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Hi I'm Brandon

I wrote a book on modern physics as a high school student. I hope to teach astrophysics. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Before my senior year in high school, I read some books on astronomy, cosmology and other facets of modern astrophysics which fired my imagination. I was particularly captivated by Einstein's Theory of Relativity. I did not understand everything about it, but as soon as I understood the gist and experienced the thrill of comprehending the theory in part, my immediate excitement was to share it with everyone. Relativity isn't a common conversation point, however, and you can't expect too many people to humor that type of discussion. I ultimately decided to write a book where I could unload my excitement for the subject matter. Compiling notes and writing the text of the book was hard work, but the project was completed within a year. It was likely my greatest scholastic accomplishment up to that point. I am currently an undergraduate studying mathematics and physics with a goal to eventually obtain a terminal degree in astrophysics. Though I am looking forward to joining the force of researching astronomers in pressing the envelope of scientific understanding, I love to teach and hope to eventually share my passion for the sciences with undergraduate students. I currently tutor and work as a teaching assistant for mathematics and physics courses at my university. When I am not doing homework, teaching, or doing research, I enjoy reading, hiking, chess, composing music and spending time with friends and family.

Why I am a Mormon

Like many people, I have had opportunities to rub shoulders with people in my case scientists who are skeptical about religion or God. Some have expressed that religion was useful in past ages but that our current sophistication has made matters of faith obsolete. The image of a skeptical scientist and a faithful church-goer can seem mutually exclusive. I believe that process by which we gain faith and obtain a conviction of Jesus Christ and His Church was engineered with loving care to accommodate the honest skeptic. In his ministry, Jesus was Someone who understood doubt and invited people to come and see for themselves (see John 20:26-27). Jesus also said that if we put his teachings into practice, we would know whether or not they were right (see John 7:17). The Book of Mormon makes a similar promise that those who read from it and ask God about its truthfulness. My personal reasons for being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have to do with the spiritual data I have gathered from this alternate scientific method. I was a raised as a member of the Church but had questions and wanted to know if the Church was really Christ's Church. I read from the Book of Mormon and prayed. God's response wasn't dramatic but it was powerful. I might describe it as the feeling of light we get when things make sense, coupled with peace and a feeling of warmth and love. Those feelings have returned as I have continued to live as best as I can in accordance with the Jesus' teachings, as I have read the scriptures and listened to the words of inspired Church leaders. It's a type of knowledge which extends beyond 0's and 1's and can actually change who we are. My experiences, little by little, have accumulated to a surety of the reality of a God that loves us, of a Savior who suffered and died for us, and of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as God's Church on earth. Ultimately, these experiences are why I continue to be a Mormon.

How I live my faith

Kahlil Gibran once said that "your daily life is your temple and your religion. When you enter into it take with you your all." My religion is lived best every day during the interactions that I have with others. Mormonism is really about service. Right now I help my local congregation leader, my bishop, as his secretary in arranging his schedule as he meets with congregation members. This might not initially seem like a particularly "spiritual" task, but this opportunity has allowed me to better know the members of my congregation which has been valuable and rewarding, especially because I am so shy! On Sundays, I attend Church services. I read from the scriptures each day which offers stability and peace amid the exciting but chaotic swirl of commitments that is daily life. I also have an opportunity every month to visit some people in my congregation in their homes to deliver a spiritual message and to see if there might be a way for me to help them. This is a small service, and usually I am lifted far more in the experience than those that I visit. Most importantly, however, my commitment to follow the Savior should also be reflected in my day-to-day interractions with others. I have found happiness in service and feel I am truly living my religion as I look for and then choose to take advantage of the opportunities available every day to serve those around me.