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Hi I'm Trudy

I grew up listening to stories my dad told me as we worked on our dairy farm. Now I teach storytelling. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a professor of Communication Studies, a mom, and a grandma. My research interests include storytelling, popular communication, and gender communication. One of my favorite concepts to teach my students is that a story is a "love gift" (according to Lewis Carroll). When we share our stories, we give them as gifts--with no strings attached.

Why I am a Mormon

I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age 23. I have to admit that I was skeptical about the claims the missionaries made who often dropped by my dorm room. However, when my husband and I moved to Virginia where he was stationed in the Army, I saw the Gospel lived on a daily basis by the members of the Church who lived in our apartment complex. When I finally accepted the challenge to read the Book of Mormon, my doubts disappeared. Everything that I count as good in my life has come as a result of my decision to be baptized.

How I live my faith

I often tell my friends that I have the best assignment in my church. I work with children, age 18 months through age 11, helping them learn musical concepts and songs of the Church. There's nothing quite like seeing the Nursery children with colorful scarves in their hands, "growing" as we sing about the little seeds that are fast asleep, or directing the handbell choir as the older children intently follow the color coded cue cards I'm holding. However, I think what makes me happiest is seeing the joy in the children's faces as they sing the song "If I Listen with My Heart." Listening with the heart helps all of us to feel Heavenly Father's love.

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Since gender studies is one of the areas I research, students often ask me about how women serve in the church and what "limitations" are placed upon them. What you will find when you visit a Mormon church service is that women will be giving talks from the pulpit. They may be asked to give an opening or closing prayer in the services. Many times women will be the ones playing the organ or piano or leading the music. As the New Testament reminds us, "neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" (I Cor. 11:11). Men and women are seen as equal partners and one gender is not valued over the other as we meet together to worship. Show more Show less