Thursday, December 29, 2011

Potential of Diamond

The difficult things that we face in life are...well, difficult! Often it feels like we can never get past them. They are frustrating and put so much pressure on us. So much pressure, it seems sometimes that we will explode! 
Did you know that us humans are not the only things that undergo pressure? When coal undergoes extreme pressure, it turns into diamond! We are just like coal (haha). Heavenly Father sent us to earth because He loves us and knows that we have the potential to become diamonds. The trials we face may be extreme, but the outcome is beautiful.

As this year is wrapping up, I have been thinking back on my development as a person throughout this year. I can clearly see how specific hardships can turn one of my weaknesses into strengths. One specific pressure I've been going through has been going on for years. But I can truly see myself becoming strong in that area.

One of my favorite scriptures shows us how we can turn our weaknesses to strengths.  It's Ether 12:27, which is found in the Book of Mormon.

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.  -Ether 12:27

This scripture gives me such comfort.  It tells me that I can become strong where I am weak. What a blessing this is! I can become a better person, one weakness at a time. How great God is that He will help us. He loves us so much. I know that He loves me. He has done so much for me. Jesus suffered all pain so that He can help me. And He does. I know it. I see it in my life everyday!

If you would like to learn more about trials and adversity, and how you can come through them, click here.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Whe Word of Wisdom- How to answer hard questions

A lot of times people probably ask you "Why do Mormons have so many rules?" "Why can't you drink coffee?" "What's wrong with wine?".  What do you answer to these questions? Often it's very difficult because you know that the concept is so different to these people that ask you.
So what can you answer?
I really love how defines the Word of Wisdom concisely and adequately:

            The Word of Wisdom is a law of health revealed by the Lord for the physical and spiritual benefit of His children. On February 27, 1833, as recorded in section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord revealed which foods are good for us to eat and which substances are not good for the human body. He also promised health, protection, knowledge, and wisdom to those who obey the Word of Wisdom. 

Now we need to know how to put this into our own words. Make sure you convey these key points:
  • It's called the Word of Wisdom
  • It's a law of health
  • It's revelation from God
  • It tells what things are good and bad for our bodies
  • We are promised blessings if we keep this commandment (health, protection, knowledge, wisdom)
But, even with telling these key points, the Spirit will be in your conversation the most when you bear your testimony of the Word of Wisdom's truthfulness.

I know that when I obey the Word of Wisdom, I am blessed with the blessings that that the Lord promises to give me. I truly can see these blessings in my life.

If you would like to read the Word of Wisdom, it's in Doctrine and Covenants 89:5-21.  You can click here to read it.

If you would like to learn more about the Word of Wisdom, click here.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Truly, the Best gift in all the world, to all the world

At Christmas time every year, it gets more commercialized.  And every year people talk about making sure that Christ is the center of Christmas. But do we really take that to heart when we hear the admonition? Especially as teens, it may be hard to focus on Christ this Christmas, when there are so many things on your Christmas list, so many parties, and all the stress of making sure everyone has the right gift.
But there truly is more to Christmas than the presents, food, and parties.
This month, I invite you to truly ponder the meaning of the Savior in your life. And as you do this, remember what a truly magnificent gift it is that the Savior atoned for your sins. He loves you, and and suffered every single pain, affliction, sorrow, embarrassment, and agony just for you. And we can worship Him during this season by honoring his birth.
 Here is a beautiful video that the church made.  They are making a series of online video clips with stories from the Bible.

If you would like to see more videos like this, click here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Happiness, a Beacon

How do you know if someone is happy? They are smiling, maybe. Or laughing.  How do you know when you are happy? Do you feel good about yourself? Do you do well in school? Do you sleep better? Probably. Are you happy right now? If so, just stop for a moment, right now, and feel what it feels like. If you're not happy right now, try to vivdly imagine the last time you felt happy, and what it felt like.

Chances are, you have a smile on your face. :)  Now. Are you happy as often as you would like to be? If I lived in a perfect world, I would want to be happy all the time. Of course, in this mortal state, that's impossible. But, it is possible to be happy often, even most of the time!

So, how then, do you accomplish this? How can you become happy more often?

Lots of people think that happiness is just something that comes or goes because of  external situations. This is WRONG!  Those people that you know who seem like they are always happy are happy because they choose to be happy. Happiness is smost definitely a choice.The people I know who are happy all the time are happy even when they have a possibly life threatening illness, financial hardship, pressure at school, and more. 

One of my best friends is probably one of my biggest role  models.  She has gone through so many trials, including a life threatening illness. But, every I see her, she is always happy. I've talked to her about this, and she told me that she couldn't have been happy if she didn't actively try to be happy everyday. It takes effort to be happy. But that effort is so worth it!

Another friend of mine has depression. But she is a very happy and hopeful person. People often tell her that she is one of the happiest people they know. And everytime someone asks her how she can be happy even though she suffers from depression, she tells them that having depression has helped develop her into a happy person. She has felt the awfulness of depression and actively chooses to be happy because of how horrible it feels to be depressed.

And, we can always be happy as we think about the Savior.  He loves us. I know he does. And we are so precious to Him that He gave His life for each of us. This can give us confidence and happiness. Whenever we start to feel sad, we can think about Christ.  Also, you can always pray for the strength to choose to be happy. I know that He will give you that strength.

So. How can you be happy? You have to choose to be happy. And let me tell you, its not always, and sometimes not usually easy. And it takes practice.  Honestly.  But I know that each time you choose to be happy, the next time will be easier. And when you are happy, you shine like a light.  Others will flock to you, and you can influence them to be happy too.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Your Spiritual iPod

Yesterday I was riding the bus home from school. On my bus, I sit by myself, because of all the stuff I have to carry around (my bookbag, viola, lunchbox, etc....). I listen to my ipod on the bus because the other people on my bus are really loud and crude. They talk about things that I don't want to think about, because they won't help me have clean thoughts.
You are similar to me.  You too need an ipod to drown out the things of the world. A "spiritual ipod".
So, what is a "Spiritual iPod"?  When I didn't want to hear the things that the people on my bus were saying, I turned the volume up on my ipod. So when the world is getting to you. you can "turn the volume up" by reading the scriptures, praying, and listening for the Holy Ghost. These are the things that will help you drown out the unpleasantness of the world.  And, unlike a regular iPod, your spiritual ipod has no maximum volume. It can never be too loud.
There's a saying my mom tells me that goes "We should be in the world, but not of the world." This means that even though we live in a world full of sin, we don't have to let that rule our lives. We can still live righteously in this world even though the people around us may sin. And how do we do that? By turning up the volume on our spiritual iPods.
Then there are the times that your spirtual iPod may break, and you sin. It happens to everyone. But you don't have to worry. You can fix your spiritual spiritual ipod! Your spiritual ipod can be fixed through repentance. After repenting, your spiritual ipod will be stronger!
I know that the Lord is pleased when we choose the right. We are His children, and He loves us infinitely.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The peace the temples brings...

One of my most favorite aspects of the gospel is the temple. I LOVE THE TEMPLE!!!!! I would go there everyday if I could!!!! The book True to the Faith, a study help that the church publishes, defines temples as the following:
Temples are literally houses of the Lord. They are holy places of worship where individuals make sacred covenants with God. Because making covenants with God is such a solemn responsibility, individuals cannot enter the temple to receive their endowments or be sealed in marriage for eternity until they have fully prepared themselves and been members of the Church for at least a year. Throughout history, the Lord has commanded His people to build temples. The Church is working to build temples all over the world to make temple blessings more available for a greater number of Heavenly Father's children.
To me, the temple is a house of peace. When you enter, you leave all of your cares and worries behind, and you are immediately filled with a sense of peace and awe. You can automatically feel that it is a House of God, and you can feel it's sacredness. Everyone speaks in whispers, and the Holy Ghost is felt strongly. I love the temple because of the peace I receive. 
To most people, peace means the absence of war. But to me, and to most Latter Day Saints, peace represents the truly blissful, spiritually relaxing happiness that comes from the Holy Ghost. In a world that is full of turmoil and hardships, I love to embrace the fully happy, peaceful, confident feeling I receive in the temple.
Many things are done in the temple. But before you can enter, you must prepare yourself to be worthy. This includes: being a baptized member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, being honest, staying away from drugs and alcohol, being morally clean, and having a testimony of Christ, among others. I keep myself prepared by: reading my scriptures everyday, praying morning and night, keeping a prayer in my heart, being honest, being modest, watching and listening to media (such as music, tv, books, internet...) that is clean and reverent,  and taking the sacrament every week. 
The temple is a place to rest from the cares of the world, but we also do several things in the temple. When I go to the temple, I do baptisms for the dead. This is a sacred ordinance where a person is baptized for a person who did not get that opportunity while living on earth. Also, worthy adults can make sacred promises and covenants with the Lord, and learn more of Him.
This is a really great video that explains about LDS temples.
 Temples are beautiful. I love feeling the peace that I receive when I go there. I know that the Lord is pleased when I go to His house. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to go there. Soon a temple will be built in the city where I live, and I will be able to go even more often than I do now! I really can't wait until I am able to go through the whole temple and make those sacred promises my Heavenly Father. I know that Christ atoned for us, and that because of His ultimate sacrifice, we can have peace and eternal life.

To learn more about temples, click here. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Modest... Reasons Why you should be.

Modesty. Some girls cringe whenever the word is mentioned. They wonder why they shouldn't be able to wear what their friends and peers are wearing, and why it has to be so difficult. Some girls believe that modesty is outdated. I used to think all of those things. I noticed that in all of the magazines, all of the beautiful models were wearing revealing tops and short skirts, shorts, or dresses. What girl doesn't want to be like a model? I always dressed modestly, but I always wondered why I was being modest, besides the fact that my parents told me to be modest. So. Why should you be modest? I have come up with a list.
  1. It is physically more comfortable.Whenever I have worn clothes that weren't the most modest, I felt really awkward. And it felt like everyone was staring at me. Especially when wearing tops that were too low cut. When you dress modestly, you feel comfortable because you just feel good.
  2. Most of the time, only models look "good" in immodest clothing. It is much easier to love your body when you dress modestly.
  3. You know that people love you for who you are, not just your body. Sometimes a person will hang out with you only because you are "sexy". This leads to heartbreak because after a while, the person will find someone they think is "sexier" than you, and leave. When you dress modestly, you know that people around you will love you for your personality and not for your body.
  4. You know that you are doing the right thing. This is so important because it will give you confidence. You will have more confidence because you know you are doing the right thing, and becasue of that, God is pleased with you and will bless you.
  5. You will have higher self esteem. Because of the confidence you will get, the comfort, and knowing that poeple around you love you for who you are, you will be confident in yourself.
  6. You will have the Holy Ghost with you to guide you. This is so super important. With the guidance of the Holy Ghost, we recieve comfort, and help with all of the trials that being a teenager brings.
  7. You will have an easier time making good choices. Not just because you aren't being revealing (
    which is important) but because you have the Holy Ghost with you, and because you are confident in yourself.
  8. You will gain the respect of other people. When people look at a girl who is dressed immodestly, they think that she has no respect for herself and has a low self esteem. But when you are being modest, people respect your opinions, ideas, and personality more.
  9. You show others that you know you are a princess. Yes. I just told you that you are a princess. You are a daughter of God, your Heavenly Father who loves you. You were born to be a queen. You can prepare for that role, and show Heavenly Father that you are doing your best to live up to that by dressing modestly.
  10. You will be worthy to go to the temple. We believe that temples are holy houses of God, which are the only places on earth that can compare to the holiness of heaven. Only individuals who are spiritually worthy may go to the temple, and you must be modest to be worthy.
These are only a few of the reasons why you should be modest. Modesty includes:
  • Shorts/Skirts/Dresses come to at least your knees.
  • Shirts have sleeves.
  • Clothing is not too tight.
  • Tops are not very low cut in the front or back.
I know that when I am modest, my Heavenly Father is proud to call me His daughter. I know that He loves me, and I know that when I am modest I am showing Heavenly Father that I appreciate my body, which is a gift from Him. I know that when I dress modestly and live worthily, I can go to the temple, which is such a tremendous blessing!

If you would like to learn more about modesty, click here.

If you would like to learn more about temples, click here.

If you would like to learn more about the Holy Ghost, click here.

If you would like to learn more about Heavenly Father, click here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hunger after Righteousness

What is the definition of righteousness? Ask yourself.  To me, righteousness means doing the right thing at the right time because you love and have faith in Jesus Christ.
In my Book of Mormon reading, I came across a verse that really made me think. 3 Nephi 12:16:
 And blessed are all they who do ahunger and bthirst after crighteousness, for they shall be dfilled with the Holy Ghost.
What a promise. To be filled with the Holy Ghost. Immediately after reading this, I asked myself, 'Do I hunger and thirst after righteousness?' Think about the last time you fasted, or were REALLY hungry. Could you ignore the urge to eat? What would happen if you did?  Just as ignoring the urge to eat eventually leads to sickness and death, ignoring our spiritual hunger leads to spiritual sickness and death.
Christ gave this promise when he appeared to the Nephites after His ressurection. He promises us that the Holy Ghost will fill us when we hunger and thirst after righteousness.
Being filled with the Holy Ghost is a powerful blessing that everyone should yearn for. When you have the Spirit as a constant companion, and heed his promptings, you can never be led astray. Having the Holy Ghostwith you is such an empowering feeling to have. You feel so confident, content, loved, and happy at the same time. If you have not felt this before, or want to feel the Holy Ghost more, you are promised by Christ that you will be filled with the Holy Ghost when you hunger and thirst after righteousness.
So. How do you hunger and thirst after righteousness?
If you are hungry, most likely you would enjoy attending a feast. 2 Nephi 32:3 says:
aAngels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, bfeast upon the cwords of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will dtell you all things what ye should do.
While you may have to wait until Thanksgiving for a feast for your stomach, you can feast upon the words of Christ any time you want by reading the scriptures. When you feast upon the scriptures, I know that your hunger will be satiated. I love the scriptures. I love feeling the Holy Ghost, and I love the comfort, peace, and confidence his presence brings. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that He died for me. And I know that all may have life through him.

To learn more about the Book of Mormon, click here.

To learn more about the Holy Ghost, click here.

To learn more about the Savior, Jesus Christ, click here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Eternal Beings... Mortal Life.

Sometimes we get frustrated because things just seem to not work. We cant do something right, or someone around us is just not understanding what we may be trying to tell them. When these things happen, we tend to blame ourselves.
I am a perfectionist. I will go to great lengths for things to go exactly how I plan them and for things to go exactly right. I tend to have an "All or Nothing" attitude. About a year ago, a sister in our ward said something that put things into perspective for me. The Relief Society and Young Women were making cards for a shelter so that the residents there could send cards to people they loved. One sister was frustrated because she made a mistake, but the woman in charge of this activity came up to her and said "A homemade card would not be homemade if there wasn't a small mistake. "
The same can be said for us. A mortal human is not human if they don't make mistakes.
My dad and I were talking about this earlier. He said " We are eternal beings in a mortal, fallen state. "
This really struck me. This is what may he frustrating.We are in mortality that we may learn. And once we prove ourselves in this imperfect world, how many more possibilities we will have in Heavenly Father's perfect realm.

Mosiah 27:25-
And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;

As eternal beings, we have so much potential. We must call upon our God that He may help us learn how to use it. I know that if we pray for guidance, the Spirit will be with us to weather the storms of mortality. I know that Jesus died for us so that we can fulfill our Divine potential. We truly are children of God.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

He is always there.

We all have those times when we doubt ourselves. Everyone does. Recently, I had one of those times. And, I wasn't being very humble about it. I was laying in bed, feeling like a terrible person. I considered praying, which I knew I should do, but my mind said "Neh. Will praying really make you feel better?" So I avoided praying for help for a while. But finally, I couldn't take it. I knew I needed to pray. I prayed to Heavenly Father that He would help me feel better about myself, and that I would have peace to be able to sleep. After I prayed I came upon a video on my ipod.

 This video was so inspiring, and I know that it was an answer to my prayer. I"m so grateful to Sister Dalton for sharing her testimony. And I'm so grateful to my Heavenly Father who loves me unconditionaly, and who is infinitely patient with my feelings and attitudes. I know that the Savior loves me. And I know that he suffered for me. And  I know that he suffered for you.

This video reminds me of my favorite scripture, Doctrine and Covenants 84:88:
 88 And whoso areceiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go bbefore your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my cSpirit shall be in your hearts, and mine dangels round about you, to bear you up.

Please remember this as you go throughout your week. I know that when you know how loved you are, everything is a million times easier.

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Come Follow Me"

Well, I've officially finished the reading that I got to do for our Extreme Book of Mormon reading activity. YAYYY! I did it!! This weekend, we (all of our ward's young women) are going to stay up all night and read the second half of the Book of Mormon! I can't wait!
So today, I was reading in the beginning of Matthew. I really love the New Testament because it really focuses on Christ. There were two verses that really stood out to me.
Matthew 4:19 & 20:
 (I'm going to include verse 18 here, just for the sake of background info. )

18. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were afishers.
 19. And he saith unto them, aFollow me, and I will make you bfishers of men.
 20. And they straightway left their nets, and afollowed him.

I really like this because of the examples of Peter and his brother Andrew. When Jesus asked the pair to follow Him, they didn't ask why. They trusted in Jesus. Notice, they also didn't say "Hold on, let us just finish bringing in the rest of these fish, then we'll come." No. Peter and Andrew straightway left what they were doing to follow the Lord.
The Savior always has an open invitation for us to follow him. We should ask ourselves, "Are we straightway leaving our nets when we may be doing something that won't bring us closer to the Lord? Are we immediately turning to Jesus to follow Him again?"
This reminds me of a phrase that Elder D. Todd Christofferson, of the Twelves Apostles, said in this October's General Conference:
"Repentance is a divine gift, and there should be a smile on our faces when we speak of it."

We can follow the Savior in many ways. 
First: We can literally follow His example. By doing this, you are letting His light shine through you, and other people will be uplifted.
Second: You can repent. You can straightway leave your nets of sin to repent, and follow the Savior.
Third: You can follow Jesus by working to build a relationship with Him. You can read the scriptures, pray, and fast. These things will help you feel the Spirit, and know Christ.

I know that Jesus is pleased when we follow Him. And I am grateful for the confidence and peace I feel when I know I am doing the right thing. I love my Savior, and I KNOW He loves me. I'm so grateful for His influence in my life, and will try to do everything in my power to serve others and Him.

To learn more about repentance, click here.

To learn more about the Savior, Jesus Christ, click here.

To learn more about the Holy Ghost, click here.

To learn more about the Twelve Apostles, click here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Power of Music

Music has a very powerful influence on our lives. In Doctrine and Covenants 25:12, the Lord says:
12. For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.
Music has the abilty to bring the Spirit into a room, or someone's heart. A song can be an answer to a prayer. A phrase may inspire someone to action, or may bring peace to someone's soul. All of this can, and will occur- with the right music.
For the Strength of Youth:
While much entertainment is good, some of it can lead you away from righteous living. Offensive material is often found in web sites, concerts, movies, music, videocassettes, DVDs, books, magazines, pictures, and other media. Satan uses such entertainment to deceive you by making what is wrong and evil look normal and exciting. It can mislead you into thinking that everyone is doing things that are wrong.
Everyone knows it. Music gets stuck in your head. Period. :). This can be good or bad. What music gets stuck in your head? The music you choose to listen to is essential to the person you are, and the person you will become. 
So. How do you know what music you should listen to?  I've come up with some questions you can ask yourself before you buy a song:
  1. How would you feel if your grandmother listened to it?
  2. Is it free of bad words, sexual references, and violence?
  3. How do you TRULY feel when you listen to it? Be honest with yourself, and listen to the Spirit.
Personally, most of the music I listen to is church music. I really love the music for youth that I can find and download from the church website. (I will put a link at the bottom of this post.) Right now, my favorite song is Hymn #124, Be Still My Soul. I love this hymn because it brings me peace every time I think about it or listen to it. When I hear this song, I am able to re-focus on what is important in my life, and I am able to relax.

As a musician, music is EXTREMELY important and influential in my life. I have recently started writing music, and it has been very exciting. At this time, I write church music, It is such a special feeling to know that you are creating something that can influence others for good. I love writing music, and I love playing music.

I know that music is very very very important. I know it can be a fantastic tool. And, I know that when I listen to wholesome music, my Heavenly Father is pleased. And that pleases me.  

Click here to check out the youth music library where you can listen to, and download church musci for teens. Did you know that some of this music was written by teens?

Click here to visit the interactive, online LDS Hymn Book.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Scripture in my DAILY life... :)

The key word in my title is DAILY!!! Can you tell? :) As you might have read a while ago, I am participating in a YW activity where we must read The Book of Mormon everyday for an upcoming activity. And, some amazing things have been happening as I have done that.
I am able to feel that the Holy Ghost is with me more often. I am happier, more peaceful, more energetic, and more in tune with the Holy Ghost those days that I have read. If I ever skip a day- I can tell!!!! I feel less happy, and I notice a decreased measure of the Spirit's influence in my day. I don't feel necessarily sad, and I don't necessarily not have the Spirit, but there is less. Noticeably so.  Those days, I have wondered, "What is different today? Why don't I feel as happy, or peaceful today? Why do I feel less of the Holy Ghost?" And, I know it is because I haven't read the scriptures that day. And the days when I do read, I feel an increased measure of the Spirit. I can almost always feel a sense of peace. I can feel my Savior's love for me more strongly. And, I have confidence because I know that I'm doing the right thing. When I read the scriptures daily, I have an increased sensitivity to notice and appreciate the blessings that my Heavenly Father gives me. I am able to receive answers to prayers better.
Lately, I have been fasting and praying that I may learn how to manage my time more efficiently. The days I read my scriptures I notice many blessings: I can get all of my homework satisfactorily finished, I get to bed on time, I am waaaaaay less stressed, and my day generally runs smoother. On the days that I haven't read my scriptures, these things haven't necessarily been happening. It is amazing to see the blessings I receive when I read my scriptures.
As I have read the scriptures everyday, I have been blessed with an increased capacity to love help others. When my friends or family have need help, the Spirit is with me. And I am able to give more than I would be able to without the Lord's help.
I am able to have more love for myself when I read my scriptures. Lately, I've been starting to be able to see myself as the Savior sees me. I feel truly beautiful and worth-while when I read the Book of Mormon. ANd throughout the day, when I look in the mirror, I don't have to worry if my hair or clothes will impress my peers, because I know that Jesus loves me for who I am, no matter what. And I know that He took on all of my sins because of that love for me. With this confidence and self-esteem, I am able to give my best everyday, because I know that my best is good enough for the Lord.

To learn more about the Book of Mormon, click here.

To learn more about the Savior, click here.

To learn more about the Holy Ghost (also referred to as the Spirit), click here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

General Conference!!!!!!!

Heyyy. Today I'm going to talk about General Conference.
I love General Conference. And, for those who may not know, General Conference is a semi-annual church meeting that is broadcasted world-wide. There are 5 ten-hour sessions in which the Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, the Twelve Apostles, The Quorum of the Seventy, and other Church leaders.  This is a time when these leaders share with the world the things that the Lord wants them to know.
I'm going to share my thoughts/opinions/notes/feelings/favorite talks (haha) from this General Conference.
  • I really loved President Boyd K. Packer's talk because it was focused on the youth.  He told us that even though there is opposition, we need not fear. He also said that because so much is expected from the youth, we will be blessed.
  • I also enjoyed Elder Robert D. Hales' talk about humility. Everything that Jesus did on earth was The Father's plan and will. Trials are given to everyone. THey are given to see if we will use our agency to follow God.
  • I really love the words of Elder D. Todd Christofferson in his talk: We should always have a smile on our face when we talk about repentance. 
  • Ian S. Arden, of the Seventy, spoke of time. He said that time cannot be sold or bought. When wisely used, it's value is immeasureable. We are all given the same amount of time. If we are busy, busy must equal productive. People who are close to the Savior won't be distracted by distracting pursuits.We should always review what we are doing to prepare to meet God.
  • Carl B. Cook, of the Seventy, also had a fantastic talk. He said that "We should always look up!" We can be healde and strengthened by the Atonement. To "Look Up" is a metaphor for looking to Christ. We should Look up, step up, and cheer up. Looking up isn't a one-time experience.
I really love General Conference.And I have a testimony that the Lord truly speaks to us through the mouths of the prophets and apostles.

If you would like to watch, read, or listen to General Conference, click here.

If you would like to learn more about living Prophets and Apostles, click here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Another Witness of Christ

Sigh. I may need to switch from blogging twice a week on a schedule to just blogging twice a week. I never know which days will have more homework than others.  Sorry for the inconsistency.
Sooo... last Thursday, something interesting happened to me. Well, interesting, maybe. Happy, no.
My friend invited me to go to church with him. (Let me note, I have been to his church once previously, but with a different friend of mine who also goes to that church.) So, he invited me, and I told him that I would really love to go, but I had my own church that day. This disappointed me because I try to go whenever one of my friends asks me. I believe that I cannot ask a friend to do something that I am not willing to do myself, and I often invite my friends to my church.  However, I had never asked this friend before. (For the purposes of this story, lets call him Steven.) Steven then asked me what religion I was. I happily told him that I was Mormon, and asked if he knew what that was. I saw something flicker in his eyes, and he, probably only half sarcastically, scooted away as if I had just announced that I had a highly contagious disease. "What?" I asked. He scooted back to where he was sitting and said,
"Ha, that's ironic, my mom and I were just talking about this last night." Uh-oh. What was he about to say? I had never before encountered negativity from my peers about my religion. I didn't like where this was heading.
"What did she say?" I asked.
"Welll... there was a dude, who wrote a second Bible, said he had a vision from God. But, there can only be one Bible, so your's is fake."  Well. That was bluntly put.
"Hmmm. Well, Joseph Smith did recieve a vision from God and Jesus, but he didn't write a second Bible. He translated another witness of Christ through the power of God. The Book of Mormon and Bible back each other up."
"Whatever. It's not true. Christianity is good. It's true. But there is only one Bible." Sigh.
" I have a Book of Mormon in my locker if you would like to read it."
"No. I don't want to."
"Okay then. I have a deal for you. I'll come to church with you, and you can come to church with me. Just once."
"No. Your religion is a lie. I will not join the dark side." I was almost crying. What? Did he just say that? We are in a biology classroom of 40 kids...
"What did you say? I couldn't hear all of that."
"I said that I will not join the dark side."
"Ok. Fine."

So, yeah. It really made me upset. I feel so sad that he feels that way. It was kind of ironic, well, it probably wasn't an accident that I came upon this verse in my personal scripture study the next day:

2 Nephi 29:6
6. Thou fool, that shall say: A aBible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?

I have totally forgiven Steven, and I'm still his friend, but I'm very sad for him. I don't understand how people can say something is bad without even reading it. Even though I had faith in my religion, when my other friend (the one who goes to Steven's church) invited me to her church, I accepted. I prayed before I left, that the Spirit would guide me and help me interpret right from wrong. And it did. I went with an objective attitude, just as I would want someone to do if they came to church with me.

 This experience has made me stronger. It has helped me strengthen my testimony of Jesus Christ, and the Book of Mormon.  I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers. Because, I did pray. And He sent peace to my soul.

I have felt many blessings from the fullness of Jesus' gospel in my life. I'm very grateful for His guidance and love.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Patience, a God-like attribute

I know... I missed a week. I was sick, had lots of makeup work for school, had lots of tests to study for, auditions... all excuses, but all true. :)
Lately, I've been learning about the Lord's time. I mean, I've been learning that not everything happens when I want it to. Even if I pray asking for something to happen, and it doesn't happen, it may not be that what I prayed for wasn't the Lord's will, but it wasn't the right time. Often, I pray for something, and I'll ask for it right now. And often, it happens gradually. I have been learning to be patient, but sometimes it is difficult. On Sunday, there was a talk given about patience. Here are some of the notes I took that stood out to me:
  • Often, the hardest times of our life forms our character
  • God-like patience requires effort
  • without patience, we cannot be happy
  • Patience isn't: just sitting and waiting, effortless, passive or fear
  • True,, God-like patience IS:faithful, requires effort
  • The Lord does bless our lives when we are patient
  • We need to be patient with ourselves, just like we need to be patient with others
  • And, a great analogy: Patience is like a marathon. we must steadily pace ourselves so that we can reach the final sprint.
I thought about that as I ran a mile in gym yesterday.  It's really a great comparison. I really like a talk that President Dieter f. Uchtdorf, Second counselor of the Church, gave. Part of it reads:

"Nevertheless, without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect. Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace."

To read the rest of the article, click here

I know that patience is a God-like attribute. And I'm grateful to have this life to acquire this, and many other righteous attribute.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Reading The Scriptures

Recently I have started reading the scriptures everyday. In the past I read them once or twice a week. But now, i really understand the power that they bring into my life. When I read the scriptures, I get answers to prayers through the words that I read. This happens a lot when I read my scriptures.
I also feel the spirit. It's great to have the Spirit in my day. I read my scriptures on the bus before and after school. It is fantastic to be uplifted right before school. It gives me confidence and makes me feel my Savior's love for me.  It's especially hard at school when most of the people around talk and act in ways that are innappropriate and offensive. So, it's great to be able to think about the scriptures at school. Reading the scriptures before school also gives me the courage, confidence, and reason I need to stand up for myself and my beliefs at school.
I feel happier when I read the scriptures everyday. I just do. I guess it kinda goes along with having the Spirit with me. BUt when I'm always reading and thinking about the scriptures, it's easier to choose the right. And choosing the right makes me happy too.
When I read the scriptures, I learn a lot. Like, I'm learning tons more than I really thought that I would learn by reading the scriptures. I guess I just never really thought about how much knowledge is in the scriptures. But, if you think about it, the scriptures are truly the words of God. And He knows everything. Who can think of a better teacher?
I also feel closer to my Savior. And that, I think is the most important benefit of reading my scriptures. And, people can't know how this feels until they have read the scriptures, and prayed about them.
My testimony used to live on borrowed light. But one day I decided that I wanted to get my own testimony. So I prayed. And read the scriptures. And prayed. And payed attention to how I felt. And prayed some more. I did this for several months. It never did come as  big realization. One day, I just finally realized that I did believe in Jesus. I knew that He is my Redeemer. I knew that the Book of Mormon and Bible were true. I knew that my Father in Heaven and Jesus loved me. And the spirit softly testified of that.
Over time, I have repeatedly felt the Spirit testify again of all these things. And other aspects of this gospel. I especially feel this testament of the Spirit when I am in the temple.
I know all of these things and many more ot be true. And the Spirit confirms that every time that I read my scriptures.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Book of Mormon Challenge.

On Sunday my Young Womens Leaders challenged us to read half of the book of Mormon this month. The rest we will read together next month. But, anyway, I have taken to reading on the bus, because I have spare time then. I'll get back to this.
In U.S. History, we were briefly reviewing about the Native Americans, Spanish Conquistadors, and the colonization of the Americas. It was an interesting review, but I found myself wondering how much was really true, or not.
So, back to my scripture reading. Today on the bus I was reading in 1 Nephi, chapter 13. In this chapter. Nephi has a vision where he sees the future of his posterity. And in this vision, we read about the Native Americans ,who are Nephi and his family's posterity, the gentiles who cam from across the sea, the wars fought between them, and the wars between the gentiles who are separated across the sea (American Revolution). This was very interesting to read right after reviewing all of this information in school. It is amazing to me that the Lord could give Nephi a vision of the future.
I'm very grateful to my Heavenly Father who no doubt had a hand in this impeccable timing. :) His plans are just so perfect. :) I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon. It uplifts me and strengthens my knowledge of eternal and temporal matters.

If you would like to read Nephi's account of America's Colonization click here.  You may want to back up a couple chapters if you would like to know more about his vision.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Lord's Help... He will help you.

I know i didn't post yesterday, but I was literally doing homework all afternoon and night. So, I'm posting today. :) So, these past weeks of school have been kind of tough for me.  Well, mostly it's after school that's hard to manage.  This year I am getting much more homework than I am used to. Much much more.  Because I am in honors, the work is also harder. So it has been very hard getting used to the expectations that are now set for me. But, I am so grateful for the Divine help that my Heavenly Father is giving me. Lately, my math grades have been suffering because my homework grades have been bad. I was literally doing the best I could, but it wasn't enough. Also, my homework levels were totally stressing me out. So, I prayed about it. A lot. I felt that I should ask my parents for help, and they were glad to give it to me. But, my homework still took a lot of time. My sleep was getting cut shorter because of all of my work. So, I kept praying. And, God helped me. Last night, I had to study for two giant tests (one of which was math, it would make or break my grade). All I did was study and do homework. And even though it took my whole afternoon and evening, I noticed that assignments that I thought would take a while, took less time than I thought they would. At the end of the night, I got everything done, I was well prepared for my tests, and I was able to get to bed at a good time.
Today, I prayed before school, and before each test. There was only one question on each test that I didn't know the answer to. The rest I feel like I aced! I prayed for peace, a clear mind, and help recalling all that I had studied, and Heavenly Father did help me.
In fact, right before my math test, I had just had a very frustrating lesson in biology, and I was very upset. I was almost in tears because I couldn't understand the material. I was still wound up from that when I had to start my test. I prayed and asked my Father in Heaven to help  me focus, and He really did help me clear my mind. I wasn't even thinking about biology!
I have really learned that God doesn't prevent trials and hardships, but he does help us through them if we ask. I am know realizing that hardships are meant to help strengthen our faith in Heavenly Father.  That is the whole point of adversity. And I have truly felt my faith strengthened. I am truly realizing that God doesn't always answer our prayers the way we want Him to. He is perfect, and know exactly what we need. And, things always turn out better when we humble ourselves enough to let Him guide our lives and show us the path to take. This experience has really improved my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
I really do know that I am a child of God. I know that He loves me. I know that Jesus really know exactly how I feel- all the time because He suffered just for us. Every single pain, affliction, embarrassment, discomfort, stress. And, I know that They both love me more than I can fathom. I know that I have this knowledge to help others. And I am so grateful for this. I really love my Heavenly Father and Savior.
And, I really do know that if you ask Him for help, He will give it to you.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


A lot of people underestimate the value of kindness.  In fact, nowadays, many children don't have good homes in which to learn this essential social skill. Sometimes, kindness can seem like a pretty vague term.  So what does it really mean? states:


1.of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person: a kind and loving person.
2.having, showing, or proceeding from benevolence: kind words.

1.  mild, benign, benignant, gentle, tender, compassionate. Kind, gracious, kindhearted, kindly  imply a sympathetic attitude toward others, and a willingness to do good or give pleasure. Kind  implies a deep-seated characteristic shown either habitually or on occasion by considerate behavior: a kind father. Gracious  often refers to kindness from a superior or older person to a subordinate, an inferior, a child, etc.: a gracious monarch. Kindhearted  implies an emotionally sympathetic nature, sometimes easily imposed upon: a kindhearted old woman. Kindly,  a mild word, refers usually to general disposition, appearance, manner, etc.: a kindly face.

1.  cruel.

There's a lot to think about. According to this source, kindness is an attitude a person might have.

Why is kindness important?

Everyday I walk down the hallways of my school listening to the profanity, harsh words, rumors, threats, risque comments and jokes. This is not kindness. Not to me, not to the recipients of these words, and not to the speaker. Most of the time nobody knows exactly how hard their words will affect someone. And it's not only verbal words. Facebook posts, tweets, emails, and texts can be just as or more harmful as spoken words.  People who are rude and unkind usually feel insecure about themselves.  People with true self confidence don't need to insult or berate to feel good.  In fact, it probably wouldn't even cross their mind to do so.
The thing that bothers me the most out of anything in  the whole entire world is when people aren't kind to one another. It takes away the Holy Ghost, and stops our progression of becoming like our Father in Heaven.Just think. If everyone were truly kind to each other, most of the world's problems would be eliminated.

"Jesus, our Savior, was the epitome of kindness and compassion. He healed the sick. He spent much of His time ministering to the one or many. He spoke compassionately to the Samaritan woman who was looked down upon by many. He instructed His disciples to allow the little children to come unto Him. He was kind to all who had sinned, condemning only the sin, not the sinner. He kindly allowed thousands of Nephites to come forward and feel the nail prints in His hands and feet. Yet His greatest act of kindness was found in His atoning sacrifice, thus freeing all from the effects of death, and all from the effects of sin, on conditions of repentance."
-Joseph B. Worthlin, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

I encourage everyone to rethink their actions.  A good rule of thumb is before you say something or post something ask yourself if you will regret saying it in 10 minutes.

I know that kindness is essential to our wellbeing. We are happier with it, and everything in our life is better.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Back into schedule...

Okay. I know that I have not been regularly posting for the past couple of weeks.  My excuse is that school just started, and stuff is crazy. But, that's only an excuse. :)  So, this week I'll get back into the groove of posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays. (And other days too if I randomly feel like posting something. (:  )  I will post about things that are happening in my life, great scriptures I have found, etc.

Tonight I was at a fireside. It was amazing!! I really love firesides.  For those who don't know, a fireside is an evening meeting for additional uplifting.  There are a couple speakers, and you just get to increase your spiritual knowledge.  Tonight it was a youth fireside, so it was for teens.
We talked about service.  One thing that i really took from the meeting today was that I truly do have a light. I can be and am a beacon to those around me. As long as I allow Christ to work through me. The speaker asked a question. He said "Does the world get to see your light?"  Please ponder that. Do you allow the world to see your light? Can your friends see your light? Then he said a simple phrase that will stick with me. Be the light. Be the light.  Those simple words are very powerful.
There is a scripture I like that goes well with this. It's Doctrine and Covenants 115:5:
Verily I say unto you all: aArise and shine forth, that thy blight may be a cstandard for the dnations;
(For those who don't know, you can find out what the Doctrine and Covenants is here. Basically, it is another book of scripture.)
I'm so grateful for our leaders. And I'm so grateful for my Savior's influence in my life.  I really felt his love today. And I know that I can return to live with him again.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How I stood up to profanity today...

Actually, my story starts with yesterday.  Yesterday in gym class, we were picked for teams.  I didn't really know anyone on the team except for one girl.  As the team captain (lets call him Robert) was explaining the rules, he kept swearing. For a moment I didn't know what to do, but I knew that I didn't want to hear it.  So I asked him if he would please stop.  Robert refused. And, he kept swearing. Periodically, I would ask him to stop again. One of the other guys on my team even said "Just stop right now, okay? Just listen to her." But Robert wouldn't stop.
So today in gym, we were with the same people. And, Robert continued to swear as we played against another team. I politely asked him again if he would stop. Robert ignored me. I asked one more time. This time he said (I quote exactly) " Out of pure respect for you, I will stop." 
Looking back, I now realize that the Lord blessed me for my persistence. I know that Heavenly Father blesses us when we act upon righteous desires.  I'm so grateful for my Heavenly Father who loves me, and who watches over me.  I'm very thankful that He could soften the heart of my classmate.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Great Vid

This video is great!  I really felt the spirit when I watched it!! I learned a lot about youth temple dedicatory performances. It was amazing to see the light on their faces! I really sincerely hope that we can do this when our temple is finished!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ooops!!! This is my post for yesterday.

So.  I totally spaced posting yesterday, so I'll do it today! This is a gratitude Tuesday post.

This week I am thankful for prayer.  I know it sounds cliche',  but it is so true.

I am very grateful for prayer this week, because I was having some hard times.  I won't get into it, but basically I felt like a loser.  But I pleaded with my Heavenly Father, and He helped me feel His infinite love for me. This happened for a while.  I would feel terrible about myself, but then I would pray, and Heavenly Father helped me feel better.  Because of these timely reassurances, I have reconfirmed that I am a daughter of God, and I know that even though I feel alone sometimes, I am never alone.  His spirit will always be with me if I let it.  This is especially helpful as I am starting school again in a week.  I know that God is always a prayer away.

I really love the scripture Matthew 1:5-6.  It is as follows:

aIf any of you lack bwisdom, let him ask of God, that cgiveth to all men liberally, and dupbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
 But let him aask in bfaith, nothing cwavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

This is the scripture that inspired Joseph Smith to pray in the sacred grove.  He was confused about which church to join, and after he cam across this scripture, he decided to pray about it.  In the grove of trees where he was praying, Heavenly Father and Jesus  appeared to him and told him not to join any of the churches. They said that none of them were true, and that They would help Joseph establish the true church of Christ. 

You can read the account in Joseph's words here.

And, I am so grateful that Joseph Smith had the courage to pray to find out the truth.  I am here today because of that.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quite Possibly My Favorite Video Ever

I love this video so much!!!  It makes me cry every time I watch it.  Even though it is so sad to lose someone, Heavenly Father has a plan.  The Plan of Salvation, or The Plan of Happiness.We know that we will see loved ones again in Heaven if we live righteously. And, we know that if we pray in faith, that Heavenly Father does answer our prayers. So we should be happy.  After all, it is called the Plan of  Happiness..

I know this to be true with all off my heart.  It is my desperate wish for others to come to know of the truthfulness of Heavenly Father's love for us too.

If you want more information about The Plan of Salvation click here.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Scripture for thisThursday

The scripture for this Thursday is John 3:16.  I know that this scripture is used a lot, but there are some specific things that I would like to point out.

 16  For aGod so bloved the cworld, that he dgave his eonly begotten fSon, that whosoever gbelieveth in him should not perish, but have heverlasting ilife.

God watched His Son as He suffered more than anybody ever could.  He watched as His Son was beaten and mocked.  And, He also watched as His Son was resurrected and people rejoiced to see Him again.

Some people believe that God and Jesus are the same being.  We believe that God is our Heavenly Father, the Father of our spirits.  Jesus is God's Son, as this verse plainly states.  Because God is our Father and Jesus is God's Son, Jesus is our brother.  Both love us with more love than we can fathom.

In the Mormon religion, we have what are called the Thirteen Articles of Faith, which are basic declarations of some aspects of our religion.  The First Article of Faith states:

We abelieve in bGod, the Eternal Father, and in His cSon, Jesus Christ, and in the dHoly Ghost.

To see the rest of the Articles of Faith, click here.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.