Just a thought i was having tonight as I was at the home a friend of mine. In my opinion, the difference between a house and a home is a family. As much as I love my roommates and I enjoy where we’re living and it is a more and more enjoyable place to live all the time… it will never be home. For the simple reason that my family is not here. I don’t think it could be home even if Taylor moved in. I think there is something about the unity, the blessings that are bestowed upon a family that make their places of residence a home rather than just a house. I’m sure this doesn’t apply to all homes. I’m sure that there are some kids who would consider the streets a better home than their houses because of domestic violence or drug abuse or whatever the problems may be. But I guess again you have to define family. A friend of mine once wrote that “a family is the people you love and want to help and learn from.”Perhaps by that definition of family my apartment could become a home (as per my definition)… however, I think there is still something a little bit more powerful about the strength of an eternal family unified together.
Anyways, being in a real live home again made me think of those things.
One of my friends asked everyone to send in their three favorite scriptures and why they are our favorites for a personal project she is doing. It looked like a really fun project so I sent her my three, and I decided that I wanted to post them up here as well.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to give you my three all time favorite scriptures… because they tend to vary. But here are the three that come to mind right now:
And as these plates are small, and as these things are written for the intent of the benefit of our brethren the Lamanites, wherefore, it must needs be that I write a little; but I shall not write the things of my prophesying, nor of my revelations. For what could I write more than my fathers have written? For have not they revealed the plan of salvation? I say unto you, Yea; and this sufficeth me.
I love this scripture because it just says it all so plainly and simply. I lovingly refer to Enos, Jarom & Omni as the books of slackers because you have at least 7 different authors who can barely pull together 7.5 pages in over 300 years (my favorite example of this is Omni 1:9). But I love what Jarom says, because I think that too often we try to look to hard and we miss what’s staring us right in the face. We want more and more revelations, but we don’t really do enough with what we already have. The gospel is really a lot more simple than we make it.
Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me.
I really like this scripture in context. Remember that this is the same Alma who was stopped from persecuting the church by seeing an angel. Here he says that he has a testimony because he has “fasted and prayed many days that [he] might know of [himself].” An angel didn’t cut it. We can all have just as strong of testimonies as Alma. Miracles and heavenly manifestations do not make a testimony, a testimony comes from within.
Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
This is another one that I like in context. Remember that the Anti-Nephi-Lehi’s were the ones who decided to bury their weapons of war in the earth. Then when the Lamanites came to attack them they knelt down and prayed to God while the Lamanites slaughtered them. It says that they killed over a thousand of these people before they stopped. The men that were killed in the process of these prayers were the fathers of many of these stripling warriors. And it says that their mothers, the wives of these slain men, knew that “if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.” I just think that’s such a powerful testimony. If anyone had good reason to doubt that God would deliver their sons in battle it was definitely these women who watched their husbands be killed by the sword because of a covenant they had made while in the act of praying to their God. But as it says in the next verse they “did not doubt [their] mothers knew it”. Maybe to some people that would weaken the testimony, but the faith of these women I think is remarkable.
I don’t know if I would choose those three scriptures ultimately if I could only have three, but I guess those are the three that are most on my mind as of late. It probably won’t surprise you that I’m reading the Book of Mormon right now, and that I’m getting close to the end of Alma. But those are definitely 3 scriptures that I really like a lot.
Oh, I guess the other one that I really like, is D&C 76:22.
And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
It’s a scripture mastery so it’s not very original. But I really like it because it just sorta spells out what the gospel is all about. That after everything else that’s been said, this is what we want to say last of all, this is what’s important. That Christ Lives. I think it says so much in so few words so elegantly. Anyways, I know that it puts me past my 3 but that one is probably more of an all time favorite whereas the other three are more of current favorites.
So I had the weirdest thing happen today. I saw two people and I had a “second first impression” of them. I don’t know how else to describe it. They were both people who I used to see on a regular basis. It was just really weird I guess to see them again. More so I guess to realize that they were different from how I remembered them. Not in that they had changed… just the situation had changed. I wasn’t still stuck under my first impression of them, I was far enough removed from that context to see them in a whole new light. Does that make sense? I’m starting to realize that my first impressions of people are almost always much cooler than the person actually is. That statement is going to get me in trouble so let me explain. I don’t mean cooler as in more likeable than they really are… but as in the “cool” kids, type of cool. The kind of person who everyone would think of as cool, too good for other people, part of the “in” crowd, etc. Generally later I figure out that they are cooler than I think, as in more likeable and fun to be around… I’m not so much into the whole “in” crowd thing. Has anyone else experienced what I’m talking about? It seems like it’s been happening to me a lot lately. Especially with friends coming home from missions. Another one was several months ago I got to go in and visit the dance teacher I had worked for in high school. It was SO trippy. I don’t know how else to explain it. I don’t know whether it’s because I had changed, or they had changed, or just the situation had changed. Anyways it’s just weird. It makes me wonder whether my friendships with different people would have been completely different under different circumstances. I also wonder what people’s first impressions are of me. I wonder how much differently two different people can see the same person. How much different are we at our most basic level?
Anyways, lots of questions that I just don’t have the answers to. Just some thoughts that I had and needed to share.
Willy Wonka: “I’m sorry, I was just having a flashback.”
Mr. Salt: “I see.”
Mr. Teavee:`”These flashbacks happen often?”
Willy Wonka: “Increasingly… today.”
Ok… so here’s my random thought for today. Have you ever noticed that people give you more credibility when you quote someone else? For example, if I were to say that the earth is round, you may take it or leave it. However, if I tell you that Copernicus stated that the earth is round, all of a sudden that statement has more depth and meaning. Many times it doesn’t even seem to matter who it is that you are quoting. I think that even statements that are quoted from an unknown source are given more legitimacy than those that just come from inside ourselves. How silly is that? Why don’t we trust ourselves to be good thinkers? Why couldn’t something that we state for ourselves have the same efficacy as what someone else says? Didn’t all great thinkers and people start out as just ordinary people who weren’t afraid to own up to their ideas and ideals?
I would really like to test this sometime in a sacrament meeting talk or something like that. I want to come up with some really deep statement, or write a poem or something like that and then state it as “Someone once said:” or “An annonymous poet once wrote..” and see how people’s reactions differ from if I just state them myself.
What sparked all of this was a poem I was reading by an anonymous poet that I really like. It’s a poem that my dad saw while he was on his mission. My dad has an excellent memory so he made his companion sit there for 10 minutes while he memorized it. My dad can still recite that poem on demand. However, he obviously didn’t know who it was by, so I googled it… and apparently no one else does either. But here’s the poem:
I saw them tear a building down
A gang of men in a lonely town
With a ho-heave-ho and a mighty yell
They swung a beam and a side wall fell
I asked the foremen, are these men skilled?
Men you’d hire if you had to build?
He laughed and said, “No indeed,
Common labor is all I need.
I can easily wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken years to do.”
Then I thought to myself as I went on my way
Which of these roles do I try to play?
Am I a builder who works with care
Measuring life with rules and square
Shaping my deeds to a well made plan,
Patiently doing the best I can?
Or am I a wrecker who walks the town,
Content with the labor of tearing down?
So, on Wednesday I was actually working on a post that was directed towards one of my friends. I’ve been really frustrated with him lately because we’re really good friends… most of the time. However, he’s such a private person that I never feel like I have any idea what’s going on in his life beyond simply classes. Of course, just as I was in the middle of typing up that post… I went to my Religion class. Sister Black was telling us about the Book of Mormon and when Martin Harris lost the 116 pages. Sister Black was telling us that after losing the 116 pages Joseph Smith was a lot more closed and private. He was a lot more careful about who he let into his inner circle. I felt a little bit bad about what I was writing. Maybe this friend has got something down that I just don’t understand yet, or maybe he’s learned the hard way what can happen when you let too many people in.
On the other hand… I’m not entirely sure how much I agree with that whole concept. In my opinion, we’re supposed to be open with other people. We’re supposed to be able to share or joys and sorrows with each other. We’re not meant to go through this life on our own, that’s why we were given friends. I used to have major barriers built around myself. I didn’t let people know much about me or give into much emotional stuff. It has been a long and PAINFUL road to really get myself to open up. Still, I don’t open myself up to just anyone. Unless someone cares enough to really ask I won’t just divulge anything. But the walls are gone. You can’t be close to people who don’t know anything about you, can you? I’m definitely a different girl from the one who started at BYU 3 years ago. But I think it’s been changes for the better. I’ll admit, I’m more scared of letting people get close to me, because I know what that can do. But, I’m more willing to allow them to do so because I have learned also how great it can be to have those people.
I guess it’s a balance, Joseph didn’t shut everyone out, he was just a lot more careful. Maybe I should learn something from that and be a little more careful myself, not closed off, just more careful about who I trust. Heaven knows I ought to have learned that by now. Anyway, this isn’t so much a declaration of which way is right and which way is wrong, simply some thoughts I’ve had lately that I needed to get out.