Thursday, December 24, 2009

GOSPEL OF HOPE-NUMBERS DON'T LIE

Alma 13:28-29
But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;

Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his rest.
These are great words to live by. I reminder that I want to become better than I was yesterday. Heavenly Father is so merciful with all of us. He wants us to be happy. The gospel is the gospel of hope. Praying and watching continually will help us to not be tempted about which we can bear. Going to church, saying our prayers and reading our scriptures helps us stay watchful and keeps our mind linked to god.

A girlfriend from work let me borrow a book of quotes she has kept. I don't have his name with me, so I appologize--but I will add it as soon as I know who said the quote, but the quote basically said that if we are members of the church in an average life time we will have partaken/participated in renewing our sacrement covenants over 3,000 times. That says to me that we have a merciful father in heaven who knows we are going to screw up at least 3,000 times or more. That tells me that one can't be reminded enough to keep moving forward, keep trying and to keep holding on. at least 3,000 times to renew our covenants, at least 3,000 times to start afresh again...just imagine if we were able to go to the temple once a month or a few times a month. if it is just twice a month that is 1,400 of God's children we are helping on the other side. 1,400 souls (because we can't start attending until we are 12) and who knows how many sets of missionaries that helped prepare them. Going a few times a month doesn't seem to be a lot, but when you look at a life time of doing it--the impact is significant. We are told by small and simple things, are great things brought to pass. Going to church and renewing our covenants weekly is such a small act--but an act that I believe Alma knew would change lives. Change lives enough to try to achieve all we are suppose to become in those two verses:
-humble ourselves before God
-call on his holy name
-watch and pray continually - so we won't be tempted above that which we can bare
-be led by the holy spirit
-BECOMING
-humble
-meek
-submissive
-patient
-full of love
AND
-ALL long-suffering
-HAVING
-faith on the Lord
-a hope that we will have eternal life (hope we are going to make it!)
-love of god ALWAYS in our hearts
-be lifted up ta the last day
-enter into his rest

Oh I love that Alma said "becoming", not become. To become something is an end destination. If I have become skinny, I am skinny! ;) But becoming something--"becoming" is a process not a destination. I believe the decision of always becoming better then we are right now, will land us a destination entering (again "enter" is a process) into his rest. Alma did not say we will be "in" the rest of god, but "enter" into his rest. The partaking of the sacrement 3,000 times in a life time my math says starting at age eight and living to the age of 72, that is 64 years of partaking of the sacrement 48 times a year because 4 Sundays are gone for stake and general conference, that gives you over 3,328 times taking that sacrement. And that is if you are never sick or have to skip a Sunday! I HATE math and numbers, but boy, I sure get excited over this!

Just another reminder of how perfect God is and how far I am off, BUT that he is willing to work with me--a whole lot! At least 3,000 times a lot. Repetition, second chances, repentance--the ultimate phrase is the Atonement.

No wonder it is called the gospel of hope! At least 3,000 times hoping at becoming better than we are right now!

In case I don't have a chance to say Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas! Merry means = full of cheerfulness or gaiety; joyous in disposition or spirit. Christmas is the celbration of the birth of Jesus Christ. May we all be FULL of cheerfulness (my parents are such a good example to me on this) because JESUS was born, lived, died, and IS living for us. May we be, "Joyous in Christ". And with 3,000 chances at least-how can one not be joyous at that!?!

Merry Christmas.

ps. Thanks to little Mia for being so amazingly cute!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Peace vs. peace

This morning, after going to bed quite late, Heavenly Father was kind enough to help me roll out of bed at 6 so I could go walking. 3 new inches of snow covered the ground. I walked around the condos with general conference in my ears and deep gratitude in my heart. I love the gospel! I love that I have the gospel. I love that my parents taught me the gospel--sometimes I am sure it felt as thought it were in vain. I love that I have a personal Savior, who died for all men including me and would have just atoned even if it was only for me. It was a beautiful morning in the dark, half moon, lit sky.

As I knelt down to say my morning prayers I felt to sing a song to help me have the spirit. Without thought of what song to sing, out loud on my knees I started singing Hymn 207, It Came upon the Midnight Clear. I admit I did not know all the words, but found myself singing "Peace on the earth, good will to men". At the moment I sang "Peace" my mind brought to view of a baby in a manger. I could not finish singing as the magnitude of the word struck chords in my heart. I have always thought of peace on earth as kindness, love, no hated or contention--which that is part of peace, but the impression upon my mind was that the angles were singing Jesus Christ was on the earth. Peace is the Savior! And now as I read the rest of the sentence it has always been there, but I have never registered the meaning - "Peace on the earth, good will to men from heaven's all-gracious King." Peace, like Savior, Redeemer, Morning Star, Breath of Heaven, Messiah, Captain, Gardner, Lord, Master--is just another name the scriptures and angels call the Savior. He is the Prince of Peace-our Heavenly King all-gracious sent His Son, "Peace". I am sure everyone else has caught this meaning before, but this is news to my mind and heart today!

Peace was placed in a manger. Peace, taught in the temple. Peace healed the lepers. Peace came upon the waters and calmed the sea. Peace left men to ponder. Peace healed the brokenhearted.

As I finished my prayer I came to my desk to finish my study in Alma 7. And there in the last verse of the chapter we are told how one can have "Peace"/"peace".
And now, may the peace of God rest upon you, and upon your houses and lands, and upon your flocks and herds, and all that you possess, your women and your children, according to your faith and good works, from this time forth and forever. And thus I have spoken. Amen.
According to your faith and good works!

The Savior can be ever present in our lives, all we possess can have both "Peace" touch it, prosper it, heal it. That brings "peace" and "Peace"! To always abound in good works in verse 24 we are told we have to have faith, hope, and charity, THEN we will always abound in good works. And with faith and good works the peace of God comes.

If I have the prince = "Peace" in me or resting upon me, surely my heart can calm contentions. Surely I will have the spirit to keep clinging to the iron road. Surely I will give more benefit of doubts instead of jumping to unfair judgments/thoughts, surely I will focus more perfectly on the good in others rather then their struggles.

Peace was born on the earth the angles declared. And He still is and can be in our hearts and in our actions. Peace died upon a cross and conquered death.

May my faith and good works--brings Peace, Jesus Christ.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

MIRACLE IN THE DRYER?!!

What do you get when you cross a nice pair of dress slacks with a piece of paper/tissue?!
A mess!!

Mom called me the other day to share a miracle. She said she was doing a load of dark laundry. After the clothes had all been put into the water she had the impression to check her pockets. Wanting to be obedient to the prompting she pulled out each fully soaked piece of clothing and looked through the pockets. All she found was a hotel room key. Satisfied that she had followed the prompting she left the clothes to be washed.

After the load was finished she put the clothes in the dryer. When the dryer ended she opened the door and pulled out the first garment. She found 2 pieces of lint (of what you would get when you wash a tissue). An "Oh no!" filled her mind. She must have not found a hidden tissue in one of the pockets. She was not excited for the mess of a washed tissue.

To her surprise she finished pulling all the laundry out of the dryer only to find her clothing was all in good order--no more lint to be found anywhere. She figured she didn't wash a tissue and the two white pieces she had found were left over from another load.

She pulled out the lint screen to find it was completely CAKED on with tissue. At least a good 1/2 inch thickness across the whole screen. For anyone who does laundry--you know the time waster it is when you find you have washed a tissue because another load and 8 lint roller brush papers later you finally have your clothes back to normal. As she pulled off the heavy amount of lint the scripture came to her mind- "...after all we can do."

She received a prompting to check her pockets. She did, every one- but found nothing. She did all she could do. And instead of getting a batch of laundry back looking like my pants above, she only had 2 pieces of lint and a lint screen chuck full of tissue. The Lord took care of what she couldn't do...

Now I know what someone is thinking. "Does the Lord really care about tissue in a pocket? Would he preform a miracle on wet tissue?" Well this much I do know.
-My mom had an impression and followed it. She did go through ever piece of clothing. She pulled them out of the water each one and checked the pockets. She only found a plastic card.
-I can testify of what a batch looks like when you wash a tissue! Look at above! That was only one article of clothing from a batch that looked all the same--"snowville". I pulled out my laundry quite annoyed with the mess and the time it would take to correct the mess.
-I know that God cares about my mom.
-She had I am sure prayed like she had every day asking to accomplish what needed to get done.
-Had the tissue not been miraculously collected she would have spent a lot of time (a lot being another hour re-doing a load but on a fully scheduled day and hour can be killer!)
-As soon as she pulled out the lint catcher and saw the matted thickness of tissue the end of a scripture popped into her head...

2 Nephi 25:23
For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

She did all she could do! And because of that, God preformed a miracle in the dryer! She and I both believe that she was permitted to see the 2 pieces of white tissue on a pair of pants just so she would know the the magnitude of the miracle preformed.

So come on Bryndi! It is just Tissue gathered in a lint screen... Right?! If the Lord in His mercy will help my mom with a load of laundry then surely he will help with greater things. And He does! I have had many impressions since this experience with remembering that I do my very best-all I can do and the Lord will make up the rest. Doesn't mean we aren't going to have days of wet tissue all over our dark clothes. Believe me--I have done a few batches in the last couple weeks that have left me frustrated and annoyed with the extra time wasted for my carelessness of not checking all my pockets.

I am not going to do all the math of this beautiful miracle. If God will collect all the tissue in a dryer-then surely he will sustain you in your Goliath, however big or small.

I will leave with this. I know that God lives and loves us. There is not anything that stops us from having miracles daily--except ourselves. In my life I have witnessed/shared in the miracle of unseen angels, complete direction in a moment of loss, peace in the darkest of abysses, life given back-physically and spiritually, 180 degree change in attitude, hearts softened, anger hushed, kindness instead of sarcasm, mercy and love, instant healing, comfort over pain, strength in a struggle, triumph over sorrow, faith over fear, love over hate, forgiveness instead of harsh grudges, softness instead of hardness, holding of the tongue, the quietness of wet cheeks in a moment of faith, addictions conquered, enduring instead of stopping... these are just to name a few.

Christ is the reason for the season... ALL SEASONS OF LIFE! Cold ones, wet ones, hot ones, spring filled ones. Is it no wonder that we all love spring, and yet it only lasts for a few short weeks. But yet it is worth going through a long cold winter just because we know we will get and see spring!

This picture below is very symbolic to me. It was the first Christmas home from after the mission. It was taken at Nyk's (my sister) bridal shower. Taylee and I are placed right in front of Krysti's beautiful Christmas tree. (wow, I look so young! ha ha) What you can't see, is right in front of Tay and I--Kiss had up grandma's manger scene. (I wish I would have taken a picture of the scene.)

I was just walking by the manger scene headed to be with the party when I looked at the small baby Jesus laying before "the world". In an instant my heart heart got it. I was flooded with the thought that because of that infant, laid in a manger, choirs of angels sang, shepherds came and wise men searched. Because of that infant, sins can be forgiven and kindness can trump ugliness. Because of an infant worlds with out end have a reason to rejoice. There is hope. Like the sun in the sky giving light in a dark dreary place, the Savior the son of our Heavenly Father, gives life unto every darkened dreary soul. He illuminates darkness. Melts away cold. He brightens hope, He conquers fears. A King of King, a literal Prince of peace. --- all this from walking by Kiss's manger scene. I never got nor liked manger scenes before this moment. I now, can't look at a manger scene without reflecting and praising.

Jesus is the Christ. As Moses was a "type" of Him--Jesus came to set His people free!

Onward and Upward!

Friday, November 27, 2009

KING OF KINGS


I went to LDS.org this morning to find a quote from General Conference and saw the cover of the new December ensign. ... Stunning. The last few weeks I have been pondering about Joseph and Mary and who they must have been in order to raise the son of God. What trust they had in Heavenly Father. What challenges they faced and in an opposite sense what glories they beheld. Surely their hearts felt the highest of happiness and the lowest of sorrows.

I saw this magazine cover and my eyes became wet. Two mortal beings who fulfilled what they were sent here to do. And then that child-the Savior born in a manger. A king laying in hay. Because we are less then the dust of the earth for at least the dust will obey God's commands, no doubt the animals surrounding Mary and Joseph were at least pure in the fact that they obey God's commands.

Because of a king laying in straw-His faithful earthly parents and their courage to raise Him as the King He was/is. To His miracles and power - His mercy and love. From His pleading and blood in the garden to His continued oneness on the cross - to His victory over the sting of death - and His constant beckoning to becoming like He is. ... My heart is stirred.

It is Him -- who is the lover of my soul.

Jesus is the Christ.


Artist Rose Datoc Dall is on my thankful list. I love to see when God is inspiring others to do/make something beautiful.
To check out the Dec Ensign, copy and paste the following link into your browser.
http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?locale=0&sourceId=5e82875a62c25210VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=ccb1d48fa58db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

JUST A TASTE

I went with Dad to walmart to pick them up. Avacodos were .10 at Walmart tonight, what a steal! I hope they are good! :) As we finished our trip, I saw President Richards there with his sweet wife. This is the first time I have run into them shopping. Immediately my heart was swollen with love for this choice couple. President Richards is not one for complements. He is a humble man. He is a man of God. It is always humbling to be around him and one can't leave his presence with out an inward desire to preform/serve better outwardly.

We were able to chat a little bit about out I belong to the best ward in the world. That is the theme when we describe our ward--because it is true. I had a moment to tell them my thoughts about working with Bishop Larson. They confirmed all my feels were true. Our short conversation left me praising Heavenly Father.

As I walked away from Pres and Sis Richards, I thought about how there isn't anything I wouldn't not do for Bishop Larson. If he suggests something or counsels something, no questions asked I will do it. The love and respect I have for him are almost indescribable.

As I walked away from being with such an "in love couple" as Cindy and Pres Richards--my thoughts pondered over the fact that if I want to do everything asked by my Bishop, how much more desire would I have to follow through with what the Lord asks me to do?!? For surely my love for my bishopric moves me to action--but how much more if it is the Lord asking?! The difference is is that Heavenly Father is someone I don't see on a weekly basis. I pray to him consistently throughout my day, but more faith is required with working with a veil relationship.

But God puts his different children in the path of life that represent Him and His son. My stake president and Bishop are two of those types of examples for me. And if I have a strong desire to serve/obey them--that must be just a taste of my relationship with the Savior and Heavenly Father. For surely I would want to serve/obey just the same.

I am probably not making any sense, but I was struck with a deep reverence tonight. I was able to spend a wonderful evening with my great parents and then retire to my room to close my evening with prayer. Oh how I want to serve my God. Oh how I want to obey his will and wishes for me. Oh how I want to have my desires intune with correct principles. And oh if I have this much love for my parents, my bishopric and my Stake president--surely my love must be even greater for the Savior and Heavenly Father. And surely I would want to follow all of their commands with exactness the way I want to follow every counsel given to me by my bishop. And yet it is so easy to fall short. And it is so much easier to obey someone without a veil. But IF my feelings are this deep for those within my earthly span--they must be all the more greater for things/relationships I cannot remember or comprehend right now.

I love Jesus Christ. He is my LIFE, my LIGHT, and my WAY.

Tonight was just a taste of what it must be like with the Veil is taken away. What a sweet, sweet taste.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

AFTER MUCH...

"For after much tribulation come the blessings." D&C 58:4

I love the word much because it prepares me for my expectations workign with tribulation. And the 's' at the end of blessing--excites me that it is more than one blessing! :D This scripture tells us how life can be at times. But like Elder Holland said in his Liberty Jail talk, we are in good company when we are going through hard times.
Elder George Q. Cannon:

"...the Saints should always remember that God sees not as man sees; that he does not willingly afflict his children, and that if he requires them to endure present privation and trial, it is that they may escape greater tribulations which would otherwise inevitably over take them. If He deprives them of any present blessing, it is that he may bestow upon them greater and more glorious ones by and by." (Millennial Star, 3 Oct 1863, p. 634.)

President Brigham Young:

"If the Saints could realize things as they are when they are called to pass through trials, and to suffer what they call sacrifices, they would acknowledge them to be the greatest blessings that could be bestowed upon them" (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 345).

Defiantly something to strive for. The last quote, there are many in my family, including myself that will tell anyone who asks, that Dad receiving cancer last year, with all its ugly tortures on the physical body, has been one of the greatest blessings our family has received. Through it we learned patience, trust, humility, faith, determination, trust, more kindness, sincere prayer, courage, His will--be done, and no matter what--we will still serve and praise our Father in Heaven and His son, Jesus Christ. We are stronger because of it. Mom and Dad now serve in the temple--our family values time together all that much more. In so many ways, we did have a happy ending. I am sensitive to those that have had loved ones that have not had the same happy ending. But for whatever time we are given in this earth life, shorter or longer, God is with us. There are miracles to behold. Faith to be lived, His name to represent in all that we do/say and are. Our lives are to emulate Him, our Savior Jesus Christ. And we can claim power from on high to help us through the days when our hands hang down weary and worn or when our heart feels it simply cannot bare any more.

The Turtle in Kunfo Panda says, "Life is a gift, that is why it is called the present." Find your gift in the day and in return be a gift for others.

I am so thankful God trusts us with challenging tests, and in return I will trust Him through the tests. What a morning to praise God! He sure does love us! And as a wise Mary Jo at church bore in her testimony - "We were not sent here to fail". We can do it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

DETOURS AHEAD


This is a picture of my exit. They have been working on it for almost a year now. A few Sundays ago as I was making my way to the freeway, I hit a detour sign. I was in bit of a hurry so the sign brought a lot of irritation out. Normal detours are just moving over a lane or two, but this one actually took me on a small country road. No freeway entrance this time.

I was fully annoyed with the extra 3 1/2 mins it was going to take out of my time. My attitude didn't improve when the two cars in front of me seemed to be out for a little joy ride. But because of this unexpected detour, I found myself praising Heavenly Father for all the things that I had not noticed when passing by them on the freeway. I have lived here for 4 1/2 years almost and have never knew I had an opening to the Provo River 3 mins from my home! Or these big horn cows!

And of course I freaked with 2 red tale hawks. My irritation grew into gratitude. Gratitude for the forced detour.

So true to life. I may have my plans all figured out but often times that little detour sign comes up, placed by God's own hand, and my first thought may be to have irritation, but detours bring new things into our lives. Those pictures above are literally 50 to 100 feet away from the freeway. Just a frontage road. But I have never once noticed them because I was flying by on the freeway; my planned out path. Although it took longer to get to my destination, I was a kid in the candy store! I could not help pulling over (delaying my self even more) to take pictures. My smile was huge.

DETOURS CHANGE US
Never wanted to go on a mission, but the Lord put up that Detour sign


and my path has been paved with some of the most beautiful precious stones ever since.

Detour sign of joining the Deaf Ward (which I fought the prompting on because of fear) but that ward brought about the chain reaction, like the mission, of so many good people brought into my life. And the singles ward now that I belong too is a result of that detour into the Deaf Ward over four years ago. These are obviously big detours... but there are the small ones--the ones that come as promptings--that if followed take us on paths that usually end up having amazing amounts of beauty/depth added to our lives. Even while in the moment of the the new pothole detour, looking back there are flowers that bloom in every season.

For Mother's day I shared about a good couple that I met in the temple. Their daughter has cancer and quite a few large tumors on her brain.


I just ran into the dad yesterday. He told me how they flew to PA to have surgeon operate on their little girl's head because primary children's said there was no way they would preform the surgery for surely their daughter would not make it through. But the Lord was prompting them with the detour of a surgery.

In PA as they talked to the surgeon just days before the surgery was to take place this good couple became uneasy about the procedure. What to do on this detour that had taken them away from their other kids and family. Prayers were given and a week of every day fasting for direction for their daughter's life. They felt impressed to consult with a doctor in MD. Ward members (not knowing them from adam) heard of their stay in the PA hospital and came over to bring comfort and cheer. An opening was made to go to MD and have the surgery. One couple from the ward brought over plane tickets making a way to get to the hospital. - God provided a way!

The surgery was a success. The tumor is too big to fully remove but they hoped with what was removed, their daughter's head would stop hurting as much. After a month of being off work and away from his other kids, the dad flew back home just this past week. He was worried about his daughter and asked that his wife find someone to give her a blessing. (His wife has been sleeping in the hospital along side her daughter for over a month now.)

Back in 2003 my friend from the temple had a wonderful girlfriend that loved her very much. Her girlfriend was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and in 2005 she passed away. But before the friend passed she would always tell everyone in the temple to watch over my friend and to care for her. This past Sunday, two elders showed up in the MD hospital to give my friend's daughter a blessing. When one of the elders walked into the room he called my friend by her name. She was surprised to see the elder. It was her girlfriend's son. The girlfriend who had passed away nearly 5 years ago. My friend had no idea her friend's son was on a mission, let alone a mission in MD. He said, "My mom has sent me to you". And as a joyous reunion happened her daughter was given a blessing.

This Elder had not seen or kept tract of this family for almost 5 years. But his deceased mother who cared so much for my girlfriend, sent her son to give my friend and her daughter a blessing in their time of need.

All of this from a surgery detour.

Dictionary.com
DETOUR = a roundabout or circuitous way or course, esp. one used temporarily when the main route is closed.

When our Main route is closed, for whatever reason--may we remember to praise God as He walks us through the roundabout course. For there will surely be people to meet and unexpected beauty (whether through the process or the aftermath) to behold while going through our Detoured path.

To what I thought was the right plan for me, detours have become a part of THE plan! How thankful and grateful I am for the Detours God has sent me. They have helped shaped me into who I am today. And I would not go back and change any of the roads He has had me travel. He knows what is best. And I WILL obey.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

HOPE SMILING BRIGHTLY BEFORE US - DELIVERANCE IS NIGH


The past few weeks I have been studying in D&C on the signs of the times, and what is to come. I must admit, I have gone through all the emotions. While reading D&C 45 I became a little bit of a nervous wreck. As I read deeper into the things that are to come, my heart became sick and full of despair. I found myself thinking it would be nice to not be on the earth when all the calamities are here in their fullness. As I read I found my heart crying, "Alas, my master, how shall I stay!"

I did not speak to anyone about this for several days. As it happened, my scripture study took 4 or 5 days just to get through D&C 45. I can honestly say, my hope was slipping away and I had no idea how to have faith in the future in the prophecies which should come. How can anyone survive what is to come?! I pondered over those that I love. All my sisters in RS, and I wondered if the time were to come now, would I have the faith enough to support them through all the hard things. I seriously doubted I would be able to keep my "cool" and keep unwavering upbeat faith.

But as I finished reading D&C 45 I kept asking in my heart that there had to be hope somewhere? But mine seemed to be all gone.
For verily I say unto you, that great things await you;

Ye hear of wars in foreign lands; but, behold, I say unto you, they are nigh, even at your doors, and not many years hence ye shall hear of wars in your own lands.
Like the Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W. Kimball--Heavenly Father sent the hope at the end of the chapter. I don't ever remember being taught this, but the verses gave me HOPE!
And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a bland of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God;

And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.

And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety.

And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another.

And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand.

And it shall come to pass that the righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy.
I love that it is said that the wicked will say, "Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand." !!! For some reason, I did not think that "Zion" would be established until after the world was totally burned. I have never done the study on this--and boy was I messed up in thinking, but I thought when the New Jerusalem would be here after the wicked had been burned. But here it says that the glory and the terror of the Lord would be in this city and the wicked would not dare come unto it. And yet with all the wicked killing each other, there would be songs of singing of everlasting joy sung by those in the city even with the killing all around about!!! I don't profess to understand these scriptures or the order of events fully, but surely I am not misinterpreting that there will be a place of refuge while there is wickedness still on the earth. And those dwelling there will have peace and joy!!

As I read those words in D&C, after nearly feeling like I was going to collapse with fear for the future--my fear was immediately replaced with hope. And not just some hope, but my hope was and has been BRIGHT! There is hope, bright hope for our future!!! I under stand the words in the hymn, "hope smiling brightly before us, for we know that deliverance is nigh". Hope IS smiling brightly before us!

I loved these words from the D&C student manual p. 98 -
In the scriptures four words seem closely related to
the concept of Zion: gathering, preparation, defense,
and refuge. The tribulations and judgments that will
be poured out upon the world prior to the Second
Coming will be so extensive and devastating that if
the Lord did not prepare a means of preservation,
His people too would perish. But He has prepared a
means for His people to escape those terrible times;
that means is Zion. Enoch was told that the Lord
would preserve His people in the tribulations of the
last days by gathering His elect to Zion where they
could gird up their loins (prepare themselves) and
look forward to His coming (see Moses 7:61–62). In
an earlier revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants,
the Savior called the elders of the Church to gather
the elect so their hearts could be prepared for the day
of tribulation (see D&C 29:7–8). In 1838 the Lord
explained that the gathering to Zion and her stakes
was to be for defense and refuge from the coming
storm that will be poured out on the earth (see
D&C 115:5–6). These commands and promises are
found also in section 45. The Saints are to gather to
Zion (see D&C 45:64–65), a place of safety, peace, and
refuge (see v. 65). Even though the rest of the world
is in a state of horrible warfare (see v. 68), in Zion
(D&C 115:5–6 implies that this includes her stakes)
there will be peace and joy (see D&C 45:69–71).
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “Without Zion,
and a place of deliverance, we must fall; because the
time is near when the sun will be darkened, and the
moon turn to blood, and the stars fall from heaven,
and the earth reel to and fro. Then, if this is the case,
and if we are not sanctified and gathered to the
places God has appointed, with all our former
professions and our great love for the Bible, we must
fall; we cannot stand; we cannot be saved; for God
will gather out his Saints from the Gentiles, and then
comes desolation and destruction, and none can
escape except the pure in heart who are gathered.”
(Teachings, p. 71)
I love - "...He has prepared a means for His people to escape those terrible times..." And this morning in my reading I read another great quote. Harold B. Lee said:
"The Lord has clearly placed the
responsibility for directing the work of gathering in
the hands of the leaders of the Church, to whom He
will reveal His will where and when such gatherings
would take place in the future. It would be well,
before the frightening events concerning the
fulfillment of all God’s promises and predictions
are upon us, that the Saints in every land prepare
themselves and look forward to the instruction that
shall come to them from the First Presidency of this
church as to where they shall be gathered. They
should not be disturbed in their feelings until such
instruction is given to them as it is revealed by the
Lord to the proper authority.” (Ye Are the Light of the
World, p. 167.)
HOPE HOPE HOPE AND HOPE!!!!!!!!!!! I no longer feel this panic and fear for our future. I don't even know if I will be living in the fullness of these prophesies. The difference for me now, is that I am now OKAY/and HOPE-FILLED for the time ahead. And yea if the Lord would let me live in such a time. Never the less, His will be done.

Heavenly Father is the master architect. His blue prints include every bolt and nut needed to complete our lives and destinies. He has enough lumber to build my soul/heart securely. His plan included the sacrifice of Son, Jesus Christ, so that His completed plans of me, could become and be a masterpiece. His blue prints are not hidden away, but are fully laid open before us all. The scriptures, our P-blessing, the temple, the living prophets and apostles.

There is hope smiling brightly before us. And I have just read about the ways that His deliverance IS nigh!

My heart is full of Hope!

Bryndi

Friday, October 9, 2009

BECAME CONQUERORS


I have a lot of gratitude in my heart this morning. Just finished the week from being in Park City for Dream Team. It was a lot of work but it was wonderful to see the Lord's hand weaving so many backgrounds of women together. There are some that say that their religion and work should stay separated. As for me, I believe my religion/beliefs make me who I am so I can not separate the two. God is in my every breath. His son, Jesus Christ is the light and life of my world-that includes being inside or outside work. How thankful I am for a Boss and coworkers who allow me to be me.

This morning I opened up to my spot in Jacob and when I turned the page, seeing that I was going to read Enos tomorrow, I let out a little happy cry. (Yes, I am alone in my bedroom and no one was around--:) but Enos hits home to my own conversion story!) Because I was so excited to read Enos for my read tomorrow, I didn't anticipate or remember how great the end of Jacob was/is.

Sherem comes to the people and with a cunning tongue he tries to convince the people that there is no Christ. Many people were deceived because of how he delivered his words. In the end he seeks for a sign (never good to do) and falls to the earth. He confesses to all the people he had been deceived by the devil. And after he confesses his faults he dies. What a sad way to end your moral life. Jacob and his people try to reclaim and restore the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth but he says in Jacob 7:24 in The Book of Mormon:
...but it all [trying to restore the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth] was vain, for they delighted in wars and bloodshed, and they had an eternal hatred against us, their brethren. And they sought by the power of their arms to destroy us continually.
I was intrigued by the "they had an eternal hatred against us, their brethren". An eternal hatred is a pretty hard core thing. Of course this theme of hating can been seen all through the scriptures when a people forget or do not know their God. But when Jacob added "their brethren", my heart was deeply saddened. How often am I hating my brother. Whoever they may be. I show that hatred when I speak ill of someone, or judge another wrongfully, I am hating when I allow unkind thoughts to enter my head. I defiantly don't want to be hating my brother or sister. We all are children of God.

The next verse in Jacob, is simple yet powerful.
...the people of Nephi did fortify against them with their arms, and with all their might, trusting in the God and rock of their salvation; wherefore, they became as yet, conquerors of their enemies.
Am I fortifying with all my might against Satan, against bad habits, against temptations and sins?! If I will, and am trusting in God (I love that Jacob said trust"ing" - that shows it is a continual processes it was not just a one time trust, but a continual time of trusting) I will be able to become a conqueror of my bad habits, my sins, my faults and weaknesses. I will be able to be a conqueror my natural man.

Jacob finished his record by saying:
...I conclude this record, declaring that I have written according to the best of my knowledge, by saying that the time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream...
The time passed away with them. So "time" passes away with me. What am I doing with my time?! I want to be known that in my time I was trusting in God and that I was a conqueror! Conqueror of my Dreams, my desires, by passions, my hopes and expectations.

It is such a great time to be alive! Jesus Christ lives! He is the Christ. And He will be coming again. This I know.

Hope you have a great day! I will be fortifying and trusting all day long. Until the next prompting to write--

Bryndi

Friday, October 2, 2009

HAPPY CONFERENCE EVE!!!!

Tonight as I was preparing my mind for conference tomorrow, I pulled out my conference note book. I always take notes at conference, but last year I was finally smart and made an official conference book! So now every conference my notes will be placed in the same place.

In April, we had Brytt and Jinger's family over to the condo. So much fun! Ireland was such a help in the kitchen for lunch. I could not get enough of little Brynnlee. At one point she was sitting on the carpet with her backed turned to the TV when the speaker said "the prophet" and Brynnlee excitedly looked up and said, "He said the prophet, the prophet!" Oh melt my heart! I Didn't even think she was paying attention.

Tonight as I opened my conference notes, I was moved by the things that had impressed me back in April. Pretty great stuff!! Here are a few of the things that I wrote down in my book.
*Our success is never measured by how strongly we are tempted but by how faithfully we respond. (1)

*...your situation is not beyond the reach of our Savior. (1)

*...the appetite to possess worldly things can only be overcome by turning to the Lord. (1)

*Prayer is the most common and powerful way to invite inspiration. (2)

*We need strong Christians who can persevere against hardship, who can sustain hope through tragedy, who can lift others by their example and their compassion, and who can consistently overcome temptations. We need strong Christians who can make important things happen by their faith and who can defend the truth of Jesus Christ against moral relativism and militant atheism. (3)

*Obedience gives us greater control over our lives... (3)

*In times of distress, let your covenants be paramount and let your obedience be exact. Then you can ask in faith, nothing wavering, according to your need, and God will answer. (3)

*He [Jesus Christ] could have known how to succor us simply by revelation, but He chose to learn by His own personal experience. (4)

*...the disciple who accepts a trial as an invitation to grow and therefore qualify for eternal life can find peace in the midst of the struggle. (4)

*Tragedy did not erode their faith; it tested it and strengthened it... (4)

*You don’t have to spend time as a Laman or a Lemuel in order to know that it’s much better to be a Nephi or a Jacob. (5)

*Choose to live by faith and not fear. (6)

*Faith requires an attitude of exact obedience, even in the small, simple things. (6)

*...our net usable faith is what we have left to exercise after we subtract our sources of doubt and disbelief. (6)

*Challenging times require greater spiritual power. (6)

*We should never complain, when we are living worthily... (7)

*Discipleship is a journey. (8)

*It is always the right time to walk in His way. It is never too late. (8)

*He is our hope; He is our salvation; He is the way. (8)

*The Lord shapes the back to bear the burden placed upon it. (9)

*...it is not by chance that we are who we are... (10)

*Laughter and a good sense of humor can soften the bumps along life’s journey. (11)

*You can’t be a life saver if you look like all the other swimmers on the beach. (12)

*Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. (13)

*...may we stand by Jesus Christ “at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death,” (Mosiah 18:9) for surely that is how He stood by us... (13)

*Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith. (9)

(1) Robert D. Hales
(2) Elder Allan F. Packer
(3) Elder D. Todd Christofferson
(4) President Henry B. Eyring
(5) Elder M. Russell Ballard
(6) Elder Kevin W. Pearson
(7) Elder Richard G. Scott
(8) President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
(9) President Thomas S. Monson
(10) Elder Neil L. Andersen
(11) Elder Steven E. Snow
(12) Elder Dallin H. Oaks -- Ardeth Greene Kapp
(13) Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Those are all the real quotes! But wow, what a bucket of treasures. And those are just some of the highlights! Going through my April list made me all the more excited for tomorrow and Sunday! I know the same council is given over and over--but amen! It doesn't hurt to be reminded and obviously I haven't gotten it right yet, or else something new would be shared. My heart has the most amazing love affair with conference weekend!! I am so thankful for Jesus Christ, my elder brother. I know He won't give up on me as I strive to be more exact in obedience. How I love Him!

Happy Conference weekend everyone!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

DO IT!

Just felt like I should post this quote today...
"Listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost....You'll have a prompting to say something or to do something in relationship to those that you serve with or in your neighborhood or so forth. Do it! Trust the Lord." - Elder M. Russell Ballard (Ens Sept 2009 pg.53)
I have a testimony of that. I am a believer of having the Holy Ghost in my life. A constant companion, if allowed. Worth every effort to build/have/keep and maintain a relationship with him.

Trust the Lord.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS


Monday night was a special treat! Dad cooked up steaks and we had the privilege of having Uncle Paul come over and then were treated by Iron Man, Dooges, and Brynner Bean! Grandpa gave the lesson on Nephi getting the brass plates. When the kiddos would answer a question right they were able to go up to the piano and hit one of the keys. (The piano just got tuned on Saturday so every note is happiness to the ears instead of the painful noise it made before it was tuned!) Grandpa's lesson was all on doing the things the Lord commands.

When little Brynnlee got a question right--it was her turn to go up and play the piano. She can be very out going and talks up a storm, but when in the spotlight, her shy mode kicks in. She didn't want to go play a note on the piano by herself, she wanted her dad to help her. I wondered what Brytt would do. Without giving her a hard time he got out of his chair and took her hand as they walked over to the piano. When they got to the piano he told her all she had to do was reach up and play a note. Brynnlee became very shy and told him she didn't want to. She wanted him to do it. Brytt gently told her that she needed to play it herself, he even offered to hold her wrist to guide her hand to the note, but Brynnlee would not do it. As she got more and more shy, almost to tears--Brytt walked her back over to the couch. And he said, "Brynnlee, you can do hard things when you're not shy".

Our story with Nephi was him doing something that was completely beyond his own power--getting plates from a man who did not want to give them up. As Alma teaches us, in the strength of the Lord we can do all things. We can do hard things!

President Monson in speaking to the sisters of the church said:
"...do not pray for tasks equal to your abilities, but pray for abilities equal to your tasks. Then the performance of your tasks will be no miracle, but you will be the miracle."
There will always be hard roads ahead of us. Tough decisions, long work days, crisis that may arise, kids needs that keep needing, sleepless nights, situations less then ideal, disappointments, frustrations, and days when the sun just doesn't seem to shine... but we can, like Miss Brynnlee, do hard things when we have the Lord with us. The Lord, like Brytt, will not play the note for us, but I am confident he will hold our hand and even help sturdy us as we play whatever notes are placed before us.

I can do hard things
I will pray for help,
for He will hear
and to my aid,
He will be there!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

BACK TO THE WATER HOLE

Today is the day!

My uncle Paul knows how much I love photography and nature--so for quite some time he has been forwarding me one of his co-work's brother's photography emails. It has been such a treat to look at all the amazing shots of Kent Keller, the photographer. It has been even more fun to know that he is shooting these pictures close to home! Last week he just sent in shots of some of Utah's mountain goats!

Well back in July, my uncle Paul forwarded me one of Kent's latest adventures with some wild horses. This email was a little different in that Kent wrote about his experience. I read his email a handful of times, for so deep was the application. I contacted Kent to make sure it was okay if I shared his email and pictures here on my blog. He graciously said yes. So with his permission, I share his email.

>>> Kent Keller 7/12/2009 7:29 AM >>>
Spent a hot and dusty July 7th with wild horses. I got shots of a normally very shy, beautiful palomino stud, a horse splashing water on a nasty bite wound, a swimming colt in over his head and rescued a little buckskin filly that got caught on the wrong side of a fence from her mom and band. By the time I found her she was so stressed she was trembling uncontrollably and kept falling down. When I got her back with her mom the band ran a mile to the water hole. It took the filly 30 minutes to reach the water. She fell down and laid still for almost three hours. She seemed fine after that.









When I read in his email that he caught a picture of a horse splashing water on the nasty bite--did you notice how big the wound was?! (You can click on the picture for a bigger view. I would love for my pictures to upload bigger on the blog, but I am kind of blog illiterate, so if anyone knows how to make these pictures upload big on the blog, I would love to know!) Did you see how big the wound was?!

I immediately thought to how the Savior is living water. If you come to Him you can be healed! The horse's instinct was to splash water on the wound. Or perhaps he just thought it might feel better. BOTH are true for the Savior! I forgot to ask Kent if the 3rd photograph down is the same horse. If it is, from that angle, you can't see the wound on the horse.

So many times, many of us have wounds that are sometimes hidden from others views, some wounds are deep, some are old but are still festering, some wounds seem insignificant compared to others--but all wounds whether the wound of not forgiving, holding a grudge, pride, envy, jealousy, the wound of hate, lack of faith, bitterness, resentment, blame, abuse, criticism--all these wounds, insignificant or not, if not cleansed with LIVING WATER, our Savior, they can become festering sores. Sores that take away our peace, destroy our hope, and most times influence/set a bad example/attitude for those around us.

The horse splashed water upon a nasty bite. The Savior is the living water. He is the healer of all wounds. Back to the thought of the pools of Bethesda when the water moved, the first person in it was made whole of whatever infirmity they had. The Savior's water is always moving.

Am I willing to let Him take a look at my wounds?

When you first clean out a wound, it can be quite painful. Sheri Dew says, the Savior heals without a scar. Will I let Him heal me? Do I immerse myself and my wounds in/with His love and His mercy and His wisdom? He can heal-- will I allow Him to heal me?

I loved the picture of the swimming colt who was way in over his head. Sometimes the choices I make put me way in over my head. Oh how many times has the Savior come to rescue me?! How many times have my visiting teachers come and shared a message with me that I needed. A coworker, a boss, a father or a mother, how many times has the Lord sent them to aid me in my swimming mess?!

Kent's last story left me filled with the spirit. His story about the Filly on the other side of the fence. I asked Kent how he had gotten the Filly back to her mom and band. He said he cut a whole in the fence and coaxed her towards her mom.

This Filly found herself separated from the ones she loved the most. And because she had been separated so long/distressed for so long when Kent found her she was trembling uncontrollably. Our choices can separate us from God and can cause us great distress. So much distress that our agency can be taken away and we are left to tremble uncontrollably in our consequences.

I wonder if she was even more freaked out when Kent, a human (and she a wild little filly) tried to get close enough to help her.

Do I freak out when someone I love is trying to help me get back on the right side of the fence?

God gives us "Kents" all along our fences to help us back to the path. These Kents are our priesthood leaders, the church, faithful-sincere-mighty prayer, scriptures, our living prophet, home teachers/visiting teaching, temple covenants, paying a faithful tithe--all of these are tools to help us get back to our "Heavenly" band. All of these are to help us have/enjoy true happiness.

Many times when we fall on the side of the fence we should not be on, it is sometimes hard to do the things/take the actions to come back. But it is so worth it.

I was intrigued by the fact that when this filly was back with her mother - it still took her 30 mins to travel a mile to the water whole. And when she got there she collapsed for several hours. Sometimes our journey back to the Savior, our living water, may take a little longer...and that's okay! Our weaknesses and our areas for improvement don't fix over night. But He can start to soften our heart immediately! We need to be patient with our one step at a time. We need the Savior and the atonement to become whole. We need the water hole!

So if you know of someone who is stuck on the other side of the fence don't give up on them!

I want to be a Kent! I want to be the one helping cut the hole and coasting someone back on the path remembering that they might be slow at first.

I was touched by the filly's determination to get to the water hole. And when she got there, so long had her journey of hardships that it just took her a little longer recovery to jump back into the full swing of the band.

So it is for me! When I have been walking a road that is not in harmony with the spirit, it may take me a little longer to get back into the full swing of the gospel. But thank goodness Heavenly Father will send me Kents along my way! Thank goodness for good friends, loving parents/family, an amazing boss, and a great bishop who are like Kent cutting a whole in the fence. I am still the one that must chose whether I am going to walk through the opening.

All of this from Kent's photography eye! And today was finally the day I was able to share it with you!

I know that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ's true church on the earth. I know the Savior lives and loves us. He and our Heavenly Father will never give up on us. An though we may be trembling on the other side of the fence, they will make a way for us to escape and/or conquer whatever is not in harmony with the gospel in our lives. It is ours to endure to the end... In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

GRATITUDE

There have been a lot of sweet kindnesses from the Lord these past few weeks. And even in the mist of all my many weaknesses, He still choose to love and bless me.

COMPANIONSHIP INVENTORY

I wasn't planning on writing about this because it was way too personal to me, but I felt I should.

Did you ever have companionship inventory on the mission? To be quite honest, I didn't even really know what it was until the mission was over. What I gathered is that we were suppose to have a chat with our companion weekly... suggesting areas that we're great in and areas we could work on. When I think of this phrase it has a very negative impact on my brain. Ha, well a few weeks ago I found myself with a friend on evening. After discussing some pressing matters our conversation turned into an 1 1/2 "Let's fix Bryndi" night. I don't believe in coincidences so while all the areas I need to improve on were being pointed out, I tried to keep my mind clear and open to what was being said. My friend was not trying to attack or hurt me. So that made me want to make sure I grabbed all truth out of what was being said. In a way I am so thankful the curfew hit and I needed to leave. It had been a long inventory night.

I got home it was 12:30. I scolded 3 batches of blueberries to dry for Kiss as the tears just started to come.

The day had been okay. It was ward temple night which always makes me happy. I had seen Becca in the temple and she saved a place for me to sit by here in the endowment--and that was just a kind spoiling from the Lord. In the celestial room I pleaded with the Lord to forgive my weaknesses and all the many sins that like Nephi says, "so easily beset" me. A friend after the temple, not knowing what I was pleading for, shared his insight and thought that it was cool that we always fall short because of imperfections. And this was part of the plan. That is how the plan was set up. We need/ed the Savior of course and His atonement to make us whole. Of course I knew that, but what a sweet reminder in the moment of longing for little stupit things to not be such huge temptations. Things that shouldn't even tempt me== little sins that really do beset me.

Well with the night I had already had, I started to conclude that all that my friend had said was true. I started to cry bitterly. I was embarrassed to be seen in the sight of the Lord for not doing all the things my friend said I ought to be doing with my life.

Just as luck would have it (I know it was not by chance) I had not had the opportunity to read the scriptures for the day. It was nearing 1:30 AM and my heart was tormented as with my head with all the things I was not. As I opened my scriptures, I had the impression to read D&C 25. --Now, I am a very read it in order and don't jump around type of girl when I am doing intense study for understanding the flow of the scriptures. I was not scheduled to read D&C 25 for another week with my patterned. But the prompting came and I opened. I actually opened my scriptures fully expecting to be rebuked a little bit and to have the Lord confirm all the things my friend had shared with me...so as I opened up I cried even more bitterly at the thought of Heavenly Father confirming my fears.

Oh the kindness of a loving Father in heaven. This scripture read could have not been more personal and was equal and maybe even slightly more powerful in a way, then my own pblessing. In stead of the Lord confirming everything my friend had put on my "bryndi need's to change" list...in the most personal, and only the way a parent could--said through this section of scripture almost everything opposite of what my friend had said. By the second verse my bitter crying (now when I say bitter it was not a hatred cry or a mean one, but a no comfort and ashamed cry) - this bitter cry turned to uncontrollable sobs of gratitude! Gratitude for the Lord's kindness in speaking to me so personally through section 25.

I didn't finish my study until after 3 AM because I was crying extremely hard for thankfulness. Every sentience struck a chord with me... at the end of the read I received amazing revelation with who I am--and more importantly, who God knows me to be and is okay with who I am and what I am doing with my life. Now this said, I don't claim to have it all together. And those that are closest to me know that I am light years away from even coming close to having my life in balance/order. But I do know that God loves me. And He is okay with me being Bryndi-quirks and all. He is okay with what I am doing in my life and where my focuses are.

I only share just a piece of the emotion/experience I had that night for it is so sacred to me that I don't have words to describe what happened.

Ironically one week from the day, I found myself back in a car with this same friend. I had avoided any chance of being alone with this person, but it seemed to be that we were destined to be alone yet again.

The conversation took off, and some of the same comments from the week before were said, but this time--I KNEW what God thought of me, and I was not shaken, or disturbed. In fact, I don't know if I have felt more strong and sure of me. My friend was a little taken back at my confidence and not budging. And although the first 20 mins into the conversation I was praying to get out of it... we chatted until midnight and I think we both were edified with what took place, well I can't speak for my friend, but I can for myself. :D

I have to smile with all of this, because I know my friend did not have mean motives, or intended to be so intense with analyzing my life--this just goes to show that we all have a path to walk on, and it's okay. My friend's path is not my path, nor is my path their path. In terms of the gospel path--well that should be for all of us, but the things the Lord would have me do, my talents, energies, focus, may not be what he is having others focus on, and IT'S OKAY! We are all here for a reason, and we have our own personal missions to fill.


HIS SHEEP KNOW HIS VOICE

This morning as I walked into the temple I was greeted by one of the most Angelic/Christlike person I know! My mom! She and my Dad are the newest Provo temple workers. They started a few weeks ago, but today was my first time seeing them dressed in white with their name tags on.

My mom has longed to be a temple worker. And it was just last year we were all waiting around the hospital bed praying that Dad would have yet another day to live. Oh how kind Heavenly Father is to us! It was wonderful to see her smiling face. The shift coordinator could not have picked a better face/person to greet people at 5:30 AM in the morning than my mom! She can make sunshine rays look dull compared to the light she radiates.

As I went into the endowment room, I held my breath a little hoping to see my Dad in there. What kid gets to see their folks work in the temple?! I didn't get my wish that time, but I stilled smiled over the thought that he was serving somewhere in the temple.

As the session finished and I walked towards the next part, even 15 feet away I heard my Dad speak! I could not see him, and there were at least a dozen other men speaking all at the same time, but I could hear my dad clearly and knew the exact spot where he stood. To my mind came the scripture John 10:27 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me". All the other men sounded like muffle to me, but because I know my Dad's voice I could hear him above all the rest!

I was filled with pride and gratitude, as I pondered on the tender mercy that the Lord allowed my Dad to work in the temple with my mom. As I walked into the celestial room I then was able to not only hear my dad's voice, but see him. I tapped him as I walked by. How sacred it was to see my parents serving in the House of the Lord, as workers. We all have come such a long way to get where we are right now. And although we have yet still a long way to go, I am filled with deep gratitude to the Lord for letting my parents--with ready/willing/wanting hearts--serve in His house! It is several, several years of miracles to bring us to this point!

I pray that I will be able to hear and heed the Savior's voice above all the other voices that surround me. And that I can be one of His lambs.

SHE PRAYED FOR ME

I went to the church after work today to meet my visiting teachers. They caught me last night and asked if they could teach me today. Honestly-can there be a much sweeter sight then visiting teachers setting up and wanting to do their visits?! Granted, I my girls always feel a little pressure not to miss me and sometimes I wish they would miss me if it meant that they would just see their other sister, but nonetheless, I am so thankful for their devotion.

Well I said, what could be more sweeter? Well, I found something...!

One sister couldn't make it, so the other sweet sister and I sat on the grass as we chatted. She mentioned to me that when she opened the lesson and saw that it was on scripture study she thought to herself that it didn't apply to me and she became a little discouraged with what she could share to help me. I was about to protest that even though I have a habit of study, I can always learn something more or study harder, but before I could get anything else she said she prayed what to know to share with me. She felt to share with me that even when we are not in school, we can still learn great things and keep learning. She said it so tenderly. My eyes became wet. Just this past week as friends were graduating, and I thought of my degree still years away I became sad. Not trying to doubt the Lord's will/plan for me, but still always feeling guilty that I am not in school like everyone else. I hate that I encourage all the sisters to get an education and follow the prophet's council and I myself, am not in school/don't have a degree. It feels like living a double standard. But I am trusting and I do have Faith in God's time line for me.

And even with these thoughts that creeped into me the last few weeks, thoughts I try to blow out of the water with faith... this sweet sister was promoted to remind me of a testimony that I had already been given through a handful of blessings and promptings...I am learning a ton right now, but not through the course of a degree/school work atmosphere, and this is pleasing to the Lord.

She then followed up on a situation I had shared with her the previous month. I told her that after almost four years a miracle had taken place and I had closure in the most beautiful way on a situation that had caused me quite a bit of anxiety.

I have previously (almost 4 years) prayed for closure on a situation, but found none. I found trust in the Lord and his promptings/timings, but yet my heart had some awesomely huge holes.

I excitedly shared how I had had miraculous closure come. She was extremely happy for me. She expressed how she had prayed to the Lord asking him that things would either work out or just to give me closure and peace in the situation I found myself in. Her comment stuck an emotional pool. I was so taken aback that she had prayed so personally for ME--someone she only has taught for the month before and other then saying hi and loving each other- we don't ever play or sit down and chat. Still a little taken back I said (more as a shock statement, then a question) "You prayed for me!?". her answer was true and classic for who she is she said, "Of course Bryndi, I am your visiting teacher".

The wheels in my head started turning and almost as if the spirit was laying some of the puzzle pieces before my eyes. I had wondered why in the world this situation had resolved in my heart but for the previous 3 1/2 years I could never get it to. And so clear and beautiful was the closure that I longed for that, that I had to question what happened to make the closure finally come. Why this time? Why not sometime in the last 3 1/2 + years?

Now, there are a lot of factors I am sure played into this, most of all the learnings, I have not a clue nor do I understand the last 3 1/2 years of promptings, but one huge factor I am sure for--MY VISITING TEACHER PRAYED FOR ME! ANd not just a please bless my girls prayer, but an actual sincere pleading in MY behalf! Twice! Once for this situation I was in, and then feeling like she was inadequate with the lesson to teach me anything, she asked what I could/needed to hear. !!What kinder act of service then a prayer full of sincere faith in behalf of someone you feel powerless to help!? How would she have known what to pray for in regards to me, had she not taken the time to do her visits?!

She took things to the Lord, for me. I was deeply moved by this. I am still floored she cared enough to pray that way for me-me a girl she barely knows. I joked with her that if her prayers have that much pull to help me have closure after so long with out, she had just better start sincerely praying for my priesthood hunk to show up soon! ;) What a sweet daughter of God. I am humbled.

NOTE IN MY CAR

As I came out of the temple today, I found a little package/note in my car. I have no idea how my girlfriend got into the car because I am a freak when it comes to locking my car and house. But there was a sweet little note and a set of bird earrings and a matching necklace. It was so thoughtful.

You may be thinking what is up with Bryndi! It is a testimony of maybe where my head and heart were--the Lord sure did send me a lot of reminders to help combat all of the opposition the past few weeks. For which I am so grateful for!

BROTHER MADSEN
Sunday as we all waited for welfare, I figured something had to be up! Going to these meetings for over a year and all of a sudden the Bishopric just didn't show up without any cancellation?? Not normal. When we went into sacrament meeting, I noticed the different families sitting in the rows. And then how the whole stake presidency was on the stand, and there was NO Brother Madsen. When Bishop got up, he didn't excuse Brother Madsen. Too many things to be odd I thought.

The news was shared, the Lord had called Brother Madsen to be a bishop in our stake. My eyes had a steady leak for the rest of the meeting. I admit I had a 1/2 sec selfish thought of, NO, not my brother madsen!! But in knowing how much he has done for me, how could I be so selfish to keep him and deny so many others the blessings of having him in their lives!?!

It was just over a year ago that I was getting out of a meeting and I saw Brother Madsen in the hallway at church. He was not in my ward. I didn't know him well, but I had worked with his wonderful wife Holly in Young womens and his daughter had been my ward's YCL for 2 years at girls camp. But as I passed this man I thought how cool it would before me to get to work with him. The thought was not a prayer, nor a plead, but a silent wish that I did not see could ever come forth...

A few months later the singles ward was formed and little did I know then, but I would spend every Thursday and Sunday with this great giant of a man.

Never once when I brought over someone to receive a blessing did he ever question me or make me feel stupid for doing so. Whenever I would share about a prompting or insight he was always supporting me with smiles or his little comments that only he could do. In so many ways he made me what to live my life better. In so many ways I am still trying to become the person he already thinks me to be. In so many ways, my life has been blessed by this amazing man of God. You could not ask for a better quiet cheerleader. My whole bishopric is like that. And when I used to say I have the best bishopric in the world... well now there are two of them! Because where ever Brother- sorry- BISHOP Madsen is serving, his ward/bishopric will be greatly blessed to have such a man in their presence.

I composed myself for RS, but as soon as I went into Bishop's office to for an approval, I was flooded with the fact that I would no longer enjoy seeing Brother Madsen sitting in that office. And the tears just started to flow from there on. I took Silvia home and for 15 mins we just listed to motab because I was too overcome to keep a conversation going. Overcome with deep gratitude! Gratitude that this amazing man and his wonderful wife came/were brought into my life and that I WAS blessed to have them for over a year. So many things--if I were married, (and don't get me wrong I want to be some day) but I would not have had this opportunity to have gotten the chance to work with Bishop Larson, Brother Madsen and Brother Stringham. Three men that have influenced my life profusely. And I am very thankful the Lord is still allowing me to keep Bishop Larson and Brother Stringham. And the new Brother Murray seems awesome. Yea to the ward family that now gets to claim Bishop Madsen--their lives will never be the same. Mine isn't...

Here's to one amazing Man of God! Who is full of integrity, honor, and in whom no guile can be found. Here is to an eternal friend. May every person be so blessed to have such a friend...Bishop Madsen.


I couldn't think what else to title this post, other then Gratitude. Oh to a God that doesn't forsake us in our time/need of comfort. Oh to parents who have been allowed and have chosen to serve in the temple! Parents who taught me to love the Savior. Oh to the visiting teacher that prayers, sincerely, for the welfare/well being of her teachee. Oh to the friend who leaves inspired notes. And Oh to a bishopric that believes and loves their ward members. Oh to a Brother Madsen who has taught me more deeply how to love our fellow men.

My cup is overflowing tonight...drinking from my saucer yet again!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

IF WE ARE PREPARED

video

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

FAMILY REUNION 09

Kiss, Taybabe and Rach all flew in for our Family reunion. Our first adventure was going to Nyk's place to bless Mia. She was blessed several times that she would grasp/hold on to the gospel. What an awesome blessing to have! So important for the coming days ahead. I was just studing about why we give our children a name and a blessing. President John Taylor stated:
"...this command [blessing babies before the church] is attended with beneficial result to babe and to parents, who by bringing their child before the Church manifest their faith in the sight of their brethren and sisters, in Go's word and in his promises, as well as their thankfulness to him for increasing their posterity and for the safe delivery of his handmaiden. The child is also benefited by the united faith and responsive prayers of the assembled Saints."
Pretty awesome to have the chance to show our thankfulness and unite our faith for those in our family! It was really good to be there. Mia, of course was just beautiful.

Grandpa Cloward fishing trips. Most of the days were pretty windy, so we were limited to just troll, but that didn't stop us from having fun and looking at all the beautiful scenery. Thanks grandma and grandpa for the great boat time!


This summer Grandpa and grandma put put in a pavilion, dutch oven pit, and a campfire ring in. We had a lot of volunteer angels come and help with pouring the cement.

We enjoyed roasting little smokies around with the new set up! (Mmmm, I am not sure who's idea was it, Rach's or Dad's but we think we won't ever roast another hot dog, because we roasted little smokies---and there is just no comparison! If you haven't tried it, you should... mmm! And of course Nyk had us end our evening with a starburst on the end of our stick instead of a marshmallow!)


This was our first ever Family Reunion Carnival! The first of hopefully many to come!! The kids had fun trying to earn tickets for completely each task. From sucking water out of a bottle (inspired by Latoya) to the hula hoop toss over your partners body to a hot wheels race on the dance floor, to a color walk for prizes, this will hopefully be an event that is repeated for years to come!


With Kiss's kindness in cutting all of our hair, we were able to take some family pictures. I think family pictures is just another name for contention! :D ha ha! But with 11 grand kids and a grumpy photographer, what can you expect?! (Oh family pictures reminded me that I still have some ugly rats in my cellar that I need to work on.)

Sorry to everyone for being so short fused in my grumpiness. Thanks for being patient! :D


WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CLOWARD/BABBEL BOOK!

Mom and Dad have put well over 1000 hours into creating the first, "What it means to be a Cloward and Babbel" Book.

http://www.heritagemakers.com/projectBrowserStandAlone.cfm?projectID=998217&productId=7
(If you past this link into a browser, you will be able to preview this book.)

We have been anticipating this book for almost 2 years. This was a project that while dad was in the hospital with Cancer he pleaded with Heavenly Father to finish. Finish he did, and with CLEAN BLOOD!

Mom and dad gathered us around the book to share our family Heritage. It was an amazing evening as we were filled with the spirit of the Lord from not only those who have passed on, but this huge work project by mom and dad.

Only one book was published so we could look through it to make any changes before we all printed the copies for each of us to have.

Today, I spent a good chunk of time just going through and comping the text out of the book so I could print it and read it. 34 pages of typed text!!!(This is without all the testimonies of all of us Cloward kids.)!! So I have spent the last 3 hours reading this book, cover to cover. My heart is filled. There is a huge mix of emotion from great example to not so great example. Those faithful and strong with every breath they took, they were centered in/with gospel of Jesus Christ and others that struggled with their obedience to His commandments.

What a labor and sacrifice this two year project has been for my mom and dad. Oh how I value what they put together for our family! Thank you!!!!! In July's ensign the importance of not only doing the work for our dead, but because they are our family, it is our responsibility to get to know them. Know their names, their stories, -- our heritage, good and bad. I have pondered over that. We will be held accountable for "knowing" our family who have passed on.

What a beautiful thing! Mom, Dad--I love the book! Thank you for helping me better know what it REALLY means to be a Cloward. I love the book! It is sacred to me, and will be to my children and their children. Thank you for all your hard work.

And thanks for the great family reunion!!! We truly are not perfect, and anyone close to us knows all of our flaws, but I wouldn't trade our family for anything! I love being a Cloward, and the faith, service, love and music that comes along with the name! I promise to try to become the daughter, you think you already have. I love you both! Thank you for this wonderful gift!