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.