Thursday, April 23, 2015
|(Taken by my talented mother-I am forever grateful to her for capturing such moments)|
I am grateful to the Father for teaching me in ways that I best understand what is given.
From the very beginning, Father Adam was commanded to “call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore” (Moses 5:8).
Men and women of integrity, character, and purpose have ever recognized a power higher than themselves and have sought through prayer to be guided by such power. Such has it ever been. So shall it ever be.
Well might the younger generation ask, “But what about today? Does he still hear? Does he continue to answer?” To which I promptly reply: “There is no expiration date on the Lord’s injunction to pray. As we remember him, he will remember us.”President Thomas S. Monson
I have felt and experienced the truthfulness of these words. Having received at a very young age my knowledge of Jesus Christ our Savior, I do not doubt in the existence of a higher being. I have read the scriptures and believe what is taught in them. I have experimented with their teachings and have only ever benefited from doing so. When I am tempted to leave behind all that I have been taught, it is this sure knowledge and foundation that keeps me anchored in the world of turmoil and strife. God does indeed hear our prayers and He will answer them. The most magical of all moments I have experienced is when I have felt that my prayers, whether they be for my benefit or another's, have come in alignment with God's will. There is almost a quiet yet tangible shift in the world. I am grateful for these few times when I once again am given the reminding knowledge that God is there. The world may indeed be positively affected by one faithful mortal on his or her knees. There is power in prayer.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
I recently went to see the new Cinderella film that is now playing in theaters. I fell completely in love once more with this classic childhood fairytale. I have always loved and found quite relate-able the character of Cinderella. Being number one in the lineup of eight kids, naturally I had to help and work as a child, and as childhoods are meant to do, this helped mold me into who I am today. I may procrastinate starting a job, but I know how to work and I am grateful for that. Being part of a large family also gave me plenty of reasons to escape to the quiet of my bedroom where books and music became lifelong friends. I was a boring sister to my adventurous brothers. Now that we are grown they don't mind as much since I tend to be the one holding their children so that they may continue to play as adults.
Like Disney, why do we like to relive these age old tales? Because they have an effect on the human imagination and the characters in them generally possess desirable qualities. Why wouldn't we want someone like that in our lives?
In Disney's revisit of Cinderella, the producers and director Kenneth Branagh have given us a broadened view and a deeper glimpse into this timeless character. Keeping with the storybook element of a fairytale, the use of a narrator throughout the film gave greater insight and depth to what was happening on screen as well as within the character's hearts and minds. The beautifully composed music added an emotional element to the background of the enthralling lush settings. To some this was just a cute version, one of many interpretations of this classic tale, but to me it stirred something a little deeper.
Truth number two: The great secret, "have courage and be kind, it has power and magic." How true! The desire to see the good in people, to think generously of others, to offer a kind word, a simple smile, or even a positive thought on someone's behalf seem like nothing really, but with kindness they are everything. These seemingly silly contributions in fact make up an enormous cumulative difference to the world, the space, the oxygen that we occupy. In this version of Cinderella we are given someone that we can look to as an example in life. Here is a girl that took her mother's advice and didn't see it as a "glib piece of cracker philosophy", but rather a practical means in which she could live her life. Even if it was inevitably difficult to do so. What I liked so much in this film was that unlike the cartoon, this Cinderella had more human dynamics. She was educated, spirited, perhaps even a little snarky when meeting the Prince, but still she remained true to her mother's advice. I hope to always mindfully treat others with an open heart and an open hand.
Truth number three: I wasn't quite sure how to put into words the great scene of Ella emerging at the top of the stairs in her beautiful dress with all eyes focused solely on her. It isn't the desire for attention that draws me into this scene, and as much as I would love a pretty dress and a dance with a prince, it isn't that either. I think what I like best about this scene is the fact Cinderella is given a nice moment in her life, that she is good enough to have this nice moment, and that the people around her are good enough to be there(which was every maiden in the land :) Does that even make sense? I think there will always be points in life where we probably will count ourselves unworthy of some particular blessing or the bestowal of certain attentions in some form, but that simply isn't true. We are all children of a loving Father in Heaven and as such we are worthy of poignant moments that aide in our progression through life. Have courage and enjoy the moment. Don't be afraid of who you are.
Which brings me to the final truth I want to elaborate on: "The greatest risk any of us will ever take, to be seen as we truly are." At this point in the film Ella is asked to present herself to the Prince. Dressed plainly, hair unkempt she looks in the mirror, would who she was really be enough? We all will be summoned at some point to present ourselves to the ultimate Prince, that Prince of Peace. Will what we have become along this mortal journey be enough? Enough to warrant the bestowal of the Father's kingdom? Enough to earn all that the Father has promised us? Enough to live with Him once more? If we follow the advice of a loving Savior, which reverberates much the same to that of Ella's mother's advice, we will have our ultimate moment. To be seen as we truly are, and with the grace of Jesus Christ, accepted as such.
See, wasn't that such a great movie!!
I could go on and on about other less relevant affirmations and realizations I had during the film, but I won't. Go see it for yourself and enjoy a pure, good, romantic form of entertainment...............with just a touch of magic.