20 – 30 years old
November 25th, 2014 by admin
On a cold and rainy November morning, more than 170 volunteers with ponchos, hand warmers, and GPS trackers canvased a one-mile radius in Murray, Utah, in hopes of finding clues that would lead to Kayelyn Louder, a 30-year-old social worker who’s been missing for nine weeks. Kayelyn was last seen on a surveillance video running barefoot in the rain, wearing a white tank top and jean shorts. She left behind her keys, wallet, cell phone, and her beloved Chinese pug, Phyllis. Her disappearance has stunned and confused family and friends. After the most recent search, Kayelyn’s mother Suzie Louder, sister Madi Rodriguez, and cousin Amy Fugal shared their heartaches and hopes in their search for Kayelyn.
September 24th, 2014 by admin
In her work as a filmmaker, Bianca Morrison Dillard sees storytelling as a way to build community, and a way to help people feel heard and understood. Her views are shaped by what she sees as the essence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: “Love and inclusion. Everything that is virtuous and lovely and of good report and praiseworthy.” Bianca talks here about honoring the nuance and complexity of individual lives–one of the goals of her current project, the documentary film ‘Far Between,’ which features personal stories about what it means to be gay and Mormon.
November 14th, 2013 by admin
Kat S. is a family therapist in New York City and a Jewish convert to the LDS Church. She is also the semi-anonymous blogger behind the popular Tumblr page “Just Say Amen Already,” a light-hearted look at her Mormon experience. Kat says she was prompted to the task of making us laugh at ourselves. Here, she talks about the healing power of laughter and the beauty she finds in life and the Gospel.
October 15th, 2013 by admin
On June 5, 2002, at the age of 14, Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her home in Salt Lake City and spent nine months in captivity. Her kidnappers, Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee, were both sentenced to prison in 2011. Since her captivity, Elizabeth has become an advocate for the prevention of child sexual abuse. On Friday, October 11th, MWP editor Neylan McBaine spent a few minutes with Elizabeth as part of her media tour promoting her new book, My Story.
August 7th, 2013 by admin
As a wife and mother in a part-member family, Peka draws on the inspiration of her mother — who was also a “single parent in the gospel” — to support her husband as he learns about the Church and teach her daughter what she believes. Issues of race have proven challenging for her non-white family, and Peka discusses how much she appreciates member friends who embrace her husband for who he is and not for what they want him to be.
April 18th, 2013 by admin
Growing up in a Mormon family, Jamie is a second-generation Church member in Hong Kong. In her teenage years, she struggled with her testimony of the gospel and distanced herself from the Church, despite her parents both having high-profile callings. But her parents and friends continued to love and support Jamie. She eventually returned to the Church and developed a strong testimony, which led her to happiness and helped shape her future life.e.
November 14th, 2012 by admin
Maya Brown-Zimmerman is an outspoken Latina mother of two special-needs children. She has Marfan syndrome. Maya earned a Masters in Public Health from The Ohio State University and has particular interests in patient advocacy for those with chronic illness. She writes for WebMD and teaches the Valiants in her ward.
September 14th, 2012 by admin
Elizabeth Perry’s evangelical upbringing caused her to loathe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. An eating disorder she developed in college helped soften her heart. An LDS boy from her high school introduced her to the Church; she later embraced the gospel, then married that boy.
June 20th, 2012 by admin
Currently the president of Brigham Young University’s Understanding Same Gender Attraction club, Bridey Jensen has spent her college years coming to terms with the fact that she is gay. Although she’s suffered through years of struggle and depression, Bridey now feels more confident and loved by God than she ever has before.
June 14th, 2012 by admin
As one of her polygamous father’s 47 children, Vilate Nielsen was never lonely. But as a young adult, Vilate chose instead to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which she felt has manifestations of truth that were absent in the religion of her childhood. Although she’s had to get used to not having her large family around her and sometimes being lonely, Vilate today wouldn’t exchange her church membership for anything.
May 2nd, 2012 by admin
Summer Bellessa spent her youth living in Paris, Japan and New York as an international model. So it was an easy transition for her then to start Eliza, a magazine for “women who want to be stylish, sexy, and engaged in the world while retaining high standards in dress, entertainment and lifestyle.” Now as a new mom, she’s shifted her talents to producing and staring in a variety television show with American Idol alum, Brooke White, while continuing to be a representative of her faith.
February 8th, 2012 by admin
Born in Bolivia and raised in California, Dayan traveled the challenging road of becoming the first college graduate in her family. She knew she wanted to help young people like herself who had great potential, but often lacked the knowledge of how to go to college. Inspired by her 2007 Brigham Young University Thesis project, she founded Teens ACT, a nonprofit that helps at-risk students go to college.
August 10th, 2011 by admin
Over the past 18 months, as the MWP volunteers and I have asked over a hundred women to tell us the stories of their lives, we’ve been repeatedly surprised by how often childhood sexual abuse has been a part of their pasts. Because many interviews at the MWP examine women’s reactions to challenging circumstances in their lives — from disease to infertility to family losses — we felt that examining faithful LDS responses to childhood sexual abuse would be in keeping with our mission. In this collection, you will find three very different anonymous accounts of childhood circumstances, followed by an interview with Julie de Azevedo Hanks, an LDS therapist.
July 13th, 2011 by admin
At 15, Beth lost a few pounds at camp and came home to increased attention and concern. Liking that attention, her mind was overtaken by anorexia. In college, her disorder evolved into bulimia. Seeing an eating disorder therapist allowed her to get pregnant, and Beth is now heading up the first Anorexic/Bulimic Recovery Program in the church.
June 22nd, 2011 by admin
Bindu Sabbavarapu joined the church in her hometown of Visakhapatnam, India, in the face of cultural and familial barriers. She married another Indian Mormon and together they are striving to pursue lives that bear witness to their families of the goodness of the gospel. Soon after her marriage, Bindu immigrated to the United States, where she and her husband are pursuing advanced degrees and raising their 10-month-old baby girl. Although the gospel transcends culture, Bindu’s interview reflects the challenge of practicing a religion in a nation where Christians and Mormons in particular are a significant minority.
June 15th, 2011 by admin
The hardest choice I’ve made in my life was when… I chose to be happy. My life was crumbling around me. I was sad, angry, depressed, and mourning the loss of my marriage. My husband had kicked me and my baby out of our own home. I was homeless and helpless.
May 18th, 2011 by admin
Agnes is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide. Although a witness to devastating horrors, Agnes has embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ taught by the first missionaries in Rwanda, Brother and Sister Andrus, and is working to forgive those who killed her family. Agnes recently graduated from university and works as an accountant in a hotel in Kigali.
February 9th, 2011 by admin
Elaine Bradley is the drummer for the rock band Neon Trees, which released their first full length album, Habits, in 2010. Their first single “Animal” has climbed to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Alternative Rock Chart. Elaine discusses her journey towards spiritual honesty as a rebellious child and then as a missionary in Germany and now as a musician fulfilling her life’s artistic passions.