Category Archives: relationships

Video

Because He Lives!!!

THE STORY

Once upon a time there was a girl or you could say a young woman, or perhaps even a woman named Amy…oh, wait that’s me. Yes this is a true experience about me.

I met an amazing man and we began dating in a way… He lived in France and I live in the United States. We would Skype or make video calls to each other whenever we could and we would send long emails every day. It was wonderful. I began to really love him, or at least I considered it love. He was so very nice and caring. I told him about my struggles with depression and how my arms were full of scars, and he looked past those struggles I had and looked forward with hope for the future.

We began talking more about actually meeting each other. We expressed our feelings for each other and loved talking of our possible future together.

At this point, I wanted to be completely honest, not that I wasn’t before…I just wanted to share everything about myself with him. So, I told him about an addiction that I struggled with and how deeply I feared rejection from others.

When I told him of this addiction, he said he would like to help but followed it up with if I knew anyone other woman where I lived that would like him…basically asking me to set him up with one of my friends.

I responded by saying that I was sorry he felt that way and apologized for my shortcomings, but that I would not just pass him on to another one of my friends here in the U.S. He was simply just not the man for me.

I was heartbroken and depression seemed to start seeping in again. I reverted back to my addiction, which I had been clean of for close to eight weeks. This ended up making me feel even worse. After a few weeks, I even went to send him another email telling him how much I missed him, but after reading his final email to me, decided against it. I really hope that he is doing well.

THE LESSON I LEARNED/ THE POINT

Over time, a couple of months, I learned to lean more heavily on my Savior for help and support. I have been learning to be more humble and pure. I have been attending addiction recovery meetings to help with my addiction.

Basically I have learned that ALL is possible through the Savior. I have been trying to trust in Him and His plan for me more and more…which is definitely not always easy.

I know that my Savior lives and that because He lives I can live again, I can live now. Because He lives, I can truly be happy even amidst hard and challenging times in my life. Oh how I do miss the love that comes from being in a relationship with someone you believe truly cares about you, who you believe you could spend forever with.

But I know that the Lord has felt those same feelings that I have felt and that because He lives I can have hope in my life for a better future, for a clean life from addiction, for the strength to keep going in hard times, for so, so much more.

I hope you enjoy the song/video by Sally Deford. It is one of my favorites. What can you do or believe or feel in your life because the Savior lives?

Filters in Our Vision

How do you view yourself? How do you view others? Does your vision have filters?

Seeing Clearly

Do we allow ourselves to see clearly?  To see ourselves clearly?  What does it really mean to see clearly?  When I think about seeing clearly, I think about not having clouded or distorted images.  Many of us have dealt with ourselves or have seen images of people who suffer from eating disorders seeing themselves in distorted ways.  These are the examples of when a really skinny person looks in the mirror and the mirror shows someone who is abnormally huge.

That is only one example of distortion.  I think that a lot of distortion comes from the media we view and just the day to day things we allow ourselves to come in contact with.  So, is it even possible to see ourselves or others through clear eyes without distortion or cloudiness?

I believe that the clearest view of the world and of ourselves and of others that we can ever can have comes from seeing as Heavenly Father sees.  This is because He is the one who created us all, so it is through His eyes that things are clear.  He is the creator, so He knows how things are to be viewed.

This is very true in art and theatre as well.  The creator of a play, per se, the playwright, is the one who knows how the play is to be viewed, or what it was intended to bring across.  The directors of plays and producers and such put their lenses on it or their views on top of the original view and in a sense distort the play by degrees.

Theatre Lighting

In theatre, there are many different ways to affect the lighting on the stage or in the auditorium.  Sometimes stage lights have gels in them that change their color.  Other times there gobos are put in to create a stencil or pattern-like effect.  Sometimes, both are used.  Still other time, lights are purposely not focused clearly to fade the harshness of the edges of the light.  Basically, there are many ways in which the light is filtered before it reaches the stage to create what many call ‘theatrical lighting.’

Do you have theatrical viewing or lighting in your life?  Do you purposely allow or put filters on the way in which you view the world?  I think in today’s society it is hard for one not to allow society and media to put certain filters on our viewing of society and humanity.

Little girls being in beauty pageants and wearing bikinis when they are toddlers is just one example of how the media and society is telling us to view girls and women.  It is one way in which the media and society start little boys, at a very young age to expect girls to be sensual and appealing on the outside.

How do you allow society to shape your vision of others and of yourself?  Do you stand for what you believe in or do you allow yourself to be swayed with the popular belief?  Do you stand up for someone when a group of your friends are gossiping about them or talking badly about them behind his or her back?  Or do you join in the belittling?  Are you able to see past the way that the crowd views other individuals?  Is your vision clear enough to do so?

How we get a clearer view

So some may be wondering how we come to this clearer view.  I believe that it all comes from drawing closer to our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ.  They love us.  They have a perfectly clear view, without judgment or filtering.  They have a perfect love.  As we come closer to them and become more like them, we will be better able to have a clearer view ourselves of others, the world, and ourselves.

We come closer to Christ and Heavenly Father by doing the Father’s will, by keeping His commandments, by enduring to the end, and by doing the simple things among other things.  There are so many ways in which we can find ourselves coming closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

One way that I have found that has helped me come closer is to write how I see the Lord in my life each day.  Another way is by being careful with what I choose to view or surround myself with.  As Christ and Heavenly Father are pure, I want to be pure.

How can you personally come closer to Christ?  What do you have to work on?  As you work on this and continually strive and work towards coming closer to Christ, your vision will be cleared and life becomes more meaningful and less bitter, cruel, and cynical.  Life becomes better as we clear our vision.

Expressions of Love

My friends and I always enjoyed 'heart attacking' people's rooms. This one we did a little differently for my roommate. Love notes on post-it notes. There are many ways you can express your love for others.

Importance of Love

I find it interesting that both of the two great commandments are associated with love.  They are found in the New Testament in Matthew 22:36-40 which reads:

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Surely, love is a major Christ-like attribute that brings us closer to Him and closer to becoming His disciples as it explains in John 13:34-35:

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

Not only does this attribute of love distinguish us as disciples of Christ, it is also a commandment that we must follow.

How do we show our love?

So, we know the importance of showing and sharing love with others and with God now.  But how do we show our love?  There are many ways which we can show our love to God.  A couple of these ways include being obedient and sharing our love with others. John 14:15 reads:

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

How simple and straight-forward is that?  He tells us that if we love Him, we are to show Him that we love Him by keeping His commandments.  I want to say that this includes more than just the Ten Commandments that He gave Moses.  This includes the little promptings that He gives us to do good to others.  Which leads to the other way that we can show our love to the Lord.

We can show our love to the Lord by treating others as sons and daughters of God.  This is explained in Matthew 25:34-40:

“Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat:  I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Naked, and ye clothed me:  I was sick, and ye visited me:  I was in prison, and ye came unto me

Then shall the righteous answer Him saying, Lord when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee?  or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in?  or naked, and clothed thee?

Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

We show our love to the Lord as we show our love to others.

Expressions of Love to Others

So, how do we express our love to others?  It was mentioned previously as helping others through loving service.  This is a great way to show love.  There are numerous other ways to show love.  Sometimes a simple smile, hug, or acknowledgement is a huge expression of love to people.  Sometimes a simple note does the trick.  Other times it is important to say out loud that you love someone.  There is a quote by William Shakespeare that says:

“They do not love, that do not show their love.”

How are you showing your love for the Lord and for others?

 

What is Love (4)?

True love never fails

Love is…

I am sure that many of you have heard mention of or read the scripture describing what love is.  I wish to go into more detail.  The Scripture is found in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  These scriptures speak of charity, which is pure love:

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charityenvieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”

In verse 13 it says:

“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

In this scripture love, or charity, is described as having sixteen different traits.  I wish to spend a little time with each.

13.  Love Believes All Things

Do you always believe what those who love tell you?  I think of a movie that I just watched yesterday, Ella Enchanted.  In the movie, the prince falls in love with this lady named Ella.  Ella is commanded to kill her love when he proposes to her the night of his coronation.  She has been given a gift from her fairy godmother:  the gift of obedience.  So whenever someone orders her to do something she must follow.

Now, her mother told her that her heart and the feelings within her are stronger than any spell.  She overcomes the spell with her great love for the prince and does not end up killing him.  But the prince’s adviser, who set Ella up to the task, sees this and puts her in prison for attempting to kill the prince.  He then talks the prince into believing that Ella wanted to kill him all along.

Later, with the help of some friends, Ella is able to get out of prison and attempt to save the prince from the crown that the prince’s adviser had poisoned.  The prince still loves Ella, and when she seems to be in distress swings on a rope to save her.  In the midst of this attack of sorts, the prince is confronted with whether he will believe his adviser, who has raised him most of his life, or Ella, whom he loves dearly.  When the adviser’s snake tries to bite the prince, the prince ultimately knows who he should believe:  his love.

Do we believe all the that the one who truly loves us, our Savior, teaches?  Do we follow His counsel?  Do we listen for it?

14.  Love Hopes All Things

Do we hope for the best?  Even when we have experienced relationships where we have been taught not to hope?  Pure love hopes all things, even when experiences of the past dictate our thoughts to not trust and to not hope for something good to happen.

When true love is present, one knows that he can hope for all things.  One knows that hope will bring added happiness and joy and love.  The Savior has given us the ultimate reason to hope.  Without His atonement or sacrifice for us, there would be no reason to hope.  There would be nothing to hope for.  It is because of the atonement, and repentance and conversion that we can hope for a brighter tomorrow and that  we can hope to one day make it home to our Heavenly Father’s embrace.

15.  Love Endures All Things

Just because one strives to attain pure love, does not mean one or a relationship will not go through trials or hard times.  This characteristic of true love shows that those with true love do not give up.  They continue forward with faith and hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Truly, the Savior endured all things for us because of His perfect love.  How much are we willing to endure for those we love?  Is there a limit to how much we can take and still love?  What helps you to expand that limit?

What helps me is relying on the Savior.  He truly helps me to be more than I am.

16.  Love Never Fails

Pure love never fails.  Yes, relationships may fail, and people may break up or get divorces, but if those people have true love, they still appreciate the other person and see the other person as a loving and precious son or daughter of God.  Perfect love never fails because it casts out fear as is stated in the New Testament in 1 John 4:18:

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:  because fear hath torment.  He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

I like the rest of that chapter in 1 John as well:

“We love Him, because He first loved us.

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar:  for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

And this commandment have we from Him, that he who loveth God love his brother also.”

The Lord’s love is perfect.  Let us share His love and know that His love, perfect love, never fails.

I was once asked to do this love challenge.  The challenge was to each week take one of the sixteen characteristics of perfect love and work on it that week.  I know that as we do that and diligently strive to incorporate characteristics of the Savior into our lives, we will become more Christlike.  We will begin to see others as He sees them.  We will begin to learn and know of our divine worth.  We will become a happier, more purpose-filled people.

What is Love (3)?

Does your love rejoice in the truth?

Love is…

I am sure that many of you have heard mention of or read the scripture describing what love is.  I wish to go into more detail.  The Scripture is found in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  These scriptures speak of charity, which is pure love:

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charityenvieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”

In verse 13 it says:

“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

In this scripture love, or charity, is described as having sixteen different traits.  I wish to spend a little time with each.  (This may take a few posts).

9.  Love Thinks No Evil

When I read this statement in relationship to love, I think of someone who is fully trusting.  Love does not think evil of other people, or of oneself.  Love does not entertain evil or inappropriate thoughts.  Love is pure and is not diminished or stained by evil.

I believe that we all can work on this.  We can all work on watching our thoughts and deeds as it says in the Book of Mormon in Mosiah 4:30:

“But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish.  And now, O man, remember, and perish not.”

I am similarly reminded of how the Lord thought no evil of anyone, even when others condemned people.  I think of the example of the adulterous woman in the New Testament in St. John 8:3-11:

“And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto Him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

They say unto Him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned:  but what sayest thou?

This they said, tempting Him, that they might have to accuse Him.  But Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground, as though He heard them not.

So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

And again He stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last:  and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

When Jesus had lifted up Himself, and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers?  hath no man condemned thee?

She said, No man, Lord.  And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee:  go, and sin no more.”

What a powerful example of love and of love not thinking evil.

10.  Love Rejoices Not in Iniquity

True love does not rejoice in doing those things which are contrary to the laws or words of God.  Because, true love comes of Christ, it does not follow opposite to the will of the Father.  We are able to love because our Father in Heaven gave us that capacity and that example.

True love does not come of iniquity, it comes of righteousness.  We do not find true joy in iniquity.

11.  Love Rejoices in the Truth

As we rejoice in the truth and follow Heavenly Father’s will, we become more like our Savior, Jesus Christ.  As we become more like Christ we have purer love, for He is the perfect example of pure and perfect love.

Love does not rejoice in dishonesty.  In fact, dishonesty and deception often kill love or strain it to the point that it feels like it will shatter.  Truth prevails in true love, and it is not a scary thing.  Once one comes to trust perfectly and to know of each person’s worth, he opens up and is not afraid of being completely honest.

12.  Love Bears All Things

Love puts up with and accepts all of the things that are thrown onto it.  Like Christ, pure love takes all that is put on her back and continues forward.  Love does not complain about the heavy burdens or stresses that are placed upon her.  Truly, with this principle, love is patient.

A person with true and pure love understands that the things he is asked to bear will not last forever.  This life is but a moment in the eternal scheme of things.  It is but a dot on the eternal timeline.  Our joy can be so much more as we exercise pure love by bearing the things which are placed upon us, knowing and looking forward with faith that our challenges are for only a small moment as it states in Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-8:

“My son, peace be unto your soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;

And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.”

This point is further emphasized and solidified in the New Testament in Revelation 21:4 which says:

“And God shall wipe away all the tears from their eyes; and their shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:  for the former things are passed away.”

God is aware of us.  Let us ever be aware of Him as we share His love with others.

What is Love (2)?

It is not so much the outer appearance, but the inner that is important

Love is…

I am sure that many of you have heard mention of or read the scripture describing what love is.  I wish to go into more detail.  The Scripture is found in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  These scriptures speak of charity, which is pure love:

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charityenvieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”

In verse 13 it says:

“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

In this scripture love, or charity, is described as having sixteen different traits.  I wish to spend a little time with each.  (This may take a few posts).

5.  Love is Not Puffed Up

What does it mean to be puffed up?  I often think of animals in their mating seasons when I think of this description.  Many male animals have colorful feathers or a way of showing the females that they are attractive.

I think pure love has little to do with the outward appearance.  It is what is on the inside that counts.  When I think of flashy shows of affection or attraction, I immediately think of how false that show can actually be.  True love is not puffed up.  True love is knowing someone for who they really are.  It is being honest with one another.  It is seeing someone for who he/she really is as a son or daughter of Deity.

6.  Love Does Not Behave Itself Unseemly

In the Oxford 1828 Dictionary, Unseemly is defined as:

“Not fit or becoming; uncomely; unbecoming; indecent.”

The way I look at this, is that saying that love does not behave itself unseemly, means that love is modest.  So one may wonder what it really means to be modest.  Modesty can come in many different forms.  It can deal with dress and grooming, language and behavior, etc.  In True to the Faith:  A Gospel Reference, Modesty is described as the following:

“Modesty is an attitude of humility and decency in dress, grooming, language, and behavior.  If you are modest, you do not draw undue attention to yourself.  Instead, you seek to ‘glorify God in your body, and in your spirit.'”

True love seeks to glorify God.  Questions we may ask ourselves if we are wondering if we are behaving unseemly are:

  1. Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lord’s presence?
  2. Would I say these words or participate in these activities if the Lord were present?

True love is not unseemly.  It does not seek to draw attention to itself.

7.  Love Seeks Not Her Own

True love is more worried about others than about self.  This is so true and perfect in the Savior’s example to all of the children of God.  He was not thinking of himself as he continued to suffer so much so that we might be saved from our sins and from death.  He sought always to do the Father’s will.

In our love do we seek to make ourselves happy, or others happy?  Who are we more worried about:  ourselves or the other person?

I was once told a story about a couple’s engagement who was broken off because one of the two of them believed that they would not share the money they earned.  Whoever earned the money, would be the one who spent it or decided what to do with it, even in marriage.  Perhaps, this was not true love, for the person was thinking more of self than the other.

8.  Love is Not Easily Provoked

Now this is a hard one for many.  It is easy to get offended and provoked.  In fact, it is almost human nature.  We watch out for ourselves and sometimes the littlest things can cause us to bubble under our skin.  We get irritated with people continually putting dishes in the sink rather than the dishwasher, or with people leaving doors or cupboards open, etc.  You can just think of what gets under your skin (your pet peeves).

We as people have things that bug us.  But do we allow ourselves to be provoked by those things?  Continually, when the Savior was being tempted and tried by the Sadducees, He did not allow Himself to be provoked.  He remained silent or taught great doctrine.  He counsels us to turn the other cheek and to do more than is expected of us.

He truly loves us.  We can follow His example of pure love as we control our tempers and our immediate reactions to those things that get under our skin.  Perhaps, us being comfortable with every little thing around us is not as important as others feeling of the pure love of Christ.

What is Love?

How much are you willing to suffer before you turn your love away?

Love is…

I am sure that many of you have heard mention of or read the scripture describing what love is.  I wish to go into more detail.  The Scripture is found in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  These scriptures speak of charity, which is pure love:

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”

In verse 13 it says:

“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

In this scripture love, or charity, is described as having sixteen different traits.  I wish to spend a little time with each.  (This may take a few posts).

1.  Love suffereth long

When I think of love suffering long, I think of my mother.  She has been the perfect example to me of someone whose love suffereth long.  She does not give up even in hard times to love her children.  Her love and prayers are with us always.

Christ’s love is perfect for this example.  He suffered so much in mortality for the love of His Father and His Father’s children, me and you.  What a perfect example to us of how we can let our love suffer long.  How long do you suffer before you turn your love away?

2.  Love is Kind

I wish to share a quote that I shared yesterday.  It is about how kindness affects relationships.  The quote is by Joseph B. Wirthlin:

“Kindness is the essence of greatness…(It) is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends.  It softens hearts and molds relationships that can last lifetimes.”

When I think of this quote and how kindness softens hearts, I think of the movie Fireproof.  In this movie, the husband is challenged by his parents to do a love challenge of sorts, which involves a lot of service to his wife.  It is a touching movie about how there can be hope, even when relationships seem shattered and broken.

3.  Love envieth not

Envy in love is never a happy picture.  Envy can lead to adultery and other things which break the trust and relationships people enter into.  Gordon B. Hinckley says this in his book Standing for Something:

“Was there ever adultery without rank dishonesty?  In the vernacular, this evil is described as ‘cheating.’  And cheating it is, for it robs virtue, it robs loyalty, it robs sacred promises, it robs truth.  It involves deception.  It is personal dishonesty of the most selfish, insulting kind, for it becomes a betrayal of the most sacred of human relationships and a denial of covenants and promises entered into before God and society.  It is the sordid violation of trust.  It is a selfish casting aside of the law of God, and , as with other forms of dishonesty, its fruits are sorrow, bitterness, heartbroken companions, and betrayed children.  It is nothing less than the theft of sacred marriage vows and promises.”

Surely true love does not envy.

4.  Love vaunteth not itself.

Some of you may be thinking, as I did when I first read this, what does it mean to vaunt?  In the 1828 Oxford Dictionary, the word vaunt is defined as:

“To boast; to make a vain display of one’s own worth, attainments or decorations; to talk with vain ostentation; to brag.

Pride – prompts a man to vaunt and overvalue what he is.”

So, love is not prideful and does not show itself to others on purpose to make others jealous.  With this principle, I think of Robert D. Hales story about buying his wife a new dress.  Do we buy things for someone out of love or do we buy things for someone to make ourselves look good?