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Hi I'm Janie

I live in the southern part of the United States. I'm a poet. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born in upstate New York, but because my dad was a salesman, I grew up moving all around the country, finally settling in South Carolina in my early teens. I've raised five children, who have so far given me 16 particularly beautiful grandchildren. For most of my adult life I was a stay-at-home mom, and my husband worked for the telephone company. Several years ago he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and passed away 18 months later. And I found myself a widow, way earlier than is usual. I am now working for the American Cancer Society, a job that I simply love. My job responsibilities are to help people with cancer, which of course touches a particularly tender part of my heart. I have a side business as a photographer/poet, and have developed a kind of photography/poem/portrait that is pretty unique and gives my creative itch a good scratch. I love cooking, and have several square foot gardens that give me a lot of fresh produce for cooking experiments.

Why I am a Mormon

When I was 16 I became friends with a girl my age who was Mormon. She invited me to a New Year's Eve party and there I met a very nice young man. He called the next day, and eventually we began dating. He asked me to go to church with him, and since, in addition to my own church, I had many friends of many different denominations, I was interested to see what his church was all about. I will never forget how I felt that Sunday. The meeting was a testimony meeting, during which members who wanted to stood and bore testimony of what they believed and why. I was stunned that there were people whose beliefs were strong enough that they would stand in public and declare them to the world. I continued to attend church with this young man, and eventually decided to listen to the missionaries. When they taught the Plan of Salvation, the role of Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith's First Vision, and that I was a child of God, I can clearly remember thinking, "I already know this. I knew this before." It was as though I had known what they were telling me, and had forgotten it, and they were just reminding me. Every time I walked into the chapel of the local Mormon church, I felt as though I were coming home. There was an almost tangible warmth in the air. Eventually I decided to be baptised, and I have never regretted that decision. The covenants I made that day, standing in the water in the baptismal font, are precious to me. I simply cannot imagine what my life would have been like without the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. He is my Savior and my friend. The fact that when I make mistakes, he is there to make me whole, upon condition of my repentance...to do for me what I cannot do for myself,....makes life beautiful indeed. And....I married that nice young man. For eternity.

How I live my faith

In my congregation, I am the Adult Sunday School teacher. This year we are studying the Old Testament, and I really enjoy seeing how the themes of the gospel weave themselves thrroughout the scriptures. I've been a missionary, serving in California several years ago, and I had some pretty unique experiences as a missionary. For the first half of my mission I served in a small town on the coast of northern California, helping people discover their family trees. So many people in California are just one or two generations removed from another country that I found myself working on the intricacies of many languages and cultures. For the second half of my mission I had a companion from China, who had previously been a Communist. Our assignment was to introduce the gospel of Jesus Christ to the large Chinese population of the college town in which we lived. To teach Christianity to someone who has never heard of Jesus Christ was an incredible experience.

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

Mormon lifestyle.....well, I guess the simplist way to explain that is our religion touches every single part of our lives. Family prayer morning and night is the norm, as is family and personal scripture study. We certainly do not have a Sunday only religion - sometimes I think I should take a cot to the church! There are weekly activities for teenagers, and older pre-teens. The young men are involved in Boy Scouts, and the young women have their own program. The women of the church meet together socially, according to interests. In my own congregation there is a book club, a lunch buddies group, an exercise group, and a group studying the constitution. Across the world, other interests have created other groups. The high schoolers have a before-school scripture study class that meets every school day. Mormons are involved in after-school sports, politics, PTA'a, play groups, service projects, classes and on an on. Because we don't smoke, or drink coffee, tea or alcohol, we are healthier than the norm. Our health code, known as the Word of Wisdom, emphasises healthy eating, We often stand out in society because our moral standards are high, and often run contrary to what is accepted in the world today. Show more Show less