Angie has three sons and two daughters ranging in age from nearly five to fully 13. She is a Northern Virginia native who has been living in the desert outside Las Vegas for more than a decade, even though she fully intended to be living the diplomat life somewhere in Africa by now. She met and married her husband in law school 15 years ago after serving a mission in Brazil. Her mothering goal is that someday her children will arise and call her blessed. Today she settles for getting them to arise at all. She has been a writer since Mrs. Hackwell’s kindergarten class but no one has paid her for anything more than wills, trusts or contracts (she did get a rejection letter from Sheri Dew once). She plays the piano well enough to make sure her children practice. Her lullabies are most often scat; her dances range from modern to samba. She believes in tender mercies and the power of prayer and that life has a tendency of going almost completely never as you had planned.
Becca, from pioneer stock on one side and converts on the other, is most passionate about the gospel, music, math and science, and children – which comes out in her writing. After living in one state (in the south) her entire life, she lived in three different states in the 6 years of her marriage and plans to live in dozens of countries before she’s done moving around. She is a mother of two children, ages 5 and 3, and expecting a third. She is a lifelong learner, but obtained an official degree from Brigham Young University in Mathematics with a minor in Physics. Her universal love of all children (including the ones who are older than 18) drives her to tutor, teach, and coach – most frequently on a volunteer basis, and often learning on the job. She is a hopeful adoptive foster mom, with a passion for teens who age out of the foster care system. She is a mom to anyone who needs one, and is sensitive to the sorrow hidden in quiet hearts. Her heart is always open, and feels big enough to take in the whole world.
Bonnie is going to found a publishing company called Wild Grey Hares someday. No explanation necessary. Mother of 6 and grandmother of 2, she is happiest immersed in the cacophony of family gatherings. In the past quarter century she has studied engineering, education, liberal arts, advertising, natural health, business consulting, therapy, construction, nonprofit management, public administration, poverty alleviation, gardening, parenting, and her navel. She has moved 22 times in her life and is done with that. She spends her free time reading and writing and being Mema. Her favorite color is red. And purple. She took off a year to write the perfect business plan for a nonprofit that will end poverty in the wealthy but completely messed up US, and is waiting for someone to die and leave her $5 million so she can get started. She plans to live in India someday to help with community infrastructure, and really wants a salwar kameez. A red one.
Brenda is the mother of four tremendous children ages 15, 14, 8 & 5 and wife to a very patient and witty man she lovingly calls “Buns.” Born and raised in Idaho, she now lives with her family in an ancient church in rural West Texas where the renovation is ongoing and never ending. Along with being head zookeeper and cheerleader in her family, she works as the business manager of a Special Education Co-Op, serves on the local school board, teaches Gospel Doctrine, and is within a year of finally finishing a degree in Business. A life-long student of the Gospel, she spends her free time searching for truth, beauty, and a really good BLT.
Cheryl was born to Canadian parents, raised in Idaho, and graduated from BYU with a BS in MFHD (Marriage, Family, and Human Development), a minor in music, and her MRS degree. Living most of her married life in Provo, she still longs for the blissful year they spent near San Francisco, CA. As an exhausted mother of six children under the age of 12, she spends most of her time changing diapers and helping with homework, but still finds opportunities to blog about her depression, travel with her husband, read voraciously, play the piano, and hike the Wasatch Front. Currently serving as ward choir accompanist and a gospel doctrine teacher, Cheryl has aspirations to write the next great American novel, plant a “real” garden, and spend a good six months in the United Kingdom. In her own words: “I’m tall. I love. I write.”
Emily is a mom of four, currently ages 9, 6, 3, and 6 months. She has been married for 13 years and lives in Utah. She went to Rick’s College and BYU and earned a BS in Health Science and minors in History and International Development. She also earned a teaching certificate for secondary education and did her student teaching in Western Samoa. She loves history and has enjoyed volunteering at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City in the past. In her pre-mom life she worked for the Welfare Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her favorite hobby is currently blogging, but she’s also been passionate about remodeling, the outdoors, and sewing.
Heather is a graduate from Brigham Young University where she received her degree in Public Health and Women’s Studies. She is a self-proclaimed scripture nerd and loves to study about the lives of the women in the scriptures. She authors the blog Women in the Scriptures (womeninthescriptures.
James grew up in a committed LDS extended family with Jewish and Sikh roots and branches. He and his wife like to talk about the world, their kids, and food. They also like to visit relatives, play board games, and make stuff up. When he’s not thinking about what he’d like to eat next, James blogs at Mormon Midrashim and co-edits Everyday Mormon Writer. His debut novel, The Five Books of Jesus, was published in September 2012. Once upon a time(s), James also served in the Leipzig/Berlin Mission, earned a B.A. in Theatre, served for three years as the Artistic Director of the New Play Project, won the 2009 Association for Mormon Letters Drama Award, and earned an MFA in Creative Writing.
Jan (LDS Women of God) is a wife of 32 years; a mother of six (five returned missionaries), and Meme to a growing army of stripling grandchildren. A SAHM for twenty years, she also managed to volunteer at the Humanitarian Center (at first just to work off a speeding ticket) for three years, read over the radio to the blind for six years, removed fingerprints off of Church Museum cases for three years, then served as a docent for another six years. After taking far too many sisters, through a Relief Society exhibit, who knew little about its history, women, or eternal purposes, she decided to create ldswomenofgod.com where she could share her research on this incredible women’s organization. Now that the last of the kids are in college, she is finally getting her degree in Creative Writing at BYU.
Jendoop is an artist who recently realized that her sketchbook has more words than sketches. She’s been blogging since Feb 2008, wrote for mormonwoman.org, and published in Segullah, Winter 2012. She is finishing her bachelor’s degree in psychology (it’s only taken 20 years) and should be ready for grad school the same time her oldest daughter starts college. Jen is happy to be a stay at home mom to her 4 kids, thanks to her husband of 20 years, Paul. She’s also been a foster mom, and hopes to help more children in the future. Her current residence is Iowa, although she’s spread her heart across the US- most recently living in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Indiana. Her addictions are chocolate covered almonds and reading, usually together. (image credit: Shanna Bollwinkel)
Liz (NotMolly) is wife to a Tall, Dark, and Slightly Neanderthal Fellow she met quite by accident, and mother to four beloved Minions, ages sixteen to very-nearly-five. She hails from a long line of Scottish Hermits, and currently schools the Minions and works from a happy home in a tiny cottage on the western reaches of the Rocky Mountains. She and her husband own a miniscule publishing company for obscure niche books and sewing patterns. She currently serves as Perma-Sub for chorister duties and Sunday School and Relief Society teaching, and is the youngest Church Lady in her ward by a good three decades. She finds tremendous joy studying the lives and society of the early LDS, reads omnivorously, and loves to sing. She is quite disadvantaged as a pianist, and positively dreadful on the cello. Being a good Hermit, she avoids cameras; she and her son still have the same viewing angles, though now he is rather too large to lift.
Marie has been a reader forever and a writer almost as long. She accidentally became a professional photographer at the age of 19 and finds images the perfect complement to the well-written word. She received a BA in journalism from San Diego State University. She recently achieved one of her life goals of living in the Centennial State and sometimes has to pinch herself (or go hiking in the mountains) to make sure she’s not still dreaming. She’s been married to her best friend for nearly three decades and they are the parents of three daughters and a son who make sure life is never dull. When Marie isn’t busy with her blogs, you can find her being a band mom, experimenting in the kitchen or out exploring her beloved Rocky Mountains with her camera in hand.
Marsha Steed Keller (Th’Muse) “When I get a little money, I buy books, if there is any left, I buy food and clothes.” –Desiderius Erasmus. This defines a part of Marsha’s psychology and intent fairly well. When she was a child she says that people asked what super-power she would desire. She replied, “To know what is true, always.” It hasn’t changed much since then. Marsha cares more about intent than result; more about understanding than agreement and more about good questions than finding all the answers. She defines her best blessings as people (Family and Friends), ideas and beauty. She is highly visual, teaches voice and piano and enjoys her Life/Relationship coaching immensely. She has a BA in Psychology and an AA in Ballroom Dance. Life is an adventure to be lived in the moment and shared with the world. She considers being asked to write with this amazing group a high honor.
Michaela (Scriptorium Blogorium) is a true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool BYU Cougar who just happened to finish her degree at Arizona State University in Literature, Writing, and Film. She loves reading, writing, studying the scriptures, singing with the primary kids as chorister, helping people organize and de-clutter their stuff, and generally exuding enthusiasm for the simple pleasures and victories of life. She’s an honorary member of the elder’s quorum moving company and aspires to become many things, one of which is a good cook. She blogs at Scriptorium Blogorium and a few other places too.
Montserrat (Chocolate on my Cranium) lives on a 4,400 acre alfalfa farm in Northern Nevada with her husband, Joseph, and their nine children. She thinks spending time with her family is truly heaven on earth, which is probably why she is crazy enough to homeschool all those kids! Montserrat enjoys photography, cooking, crafting, gourmet chocolate, reading biographies, playing a masterful game of Scrabble, and sloppy goodnight kisses. She attended Ricks College at the young age of 15 where she majored in Crop and Soil Science. Montserrat is proud of her Hispanic, Catalan heritage and hopes to live up to the legacy of faith her ancestors have passed on to her. She strives to live each day as God would have her do following Mary’s biblical supplication, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38)
Nathan Richardson is the fourth of six northern California children and is still recovering from the trauma of never being quite sure whether there will be enough for seconds at dinner. He and all his siblings survived childhood to serve Spanish-speaking missions in Latin America, which allows them all to talk secretly in front of their children … and their parents … and their spouses. He and his wife have a growing passel of children and (usually) prefer them to pets. He blogs at NathanRichardson.com. Nathan enjoys volleyball, maps, salsa, children’s storytelling, inventing games, and making gospel study aids. He loves explaining the gospel to young and old, converted or not, and is the creator of the Structured Edition of the standard works, a free custom edition of the scriptures. He would count his life a raging success if, through emulation, he could end up being a blend of Danny Kaye, C. S. Lewis, and Dick Van Dyke.
Nick Galieti is a man of many passions and opportunities. From a young age Nick has embraced music. That love of music has lead to a career as a performer, and currently as a sound engineer and record producer. Music led to film and video production. Nick has produced, written, and directed two full length documentaries on the Prophet Joseph Smith as well as other projects for corporate clients and individuals. After serving an LDS mission in Baton Rouge, LA., Nick was married to Heidi, and is now the father of 5 girls. Heidi and Nick also own and operate Custom LDS Scriptures, a service to bind or re-bind scriptures with high quality leather in a variety of 55 colors. Nick is also the author or the book Tree of Sacrament. Comfortable with public speaking, writing, producing, and performing, Nick Galieti is a man of many talents, but one goal: to inspire individuals in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul is a convert to the church with his parents and siblings when he was a child, and therefore has the great blessing of having some of his formative years in the church while still remembering his family’s conversion experience. He is the father of seven and husband to his lovely wife. He served an LDS mission in Germany and has lived in Latin America and twice in Asia with his employer; now he lives with his lovely wife and youngest two children in the Midwestern US. Prior to earning his MBA, Paul also earned degrees in English and Theatre History. He also blogs at A Latter-dayVoice where he writes, as he does here, of his own experience as a Latter-day Saint. He does not speak for the church but will speak in favor of it.
Ray is the husband of his eternal split-apart and the father of six very individual children. He was raised in central Utah, educated at Harvard College, taught high school in Alabama, climbed the Educational Publishing corporate ladder while living in Ohio, moved into college admissions in Missouri and now works as the Director of Undergraduate Admissions at a small, liberal arts college in Nevada. Ray has blogged actively for the past five years. He maintains daily posts and links on his personal blog (Things of My Soul), is an admin at StayLDS.com, has written as a guest author at Times & Seasons and as a regular contributor at Mormon Matters, and has commented occasionally (to put it mildly) at various sites throughout the Bloggernacle. He has no life outside of family, work and church – except blogging.
Stephen R. Marsh states that his biography makes for bad fiction. His paternal grandfather, Robert Henry Marsh, finished his career as a cultural attaché transitioning from the Austria to the Jordan desk. His maternal grandfather, George Emmanuel Mylonas, was an archeologist. His father finished his career as a tech sergeant in the USAF. His mother, who dropped out of college to marry his father, is currently a widow and between missions. He graduated in applied economics from Cal. State Los Angeles and then from law school at BYU’s law school. He’s married to Winifred Lenora Wallace-Marsh (she goes by “Win”). They’ve been through eight pregnancies, five children, three funerals, and have two surviving children. Win is a CRNA and an inspiring speaker. Stephen began blogging (as in journaling and essays, chronologically arrayed) in 1997. You can find him at http://adrr.com/.
Steven Reed is the husband of a loving wife and father of three daughters. Raised in south Texas he now lives and works in Las Vegas, Nevada. After returning from a wonderful experience in the Idaho Boise Mission, he earned a business degree while living the life of an entrepreneur pursuing a life in the world of graphic design. The study and application of art and design has led to a passion for the simple principles that undergird both beauty and truth. Following an inner desire to expand exploration into life and the mysteries of God while sharing practical insight along the way led to the creation of oneClimbs.com in July of 2010.