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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Big Brother Finally Taught Me Something

At the end of a long day
when my life feels murky,
and I can't really see what's ahead
I sometimes slip, and embrace despair.

When I feel hopeless and helpless
and sometimes unloved or unwanted,
well there's a word that I try to imagine in my mind.
It's a tiny word, with so much meaning.


The wise Neal A Maxwell wrote,

"Significantly, those who look forward
 to a next and better world
 are usually “anxiously engaged”
 in improving this one,
 for they “always abound in good works". 

Thus, real hope is much more than wishful musing.
 It stiffens, not slackens, the spiritual spine. 
It is composed, 
not giddy,
 eager without being naive,
 and pleasantly steady without being smug.

 Hope is realistic anticipation taking the form of determination—a determination not merely to survive but to “endure … well” to the end." -Neil A Maxwell "Brightness of Hope"

There's a man 
that I know who is the epitome
of Hope. 
In fact, he wrote the following words and sent them to me.
They're filled with the "steady", "composed" hope
that Neil A. Maxwell described,

"In this the darkest hour of her life, 
when her hopes and dreams had burnt to the ground,
 a fiery Phoenix rose from the ashes. 
The phoenix was not hope
 but that is what others saw,
 it was not charity,
 but that is what other people saw, 
it was not joy but that's what others saw,
 she was not our savior 
but that is what other people saw."

I wept when I read this
because in our darkest hours,
we can still be hope to someone,
we can still be charity, we can still save 
and we can still have Joy.

The thing that we have to remember
is that we get to decide on these feelings.

When I awake in the morning,
wishing I could skip ahead
to calmer water,
I say to myself,

I will.
"Embrace this day with an enthusiastic matter how it looks."

Because that. Is Hope.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Being Mormon: It's My Choice

I would like to be one of those people
who just knows,
Believing in Christ is actually
a choice for me.

Some do know that He exists.
I've read accounts of people who have seen His eyes
or touched the prints of His hands.

And, obviously
That's just not my story.

I was blessed enough to be born
into a family that did introduce me
to the Savior.

And over the past couple of years
as I've lived and learned
I've come to really, truly, 

The number ONE reason 
that I believe in Christ though,
is not really "proof" at all to some.
It's not tangible, I did not see Christ, I haven't 
even heard his voice,
or felt his touch on my arm.


I believe in following a feeling.

I know how I feel
when I am choosing as 
I believe Christ would have chosen.
 That's enough for me to say I believe.

When I'm kind, and patient,
Loving and helpful, 
thoughtful, faithful, full of hope.
That's when I'm happy,
and I believe that Christ is my perfect example.

The number TWO reason, is similar.

Through my use of the 
Atonement of Christ,
I FEEL as if my guilt has
been washed away,
and that the wrong that I
have done is wiped clean.

With that being said.

It's not difficult to be "Mormon"
because I don't get to drink coffee, 
sleep around, watch rated R movies or 
go to Applebee's on Sunday.

It's difficult because each day I have
to choose to believe
in Christ because of a feeling that I have.

And sometimes I'm sure that 
it would be easier for me to not believe.
It might be easier, and possibly
make more sense if
I only believed in what "my retina fell upon".

But for me, 
believing is worth it
because I am happy when I'm 
leading a faith-filled life.

Disclaimer: I am not saying that people
who don't believe in Christ are not patient
kind, loving, etc.

I'm only saying this.

Choosing to following the example of Christ
has invited more true happiness
into my life than any other person,
or object.

And I love being Happy. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Start Here

When I'm trying to 
improve, become better,
I don't know where to start.

I feel overwhelmed with what's
 in front of me. Bleh.

I think the best advice 
 that I've ever been given  
on what to do with 
this dilemma
is ...

"Start where you are."

You're thinking,"well that sure sounds simple.
Where else could I possibly start ?"
And maybe it's just a problem for me.

But for some reason,
I've always thought that 
I had to be better
before I could really
start becoming better.

Or that I needed to be 
perfect before I could repent.
But it's just not true.
We do not have to be better
to start becoming better.

We get to start where we are.
As Elder Holland said,

"The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge
 is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate
 toward the faith you do have
 and the truth you already know."

In other words,
it doesn't matter how lacking we are,
what's important is whether
or not we are true to what we do possess.

So. What if we're not true to the faith
we do have. 
Sounds like a big problem?
Well let me tell you something that I know.

We're allowed do-overs.
We're allowed to make mistakes,
we're allowed to not live up to our potential.
As long as we realize
 that no matter where we end up after those mistakes
we're going to have to start where we are.

There we have it.
I don't know why this gives
me so much comfort,
but the fact that
I can always start in the 
very exact place that I am, 
well that just gives me hope.

Worry not everyone. WE DON'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT!
We just have to keep on trying, from this very spot.