Sunday, December 30, 2012

a goal we all can agree on

When I was a young kid, my bedtime was 8:30 every night. Bedtime consisted of putting on a nightgown and/or footie pajamas, brushing my teeth, and usually having my mom braid my hair so it would be wavy in the morning. 

My parents had their time together downstairs, and I was confined to my room, trying to pick out the words I could barely hear coming from the TV. 
When I got to seventh grade, I remember a friend of mine telling me how they had gone to bed at 11:30 after trying to get an assignment done. My eyes widened as I repeated her words... "eleven-thirty??" My bedtime may have been upped to 10:00, but a bedtime that late was a New Year's Eve type of thing. 

I don't really know what changed after that, but eventually my bedtime seemed to be all but forgotten as I scrambled to get last-minute assignments done every night. It was there in theory, but wasn't enforced as much, especially as the years went on. 

Fast forward to today, and you will find my whole family in bed, with me still up and about, almost every night. 

Or sometimes I shut myself in my room after getting ready for bed with all my homework that is still unfinished. I light a candle and cherish the knowledge thateven though I still have homework, I won't have to leave that wonderful little place for the rest of the night. 
Or, during the summer, I stay up watching Monk and Drop Dead Diva on Netflix until it is 3am. 

And I came to the realization one day, that I am a huge night owl. Even as a high schooler, on the nights I desperately want to sleep, I can't. I guess I'm just wired differently now.

But even though I am a walking zombie at school occasionally, I love being up alone at night. What used to be my parents' alone time, has now become mine. (sorry guys!)

There is something about being alone, surrounded by quiet and peace, that soothes the soul. It fills you up. It brings you nearer to God. 

I look forward to these hours of recluse, and I wish we could all make time for ourselves... time to just be alone. Time to feel the Spirit. Not out of selfishness. Quite the contrary, actually. A boost in spirit helps us when we need patience. Having some alone time to look forward to makes it easier to spend more quality time with others during the other hours of the day. 

I think the human mind is a very complex, beautiful thing. It never stops working, moving, or thinking...  Never stops stressing, never relaxes until we make a conscious effort to make it calm down. 

And when I do make a conscious effort, I receive happiness and peace in return.  

Let's switch gears for a second. 

I would pride myself in never breaking a new year's resolution, but that's because I try not to make them. There is something about a goal that freaks me out. It's the same reason I made goals like turn in my homework on time during parent-teacher conferences as a kid. I always turned my homework in on time. So there was no chance of failure. I didn't even need to change my ways at all.

Maybe I'm just a no-good, lazy teenager, but I hate making goals. I tend to want results without putting forth the work.

But happiness is a goal even I can work towards. Because I get so stressed with homework and piano and other day to day activities sometimes. And it's not that I'm not happy, I just too often spend more time worrying than enjoying the journey.
And maybe my mind will get into the habit of being calm, and I will have to remind it less and less.

And I won't have to be alone - or away from other cares - to be calm and happy.

Indeed, even a new year's resolution I can handle. 

What are your new year's resolutions this year?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

you MUST go see.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

I know this guy did...

Cutest guy ever. This video makes you want to cry.

Anyways, I actually wanted to talk about this...

Oh my gosh.

Les Miserables is my favorite musical ever, and I have been listening to the music since I was three.

And if you don't remember me blogging about it before school even started, I have never been more excited for a movie in my life.

So me and Sydney very, very excitedly went last night.

We even took a pic of us by the poster, but it was outside and at 1:00 in the morning, so it's crappy.

The movie was incredible. i.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e.

It was everything I hoped for and more, and even the singers I was worried about ended up doing great.

And whoever decided to have the actors sing live while filming was a genius. 
Because they sang with so much emotion, and quite honestly, I'm shocked it was live because they all sounded so fabulous.

And it's one of those movies that is so moving, and you feel so uplifted when you leave. (Kinda like Lincoln was, but better... ) :) We all even clapped at the end.

And we might as well just give the Oscar to Anne Hathaway right now. To say she was the best Fantine there has ever been is a huge understatement.

Oh and Hugh Jackman did fabulous as well.

EEeeeee!!! I just loved it. Go see it asap!!!

Plus now I'm in the Les Miserables mood so I've been listening to the new soundtrack all day and I think I'm going to spend some quality time with the book tonight.

Have a great day! Talk to me after you've watched the movie. :D

Monday, December 24, 2012

wise men still seek him

Merry Christmas everyone.

I hope that the Christmas Spirit touches your heart and that you will remember the reason for the season.

Remember HIM who came to save the world. To save you.

And let the joy and love that is the Christmas Spirit touch you and carry you through the rest of the year.

It's a wonderful feeling - and everyone feels it. Christians, Jews, non-religios folks... everyone, I think, is touched by the holidays.

And if someone could always feel that holiday joy radiating off of you... even during, say July... think how many people you could touch. Think how many people you could bring to the gospel.

Mmmm it's a nice thought.


Have a wonderful day tomorrow.

Spend it with family and friends and keep in mind all that your Savior has given you.

You guys are awesome.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

lord have mercy

This song is incredible. 

100% of proceeds go to the Emilie Parker family fund. You can buy the video or just the song here.

P.S. Yesterday was the greatest day of my life.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

what legacy will be YOURS??

"Every once in a while when we look up at the stars, we get a glimpse of the scale that's beyond the human scale, and it's fascinating and great," - Klaus Volpert

Do you ever feel... just lost in the sea of humanity?

Up until a few years ago, I never realized how big the world truly is. How insignificant I am - and how pretty much nothing is in my control.

I can see light and darkness all around me. In the people all around me.
And then - well, what am I? Who am I exactly in this sea of humanity?

And why am I here? I breathe the air. I learn from brilliant minds and I am touched by the love of others. So what do I owe the world in exchange for all this?

And God is the reason I exist. He is the reason the whole world exists.

So what do I owe him for that?


"You are good. But it's not enough just to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence. And the good that is in you must be spread to others."—Gordon B. Hinkley


We only have a few short years to live this life - and an eternity to remember it.

By serving I can become good for something. I will help the people around me.

Even with small things. Because you truly never know - never have any idea - how your actions and words affect those around you.

Have you ever wondered of your legacy?

Will people remember who you are after you've died? Will they hear your name and think "I am grateful to her..."?

And what people? Many or just a few?

Do you think people might read my name generations from now and wonder if I laughed, cried, told jokes, did math... if I believed in Jesus?

Well they might not need to wonder. Could you leave a legacy that lasts for generations?

I believe that even if you touch one human heart - one of God's precious souls -

Well, what a beautiful legacy. Because not only will those people remember you, they will tell of you.

Your body may not live forever... let's face it, everyone dies.
The hope is that we will create something that will live forever.

You can continue to serve and inspire people even after your death.

So create many beautiful moments, beautiful memories, beautiful friendships, and a beautiful love of people and of God.

Because giving back is the Christmas spirit.

And by giving back, you create a Legacy. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

please pray for all affected.

Wow. What a contrast to my last post (found here).

I pray for all those who were affected by today's shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

I think tragedies like this realistically affect everyone. This sickened and frightened... and saddened the entire country. And everyone who heard about it.

So pray for peace and understanding and acceptance. And a renewed motivation to do better and to be better so that tomorrow - and all the tomorrows after that - the world will be brighter and more beautiful than today.

And pray especially hard for the families and loved ones of those sweet kids and teachers.

And never cease to find the good in the world.

Those who serve and love.

The ones who end suffering. End hunger. End sadness and abuse.

‎"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world." ~ Fred Rogers

May we all strive to be caring people who hope for hope and find the strength to be strong.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

here's to twenty twelve.

This video gives me the chills.

I love the innovation, the uniqueness, the brilliancy, and the passion that is the human race.

On one side, it is true that our world has become a very secular and sometimes scary place...

But then I see things like this and I am in awe of how beautiful our imperfect world is.

This is my generation.

It is different from my father's.
(He looked at me with serious confusion when I mentioned Apple fired the creator of Apple Maps. Like I was crazy or something. Get with the times, dad! You have an iPhone and haven't heard of Crapple Maps???)

Okay. That was a tangent.

My generation - and the ones to come - will be very different from my grandma's. And her grandma's.

And I love it. 

I love the human mind and how advanced it is.

And I love how passionate people are - how new heights (literally and figuratively) are being reached every day.

I know we've got a few weeks left...

But here's to 2012.

Monday, December 10, 2012

no. excuses.

No, this isn't a post on chastity. :)

And I love the music they use in the backgrounds of these videos. :)


Elder Holland kinda calls out all the young men in this video... but of course, this can apply to many, many people. Not just young men who hold the Priesthood. :)

In the beginning when I first watched it, I felt all guilty and thought of what a terrible person I am... haha. But it ends happy and has a very good message.

"This is a life and death contest we're in, young men."

When I watch this video, it hits home what an important battle I am fighting... the outcome of this battle doesn't just affect my life. It affects my eternity. It affects the eternities of those around me.

And the straight path... it truly is narrow. And you really have to work if you want to achieve your eternal goals. They won't just be handed to you... of this, I am certain.

We talked a little about lame excuses in seminary today...


Luke 14

 15 - And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.
 16 - Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
 17 - And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
 18 - And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
 19 - And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
 20 - And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

24 - For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.


So... we decided that "I have married a wife" was the lamest of the three excuses for why the men couldn't come to supper. :)

You know, I try really hard not to be too blunt when blogging. But I like how Elder Holland... well, he really is pretty blunt sometimes.

Because, as he said, nothing else seems to work.

To be honest, there are a lot of things I don't know.
I don't know what my future holds - or what yours holds.

But I know that my God doesn't want excuses.

He wants no more Oh I'll go to church every week and I believe everything I hear... but that's enough spirituality until next Sunday.

No more Oh I'll tell my kids the scriptures are true, but I don't need to read them. 

No more then I'll repent or I'll start praying tomorrow.

He isn't in need of hearers only.

Our God needs DOERS!!!

Think of the Conference talks we have heard just recently.

We have sheep to feed.

Lives to bless.

People to save.

We have work to do! And now is the time to be fully converted!

No more excuses.

No more hypocrisy.

(Not saying you are a hypocrite and of course I am not exempt!)

There are people out there who need you.

They need the Gospel and you are the one meant to bring this Good News to them.

So do good.

Be good.

And show your gratitude for God - and for all that He has given you.

And do whatever it takes to become truly converted so you can fight this battle.

no. more. excuses.

Because I have chosen to fight for what is right.

And I need you on my side.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

be as the publican.

True merit, like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes. 
- Edward Frederick Lindley Wood 1st Earl Of Halifax (<--- I had to copy and paste that... quite the name!)

Alright. I read some brilliant scriptures this morning that are inspiring this post. Let's start with those.

Luke 18
10 - Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 - The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 - I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 - And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 - I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

I love these verses.

Because when asked what I've learned from my sins,
Well, yes I've learned to repent. I've learned to do things differently next time.
But what I've learned the most is to be humble.

I make mistakes.
I am not always obedient.
I rely on the Atonement so much.

And I wonder... what would I be without God? 

I would be nothing.

Yes - I make mistakes.
And I am grateful for sin. I am grateful for all the knowledge that I don't have. I am grateful for people who have less than I do and are more grateful than me and people who work harder than me.

Because all these are constant reminders that I need to be humble.

I am grateful for a merciful God who loves me regardless of my flaws.

And I am grateful for my flaws for making me a better person who tries to live with a better perspective.

P.S. How is my blog showing up on your computer? I am having a hard time deciding what width to make it... I have a widescreen computer and I don't know if it looks too wide on your computer?
And I kinda dig the three-column layout, but I changed it, thinking it was maybe kinda throwing things off...
Ugh. I don't know. I'm an amateur with these things.

Monday, December 3, 2012

i'm feeling christmasy.

I really dig these pictures from some reason... :)

So in the spirit of Christmas, after we just watched the Christmas Devotional last night (here), I wanted to do a Christmasy post.

Because I love Christmas.

I love the music...
the snow...
the music...
the christmas lights outside...
hot chocolate
the music
the feeling in the air
the cold outside...
I love boots...
and the fact that people get a little more humane this time of year :)
and I love love White Christmas. I've already watched it twice.

(Did I mention I love the music?)

A fabulous lady in my ward shared the following video on Facebook...

I love myself a good flash mob, especially the kind where everyone kinda joins in... But a Christmas one? I'm sold. Let's do one.

Ooooh don't you get the chills big time when you watch that? I can feel the Spirit when I watch that.

Mmmm.... Christmas.

What a perfect time to renew your relationship with your Savior if needed.

Because His birth is truly what we celebrate - the Child who came to save all.

And He came in a manger.

So I will fall on my knees and I will worship Him whose birth the angels sing. 
(name those songs. hee.)

Let's do what President Uchtdorf said - and be gracious and grateful receivers.
Let's do what President Eyring said - and give gifts that will create feelings of love and joy.

And let's do what our Prophet said. Let's remember Him. Let us love and serve. And be thoughtful and make others happy.
Let's give without a thought of getting.
Let's seek the star.
Travel to Bethlehem.

Seek the Savior.

Let's let the Spirit of Christmas enter into our hearts.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

a stone of stumbling.

I shared this quote in a devotional I did in seminary the other day (from my favorite talk ever that you can read here)...

"I testify that one cannot come to full faith in this latter-day work—and thereby find the fullest measure of peace and comfort in these, our times—until he or she embraces the divinity of the Book of Mormon and the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom it testifies. If anyone is foolish enough or misled enough to reject 531 pages of a heretofore unknown text teeming with literary and Semitic complexity without honestly attempting to account for the origin of those pages—especially without accounting for their powerful witness of Jesus Christ and the profound spiritual impact that witness has had on what is now tens of millions of readers—if that is the case, then such a person, elect or otherwise, has been deceived; and if he or she leaves this Church, it must be done by crawling over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make that exit. In that sense the book is what Christ Himself was said to be: 'a stone of stumbling, … a rock of offence,' a barrier in the path of one who wishes not to believe in this work. Witnesses, even witnesses who were for a time hostile to Joseph, testified to their death that they had seen an angel and had handled the plates. 'They have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man,” they declared. “Wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true.'"
-Jeffrey R. Holland

Okay so I know that was a long quote... but so good, right??
I underlined my favorite parts... oh, and you really should hear him give the talk. He is such a good speaker. I'm sure you could find it on youtube... the talk is called Safety for the Soul

So I wanted to do a post on the Book of Mormon because it is just such a blessing in my life and a major - and often misunderstood - part of our gospel.

I love this picture. 

You know, people sometimes find it hard to follow the Book of Mormon and don't learn from it the way they could. 
Ha. Who am I kidding? Me included.

But the Book of Mormon is so cool. It is a history book. 
Something I think is so cool is that this great book - well - makes perfect sense. 

Let me explain. We believe that the Book of Mormon is the record of the people living in the Americas in ancient days... The Old and New Testaments - the Bible - aren't set in North or South America. But people were there. 

And after Christ was resurrected, He appeared to them. 

It's such a cool record - and explains what went on among the Ancient Americas. See? History book. We just got it later than we got the Bible. 

Until 1827, the records were simply buried in the ground. 

I mean, even thinking it out logically it still makes sense to me. And reading it - praying about it - just seals the deal. 

When I went to Nauvoo and later to Kirtland visiting some church history sites, I learned a little about a group of people that broke off of our church a long time ago because after Joseph died, they didn't believe Brigham Young was a prophet. They created a completely separate church from ours that still exists today. 

Anyways. My point in this is that that church still claims to believe in the Book of Mormon. They were selling copies, in fact. 

There are so many things wrong with this in my mind. ha. But one thing I thought was interesting was that those people still didn't deny the Book of Mormon. Even if they don't practice their religion in the way I believe the Book of Mormon teaches - they don't deny its truthfulness. 

One of my favorite parts of the very first quote was when he said that to leave this church you would have to crawl over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make your exit. 

The witness of Jesus Christ it contains simply Cannot. Be. Denied. Because of this, it should act as a barrier. 

I guess they wanted to leave the church, so they took the Book of Mormon with them! Dumb loopholes. jk haha.

And now, in our day, this precious, absolutely true book is being attacked from all sides. 

So what do we do about it? 

I love one action the Church took. 

They bought ad space in the Broadway show The Book of Mormon's play books. 

They sought out a way they could make this a somewhat positive thing. And I have to say, I think those ads are pretty sweet. 

Anyways. Don't get all ticked off. People just don't know. 

So explain. Understand. Share your testimony. 

Because a testimony of the Book of Mormon is something I wish everyone could have in their life.

So be grateful for this wonderful book! Try to see it as a history of your people (whether they are technically your ancestors or not)!

See it as a blessing from God. An undeniable truth. A constant in your life. 

And you will be so incredibly blessed and learn so much. 

This I know. 

And I promise you can know too.


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