I am a native southerner from Jacksonville, Florida, and proud descendant of William Durrance, one of the first converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a small farming town in Northern Florida. He was baptized on December 27,1897. Because of my great-grandfather, I am a 4th generation Latter-day Saint.
I am a wife of 36 years and counting, mother of two grown and married children, grandmother to two lively and wonderful grandsons, and a retired Registered Nurse. I am honored and humbled to be a part of the Mormon Women Stand community and to have the association I do with these faithful covenant women of God. I feel an increased urgency to share the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in any way that I can.
My hobbies include: studying the gospel, gardening, cooking, and gathering recipes from Pinterest. No margarine allowed! I love to hike in the beautiful Montana and Canadian Rockies, and my favorite vacation spot is Waterton, Canada. I have enjoyed many different opportunities for Church service. I have been a Primary teacher, Primary pianist and chorister, Relief Society teacher and pianist, ward choir director, and Young Women’s president. My latest calling is as the ward (congregation) organist. I currently live in the great city and state of Great Falls, Montana with my husband Barclay Porter.
There has never been a time in my life when I have ever questioned my faith in my Heavenly Father and His Son, the Savior Jesus Christ. This testimony, (outside of my family), is the greatest treasure I own, and I would not trade it for any amount of luxury or wealth that the world has to offer.
I am so indebted to many people for nourishing this faith and testimony of mine, namely my devout and stalwart parents, who led by example. They were always a rock of strength to me throughout my growing up years in our home. Dad would recount all of his missionary stories from the time he was on a mission for the Church in the Pacific Northwest in the early 1950’s, having given up his semi-professional baseball career he had begun after being recruited right out of high school. Baseball was extremely lucrative and financially profitable for both my dad and his parents. He traveled all over the U.S. with this career, and would send money home, the likes of which my grandparents had never seen before. When my Dad decided to go on a mission and give that all up, little did he know that in coming years, this example of his would be a strength and a testimony to his future children. What we kids learned was that no sacrifice was too great for furthering the work of the Lord and His gospel.
My mother’s family also passed down a legacy of faith to us as well. Her grandfather, William Durrance, was one of the first converts to the join the Mormon faith in a small farming community outside of Lake City, Florida. Mormonism was not a very popular religion in that part of the U.S., especially in Northern Florida, which was considered part of the Bible Belt South. For his courage to become a member of the Church after listening only once through an open window of a local school-house where the missionaries were preaching inside, I will be forever grateful.
When my great-grandfather went home and told his wife Lenora that he was joining the Church, the story is she was reluctant. No doubt she had heard of the persecutions of not only the missionaries, but of any that joined the Church in the South, and those that fed, clothed, or even harbored the Elders. However, through the example, testimony, and faith of her husband, she too would join him in baptism on December 27, 1897. I look forward to the day that I can embrace my parents (who are now deceased), once again, as well as my great-grandparents, William and Lenora Durrance, and thank each of them personally for paving the way for generations to come to accept and live this beautiful gospel. I know that families are eternal, and through the covenants and sealings made in the temple, I can be with them all forever.
While this is the backdrop or background leading to the development of my own testimony, a testimony has to be nourished over time, and be it life-long member or convert, each has their own particular conversion story. There have been too many experiences in my own life, and some too sacred to share, to deny The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I have a firm witness of the power of the Atonement of Christ to heal and to save. I know that the Prophet Joseph Smith was ordained to his High and Holy calling as the First Prophet of the Restoration of the gospel. As a martyr for the cause of truth, he sealed his testimony with his blood, and has done “more for the salvation of men, than any other man, save Jesus only.”
I know that the Book of Mormon is true, for I have read it, and studied and prayed about it to know of its divinity for myself. I know that President Monson is a living prophet today, who through direct revelation speaks the mind and will of the Lord. I sustain him as well as the Twelve Apostles who are all prophets, seers, and revelators. I have nothing but reverence and love for all who are faithful in the Church that sacrifice and consecrate their time, talents, and gifts to serve the Lord. I know all of these things through the power and Gift of the Holy Ghost, who gives us all comfort and peace in these very chaotic and perilous times, and is the light in the darkness that will always lead us safely home again if we just exercise the gift, and heed His promptings. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Her hobbies include cooking (southern of course- please pass the cornbread with butter, no margarine please), and learning how to garden in a colder climate without killing a sweet pea. She is an avid reader of the scriptures and anything from British classic literature. Her favorite novel is "Our Mutual Friend," by Charles Dickens. With any spare time left over, a fun pastime is viewing and analyzing Korean/Taiwanese drama with English subtitles. She loves the sound of "kamsahamnida."Susan and her husband of 37 years live in Great Falls, Montana and are the parents of two grown children and the grandparents of two adorable grandsons.
Latest posts by Susan Porter (see all)
- Pressing Forward with Family: Keeping Our Faith and Declaring Our Witness until the End - June 26, 2015
- Russell M. Nelson: Sabbath Is A Perpetual Covenant - April 26, 2015
- Honoring Christ’s Atonement by Living His Gospel - March 30, 2015