Back in the eighth grade, I walked into my homeroom class at the end of a school day to find the rest of the class discussing differences in religious beliefs. As soon as I walked in one friend saw me and asked the teacher, “What about Mormons? What do they believe?” My teacher looked at me and asked, “Well, Montse, what do Mormons believe? Since you are the only Mormon here, can you come prepared to tell us tomorrow about your beliefs?” As a thirteen-year-old girl, you can imagine how scared I was! That experience standing before my class was the catalyst to my gaining a firmly rooted testimony.
I grew up listening to stories of my pioneer ancestors, and not just those who came across the plains. Three of my four grandparents are converts, pioneers for the church in their own countries. I have a rich cultural heritage. My mother is Mexican, my father is half Spanish half American. My ancestors are important to me. They have set an example of faith, strength in adversity, and love. I took their foundation of faith and then built upon it.
This is what I know. I believe in God, that I am His daughter and He loves me. I am grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, who atoned for my sins, providing a way for me to repent. I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. The fulness of the gospel, which had been lost from the earth, was restored through Joseph Smith. He translated The Book of Mormon by the power of God. I have read it many times. I have felt the assuring power of the Holy Ghost testifying to me that the Book of Mormon is true. It has been a guide in my life as I try to teach my children about Jesus Christ. I want them to know no matter how difficult the journey may be or how dark the night may seem, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ blessings will come as we show our faith in Him.
I love my family! My husband and our eleven children are my greatest treasures. The nature of living on a farm, miles away from the nearest town, and the fact that we homeschool means we get to spend a lot of time together. I realize we are lucky because we do get to spend so much time building our family relationships. And for that I am grateful. We want to “give our children an identity stronger than what they can find with their peer group or at school or anyplace else.” (M. Russell Ballard, “What Matters Most Is What Lasts Longest,”) I believe families are so important that I host an annual blog event every September for The Family: A Proclamation to the World celebrating the doctrines it contains about families.
My name is Montserrat Wadsworth. I am a wife, a mother of eleven children, an early morning seminary teacher, a blogger, and a part of a long chain of faithful Mormon women. My faith, my religion, is very important to me. It is the foundation upon which everything else rests. My belief in Jesus Christ keeps me going through the tough times, brings me joy in the good times, comforts me when I am down, and guides me every day. Mine is not a passive faith. It is one of action. It is my life.