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Hi I'm Marissa Widdison.

I'm a children's magazine editor, adventurer, educator, and artist. And a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in California, visiting the beach with my family and playing soccer with friends. After graduating from college, I wrote for newspapers in New York City and Los Angeles County. On a daily basis, I saw people whose lives were affected by heartache or tragedy. Perhaps after seeing so many people lose those they love, I realized that I wanted to use my professional skills to strengthen and comfort families. I began by swapping my press pass for a missionary name tag. I was called to serve in the Utah-Salt Lake City Mission, and for 18 months I worked with University of Utah students, African refugees, and Salt Lake residents. After finishing my mission, I began a master's degree program in nonprofit organization management. I spent a summer completing consulting projects for nonprofits in Ghana and Haiti. Now I work as a children's magazine editor, and I love coming to work each day knowing I'm doing something to invest in the rising generation. I truly believe that you can measure the health of any society by looking at how they treat their children. I think the world is beautiful and find joy in nature, playing musical instruments—my most recent acquisition is a ukulele—and spending time with loved ones.

Why I am a Mormon

I was adopted into an LDS family at a very young age. But although I was "raised in the church," as people say, I have also come to know for myself that the principles that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches are true. For example, one of the first things we taught as missionaries was that God is our loving Heavenly Father. I believe that with all of my heart. Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone believed just that one, simple truth? And there are so many other wonderful teachings! Families can be together forever. We existed before we were born and will continue to exist after this life. The Atonement of Jesus Christ will compensate for all of the losses and unfairness of mortal life. I've spent years studying Mormonism and have seen how these doctrines fit in with the Bible and words of Christ. One thing that appeals to me about Mormonism is that it is organized. When I think about the nature of God, and when I look at the beauty and organization of nature, I can't imagine Him as a haphazard being. Thus, His church would also be organized and executed in wisdom and order. The LDS Church is the only church I have found that has church meetinghouses of similar quality throughout the entire world. Regardless of where you go, Sunday meetings are conducted in the same manner. Every Sunday School around the world learns the same lesson from the same manuals every week. There is no paid minister, which means that there are rarely political issues involved in church leadership. There are temples around the world, and the same things are taught in every one of them. To me, this is how God's organization would function.

How I live my faith

All LDS women have the opportunity to be part of an organization called "Relief Society." This society is a charitable organization whose purpose is to strengthen women, help families, and serve those in need. I am the Relief Society President for my geographic area—kind of like the chapter president of a club. In addition to running weekly meetings and holding lessons as part of our Sunday worship services, I help plan activities during the week that help women develop their talents. I also go on monthly visits to women in the area to make sure their physical and emotional needs are being met. I hope that our group of women can become a true network of support for one another. I love the Relief Society! It's a sisterhood that provides a safe social network and encourages each woman to be the best version of herself, whatever she believes that to be. In my travels around the world, I have seen how many societies oppress women and devalue the priceless contributions that they provide for the communities in which they live. I love that I have the opportunity to be part of an organization that tries to change that, one small group of women at a time.