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Hi I'm Michele Joyce

I'm a Mormon and a lifelong learner!

About Me

I am a 'retired military' wife of twenty-five years and have three young adult children. We live in the Pacific Northwest where I am starting my career as a Marriage and Family Therapist. My career goal is to help the military strengthen home and family. I enjoy reading, exercising, writing, playing the piano and violin, current events, speech and debate, singing, art, and teaching. I have a keen interest in the humanities and traveling. I used to teach Special Education and Early Childhood Education in DDESS and local public schools. I am the Puget Sound South Company President of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers! I love to serve other people and have a special affinity for the elderly and are very comfortable around them. Recently I was my mother's primary caregiver and learned quite a lot! Now I am studying for the national board exam for my chosen profession.

Why I am a Mormon

I have chosen to be a member of the Church because my enthusiastic and articulate parents taught me where I came from, why I am here, and where I am going. The Church always made sense to me and I have never looked for answers any place else, only from my Heavenly Father, through the Holy Spirit. I have knowledge of other religions, lifestyles, and philosophies but have never found anything more complete and powerful. There is always more to learn and I know I can receive direct revelation from God for any principle, doctrine, commandment, and/or application. God has given me the freedom to choose and I take that stewardship seriously. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, Messiah, and Redeemer. He was born of a virgin mother, was the Son of the Eternal Father, and is The Great Mediator. He balances justice with mercy through His great atoning sacrifice. Through Him we can be redeemed from death and hell and be forgiven of all our sins. He can and will heal every sickness, pain, and impairment if we exercise faith in Him. He is alive today and has a glorious resurrected body. My greatest desire is to follow the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth. It is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in its purity, simplicity, and organization. The Prophet Joseph Smith restored Jesus Christ's true church back to the earth after the Great Apostasy. He lived in the perfect time period where The Second Great Awakening was transforming the Eastern United States and there was more religious liberty and diversity. I believe in continuing revelation and in a living prophet. Pres. Thomas S. Monson is just this man. He leads the Church today under the direction and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our Prophet, Seer, and Revelator. He brings us "today's news today" and receives revelation for the Church as a whole. Mormon means 'more good!'

How I live my faith

I believe that when I serve my fellow beings I am serving God. I live my faith by being true to what I already know and being open to more truth as it comes along. It is important for me to have meaning and purpose in life so I try to wear my life out in the service of others. Why else do we each have a body? There are things The Savior wants us to do and we need to be there for "the least of these." I try and discipline myself so no one else has to. I want to be His servant for the world's sake and also one of the friends that The Father has given Him.

What is the purpose of the welfare services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Michele Joyce
The purpose of our welfare services is to see to the temporal and spiritual needs of our Church members, community, state, nation, and the world. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cares for the poor and needy through facilitating self-reliance and providing immediate assistance during catastrophes and civil unrest. We have employment and social service agencies that help people whether or not one is a member. We have canneries, interfaith efforts with many other churches, nonprofit organizations, companies, and Deseret Industry stores that provide resources, money, volunteers, and expertise for community based needs such as homelessness and immigration. We want people to be self sufficient. They can receive literacy training, ESOL services, sheltered employment, apprenticeships, counseling, a variety of employment services and networks, skill training, and we have the Perpetual Education Fund that lets members from disadvantaged nations earn degrees in their home countries. The welfare services strengthen home and family, employment is key to marriage opportunities. We also have LDS Charities which provides expert help, i.e. mechanical, medical, educational, and technical expertise and/or supplies to countries all over the world; actively works with the Red Cross, Red Crescent, and other organizations. Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

Michele Joyce
A ward is a congregation of 300-500 people within a geographic location, a branch is not a ward yet and usually has less members and/or leadership; a stake is comprised of three or more wards and occasionally one or two branches. There are specific wards for young adults and certain language issues such as ASL or Spanish but they are also welcome to go to their local home wards. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Michele Joyce
A testimony is a personal witness from The Holy Spirit that a principle, commandment, doctrine, and/or application is true. When I say that I have a testimony it means that I know down to my inner core and beyond, spirit to spirit, that what I am telling you is real for me and can be for you too, if you are willing to pay the price, not in monetary terms, to know for yourself. While we initially take things on faith it is requisite for each to obtain a perfect knowledge sooner or later. There are general doctrinal applications and personal circumstances which necessitate individual adaptation due to a variety of factors. We are ultimately responsible to The Lord for how we live our lives and cannot blame our choices on others. We have the God given freedom to live the life we were born to live and must find out what is God's plan for us and the talents/abilities He has given us. Show more Show less

Why don't Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol? What is the Mormon Church's law of health and proper diet?

Michele Joyce
We don't drink coffee, tea, alcohol, or abuse prescription drugs, because it impairs our judgment and destroys our bodies. There is nothing of inherent value in anything that would take away a persons agency to choose for themselves. Any addictive substance that is used to excess is not in harmony with our spirit or body. We don't take illegal drugs or abuse prescription drugs. It comes back to our belief that our body is a temple where the Holy Spirit resides, as our constant companion. It also has reference to our desire to be self-reliant and see things as they really are. Trying to hide from reality through drugs and alcohol is immature and destroys the family, the basic unit of society. We believe in health and wellness so that we are told not to eat too much or too little, we are told what God intended for the animals and that we should never waste or kill wantonly. We are responsible for keeping our bodies clean and pure, inside and out, so we eat fruits and vegetables, grains and legumes, and to eat meat sparingly. This has been a particular blessing to my husband as he is ready to retire from the military as an Infantry Staff Seargent and has always maxed out his physical fitness training and can run circles around men half his age who frequently smoke and drink. He also looks alot younger despite his hard life. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer at his second duty station but made a miraculous recovery and stayed in the military with no adverse impact. Show more Show less

Why is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Mormons or Mormonism?

Michele Joyce
We are called Mormons because we believe the Book of Mormon to be the Word of God along with the Bible, as long as it is translated correctly, with other revealed revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Living Prophets that came after him. People find it easier to call us Mormons than LDS or Latter-day Saints because they may find the name of our church longer than they might wish or aren't as focused on the name of the Savior in the title as we are. The title of our Church is very important to us and should be respected. Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

Michele Joyce
The Law of Chastity is to keep your hands to yourself unless you are married and then only within the bonds of matrimony, with spouse only. We don't believe in cohabitating sexual partners outside the bonds of matrimony. We believe in one man and one woman, married, in a healthy monogamous family relationship. It doesn't matter what age you are, premarital sex is outside the bounds The Lord has set, we need to respect one another which includes our souls (spirit and body). God loves us with all His heart, might, mind, and strength. We should reciprocate this to Him and show genuine Christlike love for His children, our brothers and sisters in the world. Sexual relations are a healthy part of a married relationship but should not include pornography or illicit practices that lead to selfishness or emotional/physical abandonment. Procreation is a sacred trust we share with God. If we don't follow the Law of Chastity then the happiness of Our Father's children is in real jeopardy. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Michele Joyce
I have always been Mormon, having grown up in the Church, but there was a time when I became inactive. During that time I was miserable and very self-centered. It's amazing how much you forget when you drift off for awhile. I came back to the Church after I got married and then became pregnant. My husband, who wasn't a member at the time, suggested that I go back to church. I always knew the Church was true but was immature and a late bloomer. Coming back to the Church was like setting my soul free again, the feeling I had before age 15, before I started feeling "too cool." I was able to calm down and focus alot more in my personal and professional life. I soaked everything up just like I was a child again but grateful and more wise after the journey. I admire those who made better choices in their late teenage years and stayed true and faithful. Now I am much older and my children are almost grown but the Church has made my marriage and family happiness possible. Being Mormon is a blessing and a privilege that I don't take for granted anymore. Being Mormon is all about devotion - to God, to family, and humanity as a whole. I am happiest when I know my standing with God and that I am developing a personal relationship with Him and His Son, Jesus Christ. They are real and love and care for us all. I always try to develop my talents and abilities and work on my weaknesses so I can serve the greater good and make the best choices. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Michele Joyce
We believe that the purpose of life is to find joy through living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We lived with our Heavenly Father before we came to earth and progressed there as far as was possible. Then we learned how to become more like our Heavenly Father by coming down to earth and receiving a physical body and we would be tested to see if we could walk by faith and not by sight, back to His presence. Along the way there would be many things to aid us on our journey - Jesus Christ, Apostles and Prophets, family, Church, scriptures, etc. The Light of Christ is given to every soul (spirit and body) that is born into this world and it lets you discern good from evil. The Holy Spirit will witness to you when something you see, learn, experience, or hear is true. Once you are baptized, with proper authority, you can have The Holy Spirit as your guide, constant companion. The Holy Spirit brings all things to our remembrance, testifies of truth, and purifies our desires, impulses, and actions. We need to choose for ourselves, to act and not to be acted upon. Our stewardship to God, in his absence, is to re-learn His character and nature, to develop our relationship with Him and His Son, Jesus Christ. After we have proven ourselves true and faithful, we will be allowed back into His presence to continue His work, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of mankind. We want to live with our families eternally in the presence of Heavenly Father and His Son. Show more Show less

How are modesty and chastity related? How can parents teach their children to be modest in dress, language and behavior?

Michele Joyce
Modesty and chastity are related because we believe that our bodies are temples where the Holy Spirit can reside as a constant companion and that our souls (spirit and body) are made in the image of God. Respect and self control are the fruits of modesty and chastity. Everything has a purpose and once you know the purpose you can discipline yourself so that no one else has to. We have the freedom to choose and we choose the greater good for ourselves and humanity as a whole. Our core beliefs and Divine Nature come from Heavenly Father and we don't let our appetites, desires, or passions exceed the bounds that The Lord has set for our eternal welfare and future happiness. Most of the ills of our present world are due to excecss, selfishness, anger, and fear. Modesty makes sure that who we are is not drowned out by what we look like. Nothing should get in the way of seeing someone's nonverbal and verbal communication, personality, special qualities, or Divine Nature. As parents we can encourage our children to dress modestly by setting a good example for them, going out of our comfort zone to find or make modest clothing, showing them that types of clothing are for certain situations to show respect and decorum, and that modesty is not a matter of convenience or dependent upon weather conditions. People should be enjoyed for who they are, not what they look like. Crude language or gestures, inappropriate jokes, sarcasm, gossip, or foul language is detrimental and sad. Show more Show less