“Voices of early-returned LDS Missionaries: The Daily Universe”

“Overtime, I learned that I served exactly the time I needed to serve and taught the people I needed to teach.” When I was thirteen years old, I attended an EFY (Especially for Youth) the summer before eighth grade and my counselor had asked us on the first day to think of questions we wanted answers to. They could be gospel related, familial, or academic – anything we wanted – and she promised us by the end of the week, if we sought for answers from the scriptures and prayer, we would receive an answer. The question I wrote was: am I meant to serve a mission? I had watched my older brothers prepare and serve and I felt that experience was something I wanted. During the week, I read a particular scripture in Doctrine and Covenants that influenced my decision. The spirit was so overwhelming in that moment that I knew I had my answer. From then on, I tried to live my life in a way that was preparatory for a mission and read that scripture on a daily basis. I served in the Illinois, Chicago mission for exactly seven months. I entered the MTC on July

Why LDS Women Must Proceed With Confidence in Their Choices

Did you guys love love love love General Conference like I did? Wow. My devotion to God and my love toward all of His children completely expanded! I can’t remember the name of the speaker, but he was a mission president in Washington. One of the missionaries under him came to him saying, “President, I just don’t like people!” Ha! I totally laughed out loud. Sometimes it’s hard to get along with people but I was taught throughout this conference that I need to more earnestly love others as God loves and take seriously His call to “be of good cheer.” There were several other thoughts I was able to apply to my personal spiritual development but one I feel I should mention is Elder Ronald A. Rasband’s talk from Sunday morning. He spoke of the divinity of the Holy Ghost and how we must act on the first prompting and be confident in it. We dismiss or question divine council if we avoid even the second or third prompting. He also said, “First promptings are from heaven to help someone in need, family and friends in particular.” I don’t know who, if anyone, might need to read what I’m about to

Hot Showers, Repentance, And An Eternal Perspecitve: Our Everyday Essentials

Have you ever taken a shower so hot that it sets off the smoke detector? I have, several times! And it happened again this morning. Hot showers are one of my everyday essentials because it relaxes me in an instant. BOOM. Problems, be gone. I’m talking about problems like the thousands of dirt particles that lodge their sneaky little selves under my skin and embed there throughout the day that result in many terrible, terrible things: acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. Luckily, the steam from my shower water gives all the gunk that I collected throughout the day the chance to wash away. Although life’s “real” problems still await me after my hot shower, I enjoy taking 10 minutes out of my busy schedule to stand under a nice, soothing stream of tepid water. Sound good? Of course it does. And not just because of my use of positive adjectives either! A hot shower is an idyllic beginning to a wonderful day; a day where we “devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness” and give all we can to God. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,

Want to Be Truly Happy? Start Your Day with a Morning Walk with Your Mom

Hey friends, how has your day been going? Mine has been full of babysitting: cleaning up messes, an afternoon walk to the park,  jumping on the trampoline, reading books at the Draper City Library, buying milk at the grocery store, cleaning up more messes, cooking dinner, giving baths, aaaand rinse and repeat. It’s nice to sit down and write for a minute. So, lets get to it. A fun fact about me: my patriarchal blessing states (and this is not verbatim): I will have “special experiences that will guide me to choosing a career that will bless the lives of my family, myself, and others who are seeking to become closer to God.” As I started college in 2011, I had specific plans to obtain a career in dental hygiene with no thought about that special promise from God. Nothing was going to stop me (except for human biology & anatomy, maybe) so I ran as fast as I could carrying these plans with me. I had always enjoyed writing and reading in high school but not once did it cross my mind for them to become my profession — until my English professor from my first semester at Utah State University

Your Freebie Guide to Ultimate At Home Exercise

Hi guys! I’m super excited about today’s post because I am giving away my first FREEBIE! Who doesn’t like free, useful stuff? Well, it’s free but I’m still clinging onto hope for the useful part. I’m a religious runner, as some of you know, but lately I’ve been thinking about why I run. I run because it makes me strong. My mind and my body are working together to reach higher goals and I’ve been craving the feeling of trying new things, like weight training. Running also makes me happy (and prevents me from causing any kind of harm against my husband. Right, Elle?!) Not only are there mental and physical benefits of running & exercise, but there are also spiritual benefits. Say whaaaat?! Yes, it’s true. Recently I came across the talk “Good Health — A Key to Joyous Living” by Barbara B. Smith from October 1978. She states, “The state of our health affects every facet of our life — our feeling of personal well-being, our approach to work, our social interactions — even our service to the Lord.” Wow. Our Heavenly Father blessed us with beautiful, strong, incredible bodies that were created to work, serve, and be treated sacredly.

Why Bad Habits Are Actually Good For Your Relationship with God

Let’s chit-chat about bad habits, shall we? For starters, the plastic shopping bag. “But I need those bags!” say the plastic bag lovers, but what we really mean is we love those bags to carry groceries, pick up pet poop, discard vegetable peels, or line the bathroom trash can. Plastic bags are not a need. They are a habit. A routine. A convenience. And it’s one I want to break. Basic needs include food, water, exercise, sleep, shelter, clothing, education, and for some of us, Diet Coke (I’d say coffee but I’m trying to encourage the Word of Wisdom). Nowhere is there mention of plastic bags. Anyway, habits come in various flavors; good, bad, and in-between. I consider my plastic bag habit bad because they suffocate my kitchen drawers and the more I collect them, the more I depend on them and confuse it with necessity. Other bad habits I have are staring at bright screens before I go to sleep, cracking my knuckles, and tossing my socks on the floor. Sometimes we get comfortable with these habits/routines/conveniences that it’s hard to imagine life without them. Another bad habit that people, mostly women, have is tying their self-esteem to their weight. Yes, hang

A Lesson Learned from the Candy Cupboard

My mom keeps an entire cupboard in her kitchen stashed with the tastiest treats and candies. I love that about her. My friends growing up loved it, as did the young men who stopped over on fast Sundays to collect our offerings, and now my husband reaps the benefits because I’ve adapted the same quirk. Inside her candy cupboard you’ll find happy childhood memories, tons of blissful smiles, and a teenage girl who used chocolate to cope with high school boy problems. As you’ve previously read (most likely), the hubs is currently on a month long business trip so lucky me I’m able to unwind from a busy day of writing and caring for children with my Kindle and a big box of Milk Duds. But the other day I had a day-date with Target and of course I purchased the Valentine’s edition of Dove’s milk chocolate. Those elegant foil wrappers totally give us something to talk about. I think the people at Dove think they’re really cute. I mean, they provide silly sayings on decorative foil but sometimes they’re actually deep and meaningful. You may agree or think they are flat out dorky, and that’s okay, but I’ve always been