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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.”

February 27th, 2014 by admin

38 Comments

Raquel Cook’s biography so far might read like an adventure novel—living and working in Korea, meeting the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa, studying at Oxford University, surviving the violence of 9/11 in New York City—but she’d rather you wrote your own adventure. Now a professor of education, Raquel reflects on her unique path and how she encourages her students to get out and see the world. And she explains how her study of world religions helped her better appreciate her own Mormonism. “There is truth everywhere,” Raquel says, “and there is happiness everywhere, and there is beauty everywhere, and people are good. Ugly is rare. People are just beautiful and good.”

December 12th, 2013 by admin

6 Comments

As a molecular physiology professor at UNC Chapel Hill, Sarah Street is interested in the big questions of how the brain works: What is perception? What is reality? What is agency? In addition to having implications for how people of faith process spiritual experiences, but Sarah hopes her work can also show that people’s emotional experiences have impact on their physical health.

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.

June 5th, 2013 by admin

5 Comments

Mohawk Junkie

Mohawk Junkie

Jessamyn Lau

Jessamyn Lau, a high school drop-out turned art student turned MBA, speaks about her philosophy of risk-taking and her confidence in being a daughter of God. Jessamyn’s non-traditional career path has led her from waitressing to teaching in China and now to building the field of social entrepreneurship. She’s proof that calculated risks can pay off. Her advice? Be bold. Be deliberate. Be prayerful. And try getting a mohawk.

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.

March 6th, 2013 by admin

25 Comments

Betty Stevenson grew up in an African-American community near San Francisco. After spiraling through abusive relationships, drug dealing and jail, she joined the Church. Betty served for many years as the Relief Society president of the newly formed Oakland Ninth Branch, composed of some of Oakland’s poorest neighborhoods, and she is the founder of an organization that hosts free football camps. In addition, Betty is raising her three great-grandchildren.

February 6th, 2013 by admin

16 Comments

A Champion for Diversity

A Champion for Diversity

Sui Lang Panoke

As the founder of a consultancy that prepares and promotes women and minorities in politics, Sui Lang Panoke is trained to find opportunities for organizations to improve their representations of these groups. She sees her love of the Church as complementary, not in contradiction, to her professional training. As a single mother and Relief Society president in her Washington D.C. ward, Sui Lang shares her testimony of the Church’s divine organization and the opportunities the gospel gives each member to grow in her own relationship with the Lord.

December 5th, 2012 by admin

6 Comments

Siu Man has been a member of the Church in Hong Kong for about 40 years. Despite a congenital heart defect that has kept her homebound for most of her life, Siu Man learned how to read from the Book of Mormon. Today, Siu Man serves her family by caring for aging family members, researching her ancestors and sharing her handiwork crafts with others.

August 8th, 2012 by admin

15 Comments

Honoring Her Heritage

Honoring Her Heritage

Janice Freij

Janice was born into a Christian Palestinian family, but didn’t gain a deep appreciation for her heritage until she was a young adult. Now, as the Curator of Education for the Arab American National Museum in Michigan, Janice has daily opportunities to educate others about her culture. Balancing her Arab identity with her spiritual life as a Mormon, however, has been a challenging and isolating journey, even with the Lord’s continual presence in her life.

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 9th, 2012 by admin

2 Comments

A Humanitarian at Heart

A Humanitarian at Heart

Suzanne Harwood

Suzanne Harwood didn’t always want to be a nurse. In this article, she explains how she felt guided to nursing and how that decision has affected her life and the lives of countless others in Guatemala, India, TImor Leste, Mozambique and beyond.

April 25th, 2012 by admin

13 Comments

Goodness Has A Lunge to It

Goodness Has A Lunge to It

Catharine Platt McGraw

Raised in Bahrain and Dubai as the daughter of a falconer, Catharine had early exposure to the life cycles and rituals of animals, which deeply informed her understanding of the gospel. Today, she embraces the complexity and messiness of life, believing that answers to spiritual questions come from lifelong wrestles with God and interaction with other members of our church communities.

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.

September 14th, 2011 by admin

10 Comments

Never Alone With the Gospel

Never Alone With the Gospel

Adeline and Véronique Defranchi

French sisters Véronique and Adeline both credit their mother with their love of music and the fact that they both make their living in music. Both unmarried, they appreciate the fulfillment that comes from interacting with so many children and embrace the opportunity to have an impact on young lives. They also have an impact on their mother, who they care for in their home. Their generosity of spirit and their willingness to engage deeply with others contributes to their rich enjoyment of a fully productive life.

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.

May 4th, 2011 by admin

10 Comments

A Savior To Her Family

A Savior To Her Family

Susan Anneveldt

Susan Anneveldt knows that, even though she is the only member of her family to join the Church in this life, her passion for family history work has led her deceased extended family members to the gospel through temple work. As a single woman caring for aging parents and living far away from her local branch in the Netherlands, Susan combats the plague of loneliness with her understanding of the gospel’s worldwide community and the assurance of eternal families.

March 23rd, 2011 by admin

15 Comments

In Perfect Harmony

In Perfect Harmony

Liz Shropshire

Liz Shropshire is the founder and director of the Shropshire Music Foundation, which provides free musical instruments and instruction to former child soldiers and refugees in Kosovo, Uganda, and Northern Ireland. Since 1999, more than 10,000 young people have participated in Shropshire Music Foundation classes.

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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