Saturday, March 24, 2012

Use Media to do Good!

     Okay... a different sort of post today...
That video above seriously amazes me... There were good things and bad things shared in that video, but I think that it overall gives you a good idea at how CRAZY our world is today. You have to be really careful on the internet, because there are things that are terrible and scary out there... But the internet (And all forms of media) can be a good thing too. Those good things are what I want this post to be focused on.
"Because of its sheer size, media today presents vast and sharply contrasting options. Opposite from its harmful and permissive side, media offers much that is positive and productive. Television offers history channels, discovery channels, education channels. One can still find movies and TV comedies and dramas that entertain and uplift and accurately depict the consequences of right and wrong. The Internet can be a fabulous tool of information and communication, and there is an unlimited supply of good music in the world. Thus our biggest challenge is to choose wisely what we listen to and what we watch."
-M. Russell Ballard
     There is a huge difference in the types of media produced by the church a couple of decades ago to now. Ha - I'm thinking about some of the older videos made by the Church that now seem a little cheesy to us... not that they didn't have good information, they were just made in a time when media wasn't all that it is now. 
     You've probably noticed that I very rarely do a post without an accompanying video. I actually have more posts labeled under "videos" than anything else. There are hundreds of videos made by the Church that all share wholesome and uplifting messages... and they are very well-made.

     The internet is a brilliant way for many of us to do missionary work. I suppose that's sorta my goal for this blog... I want to share my thoughts on gospel principles with lots of people. You can do the same. (And you don't have to create a blog...) 
-Share Church videos on Facebook! 
-Visit the Church's website often! 
-Create a profile on!
-Follow, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (that was a lot to type), and many others on Facebook for inspirational messages!

Romans 1:16 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

     Do not be ashamed of the gospel! Share it with your friends! 

     And lastly, don't forget that the internet can be bad, but can also be an awesome resource full of good things. I love the internet! And it's probably obvious to you that I spend a lot of time on it... just don't forget that you need to be careful. Monitor how much time you spend on the computer and watching TV. Nothing replaces spending good family time together.

     The media is a POWERFUL thing. Use it to do good, not bad. 

P.S. Did you know that those three dots that people use in the middle of a sentence is called an ellipsis? I'm noticing that I use the ellipsis a lot... (Ha ha - I suppose I just did it again!)

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Young Women General Meeting 2012: Arise and Shine

D&C 115:5 - Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations;

     What a brilliant idea and theme for all - not just the youth... because others WILL notice your example... good or bad. If you hold high standards and never sway in them, people will see the light of Christ shining in your countenance. 

     And they will want that light.

     So don't be afraid to share the gospel with a friend. I promise that it will bless your life and also the life of that person. You can be an instrument in the Lord's hands. 


     Oh yeah, and don't forget about General Conference next weekend! Help spread the word with the following video:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

An Easy and Fun Way to Help With Genealogy

     What is indexing? Like the video above said, original documents - birth/death certificates, marriage licenses, military forms... basically anything with information on it - are found and then digitalized so that they can be saved.
     Volunteers sift through all of the photos and key the information into the computer... things like their name, spouse, parents, birthday... stuff like that. After the names are indexed, people on the Family Search website (or those using other programs like or RootsMagic) can search for a relative's name, and all of the information indexed will pop up.
     For members of the Church, that means that we can quite possibly find names to take to the temple.
     The youth in our ward have all signed up so that we can start indexing. Let me tell you, I am already hooked. It is so easy and strangely addicting... and a very easy way to do service and help people so that they can further their family history.

     I'm serious... it is SO easy. Go here to get started. All you have to do is download the software and create an account. (If you already have an LDS account, then that will work.) Just so you know, if you need to create an account, you will need your Church membership number. If you don't know it, no worries. Just talk to your bishopric (probably the ward clerk, actually...), and they will give it to you.
     Once the software is downloaded and you have logged in, a video will pop up explaining the program to you. It is only like six minutes long.
     That's it! You are ready! Now you just go through documents and read them so that you can key in the information that is asked for. If you can't read the handwriting, send it back and you can get a new document. I am very new to this, but I'm having a lot of fun with it. It also feels good to know that the names I'm entering in are more than just names. They are people, who lived and died, and who now need our help.

     Starting April 2nd, you can help index the 1940 Census. There were over 130,000,000 people in the U.S. at that time, and it will be a huge project to index all of those documents. What's cool is that 1940 wasn't really that long ago. We all know people that were alive at that time (they only have to be like 72 or older), and it's neat to know that is the generation we will be helping. It is these people and their parents/grandparents that need our help now... People you may know or deceased people that you are closely related to...

     Just do it. It will be so worth it, and it makes you feel good to know that you are helping people. It may look intimidating at first, but it is so incredibly easy. Trust me. You will love it, and then you will want to spread the word to your friends!

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Always Grateful...

"Recognize the blessings that are raining down on you
and enjoy them with thanks. (See D&C 105:12)"
     First of all, that video reminded me of this post...

     Okay. In my opinion, people should every night ask themselves if they saw God's hand in their life that day. I think that everyone, every day, could answer yes to that question.
     Here were my two favorite quotes from this video...
"The more often we see the things around us, even the beautiful and wonderful things, the more they become invisible to us." 

"Because we see things so often, we see them less and less."

     It's so true. Noticing and being grateful for the little things in your life is so important, because that way you will never forget about all of the beautiful things that God has created.
     To so many people, what stands out are the bad things. Well... there are a lot of bad things going on in the world, but there are also so many good things. Ultimately, people are good. They were made to be that way.

"Our society is afflicted by a spirit of thoughtless arrogance unbecoming those who have been so magnificently blessed. How grateful we should be for the bounties we enjoy. Absence of gratitude is the mark of the narrow, uneducated mind. It bespeaks a lack of knowledge and the ignorance of self-sufficiency. It expresses itself in ugly egotism and frequently in wanton mischief. We have seen our beaches, our parks, our forests littered with ugly refuse by those who evidently have no appreciation for their beauty.”

- Gordon B. Hinckley 

egotism: self-centeredness
wanton: deliberate 

     So... I offer you a challenge (It's an easy one). For the next couple of weeks, try to spend just five minutes each night thinking about the things that you have been blessed with that day. Like I said earlier, think "How has God touched my life today?" Doing this will help you to be more aware and to notice the good things around you. 
Now... I need you to help me out. This wasn't a super long post, which might be a good thing... because some of my posts get pretty long. I don't suppose that you guys enjoy reading those long posts very much... because they are pretty wordy sometimes. 
     So... do you think that I should start doing shorter posts? If I did, I would probably post more often, as they are easier to write. I don't mean like, way short, maybe about the length of this one that you just read... give or take.

What do you think? Comment below!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Blessed are the Pure in Heart

     Just a quick post because I wanted to share a story... it is a story that I read in this book today.... and it's awesome.
     Just so that you know before you read, this was experienced and later shared by Jon M. Huntsman Sr.


     I learned this important lesson during a time I had the privilege of serving as the stake president (the ecclesiastical leader) for Howard W. Hunter, then the prophet and President of the Church. He was a dear and trusted friend. On one occasion, I felt the Spirit move me to go by his home to see how he was doing. When I knocked on the door, his wife said, "President Huntsman, come on in. We knew you would come by. President Hunter told me a few minutes ago, 'President Huntsman will come by our home this evening to see how I'm feeling.'"
     When I went in, he was leaning back in his recliner, looking pale and quite ill. When I asked him what I could do to help, he said "I would like a priesthood blessing. Would you be kind enough to give me one?" I said I would be honored and humbled to do so and asked if he wouldn't mind explaining the nature of his illness.
     He responded, "Today I had an ill thought toward another man, and it's made me physically and emotionally sick all day. Every bone in my body aches. My heart burns because I had a negative thought in my heart toward another person. Would you bless me that any harsh thoughts toward any man or woman would dissipate immediately and be eradicated from body and heart, mind and soul?"
     So I placed my hands on his head and, as soon as I did so, I thought of Matthew 5:8: "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." I had just put my hands on the head of a man who was so pure in heart that it made him physically ill if he had negative feelings toward anyone. That was one of my greatest experiences, to learn from such a pure man the impact of carrying ill thoughts toward another.

     That is an awesome story that stood out to me, because it is crazy to think that something like this could happen. Howard W. Hunter had a very, very pure heart. (Along with all of our other prophets)...

Psalms 24
3 - Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
4 - He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
I don't really know how to end this post, because I just wanted to share that story... so... bye.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

If You Can, Visit Often.

 Ezekiel 37:26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

     Yes, they were away for 4 years...

     So... here's a thought... I know that most of you reading this blog are probably thirty minutes away - or less... from the nearest temple...
     Yet... it seems that so few of us visit the temple as often as we should. There are people all around the world that save for years just so that they can visit the temple once. We are building more and more temples around the world, so that is helping a lot of people, but there are still many members who drive for hours - or fly - to get to the nearest temple. 

Here's a similar story...


Brother and Sister Vaha‘i Tonga of the Tongan Islands sacrificed in order to go to the temple. “It was not easy for a Tongan Saint to save enough money for such a journey. It took months of preparation and saving, but finally the money was gathered and plans were made.”

However, the mission president came to Brother Tonga and asked him to contribute toward a chapel to be built in his branch all the money he had saved to go to the temple. If he did not do this, it would be two more years before a chapel could be built there. Brother Tonga discussed the situation with his wife.

“It was difficult to give up their dream of seeing the new temple,” but the next day they gave the money to the mission president. “That night [Brother Tonga] … said [to his wife]: ‘Honey, the Lord has promised us through our leaders that if we keep his commandments he will prepare some way that we will be able to go to the dedication [of the New Zealand Temple]. We have cows, pigs, and some horses, besides furniture and mats. Let’s sell it all so that we may be able to receive the blessings of the dedication.’ ”

Brother Tonga and his wife tried to sell their livestock on Thursday and Friday, but no one would buy. Time was getting short. The following Monday the ship bound for New Zealand was to leave. Brother Tonga related:

“ ‘On Saturday morning three families came who needed some cows, pigs, and other things, and we received between $500 and $600 in about half an hour.’ ” They now had the money and would be able to go.

Brother Tonga and his wife were the first couple to be sealed in the New Zealand Temple. But the story does not end there. Brother Tonga said:

“ ‘When my wife and I were sealed to each other, something touched my heart. Our children were not with us, and tears came to my eyes. When we arrived home I promised our four children that if they would help, we could go to the temple together. I thought to myself, “How can you say, be a good boy or be a good girl, if I am not sealed to them in the temple?” I had the feeling that they were not mine.

“ ‘For two years we sacrificed almost everything. I divided my pay from school for each one of us, and we saved that. But we paid our tithing and fast offerings. We were left with 70¢ … a month for two years. We lived on what we could grow and gather. … My children could not buy candy or shoes or go to movies because they were saving to go to the temple. …  

“ ‘To save on transportation costs I also rode my bicycle to district meetings … seven miles away. … Most of our district meetings began at 6:00 a.m. so I had to leave home very early in the morning.

“ ‘When the deadline came for getting our money in, … the two oldest boys said they had about $235. After saving for two years the little one [who was five years old] had saved $65. I had saved almost $1,300 for my family.

“ ‘Through sacrifice we were able to take our family to New Zealand to be sealed in the temple. We had to do some extra things to accomplish our goals, but it was a great blessing to us.’ ”


     Okay... I know that this post may not apply to everyone reading this, but if it applies to you, if you have a temple nearby, make it a goal to go more often.
     If you already go pretty often, that's great. Kudos to you, seriously... because it can be hard to find time to do it a lot...
     Just a little challenge to you... try to make time. It's so important, and hopefully you've seen that people all over the world sacrifice a lot just to go once...

Here's a quote that I liked... It's not exactly about visiting the temple, but I think that it shows the sacrifice that have always gone into these beautiful temples...

"No effort was spared [in the building of the original Nauvoo Temple]. No sacrifice was too great. Through . . . five years men chiseled stone and laid footings and foundation, walls and ornamentation. Hundreds went to the north, there to live for a time to cut lumber, vast quantities of it, and then bind it together to form rafts which were floated down the river to Nauvoo. Beautiful moldings were cut from that lumber. Pennies were gathered to buy nails. Unimaginable sacrifice was made to procure glass. They were building a temple to God, and it had to be the very best of which they were capable.
"In the midst of all of this activity, the Prophet and his brother Hyrum were killed in Carthage on the 27th of June 1844. . . .
"But Brigham Young, President of the Quorum of the Twelve, picked up the reins. Joseph had placed his authority upon the shoulders of the Apostles. Brigham determined to finish the temple, and the work went on. By day and by night they pursued their objective, notwithstanding all of the threats hurled against them by lawless mobs. In 1845 they knew they could not stay in the city they had built from the swamplands of the river. They knew they must leave. It became a time of feverish activity: first, to complete the temple, and secondly, to build wagons and gather supplies to move into the wilderness of the West."

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Scripture Marking Saturday... Sorta.

     My last post says that it was published on Saturday, which is true, but it was like 12:30 am when I posted it, so in my head, that was yesterday.

     Okay. Normally on Saturdays I would just share a scripture and thought or whatever, but I decided to share a scripture and video, because they are both brilliant reminders for just about anyone...

     I think that procrastination is a problem for most people... There are always some things that it is easier to put off, so that is what we do. I definitely don't blame you, as there are always times when we don't use our time wisely...

     I wouldn't normally share a Scripture Mastery scripture on Saturdays, because my goal is to introduce you to really good scriptures that aren't as well-known... but I guess this week is the exception. :)

Joshua 24:15 - And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

(This doesn't seem like an anti-procastination scripture, but watch the following video... it will make more sense after.)

    So, I suppose the above scripture isn't one that you would read and afterward think, "Okay. I will not procrastinate now."
     Like I said, that isn't the first connection that you would make in your head, but I think that this scripture gives counsel on many subjects... You just have to read it enough that those counsels will stand out to you.

     I'm sure that when I first read that scripture, I thought about how I would serve the Lord. After watching this video, the words this day also stand out to me. There are certain decisions that you need to make now, and one of them is that you will choose to serve the Lord.
     The now part is important, because you may come to a point in your life where you will be tested on this, and if you make a decision now to keep the commandments, you will not even have to hesitate when making the right choice, because your whole life, you have known exactly where you stand on that.

And like he said in the video, we do not know how many days we will have. Choose to do service this day, because you may not have a chance tomorrow.

     Hopefully after reading this, you will not only take the lessons that this scripture teaches to heart, but you will also hopefully learn that the scriptures can teach us many different things.
     That is why scripture study should be done when you have time to focus and learn from what you are reading. Study every verse thoroughly, and you will get more out of it.

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O Remember, Remember

     Sorry that I have been kinda AWOL this week...
     The end of the term means a lot of studying and homework... so I've been pretty busy.

I think that "O Remember, Remember" is one of my favorite phrases from the scriptures. I discovered this video tonight... (amazing how I keep finding new ones)... and really liked it...

Without further adieu...

I can never decide which scriptures I want to share... so here are a couple... :)

Deuteronomy 32:7 - Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.

D&C 46: 10 - And again, verily I say unto you, I would that ye should always remember, and always retain in your minds what those gifts are, that are given unto the church.


     I have heard it said that REMEMBER is the most important word in the dictionary. I would agree with that statement.

     This will most likely be a pretty short post, because I am tired, but here's something to think about...

     If you take the sacrament at church every Sunday, you are making a promise to always remember the Lord.

3 Nephi 18:7 - And this shall ye do in remembrance of my body, which I have shown unto you. And it shall be a testimony unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.

     The Lord has done SO MANY amazing things for us... and He continues to bless us every day. Make sure that you are always recognizing these things, and that you never forget about them. 
(Remember this article? yeah. Read it again.)

Never forget that God loves and blesses you.
Never forget that Jesus Christ died for you.
Never forget what Joseph Smith went through to bring us the restored gospel.
Never forget what your ancestors, the pioneers, went through. 
Never forget that your parents care about you.
Never forget that other people do too, like your friends and leaders...
Never forget that life can be enjoyed.
Never forget that you were made to do good.
Never forget that it is never too late to repent.


If we do not remember the past, our mistakes will be repeated... 
You need to let your mistakes teach you lessons, and then you need to always remember those lessons.

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”

- George Santayana

And lastly...

Helaman 5:12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

Just never forget to serve your Lord... the one who knows you best, and loves you endlessly.

P.S. I suppose that post wasn't as short as I imagined it would be. Now I really am tired. Goodnight.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Wait Upon the Lord

To read the whole talk, click here.

     There's another experiment that I would try...
     What if you told a four-year old child that you would come back to give them a second marshmallow in exactly ten minutes? You then gave them a stopwatch and explained that when it reached 00:00, you would return with their marshmallow.
     After the first experiment, come back and tell the same child that you will return with another marshmallow, but don't tell them when. Just let them know that if they wait patiently, it will come.

     I'd be willing to bet that less kids would be able to wait the second time... they will feel as though they have been waiting forever, and give in...

     When you know exactly when you will be done waiting, it makes the waiting so much easier. You can count down the minutes... the weeks... maybe even the years... but the whole time keeping in mind the exact date and time that your waiting will end...

     Unfortunately, life is not always like this. We have been promised certain blessings in our lives, but we do not know when these promises will be fulfilled... just never forget that at some point, they will be fulfilled...

Alma 37:17For he will fulfil all his promises which he shall make unto you, for he has fulfilled his promises which he has made unto our fathers.

     Heavenly Father always keeps His promises, big or small... and even though it is hard to wait for what is sometimes a seemingly endless amount of time, it is worth it.

   Do not spend your time on this earth feeling like your promises are not being kept, because what you have to understand is that they are eternal promises.   In the grand scheme of things, you spend very little time on this earth... If you keep an eternal perspective, you will see that sometimes being asked to wait a little while for your blessings... it really isn't too much to ask.

D&C 98:
1 - Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks;

 2 - Waiting patiently on the Lord, for your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded with this seal and testament—the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted.

 3 - Therefore, he giveth this promise unto you, with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled; and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name’s glory, saith the Lord.

"Patience—the ability to put our desires on hold for a time—is a precious and rare virtue. We want what we want, and we want it now. Therefore, the very idea of patience may seem unpleasant and, at times, bitter.
"Nevertheless, without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect. Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace."
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Your Divine Purpose

Wow... one of the best MormonMessages I've ever watched...

     If you follow on Facebook, then you will know that they asked their followers the other day to share their answers to the following question...

"I am on this earth to..."

They got 645 comments back from people who answered the following:

     Hmmm... I didn't comment, but what would I have said?

I am on this earth... 
To share my talents... to love... to learn and gain experience... to learn to have perfect trust in God... to help others... to make friends... to experience life's little pleasures - like Oreos... to learn to choose the right, so that I can have eternal life... to get married... to be a good example...

     No matter what you feel that your purpose on this earth is... never doubt that you have one.

"My dear friends, you are a royal generation. You were preserved to come to the earth in this time for a special purpose. Not just a few of you, but all of you. There are things for each of you to do that no one else can do as well as you...If you will let Him, I testify that our Father in Heaven will walk with you through the journey of life and inspire you to know you special purpose here."
- H. Burke Peterson

     I hear people say all the time that they have no special talents... they can't play the piano, they can't play a sport really well, they aren't academically brilliant, they aren't excellent bakers... they think of themselves as just... some plain old person... This is not true. FOR ANYONE. 

YOU have a divine purpose on this earth. And YOU have talents.
Maybe you are a good friend... good at making others feel better... a good mom... an example to others... 
Maybe you like complimenting people... maybe you are a good helper... maybe you never doubt the gospel...
Maybe you go to church every week, maybe you don't ever miss a month of paying tithing... maybe you love your family so much... maybe you don't get mad easily... maybe you never swear...

Aren't all of these talents?

I think this video does a brilliant job of reminding people that they have something good to offer the world...
Your job is to figure out what that is for you... and then act. You have incredible potential.
Spend your life doing good... trying to build up those around you, and you can create a legacy... you will leave this world and the people who live in it better than you found it.

And isn't that something that all of us want?

Leave a comment! I want you to answer the question now...

"I am on this earth to __________"

When you're done with that... watch the above video again... I just love it! :)

PS: I learned something new today! If you look to the very right of my site, you will see a vertical, thin black strip. Hover over it and you can view my profile, my labels, my followers... and more!
(I know what you're probably thinking... "I realized that forever ago!"... well I just realized it... so I thought I'd share... Haha!)

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