Hi! My name is Jessica but most just call me Messy Jess. I grew up in the Mormon Church. I married in the temple at age 26 and eight years later I am happy to be a stay-at-home mom with four children. I like to be active and busy. My two favorite things right now is photographing my children’s every move and working out at the gym.
As a child I moved over 45 times before I graduated from high school. Life was hard. Most of my life lessons were learned from my mother as she lived the gospel as a single parent. Her life was full of grace and sacrifice and service. It is because of my mother that I have become who I am today.
I gained my true testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ after I graduated from high school. Until then the gospel was something that had been taught to me – the ways of my family. I took care of many children in their homes as their caregiver. I experienced different ways of lifestyles and religion. I spent summers on the island of Nantucket where many churches bellowed their sermons and music filled the Sunday morning air. I relished the time I spent wandering from church to church being a guest in their house of worship. It made me question the way I was raised and made me think about God and his purpose.
I pondered how Joseph Smith must have felt with so many churches claiming to be the true church as well as the faith and desire he had to serve God and to know who He was. I myself wanted to know God and to know what God wanted from me. I wanted to know if the things my mother had taught me were true. I needed to know for myself if the things written in the scriptures were true.
I think it is through trials that I have grown closer to God. I think he wants us to remember Him and he wants us to talk with him in prayer. He has always given me what I needed to progress and learn and grow. He has placed people in my life to help me. Friends, teachers, mentors, and family. Even when I felt alone I was never forgotten. There were gentle reminders if I chose to look for them.
I am grateful to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to know that I have a loving Father in Heaven and the miracles of forgiveness is through my Savior Jesus Christ. I am so blessed to be able to teach this to my children so that they know who they are and whom to look for when they need encouragement or comfort and even to know whom to give thanks to.
Having a testimony of the gospel isn’t just something you believe in….it’s the way you live day to day. It is who you are. A child of God. I pray that you will have the courage to allow God’s spirit in your life. Yours truly, Jess
Jess, thanks so much for sharing your story with us. I felt particularly inspired by learning how you went to different churches and, in the end, found out for yourself that the Mormon church was where you wanted to be.
Jess, I hope my life testifies of Jesus Christ too.
Jess, It’s great to hear about your personal search for truth.
Those 45 moves sound interesting, I bet there are good stories hidden there!
Yes, interesting stories for sure, so glad to read this this morning my cousin, Jessica! I too think your mother is one of a kind!