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Hi I'm Mari-Anna

I'm a Tasmanian living in Melbourne, Australia. I'm a Japanese teacher, an amateur photographer, a cat lover, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm the kind of person who wants to be good at everything, and as a result is not really good at anything, just mediocre at a lot of things - I played 6 different instruments in high school. Highly indecisive. Highly competitive. ("I was RIGHT!"). And more than one source has labelled my sense of humour as "quirky". I'm a science graduate, but have been doing non-science things the last few years, including serving as a missionary for 18-months, and working in cushy government jobs. I recently spent two years in Japan as an English teacher and realised I love teaching. I am now have a Master of Teaching degree and am teaching Japanese to primary school kids in Melbourne.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised as a Mormon by my mother, but being an adult now I am a Mormon because I have developed my own faith. There have been so many times I have felt that this gospel is true - usually just a small feeling, but put them all together and it becomes something big. I know the gospel teaches us how we can be happy, now and forever. Doesn't mean life is easy (wouldn't that be nice...), but it means I have the knowledge, insight, strength and direction to get me through with an overall happiness throughout. As a scientist I seek out truth. Who are we really? What is our purpose? How did we come to be? The restored gospel answers all of these questions - I know who I am, I know where I am from, and I know what I can become. If truth exists, then of course I want to know it. That's what the true gospel is - truth. Fact. Real. I am a Mormon because I know it's true.

How I live my faith

I try every day to live the commandments, to show Christ through the way I live my life. The gospel is my life, not just a Sunday thing. Decisions I make everyday are based on my faith and my knowledge of what Jesus Christ would want me to do. He gave his life for me - it's the least I can do to show gratitude. But I also know that His ways are higher than my ways, and that He and Heavenly Father only want the best for me. Their commandments to me, as taught in the scriptures and through the living prophet, are to guide me on a path towards true happiness, now and in the eternities. I also seek personal revelation, or spiritual guidance, with certain decisions in my life. When I ignore the counsel I receive through the Holy Ghost, I always regret it. So I am trying to seek for and listen to that counsel more often in my daily life. The commandments are not a list of dos and don'ts - they are a way of life, of becoming more like Jesus Christ through striving to follow his example and teachings. I have a long way to go in achieving such a goal, but I try each day to improve a little.

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Grace is the enabling power of the atonement - Christ's sacrifice of his own life. Without his sacrifice, we would not be able to return to the presence of God, as we would not be able to repent and be cleansed from our sins. It is only through the atonement of the Saviour - grace - that we can repent, and receive Eternal Life. Part of the blessings of the atonement is that we ALL will be resurrected - our spirits and our bodies will be reunited in perfect form, never to be seperated again. This is a free gift to all who ever live. While Christ suffered for the sins of the world, for all mankind, we believe that this is a gift that we need to qualify for. We have a personal responsibility to not only accept Christ as our saviour, but to keep his commandments, obey him, do his will. We will never be perfect, or be able to repay Christ for all the suffering he went through for us, but we are saved by grace, after all we can do. That is, if we try our hardest, and do our best, we will still fall short, but grace - the enabling power of the atonement - will make up for the rest. If we do not do our part, then we cannot receive that grace. Our Heavenly Father has a perfect plan for us, central to that plan is Jesus Christ. His sacrifice, His grace, was and is an essential part of that plan. Another part of that plan was our freedom to choose - if we will accept Jesus Christ and obey his commandments, and receive the blessings of this grace. Show more Show less

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

Studying science, especially human biology and biochemistry, has really increased my conviction that we have a supreme creator. I remember being in a biology class when I was 16 and we learnt about enzymes - a special kind of protein which allows vital chemical reactions in the body to take place at a temperature our bodies can handle. Without these enzymes we essentially cannot live, as our the different components of the body cannot perform their required functions. The functions of the body are so intricately designed to work together. And you're telling me this all came together by chance from mere elements floating around in the universe? No way! We have a Supreme Creator, and He is God. Even studying nature and the design of plants to attract certain animals or insects, or plants' varied and clever methods to disperse seed and propagate their respective species, is evidence of a Divine Designer. On more personal note, I have had prayers answered time and time again, with results that cannot be mere coincidence or chance. I know God is my Heavenly Father and He knows and loves ME. Show more Show less

How is the Book of Mormon different from the Bible? How did Joseph Smith obtain the “golden plates” or Book of Mormon?

The Bible is a record of real people who lived on the same earth as we live, who knew of God and had his gospel taught to them through prophets. But it is not a complete record of everyone on earth. If God loves ALL his children, then it makes sense that he makes his truth known all over the earth - not just at one place at a time. During the time of Jeremiah, there was a man named Lehi, commanded to leave Jerusalem as it would soon be destroyed. He and his family were led by God to a promised land - the Americas. The Book of Mormon contains a record of these people, from about 600 B.C. to 400 A.D. Just like the bible, it contains records of real people, who lived before us. The records were eventually compiled by man named Mormon, and his abridgement was given the name "The Book of Mormon." But the people around him had by then rejected the gospel, and so he buried the record for safe-keeping, to come forth at a later time. That time came when God called a prophet to restore the many truths that had been lost since Christ's New Testament apostles had been killed. That prophet was Joseph Smith, who was shown in vision the location of the plates nearby, and eventually translated it into English by the spiritual gift of interpretation of tongues, which is spoken of in the Bible (1 Cor. 12:10). The Book of Mormon contains an invitation: to read it, ponder its meaning, and then to ask God if it is true (Mormon 10:3-5). I have asked and I know it is true. Show more Show less