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Hi I'm Natalie

I was born into a good, moral, Christian family, I'm a recent convert, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm the 7th child of a large, loud, Nicaraguan family in which I am the only Mormon. They keep my life interesting!

Why I am a Mormon

Nothing in the world has made me change for the better more than joining the church has. I can attribute everything I like about myself to the Lord, and though I had many of these things before I joined the church, they have since been magnified. I know now what it truly means to be a daughter of God and the knowledge I have now is both binding and liberating. It is binding in the sense that I now have more responsibilities in knowing the principles of the gospel, but it is liberating in that I have become strengthened through obedience and faith. Joining the church was the hardest thing I have ever done. I had many doubts and I did not really know why I was doing it, but in retrospect I realize that I had to hold on to a single particle of faith to fully convert, repent, and change. The doubts are no longer in my mind. My life is nothing I ever imagined it would be, but I have faith that I will love where I am led.

How I live my faith

I do hold a church calling and I do attend church weekly, but I like to think that living my faith really depends on how I live from Monday through Saturday. I live in a town that resembles a ghost town on Sunday--it's pretty easy to avoid getting in trouble on that day of the week. It's really Monday through Saturday: at school, with friends, in class, reading the Bible, reading the Book of Mormon, getting on my knees, and my constant prayers throughout the day that truly determine how I live my faith. I maintain my responsibilities and reap the rewards of obedience the other days of the week as well. I mess up often, but my mistakes throughout the week can become fewer throughout my life as I continue to change. I live my faith by constantly changing and seeking to improve myself.

What are some things that tell to you there is a God?

Natalie
I couldn't imagine that mankind's existence is the result of luck. I must acknowledge a divine being in my life, quite honestly to make it worthwhile. I know that where I am now, physically, mentally, spiritually, and otherwise can only be the result of divine intervention. The circumstances and promptings I have received in my life are the result of a Heavenly Father that is aware of my life and its circumstances. My Heavenly Father is aware of my actions and intents. He is aware of my strengths and shortcomings and I am loved for them all. I cannot acknowledge all of the wickedness one sees in a day and not acknowledge that the opposite also exists, that there is a being and that serves as a model of perfection for the imperfect. Show more Show less

Mormons believe Jesus Christ is their Savior. Why do we need a Savior?

Natalie
I distinctly remember putting up a fight with my parents one day about going to church before I became a mormon. To motivate me, they told me that Jesus Christ paid the price of my sins and that I should be grateful to go to church. I remember getting real sassy with them and responding, "I never asked Him to do it!" I can't remember what happened after that, but I remember feeling pressure around my heart, the words were tight in my throat. I was scared of hurting my parents' feelings or making Jesus angry, if He was listening. The feeling only made my confusion more frustrating. I hated being made to feel guilty for an action in the past that someone else did that was supposed to affect every action of my future. I eventually had my come-to-Jesus moment. It was when I needed Him, and I don't feel bad about that, because that's why He did it. I've had instances in my life in which I have been desperate to change something about myself, I've had a wounded spirit and broken heart, I've needed the strength to forgive another, and I've yearned for the guilt of my own wrongdoings to be taken from me. I have yet to understand the extend of the Lord's healing power but I have felt it. He has this power because of His experiences in the Garden and on the cross. He knows me, my pains, and my weaknesses because of them. He knows how to help me, personally, to change and become like Him. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Natalie
Sometimes I barter with God, or I feel responsible for other people's faith, or I feel unworthy of a blessing. These feelings and actions sometimes come pretty naturally to me and though they feel a lot like humility, they actually stem from pride. This pride comes from a lack of acknowledgement that the Lord blesses us because of His infinite grace through His infinite love. It has definitely been hard at times to motivate myself enough to obey the commandments while acknowledging the Lord's grace. I could see how it would be easy for someone to rely fully on God's grace and never do anything to strengthen faith through their own actions. I could also see how someone who obeys the commandments could feel entitled to or impatient for blessings, while forgetting the Lord's grace. If we love the Lord, we will know Him, and we will know of His mercy, and we will act on our faith because we are motivated by the love we receive and the love we give Him. I can't say that every action in my life lines up with that statement entirely, sometimes guilt or want of a blessing still motivates me to obey, but I'm still in my early 20's. God will be merciful enough to help me figure it out. Show more Show less

How can we increase our faith in Jesus Christ?

Natalie
Increasing faith in Jesus Christ is a balance of constantly asking questions and practicing obedience. It's really hard to know what obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ looks like in every circumstance. I have a million questions about that! Some of my questions are directed toward myself. I ask myself how I'm doing, how well I'm demonstrating obedience, and I ask these questions of God too. I've asked God and myself hard questions, full of differing opinions from people part of the mormon church and not. If it were up to Satan, we would all be blindly obedient, with no free will or choice. That was Satan's plan, so we shouldn't willfully submit to that by never asking questions of God or ourselves! Along with asking questions, equally important, is being obedient. Yes, that means sometimes we will do or abstain from doing things that we don't completely understand yet. That sort of obedience requires a lot of faith and faith requires a lot of it. I've always found that even when I think I know exactly why God commands me to do something, at some point, something will make it difficult to obey, or make me question the commandment, or cause me to learn even more about the commandment. A lot of people lead the model of asking questions until they have faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ and obeying to maintain it, but constantly asking and constantly obeying are equally important to obtaining and maintaining faith. Show more Show less

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

Natalie
If everyone were to respect their fellow human beings, to where they were not viewed as objects of sexual gratification and if we all had a clear understanding of the importance of sex and the law of chastity (men and women should only have sexual relations with their spouse that they are married to) there would not be an issue with pornography. It is important to teach the sacred nature and importance of sex instead of making people feel ashamed about it or giving sex a sense of importance for the wrong reasons. Motivating people with guilt will only drive them to hide their issues with pornography and the guilt will displace hope for being healed of their addiction. Motivation through pure love will impress upon them that there is much that is acquired from love besides its physical aspects, and such motivation will give them the hope and encouragement to seek help and healing that can only be given through Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

Natalie
I'm answering this question because I know that the spectrum of opinions of those within and outside of the Mormon faith is pretty large regarding gender roles. I have plenty of questions about this issue that I'm studying and praying about myself, so I can only offer my beliefs as far as they are developed through my own thoughts and study. Mormon women are all different, so I can't really answer that question! I like to think I'm not defined by my sexual organs or my ability to produce and care for a child. I'm not a mother yet, but I know that even when I am, that's not all that will define me. Men and women have different roles and abilities. It's interesting to me that a lot of women want to put upon themselves socially attributed male characteristics (mainly those that give the illusion of power, that personally I view as weaknesses more than strengths) to make themselves equal to men. Doing that is not embracing femininity, but is just perpetuating this mindset of defining women in terms of men and masculinity. Women are equal to men with the differences. I can't really outline the differences between men and women right now, I have just sensed or felt them before. I intend to be a nurturing parent and to have a nurturing spouse. As long as nothing gets in the way of my faith and the relationships in my life, I will stay in control of my life and I will never let myself feel like I'm less than anyone else, male or female. Show more Show less