What are we?

This blog is devoted to people like us who need a daily spiritual outlet and motivation to keep up with our personal scripture study.
Join us as we begin and discuss the Book of Mormon daily--an online Institute class of sorts!

We welcome your comments, your experiences, and your thoughts.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tori: Post #1

Hi everyone! I'm excited to start this up and to get to know all of you. Here's a little about me:

My name is Tori and I live in Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, with my husband Adam and way-cute daughter Katrina, who is 10.5 months. We moved here in May after graduating from BYU and having Katrina (same week!). I stay at home while Adam trades stock. As for how I met Elise, we were freshman roommates, along with Chelsea. Then sophomore year they both went off and got swept off their feet by their now-husbands, and I followed soon after. When I'm not chasing after my daughter (who, to my chagrin, cannot crawl, but walks around everywhere with her little lion pushtoy), I like to do sewing projects, like pillows for my bedroom or quiet books for toddlers. I also love to read, spend too much time on the internet, and think about practicing my musical skills, like the violin. I am the primary pianist at church, even though my skills are pretty rudimentary. I love it because the kids are so much fun and I get a break from my daughter for a couple of hours! Oh, and my normal blog is adamandtori.blogspot.com.

Okay, so yesterday my husband and I were reading in Nehemiah. I've been pretty bored during our scripture reading since we started the Old Testament, and so it's hard for me to get anything out of it. I turned to the Bible Dictionary for Ezra, the book we just finished, and found some interesting things. After describing the history, it mentions religious values that are included in the book of Ezra:

1.The promises of the Lord through his prophets shall all be fulfilled
2. Discipline and patience are borne of disappointment, as one expectation after another was frustrated
3. There is eternal significance in everyday life
4. Preparation is needed for the rule of Messiah, the law being the schoolmaster to bring men to Christ.

Numbers 2 and 3 particularly struck me. Discipline and patience are borne from disappointment? At first that sounds horrible! And depressing. But when I think about it, so much of my determination to better myself, say with my violin skills, arose from instances where I didn't do as well as I wanted. When disappointments come, we can either give up, or like the Israelites, who were at this point trying to rebuild the temple, we can look for other avenues to solve our problem. Also, I'd like to think we can develop patience and discipline without frustrating disappointments. It's like in Alma: we can be humble, or compelled to be humble--I know which one I would choose, don't you?

And then number 3--there is eternal significance in everyday life. That made me take a step back and think about my day. What had I done that was of eternal significance? Well, I read scriptures with my husband and said good night prayers with my daughter. That's definitely good. I also cultivated my relationship with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law by spending a day together. I learned some lessons about patience from them in how they dealt with my very energetic nephew. I also worked on a church quiet book for him for his birthday, which cultivated my talents and hopefully will help his mother have a little peace during Sacrament meetings. When I looked at it that way, I had a pretty productive day, didn't I? It makes me wonder what I will do today that is of eternal significance, other than the obvious answer of raising my daughter? What will I do inadvertently and what will I choose purposely to do?

So that's my first spiritual thought. I look forward to getting to know all of you!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Atonement

Taken from familyartusa.com (by Simon Dewey)

I would like to start by wishing Elise a happy happy birthday!! I hope it was wonderful! I wanted to share my experience of reading a book. It is by LDS author Rachel Ann Nunes. It's called Ariana: The Making of a Queen. Have you guys read that series? I only read the first one and decided I couldn't read anymore because that one was so emotional. But what I loved about that book was that it made the Atonement so real to me. Towards the end, Ariana is tempted to have a drink of a beer and a smoke of marijuana, addictions she had overcome years ago. She was now a baptized member and returned missionary. Right as she was about to give in, the power of the Atonement hit her full force. She realized she had been forgiven for her past life. She knew at that moment that the Savior had paid for her sins, and she did not want to cheat herself of that incredible blessing by giving in to temptation. She also knew that He had been there for her and had carried her through the most painful trials you can imagine. (I don't want to give those away in case any of you haven't read it yet and would like to.) Even though she is a fictional character, I admire her so much. I can't imagine having the faith and strength that she had to have to go on living at times. It made me realize how weak I am. Part of me worries that I would not survive trials as great as hers, even with the Savior behind me. But that is why He is there. Life goes on, even after experiencing the greatest pain or sadness. We need the Savior to support us in every step of life. We need His love and support in order to become Kings and Queens one day. That is a lesson that will probably take a lifetime to learn.