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Hi I'm Theresa

I'm a homemaker mother/stepmother to 8 children. Our youngest is 18, so we're almost 'empty-nesters'. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Because of my father's work, I had the privilege of being raised in several different countries. I speak a few languages and have an international outlook on things. I am a college graduate,with one degree in Children's Theater and another in Education, and I love reading, teaching, and all sorts of sewing and yarn crafts. I regularly teach classes on money-management, and occasionally teach other skills-related classes as well. Between us, my husband and I have 8 children and 17 grandchildren (so far). We have two of the youngest children at home just now, and the next-to-the-youngest is a Missionary in Russia. The very youngest is 18, so we're not far from being 'done' with the whole high-school thing. I really love working with kids and with teens, and we recently hosted a 'house show' in our home, for four up-and-coming 'indie' bands to perform in our living room one summer evening.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised with Christian principles, but our family didn't attend any church. As a result of living in several parts of the world, I was exposed to many of the religious beliefs of the world. I suppose my real interest in learning more about God came as a result of meeting some new friends when I was 15. They belonged to a mainstream Christian church, and one day they informed me that anyone who wasn't Christian was going to Hell. I think the part that really got to me was that they seemed so pleased about it. I was NOT pleased about it. I had many friends who had all sorts of beliefs, and I knew they were good, devout people. As I thought about them, I also thought about all the people who had lived in some part of the world where they had never even heard about Jesus Christ, and about all the people who were born before the Savior lived on the Earth. I just could not believe that God had created all those people, had put them into whatever lives they had, and then had condemned them all to hell. I began to read the Bible, to find out for myself if this was the case. While I was in the middle of this search, my father one day came home from work saying that he had run into a couple of young American boys, students or something he thought, and had invited them to come over to our house for a home-cooked meal. They turned out to be missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and they wanted to talk to us about the Gospel. While my family members all had their own levels of interest or dis-interest, I was very interested, as I had a lot of unanswered questions about God and the whole thing. Six months later, most of my questions were answered and I decided to join the Church. It was the very best decision I have ever made in my life. I love the Gospel, and it has helped me throughout my life. I am a better person because of the gospel in my life. I know that God loves us, and that He will help us through all out trials in life.

How I live my faith

Since the Church has no paid ministry, everyone helps as they can. Over the last 30+ years I have served as a teacher or a leader working with our children, our teenagers, and with our adult women. For several years I have been a teacher in our early-morning scripture study classes for our high-school age children. More recently I have been helping with our Sunday and mid-week activities program for our teenage girls, and my husband and I team-taught a Sunday classroom of 9-10 year old children. Currently I plan a monthly mid-week activity meeting for our Relief Society. Serving in the Church is only one way that that I live my faith. I have to try every day to do things that bring me close to my Heavenly Father, such as daily scripture reading, daily prayer, being aware of what I am choosing to watch or listen to in the media. I look for ways to help my neighbors, and I try to interact with people the way the Lord would interact with them. Well, I'm not the Lord, and I can't come close to His perfection, but I do try to let His example influence how I am with others. Being a member of the Church is a lot more than going to church on Sunday. The Gospel comes to permeate every aspect of your life. We're all trying to be as good as we can be: just day to day good people.

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

We understand that everyone is a child of God, and that He has a plan for the happiness of His children. He wants us all to have joy in our lives. I think we try to choose our actions based on what will bring that joy into our lives and the lives of others, rather than only seeking fun and entertainment. While we live in the communities and in the cultures of our regions of the world, there are some things in which we might differ from the mainstream lifestyle of our regions. A typical 'Mormon' household will hold morning and evening family prayers. We will have some daily scripture study as a family. We will also encourage family members to have individual scripture study time each day. We want to build strong families, and we see each member of the family as an important, unique person sent from Heavenly Father to be a part of our particular family group. This helps us to want to be kind, loving, and encouraging both in the marriage relationship and in the rearing of our children. Living the gospel includes how we treat others. As Church members, we try to actively seek out chances to help in the community, in our country, and in the world. We value education, seeing it not only as a means to worthwhile employment in life, but also as a means to bless the lives of those around us. We voluntarily use our time and skills in service in the Church and in the world, trying to help those who need what we have to give. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

No one is "required" to serve a mission, in the sense that no one is kicked out of the Church or disciplined for not choosing to serve. All of the young men are asked to go, many young women choose to go, and many retired couples also can serve as Missionaries. In our family, my husband did not serve a mission as a young man, and I served a mission as a young woman. Our three oldest boys each served a mission (in Arizona, Argentina, and Wisconsin), one is currently a missionary in Russia. Our three daughters have not gone, and our youngest son is too young to go yet. All of our sons have been allowed to decide for themselves whether they want to serve the Lord in this way. They understand that it is a sacrifice, but also a privilege, to go serve the Lord by serving His children for two years. They have all worked and saved their money to provide for their mission costs (no one is paid for doing missionary work). And sometimes there are very real sacrifices that these young people make, to give 18 months to two years of service to the Lord. Our son who is on a mission right walked away from some career opportunities that may not be around when he gets back. And he is certainly going to miss his sister's wedding, and his younger brother's graduation. And still he decided to go. My husband is approaching retirement, and our plan is to serve a mission together, possibly at the same time that one of our older grandchildren is also on a mission. Show more Show less