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Hi I'm Hillary

Writer. Art-lover. Expert in all things awesome. Mormon.

About Me

I was born and raised near the land of Mormons, a.k.a. Salt Lake City, Utah and am a lifelong member. I'm a college graduate about to serve for 18 months in the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission. I studied journalism and English and have been working for a big newspaper -- it's a dream! I love writing in nearly any form and plan to pursue other writing ventures be it books, columns or poetry. I also love asking questions, meeting people and learning new things (it seems I found the perfect vocation so far). I love art in any form! I've had the opportunity to write about it often for my job. There's just something beautiful, spiritual and uplifting about the creation, expression and absorption that goes on in the artistic world. I have a tendency to adopt almost anything as my "favorite," but a few of my favorites include laughing, family time, traveling, silly photos, anything Celtic, brownie sundaes, black and white films, poetry, inspiring quotes, music (I'm far too attached to my iPod) and museums, exhibits, festivals/celebrations of any kind.

Why I am a Mormon

I think everyone, especially people around my age, comes to a time in their lives when they really question the beliefs and traditions (or lack thereof) that they've been raised on. I'm no exception. In the past couple of years alone, I've been hammered with many different comments, insults, experiences and ideologies that have at times raised questions, doubts and fears in my heart and mind. I've stumbled, I've hoped, I've cried, I've prayed and I've studied. This much I know: truth comes from many sources. I've met many wonderful people who believe differently than me. But I believe I've been blessed to be part of the source of truth, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This gospel is more than an earthly religion. Come next life, I don't imagine there being any Mormons and non-Mormons. Truth -- the gospel -- will just be the way things are. I've had far too many experiences of the heart for me to ever give in to mortal weaknesses of mind and deny what I know. I know God is real. I know He is my father and that He loves me. I know He sent his son. I know He has a plan. And that is why I've stuck to the traditions of my family. I've learned for myself.

How I live my faith

I always try to do what I've come to know I'm supposed to do: daily prayers, scripture study, keep the commandments. But it's not just a matter of following all of the rules. I try to periodically reflect on my life, on where I stand with the eternal perspective that the gospel provides. Sometimes those reflections produce a bit of exasperation along the lines of, "Wow, I really stink at this." Other times, I'm doing alright. The fact is, I am an imperfect person surrounded by billions of imperfect people taking billions of different paths that may or may not help them achieve perfection in the next life. It's a beautiful thing, really. It's all about progression. More importantly, perhaps, it's about love. Charity is the opposite of all things prideful, selfish, and carnal. It's the pure love of Christ and therefore a perfect love. Heavenly Father's plan for us, in sending his son and bringing his other children home, is a plan of love. I am here to learn to be good --eventually even perfect-- and I am here to learn to love. Here's hoping I did OK today!

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

While there are many beautiful passages in the Book of Mormon that back this up, I think Matthew 7:21 says it best: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Simply accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior is not quite enough. We need to emulate him and progress positively in this life. However, if we were saved by works alone, I for one would not make it. We need to do our best at keeping the commandments, but we also need to accept Christ's help with our flaws and shortcomings. It's important to strike a balance between faith and works. Show more Show less

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

There is a difference between "equal" and "the same." Men and women have divinely different roles that are fairly distinct. However, I don't see a problem with Dad doing some of the cooking and Mom taking care of the car... Trivial issues aside, Priesthood and Womanhood --along with the sacred powers and responsibilities that accompany them -- are equal. Show more Show less