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Hi I'm Melanie

I'm a wife and a mom of 3 little kids. I sew costumes, volunteer at school, and tell bedtime stories.

About Me

I'm a homemaker of a sweet girl who is in third grade, a rough and tumble boy in first grade, and a smiley preschooler boy. I always have some kind of project going on the side (or more like three or four that I rotate from one thing to the next). Right now, I'm loving being in a book club and am putting together a family history fair locally. After the birth of my daughter I experienced post partum depression. It was the hardest year of our ten-plus years of marriage I think. A couple of years ago I lost my mother to cancer. She and my dad adopted me as a baby.

Why I am a Mormon

I've always been lucky to have Christ's church in my life being raised in the gospel. For me, it was easy to believe the truth that my parents taught me. What helped me to develop my own testimony and faith in the truthfulness of the gospel was actually doing the things my parents taught me and that I learned at church as a child. I found that as I followed Christ's example and lived according to the gospel, the Lord blessed me and I was happy. I have felt the Holy Ghost testify to me of the truthfulness of the gospel. I am so grateful for Christ's Atonement. Jesus Christ makes it possible to be with my family forever.

How I live my faith

Right now I'm working as the secretary for our children's class at church. We have a lot of children (over 100) so it can be a lot of paperwork, but Sundays are so fun when I get to sit with them and see their little smiling faces. I keep track of when it is the children's birthdays so we can sing to them and assign the talks, prayers, scriptures for the children's class. They are always thrilled when it is their turn to participate! It's my goal to help each child feel the love God has for them and help them to learn the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

Melanie
Special events in a Mormon's life that would be celebrated or marked as a special occasion include the blessing of a baby in church, baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, "graduation" or movement from the children's group (Primary) at church to the young men's or young women's group at church at age 12, going to the temple for the first time, serving a mission, and marriage. A small gift or card in recognition of any of these events is completely appropriate if you wish to recognize a special event in a Mormon's life (but not at all expected by us). The Church participates in the Boy Scouts program for the young men and so the recipient of Scouting awards and ultimately, the Eagle, is a marked rite of passage. For young women who are Mormons, progressing through the Young Women's Personal Progress program is celebrated culminating in the achievement of the Young Womanhood Recognition Award (considered the equivalent of an Eagle Scout Award). Rites of passage for young men also includes ordination to the priesthood and serving a mission. All young men are expected to serve a mission. Young women have the option of serving a mission but are not required to do so. Young women are also welcomed into the Relief Society typically when they are 18 or have graduated high school. Show more Show less

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

Melanie
God loves us today just as much as He loves the people of Moses, the people of Abraham, the people of Isaiah, etc. The Lord wants us to learn of Him and have the direction we need to be with Him again some day. He speaks to us through modern day prophets like President Monson just like the prophets of old. You can pray to God to know if what the Prophet says today is true just like you can pray to know if what the ancient prophets said is true. 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?

Melanie
Women don't hold the priesthood by design by the Lord. The Lord has designed a system so that all the members of His church can be blessed through the priesthood by the men of His church. Men are required to provide priesthood blessings to other men, women, and children of Christ's church and act in Christ's place when doing so. Fathers or sons in a family unit can provide priesthood direction, comfort, blessings, leadership, etc. for all family members. Home teachers are assigned to every family so if a family does not have a priesthood holder in their home they have a source they may claim for the blessings of the priesthood. Men do not bless themselves with the priesthood. It is a gift they bless others with. Women are blessed to lead in Christ's church in many organizations -- the Relief Society, the Young Women, and the Primary at all levels within the church. They see to the welfare of those they are responsible for; they speak to the general body of the church with the prophet and apostles; they plan activities and program; they teach lessons; they inspire those in their charge; they work to achieve the Lord's will. Women also lead as mothers in the home and have been given the specific responsibility to nurture children. This responsibility extends to all women, not just mothers with children in the home. Women are also called to lead in their families in partnership with their husbands to accomplish goals together. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Melanie
I don't worship Joseph Smith, but I do appreciate everything he has done as a man and as a prophet of our church. Without the Prophet Joseph Smith, Christ's church would not have been restored for us to live it in its fulness. I worship God and Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

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

Melanie
One of the wonderful things about our Church is that services are pretty much the same no matter where you live. Visitors are always welcome to come; you can just show up unannounced at the meeting time and find a seat. Sacrament Meeting where we all meet together (adults, teens, children) consists of singing hymns, prayer, taking the Sacrament, sharing testimonies or listening to speakers. Sometimes there are special musical or choir numbers. Music is typically traditional with the piano or organ played to accompany us. If you have younger children, be sure to go to Primary. It is geared just for them where they can wiggle around more while singing and getting a lesson. Visitors are often greeted with a welcome song and introduced to the other children. Primary is my children's favorite part of church. Following Primary is an age-oriented class with a short gospel lesson. If your child is clingy we always welcome parents to sit in Primary with us until the child is comfortable and parents frequently visit to see their children give a talk or say the prayer. There are also special Sunday School classes for adults and a nursery class for children younger than age three that are before or after Sacrament Meeting. You can look up online, call the local building, or ask a local member to find out when are Sunday meetings. Often during the middle of the week the teenagers meet together to do service, work on Boy Scout requirements or homemaking skills, and have fun together. Show more Show less

Can a husband and wife be together forever? Do Mormons believe that families will live together in heaven?

Melanie
One of the most amazing things to me on my wedding day was kneeling across an altar in the temple and being sealed for time and all eternity to my husband. I was overwhelmed with gratitude to my Father in Heaven that he would provide a way for me to be with the man I loved so deeply not just for my life, but forever. Death won't be the end for us -- our relationship and family will continue forever. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Melanie
When I was first married, I moved four times in under five years as we pursued jobs and settled down. One of the things that made moving easier each time was knowing I'd have the Church where we moved. The Church is a lot like having an instant extended family when you move. The men of the Church show up to help you move your boxes out and men you don't even know show up to help you move your boxes and furniture into your new place just because they care. I got the flu just after we moved to a new city far from any family and was so sick I couldn't get out of bed. My husband was unable to take any time off work at his new job. I was so worried about who would take care of my toddler because I was so ill and I didn't know anyone in the city. My husband called the Relief Society President and she took care of my daughter all day and then she even had dinner waiting for my husband when he picked her up. Show more Show less

Can you tell me about Mormon customs: how you dress for church, what holidays you celebrate, etc.?

Melanie
With three little kids, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny visit our home, but we teach our children the real reason for celebrating those holidays is Christ. We also celebrate other National holidays you would find on the calendar like Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and birthdays, etc. Other significant dates for Mormons include Pioneer Day, July 24th, which commemorates the arrival of the Mormon Pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley in Utah. April 6th is also a significant date to us because it is the date The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was reorganized by the Prophet Joseph Smith. In May, fathers and sons often go on a campout or do something special together to commemorate the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood. The organization of the Relief Society women's group in the Church is also commemorated at a birthday celebration by Mormon women in March. In the spring and fall each year we have General Conference as a church when the Lord's Prophet and Apostles speak to us. We wear our "nicer" clothes to church out of respect for Heavenly Father and Jesus. You wouldn't usually see someone in formal wear at Church though. I've heard it said that what we wear to church is kind of like what someone might wear to a job interview. Show more Show less

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

Melanie
Our family gives 10 percent of our gross income or increase to the Church because it is a commandment of the Lord. God gives us everything we have and asks for a a tenth from us so our temples, chapels and meetinghouses can be built. We don't have paid clergy so the money is used to help maintain church facilities and provide activities in our wards and stakes for families, children, adults, and the youth of the Church. Even when we were poor students, my husband and I found that the Lord provided for our family's needs as we paid our tithing. We pay our tithing right away as soon as we receive a paycheck so we aren't tempted to use the money on something else. Now, we find we hardly miss the money at all. If this is something you're struggling with, the Lord says prove me now-- try doing it and see how you are blessed. Show more Show less

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

Melanie
No--We are encouraged to be civic-minded and improve our communities including through the ballot box. The Church has a very strict policy on remaining politically neutral so they do not endorse particular political parties or candidates. Every year a letter attesting to this fact is read over the pulpit even. There are members of the Church in both of the major political parties and each party has claim to members of the Church who hold office in the government. The Church does not discriminate against members in either party and makes efforts to reach out to every President of the United States in office by presenting him with a copy of his family history that they have researched. The Church has gotten involved with ballot measures only when it was deemed a moral issue on principle by encouraging members to get involved on their own. Mormons in the United States are generally very patriotic and so they will observe Independence Day, Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, etc. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe happens to us after we die? What do Mormons believe about life after death?

Melanie
When my mother died, our family buried her body. We took great comfort in knowing that although her body was dead, her spirit continued in life. After death, we will all be resurrected one day and our bodies (perfected) will be reunited with our spirits, just as Christ was resurrected. If we live righteously, we will be able to spend our life after death together with our families. Show more Show less

What is the Church’s position on abortion?

Melanie
As an adopted child, I am so grateful for the gift of my life. My birth mother gave me the greatest gift of two wonderful adoptive parents. The Church believes in the sanctity of life and that life begins at conception. It does not support abortion as a choice of convenience. Babies have a right to life and as people we do not have the authority to decide if a child's life should be terminated before God's appointed time. Abortion is only an option in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother's life is in danger. Even in these instances, the Church counsels women to prayerfully consider their choices and counsel with the Lord. All women are entitled to personal revelation especially when it comes to their bodies and their children's life inside of their bodies. I am personally forever grateful to the courageous woman who chose life for me and gave me the best chance of success in life by giving me a loving father and mother who were married. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Melanie
All missionaries who serve missions do so as volunteers and typically pay their own way. Young men are expected to serve a mission as part of their priesthood duties, but it is optional for young women to do so. Some people are excused from serving missions for health reasons. When I was a young single woman, I had the option to serve a mission, but chose not to serve and completed my education instead and focused on preparation for marriage. My husband did serve a mission to Brazil as a young man. He and I both hope to serve a mission together later as a senior missionary couple. We think it will be a great adventure together and are excited to do whatever the Lord has in store for us! Show more Show less

What blessings can we receive through the gift of the Holy Ghost?

Melanie
One of the roles of the Holy Ghost is as a comforter. In some of the darkest times of my life I have prayed for that comforting Spirit and received it. My postpartum depression and grief after I lost my mother to cancer didn't magically go away, but the comfort made things bearable and helped me to keep going. The peace and comfort I felt from the Holy Ghost helped me to know I was not alone in my trials and I knew God loved me. Show more Show less

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

Melanie
We believe The Book of Mormon to be another testament of Jesus Christ and that it is scripture like the Holy Bible so we were nicknamed "Mormons" or had our way of life called "Mormonism." The Book of Mormon comes from golden plates that contain a record of ancient people living on the North American Continent. Mormon, a prophet of God, was a keeper of the Golden Plates anciently and wrote on them. Joseph Smith translated Mormon's writings on the Golden Plates and it is known today as The Book of Mormon. We are sometimes also called "LDS" or "latter-day saints" as an abbreviation. The most correct way to refer to our church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Show more Show less

Why is self-reliance important to Mormons? Why do Mormons talk about emergency preparedness?

Melanie
The more self-reliant we become the more free we are to live the gospel and to serve others. It is easy for me to put a meal together for someone who needs some help because my pantry is stocked. I have been able to open my wallet or offer some extra groceries to our food bank because we are living within our means. I have found as we have worked to build our emergency savings up that I am much less stressed because we have a plan in place to take care of family if disaster should strike. I've been blessed to get to choose to stay at home to raise our children because our family has not taken on unnecessary debt and lived frugally. It is satisfying to be able to do things for ourselves. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Melanie
Christ set the perfect example in His life of how we should each live. As a perfect person, Christ was baptized because He was commanded to do so by Heavenly Father. We all have need for baptism so we all must be baptized like Christ. Not just any kind of baptism will do though. We believe people must be baptized by those with the proper authority of God (those with the Priesthood) in the proper manner, by immersion. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Melanie
We have a lot of need in our community and I have been approached frequently by individuals who are hungry when I'm out grocery shopping with my babies. I rarely carry cash, but I always pull groceries out of my bag to give to them to eat. My husband has bought lunch several times for a hungry man when he has been on his lunch hour at work. We regularly donate canned goods to our community's food pantries. We have never asked if these people are members of our church before we help them. When neighbors had a baby we took their family dinner. We also regularly volunteer our time and talents helping in our community at our elementary school and coaching the local high school academic teams (where we don't even have children attending yet). Last Christmas, we purchased all the items and then assembled hygiene kits for a women's shelter with our extended family. This is just what we have done as a family in addition to our "official" giving of monetary donations through our church to fund humanitarian aid efforts globally. I'd say the majority of our service outside of the volunteer work we do at church and our immediate family is for people who are not members of our church. Show more Show less

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

Melanie
I think it greatly depends on what woman you talk to what she is like! We are not all the same even if we do share a common faith. We have different thoughts, feelings, struggles, triumphs, passions, etc. We do share a love for our Savior and faith in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We believe in the equality of men and women and believe men and women each have specific roles and responsibilities that compliment one another. I can tell you about me. I'm a college graduate who gave up a career to stay at home with my kids by my own choice. I keep up with the news and am politically active. I like to organize causes and volunteer my talents in my free time. I keep my brain busy reading for pleasure but also on the latest developments in whatever I think will impact my family. My husband claims I wear the pants in the family (jokingly)-- he is such a dear and really listens to what I have to say and values my input. We both feel like his successes in his job as an attorney are also mine and my successes in the home and with our children are his also. When we discuss things together it is as colleagues would who are on the same plane or level with neither of us above nor below the other. We share our triumphs, failures, sorrows, and joys. We are the greatest teammates ever! Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Melanie
I'm my husband's one and only wife and he is my one and only husband. I do not personally know anyone practicing polygamy. Other groups who practice polygamy are not members of my faith. If a member of my faith was practicing polygamy, they would be excommunicated. Show more Show less