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Hi I'm Michelle

I'm from the USA. I'm a daughter, sister, mother, and friend. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in a big city. At age 18, I headed off to college. After college, I got married and taught elementary school. After the birth of our first child, I decided to quit teaching and stay home. Now, I am a stay-at-home mother of five children. I am a people person! I just love talking with people! Of course, there are things I attempt to enjoy like cooking, scrapbooking and gardening, but I really only truly enjoy doing those things with other people.

Why I am a Mormon

I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints my whole life. And, it would be easy to assume that that is the reason I am Mormon. Yes, that is how I first became a Mormon, but the reason I am still a Mormon is because I came to know for myself that the doctrines it teaches are true. I know Jesus Christ himself leads this Church through prophets like He led His church in ancient times. I know this because I prayed about it, and God sent me the peace and warmth of His Spirit to tell me it was true. One thing you will quickly find out as you learn more about Mormons is that our church isn't one you just join. You will be asked to study the scriptures and pray so that you can find out for yourself if it is true. You will not be able to become a member of the church by being baptized until you truly have come to know for yourself that it is true, just like I did.

How I live my faith

My faith is centered in Jesus Christ. So trying to live a life that reflects His teachings is the best way I live my faith. I make sure to take time each day to do the things that will bring me closer to Christ. Daily scripture study, prayer and acts of kindness are things that I do to both strengthen my faith and demonstrate my faith in Jesus Christ. As a family we try to pray each morning and night and also study the scriptures together each day. With six kids this can be a challenge, and it isn't always reverent. But it makes a difference in our home by turning our thoughts to our Savior and His teachings. Another extention of living my faith is serving our congregation. In our church there are no paid clergy or teachers. We voluntarily accept assignments to serve our congregation. Right now, I volunteer as a leader over the Cub Scout pack that our church supports. In addition to that, I am an active member in our congregations' organization for women. We visit other members, cook meals for new moms or those who are sick and participate in a variety of service projects in our community. It is kind of like being in a large family that takes care of those around them. Yes, I have helped others with cooking, cleaning, packing, babysitting, but other women have been here serving me when I needed help. Christ was always serving others, so by serving others in my congregation and community, I am living according to my faith in Jesus Christ.

Why is self-reliance important to Mormons? Why do Mormons talk about emergency preparedness?

Michelle
There are many reasons self-reliance is important to Mormons. For me, the reasons have more to do with the peace it brings than anything else. We have been counseled to get out of debt, live within our means, and store food and water in case of an emergency. I am grateful for that counsel, because being out of debt and financially independent brings a certain peace and comfort into our lives, which is more valuable to me than a big house and fancy cars. Debt and dependency bring stress and strain upon individuals and families and can destroy lives. Rainy days come to everyone, but being prepared can make it less stressful. Even our children find peace in knowing that we are prepared for an emergency. When they see news reports of people being without food and water because of a disaster, they find comfort knowing that we have extra stored for emergencies. Also, having food storage makes us an asset to our communities in times of disaster. We can take care of our own families and our neighbors until the disaster is over or until long term help arrives. Luckily, I haven't had to use my stored food during a time of emergency, but my neighbors know my pantry is stocked and that I am happy to share. After all, isn't taking care of others exactly what Jesus would want us to do! And aside from a miracle, you can't feed the hungry if your own pantry is empty. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

Michelle
We believe that part of the reason we came to earth was to prove to our Father in Heaven that we are worthy of returning to His presence and enjoying the blessings He has in store for us. We prove our worthiness by keeping His commandments. One of His commandments is that all of us be baptized by immersion, which is full of spiritual symbolism. The act of baptism by immersion represents the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As we are dressed in white and "buried" in the water, it is also symbolic of the death and burial of our old self and becoming a new person through Christ. As we do this, we promise to follow His teachings and keep His commandments. Why for the dead? There are billions of people who were never baptized in this life for one reason or another, yet this commandment still applies to them. God is loving and merciful, and has provided a way for baptism by proxy. So, we are baptized on behalf of those who have died without baptism, and then they have the choice to accept or reject that baptism as they live in the spirit world. Just like Jesus suffered for our sins, but forgiveness only comes if we repent and accept Him as our Savior, a proxy baptism is only effective if it is accepted by the person it is done for. We do not do baptisms for those who died before the age of eight, because we believe that young children are not old enough to be accountable and do not need baptism. They automatically return to God. Show more Show less

Who are the Mormons?

Michelle
The term "Mormon" is just a nickname given to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This nickname comes from our belief in the Book of Mormon. Mormon is actually the name of the prophet who took centuries' worth of sacred records kept by ancient inhabitants of the Americas and compiled them into one record. This record was engraved on plates of gold. Joseph Smith later translated this record though the power of God, and it is known as the Book of Mormon. Show more Show less

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Michelle
Of course, visitor's are allowed to come to church meetings with or without an invitation. Just show up. Now, I will warn you that some people gasp when they find out our Sunday church services last three hours. Yet, there are three separate meetings, so you won't be sitting in one place the whole time. The longest of the three meetings is called Sacrament meeting. It is one hour and ten minutes. This meeting is held in the chapel and the entire congregation, even children, attend this meeting. This is where we sing, take the sacrament (bread and water representing the Savior's body and blood shed for us) and listen to speakers presenting messages from the pulpit. There are no paid clergy, so those speaking are just members of the congregation who have been asked to give a message based on the scriptures and teachings of the Jesus Christ. You will find that some speakers are better than others, but we don't want to be critical, because we never know when our turn will come. Our Sunday meetings are very reserved; we don't even clap after musical numbers, because we want to maintain a certain spirit and reverence. We do not pass a collection plate. Those wanting to pay tithes and offerings do so in private. After Sacrament meeting, everyone goes to various Sunday School classes taught by members of the congregation. These classes are held in small classrooms throughout the church building and are a good place to ask questions and participate in the lesson. The children ages 18 months to 3 years old go to nursery, which is mostly play time with a short lesson and singing time. The 4 to 11 years olds are in classes usually separated by age (if there are enough children). They also gather as a larger group for singing time and a group lesson. The 12-17 year olds meet for classes usually separated by age as well. But during the final hour, the boys and girls separate and go to their young men's or young women's classes. During the final hour, the adult men and women also separate. The men go to their priesthood quorums and the women go to Relief Society meeting. Relief Society is the name of the women's organization of the church. If you are planning on attending church, you will feel most comfortable wearing a skirt or dress if you are a woman, or a dress shirt, tie, and dress pants if you are a man. And, most men wear white shirts. Of course, you will not be sent away if you are wearing more casual clothing, and I don't think anyone would care, but none of us like to show up to an event and realize that we are underdressed. But, please don't let the fact that you don't have a skirt or a dress shirt stop you from coming to church!! Wear what you have and come anyway. I have seen people show up in shorts and a T-shirt! No matter what church building you go to, you will find pretty much the exact same thing. Sometimes the meetings are in a different order and adaptations are made for different congregations, especially those that are particularly small. Yet, all of our church materials and manuals are standardized throughout the church, so the doctrine is the same whereever you go. Show more Show less