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Hi I'm Benjamin

I am an Elder of Israel, serving in the New York Utica Mission. I love the English language; I love to teach--and I am a Mormon.

About Me

To know anything about me, you must know that I love words. More than most people may realize. Nothing fills me with more elation and joy than speaking or writing. I have had a life not devoid of trials--as it should be--and I thank heaven for that everyday; because without those trials I would not be the man that I am. I firmly believe that a life without adversity and struggles would be completely meaningless. I do feel however, that we should not let our trials overcome us. Rather, we should learn that in times of trial (just like in days of old) it is simply a time to turn heavenward. I have a deep love for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have not always. There was a time in my life where it didn't make sense and didn't really impact me at all. But I reached a point in my life where it needed to. I needed help and rescue that only the gospel could give me. I found through the words of the scriptures and modern prophets, a way to be clompetely changed--and like Saul of old, I was given another heart (1 Samuel 10:9) I carry a little blue notebook in my pocket everyday. In this blue notebook are thoughts and ideas that come to me during the day. At the end of the day, I compile all of those thoughts into what I call "talks" and through these, my testimony has grown.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a "Mormon" simply because I believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I know that it was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I had never read the scriptures until I went on my mission, but after I finished that holy record, I knew with perfect certainty that it came forth in exactly the way that Joseph said it did. I do not know this because someone convinced me of it. There was a time in my life when I was not going to church, and I was living contrary to the commandments of God. I found that I was miserable. I recognized that a change needed to be made; I just wasn't sure how to go about making it. Through the help of great friends, family and the Holy Ghost I received that testimony I had once known. A familiar spirit I didn't know I missed. I eventually found my way "back to the fold" and found the true joy and peace in the gospel. I have witnessed the cleansing power of the atonement and have seen the hand of God in my life countless times. I am a Mormon because in every single way the evidence--spiritual and temporal is just too undeniable. It can't not be true.

How I live my faith

One of my favorite words in the English language is "Hearken". To hearken means not just to listen, but to listen--then to act. To me, this is exactly how I feel I should be living my faith. Instead of just "hearing" the gospel, I try to truly listen. One of our primary goals in life is to acquire knowledge, this is the concrete reason why we share the gospel. To acquire that knowledge that we cannot gain from anywhere else. I have learned that the best way one can simply gain a testimony of the gospel is to simply DO what the Gospel of Jesus Christ commands us to do. One of my favorite scriptures is John 7:17 "If any man shall do his will he shall know of the doctrine" and I have done just that. By following the commandments, by striving to follow the example of my Savior Jesus Christ, by hearkening to words of his teachings, I have seen and felt a new light come into my life and I know that there is not one single solitary thing in this whole world that can bring me more joy than this.

Mormons believe Jesus Christ is their Savior. Why do we need a Savior?

Benjamin
We live in a world that that has gone horribly awry. Which causes us each and every day to make choices. The choices that we make daily become integrated into us. We become the product of our choices: thoughts, words, deeds, and actions. This is what causes us to become who we are now. Unfortunately because we live in a broken world, we have to succumb to a LOT of negative influences. A lot of the media and culture has swayed and has faltered, the world has lost it's way and often--we fall prey to that. We sin. We lose our way. We stray. Our Heavenly Father knew this would happen. knew that our lives here on Earth would not be without trial. He knew that we would mess up--a lot. But I know that our Father in Heaven is filled with an immeasurable amount of love and that the greatest desire that he has is for all of us is to return to live with him. Yet, the scriptures tell us that "no unclean thing can dwell with God" (1 Nephi 10:21) So, long before we came here, he provided a way that we could be cleansed. That way is through our "Savior" Jesus Christ. Who has literally saved us for eternal life, if we so choose to exercise our agency make correct choices and strive to follow him. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Benjamin
This was one thing that I really used to struggle with. I wasn't sure if I even had a testimony while growing up. Being a convert to the church, and experiencing a fair share of inactivity for quite some time, I had always thought of my "testimony" as insufficient compared to my friends and colleagues whose testimonies always had a familiar air of certainty. But as I have delved deep into the understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; as I have "observed [my] covenants and church articles to do them" (D&C 42:13) I have seen my testimony grow. In short, a testimony is a statement of truth about a principle of the gospel--not everything, just a principle--which you know to be true, and which knowledge you have gained from the Holy Ghost. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Benjamin
While the Children of Israel were traveling with Moses in the wilderness, the Lord gave them specific commandment to sanctify and purify themselves, in preparation of receiving a greater commandment: even the iconic 10 Commandments. In the Lord's instruction to the people he stated that "[Israel] shall be a peculiar treasure" (Exodus 19:5) and be "severed...from other people" (Leviticus 20:26) Like the Israelites of old, we too are "severed". As Mormons we do things that a lot of the world considers "peculiar" Such things as the payment of tithing; food storage; temple worship; and the missionary program. These things tend to pull us away from the social norm and some members of the church in remote areas, where the church may not have such a large presence, may feel a bit ostrasized from the rest of the community. However, the Lord has stated that one of the primary functions of the church is to "perfecting of the saints" (Ephesians 4:12) To me, the best way that I have found to be "perfected" is to mingle and associate with other members of the church, who help strengthen, support and live what we believe. So while we may be isolated from the rest of the world, why the rest of the world will still say we're a bit "peculiar" we take comfort and refuge as we band together and stand united. Show more Show less