What Is a Church Community?

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Hi I'm Gail

I am a wife and a mom and grandma. I'm a homeschooler, and I am a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Utah, attending school and college there majoring in German. I also met my husband there -- who also happens to speak German. We have been married for 38 years, have four amazing adult children and six, soon to be nine, intriguing grandchildren. I love being a wife and mother and doing all that involves. My family is very important in my life! I also cook and bake, listen and counsel, sew and quilt, read and talk, garden and, occasionally, clean. Although I grew up in Utah, we have lived all over the United States -- from New England to the South, the Mid-west and the far West. When our children were small we enjoyed learning about the places we lived -- the history as well as the sights. They were great traveling companions and eager learners.

Why I am a Mormon

I have been an active Mormon all my life. Not only were my parents and grandparents members of the church, but their grandparents and, in some cases great-grandparents were also members. My ancestors sacrificed much to join the Mormon church. They left their homes and most of what they owned in the British Isles to travel with little across the Atlantic and then the United States to settle in what was then the barren West. They gave up a lot and went through much hardship for their beliefs. My life and the choices I make reflect their sacrifices. My study of the gospel and the development of my testimony stem from my understanding of their faith and the decisions it led them to make. 

How I live my faith

Having been an active Mormon all my life, my life reflects my faith. As a wife and a mother of four, and now grandmother of soon-to-be-nine, my family relationships center on trying to be more like Christ. We taught our children to try to be like Jesus in words but also in how we treated them and others. In church I have taught children, teenagers and adults. Besides the scriptures and Christian principles, I have also taught women to sew and cook and have directed service projects making quilts for foster children, dresses for worldwide aid and booties for babies in women's shelters. Currently I am responsible for the music in our meetings and serve as president of our choir. I love music and believe that music can bring us closer to God faster than other means. 

What is a ward/stake/branch?

The Mormon Church is a large organization currently including over 13 million members all over the world. Wherever you go in the world and encounter a Mormon congregation, you will find the same principles and ideas being taught using the same lesson materials with the same or similar organization. To do so efficiently, members are divided into small geographical areas making it easier for members to attend meetings and for leaders to meet the needs of members. The smallest of these is called a branch with just a handful members. Leaders are chosen to meet the needs of the members, i.e. if there are no children, there is no group for them. Wards are much bigger -- up to 300 members -- requiring the full program of the church. A ward may be similar to a congregation or parish in other churches. Wards are geographical; that is, all members within a defined boundary are members of the same ward. A stake is made up of six to ten wards and branches within a larger geographical area. Stakes are led by a presidency and others who are called to help ward leaders in their responsibilities. Show more Show less

Who founded Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

The Mormon Church is a common name given to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We believe the Church that Jesus Christ established while He lived on earth was taken from the earth before the end of the 1st century A.D. In 1830 that same Church, based on the same principles and doctrine, was re-established through a young man named Joseph Smith who was then living in upstate New York. Show more Show less

Why don’t women hold the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How do Mormon women lead in the Church?

We believe that the priesthood is a responsibility that God assigns to worthy male members of the Mormon Church. While women do not hold the priesthood, they do have leadership and teaching responsibilities within our congregations. Women serve in presidencies (consisting of a president and two counselors -- assistants) over groups composed of women, teenage girls or children from 18 months to 12 years old. The presidency is responsible for selecting teachers, pianists, choristers and others to assist them in running an organization that may include anywhere from a handful to a hundred or more individuals. All of this work is done in addition to family responsibilities and, oftentimes, a full-time job. All service in the Mormon Church is voluntary. No one is paid for serving or teaching. Show more Show less