It Was Dad

“Noble fatherhood gives us a glimpse of the divine.” ~James E. Faust

As I think about the words of President Faust, I can’t help but smile in memory of my father.  Much of what I have learned about God I have learned from my amazing dad!  He has taught me more than I could ever describe.

It was Dad who taught me to walk by faith and not by fear.  It was Dad who taught me to live my life with intention and to embrace everything that each stage of life has to offer.  It was Dad who taught me how to genuinely love others.  It was Dad who taught me to be functional, to be Christlike, to be generous, to be kind.  It was Dad who showed me how to give pure, selfless service to others with no thought of reward.  It was Dad who taught me how to put the important things first in life.  It was Dad who taught me to laugh when things are hard and to keep moving forward.  It was Dad who helped me believe in myself when I felt like I was failing.  It was Dad who taught me that I was enough, and that nothing in the world could compare with my personal worth as his daughter.

In my life, it is Dad who has typified the kind of love and grandeur that exist in the Great Deity above.

My friends, just like we all have an earthly father, ALL of us also have a Heavenly Father.  Yet unlike our earthly father, our Father in Heaven is perfect, has all power, and knows all things.  He is the most loving, merciful, understanding, patient, and compassionate being in the Universe.

We are all literally children of God, spiritually begotten in the premortal life. As His children, we can be assured that we have divine, eternal potential and that He will help us in our sincere efforts to reach that potential.” (God the Father, http://www.lds.org)

We cannot even comprehend the amount of love of Heavenly Father has for us.  He wants the best for us– ALL of us.  He has a plan for our happiness!  He is there whether we recognize Him or not.  He knows us infinitely better than we know ourselves because He created us.  His whole work and glory is to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”  (Moses 1:39)

This Fathers Day, remember: No matter who you are, no matter where you live, no matter what your religious background, no matter what your family situation, no matter how alone or forgotten you may feel, your Father in Heaven is aware of you and loves you deeply.  He will help you walk through this life and lead you to eternal joy.

Search after Him through prayer and study, and I know you will feel that that is true.

And then, catch a glimpse of that noble fatherhood through this incredible video!

Happy Fathers Day!

Also check out this amazing website about fatherhood 🙂

 

We Lived in Heaven!

Have you ever wondered where you came from?

I’m not talking about where you were this morning, where your ancestors are from, not even how you were conceived.  But you–where did your spirit, your own personal soul come from?

The beautiful answer is found in one of our fundamental beliefs as members of Christ’s church, which is that we lived with our Father in Heaven before we came to this earth.  Our spirits are eternal, and our stay here on earth is but a period of time in a vast eternal round.

….WHAT?  We were where? What was that life like?  Who did we know there?  Why are we here on earth now?  Are we going back to live with Him again?  Here’s some of my favorite little insight from an apostle of the Lord today about our experience before earth:

“You knew Jesus Christ, who would become the Lamb of God. You had faith in Him. And you knew that your destiny was not to stay in the security of your premortal home. As much as you loved that eternal sphere, you knew you wanted and needed to embark on a journey. You would depart from the arms of your Father, pass through a veil of forgetfulness, receive a mortal body, and learn and experience things that hopefully would help you grow to become more like Father in Heaven and return to His presence.

In that sacred place, surrounded by those you knew and loved, the great question on your lips and in your heart must have been “Will I return safely to my heavenly home?”

There were so many things that would be out of your control. Mortal life would be hard at times, filled with unexpected bends in the road: sickness, heartbreak, accidents, conflict.

Without a memory of your previous existence—without remembering that you once walked with your Father in Heaven—would you still recognize His voice amid all the noise and distractions of mortal life?

The journey ahead seemed so long and uncertain—so filled with risk.

It wouldn’t be easy, but you knew it was worth every effort.

So, there you stood on the edge of eternity, looking forward with unspeakable excitement and hope—and, I imagine, also with a degree of worry and fear.

In the end, you knew God would be just—that His goodness would triumph. You had participated in the great heavenly councils and knew that your Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, would provide a way for you to be cleansed from sin and rescued from physical death. You had faith that, in the end, you would rejoice and join your voice with a heavenly chorus singing praises to His holy name.

And so, you took a deep breath …

And a great step forward …

And here you are!”

(To read/watch the rest and learn about the map God has provided for us here,
click here: Your Wonderful Journey Home, Dieter F. Uchtdorf)

HERE YOU ARE.  Can you believe it?  We are smack in the middle of our earthly adventures, and now it is up to us to live the way that will bring us that eternal joy we are promised through Jesus Christ.  We are all brothers and sisters of the same loving Heavenly Father, and He sent us here because He LOVES us and wants us to SUCCEED GLORIOUSLY.

So get out there!  Don’t be afraid!  You made the right choice once, and you can make it again!  Remember where you came from, and that you are not forgotten. ♥

Take the next great step forward and succeed gloriously, my friends!

Who Are YOU?

I believe that many of our core struggles in life come from not fully understanding who we are.

I believe that so many of us simply can’t see ourselves clearly.

Think about it!

Do you truly understand your worth?

Do yourself a favor and let an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ remind you:

Incredible, isn’t it?

How different would your life be if every single day you took confidence in knowing you are a child of God whose potential is divine and whose worth is infinite?

President George Q. Cannon said this: “There is not one of us but what God’s love has been expended upon. There is not one of us that He has not cared for and caressed. There is not one of us that He has not desired to save, and that He has not devised means to save. There is not one of us that He has not given His angels charge concerning. We may be insignificant and contemptible in our own eyes, and in the eyes of others, but the truth remains that we are the children of God, and that He has actually given His angels—invisible beings of power and might—charge concerning us, and they watch over us and have us in their keeping.”

To those who feel lost, worthless, discouraged, overwhelmed, hopeless, or depressed, I propose one thing:

You are simply unaware of who you are.

You may let the transient losses and hurts of life get you down, but if you only knew what lied in your future, you would be filled with a light that could never be darkened.  If you only understood the power and glory of who you are, you would never let anyone make you feel inferior.  You would cease to give any place in your heart to worldly cares that lie so far beneath your privileges.  Your heart would be so consumed with the light of Christ and the love of God that meaning and peace would fill your soul to an  extent you never thought was possible.

My dear friends, try to see yourself as your Father in Heaven sees you.

And then with confidence, go forward and share your light with the world!

(To learn more about who you are and God’s plan of happiness for you, click here.)

A Few Reminders from Heaven :)

You are NEVER alone.  And if you ever feel disheartened or lonely, here are a few things you may need to be reminded of:

What to Remember:

1. You are beautiful!

2.  You are important.

3. All the light, peace, protection, meaning, and happiness you gain in your life is because you have a Heavenly Father and Elder Brother, Jesus Christ.

4. They love you!

5. They would do anything for you and already have.  Your Brother is your Redeemer.  He has suffered the pains, anguish, failures, betrayals, mockeries, sicknesses, sorrows, and sins of the entire human race so that you, His family, could have the chance to succeed.

6. He is there for you.  He will never leave your side.  He is your Savior.

What to Do:

1. Love Them back.  Serve Them as They unfailingly serve you.  (Hint: trust someone who is doing it every day–serving God is the only lasting way to pure happiness!)

2. Take joy and enthusiasm from the knowledge of such truths!

3. Smile 🙂

4.  Laugh!

5. Share your love, or His love–Charity, for “charity never faileth” (1 Corinthians 13:8, Moroni 7:46)

6. If there is anything “virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy… seek after these things.” (Articles of Faith 1:13)  By keeping His commandments and seeking after good your whole life, you will find a much greater fullness of living!

“My dear brothers and sisters, it may be true that man is nothing in comparison to the greatness of the universe. At times we may even feel insignificant, invisible, alone, or forgotten. But always remember—you matter to Him!  … The most powerful Being in the universe is the Father of your spirit. He knows you. He loves you with a perfect love.   

God sees you not only as a mortal being on a small planet who lives for a brief season—He sees you as His child. He sees you as the being you are capable and designed to become. He wants you to know that you matter to Him.

May we ever believe, trust, and align our lives so that we will understand our true eternal worth and potential.”

–Dieter F. Uchtdorf, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ
October 2011 General Conference Address–“You Matter to Him”

Awakening

One of the most sacred experiences I have been blessed to have is that of praying in the Sacred Grove.  There is pure majesty that exists there.

What I feel goes something like this:

Kneeling down, eyes closed in prayer.  Darkness.  I see nothing.  This helps me focus on the things of a far more eternal nature.  Whispered, heartfelt words, spoken with the marvelous understanding that somewhere above, a grand and glorious being–God, our Heavenly Father–is listening.  For a moment, the world is lost.  Distractions disappear and I am at one.  I know who I am.

And then, as I end my simple prayer, I open my eyes.  Green.  Light.  Life.  Wisdom.  Perfect stillness.  Everything seems new and beautiful.  The trees know, I think.  They know where they are and they bear powerful record of it.

In that moment, I feel revived–new, pure, and filled with purpose.  In short, I feel as though I have awakened.

Awaken: [verb] to spring into being, to wake up, to stir, or to rouse from sleep or inactivity

To you reading this, are you aware that you are a child of God?  Are you aware that you have unlimited divine potential?  Are you aware that you have a Savior that loves you unconditionally?  Are you aware that your spirit existed before this earthly life and that your time here is simply a training ground for a much more eternal destiny?

My dear friends, awaken.  Spring into being!  Look around you and see the beauty in everything!  Do not let the mundane struggles of life drag you down.  Open up your eyes to the light around you, for  “the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:11-13)

God is in the details.  I feel Him in the rays of sunshine from above.  I feel Him as I pray in the Sacred Grove.  I feel Him in the beauty of nature.  I feel Him in the kind smile of a stranger.  I feel Him through the scriptures.  I feel Him through music.  His tender mercies “are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty.” (1 Nephi 1:20)

You may feel God’s presence in your life differently than I do.  All of us come to know Him in a different way.  Perhaps right now you may not feel Him at all.

But how can we recognize Him unless we first awaken to the reality of His existence?

And what greater day than today to awaken your souls to truly finding Him?

 

 

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”   ― Roald Dahl

Forgetting

A year or so ago, I was in a bit of a rut in my life.  I had just finished my first two years of college, and I was living at home with my family for the summer.  The majority of my friends were living elsewhere for the summer, and I was left to myself.  I was working two jobs, so the majority of my time was spent either at work or traveling to work.  (Not fun, by the way!)  Nothing drastic had happened recently, but I could feel myself slowly falling into a spiritual slump.  I was not feeling happy!  And so, one day, I decided to get to the root of the problem.  Why do I feel this way?  I thought.  What happened to the happiness and conviction that I once had?  I pondered and reflected on my life and on everything that had brought me to the point where I was right in that moment.   This is the realization that came to me (of course, in the form of poetic writing):

It’s so silly, really–forgetting. It’s such a simple and common cause for such an eternally significant effect.  The danger of it is that it is almost unnoticeable–like a long strand of hair that slips quietly into the flowing breeze, or the moment of subtle change from late sunset into twilight.  We walk on–small, shifting moments all around us–but our focus is elsewhere, and it may be days, months, or years until we realize how much we have let disappear.

How many times have we doubted ourselves simply because we forgot the celestial beings we really are?  How many times have we bitterly wondered why we are here because we forgot in whose plan we first trusted?  How many times have our hope and faith faltered because we forgot about the matchless gifts of love our Savior has given us every step of the way?  How many times have we repeated a bad decision because we forgot what we once learned?

How much longer will we continue on in a state of stagnation because we forget the greatness we were sent here to achieve?

Could it be that perhaps remembering these things would be among our greatest tools for success?  What difference would it make if every day we woke up remembering these eternal truths?  It would have made a world of difference in my own life.

Of course, I did not know I was forgetting.  I was once so strong and grounded.  Yet while I never lost the knowledge nor doubted it was real, somehow as days went by, I forgot what it meant to me.  I  forgot that this truth was exactly what it was–true–and that it is glorious, personal, and life changing.  I never stopped living the teachings, but I forgot for awhile the important of who I am in the plan of things.

  Oh, how much sadness and discouragement I could have been saved if I had but remembered!

But here I am, reminded once more of all those things I have learned.  I feel renewed, strengthened, and I am happy again.

And my soul sighs, because remembering feels like home.

And so, now, whenever I feel myself falling into a spiritual slump, I simply remind myself who I am and whose I am: I am a daughter of God.  He has sent me here.  His Son, Jesus Christ, is my Savior and my perfect example.  I trust in His plan, and He is with me.  Fellow children of God, LET US NOT FORGET!

“And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful God has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off.” 2 Nephi 10:20

Our Purpose. Our Adventure.

Everyone has a plan for their life.  Everyone has a dream.  Everyone wants a happy ending.  Yes, it sounds cliché, but it is true!  I believe that deep down, each one of us wants an adventure.  We want a life worth living, a goal worth achieving—a grand destiny that makes everything we go through in life worth enduring.  Some of us may be avidly working toward that dream.  Some of us may still be searching for what that dream is.  Some of us may have given up—may have buried those hopes deep within us because we have resigned ourselves to the daily grind of mundane life.

Well, I am here to tell you that all of us, every single human being on the face of this earth, have a divine destiny.  We are all part of a marvelous plan—a grand, eternal journey with incomprehensible joy as our reward.  However, like any worthwhile journey, we will face opposition.  After all, can we fully appreciate joy and peace unless we experience, at least for a while, despair and turmoil?  Every good adventure includes darkness and light, failure and triumph, good and evil, strength and weakness.  A hero is not made through enjoying a life of ease, but through learning to overcome obstacles and come off conqueror.

We are children of God.  He created us, and we lived with Him before we came to Earth.  He is our loving Heavenly Father, and He has sent us here for a reason.  He wants us to enjoy all His blessings.  In order to do that, we needed to progress and become more like Him.  And so, here we are!  We are in the middle of our mortal adventures, herein to learn, grow, progress, and gain experiences that will enable us to reach our divine potential.

My fellow seekers of light, let us not be weary in our journey.  Although at some times it may not feel like it, this life is full of wonder and purpose.  In a world that is increasingly full of darkness, let us keep the light of hope.  In the words of Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a living Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ,

What kind of existence can we hope for? Those who come unto Christ, repent of their sins, and live in faith will reside forever in peace. Think of the worth of this eternal gift. Surrounded by those we love, we will know the meaning of ultimate joy as we progress in knowledge and in happiness. No matter how bleak the chapter of our lives may look today, because of the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we may hope and be assured that the ending of the book of our lives will exceed our grandest expectations. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

What will true followers of Christ do if we love Him?  We will keep His commandments.  We will enter in by the gate which He has laid before us—namely: faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  This is the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is the only path that leads to eternal happiness.  This is our divine destiny.

I HAVE SET MY PATH.  Have you?