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Hi I'm Debra Jo

I grew up in Arizona. I'm a mother, a teacher, a musician, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a person who loves life and living. I am almost always optimistic and try to look at the cheerful side of things. Sometimes I think I was born to be a teacher. It's like my personal calling in life. I find joy in helping others reach and accomplish their goals and I especially love working with children. I have taught 2nd grade, 6th grade, preschool, and private music lessons. I have also tutored students of different ages in a wide variety of subjects. I feel like one of the most divine responsibilities I have is to teach my children. I get excited to show them new places and watch them learn new skills. My husband and I feel it's important to build a foundation of learning and discovery in their lives; we love taking family outings and talking about all the sights we see as we let them explore. Some of my other interests include running, making crafts, journal keeping, playing the piano and guitar, taking trips, and spending time with family and friends.

Why I am a Mormon

When I was in 2nd grade, I was reading the Book of Mormon in my bedroom one night. I do not remember the exact verse I was reading, but I was in the book of Nephi, and the passage I read made me so happy and feel so good inside that I started to cry. I later recognized that feeling as the Holy Ghost, and I have felt that feeling time and time again testifying to my soul that the word of the Lord is true. I know it to be true, and as I have chosen to follow the commandments to the best of my ability I have seen evidence of the blessings that come from living the way Heavenly Father has asked us to live. While my parents and grandparents grew up with the gospel in their lives, too, the choice to live it has always been up to me. As a teenager I especially gained a stronger witness as I shared what I believed with others, and as I found the happiness that living the gospel brings.

How I live my faith

Every day I live my faith by starting out with prayer. I pray for ways that I can help others who might need my help that day. Whenever a good thought or idea comes to my mind, I try to follow through with it right then and there. I also read my scriptures every day. My husband and I read together as well as on our own and we tell our kids a scripture story every day. I want them to grow up with a deep love for the stories in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. The words of the scriptures are comforting and inspiring, and I have felt God in my life because I read his words and try to remember them. I also keep a journal of the experiences I have where I have felt the love of God through others; I write down experiences when I have seen my prayers answered. I also live my faith by doing everything I can to be kind to my family and fulfill my responsibilities as a wife, mother, sister, daugther, and friend. Whenever I recognize that I haven't been as thoughtful as I should be, I ask them forgiveness and strive to act better. I also try to serve others in different way. Right now I am a youth leader. I enjoy working with the 14 and 15 year old girls in my church. It's fun to teach and to serve them. When there are hard times in my life I live my faith by trusting in the Lord. I pray for help to be happy even when it seems like I couldn't find happiness with the difficult situation. I also pray for help to forgive others. Sometimes life is hard and it seems some obstacles feel like traps we might never get out of, but I have learned by experience to never give up because the Lord will "wipe away tears from off all faces" (Isaiah 25:9) I know that when the trials are over, if you put your trust in the Lord, the pain of the bad experiences will be washed away, and we can find joy in Him. I find so much hope in the Savior Jesus Christ and the way his sacrifice gives us the power we need to get through the good times and the bad times.

What are Mormon Temples used for?

Debra Jo
Mormon temples are used to connect family relationships beyond the grave. When I chose to get married in the temple, I chose to be married to my husband, not just until "death do you part", but for "time and all eternity". It's not a simple difference of wording, however, that will make my marriage eternal. The ceremony is conducted by individuals who have the authority of the priesthood talked about in Matthew 16:19, where it is said: “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven...." Through the power of the priesthood authority, my husband and I will be "bound together" forever with our children if we live worthily of those blessings by living the commandments and relying on the Lord, Jesus Christ, who has the power and grace to save us. We believe that the purpose of this life is to prepare us for the next life; we have been put in specific family groups for a reason. One of our most prominent family goals is to keep our sights on Heaven, to live as close to God as we can, and one day return to His presence to be together forever with our loved ones. The temple reminds us of the bigger picture--the eternal plan. It is a place of worship that is designed to strengthen individuals in the gospel, to help bring peace and solace, and most critically, to strengthen families. Show more Show less