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Hi I'm Elizabeth

I'm a graduate student in biology. I like hiking, learning about science, and eating zucchini bread.

About Me

I'm a PhD student. I like to be outside, collecting ecological data or just hiking in the mountains with friends. Graduate school is demanding and doesn't leave me a lot of free time, but when I can I like to read for fun, and I'm a big fan of children's literature and old nineteenth-century short stories. I like learning new things and designing experiments for my dissertation on stream ecology. When I finish my degree I want to teach.

Why I am a Mormon

I'm a Mormon because I know that this church is true. Small spiritual experiences throughout my life have showed me that the teachings and doctrine of this church are really right, that God has restored them through the prophet Joseph Smith, and that God continues to lead the church through modern revelations to living prophets. I know for sure that living by the teachings and commandments of the church has brought me more peace and happiness than I could ever find anywhere else. One of the ways I can testify of this is by personal experience. I have done my best to follow the teachings of the LDS church for many years and every choice I've made to do so has made me happier and more successful. The other way I know that the Church is true is by the witness of the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God, or Holy Ghost, communicates with your heart and helps you recognize truth when you hear it. When I read the Bible and the Book of Mormon, when I listen to the current prophet, when I talk about the Church to my friends, and when I pray on my own, I feel the Spirit confirming to me that the Church is true. That kind of feeling is hard to describe, but it is unique and unmistakeable. It feels loving, calm, and clean. The greatest blessing I have enjoyed as a member of the LDS church is the influence of the Holy Ghost. By it I know that God is aware of me and that He loves his children. The Holy Ghost guides me when I am faced with difficult decisions, tough times, or worries. When I was baptized and confirmed, I promised to follow Jesus Christ, and in return I was promised the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost as long as I'm faithful. God has kept that promise, and it is the best gift anyone could have.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by trying to do what is right, by keeping my priorities sorted out, and by doing what I can to help in the Lord's work. A few years ago I served as a missionary for eighteen months and spent a lot of time helping people physically or spiritually by giving service, volunteering, and teaching people about the church. Today I help by playing the organ on Sundays, teaching gospel classes, and just keeping an eye out for anyone who needs a listening ear. As a member of the church I donate ten percent of my income to the church for use in missionary work, building facility maintenance, and Church-owned schools. This is called tithing. I also live my faith by spending a little time each day in personal devotion--scripture study and prayer for example. I like to start my day with a prayer and then I read a chapter from the Bible or the Book of Mormon before I go to school. Doing this helps me to be a kinder person, keep life in perspective, and stay closer to God.

Why are only some Mormons allowed into temples? Is there something secret going on in Mormon Temples? What goes on in Mormon Temples?

There are three main things we do inside temples. For one, we listen to God's teachings and to promise to obey Heavenly Father. For another, we do proxy baptisms for any of our ancestors that did not have a chance to be baptized while they lived. This reflects our understanding of the afterlife as a place where people that didn't know about the gospel can learn it after they die. Thirdly, temples are where we perform weddings. Since the temples are sacred places, they are appropriate for a sacred ceremony like a marriage. Marriages are performed in the temple by a priesthood holder who has God's authority to do so, and if the husband and wife are faithful to each other and to God, then their temple marriage will last for eternity, even beyond this life. Each of these three purposes are sacred and special--they have to do with God and eternal promises to Him. For this reason if you want to go into the temple, you need a recommendation from the local church leaders to say you are a member in good standing who follows the laws of God. We encourage everyone to do what it takes to qualify for a recommendation. If you don't have a recommend but still want to go inside a temple, find one that has recently been built and is not yet dedicated. During that period there is an open house so that anyone can go in and see it. Show more Show less