What Is a Church Community?

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Jessica

I'm a 30-something mother of three who joined the Church in my teens. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My favorite daily moments involve arts and crafts projects, playing Strawberry Shortcake and reading to my children. During nap time, I write health-related articles for healthcare companies around the nation. Honestly, I feel surrounded by love, a little luck and things of lasting happiness ... I couldn't ask for much more!

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up in a good Catholic family. I wore the plaid skirts and went to Catholic school. Initially we lived in Utah, but we moved to "get away from the Mormons." My parents didn't want us kids to feel left out among the large LDS population. When we found our new home, in Oregon, we learned that an LDS temple was being built nearby. "They followed us here!" my mom said. I remember walking through that temple when it was open to the public. It was so bright, white, calm and sacred - I could feel something special as I peered into each room. It was a higher level of spirit than I'd ever felt. My mom felt it too, but she pushed the feelings away for a few years; until she found out her sister had a terminal lung disease. At that point, she started thinking about life after death, and she decided to call the LDS missionaries. At first, it was just my mom and I hearing the missionaries' lessons, but eventually my brother and Dad listened too. Our hearts and our home changed as we heard their words. It was like a higher level of Spirit flooded our home. We felt more united as a family, and we felt more connected to our Heavenly Father. The new things the missionaries taught seemed to make sense. It just felt right. Each member of our family spent time alone, in prayer, to decide if we should join the Church - and each of us felt a positive affirmation. Fifteen years ago, all four of us were baptized. Today, all four of us continue to grow spiritually in the Church. As cliche as it may sound, it really was the best decision we ever made - and it will impact future generations as well. My little ones know so much about our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and their Gospel - way more than I ever knew at that age. I'm thankful our family took a step up the ladder with our faith. I know there's always more to learn, and we all are trying to become better ... but I also know Heavenly Father established His Gospel on the earth, so we can come closer to reaching our potential, and come closer to Him.

How I live my faith

I love teenagers; they are full of energy, questions, emotions and life. Right now, I lead the 12 to 18-year-old young women in my ward. Every Sunday, we meet for an hour during church. We have a lesson, focusing on important values (like virtue, individual worth, choice and accountability or integrity). Every Wednesday night, we meet to practice those values, to learn new skills, serve others or have fun in an uplifting social environment. I help plan those activities and lessons, I also look out for the spirituality of those girls. I've served as the Young Women President for nearly two years now. It's a blast, and I'm learning as much as the young women are. Plus, with two daughters of my own, I know this experience will come in handy when my preschoolers blossom into teenagers!

What do Mormons believe about "eternal life?"

I think the No. 1 way my faith impacts my life is: perspective. By understanding who I really am, why I am here and where I want to go after this life, my life has meaning and direction. Mormons believe we lived before we came to Earth. That's a pretty unique doctorine among today's religions. But when the missionaries first taught it to me, I remember thinking, "Oh yeah, I believe that." - that was the Spirit testifying of the truth of that principle. Mormons believe our spirits were created by our Heavenly Father; and everyone on earth once lived with Him, before starting their earthly experience. We believe every person on earth chose to come here - and that we came to obtain a body, to be tested, to grow spiritually and to gain experience. We also believe every person who has ever experienced mortality will continue their life after they die. So, eternal life is for everyone. Where we live and our level of happiness after this life depends on how we live our lives right now. Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to return to live with Him - and we can, if we make the right choices here on Earth. This eternal perspective helps me get through the tough times; and helps me understand why every person has tough times to go through (bad things are not random and they're not just a test, there's an actual purpose behind each trial!). I know I will stand face-to-face with my Savior, Jesus Christ, and my maker, Heavenly Father, after this life. Everyone will. I try to imagine what that will feel like. When I'm making the right decisions, I look forward to that day. When I'm not on the right track, I'd rather shrink into a corner or think of something else. It's up to me to be ready, and not waste my time here on Earth. My eternal perspective helps me stay focused and moving in the right direction. Show more Show less