Hi I'm Karen
As you can see, from my photo, I'm a grandma. All my life I wanted to be a mother and I have loved fulfilling that dream. Being a grandmother is the icing on the cake. I have loved each stage of my life and consider the one I'm in to be the best yet. I don't really have hobbies. My kids think I'm crazy, but I love to work, especially when that work makes a difference in someone's life! I like to read. I like to garden I like to be out in nature, when the weather is just right. I have a wonderful husband, and now that he's retired, I'm enjoying doing all of these things with him. My life, in a nutshell is family, faith, and friends.
Why I am a Mormon
I was born and raised in the church. In my early teens one of my friends was interested in the church and was meeting with the missionaries. That's when I realized I needed to know for myself if it was the true church. One of the missionaries suggested I ask my Dad to tell me how he felt about the church. I was a little scared to ask, but finally got up the nerve one night as he was reading his paper. When I asked him how he knew this was the true church he put his paper down, motioned for me to come and sit on his lap, and bore a simple, brief testimony to me. I don't remember what he said, I do remember how I felt. I felt wrapped in warmth and love. I knew that he knew. That's when I realized that I knew too. It was such a happy, peaceful, feeling. These many years later, I still remember and feel those same feelings. I have had so many blessings and witnesses from the spirit, since that time. My life is not without difficulties and pain, but I am assured that there is a God in heaven who is my Father. He loves me and I know he will turn all things to my good as I seek to be obedient and do His will. I know that His Son, Jesus Christ promised all of us that he would provide a way for us to return to our Father, through His own life and sacrifice. I know that He kept his promise, and because He did, I have the ability to change and become like Him. I know that Joseph Smith saw both our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth, through him. He translated the Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ. I love studying that book. It is like letters from home, to me. I can find answers to daily questions and problem as I read and ponder it and other scriptures. Being a Mormon is who I am: A very grateful disciple of Jesus Christ.
Why do Mormons do family history or genealogy work?
We believe in families! Before we were born, we were part of our Heavenly Father's family. He sent us to earth as families so that we could help each other return to him some day. Just as we love and care for our own children and grandchildren, we also love and care for our parents, grandparents and great grandparents. As we do our family history and genealogy work we are participating in linking our family (past and future) together. It is our goal to link all families together in an unbroken chain so that our Heavenly Father's family will be put back together again.
How can we develop greater harmony in our homes?
As a young mother I was concerned whenever our children exhibited unkind words or actions toward each other. I wanted to know how to restore harmony without being contentious myself. One day I was reading in the Book of Mormon. The reference that caught my attention was Mosiah 4:14 "And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin..." It was good to know that I was on the right track, and that it wasn't good to allow them to fight and quarrel. My next question was "but how do I do that? What does that look like?" My questions were answered in the next verse: Mosiah 4: 15 But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another." If service was the key, I could help them choose to be kind to each other by serving. I can't say I always followed this formula, but, when I was on the top of my game and I would come upon someone quarreling or fighting, I would exclaim "Oh, thank you for volunteering to scrub the floor together (or wash the windows, or whatever else I needed to have cleaned)! They would quickly agree that they weren't fighting--but I had them "serve together" anyway. The thing they were fighting about would desolve as they worked together. From this, we realized that our family was happier and their was more harmony, when we would serve or work together. So, whenever things started getting less than harmonious at home, I would start praying for an opportunity for us to work or serve together. Those opportunities always came, and many of our family's best memories are of working and serving together.
How I live my faith
The Savior said the two greatest commandments are to Love God and Love each other. I believe that living my faith stems from those two commandments. We have many opportunities to serve others as we participate in church meetings and activities. Because no one gets paid for service in the church, and because there is no real "training" required, we are each asked to do various things during our lifetime in the church. My church service started when I was a teenager. I taught church songs to children. I was also a Sunday School teacher when I was young. After I was married I worked with the young women, the women, in scouting, as an activities chairman, and as an early morning seminary teacher. (teaching High School kids the scriptures each morning, before school, for an hour) My husband and I served a mission for our church in Ohio for three years. We currently are serving in the Mesa, Arizona Temple. More important than all of these opportunities to serve, however, is how I try to live my life: Loving others, forgiving, noticing and helping those in need, inviting others to "come unto Him". Living my faith is living as the Savior would....not an easy thing to do! Not easy, but very rewarding. The closer I get to being like Him, that happier I become.