Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sacrifice and blessings.

*old post that I wasn't sure about posting, and now I feel like putting it up.

I've been meaning to put up more pics of my sweet and adorable camry. and I promise I will. But there's this thing inside of me that has to literarily release my thoughts every once in a while. And something happened recently that has driven me to this point, the point where I grab the computer and just start typing.

Recently I was in a class where a quote was shared, (which I now have memorized, but so as to not offend I will not repeat it) that was false doctrine at it's finest. It was not from a General Authority--which is why I feel bold enough to call it false doctrine.

I don't profess to know everything about the gospel. In fact my faith is bigger than a mustard seed, but I sometimes feel as if my knowledge of the gospel might be smaller. And even though I've spent a lot of time specifically trying to study the Atonement I still feel inadequate in my understanding of it.

But I do know that it is the center of everything. Without it, or I should say, without Christ, nothing else matters. And this quote, if understood, took away the importance of the Atonement.

I will paraphrase the quote, or at least my understanding of it. It basically said that sacrifice is nonexistant if we recieved a blessing that was greater than what we sacrificed to recieve the blessing.

MMMmmmmm ponder that.

My opinion is that no matter what our sacrifices entail, our blessings will ALWAYS be greater. and if you can't see your blessings in your life, that's nobody's fault but your own. (I think the world wants us to say everything gently and not be straightforward. But on my blog I'mma have to say it straight. Because it has to be said. Even though hardly anyone reads my blog....it makes me feel better haha.)

If Job in the Bible, could still find goodness in his faith in God and if he could still trust Him to bless his life even after all of the horrible things that happened to him, then why can't we?
And D&C 122:8 "The Son of man hath descended below all things, art thou greater than he?"

And in direct response to the quote, if there's no sacrifice when our blessings are greater than what we gave, then that would mean in order to recieve "all that the Father has" we would have to sacrifice more than what we as imperfect beings can give. We would be stuck. No going forward. We would not be able to be with our Father or be given all He has because we could never be worthy of it... because on our own we are not worthy of it.

It is through Christ that we can recieve all that the Father has. It's through ordinances, like Baptism, and the ordinances we partake of in the temple, and through living our lives righteously, and partaking of the Atonement regularly, and repenting, and loving and serving our brothers and sisters. but all of those things are for naught if Christ had not atoned for the sins of the world. And if he had not the power to give us... through his grace that we might become stronger and more able to withstand  the temptations we are faced with ...then we would be too weak.

In D&C 76 we find:
50 And again we bear record—for we asaw and heard, and this is the btestimony of the cgospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the djust—
51 They are they who received the atestimony of Jesus, and bbelieved on his name and were cbaptized after the dmanner of his burial, being eburied in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—
 52 That by akeeping the commandments they might be bwashed and ccleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the dhands of him who is eordained and sealed unto this power;
 53 And who aovercome by faith, and are bsealed by the Holy Spirit of cpromise, which the Father dsheds forth upon all those who are just and true.
 54 They are they who are the achurch of the bFirstborn.
 55 They are they into whose hands the Father has given aall things—
 56 They are they who are apriests and bkings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory;
 57 And are apriests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of bEnoch, which was after the corder of the Only Begotten Son.
 58 Wherefore, as it is written, they are agods, even the bsons of cGod—
 59 Wherefore, aall things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
 60 And they shall aovercome all things.
 61 Wherefore, let no man aglory in man, but rather let him bglory in God, who shall csubdue all enemies under his feet.
 62 These shall adwell in the bpresence of God and his Christ forever and ever.

We don't have to do a lot to recieve it all. If we have an eternal perspective, then life's battles become much smaller and much more insignificant. My mom has said to me before, in essence, that every sacrifice we make is put on the books in heaven, and those sacrifices are not forgotten. And I was taught by very brilliant parents that when we live righteously, our Father in Heaven tends to bless us beyond what we even thought possible. I truly believe that.

And let me end with one more thought.

I feel strongly, that living righteously, if consistently done with a sincere heart and contrite spirit, does not feel like a sacrifice at all. I believe in sacrifice, and that it's real, and required, but it's weight does not always equal the weight of the blessings we receive in this life, or in the life to come. We are only required truly small sacrifices if we can see them with an eternal perspective. Some have to sacrifice more than I can imagine, and some sacrifices seem too insignificant to call sacrifices. And I believe that if I try harder to align my heart with the Savior's, and if I keep repenting and trying to become better, and if I find joy in doing so, I will see the blessings unfold----and I know this to be true because I have done this--it's a process that requires a lot of 'rinse and repeat' in it. And I've seen the blessings, over and over and over again.
So I guess what I'm saying is---When we come unto Christ, truly come unto Christ, the desires of our heart's change and become righteous desires. And the thought of sin is abhorred, and the desire to live righteously is abundant and is above all else. I feel that our prophet encompasses all that a joyful heart in a human being could be. I believe that he sacrificed along the way to get to where he is, but I believe the blessings we each can recieve will always be greater than anything we can ever give. Because that's how our Father in Heaven loves.

Please teach me if I'm wrong, but this is my understanding of the gospel, and I find that it brings me joy. But the thought of every blessing (blessings the Lord gives I find to be humblingly great) requiring an equal amount of giving in order to be called a sacrifice overwhelms me and makes me think that I would have to live like Job from this point on in order to deserve what I have already been blessed with. And I don't believe that. So hopefully you understand what I'm saying. Hopefully you too can find joy in the gospel and be comforted as you look around at the blessings in your life and realize how humbling it is. I am so beyond thankful for all I have and even if I had nothing else, the knowledge that my Savior Jesus Christ died for me, is a blessing that I will never fully comprehend, but it brings me to my knees, it brings me to church, and it brings me to the other end of the line for a friend in need---in hopes that somehow I can give a little back after all Christ gave for me...knowing full well, that I can never fully repay him, but my heart is overjoyed with what I have, and can recieve forever.

The belief of your own importance.

I realize this is a sideways, blurry, horrible photo, but there is a very serious point behind it. This morning we found this little "fortune teller" in one of the theaters after thee infamous kids shows. It had a 1,2,3, and 4 on the front four options, and then various numbers to choose from when you move the four points up or down....you know how the game works.... everyone knows how the game works. Countless times my friends or people I knew made these and we'd play with them for way too long. Well, today me and my two almost little brothers decided to try it out. After playing with it we discovered the four different possible fortunes.....

1- No true love.
2- Marry your true love.
3- You're a jerk.
4- Baby at fifteen.


Those are my four options???

Never in my life do I ever remember anyone writing "baby at fifteen" as an option when I was a young girl playing with paper fortune tellers.

What is this world coming to????

This subject of the title of this post has been on my mind for a while now, and I'm sick and tired of women not thinking they are good enough.

Why do we do this to ourselves? How do we teach little girls that you either marry your true love, or there is no true love, or you must be a jerk, or you're having a baby at fifteen!!!!!!!

And why as women do we not consider ourselves to be amazing, important, vital, essential, etc....?

I heard somebody say the other day that they didn't deserve something that they just received, and when I say received I mean that I know darn well that she has worked hard to get to where she is, and that she beyond deserves what she was just blessed with. And she didn't say it out of modesty, or out of a desire for compliments, she truly----head down and all----expressed that she was undeserving of the blessing that now is part of her everyday.

I about reached across the room and slapped her.

**Newsflash** It is okay to know that you are okay. Being pleased with yourself is not a sin. Believing that you can do more than have a baby at fifteen or be a jerk does not make you proud. Believing that you are an important person, with important ideas and amazing gifts and wonderful qualities does not make you arrogant. Sometimes we perceive people with confidence as people with arrogance, and maybe they fit into that category. But you don't have to.

There is not a law of truth (refer to previous post) written stating that it is better if you think of yourself as scum because you probably are not that great, and it makes you look humble. that's RIDICULOUSNESS.

Humility and confidence can go together. They can actually be really happy together. Together they can do great things.

Women, you are special. simply just because of who you are. Every one of you has a gift, whether its visible, or maybe sometimes unnoticed, it's there. And I know maybe I sound like a preacher sometimes, I don't mean to do that. But I cannot be silent. I cannot sit and watch girls or anyone, continuously put themselves down. Sometimes I am in that state of mind and I wish somebody would reach across the room and slap me!

Some of us are born mothers, some writers, some both. Some are born speakers, some thinkers, some both. Some are born physically strong, some are born mentally strong, some are born both. Some seem to have all the gifts ever given---and some struggle to see that they are those kind of people.

The woman who claimed "undeserving" is a woman who I have looked up to my whole life. And in that instance, all of a sudden, I realized, she too had a weakness, and that it was not one I wanted to admire. At times we look at others who seem to have it all, and don't realize that maybe all they have is the belief  that they have it all. I didn't expect her to haughtily tell the world how awesome she is, but I did hope that she could see the blessing for what it truly is, a blessing, from the Lord, because she has lived her life righteously thus far, and I'm quite sure she will continue to do so.

If you can believe, that you will do, can do, and are doing great things in this life, then guess what, you probably are going to, and you probably are.

And most importantly, when you become who you are allowed to aspire and hope to be, you will undoubtedly teach another young girl how to do so.

If we can believe that we are important, they will see that they are important too. I realize now that one heart with the belief of it's own importance can be the catalyst for change in the hearts of many. I want my little girl to know she is smart. Brilliant even. I want her to believe that she can do anything. And I want her to make her own choices based on those beliefs. I realize that one of the only ways I can enable her to do so, is by doing so myself.

And if I believe that I'm important, then a lot of times that helps me see others as important. And it starts a chain reaction. And I like the life that fortune leads me to much better than the options the 'fortune teller' gave me today.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Wine is strong
Men are stronger
Women are stronger still
Truth conquers all

-written by Free Masons in Latin on the walls of the Rosslyn Chapel

President Thomas S. Monson said in this months First Presidency Message,

"Vice never leads to virtue. Hate never promotes love. Cowardice never gives courage. Doubt never inspires faith. ...Times change, but truth persists."
I haven't blogged in a while because I haven't found anything that I consider blog-worthy. I could put more things up of my baby girl who is almost crawling and a little miss independent, but I could also just get a facebook account again to do that. I look at my blog as a place for me to write whatever I want, but more and more, I want it to be things of worth. And sometimes my posts are ridiculousness and that's okay too. But these phrases stood out to me. The first one I found in my book of scribbles that I learned when we visited that famous chapel in the U.K. and I had forgotten what a cool little piece of poetry it was. I like simplicity when it comes to poetry. I don't like reading a poem and being completely stumped at what the meaning is. And this is pure simplicity and truth at it's finest, but it's powerful isn't it? It was to me. I remember the tour guide told us the saying and it was like it stuck into my head as easily as if the guide had physically typed it into my brain...that was a strange visual...but it was that powerful to me. Simple and powerful. If you get the power, great, if not, thats fine too.

And I'm sure there are millions of famous quotes regarding truth. But sometimes when I hear or see things in the same small amount of time that all coincide together I figure Heavenly Father is trying to remind me of something. And His reminder as of late has been that truth is truth! It is just that! Nothing can break the truth. Nothing can change the truth. The truest truth of all will withstand any blow that comes attacking. And if you find the truth, doesn't that give you comfort? Does it add to the power that is in the Iron Rod to which we are supposed to hold? I find that it does. It makes me feel harmless. Like anything could go wrong in my life, but if I have the truth, I will be okay. 

President Monson's quote also reminds me of a conversation I had with one of my good friends who just left for college. She is a few years younger than I and when she was graduating she had a lot of questions. I don't know if I gave too many good answers, but one thing that stood out to me and to her is when our discussion lead to the following: It's probably better if you test the gospel by living righteously, than by living wickedly. You will probably find joy quicker, and you will in the majority of circumstances find less heartache. Because just as he says, "cowardice never gives courage". In other words, it takes courage to find courage! It takes trying to do the right thing even when doing what's wrong seems a whole lot easier! 

So, the simple truths I have to work on trusting are the following:

Read my scriptures--DAILY
Say my prayers---like I never want to stop talking to my Father in Heaven
Study good things--edify myself regularly of the truths I've been taught
Attend the temple more often

Because truth conquers all.