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Hi I'm Karen Heil

I moved from Texas to California when I was 14 years old. My new apartment overlooked the Oakland Temple. The rest is history.

About Me

I am a mother of 9, grandmother of 18. I work in a prison in California and do a lot of self-help groups with the inmates which I totally enjoy. I love to garden and go for scenic/historic drives. I have been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for over 45 years. I have been single for over 15 years and have never felt 'different' in this church. I love it with all my heart.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised by grandparents in Texas and faithfully went to the Baptist church as a youngster. I was always so afraid of God and 'the Devil' both! Yet I always knew that the God I had come to know in my heart and the one preached about at church were two different beings. When my mother died at the age of 14, I still remember walking down that dusty road and cursing God and telling him that I never wanted to speak to him again. I moved to California to live with my father and on my first night in my new apartment, I was crying and feeling so alone and discouraged. I opened the curtains in my bedroom and there outside in the darkness of the night was the most beautiful lighted building I had ever seen. An amazing peace and calmness just filled my soul and I inquired about the building the next day. My father told me it was a Mormon Temple and they do lots of secret things up there. I immediately walked up to the building and when I walked on those sacred grounds, I felt like I was home. It was the Oakland Temple. I spoke to some missionaries, took the lessons, and was baptised on November 12, 1966. That was 45 years ago and I have never looked back. I was married in the Oakland Temple in 1972. Though I later divorced, I have never felt in any way that I am an outcast or that I don't fit in. I know this is the the Lords' true church. I know that He loves me. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and knows me by name. I know that the Holy Ghost is my very best friend and that he comforts me, brings peace into my life, reveals things to me, and walks daily with me.

How I live my faith

I currently work with the young women in our ward. What an amazing calling! To work with so many young teenage girls/women who are living the commandments and practicing virtue and chastity. They set such an example for me. I love visting some of the sisters in the ward that I am assigned to teach each month. Some are inactive in the church, some suffer from mental or physical illnesses. I love bringing a message to them each month of how much their Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ love them. I love visiting one particular lady who has been bedridden for over 2 years. I try to stop by at least once a week to read to her or watch a show or maybe do her nails. I learn so much from her about facing our trials in life as she greets me with her sweet happy smiling face each time. I love attending the temple each week to do the work for those who have passed on that have never had the opportunity to enjoy the blessings that I enjoy, including many of my own ancestors. I enjoy doing geneology work and finding out so much about my family that I never knew. I am grateful for the plan of salvation. I lost a son almost 10 years ago. He was 19. I have no doubt in my mind that I will see him again and that we can live together as families for all eternity. I know that God lives. That He knows each of us by name. That He hears and answers our prayers. I know that His Son gave His life for me. That He wants me to be happy and have joy and peace in this life. That He paved the way for us to return to our Heavenly Father someday and live together forever. I know these things that I have said are true with all of my heart.

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

Karen Heil
"For behold, I . . . have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer. . . even as I' Wow. How I can relate to that. I have not always chosen the right path in my life even though I have never stopped going to church. I have often thought that I am the reason that all of my children but one are inactive. I have held onto that guilt for most of my life. Every time a talk was given about "being an example" or our 'lost' children. Inside I knew that the Lord had forgiven me for my many mistakes years ago but I held onto to the guilt because I did not truly understand the Atonement. I felt as if I needed to keep punishing myself. Then I realized one day that by not accepting the Lords' promise of mercy and forgiveness, I was holding on to the greater sin and that I was just adding insult to his pain that he suffered in the garden for me. I ask the Lord to take away all of the guilt and pain, to help me to forgive myself, and help me find the peace that had been alluding me all of these years. It was almost instantaneous. I have not forgotten, but I have forgiven. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

Karen Heil
As a child, being outside at night under the stars and just 'feeling' that someone was always there. As an adult, witnessing the birth of a child, the vastness of the ocean, the beauty that surrounds me daily like flowers, the different seasons, the quietness of the first snowfall, the different animals and the diversity of people, . Praying for understanding or for a burden to be lifted or a child comforted - and it was answered. Sometimes NOT having a prayer answered in the way I wanted such as my son to be healed and instead he died. And yet, I knew God was there beside me through it all. He has never left my side. Sometimes I have moved - but never has. Show more Show less