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Hi I'm Jennifer

I'm from Hawaii. I started a nonprofit serving youth who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I didn't think I wanted to get married again when my first husband passed away, but when I became reacquainted with a man I grew up with I knew he was the answer to my prayers of what direction my kids and I should head in...I am happily married and mom to two, stepmom to four; all of my kids play 2 or 3 sports, which makes my hobby CHEERLEADING! I founded a nonprofit, along with my husband, that works with youth that are aging out of foster care, coming out of juvenile corrections, homeless, and have no family support while making the transition to becoming independent adults. This makes me mom to even more than six and I love it. After 20 years I have recently gone back to college to complete my degree in counseling so I can better serve the youth that we work with. I will be 45 when I graduate! I grew up in Hawaii but now live in Idaho, of all places. Oddly enough, we have a quite a group of Polynesians here that make it easier to be so far from home!

Why I am a Mormon

As a young child I knew there was something missing in my life and set out at seven to visit different churches. I would go to any church with any one who would take me; family friends, neighbors, classmates. My mom supported me but never came along. Then the missionaries from the LDS church knocked on my door. They began teaching me and I loved the feeling they brought with them, and missed it when they were gone. It was new, yet familiar. When I told my mom I wanted to be baptized she told me to go ahead. My reply to her was that this was a family church, and I wanted her to be baptized too. We were baptized when I was nine years old and it has made all the difference in both of our lives! My family is very important to me and knowing that we are sealed to each other, in the temple, forever is very comforting. That feeling the missionaries brought with them to my home all those years ago, of love and peace and comfort, is now a part of my every day life and the life of my children. What greater gift is there than that?!

How I live my faith

I believe that growing up in the church has given me the foundation of service that has translated to my career. We work with 18 year olds that are suddenly expected to be adults, yet have no idea how to do that and don't have families to help them navigate the world. I also belong to several organizations in my community that provide service to youth and others. At church, I am in charge of the programs for children aged 18 months-12 years. My biggest goal is to help all of the kids that I work with either in the community or at church, to feel the love that our Heavenly Father has for them. I know that He knows each one of them (and me!) by name, and this knowledge has brought me so much comfort and peace, especially in hard times. Each one of us is His child and He loves us and wants us to be happy and successful.

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

Jennifer
Hopefully when someone is selling you something, they are honest with you and don't exaggerate the benefits of the product. Hopefully they believe in their product enough that they own one themselves! When you come to an LDS church you will see a lot of people that have "jobs" there, none of which are paid positions. When my Bishop tells me something or a teacher teaches me something, I can be sure that this is what they believe to be true; they are not getting paid to tell me this and there is nothing in it for them. Providing service is what the Savior did and did not ask for, nor did He receive, any compensation. And He wanted all the glory to go to Heavenly Father. When you find an awesome deal at your favorite store, you want to tell the people you love so they can get the same deal, right? In the same way, we have found the key to true happiness and we just want to share it!! Show more Show less