Photographer’s Campaign, #MormonByChoice, Encourages Members to Share Testimonies Online

Jill Thomas family
Jill Thomas and her family. Image by Jonathan Canlas.

With some of her friends on social media continually posting why they have chosen to leave The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one LDS woman decided it was time to give the other side a voice.

Jill Thomas explained to that her friends who have left the Church have strong voices on social media and their posts have affected some of her non-member friends. Although she respects and rejoices in the agency of all people, Thomas wants to have a stronger public voice, letting others know that she chooses this faith.

Penny Thomas. Image via Jill Thomas.

Thomas, a mother who lost her 21-month-old daughter, Penny, three years ago, knows what it is like to question everything. Thomas explained that the passing of her daughter made her rediscover her faith.



I am not just a lifetime member, I get up everyday and choose it.

The social media event Thomas created provides members of the Church with an opportunity to share why they too choose to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“I also hope [this campaign will] reach those that have seen and read so many negative reasons about being Mormon, that they might see a different side,” Thomas said.

Having had five children, Thomas explained that her family is her reason for believing. Admitting she cannot do it on her own, Thomas said she is grateful for the community that exists within the Church that helps her and her husband to raise her family with righteous morals. Thomas also explained that following the death of her young child she found answers to her questions in the gospel.

“If there is one way to be with her again or to be spiritually connected with her now, I will do whatever it takes… The gospel is my way to her! Anything else seems pointless.”

Jill Thomas
Jill Thomas’ children visiting their sister, Penny. Image via

Those who wish to participate can simply share the graphic, posted below, with a description of why they choose to live the Mormon faith, making sure to use the hashtag #MormonByChoice. Thomas’ #MormonByChoice campaign takes place on Sunday, November 1, 2015.

Kylie is a writer at and graduate of BYU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She grew up in a Chicago suburb where she gained a passion for the Chicago Cubs. She enjoys writing and live event video production.