Chat With a Mormon Online
I am 33 years old and live in Georgia. My husband and I both grew up in Utah, but we moved to North Carolina a few years ago for him to attend graduate school. We liked the South so much that we decided to stay. I have a degree in communication and have worked at several weekly and daily newspapers. I lost 50 pounds a couple of years ago, so you might say that I'm pretty enthusiastic about exercise and healthy eating. Some of my hobbies and interests include playing the piano and organ, scrapbooking, photography, and traveling. We have a cat named Mr. Jinx, and we finally welcomed a baby girl to our family in July 2013 after many years of struggling with infertility.
I was raised in the church and baptized at age 8, but I think everyone eventually reaches a point where they have to decide for themselves whether to continue living the principles taught to them in their childhood. For me, that was probably around age 14. I read the Book of Mormon and gained a testimony of it. I began to realize that many of the church's teachings are in place to keep us safe and free from negative consequences like disease and addiction. Others show us the love and mercy our Father in Heaven has for us. My mom joined the church when she was 15, and she often told me throughout my teenage years that she wished she had had the sense of direction I had. I knew— and still know!— that I am a daughter of God, and he has an important plan for all of us. I know that this church is true, and I will always be grateful for the way it has changed my life.
Our church services are three hours long… every Sunday. That is a pretty serious time commitment, but one that I consider worthwhile. Attending church each week gives me a chance to recharge my spiritual batteries, which in turn helps me have a better week. It helps me put into perspective all of the scary and frustrating things happening in the world. Because I am so far away from my own family, the people at church have become like family. We look out for each other. That's not to say that it's always easy to go to church. Sometimes I have to stop and take a deep breath, and remind myself why I do this every week. I go to church to worship, feel the spirit, draw strength from the messages and music shared there, and associate with others who are not perfect— but who, like me, hope to be perfect someday through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Most of the work in the church is performed by unpaid volunteers. These “callings,” as they are called, give us the opportunity to grow spiritually, enhance existing skills and often even learn new ones. Some of the callings I have had over the years have included playing the piano and organ, leading the music, acting as a secretary in various youth and adult organizations in the church, and teaching children about the gospel. I have also served as a visiting teacher for many years. Visiting teaching is an inspired program where each woman in the church is assigned 3-4 other women to visit each month, share a spiritual message with them, and in general keep tabs on them and report any concerns to the president of our women’s organization, the Relief Society. I have made and enhanced many friendships through visiting teaching.