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Hi I'm Marilyn

I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I live in southwest Seattle with my husband and our dog. I am now retired, but mostly retired because of being diagnosed with microscopic polyangiitis, a rare autoimmune vasculitis disease which attacks the small blood vessels and tries to destroy them wherever they are in the body. It has affected my lungs and kidneys and completely changed my life. I am still grieving for the loss of my "normal" life and trying to figure out my "new normal". It hasn't been easy. Lately people have asked me if I was angry at God because of how my life has changed and the disease process itself. I have been angry, yes, but not at God. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have been my rock. I have known they were there comforting me and helping me each and every day. Again, it hasn't been easy. I believe there is knowledge to be gained from each and every situation we are presented with. Right now, my situation is living with and knowing my limitations and learning how to be a good advocate for myself, learning every aspect of this disease, and supporting and providing comfort for others newly diagnosed. The internet has provided me with connections to others all over the world with my same rare disorder.

Why I am a Mormon

I think mostly I'm a Mormon because I was born into the church. I'm a fifth generation Mormon on all sides of my family. I have been doing my genealogy and studying as much information as I can find about my ancesters. I have a great, great grandmother who was a handcart pioneer. She and three other women pushed and pulled that handcart all the way to Salt Lake City. I have a great, great grandfather who was in the band at Nauvoo. I have a great, great grandmother who died at Winter's Quarters, the winter the mobs came to Nauvoo and everyone had to leave or be killed. I do honor and respect their legacies. But. . .I'm a Mormon because I, myself, have read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it. I knelt and prayed about the church. I asked my Heavenly Father, is it true? I have felt the calm sweet spirit tell me that yes, it is true. I'm a Mormon because I chose to be, studied, prayed, and asked Heavenly Father. I stay a Mormon because I know it is true. I feel that calm sweetness of knowing my Heavenly Father lives, that Jesus Christ is his Son and is the head of His church, of knowing the true church has been restored to the earth.

How I live my faith

How I live my faith now that I have a chronic illness and have suffered permanent physical damage is different than how I used to live my faith. For an almost two year period, I was not able to physically go to church. I was homebound, first by a disease that was unchecked and undiagnosed; then by a very suppressed immune system, which left me vulnerable to every germ and virus there is. I don't remember ever saying why me. I was so focused on getting to remission, learning about my disease and its prognosis. I read and still read every piece of literature I could find. I read all of the websites dealing with vasculitis. I felt and sometimes still feel like I am in a vast space with new possibilities all around me, but I could not grasp onto any of them. What did it mean? How am I to live now? What is my life supposed to be like? What did I believe? I knew and know that my Heavenly Father loves me. I know He knows who I am as His daughter. My best path lay on what I knew to be true -- reading my scriptures every day. Do I always get it done? No, sometimes I just sleep because I have to. But I feel peace when I do read my scriptures. I underline passages that have meaning or seem to jump of the page. I look up cross references. I pray and talk about things in a seemingly running conversation with God. I try to listen and understand. I write in a journal. And now I can go to church and worship there, too. I believe in the atonement of the Savior. I can feel the blessing of how much Jesus loves me, too. I'm not able to go out and visit others, but I do have a writing assignment -- meaning I have six women in our ward that I write to every month. I share my testimony and monthly lessons with them through cards and letters. I also try to give comfort and encouragement to others across the world, via the internet, who have the same diagnosis as I do.