Athelia Woolley LeSueur is a successful fashion designer in NYC and she and her husband are expecting their first baby; but life wasn’t always so bliss. She used to be an avid dancer, but as she kept working harder in dance she realized her body became more weak. Finally she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that would forever impact her life. She chose faith over fear and is continuing to triumph over her trials. So yes, Athelia is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as a “Mormon”. Read her story and watch her video below:
I am a fashion designer. I live and work in New York City. I have loved clothes for as long as I can remember. Now I love my job too! Before becoming a designer, I was a modern dancer, counselor and neuroscience lab analyst. I married in my 30’s and am expecting my first child. I’m having a girl and can’t wait to design clothes for her!
Why I am a Mormon
I am a Mormon because I have had deeply personal and sacred spiritual experiences with God. Through these experiences, I have learned of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I have also come to know that the principles that are taught in the Book of Mormon are true principles. The more I live them, the better my life. In short, being a Mormon makes me happy.
Can you think of a specific challenge in your family that Gospel Principles helped overcome?
When I was 17, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that greatly affected how I lived my life. Over the last 15 years, I’ve thought a lot about what my life could have been had I not had this challenge. Sometimes, I’ve felt discouraged about lost opportunities and unmet life goals. Yet, I’ve also thought a lot about God and my true purpose on Earth. I believe my primary purpose on Earth is to gain a physical body and to grow spiritually. Although my disorder has not allowed me to do and become many of the things I’ve wanted, it has helped me to grow spiritually. I know that God gives us problems so that we can become better people than we would be otherwise. I feel grateful for this opportunity for growth in a way I never could have without my faith in God.
How I live my faith
I try to do the basics. I pray morning and night, attend church and read my scriptures daily. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that to be a disciple of Christ, I have to try and follow Christ’s teachings in the more complex and difficult areas of my life. It won’t suffice just to check boxes on my daily ‘to do’ list. For me, this means being kind to people when I don’t want to (I’ve found this is more and more challenging the longer I live in NYC!). It also means forgiving people when I don’t want to. Finally, it means serving others (again, especially when I don’t want to!).
Mormon women share their beliefs and faith. Learn more at the official site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called by friends of other faiths as the “Mormon Church”).