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Hi I'm Natalie

I grew up in balmy Houston and now live in the chilly Midwest. I have four sons. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a married, stay-at-home mom of four busy boys, including a set of twins. We struggled with infertility for several years, so I feel very blessed to have my precious family. Right now, my life revolves around my children, who range in age from a sixth-grader to a toddler. I wouldn't have it any other way. I feel like I have the life I always wanted. I have a master's degree in English, and I've taught college freshman level English composition, but I am not currently employed. Right now, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading and scrapbooking. Even though we live far from the coast, I love the beach and we usually take a family trip each summer to the ocean. I like to travel and show my children new places.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up in a loving home with wonderful parents who gave me a strong moral foundation. We did not attend any church as a family, although I sometimes attended a Baptist church with friends. I always felt that I wanted to belong to a church and to learn more about Jesus Christ. I became best friends with a member of the Church in seventh grade, and we were best friends through high school. I sometimes attended Church activities with her, and she told me about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. It made sense to me that God would talk to people in different lands than the Biblical lands and that he would have a prophet today. I remember asking my mother when I was little why God talked to prophets like Moses in the Bible and didn't talk to people today. She didn't know, but my friend did. I didn't have a lot of interest in the Church, despite my friendship with my friend, as I was busy with figure skating, school and other teenage activities. I was always glad that my friend kept high moral standards. I was never comfortable around other teens who drank and smoked or "partied". As high school neared an end, I had planned to attend our state university. My friend was planning to attend BYU. She convinced me to apply. I had no intention of attending--I did not want to go so far away from my family. I only applied because she kept bugging me, telling me how long we'd been friends and how she would miss me and what fun I would have at BYU. It ended up that I received a full academic scholarship, so I decided to attend. Once I was there, although I was very homesick, I was amazed at all the nice people I met, people who shared the values I believed in. I was amazed how much fun I was having with people who didn't smoke or drink or try to pressure me into doing so. I was required to take a Book of Mormon class for school, so I began reading it. I also began dating a member of the Church. After spending some time with my new boyfriend, he shared with me that he did not want to become serious with someone who was not a member of the Church. I had been feeling in my heart that maybe this Church was true, but I was not ready to make a commitment. Shortly after that conversation with my boyfriend, a roommate took me on a road trip with her to Rick's College BYU-Idaho. We stopped at the Idaho Falls temple visitor's center. A senior missionary shared lots of spiritual experiences and stories with us. I don't remember the details of what he talked about, but I remember getting the strong impression that I knew the Church was true, that God knew that I knew it, and that I needed to do something about it. I came home from Idaho and asked my boyfriend to baptize me. My roommates planned the entire baptism and then called and invited the missionaries! I had seen the missionaries a few times but had been avoiding them. They were so surprised. Two and a half years after I was baptized, my boyfriend and I were married in the Washington DC temple. I don't know where I would be without my membership in the church or my faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for Joseph Smith and how he restored Jesus Christ's true church to the earth. I have a wonderful husband and four wonderful sons that I know I am sealed to for time and all eternity. I have a strong network of friends that share my beliefs and values and help me raise those boys in this scary world of ours today. My relationship with my parents is still very close. I am so grateful to my friend for introducing me to the Church. I have never for a moment regretted joining the Church--it has been the greatest blessing and strength in my life and has led to so many other rich blessings in my life. When I have gone through hard times, as we all do, I have relied on the Savior and the scriptures and priesthood blessings. I can't imagine living without the restored gospel in my life. I especially cannot imagine raising my sons without the gospel.

How I live my faith

I live my faith on a daily basis. It is evident in our family routines. We pray with our children morning and night and at mealtimes. We read scriptures as a family every day. On Monday evenings, we have Family Home Evening, where we teach our children about the gospel, sing songs, play games, have treats, and enjoy spending time together. We avoid scheduling any other activities on Monday nights as much as we possibly can. We attend church as a family on Sunday. My husband serves as the leader of the adult men of our congregation. He sometimes teaches lessons on Sundays, and he helps out with visiting families and seeing that any needs are met. He might organize help for a family who is moving or set up an employment breakfast to help a man who is looking for a job to talk and network with other employed members. I work with the children. I am the secretary of our children's organization. I take attendance on Sunday, and with three other ladies, help make sure the children have lessons on Sunday and occasional activities during the week. My faith is evident in the choices I make about my life. It influences the media I watch and listen to, the clothes I wear, even what I choose to drink. I do not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages, coffee or tea. I do not miss these things at all! Instead, I have the blessing of a healthier body and mind and I can set a confident example for my children. Another way I live my faith is to keep the Sabbath day holy. I don't shop on Sunday or participate in recreation activities like sporting events. Instead, we focus on church and family time on Sundays. It gives us a nice respite once a week from our busy lives. I hope my faith is evident to those around me. I think people can look at our family and see that we are happy, that our choice to live the gospel does not restrict our lives, but blesses us richly.

Why is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Mormons or Mormonism?

The Church is often called the Mormon church because we believe in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is a book that tells of Jesus Christ's visit and teachings to ancient Americans. Joseph Smith translated the book. The book is a companion to the Bible, and having the Book of Mormon makes us different from any other Christian church, so people often call us Mormons. Show more Show less