Friday, 29 March 2013

Life is good, the church is true!

Does anyone even read this thing? Haha I don’t think it really matters it’s just nice to get my thoughts down in writing with the idea that somebody could maybe passively stumble on them. I haven’t written on here for a while but I just had a couple of cool ideas that have been bouncing around my head and making it difficult to sleep.
First, I was thinking about the plan of salvation and the role the atonement plays. When King Benjamin is speaking to his people about the atonement, he tells them that if they are unworthy they will fill ashamed before God and will be unable to be in his presence because this sense of shame is so awful that they can’t bear it. Then, they will be forever tormented that they cannot be in their Heavenly Father’s presence. The idea that really it’s our own actions that make act as our judgment is so interesting and puts the atonement in such a different light. If he could, I think Heavenly Father would want all of his children with him regardless of their past choices it’s interesting to think that in a way we choose to be away from him because of our own feelings. In a sense that makes me understand the atonement better. Obviously the atonement happened, everybody’s sins were atoned for already, what makes the difference Is whether or not we can accept the atonement in our lives. If we can truly accept it, we can forgive ourselves, and when we do that we won’t feel an overwhelming feeling of guilt when we are in our Heavenly Father’s presence.

Today, I was impressed, not for the first time, about how smart our Heavenly Father is for giving us the responsibility of redeeming our dead. I have no doubt that we are commanded to go to the temple and do work for the dead not as much for their sake as for ours. Granted, we are serving these people and they obviously do need this work done for them but I do not have any doubt that there would have been a way to accomplish this without having us do this now. But heavenly father gives us a reason to go to the temple which is so beneficial to us, and does it in a way that makes us think that we are doing it for others, instead of humbling ourselves and admitting that we are there because we need the help. I was also impressed by the fact that we can’t do anything in the temple by ourselves, everything we do we have to rely on others to accomplish. Maybe this fact didn’t occur to anyone else and just stands out to me because being able to rely on people is something I have struggled with, but it’s really cool that in a way Heavenly Father teaches us to rely on each other through temple work, which teaches us a skill that can help us more than almost anything in this life, and that is drawing love and support from those around you.

On that note, another thing that I been thinking about lately is how important it is to show those around you that you love and care about them. Everyone needs someone who is wild and crazy about them, not only romantically, but from friends and family as well. Showing someone you care makes us vulnerable which is not comfortable which is why some people struggle so badly with this idea, however this is such a necessary risk not only for those around you, but also for yourself. The best thing you can do in this life is care, truly care about others and make sure they know that you would do anything for them. Everyone needs somebody that makes a fuss over them for birthdays, promotions,  and even the small everyday things that are worth celebrating. If everybody felt truly loved and cherished by at least one person, the world we live in would be a much better place

Anyway, it’s nice to get my thoughts written down it helps me not be so preoccupied with them. If you got this far thanks for reading, the church is true, amen! 

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Patriarchal Blessings

I don't know if I've talked about this before but something I really believe strongly in is the idea that each of us our pre-destined to accomplish some kind of mission in this earth. Before we came down here we covenanted with God that we would do something and in turn he promised us that he would help us accomplish what we needed to and that in turn, we will receive the blessings of exaltation. I also believe that we are born where we need to be and given the trials/blessings we need to grow and become the kind of person we need to be to accomplish our mission in this life.

It's been interesting to me in my own life trying to figure out what I need to do and what my purpose is here on this earth. I look back on my trials especially and see what kind of person they have unpleasantly forced me to become. One tool I have found so helpful is my patriarchal blessing, if there was nothing in the church to convince me of its truthfulness my patriarchal blessing would do the trick. It is simply amazing to have a piece of scripture in essence that is so personalized to me and gives me a plain path that I know I need to follow. It is humbling to realize that all my trials and blessings have shaped me to be this person that my patriarchal blessing describes, although life can give you hard things they are necessary to help us grow. I was listening to a talk given by President Eyring in the April 2012 general conference where he talked about his mother battling cancer for ten years. In attendance at her funeral, the prophet said that she was given this trial because God needed her to go through it to become the person she needed to be. I truly believe that our trials (even though they suck) are perhaps the most necessarily things in this life for us to become Christlike rather than just being obedient to the gospel.   

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

Here is my official review on the new batman movie, there were things I really liked then things I didn't like so much. First we'll start with the things I didn't like as much so we can end on a happy note because overall I did really think it was a great movie.
1. Anne Hathaway as catwoman, everybody is raving about her performance but I just don't buy it, the whole thing seems so forced to me like she was trying too hard to get into a different character. Although I will say she didn't do as bad as I thought she would and maybe I noticed the flaws in her acting because I was looking for them.
2. The bad guys, I did really like the twist of making Tate the actual bad guy in the end but then she has the most anti climatic death ever. You find out she's behind everything then five minutes later she dies a car crash and way less dramatically than the other villain deaths so far. Bane was scary but the whole time he seemed more like a hitman than the actual mastermind, luckily he was more of a hitman than the actual mastermind in the end but for the first half of the movie I found the "main" bad guy wanting.
Now onto the good stuff
1. I loved how they ended the whole Bruce Wayne story, first, Bruce Wayne loses his parents and that brings on the batman. It takes a good deal of emotional/physical energy into becoming batman and it works. Later, he needs to transition out of being batman but he doesn't, he gets stuck in a rut where he just stays locked up in Wayne manner for years. It takes losing everything (Alfred, his ability to be batman, Rachel) to push him into a state of mind where he can stop being batman and go back to being a relatively normal guy. It was a nice way to wrap the story up, you don't need to wonder well maybe he will put the suit back on again because clearly he was able to close that chapter in his life.
2. I loved the transition from batman to Robin. They introduced Robin without telling us that his name was Robin until the end. We all began loving him and wishing he would be batman's sidekick throughout the movie. And instead of some cheesy batman initiation where Bruce Wayne gives Robin the grand tour of the bat cave, Robin naturally takes over because of his own curiosity and drive. I thought it was a very smooth transition that didn't feel forced or fake at all.
3. I did love that Batman chose catwoman before he found out who Tate really was (he gave her the thumb probably containing his plans etc. before his encounter with Tate) it showed what he really wanted and not him settling for his second choice.
Overall, I didn't like this movie as much as the second but I did think Christopher Nolan did a fantastic job as he always does.

Monday, 7 May 2012

BBQ Kebabs

It's summer time aka time for the best things in life like bbqs and walks in pretty places. This week has been amazing although tiring from life guard training (I have multiple bruises from those.) However I am not a legitimate life guard and yesterday I made the most delicious kebab's and I thought some of you would like a recipe.

They were super easy just cut up some chicken breasts and rub with the following:
6 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp garlic
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp Cheyenne pepper
1/2 tsp course salt
The grill to perfection and no george foreman grills do not count :) I added onions but peppers, zucchini, and other vegies will taste great too. 

I stumbled across a quote that I really loved and thought I would add it on too

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” 
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves 

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Some thoughts than an update about what's going on in my life!

Today in Sunday School we were talking about why we need to keep the commandments. Apart from keeping them to be obedient I believe that by doing so it is the only way to be truly happy, let me explain.

As a human we have basic wants and needs, for example, we all want security, wealth, status, etc., and we need things like food, water, shelter. However, I think the most fundamental, powerful want and need in our life is love. We all need, more than anything, to feel that someone really loves us and specifically we need our heavenly parents' love. When describing the fruit in the tree of life dream Nephi says "It is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things" (1 Nephi 11:22). Our heavenly parents have a capacity to love more than any of us here on this earth have, and this life on earth is the first time we have been physically separated from our heavenly parents and their love. I believe that we all feel that loss of love and feel the need to fill that void in our lives.

Sometimes we see commandments as restricting, after all things like extramarital sex and drugs can feel pretty good in the moment and although they have consequences some may not care about those consequences or they may be too far off to really play into a persons decision making. However, these kinds of things will never be able to fill the void we feel from not feeling our heavenly parents' love in our lives. 

In the scriptures is mentions countless times that God can not be where unclean things are, therefor if we sin than God can't be with us, and therefor we cannot feel His love. However, I think it goes further than that after all isn't Heavenly Father suppose to love us unconditionally? Perhaps when we sin we lessen our ability to feel God's presence and his love in our lives and the more we live our lives in accordance to his commandments, the more we can feel His love which is after all what we want most in life. Just a thought now for the update on my life!

Life is great! I love summer and have spent all of my free time playing frisbee and swimming at the pool and I just can't get enough of it. As this is my last summer before graduating in August, I decided to only have jobs that will be a lot of fun and will allow me to spend one last summer in the sunshine so I am working at the golf course (free golf boo-ya) and life guarding at seven peaks. I'm really excited for both of these jobs and if you have a pass of all passes come find me at seven peaks! I'm getting excited to graduate but nervous to apply for PT schools so keep your fingers crossed for me that I will be able to do well on the GRE and get into some kind of decent school! 

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Religion v. Spirituality

           A couple of Sundays ago we talked about the Jews in the time of Christ. As far as they were concerned they were doing exactly what God told them to in living the law of Moses, and in the letter-of-the-law kind of way they were. However by focusing so much on the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law, they completely missed the birth and ministry of their Savior while he was among them. They were so caught up in doing what they believed was right that they missed the opportunity to learn and grow from our Savior’s teachings. Sometimes, as an LDS culture, I believe that we sometimes miss the mark and focus so much on doing what we need to (what I like to call the mormon check-list) that we miss the whole purpose of this life, which is growth.    This life provides us with the unique experience of being in a world full of trouble, and away from our Heavenly Father that forces us to grow in ways that without this situation would be impossible. Sometimes we, like the jews, get too caught up in our religion to remember to grow spiritually.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the idea of spirituality versus religiosity. In one of my classes, a very astute professor asked us how we could measure the level of spirituality in the LDS religion. Immediately hands shot up with suggestions like measuring temple attendance, Sabbath day observance, etc., but I could not quite come to terms with it and decided that you cannot measure a person’s spirituality, which my professor agreed with me, but that outward behavior could only measure religiosity and that, in fact, a person could be extremely religious but not spiritual at all. Outside of Utah people call these people “Utah mormons” and they are people who only go to church for show but do not put much thought into what they were doing. This clashed a little bit with the idea of blind, childlike obedience that is always getting taught to us in lessons. However, I do not believe that God intends for us to follow Him blindly, yes we need to be obedient, but questioning and understanding WHY God tells us to do what he does will help us grow and understand Him and His reasons better than simply doing so without question.
                This got me thinking about what it means to be spiritual and after some pondering I decided that spirituality is the relationship one has with God and one's desire to grow and become like Him. After all, the more meaning anybody assigns to something the greater impact it will be in their lives.  Therefore, if I take the sacrament without thinking much about it, I will not get the whole experience. By realizing, pondering, and fully comprehending what the atonement is and how much it impacts my life, the sacrament can go from being a routine thing to being a ritual that has a significant impact on my entire week and how I view everything.
                This conference has been one of particular significance to me as it addressed many of the things I have been pondering, on this subject the talk given by Elder Hallstrom was awesome. He talked about when he was a child church and church activities consumed his life, and as he grew he realized that there was more than just doing the right things and going to church, the gospel is about pondering and growing and one does not simply do that by just completing the mormon check list.

“Some have come to think of activity in the Church as the ultimate goal. Therein lies a danger. It is possible to be active in the Church and less active in the gospel. Let me stress: activity in the Church is a highly desirable goal; however, it is insufficient. Activity in the Church is an outward indication of our spiritual desire. If we attend our meetings, hold and fulfill Church responsibilities, and serve others, it is publicly observed.
By contrast, the things of the gospel are usually less visible and more difficult to measure, but they are of greater eternal importance. For example, how much faith do we really have? How repentant are we? How meaningful are the ordinances in our lives? How focused are we on our covenants?
I repeat: we need the gospel and the Church. In fact, the purpose of the Church is to help us live the gospel. We often wonder: How can someone be fully active in the Church as a youth and then not be when they are older? How can an adult who has regularly attended and served stop coming? How can a person who was disappointed by a leader or another member allow that to end their Church participation? Perhaps the reason is they were not sufficiently converted to the gospel—the things of eternity.” Elder Hallstrom, General Conference April 2012.
I really like how he said church AND the gospel because they really are two separate things. The church is an amazing tool given to us to help us grow and learn and give us a means of social support as we strive to become more like God as well as give us opportunity to receive vital endowments, however it is not the gospel and is not the plan of salvation and simple church attendance does not make us active in the gospel.
In addition, even though the Church is the true church on earth and a wonderful blessing for me in my life, I do not believe God intended for everybody to be a Mormon. Just think about if Ghandi or Mother Theresa had been LDS, they would have been amazing in the LDS church but would they have had the impact on the world that they had? Being in certain situations forces people to grow in ways that others do not, and maybe some people need to grow in ways they could not as an latter day saint. In the end, after this life and period of growth is done, I believe that people like Ghandi and Mother Theresa will embrace the gospel and Christ's church and receive the full blessings they would have had they been LDS while living on this earth, but that they needed to be kept ignorant of the gospel while they lived upon this earth. 
                These have been my thoughts, please tell me what you think!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Finally and update

Wow I haven't updated my blog forever so here is what has been happening in the last couple of months. First, my brother is coming home tomorrow! We're all so excited and so proud of him for serving the people of Mexico so well!

Life is still pretty much the same still at BYU studying to become a marriage and family therapist and working at good old chuck e. cheese. Haha I NEED to quit but can't seem to get arround to making myself, if anyone knows of a good job that could tempt me to quit let me know!

So here is a shout out to Audrey Hepburn, her movies are becoming some of my favorites of all time. I would especially recomend Breakfast at Tiffany's but Charade, Sabrina, Two for the Road, and Roman Holiday are all great too!

I'm also considering a mission in a couple of months it feels more and more like what I need to be doing. I really want to go to Paris so I'm going to try to learn a little bit of french just in case :)

Well that's me life is WONDERFUL and I love everyone in my life so much! And Kala if you're reading this I'm so excited for you and your upcoming wedding! Also, we won our game against the U of U in overtime which is the best sort of game so I'm feeling pretty good about everything! If you're reading this thanks and I hope you have a great day!