I was reminded of this beautiful counsel last night as my dear neighbors, who don’t attend church with me, called my husband when they noticed some strange people loitering on my side yard(it is by my garage, I don’t have windows over there).

They wanted to make sure that we were safe and concerned for my kids. Luckily these two interestingly dressed people (my 10yo described the woman as wearing a zebra bikini and the man in swim trunks and shirtless except a loose “jacket”)- figured out they were not at the correct location and eventually left after about an hour.

The thought that my neighbors would take the time to call when they saw something looked off at our home made me feel cared for and loved.

Take a moment today and look around to see the needs of your neighbors. Together we make communities stronger and safer so that we truly can live together in love.

I live in the best neighborhood. I love the fact that regardless of whether we worship together on Sunday, that I know my neighbors care for me and my family. I love that Elder Christofferson reminded us all that we are not perfect, but we can still love and serve those around us.

Today there is a reason to hope.


All Are Welcome.

Do we live those words? I think sometimes in the church that I LOVE and am a member of, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we aren’t good at this. And I fully admit that I am not perfect at this. But as I have grown up a bit in these last 15 years, some things have become more clear to me.

My heart aches for those I love who are LBGTQ+, who have served time in prison, those who just don’t know what they believe anymore, those who struggle with anxiety, depression, infertility, and every other situation in this life. It can be so hard to take that step into the chapel.

I hope with all my heart that I can help be a welcome face at church. Because I know I can’t make it through this life without Jesus. We all need Him to help lift us with HIS LIGHT. And having a safe place to worship is imperative.

May we all be blessed with eyes to see and hearts to understand how to love each other better.

Today there is a reason to hope.


One of my favorite things as a woman in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to watch the men in my church serve as the Savior’s hands.

Whether it is giving a blessing, setting someone apart in a calling, blessing and passing the sacrament, collecting fast offerings, sealing families together forever, and many more things.

I just can’t explain how it fills my hearts with joy! I am so grateful that the priesthood blessings are again on this earth. I am grateful for all the men in the church who worthily minister to the church and offer us blessings and the opportunity to partake of the sacrament each week.

I absolutely LOVE watching my sons bless and pass the sacrament. I have to try hard some weeks not to cry as I watch the young men in my ward reverently offer us bread and water in remembrance of the eternal sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

The priesthood blesses so many. It brings hope to all who seek those blessings.

Today there is a reason to hope.


Earth has no sorrow
that Heaven cannot
Heal, Cure, and Remove.

Period.

I have experienced a lot of sorrow as I went through 10 miscarriages. It took me a long time to see there was purpose in me learning the meaning of suffering.

But I can testify that the only way I got up out of my bed and took care of the little ones I was blessed with already, was because of the power’s of Heaven.

The strength I felt from my Savior got me through my deepest, darkest moments…through my questions of why must I go through this again? I thought I was prompted to have another child, so why must I lose yet another precious baby?

If you are going through a time of suffering, I pray that the words of this hymn might bring a bit of comfort today.

Today there is a reason to hope.

I hope that today you will have you faith strengthened. There is much good we can bring to the world when we share our own personal faith and hope in Christ. Share your light. The world needs you!

Emma

May Highlights

Just imagine.

Imagine a time you were strolling with a child. Imagine you were not alone on that stroll. I am blessed beyond measure to still have my earthly Mother here with me. But I have recently been imagining my Heavenly Mother walking beside me. I have imagined what she might tell me. Or maybe she might just let me talk, and as she listened her arm would wrap around me as we walked. I would feel the comfort of that motherly gesture, the strength of her eternal love for me and my children. Whether our Mothers are earth-side or heaven-side, I pray that this Mother’s Day will be one where we can feel peace and connection not only to those Mothers here on earth, but to all those who have mothered us that now are our angels. Happy Mother’s Day to all who need a mother. I know I will always need my mother and my mother in law. I have the two best mothers on earth that any woman could wish for. And I know that I have a Heavenly Mother that loves me. And I can feel her strength as I try my best to mother Her children that I have been given here on earth. And to all those women whose arms are so incredibly empty this Mother’s Day, I have been there. I pray that your hearts can be comforted, and that enough of your heart can heal so that you can again feel hope burning brightly. đź’›We are never alone on this path of life. Angels are among us.

Today there is a reason to hope.


These three daughters of Onitah were sacrificed by their people to idols because they were virgins and they wouldn’t worship the idols. They remained faithful to the truths taught by Noah. They were willing to stand up for their beliefs even at the point of death. I think these three daughters are incredible examples of staying true in the face of unbelievable challenges. I hope that I can always think of these daughters when I face things that are hard. Obviously I have no idea what they looked like, but as I was working on them this morning, I hope that I was able to capture their determination to be strong right before they were sacrificed. I imagine they stood together and gave each other comfort. That’s what sisters do. Not just biological sisters, but sisters in the gospel. We stand by each other, support each other, and provide comfort when we can. I am so grateful for those sisters who always lift me up.

Today there is a reason to hope.


I love this verse in 3 Nephi when the Savior is speaking. He says this right after he speaks of those who don’t want to be near him, don’t want to repent right now. Then he counsels those of us who are near to “continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I SHALL HEAL THEM; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them. “We are all at different stages of coming to Christ. I love His invitation to continue to minister. Because we really don’t know at what point that sheep will start running and maybe even pass us up in coming to Christ. And that is when He will heal them. And maybe the “them” is also “us”. Sometimes hard things are just what we need to go through in order to be 100% sure that going to Christ is where we want to be. And those experiences often give us perspective and empathy in a way we couldn’t learn in any other way. We are all known. We are all numbered. We are all needed.

Today there is a reason to hope.


His love is all around us.

Oh how I love the imagery of those words.

It’s just a matter of pausing to see it.

He is waiting for us to come fill our heartache, to fill our souls. And He will make us whole.

Today there is a reason to hope.


I hope that you enjoyed these May Highlights from my Instagram/Facebook micro blogging. I post every Monday-Friday on those two places. So if you like the content I share here, please follow me for almost daily uplifting posts.

And when you subscribe to the pop-up on this website, you will receive a FREE monthly printable designed by me of course.:)

I love Jesus. I love you all. Together we are stronger. And what we put into our minds helps us. I try to create content that lifts your spirit and helps you feel a little stronger today to do all that is required of your for good.

Love,

Emma

April Highlights

I hope that today finds you doing well. I am loving all the sunshine and the beauty my tulips and blossoming cherry tree bring to my heart!

Here are 4 of my IG posts this month. I am doing my blog in reverse so to speak. I find that I have just enough time each morning to make a printable about what I am studying. And to also turn that into a blog post, is just more time that I currently have. So, I am micro-blogging on IG now, and compiling one post each week and turning them into a monthly blog post. I hope that today you will find hope in some of the words I shared throughout the month on IG.

Today there is a reason to hope.

This is how I feel after listening to #GeneralConference

I am always uplifted! Yet at the same time I often see how far I need to go. But clearly over and over the theme from our church leaders is that we are never alone in progressing. And there is an abundant amount of Hope to carry us along that journey.

So may this simple primary song bring you a bit of comfort today.

Today there is a reason to hope.


I just loved Elder Uchtdorf’s conference talk.

I especially loved near the end when he asked us what would happen if the Savior came to church or our home.

I had the privilege of being in the Hill Cumorah Pageant when I was 20 years old. Part of that experience was imagining being there when the Savior came to the people on the American Continent. Taking time to really think about how I would feel changed my life. Then we were asked to put all those thoughts and feelings into our acting. This experience solidified my testimony of the Book of Mormon.

The love the Savior has for each one of us can change us. We can have that love with us and share it all around us where ever we are. We can be His hands.

What a great blessing it is to be able to feel the love of the Savior.

I am super imperfect and often have to ask my family’s forgiveness because I am not doing and saying what the Savior would do and say. And so I am also grateful for grace…for the opportunity each day to try and be more like Jesus…and for Him to infuse my soul with His love and the power of forgiveness.

Today there is a reason to hope.


I’ve been pondering motherhood and came across this talk by Elder Ballard in 2008 called Daughters of God. I loved his simple principles that will help us be better mothers. They will help us to be more present with our children.

I am happy to say that I am doing a pretty good job of following Elder Ballard’s advice- but I was not when I had mostly young children.

I was tired to the bone, I wasn’t diligently praying and studying, we weren’t overscheduled, because we were poor so our adventure’s consisted of walks.:) I can recognize a significant difference in myself with regards to daily happiness and my ability to feel joy in the moment as I had changed my life to apply these principles over the last several years.

Communicating my needs to my spouse has been a struggle for me. I didn’t really understand that principle. But when I started to tell my husband what I needed as person, not in a demanding way, but in an honest way, it helped me so much.

I hope that as Mother’s Day approaches, we as women can find ways to communicate our needs in loving ways, and make time to cultivate our talents, and deepen our faith through prayer and scripture study.

Today there is a reason to hope.


Music speaks to my soul. And I just love music by Nathan Pacheco.

Here are a few stanza’s from his song Come as You are:
“So lay down your burdens, lay down your shame
All who are broken, lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home, you’re not too far
So lay down your hurt, lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Fall in his arms
Come as you are

There’s joy for the morning, oh sinner, be still
Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens, lay down your shame
All who are broken, lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home, you’re not too far
So lay down your hurt, lay down your heart
Come as you are”

You and I are loved as we are. We don’t need to “hide” our imperfections in order to receive HOPE, COMFORT, PEACE, and LOVE. Jesus loves everyone.

Today there is a reason to hope.

Have a wonderful May my friends! Keep in touch with me over on IG https://www.instagram.com/ajubilanthope/

And remember…

Today there is a reason to hope.

March Highlights

This is the first month I am back at my blog in over a year! Covid changed up my plans just a bit, but I’m back. Each month on the last Friday, I will share a few highlights from my morning thoughts that I share on IG. I hope that this will be a place that you can come and feel lifted and be reminded that…Today there is a reason to hope.


We are never alone.

Jesus Christ is always mindful of our needs. He knows how to comfort us.


If there ever was a perfect song for moms, this should be it.

So many times, I still find myself trying to do ALL THINGS. But sometimes, all our Savior needs from us are the SMALL THINGS.

Take a few moments today and ponder what small things Jesus needs you to do. Your list should not number more than 3.

I once read a book, and I apologize that I cannot remember which one, but the author was speaking about organizing your work day.

He wrote that making a list is great IF you only put your top 3 things down first. At the end of the work day, or first thing when the work day starts, write down your top 3 things.

Then draw a line. Any other task is written below that line. And get the first 3 things done by noon was his advice.

I have applied this principle in my life often (but still need this reminder!). It is amazing how accomplished I can feel with only getting 3 things done each day.

For example, maybe my three things are to text someone whose been on my mind, unload the dishwasher, and put in one load of laundry. After doing those 3 things, I can feel strengthened. This strength carries over to helping me finish other tasks on my list.

And maybe your list only has one thing on it. Reach out to that child in your home who is struggling. And that’s it. Everything else is icing on the cake.

Each day is different. And when we start our day with prayer, I believe we will be guided to know what small things need to be on our daily lists.

Miracles can happen, when we do the small things.


Just imagine.

Just imagine the Gospel light of Jesus Christ surrounding you today, uplifting you, bringing your heart peace.

It is there. You are being watched over. You are loved.

Yes there are days when the darkness tries to get closer to us. But we can expand the light around us when we study, seek, serve, and pray. Every little action helps grow that light.

Elder Uchtdorf continues, “As we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. And day by day, the hope of God’s light will grow within us, ‘brighter and brighter until the perfect day’.”

Keep going. Keep trying.


Josiah was the king of Judah. He was the first king to be righteous after quite a few kings that chose not to follow the commandments of God.

Josiah read the book of covenants (which was found in the house of the Lord) to his people.

Then he stood before his people and made a covenant to walk after the Lord, to keep His commandments, His testimonies, & His statues with all his heart and soul according to the words of the covenants written in that book.

And after this happened, we read “And all the people stood in the covenant”.

All the people stood together and covenanted to follow Jesus Christ and keep the commandments. How amazing would it be to witness the people of this world all listening to the prophet in a couple weeks and covenanting together to stand in the covenants of God?

It would just be so cool. And it will be like that when Jesus comes again.

As we have been studying about that this week in Come Follow Me, I just had this picture in my mind of people of all races, cultures and backgrounds all coming together.

Oh how I long for that day. But until then, I will try to do my part to love everyone and stand in the covenants I have made.

Let’s stand strong in love and faith together.


In Moses Chapter 7 Enoch is talking with the Savior. He asks in verse 54:
When the Son of Man cometh in the flesh, shall the earth rest? I pray thee, show me these things.”

Then Enoch is shown the Savior being crucified, the Earth groaning, many saints are freed from spirit prison and join God on His right hand-but many remained in prison.

Enoch wept and asked again, “When shall the Earth rest?”

He saw the Savior brought up to Heaven to His Father.

And Enoch asked, “Wilt thou not come again upon the earth? Forasmuch as thou art God, and I know thee, and thou has sworn unto me, and commanded me that I should ask in the name of thine Only Begotten; thou hast made me, and given unto me a right to thy throne, and not of myself, but through thine own grace; wherefore, I ask thee if thou wilt not come again on the earth.”

“And the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfil the oath which I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah;…”

The Savior continues that the Earth will REST. But first there will be much wickedness and tribulations… He also says, “but my people will I preserve; and righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, and Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.”

SO MUCH HOPE IN THIS CHAPTER!

I highly recommend reading Moses Chapter 7 right now. In light of the current state of this world, this chapter will give you hope in Christ, hope that someday this world will rest from all the turmoil, hurt, anger, evil, and sorrow.


The Savior WILL COME. I know He will. And He needs us to spread the word that He’s coming. When we all share a little, great things happen.

It is my deepest hope that what I share will help spread HOPE.

Today there is a reason to hope.

5 Things I Learned From Secondary Infertility

I had the great opportunity to share just a little bit about part of my infertility journey over at The Slice of Sun. Jenica Parcell also struggled with infertility and The Slice of Sun was born out of that struggle. The Slice of Sun is a website that you can purchase beautiful items and a portion of those items goes towards helping other couples cover the huge cost of IVF. To date she has helped 82 families by donating over $440,000!

What a great cause! I hope that you will head over to her beautiful website and check out all the good she is doing!

Yesterday my story was posted on her blog. Here is a little snippet of it.


Once upon a time, a young wife said to her husband: “Hey, I know I’m still in college, but I think we need to have a baby!” Not many months later, a beautiful baby girl was born. She was a delight. I was that young wife, and I graduated from BYU with a degree in Dietetics when this cute baby was three months old. After
graduation, I was blessed to stay home while my husband earned his MBA. As often happens though, I thought two kids would be better than one, so we began to try for another child. That first beautiful pregnancy test resulted in tears just one week later. Never in a million years, even after all my studying in college, did I think I would have a miscarriage — let alone ten. It just never occurred to me that that could happen to me.

This miscarriage was extremely traumatic to me — so much so, that I have no
memory besides my journal entry that this even happened. Each time I felt the prompting to have a child, my mind would be filled with anxiety. Surely if I felt prompted to have another child, I wouldn’t lose anymore, right? That just wouldn’t make sense. But time and again, loss was my story.

Before my third child, I lost one more. Then before my fourth child, I lost three.
Let me share just a little about the third one.

Thoughts overwhelmed my mind…Would I ever have another child? Why did I
keep losing babies? Was I such a bad mom that I wasn’t worthy of having
anymore children? Did I even know what personal revelation was? My heart was breaking over and over. We decided to try again though. I had never lost three in a row, so I told myself it would be fine….


To read the rest of my story and my 5 lessons head over to my story over at The Slice of Sun.

My journey has solidified this sentence so deeply in my heart…

Today there is a reason to hope.

I know it is true. There is hope all around. Somedays it is definitely harder to find, but it is there.

Hugs

Emma

PS This story has a happy ending! And here’s our updated family photo.

Here is my everthing! How eternally grateful I am that somehow six miracles made their way into our home.

Jesus Christ is Constant

It has been awhile since my last blog post. I have been doing a lot of thinking. A lot of scripture reading. A lot of pondering. Pondering Jesus Christ. Pondering His life. Pondering His mission.

And the overriding thought that keeps coming to my mind is this quote found in many places in the scriptures…

Jesus Christ is the same. He is constant in who He is. The Jesus Christ I worship today is the same being who said He would be the Savior of the world before any of us came to this Earth. He is the same being who was born to a faithful, virtuous mother in Bethlehem. He is the same being who brought the truth of the gospel of our Heavenly Father to all the world. He is the same being who healed so many people.

He is the same being that gave His life to save ours. Then He was resurrected in all glory. And we can have that blessing too, because of Him.

He is the same being who appeared to Joseph Smith with Heavenly Father to restore His same gospel to the earth once again. That church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He is the same. He doesn’t change Heavenly Father’s commandments to fit the changing trends of society. They are constant. There are commandments we must obey in order to return to live with our Father in Heaven. We can learn a lot from toddlers about this concept. My youngest is just about to turn 3. And I am often reminded about how the tantrum part of this phase of life isn’t one that I love. She can get so fixated on what she wants, not understanding that it isn’t in her best interest for me to give in to her rants. My perspective is better than hers at this point. And so is our Heavenly Father’s. His perspective is better than ours. Our job is to trust Him. Trust our Savior to lead us to our Heavenly Father. They know better than we do.

I want to suggest three things that help us remain on the path.

  1. Daily Scripture study
  2. Daily Prayer
  3. Asking God what He needs us to do each day

These are not new by any means as far as advice goes. But they are critical. If we don’t know what God’s commandments are, then we will be deceived by Satan. We must read the scriptures every. single. day. My ability to gain strength to make it through any challenge has dramatically improved as I have made this one of my most important daily tasks.

We must connect with our Father in Heaven. He is our best listener. So many of us can feel overwhelmed with the challenges life on Earth brings. We all agreed to come and face these challenges, but it was NEVER God’s intention we face them alone. Yet sometimes we choose to do so. I chose that path once. It was horrible. Satan had me convinced I was not worthy of praying. That I was such a let-down. And that I had made too many mistakes. But eventually I stopped listening to the voice of Satan, and instead listened to the voice of our loving Heavenly Father. Now, prayer is my life-line. I find myself constantly praying throughout the day. Not always just a formal prayer, but maintaining that conversation with the ONLY ONE who can help me. And we do that in the name of Jesus Christ. That is how we talk to our Father. The Savior carries our prayers. The Savior carries our burdens. The Savior carries our hopes, fears, dreams, questions. He is our life-line.

And lastly, allow yourself to be a tool in God’s hands. When we are serving others, our hearts are softened. We are gifted with a small glimpse of what His love really is. And that love will lift your burdens as you serve others. Serving others doesn’t have to be a big service project! It is as simple as a hug, a text, or a plate of cookies. We can totally do that.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/media/image/pictures-of-jesus-mary-martha-8344ebb?lang=eng&collectionId=3cbf78e787498a07417814a31656063f9227b4c6

I know that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is the way home to our Father in Heaven. And it is worth all the hard work to make the small daily choices to stay on the path, because spending eternity with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is the greatest reward.

Have a wonderful weekend! You are loved. You are known. You can do hard things.

Today there is a reason to hope.

PS You might enjoy this recent article on God’s Plan of Happiness for each one of us.

PPS Just wanted to share a bit of life at my house…we sure love our 5 surprise baby bunnies! Meet snowball.:)

Pecan Pie Bars

I love pecan pie. I just seriously cannot make a from-scratch pie crust for the life of me though! It is on my bucket list however.

BUT…

These might be even better than pecan pie. It has everything you need in a sweet treat. A crisp crust, a delicious sweet filling, and the pecans on top crisped nicely from baking.

If you are a pecan lover, this recipe is for you!

Ingredients for Crust:

  • 1 C flour
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 6 TBSP butter, cold, cut into small chunks

Directions for Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spray a 8×8 square baking pan with cooking spray
  • Place aluminum foil across two of the sides and the bottom of the pan allowing 2 inches past the top of the pan on those two sides. Lightly spray aluminum foil.
  • In a medium bowl, place flour, sugar, salt. Stir.
  • Add butter and cut into dry ingredients using a pastry cutter. Cut until they resemble coarse crumbs.
  • Gently pat mixture into prepared pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

While crust is cooking, prepare the filling.

Ingredients for filling:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 3/4 C DARK brown sugar, packed
  • 3 TBSP butter, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 1/2 C pecans, chopped

Directions for filling:

  • In a large bowl, whisk eggs until combined.
  • Add honey, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and sea salt.
  • Stir.
  • Add pecans and gently stir to combine.
  • When crust is done, gently pour into crust. Use a spatula to spread to corners.
  • Place back into oven and bake for 25-27 minutes or until filling is set.
  • Place pan on a cooling rack.
  • When cooled, gently remove the bar from the pan using the aluminum foil to help you. You might need to use a knife around the edges first, and a spatula to help ensure the edges aren’t sticking.
  • Cut up bars according to your desire.

**You may have noticed that I used “sea salt” in the filling and not in the crust. Sea salt lends itself to helping your natural flavors shine a bit more when making something sweet like this treat. Where as when making this crust, normal salt won’t overpower the flavor.

Have a great weekend! I am really excited because next week we are heading out of town! It’s been long overdue!

The Liberty of Opportunity

This week I received an email in my in-box from my dear friend’s son who is serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He first served in Africa and now is serving in Indiana. He entitled his email, “The Liberty of Opportunity”. I was so incredible touched by his perspective and insight that I asked if I could share his words here on this blog. Thankfully, he agreed. I truly hope this will touch your hearts and help us choose to use our opportunity to reach out in love to all around us.


This Saturday is the 4th of July,and we celebrate yet another year of our existence as a nation. For me, the 4th of July celebration was always fun growing up. It was the fireworks, the fairs, the candy, the parades, yet as a young person I still caught a little piece of the deeper reason for celebration. Yes it was fun, but it was about more than fun, it was about liberty, freedom, peace, and prosperity. All these things that I had enjoyed growing up and had not realized truly how out of the ordinary these blessings are.

It wasn’t until I went to Africa for about 18 months that the full import of these blessings became apparent to me. The moment that comes first to my mind is the 4th of July that I spent in Yaounde, Cameroun. The few Americans there got together and we sang the national anthem, we listened to “I’m proud to be an American” and I realized perhaps for the first time in my life that being an American blessed with freedom is not a default setting when you’re born. It’s not something everyone enjoys, even within our own country.

There are many many differences in culture, political process, and government between the United States and Cameroun, but I don’t really feel that most of those are very important. I think that there is one blessing that we have been given as citizens of the United States that is most important and that is the liberty of opportunity. In the US we have so many opportunities surrounding us, we have so many in fact that we could reasonably say that the hardest thing is deciding which opportunities to choose.
These opportunities are a great blessing we’ve been given. They are gifts, free of charge and undeserved, given to us by God at birth. We have a responsibility though, to those who have received much, much is required. There are many in the world who have not received the same opportunities as we have. There are even those among us in our nation who do not have the same opportunities. It is human nature that when we have been given much we begin to believe ourselves to be better or more deserving, sometimes we decide that God gave it to us, if he wanted them to have it why didn’t he just give it to them in the first place?

If there is one thing that I have learned while on my mission it is that charity faileth not, because I have been given much I too must give. The hard part is knowing what to give, when to give, how to give. For this we look to our exemplar, Jesus Christ. He is the perfect example of charity and kindness. The perfect example of someone who had been given much, but who was able to give even more. 

At this particular time we are witnessing a great and terrible ploy of the adversary tear our country into pieces. We are watching as every bit of life is painted black and white, blue and red. I have spent a lot of time asking myself what is to be done. How can I be of most help. This was my answer, to give. To have charity. 

It seems as if at this time in our nation’s history it is impossible to open your mouth without raising conflict, without saying one thing or another that offends someone. In this I think of Christ and his response to the interrogations of Pontius Pilate and Herod. It seems as if we can do little to stop the flow of hatred, to remove the fog that is blinding the eyes to the clever stratège of Satan. What we can do is reach out, with care and kindness, and brighten just one corner of the earth each day. 

In this time when it seems as though all may be lost, when there isn’t a little good in the world remember, Christ has overcome the world. Remember, you have been chosen to have the knowledge of this gospel, and with the opportunities that allow you to share it. I heard once that it only takes a maximum of seven connecting friends to connect one person with any other person in the world, so if you find yourself wondering, as I do, how to help because you don’t know where to start or who needs help, have confidence and start with your friends. Within seven connections you will have reached whoever needs it most.

This is the great work of the gathering of Israel, to separate the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares. Do not be afraid to lift up your voice, to let your light shine out. We have been blessed with the gospel of Jesus Christ, with that blessing comes also the responsibility to share that opportunity with all who will hear. I will be the first to say that in our current circumstances this is not easy, in fact I think that this may just be one of the most difficult times in history to share the gospel. I also know that it is possible, we can have an impact and help others to change their lives for the better. I hope that those who read this email realize that I’m really not perfect at this, I’m just good at expressing ideal ideas with words. I hope that my little bit of idealism can be a motivation to you, that it may help you to discover for yourself what it is you feel you need to do. 

Love Elder Atkinson


Let’s ponder on seven. Seven friends. Seven connections. What can we accomplish to further spread God’s love to those seven? There are those waiting to feel God’s love more fully about them. Let’s “reach out with care and kindness”. We can be part of Christ’s great work to gather all in him. We have been blessed with so much.

Happy 4th of July tomorrow. Freedom of choice is a great blessing. I hope I can use this gift with more thought.

Today there is a reason to hope.

Your Personal Search for Happiness

President Henry B. Erying started his conference talk in October 2019 saying, “I have prayed for the power to help you in your personal search for happiness.” How amazing is that? We received a talk from him that day that will help guide us in our personal search for happiness!

As I read his talk this past week, my heart was just filled with hope! I have been writing about the plan of salvation throughout the month of June, so this talk just topped it off nicely!

Elder Erying talks about Alma, the Elder, teaching his son Alma that “increasing in holiness was the ONLY path to happiness.”

So how do we increase in holiness? We must do what is needed.

He tells us how. We must use the atonement of Jesus Christ through the following:

  • Having faith in Jesus Christ
  • Applying continual repentance
  • Keeping our covenants

Then we can “claim the lasting happiness we all yearn to experience and retain”.

There is so much sorrow, fear, despondency, anger, frustration, misunderstanding in our world. Wouldn’t it be nice to have more happiness? More peace? More joy? It possible as we strive to be more disciplined in our daily efforts to follow Jesus Christ– to increase in holiness.

Elder Eyring didn’t say have faith like your neighbor, repent like your mom, or keep someone else’s covenants. This is a PERSONAL quest for happiness, peace, and joy. This is a conversation between each of us and God. Just as each flower is different, each of us is different. Our weakness are complimented by others strengths. I can say with confidence– He is so very patient with our efforts to do the best we can. You are doing the best you can in each moment.

In my recent blog post, How to Gain an Unbreakable Faith in Christ, we begin to change with tiny habits. If you are struggling with your faith, just start with reading the Book of Mormon for one minute a day. You can do this! It will make a huge difference over time…and over time one minute will become many minutes. Maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve really talked to Heavenly Father about how you’re doing keeping the commandments. Maybe you’re feeling nervous that you won’t be heard or feel loved. Those thoughts right there are Satan. He will try and stop you from praying with everything he’s got. Do you know why? Because he knows Heavenly Father will pour out His love to you! He will guide you! He will help you feel confident that you are a Child of God. He will tell you that He believes in you.

I went for a good amount of time as a young mom without praying daily. My anxiety, OCD, perfectionism thoughts held me captive in the thought that I was screwing up so much every day as a wife and mother that Heavenly Father was sick of hearing me saying “I’ll do better tomorrow”. I thought perhaps by not praying, I was able to avoid discussing my failings.

Avoidance is a reaction that people with anxiety employ a lot. We avoid things that worry us, make us nervous, things we don’t understand, dealing with our mistakes, etc. This behavior didn’t help me feel peace or happiness. Only more anxious.

Sometimes changing feels totally overwhelming and we just stop. It’s hard. We must remember that we don’t walk the path to change alone– only if we choose to. Jesus will help us if we desire Him to do so. And there are so many who testify of this, like Nephi. He said, “For the Lord God will help me”. He helped Nephi all along the way. Was Nephi’s life easy and carefree? Not even close. We must draw strength from President Nelson’s beautiful promise…

President Nelson said recently, “What will happen as you more intentionally hear, hearken, and heed what the Savior has said and what He is saying now through His prophets? I promise that you will be blessed with additional power to deal with temptation, struggles, and weakness. I promise miracles in your marriage, family relationships, and daily work. And I promise that your capacity to feel joy will increase even if turbulence increases in your life.”

President Eyring tells us that greater happiness comes from greater personal holiness and that we must act on that belief.

Just like little children, rewards seem to greatly increase their desire to finish chores, to learn how to use the potty, to finish their homework. I like rewards still as an adult. The Savior’s prophet and apostles have listed AMAZING rewards. Let’s focus on those when it seems hard to follow through on increasing our Faith in Christ, consistent repentance, and keeping our covenants. Let Heavenly Father’s voice remind you how much He loves you. Hone in on that voice. Block out all the others.

And watch the joy, happiness, and peace increase even amidst turbulence. Elder Erying talks about Job as an example of this. He said, “Then Job lost his wealth, his family, and even his health. You might remember that Job doubted that his greater holiness, gained through greater adversity, had qualified him for greater happiness. It seemed to Job that greater holiness had brought misery….Yet the Lord gave Job the same correcting lesson as Joseph Smith{when he was imprisoned}. He let Job see his heartbreaking situation with spiritual eyes.”

Taking time to pause from all the hustle and bustle of our day to let our spiritual eyes open, can bring the understanding, strength, and peace we need to keep going, even if only for that day. There were many, many days, when I was mourning the loss of yet another baby that it was so hard to keep being wife, mom, fulfilling my calling, etc. I had no other way to make it daily except to rely on my Heavenly Father to provide that strength. And He often did that through the kindness of others.

This blog post is longer than I originally intended. I hope that you made it through! I guess what I really want say is that it’s worth the effort. And as we take tiny steps, we will increase in holiness. We will see with our spiritual eyes the miracles in our life that God provides as we keep our covenants and promises to Him. We will gain happiness and retain it. Don’t give up. Don’t listen to the voices calling you away from God. True happiness is only found by staying on the path God has set forth.

Today there is a reason to hope.

How to Gain an Unbreakable Faith in Christ

You know the end of the Book of Mormon when Moroni is all alone?

And he says…

“And I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ; wherefore, I wander whithersoever I can for the safety of mine own life.”

He gives this statement after mentioning that the Lamenites are putting everyone to death who will not deny the Christ. I love how firm he says “I will not deny the Christ”. I can just imagine him. A strong, seasoned soldier. A prophet of God. The son of Moroni. Yet he is also extremely lonely. He has just witnessed his whole people, including his father, destroyed. His mortal life is HARD.

But no matter what challenges came, his testimony of Christ was UNBREAKABLE.

How can we gain an unbreakable testimony of Christ like Moroni?

It’s the little things that matter most. It’s our daily choices. Choosing every day who we belong to. Who we will follow. Who we will draw our strength from.

I love to listen to beautiful music that is centered in Christ when I am feeling overwhelmed with what challenges are all around. In Christ Alone is my current favorite song. I play it loud. Sing it loud. And feel lifted up.

Because in Christ alone, hope is found. No earthly thing or person can bring our soul the hope and peace it seeks. We must choose daily to seek Christ.

There is peace in staying firmly rooted in the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For me, my religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, provides the path for me to be rooted in Christ. Firm in my knowledge of how to return to my Father in Heaven. Living prophets give guidance and reminders of how we come to Christ.

I am good a scraping my knees because I fall down on that path back to my Father. But I get back up. I stay on the path.

Studying the Book of Mormon more diligently and deeply this past 18 months has literally changed me. I find daily hope as I read the words of Christ written by his prophets of old. Reading the words of modern day prophets and apostles lifts me equally. If you are struggling with your faith, this is where I would start. Read the Book of Mormon every day. Even if it’s only one verse. Get that habit going. And then watch it build. Watch your hope build. Satan will start trying extra hard to throw things at you. But remain strong like Moroni.

I recently listened to a podcast interview of the author of Tiny Habits on 3in30. He talks about anchoring the habit we desire to something we are already doing in our daily routine. For me, I struggled for years and years and years to be consistent in my morning prayers. It’s hard when you have little kids that are your alarm clock and wake you up. But a few years ago, unbeknownst to me, I followed this guy’s advice. I anchored my prayer to going to the bathroom. Every morning after I go to the bathroom and wash my hands, of course, I immediately kneel down and pray. Every morning I need to go to the bathroom. And now every morning, I pray. I have added other things to this routine, like reading scriptures, journaling, creating, pondering. Sometimes this takes 60 minutes. Sometimes it takes 10. But I always take this time in the morning.

It’s all about choices and what we desire most.

And like Moroni, we can have faith that when we reach the end of our lives we can say like him, “I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead.”

Paradise of God sounds like a great place to be for all eternity. Let’s stand strong together. Let’s read daily in the Book of Mormon, look to our living prophets to guide us, and pray and connect with Heavenly Father each day. It’s the simple, daily actions that lead to an unbreakable faith.

Today there is a reason to hope.

PS picture of Christ credit: Christ Visits the New World, by Walter Rane