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Hi I'm Rachel

I'm a native Californian, a book lover, a country music enthusiast, a BYU student, a fraternal twin, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Currently, I'm a college student studying anthropology (the study of peoples and cultures). My studies teach me how to appreciate different perspectives and backgrounds. I have hopes and dreams for my future - maintaining relationships with my siblings and friends, traveling the world, finding a career that makes a difference. I readily admit I don't know everything, but I hope that I can look back on my life with no regrets.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born and raised in the church, so when I was younger it was just something that I did, no questions asked. Lessons were repeated over and over, until they couldn't be forgotten, truths like "I am a child of God" and "Heavenly Father loves me". When I left home for university, I was really overwhelmed by trying to plan for the future - what did I want to study, who was I going to marry, where was I going to live. Instead, I found that all of those things were less important than my relationship with my Heavenly Father. As I come to live by eternal principles, serving those around me and keeping the commandments, so many blessings have entered into my life. I know now that temporary things like my job and my possessions are less important because they will come in and out of my life. Instead, I want to become a person who lives by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, making space for the most important things in my life - my family, attending the temple, and helping others. To me, this world is too big to have been created by accident, and my life is too blessed to have come together by coincidence. I know that Heavenly Father is watching over me and helping me every day. I hope that I am becoming more like him every day, and I am so eager to return to live with Him. My hopes are only confirmed as I read the Bible and the Book of Mormon. They teach of Christ's ministry on the Earth, of the prophets who prepared the way for him and the people who came to believe in him. I know that prophets are still called today and that they are preparing the Earth for Christ's second coming. Every challenge and trial that is placed in our path is another way for us to come closer to our Heavenly Father. We have been promised that we can overcome all things through him, and I am eternally grateful for the help I receive every day of my life. He knows what will bring me the greatest joy, and He knows how to comfort me in my times of greatest sorrow.

How I live my faith

I was home schooled, so church activities were a huge focus. I have learned so much from growing up in the church. When I was younger, my family and I would do yard work for the elderly people in our ward, mowing their grass or cleaning out weeds. There were lots of family activities too - ward picnics and barbecues to celebrate different holidays. It was nice to have a safe environment, where everyone knew my family and I knew everyone else. And hanging out with friends was easy, because our parents were always getting together for activities. Now that I'm in college in Utah, it's less family-oriented. It's all about helping each other adjust to life away from home - whether that's playing Ultimate Frisbee on Saturday night, taking classes and studying together, or walking to church on Sunday morning. Visiting teaching has helped me get to know other students at my university, making friends with people from across the US. We've created a home away from home, relying on each other for emotional, physical, and spiritual strength as we're away from our families. I've also had the chance to use my talents in church, playing the piano during Sunday services. No matter where I've traveled, the comforting voices of fellow Mormons singing hymns to God on Sunday mornings has welcomed me with open arms.

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

Mormon women are as unpredictable as any other group of women in the world. The common factor should be a force for good, contributing to their families, their communities, and the world as a whole. Mormons teach that "I am a child of God", never valuing one gender over another. We believe that both men and women can achieve every blessing and happiness by keeping the commandments of God. We believe that the greatest happiness and blessings can be achieved by raising children in a loving family, with a mother and father who completely love and rely on each other. My parents often counseled together about family matters, with both of them working together instead of one or the other taking a dominant role. Show more Show less

Why are Mormons asked to donate 10% of their income to their Church?

For me, paying tithing helps me to understand Christ's sacrifice for us. He performed the Atonement, allowing all those who keep the commandments to return and live with Heavenly Father again. He is the perfect example that we want to become like. Paying tithing allows me to sacrifice in the same way that he did, giving without thought to where the money will go or how it will be used. It gives me an opportunity to love the people who will be helped by it, without knowing them individually. I also believe that it helps humble me. It would be easy to fixate on money and the physical things that it will give me - shiny cars, big houses, fancy clothes. Instead, I give 10% of my income to Heavenly Father by donating it to the Church. In effect, I'm recognizing that the good it will bring about is more important than anything I could buy for myself with it. Show more Show less

What is the Relief Society?

Relief Society is the Church's organization for all women 18 and older. It's free and open to any visitor, member and non-member alike. It is a place for women to gather and receive strength. While the organization was formed in the 1840s it serves the same purpose today of providing help for the women and families of the Church. This service is offered in a pay-it-forward mentality. Today, you take a meal to someone who is sick, and down the road, you'll need help moving, or picking up your kids from school, or any other number of things. Especially for people who live far from family members, it is a way to have the same support, offering someone to lean on. Women are also assigned as visiting teachers to one another, where they will visit their assignment once a month. Visiting teaching is therapeutic in a sense, allowing women someone with a listening ear to talk about their struggles and hardships. There is such a sense of rush and stress in our daily activities that Relief Society offers a calm in the storm, helping women to bring themselves and their families farther away from the worries of the world and closer to Christ and His Church. Show more Show less