Leadership Council Spotlight: Mandy Marquardt



June 2013

Mandi was born in Davis County, Utah. She grew up in the Church and gained a deep and personal testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, of the Book of Mormon, and of the Prophet Joseph Smith at the young age of 11. This foundational testimony of the gospel has become the core of her life. Mandi attended various colleges and universities in the State of Utah studying French and Political Science. She has always had a deep love for different languages and cultures, and a deep desire to understand people and the way they think and why they act like they do. She loves sports, particularly the sport of Figure Skating, and anything having to do with the Olympic Games. She enjoys painting, playing guitar and writing songs, and learning new languages.

Mandi served a mission to the Baltic States Mission and then returned and finished her BA in French at Utah State University. It was shortly after this time that Mandi began to come to terms with her own experience with SSA, which from that point became a five year journey to a deeper conversion and testimony that the only way to be truly happy in this life is to live the gospel and rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ to overcome and make strengths out of any weaknesses or obstacles we may face in this life.

During the summer of 2012, while perusing on Facebook she read a blog post by Josh Weed. For the first time ever she realized that one could be honest about experiencing and at time struggling with SSA and not only still be a good member of the church, but even work for a greater good in reaching out to others and building the kingdom of God, not in spite of experiencing SSA but because of it. That moment started a year long journey of honesty, vulnerability, and outreach which resulted in an even firmer testimony of the enabling power of the Atonement with deepened and more real friendships, and better family relationships. The progression she made finally lead Mandi to North Star.

All throughout her life Mandi saw those around her struggling with SSA and felt powerless to reach out and help them because of her own fears. Because of the opportunities and examples provided at North Star Mandi has found her voice and a way to share the message in a way she always wished she could in the past.

Mandi has stated as part of her testimony, “No matter what your struggle, there is room in the gospel for you. No matter how much you think you can’t live the gospel because you are too imperfect, the Savior can enable you to, and by so doing you can find joy and happiness that is available in no other way, shape or form. The only way to find true happiness and peace in this life is to stay close to the Savior, and to live the principles he has taught. No matter who you are, there is hope for you in the atonement of Jesus Christ, and there is a home and family for you in his gospel. People are imperfect, we all do dumb things, we all say dumb things, but ultimately we are children of God, and our potential is to become like him. As it says in Antoine St. Exupery’s The Little Prince ‘you have to put up with one or two caterpillars if you want to know the butterflies.’”

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