Sunday, October 30, 2011
I also got to meet with my Bishop later in the afternoon to talk about Relief Society, and I just have to say I'm so grateful for my bishop. He's a great man. Very soft-spoken but very solid. He surprises me with how gently he says bold things. Anyway, he is definitely led by God. And I'm grateful for him.
I was busy with church things for pretty much the whole day, but it was a busy I really liked. =)
It's just been a really good day! On the inside.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
There is much that is good with our easy access to communication and information. I have found it helpful to access research articles, conference talks, and ancestral records, and to receive e-mails, Facebook reminders, tweets, and texts. As good as these things are, we cannot allow them to push to one side those things of greatest importance. How sad it would be if the phone and computer, with all their sophistication, drowned out the simplicity of sincere prayer to a loving Father in Heaven. Let us be as quick to kneel as we are to text.
I know our greatest happiness comes as we tune in to the Lord (see Alma 37:37) and to those things which bring a lasting reward, rather than mindlessly tuning in to countless hours of status updates, Internet farming, and catapulting angry birds at concrete walls. I urge each of us to take those things which rob us of precious time and determine to be their master, rather than allowing them through their addictive nature to be the master of us.This is a very relevant talk to most of us, I think. Especially you, since you're reading my blog, which means you're spending time on the internet right now. Using the internet, like he said, is not bad in and of itself. It's using our time unwisely that is the problem. You'll have to decide if my blog is a good use of your time or not. =)
I am a blogging and Facebook addict, I think. But I'm working on it. I try to post as relevantly as I can. As far as Facebook, I have found a tool that helps me, and I wanted to share it with you. Stay Focused is an extension for the Google Chrome internet browser that keeps you from visiting websites that you have designated as time-wasters. For example, I have designated Facebook as one of my blocked sites. I can still get on Facebook, but after I have used it for twenty minutes a day, I'm kicked out, and can't get back onto the site until the next day. You can have it be more or less minutes than twenty, that was just what I chose. And you can block as many websites as you want. I currently am only timing/blocking Facebook. I really like it, because it helps me realize how much time Facebook can actually take out of my life, if I don't control myself. Anyway, feel free to try it if you would like!
I'll probably be posting more about this talk later. Such a good one!
Friday, October 14, 2011
- I'm grateful for the positive vibes people sent me yesterday, especially Lisa and Robin from Florida. It meant so much!
- I'm grateful that Riley is still my friend, even though I've been complaining about school and life every time he's seen me in the past couple weeks.
- I'm grateful for Wes taking the time to encourage me and talk to me about how I'm handling my different responsibilities. It made me feel valued and important, and helped me smile.
- I'm grateful for the temple. I'm grateful I can feel my Father's presence stronger there than I otherwise normally can.
- I'm grateful it hasn't snowed yet, and has actually been warmer and quite beautiful this week.
- Even though my friends and my sister are getting married, I'm grateful they are marrying good men.
- I'm grateful for my guitar, my viola, my keyboard, my drums, and even my recorder.
- I'm grateful for Jack's Mannequin's song, "Swim," and ever so grateful Letha introduced it to us!
- I'm grateful for the scriptures, and for the words of living prophets. I'm grateful for "the power that I get each time I read." Hopefully if I have a better attitude I'll receive even more comfort and power as I read today.
- I'm grateful to be part of an awesome presidency, and I'm so grateful for Tanya, Aubree, and Gretchen. =)
- I'm grateful I have someone to run with.
- I'm grateful I have a house of boys I can go spend time with if I have stress pouring out my ears, and they can make me laugh.
- I'm grateful that I occasionally get asked out on dates.
- I'm grateful for friends like Richard that always makes room on his motorcycle and gives me a ride when he sees me carrying a bunch of heavy things!
- I'm grateful to serve with a wonderful Bishop.
- I'm grateful for prayer.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Please understand that what you see and experience now is not what forever will be. You will not feel loneliness, sorrow, pain, or discouragement forever. We have the faithful promise of God that He will neither forget nor forsake those who incline their hearts to Him. Have hope and faith in that promise. Learn to love your Heavenly Father and become His disciple in word and in deed.
Be assured that if you but hold on, believe in Him, and remain faithful in keeping the commandments, one day you will experience for yourselves the promises revealed to the Apostle Paul: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”I definitely need to hear this. I don't know what's up with me, but I have been getting so discouraged. The temple, and good friends, and music, help me feel better, but it doesn't always last for long. I guess part of the answer is that life is just hard sometimes, even if nothing is going terribly wrong. And it doesn't mean I've done anything horribly wrong. Life is just hard. But I will not feel this way forever, like President Uchtdorf said. I really liked what he said about his own experience:
At the time, Big Spring, despite its name, was a small, insignificant, and unknown place. And I often felt exactly the same way about myself—insignificant, unknown, and quite alone. Even so, I never once wondered if the Lord had forgotten me or if He would ever be able to find me there. I knew that it didn’t matter to Heavenly Father where I was, where I ranked with others in my pilot training class, or what my calling in the Church was. What mattered to Him was that I was doing the best I could, that my heart was inclined toward Him, and that I was willing to help those around me. I knew if I did the best I could, all would be well.
And all was well.Sounds like it's time for me to start singing "Come, Come, Ye Saints." I remember using this song to get through hard times at BYU-Idaho. I'm sure it can help me again.
"Our God will never us forsake. And soon I'll have this tale to tell - All is well... All is well."
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
The scriptures, literature, and the experiences of life are filled with stories of redemption. Through Christ, people can and do change their lives and obtain redemption. I love stories of redemption.I think this is the most important principle in the Gospel to me. People CAN and DO change their lives, through Christ.
I'm blessed to have seen it in my life and the lives of my friends. I saw it on my mission. Some of my favorite examples include my friend Ryan, who just received the Melchizadek priesthood a couple months ago. I loved hearing his stories and his unique perspective on life and the gospel. He'd known the bitter, and now he was getting to know the sweet, more and more each day. Another example is my friend Jeffrey, whom I dated for a long time, and consequently I got to hear his testimony often. I'll always be grateful for his testimony of the transforming power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. (For the story of his life, and an expression of his testimony, if you'd like, visit http://jeffrey.ldsphilosopher.com/?page_id=8)
In personal experience, the Savior has redeemed and healed my previously failing relationship with my father. He's changed my heart to help me see others differently and love them more easily. He's led me and guided me, and helped me see the way I should go, which has definitely altered the course of my life.
I'm so grateful to Him, and for the change He has brought about in my life and the lives of those I care about.
If anyone tells you that you or someone else can't change, they are either lying or they don't know the truth.
To quote my favorite sentence from Preach My Gospel, "Everything that seems unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ."
And lastly, to quote from the conference talk I started with,
Savior, Redeemer of my soul,
Whose mighty hand hath made me whole,
Whose wondrous pow’r hath raised me up
And filled with sweet my bitter cup!
What tongue my gratitude can tell,
O gracious God of Israel.
Never can I repay thee, Lord,
But I can love thee. Thy pure word,
Hath it not been my one delight,
My joy by day, my dream by night?
Then let my lips proclaim it still,
And all my life reflect thy will.
(“Savior, Redeemer of My Soul,” Hymns, no. 112)
I didn't get any pictures of it.
But Brittany did:
And as I thought about that, I remembered that fear is the opposite of faith. And that perfect love and faith also can not coexist. And since, through faith in Jesus Christ, I can do all things, then I guess it would only follow that with fear in my heart, I can do nothing. And God can do nothing (or little) in my life if my heart is full of fear and not faith.
I need to choose faith. Even if its scary. Because fear is lame. And even if miracles don't come, due to choices of others, I will know that the lack of miracle was not because of me. I will know I gave my heart and my faith, and my best. Either result of my showing faith is better than the results of living in fear.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
And I'm in the drum circle videos if you wanna look for me. =)
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Other small miracle: I looked really nice today. And then ran into someone that I love to look good around. It was nice.
Another miracle: I have a full presidency now, for Relief Society. Hooray for feeling supported. It's a huge relief... =) And they're fun too.
And now I will go to bed, hoping for the miracle of waking up alive. It'll be an accomplishment, considering it's 40 degrees outside and our heaters aren't working yet. =) It's okay though, it just makes me feel like I'm camping!
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Look up, step up, cheer up.The Spirit definitely confirmed to me today that I need to step up. I have not been giving him my whole heart. He has not been first in my life. I've been on a sort of emotional/mental break. Not from talking about Him, but from feeling and knowing Him.
I feel hope, definitely, that if I sincerely turn to Him, and diligently step up and pour my heart into my duty and my current Relief Society quest, I really will cheer up. And the lives of others will be blessed as well! =)
And to quote Gandalf:
Now isn't that an encouraging thought?
Scriptures are stalwart friends not limited by geography or calendar. They're always available when needed. ... Learning, pondering, searching, and memorizing scriptures is like filling a filing cabinet with friends that can be called upon anytime, anywhere in the world. Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It's like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change.I'm quoting him again (but a different quote) because I just loved the beginning of his talk. It speaks to me because I don't feel very much constancy in my friendships right now. Life is so full of change. It's not anyone's fault, it's just part of life.
In addition to Mosiah 4:9, which I think I've gotten down, I'm also adding 2 Nephi 2:24.
For behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.It reminds me not to get discouraged about where I am. I feel like I've been led, little step by little step. It's good to know that being at Utah State, being single, studying music therapy, serving in the church, and so forth, were all done in the wisdom of Him who sees the end from the beginning, loves me infinitely, and wants me to be happy. So I know things will work out right.
Monday, October 3, 2011
But circumstances shouldn't determine how I feel that much. I want more of the Spirit, so that I can find more joy in life. And know how to help others.
How am I going to get more of the Spirit in my life? More sincere prayer, more focused scripture study, and putting my calling ahead of just about everything else. I'm reluctant to do that, but I'm trying to have faith that if I give Him more of my time (and heart), He'll magnify the rest of my time, and help me find the joy I need, and teach me how to serve each of His children.
Please pray for me to be able to make those changes!
Scriptures can form a foundation of support. They can provide an incredibly large resource of willing friends, who can help us. A memorized scripture becomes an enduring friend that is not weakened with the passage of time.It sounds like the scriptures are what I need! I was realizing once again this weekend how hard change is. As more and more friends get married or move away, it can be hard not to get lonely. It's hard to accept that someone once very close to me won't be anymore. Friendships change over time, and sometimes that can be discouraging.
-Elder Richard G. Scott
So, I think memorizing scriptures will be helpful to me. I'm realizing more than ever that I need to turn to God as my Friend, and rely on Him, especially when things are changing. He is constant. I can (I think) understand what Mr. D was trying to explain in high school choir years ago. "We may choose something like a Star to stay our minds on, and be staid."
The scripture I plan to memorize first is Mosiah 4:9:
Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.