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Hi I'm Emily

I'm a graduate student studying history. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I enjoy gardening and am particularly pleased with my beautiful dahlias. I spend most of my time researching and working on my dissertation, which is the final step in completing my PhD in History. To relax I like to read fluffy fiction, like romance novels or juvenile literature. When my brain isn't tired from school I enjoy trying to read my way through lists of great authors, but I find I cannot get engaged when I try Hemingway. I enjoy travel and am particularly fond of France, where I spent part of my childhood. I have returned many times and am becoming a specialist in the history of France. I also spend an inordinate amount of time trying to recreate French pastries in the States, with limited success. I'm married to a handsome accountant but as of yet we have no children. He broods over the tomato plants, I fret about the dahlias, and we're a pretty happy family overall. I'm a feminist and a democrat, and often non-Mormon friends are surprised that there are people like me in the church. I'm not "liberal for a Mormon" because there are a lot of progressive liberal Mormons.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised a Mormon, but my dad is an atheist and church involvement was always a choice for us rather than mandatory. I found that I liked going to church and my friends there so as a teenager my conversion was probably mostly social. When I left home for college I realized that I could do as I pleased and my family would likely be none the wiser. I decided that I needed to find out for myself about my faith. I prayed to know the truth of the Book of Mormon and I started keeping a list in the back of my diary of every time I felt a positive spiritual affirmation by God of the truth of the Church. By keeping the list I was able to look back and see that in fact my prayers had been answered, even if it didn't always feel like it. I chose to serve a mission and was called to Maryland. Being a missionary strengthened my testimony because I was constantly challenged and questioned. I had to face my own uncertainties and decide whether I truly believed the message I was sharing. For me, gaining a testimony of the church has not been an end destination. I still have months at a time when I struggle or feel uncertain, but I can say without qualification that attending church, reading the scriptures and praying have blessed my life. Though sometimes I have to work to regain my testimony, I still always attend church because it makes me happier and I know that is the only way for me to gain that testimony.

How I live my faith

I teach once a month for the women's auxiliary and also substitute teach for teenagers in Sunday School. I love teaching so I'm always happy to fill in. I especially enjoy teaching about the women of the scriptures because I feel like it is so important that we learn about powerful spiritual women who played a key role in God's plan. I want the youth to know that the Gospel is not just about men, but that the scriptures teach of the important place of women in the Gospel, and of God's love for women that equals his love for His sons. I like introducing the teenagers to Bible stories they may not have heard before and helping them to learn to deal with ambiguities and seek a testimony through prayer. I am one of the few religious people in my department at the University, so I find I am often called upon to explain or defend my beliefs. I am often the only Mormon people know, so I feel it is important to try to represent the Church well and to live my life in a way that people will respect me and the Church I stand for.