January 2015 ~ Dear Miss Mormon

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Where's the joy?

Dear Miss Mormon,
How do you know what sorts of things are worth worrying about?  I know I should keep things in life simple and focus on the basics, but I also know that to improve and reach my potential and please God I need to stretch myself.  It seems that you somehow decided to make this blog a priority, how did you decide that and other things?

Dear friend,
I totally understand what your saying, and here's my answer for how I do what I do:

I fail. All the time.

You'll notice from a previous post, that I don't always know how or what to do, my only way to cope with my constant failure is to recognize that "Failing is an essential part of the mortal phase of our quest for perfection"- Kevin J. Worthen President, Brigham Young University 

Understand that balance is hard, finding time for everything is hard, having the right amount of energy exerted into every facet of life is hard. So no, I don't have it totally down. I have the general outline of priorities that I follow:
-Food (for realzzzz) 
but the rest is a little fuzzy. The struggle comes because all of those can be broken down into micro-priorities (church callings, scripture study, homework, relationships, vegetables...cookies), and its within those micro-priorities that I get lost all the time. I only have so many hours in the day to fit everything in and there never seems to be enough time, I know how overwhelming it can quickly become.

Until you remember 2 Nephi 2:25 which says: 

"Men are, that they might have joy."

Lets all just read that again, "Men are, that they might have joy". Doesn't the anxiety just melt away as you read that? Its nice to know God isn't as concerned with my grades as I am, or if I'm reading more in the New Testament than the Old. He recognizes my genealogy is sitting on a shelf waiting for me, and He's probably smiling about the stash of cookies and Nutella in my cupboard. Perfection wasn't designed to come in a day, and the balance of priorities didn't come with an instruction manual.  So where is the joy? Despite all the things I have to do, am I finding joy? am I being joyful in all I do? Am I helping others to feel joy? When my classes are over, the job obtained, and the family started-- pass or fail, will I have accomplished the overarching desire that God has for me?

My answer is really too simple for your question, but all I can do is try to offer perspective;  I do the things that bring me joy, I prioritize my life based around joy. Find your joy, hold on to it, don't let go, and let the rest fall into place. Enjoy mortality, embrace inevitable failures of mortality, and when in doubt...eat a spoonful of Nutella :)

with much love,
Miss Mormon

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Created equal in the sight of God

Dear friend,

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a funeral for someone I never knew.

As weird as that sounds, it was actually a great experience. As I sat in the very back listening to this man's love for the University of Utah, fishing, and his family, my life like so many before me was now touched.
As I listened to his family members, one after the other, get up and talk about him, they would tearfully admit that they missed him and looked forward to see him again, but I noted that no one said he had been taken too soon--he was after all 93 yrs old. I thought about this compared to a funeral I had been to years before for one of my best friends sisters. She had been in a car accident and died immediately. The two services had a feeling very different from one another.  I thought about this and why that little girl got 12 years on earth, and GP got 93, how was that fair? We come to earth and all have such different experiences, we're born in different places, we go through different trials, we even leave this earth by different vehicles...so does this leave room for God?

I totally get it.

its hard to believe that someone who we claim to have so much love for us would allow so much grief and pain.

How does our reality mesh with  such an unrealistic idea?

I've seen when scientists (I'm not saying all of them) try and offer up explanations that suggest God does not exist. Rather, life formed from Ex nihilo, or a clash of comets, or a species of apes.

This just doesn't sit well with my heart.

To me these explanations would suggest a universal, uniform pattern creating a Stepford effect on all of us.

All would pass away at 79, no deformities would occur, "different kinds of beauty" would never exist and life would be nothing short of vanilla.

I've heard people say: If there is a God, then why do bad things happen to good people? I've thought about this a lot, and this is one of my thoughts:

The diversity of the world around us and within the human race suggest anything other than the absence of a divine creator.

To me, this is what makes sense: God, our loving Heavenly Father, who also happens to be the greatest artist, architect and mastermind; carefully shaped and molded each individual life, complete with beauty marks and opportunities for band-aids. We're unique, our expiration dates are different, our laughs are weird, our eye colors vary and medical histories are incomparable.

No wonder He rested on the 7th day.

We aren't factory made, we're hand-made. You and me and our differences are evidence of the eternal truth

that God is real, and though we are different, we are created equal in the sight of God.

With much love,
Miss Mormon

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Faith Crisis

Dear Friend,
How have you been? How was your holiday? I think (or hope) that everyone took a bit of a break from their busy schedules to spend time with family...I know I did!
And now I've started back to school after a 20 month break...I'm feeling a little rusty to put it mildly.

But putting my calculus, physics, and biology textbooks aside I wanted to share a story with you from my mission

I'm feeling a little nostalgic today, can you tell?

While I was living in Florida I met this wonderful little family, who all happened to be members of the church. I fell in love with them instantly. They were cool, hip, and the cutest thing I had ever seen. I fought hard for an invite to their home just to share a message of Christ with them. We finally got in, and what we found was so sad and so not what I was expecting.

The sweet wife sat on the floor as we shared our message and tearfully opened up about what she called her "faith crisis". She had a testimony, she loved the gospel, but she had discovered truths that appeared to be stumbling blocks for her and she didn't know entirely what to do. You could see the pain that it was causing her, the long nights and I'm sure the many tearful conversations she had had with her husband trying to believe the way she had before.

This wasn't the only time I ran into this kind of situation and I'm sure it won't be the last. As we go through life, new knowledge is brought to light, fresh perspectives are introduced, and interpretations of events are reconstructed and presented. When these things happen its like the shifting of tectonic plates and the ripple effect will test your very foundation.

Don't let your foundation be weakened by new information, learn to absorb it, process it, and sort it to leave your faith stronger than it was before.

When you learned algebra it didn't negate or falsify the basic math you were doing before, it enhanced, enriched, and enlightened your understanding.

Allow all that you learn now and in the future to do the same to your testimony and to bring you closer to your Heavenly Father.

I love you friend, I hope that if ever in the midst of a faith crisis or any other storm in your life you know that there are people out there, both those you know and you don't know, who are praying for you and rooting for you.

Go forward with faith.

With much love,
Miss Mormon

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