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Hi I'm Hannah Holst

Colorado native. Sister. Editor. BYU student. Introvert. Bookworm. Mormon.

About Me

I was born and raised in Colorado, which in my perspective was a privilege. I grew up with a deep appreciation for nature, especially the mountains and snow! When it's snowing, my phone and computer are inside as I enjoy being outside. I am the oldest of four kids. I just recently returned from a mission in Arkansas, where I had the opportunity to meet and love many wonderful people and recognize just how much I love the South! I am a student at BYU studying film. My dream job is becoming a family history videographer -- capturing stories on film so that generations down the line can not only hear the stories of their ancestors, but be able to see, listen, and love them on a whole new level. But for now I am a remote editor for odd jobs here and there until I become more experienced! I am shy by nature, and a mission didn't change that much. However, I did learn how to take a weakness and make it a great strength, and overall just trust in the Lord more often.

Why I am a Mormon

I was baptized at eight and grew up with an average Mormon family. Although I was raised with the teachings of the gospel, I didn't really make my own decision to be a disciple of Christ until I was in high school. I am constantly working at my conversion - turning away from a worldly lifestyle and thought to a more Christ-centered one. Because conversion is a process, it's hard to say when exactly I first gained my personal testimony. But if there's one thing to be sure of, it's that it is my own, and not a result of someone else. You can bet that there were some nights where I couldn't sleep because I was convinced there was no God. And yet, they were those nights where my knees were sore from kneeling, my bed soaked with tears, and the small remains of a broken soul pleading for healing that were the nights I ultimately felt closest to God because of peaceful testimony of the Holy Ghost that He does, in fact, exist, and that He does, in fact, love me. The love, peace, happiness, joy, every good feeling I have comes from the knowledge that I have a loving Father and Brother whose sole purposes are to make sure I make it back to them. And I think that's pretty cool. I'm a Mormon for reasons that pixels on a screen nor letters in a language can accurately depict. It's one of the best feelings in the world. It's hard, and those "spiritual high" moments might be outnumbered by the moments of despair, but the good times far outweigh each and every trial placed in my way.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by being an example. I want my friends to know I'm LDS, and if they find out later rather than sooner, I want them to think that it makes sense. I try to be kind and have fun. I go through lots of ups and downs (as everybody does). When I'm up, I constantly thank God; when I'm down, I constantly ask for His guidance. I try to "pray always" by noticing and appreciating the beauty in life and in others, by immediately asking for help when faced with a problem, and always trying to let Him know how grateful I am for this wonderful life He's given me. I've served in many callings, such as being the president of my Young Women's classes or putting together the programs for Sunday meetings. I served as a sister missionary for a year and a half, and now I enjoy being a visiting teacher! I keep a blog entitled "The Worth of Souls" where I post lessons I learn, scriptures I love, and experiences that have helped me grow. If for some reason you're interested in what I have to say, there's a lot more over there.

Are there restrictions based on race or color concerning who can join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have the priesthood?

Hannah Holst
No restrictions of race and color apply to the ability to be a member or have the preisthood. Any worthy person who has had a true change of heart can be accpeted as a member; likewise, any worthy man has the ability to hold the preisthood (when he is old enough). Recently, the membership outside of the US has surpassed the membership within, and that is in large part because of the missions to all countries that are deemed safe for missionaries to teach. My dad served in Chile (South America), and he recalls that the church grew very quickly in that area. He has a love for the Chilean people, and I'm sure that those who serve in other countries have nurtured a love for those not of the same race. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Hannah Holst
You can gain personal revelation of the truth of the gospel by reading the Book of Mormon and living by the standards of the church. As you go through these actions, focus on how you feel. Peaceful, warm, and hopeful feelings come from the Holy Ghost. Praying to your Heavenly Father and asking with a sincere heart, you can look for those same feelings, and it will be revelaed if it is the truth or not. Then you can have a testimony that the church is true. Show more Show less

What is the Word of Wisdom that Mormons talk about?

Hannah Holst
As well as keeping spiritually healthy, we are instruced on the ways to keep us phyiscally healthy. When we are healthy and not weighed down by physical trials, we can be happier and be more willing to share the gospel with others. While some physical trials cannot be prevented or fixed, th Word of Wisdom gives us guidlines of the things we can control. A few of these things include refraining from alchol, tabacco, hot drinks (coffee and tea), and illegal drugs. We are also counseled to eat healthy, keeping from too much red meat, sweets, etc, and also to excersize. While at times these things can seem restricting, these guidlines keep us from addictions and preventable sickness that would end up being more restrictive. I believe that the Word of Wisdom, along with other guidelines in the gospel, are not restricting, but in the end give us more freedom than we would have otherwise. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Hannah Holst
Being Mormon is awesome! I feel absolutely blessed because of the gospel. I hear calming words, learn insightful lessons, and make terrific friends. With the knowledge of the gospel, it is so much easier to live life, and I want everyone to experience the wonderful blessings of the church. The members are so sweet, and service is there whenever you need it. The friends I've had the longest and cherish the most are members or have the standards that we follow. There is not a day that goes by that I am not blessed by the wonderful people and teachings of the church. Likewise, there is not a day that goes by that I am thankful for at least something to do with the church. I feel like being a Mormon is the only thing that has kept my head above water in this great ocean of life, and I wish for everyone to discover this and feel the same. Show more Show less

Why is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Mormons or Mormonism?

Hannah Holst
The offical name of the church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, many outside the church have reffered to us as Mormons, possibly because of the length of the official name. The nickname "Mormon" comes from our belief in the Book of Mormon and our acceptance of it as doctrine. The nickname "Mormon" has been counselled to not be used by members of the church. We are asked to use the full name. This is because we want to make it clear that it is not the church of Mormon, but of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Hannah Holst
We do not worship Joseph Smith. He was a very important prophet, and he did much good in restoring the gospel to the church. However, our Heavenly Father, God, is the one whom we worship. There is none greater than Him and His Son, and that includes the prophets, such as Jospeh Smith. Show more Show less

Who founded Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Hannah Holst
The church was restored through a boy who did not know which church was correct, so he asked of God which to join. The Father and His Son appeared to Joseph Smith and told him that the true church needed to be restored to the Earth. The church started by Christ had gone through an apostasy, or an era where the truth was not on the Earth, and when Joseph Smith came along, he was called to bring the gospel back to God's children. While he restored the church to the earth, he did not create it. He did not make it the Church of Joseph Smith, or the Church of Mormon, but the Church of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the ultimate head of the church, and the truth came about through the hands of the prophet. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

Hannah Holst
The LDS church is unique in the fact that the leadership is based solely on service. This allows the tithing that is paid by members to fully go to worthy causes, such as building temples or helping those in times of need, instead of going into a leader's pocket. By not receiving a payment, this also demonstrates the faith and willingness of a leader to serve rather than having the incentive of money. Show more Show less

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

Hannah Holst
The church does not require its members to favor one political party or candidate over another. While the majority of the church is Republican, there are very many Democrats as well. The church does not endorse candidates, such as Mitt Romney. Members are free to vote for whomever they feel is adequate to run the country. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Hannah Holst
The Bible has not been replaced by the Book of Mormon as doctrine. They both are sacred doctrine written in times of old, and these books are very important to us. We can learn and grow in the latter days from the Bible just as we can learn from the Book of Mormon. By having both of these works, there are fewer ways to interpret the word of God, thus giving a better understanding of just what is expected of us. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Hannah Holst
To me, a testimony is a sure knowledge of things that cannot be proven without a bit of faith, such as the belief in Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith translating the Book of Mormon, or even something as generic as the blessings of having a strong family. A testimony differs between people, because different people have different experiences that strengthens a testimony. One person could have a very strong testimony of baptism and the BoM because they found the church at a low point in their life, another could have the belief that families are truly forever after having a loved one die. Testimonies can be personal, but they are meant to be shared with others. The first Sunday of the month is a time when people can share their personal testimonies, and often times, others' can help your own testimony. Show more Show less

Why don’t women hold the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How do Mormon women lead in the Church?

Hannah Holst
Women don't hold the priesthood because the divine roles of men and women are different. However, just because they are different, that does not mean they are not equally important. Women are asked to bear children and help the family grow, while the man provides for the family and assumes the role of a protector. Much of what is learned by children was taught by their mothers; teaching a nurturing the children is a special job that is hard but rewarding. Mormon women can lead in presidencies just like men can, but over woman organizations. Young Women (ages 12-17) and Relief Society (adult women) are two female organizations that are not run by the men, but by women. The female leaders of each group can receive revelation for those they are called to lead just as the men can. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Hannah Holst
Jesus taught us to love everyone, regardless of race, gender, social status, or even religion. We are encouraged to serve those outside of the church just as much as we serve people within the church. The LDS church is often the first to respond to natural disasters, such as with Hurricane Katrina and the devastating earthquake in Japan. Surely, not all of the people affected were Mormon, but we recognize that they are all children of God, and we needed to assist in whatever ways possible. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Hannah Holst
Faith is something that cannot be proven with science, etc, but a knowledge of something that you truly believe in. The Holy Ghost can give you a feeling of what is true, and if you decide to believe in it, your faith has grown. It's often stated that faith is a hope for things which are not seen, which are true (Alma 32:21), but I've also heard it said "Faith is not believing that God can, it is knowing that he will." Faith is something that is sturdy and solid, that will show what you know to be true. Show more Show less

How can faith in Jesus Christ influence us in our marriages and family relationships? in our friendships?

Hannah Holst
Faith in Jesus Christ can help relationships grow stronger as they learn to share the love of Christ. Sharing the love of Christ can help both parties avoid or overcome obstacles that would be damaging to marriages, family relationships, and even friendships. Show more Show less

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Hannah Holst
The Book of Mormon is the word of the Lord written by prophets of old, just like the Bible was. The Book of Mormon compliments the Bible as another testament of Christ. It is considered to be the truest book on the Earth because it has not gone through many translations where things have been added to and taken out. I testify that the Book of Mormon is truly the word of the Lord, written in ancient times to help guide us in the latter days. Show more Show less

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

Hannah Holst
A big goal in life is to come to know Heavenly Father and the Savior. To do this, prayer and scripture study will help you. Seek to find truth, live by the standards of the gospel, and sincerely desire to know Him better. Your faith will grow continually, and this knowledge of your merciful and wonderful Father in Heaven will aid you in times of need. Show more Show less

What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' attitude regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage?

Hannah Holst
It is important to note that the church wants its members to love everyone despite their background and sins they may commit. While there may be some LDS people that show some hate, this is their individual view, and does not represent the church as a whole. Being homosexual is not a sin. Considered a temptation, another trial that people can have, it is not a sin unless acted on. Homosexual people can still be members and hold leadership positions that are available to singles as long as they are morally clean and faithful. This and more was explained by Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles and Elder Lance B. Wickman, a member of the Seventy in an interview concerning the church beliefs on homosexuality. (To see more from the interview: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/official-statement/same-gender-attraction) It is wise to remember that even if people act on this feeling, we are taught to not judge, but to love. We are not taught to be hateful people, no matter the situation. Christ loves everyone, and as we strive to be like Him, we try to love our neighbor. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Hannah Holst
Webster's dictionary defines Christian as someone who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. To add to that definition, it could be said that Christians also try to improve their lives to become more like Christ. A faithful member of the church believes in the teachings of Christ, knowing that he atoned for our sins and is our Savior. Improvements to one's life is also seen in the faithful person's actions. The full name of our church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The name of our Savior is plain in the title, and if you look at the official logo, it is the biggest part. That's because He is important, and our church is centered around Him and His teachings. People may get the idea that we're not Christian because we believe that God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate beings, while the dominant belief in other Christian religions is that they are all one. When they are considered to be one, we interpret that to mean that although they are separate beings, they are one in purpose. Many people take our perspective on this and claim we believe in a different Christ, then conclude that we are not Christian. The LDS church is very much a Christian religion because we love and follow Christ and try to become more like Him. Show more Show less

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Hannah Holst
Sacrament meeting is were we partake of the sacrament to renew our promises that we made with God when we were baptized. There are opening, closing, and sacrament hymns with prayers to follow them. There are a few speakers, and different people are chosen so that we can hear from many members instead of just one person. Afterward, there are classes that an individual can go to based on age, and then another set of classes based on gender as well. In these specialized classes, doctrine is taught as well as lessons on how to live your life better and be happy. Visitors are always welcome! If you ever feel lost, just ask someone where you might be able to go, and they will be happy to help you get the most of this experience! A great pair of people to ask are the missionaries, and you can ask to sit with them so they can explain more about what is going on and what to expect. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Hannah Holst
No one is required to go on a mission. The young men are strongly encouraged to prepare to serve at the age of 19 for two years, but again, it is not required. Young women are encouraged to prepare for a mission, but if they have the chance to get married before they get the chance to serve at the age of 21, then they are counseled to marry instead. People can also go when they are older, usually at the age of retirement/elderly age. Missions are entirely voluntary and missionaries are not paid to go and teach the word of God and serve. Show more Show less

How do I become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church)?

Hannah Holst
Once you have started taking discussions from the missionaries and reading the Book of Mormon, you will be able to pray and ask your Father in Heaven if the things they teach are true. When you feel a comfort, a peace in your soul, that is the Holy Ghost testifying to you that it is true. When you are ready, you can ask to be baptized, and from that point you will be interviewed and prepped for the date. Once baptized and given the gift of the Holy Ghost, you are considered a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Continue to be faithful in the church; there is always more that we can learn, always something we can improve to become more like Christ. Show more Show less

Who is the Mormon prophet today?

Hannah Holst
The prophet today is Thomas S. Monson who has been serving as the prophet since 2008. It is a lifetime calling, and after every prophet dies, another man comes in his place, which is the apostle that has been serving the longest. Modern prophets help us and guide us for this day and age. The current, living prophet is considered the most important and necessary for that time. Past prophets have wonderful teachings that we can learn from, but the living prophet receives revelation for today's needs and focuses. Show more Show less

What are some of the ways that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helps those around the world?

Hannah Holst
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a very willing group of members. Many different service projects happen within wards and even as big projects. From cleaning up a local park or painting a school building to helping out with devastating natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Japan, members extend help where it is needed. It is said that the average member of the church is more charitable and willing to give than the average person out side of the church. There are so many ways that members help those of their faith and many more who aren't LDS. Race, religion, etc are not factors that judge who we help; we simply help hose who need it. Show more Show less

What does Mormonism teach regarding baptism?

Hannah Holst
Baptism is required to be by immersion (completely underwater, not just sprinkled) because Jesus was baptized in the same way. Baptism cannot occur for anyone under the age of eight. We do this because we believe that the age of eight is a point were a child can decide for him or herself whether or not to be baptized. This baptism is a chance at a remission of your sins, where all of your transgressions will be forgiven and you will become clean. Baptism is a covenant, or promise, that you will keep the Lord's commandments and be faithful. Baptismal covenants are renewed each week with sacrament as long as you have repented of your sins and have remain worthy. Baptism is an essential step towards your eternal progression, your journey to meet your Heavenly Father once again. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Hannah Holst
With the plan of salvation, we understand that before our lives here on Earth, we were spirit children of God. Lucifer gave a plan that we would gain bodies on Earth, and we would always choose to do good so we could all be with God. However, Jesus came up with the plan that we would gain a body, and instead of no ability to chose, we could gain experience and be tested with agency. We would then be judged in the last day to see who is worthy to dwell in he presence of God again - this time, with bodies. We came here to get a body, and everyone will have that with them despite what they are judged as. The next goal is to be the best that we can be, using our agency wisely, so that we may be worthy enough to get to see and become like our Heavenly Father once more. The experience and knowledge we gain here will be used through the eternities. Another wonderful blessing of an earthly life is to have a family the will hopefully last through the eternities as well. Show more Show less

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

Hannah Holst
The Atonement is very important for the salvation of everyone. Through the Atonement, we are able to not only repent for our sins, but we will be able to be resurrected and see our Father in Heaven again. Christ suffered our sins to help us. The only person alive to have lived an absolute perfect life took on every single sin there was and would be. The pain He went through was immense, but He did this because he loves us all. By going through every pain and trial we would have, He is also able to truly and fully understand - He will comfort you and be able to help bear your burdens. It was necessary for Him to sacrifice His life so that all the pain of the world would be felt and sins could be forgiven. The Atonement is far greater than words can express, and to repay Him we must try our best to become like Him to someday live in the presence of God. Show more Show less

Who was Joseph Smith?

Hannah Holst
Joseph Smith was a boy when he asked of God which church to join. At age 14, he saw The Father and His Son, and he was commanded to restore the church of Christ that had gone through apostasy, or a time when the truth was not on the earth. He restored - not created - the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He translated the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ, into English with the help of the Lord. Although he was very important, we do not worship him. Much like the US recognizes George Washington as a prominent figure because he was the first president and helped establish the country, Joseph Smith is important because he was our first prophet and helped restore the truth. However, there have been many people to replace Washington as the president, just as people have replaced Smith as the prophet. The current president/prophet is most important to help us right now, but we still highly respect those that have come before and can learn from them as well. Show more Show less

What blessings can we receive through the gift of the Holy Ghost?

Hannah Holst
With the Holy Ghost, burdens can be lifted and knowledge received. In times of need you can be comforted, given guidance and revelation, and help your testimony of the gospel. With the gift of the Holy Ghost, a wonderful gift given after one is baptized, you will be able to receive these (and more) blessings constantly. The Holy Ghost is a wonderful companion to have with you at all times, and it can help you progress through life by giving you feelings of what's right and wrong. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

Hannah Holst
Things that tell me there is a God are miracles and blessings I receive. Nature, life, family, and more are many of God's beautiful creations and I love taking it in and being grateful. Answers to prayers help me realize that God is watchful of us and cares for us, giving comfort where it's needed. The Book of Mormon also testifies of Christ and Heavenly Father, and I know that the teachings in that sacred book are true. The Holy Ghost will help you to understand when you are being taught the truth, so listen to the still small voice and take note of the comfort and warm feelings when told truths about God. Show more Show less

What is the Church’s position on abortion?

Hannah Holst
Abortion is something that the church opposes. Of course, there are exceptions, such as health issues or rape instances. Otherwise, abortion is not something that the church agrees with. It messes with the sacred ability to have children, and this ability to create life should not be tampered with if possible, just as it is not good to tamper with the life of another by killing them. Situations like premarital intercourse should be avoided to prevent the choice between abortion and caring for a child. Show more Show less