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Hi I'm Ben

I'm from the United Kingdom and have spent a few years living in Switzerland and I'm LDS.

About Me

I'm 19 years old and I'm from the United Kingdom. I've just finished my A-levels (last two years of high school) and am now getting ready to serve a mission in the Alpine-German speaking mission which includes part of Germany and Switzerland and also all of both Liechtenstein and Austria after which I plan to study at university in a course on sustainable development to hopefully one day work for organisations such as the UN. I've had the fortune of having being able to live in Switzerland before for a number of years and while there I visited numerous European countries and cities. I love to travel, either alone or in a small group, and meet new people and experience what each area has to offer. I also enjoy going to music festivals and concerts be it Leeds festival or a Mumford and Sons concert. The rest of my spare time is typically spent time with family and friends, playing sports such as rugby or swimming, or going to see the latest film that just came out in the cinema.

Why I am a Mormon

Although having been born in the church I've not always had a strong testimony of it. When I was younger I was happy to take part in the activities as it meant that I could meet new people and socialise. But as I've gotten older I've thought deeper about my reasons behind going to church. I've always had a belief that there is a higher being than us and that there was something after this life but, if the LDS church was the one that had all the answers, that I was not sure of. It was suggested to me by a friend I should serve a mission but I was not sure about this as I had my heart set on going straight to university after high school. I felt that serving a mission would mean putting my life on hold for two years and not progressing in life. He explained to me that I would not be putting my life on hold at all but that what I would be doing would not only provide a service to those around me and change their lives but would also change my own. I thought long and hard about serving a mission and decided that before I could I needed a faith that the church was true. After many months I came to a conclusion about the church and why it is that I am a Mormon and why I'm writing this today. I have a faith and a testimony that the church is true. I don't know as an absolute certainty that it is true and fortunately I don't need to know for a certainty that it is true. I have many questions about the church which I still don't know the answer to but I also have many which have been answered. That is the purpose of faith. I base my testimony of the church on the aspects of it that I understand and the aspects that I don't know I put to one side to try be answered at another time. I love the church and the people in it. I doubt I will ever stop asking questions and I doubt I will fully understand the gospel and the commandments. But what I do know is what is taught in the bible in Matthew 22 and that is to love the lord thy God and to love thy neighbour.

How I live my faith

My faith takes an important place in my life. When I was younger there was always an activity that I could go to. These could vary from a camping expedition with the church to EFY, where every two years teenagers from the church from Scotland and Northern England and Ireland would meet at one place for a week and have lessons about the gospel but also play games and socialise with the people there. As I've gotten older I've taken a more active leadership role in the church. I am currently a councillor to one of the members in my branch whose job it is to organise the efforts of the men in the branch. I teach regularly in both the men's lesson on a Sunday but also the joint men's and women's lesson too. I've also helped in a number of service projects the church has run. These projects are done to help those in our local area and while there are times I definitely would have, initially, preferred to stay in bed rather than be up early on a Saturday morning I always have left the project feeling proud and accomplished with the work we did that day.

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

We do not worship Joseph Smith. We do, however, have a tremendous amount of respect of him. I think that many members relate a great deal to him. He did what it instructs in James 1:5 'If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.' Many, if not all, members can relate to this. We've all had questions and we've all been unsure how to find the answer to this. Not only did Joseph Smith ask God but he then acted on what he was told. He knew the consequences could lead to possible harm to him and his family but he did it anyway. For many members he is a person to look up to and a man who did a great deal of good. But he was also only a man. We do not worship man as all men have their failings and their flaws. Who we worship of God and His Son Jesus Christ. Show more Show less