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Monday, October 25, 2010


Every time I hear about the Atonement I realize that I have so very much yet to learn. We talked about the Atonement a bit tonight. Brother Line went through a bunch of scriptures to show that we believe that we are inherently good, and though we fall, we can return to innocence through the Atonement. He also mentioned that the Atonement has always been a central teaching, even in the Law of Moses. I remember my sister-in-law Kelly told me about her experience of reading Jesus the Christ while studying the New Testament and the incredible increase of understanding she had of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I just know that I need to make a more concerted effort when I study this doctrine. There is still so much I need to appreciate. Christ’s sacrifice is something that is under-appreciated even as we beg for forgiveness for our mistakes. It still amazes me that, as flawed and unimportant as I am, I can be made whole and clean because of what my Savior did for me

We discussed the symbolism of physical birth and the figurative rebirth of the spirit. In physical birth there is water – amniotic fluid, blood – the placenta, and spirit – the spirit of the baby in the womb. In the figurative birth, when we are born again, of course baptism uses water, the Holy Ghost is the spirit, and the blood of Christ, the Atonement, allows for repentance. Blood is the life force, the giver of life and was freely given by our Savior. I think of how, in ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures, blood of the royalty was thought to contain their power that could heal nations, fix famines, and answer the needs of the population. The reality is, only one person on earth could really do that, and he offers that healing sacrifice to any that will take it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Service and Falling in Love

“Service is not something we endure on this earth so we can earn the right to live in the celestial kingdom. Service is the very fiber of which an exalted life in the celestial kingdom is made.” Marion G. Romney. Wow. That was a gem that popped out right at the end of class. I’ve thought a lot about service the last month or so. What attracted me to my fiancĂ© in the first place was his kindness and service. Our courtship has been a whirlwind, but never have I doubted that I should date and marry him, mostly because of how I saw him serving and how he supports me in my service. My friend Laura asked me how I knew I should marry Brad and my answer was, “It was watching how he served others.” I agree wholeheartedly with this quote from Marion G. Romney; service truly is the fiber of exaltation. When I am serving I feel closest to God and His pure love, and when I see Brad serving I can see the sincerity of his service and his testimony of the gospel.

It’s strange that a simple act of service can say so much about a person, but really, you can read so much about a person and the way they serve. My first Sunday in the ward, Brad came and sat next to me and was attentive to me. It was the pure love that I felt flowing from his kindness that testified of his sincere nature. Service can be offered in many different ways and with many different attitudes, but true service, that requires love, and love is the basis for all of God’s works. My sister-in-law once told me, you love the ones you serve, so serve the ones you want to love. It’s true, love grows and magnifies with service. By giving a part of yourself in word and deed you love the person you share with more.

Can you tell that I love being engaged?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fun times, fun times

This is a fun game I found while preparing for a class. The balloon rises faster the longer you play, the tension is awesome! Have fun whoever wants to give it a whirl! :D

I found it at this website:

Spanish Lessons

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Want vs. Need: When Wanting is Better

I remember a couple years ago at our Richardson family reunion, my little niece Ashley was just 2 and learning to talk. She followed her mother Jasmin around saying "I ant ooo." Which translates as "I want you." Her older sister Shayanne said the same thing to me (except in original English, not Ash-talk) this year at our family reunion. She kept wanting me to hold her and would look at me sweetly and say, "Aunt Sarah, I want you." You can't resist that.

This morning I was thinking about want vs. need, but not the usual premise. The leaders of the Church counsel us to judge our temporal wants and needs and choose wisely in spending our resources. However, I think when it comes to spiritual things, "want" is more effective. When a child tells you he needs you, you know your responsibility and respond automatically. It is lovely to be needed. But when a child looks at you and says "I want you," it is a completely different emotion. To be wanted fills your heart because that person chooses you.

I think of how often I've told Heavenly Father, "I need you," and He responds instantly with His peace and reassurance. However, the times that I tell Him, "I want you," are the sweetest moments of my life. I feel His love fill my heart, my body, my soul. It is an experience beyond words; God's love is real and it changes you. I'm determined to tell my Father more frequently that I choose Him, I want Him and I love Him.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Creation Validation

We talked about the creation of man today. It’s funny, because when I came back to BYU after a 5 year break, my first semester included Biology. My teacher was a little apprehensive when we got to the evolution section of the class, mostly because it was his first time teaching to a Mormon college class. He read to us from the 1909 Official Declaration, The Origin of Man, but tonight I really understood what he was hinting at for the first time, that we are literally descendents from Heavenly Father. Christ is the Only Begotten of the Flesh, meaning that He was born in mortality, but Adam and Eve, also begotten physically, were born in immortality. I had this strange feeling of relief, almost, at the clarity of the concept. For years I have believed strongly that man did not evolve from another species, but even here at BYU I’ve encountered opposing views, but this teaching is what validates my feelings for all these years. It’s so nice to finally have official doctrine to turn to, even though I’ve believed it all this time.

Something that Brother Line said in class is sticking in my mind, “Heavenly Father hasn’t finished creating us.” I had a discussion with my roommate about creation v. organization. Her friend went into some of the particulars about how God didn’t create us, He organized us. I told her that the words are interchangeable, that while the matter that consists of our spirits and bodies has always existed, our selves as spirits were brought into being by God. To think that Heavenly Father created me, this flawed creature, then left me to my own devices sometimes seems unfair and un-God-like, but that phrase rejects such notions. God knows that we are still imperfect, but He isn’t done creating us. He is still forming us, as far as we allow Him to do that, to become the perfect and fully created child that He filled with potential at our initial creation.