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Hi I'm Jen

I'm a wife and mother, an avid reader, and a Mormon.

About Me

I am currently finishing my bachelor's degree in English. It's taken me seven years to get to this point, but I'm excited to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! My university career and membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints coincide; I joined the Church just as I was starting college. Getting married, having baby, and becoming a stay-at-home mom have necessitated gaps in my educational pursuits. But I wouldn't trade my family for anything in the world. My husband and daughter are the most priceless gifts God has given me. Before joining the LDS Church I dreamed about how fabulous life would be with no husband or kids to hold me back from pursuing a highly successful career. I continue to have dreams of having a career some day, but now I feel that career won't be successful or fulfilling unless I have my family there with me every step of the way.

Why I am a Mormon

As a junior in high school I dated an LDS young man. As we continued dating, he and his parents told me about their church and I attended some of the youth activities. It was nice, but I wasn't interested in religion at the time. However, as my relationship with my father became more and more tenuous, I sought God. I had been raised to believe He could provide peace and comfort in the hardest of life's situations, and tried my faith in Him. My boyfriend's parents gave me the Book of Mormon and invited me to read it and see how I felt about it. I accepted the book, read the first couple of chapters, and put it away, not knowing how I felt about it. About a year later I picked up the Book of Mormon again, and started from the beginning. A casual curiosity with purely literary interest became much, much more. I found myself desiring to read more from the Book of Mormon, and was comforted and strengthened by it when I most needed it. I was halfway through the Book of Mormon when I confessed to my boyfriend and his parents I had been reading it. I asked to speak with the missionaries to find out more. When one of the missionaries shared Joseph Smith's First Vision, where he saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, I knew the restored gospel was and is true. I was baptized 6 weeks later. Though my relationship with the young man who introduced me to the Church dissolved, I still held true to the doctrine. Later on, as I met, dated, and married a different LDS man, I could see how the fundamental principles I learned from the Book of Mormon and the missionary discussions are eternally applicable. I have received great comfort, strength, and joy as as result of my membership in this Church. It can be difficult at times being the only Mormon in my family, but I can't deny what I have personally come to know as true.

How I live my faith

I have been privileged to hold many callings in the Church. I have lead the music for our meetings; taught lessons to children, youth, and adults; and have served in three leadership positions. One of my favorite teaching opportunities has been to teach our congregation's 12-13 year old girls. Our middle and high school aged youth have so many messages thrown at them every day, from so many different sources. The timeless values of marriage, family, chastity, and goodness are being distorted. In a classroom setting we discussed what the Lord desires of His daughters such as virtue, honesty, service, kindness, and love. As my class members made choices to be the "odd girl out" by asking their school peers to reign their inappropriate language or to be kind to someone who was the target of mockery or bullying, I grew in my own desires to be a better Christian. I try to follow the example that Jesus Christ set: to love God with all my heart, mind, and strength, and to love and serve those around me.

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

Jen
As a Mormon woman, I can honestly say I have never felt less needed or less important on Church leadership councils or when making decisions with my husband. In fact, quite the opposite! Church general and local leaders frequently talk about the sanctity of womanhood and the gratitude they have for the women in their lives. Mormon women serve as teachers and leaders in the Church, influencing all levels of Church activities, organizations, and community out-reach. We have our own organization (called Relief Society) where we make and carry out decisions that affect the congregation and our communities. My interests have not changed since joining the Church--I still enjoy watching movies, reading, and dancing. Show more Show less