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Hi I'm Brent

I'm a husband, a web developer and a Mormon.

About Me

I have an amazing wife, I work as web developer, I like spending time with my family, staying healthy and spending time outdoors.

Why I am a Mormon

I'm a Mormon because I know that the Savior lives and that His atonement for our sins is real. His redeeming mercy and grace fills me with peace and happiness beyond that which I can easily express in a few paragraphs. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord's true church, which has been restored to the Earth in our day through the Book of Mormon and the prophet Joseph Smith. The truth and assurance of this has been confirmed to me many times through the Holy Ghost– that's why I'm committed to it. My personal conversion to the Savior and His church has come through prayer, application of the atonement, and also from studying the scriptures and testing God's promises in my own life. I hope I'm able in some way to encourage others to be converted to Christ, His redeeming power and His church. I can't think of anything more worthwhile and more rewarding.

How I live my faith

For me its largely about doing my best to live with integrity to what I know is right. It also involves being consistent with the small things like avoiding excessive TV or other entertainment/distractions of the modern world and making a conscious effort every day to focus on whats more worthwhile. Honest, sincere prayers and scripture study keeps me grounded and enlightened. Remembering to express gratitude to God throughout the day has a huge positive impact on me. When I doing this I'm more optimistic and have a better perspective on life. Sundays at church is a great time of spiritual renewal and strength for me, I love it. Being around others who are wanting to learn about the Savior and become better people is a great blessing and extremely uplifting. It makes the rest of my week so much better. I don't want to live my life without it. My view is that following Christ, being his disciple, is a matter of disciplining my life to be more like him. So I have to follow his example and live the way he taught us to live. This can't be done without faith, repentance and loving God and all of his children. It definitely requires a big investment of myself, as much as I can give but it's rewarded generously because Christ can change our hearts and shape us into better people. This process enables me to be happier and more at peace with myself.

Why are Mormons asked to donate 10% of their income to their Church?

Brent
We are asked to donate 10% of our income to the church to obey God's law of tithing (meaning one tenth). Tithing isn't a new commandment, it existed in Bible times. In the Old Testament we read accounts of the people of Israel paying a tithe of all their increases in "seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree" (Leviticus 27:30). Tithing money is used for building and maintaining churches, temples and in moving forward the work of the church. I think tithing is a powerful heavenly law in it's simplicity. It's a pure act of faith, love and trust to give the required tenth of what you've earned back to God. This law comes with a very direct promise of blessings if we will faithfully pay tithing: "...prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (Malachi 3:10). I've tested this promise and have found that I'm repeatedly blessed in many ways for paying tithing. Show more Show less

Why was a Restoration of the Gospel needed? Haven’t we always had the Bible?

Brent
Jesus taught His gospel among the Jews during His ministry and established His church. After Jesus was crucified the Apostles continued to preach the doctrines of Christ but were rejected by most of the people they tried to teach. The Apostles and many church members were martyred, eventually the power and authority of the church spoken of in Luke: 9:1 was taken from the Earth. As the Apostle Paul warned (2 Thes. 2:1-3) there was a falling away from Christ's teachings, and the "flock", or church of God was not spared at that time (Acts 20:27-31). Historically it's clear that after this falling away and loss of church authority there was a corruption of the doctrines that the Savior taught and the Earth entered the Dark Ages. Later the Lord began preparing the world and people's hearts to receive the fullness of His gospel again— this is evident in things things like the invention of the printing press which made the Bible available to the common man, the Renaissance period and it's great intellectual and cultural expansion, the Reformation, all this leading to the founding of nations where the free exercise of religion was more possible. The Lord was finally again able to call prophets to restore truths that had been lost through the centuries and reestablished His church on the Earth with the same power and authority that was given to the Apostles in Jesus' day. God, through the prophet Joseph Smith restored the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His church. Show more Show less

How can we increase our faith in Jesus Christ?

Brent
Faith in Jesus Christ is a spiritual gift, meaning that it ultimately comes from God and that we should pray and ask for it, although it starts with a desire to believe. The most important act of faith that we can have is acting upon a belief in the Savior that motivates us to repent and follow Him, since it is only through Christ that we can be saved. Faith in Christ is nurtured and grows stronger by hearing the testimony of others who have faith and by sharing one's own testimony of Jesus Christ. This is of course one reason why we go to church and read the scriptures— to have our faith "nourished by the good word of God". Generally speaking, the principle of faith is the basis of every good thing in this world, since God is the source of all that is good. Often it is said that you must "exercise" your faith in order to produce the desired result. So in a way faith in Christ is like a spiritual muscle that must be used regularly and repeatedly in order to grow stronger. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Brent
If we have faith in something we're placing our belief and efforts in or towards that thing in the hope of obtaining a good result. Faith is the opposite of doubt. Faith in God means we are expecting that he is a loving, kind, and merciful God who will bless us for our faith in him. Faith always involves some kind of work on our part, whether that be believing, praying to God, going to church to worship and learn, sharing our testimony of Jesus Christ, repenting of our sins or doing something kind or good for someone. Faith starts with a desire to have faith, it is also a spiritual gift, meaning that it ultimately comes from God and we should pray and ask for it. The most important act of faith that we can have is acting upon a belief in Christ that motivates us to repent and follow Him, since it is only through Christ that we can be saved. Faith is the basis of every good thing in this world, and the source of all good is God. Show more Show less

How are the activities of the Mormon missionaries funded?

Brent
LDS missionaries are volunteers who generally pay for their own missions, covering food, housing, and all of their expenses. I know some missionaries who spent summers as teenagers working to save up money for a mission, others get help from parents or other relatives. There is also a program in the church which helps to pay for those who want to serve missions but are unable to afford it themselves. That program is funded by other church members who choose to donate to it. Either way missionary work is a tremendous blessing to the missionaries and to the lives they touch. The fact that so many tens of thousands of LDS missionaries are financially able to serve every year is a testament to God's hand in this important work. Show more Show less

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Brent
The Book of Mormon is a collection of the writings of prophets in ancient America, dating from 600 B.C. to 421 A.D. These prophets, like those who authored the various books of the Old and New Testament (i.e. Jeremiah, Isaiah, Paul, etc.), kept records of their civilizations, their preaching and of God's dealings with their people. Their account begins in ancient Jerusalem and follows the travels of a small group of people who came to the American continent and established a civilization here. The prophets wrote the things that God commanded them to write according to the spirit of prophecy and revelation, it is inspired scripture. Especially important was the prophets' knowledge, testimonies and witness of the Savior Jesus Christ and His doctrines of salvation. It's clear from the text of the book itself that the purpose of the various authors was to declare God's truth, and to convince the world that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and that all of us must repent and turn to Christ for salvation. The Book of Mormon contains a record of Christ's appearance and ministry to the people of ancient America after His resurrection. Even though the book was written by prophets hundreds of years ago, the words they wrote are still true and relevant to us today because they are the words of God. The prophets who wrote the book had seen our day and knew of our struggles. Their record was preserved for us, to bring us closer to God. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Brent
Recently I heard a really good definition of God's mercy and grace. I think it's valuable to understand both concepts together. Mercy: Not receiving what you deserve (punishment, negative consequence of sins). Grace: Receiving something you don't deserve; unearned divine assistance; the divine enabling power. Our Heavenly Father, in his immense love and mercy, knowing that all mankind would commit sin, sent his son Jesus Christ to make an atonement for the world, so that we could be saved from our sins. The mercy offered by the Savior is given on conditions of repentance (Alma 42:13). It is by the grace of God, His divine enabling power that we are given the strength and assistance to meet the conditions of repentance and be reconciled to God, and it is only by the grace of God that after having done all of this that salvation is possible to us. "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved" (2 Nephi 10:24). Show more Show less

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

Brent
To atone is to reconcile, and through Christ's Atonement we can be made at-one with God. "...yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made."(Alma 34:9) As a missionary I remember a few times discussing with people the question of why Jesus had to give up his life. He suffered for our sins in the garden of Gethsemane and on the cross. Why did Jesus have to then physically die on the cross? Jesus willingly gave his life in order that he could be resurrected. Through his resurrection, the Savior made it possible for all of us to be resurrected and receive immortality— this is a free gift. The Atonement has two parts, a sacrifice for sin and overcoming physical death. Both are necessary to bring us at-one with God. We must choose to follow Christ in order to activate his sacrifice for sin in our lives. We do this by having faith in him, repenting of our sins, being baptized into his church and continuing on this path to the end of our lives. "...For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost." Show more Show less

What blessings can we receive through the gift of the Holy Ghost?

Brent
The gift of the Holy Ghost provides many blessings, one that I'm specifically grateful for is guidance in everyday decisions. The Holy Ghost fills us with truth, knowledge, love and with inspiration/insight into God's will for us. When we have the Spirit with us, difficult decisions are made easier. The Spirit softens our hearts and enlightens our minds and leads us to choose to do things that are good and right. The Spirit inspires us with ideas and solutions to our problems, and with ways we can help other people. "For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do." (2Ne 32:5) It is the Holy Ghost, often referred to as the 'still small voice', which speaks peace and comfort to our souls, which "whispers" to us say a kind word, to be forgiving, to think good thoughts towards others, and fills us with a testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ. The Holy Ghost enlightens our minds, giving us knowledge and understanding beyond our normal abilities. The gift of the Holy Ghost is received after we are baptized and then later are confirmed a member of the Lord's church by one who holds the priesthood of God. Although anyone can at times feel the power and influence of the Holy Ghost, the gift of the Holy Ghost must be given by proper Priesthood authority, and is the blessing of having the "still small voice" with you constantly if you keep yourself clean and worthy of receiving it. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol? What is the Mormon Church’s law of health and proper diet?

Brent
The law of health given to the prophet Joseph Smith is known as the Word of Wisdom. It is just that, a wise commandment from God to eliminate some specific unhealthy substances completely from our diet in order to keep us physically and spiritually healthy. Among these substances are tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea and illegal drugs. Included in the Word of Wisdom is instruction regarding healthy eating. By avoiding things like alcohol or illegal drugs there are some very obvious benefits and inherent physical and spiritual safeties. How many dangerous situations and harmful actions can be prevented by avoiding these substances? Who can have consistent spiritually clarity and be in tune with God's will for them if their mind and behavior is altered or numbed by some substance? There are some great blessings promised to those who practice this law of health: "And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint. And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them." (Doctrine and Covenants 89:18-21) Show more Show less

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

Brent
There is life after death. The spirit is immortal and continues to exist after the physical body dies. In the Book of Mormon the prophet Alma taught his son about what happens when we die: "Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life. And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow." (Alma 40:11-12) Sometime after this we all will be resurrected, our spirits and bodies will be reunited in their perfect form. All of this is possible because of the immense love God has for us and by the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the nature of God?

Brent
During his earthly ministry Christ said, "...I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." (John 5:30) Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God. He lived a sinless life. After he was crucified he was resurrected on the 3rd day and now has a perfect, immortal physical body. Realizing that Jesus spent his entire life doing what his father directed him to do and judging by the perfect, loving, selfless life that Jesus lived, we have direct insight into the nature of his father, and our Heavenly Father. Our Heavenly Father is perfectly loving, all-powerful and all-knowing. He has perfect compassion, mercy, understanding, kindness and is just in all his judgements. As our father, his work and his glory is to bring about the eternal welfare and happiness of his children. He cares deeply about each of us individually, more than we can comprehend, and eagerly wants to help us with every detail of our lives. He has physical form, just as Jesus does. We are created in his image. His body is perfect and immortal, and in Joseph Smith's words, his "brightness and glory defy all description". Because of God's great love for us, He not only hears and answers our prayers, He expects us to pray to him and delights to bless and "[reward] them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6) Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about "eternal life?"

Brent
The Lord's death and resurrection broke the bands of death for all who have lived, giving us all the gift of immortality, to live forever as resurrected beings. That is a free, unconditional gift from God. Prior to His resurrection the Lord suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross for our sins. His suffering paid the price for our sins so that we don't have to suffer for our own sins, on the condition that we choose to follow Him, receive His mercy and grace, and follow His commandments. If we do this, we will have rest in our souls and great happiness living forever with God and our families. This is the gift of eternal life. "And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God." (Doctrine & Covenants 14:7) Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Brent
We worship Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ, who atoned for our sins. We pray to our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ. We don't worship Joseph Smith, we see him as a great prophet who was called by God to restore truth to the Earth about God's plan of salvation. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Brent
The Bible is a book of scripture written by prophets which teaches and testifies of the Savior Jesus Christ and the reality of His resurrection and suffering for our sins. For these reasons and many more we believe the Bible to be the word of God. Throughout time, God has followed a pattern in revealing truth to His children. He calls righteous men as prophets who are then are commanded to write their account of God's dealing with their people. The Bible contains the writings of prophets about God's dealings with the people of Israel in Old and New Testament times. I personally believe the Bible because I have read and prayed about it. It helps provide me spiritual clarity and a proper perspective on life, knowing that Christ is truly there for me, that I can deal with whatever challenges I face in life with God's help, and that salvation is found through Christ. When I read it I feel the peace and love that comes from the Holy Ghost, enlightening my mind and confirming to me that it is the word of God. Show more Show less

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

Brent
LDS church services are open to everyone, visitors are encouraged to come to our chapels and attend our services. Whether you're coming by yourself, with family/children, or with friends, all are welcome. During the main church service, called sacrament meeting, we sing hymns, offer prayers, take the sacrament, and listen to usually 2 or 3 speakers who have been assigned beforehand and who have prepared talks on various topics relating to the gospel of Jesus Christ. This meeting last about 70 minutes. I find it to be an extremely uplifting meeting and look forward to it every week. We also have other classes which usually take place after the sacrament meeting. In all of these classes one can expect to learn from the Bible, the Book of Mormon and from other church leaders about the gospel of Jesus Christ. The classes last about 55 min each. There is a nursery available for young children. In most parts of the US and many parts outside of the US you will find an LDS chapel nearby. Go to the top of the page on Mormon.org, hover over "Visit Us", then click "Worship With Us" in the drop-down menu and you'll find a form you can fill out to locate a chapel near you. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Brent
A testimony is personal knowledge that someone has. When Mormons are talking about their testimony, they are referring to knowledge of spiritual things that they have gained and had confirmed through the witness of the Holy Spirit. Key parts of one's testimony is a knowledge of the reality of our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ, that Jesus suffered and died so that we can be resurrected, cleansed from sin and healed through Him, and also that the Lord's true church has been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I see a testimony of Jesus Christ being symbolically like a fire burning in the soul of a person reminding them that Christ lives and loves us, that God is the source of truth and rewards of those who place their faith in Him. For some this fire is burning brightly, having been built up and nourished by years of righteous living, prayer, studying the scriptures, exercising faith and trusting in God. You can usually see God's light in these types of people. You certainly don't have to be Mormon to have a testimony of the Savior. Some have no fire at all and have allowed the light of Christ given them at birth to smolder and die out. Others may have a small fire that exists somewhere in their soul that they rarely discuss or strengthen by study, prayer or testing the promises of God. Testimonies are ignited and grow stronger by hearing the word of God or others' testimonies, by sharing their own testimony and by keeping God's commandments. Show more Show less