It is good to have questions. Infact the Saviour is always inviting us to ask. How many times do the scriptures say “ask and ye shall receive”. If you don’t have questions God cannot answer them. But where are you looking for your answers?

Sometimes we forget the very foundation of this latter day organization. It was a young boy who asked a question. But he didn’t just get the opinions from the religious men of his day. He took the question to the bible and made an effort to pray to God. The true source of all knowledge.

Joseph Smith didn’t have google to answer his questions but I think we are missing a great lesson from this foundational story. Questions take time, study, fasting and prayer sometimes many prayers over several years… but when the answers come from the true source they are sweet and beautiful. Enos described his answer as a “wrestle” with God. That is a difficult struggle. Notice he didn’t use a easier verb like commune, or chatted but used an arduous verb. Sometimes we want an answer without the wrestle. Enos cried in mighty prayer for a day and a night supplicating for his own soul. What are the questions that you need to wrestle with God? And are you willing to put in the effort to get the answers?

I never had a testimony that eight was the right age to be baptized. It probably wasn’t for me but that doesn’t mean that it is wrong for everyone. But it never sat well with me. I did believe that God loved me and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and the Book of Mormon was true and so I wasn’t going to let it ruin my testimony but I never really wrestled God for the answer. I did however live into the patient truth of the answer. It came to me as I was obedient to what I did believe. The first piece of my puzzle came on my mission. I taught two eight year old twins the gospel. They were raised in an LDS home but the parents wanted them to have the missionary discussions. As I taught them the spirit poured down on my and just undeniably said.. “Can’t you see how much they know? They are ready and willing.”

Then years later in a relief society lesson we would be studying teachings of the prophets and the teacher asked me if I would talk about my baptism. I felt kinda awkward talking about it because I rarely look back fondly at my baptism. But in that lesson as I honestly shared my experience the spirit touched me again…in the lesson it said something like kids with a healthy childhood eight is the right age. Although my parents did all they could to provide me with a happy childhood. I never told them about being abused until I was an adult and how that weighed on me and made me feel worthless and little. Now I can look back at the young little girl with more compassion and love.

I have questioned so much … and I have lived into many answers. I need to question more. I was so impressed to hear Sherri Dew talk about her wrestle she had about the new legislation… and how she wrestled to know the answer. She doesn’t give her specific answer but we can take any question to the Lord. But where will we go for answers? I promise google will give you a quick answer…. but some questions take a while to accept the true answers. I love how Elder James Martino put it when he said….

“When we consider thoughtfully, why would we listen to the faceless, cynical voices of those in the great and spacious buildings of our time and ignore the pleas of those who genuinely love us? These ever-present naysayers prefer to tear down rather than elevate and to ridicule rather than uplift. Their mocking words can burrow into our lives, often through split-second bursts of electronic distortions carefully and deliberately composed to destroy our faith. Is it wise to place our eternal well-being in the hands of strangers? Is it wise to claim enlightenment from those who have no light to give or who may have private agendas hidden from us? These anonymous individuals, if presented to us honestly, would never be given a moment of our time, but because they exploit social media, hidden from scrutiny, they receive undeserved credibility.”

I think a call, back to basics is necessary. As a missionary I used to invite people to ask God if what I taught them was true. I think that is still the answer. Ask God. Wrestle with Him… He will one day lead you into a beautiful precious answer.



Daily Miracles

The words of this entry flowed so freely that I cannot take credit but I am grateful that the Lord used me as an instrument. I wrote this as a missionary sixteen years ago.


I was asked to share a faith promoting story with the district. They didn’t want anything from South America nor did they want an Alma story where millions were converted through the action of one great missionary. What story could I possible share that could encourage and uplift so many people that I admire and think are wonderful missionaries? So I decided that I would share one of the greatest miracle stories that I know. It’s about a young child, who was confused by all the differences being taught. Truth was so unsure and unknown. They weren’t sure where to find answers to their questions. So they went to be alone to pray. This wasn’t a pray uttered in a grove and God the Father and Jesus Christ did not appear to them. But it was a sincere prayer, whispered with a sincere heart and the Lord answered the prayer in the way he wanted the prayer to be answered. It was a prayer where the simple question was asked… “Father can you love a sinner like me? Despite all my weakness can you still love me?” and the answer was an overwhelming -Yes- that burning undeniable feeling that pushes all doubt out and fills with an amazing joy and love. Now this isn’t miracle that is published, nor will their name be had for good and bad among all nations but will she be changed forever? Undoubtedly!

Why when a miracle is ours does it lose it’s beauty?

Mine is a story not that different from anyone else’s. Infact, if I asked you to tell about your conversion it would probably sound similar. But we have all been witnesses to what Gorden B. Hinckley calls the “greatest miracle ever performed- the mighty change of heart.”

Why is it we become numb to the miracles we witness daily? What is it that makes the miracles we perform any less miraculous? Perhaps its the fact that we aren’t going to make any Book of Mormon pages or general conference stories but our lives are noticed in the eyes of the Lord. Just like Abinidi who converted one person, we too are doing a great work. The miracles you perform are not going unnoticed. They are just as important in the eyes of the Lord and in the eyes of the people they touch.

I’ve prayed and received answers to my prayers so clearly. I’ve said exactly the right words to someone. I’ve had a woman thank me with tears in her eyes for the words I’ve said. I’ve felt priesthood holders lay their hands on my head and answer every question that I had ever muttered in a prayer and then promise me blessings beyond my ability to imagine. I know that the blessings that Jesus Christ gave to the Nephite people are just as beautiful as the blessings that I and others have received from your hands.

Alma taught an important truth when he said by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. We are those small and simple things, our actions are those small and simple things. Our small decisions to get out of bed at 6:30, to study the scriptures, to work on our discussions, to say hello to that person on the bus. (These are all specific missionary actions but you can enter any small and simple act.) Those are the small and simple actions.

I often wonder why Heavenly Father chooses to use the young people to go out and preach the gospel. He could call on gospel scholars, on apostles and even on angels if He should so desire. But He chooses us. I think it’s part of His great plan, why His thoughts are higher than ours.

So let us not be weary in well doing for we are laying the foundation of a great work. We are children of God with amazing potential. Your mission was designed for you and all those around you. Therefore, the small and simple miracles we see in our lives and the lives of those around us will bring to pass great things. So let us waste out and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden treasures of knowledge and let no man count them as small things.

I am grateful for the miracles I have witnessed in my life.


Daily Miracles

Windows of heaven

windows of heaven

Claire has discovered that the hymn,  A Poor wayfaring Man of Grief,  has seven verses and so if we sing that one at bedtime she can have me in her room scratching her back for longer. So often this is what she chooses.

I love the words of that hymn.. It’s about a man who goes and help someone in all stages of life. hungry and he feeds him, thirsty and he give him drink cold and he gives him shelter. prisoned and visits… condemned to death and will take his place…

Then in a moment to my view

The stranger started from disguise.

The tokens in his hands I knew;

The Savior stood before mine eyes.

He spake, and my poor name he named,

“Of me thou hast not been ashamed.

These deeds shall thy memorial be;

Fear not, thou didst them unto me.”


Inasmuch as he have done it unto the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me.

When we came here to earth the Lord knew that it would be easy to be selfish and seek our own interest and the praise of others. Selfishness can block us from knowing God. When we become self centered we may forget God and become insensitive to other people. In this state we could not live to fulfill our missions and become more like God.

In one of my favorite hymn is the line “sacrifice brings for the blessings of heaven” to sacrifice means to put others needs above our own. This is easily written but sometimes not so easily lived.

How do we learn to put the things of God first in our lives? One way is to obey the law of tithing.

There are some commandments that are easy for people to live and others that are hard… depends a lot on your personality and your God given weakness… But I have always found great joy and blessings and even miracles in living this law of tithing and offerings.

I remember a primary lessons where my teacher gave me ten shiny chocolate coins.. All ten were mine… then she asked I gave you ten can I please have back one… so wait a minute … You gave me ten and i can keep them all… but you who gave me the whole lot are just asking for one in return? I don’t know what kind of business she was running but that just seemed amazing!

Years later when I would use a very similar lesson to teach my own children in family home evening they readily without hesitation handed one back.. without any regret.. Perhaps that is why we are commanded to be like little children. When you teach them truth they readily see how simple, wonderful and beautiful it is.  We must ever be grateful that we keep 90% Perhaps we need to change the verbiage around this commandment … Perhaps we need to to remember that we are not paying ten percent we are keeping 90.

The world would teach you to be leery of anyone wanting your money… but the Lord gives us this commandment that governs the finances of a world wide church. In 35 words section 119 of the doctrine and covenants  …. what a contrast to the cumbersome complex and difficult tax codes to which we live as citizens.. (President Hinckley)

As a missionary in France it wasn’t often that we would get to the fifth discussion wherein we taught the law of sacrifice and tithing. I remember the shock and often anger that came with “Oh yeah, now I see… you want my money. I knew this would be about me giving you money.” To which I thought. I don’t want any of you money and the Lord doesn’t need it either. I think often of the story where Jesus miraculously provided the tribute money by commanding  Peter to “go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money:.`Matt 17:27 He who created all the world and it’s wealth surely doesn’t need our offerings. But we are here to be tested and need to prove faithful in all things. We need the blessing and spirit the accompany unselfish acts.

In a day such as this, when we are abundantly blessed we need to remember the Lord and not rob God. President Hinckley  said.”The worst fear that I have about this people is that they will get rich in this country, forget God and his people, wax fat, and kick themselves out of the Church and go to hell. This people will stand mobbing, robbing, poverty and all manner of persecution, and be true. My greater fear for them is that they cannot stand wealth; and yet they have to be tried with riches, for they will become the richest people on this earth. [Nibley,Brigham Young, p. 128]

To which I can hear many of you say, “Hasten the day.”

I believe that day, spoken of by Brigham Young with a voice of prophecy that rose above the voices of defeat and criticism, has come. We have been blessed with the bounties of heaven and the bounties of earth. Oh, how magnificently…we have been blessed! Now, with gratitude in our hearts, let us …count our blessings and in a great spirit of gratitude, motivated by a great faith, go forth to build the kingdom of God in the earth.”(Gordon B. Hinckley, BYU Speeches, The Lord is at the Helm, 1994Hinckley,)

Perhaps this is why the story of Josephine, a faithful African woman who we found and taught the gospel to, was overjoyed at the good news that we shared. As we preached and taught and were edified together right there in the back of a city bus… she exclaimed … your church is beautiful where can I pay my tides? and it was in English but I thought she wants to come to church and bring good tidings to the church members. So I said we meet on Sunday .. and she said no I want to pay my tides… I looked at her in amazement YOU WANT TO PAY TITHING? we haven’t even invited you to baptism, She will always be a great example of faith to me.

“Would any of us intentionally reject an outpouring of blessings from the Lord? Sadly, this is what we do when we fail to pay our tithing. We say no to the very blessings we are seeking and praying to receive. If you are one who has doubted the blessings of tithing, I encourage you to accept the Lord’s invitation to “prove [Him] now herewith” (Malachi 3:10). Pay your tithing. Unlock the windows of heaven. You will be abundantly blessed for your obedience and faithfulness to the Lord’s laws and commandments. “

I know of two missionaries who visited a very poor family. The family’s home was made of pressboard and sticks, with a dirt floor and no electricity or beds. Each evening the father, a farm laborer, spent his entire day’s wages on groceries for dinner. Departing from their humble home, the senior companion thought to himself, “The law of tithing will surely be a stumbling block to this family. Perhaps we shouldn’t bring it up for a while.” A few moments later, the junior companion, who had grown up in similar circumstances in his own country, voiced his own thoughts aloud: “I know the principle of tithing isn’t taught for four more discussions, but can we please teach it the next time we visit? They need to know about tithing now because they need the help and the blessing of the Lord so much.”

to help us avoid selfishness we are given two great commandments… love God and love your neighbour.  We show our love to God by our obedience to his commandments… We must seek his will and try our best to live it. This takes great courage and sacrifice…

Another way we can put God first and put of our own selfish interests it to Elder Holland heed the Redeemers “persistent call … to join Him in lifting this burden from the people. This can be accomplished by participating at least monthly in the law of the fast and giving a generous offering.

Before I left on my mission a very good friend, Jeff Pratt,  asked if he could share some advice that he had learned. Of course I wanted to hear it! He told me as a missionary you don’t pay tithing. But he had been taught that you could still give a generous fast offering… So I decided that I would try what he had suggested and pay a fast offering.

For Christmas our ward had given us food and we were allowed to do one big spectacle for Christmas… because I was serving in a tiny town we had decided to go to a belle restaurant. Transfer came and I didn’t think I would be transferred but I was and I had no money to pay for the train ticket. I knelt down and said “O Heavenly Father I am so sorry. I thought I had planned ahead. But them with confidence I said I have paid a generous fast offering I would like you to provide a way… Later a little old lady in ward had sent me money in a Christmas card that paid for my ticket. Isn’t that what Isaiah teaches when he says we fast `to make our voice heard on high and when we call he shall say here I am.

The Lord often meets our needs through the hands of others and I appreciate that faithful widow who followed a prompting and answered my prayers.

On the subject of offerings I have to tell you the story of a family that is dear to my heart. When I was finishing university my roommate and I would graduate together and then she was leaving for a mission. I remember telling her I am so jealous of you. I wish I was going. but there is no way I can because I have student loans and my parents are already paying for my brother’s mission and I didn’t think much more of the conversation than that.

A few days later I got a call from this girl’s father. He just asked me Danielle do you want to serve a mission and as I kinda started to explain why I couldn’t go … he interrupted and said “ I just asking you if you want to go… Yes was my honest and simply reply. Then I will pay for it!

That day my red sea opened. I was so grateful for someone giving me a blessing and opportunity I so desired and would never be able to obtain without his generosity and kindness. They were quite wealthy and lived in a simple home… it wouldn’t be till after I came home from my mission that they would put air conditioning in their home. I will forever be grateful for the lessons and experience learned that taught me at the sacrifice and generosity of this couple.I can testify to Elder Holland’s words  that às I  found “relief at your hand will call their name blessed forever“.  What could we sacrifice to serve others?

For, in the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith, “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.” 20

This past conference Elder Holland said, “the great Redeemer has issued no more persistent call than for us to join Him in lifting this burden from the people. As Jehovah, He said He would judge the house of Israel harshly because “the spoil of the [needy] is in your houses.”

This phrase pierced my heart. It zinged me and I knew I was guilty of holding things back that would bless others.

“I don’t know exactly how each of you should fulfill your obligation to those who do not or cannot always help themselves.“ Elder Holland would continue to say. “But I know that God knows, and He will help you and guide you in compassionate acts of discipleship if you are conscientiously wanting and praying and looking for ways to keep a commandment He has given us again and again.“

Towards the very end of my mission my grandpa had give me some money. I had kept a bill for tithing because I knew my grandfather hadn’t paid tithing on the money. Now as I went to pay tithing I happened to be fasting that day. And the thought came to me… you don’t have a fast offering… What should I do.. should I pay tithing.. but I am a missionary and don’t need to pay tithing.. or do I give it as a fast offering.. If you pay it as tithing you will have nothing to give to the Lord as an offering?.. And even though the struggle was only for a minute or two… a thought just came to my head… “no you always pay tithing first!” and so when I reached into that tiny change purse to get the bill I had saved for tithing… A few coins fell out of the folds and I could pay both. I had no more money than that bill in that wallet that day. I don’t know how the coins got there but I do know that that day.. .that little missionary girl felt the windows of heaven open and pour her out a blessing. She could obey two commandments by putting her faith in the first.. that day I truly cast in the widow’s mite for an offering.

I know this is a hard commandment for some, but I can honestly testify of the beauty and love that has come into my life as I have tried to obey these two commandments. I know they bring more blessings than we ever give.

This post is a talk that I gave in church.



Windows of heaven

White as Snow? Or Red as Crimson?


red snow

People often wonder if my husband knows about my blog posts. My husband encourages me to share our story if it will help heal others. He has true charity. If you have read my other blog posts you will know that does not mean that we pretend to be perfect. But does mean we are sinners who keep on trying!

In Shakespeare’s comedy, As You Like It one character, the older brother, plots to kill his younger brother. The younger brother discovers his older brothers intentions and decides to take a higher road and spares the older brothers life. When the older brother becomes aware of the compassion and love of his brother his heart changes.  Two women inquire of the older brother “Was’t you that did so oft contrive to kill [your brother]?”

The older brother answers, “’Twas I; but ’tis not I: I do not shame to tell you what I was, since my conversion so sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.”

I love the line “twas I; but tis not I.” I was that person. But I am now different. My past is true but it does not determine my future. I can choose change through my Saviour Jesus Christ.

Elder Renlund explained, “because of God’s mercy and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, such a change is not just literary fiction” (2015). It can truly happen. I believe this. I know it is true. I have witnessed it in my own life and  that of my family members.

I believe the words found in the first chapter of Isaiah verse eighteen

“let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

I believe in the healing of the atonement. That the deepest red can become brilliantly white.

But I want to give a shout out to my husband, Dave. He is full of charity that he allows me to share our story with who ever it may help or heal. That is why I am writing this blog. He encourages me to be “real” and to help others learn from our story. I am thankful for his honesty, kindness and authenticity. I am also grateful that he applies the “twas I; but tis not I” it’s a great example to me.

White as Snow? Or Red as Crimson?

Joy Cometh in the Morning

There is no telling how much the sunrise means to the one whose had a terrible night.

sunrise morningI love that song lyric by Michael Mclean.

But today my heart won’t let me sleep until this is written. I should be exhausted and feel a little weepy but sleep won’t come so here is the thought that I feel I should share.

I taught the Sunday school lesson on 2 Nephi 2:25

25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

We celebrate that Eve and Adam decided to eat the fruit so that we could be, and we acknowledge that Jesus wants us to have joy. But a lesson that I wouldn’t learn until later in life is that that joy is to be had NOW!

One time I was talking with a kind bishop about my life. He told me frankly, “This life is not to be endured. We are to have joy NOW! If anything in your life, I mean ANYTHING, is not bringing you joy then you need to change it.” This was a new idea to me. Could it really be true?

If you continue reading the very next verse in the scripture it states ” knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon” The idea that we act and are not acted upon is hard doctrine. The phrase is easy enough but its application hurts. Its another way of saying just because you were a victim doesn’t mean you have to stay one. Just because something happened it doesn’t have to define you forever. You can choose to change even if it hurts.

I guess it’s helpful to know that the bishop gave me this advice in regards to my marriage. I felt so trapped. I was unhappy with the way I was being treated by my husband, Dave. I felt so responsible for my husband’s choices. If only I could be prettier, kinder, more patient things would be better. It was my love that was going to save my husband. The Lord had to remind me that Dave was His before he was ever mine and that only He could heal him and get him to where he needs to go. But it feels so important to be someone’s savior. The downfall of that is that it’s also crazy making.

So as I was discussing this idea of happiness now I could tell that there were a few people who weren’t quite sure that I was right. So I drew on a talk I had found given in October of 1986 by Russel M Nelson. Elder Nelson suggests that we know that “men are that they might have joy” but we forget that “joy cometh in the morning?”

So I want you to imagine this next scene. There is Elder Nelson with all his children gathered around. You hear one of his children ask how we can experience this joy spoken of in the scriptures and here is his reply.

“The gospel of Jesus Christ offers hope,” Elder Nelson answers. “It declares joy to be part of our divine destiny. And to experience joy in the morning becomes our special challenge. The true test,” he continues, “is to be able to look in the mirror, first thing in the morning, and feel real joy.”(Nelson, 1986)

When I had first found this talk I awoke before my alarm. I was tired and definitely far from feeling joy. I had to kneel down and ask why I wasn’t feeling joy. The thought came to me, “When is the last time you repented?” I continued to kneel and review my week about what I needed to right with the Lord. I felt more at peace.

Then Elder Nelson continues

“My dear ones,” he’d reply, “in order to experience true joy in the morning, or at any time, at least three factors are needed. You need to feel good about the people with whom you live and work—your companions in life. You must feel good about yourself—not in any sense of conceit, but simply a proper esteem for yourself, well deserved. And possibly most important, you must feel good about your relation to God and sincerely love him.” (Nelson, 1986).

So let’s return to the scripture where I started. One word that has completely stuck out to me in preparing for this lessons was “might.” Men “might” have joy. If they choose joy the can have it, but if the don’t choose joy they will reap that reward.  If you choose to have joy in the morning you might have that too. But you do have to examine three major relationships. First, the close intimate associations of family and colleagues. Do they bring you joy in the morning? What could you do to be around people that do bring you joy? You might have to change your environment or some of your companions? But you get to act. Second, you must be kind to yourself and find the value and divine worth that is inside. That you can believe your life is of greatest value and importance and that what you do makes a difference. What would have to change in order to have the proper esteem for yourself?  Third, you must have a correct idea about the nature, attributes, and perfections of your loving kind Father in heaven. Easy things… but not so easy to implement. Do you sincerely love God?

As you quietly reflect on these three factors may the Spirit quietly gently guide you to know where to start and how to experience true joy every morning.

I know it’s possible. I haven’t always done it but I intend to live with greater faith in this beautiful principle.


Joy Cometh in the Morning

Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence

Parting Of The Red Sea! Exodus 14 verse 21

“Most Latter-day Saints know the formula for revelation given in section 9 of the Doctrine and Covenants—the verses about studying it out in your mind and the Lord promising to confirm or deny. What most of us don’t read in conjunction with this is the section which precedes it: section 8. “ (Holland, 2000)

In the eighth section there is a beautiful scripture that teaches us about revelation.

2 Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.

Because I feel we are quite familiar with this passage and the connection that must exist with your mind and your heart, both being important in discerning truth from God. ”I love the combination there of both mind and heart. God will teach us in a reasonable way and in a revelatory way—mind and heart combined—by the Holy Ghost.” (Holland, 2000)  I am going to focus much of this post on the next verse of scripture.

However, I want you to think about all the times that God has revealed himself to man. Moses talked with God face to face, Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ, the brother of Jared, and Enoch, etc. Now God, being all wise and perfect, can draw on any one of these examples and yet I find it so interesting that when he decides to teach us about revelation in this section of scripture that he uses none of these examples. Let continue reading verse three.

3 Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.

Why would God use Moses bring the children of Israel through the red sea to describe revelation? Isn’t it bigger and better to talk with him face to face?  “Usually we think of revelation as a downpour of information.” (Holland, 2000) But this idea can be too limiting and narrow. Let’s consider revelation from God more generally.

First, “revelation almost always comes in response to a question”. ( Holland, 2000) The question that needed solving in Moses example was how do I save my people? With pharaoh’s armies approaching and sand dunes on either side and a great big sea in the front where where do we go? In order for revelation to come we almost always need to ask questions.

The second lesson we can glean from this example is don’t fear. When it seems like all is hopeless, remember the miracles that brought you to this point. Think about upon the frogs, lice, hail and even the passing over of the destroying angel. Surely they could have seen God was fighting their battles for them. Why now would they go back to complaining and fearing?

Before we judge them too harshly we need only think about about our own lives to see how quickly we complain and doubt that God can break down city wall, slay local Labans, open seas and guide us through our wildernesses. Perhaps that is why we are constantly being told to REMEMBER… lest we forget… it’s too easy to murmur and doubt.  But this is an important, hard lesson. The children of Israel were really mad at Moses. At least being servants we were still alive. Why would you take us out here to die? “ We must have been wrong. That probably wasn’t the right spirit telling us to leave Egypt.”  (Holland, 2000) But

Until Moses finally says “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. … The Lord shall fight for you.” And their red sea opens and they walk across on dry land.

Another lesson to be learned is that if the Lord has told you that something is right, he will provide a way to accomplish the tasks he wants you to do. Even if it has never been done before. He opens red seas and can even stop the Jordans rivers from flowing… but sometimes we need to get our feet wet first.

I love that the Lord uses this example to describe revelation. It has so much more insight and understanding. I am sure there are even more ideas about why this example. So if you have any other ideas please share them in the comments.

“With any major decision there are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don’t give up when the pressure mounts. Certainly don’t give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. Face your doubts. Master your fears. “Cast not away therefore your confidence.” Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you.”

I read this article by Jeffery R Holland when I was a missionary. This information changed how I thought about receiving and acting on thoughts that the spirit has given to me.

Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence

Our Deepest Fear… Powerful Beyond Measure


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

Why do you think this is? Do you believe this to be true? Why would light frighten us so much? Maybe its because of the responsibility we feel to let our light shine. Maybe we would have to love ourselves enough to believe our light is important. Maybe we spend too much time trying to shine in ways others do and we aren’t authentic to the light that is within us. We become discouraged when we try to reflect others light and not illuminate our own way. Instead of finding our personal way to reflect our Saviors light and live true to ourselves.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?

God doesn’t create mistakes. God doesn’t mess up. He is perfect. He creations are beautiful, brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous.  We are His creation. Sometimes its our eyes that aren’t seeing things right. I guess that is what it means when it says their eyes are heavy, closed or blind. If you can’t see the beauty of God’s creation within yourself then pray that your eyes may be opened. Plead with the Healer to heal your own eyes.

As I walk around or into the temples of the Lord I would never criticize the walls and moldings. I am just in awe at the beauty and majesty that is found there. When Paul says “know ye not that ye are the temple of God?” He literally means that that same feeling of reverence and awe that is felt in His house should exist when we consider all His creations – especially our selves.

You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

I am starting to learn about the empowering effects of the atonement. It is glorious, liberating and beautiful.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

Remember what it was like to be a little child and completely care free? Remember how the kid on the playground could be your next best friend instantly? Perhaps that is why we are commanded to be like little children… not childish… child-like.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

This is not the first time I am sharing these stories. It has been a lifetime of “stepping stone” sharing. I feel a little more courageous about sharing my authentic story because I truly believe it can help and heal people. I know I love when people are authentic with me.

Our Deepest Fear… Powerful Beyond Measure

Grateful in All things


The lesson was on Amos 3:6. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”

When I was thinking about what talks really stuck out to me this conference. The first was David  A Bednars talk about loads. About how we think happiness is the absence of a load and that actually loads give us spiritual traction to accomplish and become what Heavenly Father wants us to be… and then Dieter F Uchtdorfs talk about being grateful in all things.

As I look at this commandment I feel a little torn. Grateful in abuse, grateful in parents divorce, grateful in an addiction that was in my marriage? Does it hardly seem right? “But those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding.”(Uchdorf, April, 2014)

Do I believe that promise? Do I really believe that I can push away a bottle whose bitter taste would destroy my spirit and faithfully lift a goblet to my God and say thank you for loving me enough to cut me down? Thank you for letting me seek you in a way that brought me to deep and richly confirming knowledge of your presence.  Paul V. Johnson said, “we should take care not to resent the very things that help us put on the divine nature.” The things that if endured well would help us to become like him.

This was not a one-day event but a process and even though there are some experiences that are strong and rewarding, the process of being grateful came at the price of walking through the mists of doubt and discouragement. Learning to give to the Lord all the disgust and guilt and shame that are accompanied with it. Learning to seek healing through all the proper channels that God has given us on earth.

As I learned to reach for my Saviour to heal me… to make me whole .. to take what felt like crimson and turn it into the purest white. After I could do that. I could see how many people in my life the Lord put there so that I could help heal them and they could help heal me… The help I could give to others made some of my grief worth it. Elder Oresen F Whitney wrote “ to whom do we look, in days of grief and disaster, for help and consolation?…They are men and women who have suffered, and out of their experience in suffering they bring forth the riches of their sympathy and condolences as a blessing to those now in need. Could they do this had they not suffered themselves?” (Refined in our Trials, Ensign, Feb 2006)

It’s important to note “Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges.”(Uchdorf, 2014)“This is not a gratitude of the lips but of the soul. It is a gratitude that heals the heart and expands the mind.”

As we are commanded to become like Him I think too often we forget how the scriptures teach “he was a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief… and we hid as it were our faces from him.” Do we shrink and hide our faces in times in life’s trying times or do we realize to feel sorrow is quite Divine?

Sometimes we don’t think about God weeping but as Enoch asked the question three times:

             “How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?” Moses 7:32

The Lord’s response is that of love. It sounds like a parent who is saddened by saddened by his children’s mistakes. (Moses 7:32-) So often we think of God being absent and allowing suffering. A kind and loving God would have never let this happen; a loving God doesn’t cut me down and let me suffer; a kind God wouldn’t. But a kinder and and a more loving God will allow all things to happen to us if it will be for our ultimate good. Perhaps we need to become better acquainted with this all powerful and immortal God who still weeps. An elder brother who is “acquainted with grief and sorrows”. In our suffering we take some of our own painful steps to Calvary, to become better acquainted with our loving God.

Sometimes when life’s bitter ironies happen to us. We think God is absent or doesn’t exist. This is exactly what happened to me. When I was old enough to understand the abuse. I was bitter at God. I couldn’t believe in a loving Father so absent in my suffering. So one day as a young girl I thought the only option I had left was to end my own life. Before I acted on it,  I knelt down and I asked God,  “Can you love me?  Are you there?” That prayer was answered. I felt the purest love encompass me and I knew I would have the strength to get the healing I needed.  It was not a one-time healing. This just opened the gate to a pathway for healing, and deeply drinking from those healing living waters. For the realization that a loving Father would wipe away all tears. and that all things endured well will be “consecrated for (my) gain.”  2 Nephi 2:2.

We need always remember a correct idea of our Father.  He is all powerful, all knowing, no respecter of persons, and someone who loves so much he still weeps with us. May we trust in a loving God.  So when we are invited to “see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation, we may take joy in the journey. That we reflect on the question: “How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain? So maybe when our lives feel dark and rainy, when mortality weighs us down, we can remember Him who descended below all things. That we may cast our  burdens at His feet and be healed. That we may yoke ourselves to Him and take each faithful step in our own journey in mortality remembering “If you wish to go where God is, you must be like God, or possess the principles which God possesses” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 216).

So my Brothers and sisters these next two weeks my challenge is to invite you record at least three things for which you are grateful.  That we may live in a spirit of thanksgiving. That one of those days you ponder upon an event that wasn’t very appealing and ask to see the gratitude in that situation. I invite you to lift the goblet of gratitude and “find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding.”(Uchdorf, April, 2014)”

This was given to me for a Sunday school class that I taught. I was kinda scared to share it but the response I got was so worth it. People were kind and the spirit filled in the stuff that I couldn’t say but they needed to hear.

Grateful in All things

Being Obedient brings Revelation

President Joseph F. Smith counseled: “Show me Latter-day Saints who have to feed upon miracles, signs and visions in order to keep them steadfast in the Church, and I will show you members … who are not in good standing before God, and who are walking in slippery paths. It is not by marvelous manifestations unto us that we shall be established in the truth, but it is by humility and faithful obedience to the commandments and laws of God” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1900, 40).

I love this quote. ( I lifted it from Elder Bednars conference address April 2011) It simply says that its the small decisions that we make daily that keep us continually holding to the rod and feasting on the delicious fruit of the tree.  It’s not the great miracles but the daily small ones that will be the difference.

So here is my example.

In the front of the manuals ” Teachings of Presidents of the Church” there is a section called “Personal Study” in that section it states

“Underline passages you want to remember. Consider memorizing these passages or noting them in your scriptures next to related verses.

One day as I was reading my lesson manual I read a short scripture that hit me. It was short and sweet and I liked it and because I had read the personal study section, I had decided that I would commit the scripture to memory. It wasn’t until I started memorizing the scripture that I realized the importance  of one single word.

The scripture is Doctrine and Covenants 93:49


 49   What I say unto one I say unto all; pray always lest that wicked one have power in you, and remove you out of your place.

I would have never realized that this scripture says “power in you” Why does it say have power in us?… isn’t the word power over us? I received revelation from being obedient and from asking a question. The question would have never come if I hadn’t tried to memorize this passage.

But I have to realize that God doesn’t mix up his words he uses them intentionally. The wicked one referred to in this scripture in none other than Satan. But how do we give him power in us? and how does he use that power to move us out of our place?

I give Satan power inside me when I listen to a voice that tells me I am no good.. “Why should you raise your hand? no one needs to hear your comment, you are a failure, you’re no good, you’re to fat, you are not a good mother.” All these thoughts in my head it’s hard to tell which ones are mine, which are divine, and which ones are Satans?

I will teach you a really easy way to tell, if its negative and derogatory it’s Satan. Don’t feel too bad I have been letting him inside me without even realizing it. Sometimes I have to run this check on myself. Would I even think that thought about someone else? Would I pass that judgement on a stranger? Then I wouldn’t say it about myself either. Satan,  get thee hence. Also, my girlfriend says to pay attention to the tense… it’s not first person, I am bad, it’s second person , you are bad. Get him out… give him no more power in you.

Hence if I hear,  “You’re a bad mother and wife… and then start to internalize it… Yes I am bad. Why do I even try? I allow him to slowly move me out of my place.

What does it even mean to “move you out of your place”?


I have to think of the old Testament man Nehemiah. He had a cushy job as cupbearer of the king. One day the king saw him so sad and said, “Nehemiah, what is wrong?”

Nehemiah replied, “the walls around Jerusalem are burning and I want to go fix them”

The king allowed Nehemiah to go and rebuild the wall. Not everyone was excited about Nehemiah’s job.  They tried to distract him from his duty. It wasn’t easy building either. They literally had a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other. Five time people tried to get him off the wall. “Each time they approached him, he responded with the same answer: “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.”10

Sister, whatever the work that we are engaged in it is a great work. Satan know it. He is well aware of President Spencer W. Kimball profound prophecy about the impact that covenant-keeping women would have on the future of the Lord’s Church. He prophesied:

“Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world … will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world.”5

So if Satan can move you and I out of our place it can impact so many more lives than we can ever know. We must be vigilant about what we let in us.

What do we do if we realize we have let him it? Let’s return to the scripture. “Pray Always” Turn back to a loving Heavenly Father. Ask him to turn down the negative voices and let you hear the calm gentle voice of kindness, peace and love. Repent and be able to feel the right voice again. He is always at the door knocking waiting for us to approach Him.

May we look for small ways to be obedient so that we can ask the right questions and true intelligence might be our teacher and help us lift ourselves and then share our insights with others.


*** Side note … when I taught this lesson to the class a girl made a comment about Nehemiah. She said, “he kind of reminds me of Ammon, when he first went to be a missionary among the lamanites, the king offered him a comfortable position being married to one of his daughters and Ammon refused. He said he would be a servant. He was then able to perform all the miracles that God needed him to do. Sometimes we need to leave our comfortable spots and start doing more service.”

What do you think your place is ? How is Satan trying to move you out of it?







Being Obedient brings Revelation