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Hi I'm Vanessa

I'm a Mormon Mom.

About Me

I live in a little home tucked beneath the trees along the Ohio River on the Indiana/Kentucky border. I have a little garden out back, roses and herbs grow merrily along my front walk, and chickens wander around the lawn. Every day, just before dinner, my two little children and I go out to wait for Daddy to come home. I sit on the front stoop, baby in my lap, as my little boy runs and giggles in the evening sun. Once upon a time I had a fabulous academic career, a fulfilling job, and plenty of cash. But I wouldn't trade in the peaceful life I have now, my life as a mother-- a life infused with purpose and meaning-- for anything .

Why I am a Mormon

As a college student, I thought myself quite the intellectual. I studied philosophy, theology, and logic. But all my learning never taught me how to be happy. My academic pride never brought me meaning or purpose. In my darkest moments, I turned to the faith taught by my parents and there I found light and understanding. I cried out to my Savior to help me overcome my unbearable weakness, my tragic mistakes, my prideful errors. I felt the peace that comes from the Holy Spirit, and my heart was changed. Many times I have sought answers and found them in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon touches my heart, opens me to Christ, and speaks to my soul. I find my beliefs wholly consistent in every way. The counsel of our modern prophet is simple, perfectly applied to the challenges of modern living, and exactly how I would expect the Lord himself to instruct us if He were present. As I teach my beliefs to my children, I find them even more amazing-- for they are profound enough to awe any theologian, yet even a little 3 year old can understand their common sense perfection. They apply to every aspect of living and order our lives. Living the gospel has brought our family a wonderful life. I am grateful that I chose this road, that I chose this church, because I honestly believe it has brought me the greatest joy and consolation possible in this life.

How I live my faith

Once a friend new to our church told me she thought I left after our Sacrament (or communion) Meeting. That made me laugh out loud -- because after our general meeting together is when my job really begins! I'm Primary President, and that means I'm in charge of overseeing more than a hundred children for two hours every Sunday. I prepare and present lessons, teach music, coordinate the children's Sunday School, oversee a Cub Scout pack and girls Activity Days. I run 3-year-olds to the bathroom, instruct teachers, console babies, help memorize scriptures, and chase runaway boys. Some days, when my husband is away on church assignments, I do all of the above with a baby strapped to my back and a toddler hanging on my knees. After church, my feet are throbbing, my cheeks are sore from smiling, and my heart is warm -- serving the children of the church is exhausting but infinitely rewarding. Seeing their happy faces, feeling their genuine faith in Jesus Christ, hearing their heartfelt prayers each week builds my own testimony of Christ, for he is reflected childlike goodness.

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

To find out, come to church with me sometime. When you walk in the door, the church is a beehive of activity and you'll see both women and men buzzing about, talking, herding children, laughing with one another, sitting together with families. Women with babes in their arms, women without husbands, young women still in the bloom of youth, women sitting up on the stand stage with pulpit preparing to lead music, play instruments, or speak. Mormon women are integrated wholly into the experience of worship at church, and even more overtly in the temple. We are equal partners with our husbands on the road to eternal life. What are Mormon women like? Mostly, I think, they are busy. Take my own mom, for example. After years of raising and homeschooling her children, my mom felt her life was just too empty without us around. So, following in a long, long tradition of advanced education for women stretching back to the Prophet Joseph Smith, she went back to school. She already had a bachelor's degree from her pre-mothering years Mormon women are strongly encouraged to receive a degree in their young adulthood, but chose to pursue a different career this time around. In two weeks she graduates with a Master's degree. On an average day, she works full time, attends school in the evening, prepares lessons for the gaggle of 7 year olds she teaches at church each Sunday, grows a garden and cans much of their own food, and still has time to mother my college-age brother and his herd of manly friends. Every Sunday at our house, in a family that has only one kid around, Mom feeds at least 11-15 people around the table. One is my dad, one is my brother, and the rest are a random assortment of people who otherwise wouldn't have a family dinner that Sunday, and so they are warmly welcomed to join our "family" of people my mother mothers. Mormon women and their husbands should, and are instructed to, experience total equality in their marriages and at church. Like Adam and Eve, we walk hand in hand through the lone and dreary world, companions to support and love one another. Those outside the church often see men in administrative positions of the church. Women also hold such positions, but we especially hold the responsibility to minister within our families and the church. As followers of Christ, we view this ministry as sacred -- to care for the weak, to serve the poor, to lift those sorrowing, these are the duties that Christ himself held of great value and worth. As a Latter-day Saint woman, I feel grateful and humbled by my calling to minister. From the view of the outside world, where monetary gain and power are king, the work of women ministering within the church is viewed as "lower" than that of administrators. But we see it different. Ours is this the highest and holiest calling. Show more Show less