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Hi I'm Lauren

I play the violin and teach history. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I have 5 adult children and 12 grandchildren. I love flower and vegetable gardening and bird-watching. My favorite handwork includes cross-stitch and knitting. I've taught at community colleges in Texas and Ohio for 3 decades, but I don't plan to retire until I'm 80. That's how much I love to teach.

Why I am a Mormon

When I was about 20, I was searching for a church that had a foundation of apostles and prophets and an organization that followed the outlines set by Jesus when he was on the earth. I saw my experience as a Baptist as preparing the way for that encounter. Yet, it wasn't enough. I sought more. At the time, I was living with my in-laws. My father-in-law listened to my plea often and how I was going from one church to the next. Finally, he reached deep inside one of the cabinets and pulled out a Book of Mormon. He was a non-member and never became a Mormon, yet he knew what I needed. I read the Book of Mormon non-stop once I started. I felt a spirit of excitement when I read in 3 Nephi that Jesus had appeared to the people in the Americas. I had read the Bible thoroughly and had memorized many chapters, especially since my dad was a lay Baptist minister. Thus, as I read many other passages, I could see how the Book of Mormon clarified much of the doctrine taught in the Bible and how they went hand-in-hand. Then, I sent off for pamphlets that might tell me more about this church. One of the pamphlets explained how families could be sealed together forever. I read Joseph Smith's testimony too. He actually saw Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father as distinct personages. That went right along with what my mother had taught me despite the belief in the three-in-one concept. Within a few a few months, I found out the phone number of the local missionaries. I wanted to know more. Soon I was baptized and have remained a member ever since. I continue to grow in my knowledge of the gospel daily through prayer, scripture study, service to others, attendance at my Sunday meetings, and temple worship.

How I live my faith

I enjoy my church work. My husband and I help both Mormons and non-Mormons with family history and genealogy. I've been searching out the names and stories of my ancestors since I joined the church at the age of 20. Thinking back on this, I marvel at the chance I had to meet and exchange letters with people who were born in the 19th century. So, when I work with people on their family history and genealogy, I bring a lot of enthusiasm and encouragement to go beyond genealogy and get to know ancestors in many other ways. Among the members of my ward, I also encourage members to enjoy the blessings of going to the temple on behalf of their family members. I also enjoy doing visiting teaching. That's where I get the opportunity to visit with a couple of women in our ward in their home once a month. I teach them about the gospel of Jesus Christ and engage them in a discussion about the theme of the month. I also find out what service I can do for them. It's great to go beyond this. We're often sharing temple worship and fun ward activities like game night. Finally, I'm a pianist for our women's group. In addition to accompanying the Sunday hymns, I most enjoy picking out hymns that relate to the lessons given and playing the prelude and postlude music. I'm delighted when the women of our ward hum along.

Do Mormons regard the Bible as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Yes, the Bible is a very sacred work of Holy Scripture to Mormons. Throughout the Bible, we learn lessons, stories, and testimonies that lead us to recognizing Jesus Christ as the literal Son of our Heavenly Father. We know it is the Word of God and that the Holy Ghost inspired its writers. Likewise, the Book of Mormon was created by inspired, holy men and provides a second witness that Jesus is the Christ. Show more Show less

What are Mormon temples used for?

For Mormons, temples are sacred places just as they were in the Old Testament. We don't offer animal sacrifice because there is no need for it since Jesus Christ laid down his life for our sins. In the temple, we learn eternal principles and make sacred covenants that are centered around Jesus Christ. The ordinances that are performed there also give people who are now in the Spirit World the opportunity to do the same. Ancestors are not automatically "saved" but must accept the truths and covenants offered through members' vicarious work for them. One of the most exciting ordinances is one in which families can be together forever. Show more Show less