Hi I'm Amie Cotton
My life has taken a dramatic turn this past year, Im now divorced and raising my four children alone. I married a return missionary in the temple and thought my life would be, well, not like this. However- Im learning that this life I have now is still a gift from God and I have much to offer my children, and those around me. This new life is different than most members of the church and its easy to let myself feel lost or not apart of things because I dont fit the "mold". However the only mold I need to fit is that of Christ. Shaping my life after his and molding myself to become more like him is all the acceptance I need. It's not easy, it's a daily walk and Ill be honest- Im tired! But then I open up my scriptures, or kneel to pray and I feel strength come that I know is not my own. Im realizing that married or single, this journey that Im on still begins and ends with me. I still have to choose what to make of myself in this life and I still have to choose to follow Christ.
Why I am a Mormon
I'm Mormon because I CHOOSE to be. It is a choice that has blessed my life, in the hardest trials of my life. I KNOW, that because of the covenants Ive made with my Heavenly Father, He has blessed me, strengthened me, and my life has joy because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Ive seen those close to me make choices that have not been in harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ and it has prevented them from progressing in life. Its brought more pain and suffering than necessary. I know that because of the gospel, there is hope, peace and strength for all we face in life.
How has the Book of Mormon brought you closer to God?
The Book of Mormon is the only book of scripture on the entire earth that is not tainted by the hands of men. It truly is the words of the prophets and what the Lord wanted then to say. I have great comfort knowing that. As a youth I loved Nephi, son of Lehi. I loved his strength and unshaken faith. He made me want to try harder and be better. I grew to know and love Moroni. He was such a planner! Always preparing for the next thing, making sure his people were always protected and safe from the enemy. I love Alulek and his relationship with the prophet Alma. They were a great missionary team and I just love how Amulek, once converted, never faltered despite all he saw that could have given him doubt, he stayed true to serving the Lord and spreading His gospel. Mosiah, Helaman, and so many others that i love and feel that I know because of what they have shared with us through their testimony. I can't count the times I have needed an answer to a prayer, opened up the Book of mormon and there is my answer, like Alma 60:20-23. This was an answer to my prayer at that time. The Book of Mormon gives me guidance, comfort, answers and truth. A well know therapist once said that if everyone just read the book of Mormon and received their answers and council from the words in that book, she'd be out of a job! It's true! It has helped me in my marriage, as a mother and for my own troubles, the Book of Mormon has taught me. I feel closer to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ when i start to undersand their words better.
Which of the Savior’s teachings have influenced you in your life?
I believe this year if I had to choose one of the most valuable teachings of Jesus that has blessed my life, it would be the power of the Atonement. Forgiveness and repentance is a powerful thing. When I would think about the atonement, I mostly applied it to my own sins, and how through my own repentance, I can be healed and saved. But I now realize it's more than that. When I feel so much pain and sorrow because of a wrong that has been done to me, when I have had no choice in the events that are now changing the course of my life. When someone has hurt me so deeply I feel as though I can not breath again, I know that the Savior can heal me. I have experienced what it means to have a complete change of heart. I know what it means to feel pain one minute and instantly feel peace the next. I know what it means to love those who have wronged me and to see the good in them. The litteral power of the Atonement is more real to me than ever before. I know that repentance is a daily thing, because when I repent I feel closer to the Savior, I understand who He is better and I appreciate His sacrifice more and more.
What blessings have come through your faith in Jesus Christ?
I can't even number them. Honestly, there are so many. I think that because of my faith in the Savior, I have learned to count those blessings every day, even in my darkest hours, to remember all that I have been given. The blessing of repentance, knowing that I can be forgiven and made clean again from my sins when I repent. The blessing of a healed heart by allowing the atonement to work in it's fullest capacity. The blessing of hope, and trust in the Lord has come through my faith in Him. When i have no where else to tuen, it's a blessing that i can always turn to Him. When I wake up in the morning and feel as if I just can't make it through another day, it's a blessing that somehow, because of my faith in Him, I get up. The unknown, the uncertainty, the questions that come in our everyday lives, is all ok when we have faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. One of my favorite hymns is titled Count Your Many Blessing, When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, And you will keep singing as the days go by.So, amid the conflict whether great or small, Do not be disheartened, God is over all Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
How I live my faith
I grew up a member of this church and so grateful for that blessing. I have heard so much growing up about the difference between converts and those born into the church. As would never want to underplay the importance for children being born under the covenant, I would however consider myself a convert. I had to learn of the Savior for myself. I had to gain a testimony of Joseph Smith for myself, and I had to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon for myself. I think that all too often we try to compare ourselves, spiritually to one another when in fact, there is no difference. I have to try everyday to battle my weaknesses and avoid sin. I have to call upon the Holy Ghost for guidance every day. And those days that I don't, I struggle. The older I get the more I realize I don't have time to mess around with things of the spirit! I must just DO. And when I DO, I am happy.