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Hi I'm Ben

I'm a nerd, a goof and a friend. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am currently serving a two year mission in parts of Florida and Alabama. Before my mission I enjoyed video games, reading and writing fictional stories, wood sword fighting, hanging out with my friends, soccer, ultimate frisbee and just about anything outdoors. I fully plan on enjoying these things just as much when I get home, but for now I've chosen to put them up on the shelf and serve the Lord. When I get home I'll also finish going to college for my Mechanical Engineering Degree, get married, and enjoy provideing for a family. I hope that the things I learn on my Mission and in the Gosple will help me to be the best husband and father that I can be. I guess by my interests I'd be classified as a nerd or geek, but that's cool. A non-conformist by nature I like to stand out. This sometimes takes alot of creativity. I'm a cheerful and warm hearted guy, and a goof. I like to make people laugh. If you have a problem, whether you are my friend or a stranger, I'll listen to you and try to do my very best to help out. That's why I'm serving a Mission. I know this Gosple brings happiness and I want to share that with other people.

Why I am a Mormon

Just because I was born a member of the Church and baptised at the age of 8 doesn't mean I didn't have to find out for myself if this is true. Growing up, I didn't question the Church. The fact that the Book of Mormon was true was to me as unquestioned as the fact that gravity makes stuff fall. But as I got older, I realized that not everyone was a Mormon. I'm not from Utah, and in fact most of my friends at School were not members. People I relied on to tell me what was right lost faith. Still I had no reason to think the Church was not true or the Book of Mormon a fraud. Then at school some evidence contrary to what was set forth in the Book of Mormon popped up. Horses. It may seem like something small to others, but it was big to me. I realized that the history textbooks claimed that the Spanis brought the first horses to the America's, yet the Book of Mormon mentions them being used repeatedly by the people in it who lived on this continent long before the first European ships landed. Research and deep consideration of the subject did little to help my flagging faith. I reached out to friends, family and religious leaders, asking them to help me find an explination to justify the historical correctness of the scriptures against other historical facts that seemed not to correlate. No one had an answer that saticfied me. Some urged me to pray, as we are promised in the Book of Mormon that God will answer us if we ask in faith. I'd felt the Holy Ghost before. A warm peacful feeling. But I hadn't felt it in a while. I prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true and didn't get anything. Terrified at the fact that I may have been living a lie all my life I tried again. This time though, I read first. Then I promised God that if he just answered me this one time, I'd always remember it, never forget it and never deny it. I prayed sincerely again and felt the peaceful feeling of the Holy Ghost in my chest, telling me that the Book of Mormon WAS true. I decided to just beleive that the contradiction would be answered in time. And it was, several years later in a college classroom where I learned that there was evidence of horses found in South America that dated back to before the Spanish arrived. But you see I did not come across this information untill after the trial of my faith. In the time since I've had the chance to reaffirm that testimony with prayer. I've also prayed about the doctrines of other Churches, for how could I ask people to pray about my Church if I wasn't willing to do the same. I know the Book of Mormon to be true. And I will not deny. I felt the Holy Ghost telling me it's true. 

How I live my faith

One of the neat things I got to do before my mission was DJ a Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Nerd themed dance. I did it because I figured it would be fun, but also because I was unconfortable with some of the raunchy music I was hearing at other dances. My friends, both male and female were also uncomfortable with the music and we didn't have as much fun dancing. So when I set up this dance, I picked all clean, fun music and everyone had a blast. I can't wait to do it again after I get back from my mission. I live the Gosple of Jesus Christ as best as I can, always trying to be a better, more Christlike person. I help others out as often as I can and try to follow God's commandments. It isn't easy, but by coming closer to Christ through scripture study and prayer, I am strengthened and made more capable of being the Christlike person I want to be. Best of all, I get the opportunity to spend two years of my life completely dedicated to sharing the happiness of Christ's Gosple with others. It certainly is a large sacrifice, but seeing happiness replace unhappiness in the lives of those I've helped bring into the Church makes it all worthwhile. This gospel truely is a source of joy, and strength, and makes a difference in the lives of those who embrace it. I'm so privilaged to have the chance to witness that firsthand.

Why don’t women hold the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How do Mormon women lead in the Church?

Ben
This question was very important to one woman I met. We discussed it for a long time before we arrived at understanding. First off, men and women are different. No surprise there. Neither is greater than the other, but they are different and have different roles. One of the roles of men is to hold the Preisthood and use it to serve others. Literally SERVE. A Preisthood holder cannot use it to bless himself, only to bless and help others. The Preisthood does not signify glory or presteige in the Mormon Church the way it does in the Catholic Church. It does not make one better than another. Women in the Church do hold leadership callings just like the men. Some are the same, some are different. Leadership also, like the Preisthood does not signify glory or presteige, it's just a calling to volintarily help the Church operate. Show more Show less

Why is family so important to Mormons?

Ben
This is why: http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,161-1-11-1,FF.html The above link is to a peice of modern day revelation given to us by God through his prophet and apostles. God is the one who set up familys in the first place. The family is supposed to be the place where the greatest learning takes place, and where the greatest love and security from the world can be found. A properly functioning family is invaluable to anyone who is a part of it. And if a family is not what people would call ideal, the gosple can help in many ways. There are many programs in the Church for strengthening family unity, such as weekly "family night" where friends, school and career is put on hold for an hour or two and the family gathers to interact in a variety of constructive ways. There are articles, books and teachings to help with those striving to improve their family, and your friends in the local congrigation are always willing to reach out and help in any way you need, even babysitting. Furthermore, as men, women, and children indevidualy strive to live the Gosple of Jesus Christ, they will be more kindly disposed towards other family members. To the point, Family was there from the beginning and no institution or group can ever adiquetly replace it. Friends and organizations come and go, but a loving family is always there, not just in this life, but in the next as well. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Ben
We beleive in the Bible because it it scripture. Because it is the word of God. Can you imagine a Christian religion that does not beleive in the Bible? I cannot. Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Ben
I think the only reasonable answer is "Because it's true!" Think about it. ~If it's true, then each one of us has heard this gosple before, when we lived as spirits with God before this life. It sounds familiar and when we hear it we know it's true. ~If it's true, countless prophecies throughout the Scriptures speak of it's growth, and these prophecies are even now coming true. ~If it's true, God is behind this work. I know it's true, and you can know too. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Ben
Either becuase they don't like us, or because that's what someone else told them about us. I imagine it's easier for many people to just accept the lies and rumors that others tell them than to earnestly investigate the subject by going to the source. That fact that you are here reading this, shows you to be a fair-minded indevidual who wants to really know what is what. I appretiate that. Thank you. Show more Show less

Why did your church previously practice plural marriage (polygamy)?

Ben
Because God commanded it. Abraham was commanded to practice plural marraige, and was blessed for it. Yet later David and Solomon did so without the Lord's authorization and it was a sin. In the Book of Mormom, a prophet named Jacob chastises the people for practicing polygamy when it was not commanded of God. He states that God's command on plural marraige is thus; "For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things." (Jacob 2:30) If God does not give the commandment to practice plural mairraige, it should not be practiced. Now in the early days of the Church, God again commanded us to practice plural marraige for a time. While we do not know why he commanded us, we can guess. For example there were many men killed by mobs and persecutions, leaving widows and children without someone to care for them. Or perhaps the church needed to grow quickly. The bottem line is that we don't know exactly why God commanded the early members to practice polygamy, but we do know why they obayed; it was because they loved God and wanted to follow his commandments. Show more Show less

What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' attitude regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage?

Ben
I've known a few homosexual people and found them to be good people. The Church's stance on Homosexuality is the same as it is on any other sin; Love the sinner, hate the sin. Christ loves those who have made this mistake no more or less than anyone else. But it is a sin and removes them from his presence. One woman expressed greif that she no longer felt God's love in her life. The reason was obvious. She was breaking a commandment of God. Homosexuality is not worse than murder or abuse. Most people agree that murder is bad and abuse is bad, but some feel differently about homosexuality and that's why church members speak out against it. To those who argue that it's their nature and they can't fight it I would offer this advice. That inclination is just like any other wordly temptation. It is probably just as strong for those who feel it as the desire to break the law of chastity or to let anger lead to actions that are not right. Just like others, those with gay tendancys can repent of their past transgressions, come to Christ, and overcome the "natural man" or desire to sin. Then they can feel God's love and be truely happy once again. Show more Show less

Are there restrictions based on race or color concerning who can join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have the priesthood?

Ben
There is not and there never were. God loves all people. This question may be ask becuase there was a period of time when the Preisthood was not given to Black's. The reason for this is the same as the reason we practiced polygamy; God commanded it. That is the only reason. Now we can speculate on why God may have done that. I personally think it's because He knew he could count on them to be patient and endure untill such time as the world was ready. Many people both without and within the Church still clung to false and unChristlike beleifs about Black people, and had God let the Church leaders give the Preisthood them it could have raised enough persecution to destroy the Church. But God would not let that happen, and thankfully, he knew he could count on these people to patiently wait untill he judged the time right. Of course that is just my opinion. The bottem line is that it was done because God commanded it. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Ben
Like being a regular person, but with the additions of more friends, more social activities, more church meetings, and the constant warmth inside that comes from following Christ. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Ben
Christ didn't exclude Sameritans or Gentiles from his teachings and administrations. If we seek to follow him we help anyone and everyone. In short, no, Mormons do not only help Mormons. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform proxy baptisms in their temples?

Ben
Because Christ has declared that Baptism is required for Salvation, and millions have died without the chance to be baptised, or even hear the Gospel. When one talks with the Missionaries or any member of the Mormon Church, they would teach you about the spirit world, where we go when we die. (or see link: http://mormon.org/plan-of-happiness/ ) In this spirit world, everyone waits for the Ressurection and Final Judgement. Those who have not heard the Gospel can have it taught to them. Those who regected it in ignorance can have a second chance to learn and understand. But those who accept the Gospel in the spirit world can't be baptised. So we do proxy baptisms for them. This is fair. And God is fair. Now someone I talked with raised the issue of an "evil" person who died having a proxy baptism done for him. I wish to explain that we are not the judge of who is repentant and who is not. That is between the indevidual and Christ to sort out. We simply do the baptism, in effect laying it on the table, and that person has the choice to accept it or reject it, the same way the living have the choice to accept or reject the invitation to baptism. Show more Show less