strength which I have gained from being around my younger brother, who I believe to be one of the choicest of all of God's children, I would not be anywhere close to where I am today. I remember specifically one day when my mom had seen something on television about someone who had a younger sibling with mental disabilities, and this person had taken care of the younger sibling for most of his/her teenage life. She said that this person had grown to resent her sibling for having taken away the opportunities he/she felt he/she had missed out on. My mom asked me if I felt any resentment towards her or my younger brother, because for almost all of my teenage life I was taking care of him and my other younger siblings because of different issues in my family. I remember pondering her question and realizing that thanks to my increased responsibilities with my younger siblings and my family I had matured a lot faster than I would have otherwise and I had avoided a lot of the pitfalls that many of my peers had fallen into. I told her that I saw all that I had done because of my increased familial responsibility as a blessing and thank God for the "challenge" He has allowed my family to experience.
What is hope and what do you hope for?
Hope, to me, is having faith that, in the end, God's promises will be fulfilled. What I hope for is that my family will all come together and that we will all have the strength and courage to live the way we need to so that we can all live together forever. That is the most important thing that I hope for, that is why I am now an active member of the church and a missionary. When I was in my teenage years I let myself get wrapped up with friends who were not living the kind of lifestyle that I should have wanted to be around, as a result I started to fall away from the church. I got to the point where I would only go to church for special occasions and if I was trying to get someone off my back. I fell into a lot of bad habits that severely impacted my own spiritual progression and that negatively impacted all of my relationships, my friends, family, and most importantly my relationship with God. Then one day I was in seminary which was a miracle in itself because quite often I would skip and go hang out with some friends instead and during the lesson the Holy Ghost came to me and strongly brought me to realize what I had been doing to myself and my family. From that day on I resolved to fix my relationship with God and with my family and to cut out those parts of my life that were only dragging me down to misery and woe. I never bothered to research any other religion during this time because I knew that the only church that offered what I wanted, the opportunity to be with my family forever with God and the guarantee that that would be what happens if we live righteously, was this church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The process of repairing myself was long and very hard, the process of repentance is often quite difficult, but it is more than worth the effort, never doubt that the prize at the end of the struggle, the "pot of gold at the end of the rainbow," is great and will bring you joy beyond measure.
Please share your feelings/testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel.
I would just like to say that I do know for myself that the Church and Gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that because I know that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God, and I know THAT because I read it and I prayed to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ to know if it was or was not true and I continue to repeat the process of reading and praying to know for myself. I don't know how many times so far I've asked, but I know I've never received a "no." The Book of Mormon is the word of God.
How I live my faith
Throughout my life I have served in many youth callings in the church, I served in most every leadership position that a young man can serve in, and that is one thing that has greatly strengthened me and helped me to see how God can take even a young, stupid boy and use him for His purposes. Overall, I strive to be the best example I can for others, I try to represent Jesus Christ as best I can and do all the things that I know that he would want me to do and all the things that he would do if he were on the Earth at this time, and that includes service to others and trying to help them to know how to one day return to live with God, our Heavenly Father, again.