Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Beams and Windows

Late...again. At first I was going to tell you all to blame my sister, but due to the fact that it's been three days since she didn't tell us to pack--making it so I had to rush pack during the time I would write this post-- I can no longer hold it against her. That time period has past by and now I have to take responsibility. Darn it. 

I did did start writing this Monday, but nothing was really coming to me. I sat down Tuesday couldn't think of anything. So here we are at Wednesday and I think I might have something. 

Last night my mom drug me to this thing called the "Lindy Fix". Pretty much a social dance, but for swing dance. At first I didn't really want to go, but after we got there I got to meet a lot of great people. Side note-- I love dancing with guys who are great leaders! Even if you're a beginner, if your partner can lead well then you can dance like a pro!

I love dancing! I am not the best. Ask my sisters about my flailing I do in the kitchen. It's probably not what you would call "dancing".  I know it, but I still do it. I do it because I love it.

There are so many things that I like doing that I am not particularly good at. I hate it ( I know. I always seem to say that) when people say something that makes me not want to do it anymore. Like when I sing and someone tells me I just changed keys or I am flat. It makes me not want to do it anymore. Well, for a minute at least and then I decide I don't care what they think or say. 

Is is crazy how quick we are to judge. I know it's to easy to judge the people who do bad things like drink and smoke, but it's not just that. We judge the people who dance funny, sing of key, draws stick figures, wears outdated clothes, sweats, are awkward.  At church dances when I'm sitting down  (A lot of people tell me that me that I am lame for sitting down at all. It may be true, but I see it as a senior right) I like watching people. I see it all. I see the kids (I'm 18. I can call them kids.) who are more awkward then most and just do their thing. Dancing in the middle of the room dancing like they don't care and then their are the ones not dancing looking at them pointing, talking. I confess I have been one of those people talking behind their hand. It's horrible. 

When I saw those kids making fun of the other kid I was thinking about how bad they were being. Then I realized that I had a beam in my eye.

Why do we do that? How can we sit around making fun of perfectly lovely people. I have found out that its because of our own insecurities. Our fear of our shortfalls. We don't like the feeling of being less so we pass it on to somebody else. I have found that after I judge someone I have to put my foot in my mouth after I truly meet them. Most of the people we judge are really nice people who just want friends. Even if people act in a wrong way, we don't know what they have gone through or their situation.

 "But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the the Lord looketh on the heart." ~ 1 Samuel 16:7

I know that Heavenly Father loves everyone. I know it's hard not to judge. It is very much human nature to judge. We need to work on our own problems before we go criticizing others. When we're perfect that's when we can have a say so.

When will we except everyone as children of God? When will we look to everyone with love? Well, I certainly hope that day is near.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Light Among the Nations

I have been thinking a lot lately about our standards as a church (if you don't know what I am talking about you can find it here in the "For the Strength of Youth).

Most if not all of you should know that the youth theme for this year is "Arise and Shine Forth". This is taken from the scripture from Doctrine and Covenants 115:5

"Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy 
light may be a standard for the nations."

Today we had a lesson on this scripture and so I thought it would be good to share some things that I heard today that confirmed my testimony on the subject.

This is how I break this scripture down:

ALL- This is to and about everyone!! Not just the few. You need to take the responsibility upon yourself and not leave it for others to do.
ARISE-This ain't happening over night. You have to stand up and get to it!
SHINE FORTH- Don't keep that special light inside you. You can show it through your actions. You don't have to do a big service project (not that it hurts to) to show your light, sometimes it just takes a smile.
STANDARD-Decide what your standards are. Are you going to choose the standards the lord has given you? If you don't than your light isn't going to shine very much. 
NATION- People will notice and you may not realize, but your a virus. I mean that in a good way. Well, I guess you could be a bad one two. The way we act will influence the people around us. If we're being the good kind of virus than we could spread out light everywhere just by infecting one person. 

You could not peg me as a Mormon girls who just does what she's told like a mindless puppet. I have hate it when people way that the youth in our church say that we are blind followers. I have questioned the standards and found my life is 109% when I am keeping them high. Questioning things is good when you do it in the right way. If it wasn't for Joseph Smith's questions we wouldn't have the gospel. We are taught to question and test the word of God. That's how we gain our testimonies. When we pray and study for the answers we want and we will get them. Sometimes not when we want it, when we need it.

We have standards to protect us and also to make us stronger. "For the Strength of Youth" has it's name for a reason. When we are keeping the standards we are protecting our spirit, but also our physical bodies. I hear so many of our standards being proved right by science. My young leader told us once that it was proven that if a guy sees a girls legs higher than the knee than they are more likely to think of things higher. Don't make me spell it out for you, because you should know where I am getting at. If that's not a reason to be modest I don't know what is. 

My advice for the day is to read the standards in the "For the Strength of Youth" and do a assessment of your life.  Find your weak areas and make a plan for how your going to change. I have done this exact thing and my life has been so much better. It was well worth getting rid of that one song, that one shirt, and that one word. Keep your standers high don't let the world rub off on you!

We need to be that light, that standard. If we are not willing, than who is?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Take the Advantage

One of the most  memorable Young Womens lesson from when I was a Beehive was when our leader put a simple but beautiful cake on a table that had a a clean white cloth on it in front of the class. She had the cake propped up on in a way that showed it off without tipping it. It was the last class before going home so of course that made it even more enticing. She then cut a small piece out of it and gave it to one of the older young women. Our leader had her describe the cake to everyone. We wanted that cake. She then proceeded to dump it in the trash and put dish soap on it the make sure we didn't try and sneak any (the trash bag was clean so it wouldn't have been that gross...). I am pretty sure this made on the girls start to cry. Cruel. But this is the point she wanted to get across-- This is what it would be like if we didn't go to the temple and receive the blessings that would come from doing so. This wasn't even one of those time where they have a back up cake... we were cakeless.
Point taken.

This week the youth in my ward have the opportunity to go the the temple to do baptisms for the dead. I am so thankful that  youth have the chance to go to the temple and do work there. Notice that I use words like "opportunity" and "chance". It's something that we have to choose. No one can make us be worthy to go to the temple. We have to choose to keep the standards, to keep the law of chastity, to follow the word of wisdom, to be honest with our fellow being, and to live according to the gospel. We choose.
Salt Lake City Temple

Heavenly Father has blessed with many things to help us get a head start-- TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM! The temple is one of the most important and sacred. Every time I go there my testimony is strengthened .

When I was younger I had this idea that the temple was just a place that you get married in. Boy, was I wrong. The temple is a place you make covenants that you can't anywhere else. It's where you receive your endowments and many other blessings that isn't otherwise available to us. I don't think we can fully comprehend the greatness of it until we go ourselves and maybe not even then.

I love hearing about the stories about temples. Like how angels were on the roof of the Kirtland temple at it's dedication. My dad was in the choir for the dedication of the temple in our area. He told us that while he was singing he knew he wasn't getting the notes right when behind him he heard someone singing with him. No one was there where the was coming from. He knew it was an angels singing with the choir. I know it. It's so amazing to me that something on this earth can be so holy that angels will come down and join in the thanksgiving of the wonderful blessing that the temple is. I truly know that it is the Lord's House.

That is why we need to be worthy to go and receive the blessings that our Heavenly Father is so ready to give us. If you're not, get your act together! Don't just throw it away.