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Hi I'm Ashley

I'm a "small and simple thing," and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

One of my favorite scriptures is Alma 37:6-7 in the Book of Mormon; it reminds me that even a little person like me can make a difference. I grew up with an LDS family, but my testimony is hard-earned. There is truly nothing more important to me than the gospel and my relationship with my Savior. Other than that, I'm a devoted daughter, sister, niece, cousin, aunt, and friend. I enjoy music and books written by others, but I also love to write them myself (I play the piano and sing). I also love swimming, camping, skiing, running, movies, theater, art, video games, languages, and learning new things. I'm allergic to penicillin and will rarely voluntarily eat barbecue sauce. I like to pretend that I can dance, but I'm really not very good at it. Also, I have an odd preference for numbers that are divisible by three. I served as a full-time missionary from Oct. 2010 to April 2012, traveling mostly around New Mexico, although I was also in El Paso, Texas, for a while. That's where I learned to speak Spanish, and I continue to study it. Eventually, I will learn other languages as well. If I could pick one word to describe my mission, it would be "irreplaceable." Best decision I've yet made. My dad passed away of cancer (specifically leukemia) in November 2009. This was one of the greatest turning points in my life. I learned about love, devotion, and the power of faith. I like to think I'm quite friendly and approachable, too. Always open to talk. :)

Why I am a Mormon

The most important reason is that the Holy Ghost has testified to me on more than one occasion that it's true. Also, I've felt the difference between living the gospel and not living it; I've found that although living it isn't easy, it's simple, and that is a recipe for true happiness. Beyond that, it simply makes more sense to me than anything else. I believe human beings have great eternal potential, and that there's much more purpose to our creation and the complexities of mortal life than to simply end up floating around clouds and stringing harps forever. That doesn't sound like happiness to me. The Lord makes it possible for us to meet our true potential, and if we follow Him and accept Him, He will teach us about happiness that never ceases adding upon itself, and we can have our families together forever. It's very kind of Him to make so much consistent effort on our behalf. I'll always be grateful to Him for that. I want to show that gratitude by being a little better every day.

How I live my faith

To properly live the LDS faith, one needs a balance of "duty" and "love." We are told that if we love the Lord, we must keep His commandments (John 14:15). Of course we will never be perfect, but He can tell who is truly His friend and who is not based on how hard they are trying. I think everyone has different capabilities and spiritual maturity levels, so I would never judge a person's standing with the Lord based solely on what I see; but it is very important to constantly be striving to improve our capacities and enhance our devotion to His path. It is never enough to simply confess discipleship; we must be mindful of the duties the Lord gives us. The church is God's kingdom, and kingdoms don't function if the citizens don't work. Still, we are also told that without charity, we are nothing. We could be perfectly obedient to every commandment, but if our hearts are not soft and contrite, we will still not not be living according to the Lord's way. It is a great responsibility to love and be loved; we all need each other, and we all need the Lord, and the Lord expects us to care for each other. There's a reason why He saw fit to save even the person with whom we get along the least, or the person most beyond our understanding. If we cannot find what He saw worth saving in every person, how can we expect to claim mercy ourselves? Duty is like the body, and love is like the heart. Each need the other to be whole. The point of duty is to learn to show our love, and love helps us to understand our duty. I try to live my faith by keeping the commandments and fulfilling my callings, and also by believing in and loving everybody I meet with my whole heart. I like to think I get a little better at it every day.

What is the priesthood?

Ashley
Contrary to common perceptions of it, the priesthood is not the same thing as actually having the power of God; it simply means that God has granted a particular man the right to call upon His power for a specific purpose. That right is conditional upon the man's worthiness, which is measured by the degree of his fulfillment of the Lord's commandments. If he is not worthy of it, the right is dormant until he repents. Also, the priesthood cannot be used on oneself. The priesthood was given to men as a means of blessing others and providing the ordinances necessary for salvation and exaltation. Notice how the Lord never once used His powers to benefit Himself; if He had ever tried, He would not have been worthy to be the Christ. Some have criticized the church for being sexist because it grants priesthood authority only to men. Hopefully this explanation makes it clear that the priesthood must not be misunderstood as an excuse for tyranny or pretended superiority. It must be noted that the woman's role is just as important, for we help the men fulfill their priesthood duties. They are the leaders, and we are the counselors (it comes with being natural nurturers). A leader without a counselor WOULD be a tyrant, and a counselor without a leader is aimless. We are incomplete without each other. We are equal. There is no power struggle. The priesthood teaches both genders how to follow the Lord's way. I have great respect for the priesthood and the men in my life who hold it. Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

Ashley
Officially, the Law of Chastity is very simple; we are not to have sexual relations with anyone besides our legal spouse (who is to be of the opposite sex). That is the "letter of the law." The "spirit of the law" is that we love purely. The Lord said that all of the commandments and laws of the prophets hang upon the commandments to love God and love thy neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40). The Law of Chastity teaches us to love God, our own selves, and each other by showing our respect for the glorious gifts that are our bodies, rather than using them like toys for our own amusement. Our bodies have a powerful purpose, and like all powers, they can either bring great joy or destruction. The Law of Chastity also teaches us to love the children who are waiting to come to earth by waiting to provide them with a stable environment before we risk bringing them here. I understand that the urge to be intimate is natural and among the most potent of instincts, so it can be very difficult for both homosexual and heterosexual members who never to marry to accept the Law of Chastity. But I know from much experience that we have this law for a reason, and I testify firmly that if necessary, a chaste life is infinitely better than the alternative. The Lord's Atonement always more than makes up for our trials in the end. Show more Show less

Why are Mormons asked to donate 10% of their income to their Church?

Ashley
Because kingdoms don't build themselves. :) It's very easy to talk about having faith in the Lord, but if you're not willing to sacrifice a bit of your own physical stability (or perhaps for some people it would only be sacrificing a personal comfort or two) to contribute to the building up of the kingdom of God around the world, then how can you really claim to have been changed by the Atonement of the Messiah? The Lord gives us 100% of His life; we can give Him 10% of our worldly goods. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Ashley
Two scriptures can help anyone with that: Moroni 10:4-5 (in the Book of Mormon) and John 17:6-7. The first says that we must study, ponder, and pray about the Book of Mormon, and the Holy Ghost will testify of its truthfulness for those who are honestly seeking to know AND are willing to act upon whatever answer they receive. If the Book of Mormon is true, then the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the kingdom of God, and the Lord is calling you to enter it. But this study and prayer must be combined with experience. The second scripture has the Lord teaching that we can know whether His doctrine is true by trying it out. Try living according to the standards of the gospel and see--or better yet, feel--how your life changes. Show more Show less