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Hi I'm Rachel

I am from Southern California. I like eating dessert first. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a junior majoring in English at BYU. Currently, I am on a mission in the historic city of Nauvoo in Illinois, and I also served for six months in Little Rock, Arkansas. I am passionate about so many things. I care deeply about the environment, women's issues, racism, education, economic injustice, etc. I love learning, I love people. I love irony.

Why I am a Mormon

I read the Book of Mormon for the first time when I was a sophomore in high school. Previously (and sometimes afterwards) I have found scripture boring. But after I read it through for the first time, I prayed very sincerely, very vulnerably to know if it was true. And I received my answer in a way that is hard to describe because it involved not just MY feelings, but feelings given to me that I had never had before. After that, I gained a testimony, or knowledge, about other aspects of my religion and built upon my foundation. I don't always have rock-my-world experiences like I did with the Book of Mormon. But I know that the few, very strong experiences I have had can compare to nothing I have ever felt on my own about anything else on this earth. And the other, smaller feelings and experiences I have had have only built upon my foundation, giving me a continually deeper understanding of life and richer relationship with my Heavenly Father as I grow in my faith.

How I live my faith

I am currently a missionary for my church because I feel so strongly that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ makes me better than I can be on my own. It gives me peace and long-term joy. Not only is it a nice idea but I know it is true based off of personal experiences, and I know that others can know it is true for themselves as well through true intent in prayer and reading the Book of Mormon. In high school I mostly hung out with non-Mormon friends and I liked it that way. I love diversity and I love hearing other people's beliefs and opinions, even/especially if they differ from mine. Having religious and spiritual--not simply "Mormon"--discussion is one of my favorite things to do. I like to keep things real. I always have doubts, questions, concerns, etc., and I'm not going to pretend it away. But because I have gotten some important answers through the Holy Spirit in my mind AND in my heart, I use my faith as well as my brain to figure out my way through life.

Who are the Mormons?

When you grow up in the United States in a semi-bubble community, you kind of think that all the Mormons are like the Mormons you know--members and non-members alike. Surprise, that's a total lie that I'm sad to say I believed on a lot of levels. First of all, there are members ALL over the world; more in South America, even, than the US. Secondly, this was particularly apparent when I got to BYU, there are Mormons with all different ways of thinking, dressing, behaving, etc. There are liberals, libertarians, hipsters, rockers, hardcore nerd geniuses, those that used to be addicts, those that like to be cynical and ironic, feminists, gays, homecoming queens, etc. What in some communities may seem like a limited variety of people is just a small sample of what truly exists out there. Show more Show less