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Hi I'm Mary

I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a legal secretary and a classically-trained musician on the French horn. I played professionally for a while but went back to my "day job" for more stability. I'm glad I did play, though, because it brought me to the Church. I love the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square and my dream is to get to play with them someday!

Why I am a Mormon

I was a graduate music student when my teacher sent me to Utah to play in a summer opera festival run by a famous Mormon opera singer. I thought it odd that the opera company frowned on smoking (which I did at the time) so I quit prior to going - a good thing, considering I was a horn player. When I got there, I met a wonderful friend in the horn section - a great player and a nice guy - who gave me a Book of Mormon. Since my husband and I were rooming in the basement of someone's home for the summer, and had no TV reception, we were very bored during our time off and decided to read the book. How fascinating it was! During a weekend off, our friend and his fiancee took us to Temple Square to walk around and we were very impressed with the peaceful beauty of the place. They patiently explained their beliefs to us with a very loving and giving attitude. My husband and I returned to Temple Square every chance we had that summer. We were lucky enough to be there on July 24th and attend Pioneer Days at the newly-built Conference Center. It was so wonderful to see all the clean, well-groomed, happy families with well-behaved children attending the event and to experience the entire auditorium of 21,000 people singing hymns with the orchestra and organ. I had been living in the slums of downtown Los Angeles for five years (the only place my student budget could afford) and was not used to seeing such cleanliness and order. I was transfixed by the story of the Mormon pioneers and their struggles to make their journey west. I have to say that I admire the Mormon volunteer singers and musicians who comprise the choir and orchestra. They rival any professional group! I also discovered genealogy at Temple Square, and that changed my life forever and I am now an avid semi-pro genealogist. When my husband and I returned home that fall, we asked the missionaries to visit us and within a few months were baptised. That summer in Utah was the happiest of my life.

How I live my faith

Having come from a non-religious background, it's been a struggle for me as a convert. In fact, I had never even read the Bible! I was very worldly in my youth - self-indulgent and hedonistic - hey, it was the '70s! I had to overcome many addictions to become a Mormon. But I feel so much better now. I've had a few setbacks now and again, but am still a member and have recently renewed my activity in the Church and found much peace and happiness and welcoming open arms. One of the things I like best about the Church is the emphasis on family. I came from a broken home (my parents divorced when I was 4 years old). When I was 6, my mother remarried a wonderful man who took care of me like I was his own. We moved far away from our extended family and my much older siblings did as well - all in different directions. I always felt like I had no family because everyone was so spread out across the country. My stepfather was a scientist and also agnostic so we never belonged to a church or studied religion while I was growing up; in fact, religion was sort of "taboo" in our home. We moved often, and I was never able to build a network of friends. I felt so isolated and alone. When I became a Mormon, everyone made me feel so welcome and called me their "sister." The gospel principles of the Church and my genealogical research have made me realize that I am part of one big family and I don't feel so alone anymore. I am comforted that even though my earthly father is estranged from me, I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. I actually joined the church in 2001, but never told my stepfather or mother because I was afraid of their reaction. After my stepfather passed away in 2008, my 81-year-old mother wanted to get involved in a church again. After searching several years and not finding "the one", I sent her some missionaries last year and she ended up joining the Church at 83! We've received many blessings since then and I'm so thankful we can share this experience.