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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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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