Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 60+8 ~ My New Year's Goals

Day 68:
-Read: Helaman 1-3
-Mark: Helaman 3:35

"If Satan can succeed in creating in us the pastime of arguing, quarreling, and contention, it is easier for him to bind us with heavier sins which can destroy our eternal lives."
~Elder Marvin J. Ashton

Something to think about: How can you avoid contention in your family and other relationships?

That question should be an easy primary-type answers easy. Just try to see others as Christ does. Don't let emotions get the best of you. Be in control. When you start feeling angry, try to stop and think: is it reasonable? And think before acting....Don't lash out! Feelings get hurt that way, and walls get built up. No one likes having to repair the damage done.

I personally think we are much more attractive people when we choose to be happy!!! Have you wondered how ugly you look when you are angry and getting after someone? Think about it. Would you rather look like this?

Or like this? :)
Just take time to evaluate yourself and how you want to be represented. When you have the spirit and light of Christ in your life, people will be able to see it through your face and how you carry yourself.

Happy New Year, everyone!
Here are some things I'm hoping to accomplish during this New Year:
-Read the Book of Mormon again
-Get accepted into the SUU nursing program
-(Hopefully) raise my GPA or just maintain it enough to keep my scholarship
-Learn to play my guitar and
-Touch up on the Piano.....I haven't played for so long that I kinda really suck now! :(
-Write a song ~(Not sure what I think about this one yet.)
-See the Olympic trials of track LIVE in Eugene, Oregon (oh wait! That's already gonna happen! :) )
-Establish better eating habits and
-Lose up to (but not more than) 15 pounds
-Not spend as much time on facebook --this one will be a hard one
-Write in my journal more often
-Go to a concert
-Let my hair grow out long again
-Kiss my crush
-Train and run another half marathon in the summer (still thinking about it...)
-Always try to stay happy and find the goodness in all things!!!
-Pray morning and night
-Love myself and see myself how God does.
Those are what I could think up for now....maybe I shall add a few more later.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 67

Day 68:
-Read: Alma 62-63
-Mark: Alma 62:41

"These people all had basically the same experience. The war was the same length for all people; yet out of the same experience some were hardened and some were softened. What made the difference? It was what they thought of God and His Son."
~C. Max Caldwell

Something to think about: When you experience trials, do you feel your heart is hardened or softened? What can you do to improve your thoughts of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? How do you think this will help to soften your heart?

Do I feel my heart is hardened or softened? Hmm...well, when I'm going through rough times at first I tend to feel upset/mad/hurt/scared/victimized/etc. because obviously no one likes to have a bad time, am I right? But then I try and snap out of it ASAP, and find what God is trying to teach me from going through that particular trial. My heart becomes softened when I realize what I've learned, and how much stronger I've become. In the moment it is hardest to see.....but looking back on things I can see the "new me." We honestly can't live our lives without God. Truly. Without him we are n.o.t.h.i.n.g.

Sometimes we so easily forget that He's there, waiting and wanting to converse with us. He loves us, and loves being able to talk with us and help us to be the happiest we can be.

When you are going through tough times, don't continually feel so sorry for yourself or think it's the end of the world; that is Satan taking over. Try to look past those feelings and change them. Instead of trying to change the problem, maybe try to change the light in which you see the problem. Look at it differently! Pray for comfort and guidance--The peace will follow if you continually strive to do what is right and especially if you are asking God to be on your side.

If that still isn't working for ya (which hopefully it will), get off your butt and go serve someone! That always brightens my day :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 66

Day 66:
-Read: Alma 60-61
-Mark: Alma 60:20

"When you look in the dictionary for the most important word, do you know what it is? It could be remember…our greatest need is to remember.”
~ President Spencer W. Kimball

“Satan wants us to be slow to remember what we have received and heard. He wants us to minimize and even forget the quiet witnesses of the Spirit that have told us who we really are.”
~ Sister Susan L. Warner

Something to think about: What helps you to not forget the spiritual experiences you’ve had?

It's important to remember things, because otherwise....we would always forget! Just think, if we weren't able to remember things, how would we even excel in life? For example, if you study for an AP Statistics exam that you have coming up, and you get into the test but can't recall a darn thing: that's a problem. It's the same with the gospel. If you learn new things that you should be applying to your life to make you a happier and better person, and to stay close to the spirit, but all you do is forget those things: you will have a lot of heartache and repenting to go through.

But you have to remember (<--haha) that if you have done something wrong, but you do repent of it....the Lord will forgive us and FORGET.
What!?? Aren't we supposed to be remembering? Yes. Just remember that you did something wrong and not to do it again, but don't sit and dwell on it and think about it forever and ever. Once you've repented...MOVE ON. Otherwise you will continue to hurt, and the Lord definitely doesn't want that.

Remember the good times, but don't forget the bad....just don't let it reside in your heart.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day 65.

Day 65:
-Read: Alma 57-59
-Mark: 57:27, 58:11-12

"He whose name this church bears has promised that He will be in our midst, lead us along, go before us, and even fight our battles. He has further counseled, ‘Be not afraid of your enemies,
for I have decreed in my heart … that I will prove you in all things, whether you will abide in my covenant, even unto death, that you may be found worthy’ (D&C 98:14).”
~ Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Something to think about: How can the Lord help you to overcome fear?

Well, you know they always say "With God, nothing is impossible." It's true doctrine! :) Do you believe it? I know I do. Well, I'm becoming to believe it, and to live it in my life (meaning I'm having the faith that I can do anything with God on my team!) So, if with God, nothing is impossible, then God can help us to overcome any fears we might have.....right? We just need pray to Him and ask Him to comfort us. If you have enough faith, then He will.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 64

Day 64:
Use your reading chart to find the chapters you still need to read through ALMA 56


IF you're up-to-date with your reading, take time to study Alma 42.

Something to think about: What things does Alma teach about the plan of salvation? How can God be "a perfect, just God and a merciful God" also?

So, today I gratefully used the "get back on schedule" dealio. Yesterday I was gone basically all day, running errands and working an 8-hour shift at the nursing home. So I had to read my last chapter today. So that's what I did! Sorry this is so late and that I don't have much to say today.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 63

Day 63:
-Read: Alma 55-56
-Mark: Alma 56:47-48

"We need more mothers who know the truth, whose children do not doubt their mothers know it."
~Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Something to think about: What important lessons have you learned from your mother?

My mother has taught me so many things. 19 (almost 20) years worth of things!
Here are just a few that my mother has so graciously taught me:

-to work hard until I get what I want (especially with schooling....she loves school and is an exceptional student)
-to laugh until I cry and just enjoy life

-a few cooking skills here and there --but NOT decorating ;)
-to never give up on myself and to push through the hard times
-organization skills (although I'm still not the best at actually following through what I know haha)
- how to serve others before myself
-to love unconditionally
-love of music

-how to develop a relationship with my Heavenly Father
-and much much more!

I love you Mama :) So grateful you're mine!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 61 and Trouble at the Inn

Day 61:
-Read: Alma 50-51
-Mark: Alma 50:19

"Mormon wants to teach what will be of most worth to us, and his use of the words thus and thus we see make the lessons easier to recognize and understand. Pay close attention to the 'thus we see' phrases in the Book of Mormon. Here Mormon wants you to understand that the Lord is keeping His word to Lehi and blessing the Nephites with prosperity when they keep the commandments."
~Elder Henry B. Eyring

Something to think about: In what ways has the Lord kept his word to you?

Since it's Christmas Eve......I just wanted to share a good Christmas story with you all. (I'll probably share one tomorrow as well). The story I want to share today is called "Trouble at the Inn."

For many years now, whenever Christmas pageants are talked about in a certain little town in the Midwest, someone is sure to mention the name of Wallace Purling. Wally’s performance in one annual production of the Nativity play has slipped into the realm of legend. But the old timers who were in the audience that night never tire of recalling what happened.

Wally was nine that year and in the second grade, though he should have been in the fourth. Most people in town knew that he had difficulty in keeping up. He was big and clumsy, slow in movement and mind. Still, Wally was well liked by the other children in his class, all of whom were smaller than he. The boys had trouble hiding their irritation if the uncoordinated Wally asked to play ball with them (or any game, for that matter, in which winning was important.)

Most often they’d find a way to keep him out, but Wally would hang around anyway—not sulking, just hoping. He was always a helpful boy, a willing and smiling one, and the natural protector of the underdog. Sometimes if the older boys chased the younger ones away, it would always be Wally who’d say, “Can’t they stay? They’re no bother.”

Wally fancied the idea of being a shepherd with a flute in the Christmas pageant that year, but the play’s director, Miss Lumbard, assigned him to a more important role. After all, she reasoned, the Innkeeper did not have too many lines, and Wally’s size would make his refusal of lodging to Joseph more forceful.

And so it happened that the usual large, partisan audience gathered for the town’s yearly extravaganza of beards, crowns, halos and a whole stageful of squeaky voices. No one on stage or off was more caught up in the magic of the night than Wallace Purling. They said later that he stood in the wings and watched the performance with such fascination that from time to time Miss Lumbard had to make sure he didn’t wander onstage before his cue.

Then the time came when Joseph appeared, slowly, tenderly guiding Mary to the door of the inn. Joseph knocked hard on the wooden door set into the painted backdrop. Wally the Innkeeper was there, waiting.

“What do you want?” Wally said, swinging the door open with a brusque gesture.
“We seek lodging.”
“Seek it elsewhere.” Wally looked straight ahead, but spoke vigorously. “The inn is filled.”
“Sir, we have asked everywhere in vain. We have traveled far and are very weary.”
“There is no room for you in this inn.” Wally looked properly stern.
“Please, good innkeeper, this is my wife, Mary. She is heavy with child and needs a place to rest.
Surely you must have some small corner for her. She is so tired.”

Now, for the first time, the Innkeeper relaxed his stiff stance and looked down at Mary. With that, there was a long pause, long enough to make the audience a bit tense with embarrassment.

“No! Begone!” the prompter whispered from the wings.
“No!” Wally repeated automatically. “Begone!”

Joseph sadly placed his arm around Mary, and Mary laid her head upon her husband's shoulder, and the two of them started to move away. The Innkeeper did not return inside his inn, however. Wally stood there in the doorway, watching the forlorn couple. His mouth was open, his brow creased with concern, his eyes filling unmistakably with tears.

“Don’t go, Joseph,” Wally called out. “Bring Mary back.” And Wallace Purling’s face grew into a bright smile. “You can have my room.”

Some people in town thought that the pageant had been ruined. Yet there were others—many, many others—who considered it the most Christmas of all Christmas pageants they had ever seen.

I personally love this story. It's one of my favorite Christmas stories. I think it's just the sweetest thing and shows such a good, Christ-like example. Do something kind for someone this holiday season.....reach out with all the love you can give!!

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone :) Don't forget the true meaning of this holiday season.

Day 62 and Two Babes in a Manger

Day 62:
-Read: Alma 52-54
-Mark: Alma 53: 20-21

"In the spiritual battles you are waging, I see you as today's sons of Helaman."
~President Ezra Taft Benson

In the spirit of Christmas, I wanted to share with you another wonderful story. It's called "Two Babes in a Manger."

In 1994, two Americans answered an invitation from the Russian Department of Education to teach morals and ethics (based on biblical principles) in the public schools. They were invited to teach at prisons, businesses, the fire and police departments and a large orphanage. About 100 boys and girls who had been abandoned, abused, and left in the care of a government-run program were in the orphanage. They relate the following story in their own words:

It was nearing the holiday season, 1994, time for our orphans to hear, for the first time, the traditional story of Christmas. We told them about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem. Finding no room in the inn, the couple went to a stable, where the baby Jesus was born and placed in a manger.

Throughout the story, the children and orphanage staff sat in amazement as they listened. Some sat on the edges of their stools, trying to grasp every word. Completing the story, we gave the children three small pieces of cardboard to make a crude manger. Each child was given a small paper square, cut from yellow napkins I had brought with me. No colored paper was available in the city.

Following instructions, the children tore the paper and carefully laid strips in the manger for straw. Small squares of flannel, cut from a worn-out nightgown an American lady was throwing away as she left Russia, were used for the baby's blanket. A doll-like baby was cut from tan felt we had brought from the United States. The orphans were busy assembling their manger as I walked among them to see if they needed any help.

All went well until I got to one table where little Misha sat. He looked to be about 6 years old and had finished his project. As I looked at the little boy's manger, I was startled to see not one, but two babies in the manger. Quickly, I called for the translator to ask the lad why there were two babies in the manger. Crossing his arms in front of him and looking at this completed manger scene, the child began to repeat the story very seriously. For such a young boy, who had only heard the Christmas story once, he related the happenings accurately-until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger.

Then Misha started to ad-lib. He made up his own ending to the story as he said, "And when Maria laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him I have no mamma and I have no papa, so I don't have any place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with him. But I told him I couldn't, because I didn't have a gift to give him like everybody else did.

But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, so I thought about what I had that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe if I kept him warm, that would be a good gift. So I asked Jesus, "If I keep you warm, will that be a good enough gift?" And Jesus told me, "If you keep me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave me." "So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and he told me I could stay with him---for always."

As little Misha finished his story, his eyes brimmed full of tears that splashed down his little cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed. The little orphan had found someone who would never abandon nor abuse him, someone who would stay with him-FOR ALWAYS. I've learned that it's not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that counts.

"Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17)

I hope all of you have had very Merry Christmases! I know mine was sure great. I love being able to spend time with my family :) Also, they kind of spoiled me this year, which was unexpected....but I'm grateful for their willingness to give and their kind hearts. Love you all!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day 60

Day 60:
-Read: Alma 47-49
-Mark: Alma 48:11-13, 17

"Be true to your own convictions. You know what is right, and you know what is wrong. You know when you are doing the proper thing...We need not fear as long as we have in our lives the power that comes from righteously living by the truth."
~President Gordon B. Hinckley

Something to think about: The Lamanites did not want to go to battle against the Nephites, but they also did not want to displease the king (Alma 47:2). Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to do the right thing, but were afraid you would displease someone? Why is it always better to do the right thing than to worry about what others might think of you?

Just thinking about the above questions.......We live in a world nowadays where we care too much about the outside things and about what others think of us, when in reality: it doesn't matter!! All that matters is what God thinks of us. All we can do is live as best and righteously as we possibly can. I like this quote I found from President Uchtdorf. I think he say it quite beautifully:

"God does not look on the outward appearance. I believe that He doesn't care one bit if we live in a castle or a cottage, if we are handsome or homely, if we are famous or forgotten. Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God's love encompasses us completely."

So why can't we love one another as God does? Why do we put emphasis on the wrong things? I think the world would be so much happier if we could just love others for who they are, and who they have the potential to become. There is no limit to love. God gave us the capacity to love everyone. Just like the primary children's song: "Jesus says love everyone, treat them kindly too. When you're heart is filled with love, others will love you." We go to school and learn so many marvelous things........why can't we learn unconditional love?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 59

Yay!!!! My blog is back to normal!! :)

Day 59:
-Read: Alma 44-46
-Mark: Alma 46:12

"The value of a country rests upon the values of its people. For the people of God, for the people who want peace, for their women and their children, there is only one way, one church, and one Lord."
~Elder Charles Didier

Something to think about: Why do the wicked go to war? How are their motives different from the reasons why the righteous go to war?

Because I'm so excited to have my blog working as it should I just thought I'd post some random pictures :)

What do y'all think about this young man's decision to serve an LDS mission?? I'm pretty excited about it :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day 58

Ok...I am really starting to get annoyed with Blogger not working I'm sorry for how boring these blogs are going to look. I guess it's the content that really matters anyway, right?

Day 58:
-Read: Alma 42-43
-Mark: Alma 42:14-15

"How great the wisdom and the love
That filled the courts on high
And sent the Savior from above
To suffer, bleed and die!"
~Hymn 195

Something to think about: How does understanding the Fall help you more fully love Jesus and appreciate what He did for us?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 57

Day 57:

Use your reading chart to find the chapters you still need to read to be caught up through:
Alma 41


If you are already up-to-date with your reading, take the time to study:
Alma 32

Something to think about: To what does Alma liken the seed? Why is faith important for the seed to grow? How can you know if it is a good seed?

I decided to read Richard G. Scott's talk entitled "Trust in the Lord" (1989). Blogger is being dumb again, so I'm going to post the link to it:

It is a good talk! Some things that stood out to me that he said:

"In many ways, the world is like a jungle, with dangers that can harm or mutilate your body, enslave or destroy your mind, or decimate your morality. It was intended that life be a challenge, not so that you would fail, but that you might succeed through overcoming. You face on every hand difficult but vitally important decisions. There is an array of temptations, destructive influences, and camouflaged dangers, the like of which no previous generation has faced. I am persuaded that today no one, no matter how gifted, strong, or intelligent, will avoid serious problems without seeking the help of the Lord.

I repeat: Don’t face the world alone. Trust in the Lord.

If one of you has seriously sinned, repent—now. It is not good to violate the commandments of the Lord. It is worse to do nothing about it. Sin is like cancer in the body. It will never heal itself. It will become progressively worse unless cured through the medicine of repentance. You can be made completely whole, new, purified, and clean every whit, through the miracle of repentance.

Trust in the Lord. He knows what He is doing. He already knows of your problems. And He is waiting for you to ask for help."

"If you have had such feelings of depression, turn around—literally turn your life around. The other end of the tunnel is filled with light. No matter where you have been or what you have done, that light is always available to you. Satan will try to convince you that you have gone too far to be saved. That is a lie. You will need some help to get started. The scriptures are a good place to begin. A father, mother, brother, sister, bishop, or friend will help. As you move nearer the light through repentance, you will feel better about yourself and more confident in your future. You will rediscover how wonderful life really is.

The Savior gave his life that you and I can correct mistakes, even the most serious ones. His plan is perfect. It always works for each one who follows the rules."

Satan is sneakier than we think. He knows how our minds work. He wants us to feel depressed and delight in doing wrong, because he knows the pain that follows. He can't feel the joy and light of Christ like we can, and that drives him bonkers! Don't EVER give up if you've sinned. There is always another chance when it comes to the Lord. He will never turn you away if you want to change and try again.

Monday, December 19, 2011

56th Day!

Day 56:
-Read: Alma 39-41
-Mark: Alma 41:10

"You cannot do wrong and feel right. It is impossible."
~President Ezra Taft Benson

Something to think about: Alma uses 4 chapters (39-42) to counsel his son Corianton to repent. How important is it to you to follow the counsel of your parents and other righteous priesthood leaders? Read Alma 36:20. During the time Alma was racked with torment for his sins whose words did he remember that caused him to cry our for forgiveness?

Ok....I can't post any pics like I wanted, or do any bolding or italicizing cuz blogger is being dumb. So I guess this is it for now..

Sunday, December 18, 2011

DAY 55

Day 55
-Read: Alma 37-38
-Mark: Alma 37:35-37

“I have little or no fear for the young man or the young woman, who honestly and conscientiously supplicate God twice a day for the guidance of His Spirit. I am sure that when the temptation comes they have strength to overcome it by the inspiration that shall be given to them. Supplicating the Lord for the guidance of His Spirit places around us a safeguard, and if we….honestly seek the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord, I can assure you that we will receive it.”
~ President Heber J. Grant

Something to think about: What are some things you talk to the Lord about? How does He direct you for good?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Days 53 & 54/Cove Fort

Well guys.....I have some sad news. Yesterday was the first day I missed my reading!! Not that you care, but I got up and finished packing to come home for Christmas break, had a friend help check my oil/tires/etc. to make sure I was good to drive home, and then me and my roommate Ruth left and drove 3 hours to my home in Mapleton. It actually took us longer than normal, cuz we decided to stop and see "Cove Fort" (just south of Fillmore). It was really neat--even though it was completely freezing, we were so glad that we took the time to stop. Anyway.. We got home and then basically hurried and got ready and ate dinner before going to the j.wride Christmas concert in Pleasant Grove! Then by the time we got back from that, we were tired from driving all day and decided to head to bed. I tried reading before going to sleep, but by that point I just couldn't do it. Sad, huh? I was on a winning streak! Oh well. I made up for it today and now I'm caught back up.

Day 53:
-Read: Alma 32-33
-Mark: Alma 32:21

"Of all our needs, I think the greatest is an increase of faith."
~President Gordon B. Hinckley

Something to think about: How often do you exercise faith? What difference can “a particle
of faith” make in our actions? (see Matthew 17:20)

Day 54:
-Read: Alma 34-36
-Mark: Alma 34:32-33

“The thought of intentionally committing serious sin now and
repenting later is perilously wrong. Never do that. Many start
that journey of intentional transgression and never make it back.
Premeditated sin has greater penalties and is harder to overcome.
If there is sin, repent now—while you can.”
~ Elder Richard G. Scott

Something to think about: What does Satan do to try to keep you from repenting?
How many reasons can you think of or why it’s important to repent now?

Okay, so I actually wanna go back to talking about Cove Fort. I just wanna tell y'all a little about it!
Cove Fort was founded by Ira Hinckley in 1867. (Ira Hinckley is the paternal grandfather of President Gordon B. Hinckley). Anyway, it was built at the request of President Brigham Young. If I remember correctly, the base of the walls are 4 feet thick and are 2 feet by the time you reach the top. They are 18 feet in height and are made of black volcanic rock and a dark limestone. The thick walls were to try and keep Indians out. But later, the early pioneers actually befriended them after feeding them.

"Cove Fort was constructed as a safe stop for travelers, where they could find shelter, fresh water, and feed for livestock." There are many different rooms and also telegraph office that the travelers would use.

Outside there was a huge garden that Ira's wife would use what was produced to cook fine meals to serve to the hungry travelers.

Ruth and I loved seeing what life was like for them. Here are a few pictures we took while there:

You can totally tell it was cold because of our red faces/noses! :)

Front view.

Hey~We match! (We're both wearing my coats cuz hers was packed away in the trunk when we decided to stop by).
It looked so beautiful in the snow! It was kind of windy while we were there as well, but the walls were so well built that when we were touring the inside you couldn't even hear it or tell!
The missionaries were so nice and so welcoming and wanting to show us around (even though it was seriously SO COLD!) I would honestly recommend anyone go and stop by if you ever have the chance. It is worth it :) It was also fun for me to go back there, cuz my first and only memory of going there was with my grandma when I was probably about 5 or 6(?). I was traveling down south with her to visit some relatives and you know how little kids are--they can't sit still, so long car rides are hard! My loving grandmother decided to stop by and take me to Cove Fort. I obviously couldn't remember all the finer details, but I just remember thinking it was a really neat place and having a good feeling while there.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Día 52

Día 52:
-Read: Alma 30-31
-Mark: Alma 30:37-39

He asked Alma to remove the sign (Korihor writes since he was struck dumb.)

"Korihor's arguments sound very contemporary to the modern reader, but Alma used a timeless and ultimately undeniable weapon in response---the power of a personal testimony."
~Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Something to think about: How did Alma respond to Korihor's claim that there is no God?

I just wanna share a random quote that I have that has kinda been on my mind lately (I'm not sure who said it...)

"Be one who nutures and builds.
Be one who has an understanding
and a forgiving heart,
who looks for the best in people.
Leave people better than you found them."

I just think this is a great quote~I know it's kinda random and off topic~but I wanted to share it with y'all! Look for the best in people. Try to seem them as God sees them. Life will be much better if you do.

Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 51

DAY 51:
-Read: Alma 27-29
-Mark: Alma 27:27

True converts are those who "listen to the teachings and testimonies of missionaries and change their lives, leaving the past behind them, and moving forward into a new life."
~President Hinckley

Something to think about: What is zeal? What difference does it make to have "zeal towards God"?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Days 49 & 50

I slacked off on blogging yesterday.....sorry!! So here are days 49 and 50. Can you believe we're already halfway through the Book of Mormon??! So awesome :)

Day 49:
-Read: Alma 24-26
-Mark: Alma 26:11-12

"As children of God we are somebody. He will build us, mold us, and magnify us if we will but hold our heads up, our arms out, and walk with Him. What a great blessing to be created in His image and know of our true potential in and through Him! What a great blessing to know that in His strength we can do all things!"
~Elder Marvin J. Ashton

Something to think about: What do you think some of the "mighty miracles" may be that the Lord will work through you?

Day 50:

Use your reading chart to find the chapters you still need to read to be caught up through:
Alma 26
If you're up to date, take time to study:
Alma 17

Something to think about: What are the things that made the sons of Mosiah successful missionaries? What is your duty in sharing the gospel now and preparing for full-time missionary service?

I don't know about you, but I think that there are many, many ways we can do missionary work. There isn't a limit to where or how you can do this. Whether it be through your example or actually have gospel discussions with people--it's all relatively the same. Recently, I got bashed for posting my links on facebook for this Book of Mormon challenge. This person was getting all upset saying, "The only person you should be telling that you read the Book of Mormon is God...Don't boast religious things..." etc. I told him that I was not boasting at all, but rather giving others the opportunity to do this challenge and gain the awesome experience I've been having with it. Also, posting every day is motivation for me to make sure I read each day, cuz I won't blog until I have read for the day. Anyway, he continued on later in the conversation to say, "I don't think facebook is a way to do missionary work. How many non-member friends do you have? And how many of them do you think read it and say 'Wow, maybe I'll join the church now!'" He accused me of being like the Pharisees, and just continued on in anger.

I didn't want to argue with him (cuz this is really ridiculous, right?) so I just let him go off for a while, not responding which of course made him write even more. Finally I just kindly told him I was done with this conversation and didn't want to argue it.

I guess what I'm getting at is, that no matter HOW you do missionary work, it's still missionary work. I don't write my posts with the intention of converting anyone, or even being a missionary for that matter. But if I say something that really touches someone for good: that's great!

Well, I best be off! My biochemistry final is in half an hour so I need to gather my things and be prepared for this butt-kicking test! (Meaning, I'm going to kick ITS butt!)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 48

Day 48:
-Read: Alma 21-23
-Mark: Alma 22:15-18

"No part of walking by faith is more difficult than walking the road of repentance. However, with 'faith unto repentance,' we can push roadblocks out of the way, moving forward to beg God for mercy... One simply surrenders, caring only about what God thinks, not what 'they' think... Giving away all our sins is the only way we can come to know God."
~Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Something to think about: What are you willing to give to know Him?

In my institute class lately, we've been talking about faith. What does it mean to have faith? What is the opposite of faith? Joseph Smith said, "....Doubt and faith do not exist in the same person at the same time..." Basically fear and faith cannot coexist. One will replace the other. If you don't have faith, you begin to lose hope, and then you'll begin to fear and faith will leave.

President Harold B. Lee (April 1970) said: "The greatest danger among us today is fear. Fear doesn't come of the Lord. Faith and peace are the fruits of the Spirit." If you want to feel peace, you have to have confidence. Part of feeling peace is having confidence in yourself that your faith is good and what answers you might be receiving are right.

Some symptoms of fear may be: hopelessness, lack of confidence, lack of trust in yourself, anxiety, confusion, trying to do it all on your own with no help, trusting too much in the arm of flesh and not listening or trusting the Spirit, the inability to make decisions, or making decisions based upon "What if's" that may never happen.

Faith is a process. The process looks like this:
-----> It starts with HOPE. After hope comes ACTION. After action comes TRIAL. After trial comes KNOWLEDGE. That is FAITH.

Decide today to always trust in the Lord. Have the faith that He knows what is best and if you follow the directions He's given to the prophet, you will be so happy and won't have to worry about the painful process of repentance as much. I promise you won't regret it :)

Good luck with finals week everyone! (If you're in college, that is) Otherwise just have a wonderful week! The Lord loves you and wants the best for you.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 47 ~ Don't get mad, get glad!!

Day 47:
-Read: Alma 19-20
-Mark: Alma 20:17

"Anger is not an expression of strength. It is an indication of one's ability to control his thoughts, words, his emotions....When the weakness of anger takes over, the strength of reason leaves."
~President Gordon B. Hinckley

Something to think about: When is it most difficult to control your anger? Why is it important to stay in control of your thoughts, words, and actions?

Recently I had to talk with a friend of mine to try and get some things cleared up. We were both really unhappy with eachother.....hurt, angry, confused, etc. but during our conversation you wouldn't have known that. We both stayed very calm and didn't raise our voices at one another. It didn't become a nasty argument like it could have been...but rather, it was a somewhat civil conversation. I'm grateful the Lord was with me and able to keep me very calm, my friend as well, for I know it made all the difference.

Friday, December 9, 2011

DAY 46....and my awesome "family!"

Day 46:
-Read: Alma 17-18
-Mark: Alma 17:2-3

“Fasting can help us overcome personal flaws and sins. It can help us
overcome our weaknesses—help them become strengths. Fasting can
help us become more humble, less prideful, less selfish, and more
concerned about the needs of others. It can help us see more clearly
our own mistakes and weaknesses and help us be less prone to criticize
others…Throughout the scriptures the term fasting is usually combined
with prayer… Fasting without prayer is just going hungry for 24 hours.
But fasting combined with prayer brings increased spiritual power.”
~ Elder Carl B. Pratt

Something to think about: What experiences have you had with fasting

Fasting truly is an amazing thing. It's hard to do, yes, but it can work miracles. It not only brings you closer to your Heavenly Father, but can bring you closer to those you fast for or with as well. I have had numerous neat experiences with fasting. The one I want to share though is this:

One of my teammates got in a bad car accident my senior year right before our big region cross country meet. When we (the team) found out about it, we were devastated. She wasn't going to be able to run. She was in the hospital and not doing so well. We all got together in my coach's room during our lunch break and knelt down in the middle of the room and prayed and started a fast. Our coach was the one to offer the prayer....and he was in tears. Many of us were. It was such a neat and bonding experience for us all. To be fasting with that many other people that you're close to, for someone we loved and all cared about, it was such a humbling and wonderful experience. Especially once we saw the results!

She was able to recover very quickly (better and faster than the doctor's even imagined!) and came and watched us at our race. We all ran for her, "Phelps" (her last name) written in sharpie on our left calves, and we managed to take the win! We fought hard.

On another happy note: I love my roommates!!! They are all so beautiful and unique in their own ways. Today we got to spend some time together and get our roommate "family" pictures taken. It was so much fun!! (And totally freezing!) I just thought I'd share a few of my favorites with ya'll.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!! And if you have finals coming up.....good luck! Stay sane!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day 45

Day 45:
-Read: Alma 14-16
-Mark: Alma 14:10-11

"The right question to ask is not why good people have trials, but how shall good people respond when they are tried?"
~Elder Marion D. Hanks

"Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long suffering and self-mastery. The sufferings of our Savior were part of his education."
~President Spencer W. Kimball

Something to think about: How do you respond to adversity?

Ever since I began this challenge, the way I have responded to the adversity and hard things of my life, has changed. I don't get stressed out as easily as the "old me," and I'm able to keep a positive outlook about me. It's really has been wonderful.
As I look back on everything, I can honestly say I've learned and that I am stronger. I know it sounds cliché, but it's true!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Forty-Fourth Day

Day 44:
-Read: Alma 12-13
-Mark: Alma 13:2-4

"God has saved for the final inning some of His strongest and most valiant children.....Make no mistake about it--you are a marked generation. There has never been more expected of the faithful in such a short period of time than there is of us....The final outcome is certain--the forces of righteousness will finally win. But what remains to be seen is where each of us personally, now and in the future, will stand in this battle--and how tall we will stand. Will we be true to....our foreordained mission?
~President Ezra Taft Benson

Something to think about: To what callings do you think you've been foreordained?

So I read half of my reading this morning, but had to finish tonight cuz I had a test at 8AM and wasn't able to get all of it done. I don't have much to say tonight, actually. Plus I'm helping my stressed roommate study for her anatomy test that she has gotta run! :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 43

Day 43:

-Use your reading chart to find the chapters you still need to read to be caught up through:
Alma 11
If you’re up to date with your reading, take time to study:
Alma 5

Something to think about: What are some of the questions Alma asks in order to ponder the process of becoming converted or reborn?

I was all caught up so I decided to read President Monson's talk entitled "Dare to Stand Alone" from the October 2011 priesthood session. He tells a story of when he was in the US Navy near the end of WWII. The chief petty officer gave a command:

“Today everybody goes to church—everybody, that is, except for me. I am going to relax!” Then he shouted, “All of you Catholics, you meet in Camp Decatur—and don’t come back until three o’clock. Forward, march!” A rather sizeable contingent moved out. Then he barked out his next command: “Those of you who are Jewish, you meet in Camp Henry—and don’t come back until three o’clock. Forward, march!” A somewhat smaller contingent marched out. Then he said, “The rest of you Protestants, you meet in the theaters at Camp Farragut—and don’t come back until three o’clock. Forward, march!”

Then he continues:

Instantly there flashed through my mind the thought, “Monson, you are not a Catholic; you are not a Jew; you are not a Protestant. You are a Mormon, so you just stand here!” I can assure you that I felt completely alone. Courageous and determined, yes—but alone.

And then I heard the sweetest words I ever heard that chief petty officer utter. He looked in my direction and asked, “And just what do you guys call yourselves?” Until that very moment I had not realized that anyone was standing beside me or behind me on the drill ground. Almost in unison, each of us replied, “Mormons!” It is difficult to describe the joy that filled my heart as I turned around and saw a handful of other sailors.

The chief petty officer scratched his head in an expression of puzzlement but finally said, “Well, you guys go find somewhere to meet. And don’t come back until three o’clock. Forward, march!”

When they were marching away, he thought of the words to this poem:

"Dare to be a Mormon;
Dare to stand alone.
Dare to have a purpose firm;
Dare to make it known."

We need to be courageous and stand firm in what we believe. Don't allow others to sway you. And if you make mistakes, you can make things right again! We have been given the "blessed gift of repentance." So use it. It's hard, and painful, but well-worth it.

"May we ever be courageous and prepared to stand for what we believe, and if we must stand alone in the process, may we do so courageously, strengthened by the knowledge that in reality we are never alone when we stand with our Father in Heaven."

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 42

Day 42:
-Read: Alma 10-11
-Mark: Alma 11:42-44

"What a comfort to know that all who have been disadvantaged in life from birth defects, from mortal injuries, from disease, or from the natural deterioration of old age will be resurrected in 'proper and perfect frame.'"
~Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Something to think about: How does it bring you hope knowing that because of Christ we will all live again?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 41

Day 41:
-Read: Alma 7-9
-Mark: Alma 7:11-12

"To succor means to 'run to.' I testify that in my fears and in my infirmities the Savior has surely run to me. I will never be able to thank Him enough for such personal kindness and such loving care."
~Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Something to think about: Why is it helpful to remember that the Savior knows what it's like to have your problems?

Today has been the most beautiful day!! I love the opportunity to fast and the opportunity to go to church and participate in fast and testimony meeting. I'm so grateful for the testimony that I have, and also for the many testimonies of others that help to strengthen mine. I love this church, I honestly do. These past few months since I started doing this challenge have been really amazing. I am truly happy, even through the hard times. I hope all of you are able to feel the same way and can always have the spirit with you. I LOVE YOU ALL!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 40

Day 40:
Alma 5-6
-Mark: Alma 5:14, 26

"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature."
~President Ezra Taft Benson

Something to think about: What would someone see in your countenance?

I have always loved that quote by President true it is! The world is out to get/ruin us, but Christ is out to save us. We just have to trust in Him and allow Him to do it.
I hope you all always remember that He loves you more than you can even fathom.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 39 -- and it happens again!

Day 39:
-Read: Alma 2-4
-Mark: Alma 2:18, 28

“Safety can’t be won by tanks and guns and airplanes and atomic
bombs. There is only one place of safety and that is in the realm
of the Almighty God that he gives to those who keep his
commandments and listen to his voice.”
~ President Harold B. Lee

Something to think about: Why were the Nephites strengthened by the Lord?
How can we receive the Lord’s help in the challenges we face?

Okay, so I don't know how many of you read my post from yesterday, but the Lord answered my prayer in a very obvious way again today :) I think this challenge has really made a big difference in my I have never really had my prayers answered so obviously--that I can remember. I am so glad that I was given this challenge, and that I decided to buck up and take it. It's been a real blessing, and I am growing so much :)

So~~~today my first class was at 8 am, and I wanted to get up at 6 (or 6:15 by the latest) so that I would be able to get my scripture reading in before class and also have time to make a turkey sandwich (yes, REAL turkey!) and then get to the school, find a parking spot, and print out a powerpoint before class began. 5:47am on the dot, right outside my window, again (I think the Lord has a sense of humor), there was a little red car in the parking lot that was stuck in the snow. It was sitting there for a while just gunning it, wheels spinning, trying to get going. Noisy. It woke me up. But this time (instead of the annoyed reaction I had at first yesterday) I just smiled great big. I know that the Lord loves me and He does answer prayers.....sometimes in the weirdest ways!! But I was able to do all that I needed to do this morning, and I think I did well on my Physiology quiz, so I'd say my weekend is off to a good start!

Just thought I would share with you. I know that the scriptures are the word of God and that if you read them and make them a priority over other things in your life, that the Lord will answer your prayers and you will have a different spirit about you every day. It's amazing. Don't take the Book of Mormon for granted. Read it and SEE FOR YOURSELF!

Have a happy weekend!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 38 and a Snowy Day

Day 38:
-Read: Mosiah 29 - Alma 1
-Mark: Alma 1:6, 16

"The Nephite prophets repeatedly identified the wearing of costly clothing with apostasy and failure to live by gospel standards."

Something to think about: What might your way of dressing say about you?

The other day, this guy was telling me that he always felt attracted to "Mormon girls" because of the way they dressed. He was telling me it was awesome that I didn't dress like a "slut", and that made me more attractive to him.

I think we really underestimate how the way we dress portrays the type of person we are/want to become. Also, the world seems to think that the more scantily you dress, the more attractive you are. In reality, I don't think this is so. The way you dress will also determine the type of person you are going to attract. Just think about that the next time you leave the house. "Who do I want to attract today?"

One quick, last thought. The Lord answers prayers in a most interesting fashion sometimes :) We need to always try and recognize His hand in our lives. So last night during my bedtime prayer, I prayed that Heavenly Father would help me wake up earlier this morning so I could get my scripture study in and some last minute reviewing for my BioChemistry lab final that I had this morning at 9:00. Well, come 6:40ish, there is a noise outside my bedroom window. Someone was so rudely and LOUDLY shoveling the snow from the walkway right next to my room. At first it startled me and honestly, really irritated my tired soul....but then I realized: this is my wake up call! Now get up before you fall back asleep, dummy! Haha. I'm grateful for that little blessing the Lord sent this morning to me.

I hope all of you have a most excellent day and look for the little blessings in your life. And dress warmly! It's freezing out there!