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Hi I'm Joyce

I'm a retired college English professor, mother of four sons, wife of a nonmember, outdoor enthusiast, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

After retiring nine years ago, I had no problem finding things to do to keep busy. For a while I taught part-time online freshman writing courses and trained other teachers to use Feuerstein programs and strategies to improve students' critical thinking skills. I continued with my church callings, and when my sons graduated from college, I opened new doors of experience. During tax season I volunteer as an AARP Tax-Aide doing seniors' taxes for free. My husband and I work out at my college's fitness center and try to also walk nine holes of golf once a week. Each winter we return to the Utah mountains for some good cold skiing. We regularly go to his hometown in western North Carolina for hiking trips to remote cemeteries in conjunction with our genealogy work. I like to be outdoors. My favorite sports are swimming and bicycling. In the summer I swim in our backyard pool almost every morning for 30 minutes, and during the rest of the year I bike around the neighborhood. Actually, biking has pretty much taken over our vacations. A retiree "girl friend" and I have ridden 16 of the 29 Hall of Fame Rails-to-Trails across the country in the past few years. Sometimes our husbands ride with us, even on the 100 mile trips. We recently bought fold-up bikes so that we can take them on Amtrak to get to our destinations. This year we plan to ride 6 more trails toward our goal of all 29. I value good physical and mental health and feel blessed to be as active as I am in my senior years.

Why I am a Mormon

I used to be a Mormon because my parents and their parents were Mormons. Though I was baptized at age 8 and grew up attending youth meetings during the week and worship meetings on Sundays with my friends, my immediate family was not very active in the church. My parents encouraged participation, but we did not usually attend church or pray together. Now, several decades later, I'm a Mormon because I want to be a member of Jesus Christ's church here on earth. I stayed active in the LDS church all through college and graduate school and then after I moved across country to my first teaching job. In each geographic location I have lived ("in the mission field" I call it), I seek out and attend the local Mormon church. I married a nonmember, and we have four sons, who were also baptized at age 8 and who went with me to church until they graduated from high school. I have stayed active in the church because I believe the doctrines taught to us in the scriptures and by church leaders and because I feel peace and security in living the way I think I should be living. In 1998 I received my temple endowments and have been participating in temple ordinances on a regular basis since then. My husband now attends Sacrament meetings with me, but he has not become converted to the Gospel, nor are our sons as active as I want them to be. So I just continue to live my faith and pray for an eternal family. We are all still living in the southern U.S., and as I increase my knowledge about church doctrines, my testimony of its truth as The Church of Jesus Christ in these latter days has grown tremendously. The organization of the church is the same as it was in Christ’s time on earth, the Priesthood bestowed upon worthy male members allows us to participate in eternal ordinances, our living Prophet leads a unified church effort, and the teachings of the church are very logical and coherent to my reasoning mind. The Word of Wisdom gives me a healthy life style and wholesome habits.

How I live my faith

My religion is who I am, and I feel "grounded" with my beliefs and faith that I am a child of my Heavenly Father who loves me and is mindful of me and my family members. Because I believe that an individual's testimony of the Gospel needs to grow from a person's own desire to know the truth, my faith and prayers have always been a part of my private life. Though I let my friends and colleagues know that I was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I rarely shared my testimony of the Gospel unless I was asked. In the last 15 years, though, I have begun thinking more about my spiritual choices and my role as a testimony to others of the blessings we receive by obeying God's commandments. Consequently, I am inclined to be more than just a good example. My beliefs have become more solidified in my mind and heart. I live my faith with my daily prayers, paying a full tithing, reading the scriptures daily, reading the Ensign General Conference talks, participating in the temple ordinances, visiting other sisters in the ward, attending church regularly, and trying to magnify the callings I hold. I was Sunday School teacher for the adult Gospel Doctrine class for nine years, have served in the women's organization presidency, have been Visiting Teaching Coordinator (overseeing the women's fellowshipping program) for about five years, and have taught monthly lessons in the women's Sunday meetings off and on for thirty years. I love my church callings and want to do what I can to be a shining light to help bring less active sisters back to the blessings of the Gospel.