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Hi I'm Donita

I am a Mormon. I grew up in Idaho. My family first joined the church when Joseph Smith organized the church in this dispensation.

About Me

I am the oldest of 8 children. My father taught at Ricks College, the Church College of Hawaii and BYU. I have always been involved with the Church and can't imagine what my life would be like without it. My husband and I were both married previously but our spouses did not remain true to the principals of the gospel and were not true to their covenants. Being a divorced mother of four in the Church was very difficult. I believe and had taught my children that "families are forever". I met my current husband, Gerald, at a dance one summer night. The following week on our first date, he told me he knew we were supposed to get married. The Holy Ghost had revealed that to me when I first saw him - before I even knew his name. We were married one month later and joined our two families. Our children, which still lived at home were: 16, 14, 12, 12, 10, 9, 6, 6 and 6. Several of the children had not been active in church and there are a lot of challenges keeping our family united. I graduated from nursing school and worked in nursing for 40 years in a variety of roles. One month after retiring, my husband and I left the United States to serve a mission in the Johannesburg, South Africa Temple. We were there for 18 months. We came to love our African friends there who are a beautiful people with strong testimonies. We miss them, every day. We loved our mission and are preparing to leave for Paris, France in August 2016 to serve another. I am excited to be serving Heavenly Father.

Why I am a Mormon

Even though I grew up in a family belonging to the Mormon faith, when I graduated from high school, I wasn't sure that I knew for myself. I had leaned on my parents' testimonies until then. I decided that it hadn't hurt me to go to church so until I found something better, I would continue. For awhile I just floated through life, but at the death of my paternal grandparents, I felt like I wanted to know just what I believed. I started reading the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon looking for answers regarding my beliefs. I listened to the teachings at church and I PRAYED a lot. I wish I could say that there was a specific incident or time that everything fell into place, but there isn't. As time and life went by, I would find that I just knew certain things the church taught were true: Christ came to earth to redeem His followers and atone for their sins; I existed before birth and will continue to exist after death; there are consequences for our actions (both good and bad); there is a prophet on earth today just as there was in Biblical times; I am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father. I am not saying that I don't experience discouragement. Sometimes I even find myself asking, "what if it isn't true?" But, then something happens and I am reassured. For example, at the time of my Father-in-law's death, our family was gathered in the hospital room. He was mostly sleeping and unable to rouse. Suddenly, He opened his eyes - they were bright and he got a huge smile on his face and started giggling. Looking over our shoulders he said clearly, " They're here! Kay!" (Kay is his brother who had died 70 years ago.) He threw the covers off to get out of bed. His wife and daughter restrained him and he laid back down still looking at something we couldn't see. He said to his wife of 67 years, "I'm sad, because I have to leave you." Moments later he did and we knew there was rejoicing as he joined his family on the other side. I will always be Mormon.

How I live my faith

I have never considered my faith to be something different than my life. My faith is my life. My day begins and ends with prayers in which I feel I am having a personal conversation with my Heavenly Father. I say prayers in my heart throughout the day as I face challenges or have deadlines to meet. I attend our main meetings on Sunday, but attend other meetings that may help me with my church assignments. In our family, we have set apart Monday evening to spend time with our family. When our children were younger, we would teach gospel principles, plan for the week ahead, review progress toward family goals, sing songs, play games and of course, eat a treat that one of us had prepared ahead of time. We look for ways to provide service to others. That may be a widowed neighbor, an elderly couple who need help with yard work, a single mother trying to raise her children, participating in community projects like "feeding the 5000", filling backpacks for weekend meals for children who would otherwise go hungry, welcoming new neighbor's, helping others move, or just saying hello to someone we may meet. My husband often says, "Donita doesn't know any strangers - she just introduces herself to anyone around her." I feel like people are just friends I haven't met. When I am in line at the store, I just start visiting. There is always a way to serve others and to be friendly toward God's children here on earth. As our children were growing, they had many friends who did not have a family like ours. We had many that were at our home for meals regularly and some who stayed with us for different lengths of time until they were ready to move on. It always pulls at my heartstrings to know there are youth and children who do not feel loved in this world. I have a large family and extended family. They are the most important thing in my life second only to my testimony of Jesus Christ, my Savior.