Hi I'm Valerie
I grew up in New Jersey after being born in Brooklyn to a Jewish family. We went back and forth from Jersey to Brooklyn a lot visitng family. My parents joined the Church when I was 10 and it had a profound affect on me. I met my husband at Brigham Young University in 1981. We had 9 children together and chose to educate them at home. They have grown up to be wonderful people. We were married for almost 25 years when he passed away unexpectedly. We were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple so I know I will see him again as my eternal companion. I was single for 2 1/2 years and met a wonderful guy who didn't mind all the children and married me anyway. He also is a member of the Church and served a mission in Korea as my first husband did. I now have 6 grandchildren from my oldest three daughters. I have published four books about the family and have plans for 2 more. I have a children's picture book series going too. I write a weekly editorial for a local paper and try to include inspiring words to help others make their life better. I love writing and how it can help others. We love doing family history research as well. We are planning to remodel an old hotel built in 1900 in the town where I live and love learning about the history.
Why I am a Mormon
When my parents first invited the missionaries over to learn about the Church, I felt an excitement. As Jews, we attended Synagogue services but even as a young child I could feel something was missing. As a child, I wanted to attend Sunday School but was told by the Rabbi that I was past the age when children attented their Sunday School classes I was 7 so I was not able to go. When we were baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I felt as if I came home. The Church has filled a void in my life and I will cherish it always. I read the Book of Mormon every day with my children and it has brought me and my family closer to God and fills our home with peace. Through all the trials I have borne and will bear, it is the foundation which I can stand firmly and know it will always be there for me.
What have you done successfully to shield your family from unwanted influences?
This is a tough situation and we deal with it every day. The world's influences are powerful so we have made rules in our house to not watch "R" rated or other movies which would have harmful scenes for children. We keep the TV off most of the time and watch the contents of what books, magazines and internet websites contain. We all love to read and watch movies but we must choose carefully otherwise we get swallowed up into those worldly influences.
How I live my faith
I live my faith by participating in church activities. We attend our Sunday meetings, and my children are active in Scouting and the Young Women's program on Wednesday night. Both my husband and I visit the families we are assigned each month and I am the teacher for the 18 month to 3 year-old class on Sunday for Sunday School. You might not think young children can remember the lessons you teach but they are very receptive. Praying each morning and night is important to us as a family. I also help organize a homschool group in our community which keeps us very busy.