Monday, February 27, 2017


Dear Family and Friends,

This week had some of the best days I've experienced in a while. Sometimes healing is so slow we don't really appreciate how far we have come. Sometimes part of healing includes having really good days; but it's okay to also have days where we feel a little blue and worn out from trying so hard. I also don't think we realize how much on both the good and hard days we are carried by the Savior.

My studies yet again found me connecting to Lehi and his family. After years of travel Lehi and his family finally received the promised land to live in. In this new land Lehi shares, "And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance." (2 Nephi 1:8) For me this reminded me of the wisdom of the Lord showing us things in his time and way. He really does have wonderful things in store for us, but sometimes we don't get to know how amazing they are until we get there. I felt like this particularly applies to dating and marriage. We date someone, learn to care, and then feel sad when it ends, wondering a little bit if they really saw how much of a wonderful person you really were. What I realized is maybe they don't truly see us for our full potential and the whole person we really are because they aren't meant to see. The person we do marry will be someone who does see us for who we are more than any other on this earth. 
Part of being on this mortal journey is not knowing why, or what lies at the end of each road. Sometimes we, or others that love us, may receive impressions of what might be down a path, but ultimately only God know. Sometimes God holds things back to test our patience; but I have come to realize that sometimes God doesn't show us things because he is keeping them pure and whole until it is time for them to be received. I believe the law of Chastity falls into this category as well. We are commanded to wait until marriage to be sexually intimate, in part because that special unity allows spouses to see and know their companion in a whole and complete way that no others see or know them. To connect both body and soul on the most intimate and profound level. It is Gods wisdom that leads to the command to wait to share that connection until with marriage, so that "the land is not overrun." We may feel some days we will be waiting forever, but when the time comes and God's will shows us what was prepared for us, all of us will find ourselves humbled and grateful we did indeed wait for the Lords time. 


Monday, February 20, 2017

Of Stubbornness and Faith

Dear Family and Friends,

At the end of the week looking back I am glad for where I now stand. That said I most definatly would not want to go through this week again. I think it would have been a lot better if I hadn't had such a pessimistic attitude about it before it even started, but that it just another thing I learned from the week. Sometimes I don't realize how stubborn I am being until it feels like I run into my own stubbornness like it were a brick wall. I know I must have been carried through this week and yet another turning point by the savior, but I think it's still so recent I don't entirely realized exactly how much he really did carry me. I am much like a small child being carried through with my arms tight around his neck and my eyes scrunched tight because what surrounds me feels like it will overpower me and destroy me. Yet here I stand, a little better, and a little safer, because of the care and love of my Savior. I know more than anything else right now I really have no idea how much I am being carried because it's all I can do to hang on at moments.

My insight and parallel to my life this week again comes from the story of Lehi and Nephi. 1 Nephi 18:4  "And it came to pass that after I had finished the ship, according to the word of the Lord, my brethren beheld that it was good, and that the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine; wherefore, they did humble themselves again before the Lord." The thing that I noted from this verse was the fact that Nephi's brother's didn't humble themselves before God until AFTER the ship was finished, and they saw that it was good. I realized that in my own life I've been doing that a little bit. I can see God is guiding me to build a boat to take me to better places. Yet even though I can see it, I haven't entirely wanted to break my pride down, be humble, and accept God really does know what he is doing and that it is "Good". I know I am not the only one that has done this in times of great trial. My hope is that we can all learn to be a little better at being humble and accepting the Good in God's plan as he teaches us how to build "boats", or bridges, or anything that helps us get to a very different place. I hope we can accept his wisdom sooner in the process rather than waiting until the boat is done to see that God really does know what he is doing! 

I hope you all have a wonderful week, and I'll talk to you again soon!

Monday, February 13, 2017

What is Happiness?

Dear Family and Friends,

The days march on and here it is, the start of another week! I hope you all had a great week, mine was pretty good. There were a lot of little things to be grateful for. I've been working on being more social, and as such have been doing more with my YSA ward. I really do have some pretty sweet people around me, and I'm glad I finally am getting to know them! (Being social for me can sometimes be a real challenge, so this has been quite an accomplishment.)

As I was reading 1 Nephi 17 I came across a verse that really struck me. Part of why it really stood out is that I remembered it standing out to me while I was on my mission, going through some similar experiences and feelings. Griping and complaining on to Nephi, his brother says in verse 21, " Behold, these many years we have suffered in the wilderness, which time we might have enjoyed our possessions and the land of our inheritance; yea, and we might have been happy." After 8 years of being in the wilderness his brothers were still lamenting over having left Jerusalem rather than seeing the miracles and joy that they had experienced. They were so focused on what they were missing out on in Jerusalem they couldn't accept that what lay before them in the promised land could be more happiness and joy than they would have ever had in Jerusalem.

Sometimes my own personal "Jerusalem" calls to me, telling me of what I am missing out on, and how happy I could have been if I hadn't had to leave. But I know I need to keep my eyes focused forward and truly believe the Lords promises to bless me with something better. One of Satan's greatest tactics is to tell a truth, but in a way that isn't all the way true. Nephi's brother's statement that if they had stayed they would have been happy might have been true, but it cleverly hides the reality that happiness can be found in many different places. Sometimes happiness comes in a different flavor than we were expecting because life and plans change, but that doesn't make it any less real or valuable. The real question is how do we choose to see it? What is happiness to us? The Lord loves us and does things for our ultimate good, today's wilderness may lead to tomorrow's promised land with sweeping vistas and majestic mountains to feel our soul with joy! May we all keep walking on through the hard days, seek the little bits of sunshine that are there, and know that the Lord's promises include happiness!


Saturday, February 4, 2017


Dear Family and Friends,
It's been a good and busy week! I was blessed to see the Hand of God in my life in many small ways. I feel like I ran into, and was able to visit with many friends I hadn't talked to in months. I was also blessed to be able to hear Elder and Sister Bednar speak as well as Sister Kristen Oaks. I feel like the Lord was really trying to reach out to me and assure me that he really does have my best interest in mind. Sometimes with my limited understanding and sight it's hard to trust things really are for the best, particularly when they cause a lot of anxiety and sadness. Later on down the road I know I'm going to look back on this time and really value what it taught me and how it helped me to grow, but right now I'm just grateful for the little bits of God's hand I see in my life to help me to keep walking when I just want to stop fighting. I'm winning the battle, but the slow pace of healing combined with how much effort it takes, can be discouraging. I am grateful for my Family and Friends and particularly my Heavenly Parents and Savior who love me "Frankly". 

My thoughts were turned to the word "Frankly" this week when I read in 1 Nephi 7:20-21, "20 And it came to pass that they were sorrowful, because of their wickedness, insomuch that they did bow down before me, and did plead with me that I would forgive them of the thing that they had done against me. 21 And it came to pass that I did frankly forgive them all that they had done, ...". It really impressed me how Nephi used the word frankly to describe the way in which he forgave his brothers. I looked up the work Frankly in the Oxford English Dictionary to reaffirm it meant what I thought it did, and to be able to see if it had a different meaning at the time the Book of Mormon was written. The definitions have stayed relatively unchanged since it's first use in the 1600s, here are the three I liked best in connection with this verse. 1. Freely; unrestrictedly, without restraint or constraint. 2. In a liberal spirit, generously; unconditionally, unreservedly. 3. Without concealment, disguise, or reserve; avowedly, openly, plainly. Looking at these definitions made me really admire Nephi even more. To have come away from a moment where is brothers are trying to kill him and forgive them "without restraint, unconditionatlly, plainly" really shows how Christ like we need to be! If Nephi can forgive his brother frankly, then I want to be like Nephi and ultimately Christ, who forgives all of us Frankly. Sometimes it's hard to not want to hold forgiveness and love back until the other person "deserves" it. But in reality waiting to forgive or love someone is wasted time, and is not after the example of the Savior. I want to do a better job of doing things more Frankly, particularly when it comes to loving, caring, and forgiving the people I am blessed to have in my life! 

Love to you All!