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!