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Hi I'm Melinda

I was born and raised in Georgia and have 5 children. I am a musician, teacher, grandmother, convert, and a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in the South during the 60s and 70s when the Mormons were few in number and usually known only for the Tabernacle choir and polygamy. I joined the church as a teenager and left home at 17 to attend college. There I met and married my 1st husband and became the mother of 5 in places as diverse as Japan, New Jersey, and California. When that marriage ended, I brought my children back home to Georgia to finish raising them. I completed my Masters degree and taught school for many years before meeting and marrying my current husband. I no longer teach public school, but am busy caring for an elderly mother, helping with grandchildren, working with church responsibilities, and teaching piano.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up in another faith, but became uncomfortable with its liberal morality when I was a teenager. I chose to stop attending church, believing that I could draw as close to God through nature as I could through any church. In high school I became friends with a Mormon girl who had a staunch testimony. We spent many hours together during which time she would speak of her faith. She invited me often to church, but I avoided coming until a singular experience testified that if I wanted a relationship with God, I would have to put forth some effort--I could not expect to simply wander the woods and find all my answers. In other words, I would have to come to church. By that point, I knew that if any church were "true", it would be the one about which my friend had spoken with such conviction. After meeting with missionaries, I was eager to be baptized, but followed the request of wise parents to take my time before making such a serious commitment. About a year later, they gave their consent and I became a member. I have never looked back. Along the way, my testimony has grown and sustained me through heartaches, single motherhood, financial distress, the challenges of going back to college and working full time for many years while raising children alone. Through the church I met and married my sweet husband and rejoice in the gospel faith that we share. The most enduring aspect of my testimony is my absolute faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ. I was not taught of Jesus and his divine mission when I was growing up, so even after I was baptized, it was years before the breaking of my own heart taught me that in Christ, all wounds are healed. I know that God lives, that we are loved far beyond our capacity to understand, and that through the grace of Heavenly Father and the atonement of His Son, we can all go home again if we so choose.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by following the Lord's commandments as completely as I am able. I have strived to raise my children in that faith and to teach them to pray and live as Christ has taught us to. I regularly attend church meetings and pay tithing and other monetary offerings in order to support and sustain the work of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I go often to the temple, seeking the blessings of eternal family relationships, answers for my own questions and strength to be the example I believe God would have me be. Currently, I teach an early morning religion class for teenagers in our congregation. We meet each morning before they go to school to offer instruction and understanding of the scriptures and of our teachings and doctrines. My husband and I also study these teachings, not only of the scriptures, but of our leaders as well, incorporating them into our daily lives. We strive to be honest, kind, faithful, and of service. Those teachings have become more meaningful to us as my husband was recently diagnosed with ALS, a terminal disease for which there is no cure. We hold more than ever to the covenants we have made to follow God's commandments, with the faith that regardless of what happens to us in this life, we have the promise that our marriage will continue into the eternities if we remain faithful to one another and to our God.