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Hi I'm Linda

I grew up in the States, but now I live in Canada. I'm a graduate student in linguistics. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a graduate student in linguistics. I tell people I have the hobbies of a 75-year-old--cooking, gardening, watching Cary Grant movies, and listing to big band jazz. I like shopping with my mom and watching baseball with my dad. My favorite thing to do though, is playing with my 10 nieces and nephews.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up in the LDS Church. I mean, I was a Mormon from birth. But I definitely had opportunities to stop going to church. Or to stop believing what my parents taught me. Some of the friends I grew up with have stopped. But I have chosen to continue because I see that it's good. I see that following the teachings of the church makes me happy. It brings me peace and direction and hope and joy--and I need that.

How I live my faith

At church, I help lead the women's organization in our congregation. Strictly speaking, my role is to make sure we have teachers and lessons planned for our Sunday meetings. But more importantly, I spend a lot of time just getting to know the other women in the congregation, helping them feel welcome, and finding out how we can help them build their faith in Jesus Christ. What I really love about my role is not just developing relationships with other people but helping them develop better relationships with our Savior. Outside of church, I also try to have really positive interactions with other people. I'm not a really perky, bubbly person, but I like to get to know people around me. I like to thank the cashier at the grocery store and server at the restaurant. I like to be a really courteous driver. I'm totally that person on the train who moves over to make room for you.

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Linda
I think people see Mormonism as a cult because they don't know much about it. When the Mormon church was first organized (back in 1830), it freaked people out--new religions were not acceptable. So Mormons got kicked out of all these different places (New York, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois) just for having different beliefs, and eventually they just went off and lived by themselves (in Utah). Then for a long time the Mormons were this segregated religious community off in the mountains . . . okay, so that might look a little like a cult. But the truth is that Mormonism is not some weird little cult in the mountains of Utah. It's a religion that follows Jesus Christ and that helps people become more like Jesus Christ. It's people in countries all over the world who love living their religion and love sharing about their religion. Show more Show less

Can you tell me about Mormon customs: how you dress for church, what holidays you celebrate, etc.?

Linda
For church, we wear our 'Sunday best' to show reverence for God when we come to worship. But Sunday best can mean different things in different circumstances. I grew up in the United States where men typically wear at least a tie and slacks (but often a suit, if they have one) to church. Women usually wear modest dresses or skirts. But when I lived in the Philippines, a lot of people couldn't afford slacks and dresses. For some people, Sunday best was clean shorts and a t-shirt. It's important to dress 'up' in some way to set church apart from other activities--this isn't school or vacation or a walk in the park--it's church. And it's different. As a church, we specifically celebrate Christmas and Easter Sunday. As far as I know, we celebrate those holidays similarly to other Christians. My family loves getting a Christmas tree, decorating, giving gifts, etc, and the Easter Bunny brought me chocolate every year until I moved out of the country--not just out of the house, out of the country. But we also try to focus on Jesus Christ during those holidays and really celebrate his birth, life, and sacrifice for us. Religious holidays are a wonderful time for reflection spiritual growth. I love other holidays, too. My dad makes a great Thanksgiving turkey. I love dressing up for Halloween. I have been known to spray my hair green on Saint Patrick's Day. And this year, I celebrated my birthday for two months. Show more Show less

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

Linda
It seems like everyone has a different view of what 'equal' means. I grew up in a household with two brothers and one sister (so including me, that's two boys and two girls), and we were treated equally. We all did chores. We all helped with dinner. We all worked hard in school. We had opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities. Sometimes, if there was strenuous outdoor work to be done, my dad asked my brothers to help instead of me and my sister. But I don't consider that to be unequal--I'm kind of a wimp! I was happy to not digging holes for trees or moving heavy things around the yard. On the other hand, my dad told me he preferred to have me mow the lawn over my brothers because I was more careful about it. And sometimes my younger brother volunteered to bake cookies over helping with more physical labor. My parents make decisions together. They help each other. They support each other. They don't do all the same work though: my mom does the vacuuming and my dad does the mopping. I have always seen my parents as equal. And I have always seen myself as equal with my brothers. My dad and brothers treat women with kindness and respect. And my mom and sister and I treat men with respect. We actually really all like each other, and I think that's important. Show more Show less