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3 Mormon moms to compete on Bible game show, donate to orphans in Bulgaria

Published: Thursday, May 22 2014 11:56 p.m. MDT

For the first time, a group made up of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will appear on the show "The American Bible Challenge." Jill Davidson Mason, left, Deborah Dushku Gardner and Heidi Glyn Barker.

Lisa Rose, GSNtv.com

The Game Show Network's most successful original game show "The American Bible Challenge" is back for season three, airing Thursdays at 6 p.m. on GSN.

For the first time, a group of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will appear on the show. The team includes three moms: Deborah Dushku Gardner, Jill Davidson Mason and Heidi Glyn Barker. (The specific date their episode will air has not yet been announced.)

Utah Public Radio spoke with Gardner who discussed her experience on the show.

"It’s a little bit crazy. It’s kind of a mix between 'The Price is Right' and 'Jeopardy,' " Gardner told UPR. "There’s a lot of jumping around. You would think that a Bible trivia show would have some reverence to it, but it’s not. It was just an amazing experience."

Gardner also expressed her enthusiasm for the opportunity in a Facebook post.

"I love to seek out unusual opportunities and create amazing experiences and memories," Gardner wrote.

But these women weren't competing for themselves. They were playing for the charity they founded, One Heart Bulgaria.

Gardner and Barker are co-founders of the organization that coordinates services to 28 orphanages in Bulgaria. Both women previously served LDS missions to Bulgaria and were mission companions. Once home, they wanted to continue making a difference in the country they had come to love.

Gardner shared some of her story in her own "I'm a Mormon" video, that was published in May 2011. In the message, Gardner shared her experience working with more than 2,000 orphans.

"One of my strongest memories was the first time I went into an orphanage," Gardner said in her video.

"All these little dark-eyed, dark-haired, little ones came running up to me and they just had their arms up and they said, 'Mama, mama' and they all just clung to me, clung to this mother figure. I scooped up as many of them as I could and held on to them, and I thought I'm going to do something about this."

Email: spetersen@deseretnews.com | Twitter: @Sarah_DNews

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