I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor his name. I'll do what is right; I'll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Reflection: My Life as Great-Aunt Rose

My Conference talk today was Pres. Uchtdorf's "A Summer with Great-Aunt Rose." I had to share the talk, and then my response in my Gospel Study journal. It was too wonderful not to share.

This talk is PERCECT! I was getting ready for my bday party at the time. I was listening, but the karaoke guy wouldn't stop talking. Pretty much missed it all. So this was entirely new to me; and it didn't hit close to home. It hit home. When Aunt Rose tells Eva of her dark days, of the realization that her dreams would not come true as she'd hoped and the despair which followed--I know those feelings. That was me. It happened in small pieces here and there after I finished undergraduate school until a huge wave crashed into me one day after finishing graduate school and I'd moved to a new state and begun my first "professional" job. I sat on the floor of my own apartment, weeping into my unfinished baby Superman quilt as every unfulfilled dream burned into ashes. I spent a couple of years trying to deal with the disenchantment as even more things crumbled around me. The negativity from hopelessness and sorrow started to affect every aspect of my life. I am grateful for my church leaders, my best friend, co-workers, and my long-distance mother and close friends for buoying me up during what has been the darkest abyss of my life.

And in that time, like Rose, I realized I needed to rely on faith again. I needed to build it up. As I did, it built the hope. I started to focus on the bright, happy things in life. I tried to be more obedient and focus on what I could change in life: me!

Exactly as Rose said: "God didn't design us to be sad. He created us to have joy! So if we trust Him, He will help us to notice the good, bright, hopeful things of life. And sure enough, the world will become brighter. No, it doesn't happen instantly, but honestly how many good things do? Seems to me that the best things...take patience and work."

And I can testify of that. It took me about 3 years of work and patience. Like Rose, "I had some dark days.... Faith in the Savior taught me that no matter what happened in the past, my story could have a happy ending." But one day I looked at my life and realized I wasn't just happy. I was full of joy! My life was amazing and I loved it.

No, I haven't reached my ending. But Rose said, "Now is part of eternity." And I am living happiness in my eternity now for "faith and hope will open your eyes to the happiness that is placed before you.... Faith gave me the hope I needed to live joyfully now!"

Why do I like to be in musicals?
Why do I dance and sing around my house?
Why did I start to learn West Coast Swing?
Why will I be starting up Pottery classes?
Why do I love to dress up for formal balls?
Why do I love to dance even if I'm terrible at it?
Why did I sing in Sterling Singers for the last 2 years?
Why did I go to Harry Potter World, and swim with dolphins?
Why did I travel so much in the last couple of years to see family and the beautiful country we are blessed with?
Why do I get blamed for being "over-dressed" at church and sometimes work?
Why do I love to attend temples?
Why do I read?
Why do I create costumes?
Why do I love my job?
Why do I work so hard at the dating/social life?
Why do I participate in service projects?
Because "I could have a little faith, put on a bright dress, slip on my dancing shoes, and skip down the path of life, singing as I went" (emphasis added). I can have "a spring in [my] step" because I am "moving forward and upward."

What a perfect talk for me, because I can testify with my entire being that I know it teaches truths. I have experienced and now live those truths. And I love it!

(Adding this here, since I can't in my study journal):

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