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.