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Hi I'm Brandon

I'm a guy whose life happily revolves around his two boys, his wife, hard work, and outdoor fun. Oh - and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I think the world we live in is absolutely amazing, every bit of it. I love exploring it with my wife and two boys. One of our favorite things to do is explore nature that is near us. We're always surprised to find how much beauty is right around the corner from us. I grew up near the country, where we rode four wheelers and snowmobiles almost every weekend of my life - and sometimes more than that. We loved riding horses, fishing, hiking, camping, riding bikes, and anything else that got us outside and getting some exercise and relaxation. Along with all the outdoor fun, we learned to work hard on my grandfather's ranch. We moved irrigation pipe by hand, bailed hay, fed the cows, fixed fence, hacked thistles in the field by hand, and whatever else needed to be done. Today, I work in the media production and distribution industry. The place I work specializes in providing entertaining, uplifting, and educational media to anyone who is interested. It is rewarding and fun to be involved in this line of work. It helps me fulfill one of my goals to try and do some good in the world.

Why I am a Mormon

There are many reasons why I'm a Mormon, which I'll try to explain by telling this little story: My introduction to the LDS Church was almost impossible to avoid since my parents, their parents, their parents, and so on were Mormons. Even though this heritage plays an important role in my being a Mormon today, it is not ultimately why I have chosen to be affiliated with the LDS Church. Even though I come from good ol' LDS stock, I grew up somewhat distanced from the Church. I had enough association with friends who were Mormon to make me quite familiar with the Church, but my family was not entirely interested - and consequently neither was I. We kept an arms length relationship with the Church at most times, but enjoyed the association of the good Mormons who surrounded us. We likewise enjoyed the association of many good people who were not members of the LDS Church. To be honest, it was difficult for me to see why it was important to affiliate with the Church. After all, some of the people I knew outside the Church were just as good, better I thought in some cases, than those I knew inside the Church. We lived a good life trying to do what we knew was right, and trying to be an influence for good in our sphere, not really considering what the LDS Church might have to offer us. That changed as I graduated from high school and started college. I had a difficult time deciding what to study in college, and an even more difficult time choosing a career to work towards. All I knew is that I wanted to do something with my skills and time that was useful to other people, and would provide a comfortable living for the family I hoped to start. I often felt inadequate, and lacked any hope that those dreams would come true. During these times I often contemplated my purpose for being on Earth, and what I could do to make sure I accomplished that purpose. At times I would remember the things I learned during the times that I attended Church. Even though my mother was not exactly a strict attender of Church meetings, she did make sure that we went to Church fairly often. My friends often invited me to participate as well. As my mind reviewed the things I learned, I often felt even more inadequate. I didn't feel that I measured up to the high standards the Church taught, and didn't feel that I qualified for the blessings that I had heard were available to those who lived good lives. Somehow I knew inside that what I learned at Church was true and correct, but still didn't see a need to connect myself wholeheartedly to this Church. I thought I could take the good things I learned there and live my life accordingly without connecting more fully to the Church. Somehow, something inside of me told me that this wasn't the correct course to follow. The principles were true, but there was more to it than simply living by those principles. I wanted to find out what that "something more" was. After a considerable number of months in this contemplative state, I had a series of very challenging times personally. I finally decided to pick up my dusty copy of the Book of Mormon and read it, looking for any kind of direction I could find. As I read that book the picture started to become crystal clear. I began to "know" that what I was reading was true, which caused me to read the book with even more enthusiasm. I started to apply the principles in the book, and the cloud of grief that I had been under began to lift. I began to feel a desire to share this with other people. This is what I was looking for! I had found something that I knew had changed my life. I started to gain hope that by sharing this book with other people I could help them learn how to help them find hope the hope I was starting to have. During this time, my appreciation for the teachings in the Bible grew by leaps and bounds as well. I saw how those two books - the Book of Mormon and the Bible - worked together to teach and testify that hope and salvation are available to anyone who chooses to follow their Savior, Jesus Christ. I knew that if someone in my inadequate position could find access to His blessings, then anyone could. This became my goal - to share the truth about Jesus Christ with others. As I learned more about the Book of Mormon I came to understand that it came to us through divine intervention when the resurrected Jesus Christ visited Joseph Smith and gave him the charge to translate the book and make it available to the world. This truth connected inside me and I started to understand why the LDS Church was so important. It was started, and is led today, by a Prophet who God called to distribute his Gospel in these times. Not only does it provide us access to the truths of God, but it is also the mechanism God has chosen by which to provide us certain ordinances that are required for salvation. The Bible teaches that baptism is necessary for salvation, and that this baptism must be performed by someone who God has authorized to perform it in order for it to be acceptable to Him. It began to make perfect sense that God would want this kind of order in His Church, so that we His children would know to what source to look for salvation. Not only did it make sense, but I felt it - I knew it. I began to see so much good coming into my life as I accepted those truths and tried my best to live according to them. After all of that, how could I not confess that I should join with the Church wholeheartedly? So, I did. I feel fortunate that I was still young enough to serve a full time mission for the Church, and today I cling to what the Church offers as a source of hope in this troubled world.

How I live my faith

You mean I have to live my faith? Of course! Honestly speaking, it has been a learning curve for me to realize that living my faith should become the same as living my life. Or, maybe it's the other way around. Living my life should be the same as living my faith. To me, it is a simple matter of consistency. I don't feel like I am as consistent as I would like to become, but I do think that the ultimate goal is to live so that your life reflects your faith. In other words, so that others who see your life will also understand and reap the benefits your faith. Having said that, there are a number of more formal things I do to carry out my faith. I enjoy the opportunities to serve inside of the Church. I have been given a variety of assignments, including working with the Youth in our local unit, having opportunities to look after the needs of specific families in our area, and so on. I feel it important to be somewhat strict in my observance of Sunday meetings and daily scripture study and prayer. The times when I am most enthusiastic about doing these things with a good intent is when I feel the closest connection with my Heavenly Father. I believe there is safety in strictly observing these daily and weekly habits. The world is full of reasons to slack on these observances, and to slack on living my personal convictions. Strictly observing a routine scripture study and Church attendance are strongholds in my life to help me avoid the reasons I'm often presented with to abandon my faith. Living my faith is much more than this though. One of my favorite teachings in the Church is that our religion is only good for something if we get out off our seat and do something about it. I try, sometimes unsuccessfully at first, to change my life so that I am a better person in all aspects of my life and a better help to those around me. Translating my personal gospel study and worship activities into practical daily living is where I find the most joy.