Hi I'm Shelby
I grew up in Texas, moved to Utah. I am studying English and editing. I spent a summer in London. And I'm a Mormon.
I was a blond and tanned city girl in Texas when my parents uprooted us and dragged us to Utah, the land of cold winters and dry, dry summers. It was an adjustment (one I still haven't gotten used to) but it led to certain opportunities. When I was eleven, my mom offered to homeschool me. I say offered because it was my decision, and I did it. School had been boring for me and I wasn't learning much, so I went home and started a self-taught/directed education that I stuck with for the next four years. I met tons of different people who taught me how to love & befriend unconditionally--even if they weren't my same age or into the same things. When I was fifteen, I went to high school...learned close to nothing...and eventually went off to college where I promptly declared my major in English, creative writing emphasis, with an editing minor. It's been four years now and it's crazy how much I've grown up. This last summer, I went on a life-changing study abroad to London that opened my eyes to who I really am and what I want to be. But right now I'm just a senior suffering from major senioritus and struggling to figure out what's next. Life often feels scripted with various steps already decided for us; now, it's all my choice. I'm at the edge of the unknown, and it's liberating.
A lot of people discount my testimony as something based on my parents. I was raised in the church by a faithful family; I was involved in the church my whole life (and for generations past); and I was baptized at eight. But I still had to be converted for myself. I remember I was fifteen and scared. It kind of dawned on me that, while I trusted my parents, I didn't really know if I believed in God. There I was, the new girl--worse, the homeschooler--thrown into a high school where I knew no one. I felt alone. I felt unimportant. I felt insignificant. And I felt like an all-powerful god, if there was one, wouldn't care about me. But then I was challenged to read the four gospels. And it was in reading them, living (through the pages as it were) with the Savior and experiencing his atonement through those first-person accounts that I came to realize His love for me. With that followed a recognition of God's love--that He would send his son. For me. I prayed for a big moment to finally "know," to have that story I could share in talks and lessons and give people chills. But I didn't get it. I figured god was testing my faith until he'd send angels down in flaming chariots to tell me I was right. Then, one day--I can't even remember why, really--I just realized...I knew. I knew and I still know the Book of Mormon is the true word of god; it does testify of the savior and it is for us to use in these latter days. I know the church is true--as a whole, all parts included. The prophet is called and ordained of God to serve us in these latter-days. And I know that God loves us. Not in a general way, but in a personal and awe-inspiring way--enough that he let his son die. In our name. He loves us, the Savior loves us, and they both still live for us. I know that this gospel, while difficult in this modern world, is the only way to happiness. And I pray that I will have the courage and faith to live it day by day, to prove to my Heavenly Father that I love Him too.
I've always been an active member of the LDS church, serving in various capacities (though limited to my youth, to be sure). I loved being a part of the youth programs growing up. It was such a great experience to have friends and peers struggling with the same stuff while sharing the same values. As I've grown up and lived on my own, I've had the opportunity to participate more directly in wards, helping to organize events, reaching out to friends and neighbors, planning lessons and sharing testimonies.