Tag Archives: testimony

A Time To Every Purpose Under Heaven

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven -Ecclesiastes 3:1 (and The Byrds) 😉

I was recently talking to a friend who is on the board of a wonderful charity called PJ’s Forgotten Children. While I was pregnant with Chloe I had several opportunities to volunteer at their headquarters but many times didn’t go because of exhaustion, morning sickness or both. I was telling her how much I wish I had been there more when I had what now seems like loads of time and how I would love to be there to help now. She said to me, “There is a time and a season for everything.” I loved hearing these words and the thought stuck with me. 

A few weeks later I managed to make it to yoga because hubby was working from home. (Yay!) During the class our teacher mentioned that since his 18-month-old twins came into the world he hasn’t able to practice nearly as much as he would like to. His body is not what it used to be. His practice is not what it used to be. But he knows that this is a season of life that will come and go. It is temporary. This is not always how it will be. I layed there in savasana with a smile on my face and couldn’t help but notice the recurring message the spirit was sending to me.

Today I asked my hubby, “Don’t you love being a parent? You’re so good at it you’re such a wonderful daddy.” His response? “It’s hard.”
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We talked about all the things that we used to do and used to be. When you are single, the world is your oyster and you can up and go anywhere whenever for as long as you want. You can pursue your passions without worrying about the effect it will have on others to a great degree. Then you get married and that changes slightly, but you can still do the things you love and even redo your bathroom without worrying about using your sledgehammer or saw during naps and finish it in a LOT less time. Then you have children and that changes completely. Things have to be placed on hold or at the very least given less of your attention which can feel frustrating and sometimes hard.

img_8294“This too shall pass. She will never be this small again. One day you won’t be able to hold her in your arms. Enjoy this time.”

Whenever I start to get frustrated during the 3AM feedings, or when my little one refuses to take a nap and I find myself crying along with her (which happens more often than I dare admit) I say a prayer asking Heavenly Father to take the negative feelings away and every single time the spirit whispers to me, “This too shall pass. She will never be this small again. One day you won’t be able to hold her in your arms. Enjoy this time.” and with these thoughts my frustration dissipates and my heart is peaceful again. That is the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. He is there for us in such infinitely personal ways. And he loves us so much he only not wants to take away our pain, he wants to give us a greater peace than we could expect. 

I know many who are on the other side of where I am at right now and are actively pursuing other goals and dreams now that their children are a little (or a lot) more grown. I know many who are in the thick of it. Two, three, four, five children in. I know many who have journeys completely different of their own or have yet to know what this journey feels like. Is it hard? Yes. Is it beautiful? Yes. Is it transformative? On every level yes. Is it worth it? A thousand times YES.img_8184

There is so much beauty in creating with God and experiencing a life unlike any other I’ve ever known. There is such beauty in the process that as a friend put it, “tears you apart so that you can rebuild yourself as a mother.” There is such beauty in the growth that takes place in such a short period of time; in having this person who needs you and loves you and who looks to you for every comfort. This person who is eternally sealed to you. Yes, there are all kinds of experiences we are unable to have right now. But so many of these experiences are temporary and fleeting. A yoga class here, a bike ride there, a concert, a movie, a quiet night to ourselves. I have been reflecting the last few days on how all of these things are impermanent. All of it. Except one. 

The one permanent thing, the single thing that we can take with us when we leave this earth, the one thing that is everlasting and is worth every second of our time and investment is the family we are each a part of.

Families are not fleeting. Families are not temporary. This is life eternal and families are forever. 

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.

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#Endowed!

Today (and every day) I am grateful that after twenty-plus years of wandering away from what I knew to be true, I let go of my pride, followed my heart, and landed straight back with my LDS faith. Last week I entered the temple for the first time with my family and friends to take out my endowments. I am now officially a wearer of temple garments and it feels grrreat! All I could think the whole time was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful and yet again, wonderful.

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Temple Preparation: A Journey In Itself

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When I first came back to church, the temple was on my mind constantly, the glowing beauty on nearly every horizon of the Salt Lake Valley seemed to call to me wherever I could see it. But I had not followed the law of chastity for the last twenty years, I was still drinking and had only quit smoking in the not-so-distant past, I was drinking tea and coffee religiously, not to mention the idea of tithing and garments?!  How would someone like me ever muster up the strength to overcome my addictions, my shortcomings, and manage to get there?

If you are considering going to the temple for the first time, I know how daunting it can seem. But the process is simple. In the words of Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Lattet-Day Saints, “We must learn that in the Lord’s plan, our understanding comes “line upon line, precept upon precept.” 6 In short, knowledge and understanding come at the price of patience.” I did what I could, with a steadfastness in Christ, I listened to what the spirit was prompting me to do, and made changes in my life little by little. I started going to church. I prayed morning and night. I decided to read the Book of Mormon in it’s entirety for my very first time. After that, my life continued on, filled with challenges as always. Only now I had the spirit with me and blessings started pouring out.

I started back at school, I found this class which lead me to creating this blog and sharing my story, my sister whom I had been praying for moved back in with my mother and I in search of help, I have been allowed to be by her side to grow and learn with her, my family ties have been re-invigorated and strengthened through our faith in the plan of salvation and our love for one-another, I have made new friends who inspire and uplift me, I have been given opportunities to inspire and uplift others around me, with the help of my bishop I received my temple recommend, I received my Patriarchal Blessing, I have been called as a Ward Missionary, and I am ready to enter the temple. The list keeps growing, my mind keeps expanding, and my testimony grows and grows with each passing day, each trial, and each triumph.

In the early weeks of my return back to church, as I was testing the waters with the active members of my family, looking for guidance and support, my nephew Connor, a recently-returned missionary, told me I should listen to this talk given by Brother Brad Wilcox. I have since returned to it over and over. His words are so encouraging and have given me the hope and motivation to press forward.

 

Ever since I received my temple recommend back in September, my family and I have been meeting (almost) every week to review the Temple Prep Classes. If you are preparing to enter the temple, I highly recommend taking the classes, and (if you are able) I would recommend doing them with your family. It has been such a blessing for us to gather and discuss things like the plan of salvation, the importance of temple work, the importance of the use of symbols in teaching, the purpose of temple garments, etc. It has been a great testimony builder, and a source of strength and power for me and my family to gather and intimately share our beliefs, experiences, hopes, challenges, and most of all our testimonies has been a treasure beyond measure.

Another thing I highly recommend is reading a post by a fellow blogger entitled “The Truth About Mormon Temples, and What to Expect When Going”. This post gave me hope and helped to relieve any residual anxiety I had about getting there and how my life would change after I went. This post completely changed my perspective on temple garments (women you need to read this!) Her attitude and enthusiasm towards garments (something that seems like such a hard concession to make, especially when women are told by the fashion industry to dress a certain way. But I have learned that there is such freedom in dressing modestly, and

How wonderful and perfect is God’s plan for each and every one of us? If it weren’t for the gospel, I would not be where I am today. If it weren’t for the requirements to enter the temple, I wouldn’t be making the progress I have made in my life in order to get there. I can not wait for the next growth spurt that will come after I go. To quote my sister Annie, the temple is a place where all are welcome. Elder Russel M. Nelson advises that, “No one is denied access so long as they are Our Redeemer requires that His temples be protected from desecration. No unclean thing may enter His hallowed house. 11 Yet anyone is welcome who prepares well.”

I am living proof of this and I am so grateful for all the wonderful blessings, wisdom and experiences I have gained just by preparing myself to go.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.