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Hi I'm Rochelle

I'm a Redhead, a Texan, a Wife & Mother. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I stay at home with my four awesome little kiddos! I have two girls and two boys. Both my boys have disabilities. I seem to always be on the go. I suppose this is the typical life of a mom, but I LOVE it! I grew up in Idaho and went to college in Utah, where I met my husband. After graduation, we married and moved to UNC Chapel Hill for grad school. Next came Iowa, where we had our first baby. Ethan was born with cerebral palsy. We didn’t learn this until he was 6 months old and learned he’d had a stroke in utero. This brought a host of issues, including mental disabilities and seizures. Through all of it, we have been so grateful for our faith in God, which has really helped us to deal with whatever challenges life brings. We've lived in Texas for 13 years now and love it! We had our two girls here and in 2006, adopted Derick. He has Down’s Syndrome, he’s non-verbal and working on potty-training, so our house is kind of a crazy place to be. Both boys are the same age and in Life Skills at school where they have GREAT teachers. When I get a spare moment, I love reading. The other love of my life is travel. During the week, I volunteer at the kids’ schools. I’m the room mom for both my girls’ classes. In the last couple of years, family history has become a new passion of mine. I also volunteer at the local children's hospital. I love decorating my house, sewing, and playing in my garden. My roses take up WAY more of my energy than they deserve! ☺

Why I am a Mormon

My family was among the first to be called “Mormons”, but that doesn’t make me one. My faith in Jesus Christ does. Though I was born to good parents who were members of the church, I still had to decide for myself if I believed what they taught. I have ancestors who were with the church before it was even a church. One mortgaged his farm to publish the Book of Mormon. But, while my father was raised in this well-known Mormon family, ironically they didn’t actually go to church. At 19, he had to get on his knees to determine what was true. First, he simply asked if God was real. Then, he asked if this was His church. I’m so glad that he did that, because this ended a chain and gave our family a new start. Although his family had a deep Mormon legacy; for generations, the fathers struggled with alcoholism, to the point where many men and families were destroyed. So, in many ways, my dad sort of taught himself to be a father. As the oldest child, I think it goes without saying that for me, this caused some rocky moments! But, in spite of that, the thing my parents tried most to teach us was how to gain our own knowledge, faith and testimony of Jesus Christ. Very early on, they encouraged us to read the scriptures and pray for our own answers. I did read the Book of Mormon for the first time when I was in 8th grade. When I finished, honestly I didn’t know what I was supposed to feel. I think I was expecting fireworks, or something. But I kept trying to do what was right and over the next few years, through the programs of the church, I had many opportunities to feel the Holy Ghost. At one point, I simply had to ask myself, “Where do you find the most happiness?” I knew that when I obeyed God I was happiest. By the time I went to college, I had a very strong faith in Christ’s gospel. Some people could look at me and say, “Your family on both sides has always been Mormon (since there was such a thing!). Of course, you are Mormon.” But, every person has to decide what they believe for themselves. I looked at my ancestors and wondered why one would be willing to lose everything to publish a controversial book? Why another would leave her comfortable home in the dead of winter at the point of a gun? Why not just give up this new religion and go back to the comfortable life before? I had to learn for myself that what drove these people was a fire of faith that burned in their hearts that they couldn’t deny. I now have that same faith. My parents and my ancestors didn’t give it to me. They simply gave the tools, and I had to work for it. But it is strong and undeniable. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and testifies of Jesus Christ. I know that this is His church. This faith gives me a peace that drives all my decisions in life and gives me a happiness and joy that is indescribable.

How I live my faith

My faith bleeds into every aspect of my life. It has shaped who I am in more ways than I could specify. I hope it has made me a more patient and loving person. I try to give my life in service to others. This is where I find my greatest joy. Obviously being a mom to 4 children, especially those with special needs, requires much service. The organizations of the church give me many opportunities to serve. I have spent most of my adult life serving the teenagers of our congregation. I love it so much! Currently, I teach early morning bible study to the high school kids from church. We have a great time learning about the Old Testament together and trying to stay awake at 6 am! My faith helps guide my everyday decisions. It shapes how I treat others, how I see my children and how I manage my marriage. Having a shared love of the gospel of Jesus Christ brings such a depth to our marriage! I am so grateful to have a husband who tries so hard to be good. He inspires me to be a better person. Our faith causes all of us in the home to use an extra dose of respect and compassion. We struggle just like every family. Our girls have arguments and often the boys can be very difficult, but we know that God has a plan for us and it helps us all to be more patient. We believe that our family relationships are not just for this life, but will continue after we leave this earth. This gives us a purpose. Our faith helps us to know who we are and where we are going. Little arguments are put in perspective when we have this vision.

Why don’t women hold the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How do Mormon women lead in the Church?

One of the biggest misconceptions I think people have about our church is that somehow women are subservient, weak or dominated. I always laugh when I hear someone express this erroneous belief and think they should come hang out with me or my friends for a day! From my vantage point, the women of the church are very strong. Someone may wonder why, if this is the case, women don’t hold the priesthood. Holding the priesthood does not equal leadership. I have served in 5 different presidencies in my life and have been given many opportunities to lead. But leadership is really just service. Serving and giving charity to others is what we all should strive to do. I think the world attaches a certain value to things that have more visibility or weight. Having children with special needs has really given me a different perspective on this. My son Ethan has cerebral palsy. His little sister Jane has been a great help and support to him over the years. When she started talking, he started talking. She teaches him many things. Her role as a support person is not any less valuable than being the person who garners all the attention. Both have equal value and love in my eyes. Conversely, my boys are not popular in the ways of the world. They will never grace the cover of a magazine, but their worth is no less to me or to their Father in Heaven. I know that they are equal to any beautiful or powerful person. In other words, we often attach value and power to roles simply because they happen to look to us like they are more important. I have been able to see that all of us have roles and missions in life that are all valuable. Just different. So, men may administer the actions of the priesthood, but both my husband and I are equal in the blessings of the priesthood. The power of the priesthood is God’s power. We as humans, are just given the opportunity to participate in it. Men and women have different roles therein, but neither is more important than the other. In fact, most often, I have been the one in our home to initiate priesthood blessings. Many times, I have prayed with a problem and received the answer to ask my husband to give a blessing. These moments have been very powerful, because I have known that this is the will of God in our family. One example was when Ethan was 3 years old. He was taking 12 doses of medication a day and still having at least 10 seizures each day. It was a very difficult time with a new baby in the house as well. I prayed and prayed for help and the answer I received was to ask my husband to give him a blessing. We preceded this with an extended family fast. When my husband and a friend put their hands on Ethan’s head, my husband declared that his seizures would end immediately. From that moment on, he did not have another seizure. This was not my husband’s power. He was simply an instrument in bringing it to pass, as was I. We each played a different role, but it was God’s power and we followed His instruction. By being humble enough to do this, we have seen miracles in our lives. Show more Show less