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Hi I'm Brandon

I’m a Mormon. But, I wasn‘t always a Mormon. I once was blind, but now I’m eternally alive. This is my story.

About Me

I’m an artist and designer. As an in-house graphic designer in California I designed for an international wholesale company with large corporate accounts. I was employed by an advertising agency as an intern, and freelanced on a variety of projects such as brand identity, publication, display, package and web design. As an exhibiting artist in multiple mediums I have shown paintings in The Luggage Store Gallery on Market Street in San Francisco, sculptural installation at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Artists Gallery, and as winner of best of photography at the Morris Graves Museum of Art. I was the artist book contest winner at the Anne Bremer Memorial Library for a hand-made limited edition book of drawings. My artwork has been reviewed by critics of the Times-Standard, Art Business, San Francisco Chronicle, and New York Times. I earned a BA in studio art with an emphasis in graphic design, a Master’s of Education with an emphasis in cross-cultural teaching, and a Master of Fine Arts with an emphasis in design + technology. I am currently an assistant professor of art and design, the visual arts program coordinator of our university and the president and founder of an independent book publishing company.

Why I am a Mormon

My parents, siblings and extended family are not Mormon’s. However, I was raised in a loving family by good parents. I was a happy, kind and cheerful child. I remember believing in God and talking to God when I was very young. I remember being afraid to die and deciding I wanted to live forever. I was not raised attending church or with a belief in Jesus Christ. During my years as an undergraduate in college, as a result of my lack of moral maturity, I became a permissive and materialistic atheist. I abandoned my belief in God disbelieving its validity and reasonability. As a rather sad commentary about contemporary society, this was the norm where I lived. These beliefs did not produce good results. My incorrect mindset caused me several years of depression and hopelessness. One day, my dad gave me a book called, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey. It gave me hope that there were upright and honest people in the world who wanted good for others and lived by principles. I discovered that the author, Stephen Covey, was from Utah and an active member of the Mormon Church. I knew nothing about the Mormon's. I had heard the word Mormon but didn't know what it meant. After making some friends at the Franklin Covey store, they invited me to attend church with them. I haven’t missed a Sunday meeting since my first attendance. I was baptized more than a decade ago. I have continued faithful in the church by serving a full-time mission and being married in the temple. I’m a husband and father of two young children. My love for my family is far more important to me than any of my other achievements. Every good thing in my life is a result of vigilantly watching my thoughts to ensure that I have the correct mindset. “Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

How I live my faith

It all begins in the mind. My behavior is an effect: my thought is the cause. Whatever I do, I first do in my mind. I think and with those thoughts I create the world I live in. I am living the consequences of my choices. I will go as high and as far as my thoughts will take me. I live my faith by exercising discipline with my thoughts, words and actions. I believe that having the correct mindset about reality brightens my eternal destiny. The correct mindset dispels fear, guilt and sadness and replaces it with faith, hope and love. One must exert consistent and daily effort to maintain the correct mindset of thought and action. I believe the correct mindset consists of several precepts, of which, I will outline only a few. I believe in a higher power that is intelligent, just, loving, personal, present and active in the governance and organization of the world and the universe. This view is known as theism. I reject the materialistic and atheistic view that all things are composed of material and all phenomena including consciousness are the result of material interactions. I believe in moral universalism, that a universal ethic applies to all individuals regardless of culture, race, sex, religion or nationality. Moral values exist independently of the feeling-states of individuals at particular times as moral relativists believe. We must learn the universal moral law, be honest and accountable for our thoughts, words and actions and correct mistakes when we make them. I believe in life after death, that we will literally come back to life at some future time after we die. Our personal identity and memory are preserved but separate from our body at death. The atoms of our body are disassembled through decay. However, the atoms of our bodies will eventually be replaced, reassembled and reconnected to host our spirit anew. This is called resurrection. Just like birth is to death, the only reasonable contradiction to nothingness is the reality of eternal life.

What is faith?

Faith is the ability to foresee, and believe in the reality of (as yet) unseen things. Vision is the ability of the minds eye to literally see that which is not yet physically present. The human mind has the power to envision mental images and make them physical reality. The systematic application of creative foresight produces vision. We can construct images now, which can travel ahead in time and govern and shape the future. Our very circumstances and what we experience in life amount to the vision we have projected into the world. Overlooking what is, one can make a masterpiece out of what is not yet present. These visions are the greatest determinants in what happens around us, to us, for us, and because of us. Vision can transcend time; surmount obstacles, compress distances, and reproduce a replica of itself in physical form. Faith is based on evidence, but often the evidence is self-created. All of the visions in our minds are made-up; pretend. But when we play them over and over again they appear to be real to us and we believe them. Not what you see with your physical eyes, but what you see with your minds eye determines your direction. The visionary capacity of our childhood should not be pushed aside. Children are dreamers. When we grow up we downplay and neglect our imagination. We can literally make dreams into reality through faith. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

The designer is inferred by design. Purpose and design appear to exist in nature beyond the scope of human activities. The fine-tuning of the Universe is a delicate balance of conditions necessary for human life to exist on earth. Many features of the intricate universe, its physical laws and the existence of other living things cannot be explained by an undirected process such as chance because achieving such perfect conditions is so improbable. The complex interconnectedness of natural and physical interactions is best explained by an organizing cause, therefore the existence of a designer must be assumed and a higher power must have been responsible. This is known as the teleological argument for the existence of God. Life exists. Life does not arise from non-life. Each life has a cause or explanation for its existence. The cause for each life is something other than itself. If you trace back the existence of all successive life forms to their original source, the first life must have had the capacity to be independent of other life forms for its cause. The original life form is therefore greater than its successive life forms who are effects of it. If I am intelligent and did not create my own intelligence, then a force other than myself created the capacity for intelligence. Intelligence cannot come from the absence of intelligence, therefore the force that created intelligence is intelligent. This is known as the cosmological argument for the existence of God. Show more Show less