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Hi I'm Elana Priel Watts

I came from a home without religion, and, after years of searching, I found the truth. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a convert to the church. I work as a professional hair stylist and makeup artist for photographers, models, brides and "everyday folks". I am married and have one daughter and three sons - the youngest two are only ten months apart. I grew up in the Silicon Valley (Cupertino), California, but have lived in Charleston, South Carolina for the last seventeen years. I believe in goodness. I believe in Angels. I believe in truth and peace and health and life. I believe in marriage. I believe in children. I believe in teaching them to choose the right. I am also a singer and songwriter.

Why I am a Mormon

Family has always been extremely important to me! I was always very interested in my father's heritage. He was born in Tel Aviv, Israel after his family immigrated there from Poland, just before WWII. I was very close to my mother's family. To me they were the ultimate Americans - they fought in the Revolutionary and Civil wars, crossed the plains in covered wagons, and helped settle the Wild West. I am number three in a family of four children and the first to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I wasn't raised with any religion, but for a few years we celebrated Hanukkah and Passover, as well as Christmas and Easter. When I was in third grade my grandfather died, and I remember praying to? God? I was very concerned about where his spirit had gone. For some reason I believed in spirits, though I don't remember ever having been taught about them or any other spiritual matters. I couldn't believe that death was "the end". Jump ahead to middle school. I was attending our neighborhood, public school, and I was very unhappy there. The children seemed so worldly and most were experimenting with sex, drugs and alcohol, and I didn't want any part of that education. That's when I began attending a small, Lutheran school and learning their version of Christianity. Although I did not accept their doctrine, I had been officially introduced to Jesus/God. For years after that I felt a need to find the truth about who "God" was and what life was all about. I asked a lot of people a lot of questions, visited different churches and read about different religions, but I never found what I believed to be the complete truth...the whole story. Then, when I was expecting my first baby, it became even more important to me to learn the truth so I would know what to teach my children. To me, religion wasn't a matter of "what felt good", or "what I was willing to accept". I knew there was TRUTH, and I wanted to find it. My prayers were answered. I'm a Mormon.

How I live my faith

Since my baptism, I have had several different callings, or, opportunities to serve, in church. I have served as a teacher of pre-teen girls, as a Sunday school teacher for teenagers, as a teacher in our women's group and as a visiting teacher - who visits the homes of other female members once a month to see how they are doing and to share a gospel message. I have also had the opportunity to serve on various occasions as a singer, performing songs that I had written for specific church celebrations and baptisms. One of the things I love most is going out with the sister missionaries to talk with members and those who are interested in learning more about the church. Over the years I haven't always done the best job of living my faith, and that is a cause of great disappointment to me. I was blessed to find the church at a very important time in my life - just after my first child was born - and to develop a strong and wonderful testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and of the Savior, Jesus Christ. For a long while I was alone in the church - a pioneer in modern day. It was ok; I belonged to a warm congregation, and with their help, and the support of a non-member husband, I was able to attend and serve regularly with my first two children. I was careful about the television shows and movies that they watched, prayed with them throughout the day, and took them to the activities that were scheduled for children, such as primary, and cub scouts. I tried to keep a regular flow of missionaries in our home for meals and family nights, when we would play games and learn gospel principles. As I said, I didn't always do the best job living my faith, but thanks to the gospel of Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice, I have been able to repent of my mistakes, learn from them, and start again. Now, with a wonderful member-husband and two more boys, I have dug in my heels and am striving to be the best woman, wife, mother, friend and Christian I can be.