Chat With a Mormon Online
I'm a single professional, working in the Washington, D.C.area-- the fourth time I've lived in Virginia. I've lived all over the US and abroad, and am fluent in Portuguese thanks to my LDS mission to Portugal and Cape Verde, West Africa. Not the most useful language, granted, but a lot of great people speak Portuguese, and I'm glad I can hold a conversation with them. I'm a former TV reporter who keeps up her journalism skills doing documentary work for both corporate and non-profit organizations. My day job is traveling the world teaching corporate communications executives how to do their jobs better. I also taught high school for a few years, and find teenagers endlessly amusing. I'm a violinist, an athlete, an appreciator of a good mountain and the occasional beach. All things are made better, in my book, by family, and one of the biggest advantages of still being single is that it's a lot easier to hop in a car or on the plane to track them down.
I have an admitted genetic head-start for being Mormon-- I'm sixth generation LDS on both sides of my family, a pioneer lineage in every sense. But as anyone who has ever seriously considered their spirituality is well-aware, seriously following faith at some point must become a conscious choice. I am Mormon because I can in my earliest memories recall feeling my Heavenly Father's love in answer to my prayers. I have felt confirmation and seen positive results in my life as I have studied and applied the principles of the Gospel, drawing from all sources of knowledge and inspiration, including personal prayer, scriptural accounts in the Bible and Book of Mormon, and counsel from a living prophet and Apostles. I have been able to turn to my understanding of the Savior's teachings to guide me in making good decisions. The more I study and learn about the Gospel, the more I recognize and know how to embrace all the good in the world around me. I am Mormon because the pure doctrine and love of Christ help me be more loving, more patient, more tolerant, more forgiving-- more of everything that is good. My faith and relationship with God expand my heart and vision, while my understanding of God's commandments guides me to know how to channel that love in a way to maximize happiness for me and those I cross paths with.
My ability to talk to my Heavenly Father at any time, under any circumstances, is really the source of all my confidence and security. My whole life I have been able to feel and see His answers to my prayers-- and that track record means that, even for those times where it's incredibly hard to tell He's listening, I know He is. I pray a lot-- on my knees in private in the morning and at night before bed, and whenever I need to just in my head and heart as I go about my day-- an ongoing conversation with my Heavenly Father. One other aspect of prayer I think is super-important, since it's had such an impact on me: hearing others pray, especially praying in families, does wonders to build faith and love and, in many cases, teach. I clearly remember kneeling in family prayer when I was about eight-- it was the evening after the Pope had been shot, and my mom prayed that the Pope would be blessed to recover. I was totally confused, since clearly the Pope was on the wrong team. My mom took a minute to explain to us that we should always pray for all good people everywhere-- Heavenly Father loves all his children. That lesson significantly shifted my world view then, and has stayed with me my entire life.
I've been asked to teach in various capacities in my church since I was 19. I've taught classes for little children favorite lesson in the manual, on the Creation: "I Am Grateful for Fish. I've taught early morning seminary class for high school kids at 5:35 each morning. I've taught evening classes on random Gospel topics for adults, and Sunday School classes in congregations from Africa to Virginia to New Mexico. I currently oversee teachers as I serve in the presidency of our women's organization, which looks out for the temporal and spiritual needs of around a hundred women in our congregation. Still, I hope the substance of how I live my faith goes far beyond these formal opportunities. I try to live my faith primarily in keeping my relationship with God my top priority, doing those daily things that keep me connected to my Savior. I try to live my faith in treating others the way the Savior would-- and correcting course as quickly as I can when I mess up. I try to live my faith in taking seriously the Savior's guidance that all good things come from God, and we should be out looking for the people and the ideas that draw us close to him, no matter what form they may take. My faith is a lens through which I view my world moment to moment, make my decisions, choose my actions, express myself. And when I am true to the principles it teaches me, I am better, more loving, more complete.