What Is a Church Community?

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Hi I'm Tanya

I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I have been a Mormon my whole life. I was a full time missionary for the church in South Africa and I learned to speak Afrikaans. I am a wife and a mother of three girls. When I was expecting my first child, I decided to have a home birth. The other girls were also born at home. When my first born was old enough to go to school, I decided to home school her. I home schooled her through the sixth grade and I home schooled my other children during a smaller portion of their lives as well. I guess you could say that I am a believer of doing things at home. Haha! My first two daughters are adults now and one is in high school. I work part time as a retail merchandiser. In the church, I am the music leader for the women's organization. I love living in Southern California where I can go to places like the beach, the mountains and to Disneyland. I am a big Walt Disney and Disneyland fan!

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up as a Mormon and I feel blessed because of it. My parents took their children to church each week and we learned about God and Jesus Christ, their teachings, commandments and the great love they have for us. I have always felt the truth, but at 14 years old, I wanted to read the Book of Mormon and find out for myself what was in it and if it was all true. I read it. I prayed about it. And I found out for myself. I felt the Spirit of God telling me of it's truth and I felt His love for me. I hope that as I take my three girls to church each week, they will want to find out for themselves someday and will read and pray as well.

How I live my faith

The most important thing in my life is my family. My family will always come first. The Mormon church also believes in this principle and that is one of the reasons why I love this church so much. The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us how to bring the family closer together. It teaches us how we can show more love for each other. And it teaches us how we can keep the family together forever. The church helps me to know how to be a better wife and a better mother and I am really greatful for that.

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Serving a mission is completely voluntary. However, we do believe that all upstanding young men should serve a mission. Women can serve a mission as well. I served as a full time missionary for 18 months in South Africa. I learned how to speak the Afrikaans language. I loved the people there and I am grateful for the experience. I loved sharing the message of God and Jesus Christ. I loved sharing about how Joseph Smith received an answer to his prayers when he asked God about which church he should join. I loved sharing the Book of Mormon with others. I loved praying with them. I loved the people of South Africa. As missionaries, we don't concern ourselves with politics or pop culture. Our focus is sharing the good word of Jesus Christ with other people. It was a great experience! Show more Show less

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

No. I know of members in the church that belong to different political parties than myself. The church does encourage us to participate in voting, however they do not tell us who we should vote for. As individuals, we should do our own study and research on candidates that will best serve our needs in our communities and for our country. I believe we should even pray in our homes for guidance in making the best choices that we can when we are deciding who to vote for. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

A testimony is something that we believe to be true even if we don't see it with our own eyes. We believe in God, in His Son Jesus Christ, and we believe in their love for us. Though we may not see them in this life, we believe that they live and want the best for us. As we feel the comfort and warmth within our hearts that comes from the Holy Spirit that these things are true, we feel that our belief in these things are confirmed and our testimony of these things are strengthened. We can receive a testimony of other beliefs as well, such as a living prophet, continuing revelation from God, and of modern day scriptures. Everyone who has a desire to receive their own testimonies of these things can certainly do so by study and by prayer. Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

A "ward" is a congregation within a geographical boundary. "Branches" are similar to wards, but have smaller congregations. A "stake" is the membership of several wards that are within those wards' boundaries. There are usually around 5 - 8 wards in a stake. As brothers and sisters in the gospel, I like the term "ward family" that we sometimes use. When we go to church, we see the same people each week. This gives me a great sense of security because we develop friendships there and we help each other on our personal and spiritual journey in life. Nobody gets paid for the church work that we do in these congregations. We do it for the love of God, Jesus Christ, the gospel and for each other. I am grateful that I can be a part of these congregations. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

No. We worship God and His Son, Jesus Christ. We do believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and it was through this prophet that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth. We believe that true prophets are on the earth today just like there were in Bible times. I am grateful for modern prophets to help us with our modern circumstances. It's great to know that God hasn't left us alone in today's world. Show more Show less

What is the Relief Society?

Relief Society is the women's organization in the church for ages 18 and up. I have done several types of service in Relief Society including a Sunday teacher and music leader. We meet together on Sundays for about an hour to have spiritual discussions and sometimes we meet on a week day to have more casual events together. It's nice to come together to talk and help strengthen and support each other while we are making our way through this life. Show more Show less