Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

Emma Smith is one of two ladies I look up to, desire to emulate and wish I could go to lunch with to just talk for hours. The other is Marjorie Pay Hinckley. Both are wives of modern-day prophets for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  And both are women I hope to meet in heaven.

Lucy Mack Smith, the mother of the prophet Joseph Smith, said this of her daughter-in-law

“I have never seen a woman in my life, who would endure every species of fatigue and hardship, from month to month, and from year to year, with that unflinching courage, zeal, and patience, which she has ever done;

Could you imagine meeting a woman like that?  Over the last few weeks I have been studying all about her life and for a small moment, I felt like we met. The deeper I got into researching her the more I wished we could have been friends. She was compassionate and witty and strong and real.

Although she is not alive today for me to call on for advice, I learned more about myself in reading about her. I saw more of what I want to be while also seeing glimpses into accepting who I am right now. Emma didn’t know how wonderful she was. She was humble. She strived to find joy in everyday. She held fast to her strong faith.  She gave compassionately of her time and energies when people should have been serving her.  She didn’t act that way to be an example or to be a leader or even so people after her could look to her as a standard, it’s just simply who she was.

In a letter to her son in her later years she wrote

“I have seen many, yes very many, trying scenes in my life which I could not see … where any good could come of them.” She added this testimony: “But yet I feel a divine trust in God, that all things shall work for good.”

Oh that I can mold my faith to be as hers.

Shortly before her husband died she wrote,

I desire the spirit of God to know and understand myself, I desire a fruitful, active mind, that I may be able to comprehend the designs of God, when revealed through his servants without doubting.”

That is a prayer I understand well.  I would like to print it and put it in my prayer room for those are all things I desire.

The youth leaders at our church, I work with the 14-15 year old girls called Mia Maids, put together a hike all about the life of Joseph Smith (the founder of our church).  The kids would hike and come across different influential people in his life. His parents, his brother, and his wife. As soon as I heard about this I felt a strong desire to portray Emma. But as the time got closer I knew I could not do this wonderful woman justice. How could I help the youth see of her testimony of God’s love for her as well as her testimony of her husband and of the church?

As the night drew near I still didn’t know what I was going to say. There was just too much to fit into the small 7-minute window I was given. I knelt in prayer pleading with the Lord that I may somehow embody all that Emma was. I poured out my soul desiring more than anything to show the youth the strength of her faith even though she was asked to endure so many trials. I wanted to make her proud and I wanted to say exactly what the Lord would have me say.

The impression I received was that I should not prepare a written speech or even decide which stories to share. I had saved some quotes on my phone thinking I might read those because they were so powerful in her words but I felt strongly I needed to trust that God would tell me what to say when the time came. This quote was one of them, which was given right before she passed away

“My belief is that the Book of Mormon is of divine authenticity. I have not the slightest doubt of it. … Though I was an active participant in the scenes that transpired, and was present during the translation of the plates … and had cognizance of things as they transpired, it is marvelous to me, ‘a marvel and a wonder,’ as much as to anyone else.

I know Mormonism to be the truth; and believe the church to have been established by divine direction.

Joseph smith was a prophet of God. I believe he [Joseph] was everything he professed to be.”

The night came. As I got ready I pondered on her again. I tried to imagine what it would have been like to be her.  And felt I needed to try to do her famous hair do (we were not asked to dress like our person) 

We began our hike and my husband and I got into place (he was portraying Joseph). Each person had a designated spot for the kids to come to you. And we were last. We waited and I wondered again what I was going to say. And then in an instant it all came together in my mind. I knew what was to be said with great assurance. And I instantly felt gratitude to God.

The group came up and I welcomed them as I imagined Emma would do. Her house was always full of visitors and those who needed special care. I shared with them an experience she had with prayer when she was a young child. And I shared this quote

Strength does not come from seeing. Strength comes from faith.

I told how the faith that began as a small child kneeling in prayer sustained her and grew throughout her many trials. I talked about how she had lost several babies and one specific experience where Joseph was taken from their home by a mob of angry men and tarred and feathered. And how her already sick baby died from the exposure to the cold let in by the mob.

At this point I thought I might share another story and my mind went blank. I could not remember what I was going to say and I knew it was because that story didn’t need to be shared.

I tried with all of my heart to testify as if I were Emma the things she knew to be true.  It came very easily because I knew them to be true as well. I testified of Joseph’s Holy calling. Of the divine nature of the Book of Mormon. Of the religion she had given so much for. And for the beautiful nature of eternal families.

As I said those words my spirit was on fire.  I felt God burning into my heart the truthfulness of what I was saying. I felt like Emma was next to me helping me get her words into those kids’ hearts.  The beautiful experience of “meeting” Emma will forever be a tender memory I hope to only be replaced by one day, on the other side of the veil, sitting down with Her and being taught by her side.


Here are some of the sources I used to study the life of Emma Smith.

Article in the Ensign written by their great great granddaughter

Emma and Joseph: Their Divine Mission

The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother

Emma’s patriarchal blessing can be found here

Article on the letters written between Joseph and Emma

Love letters of Joseph and Emma this one is visually so stunning. It is short like a story book but so much love and beauty is found inside.

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page


This is my favorite scripture of all time, and I may have shared it with you in the past.  I’m constantly turning to it for hope and help.

I suppose I keep coming back to it because I have a lot of weaknesses. Every time I’m faced with problems in life, (and who doesn’t have problems) I am also faced with the reality of some other facet of my life that needs improving.  Sometimes I know exactly what to do, but not always.  And sometimes I think I know what I need to do, but I don’t know why I continue to fail to do it.  It has been common for me to struggle to find answers and strength.

As I have been praying to help in making improvements in my life, it seems like the concept of humility has come up a lot lately in church and in my studies.  Maybe it is a message that the Lord is trying to send to me.

Being humble isn’t a weakness. Being humble is hard. It’s hard to admit when you’ve been wrong.  It’s hard to admit that you don’t know everything on your own.  It’s hard to admit that you need help.

But the truth is that as humans we are weak.  We need help. We need each other. We need our Savior Jesus Christ.

God loves us with an unending love, and He wants all the very best for us.  He especially wants to see us grow, become more than we were before. He delights in the joy we will feel when we get to that point and find that we are better and stronger through Him.  But He won’t interfere with our agency and just give those gifts to us before we are ready, nor will He give them before we are humble enough and faithful enough to ask for them.  When we get ourselves to that point, then we will be ready to receive the greater gifts that will make us more that we knew that we could be.

If we will just work hard to let go of pride, and allow humility to be a part of our lives, we will be able to turn to God, and let Him guide our lives to allow those weak things to be made strong.

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

worrying doesn't take away troublesIt has been brought to my attention that I am a worrier.  And I know that I’m not the only one, because I have conversations with my friends and family members, and they worry about the same stuff I worry about.

This got me thinking about the difference between stress and worry.  Some stress is important because it can be a motivation to take action.  Having a deadline can create stress, but it gets me working harder to complete whatever the project is.  And once it is done, I feel a sense of accomplishment and relief at having something done.

But too much stress can have the opposite effect. When I become so concerned with too many things, I feel overwhelmed, and becoming overwhelmed can cause a shut down in the organizational places in my brain.

We know that excessive stress is bad for the body. It weakens the immune system, can cause headaches, sleep problems, stomach irritation, and a bunch of other disorders.  Controlling stress is important, which also can make it hard.  Stress can just seem like a part of life. It comes with all the responsibilities that I can’t really just get rid of.  My family is important, my job is important, my service in church is important.  Controlling that stress seems just too hard.

Worry, however…. seems like something I might be able to control a little more realistically.

Worry is being distraught about things I may not be able to control. I can’t change the past. I can’t control how other people react to me. I can’t control or even predict what will happen in the future. I can’t control these things, but I get to be in charge of how I choose to react to them.

I think it is natural to have some concern over these things, but worry can interfere with the ability to move forward, to make good decisions.

President Gordon B. Hinckley shared these feelings on the funeral program for his wife, Marjorie Pay Hinckley

It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don’t worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers.

After reading Pres. Hinckley’s feelings, I think that putting our trust in God is the best way to let go of worry.

Trust that God knows who you are and what you are going through.

Trust that God put you into this situation, and He knows you are strong enough to come through it. And if He knows that we can overcome the trials that are put in our path, we need to have enough faith in God and ourselves to take action, make a plan, get help from the people in our lives who love us.

Ernest Hemingway gave this advice.

Worrying never fixes anything

We can choose to let go of worry by taking action when we can and by letting go of the things we can’t change.  We can put our trust in God, and stay close to him through prayer, pleading to Him for guidance, and asking for His watchful care over people and situations that we can’t control.  If it’s important to us, it will be important to Him.

Choose today to let go of stress and worry. It can be done, with some hard work, a desire to feel better and with TRUST in God and ourselves, through His guidance.

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

Our family home evening lesson on prayer went fairly well on Monday. There was a moment of contention, but I think that is to be expected when you have 8 people all trying to sit still for a lesson.

I few things became more clear.

1. My children really do love each other and want to help when they can. After the lesson was over my sweet Joshua asked that we would pray for him for something very specific. The next morning I reminded who was saying that prayer of Joshua’s request. To which the kids responded. “I prayed for him last night and this morning.”  Needless to say he was touched and so was I.

2. Kids want to be guided and given direction. They don’t know how the world is supposed to work and they look to us as their parents for examples and direction. I shared several ideas of how they could make prayer more meaningful, and I could see the wheels turning. One wants to write their prayers on their chalkboard and another wants to use post it notes. As a family we decided to write on a board we have in the living room prayer requests as they come up. And then when they see an answer to a prayer we are going to write it on this mat.

Big or small, I told them they could write whenever they noticed an answer to their prayer.

3. God is so quick to hear us and give us assurance that He is there. Before the lesson I spent a good deal of time pondering on each of my children and what my written prayers for them should look like. Durning that lesson two of my children had experiences I had just prayed for. They might have seemed like little things, but it was comforting to know and to feel of His love not only for me but for my children.

One might well ask why He would concern Himself with something so small. I am led to believe that our Heavenly Father loves us so much that the things that are important to us become important to Him, just because He loves us. How much more would He want to help us with the big things that we ask, which are right (see 3 Nephi 18:20)?

4. God wants to bless us. We simply need to ask. When I ask my husband for a back rub and he willing gives it even though he might be tired, I can feel his love for me. We become more connected, and I in turn want to give back to him when he needs something. I believe noticing our answered prayers can be that way as well. By asking we show our trust that God is aware of us and loves us. We feel connected to Him. When He answers, even when the answer is not what we thought it would be, we feel His love for us. At times the answers come quickly like in my example above. Sometimes the response is a reassurance that He is there and that He hears you. Some prayers take years. And you are given a little here and a little there.

 Little children, young people, and adults alike, please believe how very much your loving Heavenly Father wants to bless you. But because He will not infringe upon our agency, we must ask for His help. This is generally done through prayer. Prayer is one of the most precious gifts of God to man.

As I continue to make prayer a more meaningful part of my life, I cannot help but look back on the times my prayers have been answered and feel a debt of gratitude I know I will never be able to repay. Yet I can pray and ask that His will can more fully become my own.

Quotes are taken from a talk titled Privilege of Prayer. I loved it so very much and highly recommend reading or listening to it.

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

Have you ever seen a movie that was so impactful you wanted to tell everyone you know to go see it? Literally every single person?

That’s how I felt walking out of the movie The War Room. On a whim I decided to go see the movie Friday afternoon while the kids were at school. At first it felt a little strange walking into the theater by myself but I felt compelled to go.

My tears began almost immediately. I don’t want to give away too much because, remember, I think EVERYONE should see it, but the movie is all about the power of prayer and how the main characters learn to give their troubles over to the Lord and trust that He is able to do what they are not.

The sweet mentor grandma type shows off her “war room”  or more accurately her prayer room, pictured below.

  It’s her closet where she has taped prayers to the wall, and I began to wonder if a war room would help me to make my prayers more sincere and more intentional.  In fact I went home and cleaned out a section of my closet and have been pondering all weekend on how exactly I want to convert it into my meaningful prayer closet.

Pinterest was full of ideas on how others have made prayer more meaningful.   Prayer journal

 Prayer board

 Prayer pages

Prayer stones

Prayer cans

After reading all of these fantastic ideas I felt something different was in store for my family. Maybe a combination of all of them? I am going to present these ideas to them tonight for our family home evening lesson. And let each person decide what they want to do. I think for my closet I want a place to write my prayers, maybe a white board or even just post it notes. I use the app Evernote to write my scripture journal entries so I may continue to do that for my prayers that are more personal with the sticky notes being simple reminders, like a person’s name. I’m still thinking on it.

I would love to have somewhere displayed in my home a list of answered prayers like in the movie. Something like this

Like the time my daughter asked us to pray that she might find a good friend, and then she saw the power of our united prayer when a new girl came to school. Or when the kids prayed their dad would get unstuck from the quick sand when we were on vacation and shortly after he finally was released. And then there are the prayers we pray for years and finally are given inspiration on what you can do to help the situation along.

The Lord is quick to hear our needs and our wants, but are we quick to recognize his answers? I want to be more aware, and I think I’m on the right track. I’m excited to see what the Lord helps me to figure out.

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

This past weekend, I had the opportunity of singing in a special women’s choir at church. There is nothing more wonderful and uplifting than being a part of a group that learns and grows and shares together.

As I was learning this wonderful song, I had to work really hard at NOT thinking too much about the words, because it would make me cry, and crying is not a good way to sing! But now that I’m not singing, I wanted to share the words with you, and a bit of the back story.

Here is the song “How will they know?”

How will they know?

1. How will they know, the ones for whom we care,
That God is love and with us ev’rywhere,
That life is good, with blessings all can share?
How will they know unless we teach them so?
2. How will they learn that, though they go astray,
God will forgive and help them find the way?
How will they feel the Spirit day by day?
How will they know unless we teach them so?
3. How will they grow in wisdom and delight?
How will they choose to follow what is right?
How can they trust the future will be bright?
How will they know unless we show them?
4. How will they live when they at last are grown?
What will they give to children of their own?
Will they reflect the values we have shown?
How will they know, as on through life they go?
How will they know unless we strive to teach them so?

This beautiful song was written by Natalie Sleeth, at the request of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for use on a Mother’s day.  She said

When my son had young children of his own, I became aware of how the way he was raised (by my husband and me) was reflected in the way he and his wife were raising their children… I generalized this idea into an expression of the need for teaching those within our care what we feel is important in life.”

At first I questioned my own parenting, wondering if I have not done enough in the past.  Have my kids grown up knowing the full extent of my belief in God, and the strength and power of the atonement?  Did I teach them enough?  Did I do enough?

I’m sure that I did the best I could with what I had. But I realized that the past is past. The only thing I have control over now is my present and how it can affect my future.

I can choose today to share my beliefs and my love of the Savoir. I can help my children learn what I believe and know to be true, but I can also share my values with my friends, and my children’s friends, or any one that God places in my path.  It is never too late to help a rising generation by sharing the strength that you have learned.

We live in a tough world with a lot of wickedness. But there are also a lot of good people, and if we all work together to share the good and hope in Christ and his atonement, we can overcome the world.

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

I wonder if I’m a naturally selfish person. All I know is my heart and my desires, and I feel too often I forget to look outside myself. I guess that is the natural man I fight with and strive to overcome.
Last week I was feeling sorry for myself. My reasoning is weak and yet the fact that we don’t own our own home caused me to feel pretty down. I somehow had looked past the beautiful home we do live in. The amazing children I’m blessed to raise. The husband who adores me and would give me the world if he could. And most importantly the grace of God that makes it possible for me to be imperfect and still be made whole through the atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ.

I had tunnel vision and could only see what I didn’t have. And in that moment I really felt like I had a huge burden on my shoulders. I can see clearly now how selfish I was being.

I’d love to say I came out of it on my own, but the Lord stepped in to show me a better way.

I decided to clean out my pantry and get rid of all the food we no longer eat (we have given up most sugar and gluten). I made piles of food and wondered what to do with them. I text a friend asking if she had any ideas of what I could do with it and she responded instantly.

Within the hour she came by and began to tell me of a mutual friend who was going through a rather difficult financial time. With several kids at home and an empty cupboard. My leftover food would be more appreciated than I could have known. I helped bring the boxes to her car and expressed my gratitude for her willingness to take it to her.

After she left I was filled with humility and my selfish heart was softened and I began to turn outward. I could see more clearly how truly blessed we are. I remembered a time when food was scarce and I prayed for money so we wouldn’t have to eat beans and rice again. Then a gift card appeared at my doorstep for a local grocery store. I’m still touched by the love God showed me through someone else.

How quickly our answered prayers become a thing of the past as we ask for more and more, forgetting how blessed we already are.

I’m working on letting go of my selfish nature and looking for ways to give more freely that I may be God’s hands in answering another’s prayers. I’m working to,

Lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better.”

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

sunset at the sea

“Just because you think a thought, doesn’t make it true.”

I’ve heard this sentence several times from Ashley Turner, a Yoga instructor with a Master’s Degree in Psychology. Every time I hear her say this, it affects me and really makes me think.

There are lots of thoughts that come and go from our minds, and for those of us with A.D.D. those thoughts can come and go quickly.  But the thoughts that Ashley is talking about are the ones that stay in our mind and become a part of us.  Not all of the thoughts need to be entertained and examined.

Some thoughts can be put into our heads by inspiration from the spirit of God, and others can sneak in as messages of trouble from the adversary.  I think it is really important to recognize the reality of both messages coming to us.

Not all thoughts come from ourselves.

Not all thoughts are true.

Not all thoughts can simply be discarded…. but some of them can.

This can put us in a tricky spot, trying to determine what thoughts need to be worked through, and which ones we can simply choose to let go.

So this leaves us with some questions.  How can you determine what thoughts to keep? What thoughts need to be acted upon?  What thoughts might have a higher meaning?

First of all, there aren’t any absolutes when it comes to this topic.  Each person has to choose for themselves how to proceed.  But I can tell you what I have learned over the years.

  1. Thoughts that bring peace are almost always messages from the Spirit of God.  Satan, the adversary, doesn’t want us to feel peace, and he doesn’t know how to give messages of peace.  Love and comfort and peace, will only come to us through God.
  2. Thoughts of hopelessness, doubt, and depression are often temptation from the adversary.  When good people can’t be tempted to do bad things, he tries to beat us up with thoughts of doubting ourselves, and our talents. He encourages us to give up, especially on things that are important, and he may try to make us feel like our efforts would be pointless anyway, so why even try. He wants to make us feel bad about ourselves. Boy, these are hard thoughts to get rid of because they can feel like a bullet wound.  But the first step is to recognize that these thoughts are generally not true.  If you feel like quitting something because you have judged it to not be as worthwhile as you once thought, then that is okay, it is simply making a choice. But giving up on something you once loved because you don’t feel good enough, or you doubt your abilities, may not be the best choice.  Never make a rash decision when you are feeling down and depressed.  Get help if you need it.  Get a blessing. Talk to a friend. Reexamine the decisions that caused you to start down a difficult path to begin with.  You really are worth so much more than the lies that Satan tells you.
  3. Some thoughts of regret or doubt are indications from inside ourselves that something needs to change. The difference between these thoughts of doubt and the ones that are thrown at us by the adversary is that these thoughts will come with a feeling of hope and a desire to change  There are definitely course corrections in life that have to be made on a regular basis in order to keep us on the right track with our lives and with God’s plan for us.  Sometimes the spirit will prick our hearts and we can feel remorse for something that needs to change. Feeling bad about something you have done is a learning experience. Having that “broken heart and contrite spirit” is hard and necessary for growth and overcoming.  It should lead you to action and a desire to use the atonement to get back to the glorious feeling of having God’s light in our lives.
  4. Thoughts of creativity and progress are ours to use as we feel guided. We can choose what thoughts are helpful and desirable to our lives and our families.

The most important thing when it comes to guiding our thought processes is to allow God to be a part of our lives.  Pray often. Watch for His hand in all things. Believe that He will guide us when it is necessary. He trusts us to make good choices, but He will always be there to help when we remember to ask for it.

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

You, my dear friend, who is reading this, God wants you to know that He loves you. And that within you, right now, you have the capacity to be whatever He has in store for you.

I really pondered over what to write today, and I felt impressed that you needed to hear that you truly are enough and that its ok for you to believe in yourself. Right now. Just the way you are. Embrace the divinity within you. Don’t believe me yet? Read these amazing quotes and let your heart be touched.

Believe in yourselves. Believe that you are never alone. Believe that you will always be guided. Elaine S Dalton

Believe in yourself and then live so as to reach your possibilities. Thomas S Monson

Believe in yourselves. Believe in your capacity to do great and good and worthwhile things. Believe in the nature within you, the divine nature, that you are in very deed a son or daughter of the Living God. There is something of divinity within you, something that stands high and tall and noble. Get above the dirt and the filth of the earth and walk on a higher plane with your heads up, believing in yourselves and in your capacity to act for good in the world and make a difference. Gordon B Hinckley

God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as he always has. But he can’t if you don’t pray, and he can’t if you don’t dream. In short, he can’t if you don’t believe. Jeffery R Holland

It is extremely important for you to believe in yourselves only for what you are now but for what you have the power to become. Trust in the Lord as He leads you along. He has things for you to do that you won’t know about now but that will unfold later. If you stay close to Him, You will have some great adventures. You will live in a time where instead of sometimes being fulfilled, many of them will actually be fulfilled. The Lord will unfold your future bit by bit. Neal A Maxwell

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

Over the long weekend my family and I went camping in the mountains. Four days free from technology and it was just what I needed.

Sunday afternoon we decided to take a family hike up to a cross on the mountain. From where we stood it really didn’t look too far, and I was sure even my 6-year-old could handle it.

Most of us were excited and anticipated a nice walk together as we chatted and enjoyed the outdoors.

All too quickly the mountain side became steep and it continued to be steep. I began to wonder if it was going to be to difficult for the younger ones. I thought “Maybe we should go back.” “This is really hard.” But I believed the cross wasn’t too far and we could handle it. I noticed if I just focused on the few steps in front of me instead of the huge hill we still had to climb it felt easier.

We had stopped along the way a couple of times as kids lost their footing and scraps needed attending. Again I wondered if we should continue on.

At one point the trail was moving away from the cross and instead of turning left it was heading right. My kids wondered at that, Why would the path lead in the wrong direction?

The sun seemed hotter the farther up we went, and I kept waiting for the way to become easier. But it didn’t.

As we turned the corner, I knew we were almost there and the spirit pricked my soul. This hike had become a tool to teach me what God wanted me to know.

The hike was representative of struggles I have been facing. The way has been hard at times, and I have had to sit down and cry from the injuries or pain it has caused.

There have been moments when I have wanted the trial gone. And I have cried out “this is too hard, can’t there be another way?”  But with God’s help I picked myself back up again, kept my head focused on the next step, and moved on.

The hardest moments seem to be when I feel I am being lead on a path that is not going in the direction I thought it should. Why am I veering right when I have been praying for the road to go left?  Those moments when prayers I have pleaded for over and over again seem to be unheard.

The moment the spirit touched me, I was still maybe 20 yards away from the cross. I felt Him say to me. “This is where you are now. You have come so far. What would happen if you gave up now?  What would you lose?”

It’s those moments when I am closest to reaching my goal or closest to seeing my prayers answered that Satan will attack the hardest. He wants me to give up and to lose faith. It doesn’t matter to him if I do that at the bottom of the hill and never start or if he gets me to turn back in the last minute. He wins when I quit trying.

And then my eyes looked forward.  On this hike I knew I was almost there and I wondered if I could take greater courage and faith the next time I feel Satan telling me to give up.

  When we reached the cross the view was stunning.

 My little family and I had done it. And all I could think was “We can do hard things.”

We talked on the top for a while and the kids shared what they were feeling and I felt so close to God and so close to my family. One of my daughters felt walking to the cross was symbolic of our journey to understanding what our Savior did for us on the cross.

My trials may feel like climbing mountains at times, or even many mountains, but I have felt the Lord carry me and lift me when the way becomes too much. Looking back down the mountain, once at the top, it is always easier to see how He has guided me and watched over me and even stretched me so that I could experience the beauty He has in store for me and my family. I pray I can see more clearly His hand even in the hardest of moments.

We need strength beyond ourselves to keep the commandments in whatever circumstance life brings to us. … The combination of trials and their duration are as varied as are the children of our Heavenly Father. No two are alike. But what is being tested is the same, at all times in our lives and for every person: will we do whatsoever the Lord our God will command us?” —Henry B. Eyring