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I'm in my twenties and married to a great man. My husband just finished graduate school and we're in the seemingly endless limbo between school and a career. To help us get by I started teaching piano a few years ago and discovered a new love and talent. I never thought I'd be a teacher or that I would like it, but I have connected so much with my students and come to know the deep satisfaction that all good teachers feel when a student finally 'gets it.' We haven't been able to start a family yet but we know that this is one of those things that isn't entirely in our control and we have learned that we need to wait patiently and be faithful. Fortunately, in church I serve by teaching and working with the children and enjoy the special moments with each of the children there. I love to read and have a secret longing to be an author. My days are spent running my Piano Studio, fighting an endless battle with my dirty kitchen, and playing games with my husband when he isn't applying for jobs.
I was born into this great church and grew up in a family that attended on a regular weekly basis. Through my teen years I experienced some of the doubts about my faith, but my parents were good examples and they kept me strong. Then when I moved away to go to school and I was truly on my own I finally started asking myself why I went to church. The fun friends and cute guys weren't good enough reasons anymore; I knew I needed a substantial answer. Then a religion teacher assigned a class I was in a paper to write. He said we could choose the topic; what ever we wanted to write about. Since it was a religion class I chose a topic well discussed in any volume of scripture -- repentance and forgiveness. I started researching stories and addresses given in the scriptures and taking notes. I was taken aback by all the acounts of forgiveness I came across. A part of me had always felt unworthy of our Savior's love because I hadn't lived my life in complete harmony with all of His teachings. But when I reviewed all the notes I had taken, I realized that our Heavenly Father and His Son knew that we were going to make mistakes and needed us to so we could Choose to follow Them. A person who has not yet made that choice for themselves does not fully know who they are yet. I chose to follow our Savior forever more when I felt His forgiveness for my previous transgressions. My head had known it for a long time, but the lasting impression of sweetness and purpose and love that filled my heart is what made my decision for me. After I made that decision by myself and for myself I wanted everyone to know that the Savior loves each of us. He didn't intend for us to be perfect. He wants to forgive everyone of their sins because He wants us to live with Him again someday. I know Heavenly Father loves me. I know that our Elder Brother, the Savior, atoned for my sins in the Garden of Gethsemane. I know that this church is true.
I serve my local congregation by teaching the children. After Sacrament Meeting the children go to classes according to their age and I make sure that all the teachers are present and that new or visiting children know which class they should be in. A little while later all the children meet together. We have a few children volunteer to say a prayer, read a short scripture, and share a spiritual thought with the help of their parent. We take a few minutes each Sunday to get to know one child in particular by reading answers to questions a parent has filled out about their child. We strive to make sure each child feels special and loved. Then we have music time. The children get to sing fun action songs and learn knew songs that teach about our Savior and doctrines of the church. One of the sweetest songs that all church members hold dear is 'I am a Child of God', and every time the children sing it the Holy Spirit warms my heart and assures me that this is a worthwhile use of my time. Then we take a few more minutes to learn about various principles and doctrines of the church before we sing one more song and say a final prayer. The children start learning at 18 months old about Christ's love for them, what He expects of them, and what blessings are in store for those that try to keep the commandments. Our favorite saying is, "Choose the Right" because it is a simple and straight forward way to stress the importance of following the commandments from the very beginning. I love serving the children. Their willingness to please us, as their teachers, reminds me of how hard I should strive to please our Father in Heaven by following His ways and by Choosing the Right.