Monday, August 26, 2013

Learn to Love it

Life is hard. Very hard. Good thing we have a loving Heavenly Father always watching over us! I've felt Him especially watching over me lately.

I had a really rough time last night. You know, the ones where you cry really hard, use up way too much kleenex, and end up with a headache. Not fun. I was upset about typical teenage problems. Friends, how my peers view me, school, etc.  (The joys of being a teen, right?) I prayed about it and talked to my parents about it. Then I got a blessing of comfort from my dad. But in the back of my mind the whole time I had the feeling that I needed to read the Book of Mormon. I hadn't had my daily scripture study yet. Usually I read the scriptures on my ipod (since my scriptures are at seminary), but I don't really like to read them from my ipod because they're difficult to mark that way. I decided I really wanted to dive into the scriptures. So after my blessing, I ran and grabbed a new Book of Mormon off the shelf and a dozen colored pens and highlighters. I read three chapters, and just went to town highlighting and underlining meaningful phrases and verses, and writing in the margins. I decided that this would be my copy of the Book of Mormon for seriously marking up. The chapters I read yesterday were the most meaningful I've read in a long time. Not only did I get more out of them because I was actively studying, but Heavenly Father knew exactly what I needed to read to help me feel better and led me to those chapters.
After reading those amazing chapters, and truly feeling Heavenly Father speak to me through the scriptures, I felt so much better. Love, peace, and a feeling of home surrounded me. God answered my prayers through the scriptures. The concerns and questions I had were answered in the verses I read. How wonderful it is when that happens.
And it can happen everyday when we make our scripture study active. I'm guilty of passive scripture study sometimes. Life is busy, but we can't let that get in the way of our conduit of power, for that's what the scriptures are.
Instead of viewing scripture study as long, or boring, we can learn to love it. Learn to love the Book of Mormon. Learn to love it. Begin to look forward to your scripture study. Read with clear questions to be answered in mind. Learn to love it. The scriptures, and the Book of Mormon, will bring so many blessings into our lives. The more we invest in them, the more we'll get out of them. They are our truest source of power.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Don't Pass It On

One of the downsides high school is that it's full of drama. Ewwww. Drama. Everyone has to deal with at least a little bit of it in high school, whether it's their fault, or not. Some are good at evading it, but others seem to gravitate towards it. What's the deal?

Even though the school year is young, there is already a lot of drama happening in my circles- things which don't directly have to deal with me, yet affect me. Much more than I ever noticed last year, or the year before. But the thing which bothers me the most, and what really makes high school drama dramatic, is the gossip which accompanies it. Even some of my church friends gossip. It's really not cool. Even if the things you say about someone are true, if it's someone's personal matters, or unkind, it's still gossip.

The For Strength of Youth says, "Speak kindly and positively about others. Choose not to insult others or put them down, even in joking. Avoid gossip of any kind, and avoid speaking in anger. When you are tempted to say harsh or hurtful things, leave them unsaid.

Talking badly about others does not make you cooler. It just creates enemies for yourself in the end. Jesus commanded us to love all men. How is that possible if one isn't on speaking terms with another because of something which had been said?

I can truthfully say that there is no one in this world that I dislike. I hate no one. It is a wonderful blessing. This is because I make it a priority to only say kind things to and about others. I promise it's possible. :)

This is what inspired me to make a personal commitment to avoid gossip. What do you think of it?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Whitney, Whitney Blog Swap!

Just as I promised, here's a guest post by the lovely author, Whitney Reid! Be sure to check out her blog, because it's pretty awesome, but also because I wrote a post for it! Check it out!

Hi! I assume most of you don’t know me because I live states away from Whitney. Whitney and I have become friends through blogging and through the fact that we are both named Whitney! For those of you who don't know me, my name is Whitney Reid from I am a little Utah girl and I spend most of my time in the gym either tumbling or coaching. While I love love love the time I spend with my team, I love the time I spend with the Lord even more. I am a proud member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and am a little obsessed with this lovely church. When I grow up I want to be a graphic designer, but my true dream is work for EFY as a counselor and a speaker. I have a dream to be a motivational speaker one day. Until then I hope to reach people from the words of my blog. I want to do this because I have a piece of something so great that I want everyone to hold for themselves. This is my testimony.

In my sport of tumbling, as well as most other sports, there is an element of risk. Every time I step onto that mat there is a chance that I will not walk off of it. This is a chance we all take because the reward is so great. There is a risk with everything we do with our lives. Getting out of bed and going to school poses so many threats that if we focused on them we would never leave our bedrooms, nevertheless, we still climb out of bed day in and day out. 

I have learned something with tumbling. I have learned that too often people put there all into the sport, and then before they know it, it is all taken from them with a single fall. It is amazing how quickly dreams can be ruined when your biggest dreams are things pertaining to the ways of the world.
Now I’m not saying we should all quit trying to make it far in whatever we do, but I do believe there is something greater that we could aim for.

Enos 27 says,
“And I soon go to the place of my rest,                
              which is with my redeemer;
     for I know that in him I shall rest.                
           And I rejoice in the day when my                   
                  mortal shall put on immortality,
and shall stand before him;                             
                    then shall I see his face with pleasure,          
and he will say unto me: Come unto me,                
         ye blessed,
            there is a place prepared for you
 in the mansions of my father. Amen.”          

This is my goal. And I believe that this should be everyone’s dream.  Because glory and fame of the world is short lasting and insignificant compared to what we could gain if we are faithful to our father in heaven.

President Spencer W. Kimball said,

“If a man owns a million dollars worth of gold, he possesses approximately one 20-billionth of all the gold that is presented in the earth’s thin crust alone. This is an amount so small in proportion as to be inconceivable to the mind of man. But there is more to this: The Lord who created and has power over all the earth created many other earths as well, even “worlds without number” (Moses 1:33); and when [we keep the commandments, we] received a promise from the Lord of ‘All that my Father hath’ (D&C 84:38)”

 I love this quote because to me it shows that no matter what happens to us in this life, if we endure it well, we will receive far greater than anything we could have imagined. That is my goal.

Whitney Reid,

Monday, August 5, 2013

Your Call To Action!

This weekend was really challenging for me. Actually, Friday was, mostly. I had a really hard day of school. I felt really lonely. The worldliness of my school was really affecting the Spirit I was so used to feeling. Though it wasn't true, I felt like none of my friends actually loved me. I thought that if I were to disappear that no one would care.
Ewww. What a day.
During the course of that day, I prayed a lot. I mean, tons. You know how the scriptures talk about pouring out your heart to Heavenly Father? Well, I really poured out my heart to Him on Friday, more than I had in a long time. Afterwards I did feel a bit better, but the comfort I yearned for came gradually. I was expecting a huge wave of relief to wash over me while I cried out to God whilst kneeling on my bed, but it didn't happen that way. The comfort for which I longed came a little at a time over the weekend, mostly in ways I didn't expect.
First, my dad came to talk to me on Friday night. We talked, and I was able to vent about my problems and emotions to him. Then, my family watched a movie together, and I was at peace spending time with them. On Saturday, our ward went to the temple, which was a tremendous boost. Absolutely substantial! But on Sunday, doubts began to creep back into my mind, veeeery slowly. However, after church, out of the blue, one of the young women in my ward handed me a page-long note she'd written to me. She told me that she had felt inspired to write it for me, and that she hoped the words she wrote were the ones I needed to hear. It was beautiful. This young woman had, indeed, written exactly what I needed to read.
Then, last night and this afternoon, a really great young man from my stake was texting me. He simply told me that he thinks I am beautiful and told me that other young men in the stake think so as well, but that they're too shy to tell me. I hadn't asked him for compliments, nor was he trying to flirt with me. He was just being honest, but his words made a huge impact on me!  
Young men and young women alike- take note! Your words and actions have a TREMENDOUS effect on those around you! It's hard to understand what a wonderful ripple effect one can have on one another until you have been on the receiving end of such kind actions. It's truly beautiful. And the best part is, anyone can be that one- the one who makes a difference in someone's day, week, or life. You can. You really can! I challenge you to make a goal each day to do something, even something simple, to brighten someone's life. If each of us does one more good deed each day, what could we accomplish? How many lives would be blessed?
This is your call to action! What will you do with it?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

School: More Awesome than You Realize...

My heart is so full right now! So very full of joy! I began school yesterday, and it's going marvelously. I love all the people. They make me so so so happy! And I'm really excited about my classes!
I have something very important to tell you all.
Learn to love school. Just do it*. We are celestial, glorious beings of light. Light is derived from intelligence. Pretty much the whole reason we're on earth is to learn! (Along with obtaining a body, being sealed to our family for time and eternity, etc...) What better opportunity to learn do we have than school? That's the reason we're there! And if you stop and think about it, it's SUCH a blessing that we can go to school! For most of us, it's free, public education.
In my patriarchal blessing it tells me to cherish my education, and that as long as I seize the educational and learning opportunities which come my way, that the knowledge I obtain will bring me joy, and that I'll be able to bless the lives of others with it. How cool is that? Not only does this apply to me, but to each person on earth. It most definitely applies to you.
The cool thing is that I have found this to be very true! I just love knowing things! Even if my knowledge isn't very deep, it's so great to understand why parts of the world work the way they do. For instance, whenever I wash my hands, I think of how the soap molecules bond to the water and dirt molecules, which is how it cleans my hands. I just find it amazing to know this, and how that science applies to me!
Also, school is an incredible way to develop yourself. I could write a book on how I grew as a person through school and the opportunities it brought just last year alone. In the two days I've been in school this year, I have already seen myself beginning to progress as I've had to adjust to new situations. I find it very fascinating. It makes me soooo happy to think about where I am now, and where I'll be at the end of this school year: socially, academically, musically, spiritually, personally, etc. It's all affected!
In addition, I want to stress the importance and awesomeness of goal-setting. Some people groan when that is mentioned. Goal-setting doesn't have to be difficult, boring, drawn-out, or confusing. Goal-setting can be simple. I half-subconsciously set a goal yesterday! Isn't that cool? In my math class I passively decided that I wanted to be more outgoing- ask more questions, and participate more. (Generally, since math is my worst subject, I was afraid of participating too much because I didn't want to look stupid. But I realized that by going out on a limb, I'll grow.)  When I realized the goal that my subconscious mind made, I solidified the goal. I made it reachable. I decided that I'd either ask a question, or answer a question at least once every day. It's simple. It's doable. And it will help me become a greater person.
Seriously, guys. Have fun in school! It's not worth as much if you don't strive to enjoy it! Your possibilities are truly endless. For real.

 * By the way, at youth conference, there was a guy who had a sweatshirt that said, "Just go and do it." with an angel Moroni in the act of running. It was so cool!