"...Behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise" --Alma 37:6

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

My Little Prayer

I have always loved music. When it's pure music it uplifts your spirit and clears all of the fear and confusion of the world away. When it all becomes too much for me, I go for walks to clear my head and drown out the voices of the world. Music helps me do that as well.

More specifically HIS music. Who is this he I speak of? David Archuleta. I am not obsessed or fangirling I promise. It's just that over the years he has released many songs. There have been a few that have stayed with me because of the messages they gave.

These few songs shocked me greatly when I heard them because it was almost as if he knew exactly what I was feeling or experiencing and knew exactly what I needed to hear to gain strength and continue on.

Not many artists have that ability and not many artists are as faithful, steadfast, and in tune with the Spirit as David Archuleta. I titled this post, "My Little Prayer" because of his most recent song video release. Listen to it for yourself:

He has a great gift and I love the way he is using it. He also released this new video:

I just recently found this one and am impressed with just how much he seems to know me. I too have to run away, or go for a walk and clear my head. I need to separate from the rest of the world and silence the voices of the world that negate my existence and all that I am. 

If you haven't heard of him before or just haven't heard these two songs recently, then check him out and his previous work. Because I have listened to him from his beginning, I can see just how much the both of us have grown and how the topics, style, and depth of his music has matured and grown just as we both have. 

I know that may sound weird talking about how we have both grown, but keep a few things in mind. We are the same age, and essentially experiencing similar things. Also, music connects memories in our brains just as strongly as certain smells and other sensory stimuli that occur during the moments and memories we have stored in our minds. 

Anyway, I just found these songs and had to share. I love having this blog because it allows me to place my thoughts somewhere and express my emotions in a way that is difficult for me to do in person. However, knowing the dangers of anti-social behaviors, I am working to be more social . Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Defending the Family Proclamation

"The time will come when only those who believe deeply and actively in the family will be able to preserve their families in the midst of the gathering evil around us."
~Spencer W. Kimball~

The world is constantly changing. There are now far more than two ways, male or female, to define your gender (Which makes no sense to me). There are also multiple sexual orientations you can identify with and there are multiple types of official families now. 

The family is being torn open, ripped apart, and being put back together entirely fractured, deformed, and nowhere near the same. 

The rest of the world would have you believe that the family is just fine, that all of these changes are simply the family structure evolving and adapting to our changing or evolving world.  The world claims that these changes are fine, great even.

The true meaning and purpose of families is lost to today's society. An extreme state of individualism has taken hold upon this country and everything has become about the individual. It's "me, me. I, I" Relationships are ended by a person who feels that they aren't getting anything out of the relationship. I always ask them what they put into the relationship, or what they gave. You can't get anything from nothing. 

As a member of the LDS church and as one with an extremely strong testimony and faith in the divine nature and celestial nature of families I feel a solemn responsibility to share what I know with as many as I can. Joseph Smith, an LDS prophet, stated, 
"...that when we gain a witness of the truth we will not be content with blessing our family alone, but range through the whole world anxious to bless the whole human race."

"We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God's eternal plan....Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.....The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally."
Family relationships to continue after death? I have been taught the principle of families are eternal since I was born. The idea that a great number of people in this world believe there is nothing after death, or that our family relationships are severed after death, is so depressing. 

Alan J. Hawkins, a professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University, stated, 
"There is great value in sharing the principles contained in the family proclamation and great fulfillment to be found in doing so.....it contains timeless truths that will bless not only our lives but also the lives of those around us as we reach out, near and far, to share it."
In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Alma exclaimed,
"O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth."
~Alma 29: 1-2~

I express the same sentiment and hope that my words through this blog will reach many who are seeking the truth and even to those who may oppose my belief. May their hearts be opened and may we work together to protect and strengthen the family in its divine form.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Anything You Can Do....

"Equality is all too often used to mean "identity"; that is, that two equal things must be identical to each other. Such usage represents a fallen and harmful understanding of equality."
~Valerie M. Hudson, Richard B. Miller~

In today's society, it feels as though every interaction between men and women is like this song. It's seems to always be us fighting to prove who's better and that men and women can do all of the same things. 

I started this post with a quote that explains that the traditional definition of equality is inaccurate. Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve said, 

"The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world. Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony. All of Heavenly Father's children are different in some degree, yet each has his own beautiful sound that adds depth and richness to the whole."

So with that in mind, consider this: One gender does not have greater eternal possibility than the other. "Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose." 

No gender is above another and gender is an essential characteristic of who we are, our divine and eternal identity. Nobody was born the wrong gender, or born with the wrong identity. You are you, which is who you were before this life and after this life, you will still be you.

A great deal of feminists and others hoping to use biblical references to prove male domination in history, use Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis as proof of male domination enforced in organized religion. If that is what they think, they couldn't be more wrong. Elder Earl C. Tingey of the Seventy stated, 

"You must not misunderstand what the Lord meant when Adam was told he was to have a helpmeet. A helpmeet is a companion suited to or equal to us. We walk side by side with a helpmeet, not one before or behind the other. A helpmeet results in an absolute equal partnership between a husband and a wife. Eve was to be equal to Adam as a husband and wife are to be equal to each other."

What is meant by "helpmeet" in the biblical story of Adam and Eve is that a man and wife worked together to raise and protect their family. They bring their unique and individual characteristics and abilities together to complement each other. The definition of the term 'complement' is, "a thing that completes or brings to perfection". 

Elder L. Tom Perry stated, "There is not a president or a vice president in a family. We have co-presidents working together eternally for the good of their family. In other words, they are on equal footing. They plan and organize the affairs of the family jointly and unanimously as they move forward."

Monday, November 14, 2016


"Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels."
~ The First Presidency, 1942~

I had intended for this post to be about both fathers and mothers, but chose instead to focus on motherhood. 

Being a mother is what I have wanted ever since I was a little girl playing house with my baby dolls and carrying them around the house. It physically pains me that I have not yet received this blessing, but I am also filled with hope and faith that the time will come when I receive and experience this great, celestial blessing. 

However, my view of motherhood and my desire to be a stay-at-home mother have had me laughed at and berated for not attempting to reach my full potential. I have been scolded for being lazy, and I have been reminded multiple times that motherhood doesn't pay. 

This idea of motherhood not contributing to society and being a useless profession is not new. In 1968 Betty Friedan released her book, "The Feminine Mystique". In her book she asked, 

"Why should women accept this picture of a half-life, instead of share in the whole of human destiny?" For Betty Friedan truly, important achievements required work that she said, 

"is of real value to society-- work for which, usually, our society pays". 

Friedan considered family a "risky proposition", that it "ranked lowest in terms of prestige", and forced women "to subordinate their personal objectives...putting the needs of others first, devoting themselves to the day-to-day well-being of other family members."

Years later President Spencer W. Kimball, of the LDS church, stated,

"Satan has unleashed a seductive campaign to undermine the sanctity of womanhood, to deceive the daughters of God and divert them from their divine destiny. He well knows women are the compassionate, self-sacrificing, loving power that binds together the human family....He has convinced many of the lie that they are third-class citizens in the kingdom of God. That falsehood has led some to trade their divinely given femininity for male coarseness."

Elder Robert D. Hales also stated, 

"The world would state that a woman is in a form of servitude that does not allow her to develop her gifts and talents. Nothing, absolutely nothing, could be further from the truth. Do not let the world define, denigrate, or limit your feelings lifelong learning and the values of motherhood in the home."

The world cannot be more wrong about mothers. Without mothers, there would be no future generation. Without mothers, morals and values would be lost to the world. Below is a short clip of a recent Huggies diaper commercial that really touched me:

Sheri Dew, a prominent LDS leader and CEO of Deseret Book once said,

"Of all the words they could have chosen to define her role and her essence, both God the Father and Adam called Eve 'the mother of all living'-- and they did so before she ever bore a child....Motherhood is more than bearing children....It is the esssence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us."

The world simply doesn't understand the importance of mothers, fathers, and family. I want to leave you with this next video which describes well the divine role and importance of mothers.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Defending the Sanctity of Life

"We are created in the image of God. 
The union of the flesh with the spirit can bring us a fullness of joy.
Teach your children to respect the sanctity of human life, 
to revere it and cherish it. 
Human life is the precious stepping-stone to eternal life, 
and we must jealously guard it from the moment of conception."
~Elder Lynn A. Mickelsen~

From the moment of conception, a woman is carrying a child. In a different time, a pregnant woman was described as, "being with child". That truth has not changed, despite the descriptor being lost to time. 

Elder Russell M. Nelson stated, "As sons and daughters of God, we cherish life as a gift from him...Life comes from life. It is a gift from our Heavenly Father. It is eternal, as he is eternal. Innocent life is not sent by him to be destroyed! This doctrine is not of me, but is that of the living God and of his divine Son."

My favorite part of that quote is, "Innocent life is not sent by him to be destroyed!". That is very true. There is a lot of scientific information that I could include in this post, but I wish to focus on the spiritual nature of the unborn child and the sacred nature of the unborn child. 

In chapter 27 of, "Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives" it states, "Each human being, no matter how young or how small, is a 'beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and as such, each has a divine nature and destiny' ". 

I have been a preschool teacher for the last three years and know from firsthand experience the divine nature and unconditional love that each and every child has. You cannot look at a child who has love, hope, joy, and divinity in their eyes and not see that. It is impossible to miss. 

Elder Russell M. Nelson said, "Yes, life is precious! No one can cuddle a cherished newborn baby, look into those beautiful eyes, feel the little fingers, and caress that miraculous creation without deepening reverence for life and for our Creator." 

There are acceptable times for abortion. For example: "...pregnancy by incest or rape, when the life or health of the woman is adjudged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth." (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1991).

With those comes the understanding that, "...these are not automatic reasons for abortions. Even in these cases, the couple should consider abortion only after consulting with each other, and their bishop, and receiving divine confirmation through prayer."

In such rare cases, serious prayer and consultation are key to deciding what the best action is for each individual case. 

I wish to end with this quote from Russell M. Nelson, "The woman's choice for her own body does not validate choice for the body of another...The consequence of terminating the fetus therein involves the body and very life of another. These two individuals have separate brains, separate hearts, and separate circulatory systems. To pretend that there is no child and no life there is to deny reality."

Monday, November 7, 2016

Enduring, Healthy Marraige

"While marriage is difficult, and discordant and frustrated marriages are common,
yet real, lasting happiness is possible, 
and marriage can be more an exultant ecstasy than the human mind can conceive. 
This is within the reach of every couple, every person."
~Spencer W. Kimball~

I am not married, nor have been yet in my life. I hope to one day find someone with whom I can build a firm and enduring relationship that will be eternal and divine in nature. I want a marriage where we support each other, we work together, pray together, and care for our eternal family together. 

In today's world, divorce is prevalent and seen as a way to leave a relationship if not all is going as planned or expected. It is saddening to see marriage no longer viewed as a refugee from and a strength through which we can survive unexpected trials that come our way. 

Elder Bruce C. Hafen stated,

"When troubles come, the parties to a contractual marriage seek happiness by walking away. They marry to obtain benefits and will stay only as long as they're receiving what they bargained for. But when troubles come to a covenant marriage, the husband and wife work them through. They marry to give, and to grow, bound by covenants to each other, to the community, and to God. Contract companions each give 50 percent. But covenant companions each give 100 percent. Enough and to spare. Each gives enough to cover any shortfall by the other."

We must give 110 percent to our relationships. Only then will we fulfill our covenants and strengthen our marital relationships. 

Elder Robert D. Hales stated, 

"An eternal bond doesn't just happen as a result of sealing covenants we make in the temple. How we conduct ourselves in this life will determine what we will be in all the eternities to come. To receive the blessings of the sealing that our Heavenly Father has given to us, we have to keep the commandments and conduct ourselves in such a way that our families will want to live with us in the eternities."

I have limited relationship experience, and as previously stated, I have not been married. I do know this however, a marriage cannot survive, if you do not strive. You, we must strive to strengthen our relationships and ensure that no matter what comes our way, our relationships will be steadfast and immovable. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Marital Sexuality & Fertility

"Godly sex is so much  more...than merely a physical act; it has a spiritual component...
A deeper connection [within sexual relations] goes far beyond 
simply understanding how to overcome sexual dysfunction...
It goes way beyond technique and physique. 
This deeper dimension is experienced when we move past pleasure as a goal 
and instead seek intimate connection-- not just with our bodies but also with our souls."
~T.A. Gardner~

Sexuality is a sensitive subject for many and causes even more to blush when discussing it or it is brought in conversation. However, the majority of the world discusses it freely with no hesitation, as if sex is nothing more than a good time and something to do with any all romantic partners that an individual has. It is in fact seen, in the world, as a step in the relationship process. It signifies commitment and connection between two individuals. 

However, in my world, sex is not a word easily thrown or tossed around. It is something sacred, saved for marriage, and full of great power. As the opening quote explains, true sex is a godly act with a deep emotional and spiritual component. It goes far beyond the physical act, the technique, physique and pleasure of it, to something far deeper and more intimate than the world would have you believe. 

President Spencer W. Kimball of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints once said, "We need an unspoiled companion who will not count our wrinkles, remember our stupidities nor remember our weaknesses;...we need a loving companion with whom we have suffered and wept and prayed and worshipped; one with whom we have suffered sorrow and disappointments, one who loves us for what we are or intend to be rather than what we appear to be in our gilded shell."

Physicality is not the nature of sex. Nor is it the intended focus. In Chapter 5 of "Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives" it states that, "A good prescription for marital sexuality is integrating emotional closeness, pleasuring, excitement or eroticism, and spirituality....Sexuality should be expressed in a way that enhances your intimate, marital relationship and bonds you together."

One final quote from that chapter reads, "Couples should strive to create a 'we' relationship, where both partners' sharing and pleasure is important as opposed to one person individually focused on what she or he will get out of the experience."

We live in a world that is becoming more and more individualistic. Everything is about the individual, and having a family is being put on the back burner. Relationships are falling apart because individuals are demanding certain fulfillments from a relationship that they have put nothing into emotionally, or spiritually. 

Be there for your spouse, for each other. Treat sex as a sacred spiritual experience meant to create and strength you and your spouses intimate connection. Sex is not a recreational activity meant to be had with multiple partners and without romantic or relationship strings. It is a sacred act shared in the bonds of matrimony.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

ABCs of Successful Romantic Relationship Development

I came across an article in a recent school course with a similar title. Thomas B. Holman, Frank Poulsen, and others began their article with the statement, "the purpose...is to present research and prophetic and scriptural guidance to help young Latter-day Saints be successful in finding an eternal companion. We do so within the framework of the....ABCDEs of mate selection."

These so-called ABCDEs are:

A- Aware of or acquaintance with another person
B- Buildup of the relationship
C- Continuation following commitment to a long-term relationship ( which may result in marriage for many couples)
D- Deterioration or decline in the interdependence of the couple
E- Ending of the relationship

The article continues by saying, "President Thomas S. Monson noted, 'Decisions determine destiny. That is why it is worthwhile to look ahead, to set a course, to be at least partly ready when the moment of decision comes.' Thus, we must look ahead to the type of marriage we want, set a course toward that goal, and then 'prepare every needful thing' (D+C 88:119) so when the opportunity for establishing a relationship that could lead to eternal marriage arises, we are read to move forward with faith."

We have to understand that not all relationships will go through all of the ABCDEs listed above. Some relationships are short-lived and are only acquaintances, others build up with a few dates. Commitment occurs with a few, but not for all.

The biggest realization and acceptance is that many relationships will deteriorate and end. Some are a mutual decision others won't be of our choice. For further details for each of the ABCDEs, refer to the following book,

Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives edited by Alan J. Hawkings, David C. Dollahite, Thomas W. Draper.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Pathways to Eternal Marriage

In today's dating world, everyone is looking for Mr./Mrs. Right, that perfect person to share a perfect love and perfect eternal love. This approach to dating, according to Jason S. Carroll, "...creates feelings of anxiety about dating, as young people feel overwhelmed by the prospect of finding their 'perfect match.' "

From experience, I can say that this anxiety is real. When dating, you are so paralyzed with a fear of making a mistake that even taking one step in any direction is nerve-wracking.

In the remainder of his article, Jason C. Carroll discusses a dating approach known as becoming. Carroll explains, "The difference between the 'finding Mr./Mrs. Right' approach and this approach is that the 'becoming' approach primarily emphasizes personal readiness, maturity, and growth....the main emphasis is on becoming ready for marriage and then committing to that relationship when you have made the decision to marry."

So for example, when searching for Mr./Mrs. Right, we all have a list. Don't deny it, you have a list. This list is of characteristics and personality traits that we look for and desire in our perfect match. With the becoming approach, you take that list and use it on yourself. You must ask the question: Do I have all of these traits? Are there any traits that I need to work on?

After asking those questions, we need to work towards becoming the perfect version of ourselves so that when the opportunity for a relationship comes we are emotionally mature and ready for such a commitment. But there is one more key to dating successfully.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught, "Do you want capability, safety, and security in dating and romance, in married life and eternity? Be a true disciple of Jesus. Be a genuine, committed, word-and-deed Latter-day Saint. Believe that your faith has everything to do with your romance, because it does. You separate dating from discipleship at your peril."

That is the key. Dating and relationships must be approached with the Lord. The Lord guides in the right direction toward the relationships we need to learn, grow, and fulfill our promises, commitments, and covenants with God.

Elder Richard G. Scott stated, "You have a choice. You can wring your hands and be consumed with concern for the future or choose to use the counsel the Lord has given to live with peace and happiness."

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Perspectives on Same-Sex Marriage

This topic is difficult to broach simply because of the hypersensitivity surrounding the issue and the modern desire to remain politically correct. During studies for a recent course regarding successful marriages and families, this topic came up.

An article entitled, "An LDS Family Law Professor's Perspectives on Same-Sex Marriage" by Lynn D. Wardle , as evidenced by its title discussed the ever-sensitive issue. 

Wardle began her article with, 

"Future historians will likely identify the public policy controversies of the past two decades concerning the legal definition of marriage as the defining social issue for this generation of Americans."

So, this is our defining moment. How do we want this moment to define us?

Wardle continues by saying, "Marriage is the well-spring of social capital - those intangible resources that contribute to a strong society, economy, and nation - in any community...Economists emphasize the importance of trust that facilitates exchange...of social engagement, willingness to serve, and charity."

Economists are citing the importance of trust, willingness to serve, and charity. We have heard those terms before from the scriptures. We are taught that charity is the pure love of Christ. We are taught that with willingness to serve, comes humility, hope, love, faith, and truth. With trust comes blessings beyond measure. 

What does all this have to do with same-sex marriage? John Witte states, "A breakdown of marriage and the family will eventually have devastating consequences on these larger social institutions." What does he mean? Wardle continues the thought with, "When the institution of marriage disintegrates, the transmission and inculcation of the root paradigms and core values of a society also disintegrate."

Same-sex marriage is simply one example of how the family and marriage are being broken down and torn apart. The true nature of families is integral to the strength of the society. You break or remove one part and the rest falls apart. True marriages and families are the capstone of our society and community. Remove the capstone and the arch falls apart and can't hold itself together. 

The above article referenced is found in the book,

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Healthy, Stable Marriages

In 1995, Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley and his counselors gave new revelation in The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Near the end of this prophetic proclamation it states,

"We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society."

I know that in today's political environment, conversations regarding marriages and families can be a bit touchy. There's the controversy over homosexual relationships, abortion laws, women's rights, and gender identities. With so much controversy and confusion, so-called "Gadiantons" have declared themselves the heroes and protectors of marriage and families. These "heroes" simply continued and helped with the distortion of the family and increased their own vain, greedy, political power.

So, within this tumultuous world how can anyone have a healthy, stable, successful marriage? Alan J. Hawkins, in his article, "A Public Policy Agenda to Help Couples Form and Sustain Healthy, Stable Marriages", states,

"For youth and young adults, the pathways to a healthy, stable marriage are increasingly convoluted and challenging to walk....how can we help young people find safer and more effective pathways to healthy marriages?....a modest public policy agenda.....stresses the availability of a series of educational opportunities, including: (a) school-based relationship literacy for youth; (b) positive relationship formation education for young adults; and (c) effective premarital education for engaged couples, as well as ongoing relationship enrichment education in the early years of marriage to help couples learn the needed skills for a healthy marriage."

So if we simply learn the skills, values, and principles of a healthy relationship, then abortions, unexpected pregnancies, extra-marital sexual relations, and other non-healthy relationship traits will diminish.....That's the idea anyway.

Hawkins' video gives more detail and information on his agenda and just how much he believes it can change the dating and relationship world into something far healthier and stronger than it is now.

Do I agree with Hawkins? I do believe that there is an extreme lack of education regarding just what a healthy relationship is. My exhibit A is a recent film entitled, "Fifty Shades of Grey" which is based off a book with the same title. This film and book are the definition of an extremely unhealthy relationship based on all the wrong ideas and principles.

The problem is that the adversary and the rest of the world is telling youth and young adults that such relationships are healthy and that emotional connections intimacy are secondary, or less important than, a healthy sexual relationship (complete with various "toys" and other questionable items).

So with all the wrong principles and answers being shoved in our direction, where can we find the right answers? The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Our Heavenly Father has provided us with the proclamation and His holy scriptures to guides in the ways that we should go, including finding and maintaining healthy, successful relationships.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Eternal Family

This is the second post in my current series, regarding successful marriages and families. This post is specifically about the doctrine of the family according the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

We believe the family to be an eternal unit and that priesthood keys were restored through Joseph Smith that allowed for the ordinances and covenants of eternal marriage and families to be restored to the Earth.

In my course readings I came across this quote, which reads, "Birth into a family was the way God chose to send His spirit children to earth. Marriage and family relationships are the central means He has prepared to achieve His purposes."

Elder M. Russell Ballard taught, "The family is where the foundation of personal, spiritual growth is built and nurtured; the Church, then, is the scaffolding that helps support and strengthen the family."

To know that I can and will be with my parents and siblings, and my own future family for eternity is a great blessing to me. To think and know that many in today's world, believe that life ends upon one's death and that loved ones are simply gone forever, is extremely depressing. To think that this life has no divine purpose and that we are simply a natural evolution or accident makes no sense to me.

The doctrine of the eternal family further teaches us that we existed before this life and will continue to exist for the eternities hereafter calms my troubled heart and give me hope for my family who have passed on.

An early leader in the LDS church, Elder Parley P. Pratt felt great emotion at learning the doctrine of eternal marriages and families. He exclaims, "I had loved before, but I knew not why. But now I loved- with a pureness- an intensity of elevated, exalted feeling, which would lift my soul from the transitory things of this groveling sphere and expand it as the ocean. I felt...that the wife of my bosom was an immortal, eternal companion; a kind ministering angel...a crown of glory for ever and ever."

Daniel K. Judd stated, "The eternal nature  of the marriage covenant and the promise of everlasting family association are among the most beautiful and essential doctrines of the restored gospel. In fact, the purpose of the gospel and the Church is to exalt the family."

A final quote I wish to share is from Elder Hugh B. Brown who said, "...our very concept of heaven itself is the projection of the home into eternity. Salvation, then, is essentially a family affair, and full participation in the plan of salvation can be had only in family units."

Our very concept of heaven is home into the eternities!! I love that so much!!! There are many hymns in our Church that describe home as a heaven on earth, simply because it is. A loving home filled with the Spirit of God is a small sliver of heaven brought to earth.

Amidst all the chaos, temptations, and conflicts in the world we can have a small piece of heaven in our lives. Why would we give that up?

Please feel free to comment below and express your opinions as well.

Further Reading:

Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives edited by Alan J. Hawkins, David C. Dollahite, Thomas W. Draper. Chapter 32, "The Eternal Family: A Plain and Precious Part of the Plan of Salvation" by Daniel K. Judd

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Faith In Family Life

I beginning a series of posts during the next three months to discuss and share with you my thoughts regarding gospel principles and successful marriages and families. For those of a different faith, I am simply sharing my views of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint's doctrines on the family.

For my first post in this series I would like to discuss the affect of faith, any religious faith, on marriages and family life.

In one of my current college courses I came across a statement that stayed with me. It is from a man named Joseph who is a non-denominational Christian father. He said, "There's something that...when as a family your hearts are pointed together toward the same thing, and it's God, then parenting and economics and space and food and disagreements and hassles and joys and celebrations and all that other stuff...it works different, it seems different, it feels different....Our family is all oriented in the same way. Christ is King, He's the center, He's what it's all about....Our faith informs our relationships and everything about us."

When you decided to take that step into marital status, it is key and extremely important that you and your future spouse have a common religious goal. In today's world, religion is being pushed to the side and being made to appear unimportant and having no affect on one's daily life. I wholeheartedly disagree.

Without religion, without faith, the commandment to Love thy Neighbor is gone. That love and divine heritage that connects us all fades away until it is completely forgotten. What reason have we then to sacrifice for our fellow man to serve those around us?

Many are saying we are human after all. It's in our nature to love one another. I say it is not. The natural man is selfish, and cares only for its survival. Without the simple knowledge of who we are, we come from, and where we are going, the world will fall into chaos.

This is being proven today. Marriages are being entered into with the attitude of, "Me, Me, I, I". People become concerned when they receive nothing from their marital relationship. They feel they deserve more from their relationship. However, no one is stopping to ask the extremely important question, "What have you put into the relationship? What have you done to serve your spouse, to help your spouse, to work together with your spouse?"

Faith provides a common direction, goal, and guide to how to serve each other and God throughout our lives. Faith is the anchor that keeps us from being swallowed up in the chaos of today's selfish, egotistical world demanding extreme individualism.

The introduction of individualism in the 17th and 18th centuries was initially a great revolution of the American family. It allowed for children to be seen as they truly are: innocent and pure. It also allowed for more freedoms for women and a newfound respect for their roles in the home. Most importantly it introduced the important of mutual affection and love in the marital relationship.

Now, however, individualism is being taken to the extreme. Only faith and faith filled communities can remove the selfish nature of the natural man and instill the virtues of selflessness, sacrifice, and the true love of Christ in a world in desperate need of these virtues.

Please comment and share how your faith, no matter the denomination, has influenced your life and your marriages. Thank you!

For further reading:

Successful Marriages and Families. edited by Alan J. Hawkins, David C. Dollahite, Thomas W. Draper; Chapter 18, "Faith in Family Life".

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Letter From Christ

I was having a spiritual discussion with a very close friend of mine and she introduced me to a very beautifully written letter that I would like to share with you. I hope it gives you some perspective.

Dear Friend,
I just had to send you a note to tell you how much I love you and care about you. I saw you yesterday as you were walking with your friends. I waited all day hoping you would want to talk with me also.  It hurt me, but I still love you because I am your friend.
I saw you fall asleep last night, and longed to touch your brow. So I spilled moonlight on your pillow and your face. Again I waited, wanting to rush down so that we could talk. I have so many gifts for you, but you awakened late the next day and rushed off to school. My tears were in the rain.
Today you looked sad, so alone. It makes my heart ache because I understand. My friends let me down and hurt me so many times too. But I love you. Oh, if you would only listen to me. I really love you. I try to tell you in the blue sky and green grass. I whisper in the leaves on the trees, and breathe it in the color of the flowers. I shout it to you in the mountain streams and give the birds love songs to sing, clothe you in warm sunshine and perfume the air with nature scents .My love for you is deeper than the oceans and bigger than the biggest want or need in your heart.
If you only knew how much I want to help you. I want you to meet my Father. He wants to help you too. My Father is that way, you know.
Just call me, ask me, and talk with me.  Please, please don’t forget me. I have so much to share with you. But I won’t hassle you any further. You are free to call me. It’s up to you. I’ll wait because I love you.
 Your big brother

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tearing Down the Bunker

As she looked around her small one bedroom apartment, she realized it had become a bunker of sorts. She had turned it and herself into Fort Knox. The piano sat silent against the wall and books collected dust on the shelves.

When had her true smile disappeared? When did she stop enjoying the things she truly loved? When she begin hiding from the world? She had locked herself up so tight she didn't really even recognize herself. The question now was: What was she going to do about it?

She smiled to herself and the words from Rachel Platten's "Fight Song" came to mind. As motivating as that song was, it really only expressed a feeling not a way to achieve that feeling. That was done on an individual level. So how to get herself back....

Dancing while cooking and cleaning was one of her favorite pastimes. It was time to re-initiate the ritual. She loved going for walks, reading outside, and falling asleep in soft, green grass. So walks were going back on the list.

Scrapbooking and card-making were going to make a comeback and strict budgeting was must. The nerd in her loved a good spreadsheet. Maybe it was genetic? Who knows...life is silly that way.

It was time to break free and be herself again. Life has it's ups and downs. However, we control how long we are stuck in our slumps. Dr. Seuss once described these slumps as The Waiting Place. We decide how long we sit in that waiting place, before we look around and say, "NO!," as we stand up and, "I have a life to live and now is the time to move on." We don't just stop being ourselves just because one bad thing happened in our lives.

After each event we experience we add to ourselves, improve on ourselves. She decided she was a better person today than she was when this all began. No more Netflix binges and junk food chubbs time. (except on certain occasions) It was time to take her life back.

As many of you have probably already guessed the "she" in this post and in a previous post are the author of this blog. I find writing in a more fictional format makes presenting my thoughts flow much easier. However in this case, I have something to say.

If you want to know the honest truth about life, here it is: Mortality is the hardest thing we will ever experience. It was never meant to be easy and sometimes I get really frustrated, but you know what,...your attitude towards each experience and event that occurs in your life can make all of the difference. Please comment below if you would like to add your new goal of reclaiming yourself or of simply surviving a trying circumstance in your life.

Thank you for reading.