“The same God that placed that star in a precise orbit millennia before it appeared over Bethlehem … has given at least equal attention to placement of each of us in precise human orbits…”

I’ve always assumed that the star leading the wise men was a clear and constant guide, but the more I studied, the more unlikely this seems. The wise men saw the star at the start of their journey, but it seemed to only provide a general direction, judging by the fact that that they asked … More “The same God that placed that star in a precise orbit millennia before it appeared over Bethlehem … has given at least equal attention to placement of each of us in precise human orbits…”

“To anyone who feels they don’t fit in at church – you truly do. We all have imperfections, and we all need each other’s support.”

For those who don’t feel like they fit in the family proclamation… Remember, the most important relationship we will have in this life is with our Savior. As we cling to Him, we can feel peace in any circumstance we find ourselves in. I had a single friend tell me that in her thirty years … More “To anyone who feels they don’t fit in at church – you truly do. We all have imperfections, and we all need each other’s support.”

“The family is the laboratory for love”

“The Family: A Proclamation to the World” holds up a beautiful, important standard. And it is important to realize, no family perfectly measures up to the standard. Let’s look at the scriptures for examples: Rebecca worked with her son, Jacob, to deceive her husband into giving Jacob the birthright instead of Esau. Jacob then ran … More “The family is the laboratory for love”

“The Savior is never closer to you than when you are facing and climbing a mountain with faith.”

Joseph F. Smith’s family was hesitant to share the news of his daughter-in-law, Ida’s, passing. She had died in childbirth just months after her husband, Hyrum, had died unexpectedly from a ruptured appendix. Joseph F. Smith had been sick for five months—rarely seen by the public. He was very close to passing, himself. He had … More “The Savior is never closer to you than when you are facing and climbing a mountain with faith.”

“We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”

Joseph F. Smith had a rough life trajectory going. As a child, he had to peek over the coffin to see his father, Hyrum’s, bullet-ridden body. Then, his mother died when he was 13, leaving him an orphan. Joseph described the year and a half after his mother died as “perilous times. . . . … More “We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”

“You have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love”

I was going to the temple last week and took a wrong turn. My phone said “recalculating” and then it said something along the lines of “unable to recalculate.” I tried again. And again. Still, no connection. I finally hit my steering wheel and thought in my head “THIS IS NOT HOW THE TEMPLE WORKS! … More “You have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love”

“God always attempts to speak to you. Listen, and follow the uncomfortable suggestions that He makes – everything will fall into its place.”

There is a story of a farmer who lost his watch. He enlisted the aid of a group of young boys playing outside of the barn. He told them that he would award any boy that found it. The boys looked and looked, but the farmer finally called off the search. One boy came up … More “God always attempts to speak to you. Listen, and follow the uncomfortable suggestions that He makes – everything will fall into its place.”

“Obedience is a choice between our own limited knowledge and power and God’s unlimited wisdom and omnipotence.”

One day a couple years ago, I was helping my dad in the garden. He asked me to unroll the hose. I did. He asked me to keep unrolling.  To unroll the entire thing.  I was a bit confused. Why do the whole thing? I had clearly unrolled enough. Then, when I saw how long … More “Obedience is a choice between our own limited knowledge and power and God’s unlimited wisdom and omnipotence.”

“Worthiness is not flawlessness. Worthiness is being honest and trying.”

It was a cold and stormy day when Mary Ann Young and her seven children—suffering from malaria—ran out of food. This was two months after Brigham left to serve a mission in England.  She wrapped up her baby in an old worn blanket and paddled across the Mississippi River in the storm. A friend wrote, … More “Worthiness is not flawlessness. Worthiness is being honest and trying.”

“Don’t underestimate your family on the other side of the veil.”

I had my backpack packed and was headed out the door when my religion teacher at BYU said two words: “Expect miracles.”  The phrase hit me so hard, I went back to my chair, got my notebook back out, and wrote it down at the top of the page. Then, I promptly forgot about it.  … More “Don’t underestimate your family on the other side of the veil.”

“Only faith that He suffered for our sakes will help us endure to the end.”

In 1952, Florence Chadwick attempted something no woman had attempted before: swimming the Catalina Channel. It was cold and extremely foggy the whole time she was in the water. She could barely even see the support boats swimming beside her. Fifteen hours in, she decided to quit. She went to get into the support boat, … More “Only faith that He suffered for our sakes will help us endure to the end.”

“Let us fully mirror His love, and love each other so openly and completely that no one feels abandoned, alone, or helpless.”

Michael Monsoor was a navy SEAL serving as part of a sniper overwatch team in Iraq. He was in the room with two of his SEAL friends when a grenade hit his chest and fell to the ground. Being positioned by both the grenade about to go off and the exit, he had two options: … More “Let us fully mirror His love, and love each other so openly and completely that no one feels abandoned, alone, or helpless.”

“Our future will be determined far less by our starting point and much more by our slope.”

Gardeners will water and fertilize the spot they planted a Chinese bamboo tree seed for five years with no sign of growth above the surface. FIVE YEARS. And then, it will grow 90 feet in 5 weeks! Was the tree dormant for those five years? No, it was developing a complex root system under the … More “Our future will be determined far less by our starting point and much more by our slope.”

“The Savior loves to restore what you cannot restore; He loves to heal wounds you cannot heal; He loves to fix what has been irreparably broken.”

Guest post by Taylor Ricks On the days I feel the smallest, I can know He has felt smaller. In the moments I feel most weak, I believe He has felt weaker. In the times I feel most alone, I know He has felt more lonely. When pain of body, mind, or spirit course through … More “The Savior loves to restore what you cannot restore; He loves to heal wounds you cannot heal; He loves to fix what has been irreparably broken.”

“The same priesthood power that created worlds, galaxies, and the universe can and should be part of our lives to succor, strengthen, and bless our families, our friends, and our neighbors.”

Many have heard the story of President Kimball helping a struggling young mother carry her child through the airport.  But there is more to the story that I learned from “Priesthood Power of Woman” by Barbara Gardner. The woman in that airport was Barbara’s mom. Her mother had a daughter and then four consecutive miscarriages … More “The same priesthood power that created worlds, galaxies, and the universe can and should be part of our lives to succor, strengthen, and bless our families, our friends, and our neighbors.”

“With God, comfort replaces pain, peace replaces turmoil, and hope replaces sorrow.”

In the 1950s, a rather brutal experiment was done. Rats were put in a glass of water and swam until exhaustion. On average, they lasted about 15 minutes before they sank. But just as they sank, the scientists took them out, dried them off, let them rest for a few minutes, and then put them … More “With God, comfort replaces pain, peace replaces turmoil, and hope replaces sorrow.”

“When we’re tempted to give up, we must remember God is long-suffering, change is a process, and repentance is a pattern in our lives.”

Warren Cowdery wasn’t as quick to convert to the gospel as his brother. Even after converting, he felt the weight of disapproval from those around him. He wrote in a letter to Oliver, “I have a thousand times wished I could have that evidence that you have had.” (Revelations in context) He longed for a … More “When we’re tempted to give up, we must remember God is long-suffering, change is a process, and repentance is a pattern in our lives.”

“There is not one of us that he has not given his angels charge concerning.”

I was up early and studying D&C 109 for an impressive ten minutes before my one-year-old daughter woke up. I got up a bit disappointed to be leaving my study without any new insights. As I sat on the couch nursing my daughter, she unlatched and looked up. Then latched. Then unlatched and looked up … More “There is not one of us that he has not given his angels charge concerning.”