Monday, June 24, 2013

The Power of a Righteous Friend

Friends are awesome. I am blessed to have the best friends in the whole entire universe. (Though I'm sure all of you are pretty fantastic, yourselves.) My friends stick up for me, help me when I'm down, make me feel loved, and I always have a great time with them.
A few weeks ago I had an experience which really helped me realize the value of true, righteous friends. I was getting ready to go to a long rehearsal where there would be tons of people, it'd be really hot, and we were going to do a lot of standing around, waiting. I'd never truly been tempted to dress immodestly before, but all of a sudden I really wanted to wear a pair of immodest shorts. They were comfy, cool, and would just be so easy to wear. I began rationalizing all the reasons why I should wear them, but deep down I knew it was wrong.  Then, at thought came to me. Trevor* is going to be there tonight. I don't want to dress that way in front of Trevor. He would be so disappointed, and uncomfortable. Trevor, is one of my best friends in the world and one of the coolest young men I know. He is the standard of righteous living. Always going above what is asked of him, Trevor is one of everyone's favorite people- member and nonmember alike. With that in mind, I put on some modest shorts and went my way.
It was so amazing to me that Trevor was so righteous that he could influence me for good without even being with me at that moment. I am truly blessed to have him in my life. He is an amazing friend.
So my question is: Do you have friends like Trevor? Do your friends influence you for good? Of course not everyone you surround yourself with will be like him. You will have acquaintances and other friends who are in different places of their spiritual development.  Are you, like Trevor, influencing your friends for good? If not, what can you do to change?

"True friends influence those with whom they associate to “rise a little higher [and] be a little better.” You can help one another, particularly young men, prepare for and serve honorable missions. You can help one another remain morally clean. Your righteous influence and friendship can have an eternal effect not only on the lives of your associates but also on generations to come."
-Elaine S. Dalton, 2013

*Name has been changed

Saturday, June 22, 2013

How Will You Use Your Beauty?

I have seen this video floating all over facebook for a while, and just now got around to watching it. I didn't want to watch it at first because it was nine minutes long (ugh!), but now I'm SO GLAD that I did! Let me tell you why!
This woman, Jessica Rey, is a fashion designer who is an advocate for modesty. This is her presentation about modest swimsuits. I can't even describe how amazing it is, so I'll just quote her so that you may realize her awesomeness.

"... modesty isn't about covering up our bodies because they're bad. Modesty isn't about hiding ourselves. It's about revealing our dignity."

"We were made beautiful- in His image and likeness. So the question I'd like to leave you with is 'How will you use your beauty?'. "

Seriously. These nine minutes are worth it. Guys, even for you, too. Just watch it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Why I Love The Book of Mormon

I know that the Book of Mormon is a true book. It holds the fulness of Christ's gospel. God uses it in tandem with the Bible to guide us and help us learn. The Book of Mormon has blessed my life in so many ways.  I know it is true because God testified to me of it's validity through the Holy Spirit when I prayed to know of its truthfulness. I know The Book of Mormon is true from the feeling of warmth, contentment, love, belonging, and peace I felt after asking, which feeling can't be obtained any other way. I know it's true from the peace and overwhelming sense of rightfulness I feel each time I read it. The Book of Mormon is an invaluable guide which helps me through the rough patches of life.  I find answers to life's questions, and comfort in my spans of grief in those pages. I know that God gave us the Book of Mormon as one of His ways of communicating with us, His children. It's a precious gift that I treasure.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Content Once More

I have this awesome friend who has gone through some really difficult things in her life. She is a lovely person, who I love dearly. Lately, though, she has been very distant and unhappy. Though I've tried, I haven't been able to reach her and cheer her up. She wouldn't talk to me, or anybody about what was wrong, and I was really worried about her. Yesterday, however, she received her patriarchal blessing (are you sensing a theme in my posts of late? :D ). Right after which, she came to mutual. She arrived late because of that.  When she walked in, there was an almost-visible halo of happiness and light around her. She looked so beautiful and joyous. It was such an amazing thing to see her so happy after the many worrisome months of her distance and sadness. I feel so much peace now, after being so concerned about her- it's a beautiful thing!
I'm just so grateful for our loving Heavenly Father who loves my friend even more than I do! Even though she and I are very different, I love her very much and I'm so glad that she is content once more.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

My Gingerbread Sheep

Today I was going to make a giant gingerbread man for my friend. I had extra dough, so I made a giant sheep as well- to be unique. The gingerbread man combusted and shattered into a million fragments when I tried to get it off the pan, so all I was left with was the sheep. The more I look at it, the funnier it gets.

I could tie this in to the gospel with a "Feed my sheep" kind of analogy, but all I can think of which makes my sheep and that lesson apply too each other is the fact that my cookie is a sheep, and the lesson is about sheep.
I could always go with "Put off the natural (gingerbread) man. Become a sheep, and follow the Shepherd. ". Or we could just look at this unnatural phenom and laugh for hours. I'll choose the latter.

What unusual activities have you enjoyed on the Sabbath?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Strength from my Patriachal Blessing

Recently I have been struggling with some health difficulties and other struggles. In the past when trials of this propensity arrived at my door they engulfed me. I was totally taken over in despair and helplessness. I did learn and grow from them, and I used them to grow closer to my Heavenly Father, but it was a long, straining journey. This time, I have a new weapon in my belt- my patriarchal blessing. I cannot describe in words the immense comfort I have received and continue to receive from that beautiful blessing. It has given me the strength and knowledge to help me be patient through my time of affliction. Instead of being debilitated by fear and anxiety, I am able to be calm and happy, because I know that when I keep the commandments attached to the blessings I'm looking forward to in my blessing, all will be well.
It is amazing to me that the answers to the two big tribulations in my life right now are in my blessing, along with the blessings that can be mine when I do the things I'm asked to do. It's just so beautiful how it all works. Heavenly Father is so marvelous! He is perfect, and His plan is, too. Everything is really so spectacular, if you think about it!