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Hi I'm Tawna

I grew up in California. I'm a PhD student. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Northern California and am now a PhD student studying Education Policy and Leadership at a large eastern university, with an emphasis in psychology and philosophy. I teach an undergraduate course in motivation strategies. I'm single. I am the oldest of two sisters, one step-brother, and one step-sister, all of whom I love dearly. I have the cutest nieces and nephews on the planet, and I don't feel biased. I love hiking and camping and finding any excuse I can to do things outdoors. I love learning about new cultures-- have traveled to many places around the world and loved every second of my trips. I did a study abroad in England, hiking across the countryside studying Victorian literature. I've even studied Mayan hieroglyphs. I'm an avid reader, a craft maker, a dancer, a lover of beautiful music, and just someone who loves to be happy. The gospel of Jesus Christ is what gives me the means to be truly happy.

Why I am a Mormon

I know that this is the true church of God on the earth. I have had many witnesses of that, and found joy too great to be denied as I have come to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ as given in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and other scriptures, and especially through the words of His modern day prophets and apostles. When I was 15 I decided that I wanted to know for myself if this were Christ's true church on the earth, so I began a nightly personal study of The Book of Mormon. I came to love that book because I felt how true and wonderful those words truly were. It was then that I gained a stronger testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith, and knew that he had indeed seen God the Father and Jesus Christ. I prayed each day and night to know if this were true, and when the answer came I found that I had always known it, but that my testimony was now just stronger. I felt such a warm and powerful witness of the truth of The Book of Mormon and of this being Christ's true church on the earth. I can never deny what I felt that day and have since felt. Throughout my life I have found peace from my trials, joy in hard times and in every-day moments, and a wonderful hope for what is to come because of the knowledge that I have been given in this church. I know that I can live with my family and with my Father in Heaven again someday for eternity if I am worthy. I know I have the choice to be so. I know that there is joy for all to find in following Jesus Christ. I know Christ lives and that he knows and loves each of us. I am so grateful for a living prophet on the earth today who speaks to us and who is inspired and taught by God to know what it is that we need. I am member of this church because we are asked to find out for ourselves if these things are true--to test the words and ask God if they are true. I have asked and tried, and have received my own personal witness that this is the truth and the way to eternal happiness. I recieve witnesses of that almost daily.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by daily trying to be better and by trying to follow the example of Jesus Christ. More specifically, I serve in my ward congregation as a leader in a women's organization that focuses on service and on strenthening homes, families, and individuals. It is a part of the largest women's organization in the world, and is known as the Relief Society. For this, I organize our Sunday meetings with the help of three other wonderful women, under the direction of our ecclesiastical leader, where we organize the teaching of the women in our congregation for one hour of church. We also coordinate monthly activities for the women dealing with anything from car repair, to cooking classes, to large community-wide service projects. We also look after the needs of the women in our congregation, making sure they are all cared for, befriended, and given love. That service and love is manifest through personal means of whatever may be best suited for the women at hand, such as personal home visits, bringing meals when they are sick, or just going for a run together! I try to help lead these women to live by the motto of the Relief Society, which is "charity never faileth." Thus, we focus a lot on service to eachother, and to all we meet----members of our faith and to those not of our faith. I also participate as a member of my congregation's choir, singing with the choir during church meetings when called for. Other things I like to do are to go with some of my friends to a local retirement center twice a month to sing and play games with the residents. I also like to be involved with various nonprofit organizations--some for troubled youth, and others dealing more with international humanitarian work. I've traveled to work in orphanages, served for years as a mentor and tutor to at-risk youth, volunteered and interned with the American Red Cross, and worked with various other nonprofits. I love to help others and make people smile! They make me smile.

Why do Mormons perform proxy baptisms in their temples?

We believe, as Jesus Christ taught, that baptism is essential to be able to return to God's presence. Because many of God's children died without a chance to hear about his gospel or to be baptized, we believe that God has prepared a way for all his children to recieve this blessing. God is perfect, loving, and merciful, thus he provided the proxy ordinance as a way for those who have passed on to recieve the blessings associated with baptism, as they relate to salvation. Members of the church are blessed to be able to do this proxy ordinance for those who have passed on, and particularly for deceased ancestors and family members who died without having been baptized. Then, in the next life, these family members and indiviuals will have the opportunity to accept or decline the work that has been done for them here. Thus, all people will be given the opportunity at some time to hear the word of God, and choose to follow it or not. Show more Show less