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Hi I'm Hannah Elizabeth Yokum

I am a biologist with a love for traveling and experiencing life. And I am a Mormon.

About Me

I recently graduated early from UC Berkeley with a degree in environmental science. I love studying science, specifically botany and conservation biology. I plan on being an applied restoration ecologist, helping people make the most of their land. I developed my faith through my love for science and they have helped me to define myself. I am a woodcarver and I make stained glass windows. I am a scuba diver and an outdoor enthusiast. I play volleyball, soccer and softball. My family and I love trap shooting together, riding motorcycles and sailing. I love cooking, romantic movies and reading through the night. I have traveled to Tahiti, Hong Kong, Finland and China doing research. And the best part? I am currently serving a mission in South Korea! Write me a letter! I love making new friends!

Why I am a Mormon

I can tell you, I didn't think I was ever going to be religious, let alone a Latter-day Saint. It was a challenge going to church alone and go through the trials of having friends and family struggle to understand my choice. But I promise you with every assurance of my heart that I would not do that for anything but the absolute truth. Not a moment of my life passes but I am so grateful for the love of our Heavenly Father. I am a Mormon because I know the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God. I know that we have a living Prophet of God today and that is so comforting in times when we are tempted to question our beliefs. I am a Mormon because there is nowhere else that contains the full truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am a Mormon because I believe in eternal families and watching my family start coming to church with me and choosing to share this life is evidence enough that God makes miracles happen if we only have faith. I have seen it in my life, I have seen it in my career and I have seen it in myself. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the foundation of my life, the strength in my spirit and the happiness in my personality. I never knew what I was missing before and now I don't know what I would be without it.

How I live my faith

I truly believe that the Lord makes our weaknesses our strengths and I find the greatest comfort in putting this to the test. I live my faith every day by trying to improve myself after the example of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I am a covert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but within the last three years of being a member, I have already seen my talents put to the test and my weaknesses made strong. I have been involved in the Church as a counselor at camp for our young women, in Hong Kong working to create a conference for Chinese Mormons visiting the Hong Kong Temple, coordinating the support system for women visiting and teaching and on the council for UC Berkeley's institute of religion. The best way I live my faith is through repentance. Repentance allows me to take chances and be myself while never forgetting I owe my life to the sacrifice and Atonement of Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for His example and His love. And the greatest way to live my faith is to share that love with others and never take a moment of this earthly existence for granted.

What will the Mormon missionaries talk about when they visit my home?

Hannah Elizabeth Yokum
I am so excited to talk about this. Guess why? Because I am leaving on a mission so very soon (March 6, 2013 to be exact!) As I have been preparing for my mission, I have thought a lot about what I want to tell people in Busan, South Korea. I was once in the same position learning about the church and meeting with the missionaries. And honestly, we talked about everything. As a missionary, my focus is on YOU. I want to do anything I can to teach you about God and Jesus Christ. To tell you how to be forgiven of your sins, how to get eternal life, how to be with your family forever and how to better notice God's love and miracles in your life. Every person I will teach in Korea will be different. I am not going on a mission to shove my beliefs at you nor am I trying to force you to believe what I do. I truly want people to get an honest answer to their questions from someone who went through the same situation not too long ago. I want YOU to be happy. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is what gives me joy and happiness. This is what made my family closer. This is what I KNOW to be true and the greatest way I can demonstrate my love for you is to share my beliefs. The truth about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the plan that God has for each of His children, the purpose of life and the way to return to our Heavenly Father. Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Hannah Elizabeth Yokum
I am not sure I can answer this for everyone, but I can certainly tell you why my family and friends are making this choice. My parents were once faithful members of this Church but as they got older, they looked to the world for the comfort and truth they required to raise children and thrive. But it was not enough. Because of their decision to drift away from church, I was never raised with religion so I didn't know what it felt like to have faith in something greater than ourselves. I believe that the growth of the Church is largely due to what I experienced in my life. A life without faith, God, brotherly love and genuine sacrifice is lacking. This depravity can go unnoticed for a long time but when we truly seek to find truth, happiness, purpose and reason, or what I call the "questions of the heart", only religion, only the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, can answer that for us. Bits and pieces of the picture are a great start but soon enough we want the whole truth. I don't want people censoring what I can know, who I can be, or holding back the truth. It is my right and my duty to choose for myself as God intended this agency to be used. I believe many other people like myself want this freedom of knowledge and choice and they are finding their happiness in the same source I did: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

Hannah Elizabeth Yokum
Mormon lifestyle is too commonly identified with the things we don't do. It is looked at as restrictive and almost like it isn't fun. But truly, Mormon lifestyle is happiness. It is waking up every morning and being excited to go to school, work or take care of your children because every moment is a chance to become better, to become more like Jesus Christ. It is never having to consider "why am I here?" or "is life worth living?" because you know exactly why. It is full of love. Love that I can feel so strongly from God and love that fellow Mormons share with me. It is a deeper love for my family because we know that we are a team and we want to be together for eternity. Is is true joy. I am not weighed down by addictions, guilt, or hatred for myself or others. It is truly a diametrically opposite perspective in life, one that I could see change within myself as I began to learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormon lifestyle is full of as many challenges as any other lifestyle. We don't have it easy because of our religion. But we are better equipped to face it with our families, our support system and our beliefs. Mormon lifestyle is a representation of its people: happy. Show more Show less