let your lamp BURN

“It is easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way. But what then of those times when what we wish for seems to be far out of reach? Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances…whatever they may be.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf…  My old Young Women president, Cristie Carter, texted me this quote on a Sunday morning.  Cristie is always so thoughtful and is constantly thinking of how she can help others.  I didn’t think much of the quote, in fact I didn’t even read the whole thing until after sacrament meeting.

10817399_10152834331486250_1861355010_o

The speaker in sacrament meeting posed the question: “how are we supposed to be grateful when life sucks?” In my head I started thinking “I have no idea dude.”  The young man went on to discuss why we are here on Earth.  We aren’t here on Earth to have the best clothes, the biggest house, or the most followers.  We are here on Earth to PREPARE.  Sorry to quote Uchtdorf again (He’s the MAN) but during this past Women’s Conference he said “God sent you here to prepare for a future greater than anything you can imagine.”  We as human beings cannot comprehend what our Heavenly Father has in store for his children.  God knows All things.  So yes, that means he knows things we don’t.

10656266_10152659058891250_409314243_n

In several of my recent church meetings the parable of the ten virgins has been brought up mostly because of  Linda K. Burton’s analysis of it during women’s conference.  Here is a link to her talk in case you missed it.

———————————————————————————————————

The parable comes from Matthew 25

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

“And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. …

“[They that were] wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

“While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

“And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

“Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

“And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

“But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

“And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

“Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

“But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, Ye know me not.”

———————————————————————————————————

When I heard this parable as a kid I can remember thinking to myself “why didn’t the others share their oil?” and “why did they have to have a lamp?”  This parable really confused me so, like many things I don’t understand, I shrugged it off.  However, I was happy to learn I wasn’t the only one who was perplexed by this story. Sister Burton helped me understand it so much better.  She likens the story to temple preparation.  She said ‘consider the words of a latter-day prophet who taught that “the oil of spiritual preparedness cannot be shared.” President Spencer W. Kimball.’  It is up to YOU as an individual to prepare yourself drop by drop.

So that begs the question… “How can we better prepare ourselves drop by drop?”  I leave that question open ended, because we can prepare for many things whether it be for the temple, marriage, baptism, eternal life, a mission, etc.  Anyway, back to the point.  How can we better prepare ourselves?  You guessed it the basic primary answers we have been saying for years.

- Church Attendance – Fasting – Tithing – Personal & Family Prayer – Scripture Study – Service – Family Home Evening – Following the Commandments – ETC.

Nobody can do this for you.  Nor can you do it for anyone else.  Often times I think I wonder if I can just ride on Chris’ coattails to the celestial kingdom.  No one is gonna make sure you are actually paying attention to the sacrament.  Nobody is going to check if you made it all the way to dinner to break your fast.  It is up to you to determine your own salvation.

My goal is to be like Moroni in my preparation. Alma 49:8 ” they were prepared for them, in a manner which never had been known…

But, here is the kicker… Remember what feels like forever ago when I mentioned Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s quote.. Let’s revisit it.

“It is easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way. But what then of those times when what we wish for seems to be far out of reach? Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances…whatever they may be.”

How easy is it to be grateful and do the right thing when life seems to be going our way?  EASY AS PIE. Okay, maybe not that easy, but it comes more natural that’s for sure. So what happens when your life gets thrown a curve ball?  Do we head in the other direction and let our light grow dim?  NO! FILL THOSE LANTERNS TILL THEY ARE OVERFLOWING!

First, we MUST take a step back and have faith in the fact that Heavenly Father is a loving and all knowing God, he has a plan.

56160d961cb732a56bfdb76d6e2c4031

Second, we MUST fall back on and become more diligent in what we have been doing to prepare for this curve ball. Do all those basic primary things. Turn towards your scriptures not away! Fall on your knees not your pillow!

img_3904-2

Third, be grateful for a loving family! Spend time with them, serve them, and let them serve you.

10492158_10152780773317241_9218672032646764855_n

Fourth, attend the Temple, in any capacity that you are able.  Whether it be baptisms, an Endowment session, or just being outside and near a Temple.  The temple is where I have the best spiritual insights and where I can go to feel calm.

j62

Fifth, (last the best of all the game) use the atonement and your Savior as much as you can.  Jesus Christ atoned for our sins but He also has felt everything you PERSONALLY have ever felt.  Christ is there for you in everything…The happy easy times and the curve ball, life sucks times.

acc4317da442847e384f13e741a296e3

God has given us this recipe for happiness in both the hard times and the good times.  The instructions are there for us and we must make the choice. Life is hard but it can be oh so joyful if we take the time to spiritually prepare ourselves for life’s surprises.  Fill up your Lamp with oil drop by drop and let it BURN!


Burn

As of Late

 

These past few weeks have been a total blur.  With school and work and side projects I feel like I haven’t had time to breath… Plus i’m still in a food coma from last week’s ice cream post.  So in the spirit of keeping up with blogging I thought i’d post a few things i’ve been up to.

Starting School with my Seeeestor at the University of Utah

10637948_10152625821251250_2129363531_n

Assisting Tessa Barton…

Chad and Taylor Bridals


IMG_5466

IMG_5616

IMG_5832

IMG_5911

Cheering on our UTES!!!! UTAH MAN AM I BABY!

10642538_10152634888941250_1593041122_o

Gracie and Tims Wedding


IMG_6697-2

IMG_6816

10606069_10152662559561250_2646995626508105959_n

IMG_7032-2

Doing my own photo projects…

Purple Lace.


IMG_7602 copy

IMG_7683 copy-2

IMG_7626 copy

IMG_7663 copy

IMG_7678-2
IMG_7674 copy 2

IMG_7712 copy

CAN YOU BELIEVE FALL IS HERE????

IMG_7405 copy

IMG_7435 copy

A good Ole StayCation at my parent’s cabin in Midway…

10620512_10152662558871250_1958319746354066955_n

Playing original nintendo is a must when we go there.  BATTLE TOADS 4 LYFE

16352_10152662558901250_2120761411319021808_n

Fruit Roll… why not?

10625121_10152662558956250_4349076506396560394_n

For the longest time on the drive to the Midway cabin, my siblings and I would point to this big hill and say “there’s Grandpa’s cabin!” It was at the very tip top of the hill.  I was so excited to show Chris where some of my crazy childhood memories were. (It has not been in the family for several years, but it’s still sentimental.   Sadly, on the way up to the cabin I couldn’t see Grandpa’s cabin! We walked up the big hill and the closer we got to the top I kept saying “I DON’T SEE IT CHRIS! WHERE IS IT!”  Finally at the very top all I saw was the foundation of Grandpa’s Cabin and the iron wagon wheel Grandma had placed there.  We were devastated!!! So I took a few wood blocks I could find and carried them back down the hill as a momento I could give my Grandma.  I am so sad that I won’t be able to point to the top of the hill anymore..

10626544_10152662558991250_6484532847746404735_n

10626571_10152662559171250_5832446445122707227_n

10522513_10152662564756250_52506934795020733_o

10609713_10152662559326250_13315635820977382_n

Those of you who love Midway and Heber will understand the importance and specialness of Dairy Keen.  (the train restaurant)  Can’t go there without getting some sort of ice cream treat.

1604971_10152662559066250_2161659754321050424_n

Visited my dear Grandma and found her with a Caffeine free DC in one hand and a cookie in the other.  SHE IS THE EPITOME OF AWESOME!

10678055_10152652967316250_950232319_o

This sunday was area conference and Chris and I live downtown so we got to walk 5 minutes to the conference center for church! booya!  I especially loved Elder Oaks talk.  It inspired me to write this song lyric in my sunday journal.  Faith means trusting in God’s timing which means we must be prepared to be surprised!

10656266_10152659058891250_409314243_n

I spent what felt like 5 hours looking for my keys in the apartment this morning.  (i lose my keys, phone, and wallet every second)  I open the door and there they were.  All night.   BLESS MY HEART.

10660745_10152660837701250_379572157_n

Big Cottonwood Canyon for this win Sunday Evening.

10704877_10152661943471250_675653378_n

10656371_10152661943386250_1201416610_n

Thanks for stopping by. Keep it real folks.

my marcia

10580537_10152564939276250_652736495_o

I was on my way home from work when I got the feeling I should go visit my grandma Marcia. As I walked in the door she said “I need white envelopes and white toilet paper… Oh and some chocolate.” We then spent the day laughing as we played cards and folded laundry. I touched up her nail polish and rubbed her aching feet. She gave me a five dollar bill for running errands for her that I immediately put back in her purse. She then made me raise my right arm and swear that I had the five dollar bill on my pocket. (I lied and said I did) It’s awesome so serve somebody who has done so much for you. I’m always happy after I visit Grandma Egan. I will be so devastated when the day comes that I won’t be able to.

Take the time out of your day to serve those you love.  You will never regret it.

Sister Hayes

I’m always so impressed by anyone who is willing to serve the Lord and go on a mission.  Maddy Hayes is a selfless, ambitious, and hard working young lady.  She’s going to make an amazing missionary to the people of the Philippines.

Here are a few from a session earlier in the week.

Preach sista

IMG_3710-2

IMG_3715-2

IMG_3731

IMG_3777-2

IMG_3828

IMG_3839

IMG_3899

IMG_3997

IMG_3952-2

IMG_4023

IMG_4087

IMG_4068

IMG_4105

IMG_4137

IMG_3987

IMG_3992-2

IMG_3904-2

A Pearl Of Great Price | YW Camp 2014

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

IMG_2894.jpg copy

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!

IMG_2673.jpg IMG_2686.jpg IMG_2687.jpg IMG_2689.jpg IMG_2693.jpg IMG_2708.jpg IMG_2724.jpg IMG_2732.jpg IMG_2746.jpg IMG_2759.jpg IMG_2768.jpg IMG_2770.jpg IMG_2777.jpg IMG_2790.jpg IMG_2803.jpg IMG_2813.jpg IMG_2816.jpg IMG_2818.jpg IMG_2821.jpg IMG_2829.jpg IMG_2843.jpg IMG_2849.jpg IMG_2859.jpg IMG_2863.jpg IMG_2890.jpg IMG_2894.jpg IMG_2934.jpg IMG_2947.jpg IMG_2965.jpg IMG_2979.jpg

#instaporn

613-9967-02

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

url

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

IMG_0335.jpg

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.

IMG_3294.jpg

 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!

 

General Conference

   This year’s General Conference I kept diligent notes in my little Sunday journal (mostly filled with doodles… at least it keeps me awake.)  Today I went back and chose some of the most memorable quotes and created these with my own photographs.

Elder Holland taught me that to become more Christlike we must not be stagnant and content.  God does not intend for this life to be easy, he rocks our boat, we must use those times to become humble.  Make daily scripture study and prayer a PRIORITY.  Holland reminded us of the power the Book of Mormon has.  We must use it.  When we are becoming more Christlike, love will just pour out of us and like Holland said, that love can change the World!

T2djdcNamu8UBMuriycqatlvqhGK9gSr37u9ouGST8BPumycWpW8PkIuci7I6Zd-6A=w884-h540

Elder Nelson reminded the saints that the Gospel should be a part of every aspect of our lives.  In decisions we make ask God first, he can give us truth and inspiration that no one else can.  Keeping the commandments brings blessings every time. The Gospel will help you be TRUE to yourself.  He wisely said, “We must have COURAGE, not compromise.”  So don’t let your private and public life be different… Show your Faith!

B3QRirwMyIgGbOAryphzIslmI8r9birwRaY7AM1plobl7Dg45rwTHrM87zstyQiEmg=w884-h540

Elder Aidukaitis of the Seventy taught that “by their fruits ye shall know them.”  Joseph Smith followed the teaching of James 1:5-6.  He then prayed asking in faith to Heavenly Father.  Because of this the Church and Gospel have been restored on the Earth.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a church of Doers.  The church and it’s members serves so many people.  We must serve our fellow neighbors, amplify our callings, and keep peace in our homes.  Doing the little things is important because having a testimony takes hard work.

gINRFJXTFrQeqHQB2M-5WIdt6reKjl4hL9_liQgyw4YO-uFC9cTyk_r_CySk3Z38Sw=w884-h540

Elder Packer taught that their are some spiritual things that cannot be taught but can be learned.  We can come to know of things through the power of the Holy Ghost.  The church is centered around Christ.  It is through Christ that we are saved.  Elder Packer reminded us that Satan is very real.  That is why we must choose whether we follow Christ or Satan.  We cannot serve both.

5b21b-img_5685 copy

Sister Stevens gave some insightful knowledge that this Gospel is not a checklist.  We must let the Gospel live in our souls.  God has a plan for each one of us so trust in him.  She even quoted my Egan family’s theme: Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not; for I am with thee, be not dismayed; for I am thy God, I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” When we live the Gospel whole-heartedly it won’t feel like a burden, it will carry us to places we never imagined.

LJoVA-UT1pi1_2LkZzf-f4EaHm93mEoKZ-4S-xIr1eX-cgc5Ol3pE4yU8K8e2xXB3g=w884-h540

Elder Walker of the Seventy told of church history and amazing stories of faith.  We too can be brave Mormons and make our mark in history.  Elder Walker quoted Article of Faith #3 “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”  If we keep God’s commandments and live true to our faith we can pave the way for future generations of righteous saints. 

gQQqG_qpE0h6na2OkEYn-R_Waf1rjr3b2CjH4-nkP70Ux2Pwg9fRKMk8PD2nQUn8gw=w884-h540

I could have made used many other quotes from General Conference.  There were so many inspired talks and I am lucky to be apart of this Church. I would love to know your favorite quotes from conference, let me know! xoxo