Hi I'm Sarah
I grew up in California and live in Ohio. I work as an analyst, decorate cakes badly, and love science fiction. I'm a Mormon.
Lately I've been spending a lot of time studying math and science to strengthen my brain in preparation for the GMAT and grad school! I also have been working my way (slowly) through watching all the many, many episodes of Star Trek that have been made over the last six decades. And I love answering questions on MetaFilter and updating my Tumblr blog. Now that the weather is cooling down, I look forward to renaissance festivals, pumpkin shows, and taking long hikes in the state parks near where I live.
Why I am a Mormon
I was born in a very different religious tradition - really more of a secular humanist environment than anything else. We went to church, but more for the companionship and sharing time with like-minded people than for worship. My mom converted to the church when I was young, but my parents were divorced, and my dad wasn't very happy about me becoming a Mormon. I wrestled with this a lot as a teenager - what do I believe is true? Is anyone actually listening to me? Is there a point to all of this? Are the people I love, who are no longer alive, still around, somehow? Does it really matter? Why should I work so hard if it just annoys my family? The turning point for me was, I think, the day I was baptized for my grandmother in the Los Angeles temple. I had to take a bus to get to the temple, by myself, because no one would drive me. I realized on that trip that it really matters - that it's not just about what makes me feel good or bad, but that my actions, my faith, has a real impact on other people. Being a Unitarian versus a Mormon wasn't about comfort, about making my parents happy, or anything else - it was about truth. And I knew that Heavenly Father cared for me and wanted me to keep working at being a Mormon, even if it was painful or difficult or made my dad upset. I've had a lot of ups and downs over the years - inactivity, struggling to get myself to church when I have to go by myself, etc. - but that knowledge, that this stuff matters and that I know the truth, is why I'm still a Mormon, even in the low times.
How I live my faith
My favorite job in the church is being a teacher. I've mostly taught children, ages six to nine. Every year we learn about a different book of scripture; my favorite is teaching the Old Testament, because we can see the blessings and challenges presented to so many different people, in so many different circumstances. My absolute favorite is teaching the kids about how Heavenly Father told His people that Christ was coming, again and again - that He loves and takes care of all of His children, and doesn't ignore someone just because they were born too soon or had the wrong color skin or any other useless differences that we like to think are so important. I also love our community service projects - every time we have a young single adult conference we clean up a park or repair a homeless shelter or something. I especially like that we do this locally, that it's based on what people in the community actually need. We're not always well-liked out here in the Midwest, but we focus on being helpful, and I think that's really wonderful.