Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Family Proclamation

Twenty years ago today, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" during the General Relief Society meeting.

At the time, it seemed pretty rudimentary, simple, and obvious. And yet, twenty years later,we can see why this prophetic message was released, how contradictory the world's view of the family is from the Lord's design for the family.

This proclamation is meant for us to use as a pattern, as direction in this ever-changing world.

Some of you reading this might feel disheartened because circumstances of life may have prevented you from living this to the full extent. Take heart in what was said during the March 2015 General Women's Meeting:
"May I point out something obvious? Life rarely goes exactly according to plan for anyone, and we are very aware that not all women are experiencing what the proclamation describes. It is still important to understand and teach the Lord’s pattern and strive for the realization of that pattern the best we can.
"Each of us has a part to play in the plan, and each of us is equally valued in the eyes of the Lord. We should remember that a loving Heavenly Father is aware of our righteous desires and will honor His promises that nothing will be withheld from those who faithfully keep their covenants. Heavenly Father has a mission and plan for each of us, but He also has His own timetable. One of the hardest challenges in this life is to have faith in the Lord’s timing. It’s a good idea to have an alternative plan in mind, which helps us to be covenant-keeping, charitable, and righteous women who build the kingdom of God no matter which way our lives go. We need to teach our daughters to aim for the ideal but plan for contingencies."
 ~Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President

On this twenty-year anniversary, I hope we can each resolve to live this as well as our circumstances allow and to teach our children the same. There is always hope, safety, and peace when we follow the Lord.

© Wendy 2015

Friday, September 11, 2015

When you want to give up...

I hesitate to write about this topic because it's scary. But, it's Suicide Prevention week and it's something that needs to be talked about.

I know people who have attempted suicide as well as those who have succeeded in taking their own life. Though I have not attempted to end my own life, I've had thoughts about it more than I would like to admit including as recently as this week.

Painting by Greg Olsen, "Lost and Found"
I'm not always sure what triggers the thoughts and feelings that send me down that path, but it never feels good. It doesn't make sense and it's hard to get your heart and mind back to "normal." It starts with some sort of hurt and turns into...

  • I'm not good enough.
  • I'm failing at being a wife and mother.
  • Everyone would be better off without me. 
  • I don't deserve the life I have. 
  • No one would really notice if I was gone anyway. 
  • I'm ugly, stupid, fat, undesirable...etc.... 
  • My family deserves better.
  • I can't do anything right. 
Ugh... I hate that list. It hurts. It's painful. It's embarrassing. Even though I knowledgeably "know" none of that is true, sometimes feelings are stronger than any other force. I'm sure there are many factors that lead me to this spot--damaging life experiences, heredity, hormones....but the biggest contributor to these thoughts, the one who adds and digs up more negative things to heap on top, is Satan.

This all sounds so depressing...probably because it is. But, I keep fighting and trying to overcome. It's not easy and it always helps to talk to someone. For me, it's my husband who I somehow got to marry me. Figure out what helps you pull out of and put it in you "emotional first aid kit." For me, I:

  • Write.
  • Listen to good music.
  • Talk to someone.
  • Drink Dr. Pepper.
  • Eat chocolate.
  • Read.
  • Cry it out. 

What helps you?

Don't give up. Talk to a friend or loved one who can help. Seek professional help when necessary. Trust in God's mission for you and do not allow Satan to permeate your thoughts and actions. Satan wants you to believe you're alone and you are worthless. He's crafty in making you believe it, but, it is all LIES. You are not Satan's puppet.

You are a child of God. He loves you and knows you better than you know yourself. You are an eternal being with eternal potential. Your are so valuable that Jesus Christ gave His life for you. You are strong and with His help and guidance, you can make it through the storms of life. Choose to fight the battle and rise victorious!

I love this video from the Mormon Channel on suicide prevention.

© Wendy 2015

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!!” ...