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Hi I'm Carlee

I love words. I find renewal in nature. I'm listening to music all the time. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

As a college student, I spend a lot of time with textbooks, notebooks, and Word Perfect. Thanks to my Humanities major and Editing minor, the majority of that time is engaging with my favorite medium: words! It can be stressful, but education fulfills me; learning is one of my greatest passions. You see, I love to think because I yearn for wisdom. As much as I'm finding it in books, I find it more tangibly in people and experience. Volunteering at a nearby hospital has been one experience that's taught me that. To recognize it, though, takes introspection and pondering. Most often, this comes in quiet moments of solitude, especially in nature. Ever since I was little, I've found deep joy in the wonders of the natural world. This has grown into a commitment to facing the environmental challenges that threaten the beauty I gain strength from, at least in my realm of responsibility. My other solace is music. From playing guitar to singing in choirs to playing my iPod, I surround myself with the power of notes, dynamics, and lyrics. Music has been influential and inspirational in many remarkable moments of my life. Last but not least, one solid constant has been my family. Home is a place of love and refuge, and I value the relationships I've been able to gain with extended family as well. More recently, I've begun to learn about my ancestors, and recognize the impact of their lives on mine.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up watching my parents and older siblings do what we're taught to do in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Following in their footsteps was something I did because I wanted to follow their examples, and to have the quality of life I saw in them. However, at 15, I felt that I was 'spinning my wheels' and didn't know what I believed for myself. So I read the Book of Mormon with the intent to come to know for myself whether or not it was a true book. It took a long time, but I finally finished the last chapter which includes this mandate: "Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things... that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And... I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." So I knelt in prayer and asked if the Book of Mormon was true. No lightning bolt, no rush of wind, no angel, but I knew that He would speak to me in "a still small voice" (1 Kings 19:11-12). I awoke the next morning, and felt full of the most calm and heavenly peace. I knew that was my answer. So I received a witness from the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true! That means I don't ever have to question it or wonder about its validity ever again, right? Wrong. I have read it repeatedly. I have questioned and doubted. So I have prayed and pleaded -- and every single time, the peace reaffirms that the Book of Mormon is true. Since it is, Joseph Smith is a prophet. I am a Mormon because I have come to steadily and expansively believe that this gospel, this church, and this book upon which they stand are filled with the truth my soul yearns for.

How I live my faith

In my ward (congregation) for Young Single Adults, I help coordinate and pull off what we call Family Home Evening on Mondays. Since most of us are away from our families, we put on an event to foster connection and fun. From hiking to water games to watching a movie to toilet paper dodgeball, we make some great memories! My favorite part, however, is keeping an eye out for those who are alone and helping them feel a part of the group. Much of what I try to live was embedded in my soul when I served as a representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Florida Tallahassee Mission. I got to share with many the truth and joy I've found in the message of the Restoration, both in word and in deed. Learning to see outside of myself cultivated a love for all of God's children that has changed the way I live. Heavenly Father has a plan, and I show Him my gratitude by living the way the Spirit teaches me is the way home to Him. To really answer how I live my faith, though, you have to take a look at the bigger picture. I've learned to fill the quilt of my life with good patterns, and that's because we're focused on following the perfect template of Jesus Christ. From service to scripture study to prayer to kindness, following the example of Christ with earnest striving to become like him is really how I live my faith.

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

To put it into a Biblical context, that is like asking an Israelite if they worshiped Moses. Because he was their prophet and leader, they followed him, understood his word to be God's will, were reverently grateful towards him, and witnessed miracles done by him. His humility, obedience, and faith are respected still today. Neither him nor Joseph Smith ever claimed to be the Lord, but were his instrument, mouthpiece, and dedicated servant. We revere the prophet for the sacrifice and effort he was asked to give so that God could restore His church to the earth, but we do not worship Joseph Smith. He, like all other true prophets before him, exhorted all to believe in God and have faith in Jesus Christ. Show more Show less