Sunday, July 3, 2011

Even As A Child

The last few days I've been able to watch little children play and enjoy life. Just from watching them, I can feel a strong spirit surrounding them. These children have a natural love for everything around them. they can see the beauty of the smallest things in life; the delicious smell of the flowers, the beautiful wings of butterflies, the gorgeous sunrays, a love and friendship with all others despite thier age, race, gender or physical characteristics; and anything and everything around them.
A scripture comes to mind-- "...becoming like unto a child; submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit all things which The Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." (Mosiah 3:19)
This is a scripture from Christ. When Christ says in the scripture, "becoming like unto a child", I don't think he is saying to be carefree and have all day be 'play-day'. So what does it mean to be like a child?

1)Submissive: unresistingly or humbly obedient.

2)Meek: Gentle, Humble.

3)Patient:quietly and steadily persevering or diligent, especially in detail or exactness; bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like.

4)Full of Love: Love Like Christ, Love For Christ, Love From Christ. (as I brought up in a previous post)

Why is it important to be like a child?
These characteristics which children portray are the same ideal characteristics and traits which our Savior, even Jesus Christ, has shown to us through how he lived his every day life.
Christ was submissive to the constant council and guidance of His father through the Holy Ghost. He was gentle, and humble, showing a true love for every person who has lived, lives today, and will live tomorrow. Through this strong love He has, Christ is able to be patient with us as we live and constantly make mistakes. And last, but definitely not least, Chirst is always full of Love. I do not believe there are any words to truely describe the kind of love christ has for each one of us. His love is through eyes of a savior who sees not only what we are, but what we can become. He sees us as true sons and daughters of Heavenly Father.
Despite mistakes we make, if we truely and fully repent--promising and striving to not turn back and repeat them--then we can be as the children, and follow Christ with a 'full heart and real intent'.

I believe that once we truely understand this, we can have the strength and ability with Christ's help to look aside from the hardships of this life, and see the beauty and love in everything around us. How wonderful that could be!

“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

“Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
(Matt. 16:3-4)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Live, Love, Laugh

LIVE, striving every moment to live like Christ. Missionary work, service, teaching.

"Our Savior teaches us to follow Him by making the sacrifices necessary to lose ourselves in unselfish service to others" (Dallin H. Oaks, April 2009 General Conference).
Matthew 10:39 "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."

LOVE, as Christ would love--knowing that every person you meet is a beloved son or daughter of God.
Moroni 7:45,47: "And charity suffereth long and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil,and rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." "But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever..."
If we have this love, this charity, even as Moroni taught, we will then truely understand God's love for us and each one of His children. We will see one another even as our Father in Heaven sees us; as important individuals who each play a devine roll in His plan.

LAUGH, expressing the joy that comes from having Christ in your life. :)
2Nephi 2:25: "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy."
D&C 11:13: "Verily, Verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;"

I believe there is significant importance in the title, God's Plan of Happiness. Yes, we will face trials in this life; how else would we learn and grow? But through following Christ we can overcome those obstacles and become stronger as we climb each hill. Through those trials, we come closer to Christ and feel His eternal love for us as individuals.
How can we truely understand this gospel and not feel the joy it brings? We are blessed with eternal families--does not this alone bring imediate and extreme joy and love into your hearts? I personally cannot quite understand how any person can go a single day without finding at least one small moment of smiles, cheer, and laughter. I can just picture Christ sitting and holding the little children, feeling thier undevided love and admiration, and laughing with them as they shared those glorious moments of overwhelming joy and happiness.

"There is sunshine in my soul today, more glorious and bright than glows in any earthly sky, for Jesus is my light. Oh there's sunshine, blessed sunshine when the peacefull happy moments roll. When Jesus shows his smiling face, there is sunshine in my soul."
You can wake up every day … with hope smiling brightly before you because you have a Savior. (Julie B. Beck)

Galatian 5:22: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith."

Live as Christ lives; Love as Christ loves; Laugh as Christ laughs.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Sure Way to a Happy Day

Happiness is something we create in our mind.
It's not something ou search for and so seldom find.
It's just waking up and beginning the day
by counting our blessings and kneeling to pray.
It's giving up thoughts that breed discontent
and accepting what comes as a "gift heaven-sent".
It's giving up wishing for things we have not
and making the best of whatever we've got.
It's knowing that life is determined for us
and pursuing our tasks without fret, fume, or fuss.
For it's by completing what God gives us to do
that we find real contentment and happiness too...

~Helen Steiner Rice

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Jocelyn's Baptism

YEsterday Jocelyn got baptized and confirmed :) It was a wonderful time! Then, this morning just she and I were awake so we were having our wonderful "sisterly-bonding" time haha.
I said, "So Jocelyn, what did you think about yesterday? What was neat about it?"
Jocelyn: "Well, I got baptized, but that didn't really feel any different. just wet. But then when I got confirmed...I felt this wierd tingly warm feeling in my chest!"
"Ah! That was the spirit."
"Oh that's what it feels like!"
Anyway, it was so neat that she physically felt and recognized that difference.
Later in the day I was telling this to my mom and this is what my mom said. My grandpa had been the one giving the confirmation blessing. He told us that when he said "recieve the gift of the holy ghost" he litterally felt the spirit move through his entire body, out of his fingertips and into Jocelyn. It was amazing.
I told jocelyn to write down exactly what she had told me so that she could always look back and never forget what she felt that day. I hope and pray that she will remember it in her heart, remember how peacefull she felt, and have a strong enough desire to do what she needs to do to keep that spirit with her at all times! I hope and pray that everyone--every person--could have a moment like Jocelyn's where they recognize that difference. That feeling of comfort, and also strive to live worthy of its companionship.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Letter From A Wise Friend

[This was written by a dear friend of mine shortly before his mission. His thoughts and words are strong and really made me think. I hope you enjoy it :)]

This is going to be a long note so friends if you choose to read this I would recommend food and beverages to help get you through it.

In the past year and a half I have made many great leaps in the scheme of things to get me to where I am today; being about to leave on a mission. Not so long ago I was a very very different person. Some of you may know this, some maybe not so much. My story is something of a black to white switch with some color thrown in the pile. This is my story.

I didn't graduate High School with the rest of my class. I got some bad information from a couselor that was overturned just a few short weeks before graduation, thus I didn't graduate. I had a good group of friends in high school, many of them didn't talk to me again after we all got out. I had a girlfriend who decided to dump me because her mom told her to. (just a note to the reader: I do currently regret having a girlfriend in high school) Needless to say my life coming out of high school was not anywhere near happy from my point of view. I found myself friendless, jobless, carless, and happyless.

During this dark dark period of my life I did gain some positive. Though I wasn't on good terms with most of my family, wanting to move out but not having the means to do so, I managaed to grow closer to my wonderful mother. She was always there to teach me or help me with feeling better. It was during this time that I gained much of my culinary skill. It was the winter of 2009 that I managed to get a job repairing the mistakes of others in a book. The first graphic designer to work on it had left on a mission but had done a great deal of work on it. The second one had more or less created many mistakes and taken advantage of the author a great deal of times. The author was very good about informing me of this every few days or so, which consequently started to drive me crazy and not wanting to work as much. (amazing how negative work environments can do that) It was then my Mom taught me something that has become a pillar in my life. Her words "Be a Duck". Obviously it doesn't make sense to the casual viewer and might even give rise to a chuckle. However to me, being deeply metaphorical, it clicked rather quickly. She explained that ducks float on top of the water, the water being like the problems of the world, or in this case my client. While if i remained in my current state as a human I would have to struggle through all those problems and if left there for too long could possibly even drown in them. As I found the "duck" concept comical and helpful at the same time I tried it.

The "duck" concept taught me my life's first great lesson, which is one in Patience. I learned to be patient and calm about pretty much everything. I could drive without road rage at people who left their high beams on to rage attacks on my eyes, I was punched in the face at a churchball game and blacked out when I hit the ground, and had no problem with my attacker, I had finally learned a life skill that would serve me well in the world. However I was still unhappy, still in the dark pit that was my life, which leads me to the next wonderful thing that came into my life. Ultimate Frisbee. Now for those of you who know me well, know that I love this sport with a passion. I had been invited to come and play before by one of the few friends that did talk to me after high school. It was when somebody else invited me to come play that I finally gave in and came. The best way to describe it would be "instant addiction", it was a sport that let me run and I wasn't good at it the first time around. I started playing 3 times a week with this team that was planning on playing in the Utah Summer Games. I got my little sister Darci to help me practice so I could get good enough that they might let me play with them. We played every night. I got better fast and was allowed to play on the "A" team because of my hard effort and good defense that i developed. Ultimate Frisbee gave me the next 2 things that I needed to get out of my dark hole. Hard Work and the influence of good friends.

At this point I started to balance on the edge of a knife so to speak. It was going to be one way or the other. So I did the one thing I had been taught to do all my life. I prayed. It wasn't a normal prayer, or even the right format that I had been taught to use. I simply told my Heavenly Father that I didn't know if the gospel was for me or not, and that I had found Ultimate Frisbee and that it made me happy. I had friends, laughter, exercise, and happiness for that short time that I got to play. I told him that I was going to test the Gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints out, and if it made me as happy as Ultimate Frisbee had then I would get my life in order and start doing everything that I needed to do. So I started going to all the church activities and meetings with the right frame of mind, wanting to learn and grow from them. I did, slowly at first but I grew. Then something happened. I was at a large activity playing Ultimate as it was, and I made a new friend. A girl I had never met before in my life, but for some reason she was undeniably beautiful to me and I couldn't figure out why. Not so long after I learned why she was so beautiful. It wasn't because she was physically attractive, but rather spiritually attractive. She shone with the Light of Christ, and because of that she was always happy. I wanted it, and I wanted it really bad.

So now I had my sign. The Gospel is what I needed to always be happy. I became fast friends with this wonderful girl, and though I have yet to admit it, I was enchanted by her. We had many deep gospel centered conversations, usually about the things I was learning on my own, and then the fourth pillar was lodged into place. She asked me to go with her to an institute "date dance".

taking a small sidebar here. there are really 2 ways to gain courage. 1 is from utilizing courage itself, or in other words being brave. 2 is from utter and complete humiliation when you didn't use that courage. obviously you can tell which one this was.

I accepted, and then later to rectify my lack of courage I asked her on a normal date. If you haven't figured it out by now the fourth pillar was Courage. I began to fear new things less and less. Every time that I was brave and tried something new I kept coming back with a happy ending. From this courage grew Self-Confidence, which is my Fifth Pillar. Self-Confidence came with Self Worth and I began to see a few more changes I needed to make in my life. I began to make the changes so that I could become who I wanted to be. They happened slowly, as some changes are harder to make than others. I used the Atonement which Christ made available to us all to make the harder changes. I was finally turning into who I wanted to be.

It was around this time that I found myself having a desire to serve a mission. So I started to work towards it, albeit secretly so I could surprise my parents. I began talking to the Bishop about it, and started to make a push in the right direction with that. My dad was called to be on the High Council at the YSA 1st Stake so I figured there would have to be a point at which he knew where I was going. After passing both interviews for recieving the Melchezidek Priesthood I knew I couldn't keep him in the dark anymore, as he was in the High Council that had to vote yes or no on it going all the way through. (I did enjoy the look on his face when he finally found out) *big smile moment for me*

After that there isn't much left to say about me growing to be who I am today. I have learned little bits and pieces which have helped me grow a little bit more every day. The Scriptures being the best source for me.

That was my story of how I came to be the person many of you now know me to be.

The moral to it all is this: If you want to be happy, not the momentary happiness you may find in drugs or alcohol, or any other thing for that matter. Find out who you want to be, what kind of mark you want to leave on the world and the lives of others. Find yourself in the company of those whom you most want to be like. Do what it is you want to do.

In the past my motto has changed around, lately it has been "Live, Laugh, Love"
Now I have a new motto. "Don't look back to what once was, but look forward to what can be"

My Friends, My Family and everybody else, this is just a simple story about my conversion to the Gospel and how I changed my life around. How I became happier than I have ever been, and continue to strive to become happier still. I know that every step you take towards happiness it will seem like you have the world fighting you every step of the way. But take courage, be confident in who you are and who you want to become. Forgive others without a second thought, it takes a lifetime to make a friend, but only seconds to make an enemy. Be kind, be servicable and patient. Life is much easier when you have patience and are willing to find the silver lining in every dark cloud.

I thank you all for the great influence you have had in my life, and if you ever need a friend I am here.

With most sincere Love and Appreciation
P.S. thank you to all the wonderful ladies who accepted my asking them on a date.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Bread of Life

If we do not give our physical bodies food, our bodies will become weak, sick, and will fail. So it is with our spiritual bodies. We must constantly feed and nourish them. Prayer, diligent scripture study, studying the prophet's words, and visiting the temple as often as possible are all ways we can nourish and enrich our spiritual selves.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Christ Lives

Every time I read the scriptures I am reminded of how much I love this gospel! The Book of Mormon is a marvelous work filled with testimonies and teachings of Christ. Reading in general is something I love, but even if I had just this one book I feel I could be complete still. Sometimes it's difficult for me to understand how others can know, and even be part of this gospel, yet still deny Christ's even existance. I feel blessed that I have not had to face that level of unsurity and disbelief. I see every part of life--of this world--more facts and evidence that CHRIST DOES LIVE!! He lives and breathes even as we do! Life in general can be such a wonderful experience. It definitely is not easy or always imediately rewarding, but it is definitely worth it! Everything we learn, everything we do, everything we think can have a purpose, a meaning, an importance to us--if we let it. As we go through our day to day lives, I believe we need to remember why we are here and where we are heading. [that can be taken spiritually as well as temporally]. Christ gives us the scriptures and living prophets to teach us the gospel and give us purpose for life. Remember that Christ lives! Remember that He suffered in Gethsemene for every physical, spiritualy, mental, emotional pain and weakness that we have and will face. Remember that He was RESURRECTED!! He was resurected so that we may be, even as He was. Remember that it is by following the commandments of God and keeping our covenants with Him that we can return to Him and have everlasting joy.

"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." (Helaman 5:12)