Chat With a Mormon Online
I've wanted to be a writer ever since I figured out that people actually got paid to write, and I started blogging just before the word "blog" was coined. I'm also an unrepentant computer geek who met her husband over a BBS (a kind of precursor to the Internet). Although my husband and I have no children of our own, we're blessed to be able to take care of one of our nieces, so I call myself a full-time auntie. I love to read and travel, and I'm a geocacher and waymarker. I also have the magical ability to clean dirty laundry with a wave of my fairy wand... at least as far as my family can tell. In April 2011 I was diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic, so I'm learning to change my diet and take better care of my body.
My father converted to the Church in his early twenties, and my mother was raised in the Church. As a child I watched them live their faith, and saw how it brought joy and guidance through some of the most difficult challenges of their lives. Although I joined the Church at eight, I wasn't converted all at once. I have always had a testimony of God's existence, His goodness and His love for us, but belief in other gospel principles came only after sustained study of the scriptures, discussion of what I read with family and close friends, heartfelt prayer, and experimenting to see if God would indeed keep the promises He made. Over time I began to discover, bit by bit, that the gospel principles I'd been taught were true; when I really put them into action in my life, they led to a greater sense of happiness and peace and the ability to make better decisions. I believe we are the children of a powerful, creative, joyous, loving God who wants us to become everything we can be. I believe that, to this end, He created a world where His children were free to make their own choices. Some of those children made terrible choices, and evil became an inextricable part of mortality as a direct consequence. But God did not leave us alone in this fallen world. He sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to show by example how we should live, and to offer himself as the necessary sacrifice to pay for our sins and errors. We all desperately need this sacrifice, because everyone sins and makes mistakes; we all fall short of the perfection that is necessary to return to the presence of God. But we don't have to do it alone. As long as we are making the effort to do what we can, the grace of Christ will cover the rest -- a blessing for which I am truly and eternally grateful.
I share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others primarily by doing my best to live my faith from day to day. (Being a fallible human, I'm not always very good at it, but I keep trying.) My family, friends and many casual acquaintances are aware that I'm a Mormon, and I do my best to be approachable and open to questions, should they want to know what I believe. I realize that the majority of questioners just want their curiosity satisfied and don't expect or desire a full-fledged, in-depth religious discussion, so I try to keep answers simple and direct. I've also recently learned that it's important to admit when I don't know an answer, rather than attempting to theorize one -- although I'm willing to share what knowledge I have, I should also honestly recognize that I don't have all (or even most) of the pieces of the puzzle yet. Boiled down to its most essential quality, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is love -- love of God and love for His children. If people learn nothing else about the Gospel from me other than that I'm doing my best to love God and my fellow man, I'd say they've learned what's most important. The rest is gravy.
Through participation in my local congregation, I've had the chance to speak before large audiences, write plays for pre-teen actors, teach young children, teach women with twice my age and experience (no pressure!), and otherwise get involved in experiences I would have been too timid to try on my own. I've been reminded of the crucial importance of serving others, both through the kindness of others who helped my family and through opportunities to help others in turn. I believe that God usually blesses His children by inspiring everyday people to do His work on earth -- which means that when we get a prompting to reach out to someone else with help, we should never ignore it! I'm far from perfect. I make lots of mistakes. I've probably made several right in this profile, in fact. But I know I don't have to be perfect as long as I am doing my best to be good, to give (and receive!) help whenever and wherever it's needed, and to follow the basic instructions Christ gave to his apostles and students. That should be enough to keep anyone busy and out of trouble, right?