Monday, September 2, 2013

No Greater Protection

I want to start off with saying I am so so sorry for not posting on this blog in literally FOREVER. (Translation: 3 months).  With Girl's Camp, 2 Family Reunions across the country, marching band camp and the start of school I have been so very busy.  I promise I'll try to do better now :)

At last October's general conference, Richard G. Scott said:
"Do you young people want a sure way to eliminate the influence of the adversary in your life? Immerse yourself in searching for your ancestors, prepare their names for the sacred vicarious ordinances available in the temple, and then go to the temple to stand as proxy for them to receive the ordinances of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. As you grow older, you will be able to participate in receiving the other ordinances as well. I can think of no greater protection from the influence of the adversary in your life."

Let's think about that again:
no greater protection from the influence of the adversary in your life 

Doesn't that coincide with what we all desire in life? Wouldn't we all love to be protected from sin and temptation? Is this not an essential step in our eternal progression?

Family history work is so empowering that there is no greater protection.

Last night I decided to read from a binder containing some journals and family history records from my mom's side of the family.  It was so much fun taking a step back into the past and learning about what life was life for my ancestors.  They didn't care about some of the insignificant things that concern us today.  They were truly concerned with their families. If they had food to eat and roof over their head, they were happy. 

 Some of the stories made me laugh.  Others were so heartbreaking that I wanted to cry.  But each one made me feel a greater connection to those who came before me.  

 My challenge to you is to start.  Start somewhere.   Start anywhere.  Read a family journal.  Index names.  Go on family  Prepare family names to go to the temple.  Go to the temple.  Whatever it is, I have a testimony that it will give you protection in this life.  It doesn't have to be a dreaded experience.  It can be an amazing, empowering, exciting experience if that's what you make it to be.   

 family history conference card

To end I want to share one last quote from Elder Scott:

"This work is a spiritual work, a monumental effort of cooperation on both sides of the veil, where help is given in both directions. Anywhere you are in the world, with prayer, faith, determination, diligence, and some sacrifice, you can make a powerful contribution. Begin now. I promise you that the Lord will help you find a way. And it will make you feel wonderful."


Sunday, June 2, 2013

"Cause Girl You're Amazing, Just the Way You Are!"

I want to make my post today be a shout-out to some of the most amazing 12 year olds I know from my ward, since I know you love to read this blog. :) I won't put your names on here (I like to be safe) but if you're a beehive in my ward...

Anyway, I love you guys to pieces!! You are an amazing example to me of girls that try to follow the Savior in everything they do.  I love how you always are so optimistic and happy about everything.  Going on your first temple trip was one of the best temple trips I've ever been on because I got to relive how excited I was the first time! You girls are doing so great on Personal Progress, I can't believe it! If any of you ever need help with anything or need some ideas, I'd be happy to help.  I am so excited for all of the adventures you girls have in store for you in the future - middle school, youth activities,  dances, pioneer trek, girls camp, high school, (you get the point). I know you will love them all! Camp this year is going to be a blast and I am so super excited for you to finally get to go!

To you and anyone else reading this, always remember that you are a Daughter of God and he loves you perfectly!  If you ever need anything, always ask Him because He will do anything He can to bring you back home to Him.  Anytime you feel alone or scared,  remember the love that He and all those around you have for you.  You are BEAUTIFUL. Don't let anyone ever tell you different!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

I am so grateful for all of those who have served, are serving, or will serve for our beautiful country.  Their sacrifices are undeniable and amazing.  I hope you all will take the time today and everyday to express your gratitude for them in any way that you can.

I  know that these brave men and women along with our loving Heavenly Father have made the freedoms we enjoy today possible and real.  I love this country so much and I am definitely "proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free!" :)

May God bless you and protect you today wherever you may be.  Whether you live in the USA or not, I know you can express your gratitude for the many blessings you have been given.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Humble Seekers of Happiness

This post is based off of an entry in my scripture journal. I really love this scripture and thought I would share some thoughts I have on it with you.

In Alma 27:18, we read,

"Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness"

So in order to have exceeding joy, the scripture says we must:

1) Be truly penitent : Penitence as defined in the dictionary is "Feeling or showing sorrow and regret for having done wrong; repentance" One step in being truly happy, then, is to repent. In a 2006 general conference address, Marcus B Nash said, "Each of us needs to repent to some degree or another. To repent means to make the real changes in your life the Savior desires you to make for your happiness. Repentance is the great enabling principle of the gospel: when your faith in the Lord causes personal change, such action on your part, as Helaman states, “bringeth [you] unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of [your] souls” (Helaman 5:11)."

 2) Be humble : We can't search for happiness out of pride or selfishness. We have to be humble and always grateful unto the Lord. In the Doctrine and Covenants 1:28 we read, "And inasmuch as they were humble, they might be made strong."

3) Seek to find it : In Matthew 7:7-8,Christ says, "Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." True happiness won't just come to us. We have to strive to find it in it's fullness and it will be granted unto us.

So now that we know what it takes, what is this true happiness really like?

In Alma 27: 17, he writes, "Now the joy of Ammon was so great even that he was full; yea, he was swallowed up in the joy of his God, even to the exhausting of his strength; and he fell again to the earth."

We may not all fall to the earth, but I know that it is possible to be swallowed up in joy.  I have found that when I do those things that I need to I have so much happiness in my life! The Lord really can bless you with more joy than I can even imagine. Isn't that such a great blessing? :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Our Angels on Earth

Today is mother's day and I want to briefly share my appreciation for my mom and all of you mother's out there. 

First I have to say:

 I don't say it enough, but I love my mom soooo much. She means everything to me and I am so grateful  for everything that she has done for me.  My mom will always hold a special place in my heart, even and especially when I move on to be a mother myself.  

There is a quote from the First Presidency of the Church that says, "Motherhood is near to divinity.  It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind.  It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels."

In today's world, some people believe that our status should be dictated by our wealth or other worldly accomplishments.  However, I know that being a mother is the highest position we can ever hold as daughters of God.  I love this story that was shared in an LDS Ensign magazine a few years ago:

"Kristen was finishing a graduate degree and had recently given birth to her second child. She felt the other graduates had accomplished so much more and was reluctant to attend the graduation dinner. Her fears were confirmed when, at the dinner, the students were asked to list their professional accomplishments. Kristen recalled: “I suddenly felt embarrassed and ashamed. I had nothing to call myself, no lofty position, no impressive job title.” To make matters worse, the professor read the lists as he presented a diploma to each student. The woman ahead of Kristen had many accomplishments: she already had a PhD, was receiving a second master’s degree, and she’d even been a mayor! The woman received grand applause.

Then it was Kristen’s turn. She handed the professor her blank sheet, trying to hold back the tears. The professor had been one of her teachers and had praised her performance. He looked at her blank paper. Without missing a beat he announced, “Kristen holds the most critical role in all of society.” He was quiet for a few seconds, then declared in a powerful voice, “She is the mother of her children.” Instead of a few courteous claps, people rose to their feet. There was just one standing ovation that night; it was for the mother in the room."

I feel that mothers really are our angels to watch over us on earth, and I look up to them and am ever amazed of the loving sacrifices they make.  I love my mom so very much and I am also grateful for all the mothers that have inspired, taught, and encouraged me.

And to those future mothers, don't let the world tell you how to be successful. Elder Russell M. Nelson said, "Prepare yourselves to ennoble, to enrich, and even to become the heart and soul of the home.  You may bless others either as mothers or as legislators; as leaders in the schoolroom or in the laboratory of truth; at the hearth or at the crib side."

Sunday, May 5, 2013

We Seek After These Things

The 13th Article of Faith says:
lds young womens theme 
Unfortunately, in the world we live in now, it is so hard to find things that fit this criteria! I have always loved to read, but as I have grown older it has become progressively harder to find books that are clean and good reads! Thankfully, one author in particular has come to the rescue.  

If any of you aren't familiar with Jenni James, I encourage you to read her books.  They are great for teens and adults: my mom and I both love them.  She has started a series (The Jane Austen Diaries), which are great modern romance books based on the storyline of Jane Austen books.  Whether you are Jane Austen fan or not, you will love them!  They are all definitely virtuous, praiseworthy, and of good report.  And, may I add, that some of the male roles are quite lovely <3. 

I have to say that the book Persuaded in the series is my favorite, but they are all so good!


She also has a Faerie Tale Collection that is in the process.  I haven't had the chance to read any of these yet, but I know they are clean and have heard they are amazing!

It is always a relief any time I can find books, movies, or TV shows that are uplifting.  Thank you Jenni!

Here is a link to her website and Facebook page.  You should really check her out!


Saturday, May 4, 2013

I Hope They Call Me On a Mission!

Missionaries change lives.  We usually think of them changing lives of those who are not members of the Church, but they also have changed mine.  I never wanted to go on a mission.  Age 21 always seemed to me like a really awkward time to go, and had it set in mind that I would just go with my husband when we were older.  Then, we had some sister missionaries come to our ward ( we hadn't had any for a while), and that all changed.  As I watched them, talked to them, and heard their testimonies there was a feeling in my heart that I could not get out of my mind.  I needed to go on a mission.

Over the next few months, it got more and more prevalent and it was almost set in stone.  I really, really, really wanted to go on a mission. There was still one problem: I did not want to go at 21. It was right at this time that I was starting to doubt if I should go ( I knew I still had years ahead of me to decide), when President Monson made the historic announcement that Sisters could now go on missions at 19.  I'm not kidding.  I was thinking about it the entire way home from a camping trip that morning. Crazy, huh? I have to say that was one of the best moments of my life. I knew at that point that I was not going to let anything get in the way of me going on a mission.  I wanted (and still want) to go and serve the Lord with all my heart.

Since then, there have been so many more Sisters sent out into the world than ever before. In fact, this week, for the first time in history, there are more sister missionaries in the Provo MTC than Elders! Along with that, we are getting a ton of sister missionaries in our area.  Right now we have three sets! They continue to be an amazing example to me and I get more excited to go every time I talk to them.

I absolutely cannot wait to go on my mission.  I want to share the glorious truths I know with anyone and everyone I can.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is everything to me, and I want others to be able to have that sure foundation to build their lives on.

 Just like Elder Russell M. Nelson said in General Conference, "Ask the Missionaries. They can help you!"
They aren't scary and I promise they won't try to force feed anything down your throat. They are young men and women with a desire to serve God, and they would love to serve you. I cannot put into words how much I love the missionaries.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Daughter of a King

Yesterday was my sister's 12 birthday.  In our church, that means that she gets to move on from Primary to the Young Women Program. I have always loved being in Young Women, and there are so many amazing blessings I have because it. So, dedicated to my sister, here is a list of the top 7 reasons why I love the LDS Young Women Program.

(In no particular order, just so ya know)

1. Personal Progress - Oh, how can I even put this into words.  Personal Progress has taught me so much and has been so much fun over the last few years. This blog itself is my Integrity Value Project.  I'll have to post a list of ideas on another post.  Personal Progress is an amazing way to prepare to be married in the temple for time and all eternity.

2.  Really Pretty Songs - Nothing against good ol' primary songs, but the youth songs we sing in YW are so beautiful and the lyrics are perfect! One of my favorites is "Keepers of His Light", by Jenny Phillips.

3. Earning a Super Cool YW Medallion - I don't have mine yet, but I am so close and I encourage everyone to try and earn this.  It is such a cool thing to be able to achieve and the necklace ain't that ugly either. ;)


4. Always Having Awesome General YW Presidencies - I absolutely LOVE Sister Dalton, but I know Sister Oscarson is going to be amazing, too! If you haven't followed her on Pinterest, here is the link to her page:

Follow Sis. Oscarson on Pinterest:

And while we are at it, if you want to follow me on Pinterest, I would love you:)

5. Temple Trips - again, more to come in another post.  Some things you love cannot be summed up in one little paragraph.

6.  Earning colorful bookmarks for my scriptures so that I can mark more than 2 of my favorites! 

7. Constantly being reminded that I am a daughter of a King.  I am truly a princess in His kingdom, and can return to live with Him again. <3

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I Love the Pioneers

Today the power went off about 3 minutes after I started cooking dinner. Great, huh?  As we had to adjust plans to cook our food and prepare for the possibility of an evening without lights, I started thinking about the pioneers, and was again reminded of my gratitude for their sacrifice.

They left all that they had come to know and love.  They suffered long months of death, pain, heat, freezing cold, crossing rivers, small food rations, Indians, wolves, and so much more.  They had to have a ton of faith to put themselves through that suffering.  In addition to these, the pioneers did not have electricity, telephones, heaters, microwaves, toasters, ovens, televisions, phones, tablets, iPods, or computers.

I could never begin to imagine what exactly the pioneers went through, but this past November I was able to go on a state Youth Pioneer Trek. It was the absolute best experience of my life and changed me forever.  I can't go into too much detail because words cannot do the experience justice. The Spirit I felt the entire time was amazing.  We crossed a few creeks/rivers, ate more Bisquick than I had eaten in the rest of my life combined, slept under tarps, told stories around the campfire, laid under the stars, had a very humble sacrament meeting on blankets on the hillside, were delivered letters from our parents through the "Pony Express", sang songs while we pushed and pulled and pushed and pulled, and in all had an unbelievable time. It really is something you have to experience for yourself.

My heart will always be grateful for the pioneers, especially those women and children who were left to take the journey without their husbands/fathers.  Their sacrifices never cease to amaze me.  There was a song played at the Nashville Tribute Band concert last night that fits with this perfectly.  It is called One Who Understands, and although it is written about the pioneers, it can be true for all of us.  There is always One who understands exactly what we are going through and that is our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I love Him with all of my heart.

He Walked a Mile in My Shoes

Yesterday we went to a Nashville Tribute Band concert in Franklin, Tennessee.  For anyone who does not know who this band is, look them up now! They are so, so, so good! Individually they all have professional music careers, but together they form one awesome LDS country group. NTB has three CD's released currently, paying tribute to Joseph Smith, the pioneers, and Missionaries.


The concert was absolutely amazing! The Spirit that was present was undeniable and incredible. What's so wonderful about this music is that it is totally clean, well written, great music that teaches truths of the gospel.  There is not a song on any of these albums that I do not like. (Here is one of my favorites)

In today's world, it is so nice to know that there are still some things that are "virtuous, lovely, or of good report". With so much language and suggestive material in a lot of the popular music, it is a relief to find wholesome music that I can enjoy.

So, even if you don't like country music, you should definitely look these guys up.  You will feel an amazing spirit, and I bet you will love it!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

In the Service of Your God

Today we had a stake day of service, pulling weeds at a local cave. To make it even more of an adventure, it was raining. A TON. We spent several hours on the side of a cliff, tearing out weeds, drenched in mud. A few times we almost slipped down in a mudslide, but thankfully we were always there to lift each other up. Today I was muddier than I have ever been in my whole life.  (This picture was AFTER I cleaned off to get in the car, if that says anything)


So, I could have spent the day relaxing at home, but instead I chose to get covered in mud.  Being a person who doesn't usually like to get dirty, this doesn't make much sense.  But this scripture sums it up quite perfectly.

Mosiah 2: 17 ~ "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom;  that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."

 I love God and want to serve Him in any way that I can. By serving others, I am serving Him.  It doesn't matter how dirty I get in the process. I love Him with all my heart.

And just like the young men in my ward were there to lift me up slick patches on the hill, when I serve others, Christ will always be there to lift me to safe, higher ground.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Through His Eyes

Yesterday I was babysitting for a family with three little boys and a baby girl. The kids were really good for me, but, being little boys, of course had their moments.  One kid decided to continuously turn up the volume of the movie really loud, while another tried to eat everything he could get his hands on.  It was after the kids had camped out in the living room after Friday movie night that I started to put things in perspective.

1. We all make mistakes.
Yes, it is frustrating when a child doesn't immediately do what you ask, but don't we do the same thing? Our Heavenly Father gives us commandments but we are not perfect.  In fact, sometimes it takes us a long time before we do what we know is right. I think Jeffrey R. Holland summed it up perfectly.


2. Being a mother is a ton of work, but so worth it.
 I will never truly know until I become a mother myself, but from my experience babysitting multiple families over the years, I have started to pick up on what a parent goes through for their child. Each time I care for children, I gain a deeper gratitude for my mom and the endless hours she has spent raising me, making my dinner, doing my laundry, driving my everywhere, buying me clothes, signing papers,etc. The list could go on forever.  Even though being a mother is such a huge responsibility, I know it will be such a blessing to me. I saw this quote on Pinterest the other day and wanted to share it because it works so perfectly.

3.  Our Heavenly LOVES us, despite those mistakes that we make.
 As I put a blanket on top of each child and watched them slowly drift to sleep, I thought about how much my Heavenly Father truly loves me. No, they weren't my kids and I have no comprehension of the love a parent must feel for their own child. I do know, that no matter what I do, He will always be there for me.  And because Christ loves me with a perfect love, I can repent and return back to live with them again.  

So, to all the mothers out there.. Please don't ever feel that you are not enough because in the eyes of your child you are SuperMom.

And to everyone out there.. Know that you are loved with a pure and perfect love. Nothing you could do can ever take that away.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pray for Boston

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who have been impacted in any way by the events that took place in Boston yesterday.  To the victims and families, it is my prayer that you may feel God's love for you at this time and always. I know that those who passed on yesterday are now in his watchful care in a place of peace and happiness, and it is my hope that you may come to this knowledge as well.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Gettin' Up Early In the Mornin'

Here is my typical morning routine:

4:45 - Alarm clock goes off.....SNOOZE.
4:55 - Alarm clock goes off again...SNOOZE.
5:05 - Alarm clock goes off one last time, and (usually) I start to come to terms with the fact that it is morning and I will  to get up.
5:07 - Morning prayer
5:10 - Begin getting ready for the day (Straighten/braid my hair, choose an outfit, etc.)
5:40 - Breakfast
5:50 - Leave the house for Seminary

So, at this point I am all ready for school and pulling out of the driveway for the church while most of my friends are probably just now waking up. You may be asking yourself why I would do this when I could allow myself another hour of well-needed sleep. Sometimes, I ask myself the same thing. So, to clear up the situation for all of us, I've made a list.

The TOP 10 Reasons I Go To Seminary :)

10.I don't have to ride the bus.

(And if that's not reason enough, here are 9 more)

9. Food Fridays (Yum!)
8. Playing Scripture Mastery Games with Fly Swatters
7. Random Hilarious Comments
6. Being mostly awake by the time I get to school because I have been awake for 2.5 hours already
5. Laughing at Cheesy Scripture Mastery Songs
4. Hanging out with some awesome friends that share 
the same values.
3. Learning from the coolest teachers on the planet 
(The Fedors are amazing!)
2. Being able to quote 25 New Testament Scriptures from memory (eventually 100 total scriptures)
1. Having a spiritually uplifting beginning to my day that puts me in an amazing attitude and helps me to feel closer to my Heavenly Father throughout the day.

What more could I ask for? Yes, I love my sleep, but early-morning Seminary is one of my greatest blessings ever! :)

Oh, and watch this video to see what our living prophet thinks about seminary! (It's pretty cool :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Hope of God's Light

So, this past weekend, my church had our semi-annual General Conference, where we get to hear AMAZING inspired talks from our leaders. These talks can be applicable to everyone, however, because the gospel of Jesus Christ is a message of hope, peace, and love: something we all could use a little more of in this tribulant world.

If you want to learn more or read/watch some of the these talks for yourself, check out the following link:

One of my favorite talks that I would like to share some thoughts on with you was Dieter F. Uchtdorf's "The Hope of God's Light"

President Uchtdorf talks about the darkness that exists in the world, and how sometimes we feel like we are enveloped in it.  However, God's light will always shine through and overcome the darkness. It gives us a hope and a strength to overcome the evils around us. 

He discusses that to open our eyes to the hope of God's light, we must:

1. Start where we are.
2. Turn our hearts toward the Lord.
3. Walk in the Light.

As a teenager in today's society, it is not hard to tell that there are temptations in this world. Daily I see and hear things that are immoral and go against my standards of belief.  While it could be easy to go into a state of despair and lose hope for a brighter future, I know that cleaving to the light of Christ is the only way to be eternally happy. I know that His light will prevail.

 As Pres. Uchtdorf said, "Yes, from time to time our lives may seem to be touched by, or even wrapped in, darkness. Sometimes the night that surrounds us will appear oppressive, disheartening, and frightening.  My heart grieves for the many sorrows some of you face, for the painful loneliness and wearisome fears you may be experiencing. Nevertheless, I bear witness that our living hope is in Christ Jesus! He is the true, pure, and powerful entrance to divine enlightenment. I testify that with Christ, darkness cannot succeed. Darkness will not gain victory over the light of Christ. I bear witness that darkness cannot stand before the brilliant light of the Son of the living God!"

 Isn't that a wonderful message of hope and peace? I think it is!