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Hi I'm Ben

I'm a missionary in Taiwan who believes God is love, Jesus is the Savior, and every one of us has incredible potential.

About Me

Ni hao! I'm Elder Brandley. I've lived in Utah my whole life but right now I have the great opportunity to serve as a missionary in Taiwan! Before my mission, I had a lot of fun working as a substitute teacher. I really like writing music, hiking, volunteering, travelling, and spending time with my family and friends. My dream job is to become a seminary teacher. After all, Jesus Christ's teachings have blessed my life, so I just want to share that with others. That's also one of the reasons I love serving as a missionary. Plus, we get to just help people in whatever we can! It's awesome.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because the gospel and teachings of Jesus Christ in the Bible, the Book of Mormon and words from modern prophets inspire me to do my best and to keep trying when I fall down. I know that because of Jesus Christ's sacrifice, we can always improve! (Check out 1 John 2:1-3 in the Bible and Mosiah 4:6-7 in the Book of Mormon). I'm a Mormon because I feel like I am a part of something bigger than myself that provides me with opportunities to serve others, and come closer to my Redeemer. But most importantly, I'm a Mormon because it has brought me more happiness and peace than anything else has or ever can.

How I live my faith

Right now, because I have the awesome opportunity to serve as a full-time missionary, my entire purpose in life is to "invite others to come unto Christ" (Preach My Gospel, 1). How can I help others have a relationship with our Savior without making an effort everyday to improve mine with Him? I can't! So here are a few of the best ways I live my faith: 1) Study the scriptures to learn who Jesus is (John 5:39). 2) Pray often for Him to help me and those I love (2 Nephi 9:52). 3) Reach out to everyone and try to make them smile (Hymn 230, Scatter Sunshine). This are a just few ways we can all live our faith and try to become more like our Lord!

What is the priesthood?

Ben
I love the way our current prophet, Thomas S. Monson, explained this wonderful privilege. He said that the priesthood is "the authority to act as God’s servants, to administer to the sick, to bless our families, and to bless others as well" (April 2011, Priesthood Power). God has always given this authority to his children to bless others (see Mark 3:14-15 and Numbers 18). After a long era of no priesthood authority in use, the Prophet Joseph Smith received the priesthood as part of bringing back the fullness of Christ's gospel (see Doctrine and Covenants sections 13, 27, and 107). In the church, fathers are usually recognized as being the priesthood holder of the home. But in some cases, like in my childhood, my dad wasn't around. I can testify of the power in the presence of the priesthood in a family. It really does make such a difference. Now my dad is around and I'm so grateful to have him and his worthiness to hold the priesthood to bless my family and others. I have experienced the amazing power of the priesthood now as a missionary. All males who prepare themselves to become worthy members of the Church can receive the priesthood. Everyone in the entire world can feel the blessings of the priesthood (see Elder Dallin H. Oaks, The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood, April 2014). I testify that Christ's disciples today use His priesthood to call down the blessings of heaven for the benefit all of God's children. Show more Show less

What is the purpose of the welfare services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Ben
The purpose of the Church's welfare program is to help people in need by supporting them with necessities of life. Whenever it's possible, those who receive help from the welfare system are encouraged to develop self-reliance, or the ability to provide for themselves (see Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Are We Not All Beggars, October 2014). We are taught in the Bible that true Christians "lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees" (Hebrews 12:12). And a great Book of Mormon scripture teaches us to have compassion on the less-fortunate, because after all, "...are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have...of every kind?" (Mosiah 4:16,19). I'm so grateful for the generosity of the Church's welfare program. I remember growing up, my family basically survived on the food support from Church welfare. My mom was an injured, single mom with three kids. The Bishop of our local congregation knew we were in need and provided our family with access to the Bishop's Storehouse. This "storehouse is a sacred facility in which are deposited consecrated commodities provided by those who have [in order] to help those who have not, [so they] can obtain food, clothing, and other items to provide temporary relief for their basic needs" (Victor L. Brown, Welfare Services Essentials: The Bishops Storehouse, October 1976). I testify that when we help others we are following the example of the Savior. Show more Show less

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

Ben
The Atonement is all the sufferings that Jesus Christ endured alone in the Garden of Gethsemane and the Cross. During those dark times, Jesus agonized over any pain we will ever feel (see Alma 7:7,10-13). From inconveniences to serious sins, physical pains to broken hearts, Christ compassionately suffered for us. This means that Jesus can relate with you in any situation you find yourself in, He can empathize with you no matter what comes your way, and He will be right by your side during any challenge (see John 16:33). The phrase "suffer the consequence" explains why the Atonement is necessary. Every sin we commit has a consequence attached to it and the sinner must "suffer the consequences" (see Alma 42:15-16). But because Jesus suffered in behalf of all of our sins, if we accept and follow Him, Heavenly Father will forgive us for Christ's sake (see Doctrine and Covenants 19:15-19, Ephesians 4:32). Every time we make a mistake or sin, we can be forgiven and improve. We access the Atonement through having faith that Jesus is our Savior and that he really can heal our wounds and change our hearts. Then we grow our faith by learning more about Him by obeying his commandments, praying, helping others, attending church, and studying scriptures. I testify that when we try our best every day to follow Christ He really will empower, forgive, and comfort us. I'm blessed to continually experience the hope of the Atonement and invite you to experience it too! Show more Show less

What are Mormon temples used for?

Ben
In these beautiful buildings we worship God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ in three ways: 1) receive instruction about eternal truths; 2) participate in sacred ordinances; and 3) make covenants. I'll try to explain a little more what that means! 1) We learn about Heavenly Father, the role of Jesus Christ as our Savior, and about God's caring plan for His children (see Alma 42). These teachings are symbolic but have incredible personal application to our lives. 2) "In the Church, an ordinance is a sacred, formal act [or ceremony] performed by the authority of the priesthood" (July 2011, New Era). These ordinances include "baptisms, ordinations, endowments, marriages, and other sealing ordinances" (Jan. 1972 Ensign). 3) "A covenant is a sacred agreement between God and...people. God sets specific conditions, and He promises to bless us as we obey those conditions" (The Guide to the Scriptures, "Covenant"). Here are some great links for any one wanting to learn more about the temple! https://beta.mormon.org/beliefs/temples.php https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2009-03-10-the-blessings-of-the-temple?lang=eng#d https://www.lds.org/church/temples/why-mormons-build-temples?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2014-01-1460-sacred-temple-clothing?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/ensign/1972/01/some-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-temple?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/manual/preparing-to-enter-the-holy-temple/preparing-to-enter-the-holy-temple?lang=eng Show more Show less