Tuesday, December 15, 2015


2015 brought the worst and the best times of my life. I learned some pretty hard things in some extremely tough ways, like what true heartbreak, betrayal, and complete loneliness felt like. I learned what it's like to feel like there's no where to turn. I learned the fear of being all alone in a new place. But because of all those experiences, I was able to learn how much my Savior loves me, the undoubtable power of prayer, the real meaning of love, and what I deserve as a daughter of God. 2015 broke me and then rebuilt me into a new and better person that I couldn't love more. And even though it was the hardest thing I've ever had to face, I would go through it over and over again if it meant I got to be where I am right now. I would go through it over and over again because of the things I learned and the testimony I gained. 

 In January of 2015, I shared my testimony on here and since then it has grown tremendously. I have learned more about myself, this gospel, and my Savior Jesus Christ in 2015 than I have in my entire life as a whole. I have felt the spirit more and I have never been stronger in the church than I am right now in life.

So with that being said, I would like to share my testimony with you. 

I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the earth. I know that Joseph Smith restored the church and translated the Book of Mormon. I know that he devoted his life to protecting the word and because I know this I also know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that the Book of Mormon was written for us in our day and that we can receive guidance and answers to life's questions in it's pages. I know that if we read each day we will be blessed and will have endless happiness in our lives. I know that God hears and answers our prayers even if He answers them in a way that isn't what we were hoping. I know that if you get on your knees and talk to your Heavenly Father, He will lift you up. He will give you peace, hope, comfort, and love. Prayer is the most amazing tool we have, I mean how amazing is it that we can talk to our Creator and receive answers? I am so thankful for that privilege. I know that God has a plan for us, that everything that happens in our life happens for a reason and that God will pull us through any trial. I know that we are given trials for a reason and that through our trials we will grow more than we ever thought possible. I am thankful that through my trials I have been able to grow closer to my Savior and learn more about myself and this gospel. Trials are essential to our life on this earth but we do not have to go through it alone. We have a Father in Heaven and a Savior who love us eternally. I know that our Savior died for each of us so that we could utilize the atonement and return to live with Him again someday. I know that coming to Christ and repenting of our sins is the only way to live in Celestial glory. Repentance is absolutely real and God's grace and mercy covers anything we've ever done and everything in our lives. No matter what we do, if you come unto Christ with a truly repentant heart, we can be forgiven and be clean again. God's grace can and will save you. I also know that the atonement isn't just for repentance, it is also for comfort because the Savior has felt every single one of our pains and hardships. I know that Jesus Christ understands everything we feel in this life because he knelt in the garden and felt it all. I know that our Father in Heaven will carry us through anything in our life. No matter how down or how worthless we feel, God can save us. He will never leave us alone, He is always there. He will never let you down, He will never let you go if you will just turn to Him. The power of the Savior's atonement is endless and omnipotent. And I am so thankful for the atonement's power in my life. I know that the gospel and this church are the only way to have true happiness. This church brings happiness that nothing else in this world can because the gospel brings happiness that lasts for eternity. The happiness that is felt in the gospel can't even be compared to any kind of temporal or earthly happiness because the happiness brought by the gospel is eternal and perfect. That kind of happiness doesn't just stay for a moment, it stays for an eternity. I am so incredibly thankful to have this church in my life and because of this, I wish to share it with the world because everyone deserves to feel the indescribable happiness that the gospel brings. I know all of this because I have experienced it all in my life. I have read the Book of Mormon and received answers from God. I have used the atonement to feel comfort and to be made clean again. I have been saved by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ when I have been at the lowest point in my life. I have had my prayers answered and received revelation from the Lord. I have felt the eternal joy that this church brings. I have felt God carry me through the toughest times in my life. And sometimes, those toughest times are the best things that have ever happened to us because we are able to find our true selves and come to better know Heavenly Father's love for us. I could never deny any of these things because I have seen them at work in my life. I could never doubt because I have felt the spirit and the Holy Ghost has made these things known to me. I know that if we put our full trust in God, He will never let us down. He has more power than we can imagine (Mosiah 5:2). He loves us with unconditional and everlasting love. It's a kind of love that nothing can compare to. I have felt His love and continue to feel it everyday; it is truly the most wonderful feeling. I know that I am a child of God and a daughter of a King. I am so blessed. I have so much to be grateful for and I am so proud to be a member of this amazing church. There is no doubt in my mind that this church is true. I love the gospel and I love my Father in Heaven and my Savior Jesus Christ.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Our Personal Gethsemane

At some point in life, everyone must experience their own personal Gethsemane. For the Savior, this meant experiencing the most excruciating pain ever felt as He suffered for all the pain and sin in the world. For the Savior, this meant experiencing Satan head on and reaching a breaking point where He wanted to give up. For us, this is when we experience those times where we are in such suffering that we are on the brink of life. It's when we feel as if everything in our life is going wrong. It's when we feel completely lost and absolutely alone. It's when we can't see the way out and have completely lost all hope.  For us, our Gethsemane is the nights spent crying because we feel like it'd be easier if we simply just disappeared. 

Although this event that we call our Gethsemane may be different for everyone, that doesn't mean that one person's pain and suffering is worse than another's. But no matter what it is, this event will lead you to a point in your life where you must decide which path to take. You can take the easy way out, which is turning away from Christ, thinking He has turned away from you. Or, you can use your own personal Gethsemane to rely solely on Christ and put your life in His hands. By putting your life in His hands, you learn that Christ will never turn His back on you because He loves you and He has a plan for you. And just as Heavenly Father's plan involved Christ suffering unimaginable pain in Gethsemane, there are times in our life where pain is a part of the plan. 

So what do we do with this pain? What is its purpose in our lives? Well, over the last few months, I have experienced what I believe to be one of my own personal Gethsemane's and I have learned that from our pain and from our tribulation can come the most beautiful testimony and understanding of our Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ. My Gethsemane has taught me that no matter how dark things are, there is always light. No matter how bad things seem, there is always good. No matter how broken you are, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ can and WILL heal you. I have learned that because Christ suffered His Gethsemane completely alone, we do not have to suffer ours alone. Christ knows. He perfectly understands every single thing you've ever gone through and He has felt every single pain you've ever felt. He is there and He is waiting for you to come to Him. I have learned that if you let it, your own personal Gethsemane will make you stronger than you ever believed you could be. It will make you realize that there is ALWAYS a light and there is ALWAYS hope because Christ is the light and Christ is our hope. I have learned that just as Christ knew that His Father would be there for Him and that eventually the day would come when He would no longer have to feel the pain's and suffering's of this world, we too will experience our own days where everything comes together. We just need to be patient enough to allow God to give us the experiences we need to have in order to learn the things of this world and draw nearer unto Him. I wouldn't trade my personal Gethsemane for anything because I have learned more about myself and this gospel during this time than I have in any other time in my life. I have learned to pray the hardest when it is the hardest to pray. I have learned that Christ's atonement is available to all and it will heal you. I have learned that I am never alone.

So when you face your own personal Gethsemane, remember that there is a way out and HE IS THE WAY! Christ will guide you through every trail and tribulation no matter how excruciating the pain or how lost you may feel. Don't allow yourself to get trapped in the darkness the comes from losing sight of Christ and believing Satan's lies that things will never get better. Because no matter the trial, the day will come when the pain will be lifted and you will be rewarded for your obedience and endurance. Remember that you are never alone and someone does understand because someone has already experienced this pain. Draw nearer unto Christ and He will draw nearer unto you. 

The path of salvation always goes through Gethsemane. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Never Give Up

The last year of my life has been complete hell. Yes, I realize that there are people out there with no food, water, shelter, or other necessities that I tend to take for granted. I know there are people who are losing loved ones and are without families. So let me rephrase that, the last year of my life has been complete personal hell. My entire life, I have struggled to trust people around me. I have always been an extremely kind, giving, and selfless person and it has tended to get me used a lot of times in my life. I cannot count the times that I have been taken for granted, abandoned, walk on, or used. But, through all those times throughout my life I got through it because my ultimate goal in life has been for others to be happy. But this last year was different. Throughout this last year, I have experienced more heartbreak, abandonment, betrayal, disloyalty, and pain than I ever have before. It started at the New Year when a silly boyfriend who cheated on me broke my heart. It was so sad, but I always knew things would be okay. I knew I would learn to trust again and I knew I would find a way to love again. That’s when the next boy came along. It was February 2015. He was like my knight in shining armor, a new light brought into my dark life. He loved me more than anyone ever has and cared for me deeper than I’ve ever been cared for before. Our time together meant more to me than any other time I’ve spent with any other person. I moved over 200 miles away from all my friends and family to be with him in May and when he proposed in July, I had never been happier. Seeing the man I loved more than anyone in the world down on one knee with the most beautiful ring in his hand, realizing he was mine for eternity was the most overwhelming and joyful experience I had ever had. I had never experienced such happiness. And, I thought that was it. I would never have to experience heartbreak like I had previously in my life and I had finally found my true prince charming. But then, 2 months later on September 5, my prince charming shattered me into a million pieces. Once you’re engaged, the thought of breaking up doesn’t even cross your mind. You’ve done it, you’ve found the one that you’re going to spend the rest of your life with and you don’t have to worry anymore. You can settle in, put down roots, and become comfortable. The trust issues I had been struggling with my entire life and the walls I had built up could now come down. And that’s what I’d done. I had invested my entire heart and trust, something I had never fully done before, into this man I thought I would spend eternity with. And when he walked away, I had never been so caught of guard, but I wasn’t just going to let all that go so I fought with everything I had in me. But, in the end, it wasn’t enough. He broke every promise he’d made to me and walked away from the life we were supposed to have together. The next 3 months were full of heart breaking moments that made me relive the pain over and over. Within weeks, he had a new girl in his life and a few more weeks after that they were officially together and I officially could not take it anymore. My heart was broken, but it was more than that because I was broken. There were mornings and nights when I could hardly breathe because of the intense pain in my chest. There were days that lasted weeks and weeks that lasted years. Once a person has their heart ripped out the way I have, something in them changes. A switch flips that permanently puts up walls and doesn’t ever intend on letting them down. The trust issues increase to an unimaginably high number. And their faith that everything is going to “be okay” goes away. Once a person has experienced the kind of abandonment and pain I have, they change. They’re not as open or outgoing. They stay to themselves because being alone is better than the thought of being hurt again. I’m different now because of the things I’ve been through, and I just have to learn to go on throughlife this way. The last year of my life has changed everything about me. Everything I thought I knew about others and myself have been flipped upside down and the only constant thing I have been able to rely on is the gospel of Jesus Christ. But that doesn’t mean I always relied on it. I had moments of overwhelming doubt and times when I didn’t feel the love of my Savior at all. I’m not proud to admit it but over the course of those 3 months, I had times when I went as far as doubting the existence of my Savior and the truthfulness of this church. However, without the church as a constant in my life, I would not be here today. Without the gospel in my life I would not be able to get through this trial that I am currently facing. The atonement of Christ has offered more life, love, hope, peace, and comfort, than anyone or anything in this world could give me. The words of the scriptures bring more hope than one could ever imagine. Being able to talk to my Father in Heaven every day brings me the glimpses of happiness that let me know that things can and will be okay again. I can’t see it right now, but because of my Savior Jesus Christ, I know that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel that I am in. The last year of my life has tried me in ways that I never thought I could over come.  The last year of my life has hurt me in ways that I did not think were even possible. The last year of my life has broken and bent me in ways that I did not think one could recover from. But, because of this gospel and because of this church, I have been able to over come, to defeat the impossible, and recover from all pain. Yes, this has been the hardest year of my life, but it has also been the year that I have truly learned how amazing and wonderful and beautiful this gospel is. This last year has shown me a depth of the light of Christ that I didn’t know existed and that is why I am thankful for everything that I have been through in the last year of my life.  So my advice to you is never give up and never quit. Because even if you can’t see it, even if you’re life is so dark you are contemplating not living it anymore, I have been there and I promise you there is a light. And He is the light. Find Him, reach out to Him, and He will grab you by the hand and carry you out of the darkness. He will never let you be alone. He loves you and you are His. 

So the reason I tell you all of this is simply to say that no matter what you've been through, no matter what your personal hell is, don't stop trying. There is a light at the end of the tunnel even if you can't see it. The reason I tell you all of this is best explained by the words of Jeffrey R. Holland "Don't you give up, don't you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. It will all be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come." Never give up. No matter how hard things get or how empty you feel or how hopeless things may seem- don't you dare give up. 

(Also, don't let this post discredit all the amazing things my ex did for me in our time together because the 8 months we had together were filled with amazing times and in our time together he was so great to me. Sometimes things and people just change) 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

His Plan > Mine

This time last year, I looked at the year I had ahead of me and saw so many things. I had a whole plan for my life and I was set on it. It was absolutely perfect and I was determined to chase after it. Then, everything fell apart. That plan didn't work out and I spent many months picking myself back up and rebuilding a new me.

The same thing happened about 4 months ago, I decided what my future looked like and I mapped it all out. I had such a perfect image and plan for what the coming years of my life were going to look like. I was at a point in my life where I didn't think I had anything to worry about. I was comfortable and safe and my future was set. Then, everything fell apart. That plan didn't work out and I've spent the last 2 months picking myself back up and rebuilding a new me.

It's not easy to go through something like that. It's really not easy feeling like you've finally got it all figured out and then have it all come shattering down on you. But, this life isn't easy and it's not supposed to be. Here I am, after everything I've been through, not even close to where I thought I'd be at this time in my life. This "perfect plan" I'd made for my life has been left behind and a new path has revealed itself. And that path, is the path to Heavenly Father's plan for me. I am so thankful that I have a Heavenly Father who knows what I need and watches out for me; a Heavenly Father who loves me endlessly. I'm thankful that He took away things and people that I loved in order to put me on a better path. I'm beginning to realize that my "perfect plan" is never going to be better than the plan that Heavenly Father has for me. He has a map of my life and if I follow Him and keep His commandments, I know that I will be put on His path and I know that His path will be the path full of the most happiness this life has to offer. From the trials in my life, I know that if we just put our full trust in Him and His plan and live the fullness of the gospel, our lives will be filled with eternal and everlasting happiness. And I know that He has a plan for all of us and I have learned that His plan is always better than the one I have in mind.

So, many times in the last few months I have asked myself, "Where do I go now?" And each time I am reminded of Hymn 270 and the line in the chorus that says,
"I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord,
Over mountain or plain or sea;
I'll say what you want me to say , dear Lord,
I'll be what you want me to be."

So, where do I go now? The answer to that is up to the Lord. I have decided to let my Father in Heaven completely lead and guide my life. I will go where He wants me to and do what He wants me to. And I know that by doing this, I will find out what His plan is for me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Truth Is

The truth is, I'm not as strong as everyone seems to think I am. In the midst of all my trails over the last couple of months, I have been told that I am so tough and that I have such a positive outlook on life. But honestly, I am not all that strong. 2 months ago, I had my whole life flipped upside down, inside out, and backwards. Everything that I had planned for my future was gone and I had to start from scratch. And to be quite honest, I had no idea how to. I spent the next few weeks feeling nothing but darkness. I felt lost, alone, crushed, sad, and honestly scared that I couldn't go on. There aren't really words to describe the feeling I had in the pit of my stomach. I didn't know where to turn because here in Cedar City I was all alone. I came here for one reason, and now that that reason was gone, I didn't have one person that I could turn to. So, I turned to the only person I could, my Heavenly Father. I started praying 5-6 times a day, reading endless chapters in the Book of Mormon, and writing pages in my journal each night. I relied solely on Him for my strength and to just get me through each day. Without Him, I would not be standing where I stand today. Without Him, I would not have the testimony I have about trials. Because through this, I have learned that God sometimes takes people out of your life, not because there is something wrong with you, but because that person cannot go where you are going next. God removes them because they have already served their purpose in your life and greater things are in store for you. So when so many people tell me that I am so strong, and I am so tough, and that I have such a positive outlook, I shake my head and say it's not me, it's God. He makes me strong, He makes me tough, He is my positivity. He has literally picked me up and carried me through this trial. When I've prayed for peace, He's calmed my heart. When I prayed for comfort, He wrapped His loving arms around me.

I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that Heavenly Father knows you and He knows exactly what you need. I know that sometimes what we think is best for us, isn't, so He will shake things up in our lives. And even though that tends to cause heartache and pain, it will ultimately be the best thing for us. I know that through the Atonement, I am able to have someone who has felt exactly what I've felt and has experienced exactly what I've been through and who can relate to me perfectly. I am so thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ and for all that He does for me daily. I am so thankful for the comfort and peace that comes from this gospel and the happiness that comes from keeping the commandments. I am so blessed. And because of this gospel, and my Savior, and my Father in Heaven, I am okay. I am strong. And I am happy.

So the truth is, alone I am weak. But with Him, I have been made strong. He has given me the strength to accomplish everything in my life.
The truth is, without Him, this trial would've been too much for me. This has been the hardest thing I have ever had to go through.
The truth is, when I brought my broken heart to Christ, He stitched it back together. And that is something I never would've been able to do myself.
The truth is, I have never struggled more in my entire life than I have over the last 2 months, but I also have never felt closer to my Father in Heaven and my Savior Jesus Christ. And for that, I am thankful for this trial.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

It Will All Work Out

My experiences in the last month have been far from easy. There have been times that I have had trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and I couldn't accept the fact that the things that were happening in my life were actually happening. I have been eagerly awaiting this October's General Conference because I needed the advice and counsel from the Lord and his prophets now more than ever. I went into General Conference having pleaded with Heavenly Father to give me an answer or a sign to help me know that he was aware of me and that things in my life were going to be okay. There aren't words for how strongly I felt the spirit as I listened to each of the speakers this weekend because in every single talk I received personal revelation and answers to every single thing I needed. As I sat back after all 4 sessions of conference and reflected on the talks, I honestly felt like conference had been written specifically for me and my life. I was brought to tears by the sudden realization that my Heavenly Father is so aware of me and he knows exactly what I need. Conference is always amazing but this weekend was absolutely life changing. 

Even though in every talk I was able to feel the comfort and love from my Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ, there was one talk that stuck out from the rest- Yielding Our Hearts to God by Neill F. Marriott. Sister Marriott stated that her family picked the motto "It will all work out" when the family faced a devastating loss. Sister Marriott stated, "Faith in our Redeemer and His Resurrection, faith in His priesthood power, and faith in eternal sealings let us state our motto with conviction." Thinking about the circumstances in my life, I tried to apply the same motto, "it will all work out." As her talk continued, Sister Marriott said that her family made sure that they did not say that things would all work out NOW. And that's when things really clicked in my brain. In hard times, suffering and pain are sometimes required in order for us to learn the things that we need to learn. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better and just because things haven't worked out yet doesn't mean they won't. Because they really will! Through hope, faith, and our Savior, anything that we go through in this life will always work out. 

When Sister Marriott began talking about the Lords plan and timing, I began to cry. Throughout the past month I have really struggled trying to figure out why things are happening and why Heavenly Father would do this to me. I could not figure out what the Lord's plan was for me. I tried to rebel against his plan and just do things my way. I thought that my plan was better because if I did what I wanted to do I would have happiness now. But after listening to Sister Marriott's words, I now have a more full understanding that true and everlasting happiness only comes from fully yielding to God's plan and timing. The only way to find true happiness in your life is by understanding that our Father in Heaven has a plan for you and that his plan for you is not always going to be what you want for yourself. You have to completely trust the Lord in order to find happiness. 

But out of everything that Sister Marriott talked about, nothing made me more emotional or feel the love of my savior more than when she said, "When we offer a broken heart to Jesus Christ, he excepts are offering. He takes us back. No matter what losses, wounds, and rejection we may have suffered, His grace and healing our mightier than all. Truly, yoked to the Savior, we can say with confidence, 'It will all work out.'" I have never experienced heart break quite like I'm experiencing now. And to be honest, I have not really known how to feel okay again, but Sister Marriott made me remember that Jesus Christ can heal my heart and He has felt exactly what I am feeling right now in this moment. This talk helped me to remember that no matter what I go through, and even with what I'm experiencing now, it WILL all work out. Jesus Christ died for me so that I could feel comfort and love. Jesus Christ died for me so that my broken heart could be healed. I know that if we trust in the Lord's plan and bring our pain and sorrow's onto him that Jesus Christ will heal us.

I am so thankful to have a Father in Heaven who cares enough about me to inspire the speakers in General Conference to give answers and guidance that I need in my life. This General Conference has changed my life and has been a real wake-up call for me. There aren't words to describe how spiritually replenished I feel after this weekend. I love this church and I'm so thankful for this gospel.

Is it April yet?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Personalizing the Atonement

Imagine you're watching a movie in your basement when someone knocks on the door.  You open the door to see two personages standing in front of you, their light radiating brighter than the sun. You know who they are so you invite them in to watch the movie with you. You sit down on the couch and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ sit on both sides of you. When you press play on your movie, it's no longer what you were watching, but instead it is a movie of your life from birth to death. As you watch, the movie is coming up on a part where you know you've messed up, you  know you've made a big mistake, you know you've sinned. You cover your face with your hands, terrified, when Christ puts his hand on your shoulder and says, "Don't worry, I've got your back." And right as the movie is about to show your big mistake, it skips to the next scene. You look over at Heavenly Father and He didn't even notice. By the end of the movie, all Heavenly Father has seen is how much good you've done in you're life. He stands up, wraps you in His arms, and tells you how much He loves you. You look back at Christ and He's smiling. You turn to hug Him next, thanking Him for His sacrifice and atonement making it possible for you to return to Heavenly Father's presence. 

The strength, love, and spirit in this story blows my mind. As I closed my eyes and imagined this, I couldn't help but tear up because of the immense love that I could feel from my Heavenly Father and my Savior. Before hearing this story, I didn't realize how personal the Atonement really is. I then began thinking about all of the times in my life that I not only needed relief from sin, but comfort in trials. Once I learned to start personalizing the Atonement, I was able to realize that Jesus Christ really has felt everyone's pain, but most importantly- my pain. I stopped thinking about the Atonement as this amazing thing done for everyone, and began thinking of it as this amazing thing done for ME. Because I know that if the Atonement would've just been to save me, Christ still would've done it, He still would've suffered all the pain in the world just for me. He would've done it for any of us as individuals because He has that much unconditional love for us. Because He did this, He knows exactly what I hold dear in my heart and what hurts me the deepest. He knows the pain of each and every thing I have gone through. He knows exactly what I need when I need it and He knows exactly how to help me. And most of all, He loves me through all of my mistakes and failures. He loves me at my lowest points. He suffered and died for ME and for MY sins so that He would be able to help me through all of life's challenges. Jesus Christ will always be there to put his hand on my shoulder and say, "Don't worry, I've got your back." 

I often think about why we experience pain. Why we have to go through the things we do. No human being on this earth is immune from experiencing pain or sorrow. Some people turn away from God in anger, and others draw nearer unto Him. He infinitely knows the pain we all face, so I beg you to not turn away from Him because He will help you, He will carry you through. The Savior is our biggest advocate, the greatest healer, and in Him we can find peace and solace and comfort from our pains, afflictions, and sins. No matter what you've done, no matter what you've gone through, no matter how low you feel, or how far gone you've travelled, His grace is sufficient. His Atonement is personal. And please never forget that our Savior Jesus Christ died for YOU so that YOU could come unto Him and feel relief from pain and sin. The Atonement is one of the most personal aspects of this gospel and in this church. So why do we experience pain? Because pain is necessary for our growth, pain is necessary for us to grow closer to Christ. And no matter how far you've gone, you can always come back and experience that growth. He will always be there for us, no matter what because He's felt what we feel and He knows why we act the way we do. He understand us more than we understand ourselves. And He loves us more than anyone else does. 

 "If there are here some of you who have been tricked into the conviction that you have gone too far, that you have been weighed down on doubts upon which you alone have a monopoly; that you have had the poison of sin that makes it impossible ever again to be what you could have been, then hear me! I bear testimony that you cannot sink farther than the light and sweeping intelligence of Jesus Christ can reach. I bear testimony that as long as there is one spark of the will to repent and reach, He is there! He did not just descend to your condition, he descended below it; that he might be in and through all things the light of truth."

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Another Wrong Road

So here I am again, telling you all why I'm not doing something I said I was. I'm sure you all know, or have speculated, that I am no longer engaged. This decision was hands down the hardest one of my life and Jordan and I made it together. After a lot of discussion, tears, and prayers, we both know that this is the path we need to be on right now. Words can't describe how much I love Jordan Kelly and how much we both wish this could work out, but it is not the Lords will. But I know that Cedar City is exactly where I am supposed to be and I wouldn't be here without Jordan so for that, and so many other reasons, I am always going to be thankful for him. 

It's really hard when Heaveny Father keeps doing things like this to me. He keeps giving me wrong things in life, making them seem so right, even answering prayers that they are, and then he takes them away from me. And why? For what? Well, I think it's because he knows that I needed to be in Cedar City, and the only way I would come here was if Jordan and I met. But still, couldn't he have found some other way? Something that didn't hurt as much as this does? I will never fully understand Gods plan for me and all I can do right now is rely on Him and His strength and His love to get me through. God has a plan made just for me and I just have to trust in Him and in that plan. 

A few months back, I shared a story by Elder Holland called "Wrong Roads" and to this day it is my favorite. It tells a story of Heavenly Father letting Elder Holland and his son go down a wrong path just so that they had experienced that and could full heartedly know that they were on the right one. This is a philosophy that I have used time and time again over the last year, and it works. If you keep your thoughts positive, and realize that maybe God is trying to get you from A-C as quickly as possible and the only way is by road B. But, B isn't always going to be an easy road; Heavenly Father wants to get you to your destination as quickly as He can and He knows what we can handle and he won't give us anything more than we can take. In times of heartache like this one, it takes perspective and faith and prayer to get through. It takes remembering that Heavenly Father knows me better than I know myself and He knows what I need at all times in my life. It takes knowing that no matter what happens I'm going to be okay because He is watching out for me. Getting through a trial like this isn't going to be easy, not even a little bit, but I know I can do it with Heavenly Father on my side. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

He is Hope

My whole life I have always loved listening to Elder Holland speak. The power and spirit he brings as he speaks always warms my heart. My love for Elder Holland has just grown throughout the years, especially so at this last General Conference. I had the incredible opportunity to attend General Conference in the Conference Center this year. When Elder Holland got up to speak I was giddy inside. I leaned forward in my chair and his powerful voice carried even to the very back of the Conference Center (where I happened to be sitting). This talk ended up being my all time favorite General Conference talk. Ever since, I've been trying to write a blog about it but never could put the amazing power of the talk into words. I've spent the last few months reading the talk every Sunday and dissecting the talk word by word. And even though I am still short for words of the incredible nature of Elder Holland's talk, I felt a strong need to share it. 

Elder Holland starts the talk off with a story about two brothers who were trapped on a ledge somewhere in Snow Canyon State Park. The older of the two helped his brother to safety; knowing that once his brother was hoisted to safety, he would be trapped. John, the older brother, created a plan and told his younger brother, Jimmy, to find a large stick to help pull him out. When Jimmy left, John decided to jump, knowing his little brother wouldn't be there to see him if he jumped to short and fell to his death. When John jumped, he jumped high enough and grabbed on to the ledge, soon after realizing that there was nothing to hold on to. Struggling to grab onto the loose gravel and sand that were beneath his fingers, John realized that he was going to die. Right when he had lost hope, two hands appeared, grabbing his, and pulling him to safety. His younger brother had anticipated his brothers plan and had waited, quietly, knowing that John would try and make that jump. And so, when John jumped, Jimmy grabbed him, held him, and refused to let him fall. 

This story, oh man this story hits home every time I read it. In life, we all have our "ledges", we all have things that seem to leave us hopeless and leave us feeling like we are certainly going to die. Are we all just hanging in a cold canyon somewhere? Just searching for something to grip with nothing but the feeling of sand sliding beneath our fingers, nothing to save us, nothing to hold on to. And more heartbreaking, nothing to hold onto us. Are we that hopeless? Absolutely not. Just when we get to the point of absolute hopelessness, two hands will come to our rescue. Our beloved brother and Savior Jesus Christ will always hold onto us and He will never let us fall. Our Savior has been where we have been and felt everything that we have felt. He knows exactly how we feel. When He knelt in the garden and suffered for our sins, and felt our pains, and knew our sorrows and heartache, and most of all...felt the exact hopelessness. He felt it right as Satan was about to overpower Him, as the Savior himself was being overcome by complete darkness, Heavenly Father reached out and held onto Him. The Savior truly knows how you feel. And just like Heavenly Father saved Him, He will always save us. In fact, He already has. The Atonement of Jesus Christ will save us from our darkest sin, our deepest heartache, and our worst sorrows. There is nothing that you can do or that you can feel that the Atonement doesn't fully cover. And just like Jimmy didn't leave John all alone, just like Jimmy grabbed onto his hands and did not let him fall,  the Savior will always be there holding onto us with all His might. So whatever your ledges are, whatever you may experience in this life, the Saviors strong and loving hands will always be there, lifting you up, and saving you from certain death.

I know this, without a shadow of a doubt, because my Savior has saved me in my darkest hour. He has lifted me from my ledges and has brought me to safety. He has come to me in times where I certainly  thought there was no hope, and He gave me hope. He IS my hope. With Him and the gospel I know that hope is never lost and I know that I will never fall because my Savior will not let me. He is there, He is always there, with His hands outstretched, holding onto mine. I testify that our Savior's Atonement is true and real and will pull you out of the depths of sin and save you from the sorrow of the world. His Atonement, His sacrifice, brings us hope. He died for us but He lives, and He saves us everyday. He is hope, and because He lives, hope is never lost. 

 Elder Holland's 2015 April Gen. Conference Talk:  https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/04/where-justice-love-and-mercy-meet?lang=eng

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Temple

Throughout my life, I have always taken the temple for granted. When I first turned 12 years old, I was so excited to enter into the temple doors for the first time and when I did, I came out so incredibly happy. But then, for reasons I still don't know, I stopped going to the temple. I think, before this last year, I went to the temple maybe 5 times in my life. So what changed? What changed that 12 year old girl who couldn't wait to get inside of the temple- the world. Throughout the course of my jr high and high school life, I let the ways of the world and distractions in it become the most important things. It wasn't until I graduated that I realized that none of that really mattered in the long run. It didn't matter what I wore to the first day of school, it didn't matter what music I listened to, or what movies I watched, no one remembered those days that I didn't wear make up or do my hair, the sports I played ended, and my friends drifted away...and yet, those are the things that I let consume my life and keep me from going to the temple.

I am now at the point in my life where I am figuring out what really matters most. I have learned that being worthy to enter the temple shouldn't be taken as lightly as I have taken it in the past. Being worthy to enter the temple is a very high and sacred honor. It requires you to constantly be living your life in a way that resembles the Savior and his teachings. It requires sacrifice and continual effort and progress to be and stay worthy. There is nothing in this world that brings more happiness and peace to my life than going to the temple. The temple is the only place on this earth where nothing from the world can enter into. It is pure and clean and free from all earthly worries, cares, and distractions. Inside, you are able to feel peace, love, happiness, comfort, guidance, and so much more. 

So what is the most important thing? Attending the temple. The work done inside not only benefits you and your life, but blesses the lives of those who have passed on, those who are waiting for their work to be done. The things and joys of the world will fade and disappear, but the joy the temple brings is eternal. I beg you to not let the world keep you from the temple. Don't let popularity or conformity fog your vision on what is truly important. Do whatever it takes to get to the temple, it is more than worth it. I promise you if you will regularly attend the temple, your life will be blessed more than you could ever imagine. I have never felt more peace, love, strength, and security than I feel when I am inside of the temple. So learn from my mistake, learn what I have learned- the temple is the most sacred and amazing place on earth, do not take it for granted. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Past Year

This time last year, I looked at the year I had ahead of me and saw so many things. I had a whole plan for my life and I was set on it. It was so perfect and I was determined to chase after it. Well here I am a year later, not even close to where I thought I'd be. This "perfect plan" I had made for my life has been left behind because an even better plan has revealed itself. And that plan, is God's plan. I am so thankful that I have a Heavenly Father who knows what I need and watches out for me; a Heavenly Father who loves me so endlessly. I'm thankful that He took away things and people that I loved in order to put me on a better path. And now that I'm here, a year later, His plan is way better than my "perfect plan" ever was. I know that if we just put our full trust in Him and His plan and live the fullness of the gospel, our lives will be filled with everlasting happiness. And I know that He has a plan for all of us and I have learned that His plan is always better than the one we have in mind. 

It wasn't always easy though, having Heavenly Father take away the things and people I loved was extremely difficult and tore me apart inside. He tested all of my limits, but I learned that that was the only way for me to grow and to get on the path of righteousness. Sometimes, He knows what will force change within us. There were times where I didn't see the bigger picture and I didn't want to keep going because it was so hard, but then, I learned to put my faith and trust in the Lord and I let him carry me and guide me. And believe me, I have never been happier. I am closer to the spirit than I have ever been before. I am closer to my Heavenly Father and Savior than I have ever been before, and it's all because I put my life into His hands and said, "Father I trust you to take me where you want me to be." And He did. Looking back, I am so incredibly grateful that He took me out of the situation I was in, completely messed up my plans, and helped me get on the path that He has mapped out for me. He wants to help us, He wants to be there, He wants to take our burdens and make them light, but we have to let Him. And if we do, I promise you that everlasting joy and happiness will enter into your life. There will still be hard times, you will still face adversity and sorrow and anguish, but if you have a firm testimony and faith in God and His plan, you will better be able to endure your trials and overcome sorrow. I'm so thankful for a loving Father in Heaven who is so willing and able to help me through anything life throws at me. I am so thankful that He has a plan for my life and that if I keep the commandments and do the things I'm suppose to be doing, that plan will begin to unfold in my life. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

In a culture where the role of a woman and a mother is skewed, we must remember how essential being a mother is in Gods plan for His children. The role of a mother is written time and time again in the scriptures, the family proclamation, and by prophets of old and new. Heavenly Father has made motherhood a divine calling here on this earth and it is our job as women to step up and take that calling upon ourselves. There is no calling more essential or more eternal than that of being a mother. The closest we can get to the love that our Heavenly Father has for us is the love of our mothers. The love a mother has for her children is comparable to nothing else here on the earth. It is so incredibly pure. I believe that there is nothing more powerful than a home filled with a worthy priesthood holder and a righteous, loving mother. And the prayers of a righteous mother are the most powerful types of prayers. The family proclamation specifies many times that marriage is to be between a man and a woman, this is so that you can have the priesthood power and divine role of a mother in the home and this is such a huge part of the Fathers plan for us. Motherhood is so special and so sacred and the divinity of it goes back to Mary, the mother of Christ. Heavenly Father picked the most pure and righteous of his daughters to bear His only begotten son. This son would not only inherit traits from his Father in Heaven, but from Mary. This made it so Mary had to live her life in a way that the Savior of the world could resemble. Throughout Jesus' life, Mary never left His side, she even stood at the bottom of the cross and watched her son get crucified. She was an amazing example of the type of mother we should all try to be one day. We must try to remember how heavenly mothers are and how each of us women were put on this earth to be mothers! It is so essential. Heavenly Father gave us time here on earth to be righteous and raise righteous children. Motherhood isn't easy, and it isn't suppose to be, but it is equal to that of the work of Heavenly Fathers Angels. There is a reason our Heavenly Mother isn't mentioned in scripture or talked about and it is because she is too special, too holy, too pure, too perfect. And that is how every righteous mother is seen in Gods eyes. I'm so thankful for my mother and all the other mothers out there who have stepped up and taken on this eternal and divine role of motherhood. I hope to one day follow the example of the righteous women around me and become a mother. Happy Mother's Day to every divine mother out there, but especially to my own.