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Hi I'm Lynell

I'm a mother of three, director of an academic support center at a Big Ten university, RPGer and tabletop gamer, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I work full time and am mother to three young adults/teens, all still living at home. I meet weekly with a group of friends to play Dungeons & Dragons (or other games if someone is absent so we can't campaign!) I'm fluent in Spanish, can make myself understood in ASL, and have studied Owens Valley Paiute, Basque, and Karen but am definitely not fluent in any of those. I love languages; My MA is in linguistics. We have three cats, who all like to sleep with me. Music is also a very important part of my life. I have been singing since I was a child in all sorts of groups, large and small, also soloing. I currently sing with the Minnesota Mormon Chorale. I can't keep a tidy house to save my life.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into an LDS home and baptized a member of the Church by my father at age eight. I continued attending Church through my teen years. Though I did believe in God and Jesus Christ, I did not truly have my own testimony of the veracity of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ at that time. I understood everything intellectually, and I could give the "right" answers in class, but I did not seem to feel the truth in my soul the way Paul described in the New Testament. I did not share my concerns with anyone, but I had been taught the pattern by which I could know for myself, so I took the problem to God the Father in prayer. I asked Heavenly Father if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were indeed the only true church on the earth, and if the Book of Mormon were true. I longed for a big manifestation like Paul had traveling to Damascus; something overt and undeniable, something sensational. But I didn't receive anything like that. In fact, for many days I perceived no answer at all. This discouraged me greatly, but I continued to ask. Then a remarkable thing happened. When I thought about my question, I felt a voice respond, "You have always known." And I gradually came to realize that I had indeed always known, and that just because my experience didn't match Paul's spectacular conversion or others like it recorded in the Book of Mormon didn't make it less valid. I've never doubted the truth of the Gospel or of the Church since then, but there have still been seasons of my life when I've found it harder to live what I know. I think it's all been a process of gaining spiritual maturity. I am so grateful for the Church, where the authority to provide saving ordinances resides. I am grateful as well that God has given us a living prophet who leads us today just as prophets did anciently. Above all I am grateful for Jesus Christ, my Savior and Redeemer, my Brother and Friend, who gives me hope on the hopeless days and lights my way in the darkness.

How I live my faith

I oversee the organization in my local church congregation called the Primary, which is dedicated to ministering to children aged 18 months through their twelfth birthday. This includes musical and gospel instruction (Sunday School) as well as Cub Scouting and the corresponding Achievement Day program for 8-11 year-old girls, and a program called Faith in God, which helps the older children obtain and strengthen their personal witness of Christ and prepare to transition to the Young Men/Young Women organization at age twelve. I am assisted directly in these responsibilities by two other women, who are an amazing support for me, and a secretary who really keeps us on track and handles a lot of the detail work that I am not talented with. In our congregation there are about forty children who attend regularly, and my heart is so full of love for each and every one of them, their teachers, their music leaders, and their wonderful parents. I'm humbled by the trust placed in me to minister to them, and energized by the challenge. I live my faith daily by trying to bear in mind always that I am a representative of Christ wherever I am and whatever I am doing. This understanding came to me later in life, though I was raised in the Church. I lived for about thirteen years in a place in the country where Mormons were a majority. Local residents who were not members of the Church would often be surprised to find out that I was a Mormon. I took pride in this for a time, because I enjoyed being seen as more cosmopolitan. Then one day it struck me that I could not be living as a true follower of Christ if I took pleasure in being seen as something else. I was ashamed, and committed to stop "hiding my light under a bushel." I have sought ever since to focus my life on being a visible example of the Gospel and the Church, never passing up an appropriate opportunity to bring up my membership in the Church early to a new friend or colleague.

Why is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Mormons or Mormonism?

The full official name of the church is "the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." Somewhere along the way the nickname "Mormon Church" was applied due to our acceptance of an additional book of scripture along with the Bible called the Book of Mormon. Accordingly, members of the church are often referred to as "Mormons." We've adopted that as well informally, because let's face it - when someone asks your religion, saying "I'm a Mormon" is much less of a mouthful than saying "I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." You may also see the church referred to in short as the LDS church, and a person might also say, "I am LDS" or "I am a Latter-day Saint." Show more Show less