Archives for category: Life as a Mormon

A few weeks ago my Bishop told us a story of his wife giving money to a panhandler. The people she was with all asked her why she did it. She said, “It was just a dollar.”

The rest of the talk was about always following through with the promptings we are given. We don’t always need to give the panhandler money but if we feel like we should, if we have a prompting to do so, we need to do it.

My Bishop’s thoughts have stayed with me because there are actually a surprising amount of homeless people in Provo. Over a year ago, I went to Smith’s late at night and there was a man who looked homeless, buying some soda and chips with some change. I had the strongest feeling I should offer to buy his food but I chickened out. I was alone and I didn’t know if I should intervene without someone else there with me. I will never forget that feeling I had, though, a feeling I didn’t act on.

Last night, after T.J. and I got some frozen yogurt, I saw a homeless man going through the trash looking for food. It was freezing outside. I couldn’t imagine not having a place to stay or having warm food to eat. I had another strong feeling that I should go buy him some food. I convinced T.J. and so we went to the nearest fast food place in the shopping center.

It was closed. I didn’t know what to do, the man was walking away, the other fast food places were across town. So we just went home.

I’m still thinking about it today.

We need to be more Christ-like and serve those when we have the opportunity to do so. It may not make a much of a difference to us, but it can answer a prayer for someone else. Follow those promptings. The feeling of regret is horrible.

 

Yesterday, I couldn’t work on my projects any longer and so I quit everything and went to the temple with T.J.

We decided to do sealings. There was just a small group of us in the sealing room. The sealer was so talkative, it was pretty entertaining. All of the names were names he had done and so with each couple, he would tell us their story, which was really interesting. As I waited while other couples performed the work, I stared across the room into the everlasting mirrors, which are symbolic of us being linked  to all of those who have come before us and all of those who come after us.

With each sequential mirror, I went back through my family in my head. Me. My mom. Penny, my Grandmother. My Great-Grandmother… What was her name, again? Was it Pearl? Was it Bessy? Was it Moo?” I couldn’t believe it. There were thousands of mirrors in that reflection. And when I related them to my family tree, I could only go back to my grandmother by name?

Lately at church, the theme has been genealogy and temple work. Last week our Bishop asked us, “What if you went to the temple and there were no names for you to perform the work for?” He went on to tell us that they are starting to run out of names for the women, and that we must start finding our own names.

From my Bishop’s question and my experience at the temple last night, I’ve decided it really is time to start working on my family history. It is embarrassing that I cannot even give the name of my great-grandparents.

There is a lot of work to be done. And if your families work is finished, then help me with my family’s. I like the commercial for ancestry.com that say, “You don’t have to know what you’re looking for, you just have to start looking.”

The blessings that come from the temple are incredible. Not only for those whom the work is being performed for, but also for us and our families. It allows us to be with our families forever and it brings peace into lives, a peace you cannot find anywhere else. For those few hours in the sealing and celestial rooms, I was able to leave everything outside the temple and put my life in an eternal perspective. Christ needs to be the center of our lives. When when we put him first and have faith, everything will fall into place and our families will be eternally blessed.

If you would like to learn more about temple work, visit Mormon.org and watch this video.

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Last weekend T.J. and I were going to buy our tickets to Cincinnati for Christmas break. T.J. has to leave before New Years so he can get back to work and we decided I would stay until the 3rd of January since I don’t get to go home very often. Well, T.J.’s ticket was rounding out to be about $500. That is ridiculous. No student has that type of money to spend. That’s like 2 car payments, or ten phone payments, or 3 months of groceries. Way too much.

We didn’t want to have to buy the ticket right then but we also knew it was quite a risk not to buy T.J.’s ticket because the price could keep increasing or we might not be able to be on the same flights for Christmas (which isn’t a huge deal, but it would be nice). So anyway, we felt really strongly that we should just wait to buy his ticket and pray that by our next paycheck we could afford to buy his ticket and that the price wouldn’t increase too much.

One day later after buying my ticket, we got a message from T.J.’s parents saying that they would like to get T.J.’s ticket with his dad’s sky miles (he racks up a lot each week because of his work). I was amazed. First of all, I am so grateful for in-laws who are willing to do that for us, especially when the tickets mean we won’t be spending the holidays with them. Also, we didn’t have to stress out about the situation at all because our answer to our prayers came SO fast. And three, what a blessing it is that we listened to the prompting to wait to buy T.J.’s ticket.

T.J.’s dad got the ticket for us last night, completely free.

Incredible.

Thanks so much, Kelly and Mark! You have no idea how grateful we are for you all!

Last year I was a mentor for a sixth grader in Provo. The program director pulled me aside the first day and told me a little bit about her story and how she felt like I should be with her because I had been in the program for a while. Anyway, the girl  came from a really broken home and was constantly getting into trouble. The only thing was, I couldn’t ever believe it because she was the sweetest girl when we spent time together each week. We had fun together and really got to be friends. But then I’d hear from her teachers that she had been in a fist fight or had skipped school. Well, the purpose of the program was just to keep the kid in school and to see what an education can do for you life. So I just tried to be an example for her and show her cool things about being in school.

The semester ended and I couldn’t mentor anymore, so we parted our ways and that was that.

Well, about a month ago I decided to grab some ingredients at Fresh Market late at night because I was having a craving for some italian sausage (weird) and I ran into the girl at the store. She was with two friends and were walking home with lots of groceries at about 11 pm. I said hi and we caught up for a minute. She told me she now does an online-schooling program because she was getting into so much trouble at school. That killed me. I told her to be good and then I left.

When I was in the car I had a really strong prompting to give her a ride home. But I didn’t think it was a good idea because her parents might not be okay with it or something might happen and I could be held accountable. I don’t know, my mind gave me a million reasons not to do it, but I had one reason why I should. I just felt like I needed to.

So I offered her and her friends a ride, they accepted, and when I dropped them off, I gave her my number and told her if she ever needed anything, give me a call.

I hadn’t heard from her. I figured she didn’t keep my number because she’s a middle schooler and probably couldn’t care less about her old mentor.

But last night, I got a call from her. She asked if I could take her to see her mom in the hospital. T.J. and I were watching a scary movie, so it kind of put us in a creepy mood and we weren’t sure if was the best idea, but we said a quick prayer and decided to at least go talk to the girl and hope that the Spirit would let us know somehow.

It seemed like a big inconvenience at the time because we couldn’t find her house. I almost gave up. But we finally found it and got out to talk to her.

Her mom had a stroke the night before and she had just found out. She has no one. Her parents are divorced, I’m not quite sure who she lives with, but her dad wouldn’t take her to see her mom, she’s not a member of the church so she couldn’t just call the Bishop or her Young Women’s leader. For her to call me in this critical time showed me that she literally has no one. She doesn’t have any support at home. She was scared about her mom and wasn’t sure if she was going to make it. It was horrible.

T.J. and I immediately felt that we needed to take her to the hospital because of the seriousness of the situation. I brought her inside the hospital because she looks like a rough kid with lots of piercings and messy clothing (which isn’t that common in Provo). The receptionist told us where it was and so I took her upstairs, through the hospital, and into her mom’s room.

Her mom was awake but was pretty out of it because she was on so much medicine. I introduced myself and then told the girl to meet me in a half an hour in the lobby.

When I picked her back up, she told me her mom would be fine and was getting released today. I asked when she would see her mom next, she didn’t know because she didn’t have anyone who would take her to the other side of town. I asked about her siblings. Her oldest brother doesn’t have anything to do with them and another one of her siblings passed away. So it wasn’t like she even had siblings who could help her out.

The situation was unbelievable to me. She cried as she told me a few stories of when her mom had been sick in the past. Once she found her mom unconsious in the bedroom and she had to call 911 for help. She watched as they took her away, unsure of what would happen. This little girl has gone through so much. No wonder she has so many problems.

There are so many things that make all of this interesting to me. 1-I was originally placed with this girl more than a year ago and the director told me she felt like we should be paired up. 2- I went to the grocery store late and ran into her. 3- I felt like I should give her a ride even though I didn’t think it was a good idea, but I still went through with it. 4- I gave her my number. 6-She literally has no one else in her life who is looking out for her right now, so she had to call me.

I am forever grateful for my life. I was born in a wonderful family with structure and order. Christ was the center of our home and family. I always had people to look up to or to talk to–parents, Bishops, teachers, leaders at church. I was blessed with motivation to be a good student and I learned how to work hard. I also am grateful for the church and the organization it provides. If she was a member of the church, her Bishop would have gotten involved, she could have had a blessing to ease her fears about her sick mother, and she would have had Young Women leaders to take her to visit her mom. The church provides so much comfort, not just through personal revelation but also through the service of the congregation.

I do believe if people aren’t born in such great circumstances, that they can overcome their environment. But I know it takes an extreme amount of personal dedication and direction from outside sources. I know that I am one of those outside sources who is giving this girl a little direction, or at least some hope for her life. Even if our story ends after today when I take her to see her mom again, I know that I was a part of a plan to help this girl in extreme need of love and care. Please say a prayer for her.

I am studying for a Doctrine and Covenants test right now. I keep reading sections that were revelations for Sidney Rigdon.

I remember two years back in my Church History class I studied a lot about Sidney and my heart really went out to him for some reason. I loved hearing stories about him and how he was always right there with Joseph Smith.

Then one evening as I was reading a lesson for my class, I found out that he eventually was excommunicated. I actually cried. I really couldn’t believe it.

How could someone who was so spiritual at one time and so close to the Lord fall away? Sidney witnessed incredible things but still was able to leave the church.

What a witness it is to me that we must always be close to the Spirit and not let pride enter our lives. If Sidney could fall away, so could we. But, if we have great faith in the Lord and have a strong testimony based upon the doctrine and principles of the gospel, we will not falter. We must always turn to our Heavenly Father when we struggle or have doubts. He will lead us in the right direction and strengthen us spiritually.


Four years ago, I was a Senior in high school and I came out for a college visit. Fortunately it was the weekend of conference.

Three years ago, I went to conference with Sam again and few other friends of ours.

Two years ago, I attended conference with two of my friends in my ward. That was the year Amanda and I made mass amounts of chili for our friends. No one showed up, so we ate chili for weeks.

One year ago, I was dating T.J. and went to conference with the question in mind, “Should I go on a mission or should I marry T.J.” I got an answer.

On Facebook, I complained about how many girls are wearing short skirts and shorts on campus. I thought I might as well write a post about it too because it really irritated me.

Okay, here are my feelings. I don’t care how you dress off campus. We all measure our own standards and can decide what is appropriate based off what our Prophet and other leaders have told us. That is for you to figure out and draw your line.

But when you are on campus, it is a complete different story. You sign the honor code each year, you tell your Bishop you abide by the following standards:

“Dress and Grooming Standards

The dress and grooming of both men and women should always be modest, neat, and clean, consistent with the dignity adherent to representing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and any of its institutions of higher education.

Modesty and cleanliness are important values that reflect personal dignity and integrity, through which students, staff, and faculty represent the principles and standards of the Church. Members of the BYU community commit themselves to observe the following standards, which reflect the direction of the Board of Trustees and the Church publication For the Strength of Youth. The Dress and Grooming Standards are as follows:

Men

A clean and well-cared-for appearance should be maintained. Clothing is inappropriate when it is sleeveless, revealing, or form fitting. Shorts must be knee-length or longer. Hairstyles should be clean and neat, avoiding extreme styles or colors, and trimmed above the collar, leaving the ear uncovered. Sideburns should not extend below the earlobe or onto the cheek. If worn, moustaches should be neatly trimmed and may not extend beyond or below the corners of the mouth. Men are expected to be clean-shaven; beards are not acceptable. Earrings and other body piercing are not acceptable. Shoes should be worn in all public campus areas.

Women

A clean and well-cared-for appearance should be maintained. Clothing is inappropriate when it is sleeveless, strapless, backless, or revealing; has slits above the knee; or is form fitting. Dresses, skirts, and shorts must be knee-length or longer. Hairstyles should be clean and neat, avoiding extremes in styles or colors. Excessive ear piercing (more than one per ear) and all other body piercing are not acceptable. Shoes should be worn in all public campus areas.”

I came to BYU for a reason. I was sick of being in an environment where values were diminished and standards were corrupted. I also appreciate the fact that BYU looks so clean and professional. When visitors come to campus, that is one of the first things they notice. It makes a huge difference when we are dressed modestly and nicely.

I do not want to see you dressed like that. I especially don’t want my husband to see you dressed like that. You don’t look “cool”. We all just wonder what you’re thinking when you chose your outfit.

Professors and employees need to start talking to the students when they are violating the honor code. But the responsibility doesn’t just rest upon them. If your friends or roommates are about to leave the house like that, tell them what you think! It will make a difference!

And that is the end of my ranting. Sorry.