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 Natalie Sheffield

I'm a sister, a college student, and a marching band nerd. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born in Utah, and I live in Provo now, but I grew up in Pennsylvania, about an hour north of Philadephia. I love to play soccer, volleyball, and field hockey, or do anything outside. I love camping and hiking in nature. I love music, and I love marching band. Something about going to band camp for 10 hours a day in the searing desert heat makes me feel like a survivor. I love the unity of a marching band and the chance it gives for students to be leaders. I attend college at BYU in Provo and am part of the marching band here.

Why I am a Mormon

I could say that I am a Mormon because I grew up in the church, and I have generations of pioneer ancestors who gave everything for the gospel and who love it with all their heart. But that would not be the truth. I am a Mormon because I have felt the truthfulness of this gospel. I have seen it change lives and people. I have seen hands being lifted up. I have seen hearts being softened. What I feel when I read my scriptures at night and realize that the words were exactly what I needed, what I feel when I kneel at my bedside and talk with my Heavenly Father, what I feel when I see a child say, "I am a Child of God," what I feel when I hear the voices of the choir sing praises to the Lord, all these feelings confirm to me that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. There is no place on earth where I can find that peace, that love. I am a Mormon because I have a testimony of this gospel, and I believe it with all my heart. As a Mormon, I know I have a serious responsibility to act as Christ did, to love others and carry forth His work. I know that He lives. Jesus Christ has touched the lives of so many people across all different religions and faiths, and I want to help others become even closer to Him and have a fulness of truth.

How I live my faith

Growing up in Pennsylvania, a lot of people had never even heard of Mormons, much less knew much about our beliefs. The standards and choices that Mormon youth make can make them stand out in high school. A lot. People have asked why I don't swear or drink coffee. And I love explaining to them that I try to make moral decisions in my life, based on my love of God. My friends were even more incredulous when I explained to them what "seminary" was. In Pennsylvania, all the high school students wake up and drive, some for half an hour, to get to the church building at 5:45 every morning before school to have religious instruction. They wouldn't believe me when I told them how much I adored seminary, and how much I loved my teachers and friends. In church, I have a lot of opportunities to be a leader and teacher among the youth your age. Every year, the youth are asked to speak in front of the entire congregation of 200+ people. I remember how afraid I was when I was a little 12-year-old standing in front of everyone, so nervous!! We also plan activities to do every Wednesday night as a youth group. I have helped plan Christmas Caroling trips to widows in our congregation, games of manhunt, lessons on how to sew and quilt, and spiritual activities that help build the young women. It can be hard sometimes to reach out, plan and follow through with things, and try to overcome the challenges in your path, but I cherish the experiences I have gained and the skills I have developed on an organizational and responsibility level and on a spiritual and emotional level. Now I am about to serve a full-time mission in Fresno, California. I am so excited to go, but also nervous. It is kind of scary to think about putting on that name tag and saying that you are a representative of Jesus Christ. I hope that He will help me to be worthy of that responsibility and fill me with love for those I am trying to help.

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Natalie Sheffield
As I woman, I made a choice with God on whether or not I would serve a mission. My parents would have supported me either way. I know plenty of women who decide that serving a mission when they are 19 is not the right time for them, and that's a decision they make after prayer and talking with God. Men do have a responsibility to serve, but there are options for those with special circumstances or disabilities. I know someone with down syndrome who served a mission with his parents in the area where he lived. If there are health problems, physical or emotional, and a missionary has to come home early, it is recognized as a full mission. Mormons are actively trying to remove any stigma that comes to men and women who cannot serve a full two year or 18-month mission. Show more Show less