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Hi I'm Bryan

I grew up in Oregon, and now live in Utah. I love my family. I love Jesus Christ. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am married with 5 children. I love to hike in the beautiful Utah mountains where we live, and bike with my kids. I love a good book (anything by Clive Cussler, among others), and long walks with my wife to talk and try to figure out life.

Why I am a Mormon

When I was young, my mother told me stories about my pioneer ancestors who joined the Mormon church in England during the 1840's & 50's. I remember her description of their long sea voyage as they sailed for America, and how they suffered in the unending wagon trains that crossed the vast prairies. They believed, as they were taught, that the true church of Christ had been lost with the death of the last of Christ's apostles, and that with this loss of proper authority, nearly 1,800 years followed with many churches created by well-intentioned men who interpreted the word of God according to their best knowledge. What my pioneer forefathers learned, and what my parents taught me, was that God had restored the ancient priesthood authority and true church of Christ upon the earth through a living prophet in our time. This was intriguing to me, but I wanted to know for myself that this was true. I wanted to have my own conviction without parents forcing me or a religious leader talking me into something. Toward the end of the Book of Mormon, there is a promise written by an ancient prophet who lived in the Americas. This is what he wrote: "I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." So, I decided to put God to the test. I went to my bedroom and I knelt down and I prayed, "God, is the Book of Mormon thy word? Has the true church of Christ been restored to the earth?" I can't describe the warm, amazing feeling that washed over me. I felt flooded with peace and confidence and a powerful conviction that everything my parents taught me was actually true! I know that Christ's true church has been restored to the earth, and you can know it too if you simply ask. I hope you're willing to get on your knees and ask for yourself.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by trying to make a difference in the lives of others. Yeah, it may sound "churchy", but I try to model my actions after Christ's life. For example, He was kind to others, he helped the sick and the needy, he was patient with the children, and sympathetic to the widows. Obviously Christ is our Savior and He did a lot more than just serve physically, but there is a great model for me in his actions. There are quite a few widows in my neighborhood, so we periodically take over a treat of cookies or bread, or just call and talk on the phone to let them know we care. Once in awhile, our church group will plan service projects, like cleaning brush from a widow's back yard, or by taking a holiday gift basket to a single mother with small children. Within my own family, I try and teach my children that it's important to be respectful, to do their best in school, and to find ways to love their siblings. I use scripture stories found in the Bible and Book of Mormon to teach them why it's important to follow Jesus Christ, and that every day of their lives can be good if they'll look to Him as their Savior and example. Their mother and I have tried to do our best to form a strong foundation of faith in their lives, so that they will go out into the world and make a difference of their own. With the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life, I feel more peaceful and purposeful. I have found that as I try to live in the world, but not be a part of the selfishness and cruelty that can sometimes occur in relationships, I have a measure of peace and calm that means more to me than anything I know. As I teach my family to be honest, and giving, and as I exhibit these same qualities myself, even through simple ways, my life has a meaning and purpose. Frankly, living my faith isn't that hard. I just live my life one day at a time, trying to do small things for others. In doing this, my life feels pretty sweet!

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Bryan
The Bible was written by prophets and apostles who lived in the Old World. The Book of Mormon was written by prophets and apostles who lived in the Americas. To be honest, when someone hears that for the first time, it seems incredible to them. But when you think about it, why wouldn't it be possible for God to do His work and give His word anywhere in the world that he wanted to? The Book of Mormon begins around 600 B.C. with a prophet named Lehi, who is commanded to leave Jerusalem with his family and was promised that they would be led to a promised land. They eventually crossed the ocean and landed in the Americas. For hundreds of years they kept a record of their peoples, including spiritual instructions and prophecies about the coming of Christ. One of the main events of the Book of Mormon was the visit of Jesus Christ himself after his resurrection. He taught the people the same sermons that he had preached in the Holy Land, and he healed the sick, blessed the children and organized his church. The Book of Mormon was written by prophets and apostles for our day, and anyone in the world can know that it is true. There is a promise in the book of Moroni, (Moroni 10:4) that says if you read the book and then pray to know it is true, the Holy Ghost will help you to know it is. God is a God of answers, and he loves to answer our questions when we're sincere enough to ask Him. Try it for yourself and see. No one else can or should convince you. But God can! Show more Show less

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

Bryan
The atonement of Jesus Christ is the most important thing that has ever happened in the history of the world. Yet many people are unclear about what the atonement really is, or what it means for them personally. Simply stated: Jesus Christ "atoned" or paid for our sins so that we can repent and be forgiven. Sin makes us unclean before God. Repentance and forgiveness cleanses us. Sin weighs us down. Forgiveness from God lifts us up and makes us feel whole again. In 1 Corinthians 6:9, it says that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. This makes sense to me. If the Kingdom of God is a perfect and clean place, then it doesn't make sense that the wicked would be allowed there. (I can't imagine someone who is sinful or unclean would even feel comfortable there.) So if we want to dwell with God, it makes sense that we would have to be "cleansed" from our sins. But as imperfect people, we make mistakes and fall short of the perfection God requires. This is where Christ comes in. His atonement reconciles us with the Father. His atoning sacrifice makes it possible for us to repent and be forgiven of wrong doings and be freed from the guilt and sadness caused by sin. Christ makes this possible through his atonement, and I am so grateful for Him. By having faith in Christ, repenting of sins, and being baptized by someone having proper authority, we can become clean from our sins through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

How can we increase our faith in Jesus Christ?

Bryan
Faith in Jesus Christ means that we believe in Him even though we can't see him, and we trust that he can help us get through the problems and pains of life. This is important for me to know and it gives me a lot of comfort with all of the hard things we have to go through. For me, faith in Jesus Christ grows when I add "action" to my feelings of faith. For example, if I look to His example in how he treated people, then I go and try to lift someone who is struggling maybe even more than me--I feel even closer to Christ and my faith feels stronger. There is a bible scripture that I think explains this...in James 2: 22 & 26 it says: "...by works was faith made perfect...so faith without works is dead...". I think when I add some kind of "action" to my belief, that belief gets stronger. I'm asking God all of the time to help my faith in Christ be stronger, and I feel that he answers my prayers and grants me additional strength to act on what I believe and help others as Christ helped others. He was the Son of God and there is no way my works could ever approach the magnificent works of Jesus Christ, but I can still follow his example and do the best I can! Day by day, my faith grows like a seed, transforming me a little at a time into the person God wants me to become. I hope that one day I can present to Christ my little seed of faith as a fully developed tree. Show more Show less

What is Mormonism? OR What do Mormons believe?

Bryan
Mormons believe that Jesus Christ came to earth as the Son of God. He was born humbly in a stable, and lived a perfect, sinless life. He established his church and chose 12 apostles to help him in his ministry. He taught the people to love God and to love their neighbors as themselves. His Gospel changed the world! Mormons believe that Christ was resurrected after his Crucifixion, and that he ascended to heaven. We also believe that the Apostles continued to receive revelation from Him, through the Holy Ghost, on how to direct the work of His church. However, after the Apostles were killed, members of the church, over time, changed core teachings of the Church that Christ had established. Many good people and some truth remained, but this Apostasy or falling away from the truth caused the Church and the authority that Christ had given to his disciples to be withdrawn from the earth. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 & Acts 20:29-30 talk about this Apostasy. However, the Apostle Peter prophesied that Jesus would restore his Church to the earth before his Second Coming in a "restitution of all things" (see Acts 3:19-21). Jesus Christ restored His Church to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith beginning in 1820. No matter what I personally say, you don't have to rely on my words to convince you. Get on your knees and pray to God to know if this is true. If you feel these words are right, then you'll know that the true Church of Jesus Christ has been restored on the earth! Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Bryan
Being a mormon is...peaceful. In answering this question, I had to honestly think about where that peace comes from. For me, I know there's a certain amount of peace and calm that I can generate within myself, but I also realize that for the greater part, there is a peace that flows like a river from a source outside of myself. I feel this peace comes from God. As I try to live a good life and to be the best person I can, I feel that God is pleased with my small efforts and blesses me in His way with peace. Also, I believe that Jesus Christ was the premier example of good works and I feel that as I try to act as He would act, there is a certain peace that I qualify for. I also find that as I set aside personal time to pray and read the Holy Scriptures, new ideas come to my mind and I feel that I'm receiving guidance for my own particular set of problems and challenges in life. To know that God is aware of me, that He loves me and that He is guiding me, also gives me peace and confidence that I'm not alone. More than anything, I understand that God has a plan of happiness not only for all mankind, but for me personally! I am enjoying learning more about what he has in store for me as I get older and as I experience different things in life, and I'm certain with Him at the wheel, we can't go too far wrong! Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Bryan
We worship God and His Son Jesus Christ. We don't worship Joseph Smith any more than anyone would worship Noah, or Isaiah or Moses. These were all prophets, and so was Joseph Smith. He was called as a prophet in our time, as an instrument in God's hands to restore the ancient church of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less