Hi I'm Dawn
I am a divorced single mother of three. While I do work full time as a special education teacher, I still try to find time do the things I enjoy. I really enjoy reading mysteries and learning about old things. I am interested in archaeology and the theater. I like to travel when funds allow, but I don't mind just driving around my state with my kids and seeing what's here. A perfect day would be someone else making all the food and doing all the cleaning up while I read and then going to the movies with my family. My kids and I enjoy playing games with each other. One of our favorites is what we call the writing game. We each start a story and then fold down the paper so the next person who writes can't see everything we've written. Then we pass the paper along and the next person adds to our story. When we have all added to each other's stories we read them aloud. They are so funny! My kids make me save them so we can get them out and read them again. They still make us laugh!
Why I am a Mormon
I grew up Mormon, and have always felt that I was doing what was right, but I think in everyone's life there is a time when we have to decide who we are and what we believe. I think my defining moment came when my husband told me he wanted a divorce. My kids were younger then, but I remember thinking that I couldn't control what he was deciding. I could only control what I was going to do about it. I decided that I would continue to go to church even if it was by myself with my kids and we would still do all the things that our Heavenly Father asked us to do. Sometimes, it was hard, but it has made all the difference. I am still a Mormon because I know God hears my prayers and answers them. He knows me and sent His Son to die for me so I can return to live with Him someday. The Atonement takes away my feelings of betrayal and hurt and gives me hope for tomorrow. I read the Book of Mormon daily and know that it is true. I am constantly amazed how the things related in the Book of Mormon apply to my life, here and now even though it was written a long time ago. God loves us so he sends us prophets to guide us and let us know what he wants us to do. Moses and Abraham were prophets as was Joseph Smith and Thomas S. Monson today. I know that I have a forever family. You may wonder how I believe that when I am divorced and my ex-husband is remarried to someone else. I trust God, and I believe it will all work out in the end. Do I understand everything? No. Can I see the end from the beginning? No. I will do my part and I know Christ will make up the difference. These things I believe give me hope and through my hope comes faith and trust in my Heavenly Father and his plan.
Please share your feelings/testimony of Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith had a question. His question was answered in a remarkable way. To some it may be too incredible to believe, but I know he saw our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. I know he translated the Book of Mormon through the power of God. I know he was a prophet of God. He restored Christ's church to the earth with the proper priesthood authority. How do I know it? Because I asked and received a witness through the power of the Holy Ghost that it was true. I am so grateful for Joseph Smith, for without his question and his courage to ask, there would still be so much confusion on the earth.
What blessings have come through your faith in Jesus Christ?
A move to a new state after my divorce, a profession that allows me to have the same time off as my children, a home I can afford, no debt, children who try to do what is right, peace and contentment.
How can we develop greater harmony in our homes?
Turn off the TV, limit computer time, ration cell phones and ipods. Serve each other and be kind. Do chores without being asked. Set limits. Show gratitude through words and actions. Talk to each other. Tell clean jokes. Sing uplifting songs. Show respect ie open doors for moms and sisters and other girls you know. Listen to each other.
How has your knowledge of the Plan of Happiness changed/benefited your life?
In 2002, I went through a divorce. It was not in my 5 year or 10 year plan. It was not something I ever thought would happen to me. What got me through and sustains me still as I try to parent my 3 teenagers, is the knowledge that I am a child of God, that He knows me, loves me and wants me to succeed, and that if I keep the commandments I can live with Him again in a forever family with my family and loved ones. Can I see that time? No. Do I trust in God's promises to His children? Yes. So, although I cannot see the end from my point in life I know that the promises God makes, God keeps and so someday I will have someone who wants what I want and we will live eternally forever as a family.
How has the Book of Mormon helped you understand the purpose of life?
Reading the Book of Mormon daily has helped me not only understand the purpose of life, but has helped me direct my life. During the last 7 years, I have begun to understand that the point of life is not necessarily what happens to you, but what you learn from it. This realization came to me when I was reading the Book of Mormon and wondering how the ancient stories could relate to my situation right now. How does it relate? It's all about choices. The people in the Book of Mormon made choices. Choices to do right or not. Choices to depend on God or not. When we depend on God, no matter our circumstances, we can handle whatever life throws at us. When we try to do it alone, we fail. The purpose of life is to depend on God in all things and in all places, so that one day we can return to live with Him.
Which of the Savior’s teachings have influenced you in your life?
Ever since I was a child, I have loved this scripture, found in the Bible "Let your light so shine that others may see your good works and glorify your Father which in Heaven". That is what I have tried to do. I did serve a mission for 18 months. I try to be a good example to people around me and to my children. In my job, I treat people as the Savior would treat them.
How I live my faith
How do I live my faith? One day at a time, one lesson at a time, one moment at a time. My first priority is my family and so I spend most of my time making sure they are participating in wholesome activities. We go to church on Sunday and then during the week they attend a youth group on Wednesdays. I try to be available when they need rides or help because it provides a good opportunity for us to talk to each other. Another thing I do to live my faith is teach uplifting songs to children ages 3-11. We sing about Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Father, our families, the temple where our marriages are performed, the seasons, and other fun things. I really enjoy this opportunity because it allows me to feel happy while I am serving others. I like to sing, and even though I am not the best singer, we all have a good time. Lastly, I have a friend that once a month we go and visit some of our other friends that we have been assigned to and deliver a short message. It sure brings joy to all of us and helps us help each other.