Aug 25, 2011

women of God

"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity."

-Margaret D. Nadauld


(I feel like the "We Can Do It" poster from the fifties would be an appropriate picture to go along with this post, but the public computers here in Union City, TN won't let me save photos from online...so you can just imagine the photo). 

Aug 18, 2011

faith vs fear

It took a lot of faith for me to trust the owner of this chicken when he told me I could hold it without getting pecked to death.  This was my first experience with holding a chicken.

Faith is a principle of power and action.  Faith is more than just a belief.  If we have faith, we will do something about it.  If we have faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior, that faith will lead us to repent of our sins, be obedient to His commandments, and serve him until the end.  This is what I have gathered from my studies about faith:

-Faith leads to action. (James 1:22)
-Faith is manifest through obedience, diligence, and work.  (John 14:15)
-Faith comes before miracles. (Ether 12:6
-Faith is opposed by doubt and fear. ( 2 Tim 1:7)
-Faith can be increased through study, prayer, service, and obedience. (Alma 32:27)

Faith in Jesus Christ is the motivating factor behind what I do as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It is the reason I left home for a year and a half to serve without monetary compensation.  It is the reason I keep the sabbath day holy, the word of wisdom, the law of tithing, and the law of chastity even when most of the world tells me to do otherwise.  Faith is why I get up at 6:30 each morning, study the scriptures for two hours, and spend all day inviting others to come unto Christ, hoping that someone will listen. 

Faith is a gift from God, and something He wants each of us to develop. I am so thankful for my faith.

Aug 13, 2011

emma



Every time I think about the life of Joseph Smith or his wife Emma, I am reminded of how easy my life is comparatively! They did everything they could to serve the Lord and follow the guidance he gave them, and they were constantly persecuted for it. Emma Smith had to watch as her husband was taken from her in the middle of the night, beaten, and eventually killed. As the prophet of the restoration, He sealed his testimony with his blood as did so many prophets before him.

" Joseph Smith, the prophet and seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!" -D&C 135

I love this video because it reminds me of the sacrifice not only of Joseph, but of his sweet wife Emma. I am so thankful for her faith and selflessnesss.

Aug 9, 2011

he knows

I started this post a week or two ago but was unsure of how to finish it. It seemed incomplete.  Then on Wednesday I received a letter from my friend Mandy that was exactly what I needed.  I love how my friends who are thousands of miles away can answer my prayers simply by listening to and following the promptings God gives them.  I want to share the quote she sent me, because I love it:

"The gospel is the good news that can free us from guilt. We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It's our faith that he experienced everything- absolutely everything. Sometimes we don't think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don't experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means he knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer- how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced Napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism. Let me go further. There is nothing you have experienced as a woman that he does not also know and recognize. On a profound level, he understands the hunger to hold your baby that sustains you through pregnancy. He understands both the physical pain of giving birth and the immense joy. He knows about PMS and cramps and menopause. He understands about rape and infertility and abortion. His last recorded words to his disciples were, "And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20) He understands your mother-pain when your five-year-old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth-grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Down syndrome. He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two-year-old, when someone gives your thirteen-year-old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen-year-old. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years. He knows all that. He's been there. He's been lower than all that. He's not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don't need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He's not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief. You know that people who live above a certain latitude experience very long winter nights can become depressed and even suicidal, because something in our bodies requires whole spectrum light for a certain number of hours a day. Our spiritual requirement for light is just as desperate and as deep as our physical need for light. Jesus is the light of the world. We know that this world is a dark place sometimes, but we need not walk in darkness. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and the people who walk in darkness can have a bright companion. We need him, and He is ready to come to us, if we'll open the door and let him.
(Chieko N. Okazaki, Lighten Up, Preface; p. 174)
 
 
I love this in depth examination of the atonement of our Savior.  I know that he did suffer not only for our sins, but for "the pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sickness of his people."  (Alma 7:11)    I know that he's there, and  I know that he knows.

Aug 4, 2011

blackie


I am not normally much of a dog person. I feel like most of the time they just make houses messy and smelly and make visitors feel unwelcome. A pit bull even tried to kill my companion once, and since then I've been a bit traumatized. But Blackie.. is different. While staying with the Place's for the past week and a half, I must admit I became quite attached to this little dog. My favorite thing about Blackie (as you can see from this video) is how excited she gets when you give her a treat.  She acts like every dog bone you give her is the most exciting thing in the world, and she dances all around it and makes sure you know how much she appreciates it before she eats it.  I love it so much I always just want to give her another one when she finally finishes.

Alright, what does this have to do with missionary work or the gospel?  Well, let me tell you.  I've been thinking a lot about gratitude lately and to me, Blackie is the perfect examlple of a gracious receiver.  When you give her a good gift, she will be sure to let you know how thankful she is..without even using words!  How often do we show that kind of appreciation for the things that we receive?  Every day we are given gifts.. if not from those around us, from the Lord.  When we show our gratitude for the things we are given, God is more willing to give us more.  Psalms 92:1 says it simply: "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, o most high".  Alma 37:37 states, "..and when thou risest in the morning, let thy heart be full of thanks unto they God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day."    I love that promise.

I know we each have so much to be thankful for.  I find that when I express gratitude for all that I've been given, I recognize even more blessings throughout each day, and I am happier!  Let us all be a little more like Blackie.

Aug 1, 2011

ask


Ask me about the new release;
I've never heard of it,
Ask me about the greatest hits;
My radio's collecting dust.

Ask me about my best friend's wedding;
I didn't get to go,
Ask me about my baby niece;
I've never seen her smile.

Ask me about my graduation;
I was 2,000 miles away,
Ask me about my Italy trip
My classmates took without me.

Ask me about my Mom and Dad;
I hear their voices twice a year,
Ask me about my boyfriend
Who is kissing another girl.

Now ask me about the scriptures
And I'll tell you how to find,
The peace and comfort you are searching for
I know just where to turn.

Ask me about sacrifice;
I'll tell you a thing or two,
Ask me about my Savior;
I've walked a few steps in His shoes.
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