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Hi I'm Brandi

I'm a writer, a musician, a gardener, and a Mormon.

About Me

I live and work in the Northwest US. I came out here during a college spring break, fell in love with the region, and moved out as soon as I graduated. Part of the appeal for me is that it's so green. I often feel like I'm living in the jungle. I love gardening. I may only be shuffling from apartment complex to apartment complex right now but I always have a jungle of a garden outside and more plants on the inside. There's something undeniably therapeutic for me in playing in the dirt with my plants and taking care of them. Though my first passion filled hobby and job is plants, my pervading passion is writing. It's what I went to school for and what I work with now. Words can paint a picture in someone else's mind, evoking thoughts and feelings they might not otherwise have had. Next would be a love of music. I play several instruments and collect interesting songs. Every single one of my thousand favorite songs has a unique musical feature that evokes it's own particular response in me.

Why I am a Mormon

Have you ever had one of those moments of insight? A moment where of realization? Something that abruptly lets you look at the world through a new lens and see in a way you never imagined? Or you realized how to do something new? An activity that now opens up a whole array of possibilities? Keep that in mind. Now, have you ever had a moment where you felt loved and content? Maybe you saw a selfless act that made you think hope is lingering out there, waiting? Maybe it was something silly and simple like when you were a kid getting a surprise ice cream. Just a flicker of warmth. Maybe it was a piece of music so inexplicably moving that you shed a tear or two. Now, take that feeling, the love, warmth, or moving moment, and link it to the insight or capability. Imagine the new way you see the world always brings that warmth and love. Imagine you have that combined sensation of realization and hope at the same time all the time. Imagine you can see everything with new insight and positive feeling. To me, that's the Gospel. I feel the truth of it with a conviction I don't have for anything else. And because the Gospel truths encompass so many things there's nothing in my life I can't see with spiritual eyes. Knowledge of the Gospel gives me such tranquility and hope that I can't imagine life without it. I've looked at those dark places without the light of truth. There's nothing appealing there. Those places drag me down, put the shutters over my eyes and take love away. It's the difference between being buried alive and basking in the sun. It might be safe down there in the the mud but I'll never get anywhere. The sun might burn, but it burns away imperfection, burns away sins holding me down, keeping me in shadows. One day, I'll stand full in the sun without a speck of dirt left. It might take a long time to get there, into the next life perhaps, but I know I can do it because I believe God believes in me. Hope like this is hard to come by. This is why I'm Mormon.

How I live my faith

I like to meet new people through church. It gives me a chance to talk about faith and philosophy and doctrine with people who have similar beliefs with still having different perspectives. I allows me to catch a glimpse of how others see themselves and their own faith. It gives me insight into how I view myself. I meet and converse with all sorts of people while at church but the familiarity with which I can talk with them helps me bring my convictions into every aspect of my life. I read my scriptures and church publications on the train during my commute to and from work. That's prompted conversations with people who don't know much about the church. The practice I get with my peers at church helps me come across with less confusion. I don't ever want to seem like a person keeping secrets about my religion. Or like a person who doesn't really know much about my religion. Or like a person that's just got a religion because it's just the thing to do. Whether people agree with me or not, I want to be the kind of person that others just know is living a faith they truly believe in.

Why do you have 12 Apostles? They were just meant to be around for the time of Jesus Christ, not to be replaced with new apostles.

Brandi
Even in the early days, soon after Christ's crucifixion, new apostles were called to keep the number at twelve. It was as the followers turned away that the need for apostles diminished. Apostles are meant to help lead and direct the followers of Christ, with the people turned away to other religious paths, there was no need for leadership. With the restoration of the Gospel, there are followers again, and with followers came the need for leadership. A prophet alone cannot run the whole organization of the church. The work is delegated to help teach and direct the followers most efficiently. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Brandi
My testimony is a collection of beliefs that I feel have been confirmed, through means of study and prayer and resulting good warm fuzzy feelings, as Truth. Among the foundation beliefs are that my Heavenly Father lives and loves me and all the people of the world that Jesus Christ is my, and everyone's, savior and offers an infinite Atonement if we choose to follow his teachings that Joseph Smith is the prophet of God that brought the restoration of Christ's Church on the earth as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that a living prophet leads the Church today. But a testimony can have a lot of little, personally unique things. I have unshaking belief in the Lord's guiding hand in my life so long as I'm willing to do my part and to listen, in prayer and in daily life, to promptings and feelings He gives to tell me what he wants me to do. It's not like I think He's determined my every step. But there are certain things, very complicated things, that came together too simply to be explained away by mere coincidence. There are too many things for there to have been that many coincidences. I also believe that people can change. Good people can turn bad and bad people can turn good. I've seen both. I've seen the kindest person become a snake if they choose to not believe in anything good. I've seen bad people, lost people, find themselves and become so happy that they can't understand how they went on living before. I want to help people find the good. Show more Show less

Can you tell me about Mormon customs: how you dress for church, what holidays you celebrate, etc.?

Brandi
For Sunday services, typically we dress up. Not generally in formal wear, but nice clothes. Suits or sport coats and ties. Dresses or skirts. The main thing though is that clothing be modest. Nothing with holes or that bares lots of skin. And generally no hats or bandanas. Of course, some people don't have "dressed up" clothes for various reasons. In that case, you would just wear the best clothes you had. If you've come as your best you're not going to get kicked out. We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and things like graduations. We celebrate local and national holidays. I'm fond of celebrating some of the holidays of other countries and wish they would be instituted in my own. Religiously speaking, we celebrate Christmas and Easter. Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ even though he probably wasn't born in December while Easter is to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ after his suffering and crucifixion. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Brandi
The Bible is a record of the history and religious teachings from the time of Adam up to the death of Jesus Christ's apostles. The books were written by prophets and are about them and the people around them. The Bible testifies of God's dealings with His children in the Holy Land and of the divinity of Jesus Christ. The first part of the Bible the Old Testament contains all the sacred writings from before the birth of Christ and holds the prophesies concerning the coming of a Messiah. The second part of the Bible the New Testament gives the account of Christ's life and ministry as the Messiah and shows how He organized the original Church. But more than it just being a written record of history and revelation, most of us who believe in the Bible have taken the time to read it, think about it, and pray to ask whether or not it's true. I for one have done that and the feeling of confirmation I get affirming its truth is what makes me believe in the Bible. Show more Show less

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

Brandi
A couple of the biggest reasons why we believe we're here on this earth is so that we can obtain "joy". Everything we do is centered around this concept. If you better yourself by learning information or gaining a skill you'll be happier because your life won't be stagnant. I hope to still be learning when I'm a hunched over old lady approaching a century of life. If you work to follow God's laws then you won't be tied down by unwholesome activities. Things like alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and gambling are addictive and take a lot of money to support. Pornography is also addictive but eats away at your soul instead of your pocket book and slowly degrades your relationships and your ability to see others as actual people. Things like stealing and murder put you in trouble with local governments and take away large chunks of your freedom and peace of mind. Infidelity destroys families and other people's ability to trust those around them. But it's not like I have to live in a nunnery to stay away from the unwholesome things of the world. I still go to movies and parties, on vacation, to city events downtown. My friends know I'm not going to accept a glass of wine even if it means being rude. My friends know I'm not going to a movie that shows things that go against my values. Ultimately, following all God's precepts are to prepare us for the rest of life, both this one and the next. After learning and staying free, we're expected to bring joy to others through service. Show more Show less