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Hi I'm Jan Hopkins

I am a journalist. I am passionate about the arts, literacy, community service and the environment. I am a Mormon.

About Me

I come from a blended birth family with three biological siblings, four half-siblings and nine step-siblings. It's a huge family and over the years we have developed a pretty good circle of support. My extended family and circle of friends are amazing influences in my life as well, shaping me in ways that I still find delightfully surprising. I enjoy hiking and being in nature. I am drawn to impressionist art, renaissance angels with wings, everything French, music ( I play piano and have sung in community gospel choirs), the writings of Tagore and Herman Hesse and Malcom Gladwell, the ballet, and I'm a former actor. I share my life with my husband, children, grandchildren, and a rescue dog that is part Labrador, part Shar-pei and part Yorkshire Terrier.

Why I am a Mormon

For me it began as a family tradition. I trace my genealogy back to the earliest converts of The Church on both sides of my family. But as a teen I began to question various facets of the faith. My parents divorced and eventually married other people. As the dynamic of my family life changed I longed for something more permanent and stable in my life. I wanted a foundation from which to explore who am I and to set my path for the future. It has been a lifelong process in which I explored a variety of faiths and philosophies. The thing that keeps bringing me back to my Mormon roots is the parallels I have found between it and the truths I found in so many ideals of other faiths. For me, Mormonism encompasses the beauty of the first faiths and carries the most simple, time-proven truths of humankind in one complete practice. I believe that is because it is the only faith that I know of that has the privilege of continuous divine revelation through a modern day prophet. That's important to me because even though I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who I embrace as my Savior, revelation allows the local and worldwide community of Mormons to worship in a synchronized, one-mind-one-heart, unified manner. Anywhere I travel or live in the world, I will learn and worship the same principles, albeit with the special perspectives and flavors of the culture I am currently immersed in. For me, continuity represents a safe and trusted environment for me to explore my place in the world and my relationship to The Savior.

How I live my faith

As a freelance journalist, I feel it's important to report both sides of an issue without bias. For this reason I try to keep my personal life more ambiguous than other people. I work hard to bring an element of the spiritual and/or humanitarian as much as possible in my writing. I am also very involved in my community. I teach a positive decision-making lifestyle course to women at the Utah State Prison. I volunteer as a reading tutor at local elementary schools. When I lived in France I volunteered at the Salvation Army. In my church I have taught music to children, organized community events such as an open-to-the-public art gala and dance, produced plays and held leadership positions. I am also a wife, mother and grandmother. My life has not been without challenges including family members with addiction, learning disabilities, physical-emotional-sexual abuse, suicides and more. I fully credit my faith and the safety net of my extended family for assisting me with the sometimes intense work of navigating life and of learning its important lessons.