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Hi I'm Judy O

I was born in Seattle, Washington, raised a family in Las Vegas, and now live in Utah. I'm a writer. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Hi, I'm a wife, mother, and free lance writer. I started writing when my four children were still in preschool and haven't stopped since. I began with short stories because what else could I do, really, during nap time? But then I decided to take a correspondence course and learn something about becoming a writer "for real." My final assignment became my first published book: Dive Into Danger, a book for young people that takes place in Nevada, where we lived. Now, years later, I've had more books published and many magazine articles, all in LDS oriented media. You see, I had to make a decision early on who I wanted to write for, and after receiving writers' guidelines from major New York publishing houses, I realized I could never be happy writing what they wanted to print. And I guess every writer and artist makes that same decision sooner or later: what standards do I want reflected in my work? Who am I doing this for? Now my children are grown up, married, and between the four of them my husband and I have 17 grandchildren. And I still write and edit from my home in Sandy, Utah.

Why I am a Mormon

I could say I am a Mormon because I was born a Mormon, but that is only part of the story. I learned to pray as a child, and I'll never forget the first time I prayed when I felt the Lord answered my prayer. I was only 14 years old, and I was late for school. I needed my glasses. I knelt in prayer and when I finished, I became aware immediately where to look, and I found them. I realized my parents had taught me correctly about prayer, and that was only the beginning. As I grew up I became more fully aware of what it meant to have a prophet guiding people today, just as prophets did in ancient days. The counsel we receive builds faith and opens doors to greater understanding and a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. In time, I knew the teachings I had always heard were deeply, meaningfully true and there has never been a doubt since that this is the way I want to live.

How I live my faith

I'm a grandmother now, so I have a little more flexibility in my days than I did when I was raising my family. But my faith guides me in what I do each day. My webpage discusses my books, my writing life, and offers editing services, which I still do. But family and marriage are my first priority. I also spend time helping people in my neighborhood. That can be a casserole to my neighbor who is fighting cancer, or helping a friend apply for Social Security benefits, or baking homemade bread and sharing it with someone who isn't feeling well. There are so many ways to reach out. And in the end, isn't that really what it means to be a Christian? Right now I give service in my Church by teaching Sunday School to adults. This is a volunteer effort, as are all service opportunities within the LDS church. We support each other in our efforts to give service where it is needed.

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?

Judy O
We believe the Lord has set things up in this manner because it blesses the lives of both men and women. We need our men. And we need them to be in Church every Sunday, not just showing up for important events. Becasue women, too, are intelligent, strong, and capable, they expect men to lead in righteousness, under direction of the spirit. So men must prepare themselves to be led by the spirit. To be worthy of spiritual direction, men must be humble, kind, considerate. They must study scriptures and pray often. They must lead our homes in a way that invites a sweet spirit into it. LDS women love how honoring priesthood responsibilities impacts our men for good. Women, too, have leadership responsibilities. Everyone is asked to do something, and sometimes those assignments take many skills. It is very rewarding to be a member of the Church. The church simply brings out the best . . . in both men and women. Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Judy O
That's easy. In a world of ever-increasing moral decay, the Mormon church offers people a reason to hold onto the good. Whether that position is popular or not does not change with changing times. The Church offers a bedrock of moral safety and security to its members. Also, within the LDS church you find a deep respect for womanhood that is hard to find elsewhere. Men are taught as children to be respectful to women, to treat them well, and to honor chastity until marriage. Women are taught to dress modestly and to honor and respect men. This mutual respect leads to healthy, interesting, and honorable relationships. Women, especially, don't find that kind of respect just anyplace, so it is refreshing to find there are still places where you can be treated respectfully for raising children and keeping a good home. In fact, within the Church it is considered an honor to raise children. That kind of support is so important for people everywhere who face so many challenges in parenting today's kids. Show more Show less