Monday, November 28, 2011


Yesterday in Sunday school we read a scripture that really impressed me.  I must have needed to hear it.
1 John 5:14-15

14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his awill, he bheareth us:
15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we aask, we know that we have the petitions that we bdesired of him.

I love the word CONFIDENCE.  It's pretty powerful.  Praying with confidence is exercising faith in the Father and trusting His will.  That can be difficult to do sometimes.  However, I have had several experiences in my life that are special to me where I prayed with confidence and saw the Lord's hand manifested.  I will share one that just happened recently.

Last week we celebrated Thanksgiving.  Avery's last day of school that week, her class celebrated with a Thanksgiving feast.  I was assigned to bring the pumpkin pies to class that day.  Earlier in the day as I began to think through the logistics as to how I would drop off the pies, I realized that it was going to be difficult for me to take pies to class with two little ones.  How do I carry a baby and a huge pumpkin pie?  I can't leave my baby in the car and I can't leave her in the class room.  I began to call friends and neighbors to see if anyone could watch my kids while I ran the pie to class.  I was out of luck.  I couldn't find anyone to help me.  I admit that this may not seem to be a big dilemma, however at the time I was overwhelmed and wasn't sure what to do.  So, I said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to send me some help, in whatever way possible so that I could keep my commitments.  I had confidence that God would answer my prayer. I wasn't sure how.  I didn't need to know how.  I just knew that He would provide a way for me to do what was needed.  Five minutes before I was scheduled to leave, I received a phone call from a friend that lives one street over from me.  She called me and said, "I'm coming to pick up your babies.  I'll be there in just a minute."  This was a miracle.  A real answer to my prayer.  How?  Well, some how I failed to call this friend and ask her for help.  God put the person that I needed in my path just at the right time, when I needed her help.  That is a miracle.  I didn't have to work out the details and worry about how the help would arrive.  All I had to do was pray with confidence that help would arrive, and God took care of the rest. 

When I read this scripture I was reminded that God is aware of us.  He is involved in our lives.  All I have to do is ask, with faith for His help.  Having confidence when I ask for His help really does bring peace to my soul because I know that I am not alone.  That is such a wonderful feeling to know that a loving Heavenly Father is always available to help us.  All we have to do is ask with confidence and help is on the way!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Favorite Conference Messages

I had the good fortune to listen with my family this past weekend to the semiannual general conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I always look forward to the messages that are given because I know that there are many that are meant just for me, at least that is how I feel. During the Saturday morning session I was listening while cleaning the kitchen and was grateful to hear Elder Cook's talk about the women of the church. This hits home because, well, I am a woman of course but also a mother, which I feel is the most important job there is. His message was inspiring to me and brought a clearer focus to my responsibility as a woman in the church. I remember as a young teenager reciting each week in my Sunday young women's meeting the young women's theme. The first part of the theme is very powerful: "We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us and we love Him." I find that when I am feeling down or inadequate in my abilities, this statement from the theme comes to my mind, almost as a way of reminding me of my worth, which in the sight of God is great. At night when I tuck my girls into bed, I whisper in their ears and tell them that they are daughters of God and that He loves them. They smile and hug me and roll over to bed. Sometimes I wonder if they even understand what I am telling them. At this moment in their lives they probably don't however I know that eventually the reality that they are daughters of God and that He loves them will sink into their souls and help them understand who they really are. As a mother I am concerned about teaching my girls, loving them, playing with them and helping them become their best selves. I know that if they understand the very divine nature that is theirs, they will have no doubt who they are, just like I know who I am and the role I have as a mother is a sacred and a divine calling. Elder Cooks message reminded me of this responsibility and how important it is. Motherhood is difficult at times however I have faith that if I fulfill my calling as a mother,by relying on the Savior that great happiness and joy will come. I am already seeing and experiencing these blessings, for which I am grateful. Elder Cooks Talk

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sad Day

Today I received word that my good friend Sandy had passed away. She informed me earlier this year that she had terminal liver cancer. I visited her about a month ago and knew that it was probably the last time I would see her before she passed. Last night I was talking with my good friend Marni and told her that Sandy probably would pass soon. Then today I received a phone call from her sister that she had passed last night. My heart is heavy tonight. I am grateful that she is no longer in pain and that she can now continue to progress in spirit. Sandy was such a wonderful friend. I am a much better person for knowing her. I know she is aware of how much I love her. I will miss her.

Friday, July 17, 2009

We love our Daddy

Tonight I am thinking about how much I love my guy. I tend to appreciate Shon more when he is away and currently I am feeling his absence. This weekend Shon has been with the youth from our ward at youth conference. I am grateful that he has this opportunity to serve the young men in our ward and sometimes that service requires him to be away from our family. Though the Lord takes care of us while Shon is away, the Wettstein ladies miss daddy when he is gone. Life just doesn't flow as well and dad always seems to pick up the pieces when everything is about to fall apart. So, tonight I am grateful to have such a wonderful husband. We miss you and can't wait to see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My friend Sandy

Today I have been thinking about people that have influenced me. I want to write about one person that has touched my life for good.

My senior year in high school I had a fun English teacher by the name of Sandy Van. Friends of mine that had taken her English class before gave rave reviews of her and I soon found out why. Sandy not only made her class fun but she made the remainder of my days in high school bearable and enjoyable. She helped me find a love for reading and she pushed me to become better. Toward the end of school we joked about staying in touch and meeting for breakfast to celebrate the end of the school year. Little did she know I would hold her to that promise. Shortly after I graduated I went and visited her at her cute little bungalow home on Beverly street. We laughed about school and talked about our futures. I told her of my dreams, my heart breaks and what I hoped to accomplish and she told me of hers. Over the past 13 years we have remained close friends. During the time that we lived close to each other we met monthly for dinner. She introduced me to my favorite restaurant, the Dodo and helped me develop a love of gardening. The years that we lived miles apart we still corresponded and kept in contact. She wrote to me while I was on my mission and I sent her birthday cards after she married and moved away. Last year after we moved back to Salt Lake City, one of the first items on my list was to reconnect with Sandy. Even though we hadn't talked for months, we picked up right where we left off and it was like we were never apart from each other. I missed her fun laugh and beautiful silver hair. I was finally able to introduce her to my girls and show her the life I had always dreamed of, being a full time mom.
Earlier this year I received a phone call from Sandy and by the tone in her voice I noticed that something wasn't right. She called to tell me that she had been diagnosed with incurable liver cancer and only had months to live. I was crushed. I have never had a close friend to me encounter such a difficult situation. Over the past 6 months since she shared this news with me I have thought so much of our friendship and what she means to me. I am grateful that she believed in me and has helped me become better. I love her humor and her perspective of life. I admire her strength to push through difficult situations and to make the most of them. I love her for her honesty and willingness to tell me how things really are. Sandy was first my teacher but became a true friend who has influenced my life forever. Even after Sandy passes on to her next stage of life I know that our friendship will continue. I will forever be a better person for knowing her. Sandy, I love you with all my heart.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Testimony vs. Conversion

Today I have been thinking about what it means to have a testimony. Elder Dallin H. Oaks defined it as:

"A testimony of the gospel is a personal witness borne to our souls by the Holy Ghost that certain facts of eternal significance are true and that we know them to be true."

He also said:

"Testimony is to know and to feel, conversion is to do and to become."

Often I think of testimony and conversion to mean the same when really they are quite different. I know of others who at one point in their life, knew and felt truth but failed to act upon it. I would consider myself guilty of this. How many times have I needed to repent because I failed to do something simply because of laziness, pride or a lack of faith. Conversion is about the doing which leads to becoming. I believe that is why covenants are important. They are part of the doing we experience as we follow Christ.

Elder Christofferson spoke at April 09 General Conference about the POWER of our Covenants. I must admit, I often think about this subject. There is real power that we receive when we keep and honor our promises with God. He will not forsake us if we remember and honor Him. I know this is true. Elder Christofferson said the following regarding covenants:

"We enter into covenants by priesthood ordinances, sacred rituals that God has ordained for us to manifest our commitment. Our foundational covenant, for example, the one in which we first pledge our willingness to take upon us the name of Christ, is confirmed by ordinance of baptism. It is done individually, by name. By this ordinance, we become part of the covenant people of the Lord and heirs of the celestial Kingdom of God."....

"Divine covenants make strong Christians. I urge each one to qualify for and receive all the priesthood ordinances you can and then faithfully keep the promises you have made by covenant. In times of distress, let your covenants be paramount and let your obedience be exact. Then you can ask in faith, nothing wavering, according to your need, and God will answer. He will sustain you as you work and watch. In His own time and way He will stretch forth his hand to you, saying, "Here am I."

I am recommitting myself to do all I can to honor my covenants and become a stronger Christian. I am grateful to know that this is possible!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


This is a fantastic video of a man named Roger Keller. He is giving a talk regarding the apostasy at a conference in 2004. I found his perspective very enlightening. He was a Presbyterian minister before he converted to the LDS church. He speaks about authority and religion. There are several videos (6 I think) , and this is the first one.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Awesome Cheesecake Factory Story

I had such a neat experience a few weeks ago. Shon and I were at the Cheesecake Factory with some friends having dinner. This story has absolutely nothing to do with the food at the restaurant (although the cheesecake is to die for!) but rather, a telephone call that I received during dinner. I usually don't take calls during dinner unless it is a babysitter calling regarding the kids however, during our dinner, Shon received a call on his cell phone, a number that we weren't familiar with. The number began with 44, which is the country code for England. He looked at the number and decided it was probably a wrong number because it was 3am in the UK and who in their right mind would be calling us that late. About 5 min later he received another call from the same number. A few min. later he received a 3rd call and figured, ok, someone must be trying to reach us. Shon answered the phone and it was for me. When I said hello, all I could hear was "Hiya,....Zara....I'm.....through month."
Now let me tell you about Zara. She is a girl that I met while serving in my first area of my mission called Todmorden. It is a small town, a village really, and she was one of the first people I me there. Zara was 16 years old at the time, she lived with her mother who was a drug addict and they were both members of the LDS church but struggled because of circumstance. We worked hard with Zara and I really felt that she had a testimony but she didn't know how to overcome some of her struggles. My companion(s) and I prayed so much for her. After I returned from my mission, I kept in touch with Zara on occasion to see how she was, how her mum was and do what I could to help her. About 4 years ago, Zara called me and told me that she was pregnant with her second child, and living with the father. I was crushed. I remembered thinking to myself, how could I ever help her? I told her I loved her and to keep in touch.
A little over a year ago, I heard from a friend who lived in the same town as Zara, and heard that she'd had a stroke (at age 22) and was in the hospital, the prognosis didn't look good. I had completely lost touch with her and felt helpless, unable to do anything for her. I tried to find out the status of her situation but wasn't successful. I thought of her often, and hoped that everything would turn out okay. That evening when I received the phone call from Zara I ran outside and asked her to repeat what she had previously said.....
"Sister Critchfield, I am married, I just had a baby and we are being sealed together as a family in the temple on June 19." I was in shock. I made her share her story with me. After Zara had her stroke, she told me she had "a real awakening" and knew she needed to change. After she eventually left the hospital she decided to attend church on Sunday which is when she became reacquainted with a guy that lived in a neighboring ward. They later got married and are now being sealed in the temple. I was so full of joy. As I spoke to Zara I could hear the joy she had in her voice. What an incredible miracle. Here is a young girl that I worried about so much, prayed for, cried with and hoped that one day would be able to find the strength to overcome all the obstacles that stood in her way, and believe me there were and probably are many still. But deep down, I knew that the Spirit had touched Zara's heart, that she believed in the Savior and probably didn't realize until her stroke just how much she needed Him. I am overcome with emotion and gratitude for her. God is so good. He knows us. He knows what we need in order to humble ourselves to come to Him and His Son. I am so grateful to know my friend Zara. She is such a strength and example to me. There is so much to learn during this journey and I hope she stays with it. It is such an incredible experience to see someone you love finally understand the worth of who they are and commit to change and follow the Savior. I am so grateful to Him for the power He gives us to repent and become better. I feel this blessing everyday and I am grateful my friend Zara has experienced this in her life. God truly is a God of miracles.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Miracles wrought by Christ

I am currently studying Jesus the Christ by Elder Talmage. My attempt to write down my thoughts will in no way compare to the skill, knowledge and spiritual level of Elder Talmage however I feel that I can come away with something to learn/share, profound or not. I am thoroughly enjoying this book. I am amazed at how in depth Elder Talmage goes in helping me receive a deeper perspective of the Savior, His life and purpose. There is so much to learn. So much to contemplate. Last night I was reading before I went to sleep and there was a paragraph that I wanted to share in Chapter 11 titled From Judea to Galilee under the section Miracles in General.

"In the contemplation of the miracles wrought by Christ, we must of necessity recognize the operation of a power transcending our present human understanding. In this field, science has not yet advanced far enough to analyze and explain. To deny the actuality of miracles on the ground that, because we cannot comprehend the means, the reported results are fictitious, is to arrogate to the human mind the attribute of omniscience, by implying that what man cannot comprehend cannot be, and that therefore he is able to comprehend all that is. The miracles of record in the Gospels are as fully supported by evidence as are many of the historical events which call forth neither protest nor demand for further proof. To the believer in the divinity of Christ, the miracles are sufficiently attested; to the unbeliever they appear but as myths and fables.
To comprehend the works of Christ, one must know Him as the Son of God; to the man who has not yet learned to know, to the honest soul who would inquire after the Lord, the invitation is ready; let him 'Come and see.'"

Personally I have witnessed MANY miracles in my life. As a result my faith and trust in God and His Son have grown. I am always amazed by those who fail to recognize God and His power. A recent example of this was the US Airways flight that landed in the Hudson River. How is it possible that this plane was able to land in the water with a pilot that was skilled/trained for such an event and everyone on board would live to tell about it? Is this a miracle? I believe the answer is yes. The question I ask myself is why do I believe it? I believe the answer is because I have accepted the invitation to "Come and See." I don't claim to know everything. As I read this book I realize how very little I do know. But I believe that is the beauty of it. I don't need to know the details of how God works to know that the blessings and miracles I experience come from Him. Faith, in and of itself is a miracle, of which I am grateful to have.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Jesus the Christ

Our Relief Society has been reading Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage with the goal to finish just before Easter. It has been such an enlightening experience and I hope to document some of my thoughts through out the next few weeks during my reading. I have read this book before, when I was a missionary and I remember how much my faith in the Lord grew. I am loving the second time around even more. This book is incredible. My love for the Savior has grown so much. To quote Elder Marion G. Romney regarding this book:

"One who gets the understanding, the vision, and the spirit of the resurrected Lord through a careful study of the text Jesus the Christ by Elder James E. Talmage will find that he has greatly increased his moving faith in our glorified Redeemer."

This is my goal. It is a book definitely worth reading.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Bishop's Storehouse

Today I had a unique opportunity. I volunteered to help at our local Bishop's storehouse. For those that may not know, the bishop's storehouse system is a network of Church-owned and -operated commodity resource centers that function much like retail stores, except that goods cannot be purchased but rather are given to needy individuals whom local LDS bishops judge to be worthy and deserving of Church assistance. Recipients are invited to work or render service in various ways in exchange for the items they receive.

I had never served at the storehouse before today and wasn't sure what to expect. I spent 5 hours stocking shelves and during my time there I met many different people, old/young, male/female, single/married, including people from various races and religions. There was one family in particular that stood out to me. I met a family that moved to Utah from Afghanistan. They were such nice people with the most beautiful kids I had ever seen. They aren't members of my LDS faith, however every week various members of their family work at the storehouse and in return they are able to shop to provide for their family. The husband told me that his oldest son is going to school and works at the storehouse during his time off. Several things impressed me but I will just share two of them.
First I was amazed at how incredibly strong this family is. They moved to a strange new place with the hope of creating a better life. As I visited with them I couldn't help but notice how happy and grateful they were for everything they received. They were beautiful.
The second thing that impressed me was how much the church does to help people (ALL people) here in my community and I never really knew it. It is easy to become consumed with my own life and fail to notice those that are in real need. Today my eyes were opened and I saw how many people are in need and ways that I can help. There are bishop storehouses all over the world helping so many people. As I looked into the faces of several women that came into the store, I couldn't help but think how easily that could be me, their children could be my children, especially in today's economy. I am so grateful to the Lord for inspiring these programs. They are so important. I had such a wonderful experience serving today, I look forward to my next opportunity to help.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Great Advice

It is difficult to escape talk of all the economic turmoil going on in the world, but today I received an email from my dad that left me uplifted. The talk was Constancy Amid Change by President N. Eldon Tanner. As I read through this talk I thought how comforting it is to have leaders who don't just give their good opinion but are led by the Spirit to warn us of danger and prepare us for the unknown. In this talk he gives 5 principles of economic constancy:

1. Pay an honest tithing
2. Live on less than you earn
3. Learn to distinguish between needs and wants
4. Develop and live within a budget
5. Be honest in all your financial affairs

This talk goes into detail about each of these principles. Below, I will just share one of my favorite excerpts from this talk:

(Under the principle Develop and live within a budget)
"A friend of mine has a daughter who went overseas with a BYU study-abroad program for a semester. She was constantly writing home for more money. His concern was such that he called her long-distance and questioned her about the need for the additional funds. At one point in the conversation the daughter explained, “But dad, I can tell you where every penny you have sent me has been spent.”
He replied, “You don’t seem to get the point. I’m interested in a budget—a plan for spending—not in a diary of where the money has gone.”

Perhaps parents should be more like the father of the college boy who wired home, “No mon, no fun, your son.” His father wired back, “How sad, too bad, your dad.”

There is much more in this talk that I found to be very thought provoking and a great reminder of what is most important. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Draper Temple

I must admit that blogging has not been my top priority. The end of the year keeps me busy enough and now that I am well into January I feel like I am able to breath again. I have a lot that I have been contemplating so I hope to keep my blog/journal up just so I am able to document my thoughts and the lessons I am learning.
The past week has been a very memorable week for me. I have mentioned before on this blog and our family blog that we are excited for the Draper temple to be dedicated in March. Last week the open house began for VIP guests, and later this week will open up to the public. It is incredible to think that I live 2 min. from a temple. I have always been fortunate to live close to a temple, something that I know many friends and family members haven't had. Believe me when I say that realize this has been such a blessing. The closest temple to me when I was growing up was the Jordan River temple about 15 min. away. It was dedicated 3 years after I was born, so I really don't remember it being built and the excitement for a new temple. It was just always around to me. Then when we moved to Colorado, we had to drive to the Denver temple, which was about 1 hour away. Though we had to plan and put forth more of an effort to attend, I still realize that it was a blessing to even live that close. When we moved back to Draper we knew that we were going to be near the new temple, however I never realized how I would truly feel about this. I feel emotion filling up inside of me right now as I describe my feelings.
Last week I was able to volunteer at a V.I.P tour of the temple. The tour was relatively slow that day so I was able to take my own tour of the temple. All temples are beautiful, holy, sacred buildings dedicated to the Lord. Even though this temple hasn't been officially dedicated yet, I felt that it was His house when I entered in through the front doors. I began to cry out of gratitude for the temple and the blessing it has been to my life. As I toured through the building I was in awe. My most favorite room besides the celestial room (which is gorgeous and amazing in every sense of the word), the brides room was the room where I felt such an overwhelming feeling. To say it is beautiful, just isn't enough, but as I entered in, I saw this mental picture of my girls, one day standing in this room with me preparing to marry their own sweet hearts. It is something that caused me great joy and gratitude and brought tears to my eyes. So many blessings have come to my life because of the temple, the promises I have made to the Lord there. My covenants have real power and I feel it daily in my life. I will be forever grateful to my Heavenly Father for these blessings! We take our children through the temple open house this weekend. They are excited and can't wait to see it.

Here is a link regarding the temple and some pictures:,5143,705276337,00.html

The Brides Room

The Baptismal Font

Sealing Room

Monday, November 10, 2008

Standing in Holy Places

Recently I taught a Relief Society lesson on the second coming and millennium. It was a very powerful lesson with so much to contemplate, especially when looking at the current state of the world. I have been giving a lot of thought to recent events that have taken place and feel that I need to write down some of my thoughts. As most are aware the passing of Proposition 8 in California has fueled a lot of controversy concerning Christian faiths, especially my church. I am heart broken to see people fighting with such an evil nature about this issue of defining marriage. I have been reluctant to voice my opinion openly because I tend to stay clear of controversial issues, however I feel that it is important for myself, for my family, especially my children, to know where I stand on this issue and why.

I truly find it an honor and privilege to call myself a Latter-Day Saint. I know that I might sound strange to some but I am grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Everything good that has come into my life has happened because I chose to become a member of this church and live the doctrines and teachings. I feel the blessings of the gospel in my life constantly and I consider that to be a miracle, especially when I look at the world today, which full of confusion and strife. As I contemplate these blessings, one thing that I am reminded of is how grateful I am to know that there is a prophet of God who literally speaks for the Lord. I don't have to question what He tells me because I know for whom he is speaking. Some may have a difficult time looking past the actual "man" however I am grateful for the Holy Spirit which has confirmed to me that President Monson is actually the Lord's prophet on the earth. Because of this I sustain him and am grateful to stand with him and all of the leaders of the church in defense of Marriage (being between a man and a woman).

Current events have brought me to the realization that the struggles Christians face are only going to become more difficult and the time is coming that we will have to take a stand for what we believe. We can no longer sit on the fence and expect others to fight our battles. After teaching this lesson and seeing the recent political events, I realize more now then ever that I need to engage myself in the cause for what is right and good. I need to constantly ask myself, "whose side am I on?" What is right and good may not be seen as such through the eyes of the world and it is easy to be deceived. This is why I am so grateful to know of and sustain a man that is called to be a prophet.

In the lesson, we talked about a scripture the Lord revealed to Joseph Smith regarding His second coming.

“With the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations. … Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord” (D&C 87:6, 8).

After we read this scripture I asked the class what it meant to stand in holy places? Initially, when reading this scripture the first thought that came to my mind was physically standing in a church, temple, our homes or places where we can find safety and refuge during the last days leading up to the Lord's coming. However, there was one sister in our class that had a very interesting thought.
She said that standing in holy places may not only mean the actual place we stand (like previously stated) but also, the stand that we take on important issues? Do we stand on the side of the prophet (aka...the Lord) or do we stand on the side of the world? Are we firm in our faith even when it isn't popular and we are considered wrong or bigoted for it? The Lord tells us in this scripture that we are to stand in holy places and BE NOT MOVED. I hope and pray each day that my foundation is firm so that I can stay in holy places until the Lord comes, whenever that great day may be.

Though this might be difficult to do, I know if we stand on the side of the Lord the rewards are sure and great will be our joy. For this I thank God for a prophet!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Conference Faves

As always, I enjoy General Conference but there are always a few talks that stick out to me. These are talks that usually I really need to hear. I wanted to talk a little bit about what really hit me during conference.

The overall feeling that I came away with from conference was so uplifting. With the current way things are in the world I really needed that. It is so difficult for me to turn on the news and not become consumed with all the negativity and downers that come with the election and the economy. I loved the messages of hope, unity and joy that our leaders spoke of. The two talks that really stood out to me were by Elder Holland on "The Ministry of Angels" and Elder Bednar "Pray Always." I am so grateful that I really listened during the Saturday session of conference because this is when both of these talks were given. During each session of conference I listen, but on previous Sat. session I am running errands or busy doing things around the house. This year Shon and I decided that we were going to focus our time directly on conference and not allow anything to distract us. After conference was over we both talked about how grateful we were that we made that decision and how much we learned from doing so.

Elder Hollands talk on the power of angles really touched me. I loved that he spoke on this subject. I have had several personal experiences over the last few months, of which I won't go into detail, where I have felt the power of angels assisting me. I don't know how to describe it but I know and have felt them helping me, providing me with strength to accomplish what I needed to do. I have found great comfort in knowing that I am never alone and can call on my Heavenly Father and His angels for assistance. There is great power in knowing and experiencing this. Here are a few highlights that I loved:

He quotes Moroni 7:35-37, 30

As Mormon said to his son Moroni, who would one day be an angel:
“Has the day of miracles ceased?
“Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?
“Behold I say unto you, Nay; for . . . it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men. . . . “For behold, they are subject unto [Christ], to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness.”9

I know that it is by Faith that I have experienced the help of my angles and my faith continues to grow as I experience their assistance. This next quote by Elder Holland is so powerful, and true...

"I ask everyone within the sound of my voice to take heart, be filled with faith, and remember the Lord has said He “would fight [our] battles, [our] children’s battles, and [the battles of our] children’s children.”10 And what do we do to merit such a defense? We are to “search diligently, pray always, and be believing[. Then] all things shall work together for [our] good, if [we] walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith [we] have covenanted.”11 The latter days are not a time to fear and tremble. They are a time to be believing and remember our covenants."

I love so many things about this quote. We can know that the Savior is fighting our battles and taking our burdens upon himself, all we have to do is "be believing and remember our covenants." When I think of power, I think of obedience to my covenants. When I am keeping my covenants I know that I am endowed with power from God to accomplish what I need to, and do His will. When I keep my covenants, I am able to meet the challenges that I face. If there is anything that I hold closer to me, it is the covenants that I have made.

I loved the last thought Elder Holland gave...

"In the process of praying for those angels to attend us, may we all try to be a little more angelic ourselves—with a kind word, a strong arm, a declaration of faith and “the covenant wherewith [we] have covenanted.”15 Perhaps then we can be emissaries sent from God when someone, perhaps a Primary child, is crying....."

This just puts it all in perspective for me. My goal is to be more "angelic" so that I can be an instrument for my Heavenly Father and help others. This is something I am working on and this talk gives me the hope and faith that I can.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Divine Destiny

Today I went with a friend to visit teach a sister in our ward. After we visited I shared with her the message out of the Aug. Ensign "Each sister is a beloved daughter of Heavenly parents and has a divine destiny." As I studied it this morning before our appointment, a couple of thoughts came to me.

President James E. Faust (1920–2007), Second Counselor in the First Presidency:
“A conviction that you are a daughter of God gives you a feeling of comfort in your self-worth. It means that you can find strength in the balm of Christ. It will help you meet the heartaches and challenges with faith and serenity”
(“What It Means to Be a Daughter of God,” Liahona, Jan. 2000, 123; Ensign, Nov. 1999, 102).

There is such truth to this statement. Growing up as a young woman, I remember each Sunday reciting the Young Women Theme and being reminded that I am a daughter of god, and I have infinite worth. It is amazing to think that and remember how important I am to my Heavenly Father. That was so important in helping me make key decisions in my life which as a result have brought me so much happiness. I look at my sweet little girls and hope they can have their own personal experiences to understand who they are and what their purpose is in life. Only God can truly help us understand this. I am grateful for my understanding of these principles.

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985):
“All of you need to drink in deeply the gospel truths about the eternal nature of your individual identity and the uniqueness of your personality. You need, more and more, to feel the perfect love which our Father in Heaven has for you and to sense the value he places upon you as an individual. Ponder upon these great truths, especially in those moments when (in the stillness of such anxiety as you may experience as an individual) you might otherwise wonder and be perplexed”
(Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball [2006], 222).

I find that living in the world it is very easy to lose sight of who I really am. This quote reminds me that I am important and that my personality and uniqueness that make me who I really am, is important and matters. As I work through my own personal struggles, knowing and understanding this provides me with such strength. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for creating me with my own talents and abilities which allow me to grow and experience the joy of life.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Reality of Life

Today while my kids were sleeping, I had a few moments to myself to study and think about some things. I am going on vacation for the first time without my husband or kids this week. I never realized the emotions this would stir up in me. I have had thoughts pass through my mind like, "what if I don't make it back to them?" or "what if something happens to them while I am gone?" I think these are common feelings that a mother feels when she leaves her family and responsibilities behind. Don't get me wrong, I am excited for a little get away, a little vacation, but it is difficult leaving the people I love and care for behind.

During my few moments to ponder I was led to Aug 08 Enzign article by President Monson titled "May we so live." So many things impressed me while reading this, so I want to share a few of them.

He talks about death and the difficulties that come with it. "Death is one fact that no one can escape or deny." He also says "For the most part, we think of it as an enemy of human happiness."

But then he follows up by saying that "the darkness of death can be dispelled by the light of revealed truth."

What is the revealed truth Pres. Monson is speaking of? It is the revealed truth of the Savior and his gospel.

John 11:25-26

25) Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

In answer to the question at the end of this verse, I gratefully say yes! I believe that through Christ we will all be made alive again. That is wonderful to know and brings great peace to my soul during these troubled times. Not only can the Savior save me physically from death but spiritually as well. Because I believe in Him, love Him and strive to follow Him, I find great comfort in this verse. Like Pres. Monson said, I find peace in the light of revealed truth.

Then Pres. Monson asked a question that really made me self reflect on my life and what I am doing NOW.

What am I doing today?
Have I done any good?
Have I helped anyone in need?

Because life is fragile and we don't know when our time will be to leave this earth, we must make the most of each day. I think, well for me at least, it is easy to forget this. I need a sign above my head that I see each morning that says....Emily make the most of today. Live life to the fullest. I know when I answer yes to the questions above I am much happier, much more fulfilled in my life. When I am doing good and helping those who need my help I draw so much closer to my Savior and gain a greater perspective of life and really, that is what it is all about.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Helaman 10

This morning I am reading again about Nephi and some of the promises he received from the Lord because of his faith and service.

I love what the Lord says to Nephi in verses 4&5

4 Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.

5 And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.

Because Nephi is unweary in declaring the word, has not sought his own life but sought the Lords will and kept the commandments, he is promised some incredible blessings in return. In verse 4 in the footnotes there are some adjectives that describe Nephi:

Dedication, Dependability, Magnifying Callings, Steadfastness and Self-sacrifice.

I read each of these adjectives and wondered where do they fit into my life? Would I be described like this? I know that I am nowhere near where Nephi was, so what a great example he is to me. With all of these words describing him, no wonder he had great power and was promised even greater blessings.

Below are the blessings mentioned in verse 5

1. He will be blessed forever (wouldn't that be nice)
2. He will be mighty in word, deed, faith and works. (Because he sacrificed everything he in turn receives might in every aspect of his life. That would be awesome.)
3. The Lord tells Nephi that what ever he commands, will be done, because the Lord knows that Nephi will not do anything that goes against His will. Nephi has been tried, tested and passed with flying colors. He has been found worthy. This causes me to reflect and ask myself.....

"How does my will line up with the Lord's will?
Where is my heart?
Do I care more about my agenda or do I put the Lord first in everything?"

These are difficult questions and I know more often then not I fall short, but Nephi gives me hope that it is possible to be exactly in line with His will at all times.

One of the greatest blessings that Nephi receives is the sealing power in verse 7

7 "Behold, I give unto you power, that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; and thus shall ye have power among this people."

In this verse the word "seal" connects with Matt 16:19 where Peter was given the same keys to seal

19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

The word that stands out to me in this verse is bind. I looked up the word bind in the dictionary and this is one of the 25 definitions:

"to unite by any legal or moral tie"

We know that the power to bind is the sealing power or the power to seal a marriage for eternity. In the footnote under the word bind in verse 19 it refers to:
TG Genealogy and Temple Work.
TG Marriage, Celestial.
TG Salvation for the Dead.
TG Sealing.

I can't help but think about the blessing this power has been for my life and those that I know and love. There is great comfort and peace in knowing and understanding this principle. Nephi was a wonderful prophet. I really have learned so much from his work and example in following the Lord's will. I know that great blessings come from always putting Him first in my life.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Great Sunday

I want to write down a few thoughts from the lesson in Relief Society today. We had the most darling teacher and she did a wonderful job. She taught from Pres. Uchtdorf's talk called " Faith of our Father". It is a great talk and I recommend reading it if you haven't.

President Uchtdorf refers to the fact that though this is a world wide church and we all come from different walks of life, cultures, languages, political circumstances and religious traditions we can claim the legacies of today's modern day church pioneers, even if we don't know them ourselves. It is almost that we become one and find joy in each others spiritual growth when we join the church.

He then refers to the well known hymn, "Faith of our Fathers," and what that means. Since we just celebrated Pioneer day this has a great deal of meaning to me. I am grateful that many of my fathers that came before me were good God fearing people who became some of the early members of the church. They laid a great foundation for me. Pres. Uchtdorf says that for him that phrase reminds him of the Lutheran faith since that is what his ancestors belonged to.

He then had this to say which really impressed me:

"We honor and respect sincere souls from all religions, no matter where or when they lived, who have loved God, even without having the fulness of the gospel. We lift our voices in gratitude for their selflessness and courage. We embrace them as brothers and sisters, children of our Heavenly Father.
We believe that it is a fundamental human right to worship “Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”4

I love this. I couldn't agree with him more. I have many friends who belong to different faiths but are absolutly wonderful and deserve my respect, love, and gratitude for their love for God.

He then talks about "Faith of our Father" instead of "Fathers". Just that letter "s" makes such a difference. This is the part of this lesson that I just loved...

"What, then, is the faith of our fathers? Is it the religion of our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents?
But what of the faith of the ancient ones before them? What of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Are they not our fathers? Are we not of the house of Israel? What of Noah and Enoch and our first parents, Adam and Eve?
What of the Savior and those disciples who followed Him?
The faith of our Father in Heaven has been consistent since the beginning of time, even from before the foundation of this world. John the Revelator described a great war in heaven.5 The issue was moral agency, as it is today. All who have ever lived on this earth were among those who fought against Satan and stood with the Son and the Father. Therefore, do we not owe our allegiance to God, our Heavenly Father?
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ, “we believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”6 And “we believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”7 We believe in the great plan of happiness, the plan of redemption, the plan of salvation, whereby God’s children may experience mortality and return to the presence of the Father—a merciful plan established from before the foundation of this earth.
This is the plan and the faith of our Father!"

I love how beautifully he says this. The faith of our Father is the plan of salvation and is constant. I find comfort in understanding this. It brings a great deal of perspective to my life. It really was a great lesson!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Helaman 7

Nephi is such a wonderful missionary. While I was reading about his experience I was caused to reflect about my own missionary experiences. I served as a "full time" missionary in England about 8 years ago (where has the time gone??). When I reflect back to that time in my life I am reminded of spiritual growth that occurred for me and so many others. I remember watching others become a witness of Jesus Christ and take His name upon them by being baptized. That was a wonderful experience, very sacred to me.

As I read of Nephi's missionary account, in Verse 3

"And they did reject all his words insomuch that he could not stay among them, but returned again unto the land of his nativity."

I was sadly reminded of those experiences where people would kindly and sometimes not so kindly reject us and our message. It was heart breaking. I still remember the first door that was slammed in my face and my companion smiling and moving on like nothing happened. Boy she really strengthened my faith. I was so sad and couldn't believe that someone would reject a message that brings peace, hope, joy and an understanding of God and His plan for us. I learned very quick and realized that people weren't so much rejecting me as much as the message, which I have to say is even more difficult. My heart ached for these people.

As I read through this chapter I couldn't help but compare to today and see how similar these societies are. Full of corruption and wickedness.

Verse 5
"Condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money."

Nephi begins to reflect back to the history of his family (Nephi and Lehi that left Jerusalem) and how he wishes he could joy with them...

"Oh, that I could have had my days in the days when my father Nephi first came out of the land of Jerusalem, that I could have joyed with him in the promised land; then were his people easy to be entreated, firm to keep the commandments of God, and slow to be led to do iniquity; and they were quick to hearken unto the words of the Lord-"

I love the way Nephi describes his "father" Nephi. He was easy to be entreated, FIRM to keep the commandments and SLOW to be led to do iniquity. These are great attributes to have. I cross referenced the word FIRM and was led to

D&C 5:22

"And that you be firm in keeping the commandments wherewith I have commanded you; and if you do this, behold I grant unto you eternal life, even if you should be slain. "

Again, here we learn that being FIRM in keeping the commandments is connected to obedience and the Lords promises those that are obedient will be granted eternal life. I agree with Nephi that it would be wonderful to live in a society that not only believed this but practiced it.

As a missionary I had the same desire that Nephi did, to bring people to a knowledge and understanding of Jesus Christ and His gospel and give them an opportunity to accept it and become a part of His living church. It is heart breaking to see people reject this great news but so much more sweet to witness those that understand it and say "I want it."

Last night I was instant messaging a friend of mine that I met in England. She is such a beautiful person. We were discussing life and catching up when our conversation took more of a personal turn. She had mentioned to me that a while back she had been searching, really searching to find her faith. To find God. She read the Bible, Qur'an and other religious books during her search. She told me that she had so many questions but didn't find any answers so she quit all together. I asked her if she had ever read the Book of Mormon and she told me that she had not. I asked her if she would read it, with an open mind and continue her search. She said that she would read it. It was wonderful. I was so excited for her to take this journey because I know the fruit that comes from sincerely searching and reading this book. I for myself have come to understand Jesus Christ and the role that he plays in my life and why He is important. As I study the Book of Mormon my faith in the Bible became even stronger and together they provided an anchor to my faith, to my life. Together they help me come to understand a clearer picture. God knows my friend and her heart. I know that if we are truly searching he will lead us to Him and His Son. It is wonderful.

In the last 5 verses Nephi warns the Nephites of their pride, secret societies and wicked abominations which will lead to their destruction if they do not repent. He finishes with this verse.

Verse 29
"I do not say that these things shall be, of myself because it is not of myself that I know these things; but behold, I know that these things are true because the Lord God has made them known unto me, therefore I testify that they shall be."

I believe there is an underlying principle being taught here. Nephi knew these things because the Lord communicated it to him through the power of the Spirit. We are able to know what is TRUE (or of God) if we are in tune with the Holy Ghost. The only way that I know the Book of Mormon is true and inspired of God is because the Holy Ghost has made it known to me. We are promised in Moroni 10:5

"And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."

It is a sure promise that we can have faith in and trust. I know that my friend can come to understand this for herself. I have faith that she will.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Helaman 6:36

Today this verse really jumped out at me:

"And thus we see that the Lord began to pour out his Spirit upon the Lamanites, because of their easiness and willingness to believe in his words."

The part easiness & willingness to believe is pretty powerful. I began to cross reference and really think about why the Lord would bless us so much more if we are willing and make it easy (for our selves and possibly for others) to believe or have faith in Him.

Exodus 25:2
"Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering."

2 Corithians 8:12
"For if there be first a willing mind it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not"

First I believe that being willing is connected to our faith. Am I willing to give what the Lord asks of me? Am I willing to make an offering to him? In the cross reference, it also states "Initiative". Do I take the initiative to ask and find out what the Lord wants, rather then wait till the last minute and decide to follow him when things get difficult, or complain and make excuses? I have experienced both scenarios and I can say that I have felt the blessings of taking the initiative and being willing. Not only do I experience great blessings but my faith is strengthened.

The next scripture talks about having a willing mind. I think sometimes it is easy to say, "I don't want any more or I have all that I need." I have met many people who have said this. When we have a willing mind, then I believe our minds are enlighten and the power of the Spirit is able to expand our learning and knowledge. Our faith grows (as stated above) and we then do what is expected and asked of us. When we really come to know and understand more of our Heavenly Father, we desire to want more of his Spirit and to continue to increase our understanding. The word easiness is very simple yet powerful. Following God and understanding Him really can be easy. We are the ones that choose to make it difficult.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Helaman Chapter 5

Today I am reading in Helaman chapter 5 and I had a couple of thoughts I wanted to write down.

Verse 2-
"They who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction."

This really stood out to me. I would like to believe that today there are more people who choose good then bad but it seems like the older I get the more this is changing. The part where it says, "They were ripening for destruction," was very interesting. So, because they were choosing to DO evil, they were traveling down a road that would lead to their destruction (I believe both spiritually and possibly physically).

Verse 9- Helaman is talking to his sons Nephi and Lehi

He says, "O remember, remember, my sons, the words which king Benjamin spake unto his people; yea, remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to redeem the world."

Now, this is before the birth of Christ and there are some great lessons that Helaman is teaching.
First, we are to remember the words of our prophets. Even though King Benjamin had died about 100 years before, they were still to remember the words that he taught.

Second, we are to remember that it is only through the Savior that we can be saved, only through the atoning blood.

Third, He reminds us "why" the Savior will/did come to the earth and that is to redeem us. To provide a way back to our Heavenly Father.
Very, simple, yet clear as to why we need Jesus Christ.

Verse 10-
"The Lord surely should come to redeem his people but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins.

Verse 11-
And he hath power given unto him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance.

Verse 12-
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."

I love these verses so much. I love verse 10 that teaches us that Christ will redeem us from our sins. This shows the role that we play in the redemptive process. We can't redeem ourselves but we choose to repent and follow Christ and He is the one to save us from our sins. Then verse 11 teaches that Christ has been sent by his Father and has been given this power from Him. I love that. Then for the biggy in verse 12. Christ is the foundation. After reading this I began to ponder..."What is the foundation of my life, my family? Have I built my foundation upon Christ? Does my life reflect this in the choices I make, both publicly and privately?" I hope that the answer is yes for me in all of these areas. I can say that everything good and wonderful in my life has come from obedience to the commandments that God has given. When I obey, I am blessed... it is just that simple.

Verse. 17 states that Nephi and Lehi "did preach with great power."

I know that when we testify of Christ and share his gospel, the Spirit will speak to those we teach. I have experienced this on both ends in my life, as a teacher and the one being taught. It is an amazing experience to be used as the Lord's mouth piece. To be his instrument. There is nothing more incredible to be endowed to teach with power. I treasure my experiences as a missionary specifically called to teach. And now as a wife,mother, teacher, friend to express my feelings and to feel the Spirit communicate is such a tender sweet experience, of which I treasure always.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Obedience- continued....

I teach this Sunday and so I am starting to get my thoughts and notes organized with everything I have been studying on the principle of obedience. I am teaching out of the Teaching of the Presidents of the church manual and this year we are studying the prophet Joseph Smith. I love studying all of the prophets but there is a very soft, tender spot in my heart for this prophet. I think part of it has to do with all that he endured and went through to organize the church. I feel for all that he and his family suffered because of endless persecution because he would not, nor could not deny what happened to him. When I study about how many people fought to end the progression of the church and to see the fruits of what the Lord's church is is amazing. It is just another strength to my testimony of the restoration of the gospel and the Lord's church on the earth. I truly feel blessed, honored and grateful to feel, know and experience all I have in my life, which has all led me to an understanding of my Heavenly Father, His Son and my relationship with them. The prophet Joseph was key in all of this happening. If it wasn't for his questions, his faith and his obedience, I would be like so many tossed to and fro, searching for truth but not knowing where to find it.

Obedience has such a deep but strong meaning. I want to write down a few things that Joseph Smith taught about obedience that really impressed me....

"Any man may believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and be happy in that belief, and yet not obey his commandments, and at last be cut down for disobedience to the Lord's righteous requirements."

This is so true. In Elder Bednar's talk "Ask in Faith" in the last April 2008 General Conference, he said..

"What we know is not always reflected in what we do."

Okay, this statement is so simple, yet for me very powerful. It is true that many times we know that we must obey but our actions don't always reflect obedience or the "doing" part.

Joseph continues to state....

"Be virtuous and pure; be men of integrity and truth; keep the commandments of God; and then you will be able more perfectly to understand the difference between right and wrong, between the things of God and the things of men; and your path will be like that of the just, which shineth brighter and brighter unto the perfect day [Proverbs 4:18]

This has been so true for me in my own life. When I choose to follow God and obey His commandments/ keep my covenants, the Spirit is SO strong in my life and it is absolutely clear, what is right and what is wrong. What a powerful insurance policy.... when we are obedient, we are in line with God's will and I believe there is safety in obedience.

Joseph also gives the great example of the Apostle Paul. He quotes Pauls last letter to Timothy, just before his death...

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: hence there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only but unto all them also that love His appearing." [2Timothy 4:7-8]

What a powerful scripture, especially coming from this amazing man that had come full circle. At one time, he persecuted the church yet, after embracing the faith, he lost his life in the service of spreading the good news. He gave his life for the cause, with the faith of receiving an eternal crown. Wow....what an example of obedience.

In this lesson, Joseph Smith asks this question...

"Reflect for a moment, and enquire, whether you would consider yourselves worthy of a seat at the marriage feast with Paul and others like him, if you had been unfaithful? Had you not fought the good fight, and kept the faith, could you expect to receive. Have you a promise of receiving a crown of righteousness from the hand of the Lord, with the Church of the First Born? Here then, we understand, that Paul rested his hope in Christ, because he had kept the faith, and loved his appearing and from His hand he had a promise of receiving a crown of righteousness."

Why are we obedient (or am I). It exactly as Joseph Smith taught, because of my hope in Christ. I live, and strive to do (or obey) because I love the Lord. He is my way back to my eternal home, where my eternal crown of righteousness awaits me. I have hope and faith in Christ that this will one day become a reality.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Faith and Obedience

I have been studying a lot about the principles of faith and obedience. I teach in R/S and my next lesson is on Obedience. I have been thinking a lot about this principle and why it is important to our progression and salvation. Sometimes I think the adversary wants us to think that we really don't need to do anything because Christ died for us. Which I believe is a half turth. Yes he died for us and it is only through Him that we can return to Heavenly Father but he asks us to exercise our faith to show that we believe and want to follow Him. That is why covenants and ordinances are important. I am grateful for the restored gospel that has helped fill in these blanks for me.

I read a scripture in D&C 64:33-34 which really spoke to me so powerfully...

"Wherefore, be not weary in well doing for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.

Behold the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days."

I love this scripture. It says so much to me. First of all we need to be doing the little things. This week Shon and I discussed how we need to be reading our scriptures and praying together as a family. Shon mentioned that he didn't think it would really benefit Taylor, since she is only a year old, but I totally feel differently. I really feel that if we start now while she is young, then she will grow and understand that is is expected and important. I want to help my kids find their own relationship with Christ, feel and recognize the Spirit and develop their own desire to be obedient. We have been promised by every prophet that if we will read and pray together as a family, the spirit will be in our home stronger and our children will be strong to make right choices. I have faith in this promise and I know it is sure.

Just like the scripture said, "The Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind." I am really working on the "willing" part. I have experienced in my life that when I am willingly obedient, it is much better, much more powerful (feeling the spirit) then if I am obedient just because I am suppose to. I am really trying to find a deeper meaning for why I am doing and living the way I am. Why am I keeping my covenants? When I reflect upon the why, then it becomes much more meaningful to me. I have so much that has come from the Savior and I am grateful to be able to choose to follow him. I can honestly say that this scripture has manifested itself in my life. When I am willing and obedient I can honestly say that I have eaten the good of the land in these last days." What a blessing and a miracle.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Miracles keep coming

Things are happening so fast for us right now. We have been in Utah for 2 months now and there was very little movement on our home in Colorado. Every time I turned on the TV I heard about how terrible the market is right now and that our economy is going south. I kept telling myself that Heavenly Father was leading the perfect couple to our home, that would love it and want to buy it. Two weeks ago Shon and I felt that we needed to go to the temple and seek some inspiration about what our goals should be and what we should expect going forward. We just felt like we needed to regroup. Afterwards we both felt that things were happening, we just needed to be patient and allow the Lord and our angels to work things into place. We felt that by May 26 or sooner we would be in a new home and ours in Colorado would be sold. The next week after we attended the temple, Shon walked in through the door from work and said that he just received a call from our agent Rosalyn and she said that a couple walked through our home and loved it and wrote up an offer right there. When I heard this news I just began to cry. I was so grateful that my Heavenly Father heard our prayers. It was such a powerful experience, one that I will never forget. We initially, when we made this move to Utah, told our Heavenly Father and our angels that we wanted to be in our new home by April 30th. We also prayed for a family that would love our home and be so excited to move into it. The couple that is purchasing our home, the husband is a Dr. and is stationed at FT. Carson. They looked at bigger and more expensive homes then ours, but when they walked into our home they loved the floor plan and everything. It was exactly what we asked the Lord to send to us. A couple days latter, we began looking for our new home here in Utah and we were led directly to it. When we drove up to the house I had such a great feeling. When we walked through I knew that this is where we were suppose to be. The next day was Sunday and we attended the ward for this new home. Shon and I both had a great feeling. When we walked in, they knew that we were new and the people there were very warm and kind. It honestly felt like we were coming home. We also were able to get the home in our price range, which was a miracle in itself. Because of the decline in home prices, we were able to get it at exactly what we could afford. I know that none of this in a coincidence. The Lord has guided us to this place in our lives and we are so blessed to have everything falling into place. I am full of gratitude for all of these blessings. The power of faith is so real. When our will is in line with God's will, so many things are possible. This has been amazing!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Faith and Hope

It has been a while since I have written and it isn't because I am ungrateful, it is literally because I am on the go that I hardly have time to sit down and think. It is 11PM, the kids (including) Shon are all in bed and I finally have some down time to think, reflect and write. I am just grateful to be able to write down a few thoughts and a recent experience I had.

Yesterday morning Dave (Shon's step dad) said that for Family Home Evening we were going to discuss FAITH. He asked me to think about what comes first, Faith or Hope? Then to find some scriptures to back up my point. My only comment was "Yeah, I hardly have time to read one verse, you really think I am going to be able to sit down and study and find the answers." He just laughed and left for the day. Well, later that morning, Taylor was down for her morning nap and it was beautiful outside so Avery wanted to venture into the backyard to play. I found myself alone with a few minutes to myself so I opened my scriptures to do my daily study. Some days my study lasts for all of about 2 min. but I found that I had a bit more time on my hands. I opened my scriptures to Alma 22 which is where I had left off in my study on the previous day. This is such a great part of the Book of Mormon. Ammon has just taugh King Lamoni and as a result King Lamoni had an amazing spiritual experience and is converted. Well, in chapter 22 Aaron is teaching King Lamoni's father and the first thing that struck me was how much of a desire this man has to learn. He had a desire to understand and this provided a great teaching moment for Aaron. The following verses are what really stood out to me...

15 And it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded these things unto him, the king said: What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.

16 But Aaron said unto him: If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest.

As I was reading, I found the answers to the question that Dave gave to me just before he left for work. I then began to search deeper and deeper to try and understand more about Faith and Hope. This led me to Ether 12:4 from the footnote.....

4 Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

Hope comes of faith and makes an anchor to our souls. When we have Faith & Hope we are always doing good and glorifying God! I love this... So then later during Family Home Evening, Dave led me to the well known scripture Hebrews 11:1

Now Faith is the substance of the things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Faith and Hope are so tightly woven together. You simply can not have one without the other. It is like a circle, if you have Faith, then you must have Hope and if you have Hope you also then have Faith. It was such a great day for me. I felt so spiritually enlightened. It was wonderful to have the time maybe 30 min, if that and be able to sit down and really feast with the scriptures. It reminded me of the days as a missionary. How I miss those days, when I had so much time to sit and feast at the word. I love my life now however sometimes I feel that it is moving so fast that I can hardly hang on for the ride. It is a fantastic ride for sure. I realized how much I need to really sift, search and ponder through the scriptures. I love the scriptures so much. I love the story of King Lamoni's father and the powerful conversion he had.... his powerful conversion continues...

17 And it came to pass that when Aaron had said these words, the king did bow down before the Lord, upon his knees; yea, even he did prostrate himself upon the earth, and cried mightily, saying:

18 O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day. And now when the king had said these words, he was struck as if he were dead.

I love my Heavenly Father. He knows each of us so well. He knows what experience we need in order to lead us to Him. I love Him so much more as I learn and study from the scriptures. I know it is because I am filled with the Spirit as I study. The Holy Ghost is what is helping me become a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor . I can't wait to find the time to study more tomorrow.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

We have been in Utah for about a month now and the time has flown. I can't believe how hectic everything is. Moving is something that I don't enjoy doing, but I am excited for what is to come. We have so much to look forward to. I just feel like we are home. I am looking forward to getting settled into our own home and being able to get back to our normal life. Last week we moved over to the Fishers house. I think our stay at my parents house was a little too stressful for my mom and it wasn't good for her or for us. So the Fishers were so kind to offer their basement to us. It has been great! They are gone all day to work so we don't feel like we are living on top of them. Kerri and Dave are so great with our kids. It is wonderful to see their relationships grow.

We had an open house this past weekend for our home in Colorado. I feel so good about things. It is all coming together and falling into place. I am trying so hard to be patient and wait for things to happen. That is so difficult for me. But I am exercising my faith and trying to declare my desire to Heavenly Father and then turn the rest over to him. I know that if our desires are aligned with his will....then everything will work out. So, this transition period has been so great because I know that the details are being figured out...and all I have to do is be patient and grateful.

Even though this past month has been a bit stressful and trying for my relationship with my mom, I really do love and appreciate her. She is dealing with her own set of struggles and I know that adding the stress of 4 people in to your home (one of which is a very vocal 2 year old) can be a lot to handle. I love my mom and hope that she can come to a better place in her life.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Today has been very interesting.  Avery & Tay decided to start their day at 5 AM!  My children are crazy.  I don't get it, but I am really hopeful that this too shall pass.  Despite a very early start, I still had a great day.  I love my kids...they really are so much fun.  It is amazing to see them develop into the little people that they are!  I feel like Avery has so much inside that she wants to say and do but doesn't have enough time in the day to do it all.  Taylor is so easy going and just wants to be near me.  I am trying to enjoy this more because I know it won't always be this way.  She is such a tender hearted little thing.  Today when I put both of the girls down for a nap, about 20 min later, I heard Avery's little voice on the monitor.  The problem with that is that the monitor is in Taylor's room.  Avery climbed into bed with Tay and woke her up.  I was so frustrated because nap time is necessary for our sanity but I also thought how great it was that Avery loves her sister.  She really does.  She will tell me that they are best friends.  I am so grateful for this and I look forward to this continuing.  

I also have been thinking about how much I love my parents for allowing us to crash their home.  We have a very crazy family and I am sure they have been downing the ibuprofen since we have been here.  Life is so much smoother because they are helping us during this transition.  I am amazed and how things are falling into place.  We are finding where we want to be is in line with God's will.  That is so great!  I am so thankful for the spirit which guides my life and for a husband who honors his priesthood and takes his responsibility to provide for his family so seriously.  He is so good.  So loving and kind.  What a blessing!  I am excited to sell our home.  I know that the right family is being prepared and will just fall in love with our home.  It will be so exciting to see when it happens.  I am amazed at how much Heavenly Father and my angels are a part of our lives....taking care of all the details.  It is a great feeling to know that He is in control.  

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I have decided that I want to keep a daily gratitude journal to recognize, reflect and remember all of the great blessings that God gives to me on a daily basis. When I sit back and think about where I am in my life and the direction I am headed, I can't help but thank my Heavenly Father and the Savior for their direction, influence and patience with me and growth in my life. I am grateful that God loves me enough to step back, allow me to make choices and to step in when I ask Him to. I feel like I am asking ALL of the time but I don't think that is a bad thing.

Our family has experienced some pretty amazing miracles all from the power of faith and trusting in God. I am writing this in Salt Lake and two months ago I wasn't sure how it was going to happen but I knew that Shon would be led to a wonderful job in UT that would allow us to move back and be near our family. Well, it has happened and everything is totally falling into place. I love that feeling, I am grateful for it. I love seeing the power of God be part of my life. It is a pretty humbling and amazing feeling.

Recently I have gone to my Father in Heaven and expressed my desire to sell our home in Colorado Springs by Feb 17th. I told Him that I believed it was possible to sell it by this date. Today is Feb 17th and we unfortunately haven't received an offer. I began to wonder about things. Then I had the feeling come into my heart that my timetable is not in line with the Lords and that in due time the right family, in the right situation will come along. Again...everything will just fall into place. I am grateful to my Father in Heaven for bringing to my family that which is for our greatest and highest good. I am grateful that He is all knowing and knows when, and who will be best for our home. I have absolute faith that as long as I align my will with Gods that we will sell our home and receive the very best offer possible. This experience has strengthened my faith and knowledge that we can expect God to bless us if we go to Him in prayer with absolute faith and know that He knows best and will bring what is best to us.

I am amazed at how much faith Shon has. I am grateful for his faith because it helps strengthen mine. I feel like I have so much more to learn then he does in this regard. I am grateful for my relationship with him and that we are partners working together to provide the very best for each other and our children. When I sit back and think of all the great miracles that are happening in my life, I can't help but say to my children..."it is such a wonderful time to be alive." It is wonderful to see the hand of the Lord in our lives. I have such gratitude to him for his patience and love and willingness to let me grow. It is a wonderful adventure.