Friday, November 6, 2015

My Response.

I have stood at the pulpit in a few different wards, in front of hundreds of people on quite a few different occasions and shared my testimony. Over the last 5 or so years I have written my testimony and published it here in multiple posts, and all written on different subjects and addressed in different ways. I don't profess to be extremely knowledgeable, but I like to write down the lessons I learn in life, and how and what the Spirit teaches me through life experience. I don't ever try to sound "preachy" but for goodness gracious all I want to do is  "talk of Christ, [and] rejoice in Christ" 2 Nephi 25:26. Yesterday's announcement has not changed my testimony.

I STILL know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints is the true church and at it's head is Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know He has called a Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, and with Him a First Presidency, and 12 Apostles. I know that He leads and guides them and they are His mouthpiece.

Here's my testimony in a poem I wrote years ago. Publishing it for the world. Do Not Copy. Because it is published here I have certain copyright rights that you cannot infringe upon!

This sums up how I still feel, and will always feel. 

By Samantha Iverson

The truth sometimes rings out bright and clear
It's special, unique, different and dear
The truth often hits somewhere inside
Some people try to make the truth hide
Sometimes it isn't always what we wanna hear
But for some reason when we do, our hearts cheer
Sometimes the truth makes us cry 
That's why someone came up with a lie
But lies never last--though they seem like they do
And though sometimes it’s hidden- at some point it pops out--
             the good ole' truth

The truth is steady, it's patient, and real
It’s something that each one of us will feel
Sometimes we notice the truth by our tears
Most times the truth doesn't speak to our ears
No, our hearts hear it best if they are fine tuned
Hearts always listen even when the head doesn't want to
And someone's heart is feeling that yearn
That desire, that with Faith we may learn,
That Want for the truth about our lives before
The truth about after, when we leave this life's door

I know the truth, for it has spoken to my heart
It's something with which I never will part
I've felt it in goose bumps from the gift of a song
I've felt it when a tear fell down my cheek sad and long
I've felt a burning inside my chest
One so strong my heart couldn't rest
I wanted to share it with everyone I knew
And through this poem that's what I hope to do

The truth is, the truth has been restored,
When it spoke to me, it didn't rain, it poured
The truth I felt was that I have a Savior
One who will redeem me if I change my behavior
If I repent when I falter, and try to do my best
I know now He will be there to help me pass my test

The truth that I know is that there is a book
It's the keystone of my religion and if you'll just take a look...
You'll find some things in there, like stories and lessons
You'll find the truth and you won’t be forgettin'
It's called "The Book of Mormon"--it's special to me
For it's everything and only the beginning of what I believe

The truth is, a boy only 14 years old 
Saw Heavenly Father and His Son-and it's not just a story he told
Joseph Smith was a Prophet, a Revelator and a Seer
And it's the truth he found and gave that I hold so dear
The truth of the gospel of Jesus the Christ 
Has been restored in its fullness and for the last time

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 
It's the only true church-with quite a long name
I know it, I believe it, that this gospel is true,
And though I make mistakes, I'll try his works to do
To have faith, hope and charity
To show by example and teach with clarity
All the things I've been taught and the things I will learn
So that I can help fill the void of a heart that yearns

If I can help give them the gift of the truth
Then His work can continue
And one day what I've said, we will all feel
The truth in its brightness, and we'll know that its real
God loves His children-each and everyone the same
You might be surprised how much more he knows than your name
He wants us to come back with Him to live in His presence
Not one, Not a billion, but ALL back in heaven
That is His work and His glory
To bring eternal life to all men--
                It’s not just a story

This is the truth and if you already know,
Then don't forget how important it is that its told!
And remember what a gift that it is in your life
Don't leave it on a shelf and walk right on by,
Share it, Love it, Live it, and always learn
Because it is a great feeling when your bosom starts to burn
And you know that it's true, with every part of your soul
For peace, happiness and eternal life is the reward
           And I believe--that that, is everyone's goal.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

No Strings Attached. Poem.

This poem has been sitting on my desk for a couple of weeks now. I wrote a large portion of it and then thought it was done...but I kindof... asked the Lord if there was more. And there was. Please don't steal. If you use this give me credit. I'm not posting it because I want credit, but I have a book of  my poetry that I have lost, and I have learned that it is beneficial to publish poetry somewhere like this setting so that I can always have it. If you take the time to read this, maybe you will feel what I felt...maybe you will get impression that come not from the words but the meaning underneath them. Or maybe you will just see a story. And that's fine too. The latter part of the poem is obviously more spiritual, but the entire writing is meant to pull at your heart "strings" mine were being pulled this particular day. Anything I write comes from a place that's very personal. I always hope that whatever I say people will take with open hearts, not assume anything, and just know that they are from and for me. Really, they're not even from me. This one really wasn't- it was more from my Heavenly Father. I know for the people closest to me- they appreciate what I share with them. But not everyone does. So I hope you'll find some appreciation in this. And again, don't steal :)
p.s. all my poetry is imperfect. deal with it ;)

No Strings Attached
by Samantha Iverson

There once was a Young Man, who gave away a lot of things
The funny thing was, was that each item he gave, had a string!
His generous. Or at least He thought it was so,
But when people saw him come around they let their eyes a'roll
For pretty soon they realized that the gifts were never theirs
Because the gives could not be given away--they could never be re-shared.
For if you tried to sell them, or even to give them to the poor,
That Young Man would come a knockin', right up to your door!
He'd say, "Remember, I gave this to you! That's why it has a string!
Because if you didn't want it, you must give it back to me!
I know each, and every thing I have--the strings lead to my home
I spent money on these treasures here! 
That's something you should have known!"
So people gave the gifts back, or left them on the shelf
And that Young Man walked around puffed up, quite proud of himself.

Then one day an Old Fellow crossed the path of the Young Man
He saw the Young man walking, with lots of strings in hand
Inquiring, the Old Fellow asked, "What are all those strings?"
The Young Man replied, "These are attached to all my things!
Isn't it a great idea?" he said, to keep track of what's given away?"
The Old Fellow had a puzzled look, and wasn't sure what to say.
He began with, "It might not be good business, and your stockpile might run low,
But I know how you don't have to keep all of your strings in tow."
He said, "What if you gave away your gifts, and didn't want them back?
What if you gave them, if it's possible, with No Strings Attached?"
The Young Man replied softly, "But I love the treasures I own"
He said, "If I just give them, then what will I have to show?"
The Old Fellow smiled, and said, "What matters most is not the strings back to your home, 
But when this life is over God wants to see how much your heart has grown."

Something inside the Young Man made his fingers finally let go
And the strings he held so dearly, disappeared before they hit the road.
The Young Man, surprised, said, "What happened to all the strings!?"
The Old Fellow smiled and said, "You must be forgetting about your things,
Some call it integrity, to do things for others when nobody knows
Some call it charity, pure love deep inside...and kindness is how it grows
These are just of few of the 'things' God wants us to carry around
And inside our homes he hopes only these good 'things' will be found."
The Young Man said, "I understand now, what I am to give, 
It's not about the things I buy, but it's about how I live!"

The Old Fellow said, "Yes, when we get to the other side,
Heavenly Father wants to see if we have let go of our pride."
The Young Man started to leave, feeling much different than before
Then he turned around and asked, "Do you have time for something more?
What if I get caught up selfishness and pride?
What if I am weaker than you think I am inside?"

The Old Fellow answered, as a tear fell down his face,
"My heart's been there too, it's a terrible, awful place.
I thought I was doing well when I looked down and saw more strings
These ones were more like ropes...and they were tying ME to things.
Addictions...on the ropes I saw each of their names
Things I thought were harmless---at least that's what they claimed.
Selfishness, Anger, Gossip, Lying, and even the one named Unkind
I hadn't even realized that all of these were mine!

That's when I discovered, I needed Someone to help cut the ropes
to help me see what I couldn't---help me gain some control.
I had to fill my life with good things, like Charity and Integrity
Like Love, Patience, Kindness, and the one named Trustworthy.
So I began to look for who could help me get rid of what I'd found
For I could not just drop these ropes---they now held me bound.

That's when I found Him. His name is Jesus Christ.
He is really the One who could help me in my life.
He took upon Himself all the strings, and ropes, yes he knows all their names.
He took upon Himself every bad thing, even the one called Pain.
Because He was Perfect, He conquered all that is not Good.
That is how He knows how to help us have the 'things' we could and should.
Not only will he cut the ropes, if we let Him help us so.
But He gives us power so that if the strings start tying we'll know.
He is the One who will change the size of your heart.
And as you do His work He will not fall short on His part.
Then, eventually, who you will have become, is an Old Fellow like me,
Trying to teach a Young Man about Repentance, the Atonement, and letting go of strings.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

"Without Murmurings"

1 Nephi 17:1-3

1.....And we did travel and wade through much affliction in the wilderness; and our women did bear children in the wilderness.
2 And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings.
3 And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.

This hit me this morning. In verse two, it suggests that the women maybe had a hard time with murmuring. I know I would have---traveling through the wilderness, struggling to find food, pregnant, tired, hungry, etc. But even among all their frustration, they must have seen the hand of the Lord as Nephi did. As they saw that they were able to give birth to healthy children, and that their bodies were able to "provide suck" as it says. I know that that would have been a humbling experience for these women. How scared they must have been having children in the wilderness and not knowing if they were going to find food. They must have found faith. They must have seen the hand of the Lord. They must have started trusting in Him for ALL of their needs...because it says, "they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings." The Lord kept blessing them. They were still following their husbands even though they had murmured--they were still trying to do what the Lord asked. So He blessed them, and He clearly helped their eyes see and their hearts were softened because they began to figure out how to journey without murmuring. How long were they traveling? I know they were married in the wilderness, and bore children---these things take a long time! So this miracle of change that went about in these women didn't happen overnight. Heavenly Father blessed them with strength and they saw His miracles take place in their lives so much so that they were able to stop complaining.

Sometimes I get so mad at myself for getting upset when things don't go the way I want them to. I get frustrated that I get frustrated! It's ridiculous! Emotions are real, and they happen in response to life's experiences. But it doesn't mean they will last forever, and we certainly don't have to let them. When we let the Lord work in us,---when we use the Atonement---we can start to bear our life's burdens without murmuring. I think some of my burdens I still struggle to fight the desire to murmur. But, one of the reasons why this hit me so hard is because I feel like I'm learning how to live without murmuring. Maybe it's because I'm growing up. Maybe it's because I'm a slow learner. Maybe it's because murmuring can just be tiresome. Maybe, it's because the Lord is working in me. I think that's probably it. I see that now. And I'm thankful. And I hope he keeps working on me so that I can completely rid my life of all complaint and all murmuring. My husband would probably appreciate that ;) But most importantly, I know the Lord would appreciate it, and so would I. Because it would mean I would be a little more of who He wants me to be.

Monday, July 27, 2015

I Can't Handle It.


I can't handle it when I ask my toddler to NOT do something and she deliberately does it anyway.

I can't handle it when I try to put my baby to bed 4 or 5 times and the 6th time I swear she's asleep, I lay her in her crib and my elbow hits the side and wakes her back up. Painful elbow+a trip back to the rocking chair=angry mom.

I can't handle it when I wake up some mornings and our basement abode looks like a literal tsunami took place.

I couldn't handle potty training. Seriously I think we're good now, but for the next kid I'm pretty sure I'm hiring potty trainers- let me know if you're available.

I can't handle when my toddler is cry/whining and tries to tell me what she wants and I have no idea what she's saying.

I often cannot handle getting out of bed to feed lil' baby girl. Again.


I cannot handle when I'm holding my baby and she's snuggled up to my chest, and she reaches her hand  up to touch my face...just to feel it.

I can't handle---I have absolutely no strength against this---when my toddler says, "can you come snuggle with me?" and I lay (awkwardly) in her toddler bed and she says, "Let's sing 'I Am A Child of God"...I give in every time.

I can't handle when my toddler puts both her arms around my neck and holds on tight---I can't understand how such a young child can understand such strong emotions and how she can convey her love in such a simple way.

I can't handle when my baby smiles and laughs at me like I am actually the funniest individual Heavenly Father has placed on this earth...well she might hold me second to her older sister I'm not sure...

I can't handle the cuteness of when these two little girls interact with each other---how I pray they become the closest of I pray they hold on to the simplest yet strongest of emotions of love, forgiveness, and friendship.

I can't handle when my toddler knows whats on the next page of her book about a pig. Cracks me up.

I can't handle when both my kids are squished on my lap...both happy as can be...both just needing some mommy time.

I can't handle being a mom sometimes. Because it's the hardest job I've ever attempted. But my heart also can't handle how much love it feels---it feels so much that it just starts to spill over and run all over and I can't hold back the tears because the love has to come out! Love tears...that's what I'll call em...they show up during those times when I can't handle this 24/7 Amazingly hard and incredibly wonderful job I have of being mom. I get why some people have 19 kids. I get why some feel content with 1. They are hard to care for sometimes (maybe most times) but they are SO easy to love. There's so much love to be felt from these children that if you open your eyes and heart you could never feel dissatisfied. I get why Heavenly Father wants us to be like little children. Their love is unconditional. They forgive me when I forget to be kind, gentle, patient, and loving. They forgive me when I have felt like pulling my hair out...They are patient with me forevermore.

My heart is full, and that feeling in my heart...sometimes...I just can't handle it. I just wonder why I've been entrusted with the care of two of the most beautiful children that God could have ever created. I will always see these two little girls in that way. I will not discredit how fantastic they are, because I will always see them as two of God's princesses. I hope I can teach them that that's who they are. And not the snot-type of princesses. But the humble princesses who know who they are and who will not be anything less or accept anything less. I love them with my whole heart and soul. I want them to know that- and that Heavenly Father also loves them more than I could ever even begin to comprehend...and more than what my heart is even capable of handling.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Truth Seekers

In Relief Society a week or so ago, during our discussion about the prophet Joseph Smith our teacher read a quote from Elder Neil L. Anderson: "Why does the Lord allow the evil speaking to chase after the good? One reason is that opposition against the things of God sends truth seekers to their knees for answers." (This was from his October 2014 talk entitled "Joseph Smith").

That one description--"truth seekers," has stuck with me. Am I a truth seeker? As I've pondered this, I've found two ways in which I hope to be a better truth seeker.

1- First and foremost I want to be a better "truth seeker" in the gospel. I know I have been a truth seeker at times, but sometimes I guess I forget that my spirit is hungry. Unfortunately. And then I taste a little bit of the sweetest parcels of truth and I realize I've been starving! I've always felt like asking questions is a brilliant thing to do---as long as you sincerely, with the Holy Ghost as a companion, seek the truth as you look for answers.

2-In personal relationships. In every relationship there will be awkward moments, ups and downs, hard times, and hurt feelings. I hate those times. But one thing that makes it easier is seeking the truth of the situation. When we worry about the details and fret about the small offenses, it holds us back. Not only that, but it clouds our vision. The truth is that we are all God's children. We are here to love each other, and by doing so we help each other become better. I've found it's easier to assume the best in people. I haven't always done that and I've learned the hard way that most folks really do have good intentions. Sure there's a lot of bad in this world because there's supposed to be...but holding on to the good and assuming the best in our loved ones is often a force that pushes us all to a better emotional place. I've found that in tough moments if I take a step back and ask myself, "What is the truth in this situation?" and I separate the emotions for a moment, it helps me see the truth and then I can respond better and be more loving, kind, and hopefully a little more like how our Savior would be.

Moroni 10:5 "And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."

As I've said before this blog is a place where I can write my life lessons so that I can look back and remember what the Lord was trying to teach me. He often has to teach me the same lessons over and over again. I choose to share it because sometimes maybe it'll be helpful in other's lives as well.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

"If you can't see it, hear it, or feel it, then it doesn't exist."

At least that's what the mean kangaroo from Horton Hears A Who thinks.

I've been watching this show almost daily, (not force from my 2 year old) and every time I hear her make this comment in the movie I cringe. The whole movie is her battle with Horton concerning what she believes in an unimportant "spec." However, Horton has heard the voice of the Mayor of Whoville (a place with many good Whos) and thus he knows that the spec is a world smaller than theirs and it must be protected.

In relation to real life...and whether God exists or not... I tend to NOT follow the kangaroo's advice.

I, like Horton, have a belief in something that I would say is not obviously seen, heard, or felt. And I don't think we need big elephant ears to hear it, because even the kangaroo, along with all the other animals in the jungle, eventually heard the people of Whoville.

I have heard the Holy Ghost speak to me, not with my ears, but with my heart. I have seen countless miracles that I know are miracles from a Heavenly Father who is concerned about me in my life. I have felt in my heart, and soul the truth: that an Only Begotten Son came here and died for me. And I know that He rose again. He lives and He is aware of me, and He loves me---even when I make dumb choices. His love I have felt so strong that I want to be better, and like Horton I want to protect it, and I want to tell everyone that it exists---even if they haven't yet heard it, seen it, or felt it.

And for those who have heard/felt/seen and are wondering if they still believe...

As silly as this may sound there's a part in the movie where a dirty rotten vulture takes the "spec" which currently resides on a clover, and he throws it into a field of clovers. Horton faithfully goes through every clover...not finding the "spec" anywhere. All of a sudden the wind picks up and all the clovers he has checked start flying around and he starts to think maybe all hope really is lost---when he finally sees the tiny "spec" on top of it's trusty clover. He recovers that clover and after a few more trials he finally gets it to a safe place.

Sometimes we have to have tremendous faith in something that we cannot find. And I promise that eventually, we will see the miracle...but remember, it might be the size of a spec.  And "even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you" (Alma 32:27) and you'll realize that the truth exists. If you faithfully search you too will see, hear, and feel that He is real--Jesus Christ is real and He loves each of us more than we could ever understand.

Sure I'm a stay at home mom who watches way too many children's movies and maybe I relate the gospel to silly things. But it's important to me, and it is very real to me, and I love the gospel. I love knowing that I can walk with the Savior everyday if I would just invite Him. And I know He is watching even when I forget to invite Him. "His grace is sufficient" for my good days and bad. (Moroni 10:32)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Laughter is easier.

Laughter is easier than crying
Loving is easier than hatefulness
Kindness is easier than regret
Forgiveness is easier than carrying hurt
Repentance is easier than continuing sin
Obedience is easier than Repentance
Joy is better than Pain
Pain is better than ignorance
Loss is easier with Faith
Choice is better than Force
Happiness is possible because of Christ.

You may initially disagree on some of these statements. But honestly, the easier path is always righteousness, and the only way to stay on it is with Christ. And this life comes with all sorts of junk we have to sort through---so hopefully you choose to do so with our Brother, the only truly reliable source available.

Hopefully you choose to laugh as often as you can. Hopefully you choose to not carry burdens alone. Hopefully you try your darndest knowing full well your capabilities are limited without Him. Hopefully you see the purpose of pain, and the beauty of choice. Hopefully you seek for quiet moments---to commune with the best Listener of all. Hopefully in the midst of all that is scary, hard, and frustrating---you seek peace....And hopefully your heart is sensitive enough to feel it. After all,

Hope and Faith are much easier, and Stronger, than Doubt.