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Hi I'm Joni

I'm a teacher, an actress, a traveler, a writer, and a lover of fine cheeses and chocolates. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a jack of many trades. I teach high school English by profession, but my first love is the arts. I write and act in plays as often as I can. I also enjoy hiking, photography, and a good movie night with friends.

Why I am a Mormon

This is a difficult question. I have been a member my whole life so how do I know that I have made the best choice? I am a Mormon because it is part of the makeup of who I am. I can't divide my faith from myself. I am a Mormon because the restored gospel brings me peace. When life is hard or frustrating or confusing, I know where to go to get answers. I am a Mormon because I love my family and want to be with them forever. I have been blessed with righteous parents and siblings that I love. I cannot imagine ever existing without their love and guidance. I am a Mormon because obedience to the commandments of God sets me free. So many people have asked me about why don't participate in things most people my age would. I don't drink alcohol. I don't smoke. I give 10 of my income to my church. So many people see this as limiting. I don't. When I obey the commandments of God I am set free. By not drinking alcohol or smoking I have control over my mind and my body. Because I pay my tithing, I have always been blessed with a job that provides me enough to take care of my needs. I am not bound by debt or disease or other maladies because I keep the commandments. This is not to say that I never have trials or struggles in my life - but obedience to the commandments has always helped me keep sight of my goals when my world feels like it's crashing down. Ultimately, I am a Mormon because the church is true. Over and over again I have had this confirmed to me. Not by visits of angels or elaborate revelations, but in those quiet moments where I study and pray and feel again that overwhelming peace and warmth that tells me that God lives. That he loves me. That he has sent prophets to this earth just as he did in ancient times to communicate with the world what we can do to return to him. I know this church is true because I have been blessed in more ways than I could ever count by obedience to the commandments. The church is true. And because it is true, I am a Mormon.

How I live my faith

I've had many opportunities to serve in the church by teaching Sunday School classes, but right now I have the amazing opportunity to teach music to the children in the area. I love it because I know that while these children may not remember individual lessons from their teachers over the years, they will remember the songs they sing. It is wonderful to me to see the influence that music has in teaching children about the love Christ has for them.

What is being a Mormon like?

Being a Mormon is like being a normal person, only with a greater focus on the eternal perspective. Sometimes I see my friends or students struggle with challenges in their life and they feel stuck - like they will never be able to overcome those challenges. Sometimes I feel that way too - but when I listen to the prophets and local leaders, and when I pray for answers, I always remember that my challenges and struggles won't last forever, and that someday I will live forever with God and with my family. I find that being a Mormon makes it easier for me to find the "silver lining". Show more Show less

Why is self-reliance important to Mormons? Why do Mormons talk about emergency preparedness?

 Self reliance has always been a part of faithful worship. Joseph of Egypt, for example, taught that principle in preparation for a famine that would last seven years. Really, though, I believe that self reliance is important because if a person's physical needs are not met, then it is very difficult to attend to the spiritual needs of that person. When you are hungry, or cold or without a job or place to sleep, you can't worry as much about the more important aspects of righteous living such as service to others, time with family, and time for personal study of the gospel. Your time must be spent elsewhere. On the other hand, when you don't have to worry about your physical welfare food or shelter or clothing, you can devote more time to your spiritual welfare, and the welfare of others. My life has been very blessed because of my desire to be self reliant. Although I have not had to endure any major natural disasters and sincerely hope not to, I take a great deal of comfort knowing that if one were to come, I would be prepared. Additionally, I know my life has been greatly blessed through prudent management of my salary so that I can live free of unnecessary debts. Show more Show less