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Hi I'm Julie

I'm a wife, a mother of three, a teacher, a Jack Russell Terrier enthusiast and...I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up and attended college "out West" and moved to "the South" 29 years ago when I married the man of my dreams. We both came from large extended families and wanted to have a big boisterous bunch of kids; so it was quite a shock to find out, just shortly after settling into our first apartment, that I was suffering from the very advance stages of endometriosis and might never have children. Thankfully I held a teaching certificate and found that being in any elementary school could be very close to being in heaven (albeit a different sort of heaven than I had imagined). Loving other people’s children lessened the ache in my heart and helped get me through the almost eight years of medicines, multiple surgeries, and procedures that left us fruitless, but at least in pursuit. Our real hope was found in our faith. I had been promised children in a priesthood blessing and so my task was to wait on the Lord. After trying every known possible medical intervention except one, we decided to just stop and take the summer off before trying this last surgery. Then is when our miracle happened. We conceived a beautiful little girl and within the next three years —without doctors or medicines—we welcomed a son, and another daughter. Raising our children has been the greatest of all adventures. We have had so much fun. When the kids were little I ran a preschool in our home and as they grew older I volunteered at their schools and in their various sporting and musical organizations. This has given me great opportunities to be involved in things I never would have otherwise, like being a Girl & Boy Scout Leader, directing a club swim team, organizing a community standards campaign, raising Jack Russell Terriers, and joining the American Mothers Association.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because I love Jesus Christ and the Mormon Church is his. He wants all of us to be baptized and has authorized those in his church to perform this sacred ordinance. I am fortunate to have a grand heritage in Christ’s Church. My ancestors for many generations have been faithful people. In fact one of my progenitors gave Joseph Smith the paper upon which the English translation of the Book of Mormon was written. Anyone can give you a book of scripture but only the Holy Ghost can confirm to you whether or not that book is true. The amazing thing is that the Holy Ghost will tell anyone who sincerely asks! I know that because at a very young age I asked and I heard words in my mind (not of myself) telling me that the Book of Mormon was truly scripture. I felt the Holy Ghost, much like a great swirling wave of the sea, filling me up with peace. If you have never been to the ocean, you might wonder about this statement. Just as surely as you will get wet as you explore the water’s edge at any beach, you can have the Holy Ghost tell you in your mind and through your feelings what is right and true. It is easier to believe when people you love (such as your parents) point you in the correct direction. I am thankful to have been born into the Church. But even if it is a stranger that tells you where to look—truth is truth. Faith is a personal decision that each one of us can and must find on our own.

How I live my faith

I was very young when I first came to know for myself that Jesus Christ loved me and had a plan for me; and ever since, I have tried to obey his commandments to show my love for him in return. I have found that those commandments keep me safe and happy so my desire to obey has grown over the years into a way of being. Every decision is prayed over and every activity is considered against a backdrop of what would please Christ. Christ has always directed his people with prophets so I try to listen carefully to what the prophet says and every six month as a family, we sit down and try to evaluate and to plan to do whatever it is that we are asked. For example our prophet has asked that teenagers not pair off while in high school, but rather they “date” in groups and only after turning 16. Our children consequently have had the opportunity to comfortably move in many circles at school and associate with lots of different people without being encumbered with too much intimacy too soon. They have avoided the “drama” that can be characteristic of high school “going steady” by following a prophet of God. The Lord’s directions (through his prophets) are small things that anyone can do like no coffee, tea, or any habit forming substance. Our family has really been protected by deciding to obey this commandment. At first the differences are so slight, but over time they grow to huge proportions. For example, my son and my good friend’s son both played football as freshman, but one carefully read the labels on energy drinks being sure to pass on those full of caffeine, while the other started smoking. My friend and I chatted often about our boys. We shared the same dreams. She decided that something as inconsequential as smoking was fine as long as it was not on school property. Summer workouts are grueling and smokers just can’t run like non-smokers. One boy therefore dropped out of football and the other started weight training. The smoking crowd also takes in the drug crowd so it is not surprising that while one boy’s team went one game away from the state championship, the other boy found himself in jail. One mother enjoyed the great joy of cheering her son on, while the other had to endure the greatest sorrow. Both boys are wonderful young men, but their lives and their opportunities are now so different. Perhaps it is simplistic to believe that a little thing like a cigarette could make such a profound difference, but I believe it did. The Lord has also described through his prophet what modest dress is for this modern day—small doable things like dress length to the knee, sleeves (no spaghetti straps or backless tops), not too tight, no tattoos or body-piercing. At first the decision to abide by these guidelines was almost imperceptible in my Girl Scout Troop where we determined what our personal dress code would be. Again I chatted with my troop moms. We shared our hopes for our daughters. One little girl’s mom felt that as long as her daughter was going to church it really didn’t matter how she dressed. This girl’s clothing became more and more “out-of-code”. While one Girl Scout was participating in a modesty fashion show, the other girl was attracting male attention at school. Soon one girl chose to earn a sewing badge and learned to alter clothing to fit her code while the other girl was spending a lot of time with one boy. The boy got what he wanted from this girl, then left her. She is now an unwed mother in a drug rehabilitation program. The other girl is in college having just finished a semester study-abroad program. Certainly there are many factors to consider as influences on these girls, but modesty played a central role. Clearly being obedient to a prophet in small things has big benefits. Recently the prophet has asked that everyone get out of debt! Our family has discussed how we might to do this. We are working on it, but not quite completely there yet. I trust however that we will eventually be able to comply, and by so doing, avoid problems. That is the wonder of having a prophet—following him keeps us safe even when danger doesn’t seem to be readily apparent. Our financial planners advise the kind of debt we have is beneficial as it reduces our burden of taxation; but we will trust in our prophet’s advice as a better gage for future stability. Like a string on a kite, the commandments given through our prophets allow us a soaring flight through life…but if we ever sever our sting we won’t be free to do whatever…we will crash every time! You really can’t break a commandment…only yourself against one. My husband is the kindest and most thoughtful man alive. Beside him, there is nothing that is of greater importance to me than the welfare of my children. Having faith in Christ who is helping us know through a modern-day prophet what to teach our children to safe-guard them—right now, not just what worked centuries ago— is truly remarkable and invaluable. I have often through that if I had lived in Noah’s day, would I have gotten on the ark? Today we have a Noah named Thomas Monson. My husband and I measure every day by his words and we are so grateful. That is how I live my faith, by trying to follow every word and suggestion from God through his prophet!

What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' attitude regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage?

Julie
To understand what the Church’s attitude is on homosexuality, the answers to a few simple questions must first be clear. Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? Any of our little children at church can answer these questions. A child will tell you that we came from Heaven where we lived before as spirits with our Heavenly Parents. We came here to earth to get a physical body and to be tested to see if we would use our bodies to do right. None of us would get everything correct the first try, so God prepared a way for us to be washed clean from our mistakes and showed us what to do through the mercy of his son Jesus Christ. If we follow Jesus, we will pass our test and go home to Heaven to live as families, happily ever after. This is what is called the great Plan of Salvation or the marvelous Plan of Happiness. How wonderful is our opportunity! Our gender is an essential characteristic of our pre-mortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose. Homosexual behavior destroys that identity and purpose. Homosexuality harms a person’s physical body and prevents him from having his own children, so the church’s attitude is to rescue those who want to behave in a homosexual way by teaching them the truth about who they are—that they are beloved begotten spirit children of Heavenly Parents—and assisting them to follow God’s plan. Almost 20 years ago my nephew called me just after speaking with his mother and another of my sisters, to tell me that he thought himself to be “gay”. I felt complimented that he would want to share with me his deepest struggles. The fact that I was next to his mother in his confidence is a testament to the closeness of our relationship and speaks of our deep affection. My first thought was to assure him of his place in my heart and that I loved him. For the next two years my sisters and I sought to rescue my nephew by studying homosexuality. We read everything we could get our hands on. I highlighted all the things our prophets have said on the topic and studied literature from medical experts. My father-in-law shared with me his expertise as a doctor who had worked for the government monitoring and implementing policy for world health issues and had the unique perspective as one in the circle of experts confronted with the first cases of AIDS in the United States. During this time of study, our family associations continued to be very close. We spoke every day, shared every holiday or special event, making sure that my nephew was included in everything just as he always had. My sisters were reading voraciously but in a slightly different vane. My nephew’s mother (my oldest sister) was gravitating to anything that would validate homosexual behavior and especially that which was critical of church leaders. While we were searching, my nephew was establishing himself in the gay community and felt the need to begin routine testing for AIDS. It was at Christmas, while living with my oldest sister for a few weeks, that I saw for the first time the change, and by summer that change brought with it an earthquake which cut a deep chasm between us. The change was in my sisters’ faith. They no longer believed in the scriptures or prophets or the great Plan of Salvation. They had replaced faith in the Mormon Church with what is called “unconditional love” for my nephew. We reasoned, debated, cried. My oldest sister decided that if I could not accept homosexuality as “just another” normal behavior (and if I would not allow my small children to be in her son’s wedding); then I was no longer welcome in her home. My younger sister was even more direct. If I could not embrace and celebrate the homosexual behavior of my nephew, then she concluded I was unchristian, intolerant, and no longer her sister. Our prophets have taught that love can’t be accurately described as unconditional. In fact, nowhere in scripture is the term “unconditional” used. Our leaders have taught that God’s love is divine (ever available and offered to us) but we must do certain things as commanded by Christ to be able to partake of this divine love. If I truly love my Savior, I will obey him and in so doing be closer to him enabled to partake of more of his affection; likewise, if I love my nephew, I must try to prevent anything from harming him—even himself. Unconditionally accepting destructive behavior is not loving. I am trying to love by following the divine pattern of obedience. I know that Christ has the power to heal anything…especially homosexual behavior. It is important to Mormons that these truths be established and preserved for all because Christ’s way of divine love is the only path to lasting happiness. Show more Show less