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Hi I'm Debbie Sutton

An ordinary, middle-class, college educated, liberal leaning, and critical thinking Mormon woman.

About Me

Think of your typical 20-something, hipster-inclined female college graduate and you have a vision of me. I love traveling the globe, exploring the gastronomy of America's greatest cities, reading Russian classics, discussing international affairs, wearing bright lipstick, binge-watching cult classic television shows, perusing used bookstores, seeing critically-acclaimed indie and foreign films, and following cat profiles on Instagram.

Why I am a Mormon

Religious belief must be anchored in both faith and reason. Faith is first a choice. It is a choice you make to believe even though you cannot see, touch, hear, or tangibly affirm truth. Then faith blooms and is felt deep within your heart and your soul. It cannot be logically explained, but is real. I have felt feelings of peace, of confirmation, of inspiration, and of love that testify to my heart that this gospel is divinely led. It would be a lie if I denied those feelings. I cannot reject the inexplicable miracles I have witnessed. Those spiritual moments keep me grounded when reason fails. However, we cannot remain committed to the church by feelings alone. Our testimony must also be explained through reason. I am a thinker and a questioner. My belief in the Book of Mormon is rooted first in reason. It is unreasonable to assume that an uneducated man to could a book as powerful and compelling. It is unreasonable to assume that Joseph Smith could have stayed as resilient against mobs and persecution if he wasn't truly a prophet called by God. People doubted (and still doubt) that Joseph Smith ever possessed gold plates, and yet, disbelievers kept trying to steal them. It is near impossible that a man who was un-charismatic, uneducated, and deeply flawed could begin a church that 171 years after his death would have over 15 million members unless it was led by God. Sir Arthur Conan Dolye wrote: "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." I believe in this church because I have thought deeply and critically about it. I still have questions. There are many things I don't understand, but there are also things that, for lack of a better phrase, just make sense. When I doubt the divine influence of the feelings described above, I rely on the intellectualism of the gospel for support. I believe in Christ. I have felt the powerful healing of His atonement and I have studied His life and ministry.

How I live my faith

The only thing that stands between me and the rest of the stereotypical liberal Millennial is my Mormon lifestyle. I don't drink, so I don't know anything about microbrew beers; I don't party, so there aren't any embarrassing photos of me roaming the internet; I don't smoke, so I don't know what it's like to spend an afternoon high listening to the xx; I don't have sex before marriage, so I'll never be able to brag about a steamy night with a bearded guitarist with my girlfriends; I wear modest clothes, so I don't own a single midriff-bearing crop top; and I attend church every Sunday, so you'll never see me at an outdoor festival on the Lord's day. People say it's unusual to find a young person today with a strict moral code, I say bogus. The way Mormons live is in good company with many faithful Christians, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, and other value-adhering people. It's just that we fly under the radar. Living a moral life doesn't make exciting television, Buzzfeed articles, or hashtags. But it does make for a happy and liberated existence. I live my faith by keeping the standards set by Christ. The standards are strict, but they are not restrictive. They free us from addiction, reparations of the law, and moral degradation. Most importantly, however, I live my faith by striving to be like Christ who loved unconditionally, judged none, ministered with humility, succored the poor and afflicted, and taught gospel truths without embarrassment. He is our ultimate example. We cannot only follow "rules" and expect to be saved by the grace of God. We must change our hearts and work always to be more charitable, compassionate, and Christ-like.