Hi I'm Montserrat
I am a mother of ten beautiful children. My family and I live on a farm where we raise mostly alfalfa hay. We homeschool our children. I enjoy photography, classical piano, gardening, sewing, baking, and blogging. I have a rich cultural heritage. My mother is Mexican, my father is half Spanish half American. My ancestors are important to me. They have set an example of faith, strength in adversity, and love.
Why I am a Mormon
I believe in God, that I am His daughter and He loves me. I am grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, who atoned for my sins, providing a way for me to repent. When I was 13, I really started studying about the Atonement. I memorized the hymn "I Stand All Amazed" which led me to search the scriptures and gain a testimony for myself that Jesus Christ is real. Here are the words to this, my favorite hymn: 1. I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me, Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me. I tremble to know that for me he was crucified, That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died. [Chorus] Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me Enough to die for me! Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me! 2. I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine, That he should extend his great love unto such as I, Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify. 3. I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt! Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget? No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat, Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet. I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. The fulness of the gospel, which had been lost from the earth, was restored through Joseph Smith. He translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God. I have read it many times. I know it is true! I have gone to the Lord in sincere prayer asking for a confirmation of its divine truth. I have felt the assuring power of the Holy Ghost testifying to me that the Book of Mormon is true. It has been a guide in my life as I try to teach my children about Jesus Christ. I want them to know no matter how difficult the journey may be or how dark the night may seem, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ blessings will come as we show our faith in Him. As the Apostle Paul stated “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (Hebrews 12:11). So my husband and I teach our children by praying with them everyday, studying scriptures with them everyday, singing hymns everyday, living our religion everyday not just on Sundays. "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." (2 Nephi 25:26) I am a Mormon. My faith, my religion, is very important to me. It is the foundation upon which everything else rests. My belief in Jesus Christ keeps me going through the tough times, brings me joy in the good times, comforts me when I am down, and guides me every day. Mine is not a passive faith. It is one of action. It is my life.
What are you doing to help strengthen your family and make it successful?
I love my family! My husband and children are my greatest treasures. I love all of their different personalities, talents, and quirks. I am also very lucky to have a great extended family. My own parents, brothers and sisters, as well as my husband's parents and siblings add so much to our children's lives. They fill in the gaps so to speak. Our Mormon faith places a high priority on families. We believe families are eternal, that the bonds we share here can extend beyond the grave. "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" is an inspired document teaching us how to protect and strengthen families in a world of decaying values and misplaced priorities which threaten to destroy the most important unit of society. Part of the proclamation reads "the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children." I believe that to be true. Joseph F. Smith said: “There can be no genuine happiness separate and apart from the home, and every effort made to sanctify and preserve its influence is uplifting to those who toil and sacrifice for its establishment. Men and women often seek to substitute some other life for that of the home they would make themselves believe that the home means restraint that the highest liberty is the fullest opportunity to move about at will. There is no happiness without service, and there is no service greater than that which converts the home into a divine institution, and which promotes and preserves family life” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith 1998, 382. The nature of living on a farm, miles away from the nearest town, and the fact that we homeschool means we get to spend a lot of time together as a family. Do we always get along? Nope. There are days when we all seem to wake up on the wrong side of the bed. We plow ahead anyway. The proclamation on the family also says "Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." Family Proclamation, paragraph 7 We begin and end our days with family prayer. We try to hold daily family scripture study so our children learn straight from the scriptures the stories of Jesus and His teachings. We work together, learn together, play together. We enjoy being together. I realize we are lucky because we do get to spend so much time together building our family relationships. And for that I am grateful. We want to "give our children an identity stronger than what they can find with their peer group or at school or anyplace else." M. Russell Ballard, “What Matters Most Is What Lasts Longest,” Liahona, Nov 2005, 41–44 My husband and I want our children to grow up like we did - surrounded by loving parents and siblings who are there for them no matter what, safe in a home that is truly a haven from the evils of the world.
How has the Holy Ghost helped you?
The Holy Ghost is a guiding influence in my life. I have come to recognize when promptings come. For me I get specific impressions in my mind of certain actions to take and when I follow through with those actions I feel a confirming witness in my heart that what I am doing is right. One day I was driving down the road with all my children in tow. The radio was going, the kids were talking loudly, etc. but I distinctly heard a voice telling me to slow down as we neared a particular intersection because the car waiting there would pull out in front of us. I slowed down considerably but still had to slam on my brakes to avoid a deadly collision as the car pulled out. My children, of course, wanted to know what had just happened. I turned off the radio and explained how I had heard a voice telling me to slow down. I asked them if they knew who was talking to me. My oldest at the time was 7. She answered that it was the Holy Ghost. I then bore a simple testimony that listening to the Holy Ghost had kept us from harm. Later that day my husband took the kids to get ice cream. He came home telling me that the children had told him what happened on our drive and our oldest had said, “Dad, the Holy Ghost saved our lives today!” He then took that opportunity to share his own simple testimony that yes, the Holy Ghost does save our lives, not only physically but especially spiritually if we will heed his promptings.
How I live my faith
I teach early morning seminary. It is a class where high schooled aged youth come to learn about and discuss the scriptures. We meet early in the morning before school starts each day. The dedication of the youth to get up earlier than normal to learn about the scriptures is inspiring!