Hi I'm Grayson, and I am a Mormon.
I am mother to a wonderful 21 y.o. son, who lives in South Carolina, and wife to my eternal sweetheart and husband. I am the only member of the Church in my extended family. I'm a native Texan, and wouldn't want to live anywhere else except Austin, Texas - the best city in the best state in the best country in the world! I'm an avid, self-taught quilter and love researching my family history. Through the help of FamilySearch.org, I have traced my two main lines back to the 1700s. I've worked in the Banking and Payments Processing industries for over 25 years in business analysis, project management and product management.
Why I am a Mormon
During a period of personal crisis, I realized I needed to find a God, who was big enough to help me handle my problems. For 3 months, I tried various churches - Non-denominational, Independent Baptist, First Baptist, Church of Christ, Bible Church, etc. However, none of them had the feeling I was seeking. I wasn't able to describe that feeling, but knew I would know it when I felt it. A friend, who lived in a different state, knew I was searching, and explained that he was LDS, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'd never heard of the church, but made plans to attend the next Sunday. The feeling I had that Sunday as I entered the chapel could only be described as "home". I felt warmth, love and peace. I asked the missionaries to teach me about the doctrine of the church. After teaching each principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they told me not to believe what they said, but rather, I should pray to Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, to know if what I had been taught was true. As I knelt and prayed, I had a calmness wash over me, a knowing in my mind and my heart that I had been taught Truth. I had already changed my life before coming to the Church. I had quit drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes 3 years prior to visiting the church. And, I had determined that I didn't like the effect of coffee and caffeine on my mind and body. I had already made amends to the people in my life I felt I had harmed, and had forgiven those who I felt had harmed me. As I was baptized by a member of the Priesthood on December 27, 1997, for the first time ever, I felt washed clean of sin. I felt like a new person. I was reborn as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Thoughout the years, I have continued to grow in testimony and faith in Christ. My Savior has sent His Holy Spirit to guide and comfort me through my trials. Studying the scriptures, I draw closer to Jesus Christ. I love my Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ!
How has attending Church services helped you?
As I partake of the Sacrament (the bread and the water, which represent the body and blood of Christ), I renew my baptismal covenants, and once again, I experience that feeling of being clean as I did after my baptism. Before I leave for Church, I pray that the Holy Ghost may help me to know the messages that are meant for me that day. I always recognize the message. It's usually a topic about which I am struggling, or the answer to a prayer I've said. The testimonies of those teaching or giving talks at Church help to strengthen my testimony and help me relate the scriptures to my personal life. The frosting on the cake are the wonderful members of the Church with whom I have the priviledge of worshipping our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, each Sunday.
How has the Book of Mormon brought you closer to God?
Each morning as I pray for the Holy Ghost to teach me what I should know that day in The Book of Mormon, I find myself relating the scriptures to my personal life. The Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ and is the roadmap that teaches me how I may return to live again with my Heavenly Father. For instance, during a period of unemployment, I read in 1Nephi 7:12, "Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him." This passage taught me what I needed to do to overcome the feelings of frustration, depression and worry I had been having after I lost my job. The Almighty God is all-powerful and can do all things. All I need to do is keep the commandments and exercise faith in my Savior Jesus Christ. As I continue to serve Him, He will do for me what I am unable to do for myself. I have no more worries and know the Lord has been mindful of me as the "perfect" job was presented to me after two months of unemployment and faithful chuch service. Throughout those two months, all my needs, both temporal and spiritual, were met. God is great!
How I live my faith
I currently serve in the Church as president of the women's organization in our ward. This organization, known as the Relief Society prepares women for the blessings of eternal life by helping them increase their faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and help those in need. I love serving the sisters in the Church! I also live my faith by serving family and friends, being honest in my dealings with my fellow men and women, and trying to be a good example of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.