August 2014 ~ Dear Miss Mormon

Thursday, August 28, 2014

How can a belief in Jesus Christ help me?

Dear Friend,
High school taught me lots of painful life lessons: don't stick your hand under the chair, don't fall asleep in class, and don't move the clock forward when the teacher leaves the room--all bad ideas.

Being part of the graduating class of 2010, I had to get through a lot of papers, tests, and projects along with a list of extracurriculars I insisted on doing; just to walk the stage, accept my diploma and focus on not tripping as I walked away from it all.

All I can say about my high school era is woof.

Looking back at the behind-the-scenes it wasn't pretty. There were long nights and typical "no understands me" teenage moods. Sometimes life felt pretty miserable under the load I was carrying. Through it all I had belief in Jesus Christ and trusted that it would help me...but it didn't do jack squat.

Not what you were expecting? Me neither.

I've pulled out those memories every now and then to compare them to where I am at now. At that time I could've said all day long "Jesus Christ is my Savior" and still I was looking for superman to come and save me. Clearly, something changed, some light bulb turned on, some epiphany occurred so that I can now write to you and say Christ can and will help you. What I've come to realize (I'll admit, it took me awhile) is this: having a belief in Christ does not constitute knowing Him.

If I compared how well I knew Jesus Christ to any other relationship in my life, you could hardly call us acquaintances. When things were hard, I didn't pray, I didn't read my scriptures, I didn't have time for that, I was too busy trying to develop superpowers and save myself.

Well I tried...and I failed. I tried over and over again and every time it brought me to the same conclusion: I can't save myself. The strength that comes from knowing and relying on Jesus Christ is real. He really is our Savior, always willing to tap in when we're tapping out.

I still may not know everything, but I have come to certain conclusions about life: there is always gum under your chair, teachers will throw pens at you when you "rest" your eyes, someone usually ends up ratting you out when you mess with the clock, and the best of friends out there is your Savior. Don't just believe in Him, don't just pretend to follow Jesus Christ while watching the sky for superheroes; know Him and allow Him to give you help when you think you need it and even when you don't.

With much love,
Miss Mormon 
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

What's inside a Mormon temple?

Dear friend,

I use to wonder what was in there too. Was it pretty? What did people do in there? Was it weird? Did I WANT to go in there?  I'm guessing at least some of these have crossed your mind.

Well today, let me take you inside the temple.

You're pretty lucky your friends with miss Mormon, because you can't get this kind of VIP treatment in too many places. Even members of the church are required to have a 'temple recommend' to go inside. You might think (in a Stephanie Tanner voice) "how rude! That's exclusive!" But think about it...you need some form of a certificate to go from high school to college right? It's the same deal.

So follow me.

As you step into the temple you'll notice that the inside is as beautiful as the outside. Beautiful paintings, woodwork, mirrors, lighting etc. it should immediately make you feel a little more peaceful, a little more happy, a little more heavenly. It's also very quiet inside, not in an eery way but an angels-walk-these-halls kind of way.

There's a desk where a couple temple workers check our temple recommends and then on we go! The first place we'll go is the baptistry. Here is where we provide our ancestors with the opportunity to accept or reject the gospel. If done properly and with the right authority, we only need to be baptized for ourselves once, here we do
it for others who didn't get to in their lifetime. Pretty cool right?

Alright let's keep going. So as we walk through the temple, every temple is a little different, but they all serve the same purpose and they all are dedicated to The Lord. Everyone we pass is dressed in all white. Seeing this, for me, really drive home the point that we are brothers and sisters, equals in the sight of our loving Heavenly
Father. We pass a couple rooms that have a bunch of seats in them, those are rooms where we make further promises with God and learn more about His plan for us. When we do so, we inherit blessings from God to
help us and protect us. Once again, we only make those promises for ourselves once, but we go back often because we have ancestors to do the same thing for. But as a disclaimer, it's always their choice to accept or reject the work we've done for them. We'll stop for a moment in one of my favorite rooms, it's a sealing room. This is where families go to be bound together for all time and eternity, no more 'death do us part', but 'eternal life do us unite'.



I've lost loved ones and seen other families lose the same, as bad as it hurts and as much as we miss them, we know that because of the promises we made in the temple, we'll be together again. Families ARE forever when sealed in the temple.

Well, that concludes our tour; I hope that helps you understand the temple a little bit better, I hope you come back and come back often. God has a plan for you; if you can't see it anywhere else in the world for some reason, if your lenses are too darkened by the chaos and confusion, recognize the temple to be a light on the hill and a beacon signaling Gods love for you.

With much love,
Miss Mormon


 






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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How can I have hope for better days in such hard times?

Dear friend,
Last night I knelt by my bed to pray before going to sleep. My mind was pretty weighed down with thoughts of my future and as usual I started to really worry. I quickly tried to push all those thoughts away and switch to something I could handle: your question. Just as I thought this though a clear thought came to mind

 Where is your hope?

 I sat there for a moment, my thoughts completely interrupted and I couldn't help but ask myself again:

Where is my hope?

I realized all my fears about my future, all the worrying I had done had involved about .001% hope. I wasn't being hopeful..I was being hope-less. I had forgotten what it meant to hope and where I could find it. I forgot that hope isn't just a Christ-like attribute, its a Christ-like attitude.

An attitude of hope allows us to look at any Goliath and have confidence that with Christ's help we can succeed.

Hope is trusting the Lord will allow for things to work out for our good. How quickly we forget when the waters get a little choppy--I'm at least guilty of being quicker to jump ship than stay the course.

It seems the hardest thing to have hope for is ourselves; that we can overcome our weaknesses and actually reach our potential. I have made so many friends over the course of this year, with burdened shoulders and heavy hearts, who have told me that they can never change. In other words; their sling is broken, Goliath has won, and they've lost all hope. As I would sit with them and listen I always felt the urge to stand up and in a loud voice command them to keep going, push harder! Don't ever give up! But instead I sat and I prayed, because I have learned that hope doesn't come from Miss Mormon, it comes from Christ.

There was a time not too long ago that I sat in the same exact spot my new friends seemed to sit, I wanted things to change but I didn't feel like they ever would. It was hard to motivate myself to do anything...what was the point? My future looked the exact same as my past. I seemed to be constantly standing in Goliath's shadow.

Then one night, I don't know what changed--divine intervention? An angelic smack to the head?

probably.

But I pulled out my scriptures, brushed some dust off (it had been that long) and I cracked them open. Now it could have been any verse, I don't remember the words anymore, they weren't what was important, but it was the feeling that counted. After 8 loooong months of discouragement and despair I felt myself lifted out of my hopelessness, I knew my Savior was there to help me, and that He had never left me.

I had reclaimed my hope.

I know that through Christ we can make it through valleys and over mountains, I know that hard times will continue to come, and we might sometimes take two steps forward and slide one step back, because we're human and we make mistakes. But if Christ hasn't thrown in the towel and called it quits on you, then you don't give up either. Don't give in. Turn to the fountain of living water where you will never thirst and never lose hope. 

Keep calm and hope on and give Goliath all you've got.

With much love,
Miss Mormon


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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What is a Mormon?

Dear friend,
If you were to stand on a busy street and ask this question even 10 years ago you probably would've gotten answers like:

"Isn't that those people that live like its the 1800's?"

"Oh, they're devil worshipers...blood sacrifices and all"

"I hear they have multiple wives"

If you were to ask that question on the same busy street now, you would probably get less of that and more responses like:

"Well I know they aren't christian"

"I saw the musical about them!"

...or my personal favorite:

"All I know about Mormons I learned from South Park"

Judging by the answers above, I'd say you came to a better source.

A Mormon is a christian (see post: "Are Mormon's christian?" for more on that), we have some things that make us stand out from other people, for example--there are certain things we don't do, and there are certain things we firmly believe in...all of which may make us different from the "norm".
A Mormon is taught to be kind to others, to treat others nicely, and despite our differences love everyone.
A Mormon is known by their modest appearance and their sometimes larger-than-the-2.5-kid-average family.

There are lots of things I could say about what a Mormon is, but in the end...they are just people: they are your neighbors, your PTA board members, those kids that play with your kids down the street. They're the two young men walking down the street in the middle of the hottest summer you've ever experienced with white shirts and ties giving out Book of Mormons, or the very pregnant woman at the park praying over a PB&J with her 2 yr old. They're people just trying to get through life the best they can and smiling along the way.

A Mormon...could be you in the future :)

With much love,
Miss Mormon




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