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Hi I'm Kristen

I am a dedicated wife, a loving mother, an aspiring writer, a decent chef, and a feminist. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, a liberal and sometimes unforgiving corner of the United States. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Political Science at Western Washington University in the most beautiful town I had ever lived in. My husband just completed law school and we are embarking on a new chapter of our life's adventure while raising our son and currently growing another one. I love devouring books, writing my own, cooking and baking wholesome deliciousness, going to Disneyland as often as possible, and spending time with my family.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because I have a firm and immovable testimony that this is the life that brings the most happiness. I was born into an LDS family and attended church with as much gusto as I could. Church was fun but I felt at odds sometimes when trying to live the way I was taught and trying to find my place among my nonmember peers at school. As I got older, I felt more insecure about my faith. I was sure that it was true but I badly wanted to be accepted and people who live the Mormon lifestyle often do stick out because of the standards they abide by. I wanted to be "the cool Mormon," who other people thought was awesome and just happened to be Mormon. Because I valued what other people thought more than the Lord, I was unable to gain a testimony that would keep me rooted throughout the turbulent times of my teenage years and into my early 20s. When I was 19, I fell away from the Church. I decided to walk the "easier path" and try my hand at the world. When most faithful members are preparing for missions, I was living a life contrary to the principles I had been raised on. I was left with a void inside my heart. My attempts to fill it with the things of the world gave me with a feeling that I thought was happiness but in turn left me emptier than I had ever been. I ignored the nagging that I should go back to church, instead trying to crowd out the prompting with a boyfriend, friends, my commitment to worldly causes, and taking part in a liberal college life. Inside I always had a feeling that the Gospel was true but I ignored it in favor of an less restrictive life and found an abundance of friends doing so. When I was 22, my beautiful niece was born. As I sat in the chapel and watched my older and spiritual giant brother take his precious daughter in his arms and bless her through the power of the Priesthood, my heart ached. That nagging I had felt for years came on full force and I knew in that moment what I truly wanted from life, to offer my family all of the blessings that come with living the Gospel. I wanted a righteous husband, who loved me and respected me, who would be worthy to do the Lord's work. I wanted to watch him bless my babies at the front of that chapel. But serious changes needed to take place before that could be a reality. It took me a few months after that to finally build up enough courage to implement those changes. It meant leaving some friends behind and leaving others feeling betrayed by my decision to change so much. It is one of the hardest things I have done. In those early months I attended a fireside with the bishop of the Young Single Adult ward in my college town. He promised us that if we read the scriptures every single day that our lives would change. I took him up on his challenge. Having not read my scriptures for several years, I dug them out, said a shaky prayer, and began to read. My bishop was right. My life began to change. I read my scriptures every single morning and night from that point on. I began meeting my bishop, who is one of my most favorite people in the entire world. His faith in the Savior and the process of repentance gave me hope that I could get back to where I needed to be. My heart will forever be grateful to him. As time went on, my countenance was brightened, my faith in Christ grew, and I repented for all of the time I had wasted and the pain I had caused myself, my family, my friends, and my God. I turned away from the wasteful and cheapened life I had been living and found myself back in the arms of my Savior. That menacing void finally felt filled. After much hard work, I felt forgiven. I don't have words to describe the feeling of weightlessness the night I knew that God had forgiven me for my mistakes. For the first time in so many years, I had found peace. It was in that time that I met my husband. He was also attending the YSA ward and I knew from the beginning that he would be the one I was going to marry. We were married in the Seattle, Washington temple in January of 2009 and welcomed our son in December of that year. I need the Gospel of Jesus Christ even more now. My success as a wife, mother, and child of God depends on it. In a world of ever-shifting values, perspective, and safety, I remain rooted in the foundation that is my Savior and I know that he will not fail me. I know that this is Christ's church and that it was restored for our benefit and blessing. I know that he leads us today and that Thomas S. Monson is his chosen servant to act as his mouthpiece on the earth. I know that the Twelve Apostles are called by and ordained of God and that the things they teach us are a message of love and counsel for a happier life. I know that Joseph Smith received an answer to his prayers, just as we all can if we soften our hearts and ask with real intent. I know that the power of Christ's atonement for our sins is sure and powerful. It can bring us peace like we have never before known, peace like that which I felt one cold, March evening in my bedroom as I poured out my heart to the Lord. I know that the family is a divine unit instituted by our Heavenly Father and must be protected from its detractors. Most importantly, I know that I am literally a child of God. He loves me in ways I will never understand. He is not a distant or cruel god, but our Father in Heaven. I have a divine birthright and potential to return to live with him if I abide by the guidelines he has set. I know that he loves me and that he loves you, too. Our Savior is waiting for us to turn to him. I offer the same promise that my bishop made to me. If you search for him in the scriptures, you will find him and your life will be forever changed for the better. He is waiting and ready to bring you back into his arms. All you have to do is let yourself believe.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by striving to raise my child in the Gospel. My most pressing concern is that my children and husband know of my testimony in Jesus Christ. We do our best to gather together once a week on Monday nights to share a lesson and our testimonies. While this doesn't always happen in a timely fashion and sometimes it's a quick 15-minute sit down, the important thing is that we try. I also live my faith by seeking out things that are positive and good in the world and not giving time to those things that are not. This is the reason that I choose to not watch inappropriate movies, listen to certain types of music, and try to read things that are uplifting. I don't want to waste my time on things that don't build me up. The world has enough sorrow to inflict without spending my free time focusing on negatives. Another important aspect of living my faith is that I teach the women's class in our Sunday meetings. I love teaching and teaching the Gospel is one of my most favorite things. I consider myself very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to study the Gospel and help others increase their testimonies. Once a month I visit several other women in the ward to share an uplifting message with them and to help with anything they might need. This program, called Visiting Teaching, is one that helps the women of the ward bond, people's individual needs to be met, and ensure that every person has a loving and committed friend watching out for them. Because I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I work daily to do the things that will bring me closer to him. Studying the scriptures, praying, attending Church and other various meetings, and doing my best to treat those around me as my brothers and sisters in Christ help me to become more like him, even if I have a very long way to go. Because I believe the Gospel, I do my best to help others know about the happiness they can have by living it. Many people are afraid of Mormons "trying to convert" them. What it really comes down to is that Christ loves us all. We all deserve to know of him and his teachings. His message brings us happiness and we desire to share that happiness with others. It's not about numbers; it's about loving those around us enough to want to give them what we cherish so deeply. Because of that desire, I live my faith by making sure I know my beliefs and have evidence to back them up. There is much confusion in the world today about what the "Mormon Church" believes or does not and one of the parts of living my faith is making sure I know what we believe and speaking out against misinformation. I do my best to let people who are interested know what I believe and to clear up confusion and false doctrine that is often attributed to us. I am always more than happy to discuss religion with people so long as there is a mutual respect for the beliefs of all involved. People don't have to agree with me but we all need to be kind towards one another.

Why are only some Mormons allowed into temples? Is there something secret going on in Mormon Temples? What goes on in Mormon Temples?

Kristen
I am asked on what seems to be a regular basis why only some Mormons are allowed into the temple. People have told me in the past what they have heard goes on in Mormon temples. I love teaching people what I can about them. We believe that temples are the literal house of the Lord on the earth. God instituted temples in the Old Testament as being a place of worship and divine learning. Some people confuse it with being a secret place when in reality, it is a sacred place. Before a person can enter into its doors, they must be an active member of the Church and abiding by its teachings. This is determined by meeting with two members of the lay clergy. Because we believe that the temple is the Lord's house and that "no unclean thing" can dwell in his presence, this helps ensure that the temple remains a place of peace, righteousness, and true dedication to our Savior and unspotted from the world. The temple is the most peaceful place I have ever been. Free from the influence of the adversary, it is a place where those in attendance can leave behind worldly concerns and focus on those things which we know are the most important. Because the things that go on inside of the temple are of an extremely sacred nature, we don't openly discuss in detail the things that happen there. Again, it is not a secret but it is sacred and the temple, away from the stains of the world, is the only appropriate place for them to be openly discussed. Temples are used for several purposes and we believe that the things that happen there are sealed not only on earth but in Heaven as well. A couple married there is married not just for life but for time and all of eternity. Temple marriages are commonly referred to as sealings because they are the act of sealing one person to another for all of eternity. In the temple we make covenants, or promises to Heavenly Father regarding how we will live our lives. Because not everyone in the history of the world has had a chance to hear the Gospel and Heavenly Father wants everyone to have that opportunity, temples are used as a way to do those things for those who have passed. I think the most important thing to remember about the temple is that Heavenly Father is an inclusive God, so he has made a way for everyone to have that opportunity if they want it. It can be discouraging when a couple decides to get married in the temple and not everyone is able to be there to witness the moment. My husband is a convert to the church and as a result, his parents were not able to be with us when we were sealed. But we made the decision to be married there because of we knew that was where our God wanted us to be married. The promises and blessings that come from sacrificing some of the things we wanted so dearly have given us greater faith in our Savior. The temple is a place where all are encouraged to come but there are steps that need to be taken before a person can enter in. It is a reward that comes from righteousness and hard work. Trust me when I say that it is most definitely worth it. Show more Show less

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

Kristen
When I came back to church, many of my friends who knew my fiery disposition asked me how I could still be a feminist while practicing a religion that seems so patriarchal and domineering. My answer to that it's actually really easy. It seems that there is a ubiquitous misconception that Mormon women are "barefoot & pregnant" their entire lives. People think that we don't have minds to think with or voices to speak with, that we are led along by our husbands and slaves to the domestic sphere. We Mormon women are portrayed as either clucking hens, limited agents, or passive participants in our home, church, and world. That is not the life that our Heavenly Father has planned for us. Mormon women are strong, compassionate, intelligent, beautiful, proud, wise, intuitive daughters of God. Most importantly, they are diverse. We do not all love scrapbooking and quilting (I certainly don't!) but we do all love to help ease the burdens of those around us and that is the most important thing to know about us. I am a feminist. A lot of people take issue with that word because it conjures up images of radical protests and a hatred of the male sex but in reality, the definition of feminism to me is believing in the equality of men and women and knowing that I have my own agency to choose what I will do with myself. I do not think that women are superior to men or vice versa. I do believe that God has given us distinct talents related to our gender but none is more important than another. I do believe that we have the ability to choose for ourselves what we will become and the kind of person we will be. I am a Mormon woman. Yes, I am married. Yes, I have a child. Yes, I stay at home and raise my child. But I also have a brain and a spirit and a voice. And yes, I am equal to my husband not only in our home and our church but in the eyes of God and Jesus Christ. I am afforded just as much opportunity to lead and teach as my husband. I am not a second class citizen. My husband and I make decisions equally, I earn money for our family, and have just as much chance to better myself as any one else. I have my high school diploma, my Associates degree, my Bachelors degree, my Institute of Religion degree, and when I feel like going back to school, I will have my Masters degree. I have 6 years of experience in the medical field and currently work on the production of a nationally-syndicated television show. I have made the choice to stay home with my children because despite my schooling and my desire to teach high school some day, the greatest need for me and my influence is in my home. It is important to me to raise my children without sending them to someone else and so I do that. It is my choice. I am not forced to do anything against my will. I am not oppressed nor do I appreciate people insinuating that I am. I do not share my husband with anyone else and I am not a "sister wife." I have the ability to determine how many children I will have. I can decide to work outside of the home or not. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home while being with my child. I know that Heavenly Father cherishes all of his sons and daughters equally. He may have different jobs for us to do but that does not effect the amount of love or trust he has for us. He has given me the right to chose for myself my own path. Part of being a feminist is having the option and respecting the options of others. The reason that I live my life the way that I do is because it is the most rewarding I've found. So why not? Show more Show less