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Hi I'm Maria

I grew up in a large, blended Russian-American family in Sea Cliff, New York. I am a Mormon.

About Me

I have seven brothers and three sisters with families of their own. This is a wonderfully diverse family with many talents and occupations. At this point in my life I am a single mom of six young adults. My four granddchildren are a delight to be around. I have worked full time for a student loan company for the last 12 years. Family time, gardening, home improvement, Junior Achievement, music, reading, family history and preparedness occupy much of my leisure time. I enjoy a healthy lifestyle, and especially like preparing living foods as they help keep me young.

Why I am a Mormon

As I reflect upon the reason I became a Mormon, the feelings of being led and directed by a personal and loving God come to mind. Although I was raised as a Christian, I was an agnostic when I met the missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They shared a message that included a simple way to talk to God. If He was really there, I wanted to know for myself. After a simple prayer, He did let me know that not only is He real, but that He has always known and cared about me. He gave me, for the first time in my life, an enduring gift of faith. Lessons followed about faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. With prayerful consideration of each of these principles, I gained a sure conviction that this was indeed the true gospel of Jesus Christ. As I continued to study, I realized that the Bible testifies that Jesus is the Christ, and that the Book of Mormon is a second witness of Him. It became so clear to me that He loves all people, in all lands, and in all times of human existence. By prayer came the spirit of repentance. When I asked if I should be baptized, the spirit of the Lord bore a firey witness so strong that I knew it was right. Baptism by water under proper authority cleansed me so completely that I was now receptive to the baptism by fire (Matthew 3:11). This started with being given the gift of the Holy Ghost, who reaffirmed that I had made a correct choice. I feel peace knowing that I have found the true and living Church of Jesus Christ as He began it anciently. He told the former saints in New Testament times that his church would fall away, but that he would restore it in the latter days. The Holy Ghost has also enlightened my mind to know that this is true. I know now by my own experience that personal revelation is a reality. I am at peace with the choice I have made to become a Mormon.

How I live my faith

Several habits keep my faith strong. Daily reading of the scriptures, coupled with prayer, invites the Lord into my thoughts and actions. I seek inspiration in my work and relationships, knowing that He will be there to help whenever needed. Weekly attending sacrament meeting helps me to renew my commitment to follow the Savior's example. Searching out my Russian/Ukrainan family history is exciting, although difficult as I try to read Russian documents on microfilm in the Family History Center. As I listen to General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I can feel divine power strengthening me as wise counsel flows from a living prophet and apostles. I testify that they are the Lord's authorized servants to lead His restored church today. As I choose to prayerfully ponder and follow their clear and wise counsel, my blessings have increased immeasurably! Sharing the message of the Book of Mormon as the revealed word of God helps others find Him. Like the Bible, it is another witness of the Son of God, even Jesus Christ, who made it possible for each of us, who come to Him, to be redeemed from sin and death. Serving others in their need opens my eyes to who each of us really is, a child of God; though imperfect as I am, I feel privileged to extend practical assistance to His children. It is the joy of my life to have come unto Christ by learning and embracing His plan for families. Continuing revelation, both personal and prophetic, guides my life and steadies my faith in our chaotic times.