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Hi I'm Hazel

I am a first generation Australian. I come from a Jewish family but converted to Christianity. I am a Mormon.

About Me

I am a retired high school teacher, who taught music, English and German in three states of Australia. My parents were immigrants who came to Australia to escape Nazi Germany. However, we still spoke German at home - that was my schooling in German, sufficient to be able to teach it. We were Liberal, not Orthodox Jews, but still celebrated the High Holy Days of Passover, Yom Kippur and Rash Hashona. We still celebrate Passover every year, and always invite different people so that they can experience it too. I still tutor students in English, have taught migrant women English, and also do catering. We have five children and 14 grandchildren. Three of the children celebrate Passover in their homes too; we didn't want them to forget their Jewish heritage and they are keeping up the tradition. I converted to Christianity early in my marriage through Billy Graham. As an Evangelist, he didn't push any particular denomination, just told people to go back to their own church and become good members of it. I didn't have a church to go back to, and thought I might join this one or that one, but met the missionaries one day, invited them to tell us a bit about their church, and joined a couple of months later.

Why I am a Mormon

I didn't feel comfortable while I was looking at other Christian denominations and was interested to hear what the missionaries had to say. I had had LDS neighbours when I was growing up, and they epitomised what a good Latter-day Saint family should be like. That influenced me favourably towards the Church. I was wary at first about thinking American Indians were from the same background as the Jews, but the latest research has it that only a small percentage came from the Middle East. Despite my misgivings on that score, I felt good about other teachings of the Church; I had only recently accepted Christ as my personal Saviour, I had no problems with accepting that as we are created in the image of God, He must look like a man, and that the Holy Ghost could be a separate Being without a tangible body. I believe that Josph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ, and that the other denominations around at that time all held to some inaccurate teachings, so none of them was one he should join. I had felt the same way. I have had the pleasure of seeing our children follow the Church's teachings and being moral and upright in all their doings. Having three sons who went on missions means the influence of the Church has spread even further. Our two sons-in-law and two of our daughters-in-law are also returned missionaries. They are all raising their children to have high moral and ethical standards, and so are helping to keep the fabric of our society in good standing.

How I live my faith

As our church is a lay church, the members are called on to help in many ways, be it teaching the children or teenagers, looking after the welfare of women or  helping others with their family history. Over the 44 years in which I have been a member of this church, I have served in all the above capacities; for example, for six years I was the president of the women's organisation for the whole diocese (consisting of six parishes) in our area, for three years I was in charge of one of the Family History Centres, and I have taught many classes, from pre-schoolers to adults. I have been on a Public Affairs committee for eight years and have helped organise a number of events, and catered for even more! We are also asked to visit a few people monthly, to check up on their needs. I visited one lady for 20 years, and in all that time, she only came to church once, when Christmas Day fell on a Sunday. It didn't matter; every month I would go and see her, and was able to be a listening ear for all her troubles and concerns. Although she is now in a different parish, we are still in contact, though not every month. Our church asks us to refrain from drinking and smoking and I always take pleasure in telling policemen who stop me for random breath tests that I haven't had an alcoholic drink since I joined the Mormon church in November 1967. We are also asked to tithe our income, and although sometimes we have been rather poor, we have never gone without the necessities of life, a blessing that is promised us when we pay tithes and offerings (which is money used to help others in distress.)