What Is a Church Community?

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Hi I'm Tana

I'm a mom of many, a vegetarian, a documentary fan, and a Mormon.

About Me

I am stay-at-home-mom of 13, soon to be 14 (yes, really!) children and the wife of a wonderful husband. Our children joined us through birth and adoption from China, Ethiopia and Haiti, so anything to do with large families and transracial adoption are interests of mine. We are adopting our 14th child from China, a little girl with Down syndrome (our second with Down syndrome), and hope to have her home before the end of the year. I enjoy running, dancing, playing the cello, whole foods/vegetarian cuisine, collecting cookbooks, traveling, reading and decorating. Although I am a full-time homemaker, I maintain my license as a speech-language pathologist and occasionally fill in for other SLPs. We have a deaf daughter, too, so I have plenty of opportunities to use my education and training in my own family. My husband and I hope to serve a mission for our church somewhere in mainland China one day!

Why I am a Mormon

I was born to parents who have always been active members of our faith, so my membership in this church may seem to be a given. During my early adulthood, however, I went through a period where I wasn't sure whether I really believed what I had always been taught, or if I was simply relying on the convictions of others. I stopped attending church for a time and just sort of "floated" for a while. Later during that year, I decided that I had to know one way or the other whether the faith I'd been raised in was truly Christ's church. I began to pray and study my scriptures in earnest, and I pleaded with God to help me know for myself. The answer came to me one day as I was praying at my desk in my dorm room. I had been reading in The Book of Mormon, and suddenly I was struck with a certainty that what I had been reading had REALLY happened. I knew that The Book of Mormon was God's word, just as the Bible is God's word. I knew it at that moment, and my testimony has only strengthened since that time. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ upon the earth today, and that it is through His gospel that salvation is freely available to all.

How I live my faith

My days start and end with prayer and scripture study. I enjoy my quiet time alone with the Lord in the mornings, and know that this gives me the strength to take care of my responsibilities and deal with challenges throughout the day. In the evenings, our family devotionals help us to stay united as a family and stay focused on our goals. On Mondays, we devote an evening to fun activities, service projects, or lessons, and we avoid any outside activities or commitments that would take any of us away from this special time. In our church, I serve in a volunteer capacity teaching a Sunday school class for 14-17 year olds. Although I was initially terrified by this opportunity, I have come to love each of the young men and women I get to spend time with each week. They are examples to me of Christlike living, and they remind me that because of the gospel, we truly can keep ourselves protected from the evil influences in the world today. I also try to set an example and live my life as I believe the Savior wants me to. I am not perfect, but I try to make good choices, serve others, and show love and kindness to those around me.

What is the difference between attending a Mormon Church and a Mormon Temple?

A church is where we attend our Sunday worship services, as well as meetings, social activities, and youth programs at other times of the week. We have parties, dances, dinners, performances, etc. in our churches, in addition to our regular meetings, and our church buildings and worship services are open to anyone who would like to attend. Our temples are specially dedicated "Houses of the Lord," where we participate in sacred ordinances which prepare us to return to our Father in Heaven after we die. One of these ordinances provides for families to be bound, or "sealed" to one another for this life, and the next. This means that we can always be with our spouses and children, and the ties that are created in this life are not just until death. As an adoptive family, this is especially meaningful. We are so grateful to know that although not all our children were born to us, they have been sealed to us just the same and will be a part of our famiily forever. Show more Show less