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Hi I'm Stephanie

I am the mother of 5 living children and 1 angel. I lost my 14-month-old little girl in an accident. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a student turned journalist, turned criminal defense lawyer, turned full-time mother, turned spare-time blogger. In 2008, the youngest of my 4 daughters died in a tragic accident. I have been making my way through grief with the help of the Savior and blogging about my journey. In 2009 I gave birth to our first little son and in 2011 we had another baby boy. I find joy in my family, reading, ice cream, great food, learning new things, traveling the world, being social, and seeing the hand of the Lord in my life.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a practicing Mormon because as a teenager I read the Book of Mormon and spent a year studying the history of our church and the life of Joseph Smith. I also was praying that whole year to know for myself whether the church was true or not. I went on a trip back East to the place where the church began and where Joseph Smith had his prayer answered about which church was true. There I got a profound answer from God that Joseph Smith was in reality a prophet of God and that he really did see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ in answer to his humble prayer to know which church to join. I felt a physical burning in my heart -- and it wasn't heart burn -- and I just KNEW that this was the Lord telling me that all I had been studying was true. After my daughter died, my reason for being a Mormon took a new shift. I am a Mormon because I want to be with my daughter again. I want to raise her, as her mother, from the little girl she will be when she is resurrected and gets her little body back, to the woman she will grow to be. Mormons believe that families can be together forever. We believe that those who have lost children they have been sealed to will have the opportunity to raise them after Christ comes again if we live worthy. I am going to do all I can to live worthy of that great blessing. My heart tells me that one day I will have that blessing granted me if I continue on the path set out for me in the teachings of gospel of Jesus Christ.

How I live my faith

I get up every morning with hope born of faith. I try my best to be a good mother to my children and a helpful and equal partner of a wife to my husband. I try to listen to what my heart tells me I am meant to do or say or write on any given day. I share my hope and my new enhanced perspective on the treasure it is to be a mother -- even of a whiney, sick, or tired toddler -- with others through my blog. I volunteer at my children's school whenever I can. I work with girls aged 14 and 15 at church. I teach them lessons on a few Sundays each month and plan and produce fun purposeful activities for them one night each week. I LOVE these girls I serve. I pray for them and am there to help them in anyway and through any teenage drama they bring to me. I help them learn how to be strong members of their own families no matter what their family circumstances are.

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

Stephanie
We are as various as the flowers of the earth. We all have our different personalities and opinions and strengths and weaknesses. That being said, we are generally kind and clean and contributing members of society. Some of us are leaders and are in the PTA and on the school board or the county commission. Some of us are shy and are quietly making our homes the most heaven like places we can. Some of us are highly talented in music or the arts. We are using the natural and varied talents God gave us to serve those around us. If there is any imbalance in the equality between men and women in the church it is that women are the more favored. We were, after all, the final creation right? Our roles as men and women are different but complimentary. We are equal and together we complete each other. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Stephanie
We are saved by the grace of the Savior Jesus Christ. But we must earn this grace by doing all we can to follow Him. We of course will not be perfect at this. So we repent and come to the Lord with a broken, humble heart. He knows when we are trying to be better and when we are truly repenting or changing to be come more like him. Christ is our judge and at the last day he will apply his Grace to save those who have "Come Unto" Him both in their hearts and as shown by the changes they made in their life. Show more Show less

Who was Joseph Smith?

Stephanie
Joseph Smith was a 14 year old boy who wanted very much to follow the Savior. There were many churches in his area trying to get him to join with them. He was unsure which one was the right church to join. One night as he was reading the Bible he read James 1:5 that told him that if he lacked wisdom he should ask of God and he would be answered. This scripture hit Joseph to the core. After pondering it for many days, he got he courage and faith up to follow the advice of this scripture. He found a secluded spot in a grove of trees near his house and on a lovely Spring morning he went there to say his first audible prayer. He was answered in an amazing and miraculous way as God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ both appeared to him together. They told him that the church of Jesus Christ as He set in up was no longer upon the earth and not to join himself with any of the churches. They also told him that in time he would be an instrument in their hands of reestablishing Christ's church on the earth in all its fullness. This came to pass. Joseph Smith was chosen to be a prophet just like Moses or Noah of the Old Testament. He was given authority and commanded to establish Christ's full church once again complete with 12 apostles, baptism by immersion, temples, and authority to act in the name of Christ in running the church and performing saving acts like baptism. I love Joseph Smith. I appreciate all the sacrifices he made to follow the Saviors commands and reestablish His church. However, we as Mormons do not worship Joseph Smith. He was a man with shortcomings and flaws just like any other man. He was a great prophet but it is the Savior we worship, for He is the perfect literal Son of God. It is the Savior who saves us. It is the Savior we look to as our perfect example. It is the Savior we worship. Show more Show less

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

Stephanie
We celebrate all the normal Christian Holidays as well as national and cultural holidays like Thanksgiving and Halloween. We try to dress in "Sunday best" for church with women in modest dresses or skirts and shirts and men in either a suit or slacks, a button down shirt and a tie. That being said, there are often a few people who don't dress this way. Often we have visitors that forgot to pack dressy clothes or people who just dress more casually. We don't kick anyone out. :) We love having anyone there with us whether they are in a 3 piece suit or jeans and a T-shirt. Show more Show less

Why don’t women hold the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How do Mormon women lead in the Church?

Stephanie
When people ask me this I turn the question around. Why can't men bare children? Women alone have this privilege. Our natures as women are to mother and serve others. That natural instinct is only magnified when we bare a child. We spend the rest of our lives serving the children we bare. I can't think of any way to more closely become like the Savior than to go through childbirth and raise a child. What do men get? Where is their opportunity for such self sacrificing service? The answer is the priesthood. No man can "bless" himself with the priesthood. The priesthood is a tool men use to serve and bless the lives of those around them. Mormon women have plenty of leadership roles in the church. We teach. We lead the women organizations, the young women organizations, and the children's organizations. We work in scouting as leaders. We speak before the whole congregation regularly. We serve missions. There is no shortage of service and leadership opportunities for women in the church. Show more Show less

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

Stephanie
Yes!!! I think most people believe this ought to be true in their hearts even if their church doesn't teach this. I love that my church teaches this doctrine that my heart already believes. Love does not end with death. So how could heaven really be heaven if we cannot be with those we love so dearly here in this life? Family is really what life is all about. God has prepared a plan for us to make our family relationships eternal and I am following that plan. My husband and I were married in the Temple where we are sealed together not until death parts us but for all eternity. By sealed, I mean that we are joined together in a bond or eternal contract that carries over into the next life. Because of this, all of our children are also sealed as our children no matter what happens in this life. I don't know how I would even begin to deal with my daughter's death if it weren't for the hope and promise of this Truth. Show more Show less

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

Stephanie
Just after my daughter died, many people wondered how I kept my faith when God had let something so awful happen to my daughter and to my family. But I can say that I never felt the hand of God more fully in my life than I did in those days and weeks just after my daughter died. There were angels filling my home. I will never forget the numerous hands that reached out to help me and my family in those dark days. So many people served us in so many ways. Friends, family, and perfect strangers reached out to us in love. Really, all things in nature tell me there is a God - a Master Creator. And when bad things happen, which they always will do, if we turn to God in faith, He will manifest His love and comfort to us in way we could never have expected. I could feel my house so full of God's love and heavenly angels after Camille died. There just was no way I could doubt that there was a God when I felt Him so near. Show more Show less

What are some of the ways that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helps those around the world?

Stephanie
My parents are retired. They decided to pay their own way to go serve humanitarian missions for the church in other countries. First they went for 18 months to Belgrade, Serbia and taught the highest judges in that country computer skills and English. They also went to Bosnian refugee camps to deliver humanitarian aid. A year after they got home they went on another mission to Kenya. There they brought fresh water wells and pumps to small villages and helped build schools. They delivered school kits, hygiene kits, newborn care kits, wheelchairs and mosquito nets to prevent malaria. They also built a co-op farm for a small town complete with an irrigation system. Missionaries like my parents are all over the world helping wherever their is need. The church also supports in needy areas through donations to good charities like Catholic Charities or the Red Cross. Show more Show less