Friday, January 31, 2014

Rejoice in God

"I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. 
Yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.
Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo."
God is good! Why wouldn't I go around praising his name to the world? God is real and he loves us. He made a perfect path to follow. And we can follow! We are so blessed.
"Christ knows how to minister to others perfectly. When the Savior stretches out His hand those He touches are uplifted and become greater, stronger, and better people as a result. If we are His hands, should we not do the same?" -President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Our 1/4...

Want to know how to receive answers from God? Read Moroni 10:4-5. 1) Ask with a sincere heart 2) Have real intent 3) Have faith in Christ.
And we all want an example don't we? Check out Alma 22. Focus on verses 17-18.
17: "And it came to pass that when Aaron had said these words, the king did bow down before The Lord, upon his knees; yea, and cried mightily saying:"
18: "O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee."
1) The king immediately went to work. He didn't wait to ask his questions. And he asked direct questions knowing that he would get direct answers. He was sincere.
2) The king wanted The Lord to know that he was in it. That he intended upon acting on the answer that would come. He promised to give away the one thing that God doesn't already own... His heart. His desires. His sins. Literally, his all!
3) The king didn't know God was even there. He prayed in faith. Not even knowing if anyone was listening. Sometimes we don't know if anyone is listening. We don't know if what we are being taught is true. But we prove our faith by asking.
It is the work and the glory of The Lord to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:39). Immortality will come to all men because our Savior came to earth. That part is covered. So now, eternal life. Because God loves us he has provided a plan for us. Aaron taught the king this plan from the scriptures. And this plan has been revealed to us by God's prophets. It's up to us to learn that plan and follow it. God has provided immortality and the path to eternal life. He has fulfilled 3/4 of his purpose. So our part, "Behold, this is YOUR work, to keep my commandments, yea, with all your might, mind, and strength" (Doctrine and Covenants 11:20). Our 1/4 is to learn the plan and follow it. How blessed we are!
I know that God has a plan. A perfect plan. And we can know it and follow it. In fact it's our work to learn it and follow it. NOW is the time to prepare to meet God! How much are we willing to work to receive the blessings for fulfilling our 1/4?

Friday, January 24, 2014

“I Will Not Fail Thee, nor Forsake Thee”

1 Nephi 10:18 "For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him." The way is prepared, but with how crazy the world is constantly getting, we need someone to remind us of that way.
God has a pattern. He always has and he always will. Amos 3:7 - "Surely the Lord God would do nothing until he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets." D&C 1:38 "What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." God speaks to prophets. How happy I am to know that. 
The latest talk from our beloved Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, is inspiring. The Lord will never leave us. He will never lead us astray. We just need to ask, "Shall I falter, or shall I finish?" "Difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, stand to become something different from what we were - better than what we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before. This should be our purpose - to persevere and endure, yes, but also to become more spiritually refined as we make our way through sunshine and sorrow."
I love our prophet. I love knowing that we have an earthly vessel chosen to lead and guide the Church of God. I know that through Authority and Revelation, God leads His church. I know it. And I love it. It just makes sense to me.
Will we falter or will we finish? 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

6 months...

Crazy to think that tomorrow will be my 1/3 mark on my mission. I never ever thought that this day would come. It has been a long and crazy journey so far. But it has been the best journey of my life! I wouldn't trade it for the world. 
The Lord has been shaping me and molding me into the daughter of God that I knew I could become. My mission has been so far from what I thought it would be, but it has been the best thing for me! I just still can't believe where I am right now. 
July 24th-January 24th

Continue in Patience

"Patience—the ability to put our desires on hold for a time."

Key words: For a time.
We will never be tempted above what we are able. We will never have to deal with our trials and heartache for eternity. All will be made right!! 

"Patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace."
"Patience is far more than simply waiting for something to happen—patience requires actively working toward worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results don’t appear instantly or without effort."
"Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from the mountains of our future experience. Often we can’t see the Lord’s hand in our lives until long after trials have passed." 
"Patience means delaying immediate gratification for future blessings."
"Sometimes it is in the waiting rather than in the receiving that we grow the most."

Click Here  to read the full article "Continue in Patience" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Teaching with the Power and Authority of God

I often ask myself how I can be a better teacher. I feel like I am a very organized person and I know how to plan a lesson or a talk to provide information. I feel like I lack the fun or the spiritual side of everything though. While reading this talk this morning, I have realized how much I am leaving out of being a powerful teacher. David M. McConkie tells it perfectly...

You have been called by the spirit of prophecy and revelation and have been set apart by priesthood authority. 
What does this mean?
First, it means that you are on the Lord’s errand. You are His agent, and you are authorized and commissioned to represent Him and to act on His behalf. As His agent, you are entitled to His help. You must ask yourself, “What would the Savior say if He were teaching my class today, and how would He say it?” You must then do likewise.
Second, you are called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. You must not teach your own ideas or philosophy, even mingled with scriptures. The gospel is “the power of God unto salvation,” and it is only through the gospel that we are saved.
Third, you are commanded to teach the principles of the gospel as they are found in the standard works of the Church, to teach the words of modern-day apostles and prophets, and to teach that which is taught you by the Holy Ghost.

So where do we begin?
Our first and foremost responsibility is to live so that we can have the Holy Ghost as our guide and companion.
“The most important part of your service will be your own daily spiritual preparation, including prayer, scripture study, and obedience to the commandments."
Of course, you must diligently prepare for each lesson and strive to learn how you can teach so as to help your students exercise their agency and allow the gospel to enter into their hearts, but the first and most important part of your service is your personal, spiritual preparation.
The gospel comes to men in two ways, in word and in power. The word of the gospel is written in the scriptures, and we can obtain the word by diligently searching. The power of the gospel comes into the lives of those who so live that the Holy Ghost is their companion and who follow the promptings they receive.
Some focus their attention only on obtaining the word, and they become experts in delivering information (This is me...). Others neglect their preparation and hope that the Lord in His goodness will somehow help them get through the class period. You cannot expect the Spirit to help you remember the scriptures and principles you have not studied or considered. In order to successfully teach the gospel, you must have both the word and the power of the gospel in your life.
After you have prepared yourself and your lesson to the very best of your ability, you must be willing to let go. When the quiet promptings of the Holy Ghost come, you must have the courage to set aside your outlines and your notes and go where those promptings take you. When you do this, the lesson you deliver is no longer your lesson, but it becomes the Savior’s lesson.
“I always know when I am speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost because I always learn something from what I’ve said.” Remember, a teacher is also a student. 
 Finally, you must stand as an independent witness of the things you teach and not just be an echo of the words in a manual or the thoughts of others.  

I know that there is plenty that I need to work on to be a good teacher. I understand the power of the Spirit in a lesson and the importance of teaching for understanding instead of just sharing information. The Spirit is the converting factor and testifies through us if we allow him to. We have to invite him in! This is God's work. We are teaching His gospel. So what does this mean? We have to use God's power to teach His way to help His children!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Happily Ever After

Heavenly Father offers to you the greatest gift of all—eternal life—and the opportunity and infinite blessing of your own “happily ever after.”

My dear young [friends], you need to know that you will experience your own adversity. None is exempt. You will suffer, be tempted, and make mistakes. You will learn for yourself what every [hero or] heroine has learned: through overcoming challenges come growth and strength.
It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life’s story will develop.
We all search for happiness, and we all try to find our own “happily ever after.” The truth is, God knows how to get there! And He has created a map for you; He knows the way.
All you have to do is trust your Heavenly Father. Trust Him enough to follow His plan.

As an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, I leave you my blessing and give you a promise that as you accept and live the values and principles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, “[you] will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.” And the day will come when you turn the final pages of your own glorious story; there you will read and experience the fulfillment of those blessed and wonderful words: “And they lived happily ever after.” Of this I testify in the holy name of Jesus Christ, amen.

 -Dieter F. Uchtdorf "Your Happily Ever After"


Isn't this so true? If we keep looking back at what has happened, how can we move forward to what will happen? If we keep focusing on our "once upon a time" we will never make it to our "happily ever after". There is so much joy to be found in the future if we allow ourselves to live it!


I sure hope you all can read this! I wish I knew where it came from so I could just copy and paste it over. I thought it was extraordinary!!! Thanks Elder Bruderer for sharing this :)

Lift Up

I am a victim of this! Too many times have I looked down to make myself feel higher. But who does this help? Why wouldn't I want myself to be on equal ground as my brother or sister? 
We are all sons and daughters of God. We are all working towards making it back to Him. And we will all stumble and fall at times. Be the one to help your brother get to where you are so that when you fall behind, he can turn around and help you up to where he could get!
What goes around comes around :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Pure Love of Christ - Our Premortal Language

Have you ever wondered what language we all spoke when we lived in the presence of God?I do know that in our premortal life we learned firsthand, from the Father of our spirits, a universal language—one that has the power to overcome emotional, physical, and spiritual barriers.That language is the pure love of Jesus Christ.It is the most powerful language in the world.
This love brings about real change of character. It can penetrate hatred and dissolve envy. It can heal resentment and quench the fires of bitterness. It can work miracles.
We received our “first lessons” in this language of love as spirits in God’s presence, and here on earth we have opportunities to practice it and become fluent. You can know if you are learning this language of love by evaluating what motivates your thoughts and actions.
When your primary thoughts are focused on how things will benefit you, your motivations may be selfish and shallow. That is not the language you want to learn.
But when your primary thoughts and behaviors are focused on serving God and others—when you truly desire to bless and lift up those around you—then the power of the pure love of Christ can work in your heart and life. That is the language you want to learn.
As you become fluent in this language and use it in your interactions with others, they will recognize something in you that may awaken in them a long-hidden feeling to search for the right way on the journey back to their heavenly home. After all, the language of love is their true native language too.

Your Wonderful Journey Home

Every life is a collection of individual “journey stories.”
We do not know many details about life in that premortal sphere, but we do know some. Our Heavenly Father has revealed to us who He is, who we are, and who we can become.
In the end, you knew God would be just—that His goodness would triumph. You had participated in the great heavenly councils and knew that your Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, would provide a way for you to be cleansed from sin and rescued from physical death. You had faith that, in the end, you would rejoice and join your voice with a heavenly chorus singing praises to His holy name.
And so, you took a deep breath …
And a great step forward …
And here you are!
You have, each one of you, embarked on your own wonderful journey back to your heavenly home!
He didn’t send you on this journey only to wander aimlessly on your own. He wants you to come home to Him. He has given you a map that describes the terrain and identifies the dangers; the map shows you where peace and happiness can be found and will help you plot your course back home.
Now, where do you find this map?

In the sacred scriptures
In the words of prophets and apostles
Through personal revelation from the Holy Ghost

This map is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news, and the joyful way of a disciple of Christ. It is the commandments and example given to us by our Advocate and Mentor, who knows the way because He is the way.
Of course, simply having a map doesn’t do any good unless you study it—unless you use it to navigate through life. I invite you to make it a high priority to study and apply God’s word. Open your heart to the Holy Ghost so that He can direct you along your journey through life.

My invitation echoes that of President Uchtdorf's. Study and apply God's word. Test your faith. Make room for Christ in your heart. He will enter in, I promise!

 Click Here to read his whole message.

The Plan

"Wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin;
This thing shall ye teach, repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin;
Little children need no repentance, neither baptism.
But little children are alive in Christ." (Moroni 8)
It was just about 2 months ago that I heard of the death of my sweet little niece and nephew back home. God's Plan is fair, and it is real! And in hard times, it is the ONLY thing that can get me through. But it always has and it always will get me through. The Plan is perfect. It is full of love and hope for a better future. I know it to be true. My family will be together forever someday. It is because of Jesus Christ and His Atonement that this is possible. So I will follow Christ. I will work my hardest to be worthy to meet little Joshua Alvin and Adelaide Spackman. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

God's Voice

Sometimes we wonder whose voice we are hearing. In the midst of trial and confusion it is easy to hear the louder and more harsh voice. And sometimes we mistake that as the voice we need to follow. But God is there too! He is always and will always be. May we all learn to hear His voice. It may be still and small, but it is powerful once we recognize and heed to it. 

The Armor of God

Found this on my friend's Facebook page. Thanks Sister Hone!!
"Random, individual goodness is not enough in the fight against evil." -Neal A. Maxwell

We need the whole armor of God! To stand and stay on the Lord's side, we need the gospel of Jesus Christ, the holy scriptures, and the power of God in our lives. With these tools God has given us, we can and WILL win the war against evil.

Friday, January 10, 2014


Happiness is the destination, but it’s also the path.
"When we truly understand what it means to love as Jesus Christ loves us, the confusion clears and our priorities align. Our walk as disciples of Christ become more joyful. Our lives take on new meaning. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father becomes more profound. Obedience becomes a joy rather than a burden." - President Dieter F. Uchtdorf


"Endurance is an important principle found within the doctrine of Jesus Christ. It is important because the quality of our eternal future is proportional to our ability to endure in righteousness." 
-Elder Richard J. Maynes


Man oh man do I just love our Prophet! He is so inspiring to listen to. How profound! Yeah, we will all be tested and tried and put to the test that sometimes seems impossible to handle. But as we remember that those are the times that strengthen us, we will be able to fight through anything that comes our way!
My mission has been the most trying time of my life. By far! Just this morning I was crying because I didn't think that I could do it for even one more day. Sometimes I don't feel strong. But I am strong. I can fight. When God throws us into the fire, we aren't being burned, we are being refined. He will only heat us to limits that we can handle. 
I love this gospel and all it has brought me in my life. Where would I be without it? I would have given in and given up a long time ago. But because I know that my Savior lives and loves me, I have been able to fight through every battle that has come my way. Through our Savior we can find all strength!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Come Unto Christ

I wish I could just put up the video, but my blog isn't that cool... But Click Here to see what may just be the most inspiring youth video that I have ever seen. It really is worth every minute of your time!
I know that as we come unto Christ, we can find all peace and happiness in a world full of sorrow and hardship. "Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life." Straight from our Savior and Redeemer. We are just so blessed!

The Little Things...

Photo: “God expects you not simply to face the future; He expects you to embrace and shape the future--to love it and rejoice in it and delight in your opportunities.” –Jeffrey R. Holland
There is so much joy to be found and shared, and your life should be embraced and lived fully. God wants you to capture that joy, and use it to build up the world in beautiful ways.
How have you felt joy in your life? 
“God expects you not simply to face the future; He expects you to embrace and shape the future--to love it and rejoice in it and delight in your opportunities.” –Jeffrey R. Holland

There is so much joy to be found and shared, and your life should be embraced and lived fully. God wants you to capture that joy, and use it to build up the world in beautiful ways.

It is the little things that make life a beautiful journey we get to enjoy verses an annoying path we have to endure. May we all find the joys in our journey!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Be Your Best Self

Each must strive to learn his (or her) duty and then to do it to the best of his (or her) ability. As we do so, we provide the means by which our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, can accomplish Their work here upon the earth. It is we who are Their representatives here.
Although our journey through mortality will at times place us in harm’s way, may I offer you tonight three suggestions which, when observed and followed, will lead us to safety. They are:
1. Study diligently.
2. Pray fervently.
3. Live righteously. 
Let us never despair, for the work in which we are engaged is the work of the Lord. It has been said, “The Lord shapes the back to bear the burden placed upon it.”

We are all called upon to do the work of the Lord. We need to rise to that challenge and be our best self to reap the blessings that He has in store for us. But WE are the ones called. And we are called to do it as ourselves. We have to be ourselves. We need to be who we are. Recently I got a letter from a good friend of mine. I was explaining to him that I am trying so hard to be this missionary that I picture in my head as being a "perfect missionary". He told me to stop trying to be someone that I am not. He said that I was called to be me. Not to be what I think a perfect missionary is. He said, "The Lord has put you through trials and experiences to shape you into who you are. He didn't do that to then call you on a mission and have you throw all that away to change who you are. He did that to mold you into the missionary that you are now. To be able to use all those things that He has given you to be you. Because people need YOU!" Man oh man were those words needed. I have been trying way too hard to be someone that I am not. And it is a bit discouraging. But I am giving that up. Don't get me wrong, I will always have things to work on and things to better myself, but I am still me. I am a bit crazy, I am not really funny, I am goofy, I am not very good with words, but I love this gospel! And I have an unwavering testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and the path that He has given us to take. And I can use that. And I will use that.
I need to be me. And you need to be you. If we aren't ourselves, who are we? God didn't create us to all be clones. We are personalized for a reason. So be YOUR best self. Find your gifts and the things you have learned through your trials and experiences and work with those. Because God has been shaping you into you for a very long time. And He has been doing it for you to help someone who needs YOU!
I know that this church is true. I know that God loves me and is molding me every day little by little for me to become the daughter that I was sent here to become. I love this gospel. I love the words of God that we are given in the Book of Mormon and by our prophets. I am grateful for my testimony that is continually growing. I love my Savior and His Atonement. It helps me through the best and the worst of times. Being a missionary is very humbling. And it is crazy worth it! The church is true :)

Personal Strength

I read this talk this morning and it really hit me. I thought it was fabulous! 
Recently I was blessed to meet with a most impressive group of youth from the state of Idaho. One virtuous young woman asked me what I feel is the most important thing they should be doing in their lives right now. I suggested they learn to recognize the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in their lives.
How profound! of all the things that we can be doing with our time, the most important thing is not to understand the Atonement, but to recognize the power of it in our lives. I thought a lot about this. How can I recognize the power of the Atonement in my life more? I haven't quite come to figure that out, but Elder Richard G. Scott helped me come to some conclusions.
He shares the story of Ammon teaching the gospel to a people who were "a wild and hardened and a ferocious people." (See Alma 17-27 for the whole story) Some were converted, and to show the Lord that they would change their ways, they buried their weapons of war. When their unconverted bretheren came to war against them, they chose to succumb to the sword rather than risk their spiritual lives by taking up arms. Because of this, more were converted. Well, years down the road, their unconverted bretheren again came with sword to rage war against the believers. This time was a little bit different. Those who were converted had families. They knew that they had a big responsibility to protect their families. But they had covenanted with the Lord to never take up arms again. They were at a loss. Their captain, Helaman, knew that breaking their covenant with the Lord would never be justified. He offered an alternative solution for their families to still be protected. The sons of those who had covenanted went to war in protection for their rights and their families. How hard that must have been as a father. To feel helpless in protecting their families for a covenant they had made with the Lord. But they recognized the Atonement in their lives. They remembered the covenants that they had made with their Lord and they understood that they could not break that. 
We all make covenants or promises with the Lord. And Satan who knows us so well, knows just what to send us to hit our weak places. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can fortify our weak areas to create strength. 
Each of us has had times in our lives when we have made poor choices. We are all in desperate need of the redemptive power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Each of us must repent of any rebellion. “For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.” He cannot because He knows what it takes to become like Him.
But how? How do we build up our fortifications between our vulnerabilities and our faithfulness? Elder Scott tells of 4 ways:
  • Make covenants and receive ordinances for yourself. Then steadily and consistently work to provide ordinances in the temple for your own ancestors.
  • Share the gospel with nonmember or less-active family members or friends. Sharing these truths can bring a renewed enthusiasm into your life.
  • Serve faithfully in all Church callings, especially home teaching and visiting teaching assignments. Don’t be just a 15-minutes-a-month home or visiting teacher. Rather, reach out to each individual member of the family. Get to know them personally. Be a real friend. Through acts of kindness, show them how very much you care for each of them.
  • Most important, serve the members of your own family. Make the spiritual development of your spouse and children a very high priority. Be attentive to the things you can do to help each one. Give freely of your time and attention.

     As we lose our life in the service of our Father in Heaven's children, Satan's temptations will lose power in our lives. What a miraculous promise. I know that we can find strength through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that He is the source of all goodness and all hope and love. How grateful I am for this knowledge and for my Savior who has done all for me. The church is true my friends!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Disappointment vs. Discouragement

I think there is a big difference between disappointment and discouragement. 
We will all be disappointed at one time or another. That is totally fine. I was disappointed this morning, in fact, when we had a planned lesson fall through. I usually get disappointed when planned lessons fall through. I do because I know the joy and happiness that come from accepting and living this gospel. So it is hard to keep going when I see others not accept it. I get down and sometimes I get a bit frustrated. But we can't let that get to us! God allows disappointment to better us. To help us to learn. On the other hand, Satan is the source of all discouragement. He is the one telling us that we should quit when things aren't working. He is the one trying to make us miserable and trying to tear us apart. Why does he do that? Because he is jealous of us. He doesn't want us to come closer to Christ. That is why living the worldly life is easy while following the path of God brings challenges and hardship. It is inevitable. But if we allow discouragement to take over, we are allowing Satan to win. And we can't allow that to happen! Discouragement will lead to bitterness and anger. 
We are in charge of our own happiness. We decide our reaction to others actions and the situations that we are in. We can't control situations, but we can control our reaction to them. We have to be stronger than Satan. We can win through following Christ and fighting through the situations that we are in.

All of us encounter disappointment in one form or another. It might come through such circumstances as unmet expectations, elusive career opportunities, failing a test, being disqualified during a try-out for a school play or athletic team, or being excluded from certain social functions.
Disappointments can be seen either as a prelude to continued failure in our lives or as occasions for great personal growth and even the beginning of truly outstanding performance.  
All human beings experience disappointment. If this hard fact of development were not so, it would be very difficult to explain the joy of personal growth that often follows setbacks. Our challenge is to maintain balance and perspective through inevitable disappointments.

Let us use our disappointment for good.For strength and growth vs. failure. I know that through Christ and His Atonement we can all find that peace and hope through any trial.

Of Regrets and Resolutions

One of my all time favorite talks! We all have times that we look back on the regrets we have. Why not make resolutions to have no regrets?  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf says it so well...

The more we devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness, the less likely we will be on a path to regrets.

We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available--all the time! Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect. “This is the day which the Lord hath made … ,” the Psalmist wrote. “Rejoice and be glad in it.”
Brothers and sisters, no matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it.


May we all throw away our regrets and form new resolutions! 2014 is a great year to change. Find joy in today. Look for the happiness in every step of your journey so you can look back on your journey with love. There are always things to be happy about. We are in charge of finding and focusing on them.