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Hi I'm Courtney

I grew up in the South. I am a teacher. I am a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in South Carolina. I love the hot summers and the freeze-you-to-the-core winters. Most of all, I love that there are actual seasons. Seasons don't change anywhere else like they do in the South. Everything calms in the fall and explodes in the spring, taking your life along with it. I love my home state and thought I'd never leave it. But life - as it usually does - had different plans and so entered the college season of my life. I went out to Utah to attend Brigham Young University. I studied how to be a teacher and learned how to grow up. College taught me about my career, about my life, and about my faith. All three areas were tested as I was pushed to my limits, and as I was pushed to make decisions - crucial and sometimes hard decisions - about what I really wanted out of life. Since graduating from BYU, I've found myself back in the South but still far from home. There have been a lot of changes, a lot of trials, but a whole lot of blessings. As I've remembered the Lord, He has remembered me. My life is challenging at some times; easy at others. Sometimes I feel it's the most exciting life ever, and at other times, the most boring. But my life is mine, my life is God's, and my life is extraordinarily beautiful.

Why I am a Mormon

I am blessed to say that I am a Mormon because I choose to be. I grew up in the Church. I was taught the gospel from day one of this life. I can recite the Articles of Faith, and sing "I am a Child of God" like I wrote it. But it wasn't until college that I realized what those words meant to me personally. There came a point in my life - as I feel comes to every life - that I had to decide if I was going to live my life the way I'd been taught to live it, or if I was going to live it my own way. How grateful I am that I chose the Lord! I have a testimony that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He came here to show us the way. He is the Way. I know that if we follow Him, if we truly try to be like Him, we will be happy. It's a happiness that sometimes we don't even know we're missing until we seek to taste it. And I know that if we ask, He will give it to us. And He has given it to us in its entirety through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is His church. It holds the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a conduit through which we learn what He way is and how we can follow it. I know that I am a child of God. I know He loves me. I know that He wants what's best for me. His way is not always the easiest. It takes humility and trust in Him. It takes vigilance in doing those things that would make us strong. It takes giving up those things that would hurt us - even if we don't understand why right now. But I also know that if we make those sacrifices to follow Him, He will not let it be for nothing. He sees us - He sees you. He knows what you have given up to be closer to Him, and He will come closer to you.

How I live my faith

I attend a congregation especially for young adults. We gather together to strengthen each other. As a part of this congregation, I coordinate athletic activities for the women in the congregation. Through these activities, we become better friends which helps us learn from each other. We learn how to work together and how to support one another. Everything that we can learn from sports - like how to be a leader and a team player, respect, humility - helps us as we learn how to live the gospel. These traits help us to be leaders and stand up for what we believe, to work together as a "team" to help each other progress in the gospel, to respect each other and our leaders, and to humbly do our part to make sure everyone succeeds. I also live my faith by being okay with being different. There are things about being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that make me seem different from others in the world. I may dress differently, speak differently, or act differently. Sometimes it's tempting to not play up these differences, to just want to be the same as everyone else. But these differences are what make others notice me. I live my faith by never being ashamed of my standards. I want everyone to enjoy the happiness that I enjoy. I want everyone to know what I know. So I don't try to hide what makes me stand out. I want people to ask me why I don't drink or why I don't use profane language so that I can share with them the beauty that has been shared with me.

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

Courtney
One of the hardest things for me is to share with others something that I really have no words to express. I have come to know my Heavenly Father through the feelings and assurances of my heart. That isn't something that I can offer up for others to look at and learn for themselves. But I do know that everyone can come to know Him as I do. One way to come to know Him is to pray to Him. Prayer is something that we sometimes feel inadequate doing. It's ok to have questions like, "How can I talk to someone that I'm not sure is there," or "If He really is there, why would God want to talk to me?" It takes some humility to get down on our knees and speak. But I know that as we do so He will answer our questions. He will show us that He is there and that He loves us - that is why He wants you to talk with Him, ask Him your questions, and tell Him your concerns. He wants to help. I can promise that as you go to Him in prayer - humbly thanking Him for what He has given you and sincerely desiring to know more about Him - He will answer. It may not come as a light in your room or a vision of Him. It may just be an assurance in your heart that you can't quite describe to others. But an answer will come and it will come in a way that you cannot deny that it is from Him. Show more Show less