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Hi I'm Suzi.

I'm a PhD computational biologist. I'm a woman, wife, and mother. I'm an evolutionist, a feminist, and a liberal. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I like to question things--societal norms, assumptions, opinions. I highly value logic. I'm a scientist to my core. Currently, I'm a post-doctoral researcher studying computational genomics as it applies to cancer. I love my work, and I find it highly rewarding. I've been a wife since 2004 and a mom since 2009. I choose to work full-time outside of the home, which is fairly uncommon in the church. Our culture emphasizes doing what's best for our children. In my case, I would resent having to give up my career, so I didn't, and I know my daughter will benefit from that. I don't fit the stereotypical Mormon mould in many ways, but when I look around me, I see many people who don't. And yet we all love and support each other, and I have rarely felt out of place, especially as an adult. I once heard a lesson where the teacher made bracelets for us out of a bunch of random beads that didn't match. The lesson was that when we come and work together despite our differences, we can make something beautiful. I have experienced that time and time again in the church, and I have made many dear friends of all different varieties. I like to spice things up, and I derive great pleasure from arguing either side of any argument. I enjoy reading intellectual Mormon blogs and hanging out with passionate deep thinkers. I love to be exposed to a diversity of opinions, and I can easily find them in the church, especially thanks to social media.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into the church, but I was very rebellious as an adolescent. Around the time I went to college, I realized the Mormon way of living is a much happier way of living. It seems counterintuitive, but I find great freedom in living the principles of the gospel--freedom from addiction, freedom from many forms of sorrow, freedom from isolation. I have gradually come to believe many of the doctrines of the church. I believe in a God who cares about me. Logically, it seems more likely that a Creator enabled the universe to produce the amazing living cell rather than it being some sort of strange accident. Really, though, I believe in God because when I meditate and pray, I get answers to prayers that I don't think could have come from me. I've also seen many miracles in my life. I also believe the teachings of Jesus Christ and have faith in His atonement. He taught beautiful concepts, culminating in the idea that we need a Savior to guide us, to help us, and to understand us. I see great value in being humble enough to ask for help and in realizing we shouldn't try to do it all on our own. As far as Mormon-specific doctrines, through reading the Rough Stone Rolling biography about Joseph Smith, I've come to believe that if Joseph Smith had fabricated the Book of Mormon for personal gain, it would have looked a lot different than it does. The Book of Mormon teaches beautiful principles that make me feel closer to God. I trust Joseph sought inspiration from God.

How I live my faith

The LDS church is not simply a religion, it's a lifestyle and it's a culture. Much is asked of us, and in return, the blessings are great. The church meets many of my spiritual, social, and temporal needs. As one fellow in our congregation likes to put it, the key is to, "Just show up." Give a little of your time, and you will receive ten-fold blessings of spiritual and social growth. I am the website, calendar, and email list administrator for our congregation. I also serve as the building scheduler. I, just like other regular attenders, am assigned four people to visit monthly to ensure their spiritual, social, and temporal needs are met. My husband serves at the regional level, overseeing youth programs in eight local congregations. He travels around the city giving talks at neighboring congregations and making sure their needs are met. I am also active in several online groups of like-minded Mormons. We discuss things such as practical approaches for ensuring that women's voices and input are heard and ensuring that all members feel loved and valued, especially those that may not fit the stereotype, for example single parents and members who identify as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trangender). I have made many lasting friendships through church, as we have learned and grown closer together and closer to God.

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?

Suzi.
Externally, I know it looks really unfair and sexist that women cannot hold the priesthood. It used to really bother me. I grew to be more accepting of the idea around the time I got married. From inside the church, you will find that most women are perfectly content with the current balance of responsibility, and abuses of power are few and far between. Women's voices are heard and valued by church leadership at all levels. I believe I receive answers to prayers. By extension, I therefore believe others can receive answers to prayers. It makes sense that God would choose only one or a few folks to receive revelation for a particular organization. The pyramid structure of church leadership is very practical, and I genuinely believe that the men at the top earnestly seek God's guidance in their decision-making, including the decision that women cannot hold the priesthood. It's only my opinion, but I can see why God may prefer that men hold the priesthood at this time. In all cultures, women take on many responsibilities. Priesthood responsibilities would be one additional role that women would perform fabulously. Now consider the fact that women are generally caretakers and men are generally breadwinners in the church. If women took on priesthood responsibilities, then, on average, people would suffer and careers would benefit. I don't believe that's what God wants. Externally, it seems unfair and sexist, but in reality, it's just more practical and better for everyone. Show more Show less

What is the role of the husband and the wife in the family?

Suzi.
These days, it seems to me like roles are generally divvied up based on preference. Men are much more nurturing to children and helpful around the house than they used to be. Some even choose to be full-time parents in the home. Where I live (in Portland, Oregon), women are generally supported if they desire to pursue interests outside of the home. I'm sure it happens, but I don't think I know of any women who feel powerless, oppressed, or of unequal worth in their families. I certainly don't think it happens any more in the church than in the general population. Show more Show less

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

Suzi.
Thankfully the church does not endorse any political parties! In fact, they regularly remind us of that by asking the bishops to read a letter from the pulpit that says something along the lines of, “Principles compatible with the gospel are found in the platforms of all major political parties. While the Church does not endorse political candidates, platforms, or parties, members are urged to be full participants in political, governmental, and community affairs.” People often mistakenly believe that the church officially sides with the "Religious Right" because many members tend to lean towards Republican positions, especially in and around Utah. I believe this is due to historical and cultural influences. I tend to lean more towards the Democratic party. Many Latter-day Saints are Democrats, including several well-known and loved leaders. I agree with prominent LDS politician Harry Reid, who said, "I am a Democrat because I am a Mormon, not in spite of it." Show more Show less