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Hi I'm Rachel

I'm an optimist, a wife and mother. I work to help people change their world. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I believe that there is always hope to change the world. My personal world and the larger world around me. That hope defines all that I do. I see hope as I watch my little boy learn to walk and watch him realize that there are ants running past his toes. I see hope in the young people that I coach or teach as they realize their potential. Although I am spending more time at home now, I also see hope in helping individuals, teams and organizations achieve their hopes and dreams. Where they experience failure today often has become a chance to grow that they never anticipated. I have been an athlete for most of my life. I stubbornly refuse to give in if someone tells me I can't do something and I tend to come home limping. But there are so many other things I love to do, too - there's not time to do it all, so it comes in spurts - reading, writing poetry, singing, working on the house, etc. But most of all - I love seeing the possibilities in the world - and helping myself and others to make those possibilities a reality.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up learning about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. What I learned in church when I was younger always made sense to me - it was logical and made the pieces of my world fit together - and it made me feel good, but I wondered if I was missing something. Other people seemed to feel a fire in their hearts about the gospel. As I went away to college, I knew that I needed to decide to commit and understand that fire more fully, or to figure out what I was going to do with my life. So, I started praying more and reading the scriptures more - the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and other scriptures. I think the obstacle I had during this time was that I was still trying to do everything by myself. I had always been very independent. Academics and sports had always been things I did well and were part of my identity, but those started to suffer. I felt like I was losing myself. So I decided that I really needed to understand what God wanted for me and what He thought of me. One day, I knelt down after reading the Book of Mormon and simply asked the Lord what He would have me do . . . the simple answer that I felt was "I know you, I love you and you already know what I want . . . serve me." In that moment, I realized that for most of my life I had been searching to know that God knew me specifically and loved me. In that moment, my relationship to my Father in heaven changed to one of Father and child - of mutual knowing and love rather than simply an intellectual and obligatory relationship. I knew that what He wanted was for me to feel His love, and simply to love and to know Him. This changed everything in my life. That doesn't mean that I've been perfect in doing exactly what He wants ever since - but I know that I am a child of God, and that He will always be by my side. Knowing . . . and loving . . . that is why I am a Mormon . . . that is why I follow Christ.

How I live my faith

When I think about living my faith "whole" is the word that comes to mind. It touches everything that I do and how I work, how I study, how I live. It focuses me on what is most important and why I am doing the various things in my life. I know that the Lord sees and guides what I do in my whole life. Part of that is serving others. I try to find ways to contribute through coaching sports and helping non-profits. I coached high school basketball and softball for about 8 years. The relationships with the girls I coach continues to be great and rewarding. I have also helped non-profits at various times to achieve what they want through their strategy and organizational structure. The last one I helped was an organization that tutors kids in all subject and teaches them how to express themselves through writing. Although I never got a chance to be an actual tutor, it was great to know that I was helping them be more effective in achieving their goals. In my church, I work with the young women in helping them learn how to live the lives they want with the values they have. I also try to visit other women in order to make sure they know someone cares and help them if needed. Overall, my faith changes how I see those around me. Although I'm not perfect in what I do every day, I know I am better through my faith in Christ and allowing Him to change me and make me more than I could be without Him, in order to serve those around me.

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

I get this question a lot, especially being a professional and recently making the choice to take a break to spend time with my family. I have been an athlete my whole life, loving to play against the boys as much as the girls. I studied engineering, being the only female in my graduating class . . . I worked for a small high tech firm where I was the only female engineer . . . then I got an MBA, also a male-dominated arena. I most recently worked in a manufacturing company . . . and continue to play basketball against the boys at the church on week nights. All of this is magnified and supported by what I believe and what is taught in the Mormon church. I have never been taught that I am less or should stand to the side. To the contrary, I have always been taught that I am special and have an enormous influence on the world as a woman. I have been given opportunities to be a leader in the local congregations - I been able to see the influence of women on men and on the world. I do believe that men and women are equal - it is evident in what I do. I also believe that at times we have different roles to play. Family and children are an essential part of God's plan for us. Choosing family over professional work for now does not mean that I stop contributing to the world in other ways. I am still the woman I am and have always wanted to be. I have the power to change our family, our community and society. We just need to recognize our potential and move forward!! Show more Show less

What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' attitude regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage?

Family and marriage are essential in God's plan for us to become more like Christ and to learn and grow. Being parents, and using the powers of procreation to create families, is sacred and a way to learn more of God and who we are. This is one of the most powerful ways to become closer to God, as we learn as husband and wife, and as families. This is why it is important to not use or act on those powers of procreation outside of the bonds of matrimony, and why matrimony is defined as man and woman, able to create a family. As someone who was single for a long time, I have often had friends and others ask me about this. There are a lot of things that can lead us away from families and marriage as God designed. Acting on homosexual temptations is one. Acting on temptations for sex outside of marriage, participating in pornography and other acts also lead us away from this. It has been just as important for me, when i was single and now being married, to be clean as it is for anyone who experiences temptations of homosexuality. We are all subject to temptations - we need to decide if we are willing to preserve the sacredness of family and marriage as God designed. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Yes. I don't know how to answer this more simply. I believe that without Christ as my Savior I am nothing and would be lost in this world. He is the only way. By trying to follow His example, I learn to love as He loves. All that we do is with the intent of being witnesses of Christ. Show more Show less

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

This is a fundamental question. Jesus Christ himself said that eternal life is to know God, the one true God, and His Son Jesus Christ. So all of God's teachings, His commandments, His word and the example of Jesus Christ are for the intent that we can know God through His Son. Specifically, I have come to know God through talking to Him in prayer, then LISTENING. I have heard his "voice" as I listen to what I feel in my heart and the understanding that comes to my mind through the Holy Spirit. The moments when He clearly teaches me things, especially of His love, are some of the most precious of my life. The other two ways I have come to know Him are through studying His word and trying to do as He asks. I have felt His love for other people as I try to serve them. Although I am imperfect in feeling and loving as He does, I feel His love and concern for others as I do what He would have me do. Show more Show less