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Hi I'm Mandy

I grew up in LA. I now work at a teen rehab center where I am a substance abuse counselor. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in a very religious family, but never really felt connected with the LDS religion. I went each week - but never felt like a belonged or really believed. I grew up in LA where I was constantly the only Mormon. I had plans of being a professional dancer, but after a few injuries that path was no longer a viable option. Without dance, I felt truly lost and didn't know who I was without it. After high school, I bounced from university to university - constantly moving simply because I was searching for a city/college/major that I felt connected to. I was lead to the International Language Program by a roommate, and quickly signed up and spent 6 months in Russia teaching English in an elementary school. Because this program is run by members of the Mormon church, it was not a surprise to find that my fellow teachers and roommates were all Mormons. One girl, Lindy, quickly became my best friend. We were so alike in so many ways, but she had seemed so much happier than I was. She encouraged (forced) me to go to church with her and got me a Book of Mormon. Without any judgements or pressure, she helped me find my faith. In those 6 months, I changed completely. I returned home with my baby testimony and started going to church with my family. A year later I decided to serve a full time mission to share this joy with others. I was called to serve in the Londrina, Brazil mission. Now,I find that I always feel at home...no matter where I may be. And this feeling is AWESOME.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon simply because I know that it is true. I have lived my life with and without the gospel, and I know from experience that the type of happiness that the world offers is shallow and does not last. As an active member, I feel a type of happiness and wholeness that I had never felt before. I have an amazingly strong testimony of the power of the Atonement, and that we truly can be forgiven of our past mistakes. I remember feeling an actual weight being lifted from my shoulders after repenting...a burden I didn't even know I was carrying. This experience testified of the love God has for me and that He truly has provided a way through our Savior for us to grow closer to Him. I now have hope...not just wishful thinking...but a true belief that there is a better future ahead of us if we travel life holding on to the gospel and our Savior's hand.

How I live my faith

I live my faith simply by doing what I know to be true. Of course I go to church each week and pray and read my scriptures daily....but living the gospel is so much more than that. I live my faith by constantly finding ways to strengthen my relationship with my God, my Savior, and myself. Now, I work in a profession where I simply cannot discuss my personal beliefs or opinions with my clients. However, I have found that when I feel closer to my Heavenly Father and when I am doing what I should, my clients and I notice a difference. They ask why I am so happy and feel more comfortable opening up to me. They know I am religious, and become more diligent in connecting with their higher power. I notice that I can feel a more pure love for my clients and can truly see the divine potential that our Heavenly Father sees in them.

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Mandy
Absolutely not. That doesn't even seem Christian! Jesus did not spend His mortal ministry only helping his disciples...but reaching out and helping all those who needed it. Mormons are DISCIPLES of Christ! We strive to live our lives in the way He taught us by His example. We believe in helping all those in need, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender, religious affiliation, etc. All of us are children of the same Heavenly Father. All of us are, in turn, brothers and sisters. It brings us closer to God by helping each other return home. Show more Show less

Why is family so important to Mormons?

Mandy
Families are so important to Mormons because we know that they can be ETERNAL. Seriously - we put so much effort into strengthening and protecting our families because we know that through the gospel we can be with our families forever, not just for our time on earth. Everything we have in this life will eventually come to an end...but our families can be sealed together for eternity. I cannot even begin to describe the joy and comfort I feel when I remember this fact when my life seems to be falling apart. It gives me an eternal perspective and helps me to see what is truly important in this life...and what simply is not. And it is such a manifestation of the love God has for us! That He has let us have these kind of relationships on earth, and that He allows us to hold on to this love for ever. He wants us to be happy - and He lets us by giving us the opportunity to feel for our families a fraction of the love He has for us. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Mandy
Nope. One of the basic beliefs of our church is the belief in "free agency", or in other words, the right to choose for ourselves. No one if forced to do anything they do not want to do. Members choose to serve a mission because it is something they WANT and DESIRE to do! I chose to serve a mission because I knew it was what my Father wanted me to do and I wanted the opportunity to show my love and devotion to Him by serving His other children. The Savior did teach us to "teach all nations", but we can do this in our day to day lives...not only in a full time mission. While it is recommended and encouraged for all young men to serve a mission, it is not forced upon them. These boys CHOOSE to dedicate 2 years because they want to. Show more Show less

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

Mandy
Mormon women ROCK. I'm not just saying this because I am one....Mormon women have this incredible love and virtue that is so rare in the world we live in today. They have this beautiful way of uplifting all those around them and inspiring others to reach their full potential. They embody strength and hope. And they understand that we are equal partners with men....we have different strengths and weaknesses as men and therefor different responsibilities...but they see the divine plan God has for us in the family setting and they embrace it. I know that I am constantly amazed by the women in this church, and am grateful for the opportunity to learn and grown with them daily. Show more Show less