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Archive for February, 2011

Continue in Patience

“Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from the mountains of our future experience. Often we can’t see the Lord’s hand in our lives until long after trials have passed. Often the most difficult times of our lives are essential building blocks that form the foundation of our character and pave the way to future opportunity, understanding and happiness.” –President Uchtdorf

https://lds.org/youth/video/he-will-give-you-help?lang=eng

The darkest times of our lives often become the most special when we put our trust in the Lord. If we continue in patience, He will give us help!

“Be thou humble and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand and give thee answers to thy prayers.” Doctrine and Covenants 112:10

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My Papa

Just yesterday, I received word from my family back home that my Grandpa Taylor passed away. My Papa reached the ripe old age of 92. He lived an incredible life full of love, laugher, great advice, incredible hard work, knowledge, wisdom and faith. My Papa was the kind of man who knew what he wanted, and knew how to work to get it. He was a driven man with a wealth of knowledge and understanding.

My Papa also had a witty sense of humor. Just a couple of years ago, he fell and broke his hip. A sweet little nurse came to help him with therapy and my Grandpa woke up to her moving him to sit up. My grandpa looked at her and said “What are you doing?” and she said “I’m trying to see what you can do.” He looked at her right in the eyes and said “Well, you’re seeing it!” My Grandpa was a stubborn man which never allowed him to fail or to be lazy. He taught me the importance of diligence and hard work.  

My Papa had an undying love for my Grandma Beth. They were quite the attractive couple. Year after year, my Papa would write poems to my Grandma. They were some of the sweetest, most clever pieces of poetry I have every heard. I looked forward to hearing them each Christmas and watching his cute little smile brighten up the room as we let him know exactly how clever he was. He took so much pride in taking care of my Grandma, after all–she was his “Dolly Beth”.

Papa was a World War II veteran, a member of the band, and a business man for the Los Angeles Times. He is the father of four incredible, brilliant, talented individuals. (One of which is my beautiful mother, Patti Maughan.) He  is a grandfather of 15 grandchildren and the great-grandfather of 7. He has been the provider of numerous family gatherings and the instigator of many family memories. He loved us and never failed to tell us. I will always remember hearing the sweet words of my Papa after every telephone call or visit “You’re a sweet girl and I love you.” My Papa has had an everlasting impression on me and I will take the knowledge I’ve gained from him throughout my life.

As a missionary, hearing word that my Papa had passed away was a pretty big shock. I knew when I left home last May that the likelihood of him being around when I got home was pretty slim. A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to call home to talk with him and tell him how much I love him. Despite all of the preparation, I couldn’t help but cry knowing that he is really gone. Being away from my family, I felt even more sadness not knowing how everyone was doing at home.

I determined that I needed to put into practice the very thing that we as missionaries teach every day–the power of prayer and peace in the atonement and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I knelt down and cried out to our Father in Heaven that I would be comforted and that I would feel His love. After a long heartfelt prayer, I concluded and my entire being was filled with peace. I knew that my Heavenly Father heard my prayers. I was no longer alone and separated from my family on the other side of the country, I had the company of the greatest comforter of all–the Holy Ghost.

I know that family relationships aren’t just temporary for this life. My family has been sealed together in the Holy Temple to bind my family for eternity. Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith, God’s plan for the family has once again been revealed in our modern times. Our Earthly existence is simply an experience and a test for us to grow and progress. In this life we must prove to our Father in Heaven that we are willing to follow our Savior Jesus Christ, endure hardships and trial, and remain faithful to Him. It isn’t an easy task and was never intended for it to be . But, we can take great confidence knowing that the way for us has been provided and the Savior will never leave us alone. Families CAN be together forever. This is God’s plan and I know that if I live worthily, I can be with my grandfather again. 

Learning about the Plan of Happiness brings great clarity, purpose and understanding. By coming to know our Father’s plan for us we will come to know who we are as children of God. We will come to know why we are here on the Earth, where we are going after this life and how we can get there. It isn’t just some coping mechanism to help people like me in times of loss or sadness, it is real. It is true and it is the greatest knowledge ever revealed to mankind. There is much to look forward to–this life isn’t the end!

Visit: http://www.mormon.org/plan-of-happiness/

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Thanks for visiting my blog…I’m pretty new at this so you’ll have to be patient with me as I get a little more tech savy. 🙂

My name is Sister Jessica Maughan and I’m a Mormon Missionary serving in Penn Yan, New York. I’m a California girl attempting to survive an East Coast winter. Many times when I talk to people on the streets they ask…Why in the world is a California girl here in New York–and voluntarily?! Its a pretty good question and I’ll try my best to convey the reason.

I was born and raised a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Growing up, I don’t really know if I knew or understood exactly what that meant but I knew that going to church, reading the scriptures and praying made me feel really good. It brought me a sense of peace and happiness. I loved coming home from church every Sunday and hearing my family members singing and laughing. Something about going to church and living what we were taught brought my family together closer than anything else could.

As I reached my teen and college years I started to understand more what I was taught and began to appreciate the knowledge that I am indeed a Daughter of God. The eternal truths taught in the scriptures provided a sturdy ground to help me through whatever storms young adult life brings. I no longer relied on the testimony of my parents but finally knew for myself that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has real power and is indeed the purpose for our existence.

The more I understood, the greater became my desire to share it with others. The decision to serve a mission was without a doubt the most challenging decision I have ever made. When my 21st birthday came around in October, I realized that it was time for me to make a decision with what adventures life would take me on next. I thought maybe it was a semester abroad to London…or maybe to some other exotic country but…the Lord knew there were greater plans lying ahead for me.

I came home for Christmas vacation a little early that year after hearing about a death of a good high school friend, James Wernke. He was the kind of guy that always had a smile on his face and was very forgiving. He was full of life and laughter and the people who knew him loved him. It was a hard thing to come home to, it was the first time I had seen many of my high school friends and it was under the hardest of circumstances. The experience really got my mind turning. I knew and had been taught that there was more to life than this, that God has a plan for his children, and that we really can return back to him and  I wanted to share that with my friends.

Then Christmas Eve came around, and the Elders (the men missionaries) came to our place for dinner. My family was pretty crazy that night. When you get a bunch of confident Maughans in a room singing Christmas songs…and acting out the story of the birth of the Savior, it is quite the performance. 🙂 We were laughing and crying even and the poor Elders sitting in the corner were pretty much in shock. I took a step back from all the action and I heard a quiet whisper “I want to be in their shoes next Christmas.” That sounds crazy, I know. Who would WANT to be away from their family for Christmas? As hard as it is to believe,  its true!

So thats when the fun began, I went back to school for the Winter Semester and without telling anyone, I started working on my mission papers. While trying to make the decision, I’d walk around campus and out of no where I’d hear young girls talking about their missions, or I’d hear a “I just got my mission call to Spain! I’m so incredibly happy.” One day while riding the bus to campus I sat next to a girl and we started talking about her cute backpack. Somehow we got on the topic of her mission. She didnt know I was thinking about it but she told me “Well, I just knew I needed to go. And when you know you need to go, you just have to do it!” I got off the bus that day and my heart was pounding–I knew I had to go, I had felt the spirit prompt me and now it was just a matter of getting the courage up to do it.

The road getting out here was rough, a lot of fear doubt and discouragement, but the ultimate answer came through an old man who shared a scripture with me “Be thou humble and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand and give thee answers to thy prayers.” Doctrine and Covenants 112:10 As I turned to the Lord, putting all my selfish pride behind me, I received an answer to my prayer.

Now that I’m here in Penn Yan, New York, I can’t imagine being any place else. Everyone needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ and sharing that with others has changed their lives and its changing me. 🙂

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