Sunday, October 27, 2019

Improving my relationship with Heavenly Father.

Today in Sacrament Meeting, I was reading the conference talk "Unwavering Commitment to Jesus Christ" by Elder Dale G. Renlund. I really loved this talk! I wrote down a few things that I was thinking about while I read the talk, and afterwards when I was pondering on what I had read. I hope that some of them will be helpful for others.

One question that I was pondering was, "What symbolic action can I do to show my commitment to Jesus Christ?" And while I was thinking about this, I realized that there are a LOT of things that I can do to show my commitment to Jesus Christ that I am not doing. I think that one thing I struggle with is that sometimes I try to do all of the things at the same time. And I can't actually handle that. So I need to stop trying to do everything all at once. And I need to start with ONE thing at a time. God understands where I am, and He understands what I can do. And as long as I am giving Him my all, that is enough. 

Elder Renlund said that, "Being 'converted unto the Lord' means leaving one course of action, directed by an old belief system, and adopting a new one based on faith in Heavenly Father's plan and in Jesus Christ and His Atonement.  
This change is more than an intellectual acceptance of gospel teachings. It shapes our identity, transforms our understanding of life’s meaning, and leads to unchanging fidelity to God. Personal desires that are contrary to being anchored to the Savior and to following the covenant path fade away and are replaced by a determination to submit to the will of Heavenly Father. 
Being converted unto the Lord starts with an unwavering commitment to God, followed by making that commitment part of who we are. Internalizing such a commitment is a lifelong process that requires patience and ongoing repentance. Eventually, this commitment becomes part of who we are, embedded in our sense of self, and ever present in our lives. Just as we never forget our own name no matter what else we are thinking about, we never forget a commitment that is etched in our hearts."
Every emphasis in the previous quote was added by me. Those are the most important parts to me right now. Conversion to the Lord is MORE than knowledge. Conversion to the Lord is a CHANGE. I think it's not a coincidence that we call it "being converted to the Lord" when "conversion" means, "the process of changing or causing something to change from one form to another". When we are converted–or working on it–we are working on becoming like Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. We are working to change from our current form into a better one. One that is more like God. And this is something that we need to be continuously doing.

So, after pondering "being converted unto the Lord", I began to ponder a new question. "How can I improve my relationship with Heavenly Father?" And I came up with a lot of personal ways that I can improve my relationship with Heavenly Father. It's different for everyone. Some of the ways that I have been thinking about involve more personal study and prayer. They involve writing in my journal, updating my blog...things that mean a lot to me, and are ways that help me think and ponder about my life, and about the Lord.

I think that as I am doing all of these things to begin to improve my relationship with Heavenly Father, all of the things that I have been struggling with, and that have stressed me out recently, my problems won't go away, but I will have the Lord with me, and I will be able to overcome them. As I serve those around me, I will be blessed with the capacity to love more and be more patient. My attitude, personality, and temper will improve, and I will have better mental health.


Monday, October 21, 2019

A year of changes, learning, and growth.

So, the last couple of months/weeks, the main thing in my life that I have been focusing on is my finances. I have been working on trying to budget and save money so that I can stop living from paycheck to paycheck every few weeks when I have random expenses come up. I also want to build up a significant savings account for future unexpected incidents/expenses. I keep getting interrupted by life, and I keep discovering other ways to track my money and budget, so I haven't entirely gotten very far yet. 😂

However, this has yet to deter me, as I keep trying to make notes of my finances. I think that I have been underestimating the amount of expenses that I actually have to pay every month, and so I keep getting low on funds because I think I have more money to work with than I do. 

I know that, as I have been watching my money usage, I have been blessed. I know that as I have paid my tithing first and foremost, I have seen the hand of the Lord in my life. Because somehow...even when I have thought that I didn't have enough...I figured out a way to make it work. 

I'm grateful for the little lessons in life, and for the little tender mercies. God has really been so good to me this year, I honestly can't even comprehend it. This year has probably been one of the craziest years in that I've had probably the greatest number of changes occurring in my life this year than in previous years, which has resulted in the greatest number of changes and the greatest amount of growth to myself. 


Sunday, October 13, 2019

That's the point!

This week, I was on a spiritual high from last weekend. General Conference is my favorite time of the year, and I'm so glad we have two conferences every year! I am very excited that the talks are now on the Gospel Library App so I can study them in preparation for next conference!

I was teaching my kiddos how to play "Pin the tail on the (Puppy)" (this week our theme was 'pets'; hence, the 'puppy' instead of 'donkey'), and as I was blindfolding one of my kids, he says to me, "I can't see!" I said, "That's the point." Later, when it was my turn, I said something similar to "I can't see" and he says, "That's the point!" And all the rest of my kiddos chime in with, "That's the point!" And I about died laughing! These kids are so funny and make me laugh every day!

As I was thinking about that experience this weekend, I had a thought. I was thinking about the Gospel, and how trials are really hard, and learning and growing as a person are really hard, and that thought came to my mind again, "That's the point!" The point of this life is to experience trials, and to learn and grow. The point of this life is to love God, and love your neighbors. The point of this life is to make the world a better place.


I'm full of gratitude for this last week. General Conference was amazing, and I've had a fairly amazing week at work. I'm trying to figure out what I'm wanting with my life, and how I can improve myself. I've recently started re-reading the Book of Mormon, and I want to be done by Christmas. It has helped me every day that I've read a chapter or two. I've been calmer, happier, and more at peace as I've read my scriptures each day this week. I'm grateful for the messages of General Conference last week, and I'm grateful for the chance that I have to re-read, listen to, or watch the sessions again for the next six months. I am really hoping that I can become a better person as I keep reading my scriptures every day, and as I study the talks from this last conference. 

I am trying to remember every day to be better. To be more patient, loving, and kind. To let go of the little things that are inconsequential and don't matter. It's hard when I don't understand the why behind things, and I think that doesn't help me be more patient and kind. 

I'm grateful for a God who gives me love and peace when I need it, and even when I don't know that I need it. I'm grateful for a God who reminds me that there is more to this life than meets the eye, and of that wonderful plan that He has in store for me. 


Sunday, October 6, 2019

My best is enough.

General Conference weekend has come and gone, and it flew by! I can't believe that it's already over! I am so grateful for all of the messages that were shared this weekend and for the answers that I received this weekend. I am grateful for a God who knows me and loves me, and I am grateful for His living prophet, President Russell M. Nelson. He is an amazing man, with a good, kind heart, and he has a love for this gospel, and for the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that is inspiring.

I am so grateful for the chance that I had to go to Salt Lake City yesterday and watch conference in the Joseph Smith Memorial building with my boyfriend, and then walk around Temple Square for a bit before heading back down to Lehi. It was an amazing conference, and I am so grateful for the messages that were spoken, and for the answers that I didn't even know I was looking for! God works in mysterious ways, and I sure am grateful for that!

This weekend was amazing! It was the first time in all of my life that I didn't have any homework or anything to do in between sessions (that I can remember). I just got to focus on conference! It was sooo nice!

I'm grateful for the messages of love that I heard this weekend! And for the messages of support. Lately I feel like all I have been able to do is try my best, and this weekend, I got the answer that that is enough. As the days and weeks press on, I will try to improve each day, but I know that no matter what, it is enough that I will be trying.

I'm looking forward to this upcoming week at work! We're going to be making cookies in class on Thursday that are animal shaped and the kids don't even know it! It's going to be a blast! If anyone has any fun ideas for "In The Fall" (which is our next theme) I'd love some! I've got a few ideas but would love another perspective!

God is wonderful! I am grateful for the peace and love that I feel as I listen to conference, as I attend church meetings, as I go to the temple, and as I am surrounded by my friends and family. My life is not perfect in any way shape or form, but it's perfect for me.