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Hi I'm Laura Leigh

I am a writer, genealogist, friend, sister, aunt, niece, Daughter of God and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a sixth generation Texan and recently moved back to Texas a year ago to be where the records are of my ancestors. For over 30 years I have researched my Moore family because I wanted to know who my Great Grand Parents were. I gained so much more than just learning their names. Piecing their lives together and learning of their trials, hardships, kindness and devotion I have gained a great love for people I never got to know. This was important to me, because since the time I was 7 and my mom took us from Texas, I never felt as though I had a family--it was me thrown into the wolves.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up an Osmond fan. My parents divorced when I was 7, and my mother moved my brothers and me from Texas to Iowa. I went from having a family I loved to feeling like I had been thrown to the wolves. We were family by name only. I was beaten, spit on, and abused, among other things. At age 10, I discovered the Osmond Brothers on the Andy Williams Show. My mom and brothers tried to tell me families weren’t like the Osmonds, but I felt there was more to life than what I knew and they were my key. The first time the Osmonds impacted my life was in 1973. They were in concert at the Iowa State Fair, and I was not allowed to go. I had the chance to go, but my mom told me I was not going to see “those people.” The weekend of the show I had to stay home and “think about things” while everyone else was camping. I turned on the TV to a live feed of the Osmond concert from the fair. I couldn’t handle it--I had no purpose, I hated life, and I wanted it all to end. I found a knife and went to the bathroom. I turned on the radio, and the words, “Hold on just a little longer, be a little stronger, you can do it” came on. I knew those words were for me. I sat down and listened to the song and learned it was “One Way Ticket to Anywhere” by the Osmonds. I ran to my room crying and did the one thing the Osmonds had taught me to do: pray. It was a simple prayer: “If there is a reason why I am here, I need to know, because I can’t do this any longer." The next morning, two Mormon missionaries came to my door. I told myself I would never forget them. In 1977, a month after high school graduation, Mom told me that if I left, all her problems would be solved. I had no idea where to go or what to do. My supervisor at work found me in the locker room crying and took me to her office. I thought I was being fired. Instead, she wrote me a letter of recommendation and gave me the name and number of her aunt and uncle in Salt Lake City. She told me to be on the first bus Monday morning and said, “At least now you will have a chance at life.” On Monday July 11, 1977, I boarded a Greyhound bus for Salt Lake City, UT with $200 and two suitcases. That night, I had found an apartment for $50 a month. One of my roommates was a genealogist. I asked, “What’s a genealogist?” She took me to work with her the next morning and turned me over to a Family History Consultant. I began to do family history because I never had a real family, so I reasoned my ancestors would be my family. My initial goal was to find my great grandparents. It took me 32 years to learn their names: Nathaniel Jackson Moore and Minerva Cain. I thought by finding names, dates and places of my ancestors I could finally have a family. I have learned genealogy is much more than names and dates on a piece of paper. The journey of doing genealogy and getting to know my ancestors has helped me gain a love of people I never knew and begin to piece together their lives so that I can understand mine. As a child my mother spent several years in a Michigan hospital while tests and experiments were run on her to find a cure for rickets. My mother could not walk due to rickets, but when she left the hospital she walked. My grandmother had to make the decision and sacrifice to let her go and only visit once a year. Both my mother and grandmother rarely talked about their childhoods; this is a rare story, I was told. I was reminded shortly before my mom passed away, “Laura if people are not taught how to love and to give then how do you know how to do it?” I cannot begin to tell you the compassion and love I have now for my ancestors, including my Mom, because I have come to know them and the trials they endured. Last October, after losing my job in Utah, I came home to Texas. I have come to the area where my ancestors first settled in Texas in 1821. I have stood in the store my great great uncle built in 1865 that still stands today. I have met my 93-year-old great uncle and learned stories of my elusive Moore family no one seemed to know. I have gotten hugs from my “blood” family. Just recently, a small article and picture of me appeared in the same newspaper where stories on my ancestors appeared over 100 years ago. My life has been an amazing journey. I have had to learn how to be loved and how to love others, to trust, to forgive, to have faith and hope. Around 1982, while I still had a lot of anger and hatred in me, Jay Osmond became my home teacher. I will always be grateful for him. For one, he always seemed to be there when I needed him; and secondly, he was the first to tell me, “You have to know and believe many people care and love you.” I could hear the words, but it took me a very long time to come to understand them. I have been encouraged for the past several years to write my story. The book is called Friends…Lessons of Life. It is of the people who have pulled me through my life and how they have done it. In sharing my story with people I am often asked how I made it, because so many don’t. It goes back to when I was 10 and becoming an Osmond Fan. I have always loved their music, but there is so much more to it than music. They gave me hope to hold on to, examples to live by, and now friendships I cherish today--and, yes, even a chapter in my book. I could never say "thank you" enough to the Osmonds for what they have done for me; but I hope by sharing my story they will know how grateful I am for what they have given so many of us. My life is a miracle, and because of one family I got a chance at life. If you are angry and mad at the world as I was, I encourage you to take a journey and discover who you are. Start with your family. You may find some surprises, but I know more than anything you will find answers to who you are and change the things you do not like.

How I live my faith

Today I live my faith in many ways, by going to church, paying tithing but my passion and love is genealogy. I have met so many people "by chance" who I have helped with their family history. One lady who's name is Betty I met in the Georgetown Texas library. I sat down with her and helped her fill out a pedigree chart so we could begin to find her ancestors. One of the most incredible moments was when I was able to show her a picture of her Great Grandmother, a Native American Indian and the reason for her search. A little while later I glanced at her and saw her fighting back tears. She told me "I was taught I could never cry! But that is my great grandmother, I came from her and I can't hold back the tears now." The feeling I get when I see someone finally realize the connection between them and their ancestor is sometimes overwhelming to me. It is a wonderful thing.

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

Laura Leigh
We are taught as members of the church and Christ taught us to serve one another, so we do. People I talk to find it amazing that we volunteer for our roles in the church and are not paid with money. I can tel you the blessings we get from service far outweighs any price tag of the job. I have also found that when I begin to have a bad day or see myself getting in a bad mood, I look for ways to serve. One day it was helping a lady learn how to pump gas, one day it was letting the service man go in front of me in line....there are many small ways to serve one another. When I serve, I don't get angry and frustrated. Because of that I am able to have such a peacefulness with me along with the Holy Ghost that it keeps Satan away. Show more Show less