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Hi I'm Orlene

Growing up on a farm taught me many principles. I have a Bachelors and a Masters degree, I'm a teacher and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Everything is interesting to me to a point. I am an Elementary School Teacher who spends time with lots of "other people's Kids". Having never been blessed with kids of my own they all become my kids through shared experiences. We have also been known to "adopt" random others... sometimes from other countries. My Bachelors degree was earned at Brigham Young University and my Masters Degree was earned at the University of Washington. I also take classes at Seattle Pacific University and other places to enhance my teaching skills. I was single until age 34 then met and married a wonderfully supportive man who is the best travel companion. I enjoy learning, traveling, reading, art, music, musicals, swimming, snow skiing, scuba diving and motorcycle riding. Accidents, age, and circumstances have reduced the time spent on some of these adventures. My husband and I have traveled to many places including Europe, South America, Asia and North America. One day we would like to add to our continent collection.

Why I am a Mormon

Being a Mormon makes sense. I realize some may think being born into a Mormon family would make it easy to be an active member with a testimony but my whole life I have questioned and been questioned. The answers were always in the Gospel as I searched further. I remember before I was 5 being told by my friend's Mom that Mormons believed something... I said,"We do not!" then went home and asked my parents. Even when I didn't know an answer beforehand, learning the answer made sense. Throughout my life I have had friends and acquaintances genuinely ask about the church, sometimes mock my beliefs or try to intellectualize their beliefs to override what I knew. The freedoms I enjoy, the understanding I have of my Eternal Destiny, and the peace the Gospel brings reinforce that being a Mormon makes sense. Since I was raised in a church and culture that encouraged marriage, being over 25 and single created many questions. Sometimes the questions included things like "Why are you still single?" What's wrong with you?" "What, you're a virgin??" One co-worker expressed that she wished she had known someone like me when she was in High School when she found out I was still a virgin at 28. I never had to worry about STDs, unwanted pregnancies, emotional scarring or lasting intimate regrets. I also had an opportunity to truly evaluate the gospel teachings for me and found out over and over they are true. I never had one experience on one day that was the pivotal moment of not believing to believing but I have had a witness, multiple witnesses that I know and I have always known the church was true. Living the gospel brings lasting happiness. Answers to questions are answered through the Gospel and being a Mormon makes sense...even to an Elementary School Teacher.

How I live my faith

Everything I do is influenced by my Faith in my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Gospel. The concepts I teach reflect my understanding that all of my students are children of God and have divine parentage therefore deserve to be treated that way. It has been my privilege to teach 16-18 year olds, women in our women's organization and adults in church. I have been in choirs, musicals, talent performances and sung at the opening of the Legislature because of my faith. The opportunity to lead congregational hymns and direct choirs have been mine as a result of my faith and affiliation with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. When my husband had Guillen Barre' I relied on the priesthood blessing, fasting and prayer in addition to the medical professionals for miraculous healing and the peace to be told perhaps my husband would be paraplegic or dead as a result of the illness. Colleagues have asked me to pray for their family members as a result of how they see me live my faith. Our Sundays are kept for Sabbath observance rather than a holiday from work.

What is the Church’s position on abortion?

As a teacher I completely agree with the church's position against abortion. All my kids deserve to have a body and come to earth. The miracle of life is such a privilege. I never know what my students will become and ending their life before they have a chance to live is a tragedy. As a woman, I have been offended when people tell me abortion is my only option. I am intelligent and have many options before I am ever faced with the choice of abortion. My former sixth graders discussed all the options before ever having to make the choice of abortion: a) women can choose whether or not be be sexually active, it really is a choice, b) women can choose to prevent the pregnancy, c)women can carry the baby to term and allow a couple who has not had the opportunity to have children adopt and raise this baby as their own. Many of my students have not realized there were other options. I had one student who told me he had great respect for me when he found out I was not sexually active as a single adult. He said he only had two people he could say that about... me and a person he knew from school who was also a Mormon. I also have many friends not blessed with their own children who have been thrilled and dedicated to children born to other women. Children deserve to come to earth and have the choice to become their best. One sixth grader said,"How do we know the child who is aborted might be the one who cures cancer?" Let them live... we will love them. Show more Show less

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

Mormon women are varied and diverse: some of us are married, some are single, some are stay at home Moms, some work outside the home full time. There are women with children and women without children of their own. We all have the same rights to the gift of the Holy Ghost, baptismal covenants, personal revelation, and access to scriptures. All women and men in the Mormon church have opportunities to serve in various capacities in the lay ministry. The Mormon Church has always encouraged women to be educated. In the 1800's Brigham Young sent women to Seneca Falls to the Suffrage movement to promote women's votes. President Young also sent his daughters to college to be educated. His philosophy was if we educate a woman we educate a family. The practice remains. We have a women's organization called Relief Society where women meet to learn not only gospel concepts but other skills and needs as well. Women meet with men in meetings, including leadership meetings. Men and women are taught to be partners in raising children and becoming eternal families. Men and women have the right to the gift of the Holy Ghost, access to scriptures and revelation. I have never felt "less than" any man in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Show more Show less