Hi I'm Donnalynn
I am a wife, mother, grandmother and a musician. I have a son and a daughter, a daughter-in-law and a baby grandson. I teach piano and accompany a number of choirs at a private school. I am also very involved in musical theatre. I write music (mostly for choirs) and perform occasionally. I am learning to play the harp, and take a class in sign language. I love to research my family history and can throw a great theme party. I am definitely not a "typical" mormon wife - I don't bake bread or sew. I am not a good cook, nor am I a scrapbooker. I do love the gospel, and I love to read and learn. Update: My husband was recently diagnosed with a gluten allergy, so I have begun to bake bread and make meals from scratch. (I guess you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!) We also welcomed a beautiful granddaughter to our family.
Why I am a Mormon
When I was twelve years old, I attended a class to prepare for confirmation in another faith. As the minister taught, I found I had many questions about the church's beliefs. He was unable to answer my questions, and I came away more and more confused about my faith. I chose not to be confirmed. When I was fourteen, I learned about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I visited Cody, Wyoming, where the church displayed a beautiful mural. A young man explained the story of the church's beginnings and its early history. He suggested I contact the church when I returned home to learn more. I did. By the time I began to study the gospel with the missionaries, I had already read a good portion of the Book of Mormon, and felt that it was true. I was thrilled to hear the doctrine about God, Christ and the Holy Spirit being separate. It was how I had always believed. As I learned the other principles of the gospel, I was impressed at how logical it all was. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints answered so many of the questions I had about religion. I felt in my heart that it was all true. I wanted to be baptized. As a minor, I needed my parents' permission. My father, however, was very much opposed to my becoming a Latter-day Saint. We argued a great deal. I finally realized that trying to reason with him would not work. I prayed and fasted that his heart would be softened, so that I would be able to be baptized. The Lord answered my prayers and I was baptized in 1973, at the age of 14. Over the years, my father did soften towards the church thanks to the example of a young man I was dating. My mother joined the church a couple of years later. After the young man served a mission, we were married in the temple. Life has not always been. There have been health challenges and financial difficulties. But we know that our Heavenly Father will bless us with the things we need, when we need them. The gospel has been a wonderful influence in our lives.
Please share your feelings/testimony of Joseph Smith.
I have heard critics of Joseph Smith remark that no fourteen year old boy would care so much about religion that he would pray about it and study the scriptures. I must disagree - I was fourteen when I found the church, and I had been concerned about religion for a couple of years. When I first learned about Joseph Smith, I could really relate to him and his search for God's true church. It seemed perfectly logical to me that a young teenager would ask questions of local ministers and pray for answers. Learning about Joseph's lack of education, I realized that only someone called of God and given special gifts would be able to translate the record of ancients and give us the Book of Mormon. Only a true prophet would never renounce his beliefs in spite of the persecution of himself and his family. He died for what he believed in. I am grateful to him for his sacrifice that I might have the knowledge I do today.
Could you talk about your baptism?
When I was a baby, I was baptized in another church. When I had a desire to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I realized I needed to be baptized again. The New Testament teaches that baptism is for the remission of sins, or, in other words, to wash us clean from sin. Latter-day Saints do not believe that children are born with "Original Sin", the sin of Adam and Eve. We believe that we are accountable for our own sins only. A baby doesn't have the intellectual capacity to know that they are committing sin, so they are not accountable for their actions. Therefore, an infant baptism is of no effect. After the age of eight, we are responsible for our own sins. As a teenager, I had a number of things to be cleansed from, so I welcomed the opportunity to start over. LDS baptisms are very symbolic. We are baptized by immersion as Jesus was. (The New Testament records that Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan "because there was much water there".) We are immersed to symbolize the death of the "sinner", then brought back up out of the water to symbolize our re-birth as a follower of Christ. Baptism is also symbolic of Christ's death and resurrection. I was a bit nervous as I prepared for my baptism. I had never witnessed one. I was dressed all in white - in my case, a white jumpsuit. A small group of people had gathered to help me celebrate this day - the missionaries who taught me the gospel, my Sunday School teacher, some local church leaders, a few friends and my mother. As I approached the baptismal font I took a deep breath to calm my nerves. The moment I put my foot in the water and began to walk down the steps into the font, a great sense of calm washed over me. I knew I was doing the right thing. I was baptized by a man who held the Priesthood of God and had the authority to perform this ordinance. As I came out of the water, I was so very happy. I have never once regretted being baptized and becoming a member of God's church.
How I live my faith
We live in an area where the church is growing very slowly. In our little branch, I serve as organist and choir director. I love to be able to serve using the talents the Lord has given. I was recently asked to serve in the presidency of the Relief Society, the womens' auxiliary. I am also a "Visiting Teacher" - going with a partner to visit some of the ladies in our branch. It is just another way we can support one another and perhaps help to meet our sisters' needs.