Sunday, July 31, 2016

Actions speak louder than words.

I've probably mentioned and shared this song before, but it's one of my favorites. It's called "It Passes All My Understanding" by Cherie Call. It came on the radio this morning and I just couldn't let it be. It describes all of my feelings about Heavenly Father and His creations–all of nature, and all of us. He believes in us and loves us so much–He created this world for us. It is one of my favorite songs about the world around us that our Heavenly Father has created for us. I hope you'll take a listen to it.

This is a random thought I had the other night. If you're a friend of mine on Facebook you've probably already seen it but for those that aren't, I will share it with you:
Dreams are crushed. Hopes are dashed. Life is shattered. But only when you put them on your "this is going to happen this way" pedestal and wish for it to be that way only. When you've given a little room for them to grow and develop, dreams are built. Hopes are known. Life is changed.
I'm so grateful for the knowledge that I have that my Heavenly Father has a plan for me because it makes it easier for me to know that things won't always go the way I plan them to, but things will work out.

As I was sitting during the sacrament, I was thinking about two different scriptures: Matthew 5:16 and Isaiah 53:3-4. And this is what I thought about and wrote down:
"Actions speak louder than words." That's a common phrase that everyone knows, right? But do we really believe it? These two scriptures that I thought about both talk about actions. The verse in Matthew talks about our actions. We need to let our light–the light of Christ–shine through our good works, or actions. The verse in Isaiah talks about the actions of Jesus Christ. He died for us. Think of someone you really love. Would you die for them? Some would and some maybe wouldn't; that's okay. But Jesus Christ–the Only Begotten Son of our Heavenly Father–suffered and died for all mankind. And throughout His whole experience with Pilate and the Roman soldiers, He said nothing; nothing of protest, nothing of explanation. He was quiet, and let it happen because it had to happen. I don't know about you, but I am extremely grateful for Jesus Christ's example of how to love. John 15:13 says, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Jesus Christ is also the perfect example of how to deal with those who may be talking about you–in front of or behind your back. Say and do nothing. If you do not react, they will soon move on. In the Savior's case, however, they went on to beat Him and give Him a crown of thorns. Then they nailed Him to a cross, where He suffered in agony and died for us. If that isn't love, I don't know what is. 
 I am one of those people who likes to serve others and make their lives easier. Whether it's by being there for them when they need me, babysitting, listening, or serving them in a small way, that's me; that's what I love to do. And to me, those actions mean that I am there for them, I am listening to them,  and I am loving them. Our Savior oftentimes will send us to those who need love and guidance from Him for Him (did that make sense? He will send us in His place). Sometimes, when I am there for someone, listening to them, and loving them, they not only feel my love, but they feel the Savior's love because they needed to feel Him, and I was able to help them do that. The way that He shows His love is that He died for us, and because of that, He will never leave us alone. He will never let you feel lost or alone for long. He will always send someone to save you.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

You are seen, loved, known, and remembered by a loving Heavenly Father.

First, a little thought from last night:

For some reason this quote by President Uchtdorf has been popping up in my newsfeed like every day this week. I'm grateful for this sweet and simple reminder that through everything I am going through, I am seen, loved, known, and remembered by my Heavenly Father. ❤️ 

Now, on to the thoughts of today! I'm so excited! I had TWO missionary homecomings today! So grateful for the examples of my friends and their willingness to go out and serve the Lord. I look up to them (both physically and spiritually ;) ) and am excited to see where they'll go in life. :)

While I was sitting and waiting for sacrament meeting to start this morning, I had this thought: People will come and go in our life. And their coming or going will change us, and oftentimes teach us something. It's important to remember that, most of the time, only we can decide for ourself what we will take from them, and from their presence in our life. Jesus Christ will always be there for us. He will be there to help us learn or recognize what we've learned from the people in our life. He is there to help us, guide us, comfort us, love us, and save us. He will never let us fall, fail, be, or feel alone. ❤️

One of the speakers today spoke on light–the light of Christ. One thing that she said that I loved was that we must displace the darkness that will appear in our life by introducing light. Sometimes we have to be that light, and sometimes we have to find the light, but that light will get rid of the darkness. Maybe not all at once, but it will get rid of it, and you can go to your Heavenly Father for help in getting rid of it.

One of my friends repeated something that I've heard before but it stuck out to me today. He said that the Lord expects progress–He expects us to try to be better. Our Heavenly Father knows we're not perfect, but we can at least try to be better today than we were yesterday. And He will help us with that. My friend also shared a quote that I loved and wanted to share: "Obedience brings blessings. Exact obedience brings miracles." I love that.

My other friend said something that I'd never thought of before. He said, "If it's a good thing, why be afraid?" He was talking about speaking in church, but it applies to a lot of things, and I just really wanted to share that. He also said that being humble is a sign of spiritual strength, and I thought that was just a really great thought. :)

There were two songs that played on FM100.3 while I was writing this that I really loved. The first one was called "Something Sacred" by Aaron Edson. I can't find a YouTube link to it (it can, however, be found on iTunes and you can either buy or listen to a snippet there, or on FM100.3's recently played page, there is a part where you can search for songs and play a clip from it there) but I really loved it. Its message is that though we may all have different beliefs and religions, we can still have respect for the things that others of different faiths believe are sacred. The second one was called, "It's Not About You" and you can find the song here. It's a great song that talks about how sometimes the things you go through aren't for you. They're to help you be who you need to be to help those around you.

I'm grateful for the power of music, and for the messages that were shared today. I know that things can be really hard sometimes, but I also know that Jesus Christ is there for you, and I know that your Heavenly Father won't leave you alone. He has given us the greatest gift: He has given us the gift of His Only Begotten Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that He loves you, and He is always watching out for you. There is nothing that you can ever do that will take you far enough away from Him that there isn't hope you for you and He will give up on you. That is not the kind of God that He is. He is always there for you, you can always come back (though it may take some time), and He will always love you. ❤️

Sunday, July 17, 2016

I feel with my whole soul.

So, late last night I had some random thoughts that I wanted to develop on my blog today, but...well, sleep happened and I forgot them. BUT I did have a thought today before church that I wanted to share:
Sometimes I think that I put too much effort or emotion into things. But I've recently come to the conclusion that I'm just passionate about them–and the passion spreads deep into my soul. I'm passionate about music–it makes me happy and fills my soul with love and peace. I'm passionate about the Gospel–it makes me so happy and fills my soul with love and peace. I'm passionate about my family and friends–they are a big part of my life and it makes me happy when all is right with them. I can't help but be passionate about these things. They are the most important things in my life, and I love to share them–or stories about them–because they make me happy, and I want to share my happiness with others because I love making people happy. I hope to someday be able to make a difference in someone's life. I'm not perfect, and I've made a few (dozen) mistakes in my life, but the one thing that has never failed to be right is to make others happy. And by making others happy, I make God happy. And that brings me peace. 
I've realized that I feel things with my whole soul, and I can't help it. But I do want to make others happy, however I am able to do that, and sometimes the way to do that is by being my regular, passionate self and sharing those things that I love with those that I love. :)

Today during the sacrament, I had a thought about one of the lines in the hymn, "There Is A Green Hill Far Away". This is a great hymn, and one line always stands out to me, and today I finally put words to why it always does. The line is, "He only could unlock the gate of heav'n and let us in." No one else could save us all. Only He was perfect enough. But He can only unlock the gate for us if we come unto Him. He's willing to do so, but we must make the effort and come unto Him.

Okay, I absolutely LOVED the lesson in Relief Society today! We talked about the parable of the lost sheep, which obviously reminded me of my blog post entitled "One" where I talked about that parable. Sadly I do not know the girl's name who was teaching today but I loved some things she said: "No one will ever be one of the 99 for 100% of their time on earth." I loved that. We will all be the lost sheep at one time or another. It may be a long time that you are lost, or a short time, but you will be lost at one point (this is nothing against you, it's just that we are all imperfect people who fail sometimes, and sometimes we get lost for a ways, but it's okay. You can find your way back. I know I did). She also said that "Even if you turn away from Christ, He will never turn away from you." One of the last things that we talked about was the fact that we need to be His hands. He cannot be here, so we need to find, serve, and love His sheep.

So, this song, to me, encompasses all three of the most important things to me: music (obviously), the Gospel, and family/friends (and this one explains my love of music/the Gospel). I'm so grateful that I've found important things to be passionate about, and that I've never stopped. They've always been important to me, and they will never stop being important to me. When I'm around them, or when I'm interacting with them, I feel at home, I feel at peace, and I feel loved. I'm so grateful for my Heavenly Father, who has given me everything I've ever needed, and has a plan in store for me that will probably blow all of my dreams out of the water. I'm so excited to be able to find His plan for me as I go throughout my life, and I'm so grateful that I will have my family and friends alongside me to help me figure it out. :)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Sometimes we have to let go.

We all have dreams and aspirations. We all want things in our life.

I've learned, though, that sometimes we have to let things go. Sometimes for a little while, sometimes for forever.

I'm not saying that you can't still want it; you can. But sometimes, if it's a dream that's a little ways off, and you let it go–if only for a brief time–you can live in the moment better.

If we're always focused on the future, we forget to live in the moment.

By putting aside some of your dreams, you're able to focus on your life right now. And that is sometimes more important than your dreams. If you're always waiting for the future, and not taking proper care of yourself, there won't really be any future for you, will there?

Sometimes we just have to let go.

Sometimes when we let go, we'll realize that that's not really what we wanted, and we'll have saved ourselves some time and money.

And sometimes, if it's important enough, we'll eventually find a way to achieve it.

Everything will work out in the end. You just have to trust your Heavenly Father.

He has a better plan for you than you could ever imagine.

And sometimes that plan includes letting go.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

God loves us enough to gift us with testimonies.

Friday afternoon/evening and Saturday morning I had the opportunity to go to Heber Valley Camp with my YSA stake for an overnight camping trip. I had so much fun! Friday night we had a fireside speaker, a Casey Hermanson (spelling?). He talked about a lot of things that were just absolutely great but I was so enthralled I forgot to take notes while he was talking. So I took a couple mental notes about some of the things that stood out to me the most.

One of my favorite things that he talked about was that I'm a child of God (and you are too!!). We have deity in us. He talked a little about The Lion King, and how Simba forgets who he is. You need to remember who you are: a child of God. :) "He lives in you." Build upon the rock that is Christ and you cannot fail.

Another thing he talked about was Elder Bednar's talk "Converted unto the Lord", and the parable of the ten virgins (you can find that talk here). He (Brother Hermanson) said that a testimony is not enough. You need conversion. Do all the things you need to—scripture study, pray, attend church, go to the temple, etc.

He quoted someone who said, "You can't quit five minutes before the miracle happens." I love that. You have to keep going! I know it's hard and you don't want to go on anymore, or you just want the pain to end. But a miracle will happen. Blessings will come. Maybe not in this life, but Elder Holland has promised us that "they will come".

So I typed up all that^^ before I left for my friend's homecoming talk this morning (he came home at the beginning of this month. That whole week I was like, "Wait a minute! It's been two years already?" It's first it seems like two years is a long time, but then BAM! It's two years and they're home) and he and the other speaker both talked about conversion, and my friend talked about Elder Bednar's talk! I was like, "Oh my goodness, that's so funny! I just started writing my blog post this morning and talked about that a little bit." I thought that was so cool.

Anyway, first I'd like to talk about something that I noticed for the first time about the hymn "In Humility Our Savior" during the sacrament. The line "when thy heart was stilled and broken" hit me today. I realized that that line is talking about the moment that Jesus Christ died and gave up the ghost–He died of a broken heart, and for some reason that line never clicked with me until today. I am so grateful to my Savior for His love and sacrifice. I will never be able to repay Him, but I certainly can try by following His example and preparing to return home to my Heavenly Father.

Okay, so one of the things that my friend said today really stood out to me. First, though, definitions: a testimony is a gift from God through revelation, and conversion is a deepening and broadening of a testimony. So my friend said (and I'm paraphrasing here), that we convert ourselves in order to give gratitude to God for our testimonies. I loved that. He also said that as we have doubts and questions, we need to put those aside in order to gain revelation. We have to have an open mind in order to receive revelation from the Holy Ghost.

I'd just like to finish by saying that it's been a great weekend. Life is actually really good right now, and I'm really grateful. I've been blessed lately to be able to not stress and worry so much and to just let things be (don't get me wrong, sometimes I still worry hahaha; that won't ever go away). I'm grateful for the people in my life who know just what to say and do to help me. I'm grateful for those who just let me talk when I need to. I'm grateful for those who, by doing simple things, just remind me that I am in their thoughts and they love me. Most of all, I'm grateful for my Heavenly Father and my Savior, who send me these people when I need them. :) I'm grateful for the love and peace that I feel from my Savior when I need it. I'm grateful for His example and His sacrifice. I just realized I don't think I've ever been quite this happy and at peace for a little while, and it's a great feeling. I am saddened by the events that have happened recently, and I pray for the families of those that were lost. I hope and pray that we will all be kind to one another, and that we will all be courteous towards those that we might not agree with on some issues. I know that things happen for a reason, and though we may not know that reason right now, someday we will all have answers to all of our questions. I know that someday everything will make sense. I hope and pray that someday we can all feel happy, at peace, and that we can all feel the love of our Savior and our Father in Heaven. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Be a part of His plan for you.

This week has been super full of random thinking. Today during the sacrament, I did some more thinking, but a different kind of thinking. This thinking had a purpose. I'd like to share what I was thinking:
I've been doing a TON of thinking this week about life and things, wondering if this will happen, if I should say this to this person, etc. And some of it was terrifying and gave me anxiety, which is bad for my health. BUT I realized today if it's meant to be, it will happen. God will get things in place for it to happen (though I will have to do my part; I can't just leave it all up to Him). And if it doesn't, and I feel sad, Jesus will be there, to help lift me up and fix any broken pieces of me. I know that He will because He's done it before. He'll never let me down. I trust Him with all of my heart. And I know that He trusts me, so maybe–just maybe–some things I am meant to do by myself, with a little encouragement and courage from Him. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13). I love this scripture. It's a great one, and a simple one that says that Christ strengthens us and helps us do all things. He gives me strength and courage daily to do things that I am not strong enough or brave enough to do by myself. I am so thankful for Him, and for His example, encouragement, and love.
It was a very special moment for me, because I've always kind of known that if it is meant to happen, it will happen–God places people and experiences in our lives to help us onto our path of life. But today I actually realized it.

I also realized that many of the things in my life that I want, I'm going to have to do something about it. Yes, I can ask Heavenly Father for whatever help I need, and He may align things up so that it will all work out, but I have to do my part. I have to act. I've kind of always been the girl that is just there. You may notice me, but not really take notice of me–which is fine. But that means that sometimes I have to act, which is something that is 95% of the time definitely hard for me (#socialanxiety #introvert).

But because of that, I've learned to trust my Savior and my Heavenly Father in a way that I don't think I ever could have if I didn't have trouble with having to be the person to start things. I've also learned that usually, once I've gotten started, I get so into what I'm doing that I don't even think about all the things that I usually think about that make it hard for me to do things. And as I've gotten older, depending on the environment, sometimes it's gotten easier for me to do less thinking, and sometimes it's gotten harder. That's life, I guess. But my Savior is always there to give me strength.

That reminds me of a testimony that was given today. Someone was talking about how the Lord knows who we are. He made us who we are for a reason, and our flaws are meant to either help someone else, or to help us change into who we are meant to be. And I know that that's definitely true for me. This flaw of mine has helped my testimony of my trust in my Savior and Heavenly Father grow. And it's changed me in so many ways.

Someone else shared that sometimes we get in our own way. We sometimes put up blockades and we don't remember our Heavenly Father, or who we are, or what we've been blessed with. Sometimes the only person in the way of our eternal happiness is us.

God knows you. He loves you. He has a plan for you and He'll help set it up, but you have to be a part of it. You have to actually do some things. Sometimes it will be hard, and sometimes it will be easy. But no matter what, you will never be alone. Jesus Christ will be there to strengthen and support you. You have to remember that nothing will ever happen unless you really want it to happen and you go and do something about it. Turn to your Heavenly Father for guidance and strength when you need it, but remember that you are going to have to go out and take your life by the reins.