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Hi I'm Jamie

I’m a mom of three with a PhD in Engineering. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in the Colorado Rocky Mountains with a rock-hound miner for a grandfather. My grandparents were a big part of my childhood, and inspired me to pursue metallurgy. Grampy was self-educated. I was the first one in my family to get a PhD. I love school, love being a student, and love being a teacher. I believe one of the reasons God sent us here is so we can learn. I’ve worked in mineralogy, pyrometallurgy, and gold ore labs, and have written MD simulations. I’ve taught lecture and lab courses, published papers, spoken at conferences, and traveled the world with my research, but I digress. The most important things in my life are not listed on my vita. My oldest daughter once asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told her I wanted to be an astronaut. She thought about my answer, and then she asked, “What happened?” (I didn’t grow up to be an astronaut). In reply, I looked her straight in the eye, and told her I did something better. I had her. Out of all my accomplishments, my three children are my crowning jewels. Harold B. Lee said “The [greatest] work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home”. This is true. Advances in medicine, energy, science, and engineering are worthless without the people they are designed to serve. As fascinating as rocks are, the most important things to learn about are family, love, and God. All the knowledge in the world is pointless without the next generation to pass it along to, and without a hope in God.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up in a non-denominational Christian family, and find it fascinating to explore the many different philosophies and expressions of spirituality which exist around the world. While in college I took a comparative religions class where we were assigned to go to a religious meeting. I had a friend who was Mormon, and I decided to go to church with him. At the time, my friend was assigned to teach a children’s class, and, not knowing anyone else, I sat in on the children’s class he was teaching. He taught a lesson on “the plan of salvation” that detailed different stages of spiritual progression. As I sat in the children's class looking up at the plan on the chalkboard, I had a very powerful spiritual experience. I have read accounts of people having spiritual experiences, but had never had one myself. I have climbed mountains to see breathtaking vistas, immersed myself in stirring music, cried, and laughed - up until this class, I thought that was what spiritual experiences were. Those kinds of things can indeed be spiritual, but what happened in that classroom was of a different caliper. I became aware of another presence in the room. I felt a power come over me, I was encircled within a warmth, and my mind was opened to know that the plan of salvation I was looking at on the chalkboard was true. Not only was I given knowledge of the plan of salvation, but I was also given the knowledge that God was real and that He could communicate with us through His Spirit (because the Spirit was right there communicating with me). God went from being just a poetic philosophical idea, to being an actual physical reality. Since joining the church, I have had many more spiritual experiences. It’s truly a new reality, to live with the knowledge that God is real. I am grateful that He was willing to reveal a little of Himself to me, and pray that those reading this might recognize His reality and influence within their lives as well.

How I live my faith

Living my faith includes daily prayer and scripture study, avoiding harmful entertainments and foods, and seeking instead those things which are “virtuous, lovely, of good-report, or praiseworthy” – Article of Faith #13. I try to be honest in all my dealings, love everyone, and serve others in our church and in the community. I’m not perfect in doing everything right all the time, but I try to be the best I can, make amends where I fall short, and am becoming better every day. The church provides me with a clear purpose to work towards, and step by step guidance on how to refine myself to gain more peace, love, and joy in life. When I am more centered in Christ’s teachings I am a better mother, wife, and friend to those around me. When obstacles and trials come I know where to turn for help, and have hope that everything will work out if I just do what Heavenly Father would have me do.

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

Brother Skousen related an account from the Civil War which was instrumental for me in understanding the atonement. The account is as follows: “There was a boy fighting in the Union Forces. 19 years old. Went to sleep on guard duty. And the opposition broke through and wiped out a whole flank of the army. Several hundred were killed, including some of the best friends of this young man. But he survived. Court-martialed. Sentenced to die. He expected to die. He thought it was only just that he die. And president Lincoln was ready to sign his death warrant for his execution and a little mother appears on the scene. She says, “President Lincoln, when this war started, I had a husband and six sons. First I lost my husband, and one by one I lost five of my sons. Now I only have one son left and he’s sentenced to be executed with a firing squad because he went to sleep. He feels awfully badly, he lost some of his best friends and he expects to die. President Lincoln, I’m not asking for the sparing of this boy’s life for his sake, but for his mother’s sake. He’s all I have left. For my sake could you spare him?” President Lincoln said, “For your sake, little mother, I will spare him.” And as far as I know President Lincoln was never criticized for that decision.” The reason that president Lincoln was not criticized for letting the 19yo off the hook was because a great sacrifice had been made. It was no longer about what the 19yo did, it was now about the sacrifice that was made by his mother. Like this little mother, our Heavenly Father has made a sacrifice, an infinite and eternal sacrifice. He has given His only begotten Son that we might live. Justice demands that Heavenly Father be compensated for His great sacrifice, just as justice demanded that the little mother be compensated for her loss. Without the atonement, we would have just cause to refuse forgiveness to those who are unable to make recompense for their transgressions. With the atonement, there is just cause for everyone to forgive everyone else. We forgive one another because refusing forgiveness would be the same as refusing to acknowledge the great sacrifice that was made by our beloved Savior. The Atonement provides the way for all of us to be forgiven of our sins and live forever with God. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Faith is having confidence in something or someone. I think that faith is required, not just in God, but in all aspects of life. We have faith in banks, in schools, in the bridges we drive over and in the airplanes that we fly in. We have faith that the sun will rise in the morning, and we have faith in one another. Imagine what life would be like if we did not have faith in anything. The opposite of faith is fear, mistrust, doubt, and uncertainty. It is impossible to accomplish anything while in a stupor of paralyzing fear and uncertainty. Faith is the only means whereby we can progress in anything. We gain faith in something through experimentation. We gain confidence in a recipe by trying it out, by getting the food, following the instructions, and cooking it. Once we find that one recipe in a cookbook is good, we might have greater faith in trying another recipe out of the same book. If we never try it out, if we never experiment on it, we’ll never really know if the thing is good or not. Trying it out once is helpful, but keep in mind it’s hard to get anything just right the first time through. Practice makes perfect, third time’s the charm, or perhaps the hundredth time’s the charm. The more time, honest effort, work, investigation, and experimentation we put into a thing, the more faith we will gain in it if it is good. Gaining faith in God and in His commandments comes the same way gaining faith in anything else comes – through experimentation and practice. The scriptures are like a cookbook – if you never go and try out the recipes, the book is pointless. Try out the commandments. Experiment by scheduling one day of the week to be a “day of rest” and then compare your productivity during weeks where you observe a Sabbath day vs. when you don’t. Experiment by trying to be extra honest in all of your endeavors, and then see how that makes you feel inside. Experiment by trying to love your neighbors and feeling happy for them instead of coveting what they own. Experiment by refraining from drinking alcohol, and instead trying to eat healthy foods. Our faith in God and in His directions grow in proportion to the diligence with which we experiment upon His word. Alma chapter 32:26-43 teaches us how to proactively gain faith through experimentation and diligence in heeding the words of God. 32:27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words. 33 And now, behold, because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the seed, and it swelleth and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, ye must needs know that the seed is good. 41 But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life. 43 Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you. Show more Show less

What is the Book of Mormon?

Like the Bible, the Book of Mormon it is a religious record of God’s dealings with several different groups of people. Most importantly, the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. After Jesus was risen from the grave he appeared and ministered unto people on the American continents. 3 Nephi starting in chapter 11 is an account of Jesus’ much anticipated visit to peoples living in the Americas. Mormons love and use the Bible as part of their standard scriptural works, but believe that the Jewish people were not the only group that Jesus and Heavenly Father had dealings with. John 10:16 reads “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” Similarly, we read in 2 Nephi 29:7 Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth? 12 For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it. A careful examination of the Bible reveals that there are many sacred writings mentioned in the scriptures that we do not have today. As an example, read through the following scriptures in the Bible which all reference books that are now “lost”. Ex. 24:7 …and he took the “book of the covenant”, and read in the audience of the people… Num. 21:14 14 Wherefore it is said in the “book of the wars of the LORD”, What he did in the Red sea, and in the brooks of Arnon, Josh. 10:13 (2 Sam. 1:18 references the book of Jasher) 13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the “book of Jasher”? 1 Kgs. 11:41 And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in “the book of the acts of Solomon?” 1 Chr. 29:29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the “book of Samuel the seer”, and in “the book of Nathan the prophet”, and in the “book of Gad the seer” 2 Chr 9:29 29 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are they not written in “the book of Nathan the prophet”, and in “the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite”, and in “the visions of Iddo the seer” against Jeroboam the son of Nebat? 2 Chr. 12:15 Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in “the book of Shemaiah the prophet”, and of “Iddo the seer” concerning genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 2 Chr. 13:22, And the rest of “the acts of Abijah”, and his ways, and his sayings, are written in “the story of the prophet Iddo”. 2 Chr. 20:34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold, they are written in “the book of Jehu” the son of Hanani, who is mentioned in the book of the kings of Israel. 2 Chr. 33:19 His prayer also, and how God was intreated of him, and all his sin, and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up groves and graven images, before he was humbled: behold, they are written among “the sayings of the seers”. The above are a few examples of Biblical passages that refer to books of scriptures written by prophets, seers, and revelators that are not currently contained within the Bible. Parts of some of the above books have been found by various archeologists, but we do not currently have the complete originals of these books. In fact, we do not have the complete original manuscripts of any of the books currently found within the Bible. Our current Bible is the product of copies of copies of copies. Although the majority of the Bible has been miraculously preserved through the ages, there are some parts which are missing, and other parts which have been incorrectly transcribed. Currently there are more than 38,000 different sects of Christianity. Many of the differences and confusions which arise between various denominations can be attributed to omissions and inaccuracies currently within the Bible. Out of all of the “lost” books which the Bible references, there is one group in particular which we are told to seek after. We are told about this book in Ezekiel 37:16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: 17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. The Bible is the scroll (or stick) of Judah. The Book of Mormon is a record of the tribe of Ephraim. By joining together the Bible and the Book of Ephraim we gain a restoration of the precious truths and ordinances needed for salvation. Unlike the Bible, the Book of Mormon has not gone through the dark ages, and has not been subject to thousands of different translations. Aside from a few grammatical corrections, the book we have today is the same as the original. It contains the exact words that were originally written by it’s authors thousands of years ago. A testimony of the Book of Mormon comes by reading the book with an open, sincere heart, and then praying to God to know if it is true. Moroni 10:3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. 4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. 5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. The Holy Spirit is a real personage which can actually communicate truths to those who diligently seek learning and guidance. John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. My prayer is that those who read this will seek the Spirit’s help and guidance in being led into truth and righteousness. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. Show more Show less

Why are only some Mormons allowed into temples? Is there something secret going on in Mormon Temples? What goes on in Mormon Temples?

Temples are our most holy place of worship. They are the house of the Lord. In the Old Testament work inside the tabernacle was only performed by those in the house of Levi who were specially ordained and set aside. In the New Testament Jesus cleansed the temple by throwing out all of the moneychangers who had turned the house of prayer into a den of thieves. The LDS temples of today are not as exclusive as the tabernacle of old, nor as inclusive as the temple Jesus cleansed. The modern day temples open their doors, not just to those of the house of Levi, but to men and women alike of all nationalities. Psalms 24:3 - 4 3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. All are invited and encouraged to join the church, set their lives in order, and come to the house of the Lord. I like to think of the temple as a sacred, not secret place. For me, the biggest secret in the temple are my personal trials and questions I bring there for answers. An often repeated phrase within the LDS community is “take it to the temple.” The temple is a place where we receive personal guidance for individual quandaries. We might not feel comfortable talking to everyone about everything in our lives, but we can always take our hearts in confidence to the temple and there find what we need. Our Stake president (President Paulsen) gave a wonderful talk on temples in which he encouraged everyone to work towards going to the temple. I would like to share some of his remarks as I am able to remember them. He started by quoting Elder Bednar from an April General Conference “Shortly after I was called to serve as a stake president in 1987, I talked with a good friend who recently had been released as a stake president. During our conversation I asked him what he would teach me about becoming an effective stake president. His answer to my question had a profound impact upon my subsequent service and ministry. My friend indicated he had been called to serve as a temple worker soon after his release. He then said: “I wish I had been a temple worker before I was a stake president. If I had served in the temple before my call to serve as a stake president, I would have been a very different stake president.” I was intrigued by his answer and asked him to explain further. He responded: “I believe I was a good stake president. The programs in our stake ran well, and our statistics were above average. But serving in the temple has expanded my vision. If I were called today to serve as a stake president, my primary focus would be on worthiness to receive and honor temple covenants. I would strive to make temple preparation the center of all that we did. I would do a better job of shepherding the Saints to the house of the Lord.” That brief conversation with my friend helped me as a stake president to teach relentlessly about and testify of the eternal importance of temple ordinances, temple covenants, and temple worship. The deepest desire of our presidency was for every member of the stake to receive the blessings of the temple, to be worthy of and to use frequently a temple recommend. My message today focuses upon the blessings of the temple, and I pray the Holy Ghost will illuminate our minds, penetrate our hearts, and bear witness of truth to each of us.” President Paulsen told us he would like to do “a better job of shepherding the Saints to the house of the Lord” too. He then proceeded to go through all of the questions which are asked during our temple recommend interview, and to expand on the significance of what each asks. 1. Do you have faith in and a testimony of God the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost? 2. Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Christ and of His role as Savior and Redeemer? 3. Do you have a testimony of the restoration of the gospel in these the latter days? The first three questions do not have to do with worthiness, but have to do with our testimony, how we all need a strong testimony or it is pointless to go to the temple. (The temple is for those who are able to see beyond the symbol, to the mighty realities for which those symbols stand. Without a strong testimony the symbolic meanings of those things in the temple will be lost, the trip pointless.) 4. Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local authorities of the Church? Our Stake president encouraged us to read through the General Conference talks and gain a testimony of our leaders and their guidance for us. 5. Do you live the law of chastity? Is there anything in your conduct relating to members of your family that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church? He talked about how he likes watching the game, but the adds shown on the sports channel were a form of pornography. He talked about how important it was to fight to keep everything evil out of our homes. Our homes and our families should be a safe refuge of harmony and peace. 6. Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? There are those who build up, and those who tear down. The spirit of contention is not of the Lord. The Lord’s people stand together with one heart and one mind, united in all things. 7. Do you strive to keep the covenants you have made, to attend your sacrament and other meetings, and to keep your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel? Our stake has a “no TV on Sundays” policy to help make Sunday a sacred day of rest without worldly distractions. Church meetings stregnthen those who attend with the intention of using what they learn there. 8. Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen? Are you a full-tithe payer? Old Testament - Malachi 3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.” Tithing goes towards maintaining church meeting houses, building temples, sustaining missionary work, and building up the kingdom of God on Earth. The LDS church does not have paid clergy, members volunteer. All that we have comes from the Lord. Giving back a small portion to sustain the church is a small price to pay considering all He is given us. Families of full-tithe payers are protected. "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the fields, saith the Lord of Hosts." The last of the qualifications: Do your keep the Word of Wisdom? Do you have financial or other obligations to a former spouse or children? If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations? If you have previously received your temple endowment: Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple? Do you wear the garment both night and day as instructed in the endowment and in accordance with the covenant you made in the temple? Have there been any sins or misdeeds in your life that should have been resolved with priesthood authorities but have not been? Do you consider yourself worthy to enter the Lord's house and participate in temple ordinances? Our stake president reminded us of the blessings and protection that are ours when we adhere to those principles which allow us to enter into the House of the Lord. The joys of the gospel are found, not through merely hearing the words, but by acting on them. The temple is a real, physical reminder to help us keep our lives in check. Show more Show less

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?

Matthew 19:30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. Matthew 23:1 - 12 1 THEN spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. 8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. Those who seek to be “in front of others” are missing the point. The purpose of the church is to create a community in which we are all fellow heirs of Christ, side by side, “with” one another rather than “in front of”. I delight in being a female in the church, because it affords me the opportunity to be “with” others. Organization and leadership is needed, but honestly, the glory of it all lies in being within the midst of it all. I love to read, and one of my favorite people and author is Jacques Lusseyran. He said “Love is an end of living in front of things, and a beginning of living with them” Lusseyran went blind at the age of 8. He described the paradigm shift of going blind in such a way that after reading his books, you wish you were blind too. He said that when he could see he was always standing off at a distance, superficially scanning the surface of things, standing in front of things. After losing his ability to see, he no longer stood in front of things viewing them from far off. He stood with them instead. After reading his book, I tried the experiment of closing my eyes, and walking around a room. As you close your eyes, everything disappears; you might as well be surrounded by nothing but void/vacant space. What lies around only comes into existence after you reach out and actually touch it. It was true. It is impossible for blind people to live in front of things. They live "with" what they can reach out and touch. Lusseyran’s gift of being with others enabled him to screen applicants of spies, and therefore lead an underground resistance movement against the Nazi’s in WW2. Later he was imprisoned within the Buchenwald concentration camp. His blindness enabled him to see the people, rather than the wretchedness, in the camp. Of living "with" people in the camp he wrote: “…I still had 11 months ahead of me in the camp. But today I have not a single evil memory of those three hundred and thirty days of extreme wretchedness. I was carried by a hand. I was covered by a wing. One doesn’t call such living emotions by their names. I hardly needed to look out for myself, and such concern would have seemed to me ridiculous. I knew it was dangerous and it was forbidden. I was free now to help the others, not always, not much, but in my own way I could help…. I cannot try to show other people how to go about holding on to life. I could turn toward them the flow of light and joy which had grown so abundant in me. From that time on they stopped stealing my bread or my soup. It never happened again. Often my comrades would wake me up in the night and take me to comfort someone, sometimes a long way off in another block. Almost everyone forgot I was a student. I became “the blind Frenchman.” For many I was just: the man who didn’t die.” Hundreds of people confided in me. The men were determined to talk to me. They spoke to me in French, in Russian, in German, in Polish. I did the best I could to understand them all. That is how I lived, how I survived. The rest I cannot describe.” In short, Lusseyran discovered what living “with” people was all about. Living with people saved his life. Once you see the beauty of what "with" means, you no longer strive to be "in front of" anyone. Our prophets and apostles are great men, and are equally yoked with their wives. I wish we could hear more from their wives during conference meetings, but suspect that their wives have learned the value of remaining in the midst of others, rather than allowing themselves to be paraded into the spotlight. We learned of the great power of President Hinckley’s wife Marjorie after she passed away and we all witnessed President Hinckley’s great sorrow in her absence. She once said: "I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived. " — Marjorie Pay Hinckley Marjorie Pay Hinckley did not live out in the limelight in front of others, she lived with people – in the midst of them. We all honor and celebrate her as being a true disciple of Christ. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

I think grace gives us a reason to work. There are some endeavors which we would never begin to attempt because we recognize that success is impossible, and our work would be in vain. It would be futile for me to work towards flying like a bird for example. Even though I would love to fly, I don’t spend hours and hours running around in circles flapping my arms up and down, because I know no matter how hard I work, I will never grow feathers and soar through the clouds. Through God's grace, scenarios which would otherwise be hopeless, impossible, or pointless to even try become feasible and worthwhile. There is reason to work when we have faith that God will help, that through His grace we can succeed. Because of grace, good works are never done in vain. Alma chapter 26 is a wonderful account of God’s grace overcoming seemingly impossible odds. With the help of God, Ammon helped teach a group of people who had been “in the darkest abyss… racked with hatred” and “strangers to God”. These people whom most had given up hope for were “snatched from an awful, sinful, polluted state” and “encircled about with the matchless bounty of (God’s) love”. God allowed Ammon to experience the joys of His glorious, rewarding, transformative work. Alma 26: 11 … Ammon said unto (his brother Aaron): I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. 12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever. 22 Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God… Ammon did not work because God needed help, or because Ammon thought he was capable of saving himself or others. Work is the means whereby we can participate and be fellow members within the body of Christ. Without rolling our sleeves up and plunging our hands in, we would be nothing more than outsiders watching from the sidelines. I don’t think God wants followers who cheer from the sidelines, I think He wants fellow team members who join in the game. Work which is accompanied by the grace that brings success is the means whereby we can enter into the joy of the Lord. Show more Show less

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

We believe that the Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead, sent to everyone to bear witness of God, comfort, and guide us. The Holy Ghost sends us thoughts, gentle tuggings, warm reassurances, and warnings to help us on our way. Before baptism all are entitled to feel promptings from the Holy Ghost, but the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost is a gift given to those who are baptized by the proper priesthood authority, dedicate their lives to the Lord, and remain valiant and dedicated in following our Heavenly Father's commandments. Through following the promptings of the Holy Ghost and heeding the light of Christ (our conscience), we can enter into the joy of the Lord. My favorite scripture describing the Holy Spirit is in 1 Kings 19:11-12 “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD, and the LORD will pass by. A great and strong wind will rend the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD is not in the wind. After the wind an earthquake; but the LORD is not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire; but the LORD is not in the fire. After the fire, a still small voice.” Those who wish to feel the Spirit in their own lives can read the scriptures and then pray to know if they are true. Those who “ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ” are given the promise that “he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.” Book of Mormon, Moroni 10:4 Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Mormons do not currently practice polygamy, but many still wonder why polygamy was practiced in the past by individuals such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph Smith. The scriptures teach us that this practice was instituted in order to “raise up seed” (Jacob 2:30). In the early church polygamy was referred to as the “law of Sarah” (DC 132:65) because Sarah is the first example we have of the principle. Sarah and Abraham were both called upon to make great sacrifices. Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac even though human sacrifice is considered a horrific pagan act (see Jeremiah 32:35). Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son is an incredible example of faith that helps us understand the atonement. Like Abraham, Sarah was also tested and asked to sacrifice. Sarah, and several other barren women in the scriptures, offered handmaids to their husbands so that the promised blessings of posterity as the “stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore” could be fulfilled. We know what Abraham’s sacrifice represented, but what did Sarah and the other women’s sacrifice represent? When pondering upon the handmaidens within the scriptures, my mind is drawn to the most celebrated handmaid who is Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. "And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord" - Luke 1:38 When contemplating on the blessed virgin birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we might find some of the answers as to what Sarah’s sacrifice was in similitude of. Show more Show less