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Hi I'm Elyse

Ivy League grad. Scientist. Musician. Convert. Above all else, I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I majored in neuroscience, so I know all sorts of awesome things about the electric piece of flesh in our skulls. I spent a lot of my collegiate time doing research and had amazing experiences come from it. I've been playing music since I was in elementary school. I've done lots of competitions and done a bunch of semi-professional stuff in the last few years. One my dreams is to go to a conservatory for a grad degree and then spend my life as a professional musician. I love doing volunteer work and helping people. Spending my life doing full-time humanitarian work is another dream. Most importantly, I'm a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I joined the church during my junior year of college. It's unequivocally the best decision I've ever made in my entire life. The gospel has brought me more happiness than I had ever imagined for myself.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up in a nonreligious family. I am incredibly skeptical by nature and thought religion was useless. I was frustrated that there was so much fighting and dischord, even within the same denominations. The same verse of scripture could mean 50 different things to 70 different people. The religious disparities were frustrating and so I didn't think any religion was true or worth following. I learned about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when I got to college. I started going to different church activities with the other Mormon students and was impressed with their depth of knowledge of the gospel--so many people I'd met before couldn't tell me why they believed what they did. I also visited other religious faiths and their worship services. After spending months hearing Mormons talk about this being the truth, I wanted to challenge them. I wanted to find out if they were right or if they were fools. I was expecting to find out that they were wrong. After reading the Book of Mormon and asking God, I received a real, tangible answer from God that this work was, in fact, true. I love that this church is not a "religious buffet," picking and choosing which things we'd like to follow or deciding which commandments are convenient. We are united under the umbrella of truth--there is no confusion or infighting like I had seen before. I know it is a church truly led by Jesus Christ. The thing I love most about the gospel is that you don't have to take my word to know it's true--you just have to do the same thing I did. Challenge me. Read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it's true. Everyone can get an answer. We do not have a monopoly on truth--there are definitely pieces of truth found in many places within many groups of people. But there is only one place on earth where every piece of truth and light is unified and brought together--and that's why I am a Mormon.

How I live my faith

The biggest part of living my faith is two-fold-- 1. keeping all the commandments and the promises I've made with God, and 2. following the example of Jesus Christ. I've promised God that I will do certain things, while abstaining from others. I do my best to keep those promises everyday. It can be hard, but I know it's worth it. I've been incredibly blessed for making those hard choices. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, no matter where I am or what I'm doing, I try to follow the example of the Savior. I strive to be meek, patient, and slow to anger. I seek out opportunities to help and give service. I'm certainly not perfect at it, but I'm trying to be better everyday.

Can a husband and wife be together forever? Do Mormons believe that families will live together in heaven?

Elyse
Unequivocally, YES! While we live on earth, we have the great blessing to have such amazing relationships with our family and friends. It would be terrible if these relationships only lasted until death. There is no way our loving Heavenly Father would give us such heartache. When I was a little girl, my dad died suddenly in a car accident. I spent most of my life wondering if I would ever get to see him again and get to know him. Because of the gospel, I now know that I will be his daughter forever and I will have endless amounts of time to spend with him. Right after I was baptized in college, my grandmother unexpectedly died. She was one of my best friends. I never thought I would be prepared to deal with her death. Because I knew that I would see her again and always be her granddaughter, my grieving process was much less painful. I miss her all the time, but I look forward to the day when I will embrace her again. I know that I will be insanely in love with my future husband. He will be my very best friend and whenever we are separated, I'll be counting down the hours until we are together again. If we were only married for this life, I would devastated when death separated us. How would I survive without my best friend? But I know that I will be sealed in the temple to my husband and we will be eternal companions, unable to be broken apart by death. Show more Show less

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Elyse
Absolutely. Before I joined the church in college, I didn't think prophets were real. Especially now. No other church I had previously investigated held this belief. In my process of joining the church, I prayed to know if there was actually a prophet, like Moses, on the earth today. Not surprisingly, I received a specific, direct answer from God that there was, in fact, a prophet, and he was at the head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Every time I hear the prophet speak or whenever I read his words, my testimony is confirmed that he is the prophet, called by God, to lead this church in the last days. Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Elyse
Absolutely not. There was a period of time in the late 1800's where a VERY small percentage of members practiced polygamy, but the Lord instructed us to discontinue the practice. It was given to us and taken away just as the instructions given to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon. After that, polygamy was over and hasn't been allowed in the church since then. Any group who practices polygamy is in no way affiliated with the Mormon church. Many media outlets will label polygamous groups as Mormons, but this is completely incorrect. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Elyse
There is no complicated formula or code needed to know if our church is true. Read the Book of Mormon, since it is the book that sets us apart from all other churches, and pray to know if it is a true book of scripture. Additionally, pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet and if our church is the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. It's simple. Study and pray. If you truly desire to know the truth and are willing to act on the answer you receive from God, then you will definitely get an answer. Show more Show less

Is it true that Jesus appeared in North America after his crucifixion and resurrection according to the Book of Mormon?

Elyse
Yes!! Yet another testament that Jesus is the Christ. This shows us that God is very aware of all of the people across the earth. Christ wasn't only preoccupied with the people living in Israel at that time. It's such an amazing thing to have another evidence of the divinity of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Elyse
Definitely not. Show more Show less

Why was a Restoration of the Gospel needed? Haven’t we always had the Bible?

Elyse
When Jesus Christ lived on the earth, He established His church--containing all of the correct doctrines and practices and holding the true authority of God. His Apostles carried on this true church. Over time, all of the apostles and righteous members of His church were killed. Without them, the authority of God was lost. Without this, no one was led by revelation from God in the proper order of things--many practices were changed and precious simple truths were lost. There were still many good people left who wanted to do the right thing, but the original church, complete with truth, was gone. It's like a glass table. The glass represents the Church of Jesus Christ, with the proper authority and all truth and light. As the apostles were killed, a leg is removed from under the glass table. Eventually, as more apostles were rejected and killed, the glass table shatters. This is what happened to the church. It broke apart. And many good people tried to put the glass table back together, but couldn't agree how to do it--this is why we have so many Christian denominations. With the Restoration of the Gospel, we've been given a brand new glass table, without cracks, dings, broken or lost pieces. The Bible has undergone many translations and alterations over the centuries. People had to handwrite copies of scripture and many would make mistakes. The Bible is Holy Scripture, but much has changed from the original, so we have other books of scripture to restore the lost truths. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the Bible? Do they regard it as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Elyse
Yes! We know the Bible is a sacred text, Holy Scripture, and the Word of God. It is the first text in our canon of standard works. Show more Show less

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

Elyse
Definitely not. While many members of our church within the United States are generally more conservative, the Church as a body does not align itself with or endorse a particular political party. Leaders of the Church have been both Democrats and Republicans. I would say our membership outside the United States is even more diverse along the political spectrum. As for myself, I'm more independent, drawing from perspectives on both sides of the American political system. My knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ is very influential on my political decisions--I vote based on what is most in harmony with what I know to be eternally true and I vote on what things would be most beneficial to God's children. This is what I love about my church--while we are unequivocally united in doctrine and practice, we are a diverse group of people culturally and politically. Show more Show less

How do I become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church)?

Elyse
Get in touch with the missionaries in your area. You can request a visit from them easily right here at mormon.org. They'll teach you everything you need to know about the church and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Before you join the church, it's absolutely critical you pray about the things you've been taught, about the church, about the prophets, about the Book of Mormon...pray to know if it's true. The official ordinances in joining the church are baptism and confirmation--the gift of the Holy Ghost. After that, you're a member of the church! Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Elyse
Nope--we revere Joseph Smith as a prophet, just like Moses, Abraham, and their cohorts in the Bible. We worship God, our Eternal Father in Heaven, and His Son, the Savior Jesus Christ. It was through the sacrifices and calling of Joseph Smith that we now have the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth. Joseph Smith is not God and this is not the church of Joseph Smith. This is the church of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Elyse
Absolutely. Show more Show less

What is the difference between attending a Mormon Church and a Mormon Temple?

Elyse
A Mormon church building is where we have our weekly worship services every Sunday. We also have activities and meetings most days of the week in this building. Everyone, regardless of membership in the church, is welcome inside. The temples are very unique buildings. The temple is a place of covenants, where we make very sacred promises to our Heavenly Father. In the temple, families are sealed together for eternity. Husbands and wives, parents and children--we are even sealed to our beloved ancestors who have passed away hundreds of years ago. The temple is the House of the Lord. Because this is such a sacred and holy place, God has commanded that "no unclean thing" should enter the temple--this means only people who have been baptized and are keeping all the commandments are able to enter after a temple is dedicated. Show more Show less