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Hi I'm Karen

Spirituality - Laughter. Togetherness - Solitude. Grandchildren - Friends. Opposites? Maybe. But all a part of me. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I have been married to my husband for 35+ yrs (boy does that make me sound old!). He is my best friend, the funniest person I know, the person who helps me fulfill my destiny. We have 4 children, 10 grandchildren (so far). We have lived in different parts of the US, in different kinds of communities. But now we live among cornfields & clouds, birds & trees & I love it here! I enjoy following the rhythms of nature & at each change of season I think "No, THIS is my favorite season!" We are converts. I was "tracted out" by the missionaries. (that means they knocked on my door & asked if I wanted to learn about the Gospel.) I was open to learning, but I wasn't necessarily looking for another church, content as a practicing Catholic. My last mass was Easter Sunday. I enjoyed all the pomp & pageantry but it didn't feel like Sacrament Meetings I'd attended. I continued learning & attending church, reading the Book of Mormon; taking over a year to be baptized. I knew it was an important decision, not lightly made. It was more difficult in that my husband was not interested in church of any kind. My interest & learning created friction. But I finally was baptized & THAT made all the difference (he was baptized 10 yrs later)! The trajectory of my life changed. I am happy. I live & love the Gospel. Is life perfect? No, but it IS perfectly wonderful! I know Jesus Christ atoned for my sins, healing me, leading me from dark to light. I have purpose. I am loved.

Why I am a Mormon

I became a Mormon because it made sense. When I was learning the Gospel I would come across things that seemed almost obvious. Like our Pre-mortal life. Like the Godhead. Like baptism at the "age of accountability". At first I saw baptism as a narrowing of my life, all those rules & restrictions. But when I understood what the Spirit was telling me, that it was time to get baptized, I saw it in reverse & was amazed! Those rules & restrictions weren't a narrowing, rather they were a widening, an opening of my life to all the possibilities Heavenly Father had in mind for me! So I became a Mormon. And for days afterwards, while driving around town, doing household chores, I would repeat aloud to myself, "I'm a Mormon now." It's like I had to get used to the idea, had to practice saying it to make it real. Fast forward a couple decades! Why am I a Mormon today? Because I've had too many experiences that confirm my faith & decisions for me to ignore or discount. A personal experience that changed my faith: I was going thru a VERY difficult time with my husband. I went into a darkened bedroom and in tears knelt on the floor. I was acutely aware of my sins & shortcomings & failures. I needed to know if I was forgiven of them. I needed to know how Heavenly Father saw me. I poured out my heart to him. I cried with aching & remembering. I was bowed over so my head lay on the floor, beseeching & begging, for what I almost knew not. But then it happened. He spoke peace to my soul. His words came to me: "My daughter, thou art beautiful." And I KNEW that no matter what anyone said, what anyone thought or felt, that HE saw me as beautiful! The ugliness of sin, the dirt of failure, I was washed clean of them! He had forgiven me! Through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ I was made new. I could succeed! I could grow strong again! Through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ was I was forgiven & empowered to rise up & be His daughter.

How I live my faith

I live my faith everyday. This is not a Sunday church. Within church I work with & serve the Young Women. We meet Sundays for lessons & Wednesdays for activities. We have contact otherwise too. I love serving the girls of our branch/congregation! I also am involved w the music of our branch, helping choose hymn selections for sundays & other times. I love the hymns & music in general. The "callings" (stated above) I have help me learn more about what I already love. I am a "visiting teacher", which means I have chances to teach, learn from & form friendships w women of our congregation. I have opportunities to serve in our community. We as a branch serve a community meal 6 times a yr. We choose the menu, prepare the food, serve & clean up. The youth learn service can be fun. Our branch is getting out in the community more all the time: for Salvation Army bell-ringing, Christmas toy sharing, food & clothing drives, blood drives. Personally, I follow politics & serve locally on a political committee. I always & keep serving my family, no matter where they live! (they all live away) But living my faith is more than service. More than helping the missionaries teach. More than attending church or working w the Young Women. Living Faith is an everyday thing. Both small & large, easy & hard. It's prayer, it's scripture-reading, it's being friendly, it's being grateful. Living my faith is a decision I make at times unconsciously, it is who I am. Other times I make a conscious choice to DO (or not do!) a certain thing, to BE (or not be) a certain way. It means apologizing when it's easier to accuse or keep silent. It means holding my tongue & criticism when it might be expected of me to "speak up". It means following thru on a inconvenient commitment. It means saying Yes to a request for help when that yes is outside my comfort zone. It means forgiving someone who has hurt me. Living my faith means striving to become like Jesus Christ.

How can faith in Jesus Christ influence us in our marriages and family relationships? in our friendships?

My faith in Jesus Christ influences my marriage by making me easier to live with! And visa-versa with my husband! I am less critical, more forgiving. I have learned how NOT to say things. Yes it's important to share oneself, to be open & honest, to be able to say hard things. But it's equally as important to know when to keep my piece to myself. To bide my time. To let that time, and the Lord, prepare hearts. My faith in Jesus Christ means I know where & what the truly important things in life are. And that is family relationships. When there are hard feelings they need to be addressed. Sacrifice is required for & by family members. Also, being aware that adult children are their own persons. And my role as mother is different that when they were young, or teen-agers. My faith in Jesus Christ means I try to see the positive in every situation. With family, with friends. I am upbeat, I smile & laugh. I am supportive. My faith in Jesus Christ means that my own dealings with depression gives me greater empathy for others. Show more Show less