Sunday, January 29, 2012

Comfort Food for Thought

You know those foods that when you eat them you just feel good all over?  The ones that make you feel warm and safe and happy all the way the very core of your being?  Well, I also have those comfort foods for my thoughts.  They are things that when I reflect on them I feel this sense of peace that settles over me and sinks down deep into my soul.  The story of Joseph Smith and what we mormons call "The First Vision" is just such comfort food for my thoughts.  I was 9yrs old the first time I heard this story.  I will NEVER forget it.  

My grandmother was a lover and seeker of truth. She had a great passion for it. A friend of hers, that was a member, stopped in to her work one day to visit with her. During the course of their conversation he asked if he could bring the missionaries to share with her more about the church. She accepted. My sister and I lived with her at the time and were eager to hear these discussions as well. I am not sure the order in which we learned about the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ to the earth but, I will never forget how I felt the first time I heard the story - A young boy of 14 who went to a grove of trees and knelt down in prayer asking God what church he should join. As I heard his testimony of how God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to him I was filled with light, joy and the sweetest peace I have ever felt. I knew he had seen God and Jesus Christ and that this young boy was God’s instrument in restoring His church to the earth. I have never doubted it.

Why, you might ask would this story be comfort food for my thoughts?  Because there are some simple but precious truths I learned from it.  God hears and answers my prayers. He knows me personally by name. I am His child. The Heavens are once again open and He speaks to a prophet to lead and guide us, His children, back to our Heavenly Home.
The words near Joseph's childhood home where he saw God, our Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ"  We call it "The Sacred Grove"
Yesterday on the spur of the moment I took my children to see the movie "Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration" on temple square.  My Joaquin was deeply moved by what he witnessed so much so that he refused to talk about it afterwards.  Have you ever had experiences like that?  Ones where they are so personal and special that you want to keep them for yourself to think over, to ponder to savor?  I'm hoping this story too will become comfort food for his thoughts.  

Here is the full-length film to view on YouTube if you are interested.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My husband, Rodrigo, has been having a love affair with film since he can remember.  He has always been fascinated with creating for the big screen.  He is currently finishing a Bachelor's degree in Digital Media in preparation for obtaining a master's degree in Film Production.  Last semester he had to re-create a scene from a film.  He chose "The Rabbit's Foot" from Mission Impossible III.  I think he has talent but who am I to say?  I'm pretty partial anyway :).  Anyhow, I have earned bragging rights!

Rodrigo Diaz Villar @ Work in the broadcasting dept. of UVU

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Of Thee I Sing"

I am a collector of children's picture books. I grew up reading.  My grandmother, my constant source of inspiration, read to me often and would discuss what we read.  She was always pushing me to be the very best I can be and to see the best in all around me.  She was truly one to accentuate the positive.  It wasn't that she didn't notice the negative she just chose not to focus her energy on it.  This is why when I read the book "Of Thee I Sing" the very first time I felt like a child once again sitting in her lap soaking up her wisdom.

It is a book written by Barack Obama to his children.  He is reminding his girls of how great they are and at the same time teaching them about the great people who helped make this nation the glorious place that it is.  I don't think I have gotten through a read of this book without tearing up.  I just can't help but to be moved by the beauty of the people who have shaped us and have encouraged us to find the best within ourselves and share it.  Below are just two small samples.

When I read this page my boys are always eager to share their song with me.

Who isn't inspired by Abraham Lincoln?
No need to buy it just head on over to your library and check it out. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

...The Meaning of All Things...

Today I was sitting in stake conference there was a sweet little family sitting in front of us with three beautiful little girls and a baby boy.  One of the little girls, an 18 month old was sitting next her her mother.  Walking toward the family was a young couple who it seemed the husband of was the brother to the mother of the little family.  When the 18 month old saw him her face lit up and she began pointing and chattering about him.  Watching this little girl in her delight I was transported back in time.  Chancey, or Lilah, or Livvy was that little girl and I was the beloved aunt coming to visit.

My one and only sibling/sister, Caprece, died now just 5 years ago and there are many things that are difficult about her absence.  However, I would have to say the most difficult is how it has effected the dynamic of my relationship with her children, my nieces and nephews. I went from the place of a cherished aunt to a relative with very limited privileges regarding time spent with them.  I don't say this with bitterness - it is a fact.  Is it hard? Yes, heartbreaking.  I have prayed long and hard these past 5 years to find peace with my new reality, to understand why and to discover what I should change about myself to make it different.  This week I was having just such a moment.  I was thinking of them and missing them so terribly and once again evaluating, pondering and pleading with my Father in Heaven when the following scripture entered my mind...

1 Nephi 11:17...I do not know the meaning of all things.

The very nature of this life is that there will be things that we do not and will not ever know the meaning of but I felt peace because immediately following this verse the following came to me..

2 Nephi 4:19...nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.

At that moment I knew he understood the longing of my heart. I felt His empathy for the pain I had experienced and was experiencing.  I felt Him acknowledge the difficulty of my situation and also the hurt I felt because I don't understand the why of the situation or how or if there is anything that I can ever do to change it.  And I also knew that I could endure it because I trusted Him. Because He is there beside me walking with me through it. I could accept that I didn't know the meaning of this thing because I trust Him.

It doesn't take away the pain, but now I can allow it to wash over me, taking away the need to know, to understand, and to change.  I can just love, love and love some more like I have done every moment since I first held each and every one of them in my arms.

Book of Mormon Blog Hop

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Plain and Precious

I love to look at my children when they are sleeping.  Basking in their innocence and sweetness while they sleep is the best part of my day!  

A few nights ago, as we were having our nightly ritual of reading 5 verses from the Book of Mormon, I was finishing up the verse below.  The sweet boy on the left, Joaquin, asked me about "garments stained in blood".  We talked about symbolism, an abstract concept and very hard for him to wrap his 6yr old mind around.  Even though it was difficult for me and for him we did discuss it and I tried to put it in the most concrete terms as possible for him.  But what touched me most about this moment wasn't what we discussed but rather it was his question...he was listening!

Alma5:22 And now I ask of you, my brethren, how will any of you feel, if ye shall stand before the bar of God, having your garments stained with blood and all manner of filthiness? Behold, what will these things testify against you?

I've been reading to and with my children from the Book of Mormon since they were born.  Even as newborns I felt the spirit of this book would touch their spirits and plant the seed of testimony.  However, as you can imagine the older they have gotten the less I feel like they are listening.  Sometimes I have felt like giving up but instead I have pressed forward holding consistently to the word in hopes for a moment like this one.

A few nights later we were reading, same chapter just a few verses later 

Alma 5:39 And now if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye? Behold, I say unto you, that the devil is your shepherd, and ye are of his fold; and now, who can deny this? Behold, I say unto you, whosoever denieth this is a liar and a child of the devil.

Same six year old and he wanted to know who "the devil" was.  It resulted in a wonderful discussion of the plan of salvation.  We talked about our life before we came to earth, why we are here on this earth and where we will live once we leave this earthly life.  I know he didn't get it all at that moment, but he was listening.  These are the best teaching moments of all because they spring from his questioning and interest. 

I am so grateful for the counsel of modern prophets, who have taught us to have family scripture study and for the precious, plain and simple truths of the Book of Mormon.  So plain and so simple that even a child can recognize them.

I'm hooking up with my Book of Mormon Forum friends...CHECK IT OUT!  :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Peace - My Word for 2012

Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace when other sources cease 
to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger or malice,
I draw myself apart searching my soul?

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you... ~ John 14:27

The world defines peace as "the absence of conflict or disturbance, but the Prince of Peace does not offer a life without conflict.  Rather He is offering us a way to overcome conflict, unrest, contention, tribulation, anger, malice, and hurt.  He offers us "a more perfect way" to peace.  Peace for our own lives as well as those around us.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;... ~ Matthew 5:43-44

This year I want to have a greater measure of peace in my heart, in my home, in my life.  Where do I turn for peace?  He, He only One.  

Blog Widget by LinkWithin