Category Archives: Christianity

My Good News 

Before I fully started on my journey back to the gospel I was looking for someone who had gone before me, who had returned to the LDS church after severing ties and had made it through all the changes I knew were coming. I wanted someone to say to me, “Hey, I’ve done this, it was great, here’s what you need to do.” It seemed simple enough with the sea of LDS books, podcasts, talks, etc. but there just wasn’t anything I could find that satisfied what I was looking for. So I started my own on an academic level. This blog originally began as an assignment for a writing class where we created pages based on how to do something that changed our lives. Here I am nearly three years after fully immersing myself in the gospel and my life is almost unrecognizable on every single level. I am perpetually in a greater position to give this advice day by day. So I am starting a series of posts based on the original intent of this site: How and why I did it. 

The word gospel means “good news” and the good news is the Lord Jesus Christ and His message of salvation. There is endless good news if you are considering your faith again. Jesus is the ultimate and perfect exemplar, which is wonderful to keep in your heart each day knowing you have someone who made zero mistakes. You don’t ever have to second guess and say, “well he was great except for that one time” because he never messed up, backed out or strayed from the work his father sent him here to do, not even in the face of challenges we can’t even comprehend. Because of this we can look to him in all things. Jesus taught, “This is the gospel which I have given unto you–that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. . . This is my gospel, for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do.” 

“All of us can emulate the Lord’s example, regardless of age, status, or location.” – Robert D. Hales

The wonderful, simple, reassuring news for all of us is whether we are returning to our faith after a few weeks or a few decades, the process is the same. This gospel and its precepts are SO simple anyone can follow them and receive the same results. By “simple” I don’t mean easy. Your life on this earth was never meant to be easy, let’s be clear about that. But with the gospel of Jesus Christ in your life you will receive guidance, blessings and answers that are keenly specific to your life, your family, and your challenges because Heavenly Father is keenly aware of you

Still, making such a big change can be intimidating to the point of keeping us from doing anything, but please ignore that feeling. Don’t let the adversary derail you before you get started. Let the words of Alma inspire you, “if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.” If the desire is there give it a chance. Allow the desire to work in you. 

There is a pattern that was created spiritually and it begins and ends with your Heavenly Father and YOU. You can survive all the ups and downs, the joys and sorrows because you have heavenly help along every step of the way. The process is the same for everyone and it is the same every time. That is the beauty of the gospel! The first steps you begin with will be the same steps you take each and every day as you come to know the gospel is infinitely edifying and instructive and it gets deeper and richer the more you immerse yourself in it. This is a pattern that Heavenly Father designed for you to draw closer to Him, for you to stretch, to grow, to learn, and to ultimately become like Him

So wherever you are, start there. Start here. Just start. Follow your heart, try the experiment and exercise a particle of faith to see what Heavenly Father has for you. 

Begin Again

Again, the spirit has called and called me here to write and to share. Again and again I allowed myself to get caught up in things that distracted me. Now, here I am with a six-month-old baby wishing I had been recording my spiritual insights and experiences here all along and kicking myself for not doing this day after day.

Today I begin again. Because the day I walked into Niki Mantyla’s class nearly three years ago and the day she announced that our final for the class would be a blog discussing something that changed our lives (the very blog you are reading) I knew this was the message Heavenly Father wanted me to share. The joy I had in my heart would grow and grow each time I did.

I promise not to be like Chemish and Amaron. I will not blow my chance to bless a life and say nothing of value or be arrogant in my comments. I will do all I can to give my readers something useful, something good, something beneficial to think on and learn from.

I promise not to be like Chemish and Amaron. I will not blow my chance to bless a life and say nothing of value or be arrogant in my comments.

Today I want to begin by sharing the thought I had while listening to Mormon Channel Talk Radio. Yes, this is a thing I do several days a week if I ever know I am going to be home for a while and have no place to go or nothing pressing that day. I listen when I need a little spiritual upliftment. I listen when my scripture study was cut short by things like feeding the baby or changing the baby or playing with the baby. You catch my drift. At any rate, I highly recommend that anyone try listening. Each day is filled with conference talks, Mormon Messages, programs produced by the church and the Mormon Channel. The content is fabulous and trust me you will thank yourself for listening.

I love how the spirit can make any talk, any scripture, any discussion relevant and so very personal to each of us if we are seeking to receive it. Today I had the restoration on my mind since this is the theme for April in Young Women’s. I received several thoughts and direction due to segments today. I was excited and grateful to look further into the promptings I received. Then later as I was putting the baby to sleep, I overheard a piece of a BYU speech from Elder Holland that gave me much to reflect on. The quote, “When suffering, we may in fact be nearer to God than we’ve ever been in our entire lives. That knowledge can turn every such situation into a would-be temple.” 

This quote was especially powerful today because I have a dearly loved sister who is going through an excruciating experience and I have had a hard time finding the words to express comfort to her. Last night, I found myself on the phone with her explaining how I will sometimes look for others are in much worse situations than I am to help me find the good in difficult times. When I was going through my divorce, I would read holocaust novels. When we spent ten days with Chloe in the NICU I would think of parents who were not able to hold or take their babies home from the hospital. Last night it was a tale of a friend who endured something similar but without the support and companionship of a loving husband.

“When suffering, we may in fact be nearer to God than we’ve ever been in our entire lives. That knowledge can turn every such situation into a would-be temple.”

As I was listening to Elder Holland’s speech today, it hit me that maybe the reason we do this is that as we look for examples of suffering greater than ours, we will ultimately be lead to the perfect example who is Jesus Christ, who suffered more than any other human ever has or ever will. He suffered so that we would not have to, and when we give our pain, disappointment, discouragement, suffering and doubts over to him, we will learn as Elder Holland says, “every experience can become a redemptive experience if we remain bonded to our Father in Heaven through it.

. . . maybe the reason we do this is that as we look for examples of suffering greater than ours, we will ultimately be lead to the perfect example who is Jesus Christ . . .

These difficult lessons teach us that man’s extremity is God’s opportunity, and if we will be humble and faithful, if we will be believing and not curse God for our problems, He can turn the unfair and inhumane and debilitating prisons of our lives into temples—or at least into a circumstance that can bring comfort and revelation, divine companionship and peace.”

Elder Joseph Fielding Smith even said that perhaps such sufferings have to happen—not only can they happen, perhaps they have to. Regarding the events that took place at Liberty Jail, he said:

“As I have read the history of those days, the days that went before and days that came after, I have reached the conclusion that the hardships, the persecution, the almost universal opposition [toward the Church at that time] were necessary. At any rate they became school teachers to our people. They helped to make [them] strong.

I testify that this is true. I know that the challenging times we have in this life are all there to give us experience. Everything that we survive becomes our teacher, helping us to help others, to have empathy and compassion and a deeper understanding. It is my prayer that I will be able share this hopeful message with any of you who may be suffering. I urge you to listen to the words of Elder Holland, yes all 45 minutes of it, and I promise you will be uplifted and edified. Christ will carry you through your most difficult times if you reach up, he will take your hand. I know this to be true and I leave this testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Image result for reach up christ

My Turn On Earth Rules!

Pretty much my favorite thing ever. ❤ The first time I picked this up a few months ago was purely out of nostalgic curiosity. I didn’t expect that I would want to keep listening. This is currently my favorite album. I am filled with the spirit each time I listen, and I learn something wonderful and new along with it. I highly recommend. PS, props to the SLCO library system for hooking this up!

 

 

The Yoga of Christ

I like to ponder the many factors, the who and the what, that played a role in my return to the LDS church. There are many people who helped me on this side of the veil, and I know there are many on the other side. I think about my father, my grand parents, my aunt Judy, and my niece Taylor. Then there are the more distant relatives, when I was alone driving on the coast of California, it was President Spencer W. Kimball who preached to me in such a clear and concise voice that I could not help but stand at full attention. It occurred to me this morning that perhaps even Parmahansa Yogananda was involved somehow.

While I was listening to the audio book version of Autobiography of a Yogi (read by Sir Ben Kingsley, btw. I highly recommend picking it up from your local library), I was surprised and touched by the continuous mention of Jesus Christ. The fact that this great guru, the man who brought many cherished Eastern ideals to the Western world, considered Jesus not only to be a real man, but a yogi beyond comparison, compelled me to reconsider my faith in him.

An article recently given to me by another timely influence here on Earth, Nikki Mantyla, brought back that connection. Philip G McLemore wrote an article for Sunstone back in 2007 titled, “The Yoga of Christ” in which so many wonderful ideas and questions are brought to mind. The principles of yoga have always been rooted in the very connection between man and God, whether we in the western world are aware of this or not. The western world seems to have taken God out of yoga, making it all about a connection to “the universe” (barf) (sorry but I do not believe that we are connected to some dark, cold, un-concerned, un-engaged, passive, inconsequential universe although that is precisely the sentiment that seems to emerge from the western yoga world.)

I am actually only half-way through this article as it has given me much to reflect on and ponder, but I think it is going to be a great help with my Position page. Right now I am really enjoying the thoughts on “non attachment” as a means for letting go of all attachment to the world and putting all of your faith in Christ. I am also nearly finished reading the Book of Mormon, having just reached the actual book of Mormon, the time when Jesus has come and gone and the world is becoming a wicked place. The correlation between what is going on in the world today and what is going on in this part of the scriptures is fascinating and giving me much to ponder as well.

Here’s a taste of the wonderful insight provided:

YogaOfChrist