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Hi I'm Christina

I'm a mother of eight, a photographer, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a mother to eight young children -- yep, eight! Six girls, two boys, and one set of identical twins. The oldest is 11. I love photography, reading, blogging, and my family.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up in an LDS home, but being a Mormon is not about living the traditions of my parents, good as they were. I've always been taught that I could and should learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ for myself, and that's what I have done. When I was about 12, I began reading the scriptures daily and I gained a conviction that they were true. As I've grown and studied, my relationship with my Heavenly Father has only grown stronger. My life has been blessed by trying to live by the teachings of Jesus Christ. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, I believe that God still speaks to us today. He speaks to me personally and He speaks to the world through living prophets.

How I live my faith

My greatest joys come from teaching my children to love each other and help others. In a world where children are increasingly unwelcome, my husband and I have chosen to devote our lives to raising smart, loving, thoughtful children. Not every Mormon has a large family and not every woman is able to have many children, but we feel that God has directed us and helped us to have the energy and wisdom to raise our children. There can be a lot of chaos in our home sometimes, but there is also tons of love and laughter. I serve in my local ward as facilities director. Each week, I send my two oldest children down each hall to make sure each classroom is clean and the chairs are put away after our Church meetings. Every three months, our congregation takes its turn to clean the building from top to bottom once a week, and I coordinate that. In our Church, we serve in many different assignments. I have also been the Children's Primary Chorister, a Primary Teacher, a Relief Society President, and a Sunday School teacher. It's wonderful to see how many ways people serve. Each week, my family is blessed by wonderful members who teach my kids in Primary, bless and pass the sacrament, lead meetings, and just be kind friends to us. No one is paid for any of the work they do -- they do it because they love the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Christina
No. Young men who are able are asked to serve for two years when they turn nineteen years old. Young women who feel called to go serve for eighteen months. As health and circumstances permit, older couples without children at home serve for varying lengths of time. Missionaries teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and also perform many acts of service. Most missionaries pay their own expenses and serve at a great sacrifice because they believe they are called of God.My husband served a mission to Brazil. The experience changed and strengthened him and gave him a great maturity. My husband's parents have served two missions, one a humanitarian mission to Eastern Europe and another to Armenia. My parents served a mission in Switzerland. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Christina
No. We worship God the Father and his son Jesus Christ. We pray to our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ and we seek his direction in our lives. We believe that Joseph Smith was an important prophet like Moses, Isaiah, and John the Baptist who was sent to restore to earth the fullness of the gospel, truths that had been lost over the years, and we believe that we can become closer to our Heavenly Father by following the teachings of all the prophets, including Joseph Smith and the prophets who have followed him. President Thomas S. Monson is the prophet on the earth today. Show more Show less

What is the priesthood?

Christina
The priesthood is the power to act in God's name. It includes the power to baptize, the power to heal, and the power to lead the Lord's Church on the earth. A person cannot call himself to the priesthood. "And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." Hebrews 5:4 Aaron was called of God and annointed by Moses and set apart to have the power of God. see Exodus 40:15. We believe that God is a God of order and not of confusion. Our Church is very different from others because we believe we have the power of the priesthood restored to the earth again, which includes the calling and anointing of prophets and apostles. The priesthood is God's organization and men who are worthy to hold it are ordained by those in authority. The priesthood includes the power to give blessings to others, including blessings of healing. I have experienced great power because of priesthood blessings in my life. Each time we have a new baby, we bring her to Church to be blessed. My husband stands in a circle with other men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood and says the words he feels impressed that God would have him say. It is a sacred occasion for me to hear the words of God and to feel the love He has for my children and the plan He has for their lives. Show more Show less

Who was Joseph Smith?

Christina
As a boy living in upstate New York, Joseph Smith was greatly impressed by the religious excitement in his day. He wanted nothing more than to find the true Church of God. He attended many meetings and listened to many different interpretations of the gospel. He wrote, “So great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was . . . to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong. . . . In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?” Joseph Smith—History 1:8, 10. As he read in the Bible, he was greatly impressed by James 1:5 "“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not and it shall be given him” He wrote of this experience, "Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible. At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to “ask of God,” concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture."Joseph Smith -- History Joseph went to a grove of trees nearby and there was visited by God the Father and Jesus Christ, who told him that none of the churches on the earth contained the fullness of the gospel. From thence, through this new prophet, God proceeded to restore His Church to the earth. Many have taught that the heavens are closed and that prophets and apostles only existed in the past, not for our day. But we believe that prophets still speak to us and that God's Church is restored. Now, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we understand that this is a strange belief to some and that many are skeptical of our claims. One of our prophets, President Gordon B. Hinckley, said this: "We declare without equivocation that God the Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, appeared in person to the boy Joseph Smith. When I was interviewed by Mike Wallace on the 60 Minutes program, he asked me if I actually believed that. I replied, “Yes, sir. That’s the miracle of it.” That is the way I feel about it. Our whole strength rests on the validity of that vision. It either occurred or it did not occur. If it did not, then this work is a fraud. If it did, then it is the most important and wonderful work under the heavens." The Marvelous Foundation of our Faith Show more Show less

In whom should we have faith?

Christina
We believe that God is our Father and that He loves us and wants us to become like Him. He loved us so much that He sent His son Jesus Christ to the world to atone for our sins. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we can overcome our sins and weaknesses. The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead and is given to us to help us find direction, peace, and comfort in life. Show more Show less

What is the role of the husband and the wife in the family?

Christina
We are equal partners in the great work of rearing children. My husband works really hard to provide for our large family, and I am blessed to be able to be the primary care-giver of our children. We have different roles but we are equally committed to raising our children and improving our marriage. Marriage is a whole lot of work, particularly when there are children. We know that our first priority needs to be our family. We try to go on weekly dates and we spend time talking and praying together each evening. We take turns reading to our children at bedtime and we love to travel as a family. Each summer, my husband takes all the kids older than age 3 on a ten-day adventure while I get to enjoy time with just my littlest ones and catch up on some projects I enjoy. He loves having the chance to be the primary caregiver and to share his love of camping, hiking, and other adventures with our children. I know I can rely on my husband to help me when I am having a hard time, and he relies on me for advice in his work and obligations. Sometimes it seems like there is more to do than we can ever get done, but we feel God's hand in our lives and we rely on His help. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Christina
Absolutely. We believe in and worship Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. Our prophets and apostles constantly teach and testify of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, His Resurrection, and His love for all of God's children. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Christina
Since I was a young girl, I was taught the importance of gaining a testimony. A testimony means "conviction," a "strong belief," or a knowledge of the things of God. Mormons are encouraged to find and develop their own convictions, not to simply follow another's ideas. We are taught to pray for answers and direction in our lives and to pray to know the truths about Jesus Christ and God's plan for our lives. We are encouraged to read the scriptures, including the Book of Mormon, and to pray to know if they are true. The pattern is clear -- "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you." As I have studied the scriptures, pondered about them, and sought to understand God's plan for my life, my testimony has grown stronger and I feel greater joy and happiness. Show more Show less