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Hi I'm Kristen

I grew up in Missoula, Montana--the big sky country.

About Me

I was one of seven valedictorians in my graduating high school class and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in English from BYU. I love to write and read and hope to publish a few books someday. I've already written several novels, but only a few are worth pursuing. I write poetry, as well, but that's purely cathartic. I also love music--classical, jazz, and some rock and roll. I love to play the piano. I'm not very good, but I still practice every day. I love to cook and organize. I love animals and the wilderness. I've skied, taken riding and ballet lessons, and once took a snowboarding lesson and loved it. Right now I am taking care of two daughters full-time while my husband is a long-haul truck driver who is often gone for weeks at a time with only a few days at home in between. I'm often very lonely and life has lost a lot of its sparkle because of the absence of my husband. I struggle to just make it through most days. I am easily discouraged because of the way the media has affected the image of women and I find myself feeling like I've wasted my opportunities. I could have done greater things, I think. But I remind myself that I can have a great influence on society in the way that I raise my children and interact with those I meet each day.

Why I am a Mormon

The gospel is the only thing that makes sense. It is the only explanation that covers all aspects of where, why, what, when, how and promises eventual revelation of all things and immediate personal revelation through prayer. We came from our Heavenly Father's presence to earth to gain a body and prove, through tests and trials, that we are willing to obey the Lord. If we mess up, which we will, our Heavenly Father has made it possible for us to repent through the Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ. Because our bodies are mortal, Heavenly Father has made it possible for them to be resurrected and perfected through the Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ. If we prove faithful, we will be able to live in His presence with our families and loved ones forever with bodies that will not die and minds and hearts that have learned and will continue learning innumerable truths. This is a very basic outline of The Plan of Salvation, or Happiness. Knowing the Plan of Salvation is often the only thing that keeps me trying. I know that the 'happy part' will eventually come and that everything will be explained. All of the miseries and sufferings and difficulties will at last be resolved through divine and perfect justice and made sacred to us when we finally see the big picture. While I also know that we can be happy here while on Earth, this particular season of my life is not as happy as I would want. However, I know that it is just a season of my life. Millions of others have lead lives of one unchanging season of test and trial, so I also know that I could end up struggling to be happy my entire life. While this is daunting, I truly feel and know that if I just keep trying, everything will be made right. This life is not all there is. I was born into this faith. My first memories are knowing that what my mother was teaching me about the gospel was true. I feel that I have to remember this and just keep trying to be a little better tomorrow than I was today.

How I live my faith

My whole life revolves around my faith and service in the Church. We believe in keeping the Sabbath Day holy. Six days of the week are spent making sure everything to do with worldly survival is completed by Saturday evening so that Sunday can be dedicated to going to church meetings, doing family history, studying the scriptures, teaching our children, and being with family or being available for service. All things in the church are done on a service basis. We call this a 'calling.' My particular calling right now is teaching the children. Much of my Sunday before church and also reflective weekday moments are spent preparing to teach gospel principles and the commandments to children aged 2 to 11 through songs, lessons, games, etc. Monday evening is Family Home Evening. It is reserved for being only with our family doing various activities, usually revolving around specific gospel teaching and learning life skills. Since our girls are so young, we have a simple lesson, sing a lot of songs, play a game, and maybe have a special treat. We say a prayer before eating meals, have family prayer before going to bed, read the scriptures, and do our best to live the teachings of Jesus Christ in a world that glorifies sexuality and money. I try to write in my journal every week. The purpose of this is to remember the blessings and miracles in my life, record how I'm going to do better, and record the general history of my life. I try to attend the temple monthly. The temple is sacred. You can't just walk in like you're going to church. I have to be worthy and declare my worthiness before proper priesthood authority before I, or any member, can enter. This ensures that everyone who enters the temple is spiritually prepared to ask for and receive personal revelation in an environment conducive to spiritual learning. So, my daily life also revolves around keeping the commandments to such a degree as to feel personally worthy to enter such a sacred space.

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Kristen
When you come to church, you'll see everyone dressed in "Sunday Best." This is to show respect for the ordinance of the sacrament. The partaking of the sacrament is the reason we go to church. The first hour of what we call a '3-hour block' is called Sacrament Meeting. ( We dedicate the next two hours to studying the scriptures--Sunday School divided only by age the second hour, and then gender- and age-divided classes the third hour.) You may also see a couple of people in meetings dressed very differently. My husband is a truck-driver and it is a rare occasion when he can catch a Sunday meeting. He will go anyway in whatever clean clothing he has. The Lord looks on our hearts. Visitors are always welcome! You will probably see a lot of hugging, shaking of hands, and chatting. There will be children. Some younger children might have tantrums during meetings and a parent will lead or carry a screaming child from the meeting. You will see a lot of understanding smiles--kids! There will be an opening and closing hymn and prayer and a hymn before the blessing of the sacrament. Before the sacrament hymn, there will be some announcements. After partaking of the sacrament, there will be some gospel-themed talks given by a general member who has been asked to study an assigned gospel topic during the week and share what has been learned. After the closing prayer, everyone will head to their appropriate Sunday School classes to discuss gosepl teachings. Show more Show less