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Hi I'm Deborah

I'm a convert who studied world religions in college, and found the whole, simple truth in the LDS church 45 years ago.

About Me

I am a Caucasian woman who is 65-years-old. My life can really be summed up as a wife of 45 years, a mother of six children, and a grandmother of 17 grandchildren. I dreamed of being a college professor, but had two children by the time my husband's schooling was finished. Everything I have done in my life has been to support my family. Paying back student loans for 11 years, our growing family always lived sub-poverty level according to government standards. The thing that has made all the difference in my life has been my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Besides the spiritual life it has given me, I have learned by association with many self-reliant women how to stretch each dollar. We built a home with our own hands; planted vegie gardens and orchards; had goats, cows, and chickens. I've quilted, sewn, knitted, crocheted; canned, frozen, dehydrated foods; heated with wood my husband cut; repaired, reupholstered, refinished, and recycled. I gave up having a career in order to tend, train and home-school children. Along the way, however, our large family required my working so I had a bed and breakfast; taught English as a Second Language; worked as a university secretary; taught Adult Basic Literacy; helped people with job search and training/testing for work skills. My heart and soul has been given to my family and community. I have given of myself, but in doing so I have learned so many skills that I have found the best self I could be.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up praying before bed and always knew that there was a God, but He seemed so far away. In high school I was an active Presbyterian but visited other churches with friends to learn more about God. In college I studied world religions and modern thought and began to think there is truth in a lot of places. Then I met the Mormon missionaries. In a class on the first five centuries of the Christian Church, I came across discrepancies about the ways things were done in the early church and today's churches. Professors would skirt around questions leaving me confused, so before the missionaries could teach me a lesson, they had to answer each question I had pondered all week. These missionaries 19 and 20, yet they answered every question with simplicity and with the Spirit. All the things I had searched out and studied for years started to come together in one complete whole, and I felt at peace. Immediately I wanted to be baptized but was waiting for my husband of four months to come along with me into the Church. Raised an Episcopalian where prayers are read from a book, he simply did not know how to pray. The missionaries would return and ask my husband if he had prayed. He had not and we would wait another few days. No, he still hadn't prayed yet. Finally, I realized that the Gospel in its fullness made academic sense to me but that I had not prayed myself to know if the Church of Jesus Christ had been restored through Joseph Smith as in instrument in the Lord's hands. I finally prayed and had a bright, light confirmation that this is true and that I should be baptized a member of the church. I love reading the scriptures, especially The Book of Mormon, another witness of Jesus Christ. I am grateful that we have a prophet today to whom God communicates His will for us. I am grateful to Jesus Christ for His Atonement for my sins and the hope I have that I will return to Heavenly Father after I die. Now, I have a strong feeling that God is close to me.

How I live my faith

Right now my husband and I are serving as missionaries in Mississippi. The people are so friendly here and are enjoying our stay here even if we can't see our own children and grandchildren right now. My husband really misses his dog, too! While here in MS we visit members who live in town and in out-lying areas and encourage them any way we can to seek to feel and recognize the Holy Ghost. Once they know they can feel the Spirit's influence, we encourage them to seek God himself in prayer. We lend a helping hand to the leadership here in any way we can which might mean in a spur of the moment to fill in as a teacher. We spend a lot of time each day studying the scriptures, praying for guidance and trying to follow God's lead of what we need to do each day. Back home in Ohio we teach adults, youth or children at Church, visit members to see what we can do to help them, and sometimes work at the Church Storehouse, a cannery and a store where no money is exchanged and volunteers work to help feed the hungry who seek help from the Church. Each day I try to do something to lift the morale of someone...in the grocery store, at the gas station, anywhere. When there is an emergency, I help remove debris from flooded homes, babysit children while others tend to cleanup, gather and catalog emergency supplies. Other times I help people research their family histories, drive people to the grocery store or visit with a mentally ill woman on the phone when she has anxiety being alone. With 3 sons in the military, I give blood; help the adult women to learn new skills; and help people pack up and move. In the summer, our children and grandchildren gather at the farm for "Cousins Camp" where I teach classes on nature, crafts, fire building, knife safety, and swimming. We always start the day with a scripture based devotional, and I like to bear my testimony often to the children about how great God's creation is and how thankful I am that He blesses us so abundantly.