Sunday, July 16, 2017

One Heart and One Mind...





"Each one of us can build up Zion in our own lives by being pure in heart. And the promise is, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8.) Each one of us can extend the borders of Zion by gathering our friends and neighbors into the fold of Israel.

These things of which we speak are part of a great plan and program of the Lord. He has known the end from the beginning. He has ordained and established the system which is now in operation. He has scattered his chosen people in all the nations of the earth. And now through his goodness and grace in this, our day, by the opening of the heavens, by the ministry of holy angels sent from his presence, by his own voice speaking from heaven, by the pouring out of the Holy Ghost—by all these means—he has once again restored the fullness of his everlasting gospel. He has called us out of darkness into the marvelous light of Christ. He has commanded us to build up Zion anew. He has commanded us to overcome the world. He has commanded us to forsake every evil thing. He has made us his agents and representatives. He has commissioned us to go out and find the lost sheep of Israel. He wants us to invite them to gather with the true Church and with the Saints of God.

This is a work of great magnitude and importance. There is no work like it in all the world. The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest thing in heaven or on earth. We rejoice in the glorious truths of heaven we have received. We praise the Lord for his goodness and grace. And we know within ourselves of the truth and divinity of these things." Bruce R. McConkie "Let Israel Build Zion"

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If you haven't clued in yet, I've got Zion on the brain.  Now don't roll your eyes or start backing away from me...this is what we are suppose to have on our minds! It should consume our every thoughts!  Creating a place where the Savior can come a dwell, a place that is worthy of His presence, should be of the utmost importance in our lives.   

D. Todd Christofferson said:

"Zion is both a place and a people. Zion was the name given to the ancient city of Enoch in the days before the Flood. “And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion” (Moses 7:19). This Zion endured for some 365 years (see Moses 7:68). The scriptural record states, “And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, Zion is fled” (Moses 7:69). Later, Jerusalem and its temple were called Mount Zion, and the scriptures prophesy of a future New Jerusalem where Christ shall reign as “King of Zion,” when “for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest” (Moses 7:53, 64).

The Lord called Enoch’s people Zion “because they were of ONE HEART and ONE MIND, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them” (Moses 7:18). Elsewhere He said, “For this is Zion—the pure in heart” (D&C 97:21).

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I was talking to some friends the other day about the shift in my thoughts and how suddenly I can't stop thinking of Zion and they totally did not think I was weird, which was so awesome!  It's not that I haven't had thoughts about it in the past or studied it or had conversations about it. All of those things have occurred at one time or another, but this is something different. There is a new desire to UNDERSTAND the meaning and purpose of Zion and I feel so excited, but a little overwhelmed and like I'm maybe getting in over my head (but what's new, right?)

So I was talking to some friends and telling them all my thoughts and feelings and the advice was given to me to first build Zion in my heart, THEN in my home, THEN in my ward, and so on.   I LOVED this advice, but still felt unsure where to start.  How do you even do that? How can I start to build Zion in my own heart? I just didn't even know where to begin, so I took my question to the Lord in the temple and I got my answer....

The ANSWER is what I will be sharing with you on my blog as the Spirit instructs. This is the new direction I will be taking, but really it's not new at all. It's where I've been heading all along, I just didn't totally know it.  But now that I do and a change in me has occurred, the same desire that inspired me to start bearing my testimony on instagram 2 years ago and sharing my very personal Mormon Stories, has overwhelmed me again.  I feel this is something the Lord want's me to do, BUT I realize Zion can be an intense and even scary topic for some.  It use to be for me!  But now it excites me and gives me a renewed purpose for me and my family.   

Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you go get some guns and ammo and buy out all the tomato soup and Oreo's at the grocery store (though I do support getting a good food storage and don't forget the tp!)  Rather I'm going to share with you my personal experiences of how I became better friends with the Holy Ghost and how He has been helping me on my journey to be one with Christ.  

I'll be sharing some of the more deeper trials of my faith which, by the way will include some of my Mormon Stories! These are the trials that have brought me to this point and I'll also share with you things I am doing and experiencing now - all with one purpose in mind - to encourage anyone who is reading to do the same thing! To come to know and understand the Holy Ghost so He can help you build a personal relationship with the Savior because only then can we truly become unified in heart and mind!  

He is the LIGHT and the WAY! 

D. Todd Christofferson: 

"Much of the work to be done in establishing Zion consists in our individual efforts to become “the pure in heart” (D&C 97:21). “Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom,” said the Lord; “otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself” (D&C 105:5). The law of the celestial kingdom is, of course, the gospel law and covenants, which include our constant remembrance of the Savior and our pledge of obedience, sacrifice, consecration, and fidelity.

 The Savior was critical of some of the early Saints for their “lustful … desires” (D&C 101:6; see also D&C 88:121). These were people who lived in a non-television, non-film, non-Internet, non-iPod world. In a world now awash in sexualized images and music, are we free from lustful desires and their attendant evils? Far from pushing the limits of modest dress or indulging in the vicarious immorality of pornography, we are to hunger and thirst after righteousness. To come to Zion, it is not enough for you or me to be somewhat less wicked than others. We are to become not only good but holy men and women. Recalling Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s phrase, let us once and for all establish our residence in Zion and give up the summer cottage in Babylon (see Neal A. Maxwell, A Wonderful Flood of Light [1990], 47).

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I know this might feel a little overwhelming at first and there will be some crazy personal trials ahead I'm sure because SATAN does NOT want us to do this.  

If you decide to take this ZION challenge with me I have a few bits of advice from my own past experiences to get you started...

1. Read the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY

2. Listen to one General Conference talk EVERY DAY

2. Don't forget to PRAY

3. Keep your covenants... 

For example: 


-KEEP the Sabbath Day Holy and prepare to take the Sacrament.  S. Michael Wilcox said something along the lines of this:  You can't watch a Rated R movie on Friday night and then go to the temple on Saturday and then wonder why you didn't get anything out of it or gain any new understanding.  Well the same goes for the Sabbath.  If you feel like you aren't getting anything out of church, maybe it's because you filled yourself with mucky muck all week long.  Be mindful of what you watch on TV, of what you listen to on the Radio or Spotify or Apple Music or whatever, and of what you look at on your phone and computer.  Fill your mind and body and soul with GOOD THINGS.


-Don't look at porn. Soft Porn, Hard Porn, or anything in between.  That's means pretty much about 90% of what's available to us today.  Porn in any form makes you stupid! Seriously it makes you stupid and makes your brain not work properly and satan totally loves that because he can take advantage of you in all kinds of ways and you will NEVER get to Zion if you look at porn.

-If you are temple endowed WEAR your garments ALL the time and go the the temple and do Initiatories so you UNDERSTAND why you need to wear your garments and just how incredibly awesome they are.  They are a GIFT from GOD.

 4. DO your family history work and GO to the Temple! I recommend once a week, but at least once a month for sure. Don't forget...12 and up can do Baptisms for the Dead!

I will have more specifics on all that and experiments and challenges we can do together LIKE the one's I have already given like the POWER of 3 and ETHER 12 challenges.
I'm SUPER EXCITED about those and I'm SUPER EXCITED about this!  

I hope and pray you will join me. 

ONE HEART...ONE MIND

LOVE, Chelsea





Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Awakening...


"We need to overcome fatalism. We know the prophecies of the future. We know the final outcome. We know the world collectively will not repent and consequently the last days will be filled with much pain and suffering. Therefore, we could throw up our hands and do nothing but pray for the end to come so the millennial reign could begin. To do so would forfeit our right to participate in the grand event we are all awaiting. We must all become players in the winding-up scene, not spectators. We must do all we can to prevent calamities, and then do everything possible to assist and comfort the victims in tragedies that do occur." 
- Glenn L. Pace, Ensign, November 1990 Page 8

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"Behold, He changed their hearts; yea, He awakened them 
out of a deep sleep and they awoke unto God." 

Alma 5:7 

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I've joked with my family for the last few years that when old friends come to town and don't tell me,  it's because they just don't want to catch what I've got. Like it's a highly contagious disease that kills all fun. I laugh at my own joke and know that I've done it to myself with all the "realness" I've been putting on my instagram, but deep down I can't help but miss the old me. The me that made them think of me or want to spend time with me.  I see other old friends hanging out and eating out and having all kinds of fun together and it pricks at my heart. Not necessarily because I wasn't there, but because I've changed and I know it. I've changed a lot.  It doesn't go deep and make it bleed like it use to, but it does make me wonder what other things will have to change about me before I achieve my end goal. And will those kinds of changes require more sacrifices that are as painful as they have been in the past? I hope not, but I think so.

Hey, it's not that I couldn't go out and have a great time and just forget everything for an hour or two. I could and sometimes I do, but something that I've learned is there's always a consequence when I trade in the new me for just a taste of the old me and those consequences are ones that I'm becoming less and less willing to accept. It's no longer worth the risk of loosing what I have found! What I have been given, the Gift of the Holy Ghost and

FAITH in JESUS CHRIST

Now I"m not talking about the kind of faith I use to have that fueled an occasional bearing of my testimony,  sporadic family scripture study, quarterly visits to the temple, text messaging visiting teaching, and hit and miss personal prayers.  No, not that kind of faith. This is a new kind of faith that only came after SEVERAL trials of my faith. This is the kind of faith that we read about in the scriptures. The kind of faith that those who walked and talked with God had.  Well...I don't have that kind of faith yet, but I do have the beginnings of it, and I know this because it's inspiring me to SAY and DO things I have never done before.  Oh there's a lot more fire to walk through before I even come close to obtaining my goal and the REAL test is going to be what else I'm willing to give up to reach that goal. The real test now is how I choose to spend my time.

The thought that most often enters my mind throughout the day is "Is this what the Lord wants me to do right now?" I could and should literally ask myself that question a THOUSAND times a day especially since I have made promises to God that I would use all of my time and talents to do His will & build His kingdom on the Earth to establish Zion.

Whooooooa! This just got heavy didn't it? 

So wait, when I made that promise was it literal? Was He serious?  Oh dear. YES He was and IS quite serious about that promise and all the others I have made.

Story...

On DAY 12 of the ETHER 12 thirty DAY challenge  my youngest woke up from a pretty scary "end of the world" dream and after a few hours of squirming next to me in my bed, I headed a prompting from the Spirit to take her to the temple to watch the sun rise. I set her up on 3 Nephi to calm her troubled soul and I dove right into Ether 12.  As we quietly read and began to feel the warmth of the sun peek out over the mountain tops and reach towards us, the thought came to me, "If I stay true, like I am right now, I will one day have what I desire." and once again I experienced 


"The Awakening"

  I say again because I've been awakened before and more than a few times and as long as I stay on this path, I kind of expect them to keep happening, but this one was slightly more intense than the last.  It came with a jolt of pure excitement and new thoughts and feelings that won't go away. I'm thinking about it every morning when my head pops off the pillow, until I fall unconscious again at night, and sometimes the thoughts even sneak into my dreams!   

I want to run up and down the streets and tell everybody, "Hey! Did you know..........."

But they'll think I've lost my marbles like you probably would too if I told you right now. I probably will someday, BUT for now let's just go with this to get things started:

George Albert Smith:

-The Prophet Nephi, hundreds of years ago, saw what would occur, that the people were to contend with one another and deny the power of the Holy Ghost and the Holy One of Israel, and were to teach for doctrine the commandments of men. An influence is in the world today trying to make people believe that by their own intelligence and by their own power they can gain eternal life. 

Let me read from Nephi:

“And there shall also be many which shall say, Eat, drink and be merry, nevertheless fear God, he will justify in committing a little sin.”

I want you to note that: “He will justify in committing a little sin.” That cunning adversary knowing that if he could only get a man or woman to do a little wrong, that far they had gone into his territory, that far they were in his power.

“Nevertheless, fear God, he will justify in committing a little sin, yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this. And do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the Kingdom of God.” [2 Nephi 28:8.]

Isn’t that just exactly what the devil says to the children of men today as plainly as it is written here? Oh, commit a little sin, that won’t do any harm, lie a little, that won’t do any particular damage, the Lord will forgive that and you will only be beaten with a few stripes and at last you shall be saved in the kingdom of God. That is what he says to the man or the woman who has been taught the Word of Wisdom when he says, oh, drink a little tea, that won’t hurt you; use a little tobacco, that won’t make any difference; a little liquor won’t do any harm. These are little things; he always does it a little at a time, not all at once. That is what I would like us to remember. … It is these insignificant insidious whisperings that betray mankind and that place us in the power of the devil. …

And Nephi says further:
“And others will he pacify and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say, All is well in Zion; yea Zion prospereth, all is well; and thus the devil cheateth their souls.”

Now, I want you to note that: “And thus the devil cheateth their souls and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.” [2 Nephi 28:21.] And that is the way he does it, that’s exactly the way he does it. He does not come and grab you bodily and take you into his territory, but he whispers, “Do this little evil,” and when he succeeds in that, another little evil and another, and, to use the expression quoted, “He cheateth their souls.” That’s what he does. He makes you believe that you are gaining something when you are losing. So it is every time we fail to observe a law of God or keep a commandment, we are being cheated, because there is no gain in this world or in the world to come but by obedience to the law of our Heavenly Father.

… That peculiar suggestion, “And he leadeth them carefully away down to hell” is significant, that is his method. Men and women in the world today are subject to that influence, and they are being drawn here and there, and that whispering is going on and they do not understand what the Lord desires them to do, but they continue in the territory of the evil one, subject to his power where the Spirit of the Lord will not go.

He says further: …
“And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them, I am no devil, for there is none; and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.” [2 Nephi 28:22.]

Now, my brethren and sisters, that is the condition of the world today. Nephi could not have stated it plainer if he had been right here in the world now. And the adversary is at work, and because our Heavenly Father desired to preserve his children from the evil of that teaching and of that belief he sent the boy prophet, Joseph Smith, into the world, commissioned him with divine authority, organized His Church, and began again to teach the truth to the children of men, that they might be led from the error of their ways.

We must learn to overcome our passions, our evil tendencies. We must learn to resist temptations. That is why we are here, and in order that we may more perfectly do that, the gospel has been restored to the earth, and we have been made partakers of it, and we have the strength that comes to us as a result of the power of the Holy Ghost. We not only have the resistance of an ordinary individual, with the limitations that such an individual has who has not the knowledge of the truth—we have equal resistance with him, and in addition the resistance which comes from knowing the truth and knowing the purpose of our being."

THAT right there is where it all started for me just a little over 2 years ago.  It was a gift that I asked for and then was given, but only after a HUGE trial of my faith.  The gift of discernment. The ability to discern to truth from error and see the light through the darkness. Not all the time, but a lot of the time AND let me just tell you something about that gift...

It ROCKS 

Because all of sudden what you once saw as good and right and perfectly fine becomes NONE of those things.  And then... you might freak out a little and get all intense and stop doing the things you did before and you start doing things you've never even thought of! You might stop listening to crappy music and watching crappy shows and you might even stop going to girls nights out! Instead you start listening to Christian music or even music with no words!  Then you start reading good books and going to the temple on the weekends and sometimes even during the week...in the middle of the day!

You crazy.

You feel so strange and good and happy inside like you've never felt before so you start telling people about it and pretty soon the word gets out.  Some people stop talking to you all together and others just a little less.  New people come into your life that are different than you thought they were.  Because before you thought they were a little strange, but really they were just like you are NOW and then you freak out some more because you realize they weren't strange at all, they were just living the Gospel as it should be lived!  They were just following Christ like you're suppose to be doing, then it happens...


"The Awakening"

Then the Spirit says "Oh hey! So glad you're finally awake. I've got a job for you to do."  And you're like "Whaaaaat? Nooooo. I can't do that!" But then you decide to do it anyways, just to see what happens if you obey, and the result is not what you thought it was going to be.  The result was good! Fulfilling and even a little Fun! 

Then the Spirit says "Hey! Thanks for listening and for helping me out with that. I've got another job for you to do."  And you say "Sweeeet! Yeeeeeesss! I'll do whatever you ask because the last time was so awesome!"  And you do it over and over and over again.   Then it happens...


"The Awakening"

And the Spirit wakes you from a the best and most deep sleep you've had in years and says "Good morning sunshine! I'm so glad you're awake. I have another job for you to do."  And with you're eyes only half open, you think to yourself "Oh NO. No, no, no, no, no. I can't do that.  I just can't."  And then imagine the Spirit standing next to your bed with His head tilted to the side saying "Seriously? You know from past experiences that we've shared, that you can do this." And you say to yourself "Nope. I can't. I just can't do that." He's offended and He leaves and you sigh a sigh a of relief because you hope He probably just realized that you weren't ready for that yet.

A few days or maybe a few weeks go by and you start to feel sad, confused, and kind of lost.  You're not sure what you're suppose to be doing. You wander around in a daze and might even admit you're bored. Even with a husband, 4 kids, and 2 bunny's to take care you just feel useless. You have a few good ideas come to you, but you push them aside because they seem dumb and weird. Then suddenly you come across an old friend and he knows just what you should do.

He whispers "You're not happy right now are you?" And you say back to him "No, I am not happy at all. I don't even know what I'm doing with my life." And he's such a good listener and then he says "Heeeey, remember that time when you.......and how much fun you had? Remember how easy it was to just not care about all this spiritual stuff?  Remember when your focus was......and how much you accomplished by yourself. You didn't need any help then and you don't need any now.  You're awesome just as you are.  Remember how everybody that you knew back then liked you so much and it made you feel so good to be so liked?   You should totally go get that back because nobody really likes the new you.  You freak them out!"  And then you struggle and struggle with the memories and the temptation of that old, good, easy life you had and you almost give in when SUDDENLY, the Spirit returns and REMINDS you of what you know to be true.

He brings to the front of your mind the things that have REALLY brought you happiness and joy and fulfillment and it all comes rushing back like a river and then you hear that still small voice say "Hello beautiful being of LIGHT. I'm back. Would you like to try again and do what I asked before?"  The thought returns of what it was and this time you feel stronger than you did before and you feel like you can do what He has asked you to do because you REMEMBER the promises that have been kept and the blessings that have been given to you when you obeyed the Spirit.  And it happens again...

"The Awakening"

And it happens again and again and again!  EVERY TIME you listen to the Spirit you get closer to ANOTHER awakening until one day THIS happens...


"Behold, He changed their hearts; yea, He awakened them 
out of a deep sleep and they awoke unto God." 

Alma 5:7

THAT is what I want to share with you. THAT is what I desire. THAT is what I have been promised and YOU have been promised too.  To be awakened unto God.  Not after we're dead, but NOW, in THIS life.   It's going to take obedience. Strict obedience and FAITH and learning to live the laws of sacrifice and consecration.  Those are hard laws to keep. It's going to take our whole heart and soul.   We'll take a good beating for sure and our faith will be tried to the fullest extent that is allowed by GOD. Everything single thing we experience will be allowed to happen because THAT is how we are woken up.

That is the journey that I have been on and that I want to keep going on!  Something that I have been wanting to tell you for soooooo long is that I want to see the Savior as others have AND have testified of it it too.   Is that weird to say out loud?  I feel like it is and like people might think that isn't a good thing to desire. Or it's presumptuous or self righteous or something.   I don't know why I feel that way, I guess because I've never even thought it possible until a few days ago. But the thought won't leave and the right scriptures and books and songs and people are popping into my life and are all telling me the same thing. It's possible.  It's real and It's all laid out in Ether 12 just how it can be achieved. Don't believe me? Try studying it every day for 30 days, I mean really studying it and see what you conclude.

One thing that's for sure is it isn't easy, but I know it will be worth it. 

In the 2016 World Wide Devotional Wendy Watson Nelson posed this very stirring question and it's this question that has had my wheels turning ever since. It's this question that has made me really start to consider and even experiment with just exactly what I would be willing to do to see my Savior.

Wendy Watson Nelson
My dear brothers and sisters, whom I love, the reality is that someday you and I will each have an individual, face-to-face interview with the Savior Himself. When this eventuality becomes real to us, we will be willing to do whatever it takes to be prepared!

So, now a question as I conclude: What if you learned that the Savior had already returned to this earth—that He, as part of His Second Coming, had already met with some of His true followers in several marvelous, large gatherings—gatherings about which the world, including CNN and the blogosphere, knew nothing. If you found out that the Savior was already on the earth, what would you desperately want to do today, and what would you be willing and ready to do tomorrow?

I pray that this year you will have some moments of anguishing desperation that will propel you further along the path to becoming the man or woman you were born to be. Your true self is spectacular! Never settle for less. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.




Monday, June 26, 2017

ETHER 12 CHALLENGE




19: And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad. • 

Scriptures like these just do something to me. In the past I use to think "oh cool" but now I'm like WHAAAT? There were MANY whose faith was so strong that Savior literally could not keep Himself from them? Many? And He HAD to show Himself because of THEIR faith? Their faith was so strong that the veil literally parted and they saw Him! Many??? 

This. Is. Amazing! 

A guy in my old ward once shared how he felt a prompting to read Ether 12 in The Book of Mormon every day for 30 days and how it changed him. I for the life of me couldn't think of what that chapter was about, but when I went and read through it, I was AMAZED at what was contained within! AND my FAITH increased. So I want to extend the challenge to you to read, study, and ponder on Ether 12 with the Power of 3 Challenge.

BUT I'm going to read it every day for 30 days, just to see what happens to my faith and my brain. 

                                                                      Wanna do it with me?

Monday, June 19, 2017

POWER of 3 CHALLENGE...


Have you ever heard of the "Power of 3"  

When Elder Bednar came to visit Elder Andersen's mission in the Philippines he gave them 4 things to study in advance and told them to use the power of 3 as their guide. Elder A did it and had a super awesome spiritual experience as he conversed with Elder Bednar about one of the subjects they were asked to study. Elder Bednar told him during the conversation that he understood something that 99% of church members don't get. Elder A attributed that experience to the fact that he chose to follow Elder Bednars council and therefore had the results Elder Bednar was hoping for! Then Elder A challenged our family to try it! So awesome. 

That was a lot of "Elder" I know, but I felt I had to explain the story before I give you this challenge because the POWER OF 3 totally WORKS and I think if you choose to accept this challenge you are going to experience something beyond what you could ever imagine in your own spiritual progression and it will be specific to you and your life. 

So here goes. Power of 3 is this...Start with a prayer 

1. Read 

2. Read again & study it. Look up scriptures, definitions, cross references etc... 

3. Read it again and soak it all in or in other words PONDER. 

Your understanding of certain teachings & principals will increase & will make sense according to your life & how you can apply it in your life! 

The challenge - I'm going to post a talk, article, or scriptures to study each week & throughout the week post my own insights on what I'm learning with the "power of 3" in hopes that you'll share yours too! Then we can learn & grow together with the prophets, apostles, leaders, & spirit as our teachers. I think it will be cool & fun & amazing. 

First talk is in the bio by President Eyring : "My Peace I Leave With You" April 2017

Saturday, June 10, 2017

make WEAK things STRONG...


I wish my hair was that cute!

I seriously have a problem.

So I went on a walk this week with a new friend here in paradise. It was a brave moment for me because just before we decided to go, the wind was blowing and my allergies are fierce. I mean fierce.  I've been drugged up since the second we got here to our new house and sleep is my only option. As if I don't already sleep enough (thyroid probs).

So we go on this walk around the temple and the wind had subsided to a nice easy breeze.  The temple grounds were pretty quiet and I had loads of stuff on my mind which I just decided to drop like a bomb on my new friend.   She listened so carefully and shared her thoughts and own experiences and then she shared a theory on satan.  GASP! You know I love a girl who isn't afraid to talk about "he who must not be named" AND no I'm not talking Voldermort although they're pretty much one in the same.   Yes satan, that clever devil whose ways to trap, snare, torment, trick, deceive, and distract seem to be endless. At least for me. 

Her thought was this...Pornography is a plague of our day (agreed) meant to torment MEN and not just to torment, but to literally destroy them.  We also agreed that it is a terrible problem for some woman too and the female gender is not immune to it or it's affects, but I kind of think that's just an added a side affect. Satan would probably just see it as a bonus that certain woman, for whatever reason, get sucked into the world of pornography too.

(Note: I am not making light of girls who struggle with pornography. I know it's very real and very damaging and my heart aches deep for them because I know they are dealing with not only one destroying disease, but 2.) 

Then she made this point. If satan is using pornography to destroy the men, what is he using for the woman? The thought came to me just as she said it...

COMPARISON!

She shared some of her insights with me and then I shared some of mine with her about myself, that literally came to me on then spot.  Things from my childhood and experiences that I had. Things that were said to me by a well meaning parent and countless other ways satan used this tool to build inside of me a spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and even physically deadly disease.  The disease of comparison.  As we were talking we both got shock-wave chills through our body as a confirmation that we had just had a truth revealed to us.  

Now let me elaborate on my own recent experiences with this junk.

A few months ago I was feeling pretty awesome.  Not physically because I have a real live auto immune disease that makes that literally impossible, but spiritually.  I was seriously feeling so good about myself and the progress I had been making.  My relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost had increased beyond all my expectations.  My previous trials and struggles seemed as light as a feather and I felt on fire with the spirit.  Ready to defend the kingdom with all my might!  It was an awesome place to be mentally.

Then one night just before bed, I was lured into a trap.  An Instagram trap.

I was scrolling through my feed and saw a post with a picture of a rockin body.  I stared for a long time and could not believe how good of shape she was in! It was tight.  Then I started reading the comments and then started looking at other pages. Some of the people I knew, some I didn't. I looked at their pages and their lives and their homes and their clothes and vacations and get togethers and their kids and their jobs and their hair and eyelashes and eyebrows and their family photo sessions and what they had for dinner and it it was ALL so much better than what I had going on.  It went on for a few hours probably, until I fell asleep with my phone still in my hand. When I woke the next morning I was DESTROYED.

I can't even really explain it, but my guess is you probably get it.  Maybe not to the same extreme, but to some degree you get it.  My husband told me to just stop looking at it. "Don't Look!" He yelled in frustration at me as I complained about a certain post that was making me feel like crap. "Why can't you just not look?"  He couldn't figure it out because for him social media is a place to go and watch dumb videos that make him laugh.  

I actually can't stand most of them, but he loves it.   I don't get that and yeah, for sure, if you tell me to not look at that, I totally can. No problem.  I have no desire to watch people do dumb things on camera.  That's not my thing. Fitness, food, fashion, friends, and fun is my thing. I just want to see it!
But somehow it was doing something to me.  Causing me to reflect on myself and all of my shortcomings.  Causing me to stay in bed only to get up long enough to go grab my favorite drink and FiiZ, then go back to bed.  Sure I had good days. Days I could snap out of it and refocus, but the second I looked again, I was right back at rock bottom. 

Of course I was too ashamed to admit this ridiculous and stupid way of thinking out loud. I would attempt to share bits and pieces of my feelings with others and would only dump  it all out on a friend I could trust to still love me even if I told her the awful truth about myself.  And in an effort to hide the truth I pretended like it was everyone else's fault that I was feeling this way and the social media culture was designed by satan to make most of us feel like crap while everyone else seems to be feeling so good all the time.

Look, it's messed up I know and I still don't fully get what my problem is, especially since I am on social media trying to spread goodness and light and love!  I think that's what most people are trying to do, yet somehow it's often damaging to me.  Why?

Because of satan. Because of comparison. Because he knows as woman we just do that to ourselves. Some worse than others.  So I started praying for help.  Help for understanding or just some relief.  I knew I couldn't leave Instagram all together because Rock and Lily was so much a part of me and my own spiritual progression and not only that it was something the Lord wanted me to do. It was helping people in ways that were so much bigger than me, but I also knew I couldn't keep going the way I was.  

So I got a prompting. A prompting to unfollow people.  I tried a few times. I just unfollowed a few that I didn't personally know, but it didn't help.  The sacrifice wasn't big enough.  Then the prompting came again...unfollow EVERYONE!  

What? I didn't want to do that.  I didn't want to hurt people's feelings or raise questions about myself.  I didn't want to come of judgey or self righteous or just stupid!  I resisted the prompting for a few months, but it wouldn't go away. I remember when the big push finally came. It was a brief thought, 

"Do you fear man more than Me?" 

As a matter of fact I did! But I decided to obey and the outcome was so interesting.  I started with facebook because it was election time and to be honest the place was insane. Slowly, I went through my "friends" and began deleting.  Then I would get to a certain one and my heart would race and my fingers shake and I just couldn't do it!   But the strength came from some other place and I would move on and delete another. Not as hard to do, but still strangely painful.  I mean it wasn't like I was killing these people or anything. I was just virtually unfriending them for crying out loud.  So why in the world did it feel like I was physically hurting them? I still have no idea.  Social media is the weirdest!

It didn't take long for me to realize that the process was going to take me weeks, maybe even months to do.  I had 1,600 + friends and I couldn't bare to delete 95% of them.  Then the thought came, just unfriend them all.   Again the strength came from some other place and I did it! All but 20. I couldn't delete my parents and a few others that I needed and who inspired me. There were also a few people that were battling illnesses that I wanted to keep tabs on, but the rest were GONE.  I slept like a baby that night and woke up feeling as light as a feather.

I let a few weeks pass to make sure it was something that was really beneficial for me to do, and then I moved on to Instagram.  This was harder. MUCH harder.  I felt like I was down right betraying people.  Even people I didn't know.  I sent out a few dumb private messages to those I worried most about, trying to explain myself and it just made the whole thing worse for myself.  Some of the responses were understanding, some not what I had hoped for, and some didn't respond at all.  This caused a deep worry and pain in my soul.   I began to doubt what the spirit had so clearly told me to do, but I had already done it and surely people had noticed. I wished I could take it back, but I couldn't. So the only thing to do was move forward like I knew what was up.  Like I was BOSS. Even though I felt like a total rude looser.

I let my new life partially without social media settle and I felt like I had done the right thing. I wrote about it on Instagram and some of the positive experiences I was having with my more simplified social media life. Then... I started looking again! At other SPIRITUAL accounts and started comparing myself in all kinds of different ways.  SO weird.  Seriously so weird. It makes me mad.

So I go on this walk around the temple with a friend and she unveils a certain truth to me about how satan has been working on ME the last several months.  I mean, I know comparison is a problem for women and most people in general, but I didn't realize how personal it had become for me. How deep & damaging, even in my sacred spiritual space.  How in the world did he get in there?

This week I decided to follow my Bishops advice and listen to a a talk from the past conference every week.  I need it daily and it just so happened that the morning after the walk I was scheduled to listen to this talk by Elder Eyring:

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/04/my-peace-i-leave-with-you?lang=eng

Divine intervention. I am telling you. This was by divine design. 

Then yesterday I had lunch with a dear old friend that I love and trust so much and she filled me with even more light and inspiration.  Just good stuff from her life experiences and what she knows of me. She listened and counseled and was inspired to say so many good things.  It was kind of amazing. 

THEN I woke up this morning and realized something HUGE. The good old break up phrase came into my mind, "It's not you, it's ME. I have got to understand that what other people say and do on social media or in real life is out of my control, but how it affects me and what I do with it is entirely up to ME!

So a major, major MAJOR weakness has been revealed.  I am full of jealousy, fear, pride, and all kinds of other crap that causes me to compare myself to others and that is damaging to me.  That is such a weak minded way of thinking.  I am basically falling right into satans trap when I do it.   I am a daughter of a GOD! I am being of light! I am more powerful than satan and all of his stupid minions.  I must remember the scripture "Pray always, that you may come off conqueror." (D&C 10:5) and I will!

There's only one way out of this for me and the way is Jesus Christ. 
 I know how to do this. I've done it time and time again. It's how I progress. 

 I've got to ask Heavenly Father the question:

"What should I stop doing and what should I start doing?"

He loves this question and I love the results.  

It's GO time.  But first! To the temple with my daughter to help save souls. 




Tuesday, June 6, 2017

My Mormon Story UPDATE




UPDATE 

If you have been following along My Mormon Story and can't find the rest of my posts, then this explanation is for you!  I took them down because I feel they have served their purpose. I felt inspired to write them and then after a time felt inspired to take them down.  Will they ever be released again? I don't know, but if a prompting comes, you'll be the first to know :)

I'm the meantime I am going to attempt to write some blog posts where I can elaborate a little bit more on the deeper things of my heart.



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

BOOK REVIEW for Desert Book!


 

 
 
 
DID YOU KNOW...According to Oliver Cowdery, the angel Moroni quoted nearly two dozen biblical passages during his visit to Joseph Smith, most of them centering on the events of the last days.
 
That is just one of several hundred amazing facts shared in this book!
 
I loved this book! History was my favorite subject in high school and my favorite class at BYU was Susan Easton Black's Teachings of the Living Prophets.  It completely changed the way I viewed the chosen leaders of our church and gave me a deeper appreciation for them. This book has done the same. 
What I loved most about this book was how right from the start I felt it strengthening my testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and some of the earlier events of the church!  Many of the things that were written about I already knew to some degree, but the unknown details included increased my desire to want to know more and also my love for him and those who followed him. 

One of my favorite facts about how the Book of Mormon came about was when after Joseph asked the Angel Moroni when he could retrieve the plates, he was told he could have them the following September IF he brought the right person with him.  Joseph was later able to look into a seer stone and see that the person the Angel Moroni was referring to was Emma Smith.  That was a testimony to me of Emma's value to Heavenly Father. It wasn't that Joseph was told he had to marry Emma, but it was a confirmation to him that the Lord approved of her, in so much that He requested she be one to accompany him on that miraculous night.  That in and of itself is a testimony to me that she was a choice daughter of God and one that he had prepared to be a support for Joseph as he completed the monumental tasks that lie ahead. Emma was of great importance. That one tiny fact has been a blessing to me and has strengthened my feelings about my own role as a Latter Day Saint woman.
Another story that strengthened my testimony was that of the first missionaries to Great Britain and how when they were first there, they were attacked, surrounded, and basically held hostage by evil spirits for an hour and half as they prayed and called upon the Lord to release them. When Heber C. Kimball told Joseph Smith about it a year later he rejoiced and declared "I then knew that the work of God had taken root in the land. It was this that caused the devil to make a struggle to kill you." In my own gospel studies, I am learning that every time the Lords work is about to move forward, Satan goes bazerk trying to stop it.. This has been a confirmation to me that I am part of a great work and that my own personal experiences have not been made up in my head!  I too have found that as I draw nearer to the Savior, countless attempts have been made to stop me. When we are doing something that we know is good and we experience opposition, it can only mean one thing...we have to keep moving forward!
So many other stories and facts written in this book have touched upon my heart and written the truth of the matters spoken of upon my soul. Learning about these things and how they came about have been a testimony to me that God is in the details! He knows what is coming and how to best prepare us so that we can withstand the attacks from the adversary that comes along with the changing trends of the world.  Events like the first sister missionaries, the beginnings of primary, the introduction of Family Home Evening, Seminary, the vision of The Redemption of the Dead, temples being built outside of the U.S.,  the idea of the mobile temple ship (which I think is a great idea), the announcement of every young man a missionary, the equal rights amendment, the family: a proclamation to the world, the expansion of temples, the Living Christ, and lowering the age of missionaries (which affected my oldest son who is serving now) have all opened my eyes to just how very aware the Lord is of us. He knows what hardships we are experiencing and what we will experience and He has not left us alone. 
 
He always prepares a way for His work to go forward and sets things in motion that will help us keep our faith and covenants as the world continues to spiral downward.

I have so much more to say about this book, but I'll let you read it for yourself. You will love it!