Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Pearl Necklace (story)

The following story was told in church on Sunday. I really love it. I can relate so much. It can be so hard to sacrifice what we want so much for what God wants for us. But, when we do, He gives us something far far greater than what we had before.

The Pearl Necklace (Author Unknown)
The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. "Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?"

Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face. "A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."

As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.

Jenny loved her pearls.  They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere - Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.

Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?"

"Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess - the white horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She's my favorite."

"That's okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss."

About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again,"Do you love me?"

"Daddy, you know I love you." "Then give me your pearls."

"Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that  matches her sleeper."

"That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you" And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.

"What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?" 

Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, Daddy.  It's for you." With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny. He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her the genuine treasure.

So it is with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasure.  Isn't God good? Are you holding onto things which God wants you to let go of.  Are you holding on to harmful or unnecessary partners, relationships, habits and activities which you have come so attached to that it seems impossible to let go? Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in the other hand but do
believe this one thing - God will never take away something without giving you something better in its place.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Comparison

"Comparison is the thief of joy." -Theodore Roosevelt.

How true it is. There is always going to be someone skinnier, smarter, prettier, etc. If we focus on that, it gets depressing.

We each have something unique to offer. Sometimes others don't see that in us, unfortunately, but what matters is how God sees us.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Let Him In

This Christmas has been really special for me. I guess it has just felt more "Christmasy" than the past couple of years. Why is this? Because I made a choice to make it special. (Lately I've been thinking about the power we have to chose- to act and not be acted upon.)

I've listened to Christmas music nonstop, watched several Christmas movies, seen Christmas lights at several places. But, most importantly, I've been thinking a lot about Christ.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, "Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus." 

It makes me think of the painting where Christ is knocking on the door. 

We have to chose to let Him in to our lives and our hearts. He is always there for us, waiting for us to come to Him.

I am so thankful our Savior came to this earth and was willing to suffer and die for me. I can be forgiven of my sins because of Him. I can find peace through Him because He's been through what I've been through and felt what I've felt.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Prayer

I was reading in the Book of Mormon last night, Mosiah chapter 24. There are so many good things I drew from that chapter.

One verse in particular stood out to me:
 "And it came to pass that so great were their afflictions that they began to cry mightily to God." (verse 5)

How true it is. When we're going through great afflictions we "cry" unto God. At least, I do.

I think our times of greatest prayer are definitely times when we are facing hard trials. I am reminded of a quote by Abraham Lincoln: “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.” I can say I've definitely felt that way. There have been many times I've cried "mightily unto God" as I've realized how weak I am and how dependent I am upon Him.

Prayer is such a wonderful tool we have to help us through this life.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Changing

I was thinking about change/repentance/becoming better today. I had this grand (not really) 
realization/reminder. In order to truly change, one's desire to change must be greater than the desire to remain where they are.

So many of us like our sins (whatever they may be. We all sin in one way or another). We want to stop sinning, but at the same time we don't. It isn't until we're willing to put off the natural man that we can become better. We have to decide what we love greater- our sins or our Father. 

Mosiah 3:19 states, "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticing a of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ The Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which The Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." 

A lot to think about there. Changing ourselves is hard. But we won't change unless we deliberately decide to and have the desire to do all that is required to bring about that change.

Monday, December 8, 2014

He's There. He's Real.

The other night I spent some quiet time on the balcony of my apartment. I sat there looking up at the bright moon and the shining stars. I thought of God. How He is so real. There is no way He couldn't be. I thought of His plan. There's no way there couldn't be a plan.

I thought of me. There I was sitting on a balcony in Glendale, Arizona. How did I end up here? It must be part of His greater plan.

And that led me to remember that He does have a plan. I am His daughter. While I struggle at times to understand the whys of His plan for my life, I am grateful for opportunity I have had to grow close to Him. My trials have helped me to realize how dependent I am upon Him. I am nothing without Him. I'd be so alone if I didn't have God in my life.

I know He is real.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Remember Who You Are


Came across this poem today. I love it. In this crazy world we live in, it is so easy to remember everything we are not. But, I've realized more and more lately that that's exactly what satan wants. Don't give in. Our Father in Heaven, who created us and loves us, wants us to remember who we really are.

Monday, December 1, 2014

This Christmas


"This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.  
Christmas is a celebration, and there is no celebration that compares with the realization of its true meaning—with the sudden stirring of the heart that has extended itself unselfishly in the things that matter most. "  -Howard W. Hunter

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hope


Found this at the store other day. As a single girl in her older twenties, I think this is one of the best reminders. I put it above my bed so I can read it every single day. Love it!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Let it Go

Tonight I want to testify of the power of "letting go and letting God." As I was reading the Book of Mormon tonight and pondering about our Savior Jesus Christ, I just felt peace about life. So many times I wish/try to have control over my life. But when we finally let go and submit to the Lord's will, we find peace. 

"Not my will, but thine."

Let go and let God. It'll brings peace. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

One Day at a Time


Sometimes we get so caught up in the future, that we fail to live in the present. Lately I've realized that while it's important to have a greater perspective and vision, it's really important to just take one day at a time. Focus on today. Matthew 6:11 states, "Give us this day our daily bread." (emphasis added).

Friday, November 7, 2014

God Grant Me...

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference."

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Good Things to Come


Oh, how I needed this today.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Our Own Worst Critics

I recently read a really good talk. I highly recommend it. Elder Maxwell said, "Some of us stand before no more harsh a judge than ourselves, a judge who stubbornly refuses to admit much happy evidence and who cares nothing for due process. Fortunately, the Lord loves us more than we love ourselves."

We are our own worst critics. We are hard on ourselves. Maybe it's just me here, but I have a feeling it's not. I've been thinking about this lately. It is so important to have compassion towards ourselves! Heavenly Father doesn't want us to beat ourselves up. We are His children. He loves us so much. Honestly (and sadly), I've spent a lot of time feeling inadequate and beating myself up. And that's not at all what the Lord wants.

So, today, and everyday, talk to yourself like you would to someone you love. 

I'm going to work on being better at it.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

I Love to See the Phoenix Temple!


 

Two years ago I moved to North Phoenix. I was so excited when I found out I lived less than ten minutes away from the new Phoenix temple which was under construction. I couldn't wait to stop by.

I've made a few stop-bys the past two years. It has been so fun to see it progress. It was always fun to see what was new since I had last visited (one time it was the windows, or the grass, etc.). It's kind of sad there's nothing new now, but I'm happy it is finished. I look forward to spending time on the inside.

This beautiful place has already brought me so much peace. When I first moved here and didn't know many people, I'd drive to the temple site, park, and sit and just contemplate. I felt so much peace and comfort doing that. I knew I wasn't alone. I've continued to do that. 


I was able to attend the open house for the second time yesterday. I could hardly hold back the tears as I walked into the celestial room. It was a beautiful time of day and the light was shining brilliantly through the windows. It was more beautiful than anything I could describe. 

I don't think it is an accident I ended up here at this time. I love that I have the opportunity to be part of the Open House. It is truly a special experience. I will cherish it forever. One day when I have kids I will bring them to the temple and tell them all about how their mom saw it being built. 

It is in temples that ordinances are performed which make it possible for families to be together forever. Temples are places of peace, service, and holiness. They are Houses of God. They are truly a little bit of heaven on earth.


January 2013


March 2014


Sometime at the end of 2013.

                                                   
                                                                         Aug. 2014


First time seeing it with all of the lights on!


                                                                          Sept. 2014


                                      

To learn more about temples, click here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blessed.


Two years ago today I packed up my car with as many of my things as I could and started my move to Arizona. I cried all the way to St. George, Utah (where I was staying for a couple of days). Looking back on it, I'm not sure how I made it there safely since I was such an emotional wreck and my eyes were so wet with tears!

I wondered if I was making a huge mistake. I had quit my job and had no job lined up. I didn't even know where I was going to live. Thankfully I was able to stay with my brother's family in Gilbert.

Despite my fears, I knew I had been prompted to make this move. I knew deep down it was right. 

Within a few days of being in Arizona I had several job interviews. I arrived in Arizona on Halloween and by mid- November I had an interview for the job I have now. I found out I got the job in December and I started in January. It seemed like a long process at the time, but looking back on things I was very blessed it only took a couple of months to find a job.

There were several miracles that occurred with this move. It was a huge lesson to me. Sometimes we just have to move forward in faith and rely on the Spirit and The Lord and things will work out.

I feel so blessed. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It Won't Always Be This Way


This quote popped into my head tonight after I popped open my dinner - a can of Campbell's soup. As I opened the soup I thought, "My life is pathetic. My dinner is ready in less than two minutes." It was just one of those moments when I definitely felt like a 28-year-old single girl living the apartment life.

Don't get me wrong, my life is pretty good and I am happy overall. But there are those times (ok, maybe everyday) when I yearn for a family of my own. But I'm thankful to know that things won't always be this way. I won't be single forever. I won't be living off canned soup forever (okay, so I don't necessarily "live off" soup, but you get the idea). I know there are such great blessings in store for me. I will definitely remain faithful and endure now so I can enjoy those blessings when the time comes.

(Quote by Dieter F. Uchtdorf)

Know Ye Not?


"Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God? Know ye not that he hath all power?..."
-Mormon 5:23

Monday, September 29, 2014

In God's Time


I heard this song on the radio on my way home tonight. I was touched by the lyrics. It also reminds me of a saying I came across one time: "God has perfect timing; never early, never late. It takes a little patience and it takes a lot of faith. but it’s worth the wait."

                                                            "In God's Time"

In God's time
A million years might only be a single day
And everything He does gets done His own way
In God's time

And in God's time
You'll find that certain someone you've been praying for
And they'll be everything you dreamed of and a little more
In God's time

Oh, but no one knows
Not you or me
It might be tomorrow or it might never be
Oh, but don't lose faith
Put it in His hands
'Cause it might be that He might have a bigger plan
Than you had in mind
Miracles happen
In God's time

And in God's time
You'll finally get the chance to hold your baby girl
And all the sudden everything'll make sense in this crazy world
In God's time

Oh, but no one knows
Not you or me
It might be tomorrow or it might never be
Oh, but don't lose faith
Put it in His hands
'Cause it might be that He might have a bigger plan
Than you had in mind
Miracles happen
In God's time

And In God's time
You go to sleep and wake up with wings and learn to fly
And you finally meet your loved ones on the other side
In God's time

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Sunflower Miracle


The other night I was thinking about how much I need to stop thinking about myself and think of others more. As I was thinking this, the thought popped into my head that I needed to visit a friend the following day. And, I needed to take her flowers. Definitely a good thing. I was excited about it.

I got off work and headed to the store to pick out some flowers. While I was looking at what flowers they had, I noticed some beautiful sunflowers. I decided those would be good - bright and cheery.

I arrived at my friend’s house and she said something along the lines of, “Did you know?” I was confused. She proceeded to tell me she had been in the hospital for a couple of days and had been discharged the night before. I had no idea.

And then, I presented the flowers to her. She told me sunflowers are her favorite flowers. Again, I had no idea.

It was a powerful experience for me. God loves His children. He looks out for them. It reminded me that I should “never postpone a prompting" (Thomas S. Monson). I’m definitely not perfect at that and I’m sure I've missed millions of opportunities. But, for some reason I had things together this time and was able to act on the thought I had. And I’m so very glad. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

I Need Him


I know I need The Lord so much. I can't make it on my own. I'm so grateful He is there to help me - in every aspect of my life.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Marathon of Life


I love this! Such a needed reminder.  I haven't reached certain points in the "marathon" of life and have felt behind. But, it doesn't matter. What matters is where I'm going - not how long it takes me to get there.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I'm Not Ashamed

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth..." (Romans 1:16)

This scripture has been on my mind. I've felt closer to the Lord lately and when I feel that way I just want to share with the whole world what I believe and know to be true. So, I have been sharing my testimony a lot lately on many platforms.

My testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is something that is very precious to me. Sometimes I worry that I share too much (as in, too frequently. I worry that I am annoying.). (I'm not usually the sharing type in person. I'm usually pretty quiet. Writing is so much easier for me.) But then I remember that I shouldn't worry about that. I shouldn't be ashamed. The desire to share my testimony is a good one. (Of course, there are very personal, sacred things that shouldn't be shared - which I don't share). I shared my beliefs/testimony every day as a full-time missionary. Why shouldn't I share them now?

Tonight I watched a devotional given by an apostle of the Lord (D. Todd Christofferson) and he said the following: "finding our life by losing it for His sake in the gospel entails a willingness to make our discipleship open and public". ...'Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38). I needed to hear that.

I love the Gospel and know it's true with all of my heart. I am proud of my beliefs.  I absolutely love sharing them because the knowledge I have has blessed my life so very much. #sharegoodness

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Image of God


"The most realistic self-image of all is to conceive of yourself as made in the image of God." -Maxwell Maltz

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Selfishness

"Those who are selfish seek their own interests and pleasure above all else. The central question for the selfish person is “What’s in it for me?”
.....
When we seek self-service over selfless-service, our priorities become centered on our own recognition and pleasure.

Past generations had their struggle with variations of egotism and narcissism, but I think today we are giving them serious competition. Is it any coincidence that the Oxford Dictionary recently proclaimed “selfie” as the word of the year?

Naturally, we all have a desire for recognition, and there is nothing wrong with relaxing and enjoying ourselves. But when seeking the “gain and praise of the world” is a central part of our motivation, we will miss the redemptive and joyful experiences that come when we give generously of ourselves to the work of the Lord."

I was listening to this talk this morning ("Are You Sleeping Through the Restoration?", Dieter F. Uchtdorf) in preparation for the Relief Society lesson I'll be giving in a few weeks. I really loved this part. Selfishness is a huge problem in our society. And believe me, I'm not pointing fingers - I can definitely see it in myself. Being single is a very selfish time of life. It's so important to look outside ourselves.

He goes on to talk about how we can overcome selfishness. It is by thinking of and serving others. I know from experience that that is true. We can find great joy in serving others. It's truly when we lose ourselves in the service of God that we find ourselves.

Monday, September 8, 2014

God Knows

"God knows what we do not know and sees what we do not see." -Howard W. Hunter

These words have been on my mind. It seems obvious... yes, God is all-knowing. But, I think there is a definite need to constantly remind ourselves of this.

I wonder what the future holds. I wonder what God's plan for my life is. And I worry about it at times. And then I remember the truthfulness of these words. He's got it all taken care of. He's got a plan. I have to trust His plan. And trust that He knows what He is doing with my life.

I am so grateful to know that there is a plan. Heavenly Father is a loving Father. He wants what's best for us. He'll always take care of us. And things always work out.

President Gordon B. Hinckley said,

"It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is.
It all works out. Don’t worry.
I say that to myself every morning.
It will all work out.
Put your trust in God,
and move forward with faith
and confidence in the future.
The Lord will not forsake us.
He will not forsake us.
If we will put our trust in Him,
if we will pray to Him,
if we will live worthy of His blessings,
He will hear our prayers."

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Where I Am


"I may not be where I need to be but I thank God I am not where I used to be."

I heard this quote tonight and really liked it. I feel this way about a lot of things in my life (including recent weight loss/trying to be a healthier person). I'm striving to be better and sometimes it gets overwhelming when I think of how much better I need to be (in all areas of life). But, I have grown SO much in the past several years of my life. It is amazing to look back and realize how far you have come! And I really am thankful I am not where I used to be. (P.S. sorry for the cheesy mirror picture! :) )

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Faith

I've read Hebrews 11 a few times and have really come to love it. I read it again tonight and decided it's probably my favorite chapter in the Bible. It gives so many great examples of faith. It tells us what faith is. Faith is, "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Faith is the first principle of the Gospel. It's huge! Everything we do is motivated by faith. (But, we must have faith in The Lord.)

I've been trying to work on having more faith. Yeah, it's been a long process. It's going to be a lifelong process, it appears. 

Sometimes the only amount of faith we have is the size of a mustard seed. And that's ok. God will take that. And He'll help us grow it. 

This life requires so much faith. Really, this life is all about faith! It's what helps us grow and become closer to our Father in Heaven.

The Whole Idea

"The whole idea of Mormonism is improvement. Mentally, physically, morally, and spiritually." - Lorenzo Snow

Friday, August 29, 2014

Grateful


A friend shared this quote with me last night. I love it! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

We Matter to Him.

One of my all-time favorite talks is entitled, "You Matter To Him." It was given by Dieter F. Uchtdorf in April 2011. I read it often. It is a good reminder that I'm not just one of billions of people on this earth. I am a child of God and I matter. And you do too. Sometimes it's easy to forget that. Especially for me, as a young single adult. Sometimes I feel lost in the shuffle. But I am not forgotten. And neither are you.

"...No matter where you live, no matter how humble your circumstances, how meager your employment, how limited your abilities, how ordinary your appearance, or how little your calling in the Church may appear to you, you are not invisible to your Heavenly Father. He loves you. He knows your humble heart and your acts of love and kindness..."

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Touch of the Master's Hand

Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile:
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
“A dollar, a dollar”; then, “Two!” “Only two?
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three—” But no,
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,
And going, and gone!” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand
What changed its worth.” Swift came the reply:
“The touch of a master’s hand.”

And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine,
A game—and he travels on.
He’s “going” once, and “going” twice,
He’s “going” and almost “gone.”
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand. 

God loves us the way we are, but he refuses to leave us that way. He can make us so much better. We just have to turn to him.

His Divine Creation

video


As I was preparing for my lesson in Relief Society at church today, I came across this talk given by Gordon B. Hinckley. As I listened, I felt so strongly the love the Lord has for women.

In his talk, President Hinckley says, "I remind you that you are not second-class citizens in the kingdom of God. You are His divine creation. Men hold the priesthood. Yours is a different role, but also extremely important. Without you, our Father’s plan of happiness would be frustrated and have no real meaning."

I am so grateful to be a woman in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm grateful for my role as a woman in the Church. I'm grateful that the priesthood - the power and authority to act in God's name - is in this Church. And I'm grateful it blesses us all - both male AND female. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Beware of Pride

"Most of us think of pride as self-centeredness, conceit, boastfulness, arrogance, or haughtiness. All of these are elements of the sin, but the heart, or core, is still missing.

The central feature of pride is enmity—enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means “hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.” It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.

Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against God’s. When we direct our pride toward God, it is in the spirit of “my will and not thine be done.” As Paul said, they “seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” (Philip. 2:21.)  -Ezra Taft Benson

(Read the whole talk here.)

I've been thinking about this talk lately and how important it is to recognize the pride we have within ourselves and seek to get over it and be humble. President Benson also says (in the same talk): "Pride is the universal sin, the great vice." It is a huge problem. But, as I posted about perfectionism last time, I am grateful the Lord knows we are not perfect. He is willing to work with us and be patient with us as we overcome our pride/faults.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Perfectionism

"The wait for a perfect spouse, perfect education, perfect job, or perfect house will be long and lonely. We are wise to follow the Spirit in life’s important decisions and not let doubts spawned by perfectionist demands hinder our progress." -Elder Gerrit W. Gong

Read the whole article here.

I also really liked:

"...a brother may not consider dating a wonderful, worthy sister who doesn't fit his unrealistic profile—she is not a sports enthusiast (yup, definitely me), a Relief Society president (me), a beauty queen (me), a sophisticated budgeter... (okay, this IS me)"  (wish I could say "Thank you, Elder Gong!!!")

Of course, we should consider qualities we desire in ourselves and in a potential spouse. We should maintain our highest hopes and standards. But if we are humble, we will be surprised by goodness in unexpected places, and we may create opportunities to grow closer to someone who, like us, is not perfect."

:)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Beauty After the Storm


I saw this beautiful sight tonight after a day of some CRAZY storms. There was some serious rain. Serious flooding. I was pretty excited to see a rainbow - it'd been a while.

But after I went inside as I was making my little dinner I had this thought: after the storm comes the beauty. So it is with life. Sometimes it pours. Sometimes we have crazy hard trials. Sometimes the storms go on all "day." But then, at the end, we get to see something beautiful. God makes something beautiful out of our "storms."

"Only God can turn a mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph, a victim into a victory."

Friday, August 15, 2014

Motherhood

I read an amazing talk today given by a lady named Sharon Eubank entitled, "This is a Woman's Church." It was all about the role of women in the LDS Church. Read it here. Really good. I, personally, have never felt like I am less than men in this church. I know we have different responsibilities. One of those is that women get to be mothers. 

I loved what she said about this. This lady is 50 years old and single. No kids of her own. But she said the following:

"As a creator, Eve was so desirous to be a mother that she sacrificed Eden for it. And she did that willingly and knowingly. Adam called his wife’s name “Eve” and you know what it means. It means she was the mother of all living. But I find it so interesting she had no children when he called her that. But she was given a title, a divine title, that means there is heritage in this. And so whether you have children in this life or not, when you have your endowment and you are given the name, you are an inheritor of that. And it means that you have the title to be a mother." 

What struck me the most was that Eve had no children when she was called the mother of all living. I had never thought of it that way! 

I am not yet a "mother" with kids of my own. But I will be one day. Either in this life or the next. I look forward to that so much. I know it is my divine privilege to be a mother to precious children of God.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Charity Towards Self

"Some of us who would not chastise a neighbor for his frailties have a field day with our own."-Neal A. Maxwell

That is so true. I'm certainly guilty! We are our own worst critics. We need to exercise charity not only to others, but also to ourselves.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Life is to Be Enjoyed


Gordon B. Hinckley said, "Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." I have decided to make this my motto and take it to heart.

There is so much about life to love. A spectacular sunset, a sweet niece's hug, a great deal on the clearance rack, a beautiful flower, laughter with friends, the list goes on and on. 

Heavenly Father wants us to be HAPPY. It doesn't matter where we are at in life. I don't need to wait to be happy until I get married. The time to be happy and enjoy life is now. Life is happening now.

I have found myself just so happy lately. There is so much good in my life and all around me. I don't want to miss it.

Enjoy the journey.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Faith



                              Image source: lds.org Gospel Library Kit

Tonight I want to testify of the power of the Atonement and the love of our Savior Jesus Christ. The longer I live the more I realize I am so inadequate. I am not perfect. It seems like I'm always getting trials that remind me of this. :)

But, I know I can't do it on my own. I can't live my life with out my Savior. I need his help SO much. I'm so thankful He knows me. Guess what? He knows that I am not perfect. And He loves me anyway. He loves me so much that He was willing to suffer, bleed and die for me. I can't even comprehend it. But, because He did that for me, I can turn to Him and He will completely understand me.

I've been trying to work on faith. I want to have more of it, but it can be very hard. But,I remind myself if everything came easy and Heavenly Father just told us all of the answers, there would be no learning and growing.

The Lord gives us our trials so we can learn to have faith and trust in Him.

I read the following quote tonight, which I love:

"Faith in Jesus Christ consists of complete reliance on Him. As God, He has infinite power, intelligence, and love. There is no human problem beyond His capacity to solve. Because He descended below all things (see D&C 122:8), He knows how to help us rise above our daily difficulties.

Faith in Him means believing that even though we do not understand all things, He does. We, therefore, must look to Him “in every thought; doubt not, fear not.” (D&C 6:36.)
-Ezra Taft Benson   (full talk here)

I think I should read that every day. It is powerful.

I know our Savior Jesus Christ can help us go through whatever we face. This life isn't going to be easy, but we don't have to do it alone. Our Savior can help us carry our burdens.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Give Your Life to God

Tonight I just feel the need to testify of the peace and happiness that comes when we let go of things we cannot control. Recently I've been trying to grow closer to the Lord and align my will with His. And I have been so happy.

I've reminded myself that God is in control. I am not. God knows what He is doing with my life. He sees the big picture. There is this little thing (big thing, really) called faith. It's trusting Him. He will take care of us.

“Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He can deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, and pour out peace.”-Ezra Taft Benson

Monday, June 30, 2014

He is With Us and Helping Us

I haven't written on here in a long time. I really think writing on here helps me a lot with my scripture study. So, it's definitely time to start back up again.

Tonight I was reading in Isaiah. I particularly like Isaiah 41:10 which says, 

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."

That is so comforting. I need the Lord's help SO much. And I really need to be reminded to not fear. 

I don't think we realize just how much God is with us and helping us. I think it's A LOT. And I know I need to be more aware of it and more grateful for His help.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Who Can Glory Too Much in The Lord?

I'm so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life!!!!!! (Yeah, really, all of those exclamation points are necessary!). I had some experiences tonight that filled me with gratitude, humility and joy. 

And after these experiences, I came home and read my scriptures and happened to read the following scripture which fits perfectly:

"...who can glory too much in The Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." (Alma 26:16)

I seriously love the Gospel so much and sharing it with others brings me so much joy (that was part of what happened tonight). I wish I could be a full-time missionary the rest of my life because it makes me so happy. Ahh! Too bad I can't really. 

Anyway, I know The Lord loves us. I know the greatest happiness we can have in this life comes from the living and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Life

Yesterday I was standing outside at the car dealership waiting for the guy to bring me some paperwork to get the oil changed in my car. No one else was around really. There was a slight breeze blowing. I looked at the cars around me, looked at the palm trees, up at the blue sky, at the cars driving on the busy road nearby... and I just had this thought, "this is life. Life is happening RIGHT NOW." I don't know how to adequately describe it, but it was one of "those moments." 

I've also had the thought lately of, "I signed up for this." I'm not sure how much I knew I was getting into when I agreed to Heavenly Father's plan, but I do know I was excited about coming down to earth. With the amazing opportunity to live and breathe and get a body would come the trials of mortal life. 

Life is not all fun and games. I think way too often I wish it were. Don't get me wrong, Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and have a great time here on earth, but not every moment is going to be a party. I wish things could be easy. But, no. Unfortunately we have to deal with the hard things and the small and trivial matters of life including laundry, oil changes, dentist visits, etc. 

But, it's all part of the plan. Yes, laundry, oil changes and dentist visits are part of the plan. Dealing with these mortal matters teach us patience and humility. Life is not perfect, but it is helping us to become perfect people. 

This all reminds me of a quote. "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." Isn't that the truth?!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Happiness

"True happiness comes only by making others happy." -David O. McKay

 

It's true. Lately I've realized that I REALLY need to think of others more instead of myself. Dwelling on your own problems and only thinking of yourself is the best way to be depressed and leads to a really unhappy life! It's extremely easy to focus on oneself when you live the single life.

 

So, I've tried to open my eyes more to service opportunities recently and it's been great! The Lord will always put you to work when you are willing ("if ye have desires to serve ye are called to the work.") I have been really happy. It's awesome!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Insecurities

Insecurities. We all have them. Sometimes I wonder how I'll ever get over some of mine. Here's the answer:

"The Spirit—the Holy Ghost—will help us work out our insecurities." -James E. Faust

Boom. There we go. Anything is possible with the help of the Spirit!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

This Too Shall Pass


This phrase has been on my mind lately. Trials come and go. Some quicker than others. I remember my dear Mom hugging me (while I was crying) and saying this phrase over and over one year during finals when I was really, really sick. Everyone needs to know that things will get better. It's so comforting.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Take Time to Be Holy


I've recently come to love this song. The words are awesome. It's so important to "Take time to be holy." Lately I've been realizing how much time I've been wasting on social media and how that time could be better used in other ways - such as more time with the Lord or more time serving others - just doing things that will make me holier and closer to Christ.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Sunday Will Come


I thought of this talk this morning as I was driving to work. It's been a LONG week and I am tired! I'm so glad it's Friday. In my case today is my "Sunday." It finally came after a long week.

There is always hope - a "light at the end of the tunnel" if you will - because of the atonement of our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful for that.

Monday, March 3, 2014

He Can Make More Out of Our Lives!

I flipped open my scriptures tonight to Deuteronomy Chapter 1. I love verses 10 and 11:

10 "The Lord your God hath multiplied you...

 11 The Lord God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!"

It then reminded me of this quote:

"Men and women who turn their lives over to God will find out that he can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace."

It's so true. I know God can make SO much more out of my life than I can. As it says in Alma 26 (verse 12), "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak..." I am nothing with out my Savior.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sometimes He Lets It Rain

You know, I've been thinking about the Gilbert temple cultural celebration which happened last night. It rained. In fact, it POURED (which is kind of ironic as it hasn't rained for months). But, the show went on. The youth smiled and danced in the rain. They had a blast! 

I'm sure there were a lot of prayers being said asking Heavenly Father to stop the rain. I was actually in Gilbert while it was going on and saw how hard it was raining and said a silent prayer. I felt so bad for those kids who'd worked and practiced so hard. 

I wondered why Heavenly Father didn't stop the rain. He, the most powerful being, could have stopped the rain. But, He didn't. He let it rain. He let it pour. Sometimes He lets it "rain" in our lives. In fact, He lets it POUR (we've all been there, right?!). But, the show (life) must go on. Sometimes we pray with all of our hearts that He'll make the rain stop, but He doesn't. Sometimes people around us - who are not in the rain - pray He'll make it stop. But, He doesn't. He blesses us and answers our prayers in other ways (but sometimes the "rain" itself is a blessing). In the meantime we must learn to dance and smile in the rain.

There's actually a song by an LDS singer and songwriter that talks about this: (sung by Katherine Nelson, produced by Tyler Castleton and Staci Peters)

She sees the storm clouds gather
The sky is turning cold and gray
She knows that somethings coming
when she starts to feel this way

She pleads for intervention
But heaven offers no relief
she would understand if she could only see

Sometimes He lets it rain
He lets the fierce winds blow
Sometimes it takes a storm
to lead a heart where it can grow

He can move mountains of grief
and oceans of pain.
But sometimes he lets it rain.

When her heart surrenders
to the master in control
Her spirit learns the lessons
and the tempest in her soul

when it's no longer raging
She can see how far she's come
through the wisdom and
the mercy of the son

Sometimes He lets it rain
He lets the fierce winds blow
Sometimes it takes a storm to
lead a heart where it can grow

he can move mountains of grief
and oceans of pain
but sometimes He lets it rain.

There is no joy without the pain
Sometimes He has to let it rain.

 I'm grateful Heavenly Father reminded me of this when I woke up this morning. Definitely a good reminder and much needed.  

Saturday, February 22, 2014

My Greatest Duty


"After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel.” (Joseph Smith) 

I've been thinking about this quote lately. I've had some awesome opportunities (outside of this blog) recently to share what I believe. 

I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I KNOW it is true. That is why I want to share it with everyone I know (but sometimes fear gets in my way. But, that's another story.). 

And this is the main purpose of this blog. To invite others to come unto Christ. I might not be direct about that in my posts, but it is my hope that after reading my posts you will want to know more.

I saw a quote on Pinterest the other day that I really liked, 

 "
We do not draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it."
  -Madeleine L’Engle 

I really like that.

I'm a Mormon. I know it. I live it. I love it.

If you want to know more, visit lds.org, Mormon.org, or ask me. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Tender Mercies of the Lord



I've been thinking about "tender mercies" a lot lately. I guess my heart and eyes have been opened to them more so as of late. Elder Bednar says, "the Lord’s tender mercies do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Faithfulness and obedience enable us to receive these important gifts and, frequently, the Lord’s timing helps us to recognize them." I know that is true.

Can't remember who said it, but someone also said, "The Lord is in the details of our lives." I've seen that.

I decided to buy a small journal and start writing down the "tender mercies" I experience. I look forward to looking back at them and remembering the Lord's hand in my life - especially on those particularly rough days.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tithing

.... I have a real testimony of it. I've seen some tangible blessings in my life lately because of paying it. The Spirit has kind of whispered to me, "hey, by the way, this is because you pay your tithing!" The Lord never ceases to amaze me. We give Him what little we have (which isn't even ours to begin with) and He gives us so much back. It's not always the blessings we'd like or that we're hoping for, but He always pulls through!

Friday, February 7, 2014

We Seek After These Things

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul--We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
(Articles of Faith:13)

This is one of the Church's "articles of faith." I've been thinking about this and taking it to heart lately- specifically the last part of that.

There are so many good people in the world. There are so many good people in AND outside of the LDS Church. God fearing, loving, kind people who are striving to live good lives. I've always known this and accepted it, but recently my eyes have been more opened to it I guess you could say.

I like to read blogs. I've come across some blogs lately where the writer's views are so similar to mine and to the Church's. It is so refreshing. It's good to know there are so many of us Christians out there. While we may have some differences in opinions and beliefs, there is a lot we have in common.

I've also enjoyed reading books by Max Lucado and Joel Osteen.

I've also been listening to Christian radio stations such as "KLOVE" and "Air1." This has been nothing but good and inspiring for me. The music played on these stations is not produced by the Church, but it is "virtuous" and "lovely."

I still have a firm testimony of my beliefs and the Church I belong to and will never leave, but these things have only added to and enhanced my faith. I really do believe there is so much good in the world. And I know The Lord wants us to seek after it.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Tender Mercies

It is amazing how in the middle of a crazy, busy day at work a few kind words can impact me so very much. I've kind of said it before, but words are powerful. Maybe words mean so much to me because I studied communication in college (or, rather, I think I studied communication in college because words mean so much). But, anyway, words can do so much. 

In the middle of my hectic day, I received a nice text from someone. I was so touched. It was some kind words. You know what that means? Someone was thinking of me. Someone acted on a thought/prompting to say something to me. And to me, that’s a tender mercy. It is evidence to me that the Lord loves me. He works through His children here on earth. I hope that I can be a vessel for Him like so many others have been.

I’ve posted a lot about the Lord’s love lately. That’s because I’ve been feeling it in greater abundance in my life (and when I feel the Lord’s love I want to share it). And I think that’s because I’ve been working harder to recognize it than I have in the past several months. It’s like the scripture “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you.”

I can absolutely testify that it works. It really does. If we do our best to draw near unto Him by reading our scriptures and praying – specifically pouring out our hearts to God and letting Him know the burdens we feel, He WILL draw near unto us. There will still be bad, hard times. But, in between those hard times, we will find little gems – little tender mercies (aka little texts) – that come from the Lord to remind us He loves us. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Weary Not


Just listening to this tonight. I think it is so beautiful!

Weary Not

If the way be full of trial, weary not;
If it's one of sore denial weary not;
If it now be one of weeping,
There will come a joyous greeting,
When the harvest we are reaping, weary not

CHORUS

Do not weary by the way
Whatever be thy lot
There awaits a brighter day
To all, to all who weary, weary not

If the way be one of sorrow, weary not;
Happier will be the morrow, weary not;
Here we suffer tribulation,
Here we must endure temptation,
But there'll come a great salvation, weary not;

If misfortunes overtake us, weary not;
Jesus will never forsake us, weary not;
He will leave us never, never,
From His love there's naught can sever,
Glory to the Lamb forever, weary not

(“If the Way be Full of Trial, Weary Not,” Deseret Sunday School Songs (1909), no. 158)