Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What I Know

Hey there!

So I'm supposed to be doing some amazing yoga right now because I live in Southern California and it's my day off. So...that's what I'm supposed to be doing, right? But I feel very compelled to write down a few things. And share them. (Lucky you!)

It all started when I read (yet another) Facebook post about a friend/acquaintance leaving the church. I've come across a few of these on Facebook in recent months. People I know well or people I've only met in passing boldly declaring their separation from the Mormon church. The hardest to hear about being one of the elders I served with on my mission. They all have their reasons and I'm not here to debate those reasons or why I feel, very much so, that they've been tricked by the wrong sources and wrong people. (Although I do have some strong feelings on that subject).  I do, however, feel passionately about the things I know to be true. Probably just about as passionately as others feel about them being untrue. So, I want to tell you what I know.

I know that church history is riddled with strange facts, unsettling stories, poor decisions and costly mistakes. I know that we're brought up to revere prophets and apostles. Many of them are men to be respected and admired! However, let us also remember, as difficult as it may be, that they were also men. And imperfect to boot. Let's be careful that we don't place them on a pedestal so high that it becomes precarious, and even the slightest whisper of a fault will send it crashing down. That being said, let's also be forgiving. Many of us would have made similar, strange, decisions had we been in their shoes. The church was young. And not only that, it was a different time. A very different time. We all look back at the 90's, a decade less than 20 years behind us, and say, what were we thinking?! So shouldn't it follow that we won't understand perfectly decisions that were made in an era more than 150 years behind us? These men, and women, did their best. I have no doubt about that. I don't know all the details of church history and I don't care to. I don't feel the need to go rummaging through an imperfect someone's life to find out if the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. They are unrelated in my mind.

I know that God is real. I've felt this so many, many times, and it is, without a doubt, the strongest part of my testimony. I know I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. Even as I sit here writing this I can feel His love. I remember one time on my mission my companion and I were getting ready to go out for the day and I couldn't find a bracelet of mine. Now...who really cares about a bracelet? But this was a gift from someone very dear to my heart, and I wore it every day. I needed to find that bracelet! So, even though we were behind schedule (go figure) I kept looking. But I had this nagging feeling that we just needed to go; that if I just got to work, I would find it. I decided that was ridiculous. I kept looking. The same feeling came back. This cycle repeated itself a few times before I, begrudgingly, walked with my companion out the door and to the car. I could feel my eyes watering. "Why am I crying?" I thought. "It's JUST a bracelet." I opened the door to get in the car, and there was my bracelet on the driver's seat. To others, maybe even you, this is an insignificant story. To me, it means I'm loved. By someone who cares about all of me, my joys, my fears, my life, and the things in it. Even bracelets.

I know Jesus Christ is real. In the same way I've felt my Father in Heaven's love for me, I have felt His. I know that He cares for us in a way that is unique to any other being who has ever, or will ever, live on the Earth, because of what He did for us. I love Him more than I can adequately express. In some of my darkest times and deepest sadness, I've felt Him there. The last five years of my life haven't been a cake walk. At least not for me. On paper they probably look like a cake walk. They're probably even laughable to some. But I've had a lot of dark days. Days when I was so overwhelmed by confusion, self-doubt, depression or anxiety that it was almost paralyzing. It took all my energy on some of those days just to get myself out the door and go through the motions. But it was in those low times - you know the kind...where curling up in the fetal position and crying for hours seems more relevant than any other task you have on your to-do list that day - it was in those moments that I really came to know that I do have a Savior. He is real. He was probably closer to me in those times than I will ever realize. And I love Him.

I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I preached and testified and prayed with people about this for a year and a half. I asked the same question of God myself, and I got my answer. I've had my moments just like anyone. Because...Joseph Smith's story is crazy. Miraculous, but crazy. For me, it all comes back to that first thing I know: I know I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. If He loves me, and I know and trust He does, why would He lead me down a path, in a church for so many years without warning, or leading me somewhere else that is more correct? God would not do that to His children. He won't do that to me.

I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I know it. I live it. Which is probably the most powerful testimony I could give you.

A common thread I've seen with people who walk away is that they have made this decision based on "research" they've done about the church. I can't sit here and condemn them for that. But I never hear or read of anyone who decided to pick up the Book of Mormon just one more time. I have yet to hear in someone's exiting statement that they really poured out their heart to God when they were thinking about leaving the church, or even one mention on prayer. I never hear them say, so I decided to put my whole soul into living the gospel just one more time. Now...maybe they did do that. I don't know. But it seems to me that if they had, it would've made an appearance in their lengthy Facebook statuses along with their other "research", and maybe, just maybe, those statuses wouldn't have been written. They also all claim it is in pursuit of a happier life and that they are, indeed, happier now. Well, who am I to dispute? It is all about "whatever makes you happy" these days. And I'm all about a happy life, don't get me wrong. But I don't care who you are, what lifestyle you choose to live, or where you choose to live that lifestyle - sadness and trials will come, regardless. They'll come to the Buddhist, Atheist and Mormon alike. They don't come because of your faith, or lack thereof...they come because you're human. And you're living a life.

 I'm not sure what the true underlying feelings, emotions or desires have caused people in my life to walk away from God, and it really isn't my place to tell any of them, or you, what to do (because that wouldn't be very P.C. of me),'re my family. So...please don't walk away from this! Please always give the gospel one more chance. Being in the temple with (almost) all of you on my wedding day was one of the happiest moments of my life. One I had thought about from the time I first stepped into a celestial room. It is such a miracle that we have each other and our faith. I'm sure all of you are doing just fine, but I wanted to plead with you nonetheless. :)

Alright, I think I've rambled on long enough. Those are a few things I know, and some more things that I think, inspired by a few things people have claimed to be untrue. Just know that I know. And I choose to live my life, whatever it may bring, as a believer in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


there are some things that can't be fixed.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Oh for overdone cuteness

Crazy? - probably. A little ridiculous? - perhaps. Overly sweet & sappy & totally adorable? - YES. Well, at least in my opinion. :)

Check out long distance relationship pillows!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Little inspirations

Gosh dangit...these get me every time.

Watching this gets me more excited. : )
6 days.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Is this real life?'s time. Almost. But it might as well be next week with how I've been feeling the past two days, which is kind of like this kid (^).

Two months ago, November 9th seemed light years away! Now it's staring me in the face & it's so close I hardly have room to breathe! (For those of you who have no idea why November 9th holds any significance, check it out.) 

Being a girl, and being me, I want to address basically one thing in this entry: feelings. They are something that have been a hot topic of conversation the past couple months. I can't even tell you how many times I've been asked if I'm excited. By gads of people. Pretty much on a daily basis.

Where to start? Two months ago I had no idea how I felt about this new adventure, with the exception of one thing: I knew it was right for me to go. I mean it is right. But even now, after countless prayers & peaceful confirmations, I'm still a little unsure. I guess that's the only way to describe how I'm "feeling" at the moment. & as you know, I've been given plenty of opportunities to evaluate my feelings. The only thing I can really compare it to is going away to college for the first time.

I remember waking up the morning my parents were to drive me to BYU-Idaho campus and leave me there. For four long months. Once again, much like now, my emotions didn't know what to do, so they did the most logical thing: nothing. I didn't really feel a thing about going off to live on my own for the first time ever. Even as we loaded ourselves into the big green van, which was stuffed to the top with all my "stuff", it was like we were going to get some eggs at the grocery store. You know, something totally mundane and everyday.

It wasn't until we saw the school, until we actually saw the "BYU-Idaho" sign, that I started to sense my "old" life slipping away into the past, and reality hit. I was really doing this. I was really going to live on my own for an entire four months! It was jarring, and a little bit nerve racking, but as soon as my parents hugged me goodbye I walked back into my apartment, looked around, and said to myself, "Pft. College is going to be a cinch!" And you know what? It kind of was. In fact, I don't think it was until a few weeks in that I thought, "Hmm...maybe I should give my parents a call. I like them. I should let them know how I'm doing." & Now, three years later, and maybe even wiser (?), I realize that it wasn't college that scared me, it was the unknown.

Today, just a short week away from a the start of something new, it's the same. The unknown is staring me down. It's daring me to come and explore.

Advice is fantastic! It's great. I love it! And I was given LOTS of it before I left for school. Especially concerning dishes, and dating, how to deal with dumb roommates - the usual. But when it comes down to it, you just don't know until you do it. Between stories of broken hearts and dumping dishes onto roommates beds because they just wouldn't wash them, I was a little freaked out. But our imaginations sometimes make reality out to be a lot scarier than it actually is. College was, and is, great! I loved it! I only had one crazy roommate (well, two. But one of them was my best friend so...) whose mom cussed me out at the end of the semester, met some great people, had a couple romps in the snow, and got my heart broken for the first time ever! So all in all, it was a total success. Not scary!

So a mission...let's start with the fact that I've been told, I don't know how many times, that it's going to the best and worst year and a half of my life. Some of the highest highs and some of the lowest lows. I would be lying if I said that that doesn't cause me to pause and reflect a little bit every time I hear it. Not to mention it's hard to know what to say to someone when they do say that to you -
"So a mission! You're going to love it. It's so wonderful. It's going to be some of the best times of your life. And some of the worst. ...Good luck!"
"...Thank you?"
I guess it has made me, on multiple occasions, reevaluate why I'm going. Why in the world am I leaving behind my life for 18 months to go to Denver where it's cold and they have four seasons, to wake up at 6:30 am every morning, live the same routine every day, talk to complete strangers about one of the most faux pas subjects ever - religion -  and most likely get made fun of and have doors slammed in my face while doing it?

Well, it's pretty simple. I love the gospel. I love my religion. I know it's true. I know the joy that it brings me, and if God wants me to go get a few doors slammed in my face so that just maybe one person can have that same happiness, then so be it. I excited? Am I nervous? Am I ready?
I guess. Yes. And no.

Tell you what - let's reconvene in 18 months and then we can talk about how I'm feeling. : )

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My poor children...

...I have no other words for this.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

So they tell me...

SO my dad informed me a few nights ago that one of the biggest problems new missionaries face is social distress. WHAT?! No Facebook? No texting? No BLOGGING?! EVER?! FOR A YEAR AND A HALF?! Well, I don't know if I'll fit in the category of those suffering from face-to-face/real communication, but just in case I am, I'm going to start weening myself from Facebook. SO I just got a great idea!! Every time I want to update my status, I'll write it in my journal instead! Isn't that cute?! I bet that's just what they did in the old days. They wrote down (in 140 characters or less, of course) what kind of mood they were in, or whatever they were feeling, and then passed it around the campfire for everyone to read. It took a lot longer, naturally, and some probably developed extreme double personalities, but at least it gave everyone a chance to vent, right?

"I don't do that. I do this."

Sometime last year (I think?) I started a long-term relationship with Seinfeld. It's true. Some time before that my sister discovered these shorts made by American Express for American Express. While they're, obviously, a plug for the company, the videos are SO funny! Plus, the guy who does the voice for Superman is also the voice of Kronk. Could it get much better? Just... watch them. Love them. Then, afterwards, you can sing along to this: