Thursday, November 5, 2009

6 weeks

Look at my little gangster (:

Cute Smile (:

I'm grateful for...

1. Weekly picture updates.
2. High school presentations.
3. Post-placement group and Priesthood.

2- Well, today I went to Pleasant Grove high school and did a presentation on adoption. I wasn't really prepared because I went to watch a birth mom do a presentation. The second one, we had a few other birth moms come and watch and the birth mom actually invited us all to share our story. I was SO nervous. But it was so nice to have kids come up afterward and tell you thank you. I love educating people about adoption and how wonderful it is. (:

3- Post-placement group. The same birth mom that did the presentations today actually leads the post-placement group. Our group today was about virtue. And I LOVED it. It was a talk by Elaine S. Dalton called Return to Virtue. This whole discussion was basically an answer to my prayers and what I needed to hear. It has given me the extra push to want to do better.

Virtue means purity. It begins in the heart and in the mind.

So what are some of the things that we can do right now in order to remain virtuous in a toxic world?

First, repent. I am very aware that there are some listening tonight who don’t feel virtuous or who have made mistakes. That is why a return to virtue is so important. You must know that you can return. You can change.

If I were going the wrong way in the middle of a marathon, and I realized my mistake, would I keep going? I would immediately turn around! Why? Because I would have lost valuable time and precious energy and strength, and it would be much harder for me to finish the marathon because of this extra distance and added time. I wouldn’t stay on the wrong course because no matter how long I ran there, I would never reach the finish line. And yet for many who have made a moral mistake, a little voice keeps saying: “You blew it. You can’t change. No one will ever know anyway.” To you I would say, Don’t believe it. “Satan wants you to think that you cannot repent, but that is absolutely not true.” A return is always possible because of the Savior’s Atonement. President Monson has said to each of us who have made mistakes: “If any of you has slipped along the way, there are those who will help you to once again become clean and worthy. Your bishop or branch president is anxious and willing to help and will, with understanding and compassion, do all within his power to assist you in the repentance process, that you may once again stand in righteousness before the Lord.”

Second, be careful about your choice of friends. In today’s technological society, we may spend more time with nonhuman companions than we do with our peers. While we may be very careful about our human companions, sometimes we give little thought to the other companions that we allow to influence us. Media of any kind can be a very powerful social influencer. We have all been given three precious gifts for our mortal experience. These include our body, our agency, and our time. If Satan can entice us to use our time in unfocused or unproductive or, even worse, nonvirtuous pursuits and then deceive us into believing that if we do this in private our actions don’t affect anyone, he is victorious. “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we [must] seek after these things”

Seek the companionship of virtuous friends, not virtual friends. Remember, “virtue loveth virtue [and] light cleaveth unto light” . This is a relationship scripture. In your pursuit of friendships and an eternal marriage partner, you cannot just make a list of all the qualities you are looking for in another or in an eternal companion. You must be your list at all times and in all things and in all places.

Third, enter a program of strict training. When training for a marathon, one has to have a strict training plan in order to be prepared to go the distance. This same concept applies to life. We are in the run of our life, and there must be a strict training plan. The success components of this plan include things we will do every single day, without fail, in order to invite the Spirit’s companionship into our life. They will be different for each of us but will always include daily prayer. Our Heavenly Father hears our prayers, and He will answer them. I testify that that is true. Our challenge is to be in a place where we can hear and recognize the answers.

Strict training will also include daily reading of the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith said that “a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”The Book of Mormon will increase your faith in Jesus Christ, and it is through your faith that you will be able to withstand temptation. This record is for you and your generation. Reading just five minutes every single day will change your life. I know this is true because I have been doing it, and so have thousands of others. Think of the change in five years if every one of us would commit to do this even for just five minutes every single day.

Lastly, smile! And when you smile, remember who you are. You are sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. He knows you. He knows your name. He trusts you, and He loves you. So, smile! This is just basic training, but it must be strictly done every single day.

“Press forward with … a perfect brightness of hope”. Don’t get discouraged! Your journey will be challenging at times, and it will not always be easy.

Your lives of purity and virtue are the banner that will cause the nations of the earth to look up—to come to the temple. As you remain virtuous, you will be led by the Holy Ghost, and your personal virtue will qualify you to go to the temple often. If you don’t have a recommend, now is the time to become worthy to receive one. This is your work. The temple will be a strength and a protection to you in an ever-darkening world, and it will become an ensign not only to you but to the nations. A return to virtue is a return to the temple, and a return to the temple is a return to the Savior.

Priesthood- I was talking to my friend Alyssa on the way home from group about it. And something struck me so hard that it brought me to tears and it was the Priesthood.
I remember when my dad walked in the room while I was in labor and when he walked in I honestly felt the Spirit intensify. My dad didn't even have to say that he was going to give me a blessing because I knew. And it brought me to tears just seeing him walk in and feeling the Spirit. And when I was telling her that I was choking back the tears just remembering the feeling of the Spirit and of the Priesthood. Dustinn and my dad were able to put their hands on my head and bless me and Olivia. It was a very sacred and spiritual moment for me that I can barely even begin to describe. I'm grateful for the Gospel and how much it has blessed me. I can't wait to return to virtue and be clean. I can't wait to find the guy that will be able to bless me and my future children by the Priesthood.

I'm going to the midnight showing of The Fourth Kind (:
Yep, another scary movie. Wish me luck! Hopefully I'll be able to sleep tonight... without the light on this time.


  1. I LOVED this post. Olivia and her gangster sign is awesome.

    I remember hearing that talk. Beautiful.

    That's amazing that you had such a strong experience with Dad. The strongest experience I've ever had with the Priesthood was also with Dad.

    Pretty sure scary movies chase away the Spirit. Just sayin. I know, I'm always preaching.

  2. First off I just have to say....cute pictures of Olivia!!!
    I loved this post that was such a beautiful talk that could help anyone of any age or of any trial.
    Everytime I read your blog I just am more and more amazed at what a mature young woman you are.

  3. Your post said it alot better then mine haha ;) but it all comes down to the same thing!
    Thanks for all your great, hopeful posts Stefanie. Your little girl is so beautiful!