Sunday, January 15, 2012

Elder Holland

Jeffery R. Holland came and spoke at church today.  He was actually speaking to my old Stake (the church members assigned to the area of Spokane I used to live in), so I snuck in and pretended I belonged. :) I was dying at a chance to hear him speak in person!  He's one of the most powerful speakers in Conferences, so I couldn't wait to hear him up close and personal.

His talk was mostly to the Youth, telling them that THE most important time of their entire lives is roughly in the decade of 12-22.  In this time they will make some of the most important decisions of their entire lives and this decade will shape who they will be for the rest of their lives.  He of course gave room for leeway on this number, but this basic time period has been and will be for most of us the most influential on the rest of our lives.

He also spoke of how his mission meant the world to him and changed everything about his life thereafter.  It kinda made me wish I had served a mission, but even more so, made me want to inspire my children (especially my boys) to serve missions.   Especially since they are under my direct care for about 6 of those 10 incredibly important years of their lives.

My favorite part of Elder Holland's talk was his testimony.  I don't think I've ever heard a more powerful testimony.  He said that no one anywhere could help or hurt his testimony in anyway.  He has a PERFECT knowledge of the Gospel and Jesus Christ.  He knows with 100% certainty that this Gospel is true, that Christ did live and that he will come again.  I'm not quite where Elder Holland is in my own testimony, so hearing his, did help grow mine.  Hopefully one day I too can have a perfect and unwavering testimony. 

My friends attended Conference for the Adults the night before and told me he said something to the effect that our sufferings and trials are not because Christ is displeased with us.  Christ loves those who have a broken heart and who do suffer.  We grow in our trials and need our trials and Christ loves those whom he allows to go through those trials and if we ever say Christ doesn't love us because we are suffering, than we're saying he never loved anyone who we read about in the Book of Mormon, or anyone that suffers and that is just not true. 

After talking with my friends (and reading their notes) :) I felt new resolve to face my trials with gratitude and grace.  I think he also said something like, "square your shoulders, stay strong, and endure" when facing a trial.  I love that.  I've been learning in recent years that Christ really does allow us these trials because he loves us. We will have enough peace and joy to get us through to the next trial.  The real trick is learning to have joy and peace even amidst a trial.  I don't think I always truly believed this to the core, but now I do and find so much comfort that peace is not found under certain conditions or life circumstances.  It's found in Christ.  That's it.  The really comforting thing about that, is he's always there.  No matter where I am or what's happening, he is always there.  I suppose that means I can find peace at any time I choose, if I offer up a broken heart to the Lord and follow him in faith.  It's a work in progress, but learning to use the atonement more effectively in my life is proving to be one of the most valuable lessons I'm learning in this life.

Monday, October 3, 2011

October General Conference 2011

General Conference  is a church meeting held twice a year, where we have the privilege of hearing the Word of the Lord through our modern day prophets.  GC weekend is always a special time for me and my family.  We relax and unwind and devote our weekend to listening and studying the Word's of the Prophets. 

A few different things stood out to me during these sessions of conference. 

1.  The Lord loves each of us in a very real and personal way.  The only way I can somewhat grasp this is to think about my son.  I know that no matter how many children I have I will always know Boston. I will always remember him and no matter how many children I may have, no one could replace him.  He is unique and beautiful and irreplaceable.  I know the Lord feels this same way about me and about you.  He has memories with us and loves the little things that make us US.  We are NOT forgotten.

2.   Motherhood is just as important and relevant today as it was years ago.  I think there is a philosophy today that Motherhood should no longer be a primary role in a woman's life, rather an experience to pursue if time allows.  Because I disagree with this philosophy I especially appreciated Elder Neil L. Anderson's talk.

The highlights:

Children are the crowning privilege for Husband and wife.

God's commandment to multiply and replenish the earth still applies to us today.

Motherhood is not a hobby it is a calling.

Motherhood IS what God gave us time for. 

There is no shame in scrimping or saving to provide for a family.

Don't judge all...ever....especially not based on how many children we do or don't have.

3.  The last thing that really stood out to me about conference is that it is useless to compare ourselves to don't do it! During conference I felt impressed to remember, that comparing yourself to another, reveals no truth WHATSOEVER about you or anyone else, so again...don't do it. 

I feel so blessed that I am given modern, personal scripture to guide my life 6 months at a time, in addition to the timeless counsel I receive from the Scriptures.  What a blessing to have the Gospel in my life!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Being a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

I love this church.  Dane and I just moved to a new area.  We don't know anyone out here but we knew we would make friends fast.  Why?  Because we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints.    It is a great feeling to know that no matter where we move in the WORLD we don't have to find a new church.  We know exactly what church to go to, and we get to automatically be surrounded by other people of our exact faith.  We soon will be assigned callings so that we can serve and be involved in our Ward (because there are so many members of the Church, every area's members are split up into Wards, so that no one gets lost in the shuffle).  We will also be assigned Home teachers to come visit us every month and share a spiritual message, check on our family and help us with anything we may be in need of. 

I get to be apart of an amazing organization of Women called the Relief Society.  This organization meets every Sunday together for an hour and a few different times throughout the month for different activities.  I love being in Relief society because it means I have friends wherever I go.  I will soon be assigned 2 visiting teachers that will come visit me every month to share a spiritual message with me, talk with me, be my friend and lend a listening ear or a helping hand. 

A woman in church today bore her testimony and she shared that the Church is true no matter where you are.  Her and her husband are from Zambia and they have been living in the U.S. for 7 years.  In that time they have had 2 children and have been so far from family and loved ones, but because of the church she said, they always have a home.  They get to meet with people that share their same beliefs and join a Ward family.  She said she thought she would be so lonely without all of her family, but that has not been the case and she is so grateful for the Gospel in her life. 

I was touched by her testimony and although I have never had to move across continents I too am appreciative that I always have a home within the Church, no matter where I go.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Great Sunday Lessons

Today's lesson in Church was wonderful.  It was based off of THIS talk.  You should really read this talk, because it has so many gems in it, but the part that stood out to me was a story told about President Hugh B. Brown who is a former member of the twelve apostles and a counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.  I will summarize the story a lot, but basically he was gardening on some land he had bought and came across a currant bush that had grown over 6 feet high, but yielded no berries.  He realized the bush needed to be pruned so he cut it back all the way to it's stumps.  On each of the little stumps was a drop (like a tear) and he imagined the tree telling him, "How could you do this to me" and him saying, "Look little Currant bush, I am the gardener here , and I know what I want you to be".  Years later he served in the military and got turned down for a promotion that he had been working on for a decade.  He was told he deserved the promotion, but would not receive it because he was Mormon.  President Brown felt angry and bitter at the Lord and his heart was broken.  But then he heard his own voice say, "I  am the gardener here.  I know what I want you to do".  He was touched and fell on his knees asking for forgiveness.  The article says, "and now almost 50 years later I look up to God and say, "thank you Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enought to hurt me."  God knew what Hugh B. Brown was to become and what was needed for that to happen, and He redirected his course to prepare him for the holy apostleship".

When we went over this story in class I felt chills and knew the Spirit was testifying to me that the same has been true in my own life as it is in all of our lives.  We are often pruned, sometimes left heartbroken in order to be redirected down the path that is right for us.  The Lord knows the desires of my heart.  He knows I want to follow in his path and it hit me today that sometimes the trials I face are just an answer to my prayers.  They are shaping me, pruning me and helping me become what the Lord needs me to be and ultimately what I want to be. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Connecting to the Savior through Joseph Smith

167 years ago today the prophet Joseph Smith Junior was murdered by an angry mob of over 150 men.  On this special day I want to write about my testimony of Joseph Smith.

I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God.  He literally conversed with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  In Joseph Smith's day the true church, Christ's church did not exist on the earth.  I know Heavenly Father chose Joseph Smith to restore the Gospel to this earth.   I know that Joseph Smith did not write the Book of Mormon.  He translated it.  Joseph Smith sacrificed a great deal for his efforts.  He was persecuted.  His family was persecuted.  His people were persecuted, but he held fast to his faith.  His sacrifices have blessed the lives of millions and will continue to do so.  Because of the Book of Mormon I have an even greater testimony of Christ and his love for me.   Through the study of this book I have grown closer to my Savior and my Heavenly Father.  I have read the entire book cover to cover and I have prayed asking with a sincere heart if I what I read was true, and it has been confirmed to me, by the Spirit that it is true.  It absolutely is true.  If any of you would like a free copy of the Book of Mormon, please e-mail me your address ( and I would love to send you one.

I am so grateful to have the Book of Mormon as a companion to the Bible to help guide me in this life.  It is my greatest treasure.   

Here is a link to the introduction of the Book of Mormon.  In this introduction you will find the testimonies of multiple witnesses to the truthfulness of this book.

The Book of Mormon is true.  The Gospel is true.  Joseph Smith is a true prophet.  I know that revelation to men did not stop in biblical times and it did not stop with Joseph Smith.  It continues on today through our Prophet Thomas S. Monson.  I know my Savior better and understand what he wants of me even more, because of Joseph Smith's sacrifices.   I am forever indebted.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Today I was cleaning my house while both boys were taking a nap.  I wasn't looking forward to cleaning as I had let the house get a little past messy.  I tried to call a few sisters, my Mom and a couple friends to keep me company while I cleaned, but no one was available.  So It was just me, my church music and thoughts.  As I cleaned I went over my lesson in my head that I will be giving in a couple Sundays.  I thought about the day Boston was born and felt so blessed.  My thoughts trailed from one thing to the next, but two things stood out to me today.

One was the thought that I want to be sort of an advocate for women.  (I'll do another post on that later). 

The next thing that happened was amazing.  Let me give you a little back story.  When Boston was born we had music playing on Pandora (Hillary Week's station).  The moment Boss was placed on my chest I remember the nurses saying, "wow it's like this song was meant to play right now".  Sadly Dane and I couldn't remember the song he was born to because we were so caught up in meeting our little man.  We remembered that one of the songs playing after he was born said something like, "we will love you, we will take care of you" but we couldn't remember THE song that played the moment he was born.

Back to I'm cleaning Boston's song came on.  It hit me like a ton of bricks and I remembered that this was HIS song!  I was so excited.  It is a beautiful song about Christ's birth.  It took me right back to Boston's birth and what a spiritual experience it was.

Here is the song.  It is called "Here with Us" by Joy Williams. 

I had such a wonderful morning cleaning and having time to just ponder.  I think the Lord took that opportunity to help enlighten me.  I think I will look for more opportunities like this in my life.  :)

PS We have decided we will keep track of each of our children's birth songs down the road.  :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Things that Matter Most

This is a great, short video that reminds me to have an eternal perspective.  This life has it's challenges but there is a purpose to it and there is so much beauty in all of it.