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(I just finished another semester at BYUI. This is my concluding essay for my English class.)  The Man in the Red Suit I stood there, looking at my mother as she sat in front of me on the pale blue, plush covered toilette seat, her feet resting on the matching rug beneath. Some childhood memories end up traveling life’s entire journey with you; this is one of those such memories. Being born with a naturally believing heart, I wholeheartedly believed in the existence of the man in the red suit with his eight, tiny reindeer. When I was just shy of turning 12 years old, I noticed that the kids at school had all changed their view of this man and they boldly declared it. What? Santa Claus not real? Impossible, and I timidly told them so. At home, I must have spoken aloud my fellow student’s change of view on Santa because, shortly after, my mother decided it was time for “the talk”. The house seemed strangely quiet as mother pulled me into the bathroom. With six younger siblings, the house…

Friendship

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Being a mother of teenagers, I am introduced to many things that I otherwise may not have found interesting, or on my own. One of which is music. My playlist is getting quite diverse since my daughter has learned that I have a weakness for good music. All she needs say is "Mom, I found this song, you should listen to it...and then buy it." She has learned that if the message is good, I generally don't hesitate to click the 'buy' button. Yesterday she introduced me to one such song.(see link below) 
I don't know the artist's reasoning and vision behind the lyrics, but I felt that it was singing about love, hope, and helping one another through the battles of life. In short, it sings of friendship.
Since I am limited in my talent abilities to sing, or create through works of art when I am inspired, I will take the feelings I felt while listening and try to convey those ideas into words.

Joseph Smith gave us a glimpse of his measure of friendship when he said,…

Stepping Into the Light

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https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2012-01-012-patterns-of-light-spirit-of-revelation?lang=eng
In the chapters of Ether, after having read and recorded great things that the Brother of Jared experienced, it would seem that Moroni was moved by the Spirit. He is taught and commanded of the Lord to write what he learns for the benefit of our day. In chapter 4 he pauses in his narrative account to teach us a little about faith in Jesus Christ and the veil of unbelief that hinders our learning from the Father. Verse 11 we are given a promise, "he who believes the word of the Lord, him will [the Lord] visit with manifestations of [His] Spirit." In the short video above, Elder Bednar speaks of the light of revelation. I like the imagery we are given as he explains the different ways we may receive revelation. As we pray to the Father, and come unto Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, we will not be held back from receiving the revelation we need to progress and move…

Fine Tuning a Listening Ear

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The last chapter of 3 Nephi begins with the word hearken. In fact, several times throughout these last chapters of 3 Nephi, the people of our day are given warnings and told to hearken. Throughout the Book of Mormon we are called to attention with such words as hearken, listen, give heed, and behold. When we come across one of these words, it is wise to slow the pace and pay attention. Bishop H. David Burton spoke of hearkening to the word of the Lord in General Conference: "Perhaps the greatest obstacle to our ability to hearken courageously to the word of the Lord involves our egos, vain ambitions, and pride. It seems that the proud find it burdensome to hear and accept the instruction of God. We are told in Proverbs that “pride goeth before destruction” (Prov. 16:18)." 

I have been consistently, almost daily, reading the Book of Mormon for over a year now. I took part of a Relief Society challenge and read the entire Book of Mormon last fall, then I began the book again w…

"If we acknowledge Him now, He will lovingly acknowledge and gladly admit us then!”

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I have come to the part in the Book of Mormon where a reversal of roles has taken place. Those people(the Lamanites) that had once been taught, now become the teachers. Many of the Nephites had become prideful and ignored their own prophets, so the Lord sent a Lamanite prophet, Samuel, to warn them to repent and prepare for the coming of the Lord. The Nephites didn't like what Samuel had to tell them. A miracle was brought about as Samuel was divinely protected from the arrows of the angry Nephites. In thinking about these chapters I am amazed at how a righteous people, in a matter of a few short years, had come to a wicked state as to seek the death of a servant and prophet of the Lord. How can we protect ourselves from falling prey to the destruction that comes when we are stuck in the pride cycle as described in the chapters of Helaman? One of Samuel's purposes of teaching the Nephites was to remind them of the coming of Christ. Why would teaching about the Savior, Jesus Ch…

Helaman's Stripling Warriors: A Lesson on Fatherhood

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I am currently enrolled in a Book of Mormon class through BYU-I. We have reached the chapters of war found in Alma. I am usually inclined to rush through these chapters to get to what I previously believed to be, the more important or applicable accounts and teachings. Being forced to give these chapters of war greater thought and consideration, I found numerous applicable lessons and counsel that I had previously missed. With such great examples as Captain Moroni, Pahoran, Helaman and his young soldiers we can learn ways to stay safe and secure in our own personal battles against the powers of evil.
I would like to focus my writings today on the lesson taught in Alma 53. This is where we read of the people of Ammon who, back in Alma chapter 24, covenanted to never use weapons again to shed the blood of men. As war rages all around them, they have thus far been under the protection of the Nephites. Watching these good men labor on their behalf to keep them safe caused the men of Ammo…

2016 Goal in Progress: Replacing Complaining with Meekness

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As mentioned before here, I have gone back to school. Diving back into education has been very rewarding. I absolutely love taking religious courses alongside secular courses. Last semester, as part of my religion class, I had to choose a Christlike attribute and consciously work on making that attribute part of who I am. In other words, I had to become something. This is my becoming story of meekness, but it is only the beginning of my journey. Elder Neal A. Maxwell has taught: “Meekness is one of those attributes acquired only by experience, some of it painful, for it is developed “according to the flesh.” (Alma 7:11-12) It is not an attribute achieved overnight, nor is it certified to in only one exam—but, rather, “in process of time.” (Moses 7:21, 68-69)"
I have learned much, and rejoice in the many experiences I have had. I know that even though the first semester has come to a close, and a new one has begun, this was only “one exam” and my journey will continue if I allow…