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The Ultimate Tinder Success Story

A Pearl Of Great Price | YW Camp 2014

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How in the world can I be a Young Women leader in my ward???  I’ve barely been out of the YW program for two years. However, this opportunity has helped me grow tremendously. Young Women’s Camp is something I looked forward to every year as a girl. I loved hanging out with the cool leaders, singing camp songs, and staying up all night. Yet, when told I would be going to camp as a leader I was SO nervous.  I wondered: Would the girls like me outside of church? Would I even be useful? How could I be in charge of the safety of four girls on the drive up to Jackson, WY? I was becoming increasingly overwhelmed.  GOOD NEWS. I had the most amazing time.  (We made it there safely)

Our Theme: I Am A Pearl of Great Price

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A pearl used to be considered the most valuable gemstone on earth. However overtime, Many jewelers have decided to culture their own pearls because Natural pearls have become increasingly rare and difficult to find… Similarly, in our world today young girls have a false view of what it means to be a woman. Our society tells us to be sexy, vain, and selfish when really a woman should be kind, virtuous, and loving.

I know we hear this all the time but I think it’s worth repeating:  “We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.” – Margaret D Nadauld

Like many, pearls are my go to jewelry. It may be because it’s my birthstone. But mostly I think it’s because pearls can not only stimulate your femininity but, can also lift ones spirits and remind one to walk with dignity. They symbolize so much and help me remember that I am and should strive to be pure, kind, and genuine.

No two pearls can be identical. The latin word for pearl literally means unique.  Here are some of the unique pearls in my life.

My sister Lizzie is a pearl because she has passion for life and shows it with her music. She lights up a room with her voice and isn’t afraid to share it and her feelings through songs.

My mom is a pearl because she has unconditional love. She Continually forgives me and those who have wronged her. Helping me understand that love is more important than being right.

My grandmother is a pearl because she teaches everyone she sees the gospel. She is the ULTIMATE member missionary.  She is proud to be an LDS woman and makes sure that you and the whole world knows it.

And My young women are pearls, never have I seen such conviction to live the gospel righteously.  I grew up in a place where it seems like everyone lives the gospel because that’s what everyone is doing. So when I see you walking to church on your own because you want to learn more about our savior I am almost moved to tears.  I am so impressed with your poise and maturity and ability to include others and to be like Christ.

My last girls camp was one full of strange memories.  The first day we went on a hike to Legacy Lake.  We were all smiling and laughing enjoying each other’s company. Sophie Barton, my friend and fellow H25 ward member, seemed the happiest of all of us.  She was doing what she did best, singing along the whole trail. I had no idea that this would be one of the hardest days of my life.  While on the way back from our hike Sophie collapsed and was sent to the emergency room.  What we thought was only severe dehydration turned out to be something much more serious.  A leader returned hours later with the news that Sophie had died. This like nothing else was a trial of my faith. I remember going home that night on the bus in tears wondering what to think.  Sophie was strong and had an unwavering testimony of the gospel.  She gave me and our whole community the best example and brought us together more than anything ever could. Sophie even at 17 years old touched so many people and continues to today with Sophie’s Place. She showed me that even though things seem difficult and hard they are worth it. She lived with kindness and charity in her heart and was the happiest person alive.  To remember her the color white was chosen. Ribbons, candles, clothing etc. was and still is seen all over the neighborhood. White was chosen because of her purity, selflessness, and love. To this day when ever I see a white ribbon, butterfly, or even when I put on my white pearls I think of Soph and all she stood for.

A pearl is made when something irritating or parasitic enters the mollusk.  The mollusk then builds layer upon layer to turn something bad into something beautiful.  Despite all the sand, mud, and gunk in an oyster a pearl is made. Just Like a pearl, we too have been shaped through trial and tribulation building ourselves layer upon layer. To the world it seems hard to be a natural pearl but let me stress that it is so worth it to be a christlike LDS woman.  Fake pearls, although beautiful on the outside are just plastic on the inside. Use the Young Women organization to build yourself layer upon layer like a pearl from the inside out.  Gain values to become a real pearl filled with faith, individual worth, virtue, etc. to help make you truly happy and strong enough to stand as a witness at all times and in all things and in all places. Most people opt out of finding a real pearl and decide to settle on something they think will make them happy because it may seem easier or more convenient.  We must remember that natural pearls were not made in a day! Pearls are made after many years of new experiences and learning from mistakes.

We are ALL pearls and you are God’s PERFECT creation who he loves eternally. You are a rarity, so be different than the world. Do the things that are hard and unpopular.  As you act kind, genuine, and selfless like daughters of God that heavenly father intended you to be, you will become the happiest you have ever been.  You will be a pearl of great price.

-Janie George

Now a few pics of our fantastic camp!

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10 Ways To Make Your 4th of July Party Awesome

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The Fourth of July! One of the coolest holidays.  Namely, because the U.S. is an amazing place to live!
I know most of you will be celebrating with a fun Barbeque so here are some ways to liven up! ENJOY!
 
1. MUSIC
I am the biggest advocate of background music at parties.  It sets the tone! It can make a party less awkward.  It is the ultimate Ice Breaker. Luckily, I made a fun American themed playlist ( MERICA )! Follow me on Spotify @ SaraJane George to get the playlist!
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2. Patriotic Prizes & Giveaways
I got patriotic socks, windmills, decals, etc.  It’s also handy to have red, white, and blue stuff that others can wear in case they forgot to come in MERICA attire.
fourth63. Non Firework Fun
It can be difficult to make the Independence Day thrilling without fireworks.  However, some kids are way too young to participate.  Martha Stewart had a great idea.  Fill balloons with confetti and pop them!  A colorful explosion without letting your kids near fire. Another idea… Have a bike parade! Let the wee ones decorate their scooters, bikes, and trikes!  Let them strut their stuff on the sidewalk!a0d7e2544a357c36b9c93c7a238176324. Food Decor
I am no cook.  But what I can handle when it comes to BBQ-ing is the presentation.  A hamburger or hot dog looks even more beautiful when its accompanied by a fun lined basket, paired with festive napkins.
fourth75. Long Exposure Shots
These pictures can be so fun for young and old alike.  It brings out creativity and imagination!  July Fourth also happens to be the perfect time to do them because of SPARKLERS!!! Here is a link to a tutorial post I did on Long Exposure Shots.
fourth5Here are my nieces and nephews taking a crack at it!Roadtrip22.png
6. Outfit Competition
Encourage your guests to wear patriotic and festive attire! The more outrageous the better! Best outfit gets a prize.
fourth87. GAMES GAMES GAMES
- water balloon dodgeball- played exactly like dodgeball except you get soaking wet!
-Baseball or Football- what’s more American than those sports?
-croquet- it really brings the classiness factor up at a barbeque.
-Potato Bag race or Three legged race- I love these games because it gets every age involved.
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8. Trivia
Have U.S. history and trivia questions ready while dinner is being prepared.  It’s fun to see how much we really know about our AMAZING nation. Here’s a few links to some trivia questions: American Trivia, More American Trivia, Even More American Trivia
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9. Flag Hunt
Take some mini flags and hide them through out the yard.  Similarly to an Easter egg hunt, little ones go searching!  The one who finds the most flags wins a prize.  Another way to have a flag hunt is to make it a counting competition.  Hide flags everywhere, little ones and big ones, on napkins and plates. etc.  The only rule: Flags that people are wearing on their own body do not count.  Know before hand how many flags there are in the yard.  The person with the correct answer wins a prize!
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10. Sweet Treats
Pinterest had this awesome idea of taking a classic American treat, Root beer floats, and making them even more patriotic.  I changed the idea slightly but you could do any variation really.
-Cold mug
-Vanilla Ice Cream
-Jones Soda- Strawberry Lime and Berry Lemonade (Red & Blue)
-Fresh Rasperries
AWESOME.  It is honestly so refreshing and tasty!
fourth10Have an awesome Fourth of July! U-S-A U-S-A U-S-A!

Crowd-funding

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So my wife wanted me to clarify that this is me (Chris) writing this post. Sorry you won’t be hearing about love, religion, or life of Janie too much today.

I wanted to tell you a bit about Crowd-funding, why it’s so popular, and how I started my own business to help projects.

I just recently helped work on a crowd-funding project. Check it out here: Anne B Designs | MADE

Crowd-funding is just as it sounds. It’s funding by a crowd or every day individuals who are contacted typically via social media. Funding to start a business or project of some sort typically was done in the past by approaching a rich dude and asking him for a large sum of cash. Thanks to platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe and many others, anyone with a pretty cool idea can get their project funded. The benefit of crowd-funding is that it’s low risk; entrepreneurs rely on their social network to help spread the word. Usually as a reward “the funder” gets the product or service before it goes into market. If the project doesn’t get fully funded, everyone gets their money back. Hopefully little money was spent (zero to a couple hundred bucks) to find out that the idea wasn’t that great. Here’s a link for more on crowd-funding.

Something that each crowd-funding project should have is a videoIt enables individuals to see in 1-3 minutes what the project is about and why they should help fund it. While some choose not to have a video or spend little time making one, a good video can be all the difference. Kickstarter themselves have stated that projects without a campaign video have only a 30% chance of being funded. However projects with a video have a 66% higher chance of success. While Kickstarter urges everyone to have a video, I want to encourage entrepreneurs to take it one step further to increase their success by having a well thought out, high quality video. Unfortunately that can be time consuming and really expensive. Your typical production company will charge you over $1500 for simple 2 minute video. For that reason I started my own business called KickstarterVideo.net. I help make high quality videos for crowd-funding projects. Since entrepreneurs are looking for a good deal (cheap), I have a unique business model that everyone can afford.

For a 2-3 minute video (scripted, shot in HD and edited) crowd-funders will only spend around $300-700 upfront (Which could include graphic animation if the project requires). After the project launches our team will even help traffic people towards it. When the project gets funded, a percentage of the winnings (anywhere from 4-9%) goes to Kickstarter Video. Entrepreneurs can rest easy knowing that Kickstarter Video will take on the same risk as them, because if the project doesn’t get funded then both parties walk away empty handed.

So like I mentioned before, I just helped launch a project for one of our first clients Anne B Designs. Here’s the video we made for her. Check it out and go help fund her project or share it for us:

 

We have more videos coming as we’re working with 2 new clients already. Stay tuned and check out Kickstartervideo.net for more information. If you have a project with which you need help; we’d love to make your video.

It has been super fun doing all this as a side project while working full-time as an Art Director at Struck downtown. Janie is amazing. She puts up with me spending my days and nights working all the time on these projects. She’s an amazing wife and she even helped me edit this post. Let’s just say there is a reason why i’m the guy who designs and makes things look good instead of writing about them. Which leads me to my last item; I work with an amazing writer, Taylor Crane, who does all the scripts for the videos as well as helps write out the project descriptions, emails to bloggers, and much more. Thanks.

Class of 2K14

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Had some fun with my sister and her friends today!  Needless to say they are ecstatic that they have graduated from Olympus High School this year! So naturally we had to celebrate by taking some fun pics!

What would you leave behind if you could? What would your legacy be?  I was always sort of bummed that I didn’t get to have a senior quote in the yearbook.  It would have been nice to leave my fellow classmates with something I found interesting, exciting, and what I believed in.  This year I am trying to live by my wannabe senior quote… “Wherever you are be all there.” - Jim Elliot.  It can be difficult with all the distractions to focus on where you are at the moment and what is really important.  Having a husband and an iPhone with games, social media, texts, etc. can make it difficult to really spend time together.  I hope that when I leave this Earth I will leave others feeling like I made time for them and appreciated the memories made.  Look up and smile at one another!  Let’s be all here.

I’d love to hear what your life motto or senior quote is! Let me know!

If the yearbook would have let them have senior quotes this is what they’d be:

Brooklyn: “What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet.” – unknown

Faith: “Grateful for the friends i’ve made but I’m excited for a new scene. Peace and Blessings.” 

Anna: “Take care of all your memories for you cannot relive them” – Bob Dylan

Elizabeth: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

CONGRATS ON GRADUATING CUTE GIRLS! #classof2014

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LP 2014

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The George family takes a vacation to Lake Powell every summer.  This was my first time on the trip and I was introduced to long standing traditions.  I added a few of my own and we had the most amazing trip. Some of the traditions include: a midnight dip in the lake, catching lizards or mice (gross), braiding hair, just dance competitions and parties, sleeping on the top deck under the stars, eating lots of candy, etc.

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First things first.  A Seadoo ride to make yourself familiar with the area.  There are some sweet coves.DCIM100GOPRONext is a leisurely surf ride behind the boat.  SURFS UP RICHARD! DCIM100GOPROkick it up a notch with some heavyweights blob action.

LP1.jpgLP2.jpgLP3.jpgLP4.jpgLP5.jpgLP6.jpgTake a jump off the top of the house boat.  (If 4 year old Cora can do it… So can you!)LP35.jpgTake all the grandkids to cheer on Uncle Freddy (chris) as he wake boards IMG_1548IMG_1533IMG_1508Throw Mimi in to the LakeIMG_1592*New tradition* Paddle Board runningIMG_1670IMG_1639IMG_1710LP40.jpgIf you’re lucky BIRTHDAY’S can be on vacations! Happy first bday to Dawson and 20th to me! (hopefully that trip will land on our bdays each year! *fingers crossed*)LP37.jpgLP36LP20.jpgLP11.jpgGo adventuring with your best friends. LP25.jpgLP26.jpgTube with your nieces and nephews on the “TUBE OF TERROR”DCIM100GOPRODCIM100GOPRODCIM100GOPROTake family pictures each year! LP12.jpgLP13.jpgLP14.jpgLP15.jpgLP41.jpgLP16.jpgLP24.jpgLP23.jpgLP21.jpgLP22.jpgLP17.jpgLP18.jpgHave funny face contests LP32.jpgSmile lots.LP29.jpgLet the little ones play with sparklers ( with adult supervision of course)IMG_1446IMG_1447IMG_1452

Have matching swim suits. LP7Snuggle with SophieLP8.jpgPlay ball with DawsonLP10Watch the NBA finals with Crew boo.  (OBSESSED HEAT FAN) #teambeatheatLP33.jpgListen to beach boys the entire trip (courtesy of bumpa) LP39.jpgAdmire Dawson’s good looksLP34.jpg LP30.jpg LP31.jpgLP38.jpgHave a Squirt Gun fightLP28.jpgGame playing.. Nerts, scattegories, golf, mexican train, scum, etc.LP27.jpgPlay Girls vs. Boys King of the tube with smash.LP9.jpg*new tradition* Give out awards…

POWELL PRIZES 2014

Cutest Hair: Rae RaeIMG_1841 Way Chill Surfer Bra: BumpaIMG_1839Beach Babe: Mimi IMG_1837 Best Bday Suit: BlakeIMG_1835 Will Do Anything for otter pops: FreddyIMG_1832 Michael Phelps award: Cha ChaIMG_1831 Just Dance Queen: BrynIMG_1829 Best Battle Wound: TiffyIMG_1825 NOOB: JanieIMG_1822 Book Worm: KateIMG_1821 Fear Facer: HaydenIMG_1818Minion mimicer: Lil’ D IMG_1815“I’m Fine” award: Sophie Mae IMG_1810 Sassy Pants: (WHO ELSE?) RubyIMG_1808 Freddy Jr. : CrewIMG_1806 Best Dressed: Coco beanIMG_1804 Best Fat Sack: DaveIMG_1799 Best defender of the Boys tube: Cashy SmashyIMG_1797 Tube of Terror: RemiIMG_1791

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I’d love to hear some of your favorite things to do in LP! Please comment and let me know!Thanks for reading!!! #rightswiped

Netflix Finds

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Happy Streaming!!

His Girl Fridayhisgirlfridaydvd

Watch as Cary Grant attempts to win back his Ex-Wife before she gets married!

Hotel Rwanda hotel_rwanda_verdvdDuring the Hutu rebellion a brave hotel owner housed Tutsi refugees.  HEART WRENCHING. (Read the book Left To Tell after)

BBC’s Sherlockbbc-sherlock-1600A great rendition of the infamous detective Sherlock Holmes.

The Woman Who Wasn’t There11164313_detA documentary of Tania Head a supposed 9/11 survivor.  Big thriller.  Crazy story

Arrested Development270523-arrested-development-arrested-development-poster

One of my favorite shows ever.  Watch the seasons on your own.  Have a good laugh out loud.  Then begin to quote it with others who love it as much as you do.  (Skip the fourth season)

Wish Upon A Star00gyd3hqa8whaqwdIf only Disney original movies could still be like this.  Sisters switch lives after wishing on a shooting star.

Road Trip | Island Park |

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Road Trips… 

a time of fun memories with loved ones OR a time of wanting to bang your head against the dashboard

What makes a good road trip you ask??????

1. Snacks - Don’t overlook the importance of good snacks.  Have balance of sweet and salty and healthy and junk.  LOTS OF WATER.
Roadtrip29.jpg2. Playlist - The music sets the tone for the whole trip.  I made a playlist that is full of sing-a-long classics, alternative crowd pleasers, and occasional pump up jams. Follow me on spotify to get the playlist!

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3. A Good Audio Book – I absolutely hate reading in the car.  Headache central.  Listening to a book is a great alternative.  Unbroken is an amazing story and Chris and I have been absolutely captivated by it.  It’s a great book to listen to on a long road trip.
unbroken4. CONVERSATION - Pivotal part of a car ride.  I like to bring the game table topics along.  However, if you do not happen to have the game just look up on your phone some fun talking topics. IMG_0363

5. LAUGHS - Pandora stand up comedy stations are THE BOMB. (yes I just said the bomb) Listen to Jim Gaffigan, Gary Gulman, Brian Regan, John Mulaney… Etc.  Good laughs with everyone the whole trip.

Roadtrip3.jpgNow here are some pictures of the actual Vacation!!!!

The boys on their annual fishing trip. IMG_0383.jpg

Coco bean love this spunky lil one.Roadtrip4.jpg Roadtrip5 Roadtrip6.jpg Roadtrip7target practice

Roadtrip10.jpgI’m a MANRoadtrip9.jpgQueen of the forest
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MUD PUDDLES!Roadtrip12.jpg roadtrip13.jpg roadtrip14.jpg

Bill’s Island at Island Park in Idaho is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! The Walkers were so nice to have us at their cabin!Roadtrip18.jpgroadtrip15Roadtrip16.jpgRoadtrip17Roadtrip19Roadtrip20.jpgRoadtrip21.jpgShelb and Cam and the TitanicRoadtrip24.jpgChris was a part of the Playmill cast in 2010.  It was a blast to see where he worked for a summer and how much fun he had.  Playmill was awesome I was so glad to finally see it.  My husband is such a thespian hahahaRoadtrip30We gotta celebrate America with sparklers! The kiddos loved these pics!Roadtrip22.pngRoadtrip23.jpgRoadtrip25.jpgRoadtrip26.jpgRoadtrip27.jpgRoadtrip28.jpgIMG_0750IMG_0737IMG_0734IMG_0727BIG SHOUT OUT TO THE WALKERS!!!!! THANK YOU!

#instaporn

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We MUST be aware of what our children are up against. (Granted, I don’t have kids yet.)  However, I become increasingly worried for the little ones whose parents blindly give them technology without discussing the dangers. Children can only observe and emulate others’ behavior. We live in a world where blatant sexual attention is often apathetically accepted and sometimes desperately sought after, young girls and boys can only imitate the role models society gives them. America’s teenagers are given role models like Miley Cyrus, who, in recent music videos, “twerks” and wears next-to-nothing for sexual attention, promoting her hyper sexualized brand.. Young male teens are taught through every type of media that women are there for their own pleasure. Technology is only making pornography more extreme, and widely available, giving men and women an unrealistic goal of sexual performance and body image.  Social media such as Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter exacerbate the pornography problem because many of their users see what celebrities and porn stars post and attempt to emulate that behavior, posting their own pornographic images.  Thinking the sexier the photo the more people will like it (and like me), Kids are led to believe that unbridled blatant sexuality is empowering and not demeaning.  Pornographic material should be more restricted and tightly regulated in advertising, television, and online and social media because its uncontrolled, easy access has over sexualized America, contributing to the dehumanization of humans as mere objects of sexual pleasure.  Unfortunately, it is unlikely that pornography will become more controlled.  So, it is up to US, the parents and the children, to fight this difficult battle together.

Social media sites often feign concern about pornography and obscenity by explicitly prohibiting it in the “terms of use” statements, but they do little to enforce the terms.  Terms of use agreements that appear before one can use computer software, visit a website, or use an application on a smartphone often seem unimportant and annoying to read.  These terms of use agreements are only an obstacle in the way of using the product.  Instagram, and many other social media sites throw their terms of use agreement out the window when it comes to enforcing their basic terms.  Instagram’s second basic term states, “You may not post violent, nude, partially nude, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful, pornographic or sexually suggestive photos or other content via the Service.” Yet, take one glance at the most liked photos of Instagram on the “popular page,” and most of the photos are sexually suggestive. Instagram alone has 150 Million active users and an average of 55 Million photos posted per day. New York University professor Terri Senft says “Instagram has moved from a niche thing to something people have heard about, and that means it has a critical mass. Whenever you have a critical mass on the Internet, the sex shows up.” (Bosker)  Although full and partial nudity are not often on the popular page Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Twitter, and Facebook are still covered in it.

Certain well-entrenched, popular elements of social media sites enhance the user’s ability to engage in sexually oriented, dehumanizing dialogue with strangers.  Perhaps chief among these is the “hashtag.”  Hashtag, is a tool on social media sites used to group posts together by putting a pound sign or hash (#) before the phrase or word (i.e. #instagram).  While banned hashtags on Instagram include “#nude” and “#sex” another example of feigned anti-pornography concern by the social media giants, there are plenty that make up for that like #handbra, #funbags, #instasex, etc. linking thousands of photos of nudes, partial nudes, masturbation, genitals, and even child pornography together.   Vine, the popular video sharing app, is also plagued with these R and X rated posts.  Videos of couples masturbating can be found with a press of a few buttons.  Through the promotion of sex, casual sex with strangers, the dehumanizing effects of these images and videos are obvious and incalculable.

While I’m not trying to frighten the heck out of everybody, I am trying to educate parents about the importance of understanding the hardships that can come with technology. Pornography is an almost irresistible addiction for the 21st century generation.  It can be free, viewed almost anywhere on a smart phone, and there is a seemingly endless supply.  With most teenagers spending over ELEVEN hours on some sort of technology everyday there is ample opportunity to view pornography.  Almost 70% of apparently pornography viewers started watching before the age of fourteen.  Many pornography addicts believe that overtime, masturbation and pornography use contributed to: anxiety, depression and other psychological effects; the belief that it is negatively affecting the ability to find a partner; the quality of sex in relationships; and a loss of the capacity for self-control.  Although many believe pornography has several harmful consequences, many Americans defend it because they claim it is protected free speech guaranteed by the Constitution’s First Amendment.  Mattias Caro, an editor for Ethika Politika, speaking on the notion that pornography is protected free speech, issue said “to take this position is simply monstrous. Take a step back and think about it. Pornography exploits human beings. Sure, no one is compelled into a photoshoot, but the freedom of engaging in smut does not somehow make it morally right.”

Many women seem to view pornography as a necessary evil.  Women rationalize male use of pornography by thinking that men are built to have these fantasies and can’t control their urges.  Many girls on social media view porn stars as role models and women they should aspire to be like because these women are something that men want. I felt this way once.  Lost and confused I only found value in the way boys thought of me.  I didn’t want to be beautiful I wanted to be thought of as sexy.  With this sort of thinking I lost my light.  It wasn’t until I started viewing myself from the inside that I felt happy and found my worth.  Similarly, confused young girls start posting sexually suggestive photos on social media to feel empowered and in control of their sexuality.  However, it opens up a world of cyber bullying, low self-esteem, and anxiety.  Sadly, in this day in age many girls only can feel proud of themselves for the amount of likes and comments their photo gets on Instagram. In Nancy Jo Sales Vanity Fair article, “Friends Without Benefits” she quotes Ronna Gradus, a co-director of Sexy Baby and writer for The Miami Herald saying ‘“Technology being so available made every girl or woman capable of being a porn star, or thinking they’re a porn star, they’re objectifying themselves. The thinking is: ‘If I’m in control of it, then I’m not objectified’”

Pornography use is something that has become societally accepted in the U.S.  Although it is considered protected under the First Amendment It is something that harms more than it helps.  Pornography can lead to depression and anxiety, as well as create low self-esteem in young and old women alike.  On a larger and more extreme scale pornography fuels human sex trafficking and can lead to murder.  Social media sites like Instagram and Twitter have made pornography so readily available.  Pornographic images should be much more tightly regulated on social media because it directly contributes to the dehumanization of men and women as objects of sexual pleasure.  However, it is not very well controlled!  It really is up to us to do the regulating. Parents I ask you to be very aware of what your child is doing when they spend time on a smart phone, tablet, or computer.  Please talk to them often about these dangers and take the appropriate measures for your child’s safety.

Here are some links & apps that may help

5 Steps you can take right now to protect your kids

How to block Safari and other apps on iPhone

For iOS:

MobicipMobicipIcon200x200_thumbnail

A safe browser that filters out inappropriate content according to the users settings. It also filters Youtube videos. (set iPhone restrictions to not allow Safari)

Parent Kit

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A monitoring app to schedule usage of Safari and other apps from your own device remotely.

For Android:

Screen Timeunnamed

An app to control how long your child is on their phone.  Helps when your child is trying to study but continues to look at their phone.

Kid’s Placeunnamed-1

An app launcher that restricts kids to only the apps that you approve.  Creates a mode that is just for children that keeps your own data restricted.

Gaining a Testimony

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During my freshman year of college the change in missionary age for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was announced.  I would be eligible for a LDS mission in that coming June yet, a mission in my mind was NOT for me.  I was loving school and being a Chi Omega, I was having fun and dating.  However, after my first semester I felt kind of stuck.  I wasn’t improving and was in a way empty inside.  When going to my singles ward I never made comments in sunday school and relief society.  I missed being in primary where I knew the answers to all the questions!  I was embarrassed to give any insight when it came time for comments in class.  What did I have to offer spiritually?  At the time I was an 18 year old girl who grew up in the suburbs of Holladay and had had a privileged life.  I hadn’t experienced many hardships and didn’t have many spiritual experiences to draw from.  At church I was envious of the women who had gone on missions and knew the scriptures so well.  A mission was sounding more and more appealing and after much contemplation I talked to my Bishop and began my papers.  While diligently preparing for what I thought was going to be a mission became preparing for meeting my future husband.  I met Chris halfway through filling out my papers.  GAME CHANGER.

My life took a different path and I got married.  Before getting married to Chris I had never lived away from my home.  I lived with my parents and at  their house the gospel runs every aspect of their life.  I was reminded constantly of the importance of reading the scriptures and attending church.  Imagine yourself going from elementary school straight to college.  I left a place where I had my hand held the whole way to YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN KID.  Needless to say it’s been hard. Waking up on Sunday and not having any pressure to go to church for ALL three hours.  Being a poor couple who could use every penny, I had no person saying “Did you pay your tithing?” No one is telling me to get out of bed and onto my knees.  You get the picture.

As much as you’re twenties (I’m not even 20 yet ha, SOON) are a time of fun they should also be a period of self discovery, reflection and independence.   NOW is the time to decide what you’re priorities are and what you believe.  Alma 34:32 “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.” Now is the time is to gain a testimony of the things that are so easy to blow off like, tithing, scripture study, prayer, church attendance, fasting, etc.  We can’t expect for these habits to come easily, from experience I can tell you they don’t!  AT ALL.  You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!  I don’t anticipate that it will be any easier doing these things in my later years when I haven’t started now! Every time I do these things (As my mom would say)  I put money in my spiritual bank account and I begin to know of the truth of the doctrine by practicing it.

It may seem strange that after being married in the Salt Lake Temple  and having taken out my Endowment that I don’t have a strong and unwavering testimony of the Gospel.  I doubt everyday and have worries and concerns like many others.  The only thing I strongly know to be true is that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. I have leaned on my parents testimony for nineteen years which is far too long. I decided that It is time to find my OWN testimony and knowledge of this Gospel.  I didn’t go on a mission and I don’t want to regret that decision.  I want to be able to share scriptures in church and have conversations with my husband on a spiritual level and feel equal. I want to help hasten the work here in downtown Salt Lake City where the need is great. Already as a wife I have grown to know my Savior more than ever before. I am reading my scriptures and praying for the will power to learn this gospel.  I want to continually be pointed towards the Lord and his Temple.

This week my testimony builder was temple attendance.

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 It is all too common to get sealed in the Temple and to rarely return to that sacred place.  Being that I live less than 5 minutes away from the beautiful Salt Lake Temple I have made it a goal to go two times a month.  I haven’t been perfect but so far it has blessed my life tremendously.  I try my best to prepare mentally before I go by taking my time and thinking positively.  The temple is a testament of God’s love for his children.  God bestows so many blessings when we follow the commandments and honor our covenants made there.  As much as going to the temple with my husband is amazing, I had the opportunity to go with my family and my 92 year old Grandma Marcia.  It is crazy that even someone like my Grandma who has been more times than she can count and worked there for many years still can learn something new from the experience. However, Marcia can’t remember the last time she had gone and participated.   SO SO grateful she was ready when we called her! She still keeps her temple recommend current.  I hope to not only live to be 92 but to also have a current temple recommend!  As I helped her get her things ready and drove her to the Jordan River Temple I could tell she was excited.  She knows that hearing God’s words and feeling the Spirit can rejuvenate the soul so tremendously.  Being with her was one of the sweetest memories I will ever have with her.  Please take the time to serve and go to the temple.  

I hope to provide posts for my readers with uplifting messages of how to strengthen your testimony through the little things. I would love to hear of your journey of finding a testimony as well!

 

Deciding On Chris

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I got married at 19.  Everybody called me crazy, naive, and unexperienced.  ALL TRUE.  However, It felt like nobody acknowledged that I was old enough to make my own decisions.  Granted, marriage is a huge decision.  We live in a world where marriage is becoming a rarity and something more and more difficult to keep together.  This is something I took seriously (as i should).  So, as a faithful LDS woman, I turned to the Lord for help.  When praying many times for an answer to the question “Should I marry Chris?”  I never received a firm answer.  My prayers weren’t answered in the way I traditionally heard of… I wasn’t reading in my scriptures one day and found a verse that told me what I was supposed to do.  I didn’t hear it in a conference talk.  In fact I didn’t even get some overwhelming feeling of peace or comfort.  I even listened quietly after I prayed by my bedside hoping to hear what my life was meant to be like.  I mean I was only 19!  In today’s society I was supposed to be living the college life, going to parties and on a study abroad.  What I heard from onlookers of my situation went something like this… Janie is crazy, anyone mormon who gets married that young is just wanting to have sex right?… She’s got her whole life to be married why doesn’t she wait a couple years?… Or she doesn’t even know him that well I hope they stay together. Luckily, I knew that I didn’t need to listen to those who really didn’t know anything about my relationship with Chris.  Chris as my family can attest has made me a better person spiritually and given me more maturity.  I didn’t want Chris to be the one I skipped over because I was too young and not ready.

My answer came from my Grandma Marcia Egan, the person I look up to most.  My grandmother helped me realize that heavenly father recognizes strength and a will to do good in every single one of his children.  When asking her what she thought about me getting married she responded with such poise that I wondered if the Lord had let her know I was in need of some help.  Her reply: “Well Janie, you have to consider a couple things while deciding to get married… 1. Does he love God? 2. Does he plan for the future and want a family? 3. Does he work hard? and 4. Are you attracted  to him?”  It was put so simply for me that it felt like a NO BRAINER (what my dad would say).  I knew that Chris would give me a marriage that would be solidified in the Temple, that our relationship could continue to grow with the help of the Lord through trials and good times, and that we could raise children as a sealed family. YES, Chris loves his Heavenly Father. I also had the surety that Chris and I would be equal partners in our family and that we could pave the path for future together. YES, Chris wants to have a family and share our burdens and triumphs in life.  Chris is one of the most determined and dedicated people I know.  Chris does his best in every aspect of his life. YES, Chris works hard and will his whole life.  Chris is also pretty cute and charming. YES, Chris is DANG attractive.  After this discussion with my 92 year old grandma I realized that Heavenly Father left the decision up to me.  I didn’t need to wait for a sign nor did I need to pray until it felt completely perfect.  My answer from God was “I trust you Janie and I will support and bless you in whatever you decide.” So I took a leap of faith and married Chris who is now my eternal companion.  We’ve barely been married three months (you could say we’re seasoned pros).  I am happy to say that I am loving being a wife and am excited to be a mother (NOT ANYTIME SOON) and that I have made covenants with the Lord that will strengthen me and my family.  No there haven’t been tremendously hard times yet, but I know there will be and I am blessed to have Chris by my side to lighten the load.  Who is to say one person may be more ready than another to get married?  Honestly, we are all just kids who grew up too fast.

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