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Hi I'm Nancy

I write a food blog. I teach college biology. I'm a mother of five. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, the oldest of three children. My dad taught engineering at the community college. My parents took us to the Christian Science Church, but not regularly. My mother made sure her kids read the entire Bible, at least once. I believed in God, because coincidences are too frequent in life to be coincidental. Also, my interest in biology led me to deduce that evolution might explain the existence of our bodies, but not our consciousness. That is a miracle. I now hold a Masters Degree in Biology and teach community college part-time in the same department as my husband. (My dad retired last year.) Most days, I am just a stay-at-home mom of five—two preschoolers and three elementary schoolers. Our family lives two blocks from my high school, and many of my former teachers and classmates staff my kids’ schools. I love it! My days are filled with room-mothering, playgroups, PBS kids, library storytime, chore lists, grocery shopping, laundry, food blogging, exercising, and other mommy stuff. I count myself lucky if the Holy Spirit can get a word in edgewise and whisper guidance in my daily life!

Why I am a Mormon

When I was five years old, the man next door died of cancer. The young widow wanted to find a church to attend with her infant and toddler sons. My mom accompanied her to several area congregations. One of these was the local LDS Branch, which met in a community senior center. Our neighbor didn’t join, but one of the little girls at church befriended me that day. When we were in high school, I took part in her Mormon youth activities because our church didn’t have any, and my parents liked LDS behavior standards. When it was time to choose a college, my parents said I would attend school in Maryland because of convenience and affordability. I wanted a new experience, so I campaigned to go to BYU, which was respectable, inexpensive, and 2000 miles away. My parents agreed, so I became one of the few “nonmember” students for three years. At age 21, when I was engaged to my Mormon fiancé Ben (met him in an aquatic ecology lab), he baptized me with more than 100 students in attendance. When I first joined the church, I didn’t always find it easy, but I trusted it was a good organization because church members were kind, contented, and optimistic. They lived their personal standards seven days a week, in public and in private. Twelve years later, I can’t imagine my life without the gospel. Each morning, I love searching the Old & New Testaments, Book of Mormon, or Doctrine and Covenants for a good scripture to send me on my day. Each Sunday at church, I love that men, women, and children are taught the importance of family and how to keep one strong. I love that my children learn honesty, benevolence, and to avoid habit-forming substances. I love friends from all walks of life who share my burdens and values. I love knowing that Jesus Christ is a personal savior to all who try to live right and repent of sins so we can be with family and friends after this life.

How I live my faith

My family and I are members of the same local Branch of the LDS Church that my mom and I visited in the early '80s. We now have a nice building of our own! I am a Cub Scout den mother there. My nine-year-old son is one of my scouts, and I have a blast watching the boys learn how to cook an outdoor meal, use a hammer, and cooperate. It’s been really neat getting to know other parents as we try to make activities succeed—they’re more skilled than I at lighting a grill in the wind or demonstrating safe use of tools! I like instruction booklets that help me figure out a new gadget or appliance. But I really love instructions for life—meaningful quotes or thoughtful stories that teach a great lesson. The scriptures are full of sound-bites, and I keep a running list of references on my end paper. One of my favorites is… Doctrine and Covenants 81:5 “Wherefore, be faithful, stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.” I figure that the office to which I have been appointed is wife of Ben, mom of my three boys and two girls, grown-up daughter and sister, neighbor, teacher, and friend. My efforts go toward being the best spouse, parent, daughter, sister, neighbor, teacher, and friend that I can be. Usually this comes naturally, because I love people. I remember the big picture each day—we are all brothers and sisters in Heavenly Father’s family, whether or not we know it. Whenever I feel overwhelmed in my life, I remember that Paul told the Romans (8:31): “If God be for us, who can be against us?”

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

When I was growing up in a non-Mormon family, some of my relatives said Mormonism was a “cult”. My relatives thought Mormons were compelled to follow their church leaders (“like sheep”), and paid them a lot of money (10% of their earnings). What my family noticed but didn’t understand was that many Mormons try their best to follow the commandments. And tithing is not unique to Mormons. Most of our church leaders work for free while still holding their day job. Our leaders do not volunteer—they are called by God through other church leaders. Show more Show less