What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Marsha

I grew up in Panama, Japan, TX and CA. I'm married, a mother of 5, grandmother of 12, an educator, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

As a child, I learned to play the piano, read good books, and work in a garden. In my teens I learned to sew. In my twenties my husband and I discovered a love of racquetball; in our thirties we took to the ski slopes; in our forties we took up wave-running; and in our fifties we learned to scuba dive. For 25 years, I have worked as an educational consultant in several states and/or taught at 2 universities. But of all the things I love about life, the thing I love most is being with my husband and our five married children (ten really, because when they marry, you just gave birth to five more) and our grandchildren. The greatest joy is seeing grandchildren express their newly-learned ideas about the world and their place in it. I love working on projects that can teach my grandchilden and unify our family: Christmas nativity quilt, religious quiet books for toddlers, compilation of family members' spiritual experiences, Christmas stockings, family reunions,-- anything that brings us together to create memories and strengthen us.

Why I am a Mormon

Like a lot of people I grew up knowing nothing more about religion than what my family taught me. The traditions and beliefs my parents embraced defined our family culture. But unlike washing cars every Saturday or going for Sunday drives after dinner, religion , if it is meaningful, cannot survive in the adult only because it was tradition for the child. I came to know from my own prayers and scripture reading that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me as He does all His children. I learned from studying the scriptures why He sent us to earth, what His design is for this earth-life experience, what is expected of us, and what He wants for us eternally. Aligning my choices with these basic beliefs and building a family life around them has made all the difference in my life and that of our children. I am a Mormon not solely because my parents were, but because as I have strived to be obedient to the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I can see for myself the consequences and outcomes; true happiness is found in obedience. I see evidence of that in my parents' lives, in the lives of my children and now in the lives of our grandchildren.

How I live my faith

Today I spent all day wrinkling up and painting brown paper grocery bags so they look like a stone wall in Bethlehem. I built two merchant stalls and hauled down half the things in my house to the church where we are getting ready for a community event to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. We have invited 180+ church communities in our city to see hundreds of nativities on display and to enjoy three musical programs. Last night 20 young single adults in our church came over to our house and baked 400+ cookies for the event. It's been a really fun thing to do and we are looking forward to our neighbors coming to our church to enjoy the event. Whereas this week isn't necessarily typical of how I live my religion, it's actually quite consistent in the level of involvement. Currently, every other week, a few of us drive 2 1/2 hours to the Columbus temple to work there for several hours. Once a month, a friend and I visit three women in our congregation to check on them and their families, enjoy a little conversation and a short lesson and see if they have any needs we can help with. Every Sunday my husband and I attend church in a college-age church unit where my husband is their ecclesiastical leader. We're kind of their parents and they're kind of our kids, which is nice, since ours are all grown. We encourage them in school, host parties, play match-maker, and in general lend a listening ear and offer a couple of helping hands. We just love them. . . . and they think we're funny.

Why don’t women hold the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How do Mormon women lead in the Church?

Marsha
I don't hold the Priesthood. My husband can't have babies. But like all women in the church, I have held leadership positions and my husband has nurtured our young children. We both work together. People who wonder at what seems to them to be a snubbing of women may only be looking at the glory of what the Priesthood represents to them-- a power to make decisions, to lead, to control. But that's a little like men yearning for the bouquets handed out on Mothers' Day. The Priesthood is no more about power to control and getting one's way than motherhood is about bouquets once a year. The Priesthood enables a man to serve others, not himself. Motherhood is the same for women. A woman, with her motherhood, provides the opportunity for Heavenly Father's children to come to earth and receive a body. A man, with His priesthood, provides the sacred ordinances that returns those children back to their Father. No one could really argue well which is more important. Show more Show less

How are the activities of the Mormon missionaries funded?

Marsha
When my husband served a mission, his parents converted their basement into an apartment for a young college couple. Thier rent paid his monthly expenses. When our two sons served their missions, we used money they had saved along with money from our monthly checks. Occasionally, if a young man or woman's family can't afford to pay for their mission, the congregation they attend will join together to help offset the cost. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform proxy baptisms in their temples?

Marsha
Jesus Christ taught that baptism is an essential ordinance for the children of Heavenly Father. Baptism is a covenant that carries certain blessings. These blessings are for this earth experience and for the eternities. These blessings are designed for all. It is part of His plan for His children that everyone is given an opportunity to learn of the gospel of Jesus Christ and be baptized. However, some people have died before they learned of Jesus Christ and the ordinance/covenant of baptism. Therefore He has revealed in our day ( as He had in the days of Paul) that this ordinance can be done via a proxy. Mormons do this work in the temples for their ancestors who died without this ordinance. Show more Show less

Why was a Restoration of the Gospel needed? Haven’t we always had the Bible?

Marsha
The existence of all Protestant faiths is evidence that large numbers of Christians believed something had gone astray in the church that remained after the death of the apostles. By the time the Council of Nicea convened it was no longer important to look to apostles and prophets for revelation from God-- truth could be now voted on. The concept of God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost as one being was a construction from such a vote. When revelation from God as the source of all truth was lost, what else was there to do but start anew? Power in the priesthood given to men was lost due to unrighteousness (think Borgias). Ordinances were changed; whereas Christ was baptized by immersion, that ordinance became a sprinkling, a dab, or unimportant altogether. Think of the gospel of Jesus Christ as it existed in the New Testament ( baptism by immersion, priesthood, temples, baptism in behalf of those who have died without that ordinance, service, sacrament, etc) as a beautiful stain glass window. When the apostles died and distance made the unity/purity of the faith difficult to maintain, the window broke and everyone grabbed up pieces trying to cobble together enough of the original claim that they had the truth. Through revelation from God Himself and His Son Jesus Christ, all the original truths were restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith and the stained glass window in its original entirety was again on the earth. Show more Show less

Do Mormons regard the Bible as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Marsha
Absolutely. We see the Old Testament as a record of how Heavenly Father makes covenants with His children, how He protects and blesses them for their efforts to keep those covenants, and how He allows them to ignore HIm and their covenants, if they so choose, and live their lives without His aid, protection, and blessings. We see the Old Testament full of symbols of and prophecies about Jesus Christ who would come. We see the New Testament as the record of when Christ came to the earth, taught us how to live, and how his apostles after his death carried forth with the work of teachings others about Him. We see the Bible as writings from inspired prophets who were inspired to write those things most beneficial to men and women of all nations, time, and societies. We see in the Bible the full plan of happiness Heavenly Father has for all His children. Show more Show less