Dancing to a Mariachi band with her fellow high school peers on graduation day, Lauri felt like she was Superwoman.
After years of grueling school work, health challenges, and working her family business, Lauri finally held her hard-earned high school diploma in her hand.
Her class ring sparkled on her finger and multi-colored leis stood in contrast to her black graduation gown as Lauri danced to the music. And at that moment, Lauri felt like she could tackle anything that came her way.
It was everything Lauri wish she had felt more than 22 years ago.
"I was 41 and a half years old when I graduated high school," Lauri says in a This Is the Gospel episode. "Not 18, I was over 40."
Having received her GED as a sophomore in high school, Lauri didn't need her high school diploma. She didn't need to go back to high school.
But while at an adult high school looking for options to help her teenage daughter graduate from high school, Lauri did something she says was probably crazy in hindsight.
"I just felt this crazy, brilliant, light-bulb moment," she remembers. "It felt like at the time where I really wanted to finish my high school diploma. I was told I only needed 10 credits and I registered on the spot."
But life has a way of intervening with even the best ideas. A few months after Lauri registered for high school classes, she was in the hospital for what would be the first of five surgeries over the next several years.
And that wasn't even the most difficult part of the next five years as Lauri worked to receive her high school diploma.
Lauri was also working returning to full fellowship after her excommunication.
But the timing of these two colliding life lessons couldn't have been more perfect.
"I think that Heavenly Father took me back to a time in my teenage life where I started making bad decisions in my life that ultimately led to my excommunication," Lauri says. "That I messed up not graduating high school, or I felt that way. So He took me back to that time where things started going wrong and rocky in my life that brought me to my excommunication."
Listen to the full podcast episode below to hear how Lauri faced the challenges of returning to full fellowship along with graduating from high school as an adult. You can also read the full transcript here.