It’s interesting thinking about our eyes. I remember when I was younger, my husband would talk about how his eyesight was getting worse. I used to laugh … I am not laughing now! I have noticed that just in the last year my ability to see things close up is getting worse. I can still see quite far into the distance just like always, but I have to hold things away from my face to see them clearly. But eyesight can be very interesting and can differ from one person to the next. We see the world in a specific way, based upon years of acquiring information. We then interpret that information that is brought in by our eyes so that we can see and understand the world around us.

As I have been watching the world around me the last few years, I feel like I sometimes see things a little differently than other people do, in fact recently I feel like I see things much differently. Definitely different than the outspoken people I see on the news outlets and social media platforms. But I really don’t think it has anything to do with the fact that my eyesight seems to be worsening. I think that it’s how I process the information my eyes are bringing into my mind, how I view the world around me, and the study that I do on my own to understand.

So, what do I see? I see lost souls. People searching for something, but they don’t know what it is and consequently they don’t know where to find it. It seems like people are looking for a place where they fit. I see people who have lost hope in humanity, lost hope in freedom, lost hope in good overcoming evil, and even though they just want to find a place where they fit, in a lot of ways they have decided that taking care of self is more important than taking care of the whole, more important than family, community or country, more important than religion and moral values. Very few people want to sit down and find common ground, sit down and find solutions to problems that benefit the whole rather than just one segment of society or just the individual.

So, what do we do? I don’t know as I have a perfect answer, but I do think that the first step is to realize that the information coming in through our eyes and processing through our minds, may not be as it has been made to appear. We don’t understand everything that goes on behind the scenes of any organization or group, but we should learn so we can make an informed decision. Maybe they are right up our alley and exactly what we are looking for, maybe we will find ourselves in deeper than we thought, with something that isn’t even close to what we thought we were getting into in the beginning.

We need to return to God. He has established basic moral laws that should govern the way we treat other people and how we live our lives. The things we take into our eyes, process through our minds, will eventually make it to our hearts. But our hearts can influence what our minds take in, and how we view the world around us. When we base our lives on good moral principles, established by God our hearts are in the right place to begin with, and we will have eyes that see more clearly, a mind that can distinguish between truth and error more readily, and eyes that can see the world around us as it truly is.

There is good all around us. But with the way the world is going, there isn’t a lot of good being advertised any more. But as I have looked at all the scary things going on in the world, I also see many people who are trying, people who are helping, people who still have hope in humanity, people who are willing to change the world, even if that change happens one person at a time. We all want to fit in somewhere. May I suggest that we start by fitting into a different kind of group, the kind that is quietly going about doing good, changing the world immediately around them. If we each got to know one new person this week or helped one person, even if it was a family member, if we were kind or smiled at someone just this week, and willingly helped without any fanfare or media coverage, just simply to help, imagine the impact week to week that it could have on the whole world! It wouldn’t take long to make the world, and our own personal lives, a better place. As we choose to fit in in this way we will be drawn to good organizations, good groups who are also trying to make this world a better place. We will maintain good personal values that will influence those groups for the better, and we will continue to change the world in bigger and better ways.


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Charity, as defined in our world today, is regularly thought of as just giving to someone in need, or some charitable organization. Often people in harder circumstances are referred to as “charity cases.” But Charity has been defined in the scriptures as something different. Charity is the pure love of Christ. Charity is loving others as we feel His love, and extending that love, through our actions to someone else. But what is love? In our day it seems like a fleeting feeling that deals with emotions and physical intimacy rather than what love truly is.

To figure out what love is, we need to go to the source, to the person who is Charity, Jesus Christ. He exemplified love, and none of it had to do with physical intimacy, rather to do with how He treated people in everyday situations. He offers us the perfect example of how to love everyone we come in contact with, how to have real charity, real love.

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Jesus was Charity. He went out of His way to help the ones who were hurt. He sought out the weak, the alone, the outcast and He included them. He offered forgiveness that only He could grant but showed us our need to forgive others as many times as necessary. He did not judge based upon perceived righteousness but based upon the heart. He had time for any who came to Him, indeed, even those who simply reached out to touch the hem of His robe. He not only cared for, but taught and instructed, striving to help us all know how to become better people.

So, what do we learn about Charity from Jesus? We learn that it is not some tingly feeling we get when we are around certain people. Rather, love and thus Charity are a frame of mind, a way to be. And the best way to feel love? To extend it to others. Seek out opportunities to serve or help our neighbor. Look for opportunities to give someone the benefit of the doubt, or to extend forgiveness even when we know we weren’t in the wrong. Take time to listen carefully to someone else’s perspective, even if we disagree with their perspective. Listening to understand is a great way to show Charity for someone else. Listening may not change our perspective, but at least we took the opportunity to understand someone else’s. Charity can even extend to simple everyday things we do. Open a door for someone, allow someone in front of us while driving. Instead of being engrossed in our phones, look up and look around. Talk to the people we come in contact with whether randomly while we’re out and about, or more thoughtfully with our family and close friends. Smile at the people we see every day. It’s amazing how wonderful it is to see people’s smiling faces with everything that has happened in our world the last few years. Take care of the poor and needy with a willing heart, not begrudgingly or with the attitude that we are somehow better. We are all children of God trying to navigate this crazy world, regardless of social standing or worldly wealth.

I am definitely not perfect at extending Charity to those around me. I regularly catch myself judging, thinking that somehow, they must have brought their circumstances upon themselves by their choices or actions, which may or may not be true, but that is beside the point. Regardless of how we each found ourselves in the situations we are in, we need to be kind, to be understanding, and to love each other. This week I am going to work on Charity. Work on seeing people as Jesus sees them, and work on being a little more kind, a little more forgiving, a little more compassionate with people. I am also going to work on looking up and smiling at everyone I come in contact with. My ultimate goal will be to someday become perfect at giving Christ-like love. But this week, I am working on become just a little bit better than I was last week.


I recently had the opportunity to give a talk in my Church’s Sacrament meeting. This happens about every year or so for every member of the congregation. Sometimes we are given a specific topic to talk about, sometimes we are given leeway to talk about whatever we feel inspired to talk about as long as it’s gospel related. My husband and I were asked to speak on the same day, about whatever we felt inspire to talk about, and we had about 40 minutes of time to fill, 20 minutes or so each.

As I have stated before in my blog, I know that Heavenly Father is in the details of our lives, and so I prayed about what to speak on. The week before was really busy and I didn’t have a lot of time to think or prepare. But I also didn’t have any inspiration to go on either. By Saturday morning, I was a little bit desperate and offered a much more sincere prayer and then received the inspiration I was in need of. The topic? Questions.

This is a topic that as a Seminary teacher I teach about on a regular basis. It is something we encourage the youth to do, ask questions, and something we strive to do ourselves as we learn and grow through our own study of the material. Questions are good. Just as the above quote says, if you never question, you may never learn. I have found in my own life, that I can learn in any given situation, but when I just sit and listen, rather than engaging with questions, I simply scratch the surface of what I could be learning. My talk last Sunday dealt with how to get answers to those questions.

The first thing I talked about was attitude. Attitude affects what we do with answers. Why are we asking the question? What will we do with the answers we receive? Are we willing to accept the answer to the question even if it contradicts what we have previously believed or thought we understood? Can we hold on to the truths we already have when we find contradictory information? Our attitude affects our ability to learn far more than we may realize.

Second, have faith that you can receive an answer now, or as more information becomes available. If we know something to be absolutely true, hold on to that. Don’t allow misinformation to create doubt about what we do know. Seeking truth requires us to be willing to change our perspective and adjust what we think. But truth exists, it is not created by one side or the other, it isn’t relative. We need to be seeking out truth from all the information we come in contact with. We do this by listening to the Spirit, or the light that is in us and then acting on that light, acting on that inspiration and see where it goes. By the fruits we can know whether it was true or not. What are the results?

Third, look at the question from the correct perspective. Because I believe in God, and in His omnipotence, I believe that He has all truth, that this life isn’t the end, and that there is more to my existence than what happens here. I also believe that He cares very deeply for His children and that He will help us as we are willing to listen. Consequently, when I look at what’s happening, I try to look at it from His standard, rather than the world’s standard. The world’s standards are constantly shifting and changing, but God’s standards don’t change. Doctrine is always doctrine; truth is always truth. I find that being able to step back and watch a little bit helps me decipher truth. Again, by the fruits we can tell what is true.

Fourth, look for answers in correct sources. If you are sick, you would never go to a grocery store to get diagnosed from the cashier. Likewise, if you want to know the cost of 5 pounds of potatoes you wouldn’t call your doctor’s office. The best place to go for a math question would be a math teacher, and so on. Google provides lots of answers to all sorts of questions. But the answers aren’t always correct. As I have stated before as well, you can find an answer to agree with your perspective on just about any subject on the internet. That doesn’t make it truth, however. So, we need to seek out sources that we know to be valid and correct as well as recognize the ones that aren’t correct so they can be avoided.

It’s funny in this day, in some situations you are encouraged to question everything, while in other situations you are told to stop questioning and just accept what you are being told. I think that questions are essential for our development and understanding, and so I ask questions, but I have learned over the years to be patient waiting for the answers. They come, but sometimes they take a while. Just like a fruit tree growing, you can’t taste the fruit until it has fully grown and ripened. So, too, some questions take a little bit of time to answer. But I know answers will always come eventually, often it just takes a little (or a lot) of patience on my part. If you would like to read directly from the resource I used for this information here is the link: Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge. I hope that you take time to ask questions this week, but also to look at what the results are, and be patient while waiting for answers to come.


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I found this meme funny the other day, because on occasion my kids like to communicate with me and each other with pictures rather than words. They find it funny with each other; I usually find it annoying, especially when one child will send randomness rather than even trying to communicate, just tons of random emoji’s. I have decided that social media has not helped us communicate better. Maybe we stay in contact better, but grammar and spelling have gone out the window, as well as overall meaning not being conveyed well because so little information is given. I am not an English major or even remember a lot of what I learned in English class, or at least I didn’t think so until recent years watching how horribly communication and word usage has deteriorated. This morning as I was getting ready for my day I was thinking about words and communicating and how not just social media has deteriorated our ability to use words and communicate effectively, but society as a whole doesn’t communicate well anymore.

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I recently read Stephen Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I learned a lot about how I view the world, and about paradigms. But this quote has helped me to pay attention to how I listen. The words that others say are very important and listening to all the words instead of pieces is critical to our understand of any given situation. More and more often we are given snippets of things people say, using only those words that help them make the point, or contradict someone else’s point of view so that they can challenge that point of view, even if that snippet is taken out of context and doesn’t really mean what it is portraited to mean, had we read through the entire piece of work. I still catch myself listening to a piece of what someone else is saying and then it reminds me of some experience that was similar, and I find myself waiting to share my experience, completely missing the rest of their experience, thus in reality, not really being able to relate to what they said because I didn’t stop to listen to what they actually had to say.

The words we use to communicate in our home, words businesses use to communicate to customers, wording used in legal contracts and documents are important. Words have weight, and proper use of them can lead to better understanding and the ability to work together regardless of differences toward a common goal. Incorrect use of words causes divisions, misunderstandings, and frustration on all fronts. Watching the news lately, there is a lot of contention and frustration in the world. There isn’t much communication going on, however. 2 sides sitting down and talking about their perspectives, 2 sides listen with the intent of understanding, 2 sides that can even communicate well what it is they think and feel. Growing up and having worked and volunteered in the school system I find it interesting how often I would tell the kids when they had a problem, “Use your words.” Trying to get kids to communicate with each other. When they did, they most often fixed their own problems and got back to being friends. I wonder at what point in our development we forget to use our words and listen to both sides to fix the problems that arise.

Today as I have pondered, I have decided I will reevaluate how I communicate, and as I go through this coming week, I will work on thinking about the words I speak before I speak them, to make sure they are truly what I would like to say, as well as listening to all the words others are speaking before forming an opinion, or deciding what I will say back in response, realizing sometimes a response isn’t always necessary. Sometimes people just need to say something and know someone else is listening, hearing, and understanding. Today and in the days to come I will listen to hear and understand the words others speak.


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Have you ever hurt yourself, severely enough that it hampered your ability to function to a small or large extent? Injuries are an interesting thing. At the very moment, you see all the things that you will not be able to do. While you are going through the process of discovering the extent of the injury, it can feel overwhelming the adjustments that you might have to make for a short, or extended period of time. Some people don’t ever totally heal from injuries, physically or mentally, not because they couldn’t regain ability, but because they choose not to proceed through the process required for healing.

I recently experienced an injury, well, I injured myself years ago, and didn’t realize the extent of the injury at the time. I didn’t go get it checked because I really didn’t have any more problems at the time. Have you ever noticed how when you are young, you can bounce back from injuries really quickly, but as you age, those same injuries sometimes come back to haunt you? That was the case here. I injured my rotator cuff 7 or 8 years ago, and unbeknownst to me, it didn’t heal correctly. Recently I had an inflammation problem and because of the calcium growth and the swelling, my rotator cuff started to get pinched, and as it was being pinched, it swelled more and more. My arm became almost unusable because of the pain when I would move it.

I hate going to the doctor but didn’t know what was wrong. When I lost almost all mobility in my arm because of pain I finally went to find out what was going on. That is when we discovered the old injury and the abnormal calcium growth where my body had “tried” to heal the tear in my rotator cuff. It’s interesting what my mind did ahead of that visit. I had thought it might be dislocated, maybe I had pinched nerves in my neck, maybe I had a bone spur, maybe I would need surgery, how would that affect my life? How would I adjust my schedule and responsibilities to accommodate? It is amazing what the mind will do when left without concrete answers and understanding. As soon as I found out what was going on and understood the process of healing, all those crazy ideas and thoughts were relieved, and I was able to make a plan.

It is always amazing to me what a difference it makes to have information. I have not had very many injuries or illnesses in my life, but I have learned how to take care of my body a little bit better each time. But the healing process doesn’t just occur, especially the older we get. Each injury that I have had has taken a concerted effort to regain full mobility back. Each time I have had days where I felt great, and days where I wondered whether or not I was going to ever get back to normal.

As I have had the opportunity to go to the doctor and physical therapist however, I have learned new things about joint, bones, and how my body works. Each injury makes me more aware of how to take care of my body. Each time I work to recover from and injury I actually recover to a better state than I was before I was injured. That is because I have been given and internalized new and better information. I have learned and applied what I was being told and taught about how to heal and become better. And because of that, the risk of injury that that same area is greatly reduced.

Physical injury is not the only place to apply this principle though. There are so many times in our lives that we make mistakes, hurting ourselves and others, not necessarily physically, but mentally and socially. When we realize that we have done so, we can take one of two steps. We can decide to heal properly and in turn help others to heal if necessary, or to disregard the pain caused and continue on as if nothing happened. Continuing on seems like the path of least resistance, but if we don’t figure out how to do better and become better, we will continue to make the same mistakes and, in some situations, hurt the same people, including ourselves, over and over again. And it usually becomes worse and worse until we lose “mobility” so to speak.

Just like going to the doctor for me was super scary, admitting when we need help in less obvious ways in our lives can be very scary. But the process of caring for, and healing will ultimately make us better people, teaching us how to heal and do better in the parts of our lives where we are weak. We can learn how to reduce the risk of injury to ourselves and others when we seek out help, listen to the professionals that are there to help us, and then apply the principles taught us that were put in place to heal and/or rehabilitate the broken or injured parts of us. There are no perfect people, but there are also no problems in our lives or injuries of any kind that can’t be healed, weaknesses that can’t be overcome. Seeking help is the scariest, most courageous thing anyone can do. I am grateful for the courage to get physical help, and for the courage I see in so many people around me getting physical, emotional or psychological help. I am also grateful for the ultimate healer, my Savior Jesus Christ, and for the knowledge that no matter what, I don’t have to face any of it alone.