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Hi I'm Kay

I teach outdoor survival courses and I substitute teach at our local high school. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a mom and a grandma. My husband of 35 years and I have had an outdoor survival school since 1978. We have worked with clients from all over the world in a wide variety of courses. Leadership training, confidence and team building, rehab programs for adjudicated youth, tower climbing and fall protection, desert and winter survival, snow cat safety, and pioneer reenactment programs are just a sampling of the programs we offer. This has kept us fit and young at heart, enabling us to lead our clients, and most importantly, to enjoy the outdoors with our grandchildren. My husband is a fine bluegrass musician and our three kids grew up playing guitar, singing, harmonizing and performing with their dad. Creativity through art, music, photography and master level bread baking have been a driving force in our family. It has been a deliberate focus in our lives to value, respect and support our diverse circles of friends in their own faith choices. We have raised our children to seek truth from all sources and to not fear the faith of others simply because it might be less familiar to them. We have encouraged them to search out the doctrinal tenants of all faiths and to prayerfully seek their own choices.

Why I am a Mormon

Although I was born into the Mormon faith, I underwent the process of my personal conversion over time. My mother's family accepted the gospel in Southern Virginia in the late 1800's and faced tremendous persecution from their community. They were people of strength and character, and refused to be deterred by threats and rejection. My father's grandmothers sought the truth in Germany in the early 1900's. At the time when Germany was trying to rebuild after WWI and prosperity seemed to be within reach, my great-grandmothers headed the encouragement from their new church to leave their homeland and gather with other members in America. This seemed confusing to most because Germany was rebuilding and the family business of my grandfather's side had miraculously prospered during WWI, leaving no apparent reason to move half a world away. Well, they left based on faith alone, and avoided the rise of Hitler. These stories were passed down to me and gave me strength to deeply value my faith. My father served as my bishop throughout my adolescence, in the Washington, DC area in the early 1970's. It was a socially confusing time, and as I came of age I had lots of questions. It was important to me to not just be a social Mormon, nor to cling to it simply because it was how I had been raised. When these questions pressed on my heart and mind, I sought my dad's advice. He wisely encouraged me to attend every church I could find and to seek to learn their doctrines for myself. He said that his hopes for me would be to not just work toward religious tolerance, but to develop a love and familiarity with the people of those churches. He emphasized the importance of feeling their religious uniqueness, their culture and their humor, as well. He hoped that I would develop a genuine love for each of these groups, and then choose for myself, based upon an informed position of understanding. I enthusiastically did these things and ultimately chose my beloved LDS faith.

How I live my faith

I try to live my faith by being consistent in my character and choices. I have served in many, many different callings in our church, mostly with the youth. They are so authentic and sincere, that they make me want to be a better person. I love our programs for the children and teens because they teach without pushing and they lovingly guide young people to feel their value and to make positive choices. I also feel the importance of being an integral part of my community. I have served on countless school and area committees, throughout the years, desiring to be part of the needed solutions with a voice of fairness. I successfully led a campaign to prevent a poorly planned radioactive waste dump from coming to our county in 1989, requiring that I also serve as the media spokesperson for TV, radio and newspaper coverage. My husband worked with a mountain search and rescue team in the San Juan Mountains for many, many years. He was their team captain for quite a while, as well. I have continued to support my many friends from other churches in the various constructive activities and programs that they are involved with. I attend with them when they perform in church, have special events and speakers, sponsor fundraisers for their own mission trips or summer camps, or anything else that is positive and time worthy. I even, on occasion, have helped promote and support church cooking schools from other faiths. I guess that I try to live my faith by defusing contention and supporting good causes by trying to follow the Savior's example to love others. It's not my way to impose my faith on anyone. I just try to live it the best I can.

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Kay
Accusing the LDS church of being a "cult" is one of the oldest derogatory slams by our detractors. I have given this much thought and study, only to conclude that it generally comes from 2 sources. More innocently, this claim comes from a lack of analysis and study. The definition of a cult as an unorthodox religion certainly should not be concluded as negative. A closer look at Christian religions should dispel this criticism. I have a great love and respect for Catholicism. I admire and appreciate the revisions made to their doctrines as a result of Vatican II. They, themselves, realized the need for changes to their traditional tenants and practices and they chose to take responsibility for them. The definitions and doctrines as accepted in the Nicene Creed were, again, an effort to regulate Christian tenants from a variety of faiths. This, too, was a noble effort, but it was still a man-made creation. That's fine, but it must be evaluated as such. Otherwise, new Catholicism could be thought of as unorthodox compared to old Catholicism and any version of protestantism would undoubtedly be unorthodox toward the Catholicism from which they protested. Then, to go further, post-Nicene Creed is unorthodox compared to pre-Nicene Creed. This is just not that hard to understand if someone were open to it. The second motivation for this claim could quite simply be that people who are easily threatened will sling anything they can to cast doubt and to criticize us. Show more Show less