Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's Better to Look Up

Oops, school started; that explains my long absence from the blogging world. I don't know how to embed this video, but it's so good! Carl B. Cook speaks briefly about how it's better to focus on the hopeful, positive things in our lives. Enjoy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Another YouTube video I'd like to loop all day

Don't let the Amish-looking beard/name fool you, he's got mad skills!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

This is kind of nerdy but.....

The other day I was thinking about  how awesome it is that we have a prophet on the earth today who receives revelation from God for the whole world. God loves us just as much as the people in the scriptures who had prophets to guide them, so He's provided a way for us to know His will for us in this day and age too. Then I thought about how sad it is that so many people don't know that.

And then I remembered an I SYS class I took two years ago and....... I made a flowchart. Haha.

But it makes it easy to understand how reading the Book of Mormon can help anyone know if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is really Christ's church (and therefore they could know that the current propeht, Thomas S. Monson, is God's spokesperson on the earth today).

Behold my nerdyness...


(You'll have to click to make it bigger. Sorry, flowcharts are the limit of my computer savvy-ness)

So there you have it. A logical process to help you resolve any doubts you have about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In the end, all you have to do is read the Book of Mormon and ask God if it's true. :) 

For a brief intro about the Book of Mormon, watch this neat video, or just request a free copy.

To learn more about Joseph Smith and the restoration of the true church of Jesus Christ, watch this one:

Or visit this link to read about it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

I don't want summer to end!

 Can I just say that I love my roommates? Seriously, they are all so great. I moved into this apartment at the end of April without knowing any of them and it's been awesome.

Liz and I at the beginning of spring term
Sara and Allison at the beginning of spring term

Even though we've all been in and out this summer for trips and work and school, I feel like we've become close. I have learned so much from each of my roommates; I admire them, I have fun with them, and I love them. :) 

Sara and I :)
The other night Sara and I were talking about how neither of us really should have been here the way things were working out (she had a contract somewhere else I was about to sign for another apartment in the same complex) but somehow we still all ended up here together. 

Ok, not somehow, by divine guidance!

I know that might sound weird, but I've learned and experienced things here that I know I wouldn't have been able to somewhere else. So even though I was about to sign for that other apartment without even looking at it, I decided last minute to stop by and see it. After I did I just didn't feel quite right about it. A few days later I came back to see if there were openings in another complex close by and as I was walking past Paige's boyfriend came outside and said "Hey, are you looking for a spring/summer apartment?! My girlfriend is trying to sell her contract!" 

So I came in, looked around for 30 seconds, felt great, and decided to buy it. That's how I ended up here--because it felt good, even though it was more expensive and looked exactly the same as the other apartment I was going to sign for.

So yeah, maybe it seems weird for me to think that God would care enough about my life to guide me in something so seemingly insignificant, but I really think He did. Isn't it awesome that He loves us enough to even notice or take part in that process?!

Although He doesn't and won't always take part in a decision like that (because that wouldn't really help us to learn how to make smart decisions on our own), I think when it's important He steps in and shines the light in the right direction. This must have been one of those important times then, and I'm so grateful :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My cousin James is coming home!

My cuzzie comes home from his mishmish in Kennewick Washington this week!! We were in the MTC together for a bit so I got to see him a few times and now he's all growed up and comin' home. *sniff sniff* I'm so proud of him for being the first missionary in his family and for how much he's grown, so Ima share an excerpt from his last email so you can be proud too:

"I'm going to miss the people here.  It took me two years, but now I
really feel a close connection with them all. -- even the ones I
haven't met yet.  These are my people.  There are people here the Lord sent me to find.  I will miss them, but I know that the work of the Lord will go forward here.  It's the work of the Lord -- He always keeps his promises.

...There is a huge contrast from my pre-mission and (almost)post-mission self.  I actually have a relationship with God now.  And it feels great.  I trust in Him.  It reminds me of those verses in the Book of Mormon when it teaches that we will know His voice because Christ is our Shepherd.  That is how I feel right now.  I have learned what His voice sounds like, so now I can recognize when he calls to me.  I have seen His face.

I know that Jesus is my Savior.  I have an understanding of the Fall, 
and my sins, which teaches me the necessity of Christ.  I need Him. And I know that He receives my soul as I live the doctrine of Christ. I love Christ, and I will continue to be a disciple of Christ the remainder of my life.

I love you all and look forward to all the tears and hugs and smiles.
See you shortly.  Life is good.

Elder Collier

Isn't he great!? Yeah, das my family. :) 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Sometimes I feel like I'm on the cusp of greatness, like something huge is just around the corner or something great is about to happen but I can't quite grasp it yet. And then other times I just feel like I'm plodding along in the lone and dreary world, not really making progress.*  I think that happens when Satan gets me to look down and back instead of up and forward. Lot's wife (who got turned into a pillar of salt) had the same problem:

Just what did Lot’s wife do that was so wrong? As a student of history, I have thought about that and offer a partial answer. Apparently, what was wrong with Lot’s wife was that she wasn’t just looking back; in her heart she wanted to go back. It would appear that even before she was past the city limits, she was already missing what Sodom and Gomorrah had offered her...It is possible that Lot’s wife looked back with resentment toward the Lord for what He was asking her to leave behind...So it isn’t just that she looked back; she looked back longingly. In short, her attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future.

Josh Moody spoke in church this Sunday and he made an awesome analogy relating the plan of salvation to canyoneering.  He talked about how when we come to earth it's like being in the bottom of a slot canyon, like this one:

It's muddy, dim, and not very comfortable, but we can still see a little piece of the sky through the crack at the top. 

We can't see it all, but we catch glimpses of the sun, moon and stars as the earth turns. We know that's where God is and that's where we want to be too. So we start to climb even though it's hard and it takes effort and other people laugh and have fun together in the mud at the bottom. 

The covenants we make with God through baptism and the temple are like the rope, harness,  caribiners , and SLCDs to keep us safe as we climb through life. Sometimes we get to a ledge and decide to rest, and it feels so nice that we stop climbing. We feel good because we can look down and see how far we've come and we think "Well at least I'm not down there playing in the mud." We stop progressing. We stop moving up because Satan got us to look down and back (like Lot's wife) when God wants us to look up and forward.

...look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives...So a more theological way to talk about Lot’s wife is to say that she did not have faith. She doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she already had. Apparently, she thought that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as what she was leaving behind.

I think that's what happens to me on the plodding days. But when I really think about it I realize that all God has been trying to do for the last few years is raise my vision--raise my vision of who I am, of who I can become, of what I can do, and of what kind of person I can be with. That's what He's been doing since I moved out to BYU. Only up from here, right?

God doesn’t care nearly as much about where you have been as He does about where you are and, with His help, where you are willing to go...Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the “high priest of good things to come” (Hebrews 9:11).

 Elder Holland "Remember Lot's Wife" Jan 2009 (the best BYU devotional I've ever been to)


*Sometimes in our repentance, in our daily efforts to become more Christlike, we find ourselves repeatedly struggling with the same difficulties. As if we were climbing a tree-covered mountain, at times we don’t see our progress until we get closer to the top and look back from the high ridges.

-Neal L. Anderson "Repent...That I May Heal You" General Conference Oct 2009

Sometimes we need to stop and look back from that ledge to get perspective. We just can't stay there.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Steps in the dark

Remember how I used to always say that I can do big things? How I wanted to grow and be stretched? I might be second-guessing that now....ok not really, but it's harder than I anticipated.

"You wanted this, remember? You wanted to be stretched."
"Yeah but not like this," my inside voice always says. Spiritual growing pains again.

Can I just share some beautiful words with you? They're not mine, they're from my eloquent Southern friend Lyndsi Shae, but I love them and they help me find clarity. She's on a mission in California right now but I don't think she'd mind.

"When I grow older, I promise to never have a job in accounting.

(No offense accountakids, I think ya’ll make great dads. Not because of the hours or the nature of your work, but because every time I meet a dad who is also an accountant, he is honorable, kinda goofy, and gentle.)

Regardless, I promise to never join you in the field of numbers and money.



I am disenchanted with my own predictions—a loss of faith in all things once hopefully deemed Obvious. Natural. Coming Soon.”

I am by no means obliterated, only silent for a while—telling myself to relinquish control. And then, relinquish the idea that I have any knowledge of what is to come.

“But I am not that girl!” I say to myself.

“I am not the girl with the 5 year plan who refuses to deviate. I’ve always been okay not knowing the answers.”

“Oh please. You’re NOT the girl with the 5 year plan and the permanent mascara, but you ARE the girl who is thrown by all these twisting outcomes at once. It’s okay that you’re that girl, but you have to change your perspective now: You make choices. God makes outcomes.”

He is the only relationship I can predict as Obvious. Natural. Coming Soon.

As my stories with these people take exits I could not see from the driver’s seat—I realize that I am not wholly driving this thing—that the map I’ve got across the dashboard is drawn by my own narrow predictions.

“That’s a nice map you’ve worked on,” God says to me.

“But in the past I’ve always navigated by my own omniscient vision, and I think we should stick with that.”

I tell him it’s okay, and slip out of his seat. I think I was cramping him a little bit.

See how he talks to me like he’s just my Dad?

The truth is: I am thankful, even desperate to believe in something beyond my human limitations—even if I have no idea where He’s going with all of this.

“Fine. But do I have to be an accountant?” I ask.

I think he said no, but he probably just laughed."

Isn't she great? You should read the whole post.

So yeah, that's pretty much the story of my life lately. Yesterday I went to the Draper temple with the lovely Allison Lew and it was soooo nice. In the celestial room the only thought that kept coming to me was,
"You're taking steps in the dark right now, but soon enough the Lord will light up your way."

"Just trust me," He said. Again. You'd think it'd be easier to do since He has repeatedly proven that His map is way better than mine, but I still struggle sometimes. I don't know how all of this is going to end, but I know it's going to be ok when it does.

No, more than ok. It's going to be so much better than everything I had planned.