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I'm a full-time mother of five amazing children, ages 8-15, who are rapidly catching up to me in height. I love watching my family grow. My sweetheart and I have been married over 16 years and enjoy spending much of our free time together. In my limited spare time while the kids are at school I enjoy sewing, scrapbooking, and music. I graduated from college with a degree in Elementary Education, but put a teaching career on hold to persue my current occupation of being what my husband terms "a professional mom."
My family heritage makes me a seventh-generation Latter-day Saint. It's the way I was raised and taught by my parents and grandparents. But there's more to it than that. I chose at an early age to learn for myself that this is the Lord's true church and that I am happier when I'm obedient to the teachings of the Savior and His Prophets. I have read the Book of Mormon many times and know of its truthfulness. I know God loves me as His daughter and guides me every day as a mother, wife, friend, and neighbor to all. Father in Heaven has a plan for us--for all of His children. We can find true joy in life if we'll follow that plan that leads us home to Him.
My mother passed away suddenly a few months before I turned six. It was difficult to grow up without a mother, but my sister and brother and I were raised by a loving father and two sets of devoted grandparents. They taught me well and helped me to understand that I would not only get to see my mother again someday, but that I could be with her forever. My parents had been married in the temple, meaning that their union was not only "until death do you part," but for eternity. Children born to parents who have made this temple covenant are also sealed to their parents forever. This is God's Plan of Happiness available to all of His children. Throughout my young life I decided that I wanted more than anything to be with my mother again and live in such a way that she would be proud of me. When my husband and I were married, we both wanted the same blessings for our family. We were married in the temple for time and eternity and our children are a part of that forever union. There is no greater happiness than knowing your family can last beyond the bounds of this life alone. It adds meaning and purpose to every single day.
It is impossible to completely sheild your children from all the degradations of society that aim to tear them down. But it IS possible to arm them for their own line of self-defense whether you as a parent are there or not. The best way is to teach children principles of righteousness that will help them remain close to the Lord. Regular prayer and scripture study can empower every individual, regardless of age, with the influence of the Holy Ghost--the most powerful shield against the adversary. My three oldest children are now young men, ages 15, 13, and 12. It is a vulnerable age where many are ensnared in pornography, immorality, drugs, alcohol, and so forth. In addition to taking precautions such as setting internet filters and monitoring what comes into our home via TV and magazines, we also take every opportunity we can to help them feel and recognize the Spirit of the Lord. We pray as a family, we have an open forum to allow them to ask any question any time they need to talk and teach them gospel principles, and we take them to do temple work once a week. When they know what it feels like to have the Holy Ghost with them all the time, they want to keep it with them and not do anything that drives the Spirit away by succumbing to poor choices.
It's not enough for me to pray and read my scriptures every day, I feel a strong desire to pass on my love of the gospel to my children. We read the Book of Mormon as a family every day and pray as a family every morning and night. It makes a difference in the feeling between parents and children, not to mention between siblings, when principles of love, respect, honesty, and compassion are central to our lives. We encourage our family to internalize these values so that as they interact with friends, teachers, and others, they can build relationships that are based on trust and integrity. As a family, we value service and are committed to do whatever is asked of us. I have primarily worked with children over the years teaching Sunday School, playing the Piano for youth meetings on Sundays, and working as a Den Mother in Cub Scouts. Currently, I have two responsibilities in the church: to work with the young girls ages 8-11 (among these are my own daughters), and lead the choir that sings once a month in our Sacrament Meeting.