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Hi I'm Rowena Joy

I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

About Me

I am a mother to three adult children and grandmother who has traversed this world for half a century, I have seen many changes in my lifetime, some good and some not so good, but all have helped me to become the person that I am today. I work as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant in a Primary School, I support children with a wide variety of special needs as well as whole class teaching. I have also spent time fund raising for Guide dogs for the Blind. I enjoy many varied hobbies from outdoor pursuits to craft work, I have a wide range of musical and reading tastes. This year on reaching my half century, it has given me pause to reflect on the journey of my life so far and my journey for the future both in all aspects of my life...so I hope that the things I share with you on this page will enable you to find encouragement both in your own lives and mine.

Why I am a Mormon

Why am I a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?....I have often pondered this question and indeed my membership of the church didn't start with some cataclysmic event..Rather a culmination of different incidents throughout the first 30 years of my life and to where I am today. Indeed having not been brought up as a churchgoer, my only interaction with the Gospel was the stories we looked at in school, Christmas and Easter time generally. I have to say at this point I was travelling around quite a lot as my father was in the armed forces, so I had the opportunity to see how these events were viewed by different cultures. My upbringing was not religious, but we were given a very moral upbringing and I suppose because I travelled around, I experienced many different values and attitudes during my childhood. We were also brought up to be independent and self sufficient, I think the premise was, that army daughters became army wives and so my parents made sure we had good life skills, something that I will always be eternally grateful for. When we came back to England I went out to work because we returned at the wrong time of year for me to enrol in college, I worked for about three years before I met my husband and had my children, unfortunately this did not last and I was divorced and left to bring up my three children. This was not how I had envisaged my life to be as a young girl, but it was the life I was living. At this point my only knowledge of the church was that my sister had become a member although I didn't know anything about the church or what its values were, as I was in a different part of the country when she joined. This is a brief background to my life, I want to share this with you first because I hope it will give you some understanding to my conversion in the gospel. There were many choices I had to make at this time and it was a time where what was acceptable in the world around me did not sit easy with me, and some of my close friends and family did not understand, and sometimes neither did I as to why I held back and made the choices that I did, (these weren't bad choices, just different). Many encouraged me to go out and drink and go to clubs etc.. to find myself a new partner, as I was only 25 years old, but even then I knew that what I did would have an effect on my young family, and indeed it was my children who started what I consider the start of my conversion into the Gospel. One day, my children came home from school and asked why they did not go to Sunday School, needless to say this surprised me, as we didn't attend church and they had never even queried this. It wasn't even a particularly religious time of year, i.e. Christmas or Easter, but, we sat and talked about it and they were adamant that they wanted to go to Sunday School. Where to go was my next problem, I respected their wishes but at the same time didn't want them to be embroiled in something that I didn't think they would fully understand. So I settled on the Salvation Army, I had admired the work they did in the community with the homeless. So I found that they met in a local hall, near where we lived. We went along and the children went to their little children's group and I stayed up with the adults. I went for a couple of weeks and listened to them talk about the needs in the community, but after about two months of going and speaking to my children whilst we talked about what we were learning, I was concerned when they only talked about the treats they were getting, this was not addressing their original questions, and they became bored apart from treat time. Although they did realise the value of the work we did in the community as at this time as a family we were raising money for a community centre and all three of them already participated actively in fundraising, but this was something we were already doing. Around this time I had moved house into the centre of the city in which I lived and I had become a member of the City Council on which I served for three years, until a health problem meant I had to relinquish my seat on medical advice, but the children still asked questions, we visited a number of churches in the city centre. I would also add at this point they were also becoming more interested in the missionaries from the church as they visited periodically while they were in the neighbourhood. I was rather reticent about going to the church although we had had invites, because at this point my sister had undergone a rather bad experience and this had clouded my view of the church at this time. However the missionaries didn't give up on me and started to visit more often, I agreed to let them teach us the missionary discussions, and this was when I started my own journey, because I was now beginning to reflect upon my own experiences, I have to admit at this point, I queried, voraciously, all that they shared with me, not just the teachings of the Gospel, but also how it applied to the world around us, this came from the values my parents had instilled in me. When I reflect on this I can see this was the spirit working within me and leading me to find the 'living Gospel', for myself. I would not say at this time that my journey was easy, but the more I searched, the more the decisions I had made previously in my life, started to make sense and I began to recognise that the 'oddities' in my life had in fact been leading to this point. I could see that 'The principles of the Gospel' were found all around the world and as I started to study the scriptures, both the Bible in its entirety and the Book of Mormon together, it was as though a larger comprehension had started coming together, not just scripturally, but as a whole. When the missionaries, taught me to 'challenge' and 'Question' the Gospel and the principles that they were teaching, I have to say as I did this fully expecting not to find answers to many of the problems I could see around me on a daily basis, not only in my own life but around my community and amongst my friends. But, the more I searched, the more answers I found and the more sense it was making, even though there were times when I have to say I searched for problems more than answers, because at times I was unsure of the changes I was feeling as I recognised that my part in this world was not co-incidental, there was something greater than 'just living' on this little planet. I was as I recognised later trying to stay in my comfort zone rather than taking steps into a new commitment that would inevitably lead to a change in my life and that of my family. Everything I discovered bore witness to a greater design, even the fact that the principles of the Gospel are found in many religions, and believe me I searched, because I had my children to consider as well as myself, I had to acknowledge for myself that what I had learnt could not be denied, not just in my head on a logical basis but also what I felt and what I could see, I would not even try to claim to have become a scriptural expert, but in the plain and simple realisation that on a daily basis as I lived the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ it became a witness in itself to its truthfulness. My conversion to The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not just about knowing and being able to recite the scriptures(I have no great gift for this), it is coming to a sure knowledge about the truthfulness of His principles and of His teachings, the messages and principles within the words, the many witnesses that I continue to see on a daily basis, that as I continue to do my best to live the gospel and its principals that I will continue to be and become a better person even with my weaknesses. I would not say that I have been challenged any more or less than anybody else, because we all have travelled different roads in life, and we are all to some extent at the mercy of the challenges we face in this life, whether that be through the consequences of someone else's actions or through our own, but I can testify to you and bear witness through my own experiences I have come to a sure knowledge that Jesus is our Saviour and that The Gospel and teachings that bear his name will bring you peace and strength in an ever changing world and lead us back to our families in the life to follow. His teachings do not ask us to blindly follow, but to question and receive our own witness, my conversion is different to anybody else's because it is mine, and this I have been glad to share with you, but I hope that it helps you along your own journey.

How I live my faith

My faith has become an integeral part of my daily life. Over the 20+ years I have been a member of the church I have served as a town countillor in my local community, I have raised monies for a local community centre and for charities. I have served my ward in all aspects of church life from the youngest members to the oldest, as I have had the opportunity to serve in these callings,it has enabled me to come to an understanding of how the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are not just an acts of worship but an integral part of our daily lives.

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

Rowena Joy
As a woman, I would answer this to say I was the same as any other woman. As a member of the church I would add that the gospel teaches us to respect and value ourselves for who and what we are and not what the media would lead us to believe we should be. We do believe in the equality of men and women, the roles of men and women are different with regard to the 'titles' of fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, male and female ,but all are of equal importance in life. No person is of any 'lesser' value in the gospel. Show more Show less

Who is the Mormon prophet today?

Rowena Joy
President Monson Show more Show less