Thursday, July 31, 2008

What I Believe

Since this blog is an account of exciting and important things in my life, it would be devastatingly incomplete without a description of my beliefs. My life CENTERS around them!

I believe there is a God who is the Father of my spirit. Jesus Christ is His Son. They created this amazing earth and everything on and in it, including ME and YOU! I don't understand how they came to exist or where exactly they are, or how they hear my prayers, but I know they are there. When my faith wavers, I just rely on my HOPE. What a sad thought it would be to think that we are alone in this world with no one to look over us or help us or direct us.

I love to read the New Testament and learn about Jesus' ministry, miracles, atonement, and crucifixion. I believe those miracles really happened! Jesus Christ has the power to heal both body and spirit!

I also know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the WHOLE world. Not only did He minister to His own people, but He also appeared after His resurrection to the inhabitants of ancient America. He said, in John 10:16, "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." The record of the people in America and the account of Christ's appearance there is contained in the Book of Mormon, which is ANOTHER TESTAMENT of Jesus Christ. It is not a substitution for the Bible, but a supplement. It is another testament of the same majestic Lord.

I believe that God has not left us without a prophet on the earth. There is a prophet who receives revelation from God for the WHOLE world! He does this through the power and authority of the priesthood - the same priesthood held by Jesus and His disciples. The priesthood was lost through apostasy, but it has been restored! Peter, James, and John (Christ's disciples) restored the priesthood to the earth in 1829 to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. They were given the authority to restore the church of Jesus Christ as it was during His ministry. That authority has been passed on and is now held by Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon church) and prophet of the world. To learn more about Joseph Smith and how he came to be a prophet, please see here.

I believe we are all God's children and should love each other without judgment, hate, prejudice, ignorance, or pride. We are truly all brothers and sisters. "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44). "For I was an hungered, and ye have me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee a stranger and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inanasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren; ye have done it unto me" (Matthew 25:40).

I believe in living a pure life, clean from drugs, alcohol, and sexual immorality. I believe in taking care of and honoring my body, since it is a gift from God. "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of god is holy, which temple ye are" (I Corinthians 3:16-17).

God loves us! He wants us to be happy. He will bless you with the knowledge of the truth if you ask. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him" (James 1:5).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My first real vacation since Christmas!

I got to go home to Texas for a week at the beginning of July and had a great time. Basically, I spent the week doing nothing but playing. I spent most of my time doing something outside or playing Karaoke Revolution or Rock Band. While at home, I did a lot of swimming, playing with the dog, and hanging out with my 13-year-old sister and her friend. One day, we drove a couple hours to a historic town called Jefferson in east Texas. It reminded me of Stars Hollow! So this picture is for all you Gilmore Girls fans. A barbershop group was singing at the gazebo in the middle of town. I was looking everywhere for Kirk.

We also went on a boat ride on the Big Cypress Bayou. By the way, a bayou is just a very slow-moving river. It was really pretty and provided some much needed shade from the incredibly hot day.

We also went to our ranch and went swimming and fishing. And I got to drive the tractor to mow the front yard! I haven't got most of the pictures yet from my mom, so here is a picture of the lone bull, Lucky. He has a tuft of curly blonde hair which my mom thinks is "cute" and I think is oddly fake-looking.

To top it off, we met up with my sister and her kids and my aunt and cousin and went to a water park the last day I was in town. It was awesome, but my nephew wore me out! (And my waterproof digital camera somehow got water inside of it and no longer works! Too bad it happened THREE days after my warranty expired!) But besides that, it was great! This is Bubba, who is 7 years old and has more energy that I could ever hope for.

And this is my youngest nephew, Zach. He doesn't really remember me and cried or ran every time I came near him. Apparently, I couldn't even get him to look at me for a picture! But he is a cutie!

And this is my cousin, Laura, and sister, Leighana. (My camera was working fine, here!)

Finally, I have to point out that EVERYTHING IS BIGGER IN TEXAS. This is a not pride; it's just a fact. Check out the gigantic mosquito bite I got! And this was in the morning! Mosquitoes aren't supposed to come out till night! Use the dime for size reference.

And it KEPT GROWING! That thing was almost the size of my kneecap!