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Hi I'm Heather.

I'm an education professor, a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, and an avid reader. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a mom of three kids who sometimes drive me nuts despite being genuinely great. I live in east Texas and am happy to finally be a professor and no longer a student! I have a BA and an MA in Spanish and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction. In my spare time, I read everything I can get my hands on. I don't cook, bake, sew, can, store, crochet, knit, quilt, garden, stamp, decoupage, make macrame owls, or scripture chase and don't feel an ounce of guilt about it.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon for the same reason I am a woman, from Texas, and white--it's part of my identity. It's who I am. It's my spiritual language--even though my beliefs are quite distinct from your "stereotypical Mormon." I had a wonderful childhood being raised in the Mormon church and hope to provide my children with a similarly warm, welcoming faith community while also teaching them to appreciate other faiths and recognize the goodness in them.

How I live my faith

I am the Primary chorister in our congregation, which means that I teach gospel principles through music to children ages 3-12 every Sunday. I have been doing it for years and love it. I love seeing the children's enthusiasm and faith and energy. I feel re-charged every Sunday after spending almost two hours with them. I also play the organ for our Sunday meetings--something I don't enjoy but do it because I can and because our ward needs an organist! I also make monthly visits to women as a member of the Relief Society, the women's organization of our church. I enjoy getting to know the other women in our congregation and learning from their life experiences.

Why did your church previously practice plural marriage (polygamy)?

Heather.
Honestly, I don't know. It's something that I used to really struggle to understand, but have decided not to worry about because it has no impact on the way I experience Mormonism in my life. Show more Show less

Why don’t women hold the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How do Mormon women lead in the Church?

Heather.
Another tough question for me. I believe that women do not hold the priesthood in the Mormon church because we live in a patriarchal society in which men exercise power over women and the Mormon church is no exception to that rule. Show more Show less

What is the priesthood?

Heather.
The priesthood is the power of God. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Heather.
No, but we believe that he restored the original church that Christ established during his ministry on earth. We do sing some hymns that have words that might suggest that we worship him, but we do not. We honor him as the founder of our religion, but we worship Jesus Christ as do other Christian denominations. Show more Show less

What will the Mormon missionaries talk about when they visit my home?

Heather.
They will likely talk about faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. They will also likely talk about Joseph Smith and the founding of the Mormon church. They will also talk about obedience to commandments as being important to receiving exaltation. Show more Show less

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Heather.
Visitors are welcome, of course! Mormon church services are three hours every Sunday. The traditional start time is 9:00 a.m., but that varies according to where you live and how many congregations may need to use the building on Sundays. There is one meeting that everyone attends Sacrament Meeting that lasts an hour and ten minutes. During that meeting, the congregation sings hymns, we partake of the sacrament some churches call this communion, and members of the congregation share prepared messages that we call "talks." These talks last between 5-20 minutes. Members might give a talk once or twice a year. After sacrament meeting, the children ages 3-12 go to what's called Primary. Teenagers and adults go to their respective Sunday School classes for approximate 50 minutes. During the last 50 minutes, the men go to what's called Priesthood and the women go to Relief Society. Those meetings are like Sunday School, but divided according to gender. Show more Show less

What is the Relief Society?

Heather.
Relief Society is the women's organization of the church. Mormon women attend a Relief Society class every Sunday and also attend other interest group activities/meetings during the month. These vary according to the interests of the women in a given congregation. Even though I have been a member of the Mormon church since birth 37 years!, I have little experience with the Relief Society because I have always worked in the Primary the children's organization. Show more Show less

How do I become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church)?

Heather.
First, you will need to take some classes with the full-time missionaries. These can take place in your home or at a Mormon church building. They will teach you some of the important principles of Mormonism. Then, you will have an interview with the bishop like a pastor or priest of your local congregation. He will ask you whether you believe in the main principles of Mormonism and whether you are chaste and abstain from alcohol, tea, tobacco, and coffee. He will also ask whether you will commit to paying 10% of your income in tithing. Then, you will set a date upon which you will get baptized by the person of your choosing, as long as the person has the priesthood which is held by men in the Mormon church. After your baptism, you will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. You will sit in a chair and a group of male priesthood holders will lay their hands on your head and grant you the Holy Ghost. They will also give you a personalized blessing. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

Heather.
We believe that service is key to personal and spiritual growth. Members of the Mormon church volunteer to teach Sunday School classes, serve with the youth organizations, the women's organization, run the materials center, and even clean the building in order to learn the value of work and service. Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Heather.
No. Any Mormon who practices polygamy will get excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, Mormon theology as explained in Doctrine & Covenants 132 does imply that polygamy is an eternal principle, so many Mormons believe that polygamy will be practiced in heaven. I do not. Show more Show less