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Hi I'm Charlyn

I am a wife and graduate student. I love education. I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

About Me

I was born in Iowa in the US, but have since lived in five other states. I am the fourth of six children. After graduating with a bachelor's in Sociology, I served a mission for the Church in Belgium and France. It was there I learned a deep love for anything Belgian, especially the people. Less than seven months after returning home from my mission, I married my best friend. My husband and I both have a deep love for learning and are currently graduate students. I am studying educational psychology, focusing on math instruction. We both love watching college football and volleyball. Though I don't claim to be an expert at any hobby, I love playing the piano, sewing, gardening, and woodworking.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in the Church and have always felt good about its teachings. I guess you could say that I never had to decide if I would change to be a member of the Church. But I did have to decide if I would stay. I have lived in many places and have been exposed to different cultures and ways of believing. While studying the social sciences, I have seen many different opinions about what is right and wrong. Many people had ideas about why we are alive, how to be happy, and who God is. For me, there came a time when I wanted to know what was true. I wanted to know what God said was right. There are scriptures that promise when we pray and ask God what is true with a sincere desire to follow Him, we will receive an answer (Moroni 10:5) I did this and my answer was so clear. All confusion left and I felt peace. There was no doubt, only assurance. I know this is His true Church. I know that I can ask my Heavenly Father questions and receive answers from Him. He loves us and wants us to find what is right. It is beautiful to me that our Heavenly Father is a living God that can be as present in our lives as we want Him to be. The more I follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, the happier I am.

How I live my faith

I love the Gospel because it is not just words, it encourages living in the best of ways. The greatest joys I have ever felt have been when I serve in my callings in the Church. I consider it a great privilege to do the work the Lord needs done and working with Him to accomplish it. I currently serve in a leadership position in our women's organization called the Relief Society. All of the women in our our congregation are such an inspiration to me. Simply put, it just feels good to keep trying to be better and helping others be their best. I try my best to live my faith by continually increasing my testimony and knowledge of the Gospel. Taking time to study the scriptures and speak with God in prayer are important to me. I also feel it's important to have direction. I often make personal goals to improve myself and rely on my Savior to accomplish them.

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?

A lot of questions can be answered by what we believe about the family. We believe that God created both men and women and gave them each natural talents and abilities to do particular things. We believe that the Priesthood was a responsibility given to men while motherhood was given to women. We believe them to be different but equal responsibilities in importance. Both require sacrifice and love for others. Leadership in the Church of Jesus Christ is not about being better, wiser, smarter or more righteous than others. It's not about telling others what to do or running the show. Men holding the Priesthood is not a sign of men being better, it is a sign of men having a different responsibility than women. Women can serve as leaders in many different ways in the Church. Though the overall leadership is by men holding the priesthood, there are many programs within the Church that are led by women. Some involve children or youth. Relief Society is the organization for adult women that is led by women. This is my second time as a Relief Society President and the seventh time serving in a Relief Society Presidency. I have loved every minute of it. I have seen how women do have natural tendencies given to them by God and when we learn of them, we serve the best. The Relief Society and the Priesthood work together. Show more Show less

Where did Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints begin?

We believe in a restored Church. This means that we believe Jesus Christ established a Church while He was on the earth. This Church was authorized to perform ordinances and teach correct principles and doctrine. Christ called the twelve Apostles to lead this Church and give them an authority that we call the Priesthood. However, after Christ died, His Apostles were persecuted and many people were killed. The beliefs in Jesus Christ continued, but the Priesthood authority was lost. In 1820, Joseph Smith was living in northeastern United States while there was an religious excitement in the area. It cause him to question which church was the true church, as many of them taught different things. He prayed to know in which church he should become baptized. God and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and taught him that though all the churches around him had a part of the truthfulness, they lacked the Priesthood authority to baptize. Joseph Smith was eventually called several years later as a prophet and president of the Church. He was giving an authority by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to reorganize Christ's original Church with it's original teachings. The Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith, which first started the term "Mormon." The Book of Mormon is what we share with people to show that Joseph Smith was indeed chosen as a prophet. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

The "cult" question has always been a puzzling one to me. From my point-of-view, there is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that I now and love and then there is a fictitious Mormon cult I hear about in the media that I don't recognize at all. It has always been very disappointing to me how misrepresented the Church is in the media. Unfortunately, it is what people tend to believe and that information builds upon itself. We believe in the restored Church of Jesus Christ, meaning the original Church that Jesus Christ Himself organized was lost after His death, but restored in our time. Because of this, we did not branch from Catholicism or Protestantism. Some would not consider us mainstream Christianity because of this difference. Whether it is intentional or not, the differences between our Church and others tend to be focused upon, stretched, or skewed in a lot of the media. Most people are only aware of how different we are, but do not understand that our core beliefs center on our Heavenly Father, our Savior Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

No member of the Church is ever required to serve a mission. For men, it is somewhat of a duty and is expected that they will serve if they are able. For women, it isn't expected, but definitely appreciated when they do serve. I served a full-time mission for the Church and just as most members will say, it was some of the best years of my life. I don't think a Sunday School lesson goes by without someone telling a story from their mission. Very rarely do people get an experience like a missionary. I went to Europe, but not as a tourist. I went to share a message with people. I talked to hundreds of people a week from all different countries, cultures, and classes. I talked with them about their concerns, their fears, their beliefs, and their joys. I got to share what was important to me with them. I learned about God's children in a very profound way. I also got to see how the Gospel blesses all types of people. I got to see people change for the better. It was a beautiful experience. With all the things I learned, it's not hard to imagine why it is so strongly encouraged. We would consider it a sign of great love for those around us to share what we feel is important and know can bring others joy. Show more Show less