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Hi I'm Brandon

About Me

I am a Mechanical Engineering PhD student, studying thermal systems for waste heat recovery. I am married with a two-and-a-half-year-old son and a ten-month-old daughter. I enjoy studying foreign languages and traveling to new places. I also snowboard and play the saxophone.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because I took the challenge that the Book of Mormon gives to all who read it. It is the only book I know of which contains a promise that anyone who reads it can ask God if it is true and receive an answer. I started reading the Book of Mormon with a real desire to know if it was true when I was 18. The feeling I got each time I read it was unlike any I have felt reading any other book. I knew the prophets who wrote these experiences thousands of years ago had really lived. I read their testimonies of Jesus Christ and their account of His personal visit to them after his resurrection and ascension into heaven, of which the Bible tells. I already felt what I was reading was true just from reading it. But I also asked God in prayer in order to put the promise to the test. When I prayed about the Book of Mormon, I could not deny that the peaceful, happy feeling I had did not come from my own emotions. In fact, "peaceful" and "happy" sounds too ordinary to describe it. Not that it was miraculous, it was just different from how I had ever felt on my own. I knew these feelings came from God. It was an answer to my prayer. As I continued to study the Book of Mormon and pray to my Heavenly Father every day, I noticed some changes occuring in me that were miraculous. Not only was I able to stop doing things I knew were wrong, I actually lost the desire to do them. Finally, because I knew that the Book of Mormon is true, I knew that its translator, Joseph Smith, must have been a true prophet of God. Knowing that God has called a prophet in modern times gives me a quick way to cut through all the differing opinions concerning religion and faith, even among Christians, to follow Jesus Christ through leaders who are actually guided by His voice, just like the apostles of old.

How I live my faith

I serve as a counsellor to the president of the men's organization in my congregation. I also visit several families in my local congregation every month to share a gospel message and keep up with any assistance they might need. When I'm researching in the lab, I try not to shy away from opportunities to express my faith naturally in conversation. I hope that others will know that my faith is an important part of why I am who I am. If anyone wants to know the source of my happiness or my motives, they need only ask.

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Brandon
A testimony, by its ordinary definition, is a statement or declaration of something we know. In the Church of Jesus Christ, we are privileged to gain a knowledge for ourslelves that things like the church, the scriptures, the love of God, and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ are true. We gain this knowledge through prayer, experience, and especially through the feelings God gives us when we talk of, ponder on, or pray about these things. This knowledge is what we call a testimony. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Brandon
They are certainly not all required to do so, but I would definitely encourage it! (Of course, only those without children to take care of, such as young adults and seniors are allowed to serve full-time missions.) I served a mission teaching Spanish speakers in New York City. The personal growth I experienced would have been reason enough to serve. But the great opportunity to spend all my time spreading such a wonderful message to people who had never heard it is the real reason to serve. And finding even one person who is prepared to do what it takes to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ and follow Him makes it even better. My missionary experience helped strengthen my testimony of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel in a way that no other experience can. Show more Show less