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Hi I'm Melanie

Publishing intern in DC. Lover of clever television. Player of tennis and warriorball. Follower of Christ.

About Me

I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, as the youngest of eight kids. It was awesome! My parents are wonderful examples of faith. My family are all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and it really drew us together as we grew up and keeps us together now that we've grown. I graduated from Westminster College in 2009 with a bachelor's in English. I'm working now on a master's in Publishing at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. I love to read and I love when language is used in creative and beautiful ways. My dream is to help writers hone their work to the best form possible. I served a mission for the Church in Rochester, New York. It was a really hard step for me to leave home and put off school to talk to strangers 24/7 about my faith, but it was also the greatest thing I've ever done! I learned to rely on my Savior and trust my Heavenly Father. I grew so much as a person and grew so much closer to God. And I learned to love sharing my testimony and helping others to learn about the gospel. I have made a commitment to live my life in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ. I'm not perfect--nobody is--but I know that as I try, I will become more like the person that my Heavenly Father knows I can be. And I know that I can one day return to live with him again.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in the Church and taught from infancy about its beliefs. Throughout my childhood, I followed the examples of my parents and let their faith hold me to the Church, but there came a time when I really began to question everything. Was any of it true? It was a hard time and wondering about all of this made me really unhappy. Throughout that time I was still going to church and other activities, but I wasn't really studying the scriptures and I wasn't really praying. I was always wondering, doubting. Finally, as I began to read the Book of Mormon again, I came across a verse of scripture that I had read a hundred times before, Alma 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." That seemed so powerful to me! I desired to believe. I wanted it to be true because it all seemed so sweet and peaceful. If it were true, then I was a daughter of God and could rely on His strength throughout my life. So I let that desire work in me. The next verse reads: "Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves–it must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me." I really had read this verse a hundred times before, but finally I GOT it. I was always taught that the Holy Ghost will testify of truth, but I finally understood that unless you begin accepting and acting on truth, there is nothing for the Holy Ghost to testify of. You have to let these teachings into your heart and then you will see the blossoms grow. I have seen many blossoms since that time. I have felt peace and joy. I have learned so much and been uplifted so often. I have felt a stirring in my heart that I know was the Holy Ghost telling me that what I was being taught was truth. I have burned to learn more and to share what I learned. There have been times since then when I have still doubted. Times when I thought perhaps I was just seeing and feeling what I wanted to see and feel. But feelings as STRONG as these are not native to my personality. I'm not an emotional person, so why would I swell inside at these words from the scriptures? I'm not prone to heartburn, so why do I feel a fire inside my chest EVERY time I testify that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored for us? I don't like to approach strangers, so why would I go on a mission for the Church to share the gospel with anyone who will listen? I may have been born into this Church, but I have by no means followed blindly. I know for myself that it is true.

How I live my faith

When asked what was the greatest of all the commandments, Jesus answered that it was most important to love God, and second to love our neighbors. I live my faith by trying to follow this admonition. I show my love for God by praying daily and seeking his guidance in the scriptures. I also do my best to be obedient. I know that I'm not perfect in following the commandments, but I also know that as I try, I can be forgiven of my mistakes and strengthened by the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I show my love for others by striving to be kind, accepting, and uplifting for everyone around me. I look for chances to help others learn about God, and I look for opportunities to serve others. As I do these things, I see how much more joyful life is. When you focus always on yourself, you end up very unhappy and alone. But when you focus on Heavenly Father and on those around you, your joy and happiness grow every day.

How can we increase our faith in Jesus Christ?

Like building muscles, the only way to increase our faith is to exercise it. I'm not a great runner. I never have been a great runner. But I could see the health benefits and how happy it made some people, so I decided to start running anyway. It was hard at the beginning (and still is). I knew it would be. But I also knew that I wouldn't magically one day be able to run far without building up to it and putting in some effort. It's the same with our faith. We are promised in the scriptures that we can have faith, but we are asked to exercise a little, put in some effort, and work toward it (Alma 32:27-28). This is because we need to learn in this life how to trust our Savior and believe in our Father without being compelled (2 Nephi 2:26). Our Heavenly Father loves us, and he wants us to feel the accomplishment of building our muscles and gaining spiritual strength through honest effort. So how do we exercise faith? By obeying the commandments of God and the words of the Prophets. We read the scriptures, we attend Church. Most of all, we pray. We earnestly seek our Heavenly Father's will through prayer, and we follow it, showing our trust. Show more Show less

What is the Relief Society?

The Relief Society has a rich and very spiritual history. It was developed to help the women of the Church learn about the Gospel, and put its teachings into action. Every Sunday, women of ages 18+ meet to discuss Gospel topics and study the scriptures together. And we regularly meet to help those around us who are in need. In this way, the women of the Church support each other and help each other. And together we grow in understanding and spirituality.  Show more Show less

What does Mormonism teach regarding baptism?

Baptism is the action that shows our inner commitment to follow our Savior, Jesus Christ. When we are baptized, we take upon us the name of Christ and promise to follow his teachings. The act of going completely under water and being brought up again is symbolic of washing away our sins and coming up with new life. After being baptized with water, we receive the Holy Ghost, which is referred to in scripture as the "baptism by fire" (Matthew 3:11). The Holy Ghost is the Spirit, and, when we are worthy, can be with us constantly to help us stay clean and obedient. Show more Show less

Why do Mormon missionaries proselyte?

In John 21:17 it reads: "He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep." If we love the Lord, we are commanded to "feed his sheep". Mormon missionaries proselyte so that they can share spiritual nourishment with all of God's children, bringing those sheep who have wandered back into the fold. We do it because we love the Savior and wish to follow all his teachings. But we also do it because it is the desire of our own hearts to see others feeling the joy of the gospel. In the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 28:3 reads: "Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble." Because we know that God is our loving Heavenly Father, and that He wants us to live with Him again, we know that every soul is precious and important to Him, and we want them all to return. Show more Show less