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Hi I'm Rachel

I'm a vegan with a passion for animal rights. I'm a Cultural Studies major. I am an aspiring Science Fiction author. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born at home and raised as a member of the church in a very small town in southern Utah. I'm the sixth of nine children. My mom home-schooled all of us until high school age. Music is very important in our family. My mom taught me how to play piano, and all of us siblings get together at Christmas time and sing carols as a family ensemble. A love of reading is something my parents also gave me. I love the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien and The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I'm also a little obsessed with robots because of Isaac Asimov's robot stories. From an early age I knew I wanted to write stories, and that has stayed with me. I have a best friend who is Lutheran (who I met online but now live with) and we role-play and create stories and worlds together. We also like to draw our characters in a style sort of like Japanese animation (anime). I am almost done with my Bachelor's degree in American Cultural Studies! I go to Western Washington University, but I spent a year in Hawaii going to Brigham Young University-Hawaii which is owned by the church. That was where I became Vegan, and I find that this choice connects with my efforts to understand other cultures and be more compassionate to all living beings. I like to try to see all sides of any issue.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in the church, and I know that because my parents tried so hard to follow the teachings of the church about how to raise their children, our home was a haven. I think what I take with me the most from my early years of being raised in the church is how the gospel can be used to strengthen relationships, by remembering the principles of diligence and love and humility. I also love how the church is service-oriented in its organizational structure, giving all of its members opportunities to develop their talents and learn from one another. When my oldest brother was preparing to serve the church on a two-year mission, I was about twelve, and I began to think that I should get a more personal commitment to the church. I wanted to know if the Book of Mormon was true, so I read it and prayed about it, but without much results. Then one day I was reading in Alma 32 and Moroni 7 in the Book of Mormon. Those verses talk about how faith is continuing in what you believe to be right, even if you're not 100% sure of all the details. They also say that anything which invites us to do good, to love God, and to love others, is inspired of God. I felt a very strong sense of peace and have since tried to live my life by those ideas in all areas, going forward even if I'm not sure of the details, trusting that if I do my best to do what I feel is right, God will bless me with that peace of mind.

How I live my faith

I play the piano for the hour of church when the adult women meet together for lessons. I believe that God often speaks to people more directly through music, and we can get in touch with his spirit by opening ourselves up to beauty in that way. I feel grateful for the opportunity to share songs of love for Jesus with my fellow Christians. I think my decision to study American Cultural Studies was heavily influenced by the gospel. The scriptures say that God speaks to us in our own language, according to our own understanding. If I want to be compassionate like Jesus Christ, I must learn to understand other cultures and ways of thinking, so that I don't judge them wrongfully by my own narrow view of the world. My decision to become Vegan was also influenced by the gospel, even though most Mormons are not even vegetarian. We believe in following the Word of Wisdom, which is a dietary code given to the church from God. In it, we are asked to abstain from harmful substances like coffee, tea, tobacco, and alcohol, but we are also asked to eat fruits and grains and vegetables, and that meat is to be eaten "sparingly". God says in this document that it pleases him if we eat meat only in times of winter or famine, which I take to mean any time there is no other food available. I feel blessed to live in abundance, and I believe that God has love for all his creations and we are stewards of the Earth. I believe that having compassion for animals brings me closer to the Savior, because he taught principles of nonviolence and respect for every living thing.