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Hi I'm Sarah

I'm an adventurer, musician, social entrepreneur, world-traveler, PhD student, and an Iowan at heart. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am the second of five children and owe everything I am to my encouraging and loving parents. I want to experience and learn all that I can. I only have one life and I want to make it count. I love goal-setting and planning but I also have to feed my creative and adventurous side with new ideas, projects, and experiences. I feel most fulfilled when wholly connected with another person in a meaningful conversation. Genuine human smiles are the most beautiful thing in the world. I am an idealist, which is often a double-edged sword. I like photography, fat snowflakes, thunderstorms, new cultures, riding my bike, musical theater, reading thought-provoking books, star-gazing, clogging in the grocery store, snuggling, people-watching, friendly debates, hot fudge malts, races, funny things kids say, yoga, giving and receiving sincere compliments, curry, picnics, cute animals, smoothies, board games, road trips, good friends, green grass, dancing, Christmas, mountain summits, and giraffes. I don't like mosquitoes, overly-inflated egos, false advertising, partisanship, sarcasm, the sound of styrofoam rubbing together, biting ants, frostbite, faking it, cold feet, impractical shoes, poverty, fad diets, dishonesty, or busy work.

Why I am a Mormon

I do not pretend to know about every aspect of my faith. I have always known that living the teachings of my faith has protected me from entering situations that would cause me heartache and pain. I have always known that the quality of my parents' lives increased dramatically when they converted to Mormonism. But for me, Mormonism is more than a good moral framework preventing me from making foolish life decisions. It concerns knowledge and truth. Faith comes naturally for some. For me, gaining my own testimony was a very long and arduous process which required tenacity and fierce perseverance. It is okay to have unanswered questions. For Mormons, growing faith is a lifelong endeavor that involves frequent study and contemplation. God rarely answers my questions immediately, but He does answer them in time. I have come to learn that God exists, and I know that He loves me. I believe that He sees in me someone of infinite worth and potential. This has allowed me to relinquish my need to know everything now, teaching me patience and trust. My Heavenly Father's love has provided me with stability, warmth, depth, and quiet confidence in His trust. I believe in personal revelation. I believe in the eternal nature of families. I believe that God would not leave us without a messenger today. I believe that the priesthood has been restored. I have felt a powerful, peaceful, nearly tangible presence while worshiping in the temple. These are the things that cannot be taken from me. It is so easy to be governed by fear. Fear of misjudging "Truth," fear that I am not worthy to be loved by such a perfect and powerful being, fear that I will disappoint my Father in Heaven by not living up to His expectations. Faith can literally banish those fears. Hebrews 1:11 states that "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Do not be discouraged if you don't "know" yet. Hope coupled with prayerful contemplation is a good place to start.

How I live my faith

I am easily sidetracked by the drive to achieve and accomplish. Ironically, this often gets in the way of more worthy pursuits. When I think about my faith, my secular endeavors no longer seem so important. I am reminded that I really only have two responsibilities in life. The first is to love God, and the second is to love others. I strive to live the first by following God's laws. Mormons typically live lifestyles that may appear strict to others. I refrain from drinking alcohol and coffee, and I believe in saving physical intimacy for marriage. Yet, loving God is so much more than the "thou shalt nots." Loving God includes daily personal communion through prayer. For me, it also includes gratitude for the beautiful world He has created, for the amazing people surrounding me, and for all the small daily occurrences that prove there is good in the world. My second responsibility is to love others. One of my favorite concepts from Mormonism is that everybody in this world is my brother or sister, because we are all literal sons and daughters of God. We are all incredibly complex and beautiful (yet imperfect) beings full of potential. We all have joys and struggles and we are all just trying to figure out what life means. I strive to live my faith by lifting and encouraging others as they strive to draw closer to God. For me, an essential part of living my faith is helping to alleviate poverty and suffering in the world. I have lived in Africa for 2.5 years working with energy, health, education, and business initiatives. Praying for those in need is nice, but when it comes down to it, I believe less talk and more action is what the world needs. I go to church each week to remind myself about the promises I've made to God and to renew my commitment to living those promises. I also go in order fulfill my calling of teaching Sunday School. I want to strengthen others through my learning experiences and to be strengthened by them in return.

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

Mormon women are as different from one another as any other women. They cannot be collectively categorized or labeled as shy or assertive, submissive or dominant. I have Mormon women friends who are teachers, doctors, engineers, stay-at-home moms, farmers, carpenters, and lawyers. Mormon women are encouraged to get our education and expand our minds, just like the men. It is true that the majority of the church leadership positions are held by males. This is not due to maleness, but a function of priesthood responsibilities. The priesthood is only held by worthy males in the Mormon church, but females have equally important roles and responsibilities. This does not, however, mean that women are less than men. Show more Show less