Friday, December 30, 2011


So a few weeks ago I received a text inviting me to come watch some of my old young woman give sacrament talks in their ward. I was deeply touched and of course didn't want to miss the opportunity! It has been several ward changes and different callings since I served in young womens... but the girls were just as amazing as before and even more so!

It was amazing to hear their testimonies of Jesus Christ and their conviction the the gospel. It just so happened that one of the presidencies I served in--all of us in the presidency were present. I beamed with pride as I listened to them bare their testimonies. Nothing on my end, but truly can there be a sweeter gift to a past leader then seeing that the girls she loved so much, have still chosen Christ in their life?! It was a very sweet and a rewarding Sunday.

We decided that we needed to have a get together, so tonight was the night. We laughted hard and played a picture game, then exchanged our favorite quotes with each other. BAD x-leader--I kept the girls way to late and their poor parents have had to stay up all night waiting for them!

My heart is full. I really love these girls. Becca was able to come and we sure missed having Amy.. but we decided we will just have to do a temple trip all together.

Truly choice daughters of God.  It was a choice evening.  Thanks girls!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


So this picture is a bit silly--and it is missing Kiss, Tay, Nyk and Cars and the kiddos--but there is a LOT of love here!! The holidays were wonderful! Perhaps I can post some thoughts a little later on that. I LOVED having Christmas on Sunday this year. I would opt for doing it on Sunday every year for surely the spirit of the day was enhanced by attending and singing the songs that celebrate Christ's birth and life here on earth. It was magical.

Yesterday I was back studying in the gospels and was impressed by the story of the man that brings his son to Christ for healing. (Matt 17, Mark 9, Luke 9.) The Father comes kneeling (Matt 17:14) before the Savior. I know there are LOTS of applications with this story. Beautiful ones... but the one that I was impressed with as I read last night--was the struggle BEFORE the deliverance/relief.

In Mark's version: "And they brought him [the guy's son] unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming." And Luke says: "And as he was yet a coming the devil threw him down, and tare him."

WELL ISN'T THAT THE TRUTH!! When I can see the "light" at the end of the tunnel, or I am on the path of coming to the Savior/willing to give up a weakness, addiction, a whatever-- "AS" I am yet coming... the devil and/or my natural man has a hay day and throws me down and tries to have one last attempt at taring me down. At breaking me so that I will not finish my journey/Commitment to Christ.

My great home teacher shared with me that his Mission President told him that the toughest struggles for someone will come right before their mission and right before getting married. Because so much good can come out of both decisions, why wouldn't Satan try his hardest to distract, tempt, lead away, discourage, beat down on the soul who is trying to make such a step?! Satan is no dummy. But either is our God!!

In Mark 8, the story of a blind man is shared. The blind man was brought to the Savior... and then an interesting thing happens. Christ who can do anything, "took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town;". Christ did not heal him right there in the city. And perhaps there it was too dangerous for him to heal in the city, so he took him out to be away from vultures who would try even harder to end his ministry... but the concept is beauitful. Christ HAD the power to do it then and there--but chose to lead him by the hand to a different place BEFORE healing him. There are times in my own life, where I know I can be healed, and I am at the feet of the Savior--but in HIS wisdom and Mercy and his perfect understanding which I usually don't comprehend or see--I am led on a journey to where I can be healed. Even if my healing comes in the form of just having my heart more concrete to Him--even if my infirmity/struggle is not taken away... my resolve and determination can be fortified and strengthened. Sometimes the burden is not taken off the back, but "The Lord shapes the back to bear the burden placed upon it." -- President Thomas S. Monson.

Christ can take us by the hand and even with our "blindness" lead us along to the place where he can heal us... whatever "healing" he has in store... not our will, but Heavenly Father's will be done...  

So many applications for life! As we turn to the Savior, as others help bring us to him, or we choose to head towards him ourselves--SATAN WILL NOT LET US GO WITHOUT A FIGHT! Seeing Christ enter into our life (meaning, us making the steps to come to him) Satan will be ticked off and will try to "tare" us and push us to the ground and have us wallow in the foam of discouragement, of frustration, the foam of bitterness, of doubt, or resentment or of pride. BUT the Savior can take us by the hand, even in our "blinded" state, and although he might not choose to heal us in the current area of our life, he will lead us to the place where he sees best to provide the opportunities to help us see what he would have us see.

So if you are on your path to the Savior, determined to hand over something that is not so GodLike in your life--be prepared that Satan is not going to let you go without a fight!!!  BUT FIGHT YOU MUST--FOR CHRIST WILL TAKE YOUR HAND AND LEAD YOU ON YOUR PATH TO GREATER HAPPINESS, DEEPER CONVICTION, AND MORE FAITH AND TRUST IN GOD'S PLAN FOR YOU... FOR ME! 

Friday, December 23, 2011


Yesterday I stopped in a rush at Kmart to pick up something really quick. The lines were not too long  which I was grateful for because of course I was in a hurry.

As I stood in my line, I looked at the cashier one line over from me. The way Kmart set up their check-out lines, this cashier was basically standing in my line, just facing a different direction. I happened to glance down and noticed that his pants were tucked into his white socks and thought it was a bold style. Our eyes connected and I smiled/half winked at him to say hello. We didn't exchange words because he was already working with a customer but he acknowledged me with a smile back and I went back to getting ready to check out. The woman and man in his line asked him how he was. Very joyfully he thanked the couple for asking him how HE was and that many people don't ask such things. He then proceeded to tell them how great he was for it was Christmas.

I was very pleased to hear such an interaction between sales associate and customer.  With the cashier's  comment of people not being very personal, for whatever reason I looked back at his pants again. But this time instead of seeing the bottoms tucked into the socks, I noticed that the pants were probably three of even four sizes too big of slacks. And they were being held together by a belt. They were black, and I hadn't noticed how big they were before.  My heart dropped. I don't think he was tucking the pant bottoms into his socks for style, but rather to hide how big they were. I was filled with more admiration, love and compassion for this cashier.  My mind seemed to play out several different reasons as to why he would be wearing such large pants...

The rest of my check out was fast. I finished my purchase and walked towards the door, but paused to get his attention.  I know, I was a little creepy I guess, but I waited for him to look over. Which he did and I nodded and sent him a smile. To which he lifted his hand to his brow, saluted me with a nod and smiled back. No words spoken... but I won't forget his optimistic, sincere cheer.  I walked to my car changed.

Sunday one of the speakers mentioned that charity is seeing someone at their full worth. Outside of the scriptures and President Monson's amazing talk on charity (click here) I don't think I have heard a more perfect definition of charity.  Perhaps Heavenly Father in his infinite wisdom and mercy allows us random views/insights into people's lives to help fill in the areas of charity that we have not perfectly fulfilled yet.  Oh the gift to strive and plead for of being "quick to observe".  (Brilliant talk given by Elder Bednar and one of my personal favorites!  Click here to view.) 

I am so thankful God allows us moments to see into the lives of others.  Ever so brief at times, but my interaction with the cashier that wasn't even my cashier...  I most likely will never know his story.  But regardless of circumstances, his attitude reflected love and kindness.  What a great example he was to me! Lesson not lost.

My heart is full.

Three clips to bring the spirit!  The first one--may we all listen to the promptings/impressions of the spirit.  The second one was introduced to me by my friend Steve.  His pastor shared it with him.  The man truly "saw" others worth.  That can be said with the last clip too.

Merry Christmas!  Christ is the reason!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


This morning as I was getting ready for my day, I listened to this experience that Sister Menlove had with her grandchildren.  I remember hearing the story in General Conference, but I don't remember it being so profound.  I was touched.  She recounted:
A few months ago I had an opportunity to take a morning walk on a mountain trail with four of my grandchildren. We each brought a bag so we could collect treasures from nature. As we looked for pieces to put in our collection, we found many different colors, designs, and textures in the leaves and rocks. It was hard to choose. I soon noticed that the children’s bags were filling up. Each leaf the children selected was unique, but because it was late fall, most of the leaves had dark weathered spots, irregular shapes, or faded and discolored parts. Because of this, I was reluctant to add things to my bag. I was looking for a leaf that showed the brightest colors and had no flaws. If it wasn’t perfect, I wasn’t going to treasure it. But this meant that my bag had very little in it.

Later, as I thought about this experience, I realized that I had cheated myself of much delight and happiness that could have been mine. I didn’t appreciate the uniqueness of the objects because I was looking for what I had deemed perfection. My grandchildren had been wiser than I had been. They had savored the odd shapes and spots on the leaves. They giggled at and enjoyed the brittle crispness of the dying leaves, and they delighted in the soft, faded colors. They filled their bags with happy treasures to take home. We can fail to see and enjoy the unique happiness and beauty in each day if we are so focused on our desire for what we want instead of what the Lord has designed for us. (For full article click here.)
Now there is a lot to say of what am I "filling" my earthly bag with.  We are told that we are to go in search of a pearl of great price, and when we find it, we should sell all that we have to obtain it.  But I am thankful for this sweet reminder of seeing/finding the joy in life rather then seeking/only focused on the "perfectness" of something/anything!  I surely would have only placed the most beauitful and most perfect leaves in my bag as well!!  What if God did that?!  Only picked out the perfect and flawless children to communicate with/and or to love?  Well he would only have one Son in that bag, namely Jesus Christ.  But yet, I know that God treasures each of us!  Even with our unique flaws/imperfections.

Sister Menlove's story reminded me of a morning I had in May with Ms. Mia Bella.

It was cold, and cold, and lifeless, and did I mention COLD?! :)  Mia and I went outside to "see" what we could see.  No leaves, brisk wind, mud and dirt everywhere.  Needless to say the morning would not be counted as one of my top 10 beautiful mornings-- or so I thought!

Mia was running around and playing in the dirt.  Having such a fun time.  She would find an obstacle of sagebrush in her path and then only with the confidence that graces an adventurous two year old she would try stepping over the brush. It was fun seeing her confidently lift her leg and with a glance towards me that seemed to say, "Did you see how high I just lifted my leg?!" When she landed her footing successful, she would squeal and flap her arms in delight.  I was trying to be the responsible "aunt" in keeping her out of the more muddy spots, while allowing her the freedom of roaming around where she chose to.

Again, this morning was nothing to talk about for it was pretty bleak.  Or was it?

At one point I got close to the ground for kicks and giggles of wanting to capture the perspective of  a two year old footstep.  I captured a lot more than a shoe! 

My bleak/lifeless morning changed in an instant to breath taking yellow and gold spread splendor!  The ground was literally covered with hundreds of smaller than dime flowers.  They were EVERYWHERE!  Mia had discovered them before me! (The picture of her above crouching down is of her capturing one of the flowers.  If you look closely to her right you will see a littering of yellow. Click on the picture and you will see even better how there are flowers everywhere!) 

My morning changed!  Not because God put leaves on the trees and dried up all the mud.  But rather He allowed me to see, what I had failed to see... His beauty!  His hand! His sunshine! I expected to see it in the warmth of the air and in the hoped for "life" in the trees.  He however, had provided it just inches off the ground.

A guy on Sunday shared a quote that his mission companion shared with him.  "Perspective brings patience."  So eternal perspective, when viewing things as they really are--the "bigger picture" patience is provided.  Well my inches off the mud view provided a new perspective. As well.  Like Sister Menloves discovery of missing out in all the joy and treasures she could have enjoyed had she not be so focused on perfection, I too could have missed the most beauitful display/arrangement of sunshine right above the mud!


A friend shared her despair as tears fell from her cheeks.  With life's changes she could not believe that God had taken so many things away from her.  I asked her if she had thought of all the things that Christ had done for her, to which she responded that she could not think of one thing he had done for her.  (It was like living Elder Oak's talk from General Conference for myself.)  My sweet friend, with tears of anger and tears of sorrow, grasped for any form of happiness, but sadly she was convinced that her happiness would only be found in her boyfriend coming back and her getting to "just live" her life how she wanted, without guilt or responsibilities.

I tried to share with her the hundreds of yellow flowers that marked and covered the path... but one must come to discover what is literately growing out of the "muds/hardships" of life for themselves.  She saw only what I saw at first... a lifeless, cold, bleak morning, and in bitterness and with anguish of soul her tears continued to flow.

My brother had a significant dream back in 2003:
"I had a dream a little while ago in which I was going to class when I began to feel quite thirsty. So I went to the drinking fountain and took a long drink, but as I did so I noticed that I couldn't feel the water in my mouth or throat. I drank again, again I felt nothing. Slightly irritated I got a large bottle of water and proceeded to empty its contents down in my mouth, I still felt nothing and I was becoming more and more thirsty. This was becoming quite aggravating so I left my class and found myself walking outside to a grass field which had sprinklers watering the lawn. I was sooo thirsty. So i went to the sprinkler and started to drink. Arrrgggg! Again I couldn't feel the water and I just go thirstier and thirstier. What was going on! As I was about to try the water in a near by gutter, I woke up. With an extremely dry mouth I got out of bed to get a drink. As I held the glass I stared at it for a while, trying to give it the impression that if I couldn't feel the water as I drank, it could enjoy being flung against the wall. I tipped the glass to my mouth and drank. YES! The water was cold against my throat, the thirst slowly dissipated. There are times in my life when I thirst, and I have found there are sources that cannot satisfy.  I am learning that there is only one true source for living water, Christ. He not only extends his water, He also pleads for me to drink. As I drink I am filled with his spirit and I find an increased capacity to feel and love. He knows how to quench my thirst because He too has thirsted like me. He causes springs of faith and hope in my driest times. He is the true fount, the fount of every blessing. I know He lives, loves and will lead me home if I will follow." -- Brytt Cloward
When we chatted it came down to the fact that she really did want to live her life the way she wanted to, and not have to keep commandments or put Christ in it.  The amazing beautiful thing about this life-- is that we can choose just to do that!  God will never force us to follow Him, or have faith in His son. But I echo the words of my brother that I too have found that there are sources that cannot satisfy.  And ultimately "there is only one true source of living water, Christ."

So I get to choose what goes in my bag!  May I fill it with the things that matter!  May I see what I couldn't see before in noticing the beauty of mud grown flowers!

To my dear friend-- God loves you.  And there is joy to be had even on seemingly bleak mornings.

May we see, what we couldn't see...!

Jesus lives!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


25 Days seems a fitting number...

I always ponder about this time of year. And I know it is like beating the same drum, but I can't help stop thinking about what CAN happen with someone this time of year. Sadly, I learned of a suicide of a young teenage girl last week on or right after Thanksgiving. I learned of a friend who has a few family members that have been also contemplating suicidal thoughts and at times quite struggle with who they are and their very existence. I am not to judge, for I know not their thoughts or their struggles. I know not the anguish of their soul or what Goliath is staring them down. I know not.

But this I do know...

There is a loving Father in Heaven who sent His only Begotten son to not only die for us but also to live for us! And at this Christmas season--wouldn't it be something if we chose to live for Him?!

At this time of year, if one will allow, one can be filled with joy, with more kindness, patience, temperance, understanding. Mens hearts can naturally be turned outward and there is NO LIMIT to the amount of good one can do during the holidays. There is NO limit to the influence. There is no limit to the hands that can be served. The smiles that can be given and the burdens that can be lightened. Satan KNOWS this! He knows because of the time of year it is--there is greater chance, that IF someone will reach outside themselves their influence/good acts/kind words could triple and multiply by 7 times the normal JUST BECAUSE of the time of year it is!

So, if I were the adversary and I knew all that one could do for Jesus Christ at this time of year... Why not put ALL my efforts, demons, devils, discouragement on an individual and just get them to focus on them looking in instead of looking out.  To focus on self instead of focusing on others.  IF I can just get someone to not care about the season and to be caught up in the business and the parties and all the obligations, the shopper rush, the longing/ the $$$ debt-- If I could just help cause them to forget the WHY behind Christmas... Well shoot!  I think I would make a pretty convincing plan for Satan to stamp with his approval of what to do with his Troops this Christmas! 

But it doesn't need to be that way.

I have read a few beautiful things in the last 5 days that have caused me great reflection.

"Our eternal happiness will be in proportion to the way that we devote ourselves to helping others" --George Albert Smith

"It is better to walk with God in the darkness than without him in the light." --Maria Speidel

... the Holy Ghost "satisfies and fills up every longing of the human heart, and fills up every vacuum.  When I am filled with that soul is satisfied, and I can say in good earnest, that the trifling things of the day do not seem to stand in my way at all.  But just let me lose my hold of that spirit and power of the Gospel, and partake of the spirit of the world, in the slightest degree, and troubles comes; there is something wrong.  I am tried, and what will comfort me?  You cannot impart comfort to me that will satisfy the immortal mind, but that which comes from the Fountain above.  And is it not our privilege to so live that we can have this constantly flowing into our souls?" --Eliza R. Snow (from Daughters in My Kingdom)
Jesus Christ shared with those recorded in Matt and Luke to "love your enemies, do good to them that hate you"... and He shared the same counsel with the Nephites when he visited them after his resurrection.  I think He is trying to help us see and make a point that we need to be loving!

But how can we love, if we are hating?  How can we bless if we are only cursing back? How can we do good if we close off our heart?  And how can we sincerely pray for those around us if we are not inclined to sincerely pray in the first place?  No wonder Christ gave such timely council!

I came across a letter that my mom shared with me back in 2006. It was a letter that Uncle Dave had written to Grammy dated July 16, 2006. He was sharing with her about Luke 18 and what it takes to be a profitable servant. He then started reflecting a little on a few areas of his life and wrote that, "...and occasionally [I] don't keep some of the commandments. (I'm usually okay with the Ten, but have occasional problems with the Two Great Commandments, such as wrong priorities, unkind thoughts and words, ect.)" !!!!

  • Love the Lord thy God with all your heart - NOT KEEPING = wrong priorities.
  • Love your neighbor as yourself - NOT KEEPING = unkind thoughts and words, ect.
Brilliantly stated! Thanks Uncle Dave! (Ha you may not have known that your sister was sharing your stuff with her daughter--but now you do!  ;))

I have reflected over those words... what are my priorities!

President Spencer W. Kimball said:
“Jesus … taught us how important it is to use our time wisely. This does not mean there can never be any leisure, for there must be time for contemplation and for renewal, but there must be no waste of time. How we manage time matters so very much, and we can be good managers of time without being frantic or officious. Time cannot be recycled. When a moment has gone, it is really gone. The tyranny of trivia consists of its driving out the people and moments that really matter. Minutia holds momentous things hostage, and we let the tyranny continue all too often. Wise time management is really the wise management of ourselves”  
Time cannot be recycled!

SOOO --- 25 Days!
(Not that it should only last 25 days, but goals/habits are measured with marking points...)

I would like to issue a challenge to anyone who is up for it.  For the next 25 Days--LET'S work on a "birthday" gift for the Savior.  That is to:

1.)  LOVE enemies... 
Those we have grudges towards.  Those who we feel have wronged us so we, sometimes unknowingly, withhold our love from them. Those who are in the checkout line and take their own sweet time... :)
2.)  BLESS them that curse...
That could mean, driving with a smile when someone does less than considerate actions with their car.  Serving someone that it would be easy to keep on moving.
3.)  DO GOOD to those that hate...
Forgiving is a good thing to do. Being slow to anger is a good thing. Slow to judge... living with giving people the benefit of the doubt... Smiling especially when it is so natural to not to car/want to be noticed... Focusing on others, choosing to be happy/positive-- all GOOD things to do. 
4.)  PRAY for others...
In a time when Satan will strive so hard to tempt us with thoughts of ending our life- only focusing inward, dwelling on what we can't see/don't have rather than seeing all we do have... If Satan can tempt us to not pray, and especially for others because we have given up or just stop caring... I say he has a pretty good plan!! Prayers can MOVE mountains!  (The faith in one's prayers..:))

SOO--What will your gift to Christ be this year?  Will you give Him 25 days?!!!  Will you give Him, in the form of doing it to/for others-- LOVE, BLESS by serving/noticing/caring, DO GOOD and PRAYING?!

What a "Birthday" (in the time of year when the world celebrates his birth) gift we could give!

The choice is ours...!

25 DAYS!!! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011


So it has been a good few weeks! Lot's of lesson's not lost on me.


From my journal
It is almost 2:30 in the morning but I feel that I need to write.
BETTY: Sunday, as I was sitting in Rs pondering over what God would have me ponder over--I noticed two girls coming in the room.  I wondered who they were.  Well going into Sunday school I saw [someone] sitting by herself, so my thoughts were to sit by her, but as I (in very brief brief time) I prayed/wondered if God needed me to sit by anyone.  I then saw two girls sitting by themselves.  I spoke to them for a min.  Soon the Jasicca ( girl from samoa) turned to me and told me Betty, the other girl, was not a member of the church
Ha you can tell it was 2:30 in the morning with that entry! :)

I felt impressed that I needed to sit by the girls.  So leaving my natural thought of wanting to sit by someone who was sitting alone, I went over and plotted myself next to the girls.

Jasicca (far left) was sitting next to the wall in Sunday School and I sat down next to Betty (the robinhood gal next to me) and introduced myself.  After a few moments, Betty's attention went somewhere else and in less then a brief sentence, Jasicca shared that they were roommates and that this was Betty's first time at church and we needed to find the missionaries.

Well-- from there the beautiful journey of these two girls in my life came into play!  I invited them over to my house to have a chat about the gospel.  I couldn't get a hold of the ward missionaries, so I decided to just have a small visit.  Jasicca couldn't come over--but Betty could and she did!

I was pretty nervous and fears of what to say started to consume me.  I knelt down and asked for the Lord to loosen my tongue and to bring me peace.

Betty and I chatted for a long time.  Mind you this girl is amazing!  She had just met me at church but still came over to my house to chat--and alone!  That says something right there.

We talked for quite some time about everything.  Then before her leaving I asked her if she would like to say a prayer.  She had never really prayed out loud before and I told her it was no problem and that I knew she could do it.  With some help in knowing where to direct her sentences, she addressed God and then thanked him for letting her have the time to meet with me.  She then asked if God would help her come to know him and if he would make a way for her brother to receive/learn about God and the Book of Mormon.  She then ended her prayer in the name of Jesus Christ and we both said amen.  I was floored.  This girl hadn't committed to reading The Book of Mormon, BUT she asked God to help her brother read/learn about it.  Betty at this point wasn't even sure she believed in God--but that prayer she offered up in my place was powerful!  And little did she know it was just a matter of time.

TIME!  What a beautiful thing. Time to change, to work out our salvation. Time to forgive, work on weaknesses. Time to serve.  Well Jasicca, Betty's roommate, had been using her time to pray to God for Betty's sake!  For months Jasicca had been praying that some how Betty would let God enter into her life. Talk about Jasicca could totally be related to Ammon's dad in the Book of Mormon!  For her faith and love and pleading for Betty to have the gospel in her life--was a powerful means that God used to help change Betty's life.

Weeks followed and we had a few meetings with the full time missionaries. The missionaries had hard core accents and even with me being formilar with gospel terms, even I had hard times figuring out what they were saying, and that meant most of the lessons were over Betty's head.  But she met and every Sunday came to all of church with Jasicca.  Betty was changing her life, and didn't even catch on at first, but Jasicca and I sure saw it!

Betty wanted to see a baptism, so I invited her to come to Afton (my niece's) baptism.  That was awesome to have her there!

One Sunday I asked if we could set up another appointment with the missionaries and Betty turned that down.  So unusual to my norm, I left it at that and never brought it back up.

WELL come to find out that the Elder that had a very think accent got transferred and the new elder and his companion were at McDonalds when Betty came in and they struck up a conversation.  The new missionary was part of GOD's timing with Betty.

Unannounced to me, Betty started meeting with the missionaries again.  One Friday came over to my place to watch 17 Miracles (I highly recommend the great movie) with Jassica and me.  Betty told me she had some exciting news.  She came over and told me she had prayed that evening after the missionaries left and felt it was right to get baptized!  Here is a girl that did a 180!  She went from never praying before/not believing in God, to praying and trusting enough in him ask questions.  I stand all amazed!

So--November 5th brought Betty's day making/showing God that she was/IS willing to keep his commandments and remember and have faith in Jesus Christ--she showed this to God by being baptized! 
It truly was an amazing day!

Mauricio, Betty's brother--whom she prayed for the very first day she came to my house-- came to her baptism.
I went and hugged him after the baptism and I asked him what he thought. He told me that he leaned over to his mom and said that he should have been baptized with Betty.  I gave his arm a slight nudge and told him that now he can have a program all to himself! Betty's family made a HUGE feast for everyone in celebrating their daughter. Her mom cooked in the kitchen with Mauricio's help for two days to prepare the food.  Talk about a spoiling!

The next morning what a beautiful thing it was to see Betty's family sitting in church. They had never attended a sacrament meeting for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints before. Betty's mom speaks a little English.  The Sunday was Fast Sunday.  I prayed that her family would feel the spirit even with the language barriers.  How choice it was then - when God inspired a kid in the ward to bare his testimony--and at the very end of his testimony, he started talking in Spanish!! For the time that I have been in this ward, I have NEVER heard someone bare their testimony in something other than English. And the kid could have never known that Betty's family was there, and that they were not members, that this was their first time, nor could he have known that one of them doesn't understand English 100%!! I seriously wanted to cry.  God is GREAT!

So Betty is now a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! Here is a shot from the day at my Niece's Baptism--and then Betty's big day.
Jasicca's smile in the bottom half says it all!  I love both of these girls!!  And what great examples they are for me!  GOD has perfect timing!  And He will patiently wait for us to come to Him.

A few days after Betty's Baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost I asked her how she was doing.  To which she replied, "GREAT!"  I asked her why that was, to which she responded that she was great and happy because she was a member.

So what does this mean for Betty?  will she ever have hard times, struggles, times where she feels the sun may not be shining.  OH YES!  We already talked about life's fierce storms beat on both the foolish man and the wise man house.  Equal storms.  The difference is the foundation=power those men have to draw for strength while in the midst of a storm.  Betty has built her foundation on Christ.  She has built her foundation on a ROCK!

My heart is still swollen when thinking of Jasicca's desires for her friend to find happiness.  We can not force others to change.  And surely God won't make/force anyone to change.  But through our love and faith, prayers and hope--God can work the miracles needed to help bring one's heart to a condition to recognize truth/seek truth and then act on the revelation/truths they have found.

Two amazing woman!

I have been pondering and take great value in some truths that have been taught to me the last few weeks.


I picked Thaynermack up on his birthday and we rushed off to the mall where he was going to go to a movie with mom and dad. I sang him happy birthday in the car and then asked him how his day had gone.  He told me that he got up and spent some time alone with God.  He said that he awoke and was just so grateful to God for letting him have another birthday here on the earth.  He was so happy to be alive and just spent the morning with his thoughts on God in gratitude.  This coming from the kid that has died several times and has lived a good two years of his life in total in and out of the hospitals.  And here it was his birthday--and he was choosing to live it praising God for still allowing him to be on the earth.  My cheeks became wet.  What a great example Thayne is to me. And I, and my whole family, are so glad/grateful that Thayne is a member of our family!  We need his testimony, his love, and his example of cheerfully submitting to whatever God has in store.  I love you Thaynermack!

In preparing for Stake Conference, I went to a Stake Temple night.  A brother in the Temple Presidency shared a profound statement.  He said that for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints... one of the worst things one can do is become casual to God.  Be casual with keeping covenants, commitments and commandments.  WELL ISN'T THAT THE TRUTH!  Satan doesn't need me to kill, cheat, swear, lie, etc--BUT if he can just get me to be casual in my prayers, my church attendance/duties, my scripture study--casual is just another word for complacent and/or numb. BEWARE!

Bishop Lifferth, in an email shared with me a conversation he heard on the radio that he felt, and I would agree, was profound.  The statement was: "People have a tendency to judge people on their actions but we judge ourselves on our intentions.  If we do judge someone let's make sure we judge them on their intentions."  He sent this statement at a perfect time because I was still pondering over something Danny had shared at his Dad's funeral the  Saturday before.

Danny made the observation/posed the question why is it that when someone dies, everyone seems to focus on all that person's strengths and what was good about them.  What they "did" rather than what they "didn't do" in life.  He shared that when someone is living right before us we tend to be critical and sometimes only view/focus on their weaknesses and the things they "don't do" or the things they "aren't".  Danny brought up this observation of how death seems to melt away negative feelings and helps one view one's life completely positive. Revering and truly honoring that person for what they "did" do for who they "really"were.  He shared this observation and then said how great it would be to live life and treat everyone as if they had just died... to see and focus on their strengths and what they are doing good.

I remember being in the hospital with Dad during the long nights with cancer.  And although the times were often bleak and we had no idea which direction things were going to go--as a family, we often commented on how little things didn't matter anymore.  The stuff that seemed so huge and pressing, had become grains of sand blowing in the wind, compared to the time we were taking "being" a family.  Cancer brought us back to basics.  To what was REALLY important and what REALLY mattered.

So if I judge someone on their intentions--basically meaning have more patience with them and truly seeing them as the being they are, as a child of God (without having to bring death into the picture) -- what a way to live life!!  How is my view of someone/situations now?

At our Stake Conference, our Stake President, President Owens, challenged us to not desecrate those areas that have become our sacred places.  The places/areas/locations where we have felt of the spirit and have had moments with God.  Satan would like nothing more than to destroy those little areas.  So for a room, instead of being a safe haven with scripture study and prayer, if immoral acts are preformed/viewed in a place that was once sacred to us, those areas will be desecrated.  He then challenged us to each build up our own "Waters of Mormon" areas.  If Satan, is allowed because of our opening the door, destroys the moments in life that were sacred to us--he will rob us of places where we might have gained peace.

Jen and I were talking the other day about going to the temple.  Jen then shared a very profound statement with me that has rung so true.

When she was first striving to go to the temple once a week--mind you this is quite a task for a mom of six--she said that the morning she would plan to go EVERYTHING would go wrong. Melt downs with the kids, literally all would break loose!  After hours of struggling Jen said that she almost said out loud, "FINE!  If this is what happens with going to the temple I am not going!  It is not worth it!"  Beautifully, however, Jen caught the "trap"! She realized that Satan didn't want her at the temple, and by her giving into not going was his very plan...he wanted to keep her out of the temple.  Once she realized what was really going on, she decided that that was it!  That NO MATTER WHAT, no matter what powers broke out, that REGARDLESS--she would be going to the temple.  NO matter what!

Jen said the most amazing thing happened.  When she finally committed with a covenant to attend the temple and was 100% set on keeping that covenant (no wavering), Satan's tactics couldn't frustrate her into NOT going.  And even if and when the world fell apart, she would still go.  She said some mornings did still fall apart, but the difference was in how she handled the opposition.  She didn't become angry or upset for she was still going no matter what, so it was just a matter of getting through/over the obstacle so she could be in the temple that day.  And with that commitment, she said her burdens were literally lightened!  Whatever went wrong, went wrong.  But she didn't let it affect her mind set of going to the temple or not. We then made connections to other covenants we make in and outside of the temple. 

SO once I make and keep with a full soul a particular covenant, like we learn in the temple, Satan really can have no power over us.  Keeping covenants WITHOUT wavering provides one with innumerable power!  Great truth!

Another PROFOUND thought was shared with me by a friend who was seeking a blessing.  She is not one to ask for blessings a lot.  In the past when she has felt to get a blessing, the day comes up and her life eases up just enough that her situation doesn't seem as dire as it had felt when she thought to get a blessing.  So, because life was not AS dire, she didn't get the blessing because after all she was "doing better".

This week that friend made an amazing inspired observation.  She felt to get a blessing, but had to wait until the next day to get it.  The day she felt to get a blessing, her life was a mess and her burdens almost too heavy to bare.  The next day, things didn't seem to be "as bad".  She was coping with things a little better and found that she really didn't need to get a blessing... BUT her mind was led to behold a tactic of Satan she had never thought caught on before. Why is it when ever she commits to getting a blessing, that the day the blessing is going to be given--her burdens seem more under control and less heavy.  In the past she just hasn't gone through with getting a blessing.  HOWEVER!!  Does Satan want her getting a blessing?  NO!  And why is that?  She will be given power/comfort/revelation even or other items to bless her life and the situation she is in.  SO wouldn't it make sense that Satan, when seeing we are going to get a blessing tells his devils, "Lay off a bit today.  We need that individual to be "okay" long enough in life to help them think they no longer need/want a blessing." HELLO!!! Doesn't this tactic make sense!  Truly brilliant!

My friend said that when this idea was brought to her mind, she figured she was even MORE in need of that blessing for Satan to let up a little so she wouldn't follow through with getting the blessing.  And sure enough, when she received the blessing--the things said she needed to hear and have in her life.  WOW!  Never caught this angle of Satan before.  It makes perfect sense!  I have even stopped the process of getting a blessing because at the moment, I was "fine" so therefor it would be silly to still get one.  Oh Satan is GOOD (in the sense that he is soo good at what he does)!!  BUT!!!!!!!!!  God is SOOO much greater!


I told you--I have had some amazing few last weeks.  :)


Friday, November 11, 2011


Institute has been wildly intense the last few weeks.  It seems that our wonderful teacher Brother McBride and us students are becoming one. Because our thoughts and language have been powerfully centered on the Savior.

I love this picture! The story and what it represents is a perfect reminder of the truth I was reminded about in institute!

This last Wed evening as we were diving into some sections of the Doctrine and Covenants, we started reading about all the different gifts of the spirit... and one by one as we found them in the verses of scriptures we would shout them out.  The topic "Gifts of the Spirit" excites me very quickly. And always has. I started thinking about all the ones I would like to have.  My mind was litterly filled with a wirlwhind of excitement as I read through some of the "stated" gifts given.  My teacher then asked which was the greatest of all the gifts.  We shot out a few answers like being Christlike and loving others.  All to which he replied that we were getting the general idea, but didn't pinpoint the "one".  Finally after several stumped seconds Alisha in the back stated "Charity".  And when she said it of course I knew she was right, and the teacher was joyous because that was the one gift he had been wanting us to say.

Interestingly--all that we were reading about in the Doctrine and Covenants that night, not once in that section did it say Charity--at least with the skimming and calling out we were doing.  And even though all these different gifts of healing, faith, administaton, etc and the excitement they brought to my mind knowing what one might do with such a gift--at the words of "Charity", I was brought back, to my center.  Yes, of course.  Without Charity, we, I am nothing.  Every exciting gift and the influence it might have--look to the root of that gift and you will find Charity.

This is nothing new, but for me that night, not seeing the words as a reminder in the verses before me, when the word was stated--I was brought to my center. Or rather, what my center should be!

For if one has charity one: 
suffers long
is kind
envieth not
vaunteth not itself
is not puffed up
not behave unseemly (indecently)
seeks not her own (not selfish)
not easily provoked
thinks no evil
rejoices not in iniquity
rejoices in truth
beares all things
believes all things
hopes all things
endures all things
will abide in charity
they have love = they have the PURE love of Christ (And that love ENDURES FOREVER)
won't suffer the laborer in Zion to perish (!! supporting our church leaders and what is asked of us!)
 brings the fountian of all righteousness (Isn't the fountain Christ--CHARITY THEN- BRINGS CHRIST!!!!!)
 One will greet (their spouse/loved one) with a "kiss of charity". (1 Peter 5:14) 
charity prevents a multitude of sins
"above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity" Bond = perfectness & peace
WITHOUT CHARITY = One is Nothing 
Charity, NEVER fails
Charity edifys (uplifts, instructs)
PRAY with ALL the energy of heart, that YOU may BE     FILLED with this love
And IF we are found possessed with it at the last day, "it shall be well with [us]", "for we shall be like [Christ]" (Moroni 7:47)  For if one does not have it, they "cannnot inherit...the mansions of [the] Father." (Ether 12:34)
So yes... I was brought back to my center. You can find all those references by doing a "charity" search in the scriptures. And there are many more...
But if one has Charity- one is truly like Christ. And without it, one is truly nothing, and SHALL fail!

Monday, October 31, 2011


Are you ready to be blown out of the water?!
"Truly, life is beauitful."

"Sadness, disappointment, and severe challenge are events in life, not life itself."

"Your joy in life depends upon your trust in Heavenly Father and His holy Son, your conviction that their plan of happiness truly can bring you joy."

"A pebble held close to the eye appears to be a gigantic obstacle. Cast on the ground, it is seen in perspective. Likewise, problems or trials in our lives need to be viewed in the perspective of spiritual doctrine. Otherwise they can easily overtake our vision, absorb our energy, and deprive us of the joy and beauty the Lord intends us to receive here on earth. Some people are like rocks thrown into a sea of problems. They are drowned by them. Be a cork. When submerged in a problem, fight to be free to bob up to serve again with happiness."

"Find the compensatory blessings in your life when, in the wisdom of the Lord, He deprives you of something you very much want."

"Thank your Father in Heaven and His beloved Son for the plan of happiness...they have power to crown your life with peace and joy, to give it purpose and meaning."
The rest of the talk-- you should totally treat yourself by clicking here and reading Richard G. Scott's Finding Joy in Life! It is one of my FAVORITES!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Today for the closing song we sang "I Believe in Christ" -- text by President Gordon B. Hinckley. Like finding a verse of scripture that you have read over and over and over-- and then something "pops" out at you that you are convinced was never there before--but sure enough is there now, in your very moment.... This hymn was that for me today.

The last verse says, "I believe in Christ; so come what may". The ceiling parting and light beams streaming down could not have been more penetrating then these words to me. My mind took on the following conversation:
"Well Bryndi. Do YOU believe in Christ?"
So come what may...! No matter what! In a sense the words are saying, "Bring it on-- for Christ, I believe in!" And Elder Wirthlin's mother said it best, "Come what may, and love it."

This week as I have been deep into the end of Alma, I was reminded with the "BE" that I had forgotten how much I loved! "be up and doing"!

And the greater part of that, it actually says, "begin to be up and doing". What a beautiful reminder to me and my commitments/covenants/desires for God and His son Jesus Christ.! Because I BELIEVE IN CHRIST-- come--whatever may--and may I love it!! And as for me and my life--I will BE up and doing!

Sam and I took a ride a few weeks ago after the snow storm to see the last of the fall leaves. I love this shot! Bleak as the day was-- but evergreens forever UP and DOING their thing--which is pointing up! And the fall leaves letting their "light/color" so shine even in the mist of WHAT DID COME. They shone in the storm--come what may! It was beautiful!

Then sings my soul-- my Savior God to thee-- How great THOU art!

Jesus IS the Christ. And I BELIEVE in Him!

Monday, October 24, 2011


So this is nothing new... but can I just tell you how amazing Heavenly Father is?!?!

I have a sweet sister that I visit. And in all honesty, I was shocked with how the Lord opened up doors for me to even have contact with this girl. The first time I visited her with my companion, her boyfriend was there and although he was kind, he made it clear that the gospel was not for him. Last month we set up an appointment to go see her and she asked for me to text her the day of so that she wouldn't forget. I sent a text, called a handful of times, and sent more texts in the course of two days prior to the appointment. Nothing. (You may think a little compulsive, but no-- not true. For I felt okayed from up above, and with the responsibility of caring over those given me in a visiting teaching charge--I knew that God would prepare a way... and He surely did!!!)

My companion and I had pressing schedules the day of the appointment and both needed to be somewhere near 7pm. I told my comp that I had not been able to get a hold of our sister to remind her, but that if she was up for it we would just go by and see if she would keep the appointment that we had set up the week prior. As we drove, I felt impressed that I needed to go over what the bible dictionary talks about with prayer. It was my companion's turn to share the lesson, so I just made a mental note/plea that God would make a way to share what needed to be shared.

We pulled up and knocked on the door and the thought came to my mind that there was movement inside, but no one came to the door. We knocked a few times and then on the way back out to my car, I asked my companion if she would mind us sticking around a little bit. (My thoughts to sticking around was about 10 mins max, but thought if she was to come home we could see her then.)

We had a great time chatting and after finding out my companion has a tender heart for those with physical disabilities we watched a movie I put together a while ago on a little girl in a wheel chair. Our eyes were both wet as we sat in the car and watched the youtube clip off my iphone.

All during our discussion I kept glancing for a sign of a car. Well wouldn't you know it--we sat outside for nearly 30 mins. This is really not a normal practice for me, or for my companion. And just as the movie was finishing--the front door to the gal's house threw open and there her boyfriend stomped out across the grass. I called out his name and he was startled to see me. He gave me a fake smile, lessened his grumpy movements because, I believe, he knew that someone else now was seeing his huffy actions.

Our gal came to the door and was calling him back. It was obvious a disagreement had just taken place. I rolled down my window and called to our girl asking her if we could come in. She had no choice really, because was she really going to say "no"!! NO she was not. She kept calling to her boyfriend as we walked to the door and then made an excuse of how she had been in the back yard which I knew was not truthful, but I was so overwhelmed with gratitude to God for "making" a way that I just smiled at her as she let us in.

We stepped inside and it was apparent they had just been in the front living room. Our sweet sister then confessed that they had been in there and after receiving my text (about 20 mins after we had already come by) that we were just waiting for her outside, her boyfriend became upset and after a battle of words not wanting us there, stormed out of the house--thus HIS STORM--caused a wake for us to ride back into the house! See--! God is truly brilliant! :D

This sweet girl opened up and shared with us her past and about how she just gotten out of Jail for the last time and her experience with the Book of Mormon while she was there. She even showed us her notes she and one of her cell mates had taken on the Book of Mormon. Everything came together as God had me share with her about prayer as written in the bible dictionary. The spirit was present and we know our sister's heart had not only been lifted but she had been given some moments to reflect on things God has already done for her.

My companion and I both left her house rejoicing in God and the miraculous power He had in making a way. And the boyfriend?? He threatened to leave her, but as we were teaching, our sister's little sister came in the house and said that the boyfriend was in the garage sleeping in the car. Ahh, the power of manipulation thankfully did not win out that day!!

Well this journey does not end there and is still continuing.

Our sister texted us and thanked us for stopping by. My companion and I made conference journals for all of our girls with their favorite colors/treats and quotes. I went be the friday before conference and to my surprise this sister came to the door. I was able to give her her journal in person and mentioned I had not heard back from my texts in a few weeks. She told me she had changed cell number and was willing to text me the new number. I left her door step praising god for making a way for me to get her new number.

Well--that was three weeks ago, and since that time I have tried every which way to get a hold of this sister. After I gave her her journal, with her new number she text my companion and I both deep gratitude of thanks... So I knew she didn't hate me for stopping by.

All month she has been on my mind and her lack of not responding to anything. How can I see her? How can I help her feel God's love. I have been given the charge to watch over her, to serve her and to love her--so surely the Lord would make a way yet again!

I decided to up my prayers with love and concern for her. Since Oct first I have stopped by her house several times with no success of having anyone come to the door. All texts, un answered. (I sound like a stocker right?!!--Ha, maybe in the world's eyes I am, but we must do all that lays in our power and then stand still to watch God's miracles unfold D&C123:17.)

Wed- Andrea and I went to stop by what I felt was a prompted visit and found my gal's sister there. She came and talked to us and the visit was completely inspired and both Andrea and I left the house praising God for the chance to talk to the teenage sister.

Yesterday as I was praying how I was going to see my sister, the impression came that I needed to go to her home. I have had this thought several times this month and besides wed night, found no success in reaching her. But the impression came. I text a sister in my ward and asked if she would like to be my companion for the visit, for my actual companion already had family plans. The "substitute" companion invitation was turned down--but I have never been bound to only visiting IF I have a companion. God can still use us if we have the guts.

I pulled outside and was stopped by my neighbor and when she asked where I was going, I sheepishly replied that I was trying a "surprise" attack on trying to catch my sister home. After admitting that and seeing my neighbor's face I felt a ting of guilt and questioned whether the whole thing was a prompting or just me grasping at any way to care for my sister.

I drove to her house. AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MONTHS--actually found the house without driving through a lot of different roads first! (Miracle because she lives in a weird area that I always go in and out of neighborhoods to find.) As I pulled up I saw the garage door open and joyed seeing a car inside! And even more joy when the back up lights came on. I got out of my car and ran over as the car pulled into the street... AND THERE WAS MY SISTER and her boyfriend! She had the look of "caught" and "I was just leaving". My look was one of pure joy, "God, you are sooo good! You got me here with only a 20 sec window of opportunity!"

We chatted in the street. Them in the car and me outside the window. It was no more than 5 mins of talking when another car pulled up and the man asked my sister about her mom. I could tell from her expression she was less thrilled to see that man/"Caught again" and when he left I asked who he was and she said he was a man from her mom's ward. I smiled internally for surely that man must have been seeking a way to check in on the family too! And surely the sister was just thinking she had bad luck--but I praised God at all His magnificent ways to send in the troops and open steel bolted doors!

My gal committed to a visit wed night and the better news is that her boyfriend will be in Wy and won't be a powerful physical reason of why not to let us in.

Seriously, amazing!!

Now has she wanted to come to God or give up all the things keeping her from God--! The answer is a resounding "not yet"! HOWEVER--God has given me stewardship to love and care for this sister, regardless of the choices she makes. And HE MAKES A WAY for us to love/care for His sheep!! He knows this girl, and loves her more than my imperfect love even knows how.

...this I know, that God has and will continue to prepare a way!! And some of my sweetest recent experience have been when God has told me to do something that my natural man quicker than snot answer was, "NO WAY"! But a WAY is what God will prepare if I am just willing to move my feet/open my mouth and act immediately on the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

And do I have all the free time in the world?! I have just committed to getting up an hour earlier each day because I need MORE time. But if I am for God, and am sincere about wanting to be on His errand--then even in the business and craziness of life and all it throws at us-- God WILL make a way for us! He has been for me!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


"My beloved brothers and sisters, today I would like to speak about one of the most significant gifts given to the world in modern times. The gift I am thinking of is more important than any of the inventions that have come out of the industrial and technological revolutions. This is the gift of great value to mankind than even the many wonderful advances we have seen in modern medicine. It is of greater worth to mankind than the development of flight or space travel. I speak of the gift of the Book of Mormon..." --President Ezra Taft Benson

So I finished reading the October Ensign. Yes, the conference editions are always my favorite and I save them--when they are not given away--but October's Ensign I have to say was amazing cover to cover!!!
New insights to scriptures stories! Inspiried council! Testimonies from different members all over the world. Time and time again I found the spirit cementing the truths yet again in my heart. I feel like buying 10 copies just so that my future posterity can surely have one! The issue is that BRILLIANT!!!

Just a few of my favorite quotes from it's pages:

In the scriptures " we find principles of truth that will resolve every confusion and every problem and every dilemma that will face the human family" (Teaching, No Greater Call).
...we who are privileged to have the Book of Mormon, to be members of the Lord's Church, to have His gospel, and to keep His commandments know something of God's infinite love. pg 14
I realized that I had been limiting the power of God by assuming He could not use me in any way He saw fit. pg 14
The Book of Mormon is an incomparable treasure and the instrument of conversion that the Lord has designed and provided for our dispensation. pg 30
Thus, the birth, life, and atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ are the greatest manifestations of God's love for His children. pg 33
What, then, is the difference between clinging and holding fast to the rod of iron? Let me suggest that holding fast to the iron rod entails, in large measure, the prayerful, consistent, and earnest use of the holy scriptures as a sure source of revealed truth and as a reliable guide for the journey along the strait and narrow path to the tree of life--even to the Lord Jesus Christ. pg 36
We need our own secure and settled faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and we need help in strengthening our families so that this faith flows into the hearts of our children and grandchildren. Faith in Jesus Christ, when solidly anchored in our souls, brings true conversion, and in its wake come repentance, honest discipleship, miracles, spiritual gifts, and enduring righteousness. pg 41
There is nothing more important to share with another than faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It brings understanding to the challenges of this life, happiness amid difficulty, and eternal life in the world to come. pg 45

My list could go on and on because my notes are thick!!

I LOVE the Book of Mormon! It truly brings one and their heart to Jesus Christ. What can reading the Book of Mormon do for you?! Just change your life!!!!!!!!!! If you would like a free copy- click here. Ezra Taft Benson said about the Book of Mormon:
There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called "the words of life: (see D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in great and greater abundance.

I feel these words from Richard G. Scott could be my own for I say AMEN to them!
"What does the Book of Mormon mean to you? Has it been a source of inspiration and power in your life? Will it continue to be?
"If you have not yet drunk deeply form this fountain of pure truth, with all of my soul I encourage you to do so now. Don't let the consistent study of the Book of Mormon be one of the things that you intend to do but never quite accomplish. Begin today."

There were so many things from the Oct Ensign that touched me...! I seriously could write a few pages on this--but I particularly felt the spirit while reading this account.

I Felt a Fire Inside

Claudia Williams, Florida, USA

I grew up attending Sunday School at a church next door to my childhood home in Michigan, USA. I had a wonderful teacher who filled me with a love for Jesus Christ.

Each week she passed out cards illustrating events from the Savior’s mortal ministry, including principles He taught and miracles He performed. Each week I pasted the cards into a scrapbook and reread the stories in the Bible. As I grew older, I continued to study the Gospels in the New Testament.

Years later, during the summer of 1968, missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited the home of a family member. She declined the elders’ invitation to learn about the Church but sent them to my home.

At our first meeting the missionaries taught me that “a falling away” had occurred from the Church that Jesus Christ had established (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3). What they taught coincided with my personal study, so when they asked if they could visit me again, I agreed.

During their next visit, I had a list of questions. Did Latter-day Saints baptize by immersion? Did they believe in priesthood authority? Did they believe in the healing of the sick? Their answers supported what I had studied in the New Testament. At the end of the visit, they left me with a book they said testified of Jesus Christ.

I set the book on top of the TV and went to bed. But in the middle of the night, I was awakened by a strong feeling I later recognized as the Holy Ghost. I felt prompted to start reading, so I read for an hour and a half before returning to bed. A short time later, I reawakened with the same feeling, so I read some more.

This pattern continued for the next two nights. I loved what I was reading and recognized that the Book of Mormon testified of Jesus Christ.

I decided to ask God for direction. For the first time since I was a little girl, I knelt to pray. I asked Heavenly Father to help me know what to do with the fire I felt inside of me. When I finished my prayer, I felt prompted to revisit the account of the Lamanites’ conversion in 3 Nephi 9. I read that they “were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not” (verse 20).

The phrase “they knew it not” spoke to me. The thought came to me: “The Church of Jesus Christ really is on the earth!” I was eager to talk to the missionaries about what I had read and what I now knew. But when they responded to my questions with an invitation to be baptized, I told them I couldn’t. My husband wouldn’t understand.

As I continued to think about that verse, however, I realized that it contained clear direction for me to offer the sacrifice of “a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” I prayed and asked my Father in Heaven to help me, which He did. After my husband took the missionary discussions, he gave his consent for me to be baptized.

How grateful I am to a loving Heavenly Father for that precious and powerful experience I had as a young mother in reading the Book of Mormon. It led me to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. As a result, the influence of the Holy Ghost I felt those nights in 1968 is now a constant gift—something that has guided me during my more than 40 years as a member of the Church.

The Book of Mormon has changed my life!!!!! And continues to do so! I am pretty sure I have read through it at least 20+ times on my own and that is probably an under estimate, and yet I find new verses, deep truths, renewed desires to becoming like Christ. I LOVE THE BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love the Oct Ensign for confirming everything that is already in my heart!!!


May your love affair with the scriptures start TODAY!!!!!! (President Hinckley always used to talk about having a love affair with the scriptures--and I can testify that I DO!!!!!!!!!! And if you haven't had such a relationship with the sacred volume, YOU CAN!!)


Thursday, October 20, 2011


Last night in institute our studies brought us to section 29. I have studied section 29 before, but as we read verses 31 and particularly 32 my mind opened up to what is probably an obvious insight, but the symbolism was new for me.

Doctrine and Covenants 29:31-32 reads:
For by the power of my Spirit created I them; yea, all things both spiritual and temporal—

First spiritual, secondly temporal, which is the beginning of my work; and again, first temporal, and secondly spiritual, which is the last of my work—
So the order in that second verse is:

Phase 1


then the order changes

Phase 2

With phase 1, we were all created 1st spiritual before ever coming to earth. God prepared a way to have an earth life for us = 2nd temporal. Phase 2 -- born into this earth life we full fill
the "1st" and become "temporal" with our new bodies. And because of the veil placed over our minds we now, on/in this earth life, need to full fill the 2nd and become once again Spiritual! A complete Beautiful circle [square picture-but I think you get the idea]!

So again...this earth life is about becoming Spiritual beings yet again. For we were once! And we have all finished steps 1 and 2 of phase 1 for we all were created spiritually and given a plan for mortality. And we have all finished the 1st step of phase 2 by becoming temporal--for surely our being born in into this life with bodies that age and fall apart, we have accomplished becoming temporal first. NOW for the 2nd step of this journey--becoming spiritual once again, THUS preparing us to be able to live in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I know there are a lot more applications with those verses, but I thought it was a beautiful reminder of what I am to be doing. Christ says:
Lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father; and it is his good will to give you the kingdom.
This life is NOW about becoming spiritual yet again. The Lord's council to David Whitmer is a good reminder to me! Doctrine and Covenants Section 30:
Behold, I say unto you, David, that you have feared man and have not relied on me for strength as you ought.

But your mind has been on the things of the earth more than on the things of me, your Maker…
I often fear man and forget that I am to RELY on Jesus Christ for strength. And too often I fall into the temporal trap of focusing on things that are temporal= having my mind be on "the things of the earth more than the things of [my] Maker"!

Well it's a new day!! And I am all about making my brown arrow--become and achieving white -- the 2nd step of phase 2. To become spiritual once again!!

Jesus is the Christ! He lives! -- And I know it!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I recently came back from a wonderful trip from Florida. Mom and Dad spoiled Thayne and I with some park hoping adventures. It was wonderful! Saw a few miracles, LOVED the beauty, and wished that others sweating standing in line believed in the the power of deodorant! :D

Thank you mom and dad for a much needed vacation!

Thaynermack and I took a red eye out to Florida, hoping to get one extra day there in which we could go to the temple.

Nearing almost 1am, an announcement came on that the plane was over booked and they were looking for volunteers to leave in the morning instead. Which the airlines would provide a 400 dollar voucher, food, and a hotel room along with the morning flight out. Thayne and I didn't "need" to be in Florida, so we hopped up and walked over to the counter. I got excited about having a ticket "paid" for so I could go out and visit Kiss and Nyk sometime.

Just as we were about to be the ones putting our names on the list, I had the slightest of all impressions, that we should not do it. I told Thayne that I didn't think we should go and he asked if I didn't feel good about it. I told him the "small" (and when I say small, it was almost unnoticeable) impression, he being the amazing kid he is, said no problem, let's go sit down. So we left the grand opportunity and I wrote it off that God probably was saving me from anxiety of making sure everything went smooth the next day.

We boarded the plane and prepared our blankets and neck pillows for the long into the morning hour flight.

The guy sitting next to the window came and sat down and he seemed to be a nice guy. As the flight departures were being rapped up he and I had some small talk. He was in Utah on business. Turns out he is a stunt race car driver. Only about 200 in the USA with his profession. His line of work involves commercials and movies. He just signed on with the new Charlie's Angels TV serious. He (ha, he does have a name- Mark) Mark showed me one of the scripts for the Charlie's Angels-- talked about how car A is going 200 miles per hour, hits car B which rolls several times, and car A is to spin out of control ... etc. I looked at Mark and asked him if he really was going to do that. Without a wince, and matter of fact-- he said "Ya". He said he knew what to do to make the car roll and flip in any direction. He said high speed chases for film were a piece of cake! NO problem and he felt completely confident that whatever the direction the director wanted to have happened, he COULD make happen. (Yes, if you are picturing a girl in the middle seat with her jaw slightly dropped, next to the calm collective race car driver--you have pictured the airplane scene correctly!)

His gig in UT was near Tooele at a race car track there. For 8 hours a day his contract was such that people would pay 150 dollars per ride... that is, sit and go in a race car for 3 mins! He said he was doing that all week. Where do people get money like that to spend on 3 mins of time?!

Well needless to say I was sitting by "Mr Hotstuff". But the whole time while speaking, the guy, who is clearly "well off" was very chill, calm, and had a great peace about it. I felt impressed to ask about his family. He married around his 40's and has three little girls. And at the talk of them, this already kind and soft hearted man, became even more soft. His love for his little girls was evident.

The next three hours we talked about the gospel. Apparently 20 years ago Mark had gone to visit a ward and all he could remember was that the women and the men separated. We talked about prophets and General conference coming up the next weekend. After sharing a principle on the temple Mark said, "So if I understand, your church has a great emphasis in your dead. I don't think my church does that." At times I wondered if he may be "sleeping" through the conversation, but sure enough the spirit urged me to share on and after each principle he would recap what he was understanding... "So you believe in living apostles and my church just teaches about dead ones"... We were the only ones on the whole plane with our over head lights on. Thanyer was snoring next to me, and he was joined with a sounds of other heavy sleepers. After several hours we decided we had better get a little shut eye. We turned off our lights. I stared into the dark plane and the tears just started to roll in gratitude for such an opportunity. Sharing the gospel to someone with someone who was pure in heart was worth any pass up on any voucher! I kicked myself for not having a copy of the Book of Mormon on me. The first time in 6 1/2 years of flying for business trips and such--and no Book of Mormon! In all honestly, I didn't even think to bring one. I shared that with Patti to which her response of shock was that was always my first thing to pack. But I didn't. A few tears dropped in morning my lack of preparation.

Landing in Georgia woke up all snores. As I pulled out my tickets for our connecting flights, I noticed my conference ensign. just one more week of the challenge left! For a split second, I didn't want to give it away, for surely the edition had become like my personal scriptures. Completely marked up with impressions and insights... but God had prepared a way even with the lack of preparation on my end. I showed Mark the Ensign and his eyes lit up as I shared showed him the prophet. I told him to keep it which I half expected him to turn me down, but he thanked me and took it.

I would love to write that something amazing has happened with Mark, but no more contact after that day has been responded--but this I do know--God's elect are being called in and prepared. Mark's heart was so good, and I felt how choice of a human being he is. It was an honor to share a red eye flight with him. And I praise God for providing a means! Oh I love flights!!

We were blessed to go to church on Sunday while in Florida. The Relief Society and Priesthood lessons were given on charity. The RS lesson was wonderful. The teacher was nervous, but had prepared with the spirit. Towards the last few mins of class an elderly sister in the back, visiting from Idaho (surely any wards around Disney World get a variety of members from all over coming) raised her hand. With quite some difficulty she painfully shared a very personal experience. She and her husband were called to serve a mission. She questioned the stake president because of her husbands loss of memory, but he assured her that they were needed. Off on their mission they went. She said the days and weeks went on, and her husband became worse. He could not remember appointments or dates. She said after him asking her for the 12th time what time church started, she just wanted to yell at him that she had already told him 11 times within the last 10 mins. This sweet sister, took her worries over to the Lord and expressed that she knew that God could heal her husband. That she didn't want to be the one with the only working memory. She fasted, prayed and pleaded with God to change and fix her husband for surely she should have to go one with him like how he was. The answer came--but competely different then she expected... the answer came that God would not heal her husband. Heavenly Father told this sister, "I am trying to teach you charity."

The sister was weeping and her voice was quivering sharing such a personal weakness. She said often times she just wanted to get angry with her husband and frustrated at how many times she has to repeat herself. She said she was deeply humbled that day, that God was using her husband to help her learn charity. That it was not her husband that needed fixing or to be changed--but it was her own weakness and lack of charity towards him.

This sister was crying and the rest of us were sniffing. Her comments stirred my soul. Patience is a christlike attribute. For surely the Lord is long suffering in our weaknesses and our selfishness. Impatience is a perfect manifestation of the lack of charity one's being is not claiming/using/manifesting. How her comments hit me in such a personal way.

Read this quote from President Hinkley tonight:
To those of you who live in troubled homes, may I suggest that you let love become the lodestar of your family life. There is too much of shouting, too much of recrimination, so many tears in the homes of some of our people. Love is the only remedy. It is the very basis of marriage. It can be nurtured and strengthened, or it can be starved and weakened. The power lies within ourselves. Bridle your tempers, husbands. Wives, hold your tongues. Revive the wondrous feeling that brought you to the marriage altar. --Gordon B. Hinckley
I thanked the sister afterwards for sharing her story. Still shaking she said she fought the prompting to share it all class, but finally could not fight off the spirit any longer. I apologized that she probably was suppose to share that story at least for me and thanked her for her courage in raising her hand.

Deep lesson on Charity. Deep reminder on how often my charity is not suffering long, patient, and/or kind. God is kind with all my weaknesses. And is patient. Can I not learn to be the same with others? My weaknesses may not be someone elses. And my faults-their strengths. My powers, their limitations. But God, who perfectly sees and views all, I think would have me be more kind, more patient, more quick to love then to criticize. Actually, unless directed by the spirit, I don't think there should be any room for criticism in my life. Criticism is surely not building. I pray to seek for more charity and the strength to exercise it's power to influence my thoughts, my heart, my tongue and my actions...

These are the words we sang in sacrament today. I sang hard and probably a little too loud, as my cheeks became wet...
As now we take the sacrament, our thoughts are turned to thee,
Thou Son of God, who lived for us, then died on Calvary.
We contemplate thy lasting grace, thy boundless charity;
To us the gift of life was giv’n for all eternity.

As now our minds review the past, we know we must repent;
The way to thee is righteousness— the way thy life was spent.
Forgiveness is a gift from thee we seek with pure intent.
With hands now pledged to do thy work, we take the sacrament.

As now we praise thy name with song, the blessings of this day
Will linger in our thankful hearts, and silently we pray
For courage to accept thy will, to listen and obey.
We love thee, Lord; our hearts are full. We’ll walk thy chosen way.

And so my life is this Sunday evening. A week seeking forgiveness, a week contemplating boundless charity.. Hands now pledge to do HIS work and courage to accept HIS will--TO listen and obey.... I love the Lord, my heart is full. I will walk His chosen way. Oh how I love God! The more I learn of Him and His doings, the more I stand all amazed.

PS. If you are just wanting a great 10 min reminder read this week CLICK HERE.