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November 25th, 2014 by admin

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Searching for Kayelyn

Searching for Kayelyn

Suzie Louder, Madi Rodriguez, and Amy Fugal

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.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Kayleyn Louder’s death was confirmed on December 2, 2014, a week after this interview was published.

October 29th, 2014 by admin

10 Comments

“Prayer Changes Things”

“Prayer Changes Things”

Willie Mae Wright Douglas

Willie Douglas has weathered some storms. She has been part of many of the tumults in America’s history over the last fifty years. She battled racism while working to integrate her place of employment in New Orleans. She lost one of her sons to fatal illness during the AIDS epidemic. She fled her home in the face of Hurricane Katrina–and then returned to New Orleans to help rebuild her city. But Willie’s faith has sustained her throughout. In the words of her favorite hymn, “The world may crush you, but you don’t have to fret / My God remembers when others forget / One thing I know, yes, I surely know / Prayer changes things.”

October 17th, 2014 by admin

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Young Women General Board member Janet Nelson raised four children in New York City. And while she was doing that, she was chipping away at a Master’s degree in Mathematics and periodically teaching high school math. In 2012, after 20 years of classwork, Janet received her graduate degree. Janet feels her extensive experience with urban high school students gives her unique perspective into the realities of being a teenager today, and despite her city life, her love for camping and the outdoors makes her the perfect chairwoman of the general Young Women’s Camp Committee.

October 9th, 2014 by admin

6 Comments

Choosing Good and Making Change

Choosing Good and Making Change

Bethany Brady Spalding

Bethany Brady Spalding takes her knack for dissatisfaction and turns it into life-giving action. Whether she’s planting gardens for at-risk children, directing community health programs, or sharing scripture stories with her own daughters, Bethany tries to build positivity and partnership. Bethany is a co-author of the book, ‘Girls Who Choose God: Stories of Courageous Women from the Bible.’ She believes that telling women’s stories is vital for our spiritual health.

October 1st, 2014 by admin

12 Comments

Choosing God and Abundance

Choosing God and Abundance

McArthur Krishna

McArthur Krishna did not expect to be where she is. And the path she took to get there was an unusual one. McArthur lives in rural India, an overnight train ride from the nearest LDS Church congregation and a world apart from her former life in Washington DC. But her unique experiences have confirmed to her the importance of maintaining her personal relationship with God and trusting in His ways. The result, she says, is an abundant life filled with vibrancy and delight. McArthur is a co-author of the book, ‘Girls Who Choose God: Stories of Courageous Women from the Bible.’ Writing about women who choose to follow God is one way that McArthur feels actively connected to her faith.

August 18th, 2014 by admin

9 Comments

Aspiring Mormon Women

Aspiring Mormon Women

Naomi Watkins

Just when Naomi Watkins thought she was done with school forever, she felt the Lord redirect her path. Now she wants to encourage other women to find that inspiration for themselves. To help with that goal, she founded Aspiring Mormon Women, a non-profit organization intended to support and celebrate the educational and professional aspirations of LDS women. “God does not place limits on us,” Naomi says, “and learning to listen to and follow the Spirit are paramount skills to develop.”

July 16th, 2014 by admin

7 Comments

To Be A Vessel

To Be A Vessel

Jamillah Ali-Rashada

As a young woman, Jamillah Ali-Rashada prayed that Allah would let her live to raise children. In return, she promised that she would serve others for the rest of her life. She’s kept that promise by trying to be a vessel for the Spirit and its guidance. When Jamillah joined the LDS Church three years ago, she found her path leading to new and profound avenues for serving God’s children. “I have been purposed and called to this for such a time as this,” Jamillah says.”If that is the work and the service that I am supposed to perform, then it is my Heaven.”

January 15th, 2014 by admin

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Dawn’s husband, Eric, suffers from bipolar disorder. Over the course of their twelve-year marriage, the two of them have learned to deal with the challenges the illness brings, grow in their careers, be active in the Church, and live happily together.“I used to always feel like his mental illness was something happening to me, Dawn says, “But now it feels more like a blanket that we’re wrapped in together.” And together, they have learned to share their challenges with the Lord.

January 6th, 2014 by Neylan McBaine

3 Comments

Ann Romney spent many years in the global spotlight as the wife of Massachusetts governor and United States presidential candidate Mitt Romney. However, with campaign trails behind her, Ann is now choosing to focus on the role closest to her heart: mother of five sons and grandmother. She recently published a book, The Romney Family Table, in which she shares her favorite recipes for bringing a family together at mealtimes. As part of her tour to promote the book, Ann met with the Mormon Women Project to reveal the joys and challenges she’s found in motherhood, as well as to discuss building empathy in young boys and having confidence in oneself as a mother.

November 20th, 2013 by admin

33 Comments

Rescued From Exploitation

Rescued From Exploitation

Stephanie M. Larsen

Stephanie comes from four generations of women who were trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Her own mother was sent into the trade at age twelve and had her first child when she was sixteen. But Stephanie’s mother broke the pattern by refusing to exploit her own children, allowing Stephanie to grow up outside the sex trafficking industry and join the Church in high school. Stephanie is now a wife and mother and the founder of two non-profits, Child Rescue and Backyard Broadcast, and she is an activist fighting against human trafficking.

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.

September 17th, 2013 by admin

41 Comments

Global Mom

Global Mom

Melissa Dalton Bradford

Melissa Dalton Bradford raised four children in the midst of an international life: Norway, France, Singapore, Germany. But what appears glamorous to many has its costs, and Melissa honestly talks about the lack of community and permanence that has defined her years abroad. She also reveals how important those intangibles can be when struck with a tragedy, like the loss of her 18-year-old son in a drowning accident, and how we all can learn to mourn and comfort more compassionately. Melissa’s memoir, Global Mom: A Memoir, was published this summer.

August 14th, 2013 by admin

20 Comments

When Pam Shorr decided to stop attending church, she doubted she would ever go back. She recalls thinking, “I really want to find who I am and what I believe. I just want to do my own thing for a while.” But eventually, Pam found herself prompted to return, and an inspired Relief Society president showed her the way. She describes her reactivation in the Church as difficult, terrifying, and inspiring. “When I returned,” she says, “I was ready for the whole thing, and I have never looked back.” Pam is interviewed here by her daughter, Krisanne.

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.

July 31st, 2013 by admin

25 Comments

Cherish One Another

Cherish One Another

Cathy Stokes

Cathy Stokes is a firebrand, common-sense Mormon. A pioneering member who was baptized in 1979, Cathy’s willingness to speak her mind has shaped her faith and helped bridged gaps among members of the church. Cathy recalls some painful memories of growing up in Mississippi, shares a beautiful reflection on tenderness, recites her favorite hymn, and speaks of the abounding goodness of God and the strength of Mormon women.

July 10th, 2013 by admin

11 Comments

Threads Woven Together

Threads Woven Together

Callie Appelstein

Raised with little religion in her home, it was during college when Callie went to Hebrew University in Jerusalem that she first embraced her Jewish heritage and converted to Orthodox Judaism. Despite her full immersion in the Orthodox community and faith, Callie cultivated a private interest in Mormonism, particularly in temples. Callie eventually left Orthodox Judaism to join the Church and raise her children Mormon. Her rich spiritual journey has been thoughtful and deliberate.

May 9th, 2013 by admin

51 Comments

Playing From Her Heart

Playing From Her Heart

Tina Richerson

Tina knew from a young age that music was her life’s calling and she is a professional saxophonist in New York. It took longer for Tina to realize that she is gay, but a period of inactivity from the Church didn’t stop her from paying her tithing every month. It was appreciation and practice of Buddhism that led Tina back to the Church in her remarkable journey back into activity.

January 16th, 2013 by admin

35 Comments

Married to Brandon Flowers, the frontman of an internationally-known rock band, Tana and her husband spend much of their time apart. To combat the common consequences of a public career, mother their three boisterous boys, and maintain intimacy in her marriage, Tana builds upon the skills she learned during her conversion to the gospel six years ago by asking the Lord and listening to the Spirit for answers to the questions in her everyday life.

October 30th, 2012 by admin

20 Comments

The Intimate Side of Marriage

The Intimate Side of Marriage

Jennifer Finlayson-Fife

As a psychotherapist practicing in Chicago, Jennifer understands how important sexual intimacy can be to healthy, honest marriages. Jennifer professionally helps LDS women find ways to overcome cultural and psychological barriers to sexual desire, and shares some of her wisdom in this interview.

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