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Hi I'm Shelley

I live in New York with my husband and seven children. I love to sing & I speak Spanish. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in a loving Mormon home and I hope this wont sound like I'm trying to paint this idealistic picture, but I always knew it was special to have parents who loved each other as passionately and loyally as mine did. My childhood was a beautiful gift. Music was an integral part of family life growing up and I love to sing and write my own music. I had the chance to study in Israel for an extended period during college where my convictions about Jesus Christ became even stronger. Before getting my degree in Special Education, I served an unforgettable mission for my church in Guatemala where I learned Spanish. Now I'm married & have seven children which is unusual even in my faith. My oldest child just left home. I was blown away by how his childhood flew by & suddenly there I was hugging him goodbye. I'm definitely slowing down and treasuring the time I have left with the rest of my children. I prize my vocation as a mother. It's the hardest thing I've ever done & also the most rewarding. I feel fortunate that we can get by on one income so that I can stay home. We love visiting civil/revolutionary war sites, tennis, the Beatles & drive-in movies. We have moved 13 times together in the past 19 years which has created a closeness and solidarity that I wouldn't trade. If there's anything I know about, it's moving. I won't sugarcoat it. It's hard. But it has made our family ties strong. Home is definitely not a location. It's wherever we are together.

Why I am a Mormon

I'm a Mormon today because I have been converted. I know that because of Jesus Christ our Savior, things can change. I can change! I am so relieved to know that I don't need to be afraid living in this crazy world, because He has "overcome the world". In a day when it's easy to feel I have no control over my circumstances and where I am so vulnerable, I'm taught by Jesus that even when everything goes wrong, when I feel like a victim, I'm never a victim. No one can take away my inner peace and security about who I follow and where my Savior is leading me. Jesus seemed like the ultimate victim of men's cruelty, but He was in fact the exact opposite. He was in total control. He could have called down legions of angels to rescue Him at any moment, but He was fulfilling a promise made to His Father to save us from our sins and from the victimization of this world. It's only because of His love and power that any hope is possible, change is possible & inner peace and joy are acessable even while we are suffering through something terrible. We can choose Him!! Although I grew up feeling blessed by my beliefs, a time came when I wanted to know for myself and be sure I wasn't living on borrowed light. I studied our beliefs, read the Book of Mormon (a book full of light and full of Christ- a book that testifies further of the truth of the Bible!) and personally prayed to know if these things are true. I knew God was listening to my prayer. My answer came in the form of a great feeling of light and peace and clarity. This light and clarity and peace have continued to grow inside me over the years as I've continued in this faith. I've wanted nothing more than to pass this blessing on to my children. I've had nothing but goodness come from this church. I still have a lot of trials but I've got a lot of peace and joy- who could ask for more? If we judge a tree by it's fruit, this tree is pure goodness.

How I live my faith

I live my faith as best I can. I start my day by waking up and praying before anything else. I keep prayer going in my mind and heart throughout the day. I don't drink, smoke or use bad language. I especially never take the Lord's name in vain. I try to repent and start over when I've done something out of line with the Lord, like yell at my children. I love the gift of repentance. I love that our Lord's mercy allows us to start over & experience the joy of letting Him help us change. It's such a confidence builder. I attend our temple (different from church) whenever I can. There's this indescribable beauty there. I always come home feeling such a sense that I'm really worth a lot to my Savior. The temple renews me and teaches me who I am and where I'm going. We always pray at night with our children and we have regular scripture study with them, teaching them who Christ is, using the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and articles by our current prophet & apostles. I think it gives them a lot of security knowing where they can turn for peace. Right now I am serving in our women's organization called the Relief Society. It's the largest women's organization in the world. We consider each other to be "sisters" and refer to each other as "Sister Jones, Sister Cooper" etc. We meet regularly for Sunday worship but also during the week for service projects and to learn how to be better Christian women who make a difference. I am part of the program called Visiting Teaching. It's a shepherding program where each woman is given a partner and a few women to visit with regularly and share a short uplifting message. This is how we care for each other and find out each other's needs so that the one in the ninety & nine doesn't fall through the cracks. I love living this faith. I'm shy and I don't like to impose on people but the truth is, I KNOW this is actually the restored church of Jesus Christ and I wish I could just shout if from the rooftops!

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Anyone is welcome to attend church services. People not of our faith are welcome and it is not our practice to exclude members who are not living gospel standards. Sacrament Meeting is the first of our three hour church service. Bread and water are blessed and passed by priesthood holders. We use this time to reflect on Jesus Christ and his atonement made in our behalf. This meeting begins with a hymn and a prayer given by previous assignment by one of the members in the congregation. Then there are typically some announcements given by the Bishop before the Sacramental portion of the meeting, then several speakers from the congregation give prepared "talks" on previously assigned topics. There is never a plate passed or any donations requested. Tithing is privately paid using envelopes. The second hour is Sunday School. We break up into age groups and devote one year to the study of each of the four books of Scripture the Bible, The Book of Mormon and two smaller but important books called The Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. The third and final hour of church is where men and women meet separately. The women go to a meeting called Relief Society and the men attend Priesthood Meeting where gospel topics are discussed. Teenagers separate into classes for girls and boys and the children meet together for Primary where they sing songs and learn the gospel through play and instruction. There is a nursery provided for toddlers age 18mo- 3 yrs. Show more Show less