I was born in Poland in 1973, the younger of two girls. We weren’t wealthy by western standards, but we were fairly well-off for Poles at the time. My parents were members of the anti-communist movement, and because of political persecution my family emigrated to the U.S. in 1985, when I was 11 years old.
We arrived in San Antonio Texas during a recession and my parents, though both had college degrees, didn’t speak English and were unable to find much work. For the first time in my life I knew true poverty. My father became increasingly abusive as the stress of the situation worsened and my mother had an emotional breakdown, to the point where she could no longer function as a parent. Adding to the misery, my shabby clothes and inability to speak English made me an outcast at school. I spent several years seeking solace and companionship with anyone who would associate with me, mainly other social outcasts and people as destitute as I was. I spent those years surrounded and encompassed by darkness. I had forgotten how happiness and peace felt.
When I was fourteen years old my sister and I saw a commercial for the Book of Mormon and out of curiosity we called for a free copy. It was brought to our house by two beautiful sister missionaries and by the end of the discussion our faces hurt because it had been so long since we’d smiled. This was my first real experience feeling the Holy Ghost. I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the members in San Antonio took me in and made me feel loved again. It was in the Church and by church members that I was taught about the healing power of the atonement of Jesus Christ.
I have since married in the temple and begun to raise my family according to the principles of the gospel. All of my greatest blessings and all of my happiness in this life come from the gospel of Jesus Christ, which I have found in His church. Much of my testimony about the infinite goodness and love of God and the divine guidance of His church comes from my experiences with learning the principles of the gospel. Whenever I feel like there’s a principle or doctrine of the gospel that makes me uncomfortable, I have always found with further study, prayer, and instruction by inspired leaders that those principles have been misunderstood, mis-taught, or mis-applied. In Ordain Women I have found people who, like I do, love the gospel and the church and are trying to respectfully open a dialogue with church leaders and other members about gender inequality. I believe that as we earnestly and prayerfully strive to sort out what is the pure doctrine of Christ from ideas taught by imperfect people, we will further unlock the potential of women as leaders in the church and servants of our Savior.