Thursday, February 26, 2015

Your Life

With the recent happenings in my hometown, I decided that it is extremely important to address the importance of your life. Whenever you feel as if you are worthless or that the world is out to get you, just remember that you have the Savior and your Father in Heaven on your side. They are always there for you. He made you with his own two hands and He loves every part of you. He loves everything that the world doesn't, everything that the world might tear you down for. He knows how it feels to be the "weird" kid or the kid sitting alone at lunch every day. He knows how it feels to be the guy who girls turn down for every date or the girl that sits at home on a Friday night because she's never been taken out. He knows how it feels to be picked on, ridiculed, mocked, and torn down by everyone around him. He knows how it feels to want to take your own life. So get down on your knees and ask Him to help you. Tell Him how you feel and He will take you into His arms and remind you how important you are. No matter what is going on in your life, or how much you feel like you've done, or how worthless you feel, your life has meaning and your life has purpose. So don't you give up, don't you quit. Keep on fighting and keep on living because God has better things planned for you. There is ALWAYS a light at the end of the tunnel because God has a plan. You are His. Your life matters. YOU are loved. You need to always remember that you are not your mistakes or your hardships or your trials. Those things do not define you. What defines you is what you do about it and how you react. So when you're down, get back up. Stand up with the help of those around you and with the help of the Savior and face the world. It might just be the hardest thing you've ever done, but if you trust in the Lord, you will be eternally blessed. He will carry you through your darkest hour. So I plead with you to remember how much your life is worth, to remember that you are always loved. You are loved by someone who died knowing you might never love Him back. That is true love and that is the pure love of Christ. I beg you to remember how much Christ and your Father in Heaven love and cherish you and to remember that there are people out there who can help you. You are NEVER alone. Things WILL get better. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel. I promise you. This church, our Savior, our Heavenly Father are all sources of protection and of refuge. They are places we can turn when we feel like we have given up and when we feel like there is nothing left to live for. So treat others better, have more love, kindness, empathy, and respect. Try to remember that everyone in life is fighting unseen battles. And don't you ever forget that you are loved by so many and your life matters to Christ. Your life is worth living.

"Some of you have had unfair things happen, life has not turned out like you'd hoped. God is saying, 'If you'll rise up our of those ashes, put on a new attitude, I'll not only bring you out but I'll bring you out with twice what you had before.'"

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Most Important Commandment

For some people, the hardest thing in the world is resisting the urge to drink alcohol, or smoke a cigarette, or remain morally clean. For others, it's learning to bite your tongue before you swear, or to not drink coffee, or to not steal something. So what makes any of these things we've been commanded to do more important than the other things; I believe that the commandment we have the hardest time keeping is the most important one. For me, I have never had the urge to drink, smoke, do drugs, drink coffee, or anything like that; however I know that those things are the biggest things in other people's lives. For me, it is pointless to put my focus on not drinking or smoking because I have no urge or desire to do those things and Satan knows that so he isn't going to use those things against me. The commandment that I need to put focus on is the one I struggle with the most so that I will be prepared to battle Satan off when he comes at me with temptation. If lying is your problem, then lying is the most important commandment for you to learn to overcome. If immorality is your problem, then immorality is the most important commandment for you to overcome. And then, as soon as you've overcome that struggle, it is time to tackle the next one and the next one until you have conquered them all. If you realize that the most important commandment is the one that you have the hardest time keeping and work on it, you will find that you are living a more righteous and Christ like life. It sounds like common sense, but so many times you hear that one sin is worse than another or that breaking one commandment is worse than breaking another, but this is untrue. Although in the eyes of the world breaking some commandments have worse punishment than others do (murder vs cheating), in the eyes of God sin is sin. So take what ever you struggle with the most, and with the help of God make that weakness a strength and overcome temptation. We can do all things with Christ, so rely on Him. Let Him make things easier for you. And make sure your focus is on the things that will make you more like Him. Once I started having the mentality that the most important commandment is the one I have the hardest time keeping, I was able to find a way to better myself every day. And it has been such a blessing in my life.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

We Always Need Him

Things are slowly but surely getting better. I still have my bad days, my low points, and moments of complete heart break; but things are getting better. However, as things get better, I find myself relying less on God and then turning back to Him in the harder moments. As I have been going through this, I have realized that I cannot do that. I cannot just go to Him in the hard times because I need him in the best times too. I need Him always. He is the perfect person to go to with all of my successes and all of my failures. He's always there and that will never change. Just because things are going well in life, doesn't mean we can just stop relying on Him. The good times are when we can rejoice with God and give Him thanks. We figure out how we can help others like He helped us. In the very well known hymn, I Need Thee Every Hour, it says- "I need thee ev'ry hour, In joy or pain. Come quickly and abide, or life is vain." A life without God is not much of a life at all. We need Him more than we could ever know. We don't just need Him sometimes, we need Him every hour, every minute, and every second of our lives. We truly do. As I've dug myself out from rock bottom, I have grown closer to God than I have ever been before. He saved me and through my trials I have come to know and love Him more than ever before. And it's easier to stay close to Him when things are hard because He makes everything better, but it's a lot harder to remain close to God in the good times. As I experienced this, I learned that the key to staying close to God is realizing that you couldn't have any of the good times without Him in your life. He is the reason for all of the joy and love in your life. I have found as I remember that the only reason my life is going so well is because of God, I am able to continue to grow closer to Him and become more like Him. So as you go through trials and hardships that seem to bring you so much closer to God, remember that you can come close to God during anytime in your life- not just the hard times. We truly need Him always, in joy or pain. And sometimes it takes going through the extremely hard times to realize how much we really need His presence in our lives. And to me, that has made my hard times and heart break worth it. Through my trials I have been able to come closer to God and realize how great His power is and how truly wonderful He is. I have learned that I really do need Him always and I am so thankful that He is always there for me. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Most Important Love

Valentine's Day is all about love. So that's what my post today is about. More specifically the love the God has for us. Some love is stronger than other love, but no amount of love can compare to the love that God feels for us. Elder Uchtdorf said it best when he said, "Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely." This is so true. God's love is eternal and it has no bounds. He has always loved us and will always love us no matter what our circumstance or the choices we decide to make. His love for us is infinite and perfect. He loves every single one of us, even with our flaws, imperfections, and wrong doings. God’s love is so perfect that He even loves the wicked and the prideful. He loves you because you are His child. Because He made you. He knows your name. He knows your heart and your struggles. He knows your pain and sufferings. He knows your flaws and your trials. He knows every single thing about you and every single thing you go through and He loves you through it all. God's love is truly indescribable. I sit here at my laptop trying to figure out how to describe God's love I just can't because it's just so perfect! I see it in everything and I feel it every where. It's in the laugh of a child and the wind blowing through the trees. It's in the mother who just had a new baby and the mother who just lost one. It's in the broken marriage and in the perfect one. It's in the injury of an athlete who realizes their career is over and it's in the last play of the winning state championship game. It's in the bringing together of friends and the joining of families. It's in the teenager who feels like they have no worth and the one who feels like they're on top of the world. It's in the mountains and the flowers and the sky. It's in the air we breathe and the water we drink. It's in the hardest of trials and the greatest of times. It's in our toughest failures and our strongest successes. God's love is everywhere and in everything. It's in the smallest of details and the biggest aspects of our daily lives. God's love is matchless and nothing can compare to it. It touches the lives and the hearts of anyone and everyone who is willing to let it into their lives, and even if you don't it is still their- waiting for you to accept it. God's love is absolutely perfect and wonderfully beautiful. So when you feel like you are unloved or alone, you are wrong. Gods love is always there, He loves you no matter what. And His love is the most powerful love in the universe. When everything else in this earthly life fails, Gods love is always there. So this Valentine's Day, I am thankful for the most important love- the love that God has for me. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

I Want to be Beautiful to Him

I think that something that a lot of people in our generation have a hard time remembering is that our self worth doesn't come from other people, it doesn't come from how many followers you have or how many likes you get on a picture, it doesn't come from how many people text you or how many dates you got asked on this weekend, it comes from ourselves and it comes from God. I think that the self esteem of our generation started to go down when the usage of social media started to go up. When the amount of likes your selfie got started to determine how good looking you are. When the amount of followers you have on instagram became a tell of social status or popularity. Right now in the world, we tend to look to other people for our self worth instead of to ourselves or to God. We look to the world to tell us that we are pretty and that we are worth it, when really? It doesn't matter how many times that cute boy likes your picture or how many times that pretty girl favorites your tweet, you won't begin to love yourself until YOU decide to; and I will admit, this is not an easy task. Finding myself and loving myself was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. For me, it took experiencing something extremely challenging and falling into a million pieces to be able to build a person that I loved, to be able to see myself as being enough. Through my trials and through my faith I have been able to learn that I am enough for myself and I am enough for God, and that is all that truly matters. Through my experiences in life and my struggles with self worth, I have been able to come to know that my Father in Heaven loves me for me, not for who the world thinks I should be. Thomas S. Monson once said, "Your Heavenly Father loves you - each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. God's love is there for you whether you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there." Our Father in Heaven will love you no matter what, even if you don't live up to the worlds standards of popularity, you will never unpopular to Him. Following the Lord's ways is the best way to build self worth and to learn to start loving yourself. By following the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ and utilizing the amazing spirit that comes from the Holy Ghost, we are able to find more genuine self worth and happiness than from anything that the world has to offer. When it comes down to it, loving yourself isn't about conforming to the ways of the world, it is about realizing who are truly are- a son or daughter of an amazing God. It is about realizing that His opinion is what matters, not the opinion of your hundreds of instagram followers. It is about realizing that you are enough, you have always been enough, and you will always be enough in the eyes of the Lord. When you understand that God's love is infinite and eternal and you understand that you have eternal worth, you will be able to build up your self esteem to the point where you know exactly who you are and it does not matter what the world thinks about you. By relying on our Father in Heaven, we will be able to overcome the standards and expectations of the world. We will be able to overcome the sadness that accompanies not loving what you see in the mirror. Through Him, we will be able to overcome the world and become greater than it. I have a sticky note on my door that I read every time I leave my apartment that says, "I want to be beautiful to Him." By seeing this each day as I leave, I am able to remember that it isn't about what others think about me; if I am choosing the right and doing the things I am suppose to be doing, I will be beautiful in the best and most important way - I will be beautiful to my Father in Heaven. Each day I strive to become beautiful in the eyes of God and not in the eyes of the world. He loves you. He will always love you. So, whenever you're feeling depressed or worthless or feel like you aren't enough, remember that you have eternal worth and you are always enough to God.

{ I was shown this song by someone very close and special to me one year at girls camp and I have never forgotten it. I Want to be Beautiful to Him }

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Since Sunday

So my lack of posts, I've had way too much on my mind lately. And all I've been doing since Sunday is thinking about my life. To be completely honest, after talking with my bishop I've been having second thoughts on my mission. At first I thought these thoughts were coming from Satan; trying to deter me from what I am suppose to be doing. But after much prayer and consideration I think I have just realized that I don't need to make all the decisions for my life right now. Right now I just have to trust God and trust that whatever happens is what is supposed to happen. Trusting in God really isn't easy it's actually quite hard. Because right now nothing seems to be going my way and everything I feel like is right seems to slip out of my hands. The only thing that is keeping me sane is getting down on my knees each night and talking with my Heavenly Father; praying to him. So to be completely honest, I have no idea what's going on in my life right now. All I know is that I am keeping the commandments and I'm saying my prayers and even though I have no idea what I'm going to do with my future I know that I just need to trust God. As long as I trust God, nothing can go wrong. As long as I listen to the spirit and keep myself in a place where I can have the Holy Ghost with me, I will be able to make decisions for my life that I know right and are in line with the plan but my Father in Heaven has for me. So my advice to everyone is no matter what trials are going on in your life, no matter how confused you get with what you're supposed to be doing, don't stop trusting that God wants what's best for you. Because right now, I'm not sure what's best, but I know that if I rely on the Lord and put all my trust in Him, He will help me figure it out. As for my future? I'm not sure what it holds. But I am sure that the gospel will continue to bring indesrcibable happiness into my life. And that's all that really matters right now. 
Along with that, I have been thinking a lot about how important it has been for me to be able to realize that I am in control of my life, my actions, my future. I can chose to follow Christ and keep the commandments, or I can chose not to. Every single choice I have made in my life has lead me to where I am. Agency. Agency is a gift we have been given from Jesus Christ. It's a very special gift that we must use very carefully. And I'm so thankful for the privledge I have too choose. I'm so glad that my Savior sacrificed Himself so that I could have that. I think we all take our agency for granted for too often. We let others determine our decisions or we make the wrong ones. Don't let what others say about you or think of your decision chose for you because Christ came to earth and died to give us the right to choose for ourselves. Cherish your agency and choose the right and that will always bring you true happiness. 
Anyway, there are the crazy jumbled thoughts that have been going through my head since Sunday. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

He's Holding your Hand

2 steps forward, 1 step back. That's how my life feels right now. I feel like I'm doing everything I can to seperate myself from the hard things in my life and something happens to pull me back in. I'm literally walking away from a situation and being pulled back time and time again. And let me tell you, that is so hard. It's hard when every time you feel like God has delivered you out of a situation and then you find yourself right back in it. At times, I honestly have a hard time not being angry or frustrated with God. I have a hard time not blaming Him. 2 steps forward, 1 step back. That's how I'm feeling right now. But when I said that to a friend, I realized that taking 2 steps forward and 1 step back still means I'm taking 1 step forward. It still means that I'm better than I was yesterday, even by just 1 step. And that's when I realized that I can't be angry or frustrated at God because without Him, I wouldn't be taking any steps forward. It's because He is holding my hand and pulling me through that I am able to move forward at all. So when you feel like God has left you, or that God is letting bad things happen to you, just try and see where you would be without Him. Because I know that I would be nothing and be nowhere without my God. He will never leave us alone. I say that a lot but it is so so true. He is ALWAYS there. His hand is always outstretched to you. He never turns away. But trials are also always there. In life, we will always have times that we feel like we are moving backwards or like we aren't progressing in ways that we want to be. In life, we wil find ourselves going through things that we feel like weigh us down to the point that we can't go on. But we don't have to be alone. We aren't alone! Hard times may always be there but so is God. So when you feel like you're in a hard time, or when you feel like life is kicking your butt, or when you feel like you're taking 2 steps forward and 1 step back, just remember God is there and He is holding your hand.