Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Three Tips For LDS Youth Heading Back To School

The back-to-school season is like a New Year in August. A time for new beginnings, setting new goals, and making changes to better oneself. The daily grind of tests, homework, and school can wear on anyone after a while, but I know that these three tips can bless the lives of LDS youth (or anyone really) heading into this new school year. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

10 of Elder Holland's Best Quotes about Dating and Marriage

Faith has everything do do with romance
“Believe that your faith has everything to do with your romance, because it does. You separate dating from discipleship at your peril. Or, to phrase that more positively, Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, is the only lamp by which you can successfully see the path of love and happiness for you and for your sweetheart.”
"How Do I Love Thee?" BYU Devotional, February 15, 2000

Love is what you go through together
I still think the best definition of marital love is James Thurber’s, who said simply that love is what you go through together. I will be eternally grateful for what Pat was willing to go through with me—that she did not feel I had to have my degree and a car and a home and a career all in hand before we could marry.”
"Be Not Afraid, Only Believe" CES Devotional, February 6, 2015

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Mastering Optimism in Three Easy Steps

“Kids are the worst!”

This phrase has become a family joke, used to diffuse frustrations in parenting. Most often, it’s in response to a child’s mischief of one kind or another. For example, my brother might call to moan that he hasn’t slept in nearly two years, since his daughter was born. I might respond, “I hear you,” followed by, “Kids are the worst!” (For the record, I love my children and do not truly believe they are the worst.) The joke has helped put tough parenting moments in perspective. Made in complete jest, it gets a good laugh and helps remind us that no parent has perfect days. Let’s face it; there are moments when “the only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it…[because] crying [will give you] a headache.”1

Light-hearted banter about life’s difficulties is one thing, but constantly complaining is no laughing matter. It’s human nature to criticize, grumble, find fault, and murmur. When we seem more likely to “mourn, or think our lot is hard,” how do we begin to see that “all is well"?2 How do we “refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude”?3 Develop gratitude, and you become more optimistic.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

How Connecting with Church History Has Strengthened My Testimony and Blessed My Life

Last month, we commemorated the anniversary of the Latter-day Saint pioneers' arrival in the Great Salt Lake Valley. I am grateful for each and every sacrifice they made to help pave the way for me to be where I am today, that I might have the opportunity to prepare to meet God.

When I think about the early pioneers in Church history, my first thoughts are that I have no heritage in Church history and my knowledge of Church history is fairly limited. My husband, Tom, and I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1974, so Church history for us is a mere 42 years, which doesn’t seem like very deep roots. But then as I pondered this, I realized the Church was restored only 186 years ago. So even though I have no ancestors who were there in the beginning, I have actually been a part of this great organization for almost one-quarter of its existence. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

3 Considerations When You Have Spiritual Questions, Doubts, and Confusion

Sometimes in life, events happen that shake our spiritual foundation and leave us with questions, doubts, confusion, or unresolved feelings. We might find ourselves at a crossroads or a standstill, not sure of what to do next. Here are three questions to ask yourself that will help sustain you in a world where it is becoming more and more difficult to discern the darkness from the light.

1. How’s My Vision?

In July of 1952, Florence Chadwick attempted to swim 26 miles between Catalina Island and the California shore. This was not her first attempt at a long-distance swim in open water, as she had already swum the English Channel twice. Small boats surrounded her, keeping her safe from sharks and ready to offer aid if needed. After about 15 hours of swimming, a thick fog emerged. She could not see the coast, the water was chilly, and fatigue crept in. When she asked to be pulled out of the water, her mother, in a boat alongside her, tried to reassure Florence that the shore was near. Still, the physical and emotional exhaustion was too much and she stopped swimming. Sitting in the boat, she realized that the shore was less than a mile away. In a news conference the next day she said, “All I could see was the fog…I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.” Two months later she attempted to swim the same channel. Again, a thick fog set in, but this time she kept a mental image of the shoreline and she was able to succeed in reaching the shore.1