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Hi I'm Bryce

I'm a blissful seeker of the fullest life, a health nut, prospective medical student, lover of Scandinavia, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My family of 6 comes from southern California, including my parents, one sister, my two brothers and myself. As the youngest (due to an eight year gap between my closest sibling and me), I know what it's like to grow up in both a family full of kids as well as an only child. I hold my family very near and dear to my heart. Who I am and what I do is due their love and support for me. My mother homeschooled me all the way from preschool through high school - which is quite the exception these days. From those years of study, I not only grew in secular knowledge and abilities, but also patterned myself after my mother's strong example of faith and unconditional love for all people, regardless of background and circumstance. Before entering into a service mission for two years in the Oslo, Norway mission, I was privileged to study at Brigham Young University for two years. I hope one day to be able to serve others with the technological and scientific advances in medicine, genomics and biotechnology to provide others the same privileges, freedoms, blessings and opportunities that I have been so generously given. As for interests, you'll catch me hiking, bicycling and/or sightseeing epic landscapes, reading C.S. Lewis, playing card/board/dice games with my family and/or friends, snowboarding Mammoth Mountain, rocking out to symbolically-charged music or handing you a copy of the Book of Mormon :).

Why I am a Mormon

There is a certain peace given to those who faithfully acknowledge that God exists and that Jesus Christ is their Savior. This deep, abiding peace is irreplaceable. While living and serving in a very prosperous land, I learned a great deal how to be truly happy. It does not come from money, nor from material possessions. Nor does it come from temporary pleasures and long-term addictions. The family in and of itself is not enough to establish this happiness, for far too many families have disagreed, split and been severely damaged. This happiness comes only in and through the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is founded upon the consistent application of the principles faith, patience, unselfishness, service, forgiveness, respect, and love of God, self and all mankind. These principles are best applied in the family unit - which is the greatest source of contentment and eternal joy attainable in this life. As I have been so richly blessed with a family based upon these principles, I feel it my responsibility to "pay it forward" to my future family and relationships by being an active part of the Lord's restored church - the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That is why I'm a Mormon.

How I live my faith

I recently returned from a two year service mission to the wonderful Norwegian people. Daily, I exercise faith in my Savior Jesus Christ by extending invitations to learn more and act upon the truths given by Christ Himself. Whether on the street, in a neighborhood, or through cyberspace - it is my greatest desire that others can taste of the exquisite solace, healing, fulfillment and contentment that comes from a faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. As a student, I currently strive to pattern my life after that of the Savior's: filled with love, selflessness, and industry. I believe our Heavenly Father to be a God of industry and productivity. It is a joy to see others learn, grow and develop themselves. I believe I can help others, my family included, most by becoming well educated, well-rounded and the best, most productive person I can become. After all, I want to make my Heavenly Father proud :).

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Bryce
Only through the proper authority can such an ordinance as baptism be lasting and eternal in order to extend beyond the event of death (Matthew 16:19). Why be baptized at all unless you have knowledge that such a baptism will be valid beyond the scope of this mortal life? Christ understood this principle by traveling many miles from His home in Galilee to be baptized by one who held the proper authority - John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1,5,13). It is expressly stated throughout the Bible that not just anyone can claim authority. Imagine going to a stranger on the street and asking him to baptize another person - it's simply inappropriate! Hebrews 5:4 describes the pattern after which this proper authority is administered: "And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." And we read in Exodus 28 how Moses, the prophet, called and ordained Aaron as a priest under the proper authority. Authority is given - not assumed. The authority with which Christ ordained the Apostles (Matthew 10:1), was eventually removed from the earth due to a lack of leadership continuity within the church. The pattern after which proper authority is administered was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith in 1829. From this glorious event we know that proper authority does not come from a degree in theology, nor is bestowed automatically upon us. True authority comes from God, to those who have been properly ordained under Him ( Luke 9:1, John 15:16). Show more Show less

Why is family so important to Mormons?

Bryce
The family is the social unit and pattern God has given us to help us progress and obtain true, eternal joy in ways otherwise impossible! From my experience, the greatest joys and sorrows in life stem from our relationships. The deepest, most satisfying of those relationships can be found in the family unit as husband, wife and children. Every member within that family unit obtains specific experiences which help them grow individually, and collectively in emotional, spiritual, mental and personal ways. These tender experiences simply cannot be obtained outside the family. The state our world is in today economically, socially and nationally is largely due to the breakdown of the family. From my observations, fathers feel no need for commitment; mothers feel neglected; sons feel useless and purposeless without role models; daughters feel unloved and seek after other sources than the family to fill their needs. If each member of the family sought to love, understand and help one another, senses of love, identity and belonging would flourish. There would be less addiction, less heartache, less crime and more acceptance, healing and Christ-like living. I personally have found the greatest joys, strength and motivation to overcome challenges and do my best in work and school because of the love and sense of belonging I have received from my own and close friend's families. I want to provide that same sense of belonging, identity, love and motivation for my own children, too! Show more Show less

Why is it important for us to take care of our bodies? Why are our bodies called temples of God in the Bible?

Bryce
Isn't it absolutely amazing that we can breathe, hear, see, smell, touch, taste and enjoy life in its many aspects? I believe it is extremely important for us to take care of our bodies in order for us to be our happiest, most effective selves. Not everyone recognizes the importance of the body, and thereby allow themselves to yield to addiction and other destructive behaviors: be it food addictions, tobacco, alcohol, improper sexual conduct, or causing damage to our bodies in any such way. It can be clearly discerned how individuals who struggle with these things are suffering in some physical, mental, emotional or spiritual manner. I do not believe that God would want anyone to suffer needlessly. His commandment to take of our bodies is one such method to alleviate suffering and consequently strengthen us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I believe that by treating my body with respect through eating well, exercising regularly and holding a generally balanced lifestyle, that my body will serve me well in return. God gave us our bodies, and so I want to take excellent care of His gift to me! Show more Show less

How can I find someone to talk with, in person, about the Mormon religion?

Bryce
Members of the church live throughout the world. They are likely near you if you just look for them! The simplest way to get in contact with someone about the church would be to call 1-888-537-6600 (for US & Canada), or to come to church on Sunday by following this LDS Church locator link: https://www.lds.org/maps/#ll=40.757,-111.899&z=13&m=google.road Having been a missionary before, I was always very pleased to receive a call from someone desiring to talk about the Church and Gospel of Jesus Christ. In such a meeting, the missionaries absolutely love it when you come prepared with questions. It could be said that missionaries live to answer questions and help you in any way to come closer to the Savior Jesus Christ. Also, when meeting with the missionaries, there is no pressure as to what you must or must not do. Missionaries simply invite others to come unto Christ. They will likely invite you to pray, to read from the scriptures, to come to church and even invite you to enter into the waters of baptism - a very special invitation indeed. These invitations are extended individually to you so that you may test and try for yourself the blessings and experiences available from seeking out a closer relationship with God. I have personally received such great support, inner strength and lasting joy from my relationship with my Heavenly Father, and from my relationships with fellow church members and missionaries. I invite you to test and try it out for yourself as well! Show more Show less

What is the purpose of the welfare services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Bryce
The welfare services of the Church assist in providing the necessities of life to individuals and families in need! The Church's welfare principles of self-reliance can be described well with a simple saying: "Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime." In this world, there are far too many who live off of welfare and never seek to eventually become independent of that welfare, and eventually give back. In such an unbalanced system, the entire economy would crumble, beginning at the level of the individual. Responsible individuals thrive in a state of independence, work and self-reliance. They feel good about themselves because they take care of themselves. Individuals who are dependent on welfare goods lose the opportunity to find such satisfaction and self-worth because someone else provides it for them. This is why the Church strongly encourages the recipients of welfare to work and serve others as their circumstances allow. They, too, can find the satisfaction and blessings that come from service and work on one's own and others' behalf. I have personally found great joy in striving after self-reliance as I continue in my educational and professional goals. It is my dream to one day take my family to bring supplies to a country in need and provide services that would normally be out of their reach. I know that the Savior would do the same if He were on earth, and that is a reason enough for me! Show more Show less

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

Bryce
The Atonement of Christ is the single greatest act of love ever performed. By way of sacrificing His life, Jesus Christ overcame death, sin, weakness, pain, heartache, sickness, and every negative aspect of this mortal, fallen world on behalf of all mankind. Though the Atonement may be like one giant mass of evil overcome in one solitary moment, I believe the Atonement to be much more personal than that. I prefer to view it as a long line of people whose lives are experienced firsthand by the Savior. Only He can fully comprehend all of the sorrow and pain that every individual ever in existence has ever experienced. Only a perfect, godly being could perform such an act. And it caused even He to suffer and bleed from every pore of His mortal body. How He performed such an act, I haven't the slightest clue. But the fact that He DID perform such an act, there is no question in my mind. This is because of my personal experiences with the Savior and His Atonement. Through heartfelt prayer and obedience to Christ's commandments, I have found a source of healing, renewal, forgiveness, comfort and strength beyond my limited capabilities. This is not to say my life is now suddenly and always perfect, but that I have a source to turn to during the wonderful and the difficult times. I have a personal relationship with my Savior that I now can't imagine going without. Christ's friendship and support is open to all people who will seek Him diligently - and I am a witness of that. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

Bryce
Was Christ paid for the service He rendered to the people He ministered to? No. Neither should we expect to be paid for our service within the Church. Our local congregations called "wards" or "branches" are all run by local, unpaid leaders. These leaders willingly donate their time because they recognize the joy and blessings that come through selfless service, and supporting their fellowmen. The presiding authority of these wards or branches is the Bishop or Branch President. He is given the special privilege to receive revelation on behalf of the ward or branch in order to run things according to the Lord's will. Assignments, or "callings", are administered to the members to provide service to one another. I currently serve as an activity coordinator for my ward to gather and socialize once per month! These assignments and callings are accepted willingly due to a promise or covenant we entered into at baptism. We are commanded to develop friendships and help each other. This commandment comes from the Book of Mormon: that we are "willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light" and "willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort." (Mosiah 18:8-9) If every person on this earth were to bear one another's burdens, and comfort one another, this world would be a much happier, much more caring one. That is the type of world I want to live in, so I ought to be that type of person in order to eventually obtain it. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Bryce
"Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will." - Martin Luther King, Jr. It seems to me that the primary reason as to why Mormonism is considered a cult is due to a great misunderstanding of our intentions, beliefs and practices. A definition of "cult" from Google states "a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister." Coming to a greater understanding of our doctrines and practices would remove such false notions rather quickly. We believe in the Savior Jesus Christ; we believe that He died for us, and made it possible for us to return to our Heavenly Father after we pass from this life. Everything else in our belief system beyond that truth is simply an appendage to it. Above all, the best way to come to a greater understanding of what we believe is to talk with us, meet with us and understand WHY we believe what we do. I have found great comfort and support from the doctrines and practices of this Church because they help me access the wonderful gift of Christ's Atonement. Through His Atonement, I can be forgiven, start anew, and receive strength and support beyond my limited abilities. I wouldn't be anywhere near where I am today without His divine help! And that is the primary reason I want others to understand and take part of this gospel, too! Show more Show less

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Bryce
Of course you can attend church! We always love to have visitors come and worship with us. If you're wondering what the time and location of your local LDS congregation is: go to www.lds.org/maps The primary, and most important meeting of all of our worship services is called the sacrament meeting. This meeting is held for approximately 70 minutes every Sunday. Within this meeting we sing hymns all together, prayers are offered and talks are given by local church members by assignment. Most importantly, we are able to partake of the sacrament (also known as communion by other faiths) - the blessed bread and water to help us remember our Savior Jesus Christ. We believe that by partaking of this bread and water, we signify to our Heavenly Father that we are willing to follow His Son Jesus Christ, take His name upon us, and keep His commandments. In return, He promises us that we may have His Spirit to be with us. And that, let me tell you, is an amazing promise - of which I am a personal witness. Other worship services, normally before or after the sacrament meeting, include Primary meetings for young children, Priesthood and Relief Society meetings for men and women respectively, and Sunday School classes for all. These meetings help us learn, grow and develop our knowledge and experiences in the Gospel according to our personal stages in life and circumstances. All are welcome - from newborns to nearly-deads! I hope you can find the same joy in church as I have! Show more Show less

Who founded Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Bryce
Through a loving pattern of reaching out to His children, Heavenly Father always called prophets in order to reveal His will and provide His power to man. This pattern can be seen throughout the Old Testament and down to the Savior's time. The Savior called apostles to lead the Church once He had left. The Apostle Peter led out in keeping the Church under Heavenly Father's direction and holding doctrines pure. Over time, the Apostles were killed and the Church underwent changes without direct revelation from Heavenly Father. The world remained in this darkness until Heavenly Father called yet another prophet, as He has always done. In 1820, Joseph Smith was called to re-establish the Church of Jesus Christ upon the earth. Through the next ten years, the Prophet Joseph was given instruction as to how the church should be set up and organized. The official organization of the Church occurred on 6 April 1830 in Fayette, New York, under the direction of Jesus Christ, through the prophet Joseph Smith. Since that time, through the efforts of members and missionary work, the Church has spread throughout the world, now constituting over 15 million members. These facts and details are all fine and good, but how does it concern you and me? We are promised that we can receive divine confirmation that these events really did occur; and that through this Gospel, we receive covenants and promises from God through which we can receive divine help, assistance and forgiveness. Just ask! Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe happens to us after we die? What do Mormons believe about life after death?

Bryce
Death, like birth, is another step on our pathway of progression back to our Heavenly Father! We believe that before we were born on this earth, we all existed as spirits with our Heavenly Father. We believe that we now exist as a dual-being - consisting of the spirit and a physical body. Physical death is merely a separation of the spirit from the body. It was necessary for us to come to this earth in order to obtain a physical body, be subject to the experiences and challenges of this mortal life, and then to exit this life into the next stage of our progression. Our spirits do not die by way of physical death, but proceed forward into the spirit world, where we are able to continue learning, progressing and be reunited with our loved ones who have passed on. My grandfather passed away when I was 13 years old. He is one of my greatest heroes - and I look forward to being reunited with him, and the rest of my ancestors when I enter into the spirit world. From the spirit world, we continue in our progression by being resurrected - a reconnecting of our spirits to an immortal, perfected body, never to be separated again. What a blessing and comfort it is to know that we can be a family on into the eternities - something I would never trade anything for! Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about “eternal life?”

Bryce
"Eternal" can be defined as an adjective close to "godly". In Moses 7:35, the Father states: "...Endless and Eternal is my name." When I read the words "eternal life", I think of a godly life, or the kind of life that our Heavenly Father currently experiences and enjoys. So then what kind of life does He currently experience? Among other things, "eternal life" includes perfected bodies, a family and great responsibility. We believe that those who achieve "eternal life" will have immortal, perfected, resurrected bodies (D&C 130:22), like our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It is through these bodies that They are able to feel and experience life like unto the manner in which we experience it. We obtained our bodies here on earth in order to become more like our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. As we proceed forward, we will one day achieve an immortal, perfected, resurrected body as well. We believe that "eternal life" includes living in family units. From D&C 130:2 - "And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy." This is personally meaningful to me because my heaven would not be heaven without my family and loved ones. We also believe that "eternal life" includes being "heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:17) of all that the Father has. It is in this manner that we obtain "life eternal" by coming to know the only true God. (John 17:3) Show more Show less

Why are only some Mormons allowed into temples? Is there something secret going on in Mormon temples? What goes on in Mormon temples?

Bryce
Temples are known as the House of the Lord - a place for His Spirit to always reside. Our personal conduct influences the amount to which we can have the Lord's Spirit with us. If my conduct were not in harmony with that Spirit, I would personally feel very uncomfortable within the temple. That is why there are standards which Mormons follow in order to attend the temple. Holding those standards allows me to communicate more effectively with my Heavenly Father. Extremely few things are more valuable to me than that communication. I currently volunteer weekly in the Provo, Utah temple as an Ordinance Worker. While it may initially come off that "secret" things happen in the temple, a better term to use would be "sacred". Have you ever had a special experience with a relative or loved one which, upon sharing with others who did not recognize or appreciate the special nature of the event, seemed to lose its luster and personal meaning? The temple includes special, personally meaningful experiences which, if shared publicly, would lose their luster and personal meaning. In the temple, I can make and receive promises from my Heavenly Father which bless my life immensely. One such promise includes the capability for my family to be together forever once we have gone from this life. All of our efforts in the Church ultimately lead our families to the temple. I cannot imagine heaven without my family - and that's why I want the same for others as well! Show more Show less

Who chooses the Mormon prophet?

Bryce
We believe that this Church is led by Our Savior Jesus Christ. The calling and appointment of the Living Prophet is directed by Him. In the 1800s, Christ called upon Joseph Smith to restore and establish Christ's Church on the earth. Ever since that time, prophets have been called to lead this Church directly under Christ Himself. Today, when the prophet passes away, the apostle who has been serving as apostle for the longest time - the "senior" apostle - becomes the next prophet. President Thomas S. Monson currently serves as the Prophet. He was called to be an apostle in 1963 and became the senior apostle in 2008. I testify that God calls prophets today, just as He did anciently. The prophet Amos in the Old Testament taught us: "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). I am a personal witness that President Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet of God because I have received answers to my prayers through his words and instruction. When he delivers his addresses to the entire church, I receive a confirming spiritual witness from the Holy Ghost that that is God's will for us. President Monson's most recent address encouraged us to "walk the path that Jesus walked" in service, selflessness and love for others. I invite everyone to test the words and instruction of President Monson, just as they would the Holy Bible and the Book of Mormon. With an open heart, I know you will receive a witness just I have. Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Bryce
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have nothing to do with those currently practicing polygamy. Those who are found within our Church practicing polygamy are subsequently excommunicated, for they are in direct violation of the current law of the Church. Throughout history, the Lord has commanded his people to practice plural marriage. For example, the ancient Old Testament prophets Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, among others, were all commanded to practice plural marriage. At times, the Lord has commanded otherwise: "... there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife: and concubines he shall have none... 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 2:27-30 - Book of Mormon. In the early days of this restored Church, the Lord commanded some of the early Saints to practice plural marriage. Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, among others, were commanded to do so. This was a challenging commandment for them to follow, in many ways. I am a personal witness of the effects of this commandment. My ancestors in the early church were also challenged with the practice of polygamy - but I can now see the righteous seed, my many relatives, that have come through that practice. I know that the Lord gives specific commandments when the time is right, and we are prepared to keep them. Show more Show less

What is the Word of Wisdom that Mormons talk about?

Bryce
Our bodies are among the most precious gifts God has given us. Since He is the creator of our bodies, He gave laws of health to prophets in ancient times (Leviticus 11-20). God provided similar instruction to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1833 with a law of health called the "Word of Wisdom", adapted to our current day, culture and practices. The Word of Wisdom encourages members to eat properly, and maintain good physical and spiritual health. In particular, God has advised against the use of tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea and illegal drugs. Scientific research has supported the limited use, or complete abstinence from substances such as illegal drugs, tobacco and alcohol. It is remarkable to think that the Lord provided a law of health nearly two centuries before this research came to our knowledge! A church member's abstinence from other foods and products are not required by the Word of Wisdom, but are merely personal choice. For example, I don't drink soda very often because it doesn't make me feel well, and soda limits me in my physically demanding lifestyle. Directly from the Word of Wisdom, we are promised that we "shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; and shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint." (D&C 89:19-20). I am a witness of the results of holding the Word of Wisdom as I have sought to keep this commandment to the best of my ability. All who follow this law of health can receive such a witness as I have! Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Bryce
The growth of the church can be attributed to many factors. For me, I see the Church providing a network of values and answers that simply can't be found elsewhere. The Church supports solid values that many people and cultures respect. Among values such as personal development, community involvement, providing for the poor and rescuing the distressed and needy, the Church places great value on the role of the family. The family unit throughout the world seems to be ignored, viewed as unimportant and otherwise a time-consuming, difficult distraction from other life pursuits. These points of view disintegrate the very fabric of the family, where I, and many of my close friends and family, have found the greatest and sweetest of all joys. Others have felt such sweetness from the family as well, and want to be a part of something that supports them. Another reason the Church grows so rapidly is due to the answers the Church's doctrines provide. These doctrines answer questions such as "where did I come from?" "Why am I here?" and "Where am I going?" Answers to these questions have come to me through this Church, my personal study, and spiritual experiences, I know that I am a child of God. He is my Father in Heaven who loves you and me, personally. I know that this life is a path of progression to one day become like Him. We are all on our way to becoming our best, happiest selves. So why not become our best, happiest selves all together? I believe others desire that too! Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

Bryce
Chastity is a safeguard for one of the sweetest, most special experiences available to us in this life. It is defined as keeping the powerful, sacred acts and feelings of sexual intimacy within the bounds of legal marriage. It has been my experience that our modern culture tells us that there is no need for chastity; that by giving in to all of our carnal desires, we will be happy. From my observations, this lifestyle only brings happiness for a brief moment. However, this lifestyle does not bring the truly lasting happiness I personally seek after. To illustrate, some of the greatest achievements of our time include vast amounts of restraint and limitation. Music such as Mozart and Beethoven; inventions such as the smartphone and laptop computer; the capability of flight and space travel; all of these incredible things are possible because they excel within the boundaries limiting them. Otherwise we would only have a meaningless cacophony, a useless pile of plastic and glass, and stationary tubes of fiberglass for our inventions. In like manner, the bounds of the Law of Chastity provide us with a greater sensitivity toward oneself and others, a greater capacity to feel those powerful feelings, and thereby a greater ability to choose and experience those beautiful acts with a loved one. By excelling within the boundaries "limiting" us, greater heights of experience and deeper love can be developed through this law. That is the kind of lasting love I personally seek. Show more Show less