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Hi I'm Stephanie

I'm a mother, a teacher, a writer, a friend. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a 40-something mother of three children, ages 11, 9, and 7. I'm married to a great man who is a genuine partner. I'm a mom and who spends most of my time hopping from one glamorous task to the next-- you know, laundry, grocery shopping, scraping things off the walls, packing lunches etc. -- and I go back-and-forth between the opinion that I never get anything done and the realization that I what I do accomplish matters a lot. I'm learning motherhood day by day and I'm surprised over and over by how much miracle is wrapped up in the small details. I claim Georgia as my home, but I also grew up in Illinois, North Carolina, Missouri, and Indiana. I am the oldest of four children and my siblings are still my good friends. My education is in Spanish Teaching, and I've taught Spanish classes at the high school and university levels. I was a missionary in Argentina, and I still have a deep love for the Hispanic language and culture. Now I teach religion part-time at my local university. In my fifteen years of married life, we've lived in Utah, North Carolina and Minnesota, and we've collected great friends along the way. I don't live a perfect life, but it's a content life. There are challenges, of course, but my relationship with my Heavenly Father pulls me through---with a little help from naps, chocolate, restaurants, and an occasional vacation.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because I am certain of God's love for mankind and His ongoing involvement in our lives. He is not an absent God, neither in personal interactions nor in the direction of His kingdom on earth. I am a Mormon because I know that there are living prophets and apostles who continue to speak for God just like the prophets of old did. I am a Mormon because I believe in Jesus Christ. I know that He lives and that He is my savior. He is my friend. I am a Mormon because I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and I have felt the spirit of God over and over again as I've read it. Most importantly, I am a Mormon because as I have applied the doctrines of my faith in my life, I have felt an increase in God's love for me and His blessings in my life. I am a Mormon because my faith strengthens me and brings me closer to Christ.

How I live my faith

I try to live a principle-driven life. I spend my time on things that are important to me, the most important being my family. I love to study the gospel of Jesus Christ in the scriptures. I love to study the teachings and counsel of living prophets and apostles. And I love to teach the things I learn to my family and in classes at church or in conferences and workshops with youth. I talk to my children about Heavenly Father and his love for them and his plan for all his children. I feel joy when I see them act upon principles they've learned from the scriptures or our family discussions. I've also kept a blog where I try to explore the divinity in motherhood, to remind myself and others that among all the mundane details of a mother's day, there are sparks and reminders of a powerful eternal mission and reflections of true Christ-like living. I try to be a good friend. I try to create a home and a way of life where we can feel the love of God. I try to protect my family from the dark forces in the world by arming them with a knowledge of truth. I just try to be a friend to Jesus Christ.

Why don’t women hold the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How do Mormon women lead in the Church?

Stephanie
Just as in a marriage, men and women are equal partners that respect one another and work together as they fill different roles. During Jesus Christ's life, he called several men as apostles to help him direct and administer the business of his church. A careful reading of the New Testament also shows that Jesus included righteous women in his ministry and considered many of them among his closest friends and most faithful disciples. Likewise, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, women have many opportunities to lead and administer the programs of the church. The men of the church receive the priesthood, which is the authority to act in Christ's name, and its purpose is to minister and serve others in the example of Jesus Christ himself. All women in the church are members of the Relief Society, whose motto is "Charity Never Faileth." They, too, seek opportunities to serve and minister. Women do not hold the priesthood because the Lord has not commanded it, but we are given many, many opportunities to be leaders in the Church. I have served as the president of the young women's organization and children's organization in my local congregation, and I have been a teacher of adult Sunday School classes, scripture study classes for youth, and many, many other classes, lessons, conferences, etc. I love being a woman in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I always feel my contributions are important and appreciated. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Stephanie
I love the doctrine of grace. It is such a beautiful principle of undeserved, but freely-given gifts from our Savior. Grace means to me that even when I love Jesus Christ with all my heart and try my best to serve and follow him, I still fall short of his glory. I gain access to his grace by accepting him as my Savior (faith), promising to follow him (baptism and obedience), but I still sin and I still fail (so I repent). He, however, accepts my willing heart, and bridges the gap between my intent and my performance. He fills it with his sacrifice, his love, his pleading on my behalf. He makes me whole and literally saves me far beyond what I deserve. Jesus Christ fills in all the holes of me and makes me what I can be. He gives this daughter a ticket to return to her Father-- a ticket he paid for. And even though grace in its ultimate form is related to our eternal salvation, I can also see it in so many smaller corners of my life. His grace takes a tired and sometimes grumpy mother and makes me stronger and more effective than I could be on my own. He takes bumbling and somewhat awkward attempts to reach out to someone and turns them in to true ministering. There is evidence of Jesus' grace in so many things, and I'm really, really grateful for that. I'm so much better at everything when his grace is on my side. Show more Show less

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Stephanie
Yes! I do, and that knowledge makes me so happy. I love knowing that God is not dead, that He still speaks to his children and gives us ongoing guidance to live the way He wants us to. Are the challenges today any less than challenges that people faced in the past? Does God love his children less today than he did in ancient times? No! The words of prophets have always led God's people to safety and blessings. How we need that today. I need it, and I can feel it in my life as I learn from living prophets and apostles. The scriptures teach us about the doctrine and ministry of Jesus Christ, and prophets can help us understand how to apply those teachings as we face the unique challenges of today. This is one of the greatest miracles of the Mormon faith, and next to the divinity and atonement of Jesus Christ, it is probably my favorite doctrine. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has 13 Articles of Faith that outline our core doctrinal beliefs. Two of them (#s 6 and 9) declare our belief in living prophets: 6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth. 9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. I know this. God lives. Jesus is His son and our Redeemer. And there is a living prophet on earth today to help me live His gospel. Show more Show less