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Hi I'm Shauna

I'm a Mom of 2. I grew up in the Chicago area. I'm a Spanish teacher, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a Mom of 2, a Wife of a great guy, and a School Teacher. I grew up in Chicago Land ...if you are from the Region, that doesn't sound weird to you if you're not, well, it just means the area around or near Chicago. I have lived in several different states and even in another country for a semester of college. My family and I like to hang out together playing games, swimming, watching movies, playing sports, camping, taking road trips, and laughing. I have two wonderful kids, a daughter and a son.

Why I am a Mormon

Many people only equate one thing with Mormons--the young men in suits and ties riding their bikes and knocking on doors. Well, in the early 70's a set of missionaries came to my then newlywed parents' apartment when I was an infant. My mom came into the living room to find my dad chatting with the young Elders. She promptly called him into the kitchen and made him send them away and warned him to never bring those kinds of people into thier home again. They put up a no soliciting sign and never thought of Mormons again...at least for a couple of years. During these couple of years, my dad's teenage sisters were ironically becoming friends with some new neighbors who invited my aunts to youth activities at their church. Within a year or two they were baptized. Suddenly my parents were experiencing the Mormons from a different angle. Unfortunately, as the next few years passed, my parents' young marriage proved to not be able to withstand the storms of tribulation and they separated. My dad turned to the bottle and my mom turned to God. She investigated the Mormon church and had missionary after missionary working on her for a couple of years. She took her time and attended church regularly while all along having an intellectual knowledge of its truthfulness. What she needed to truly convert her life to Christ was the SPIRITUAL knowledge. That finally came, and we (my mom, myself and my brother) joined the Mormon church. I have often said that I would NEVER leave the church, or go into "inactivity" as they call it. I don't say this to judge those who do, but in a very real sense, I believe that I cannot live without the Gospel and the Lord in my life. I would have to completely deny what I know to the point of living an extreme to what I do each and every day. I am not saying that my daily life is so close to God and so spiritual that I can't comprehend any other way...NO. I have ups and downs throughout my life; I feel closer to the Lord sometimes and further others. It's like marriage, it takes consistent effort and nourishment to stay close to God and spiritual things. Luckily for me, I rely on the spiritual manifestations I've had at different times in my life to hold me through the times where I might feel distant from my Savior. When I am not being as diligent in living the Gospel to its fulness, I cling to those experiences that came during times when I've been close to Him, and that rememberence brings forth a comfort that only the Holy Ghost can bring. It is then, that I am strengthened and find myself relying again on Him for whatever it is I need. It is then that my knowledge is reaffirmed that this is His Gospel, that He is there, very close to me, no matter how far I feel from him, and that He is truly interested in my and loves me. I am eternally thankful to the Lord for bringing the Gospel to my mom when I was a child. The knowledge I have of these truths is the MOST important possession I have. It brings me to a desire to give it to everyone. I wish everyone knew what I know about Heaven and life's purpose. I am not saying I know everything by any means, but I know where to find answers.

How I live my faith

I graduated from a high school of about 1,800 students in a middle class community in the Midwest. I remember when I left home after high school and went to college, a friend of mine that I had in elementary and junior high school had contacted me after years of losing touch. Because I grew up in an area where most people had never heard of Mormons, it wasn't surprising that my brother and I were the only Mormons in our school. Well, this friend had subsequently joined the military and had become re-acquainted with Mormons during his time in the Navy. He kept thinking of me through his investigation of Mormonism and looked me up. In my amazement, I said, "I didn't even know you would remember that I was a Mormon." What he said next has left a lasting impression for 20 years..."Shauna," he said, "Your MIDDLE name was Mormon!". Wow. I had no idea people thought of me this way. It made me really realize that being Mormon wasn't just a religion; it was a way of life for me. My faith, or my religious beliefs cannot be separated by who I am as a person. It is part of the fabric of my life. It is the thread that binds the experiences of my life together just so to make me who I am. Without it, I would live a completely different life day today; I would have left very different impressions with people of my past; I would not have the strength I do today to withstand the pressures that often burst seams that are often left irreparable. So, to me, HOW I LIVE MY FAITH is simply HOW I LIVE---period. As for "callings" in the church, which are voluntary service positions that comprise the lay-ministry type of church we Mormons have, I have pretty much had every "job" in the Church over the years. Because we have moved around a lot due to schooling and jobs, I have had much opportunity to attend about 20 different wards (or congregations of Mormons based on geographical boundaries). Some wards were quite large and crowded, others have been small and lacking in membership. I have worked a lot with the youth organizations, I have also been a teacher in almost every auxillary of the Church from Sunday School to Scouts. I have served as Activities Leader, planning large, 300+ person dinner parties and I have visited the sick and the elderly in their homes, hospitals and nursing homes. To me, these sorts of summaries can sometimes come off as self-idulgent; thus I try to avoid flaunting such things around, even to friends. But as I comtemplet this topic, each one of these positions I've been in over the years has given me the opportunity to do what the Lord would do if he still walked among us. This conviction is what led me to serve a full-time mission myself when I was 21 as a "sister missionary". Being an ambassador of Christ in that capacity was one of the highlights of my life...to literally leave everything behind and do what He would do if he were here...it was a humbling and strengthening experience that contributed greatly to this "fabric" of my life. To me, this is the purpose of the Church of Jesus Christ today...it kind of relates to the Law of Supply and Demand...to provide opportunities for people who have desires to follow Christ and be his disciple which allow them to experience what his gospel teaches in real, tangible ways (supplying the "Supply"); while also creating a simultaneous conduit of charity for the entire world to receive, who all are in need of this service (feeding the "Demand"), be it spiritual or temporal.

In whom should we have faith?

We should have faith in Christ--He who has layed down His life for us and shown us the way to our Heavenly Home. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, not just of Christians. Whether people believe he is our Savior or not, he still is. It is the personal, individual faith in this fact that leads one to an eventual knowledge. And ironically, once the knowledge is there in the soul that Christ is your personal Savior, having faith in him then becomes a recurrent exercise throughout life as the Adversary attempts to derail you from this path. Many people today like to think, oh, we should be instilling the idea of having "faith in yourself" to get through life. To me, the idea of having faith in yourself is counter-productive if you don't first have faith in Christ. It perpetuates a sense of unhealthy independence. I believe we should teach DEPENDENCE on the Lord, and when necessary, teach SELF-RELIANCE on a temporal level. But, when discussing faith and spiritual matters, we should simply have faith in Christ and Christ alone. We cannot save ourselves from the inevitable ills of this earth life. We NEED a Savior--and it just so happens that the same being that created this earth in the beginning also offered to be that Savior to each soul who inhabits this earth. He saw the beginning and the end. He voluntarily gave his life and suffered the pains of this mortality so that we could inherit eternal happiness. All that we are as men and women...all the strength of the most amazing person you can imagine is only and solely this wonderful, because of Christ. So, it is in Him that all faith should be placed and as he has promised, there will be provided a way...a way that we can pass through any trial that might seem unbearable. "Have faith in yourself"; "Believe in yourself"...I say, first have faith in Christ. Believe in Christ, and then, because He believes in YOU, you will find capacity and strength to surpass. Relying on ourselves in faith or belief will only take us as far as the capability of a mortal man. Christ was more than that. We need Him. He is the ultimate example. We can follow Him in faith. Show more Show less

Where did Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints begin?

What is today know as the "Mormon Church" had it's most recent beginnings in upstate New York in the early 1800's. But, before I can move forward from there, I have to back up. The beginning of the beginnings of the Church dates back to the earliest prophet of the Bible. The Church and its teachings, practices, doctrine are outlined in the Old Testament as the prophets taught the Gospel of this "Messiah" who would come to save the world. They preached and practiced the doctrines of God like prayer, worship, temples, Sabbath. They laid the foundation of the Church to prepare for the coming of Christ himself. When he did come to the world, as we learn in the New Testament, he established an organization that took the rituals and traditions of the believers up until that time to a higher plane. He fulfilled the Law of Sacrifice that had been practiced for so long as a similitude of the ultimate sacrifice they had all been anticipating with faith through His personal suffering in the Garden of Gasthemene and on the Cross. He left the world at the Meridian of Time with power and testimony to continue spreading salvation to all men. But, remember, salvation is only achieved on an individual, personal level. Therefore, each man/woman for himself has to come to a knowledge of the truthfulness of Christ as his/her Savior and then live according to his direction to inherit eternal life. And thus we learn through history that the followers of Christ and his disciples dwindled and were killed off. Eventually, the world fell into an "apostacy", which means there was no longer the truth of Christ's Gospel on the earth. His preisthood, the power to govern the Church in His name and act in His name, His power of healing, blessing and converting people through the Spirit was gone and revelation, or communication with the Heavens was no longer with the last Apostle. Corruption of the Church grew and access to the written word of God was denied to the common person. During these "dark ages", many revolutionists came along and were looking for answers that were not available since there was no longer a mouthpiece for the Lord. People like John Calvin and Martin Luther and other of the Reformation Age began to pave the way for the coming of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. There was much religious upheaval in Europe as a result of the Reformation and the New World became the place for those who desired to worship freely. The early colonists of the US came for religious freedoms. They were God-fearing believers in Christ who sought to worship and draw close to Him. Joseph Smith was one of these. He was a young boy who desired to learn of God and the things of God. He had faith and read the Bible. He prayed with intent and faith about which of the many religious sects to join. There were many different views of the scriptures as people had more freedoms to interepret as they wished in the early 1800's of America. Joseph thought there should be only one faith, one heart, and one baptism, as Christ pointed out in the writing of the Bible many years before. He was right. He learned that none of the churches at the time had the full truth because none of them had regained that preisthood power and revelation that had been lost. The restoration of these two elements of Christ's Gospel and Church came to Joseph Smith through visitations of angels and even God and Christ themselves. These Heavenly Beings appeared again to mortal man for one sole purpose, as they did throughout all earlier time periods from Adam to Moses to John. What came in the next 10 years (by the year 1830) was the foundations of what is known as the Mormon Church, but what is really the fulfillment of the Church of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less