Monday, May 20, 2013

If We Could See

If you could look inside a persons heart and mind what do you think you would see? We all have trials and things we are struggling with. There are times when I walk down the street and I wonder what the person next to me is thinking about me. While I am out and about running errands, I like to look at the person who seems to be having a hard day and think, what is it that has made their day so bad? They could have just lost a loved one, lost a job, broken a bone or failed a test.
 I'm not perfect, no one is, but each day I try my best to look at everyone in such a way that they feel loved.  It's not fair of us to judge someone, because they are having a bad day, if they are famous and stuck up or just cut you off in traffic.  I ran into a woman this morning who looked tired and ready to go home already and it was only 8:30 in the morning.  What could be going on in her life that makes her so tired of the daily grime?

President Gordon B. Hinckley told of a story of a handcart company in 1856 that I want to share with you. He words what I am thinking perfectly!

I take you back to the general conference of October 1856. On Saturday of that conference Franklin D. Richards and a handful of associates arrived in the valley. They had traveled from Winter Quarters with strong teams and light wagons and had been able to make good time. Brother Richards immediately sought out President Young. He reported that there were hundreds of men, women, and children scattered over the long trail from Scottsbluff to this valley. Most of them were pulling handcarts. They were accompanied by two wagon trains which had been assigned to assist them. They had reached the area of the last crossing of the North Platte River. Ahead of them lay a trail that was uphill all the way to the Continental Divide with many, many miles beyond that. They were in desperate trouble. Winter had come early. Snow-laden winds were howling across the highlands of what is now western Nebraska and Wyoming. Our people were hungry, their carts and their wagons were breaking down, their oxen dying. The people themselves were dying. All of them would perish unless they were rescued.
I think President Young did not sleep that night. I think visions of those destitute, freezing, dying people paraded through his mind.
The next morning he came to the old Tabernacle which stood on this square. He said to the people:
“I will now give this people the subject and the text for the Elders who may speak. … It is this. … Many of our brethren and sisters are on the plains with handcarts, and probably many are now seven hundred miles from this place, and they must be brought here, we must send assistance to them. The text will be, ‘to get them here.’
That is my religion; that is the dictation of the Holy Ghost that I possess. It is to save the people.
“I shall call upon the Bishops this day. I shall not wait until tomorrow, nor until the next day, for 60 good mule teams and 12 or 15 wagons. I do not want to send oxen. I want good horses and mules. They are in this Territory, and we must have them. Also 12 tons of flour and 40 good teamsters, besides those that drive the teams.
“I will tell you all that your faith, religion, and profession of religion, will never save one soul of you in the Celestial Kingdom of our God, unless you carry out just such principles as I am now teaching you. Go and bring in those people now on the plains” (in LeRoy R. Hafen and Ann W. Hafen,Handcarts to Zion [1960], 120–21).
That afternoon food, bedding, and clothing in great quantities were assembled by the women.
The next morning, horses were shod and wagons were repaired and loaded.
The following morning, Tuesday, 16 mule teams pulled out and headed eastward. By the end of October there were 250 teams on the road to give relief.
Wonderful sermons have been preached from this pulpit, my brethren and sisters. But none has been more eloquent than that spoken by President Young in those circumstances.
Stories of the beleaguered Saints and of their suffering and death will be repeated again and again next year. Stories of their rescue need to be repeated again and again. They speak of the very essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I am grateful that those days of pioneering are behind us. I am thankful that we do not have brethren and sisters stranded in the snow, freezing and dying, while trying to get to this, their Zion in the mountains. But there are people, not a few, whose circumstances are desperate and who cry out for help and relief.
There are so many who are hungry and destitute across this world who need help. I am grateful to be able to say that we are assisting many who are not of our faith but whose needs are serious and whom we have the resources to help. But we need not go so far afield. We have some of our own who cry out in pain and suffering and loneliness and fear. Ours is a great and solemn duty to reach out and help them, to lift them, to feed them if they are hungry, to nurture their spirits if they thirst for truth and righteousness.
There are so many young people who wander aimlessly and walk the tragic trail of drugs, gangs, immorality, and the whole brood of ills that accompany these things. There are widows who long for friendly voices and that spirit of anxious concern which speaks of love. There are those who were once warm in the faith, but whose faith has grown cold. Many of them wish to come back but do not know quite how to do it. They need friendly hands reaching out to them. With a little effort, many of them can be brought back to feast again at the table of the Lord.

Sometimes we just need to set our own ideas and thoughts about people aside and show a little compassion and love towards the person next to us. The next time you find yourself saying "Wow what was that person thinking?" and get upset, take a minute and stop to think "How can I make a difference in this person's life today?"

This video goes along with the thoughts I had today:

Friday, May 17, 2013


As I walk down the streets of downtown Salt Lake City, I see many homeless people on the streets. Many of whom stand on the same corner everyday and ask for money.  I realized that I have grown up with this idea that homeless people are ALL lazy, dirty, smelly people who don't try to make it in life by finding a job.  Once I noticed this, I decided I needed to fix this idea and put it into a different perspective.

 Society has taught us to hate and look down upon people who are different then us. But this is not what the Savior has taught us. He taught us to love one another despite our differences.  We are all unique and we all have trials we are facing. Who are we to judge a person by the way their life "seems" to be.  We have to look under the surface to really see the person they really are.

I am one who notices pretty much everything. I'm an observer and I know when a person is looking down on me. When I was pregnant, I would go shopping in the grocery store and noticed almost everyone looking at my tummy and never at my face. I became self conscience about wearing my wedding ring so that no one would assume I got pregnant out of wedlock. Every where I went I felt like I was being judged. As a pregnant woman you become very self conscious of what others are thinking of you and it just makes you feel worse about yourself.

President Dieter  F. Uchtdorf has said a phrase that has stuck everyday as I see and meet other people. He said : "Don't judge me because I sin differently than you do."
We tend to judge people immediately, whether it is a negative or a positive thought we judge them as we see them.  When I meet someone new or if someone cuts me off on the road or whatever, I try to look at the positive and give them the benefit of the doubt.

For these homeless people more often than not they are people who are struggling emotionally, mentally and physically.  One person may have a disability in which case their family didn't want to take care of them any more and they ended up on the street. In other cases they may have been abused as a teenager and struggling to find a way to learn principles that will help them make it through life.  You never know the circumstance of a person.  It is not our place to judge whether a person is lazy and just won't try in life or not.  Give them the benefit of the doubt. In deciding who to help and who to not I try to listen to the spirit.  If I feel the need to give some money to someone I do it, if not I leave it to fast offerings and tithing.

Yesterday I saw a homeless man with a sign that said "You are beautiful." That put a smile on my face and made me feel so good. Like this man, many homeless people are just looking for love and a friendly smile.   You never know the difference you can make. Share a smile or a friendly wave.  You will brighten someones me! :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

More Precious Than Rubies

In our world today we are bombarded everywhere we go with people, thoughts, words, Television, Music, etc. who think that all that is important is looks.  I have felt so overwhelmed with the things I see and hear from people about makeup, hair or whatever it is just to make themselves "more beautiful."
I went to California this last week and we went shopping in the outlet mall. The stores were far more expensive then I had ever seen before and I felt so out of place with my simple, non-fancy attire  As I was leaving one of the stores I turned and noticed that the woman right behind me stared me up and down with a look of disgust. In my head I wanted to say to this lady "I'm sorry I don't look like you, but I'm afraid I don't have the money to afford a one hundred dollar T-shirt."
This woman was an example of what each one of us tends to do at some point or another in our lives.  We judge a persons hair style, clothing style, eyes, make up or whatever. With this experience I shied away the rest of the trip from shopping so I wouldn't feel so self conscience of my body shape and style.

I tell myself almost everyday that I am not pretty enough or beautiful enough. But I have officially decided that I have had enough of this idea that I am not beautiful, because of the way I look on the outside.  When feeling that stare of someone behind me looking me up and down judging me for my body type or what I am wearing on the outside I begin to feel so small and insignificant. But then I remember that there is someone whose opinion of me is far more important then the rest of of the world. This person is my Father in Heaven. He loves me and knows me better then anyone and doesn't care so much about the way I look, but rather he cares far more about what I am learning and how I am growing.
 I have great potential and I try to remember that each day through all of my ups and downs. Who cares what others think of me because "I sin differently then they do." Who cares if my clothes don't match at least one day out of the week. Who cares about perfection of the body on the outside, all I need to care about is perfecting myself and becoming more like Christ on the inside. As Elder Holland has said:

"I plead with you young women to please be more accepting of yourselves, including your body shape and style, with a little less longing to look like someone else.  We are all different. Some are tall, and some are short. Some are round, and some are the Kingdom of God the real you is more precious than rubies."
-Jeffery R. Holland

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Billion Clicks

Have you ever had a day where you were so down on yourself and so negative about anything and everything that day?  I think we all have at one point or another.  We tend to look at ourselves so negatively and when we look at ourselves negatively we look at others negatively as well.  It gets so tiresome to be so negative all the time. Don't you want to be happier with yourself and others and just enjoy life? I know I do!
Hilary Weeks, has started a challenge for the month of May called a Billion Clicks.  This is where we count all the positive thoughts and actions we do or have each day with just one click. Your click could be by using a clicker, a notebook, your phone or whatever just as long as you are counting those positive thoughts everyday. Her story is amazing and I encourage you to take a look:

I believe in positive thinking! It brings joy and happiness rather than darkness.  I have been looking for some way to lighten my thoughts about myself and I think this is just the way to do that. I have gotten myself a clicker and I am on my way. It doesn't matter if you start at the beginning, middle or end of May I know it will make all the difference no matter when you start. I truly believe that taking the time to record your positive thoughts with just one click can make all the difference! It has changed my life so far and I know it will change yours!  So take a minute and start clicking! :)