Hi I'm Katie B.
Today, I'm a newlywed college student majoring in speech pathology. I'm passionate about building up individuals, families and communities, and my major helps with that. I'm also a big fan of crafting and cooking, and hope to use them to benefit my family. What I've discovered is that the gospel of Jesus Christ has the solutions to all of life's problems: for my problems, my friends' struggles, for society, etc. It's pretty amazing, and motivates me to keep learning and to grow closer to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I grew up in a large family in the suburban Midwest. Although as a child I thought that a big family was a big pain, as I grew older I appreciated them more and more. Since I've been away from home for some time, I value and put more effort into continuing to develop my relationships with my parents and siblings as we all get older. Now that I'm married, that priority on family relationships has carried over to how my husband and I treat each other. College has been a major growing experience! I've come to understand myself better, learn how I can build others up, and expanded my interests and talents further. It was good preparation for marriage, and now I have even more support, motivation, and opportunity for serving others. The more I put my trust in Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ, the more I'm enabled to go out and do things; the more life experience I have, the more I'm convinced that the gospel of Christ is the only path for true happiness.
Why I am a Mormon
I was born into a family that has been members of the Church for generations on both sides. Since I was a child, my parents taught me things that brought me closer to Christ. As I've grown up, I've been able to see for myself that life is more enjoyable and meaningful when I follow the counsel and commandments of Jesus Christ and His servants on the earth. I feel a sense of security and purity when I choose to wear modest clothing. When I try to be more loving and Christlike, I feel happier as I value the people around me and see that they, too, are children of God, just like I am. When I regularly read the Book of Mormon, I feel greater peace and understanding in my life, and I learn more about my Savior and I can see how to become more like Him. Small, repeated affirmations through my life remind me why I am a Mormon so that when life gets hard, I don't need to doubt, and I can move forward trusting in what I already know.
How can we develop greater harmony in our homes?
Something that worked when I was younger and fought with my siblings was "going to the step". My parents would have us sit on the stairs, and we couldn't leave until we had worked it out. The requirements were to apologize, ask for forgiveness, and to do it with the right attitude. It took a long time when we were being stubborn or defiant, but in the long run, it was effective for teaching how to get along with each other and with other people. It was also kind of fun, because my parents would usually ask us to hug each other as a final requirement, and by that time we were laughing and gave goofy squeeze hugs. As a college student, I've usually had good roommates, but it makes it kind of tense for me when I have roommates that don't help with the dishes, trash, or buying toilet paper. To develop harmony in my apartment, I try to treat my roommates respectfully and be kind, even when I'm frustrated. I try to be Christlike and serve them, showing that I'm not asking them to do anything I'm not willing to do. I think when we treat people with love and a spirit to serve each other, it helps everyone get along better, and feel more at peace themselves, even if their situation isn't optimal. In both situations, the most important thing was centering on Christ, and following His example. He is the ultimate Peacemaker, and if we emulate His patience, understanding and love, increased harmony in our homes will be a direct result.
What is hope and what do you hope for?
Hope is a lot of things. Sometimes I've thought it was wishful thinking, or the silly, stubborn persistence that makes me keep doing things that I know are right and true, even when those things seem illogical. That wasn't entirely right. I've come to learn that a lot of hope is persistence - it's moving forward even when it feels like you're "hoping against hope". More than that, hope is trust that if you keep doing the right thing, the end will be worth it. Hope is very much connected with faith. Hope is always optimistic. Hope is what keeps you going when everything else is screaming that you can't do it, or it's not worth it. Hope is a flame you can warm your hands by and take strength from when the storms of life are beating at you and pulling you away from your goals. Hope is a good thing, and you can have hope in Christ, and He won't disappoint you. Hope coupled with action makes amazing results. More than anything, I have hopes for my family. I hope and pray that my siblings will hold and cling to what they know is right, that they can stay strong and continue to grow in their understanding of the gospel and of themselves. I hope that my husband and I can build a family that will be faithful and be together forever. I hope that I will be strong enough to keep going when times get tough and not betray my dreams with laziness or despair. I hope that when I do see the face of my Savior, that He will say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." I hope that I will live my life in a way to make Him proud of me.
How I live my faith
My faith has done a lot to shape who I am and who I want to be. The teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints lead me to be a better person. I like what I see in others and myself when they or I follow the commandments, so I keep going and do what I can each day. I have a pretty sensitive conscience, so that helps me self-regulate my thoughts and actions. Some days are harder than others, and that's just the way life is. But I try really hard to remember what's important, and as I hold on to what I've learned before, I can ride out the storm and know that everything will be ok. My husband and I have both tried to live our lives so that we could be willing and available to do whatever God asks. We look for ways we can be serviceable to our friends and we try to be diligent in attending the temple, completing church assignments, and doing "the little things." We build each other up in our words and actions, and hope to pass on a legacy of love and faith to our children.