Good morning everyone! Today I am talking about religion and tomorrow I’ll be back with running/randomness talk again!
I’ve been blogging for over 8 years now and this is my first post dedicated to talking about my religion. Crazy, right? I’ve never wanted to come off as preachy or like I was forcing my thoughts on you but rather have shared that my family and my religion are the most important things in my world with you. I have had many people request that I share more so instead of seeing this as preachy, see this as some random girl sharing something very important to her. It’s also kind of scary to talk on the internet about something that is so near and dear to you… SO I would love to ask for respectful comments and healthy conversations about this kind of stuff in the comments. I would love nothing more than to hear your thoughts, experiences and beliefs on religion and the most important things in your world. I think it is so important to be open-minded so let’s all do that together:)
I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My parents both grew up in Southern California, got married when they were 19 and had my oldest brother Greg when they were 22. A couple of years later they were introduced to this church. At the time my dad was working as an engineer with a few members of the church and started asking them a lot of questions so they had the missionaries over to teach them. They studied, learned and prayed a lot to find what was right for them. Then they were baptized and have been strong members of our church ever since along with all five of their children and their spouses.
I was baptized when I was eight years old to become a member of our church (we believe that when a child is eight they can make the decision to be baptized and they are at the age of accountability). I attended church weekly and as a teenager went to weekly activities with my church group too. <— This is what I used to do every Wednesday night as a leader of the Young Women in my last area (I haven’t gotten a new calling quite yet at our new house). In high school I attended seminary which was a class that I had daily (during school.. in many places it is before school too) to learn more about Jesus Christ and the scriptures. I remember that class feeling so safe and peaceful during those crazy years as a teenager. I went to Brigham Young University for college and had an amazing experience at this school being able to get my degree along with taking religion classes to learn and study more. Church was always very important to me but I remember it becoming even more of my center when Brooke was born especially. I remember from that point forward feeling stronger and stronger about my religion and spending more time than ever learning and thinking about the kind of life I wanted to live and what I truly believed.
There are a few things that I thought I would share and if you have anything else you would like me to talk about, please ask in the comments!
*The Plan of Salvation! I believe that our Heavenly Father created a plan for us and why we are here is part of that plan and along with where we were before this life and where we will go after this life. I’ll just include this paragraph because this is the exact base of everything that I believe in. The family is central to God’s plan and I bet you can tell through my blog that I 100% feel that way. You can read much more about it here!
*The temple is the most sacred place for us as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and there are many things that we don’t talk about outside of the temple. The first time I went to the temple I was 22 years old. My entire family was there and it was an incredible experience for me. I remember after my divorce, I was there weekly because it was such a healing place for me. There is no other time in my life that I feel as peaceful as I do in the temple. One of my biggest goals in life is to make my home feel that same type of peace for our kids to feel each day. I hope that they feel the safety, comfort and love in our home that helps them to cope with any problems that come to their life. I wear garments (under my clothing) which I started wearing the first time I went through the temple. These garments are a constant reminder of the promises that we have made with our Heavenly Father in the temple. It is a way that I show my Savior the commitments I have made and I wear them at all times outside of swimming, working out (and things like that:). Andrew and I were sealed in the temple which is a sacred ceremony where Andrew and I made promises to each other and to God. We believe that we will be together after death too.. our family will be together for eternity. There are currently 159 operating temples around the world along with 11 under construction and 31 that have been announced to be built.
*I believe that the Book of Mormon is true scripture from Heavenly Father. It is a book that has taught and continues to teach me so much about Christ. The feelings I feel while reading have helped me get through some seriously tough times. It has been a guide for many of the choices I have made and I love this book. It is something that I try to read personally each day along with a few versus each day as a family too. We also believe the Bible to be scripture from Heavenly Father and study it at church and at home.
*We do not drink alcohol (I never have and neither has Andrew), we take Sunday as a day of rest (we don’t shop, eat out (unless traveling) etc but we do spend the day with our families and resting), we pay 10% of our income as tithing, we fast once a month and donate the money we would have spent (for three meals) to humanitarian aid, we serve in callings in our church and believe that when we serve others we are also serving our God, we pray often and so much more.
*We believe that we have a prophet on the earth today. President Russel M Nelson. Twice a year our church holds a General Conference where we get to hear from our prophet and many of his apostles and other leaders in our church. There are also many other devotionals, articles and magazines throughout the year that include lessons and talks from these leaders which I love. I thought I would link to a few of my favorite church talks—> Here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
*Prayer is absolutely essential for me. Building a relationship with my Heavenly Father through the good, bad and medium parts of life is everything. I won’t share super personal stories but I do remember one time on a run I prayed to feel loved. I had never felt so alone as I did at that time and felt like I was at rock bottom. I prayed to just feel like I mattered to Him. Within 30 seconds a van pulled up honking with my friend from a completely different city smiling as big as can be and ready for me to talk her ear off. I believe that prayer is real.
I absolutely do not have all of the answers to everything about religion but I do know my feelings and I can never deny those. I know the peace that I feel when I make good choices. I know the joy that comes from my hope through Christ. I cannot deny how I feel when I read or hear something in regards to the importance of families. I believe with every ounce of who I am that we will be able to be with our families forever. I believe that after this life we will be with our Heavenly Father again and I want to do everything I can to live a life full of decisions that will help me to return to Him.
I know that my Heavenly Father loves me completely. During the absolute darkest times in my life I have felt an overwhelming amount of love from Him. I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that I will be able to return to Him.
**PLEASE KNOW that I 100000% respect and love whatever you believe and know to be right for you and the people in your world. I just wanted to share a different side of me that I don’t usually showcase as much besides mentioning that we go to church each week and visit the temple etc. As I push publish on this post I am insanely nervous but also feel so much relief and comfort sharing the things that I believe and feel are right for me and my family.
If you are interested in learning more, I would love to connect you with missionaries! Just leave a comment on this post if you would like to learn more and I’ll email you! You can also visit here to talk more with missionaries.
And 13 pictures from our day:
*Andrew has become quite good at doing Brooke’s hair.
*They spend a good amount of time just swinging and catching up on important topics.
*We went to church.
*Later on our family all came over for dinner!
*Chicken Cream Cheese Chili for dinner (<— we also add a couple cans of tomato soup to the mix).
*Along with plenty of our favorite chips.
*And my sister brought delicious rolls (Sam’s Club dough with some butter on top).
*My nephew thought he was Harry Potter.
*And we enjoyed some perfect temperatures.
*My mom made caramel apples with the kids for our dessert.
*And the kid’s decorated sugar cookies too.
*I’m so sorry to my Kentucky brother and Andrew for the Dodger’s loss.
*Today we will be finishing up this room (hopefully)… and I’ll have a house tour (of the main rooms) for you tomorrow!
*PS I couldn’t stop thinking about how Skye is almost ELEVEN MONTHS OLD… how did that happen?
Share any thoughts that you have on any of this stuff! I would love to hear what matters most to YOU!
What was the highlight of your weekend?
Favorite type of soup?
Who is running NYCM?! Tell me so I can send you some good luck:) Who has done or who is doing a Halloween themed run this year?
Are you dressing up for Halloween this year?