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Hi I'm Laurie

I'm a mom, a teacher, a goofball and a Mormon!

About Me

 Hi! Before I was married and had children I was a hairstylist, an LPN and a horse trainer. Now I have seven wonderful children some days and try to help out in the community as I can.

Why I am a Mormon

When my LDS mother married my Catholic father she promised to raise the children Catholic. So, I grew up Catholic. I always, since my very earliest years had a great love for God, but I never really knew who He was and always felt like something was missing. My dad was one of the greatest men I ever knew and had been in the Seminary to become a Catholic priest when his father was committed to a mental hospital. He had to leave to support his mother and siblings. I remember asking my dad many questions about things I would read in the sriptures. Why could we eat pork but the Jews of the Old Testament couldn't? Why did we work on Sunday but the Bible says to keep the Sabbath day holy? My dad always had an answer but it never felt right. I think the final blow came as a child, when we attended mass there was a choir which sang the hymns and the priest who would say the prayers. I often wondered if God really was MY father, wouldn't He want me to be praying to Him? Wouldn't He want ME singing to Him? As I grew older and moved out of the house, I searched for Him. I attended all types of religious services, it seemed the more I searched, the harder He was to find. I don't know why I never looked for Him in an LDS church. One day two missionaries, who I will be forever greatful to for eternity, knocked on my door and the rest they say is history. It felt right. The Spirit bore witness to me that I was finally home, that what I had been searching for, I had found. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true!

How I live my faith

 In our Church the high school age youth attend an early morning Seminary class every day before school. Some kids attend during the school day if they are lucky enough to live in an area that has it. Some kids attend once a week in the evening, but they are all taught the same thing, the standard works of our Church, the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. I was privledged enough to teach Early Morning Seminary for three years. One day I told the kids in my class a story that I thought pertained to the lesson. I had gone to look at a horse for sale, it was a Welsh pony. We happen to raise Welsh ponies and the lady was telling me that if I didn't want to train her to ride there was a beautiful Welsh stallion in the area I could breed her to. I knew if I told this lady I was the owner of that stallion she probably would not come down on the price, so I didn't tell her. I did buy the mare and she did not come down on the price. My lesson was on sins of omision and I told the kids although I never said or DID anything wrong, I still felt I had been dishonest. The kids gave me a hard time that morning, telling me I needed to make it right. So that day I baked some cookies, I drove to the ladies house and explained to her that I might not have been totally honest in my dealing with her. I told her I was the owner of the stallion she had told me about and gave her the cookies to try to smooth things over. Of course, she thought nothing of it and was greatful for the cookies. It did however teach me a very valuable lesson. Who we are and the things we choose to do in life not only effect us but those around us. Any time my Seminary kids thought I might have done something wrong they would tell me "Sister Howell, you better make some cookies!". That is how I live my religion. Pride or embarrassment don't stop me from trying to do what is right. Even if a thought pops in my head years after I have done somethng I wasn't even aware of, I try to make it right. I could never face my Savior knowing I had done something wrong and did not try to make it right. 

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

Laurie
We live like anyone else. I can tell you that Latter-Day Saints who truly live their religion have a light that shines from them that others recognize. They may not know why or what it is, but they see it. My son who is 14 came home from school the other day and said that two of his teachers told him he was one of the most exceptional students they have ever had the pleasure of teaching. This was not a reflection on his grades I wish! They told him they had never had a student so respectful to others and well behaved. In our family we don't spend a lot of time watching TV. We don't spend a lot of time on the xbox or the wii. We don't buy every new gadget on the market. Our week nights are spent at scouts, music lessons, sports, etc. Our Saturdays are spent working outside or doing things as a family. We don't cuss, we don't watch movies or TV with cussing in them. We try to eat healthy and follow the Word of Wisdom. We teach our children to say "yes ma'am and no sir". We try to raise our children to become responsible adults. We pray over our meals, when we travel, have family prayer before the kids leave for school or go to bed. We have Family Home Evening every week, which is a time set apart to spend time as a family, having fun, learning about the gospel and discussing things. I didn't grow up this way. It was a conscience effort to live this way. My children are much happier than I was and I'm glad we make the effort to be peculiar! Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

Laurie
Hmm..I don't know why, except that our talents are given to us by our Father in Heaven, and so, we owe them to Him. By serving in our church without payment we are tithing in a way to Him who has given us all. My friends often ask why I would drive 60 miles every morning to teach a class at 6 AM that I am not being paid for. My only answer is that I have received far more blessings than money could buy!!! Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about family?

Laurie
Family is our crowning jewel. It is our greatest source of happiness. When a couple is sealed for time and eternity in the temple, our family is together forever, through the eternities if we live worthily. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Laurie
The same exact way every Latter-Day Saint has come to know. Study the Book of Mormon and teachings of our prophets, pray sincerely about what you have studied. The Holy Ghost will bear witness of the truth of it to you. Show more Show less

Who is the Mormon prophet today?

Laurie
The Prophet is President Thomas S. Monson. Show more Show less

Who are the Mormons?

Laurie
The Mormon's are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We are called Mormon's because we believe in the Book of Mormon. Mormon was a prophet who lived in America about 400 AD. It was this Mormon who gathered the writings of many of the American prophets and through the will of the Lord included what was meant for us at this time into what became known as the Book of Mormon. Show more Show less

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

Laurie
 That's an easy one! How did you and your best friend become best friends? Not how you met, but how you came to love each other. That's how you get to know Heavenly Father. You spend time with Him in prayer, reading His teachings in the scriptures, keeping His commandments. It's that simple! As you fill your life with Him, you come to know Him. Show more Show less

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

Laurie
 Our church does not endores political parties. We are told to prayerfully consider who we vote for. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the Bible? Do they regard it as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Laurie
We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. It is Holy Scripture to us. The Book of Mormon isupports the Bible and is another testament of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

How can faith in Jesus Christ influence us in our marriages and family relationships? in our friendships?

Laurie
Jesus Christ was our example for everything we do. There is no situation we will ever find ourselves in where the Savior has not given us an example of what to do. I personally wish I could be like the Savior in all aspects of my life. Who would not want for a father such a righteous, kind, gentle person. A teacher, a brother, a son? His example helps us to be kinder, wiser, gentler. By trying to be like He, we only improve our relationships with others. Show more Show less

How can I find someone to talk with, in person, about the Mormon religion?

Laurie
Contact your local LDS church and ask to speak with the missionaries or you can go to mormon.org and chat with someone on line or better yet, if you know someone who is LDS, ask them! Show more Show less

What is done with the tithing that Mormons pay?

Laurie
Tithing helps to build our churchs, temples, activities, manuals, anything the Church is in need of. Show more Show less

What is the Book of Mormon?

Laurie
The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. It is another witness of Jesus Christ. It is a pure, untainted book that has been saved for these latter days, to come forth among the children of men to witness of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It is the writing of ancient prophets who lived in the America's. It is a record of their teachings and life. There were two great civilations in the America's written about in the Book of Mormon, the Jaredites and the Nephites and Lamanites. Both of these civilizations came from the old world. The Jaredites came to this continent at the confounding of the languages at the Tower of Babel. The Nephites and Lamanites which were of one family before they split came to the America's later. Both the Jaredites and the Nephites/Lamanites were led by prophets of the old world, Jared and Lehi. We believe that the remnants of the Lamanites are the American indians. There was a prophet in the Book of Mormon who knew these remaining Lamanites would fall away from the true gospel. He prayed that the writings would be preserved for a later day when they could come to know the Lord again. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the Holy Ghost? Who is the Holy Ghost?

Laurie
The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead, he is one of three members of the Godhead, which also include Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He is a God, but He is in spirit form, whereas Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have tangible bodies. He is the way we communicate with Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ. He is the bearer of truth and through Him we can know the truth of all things. His influence is usually felt. When a member of the Church says "I know the Church is true." it is by the influence, or the feeling that the Holy Ghost gives those who search for truth. It is a feeling deep inside you, it becomes part of you, it can not be denied. Show more Show less

What is the role of the husband and the wife in the family?

Laurie
The role of husband and wife is our most important in this life. As such, the Lord has given us guidelines how we can fulfill them to our best. Husbands are to support their families. Wives are to nurture their children and provide opportunities for their growth. Wives are encouraged to stay home with their children. We are encouraged to seek the Lords direction in this. As for my family, we do not have a lot of money and I know that if I went to work it would help ease some of our burdens. But my place is with my children and my influence on them is worth more than any gadget or gizmo that people think we need today. I have had people tell me wives or women are less important in our religion. VERY untrue! God has given us charge over his most precious posession! His children! Show more Show less

Why do Mormon missionaries proselyte?

Laurie
These are the last days spoken of from the dawn of man. We believe it is our duty to spread the gospel with great haste and vigor! The Lord is pruning His vineyard and it is up to us to help Him in His work. There is no greater blessing for us than to share the good news of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with our fellow man. Show more Show less

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

Laurie
I never truly understood the atonement until I joined the Church. Jesus Christ came to earth and lived a perfect life. That is hard for me to imagine. Because he was a God, he could live a perfect life, but because he was human, he had to choose to and struggle just like us. His entire life he CHOSE to live for me, for you! His entire life was a sacrifice for us. When he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, he took upon his sin free self, our sins, infirmities, trials, troubles, problems. He took them ALL into himself, so that when he died the next day as one who had never sinned, it gave him the right to take those away from us if we only repent and live worthy of forgiveness. Since all of us sin, no one could return to Heavenly Father, because no unclean thing can dwell with him. Jesus Christ paid the price so we could return. Show more Show less

Who was Joseph Smith?

Laurie
Joseph Smith was the first prophet of this dispensation. All keys of the Priesthood were conferred to him by prophets who had held them in other dispensations. Just as the keys were given to Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration, so they were given to Joseph Smith. He lived his life in service to his God. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Laurie
 Missions are a personal decision. Young men are encouraged to serve as are older, retired adults. We believe it is our duty to spread the gospel. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about Jesus Christ? Do Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

Laurie
Jesus Christ is the firstborn in spirt of our Heavenly Father, He is the only born of flesh. He is our Savior and Redeemer. He is the source of all blessings. He is our Advocate with the Father. He is MY PERSONAL SAVIOR to whom I owe everything! Show more Show less

Who chooses the Mormon prophet?

Laurie
Our prophets are chosen by the Lord. Growing up Catholic, I was familar with how the Pope is chosen and it is similar in a way. When a prophet dies, the apostles come together and through revelation receive the knowledge of who the next Prophet will be. It is usually the apostle with the most seniority, but is always confirmed by the Lord. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Laurie
The Bible is the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. Both the Old and New Testaments are vital to our understanding of God and His Son Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

What are some of the ways that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helps those around the world?

Laurie
WOW! You name it! The LDS Church is one of the first responders to calamities around the world. I am not an expert on the subject but the Church makes a substance called Atmit which is used in severely malnurshed people and children. The Church ships this out to countries in need. We are there to help through tornados, hurricanes, floods, ANYTHING! We offer food, hygiene products, clean up efforts. We believe all people are our brothers and sisters and we try to treat everyone that way! Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe happens after we die?

Laurie
 After we die we will go to the spirit world to await judgement day and resurrection. Those who lived righteously enter a spiritual paradise. Those who were wicked enter a type of spiritual prison. For the millions who died with out ever hearing the gospel, it is preached there by missionaries, just like it is here and they have the opportunity to accept it or reject it, just like those living on the earth. After judgement day we will receive a degree of glory. We believe that everyone ever born on this earth will recieve some type of glory except those who deny the Holy Ghost. Those who deny the Holy Ghost, will become Son's of Perdition and will live in outer darkness, where there will be no Light of Christ. This is what will be a hell for them. Denying the Holy Ghost is when you have received a witness from Him of the truthfulness of something to the extent you have a full knowledge and then to say it isn't true. We believe in three degrees of glory, the Celestial Kingdom, Terrestrial Kingdom and Telestial Kingdom. In those kingdoms are many kingdoms. We will enter into the kingdom we have proved worthy of. Show more Show less

What are Mormon Temples used for?

Laurie
There are ordinances and covanents we must enter into in order to return to Heavenly Father and be worthy of the Celestial Kingdom. One of these is baptism. There are other ordinances which are necessary. These ordinances are done in the temple. One of them is sealing. When we marry in the temple we are sealed together for eternity. The wording is similar to a wedding you might attend in any church but the sealing is done by one with authority from God to hold the sealing power, the power that binds on earth and in heaven. When we marry in the temple we are sealed for eternity and are a family forever. Other ordinances are washing and annointing and receiving our endowment. We also do baptisms for the dead in the temple. Baptism for living individuals is done in an LDS church. We believe that those who have died without the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ are given the oppertunity to hear it in the spirit world. Ordinances must be done in this life but proxies can stand in for someone who has died during a temple ordinance. These ordinances are only valid if the person on the other side of the veil accepts them. We believe this is one of the greatest services we can do for our fellow man. Show more Show less

Why is it important for us to take care of our bodies? Why are our bodies called temples of God in the Bible?

Laurie
Our bodies are a gift from God. Not all of His spirit children received bodies. Satan and a third of the host of heaven were cast out and did not receive bodies. As with all gifts from God, they are to be cherished. We are to overcome all in this life and that includes things of the body. Our bodies are the temple or home of our heavenly spirits. They should be treated as such. Show more Show less

In whom should we have faith?

Laurie
The Lord Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

How is the Book of Mormon different from the Bible? How did Joseph Smith obtain the “golden plates” or Book of Mormon?

Laurie
The Bible is a record of the Jews from Adam down to the New Testament apostles. The Book of Mormon is a record of a family from Jerusalem that came to America. The leader of this famly was Lehi, and he was a prophet in Jerusalem. He was told through revelation to leave before it was captured. The Book of Mormon is the story, both historical and spiritual of the descendants of Lehi. There are also other groups of people who came to this land whose story is told briefly in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon writings were abridged by the second to last prophet in the book who was Mormon. He gave the plates the writings were engraved upon metal plates to his son Moroni, the last prophet to write in the Book of Mormon. Moroni burried the plates in a hill in New York. He was the last of his race left alive. Moroni, then appeared unto Joseph Smith and told him God had chosen him to bring the ancient record forth. That it would be another witness to Jesus Christ. We believe other books will come forth also. No doubt Christ visited the lost tribes of Isreal and other chosen people who were called out of Isreal. Their record will be had too. Show more Show less

Who founded Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Laurie
The keys to this dispensation were administered to Joseph Smith. He is the Prophet of the Restoration. Our Church did not start or was not founded, it is a continuation of Christ's original Church that He instituted to Adam, Moses, Elijah, on through the ages. It is a restoration of His original Church. Show more Show less

Why are Mormons asked to donate 10% of their income to their Church?

Laurie
Tithing is an eternal principle and is talked about in the Old and New Testaments. God does not need our money. By paying tithing we are taught the lessons of sacrifice, obedience, humility, etc. It shows the Lord we are putting Him first and thanking Him for all He has given us. It is a commandment and blessings flow from it. Show more Show less

Can you tell me about Mormon customs: how you dress for church, what holidays you celebrate, etc.?

Laurie
We dress for church wearing our very best. If that is a pair of jeans and a t shirt, so be it. Most women wear dresses or skirts and most men wear a white shirt, tie and slacks. The Sabath day is holy to us and we wish to honor it and our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We celebrate Christmas as our Savior's birthday and Easter as His triumph over death.  Show more Show less

How are the activities of the Mormon missionaries funded?

Laurie
Missionaries are expected to earn the money for their mission. Most of our missionaries work during and after high school to be able to pay for their mission. Some children start a mission fund in their youth. Missionaries who can not afford to go on a mission can ask the ward their home church to help them and the ward members will contribute to their mission expenses. If that isn't possible, the Church can help pay for a mission through contributions from other members around the world. Our missionaries are encouraged to earn the money themselves, or at least my missionary son will be. When something is earned through hard work and sacrifice, it is appreciated more. Show more Show less

What is Mormonism? OR What do Mormons believe?

Laurie
 We believe that God is our Heavenly Father, the literal father of our spirits. That His Son, Jesus Christ came to earth to atone for our sins. That through our obedience we can not only return to our Father in heaven, but become as He is. We believe that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are two seperate beings with tangible bodies. We also believe that the Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead. We believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that there are prophets on the earth today, who are directed by Jesus Christ. We believe that the Book of Mormon is a collection of writings from ancient American prophets. We believe in baptism for the remission of sins and that it must be done by immersion through the proper Priesthood authority. We believe that when we are married in the temple and keep the covenants we make there, we are a family for eternity and not just for time. This blessing comes through the sealing power which was restored by Elijah. We believe that man will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam's transgression. Actually, read the Articles of Faith, that will give you a greater sense of what we beleive. Show more Show less

What blessings can we receive through the gift of the Holy Ghost?

Laurie
By receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost we can receive His constant companionship, but we must live worthy of His presence. By having His constant companionship, we learn truth, receive personal revelation and become closer and more like God. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about “eternal life?”

Laurie
 Eternal life for us has a different meaning than for most others. Eternal life to us means that we have earned the right to live as and with our Heavenly Father for eternity. Not just to live for eternity, but to live as He lives. Show more Show less