My oldest daughter, Ella, was working on her Personal Progress this past Sunday, Faith #6 to be exact, and I was impressed by her simple drawing of the Plan of Salvation. I thought I’d share it here. Enjoy.
The Lord has truly blessed me with wonderful relationships that have helped me grow into the person I am today. I’m grateful for my parents who taught me to be a good person and for my paternal grandmother who has always been a true lady and an example of love and patience. I’m thankful for a friend, April, who lived across the street from me and who invited me to go to church with her, even though I turned her down many times. I’m grateful for ward leaders who kept my parents informed about enrolling in seminary, and for an amazing Young Women’s leader, Sister Hanson, whom I credit for being the biggest influence on my activity in the Church at that time in my life at 14-15 years old. I’m thankful for church leaders, seminary teachers, and for my dear friends who have influenced me for good. And, of course, I can’t forget my dear, dear husband and children for loving and supporting me and keeping the faith. They all teach me so much about life, love, and eternal perspective. I’m deeply grateful for the people who have been placed in my life’s path to help me be who I am.
The following is a little more details about my background prior to my conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I grew up in a home with little religious discussion. My parents both came from an LDS (aka mormon) background, but they had decided to not live the gospel before I was born. I learned bit by bit about the gospel through my paternal grandmother and my good neighbor friend. I was baptized a member at nine years old, but I did not always have the support at home nor the desire to attend often at that time.
When I was about eight or nine years old, I fell into a local mountain canyon river during the June run-off. Thanks to God, my little brother was with me and told the adults of my falling in. My father and uncle were able to pull me from the river exhausted but unharmed. After returning home from the incident, I had told the story to an adult neighbor. She said that God must have saved me for something. I have reflected back on that moment often. I realized that God did save me from that river for a reason. I did have a mission, and I needed to fulfill it.
As a fifteen year old youth, I attended church sporadically, and with the blessing of a wonderful youth leader and my seminary classes, I began to attend more often. As I learned more and more about the gospel the more I wanted to know. I saw how my parents and brothers lived without the gospel and also how faithful families lived with the gospel in their lives. I recalled how I had felt and lived without a faith in Christ or the guidance of the Spirit compared to my life with the Savior influencing me for good. I decided that I wanted to live with the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. I never wanted to go back to not having the Lord be a part of my life’s journey.
As I have searched and prayed, I have had opportunities and people come into my life that have benefited me. I see my Heavenly Father’s hand in my life daily, and I am so grateful for my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is my Savior, and I am so grateful every day for His love and guidance.
There is a blog I’d like to tell you all about…I like to peruse it for information and resources for my family’s homeschool. It’s called Latter-day Homeschooling. Pretty easy to remember, right? It’s fun to read about other LDS families and what they choose to do for their school at home whether it’s spiritual or secular learning. Sometimes I find links galore and other times uplifting articles that help keep me going. It’s not an official LDS Church blog, but it is run by those who strive to keep the standards of the church. :D If you haven’t had a chance to read it, I highly recommend it!
I’m so proud of Lightning for choosing to be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this beautiful morning. The Spirit was strong, and I loved every minute of it. I couldn’t have asked for a sweeter boy! Lightning was so happy and excited all morning long. He seemed extra attentive to the talks and what was going on while he waited for his turn to be baptized. It was a Stake baptism, and I have never seen so many children being baptized. There had to be around 15. Needless to say, the chapel was packed with people and they opened the gym to accommodate all of those in attendance. The counselor in the Stake Presidency joked that it looked like Stake Conference.
Our ward was last and had three boys being baptized including Lightning. I didn’t mind so much, but all of the children in the congregation seemed to. We sang so many songs that I almost lost my singing voice. David got up and bore his testimony during one of the breaks between songs. Finally the time came to go to the room for the baptismal font was so full of people, there was standing room only. I was so grateful to get to watch it. I’m sure no one would have argued if I stood in the middle just so I could watch the ordinance, but I didn’t need to. After all, I was his mom!
I’m so grateful for our many friends and family who came to support Lightning. We enjoyed a luncheon on his honor at the pavilion near our church building. I was sad that my dad couldn’t stay for the luncheon because it had taken so long (nearly two hours) and he needed to go back to work. Other than that everything else seemed perfect. We were so blessed to have everything go as smoothly as it did. I didn’t even feel stressed about it. I let the whole day just flow from one thing to the next. My planning had paid off, and with the help of the Spirit I remembered everything I needed to do.
Something we’ve missed in the past is doing a family photo before or after an event like a baptism. This time, I made sure to get one! One of the benefits of having a photographer as one of my best friends is that she can take a nice, quick family picture! Thanks, Tamra!
We tried getting Peter to let Ella hold him, but he wanted his Dad…and his Dad’s ears to hold!
We spent the rest of the day letting the kids play while we rested. I didn’t realize how much the excitement and planning took out of me. I ended up with a headache but even that didn’t dampen my joy.
Lightning, I pray you remember this day and keep it close to your heart, always! I know I will!
I am amazed at how much my heart has changed since striving to have more gratitude in my life. Life isn’t as bad as it used to seem at times. I know that God can make good out of anything, and I’m grateful for that and for His help in my awareness of that fact. I would like to share some of the major influences in my life that I am grateful for.
- I am so happy and grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who has given me everything I have, great and small.
- I am grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, for His love, mercy, and example. I am thankful for His Atonement and that He loved us all so much that He suffered in Gethsemane and died on Calvary–that we might be forgiven when we repent and live again with Him and our Father in Heaven.
- I am thankful for the Holy Ghost whose constant companionship grants me inspiration I never would have thought possible. He is my comforter and guide.
- I am grateful for the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the wonderful organized church that gives so freely and welcomes all!
- I am so grateful to be the daughter of a King and know that as a daughter of God I can do anything with Him on my side.
- I am thankful for my amazing family, my husband, David, who is my dearest love and the joy of my heart.
- I am grateful for my 5 sweet children. They bring me happiness and teach me so much. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without David and them in it!
- I am grateful for my parents and all they have taught me. For their love and desire to do good.
- I am thankful for my dear best friends who laugh, cry, and sing with me…who encourage, love, and help me…always.
What are you grateful for? I encourage you to share a few things that you are grateful for with someone you care about. Thank them for being in your life. It will not only make their day, but yours too!