Friday, December 27, 2013


Since few people read my blog, I feel like this is a safe place to post things that I wouldn't post elsewhere. 

I meant to do a mandala, but I'm not feeling any colors right now. Just words. So I'm gonna call this art, and share it. 

Looking forward to the time things will finally change in this particular relationship. Gotta express myself somehow in the meantime. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

My happiness is as deep as my gratitude

Things for Which I Am Grateful - For Which I Actually Feel Gratitude

  • I had moments of feeling truly loved by a young man this week.
  • I was able to realize how much I cared about this young man.
  • He supports me in fulfilling my dreams and following God. And he also has dreams and commandments of his own to follow, and he will.
  • I also realized how grateful I am for the Lord guiding me through the relationship I was in earlier (with Rob). God's hand is certainly guiding my life.
  • I am grateful for the true love that is shared between close friends.
  • I am grateful that school is over.
  • I am grateful that Sarah and Becca performed with me yesterday, and made a dream of mine come true (singing "Long Time Traveller" and "Parting Glass" in beautiful harmony, in concert).
  • I'm grateful for all the times Robert has had me perform at WhySound. I'm grateful for his kindness and his encouragement. He definitely has a heart full of kindness and faith, and encouraged me to believe I could do things that were scary for me. I can't express enough gratitude for that.
  • I'm grateful for the painful moments in my life, and my opportunity to learn from them, and overcome them, becoming a deeper, better, and happier person than I was before.
  • I'm grateful that God is giving me some new challenges (as I move home, prepare for internship, and also as I try to grow and be the best person I truly can, to be ready for my future), and that He'll guide me to meet them and overcome them. Powerfully.
  • I'm grateful I now have no negative feelings towards Rob's ex-girlfriend, and was able to talk to her today for the first time. She was very easy to talk to, and I really enjoyed it. My heart is at peace in that area. Which feels fantastic.
  • I'm grateful for the great people in the 43rd ward that I've come to know over the last year and a half.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Won't Stay Hidden

One of the problems with being an arts therapy student is that your homework pulls out of you the emotions you're trying to suppress!! Just let me suppress it!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's Talk About Depression - General Conference October 2013

This is a long post. It was my scripture study for today. I decided to pull out all the main points and say them in a simple way.

This is a wonderful talk, and important to me. I've just broken up with the man I was dating for four months, and I'm realizing that I'm having a hard time right now, and that I've been having a hard time for a while. I don't consider myself to have a consistent disorder, but some situations affect me pretty deeply, and I have some work to do. So I hope to use these things talked about by Elder Holland, and I hope it will also help anyone who reads it.

The first bullet points are my own words, and the second, or further-indented bullet points are Elder Holland's words, quoted from his talk.

So, without further ado...

How do we work through and overcome or endure depression?

  • Remember that Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ suffered more than I ever have, and They did it to save me. They love me deeply.
    • Of greatest assurance in God’s plan is that a Savior was promised, a Redeemer, who through our faith in Him would lift us triumphantly over those tests and trials, even though the cost to do so would be unfathomable for both the Father who sent Him and the Son who came. It is only an appreciation of this divine love that will make our own lesser suffering first bearable, then understandable, and finally redemptive.
    • So how do you best respond when mental or emotional challenges confront you or those you love? Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend. As President Monson said to the Relief Society sisters so movingly last Saturday evening: “That love never changes. … It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve [it]. It is simply always there.” Never, ever doubt that, and never harden your heart.
  • Realize there is no shame in depression or other mental illness. It just happens. It's part of the mortal condition.
    • "These afflictions are some of the realities of mortal life, and there should be no more shame in acknowledging them than in acknowledging a battle with high blood pressure or the sudden appearance of a malignant tumor."
  • Keep up the devotional practices that bring the Spirit into my life. Scriptures, prayer, temple attendance, church attendance, blessings, serving, family history, and so forth.
    • Faithfully pursue the time-tested devotional practices that bring the Spirit of the Lord into your life. Seek the counsel of those who hold keys for your spiritual well-being. Ask for and cherish priesthood blessings. Take the sacrament every week, and hold fast to the perfecting promises of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Believe in miracles.
  • Trust that things will get better.
    •  If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior’s own anguished example: if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead.
  • Watch for stress indicators, and rest, either preemptively or as recovery.
    • In preventing illness whenever possible, watch for the stress indicators in yourself and in others you may be able to help. As with your automobile, be alert to rising temperatures, excessive speed, or a tank low on fuel. When you face “depletion depression,” make the requisite adjustments. Fatigue is the common enemy of us all—so slow down, rest up, replenish, and refill. Physicians promise us that if we do not take time to be well, we most assuredly will take time later on to be ill.
  • If things are still debilitating, seek professional help.
    • If things continue to be debilitating, seek the advice of reputable people with certified training, professional skills, and good values. Be honest with them about your history and your struggles. Prayerfully and responsibly consider the counsel they give and the solutions they prescribe. If you had appendicitis, God would expect you to seek a priesthood blessing and get the best medical care available. So too with emotional disorders. Our Father in Heaven expects us to use all of the marvelous gifts He has provided in this glorious dispensation.
  • Work on fixing one thing at a time. Celebrate small victories. Don't be overwhelmed with the size of the task.
    • If you are the one afflicted..., try not to be overwhelmed with the size of your task. Don’t assume you can fix everything, but fix what you can. If those are only small victories, be grateful for them and be patient.
  • Be patient.
    •  Dozens of times in the scriptures, the Lord commands someone to “stand still” or “be still”—and wait. Patiently enduring some things is part of our mortal education.
  • Focus on the positive things in life. Even though there is negative, there is still a lot to be happy about and grateful for.
    • Also let us remember that through any illness or difficult challenge, there is still much in life to be hopeful about and grateful for. We are infinitely more than our limitations or our afflictions! 
  • Don't give up or commit suicide.
    • Whatever your struggle, my brothers and sisters—mental or emotional or physical or otherwise—do not vote against the preciousness of life by ending it!
  • Remember that God will make everything right in the end.
    • Trust in God. Hold on in His love. Know that one day the dawn will break brightly and all shadows of mortality will flee. Though we may feel we are “like a broken vessel,” as the Psalmist says,10 we must remember, that vessel is in the hands of the divine potter. Broken minds can be healed just the way broken bones and broken hearts are healed. 
    • I testify of the holy Resurrection, that unspeakable cornerstone gift in the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ! With the Apostle Paul, I testify that that which was sown in corruption will one day be raised in incorruption and that which was sown in weakness will ultimately be raised in power. I bear witness of that day when loved ones whom we knew to have disabilities in mortality will stand before us glorified and grand, breathtakingly perfect in body and mind. What a thrilling moment that will be! I do not know whether we will be happier for ourselves that we have witnessed such a miracle or happier for them that they are fully perfect and finally “free at last.”
  • Don't worry about what other people think. By judging, they are currently doing the wrong thing, and God will teach them that eventually. They don't see things the way they truly are.
    • While God is at work making those repairs, the rest of us can help by being merciful, nonjudgmental, and kind.
    • Until that hour when Christ’s consummate gift is evident to us all, may we live by faith, hold fast to hope, and show “compassion one of another.”

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Teaching a class on blogs!

I'm teaching a class on family history blogs! Who would've known I would someday be teaching about this? Kind of fun.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Excitement in the Gospel, and Joy in Fasting

I'm feeling a lot of love for God and for the Gospel right now. I know He loves me and that I'm important to Him. I also know that my life has so much happiness in store for me, if I'll follow His direction. =) What a happy thing to know!

I have some current favorite scriptures I recently read in Isaiah. I think they're beautiful promises, and ones that I'm looking for right now in my life.
Isaiah 58:6-12
6 - Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.
 9 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
 10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
 11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
 12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
Right now while I'm in this stage of waiting for further instructions, I very much want these blessings: The Lord answering when I call, and telling me He's there when I cry out; the darkness I feel (uncertainty and fear) to be as the noonday; the Lord's continual guidance; a satisfied soul; to be like a spring of unfailing water. Those are blessings my soul is really really wanting. And fortunately, I'm right in the middle of fasting as I type this. These blessings are coming and will continue to come. =)

What a beautiful thing. I've never felt this good about fasting before.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Holy sacrifice

Doctrine and Covenants 117:13
...and when he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice shall be more holy unto me than his increase, saith the Lord.
This was really comforting to me. I still worry about my mission from time to time, and about how I've done in other callings as well. Sometimes I feel like I have no "increase" to show for it. Seems like very few, if any, lives were changed because of my service. I need to remember that the Lord is pleased with all my efforts, whether or not they appear fruitful. They matter to Him. I felt the Spirit confirm that to me, and it felt great.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Willing to Try

I just wrote my best song yet. =) Would you like to read the lyrics?

It’s not the critic who counts,
Not the cold and timid souls.
It’s the ones who know defeat
But still press forward to their goals.
The ones who give their all
In a good and noble cause
Are the ones with no regrets,
Even if there’s no applause.

I must be willing to fail
If I ever want to grow.
I must be willing to guess
If I ever want to know.

Peace comes from the inside,
It comes to those who try,
Who are afraid to sing,
But will not let their music stay inside.
So give it a try,
And fail, win, or die,
Just don’t leave the music inside.

I must be willing to fail
If I ever want to grow.
I must be willing to guess
If I ever want to know.

Facing my fears,
Reaching for gold,
And in the process,
I’m healing my soul.
It’s okay to be me,
And believe in my dreams,
And I’ll work until they’re my own.

I must be willing to fail
If I ever want to grow.
I must be willing to guess
If I ever want to know.

So give it a try,
And fail, win, or die,
Just don’t leave the music inside.

Monday, April 1, 2013

General Conference Quotes (October 2012) - Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

“If ye love me, keep my commandments,” Jesus said. So we have neighbors to bless, children to protect, the poor to lift up, and the truth to defend. We have wrongs to make right, truths to share, and good to do. In short, we have a life of devoted discipleship to give in demonstrating our love of the Lord. We can’t quit and we can’t go back. After an encounter with the living Son of the living God, nothing is ever again to be as it was before. 
I want to do more good than I'm currently doing. I especially want to lift up the poor. I'd like to help with the DI or LDS Employment Center. Maybe I can do that this summer. What are other ways to help the poor? I always have a hard time thinking of things that will help, that I can do (poor as I am).

I also want to bless my neighbors more. I want to defend the truth, but I really don't like contention, so that one is harder for me. I have people to forgive, and people to treat more kindly than I have. I have truths to share and good to do. Hopefully I'll see the opportunities to share and do, when they come. Or maybe I can even seek out opportunities. It feels overwhelming, but I want to help.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

General Conference Quotes (October 2012): Elder Walter F. Gonzalez

I've been studying the conference talks from October, looking for the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, that His apostles and witnesses mentioned. I got overwhelmed when I got to Elder Gonzalez's talk, because there were so many blessings he talked about, that I couldn't keep up! I think this paragraph will blow you away too, if you try to think about and write down every blessing of the Atonement that he talks about or infers.
"By coming unto Christ, every soul can see, feel, and know of a surety that Christ suffered and atoned for our sins that we may have eternal life. If we repent, we will not suffer needlessly. Thanks to Him, wounded souls may be healed and broken hearts may be mended. There is no burden that He cannot ease or remove. He knows about our infirmities and sicknesses. I promise and testify to you that when all doors seem to be closed, when everything else seems to fail, He will not fail you. Christ will help and is the way out, whether the struggle is with an addiction, depression, or something else. He knows 'how to succor his people.' Marriages and families that are struggling for whatever reason—economic challenges, bad media influences, or family dynamics—will feel a calming influence from heaven. It is comforting to 'feel and see' that He rose from the dead 'with healing in his wings,' that because of Him, we will meet and embrace again those beloved ones who have passed away. Verily our conversion unto Him is rewarded with our healing.

I know of a surety that all of this is true. For this reason I join my voice with that of the early inhabitants of ancient America, exclaiming: 'Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God!' He gives us salvation. I bear witness that Jesus is the Christ, the holy Messiah. He is the Lord of Hosts, our Savior and Redeemer."
What a happy month I've had, as I've focused on remembering Jesus Christ. His desire is to help and heal. What better Friend could anyone ask for?

My other favorite quote from this talk:
"Remembering God helps us to feel and live." 

Thursday, March 28, 2013


I just overheard an awesome conversation in the Institute building. I heard at least two guys talking in the hallway, but I couldn't see them. One was talking about his "coming back" and the changes he had been making in his life. He had gotten really excited about changing his life for the better, and things had worked out really well for the first couple weeks as he made good changes, but then in the last few weeks, it was getting a little harder. More hurdles to clear and such. But what I loved about this conversation was hearing how authentic these guys were, especially the one going through the changes. He freely admitted that sometimes he doubts that there's even a God listening when he's praying, or doubts that the things he does right actually help anything. But then he also remembered the evidences he had seen. He didn't get worked up about things as he was saying this, and he wasn't worried about the reactions of the others. And the other guys didn't pounce on him and insist he have faith or anything, they just listened and reacted naturally, reminding him of some examples from scriptures, and talking about some of their own experiences in "coming back" or gaining faith.

I guess it's hard to explain. You'd have to hear it. But what I loved was the authenticity, the real-ness, the open honesty and lack of fear in their communications. (This is apparently a big deal for me, as I examine some recent themes in my life.) They were secure, not fearful or desperate. Their actions and words did not spring out of any sort of anxiety. They were just telling the truth and being real.

I want to be like that, and be around people like that. There is something so amazing about authenticity.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


This song is my obsession of the day. You know one thing I really like about it? It's a love song that is not selfish. Instead of "I can't live without you. Please don't leave me," it's "You're awesome!!!!!!" It's a secure, non-selfish, non-desperate love song. I like that. I like that a lot.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Deeper conversion = deeper joy and peace

"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.
Perhaps we should be looking less with our eyes and more with our hearts."
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf, October 2012

Today it wasn't hard to see. I felt the Spirit so strongly in Sunday School as people participated in the lesson that Ryan L. and I were trying to facilitate. There is so much power that comes from testifying of Jesus Christ. There was a very special feeling in the room. And it was easy for me to testify this time around, because the experiences I was testifying of were recent and powerful.

This month has basically been the best month of my post-mission life. And I attribute that to a deeper conversion to Jesus Christ, which came as I sincerely devoted myself to learning of Him and feeling His love, through prayer, study, pondering, and trying to love and serve others. Best decision ever. =)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Letters of Gratitude

Dear Elder Bednar,
Thank you for speaking about the youth doing family history in your October 2011 conference address. It has changed the last 18 months of my life, and impacted the rest of my life here on out. Now that I've learned how to research my kindred dead, I've been able to teach and encourage others, and many people have started on their own research journeys. Thanks for getting me going, so I could help get them going.

Dear missionaries in the JSMB on New Years Eve,
Thank you for offering me free registration to RootsTech 2012 as part of the indexing competition. Because of your generosity, I was given the tools to make me a valuable volunteer at the local FamilySearch Library. You enabled my dad to come to RootsTech as well, and now, yesterday, he made the decision to start actually researching his family history. This is an answered prayer for me. Definitely an "ordinary miracle."

Dear Dad,
Thanks for coming to RootsTech, being a friend this week, and letting me show you how to begin your research.

Dear RootsTech organizers, teachers, and everyone else,
Thanks for making this week awesome.

Sincerely, to all four,

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Survey (to help me with my songwriting)

I'm doing a survey to help me in my songwriting in the future. It's also for one of my classes. Please help me out by clicking the link and taking the survey! =)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Faith to NOT Do Something Right Now

Sometimes the right thing to do is WAIT. See Doctrine and Covenants 11. Hyrum Smith was told to keep preparing, but not to go forth. At least not until he was told to specifically, at a later point.
Sometimes the right thing to do is go forth, and go forth immediately.
And I believe there is a spectrum. Sometimes it's "don't go until you've accomplished this other thing first" or sometimes it's "don't go for two months (or other length of time), then you can" and all kinds of other answers. Section 9 even has a "if you had done it earlier it would have been good, but it's not right for you to do it anymore. Maybe later."

Point being, faith doesn't always mean going forth and doing a certain thing (that you think you should do, or other people expect you to do) right away. Faith involves obeying the inspiration you've received, and working towards your righteous desires, trusting Christ.
But because inspiration can be different for each person, sometimes faith is exercised by going forth, and sometimes faith is exercised by waiting. Sometimes you work towards your righteous desires in ways that aren't obvious or recognizable right away. It depends on the answers you've received, both obvious and subtle.

Section 11 really helped me understand and have perspective about 2012 being a year of not actively dating. It was a Hyrum Smith / Section 11 year for me, in the aspect of dating. I feel the Spirit confirming that to me. I'm really grateful for it too. And it makes dating now feel better. =)

Also, right now isn't necessarily my time to marry, it's my time to date. I'm showing faith by dating. And the fact that I'm not getting married right now does not mean that I haven't been exercising faith.

It's all so beautiful. We receive different revelation, and we don't know what revelation other people are receiving. So we really can't judge them! We just teach the doctrines and encourage everyone to live worthy of the Spirit, and obedient to Him. The Spirit will adapt and teach HOW we keep the commandments, to each individual.