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Hi I'm Sarah

I love early British literature, Asian cuisine, and traveling. And I am a Mormon.

About Me

I am an English graduate student with an emphasis on 16-17th century British literature. Outside of my schoolwork however, you can probably find me at a piano bench, art museum, Asian restaurant, or the gym. Due to my limited income, I am continually on the lookout for free weekend activities or interesting experiences with a great discount (yes, Groupon is a good friend of mine). I also love to travel. I grew up in a family that road-tripped everywhere--to the extent that I had been to 49 states by the time I was 18. To this day, I try to instill my family's passion for traveling, as I try to visit nearby towns' cultural hotspots on the weekends. I especially love visiting places that give me a better grasp of history or the greater world around me, as well as inspire me to improve my life in a certain way. I also enjoy visiting exotic locations: someday, I hope to go to Turkey, Iceland, and Thailand. While I live far away from my family, I try to visit them as often as possible. My five younger siblings and my parents are my best friends in the world, and I am indebted to them in so many ways. I am always grateful for the time that I get to spend with them during the holidays.

Why I am a Mormon

Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has blessed my life in more ways that I can say, let alone imagine. I grew up in a thriving Mormon home, but my parents never forced me to go to church or do anything related to living a good Mormon life. They simply showed me through their example how their membership in this church had blessed their lives. On multiple occasions, I saw how my parents' prayers helped them decide which job offer my dad should choose. I thought to myself that I wanted to live my life in such a way that I would know what decisions I should make. Now, as a single Mormon woman living far from home, I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ to anchor my life. I know that through prayer, scripture study, and living the precepts of the gospel to the best of my ability, God is able to direct me. I know that truth can be found many places. I frequently marvel while reading early British writers' religious writings and seeing how their beliefs coincide with my own. I have been to other places of worship and have certainly felt a spirit of peace there. But I am a Mormon because I am certain that the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness is within the walls of every Mormon chapel. Through prayer and diligent study, I have come to the conclusion that Joseph Smith did indeed bring back the original church of Christ in the modern era. Certainly, Joseph Smith's story appears far-fetched, if not improbable. But the way that this gospel empowers and enriches my life makes it impossible for me to dismiss the veracity of this Church. I know that God loves us just as He loved his children in ancient times, and as such, He wanted to give us a prophet: a spokesman for God on this earth that has the same authority as Moses or any other Biblical prophet. Through our prophet and 12 apostles, Jesus Christ himself leads and guides this church. And I absolutely want (and need to) be a part of it.

How I live my faith

Living my religion is both a private and public affair. I start and end each day with a prayer to God, thanking Him for the many blessings I enjoy, as well as asking Him for guidance. Since leaving home, I have lived in places ranging from Hong Kong to Washington DC, and in all cases, I have been very far from people I knew. However, no matter where I live, God has always been a prayer away. He has been a vital part of all of my decision making: graduate school applications, housing options, and even finding the right friends. Reading the scriptures is also vital for my spiritual being. I heard someone say that "We talk to God through prayer, and He talks to us through the scriptures." I know that the scriptures are indeed the word of God. I have always loved to read the Bible, as well as the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants. At the end of reading, I try to understand what God is trying to communicate, and how I can apply what I have learned to my daily life. In terms of my religion being a public affair, I have always strove to be as involved with my congregation as much as possible. In addition to attending church every Sunday, our leader gives us a "calling" or responsibility that helps the congregation run more smoothly. I have had the opportunity to be a choir director, activity planner, and service coordinator, and so much more. These "callings" have helped me expand my skills and talents, as well as allow me to serve others in my community. One of my favorite "callings" however, was serving as a missionary in Hong Kong when I was 21. I had the opportunity to learn Cantonese, so that I could share with others why being a member of this church was so important to me--and how it could bless their lives as well.

Why are only some Mormons allowed into temples? Is there something secret going on in Mormon Temples? What goes on in Mormon Temples?

I like to think of our meetinghouses as "highschool" and the temple as our "university." While anyone can attend our regular meetings, the temple, like a university, needs ample preparation prior to entering. Without a solid understanding of the gospel and modern revelation, the temple would not be meaningful, let alone understood by those who have not had previous preparation. In reality, we would love for everyone to enter into our temples: they only need to undergo the same preparation that we as members have already done, which includes baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and staying faithful to the promises we have made with God at baptism. In temples, we perform marriage ceremonies, so that husbands and wives (as well as their children) can be married for time and for all eternity. Since we believe that everyone (8 years and up) must be baptized prior to entering God's kingdom, we perform baptisms by proxy for our deceased ancestors. We also have ceremonies that give all prepared members a sense of their eternal destiny as children of their Heavenly Father. Entering the temple is the step after baptism that is needed for us to return to God someday. Show more Show less