I was born in Burlington, Iowa, and grew up five miles south of town on a farm. I had Godly parents that met at church camp and raised my older brother and me to love God. My father was a deacon, then a priest in the RLDS Church in Burlington. I was baptized at eight years old and grew up going to church camps and reunion at Nauvoo, Illinois. My parents made sure that my brother and I were at Church whenever the doors were open. When I was eighteen years old, my father died of skin cancer. It rocked our world. In my mother’s grief she chose to move to Independence, Missouri, to be closer to her family. My brother was at college and I still had to finish my last year of high school. I lived with an aunt and uncle for a month then got my own apartment. I lived there for six months going to school half of the day and working at Zephyer Credit Union for the other half of the day as a loan officer. Next I chose to move to Warrensburg, Missouri.
My first thoughts were to go to college in Warrensburg, but I got a job working at Central Missouri Credit Union as a member service representative. I started attending a college youth group. It was there that I met my husband. He was in town from Independence visiting his brother. Darrin was a member of the RLDS church, so right away I knew he was the one for me. We started dating and were married six months later. Darrin and I lived in our first home in Grain Valley, Missouri. I started working at United Consumer Credit union where I worked for a year before going to work for Commerce Bank. After having our first baby in 1999, I worked part-time for Blockbuster Video which I did for four years before deciding to stay home with my babies for good.
When we were first married, Darrin and I agreed to go to church at Osage Hills RLDS. Then, a few years later, we moved to New Walnut Park RLDS. In 2002 New Walnut was making a lot of changes in the Church that we did not believe, as they were not in the scriptures, they were not of God. Darrin was a deacon at the time. One Sunday he told me to go on home with the kids so he could give up his keys and walk home, that way he would have time to think and pray. As I was sitting at home waiting for Darrin, I was praying as much as I could, asking God where we were going to go to worship, what Church to raise our children in. Then I heard a noise outside so I look out the window to see what it was. I saw Darrin walking up to the house and at the same time his dad was driving up the drive way. I walked out to greet them both and his dad jumps out and says “I found a Church we need to visit.” He said he had been talking to a friend (Apostle Jim Rogers) who was telling him about a Church called The Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We asked if Jim Rogers would come talk with us. As we talked with Jim we knew in our hearts we had to visit this Church. We went to one service at Center Branch and then another at Blue Springs. We both knew in our hearts this was the Church for us. We joined in April 2002.
We currently are members of the Center Branch with our three teenagers, daughter Molly, son Madison, and daughter Emma. Darrin holds the office of seventy and I handle the family worship. As a couple Darrin and I have helped with F.I.S.H. (a youth group) for a number of years, been counselors/directors at Junior High camp, and been in charge of weekend work/repair for the camp grounds in Blackgum, Oklahoma. I have homeschooled my children from the start and our oldest will be graduating this next school year.
As I reflect back on my life, I never had a big bang experience; I just always knew that I wanted to follow God and His teachings. I never wanted to stray from His Church. I will be ever grateful for my early upbringing and the experience of going to camp and reunions. It is those times that have helped me stay grounded in my faith to God and His Church. My prayer is that I can follow God’s will and do as He wishes throughout the rest of my life.