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Hi I'm Brian

I'm a dad, a grad student, and a Mormon.

About Me

I have been married for almost 5 years, and have two children, a boy and a girl. I'm in graduate school studying sociology, and I'm particularly interested in immigration, social inequality, politics, and statistics. When I'm not busy studying, teaching or doing research, I like to cook (mostly unhealthy snacks like brownies or chocolate chip cookies), go to the beach or just stack blocks with my son. I love reading, especially things that make me think, and books about history, languages, and science. My hobbies include playing racquetball and board games as well as watching college volleyball.

Why I am a Mormon

Sometimes it seems like the world just doesn't make any sense. When I think about what the Church teaches, things fall into place a lot more easily. I'm a very logical person, so truth tends to be hard to pin down, but the more I think about the gospel of Jesus Christ, as taught by the Mormon Church, the more it makes sense to me. For me, there is no great gap between my faith and my academic or scientific knowledge. I can't imagine a universe where there is no order and no purpose. Life is too complex and beautiful to have happened without the help of a merciful God. In my search for truth, I find that I learn the most when I learn by study and also by faith. The God that created our world helps me to know what to look for and how to interpret things that I see. I can feel His love and concern for me, and I know that I have been inspired at times by something larger than my own mind. I have felt healing from somewhere beyond myself when I have needed it most. I also know that when I do what I feel is right, I am happy. Obeying the spiritual guidelines God provides leads to increased freedom, peace, and joy. One thing I love about the gospel is that it treats everyone equally. Everyone can have access to God's blessings - even people who aren't Mormon - no matter their circumstances, as long as they do the very best they can with whatever light they have. I believe that God can speak to anyone at any time, and we are all capable of gaining knowledge directly from God through the Holy Ghost. Knowledge of the gospel can give additional hope to anyone, and everyone can receive forgiveness for things in our lives that we regret. The light of the gospel will bless us more and more as we exercise our faith, seek further knowledge, and try to become as much like God as we can. Anyone who makes a serious effort to understand God, His will, and their responsibilities will feel guidance from the Holy Ghost directing them toward God. That is why I am a Mormon, because I feel that this is the path that will lead me closest to perfection and truth. I also like the emphasis the Church places on helping our brothers and sisters. The Church is very active in giving time, money, and other resources to make life a little more bearable for people in need all over the world, including people very close to home. The Church emphasizes generosity and tolerance, and I am really drawn to that. The Savior always reached out to people who were less fortunate than Himself, and I believe that generosity, good will to all men, and charity are characteristics of the Savior's true religion.

How I live my faith

I am in the bishopric of a congregation of young single adults living near my university. Most of them are students and have a lot going on. It's exciting to see how even though we are all busy we can all take time to worship together on Sundays and build friendships together throughout the week in various activities. We do a lot of sports activities, barbecues, and lots of other fun things. Each week I go to meetings with other leaders in the congregation to talk about how we can serve each other better and keep each other's faith in Jesus Christ strong. I help to organize Sunday worship meetings and give counsel to the students. It's fun for my wife and me to be examples to them.

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

I would say the first step is to want to know Him. At times when I have doubted whether God existed, I have made the decision to try to find out for myself using whatever tools I had available. One thing that really helps is just talking to Him. You might feel a little foolish talking if you aren't sure anyone is listening (I know I have) but if you keep it up, your Heavenly Father will let you know that He really is there. Find a place where you can be alone, sometimes it helps to close your eyes, and just talk. Articulate your doubts and your desire to know, even if you don't say it out loud. This has helped me to focus on my questions and I feel like it has really helped me to get answers. One thing that has been hard for me in the past is not giving up too soon. It's really tempting to get up and walk away if you haven't felt anything after a minute or two. If you really want to know if God is there, you have to keep at it. The other trick is recognizing when you've gotten an answer from God. In my experience, He usually communicates with us in ways that He knows we will understand. For me it has been through my emotions. If I feel some kind of emotion particularly strongly, I use that as my guide. If I feel peaceful, or if I feel like I'm being told that I'm loved, then I know that my Heavenly Father is answering me. At this point, it's helpful to keep talking. Tell Him thank you for answering, and ask Him what you can do next to help you get to know Him better. It's helpful to write down any ideas you have as you are thinking about this. You might get ideas like "I should read from the New Testament to learn more about Jesus Christ" or "I should go to church on Sunday" or "I should invite someone to come over and talk to me and answer my questions." Mormon missionaries are always available for this, and they can help you figure out what to do next too. Then, act on your instincts and impressions. If you feel the same way you felt while praying, you'll know that Heavenly Father is speaking to you again. Try to feel this way as often as you can, and at least every day. If you let the feeling slip away it becomes harder to recognize it the next time. If you can read something from the scriptures and pray each day, you will find it easier to recognize it. Invite the missionaries to come and teach you more. They will give you more practical suggestions tailored to your individual and family needs. Missionaries spend several hours each day studying and preparing for the lessons they will teach you, and they will be guided by God the same way you are learning to be guided. They can help because God will tell them what you need. Missionaries can be one of the best ways to invite God to speak to you. Listen to them, trust them, do what they challenge you to do, and you will have an enormous head start in your journey to come to know God. And most of all, follow that feeling wherever it leads you, and you will eventually find what you are looking for. Show more Show less