20 – 30 years old

November 14th, 2013 by admin

14 Comments

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

8 Comments

Knowing Her Worth

Knowing Her Worth

Elizabeth Smart

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

11 Comments

In the Lord’s Time

In the Lord’s Time

Peka Holmes

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

2 Comments

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

5 Comments

What Marfan Means to Maya

What Marfan Means to Maya

Maya Brown-Zimmerman

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

17 Comments

Humbled Through Affliction

Humbled Through Affliction

Elizabeth Perry

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

22 Comments

Understanding Who She Is

Understanding Who She Is

Bridey Jensen

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

8 Comments

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

8 Comments

A Model of Many Talents

A Model of Many Talents

Summer Bellessa

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.

April 18th, 2012 by admin

18 Comments

At a very young age, Heather Farrell began thinking about her role as a woman and the place of women in God’s plan. That led to a Women’s Studies focus at BYU, a passion for studying women in the scriptures, the publication of her blog, Women in the Scriptures, and deep-seated feelings about birth and motherhood.

February 8th, 2012 by admin

7 Comments

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

21 Comments

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

23 Comments

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

25 Comments

A Different Kind of Pioneer

A Different Kind of Pioneer

Bindu Sudhir Sabbavarapu

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

6 Comments

Snapshot Portrait: Mary Decker

Snapshot Portrait: Mary Decker

Columbia, MO, June 13, 2011

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

9 Comments

To Smile and Talk Again

To Smile and Talk Again

Agnes Twagiramariya

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.

March 9th, 2011 by admin

14 Comments

The Mind of A Mother

The Mind of A Mother

Lia Collings

A student of Latin and Greek and a budding education reformer, Lia Collings is already engaged in teaching her three young daughters about these things she loves. Lia takes inspiration on how to intertwine her scholarly and motherly pursuits from the passel of mothers in her New Haven, CT, branch. She solicited and compiled a book of essays about their experiences, which she entitled Choosing Motherhood.

February 9th, 2011 by admin

63 Comments

Marching to Her Own Drum

Marching to Her Own Drum

Elaine Bradley

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.

December 15th, 2010 by admin

10 Comments

Arleene was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness in Southern California. Her parents converted to the religion after they moved from their home in Moroleon, Guanajuato, Mexico to the United States. She studied the Mormon faith for two years before being baptized, an action considered taboo by her family’s religion. She shares her experiences as she transitioned from her childhood thoughts and beliefs to her current testimony of the gospel. Along the way she has held on to her continued love of family and has found that the knowledge of the gospel has opened her mind and brought her new blessings.

November 24th, 2010 by admin

8 Comments

After graduating with her master’s of public health degree from Yale, Trang Thach moved to Romania to research drinking water with the aid of a Fulbright Grant. Her search for a career, along with her family history and temple work for ancestors from Vietnam, has helped strengthen her testimony of God’s love and mercy.

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