Friday, June 27, 2014

I Believe

Today, 170 years ago, Joseph and Hyrum Smith were martyred.  A big day in LDS Church History.  In light of that and the huge publicity and current public discussion about LDS Church doctrine I want to declare what I believe.  To draw my line in the sand.

I believe that I have a Heavenly Father.  I believe His Son, Jesus Christ, is my personal Savior. I believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and he restored the gospel of Jesus Christ along with the Priesthood of God as well as the Keys of the Priesthood of God.  I believe that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon and that the Book of Mormon is revelation straight from God.  I believe that Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet of God on the earth today.

I have been a member of the LDS Church since I was 8.  I always believed it was true but my conviction of it started when I was 15 on a vacation in Mexico City, Mexico at Teotihucan and "The Pyramid of the Sun."

My tour group ran into some missionaries there and they gave our tour guide a Book a Mormon and taught him right there at the base of "The Pyramid of the Sun." The Spirit testified to me that the Book of Mormon was true and that it was all true.  The End.  The experience was over powering.  Fast forward through out my life and I have continued to be taught by the Spirit as I've humbled myself and repented.  When I seek revelation and live worthily God speaks to me, like He does all of His children.  Sometime He doesn't answer my questions right away, but He still always speaks to me.  Three specific things I've learned are that:

  1. The Book of Mormon and Church History are filled with accounts of people that rejected their leaders and apostatized from God's Kingdom.  In these accounts I find patterns that teach me how to avoid personal apostasy in the latter-days.
  2. Satan is on the earth trying to destroy God's children any way he can.
  3. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ all my doubts, fears, concerns, etc. have been overcome and replaced with faith, courage and peace.
As I study and remember the stories from the scriptures and from church history of those that didn't repent, became offended and angry and kicked themselves out of the kingdom I see a recurring pattern.  I continue to see it today. (But this is a topic for another day).

When I pray, read my scriptures, attend church and attend the temple it "resets" my eternal perspective button.  I am reminded of why I'm here on earth and that there is a Plan.  I am reminded that as part of that Plan I face, "an opposition in all things." (2 Ne 2:11-read whole chapter). That I get to choose every single day to act for myself and choose who I will follow. I am reminded that there are two forces at work.  One choice I make would lead me back to my Heavenly Father.  Heavenly does that by inviting me and teaching me light and truth through the Spirit which is revealed to me in the scriptures, in my heart personally,  and latter-day prophets.  The second choice I have comes from Satan.  His method involves lies, tricks, deception, and darkness.  

The Book of Revelation teaches a lot about Satan.  It says, 
"And there was a war in heaven and Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb: and by the word of their testimony and they loved not their lives unto the death."" (Revelation 11: 7-11; emphasis added)
 Lehi teaches us in The Book of Mormon,
"And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God.  And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. Wherefore, he said unto Eve, yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies, wherefore he said: Partake of the forbidden fruit, and ye shall not die, but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil." (2 Nephi 2:17-18; emphasis added)
Abraham also taught about our pre-mortal experience saying,
"And there was stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell; And we will proven them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their god shall command them...And the Lord said: Who shall I send: and one answered like unto the Son of Man; Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me.  And the Lord said: I will send the first.  And the second was angry and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him." (Abraham 3:24-28; emphasis added)
 These scriptures teach me a number of things:

  1. There was a war in heaven before we came to earth, and Satan was cast out along with his followers because they sought that which was evil.
  2. Satan is described as a deceiver, an accuser of the brethren (all day and all night long), the father of all lies and someone who was angry.
  3. Christ was chosen to be our Redeemer.  And it is through Him and His blood that we overcame the Devil in our pre-earth life and it is how we will overcome him in our current earth life.
  4. One purpose of our mortal life is to see if we will obey and do what God asks us to do. To see if we will life by faith.
Satan is always in our ear whispering lies and deceptions.  "That's not fair." "Why don't you get to be in charge?" "They ask to much." "I can't believe that the Bishop just said that." "Do you see the hypocrisy in that church leader?  Why should I follow him?" "You could organize/lead this so much better." "You should read that story about Joseph Smith on the internet that your friend told you about." "Why do women seem to always get the short end of the stick?" "Don't worry about reading your scriptures today, you'll have more time tomorrow." It goes on and on and on. Always lying, always accusing someone in our ear and always tricking us.  He is always in our ear along with his huge congregation of followers.  Remember that his evil angels include men and women.  I imagine these evil female spirits screaming the loudest in my ear destructive messages about men, marriage, children, the role of women and the priesthood.  They can never have an eternal family so they will scream and rant all day long.

The glorious good news though is that through Jesus Christ and His atonement we can learn to reject these lies and quote the truth.  I can replace these messages in my head with, "I am a daughter of God." "My Father in Heaven loves me individually." "I will honor my spouse." "I forgive you." "I am sorry." "I don't understand everything right now, but I stand with Christ and His church." "I choose to let this go." "I recognize that I need to repent." "I will use my time to build the kingdom and not tear it down today." "I will reject the lies and quote the truth." Sometimes its hard, actually a lot of times it's hard.  I can choose to use my agency to pray, read my scriptures and stand in holy places.  As I do so Christ will strengthen me.  I've learned it's important to remember that while Satan screams and rants, God speaks in a quiet voice and invites me to follow Him.  

Another important principle I try to keep in mind is that I was sent down here to see if I would obey God at all times; and with that I am expected to obey God in faith because a lot of the time I will not understand or know why.  God said, 
"And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word that proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God.  For he will give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith." (D & C 98:11-12)
So God is going to ask me to live by faith.  If I do, cleaving to the good I have been taught, he will teach me little by little.  This pattern has been true in my life.  As I have asked questions and prayed and pondered God has, little by little, answered by questions.  As I have been patient and trusted Him He has opened up so much to me about the divine role of women, priesthood power on the earth, my divine nature, my potential, and the significance of my eternal family.  Yes, little by little, bit by bit, I have been taught.

I choose to use my agency to build the kingdom of God.  I choose happiness. I choose faith. I choose to read my scriptures. I choose to keep my temple covenants. I choose to follow Thomas S. Monson. I  choose Jesus Christ.  "I know it. I live it. I love it!"

Consider this article and pershaps ponder Elder Holland's counsel,
"In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. In the growth we all have to experience in mortality, the spiritual equivalent of this boy’s affliction or this parent’s desperation is going to come to all of us. When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Being Intentional With Our Life

Sooooo, as you know I've been doing A LOT of family history work.  Right now my mom and I are on a mission to clean up the records on my dad's side of the family.  We've never really had to do a lot on that side.  Pioneers.  Lots of people working on those lines over the years. We've been putting the histories and pictures of people that we have onto Family Search and its been fascinating!

As a result I've been reading a lot of biographies and obituaries.

A granddaughter wrote this of her grandmother, Elizabeth Mathews Campbell and an obituary of Elizabeth's granddaughter in law follows it,
Through my memory peers the face of a woman which portrays that character of which type is of most use to mankind.  To me it is a face which beams with devotion, portraying that most noble character, "Mother."  It is a face, perhaps a little tired of its hard struggles; a face full of thankfulness for her all, and which shows a willingness to give, to serve, and do all in her power for the benefit of mankind.  It is the face of my Grandmother, my ideal woman, and no living should could help but love and cherish her.  Although this noble character has not been placed into a worldly history, she will never be forgotten by those who knew her and who were fortunate to enjoy her presence.

Lucille ...(98) passed peacefully on ..., She married her lifelong sweetheart, the Logan LDS Temple. They spent 75 wonderful years together until Theron's passing....
Lucille enjoyed her life very much. She loved her friends and loved the association she had with them. She loved her beautiful gardens especially her roses. Her vegetable garden was amazing and always plentiful. The fruit room proudly displayed all of her frugally preserved produce. She loved to work with her hands whether it be in her gardens, knitting, quilting or crocheting. She was a lifelong avid reader and particularly enjoyed biographies and historical fiction. As a child, in her fathers orchard, she would climb a favorite apple tree to read. She and her husband traveled to Europe and Canada visiting children.
She was educated in Cache Valley schools graduating from South Cache High School in... and graduated from the USU LDS Institute later in life.
She was a charter member of the Modern Mothers Club of ...., a captain of the Elizabeth Mathews Campbell camp of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, and a member of the Women's Literary Club. She was a devout member of the LDS church fulfilling many callings through the years--Gospel Doctrine teacher for 11 years, Relief Society President, and a Temple worker.
A little voice as been playing over and over in my head.  How do you want to be remembered?  When they write your obituary what are they going to say?  Is that what you want said?  These motivational quotes are going over in my mind:
"Ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow?"
"Whatever you do, do it well."
"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new."
"Do something today that your future self will thank you for."
And my favorite (for today):
"If you change nothing, nothing will change."
So my question to myself is if nothing changed in my life would I be where I want to be at the end of it? Would my obituary say what I want it to say?  Or do I have to change some things?  I took some time to write down what was really important to me, mainly character and skills(talents), and I was surprised with some realizations I had.

I invite you to make sure you are being intentional with your life. Are creating yourself into the person you are supposed to be?

Journey on my friends.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

Recently I was out visiting some women as a Relief Society Presidency.  I love making visits because the Spirit continues to testify to me of the greatness of the women I'm surrounded with. Making visits helps me to love them more, understand them and appreciate them.  One sister we were visiting said that she has always been a person who finds that the glass is half empty.  She said she has had to fight this negative thinking every day of her life.

This statement started me thinking.  I used to be a person who viewed life as a glass half empty, but I don't generally now.  What happened? When did it happen? How did it happen?  Somewhere along the way I stopped being a pessimist.  Many people tend to view life in a negative way.  If you do and would like to see how I changed some of my attitudes then reader, read on...

*Please note: In saying that the glass is half full it is suggesting that a person view's life and life's experiences in a positive way.  Viewing life with a half empty glass is attributed to looking at life and life's experiences in a negative way.  Here is a short article on this idiom. Another. And one more.

These thoughts came:

1. For me living with a glass half empty was part of my natural man, or our 'earthly man' as President Kimball taught us. He said, "The 'natural man' is the 'earthly man' who has allowed rude animal passions to overshadow his spiritual inclination."  So living with a glass half empty or being a negative person is kind of the way I naturally want to go.  But of course we can overcome the natural man.  The natural man dwells in negatives, but God is about positives.

2. Living with a glass half empty is also a sign of fear.  I used to think nothing good would ever happen. Nothing good could possibly come out an uncomfortable situation.  I tended to assume the victim role, the whinny role and will everyone please notice me role.  All signs of fear.  If I'm living in fear and not with faith then I need to repent.

3.  Perhaps living life with a good and happy attitude is a gift of the spirit.  I know I say everything good and positive is a gift of the spirit.  Maybe it is and maybe it isn't.  I know this though: all good things come from God.  So in a way they are gifts.  Call it what you may.  I also know that if we ask for a gift and it's a good gift the Father will give it too us. (D & C 88: 63-64) We are all born with a couple specific gifts.  I think of them as freebies that we get to keep as long as we stay worthy.  The rest we have to work for.  But, we can claim them.  Some of us may be born with an innate sense of worth, a happy cheery heart, the ability to be a peace maker, a heart of gold, a strong testimony, etc.  We all have our freebies.  Just because some of us might not be the glass is half full kind of girl doesn't mean we can't become one.

Okay, so this is what I try to do everyday:

1.  Praise God.  Everyday I need to thank Him for His blessings. I try to notice all the wonderful blessings God has given me.  We are all so blessed.  Sometimes I make lists.  Sometimes I write them down in my journal.  Some people write them on their blogs.  Whatever.  I try to notice my blessings and express gratitude for them. Doing so has changed my life!!!! The Lord teaches us:
"And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea more."
2. Serve Others.  Talk to people in the store.  Say hi to people.  Notice people.  Visit a widow.  Make cookies  for FHE and then share half with the neighbor.  Call our visiting teaching sisters even if you have already "seen" them for the month.  Do some indexing.  Send a happy text to a friend out of the blue telling them how much we appreciate them and we hope they are having a great day.  Make our child's bed.  Just once.  Just because.  The point is to stop thinking about myself.  The more negative I feel myself getting in a day the more I realize that I've just been thinking about myself.  I perceive my problems as great.  But the moment I focus outward is the moment I realize I'm okay because the Spirit comes.  The Spirit brings peace to my heart and I know God is taking care of me.  My problems aren't that bad. Trust. Smile.  Breath. Think of the big picture.

It's in those service moments I'm also reminded, "oh yeah, I came to earth to be tested."  God's not punishing me.  He's helping me strengthen my heart and my testimony.  Where is my heart? Am I God-centered?  Or am I me-centered?  If I'm God-centered then I'm progressing and coming closer to my heavenly home.

3. Change my thoughts.  I wrote all about that here. This past week something happened to someone else that made me a little CraZy.  Mainly I was just irritated about the situation.  It came down to the fact that I kept replaying the situation over and over in my head. Basically I was judging someone over and over.  I kept thinking, "really, that's how we act now?"  It was on replay.  Finally after a day or do I snapped out of it and said, "enough!"  I prayed, repented of judging them and some other bad thoughts, and spend the rest of the week rejecting Satan's attempts to keep me thinking about it.  It's been tough.  But I have to reject the lies and quote the truth. My natural man so wants to dwell on it. Grrr.

4.  Repent.  Yeah, I always come back to this one don't I? I think the gift of the atonement is the most amazing thing ever.  Repenting doesn't mean we were bad, are bad or are forever to be bad.  Repenting means, "Hurray, I'm coming closer to the Savior today because I've recognized some sins and I'm changing them with Christ."  Elder Bednar said,
"Every appetite, desire, propensity, and impulse of the natural man may be overcome by and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We are here on the earth to develop godlike qualities and to bridle all of the passions of the flesh."
(Love the absolutes in that statement). So yes, we are natural men and women with a propensity to sin and feel sorry for ourselves, but through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can overcome all those propensities.  How sweet is that?

I believe absolutely that any weakness we have, like looking at life believing that the glass is half empty, is something we can change.  As I have overcome this weakness my life as changed so much.  I feel freer, happier, my faith is stronger... Life just becomes that much more awesome.

What ideas would you add that have made your life a 'glass half full' one?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Family History Videos

I love family history!  It so important.  It will change your life.  Here are some videos to motivate you and your youth.  

This last video the youth may see this month with their Come Follow Me curriculum but I'm not smart enough to know how to copy it over.  Sorry.  It's straight off  Here is the link: Elder Bednar 3 minute video.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Family History: Some Ideas to Get You Started

I love doing family history work!  I was very blessed to have my mom be "that aunt that does our family history work."  I grew up entering information into the computer, typing family histories and hearing stories of my ancestors.  It certainly created a love for my ancestors.

Not everyone has that experience.  For many, thinking about doing family history work is either scary or one more thing I have to do!  It doesn't have to be that way though.  I thought I would share four easy ways that might help you make family history work an easy and fulfilling part of your life.

1. INDEXING.  Have you ever tried to index?  Indexing is becoming very popular.  Probably because it's so easy to do and so rewarding.  Take time to watch this short video explaining what indexing is.

Here is another video, just out!, showcasing the blessings and happiness that indexing provides us.

Once you have done indexing you realize how easy it is.  Indexing is a great way to serve if you home bound because of young children or home bound because of illness or age.  It's a great activity to do on Sundays. You can index some records in as quickly as five minutes.  I marvel that how simple it all is and what a blessing it is. 

If you haven't tried indexing I'd invite you to try it out and realize what a blessing it will be.  Even just one hour a week is fantastic.  

2. Family Tree. Go to Family Search and set up an account.  Click the Family Tree tag.  At this point you need to enter your self, your parents, and your grandparents.  You just need to add your living family members of your direct line.  Then 'find' your first generation of deceased family members and link them to your living family members.  From there you should be linked up.  You should be able to view all the work that your aunt as done.  You will be amazed and excited!  Start playing around with family tree and understand how it works.  Notice where you are from. Read the names of your ancestors and think about them. Let their names and dates and places become part of you.  Easy and very fun.  

3. Pick A Name.  After you have played around for a while and are familiar with Family Tree pick an ancestor that stands out. (Even if she has her temple work done). Does that ancestor have all of their information? Is there a death date? Marriage date? Is there a birth place?  If not on the same website (I always open up a couple of Family Search pages) go to the search page and start searching.  New records are constantly being added.  Information may be available now that wasn't when her name was originally done.  Along the way you may find that you learn about some children that died that have not been recorded or about a first marriage where the spouse died young.  There are lots of surprises out there waiting to be discovered!

4.  Upload Histories and Pictures.  For you more tech savvy individuals you might enjoy the new features on Family Tree.  You can now upload pictures and family histories.  Many of you have wonderful books of your family history that your aunt put together.  Pull them off the shelf, dust them off and type/scan the information into your Family Tree.  Your aunt will love you for it.  As you do they will start to come alive to you. I believe this is one great way to honor our ancestors.  To show them that their lives are important to us.

My recent experiences.  This past week while working on some family history I felt impressed to try to find some more of a great, great, great mother's children.  On the 1900 census record one question is how many children a women as had and how many are still alive.  This provides great clues.  Now this women's work was done 15 years ago, but for years I've been unable to find all her children.  I had found  11 of her 13.  I was getting close.  As I was praying I felt impressed to pursue a cemetery record on FIND A GRAVE.  (Another great resource!) As I studied the record, long story short, I felt impressed that the record was wrong.  I emailed the compiler of the information and asked her to recheck.  Sure enough it wasn't the cemetery record of the father, but of a missing daughter! Here is the picture I received:

I was so excited to meet baby Goldia! One hour of my life was so worth getting her information so that she could be sealed to her mommy and daddy!

Also a shout out to my wonderful husband.  As I mentioned in a previous post he has had some massive health set backs.  When he's been confined to the bed or a chair for the last six plus months he has spent his time doing family history work.  I know that is one reason the Lord as blessed us so much.  He is using his time the best way he can.

Favorite Quote. Elder Bednar and many other leaders have been championing the youth doing family history work.  This is a BIG work and we need lots of help.  What greater help that the youth of the rising generation.  I love finding my daughter working on her own family history projects.  This is a quote from Elder Bednar. 
"I promise you will be protected against the intensifying influence of the adversary.  As you participate in and love this holy work, you will be safeguarded in your youth and throughout your lives." 
A couple of weeks ago while doing family history work the Spirit testified to me that because I was doing family history work that those I worked on would protect my family in every way they could.  As my children have gone back to public school this promise as great meaning and gives me great hope!  Remember also that as we do temple work (after having done family history work) we are growing the army of God on the other side of the veil.  We learn from Zenos that in the last days the laborers would be few.  We need all hands on deck right now and there are so many that want to help us they just need to be put in the game and only we can do that.

I love family history work.  I have a testimony that it is one of the "best" activities we can pursue.

What blessings have come into your life from doing family history work?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The First Day of Our New Life: Faith Over Fear

Liberty: 2013 Horse Grand Champion at the County Fair!
I started out the New Year planning great things for home school, family and personal enrichment.  It was going to be another great year! All was going along as I planned.  Then one day late in January while I was on a walk the Spirit said, "I want to give you some trials.  You will be strong enough to handle them. Is that okay?"  I choked.  Every worse case scenario went through my head. Of course there is only one choice.  I trust God.  I want to serve Him always.  So I took a deep breath and said, "yes." I tried not to think about it. There was no sense worrying about anything.  Faith over fear.

Then in February Mr. Patriot, my husband become sick.  Very sick.  For a month he couldn't get out of bed.  He couldn't even lift his head up.  From the very first moment that I realized he was sick the Spirit said, "He is going to be sick for a very long time.  But don't worry.  Everything will be okay."  So while many friends and family were sure that he was dying I knew he was okay.  We did due diligence and went to several doctors.  They were baffled.  He finally became well enough to do basic activities.  His energy levels fluctuate on a given day from 20-60% of his "previous life."  He often goes into shock.  I do not know why. He works 15 hours a week now as an average, but sometimes he doesn't work at all during the week .  He works from home.  He has limited energy and when its used up he's done. Some days he can do more than other days. Somedays I have to dress him.  Our life together has required getting, "a new normal."

In the meantime I have learned how absolutely amazing my sweet husband is!!! He continues to make family and church/priesthood duties a priority.  He is always smiling and happy.  He is always making jokes. He still provides for us in amazing ways.  The Lord has been very good to us and has blessed us financially and so this as not been a financial burden.  I have come to see from this experience that he is dedicated to the Lord and trusts Him always.

In June I woke up one morning with the overwhelming impression that God wanted us to put our children back in public school.  This was shocking! Never was that considered.  Never was that talked about.  There was never a chance of that happening.  Unless of course God told us to do that.  So after much prayer and fasting Mr. Patriot and I knew that this was the will of the Lord.  The kids were brave.  They took it well.  They said we will follow God and we trust you.  I knew then for sure that I had amazing kids.  This rising generation is AWESOME!!!

The rest of the summer was spent talking about being in toxic environments, being taught false things, peer pressure, being true to yourself,  etc. etc.  I felt like a train was coming and my foot was stuck in the tracks and there wasn't anything to do but to take it head on knowing that I would die. Things will never be the same again.

The first day of school came and went yesterday and the kids took it like champs.  They have amazing attitudes.  They are positive.  They are good kids and are determined to stand and "catch the wave."  They know why they are there.  They are there to show kindness, light, hope, character, and excellence.  It will be long.  It will be hard.  But I choose faith over fear. God knows what He is doing.

I felt promised from the very beginning that God will protect my children.  I felt assured that they would not be spiritually lost. When we received school blessings (in August now instead of January-EVERYTHING it seems is different in our life now!) I was told that, "nothing outside the walls of my home could destroy my children." So true.  Great promise.

This summer I had told Mr. Determination that I felt like I was sacrificing my children.  He promptly replied, "They aren't yours to sacrifice."  True again.  They are God's and I must follow His plan for them, sigh! Faith over fear.

So what am I doing with my life now?  I went through mourning in a way this summer.  My only hobby was home schooling.  So I've had to learn some hard things about myself.  God has different plans for me. Everyone in our house is creating a new normal.  That's okay, God knows what He's doing.  Faith over fear.

How is God calling you to exercise your faith over your fear?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Sense of Worth

The last couple of years I have noticed when I talk to other women or read women’s blogs there is an undertone of lack of worth among the sisters of Zion. Why is that?  Of course that can be traced back to Satan.  President Joseph F Smith said that the women of the church need,

“to lead the world and…especially the women of the world in everything that is praiseworthy, everything that is God-like, everything that is uplifting and this is purifying to the children of men.”

If we, as women of Christ, feel a lack of value we won’t be able to fulfill our purposes in the last days, we will be distracted by feeling unneeded and inadequate. (Which is Satan’s plan). That is why I wanted to write this.  To tell you how I finally came to believe I had worth. 

I used to be a person that didn’t think I was ever good enough for anything.  A great very many of us I think felt or feel like this.  I do think some people come to Earth with an innate sense of their worth however.  I believe this is a gift of the Spirit.  One reason I believe this is because my husband and a couple of my children intrinsically know they have value.  While some of my other children cry and pout at any side ways glance because “they know” someone is mad at them or whatever the grievance may be.  Some of us aren’t born with a sense of worth burning as brightly as others. I have come to realize that it is a gift of the spirit we can claim.   It is a gift we must seek if we want to fulfill our purposes here in the last days.

One day while pondering in the early morning hours a couple of years ago it came to me that I am here on Earth and there are two channels.  One channel (which is quieter) is from my Creator and He sends messages of light, truth and love.  The other channel (this one screams) is from my would-be Destroyer and the messages are darkness, lies and hate.  I came to realize that everyday my self-worth channel was set on the lying channel.  These are some of the messages on the two channels:


You are a child of God.
Your life has meaning and purpose.
You have a divine nature.
I want you to come home to me.
The worth of souls is great.
I need you.
You are worthless.
You can’t do anything right.
You’ll never be good enough, so don’t try.
You’re a fool.
You’re family and friends think you are ridiculous.
You are not needed for anything.
The lying messages are easier to receive because no effort is required.  It is a “path of least resistance” message.  It is easier to listen to these messages the same way it is easier to eat candy and junk food.  We feel sick afterwards but we keep eating because some how we think it is feeding us and it is an easier message to partake of.

When realization dawned, I realized I wanted and needed to change the frequency.  Of course I want life and not death.  But how do you change 30+ years of entrenched messages of lies?  I realized it was like loosing 50 pounds of fat (or maybe a lot more!).  I realized I had to change, but it was still overwhelming.  It is so much easier to keep indulging.  (Or so I thought of course).  So what was the answer?

Repentance.  It was not the answer I wanted to hear.  But it is always the answer.  I believed Satan.  I had put my trust in Satan.  I had let him be my god for sending me self worth messages.  I had been deluding myself into thinking I wasn’t sinning, but as a daughter who had made baptismal and temple covenants I did know what the truth was.  I just wasn’t believing it before.  I realized that not trusting in God was breaking the commandments.  The first commandment is to love God.  The God.  Of course it didn’t make me evil or awful.  It simply meant I couldn’t progress like I wanted to until I changed.  It meant I wasn’t able to receive the light I wanted until I realigned myself to God.  Elder Cook said in the last conference, “When our commitment is diminished for any reason, part of the solution is repentance.”

So I prayed.  I was sorry.  I wanted to listen to light and truth.  I realized that I needed to exercise faith.  After all the years of gospel teaching the plain and simple truth was applying the first principles of the Gospel.  Faith.  Since I didn’t have a testimony of my own self worth I had to start with a particle of faith.  I had to trust God when he taught that I really was a child of God and He needed me.  I had to believe the message He was sending.  I had to believe they were the truth.  I had to exercise my faith and believe Him.

Then came the work.  Because that is what faith is: ACTION.  It becomes a time to act and not be acted upon.  It becomes time to give up on the path of least resistance. It was time to take the higher road, do an about face, and turn to God. 

I had to reject the messages.  Simply quoting President Uchtdorf.  “STOP IT !”  Stop listening to the lies and the darkness.  Stop believing that Satan is telling the truth.  To do this each time a lie came in to my mind I had to reject the lie and quote the truth.

“You are stupid…….stop……wrong message…….I am a child of God and He loves me.”

“You will never be good enough for exaltation…stop…..wrong message……I have a divine destiny….my life as meaning and purpose…..”

Again.  Reject the lie. Quote the truth.  And believe it.  It is hard at first.  I was amazed how often the lies stream in through out the day and I didn’t even realize it.  It is easier to wallow in a lie from Satan about ourselves than it is to listen to a message of truth.

After you reject the lie and quote the truth you need to redirect yourself.  It’s time to stop thinking about ourselves. The treatment is the same as those struggling with angry thoughts or pornographic images.  We could “hum our favorite tune,” praise God, count our many blessings, and/or we can go serve some one.  We get our minds off of the train of thought we were going down.   We get our minds off of ourselves.

The miracle is that as you reject the lie, change to the truth channel and think about others your seed of faith grows until you KNOW.  You know and now you have a testimony.  You know you are a child of God.  You know you do have individual worth.  You finally really believe your life has purpose.  People do like you. And you know God loves you.

And then you live.  You discover greater depth to your relationships.  You feel a greater capacity to love other people.  You feel joy.  You grow.  You receive personal revelation. In a nutshell you soar with God.

Thoughts from Spring 2012  General Conference on this subject:

Elder Hales, “…a life of joy and happiness, is an essential part of Heavenly father’s plan for each one of us…As our spiritual desires increase, we become spiritually self-reliant….the sacrament gives us an opportunity to come to ourselves and experience ‘a mighty change’ of heart-to remember who we are and what we most desire.”

Elder Soares, “To sow in the Spirit means that all our thoughts, words, and actions must elevate us to the level of the divinity of our heavenly parents….the natural man, which allows people to be influenced by passion, desires, appetites, and drives of the flesh instead of looking for inspiration from the Holy Ghost…Therefore, our daily question must be, ‘Do my actions place me in the Lord’s or in the enemy’s territory?”  JUST READ THIS WHOLE TALK.

Elder Scott, “One must be ever mentally and physically clean and have purity of intent so that the Lord can inspire….The more closely you follow divine guidance, the greater will be your happiness here and for eternity-moreover, the more abundant your progress and capacity to serve.”

Brother Ochoa quoting Elder Holland, “I am looking for men young and old who care enough about this battle between good and evil to sign on and speak up.  We are at war.”

President Uctdorf, “This ‘mighty change’ of heart is exactly what the gospel of Jesus Christ is designed to bring into our lives.”

Elder Nelson, “Spiritual progress is attained through the steps of faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end, including the endowment and sealing ordinances of the holy temple.  Just as the body requires daily food for survival, the spirit needs nourishment as well.  The spirit is nurtured by eternal truth.”

Read Sister Beck’s talk.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How Should I Vote? Obama, Romney or Neither?

            Recently, I read a blog post from a lady I have followed for several years.  She remarked that she did not know who she was going to vote for yet, but she was leaning toward Romney.  She cited that in the previous election she had voted for Obama.

            I have also read/talked to others who declare they won’t vote for either one.  They will cast a “non-vote.”            

            I have been surprised by these ideas.  First of all I have to say I’m not personally thrilled by our choices this election cycle.  I am a conservative and I did not vote for Romney in the Republican Primary Election.  Romney is too moderate in my opinion; which was exactly why my fellow blogger was willing to vote for him.  Would I go so far as to cast a “non-vote” though?

There are a lot of tough questions facing Americans today.  Questions about foreign policy, border control, welfare, environment, fiscal spending, health care, social security….. The list goes on and on.  This much I’ve established:

·         Everyone has a different idea on how to solve a said problem.  And that person always thinks they are right.

·         Both parties contain people who are corrupt and they receive financial backing from corrupt people.

·         Both parties contain honorable people despite what the other party thinks.

·         No one really has all the answers.

·         It’s impossible to agree with someone on everything.

·         Some issues are more important to some people than they are to others.

I do believe at the end of the day there are two issues that are critical and more important than anything else.  These two issues must be fought for no matter what else you believe.  Period. Game over.  These two issues are: the sanctity of human life and the preservation of the family unit.

People must be placed in government who will defend these values.  All other ideas must always be secondary to preserving human life and defending the family as the fundamental unit of society.

Elder Oaks recently said, “We also need politicians, policy makers, and officials to increase their attention to what is best for children in contrast to the selfish interest of voters and vocal advocates of adult interests.”

Whatever differences we have (which are A LOT), Romney and I do agree that human life is sacred and that marriage is defined as a union of one man and one woman.  I therefore will and must vote for him if the choice is between him or Obama.  There is no other option.

These issues are not secondary issues.  They chart the course of a moral or an amoral people. We condemn our society when we allow the sanctity of life to be desecrated by legislation.

“Children are highly vulnerable.  They have little or no power to protect or provide for themselves and little influence on so much that is vital to their well-being.  Children need others to speak for them, and they need decision makers who put their well-being ahead of selfish adult interests…

“From the perspective of the plan of salvation, one of the most serious abuses of children is to deny them birth…

“Many laws permit or even promote abortion, but to us this is a great evil.”

He did not say abortion is a difference of opinion, like whether we promote social medicine or not, but he said abortion is EVIL.

Remember the words of the Savior,

“And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:5-6

“Throughout history, marriage has first and foremost been an institution for procreation and raising children.  It has provided the cultural tie that seeks to connect the father to his children by binding him to the mother of his children...

“Our church leaders have taught that looking ‘upon marriage as a mere contract that may be entered into at pleasure…and severed at the first difficulty…is an evil meriting severe condemnation,’ especially where ‘children are made to suffer.’”

He went on quoting a New York Times writer who noted “the striking fact that even as traditional marriage has declined in the United States…the evidence has mounted for the institution’s importance to the well-being of children.”

And finally, “The social science literature is controversial and politically charged on the long-term effect of this on children, principally because as a New York Times writer observed, ‘same-sex marriage is a social experiment, and like most experiments it will take time to understand its consequences.’”

As the family is protected so is the child.

A superficial view of the Civil War produces the idea that the war was just about slavery, but it wasn’t.  For many in the south it was an issue about state’s rights and the South fought for state’s rights.  If that had been the only issue I believe our little family would have worn gray.  However, as important as state’s rights are, the rights of human beings must always be more important.  When certain “inalienable rights,” bestowed upon us by our Creator are taken away from others then you and I must stand up and say, “NO!”

Slavery had to abolished, even if it meant big government had to come in and stop it.  Today no push for less taxes, foreign policies, or social medicine can ever be more important to Americans then the rights of all children and families.

I desire to stand before that bar of God and declare I did not vote for people that did not honor life and family.  I further desire to declare that I did vote for people who would promote morality in America.

Please join me in voting for life and family this election.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


We are having a fabulous time in Boston.  Only two days left.  My daughter has kept up her blog with pictures and little details about our trip.  You can read her blog here.

Here are some pictures from our house.  My mom has been taking pictures while we've been gone.  We are so excited.....

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Our House

I REALLY need to stop saying that I am going to post more because the reality is that I probably won't.  But that doesn't mean I don't have blog posts still scrolling through my head.  It also doesn't mean that I have stopped thinking of my blogging friends.  If you are out there-I am thinking of you! : ) 

  • (Mama Rachel I couldn't leave you a comment. I am thinking of you too).
  • Good news.  They started on our house.  Yeah.  There is a very large hole and they are pouring the foundation next week.  Please read extreme excitement into my voice.
  • The hypocrite in me:
    • my house is going to be LARGE
      • If I had to live in my 760 sq foot house forever I could, but my kids and my husband have decided not to (okay maybe I want a bigger house too).
    • I rarely wear skirts any more
      • I still think I should, I just don't
    • So please forgive me for being a hyprocrite.  We can all change our opinions right?
  • I went to Hawaii with my hubby, it was lovely
  • I got a stress fracture on my foot from running
  • I am still studying everything I can get my hands on about health. 
  • I really want to write a post about women having self worth.  I had that problem-very bad- until a couple of years ago and then I finally figured it out.  It's simple.  So note to self: write a post on how I came to realize my self worth.
I'll see you in another couple of months when I get back on the Internet.