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Hi I'm McKinley

I am a college student going into Physics. I play the flute, and I love writing. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am the oldest of five children, the youngest being exactly eighteen years and one week younger than me. I am especially close to my sister three years younger than me. We've been close friends from the time we were little and glueing popsicle to the kitchen floor with bright pink glue. We've been in high school together, played and marched in band together, animately discussed Harry Potter together, and even quoted Veggietales and YouTube videos at the dinner table together -- to my dad's great displeasure. My family is very close and held together by strong ties of love and laughter. And a fair amount of teasing. This year I will be starting college. I plan to study physics although I may going into engineering instead. I love sciences whether or not it's applicable to my daily life. I also love the arts. I was in the top band playing flute and piccolo all through high school. I draw and paint with almost any medium. I love, love, love to read. I read almost anything I get my hands on. I especially love fantasy, so much that I have gone on to write my own stories.

Why I am a Mormon

When I was nearly eight, I was nearing the age to get baptized and I decided if I was going to officially become a Mormon, I needed to know the Book of Mormon. I had gone to church all my life and certainly believe, but I felt that if I was going to make this commitment to God, I needed to make an effort to know more about the book that was so central to our religion. At the time, I struggled with reading, and the old, scriptural language of the Book of Mormon seemed too much. So I read the Book of Mormon reader, a picture book with all the main stories and teaching in simple language for kids. I learned about Nephi and Alma, Moroni and Abinadi, Helaman and Mormon, and so many others. That summer, with a knowledge that God lived and loved me and that the Book of Mormon was His book, I was baptized. But I felt that I still needed to know more. I had no more confidence in my reading ability than before, but I decided to read the Book of Mormon, cover to cover. It took my mom's help, and sometimes I didn't quite understand what I was reading, but I did it. At eight years old, I finished the Book of Mormon. Since then, I have read it over five times and have developed a deep appreciation for the book that not so much changed as defined my life. Through it, I learned of Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I learned of Jesus's earthly mission and Atonement. I learned that I was a child of God, that He loved and watched out for me, and that this church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was where I needed to be. The Book of Mormon coupled with personal prayer gave me my testimony -- of God, of prophets, of the Church, or anything I could possibly need. And that testimony, that faith is what allows me to live my life with strength, not fear.

How I live my faith

I go to church every Sunday to worship and to be reminded of what I may be lacking in my life at the moment. As a youth, there are also more activities for my age group than I would have thought possible in the week. In the past, I have helped plan activities for my age group of girls and sometimes other youth. I have watched over, prayed for, and befriended girls I saw and had responsibility over. I have frequently down service with my family or my youth group or both for members and nonmembers alike. I have helped clean old ladies' houses, wrapped Christmas gifts for needy families, trimmed bushes at city parks, and much more. At school, my friends know I don't swear or make off-color jokes, and they knew I prefer it when they don't either. My friends and I have good, clean fun. We watch Disney movies or Pride and Prejudice parodies rather than go to late night parties. We try to convince our friends to go to BYU rather than to try drugs. And, at the end of the day, every day, I read out of the Book of Mormon and pray to my Heavenly Father.

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Pray. Heavenly Father speaks to each of us through the Holy Ghost. If what you are praying about is true, you will feel calm and peaceful. It may not come all at once. For me it didn't. But your prayer will be answered. As you choose to obey God's commandments and listen to the Holy Ghost, you will feel that what you are doing is right. You will feel the Holy Ghost's influence in your life, guiding you and comforting you. As you pray, you will grow closer to God and you will see that you are doing His will. The feeling, when you know your life is in line with what God wants, is undeniable. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Being a Mormon is awesome! There are many jokes about "I can't. I'm Mormon." but being Mormon isn't limiting at all. Because I'm a Mormon, I have faith that God lives and that He cares about me and my life. I can trust Him with my trials and my fears, and He will protect and strengthen me. Because I am Mormon, I am part of an organization that looks after its members and exists all over the world. Because I am Mormon, I am confident about who I am and who I can become. Because I am Mormon, I have direction and purpose in my life even if I don't know what to major in in college. In the end, all the little things Mormon's "can't" do, like drinking, weight very little against the power and the happiness of a church that teachers you why you're here, where you're going, and how to call on God to get there. Show more Show less