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Hi I'm Ben

I'm a PhD student in economics. I'm a song-writer and tennis player. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Montana and love everything about the mountains and the outdoors, especially skiing, camping, and fishing. I also play the guitar (singer/song-writer, bluegrass, celtic), usually at home but sometimes in public. I left Montana after high school, majored in math/economics, and married a lovely East coast girl. We have a 1.5 year-old son, who we love spending time with. We enjoy do-it-yourself projects, art, vegetarian cooking (not exclusively, we also love seafood), and bicycle riding.

Why I am a Mormon

My decision to be a mormon followed from my experience reading the Book of Mormon. Whenever I have had doubts or felt that God was distant or uninterested in my life, I would read from the Book of Mormon and would quickly feel as though God was close by. Reading the Book of Mormon filled me with feelings of peace, contentment, and even joy. I learned to forgive myself and others, to pray, and to believe in Jesus Christ all from reading the Book of Mormon. Even now, whenever I finish reading the Book of Mormon, I make a point to ask God if it's true. So far the answer has been "yes" every time. I think that all religions have something beautiful and admirable about them. Many of my closest friends have been members of other faiths, and I respect and admire their own religious convictions. We probably have more in common than you might think.

How I live my faith

Faith to me is equal parts what you believe and what you do. I believe in God and that he is the father of our spirits and is interested and involved in our lives. I have faith that God speaks through prophets today as in biblical times. To keep that belief strong, each day I read from the scriptures and pray. On Sundays my wife and I go to church.

Why don’t Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol? What is the Mormon Church’s law of health and proper diet?

Three years after the church was organized (1833), God gave a law of health to Joseph Smith (the first president of the church) that discouraged the use of tobacco, alcohol, coffee and tea. Those who observe this code of healthy eating (called "the word of wisdom") are promised to have better physical and mental abilities, and an improved ability to connect with God. Today, the adverse effects of alcohol and tobacco on health are well-known. This was not the case when mormons first began observing the word of wisdom. Whether tea and coffee are bad for one's health is similarly unknown. Like mormons in the 19th century, we observe the word of wisdom as a matter of faith rather than science. A few other points: -the word of wisdom is not just about not eating certain things, it's more about taking care of your body -some members abstain from caffeine, while others do not - it's an individual decision -herbal teas are generally considered to be ok I personally love everything about the word of wisdom. Some people might call it restrictive, but I see it as evidence of God's interest in my life. He cares about what I ate for lunch and I think that is awesome. Show more Show less

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Church meetings are held on Sundays and last for about 60-70 minutes and visitors are always welcome. We sing some hymns (religious songs) as a congregation, and then take communion (bread and water) and take a few quiet minutes to pray/reflect. Then a few members will give some prepared remarks on a given topic. There is no paid clergy or regular speaker, so each week is something new. After the main meeting, there are sunday school and men/women group meetings. A few extra points: -we do not request donations as part of the service -there are no call and response activities -people usually wear their "sunday best"; dresses/skirts for women and shirts/ties for men. We do this out of respect/worship and not to show off. Come in jeans if you want. If you know me personally and want to come with me on a sunday to see what a worship service is like, let me know and we can go together. Don't be shy. We have visitors all the time. Show more Show less