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Hi I'm Valerie Jean

Married to a private investigator. We have 3 children. I love being a wife, mom and business-owner. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Elder Boyd K. Packer said, "The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is that a man and his wife and their children can be happy at home." I can say firsthand that I know what it's like to be a part of a happy family. In this regard, I am the luckiest wife and mother on the planet. Our children are teenagers, and yet they still open up to me about anything and everything. I treasure my husband and children more than I can say. I have numerous other blessings as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have a strong desire to share my testimony of the gospel. I do struggle with weaknesses and various different trials, specifically health issues. But it helps me to remember the good moments outweigh the bad ones. Oh how they do! The gospel of Jesus Christ enables me to have this perspective, regardless of the trials my family and I are going through. I enjoy reading mostly for secular and spiritual learning, journal writing, photography, creative writing, going to the movies isn't movie popcorn the best?!, helping others, social networking on the internet, blogging, spending time with my friends, immediate and extended family and I've been known to play a game of spider solitaire or two. If I'm listening to Michael Buble, one might catch me dancing. I very much enjoy going to the temple. I have taken numerous college classes on different campuses and online. I absolutely love learning. My husband is a private investigator. He is good at what he does and more importantly, he enjoys his job. I do not work outside the home. A great deal of my time and energy is spent towards my family and taking care of our daughter who has special needs. She has over 15 doctors. My sons have some health care issues as well. But I am grateful that my children have doctors and medication to help them. The inconvenience of doctor's appointments is a small price to pay for necessary health care. Somehow, our children rise above their trials and keep on going. They each have accomplished good things and I am proud of them, especially for the good choices they make. I am so grateful to my husband, and for the love and patience he shows to me. He is also one of the funniest people I know. I love him dearly. I am excited for this opportunity to share my beliefs about Jesus Christ. I welcome comments on my blog page.  

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised a Mormon. My parents could not have given me a better gift. I have continued in the faith because it has blessed my life in numerous ways. To name a few, I have a happy marriage and a positive and close bond with our children, I have many opportunities to help and serve others which makes me feel I am making a difference in the lives of others, my family and I have received service and love from many members of the church, I have met and made friends with many of these members, I have been enabled to overcome trials and come out stronger and wiser than before, I have felt the Love of God in my life in various ways, I have learned that living the gospel to the best of my ability and sincerely repenting of my sins has helped me to be at peace, regardless of any tribulation which besets myself or my loved ones or the world around me. I know, without a doubt, Jesus Christ atoned for our sins so that if we COME UNTO HIM, strive to live the commandments of God, and repent as needed, we can be worthy to attain the highest degree of glory for the eternities. And we can be truly happy in this life, through the good times and the difficult times. I wish to share what has blessed my life to all those who are members and who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I also love being a Mormon because the church has an organization called LDS Family Services. This organization offers counseling, information about counseling services and a library full of articles dealing with social, emotional, and spiritual challenges, help for birth parents, adoptive couples, and they offer an Addiction Recovery Program. I am a Mormon because the church offers many resources to help each of us on our own unique journey of life. I am a Mormon because I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, and that the Book of Mormon is, indeed, the word of God.

How I live my faith

Daily I strive to live my faith. I try to show kindness and respect to all those around me. I am also a visiting teacher to 4 wonderful ladies. My visiting teaching companion is an amazing woman as well. My husband is the Activities Chairperson and the Boy Scout Chairperson of our ward (congregation). With the help of many others, he knows how to throw a fabulous family-oriented party! I am also part of the (or one of the) largest women's organizations in the world called the Relief Society. It is fantastic to have such an amazing support network of so many women. We are enriched by our different personalities and likes/dislikes, and we are brought together on what we have in common. Other ways I live my faith is that I strive to say my personal morning and evening prayers, read the scriptures, fulfill my callings (church responsibilities), and I try to make sure we have family home evening each Monday evening. Also, I strive to be patient with others, whether I know them personally or not. How can I expect mercy from the Lord, when I am not merciful to others? I love all of God's children, regardless of their religious, political or secular beliefs.

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

Valerie Jean
First, we must have Faith that He exists. Faith is to hope for things we cannot see. There are evidences of God all around us. As found on www.mormon.org it states: God is your Father in Heaven (Matthew 6:9). We call God Heavenly Father because He is the Father of our spirits and we are created in His image ( Genesis 1:27). God has a body that looks like yours, though His body is immortal, perfected, and has a glory beyond description. He knows you personally and loves you more than you can comprehend. To help you find happiness in this life and guide you to return to live with Him, Heavenly Father provided a plan called the gospel of Jesus Christ, a guide based on the life and teachings of His Son, Jesus Christ. From the beginning, Heavenly Father has called prophets to testify, record His word, and provide His plan for His children on the earth. The teachings of prophets are found in sacred books called scriptures ( Amos 3:7). Your Heavenly Father knows you and loves you and wants to help you return to Him. Your life on Earth is part of His plan for you to gain a body, learn, grow, and find joy. Sometimes life is hard, lonely, or frightening, but your Heavenly Father is always there. He sorrows when you suffer and rejoices when you do what is right. He wants to communicate with you as you sincerely pray to Him, and He stands ready to give you comfort, peace, and guidance in your life. Jesus Christ taught that you must know the only true God to have eternal life ( John 17:3). As His child, you must know who He is and what He is like to find greater peace and joy, both in this life and in the life to come. Show more Show less

Why are Mormons asked to donate 10% of their income to their Church?

Valerie Jean
This ancient and divine law is called the law of tithing. It is an expression of faith. Monies go towards the building up of the Kingdom of God here on earth. The law of tithing is the means by which the Lord's work is funded. Today, all faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints contribute one tenth of their income as tithing to contribute to the growth of the kingdom of God, including:construction of churches and temples, funding the missionary program, provide operating funds for the church, church educational resources, family history databases, and much more. I am a full tithe payer and I have been blessed for this. In the past, when I have chosen not to pay any tithing or just a portion, I have denied myself certain blessings. I have seen this evidenced in my life time and time again. Show more Show less

How can I find someone to talk with, in person, about the Mormon religion?

Valerie Jean
By checking out www.mormon.org. you can locate a meeting house closest to where you live, and also contact missionaries of the church. They can answer questions you may have. The church also offers free DVD's and books to help explain beliefs and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Go to http://www.mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/basic-beliefs/free-media/free-media . Show more Show less

What is Mormonism? OR What do Mormons believe?

Valerie Jean
These are referred to as the Articles of Faith; 1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. 2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression. 3. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. 4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. 5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof. 6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth. 7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth. 8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. 9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. 10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. 11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own cconscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. 12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. 13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. Show more Show less

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Valerie Jean
Yes, I know and sustain President Thomas S. Monson as a Prophet, Seer and Revelator today. There were prophets in the Old Testament of the Bible. There were prophets in the New Testament of the Bible. Since God is the "same yesterday, today and tomorrow", it follows that we have prophets today. The prophet is the Lord's mouthpiece. And if it is God's will, yes, miracles can still happen today. Show more Show less

What is the Book of Mormon?

Valerie Jean
The Book of Mormon is a volume of modern scripture, comparable to the Bible. As found on ww.lds.org, the Book of Mormon is a record of God's dealings with the people who lived in the ancient Americas. Prophets of the Lord engraved the original records on gold plates. On September 22, 1827, an angel named Moroni—the last Book of Mormon prophet—delivered these records to the Prophet Joseph Smith. By the gift and power of God, the Prophet Joseph translated the record into English. **** I have read the Book of Mormon a number of times. Reading, pondering and following the word of God has blessed me in many ways. We are reading the Book of Mormon as a family and we are blessed for doing so. Show more Show less

What is the Relief Society?

Valerie Jean
It is a worldwide sisterhood group. One of the largest of its kind in the world. The Prophet Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society in 1842. Two primary objectives of the Relief Society are compassionate service and strengthening the women of the Church. I am truly blessed to be a part of this organization! Show more Show less

What is the priesthood?

Valerie Jean
As found on www.lds.org, the priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God. Through the priesthood God created and governs the heavens and the earth. Through this power He redeems and exalts His children, bringing to pass "the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). God gives priesthood authority to worthy male members of the Church so they can act in His name for the salvation of His children. Priesthood holders can be authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, and govern the kingdom of God on the earth. *** My family and I have been blessed by the priesthood in many ways. My husband and our two sons hold the priesthood and it has been such a gift to them, to our family and for them to be able to help others using this power from on High. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

Valerie Jean
Because many of God's children have not had the opportunity to be baptized and confirmed a member of the church. The Lord has provided a way for those ordinances to be done on their behalf after they have passed on. They can choose to accept this sacred work or not. Baptism by immersion performed by a living person acting on behalf of one who is dead, as practiced in New Testament times (1 Corinthians 15:29). Show more Show less

Why don't Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol? What is the Mormon Church's law of health and proper diet?

Valerie Jean
Science is beginning to catch up with the law of health that members of the church have been taught for many years. How can we reach our full potential when we don't respect our bodies with proper nutrition and exercise? Studies have shown the negative affects caffeine can have. Countless lives have been negatively impacted by alcoholics and/or those addicted to any unhealthy substance. People who abuse their bodies hurt themselves, and they hurt others. Each of us should be free to choose what we put into our bodies. But we give up some of that freedom when we are under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any other unhealthy addictive substance. In general, the better we treat our bodies, the healthier we are, which enables us to more fully reach our potential. Show more Show less

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

Valerie Jean
No, the church does not endorse political parties. Members are encouraged to make their own choices with regards to which political party, if any, to adhere to. As found on www.lds.org: "The Church’s mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not to elect politicians. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is neutral in matters of party politics. This applies in all of the many nations in which it is established. The Church does NOT: A. Endorse, promote or oppose political parties, candidates or platforms. B. Allow its church buildings, membership lists or other resources to be used for partisan political purposes. C. Attempt to direct its members as to which candidate or party they should give their votes to. This policy applies whether or not a candidate for office is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. D. Attempt to direct or dictate to a government leader. The Church DOES: A. Encourage its members to play a role as responsible citizens in their communities, including becoming informed about issues and voting in elections. B. Expect its members to engage in the political process in an informed and civil manner, respecting the fact that members of the Church come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and may have differences of opinion in partisan political matters. C. Request candidates for office not to imply that their candidacy or platforms are endorsed by the Church. D. Reserve the right as an institution to address, in a nonpartisan way, issues that it believes have significant community or moral consequences or that directly affect the interests of the Church. *** In the United States, where nearly half of the world’s Latter-day Saints live, it is customary for the Church at each national election to issue a letter to be read to all congregations encouraging its members to vote, but emphasizing the Church’s neutrality in partisan political matters." Show more Show less

How can we increase our faith in Jesus Christ?

Valerie Jean
Our faith in Jesus Christ may start out as a hope that He exists. This hope eventually becomes stronger until we live as though Jesus Christ is a reality, and indeed, the Savior of the world. Our faith increases as we live His words, and as we follow Him. Over time we receive witness after witness, in various ways, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Valerie Jean
Mormons do not worship Joseph Smith. We revere him as a great prophet of the Lord and admire him for all he did to help restore the gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth. I would encourage any person to learn more about this man through those who knew him personally. Read about the history of the church. Learn about the character of Joseph Smith from those who loved and served with him. I would say the best way to gain a knowledge that he was a prophet of God is to read the Book of Mormon. I promise you it will change your life for the better. It has for millions and millions of people since the church was restored. And when you receive the witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, you can then be confident and have faith that Joseph Smith truly was a prophet of God. Show more Show less

Where did Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints begin?

Valerie Jean
It began in the early 1800's in the eastern United States. As found on www.mormon.org: In 1820, as He had done throughout history, Father in Heaven again chose a prophet to restore the gospel and the priesthood to the earth. He called a young man named Joseph Smith, and through him, the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth. Joseph Smith lived in the United States, which was perhaps the only country to enjoy religious freedom at the time. It was at a time of great religious excitement in the eastern United States, and Joseph Smith’s family members were deeply religious and constantly sought for truth. The Holy Bible taught that there was “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” ( Ephesians 4:5), but many ministers claimed to have the true gospel. Joseph attended different churches, but he was confused about which church he should join and desired “to know which of all the sects was right” ( Joseph Smith—History 1:18). He later wrote: “So great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was . . . to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong. . . . In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?” ( Joseph Smith—History 1:8, 10). As Joseph sought truth among the different faiths, he turned to the Bible for guidance. He read, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” ( James 1:5). Because of this passage, Joseph decided to ask God what he should do. In the spring of 1820 he went to a nearby grove of trees and knelt in prayer. He described his experience: “I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. . . . When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” ( Joseph Smith—History 1:16–17). In this vision God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph Smith. The Savior told Joseph not to join any of the churches, for they “were all wrong.” The Savior stated, “They draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof” ( Joseph Smith—History 1:19). Although many good people believed in Christ and tried to understand and teach His gospel, they did not have the fulness of truth or the priesthood authority to baptize and perform other saving ordinances at that time. They had inherited a state of apostasy, as each generation was influenced by what the previous one passed on, including changes in the doctrines and in ordinances, such as baptism. Joseph Smith’s First Vision marked the beginning of the Restoration of Jesus Christ’s Church to the earth. In subsequent years, Christ restored His priesthood and reorganized His Church. He has continued to reveal truths to His prophets and to restore the blessings that were taken from the earth for a time. The Apostle Peter prophesied of the “restitution of all things” before Christ’s Second Coming ( Acts 3:19–21). The Restoration of Christ’s Church on the earth has made available the opportunity for all to once again receive all of the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the Bible? Do they regard it as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Valerie Jean
Yes, and I would venture to say that not only do we believe the Bible to be the word of God, but we study this holy scripture in great detail. Questions not answered in the Bible are done so in the Book of Mormon. Principles taught in the Book of Mormon, are supported by principles taught in the Bible. It is true that we do believe the Bible as far as it is translated correctly. History has taught us that changes and omissions occurred time and again during the Bible's printing over the course of many years. This is evident in places where it appears the Bible seems to contradict itself. But with the Book of Mormon, those contradictions are clarified and all of the pieces then fit together. Show more Show less

How does the Church finance its operations?

Valerie Jean
Members of the church pay 10% of their income to the church. This is referred to as tithing. Members also donate money one Sunday a month. This particular Sabbath Day is called Fast Sunday. When members are old enough, they fast two meals. The money that would have been spent on food is allocated as a Fast Offering and this money is given to the church. Members also donate money for various other causes, such as Humanitarian and Missionary Efforts. Show more Show less

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

Valerie Jean
First let me say that with the Lord, all things are possible! Numerous individuals have been able to overcome this addiction with His help. But it is much easier to avoid this cancer of the soul to begin with. How? By staying as far away from it as possible, in all its forms. Pornography is poison to the mind and heart. Those who believe it is harmless are sorely mistaken. The consuming of pornography in any form leads to nothing positive. What may start out as a bad habit, leads to lustful thoughts, which leads to base and lustful actions, which leads to damage and/or neglect in a marriage. This can lead to adultery, and the pain, suffering and tearing apart of families. But, through Faith in Jesus Christ, and different resources available, a person can overcome this immoral practice. They can, and they do! How can we stop the spread of influence of pornography? By teaching our children and those around us to avoid pornography in all its forms. Show more Show less

Who founded Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Valerie Jean
In the early 1800's, Joseph Smith, Jr. was chosen by God to be an instrument in restoring the gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth. He was the first prophet in these modern days. Like other prophets before him, he was criticized and slandered in various ways. But he did what he was called to do. He overcame persecution and lead and organized the church, translated the Book of Mormon, helped to restore the priesthood, and many other important things pertaining to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He sealed his testimony with his own blood when he was murdered by anti-mormons. In his relatively short life he accomplished the impossible and the improbable. He was bold, yet humble. Through he suffered physically and emotionally, due to various trials, he did not give up. He did what he promised he would do. Show more Show less

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Valerie Jean
They are inspiring and wonderful! And yes, anyone is allowed to attend church meetings. There are literally thousands of churches and about 28,424 (at the end of 2009) wards or branches (congregations) all over the world. Their were six members when the church was first restored. Now there are over 13,824,854 (2009) members. Each Sunday we have the opportunity to go to church for three well-spent hours. The worship meeting usually occurs during the first hour and fifteen minutes in the chapel. Both members and non-members are invited to come. The most important event in this meeting is the renewing of our baptismal covenants when we partake of the bread and the water. The sacrament was introduced by Jesus Christ himself, when He was with his disciples, and shortly before He was taken to suffer and die on the cross. Members from the congregation, usually two or three, are asked ahead of time to give a talk on a particular subject. Each talk is usually between 10 and 20 minutes. The youth (teenagers) of the congregation also have opportunities to give a talk. Throughout the meeting, three hymns are sung by the congregation. Music sets the tone before and during the meeting. There is an opening prayer at the beginning of the meeting and a closing prayer at the end of the meeting. Sometimes a choir performs a musical piece before the last talk is given. The choir consists of members and non-members of the church. After this "sacrament meeting", there is Sunday School where people of all ages learn gospel principles in their respective classes. The third hour is devoted to Relief Society (where the women gather and instruct and learn from one another), Priesthood meeting (where the men gather together for same purpose), Young Men's and Young Women's where the teenagers gather and learn more about the gospel. There is also Primary, which is Sunday School for children of various ages. They sing children's Hymns, pray, and are taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. Children also have the opportunity to give talks in primary. Show more Show less

Why is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Mormons or Mormonism?

Valerie Jean
It is a nickname given to refer to members of the church. We believe in the Book of Mormon, which is a volume of holy scripture comparable to that of the Bible. This is where the nickname came from. It is easier, more convenient, for people to refer to us as "mormons" as opposed to "members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." Show more Show less

Why is it important for us to take care of our bodies? Why are our bodies called temples of God in the Bible?

Valerie Jean
Our bodies are a gift from God. When we abuse our bodies, we are showing disrespect to ourselves and to our Heavenly Father. When we neglect ourselves or consume anything unhealthy, or use our bodies for anything other than what God has commanded, we deny ourselves added blessings physically and spiritually. In general, the better we take care of ourselves, the more likely we are able to reach our full potential in life. Show more Show less

What are some of the ways that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helps those around the world?

Valerie Jean
The church donates a significant amount of time and money to people affected by natural disasters. Between 1985 and 2009 the church has donated/spent: $327.6 million in cash for Humanitarian Assistance, $884.6 million value of material assistance, 178 Countries and territories served, donated 61,892 tons of Food, 13,920 tons of Medical supplies, 89,296 tons of Clothing, 5,965 tons of Educational supplies, and 10.3 million hygiene, newborn, and school kits. Missionaries and members of the church donate time and effort into helping others in various ways. There is a welfare program to help members of the church who are struggling financially. The church provides valuable resources in helping individuals, couples and families to overcome trials of various forms such as alcoholism, abuse, addictions of all kinds, family discord, physical and emotional issues, financial problems, and more. The church has blessed me personally, and our family, in numerous ways. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the Holy Ghost? Who is the Holy Ghost?

Valerie Jean
The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He witnesses of the reality of our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. As members of the church, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost after we are baptized. This gift is invaluable. The closer we are to the Lord, and the more in tuned to the Spirit we are, the more we receive His help in guiding us throughout our life. The gift of the Holy Ghost is like a having a compass. And when we follow this compass, we are more likely to reach our fullest potential, and avoid added pain and suffering. When we don't use our compass, we can get lost, have difficulties we might not otherwise experience, get confused, and feel alone. The Holy Ghost is also referred to as the Holy Spirit and the Comforter. I have felt this Spirit many times in my life. It is a feeling of peace and calm, despite and in spite of the troubled seas around me. It enables me to feel pure gratitude, during the happy times, and the not-so-happy times. I am truly grateful for this gift. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Valerie Jean
This is a great question, and it has a wonderful answer. We have come to earth to have the opportunity to learn, grow, be tested, and experience happiness and sorrow. This life is our turn, our chance, to prove ourselves to the Lord. As found on www.mormon.org: "In the scriptures God's plan is called the plan of salvation, the plan of redemption, the plan of happiness. The plan is centered on the Lord Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Throughout time, people have often pondered questions such as “Where did I come from?” “What is my purpose in life?” and “Where will I go after this life?” God has a plan for the happiness of His children: the plan of salvation, which is centered on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. As you follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, you will find answers to these questions, gain lasting inner peace in this life, and earn eternal joy after death. Before you began your life on Earth, you lived with your Heavenly Father as one of His spirit children. Although it was a joyful existence, God knew that you could not continue to progress unless you left Him for a time. He allowed you to come to Earth, where you would gain a physical body and would have experiences that would help you to learn and grow, fulfilling the purpose of the plan of salvation: to help you become more like your Heavenly Father. According to the plan, you could not continue to progress continually without the opportunity to enter mortality and receive a physical body. Here on earth you would have experiences that would help you learn and grow, and you would be proven to see if [you would] do all things whatsoever the Lord would command ( Abraham 3:25). The purpose of the plan is to help you become more like your Heavenly Father. The fact that you are living on Earth means that you accepted Heavenly Father’s plan and came here wanting to do all you could to receive all He has to offer. Knowing that we would commit sin in mortality, your loving Heavenly Father provided a Savior, Jesus Christ, who by His sacrifice would make it possible for all people who would comply with His gospel teachings to be forgiven through repentance and return to live with Him. Having a divine nature as a child of God, you can with the assistance and power of Christ, progress to become one day even as He is. Understanding this eternal perspective can help you find happiness in your life, even amid trials and challenges. As a child of a loving Heavenly Father, you can view your struggles as stepping-stones bringing you closer to Him. As you ask for help and strength in earnest prayer, you can have the assurance that you are not alone. God loves you and will help you as you turn to Him. God has blessed us with gifts to help us navigate our lives. One of the most precious gifts He has given everyone is the ability and power to make choices. Your Heavenly Father respects your freedom to choose and will never force you to choose what is right, nor will He stop you from being able to make poor choices. He will however, invite and endeavor to entice you ‘to do good continually’( Moroni 7:13). He knows that whatever your choice, you are also choosing a consequence. Consequences may appear immediately or may come much later. But choosing good eventually leads to happiness, and wrong choices eventually lead to unhappiness. Heavenly Father allows you to make choices and experience their consequences so you may learn the difference between good and evil. In learning to choose good, you are creating a pattern that will help you become more like your Heavenly Father." Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Valerie Jean
We take upon ourselves the name of Christ. We are as the Christians of old, as found in the Old and the New Testament. We believe in the same church organization that existed in the Bible. We teach and worship as they did. One of the church's Articles of Faith states: "We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth." In the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi chapter 25 verse 26 it states, "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." Show more Show less

Who are the Mormons?

Valerie Jean
We, like anyone, have strengths and weaknesses. We are imperfect people striving to overcome our faults, various trials, and bias against the church. We are trying to live what we believe. Members of the church love and worship Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. We are doing what we can make our mark, to help and encourage others and to serve one another. We are weak in the flesh but we are made strong through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We believe in the purifying power of repentance. We are believers in name and in action. We strive to love all of God's children, regardless of their religious, secular and/or political beliefs. Each one us is a spirit son or daughter of God, and should be treated as such. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about Jesus Christ? Do Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

Valerie Jean
Yes, we do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary some 2000 years ago. We believe He is the Savior of the world. We believe he suffered and died, He atoned, for our sins. He did this so that if we might repent, we can become clean again and be worthy to go to the highest degree of glory in heaven. The good works we do cannot and could not move us forward had it not been for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I love Him. I believe in Him. I try to honor and follow Him. He is the great Exemplar and He is a Light unto the World. He loves each and every one of us more than we can fathom. Think of a child you love. You would do anything for him/her. Take that and multiply by 100-fold, even more! He suffered indescribable agony because He loves us that much. But we must do our part. We must sincerely repent when we have sinned and strive to always overcome our sins and weaknesses. We cannot do this alone. We must seek for His help. As I have already stated, with the Lord, all things are possible. Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Valerie Jean
Mormons do not practice polygamy. We believe in obeying the law of the land we live in. Be that as it may, it is important to remind people that many of the ancient prophets in the Bible did have multiple wives, and this was considered acceptable for their day. When commanded by the Lord to do so, it was right and holy in His sight. The Adversary (Satan) is clever in making what is pure and holy appear to be vulgar, base and immoral. During the 1800's, there was a period of time when less than 2% of the members of the church began this practice. This was because the Lord commanded it. Joseph Smith was reluctant for some years to begin the practice, but eventually he did to obey the Lord. But because of severe persecution and then ultimately because of new laws, polygany/polygamy was stopped and has not continued since. The Lord no longer required this form of marriage to be practiced. Show more Show less

What is the difference between attending a Mormon Church and a Mormon Temple?

Valerie Jean
Mormon churches are used for Sunday meetings, Sunday school classes for various ages, and various meetings and activities throughout the week. Anyone, including non-members, are more than welcome to attend these meetings and learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Temples are considered to be most holy and sacred. Members of the church who are deemed worthy enough, can attend the temple and make covenants and promises to God on behalf of themselves, and on behalf of others who have passed on. Some of my most powerful, life-changing spiritual experiences have occurred in the temple. One of my most precious blessings is that my dear husband and I were sealed to be married in the temple, not just for this life only, but for all eternity. If we are worthy, can be remain together forever, and also to our children. Indeed, families CAN be together forever. Show more Show less

What blessings can you receive from reading the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and other scriptures?

Valerie Jean
Oh where do I begin??? The scriptures are a road map for life! The Book of Mormon, Bible and other scriptures are full of inspiring stories, lessons with multiple meanings, advice filled with wisdom, stories of people and prophets from ages of the past, and most important of all, the Word and Commandments of God. There is a hymn that states, "The word of God is the iron rod, 'twill safely guide us through." How true this is. Reading, pondering and following the words of the Lord has blessed me in numerous ways, and has inspired me. You can read about the perseverance of Job, the faith of Enoch, the humility and strength of Moses. Read and learn from Eve, our first Mother. Read about Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ; the strong and faithful Esther, and other significant women in the scriptures. The moment you begin a serious study of the holy scriptures, you will feel as if you have an added measure of strength, peace, faith and hope! If you haven't already done so, try it! You will be blessed in ways you may not even expect! Show more Show less

What is the role of the husband and the wife in the family?

Valerie Jean
My husband's primary responsibility is to provide temporally and spiritually for our family. He works hard to provide for our family. I support him in his efforts and he supports me in mine. As a mother, my primary responsibility is to devote as much time and effort as possible into raising our children. I feel extremely fortunate to not have to work outside of the home. I will have that opportunity to do so after our children have grown. I feel that spending quality and quantity time with our children is the most wonderful gift I can give to them. They are teenagers now. They are bright, talented, respectful, goal-oriented and fun to be around. They each have a fantastic sense of humor. Though they argue and annoy each other from time to time, at the end of the day they still love each other. Each night after our family prayer, we all hug one another and say "I love you". This is a tradition in our family and one of the most important parts of the day. My husband and I work as a team. He also has a close bond with each of the children. In the evenings, after work, he strives to devote time to them. He takes them to their various church meetings, supports the boys in their scouting, and supports our daughter in her Young Women's program goals. We strive to have dinner together as a family as often as we can. This is a time we talk and share and laugh together. When our children have grown and have gone on to college and working towards their life-long goals, then I will go back to school. I nearly have a bachelor's degree, but I would love to finish this and then go on to work towards a Master's degree. I absolutely love learning. But again, there is nothing more important to me right now than being an integral part of our children's lives. They are young for such a relatively short time, and then the opportunity to teach, train and inspire will have passed when they are grown. The time to be there for them in now. No career is more important to me than this lofty goal. Show more Show less

Are there restrictions based on race or color concerning who can join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have the priesthood?

Valerie Jean
There are no restrictions based on race or color. Any person can join the church. And any male member found worthy can receive the priesthood. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell to you there is a God?

Valerie Jean
The miracle of life. The stars in the heavens. Unexplained phenomenon. The earth, the oceans, and all forms of life. The revolutions of the many planets around their own suns. The revolutions of the moons around their own planets. Billions and billions of answered prayers. (If it happens over and over again, do we still call it a coincidence?). Promptings I have received to do or say something...and then learn that there was a purpose, a reason for my prompting. The power of faith to do or witness miracles...sometimes in front of many people, but often times in the quiet of our own lives. The loving, pervasive, calming feeling of the Holy Ghost, and the Love of God. Witnesses of God as found in the scriptures and as told by modern day prophets. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Valerie Jean
I think it is fantastic! It is something to ponder knowing there are literally millions of other people around the world who share your beliefs of Jesus Christ and the fullness of His gospel. Regarding those who are against the church, they certainly have a right to their opinion. I am concerned that many of them are ill-informed, and choose to believe only those negative things they hear and read about the church. Why not learn about the gospel from those who believe in it? And those who are more familiar with our church history? I love going to church and hearing from different members of our congregation. We all get to be learners and teachers of the Word. Many members also have opportunities for leadership positions, men and women alike. We all play a part is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We all get to contribute our talents and time and the thoughts and feelings of our heart. We are led and guided by a Prophet of God. The Lord is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. There were prophets in the Bible. Why should there not be prophets today? He loves us just as he loved the people in Bible times. Being a member of the church is a blessing, in more ways than I can describe. It is a privilege and I hope my testimony encourages others who are not members, to learn more. And then...find out for themselves if The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints truly is the church of God. Show more Show less