True Freedom…

There is no true freedom without responsibility, and there is no enduring freedom without a knowledge of the truth. The Lord said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31–32.)…

Those who talk of blind obedience may appear to know many things, but they do not understand the doctrines of the gospel. There is an obedience that comes from a knowledge of the truth that transcends any external form of control. We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see. The best control, I repeat, is self-control.

This quote comes from a fantastic talk by Elder Boyd K. Packer (Agency and Control, 1983), and I just thought it would be a good addition to the blog.

The world around us is full of people who believe that right and wrong are relative and that we should not try too hard to control our desires.  They may say that following a moral code is old-fashioned and naive.  To them, I would say what Elder Packer said: “There is no true freedom without responsibility”.  An understanding of right and wrong is what stabilizes us and helps us find happiness in this world.  Following a moral code is not limiting, it is liberating.  As we consistently choose to do what is right, this fact becomes clear.

“What Shall We Give?”

The Savior of the World, who gave us all, is the one most deserving of our love this Christmas season. But what gift do we give to the Lord? What can we do to show Him our appreciation and devotion? This little video provides a good idea of what we can do to show Jesus Christ how grateful we are for his infinite gift. Let’s do a good turn for others, let’s be kind, let’s forget grudges and instead work toward peace on Earth.

“When we keep the spirit of Christmas, we keep the Spirit of Christ, for the Christmas spirit is the Christ Spirit.  It will block out all the distractions around us which can diminish Christmas and swallow up its true meaning.”  (President Thomas S. Monson)

Beautiful Heartbreak

No one is immune to heartbreak or to hard times. This video reminded me of how these times can be used to teach us life lessons and give us perspective.

The Lord reminds us in the Book of Mormon (Ether 12:27) that if we are humble and have faith in Him, He will make our weaknesses become strengths.  I believe that this is also true for our trials and heartbreaks in life.  When we go through some difficulty, we can come out stronger through Christ’s grace.

With that strength, we are more able to help others through their trials and feel compassion for them in their sorrows.

With our newly found perspective, we can see that life is so much bigger than the here and now.  We are children of God.  He knew us before we were born on this earth, and He has wonderful things in store for us after we leave this earth.

Never forget how much Heavenly Father loves you.  Always remember that He will strengthen you during your trials.

Father’s Day Message

I know I’m a little late for Father’s Day, but… I suppose it’s better late than never! This video just warmed my heart and inspired me. I know that there are many wonderful dads out there (including my own) and they deserve some praise for what they’re doing right. There are enough negative things said about men today, I think it’s time to give the good ones the spotlight.  The following two stanzas from a poem  by Edgar Albert Guest are, in my mind, representative of what a lot of dads do for us:

“Only a Dad” – Edgar Albert Guest

Only a dad, with a tired face,

Coming home from the daily race,

Bringing little of gold or fame,

To show how well he has played the game,

But glad in his heart that his own rejoice

To see him come, and to hear his voice…

Only a dad, but he gives his all

To smooth the way for his children small,

Doing, with courage stern and grim,

The deeds that his father did for him.

This is the line that for him I pen,

Only a dad, but the best of men.

It may seem at times that a father is “only a dad… merely one of the surging crowd”, but even one father makes a difference.  Every man who chooses to fill his role as a father to the fullest affects generations to come.  I hope they know how significant their role is in the world and in the life of their children.

“To Every Mother” – Happy Mother’s Day!

This video inspired me. It reminded me how much a mother matters. I thought it would be appropriate to share this message with everyone as Mother’s Day is approaching. In this video, we’re reminded how precious a responsibility it is to be a mother. Though mothers at times may feel like they have no idea what they’re doing and feel inadequate, they should know that their love and constant care are what matter. No one is perfect.

As the video suggests: thank the women in your life who mentored, loved, and mothered you. In a world where mothering is often treated as a side-note or a lesser responsibility, remember this:

“[Mothers], you do not know how far your influence extends. A mother that is successful in raising a good boy, or girl, to imitate her example and to follow her precepts through life, sows the seeds of virtue, honor and integrity and of righteousness in their hearts that will be felt through all their career in life; and wherever that boy or girl goes, as man or woman, in whatever society they mingle, the good effects of the example of that mother upon them will be felt; and it will never die, because it will extend from them to their children from generation to generation.” (Joseph F. Smith, Deseret News: Semi-Weekly, 5 Jan. 1892, 3.)

As much as I look forward to being a successful woman in my community and making a difference in the world, I know that the most important thing I can do is be a good mom. I look forward to the day that I can hold that precious responsibility and truly make a difference one child at a time.

First Anniversary

This post is dedicated to my sweet husband, Austin, who has taught me each day how to live happily.

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Yes, I’m back!  Wow, it has been a long time since I last posted here.  It’s really a shame.  I don’t know if this is a common occurrence for people, but life happened and I forgot to keep up with the blog.  Then from time to time I thought “I should get back to my blog…” but I just never found an excuse to come back.  So I set a goal to get back to my blog by my 1st wedding anniversary, so here I am keeping my word.

 

And it’s good to be back.

 

A lot can happen over a year.  Yes, I got married April 21st 2012 to the love of my life.  We’ve been studying hard in college, trying to reach that wonderful day when we can finally graduate.  You know what that mindset reminds me of?  It reminds me of the days before I was married when I looked forward to the day I would finally arrive at marital bliss and the world would be peachy.  But I have discovered something: happiness truly is determined by how you live, not how your life turns out.  It was true then, and it’s still true now, and it’ll be true when I finally get a hold on my shiny College Diploma. 

I’m not saying that my marriage hasn’t been good.  Oh no… truly I have never been happier.  But it’s not because I’m married, it’s because of what I’m learning and how I live as a married person.  My happiness is based on the way I treat my husband.  If I put his interests above my own, I learn true service and love.  This leads to happiness.  If I put my own interests above his, I learn selfishness and greed.  This leads to unhappiness.  This lesson doesn’t just apply to marriage, but to life.  If we love those around us as Christ asked us to, we would know a deeper and more gratifying sense of happiness than we ever would have felt.  Joy can be found now as we serve and love others.

I am not saying this as a perfect example of this principle, I am far from perfect.  I have my bad moments just like anyone else.  But Jesus Christ is a perfect example of love and charity.  Look to Him through the scriptures and words of living prophets.  They will guide you to this happiness that fills your soul and gives you a sense of purpose. 

“Be Not Weary in Well-Doing”

I had one of those moments while I was reading the scriptures when I thought “Wait, was that in there the last time I read?  Who put that there?”.

It was a funny thought, yes, because obviously we know who put the phrase there.  I just hadn’t noticed it before.  The phrase was: “all things must come to pass in their time”.  Perhaps it was my state of mind at the time that caused that phrase to pop out, but at any rate I think this statement may help all of you in the various situations you find yourselves in.  That’s why I felt that I should share it with you.

We all experience times in our lives when we want something very deeply–so much that we can hardly bear waiting for that moment when everything will play out just right.  Surely, we think, then the metaphorical gates will burst open, trumpets will sound, doves will fly, rainbows will fill the skies, and everything will be perfect from then on.  But is that really how life works?  Are we always waiting for something better to happen, or are we enjoying life right now?  Let me quote the entire passage that I read:

“All things must come to pass in their time.  Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:32-33)

Did you notice how powerful those simple phrases are?  The things we are waiting for will come when they come.  In the meantime, we will continue doing the daily things required to reach those goals and find joy in small moments.  The great things come from the little things.  Another related quote recently shared by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf helps me focus on what will make me truly happy:

“Never stop striving for the best that is within you. Never stop hoping for all of the righteous desires of your heart. But don’t close your eyes and hearts to the simple and elegant beauties of each day’s ordinary moments that make up a rich, well-lived life.  The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy.” (Forget Me Not, Sept 2011)

I know that happiness does not come in only the glorious, grand moments of life.  Each day is full of miracles, moments, and memories that can uplift us on our journey back to our Father in Heaven.  Don’t be discouraged by your seemingly small efforts, you are making a difference.  Keep your eyes open for those simple joys and you will find that your life is quite wonderful after all.