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Hi I'm Pepper

I'm a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, a grandma, researcher, trail biker, zumba and yoga enthusiastic, and a LDS - Mormon !

About Me

I was raised on a farm, with a large family, in north central Louisiana. I grew up attending a Baptist Church where a grandfather preached. I found out later that a great-great- grandfather was this churchs' first minister and helped organize it in 1869. My earliest spiritual recollections as a youth included the realizations of a supreme loving being, faith that the scriptures were words of God, and that God heard and answered my prayers. I was grateful for this knowledge while playing high school sports and college basketball which provided many opportunities to learn and equal opportunities to drink or smoke which never made sense enough for me to give it serious thought. What did cause me serious reflections and sadness while still in high school was an unsettling realization that the church I was attending talked of Christ but for all practical purposes visible to me at the time, did not actually live professed beliefs and where some members refuted the divinity of the Savior. As a result, one day I resolved, to find Heavenly Father’s true church. Unbeknownst to my parents (who would drop and pick me up with friends related to sports)I began attending various churches in my small city searching for, to me, Father's church and where I believed he would have me to be. This pattern of searching continued throughout high school, college and into adulthood. In fact, it took 17 years to find it -The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. That was nearly 20 years ago.

Why I am a Mormon

Even though it took me 17 years to find The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, I didn't readily embrace it as Heavenly Father's true church. First, I was incredulous why hadn’t I heard of this Church? Second, internet searches yield twice as much negative material then factual. Detouring me time and time again, until I realized that the negative information didn’t hold up to even basic scrutiny. In all my searching it didn't dawn on me to go to the source. Lastly, I attempted to intellectualize a Gospel that seemed too good to be true, yet had the spiritual depth and insights I yearned. It wasn't until one day after months of frustrations from trying to make sense of things in my own way that I prayed with deep, deep sincerity a simple, but heartfelt prayer to a Father I knew loved me and asked him if The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints was his true church. From the moment i uttered that prayer in my heart, to the next moment, it was as if, I had never not known that it was the Church that contained the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and where my Father would have me to be. Today, 20 years later I have not wavered for a moment from the assurance and knowledge of that very personal spiritual revelation. I'm a Mormon, because to me, it is synonymous with being a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. I'm a Mormon because I have found that it is within the percepts of this Faith that I can truly become like, know intimately and commune with divinity. Being a Latter-Day-Saint to me embodies living a life of unconditional love, faith, and hope in spite of pain, disappointment, heartbreak or betrayal. I'm a Mormon because my soul yearns to be a part of that reality that is beyond the physical realm that make up our basic sense of seeing, smelling, tasting and feeling. I'm a Mormon because of the opportunities afforded me within the true Gospel to overcome sin and temptation. I'm a Mormon because I love God and the Savior Jesus Christ.

How I live my faith

I often use the phrase, crazy busy, when discussing my family and church responsibilities, work, doctoral studies and fitness and leisure endeavors. My children (daughter a physician, oldest son in computer administrations, middle son preparing for law school, youngest son working his dream job with Google) are amazing loving fun adults, with equally amazing spouses and children of their own. Eventhough, my life is busy, stressful, fun and rewarding., spending time with my family, grandchildren and friends is at the top of my list. I want to be with them forever, not just in this life! I serve at church in a calling where I and my counselors assist the Bishop with ministering and temporal needs of fellow sisters and their families. I treasure this opportunity to serve others in a capacity where I feel needed and where I can grow spiritually through service, support and love of others. The combination of employment and doctoral studies is often stressful and challenging. Yet, I often feel spiritually enamored which allows me to face obstacles with clarity, direction and resolve. I have also lived my Faith through unspeakable loss (in early adulthood) of a loving and courageous Mother, and through the loss of a twin daughter (heart defect). I live my faith through sometimes small daily miracles as well as a major miracle involving a near head-on collision where my middle son and I was trapped for nearly 45 minutes in a mangled vehicle with multiple broken bones and contusions. Marcus was in and out of a coma for a week with three major surgeries in 5 days. i have lived my faith through another accident a year or so later where I suffered first and second degree facial burns at a spa. My face felt like it was on fire! Ultimately, I live my faith by always remembering that I'm the daughter of a very knowing, wise and loving Heavenly Father and that real happiness and lasting joy is only possible by living eternal principles found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

What is done with the tithing that Mormons pay?

Tithing that members of The Church of Jesus Christ pay, fund various operational costs required to run and maintain church buildings such as chapels, temples, and other educational places. Tithing also funds some aspects of the missionary program as well as books, lessons and various educational materials. This information was very important for me to know when I joined the church and was baptized. During my journey to find the church, I would attend various other religious denominations. I recall feeling very uncomfortable at other churches when it came to paying tithing because I suspected the funds were not being managed properly. As a LDS, I know where tithing funds go and can see the positive results. I also have come to appreciate and recognize that paying tithing is really an opportunity to exercise my trust and faith in Heavenly Father's plan to bless others through my obedience. I pay tithing regularly and without hesitation. The blessings I have received over the years and continue to receive are too many to list. I really mean it when I tell others that I would rather give than receive and that my cup almost always runneth over! Show more Show less

What is the difference between attending church and the temple?

Similar to other Christians, LDS members attend Sunday church services, as well as, various other classes and activities (other days of the week) in a chapel constructed and dedicated as a place for worship, fellowship, educational purposes, recreational activities and community service. All members and their families, friends and visitors are welcomed and encouraged to attend regularly and to participate in worship services or other religion related classes. It is in this public place of worship (a chapel) that members and others learn about the true nature of God, the divinity and atoning sacrifice of the Lord Savior Jesus Christ, are baptized, partake of the sacrament, and have the opportunity to continue to learn and grow spiritually. Similar to chapels, Temples are sacred buildings, however unlike chapels, Temples are literally the "House of the Lord" as written about in scriptures. God commands his followers today to build and dedicate Temples just as he did in the Old and New Testament. Therefore, due to the eternal nature of the sacred ordinances performed there, attendance is limited to members who commit to and obey the commandments of God and are worthy to enter. In doing so, the unique sacredness of a Temple is preserved and not only known but instantly felt by those who enter its doors. In fact, words usually cannot fully express a Temple's celestial-like spiritual essence, however, one's heart, mind and soul is left with no doubt - whose house it is. Show more Show less