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Hi I'm Gwendolyn

I'm a wife and mother. I'm a poet & musician. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

“I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for, let the form of an object be what it may—light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful.”* My widowed mother raised my four siblings and me. She is an artist and musician, so she taught us to see beauty in our surroundings—nature, good food, and especially people. I've also learned to see difficult beauty in difficult experiences. When I was six, my father died by suicide. That was a difficult experience for our family for which there are no adequate words, but we are survivors. Through the decades the Lord’s "light, shade and perspective" has helped me, through much prayer, to grow from that tragedy and to find beauty in how it changed me. The Atonement of Christ fills me with hope that I can keep progressing. My husband and I have three grown children. They are the center of our world. I have had pursuits such as singing in the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston POPs choirs, the Utah Chamber Artists, and as a lead role in an opera. All of that pales in comparison to being a wife and mother. My family is and always will be the most important and cherished part of my life…posterity is one of my favorite notions about the purpose of life. We often gather family and friends together in our home for my husband’s "famous" Waffle Night—we never know how large the crowd will be. But, life is all about the people, so we create ways to gather together. [*quote by, John Constable, 19th century British landscape painter.]

Why I am a Mormon

I’m a Mormon because of my mother; the way she handled adversity after my father’s suicide and other challenges—with faith, compassion, and forgiveness—is the most powerful sermon I’ve ever witnessed. I’m also a Mormon because I believe that the Lord still wants to communicate with all of his children on earth about important things, so we have a modern-day prophet through whom the Lord guides us. Additionally, I believe I can receive personal revelation from the Lord. A year or so after my father’s suicide I was sitting on our back porch thinking about things. I must have been about seven or eight years old. I clearly remember a sudden feeling that God knew my family, the tragedy we had been through, and that He knew and loved ME. For a moment, I felt like there was an enormous, invisible, protective umbrella over my whole home and yard—and over me. That knowledge and feeling of His love for me has been like a Steady Hand at my back all these years. I will never, never forget that feeling of unconditional, profound love from Heavenly Father: He let me know that He knew me and loved me. I know God knows and loves all of His children equally. I believe God’s love is one of the most important things we can allow ourselves to experience and learn about in life.

How I live my faith

I just do the simple things. We made a music playlist at home to play all day long on Sundays. It has uplifting music like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and classical music. It creates a peaceful feeling in our home for the Sabbath. I read a little from the Book of Mormon every day. I kneel to pray every morning and night. My husband and I have family prayers morning and night, even though the children are grown and on their own. I make a point of obeying God's commandments as best I can, especially the one about loving my neighbors. I love being assigned to visit a few ladies in my congregation once a month to leave a spiritual message and to see how they are doing. I go to church every week to take the sacrament.

What will the Mormon missionaries talk about when they visit my home?

Gwendolyn
A visit from the missionaries may be one of the most memorable events in a person's life. They radiate so much joy and happiness. It is contagious. Most likely the Mormon missionaries will talk about the things that matter most to you. If you are struggling with a challenge they will teach you that Christ understands and will teach you how to pray to Heavenly Father for guidance. If you have lost a loved one they may teach you about something called the Plan of Salvation, and teach you that you can be reunited with your loved ones after this life. If you wonder if God stopped revealing His will after the era when the prophets of the Old Testament lived, and after Christ and the apostles died, they may teach you that we have a living prophet today, because God still wants to be in touch with us, since we are his children. He loves us so much. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Gwendolyn
We believe that one purpose of life is to feel JOY, and we have been given a body, mind and spirit for that reason. Another purpose of life is to use a remarkable gift the lord gave all of us: the ability to choose between good and evil. Our body, mind and spirit are affected by those choices. When I use my agency to make good choices and to be obedient to the Lord's commandments, I feel SO much more joy. A friend once said to me, "Even though life isn't perfect, it is full of perfect moments." I try to notice those perfect moments in life and recognize joy, because life certainly has its challenges. Joy comes to me through working to have a loving family. Joy comes to me when I make good choices and try to be obedient to the Lord's commandments. It's worth the effort because obedience frees me up from guilt or regret. If I've messed up, I can clear out those yucky feelings through repenting in my prayers, and communicating clearly with people—then I am free to feel more joy. Jesus Christ took all of our sins and suffering upon Himself so that we wouldn't have to suffer. Repentance is one of His greatest gifts to us: when we are free from suffering from poor choices we feel joy. When we are filled with true joy we want to share it with others. I think that makes the Lord very joyful. Show more Show less

What blessings can you receive from reading the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and other scriptures?

Gwendolyn
I have my own copy of the Book of Mormon. I call it “my book of hope”. When I read it I remember how much we are loved by God, our Heavenly Father (you included). I hope that you will have a strong desire to read it like I do. This book has helped me so many times—in good times and in hard times. It contains words from ancient prophets. The Lord wants us to read their words so that we can have joy in life, guidance when our outlook looks dreary, and comfort when we despair. They are true stories that teach what worked for the people, and what didn’t work. We can learn from these stories so that the Lord can also help US choose the things that will work for us (individually and as families). God, our Heavenly Father, wants us to be happy. These true words in the Book of Mormon will bless you with more happiness. He also sent his Son to be the Savior of the world—that means to be the Savior for everyone who has ever lived and will yet live (that means all of us). Having a Savior is part of His plan of happiness for you and for me. The Book of Mormon reminds me of that: He is my Savior today. I also love the Bible. I find so much guidance and comfort from reading it often. Show more Show less