What Is a Church Community?

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Dawn Russell

I was baptized when I was eight years old having been born into an LDS family in March of 1958 in North Ogden, Utah.

About Me

As grandparents we look forward to the time we spend with our children and 15 grandchildren. We often have the opportunity to travel to the three states where they live and plan activities together, be it a walk to the park, a trip to the zoo, and attending church together. Since before we have retired, we have taken the opportunity to exercise to care for our bodies. As we continue to do this, we are able to enjoy new hobbies and activities including 5K runs, 60 mile organized bike rides and shorter ones as well. We also golf regularly. We have recently have taken up scuba diving and have traveled to different countries to see the beautiful coral and fish that Heavenly Father has created. We also like to hike and camp with our family and friends and have three camping outings planned for this summer. I treasure the time I have to read - both studying the scriptures and reading good books. While I like recommended novels, I have also been reading classical literature as well. It's spending time wisely to use the elipical My husband and I often share reading James A. Michener books. I'm new at family history and have been meeting with my sister, a veteran, to learn more about it. I do an indexing session each night, however.

Why I am a Mormon

My father made great efforts to encourage his children to attend church – promising ice-cream cones afterwards for our attendance. In those days, the little kids went to the cry room which was upstairs with a big plate-glass window to watch the proceedings below. Sitting and playing up there helped the two hours pass. I enjoyed watching my big brothers bless and pass the sacrament during the sacrament portion of the meeting. My father gathered as many of his ten children as available in a circle each night for family prayer, a memory which made an impact on my life. Throughout my life there have been years of inactivity. As I thought back on my childhood and the happiness of family prayers, I knew I would have peace from meaningful prayer. Church became more important to me when I was given callings of service. Visiting Teaching meant service and each new calling gave me the self-confidence to be a valiant servant. I loved Young Women’s, Primary, Relief Society, Stake Public Affairs, often teaching and leading in these organizations. I loved being a mother and being an example to my children. My husband and I with our children read the Book of Mormon together before school. While our Family Home Evenings were inconsistent, these were our happiest times as a family. As my children began their middle school years, I divorced. It was truly the gospel of Jesus Christ that became my anchor, along with the friends that allowed me to be a third wheel. Continued service gave me a focus in my life and helped me develop my testimony. When I remarried six years later, my husband and I both continued giving service to our ward and stake. We have served a mission in Mozambique, Africa where we have seen devoted saints who have so little depend upon the gospel in their lives. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me. I know of my dependence on Jesus Christ and for his atonement that will help me return to Heavenly Father.

How I live my faith

Participation in ward and stake callings have created joy throughout my life. Working as a Stake Canning specialist brought on one cool assignment – collecting salmon from a river. A brother helped me by driving his truck to a fish hatchery where we proceeded to load the truck half way with salmon followed by dumping already procured ice onto the fish. We then drove to the cannery where I had previously set up a two day schedule with all those interested in canning it. We unloaded, cleaned, cut, fileted and loaded jars before cooking it. This assignment was particularly needful for a group of Hmong sisters who even saved the fish heads for their family’s needs. One of the most enjoyable Public Affairs assignments I undertook was to put together a community choir. To do this, my husband and I attended church services to 6 faiths followed by talking with the choir directors. Each was interested and then assigned to provide two songs. Eventually a date was set and the choir experience came together with seating areas cordoned for each group. Between each group’s songs while the next choir marched to the front, the congregation was led in singing a verse or two from the hymnals. The event was held in the local LDS stake center the first year, and in following years rotated to different buildings. Visiting Teaching has been an ongoing assignment and one I have always loved. I currently am visiting a less active sister who I have come to love. She has six children from two marriages – the children adore her. I have made efforts to do activities that fit her children’s interests like baking cooking with her oldest son who loves to bake. I have provided beads and helped her daughters make jewelry. While this sister has moved out of our ward, I continue to visit her because I truly admire and love this girl who is the same age of my daughter.