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After stepping away from primetime and the big screen to bond with her family, Emmy Award-winning actress Katherine Heigl will return to TV tonight in a political drama, but she still considers motherhood to be her most important role.

During an interview on the set of her new NBC thriller "State of Affairs," Heigl told KSL producer Candice Madsen that caring for her adopted daughters — Naleigh, 5, and Adalaide, 2 — is "the most significant" thing she has done.

"I know that sounds odd, but the world had become so sort of singularly focused for me on my career and success and getting that next role and getting that next part," Heigl said. "I just needed my life to be bigger than just my career. I wanted to have an impact and do something more than just perform, and being a mother is that for me."

Four years ago, Heigl and her family moved to a 25-acre ranch in Utah so they could escape the hubbub of Hollywood, and Heigl told Madsen that there is "no more beautiful place in America."

"I just find Utah to be so beautiful," Heigl said. "The weather is so perfect. There are no real extremes in summer or in winter. The people are really kind and gracious and down-to-earth and normal. We really kind of found this little place of heaven."

Heigl's connection to Utah predates her move to the remote ranch. Growing up in Connecticut, Heigl was raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is headquartered in Salt Lake City. While she no longer practices the religion, she cherishes tenets of the faith.

"I always say 'grace' is my favorite word," Heigl said. "It is my favorite concept, and I think it exists so wholly in every part of my life. I've seen it in small ways. I've seen it in grand ways. I just feel the connection my parents had and that the church helped foster for me as a child. I am incredibly grateful for it because I just don't want to do it alone. Even with friends and family, there is nothing like having faith and feeling like there is a higher being on my side that cares."

Emily Eyring is the Faith and Family Web producer for DeseretNews.com.