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Hi I'm Elizabeth

I'm a mom, a chocoholic, an avid reader, a past National Merit Scholar, and a part-time pancreas. I'm also a Mormon.

About Me

 I live in a small town in Wisconsin with my husband and our four children, one of whom has both autism and juvenile diabetes. I'm a strong breastfeeding and babywearing advocate. I was a National Merit scholar and while I have two postgraduate degrees, I am blessed to be able to stay at home with our children.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in a Mormon family in rural Pennsylvania. However, in my early 20's I started to question whether I believed the things that I did just because they were what I'd grown up with or because they were true. I knew there was a God--despite my training as a scientist and philosopher, I couldn't question that. But did God want me to be a Mormon? I knelt in prayer with a non-Mormon friend and fervently asked to know what God wanted for me. The next day I opened the Bible up to this passage in 2 Timothy: "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." I felt like I'd been hit over the head. God was telling me not to ask silly questions when I already knew the answer. The holy scriptures I had known since I was a child were not just the Bible. They were the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the words of modern prophets. They all testified of Christ. I already knew that they were the word of God--why was I questioning that? Since that time if I ever find myself questioning or drifting I re-read those verses to remind myself of what I've known since I was a child.

How I live my faith

I'm the president of our congregation's women's organization. I teach Sunday lessons, plan activities, and organize different ways for the women to serve each other, their families, and the community. I also participate in a nondenominational Bible study group in my town and serve as a moderator on an online Christian women's discussion board.

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

Elizabeth
Visitors are always welcome at Church services. Children stay with their parents during the main worship service but have their own Sunday school. The main worship service, called Sacrament meeting, takes about an hour. Sunday School and additional meetings last another two hours. Sacrament meeting begins with announcements, then we have an opening hymn and prayer. If there is any special business (new members, letter to be read to congregation, etc.), that follows immediately after the opening prayer. Next we sing a hymn which focuses specifically on the Savior's sacrifice. Bread is broken during the song, and then it is blessed and passed to the congregation to represent Christ's broken body. Water is then blessed and passed, representing His blood. Most weeks we have 2-3 speakers who are assigned topics by the local church leadership. Usually we sing another hymn after the first message; sometimes there is a special musical number instead. We close the meeting with another hymn and a closing prayer. The first Sunday of the month is testimony meeting, so instead of having assigned speakers anyone is welcome to go to the pulpit and share their testimony. Show more Show less

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

Elizabeth
Women wear skirts or dresses to church while men usually wear a suit or shirt and tie. We celebrate most of the same secular holidays other in our communities celebrate, including birthdays. We also celebrate Christmas and Easter as relgious holidays. Santa and the Bunny make an appearance at many Mormon homes too. Pioneer Day is the only special Mormon holiday. It's celebrated on July 24th to commemorate the first Mormon pioneers entering the Salt Lake Valley after their long trek west.   Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

Elizabeth
We believe that baptism is a necessary ordinance. We also believe that a just and loving God has prepared a way for ALL of His children to accept the gospel and be baptized if they choose, not just those who had a chance during life. Baptism for the dead allows us to stand in behalf of individuals who have already passed away. Our performing the ordinance does not make a deceased individual a Mormon; their spirit may still choose whether to accept or reject the baptism. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about family?

Elizabeth
We believe that the family is the most fundamental unit of society and is central to God's plan for His children. We believe that families can be eternal. Show more Show less

Do Mormons regard the Bible as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Elizabeth
The Bible is a sacred, holy book containing the words of many holy prophets and eyewitness accounts of the life and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry. We are extremely blessed to have the Bible and the truths and teachings it contains. It is indeed scripture and is a very important source of the word of God available to his children today. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Elizabeth
Grace is like being given a check. The check is a gift, but to benefit from the gift you have to endorse it, take it to the bank, fill out a deposit slip, etc. Once you have done those necessary steps you can benefit from the gift and get the money. Likewise, grace is a gift offered to all who take the steps to accept it. Ther first steps are to have faith that the Lord Jesus Christ can offer such a gift and to desire it for yourself. Other steps include repentance, baptism, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end. To quote from the Book of Mormon, "It is by grace we are saved after all we can do." We can do very little to qualify for grace, but we can do much that shows our desire to accept grace.   Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Elizabeth
No. We honor him as an important prophet much like Moses or Abraham. Show more Show less

What is done with the tithing that Mormons pay?

Elizabeth
Tithing is used to support the work of the church all over the world. It pays lighting bills, builds temples and chapels, prints scriptures, and probably maintains this website. Show more Show less

What is the Relief Society?

Elizabeth
Every adult Mormon woman is a member of the Relief Society, the largest and oldest women's organization in the world. Women who do not have callings teaching children or teens on Sundays meet together for Relief Society as part of the Sunday meetings. We also have activities during the week to serve others and focus on how to improve ourselves, our families, and our communities. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Elizabeth
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints worship Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. He came to earth as the only begotten son of God, lived a sinless life, and was sacrificed to atone for our sins. It is through faith in Him and His atonement and that we can be made perfect and can dwell with our Father in Heaven again someday. His life is our perfect example and following His teachings is the only sure source of joy. Show more Show less

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Elizabeth
The Book of Mormon was written by ancient inhabitants of the American continent. Most of the writing deals with descendants of a prophet named Lehi who fled Jerusalem with his family in about 600 BC. A highlight of the book is the account of Christ's visit to the Americas after his resurrection. A prophet named Mormon compiled and abridged several hundred years worth of records onto a set of golden plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated in the mid 1800's. Show more Show less

Why is family so important to Mormons?

Elizabeth
 We believe that familes are eternal and that the relationships we build with spouses and children here will continue in the eternities. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the Holy Ghost? Who is the Holy Ghost?

Elizabeth
The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit, so His influence can be felt everywhere at once. His main role is to testify of truth and to serve as a Comforter. Show more Show less

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Elizabeth
It was important to Jesus that His baptism be performed by one holding the proper authority. He did not ask just anyone to baptize him. He sought out John the Baptist because John held the Priesthood of Aaron. If it was important to Jesus, being perfect, that His baptism be performed by one holding the proper authority, how much MORE important should it be to us that we be baptized by that same authority? Show more Show less

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

Elizabeth
As I look at the world and the universe around me, EVERYTHING tells me that there must be a God. I was trained as both a philospher and a scientist, but arguments against the existence of God made from either discipline have always fallen short for me. God MUST exist--I see Him and His love for me in quarks, atoms, raindrops, the eyes of my children, chemical reactions, music, rainbows, the act of procreation, supernovae, kindness, chocolate, mathematical equations, the feelings I get when I pray, and a multitude of other witnesses both large and small. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Elizabeth
In the Bible, Paul taught that faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Faith is active, not passive. It is a day-by-day, moment-by-moment decision to offer my best to God despite the knowledge that my best will fall far short of what is required, but also knowing that Jesus Christ is willing to make up the difference. Show more Show less

How can we increase our faith in Jesus Christ?

Elizabeth
We can know whether the teachings of the scriptures are from God or created by man by applying them in our lives. John 7 states, "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." As we follow the example of Jesus Christ and study the teachings in the scriptures, our faith in Him will grow. Show more Show less

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Elizabeth
Yes. While God is unchanging, the needs of His children change as society changes. Show more Show less