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Hi I'm Wendy.

Cancer survivor, teacher, sci-fi fan. Single: living my Plan B, but God's Plan A. From a religiously diverse family. I'm a Mormon!

About Me

I've had to make a conscious choice to be Mormon. My family is religiously diverse, including other Christian faiths, agnosticism/atheism, and polytheism. The sister to whom I was closest growing up is in a committed lesbian relationship. All of our differences could be cause for discord. But instead we have chosen to love each other no matter what, and each person is an important and accepted part of our family. My family are my best friends, and I know God loves them even more than I do! Yes, I do hope one day all my family members will find the love and peace that Jesus Christ offers them through His Atonement and Restored Gospel. But having a diverse family has helped me better appreciate my own faith, and to recognize the many forms of God's power in His children's lives. I'm still waiting for "Mr. Right" to find me. I used to feel stuck in 'Plan B': I always assumed I'd be married and have kids by age 30. But God has reassured me that I am following His 'Plan A'; marriage will come later. So, I try to embrace God's 'Plan A'. Although I'd like to be married now, I'm doing great things that I may not be able to do if I were married with children of my own. I spend lots of time spoiling my nieces and nephews; I can't imagine loving my own children more. I teach kids with learning disabilities and autism, and I'm working on my Master's Degree to become even better at helping them. This is God's 'Plan A' for my life, and I rejoice that He knows me! My dreams will come.

Why I am a Mormon

My family has been LDS for generations, clear back to the days of Joseph Smith. I was born a Mormon. However, I definitely have had to choose for myself to remain Mormon, because several family members have left the church. At times, especially in college, I wondered what was the 'right religion' for me, if there was a single 'right' religion. Sometimes, I questioned Church teachings, and wished being Mormon were 'easier'. There were times when I questioned God's love and even His existence, times when I wondered how to reconcile my faith with scientific understanding. But I have grown. Now I am firm in the testimony of Jesus Christ, and the Restoration of His gospel in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. His truth is deep in my heart and fills my soul with love and joy. I feel the love of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know Heavenly Father is intimately aware of me in every moment, and that I matter deeply to Him. He will never give me a challenge that will not ultimately yield an eternal benefit, and He will strengthen me and give me peace as I seek Him in my trials. He loves me. I am a Mormon because I have received for myself a spiritual witness that the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are true. I recognize the power of God in my own life. I feel closer to my Savior, and feel better about my life when I choose to follow the doctrines of the Church. Even though it's not always easy to be a Mormon, the challenges help me grow and ultimately make me happier. I know that following the church's teachings is what God wants me to do. As I follow the Savior's teachings in the Restored Gospel, I can become more like my Savior and reach my full potential as a amazing daughter of an awesome God.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by keeping the promises I made to God when I was baptized: to love and serve others, to keep God's commandments (including repenting as needed), and to dedicate my life to serving God. I try to keep my life centered on the Savior; frequent prayer, choosing uplifting media (music, movies, books) and studying the scriptures daily are a big part of that. I share my faith in Jesus Christ, and let others know that they can turn to God at any time. Prayer is my lifeline! My family members follow a variety of religions, or have no religion. When these differences were first becoming apparent, it was hard-- we had to re-negotiate our relationships, and develop new family communication styles. Now, we've pretty much given up on trying to 'convert' each other. But we don't hide our convictions, either. Instead we choose to love and accept one another, and focus on the values we have in common: being kind, improving the world, and seeking spiritual strength (in whatever form). I do wish my family members had the blessings and joy that I find in the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe it is ultimately the only path to enduring happiness and peace. But until their hearts are prepared, I keep embracing all the good in them and just love our time together-- we are a wonderful family! Sometimes being an 'active' Mormon is challenging. There are a lot of meetings, and adult members are usually asked to take on additional responsibilities. For example, I teach Sunday School about twice a month to the adults in my congregation, and visit two women at home each month to share a gospel message and offer service and friendship. Balancing church and home responsibilities, work, grad school, family time, and recreation takes conscious effort. Sometimes I fail. But I'm growing spiritually, and making a difference to those around me. My life goes more smoothly when I am involved in church and keep my focus on my Savior. I know that I am greatly blessed of the Lord.

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Wendy.
No, although it is strongly encouraged for men to serve a mission, and viewed favorably for women to do so. Older married couples who have no dependent children are also encouraged to serve. A mission can be proselyting or service-oriented. Missions can be in almost any part of the world. Although a prospective missionary can refuse an assignment, they cannot choose where to go-- they are expected to accept a calling to wherever the church asks them to go. Church officers making mission assignments are encouraged to take into account each prospective missionary's potential medical issues, emotional health, and ability to learn a new language. However, the assignments are ultimately made by inspiration and revelation, and each assignment is prayed over and ratified individually. Young, healthy missionaries are usually assigned proselyting missions. Older couples may be assigned to proselyte, or assigned to duties related to the industries from which they have retired-- such as working in mission offices or servicing the automobiles used by proselyting missionaries, or providing medical, educational, or agricultural service in under-developed countries. Individuals with medical issues that may make it difficult for them to serve far from home are sometimes assigned as service missionaries. This allows them to live at home and work in a nearby church-run family history center, employment/welfare office, thrift store, or food processing plant producing food for the needy. Show more Show less