Monday, November 28, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

So this past week I had the lovely opportunity to travel to the beautiful town of Parowan, Utah for Thanksgiving with my parents and sisters.  I went boarding, hung out with friends, and had a good time.  It was a typical Thanksgiving feast, and of course we were laughing before the prayer even began, nothing too out of the ordinary.  Except maybe the fact that Tay wrecked her car on some black ice and took out a tree and lost some essential parts to her car.  I wrecked the four wheeler, and dad rolled his jeep.  

Oh and I got a good fortune in my fortune cookie for once.  But rather than that, it was a pretty normal week.  No one was injured too badly, except maybe some vehicles, and through all of that I guess I really have been thinking a lot about gratitude.

A sister at church today said, "Grateful People are Happy People."  I really started thinking about how true that statement is.  I am the most happy, when I am grateful for my blessings.  It was just a profound statement I guess. 

 But I also loved a saying I came across the other day that said, "What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?"  I found that like a day or two before Thanksgiving. Let's just say it gave me the motivation I needed to re evaluate how my prayers had been going and make the resolution to be more thankful.

And one last thing I heard today at church really struck a chord with me.  A counselor in our Bishopric was telling a story about a bus driver he had become acquainted with.  He asked the bus driver one day, How are you doing today?"  And the bus driver said, "I am too blessed to be stressed, and too anointed to be disappointed!" 

I loved that. What that bus driver said I feel like has changed my life today.  I am truly so blessed with so many blessings.  When I have an attitude of gratitude I don't have any reason to stress or get worked up.  I truly have seen over the past week that I am a happier person when I am grateful.

(OK, So I am still waiting for this to come true.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happiness Happens.....

I haven't posted in a long time, and its definitely not because I am too busy.  Mostly it is because I forgot for a short while that I had a blog.  Whoops! And then today I randomly remembered, or maybe I was tired of looking for jobs and working on my resume so I looked for any distraction and my blog came to my mind.  Eh, it is what it is.

So my thought today comes from a scripture in Mormon 9:14.  The last part of this verse stuck out to me.  It says, "...he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still."
(Don't these little penguins look oh so happy, I love it.)

I've been pondering on this, and today it dawned on me that if we cannot figure out how to get happy in this life, then we are not going to be happy in the next.  I think about being happy a lot, because I see so many unhappy people.  I know it's hard times, and the world sucks sometimes, but there is so much to be happy about.

I feel I am relatively happy and I attribute my happiness to the single fact that I know God loves me, and I know for a fact He did not send me, or anyone else for that matter, here to earth to be miserable.  He just would not do that.

 I had this epiphany today when I started getting a bit frustrated and cranky.  I guess I just realized that no matter what happens, if we want to be eternally happy, we had better get happy now.  Plus there is always something to be happy about! 

For example like the fact that Elder Beckwith comes home in 52 days, I am excited to say the least!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Glass Half Full

I read signs a lot while I am driving.  It's rather annoying actually.  But I passed a sign the other day that said, "It's a glass half full kinda day."

I read that and smiled and thought, ya it is.  The sun was shining, I just finished watching conference, which was amazing by the way, and was driving in my new car.  It really was a good day. 

Each day has the potential to be great.  I mean shoot yesterday morning I went out running, and it started pouring rain, and I got soaked.  What a bummer, I was wet, but hey I got to end my run early.  (Maybe I am just lazy).  Still haven't found a job, haven't really looked too hard either, but hey my dad takes me out to lunch just about every day.  I mean really does life get any better than that? 

I've just decided each day is a glass half full kinda day, it's all about how ya look at it. 

(Random picture of Scott, but hey he looks like he's having a glass half full kinda day!)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Charity Never Faileth

So I have been home from Philly for three weeks now.  I am officially a returned missionary and it is the weirdest thing! But I am home with my family, it feels good, and I am glad to be here, even if I still miss Philly a lot. 

I learned over my mission that charity and love truly are the greatest Christ like attributes we can obtain in this life.  I learned on my mission how important it is that we love people regardless of who they are, what their background is, or where they are at in life.  I now understand that if we love people as the Savior does, then we will find joy in our own lives. 

Moron 7:46 says, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth.  Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail."

I love being home.  I loved my mission.  I love everyone I have met, and I am making it a point to love every person that I meet from here on out, because I truly know that without charity and love, I will fail. 


Friday, August 26, 2011

Going Home...

 In Mark chapter 5 the story is told of Christ casting out a legion of devils that were in a bunch of swine. There were a lot of people who witnessed this and after they witnessed the miracle, Christ said unto the people, "Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee" (Mark 5:19).

I was pondering on this story and how Christ always invites us to share with others the miracles and the great things that He is constantly doing for each and every one of us.  I have been reflecting a lot lately on this, because in a few days I will be returning home to my friends and my family.  I wonder what it will be like to no longer be a full time missionary.  It is almost hard to remember what it is like to not be a missionary.  I find myself wondering and worrying about what I will talk with people about, what will I do, etc. 

 But when I read this account I realized that I love what the counsel the Savior gives.  I realized that I am going to do exactly as the Savior asks.  I cannot wait to go home and tell everyone I know how many miracles I have witnessed as a missionary.  How many amazing people I have met, and how many lives I have seen changed for the better because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He has been a part my mission here in Philadelphia, and that He always has and always will be watching over me.  I will continue to look for the miracles in my life, and cannot wait to see how the Lord will continue to bless me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Stuff Happens..

In college a friend and I had the bright idea of entering a cardboard boat race.  We spent about 3 days building a cardboard boat made from simply duck tape and cardboard.  It took us about 14 rolls of duck tape.  I don't even know how we managed to make it float, but by a miracle it held our weight and we managed to compete in the race. 
We started off pretty well, and on the last stretch, we were one of the few boats that managed to stay afloat.  Then we hit trouble, and got knocked out of our boat.  

Somehow we managed to get back in the boat, with minor difficulties, me getting kicked in the face mainly, but we eventually made it to the finish line.

So I was thinking about this story, and how ridiculous it was that I volunteered to participate in a cardboard boat race, but I must admit that this race does in fact relate to real life.   Stuff happens!

In life as in my cardboard boat race, we crashed, I got kicked in the face, and we definitely didn't know what the outcome would be,  or if we would even float, but that was all part of the journey.  And I enjoyed it none the less. 

Life is exciting at times, it definitely has its ups and downs, but when we fall down, we have to get back up and keep going.  The finish line in life is returning to live with our Heavenly Father, and I know that everyone can reach that goal. 

It does take work and at times it is difficult, but the Lord always makes a way.  Nephi, a prophet in The Book of Mormon said, "...I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them" (1 Nephi 3:7).

I know that the Lord always provides away to accomplish the things he asks us to do.  And sometimes He, even helps us accomplish the silly things we want to do, like finish a cardboard boat race. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Stress is a mess!

Ever felt kind of like this? 

I have decided I hate stress!  And unfortunately I cannot avoid it.  I have days where I just crash and burn because I just can't take it anymore.  Those days usually end with me asleep on the floor after a long day of working. 
I feel stress just about everyday.  But today Sister Warner and I were driving in the car and I realized that 'why worry, why stress?' the Lord is on my side. 

Life gets crazy and it's hectic but this life is but a small moment, and when I really think about it, in the eternal scheme of things, most things I stress over, don't really matter after all. 

I bought my mother a gift for Mother's Day a couple of years back and it was a tile with a quote on it by President Gordon B. Hinckley.  He said, "Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!" 

We would all do good to remember that our purpose in life is to "prepare to meet God" (Alma 34:32).  With that in mind, I have a new resolution to not stress out over the little things because after all, in 100 years, or in the eternities, will it really matter?  I am just going to enjoy the time and enjoy my life right here and right now.

Enjoy the Moment. 
At time's life's a mess, but why stress!  Smile!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Gotta Catch Em' All

So I will be completely honest, I know absolutely nothing about Pokemon.  But I know a little kid who loves Pokemon, and the other day he was giving us some of his cards as a gift.  And Sister Warner, my companion, said, "Gotta catch 'em all!"  It was a really funny because I was a bit confused.  I had no idea that was associated with Pokemon.  Apparently I'm not too up to date on things these days.
But I really like the phrase "Gotta catch 'em all!" 

I decided that "all" could refer to so many things in my life.  Seeing as I am a missionary it makes sense that "all" that I want to catch or meet, are people.  I love the gospel so much and it brings me so much joy, that I want to tell the whole world.  I don't want to let one person go by without letting them know how blessed their lives can be if they listen to the message I have to share, a message of Jesus Christ, and how he is the ultimate source of all joy

I desire to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, because it is the cure, for everyone!  No matter what our problems or dilemmas may be, with faith in Christ we can find peace.  I have found that peace in my own life and desire to share it with others.  I am heeding the Saviors call to, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Matter of Fact

I have decided that it might be possible to learn all I need to learn by simply reading bumper stickers.  It is truly amazing how much you can learn by driving around reading the genius things, and sometimes not so genius things, people put on the bumpers of their cars. 

I read a really great bumper sticker the other day that said, "A truth is still a truth even if no one believes it.  A lie is still a lie even if everyone believes it." 
I read that bumper sticker and right away related it to being a missionary and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  As a missionary all I want to do is share what I know to be truth with others.  Most days no one believes the message we want to share, but I do know that it is true and I received that confirmation of truth from my Heavenly Father.  I have not had the same experience as Joseph Smith, but I know what I know and I cannot deny the truth regardless of what the rest of the world wants to believe.  I love what Joseph Smith had to say when standing up for truth.  He said:

     "So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation" (JS-H 1:25)

I know that honesty is God's policy and the only true way to be happy and know joy.  I know that Joseph Smith did in fact see God the Father and Jesus Christ.  I know that I am a daughter of God, and that He loves me.  I know with all my heart these things are true, even when others choose to not believe me.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pioneer Day

I just realized that July 24th is Pioneer Day, and so I was thinking how a lot about pioneers, or those who were the first to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I was pondering on the many stories I have heard over the years and the challenges the early Pioneers went through. 

The early Pioneers led by example and sacrificed so much in order to have the freedom to worship God as they would like. I am so grateful for their sacrifices and example, and I am grateful for modern day pioneers. 

We are all modern day pioneers in some respect.  We may not be traveling in covered wagons across the wilderness, but we all have valleys and rivers we have to cross, and mountains we have to climb.  I know that if we keep our faith in Jesus Christ and rely on Him, we can climb our own mountains and accomplish all that we set out to do.  We can leave a heritage of sacrifice and faith for future generations.  We are all modern day pioneers! 

I know that the choices I am make today will leave a legacy for those who will come after me.  I want to set a good example and always follow the Savior.  When I make the hard choices and set a good example that I am becoming a modern day pioneer. 

Pioneer Day Commemoration Concert

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Faith is a principle of power

(John 14: 25-31)
25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer it is I; be not afraid.
 28And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith wherefore didst thou doubt?

When we have faith in Jesus Christ all things are possible.  We can do anything.  Often I feel like Peter and I have doubts or I question things.  I am finally recognizing that every time I doubt the Savior and all that He can do I start to sink and fall.  When we doubt, we are weak.  However, we can change the level of our faith by dong things that require faith. 
Throughout life I am learning that my faith is always growing.  Some days it is growing bigger and brighter, and other days it is growing backwards.  I am learning that our faith never stands still. 

As we do all that we can to strengthen our faith and trust in God, it is then that we are given power to do all that we need to do. 

 Faith is a principle of power! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Life's Precious Moments

"My dear brothers and sisters, we would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most."  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Mormon Messages just melt my heart! This video really hit the sweet spot.  I often take for granted the simple things in life.  We really have to take a look around and enjoy the moment.  Far too often I am focused on the big events in life and miss the small moments.  I am coming to realize that life is made up of a bunch of small moments.
I look back on life before my mission and realize sure there were some really great accomplishments, and really big things I did, but the things that mean the most are the memories I made while doing the day to day things.  The greatest moments in my life have been the times I have shared with friends and family. 

My family and the gospel are the two most important things in my life and I know that when we put the Lord first and then our families we will find happiness in this life.  We will find that we can do anything when we have faith in the Lord and remain obedient to Him.  With the help of loved ones and friends along the way we learn to enjoy the ride. 

We must learn to slow down and really enjoy the time we have on this earth.   We must learn to enjoy the moment no matter what the moment may bring.  We cannot take for granted the small and simple things in life.  By living the gospel we are assured happiness and peace from the Lord.  

 President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said in a talk he gave at General Conference in October 2010 "Strength comes not from frantic activity but from being settled on a firm foundation of truth and light. It comes from placing our attention and efforts on the basics of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It comes from paying attention to the divine things that matter most." "Of Things That Matter Most".)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Road Map...

Last week I had the opportunity to visit another area of the mission that I had never been to before.  It was out in the country and for our morning exercise we decided to take a jog down one of the country roads.  As I jogged that morning I was surrounded by the corn fields along side the road and miles and miles of farm land.  I loved it, but mostly I was thinking about how quiet and still it was, and how at that moment life was simple. 

However, I know just as much as anyone, that life is really not all that simple. 

I really pondered on how do I resolve all of my concerns in life.  With everything that goes on around me my constant source of strength, peace, and an endless supply of answers comes from The Book of Mormon.

For me when I am irritated, angry, sad, or confused I pick up The Book of Mormon because I know that as soon as I start reading, I will feel better.  Without fail, the book changes me everytime I read.  I feel the love of my Heavenly Father, and I receive direction.  And most of all I receive a witness that it really is the word of God.  I love The Book of Mormon and know with all my heart that it is true. 

It is my road map that is helping me get through this crazy life.  I don't know where I would be without The Book of Mormon. 

I know that the promise that is given in the beginning of The Book of Mormon is true, and give everyone the same invitation listed on the introduction page of The Book of Mormon:  

"We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost."

The Book of Mormon is the road map for each and everyone of us, and it will show us the way in everything, if we open our hearts and receive the message. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

WE are the HERO of our Story!

One of the most profound statements I have heard on my mission, came out of the mouth of a sweet 9 year old girl.  We were driving with this little girl and her mother, and this child was telling us her dreams and goals in life.  She told us that she was going to write a book someday and that the opening line to her book was going to be, "Once upon a time, I had a story to tell, and it was all mine own!"

The introduction to her book, just struck me with such power.  We all have a story to tell.  Each one of us will live our lives and each story is going to be different.  I remember thinking this little girl is so wise.   At that moment, I sat pondering in the car about my story and my life.  I sat there pondering and knowing in my heart that I am a child of God, and in my the story of my life, I am the HERO! 

American poet and writer, Carol Lynn Pearson said,“Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves.” 

 In my life, I am the one who gets to make choices and turn things around.  Everything about my story can be changed based on how I choose to live my life and react to the situations I find myself in.  I think Eleanor Roosevelt said it best about how we become the hero in our story, "We do not have to become heroes over night. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down."

Throughout life, my story will continue and each day I will come to understand more and more that I am a Child of God, and that the decisions I make will either lead me closer to my Father in Heaven or further away.  But I will always remember, that as I make the right choices I become the hero in my story.  And the best part about my story and potentially every one's story is we can be with our Heavenly Father again and live "Happily Ever After." 

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave a talk to the young women of the church in April 2010 about how trials are a part of reaching our "Happily Ever After."  I love this talk and know that as we strive to keep the Lord's commandment and follow the example of the Savior we will find eternal happiness.  Just like the prophet Nephi and his family, we too can "live after the manner of happiness" (2 Nephi 5:27)

"Happily Ever After"- President Uchtdorf

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ode to Fathers

I know it's after Father's Day, but I have been thinking a lot about my own father lately.  Of all the people I know and that are apart of my life, he is, hands down, the greatest man I have ever met.  Fathers are to live as an example to their families and provide for them in every way, temporally and spiritually. 

Through the example of my own father I know that I am a daughter of Heavenly Father.  I know how to make right decisions and I know my potential.  My father along with many others has shown me what it means to really give of ourselves and love others.  Elder Christofferson said this about true men and fathers,

"Though he will make some sacrifices and deny himself some pleasures in the course of honoring his commitments, the true man leads a rewarding life. He gives much, but he receives more, and he lives content in the approval of his Heavenly Father. The life of true manhood is the good life."

True men and fathers follow Jesus Christ and always are giving to others. 

Jesus said in Matthew 22:36-39, "Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

I love my earthly father, my Heavenly Father, and all fathers that do all they can to teach their children how to love others and how to return to live with our Heavenly Father.  Happy Father's Day!

Here is a part of a talk that Elder D. Todd Christofferson gave about being true men.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Cowardly Lion: "Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the "ape" in apricot? What have they got that I ain't got?"

Dorothy, Scarecrow, and Tin Man: Courage!

There are days when I feel like the cowardly lion and I am lacking courage.  I have moments where I am terrified to talk to people, or answer someone's question for fear of saying the wrong thing.  I fear all sorts of things and there are a billion other things I could fear, but having courage means that I have to be fearless!

In the bible Joshua states, "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest" (Joshua 1:9).

A prophet of the Lord commands us to have courage. We have the Lord on our side and do not need to fear life or the unexpected that lies ahead.  We are all children of God and are entitled to greatness and the courage to face the future with confidence. 

 I love what the Young Women General Presidency have said, "Whatever your circumstances, you were born to lead in your family, in your school, and in your community. So this year, be strong, have courage, and make a difference in the world! You are not alone. Heavenly Father will hear and answer your prayers and guide your actions as you remain pure and worthy of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost." ("Have Courage: Lead Out in the Cause of Virtue!" New Era, Jan. 2010, 6.)

We are all somebody great, and the Lord is on our side supporting us and helping us along the way. We can have the courage to do anything the Lord calls us to do.  So how do we get the courage we need in this life?  The Young Women General Presidency tells us how.  They said, "Your courage to lead will come as you live the standards, make correct choices, and follow the prophet. Your strength will come as you strive daily to increase your testimony of the Savior by praying and reading in the Book of Mormon."

Like everything in life, it's doing the daily simple things that draw us closer to Heavenly Father that will bring us more courage, more faith, more happiness, and eventually eternal joy.  I am grateful to a Heavenly Father who is always trying to help us be better and stronger.  He requires us to have courage, along with a lot of other virtues and talents, but He is always helping us acquire the things He requires.  It's a beautiful plan.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What can the Gospel do for You?

Before coming on my mission I studied advertising at college.  Needless to say commercial jingles and different products and companies slogans always come to mind.  I am pretty sure at least once a day while we are either out knocking on doors or driving around we see a UPS truck truck delivering it's packages.  And everytime we see the UPS truck I have to say, "What can Brown do for you?"

Most companies want to portray themselves either offering a reliable service or product, something that will benefit our lives.  I was thinking the other day about this UPS slogan, and I really started thinking about the gospel has done for me.  The question came to mind, "What can the Gospel do for you?"

I have come up with a simple list of what the gospel does for me, and what it can do for all of us.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ:
*Brings peace and happiness
*Allows family relationships to last forever
*Gives us an understanding of who we really are and how great our potential is
*Allows us the chance to return to live with our Heavenly Father forever.


I am so grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It really is what brings me the most joy in my life.  I am a daughter of God, and I know that He loves me!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We're All On the Same Team

If this isn't inspiring, I don't know what is.  I just loved this clip.  I know that no matter what stage of life we are in, how old we are, where we live, who our friends are, the gospel is for everyone.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints blesses all people.  The gospel helps us all and is truly the only way to find happiness.  This video makes me smile, because these teenagers get it.  They both understand that the gospel is the most important thing in life. 

Brandon found that the gospel helped him change, and Teren loved the gospel and understood how it helps us all change and be happy.  We are all just like these two teenagers.  We are either like Brandon and searching for truth and happines, or we are like Teren and we know what true happiness comes from living and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I feel like Teren everyday.  I know how great it is to share the gospel, to share the thing that makes me the most happy with others.  There is nothing greater than the gospel.  Joseph Smith and others in the church received revelation from the Lord about how sharing the gospel and inviting people to change will make us feel.

The Lord said to them, "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!  And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me"(D&C 18:15-16).

I often think that the one soul that repents and comes unto Christ is us.  Once we accept and follow Jesus Christ through baptism by immersion by someone holding the priesthood authority of God, we are then responsible to share the gospel with others so they too can find joy in this life.  And the Lord's promise to Joseph Smith is also promised to us when we share His Gospel, "Great will be your joy."

I know without a doubt that inviting others to repent and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ truly bring the greatest joy.  I see it everyday, and I love it! 

We're all on the same team here.  We are here to help each other make it back to our Heavenly Father, and following Jesus Christ is the only way back.  "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Embrace it! Embrace Life!

President Thomas S. Monson said, "Life's journey is not traveled on a freeway devoid of obstacles, pitfalls, and snares. Rather, it is a pathway marked by forks and turnings. Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed: the courage to say, 'No,' the courage to say, 'Yes,' Decisions do determine destiny. The call for courage comes constantly to each of us. It has ever been so, and so shall it ever be."

Life is a journey.  There are bumps in the road, hard times come, but each day we wake up and we have to decide whether or not we are going to get out of bed, and make it the best day, or the worst day.  Just like the newsies sing in Disney's Newsies, we must "Seize the Day." 

Each day is a day to wake up and turn it all around.  Life gets hard, life gets crazy, but we get to choose what we are going to do with the rough path.  Do we put our trust in God?  Do we laugh at the hard things?  Do we ask for help when we need it?  Do we make the hard decisions?  Life will not go as we want it to.  But that does not give us an excuse to give up just because things are hard.  Just like President Monson has said, when the rough times come we have to keep making the right decisions, hard and painful as they may be.

In college when I would complain about life, or school, or whatever seemed to be going wrong at the time, my sister would always say to me, "Embrace It."  Just enjoy it.  We only will be where we are for a short time.  So we have to embrace it.  Embrace the struggles, the curves, the things you don't plan for.  Take the challenges that come and find a way to deal with it. 

Often times the biggest decision we have to make is the decision to be happy.  At the very beginning of my mission I got a letter from my very wise father.  He wrote something that really changed  my perspective and attitude about my mission, and about life.  He said, "You choose what kind of day it's going to be.  Each day choose to make it the best day.  And always keep smiling!"  

He probably doesn't know it, but that changed my mission, that changed me as a person and how I view decisions.  Things have gotten hard at times, and they will continue to be hard the rest of my mission and the rest of my life I am sure.  But Heavenly Father has given us all the great ability to have choice.  We get to choose to be happy.  We get to choose what kind of day we are going to have. 

2 Nephi 10:23 in the Book of Mormon says, "Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life."

This scripture inspired the name of this blog, it's kind of become my life motto.  We have choice!  We have the wonderful ability, to get over the hard things, and choose to smile, and just be grateful that we have another day to make choices.  We get to choose happiness!   Happiness is a choice.  And often the hardest choice we will ever have to make, but knowing the Savior, and knowing His love for us happiness is attainable each and every day regardless of how awful or depressing life may be around us.  We have to make the choice to be happy. 

I'm including a talk that really puts it into perspective on how to be happy.  I love this talk. 

"Our Search for Happiness" by: President James E. Faust

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Remember, Remember

In my life I have often been classified as the "Dumb Blonde" and I guess you could say at times I live up to that stereotype.  It happens.  As a missionary I tend to have moments where I just can't remember things.  Actually it happens a lot.  I had one of those moments the other day and I had like a major brain block.  I was sitting there trying and trying to remember what I was going to say, and naturally I couldn't remember.  So I ended up just pondering on the word "Remember."

The word remember actually means to recall to memory.  As I was thinking about the word remember my thoughts were turned to a scripture.  Actually about half a dozen scripture references that use the word remember.  (I have decided you know you are a missionary when everything relates back to the gospel.) But anyway, one of those scriptures was Helaman 5:12, which states, "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 stormshall 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."


I love this scripture because it really puts it into perspective.  We must really be remembering all the time where our foundation lies.   Where do we place our trust?  Is it in Jesus Christ?  At the end of the day can we say that we have done all that we can to follow the example of the Savior, and have we trusted in Him completely?  If we remember that He is the foundation of our life, we are promised that when the storms of life come, we will not fall.  We will not find ourselves in the depths of despair.  Through remembering Jesus Christ we can get through anything. 

As I look back on my life I realize that when I was having the hardest time it was beacuse I was forgetting where my foundation truly was.  I was not remembering that my foundation has and always will be Jesus Christ.  I have learned that when the hard moments in life come, I have to remember my testimony.  I have to remember the many times I have felt the spirit.  Everyone has been given the light of Christ which allows us to feel the Lord's love in our lives and allows for the Holy Ghost to witness and testify truth to us.  Most often we barely recognize these moments, especially if we are not looking for them, but they do happen often. 

When life gets hard and we catch ourselves forgetting those moments where we have felt the spirit or felt God's love.  We must remember!  Remember those moments when the Lord testified of truth to us, and strengthened our faith. We must remember what we have been taught.  Remember that we are all children of our Heavenly Father, and  that He loves us.  We truly must remember who we are!

I like what Moroni says in Moroni 10:3 about reading from the Book of Mormon,  "Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts."
When we forget our foundation, we have to find it in ourselves to look back and remember how much the Lord has blessed us and given us.  When we recognize and truly remember the blessings from our Heavenly Father we can again become grounded in life with the Savior as our foundation!