Did you know Brandon Flowers is a Mormon? I’m a Mormon too. It’s no secret that I’m a Mormon (also known as a Latter-Day Saint), but it’s not something that I shout from the roof tops either. Not because I’m embarrassed, unsure or worried what people think, but because it is so much a part of me, I almost forget that it could be perceived as peculiar, or unusual. Something that is incredibly personal and in my head (sort of) goes without saying. Throughout my life I’ve never understood how so many people know I’m a Mormon before even talking to me. It’s one of those mysteries of life. I’ve attended church every Sunday since birth (just about), I’ve never drank alcohol (although sometimes people don’t believe me when they see my lack of inhibition on the dance floor), I don’t spend money on a Sunday (unless it’s absolute necessity), I’ve never taken drugs or smoked (boring I know), I didn’t have sex before marriage (and neither did Jared. Is that too weird?), I don’t wear miniskirts, short shorts or reveal my shoulders (unless I’m exercising or swimming – definitely too weird?), I’ve never even had a cup of tea or coffee (pure madness) and…I just love Jesus.
I know, I know – what an absolute bore, but being a Jesus lover makes me so happy and (I feel) being a Mormon doesn’t stop me from enjoying myself. Aside from all of the features that may make Mormons distinct, I promise, we are actually quite normal.
There are so many misconceptions surrounding the Mormon church, which I’m not going to go into – they can get boring and repetitive – so I’m sorry to disappoint! What I will say, is that Mormons come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and we have far from perfect families. The places to find the correct information is lds.org.
I have a profile on mormon.org – a website where people can go and read about our values and beliefs, as well as ‘chat’ to Mormons. I wanted to share my profile with you all, so here it is:
I live and grew up in Yorkshire. I met my husband whilst living and studying in London, and we got married in 2009. After university I worked for three years as a Childrenswear Merchandiser, and after having my first son in 2012 I made the decision not to return to work. We had our second son in 2014 and I (now) very much enjoy being a stay at home Mum. I love visiting new places and trying new things. My dream is to one day study nutrition, which I hope isn’t too far away. I write a lifestyle blog (you’re reading it), which has become a much loved hobby.
I am one of eleven children. I was ‘born’ into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which means my parents are both members, but I have had to gain my own faith and testimony – an accumulation of many experiences and precious moments where I have felt the presence of God in my life.
Why I am a Mormon
I can honestly say that I love being a Mormon, and I am still a member because it makes sense to me. It makes sense that we need to have a living prophet on the earth today who leads and guides us, it makes sense that when we have more charity, more love and more compassion that we are happier and it is my rock in a world that is getting more and more complicated. I didn’t adjust to motherhood as easily as I thought I would, and I can have quite high expectations of myself. I thought I would be more natural and feel more complete rather than at times feeling like I was living somebody else’s life because I didn’t fit into mine. There are so many times when I have asked for help and received in straight away. Sometimes I have just needed to know somebody was there for me. I have asked the Lord to carry me and he has. So many times I feel like the Lord has been next to me during the day, sometimes all day, he has cushioned me and made me less sensitive to my surroundings so I can feel of his love and continue on. He has enabled me to find true joy in my life.
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have the power and the desire to help us overcome our feelings of grief, despair, inadequacy, discouragement, pain, and temptation. They constantly offer us comfort, peace, hope, love, and strength. They can heal our feelings of fear, distrust, anger, self-doubt and sorrow. I have felt this countless times in my life. I have had prayers answered, I know what it feels like to be forgiven and I know what it is like to have the Holy Spirit touch my heart.
Nobody in the Mormon church is perfect and we certainly don’t claim to be. Our prophet and apostles may look old, frail and out of touch but that description could not be more wrong (just listen to some of their conference talks on lds.org). The Priesthood my husband holds blesses my life and I can’t imagine my life without the peace I feel at the temple. I am a Mormon because my joy increases the more I try to live it.
How I live my faith
Being a Mormon is not about attending church on a Sunday (although this is very important to us), it is a daily commitment to become more like Jesus Christ, because of the love we have for him. It’s a way of life and about recognising the blessings that we receive every single day. Having a strong family unit is fundamental to our faith so we try to build strong family relationships that are meaningful and long lasting. We fast, pray and read the scriptures as a family.
Currently I help run the programme for women over 18 at my local church. This means I help plan activities, see how we can get involved in the community, plan music, teach lessons on a Sunday and seek out the needy. It can be overwhelming, and I love learning from the other members that are far more experienced than I am. Previously, I have worked with the 12-18 year olds, as well as taught Sunday School for the 3 year olds. Trying to live the gospel and trying to be more like Jesus makes me happier, more content and more confident. It is not always easy and I have a long way to go, but the gospel allows me to see my potential.
I’m incredibly lucky that people have always respected my religious views. People may not understand them or agree with them, but they have always respected them, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Here are some profiles from people I know, that have had very different upbringings and life experiences to my own:
Sandy – from a single parent family.
Angela – divorced, single parented and recently remarried.
Alexander – the student.
Olivia – grew up in the church, left and then came back.
Roy – joined at 17 and now teaches religious education.
What a great post Esther! I love the photos, especially the one with your sisters and mum. I love that you shared my I’m a Mormon profile 🙂 Very cool! My latest post is http://wp.me/p5XRN6-Z4 and funnily enough it talks about you ha ha! Much love Ang!
Thanks Ang! Of course I shared yours 😉 I love that you mentioned our trip to Ikea. It was like Christmas! xx
Love this Est! I’ve got an I’m a Mormon profile but I think I need to update it as I did it ages ago x
Thanks Becky! x
I’ve randomly just fallen onto this post and I think you and I are polar opposites where this is concerned. My parents were a mish mash – my Mum had her own beliefs, we went to a spiritualist church and she used to read tarot cards and do readings for people along with my nan. My Dad could read hebrew, meditated and knew about buddhism and other belief systems. I never really went to church – apart from at Christmas – and the only religious thing I had interest in was getting married in church. Getting married would be all wrong if it wasn’t in a church. But I’m not religious, I don’t really believe in anything but the children like church and I know we’ll take them when they get older to Christmas services as I always enjoyed those as a child.
I love how much faith you have, and I do think your religion is a big part of who you are today – it’s shaped you. Plus, you are probably the sweetest and most pure person I have met in my life. I can’t imagine you saying a bad word about anyone and I think you are doing really well on your journey. If anything, I’m slightly envious that you have something so meaningful in your life – outside of your immediate family x
Oh wow Donna! Your parents’ beliefs sound so interesting, and I’m really struck that you wanted to get married in a church, despite not being religious.
Your comments are so kind Donna, you are making me sound far too lovely. I certainly have lots of weaknesses and have many edges that need knocking off – including speaking more kindly of people.
Thank you so much for your comment Donna, I absolutely loved reading it. Have a wonderful 2017 and look forward to bumping into you on social media at various points! xx