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Hi I'm Soozcat

I'm a wife, a full-time auntie, a writer, a dreamer, a blogger, a world traveler, a geocacher and a laundry faerie. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I've wanted to be a writer ever since I figured out that people actually got paid to write, and I started blogging just before the word "blog" was coined. I'm also an unrepentant computer geek who met her husband over a BBS (a kind of precursor to the Internet). Although my husband and I have no children of our own, we're blessed to be able to take care of one of our nieces, so I call myself a full-time auntie. I love to read and travel, and I'm a geocacher and waymarker. I also have the magical ability to clean dirty laundry with a wave of my fairy wand... at least as far as my family can tell. In April 2011 I was diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic, so I'm learning to change my diet and take better care of my body.

Why I am a Mormon

My father converted to the Church in his early twenties, and my mother was raised in the Church. As a child I watched them live their faith, and saw how it brought joy and guidance through some of the most difficult challenges of their lives. Although I joined the Church at eight, I wasn't converted all at once. I have always had a testimony of God's existence, His goodness and His love for us, but belief in other gospel principles came only after sustained study of the scriptures, discussion of what I read with family and close friends, heartfelt prayer, and experimenting to see if God would indeed keep the promises He made. Over time I began to discover, bit by bit, that the gospel principles I'd been taught were true; when I really put them into action in my life, they led to a greater sense of happiness and peace and the ability to make better decisions. I believe we are the children of a powerful, creative, joyous, loving God who wants us to become everything we can be. I believe that, to this end, He created a world where His children were free to make their own choices. Some of those children made terrible choices, and evil became an inextricable part of mortality as a direct consequence. But God did not leave us alone in this fallen world. He sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to show by example how we should live, and to offer himself as the necessary sacrifice to pay for our sins and errors. We all desperately need this sacrifice, because everyone sins and makes mistakes; we all fall short of the perfection that is necessary to return to the presence of God. But we don't have to do it alone. As long as we are making the effort to do what we can, the grace of Christ will cover the rest -- a blessing for which I am truly and eternally grateful.

How I live my faith

Through participation in my local congregation, I've had the chance to speak before large audiences, write plays for pre-teen actors, teach young children, teach women with twice my age and experience (no pressure!), and otherwise get involved in experiences I would have been too timid to try on my own. I've been reminded of the crucial importance of serving others, both through the kindness of others who helped my family and through opportunities to help others in turn. I believe that God usually blesses His children by inspiring everyday people to do His work on earth -- which means that when we get a prompting to reach out to someone else with help, we should never ignore it! I'm far from perfect. I make lots of mistakes. I've probably made several right in this profile, in fact. But I know I don't have to be perfect as long as I am doing my best to be good, to give (and receive!) help whenever and wherever it's needed, and to follow the basic instructions Christ gave to his apostles and students. That should be enough to keep anyone busy and out of trouble, right?

Why are Mormons asked to donate 10% of their income to their Church?

The law of the tithe -- the practice of donating 10% of one's increase to God -- has been a Biblical principle since at least the time of Abraham. As most Mormon leaders are unpaid, and as no collection plates are passed in church, tithes and other offerings are the primary means through which the Church builds and maintains places of worship, prints and distributes religious materials, assists in sustaining the full-time missionaries, and otherwise proceeds with the work of Christ on earth. (Members of the Church also fast -- going without food or water -- for at least one Sunday a month, and donate the rough equivalent of the cost of these missed meals to help care for the poor and disaster-stricken in their local communities and around the world.) As I have practiced the law of the tithe in my own life, I have discovered that it brings many kinds of blessings. I find I control my money, rather than the other way around, when I can willingly give some of it away. I've also come to a greater realization that every material blessing in my life originates with God; when I realize that I owe everything I have to Him, it's not really that difficult to give back a tiny bit of what He provided in the first place. Show more Show less

Why did your church previously practice plural marriage (polygamy)?

At various times in antiquity, followers of God have been commanded to live the law of plural marriage. Likewise, early Mormons practiced plural marriage because the Lord commanded them to do so, in a revelation to Joseph Smith. Polygamy was perhaps the most taxing commandment for early Mormons, who came from a culture that practiced strict monogamy. More than any other belief, polygamy was the wedge issue that separated American Latter-day Saints from their neighbors, leading to libel and slander, property damage, violence, murder, even an extermination order against Mormons in one state. As hard as it was for Mormons to experience this mistreatment at the hands of others, the daily hardships associated with living the law were equally painful. Some left the Church over this doctrine. Some theories have been put forth as to why God would require this particularly difficult sacrifice of His servants -- that it was required as part of the restoration of all things, that it allowed a small, geographically isolated people to attain critical mass in a generation, that it provided for the safety of widows and orphans in a frontier culture, etc. I do not know why God would give this commandment, but I trust that it was for a wise purpose. I also trust that God rescinded the law when it was no longer necessary or desirable for Mormons to live the law of plural marriage. Today any Latter-day Saint who seeks to become a polygamist faces excommunication from the Church. Show more Show less

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

My belief in God's existence leads to greater recognition of His handiwork throughout the cosmos -- the exquisite beauty of the stars and galaxies, the curious individual nature of each planet, moon and asteroid, the glory of the sun. But I don't have to look that far afield to see evidence of the existence of God. I look at the astonishing beauty and diversity of Earth and I see evidence of a Creator wise enough to design living beings well-suited to their individual conditions, yet able to adapt to long-term changes in their environments. I see certain irrational numbers, such as pi, e, and the golden ratio, which appear plentifully throughout creation, as a kind of divine signature. Most of all, I see in much of human nature an indication that we are God's spirit sons and daughters. We are by nature creative beings because we are the children of a Creator; we seek words to give our ideas life, just as God spoke powerful words of creation to bring the cosmos into being; we yearn for justice, expect perfection and seek love in an unjust, imperfect and fallen world because some part of our being longs for the all-but-forgotten experience of dwelling with a perfect, just and loving Father. The signs are visible everywhere to those who desire to see them. Show more Show less

Mormons believe Jesus Christ is their Savior. Why do we need a Savior?

As fallible human beings, we all make mistakes and do wrong things -- some instances are small and relatively inconsequential, some huge and potentially life-shaking. But all sins, regardless of their severity, cause us to fall short of the perfection necessary to be reunited with our perfect and loving Father in Heaven. God cherishes His children and does not want us to be separated from Him forever. So Jesus Christ was sent as a sacrifice to pay the necessary price for sin; he lived a perfect life, took our sins upon himself in Gethsemane, and died shouldering the burden of those sins. In a manner that we do not fully comprehend, this sacrifice made it possible for sins to be expiated. To put it very simply, if our life's actions can be compared to drawing with a pencil, Christ's sacrifice is like the eraser on the other end. The Atonement makes it possible for us to do more than just recognize when we've made a mistake -- it allows us to ask for forgiveness, fix the mistake (when possible), stop doing the thing that caused the mistake to happen in the first place, and work toward being better. And the Savior assures us that doing these things will be worth our while, because the Atonement makes it possible for the complete remission of sins -- in the eyes of God, as though we had never made the mistake in the first place. Show more Show less