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He is in the Details

A little over a year ago, on November 16th I returned home from the New York Rochester Mission where I served as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My experience has had a profound impact on my life. It’s hard to believe that a year has come and gone in what seems like only a couple of weeks.

In the past year, there have been ups and downs, bumps and bruises, triumphs and joy. I’ve been back in the grind of school, work, dating, etc. and what I anticipated life would be like when I was leaving my mission has hardly become reality. However, it has been far better.

As I look at the different turns my life has taken, and the opportunities that have presented themselves, I feel confident to say that God is in charge. He cares about the little details. He wants us to be happy. He has a purpose for each of us and although we may not see it in our moments of despair if we continue to have faith we will eventually be led to the tip of the mountain where we can look back and see how far we’ve come and what He is helping us become.

So, if you are feeling down in the dumps and forgotten, keep moving forward. Don’t give up. Just put one foot in front of the other and trust that the Lord is leading you to the tip of this mountain. As you put your faith in Him, He will make you stronger, more capable, and more fit to be with our Father in Heaven again one day.

With the busy-ness of summer, it seems like there is ALWAYS something to do, somewhere to be and never enough hours in the day to get it all accomplished.  But, as President Uchtdorf has encouraged, “We would do well to slow down a little, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most.”

Just in the past month, I have felt the power of doing the things that matter most in the midst of a packed schedule. Somehow, when I give the Lord just a portion of my time to dedicate to Him, He helps me to manage and accomplish everything else I am required to do. Test it out. Get on your knees and talk to Him. Open up the scriptures to hear what He has to teach you. Look around to see who you can serve. He will work alongside you as you move him from number 99 on the to-do list to number 1. His power is real.

www.mormon.org

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren [and sisters] I beseech of you in words of soberness that ye would repent, and come with full purpose of heart and cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you. And while his arm of mercy is extended towards you in the light of day, harden not your hearts.”

–Jacob 6:5

Our Savior has His arms open extended for ALL of His children. He invites us to come to him, to be healed and to cleave to Him. I know that as we turn to Him, He will wrap us up in His arms and comfort us through times of trial, heartache and despair! I know that He lives and He is inviting us to come.

Forgiveness

Through our Savior we can be forgiven and we can find the strength to forgive others. No matter how hurt we may have been, when we direct it all to the Savior, He takes the pain and helps us to become whole again. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ “healeth the wounded soul” (Jacob 2:8). Chris Williams inspires me to find more strength in our Savior. I know that He lives! Visit mormon.org today!

Have you ever broken a bone or had to go to the doctor for a serious sickness? The doctor patches you up with lots of love and tender care and sends you on your way in much better shape than he found you. We’re invited to go to the doctor for check-ups every so often so he can keep tabs on us and fix any problems before any serious disease comes upon us. But, sometimes, we fail to recognize our need for the doctor…after all, if it’s not broken, no need to fix it! Right?

Actually, the scriptures teach us that the Lord requires “a broken heart and a contrite spirit” (3 Nephi 9:20). So, what does that mean? When are our hearts broken and our spirits contrite?

To me, a broken heart is an open heart. It is mold able, shape able, humble, submissive, teachable and willing. If we were to give up our physical heart to a physician, we would be giving up everything: our life and existence. This is what the Lord requires, that we give Him everything and allow ourselves to be placed in His hands. Along with a broken heart, the Lord requires a contrite or repentant spirit.

When we are placed in the hands of the Great Physician, He can heal and change us. He can make us stronger, healthier and happier. But, the key ingredient is that we must be willing to be molded. When trials come upon us and our hearts are broken, we can choose to attempt to heal on our own, leaving us with a hard and stiff heart failing to reach our potential. But, true conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ does not come without great trial and tribulation.

I know that through Jesus Christ, our hearts can be molded and changed and we can be healed. If we come to our Savior with a willing, humble, moldable, shapeable, teachable and submissive heart, we will find greater joy and strength.

Ever, a young man from Honduras, is a powerful example of being healed by our Savior. Sometimes we don’t know how broken we are, until we communicate and check up with the Great Physician. Turn to Him in prayer and He will leave you much better than He found you.

Carrying Rocks?

So…what’s wrong with this picture? These men and women are all dressed up and carrying ROCKS! Think of the weight that must be on their shoulders as they hike up this mountain in the heat of the sun with no one to help them lift the pressure off their backs.

What kind of rocks are you carrying? Feelings of pain, regret, disappointment, discouragement, shame and grief are not feelings that we have to shoulder alone. Through our Savior Jesus Christ, we can be liberated, purified and cleansed. We can essentially become new creatures in Christ. We can make “U-turns” and never go back.

But, how?

The Gospel of Jesus Christ invites all men and women everywhere to repent. The word repentance can seem scary and daunting and can be seen as a process for only our really bad sins and mistakes. But, in the Bible dictionary it teaches us that repentance “denotes a change of mind, a fresh view about oneself and about the world[…] Repentance comes to mean a turning of the heart and will to God.” It isn’t so scary as the results of repentance are an increased feeling of love, peace, joy, happiness, confidence, strength, purity and weightlessness.

Alma the Younger, a prophet in the Book of Mormon, was a pretty bad guy and was even termed as the “vilest of all sinners.” He experienced a change of heart through faith in Jesus Christ leading to repentance. He testifies that “There could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.” Alma 36:21 (page 299)

So, if Alma the Younger, the VILEST of all sinners can be cleansed from his sins, is it possible for us to be purified too?

I testify in the name of Jesus Christ that through His gospel we can be transformed. His arms of mercy are extended to all of us and if we will come, he will heal us.

Visit: www.mormon.org

Genetics

Why is it important to know that we are literal children of God? Does knowing that we have a Father with flesh and bones who emmulates perfection really do much for us?

I’ve thought about this a lot in the past couple of months and have tried to figure out why that knowledge is important. I came to a better understanding when I related my relationship with my Heavenly Father to my relationship to my earthly parents.

Since today is a special day, my Mom’s birthday, I think it would be appropriate to talk a little bit about her.

My mom is an incredible woman with some of the finest personality traits, talents and abilities. Here are some of the things I love and admire about her.

My mom:

  • Loves to learn
  • Is dedicated to my family
  • Is faithful to the gospel and has a strong testimony
  • Works hard
  • Is dependable
  • Loves me unconditionally
  • Rarely complains
  • Loves to create beautiful things
  • Is always supportive of doing good
  • Endures challenges and trials and never gives up
  • Is a great writer (I love her letters)
  • Puts on the best parties and gatherings
  • Helps others feel welcomed and comfortable
  • Is confident in and believes in me
  • Is trustworthy
  • Loves to laugh and isn’t afraid to laugh at herself
  • Loves to have fun (we body boarded some good waves in our time)
  • Sacrifices her will to make others happy
  • Is a strong woman
  • Loves to talk
  • Is a great listener
  • Takes great pride in her family
  • Is a great cook
  • Is patient
  • Is confident
  • Has a strong testimony of prayer
  • Expresses her love and appreciation
  • Is a true friend
  • Is optimistic
  • Is encouraging
  • Has great wisdom and advice
  • Is INCREDIBLE

I love my mom and aspire to become more like her. Because I know who my mom is, what her talents and gifts are and what she is capable of, it helps me to see more clearly what I have the potential of becoming. I am a product of my mom and my dad (I have a great list about him too) and they are a part of me. I know that if I work at developing the positive character traits that I admire in my mom, then I can become more like her…because she already is a part of me. After all, I have Patti Maughan’s genes!

So, what does this have to do with our Heavenly Father?

Well, just like I have genes from my earthly parents, I have inherited my spiritual genes from my Heavenly Father. He is a perfect father in every way. By coming to know who He is and who Jesus Christ is, I can gain a greater understanding of my potential to become more like them.

My Heavenly Father is someone I can relate to. Because He has a body of flesh and bones, I know that when I kneel to pray, I’m not praying to a blob of space, but rather a man who knows, understands, and loves me with a perfect love. He wants the best for me and is always on my side–even though at times it may not seem that way.

We are children of God and we do have potential to become like Him.  Now, do we really know what that means?

I know that these things are true. How does this knowledge affect you?

Visit:

http://mormon.org/plan-of-happiness/#e

Happy Birthday Mom!