Monday, July 13, 2015

'after the manner of happiness'

~ 2 Nephi 5:27 ~

I've read this verse hundreds of times, I'm sure... but this time it jumped out at me like it never has, and not just because of the big blue smiley face I had drawn over it years ago. There was a time in my life when I felt like the light within me / the happiness I felt inside of me could be seen by all of those around me. People would randomly tell me that I'm always smiling when they see me. Even Aaron wrote in a letter to me while I was on my mission and while he was on his mission... that as teenagers, he would watch me from afar and could see that there was light and happiness inside of me and it made him desire the same thing. I wish I could remember his exact words, I'll have to dig that letter out and read it again. I was always happy to hear things like this because I felt like if light shined from me and if people could tell I was happy, it would reflect the the light of the Savior and they might be able to feel the love of the Savior through me somehow. Well, after the trials of life started to weigh heavier on me than I ever imagined possible, I know my light and happiness has faded... and I think the reason this scripture hit me harder this time is because I know in my heart that I'm not letting my light and happiness reflect the light and love of the Savior. My desire to reflect that light hasn't changed, but my ability has been somewhat halted by the weight of my burdens over the years. I desire to change that. I plan to change that... to "live after the manner of happiness" even through undesirable circumstances in my life.

Saturday, July 11, 2015


~ Ephesians 6: 10-18 ~
I was talking to Aaron today about certain things going on in our world right now, things that are contrary to God's plan for His children... and this scripture in Ephesians came to my mind. So I figured it was a good time to discuss this scripture with Aaron and talk about the importance of it. We need to arm ourselves every day and teach our children how to arm themselves every day. We can't afford not to.

~ ~ ~

I posted that in instagram and on facebook a couple weeks ago. The words in these verses are very poignant at this time and this is something that I will continue to talk to Aaron about.

~ ~ ~

My friend Chandra then sent this email to me this past week:

"This morning as I was coming into conscious wakefulness, one thought blazed across my mind: "STAND YE IN HOLY PLACES." I even saw it in caps just like that! I immediately stilled myself, knowing that the spirit put that thought there – I don't just think like that! But one thought that became clear to me was that in using the word "ye"- it meant ME. As in, the spirit is saying, "Chandra, stand in holy places." It was very specific and not a general "ye." Does that make sense?

Anyhow, I began to ponder on this phrase and asked the Lord what I am to learn from the statement – what was I supposed to find? And are there specific "holy places" I am to stand in? My next thought was that this sounded like it could be a title from a general conference talk. And it sounded like something Elder Bednar would say so I figured I would search the most recent general conferences. I went to my Mormon channel app and began to scan all the titles from all the sessions in the most recent general conferences. I got to April 2013 and ran across the title "Stand Strong in Holy Places" by Elder Hales. That made me pause. Sure it wasn't a direct quote of what was in my mind, but it was almost like the spirit was adding line upon line here and before when he's saying in essence, "Chandra, stand in holy places." Now he's adding to that (line upon line, precept upon precept) by saying, "Chandra, stand STRONG in holy places." This talk is incredible and it spoke many things to me which also happen to be in my Patriarchal Blessing. Coincidence? No. But just to be sure I went to to search for the exact phrase- which I'd found by Harold B. Lee. There are also some wonderful nuggets contained therein.
Anyhow, what have I learned from this experience? 1) The Lord does speak to and reveal things to his prophets continually. And unless we have the eyes to see and the ears to hear, we will miss vital information! 2) The more we are prepared for an open ourselves up to the promptings of the spirit, it will come. I need to show the Lord he can trust me and stand strong in holy places. And 3) that I need to study and learn how to fully put on the whole armor of God- and then teach it to my children."

~ ~ ~

I'm grateful she shared that with me.
My response to her was:

 After I got done reading it, I went back to my posting on instagram where I put the scripture about putting on the whole armor of God and the words "to stand" are underlined in my scriptures. Those two words must have had an impact on me when I was first marking those verses so many years ago... and it brought me back to your email "stand strong in holy places". These things go hand in hand. In this day and time, we need "to stand" stronger than ever to fight against the evils of this world... and  "to stand" in holy places because that is where we will find the strength "to stand" in the first place.

~ ~ ~

I hope to help Aaron learn how stand strong... stand up for what he believes... stand for truth... stand for righteousness... stand up against evil... stand up for justice... stand with faith... stand in holy places... stand as an example to those around him... stand firm in the foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ... stand in defense of all that is right and true... stand...

Friday, July 3, 2015

President Boyd K. Packer

President Boyd K. Packer, of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, passed away today. This makes me very sad. I remember when I was a teenager watching many times a video that was put together after a talk he gave in General Conference, it was called 'Spiritual Crocodiles'. It was an inspiring video and I loved the truth he spoke in it. (If you haven't seen this video, you should look it up on President Packer had a very recognizable raspy voice that I will miss hearing in General Conference, along with his inspired counsel as well.
~ A memory I want to share is about a conversation I had with Aaron on the way home from church last summer. Aaron had a printed copy of the talk by President Packer called 'Spiritual Crocodiles' that he had received in Primary that day. When I saw it, I told Aaron that President Packer is the Senior Apostle and that if President Monson passes away, then President Packer would become the next Prophet. Aaron then asked who would take his place as an Apostle? I told him that they would have to call someone to be an Apostle (through revelation from the Lord). Aaron was very thoughtful for a few moments, then he stumbled over his words a bit and said that he might... ...if they needed someone... ... he would be willing... ... to volunteer. I could tell he was not taking this lightly in that sweet brain of his and he asked if he could be an Apostle AND a wood carpenter (which is what he wants to be when he grows up). He then asked how long they are an Apostle? I told him they are an Apostle for the rest of their lives. He then asked if you get to see your family if you are an Apostle. I told him yes. ~ I thought it was so sweet that he was willing to take on the task if they needed him to... if they needed a volunteer. His questions were so sincere. So sweet.
President Packer will be missed.