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Hi I'm Jessica

I'm from California. I studied Math and Computer Science at UC Berkeley. Before my mission I was a high school teacher.

About Me

I am definitely on the nerdy side but I can also have fun. I have grown up dancing and love ballet, jazz, ballroom and even country line dancing. I also really enjoy musicals (I got to see Hamilton opening night in Los Angeles). I chose to study math and computer science and I love using those skills to solve problems. I spent some time working at Google but have spent most of my time as a high school computer science teacher. I love learning languages and am fluent in French and currently learning ASL and Spanish. I spent way too much time working on genealogy but I love being able to help my family and attend the temple.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because I believe in a loving Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. As such, when I sought to know what I could do to get closer to Heavenly Father and I received a feeling from the Holy Spirit telling me that I needed to be baptized, I knew that my Father would not lead me down an incorrect path. I did not know, understand, and believe everything at that time and I still have a lot to learn but as I put my faith in the gospel I have seen my life change and I have been able to draw closer to my Heavenly Father. I am extremely grateful for the priesthood power that has helped me when I needed assistance and the prophetic power that allows for us to receive guidance from the Lord in our day.

How I live my faith

Growing up, I was raised by two great parents who taught me about Jesus and Heavenly Father. I have aimed to follow them ever since. This led me to take the missionary discussions when I was 21 and within 5 months I chose to be baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have spent almost my entire time as a member serving the sisters in my Young Single Adult Ward and have been blessed with great friends as I ministered to others and as I welcomed others into my life to minister to me. After being a member for 2 years I decided that I wanted to serve as a missionary so that I might be able to help others in the same way that the missionaries were able to help teach me.

What is the purpose of the welfare services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

To help the Lord's children when they are in need. Welfare services are functioning the best when we can help people learn self-reliance before they need help so that they can not only support themselves but also help others in need. I have seen the great value from the church's new self reliance classes. However, when people are in need and those needs cannot be met through their own work or the assistance of their family, the church chooses to help. This often includes food provided through the network of bishop's storehouses. If you have the opportunity to see welfare square and see where these resources come from I highly suggest it. However, help is tailored to those in need- if someone is in need of counseling the church is able to help. If someone needs help finding housing the members of the church come together to help. Show more Show less

What is the Relief Society?

About 2 weeks after I was baptized I was asked to help run Relief Society. At the time I didn't even know what that meant besides the 3rd hour of classes on Sunday. In my time serving the women in my ward I learned that relief society is a group pf women who all come together to learn and to help others learn and to bond and grow in unity as sisters in the church. As I tried to learn everyone's name and started going to people's music recitals and art shows and even just cleaning the church building together I developed amazing relationships with the other women in my ward regardless of our differences. Show more Show less

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

This is a really exciting question for me because I know plenty of Mormon women who's biggest goal is to be a wife and mom. I know plenty of non-Mormon women with the same goal. I know plenty of Mormon women whose career is extremely important to them. Just like I know plenty of non-Mormon women who prioritize their career. I think that women in our society today, regardless of religion, have more opportunities than ever before but that also means that they have to make more decisions than ever before. I like to think of myself as a feminist (I have the t-shirt to prove it). As a computer science teacher I work really hard to get young women interested in computer science and other predominately male careers because I think it will help them and help our world. I do not think that this disagrees in any way with my religious beliefs. This does not however mean that I or the church think men and women are the same. Each gender is different and has different strengths. Both men and women should be involved with parenting and the family but they will probably have different roles. My mom is far more nurturing than my father. But my dad took time to teach me and my brother sports and math and made sure that we always had everything we needed. Men and women may not be equal but they are equally important. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

The short answer is no. The church does not require anyone to go on a mission. However, Heavenly Father has taught us to share our faith and as members of the church we sometimes feel the Lord telling us that we should go on a mission. I was 21 when I was baptized to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As such I obviously did not serve a mission at 18 or 19. Instead, I felt the Lord telling me shortly after I was baptized that I should serve a mission in order to share the great knowledge that the missionaries had taught me. I honestly thought that was impossible but I have been continually amazed how the Lord provides a way for us to do his work and I will be serving a mission starting at 23 (I will turn 24 years old 2 weeks into my mission). I am called to serve for 18 months speaking Spanish in Salt Lake City. I trust that the Lord will continue to provide a way for me to do his will. I sincerely hope that I will have the opportunity to serve a mission (or more than one) later in my life with my future husband. Missions take great preparation and are a lot of work but I have never met a missionary who felt that the sacrifices they made to serve were not worth the blessings that they received. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol? What is the Mormon Church’s law of health and proper diet?

We have prophets and apostles that continue to teach us guidance that comes from the Lord. Joseph Smith received guidance from God that we should follow what is called the "Word of Wisdom". In this it gives guidance regarding what we should and should not eat. As a society we already understand the harm that comes from tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs. However, in Joseph Smith's time they did not scientifically know the dangers of tobacco but they chose to trust the Lord and follow his guidance. Today we may not know everything about these substances but we choose to be obedient as well, trusting that the law is there to help us. Not partaking of these things comes with the great blessing that it protects us from addiction and abuse. I have seen personally the harm tobacco, alcohol and drugs causes and I honestly hope that no one falls victim to those things and I would ask anyone using those things to really consider working to remove those things from their lives. Show more Show less

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

The Atonement is at the center of all Christianity and it is of such great importance that remembering it shapes the lives of millions of people every day. The Bible, the Book of Mormon, and all Prophets bear witness of the importance and truthfulness of the Atonement and their words provide such great insight that there is very little I can add. However, I can testify of the Atonement in my life. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. His Atonement makes it possible for me to return to my Heavenly Father and live forever with him instead of the death that I deserve. Not only does he give me confidence in my future but through Christ's Atonement we can also experience sanctifying power to become better each and every day. I am extremely grateful for the immense suffering undergone in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Cross. I still cannot fathom the love that he must have had for me that he would endure so much for someone as flawed and stubborn as me. Show more Show less

Why is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Mormons or Mormonism?

This church is the same church that Jesus Christ set up; Restored by Christ and Heavenly Father through revelation to Joseph Smith. Thus it is the Church of Jesus Christ but as it is restored today it is in the Latter Days. The nickname Mormons comes from the fact that we believe in the Book of Mormon. It is called the Book of Mormon because Mormon was one of the main authors of the book who compiled and abridged the writings of other prophets as well. Some members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints do not enjoy being called Mormons and find it disrespectful but I personally use the nickname myself because it helps other people to understand and it saves time. Show more Show less