Hello, reader. My name is Chelsey Ortega. I am a wife, a mother, a bookworm, a dancer, and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was born and raised in the Provo/Orem area of Utah, and still live there today.
Gaining an individual testimony and sharing it with the world has been an important part of my life. I started blogging about my faith and testimony in 2013 on my personal blog: Milk Chocolate. I submitted a Guest Stand for MWS at the beginning of 2016 which led to an invitation to be an official contributor! That invitation came at the perfect time as I had graduated from college, had a relatively new baby, and was brand new to the stay-at-home-mom life. I needed connections to the outside world. With that wonderful addition to my life, I expanded my personal blog to include posts about my family, opinions, and other fun interests. I would consider my personal blog to now be a “mommy blog”.
I married my husband in the Salt Lake City temple in 2010. We had our first baby, a boy, in 2013, and our second, a girl, in 2015. I attended Brigham Young University from 2009-2015 where I studied History Teaching and TESOL (Teaching English to Students of Other Languages). I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in History Teaching and a certificate in TESOL. During my semester of student teaching, I taught Utah History in a 7th-grade classroom. That was fun and challenging because most of Utah’s history is also LDS history.
I believe that sacrifice is something that continues to be an important part of life among modern day latter-day saints. I used to be a competitive ballroom dancer, and when it became too difficult to juggle dance, school, and my family, I let dancing go to focus on school and to start my family. My husband has also made similar sacrifices. I believe that sacrifice makes us stronger and leads to faith and testimony building.
I love to read! For most of my life, my favorite form of literature was fiction, my favorite genre being fantasy (Harry Potter nerd right here). Shortly after my son was born, I fell in love with religious literature. It was during the long days of feeding, sleeping, and changing diapers that I turned to the scriptures, The Ensign, and other readings published by the Church and LDS authors. Somehow, becoming a mother flipped a switch in my head and I realized how important it was for me to be knowledgeable in the gospel so that I could be a successful teacher to my son and his future siblings. I still enjoy my favorite fictional stories, but adding religious reading to my life has been a tremendous blessing.
I would like to conclude with my testimony. I know with all my heart that the gospel of Jesus Christ is back on earth. Joseph Smith was God’s chosen prophet. He translated the Book of Mormon, he was given the priesthood and passed it on to other worthy men, giving all of us the blessings of the priesthood. He restored the fullness of the gospel and Christ’s doctrine. I know that Jesus Christ walked this earth healing, blessing, and teaching. He died for me and for you. Because of his sacrifice, we can be forgiven of our sins, we can be resurrected, and we can be with our families again. I know that Heavenly Father is real. He is our father, and we will return to him one day. I know that the Holy Ghost is real and that he guides us when we allow him into our hearts.
I am enjoying and look forward to continuing this opportunity to share my testimony here at Mormon Women Stand.
~ Chelsey Ortega