Favorite Scriptures

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:

Jarom 1 (because that’s the only chapter there is) verse 2

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.

Mormon Abridging the Plates - Image Credit LDS.org
Mormon Abridging the Plates – Image Credit LDS.org

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.

Alma 5:46 –

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.

Angel Appears to Alma and the Sons of Mosiah, by Jerry Thompson; Image Credit LDS.org
Angel Appears to Alma and the Sons of Mosiah, by Jerry Thompson; Image Credit LDS.org

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.

Alma 56:47-48

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.

Two Thousand Young Warriors (Two Thousand Stripling Warriors), by Arnold Friberg, Image Credit: LDS.org
Two Thousand Young Warriors (Two Thousand Stripling Warriors), by Arnold Friberg, Image Credit: LDS.org

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!

The Resurrected Jesus Christ, by Harry Anderson
The Resurrected Jesus Christ, by Harry Anderson – Image Credit LDS.org

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.

Hair and regrets

“Your hair! Your beautiful hair!” “Oh, Jo, how could you? Your one beauty.”

“I took a last look at my hair while the man got his things, and that was the end of it. I never snivel over trifles like that. I will confess, though, I felt queer when I saw the dear old hair laid out on the table, and felt only the short rough ends of my head. It almost seemed as if I’d an arm or leg off.”

Jo lay motionless, and her sister fancied that she was asleep, till a stifled sob made her exclaim, as she touched a wet cheek…

“My…My hair!” burst out poor Jo, trying vainly to smother her emotion in the pillow.

“I’m not sorry,” protested Jo, with a choke. “… It’s only the vain part of me that goes and cries in this silly way. Don’t tell anyone, it’s all over now. I thought you were asleep, so I just made a little private moan for my one beauty.”

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – Chapter 15

In case anyone is wondering what this quote is in here for just know that it pretty much describes how I’m feeling currently. Yesterday I went in to Paul Mitchell hair school and had my roommate cut my hair. I was apprehensive about doing so but Kirstin has been saying that she needs people to come in and have her cut their hair so she can have the experience and get her hours in and all of that. I hadn’t had my hair cut since August and it was getting to be too long to really deal with. So, I agreed that I would come in. I definitely picked a bad day to go in since my hair had been getting on my nerves during the week because it was so darn long (my hair has been the longest it’s been in my entire life) and I really just wanted to get some of the length taken off. So, when I went in we started discussing length and she at first suggested below my shoulder blades. I told her to maybe go a little shorter (since it does take me about 8 months to go in and get my hair cut) and we agreed that we’d go about halfway between the bottom of my shoulder blades and my shoulders. Still really long, but not as long as it’s been. So, she started cutting… and cutting… and cutting. Then when she finished cutting it we started to go for the layers. I hadn’t yet realized how short it had gotten and so we cut the layers. When all was said and done all of my hair was above shoulder length (she says she had to keep evening it out so that it would be straight… apparently for like 2 inches!) and the short layer is about chin length. Now my hair is only just long enough to go in a ponytail. I know I shouldn’t be really upset about this, but I am. I HATE MY HAIR SHORT! I took soo long to finally get it to a length that I really liked and now it’s gone. I literally called up my mom last night and cried to her on the phone for half an hour. She keeps saying I should go to a professional salon and have them fix it… but the hair cut itself is really just fine. Kirstin did a really good job on the actual cutting… it’s just so short. Unfortunately, there’s not really anything I can do about it now. Just wait a few months while it grows back in. But maybe it’s good. Maybe like Jo, the character in Little Women (which, p.s., was one of my favorite books growing up), I needed to do it so that I could get my vanity in check. I don’t know. It’s not that big of a deal. In a couple of days I’m sure I’ll get used to it and be over it. In several months (ok, maybe a lot of months… I don’t know, I don’t think I’ve had my hair this short since I was 15- and I look at those pictures and cringe) it will grow back. It’s just hair. I just wish I could press rewind, go back 48 hours and decide to go to a professional salon and just get my hair cut right. But it’s too late now, no use living in regrets.

Speaking of regrets, I had an interesting conversation with my mom last night. She was saying that last night was one of very few breakdowns I have had in my life which have ended with me crying. Which was almost true. I hadn’t realized that me and my mom had never really discussed the emotional hell I went through a little over a year ago. I guess last night I told her for the first time how I spent nearly an entire semester crying myself to sleep every single night. Somehow I thought she already knew that, but I guess not. It sparked an interesting conversation. The events leading up to that semester came from a lot of choices that I had made. Some choices good, some bad, and I got into some situations that I simply wasn’t ready for. At the time, they were things that my mom didn’t approve of but that I felt very strongly about. We finally had to agree to disagree and just not discuss it. So finally a year and a half later it’s all far enough in the past that we could talk about it. My mom asked me if I were to go back if I would do things differently. It’s something I’ve considered a lot so I didn’t have to think long about my answer. It was “absolutely not.” Which perplexed my mom, as much as it does most people. See, I don’t believe having regrets. By that I mean like life long regrets, not like regrets of cutting your hair too short which will last a few days. Of course, I have to qualify that. If I were to go back, and knowing then what I know now, there’s no way I would do the same things over again. That would be nonsensical. But that’s just the thing, I didn’t know then what I know now. From that experience I think I learned more about myself, and relationships, and life then I could have ever learned any other way. Yeah, the experience was, as I said, an emotional hell. But I wouldn’t trade the things I learned for anything.

It’s like it says in the scriptures “where much is given much is required”. I think that works in reverse, where much is required of us, much is given to us. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without those experiences, and I treasure them. I know that sounds weird to treasure them, but it was a time where I grew a lot and changed and learned. Yeah, growing up hurts, but we don’t need to fear pain. It’s part of life. It’s part of making us who we need to be so that we can return back to our Father in Heaven. “…For if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet—” (D&C 29:39). I can’t imagine regretting something that I worked so hard for.

I think it’s part of the real beauty of the Atonement is that I don’t have to live my life with regrets. If I make mistakes, and I learn from them then I can repent. I don’t have to go through those experiences again because I learned the lesson so I don’t do the same thing again, but I am not eternally stuck out of the presence of Heavenly Father. I can still return to Him, if I continue on trying my very best. What an amazing blessing!

Sorry for those of you who don’t believe the same as I do, this was as much written for me as for anyone else (as is I suppose the majority of my blog), it’s just been something that has really had me thinking lately.

I have more that I want to write, and more space that I’m sure I will fill up in the next little while with some things that I have been kicking around in my head and really need to get out on paper (or my blog) so that I can sorta finish thinking through them. But for now, it’s 2am and I really need to get some sleep. Good night! 🙂

Sufferings..

While I was on tour I completed The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. If you haven’t read it I HIGHLY recommend it. It was such an amazing book. It’s about a woman in Holland who was part of the anti-Nazi resistance during World War II. There’s a ton more to it than that but the part I wanted to talk about is what I gained from reading about her experience in the concentration camp. I decided that I hate watching people suffer, or knowing that they are suffering. I know that seems like a pretty obvious statement, but apparently not everyone agrees. As I was reading about the cruelty the Nazi soldiers inflicted on their prisoners it just made me ill. I couldn’t imagine one human being treating another like that. It made me think about the Jews as they sentenced Christ to be killed. Whenever I think about that I just can’t understand how anyone could be so filled with hatred as to kill the Son of God. I know they may not have believed that, but really, I just I can’t fathom it. I have a hard time killing spiders even though I absolutely despise them. They’re living creatures and I don’t like taking away life, it just gives me the creeps. I know that from a moral standpoint it doesn’t matter that I make Taylor kill the spiders for me, but I just cannot do it myself. It also made me think of how much our Father in Heaven must love us. I mean, I look at how much I can’t stand watching other people suffer, and the people that I see suffer aren’t in a fraction of what the prisoners of the Holocaust suffered and their total combined suffering is only a small portion of all of the sufferings and sins of the entire world. I can’t even begin to fathom the suffering he went through. But not only did he do it, but his Father who loves Him more than we will ever understand, sat by and watched, allowing it to happen that we might be saved. What deep love our Father has for us to allow His perfect Son to die for the rest of us imperfect human beings. Anyways, I don’t know how coherent that was (it is almost 2am and I’m soo dead) but it was just some thoughts that I needed to share before my brain exploded.

perspective

In Relief Society today we had a lesson on hymns. Someone started talking about an experience she had on her mission and I was… humbled. She told us about a really bad day that she was having when the hymn “Count Your Many Blessings” came into her mind. As she recited the lyrics (which, granted I’ve heard a million times before) it really hit home to me.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done

Lately I have been discouraged and definitely have felt like all is lost. But I’ve decided to try and count my many blessings (because let’s face it, the gospel is true, temples are beautiful… it’s all just a matter of perspective) instead of focusing on things I can’t control. Does it mean things will be any easier? Nope. Does it mean that all the pain will disappear? Not really. Does it mean that every morning I will wake up and my life will be going perfectly? No. But it does mean that I can see the sunlight through the clouds and be happy despite them.

Later in sacrament meeting it was pounded into my head again as we sang that song for the closing hymn. Although… I nearly passed out towards the end of the last verse because I hadn’t eaten anything yet today. I hope that’s not a sign…

Anyways, that’s what I learned today and I just wanted to share.

Thought for the Day

I went to my Doctrine & Covenants class today and the teacher said something that I wanted to comment on. As we were leaving he said “Don’t forget that today is your best day ever.” At first I just laughed thinking “please tell me you’re kidding me… because right now, I’m not really in the mood for the best day ever.” Then he said, “Even if you have challenges right now or you’re sick or whatever, today is your best day ever.” It was sorta a reality check for me. I’ve said this a million times before and I’ll probably say it a million times again. Our lives turn out however we want them to be. We can choose our attitude and that is really what controls our life. No matter how many times I think that over (heck, i’ve been trying to write a book to that effect…) I still keep needing to re-learn it. So, I’m going to make a commitment, right now. Yes, currently a major part of my life sucks, but I’m going to try and make the best of it. I’m going to take this next year to get everything in order and just take care of the things that I can control. My schoolwork, how i run my life, getting in my 100. Until I can change my parents’ mind I’m going to at least make sure that I’m using the time given to me well.

Today has overall been pretty good. I got $1000 into my checking account from savings, my new bus pass, ran into my old roommate, and got officially added to the YA tech crew again. The last one was pretty cool. They already had 8 people enrolled in the crew which is usually the total they allow on, but since they wanted me back enough, they made it a 9 person crew so that I could come back as a spotlight operator. That really made me feel good. China & Korea here I come!! 🙂

Heart still hurts, but I’m surviving. One day at a time I guess…