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Hi I'm Mary Etta

I grew up in L.A. Grandmother of 17. Love road trips, hiking, tenting, board games, white hull-less popcorn, good books, . . .

About Me

Started painting at 65 but I'm no where near Grandma Moses in style nor ability. I like to paint images of my grandchildren in motion commemorating their unique personalities. Time with family is the best -- white hull-less popcorn, board games, movies, hiking, tenting, sharing good books with friends. Down-sized housing introduced me to community gardening. Our family has had a couple of rounds with cancer that left us with a lot of memories and looking forward to grand reunions yet to come. In the meantime 28 of our 30 gather somewhere every two years for a few days of cousin time. In between we Skype, e-mail and blog photos and news. I'm a gallery interpreter at a natural history museum. For many years I've loved gathering ancestors and discovering their histories. More recently, I've begun gathering scores of living cousins, learning their interests and noting our family similarities.

Why I am a Mormon

I've found in my 70+ years that my most valued experiences in life have come when I've listened to the promptings of the Spirit. These experiences haven't always been the easiest nor the most comfortable but they've been the most rewarding and treasured and have brought much happiness. A major decision was when I started reading the Book of Mormon and felt the truth of the principles I found therein. I found answers and encouragement when I was puzzled in my youth, uncertain of what to do with my life. I found comfort when I was older than others and not yet married and wanting to be. I found direction as I struggled parenting without my husband and widowed. I felt comforted and directed when I've asked for a priesthood blessing in difficult times. Reading each day from one of the three testaments of Jesus Christ has made all the difference. Listening to our prophets has given me frequent guidance to consider and embrace. Worshiping in an LDS temple regularly has enhanced my understanding reminding me of the great Atonement of Our Savior. That's just a part of why I'm a Mormon.

How I live my faith

Our family has lived in many communities, some in the United States and some in other countries. In each of these communities there has been opportunity to do something for the community -- community art shows, co-op preschools, classroom volunteer, food bank, low-cost housing, senior services, family history, museum docent, not always in major ways, but as family responsibilities allowed, always something. Serving in my church in each place that we've lived gave me a starter with friendships and opportunities for service teaching youth and adults as well as leadership opportunities giving me experience for service in the community. Always being assigned to visit three or four women each month has given opportunity for service and resulted in long-lasting friendships. In our times of need we've been the recipients of that service from others in the church. These associations have shown me examples in the lives of others from whom I've learned.

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Mary Etta
As most young mothers with our first child I was impressed with the opportunity to make a difference for our children from day one. Yet, as the days, years unfolded I realized how imperfect I was in parenting. This has been the case in every setting of life. There have been times that I've felt that I botched things. I've understood the gift of the Atonement of Christ to wipe away my sins and give me a fresh start. Over time I've come to realize the companion doctrine of grace which makes up for my incapacities in the experiences of living life. The Book of Mormon teachings touch my heart. "For we labor diligently to write to persuade our children, and also our brethren to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace we are saved after all we can do’ (2 Nephi 25:23). In the struggles of living, in figuring out what I can do, the more readily I turn to Christ for help the more readily I sense that he truly does make up for my deficiencies. I find myself remembering abilities, influences and experiences from the past that again reinforce my capacity to meet the challenge of the moment. As I turn to Christ I find opportunities in my path to learn what I need for the challenge of the moment. As I turn to Christ other people make a difference as if on an errand from God though they may not be aware or believe in such things. Just as we are always in debt to God, we are always in need of his help, his grace, his perfect parenting. Show more Show less