This is an open blog, to any and all that would like to share their thoughts on ways that you find strength throughout life.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Choose Friends Carefully

I found todays thought in President Hinckley's Stand A Little Taller, yet again. I have had the thought of friendship on my mind for some time, but wasn't sure in which way to organize my thoughts. President Hinckley's words mirror my thoughts:


But I have prayed for thee, that they faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy bretheren. ~ Luke 22:32

Everybody wants friends. Everybody needs friends. No one wishes to be without them. But never lose sight of the fact that it is your friends who will lead you along the paths that you will follow. While y ou should be friendly with all people, select with great care those whom you wish to have close to you. They will be your safeguards in situations where you may vacillate between choices, and you in turn may save them."

When I first read this, I thought of the youth and how important their social interactions are. I thought of how influential friendships can be and how important it is to keep the company of friends that enjoy the same things you do and for the most part, stand for the same things that you do. While as a youth, I had a lot of friends that were of my faith, but just as many that weren't. All of my friends had special strengths that they brought out in me, and the friends that didn't share my faith and standards, respected me for what I believed. I am grateful for the diversity that I enjoyed in my high school friendships and that I didn't limit my friendships to only those that I went to church with. I am also so especially grateful for those good friends who did share my beliefs and were the glue that held me to my standards when I needed help holding on.

But I also was thinking about friendship during adulthood. Again, I have been blessed with such amazing friendships. Much of them are family relationships that I have been born into and have married into. I am grateful for the friendships that have come from these family associations and know that this is not always the case, so I feel blessed to call my family my friends.

I, as well have friendships that have lasted twenty years and I know will continue on for ever. Nothing can replace the friendship of memories and time. Those girls know me...every age of me, better than anyone else. I have friendships that have budded and grown through my young adult life that I know I could not live with out.

Ultimately, I'm so blessed that I can call my husband my best friend. No other relationship can compare and I wouldn't trade that for anything.

I think President Hinckley's counself to caution ourselves on whom we choose to have close to us, is very wise. If you are like me, you are a pretty open person. I have had a hard time in my life knowing who I can trust, and at the same time, I think there are times I've struggled with being trust worthy in my friendships. Gossip is so rampant, especially in friendships and associations with women. Those kind of relationships are not ones of much depth and definitely are not trustworthy. Realistically, not many people who participate in gossip actually admit it or feel unashamed about it. Most people wish they could stop. I've been there...I've been someone who gossiped, and occasionally, I find myself verging the line of venting and gossiping. It's so important that we are trustworthy friends and that we keep the company of trustworthy friends. Gossip ruins relationships and sometimes lives. For me, trust is the basis of any friendship. Without being able to trust that your friend can be honest with you, there's not much that is real to base a relationship upon.

Hand in hand with honesty is the ability to show who you really are. To not be a fake person. A friendship that is based upon fake pretenses can not ever truly be real. I, again, have made this mistake. Having to pretend to be something that you aren't is like living in a trap and ultimately is a lie by omission. It's unfair to yourself and to those whom you are associating with.

Lastly, there has to be love and respect. You should care for your friends deeply enough that there is a mutual respect. Friends who do not respect your wishes, standards, or beliefs ultimately have their own selfish interests in mind and friendships such as those will never be more than one sided. Friends that have respect for you will understand your needs and sympathize with your situations.

I am grateful to have friends in my life that we share trust, love and respect. It's a constant progression, learning to be a good friend, but I truly believe that surrounding yourself with good friends teaches you how to be one. A good friend will make you want to be a better person, and you will desire their righteous qualities for your own. I am the person I am today, because of the influences of my friendships in my life. I am grateful my friends have let my learn by their examples, and I hope I can continue to try to be the same kind of friend to them, that they are to me.

Because as President Hinckley stated above, "Everybody wants friends. Everybody needs friends. No one wishes to be without them." And no one should have to be.

Friday, August 29, 2008


I won't be as long winded today as I usually am. Yesterday's post was long enough for three days I'm sure. But, I had this thought on my mind and I wanted to read about it just a little bit. I needed some good motivation to stop perpetuating my problem of PROCRASTINATION!

When I was working and had a set schedule in my life, it was so easy to keep up that schedule. I was expected to be up in morning with my running partner...she counted on me and I counted on her. I was expected to be at work. I was expected to be off by a certain time to pick up my child. People expected me and my absence would have caused a problem.

I have some areas in my life where this is still so...but not nearly as much. No one cares now if I sleep as long as my baby. No one expects me to get up and work out with them. No one knows that I threw out my healthy eating and had cake for breakfast. No one knows that instead of reading my scriptures this morning, I checked my email. No one except my husband knows that instead of studying last night, I fell asleep.

And my resolve is always this: I'll do better tomorrow. I'll start Monday. I'll begin at the beginning of the month next month. Yada-yada-yada! Yeah right...even I don't believe myself anymore. I feel like calling myself a liar...and I will, You are a liar. And the reason I am a liar about this, is because I have not tackled the real problem, which is procrastination. And really, there is no time for it.

President Spencer W. Kimball said,“One of the most serious human defects in all ages is procrastination,” and then he defined it: “an unwillingness to accept personal responsibility now."

I don't want to be someone who puts off my personal responsibilities. How can anyone ever trust me with a responsibility if I can't even trust myself?

Now, obviously I am being a little exaggerative. I'm not a lazy couch potatoe, in fact I don't even watch TV much anymore. But the things I want most in life have simple answers. For me to just take some action and "Do It"! That was President Kimballs motto..."Do It!"

This article I found on the church website, by a Ron Woods, called Taking Control of Your Life and Other Odds and Ends had some great tactics for helping get over the habit of procrastination. I would recommend reading it.
One of the tactics is to "Sneak up on it!"

And so my goal is to do just that. Sneak up on the things I want in life, little by little. I don't have to do it ALL today...but I can make little steps towards the future and make the decision that today will be a day of progress and not one of procrastination.

And to end it, some fun quotes from my new favorite quote site:

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." ~Anne Frank

"How does a project get to be a year behind schedule? One day at a time."~Fred Brooks

Don't put off today. Because you'll never get it back.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Virtue I Lack

I have been thinking all morning about what topic I want to study today. I found some great focuses and tried to head in that direction, but no matter what I thought, my mind diverted back to what I am REALLY struggling with right now.


To be completely blunt (and a bit crude) about it, I suck at it. I always thought I was a patient person...but you never know what you are really all about or made up of, until the test comes for that virtue. And for me, my patience has never truly been tested, until I became a parent. Let me revise that, a parent of an almost two year old.

So, naturally, I don't feel in any position to post on patience today . I have no words of wisdom of my own...and frankly, absolutely NO clue as to attain this virtue. But, no matter how I tried, I couldn't write this post on anything else. This makes sense to me, since (selfishly) this blog, for me, is about me learning more about things I need to work on. To find the strength, down within myself, which usually that comes for me when I organize my thoughts on paper (computer...paper, same thing).

So, I don't know if this post will help anyone, or even give anyone any comfort. I pray that it doesn't diminish the AMAZING JOY that is parenthood, or deter anyone from that precious calling. I WOULD NOT CHANGE A DAY IN MY LIFE, TO GO BACK TO MY PRE-MOTHERHOOD DAYS!!! I want to say that loud and clear so as not to confuse how I feel about the sacredness of my duties, and how much I love them with a love that's deeper than I can even describe.

But, one of the reasons parenthood is so amazing, is because it teaches you about yourself, and teaches you to be a better you. And you want that, because children deserve nothing but the best.

So, I went to the church website and searched the Gospel Library under "Patience". I found a First Presidency Message, from the Ensign, September 2002, written by now prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. He began with a story about a conversation he'd had with a stake president in Texas some years earlier. "I was met at the airport by the stake president, and while we were driving to the stake center, I said, 'President, how is everything going for you?' He responded: 'I wish you had asked me that question a week earlier, for this week has been rather eventful. On Friday I was terminated from my employment, this morning my wife came down with bronchitis, and this afternoon the family dog was struck and killed by a passing car. Other than these things, I guess everything is all right.'"

Now, I won't compare my situation to the above. My husband definitely didn't lose a job, I'm not sick, and although our dog did pass, it was over a year ago. But, honestly if you were to call me right now, and say, "How are you?" I may mask it and say a casual "Fine" and move on, because I'm a little relaxed now since it's nap time. But, if you'd have asked me an hour ago...and I actually had a spare moment to answer the phone, I would have said, "My daughter screams bloody murder if someone even LOOKS at her the wrong way. I have my windows wide open so as not to run the AC because, well, we have to eat, (haha), my neighbors probably think that I am beating the heck out of her because of the screaming! I spent the entire day yesterday mopping my floors and scrubbing down the kitchen and bathrooms, and three times today my child has spilled her juice and thrown her food from her high chair. I had to put her in time out five times within an hour, she hit her cousin, and her favorite new word is 'Mine'. On top of it all, I was up past midnight studying last night and so I'm cranky and tired. How are YOU doing?"

I know EVERY parent knows what I mean when reading that, and many of them have dealt with much more, and magnified by more than one child. For me, this is not about comparing. I know I don't have it any worse than anyone else. It's just realizing who I am, and dealing with trying to better myself when I get to those breaking points. And believe me, I'm there.

President Monson gives some great words of advice: "Life is full of difficulties, some minor and others of a more serious nature. There seems to be an unending supply of challenges for one and all. Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such challenges, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required. The counsel heard in our youth is still applicable today and should be heeded. “Hold your horses,” “Keep your shirt on,” “Slow down,” “Don’t be in such a hurry,” “Follow the rules,” “Be careful” are more than trite expressions. They describe sincere counsel and speak the wisdom of experience."

I feel like I have learned patience in other areas of my life. I am less anxious for "tomorrow" to come than I used to be. I used to feel like I always wanted the next "good thing" to happen, and I was so impatient with whatever current frustrating situation I was in. I feel like in most instances, I have learned to recognize the good and the lessons I am to be learning from those circumstances, and have been able to endure with faith and patience.

But, every morning I get up and pray for patience. And the thought that's on my mind, is developing patience so that I can be a better mother, (and so that I don't go running from my house screaming and end up in a straight jacket). I should know, that when I pray for something I am going to be tested. How would I learn patience just by the problem being taken away. I can't pray, "Father give me patience", and expect the lack of the need for it to teach me. Right? I mean, it seems like one that prays for a virtue, should understand that the lesson that comes with it to teach them the virtue, is inevitable. I know that I will learn patience...and I also know, for a fact, that I will lose it as well.


It will be a back and forth battle continuously, but as I pray and try each day, I know that I am working towards that virtue, little by little. This lesson to learn is a small price to pay, to be entrusted with this most important calling. I found a 1990 Ensign article by James E. Faust that describes this sacred duty well. He said, "While few human challenges are greater than that of being good parents, few opportunities offer greater potential for joy. Surely no more important work is to be done in this world than preparing our children to be God-fearing, happy, honorable, and productive. Parents will find no more fulfilling happiness than to have their children honor them and their teachings. It is the glory of parenthood. John testified, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (3 John 1:4) In my opinion, the teaching, rearing, and training of children requires more intelligence, intuitive understanding, humility, strength, wisdom, spirituality, perseverance, and hard work than any other challenge we might have in life."

There are so many challenges in life. I have many more to come aside from parenthood, and I will need patience to persevere in those. I know that what I am learning now, will serve me for a life time.

So: Thank you, my dear Father for this sacred opportunity of motherhood, You thought me worthy enough to attempt. Thank you to my husband, who learns and parents patiently along side me. And most especially, thank you to my child, and future children, for letting me learn to be a better person, with you as my teacher(s).

Lastly, I found a cool quote website, There's some pretty cool stuff on here. Here are two of my favorites on patience:

"We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world." ~Hellen Keller

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."~John Quincy Adams

And then on children. I couldn't choose. There were a lot, but they are good if you have the time to read them.

"Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction."~Annie Sullivan

"Human beings are the only creatures that allow their children to come back home."~Bill Cosby (Haha...I love that guy!)

"It is very difficult and expensive to undo after you are married the things that your mother and father did to you while you were putting your first six birthdays behind you." ~Bureau of Social Hygiene Study, 1928. (Talk about pressure, haha)

"One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade." ~Chinese Proverb (Future son and daughter in laws, this is for you!! )

"The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant -- and let the air out of the tires."~Dorothy Parker

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these."~George Washington Carver

"Before you were conceived I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were here an hour I would die for you. This is the miracle of life."~Maureen Hawkins

"If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much."~Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

"Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering, averting our eyes, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted."~Garrison Keillor

"There never was a child so lovely, but his mother was glad to get him asleep."~Ralph Waldo Emerson

And my very favorite:

"Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body." ~Elizabeth Stone

And I end this post, renewed with faith that I will make it through a million more days like this, and find the patience within to endure. Because I am doing it for my heart, who is napping in her crib upstairs.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


It's late at night, you are falling asleep watching TV or reading a book and a thought flickers in the back of your mind. Your eyelids are heavy, and you can't remember what you just watched or read for the last two minutes and save the two seconds that it will take to flip off the tv or light, you could fall asleep this very second. The thought is still flickering that you have not yet prayed-sometimes, you fall asleep thinking that thought, "K, I'm going to kneel down in thirty seconds to pray." Sometimes I even start counting; I don't remember getting to ten. Or sometimes, I bargain with myself to fold my arms lying flat on my back in prayer...just tonight, I'll pray laying down. I don't remember getting past my thanks for the day that day, and the next thing I know, it's morning.

I could continue this example on into the morning...the busyness that is our lives jumping into our morning, before we get a chance to turn around and kneel beside our bed in the morning to pray to Heavenly Father. When you sit and think about it, about all that we may or will encounter that day, the safety that we need for us and others, and the strength and guidance to get through the trials of our day, how can we forget such an important step?

I will rat myself out and tell you the above two situations are more frequent than I'd like to admit in my personal life. Why is this so hard for me? We do great with morning and evening couple prayers, but finding that personal time to talk with the Lord, seems to be a bigger struggle than it should.

Like anything else, prayer is a process. You know you have a relationship with your Heavenly Father, but how comfortable is it? Like any other relationship, how well does the conversation flow? It flows easier when your talks are more frequent and you feel you can open up to that person. I think its the same thing with the Lord.

" 'We learn to pray by praying. One can devote countless hours to examining the experiences of others, but nothing penetrates the human heart as does a personal fervent prayer and its heaven-sent response.'~Thomas S. Monson (Ensign, October 2004)

Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed,
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast...
Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try;
Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach
The Majesty on high. (Hymns, no. 145)

'We build a relationship of love and trust with Heavenly Father through sincere and frequent prayer. Heartfelt communion with the Infinite can soften souls and draw our thoughts and desires heavenward. In humble prayer, we realize our dependence upon God, the Giver of life and everything in it. As we express sincere gratitude and meekly supplicate, we remember that we are His children and that He loves us with a pure and constant love. May we ever seek to pray.' ~Lloyd D. Newell" (Come, Listen to a Prophets Voice, Lloyd D. Newell.)

I know that deep within my heart, I truly want the Lord to feel what I'm feeling and know the desires of my heart. Sometimes, I think I assume that just because He knows me so infinitely well, and knows my mind and heart, that maybe that's enough. While it is important to go through out our day with a prayer in our heart, its not enough. The Lord wants to be asked. He wants us to formally recognize our blessings, and we owe Him the gratitude of a sincere thanks.

My Relief Society president shared a story with us this last Sunday about one of her daughters. This particular daughter is having a hard time conceiving a child. She had described that while her daughter was raised in the Gospel, she is not too active in the church. My Relief Society president had attended the temple recently and spent hours there, praying and pondering on each of her six children individually. When praying for this daughter, my Relief Society president said she was inquiring with the Lord about her daughters ability to get pregnant. She felt the Lords reply, "She needs to ask me." Now, even though the daughter was not as active as before, my Relief Society president had assumed she had still been praying. In speaking with her daughter after this experience, her daughter was expressing her desperation and sorrow in her inability to get pregnant. Her mother asked her, "Have you prayed and asked the Lord?" She replied that He knew she wanted to have a baby. How could He not know? And she again said to her daughter, "But have you asked the Lord?" Her daughter expressed to her mother, that she hadn't been praying and that she didn't feel worthy to pray for such a thing, especially when there were so many other women out there that were having the same difficulties, that maybe she felt were more worthy of motherhood.

We are ALL worthy of prayer. The Lord is there for each and every one of us. Yes, it is true that He knows the desires of our hearts, but He wants us to acknowledge His hand and presence in our lives. We do that, through our sincere prayers of gratitude, and our sincere pleas for comfort, peace and blessings.
As the above Mormonad states, "If you're missing PEACE and seeking answers, prayer might be the piece you're missing." (See 3 Nephi 18:20).
In a world of chaos and uncertainty, He waits for us to come to Him, so that He can guide us.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Everything has its opposite. Light and dark. Hot and cold. Happiness and sadness. Pain and pleasure. We have been taught, through the fall of Adam, that we were sent to this earth to experience opposition, so that we might know the good from the evil.

In Moses 5:11, Eve says, "Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient."

It's hard whilst in pain, darkness or sadness to see that these things are for our learning, so that we might be able to recognize our blessings. Sometimes it seems it might be easier, just to have everything be perfectly wonderful all of the time; to not have to worry...but without the opposition in life, we would not know the beauty of our blessings. President Gordon B. Hinckley said, "The valleys of discouragement make more beautiful the peaks of achievement."

How do we do that? How do we sit back in our despair and trial and "see the bright side," when all we are feeling is lost? It's very hard to do, but luckily, we have the ability to go to our Heavenly Father in prayer and ask for His comfort. Sometimes, that's all we get is comfort. Not an answer that everything is going to be okay, or that we will not deal with despair any longer, but just the assurance that everything will be okay.

We are promised that when we live righteous lives, and do what the Lord says, that He will bless us. “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise” (D&C 82:10) So, our comfort comes in knowing we are doing the right things and progressing towards becoming more like Him. We have great blessings promised to us, when we are living God's law.

I, personally, am a worrier. I am a stress-er. I am an anxiety attack waiting to happen. I have let that kind of thinking debilitate me in so many ways, but lately, I have been really trying hard to accept the opposition in life. Things can't always be wonderful, and the reality is that! That there is opposition in all things! Until this time in my life, I haven't been able to truly look at our trials and struggles with an appreciation for the lessons that I can learn from them. It's a daily battle, to find the courage to get up and fight through the feelings of stress, anxiety and worry, but I am comforted in the Lord's promise, and in the words of a prophet that assure me that we must taste the bitter to know the sweet. And in my heart, through the comfort that the Spirit of the Lord provides, I feel that sweet assurance and peace, that we can and will endure.

Monday, August 25, 2008


(Written by a teenager)
Love. The most frequently used word in the English language. I wonder why it is used so often when there seems to be so very little of it left in the world. Maybe someday like me, you’ll learn the real meaning of it.

I suppose the whole story started the day my sister was born. From the moment she was carried into the house, my life has been one big contest.

You see, I was five when she was born and had always been the center of attention. Everybody spoiled me with candy and toys. It was always, "How's my little Leslie? I have a big surprise for you!” After that they'd take me to the circus and buy me everything in sight. So you can see that for someone else to just come along and steal the spotlight was a terrible blow.

Yes, the second she entered that house I was thrown aside, while she was smothered with "ooo's" and "aaa's" It's understandable though. She was a beautiful baby. Visiting relatives would lean over her crib and she'd smile, gurgle, and kick her chubby legs at them.

I remember once when I was rocking her to sleep in her cradle I gave it one mighty shove and she came tumbling out. She wasn't hurt, but I was punished.

As Julie grew up matters got worse. She had this terrible habit of following me around wherever I went. It was always "Can I come with you. Leslie?"

"No! So will you layoff, you little brat! Beat it.” She'd always start to cry. Then my mother would come running and I'd get in trouble. The same thing all the time. Wherever I went, Julie went. All her little hints of love and affection just made me hate her more.

Once I tried to tell my mother how I felt about Julie. I guess my wording wasn't right. "Mom, I hate Julie ... " but before I could finish my sentence I got a Slap on the mouth and an angry answer.

"Why Leslie, how dare you say such a thing about your sister who loves you! You go to your room this minute!"

Well that's how things were in our household. That is, until two weeks ago. It was just a regular Saturday. I was bored to death and awfully cranky. My homework wasn't done, but I was in no mood to it. After lunch my mother asked me to mail a letter for her. The mailbox was just two blocks away and I had nothing to do, so I agreed. I was about to leave when Julie, as usual, asked if she could go.

I was too tired to argue so I said okay.

As we were walking I began to feel better. It was a beautiful day. The air was cool, and the wind slapped my face until it really woke me up.

Before I knew it, we were almost to the mailbox. Julie, who was getting bored because I hadn't spoken a word the whole way, suddenly grabbed the letter and yelled, "Race you to the mailbox!” She darted out into the street, heading for the box on, the other side. She never made it.

It all happened so quickly that I didn’t even have time to call out. A car suddenly swerved around the corner, heading right for Julie. I opened my mouth to scream but nothing came out. The next thing I knew she was on the ground.

Everything after that was just a blurry nightmare. I guess the man who hit her called an ambulance. I think I just froze in my place with my mouth open, waiting to scream.

I suppose most people would have cried or gone hysterical, but I didn't. I didn't feel a thing. Just empty, as if someone had cut a big hole in me. Empty. That's all
Finally, somehow, they got her to the hospital ... I was in the waiting room with my parents. After what seemed like a century, the doctor came out. One look at his face, and I knew.

My parents rose as he walked toward us. They probably knew too, but you could still see a tiny glimmer of hope in their eyes.

"I'm sorry," he said, looking down at his hands. "I don't think she'll make it; she's got one in a million chance."

Then I felt it. That thing called love. It came in a rush from way down deep, after being hidden all these years. Hard to believe, isn't it? I loved my sister and didn't know it for ten years.

That night I asked to see her. Of course, at first, they said no; but finally I was allowed a short visit.

I tiptoed into her room hoping she wouldn’t be asleep. She wasn't. She was lying very still, staring at the ceiling. When she heard me come in, she turned and smiled weakly. Oh, she was so pale.

"Hi Julie."


I sat down by her bed and held her hand tightly.

"Leslie. "


"Can I ask you something?”

"Leslie, why did you come to see me?"

With tears streaming down my face I answered, "Because I love you, Julie.” For the first time in her life she looked really happy. I mean really happy!

I leaned over and kissed her gently on ,the cheek.

"I love you too, Leslie."

With a smile on her face she died. LOVE. You never know you have it until you lose it!

My dad had used this story in a talk he had given and it really touched me. I will never forget it. Recently I asked him to email it to me, because I have to give a talk, and so I thought I would share the story with you.

There's not much else I can add to this story, it was said so well. It just made me realize how much love I have in my life, and that so much of it, I take for granted. I think if we thought of every moment that we get with the ones we love, as if it was our last, our hearts would be forever filled with love and compassion for those in our lives.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

"We Love to Laugh...ha, ha, ha, ha...Loud and Long and Clear!"

I love the part in Mary Poppins when they went to check on their friend (the doctor or something? I don't know, whoever that guy was) because he was laughing so much he was on the ceiling. And then his laughing was so infectious that soon Bert ended up in gut busting laughter, with Michael and Jane following soon after. Finally, Mary Poppins gave in and joined them on the ceiling for a tea party, and they had their fun. I love the song they sing, "I love to laugh, ha ha ha ha, loud and long and clear."

I think its important to laugh and have humor in our lives. In Stand A Little Taller, it says:
A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance.- Proverbs 15:13
We need to have a little humor in our lives. We better take seriously that which should be taken seriously, but at the same time we can bring in a touch of humor now and again. If the time ever comes when we can't smile at ourselves, it will be a sad time."-Gordon B. Hinckley
I was raised in a family of very funny, witty people. I then married into a family of very funny and witty people. Humor is a big part of my life. I have learned to laugh at myself and I think its a good thing. I can be a klutz, and a ditz, and I think its good to be able to laugh things off and make fun of yourself every once in a while.
It's important that we remember that we need to, as President Hinckley says, take the serious things seriously, but we need to allow ourselves the joy that is humor. After all, " are, that they might have joy."-2 Nephi 2:25.
I found an article by a BYU Professor, Gary K. Palmer: Teaching Professor of Recreation Management and Youth Leadership. He talked of the power of laughter. He told personal story about finding humor in his own stressful situations.
"One Sunday in sacrament meeting, my four-year-old son was making a major disturbance. After several minutes of trying to calm him down, I picked him up, tucked him under my arm like a sack of potatoes, and headed for the nearest exit. Shocked by the sudden departure, my son looked up at me and said, “Hey, Dad, where we goin’?” His innocent comment caught me by surprise and defused my anger instantly. He had no idea he was in trouble. He thought we were going out to play."
Children are great examples of finding the simple humor in life. Sometimes, I think we all need to just RELAX a little, and laugh. It's healthy for you. For "a merry heart doeth good like a medicine,” says Proverbs 7:22 .
Brother Palmers talk gives some great references to this:
"Studies show that humor and laughter help people live longer, happier lives; be more creative and productive; and have more energy with less physical discomfort.
*Humor reduces stress, fear, intimidation, embarrassment, and anger.
*Laughter also has extraordinary healing power.
*When a person laughs, blood pressure decreases, heart rate and respiration increase, the body releases endorphins, and depression declines.
*After the laughter subsides and you relax again, that good feeling has a lasting effect, even until the next day.Not many medicines will do that."
A study also referenced in Brother Palmers talk states that "On average, children laugh 400 times a day, while adults laugh about 15 times." Personally, I think I could use 385 more laughs to get me through my day. Maybe I need to start taking cues from my toddler, and instead of getting upset when she comes in covered with my make-up, just grab my camera and laugh.
So, that is my challenge to myself, and anyone else who wants to do it. To laugh more today; to laugh more everyday. To find the simple humors that make this life so enjoyable.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Armed for Battle

My husband and I were reading in Alma 43 the other night, about Moroni leading the Nephites to defend against the Lamanites. I am inspired by many things in this chapter.

The fact that Moroni was only TWENTY FIVE YEARS OLD during this time that he led an army is amazing to me. It's an example to me that there is no age requirement, or limit, for standing and being an example of the Gospel. I know I have been inspired by many of all ages, especially the youth and what they go through today.

This chapter also really hit home with me for our day. I know the point of reading the scriptures is to liken it to ourselves and our day, but sometimes, its a deep dig to find the relevance. For this chapter, it spoke to me loud and clear. The Lamanites (who were a mixture of the rebelling decendents of the Nephites--the Amalekites and Zoramites-- as well as decendents from the priests of Noah), were coming against the Nephites, who were righteous, in battle. The objective of the battle, was to bring the Nephites into subjection, to gain power over them and bring them into bondage. If we all remember the Title of Liberty, we remember what the Nephites were fighting for; their wives, their children, their homes, their land, their rights, their priveleges, their liberty and right to worship God. An inspiring part of this chapter, is the description of their preparations for battle:

19 And when the armies of the Lamanites saw that the people of Nephi, or that Moroni, had prepared his people with breastplates and with arm-shields, yea, and also shields to defend their heads, and also they were dressed with thick clothing—

20 Now the army of Zerahemnah was not prepared with any such thing; they had only their swords and their cimeters, their bows and their arrows, their stones and their slings; and they were naked, save it were a skin which was girded about their loins; yea, all were naked, save it were the Zoramites and the Amalekites;

21 But they were not armed with breastplates, nor shields—therefore, they were exceedingly afraid of the armies of the Nephites because of their armor, notwithstanding their number being so much greater than the Nephites.

This really made me think of how we are spiritually preparing ourselves to come against the evil of our day. They may think that they are armed with all manner of weapons, as did the Lamanites, but they lack the armor to protect themselves from the weapons of the opponent. As followers of Christ, we have the opportunity to arm ourselves with spiritual breastplates and sheilds. The Lord gives us commandments and guidance to act as armor, and we must choose whether we are willing to take the necessary precautions to prepare for war.

Because, that's where we are. We are in a spiritual battle even today to protect what we believe in. Tell me verse 47 doesn't explain exactly, the fight we are fighting today:

47 ...Therefore for this cause were the Nephites contending with the Lamanites, to defend themselves, and their families, and their lands, their country, and their rights, and their religion.

Now, this blog is not meant to be political in the least, but right now our rights are in danger. As stated above, we are being forced every day to defend our families, our lands, our country, our rights and our religion. A specific battle that we are being called upon to fight in, is in the battle to protect marraige and family by supporting and educating others on Proposition 8. We are to be Christ-like and non- discriminitive in our efforts, but at the same time we can't sit by and watch everything we believe in be lost in battle. We have to arm ourselves with righteousness to battle for what we believe in, as did the Nephites. We were saved to be the army in these Latter Days, and I hope that I can prepare myself to be the warrior that Heavenly Father needs me to be.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Divine Reflection

For the ladies (not that any men read this, but just in case):

How many times a day do you look in the mirror at your reflection? I'm not just talking about your bathroom mirror when you're getting ready...there's the car mirror, reflective windows at the store, each time you use the bathroom, etc. And what are we looking for? To see if we look presentable to the world. To make sure our hair is in place, our make up is still there and our outfit isn't sticking in the wrong places so we don't look fat...and the list goes on. Obviously the desire to look acceptable and appealing is in human nature, and we should care about our physical appearance enough to take care of ourselves, our health and our hygiene. However, we all know that in our society, especially for women, there is a huge pressure to look perfect. Whatever that is?? Size 2, size 10?? Blond, brunette? Short hair, long hair? This kind of pressure is a never ending cycle of self doubt and low self esteem, because no one is ever going to be the most beautiful, the most fit, the best dresser. It's impossible, yet we all keep trying. Now, there is nothing wrong with wanting to look good, unless we are wrapping up our looks in our own self worth.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I know that I am a beloved daughter of heavenly parents. I have been taught such since I was a young sunbeam, as have many of you. Why then, is it so hard for us to get it through our thick, painted, dyed and hair sprayed heads?? Just kidding...well, kind of. But seriously, myself included, we don't think enough about our divine characteristics of being a daughter of God.

What got me thinking about this was the Visiting Teaching Message this month. I was in charge of the lesson this month in my companionship and it made me really study and think about the message which is called, "Each Sister is a Beloved Daughter of Heavenly Parents and has a Divine Destiny."

First of all we have to understand what that means. President James E. Faust explains it well. "A conviction that you are a daughter of God gives you a feeling of comfort in your self-worth. It means that you can find strength in the balm of Christ. It will help you meet the heartaches and challenges with faith and serenity" ("What It Means to Be a Daughter of God," Liahona, Jan. 2000, 123; Ensign, Nov. 1999, 102). If we truly understand this concept of being literal offspring of Deity, then we should be comforted in knowing we are of infinite worth, and with that knowledge we can take life's challenges head on.

We then have to decipher in and of ourselves, what exactly our individual divine destiny is, and what tools we have been blessed with to achieve that destiny. President Spencer W. Kimball said, "All of you need to drink in deeply the gospel truths about the eternal nature of your individual identity and the uniqueness of your personality. You need, more and more, to feel the perfect love which our father in Heaven has for you and to sense the value he places upon you as an individual. Ponder upon these great truths, especially in those moments when (in the stillness of such anxiety as you may experience as an individual) you might otherwise wonder and be perplexed" (Teachings of Presidents of the church: Spencer W. Kimball [2006], 222).

I don't know about you, but I have many moments where "in the stillness of anxiety", I am "otherwise perplexed" when it comes to understanding the "eternal nature of my individual identity and uniqueness of my personality". We tend to think that we are not important or that we have to conform to a certain way, or be like someone else, but we are told here, by a Prophet of God, that the Lord places much value upon us each individually. I, myself, question a lot of my personality traits and characteristics (all physical appearance issues aside. We're women, we know we all have them). Sometimes I've questioned why I am the way I am; why I have the personality I do. There are times when I've viewed certain attributes I have as a weakness, and other times, that same attribute as a strength. At times, I've let others lead me to believe that something that I think is a strength, is a weakness.

But, something that this lesson brought out for me, is that I need to look at these attributes and characteristics as what they are; divine tools. I was MEANT to be the way that I am. That doesn't mean I can't improve upon my weaknesses for the better, repent of my sins and change unrighteous ways. But, and I will say it again, I WAS MEANT TO BE THE WAY THAT I AM. Motor mouth and all. haha :) Because for some reason, that's who I need to be. My talents and strengths are rusty and jagged...I'm not even sure how I'm supposed to use them all of the time. But we are all in the refiners fire. We, as tools, are being shaped and formed into what He would have us become. He knows the big picture. He knows what lives we are going to touch, and why we are the way that we are. YOU WERE MEANT TO BE THE WAY YOU ARE! And don't let anyone ever tell you any differently.

Which leads me to a quick side note. Yesterday I was reading my thought for the day out of Gordon B. Hinckley's, Stand A Little Taller, and it coincided with this thought well.

Therefore, strengthen your bretheren (sisters) in all your conversation, in all your prayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings. -Doctrine and Covenants 108:7
Do not indulge in put-downs, in pessimism, in self recrimination. Never make fun at the expense of another. Look for virtue in the lives of all with whom you associate." - Gordon B. Hinckley
I think this thought goes hand in hand with understanding our own self worth and divinity. We have a responsibility to uphold each other and help each other, especially as daughters of God. I am guilty myself of pessimism, of put downs, of making fun of others. I pray that any of my selfishness has not affected any ones view of their own divinity. What a horrible conviction upon my head at judgement day if I have spent any of my time tearing others down and messing with their own views of their self worth. I know that we all know what it feels like to be made fun of for one reason or another, and that those feelings of insecurity and inadequacy are very hard to shake off. I'm ashamed that I've probably made someone else feel that way at some point or another.
I think as we begin to understand our own self worth, we feel better about ourselves, and less inclined to judge others or cut them down. It all goes in hand and hand. We help each other feel our individual worth and divine destiny.
So, ladies...let's go! Let's help build each other up for the fabulous women we all are. Inside and out! You go girls!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Living Beneath Our Privileges

Having this blog as an outlet has made me realize how much there really is to ponder on and learn each day. How there are so many lessons, every day, in life to look on. There are a lot of opportunities to draw spiritual nourishment from, and places where we can find inspiration and insight.

A very obvious place for me, has been the Daily Gems that I get in my email from the LDS website. Yesterday's quote really hit me on why its important to do daily reflection and growth:

Living Beneath Our Privileges

"The path to eternal life is not on a plateau. Rather, it is an incline, ever onward and upward. Hence, ever increasing spiritual understanding and energy are required to reach our destination. Because the pernicious opposition by Satan continues, the continuous enlightened guidance of the Holy Ghost is absolutely essential. We dare not hinder, disregard, or quench the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Yet when it comes to drawing upon the promptings and the blessings which flow from the Holy Ghost, we often 'live far beneath our privileges' (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John S. Widtsoe [1954], 32)."
Keith K. Hilbig,
"Quench Not the Spirit Which Quickens the Inner Man," Ensign, Nov. 2007, 38

I love that saying, "living far beneath our privileges". I was just thinking about this yesterday. I was thinking about how many problems I have tried to deal with on my own, to no avail, because I just never thought to go to the Lord with it. I've thought about callings or tasks I've attempted without seeking the guidance and direction from the Lord to help give me strength. It made me realize how much more is out there for us to learn, and how there is an infinite amount of support for us from the Lord if we ask for it.

It also reiterates for me why I started this blog. Because I am SO imperfect. So beyond imperfect, that, I NEED THIS! I need every day to think about the Gospel, to remind myself of Gospel principles, and work on something. Because as it was stated above..."the path to eternal life is not on a plateau. Rather, it is an incline, ever onward and upward." That means, we are never there. In this life, at least. Now, we can either take that as a disappointing reality to discourage us from even trying, or as motivation to know that, no matter what, even if we spend our whole life trudging up hill, that we did it. That we kept learning, kept progressing, kept trying.

Sometimes you do just want to sit idly. It seems so much easier at the time. But I can speak from some experience, that I've done it. And ultimately I look back and realize that I have missed out on lessons learned. I realized that my stop has pushed me that much further down the hill of my progression. And although I know I can regain that, and keep on climbing, its not worth the "break" I took. Because my stop gave Satan a way in, and he is waiting every second to push you down that hill. That risk is far too great.

Who would ever want to limit themselves? Who would ever WANT to live beneath our privileges. We have the whole world, every opportunity given to us to draw things from and progress to an eternal life. This is something I need to remember every day. I need to realize just how privileged I truly am. More so than I would even like to believe sometimes. I have been given every blessing and opportunity that I need to make it back to be with my Father in Heaven.

Even if that means that for the rest of our lives, we are fighting an uphill battle...we're still fighting.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Somebody's Hero

I was driving in the car yesterday, listening to a country station and a song came on that I'd recognized hearing. I even kind of knew the chorus absentmindedly singing along without really thinking. But I stopped to listen to the words this time...really listen. Soon, the tears began to stream down my face. The song was "Somebody's Hero"-Jamie O'Neal. The lyrics are below, as well as a link to the music video. I suggest the video for the full effect...

Music Video

Somebody's Her0-Jamie O'Neal
She's never pulled anyone from a burning building
She's never rocked Central Park to a half a million fans,
screaming out her name
She's never hit a shot to win the game
She's never left her footprints on the moon
She's never made a solo hot air balloon ride,
around the world,
No, she's just your everyday average girl (but)

She's somebody's hero
A hero to her baby with a skinned up knee
A little kiss is all she needs
The keeper of the cheerios
The voice that brings Snow White to life
Bedtime stories every night
And that smile lets her know
She's somebody's hero
She didn't get a check every week like a nine-to fiver
But she's been a waiter, and a cook and a taxi driver
For twenty years, there at home,
until the day her girl was grown
Giving all her love to her was her life's ambition
But now her baby's movin' on,
and she'll soon be missin' her
But not today, those are tears of joy runnin' down her face

She's somebody's hero
A hero to her daughter in her wedding dress
She gave her wings to leave the nest
It hurts to let her baby go down the aisle she walks right by
Looks back into her mother's eyes
And that smile lets her know
She's somebody's hero

Thirty years have flown right past
Her daughters' starin' at all the photographs
Of her mother, and she wishes she could be like that
Oh, but she already is
She's somebody's hero
A hero to her mother in a rockin' chair
She runs a brush through her silver hair
The envy of the nursing home
She drops by every afternoon
Feeds her mama with a spoon
And that smile lets her know
Her mother's smile lets her know
She's somebody's hero

I felt connected to this song on a number of levels. I first thought of my own sweet baby. I looked into the backseat where she was asleep in her carseat, and I just imagined how the years are going to absolutely fly by...and how that process has already blown my mind. I pictured that not too long from now, I'll be there helping her put her veil in her hair and she'll be wiping my tears.

I also connected this song with one of my own hero's; my mother, and for all of the same reasons that I felt that way about my baby. And because I know for so many years, she has done so much for her family, without the same recognition or reward one would get for many other accomplishments in life. I'm so grateful to her for instilling in me what an important role a mother plays in a childs life, and always being there to be my friend and hero.

Lastly, I really felt connected to another one of my hero's; my husband. Even though this song sort of focused on the bond between a mother and daughter, I thought of all that my husband does for our family, a lot of times without recognition. His sacrifices for our family are immeasurable and just as important as anything that I do at home, because its why we have a home and a life.

I know this post is a little bit on the personal side, and doesn't really seem to be on the "spiritual" side, but I actually would like to tie in a quote from Stand a Little Taller.

But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.- Doctrine and Coventants 93:40
Rear your children in love, in the nurtue and admonition of the Lord. Take care of your little ones, welcome them into your homes, and love them with all your hearts. They may do, in the years that come, some things you would not want them to do, but be patient, be patient. You have not failed as long as you have tried. Never forget that."-Gordon B. Hinckley
And so today, what my thought is going to be on is trying. Trying so hard to be exactly the type of mother I dream of. I know I will fail in many efforts. I know sometimes it will feel unacknowledged and I will walk away from a day asking myself what I have even accomplished, but I will always continue to try. Because, as President Hinckley stated, "You have not failed as long as you have tried." I think the same is true for fathers.
One of the greatest callings we can hold is being a parent. We are entrusted with another of God's children and are responsible for teaching them, by example, to be righteous and love God. I'm overwhelmed and so incredibly grateful for my opportunities to experience parenthood. I'm grateful that there are so many wonderful examples to look to in life all around me of people that are "Somebody's Hero". Whether you are rearing your children side by side with a spouse, or a single mother, single father...whatever the situation may be, YOU are somebody's hero...and your efforts will make all the difference in their lives.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Love At Home

Remember when you were a kid, and you'd fight with your siblings and your mother would come in singing, "There is beauty all around...when there's love at home..." and we'd all roll our eyes and say, "Oh, mom!"

Okay, what happens when now YOU are that Mom and trying to be the peacemaker in your home, and singing "Love At Home" is the exact last thing on your mind? It's enough to make you want to cry for your own Mommy to come save the day.

Today, I had my "few hours" of that. I don't want to say it was a moment, because if I classifed it as a moment, that would make it seem brief, which it was definitely not. Marriage is really hard...parenthood is really hard, and sometimes, you just want to not have the knowledge and maturity that you do, so that you can just throw your temper tantrum and feel okay about it. Otherwise, if you're me, you throw your temper tantrum anyway, and then feel bad about it enough to go write a blog on it. :) Hey, that's how I deal.

I won't go into details about why or what even happened to provoke the temper tantrums, because I don't want to make the blog THAT personal, but I will say, as in most marital disagreements, we were both at fault. I can admit though I'm the one who ate two spoonfulls of chocolate frosting afterward. That might give you some insight into maybe why my MOODINESS (hint, hint) came into play.

And I will say, it's all good now, and my husband and I love each other insanely. He is the most wonderful man and I'm so grateful for him for so many, many reasons. Sometimes though, he ticks me off. I think thats part of marriage...and in a way, I think it's healthy.

So, part of the way that he gets over things is that he ponders quietly (sleeps)...and he just gets over it. Like,'s done. I've gotten better at that, where we can just do "knuckles" and say "Truce?". I've amazed myself with that, since I'm usually a big dweller. However, today, I'm dwelling a little. But in a good way. I pulled out my trusty new favorite book, Stand A Little Taller, by Gordon B. Hinckley, and flipped through the days that have already past this year. I found a great thought on February 21. Goes like this...

Cease to be idele;cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another;...And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace. -Doctrine and Covenants 88:124-25
Imagine how our own families, let alone the world, would change if we vowed to keep faith with one another, strengthen one another, look for and accentuate the virtues in one another, and speak graciously concerning one another. Imagine the cumulative effect if we treated each other wit hrespect and acceptance, if we willingly provided support. Such interactions practiced on a small scale would surely have a rippling effect throughout our homes and communities and, eventually, society at large."- Gordon B. Hinckley
So for me, what this quote meant was that, although its really easy to take our anger or frustrations out on those that we love the most, because we know they love us and will forgive us, it's truly not fair. They are the ones with whom we should give the MOST respect. Especially our spouse...our best friend. That scripture really hits home when it says, "...cease to find fault one with another..." because sometimes, it seems thats all we do. It's so much easier to down play your own problems, when pointing your finger at someone else. But when the Lord says, "Cease..." we should probably stop. And really, after the adrenaline slows down and after the (chocolate frosting settles in your stomach), and you humble yourself to realize you had some finger pointing to do at yourself, then you wish that maybe you had just ceased from the very beginning.
Ultimately, we are human...and ultimately as I stated above, marriage is hard and parenthood is hard. We are all going to lose our tempers and sometimes our home will no always be in a mood of breaking out in hymns. That's a reality. But, for me, I hope that I can learn from this that its not worth it to continue on pointing fingers to fault find because all its going to bring is regret. Coupled with the regret from the dang chocolate frosting....

Friday, August 15, 2008

Open Your Ears

I wasn't sure if I was going to post today or not...I don't even think this blog has even had any visitors yet, but like I mentioned in my reasoning for this blog, is that a big part of it is for me to ponder and reflect, and I do that best with words. So, even if I'm just writing to myself, here is my thought.

I decided yesterday after I looked in the book Standing a Little Taller that I would like to actually use it for its purpose and read the thought of the day each morning. Again, what I found was in perfect alignment with where my mind was already heading for the next post. I will write the quote, and then explain what I mean...

Above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. -Colossians 3:14
Caring for others, seeing and teaching beyond our own wants and comforts, cultivating kindness and gentility towards others from all of life's situations and circumstances- these are the essense of civility, a virtue to be admired, a virtue to be acquired."- Gordon B. Hinckley
Okay, so my "sister-friend" has sort of inspired my thought process. She was telling me the other day about an experience she had at an activity class that she takes her child to. There was a woman there, a very young, very cute, very stylish girl, who had just had her second baby...and looked like she'd never even had a baby in the first place. Yeah ladies, you know the kind. The perfect looking ones that no matter of belly stretching puts a stretchmark on them, and their stomach is flat as they leave the hospital. Lucky gals. Anyway, so my "sister-friend" at first was unsure whether or not this woman would be snobby. Now, do not think badly of my "sister-friend"...what she thought was human nature, and despite her fears or pre-judgements, they began to talk and my "sister-friend" found that they had a lot to talk about. So, long story short, after their class one day, this woman is leaving, and my "sister-friend" can tell that she is really flustered with her toddler and her newborn. My "sister-friend" can absolutely relate, because she has two herself and had been through that stage. So, she quickly goes up to them before she leaves and asks her if she has any help during the day. She says that she doesn't, and my "sister-friend" says, "Well, would you like me to take (can't remember her little girls name, toddler age) ever during the day to give you a break, and she can play with (my "sister-friends" toddler)?" She said the woman looked so shocked and relieved that someone would offer that. She absolutely accepted and they exchanged phone numbers.
The reason this story inspired me, is because we never ever know what anyone else is dealing with in life. We have no idea how good or bad things may be, and sometimes the Spirit speaks to us, if we are listening, and helps us decipher those who we might be able to help. Thus, I titled this post "Open Your Ears", because, in a way we have to spiritually open our eyes, which really means listen for the Spirit to prompt us.
I swear we are living through a mini-depression right now, with the potential to become a full blown one. Every where you turn people are losing jobs, homes, everything. Not to mention, it seems like cancer and disease run rampant, as well as crime and murder. I hate to watch the news...its depressing. Every day there is controversy and deceit. Rumors of cheating Olympians...politicians back biting one another. Don't even get me started on all the different political issues arising that deal with moral and family issues. This is not a political blog, and if I start writing about that, I might not be able to stop. My point is, everywhere we turn there are those that are in need. And if you look at it from all angles, we each have a blessing that someone else doesn't have. While your neighbor may have money, they may have just gone through a divorce or lost a loved one. While you may have lost your job, maybe you just passed someone in the store that is about to lose their home. And because times are so hard, its easy and even understandable for us to draw inward and focus on our own problems. After all, our lives have problems too. And sometimes its all we have in us to even try to focus on those.
But President Hinckley's words inspire me, that "Civility is a virtue...a virtue to be admired, a virtue to be acquired." The scripture in Colossians describes charity as "the bond of perfectness". Which is what we are striving for in this life.
I am so incredibly blessed in my life. So much, that I fell to my knees last night in prayer, and could not contain the over flow of tears that fell, when I began to think of my overwhelming abundance of blessings. And to know as others suffer, that I am blessed so, makes me feel completely inadequate. But, in answer to my plea of gratitude, I felt a reassurance of the things I am to do with those blessings in my life. The responsibilities that come with those blessings are real and the Lord wills us to use those blessings to touch others.
I pray that the Lord can "open my ears" so to speak, so that I may be able to develop the "charity and civility" that I need to be an instrument in His hands.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


What to write for your first post? How to begin a blog like this...and let alone continue it on, is all an experiment to me. The complete process of this is an experiment and so I guess there are no rules when it comes to an experiment. That's kind of the point. So, as I embark on this new outlet for STRENGTH, POSITIVITY, SHARING, HOPE and LOVE...I decided what better way than to begin with a word from a beloved Prophet of my church, Gordon B. Hinckley. I picked up his book, Stand A Little Taller, which is a quote book to give counsel and inspiritaion for each day of the year. I decided to start with today's date, to see if I could find a relatable quote. What I found was perfect:

Love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
-Romans 13:8
In a changing world, love can be a constant. It is something that, when sincere, never moves. It is the very essence of the teachings of Christ. It is the security of the home. It is the safeguard of community life. It is a beacon of hope in a world of distress." ~Gordon B. Hinckley
I found this "Thought of the Day" so completely perfect, because it sort of explains why I even decided to start this blog in the first place. The last sentence states a very major, very serious, very real fact : that our world is in distress. And in the first sentence of his quote, he gives us a tool to help us cope with the ever changing world. A tool to cling to constantly, when everything else is moving and changing; LOVE. Love has so many shapes and forms. Love means a million different things to every person. Love manifests itself in a plethora of ways throughout our lives. For me, love is what I live for. The love that I share with my spouse, children, extended family and friends is invaluable in my life. I could express that love for days, and I'm sure in later posts, I will. However, I want to focus on a different type of love in my life. I live for the love I feel from my Father in Heaven, and His Son, Jesus Christ. That unconditional, charitable love that will never change. I can cling to that and know, that no matter what happens in this world, if I cling to that one true constant, I will always have comfort, peace and hope. As President Hinckley says, "It is a beacon of hope".
So, when I say this quote encompasses my exact purposes for this blog, I mean that the strength we are looking for can be found in different forms of love. We search for that strength wherever good place we can find it, because our world is in distress and we need to find the good wherever we can, and cherish it. I pray that this blog can be one of those places for me, and for anyone else who may need it. A place where we can ponder and share our light and love with others.