Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fire of the Covenant

I just finished the historical fiction Fire of the Covenant and it was wonderful to read. This novel is based upon the Mormon handcart pioneers. This novel focuses upon the Willie and Martin handcart companies, two companies that are remembered in our church for their late start on the trail and consequent hardships that came because of it. The prophet Brigham Young had called all able European Saints to gather to Zion aka Salt Lake City. Their experiences were in many ways horrifying and extremely sad, but they all gained a sure knowledge of their Father as they had to turn to Him in their trials. This novel had many things I would love to share, but two in particular stood out to me.

"But remember, we are leaving our homes in obedience to the covenants we have made with the Lord. We leave our former lives behind in order to serve the purposes of God. We go forth now to build a heritage and legacy for our children and our grandchildren. Let us go forward with joy, brothers and sisters. We have begun the journey. May we carry on with faith until we bring it to a successful close."

I read this and had to stop and reflect upon it. It hit me hard as a convert. I struggle sometimes with the fact that I don't have parents to look to for answers to gospel questions or comfort in making difficult decisions. If I am struggling, I cannot go to them for gospel support. They do their best but often I must study their advice and see whether it fits with gospel truth. Mostly it doesn't, which can be hard. But I love this quotation because it reminds me to focus upon my future. Upon my children and grandchildren. I can act as that gospel support to them and give them a life that I can only pray for. I need to find joy now in this fact.

Another quotation/conversation jumped out at me, mostly because it is where the novel gets its title.

"'Let the fire of the covenant, which you made in the house of the Lord, burn in your hearts like a flame unquenchable!' (Brigham Young)
'What gave you the power to change your heart was the covenant that burned within you...sometimes the fire is a burden, and you would give almost anything to be rid of it.' 'Anything except turning your back on it.'"

I loved this part! It spoke so directly to me that again I had to ponder and reflect upon it. The fire of the covenant is often our motivator to choose the right, to press forward even though it may be dismal, it is what makes our religion unique in many ways. When we are baptized and take upon us the name of Christ, something within us changes. As we learn and grow in the gospel, this fire is fed. We make important decisions with this fire, decisions that will change our lives forever. Often to the outside world these decisions may seem crazy, but to us they are necessary because of the fire of the covenant. It takes us from being unsure to knowing without a doubt.

Sometimes it can be a burden though. To know good vs. bad, right vs. wrong can be hard for us. We wish we were innocent in knowing, we wish we could just try it once, we wish, we wish, we wish. But in the end we know better. In the end we would never give up the fire that burns within us. Why?

Because the fire of the covenant is such a powerful, firm resource of truth. Once you experience it, you would be scared without it, because without it means turning your back on Heavenly Father and His Son. It would be rendering all the knowledge they have given you, all the deeds they have done for you, especially the Atonement, mute.

That would be a scary feeling. To no longer feel the guidance, comfort, and love that comes from the fire of the covenant.

Being a convert in this church is hard. In fact, sometimes I think if I would have known it would have been this painful I probably would not have embarked on this journey. Thank goodness that isn't a missionary lesson though. Because although its painful, its a good hurt. The kind of hurt that leads you to important truths in your life. That lets you know without a doubt your Father in Heaven and your Savior. To know of their love for you.

The fire of the covenant is an empowering and amazing gift.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Whenever I plan a lesson for church. This word keeps appearing.

To really enjoy the blessings you have to have the desire.

To have your prayers answered your desire must be sincere.

To keep the commandments correctly you have to desire to keep them, not just do it because it is required.

Lately there have been a few things that I really wanted. But the question is, does wanting = desiring?

My conclusion is no.

Sometimes you are scared to desire something. It means you want it so bad that it will be so utterly painful if you don't get it. That can be really scary.

I realized this weekend that I DESIRE something. That it pains me that I don't have it.

Hopefully someday.

The cool thing about desire. How you know you have desire instead of wanting....

Your prayers change. An increase of sincerity and gratitude occurs. Your relationship with your Heavenly Father and Savior changes.

Desire is scary. But its so beautiful and moving that it keeps you going.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Today I was taught a lesson on patience.

I am positive it wont be my last. You see me and patience have a wierd relationship.

I was able to wait two years for my husband to return from his mission but each week was absolute agony as I waited for the mailbox to have my treasured letter in it.

There are some things that I am willing to be patient with. Others not so much.

For instance:

Today Isabella (the girl I nanny) woke up at 9am. This means that she would most likely take a nap at 1pm. I took this "most likely" as an absolute. SHE WAS GOING TO TAKE A GOSH DARN NAP AT 1pm!

so usually I will feed her right before "most likely" nap time and she will either doze off in her high chair or she will request my arms (yes she already loves me that much) and I will hum hymns to her. Then she falls asleep.

Neither worked today. She just screamed and resisted and yawned and resisted and screamed some more until I gave up and we went downstairs to play with the cats. Again I tried to lull her to sleep in my arms. Each time she would get that sleepy look in her eye and I knew I would just have to make it last a little longer.

Then some stupid noise would occur or something would catch her eye and BAM! kick scream wriggle.

I would have to let her go.

Ok so probably not the best nanny manners to try to force the child to sleep. In my defense she was visibly tired. I was just trying to help. Plus if she fell asleep that meant I didn't have to continue putting plastic eyeglasses on the dog and pretend he was a doctor.

It was borderline animal cruelty.

Finally I tried humming one more time. It worked. It was 3pm.

I thought about it on my way home. How impatient I had been with her. I felt awful. I was a little snappy and wasn't doing my number one rule that I always try to do with children because I have felt its affects.

That is sending out love and confidence. I believe that kids have a keen sense of whether someone is comfortable around them and genuinely loves them. If you are confidence and show kindness most likely the kid will love you. If you are awkward, unsure of yourself and of your feelings toward said child, they will have an entirely different persona.

Well I think Isabella could sense my frustration and impatience and I lost my confidence and full love towards her. I did apologize to her. She smiled. She thinks I'm crazy.

Maybe I am. Just a little.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Three times is the charm

I have finished the Book of Mormon for the third time.

This time was different. I read it more closely, daily, and prayerfully.

I realized today, after writing my testimony about the Book of Mormon, that is how it is meant to be read.

When I read it everyday, it became more real. I felt its spirit, its power, its truth.

I had a wonderful experience reading it where the words written stood out to me so vividly I couldn't deny the power of this single book.

This book has made the biggest difference in my life, more than any other book. It has taught me principles, doctrine, and value that are clouded in other places.

If you are reading the Book of Mormon I STRONGLY encourage you to read it daily. Find what works best for you (for me I read it either when I first wake up in bed, or I read it while eating breakfast). Just make sure its everyday, I promise it will make a HUGE difference in what you get from it. Believe me I have read it before and couldn't get much out of it unless I had a teacher explain it to me.

If you have never read the Book of Mormon you should. Even my first time reading it I felt a change in me, a good change. I love this book and I promise you will also.

On another note it's Kyle's 23rd birthday today!

Yesterday we climbed the Pinnacle at REI (its a 65ft rockwall) and had a spaghetti birthday party at our place. We had 14 lovely guests over to help us celebrate. It was a good time.

Also, I found that I can get enough internet if I set my laptop on a shelf right by our window. Con: I have to stand....
Pro: INTERNET! I miss you.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Really Jane, really...

Jane Austen
So I finished Mansfield Park this week. I got really into it up until the last four pages.

I am a little irked.

So basically the main chick Fanny was in love with her cousin Edmund who she grew up with the whole book. So I figured they would get together....

Well then her next door neighbor who she used to hate grew to really like her and it seemed genuine. So I was thinking whoa I guess Fanny will fall for Henry instead. That would have been ok.

Well Henry runs off with her cousin randomly. Edmund had been falling for Henry's sister the ENTIRE book and couldn't NOT talk about her ALL the time. Well she breaks Edmunds heart but there is only four pages left and I am thinking well I guess everyone will just remain alone right?


In two paragraphs Austen made Fanny and Edmund fall in love and get married. I felt a little cheated.

Wouldn't you?

Here is my plan though.... I am going to read Pride and Prejudice. Austen's writing made me excited for it, and who doesn't love proper British language.

I makes me feel smart.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Kid songs sound like grown-up music....

So for the past week I have heard the teapot song, wheels-on-the-bus, and where is thumbkin likes a katrillion times.

Turns out Isabella loves music and listening to songs on repeat.

Here are my problems with this:
1. her cd player does not have a repeat one song button. so i constantly have to to push the back button. I mean it's not AWFUL but its annoying enough when you have to do it about 20 times in a day. seriously.

2. when where is thumbkin comes on I have discovered it sounds just like the beginning to Sheryl Crow's "I'm gonna soak up the sun." It's a wierd feeling. There is another song that sounds like another contemporary song but I don't have enough energy to think of what it is.

If you are wondering I am at the library. I am a little paranoid because I rode my bike here and sometimes crazies like to steal things. I locked it up and everything but you never know....

Okay maybe I'm a little paranoid. It must be the listening to I'm a little teapot.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Nanny Week/Last Day at the YMCA

Today is my official last day working for the YMCA.

I really am going to miss it. As much as I complained about it, I loved the people I worked with. I will miss seeing them and hearing about their lives.

I will not miss crazy parents.

My nanny job is going well. We were stuck at the house this entire week and this next week and I am getting a carseat for Isabella and we will go to the library or beach when I need to escape.

Isabella is a riot. She is very smart and funny. Her hugs melt my heart.

I can't wait for my own kids....

sorry this was a bit random. it was written at the library. crazies are distracting me : )

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

No internet...

So we have been using our neighbors internet.

They moved on Saturday.

We now have no internet.

This makes it very hard for me to go online. So reading Jane Austen has intensified.

I am actually really liking it. But sometimes I wish it moved a little faster. Seriously Austen do you have to give me accounts of a unimportant discussion. Just cut to the chase and give me the juicy stuff. Like the fact that Henry Crawford actually likes her! Her aunt Norris really bugs me too.

You might be wondering how I am writing this. Good question.


I go to the library with all the crazies. Am I one of those?

Sometimes I laugh out loud at what I am reading.

Might be a little wierd.

At least I am not making bird sounds...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Um... hello there

Just going to put in my two cents.

General Conference was amazing. If you don't know what it is check out and click the general conference link. 

There was such an overwhelming feeling of family, children, and motherhood. 


I was so uplifted this weekend. It is exactly what I needed to hear. 

I loved the Orem Institute version of "Nearer My God to Thee" it gave me the tingles. I love the tingles. 

But in all reality it reminded me of why I am a member of this church. This church has brought me closer to God than I could have ever imagined. I love it. I know that I am close to Him and following Him to the best of my ability. I love this gospel. I truly do.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Jane Austen

Me and Jane Austen have an interesting relationship.

As an English Major I managed to never in my life read one of her books. You see I only like to read books that I DON'T know the ending to. I tried to start Pride and Prejudice and Emma but I had already heard the endings from my mother, teachers, or a movie.

I love the themes within her work. Of how pride can be so stifling to society and relationships. I love the reality of her characters as well. I find the story lines extremely romantic and yes a little idealistic but the reality is I am a girl.

Well, since I am done with school I decided I would finally conquer Jane Austen. At the library I browsed the classics selection under Austen, Jane. I decided upon Mansfield Park the story of Fanny Price who is sent from her impoverished parents to live with her wealthier (and prideful) cousins. I am about 100 pages in and find it fascinating and sluggish at different times. Fanny Price is my favorite character and I imagine that was Austen's intention because all of the other characters are extremely selfish which makes them difficult to like.

I like this book because in all honesty I have NO IDEA what is going to happen. I hope that Fanny will eventually break out of her shell and find love and there are plenty of pages for that to happen but I have no idea whether that will happen.

I really want to finish this book because I have decided for the rest of my life I will alternate between a classic and an eye-candy book. An eye-candy book is a book that is not necessarily considered for its literary aspects but is entertaining. Think Harry Potter, Twilight, and the Boxcar Kids (yes I read almost all of them).

I have already had my eyes on an eye-candy book. It is a series that I started in High School and is finally finished. Uglies, Pretties, Specials, and finally Extras is out. So I will be reading that once I am done with Austen.

Does anyone have any good book suggestions? Eye-Candy or Classics?