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.

I was able to take notes in my journal about the wonderful messages of the prophet, the apostles, and other church leaders in General Conference the past few days. I came away with a full heart!

I loved the new announcement that eligible ages for missionaries were dropped to 18 from 19 for young men and from 21 to 19 for young women. That puts the possibility of my oldest going on a mission if she chooses to less than 6 years. Wow! Several of my best friends have children much closer than that…less than a year and a half. My niece could potentially be leaving around Christmas time if she chooses to go on a mission instead of having to wait two more years. Wow!

So many messages! These are my favorites:

We can't insist on our own time table when the Lord has His own.-Pres. Henry B. Eyring

My family and I have some challenges that won’t seem to let up or change. {Five years is a long time.} I know they will change for the better, and we just need to trust in the Lord’s timing instead of our own. We’re moving our feet and striving to move forward. Heavenly Father is not hidden from us unless we put up our own walls. He is always there. Though the journey seems slow, I’m grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who will make our life better than we ever planned it to be and that in the perspective of eternity, five years is but a very small moment.

pollinate the world with the pure love of Christ.-Elder M. Russell Ballard

I sometimes feel like in my own little sphere I’m not making a huge difference. Elder Ballard’s talk was a great reminder that even though I have felt that way, I really am making a difference. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, and I’m striving my best to live the way He wants me to. I can spread the love of Christ through my service and my example. It matters to Him, and it matters to those I personally influence. It matters to my husband and my children. It matters to my extended family and close friends. It matters to those I have served that will never know me personally. I can help pollinate the world with His love!

never delay a prompting-Pres. Thomas S. Monson

Service is the very definition of pure religion-M. Russell Ballard

All throughout conference, I heard over and over that Heavenly Father answers prayers through other people. We can be the answer to someone’s prayer when we follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I have known it for a long time, but it must be a lesson I needed reminding of because I heard it so many times!

We always go to my in-laws for conference breakfast with the extended family for the first session of conference on Sunday. It’s nice to get together and share together in hearing the word of God and of course enjoying good food. We left with the desire to go home to fix lunch and prepare for the next session of conference. On the way home, we were given the opportunity to not delay a prompting and provide service. {During Conference, I was also reminded that the opportunities to provide service are not always convenient.}

We saw a woman on the side of the road pushing her car out of the center median. We drove on for a few seconds before David said, “Should we go back and help her.” We turned around and couldn’t find her on the road. We turned into the parking lot of a library to turn around when we saw the car. David didn’t think it was her because he thought the car we were looking for had out of state plates. I knew it was her because of her pink hair. {Yes, I just said she had pink hair.} We helped her with what she needed and made sure she was on her way before leaving to go home. Though the experience didn’t seem terribly inconvenient–we didn’t even miss the second session or lunch–we would have gladly helped as long as we were needed. My children never complained or wondered when they would get to eat. I’m grateful the children were able to see us trying to live and do as the Savior would in the same circumstances. It was an opportunity for us to practice what we had been hearing about all weekend during conference and for the children to see another instance where we were trying to live the gospel not just make them listen to people talk about it.

ask the missionaries, they can help

We seem to have had a lot of eyes on us lately as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints due to the coming election where a member of our faith is running for president. I’m sure many people outside of our faith were watching parts of conference to see what we’re all about. I loved how Elder Russell M. Nelson recommended talking to the missionaries to help people get joy back into their lives, do family history work, be healthy, know the truth about life after death…and so on. It’s true too! If you want to know more, ask the missionaries!

I'm a Mormon. I know it. I live it. I love it!-Sister Ann M. Dibb of the YW General Predidency

I’m Mormon. I know it. I live it. I love it!” This made me want to make t-shirts that have this statement on it! It might get more attention outside of Utah, but it would still be a wonderful shirt to wear!

I love Elder Oaks’ talk! Protecting children and helping them is very important to my family. The topic is near and dear to my heart, and everything Elder Oaks said resonated of truth. {The Spirit is so wonderful!} His talk was a reminder that I need to make sure I continue to work on improving my relationship with my family. I need to strive to do better at being calm with my children and use the teaching moments that come up throughout my day.

With many people in our country trying to change the definition of marriage to something it is not, I found Elder Oaks’ statement above to be a very welcome addition to conference. {The Family: A Proclamation to the World goes into more details about marriage, children, and their ideal roles which we all should strive for.} The gospel and plan of salvation gives my family and I an eternal perspective, and I’m so grateful!

So what were your favorite talks or lessons from General Conference?

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!

David baptized Lightning and later confirmed him a member of the church after they were all dried off. Lightning was so cute and happy when it was all over. He’s such an angel boy!

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!

David and Brandi – 13th Anniversary Getaway

With so many people choosing to end their marriages, there is one thing I wish all people would understand and live…marriage takes work and diligence. If we choose not to work on our marriages, they eventually fail. As the adage goes, “The grass is greener where you water it.” Yellow and brown spots need watering, not abandonment.

One of the things we have always done as a couple to “water” our relationship is to make sure we are keeping communication lines open with each other. We talk every night, not just about the kids or what the next day’s activities were going to be, but we talk about our dreams and hopes for the future with each other. We always approach our challenging conversations with love and kindness. We don’t scream at each other or blame each other, though the adversary certainly tries to get us to. We own up to our part of the challenge we’re facing and are forgiving of each other.

Lifting our relationships to a higher plane and keeping a marriage alive and thriving, always starts with ourselves. We need to see our spouses as people with their own thoughts, feelings, trials, and choices. We need to see them as people and seek to understand them instead of treating them as objects. It’s easier said than done, but with practice and application, it works!

If you’d like more information there are many resources, and here are just a few that have worked for me and that I recommend:

  • The Anatomy of Peace – I really loved the book, and it helped me to see people as people instead of objects.
  • The Business of Marriage – Dino and Shannon put on an awesome event and have some helpful products as well. My husband and I had a fabulous time at The Business of Marriage seminar at the beginning of April. We came home after three days and felt like newlyweds again. I can’t say we haven’t had opposition, but we came home with more tools to help us make our good marriage into a fantastic one.  We always felt uplifted and inspired, never like we needed “fixing.”  They are excellent at helping people find the answers within themselves to help their relationship thrive.

If you find yourself struggling in any way in your marriage (large or small) or know that you need to add something to your tool belt, seek inspiration and resources to help you make your marriage better. As the wise Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

So, what are you doing to help your marriage improve?