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Hi I'm Manja

I am a Ballerina. I love people and cultures, food, and gardening. And, I'm a Mooooormon!

About Me

I was born in Germany but have lived in Salzburg Austria, and Utah, California, and Florida in the US so far. I have also visited and performed in many other cities and countries. The fun part of travelling so much is to meet all different kinds of people and cultures and to try and understand them and find commonalities. My immediate birth family is very small: My mother, that's it. So, I have learned early to make the world and people my family. I know that families are important. I am still single, but I know that as part of my eternal identity I am a mom. And I can't wait when the day comes for me to iron shirts, cook dinners, make lunches, and teach songs to my children while we make cookies. In the meantime, I dance. I have many other interests besides dance. One is learning and teaching. I have been a student for a long time and also have a Master's degree in Psychology. I also still love to go Institute, which is evening classes for young adults where we read and study the scriptures. I love to cook and garden and I love to sing, especially in great choirs or in my car. I play the African drum and the piano, but mostly by ear not by reading.

Why I am a Mormon

My dear mother was approached by two young missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because she generally loves people and takes time to talk to them, even if she does not know them, mother talked to the missionaries. These boys are usually in their 20ties, but they had left a great impression on her because of their honesty, spiritual maturity, and the message they shared with her, which touched her heart with more power than could have come from even such mature young men. She felt God wanted her to be baptized into the Mormon church. I was 6. As it is customary in the Mormon church, children are given the opportunity to choose to be baptized at the age of 8. So, when my time came, I prayed, talked the missionaries and the bishop. I felt good inside about my wish to be baptized, like being wrapped in a warm blanket. I felt the protection and increased light that would come to my life because of this decision and I went ahead. My mother was a great example with regards to this big step. But I also had to learn for myself and on my own--how to know, about who I was, and about what God wanted me to do. Its a rewarding, lifelong process in which I have been able to get to know more and more about my Father in Heaven.

How I live my faith

Daily! Faith needs to be lived daily. It needs to be nurtured like a plant that needs sun and water every day. There are too many distractions in life each day. Distractions that keep us from remembering who we are, what our potential is, and WHY we are doing all the things that we are doing. Life is hard work. I am glad I have been taught about eternal values and goals that I can look forward to. They are of things that last. They are true and have the power to improve life even in an imperfect world. There are so many fads that come and go quickly and things that crash and crumble in our lives. This world is fragile. Many people are hurting or lonely, some just too busy to notice anything. Work is competitive, money needs to be earned quickly. Friends or family are often far away, more and more families broken. There is great emphasis on the individual--personal needs, accomplishments, belongings... Yet NOTHING satisfies more than things that are of eternal value and that last! Things that we can take with us when life is over and we return to our Heavenly Home: Eternal families, friendships, character, wisdom. Eternal things motivate me to do what I am doing. They motivate me to study, learn, earn a living, become independent, and to serve and connect with others. They are my reason for hope and love of life. Since I have started out on the path of putting to the test this way of life, while making covenants with God and trusting Him to complete my efforts, I cannot ignore the many miracles and the power accompanying my life which often keep me going beyond my own resources. Those are rewards for my faith--"interest," so to speak, on the trust deposits I have made on my "spiritual bank account" throughout life. It takes faith daily to live life to the fullest extent possible--Faith in things not always easily or regularly seen but true. It works! And the "interest" we are paid is more than generous, even if we just start as small as with a desire to believe.

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

Manja
Many powerful and helpful articles, web content, and conferences have been sponsored by the Mormon church, other faiths, and psychologists to combat this topic. We need to continue to educate, educate, educate and also sharpen sensitivity and moral/spiritual/emotional taste buds towards those things pornography is destroying, most importantly true love. As a psychologist and future mother, I have strong feelings about this topic and decided to answer this question. In trying to relate to it and trying to find a parable for it, I imagine that watching pornography would be like eating ice cream while pouring motor oil over it. Pornography plays with something that can be enjoyable and gratifying yet it destroys the very thing that is gratifying. Watching Pornography mostly happens in secrecy because it is such a sad and self-degrading activity when we think of it. Pornography distorts and makes filth out of sexuality, which is something sacred and beautiful that should only be used in sacred, private ways, and within relationships of commitment, trust, and true abiding love. The best thing to do to protect our homes, I think is to educate and to talk about pornography, and sexuality in general, in our families. Seeing a pornographic image once is harmful, but not knowing what to do with it is worse. In today's world unfortunately it is just a matter of time until our children come across something of pornographic nature. Talking about what pornography is and what it does, especially how it tries to catch our attention, and talking about what it is not and what it destroys, helps in not arousing any more curiosity in someone who might come across it eventually. As a parent I would see that my children would not feel a need to want to go there to see what I was talking about. Openly and sensitively talking about things of sexual nature children might want and need to know is part of that education. Parents need to establish friendships with their children so that they feel comfortable to talk about these topics. I would try to prayerfully strengthen my children from within so that they have answers and can face evil when it eventually stares right in their face. Rather than just trying to shield them from seeing pornography, they will have to have a determination and answers against evil already prepared within them, like Christ, who was tempted in the wilderness, and who had an antidote or answer ready against each temptation Satan threw at him. Moreover, Christ had something to ACTIVELY DO instead of the temptation: "man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matt 4:4). One psychologist friend I met said that we need to acknowledge that it it there if we ever face temptation, while quickly changing channels. Denial even out of fear can just feed curiosity. According to psychologists images are the most retainable information in the brain. They stick with you and are hard to forget or hard to rip out of your system. That is one reason why pornography is so harmful and powerful. However, if we have prepared ourselves and evil ever stares us in the face, we can acknowledge it as harmful and can confidently turn it off. To use the words of a beloved deceased leader of the Mormon church, Elder Neal L. Maxwell, we acknowledge sin or temptation but don't invite it in and give it a chair to sit on. Christ can help us to forget and be cleansed from all sin. Our Apostles and Prophets always admonish our congregations that it is not too late and that one should start right now from where we are to change. We can put computers in open well trafficked places in our home and at work. We can also install filters. We can avoid going anywhere where chances are big we will encounter evil. We have the power to avoid evil and to overcome anything in our lives that would drive the Spirit of God away. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

Manja
We believe that every human being will have the opportunity to accept or reject with full knowledge Gods plan for us and Jesus Christ's sacrifice for us. This can take place even after death, for there are many who have not had the opportunity to even hear about or contemplate these things. We believe that we will continue to learn, serve, and make choices even after death. To enter into a covenant relationship with God and Jesus Christ through baptism, however is only possible with a body. Mormons perform baptisms for their dead relative ancestors because we feel we have a calling to not only save ourselves but all of our family, which includes those who have gone before us. It is an act of love in which we believe that these ancestors can still accept or reject those ordinances out of their own free will. We feel it a duty within our extended family circles to provide the proxi work for them so that they have a chance to accept it even after having passed through death. Doing this work also edifies us, because we can feel of the Spirit of Elija who has promised that the "hearts of the fathers will be turned to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers" (Malachi 4:6). Malachi prophesies of the blessing that will result from families being able to reunite and heal and I have seen that come to pass in my own family through turning my heart, learning, growing, forgiving, and giving another chance. I believe that our ancestors are not so far from us. Show more Show less