Claire Bear

To be a mother was all I really ever wanted. The whole idea of someone growing inside of me and knowing that I would be the one that they called mom was so miraculous. I have always loved my mother and how she was there for me. That it was a natural extension for me to want to pass that on to someone else.

When I found out I was pregnant with Claire I was so happy. I wanted a baby and it felt like Heavenly Father had made me wait forever! (I was 27 years old) My pregnancies are really easy. I don’t get sick and I enjoyed having this bundle of love. (except at the end, when your ready to meet her) I remember hearing her heart beat for the first time and feeling her kick inside me. I loved it all.

Finally she was here… and as much as babies like growing inside me they definitely don’t like coming out of me. (If this is too much information you don’t have to keep reading.) But giving birth was the first thing in my life where I really felt like I needed Dave. I was so independent before I married him. I had bought a house by myself, I was comfortable going to the movies alone, and I was even good at going to a restaurant solo… so there wasn’t much that I felt really dependent on Dave. But with the birth he was there with me the whole time. He was holding my hand and helping me breathe and just coaching me through this whole experience.

When Claire was finally here, I just remember thinking “Is she a girl?” And Dave yells, “Yup and she looks just like me!” Of course she did! … I was exhausted and starving. I hadn’t eaten in two days!!! But I was happy.

Although, the first night in the hospital the nurse offered to take her while we slept and I was so tired and grateful that we both agreed and slept comforted by the kindness of the nurse.

I remember Dave and I used to lay her out and just stare at her. She was this marvelous miracle that we had created. It was beyond any beautiful thing we had ever done before and we both yearned to be better. We instantly started family home evening. It just felt like we should.

Claire was so content. She loved people and she was so kind. She could speak quite well and was just a tiny little peanut. I remember the health unit was worried because she was below average height and weight. But neither Dave nor I are giants. I would be more surprised if she was above average. Besides someone has to be below average.

I do remember at around six months I began to lose my milk and I didn’t notice that my daughter was getting really thin. I feel awful about it but it was my first and I didn’t know any better. When I look back at photos I think how did I not notice but my breasts were still leaking milk that I just thought she was growing. We figured it out and she came through fine. It’s a good thing children are so resilient!

But Claire has always had a kind heart. She thinks of others and really does try to please and serve. She has always been close to her grandmas. My mom was really sick when she was a baby and they spent a lot of nap times together.

Gayle has always been really involved in her life too. They like sewing and gardening and baking together.

Claire is a good older sister. She is a kind daughter. I don’t always understand her but I do love her and she is very forgiving. I want her to know that I cherish her. I always have.

I love that Claire likes to read. She always has… we used to read 5 books before nap time and she still reads today.

I love her angelic voice. When she sings it almost always brings tears to my eyes. I wish she would develop that talent more but I believe she will. I have enjoyed having daughters. I love that I am raising sisters. I have always loved my sister and am glad that I get to pass on that legacy to them.

Even though I have good days and bad days I do love being a mom. At the end of the day its the job description that I like best… Mom. Claire did go through a phase where she started to call me any title but mom. She would say mother, moma, mummy, Danielle, mums, and I drew the line when she found a new phrase “big momma mummy.”(It was in a Halloween book).


Claire Bear

Good or Bad?

My husband loves the BBC series of Planet Earth. He has always been fascinated with this amazing earth that God has created. With all it’s complexities and beauties, it truly is something marvelous. As our family gathered around watching the newest Planet Earth 2 I found myself cheering for this baby iguana being chased by racer snakes. Apparently the snakes eye sight is not too keen and therefore they rely on motion to capture prey. So this new little hatch-ling is standing quietly while you see this snake slither around it. It becomes so close that finally the iguana bolts. Now baby iguana’s can outrun the racer snake but because there are so many snakes the baby iguanas are ambushed and often captured and eaten.

Why did my mind automatically classify the snake as bad and the iguana as good. Perhaps it was the way the story was presented. This new innocent  baby iguana has to race through a land mine of snakes. But I was cheering for this little reptile to make it. Do we naturally classify things as good and bad? I had spent most of my life just thinking that is how it is… there are good things and there are bad things. Usually my mood followed the defined situation.

I can’t really pinpoint  it to one particular moment but a process, where the holy ghost questioned my need to classify each situation. Perhaps if  you could relinquish labeling things good and bad and just let them be, life would hold more joy and it would be easier to choose my reactions. But even though I know this lesson we still have many mini lessons.

In my example of snakes and iguanas, are iguanas any more important than snakes in their ecosystem? They are both trying to survive and both fulfilling their roles. They were both created by God why should one outcome bring more joy than the other?

I have tried to stop distinguishing things as good or bad… often I say it just “is” or they “are.” It may seem a simple change but to me it gives me power. It gives me clarity of who really is at the helm of all of lifes events.

It’s reminds me of the time that I was leaving the temple and I walked by a pregnant girl whose mom had been diagnosed with cancer. I passed her quickly and uttered a hello. (I knew her but I mostly knew her mom and grandmother) But I hadn’t gotten very far when the spirit kinda stopped me and said, “You of all people can not walk past that girl, turn around and talk to her” It’s true, when I was pregnant with my first child my mom had been diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. I could remember thinking and praying: “Now that i’m willing to listen to my mom and need her advice and want her to be part of my life, she may be leaving.” I went back to this girl and I hugged her. I asked her about her mom. We chatted and she ended with a comment like, “It will all be good.” And I corrected her and said, “No, it will be.” I remember as she heard my correction we both kinda started to cry. Because somethings don’t need a category. We embraced again and parted both kinda being retaught the lesson.

Of course there is evil and there is good, but if I can quietly acknowledge the Lord’s guiding hand and see the love in all of lives events I may be able to increase my joy and choose to act instead of being acted upon. I guess maybe the Beetles had it right when they said, “Let it be.”

To all of you who want to see this epic chase between the iguana and the snakes  here is the link:



Good or Bad?


light in hands - pray the crucifix in darkness

This is a quote that a friend shared on facebook. I liked it so much that I decided to see the source. It was from a conference talk back in April of 1976.

It was from a talk titled, “You Are Your Greatest Treasure,” delivered by John H. Vandenberg. But he is quoting Richard Wightman
He quoted, “Your greatest problem is yourself. You are also your greatest treasure. If you can get yourself determined upon—find out what you are and what you are for, and if you can discover and develop the elements of value in your nature—your life will take on the beauty of orderliness. … I say ‘if you can,’ for this procedure takes wisdom, and wisdom is a fruit that ripens slowly. Perhaps you are not yet wise, perhaps you are still incapable of self-analysis, perhaps you are confused amid the surface and appearances of life, perhaps your code of conduct is based on the custom of the times and the sayings of alleged sages, perhaps you are disheartened and discouraged, even in frenzy of retreat before the things in your life which seem to oppose you and beat you back. But even so, this is but a condition or mood which is not final. The condition will right itself, the mood will pass.”

The Holy Ghost will help us “find out what you are and what you are for.” I have tried many times to try and fit into what I thought was the church mold. I felt I had to portray perfect and be kind and friendly without working through my real feelings. But God created me completely unique. How I read the scriptures and interpret them are going to be completely different from you. But you can add insights and meaning into my life and I can offer the same to you. Perhaps that is why we are command to reunite often. However, we have to be humble and teachable and have the gift of discernment.

As I have tried to find truly “what I am for” and love all parts that are me, the strengths and the weaknesses, I have found that my Father wants His daughter to do His work in her unique way. Be authentic to the light within and not try to copy some program but pray and get my own inspiration on how I can accomplish my part. Which lives only my unique skill set can uplift and bless… and the encourage others to do the same.

I love this idea.

Here is the link to the conference talk.


A Reflection on Anger


Well, it had been about four weeks into the class and I asked if I could read a reflection that I had written. The facilitators asked the class and they agreed and I shared this story:

Last Sunday I cried until my face tingled, this was a new experience for me. When I googled it I found out I was not alone, often babies that work themselves into a tizzy experience this. (but I am not sure how they would measure that) I realized I am merging two big pieces of my puzzle together. It’s a puzzle that doesn’t click together. It’s sealed through tears, work and gratitude. Tears because looking back there were things that hurt, that didn’t turn out the way I wanted, dreamed, or expected them to be. I am grateful you can’t cry forever. It does stop. Grateful my awareness and compassion for others is accessible. I feel gratitude this too is a linker piece in my puzzle and I am slowly filing a chain that I don’t want as part of my family tree.

This week there is a mixture of emotions. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on counseling, and already done a lot of work on forgiving, understanding, healing and seeing the triumphs and letting go of different aspects of family relations. Owning my own story and choosing to create my new story has been a struggle. The strength, power, and confidence which accompanies the power to choose has been rewarding.

I recognize that I owe much to those who have gone before me. Ancestors who were writing their own stories the best they could. I grew up in a home with a father and mother who invested love and time into raising their children.  Often before bed, my parents would talk to me about my day. I am grateful for that. It showed me how much they loved and cared for me. I am grateful for that piece of my puzzle.

In my later teenage years, communication would get more strained between me and one of my parents. The dishonesty, yelling and explosions were new terrain for me. I didn’t always navigate them the best but I was learning this new environment.

Actually, last week in class someone’s sharing gave me another piece to my puzzle. They said, “Sometimes when I”m in a rage I say things and I don’t remember I’ve even said them.” When I’ve confronted people about things they had said they would deny them… I was frustrated and hurt and just thought they were ignoring the issue because they didn’t want to deal with the consequences. But when I heard the information coming from a less personal source I believed it and could apply it to my situation. I viewed my story with a lens of compassion.

Sometimes life is about understanding where other people are coming from.  Often they are just perpetuating behaviors familiar to them. But more often, they are giving you something better than they ever got. Sometimes it isn’t ideal but it is all they are capable of giving. All in all, they start to file away at chains they didn’t want in their life either. Because sometimes chains take generations to cut. As long as I keep giving more than I got.

So I want to end anger. I want my daughters to live in a home where voices don’t need to be raised to be heard. But healing is like a puzzle … each piece adds peace. I have learned that lowering the bar about needing the puzzle to be complete before my happiness can come is freeing. I’m trying to enjoy the process of finding new pieces and letting go of the need to complete it.

A Reflection on Anger

Jonah : True Vulnerablility

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The Lord will teach us lessons in the oddest of places. I was reading to my toddler before nap time. We were reading a kids book about Jonah. We read about the Lord calling Jonah to tell the people of Nineveh to repent. Jonah ignored the Lord and went in the opposite direction. His fellow sailors did not mean to do him harm but realized that Jonah’s God would not be appeased until they threw him into the raging water. Almost instantly the sea ceased from her raging and those sailors were converted, they “feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows” (Jonah 1:16) And then the big fish that the Lord prepared for Jonah comes and swallows him up and three days later he is placed back on the shore. Jonah is now willing to go to Ninevah… but this isn’t the part of the story that surprised me. In fact this is the childhood story that a new and loved about Jonah. But the book mentioned that the Lord prepared a gourd to give Jonah shade from the hot sun and then the gourd dies and Jonah is angry . I had to go to my bible right away. Was this part of the childrens novel real? I felt compelled to learn what this part had to do with the story and why I had never realized it before.

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When I went to the bible sure enough the story about the gourd is recorded there. How come I had never heard about this part and why did I feel so compelled to learn about it now?

Well, I guess to really understand this story you have to understand a little bit about Jonah and the why he didn’t want to go to Nineveh. The Assyrians were savage. There war tactics were calculated and cruel. They were barbaric and raised to be warriors. For example they would wear severed heads around their necks and parade in the town to cause fear and celebrate their victory. They were ferocious.

Now I am not sure if Jonah just didn’t like the Assyrians collectively or they had done something to him personally but either way Jonah was wrong. We see in this story how human a prophet can be. When Jonah was released from the fish and went into to Nineveh to call them to repentance, he told them that God would destroy then in forty days if they didn’t repent. Then he climbs a big hill and waits for God to destroy them. Unannounced to Jonah, the people of Nineveh heed his warning and the king makes a decree and everyone repents. When Jonah finds out about this, “it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.” I kinda of relate to Jonah ( he is sooooo dramatic) and he wishes he could die. I think Jonah failed to remember how happy he was to find that same forgiveness not many days before in the belly of a big fish. He fully expected the Lord’s atonement to work on behave of him and his sins; and yet, when it applied to others he was not so excited. Are you ever tempted to be a little like Jonah? You want all the mercy the Lord has to give you and all the justice and wrath on our enemies.

But the Lord has one more lesson that he wants Jonah to learn. As Jonah sits on the hill waiting for the destruction to take place, he finds comfort in the shade of a gourd. But a little worm comes and destroys the gourd. Jonah is beside himself with anger, fatigue and wishes that he would die. (once again Jonah and the drama) Then the Lord says to him, and I take some creative liberty, “Jonah, you care so much about the death of this plant, and you don’t even care for the thousands of people down there in Nineveh. I am their Father. Just like  I forgave you who repented. I have forgiven them too. Do you really think a plant is more valuable then all my children in Nineveh?  The Lord closes the book with a question.

I am not sure if Jonah was the author of his own story or not, but talk about a man who was willing to lay all the good and bad out on the line. Sometimes we can learn from peoples good examples and sometimes we can learn from their bad ones. Even though Jonah was a prophet he still had a lot to learn about forgiveness and love.

I love what Elder Uchtdorf said about this topic, “When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:

“Stop it!

“It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. …

“We must recognize that we are all imperfect—that we are beggars before God. Haven’t we all, at one time or another, meekly approached the mercy seat and pleaded for grace? Haven’t we wished with all the energy of our souls for mercy—to be forgiven for the mistakes we have made and the sins we have committed?

“Because we all depend on the mercy of God, how can we deny to others any measure of the grace we so desperately desire for ourselves? My beloved brothers and sisters, should we not forgive as we wish to be forgiven? …

“The pure love of Christ can remove the scales of resentment and wrath from our eyes, allowing us to see others the way our Heavenly Father sees us: as flawed and imperfect mortals who have potential and worth far beyond our capacity to imagine. Because God loves us so much, we too must love and forgive each other” (“The Merciful Obtain Mercy,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 75–76).

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Jonah : True Vulnerablility

Breaking Bands

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Today I have a guest writing on my blog. This guest is dear to my heart and sees the scriptures in a completely different way from me. He gave this talk when we went to my sisters tiny branch in Squamish this summer. I hope you enjoy his humble insights as much as I did.

I grew up in a pretty good family. My parents really encouraged me to read and study the scriptures everyday. I was the #2 out of 7 child and I think they were so spoiled by child #1 being so obedient that they just assumed I would do the same…well I did not. I was not like child #1 at all when it came to obedience.

I didn’t study the scriptures like I should. I was given many pairs of scriptures for my birthdays over the years but it was literally a once a month type deal. During church or seminary I wouldn’t actually listen to learn anything…I was daydreaming about other things like sports, girls and video games.

During general conference I had zero desire to absorb anything they were saying.

I seriously didn’t understand at all about what the gospel even was, other than I thought my family name was important in our little bubble, and I was a good person because we’ll my mom and dad are good..and their parents were good… and My dad was a bishop and stake president.

So that counts in heaven right?

Yaaaaa I coasted on that for a long time while I had other priorities like sports and trying to be popular.I didn’t have enough time to learn how to share or to look for opportunities to serve others…or do anything that wasn’t going to benefit me and me only.

And today’s life…

I look back at how I was and realize that I was trapped. I wasn’t physically trapped but I was spiritually tying bands on myself and I didn’t even know it. And there was no way I was going to change those spiritual idiosyncrasies without something major happening.

 My lack of obedience growing up was a form of spiritual bands placed on me by my own selfishness and lack of righteous actions.

My talk is about bands.

In our lives there are many different bands. And if you remember anything from this talk today remember this “the band’s of our lives”. The saying partially goes:

“Like sands through the hourglass, so are the band’s of our lives.

 For this talk I will define bands as something tangible or intangible which can prevent or severely limit physical, mental,and spiritual progression. But the breaking of these bands are what brings us closer to God, so the necessity of them is natural and part of life.

And I believe that if we know about and understand what our bands are, our lifes purpose is more understood, our desire to obey gods will will increase and our faith can be strengthened.

 There are so many references to bands in the scriptures.

The Israelites were physically in bands to the Egyptians until the Lord loosened their bands through Moses. Those physical bands being loosed and eliminated, then opened the door for spiritual bands to come in and tighten their grip.

Look at what happened as Moses led them to the red Sea directly after their miraculous release. They were bound by the band’s of doubt and fear….saying, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?”

“Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.”(exodus 14:11-12)

 These were their complaints.

I think modern day equivalents come in any form of complaining about a prophets direction, or fearing the results of standing up for the direction we are counseled to go.

 Moses counsel to their doubts so long ago is no less instructive, powerful and touching now as it was then.

He said: “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”

This is perfect council for how we should deal with the band’s in our lives.The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

 Some of the bands that are placed on us are done so by our own doing and we don’t even know it.

Another term for this type of band is a pavilion. Many of life’s distractions cause us to place a pavilion between us and God, which prevents us from seeing God.

Henry B Eyring shares a story from his life.He had secured a prominent professorship at Stanford University. He was successful according to the world’s standards. But then Ricks College came to his door asking for him to leave that professorship. He said, “My lifetime professional objectives might have been a pavilion dividing me from a loving Father who knew better than I did what my future could hold.”

He served for 5 years. As that five years drew to a close, he again began to receive numerous other attractive job offers. Which he felt like those were bands of distraction for him because they were tempting. He said “My personal ambitions might have clouded my view of reality and made it hard for me to receive revelation.”

He ended up remaining at Ricks and thirty days after the Teton dam burst, which was a major testimony builder for president Eyring.

 Some of the bands we know about from the book of Mormon come from Nephi.

 As Nephi and his family were comfortably sailing along merrily to the promised land, there began to be some exceeding rudeness on the ship amongst his brethren and the sons of Ishmael and their wives. …which made them forget god…which is clearly a form of spiritual bands they are placing on themselves.

But wise Nephi saw these spiritual bands and makes an effort to loosen them. He says: “And I, Nephi, began to fear exceedingly lest the Lord should be angry with us, and smite us because of our iniquity, that we should be swallowed up in the depths of the sea; wherefore, I, Nephi, began to speak to them with much soberness; but behold they were angry with me, saying: We will not that our younger brother shall be a ruler over us.

And then, in an act of irony ….”And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel did take me and bind me with cords, and they did treat me with much harshness.”

Nephi was physically bound. He was following gods will by trying to help others not forget God. But yet he is bound against his will.

Nephi’s wisdom and faith show through as he says: “Nevertheless, the Lord did suffer it that he might show forth his power (1Nephi 18:11)….wherefore, they came unto me, and loosed the bands which were upon my wrists, and behold they had swollen exceedingly; and also mine ankles were much swollen, and great was the soreness thereof.”(1Nephi 18:15)

Have you ever felt like you are following God’s will, and you still feel like there are bands placed on you

Bands that hurt? Bands that make you sore?I sure have.

There are times in my life when I think “what?, why is this happening? Why now? “How am I suppose to get out of this? I feel bound by something and that something usually hurts.Sometimes it’s ironic, like the band’s Nephi felt, but usually, the band’s are my own weaknesses. And it’s the truth of those weaknesses that hurt.Brothers and sisters I can testify that the way out of our bands has not changed from Moses’s council so long ago

The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace

 And the purpose of his bands have not changed either: “the Lord did suffer it that he might show forth his power, unto the fulfilling of his word”

Turning to the Lord has always been the way out.

Moses led his people to the Red Sea. Nephi was trying to lead, on the sea, but in both instances, things that were bound together which prevented progression, we’re loosed and separated.

Whether it’s the original apostles being bound up like they were, or Nephi, or the Israelites physically and spiritually, our lives have bands.

 But if we as Isaiah put it:”Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck.

We can see that the Lord does indeed part our Red Seas. The Lord heals if we look and live.The Lord shows us how to break our bands.

I am grateful for the band’s in my life. As much as they hurt they have excavated the needed real estate for more joy and a closer relationship to our Savior, who ultimately, being perfect, made it so.

He broke the band’s that No one else could break. And that’s the bands of death and sin.I know that our lives do not end here. I know that if we turn to the Lord, he will fight for us and we will be able to hold our peace, no matter what our external circumstance may be. He shall break all our bands.


Breaking Bands

I Am Doing a Great Work

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Nehemiah, a great man from the old testament, lived a comfortable life. He was a cupbearer to the king. Even though Nehemiah lived in exile this position was one of honor and trust. One day Nehemiah heard news about the conditions of Jerusalem and those who dwelt there. He was depressed. The scriptures say, he “sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God”(Nehemiah 1:4) The Persian King noticed and questioned Nehemiah’s sorrow. Nehemiah replied, “Why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ [graves], lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?”(Nehemiah 2:3.) The King’s heart was touched by Nehemiah’s story and gave him permission and supplies to return to Jerusalem to build the wall. They must have been good friends.

Nehemiah was elated to be going to fulfill his destiny but not everyone shared his enthusiasm. Many leaders who lived near Jerusalem grieved “that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.(Nehemiah 2:10) They even went as far to take “great indignation, and mocked the Jews” (Nehemiah 4:1).

Courageously Nehemiah was not distracted by there mocking sneers. But focused his energy on the work that needed to be done. As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland  taught “opposition turns up almost anyplace something good has happened” (“Remember How You Felt,” Aug. 2004). They needed to finish building the wall. He organized several groups of people working on small sections of the wall at the same time.

But like any good thing you are doing, as the work moves forward the opposition always seems to increase too. (Sometimes that is how I know I am right on track because everything seems to be working against me.)Even Nehemiah was beginning to be afraid. But like any good Christian (I know he was a Jew) he might have remembered the teaching of the prophets that a correct knowledge of the Savior can banish any fear. In spite of all the opposition to this work the rebuilding continued. But it was almost like they had a trawl in one hand and a sword in the other, so intense was the opposition. Every time they asked him, he responded with the same answer: “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.( Nehemiah 6:3 )


Nehemiah refused to become distracted from what the Lord wanted him to do. What an amazing example. Sometimes I feel in my life that the distractions come too easily. That I welcome them in so that I don’t have to have the responsibility any more. I hold the excuses close and cuddle them like a warm distracting blanket. I invite them in like old friends and sit down and share a hot cocoa with them.

Can you even fathom the idea of leaving the kings cushy palace to be fighting and building up Jerusalem’s walls? But do we realize the difference a little courage could do in our lives not to mention the lives of others? What are we willing to give up to assist in God’s work?

Elder Uchtdorf said, “Think of the power we would have as individuals … if, in response to every temptation to lose focus or lower our standards… we responded, ‘I am doing a great work and cannot come down.’

“The Lord seeks to enlist unfaltering souls who diligently go about the work of building the kingdom of God—those who, when faced with opposition and temptation, say in their hearts, ‘I am doing a great work and cannot come down.’

“When faced with trial and suffering, they respond, ‘I am doing a great work and cannot come down.’

“When faced with ridicule and reproach, they proclaim, ‘I am doing a great work and cannot come down.’

“Our Heavenly Father seeks those who refuse to allow the trivial to hinder them in their pursuit of the eternal.(“We Are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down,” Ensign 2009).

What trivial moments are distracting me from the pursuit of my eternal goals? Have you ever phrased it like that? Would it be tv, social media, gossiping, fault finding, or anger ? What cushy things am I willing to leave behind that I can build the amazing wall in 52 days!

The Lord still “seeks those who will not allow the attraction of ease … to distract them from the work He has given them to perform.”(Uchtdorf, 2009)

Will you be one of His sons and daughters who replies, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down?”

I Am Doing a Great Work

The Rich Young Ruler

A story that has been pressing heavily on my mind is the rich young man who asked Jesus what he needed to do in order to receive eternal life.

Jesus answered him, “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”

The young man asked Him which ones he should keep. Jesus then reminded him of several of the Ten Commandments we are all familiar with.

The young man responded, “All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?”

Jesus said, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.”( Matthew 19:16–22.)

Sister Burton said, “Jesus called him to become a part of His work—the work of a disciple. Our work is the same. We are to “lay aside the things of [the] world, … cleave unto [our] covenants,” and come unto Christ and follow Him. That’s what disciples do!” (2014)

The Lord has always required sacrifice. Really really hard sacrifices. I mean look at Abraham, we think he just had to sacrifice his son… but Abraham’s parents offered him to be sacrificed and he was miraculously delivered. He would have had major PTSD! He probably would have worked through the trauma of this event for many moments in his life. Then God asks him to do the same thing to his only son. The same son he waited years to have. The same son that was supposed to be the father of nations. God tests us to our limits. He needs brave soldiers.

Sister Burton states, “Like the rich young man in Jesus’s day, sometimes we are tempted to give up or turn back because maybe we think we can’t do it alone. And we are right! We cannot do the difficult things we have been asked to do without help. Help comes through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the guidance of the Holy Ghost, and the helping hands of others.” (2014)

So obviously riches is not my breaking point. Well, at least I am not aware that it is.. ( I am not ruling it out in later lessons in life but at this point it is not what would send me away sorrowing) But as I have asked myself this question all week the Lord has brought to my awareness what holds me back. It is a illuminating experience to ask the Lord how I am like this rich man. As I have applied this story He has given me greater insight into my own need to repent and metaphorically sell all i have and give to the poor. The good news is that whenever God asks us to do something hard He always prepares a way. We will find our own lamb in the thicket or celebrate our real treasure in heaven. Whenever we put Him to the test God always pours out a blessing.

This is a video dramatization of the bible story.

Just copy and paste the link to watch it.

The Rich Young Ruler

Seeing Green

I saw this video for the first time today. I would have never thought to explain the idea like this but I love the analogy. This is not a short video, but it is beautiful.

I guess I enjoy the fact that someone could say in a story that “there needs be opposition in all things.” This is not a short bite sized clip… but it is worth taking 22 minutes from some part of your week. Let me now in the comments what you think.

I realized that she too is a blogger and if you don’t want to watch the video you can read what she said….


Seeing Green


two mountaineers in mountain
Photo by Saikat Ghosh on


One time when I was teaching a gospel doctrine class we were talking about Lehi’s dream and of course the strait and narrow path was discussed. One comment from a kind soul changed my perception on a story I had known for years.

He simply remarked, “Have you ever noticed ‘strait’ is spelled S-T-R-A-I-T? (Spelling details have never really stuck out to me, I am truly a terrible speller) I had always taken the path to mean ‘straight’ and narrow… but what did God mean when He used it with that particular spelling?… because He also says STRAIT is the gate that you shall enter…. At my class the young man had mentioned that strait can also mean difficult. What he said sounded good but of course I had to check it for myself. When I returned home from church I googled the definition of strait and this is what I saw.

  1. a narrow passage of water connecting two seas or two large areas of water.
    “the Strait of Gibraltar”
    synonyms: channel, sound, inlet, stretch of water

    “a strait about six miles wide”
    2. used in reference to a situation characterized by a specified degree of trouble or difficulty.
    “the economy is in dire straits
    synonyms: a bad/difficult situation, difficulty, trouble, crisis, a mess, a predicament, a plight;More


  1. (of a place) of limited spatial capacity; narrow or cramped.
    “the road was so strait that a handful of men might have defended it”


I was so happy to see it for myself. This made sense. I could be on the strait and narrow, (you notice the ways its spelled now don’t you?) and be holding onto the iron rod and it could still be difficult. Infact, it was meant to be difficult. It’s one of the adjectives to describe it. The Lord is so smart. I find myself amazed at His descriptions and the depth of His words.