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Hi I'm Brandon

I grew up in Battle Creek, Michigan. I am currently pursuing a degree in Music. I am a Mormon.

About Me

I am currently a student studying Music and Religious Education. I was recently called to serve in the Illinois Chicago Mission for three months. Later, I received a call to serve in the Family and Church History Headquarters Mission five months after my completion of three months of service in Chicago. Later, my mission was changed to the Utah Salt Lake City Headquarters Mission. In other words, I served three missions! I was born in the covenant and baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at the age of eight years old; however, I was not truly converted to the gospel until almost ten years later. Conversion is something that must happen to all members. That was something I discovered the hard way. I love spending time with family and friends. I enjoy being in the kind of environment where I can simply be myself. I love it when people admire the real me, and not just admire someone they think I am. When I can be myself, I feel at home. I strongly dislike trying to be someone I am not. Being a member of the Church helps be me myself which is one of many reasons why I still attend today. I love missionary work! It is something that I will never cease doing! I love star wars! I love to sing, play piano, hang out with family and friends, and arrange music. However, despite all of these things, there is one thing I love more than anything else in the entire world: family. Family is the centerpiece of my life and the one thing I enjoy most.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon for various reasons. After all the happiness that I've received from being Mormon, why stop? And if I did stop, where would I go? I know the truth. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I know for a FACT and without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ LIVES. I know this from the bottom of my heart. He lives. He really really really does live. I know that God lives. I know that the Holy Priesthood of God has been restored to this earth. We have a living prophet of God on this earth today. Why do I stay Mormon? I know it's right. There is no "I believe" or "I feel" it is right and true; I know it is right and true. Nothing can change that. But why do I stay Mormon? Because it's true. Trying to convince me that it is not true would be like me trying to convince you that the earth is flat. It just will not work. I love the Lord and would never want to disappoint Him. Therefore, I am still a Mormon because I know that by ceasing from doing so would offend God and His Son after all the things He has done for me. If I went back to my old life, that would be the biggest mistake of my life. I am not going back to be the old me who once did little to nothing to help society. The gospel helped shape me into becoming who I am today. I stay Mormon also because of who it has helped me become. It isn't easy to relate to someone who is not a Mormon what it is like to actually be a Mormon. But if you want a better understanding, let me give you this analogy: Try explaining the delicious taste of ice cream and cake to someone who has never tasted it before and see if they understand what on earth you are talking about. You might find it easy to describe what it is NOT like, but unless and until you experience it yourself, you will never be able to truly understand the beauty and awesomeness of ice cream and cake, or in my case, being Mormon. Therefore, I invite any and all to heed its message.

How I live my faith

I enjoy applying the gospel to my everyday life. While that is true, I am still a regular person. I enjoy teaching the youth the things I had to learn and endure growing up. Watching them grow up and explore this earth as they know it is inspiring to say the least. I love watching people learn more about the church and how the gospel changes their lives as it once did mine. Once upon a time in my life, I weighed over 330 pounds. That's right. A whopping 330 pounds. No joke. My weight dropped over 140 pounds down to 184 pounds, and then back up to 210 after working out to build muscle mass. What was my secret? The gospel of Jesus Christ. That's how I did it. The only person to credit for the accomplishment that took two years to do is the Lord Himself. I asked, and I received, just like that. Faith without works is dead, yes, but because I went to the Lord, He helped me every step of the way. The Book of Mormon is true. Because the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith really is a prophet of God. The Book of Mormon, the Savior Jesus Christ, and my desire to follow Him has blessed my life in many ways, with the above story only being one of many. You know, many people challenge my faith all the time, saying this or that about specific points of doctrine that they really do not understand, believe, or even want to listen to. None of this stuff is foreign to me. But this part is for sure: the gospel of Jesus Christ is real. It really does change lives. In fact, looking back, ever since I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and came to a knowledge of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the prophet Joseph Smith, my life has never been happier than it ever has been before. So when people mock and make fun of me me for that, I tell them: "You don't like how happy I am? Then you don't like life. Because my life is awesome now that I know the answers to the three biggest questions of the soul. Telling me to stop is like telling a kid to stop eating ice cream."

Why don’t women hold the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How do Mormon women lead in the Church?

Brandon
I'd like to think about it through another lens: they kind of do, just not in the way people might think. Women are already powerful in ways that I will never EVER understand. For example, I will never be able to know what it feels like to have a child kick me from the inside of my stomach. Likewise, I will never experience the pains and joy and happiness from bringing life into this world. In Old Testament times, there were men that did indeed hold the priesthood, and yes, the women did not hold the priesthood then either. It is often forgotten that very few men even held the priesthood during those times. The only way one could hold the priesthood back then was if you were born in certain tribes. Not all twelve tribes of Israel had the blessing of the priesthood. In 1978, when the revelation on priesthood was received and accepted, that was actually the first time in the history of this planet that ALL men now had the privilege of holding the priesthood to bless and help the lives of others. But to say that women do not hold the priesthood is kind of an improper approach. They cannot participate in priesthood ordinances, such as blessing and preparing the sacrament, but the purpose of the sacrament isn't so the men can repent, it is so ALL who partake can repent. The men simply have the responsibility to make sure it gets done. So, technically, no, women do not hold the priesthood, but their access to the blessings of the priesthood is equally the same as men. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Brandon
I've had many non-member family and friends mention to me comments regarding how grace is what will save us in the end, even backing their statement with scripture (Ephesians 2:8-9), stating how it is only grace that will save us in the end. That is all true. After all we can do, regardless of how much we can or cannot do, it will not be our works, faith, or anything that we did that will save us; rather, it will be the grace of God that saves us in the end. That is all true. Nevertheless, many of those same people who mention that to me also feel that such doctrine is justification for them sin, be merry, and yield to the enticing of the natural man, stating that "tomorrow we die" and that because of the grace of God, they will "at last be saved in the kingdom of God." That mindset is false. Grace cannot save us if we do not accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. Grace cannot save us if we do not give our best for the Lord. When we think about the Justice vs Mercy parable, the only one who can satisfy the demands of justice while extending mercy to our Heavenly Father's children is Jesus Christ. He has set the terms, which was to do our best. When we do our best, mercy is satisfied for us and justice is satisfied to God the Father. The only way back to our heavenly home is through Jesus Christ. Because He has set the terms, we cannot change them. Those who try to change the terms also must change the doctrine of grace; in that case, it becomes man's law and not God's law. Show more Show less