Friday, August 29, 2008

Book of Mormon Challenge

This summer, our Relief Society decided to issue a 90-Day Book of Mormon Challenge. I just finished and thought I would write a few of my feelings (this is pretty personal stuff here).

I have read the Book of Mormon several times in my life and always believed in it. This time was different, however. For the first time in my life I can say that I am truly converted to it. I don't know what was so different this time, but I am so grateful that I stuck with it (even though I was about 40 pages behind most days!). Here are several things that stood out to me:

  • The importance of my baptism. I think we take this for granted when we are baptized at 8, and think of it only as a "first step". It is so much than that. It is the "salvation step" and the true message of the entire book.

  • The importance of conversion and missionary work. Every time someone was truly converted, they manifested it in missionary work. The LDS church is truly a church of conversion.

  • The gathering of Israel. Christ will redeem his people. The work will go forth and the good guys will win, end of story. The only question is will we remain faithful and obedient to God. Thank you 2Nephi. Though I still dread the Isaiah chapters, you were a revelation to me this time.

  • The words of the Savior. I should read 3Nephi every day of my life! Repentance, love, charity, goodness, virtue. How simple is his message. I also love the passage where the Savior prays for the people 3Nephi 17:20 "Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full."

  • My Temple covenants. Thanks to Alma 12 I will never look at a temple session the same way.

  • The words of Mormon and Moroni. Warrior poets.

  • Revenge is no good. A very timely message for me and my family. Just look at the Jaredites.

  • The Atonement. An always timely message. Moroni 7:28-"For He hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in Him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore He advocateth the cause of the children of men; and He dwelleth eternally in the Heavens." Everything in the Book of Mormon points to Christ and his Atonement.

  • Importance of freedom in the promised land. If our cause is righteous, and if we are willing to fight for it and remember the captivity of our fathers, God will grant us to live in freedom.

  • This life is a probationary state and we will be judged by our works. We can get caught up in everything else but that is the simple fact and purpose of this life. Mormon 9:28 "Be wise in the days of your probabtion. Strip yourselves of all uncleanness."

I have truly feasted on the Book of Mormon this summer and am so glad for the Holy Ghost that witnesses the truth of it to me. When I read it, everything is better. I am the best version of myself. I am so grateful for Joseph Smith, and I truly believe he was a prophet of God. I am grateful for my Savior who redeems me daily. Ether 12:41 "And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written...that the grace of God may be and abide in you forever."

Any of you interested in taking this challenge can find it at :

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Revisiting the "Wonder Years"

So there I was blogging and stumbled upon some friends blogs from my home town of Moreno Valley. If I didn't feel all grown up before, seeing the girls I remember with husbands and three kids, just about made me grab some tapioca and call it a night at 7:30.

Do you ever have a most random dream about someone from High School that you never even remembered existed before they showed up in your REM cycle?

It's a reminder to me that they are still there. The whole dang breakfast club that you loved, despised, envied, avoided, admired, pined after, are all still there in your psyche and on your blog.

I have always said that I am glad that I moved away from Mo Val, never having to have an awkward conversation with someone from HS whose name I can't remember, asking me if I still love the Beatles and keep in contact with Traci (yes and heck yes).

But I admit that I actually clapped my hands with joy when I found Janea, who led me to Melissa and Ben. Those fellow freaks and geeks who didn't know me from work or a play date (sorry pete), they knew me when I was the McLaughlin girl with big hair who made up funny songs on the guitar and ruled girls camp with my Three-pac skits (get it? Like Tupac? Whatever, it was hilarious at the time).

Strange when the girl you were collides with who you are now. It makes me realize that when I left the old RC, I packed way too light. I took Traci and left everyone else. Lori Pitts, Graham Marsh, Julie Kaio, Ramon Trujillo, Edward Aquilo, Enrique whats-his-face, Meghann Pricer, Leann Purity, Alexis Blackstone... the list goes on. Awesome people who made high school bearable and to whom I owe gratitude.

Who knows? Maybe I show up in their dreams.