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Hi I'm Laurel

I'm a teacher, singer, blogger, wife, and mom to three beautiful kiddos. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in a very small town in Wyoming, so I'm a country girl at heart, but I married a boy from California, so the last seventeen years have been split between cities in California and Arizona. I graduated with a degree in Secondary Education specializing in English/Theater and spent 9 years teaching school, which I loved. In the summers I picked up some acting gigs playing roles in musicals like Marian the Librarian in The Music Man and Nellie in South Pacific. It was a wonderful life, but more than anything my husband and I wanted a family. After a long struggle with infertility, we finally adopted our beautiful daughter and not long after that the adoption of our very busy boy followed. I immediately became a stay at home mom, a job I consider a huge blessing and great joy. Two years ago, thanks to modern medicine, I was able to give birth to another baby boy, and what an adventure that was! My days are filled with housework, play dates, field trips, volunteering, toddler music classes and soccer practices, but I still find time to do some singing, maybe an occasional audition, and I am looking forward to getting my Master's and returning to the classroom when my youngest starts school.

Why I am a Mormon

While I was raised in an LDS home with some of my ancestors stretching back to pioneer stock, that does not mean that I didn't have to wrestle with my own faith. For anyone to become truly converted to any religious belief, born in the faith or not, one must question and search and study and pray. For me, I found the simplest answer to why I wanted to be a Mormon in Matthew chapter 7 where it talks about how one can discern that which is true. In verses 16 and 17 it reads, "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a ccorrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit." What I found when I examined my own life and the lives of my family, is that through obedience to the principles of the gospel my life was full of good fruit. Dysfunction seems to run rampant through our society, but my quiet little family is mostly free from that. Free from abuse, addiction, bitterness, indecency, lewdness, and a variety of other soul destroying behaviors. This is not to say that we are a perfect lot, nor does it suggest that we don't struggle. What it says is that for a number of generations I have been blessed to know people that have been taught that there is a better way, and they have done their utmost to hold to the standard that the Lord has set. That standard has led to happiness and freedom, the very best kind of fruit. My faith is internal and abstract. It is something that I know, something I feel, but it is not something to which I can point for anyone to see. The results of that faith, however, are very real and very concrete. They are good. They have made my life better. And as Matthew says, "By their fruits ye shall know them." And I know. I really do.

How I live my faith

Belief in Jesus Christ must motivate us to service. That was His whole message, that when we lose our life in His service, we will find it. Every day I try to find a way to be useful and serve my family, my church, my friends, or my community. I am a stay at home mom, and although it is the hardest job I have ever done, I am delighted to serve my little ones. Right now, I think that is the most important service I can give to my Father in Heaven, to love, teach, and inspire these spirits that belong to Him. I also work at being a loving and thoughtful spouse. Marriage, I believe, is the relationship that can teach me the most about being Christlike. I try to be a good neighbor who can be counted on for a helping hand. One of our favorite annual events is holding a pancake breakfast on the fourth of July, inviting our neighbors into our home to get to know one another. In church, I get to work in the Children's program (we call it Primary) as the music chorister. I delight in teaching music of faith to the children. One time I heard it said that the music chorister is the only teacher whose lessons the children will remember word for word in their adult years. I love that idea, and it is so true! In my community I am active in voluteering at my children's school and hold a committee position on the PTSO. I also serve on our subdivision's HOA board where I am in charge of planning community events such as community dinners, movies in the park, pictures with Santa, a 5K, and games for our community of 950 homes. I believe strongly that each of us can and should make a positive difference where we live. My belief in Jesus Christ motivates me to try to bring light to my small corner of the world.

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

There seems to be a misunderstanding about our belief in the doctrine of grace. I have had friends tell me that they believe that we Mormons think we can earn our way into heaven through works. Nothing could be further from the truth. What I know is that I will be saved only through the atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ because I am and will be an imperfect human being who needs the grace of His perfect sacrifice for me. 2 Nephi chapter 2 verse 8 of The Book of Mormon teaches that "There is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah." Jesus is my Savior, period. I will be saved through faith on His name, but what I fail to see is how someone can not understand that faith requires a physical manifestation. If I say I believe, then it must follow that I behave according to that belief. James chapter 2 is a fantastic sermon about this very thing, and he ends by saying that faith without works is dead. Faith, merely vocalized, without a corresponding behavior is hollow and meaningless. It would be as if I told my children that I loved them but then behaved in a way that did not communicate that love. Would that love be real? Could they trust it? Of course not. It would be meaningless and, as James so clearly stated, dead. So, do Mormons believe that works will save us? No. But we do want to reconcile our lives to Him through living the principles that He has taught. Show more Show less