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Hi I'm Jenn

I'm a California girl. I'm a reader, writer, and musician. I'm a mom who's crazy about exercise. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I've been a mother for over three years, and it's the hardest job I've ever had, but I wouldn't want to be doing anything else. I have a B.A. in English and minors in history and music; I love learning about everything, which is why I can't stop reading and writing. I've been employed in a myriad of jobs, including helping out at a dental office, childcare, teaching swim lessons, a bookstore clerk, a writing tutor and teaching assistant, a secretary, and an office manager, but I'm currently do all my work in my home caring for my two children, with some freelance writing on the side. My husband has been a university student for ten years, and hopes to be a full-time professor sometime in the near future. I love exercise and the outdoors. I swam competitively from ages six through eighteen. I love backpacking. I ran a marathon when my daughter, my second child, was seven months old. I love ballroom and swing dancing and ballet. I'm a volunteer yoga, pilates, and aerobics instructor. My jogging stroller is one of my prized possessions, and I love to walk (or run) instead of drive as much as possible. I grew up in Clayton, California, which is about 30 miles east of San Francisco, and was a childhood paradise to me. I have three sisters and four brothers. Our large family was quite an anomaly in California, even among other Mormons, but I can't imagine my life growing up or now without any one of them. Currently my biggest dream is to create a childhood paradise for my kids.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in a Mormon family, but throughout my life I have had countless experiences with the Holy Ghost confirming to me that the faith that my parents taught me is true. I remember feeling my first confirmation that Joseph Smith was a prophet when I was ten years old. That confirmation has been reaffirmed to my mind and heart many times. Each time I have ever asked myself whether I really thought this was real and true, I have not been able to deny it. Right now my faith is reaffirmed each time I teach my children about Jesus Christ and His church. I sing them Mormon children's songs and feel the Holy Spirit testify to my heart that this is real and true and good. Recently I have known many young parent loose their faith in the Church. This brings me so much sadness and pain for them. I can't imagine my life without faith in Jesus Christ and full participation in His church. Being a Mormon is a part of who I am every minute of every day.

How I live my faith

My faith is something in my life that needs my constant care. I live my faith through prayer, scripture study, meditation, and an effort to follow and live the teachings of Jesus Christ. Right now I especially live my faith by sharing it with my children and by using it to support my husband in his school and work. I have served in many different ways in my local Mormon congregations. Most often I have served as a leader in the Mormon women's organization, the Relief Society. As leaders, we coordinate the efforts of the women to serve each other and their families. We participate in councils with the men in making decisions and directing affairs of the congregation. We do all we can to make sure every woman feels loved, accepted, and progressing in her faith in Jesus Christ. We teach each other skills that strengthen our faith and nurture our families. We strive to seek out and help those in need--physically, financially, spiritually, or emotionally, and Mormon or not--in our communities. I love music, and I try to serve in at church with music as often as I can by accompanying the congregation on the piano, whenever I am needed. In addition to the piano, I love singing and playing the violin and cello. Music has always been a significant part of my worship. I love praising God and Jesus and feeling their Holy Spirit through songs of praise.

What is the Relief Society?

Jenn
The Relief Society is the woman's organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Organized in 1842 by the Prophet Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois, it is the oldest woman's organization in the world and one of the first of its kind. Female members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over age 18 are automatically members of the Relief Society organization. In participating in Relief Society, women of the Church meet together for an hour lesson and time of worship as part of the LDS Sunday meetings. On occasion, Relief Society sisters also meet together for other activities during the week. While Sunday meetings are devoted to teaching and learning the gospel of Jesus Christ, additional meetings allow women to teach each other life, career, homemaking, and other skills, develop friendships, and serve one another. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Jenn
No way! We believe that all people are God's children, not just Mormons. We believe that when Christ taught us to "love thy neighbor," He meant people of all faiths. Christ loves every person in the world with an infinite love--no matter their background or lifestyle. Doing what He would do means loving, helping, and serving all people within our circle of influence. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Jenn
Baptism is a physical ordinance that accompanies a spiritual covenant made with God to follow the teaching of Jesus Christ by repenting of our sins, promising to obey his commandments, and joining His church. Christ Himself was baptized as an example of obedience and covenant-making. Being baptized is an outward act of our inward commitment to follow Him. We believe that baptism is the first ordinance and covenant on the path that Christ taught us to follow. The sacrament--the taking of bread and water to remember Christ's body and blood that was sacrificed for us--is a renewal of the baptismal covenant that we participate in weekly at our church meetings. Like baptism, partaking of the sacrament involves a physical symbol that is meant to accompany a spiritual commitment. For me, the physical ordinance is a gift to help me better remember and internalize my spiritual commitment. I can remember my baptism day--the feel of the water, the sound of the words of the covenant--as a distinct point in my life when I covenanted to follow Christ's path. As I eat the bread and water each week, I am doing something physical--touching, tasting, swallowing--to make the spiritual commitment more real and palpable. Ordinances are something that I can remember with all my senses to remind me of the spiritual promises that I've made. Show more Show less

Why did your church previously practice plural marriage (polygamy)?

Jenn
Because God asked us to. Then He asked us not to. And that's it. For us this change in policy is not that strange. There are many Biblical examples of polygamy that were sanctioned by God, but even in Christ's time the practice was monogamy. We have these Biblical examples of when polygamy was okay, but we also have examples in the Book of Mormon of when God said it was not okay. We follow whatever God says. He said it was okay in the early Church. He says it's not okay now. We do what He says. Show more Show less

Are there restrictions based on race or color concerning who can join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have the priesthood?

Jenn
Absolutely not! Anyone can join the Church who is willing to follow what we believe are Christ's commandments to His people. All male members of the Church are eligible to receive the priesthood as long as they are worthy--as long as they are keeping the covenants that they have made with God. Show more Show less