Saturday, June 30, 2012

leave the world behind.

I love EFY. It's always the best. So... for the next few blog posts I will probably be sharing with you parts of lessons that were given.

So here's the first one.

First of all, think of your standards. Do you think that the standards that the Church has given hold you back? Are they hard to keep?

Do you feel like they restrict your freedom?

Well... Ariel felt like her freedom was restricted.

She didn't want to stay under the "C". ["C" meaning Covenant for our little discussion...]

Do you want to stay under the Covenant?

Or are you always finding that you want to be part of the world?
[I left that video out... but it would be appropriate to go watch at this time! Click here.]

But... as Sebastian says in the following video...

"The human world is a mess!"

[Isn't that such a cheerful song? I love it!]

"Down here all the fish is happy
As off through the waves they roll
The fish on the land ain't happy
They sad 'cause they in their bowl"

Living under the Covenant makes you happy.
Keeping your standards makes you happy and gives you freedom.

Elder Boyd K. Packer said: “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 thousandfold more than we offer him. Strangely enough, the key to freedom is obedience”

Obedience. The key to freedom.

Don't try to be a part of a world you don't belong in. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

i'm a mormon: chip

I like this video because I pretty much think that being a cop would be the best job ever.

Even though it might kinda freak me out... but still. It would be exciting.

Mormons come in all shapes and sizes... we come from all different races, and all different professions.

Including cops and septic tank cleaners (that just popped into my head... that would be a tough job...)!

Read more about Chip here!

the end.

P.S. Jealous you aren't at EFY with me right now?? Yep, I thought so!

Monday, June 25, 2012

there's hope for humanity!


You know... I was listening to a talk show on the radio while I was working today, and they were talking about how impolite, inconsiderate, and selfish kids and teenagers are today...

I mean, they weren't completely wrong...

But there are good kids out there! More than you might think!

I'd like to email the talk-show guy the above video so that he can eat his words... :)

I'm just kidding (kinda), but I hope you felt something when you watched that.

People are good.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

how to pray

"As you feel the need to confide in the Lord or to improve the quality of your visits with Him - - to pray, if you please - - may I suggest a process to follow:  Go where you can be alone, go where you can think, go where you can kneel, go where you can speak out loud to Him.  The bedroom, that bathroom, or the closet will do.  Now, picture Him in your mind's eyeThink to whom you are speaking, control your thoughts--don't let them wander, address Him as your Father and friend.  Now tell Him things you really feel to tell Him--not trite phrases that have little meaning, but have a sincere, heartfelt conversation with Him.  Confide in Him, ask Him for forgiveness, plead with Him, enjoy Him, thank Him, express your love to Him, and then listen for His answers.  Listening is an essential part of praying.  Answers from the Lord come quietly--ever so quietly.  In fact, few hear His answers audibly with their ears.  We must be listening so carefully or we will never recognize them.  Most answers from the Lord are felt as thoughts in our mind.  They come to those who are prepared and who are patient."  
-H. Burke Peterson

We are told that we should pray every day... and several times a day.

And hopefully we all do.

But are you praying with real sincerity?

Do you carefully tell our Father about your day, about your worries, and about your joys?

Do you confide in Him? Do you ask for forgiveness?

Do you thank Him for specific things - or do you blanket everything into "thank thee for this day"?

Because if you do any of these things... it may be time to change the way you pray.

So why do we pray?

Someone once gave me this perfect example... if you aren't very good friends with someone - if you don't know them very well - you wouldn't ask them for a favor, would you? That would be awkward and embarrassing...
We need to get to know our Father. We need to communicate with Him so that we can call Him a friend. When we are constantly thanking Him for our blessings and speaking to Him what's in our hearts... we will feel more comfortable when we need to ask a favor of Him.

We pray so that we can communicate with and have a personal relationship with our Father.

When do we pray?

Well... always.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 - Pray without ceasing.

That's the whole verse. How incredibly simple.

In Alma 34:27 we read, "Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you."

Always, always, have a prayer in your heart.

Your creator deserves no less.

How do we pray?

3 Nephi 19:6 - And the twelve did teach the multitude; and behold, they did cause that the multitude should kneel down upon the face of the earth, and should pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus.

Just talk to God. Like a friend. But talk in a respectful manner.

And pray in the name of Christ.

Do what H. Burke Peterson suggested in the above quote...

- Find a quiet place - a place where you can be alone.
- Picture and think about Who you are talking to. Do not let your mind wander.
- Confide in Him
- Ask for forgiveness
- Plead with Him
- Enjoy Him (I like this one)
- Thank Him
- Express your love to Him
- Listen for answers (important. see the story at the beginning of this post.)

Do all this... because you will be most abundantly blessed. 

Alma 37:37 - Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

P.S. I will be gone at EFY next week... so this blog will be lacking in posts from the 25th to the 30th. I am, however, planning on letting Blogger auto-post a few videos for you throughout the week. So tune in! I am sharing an awesome video about selfless softball players... and probably a couple of others... Maybe just some of my favorite I'm a Mormon videos.

Anyways, Have a lovely week, and I will see you when I get back! No doubt I will have gained lots of new ideas and thoughts to share with you!

Friday, June 15, 2012

You Matter To Him.

"And worlds without number have I created..." [Moses 1:33]

     It's hard to comprehend the size of the universe.

     It's actually pretty much impossible with our earthly perspective.

"...always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness," King Benjamin said.    [Mosiah 4:11]

     And yet...

The worth of souls is great in the sight of God.

We are God's work and glory. He created the universe for us. For you.

"This is a paradox of man: compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God. While against the backdrop of infinite creation we may appear to be nothing, we have a spark of eternal fire burning within our breast. We have the incomprehensible promise of exaltation—worlds without end—within our grasp. And it is God’s great desire to help us reach it."
-- President Uchtdorf

Never EVER forget that God's love for you is endless.
Flaws and all, He loves you unconditionally.

If bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man is God's work and glory...
Don't think He would leave you in the dark and let you figure out how to make that happen on your own.

 He is with you every step of the way.

As much as you want to make it back to Him...
He wants you to make it back even more.

He is counting on you to try your hardest and to be the absolute best you can be at all times and in all things and in all places.

He has given us agency, trusting that we will not abuse that privilege.

We have all been given the task of bringing souls unto Him.
Surely our God would commission the very best souls for such an important job.

And you are one of those souls.

Trust me, my friends, no matter how small you may sometimes feel... you matter to Him.

P.S. Remember the video clip from Hugo that I embedded in this post? Yeah. I just realized that it sorta correlates with this post that you just read. So yeah. Go watch it now!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Finding the Perfect Balance

I like reading this book...

And I like reading other books... such as these. 

I like to spend time with my family...
And I like spending time with my friends!

I like going out and I like staying in.
I like school, but sometimes I like sleeping in at home.
I spend time working hard, but I also spend time being lazy.
I like getting up to go to church, and I also like coming home and eating dinner.

Check out this picture that I saw... I think on Facebook...

I love how this picture depicts our Prophet's carefree side.

Okay. My point.

There are times when you need to be serious. There are times when you need to work hard.

And then there are times when you can be silly and times when you can be lazy.

Find a balance in your life.

When you find that balance, you will enjoy life much more fully.

It is important to be living the gospel every day.

It is important to always have a prayerful heart.

Haha... but you should know that I don't spend my whole day every day reading my scriptures.

I just spend a little slice of my day reading my scriptures.

And a slice praying.

And a slice practicing the piano.

And a (bigger) slice at school.

And a slice watching TV...

It's the same concept as having a balanced diet.

When you start feeling tired or stressed out,

try re-balancing things...

And see if you feel better.

I'm willing to bet that you probably will.

And so... here's to re-balancing things for the summer!!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Finding The Silver Lining

“Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.”
- Maurice Setter

Life isn't easy for anyone. 

I think that a lot of people forget that sometimes. 

Hard things may come up in your life, and they will.

Maybe you will even have to deal with really hard things. 

And it is sometimes really hard to filter through all the bad and find the good.

But it's possible. 

Often you will discover that the silver lining was right under your nose the whole time, it just took you a long time to decide to look.

Yes. Decide to look.

Because whether or not your trials strengthen you... well, that is your choice.

One thing that I've found you can gain from just about any trial... is perspective.

You gain a different and more beautiful view on life.

You're given a chance to reevaluate your priorities and see if you like where they lie. 

And if you do... well, that's great.

But more often than not, you find that you should probably update that list of priorities a little bit.

And that's a good thing.

The chance to gain a new perspective and take a look at your priorities...

Well, that's a silver lining.

And a pretty hefty one.

See how this guy uses his trials to give him perspective...

Be grateful for what you have.

Because there is pretty much always, always someone who is going through the same trial you are going through.

And there are always going to be people who are in a worse position than you are.

And remember this:

No matter how dark and hopeless things seem...

There is always a silver lining.

And if you can't see it right now, then you can't.

But hopefully you will be able to later, and hopefully you will be able to look back on your trial and see how it strengthened you.

Remember that good things come to those that wait,

And that in the end, all will be well.

(Please watch the video embedded in this post...)
It's fantastic.

- Never forget your identity... and never forget your purpose.

You were put on this earth to succeed.

So be strong... and make that success a reality.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

You Never Know...

Story time.



I would like to go back in thought to my native Holland where six generations of my father’s ancestors lived in the little village of Scheveningen at the seashore. They were fishermen or had other related vocations, like fishing-boat builders, sailmakers, or fishing-net repairmen. Many of them were also involved in the voluntary but hazardous task of lifesaving. They were stouthearted, experienced men who always were ready to man the rowing lifeboats to go on a rescue mission. With every westerly gale that blew, some fishing boats ran into difficulties, and many times the sailors had to cling to the rigging of their stricken ships in a desperate fight to escape inevitable drowning. Year after year the sea claimed its victims.
On one occasion during a severe storm, a ship was in distress, and a rowboat went out to rescue the crew of the fishing boat. The waves were enormous, and each of the men at the oars had to give all his strength and energy to reach the unfortunate sailors in the grim darkness of the night and the heavy rainstorm.
The trip to the wrecked ship was successful, but the rowboat was too small to take the whole crew in one rescue operation. One man had to stay behind on board because there simply was no room for him; the risk that the rescue boat would capsize was too great. When the rescuers made it back to the beach, hundreds of people were waiting for them with torches to guide them in the dreary night. But the same crew could not make the second trip because they were exhausted from their fight with the stormwinds, the waves, and the sweeping rains.
So the local captain of the coast guard asked for volunteers to make a second trip. Among those who stepped forward without hesitation was a nineteen-year-old youth by the name of Hans. With his mother he had come to the beach in his oilskin clothes to watch the rescue operation.
When Hans stepped forward his mother panicked and said, “Hans, please don’t go. Your father died at sea when you were four years old and your older brother Pete has been reported missing at sea for more than three months now. You are the only son left to me!”
But Hans said, “Mom, I feel I have to do it. It is my duty.” And the mother wept and restlessly started pacing the beach when Hans boarded the rowing boat, took the oars, and disappeared into the night.
After a struggle with the high-going seas that lasted for more than an hour (and to Hans’s mother it seemed an eternity), the rowboat came into sight again. When the rescuers had approached the beach close enough so that the captain of the coast guard could reach them by shouting, he cupped his hands around his mouth and called vigorously against the storm, “Did you save him?”
And then the people lighting the sea with their torches saw Hans rise from his rowing bench, and he shouted with all his might, “Yes! And tell Mother it is my brother Pete!”
     Keep in mind... when helping a stranger...
     They may not be your father or brother or grandparent...
     But they are someone else's.

     And I'm sure that they - and their families - are very grateful.

      So be helpful and reach out. 


     Even to those people you do not know.

     (And maybe those you do know...)

P.S. For those of you that know Lonestar at all... is Somebody's Someone stuck in your head now? Probably just me... :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Go About Doing Good

No matter who you are...

No matter how old you are...

It doesn't matter where you live...

Or how much money you have...

Or how busy your life seems...

It doesn't matter what religion you are...

There is good for you to do.

Be it something big or small, there is always an opportunity available to serve someone else.

Because if you bear someone else's burden when they can't do it on their own... you will be more abundantly blessed.

And then you will have people to bear you up when your burdens are too heavy to carry.

Do little acts of service.

Even things that could look like nothing to you... could mean the world to someone else.


Go about doing good... just like our Savior did.

Because you could change a life without even realizing it.


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