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Hi I'm Abby

I grew up in the heart of the Mormon Trail. I'm finding out what it takes to be a present-day pioneer going forward fearlessly.

About Me

I view myself as a jack-of-all-trades, but the trades are really just things I enjoy and am not necessarily good at. Life is a thing I live day to day, looking for new things to see and learn. You can find me singing, hiking, reading, trying to play soccer, baking, swimming, and laughing till I cry over silly things like cartoons or the beautiful sky. I've been able to experience the depth and breadth of all human emotion - the deepest sorrow to the purest of joys - all because life comes at us in unexpected ways. I've found ways to work through things; talking to a trusted friend, journaling, and even dancing until I feel whole again. I love this life I have. We've been incredibly blessed to live here on Earth. I'm starting into my first year of college and cannot wait to figure out what to do because I have too many things to choose from! Archaeology, veterinary sciences, plant chemistry, literature, music, humanitarian work... I don't have any clue yet. But that's the fun part - the joy in the journey.

Why I am a Mormon

What defines me as a human being are the ways I've chosen to impact my own life. I'd been raised in a standard Mormon family situation till I was about 13, which is when my family life went haywire. After some amazing spiritual experiences, my parents decided to stop attending church along with my siblings, and I was faced with a choice. Do I keep going to church or do I follow my family into inactivity? I'd always been told that there would come a time when I'd no longer be able to lean on the testimonies of my parents - my time just came a little sooner than others. So I chose to attend my meetings and get involved in as many things that would keep me close to my Heavenly Father and Savior. I built my testimony in the bearing of it and did so as often as circumstances allowed. I have since come to a greater understanding of the love that God has for each and every one of His children, no matter the mistakes they make. I have a couple family members that identify as gay and haven't been able to find a comfortable standing with the Church, but I've found that it's okay. In particular, I had a really hard time grasping why my brother came out when he did and what it meant for me. I spent a lot of time being hurt about something that didn't even pertain to me - it was his life and I was letting stereotypes and misunderstanding tear me apart from someone I loved. I may not completely comprehend what life is like for him, but I can love him endlessly just as the Lord loves us. It's important to use my agency to make decisions that make me a better person, but it's also important to remember that others have the same opportunity to choose. From this, I have come to understand that I believe there is goodness in everyone and we all deserve the chance to be happy. I've found my happiness in leading a life that abides by the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and if I can in any way offer that same happiness to others, I intend to do so.

How I live my faith

Really and truly, the gospel is a way of life. Being a member of this church has given me opportunities to do humanitarian aid out in the community - whether it be picking up trash in a local park or putting together hygiene kits for tribes in Africa. Going to church introduces me to an entire family of community members that can become close friends in a matter of weeks. I've recently moved back to my birthplace with my family, and it astounds me how the church is the exact same no matter where you go. The organizations for the youth, young adults, and adults are led with the same feeling - a feeling of love and belonging. I participate in my ward by contributing to discussions during our classes, giving talks in front of the congregation, and offering service to others in the area. One of my favorite things to do is go out with the missionaries and talk to people in their homes and walking down the street about the joy our religion and connection to God gives us. I'm currently preparing to serve a mission of my own so I can offer to others what this church has given to me - happiness! On the daily, I live my faith my reading the scriptures and praying morning, night, and in between. Our Heavenly Father is always there to listen and lend a guiding hand, so I take full advantage of the blessing it is to pray freely. Aside from Sunday church meetings, there's activities planned throughout the week for the young adults that I can go to; game nights, movie parties, service projects, and broadcasts. There is almost always something going on in the church community, and that's what I think lends itself to the cohesiveness of the members. I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - I truly believe it makes a difference in how people live and learn. It fills my life with light, and I'm so grateful for that.

What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' attitude regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage?

Abby
I learned about my uncle and his partner when I was 10, and it broke my heart. I didn't really register the reality of it back then other than thinking I'd never have little cousins to run around with from him. He served a faithful mission for the church at 19, but came to the realization that he couldn't continue in this faith. So he made the choice to seek a semblance of happiness and love in this earth life, which is a simple choice at face value, but what I've come to understand is that it is a choice of perspective. The world believes that it is "till death do we part," but in the Church, we know that marriage can be honored for "time and all eternity" when we are married under the right authority in the holy temple of the Lord. The only acceptable marriage is between a man and a woman in God's sight, but that doesn't mean He loves His sons who decide to marry another one of His sons any less. He loves them perfectly no matter what. My uncle chose happiness for this life and is taking his chances for the next. I wish he'd look into the eternal perspective to even catch a glimpse of the eternal bliss that awaits him if he would choose to live God's plan with a temple marriage, but that just isn't what he wants right now. Sometimes people sacrifice what they want most for what they want now, but we all have agency. In the end, the Church wants us to love as Jesus Christ and God do and respect others' choices regardless if they choose to be members of the Church or not. Show more Show less