Hi I'm Jessica
I just graduated from college with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. I'm now trying to figure out what to do with my life between now and when I decide to go back for my Master's degree. I love to go boating and camping with my family. I LOVE chocolate- especially M&M's! I am an avid reader. I haven't traveled much, but have big dreams of traveling the world someday when I'm able. I am also physically disabled with a condition known as Stickler Syndrome. It is extremely rare and personally affects my skeletal system. That means that I have extra large joints, making me unable to make a fist with my hands or kneel on my knees. I have scoliosis, kyphosis, and lordosis (basically my back turn any possible way it can). I'm only 3' 7'' tall. When I was 4 years old I became paralyzed from my chest down. I have since regained partial feeling/movement back and now use either a walker or wheelchair/scooter to help get me around. While my physical disability affects every aspect of my life, it definitely does NOT define who I am as a person. There is a purpose for everything in life and it has made me the person I am today.
Why I am a Mormon
I was born and raised in a Mormon family. Even all of my extended family are Mormons. It's just what I knew. However, as I've gotten older and am now at the point where I decide for myself whether or not to be a Mormon, I continue because I've come to know for myself that this church is in fact the true church on the earth today. I have seen and felt the Lord's hand in my life too much for me to deny it, and turn my back on it. Whenever I start to doubt and question whether the church is true, I become confused and at unease. But when I go to church, read the scriptures, pray, listen to the Prophet and other church leaders I feel peace and calm. There is light in my life that is not there when I question and doubt. The doctrines of this church are so simple and make so much sense. I know that Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ live today. I know that Christ literally took upon Himself ALL of our sins-as well as our pains, sorrows, and disappointments. Therefore He is perfectly able to understand us and what we each go through in mortality. I know that the priesthood has been restored, and through that priesthood in temples, families are sealed to each other and can be together forever. I know that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of God and that he translated the Book of Mormon, which is also true. I know that the church continues to be led by a Prophet of God, currently President Thomas S. Monson. I know we all are literal children of our Heavenly Father, and as His children He loves and cares for all of us. Life is hard, but thankfully we don't have to do it alone. If we allow Them, our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will be right there by our side helping us through our lives. I love the Church and the Gospel with all of my heart, and I know it is true.
How has your knowledge of the Plan of Happiness changed/benefited your life?
The Plan of Happiness is my absolute favorite subject to talk about in the Gospel. For me personally, my knowledge of the Plan of Happiness is what makes this mortal experience all worth it in the end. I am physically disabled, and the knowledge I have that this life isn't all there is and that I will one day receive a perfect body, has made going through the trials of being disabled so much easier. Also, to know that I will once again see and be with my loved ones again after they pass away is a huge comfort to me. This was especially brought home to me not that long ago. My brother and his wife just recently lost their baby boy when she was 36 weeks pregnant. It was such a blessing and source of immense comfort to know that we all would see and hold their baby again soon. He will always be their son and they will have a chance to raise him in the hereafter. To know that the sting of death is not permanent is a priceless blessing in my life. I am also immensely grateful for knowledge of my full potential: to become like my Heavenly Father someday. This knowledge gives me direction and meaning and perspective for this life and the struggles we endure during mortality. The Plan of Happiness is an incredible plan created by a loving Heavenly Father. And what's so incredible is that it accommodates EVERYONE. No one is left out. No one is forgotten.
How I live my faith
This gospel is designed to affect every aspect of a person's life. My membership of this church affects how I dress, speak, eat/drink, and activities I participate in on a daily/weekly basis. I pray daily, do my best to read my scriptures daily, and weekly attend my church meetings. However, hopefully these daily/weekly acts I do are shaping me into a more Christlike person. I try to be honest in my deeds/words, kind and loving towards others. I use the Atonement of Jesus Christ often- if not daily!- to make me a better person. Hopefully someday I'll become the person Heavenly Father and Christ know I am capable of becoming.