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Hi I'm Brandt

I'm a Mormon. I'm also a husband, father, and genealogist.

About Me

I'm originally from Montana, now living on the West Coast. I'm married to a wonderful woman, we have two great kids. I served a mission for my church to Japan, and still enjoy reading about Japan and speaking Japanese. As for hobbies, I love reading (JRR Tolkien, Chris Stewart, Chris Heimerdinger, and Hugh Nibley are some of my favorite authors), researching my family history, and playing video games.

Why I am a Mormon

My mom joined the church when I was a baby. She went to church for a while, but stopped going after a few months due to not knowing anyone and being a bit overwhelmed by a new calling. She started back to church when I was about 7, and brought me and my sister to church with her. I just felt good about what I learned in Primary the kids classes, and loved hearing the brother conducting Sacrament Meeting say "Good morning, brothers and sisters" because I thought he was talking to me and my sister. I can't really pinpoint an experience that led me to know the church was true, but everything I learned over time just made sense and felt right. When I talked to other people about the church, I had this feeling which I can now recognize was the Holy Ghost confirming what I was saying was true. Those feelings have continued and deepend over the years, and now I know, without a doubt, that this is the true church. I'm now married and raising my own kids in the church, and it's great to see them able to participate in Primary and nursery in ways that I didn't get to.

How I live my faith

My faith influences everything I do. I mean, there's church on Sunday, of course. But I also get to teach the Gospel Principles class (it's the introductory class, for people checking the church out and new members, or anyone who wants a refresher course in the basics), so prepping for the lesson takes a chunk out of my week. I also work with the missionaries a lot, which is great. I love seeing them teach, they are just amazing.

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Brandt
All Mormon young men are strongly encouraged to serve a mission. If they don't, it's their choice, and they are not penalized by the church or church leaders for choosing not to serve. Having served a mission myself, I can say that going on a mission was definitely the right decision. It was difficult - I paid my own way, with some help from my parents, and I went to the Tokyo, Japan area, where I had to learn to speak Japanese and adjust to their culture, which is very different from Auburn, Washington. But I learned and grew so much in the two years I was in Japan - learned about the Japanese people and language, about the gospel I was trying to teach, and about myself. I came home stronger in my testimony and better as a person because of what I learned and experienced on a mission. Just about any returned missionary will give you a similar story. So while serving a mission isn't techincally required, you're missing out on a LOT if you choose not to go. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Brandt
I think they call us a cult because they either don't know what we really believe and teach, or have gotten some bad information from others. We believe in and worship Jesus Christ, we read the Bible and accept it as scripture, we pray several times a day at least 5 or 6 on average. If you really want to know what we're about, visit LDS.org, or talk to a member who regularly attends church or the missionaries. Our Sunday meetings are always open to anyone who wants to attend, as are the seminary and institute classes. You can find visitor's centers at most temples to explain what we do in the temples, and most any member will be happy to explain why and what they believe. Show more Show less