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Hi I'm Liz O.

I'm an attorney, a musician, a wife, and a mom of 3 sons and 1 daughter. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a mom, a wife, a musician, and an attorney specializing in helping people with disabilities. My engineer husband and I have three sons and a daughter, ages 13 through 23. Ours is a houseful of tech geeks and music nerds, who like to play games together.

Why I am a Mormon

I suppose that on some level, the answer is that my grandparents and parents were deeply touched by the truth and Spirit they found in the Mormon faith. Because of their choices, I was born and raised a Latter-day Saint in the Midwest of the United States. But on a more personal level, the things that resonated with my parents and grandparents resonated with me. I live and believe the way that I do because in this Faith is where I find the Story that makes sense of my life and gives purpose to living. In a nutshell, that story is that each of us, sons and daughters of God, grew and developed with our Heavenly Parents before our mortal birth. We loved our Heavenly Parents, and wanted to be like them; and they wanted us to have every chance to do exactly that. So this world was created for that purpose. Like any truly growth-provoking experience, they knew mortal life would be filled with great risk, but that the opportunity to learn by making our own choices was worth the risk. Because we would inevitably make mistakes, a central part of their plan was to provide a Savior for us, who would redeem everyone from physical death, and show us the way--if we choose to take it--to be redeemed from spiritual death. Jesus Christ was that Savior; I love him. Because of His life and sacrifice, and by His power, I can make choices that will help me become a joint-heir with Christ to inherit all that our Heavenly Parents have and are, including creating an eternal family of my own. My hope and faith is in this Story of life, and so I live according to that hope.

How I live my faith

I use some of my favorite quotes as screensavers for my computer. One quote is from actor LeVar Burton, as he described one of my personal heroes, Fred Rogers "We all struggle for a purpose in the world, and he knew who he was and why he was here, and he never deviated from it." I hope that epitaph could be applied to me, too. I believe that I have a part in our Heavenly Parents' great and beautiful plan for all their children. I strive each day to remember the example and atonement of God's Son, and to live by his admonition to do good. I believe that each person has within them a spark of the divine that deserves honor and encouragement, and I try to give that. I am sure that the joy and wonder that provoked our joyful song as we learned that God would prepare this beautiful world for us resonates still in beautiful music... as the old hymn says, "How can I keep from singing?" In my church work, I lead the women's ministry for our congregation. We have more than 200 ladies of all ages in our church group, and our purpose is to help one another grow in our personal witness of God, to strengthen family, home, and community, and to help folks who are in need. Our goal is to become like the women mentioned in the Bible, who by the grace of God were given the spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7.) My role as a leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints involves servant-leadership, decision-making, financial management, planning, organizing, teaching, and most of all, listening with love and compassion.

What is a ward/stake/branch?

Liz O.
Like many religious groups, the Mormons meet together in congregations for worship and service. In the Mormon church, we have some unique names for our congregations. A local congregational unit is called a "Ward" (a larger group of people) or a "Branch" (a smaller group of people). These congregations are geographically based: every member within the assigned geographic area is part of a particular Ward or Branch. A Stake is a group of several wards (and/or branches) in a larger geographic area. Show more Show less

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

Liz O.
In many ways, my life is a lot like the lives of the other people in my neighborhood. I get up in the morning, fetch the paper out of the driveway, feed the cat, send the kids to school, commute to work, shop at the store, pay the bills, cheer at the track meet, supervise homework, attend band concerts at school, etc. There are some rhythms to my family's life that I suppose might be more unusual. On school days, we get up at 5:30 to have family prayer together before the high schooler hops on his bike to get to a daily religion class before school; and every night as a family we read from the Book of Mormon together and then kneel down to pray. If friends are visiting, they might join us in that familiar ritual. Each night before going to sleep, my husband and I read together from the Bible, and pray together. On Monday nights, we have family night, where we sing a song, share a story or spiritual insight, then play a game and share a treat, like brownies or chocolate chip cookies. Wednesday nights, the kids go to church youth group activities. On Sundays, we go to church, and then spend the rest of the day doing family things together. Show more Show less

How are the activities of the Mormon missionaries funded?

Liz O.
The missionary and his or her family pay for the costs of a mission. One of our sons recently returned from his mission in North America, and another is currently serving in South America. Both saved some of their earnings (from paper routes, mowing lawns, bussing tables, etc.) for this purpose as they were growing up, and we provided the rest. When the resources of a missionary and his family are limited, extended family might pitch in to help make up the difference, like we did for my younger brother several years ago when he was a missionary. And if an emergency arises where help from extended family is not enough, members of the missionary's home congregation might help, too. Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

Liz O.
The Law of Chastity is a personal commitment to abstain from sexual activity outside of marriage. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Liz O.
Jesus invited all to follow His example. When He came to John the Baptist and was baptized by him, Jesus showed us all the way we should go. The act of baptism brings to mind many meanings: obedience to God's will, a new life, a fresh beginning, a physical commitment, an outward symbol of inward promises to live and act in accordance to things we have learned are true. The baptism of a new member celebrates that person's acceptance of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Liz O.
When I hear this question, I am reminded of this conversation from Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass" "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean--neither more nor less." "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things." "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master--that's all." The name-title "Christian" is one of those words that people use as a boundary marker to define who is, and who is not, part of their circle of acceptance. I understand that there are many people who define Christian as someone who shares with them specific beliefs in the nature of God, or method of communication between deity and man, or the requirements for baptism, or profession of a particular creed. As my Anabaptist ancestors knew well, these kind of boundary-keeping definitions were sometimes used not only to mark degrees of belief but also to exclude people from full participation in society. It is true that Latter-day Saints differ on many points of doctrine that some people consider to be the definition of Christian. But when it comes to the essential definition of Christian -- that is, someone who believes in the divine Sonship of the Man from Galilee, who believes that He came to this world to show us the way and redeem us from death and the fall, and strives to live the precepts He taught -- then, yes, Latter-day Saints are and try to be truly Christian. Show more Show less