Hi I'm Shirley
I'm a wife, mother, and grandmother. I take pictures, make little movies, sing, and paint. I write an opinion blog. I'm a Mormon.
I love being a grandma. My grandchildren know I love to take their pictures, and several request that I do, which is nice. Then, there are a few I have to beg or chase. Nevertheless, the shots where my grandchildren (and their parents, too) are showing me what they are made of makes my efforts well worth it. The same goes for my taking little movies of them. I like to sing. I sing in my church choir, in my house, and in my back yard. The feral cats I take care of outside come when I sing because they think it’s time to eat. I like to paint, particularly with my grandchildren, with fabric paints on fabric and canvas boards. I blog, too, about home and family, religion, education, politics, social issues, and more. I enjoy writing about humanitarian efforts. I have a special spot in my heart for those who help others in difficult circumstances. Besides loving to be a grandma, I love being a wife and a mother. I met my sweetheart while I was in high school and he was in college. We performed Latin dances together in the last all-church dance festival. Then, he went on a mission for the church, and I completed two years of college before we married in the temple. Later, I graduated from college in journalism. I loved being a stay-at-home mom in my four children's daily lives and volunteering in their schools and classrooms. Though my children are grown now, I love that mothering doesn't stop being important. My children need me to be their mother no matter how old I get.
Why I am a Mormon
I am a Mormon because I believe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is actually Jesus Christ’s church on Earth. Jesus is its head. He directs the Church’s affairs through his living prophets. I want to return to live forever with Jesus and my Heavenly Father with my family. I believe this church offers the only path whereby I can do this. This gives me great comfort and hope. I know I am a child of God. I feel my Savior’s continuing love for me and approval in my choice to be baptized into his church at age 8. My spiritual experiences and knowledge came one step at a time. I remember feeling the Spirit on my maternal grandparents’ farm when I was 7 to 9 years old. To help fill the time while herding cows one summer, my grandmother gave my siblings and me a hymn book. As I followed the cows home, I remember singing “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” from that hymn book. Though I walked barefoot on a warm, dirt path between sage brush, I felt the Spirit of God confirm to me in a quiet and peaceful way that Jesus lives. I also felt the Spirit back home many times. I pinpoint the beginning of that to my mother reading “The Book of Mormon” to me and my six siblings in the evening when I was young. I felt the Spirit whisper to me that the things she was reading were true, that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and that the Church he founded under the direction of Jesus is also true. These feelings grow stronger as I learn more teachings of Jesus and keep his commandments. I am grateful I had the Church in my life when I was growing up. I participated in and learned through the children’s organization, the youth organization, and daily religious study in high school. I regularly felt the Spirit guide me. The women’s organization is a great support to me as is regular temple attendance and my husband, a worthy Priesthood holder. I wouldn’t trade being a Mormon for anything.
How I live my faith
My life is my faith. Everything I do reflects it. I give people the benefit of the doubt. I help my neighbors and other members of the Church when I can. I serve others. I look for the good and usually find it. I go to Church on Sunday and attend other meetings during the week as necessary for my current church responsibilities, or callings. I’ve been given quite a few music callings over the years, including teaching children church songs for their ages, conducting worship service music, and playing the piano for the church choir. I’ve taught the gospel in classes and been a Cub Scout den mother. Two things I currently do are visit other women and put together for printing the worship service programs. Sometimes living my faith means standing up for what I believe. It means to fast and pray once a month and donate for the poor to the Church. It means to forgive everyone who has done anything against me or failed to do what was right to me. It means to attend the temple a few times a month and to support my husband and other members in their callings. I’ve had the opportunity to help my congregation provide school supplies and an outfit for community children in need as identified by the city. Then at Christmas in an ongoing humanitarian project, the congregation provided coats, boots, mittens, and gifts for the same families. Later as we were meeting other needs, I found out a 9-year-old girl’s only wish for her birthday was to have a bed. I had a nearly new one at home not being used, so Church members delivered the bed to her. She was so happy, and we all felt so good inside. As I face difficulties of my own, I pray for God’s help and ask for blessings through Priesthood holders. My life is nowhere as difficult as the early Mormon pioneers’ lives were as they crossed the plains to Utah. I take courage in their faith and the faith of my valiant family members. Now, I also walk with faith.