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Hi I'm Nicole*

As a university writing instructor, a mother, and wife of a writer, my life overflows with words and ideas. I love being a Mormon.

About Me

I enjoy camping, hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, concert-going, scrapbooking, beading necklaces, and critical research and writing. But I don't really do these things anymore. My hobbies and interests are taking a break. For the past eight years my world has been centered around my divine role as a mother. My oldest daughter turns eight this summer and is excited to be baptized by her daddy. My son will be two this year and is currently learning animal sounds and names, colors, and numbers. Not to say my life is dull. While most of the reading I do these days is Eric Carle or Sandra Boynton, I still take time to read interesting books and discuss them with grownups. Our family also explores the suburban wildlife by taking walks in our neighborhood. Our neighbors own dogs, cats, horses, cows, and sheep, so my children can always gawk at other people's interesting pets. Because of the time I spent in the mountains, I am able to teach my daughter about different kinds of trees and wildflowers. My husband and I are both university writing instructors, which provides ample opportunity to have meaningful discussions and share our knowledge and talents. My primary hobby these days is talking with my husband and working on projects that help promote art and writing by Latter-day Saints. We have had the great honor of collaborating with many talented artists and writers. We feature work on our online literary venue Everyday Mormon Writer. I live a good life.

Why I am a Mormon

My grandfathers' great-grandparents joined the LDS Church and traveled from Europe to Utah in the 1850s. While each of my grandfathers was baptized in his youth, both of them became less active as young adults. Not too many years after my paternal grandparents were married, a knock came on the door. The district president stood on the doorstep and said, "Brother _, we need you. Get your life together, and baptize your wife." About seven weeks later, my grandpa was able to baptize my grandma. Just after they were sealed in the temple, my grandma became pregnant with my dad. She always felt the Lord blessed her with her first child because of their righteous choices. Though my maternal grandparents hadn't been to church early in their marriage, my mother changed that. Just after my mom was born, my grandma told my grandpa, "If you won't take us to your church, I'm going to take her to my church." He stepped up and they started going to the LDS Church. My grandmother was baptized shortly thereafter. So both of my parents grew up as active members of the LDS Church. They met at BYU in the early 1970s and started their family right away. I grew up with three brothers and one sister in a noisy, busy house. The Church was always central in our family. My parents worked hard to get us to church on Sunday mornings, study scriptures in the mornings, and hold weekly family home evening. We weren't always cooperative, but they persisted. My testimony has been built upon the foundation of my pioneer ancestors' courage, my grandparents' choices, and my parents' persistence. But my testimony is also a personal confirmation of my faith and hope in God's great plan for His children. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth in 1830 by Joseph Smith. This is the same Gospel that Adam and Eve taught their children. Just as my grandparents taught their children, and my parents have taught me, I work to integrate the Gospel into my family's life every day.

How I live my faith

I love belonging to the the LDS Church. As an adult Mormon woman, I am a part of the largest women's organization in the world--the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our motto is "Charity Never Faileth," which encompasses the philosophy of the organization. While the focus of our service is in our local communities, our welfare services extend all over the world. I have the opportunity to teach the women in my ward (congregation) one Sunday each month. I love the diversity of experience and ideas that come from these women. As we discuss the Gospel in class, I feel my testimony increase and my faith strengthened. The women with whom I serve in the Relief Society inspire me to be a more charitable individual and stronger woman. While going to church meetings and working with the people in the community is essential to my life as a Mormon, most of the work I do is in my home and with my family. My primary responsibility as a parent, child, sister, grandchild, cousin, or niece is to serve and take care of my family. Because I know the family is central to God's plan for us and the most fundamental unit of humanity, I strive to live my faith by ensuring my family's bodies, spirits, and minds are healthy. Sometimes living my faith means guiding my young daughter through a struggle with her friend by teaching her to be more Christlike. Other times a sibling will call and ask for my support as a careful listener. Visiting family members who are in the hospital or ill, helping family members who are going through financial difficulty, or spending time gathering my parents and grandparents' stories--these are all important to me as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My greatest responsibility in this life is to teach my children how to make righteous choices by helping them understand the Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ. My husband and I continually strive to make our home a place where the Spirit can dwell.