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Hi I'm Benjamin

I'm a scientist, a musician, a husband, and a Mormon.

About Me

I'm currently a graduate student studying genetics and entomology (insects). I have always loved understanding how and why things work, and knew ever since I was a little kid that I wanted to be a scientist. I also love music, and I enjoy singing, playing piano, and playing tuba. I'm always up for a good conversation with people who know something more than I do about a subject, because they can always teach me something new. I especially love learning about other cultures and nations, and try to travel as often as I can. I lived in Nicaragua for 2 years while serving a mission, did a field study in Chile a few years ago, and am planning a study trip to Africa this coming year. I look forward to augmenting my language and culinary skills to include French and the cuisine of Burkina Faso. I'm recently married, and my wife and I are both science fiction nerds (our romantic evenings often consist of watching Star Trek episodes and giving foot massages). Family is incredibly important to me, and even though we don't have a whole lot of material goods I'm so happy to be blessed with my immediate family and my newly formed married family.

Why I am a Mormon

Even though my parents taught me the gospel from a young age, they encouraged me to study and find out the truthfulness of it on my own, and as I grew up I realized that I didn't want to live the gospel and make the sacrifices necessary unless I knew it was true. As I was a teenager, I decided I needed to find out for myself if the church was all it claimed to be; a divinely led organization built on direct revelations and God-given authority. I understood that knowing if the Book of Mormon was true was a key to it all, so I started to read it for myself, and I asked God to let me know for myself if it was true. I felt a strong peace and comfort many times, but I didn't recognize at the time that this was the Holy Ghost witnessing to my heart of the truthfulness. Interestingly enough, it was during a science class where our teacher explained that in the world of science, we base all our faith in the truthfulness of any idea in the strength of the evidences we observe that support or refute that idea. I immediately understood that the evidence of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon was the witness of the Spirit, and I had the confidence to recognize that God had indeed answered my prayers. In a beautiful bit of logic, I could then know that Joseph Smith was indeed a true prophet of God called to restore His church on the earth. More importantly, I recognized this same Spirit testify that Jesus is the Savior and that through Him I can become better and happier than I ever could on my own, including being able to be made whole of my imperfections and eventually return to God's presence with my family and loved ones. Even though I don't understand all things, I'm able to base my life on these evidences I've received, which are profoundly personal and deeply moving. Unlike scientific evidences, which are quantified and observable by the experimenter and all others, these spiritual evidences are only given to those who are willing to ask. It's worth it

How I live my faith

The most important way I live my faith is by focusing on the relationships that matter most. Currently, these are my relationship with God, my savior Jesus Christ, my wife, and my other family members. To build these, I try to spend time each day in prayer and reflection to show God that I want to invite His influence and Spirit in my life. My wife and I try to share uplifting experiences and thoughts, and talk as openly as we can about our joys, our struggles, our fears, and our triumphs. Even though my immediate family is now scattered across the globe (my folks live on the other coast, my little brother is serving a mission in Mexico, and my older brother is in Europe) we take advantage of tools like email, phone calls, and internet video to visit and share our lives as much as we can. I also try to serve both in and out of the church. Upon moving to our current ward, or congregation, my wife and I were asked to serve as cub scout leaders. We get to plan and carry out activities for rambunctious 8 year old boys who have about twice as much energy each as we both do combined, so it can be challenging. Seeing them have fun and make friendships makes it worth it, though.

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

The center of our doctrine is that we need the help of Jesus Christ to achieve the type of life that God hopes for us to have, and Jesus is able to offer this help because of His atoning sacrifice. We understand that to be clean of sin we must repent and ask for Christ's help, and He will offer His grace freely to cleanse us of our sins and mistakes. In addition, He offers grace through helping us become better and more than we could by ourselves, enabling us in ways otherwise not possible. In this manner, even though we are far from perfect ourselves, we can be confident that we are perfected in Christ. Show more Show less