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Hi I'm Brandon

I love my family. I love to draw—lots of stuff in a lot of styles. I'm a graphic designer, and I'm Mormon.

About Me

I'm a dad of four little ones. Having a beautiful wife and children has been a dream come true. I try to steer what I do with my art toward them. Art is a big part of my life. At work I design most of the time, but I also get to draw here and there. Although I studied (literally) serious illustration in college (and the moody stuff still comes out of me once in awhile), ironically I now work for a children's company… and I love it. The people I work with are very special. They're multifaceted creatives and they've taught me to branch out. So now I do some things that are very intricate. Other things I make end up astonishingly simple. I've learned to enjoy many different art styles. One of the best things I've found is to tap into my children's imaginations. I often let my kids steer my artwork—and some super-crazy stuff comes out of it. For instance, what could be better than a candy-cane eating robot? My little son directed that one. Or have you ever had a "unicorny" happy birthday? At my daughter's request, birthday candles will float in the sky. My personal art is usually focused directly on my faith or my family. It just feels best that way, and it allows me to use my blog to share the gospel in a very visually-unique way. My art is a release for me that helps me to remember the most important things of life.

Why I am a Mormon

A little over a decade ago, I was working at the local movie theater, making my way through college. I soon made a friend at the theater who had just finished serving his two-year mission in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was open with me about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I found the plan of salvation very captivating. Everything he shared with me made intellectual sense and resonated with me spiritually, especially about the plan of salvation—that we lived before we were born, that Christ was chosen to be our Savior, and that we needed to come to the earth to gain experience and more. My friend and I later asked him for a Book of Mormon, and one day as we were working at the box office, he came in, laying a Book of Mormon at each of our registers, and said, "Here you go, two free tickets to Heaven." As time went on, he began again going to school at BYU, so we became pen pals. I would write him, asking questions about the church. I continued reading the Book of Mormon and soon began praying each night. Soon I came to the promise in Moroni 10 3-5, encouraging me to ask God if the book is true. I hesitated at first, the reality of potentially receiving an answer from God being a bit intimidating. But I knew I believed what my friend had told me, so I asked. I continued to read and pray over the next several weeks, and, one night after reading, an incredible sense of peace, warmth, and love came over me. It was a greater feeling of love than I had ever before felt. I looked up at the ceiling and said to myself, "Wow. There is a God." I began meeting with missionaries shortly thereafter, and was soon baptized. I know the Book of Mormon is true, and that this is Christ's church, restored again to the earth. And the depth of my testimony continues to grow to this day.

How I live my faith

I live my faith one day at a time. I don't take my knowledge of the gospel, or my witness of it, for granted. One of my favorite teachings from one of our church leaders, Pres. Henry B. Eyering, is that we all need "constant renewal". Although great spiritual experiences come once in awhile, and many times something great is given to us from God when we first enter the faith, we still need constant nourishment—more experiences feeling the Holy Spirit and being guided by God—to stay on the path. I try to study daily from the scriptures. At work I spend a portion of each day listening to the scriptures and/or church talks on my iPod. All of the callings I've had in the church to serve give me great impetus to remain close to my Savior each day. If I'm not plugged in to Him, I can't give as well to others. Listening to my heart is another thing I try to do. I believe that God is always ready and trying to give us guidance to our problems, but in life it's not always easy to keep a listening "ear" open inside. There are a lot of distractions in our modern day to deal with. Pondering as I study the scriptures—really thinking about them—and listening for God's promptings in my heart and mind as I pray are two things that I find very helpful to my spirituality.

What is the difference between attending a Mormon Church and a Mormon Temple?

Brandon
Going to church allows us to share our faith in the Savior with each other, to receive instruction and encouragement, and to study the scriptures, to name a few things. Anyone, of any faith or lifestyle, is free to visit with us on a Sunday at one of our churches. We welcome visitors and questions. Going to church is like how the ancient, Biblical Jews attended their synagogues regularly. The Jews also worshipped God in the temple at Jerusalem. The temple allowed them further opportunity to serve God. In modern-day Temples, we make covenants with God and Jesus Christ to live according to His laws. We learn about God's plan for us in greater clarity and we strive to give that opportunity to everyone who ever lived. In the temple we perform ordinances, like baptism, for those who have passed away. One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 1529, where Paul speaks about the importance of baptism for the dead. Many people who have lived on the earth never had a chance to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ and be baptized while they were alive. In the temple, worthy church members stand in vicariously for those who have passed on. Christ has also taught that family life can and should be forever. That's why another important ordinance performed in the temple is eternal marriage. Worthy couples can enter and be married for time and all eternity. Everything we do in the temple provides the opportunity for the best things in life to continue after this life. Show more Show less

What is the Word of Wisdom that Mormons talk about?

Brandon
The Word of Wisdom is a revelation that the Savior gave to us through the prophet Joseph Smith. It outlines for us a healthy way to live, not just in what we shouldn't take into our bodies, but also what we should eat. A lot of people know that Mormons don't drink, smoke, or use illegal drugs. The Word of Wisdom also discourages "hot drinks"—our modern prophets have interpreted this to include coffee and tea, which we abstain from as well. Today's world can be very toxic, especially in America. There are so many pitfalls to our health around us on a daily basis. Living the Word of Wisdom allows us to sidestep many of the health issues others are struggling with. Modern medical research supports our practice of it as well. As we're healthier, we have more energy, more mental clarity, and therefore more freedom to do good with the time that we have on earth. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Brandon
Several times at work I've been able to share with my co-workers about the principle of self-reliance and emergency preparedness. As Latter-day Saints, we are taught that trials, great and small, are a necessary consequence of living a mortal life. If we didn't have bad things happen to us at times, we would not be able to treasure the good things. Once at work, I shared about food storage—how Latter-day Saints are encouraged to save enough food and water to last for three months, and then to work on having enough food to live on for up to two years. We don't do this because we expect natural disasters to occur everywhere, we do it because everyone needs a helping hand at times. Sometimes unemployment or a bad economy can be just as devastating as a hurricane to a family's life. We seek to have enough storage so that, if something does happen, we are prepared to handle it. And we strive to follow Christ's kind example of giving with what we have as well: if our neighbors are suffering, then having extra food or other supplies is an opportunity for us to help. Our church is a massive contributor of help to all the nations of the world. We donate food and supplies to whoever is in need as best we can. Show more Show less