Monthly Archives: March 2014

Please still respect the Mormon Church, even if I say something that makes me sound like a jerk!

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Dear friends (particularly friends who are not of my faith),

       I write a lot about my beliefs (duh, duh, duh). Political, religious, social, artistic, etc. I think that most of you probably know this, but in case you don’t, let me kindly inform you that the LDS Church is non-partisan. It is true that the majority of Mormons (myself included) identify as conservative, but we are NOT told who to vote for, or what specific policies/ideologies to accept. Nope, nope, nope.

     So if I ever say something out of line (and heaven knows it’s happened), please do not let it be a reflection on the Church as a whole. I try my best, but, contrary to some people’s beliefs, I’m not perfect . Don’t let a silly comment from one Mormon girl color your views of the whole faith. Just don’t, ok? Thanks!

And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God.

Title page of the Book of Mormon

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Please still respect the Mormon Church,

even if I say something that makes me a jerk!

🙂

my stupid mouth

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Speak softly and carry a big stick.

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When it comes to conversing/ dealing with people who are less than amicable, particularly enemies of the faith, I have adopted and adapted Teddy Roosevelt’s famous philosophy of diplomacy:


“Speak softly, and carry a big stick.”


Yeah, what he said.

 
Killing me SOFTLY!
Speak softly and carry a big stick…

 

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Word searches aren’t just for children.

Finding the right words to perfectly capture your heart or succinctly express a profound truth can be really frustrating sometimes. Add that challenge to trying to make it all clever and witty and refreshingly originally, and you’ve got a real task on your hands!

Word searches aren’t just for children.

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“I used to be the back porch poet 
with my book of lines.
Always knowing I’m probably 
Never gonna find the perfect rhyme.”
-JM


“Waste bin, full of paper
clever rhymes, see ya later!”
-NB

When have YOU had difficulty with words?

 word searches aren’t just for children…

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I wonder sometimes about the outcome…

I wonder sometimes about the outcomeof a still verdict-less life…

Am I living it right?

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still got a pocketful of sunshine, though…

🙂

 

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Should professors promote their publishings? YES!

the glory of God is intelligence

Have you ever asked a professor a question and had he/she refer you to an article/book that he/she had written? Me too. Did you find it a bit self-serving? Me too. But I’ve come to change my view. Check it:

If a scholar has taken the time to research and study out a topic and then write extensively about it (often collaborating with other experts), wouldn’t that answer be better than anything he/she could quickly tell you? Professors, who by the name are academic professionals, needn’t be scoffed at for advocating their published work (within reason). Of course, sometimes it’s a bit about money, but I truly believe that more than anything what it’s really about is knowledge.

What do YOU think?

The glory of God is intelligence, or in other words light and truth… (D&C 93:36)

 

 

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Hooters Restaurant: Sexism Incarnate

Just drove past a Hooters restaurant.

It’s disgusting that we still have such a blatant display of sexism in 2014 America.

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O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…

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The afterlife…what do you think?

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The idea of an afterlife (heaven, hell, etc.) has been around since the beginning of time. Writers, philosophers, and theologians have wondered, postulated, and even prophesied about the state of man in the hereafter.

Many people (myself included) believe that some (profess to) believe in an afterlife as more of a defense mechanism against the harsh reality of death, rather than as an actual conviction. But that’s not why I believe in it 🙂  More to come on this later.

Why do YOU believe (or not believe) in an afterlife?

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting; The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star, Hath had elsewhere its setting. And cometh from afar; But trailing clouds of glory do we come From God, who is our home.”

-William Wordsworth (“Intimations on Immortality”).

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To anyone who’s been bullied: You’re not invisible.

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In recent years, the problem of bullying (particularly in schools) has become a major part of the public discussion. As someone who has personally seen bullying among students and also having once felt the sting of it myself, I’m all for it (the conversation!). Though I do think that unfortunately sometimes a “No Bully Zone” sign can be about as effective as a “Drug Free Zone” sign, I am grateful that we are talking about it and also taking actions (preventative and disciplinary) to combat this devastating problem.

Let’s turn for a minute to pop culture, shall we? There’s no shortage of songs/ movies/ tv shows with a “be who you are!” message. Many of them are very cliche and unoriginal. “Glee,” Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way,” “High School Musical,” and Taylor Swift’s “Mean” (though I do like this one!) are just a few examples. These all seek to portray an inspirational message of self-empowerment to the proverbial underdog dealing with bullies/ naysayers, but often come off as quite cheesy.

In a sea of maudlin, pseudo-artistic expressions of self-acceptance, one stands out from all the rest: “Invisible” by Hunter Hayes. It’s personal and vulnerable. It’s not a canned piece of propaganda. It’s undeniably from the heart. And it is real. Makes me cry. It really does.

“Hear me out,
There’s so much more to life than what you’re feeling now
Someday, you’ll look back on all these days
and all this pain is gonna be invisible.”

Thanks Hunter. Your song is beautiful. And it gives me hope.
See ya in a few weeks!

PS.  If you haven’t seen this, PLEASE watch it! Whether you’re Mormon or not. I promise that it’s worth the 10 minutes. Sooooo important:

“When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:

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STOP IT!”

PPS. If any of my friends/ readers feel like an outcast, if you’re bullied or made fun of, I promise it gets better.  Fight the good fight, find joy in the little things, and just try your best to not let them get you down.

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You’re not invisible.  

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Kathryn Skaggs: Let’s be more loving to liberal Mormons

kathryn skaggs liberal mormon

Do any of you know the blog “A Well Behaved Mormon Woman”? It’s written by Kathryn Skaggs (love her name!). Among other things, she was the one who first wrote about the supposed gay agenda in Frozen, which in turn started a fire storm of controversy and the colossal response that you’ve probably seen on Facebook.

Anyways, Sister Skaggs takes a decidedly conservative stance on social issues, always agreeing with the policies and doctrines of the correlated Church.

Like Kathryn, I always stand with the Church. However, I am uncomfortable with much of her blog (the parts that I’ve read, anyways). I feel she is (somewhat) belittling and perhaps self-righteous to Mormons who’s conscience lead them to disagree. 

Truthfully, I do think there are instances where people need to trust and obey our leaders, but I’ve come to have a greater respect for those with a more liberal leaning. I think Kathryn’s writing can sometimes be alienating to our brothers and sisters who already struggle with how they fit in the Church.

Just wanted to express that even conservative Mormons differ in their views on and approaches to these issues.

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“If ye are not one

ye are not mine.”

-D&C 38:4

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Make your pain into something beautiful.

make your pain into something beautiful

A sign of a true artist is the ability to draw upon pain and craft it into something beautiful.

I try to do that. 

pain throws your heart to the ground…

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Pizza & Bagel Breakfast at Planet Fitness causes fatness!

Screen shot 2014-03-19 at 11.08.56 PM

A month ago, I joined “Planet Fitness” (mainly because it was cheap). Once a month they have pizza night, and once a month they have bagel breakfast. Does that not seem counterproductive for a gym?  I go workout to get away from that kind of stuff!

#Jobsecurity

#defeatsthewholepurpose

#hashtagsareweird

Pizza & Bagel Breakfast

at Planet Fitness

causes fatness!

planet fitness pizza

🙂

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Q-tip Obsession

Q-tips

I may single handedly cause a world shortage of q-tips.

#alwaysrunningout

#usethemforeverything

#besteyemakeupremovertoolthereis

#hashtagsaredumb

#Qtipsrockmyworld

Take a tip from me.

Use some Q-Tips!

, the Queen of Qs!

🙂

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Art with a message

 

 

art with a message

I’m not really into art for art’s sake. You know, the artsy fartsy stuff (think Moulin Rouge). But I’m definitely not feeling the whole blatant political/social agenda thing, either. I like to think of myself as being somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. “Art with a message” is what I’ve heard it called before. I like that.

art with a message

The American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman had a similar philosophy. Her EVER influential piece “The Yellow Wallpaper” certainly made a bold social statement, but not at the expense of exquisite artistic details.

art with a message

And speaking of Gilman, my last semester at BYU, I wrote a paper (read it here!) where I argued (with textual evidence to back it up) that the unnamed narrator in TYW goes through a metaphorical death and rebirth through her experiences with the wallpaper. I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to present my paper at a few literary conferences, the most remarkable being a conference that focused exclusively on Gilman herself and her subsequent oeuvre. I was rubbing shoulders with literally the world’s most knowledgeable scholars on the author. A dream come true, I’d say.

ANYWAYS… just wanted to say that I think it’s important to strike a balance.ImageI’m not a politician,

but I’m not an avant garde weirdo, either.

Somewhere in between…

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Yo, mainstream press, you’re such a mess! How boutcha cover what’s real, ‘stead of always tryin’ to conceal?

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“This media has never held anyone responsible for a very long time. This media has been the least critical in the history of the country in modern America. Every major scandal of the last 5 years under President Obama has been broken by foreign press or by bloggers: Benghazi was largely investigated by the UK Daily Mail. The NSA scandal was broken by British papers. The situation with the IRS was broken by the IRS. Fast and Furious was broken by the bloggosphere. Our media continually whitewashes what is really happening with this administration. And it’s maddening.”

-Ben Shapiro (again!)
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Yo, mainstream press,
you’re such a mess!
How boutcha cover what’s real,
‘stead of always tryin’ to conceal?
You gotta responsibility to tell us the truth
when political goons are acting uncouth
So if you choose to tell the news
then sometimes there’ll be people you gotta  accuse.

Unlove, Kath

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“Call the press and say my life’s a mess!”

(Mayer of course 🙂 )

The mainstream media STINKS!

Stay tuned for an upcoming post

about the amazing phenomenon of new media.

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Why I have to stay Mormon:

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I have expressed before that I will never leave the Mormon Church. Among other reasons, one is that if I were to disassociate myself from the church, I would have to change the title of blog! Human/ Agnostic/ Woman: Katherine just isn’t as pithy, know what I’m saying?
(sorry if this picture’s a little too close-up!)

Click here for a more in-depth explanation as to why I will NEVER leave the LDS Church.

From the Mormon Church, I never will part

Gotta keep the integrity of my art!

🙂

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Christians being forced to provide service for a gay wedding…By common consent?

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Allow me to throw out an intellectual tidbit that just may ruffle a feather or two:

The idea of consent seems to be the ultimate virtue of the political left. Sex (as long as people consent, it’s all good), abortion (if the woman decides she wants it, it’s alright) are just a few examples. But when it comes to Christians in the wedding business who aren’t comfortable providing service for a gay wedding, some abandon the value of consent, instead favoring the government mandating them to do something in the name of a supposed greater good. Is the consent of the private business owner not important in this case?
Philosophical consistency is key, ya’ll. It really is.

 

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And all things should be done by common consent

(D&C 26:12)
🙂

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Gas for cheaper? Now that’s a keeper!

gas for cheapergas for cheaper

Starting today for one month, I get $0.80 off per gallon of gasoline.  EIGHTY CENTS!  In other words, I just bought gas at $2.55 a gallon.  I am one happy girl 🙂

Gas for cheaper?

Now THAT’S a keeper!

(not really, unfortunately, as it’s temporary)

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The Political Left’s version of right and wrong is SOOOOO messed up!

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“In leftist America, babbling for 11 hours about the moral imperative of killing unborn 21-week-old children is a virtue, while citing Corinthians is sin.”

-Ben Shapiro (the hottest and smartest Jew I know! )

The previous example of backwards morality directly relates to the following scripture:

Image“Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

-Isaiah 5:20

Pretty much exactly spot-on, dontcha think?

The Left has left principles far behind

while the Right is right!

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🙂

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Because I’m HAPPY!

Along with most of the world, I am totally digging Pharrell’s infectious song “Happy” (watch/listen to it, Mom!).  And didja know that a while back, he tweeted a quote from LDS apostle Dieter Uchtdorf?  It’s true!
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Technology makes the world so small…

Back to the song:  I like BYU Vocal Point’s version.  Here’s me rockin’ out to it a bit…

)

Sunshine, SHE’S HERE!

You can take a break!”

Omgosh LOOOVE that line

ANYWAYS, this song perfectly describes how I’m feeling today.  I’ve gotten some stuff done, I have good things to look forward to, and I feel the Lord’s help in my life all the time.  Oh, yeah, and I’m AWESOME!  So seriously, it’s been a pretty swell day…

Because I’m…

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HAPPY.

🙂

yellow wallpaper…

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Are your patterns your prisons?

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“If patterns go too long unexamined, they become our prisons.”

-Dewitt Jones (National Geographic Photographer)

Omgosh, looooove this idea.  It is so true!  It makes me think of all those veteran, older teachers out there who are stuck in their ways and never adapt to newer teachings strategies or technologies that could improve the quality of education their students receive.  Just in general, though, this principle is universally applicable.  We need to be ever watchful of our ways to see if they are helping us or possibly hindering us.  If they are doing the latter, something needs to change. And as we all know, acknowledgement of a problem is the first step.  From there, awareness changes behavior. 

Is there a pattern of yours that you need to re-examine?

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith….”

(2 Corinthians 13:5)

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Flood

Screen shot 2014-03-12 at 12.44.39 AM“The rains came down

and the floods came up.”

dddScreen shot 2014-03-12 at 12.47.45 AM

vv

hhhhh

We think we’ll never fall into the jealous game. The streets will flood with blood of those who felt the same (Mayer).

fff

The time is long overdue for a massive flooding

of the earth with the Book of Mormon.”

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Ezra Taft Benson

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“See the bird with the leaf in her mouth

after the flood, all the colors came out.”

-U2

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Flood

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Patience, Iago. Patience.

ImagePatience iago

Patience is a characteristic that doesn’t seem to be valued much in our modern age.  The efficiency and immediacy of technology (among other things) seem to make many people think that they should be able to get what they want exactly when they want.  Consequently, if they don’t, they have the tendency of becoming frustrated and sometimes even hostile.

Despite how difficult it can sometimes, patience is still incredibly important.  It brings peace of mind, demonstrates self-restraint, and shows general civility and decency toward others.  Patience implies not only waiting, but waiting without getting upset or angry.  I would encourage you all to exercise patience when occasion calls for it.  It will bless your life in all of its facets.

What are YOUR thoughts/ experiences concerning patience?

 

The above song is one of my favorite songs in the history of the universe. 

And that’s saying something! 

LISTEN TO IT!

Continue in patience…

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Ban “bossy,” Mrs. Obama? Big Brother would love it…

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When I first read about Michelle Obama’s risible #banbossy campaign, my mind immediately turned to this fascinating (and terrifying) passage from “1984”:

“It’s a beautiful thing, the Destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn’t only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. …

By curtailing frivolous and “fighting” words, the Party seeks to narrow the range of thought altogether, such that eventually, thoughtcrime will be literally impossible….

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”

There is so much to criticize and mock about this so-called movement (and you bet I will soon). For now, suffice it to say that I don’t like someone telling me what word to not use. It seems….bossy.

🙂

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Private Businesses owners should be allowed to refuse service for religious reasons.

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The Arizona bill is a hot topic (duh). This might bring out some heat against me. So be it. It’s not like that’s ever stopped me before

I support the idea that private business owners should be allowed to refuse to personally participate in a gay wedding if it violates his/her religious scruples.

Private business owners who’ve been involved in this kind of controversy before have refused specifically because it has to do with a gay wedding, not because they hate gay people (as some people have insinuated or have been led to believe).

Do you really think that someone would refuse to serve someone simply because he/she was gay? Even if someone truly was hateful, it is incredibly doubtful he/she would pass up the chance for business with someone. Money is money, no matter who spends it.

People should not be expected to drop their personal ethics at the door of their place of employment. The First Amendment was passed precisely to keep us free from that kind of unconscionable request.

I can’t force a Jewish deli to provide me with non kosher meat. I can’t force a gay sign company to print me “Homosexual sex is a sin” banners (I’d probably be sued just for making the request). I can’t force a Muslim caterer to serve pork. I can’t force a pro-choice business to buy ad space on my website. I can’t force a Baptist sculptor to carve me a statue of the Virgin Mary (source).”

Private business owners should be allowed to deny service if they desire. If you do not agree that someone should deny service to gay people, let the market forces work against him/her. Suggesting that government should mandate a person to provide service for something to which he/she is ethically opposed is tyranny, even if you believe it is benevolent.

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A Brief Poem on Excellent Content:

ImageNever be content
with mediocre content
It can be tough
but you gotta ditch the fluff.
So work ’til you’re spent.
to make your content
superbly excellent
🙂
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“I plead with you, don’t be a scrub! 

Rise to the ground of excellence.”

        -Gordon Hinckley

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“Content is King”

   -Matt Walsh

gotta keep churning out excellent content!

 

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Why pictures are so important to what I do.

pictures are important pictures are important

Pictures are a very important part of what I create. As the adage goes, “A picture says a thousand words.” Visuals can really enhance what meaning I seek to express.

I often enjoy putting together two pictures that have likely never been seen side by side before. The unprecedented context is intriguing and can communicate something even more richly.

The majority of the visuals I use are not of me. ( I’m not a fan of narcissism, plus I’m not that photogenic!) They instead are visuals that illustrate something where words alone would fall short.

I never intend to be gimmicky or flashy. No way. I am instead very deliberate about the pictures I use to deepen my artistic message.

Cool!

PS.  I mentioned not being photogenic.  Here’s solid proof:

ImageImage

🙂

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Is there someone who needs your prayers?

Is there someone who needs your prayers?Is there someone who needs your prayers?

“It’s important to remember we shouldn’t just be praying about ourselves, because there are a lot of people in our sphere of acquaintance who have great needs as well, and we ought to be remembering them and what kind of help they need from the Lord.”

-Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Omgosh, LOOOOOVE! It’s so easy to get selfish in our prayers. But we need to use prayer as a form of service and an expression of love for other people.

Is there someone who needs your prayers?

If you can’t think of someone,

I know a girl who could always use extra blessing:

Is there someone who needs your prayers?🙂

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Pushups: My kind of hell

pushup hell pushup hell

There’s little I hate more in life than doing push-ups.  To say I dread them is an understatement.
Miserable, torture, cruel and unusual punishment…

(those of are some of the words that come to mind when I do them).

I think I might be ready to accept that I’ll never have amazing Michelle Obama arms.  It’s not worth it if I have to put myself through the hell known as push-ups.
🙂

I wanna PUSH you down!

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Jet-black hair; a growing epidemic.

jet black hairTime for a little social commentary. And this may rub some people wrong. So be it:

Jet-black hair is ugly. I’m not talking about women with naturally dark hair, I’m talking about women who ink up their hair so its sickeningly black.

It’s phony looking. It’s way too over-processed. It looks like an ink cartridge exploded on your head. And believe me, you aren’t fooling a single person with that shade of “midnight mystery,” store-bought or otherwise,

As a lifelong brunette, I have come to appreciate the joys (and struggles) of differing from our blonde counter-parts. On occasion, I’ve even gone a little darker myself. But I’ve learned from trial and error and seeing others’ drastic dyes to steer clear of this unfortunate trend.

Ladies, lighten up a little bit please. Leave the black hair to those who were born with it.

jet black hairA chocolate or chestnut tone will suit you just fine.

🙂

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How’s your spiritual insurance these days?

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“Keep your spiritual premiums up.  Do not let your spiritual policy lapse.”

-Boyd Packer

Love this idea.  We can’t let our spiritual insurance run out or allow our reservoirs of faith to dry up.  We must be constantly replenishing them.  Not to get all churchy on ya or anything, but we all know the little things we have to do-read scriptures, pray, attend church, serve others, etc.

In the past few months I unfortunately have gotten a little lax about some gospel principles, tithing in particular.  This coming Sunday I am paying my tithing for the first time in a few months.  It might sound strange, but I am really excited!  I have had to make a concerted effort to figure out my finances (which still aren’t perfect!) and, using the language of Steven Covey, “put first things first” by discharging a part of my debt to the Lord.

Hmm, all this talk of money is very interesting.  Insurance, debt, premiums, etc.  I feel another blog post brewing…..

ANYWAYS….

It’s important to plan ahead and not allow ourselves a lapse in coverage.  Thankfully, even if you have lapsed, you can always get back on the plan.

🙂

PS.  I need to get my car insurance renewed soon….

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I no longer hate the concept of atheism, but I still firmly believe in God.

I believe in God  I believe in God

My epiphany that atheism is not synonymous with evil in no way diminishes my religious convictions. 

Not one smidgeon.

🙂

“We know that the existence of God and the existence of absolute truth are fundamental to life on this earth, whether they are believed or not….Persons who don’t believe in God or in absolute truth in moral matters can see themselves as the most tolerant of persons. Unfortunately, some who believe in moral relativism seem to have difficulty tolerating those who express belief in God and His doctrine.”

-Dallin Oaks
(LDS Apostle/ earned his JD from University of Chicago Law)

I believe in GodWhat do YOU think?

 

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The Statue of Liberty as a symbol of Christ.

Statue of Liberty Christ symbol Statue of Liberty Christ

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, 

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me”

-Emma Lazarus (inscription on the Statue of Liberty)

h

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

-Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:28)

America truly is

the promised land.

Statue of Liberty Christian Christ Statue of Liberty America Christ

The cultural freedom of the Renaissance and religious freedom of the Reformation underscored the strong sense of personal freedom espoused in the Enlightenment to provide the ideal attitudes and environments for the beginning of this America, this “first new nation.”

-Jeffrey Holland

American Statute of Liberty ChristAnd I am just suuuuuch an American girl!

🙂

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Digesting and reflecting on the things we’ve learned…

self-reflection on what you've learneddigesting what you've learned

“I think you should learn, of course, and some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up inside of you until it touches everything. And you can feel it inside of you. If you never take time to let that happen, then you just accumulate facts.”

“From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”

                                                                                           Self-reflection

PS.  I like this book.  A lot.  And that quote is oh, so true, right?  The learning curve can be way too high at times, so we have to take time to digest all the new knowledge we’ve gained.

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A Poem on Forgiveness

Screen shot 2014-03-05 at 4.10.54 PMSorry apologize

I’m sorry to anyone I’ve ever offended

Please, let’s let our fences be mended.

I pray you’ll find forgiveness in your heart

and let us have a clean slate, a fresh start.

I deeply desire you’ll do me this favor:

and heed the commandment of the Savior

to love other people and forgive one another

to look past the sins of our sisters and brothers

And finally let any rancor between us end,

so forgive me please, whadaysay friend?
🙂

 

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Is your faith awake?

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“It is required you do awake your faith

-Paulina (from Shakespeare’s “A Winter’s Tale”)

Awake and arouse your faculties…and exercise a particle of faith.”

-Alma 32: 27 (in the Book of Mormon!)

awake your faith, I'm wide awake, Alma awake and arouse your faculties

Me personally?  I’m no longer dreaming with a broken heart

awake your faculties, it is required you do awake your faith

I’m wide AWAKE!

🙂

How can YOU awake your faith?

How can you exercise it?

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