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Hi I'm Ashton

I'm an Irish dancer, a musician, and a Harry Potter enthusiast. I'm a college student and an older sister. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Hi! I'm Ashton. I'm a student at Utah State University. I'm studying music. (I know, I know...I must be crazy.) The weird thing is, I didn't always know that was what I wanted to do. I jumped around from career idea to career idea. When I was little, I wanted to be either a horse jockey and one day race in the Kentucky derby, or a fighter pilot. As I got older, a veterinarian's job sounded more appealing. And then in high school, everyone was pushing me towards a career in English as they watched me excel in writing and reading comprehension. In fact, I had everything figured out to be an English major. I had a scholarship lined up, a schedule planned out...and something just wouldn't click. The cards wouldn't fall right, or the stars weren't aligning...or maybe God was just smacking me upside the head saying "Nope, try again". When I heard about music therapy, it was like a light flipped on in my head and I thought "Oh! That's it. That's what I want to do!" He sure isn't making it easy for me though. He's making me fight for every little milestone that I reach in this field of study. I was one of only twelve people accepted into my major every year, and I almost didn't make the cut. Every time I think I'm getting close, Heavenly Father reveals a few more steps of my path and I realize how far I still have to go. I'm just grateful that He is walking in front of me, holding up the lantern and telling me where to step. All I have to do is follow Him.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up in a strong and faithful Mormon family, but I didn't always know for myself the truthfulness of the things they taught me. I went to Church every week, but sometimes it was just for the sake of saying I went every week. I did all the things I was expected to do, but I was usually just going through the motions. Then in the summer of 2007, I had the opportunity to go to a week-long session of Especially For Youth with a dear friend of mine. I was excited, but I was excited for things not Church-related--spending time with my friend and meeting new people, especially boys. By the third day, I realized something was missing in my experience at EFY. I loved it, but it wasn't what I was expecting. Upon praying hard and pondering extensively, I realized that I had been searching mentally for something more than mere socialization, and I hadn't been trying to fill that extra need. So the next day during scripture study, I fell upon 1 Corinthians 15:10 "But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which [was bestowed] upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." By the grace of God, I am what I am. I realized at that moment that the words I repeated every week at our Young Women's meetings were absolutely true. Every Sunday I had been repeating that I was a daughter of God, who loved me and that I loved Him too. But it wasn't until that day, sitting in the dappled sunlight of a June morning with my peers surrounding me, all sprawled on the grass studying, that I truly felt the truth of those words penetrate my heart. For the first time, I actually believed them. For the first time, I believed I was a daughter of God. And I knew that I was here because He wants me to be here. There was no cosmic accident that led to my existence here, in this place, at this time. I am here because He has a plan for me. I don't know what it is yet, but I can't wait to find out!

How I live my faith

Living my faith has always come pretty naturally to me. I was born and raised here in Utah. I know some people brush that aside, and tell me that I don't have to live my faith as much because "everyone is Mormon there". But the truth is, we have to be just as faithful as members anywhere else. In some cases, we have to be even more faithful. Since there is so much LDS influence here, some of the lines and boundaries get blurred when they shouldn't. It's easier to get away with things because people will just assume you're Mormon anyway, so there are some people who just don't try as hard to live their faith. I'm thankful to my parents for making things clear and defined for me from a very young age. Things like how to dress modestly, how to avoid dangerous situations in dating (both when we start out and as I get older), how to work hard, and the importance of prayer, fasting, tithing and scripture study. I know I can live the way I know I should easier, thanks in great part to them. When I left home for college, there were some things I started learning right away that made living my faith easier. Going to church every week, even though no one was checking up on me or asking if I was going. Paying tithing first, every time I got paid, even though as a struggling college student I really could've used the money on other things. Thanks to the solid foundation that my parents helped me to build, I have been able to continue to grow and develop in ways that I never expected. I currently serve as the secretary in my Young Single Adult ward's relief society. It was a job I never once pegged myself doing, and most days I still feel completely inadequate to the duties I am expected to perform. But I know that with the help of my Father in Heaven, I can perform as well as He expects me to. Thanks to Him, I'm still growing and changing. It's hard sometimes, but He makes it worth it.

In whom should we have faith?

For me, trusting people has always been a little bit of an issue. I have a very difficult time accepting and moving with change, particularly when it involves people that I know and love. But one thing I have learned repeatedly, and will still probably have to learn many more times over, is that there are some who will never let us down: our Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ. People in our lives will come and go. Graduating from high school was terrifying for me because I was so afraid of losing all these people I had become so close to. But I soon made new friends, and things went back to normal for a second. But God never lets us sit still for long; soon I was watching these new friends leave for various reasons--graduating college, moving to new colleges, switching apartments or wards, or the biggest one, getting married--and that was hard too. Even family members who we think we can always count on can let us down sometimes. But I know that Heavenly Father and my Savior are always there. To me, faith is the same as trust. By learning to have faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, I am learning to trust Them. I'm also learning how to have faith in and trust the people that are around me. Even if they're not in my life for very long. I still have a lot to learn as far as faith and trust, but I am learning and progressing. I hope that I will continue to do so. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the nature of God?

I think sometimes we all get caught up in this image of God being this all-powerful, mighty being who watches us ceaselessly with a lightning bolt in hand to strike us down the moment we make a mistake. But that's not the way He is. He's never been that way. Sometimes it's easy to picture Him as such; the scriptures sometimes make Him sound more vengeful than He really is. Actually, I think He's the exact opposite. My belief is that God is much more forgiving of us than we are of ourselves. I believe that He doesn't have a lightning bolt waiting when we mess up, but rather an embrace. I don't think He watches us to point out our mistakes, but keeps an anxious eye out, like a parent over their toddler. I know that Heavenly Father loves me more than I will ever be able to comprehend. There are times in my life when I have needed to feel of His comfort, and when I do, He is always right there, and the comfort and peace and love He is willing to give to me is more than I have room for. I know that because of His infinite, indescribable love for me, He has a plan specifically designed with me in mind. I know He watches me and weeps when I weep, and I know He laughs when I laugh and He is happy for me when I am happy. He's like the ultimate dad! When my heart is broken I know His breaks for me, but He's also always there to offer a hand up when I'm ready to accept it. And truth be told, I'm glad there's an all-knowing Person in charge of the universe instead of me. Show more Show less