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Hi I'm Ben

I'm a graduate student researcher at Texas A&M, I'm father of the cutest toddler on earth, and I'm a Mormon

About Me

I'm the as nerdy as they come - you'll find me working in a biochemistry laboratory during the week, playing chess or reading science fiction during lunch, and playing role-playing games on weekends with friends. But somehow, despite my nerdity, I got married four years ago, and my wife and I are still together, and we have the sweetest little boy you ever did meet.

Why I am a Mormon

I was 14; I was already a member of the church, but I had become skeptical of everything that I had been taught. I had a non-Mormon girlfriend, I didn't fit in at church, and I was starting to doubt whether there really was a God, and whether it was worth it to keep his commandments. My parents had always told me that I could always pray to God, and I did so regularly, but it didn't feel real to me - just like talking to a wall. However, the prophet at the time, President Gordon B. Hinckley, challenged every member of the church to read the Book of Mormon in its entirety by December of that year. Not wanting to disappoint my parents, I had finished the Book of Mormon for the first time of my life that week, and I read the promise that Moroni wrote: that when we read the book, we should ponder on the things the Lord has done, then pray and ask God whether the book is not true. Moroni promises that if we do so, with a willingness to follow what the Book teaches if we get do an answer that it IS true, that he the Holy Ghost will tell us that it's true. That's exactly what I did. THe instant I did that, I was flooded with a warm feeling that made me shake all over. It was the first time that I recognized the Spirit. I didn't live a perfect life after that, quite the contrary, but that one experience, and the ones that followed have been the compass that has guided my life ever since. AS a result, I served a two-year proselyting mission in the south of Chile, and it was a wonderful, difficult, transformative experience. I can now testify of the power that comes into our lives when we study the Book of Mormon daily. That book gave me strength to go on in difficult moments, it helped me to come to know God - how he really is - and it helped me to become more like my Savior. I continue to feel that power in my life each day as I set aside time for Him. This church, the Book of Mormon, and the power that they all reach about - It's real. Now it's your turn!

How I live my faith

A few days ago, I approached a man that the missionaries had brought with them to church. He was new, and didn't know many of us yet, so it didn't surprise me when he contacted me shortly thereafter and asked me to help him with repairing a toilet. Thankfully, my father taught me a thing or two, and we were able to fix it up like new that evening. He told me that he had had Mormon friends before, and that they were always there for him then too. That's how we all are. After Hurricane Harvey, I was one of the many, many Mormon volunteers who came to the rescue, chopping out drywall, removing carpets, and getting draining water out of other peoples' homes. None of the people that I ended up serving were members of our church, but all of them left with a different view of who we were than before. These days, I also serve in an ecclesiastical role, as the second counselor to the Branch President (leader) of the Navasota Branch, a small town outside of College Station. My wife and I love the people there, and we have great spiritual experiences every week we attend. We also read the scriptures together every night as a family, and we find great power in prayer to our Heavenly Father. He's there, and this Gospel is real. What more is there to say?

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

I once took a basic programming course at a university level. The way that the professor addressed the class, it was clear that he expected his students to have a strong background in programming, and I had a very hard time keeping up with his explanations of concepts. I simply wasn't ready for the course (especially since I was concurrently enrolled in organic chemistry, calculus, and physics), and I dropped out. The temple is a lot like that university course: a person needs a certain measure of spiritual preparation before they can attend. When we attend the temple, we covenant (make a sacred commitment to God) that we will live a higher law, and we are blessed to learn eternal truths and receive sacred blessings as a result. If someone who was unprepared were to enter right now, it simply wouldn't have the same meaning for them. We continue to attend the temple afterwards because we also believe that after this life and before our resurrection, there's a period of time where the spirits of those who never had the chance to hear the Gospel can have a chance to accept it. However, as the scriptures say, we must be baptized to enter into the Kingdom of God. The temples provide an opportunity for those who have passed on without receiving the Gospel to accept that ordinance - we are baptized in their place. As with everything in the Gospel, it's their choice to accept the ordinance. Show more Show less