Hi I'm Stephannie
I am the mother of four grown children. I was blessed to have the opportunity to remain at home while my children were young. I began working as an administrative assistant in the main office of a high school in 1996 and six years ago I moved over to the district offices and retired from that position in 2009. Retirement has been an interesting experience for me. I'm finding that working at home without the timeframe and parameters of the workplace has created a bit of stress for me. So my goal for retirement is to learn to relax, enjoy life and this retirement opportunity and take things as they come. My second husband, Mike, has taught me the joys of flyfishing and I go with him as often as I can. The hardest learning curve for me initially was releasing those lovely fish back into the water instead of eating them but now I'm a catch and release advocate. I love vegetable gardening and canning and drying food. Working in my yard brings me a great deal of pleasure. I have wonderful women friends and enjoy gathering with them for activities. I love to read. I work in the Seattle Temple one day a week and am grateful for this blessing. I'm a Sunday School teacher and appreciate the blessing of studying the scriptures.
Why I am a Mormon
My dad was baptized into the Mormon church as a child but eventually quit attending. When he was stationed at Fort Lewis in WA State, he met my mother. They were married and after my dad's service during World War II, started a family. My mother, concerned about the lack of religion in the home, began taking us to the Lutheran church. I have very fond memories of Sunday services and Vacation Bible School there. Eventually my mom wanted us to be baptized and told my dad that if he wasn't going to attend the Mormon church, then she would have us baptized as Lutherans. My dad decided to become actively involved in the Mormon faith, called the missionaries in the area and I and my two older brothers were baptized into the church when I was 10 years old. I am grateful to my mom to this day for her desire to have the influence of religion in our lives. I have been a member of the Mormon Church for 52 years. I cannot imagine my life without the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. From the time I wake in the morning until I retire at night, the choices I make and the way I lead my life are based on the teachings of this gospel. Youth to adults are given growth opportunities in teaching, leading and serving. The impact that these experiences have had on my growth and relationship with God cannot be quantified. During the past two years I have been teaching an adult class in Sunday School and the current curriculum is taken from the scriptures of the New Testament. It is this experience that has increased my love of the Savior and his prophets more than ever before. I am grateful for a church that allows me the opportunity to participate so fully that I can come to know my Father in Heaven and his Son as my personal Savior. The blessings for me are eternal.
Please explain the part prayer plays in your life?
I have been taught since my youth that God knows me, my concerns and the desires of my heart and wants to communicate with me through prayer. I have taken that knowledge to heart and include Him in the daily workings and difficult decisions of my life. I have never heard an audible voice but I have felt the companionship and assurance of the Holy Ghost as I have taught, participated in leadership opportunities and spoken in church. I have felt God's assurance that I am making correct decisions more times than I can count. Knowing that I have a connection to God through his Son Jesus Christ just by the act of kneeling and humbly asking, has given me more courage to live my life than I know I would otherwise have. I do not feel alone because I know without a doubt that my Father in Heaven loves me and communicates this through my conversations with Him each day.
How I live my faith
I am married to a fine man who is not of the Mormon faith. I knew Mike for five years before we began dating. He knew I was a Mormon and came to understand our high personal standards. (It was a bit humorous to see him adjusting his language in the workplace when I was around him.) Eventually, he began asking about my religion and came to understand that my faith was integral to who I was and that that wouldn't change based on the world's standards. He continued to respect me in every way during our two years of dating. In the six years we have been married, he has shown more of that respect by supporting me in all of the activities and responsibilities of my membership (teaching youth and adults). I am blessed to have him by my side as I strive to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. And, I am grateful for a church that hasn't lowered its standards of modesty, virtue and the importance of a Christ-centered life which attracted his attention in the first place.