Friday, August 31, 2012


I get emailed these little daily gems every now and then, depending on whether or not the automatic system decides to email me, and today there were a multitude of snippets from different church talks that really hit home.  One in particular is a talked called, "An High Priest of Good Things to Come," by Elder Holland.

My declaration is that this is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need. There is help. There is happiness. There really is light at the end of the tunnel. It is the Light of the World, the Bright and Morning Star, the “light that is endless, that can never be darkened.” 3 It is the very Son of God Himself. In loving praise far beyond Romeo’s reach, we say, “What light through yonder window breaks?” It is the return of hope, and Jesus is the Sun. 4 To any who may be struggling to see that light and find that hope, I say: Hold on. Keep trying. God loves you. Things will improve. Christ comes to you in His “more excellent ministry” with a future of “better promises.” He is your “high priest of good things to come.”

To say I have had a lot on my mind lately would be an understatement and although I do not understand much within this life, I do have faith in the Lord that He does know the plan. There is no better way than to feel the love of the Lord than when you are on your knees praying and in the temple.  There is a peace that I cannot put to words when I am in the temple. Amongst all the chaos, questions, and doubts that I have, within the walls of the temple I find an indescribable peace. 

"Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christthey come."

Everything happens when it is supposed to happen. Granted yes, we do have agency, but rest assured, the Lord will never lead you astray when you are seeking him and standing in holy places.  All promised blessings will come to you in his timing. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Say No to Sugar!

I did a photo shoot last weekend of a little girl that was supposed to have a "cake smash," wherein she would go to town on a cake and those were her 1st birthday photos! Contrary to what any normal human would think, she was NOT a fan of sugar. I on the other hand am a huge fan of sugar, licorice, chocolate, sprinkles, you name it! Over the past two months I have been dealing with some stomach issues which have caused me to refine my food choices and frankly it's been a mess.  As healthy as it is, I know, pizza is my favorite! My stomach on the other hand has suddenly decided it is NOT it's favorite.  I continue to be left without answers regarding my situation and my stomach (after an endoscopy, CT scan, two hour breath test, and antibiotics). I started acupuncture this week in hopes that perhaps Eastern medicine may have a solution for me.  At any rate, the ONE food that I am completely not allowed to have, sugar.

I have tried to rebel.

I have tried to just eat a little bit.

However, I have come to the realization that sugar and me are just not friends like we used to be and I can't take the constant pains and unhappiness I am left with. SO, I have decided to be obedient! This will be hard since my birthday is in 13 days...heaven help me.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mold Me.

I decided this week to make a promise to the Lord to read my scriptures, daily.  I am in turn given the promise that through my daily pondering of the scriptures, understanding and enlightenment will be given unto me. Something so simple that I tend to have let the busyness of the world get away with me and I have neglected my scriptures, at least a continual pondering of them. I thought my calling as Gospel Doctrine Teacher last year would have whipped me in shape, then perhaps my calling as Relief Society president, it wasn't until I was faced with a heavy heart and some in-depth questions that I opened my eyes and truly recognized the importance of upholding my end of the bargain, to read my scriptures! It's like a diet, the only person you are letting down when you cheat, is yourself.

I have also been praying for charity lately, and to be able to see others through the eyes of the Lord, something I constantly struggle with. I remember even prior to becoming a member I would listen to a talk or hear a scripture and think, "Oh that would be really good for so and so." It makes me laugh because we all know that when you divert the attention from yourself to another person, YOU are the actual person that needs the advice or counsel.

This morning while reading a talk I came across this statement: "The key is to have our eyes wide open to our own faults and partially closed to the faults of others--not the other way around! The imperfections of others never release us from the need to work on our own shortcomings." 

I have a lot of shortcomings, many I am well aware of and others I have no doubt the Lord will make me aware of :) We tend to always ask for blessings or pray for things but neglect to refine ourselves. For example, "Lord I want to get married, bring me a husband." Rather than saying, "Lord, prepare me to be the person I need to be in order to have a worthy husband." I have found myself on my knees more recently than any time in my life, not only praying to the Lord but sitting in silence and listening to the Lord. Praying that he would mold and shape me into the person that not I want to be, but the person that He would have me be.

If only we spent as much time working on ourselves as we did focusing on the faults and shortcomings of others, we would allow the Lord to work in our lives, to make our weak things become strong. NEWSFLASH: We ALL have shortcomings, whether we choose to accept this fact or not is our own agency and free will.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Do You Ever Wish You Weren't Mormon?

Immediately as I sat down at work today a co-worker asked if I had seen the Piers Morgan's interview with Mitt Romey's five sons last night. I stated I didn't have a T.V. thinking it would end the conversation however she continued on to tell me about the interview.  Not that I didn't want to talk about the church, I just wasn't in the mood to have a debate regarding my faith. When it comes to religion, especially my faith and being a Latter-Day Saint, I have learned that quite possibly anything could come out of a person's mouth and due to Mitt, there has been a lot of talk regarding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She continued to tell a story, about how Piers said, "Well, all of you are good looking strapping young men, who don't drink, do drugs, or have premarital sex... have you ever wished you weren't Mormon?"

One brother pipped up and said, "It's working for us thus far."

This question made me think of the numerous times people have asked me why I joined the church; Was it for someone? Did something bad happen in my life that made me join? etc. I will be the first to admit that life is nothing short of easy, in fact, it is constant battles as we continue to grow and progress throughout this life, trying to become what the Lord has in store for us, however, no battle or trial has made me question, "maybe I shouldn't be a member of this church anymore."  I would go on to state that since my membership in the church my relationship with my Heavenly Father has developed immensely and in turn has strengthened me during the trials and battles that we all are promised to face.

I am human, I stumble, we all stumble, but I have never wished for a even a split second that I was not Mormon.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Living IN the Great and Spacious Building.

I have read 1 Nephi more than any other book within the Book of Mormon, in fact, I would go on to state that a majority of Latter-Day Saints have read this chapter more than any other as they continually quest to read the Book of Mormon from start to finish and somewhere around the way they lose track of their goal.  I have been guilty of this every time I think I am going to read from beginning to end. While reading through it again, I became fixated on the great and spacious building and how anyone that reads this immediately thinks, "I am not IN the great and spacious building... that is everyone else."  Then I read this quote by Elder Boyd K. Packer:

In 1 Nephi 8, read about Lehi’s dream.
You may think that Lehi’s dream or vision has no special meaning for you, but it does. You are in it; all of us are in it.Lehi’s dream or vision of the iron rod has in it everything a Latter-day Saint needs to understand the test of life. Read the dream or vision carefully; then read it again. If you hold to the rod, you can feel your way forward with the gift of the Holy Ghost, conferred upon you at the time you were confirmed a member of the Church. The Holy Ghost will comfort you. You will be able to feel the influence of angels, as Nephi did, and feel your way through life.

The Book of Mormon has been my iron rod. Lehi saw great multitudes of people “pressing forward” toward the tree (1 Nephi 8:21).

The great and spacious building “was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit” (1 Nephi 8:27).

One word in this dream or vision should have special meaning to Latter-day Saints. The word is after. It was after the people had found the tree that they became ashamed, and because of the mockery of the world they fell away.

“And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost. …

“And great was the multitude that did enter into that strange building. And after they did enter into that building they did point the finger of scorn at me and those that were partaking of the fruit also.” That was the test; then Lehi said, “But we heeded them not” (1 Nephi 8:28, 33; emphasis added).

And that was the answer.

…instead of looking over into that spacious building, we are, in effect, living inside of it. That is your fate in this generation. You are living in that great and spacious building.

Dress modestly, attend your meetings, pay tithes, take the sacrament, honor the priesthood, read the scriptures, study the Book of Mormon, and pray—always pray. An unseen power will hold your hand as you hold to the iron rod.

Will this solve all your problems? Of course not! That would be contrary to the purpose of your coming into mortality. It will, however, give you a solid foundation on which to build your life (see Helaman 5:12).

The mist of darkness will cover you at times so much that you will not be able to see your way even a short distance ahead. You will not be able to see clearly. But with the gift of the Holy Ghost, you can feel your way ahead through life. Grasp the iron rod, and do not let go. (See 3 Nephi 18:25; D&C 9:8.)

You may think that Lehi’s dream or vision has no special meaning for you, but it does. You are in it; all of us are in it.

(Elder Boyd K. Packer, Finding Ourselves in Lehi’s Dream)

I want to always remember that an apostle of the Lord has counseled that the fate of this generation is to live inside the great and spacious building.


This knowledge reminds me of the great importance of continually pressing forward toward the tree. In Lehi’s dream there is a principle to watch for. For every tactic of the adversary there is an equal answer from the Lord. Next to the river there is a path. Through the mist there is a rod of iron. Instead of the building there is the tree of life.

We have a choice. The river, the mist, and the building, or the path, the rod, and the tree. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

There IS a Plan.

I am thoroughly convinced that we go through different trials in life to refine and shape us into the person that the Lord has intended us to be. There is always two ways to handle any trial or obstacle we are faced, head on, or try and find a way out of dealing with things and in turn, find yourself in similar situations throughout your life. I will be the first to admit that I have been subject to both approaches and as enticing as the latter choice may be, we all know it is best to face our challenges head on, make necessary changes, and grow. The only way we ever spiritually progress and grow in this life is by making changes.

I have been faced with some tender moments lately, moments where I have been on my knees and in the temple seeking revelation and I know that the Lord does communicate to his children, the Lord does love each and every one of us, and he wants us to find peace and joy. In the midst of trials we may not necessarily see anything but the storm, but Heavenly Father has a plan, an eternal plan, and as we prepare ourselves now we will be ready and capable of taking on the storms of life.

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