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Hi I'm Sheila Koonce

I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Born and raised in the Sonoran Desert of Southern Arizona, I love the warmth of the sun and the smell of rain in the desert. Running barefoot through the desert with a comb in my back pocket to flip thorns out of my feet toughened me and taught me lessons that run deep. I have a thirst for knowledge and my passion for learning has turned me into a documentary "junkie!" I also enjoy being outdoors, computers, cooking, gardening, reading, doing genealogy research and most of all - spending time with my family. I have been married 23 years to a man who is truly my other half. Together we face the challenges of life and anchor our family. The first years of our journey were idyllic. I stayed home and nurtured our little ones. Life was rolling along beautifully and as always happens, the storms came and redirected the river. My husband was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2000 and that diagnosis completely changed our lives. I quickly realized the responsibility for providing for our family could fall to me overnight. MS is unpredictable, so I needed to be prepared. I earned an associates degree right after high school, but that would not generate enough income to feed five hungry babies. At the age of 38, I went back to school and graduated from the University of Memphis with a concentration in Information Technology. My husband and I are now navigating the tributaries of life as best we can and loving it.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised a Jehovah's Witness until I was 13 years old and then my parents divorced and I was exposed to New Age teachings until I moved out on my own. These vastly different doctrines left lasting impressions on me and they also left many questions unanswered in my mind. As a young mother, I was faced with the responsibility of answering spiritual questions posed by my children. My desire to teach my children well dictated that I investigate and find the answers to my questions. I reasoned that once I fully understood, I could more effectively teach my children. While in the midst of what I call "church shopping," would you believe missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints knocked on my door? I told them I had no intention of joining their church, but I was very curious about their doctrine. They assured me there was no obligation to join and they would be happy to answer my questions --- and question them I did. I was astounded to find the truths I had locked in my heart from my experience as a Jehovah's Witness and also learning New Age doctrine were perfectly united in the doctrine the missionaries taught me. Somehow I had managed to sift through the doctrines I was taught all of those years and had clung to the pieces of truth that resonated in me. All of the confusion and frustration fell away as I studied and learned the simple and plain doctrine of Jesus Christ. Not the doctrines of men, but the profound truths taught by the Savior himself.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by striving to emulate the Savior in tenderness and compassion. I try to find the good in people. When I look past the human imperfections and see the spiritual being - A Child of God - my heart softens. I live my faith by putting my family first. My husband and children are the focus of my life. As simple as this sounds, developing family relationships brings more joy to my life than anything else. This cause and effect could be nothing other than a gift from our Heavenly Father. As we live his will, we are blessed beyond measure.