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Hi I'm Denise

I'm a mother of five, school board member, Master's swimmer, and builder of homes. I'm a Mormon!

About Me

I lived the jet-set lifestyle, travelling all over the country working as a health care management consultant. But I knew what I really wanted was a family. I met my husband in my late twenties, and we began a family. Initially we thought we might switch roles, but it became evident to us that I belonged at home and he needed to support our family. Now I've been a stay-at-home mom for almost 19 years. We have five great children--some of whom are leaving the nest. I find I am constantly learning! Having children spread their wings and both succeed and fail in their initial attempts, I hope to understand better how I can help them--and sometimes the help comes in the form of watching them stumble and NOT jumping in to solve their problems! I learned, with my husband and kids, how to build our own home. And now I'm learning how to build positive and ongoing relationships in a small community over a log period of time (I grew up moving every three years, so this is new). I am continually amazed at the line-upon-line learning I gain as I try to draw close to my Heavenly Father and listen to the Holy Spirit.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In fact, many of my ancestors were early members of the church, and I will admit, I've relied on my heritage to strengthen my beliefs at times. But what it really comes down to for me is that I see the joy and growth that living gospel principles brings to my life. I experience the light and guidance of seeking direction through prayer and study and obedience to God, and I can contrast that with the darkness and confusion of not knowing God or receiving the protection that following his plan brings. I see this in my own life, in the lives of my family, and in the experiences of the people around me. I have read the Book of Mormon and the Bible many times. I feel the influence of the spirit at I read these scriptures, and I find answers and direction for my life. Because I know the Book of Mormon is scripture restored to the earth by God, through Joseph Smith, I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. And because I know that he restored not only scripture, but the authority of Jesus Christ's priesthood and the organization of His church to the earth, I believe in living prophets. This belief is strengthened as I see how modern prophetic guidance gives me strength and direction for the challenges I face in my life. I also see how the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, with its lay leadership structure, opportunities for daily service, programs of support for people who are temporally and/or spiritually struggling, doctrine of personal agency, accountability, and stewardship, and focus on family, is the answer to not only my personal needs, but the needs of a world that seems not to know right from wrong. Living this religion brings me light and joy and direction!

How I live my faith

The most important way I live my faith is that I journal and study and pray daily. After years of struggling to incorporate this into my life, I have discovered and implemented a routine that works for me! First, I have set aside a place (a table and chair in my bedroom) where I keep my scriptures and a spiral bound notebook journal. Almost every morning and every evening, I write my thoughts. Sometimes it's just a jumble of random occurrences, and sometimes it's only a line. Often in my writing, I discover the emotions or learning I have experienced but not recognized during my day. Then I write what I am particularly thankful for at the moment, and what I would like Heavenly Father to help with. This helps me prepare for prayer. I also try to read from scripture, and write my thoughts and learning from that experience. This prepares me to pray and listen for answers and direction. And while it sounds like it might take too much time out of a busy day, I find it helps me focus, understand what is important, plan actions that are more effective, and recognize the joy in my life! And a busy life it is! Between doing the things a mother does to feed and clothe and transport and support an active, involved family, serving as the leader to 12-18 year-old girls in church, trying to be a supportive friend to many good people I encounter in my life, serving on our local school board, and working to stay in shape to carry out all these activities, I need all the guidance and direction I can get from above!

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

My 3x great grandmother defied her pioneer leader and remained to help others across the Platte River instead of moving on. My mother raised five daughters to be strong, vocal women. At age three, my daughter queried, "Why aren't there "queendoms?" And I love being a woman in the LDS church! I appreciate the understanding it gives me about my role as a woman, and its importance to God. The world believes that we gain power and affirmation from being like men. God tells us that it is through fulfilling the many unique roles we have as women that we become more like Jesus Christ and find real joy and meaningful power! When I worked as a consultant, regularly travelling across the country, and I told my boss I was pregnant, he asked if I'd be getting a nanny. I knew I wanted to be the one to nurture and teach my children, and that I would need to make major career changes to do that. I made that choice 21 years ago, and supported by a husband who stepped up to be the provider for our family, I have been able to be on the front lines with my children and I have found meaningful ways to build my community. In church, I have great opportunity to serve and influence our congregation. And while all Priesthood leaders may not intuitively understand the issues facing women, most are earnestly seeking to do the right thing, and are receptive to women's perspectives. Forums built into church leadership regularly include women and give voice to their needs and ideas. Show more Show less