Blessed Plan of Happiness

And once again I find myself with 4 posts in progress but nothing near completion. Please enjoy this short video that shares what I (and many others) believe about the purpose of life.
It hits especially close to home right now since I just found out that a very close friend, almost like a second grandpa, passed away this week. We mourn his loss, but we will not be sad forever because we know that death is not the end. Because of our Savior Jesus Christ "the sting of death is swallowed up"

Honest To Blog: Perfection

"Some of us expect perfection of ourselves instead of seeking to be perfected in Christ."*


This post itself is the lesson that I want to share. It's been in progress for well over 2 weeks now. Finally it has come time to just post it and move on in life. I can't seem to get the words out right because I want them to be perfect. I think that's the newest swear word in my book. First it was busy and now it is perfect.

I never considered myself a perfectionist. Anyone in our community would tell you that was my sister. She was the organized one. She took the AP classes. She got the straight A's. Chelsea was the perfectionist. Elle was the semi-organized chaos, the easily distracted, and the pile of unfinished projects.

How did that version of me turn into such a control freak? As I look at my life in chunks [childhood] [high school] [college] [whatever happened next] [mission] I can see growth that has happened in each section. Even though I see changes it doesn't seem like enough. I find myself thinking "I've come so far why does it seem like there is twice as much ground ahead??"

Sometimes I feel like I'll never be good enough or measure up to being worth Christ's grace. How wrong am I? Very wrong.

I find myself in the awkward situation of a young woman mentioned in a talk given by Brad Wilcox at BYU. She also found herself lacking understanding about the Grace of God. Take a semi-break from my ramblings to read her experience:

A BYU student once came to me and asked if we could talk. I said, “Of course. How can I help you?”

She said, “I just don’t get grace.”

I responded, “What is it that you don’t understand?”

She said, “I know I need to do my best and then Jesus does the rest, but I can’t even do my best.”
She then went on to tell me all the things she should be doing because she’s a Mormon that she wasn’t doing.

She continued, “I know that I have to do my part and then Jesus makes up the difference and fills the gap that stands between my part and perfection. But who fills the gap that stands between where I am now and my part?”

She then went on to tell me all the things that she shouldn’t be doing because she’s a Mormon, but she was doing them anyway.

Finally I said,“Jesus doesn’t make up the difference. Jesus makes all the difference. Grace is not about filling gaps. It is about filling us.”

Seeing that she was still confused, I took a piece of paper and drew two dots—one at the top representing God and one at the bottom representing us. I then said, “Go ahead. Draw the line. How much is our part? How much is Christ’s part?”

She went right to the center of the page and began to draw a line. Then, considering what we had been speaking about, she went to the bottom of the page and drew a line just above the bottom dot.

I said, “Wrong.”

She said, “I knew it was higher. I should have just drawn it, because I knew it.”

I said, “No. The truth is, there is no line. Jesus filled the whole space. He paid our debt in full. He didn’t pay it all except for a few coins. He paid it all. It is finished.”

She said, “Right! Like I don’t have to do anything?”

“Oh no,” I said, “you have plenty to do, but it is not to fill that gap. We will all be resurrected. We will all go back to God’s presence. What is left to be determined by our obedience is what kind of body we plan on being resurrected with and how comfortable we plan to be in God’s presence and how long we plan to stay there.”

Christ asks us to show faith in Him, repent, make and keep covenants, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. By complying, we are not paying the demands of justice—not even the smallest part. Instead, we are showing appreciation for what Jesus Christ did by using it to live a life like His. Justice requires immediate perfection or a punishment when we fall short. Because Jesus took that punishment, He can offer us the chance for ultimate perfection (see Matthew 5:48, 3 Nephi 12:48) and help us reach that goal. He can forgive what justice never could, and He can turn to us now with His own set of requirements (see 3 Nephi 28:35).

“So what’s the difference?” the girl asked. “Whether our efforts are required by justice or by Jesus, they are still required.”

“True,” I said, “but they are required for a different purpose. Fulfilling Christ’s requirements is like paying a mortgage instead of rent or like making deposits in a savings account instead of paying off debt. You still have to hand it over every month, but it is for a totally different reason.”

Ok. Here I am. Girl with the line. Thinking I'll never be able to measure up. That's a warning flag right there that in those moments I do not understand the Atonement of Christ. President Boyd K. Packer counseled the youth in January about the importance of understanding Christ's Atonement.

"Life turns out to be a succession of trials and errors. Add 'repent often' to your list of things to do. This will bring you lasting peace that cannot be purchased at any earthly price. Understanding the Atonement may be the one most important truth that you can learn in your youth." -Boyd K. Packer

Its going to take us all of our lives. Not a single one of us can really truly grasp the measure of love, sacrifice, and mercy that Christ gives to us. But what we can do is try. We can learn a little more every day. My perfection comes THROUGH Him and I will be "perfected in Christ" rather than perfected through my own works.

What do you do to apply the Savior's teaching to be perfected in Him?

Poll Time!

I've got a project that I'll be working on for the next few months and I would LOVE some input! 
Please leave a comment sharing some of your favorite hymns or mellow songs about the Savior Jesus Christ, the restoration of the gospel, or eternal families. If you can please include a link to where I could access the song or music. Thanks a ton!

All That Glitters

Ok world, time for me to share.

During Sunday School about a month ago I was on a wild rampage to find every scripture I could that mentioned jewels, crown, mansions, rubies. Sparkles and treasures. You name it. I wanted the verse. For a second I can apologize to Sister Jackie Owens for not being 100% focused on the lesson, but I really like what came out of that time. A combination of scripture, words and rhythms from Garrett Sherwood's poetry, and a sincere excitement at what lies ahead in the heavens inspired this work.

For your own study on eternal things that glitter try out some of the verses that inspired this poem