Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What's Up Wednesday

  Okay, in an attempt to make this blog interesting, I have decided to add "What's Up Wednesdays" to my posts. In these posts, I'll just share what's been going on in my life recently... possibly more for myself than for you... I'm going to look back on this someday, right???

   The holidays are here! My favorite time of year! I love everything about the Christmas season. I love the snow, the music, the decorations, and just the spirit of it all. I love shopping on Black Friday (although I really didn't go out much this year). During December is also my birthday! Driving! Yippee!!
     I also think that it is important to remember what this season is all about. It's such a beautiful time of year, full of cheerful people. I think that a lot of people get caught up in the unimportant stuff though. Christmas is about Christ, and we should always be quick to remember that.

     The Festival of Trees is this week.... we made a tree to donate in honor of my sister Sage.... Seriously, coolest tree ever... I'd buy it. :) Of course it makes it better that this is a fundraiser. The trees are auctioned off, and all of the money goes to Primary Children's Medical Center. Yay!

     School has been BUSY!!! (To say the least)  I've had one project due after another, one quiz after another, followed by tests. *Sigh* I've also been up really late each night trying to get homework done. I work right after school, and then I usually have some sort of other engagement... (piano, babysitting, mutual, etc.) To say the least... I am TIRED!!

     One last thing... My internet is down!!! Eeeek!! We haven't had internet access in our house for the last few days. I am blogging right now on the computer at my dad's work... I never realized how much I rely on the internet for homework, and also other things... like this. It's kind of sad how we start to rely on electronics. Electronics are not a bad thing at all, but we can make them bad if we get addicted or if we are doing bad things with them. Be careful!
Hmmm... this just made me think of a video on Maybe I will do a post on electronics sometime in the near future and share it... or maybe not. What topic do you want to hear about?

Hope you all have a fabulous week! Don't forget to leave comments!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Trials and Tribulations: Coming Forth as Gold

Job 23:10- But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

     The subject of "hard things" is one that means a lot to me and that I feel very strongly about. I've gone through trials, as I know that everyone has, and I learned a lot while I was enduring them. I'm just going to share what I learned, in hope that some of you will take something away from it.

     When I was thirteen, my little sister died. I'm sure that all of you reading this already knew that. It was very sudden, and this was a very hard trial for me, but I think that I was able to stay strong and endure it well. How? Ha... I'm not totally sure!

     Hard things... are hard. (I know what you're thinking... that last statement took a lot of brains! (:  )
But seriously. It's easy to say that you will be strong and lean on the Lord during trials... but would you really? The answer is yes. I'm pretty sure that all of you would... and all of you probably have before.

    One thing that I discovered was that you go into a sort of survival mode. You just sort of drift through and don't let things affect you. Eventually though, things start to sink in. When that happened, I was strong because I didn't have a choice not to be.  

I had to be strong.
I had to lean on others.
 had to hang in there.
If I didn't, then that trial would've broken me.

     I learned so many things from this experience.
     People are good. Like, so good. Now I always knew that there were good people in this world. but I think that often, it is the bad things that people do that are spotlighted. One thing that I witnessed during this trial was the goodness of the human spirit. When people are going through a hard thing, make sure that you reach out to them. It really does mean so much. NEVER FORGET! You were made to do good.

     I wasn't the only one. Sometimes when hard things happen, we feel as though we are the only one alive enduring such a thing. This is almost never true. I always knew that I had a loving Savior who had gone through everything that I was going through, but I fully realized during this experience that there were many other people, too.
        I learned to never feel sorry for myself. One day I was walking through the cemetery. I saw a headstone that had a whole family on it. A father and his three little girls had all died on the same day. The mother's name was carved too, but she had no death date. She endured losing her whole family. This humbled me to the moon and back. I had gained a new perspective, and I realized that I had it good.
I still had the rest of my family.
I still had a home, and neighbors, and friends.
I still had the gospel. I had knowledge, and still have knowledge, that many people don't have.

     I learned to give myself a break. My family and I could take as much time enduring our trial as we needed. I also learned that you don't have to see the bright side right away. It took me a while before I realized all of these things that I've been writing about.

     Most of all, I gained a new perspective. I honestly don't really remember what my testimony was like before that experience. I know that I had one, but after this trial of mine, it was strengthened a million fold. I had different things that I was striving for after this. Better things. I learned to be SO grateful for trials. SO grateful!
Now don't get me wrong... I wish more than anything that this hadn't happened. I'm just so grateful that when it did happen,  I was able to let that trial refine me, rather than define me.

   You can too. It can be a trial small or big, but IT WILL MAKE YOU STRONGER! God wants us to grow stronger. Trials are a very effective way to do this.

This is a wonderful video that reminds us that If we have faith and endure, all will be well.

To close, I want to share one more scripture.
 Isaiah 41:13- For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
You are never alone. Please don't give up.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

All Blessings Come by Obedience

D&C 130:21- And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

Okay, so nobody told me what subject they would rather read about... But did you really think I would write about chastity?? No way.

One of my very favorite quotes is about obedience, so I am using that as the subject of this post. Here it is:
"Obedience to God can be the very highest expression of independence. Just think of giving to Him the one thing, the one gift, that He would never take... Obedience- that which God will never take by force- He will accept when freely given. And He will then return to you freedom that you can hardly dream of- the freedom to feel and to know, the freedom to do, and the freedom to BE, at least a thousand fold more than we offer Him. Strangely enough, the key to freedom is Obedience."
                                                                                     -Boyd K. Packer

God gave us EVERYTHING! Without Him, we wouldn't even exist. He has already given us so much freedom, including the freedom to choose. The least we can do is obey His commandments. They are ALWAYS for our own good.

I found this awesome story that President Monson told in the Priesthood session of General Conference in October 2006. It is an awesome example of how obeying will bless us, even if it doesn't seem like it at the time.


"[Young] Rupert stood by the side of the road watching an unusual number of people hurry past. At length he recognized a friend.
'Where are all of you going in such a hurry?' he asked.
"The friend paused. 'Haven't you heard?' he said.
" 'I've heard nothing,' Rupert answered.
" 'Well' continued [the] friend, 'the king has lost his royal emerald! Yesterday he attended a wedding of the nobility and wore the emerald on the slender golden chain around his neck. In some way the emerald became loosened from the chain. Everyone is searching, for the king has offered a reward to the one who finds it. Come, we must hurry.'
" 'But I cannot go without asking Grandmother.' faltered Rupert.
" 'Then I cannot wait. I want to find the emerald,' replied his friend.

"Rupert hurried back to the cabin at the end of the woods to seek his grandmother's permission.
'If I could find it we could leave this hut with its dampness and buy a piece of land up on the hillside,' he pleaded with his grandmother.
"But his grandmother shook her head. 'What would the sheep do?' she asked. 'Already they are restless in the pen, waiting to be taken to the pasture, and please do not forget to take them to water when the sun shines high in the heavens.'

"Sorrowfully, Rupert took the sheep to the pasture, and at noon he led them to the brook in the woods. There he sat on a large stone by the stream.
'If I could only have had a chance to look for the king's emerald!' he thought.
Turning his head to gaze down at the sandy bottom of the brook, suddenly he stared into the water. What was it? It could not be! He leaped into the water, and his gripping fingers held something that was green with a slender bit of gold chain [that had been broken].
'The king's emerald!' he shouted. 'It must've been flung from the chain when the king [astride his horse galloped across the bridge and the current carried] it here.'

With shining eyes Rupert ran to his grandmother's hut to tell her of his great find.
'Bless you, my boy,' she said, 'but you never would have found it if you had not been doing your duty, herding the sheep.'
And Rupert knew that this was the truth."

The lesson to be learned from this story is found in the familiar couplet: "Do [your] duty; that is best; leave unto [the] Lord the rest!"
(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)


I promise that if you obey the Lord, and obey His commandments, and TRUST HIM, then you will be blessed beyond your wildest dreams.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Scripture Marking Saturday

   Okay... so I've decided to have a once-a-week post just sharing one of my favorite scriptures and some thoughts on it.
     If It's a scripture that catches your eye or means something to you, mark it! Remember it! I also invite you to share some of your favorite scriptures in the comment box... the more the merrier!

Here's today's scripture... it is one of my all-time-favorites...

D&C 25:10- And verily I say unto thee that thou shalt lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better.

I think that this scripture has a lot to do with eternal perspective, like I was talking about in this post... I was actually going to use it then, but I forgot... (oops!)
There is a much better world out there. It is the place where God lives, and it is more amazing than you could ever imagine. It is a place that you want to seek for, and you need to seek for.

"Since 'God is love' (1 John 4:8), the closer we approach Him, the more profoundly we experience love. But because a veil separates this mortality from our heavenly home, we must seek in the Spirit that which is imperceptible to mortal eyes."Heaven may seem distant at times, but the scriptures offer hope: 'Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart' (Jeremiah 29:13)."

This scripture reminds me to seek Him and to seek after the blessings of the Celestial Kingdom.

Okay, your turn now. Leave comments! Share your favorite scripture!
I'm also asking for your vote. Which topic do you want me to write about next?
- Obedience
- Individual Worth?

Here's some incentive for you: if nobody votes, I will be writing a long, boring post on the law of chastity! :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Importance of an Eternal Perspective

Matthew 16:26- For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

     Living on earth, we can only see a little tiny piece of a huge picture.
     Imagine a never-ending string of Cheerios. Our earth life is one Cheerio on that never-ending string. Would you trade an infinite number of perfect Cheerios for one little misshapen one?

Imagine the sorrow you would feel if you didn't achieve your most important goal - to be in the Celestial Kingdom. What if you didn't achieve that goal because of something silly that you did on earth... a silly choice that won't profit you anything after you die...

“As we pass through the trials of life, let us keep an eternal perspective, let us not complain, let us become even more prayerful, let us serve others, and let us forgive one another. As we do this, ‘all things [will] work together for good to [us] that love God.’ ”
(click here to read the rest of the article)

   This quote reminds me how important it is to serve others and keep the commandments. Some people criticize our church and our commandments. Those people think that obeying God's commandments will limit them.
     Think of a commandment that is hard for you to keep. It could be paying your tithing, going to the temple, or anything really... Maybe to you, it seems as though paying tithing limits you. You don't have as much money, and that is especially hard if you are struggling financially. Maybe you don't see that your life is being blessed because of it. Does that mean you stop paying your tithing? No. Blessings are eternal. Sometimes you don't see that you are being blessed, because those are blessings you must wait for.
    I promise... In the end, it WILL all pay off. You WILL be blessed for keeping the commandments, and you will NOT be limited in any way, shape, or form.

Keep the commandments. Love God. All things will work together for your good.

1 Corinthians 2:9- But as it is written, 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.

Just because you can't see the good things waiting for you in heaven, doesn't mean they are not there. If we could have one glimpse of the heavens, we would want nothing but to be there.
Don't give it up for a worldly pleasure.

There are many things that we can do to gain  an eternal perspective.
Pray to God. Ask Him to soften your heart and to help you.
Read your scriptures. Your scriptures are a wonderful gift and often their words will answer your prayers. They will educate you on what's important. You will gain more treasured knowledge reading the scriptures than you could ever dream of.
Serve people. Possibly one of the greatest ways to gain a new perspective. There is always someone in a worse state than you. There is always someone who could use your help. Let yourself be an instrument in the Lord's hands, and your eyes will be opened.

Don't forget to leave comments! What are some other ways that you can gain an eternal perspective?

Post #1: Gratitude

“When you walk with gratitude, you do not walk with arrogance and conceit and egotism, you walk with a spirit of thanksgiving that is becoming to you and will bless your lives.”
-President Gordon B. Hinckley

     Hello everybody! Welcome to my new blog! This is my first post, and there were a few topics that I wanted to post thoughts about. After tossing them around in my head for a few minutes, I realized that it would probably be appropriate to share a thought about gratitude, seeing as it is Thanksgiving and all...  I love the quote above by President Gordon B. Hinckley. I know that this is so true. If you live your life with gratitude and are thankful for all things given to you, it truly will make you a better person.
     What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday? Wouldn't you wish that you had showed more gratitude for what you've been given? You can tell when a person acknowledges what they have. Generally, they are more willing to give of themselves because they realize that they really are blessed. There is a quote by Pavithra Mehta that says "What you truly acknowledge is truly yours." How true that is.

My dad shared something with me that can be a reminder for us all to be thankful.

- If you woke up this morning with more health than illness... you are more blessed than the million who will not survive the week.
- If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation... you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
- If you can attend a religious meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death... you are more blessed than 3 billion people in the world.
- If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep... you are richer than 75% of this world.
- If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealth.
- If your parents are still alive and still married... you are very rare, even in the United States.
- If you can hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful... you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
- If you can hold someone's hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder... you are blessed because you can offer a healing touch.
- If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore, you are more blessed than over 2 billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

Doesn't that make you a little more grateful for your blessings? It does for me. Something like that can really give you a renewed perspective.

I was looking in my scriptures for a story of gratitude. There are many such stories in the scriptures. I'm only going to share one, however, and it is one that you are all familiar with.

Luke 17:
 11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
 12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
 14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Bishop Merrill J. Bateman taught: “In becoming a whole person, the grateful leper was healed inside as well as on the outside. That day nine lepers were healed skin deep, but only one had the faith to be made whole”

See what gratitude can do for us?? It can make us whole.

Alright... to finish, here's a lovely video that the church posted on facebook... enjoy...

I'm thankful for: the gospel, my testimony, my family, my scriptures, my Savior, the piano, my ward family, a roof over my head and food in my pantry, school, and the wonderful country that we live in.
And oh, so much more...

Psalms 100:
4- Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5- For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

I hope that we can all remember that being thankful is not just for Thanksgiving... It is a lifestyle.



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