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Hi I'm Tawny

I'm an ice cream-eating, chaco-wearing, hiking-going, travel-crazy, nature-loving, study-a-holic, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Well, I'm Tawny. I deeply enjoy the great outdoors--running, cycling, tree climbing, camping, hiking, swimming, sky and scuba diving, traveling, star gazing and longboarding barefoot. I'll eat anything ice cream. I am a free spirit. I love life. It's such a journey and it's SO FUN! We just have to soak it up. I'm a college student studying Marriage and Family Therapy. I'm fascinated to know what it is that makes families thrive, be successful, and contribute to society. I'm also studying English and Spanish; I loooove being able to communicate with people and understand them and their culture. I've learned that, although we're all different, we need the same things, and the gospel of Jesus Christ applies to ALL of us--no matter who we are or where we live. I'm not exactly sure what'll happen in the future, but I know it'll be good. My faith gives me such hope in the future; even though it's unknown, it'll all work out!

Why I am a Mormon

Oh, man. I'm a Mormon! It's the best thing ever! A lot of people say that we follow the traditions of our parents. They say, "Well, you're a Mormon because your parents are Mormon and you were born Mormon." I completely agree with that in the sense that we will be exposed to the lifestyle of our parents and will often follow their patterns and rituals. However, just like using the same brand of laundry detergent as my mom uses or cooking chicken noodle soup the way she always has is a choice that I make. Same with religion. To what church I want to belong is an individual, personal choice. Sure, I was raised Mormon, but I--along with millions of others--came to that point where I had to decide for myself if I wanted to follow the traditions of my parents or not. I grew up going to church, but it didn't mean anything to me. I heard in my young women class (for the young women ages 12-18) that we should read the Book of Mormon every day, and that if we wanted to know if it was true, we needed to read, pray and ask God if it was, indeed, true. I did that. I read a little bit every day, and I prayed about it. As I did so, I got a very simple, very personal, and very sure answer that it in is a true, divine book, from the Lord, translated by Joseph Smith through God's power. Receiving that answer changed my life. I immersed myself in the doctrine of Jesus Christ, and found such rich, sublime happiness and a sense of whole-ness to my life. This means EVERYTHING to me. I am a Mormon because I know without a shadow of a doubt that the church of Jesus Christ was reestablished on the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith, that Thomas S Monson is the prophet today, that the Book of Mormon is a second witness to the Bible and another testimony of Jesus Christ. By reading these sacred books of scripture, it has become so apparent to me that only through our Savior and strict adherence to His gospel can we be happy, clean, and prepared to meet our Redeemer after this life.

How I live my faith

"By small and simple things are great things brought to pass;" (Alma 37:6). By doing the following small and simple things in my life that I'm able to live and strengthen my faith in Jesus Christ: --Reading in the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and words of the living prophets to start every day. This clears my mind and gives me such perspective, peace, guidance, and joy. "Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell all you all things what ye should do" (2 Nephi 32:3). --Praying at the start, close, and every possible second in between of the day. "Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good" (Alma 37:37). --Partaking of the sacrament weekly to renew my baptismal covenant of being "willing to take upon me the name of [His] Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given" (Moroni 4:3, 5:2). --Doing monthly visiting teaching: visiting sisters in the area, sharing a spiritual thought and just being there for them. --Going to the temple weekly and performing sacred ordinances in behalf of the deceased. --Sharing the gospel. There is no greater way to live our faith than to share it! --And lastly, I live my faith by trying to practice what we preach and "be an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith in purity" (1 Tim 4:12).

What is being a Mormon like?

Tawny
Being a Mormon is the BEST IN THE WEST. Seriously. It's the best thing ever. Basically. We really are just normal people. We live normal lives and do normal things and laugh and dance and cry and eat and feel sad or happy just like the rest of the world. Really the difference between us and the rest of the world is that we have truth restored! We know of God's plan because He has again called a prophet for the world to guide us in these times, we have additional volumes of sacred scripture, and we live our lives with a knowledge and firm personal conviction that this really IS true. So we walk around just like everyone else, but at the end of the day we have added perspective and vision that comes from knowing more about God's plan for us. And, again, we want to share that with the world!! Show more Show less

What is the priesthood?

Tawny
The priesthood is the power of God! By this priesthood our world was formed, we were created, Christ performed miracles, and prophets have always guided the people. The priesthood is given from God to righteous males, and is a sign of His trust. Being able to have the priesthood means holding the power of God and it is a sacred responsibility. This priesthood is what makes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints different. This priesthood power is from God. If you doubt this is true, I invite you to attend our services really desiring to know, to read the Book of Mormon sincerely looking for the truth, and to ask God if what you're doing is true and right. I promise that He will tell you this is true and you'll desire to be baptized by someone holding that restored priesthood power. It's all true. I know it. And I know you can know it, too! Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Tawny
Do you want my straight answer? I assume so. I 150% attribute the growth of the church to the fact that IT’S TRUE. All of us are searching for answers, and these answers are only found in the restored gospel. Finding and living the gospel feels like home…it’s familiar to our spirits. It’s true. And as more and more people sincerely search, they are led to the truth. This happens in tons of different ways: --There are over 53,000 missionaries around the world sharing the message of the restoration to all who will accept them. --The internet is bursting with information that allows people everywhere to access the gospel! --There is increasing awareness about Mormons and Mormonism with the new Broadway play, the presidential candidates, musicians and actors that are Mormon, etc. --There’s so much more, but thus the rapid growth! Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Tawny
ABSOLUTELY. It is one of my biggest pet peeves when people don't think we are Christians. Christ is the CENTER of alllllllllllllllllllllllllll that we do and are! We try to follow His words, precepts, commandments and gospel. We are Christians by every sense of the word! Show more Show less

How can I find someone to talk with, in person, about the Mormon religion?

Tawny
Oh man! So easily! On this very same website, if you just go to the missionary request tab, you can put in your information and missionaries will contact you and will help answer all your questions. Also, another idea is that you can go to the "Worship With Us" tab on this website and put in your address and find the closest house of worship to you. Then the number of the leader of the congregation (called the Bishop or Branch President) will have a phone number listed there. You can contact him and he’ll answer your questions and put you in touch with members close to you. If you do not know a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we invite you to visit with representatives of the Church to learn more about the information you have viewed on this site. Please call 1-888-537-6600 (in US and Canada only) to arrange for representatives to visit your home and share some of Christ’s teachings that answer life’s questions and helped people find greater happiness. Of if you’d like, you can chat online with representatives who will help answer your questions and direct you to where you can find more information. :) Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about Jesus Christ? Do Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

Tawny
Oh my goodness, yes! We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father. "And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary. And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men even through faith on his name;" (Mosiah 3:8-9) Jesus Christ is our Lord and Redeemer, our perfect example and our Savior. He invites us, "Follow thou me," (2 Nephi 31:10), to have faith in Him, to be baptized, to follow His example and be baptized by His priesthood authority, and to strive throughout life to become like Him throughout the rest of our lives. Our faith is centered in Him. Our church is called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--not the Mormon Church. We do everything in His name. The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion and it testifies of Him on EVERY page: "..all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and they teach all men that they should do good" (2 nephi 33:10). "We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ; we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins" (2 Nephi 25:26). Show more Show less

What is the difference between attending church and the temple?

Tawny
You've probably seen churches all over the place that you hear are "Mormon" churches. Just FYI, those are open to the public. 100%! Services are on Sundays and anyone is welcome. You've probably also seen those glorious big white buildings that you find out are "Mormon temples." You may wonder what the difference is there. We go to the churches for our weekly services. We go to the temple for higher ordinances likes the baptizing of our ancestors, receiving and making sacred covenants after baptism, and eternal marriage. The work performed in the temple is done by the priesthood power of God and seals in heaven and on earth. That is why if a couple gets married in the temple their marriage can last throughout time and all eternity instead of just "until death do you part." The temple is amazing. It is the house of God. His spirit is there so strong. Even just seeing the temple brings peace and happiness. Entering is even more so. And Heavenly Father wants ALL of His children to be able to go inside. There is nothing secret that happens inside the holy temples. It is, however, very sacred. For this reason, we do not speak openly or casually about what goes on inside. We invite all to prepare to enter the temple. It's inside God's holy house that we receive instruction from on high and find such peace and joy to life! Show more Show less

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

Tawny
When the missionaries come to your home you will love them!! First off, they will be real with you. They aren't there to convince you or anyone, but simply to INVITE you to find out for yourself if the message they share is true or not. They will tell you about the love of God. How He loves us and shows His love by giving us families, by giving us prophets, and by giving us His Son Jesus Christ. They will then share how the priesthood authority that Jesus Christ gave his apostles during His mortal ministry was lost, and how many years past where His plain and precious truths were transformed, taken, and transmitted. They will then relate the glorious story of Joseph Smith, and how he was called to be the prophet for the last dispensation of time. They will then invite you to read the evidence of this message by reading the Book of Mormon and by praying to know if it's true. That is the message that makes us different from the rest of the world. And I KNOW that it is true. I know that it really happened. You can know, too. Please just listen to the missionaries. The missionaries will also teach you about where we came from, why we're here, where we'll go after life, as well as what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is and how we can follow Him. They will teach you commandments that will bring an added measure of the spirit in your life, and will help you progress spiritually. They are your guides, and they will lead you to your Savior, Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

Who is the Mormon prophet today?

Tawny
The prophet today is named Thomas Spencer Monson. He is a normal human being just like the rest of us, but he has been prepared and called to lead the world today. He has a sacred mantle; he communicates the message that God wants us to hear. In the Doctrine and Covenants (a book of scripture compiled by Joseph Smith) we read, "What I the Lord have spoken I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." (Doctrine & Covenants 1:38). Having a prophet has always been an essential part of the plan of God. Prophets in the Bible like Adam, Abraham, Moses and Isaiah guided the people to Jesus Christ, to righteousness, and to happiness. Why would God send a prophet to the earth in biblical times and not today? It makes no sense. God loves us. He wants us to be safe and happy, and to return to Him. For that reason, Thomas S. Monson,, as the prophet today, leads us on that path. We do not worship him; he is simply the guide that directs us to our Savior and helps us face the perilous times we live in today. I testify that President Monson is the prophet today. I have prayed about it and received a sure knowledge for myself. You can have that same experience. I invite you to do so. That knowledge will change how you think, act, speak, and live. Promise. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Tawny
The purpose of our life is to prepare to meet God again! We came to this earth to receive a physical body and gain experience. We all lived with our Heavenly Father as His spirit children before this life, and we accepted His plan. We knew we would come to earth, having forgotten the plan, and that we'd struggle and face difficulties. But we agreed to come because this is a test, it is a time for us to prove ourselves to God. Heavenly Father knew we would mess up and He knew that we would need help. That's why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Savior and to atone for us. The Lord sunk below all things for us. By having faith, repenting, being baptized by the proper priesthood authority, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, we show our faith in Him. As we choose to follow Jesus Christ, we can live happy lives and one day return to the presence of God with our family. Show more Show less

What does Mormonism teach regarding baptism?

Tawny
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we follow the example of Jesus Christ the best we can. One of the first and most important ways we can demonstrate our faith in Him and our desire to follow His commandments is by being baptized. Mormons, or Latter-day Saints, believe that baptism is a necessary ordinance, that it must be carried out after the manner of Christ’s baptism, and that it is valid only if done by the restored priesthood authority of God. In John 3:5 it says, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” In Romans 6:4-5 it says: "Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” In Matthew 3:13-17 we read about how the Savior came from Galilee to Jordan, unto John, to be baptized of him. Why did He walk somewhere around 45 miles to go to John? It’s not because John was Christ’s cousin; it’s because John the Baptist had the God-given authority to baptize. This authority is called the Priesthood power of God. It was lost after the death of Jesus Christ, but restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. By being baptized by someone holding this priesthood authority, we receive the remission of our sins and are given the gift of the holy ghost. This is a necessary step for our salvation! Show more Show less

Why do Mormon missionaries proselyte?

Tawny
There are young Latter-day Saint men and women serving missions all around the world! Having served a proselyting mission myself, I can say that we do this because we want to share what we have. Knowing the answers to life's great questions and having the peace the restored gospel brings to us is OVERWHELMINGLY beautiful. And we desire to share that with the world! We want everyone else to have the joy that we have with knowing how we can really truly be lastingly happy! It doesn't come from taking what the world has to offer, but by following the plan of our Heavenly Father, keeping His commandments, making and keeping promises--like that of baptism--and by spreading the truth abroad. Missionaries are sent a mission anywhere from Provo, Utah, to Seoul, South Korea for a period of 18-24 months. Missionaries leave their education, their work, their family and loved ones and pay to serve a mission. They put their lives on hold as they dedicate themselves and all that they possess to the building up of Zion. It is no exclusive club. It is for ALL who are willing to listen and act. These missionaries have the sacred job of finding those who are looking for God and for a happier life. God directs them. They do His will. Next time you see a missionary, talk to them. They have something SO important to share with you. I promise it will change your life! Show more Show less

Why are Mormons asked to donate 10% of their income to their Church?

Tawny
The idea of paying a 10% tithe is not a new idea. It is a biblical practice that began as a commandment of God. That commandment continues today. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not pay tithing as an open, public demonstration of our faith; rather, it is a sign of personal faith and loyalty to God. We pay 10% of our gross income and quietly give it to a leader who simply passes it on to church headquarters. Tithing does not go to church leaders. Tithing goes to the building up of the kingdom of God. Tithing is God's way of blessing the people all around the world. And as we pay a full, honest tithe, we receive the promise in Malachi 3:8-10-- "Prove me now, herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." I have seen far too many miracles both in my own life and in the lives of others that come from the faith to pay tithing. I know that this is a real principle, a commandment of God still intact, and one that blesses us immensely. Show more Show less

Can you tell me about Mormon customs: how you dress for church, what holidays you celebrate, etc.?

Tawny
We have been asked to wear our best when we go to church because we believe that when we go to church we are worshipping our Heavenly Father in His house. In respect for being in a sacred place, we wear our best. Typically, women wear skirts or dresses and men wear suits or dress pants, a collared shirt and a tie. However, God cares more about you being at church than what you wear. Don’t let you not feeling dressy enough stop you from going! Simply wear your best and come learn about the how the restored gospel of Jesus Christ will bless you and your family. Welp, we are pretty much just normal peeps. We celebrate holidays just like you! We are fans of Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and everything in between. This is a great time to gather together and have parties and spend time together as a family. This is also a time when congregations in your local area get together and have family-friendly parties and EVERYONE is invited—you don’t have to be a member of our church. This is often a perfect opportunity for you to come into our churches and learn a little bit more about our services, our beliefs and our customs. Please come! Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Tawny
A testimony is having a sure, personal knowledge. it's knowing and believing something for yourself. No one can take that from you. Once you know something is true, or you have a testimony of it, you will act in accordance to that knowledge. For example, when you read, ponder and pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true, if you do it with real intent, you WILL receive an answer that it's true. That's a sure promise found in the introduction to the book. And once you get that answer, you will be driven to act upon your personal testimony and make covenants to show your faith--one of those being baptism. Having a personal testimony is like having roots. Once you know for sure and you know for yourself, you're steadfast. You cannot be swayed because a testimony is powerful and spiritual and real. A testimony only comes by the spirit of God, who testifies of the truth. Having a testimony has changed my life...it's changed everything about me: who I am, what I say, what I do, who I hangout with, my goals, my dreams, my daily activities...everything! Our Heavenly Father wants all of us to have our own testimony. We gain our testimony by experimenting on the word (Alma chapter 32, Book of Mormon): by reading, praying, and doing. The spirit will testify to us that it's true! Show more Show less