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Hi I'm Brooke

I'm a college student, a mom and a wife. I'm also a Mormon.

About Me

I am a young mother of one precious little girl. I stay home with her and am working on finishing my college degree in small amounts as I raise my daughter. My husband works long hours so I can stay home with my baby and enjoy all of those sweet "firsts". I live in Layton, Utah and love to read!

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into the Mormon faith. But as I grew, I learned to love it by myself. I think that every teenager questions the faith they are raised in at some point and I was no exception. But upon meditation and prayer and studying the scriptures, I decided of myself that I would continue in the faith. I had no one awesome experience that made me believe in the Mormon faith. Instead, it was a bunch of smaller less dramatic experiences. Mostly, it is because it makes me happy. Living the standards of the church have never brought me misery but they have brought me uncountable joy. Life does not always go exactly as we plan, but I have always had my happiest times when I was trying my hardest to live a life in accordance to the standards of the church.

How I live my faith

I go to church every Sunday unless I or my daughter is sick. My husband and I have been assigned to teach a group of children in our ward ages 5 and 6. We really enjoy teaching them about the miracles of Jesus Christ and how to pray. We love to watch these little children get excited about Jesus and help them understand that he loves each of them very much. I also visit a couple of the women in my ward with a partner. We go and share simple and short messages with these fellow sisters and make sure that they are doing well. When one of them had surgery, I made dinner for her and her small family and when I had my daughter, someone did the same for me. It is a great sisterhood where we can share our hopes, dreams, and fears with each other. We are also able to share simple tips or talk about things we like to do. I pray many times each day. With my family, at meals, and on my own. I study the scriptures and try and apply the things I learn to my life. I am by no means perfect, but I feel joy and strength from reading the scriptures and especially when I offer up my troubles and fears to my Father in Heaven during personal prayer.

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

Brooke
Heavenly Father sent us here and gave us free agency. He gave us a choice in everything we do in life. The blessings of this gift are so amazing. One such example is that I have a choice in when and how I will pray each day. With this gift, though, I have the choice to not pray. Or even to steal something from the store. If I were to do this, I have now sinned and although I can return the stolen item, suffer the social consequences or do time in jail, I still have not made it completely right. I am no longer perfectly clean. This is where the Atonement of Christ comes in. He suffered for the sin I committed and if I go to the Lord with my mistake and tell him I am sorry, and feel sorry, and promise to never do it again, then I have repented and am now a clean as I was before I stole. Christ suffered tremendous things in the Garden of Gethsemane and in his further persecution by the hands of the Roman soldiers and lastly upon the cross. He was paying for all the sins that all the people who had lived, were living and were going to live upon the earth. Not only did he suffer all of the pain of our sins, he also bore the immense weight of all of our heartaches and pains that are simply a part of being a human being. He suffered these so that when we offered up our prayers of supplication, he would know how to calm, help, and succor us. That is an incredible thing to me. The part of this story that gives me the most joy is when Christ is resurrected! He lives and we will one day all be resurrected as well! We will be able to weep upon his feet and bathe them with our kisses of thanksgiving. What a beautiful thing to look forward to. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Brooke
No. All worth young men are encouraged to go (usually at age 19) unless mental or physical health would be a problem. The decision to serve a mission is one that should be prayed about by the individual and through much discussion with parents, bishops, and other important people. Young women can also serve missions. The church allows them to go as young as 21. Also, older married couples who are retired and do not need a means of supporting themselves can serve missions. The types of missions available are very broad. A young man who has poor health can serve what is called a service mission that might only be a few hours a week working in one of the church's humanitarian centers or other similar projects. Older couples also have these sort of options if their health or family situation makes it too difficult to serve away from home. I never served a full time mission, although my husband did. Serving a mission is a wonderful way to devote yourself to the Lord and to grow your personal testimony, but it is not required by every member of the church. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Brooke
No. Jospeh Smith was one of the Lord's chosen prophets, just like Moses, Elijah, or Noah. The reason we talk about Joseph Smith so much is because he brought the fullness of the church back to the Earth after some of it was lost after the death of Christ and the Apostles. He is a very important man in the history of the world. He was the person through whom the Lord restored those lost truths of the Gospel. We only worship God and his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Brooke
Absolutely! Our church's actual name is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I think that anyone who attended a Mormon church a couple of times can confirm that. We pray in his name. Our sacrament service is all about using the gift of the Atonment for which Christ gave his life. The Book of Mormon talks of Christ everywhere. We are encouraged to develop those Christ-like attributes such as charity, faith, kindness, and brotherly love. Show more Show less

What is done with the tithing that Mormons pay?

Brooke
Tithing is a wonderful blessing of the church. The money goes to pay for things like church buildings, temples, and all the things put inside of them. The church keeps very careful track of tithing. Tithings often goes to fund activities for youth or to replace some hymn books that have seen better days. It goes to anything that could fall under "building up the Kingdom." The humanitarian efforts of the church are not funded by tithing. That comes from generous giving on the part of the members of the church. I love to pay my tithing, weird as that may sound. I know that so long as I am giving the Lord the portion he as asked me for, he can open the windows of heaven and bless me, just as it says in Malachi. Everything I have belongs to him anyway. He has blessed me with it, so it doesn't seem all that hard to give him one tenth of our increase back. Show more Show less

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Brooke
That is an awesome question! And the answer is: Lots of people. The Book of Mormon is set up like the Bible. There are books inside the book. The first book is named Nephi. First Nephi, actually, but that is because there are 3 other books with the same name, like the book of John in the Bible. Nephi was the son of a prophet named Lehi. Lehi lived in Jerusalem a short time before the Jews were taken into captivity about 600 BC. He had been told by the Lord in a dream that he must tell the people to repent of they would be lead into captivity. The people, obviously, didn't listen. They also wanted to kill Lehi and his family. So the Lord told them to leave Jerusalem and all their inheritance and money and to go into the wilderness. The Lord then lead them through trials of faith and to the Americas. So the Book of Mormon tells the story of this family and their posterity and what happened to them. Each generation had someone who was commanded to write their history. Nephi actually explains that two records were kept, one that talked about the political and social part of their lives, and one that told of the miracles, teachings and faithfulness of the people and their prophets. The Book of Mormon is made up mostly of the latter. The Book of Mormon actually covers just over 1000 years of history of this people. The second to last prophet, a man named Mormon, was given the knowledge of where the record had been hidden at a very young age. The people had become evil, proud and murderous. The records were hidden to keep them safe. He spent much of his life pouring over the records and editing and clarifying and compiling the records together. He condensed them down into what we now have as the Book of Mormon. He had probably thousands of pages of inspired and wonderful scripture that he needed to make into a size that he could take with him. Spoiler alert, I'm about to tell you how the book ends. Mormon is convinced to lead an army in what will become their last and final stand. He and all of his people are killed. The only one left is Mormon's son, Moroni, who takes the compiled record and disappears, knowing the enemy will kill him if they find him. He adds his own short book and then writes of wandering throughout the land until the end of his days. He then writes that he will hide the record so that God, one day, can bring to light all that has happened to this now extinct people. There are many wonderful stories in the Book of Mormon and many wonderful people. One of my favorite stories involves a woman named Abish. It is not so very unlike the Bible. The most amazing part of the story is when Christ comes to visit the people after he has been resurrected. The people in the Americas have a much different experience than the Jews did both during and after his death and resurrection. So to sum up, many great and wonderful men wrote the Book of Mormon. Unlike rumor, it was not Joseph Smith. The part he played was to translate it with and through the power of God. I know that to be true. I hope you can find the words of the Book of Mormon as much a comfort to your heart as I do. Show more Show less

What is the role of the husband and the wife in the family?

Brooke
In the Mormon church, the roles of husband and wife are defined in a way that makes so much sense to me. One document that explains how the church views these roles is called "The Family: A Proclamation to the World. It explains that the wonderful powers of procreation are to be used only by a husband and wife lawfully married. The husband is to provide for his family and to be the patriarch. It is his responsibility to make sure his family has shelter and food. He is to protect his family and with his wife, he is to educate his children about the Lord. The wife is to support her husband and to nurture her children. She is the primary caregiver and holds just as much responsibility as her husband when it comes to making sure her children are educated about the Lord. This model of husband as the only provider and the wife as a stay at home mom is one that is ideal. Sometimes the wife is required to help her husband provide for their family. The leadership of the church understands this and only counsels that a wife should only work if it is the only way for the children to be clothed and fed. The wife should not leave the primary care of the children to others so that they can afford a bigger home or nicer cars or fancy vacations. When my daughter was first born, we could not afford for me stay home with her, but after much prayer and a test a patience, my husband was able to increase his salary, and I could quit my job. I enjoy being with her so much. It was heartbreaking to leave her every morning and go to work. Now I get to watch her grow and learn something new everyday. It is an incredible blessing to us! We rent an apartment and can't afford to go out much or buy many new things, but to me it is worth it because my daughter has one person who is there almost all the time. And it is me! Her mommy. Show more Show less

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

Brooke
As for getting dressed for church, the term my mother used to always use was "sunday best." We wore our nicest shoes, stockings/tights, dress or skirt and we always had our hair done. Some days my mom would let us run around with our hair all over the place, but on Sunday she almost always braided my hair. Now that I'm an adult, Sunday dress means some nice shoes that don't fall into the "flip-flop" sandal area. I usually wear some dressy clogs or heels. I still often wear tights but mostly in the winter time. A skirt that comes to or past my knee even when I am sitting down. Since I now have to bend down and chase a toddler, my choice in length has become even longer. A nice blouse or shirt that isn't flashy and that stays put. Long enough in the length and high enough on the neck line. I usually top it off with a pair of earrings or a necklace. Still my "Sunday Best." Holidays are something I love to look forward to. We celebrate the usual ones, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Since I live in the US, my family and I also celebrate Independence Day, Memorial day, and all those other federal holidays. I would say that we celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter like most other Christian faiths. Easter is a celebration of thanksgiving for the Atonement and Resurrection of Christ. Thanksgiving is turkey and pie with the family and Christmas is a celebration of the miraculous birth of the Christ-child. We do the whole present thing and most families put cookies and milk out for Santa. I would say that we do try to keep the focus on Christ, but I am sure that is something most Christian parents want their children to do. One thing that is unique to the Mormon faith is that we celebrate Pioneer Day, on July 24, which is the day that the first of the pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake valley. It is a state holiday in Utah, so banks, state offices and that stuff are closed on this day. Pretty much everyone in Utah celebrates in someway, Mormon or not. Some Mormons who live outside of Utah celebrate also. My family has a tradition of going to a local water park and having lunch. We also have fireworks later that night. It is fun and playful. Show more Show less

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

Brooke
So many wonderful blessings are avaliable through the Holy Ghost. The one that has been the biggest blessing to me lately is comfort. Comfort that everything will be alright. Comfort that once we pas thorugh the current trial, we will be stronger, happier, and more faithful. Another wonderful blessing is that of companion. Once, when I was a teenager, I was at a friend's birthday party. Later in the evening, some boys came over who really hadn't been invited. They tried to convince a friend and myself to go with them over to a park across the street. I didn't understand then, but I know now how dangerous that would have been for the two of us with several older boys in a dark park. The Holy Ghost was there to give me a warning and give me the strength to tell those boys no repeately, even when they stole some of our stuff. That experince and feeling of strenth will never leave me. The Holy Ghost is a huge protecter. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about Jesus Christ? Do Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

Brooke
Yes. A very common phrase to hear in a Mormon church is "The only begotten of the Father". We believe that he was born of the virgin Mary, that he is the Son of God and that through him, God made it possible for all of us to repent and be forgiven for our sins. We believe in the New Testament and all that the New Testament teaches about Christ. We believe all those wonderful miracles to be true and that only through Christ can we be saved. Christ is the head of our church, and always will be. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell to you there is a God?

Brooke
I would have to say that one of the times when I felt intense love from God is when I was about 5 months pregnant and I felt my little baby kick and squirm inside of me for the first time. At the same moment I knew that this little person who was developing inside of me was sent to me. She was a chosen child of God and I believe that in that moment I felt God's love for me and God's love for my sweet baby. The feeling I have when I pray is a daily reminder of God's real presence and interest in our lives. I don't ever feel alone when I pray, even if I am all alone. Someone is listening. My words are being heard. I don't know how much more I could explain that feeling, but it is a wonderful one. This may sound cliche but just looking around at the world, the mountains, and flowers, and seeing a thunderstorm, they all make me believe that something greater than chance and luck made this wonderfully beautiful world. Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

Brooke
The Law of Chastity is one of those things that really makes the church stand out from all the other churches out there. The Law of Chastity is the law given by God to Adam and Eve that only those people who are married should use their powers of procreation. Or, in more current language, we believe in only having sex in marriage. We know this attitude is not a popular one in the world today. However, we do not look to the world to set our standards. The Lord's true church has always been one that the world thought was odd. The reasons we believe in staying a a virgin until marriage and in total fidelity within marriage are many: 1) This means that all children born will have a mother AND a father who love them. They will have a stable childhood, without the fear of one parent leaving suddenly. 2) Husband and wife have more commitment to each other and to God if they are being loyal to each other. It will strengthen their marriage and make them and their families happier. 3) There are no feelings of guilt or shame. They are maintaining their own self-respect. Also, they are not putting themselves at risk for STDs. 4) By saving their virginity for their future spouse, they are showing respect for themselves and for their future spouse. 5) It is an eternal law of God, no matter what the world says! Show more Show less

What is the Word of Wisdom that Mormons talk about?

Brooke
The Word of Wisdom is a revelation given to Joseph Smith about the way the saints should treat their bodies. This revelation is why Mormons don't smoke or drink tea or beer. But beyond just telling us what not to do, it also gives counsel as to a good diet. It says to enjoy the fruit and vegetables and the wheat of the field. Meat is to be used in moderation. The revelation was given long before anyone suspected the ill effects of smoking on the body. It has been a great strength to the members of the Church since those who followed the divine counsel never need battle with the addictive substances and at the end of the revelation, a great promise is given to those who heed the counsel. It says that those who listen will walk and not be weary, run and not faint. Also, promises that the secrets of the Lord will be opened unto them. The Word of Wisdom is not a limitation, although that is how some people view it, it gives you to opportunity to have the strength and power to pursue your own goals. Someone who smokes or drinks may find that sometimes it limits what they can do. In fact, they may even be a prisoner to it. That is something that no one who follows these great Words of Wisdom have to worry about. Show more Show less

Why are only some Mormons allowed into temples? Is there something secret going on in Mormon Temples? What goes on in Mormon Temples?

Brooke
I would say that one of the reasons that only some Mormons are allowed into temples is similar to the reason only some people are allowed into a prestigious college. You need to be prepared in order to understand the beautiful and sacred ordinances that take place there. But unlike college, everyone can go to the temple once they are prepared. Everyone in the church is encouraged to become worthy to go. A member must answer questions from their ward Bishop in order to receive a recommend to enter the temple. The questions are simple and are about wether you are living the standards of the church. The things we do in the temples are not in anyway related to some sort of secret society, like some people seem to believe. Instead, we hold the things taught there to be so sacred that they should not be discussed in everyday life. They need to only be talked about while within those walls of the temple. Growing up in the church, I always wondered what the inside of the temples must look like and I wondered what went on inside as well. Upon going to the temple the first time, I was very nervous and excited. As I reflected on what I had learned, I discovered that none of it was shocking or scary. It was simply an expansion on what I had been taught since childhood. But just as the scriptures talk about having milk first and then meat, a testimony needs to grow and feed upon the simple things of the gospel, or the milk, before it is ready for the things taught in the temple, the meat. A week after I went the first time, I returned to the temple, this time to marry the man who I love very much. In the church, we believe that the family unit is something that will and should have effect long after this life. In order for this to be, a family needs to be sealed in the temple. This is one of the ordinances that are performed in temples. It is a sweet and short ceremony that can be witnessed by all family and close friends who hold temple recommends. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that some very close family cannot attend, as it was for my best friend when she was sealed to her high school sweetheart a short time ago. She told me how sad she was that her mom and dad could not be there, but she knew she wanted to be sealed to her husband from the very first day they were man and wife, not at some time in the future. "Sealed" is a term that simply means they will continue to be married beyond death. Unlike other wedding ceremonies, the line "Til death do you part" is never a part of the temple ceremony. Also, a couple who have been sealed in the temple are also sealed to all future children born to them. That has been such a sweet piece of knowledge to me as a young mother knowing that if something were to happen to my daughter or to my husband, they would both continue to be a part of my family, waiting for me to join them on the other side of the veil that divides the living from the dead. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

Brooke
We believe that the place where we go after death is divided into two areas, spirit prison and spirit paradise. In order for a person to move from prison to paradise, they must be baptized with authority and then they are able to move and learn and grow after death. As part of the great plan that a loving Father in Heaven put in motion, he made it possible for people to be baptized for those people who have already passed away from this Earth. Show more Show less

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

Brooke
You are considered a member of the church after you are baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. In order to be baptized and confirmed a member, you need to learn the principles of the church and commit to follow and live them. You will be interviewed before baptism to make sure you understand what you are doing and to make sure you are living like a member of the church should. This mostly entails praying, attending your church meetings, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and faith in the Church and in it's leaders, namely the President of the Church (Currently Thomas S. Monson), as the Lord's Prophet on the Earth right now. Your faith and testimony do not need to be as developed as other member's. Children can be baptized as young as 8, and the things you need to understand are all things an 8 year old child can understand and believe. The actual ordinance of becoming a member is very short and simple. It will be done shortly after your baptism and at the same time you are given the gift of the Holy Ghost. Men holding the priesthood will circle around you while you sit in a chair. They will place their hands on your head and one of them will bless you with the Holy Ghost and confirm you a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. All in all, probably 30 seconds! But a life changing event, none the less. Show more Show less