Monday, December 28, 2009

A New Year

WELCOME 2010!

Happy New Year!

(If you can't tell what the picture above is... it is New York's Times Square ball bringing in the new year.)

This is NY in 2007... oh my...


"She is in a better place"

No, no one died.

My little sister spoke in church yesterday because she is leaving for the MTC (Missionary Training Center) this coming Wednesday. *tear* Yes, I am sad. She is going to be serving in the Russia Moscow Mission. I'm incredibly excited for her. She is an amazing person and is going to give the Russians a definite run for their money and show they what they are missing. i.e.: the real purpose of life. I'm grateful she gets to have this experience.

I had a couple friends over after church to help eat some of the food and we all started laughing when I said that despite me being sad for Kelsey's departure, she was going to a better place. Sounds like she is dying... but no.
I remember her writing me a few times on the mission... I will be a MUCH better writer than she was. I set up a blog to post her letters that she sends home.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Car flirting

So, there is most definitely an art to driving and flirting. But when they are combined, THAT, my friends, is fun.

Hair color

A friend at work told me I have red hair. She has tried every color out there on her own head, so I trust her. She told me I have the freckles too, so the fact is even more solidified. "It isn't blonde, it isn't brown, it is red."

I'm not sure my hair is "red" per say, but I would say it is more strawberry-blonde. Blonde with a hint of red. (Profound, I know.)

I am a strawberry-blonde head.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

VERTIG! FINISHED! FINI! закончена!

I am done. Done. My second to last semester, possibly the busiest semester of my college career, is done. The feeling is crazy - I have been going so hard this whole semester, and tonight, as I was walking home, I was thinking "What next?" What do I do now? What project do I have to work on?

Nothing. I do nothing. I read. I relax. I give myself time. I don't have to do nothing.

He he.

I made a visit to the library and checked out seven books and plan to read them all over the break. I'm thrilled.

I'm also thrilled to spend some concentrated time with my little sister. She is getting ready to go on her mission on December 30. I'm having a pretty hard time with it, but I know she is excited and I have a good and busy semester ahead of me... I'm looking forward to getting back to school as soon as she leaves so I can get my mind off of being alone. I hate the thought of not having my best friend. But, what can I do?

I don't argue with God.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Am the Captain of My Soul

I have to thank my friend Adam Dyal for posting this poem on his blog. Until I saw the movie Invictus tonight, did I fully appreciate the power of this poem, and what I can do with it in my own life. Powerful words. The last two lines are my favorite.

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


William Ernest Henley

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My favorite Christmas decorations

I officially decided today that the decoration that makes me happiest during the Christmas season is a wreath.

I'm particularly fond of the Bay leaf wreath. Classy.



Wreaths and garland totally make Christmas for me... but most of all, wreaths. 

"F.R.A.G.I.L.E - Must Be Italian"

For any of you who know from which movie this quotation comes, you truly know one thing that makes Christmas, Christmas.

I heard a rumor going around that Target sells leg lamps... do they ever.


If you remember the classic, "A Christmas Story," you'll remember the father getting his huge award box in the mail. It is stamped with the word: "FRAGILE." He reads it and assumes that it is from Italy. Wrong. It is a leg lamp.

Classic. Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Missing you

Over the past week or so, I have felt a void in my life. Want to know what I determined the void to be? Blogging.

I missed blogging. It has really become an outlet for me.

I have been unbelievably busy with class, presentation, final projects and exams, as it is almost the end of the semester. My second to last semester of college! Crazy.

I had a funny experience yesterday that definitely just added to the mound of things I'm trying to deal with right now. I snapped my ankle. I tripped on some stairs in the building where I work and have all my classes, and I went down. I heard a loud snap and I fell. I immediately felt all the blood rush from my face and I felt like I was going to throw up. A bunch of people rushed to help me and I just sat there trying to compose myself and understand what was going on... and handle the pain. Four paramedics and a police officer showed up in my behalf. They wrapped my ankle, which fortunately was not broken - only sprained. And then I went on my way to my group meetings.

Then I woke up this morning, pulled on a beautiful gray shirt that I was going to wear for a business presentation and as I was tucking it into my black skirt, I totally ripped the back of the shirt... right down the back. What the heck. It just hasn't been my week. However, it has been such an amazing week.

I guess there is opposition in all things, right?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

GO COUGARS!

My favorite "tweet" on Twitter regarding the game:

Deseret News Sunday headline:

Thousands of loyal Cougar

fans cleaning up

after the pants-crapping

of the century.


Play of the night: Andrew George... touchdown! Go COUGS! Awesome way to end my last year at BYU. So proud of my university. The U played an awesome game - they were competition and they kept it tight... BYU had some good strategy and we WON! SWEET VICTORY!

Cougar fans storming the field after the final touchdown:


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Picture to Portrait designs

I had fun this morning creating a few designs for Picture to Portrait's blog... she (Arian, the writer/artist for P2P) wanted a new look.

This is what I came up with:


 I like this one... but...


 
this one won... I love how this turned out.

I am still working on creating some buttons and working out a few kinks with the blog and website... but I think it looks pretty good. I am excited for her! She has some awesome opportunities coming up to advertise with some well-known blogs.

I just have to say... this is TOTALLY what I want to be doing. I want to be a PR person for all those Mommy-preneurs out there. They have such amazing ideas... I want to help them. That is what I tell people when they ask what I ultimately want to do with my degree. I want to help those Mommy-preneurs get their ideas out there... while they, and I, are being mothers.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What are YOU thankful for?

This video is absolutely phenomenal.
I didn't stop smiling through it. These are regular people in New York City. Everyone is grateful for something - even if it is something you are thankful for when it doesn't happen.

What are YOU thankful for?


Pandora limit?

Who knew you could reach a limit of listening time on Pandora? I didn't. But apparently you have 40 hours of free listening per month and I am almost to my limit.

Here are my options from Pandora:

1. Pay 99 cents.

2. Pay $36 to upgrade to Pandora One for unlimited monthly listening.

3. Pay Nothing. If neither of the above options is right for you, simply come back in December to start listening to your stations again.

The Pandora Team

Pssh. I love you Pandora, but I think I can come back at the beginning of the month and keep listening.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

KiK Worldwide - Which design is your favorite?

I'm doing some volunteer PR work for a charity called KiK Worldwide. We are planning an upcoming event. The following is the info for the event. I've been working on different designs all day. Which top two do you like?

Side note: if you are interested in participating, everyone is welcome. Register here.




Number 1

 
Number 2

 
Number 3



 Number 4

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Billy Joel and Elton John :(


Billy Joel still has swine flu... postponing his concert in Salt Lake!

Tip Junkie gives free painting

Tip Junkie is an awesome website that is doing the 12 Days of Christmas gifts... free giveaways!

Our favorite Picture to Portrait is being featured as day # 9! Check it out.


Daydreaming of Italy

This past summer marked four years since I spent time studying art in Italy. I was thinking about it today and so wishing I was there right now. What an amazing experience that was. I fished through my photographs and thought I would post a few of my favorites. One of them is displayed below, in a previous post, along with a beautiful portrait, courtesy of Picture to Portrait.

Enjoy a taste of Italy!



Our gondola ride in Venice... our gondolier's name was Bond... James Bond.




The Colosseum... notice all the pock marks? That was from the builders of all of the cathedrals in Rome coming and taking the white marble from the Colosseum... the pock marks mark the nails where the marble use to be intact. I had no idea the Colosseum used to be covered in white marble.




Gorgeous views in Venice. I could take pictures all day long there. Everywhere you look it is a picture for a calendar or National Geographic.



Fountains at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City... so beautiful. The water is drinkable because it comes right from the aquaducts.



Another gorgeous gondola shot.



The fruit stands in Italy were unlike anything I have ever seen. GORGEOUS!



I caught this picture at dusk one night as we were heading out to dinner. Just an old woman looking out her window. Totally poetic. I love the colors of this building.



Columns in St. Peter's Square.



Vatican City at dusk... with small gipsy boats down below. I love this bridge.



Looking up the winding spiral stair case in the Vatican Museum. Such an amazing place. I cried at one point.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Give him a cape... cause he's all over the place!

Last night, I attended the BYU Basketball game against Idaho State, care of The Daily Universe. (Thanks DU!) We had front row tickets (I ended up getting 10 tickets and brought along 10 friends) and screamed our lungs out.

I was surprised at the "enthusiasm" with which some of the guys behind me were responding to the game. Wow! I forgot how lively a game can become.

As I was flinching, trying to protect my eardrums, I mentally made notes of some of the things these guys were saying cause I wanted to include them in this post.

"HEY REF! YOUR SHOES ARE REALLY SHINY!" (They really did look like tuxedo shoes.)

"HOW LONG DID THE DOCTOR TELL YOU TO WEAR THOSE SHOES REF?!" (To a ref sporting some nice, black, grandpa shoes.)

Referring to Jackson Emery playing the court really well: "GIVE HIM A CAPE... CAUSE HE'S ALL OVER THE PLACE!"

Directed to the Idaho State Coach: "HEY COACH! PUT YOUR GOOD PLAYERS IN!" Ouch.


Cosmo was definitely getting into the game. He also came and paid our row a visit... and gave me an apple.

We made it home and my roommates informed me that they had seen our row on the sports report on TV that night.

I also went to bed with a sore throat from screaming... definitely worth it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pure talent

Arian Hatch has the most amazing company. It is called Picture to Portrait. She takes your photographs and turns them into portraits. I sent her one of the photos I took when I was in Italy and look at how amazing it is:

Before (as the photograph)


And after... as the portrait.




 

Isn't that amazing? She definitely knows what she is doing. Check out her website for more examples of what she has done. Picture to Portrait

Monday, November 16, 2009

The "quote" vs. "quotation" war

Vocabulary correction for the day:



Word: quote

Verb or noun?

Verb
ex: "Who are you quoting?" "May I quote you?" "The author quotes him in his book."


Word: quotation

Verb or noun?


Noun
"His speech was full of quotations from President Lincoln." "The quotations she shared were very uplifting."

Friday, November 13, 2009

LOS ANGELES

I'M GOING TO LOS ANGELES BABY!


I just found out that I got the internship for which I interviewed a couple weeks ago. I will be spending April to August in LA working for a public relations firm called Porter Novelli. I'm so amazingly excited. It feels so good and right!





A testimony

My name is Ashley Elizabeth Jones, I am 23 years old and I believe in God.

He gives me purpose. I understand why I am here on this earth and toward what I am working and focusing my efforts.

I believe in one God, not "a" God. He is all powerful and knows everything and yet is loving enough to care about what matters most to me: ie: where I should move after graduation, into which type of career I should settle, whom I should marry, my relationship with my parents, the list goes on. He cares and He knows. For me, understanding that someone so powerful knows me personally, is a great strength. God, knows who I am. He loves me. I know that is true.

There is a very important part of the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His name is Joseph Smith. His experience in the woods one morning was one that changed my view of my relationship with God. It proved to me that God knows me. "When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!" (Joseph Smith-History 1:17) Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. How did these two Personages address Joseph? They called him by name. They knew his name. I know They know mine and yours.

Life is hard. We all know and have experienced this. But, there is a secret help to receiving comfort during those hard times. It is the peace and comfort that Jesus Christ can bring to us. One of my favorite scriptures is from part of book we call "Doctrine and Covenants." It is modern revelation that Joseph Smith, as a prophet in the 1830's, received from Jesus Christ. The following gives me so much comfort during hard times:

"Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation. For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand." (Doctrine and Covenants 58: 3-4)

I absolutely know this is true. I am grateful for it. I know God lives. I know Jesus Christ lives. They love us so much. This brings me peace and true happiness in my life.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Photographer of choice

One of my favorites - also the featured photographer for my blog header background.

Rodney Smith

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The cheese is alive...

According to French intellectual and internationally known expert in Archetype Discoveries and Creativity, Dr. G. Clotaire Rapaille, cheese is alive... but only in Europe.

In America... it is dead. We keep it in plastic bags: also known as "body bags." Then we put in the fridge: also known as the "morgue."

"You wouldn't put cheese in a refrigerator because you wouldn't put a cat in a refrigerator."

What makes Thanksgiving: the Turkey or the sides?

So... it's the question of the season: what makes Thanksgiving for you? The delectable, luscious, salty turkey? Or candied yams with caramel sauce and red potatoes drenched in butter and thyme? Yes, my friends, that is the question.





You may have never asked yourself this question. But, it is a logical question. What makes Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving? Some may dress up in pilgrim and Indian costumes... some may go out to dinner for Thanksgiving to avoid the mess of post-eating clean up. Some have the traditional dinner and watch football the rest of the day... mingled with games and maybe a movie. But, the highlight of all of these situations is one thing: food. Am I right, or am I right?

Personally, my allegiance lies with our "five-fingered-friend." (If you don't know what I'm talking about, go back to 2nd grade, place your hand on a piece of paper and trace your hand... then put a head on your thumb... add a beak... then color your fingers in red, yellow and orange. Voila. You have a five-fingered-friend: a turkey.) I believe from a good turkey all Thanksgiving flows. Norman Rockwell didn’t spend all that time painting pans of sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce, did he? No. He painted turkeys.





Personally, I have never cooked a turkey. I hear there is an art to it... and a million different ways to paint that canvas. I think I will wait til I am married to tackle that bear. (Let's see how many analogies I can fit into a paragraph. PS: who tackles bears? Ash, where do you get this stuff?)

Until then, I will enjoy watching my mother stuff a turkey with whole oranges, onions and lemons; getting full on my grandmother's yam and apple recipe; gorge on fresh veggies; reflect on Thanksgivings past; see a movie at the theatre with my fam; spend as much time as I can with my little sister before she leaves on her mission and maybe watch a little football with my papa.

If you like Twilight... you're going to hate this

FIRELIGHT

Lawrence Welk

This is hilarious. I remember watching Lawrence Welk, Saturday nights, as my mom put my hair in curlers for Sunday. This is a sort of variation on his show.



Lawrence Welk Show

Saturday, November 7, 2009

BYU vs NM

WOW! I am seriously in awe right now. I cannot believe this clip. I heard a ton about it yesterday but until I watched the clip, did I really believe that this chick was really pulling stuff like that. I am so impressed with BYU women's soccer that they didn't smack this highly-disturbed chick back. Good for them.

I just love the BYU soccer player at the end that walks up to Lambert at the end and points at the score board. The best response ever! I don't know why they are only suspending Lambert -- I feel like her actions are grounds for being kicked out of the NCAA altogether. Go Cougs!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Swine Flu- H1N1 or not?

So, I would just like to make a comment on the swine flu vaccination.

I have an opinion about it.

I am very against the H1N1 vaccination.

Watch the following clip - it explains a little more.



To be honest, I don't agree with any vaccinations. I have never been vaccinated (except for my mission shots) and am just fine. The vaccinations cause more problems and shoot more junk into a person's body than do good.

I think, a small part of why people use vaccinations, is that they are excuse for poor health. People can eat whatever they want and just go and get the vaccination and think they are protected. Wrong! Good health is the best and only true vaccination. Eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plenty of protein, drinking water, cutting sugar out of your diet... and probably the most important thing of all: get enough sleep. This isn't a "hippie's guide to health." It is the way God created us. If we just lived according to the Word of Wisdom in DC 89, we would be set.

That is my opinion.

Eat well and sleep enough. No need for vaccinations. There are a million ways you can dispute this... but there are also a million ways to support it. This is my opinion - you have to do the research and see what is for you.
Best friends for life



Thursday, November 5, 2009

Office episode

Today, my life was an episode from The Office.

We had a meeting in our department (The Daily Universe) called The Sensitivity meeting.

We learned about the importance of not discriminating against others. Period. The presenter from the Equal Opportunities Office gave us examples using Sam, the statistics TA, and Andrea, a student in his class. Sam was interested in Andrea, so he asked her out. Andrea wasn't interested in going on a date with Sam, so she gracefully declined. Did that stop Sam? Nope. Sam persisted in asking Andrea out but she never consented. Pretty soon, Andrea's grades started to decline.

Uh oh! Discrimination!

The presenter talked about texting and how an unwelcome text can be discrimination. We all looked at one of our co-workers and started laughing, because he loves sending texts to all of us in the office and with discriminatory remarks... jokes of course.

We came back to the office, laughed, and then proceeded to talk to each other on our phones via conference call. You have to understand: our office is one big room... everyone has a station and a phone... and we talk to each other via conference call.

My day was an episode from The Episode.

A toast to romance

I wish I could wake up to this every morning on my iPod! I go to work and my co-worker and I have our daily Michael fix. Love it. I dedicate this to Caitlin!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Infinite power of hope

Building trust with stangers

In Matthew 4:19 it talks about Christ calling Peter and Andrew to come and be fishers of men. "And they straightway left their nets and followed him."

What kind of man must Christ have been to command their attention in such a powerful and persuasive way? What attributes did He have that persuaded Peter and Andrew to simply drop their nets and follow Him?

Faith?

Trust?

Love?

Peace?

Patience?


Plus many other things...

I volunteer for an organization once a week where the people I am serving have a hard time building trust with strangers, at least right away.

Last night, the group of students who volunteer together, came together for a quick spiritual thought. The guy was talking about spiritual gifts and recognizing those gifts within us so that we can cultivate them and use them to bless the lives of others.

I have definitely come to understand the power and importance of building trust. But more importantly, I think we have to ensure that we emanate love and peace so that others feel calm around us and that they CAN trust us.

Last night, that barrier with a certain person, was overcome. Trust was gained. Sincere love was established. There is nothing better, nothing, than sharing Christ's love with others and literally seeing the happiness come to their eyes.

Tender mercies.

Teaching Mission Prep

My dad is the mission prep teacher in my home ward... he asked me to come home on Sunday to help teach the second lesson (Plan of Salvation) in his mission prep class. A good friend of his was bringing his non-member daughter who is interested in the church.

I have to be honest - I was nervous. I read through Ch 2 of Preach My Gospel and felt the missionary mode seeping back into my brain. The excitement and nerves came back. I remember those feelings right before walking into a lesson and saying a quick but fervent prayer with my companion... woo! What a great feeling.

The father and daughter showed up, along with five future Elders and one future Sister.

She was fabulous.

Really fabulous. 27 years old, beautiful, well-dressed and very intelligent. A total firecracker. She sat down on the front row and we started teaching and she started firing away with questions... but these weren't dumb questions - she had been thinking hard and long about the purpose of her life and what is coming after. I was (still am) SO excited!

The only bummer thing is that lessons only can last an hour. The hour came and went quickly but was so powerful. The Spirit was so strong. She was a little hard-headed in a few areas of the lesson but as soon as my dad and I started talking about and testifying of the Atonement, she calmed right down. Not that she was riled up, but she was so much more peaceful.

We committed her to go back home (mother Texas) and find the missionaries and get a copy of The Book of Mormon. She said she already has a BOM and that she found a missionary - a co-worker of hers who has told her about the church. She said he served a mission in London. *Ha ha, that isn't going to cut it. An RM?!* I told her she needed to find the full-time missionaries... the guys with black nametags and suit coats. Those clues were enough of a visual reminder -- she smiled and nodded her head and looked me in the eyes and said, "Okay. I will." YES!

She gave me a hug as she left and told me how grateful she was for our time. I gave her my e-mail address and told her to e-mail me if she has any questions.

I hope she e-mails!

This was an amazing experience! I want to go on another mission! This is what matters -- these experiences are the ones that bring TRUE happiness.

Toasting

I love this blog.

I love themed blogs. She toasts to everything. (Yes, this also happens to be my little sister's blog... but I still love the concept.)

Loves.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Heart of Life

This song makes me want to take a fall drive up the mountains with the windows down, bundled up in a jacket, boots, a chunky scarf and matching gloves.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Around the corner

I found this blurb on a blog... I wanted to keep and share it:

"What's around the corner? Who knows? But, I used to have this intense need to know...everything...all the time. I wanted to know what was in store for me tomorrow...next week...next year...Now, I've discovered that much of the enjoyment in life comes from surprises...and patiently waiting for them. Happily, life is full of them. Let go of expectations of what should be coming around the next corner and just get ready for what is...or what might be...

"You cannot behold with your natural eye the design of your God concerning those things which shall come...." That I'm certain of."

She's a big girl

So, I'm sitting at work right now listening to one co-worker tell another co-worker a story from his experience at a haunted house this weekend.

He was describing a girl he was with and said the following: "She got so scared and jumped on me and you know, she's a big girl --

I mean, she's
Jonesy's* size and..."


Enough said.

The greatest thing was that no one even caught it. I was biting my lip to not laugh.

*My nickname is Jonesy in the office where I work.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday study

I studied a talk this morning before church -- all based on the Atonement and Sacrament.

"The Very Root of Christian Doctrine" is an extremely powerful talk based on bringing the focus of the gospel back to the suffering and empowerment of Christ's Atonement.

My favorite part of the talk is the example that Brother Griffith shares from his experience as a stake president of a BYU stake:

Years ago Elder Boyd K. Packer gave a general conference address titled “The Mediator.” In that address Elder Packer said:

[The Atonement of Christ] is the very root of Christian doctrine. You may know much about the gospel as it branches out from there, but if you only know the branches and those branches do not touch that root, if they have been cut free from that truth, there will be no life nor substance nor redemption in them. [Boyd K. Packer, “The Mediator,” Ensign, May 1977, 56]

I will confess to you that I have participated in—indeed, I have taught—many lessons that, although interesting and motivational, according to Elder Packer’s guide had “no life nor substance nor redemption in them” because they weren’t directly linked to the Atonement of Christ. That’s a serious criticism of much of what we do, and I believe it’s on the mark. I believe that one way—the best way, and possibly the only way—to meet President Hinckley’s challenge to do better at getting the gospel down into our hearts and the hearts of those we love and serve is to focus all we do on the Atonement of Christ. And so, as a newly called stake presidency, we tried to do just that.

We laid down a rule that every sacrament meeting talk and every lesson in Sunday School, Relief Society, and priesthood meetings must be related to the Atonement of Christ in a direct and express way. Our goal was to have all of our meetings filled with “life [and] substance [and] redemption” by having them connected to “the very root of Christian doctrine”: the Atonement of Christ. We told the bishops that if they wanted a sacrament meeting about the principles of emergency preparedness—important principles, to be sure—that meeting would be about “Emergency Preparedness and the Atonement of Christ.” If you cannot figure out the link between the topic you are to teach and the Atonement of Christ, you have either not thought about it enough or you shouldn’t be talking about it at church. Your topic may be fine for the city council, your neighborhood organization, or the commercial break during SportsCenter, but in our limited time in church, we must be talking about the Atonement of Christ.

This is what they did in the church in Alma’s day, the first church described in detail in the scriptures. They were given a mission similar to ours: prepare a people for the coming of the Risen Lord. Their experiences have special meaning to us as we try to fulfill our latter-day responsibilities. Note how the Book of Mormon describes their teaching:

And he commanded them that they should teach nothing save it were the things which he had taught, and which had been spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets.

Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people. [Mosiah 18:19–20]


They taught only from the scriptures and the words of the prophets, and they taught only two principles that are inextricably intertwined: “repentance,” that we have the constant need to improve; and “faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people.” This was not faith in general—and not even faith in Christ as Friend, Good Shepherd, Prince of Peace, or any one of a number of important roles He plays—but faith in a very particular aspect of Christ’s mission: faith in His ability to redeem us, to improve us. He did that through His atoning sacrifice.

We thought we’d try what Alma’s church did. We tried to link every principle taught in our meetings to the Atonement in a direct and express way. Now that isn’t hard to do in sacrament meeting, because the bishopric can pick the topics. And it isn’t hard to do when the study guide lesson is on the Atonement or repentance. But what do you do when the study guide lesson is on tithing or visiting teaching or the value of education? That’s a little tougher.

We made it clear that we expected the teachers to teach the approved curriculum. There is strength that comes from teaching materials approved by priesthood leaders. But it isn’t always obvious how the assigned material relates to the Atonement. To address that challenge, we had two suggestions.

First, we urged teachers to find examples of the principles being taught from the life of Christ. When we are talking about His life and using the words He said, we are remembering Him, and a power comes into our teaching that is otherwise not present.

Second, we encouraged teachers to see how the principle taught was either part of Heavenly Father’s effort to draw us closer to Him through Christ (the vertical pull of the Atonement) or a principle that could draw us closer to our fellow humans through Christ (the horizontal pull of the Atonement).

So, how did it work? Pretty well. People got excited about this approach. We didn’t think there was any way that we could—or even should—try to measure its value, but it seemed right, so we pressed forward.

Why did it feel right? Why did it taste so good to—using the words of Nephi—“talk of Christ, . . . rejoice in Christ, [and] preach of Christ” (2 Nephi 25:26) in all of our meetings? Because when we are speaking of what the Savior has done for us, we are at the core of the meaning of life, we are connected to “the very root of Christian doctrine,” and we are doing what Christ and His prophets have asked us to do.

Joseph Smith said:

"The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it."

Isn't that amazing!? What a difference it would make if all the members in the church had this same outlook on teaching the Atonement. Satan is working as hard as he can to take the focus off of the Savior's Atonement -- sure the world still focuses on Him, but in a variety of less-than-appropriate ways; focuses not meet for The Son of God. We need to put the appropriate focus back on Him and the roles He plays as Savior and Redeemer.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Suits

I have an interview for an internship tomorrow. The internship is in LA with a firm called Porter Novelli. The internship is focused strictly on grassroots efforts and campaign development to help California stay green. I'm really, really excited for it.

I have done quite a bit of research and feel as prepared as I can be for the interview. I hate the saying, "You don't know the questions but you can prepare the answers!" That leaves one thinking of every possible question under the sun and trying to think of every positive and negative experience he or she have ever had in the business field. Ugh.

The question was posed in my management communications class today to test critical thinking: "How much does a 747 weigh?" The interviewee is then expected to think of all of the situations: is it fully loaded? How much luggage? Is the gas full? And list weights accordingly... end answer: (you'll want to write this down in case an employer gets sassy and asks you...) 670,000 lbs. There we are folks. If you know how much a 747 weighs, you are in luck -- even with the less-than-par economy.

So, as part of my preparation for the interview I went to Banana Republic yesterday to find a nice shirt to go with my gray suit that I will be sporting for the interview. I got a little distracted with their suits. They are so pretty. The following are my thoughts at 12:35 a.m. on my experience at BR:

(Please sing to the tune of everyone's favorite primary song: "Popcorn popping on the Apricot Tree!")

I walked in the store and what did I see?
A nice black suit hanging on the rack for me.
Business suits are quite the treat... a nice black suit hanging on the rack for me.
I quickly grabbed my size and ran to change; the nice helper said it would look nice on me.
It wasn't really so, the suit exceeded budget!
Sorry nice black suit, you're not on the rack for me.

Monday, October 26, 2009

"Could care less"

This is one of my pet peeves. You hear it all the time.

"I could care
less what you..."


"I could care
less if he..."


That doesn't make any sense people! Are you listening to what you are saying? You COULD care less, so it means you do care right now. I don't think that is what you want to be saying because normally, this phrase is used when someone really DOESN'T care about something.

The correct phrase in this case would be:

"I couldn't care

less what you..."



"I couldn't care

less if he..."


Just FYI.

Little sister is REALLY grown up

So. Saturday night, my little sister, who is also my best friend, opened her mission call. She will be serving in the seventh largest city in the world... the third most expensive city in the world... and the lowest recorded temperature is -44 degrees.

Any guesses?

She will be serving in the Russia Moscow mission! My little sister!? Ahh! My heart is kind of breaking. I can't imagine losing her. But, now I know how she felt when I left. I don't like this.

But then again, I couldn't be happier for her.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dance party with spandex

My sis and I partied it up in our spandex leggings and big white t-shirts Friday night for a Halloween dance party... nothing better than a good dance party where you don't care about anything. A run to Wendy's with a big group of friends made it even better.

Pop, lock and drop it!

And 1 Streetballers

I witnessed some amazing streetballing last night. Wow! And 1 Streetballers were at Orem High School and Kels and I went and checked them out. Mmm hmm -- you read that right. We had SO much fun! If you aren't familiar with the group, it is a group of guys that play street basketball to raise funds for a non-profit organization. They played a Utah basketball league (Brent Brown team) last night. The cool thing is, it really is streeball. There is no ref - no fouls - no calls - nothing. Just a bunch of really good basketball players showing off and having fun. There weren't any fights, although there were a few times I thought there might be. They played awesome music the whole game and the players were dancing on the court and totally just playing with the crowd. Awesome.

Here is a YouTube clip to see a little more about them.

They were in the Wilkinson center on Thursday and Kels and I were in there eating lunch and they approached us and invited us to come. We got all excited and were having fun jokin around with these guys... then when we saw them last night, they TOTALLY remembered us! Mmm hmmmm!

I love Macs

Look how amazing this is! Mac has a new mouse... that has a mind of its own.

I LOVE MACS

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Buzz in NY


This picture will be my map when I live in NY. Thank you to a dear friend, Laura, for the picture.

Boredom...

I'm sitting in my apartment... it is almost 11... I have been working on homework for the past three hours in the same spot on my couch. My back hurts (cause of our ghetto couch) and I'm tired. I decided to stop doing homework and browse some blogs and watch some good YouTube videos. My best friend likes giving me a hard time about my lack of YouTube savviness.

So - I found a couple great YouTube videos that I totally got a kick out of. (Yes, I did just end my sentence with a preposition. But I don't care.) These videos may be a lot funnier right now because I'm in one of those super tired moods. Hope you get a laugh out of them.






I'm ready for the weekend.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Vatican and the conversion of Anglicans

Well. The NY Times reported quite the story today.

What is the story?

"In an extraordinary bid to lure traditionalist Anglicans en masse, the Vatican said Tuesday that it would make it easier for Anglicans uncomfortable with their church’s acceptance of female priests and openly gay bishops to join the Roman Catholic Church while retaining many of their traditions."

Why is this happening?
"It was unclear why the Vatican made the announcement now. But it seemed a rare opportunity, audaciously executed, to capitalize on deep divisions within the Anglican Church to attract new members at a time when the Catholic Church has been trying to reinvigorate itself in Europe."

Details of the story
"Under the new structure, former Anglicans who become Catholic could preserve some elements of Anglican worship, including hymns and other “intangible” elements, Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, the Vatican’s deputy chief liturgical officer, said at the news conference."

“I don’t want to be a Roman Catholic,” said Bishop Minns. “There was a Reformation, you remember.”

You are absolutely right, Bishop Minns. There was a reformation... and a restoration.

I give my praise to those members who left the Anglican church to join the Catholic church on the basis that they don't believe in certain things. Really interesting though. It also makes me sad, but not by huge surprise, that the Anglican church is doing this. Also, in a sense it is good of the Catholic church to do what they are doing. Lots of different aspects to analyze.

What do you think?


Read the story

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Interviews with a potential employer: note to self

So, I am doing some homework right now and I came across a funny suggestion in my MCom 320 text. The text is talking about interviewing:


"Be prepared to answer any surprise questions.For instance, assume the interview asks, "How many gas stations are there in the U.S.?" To respond, pause and think for a minute about the process you might follow to obtain a reasonably close answer. You might say something like, "Well, if we have roughly 300 million people in the country, and if we assume two cars for every three people, that would give us about 200 million cars. And if we assume there is one gas station for every 1,000 cars, that would give us about 200,000 gas stations."


Wa la!

Man, if I am supposed to think and respond that critically and analytically, I'm out of a job.

Would you have responded the same?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hot showers

There is nothing better than getting up in the morning, rolling out of bed and feeling the cold draft of air breeze over your legs. You are freezing until you hop in the shower and turn the hot water all the way up... oh my goodness. I could stay there all day. I almost fell asleep in there this morning. Cheers to hot showers on cold mornings.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Is your baby racist?

I read an article in the September 14 issue of Newsweek. Actually, I read all of the articles, but this article on racism caught my attention. Here are four powerful (what I thought were powerful) quotations that I took away from the article:

1)"Instead of always telling our children that we are all equal and the same, we should tell them that we are all different. Saying we're the same naturally makes them look for differences. Conversely, saying we're all different (in appearance, cultures, etc.) makes them instinctively look for ways we're alike." Thank you Erica L. Scott from NY for your wise comment.

I agree. My dear mother and father raised me on the idea that we are all the same. They are right, in the idea that we are equal. Americans are not better than Africans. Africans are not better than Mexicans. Everyone should be treated equally. But, are we all the "same?" No! We are not. We were all created differently; different noses, eyes, hair color, skin color ... for a reason. A beautiful reason. God created us that way. I believe in God -- I know He created me the way I am and I am proud of it. I am proud of my hair color. I am proud of my height. We are unique. Let's stay that way.

2)"Why promulgate the theory of infantile discrimination? Attitudes are learned, not genetic," Richard Harris from IL said.

3)"The questions posed to 5-year-olds by Brigitte Vittrup are self-fulfilling: they compel respondents to recognize racial differences, and they're capable of seeding discriminatory perceptions. Anyone who has raised children has witnessed them fearing strangers, not just new faces who are racially diverse. They may be the child's own flesh and blood, perhaps those with whom he or she is unaccustomed, while those with more familiarity enjoy the benefit of the doubt. Ideally most children will get over their errant judgment. For the ones who don't, Vittrup needs to question the parents."

"We need to teach respect for one another rather than try to "Erase" our racism because, the fact is, you cannot erase it." Frosty Wooldridge, CO.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What happens in Vegas...




Kisses in front of the Bellagio




This was my first time in a Tiffany & Co. and I totally fell in love.



Trip to Vegas Temple

Burden - light or heavy?

I was sitting in my family room on Sunday next to my papa. I was listening to one of the talks and the speaker (I can't remember who, because the ensuing conversation managed to take over my thoughts for the rest of the talk.) The speaker quoted Matthew 11: 28-30:

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

My dad leaned over to me and said, "How is it that the Savior's burden is "light?" Isn't His burden heavy because of what He did for us? Yes. Absolutely. But... here is what we talked about:

What was Christ's greatest burden that He bore on this earth? What was His purpose in coming to earth? To bear our burdens. The Atonement.

3rd Nephi 27 states:

14 And my Father sent me (Christ) that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I (Christ) had been lifted up upon the cross, that I (Christ) might draw all men unto me, that as I (Christ) have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me (Christ), to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—

15 And for this cause have I (Christ) been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I (Christ) will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.

His burden, the Atonement, is there so that we can have the opportunity and ability to return to our Heavenly Father. That is our ultimate goal in life.

So, now let's look at 3 Nephi 9:18-


18 I am the light and the life of the world. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

Christ is the light of the world. His burden is the light - the ultimate light that gives us hope that we can return to live with Him: the Atonement.

"For my yoke is easy and my burden is YOUR light."

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kittens... inspired by Kittens

This is hilarious. A couple friends at The Daily Universe showed them to me and we laughed our heads off.

Walk it out Fosse- hilarious!

Combating the cold weather blues [Part II]

Okay... so here are a few more ideas. Pretty good ones.

(1)Mr./ Ms. "Sassafrass" Anonymous said...

"Stop your whining! Grab the newest ski video and get decked out in all your snow-gear and embrace the gloriousness that is WINTER!"

1. Am I whining? I didn't write it to sound like whining... just stating my opinion.
2. I don't really ski, so I don't know if that would be the best way for me to embrace winter. But, I encourage anyone who DOES ski to follow Anonymous' advice... I'm sure that if that gets Anonymous excited, then it will others. Thank you, Anonymous, for your comments and for reading my blog.

(2)Megs suggested: accepting it.

Say what? Megs... come now.

"I know, I know. It's a crazy concept and I could get killed for saying it! But come on, winter has it's pluses, and I always feel bad for winter for getting the short end of the stick :(

Think about it this way: Winter is that time of year where you get to put a fire on and snuggle next to your sweetie. Winter is where you get to exercise in a different way than usual; sliding down the top of a mountain. Winter is when you get to wear your adorable outfits and walk around Temple Square admiring the lights. My point? Winter is romantic!"

Shoot! Megs... you just convinced me. Good argument. Winter is romantic. And beautiful. Thank you for your fabulous ideas darling.


(3)Zack said...

"When that thermometer begins to drop and happiness ebbs until Christmas, I always love to stop by Sonic, get a large root beer with that pebble ice and sit in the hot tub for about two hours.

...if that doesn't warm your soul then you don't have one."

Well, Mr. Oates, if I didn't turn into "grandma hands", I might hot tub a little more often and try that root beer. Or maybe I need to hot tub more often so that I can get over the grandma hands? Moral of the story: I have half a soul.

(4)Kels said...

"Turn on jazz music and watch the rain outside while sipping some herbal tea in sweats--slippers included--for approximately one hour. After taking a hot shower and changing into your craziest outfit, call up your friends and go ice skating. Then return home and have a dance party with the door open. If you are having a dance party correctly, you will soon appreciate the open door and cold air.
That, children, is how to enjoy winter."

I love the jazz, rain and tea combo. This is a close competitor with "singing the Cougar fight song" for position of "my favorite idea."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Combating the cold weather blues

What the freak?! Is there really snow on the mountains? Yes. There is. I woke up in the middle of the night because the drain pipe on our balcony is broken, so it was gushing water on the railing and down on the cement. Annoying. I slammed the door shut cause I was so bugged that it was raining and that it had woken me up. Then I walked outside this morning to snow on the mountains... ugh.

It is starting. Everyone has jackets on -- I'm sitting at my desk at work and everyone is wearing sweatshirts and jackets. *Insert frowny face here.* I knew it would come. We all did. Winter. We barely got a fall! What can we do to stay happy, despite the cold weather?

1. Wake up and sing the Cougar fight song every morning ... my little sister was singing that today as we prepared breakfast together. I was in a grumpy mood so it kind of got annoying. But, as I thought about it, what a great way to combat the col weather blues.

2. Buy a beautiful pair of the softest, wool Argyle socks. You have no idea what a really nice pair of socks will do for you.

3. Throw a hot chocolate party. Hot chocolate always gets one in the mood for cold weather.

4. Go walk around Costco and notice the CHRISTMAS decorations that are already up. Sheesh. It's earlier every year. That will get you in the mood for Christmas ... if not cold weather.

5. Have a leaf collecting party ... ha ha ha ... this just makes me laugh. It is totally absurd, but really funny.

6. Carry a really cool umbrella and a copy of The New York Times with you on campus while wearing your high-collared pea coat. Wow. That will catch a few eyes.

7. Got any other ideas? Share them by leaving a message. The first 10 ideas will be included in a follow up blog post ... as long as they are funny, random and will beat the winter blues.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Swine flu vaccination?

As the new year starts here on campus, there are so many precautions being taken against swine flu. I have to be honest -- I don't know why everyone is freaking out. I think it is good that we are being a little more careful in washing our hands and keeping things clean ... but in my opinion, swine flu is nothing special. It is the flu. Sure, some doctors are saying it is horrible and the next "pandemic," while others are just reminding us of the same, timeless advice: eat well (proper nutrition), get enough sleep and take your vitamins. "Live long and prosper." (That was for you Zack.)

Really. I think if humans rethought their eating habits, got enough sleep every night and supplemented their diets with healthy vitamins, things would be a lot more different. A lot more. (SIDE NOTE: You may ask why we need vitamins? The food manufacturers don't include the proper nutrition factors in our foods today... there are so many nasty preservatives that so much of our food today is dead... or in other words, not fresh and full of nutrition. So, with the lack of nutrition in our natural foods, we have to get those vitamins and minerals from other places... vitamins. Also, see my post on healthy eating habits from 6/18/09 for more info on this topic.)

I digress.

The following article inspired this blog post -- it has some really interesting facts on why we shouldn't vaccinate against swine flu.

Here's to you Porky.

Milestone #4

Our lives are filled with mile markers. Some mile markers in my life have been graduation from high school, freshman year of college (seriously, getting past that was huge...), mission, and my next milestone, for which I applied today... (drum roll please)

graduation from college!

That's right folks. I applied for graduation. I will be graduating from BYU, April 2010 with a Bachelor's degree in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations. It is my passion.

I sat down with Rosemary, the lady in the Comms dept, and we chatted briefly about the two classes and internship I have left. Wow. It kind of hit. I am almost done with my college career. I am almost done with BYU. My heart started to hurt a little. I only have 1.5 semesters left. Wow. Where has the time gone?

I know I totally pulled this off Google images, but it captures my feelings exactly. I feel so little and not at all capable to enter the world after graduation. But, I know I will and I know I can.




What does the world hold for me after graduation? Well, Boston or New York hold particularly bright futures for me. Not sure which one yet. They both have amazing pluses that I am weighing. This is kind of the difficult part about life -- trying to decide what the right path to take is. It will all work out though.

Next mile marker... sky diving. After that? Get married. Still working on both.

Wait, what?

Hey, so how does a blog get 1228 followers? What is the trick? Anyone know? Leave a comment if you do know... also, if you enjoy reading this blog, I invite you to follow me! I promise to continue writing, amusing and informing.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Speaking of Fashion...

For any of you who have seen The Devil Wears Prada, you will love this new documentary.

"The September Issue" follows Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, and the planning and publication of the September issue of Vogue magazine, generally regarded as the annual Bible of the fashion world.

This kind of thing absolutely fascinates me ... I would so love to write for a big-name magazine like this. The trailer is great -- check it out.

Makes you want to speak with a British accent.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fall... fashion

I'm not ready for fall to be here. I love the feeling of falling asleep with your window and door open ... waking up with the sun ... walking outside and feeling the sun smiling at you ... wearing light summer skirts and darling sandals that show off your sweetly pedicured toenails ... bah. Come back summer. Please?

However, I have to admit that a quick shopping splurge with my mother this week definitely broke the ice for me and helped me shift my attitude around a little. I have been looking on some fashion blogs and wow, there is some cute stuff out there this season. Fall/ winter dressing does get me excited for cooler weather. The jackets right now are phenomenal. The high-collared lapels and longer lengths are so attractive and complimentary. Mmm. I purchased a beautiful black coat from H&M with the high collar and buttons down the front... ahh, I love it. I also just purchased this beautiful jacket which I am SO excited to wear.

I think the only problem with dressing for cooler weather is shoes. Shoes. Especially walking to and from campus in rain and snow. You can't wear the cute heels or suede shoes that you can during summer... but, I'm just going to have to deal with it, or move to AZ. Eventually, maybe I will move. Either way, I'm going to enjoy dressing this winter.

So, summary of this blog post: I am not ready for winter, but I am ready for this jacket.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

NY Times article

An interesting article put out by the New York Times... a friend of mine forwarded it to me in response to my article about 9/11 post and my feelings about our society. Excellent article.

See NY Times article here

Monday, September 14, 2009

RESENTMENT

I resent this video. Just for the record, I DO NOT drive like this. It is these women who give the rest of us a really bad rep. Still funny though.

Pathetic women drivers

Learning Truth: A Commandment?

Yes. It is a commandment to learn truth. I have been studying truth and knowledge the last little while and specifically Doctrine and Covenants this morning and came across a cool little gem. I love it when this happens: you are reading and concentrating just hard enough to see certain words pop out and jog your memory of something else you learned some other time studying. I was reading D&C 88:77-78:

77 And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.
78 Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;

So, let's dissect this. First off, He, Christ, is giving us, His children, a commandment to teach each other the doctrine of the kingdom. Doctrine of the kingdom being, the gospel of Jesus Christ; the gospel of Jesus Christ being, according to Elder McConkie, the Atonement.

So it is a commandment to teach one another about the Atonement, essentially.

78: We should teach each other diligently (with dedication, eagerly, earnestly, fervently)and His (Christ's) grace shall attend us. Pause. What is grace? According to the Bible Dictionary, "It is through the grace of the Lord Jesus, made possible by his atoning sacrifice, that mankind will be raised in immortality, every person receiving his body from the grave in a condition of everlasting life. It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.

Grace is the enabling power of Jesus Christ: the Atonement. So, if we put that in context of this scripture, verse 78, we should teach each other diligently and Christ's grace, His enabling power or His Atonement, will attend us. We will have His enabling power to strengthen us so "that [we] may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for [us] to understand;"

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is not just there to help us repent from our sins or for us to have pain taken away. The Atonement covers everything. He is in and through all things. Literally. He will help us learn and grow as we seek Him.

Grace. The enabling power of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Protest against Obama

Huge protest against Obama on Capital Hills all over the nation... most prominently in DC.

NY Times article

My parents were up at the Utah State Capitol and I got a text from her saying, "We heard Glenn Beck on a live feed from DC. Crazy awesome! There were over 2000 in Salt Lake. Norm Nimrow and his family are there in DC! Wow do I wish we were all there!" I love my parents so stinkin much. Yep, you read that right, Norm Nimrow and his family are in DC, specifically for the protest at Captiol Hill. Norm and his wife are patients of my dad and they told him they were flying the whole family out. AMERICA!

Prevail Pictures

Wow -- check out this blog. A friend of mine, Phil Goodwin, has "it." By "it," I mean talent. He has his own company, Prevail Pictures, he has some photography showcasing at Muse Music and Cafe in Provo, and has an amazing website that you seriously need to look at.

Prevail Pictures

I was going to try and showcase a few pictures here so you could get a taste of what he does but they are way to good to choose just one... you have to go look for yourself.

Who Will Bear Reproof?

Reproof: noun
Reprove: verb
1. the act of reproving, censuring, or rebuking.
2. an expression of censure or rebuke.

Here is an article entitled Who Will Bear Reproof?, which is actually a speech given by Michael P. Thompson at a devotional in July 2002. Wow. What a phenominal speech.


I read through this article for my MComm class and was in awe by the end. I started on one end of the spectrum of feelings, completely understanding what Brother Thompson was talking about, to feeling somewhat embarassed for the way I have reacted or treated others when they have tried to lovingly reprove me. Reproof is a hard thing to take. "A frank and open rebuke provoketh a good man to emulation; and in the hour of trouble he will be your best friend; but on the other hand, it will draw out all the corruptions of corrupt hearts, and lying and the poison of asps is under their tongues; and they do cause the pure in heart to be cast into prison, because they want them out of their way," Joseph Smith said.

If you have a second, read through this speech. Here is a little snippet to wet your appetite:

"I read not long ago a passage in a book by Elder Gene R. Cook of the First Quorum of the Seventy that illustrates this process very well. In fact, I am bold enough to say that this experience shared by Elder Cook is the most unnerving account of correction and challenge issued by a contemporary Church leader that I have ever heard of. It is unnerving because it is the kind of counsel that could be given to many of us--you and me--in our own callings. I have read it time and again, almost haunted by the question "How would I have responded in this situation?" We may smile as we read about the blistering reproofs of a Brigham Young. We don't have to respond to those reproofs because they were not directed toward us.

But reproofs and corrections are still meted out by inspired leaders. They are given out of inspiration, not ego or impatience. And when they come, we are bound to respond in meekness and submissiveness. Here is Elder Cook's account of one such correction:" You want to keep reading, don't you?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Questions ...

This is great! I'm so excited that people are reading my blog and are making comments. Please continue! Refer it to your friends. Jessica made a comment, to which I would like to reply. Here was her comment: "Don't you think the respect that existed in our parents time was the after effects of numerous political and world events? In fact, if anything our parents had MORE events to motivate their patriotism. Think the space race, WWI and WWII veteran parents, Vietnam, the Kennedy assassination, MLK assassination, Watergate, and the hippie movement. These were all big political events...which is some way or another caused people to either be patriotic or simply get involved in politics and think about it.

So for us we've had 9/11, the war in Iraq, and a few other incidents. I don't think it's a sign of a less appreciative generation that it took 9/11 to wake us up...our parents had tons of their own wake up calls.

It's sad that it takes a war or an attack to rally our respect and patriotism, but we know from the scriptures that that's just the pride cycle...it takes something bad for us to realize what we're grateful for. It's nothing new or a sign to me that our generation is worse...only that mankind hasn't changed since Biblical times."

Jessica: You have a really good point. A lot (if not most) of the patriotism that existed as our parents grew up, did come from life-changing events: e.g.; Kennedy, Vietnam, WWI, WWII ... I couldn't agree more with you. So what is it about today that is taking the patriotism out of our nation? Why is it that most public schools now don't recite the Pledge of Allegiance? Why are so many people so against patriotism?

If we do look at the scriptures, we are right in the middle of the pride cycle. We have a lot about which TO be prideful. I was postulating and thought about an interview that Obama had with a news reporter - he was really ripping on a "conservative" news channel. If my memory serves me correctly, he came out and said it once: FoxNews. (See interview) He was being pretty hard on names like Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. He didn't mention any other news sources because they all support Obama. They aren't giving him crap (excuse my french) so he doesn't have a problem with them. Does that sound familiar? What is the church going through right now? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons, (and thanks to South Park we know that the Mormons had it right all along...) takes a lot of flack. It gets lumped into liberal, cultish, extreme beliefs. When it and its members stand up for what they believe is right and when they try and expose wrong, they are immediately condemned for it. The wicked taketh the truth to be hard. I think the reason that our nation's patriotism is dying is the fact that the adversary is working as hard as it can to bring our country, a blessed and promised land, to shambles. The constitution of the United States as well as the Bill of Rights were written through inspiration. George Washington was undoubtedly led by the Spirit to do the things he did in forming this country... for us. I hate to be a Debbie-Downer but I really think that every day will get worse. Our government is going to get worse -- Obama and his predecessors may hire 100 czars... all our social security may be gone... we may have ridiculous health care plans... but their is nothing to fear. We hopein Him. If we are living righteously, we honestly have nothing to worry about. Worry is just another form of Atheism.

Tribute to the America in which I grew up



I grew up in America. There are a handful of moments in my life where I teared up as the American flag passed by. The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. Living in a foreign country, Germany, to be specific, for 18 months made me very grateful for my country. I love America. My Dad said something to me last night during our politics talk: "The thing that hurts me the most is that your children won't grow up with the America I grew up with." He's right. America has changed. The respect isn't there... as much as it was. Hardly at all. Today is September 11. People all over America, most of all in NY, are reflecting on a day that brought all those who live in America, not just "Americans," together. Close. One. Unified. Why is it that a national tragedy has to happen in order to bring unity to a nation? I am grateful for my country. I love America. I support the troops and am grateful for their service in protecting our country. I support and love my country.

The blog, Daily Derbi, has some great insight as well.

Post Obama's Speech

So I was talking to the parentos last night ... it was extremely interesting. I have finally hit it. I am there. I have reached that point in life. I was talking politics with my parents last night and they were listening to me. What a fantastic feeling folks! We were talking about Obama which evolved into a discussion on Glenn Beck. What a man. Here are a few points we discussed last night as I stepped from girlhood into womanhood. (Yes, my definition of womanhood is being able to discuss politics with the parentos.) Ha ha.

How many of you watched President Obama's speech to public schools? How many of you watched his address Wednesday night? Many of us know, President Obama is quite the speaker. I will give him that. But, as my public speaking professor said, he has a lot of empty rhetoric. (Rhetoric: noun, meaning:
1. (in writing or speech) the undue use of exaggeration or display; bombast.
2. the ability to use language effectively.
3. the art of prose in general as opposed to verse.
4. the art of making persuasive speeches; oratory.
5. (in classical oratory) the art of influencing the thought and conduct of an audience.) Seems pretty appropriate for Obama.

Anyway, I digress. President Obama can be very moving and inspiring. I'm sure there were more than a few children in the audiences across America watching this president thinking, "Wow. I feel really good. I like what he is talking about." He is indoctrinating these children and now every time they hear Obama speak, those same feelings of inspiration and feeling good are sure to come back. He is building his reputation with these children.

Glenn Beck came into the scene when my parents explained to me that he, Glenn Beck, is basically uncovering a scandal which heavily involves Obama and his cabinet. The resignation of Van Jones, Obama's "green job's czar," was a huge deal. This guy is a Black Panther communist. The president of the United States hired him as an adviser. Are there any red lights going off in your heads? I hope so.

One question? Is Obama American? I have a hard time believing it. All he does is go across the seas and apologize for the United States. WE ARE AMERICA! NO APOLOGIZING! WE ARE A BLESSED NATION. Corrupt men have taken it from what it was.

Read this guys blog. He has a lot of good links that are publicizing what is going on. We won't see a ton of it on the mainstream news media - of course not. Duh. This is the kind of stuff that is kept "hush-hush." My favorite part of the article is this: "Roston draws from the toppling of Obama's czar is this: Boycott or not, Fox News isn't going away."

Three cheers for Glenn Beck.