What Is a Church Community?

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Shanti

I'm a future teacher who dreams of traveling the world and raising a family. I love to write, sing, and meet people. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I love to learn anything and everything! I'm attending college at Brigham Young University, where I've taken classes in graphic design, neuroscience, international development, molecular biology, and education. In high school I loved dance, theatre, choir, journalism, and yearbook. I love to study other cultures and would love to get a pilot's license and travel the world writing stories and taking pictures. I'm not sure where my schooling and career will ultimately take me, but I do know that I want to be a mother. Part of my voracious appetite for learning new things comes from that - I know that the more I learn, and the more I learn how to learn, the more I will be able to teach my children and help them grow!

Why I am a Mormon

Growing up, my dad was a member of the LDS (Mormon) church, but my mother was not. I was blessed to gain exposure to the gospel by going to church with my family as a child, but saw both perspectives. I had to make my own choice whether I wanted to be baptized or not. I could see the difference it made in people's lives right there in my own home. I could see that a lack of direction and purpose could lead to depression and impede personal progress. The gospel provides that direction. I have read and learned the teachings and will continue to do so thought my life. I have received a spiritual witness from the Holy Ghost many times and I know this gospel is true. As a university student, I am now away from my family and close friends. The gospel allows me to make those connections I need with people who share my beliefs and can support me. When I feel alone, I know my Heavenly Father loves me and that my Savior, Jesus Christ knows exactly how I feel through the Atonement. They are the only people who can truly, completely, and perfectly understand me and my potential, even better than I can myself. I look to them for guidance and direction, not only in religious matters, but all aspects of my life. Knowledge that I have a friend and example in Jesus Christ has been crucial to my experience here on earth. When I went away to school, I had a hard time adjusting and grappled with moderate depression and anxiety. While counseling, friends, and mentors contributed greatly, it is my Savior's acute understanding of everything I felt that sustained me. I owe not only everything wonderful in my life, but my life itself to these truths: I know that we are here for a divine purpose. I know that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us deeply and know our personal struggles. I know that any person is capable of change if they put their trust in Him. I know that our weaknesses can become strengths. Heavenly Father's plan for us has brought me true and everlasting happiness.

How I live my faith

I try to live my life to the fullest and appreciate each second of the time I get to spend learning and growing on this earth. Gratitude comes naturally when you recognize the Lord's hand in every aspect of your life. I try to share my wonder and awe at Heavenly Father's beautiful natural creations with everyone I meet. I also aim to be a good friend and listener. Many people find me easy to talk to, and though I don't try to force gospel principles on my friends and acquaintances, they lessons I've learned through the Church have proved indispensable in being patient, forgiving, and helping them to progress in their goals. I am fascinated by conversations with people of all backgrounds, religions, nationalities, and ideologies. I actively seek to understand and empathize with everyone I meet. I think that open and honest conversation and compassion truly works miracles. One of the principles most valued in our church is seeking life-long knowledge. Beyond simply being a university student, I plan to actively further my education and contribute to the public knowledge as a teacher and writer. I enrich my life with cultural experiences that open my eyes to new ideas and appreciation and actively seek to meet and understand new people and foreign ideas. The family is central to the gospel. I am working in strengthening my family, especially my mother who just joined the church a few months ago. We are preparing to enter the temple and be sealed together for all time and eternity as a family. That means that after we die, we will still be a family, and we will get to be together forever. It is one of the greatest blessings we have on earth! I also am working towards strengthening my future family by making good dating decisions, increasing my personal righteousness, and learning skills necessary to contribute to a home and be a good parent. I can't wait to someday show my kids all of the beauty that can be found in this life and explore the world with my family.

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

No! Many people might have had the misconception that the Church backed certain political candidates in the 2012 election of the United States simply because they are members of our faith. This is not true. The Church does not mandate that its members vote in line with any party. One of the greatest blessings we have in this country is our ability to choose our leaders and we are encouraged to exercise that right. It surprises many of my friends that I am fairly liberal both socially and economically. I believe we are fully capable of supporting any political party we choose and still maintaining beliefs in accordance with the gospel. Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Because of my struggles with depression and confusion about life's big questions, I know firsthand the peace that can be found through a relationship with Jesus Christ. The world is increasingly turbulent and conflicting opinions are broadcast all over the Internet. It is difficult, if not impossible, to wholly determine what is true in our limited human understanding. Knowing that I am a daughter of a Heavenly Father (God) gives me purpose. I can receive guidance and direction in my life from Him. The message the Church brings is one of hope, joy, and love. I believe people have the innate ability to recognize truth when they hear it, and this family-oriented gospel is on that resonates with people. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Absolutely not. I'm choosing to serve a mission because of the peace and happiness that the Church has brought to my life. Knowing that I am loved by my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ has quite literally saved my life, and I aim to help bring that knowledge to those who, like I was, are searching for it. Missionaries are all volunteers who choose to put their own lives on hold and give of their time to get to know and serve people in a community. They provide service of all types: physical labor, being a caring friend to those in need, and teaching the gospel to those who want to know more. Show more Show less