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Hi I'm Ben

I'm from Ohio and currently live in Washington with my wife, daughter and son. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a husband and father. My wife and I have been married for five years and have two adorable kids, a girl and a boy. They fill our lives with fun, laughter, a fair amount of stress, and a little frustration, but we love them. We moved to the state of Washington last year where I work for a company as a chemical engineer. When I'm not working I enjoy playing with my family. I love to read and do puzzles with my wife. Sports have been and hopefully always will be a big part of my life. I played soccer all growing up and still enjoy to play when I get the chance. I also like to play volleyball, racquetball, football, Ultimate Frisbee, and basketball. I love to fish when I get the chance and look forward to when i can take my kids so I can double fishing time with family time. My wife and I both come from fairly large families and all of hers lives in Washington. enjoy spending time with them and especially our nieces and nephews.

Why I am a Mormon

I started out as a Mormon because my parents are Mormon. I'm the fourth of six children and my parents raised us all LDS. Both my parents were very active and committed to the gospel while me and my siblings were growing up. Both served in numerous leadership positions and had to make sacrifices in their lives in order to accommodate their church responsibilities. It was very apparent that they wanted us to learn from them that serving in the church is the second most important area to serve in after our service in the home. As I grew older the church remained a pillar of my life and I started developing my own testimony of the Gospel's truth and the importance of keeping the commandments. The more I studied the teachings of the church the more I understood for myself that it was true. Being a Mormon has led me to understand that God has a plan for me, just me. He knows me individually and wants me to be happy. And maybe that's one of the biggest reasons I have remained a member of this church, it makes me happy. It makes me happy to know that I can be with my family forever. It makes me happy knowing that there is a living prophet on the earth today, that is called of God, to teach and direct us back to Him. As I serve in the church, especially working with teenagers, it makes me happy to see them making the choices that will lead to them being happy as well in the years to come.

How I live my faith

Being a Mormon has a large effect on one's life. Sure it's all the stereotypical "Mormon things", the no smoking, drinking, coffee or tea; there's three hours of church on Sunday; we pay tithing and we fast once a month; there's having a food storage; holding family home evening once a week; seminary for high schoolers and the list goes on and on. I lived my faith by serving a 2 year mission when I was 19, dedicating all my time and efforts to teachings others about our church. But in addition to these things, there is so much more that has grown out of my life because I try and live my faith. I see everyone I come in contact with the way the church teaches, as children of our Heavenly Father. He loves them and so should I. That's not always easy, but it makes me feel the need to be kind to others. Being a Mormon gives me perspective on what is truly important in life and helps me prioritize accordingly. I know that spending time with my 1 and 2 year old, helping my wife with some of the household chores, and having family prayer are more important than many other things I could spend my time on. Yes, being a Mormon is many things, all of them important, but for me it is the sum of all the little good things in my life.

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Ben
The Book of Mormon is a collection of writings from prophets of God who lived on the American continent between about 600 BC and 420 AD. These prophets wrote the words they were directed to by the Spirit of the Lord. Then, a prophet named Mormon, collected these writings and abridged them, including the ones he deemed most pertinent to our day and time. The book is named after him because he assembled it though many prophets' writings are included in it. Show more Show less

What is the difference between attending church and the temple?

Ben
Church is where we go every Sunday, Mormons and non-Mormons are welcome. We listen to members speak on gospel topics, attend Sunday School and in general worship Jesus Christ. The temple is a sacred, holy place where only Mormons who have been interviewed and determined to be worthy can attend. In the temple, Mormons recieve special ordinances that are necessary to return to our Father in Heaven. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Ben
To answer this question one needs to understand why we baptize and how we baptize. First, why do Mormon's baptize? We believe baptism is a gate. It is the gate by which an individual becomes a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is the gate through which we make certain covenants or promises with our God. We promise to keep His commandments, take upon us the name of his son meaning to act the way his son Jesus Christ would act, and to always remember Christ in all we do. There are many prophets who wrote in the Book of Mormon that taught about baptism. Nephi teaches that Jesus himself was baptized even though he was perfect and had no need to repent. He was baptized to set the example for us that baptism is the way we start on our journey back to our Father in Heaven. Alma and Moroni both teach that we are baptized to become members of Christ's church and that by so doing we are promising to serve others. We also strongly believe that the "how" of baptism is important. Baptism must be performed in the proper manner and by the proper authority. Jesus himself, when he visited the Americas as detailed in the Book of Mormon, taught that baptism is to be done by complete immersion under the water. He also gave the authority, His priesthood, to men which allowed them to baptize others. We believe that authority to baptize resides solely in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Ben
No. We believe that all people our children of our Heavenly Father and of infinite worth to Him. He wants all of His children to return to him and expects us to help each other in that journey. Only last week, about 400 Mormons in the area I live gathered at a city park to do a massive landscaping project, a project that Mormons and non-Mormons alike can and will enjoy together. Show more Show less

What blessings can you receive from reading the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and other scriptures?

Ben
The scriptures have been preserved in order to bring people unto Christ and to teach us about our Heavenly Father's plan. As one reads the scriptures, he opens his mind and heart to inspiration of the Holy Ghost. It's sort of like tuning our spiritual radio. In our everyday activities it can be difficult to always hear or feel the direction or influence of the Holy Ghost, but as we read and study the Bible, Book of Mormon, and other scriptures, we open our hearts to learn what God would have us do. The key to unlocking or receiving the blessings spoken of in the scriptures is found in 2 Nephi 32:3. He says, ". . . the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." It is our responsibility to learn the words of Christ and then to do them. Therein lies the great blessings of life. At no time do we feel our Heavenly Father's love more strongly than when we are keeping his commandments. Show more Show less

Who is the Mormon prophet today?

Ben
There are 15 men alive today that have been called of God to serve as prophets and apostles. There is only one man however that is authorized of God to receive revelation for the entire church and is referred to as the President and Prophet of the Church. His name is Thomas S. Monson. Show more Show less

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

Ben
We believe that after Christ died, the church was lead by the apostles He had chosen during His lifetime. However, as the twelve apostles passed away, the authority they had been given by Jesus was taken from the earth and not passed on to others. Without this priesthood authority the church that Jesus had set up slowly disintegrated. There were still many good people on the earth and as time progressed and more churches were established, they demonstrated portions of the Gospel of Jesus Christ but not the entire truth. This falling away, or apostasy as the Mormons call it, necessitated a restoration. Two great parts of the gospel were lost: the authority to act in God's name, his priesthood, and the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Priesthood authority does not come from knowledge or good works or some other means. It is given to one by another who is already in possession of the priesthood and has been authorized to confer it on another. It is evident that there is a need for additional scripture to the Bible. If the Bible had been preserved through the dark and middle ages in its purity, it may be sufficient but it has been altered and changed so many times that it can be misinterpreted easily. This is the reason there are so many Christian churches that have conflicting doctrine. If the Bible was perfect that wouldn't be the case, they would all agree. So, as part of the restoration, the Book of Mormon was brought forth to restore the complete Gospel of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

What is the Word of Wisdom that Mormons talk about?

Ben
One of the hallmarks of Mormons is that we don't drink alcohol, coffee, tea, smoke, or use drugs. It seems that if people know anything about the Mormon faith, that is what they know. What is not always clear is why we don't use any of those substances. The first reason is because God commanded us. Joseph Smith received direction from God that these are not to be used. As I have gone through life and have seen the effects of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs on people's health and lives, I see the wisdom in this commandment. These substances can be very damaging to our health. Our physical bodies are gifts and should be taken great care of. Second, following this commandment helps us keep free from harmful addictions that can take over our lives and decisions. The Word of Wisdom is not just a list of "don'ts" either. The Lord lists the foods that we should be eating to keep ourselves healthy, and at the end of the revelation, He promises us many great blessings if we follow this commandment. We are promised health and strength as well as wisdom and knowledge. This commandments has been a powerful force in my life and I have seen the blessings pour in from living it. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Ben
Serving a "Mormon mission" is a voluntary choice. Members who choose not to serve are in no way punished or reprimanded. There are no opportunities or blessings denied them later in life if they choose not to serve. However, all young men our strongly encouraged to serve and we regard it as our responsibility to give 2 years of our life to the Lord to help others return to Him. Many women also choose to serve missions though the endeavor is not as emphatically pushed on them. Having served a mission, I now work hard to get other young men prepared for their service. It is an opportunity of unparalleled spiritual growth. The blessings to really all aspects of one's life are innumerable. It is truly a marvelous work to be involved in. Show more Show less