Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Individual Worth

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 For this post, I would first like to direct you to a post titled "Beauty Is" by Jenny Phillips, by Sarah at The Sprinkles on my Ice Cream :) she does a wonderful job discussing New Years resolutions and beauty and how they relate to our infinite worth.

And then, because it's cheating to use someone else's post as my "post for the day," I shall add some stuffs of my own :) 

The topic of Individual Worth is very important to me. I've seen some of my best friends struggle with knowing their worth (and I have struggled, as well). They worry that they're not "good enough" because of their looks, weight, test scores, social skills, family problems, religious views, political opinions, et cetera and so on forever. 

I would like to draw your attention to the most awesometastic scripture I have ever read on this topic. Well, the two most awesometastic scriptures I've read on this topic (if you know of more, feel free to point them out!!! I would love to read them!!!)

D&C 18:10
Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God

Matthew 10:29-31
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

So imagine this. Let's pretend there's this thing called the Earthy Awesomeness Scale. We'll call it a scale from 1 to 10. And everyone else seems to rate somewhere between a 8 and a 10, while you usually rate yourself lower than 5 (unless you're exceedingly self-confident, which is AWESOME in moderation). I know I would rate myself waaay less than 5, especially knowing what kind of people rate a 10. 

But guess what. 

Heavenly Father never ever ever ever looks at the Earthly Awesomeness Scale. 

In fact, to Him it doesn't exist. It's a concept made up by humans, and in the eternal scheme of things it doesn't matter. At all. 

See, Heavenly Father has this thing called the Worth of Souls scale. And on a scale of 1 to 10, every single person ever rates a 20. I promise, you really do have great worth. [The 20 was originally a typo and then I realized that 20 was way more realistic than 10, so I left it :) ]

So remember all that stuff I mentioned that people worry about? Their looks, weight, test scores, social skills, family problems, religious views, political opinions, et cetera and so on forever? It doesn't factor into Heavenly Father's Worth of Souls scale. He loves and cares for you regardless. He loves you more than you could ever imagine. 

I promise. 

<3 Marie-Rose

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Divine Nature

I'm going to tie this post into another post I've been considering writing. It has to do with the song, What Heaven Sees in You. I'll come back to that.

The Personal Progress booklet (or at least the online version) says in the Divine Nature section:
"Be partakers of the divine nature. … Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (2 Peter 1:4–7).
I have inherited divine qualities, which I will strive to develop."

The YW theme begins with this statement:
"We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him."

Which means Jesus Christ is our Brother :) (see this post)

And to come back to the song:
"Do you understand who you are? / part of the Father lives in you!"
-What Heaven Sees in You

The color for Divine Nature is blue, and according to this article, represents "the big blue sky, and all that is divine." Reminds me of "it is better to look up" :) 

(I just realized that I didn't talk about faith's color, white. Oh well, maybe another post. Or maybe I'll go in and update it.)

Think of that! We are all Heavenly Father's children! And guess what, ladies? That makes us princesses :D

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The following was published in the Aug 2005 issue of Friend, a church magazine:
"I've always wanted to be a princess. Recently, as I was looking at a photo of me standing by the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple, I suddenly realized that I have always been a princess. As a daughter of Heavenly Father, I am a daughter in His kingdom. I am grateful for that."
-Kim P, age 9, Idaho
(I took out her last name and some location information cuz even though it was published in a magazine and online, this is the big bad internet and I don't feel comfortable putting other people's information out there)

Kay, so we've established our Divine Nature. Now what? 

2 Peter 1:5-7
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

Well, now you're supposed to develop those divine qualities, like faith and virtue and knowledge and temperance and patience and godliness and brotherly kindness and charity. Why?

2 Peter 1:8
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Cuz we're promised blessings if we do :) 

<3 Marie-Rose

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Faith

I'm gonna try doing a series. A series on the YW values. Which means I shall start with faith.

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My faith is very important to me.

Several years ago, before I even started looking into the Church, I put God on the same level as Santa Claus. Well, almost the same level. I KNEW Santa was fictitious, but I couldn't figure out if God was "just a myth," too. My parents told me He was real, but they said the same thing about Santa. My Faith Formation teachers told me He was real, too. I wondered if they were in league with my parents. I mean, flash forward to the present, I as a cashier help parents establish and maintain the Santa Claus myth when necessary. It's quite entertaining :)

God felt different from Santa, though. There's a whole book, the Bible! So either some mastermind was lying to the entire world, or...

I prayed sometimes. I remember praying a lot for my grandma, who A Strange Christmas references. Yes, the one who had surgery Christmas Day. I prayed that she would be healthy and live for a very long time (I was maybe 10 years old, maybe younger). But I didn't know what else to pray for, or if it did any good.

Then I met these people. These Mormons. And they really KNEW that God was not like Santa. God was real. And I could even talk about Him with them! Especially with Katie. And seeing the effect He had on their lives was amazing.

And you can go read this post for my conversion story :)

Now, I have faith. I have a testimony. I KNOW Heavenly Father is there. I KNOW He loves us. I KNOW that His timing is so much more awesometastic than ours. I KNOW He has an amazingful plan for every one of us, and that plan is absolutely perfect. I KNOW that we must have faith in these things and endure to the end.

I have this ring. It's not a CTR ring. It says "Faith" on the outside. Inside, it says "Live by faith, not by sight." If I didn't have two CTR rings that I wear every day, I would wear my Faith ring all the time. And I did, before I got my CTR rings.

This isn't my ring, but it looks almost exactly the same :)

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Hebrews 11:1
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Alma 32:21
"And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true."

Alma 32 is that chapter about planting a seed. Remember that one? I remember reading it for the first time. It really struck me. You gotta exercise faith by planting the seed. You gotta nourish it. And it will grow. And the fact that it grows increases your faith. So it grows more. And so on :)

You have to take action and have faith in order to get that "warm fuzzy" feeling (or however you personally feel the Spirit) that confirms to you the truth of the gospel.

I read a blog post about this recently, and I apologize for not being able to point you to the specific post. It was another convert's blog, and she talked about how she "tried" to live the Church standards when the missionaries were teaching her. But she wasn't sincere. So she didn't get that confirmation of the truth. But eventually, she changed her mindset. She was still going through the same motions, but sincerely this time. And then came the confirmation :)

Heavenly Father can't give you that confirmation until you have faith.

Oh yeah, faith, that was my topic. I may have strayed from that a little.

Live by faith, not by sight. Hope always and pray constantly. You are in the world, but should not be of the world. You lived with Heavenly Father before you were born on Earth. What you see here on Earth isn't all there is. What you see people doing here isn't always good. Have faith that Heavenly Father is there, rooting for you, and you CAN endure to the end.

<3 Marie-Rose

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Guest Post by Katie: Swapping Trust

Hey guys! We're gonna try something new today :) my bestest friend Katie is gonna write a guest post! Unfortunately she doesn't have a blog I can point you to, but maybe we can get her hooked on blogging after doing this once or twice, yes? :)

<3 Marie-Rose

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Hey everyone, Katie here! I've known for about a week now that Marie-Rose wants me to post on her blog, but I haven't been able to think of something that feels right to talk about. Then this morning it hit me: Trust.

Long story short, I've been treated pretty badly by a few people in the last few years, and I've realized that I still have to trust; trust that God will help me, trust myself and what I stand for, and trust that people are good and kind and want to help. I know you guys know what I'm talking about; you've all been in that place. But sometimes we all need a reminder.

When we go through hard times it's easy to think that we deserve it, that we have to fix it, and that we shouldn't trust the same way again. But if we let ourselves think this way, we are being cheated. No one deserves to be treated badly, it's that simple. But we are all cheated, mistreated, and feel defeated at times. This is where we need to remember that at some point we have mistreated someone else. And we still view ourselves for the most part in a positive way, right? We tell ourselves that it was wrong and that we won't treat someone the same way again. So why wouldn't we trust that others think the same way? Though they mistreated us, it's likely they didn't intend to, it just happened that way. They probably think the same way we do and if we trust ourselves to treat others kindly, why wouldn't we trust others to treat us kindly? And if we trust that other people are good, we have to believe that we ourselves are good. We do good things, believe in good things, and are trying to do what we think is right just like everyone else. And though we hurt people sometimes, we are still good. And sometimes we don't have to fix the problem that was made, and we never have to fix it on our own. Sometimes you need to just leave things as they are and it's not your deal to fix. Sometimes it's the other person's job to do the fixing. And sometimes it's for the best. And if you do need to fix it, you always have God to help. Trust in God is essential to enduring life. Not just getting through, but enduring. God always wants to help us, even if we haven't talked to Him for a while or if we have done something horrible; and sometimes He helps us by making us do things on our own. He always helps. So it's important to trust Him and that He is leading you in a better way than you could yourself. This is something I have learned over and over again lately.

Let's take a moment to think more. I mean, we trusted that His son would come down to save us, didn't we? That that was the great part of His plan that would lead us home? If we trusted in Him and His son before this life, why not trust Him now?

Back to me to show you how this trust thing works. After my period of not trusting anyone like I had, I prayed and God led me down a path of showing major trust in someone. I took a leap of faith knowing that God would not lead me astray from His path. And so far, it has been a big comfort. I am happier than I have been in a while. I know that God always helps me, I know that trusting people brings us happiness and comfort that we are not alone, and I know that God trusts me; He trusts me to follow His will and help others follow His will as well. Trust is a two way street, and when followed, it leads to salvation. We weren't meant to walk alone, so we use trust to endure life together. We swap trust.

Your Friendly Shorty,
Katie :D

A Strange Christmas

So on Sunday, Dec 22, my family got together and kinda celebrated Christmas. No gifts that day, but some of my aunts and uncles (being in the medical field) had to work on Christmas and/or Christmas Eve. 

On Monday, my immediate family took my grandma out to lunch. Then we took her back to her assisted living place and talked for a bit. 

Sometime Monday night, my grandma fell. She broke her pelvis and her arm, and already had a broken rib from something else. She was confused and disoriented (probably from the pain). 

They operated on her arm Christmas morning. 

Christmas Eve night, we were all on pins and needles, worrying. My aunts and uncles (being in the medical field) kept talking about it and most of it went over my head. But I did understand that we should maybe probably have a document of her final wishes on hand and she could have trouble coming off "the vent" (machine that breathes for you). 

Needless to say, I was beyond worried. 

So what did I do? I texted some of my Mormon friends and asked them to pray for her. Their quick response and willingness to pray, not just for her but for our entire family, was amazing. 

The surgery went well, she's doing fine, and she's sleeping off the meds :) 

But what I wanna talk about is the power of prayer. My grandma is almost 90 years old. Yesterday could have been rocky. But many people prayed for her. A lot. It could be just a coinkydink. Maybe she would have been fine even if we didn't pray. I have no way of knowing. But if all my medical family members were that worried, then there was a legitimate reason to worry. 

It makes me feel so comforted and loved to know that so many people prayed for my grandma. It calmed me down considerably. 

I'm not entirely sure what I'm trying to say here. Mostly, I just wanna say that prayer is awesome. "Hope Always and Pray Constantly." And all those prayers Christmas Eve and Christmas morning... 'Twas powerful. 

<3 Marie-Rose

Monday, December 23, 2013

BYU

So my first choice for what college I wanna go to is BYU. I figure, being a new convert and leaving home for the first time, it'd be easier for me to be surrounded by other members. It'd be more natural to stick to my standards, and it'd be much easier to find an awesome guy :)

But guess what.

As mentioned in this post, I can't go to BYU :( it's crazy far away from where I live. My mom doesn't want me to be that far away. And the major I originally wanted to go for (fashion design, yeah!) doesn't exist at BYU. RAWR.

So I shall be going someplace else. It has Institute, but the program is super small (yes, I look into all this stuff waaay ahead of time!). Plus out of state tuition is nasty. *sigh*

But ya know what I figure? There's gotta be a reason BYU isn't gonna work out. There's gotta be something at the college I plan on going to that I need to do/see/experience.

So the plan is to trust in Heavenly Father's timing and His plan because it's much more awesometastic than mine could ever be :)

<3 Marie-Rose

PS sorry this is so short compared to my usual posts. Wifi has not been my friend the past couple days, so I haven't been online to post. I've got wifi for the moment, but not for very long, so I had to make it quick in order to get the post up.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

SMILE!

This is a happy post. This is an "I hope you're happy" post. This is an "I want you to be happy" post.

I've had days and weeks and occasionally months where happy is the last thing I want to be. I know how that goes. And honestly, I have no foolproof way to turn that frown upside down. I've frequently wondered if there's some works-every-time path-to-happiness out there. Guess what! There's not. 

But Marie-Rose! That sounds super depressing! I thought this post was gonna make me smile, like the title says! 

Well. First I'm gonna tell the story behind SMILE. It's in all caps, in case you hadn't noticed. 


BatMoose, one of my bestest friends, has had a rough few months. One day a long time ago, we were texting and she had to leave for work. She didn't wanna go, cuz her job is super boring. So I told her to SMILE! :D mostly cuz it's good customer service to smile. But also cuz I wanted (and still want) her to be happy. And since then, it's been our thing. 

Unfortunately, we've barely been able to talk to each other in a long time. Long story short, her parents won't let her talk to me cuz I'm Mormon. 

So how does this turn into a happy post? Because I want YOU to be happy. Because Heavenly Father wants you to be happy. Because, as BatMoose once told me, remember 2 Corinthians 4:

"Mortal trials are nothing as contrasted with eternal glory...we are troubled on every side, yet not distressed, we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not destroyed."

Because "men are that they might have joy" (someone please tell me what scripture that is because I don't know and I really should!). (Update: thank you to WhitneySue for finding it! 2 Nephi 2:25)

Because "every storm runs / runs outta rain / just like every dark night / turns into day / every heartache / will fade away / just like every storm runs / runs outta rain" :) (Gary Allan, "Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)")

Because I promise things will look better eventually. Because D&C 121:7-9

"7 My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
8 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
9 Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands."

I love when the scriptures speak of peace. Feeling peace is how I know the BOM is true. Life is hectic. Even just the idea of peace brings me comfort. I may have said this before, but I was once told that peace is the only emotion that Satan can't duplicate. 

So SMILE :D happy is good. Be happy, and you're good :)

<3 Marie-Rose

PS I drew that smiley face in my scripture journal. Partially because I didn't want to have to cite an image source (it's super difficult to do from my iPod), but mostly because I wanted to draw a smiley face just for my awesome followers :) 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Eternal Awesomeness

I know I've done a post like this before. But I'm just so excited, guys. This is some exciting stuff. 

Six. Months. From. Today. 

Oookkaaayyy, but Marie-Rose, what's so special about June 14?? 

I wanna be baptized that day, that's what's special about it!! 

SIX MONTHS!!!!! That's so very crazy close!! And super exciting! 

It doesn't feel real yet. It probably won't feel real for a very long time. Sometimes I feel like I'm waiting for a possibility rather than a certainty. Like an "I might be able to get baptized" rather than an "I WILL GET BAPTIZED." I still WANT to either way. But oftentimes I'm scared that something will prevent it. Which is totally irrational, cuz I will be 18 and I can't think of anything that could stop it. But ya know how, whenever you want something SOOO much, it seems like it always falls through? I'm terrified of that. 

Because I want to be baptized more than I've ever wanted anything. 

Earthly desires are one thing. But baptism is important. It means something eternally. And I want that eternal awesomeness. I want the Holy Ghost to be with me, I want to be worthy to have Him with me, and I want to be baptized. 

<3 Marie-Rose

Ps I saw Batmoose today and it MADE MY DAY. I hope you still read this, Batmoose :) <3 I got you a Christmas present. Hopefully I see you on Thursday. I love you! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Devotional

I had no idea there even was a Christmas devotional. But then my awesome neighbor told me about it while I was practicing my speech at her house! (it was my entertainment speech, topic: my conversion story. I wasn't gonna practice that at home cuz I was terrified that my sisters would walk in on me!)

Anywho! So I got to watch the Christmas devotional. On my iPod. And I had a headache. And I was supposed to be doing calc hw (which, I should probably be doing that instead of writing a blog post...).

I'm very glad I got to watch :) I really liked Sister Rosemary M. Wixom's talk, What Happened Next?

She reminded me that the Christmas season is important, but "what happens next" is important, too. Jesus Christ died for us. Each of us. I've heard it said that, if it was just YOU, only one person, who would be saved, He still would have done the same.

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I like this quote that she mentions:
“We solemnly testify that [our Savior’s] life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.”
(“The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles,” Ensign, Apr. 2000, 2–3.)

So even though I've been crazy busy, and I've barely had time to do my calc hw and my French hw and study for gov and take my car in to get the leaky tire fixed and work and on and on and on.... I need to remember Christ. All the time.

One thing I really want to get better at is feeling comfortable praying. I've had a few days where I talk to Him most of the day and it feels totally natural. Like, if your best friend was with you the entire day and you spent the whole day talking while you do whatever it is you had to do that day. So kinda like texting, I guess :) except with Heavenly Father! So not quite like texting, cuz my phone doesn't buzz and I don't get responses in word form. But I can feel that He's there and listening.

Anywho. That's only happened a few times. I want to be able to do that every day. That's my goal. Because shouldn't we always aim to be closer to Him? Especially during Christmas, but it needs to be our goal every day of the year.

<3 Marie-Rose

PS- I had no idea where that post was going until I finished it.

PPS- Dear Blogger spellcheck, "texting" is so a word. I promise. Update your dictionary already!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Be grateful!!!

I just watched this video for extra credit for speech. I thought you guys might enjoy it.


 Sorry this post isn't longer, but I have a lot of homework... 

<3 Marie-Rose

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Fog

I used to like fog. I thought it was pretty. I still think it's kinda pretty.

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But now I have to drive in it.

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Driving in fog is not fun. It's not as bad as driving in the snow (in my opinion), but it's really hard to see much of anything. Joy.

How many speakers have used fog as an analogy for clouded spiritual sight? Not being able to focus on Jesus Christ because there's just so much stuff in the way? I'm thinking of one talk in particular, namely Now Is the Time to Arise and Shine! by Elaine S. Dalton. She describes a young woman, Florence Chadwick, who's a talented swimmer. In attempting to swim a great distance, Florence gave up because she could not see the shoreline, because of the fog (PS she was within a mile of the coastline but she couldn't see it and didn't know how close she was).

I don't swim. But some days, I drive past the Stake Center. On a sunny day, I can see the tall spire thingy from far away, long before I can see the building itself. But on a cloudy day, the white spire is difficult to see because of the grayish white clouds behind it. Now, on a foggy day.... yeah, I can't see it at all. It's sad. But when I get closer, almost right next to the building, I can see the spire IF I remember to look up! (Which reminds me of another talk, by Carl B. Cook- It Is Better to Look Up)

Life is foggy. Foggy distractions are a side effect of living on Earth. There's not really a way to completely avoid them. BUT! It's easier to see through the fog if you keep close to Heavenly Father. Like when I drive past the Stake Center on a foggy day- it's easier to see the inspiring spire if I'm right next to the building. But I also need to look up, towards Him, always.

Well, obviously I can't literally look up all the time. Just when I'm right next to the Stake Center and I want the reassurance of seeing that spire. But I can spiritually look up all the time. At least, I can try to :) No one's perfect, it's hard to center your mind around spiritual thoughts 24/7. But we can try :)

<3 Marie-Rose

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Self Improvement

I need to work on being more outgoing.

I'm usually really shy. I don't go up to people and start conversations. I don't go out of my way to make friends in my classes (I'm not at the same school I was at last year, so I don't know a lot of my classmates). The only time I consider myself to be even slightly outgoing is at work, cuz being a cashier, I kind of have to be comfortable talking to people.

Well guess what. When I go to college, I'll need to be able to talk to people so I can make new friends. I will hardly know anyone when I get there (if I went to BYU, I would know people, but I won't be going to BYU and that's a story for another post).

Guess what else. You can't have missionary moments if you never talk to anyone.

So I need to work on being more outgoing. My speech class is really helping with that. Very few people in the class are quiet. It's like they took all the loud, talkative, friendly people and put them all in the same class. Which makes class really entertaining :) it's actually my favorite class. And being required to get up and talk in front of these people... it forces me to be less shy. I get to know my classmates and we're all super supportive of one another. Plus I can talk to them about my religion :)

*seemingly random change of subject*

The other day, my family went to go get a Christmas tree. After much wandering, we had chosen one and were dragging it back to the barn where the people running the tree farm would shake it out and put netting around it so we could easily get it home. We passed a young family, also dragging a tree. They had only one child, less than four years old, and the parents were having difficulties carrying everything. The tree farm provides everyone with a saw and a measuring stick (so you know if your tree will fit in your living room), and the couple couldn't carry the saw, the stick, and the tree all at once. Plus the little girl was too young to help.

So I walked up and asked if they needed me to carry anything. It's something I would normally only do at work.  I kinda surprised myself. They were super grateful and asked if  I could carry their saw and measuring stick. But that's not the point of me telling this story. The point of telling the story is to prove to myself that I can talk to random people in public. (PS we had been planning on getting our tree a different day and then plans changed, so maybe Heavenly Father had a hand in helping this couple out? It could have been a prompting that caused me to walk over to them...)

Cuz, after all, if you can't talk to people, how can you spread the gospel?

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<3 Marie-Rose

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Growth

Yes, another "thoughts from mass" post :)

Advent starts today. That's like the four Sundays leading up to Christmas or something like that. I like Advent. Have you ever seen those wreaths with three purple candles and one pink one? Those are for Advent. They count down the weeks till Christmas. The priest gets to wear purple robes for mass! We're all pretty sick of the green ones by now. Green robes are for "ordinary time," when nothing special is happening. It lasts forever. 


Anywho. Growth. That's what today's homily was about. A homily is like when the priest gives a talk, after he reads part of one of the gospels. 

All of us are always growing. Not physically, but spiritually. And sometimes (usually), growth is slow and painful. But we need to keep growing. That's what He sent us here to do! 

Some scriptures about growing:

D&C 50:40 Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.

Alma 32, about planting the seed of faith and allowing it to grow by nourishing it, and then you can see that it is good. 

Matthew 13
31 Another parable put he forth unto tvhem, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

D&C 82:14 For Zion must increase in beauty, and in holiness; her borders must be enlarged; her stakes must be strengthened; yea, verily I say unto you, Zion must arise and put on her beautiful garments.

Quotes from various talks:

"Developing spirituality and attuning ourselves to the highest influences of godliness is not an easy matter. It takes time and frequently involves a struggle. It will not happen by chance, but is accomplished only through deliberate effort and by calling upon God and keeping his commandments........The place to begin is here. The time to start is now. The length of our stride need be but one step at a time. God, who has, 'designed our happiness,' will lead us along even as little children, and we will by that process approach perfection."

"An infant's body is tiny, and its spiritual capacities are undeveloped. While the body may reach the peak of its maturation in a few years, the development of the spirit may never reach the limit of its capacity, because there is no end to progression."

"Growing up spiritually requires faith, great diligence, and patience.......Growing up spiritually requires us to see beyond our own desires and to enlarge our way of seeing things. We not only have to let go of our selfishness but sometimes let go of things we want very badly to come to understand our Heavenly Father's point of view."

We are always growing. I think that's awesome. There is no "point of perfection" that one can reach and suddenly know all there is to know and no longer need to grow spiritually. Nope, there's always something else beyond where we are. And sometimes that's a discouraging thought. But since there isn't an Earthly destination, we can enjoy the journey that much more :) we just need to grow and endure! 

<3 Marie-Rose

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Dear Americans,

We have a problem. Thanksgiving is a very important holiday. But retailers can't make very much money off of it, can they? Not unless they sell food or decorations. So they have a nifty solution- make Christmas bigger. Ooh yes, they can make a lot of money off of Christmas shoppers. How do they make Christmas bigger?

Well.

Let's look at the history of Thanksgiving. It used to be on the last Thursday in Novemeber, did you know that? Always the last one, even if November had 5 Thursdays. And now it's on the 4th Thursday, which is sometimes the last Thursday but not always. When did that change? According to Congress, Dec 26, 1941. 

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But FDR started observing Thanksgiving on the 4th Thursday in 1939. Yup, during the Great Depression. Thanksgiving was on the last day of November that year, according to the "last Thursday" tradition. Retailers were afraid of losing money during the Christmas season because shoppers had fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And most people, at that time, didn't do their Christmas shopping until after Thanksgiving.

Okay, so they moved Thanksgiving. Big deal, that was 72 years ago! Why am I writing a blog post?

Because, my friends, Thanksgiving is being completely disrespected. By retailers. Again. (Well, I don't have a problem with them having moved it. Especially cuz it was the Great Depression. But saying "again" just makes my point sound better)

WHY are stores open for Black FRIDAY shopping on THURSDAY night?? And after doing a little research, it's not just Thursday night.

It looks like Lowe's opened at 4am on Thanksgiving morning. Kmart wasn't much better- 6am. A few other stores opened Thursday morning as well.

I understand why. Retailers are increasing profits this way. But what happens when stores start opening at midnight Thanksgiving morning? At 8pm Wednesday night? When will it stop??

Just because I understand why they do it doesn't mean I think they should.

This whole phenomenon is totally disrespectful of Thanksgiving (and Christmas, too, if you think about it). Whatever happened to a day of giving thanks and eating way too much food and spending time with family? It's quickly turning into a major shopping day. And when you picture Black Friday shoppers, you picture loud, rude, selfish people who will do anything to get the "best price" on some materialistic thing. They're not spending quality time with their families. They're not being very thankful.

I have never been Black Friday shopping. But I've worked on Black Friday, twice now. I'm lucky to have my job, and not work at Walmart or something. We opened at 8am Friday morning (we usually open at 9am). It was awesome.

See, I work at this company called Hobby Lobby. We are closed on Sundays. Our CEO runs the company based on Christian values. We don't open at ridiculous hours just to make a little more money. 

So guess what, big greedy companies? It's possible to be less greedy and still make money. 

Be thankful, people. Spend time being thankful. And AFTER you spend a day being thankful, THEN you may go shop. Gratitude makes you happier. I promise.

I apologize for not knowing the image source on this one.

<3 Marie-Rose

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm sitting at my grandparents' house, and my dad and uncle and grandpa are watching the football game. This morning we watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. This, my friends, is Thanksgiving :)

There's a lot that I'm thankful for. Where to even begin??

I'm thankful for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It has brought so much joy to my life. I'm so glad my friends shared their beliefs with me :)

I'm thankful for the many promptings I have received and recognized over the past week. I feel so loved :) each one came at exactly the right time (obviously, cuz His timing is always perfect!!!) and I felt so much better knowing He's watching out for me :)

I'm thankful for my friends. Their love and support is simply amazing.

I'm thankful for my blog :) it makes me happy! Even though I only have like two readers :) I love you guys! And your comments make me happy!

I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for my job. For the awesome food we just ate :) turkey and cranberry sauce and squash and potatoes and pickles and fruit salad and brown 'n serve rolls! I'm thankful for music. For internet. For scriptures. For scholarships. For fuzzy socks. For scarves. For my phone. For books. For khaki pants. For pillows and blankets. For jewelry. For those days when my hair cooperates. For my speech class. For snow. For sunlight. For sleep. For rocking chairs. For nail polish. For getting a good grade on my calc test a week or two ago. For school spirit. For happiness. For purple, cuz it's an awesome color.

I'm thankful for life on Earth :)

Most of all, I am thankful that "We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us me we love Him" :)

What are you thankful for today?

<3 Marie-Rose

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

D&C 93:40

This is gonna sound really weird. But as a convert, I wasn't sure if I wanted to teach my future children the Mormon faith.

My reasoning? I don't want to force them into believing something. I want them to know that they can make a choice, like I did. I felt forced to be Catholic, like that's all my parents wanted me to do. Granted, after talking to them, I realize it wasn't like that, but I don't want my kids to feel that way.

But then I read D&C 93:40

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And then I found this blog post. Jeremy, the author of What I Believe  A Mormon Perspective, says that some people (like me, apparently), don't want to "force religion on their kids," so they can "exercise their agency."

But then he says
If they don't learn it from you, who are they going to learn it from before the world fills their heads with other meaningless, degrading, and harmful things?
 Very good point, Mr. Jeremy. Very good point.

I want my future kids to have the same amazing opportunity that I have, to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And if I don't teach them, the world will. And if the world (and Satan) teaches them, they won't learn the same things that I have learned: that Heavenly Father loves me, and I can one day return to live with Him, and He asks that I keep His commandments. (John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments)

And d'you know what? I know that Heavenly Father led me to find these things. He knew I was struggling with this dilemma, and He sent me an answer. I don't recall having ever prayed about it, but sometime in the future I would have. And that makes me feel so very loved and protected.

<3 Marie-Rose

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thoughts From Mass

(Mass is Catholic-speak for church service)

We sang this song at the end of mass today:

Canticle of the Turning
My soul cries out with a joyful shout
that the God of my heart is great,
And my spirit sings of the wondrous things
that you bring to the one who waits.
You fixed your sight on the servant's plight,
and my weakness you did not spurn,
So from east to west shall my name be blest.
Could the world be about to turn?

Refrain:
My heart shall sing of the day you bring.
Let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears,
For the dawn draws near,
And the world is about to turn.

Though I am small, my God, my all,
you work great things in me.
And your mercy will last from the depths of the past
to the end of the age to be.
Your very name puts the proud to shame,
and those who would for you yearn,
You will show your might, put the strong to flight,
for the world is about to turn. (Refrain)

From the halls of power to the fortress tower,
not a stone will be left on stone.
Let the king beware for your justice tears
every tyrant from his throne.
The hungry poor shall weep no more,
for the food they can never earn;
These are tables spread, ev'ry mouth be fed,
for the world is about to turn. (Refrain)

Though the nations rage from age to age,
we remember who holds us fast:
God's mercy must deliver us
from the conqueror's crushing grasp.
This saving word that our forbears heard
is the promise that holds us bound,
'Til the spear and rod be crushed by God,
who is turning the world around. (Refrain)

The part that really struck me was where it says "Though I am small, my God, my all, / you work great things in me" 

We as people are small as compared to God, compared to the Earth, compared to a mountain, etc.


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I'm a relatively small person, on top of all that. As in, shorter than 5'3" :) go short people! Physically, I don't look that impressive. But Heavenly Father can still "work great things in me," even though I don't appear "great." I don't know yet what those things will be, but I would love to be able to do them. 

Ya know what would be really awesome, is if I could be like Al Fox (see her blog here). I lied, she's married now- Al Carraway. Anywho, she talks at firesides, her blog is amazingly inspirational, and she's totally my role model. Plus she's a convert like me, although her story is a bit more dramatic than mine. (Thank you to Whitney Sue at Feel My Sunlight for THIS POST that led me to find Al's blog!)

Are you open to letting Him work great things in you? Whether it be changes in how you live your life, missionary moments, serving others, or hundreds of other things He might have in store for you? It's something I need to work on. I want things to go MY way, but that's not how things go. I need to follow His plan for me. 

This song, Canticle of the Turning, has a wonderful message of joy. The gospel brings me true joy. I hope you can feel the same. 

<3 Marie-Rose

Thursday, November 14, 2013

212 Days

Guess what today is.

It's November 14. Guess what happens 7 months from today.

Seven months from today is June 14, 2014. That, my friends, is the day I will be baptized. 212 days from today.

It's been a year and 5 months since I decided I wanted to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. THAT'S SUPER AWESOME. I am SO EXCITED.

I know this Church is true. I know because I feel peace when I read the scriptures. I know because simply thinking about how happy I'll be when I get baptized makes me super happy now. I know because the gospel has brought me nothing but joy. I know because every time I see the little spire thingy on the Stake Center, I'm reminded of how awesome this Church is. I know because talking about our faith brings my friends and I closer. I know because I've felt the Spirit prompting me in the right direction.

I KNOW that I'm in the right place. I know I belong here.

Happy happy happy :D

In the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN.

<3 Marie-Rose

PS I'm not doing 30 days of Thanksgiving like lots of the awesome bloggers I follow, cuz I know I would forget or not have time and feel bad cuz I missed a day, but today I'm thankful for my faith :D

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Changed by Rascal Flatts

"I came up out of the water
Raised my hands up to the Father
Gave it all to him that day
Felt a new wind kiss my face
Walked away, Eyes wide open
Could finally see where I was going
It didn't matter where I'd been
I'm not the same man I was then

I got off track, I made mistakes
Back slid my way into that place where souls get lost
Lines get crossed
and the pain won't go away
I hit my knees, Now here I stand
There I was, now here I am
Here I am
Changed

I got a lot of "Hey, I'm sorry"s
The things I've done
Man, that was not me
I wish that I could take it all back
I just want to tell em' that
Tell 'em that

I got off track, I made mistakes
Back slid my way into that place where souls get lost
Lines get crossed
and the pain won't go away
I hit my knees, Now here I stand
There I was, now here I am
Here I am

I'm changed for the better
More smiles, less bitter
I'm even starting to forgive myself

I hit my knee, I'm here I stand
There I was, now here I am
Here I am, Here I am, Here I am
Changed
Yes I am
I'm changed for the better.
Thank God I'm changed."
(Source link)


I absolutely love this song. It totally fits me. "I hit my knees, now here I stand" :) and the first bit, about baptism- that WILL be me. I can't wait to get baptized.

Image source


The abbreviated story:
Remember how, in my conversion story post, I said after YC I started questioning my entire Catholic belief system and my emotional state was "not good"? Well, it went a little deeper than simply "not good," and it stayed that way for a long time. Sophomore year sucked. So did parts of junior year. I'm much better now, but I have a lil ways to go yet. This song, Changed, is like my theme song.

One time, I was driving home with my best friend, Katie, in the passenger seat. Changed came on the radio, so of course I had to sing along. It had been an amazing day, and I was super content with where I was, spiritually and emotionally. I'm not sure if she could hear it in my voice, but the feeling of peace and contentment was strong. It was amazing.

Anywho, the moral of the story is that it gets better. There will be times when your life takes a downhill turn.

And there will be times when you feel "Changed" and like you can smile again.

<3 Marie-Rose

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I have a Brother!

Before I get to the main point of this post, I have two stories to tell.

First: 
I have two younger sisters and no brothers. On my dad's side of the family, all my cousins are age 20+, cuz my dad is the youngest in his family. A Christmas or two ago, one of my cousins taught my sisters and I how to play chess. It was awesome. He was like an older-brother figure that day. It made me wish I had an older brother like him. Cuz some days, I get sick of being the oldest kid in the family. I have to do everything first (high school, license, ACT, college...) and then give my sisters advice on how to do it better. 

Second story: 
At one point of a Catholic mass (haha, you didn't expect to learn anything about Catholics today, did you?), the priest (who is NOT a priest in the Mormon sense of the word. It's quite different) says "...our God, our Brother, our Sacrament for life this morning" (or evening or whatever time of day the mass is at)(emphasis added). This is when he's blessing the bread and wine for communion (like the sacrament). Except Catholics believe the bread and wine literally change into the body and blood of Christ (that's where the "Sacrament for life" part in that quote comes from). 

So here's the main point of my post: 
I have a Brother! I just realized this today. I know we're all brothers and sisters, but I have yet to find a good older-brother figure out of all the guys I know. Some of them have potential, but I don't know any of them well enough. 

Anywho. 

Jesus Christ is our Brother, in a manner of speaking. He is the Son of God, and we are all sons and daughters of God. And He loves us and watches out for us, just like a perfect older brother would. None of the bickering stuff. Just love and protection. He wants what's best for us, and He wants us to be happy. Plus, the Atonement. I'm totally in awe of the whole Atonement thing. To think that anyone would ever go through all of that pain and suffering for *me*.... Wow.


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It's like... He's our older Brother. He went off to college or something. Or moved to a different state. And life is much more awesome there, wherever He went. And all He wants is for us to join Him!!

That was a lame analogy. But I like it. 

I have a Brother :) and so do you! YAY! :D it makes me happy :) 

<3 Marie-Rose

Saturday, November 2, 2013

So I'm sure you wanna know how my speech went...

I ended up giving a brief history of the early church- focusing on the First Vision, the BOM, and the official organization on April 6, 1830.

There's two ways to judge how a speech went. Wait, three, I lied.

One- your grade.
Two- how you feel it went
Three- how the audience feels it went

So my grade was definitely not what I thought it was gonna be. I totally expected an A. And that's not just because I'm a straight A student. To jump ahead into how *I* thought it went, I thought I did really well. But I got 86%. Which is totally not bad, don't get me wrong! I just thought I did better.

I had to watch a recording of myself giving the speech. I thought I had a couple things to improve on (playing with my notecards, looking down to check my notes too often, saying "um" too much...), but those were mostly minor. I thought. I was super nervous before the speech, but during it wasn't too bad. I did have a few mini heart attacks, but it went smoothly. I didn't die. It was all good :)

And then my class got to ask questions! They asked good questions. Like if I'm going on a mission (I explained how missions are more optional for girls, and said I don't know yet if I'll go). One asked if I'd seen the BOM musical thing (I said I had not, and explained how we've been counseled not to see it [that's right, yes? I heard that someplace... Maybe New Era?] because it makes fun of us). One thanked me for sticking to facts and not trying to convert them all (I said I know I can't convert anyone. I believe that Heavenly Father is the only one who can convert you, I can just give you information). And lots of other questions!

I don't remember all of the questions, but none of them were rude or argumentative. They were all out of legitimate curiosity. And it made me super happy. I actually got an extra credit point for how I answered the question about the BOM musical, by the way :)

Anywho! My point is- if you approach the subject of religion the right way, some people just might listen to you. I wasn't pushy and I stuck to the basics. I was simply there to inform them so they knew a little bit more about my church. Remember how on the survey they all said they didn't know anything? I hope they know a little bit about the history now :)

<3Marie-Rose

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween is my Favorite

But I am waay to old to be trick-or-treating.

I barely had time to even plan a costume or carve a pumpkin this year. School has just been crazy. 

Like, I am obsessed with Halloween. I have been known to cry because I'm too old for it all. None of this "you're done after age 12" crap. I'm much older than 12. Granted, the past two years I've gone can collecting for the food shelf rather than ask for candy, but it's not really the candy I care about. I love dressing up and walking door to door and being in costume.

And then I read this post by Sarah K over at The Sprinkles on My Ice Cream

His Porch Light is Always On

I still feel like I'm losing Halloween, but it doesn't feel quite so bad anymore. 


<3 Marie-Rose

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Speech Dilemma

A week from today, I have to give an informative speech for speech class. I know I want to talk about Mormonism, but I don't quite have a topic narrowed down yet. The speech should be 5-7 minutes long.

What on earth can I talk about in 5-7 minutes??

Some ideas I've come up with include early church history, explanation of the BOM/D&C/PoGP books that most Christians don't have, or an explanation of common misconceptions (one of my friends did that last one a year ago, so I don't wanna look like I'm copying hers, but it makes the most sense as a topic....).

I ran into one of my classmates in the hallway after class today. He said he was really interested to hear what I have to say. So that makes me feel more confident in talking about my religion, but it doesn't help me narrow down the subject matter.

When I passed around a survey on Monday asking people what they know and what they want to know about the Mormon church, the most common answers were "nothing" and "everything," respectively. So that totally helped a lot :P

I'm thinking early church history. If I don't go too deep, and don't cover very much time in history, it won't be too long. I'm really worried about going over time. So we shall see how this goes :)

<3 Marie-Rose

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I wanna be baptized!

D'you know how excited I am for that day to finally come? I even have a date picked out, even though it won't be until June. I have a countdown and everything.

244 days until June 14, 2014, in case you wondered :)

No, that date is not my birthday. See, on June 12, 2012, I made the decision to be baptized. Two days later, I told my parents (June 14). So the 14th is kinda special for that reason. Plus, in 2014, the 12th isn't a Saturday, but the 14th is. And EFY will be that week, so most of my friends would be out of town on the 12th. But they should be back by Saturday evening (I hope)!

It's been a long time to wait. I still have a long time to go. But at the end of these two years I've been waiting, it'll totally be worth it.

Sometimes I feel left out and frustrated that I haven't been baptized yet. My friends do everything they can to help me not feel like that, and I appreciate it very muchly, but it still happens.

Sometimes, tho, I'm just so excited to be so close. It doesn't matter that it hasn't happened yet. It will soon. My mind is made up and nothing will stop me :)

<3 Marie-Rose

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

General Conference

I was unable to watch general conference over the weekend. It was super sad. My aunt was in town (we never get to see her, she lives super far away), and she's my mom's sister (my mom's side of the family being strongly Catholic), so I didn't want to make waves by asking to go to a friend's house to watch conference. Plus it was homecoming weekend and I had waay too much homework to do and my parents wanted to do family stuff with my aunt......... *sigh* Life. So therefore I couldn't watch conference. (don't get me wrong, seeing my aunt and family stuff and all that jazz was awesome. But still)

So I downloaded audio podcast versions of conference talks on my iPod.

I haven't quite figured out the formatting of the podcast app yet (apparently Apple did some weird thing where they took podcasts out of the music app? And reviews of the Apple podcast app are terrible, so I got some other app. Anywho). But I kinda sorta know how to pick a talk and get it to play. I can't tell which ones go with which session or in what order and it drives me crazy, but that's okay. I turn the volume all the way up on my iPod speakers (I drive a super old car and dunno how to connect my iPod to the car's speakers) and listen to the talks that way on the way to school. It's not quite as loud as I like, and I miss stuff cuz of that (plus driving safely is a little more important in that moment than concentrating 100% on what the speaker is saying), but it leaves me in a good mood.

Which is like my substitute for seminary, seeing as how I can't do that, either (can you tell I'm frustrated with all this stuff I can't do?). Anywho.

So I really like the idea of having access to conference talks on my iPod. Even if I'd been able to watch, I still woulda downloaded them anyway. Cuz there's always those days when you need to go back and remember how awesome conference is. It's a long six months between conferences. And with the holiday season, I'm willing to bet that a lot of us will take some sort of car trip. I know my family will. Twelve hours in the car with my sisters? Yeah, not fun. So I "listen to music" *cough*conference*cough* and that helps a lot. (They don't know I'm converting. That would be awkward. So I just try not to let church come up in conversation....)

Even if you don't take a long car trip, I'm sure you could find a time when it's useful to have access to the words of the Prophet and general authorities. In the words of my speech teacher, the spoken word "goes out, and then falls" (or something to that effect, I can't quote her exactly). But if you listen to it over and over, you can remember it! You ever have that feeling when you're reading the scriptures and you recognize a passage because someone used it in conference? I have. I hear it in their voice, too. It's pretty awesome.

<3 Marie-Rose

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I love blogs

I super love this blog post by Whitney Sue over at Feel my Sunlight. Check it out!!!

extraordinary ninety and nine

This is why I love blogs. Other people have the most amazing thoughts and I love reading them.

<3 Marie-Rose

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Power of Member Missionaries

I have a testimony of the power of member missionaries. Those of you who are out there, trying to share your beliefs with the non-members around you -- some of them just don't listen, and it's frustrating, isn't it?

Guess what?

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I'm proof that what you do isn't worthless. I have an amazing group of friends who were willing to share their faith with me, and they let me share mine in return, and here I am setting my baptism date.

Ya know what the one requirement is in all of this? Patience. Actually, I lied, there's a second one. Kindness.

Patience means that some people take years to start thinking maybe the LDS faith is for them. It took me at least three years, I think, if I'm doing my math right.

Kindness means that you never push people to believe as you do. It means that you ask questions about what they believe. It means that you accept that some people will never change their minds. It means that you be a friend to everyone, regardless of their religion. It means tolerance, and even more importantly, acceptance. If you come across as pushy and aloof, no one will listen to you. Yes, we believe that the Mormon faith is the one true Church on earth. No, we do not force others to accept this as fact.

Think of it this way.

I was originally Catholic. Now, if a Catholic came up to me to try to bring me back, would they be able to do it? Nope. By the same logic, if I walk up to the same Catholic to try to convert them to Mormonism, could I do it? Nope. Unless Heavenly Father prompts a change in their hearts, there's nothing I can do.

Kay, so now I'm contradicting myself, right? Only kinda. You should always be willing to share your faith with others. And don't feel like you're not making a difference. My friends made a huge difference in my life. But don't expect that your sharing your beliefs will always "work". D'you know what? Being pushy just makes people less likely to hear you.

We all just wanna understand each other a little better, right?

<3 Marie-Rose

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sometimes you feel worthless

I know how that goes. I've been kinda down for the past week or so. So I'm gonna give you some advice, and hopefully I'll follow it too :)

Always remember that you are loved. Heavenly Father loves you more than you could ever imagine.

2 Nephi 2:25 "...and men are, that they might have joy"

Remember that one other post? "Hope Always," where I talked about the "depression verses"? Those are especially appropriate when you're in a self-pity mood that you can't shake.

Ya know what else? I read this quote once, I forget who said it, but "talk to yourself as you would to someone you love." That means don't tear yourself apart. Don't beat yourself up. If your friend felt like you do now, how would you cheer them up? Do yourself a favor and treat yourself like a dear friend. You gotta love yourself, cuz you gotta deal with yourself for quite a while :)

Another quote: "Don't give up... Don't you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead... You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come." -Jeffrey R Holland

And one last quote, cuz I super like quotes "Never let weakness convince you that you lack strength" -Unknown

<3 Marie-Rose

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hope Always


Image source

The following verses are very special to me.
-2 Nephi 1:13 "O that ye would awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe"
-> those chains? I see those as the chains of "misery and woe," of depression, of sadness in general. And while it's perfectly normal (healthy, even) to be sad from time to time, it's not okay to dwell on it. So if you find yourself having a pity party and dwelling on your chains of awfulness, "awake from a deep sleep"!! Heavenly Father wants you to be happy :)

-2 Nephi 1:15 "...I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love"
-> now isn't that just an amazing thought? Think of that. ETERNALLY. Heavenly Father loves YOU!

-2 Nephi 2:27 "Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself"
-> remember how I said Heavenly Father wants you to be happy? Well, the devil "seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself." Rude! Don't give the devil the satisfaction of seeing you hurt and sad and all that not-fun stuff. It says right here that you have the power to choose between them. Now, I understand that some people legitimately have a chemical imbalance in their brains that makes that choice nearly impossible. And the original intent of this verse is to motivate you to keep His commandments, not to motivate you to let yourself be happy. But you understand my point, right? I like to think of this verse both ways. I need to choose the right, and I need to let myself be happy. Cuz sometimes I have problems letting myself be happy.

-2 Nephi 4:20-21 "My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep. He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh"
-> happy happy happy :) Heavenly Father is always there for you :)

-2 Nephi 4:26-28 "...why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions? And why should I yield to win, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace, and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy? Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul"
-> when I read these verses, I wrote in my journal, "why should I be depressed? Not why AM I, why SHOULD I? Big difference." Think about that difference in context of those verses.

I call these the "depression verses," because even tho the original intent was to warn against sin, they're great motivation to stop a pity party. I know they helped me a lot in times of trial.

As I said earlier, motivation doesn't work for some people. Not everyone can simply make the choice to be happy and have it work. If that's you, don't beat yourself up about it! I've been there. And I know you've heard this before, but d'you know what you can do to find happiness again? Get help! There are people out there who can help you! It's not a sign of weakness. Admitting that you can't do something on your own is a sign of great strength. Trust me.

<3 Marie-Rose

Monday, September 16, 2013

My Story

So here it is. My conversion story. The shortened version :)

In 7th grade, I was invited to Wednesday night activities by my Mormon friends. We made gingerbread houses :) it was the first time I'd ever gone to a "Mormon" event. I had a blast.

Around that time, I started asking questions. I didn't know anything about the Mormon faith, and once I learned that they didn't have priests like Catholics have, I had to know more about this weirdness. Granted, my Mormon friends thought Catholicism was pretty weird, too.

Anywho.

So we were all asking questions. This required me to learn more about Catholicism so I could answer their questions, and they had to learn more about Mormonism to answer my questions. There was much learning and spiritual growth happening all around.

The summer after freshman year, they invited me to girls camp. Oh boy, was that a blast :D at camp, I went to my first testimony meeting. It was a powerful experience. Most of camp, I focused on hanging out with friends and having fun, but I was very interested in the spiritual side, as well. I was impressed that people my age were so into religion. I hadn't thought it was "cool" to be "into" religion. Well, come to find out, these girls didn't care that it wasn't cool.

The same summer, I also went to Youth Conference. Many much religion classes and discussions took place at YC. I attended my second testimony meeting. Right before the meeting, I was talking with one of my friends, Sarah, about random stuff in general. One topic was colleges. I had no clue where I wanted to go, but I was pretty sure my mom would be a major influence in the decision and I did not want that. Another topic was how Katie, another friend, was mad at Sarah. Anywho, religion wasn't a major topic. But I started breaking down. I teared up (cuz of the colleges topic, believe it or not). After testimony meeting, I teared up more (Maggie, another friend, was moving out of state soon after YC). There was lots of emotional stuff going on. And suddenly, on the way home, I was suddenly questioning my entire Catholic belief system for no apparent reason. I totally broke down. My emotional state was not good.

That fall, I started doing research. Finding answers for my questions about Catholicism, not answers for my friends. I didn't always understand or agree with what I found. Everything seemed to be the "textbook answer," and I already knew most of those. It just didn't make sense. That was the year I was to be confirmed, so that got awkward real fast. I didn't tell my parents till after I was confirmed in the spring (side note- I didn't feel the Spirit at my Catholic confirmation. Problem? I think yes). My mom booked me an appointment with a priest at the church my family goes to, thinking I just had "major questions," not "major problems." I let the priest think he'd answered my questions, when in reality he didn't give me too much more to go on than the internet had the previous fall (granted, he did have some new and interesting things, but not enough).

That night, after the interview, I was reading True to the Faith, an LDS scripture reference book. While reading the section on the Holy Ghost, I suddenly thought, "I want to be baptized." Whoa, slow down! Where did that come from?? It sure wasn't me. I believe it was the Spirit.

Image source


The next morning, one of my friends texted me about a Book of Mormon question I'd had the previous night. Within two minutes, another friend texted me from EFY (another church camp), saying she had some BOM verses she felt that I should read. If that wasn't Divine Inspiration, I don't know what is!

It's been over a year since I decided to be baptized, and I still want it just as much, if not more, than the day I made the decision. My parents requested that I wait (they didn't flat out say no, but they do want me to wait), so I'm waiting. And I will be exceedingly happy when that day finally comes :D

<3 Marie-Rose

*all names have been changed

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Church Info

Have questions about the Mormon church?

1. Go to Mormon.org (a website geared towards people who aren't Mormon who want to learn about us)
2. Go to LDS.org (a website more for Mormons, but still great to explore)
3. Comment a question on any of my posts and I'll do my best to find you an answer!

I believe that everyone has a right to their own beliefs. It's not my place to try to convert you. In fact, I can't convert you. Only God can do that. I just think it's fun to learn about other religions! So if you like, post a blurb about your religion! I'd like to learn about it!

Now, at some point I'm gonna post about "the power of member missionaries," cuz member missionaries answered all of my questions when I had them, and were guided by the Spirit in what they were to say, and that's why I'm a convert. But don't think I'm pushing that on anyone else. Just because that's my story doesn't mean I expect it to be yours :)

<3 Marie-Rose

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Seminary

You might think I'm crazy. And maybe I am. But today I got to go to seminary and I was SUPER excited.

I rarely get to go to seminary. My parents aren't Mormon. I wasn't raised Mormon (convert, remember?). So at my house, sleep and homework comes before seminary. Always. Except today! One of my best friends is moving out of state soon. She asked me if I could come to seminary one more time before she goes. With my work schedule and my sleep schedule and my school schedule, today was the best day for me. So I went!! :D

I absolutely love our teacher. She's so full of energy. She's decided to focus on the scriptures majorly this year, to prepare us for missions. So we talked about the plates that the Book of Mormon came from. She showed a cheesy little video that really explained it well. There's a bunch of different plates, most of them abridged by Mormon and Moroni.

Anywho.

After class, I stuck around to chat with her a little bit, cuz I can't come to class every day. She told me how much she loves it when I can come, and how the class loves it too. She actually remembers that one time when I was 14 or so, when my Catholic religion teacher was doing a unit on other religions and got the Mormonism bit wrong and I corrected her! I've been asking questions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints since I was in 7th grade. In 9th grade is when my Catholic religion teacher gave us incorrect information. So my current seminary teacher was pretty impressed that I'd actually stood up for the church, before I'd even decided to become a member.

So seminary kinda made my day :) not only cuz of chatting with my teacher after, but cuz I felt the Spirit during the lesson. We spent much time pointing out why it's obvious that Joseph Smith didn't write the Book of Mormon, he HAD to have translated it, and he HAD to have had help from the Spirit.

I know, deep in my heart, that this church is true.

And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Scripture Discussion

Today I'm gonna talk about my favorite scripture ever. Matthew 10:29-31.

"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
"But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
"Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."

I like this scripture because it reminds me that Heavenly Father cares for me. And d'you know what? He cares for you, too! More than you could ever imagine. It specifically says, "ye are of more value than many sparrows" (v31). Wow. Granted, we don't think of sparrows of having much value, but you are of MORE value than MANY sparrows. Now that's pretty awesome :)

Also in this scripture is the reminder that He knows each of us individually. If "[a sparrow] shall not fall on the ground without your Father," and "ye are of more value than many sparrows," then doesn't this scripture tell you that Heavenly Father is always with you? He's better at this than Santa Claus, who "sees you when you're sleeping / he knows when you're awake / he knows if you've been bad or good / so be good for goodness' sake!"(PS how do you spell Claus? or is it Clause?)

Another scripture that I really like is D&C 18:10

"Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God"

You're worth so much more than you give yourself credit for :) One of the Young Women values is Individual Worth. Why would that be included as one of only 8 values if it wasn't important?

<3 Marie-Rose

PS this post is for you, BatMoose! :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hello, World!

Marie-Rose here!

So I don't really have a plan for this blog. There will certainly be religious stuffs going on here. I'm a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There will probably be other stuffs. I don't know what yet.

Guess what! I get my braces off tomorrow!
Guess what else! 278 days until I plan to be baptized :)

 Bear with me as I get used to this. You'll get the conversion story eventually :)

Have an awesometastic day! :D