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Hi I'm Benjamin

I'm a graduate student, a husband to a wonderful woman, a father of an adopted baby girl, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I tend to identify myself first as a graduate student because I spend so much time studying and staring at my thesis. I'm getting two master's degrees and if I make it through this semester with my sanity intact, I'll look forward to graduating in December. Most of my free time is spent with my family doing normal family activities. Wash the dishes, wrestle with the baby, read a book or watch a show with the wife. It's normal but we have a blast doing it. Heather and I were married almost five years before we adopted Elayna. Infertility was a difficult struggle for us but it culminated into great joy the day we brought Elayna home. My wife kicks me out of the house every once in a while to have fun with friends who shoot paint balls at me or force me to run around a field chasing a Frisbee. I enjoy watching and participating in a variety of sports and used to be a pretty good athlete. I'm a huge fan of MMA and enjoy learning Jiu-Jitsu even though my technique is sloppy enough that I need to rely almost wholly on my my size and strength when I spar. I grew up in the California but currently live in Idaho. People sometimes ask me why I live in Idaho, my response: why experience the boredom of nice weather when you can endure eight months of winter imprisonment. We came for school but would stay because of the great people who live here.

Why I am a Mormon

Both of my parents are converts to the Church. From a young age they taught me about the gospel and the happiness that comes from following Christ’s teachings. However, the alternative lifestyles of those around me seemed to contradict my parents teachings. Following Christ started to became a burden to me. I thought that unrestricted by gospel standards, I would finally be free. The consequences of my choices began to manifest itself so subtly that at first it went totally unnoticed. Eventually I began to understand the difference between the happiness which Christ offered to that which the world had to offer. The happiness which the world offers is base and fleeting; it is selfish and self-seeking. The happiness the world offers often comes at the expense of the relationship of those who love you and care for your welfare beyond that of their own. My unhappiness eventually led to anger and hostility. My relationships with family and friends began to be strained. My whole soul felt tired and worn and I longed to find rest. After feeling isolated and angry for so long, I finally came to myself. The happiness I sought for I knew I could only find in and through Christ. I began to seek God in fervent prayer and study of the scriptures. I could feel the strength of the many prayers which had been offered on my behalf as I struggled. I could feel God's love permeate my life and guide me. My burdens, even those which I had put on myself, were lifted. I found the peace that Christ had promised to those who follow him and lasting happiness which surpasses expression. Through experiences too sacred to relate, I know that God lives and loves his children. He knows us individually and will aid and guide us as we seek him. I am a living witness of the transforming power of the Atonement. I know that the Book of Mormon is a true testimony of Christ and that the reading of that sacred text changes lives.

How I live my faith

Living my faith is as important as having my faith. It does little good to know something and then act counter to it. Faith always precedes action, but action produces greater faith. Greater faith produces more action which produces even greater faith. To me, living my faith is a process in which I am both purified and magnified by the Atonement. The purification comes as I ask for forgiveness and correct my behavior. Magnification comes as I learn to rely wholly upon God and draw strength from Him. This probably sounds a little "churchy" but its difficult to explain in other terms. It might be compared to a prayer I once heard: "So far today I've done all right. I haven't gossiped, or lost my temper. I haven't been greedy, nasty, or selfish. But, in a few minutes, I am going to get out of bed, and from then on, I'm going to need a lot more help." I want to be a good husband to my wife, a good father to my daughter, a good provider for my family, a good friend, a good employee (hopefully soon!), a better person in every area of my life. I find strength to do better as I pray, read my scriptures, and serve those around me. Living my faith is not manifest in great or unusual ways. It's in a kind word, a kind deed, a selfless act. It's in being honest and compassionate. It's in being temperate and patient. The gospel has a way of permeating every facet of your life. It doesn't become your life, but it changes who you are and the paradigm through which you view everything. I live my faith one improvement at a time (no matter how small).