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Hi I'm Lisa

I'm the mother of two beautiful children (both adopted), a PhD student in Education, and a part-time professor. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

First & foremost, I'm a mom of two, through the miracle of adoption, & a wife to the best partner ever. Our kids are a lot better looking than we are - I always wanted olive skin & dark brown eyes, but got freckles & hazel. Oh well! We hope to adopt again soon (http://adoption.taylorandlisa.com). My husband & I "met online" -- though I *hate* the way that sounds. He wrote for an online magazine, & his bio said he had studied in Jerusalem. I had also studied there & knew that someone with his last name had been in Jerusalem during the 2 years I was there. I emailed, he responded, & the rest is history. I graduated from Stanford with a BA in International Relations & an MA in History. Then I taught high school English for 10 years. Now I teach part-time at BYU, & love it. I just began a PhD in Instructional Psychology & Technology, & am researching blended & online learning. I love that, too! I try to be on campus only twice a week, so I can be at home with our kids on the other days. I like being able to stretch my brain in both ways!

Why I am a Mormon

My father's great-great-grandfather is Brigham Young, who led the Mormons away from persecution and began the settlement of Utah. My mother is a convert who joined the church at age 18. Though I honor and love my pioneer ancestors, in some ways my mother's conversion is more personally meaningful to me, because I think every person must choose their faith thoughtfully and prayerfully. My beliefs have been solidified line upon line, step by step. I have always known that I am a child of God. That belief is basic and fundamental to how I see the world and how I see myself. I believe that all people are His children; I truly hope that directs the way I treat my fellowman. I believe that as my Father, God trusts in my inherent goodness. He wants me to return to Him, having become more like Him because of wise and good choices made during my life. He knows I will make mistakes, and since He is pure and good, and cannot abide the presence of sin, He has made a way for me to rid myself of my mistakes. His Son, Jesus Christ, died so that each of us can be purified and prepared to live again with our Father in Heaven. I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for His Son, Jesus Christ, my Exemplar, Savior, and Redeemer.

How I live my faith

In my congregation, I am in charge of a monthly newsletter with announcements, spiritual messages, and information about new members. In the past, I have taught the children, taught Old and New Testament, and taught the women's group. I have also been in charge of organizing activities, such as an annual Christmas or 4th of July party, for the congregation. As a teen, I was taught to play the organ so that I could assist during services; however, I haven't played for nearly 20 years, so don't ask me to fill in for the organist now! In addition, each grown man and woman is asked to visit another family, to watch over them in times of need and to friendship them. I have made very dear friends through these "assignments," and learned that there is always something to love and to share in common, regardless of age, occupation, race, language, and so forth.

Why don’t women hold the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How do Mormon women lead in the Church?

When I was a freshman at Stanford University, I thought a lot about the question of Mormon women and the Priesthood. Over time I realized that the Priesthood was given primarily to give opportunities for service and to connect men more closely to their families. Traditionally, women have already had these opportunities and connections. I'm glad that the Mormon men in my life have been trained to serve their families and neighbors as they exercise the Priesthood to heal and bless. I was a shy kid, but in my teen years I began to have leadership opportunities within the youth program of the church. I learned to lead a meeting. I learned to speak in public. By the time I finished high school, I was voted "Contributed Most" to the school. If I hadn't been given the chance to lead the girls my age at church, I may never have ventured to contribute and serve. The Church has opened these and so many other doors for me. I never feel stifled, even though I do not hold the Priesthood. Show more Show less

What are Mormon Temples used for?

One of the most important reasons that we build temples is to "seal" families together. We use the term "seal" to mean to bring together forever, in a covenant that doesn't end with death. When a man and woman marry in the temple, Mormons believe that their marriage is not just for time, but for eternity. We also believe that all children born to them are automatically "sealed" to them. My children were adopted. As a result, my husband and I have had the most beautiful experience of bringing our children to the temple to be "sealed" to us. We all dress in white, to symbolize purity. Family and friends have joined us there, and the experience has been as wonderful as a marriage ceremony...without the stress of a wedding day! The days my children were sealed to me were the happiest days of my life. Show more Show less