Blended Grief, Blended Healing

Deborah Soderholm married at 19 and was widowed at age 30 when her husband died from suicide. She continued her beloved teaching job as she waded through shock and grief, but chose to look to the future and vowed not to let the experience be a dark cloud over the lives of her two daughters. […]

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The Full Scope of the Atonement

Briana Cullimore’s desire to be healthy led to a continuing struggle with multiple eating disorders and depression. She discusses using restriction/food as a coping mechanism, fighting with her parents over a treatment plan, coming to terms with needing help, and using the Atonement to help repair her parental relationship. She has seen her attitude change […]

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Taught By Her Mothers

Annalaura Solomon was raised by lesbian mothers and joined the Church 12 years ago, at the age of 18. In this interview, Annalaura describes her love for her upbringing and offers her perspective on the new policies added to Handbook 1 on gay couples and their children.

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Standing Firm When It All Falls Apart

Ashlee Birk was living a simple life as the mother of five children and wife to a successful lawyer. One cold night in March 2011, her worst nightmare came true when she found out that not only had her husband been having an affair with a married woman, but he had been murdered by the woman’s husband. Grief-ridden, angry, and hurt, Ashlee learned how to pick up the pieces and put her life back together again.

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Moving Past Forever

At the age of 20, Kenna Christensen was newly married in the temple and beginning what she thought was an eternal marriage. Nine months later, she found herself divorced and shattered from the disappointment. Though it wasn’t easy, Kenna found healing through counseling, blogging, and a deepened sense of spirituality.

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The 3 Browns

Deondra, Desirae and Melody are three of the 5 Browns, a piano performing quintet composed of siblings. The sisters all attended The Juilliard School together and tour and perform with their brothers, gaining the highest accolades in the classical music world and performing in some of its finest venues. Three years ago, their father was sentenced to ten years in prison for sexual abuse involving the girls, and Deondra and Desirae founded the The Foundation for Survivors of Abuse, which focuses on changing the statute of limitation legislation across the country.

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Searching for Kayelyn

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.

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"Prayer Changes Things"

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.”

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To Be A Vessel

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.”

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In Darkness, In Grace

“A psychiatrist prescribed medication that did more to lift the darkness of depression than all my prayers had. Though I was grateful for that partial relief, I also felt surprisingly angry. Are we not promised over and over that the Gospel brings peace to our hearts and that our Heavenly Father’s plan is one of happiness? So why could I get those things from a pill but not from Him?”

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