Chat With a Mormon Online
I was baptized into the church when I was eight years old and am now a grandma. Other than spending time with my grandchildren, I love making quilts for charity, reading, hiking, travelling, and singing, although my high notes aren't what they used to be. I went back to school when I was 46 so I could finish my college degree and become an elementary teacher. I taught second and third grades for six years. I am now serving a humanitarian service mission.
Even though I was baptized into the church when I was eight years old, I had to become converted. Everyone has to become converted, whether they grow up in the church or are converted later in life. The first time I really realized how much the church meant to me and how much I needed it was when my husband and I moved to New York City with our three-year-old daughter in the 1970's so he could go to graduate school. New York was a scary place to a native Utahn. It seemed like a different planet. The way people talked, the fast pace of everything, the crowded subways, the high cost of living were all very foreign to me. We drove back to New York in a rusty Plymouth Valiant pulling a 4' by 6' trailer containing all of our worldly possessions. We finally found an apartment after meeting a kind lady in the subway station who told us about her apartment building in the Bronx. The members in our area met in a Jewish synagogue in Manhattan. After our first trip to downtown NY we decided it was too far to go, so the next Sunday we stayed home. I was miserable. I cried all week. The next week we decided to go anyway. I've never been so grateful in my whole life for the church. We had to walk past some pretty scary apartment buildings. Lots of people were just hanging around the streets and watching us. Once we got to the synagogue and went into the meeting, I felt like I was home again. After a few months, our branch moved to the basement of the Elks' Lodge in the Bronx. We swept the cigar butts up off the floor everytime we met for Sunday School but that was ok. We were home. Time after time we realized that God was watching over us and he has never stopped. I know he listens to my prayers and is personally concerned about me. I have felt his love every day of my life, through good times and bad as I have tried my best to live the gospel .
The Book of Mormon helps me to understand the purpose of life as I apply the teachings found there in my own life. Recently I have asked myself this question: What can I learn about how to act in times of war? The Book of Mormon contains many war stories so I focused upon 17 chapters in the Book of Alma and here is what I learned to answer the above question: 1. Keeping the commandments of God enables me to be protected from the evils of the world, much as soldiers putting on their armor. 2. I should not be ashamed to take upon me the name of Jesus Christ. 3. I should have confidence in the justice of the cause I have undertaken. 4. I should be faithful to God. 5. I should rejoice in liberty and freedom. 6. I should thank God for my blessings and privileges. 7. I should labor for the welfare and safety of my family and those around me. 8. I should proclaim peace. 9. If I keep the commandments, I will prosper. 10. If I am obedient, the Lord will deliver me. 11. It is better to stay committed to the covenants I have made with God than repent after having broken them. 12. I should surround myself with people who have the same values because they will strengthen me, just as an influx of soldiers supports their army in times of war. 13. Prayers of the righteous save us from being destroyed. 14. I choose how I will be affected by afflictions, whether I will have a softened heart or become hardened. 15. In spite of prosperity, I should be humble, grateful, and prayerful. 16. I must use all of my power and means to deliver myself from my the influence of the adversary. Most of my battles on a daily basis are battles within my own mind. So I know it is important for me to grow in spiritual strength so I can resist the temptations of Satan. As I read the Book of Mormon I always try to apply what I learn to my own life.
I can't separate who I am from my faith because my faith is who I am. I have served in the youth and women's organizations in the church, as a temple worker, and as a ward and humanitarian service missionary. I am a visiting teacher to four sisters in our ward. When I was teaching elementary school I had one class with a large number of unruly boys. Most of the teachers knew I was Mormon. I decided one day that I needed to show the other teachers in the school that being a Mormon made me happy, so I made a special effort to smile. One teacher commented in the teachers' lounge, "Mrs. Glade has the worst class in third grade but she's always smiling."