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Hi I'm Catherine Dodds

I grew up on a farm in Arizona. In Idaho, I raised a family of six remarkable sons and six extraordinary daughters. I am a Mormon.

About Me

As a child, I lived on a farm in Arizona. Both my parents came from families that helped to settle that dry, hot and barren land. With irrigation, the land blossomed and so did we! I loved to help my dad irrigate the fields; to learn homemaking skills from my mama, and to explore and play under the trees of our orchard, the barns, and fields. I especially enjoyed starting clubs and playing school with my younger brothers and sisters. I learned to sew my own clothes at a young age and loved being busy. I attended a rural elementary school and then a large high school in the nearby town where I loved participating in school activities. After graduation from high school I left home to attend a university in another state. I had many wonderful experiences during those four years, including but not limited to graduating with a degree in Child Development and Elementary Education. I taught school for two years and then married my husband after a short courtship. We moved north to Idaho where he found a job and we raised our family. We had a large family of six boys and six girls. My life was filled to the brim! I often felt overwhelmed, but also abundantly blessed! The hardest experience of our life happened when one of our sons died in an accident at the age of 18. When I look back on that difficult time, I realize that our family has received many compensatory blessings. My husband has retired, the family continues to grow, and we look forward to the next adventure!

Why I am a Mormon

I have known since I was a child that Heavenly Father loves me and knows me. An experience I had as a child was important to that basic knowledge. I had a toy doll that came with a bathtub that I loved very much. I took it with me on a family vacation, and insisted that I take it with me to the beach. When I returned to the cottage where we were staying, I discovered that the tiny bar of soap that was part of the doll's accessories was missing. I was so sad. I believed my mother who told me that Heavenly Father knew where that little bar of soap was. With child-like faith, I prayed that He would help me find it. We walked back toward the beach, and there on the curbing that separated the sand from the road, I found the tiny lavendar soap. I knew then as I know now, that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers and that he cares about me. During the summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school, I wanted to know for myself that the Book of Mormon was true. I had never read the whole book from cover to cover, so I knew I needed to read it before I could know. I remember sitting on my bed reading for longer than I had ever read scripture before. It wasn't long after I started reading that I felt something I can only describe as a great urgency to keep reading. It was a good feeling; a happy feeling. I believe it was the Spirit testifying that what I was reading was true. If this book of scripture was true, then the Prophet Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and the Church was true! I knew it! It brought me a warm and happy feeling. It is that Spirit and testimony that lies at the foundation of my belief. It is through the little things that I do each day like prayer, studying the scriptures, listening to the prophet and serving my family and in His Church that keeps it growing and brings me joy and happiness. I'm a member of this Church because I believe it has the principles and ordinances that will help me return to my Heavenly Father.

How I live my faith

I have learned that you get about as much out of church activity as you put into it! When I was much younger, I was the recipient of the dedicated service of many church leaders. As an adult and a parent, I have tried to give some of that back in the form of saying "yes" to calls to serve in our ward and stake. The first official "job" in the church I had was to teach the 5 year old class in the Primary. Teaching is something that I love to do, and have taught children, youth, and adults. I especially love teaching the truths of the gospel. I think the reason for this is that there is always a special spirit or feeling that attends a class where truth is being taught. I feel it, and I know that others feel it too. I have sometimes been asked to do other things besides teach. I've been a music director in the children's organization, and in the women's organization. Other things I've done in the church was to help plan activities for the women's organization, head an activity group of 10 and 11 year old girls, plan activities for young women, write a newsletter/bulletin for the ward, and assist in the administration of ward and stake organizations for women. I have been a visiting teacher for my entire adult life. The friendships I have made with the women of the church have enriched my life, and many of those friendships are lifelong. Every Sunday, I attend church. I have an unwritten goal to participate in every class or meeting I attend by answering a question or making a comment. When I do this, I know it helps the teacher or leader, and I always get more out of the discussion too. Serving in the church has blessed me and my family.