Hi I'm Ryan Boudwin
I am 27 years old and have been married to my wife for four years. We have a three-year-old son and another child on the way. I am an international relations graduate student and a Fulbright Fellowship recipient. I previously worked as a correctional officer, police officer and a network administrator for a software company. I love foreign films and reading and have a passion for learning foreign languages.
Why I am a Mormon
When I was fourteen years old my father died suddenly, and I found his death extremely difficult to accept. For a long time God and I were not on speaking terms. When I finally humbled myself enough to get down on my knees and ask why in a sincere prayer, I had a marvelous experience, although not the answer I was looking for. I was totally enveloped in the love of my Father in Heaven, and I realized as Nephi did (1 Nephi 11:17), that even if I didn't understand everything, I knew that God truly loved me, and that was enough. My testimony grew from that pivotal moment. Now that I have started a family, the knowledge that my family cannot be separated by death because of the covenants my wife and I made when we were sealed in the temple is extremely precious to me. I am also grateful for the guidance that I have because the Lord has called modern living prophets and apostles to guide us in these troubled times. But the bottom line is much simpler than that. I have come to the conclusion that underneath all the doctrine, ritual and dogma of my religion, the foundation of my testimony is one simple truth: I am happier when I am living the gospel of Christ than when I am not. The Spirit brings me peace and joy that can be had in no other way.
How has the Book of Mormon brought you closer to God?
The Bible teaches us that Christ died for us, but it doesn't really explain very clearly why it had to be that way, or why it matters. The Book of Mormon has a very strong focus on the atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ, and has helped me understand the why behind it all. One of my favorite parts is Alma 42, where Alma explains to his son how mercy cannot rob justice and the atonement of Christ makes it possible for God to extend mercy to his children. The title page of the Book of Mormon explains its purpose: "the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations." This book has helped convince me personally that Jesus is my Lord and Savior and has shown me how to be happy by living my life according to his gospel.
How I live my faith
I try to make my faith a simple, quiet part of my everyday life. I strive to always be honest, even when nobody is watching. I try to be kind and look for opportunities to serve other people, as Christ would do. Studying the scriptures and sincere prayers where I really converse with my Father in Heaven about my problems and struggles help me stay spiritually grounded and to know what to do.