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Holiness to the Lord - The House of the Lord

This blog is in response to Gma's blog which I believe pertains to God's children of all ages. 

I don't know when I developed a testimony. I don't remember having any life changing experiences or praying like Enos. I think I first knew the church was true because I, like Nephi, had been born to goodly parents and I trusted them. It is not good to base your testimony off of others, but I think it really helped me during my conversion process to have such good examples in my life. However you develop your own testimony it is important to keep exercising it. It is like endurance in sports. It has a short shelf life and will not stick around forever. There are 3 primary ways to build your testimony: Pray, Read the Scriptures, and Go to Church. (not necessarily in that order). 

Setting the goal to go to the temple when you are of age, and then regularly going throughout your life is important. You learn something new every single time you go. Personally, I like hard goals. You appreciate things more when you have to work for them. But don't set goals that are unobtainable. I also believe it is important to go with family. I really don't like going to the temple with out JC. I can not imagine being in Heaven without my family and the temple is a bit of Heaven on Earth. 

I really appreciated being able to go to the temple in Oaxaca. Each time I went it was like going home. I think also hearing the gospel in Spanish has given better insight. 

For example: We usually say that Satan beguiled Eve. That is to say he tricked her. 
In Spanish they use the verb ganar - which means to win or gain. Satan won Eve. 

I believe that this applies to us too. When we do something that is contrary to the commandments of God, Satan wins. Satan also never gives up - but God will never give up on you. That is why He sent His son to be an example for us. Through Jesus Christ, we have the Atonement and the opportunity to renew our baptismal covenants every week with the Sacrament and be clean again. 

We are not here on this Earth to be perfect but to learn how to be perfect like our Father in Heaven is perfect. It is important to set righteous goals and when you make a mistake quickly repent and try again.  


Summer Harvest

I would say and EO would probably agree with my assessment that I would not typically choose to spend my free time gardening.  However, before EO left for Mexico she planted a garden for me to cultivate while she is away.  Although I still don't spend a lot time on it I have managed not to kill off all the plants.  I like the flowers best because I don't have to worry about produce. Currently the biggest problem I have is what I am supposed to do with half a dozen 5 pound squash and I think more may be on the way soon.  

Squash plants, raspberries and wildflowers 
Cucumbers, some sunflowers are about ready to bloom and small pepper plants are flowering now 

Some of the produce.  I have harvested more of everything since this picture was taken.


My testimony - thanks to a homophile

Lately I have been receiving emails targeting Mormons that supported gay rights. Here is my view on the emails' content:

Free agency is the greatest blessing God has given us (next to the Atonement of course). By and through it we are able to learn, grow, and (if used righteously) go back to live with our Father in Heaven. President Brigham Young, speaking of our agency, taught: “This is a law which has always existed from all eternity, and will continue to exist throughout all the eternities to come. Every intelligent being must have the power of choice.”

“This agency,” said President Wilford Woodruff, “has always been the heritage of man under the rule and government of God. He possessed it in the heaven of heavens before the world was, and the Lord maintained and defended it there against the aggression of Lucifer and those that took sides with him. … By virtue of this agency you and I and all mankind are made responsible beings, responsible for the course we pursue, the lives we live, and deeds we do”

The greatest use of our agency is choosing between good and evil. The Lord knows that we can be influenced by both good and evil in making choices. Without the conflict between these two forces, we would not have choices to make—we would not have agency. Therefore, the Lord gives us principles, laws, and commandments to follow, and Satan tempts us to disobey them.

We are free to act, but we will be held accountable for our actions. One day each of us will stand before God and give an accounting of how we used our agency. Then God will judge us. His judgments will be both just and merciful, based on His love and the laws of heaven.

I believe that we live in a society today that does not want to be held accountable for their actions. They do not want to hear about "good" or "bad." It is important to make choices that will allow us to have the Spirit with us to guide us and—when we fall of the road it is important to get right back on.

My father had a neat idea he shared with my sister and I a few weeks ago. We have personal trials and that involves temptations. (Who Knew?!) We become stronger by overcoming those temptations. We should not be negative or try to bring others down because they have certain trials; at the same I claim the right to not receive emails telling me that I am not "accepting" enough. I thank Gma for her wonderful blog post. At the end of A Wrinkle in Time Meg is able to save her brother, who had willingly succumbed to IT, by loving him. We should not accept sin, but we should not be negative or judge (judging is for God only). We cannot tell others how to use their agency. Instead we should follow Meg's example by loving and praying for them.

One of the emails was a letter written by a man in 1999 to Elder Boyd K Packer asking him to renounce a general conference talk. JC and I then later read from D&C section 28. In it the Lord rebukes Oliver Cowdery for trying to command Joseph Smith. At conference, the general authorities are not giving a sermon based on their personal opinions. They are sharing what the Lord has commanded them to share. 

I am grateful for goodly parents who taught me by example how to make righteous choices. I am grateful for the opportunity to live forever with my family. I am grateful for the righteous choices I have made that allowed me to be married in the temple to my companion. I am not perfect. God knew we would not be perfect. That is why He gave is son, even Jesus Christ, so that when we take His name upon us we are made perfect through Him. It is by grace we are save after ALL that WE DO.


A night in Africa

The African Student Association (ASA) on campus held a night to commemorate their culture. The night included: food, two drumming groups, three dancing troupes, a short skit, a video clip, a comedian, a fashion show, and (the reason we came) a cheetah - not necessarily in that order.

On my way to Malawi

Decorations before the show

The big guy on the drums smiled and laughed the whole time, everyone looked like they were enjoying themselves

CHEETAH: She's from the Wild Life Safari and they walked her around the room. She got within 3ft of me but was too quick for my camera =(    Fun Fact: When she was younger they had to amputate her tail

More happy performers


The Fruit Bowl

This is a story about a fruit bowl.

On EO's Birthday in 2011 the bowl started out very plain and took until this past week before it was bright, colorful and finished.

Slowly the fruit bowl began to gain some color.

The bottom of the bowl has the earth on it.

We started working on the animals in December after neglecting the bowl during the fall.
EO painted the elephant, zebra, and leopard while
I painted the bear, squirrel, dinosaur, and monkey.

We slowly added scenery around the animals.

Then after applying the finishing touches the bowl was fired and this is what it looked like when it was finally done.

On the inside of the bowl we painted a sun with constellations surrounding it.