Sunstone: Hi! My name is Sierra W., nice to meet you! I chose Sunstone as my pen name because sunstones reflect and scatter the light they receive–that’s what I want to do with my life. I love to be happy and to share happiness! I am a recent graduate from Brigham Young University and am currently looking into graduate programs in social work or elementary education. Some things I love are Jesus Christ and His gospel (I’m a Mormon! Ask me about it!), my family, meeting new people, languages, the outdoors (especially hiking and skiing), learning anything new, reading/writing (I’m a literature nut!), international development, funny shaped clouds, and eating ramen noodles with a fried egg on top (a desperate college student invention that turned out quite well, though I say it myself). I’ll be doing my best to write at least monthly and look forward to hearing your ideas, too!

Panda: Panda is a first-year law student at a law school in Ohio aiming to get her JD degree with a concentration in criminal law. She hopes to be a public prosecutor some day … if she can pass the bar exam. In her free time, she likes to play instruments, eat food, and meander aimlessly. She occasionally works as a freelance graphic designer and loves to design newspapers (she used to work for one). Random information tidbit on Panda: She can’t snap with her left hand.

Opal: Opal is from Montana and enjoys pine trees and cheap reservation fireworks. She studies educational psychology and language acquisition while she’s not making Chinese food. Her undergrad was in French, graphic design and origami cranes. She believes in Charles Dickens, green olives, Benny Goodman and the living prophet. She hopes you are having a nice day.

Graphite: Graphite was born in southern California, served as a missionary in Brazil, and studied abroad in Jerusalem. Thus, she thrives in warm climates and shudders to think of a 4-month Utah winter. She enjoys throwing parties, cycling, cooking, meaningful conversations, and books that will change the way she thinks. Her current occupation is instilling a sense of wonder in 10-year olds (a.k.a. 5th grade teacher).

Enough writing in third person!  I chose the name Graphite because it’s what pencil lead is made out of, and that’s how I view my opinions–penciled in.  Although I always believe strongly and feel passionately about things, I see my opinions/perspective as something fluid, changing to accommodate new information as I learn and grow.  My real name is Sabrina.  :)

Moissanite: Moissanite speaks French
but can’t write biographies
so here’s a haiku.

Mr. Speaker: Mr. Speaker has been engrossed in politics and international affairs since his freshman year of high school when he arbitrarily signed up for policy debate because shop class was full. He loves history, geography, culture, people, languages, philosophy and many other subjects as well. He has a special warm place in his heart for exotic looking writing systems and blueberry muffins.

Emerald: Emerald is currently in Pittsburgh studying Development Planning and Environmental Sustainability — it’s a mouthful, but it just means she wants to help people in French-speaking Africa. She likes those gummy bear vitamins for kids and sometimes eats two in one day (!) She loves words – reading them, writing them, singing them, sometimes eating them … She DOES believe in fairies!

Garnet: Hi! My name is Kimberly. I’m a wife and a student. I love love love books. Especially when I find a book with notes inside because I think it gives it more personality. For fun I hang out with my husband, read, or create. I want to be a Mom, always have room for my growing library, and someday be able to eat soft serve icecream again (I’m on a sugar free diet). I’m a Deaf Studies major and love studying how languages work. I’m LDS (Mormon) and my religion plays a huge role in my life. My goal is to find the blessings in every situation because I know they exist even in our trials. I hope you enjoy reading the ‘gems.’ I contribute to the blog and I look forward to hearing from you.

Lapis Lev: Hi, my name is Tanner. I am from the southside suburbs of Atlanta. Before that I lived in Ladonia, Alabama. I quit playing rugby so I could be a cheerleader. I gots a hot wife with a baby on the way. I like to speak other languages because it helps me think more clearly. ADD is one of the best things to ever happen to me. And I am learning Kyrgyz and Kazakh.

Cubic Zirconium (aka Derkonium): Cubic Zirconium (Derkconium) was born in Utah, later moved to Utah, and then moved back a few years later to his original birthplace. Now he lives in Utah and feels inferior to the many diamonds that reside on left-hand ring fingers. Derkonium studies poetry at BYU and, in addition to thegemseekers, posts every Tuesday on where you can read his more extensive biology.

Sapphire: Sapphire has lived on three continents, is a native of South Africa, her family lives all over with a hub in Berlin, Germany. Due to her somewhat nomadic lifestyle she speaks several languages and is currently learning Hindi. She would like to be like Frederick the Great who spoke at least 12. She is currently a graduate student, ESL teacher and life enthusiast. She is also a chocolate and food snob and would rather drink water than anything else. She is a proud and happy member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, served a mission in Pennsylvania, and really wants people to play nice and get along.

Hematite: Hi, I’m Hematite. I currently live in the Salt Lake, Utah area, though I’ve lived all around the country, and other parts of the world. I have been LDS all my life and helped to bring my wonderful husband to the Gospel. We live here with our beautiful daughter who brings us so much joy. I have a bachelor’s degree in art from BYU-Idaho and my favorite thing to do, for the time being, is woodburning. I also love to sew. Everything. My favorite food, hands down, is Italian, but it’s better in Italy. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite movie, but it has to be the long, 5 hour version. I love to read fantasy, science fiction and mystery novels when I’m not bent over my table with my wood burning pen or chasing my 15 month old around the living room.

Obsidian: My name is Brittany and I chose Obsidian as my gem because of its many properties. It is a glass as fragile as could be but it allows for strength and healing in many respects. I hope that although I am a humble and inexperienced servant of Jesus Christ that I may provide help and strength to those in my life.

As I contribute to this blog, I’m at a turning point in my life. I’ll be graduating with a degree in Biological Science Education from Brigham Young University this April and I am constantly investigating different paths and seeking to know which one is right for me.

I will strive to write a gem every few weeks. These thoughts will come from my recent realizations and musings. I hope they provide some food for thought for you as well!

Pearl: About me: It’s not.

Asaka: Basically, I’m awesome. That’s really all you NEED to know, but I’ll give a few more details. I’ll probably do a lot of writing because naturally I will always have some wonderfully profound piece of wisdom to impart…or I’m just on the computer attempting to do homework a lot. Take your pick. I like musicals, singing, dancing, cookies, and conchas. Espesially the last one. You have no idea. Most of my stuff will probably relate to Broadway in some way, so I’ll be your bearer of uplifting Bway songs and scenes. Full Disclosure. ;]

My name is Caleb. I’ll be a student soon at BYU-Idaho, hopefully majoring in Pyschology. Honestly, I just thought this was a cool name. After doing a little research I’ve found out what made this such a precious stone. Not only is it beautiful, but it was once believed to a stone of protection and healing. It was even revered by certain Native American tribes as having the ability to call down rain. This is an interesting name indeed. How readily human beings are to place their trust in something, in a lot of cases anything, they hope is more powerful than themselves. This in the hope of some finding some measure of protection, peace and healing. I know that I do, but thankfully it is far more real than a stone or man-made object that, though beautiful, has no more power to help us than we do to help ourselves. I hope in my writings, I can help people see the source to which they can go for protection and healing. That is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For that is who I look to, and who I am striving to be like. I hope this belief is reflected in what I share with you by means of my posts.

Black Onyx: Hi, my name is Jordan. I am a sophomore at BYU-I, currently studying International Relations, with a minor in Russian. However, I plan on going to BYU for the Middle East/Arabic major! My goal is to live and work in the Middle East, ideally to help the people that many times are forgotten in that region. My faith in Christ is extremely important to me. I grew up Catholic, and had a falling out with God in my high school years, luckily God never gave up on me. Eventually, I found the LDS church, and that greatly helped restore my faith. I strive to keep religion my focus, though I have other loves, mainly political and international issues. I hope to post a lot on this blog, though being in college might make that just a little hard ;)

Turquoise: Hi there! I’m Sarah, and I chose Turquoise for a couple reasons. First, I just think it’s pretty, and second, it reminds me of my older brother, who’ll be coming home from his mission this December. I really like to write, especially since my mind tends to wander off a lot. Right now I am working on an application to Marylhurst University, and hopefully I’ll get into their music therapy program by next fall. I pray that the things I write here will touch the hearts and lift the spirits of those who read. I think we all need a reminder of our inherent worth as children of God from time to time, especially when we’re feeling down or when our lives just seem to be falling apart like crazy. That’s what I hope to do with this blog, to help remind people how much they are loved by our Heavenly Father, and that by relying on the Savior in all that we do, our lives will be filled with a joy and peace that nothing in this entire universe can replace or duplicate.

Ruby: My name is Jacqueline. I hail from Cape Town, South Africa. I am a singer-songwriter. I am studying Psychology and history. I love MUSIC, alternative medicine, travelling, inspiring movies, playing the guitar and singing. I picked RUBY as my gem, as this is my birth stone and I love red. I also like symbolic meanings of things and I love the scripture about a virtuous woman and her price being above that of rubies. I’m excited for this blog and I’ll be likely to post things that are somehow linked to music, movies or things I read. There is a lot of truth in the world, just wrapped and packaged differently.

Origen: Origen is a Philosophy student with an avid interest in Religion, Language, Scotch Tape, and a litany of other subjects. He enjoys jumping out of airplanes and was homeschooled K through 12. He is on the path to becoming a chaplain in the United States Army. Prior to his call to become a chaplain he wanted to graduate from RADA and become an actor. He likes skiing, rational discourse, and trees.

Citrine: Hi! I am Kelly and glad to be here! I am a professional cook – notice that’s the first thing I write – I LOVE to cook, lol! Anyway, I grew up in the “sprawling metropolis” that is Yakima, WA (I’ll just stop here to high five those lucky few of you who actually know of where I am speaking) and have lived in a few places besides, including Sedro-Wooley, WA (way smaller) and in and around Portland, OR where I was lucky enough to learn about and be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – ask me about it, I would love to tell you! – I love peaches, cheese, and the smell of snow on its way (though not necessarily in that order!) I chose the pen name Citrine simply because it is my birthstone and because almost any shade of yellow anywhere makes me happy. I hope you enjoy reading of my little ponderings and come back to see me soon.