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Hi I'm Marinda

I'm a Mormon, a Wife, a Mother, a Writer, a Harpist, and a Physicist.

About Me

I am a recent college graduate with a degree in Physics. I am married to a wonderful man I met while in school and we are expecting our first baby in June! I grew up in California, went to school in Ohio, and am now living in Washington. I love to read, write and computer program, but also enjoy playing my harp and swing dancing with my husband. I was raised in the church, but all my life have lived in areas where members were few and far between, leading to a very rich mixture of friends and associates of different faiths and backgrounds. I have also been diagnosed with small fiber peripheral neuropathy and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), which may have slowed down my dancing but has overall taught me many life lessons. I am a music teacher and find teaching very fulfilling. Someday I hope to become a high school physics teacher.

Why I am a Mormon

Though I was raised in the church, I am NOT a member just because it was more convenient to stay. On the contrary, it would have been more convenient to leave the church due to pressures in high school. My parents both came to the church on their own initiative, and instilled in me that it was my responsibility to figure out what was true and to honestly follow it. I always knew there was a God and could feel Him in my life. However, due to friends and other sources, I spent most of my adolescent years struggling between knowing in my heart that there was a God and this was His church, or if it was all just self-induced warm fuzzy feelings. It was a struggle of my heart and head, and several times I felt as if the Holy Ghost was smacking me over the head with a 2x4 while different associates were trying to convince me I was only experiencing the symptoms of religious brainwashing. In the end, I listened to everyone's opinions and views but did not internalize them. I took to studying the scriptures and other religious and philosophical works, combining these pursuits with prayer and meditation. I moved through the motions and lived what I did know to the best of my abilities - seeing for myself the inner workings of the church and experiencing the results of living and not living what the gospel teaches. After years of searching and bouncing back and forth as to what I believed, I came to the conclusion in my head what my heart knew all along and was just too insecure to embrace. Not only does the gospel and the interpretation of the scriptures make the most sense in this religion than any other, there is something in my heart and soul that knows and recognizes the truth in this church. I have had a confirmation for myself as an adult that this is Christ's church, and though I knew it as a child like I knew that the sun would rise and set, I now have proven it for myself and I cannot deny it without compromising my integrity.

How I live my faith

Though the scheduled things are nice, I like to think of them as building a foundation for living my life after the patten Christ showed. I try to be a good person and help others when I see them. I want to live a life of service, and though I may not be out in the homeless shelters everyday, I try to reach out to those I know need to feel love. This may be a phone call to my family, talking to someone at the bus stop - and trying in general to just take the time out of my day to focus on someone else.  But if you are looking for a run down of how I live my religion specifically every day, I do a list of the basic things you can read about on the website. Three hours of church on Sunday, personal prayer morning and night, pray over my food, scripture study every day by myself and with my husband, praying with my family every day, having a family night on Mondays, attend a weekly religion class for young adults, and visiting the local Temple when I can. For more specific things I do regularly, you might have heard that the members of our church have different jobs. Currently I'm serving with my husband and another couple in putting on activities for married students in our area. Another job I have is that I am assigned along with another woman in the congregation to visit and in general look after three other women in the congregation. Though we may not become closest friends, this program of the church does work to unite and strengthen us through each other. I also try to share my faith with others. I mostly just talk to friends about my beliefs when religion or lifestyles come up. I don't try and push what I believe, but I don't shy away from what I think either. I love to talk to others about what they believe and in return share what I believe. Ignorance and misunderstandings is usually at the heart of bitter feelings, and I try to do my best to learn and to teach others.

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

One of the main values of our faith is service given for the sake of giving. All of our church clergy are unpaid because they are asked to serve in this spirit of giving. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Yes! A Christian is someone who studies and follows after the teachings of Jesus Christ and honestly believes that He is the Son of God, the Savior of all mankind. And in this church that has His name in our name, we fit that description. A person's Christianity is not determined by whether other people who are Christians think that your views of the gospel fit with their views. It is determined by your relationship with the Savior. As a Mormon I am a Christian. Show more Show less

What blessings can we receive through the gift of the Holy Ghost?

The blessings of the Holy Ghost are endless and very diverse. I personally like to think of the Holy Ghost as my friend who is always there because I can feel Him even if I can't see Him. I know that might sound strange, but like with most of the good news of the Gospel, if it is true than it would be one of the most awesome things in the world! And the good news is that it is true! Sometimes when I'm in an uncomfortable situation or things are hard, remembering that my friend the Holy Ghost is there gives me the comfort that I'm not alone. Though these feelings of Heaven are the best in my opinion, the Holy Ghost also gives guidance such as helping me figure out what school to go to, what to say to a friend in need, and insight into the scriptures I'm not sure I would have noticed on my own. A nice summary is that there is God who created and loves us, there is Christ who made it possible for us to go home to God, and there is the Holy Ghost who ties Heaven and Earth together. Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

I believe that the growth of the church is due to two factors. The first is due to globalization that has lead to people having more open minds about what is true. They realize that the answers to life's greatest questions might be found somewhere other than what they were taught as a child, leading them to either start looking on their own or to being more receptive when the missionaries or a LDS friend shares the gospel with them. The second reason is due to the fact that the church is true. If someone is honestly looking for truth, God will let them know when they've found it. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

The purpose of life is to learn how to become like God. Part of that is learning how to love in every situation, learning how to take responsibility and be good stewards, and learning how to obey. We are literal spirit children of God and he has given us the opportunity to get a body like he did, but before we receive a perfect eternal body we are given a fallen one to "practice" and learn through experience how to be a good person. That means having the chance to become less than perfect or unable to return to God. God fixed this paradox by providing a way to have our imperfections blotted out - and that way is the mission and message of Jesus Christ. He is the reason God's plan of helping his children to progress is even possible and I am eternally indebted to him. Christ also gave us instruction on how to become like he is, which is the same as God is. He is the expert in being perfect, and as our Savior he is also the expert in our individual situations. His instructions are guaranteed to work if we follow him. Then we can return to God as mature grown-up children to live out our existence as perfect beings ourselves, but forever worshiping the God that created us and the Savior that made it all possible. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Being a Mormon is wonderful! And really, really hard most of the time, but totally worth it. It is kind of like being in an advanced class in a subject you really like - you're so excited to be learning and experiencing something so unique and special, but at the same time the work load is more than a little intimidating. But you get over it, because being Mormon really isn't just a lifestyle or a religion, it is a hybrid of the two where your life BECOMES your religion and vise versa. There will be times where you will feel an intense loneliness as if you're being left behind, but there will also be incredible times of peace and feelings of acceptance. C.S. Lewis once said that this mortal experience is a progression of ups and downs like a wave - and I am convinced that being Mormon will make the ups and downs more extreme, but will raise the entire wave up so the ups are higher than you could have reached before, and the lows are not as bad as they could have been. Show more Show less

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

There is the stereotypical view of what a Mormon is - but the truth is that Mormons come in every shape and size! And with this wonderful diversity comes a diversity in lifestyles. Some of us are loud and opinionaed, some of us are reserved and fine with just doing quite service. Some of us want to stay at home with a pick-up truck, and some of us want to live in 10 different countries before we die. If I had to put Mormons into a box - I would say that we are honest people trying to be honest with the gifts given us. We attempt to be clean in appearance, language and habits. We don't participate in activities that have been prescribed as incorrect, like drinking, gambling, exc.. We are active in our communities, work hard, live prudently, but how we decorate our homes or how we want to spend our Friday nights is just as diverse as any other aspect of our personalities. One of the most amazing aspects of the Gospel is how anyone, anywhere can live it. There are habits, jobs and hobbies that don't work with the Gospel, but when it comes down to who you really are, I believe that being a Mormon can bring out the person beneath the definitions we attribute to ourselves better than anything else. Show more Show less

Why are Mormons asked to donate 10% of their income to their Church?

The awesome thing about the commandments is that everything God has told us to do or to not do can be traced back to a characteristic that will make us more like Christ! In the case of the Law of Tithing, I believe it is mainly to teach us what our attitude towards money should be. We should not only have good budgeting skills and an awareness of how much we make which is kind of necessary for figuring out what 10% of your income is but we should also have an attitude of giving - especially when it will be at a sacrifice to a lifestyle we would prefer. Our attitude towards material possessions should be one that we could give it all away if the Lord asked it of us - and I believe that giving 10% of what we earn to help with the buildings and programs of the church is a great way to develop this attitude! Show more Show less

Can you tell me about Mormon customs: how you dress for church, what holidays you celebrate, etc.?

First off, Mormon's celebrate the customs and holidays of where they live. There is a certain culture that goes along with being Mormon, but we are also part of our regional culture as well. As an American Mormon I celebrate all the major U.S. holidays, including Christmas, Easter, Halloween and all the other ones that you'd see advertised at main stream stores. The difference is that we do not have "holy days" like the other Christian faiths. For example, we celebrate Christmas by remembering Christ and trying to focus on him, but we don't have a midnight mass or believe that December 25th is sacred. We rather think and celebrate the actual day Christ was born over 2000 years ago. When I asked my father when I was little why we did not celebrate Easter at church with a big ceremony like the other church's did, my father explained to me that we celebrated Easter every single Sunday when we took the Sacrament. That made sense to me back then and I still like it today. Show more Show less