Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Thinking Through Our Fingers: Perseverance + hard work = SUCCESS!

Read my post about persevering when you want to quit.

Thinking Through Our Fingers: Perseverance + hard work = SUCCESS!: The writing process can be super difficult. It can make us feel inadequate or like we're better off pursuing something else. Even if we ...

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Cedar City, UT LDS Temple Groundbreaking

Last weekend was a special time for my community. Ground was broken for the Cedar City, UT LDS Temple. I was able to watch the ceremony from our stake center with my family. We have been so excited for this beautiful event to take place and to have a temple so close where we can go often to feel the peace, love, and blessings of heaven.

The temple was announced during the April 2013 LDS General Conference by President Thomas S. Monson--at which point I shrieked in excitement!

During the ceremony, speakers including Elder Dane Leavitt, Elder Kent F. Richards, Elder L. Whitney Clayton, and their respective wives addressed those within the Cedar City, UT Temple district. There were a few things that stuck out to me in particular:

Sister Ruth Leavitt spoke about the youth who will be able to go to the temple early in the mornings before school. I can't think of a better way for my children and their friends to start the day.

Elder Dane Leavitt talked about the wintry times in our lives and how we seek places of warmth from the cold. The temple is a place of warmth. This quote really struck me, and I love it: "This building of the temple is a reverent act of rebellion against evil."

Sister Marsha Richards - "We come to the temple to receive Heavenly Father's greatest blessings."

Elder L. Whitney Clayton talked about the stillness present at the temple grounds even though the temple has not yet been built. He said that temples are a "symbol of the Atonement of Jesus Christ." Interestingly, he likened the construction of a temple to us. Before building a temple, you have to clear away what needs to be (such as shrubs, rocks, and weeds) and then prepare the ground by leveling it and making it a strong foundation. For us, that means we need to clear away our sins and become humble. We build ourselves on that sure foundation and become who Heavenly Father knows we can.

You can listen for yourself and see the groundbreaking here:

I am so excited for the opportunity we will have as a family to attend the temple together or visit the holy grounds often. It will be a great blessing to us and everyone in our community. I am so grateful for the blessings of the temple.

© Wendy 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015

Thinking Through Our Fingers: So, you want to write articles

Here's a blog post I wrote about how to start writing articles. Go check it out!

Thinking Through Our Fingers: So, you want to write articles: I'm not sure I am adequate to tell anyone how to write an article, but I'll take a stab at it anyway. Writing articles is for every ...

Sunday, July 12, 2015

God is Not a Genie

I recently had someone comment on one of my older blog posts that God doesn't answer our prayers. His reasoning for this was that we would pray as young children for ponies or to bring a pet back to life, but those things didn't happen.

He went further to state that we only pray for small things like safety and to have a nice day. And then, he said that Jesus doesn't answer prayers because he can't hear us because he is dead.

I feel sad that this man hasn't yet learned to recognize answers to prayers or to feel the Spirit testifying to him that God does live, as does his son Jesus Christ.

God and Jesus Christ do live! Joseph Smith, after reading James 1:5, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." he knelt in prayer to seek which of the churches to join. At that time, he not only received an answer to his earnest prayer, but he also saw both Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. From his vision, we also know that God and Jesus are not only alive, but they have bodies.

Furthermore, God does answer our prayers. I don't think praying for safety is a "small" thing. It's huge! I know that those prayers have been answered multiple times within my own family. One such occurrence I detail in this blog post called "A Miracle." My three youngest children as well as some of my nieces and nephews narrowly avoided severe injury or death. I know it was because of our own pleas for safety prior to our activity that they were protected.

My in-laws were recently in a car
wreck that could have ended much worse when the trailer they were towing fishtailed and flipped. Yet, they were unscathed.

It's not just safety that is a big thing I pray for. I have asked for and received peace on numerous occasions. I have received answers when I have prayed for a specific child. In the quiet moments, a thought is put in my mind of something I ought to do, a person I should call, or an answer to something I have been pondering. I think those of us who have earnestly sought answers from our Father have received answers.

God is not a genie in a lamp that is there to grant your every wish and desire. He is an all-knowing Father who loves us and is aware of our every need. He wants us to come to him for help and to seek to do His will and help others draw closer to Him through prayer and by living His word. He wants us to become like Him.

Just as our earthly parents, or us as parents do not give everything to our children that they want, so it is with God. He knows clearly what is best and is striving to help us become who He knows we can be. He doesn't give us everything just because we ask for it; He wants us to seek after it, work toward it, study for answers. We are on earth to learn and grow as individuals.

If you're not used to praying, start with this simple exercise. Pray to God ask Him if you are His child and if He loves you. Stay on your knees praying until you get an answer. It will come.

© Wendy 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Thinking Through Our Fingers: Non-Fiction Is Not Boring

I've joined a group of talented writers on the blog "Thinking Through Our Fingers." I'm pretty excited about it. I'm not gonna say much here about it, but you should probably follow this link and see what I had to say for my first post.


Read it.



 Thinking Through Our Fingers: Non-Fiction Is Not Boring: When most of us hear “non-fiction” we probably think “booo-rrriinngg!!” ...

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

If God Gave Me a Report Card...

This past Sunday, we had our stake conference. For those who don't know, each stake--made up of somewhere around 8 wards--meets together as one body for a special meeting twice a year in lieu of our regular Sunday meetings.

This Sunday, a member of the stake presidency was talking about looking over his kids' report cards from school. And then he said, "Wouldn't it be nice if Heavenly Father gave us a report card each quarter?"

This caused me to reflect and wonder how such a report would look for me, especially since I always sought after earning straight 'A's while in school. Even though God loves me regardless of my "grades" and sees me through infinite and understanding eyes, I know he'd like me to improve my life.

Consider this: As parents, we love our children despite poor behaviors and mistakes they may make. We see their goodness as well, but we know they can do better. Parents have to correct their children and help them stay on the right path. We teach them to share, care for others, be considerate, and to pray and seek out answers while studying scriptures prayerfully. Our kids are not perfect, but we know they have potential to improve themselves.

I think it is the same with our Heavenly Parents. They love us and care for us more thoroughly than any earthly parent could, yet, they know we can do better. They want us to live up to our potential--even our divine potential. Sometimes, it would be nice to receive a spiritual pat on the back and know we are doing well. Other times, a gentle and loving correction would be welcomed.

Knowing we would fall short again and again, God made it possible for us to repent, to correct, to fix our shortcomings through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Because of His grace, we are saved. There
is no other way. The Atonement is available to everyone--no matter who you are, where you live, what you've done or any other factor. Every person who ever has been, is, or ever will be on the earth is a child of God.

As we use His Atonement, we are to change our hearts and actions. A truly repentant and changed person will not make the same mistakes again, yet so many of us probably do. Just start again.

I know I'm trying to be a good person, mother, wife, and friend, but I also know I could always improve. God isn't going to give us a quarterly report card, but perhaps, as we prepare to take the sacrament on Sundays, we can evaluate ourselves and see where we have succeeded and where we need some improvement.

How did you treat your family members this week?
Did you pray often?
Did you study His words?
Did you serve others? Cheer up the sad? Lift the weary?
Did you exercise compassion and love?
Are you trying to see others through non-judging eyes?

We can all do a little better. Don't get discouraged. Just start again tomorrow.

Other news:
I was featured as a guest blogger by one of my writer friends. Check it out!

© Wendy 2015 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

That moment when I realized....I AM a WRITER

OK, so the title may sound like I'm a crazy person or pretty dense to reality, but I literally just "realized" that I am a WRITER about a month ago. (I'm also going to go ahead and blame the amount of neglect that my blog has received based on my busy writing schedule.)

I was walking through the store when this realization hit me. I can't remember if I was alone, or if I had one of my kids with me, but my mind was wandering as usual. And then the words formulated inside my head: I am a writer. I stopped my thought whirlwind and let that settle. I am a writer. Why had I not thought this before? I would always say that I write, but never that I am.

I mean, I've been blogging for 2 1/2 years as of today and writing articles--and getting them published--since shortly after that. I guess I felt like an impostor, a fake, like a little girl playing dress-up and pretending to be a writer. But, I do get paid... so that means something, right?

I haven't been taking myself seriously. I guess I believed that maybe you have to have a published book to be a writer? That brings me to my next identity hurtle--calling myself an author.

I'm near completion of my first book (details later...patience!) and looking forward to all sorts of new knowledge, feedback, and friends at LDStorymakers Conference next month. I think now is a good time to take myself seriously and call myself a writer.

So, hello, I'm Wendy and I'm a writer. *Mind. Blown.*

So, I submit, who are you? What are you reluctant to admit that you are? What's holding you back? Let go and embrace it.

© Wendy 2015