Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. I love the opportunity to pause and think of the Savior, and I love spending time with my family.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Why I Stay

Sorry for the lack of blogging. Finals really swamped me this semester. (I'm done, thank goodness.)

This post is a response to a thread on Feminist Mormon Housewives. A non-member wrote in asking what concerns feminist LDS women have with the church, and a lengthy thread ensued. One commenter, also a non-member, asked what makes feminist LDS women stay active in a church with such a patriarchal structure. Since the thread got long, and people started talking past one another, I decided to respond on my blog instead.

In the New Testament, Christ preached many things to the people. At one point, many people became offended and stopped following Him. Christ's exchange with his apostles as a result is instructive.
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
John 6:66-69.

I have received a witness from the Holy Spirit that God's authority, the priesthood, is contained within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although the people who make up the church are imperfect, the church is still authorized. In the words of Peter, "to whom shall [I] go?" I have faith that all of the things that are wrong with the patriarchy will be made right through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

When the priesthood was extended to all worthy male members of the church without regard to race, one of the things that stuck out to me in Official Declaration 2 was that the revelation came about in part because of the "faithfulness of those from whom the priesthood has been withheld." Today, my sisters and I are those from whom the priesthood has been withheld. I can't expect change if I'm not faithful. My faith can be a driving force in preparing the way for God to continue to fix man's errors.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Sabbath Day

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exodus 20:8-10

I love the Sabbath. I love having a day set aside for spiritual pursuits, a day where I can say no to worldly cares. Some of the best Sabbaths I've had have been when I've been visiting my extended family. We sit and talk and get caught up with one another. The conversations range from current events to what's going on in our lives, to spiritual topics. It feels refreshing.

I live in an apartment right now with four other women. I'm the only Sabbath observer in the apartment. We're in pretty close quarters, so it's hard to find a quiet space sometimes. I've come to realize that in many ways, the Sabbath is a feeling I can carry with me, regardless of what is going on around me.

When the Ten Commandments were given, two reasons were listed for the commandment to observe the Sabbath:
In Exodus 20:11, we are reminded of the story of the creation. "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."
In Deuteronomy 5:15, we are reminded of the miracle of the children of Israel being led out of Egypt. "And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day."

We live in an increasingly 24/7 world. Obviously, there is some work that must be done, even on the Sabbath. Police officers, fire fighters, and emergency room personnel must be available at all times. When my car broke down on the way home from church, I was grateful that a tow truck driver was working and was able to help me pull my modern-day ox out of the mire.

However, I worry about what is going to happen to my Sabbath observance when I get out into the legal field. I already feel at a bit of a disadvantage even in law school, since I don't study or do homework on Sunday. I have six days to do what everyone else has seven days to do, and with how competitive law school is, it's a sacrifice. (I've been blessed for making that sacrifice, so I'm not complaining.)

I know I have several lawyers who read my blog. How do you manage observing the Sabbath while working as a lawyer? For you non-lawyers out there, how do you manage Sabbath observance with your job?

Friday, October 30, 2009


Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:3

I've gone through several periods in my life that I would categorize as rebirths. I experienced my first rebirth in my mid-teens when I became converted to the gospel. My second rebirth came when I reached adulthood. I received the ordinances of the temple when I was 19, partly because I used this as a symbol of my rebirth as a grown woman. I experienced another rebirth on my mission. This was perhaps the most striking rebirth of all. I can honestly say I am a completely different person as a result of that experience. (Some of the change was for the better, and some of the change was for the worse.) I experienced another rebirth during my hiatus from law school. This was a painful rebirth, but I drew nearer to God through that experience than through anything else I've experienced in my whole life. I gained a new and greater understanding and appreciation of the Atonement.

I'm standing on the cusp of another rebirth, and it frightens me. I'm at the point in my law school career where I need to start figuring out what I'm going to do with my life. I know my goal, but I don't know how to get there. When I've asked for advice, I get conflicting information.

Some of my professors have told me that as long as I persevere, get good grades, and write well, I should be able to get a tenure-track position, but that it will take a while. A few of my professors say that since I didn't go to an elite law school, the best I can hope for is teaching legal writing and research. If I could pick one subject in all of law school that I don't want to teach, it's legal writing and research. The dean of career services is convinced that I can't become a professor, and she's trying to track me into litigation. If there's anything I want to do less than teach legal writing and research, it's litigate.

Since my call to teach came from God, I know He'll tell me how to get there, and He'll help me become the person He needs. It's a scary process not knowing what's ahead, though. I've been drowning in schoolwork, and I haven't been as good at spiritual pursuits as I should be. I still pray and read the scriptures and go to church, but my pondering and temple attendance have slipped. I don't remember the last time I went to the temple, but it's probably been several months. I made time in my schedule to go tonight after work. Hopefully I'll get some more direction.

I know this is a rather rambling, disjointed post, but that's how I'm feeling right now - rambling and disjointed. I tend to grow the most when times are uncertain, but it's unnerving in the moment. I'm sure I'll be able to look back on this time and see the Lord's hand in it, but right now, I'm feeling a bit like I'm just hanging.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

30 Days of Scripture Study

When I was a teenager, I read my scriptures every day. I continued this through college and my mission. I derived strength and inspiration from daily study of the word of God. After my mission, my scripture study started to slip. I would miss a day here and a day there, and it got to the point that I would sometimes go for a week or two at a time without opening the scriptures. (I would still read and ponder spiritual things, but there's no substitute for the primary source.)

I've had a concern that has been weighing heavily on my mind for the past several weeks. (I may blog about it later, but not now.) I was talking to one of my friends about it, and she gave me the best advice. She told me that I should take the problem to the Lord and study the scriptures every day for 30 days with that particular problem in mind. She had done that once, and it changed her life.

I'm on day 5 now. I haven't experienced anything life-changing yet, but I'm feeling a greater measure of peace and spirituality. I'm noticing the hand of the Lord more fully in my life. I'm getting back into the habit of regular scripture study. (I hear it takes 21 days to create a habit, so I'm hoping I can get the habit ingrained.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

After the Manner of Happiness

And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.
2 Nephi 5:27

I went to a mid-singles' conference this past weekend in Santa Cruz, and this scripture was supposedly the theme of the conference. (I say supposedly because the events and activities never really seemed to tie in.)

I've been thinking over the past few days about what it means to live after the manner of happiness. I'm not sure I have an answer. We're told that we will be happy when we live the gospel, and for the most part, I've found that to be the case. However, there are times when I've been living the gospel and I've still been miserable.

My mission was one of the most difficult experiences of my life, and I was definitely not happy most of the time. (There were moments, but not many.) Christ Himself was described in the scriptures as "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief".

Right now in my life, I'm quite happy. I know I need to study the scriptures more, and I know I need to be more serious about the Sabbath, but things are going well. I don't get it. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Update from Institute

I started attending institute again this semester. I signed up for a Book of Mormon class because it was the only one that would fit in my schedule. The first week was great. There were three of us in the class (plus the teacher), and we were able to have some great in-depth discussions of the material, the kind that wouldn't really work in Sunday school. The second week was okay. There were a few more people in the class, and the teacher asked me to tone down the level of my comments/questions. (There was nothing wrong/bad/subversive about my comments, they were simply complex.) I obliged.

The third week (yesterday) was a bit more frustrating. There were three brand-new investigators in class yesterday. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that people are investigating the church. I'm happy that they're attending institute. However, I'll admit that I was annoyed at the impact their presence had on the class discussion. When people ask questions like "Who is Lehi?" or "Why were they leaving Jerusalem?", it makes it harder for me to ask the questions I want to ask.

I was getting a bit grouchy and I was considering dropping institute for the semester. (With how busy my schedule is, it's a fairly significant sacrifice of time. I could spend those two hours studying.) Finally, I decided to stick with it just for the sake of going. I would like to say that I was rewarded with some new earth-shattering insight, but I wasn't. Instead, I had the opportunity to step out of the world for a few hours, feel the Spirit, and help share the gospel. Sometimes it isn't about me.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

God Qualifies the Called

When I was an undergraduate, I had considered the idea of becoming a political science or philosophy professor. I decided not to, since I didn't feel like I had what it took. (I don't really fully know what it takes, but for some reason I didn't think I had it.) During my senior year, I contemplated applying to law school, but I felt that the timing was wrong. I decided to go on a mission instead.

After my mission, I went to law school. (I started 3 weeks after I got home.) I was at a 4th tier school with a major inferiority complex and a relatively incompetent administration. (The teachers were good, but the deans and other powers left something to be desired.) I don't remember exactly when it happened, but sometime in either my second or third semester there, I was standing in the 5th floor foyer one foggy afternoon (San Francisco is notorious for its fog), and it hit me. Right there, surrounded by tacky vinyl couches, God called me to be a law professor.

The school I was at got put on probation by the ABA, and the administration panicked. I got caught up in a big purge and got academically disqualified. The irony of the whole thing is that my disqualification letter and my Witkin award* came in the mail the same day. I appealed the disqualification decision, and it was denied. As a result, I had to wait 2 years before returning to another ABA accredited law school.

Last year, my waiting period was up, and I returned to law school at a school much better suited to me. Gone are the foggy days and incompetent administrators, replaced by splendid sunshine, palm trees, and an institution dedicated to the glory of God. A statue of the Savior sits in the middle of campus, inscribed with Biblical reminders to come unto Christ.

On the first day of new student orientation, we met in our legal writing and research class. My professor (Professor A) asked us each to introduce ourselves and tell what we want to do with our law degree. He made commentary on each choice. When my turn came, I said that I wanted to be a law professor. He paused for a moment before getting solemn and saying, "That will be very difficult."

He then proceeded to talk about how unless someone goes to Yale or graduates at the top of the class, it's practically impossible to get hired to teach a doctrinal subject, and that anyone else who teaches will have to teach legal writing and research. I was stunned, since most people only tell me happy things like, "You'll do great," or "Go for it!"

Over the course of the year, I came to really respect this professor and his opinions. He was always honest with me when critiquing my writing, which meant a lot to me. Still, his not so stellar pronouncement about my career prospects has stuck with me. Unfortunately, legal writing and research was not my best subject.

Over the summer, when I took summer school, I decided that it was time to start talking to my professors and finding out how they got started teaching. I asked my legal ethics teacher (Professor B) what he thought, and he told me basically the same thing. I told him I didn't think I was qualified to teach writing and research, and he suggested that I specialize in an area of law that the regular faculty didn't like to teach and then become an adjunct. He suggested I talk to Professor C to get his idea. (Professor C happens to be my copyright law professor this semester, so I'm going to catch him in office hours and find out what he thinks.)

I have Professor A again this semester, this time for appellate advocacy. I've decided to brave his office for another conversation on the subject. I've been mulling it over for a few days, and I'm nervous. I'm afraid he'll tell me what I already fear- that I'm not qualified. The other fear is that he'll tell me that I am qualified, but the black marks on my academic record, as a result of my prior disqualification from law school, will make me nonetheless unhireable.

We often hear in church the popular quote "whom God calls, He qualifies", or my personal favorite rendition of the sentiment, "God does not call the qualified; He qualifies the called". I had an amazing epiphany regarding this thought today during church.

We usually think of it as referring to church callings, but today when my mind was wandering during Sacrament meeting, I realized something. It's not just for church callings. He called me to be a law professor, and He will make me qualified. I don't know how it will happen, but it will. I think I have a unique contribution to make to the legal academy because my background is different from the typical professor. I can empathize with struggling students because I've struggled. I know what it's like to fall down and get up again. I know what it's like to have to work while going to school. God doesn't just want some random person off the street to teach - He wants me, and He'll make it possible.

Professor A's pronouncement of a year ago, that it's not going to be easy, still stands, but nothing worthwhile in this life is easy. I'm going to keep plugging along, doing my part, with faith that the Lord will do His part.

*The Witkin Award is given to the student with the highest grade in each section of each course. I got one in Constitutional Law II just before getting kicked out of law school.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Back to School

I'm back to school. There's something fresh and exciting about a new school year. This is going to be a really busy semester, but I'm looking forward to it. I'm a full-time student now, and I'm only working 20 hours per week. It's a still a juggling act, but it's more manageable than before.

I'm taking a seminar in bioethics and the law that I'm really excited about. Instead of a final exam, I have to write a law review article. I'm really looking forward to that. I like writing, and getting published will look great on my resume. It will also satisfy my supervised analytical writing (i.e. thesis) requirement.

I'm also taking copyright law. So far, I really like it. It's nice to have a class that isn't a re-run. I'm grateful that I got a second chance, but re-taking everything I had already taken was really unpleasant.

In the category of re-runs, I'm taking appellate advocacy, civil procedure, and the second semester of constitutional law. It's not going to be too bad. I love constitutional law, so taking it again will be fun. My teachers for all three re-run classes are great, so I'm sure I'll learn something new anyway.

I enrolled in institute this semester. I wasn't sure if I was going to do it or not, since I've already graduated from institute multiple times, but I figured that since I have the time, I should give it a try. I took a day class, since in my experience, the day classes have more of a spiritual education feel instead of a singles' ward feel like the night classes.

I'm going to try to get back to the spiritual roots of this blog in the future, instead of always talking about law school. Look for some more posts about my scripture study in the near future.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Surfacing for Air

I've been drowning in work and summer school, but I'm still mostly alive over here. If someone you love is planning on working 75 hours per week while taking 6 units of summer school, please attempt to dissuade him or her. I'm running on adrenaline and inertia right now. I have a final in Constitutional Law on Thursday night, and a final in Legal Ethics on Saturday morning. Then I have three weeks off before I go back to school.

I'm making some changes for the better. I'm quitting my second job, cutting back to part-time on my main job, and I'm switching into the full-time division at school. I've made it onto one of the law journals, and I'm going to get more involved in on-campus activities and clubs. I'm going to go back to institute and I'm going to try to revive my stagnant social life.

Yesterday in Relief Society, someone in my ward made a comment that really resonated with me. She told the story of three stone-cutters back a long time ago who were at a quarry cutting stone for a cathedral. Someone asked the first man what he was doing, and he replied, "I'm cutting stone." The second man was asked the same question, and he said, "I'm working with Christopher Wren to build a cathedral." The third man was asked the same question and he answered, "I'm building a house for my God."

I think I've been metaphorically cutting stone this past year, when I really need to be building a house for my God. I know that God has done many miracles to get me where I am today, and I know that He has called me into the legal profession. I need to find a way to make this a holy and spiritual endeavor. I love the motto of the Jesuits, "Ad maiorem Dei gloriam" (for the greater glory of God). As I was walking past the building where my classes are held, I stopped to notice the inscription. It listed the architect, the year it was dedicated, and the letters AMDG. If the building I study in is dedicated to God's glory, then I should remember to dedicate my studies to His glory.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Around the Bloggernacle - Volume 8

I just finished finals. I'm free! (Well, I suppose free is a relative term. I have a week to do my law review casenote and then I start summer school.)

Here's a list of interesting Bloggernacle posts lately:

Over at the Millennial Star, Tanya Spackman tries to debunk the myth that Utah drivers are bad. Apparently the Californians are to blame. (I'm a Californian, and I'm a perfectly fine driver, thankyouverymuch...)

Bookslinger has some tips on how to offer the Book of Mormon to other people.

On the lighter side, The 9th Ward has a comic explaining the Liahona.

Finally, here's an honorable mention. While it's not a Bloggernacle blog, there's a great post over at Everyday Narcissism about the cervical cancer vaccine and the law of chastity.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Imperfect People Doing God's Perfect Work

If there's one thing that the Old Testament makes clear, it's that God demands complete fidelity to the covenant relationship with Him. He has no tolerance for idolatry, even at times calling it "whoring after other gods".

Given that background, the story of Aaron and the golden calf (Exodus 32) confused me. Moses was up on the mountain talking to God, and the Israelites were starting to wonder what had become of him. They asked Aaron to make them new gods to go before them. Aaron collected all the gold and made a calf. He proclaimed to the people, "These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." He then built an altar, proclaimed a feast day, and led the people in offering burnt offerings before it.

God was understandably upset and sent Moses back down to the people to sort the situation out. There was some divine smiting of the people, but Aaron himself got off lightly. Although there is no textual evidence of Aaron's repentance, a few chapters later, he was called to serve in the temple. Even today in the church, we call the lesser priesthood after him.

A few years ago, it hit me. God uses imperfect people to do His perfect work. I've never made golden calves and led people in idolatrous worship, but I've definitely made mistakes in my life and in my service. Still, God needs me to serve. He needs you to serve.

This realization has helped me when church leaders haven't lived up to the standard one could expect someone in a position of trust to abide. The problem isn't with God or with the church. The gospel is still true even if the people aren't. The church is still authorized even when leaders do unauthorized things.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Around the Bloggernacle - Volume 7

I turned in my final paper for my writing and research class this evening. In true procrastinating form, I handed it in 45 minutes before the deadline. Needless to say, I'm tired.

There have been some great posts on the Bloggernacle lately.

Segullah has a post about various object lessons, the good, the bad, the ugly, that are or were presented to the youth of the church.

By Common Consent has a post about going to church in Iraq.

There has been a cross-blog debate about Ayn Rand's philosophy, especially as discussed in Atlas Shrugged. Here, here, here, and here.

I'm running on very little sleep, so more to come later. Have a great day!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Miscellaneous Updates

I'm going to be absent from my blog for about three weeks. My take-home final exam for my legal writing and research class was distributed last night, so most of my energy will be divided between that, my reading for my other classes, and my two jobs. I may or may not comment on other Bloggernacle blogs when I have time, but don't expect to see anything here.

I'm looking forward to General Conference this weekend. I may take a break from my blogging hiatus to post some quick thoughts afterward. I'm grateful for modern technology that allows me to watch it on my laptop in my free time or listen to it on my ipod during my commute.

I'm winding up on the home stretch for the semester, and I'm starting to get nervous. I know the material, but I'm concerned about my exams. I can't afford to mess it up this time, since I'm on my last chance. I'm going to keep working hard and exercising faith. I'm going to be praying and trusting God. Please include me in your prayers if you feel moved upon to do so.

Thanks for all of your comments on my recent posts. I'm glad people are finding this blog a helpful forum for discussion, and I enjoy virtually talking with you all. Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Inviting the Single Saint to Stay in the Church

This is in response to a post on Keepapitchinin, where some commenters asked what to do about the widespread inactivity of single church members ages 18-30. I decided that it merited a response, but I didn't want to threadjack a lovely post by Ardis.

I'm 27 and single, and I've been active ever since I joined the church as a teenager. Prior to my mission, I held several YSA and institute callings where I saw up close and personal the issues faced with rampant inactivity among the YSA age range. (In my stake, we had about 1000 YSAs on the rolls, and there were between 3 and 10 who were active.)

There are a few issues at play here:

First: The late teens and early twenties are a naturally itinerant time in the life of an individual. He or she is embarking on adulthood and has to find out what he or she believes and wants to do in life. This is often accompanied by going off to college or otherwise moving away from parents. Sometimes people slip through the cracks. If someone isn't converted to the gospel, it's easy to stop going when you move.

Second: The church often doesn't know what to do with single people. We're a church of eternal families. This is a central doctrine. It's a beautiful and all-encompassing doctrine, and sometimes in our excitement to proclaim and discuss it, we leave out people who aren't married. When every Relief Society lesson consists of "and here's how we can teach this gospel principle to our children" or "and here's how we can support our husband as he does xyz", it makes things less relevant to unmarried, childless members. Although I haven't attended singles wards, my friends who do have remarked that the lessons seem to be geared toward "all marriage all the time".

Third: In many areas, there is a critical mass problem. There often aren't enough single people, so those who are there feel alienated. Some of this is solved by singles wards, but when the singles wards suck away some of the faithful (usually across stake boundaries), it makes it that much harder for those few of us who stay in the geographic wards. The singles wards contribute to the married members not knowing what to do about single people because they so rarely interact with single people, as they're conveniently quarantined in a social leper colony.

Now that I've laid out what I see to be the problem, I'll propose my solution. Of course, your mileage may vary.

First: Eliminate singles wards. This will powerfully show the single members that we are all a part of Christ's church. There isn't a separate church for married people and single people. Granted, there will be some wards where there still isn't critical mass. If that's the case, designate one ward in the stake as some sort of singles magnet ward. Basically, it's a regular geographic ward (I hate the term "family ward"; it sounds so exclusive) where all single members are invited to attend along with the members within the ward boundaries. There is a ward like that in my area for the 25-45 age group and it seems to work well. (I don't attend as it's not in my stake, but many of my friends are happy about it.)

Second: Give single members meaningful opportunities for service. I can't stress this enough. I've felt most engaged in the church when I have felt that I had something to contribute. I find it tragic that so many singles go without a calling. We can help. Use us! We can teach, we can provide compassionate service, we can be in presidencies, we can help with the music. My favorite calling was nursery leader, which is usually the calling that a single, childless career woman would never be offered, but it was great to be asked to serve.

Third: Ensure that the youth (i.e. YM/YW) are given ample assistance and training in the gospel so that they can develop a personal testimony before they reach the critical YSA years. Personal conversion to the gospel is essential. Someone is much less likely to fall away if he or she has a relationship with God and a burning witness that this is His church.

Fourth: Get to know the singles as people, not as projects. We're not broken. We're fellow saints walking the same path as you. Sure, our life experiences are different, but that's part of the fun. We know things that you don't, and you know things that we don't. We can learn and grow together. Don't pity or patronize us. Sure, I want to get married, but I'm quite happy in my single state. I feel blessed for all of the opportunities God has given me, and if I sat around wallowing in pity and sorrow, I would be guilty of the sin of ingratitude. Please don't make it any harder than it already is.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Favorite Scriptures

I could regale you with a long tale on why I haven't blogged lately, but mostly it's because I'm just too lazy. School is going well, work is going well, life is going well. I can't complain.

I love the scriptures. When someone asks me what my favorite scripture is, it's hard for me to come up with a response because I have so many favorites. Today, I'm going to blog on my favorite scriptures, choosing two from each of the standard works.

Old Testament:

-Deuteronomy 6:3-12. This one shouldn't come as much of a surprise. After all, it's where I got the title of my blog from. I just love the reminder that we need to put God at the forefront of our lives, and that we need to remember Him in everything we do.

-Isaiah 1:18. I just love the promise of forgiveness in this verse. It's poetic and succinct all in one. The imagery of crimson sins being changed to pure white snow is profound.

New Testament:

-Matthew 11:28-30. When people ask me my favorite scripture, this is usually the one I respond with. In a very real way, I've come to know that Christ's yoke is easy and His burden is light.

-1 John 4:8. "He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love." I like this one because it's a concise reminder of the most essential attributes of God, and a reminder of how we need to be.

Book of Mormon:

-2 Nephi 25:26. I love the focus on Christ as the center of everything we do, and a reminder that He is the source of our salvation.

-Mosiah 18:8-11. This is a good explanation of the baptismal covenant. I especially like the reminder to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who need comfort.

Doctrine and Covenants:

-D&C 6:34. This is a good reminder that the Lord sustains and upholds His followers.

-D&C 76:69. This is a portion of the description of those who inherit the Celestial Kingdom. I love this verse because it reminds us that we attain Celestial glory not by being perfect on our own, but by being perfected by the Atonement of Christ.

Pearl of Great Price:

-Moses 7:18. This is a good reminder that Zion is wherever the Lord's people are- that it's a state of mind, not a physical location. This fits in very well with last week's multi-stake conference for northern California. The speakers emphasized over and over that Zion was wherever the stakes are established, and that we don't need to go to Utah to be there.

-9th Article of Faith. I love the principle of continuing revelation. I love the promise that God will reveal many great and important things regarding His kingdom. I can't wait to see what's in store!

What are some of your favorite scriptures?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

God With Us

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Matthew 1:23
This scripture is referring to the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He took on human form, and thus became God with us. However, I've been pondering lately that the title "God with us" is probably more appropriately given to the Holy Spirit.*

The promise each week as we take the Sacrament in remembrance of the Lord's body and blood is that we will always have the Spirit to be with us. When I think about it, I feel like I know the Father and the Son, but I know less about the Spirit. This seems odd to me, since the Spirit is the member of the Godhead I've been promised the constant companionship of. He is the one I've been commanded to receive as hands were placed on my head after I exited the waters of baptism. I know I've felt the presence and promptings of the Spirit on many occasions, but I don't feel like I really know Him.

I'm going to recommit to getting closer to the Holy Spirit. In doing so, I'm sure this will also draw me closer to the Father and the Son, as they are all united. (Although, I suppose that since I feel close to the Father and Son, I'm probably closer to the Spirit than I realize.)

Anyway, this is my morning rambling that probably doesn't make much sense. I'm back in school now, and it's keeping me so busy that I don't have much time for anything else. Have a great day!

*I'm well aware that in contemporary LDS speech, the term "Holy Ghost" is more commonly used instead of "Holy Spirit". I prefer "Holy Spirit" because I like how it sounds better. Chalk it up to hanging around with Jesuits.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

It's that time of year again. These past few weeks have really flown by. I had intended a Christmas post, but Christmas has come and gone. So, Happy New Year!

Last year I made a really ambitious list of resolutions. I managed to keep some of them, but I broke several of them. I'm going to scale back this year.

My Resolutions for 2009:
1) Exercise for at least 20 minutes, 3 times per week.
2) Meaningfully study the scriptures each day.
3) Stay on top of my homework.
4) Keep a positive attitude.