Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My Body Won't Let Me Fast: 5 Ways I Do My Best, Anyway

My doctors won’t let me fast.

Rather, the dozen or so medications they have prescribed to help battle terminal cancer, many that must be taken with food, make it nearly impossible to go without even one meal a day.  This is yet another one of cancer’s effects on my daily life, which has forced my family and I to develop our “new church normal.”

Even though I am not physically able to actually go without food and participate in a “proper fast,” I have learned there are several actions I can take to be in the proper spirit of fasting and prayer, even when my physical body prevents me from following a fast to the letter of the law.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Book of Mormon: What Is Uniquely Ours?

President Thomas S. Monson’s powerful witness of the Book of Mormon in April 2017 general conference and his invitation to each of us to “prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day” have helped bring a renewed focus on and appreciation for the Book of Mormon into my life this month. President Monson’s message has also helped me recall some of the building blocks of my own testimony of the Book of Mormon.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Is Easter Pointless?

I love the first couple of weeks after any major holiday, Easter is no exception. As my ever so thrifty mother and grandmother have taught me, the best deals for next year’s holidays happen just after this year’s. I have observed time and time again that upon entering any major retailer for the first couple of weeks after a holiday there will be found many discounted eggs, decorations and cheap chocolate. The deals are unbeatable and who doesn’t like to stock up?

I recently went to the store for exactly this reason. As I perused the aisles I observed that, though there were bunnies and chicks and eggs, there weren’t near as many decorations or themes as there are for other holidays. This brought to mind a conversation that I recently overheard exploring the apparent lack of purpose for Easter and asking why we even celebrated such a boring holiday. A boring holiday… I have to admit that at times the reason for the season can be forgotten behind the egg hunts and dresses and baskets. But Easter is the farthest from “boring” or “pointless” that it could be.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

I Like General Conference Better After It’s Over

I’m one of those church members who often feels guilty about the fact that I don’t like General Conference.  Don’t get me wrong.  I sustain our church leaders, love the messages that come from their talks, and enjoy the spiritual renewal from personal revelation and answers to prayers that often accompanies General Conference.  However, these things usually happen for me the week after conference is over and into the following months, once the text and videos are released online and in printed form.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

#LDSconf Wallpapers For Your Phone

Every six months LDS Conference helps build our faith and strengthens our resolve to do better and be more Christlike. We took six of our favorite quotes from this past weekend and created wallpapers that can be saved to your phone and then set as your lock screen or background. This is a fun and easy way to remain focused your goals for the next six months.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

General Conference Provided an Answer I Didn't Know I Needed

The circumstances leading up to general conference last spring were no different for me than the session six months prior to that, except that I found myself in a new leadership position in my ward. As I prepared to participate in conference, there were a couple of specific questions surrounding my new calling that led me to seek answers from the Lord during that special time of instruction, which, as has been promised by our leaders, were revealed to me by the time conference was over.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

How Pizza Strengthened My Testimony

I have often found myself repeating this phrase, “It has come to pass; it has not come to stay.” I use it to channel and concentrate my efforts to maintain a positive perspective during the trying times of my life. My own experiences include trials such as group projects, illnesses and being the “new kid” at school or work; though the concept could apply to any kind of difficulty. These last few weeks I have pondered how this concept of endurance has made an impact on my state of mind and in my life. I wondered what the most impactful experience that I had while channeling this idea was.

Some of you may be empathetic, but I imagine that most will be surprised by the answer: wedding planning.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Quarterbacking Through the Ups and Downs of Life -- Texas A&M Quarterback Trevor Knight

The LDS youth in College Station, Texas had a recent fireside where the speakers weren’t members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but were Christian athletes from Texas A&M University. This is part two of three in a series highlighting the events and stories told from that evening.

Former Texas A&M quarterback, Trevor Knight, doesn’t remember a time when he didn’t love sports. From an early age, he could be found with a ball in his hand and dressed like the athletes he watched on TV. Not only did he love playing sports; he was good at them, too. Really good.

“Me and my twin were bigger kids growing up, and we would have to bring our birth certificates to T-ball games to prove our age,” Knight said. “Some parents would get a little upset because I would hit an inside the park home run, then my brother, who is a little bit bigger than me, would hit it over the fence every at bat."

Knight didn’t only see success on the T-ball diamond, but in other sports as well—especially football. As a sophomore in high school, Knight was named starting varsity quarterback, a big deal in Texas where high school football is revered.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What Makes a House a Home?

Merriam-Webster assigns this definition to the word ‘word’: “A speech sound or series of speech sounds that symbolizes and communicates a meaning.” As a communicator and a lover of linguistics, that fascinates me. It is intriguing how a “speech sound” can be powerful enough to evoke in us emotion, move us to action, and prompt us to reminisce or even ponder future possibilities. It is equally intriguing how words are defined one way in a particular area, culture, or generation and can completely change in another. Some words even have essentially the same meaning, according to the dictionary, but a completely different essence in society.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

New Year, New Me: See Myself the Way Christ Sees Me

The new year brings with it that tradition of making resolutions. These goals seem to regularly focus on changing what we don’t like about ourselves, often such lofty changes that are so far beyond our reach that we abandon them by the 5th week of the year. I love this time of year, and have learned through experience that it’s best to use resolutions as a way of making goals that I know I can achieve.

I haven’t quite made an official list of specific goals for the year, but the thought of how I can become better has been on my mind. I have come up with a theme for my year, and that is to not be so hard on myself and others.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

How An Olympian Learned To Trust In The Lord

The LDS youth in College Station, Texas had a recent fireside where the speakers weren’t members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but were Christian athletes from Texas A&M University. This is part one of three in a series highlighting the events and stories told from that evening.

Stephanie Malherbe is an accounting major at Texas A&M University and a midfielder on the Aggie women’s soccer team. Never before did she imagine the title of “Olympic athlete” would follow her name.

“The Olympics were never in my plans,” Malherbe said. “I was very content playing soccer at A&M and enjoying my time. It wasn't something I had aspirations to do, and it wasn't something that I really thought about.”