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Hi I'm Ben

I'm an English major; I'm a lover of Russian literature; I like semicolons; I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up all over the United States, with a few jaunts around the world. I learned Spanish in Bolivia, and also how to fake cry on demand (getting tear gassed every day helps). I love rock climbing, reading (I like Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and also the Latin Magic Realist movement, though I have to admit to also loving Harry Potter and Percy Jackson and all of those other books that normal people read). I tend to be the kind of person who glides through life, occasionally coming across something awesome and doing it, but the thing that has kept me fixed is my faith.

Why I am a Mormon

Despite my Mormon family, my conversion didn't actually start with the Book of Mormon or a huge realization or anything like that. I had been an active Mormon most of my life, but upon reaching college, my activity level dropped. I wasn't sure if I wanted to participate in something that took up so much of my time if it wasn't worth anything. That summer, I read Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. I learned a few things from it. One, it is entirely possible to do nothing with your life. Raskolnikov messes up, and spends 800 pages doing nothing about it. Two, conversion doesn't always make life easier, in fact, towards the end, the narrator acknowledges that Raskolnikov confession and hint at conversion are no more than the start of an arduous journey. Pondering that, I drew closer to God and also to my church. From there, I read many other greats, like Shakespeare and William James, who both pointed to the idea of testing out ideas in order to prove them true or false. And, as slow and oblivious as I tend to be, I realized that I was testing these ideas and finding them to be true. So, despite my English and literature background, I experimented, and found that, as it says in scriptures, when you live the gospel you find that they are good. From there it was only a matter of time before I left on my mission to share this joy with others.

How I live my faith

As Mormons, we love and try to share our faith with everyone around us. The reason we do missionary work is not because we are obligated to, it is because we are trying to share the love and joy that we find in our religion. I'm going on a mission now, and will hopefully become better at talking to non-Mormons, but I love strengthening and helping people already in the ward or the branch where I live with the things that trouble them. Some people are bothered by things that the Church expects of them, or feel like they can't be good Mormons for this reason, or that reason, and I feel Christ's love for them most when I can help the Spirit convince them how to work through these doubts and distractions. Now I'm a missionary, and will be trying to spread this message to people who are trapped in the sorrow and sadness of the world and help them to understand the joy and peace that can come to them through the gospel. I don't claim to have the answers to every question they may ask, and I also don't necessarily think that they will ever solve all of their problems in this life, but I live a life looking forward to redemption and understanding, for "though we see each other now through a mirror dimly, then face to face."