What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Sandra

I live in Utah, & have lived in other states & Canada. I enjoy Genealogy & my family. I am a Mormon.

About Me

Six children call me mom and eight children call me grandma. When I am not working, I spend my time doing family history research, compiling records to make family history books, transcribing old documents like Civil War letters to post online to help others with their research, etc. I also create digital scrapbook pages about my ancestors' lives and make fun pages about my children and grandchildren. I volunteer with Make A Wish 17 years, Boy Scouts of America 42 years and decorate Christmas trees and wreaths for a fund-raiser for a Children's Medical Center 25 years. I have also been involved with PTA, 4-H and Daughters of Utah Pioneers. Every Thanksgiving for the past 16 years, our family helps a local church feed the homeless and deliver meals to people who cannot make it to the church to eat. We feel very grateful for the blessings we have and want to help others by sharing our time and talents.

Why I am a Mormon

Although I was born into the Mormon Church, as I became a teenager, I wanted to develop my own testimony of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon, the Bible and Joseph Smith. I read the Book of Mormon when I was 14 and felt very strongly the Spirit touching my heart and telling me that what I was reading was true. The knowledge that Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God and our Saviour and Redeemer sank deep into my soul. I loved knowing that the Book of Mormon truly is another witness of Jesus Christ. As I became older, I realized the importance of having a living Prophet on the earth and Apostles to teach us how to live in the world, but not "of the world". I know that the Mormon Church is founded on the same principles and organization as taught in the Old and New Testament. I am a Mormon because I truly believe that families can be together forever. I love the quiet peace in the Holy Temples and the knowledge that one day we will get to see and know our ancestors. I am grateful that the Lord has provided a way for those who never heard about Jesus Christ--to be taught in the Spirit World and have someone perform by proxy, sacred ordinances like baptism, so that they, too, can be part of God's Kingdom. I am grateful that Jesus Christ paid the price and has redeemed me and that blessings await me, and others who have done things wrong in their lives. I love being a Mormon.

How I live my faith

Most of my church callings have been to teach the youth in the church, either by leading the singing or teaching Sunday School classes. A few times I have taught in the Women’s classes. Teaching Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts has been my main calling in life. Many people don't like to teach boys that age because they can get quite "active", but I can see so much potential in the boys. Some days teaching the boys is challenging and I am not sure that they ever remember what they have been taught, but hopefully they will remember that someone cared about them.

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Sandra
Mormons do not practice polygamy now. If anyone practices polygamy, they are excommunicated from the Mormon church because Mormons believe in honoring, obeying and sustaining the law. Article of Faith #12 Mormons are not part of any current polygamist group. Several of my ancestors practiced polygamy in the early days of the Mormon Church in the 1800's. They felt that there would be blessings awaiting them in the eternities if they lived the principle of eternal marriage under the conditions the Lord has set. They knew the Lord gave Abraham more than one wife and it was counted as righteousness. David and Solomon were given more than one wife, but they did not follow the commandments the Lord had given, so they lost their blessings. Most of my ancestors who married into polygamy did it to take care of single or widowed women who needed help crossing the plains or in the early days of the Utah territory. One of my ancestors married a woman whose husband had died and left her with several young children. My ancestor married her as his second wife. He provided for her and took care of her family. Another ancestor married a woman who had been orphaned. He hired her to help his wife with the children and home while his wife was ill. The young woman wanted to go with the family when they moved to California. The Prophet of the church at that time (President Brigham Young) told my ancestor that he it would be best to marry the young woman before taking her with the family, so he did. One of the children of my Great-Great Grandfather, Isaiah Cox wrote: “Mother was married to Isaiah in the Endowment House 28 October, 1865. She embraced plural marriage as a second wife. She relates how surprised she was on their return home that Henrietta (the first wife) ran out to meet them and gave them such a hearty welcome. It was then that mother resolved if another woman came into the family that she would receive her in open arms, which she did.” She continued: “Father married Martha in December 1869. The love these three women had for each other was greater than the love of sisters. The first three wives lived together until most of their children were grown, when the raid cause them to live separate and live in different towns. There was great love between the children of these mothers.” One of the wives wrote: “To me it is a joy to know that we laid the foundation of a life to come while we lived in that plural marriage--that we three who loved each other more than sisters…will go hand in hand together down through all eternity. That knowledge is worth more to me than gold and more than compensates for all the sorrow I have ever known.” She had several children die young. My Great Grandfather wrote that he didn’t know until he was older which woman was his mother, because all of them loved him and took care of him. Polygamy was stopped in the Mormon church in 1890 when Wilford Woodruff, the President of the LDS Church wrote a manifesto (which is printed in the Doctrine and Covenants of the church as Official Declaration1) stating that the LDS church would follow the laws of the United States government and no marriages contrary to the laws of the land would be permitted in any Temple. So, although some Mormons in the early 1800's practiced polygamy. None practice it now. 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?

Sandra
Anyone over the age of twelve who is “worthy” and a baptized member of the Mormon Church can enter into the Mormon Temple. To me it is like going to college. A kindergarten child would not be ready to enter college. A person who is not willing to study or comply with the requirements to attend college for a higher degree would not be admitted into the college. An application must be made and tests must be taken to determine if a candidate for college is “worthy” and prepared to attend. A person who desires to enter the Mormon Temple must declare themselves to be morally clean, pay tithing, sustain the Prophet and the leaders of the Mormon Church and be willing to follow the teachings of the church (like being honest). Our Heavenly Father loves all of his children, but he does not want his Holy Temples polluted by persons with unclean thoughts and actions. When I was about 14-years-old, I went into a relative’s home to visit. I was awed by the white carpet and the white furniture. It was beautiful. But, before I took more than a few steps, someone noticed that I had mud on my shoes. They quickly took me back outside. Not being allowed in the room had nothing to do with the Aunt not loving me. She didn’t want the dirt to come inside. As soon as I was clean, I was allowed back into the room. Mormon Temple ceremonies are not secret ceremonies. Most of what is taught in the Temple can be found in the scriptures—especially the Bible. Temple ordinances are sacred and beautiful. There is a peace and calm in the Temples that is not found anywhere else on the earth. We learn more about Jesus Christ and make covenants to keep ourselves “unspotted from the world” and to follow our Heavenly Father’s commandments. It is sort of like a “spiritual college”. Things that are sacred should not be spoken of lightly. If people of the world take the name of the Lord in vain and mock the Lord and his commandments—certainly they will mock the sacredness of Temple covenants. Another purpose of the Temple is to “seal” families together for eternity. Brides and Grooms kneel at an altar and make covenants of faithfulness to the Lord and to each other which will allow them to be a family forever if they continue worthy of those blessings. Death will not separate them because after the resurrection, they will continue as husband and wife. Any children born after their parents make the covenants are automatically part of their eternal family. If a couple was not married in the Temple and later has children—when the time comes that they desire to become an eternal family—the children and parents come to the Temple and kneel together at the altar to be “sealed” as a family for the rest of eternity. I had the opportunity for nine years to volunteer in the “Youth Center” of a Temple. Only children who have come to be sealed to their parents can be in the center. We did activities with the children and taught them about what the Temple is like. It was a beautiful experience. One little girl told us, “I just LOVE being in Jesus’ house!” Another child, seeing us dressed in white, exclaimed, “Are you ANGELS?” We assured her that we are not angels—we are Heavenly Father’s helpers. It was wonderful to see the joy on the faces of the parents and children when they knew they would be a “Forever Family”. One other purpose of the Mormon Temples is to perform baptisms by proxy for people who have died. We believe that everyone needs to be baptized. Christ showed us the example when he was baptized. Being baptized for the dead who did not have a chance while they were living is truly a blessing. God, being a loving God certainly would have a way that all of his children could come back to live with him. Those who die without learning of God need some way to enter into his kingdom by being baptized. Some people have asked if we are forcing baptism on those who have died. One of my friends made an analogy that I like. She said, “Baptism for the dead is like a pre-approved Credit Card. They come to us in the mail and we can choose to accept it or not. Those who have died can choose whether to accept the baptism or not. They have their own free will.” I truly believe that the Mormon Temples are a sacred building that gives those who desire the blessings a “safe haven” from the world and teach us principles of righteousness that will lead us back into the presence of our Heavenly Father. Show more Show less

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

Sandra
A few years ago, our family was evacuated during a flood and mudslide during the middle of the night. The electricity was off. We could not find flashlights to help us see. We had to leave with what we could grab quickly in the dark, so everyone was in their night clothes. Some of us did not have shoes. We realized quickly the importance of a 72 hour emergency kit which is suggested by the LDS Church. We didn't have much water stored, so when we were able to go back to our home, we had to buy water, because we could not use tap water which had become polluted. We learned that we needed to store water as well as food in our emergency supplies. Once my husband was suddenly laid off from his employment for several months. We were very grateful that we had food storage in our home and had some money saved in the bank. That bit of preparedness helped save us from what could have been a desperate situation. We were grateful we had made some preparations for a financial emergency so that our family did not have to rely on the government for assistance. Show more Show less