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Hi I'm Debbie

I am a mother of nine, a high school teacher, a writer, a weaver and a Mormon.

About Me

Raised in a small town in Utah, I felt the benefits of an idyllic childhood. I was nurtured by loving parents and a large extended family, whose ancestry on both sides of my family dates back five generations to Mormon pioneers. Growing up in a small community was in many ways a blessing to me as I learned early to take responsibility for mistakes and to frankly forgive since nearly everyone was either related or neighbors for a lifetime. I attended Brigham Young University, where I met my husband, Chris, a convert to the Mormon church. We were married in the St. George Temple and have nine children—eight girls and one boy. We have opened our home to a number of young people over the years, and have been richly blessed by the presence of these “honorary sons and daughters", as well as family and friends from various cultures and faiths. I am most happy sharing a meal, engaging in conversation, listening and learning from those we love. I spent seven years teaching part-time at Brigham Young University in the Clothing and Textiles Department and the last eleven years teaching English at a local high school in Arizona. I am a lover of textiles, art, classical music, and literature. I love traveling, truly believing the words of the American writer, Mark Twain, who wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice.” I have slept under the stars in both the northern and southern hemispheres, but am most at home under the seemingly endless sky of the American southwest.

Why I am a Mormon

I never really questioned my testimony of the existence of God, nor of His son, Jesus Christ. In nearly every aspect of my life, I was surrounded by teachers and mentors who believed the validity and truth of the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and whose light truly shown as “a candle of the Lord.” I remember, however, as a sophomore at BYU, walking one cold, fall morning to campus and reflecting upon my testimony, not only of Christ, but also of the reality that the Mormon Church was the true church upon the earth. I had been studying the Book of Mormon and praying for some witness of my own, some feeling or impression that I knew, apart from the knowledge and faith of any family member or other influential individual in my life. I do not remember speaking the words audibly, but I remember asking my Heavenly Father in my heart, “Is it true?” What came into my mind and heart was the impression that I had always known the truth. I felt as if I had been walking in the rain all the while asking, “Is it raining?” when every thought, feeling, or impression bore witness that indeed, I was wet from the rain. I am a Mormon because I have seen the hand of God in my life. I have felt the Spirit of Holy Ghost bear witness to me that my Father in Heaven knows and loves me. I am a Mormon because I believe that Jesus Christ has truly atoned for my sins and has truly suffered for my pains and disappointment. I have felt the guilt of my sins, and I have tasted the sweetness of forgiveness for them. I am a Mormon because I have felt the power of the restored priesthood of God in my life. I have a firm conviction that Joseph Smith truly saw God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ. I have stood in that sacred grove, watching the fall leaves drop from the trees like gold coins in the morning sunlight, and have felt the Spirit speak to me that what the boy prophet saw and heard was true.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by serving in my ward, currently, with the women’s organization. I serve as a counselor to the president of the women’s organization where I have the responsibility of overseeing teaching and music in the women’s meeting on Sunday. In every ward in which I have lived I have been assigned two or three women to visit each month, teaching and serving them. This has been one of the sweetest blessings of my service in the Mormon Church. From these assignments have often come my dearest friends. As a family we live our faith by opening our home each week for our family nights. We have shared messages of Christ with hundreds of young people and families over the years. The memories of these evenings have become rich and nourishing to our children as they have left our home and begun to establish families of their own. I live my faith by making sacred covenants in the temple, which remind me of my need for the Savior in my life as I live and work among His children. I also live my faith by praying daily for the gift of love for each person who shares a part of my day. Through prayer I have been blessed at times with a genuine curiosity and wonder which helps me see others through the eyes of the Savior.