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"Sunday Reflections"

the day that changed my life.

"Sunday Reflections"Carrie Lynn5 Comments
This post has been a long time in the making. Like, six years in the making. I do tell this story all the time. Chances are that if we have known each other for a year or more, you have heard me tell it. I like to talk about this day, this experience, because it gives me a good reminder and helps me to refocus.

In the summer of 2006, I hated myself.
I was overwhelmed with what I thought were God's expectations of me. I had applied to serve a mission for my church, and was called to serve in Canada. I had this idea in my head that, to be prepared to serve, I had to have a pretty perfect understanding of the gospel I followed. I also thought that I had to follow it perfectly. I also thought that, if you followed the gospel perfectly, you should be able to do everything else perfectly too. I can tell you that putting this kind of pressure on yourself can be damaging.

I don't like to talk much about that time in my life because it's all kind of hazy. Sure, I never turned to drugs, or hurting myself. I didn't become morbidly obese either. I just walked around thinking I was an idiot, all the time. I remember walking home from school one day and tripping on the sidewalk. I stayed in my room the rest of the night, sobbing that I couldn't even walk right.

One Sunday, however, I was asked to teach a lesson on the atonement of Jesus Christ. I was nervous and panicked about it. The atonement of Christ is what our religion is all about, and I did not feel like I had even a clue how to explain it. This made me feel even worse about my decision to go on a  mission. How on earth was I going to be able to explain it to strangers when I couldn't even explain it to a group of women who already knew all about it? I studied up. I read a lot of books. I did a lot of praying.

When the time came to teach the lesson, I pretty much just stood up there and I cried. I think I said "I don't know" a lot. I was very confused. I thought that this was the part of my story where I just opened my mouth and God filled my heart with love and everything was suddenly clear. He didn't. I felt even more awful than I had before.

Not long before I was to report for my mission, a roommate asked me if I wanted to go white-water rafting. Our school offered a way cheap option for an all-day trip and a group of friends were all going to go. I thought it sounded fun and agreed. In the van on the way to the river, I listened to everyone talk about how they had been white-water rafting before. They were all telling crazy stories and using giant hand gestures. I was pretty much terrified by the time we reached our destination. I had never been rafting before, and I was sure I was going to die.

Once we all had our life jackets on, the rec management majors taking us down the river told us that we were going to practice and receive some instruction in some calm water. We loaded in, about 4 girls on each side, and our guide sitting slightly higher than us in a chair on the back of the raft. We each had an oar, except for the guide who had two. He started giving us some instruction, but we had all been drinking Rockstars that day and wouldn't shut up. The guide's wife, who was sitting behind me, told us that her husband spoke quietly so we all had to really listen up if we wanted a safe time. I really wanted a safe time.

Our guide taught us commands he would yell and what we should do with each command. We paddled around some shallow water, practicing. He told us that, when we hit rapids, our natural instinct will be to pull our oars in and ride out the rapid. He said that if we did that, there would be no counter pressure and the raft could flip. "You, or I, or all of us will fall out of the boat." He said whenever he yelled "dig" we should all dig our oars into the rapid water and row as hard as we could.

We were the second raft in our group heading down the river. As we started to get going, we loved all of it. Eight silly girls in oversized sunglasses. We were a sight to see. The rapids were fun, not scary. We followed the commands of our guide and laughed a lot.

As we went on, I noticed that our guide was getting more and more excited. He said that the big rapid was getting closer. It made me nervous, but he told me that he had gone down this river multiple times. It still didn't help that I had signed that waiver before hand saying if I died, it was just too bad. I could hear the roar of the "big rapid" before I saw it. We stalled our raft so that the raft in front of us would have plenty of room. I didn't think that the big rapid looked all that daunting, but as the first raft hit the first wave, it went vertical. I watched the people in front of us flail in the air, and when the raft landed again, fall on top of each other in completely different spots on the boat.

And there we were. Bobbing up and down in our raft. Watching in total silence.

When it was our turn, our guide couldn't wipe that stupid smile off of his face. He reminded us to dig. We gave some sort of battle cry before we started rowing. When we hit the first wave, I don't know what happened. All I could see was water and my roommate in my lap. I closed my eyes and I prayed to heaven above to get me out of this thing without falling out! I heard the muffled cries of the guide "DIG! DIG! DIG!"

I rowed. I rowed my oar with everything I had in me. I put my soul into rowing my oar. I dug. I dug a hole to China with that oar! I had never tried at anything so hard in my entire life!

I opened my eyes. We were still in the thick of the rapid, but the water was not overcoming my face. I was still rowing as hard as I could, but my oar was not in the water.

Disoriented, I had been vigorously rowing... the air.

Realizing my mistake, I immediately put my oar back in the water and kept going until we were out of the rapid. We cheered and laughed and I sighed a huge sigh of relief. And then it hit me.

The guide told us that we had to row with everything we had in order to not fall out of the raft. He promised that if we did, we would not fall out. He did not say, however, that we had to row perfectly. He knew that he was taking inexperienced girls down a river. That's why he had to be experienced with those rapids and go down them multiple times on his own before taking us. That's why he had two oars instead of one and sat in the back- so that he could have ultimate control. So he could make up for the crazy girl rowing the air as hard as she could.

Christ has told us to give all we have to becoming like Him. He promised us that, if we do, we will have eternal life. He knows that we are inexperienced in this life, but that is why, through His suffering in the garden and His death on the cross, He has gone through everything we have and have yet to go through. Through his resurrection, He has all power, two oars instead of our one. He has ultimate control. He makes up for the times we are rowing the air because at least we are rowing.

That is the atonement of Jesus Christ.

All of it hit me in about 3 seconds, and I screamed out to the sky and the trees and the world:

I believe I went on and served my mission in Canada faithfully. There were times where my best was floundering and awkward. Now, 4 years since I have returned home, I have yet to have a "perfect day."
But I do not beat myself up over my imperfections- rather, I glory in the fact that, because of Christ, I can change them. My life is forever changed because of this one simple outlook. Sure, I am not always great at remembering it, but when I do, I am filled with the love and hope of God. My Savior. My Redeemer.
My eternal guide.

Sunday Reflections: Fun Vs. Happiness

"Sunday Reflections"Carrie Lynn6 Comments

Today at church, I went to a class where the teacher had us all list things that we like to do for fun. The chalkboard was full of activities like golfing, reading, swimming, baseball, napping, etc. The teacher then asked us if those things made us happy. We all pretty much agreed that, yes, they do. He then went on to question if those things were the source of happiness, or if they were happy moments.

There is a difference.

As a self-proclaimed seeker of happiness (see blog title), I was enthralled with this lesson. Our lives are filled with everyone/everything telling us that you must have FUN to be happy. I remember a couple of years ago poking around the blogging world and finding wives and mothers who felt liberated by the stay-at-home blog (albeit well intended) message of: "Do what makes you happy!" Then they left their husbands and families and jobs to crochet. And you know what? It didn't take very long before I was reading these bloggers stories of how they begged for their jobs back. They pleaded with their husbands. They apologized to their children. I'm sure they had a lot of "fun" while they were away. Because fun is play, pleasure, and amusement. But HAPPINESS is contentedness, joy, delight and (here's the big one:) satisfaction

While both fun and happiness are wonderful, wonderful things, I don't think anyone would disagree that happiness is the most worth seeking out. In the article that today's church lesson was based off of, Elder Claudio R.M. Costa says:

"Happiness can encompass fun, but fun alone cannot assure us true happiness." 

The article goes on to list the prime example of this principle by discussing the prodigal son. Did he have fun while he was away from his father's house? Sure. But he came back so that he could be happy. 

In our modern world, this same thing happened to millionaire director Tom Shadyac. After some buying all the stuff the world tells you you need to be happy, he looked around and realized he was still miserable. Having fun? Sure. But not happy. Then he made a documentary about it. 

This lesson of fun vs. happiness was a pretty humbling experience for me. I have been complaining and kicking and screaming about my life here in Utah. Crying out that I'm not happy. What I really mean is, I am not having fun here. The confusion of the two is my own fault, and I feel rebuked by the spirit. 

I know where TRUE HAPPINESS comes from, and it's not from the picture of a coat on Pinterest with the caption "happiness." It's not from television or crochet or photography. It's comes from following the teachings of our Savior, and knowing that while we are not perfect, his grace makes us whole. It comes from being with my family. It comes from inside of me. 

The scripture that my blog title is based off of says that no one can receive a greater joy than the humble seeker of happiness. Not the humble seeker of happy moments, folks. A humble seeker of happiness. 

I fear that I may have been chasing the moments instead of seeking the true and eternal. I hope that I can make that mistake no more. And I hope the same for you.  

Sunday Reflections

"Sunday Reflections"Carrie Lynn2 Comments

I realize that I have not been blogging here as often as I used to. But I've been busy. Usually, when I'm busy it's from a whole huge list of things, but this time it is just one thing: family.

A week ago, we had our sweet baby blessed. In the LDS faith, we believe that children under the age of eight have no need to be baptized, because they are already free from sin and do not fully understand the promise they will be making in the baptismal covenant quite yet. So instead of being baptized, they are given a blessing from those holding the proper authority to do so. I am lucky enough to be married to a man who is worthy to hold this authority and received revelation to bless our daughter. She's going to do some amazing things.

To celebrate her blessing, my family came into town from Boise and family from all over Utah came too. My family decided that they would plan a summer vacation around the event and ended up at our apartment for 5 nights. It was so great spending time with them! We went shopping, toured around Temple Square, spent time with some cousins, and they got to go to Lagoon and hit the rides. Later that week, my cousin (who I had not seen in TEN years) came into town and stayed at our place. I feel like we had no need to "reintroduce" ourselves. We picked up right where our little teenage selves left off.

We also all went to the Springville, Utah museum. That might sound pretty random, but it's special to us because our family helped to settle Springville. Which means my Great-Great-Grandfather's wedding suit is there. And my Great-Great-Great-Grandmother's rocking chair. And in doing some research while there, we find out that my Great-Grandma Georgia (who are daughter is named after) had a baby that died at birth. Her name was Georgia.

Then, this last weekend, we drove up to Logan to hang out with my aunt and uncle and their family. Last night, we had dinner at Scott's parents house.

NOW, we are heading to Moab where my aunt and uncle from Virginia are having a family vacation. I wouldn't normally crash someone's vacation, but I found out they had trekked my Grandma Kitchens here. I have been trying to figure out a way to get to Virginia just to see HER! It's a miracle that she is only a few hours drive away! Luckily, my aunt and uncle don't care that we come and I am beyond excited to introduce my Grandma to her great-granddaughter.


I guess, in the end, I have been a little MIA because I feel like I have been focused on what matters most to me. And that is my family.

Happy Sunday, everyone.

Easter Reflection

"Sunday Reflections"Carrie LynnComment
I realize I have been a bit MIA, but after starting my internship full-time (stacking some hours to get done before baby comes), getting crazy sick from (I think) MSG, and then traveling to the healing land of Boise to celebrate my sister's 17th birthday and Easter, it has been a long week.

Regardless, I love Easter.

I'm always reminded that my trials, while important to me right now, are only for my good in the long run and that if I choose correctly, everything that happens to me can be the best thing that's happened to me. This includes the car troubles, school disorganization, someone using my social security number, and getting ill. Almost all of those things have turned out, so far, to be blessings and I know it's because of the reality of Christ.

Happy Easter, folks. He lives.

Sunday Reflections

"Sunday Reflections"Carrie Lynn2 Comments
("Mary heard His word" by Walter Rane)

While a big part of my weekend consisted of finally getting a new cell phone, visiting the Church History Museum of Art and enjoying the great weather I have also been participating in General Conference. It's a semi-annual conference of the ENTIRE Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints where we can all listen to the voice of a modern prophets and apostles. Because I live 10 minutes away from the HEADQUARTERS of the church, traffic has been out of control, but I finding it doesn't bother me much.

If you have two minutes, you can watch this video about the importance of conference and why I dedicated 8 hours of my weekend to it and have no regrets.

Aaaand if you're feeling curious, you can watch General Conference online here.

Have a wonderful Sunday, friends.

Sunday Reflections: Individuality in Marriage

"Sunday Reflections"Carrie Lynn6 Comments
(image via)

Scott and I just got back from a whirlwind weekend trip to the exotic Rexburg, Idaho. I don't miss Rexburg, but I do miss my friends who live there. A lot. I accomplished everything I wanted/needed which mostly consisted of seeing people I love and spending time with my beautiful bride-t0-be friend.

When some people we were visiting found out I was spending time with my girlfriends at showers, clothing stores and restaurants, they couldn't help but inquire:

"What's Scott going to do?"

This question kind of comically threw me off guard. I don't know what Scott's going to do... he's a grown man. Was I supposed to plan arts and crafts activities to keep him entertained? Was I supposed to worry about him sitting in some dark, lonely place anxiously waiting my return? I say all of this with a smile, as these are the images that ran through my mind when the question was asked. I know that really, the people asking were just inquiring about his plans. But I honestly DID NOT KNOW what Scott was going to do while I was gone.

When I went to my friend's bridal shower, we were asked to write down our "recipe for marriage" as advice for the bride. I ended saying something like this:

"Once all ingredients are mixed together, be careful not over-stir. You are still an individual with your own hobbies and interests."

Do you know couples that "over-stir?" Couples that are so obsessed with each other that they lose their hobbies and passions because their hobby and passion becomes their spouse? I'm not saying this is a horrible way to live if this is what you choose, but Scott and I never really went through this phase. He has always been very supportive of me and what I choose to do with my free time, and I in turn am glad that he has kept up on the things that interest him. I feel like we avoided that "I-got-married-and-now-I-don't-know-who-I-am"-crisis. Not that we tried to, just that we did. And not that people who don't are horrible or something, just that we couldn't ever be that way.

I like our differences. I like how into March Madness Scott gets. I like that he knows how to screen-print. I like that he knows random stats and facts about the world.
If I demanded that Scott only do things with me that I could do too, Scott would be a different person. He would be me. A really, really, boring version of me. I'd much rather have a man that can play the guitar than a man that would rather just cuddle and watch movies because I cannot for the life of me figure out the F chord.

Turns out Scott hung out with his guy friends and watched basketball, went to Taco Bell and saw an improv show on campus. Quite the opposite of what I did this weekend, but when we got back together at the end of the day, we loved each other the same.

Sunday Reflections: The Hard Makes It Great

"Sunday Reflections"Carrie Lynn1 Comment
(For those of you new to my blog here, welcome! As a disclaimer, I do a weekly feature here where I post something that inspired me this week. Usually, it is something religious. I am a Christian woman who finds that in seeking happiness, it can always be found in Jesus Christ. You are welcome to take part in this weekly feature, but if it is not your thing you can always come back on Mondays).

I love the movie A League of Their Own (who doesn't?), and have a favorite quote that comes to mind again and again as I watch the disaster footage of Japan. It's when Geena Davis decides to quit baseball right before the final game, and Tom Hanks asks her why she's quitting. Eventually, she admits that "It just got too hard!"
To which Tom Hanks responds:

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. It's the hard that makes it great."

I love the above video, because I can't tell you how many times I have fallen to my knees and given my Father in heaven the FYI that I am having a hard time. But each time I do that, I feel the comfort of His spirit and a resounding: "Yes, I know how that feels." Each time I bring God into my hardships, I feel them lighter. I remember that no great person has ever gone through an incredibly easy life. The Savior Himself had to walk through Gethsemane, suffer the sins of the world, and be crucified.

But through hardest event known to mankind, the greatest act of service was performed.

I think about every time a natural disaster happens and how through the tragedy, there are always stories of hope, comfort, and service. None of us are free from hardships, and this is something we should be grateful for as this is when we can usually see God's hand the clearest.

To the people in Japan: This is hard. But you are great, and we all nod to you at this time.

Sunday Reflections

"Sunday Reflections"Carrie Lynn5 Comments
In many Christian churches, when a baby is born they are christened. They usually wear an elegant white outfit for the occasion and friends and family celebrate.

In the LDS church, there is no christening of babies (baptism is saved until the child is at least 8 years old), but rather a simple blessing of the child by those holding the proper authority to do so. Still, there is a family celebration, and usually the baby wears special white get-up.


Unless of course the baby girl being blessed has an overly-talented Grandmother who made her blessing dress for her, and opted to not do white.

My Grandma Kitchens made this dress for me and I was blessed in it as a baby.

Then my sister was blessed in it.

Now my daughter will be blessed in it.

There is not an ounce of me that would change a thing about this beautiful dress.

Sunday Reflections

"Sunday Reflections"Carrie Lynn2 Comments
Today I went to church where we were taught by a lady who was absolutely delightful. She talked about how much she tried to help her family stay close to God and I really felt close to God when I listened to her speak (this is why I love to go to church). I thought this lady was classy and must really have it all together- in fact, I figured she had had the most perfect life right up to the very moment I was listening to her speak.

But then she began to recount her experience with her second oldest daughter who had gotten involved with drugs not too many years ago. She recounted the pain she had as her daughter would disappear for months at a time and how, in the end, she felt her greatest duty as a mother was to give the burden of worrying about her daughter to Jesus Christ. She then told us that her daughter had come within an inch of her life before turning her life around, and while it took years and she still suffers from the effects of her drug abuse, she is doing the best she can.

I was deeply moved by this story and felt bad for having assumed this woman's life had no trials or pain. Because we all go through a refiner's fire in our life, and how we choose to view that fire determines how happy we will be in our journey. This woman was a great example to me of the attitude: "Come What May, And Love it!" a saying that originated from the man (an apostle of God) in the video below. The message is simple, direct, and blunt.

While I don't have a daughter deep in a drug abuse lifestyle, I have found myself at times griping about my situation when really, I should have been saying "come what may, and love it."

I wonder what some of your experiences have been when you have been able to do one or more of the steps described in this video. Hearing other people's experiences really help me (it's why I read blogs). You can leave a comment, or if it's too personal but you'd like to share you can email me or use my formspring. I know I need help doing this and would love your thoughts.

Happy Sunday

Sunday Reflections

"Sunday Reflections"Carrie Lynn3 Comments
January 2nd. It's still a new year. And I have something to say.

Those closest to me know that I have had a bit of a hard time moving to the Salt Lake City, Utah area. I love Idaho and feel most at home there. While my old itty-bitty town was lacking in almost every department, it is full of friends. Friends who are as poor as I am. Friends who's husband's still have a bajillion years left in school like my husband does. Friends who are in school and working themselves. Friends who I could relate to.

I had always wanted to get out of Rexburg, Idaho but when the time came I was deeply sad. I have lived in Utah once before and had a horrible experience and therefore was certain I would never go back again. But Scott felt that University of Utah was the university for him. I never received any sort of hallelujah answer from God that that's where we should go and I started to feel resentful and bitter about moving away from my close group of friends. Now, don't get me wrong, I do have friends that live down here. Great friends. But they are out of college. They have children. Their husbands have jobs with salaries. They stay at home. Or they are single. And don't like to hang out with their old married friends. It's just hard to find things to talk about sometimes because I feel like we're on a step in the staircase of life all alone.

With people all around telling me I just needed to smile, I began to grow even more angry. It's not in my nature to not see the silver lining, and it was really starting to freak me out. But the bottom line was this: There was no way I could be happy about moving until I had moved.

So I threw myself an AMAZING pity party the month of December and once we started to move in, curled up on the couch in a ball and sobbed while Scott unpacked the kitchen. I had resolved to have a better attitude, but I didn't know how.

This break I talked to my mom (do all of your epiphanies start out that way like mine do?) and she really helped me. She didn't tell me how to think or how to feel. She didn't command me to smile or to even LIKE where I was. She simply pointed out that I was in a new phase of life. And this phase might suck. But it was a new phase nonetheless.

And I realized that I LOVE new phases.

And I realized that I didn't want to be the new girl in my apartment complex that no one wants to hang out with because all she does is complain about the traffic. And I realized that I am a naturally optimistic person and I better start acting like it. And the epiphany came easily.

So, I bid a heart-felt see ya later to Rexburg. I'll carry you in my pocket. Happiness is everywhere, and it's time I start looking for it in the one place I thought it couldn't be. I'm the seeker of happiness, dang it!

I won't be looking back.

Sunday Reflections

"Sunday Reflections"Carrie Lynn6 Comments
I haven't done a Sunday Reflection in a long time.

I have been thinking a lot lately about what feminism is. Agree or disagree, this is my opinion.

True feminism is not women needing/wanting to become men. But instead, having their divine roles and attributes be held in the same esteem as the roles and attributes that are natural to men. It is about an equal level of respect between the two sexes, not the diminishing of two sexes into one unisex society.

I have a very strong testimony of this principle. I am a woman in a world where women are expected to act like men, and then are called tight-wads. In a world where a woman embraces her feminity and then is called too soft. A world where women just can't seem to win.

Luckily for me, I have married a man who understands true feminism. We pull our own weight, and really try to love each other for our masculine and feminine qualities.

We can't get through this life alone- we need one another's strengths.

Sunday Reflections

"Sunday Reflections"Carrie Lynn4 Comments
Just want to give a hearty hello to Seeker of Happiness's new followers!
Glad you have you here. Feel free to leave a comment and introduce yourself!

Every Sunday, I do a feature called "Sunday Reflections" where I post something I find inspirational (and ye be warned- usually pretty Christian). With yesterday being 9/11, I was feeling pretty passionate about all of the controversy surrounding the building of an Islamic Community Center two blocks from ground zero. I was confused because I had a lot of friends who I respect spouting a lot of things in opposition of this community center being built. I dug in and did a bit of research, and I honestly cannot find one reason why this center should be stopped.

I got pretty heated in my little heart, yesterday- really wondering if we learned ANYTHING from the tragic events nine years ago.

I was pretty determined to blog about my opinion today, but then I found this video. It's about a man who is a 9/11 survivor and how, through Christ, he was able to make his life better, and not worse. It's about 9 minutes long, but VERY worth it.

In the end, I realized that we, as a nation, just need to get back to the basics, like Victor did. Spend time with our families, and grow closer to the truths in our religions.


Okay, Okay. I tried to keep my opinion to myself this whole blog post but I just can't...

For those of you so ignorantly angry at the Islam religion and Muslims in general, just remember this:

Islam is to THE TALIBAN
Christianity is to THE KKK

That's all. God Bless.

Sunday Reflections

"Sunday Reflections"Carrie Lynn1 Comment
I am currently OBSESSED with this song. How have I never heard it before? These are some of the most beautiful lyrics I've heard in a long time.

Happy Sunday.
God Loves You.

Adam started. He sighed deeply. "Isn't it too simple?" he asked. "I'm always afraid of simple things."
"It isn't simple at all," said Lee. "It's desperately complicated. But at the end there's light."

- East of Eden by John Steinbeck page 269

Sunday Reflections: What Those Mormon Temples Are All About

"Sunday Reflections"Carrie Lynn2 Comments
My best friend got married yesterday. It's a weird feeling you know? Anna has always been my partner in every crime. As excited as I was to get married a year and a half ago, it was weird for me to leave my best friend and start adventures with someone else. I found myself overly protective of Anna because I wanted the person she had her lifelong adventures with to be the greatest guy in the world for her.

She found him. Anna and Buck Harrison got married 8/21/2010 in the Boise, Idaho LDS Temple.

I know that for some, LDS temples are big pretty buildings that only Mormons can go into and do secret things. But the ceremony was so beautiful yesterday, that I thought I would shed a little light on this topic. Anna and Buck would want me to.

First of all, to understand why we build temples, people have to know that Christ's church was lost shortly after His resurrection, but has been restored again through living prophets. Right now, we have a Prophet of God- a modern day Moses or Noah, leading and guiding those who want to return to live with God again. Because Christ's church has been RESTORED, some ancient practices are practiced today. This includes temple worship.

(This video is only 3 minutes long and really explains what I'm talking about)

Contrary to popular belief, the temple is not a place of secrecy. It is a place of sacredness. It is the Lord's house on earth, where we can be the closest to Him. Because no unclean thing can dwell with God, His temple is reserved for those who have made specific covenants with Him and are observing His commandments. This is not to say that Mormon's are "clean" and others are not. We are all unclean in this life. But through the atonement of Christ, we can be made clean and therefore be blessed with the opportunity to be in the Lord's most holy house. This is why the temple is so sacred to me.

(This video is also about 3 min long, and shows what the inside of our temples look like)

In the temple, we perform eternal ordinances for ourselves, and for those who did not have the opportunity to do them in their lifetime. Those spirits then can choose whether or not to accept these ordinances, some of which include baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and eternal marriage.

When Scott and I were married in the Boise Temple (like Anna and Buck), we made a covenant, or two-way promise, to God and each other. We promised to take each other as husband and wife and promised God that together, we would keep His commandments. In return, God promised us ALL of His blessings. We were then sealed to be together for time and all eternity. There was no "til death do us part" about it. Because we were sealed in the temple of God, by His authority, we will be together FOREVER.

And so will Anna and Buck. And so can everyone else who chooses to.

I know that this post probably raises a lot of questions. When I learn about other religions, I am usually concerned that by asking questions, I'll get attacked and the person will never leave me alone about converting. To avoid anything like this, I have started a formspring so that you can ask me any questions you want under the mask of anonymity. Please remember that I am sharing what I base my life after, so any negative comments are expected, but not appreciated or welcome. You can still feel free to comment, I just did the formspring thing for those of you who might not feel comfortable putting your name. :)

Sunday Reflections...

"Sunday Reflections"Carrie Lynn6 Comments
We were driving home from our friend's house last night. There are no lights on our street, but we were going the speed limit.

I saw a flash of a tail.

Scott screamed in a way I've never heard before.

He swerved.

We hit a cat.

We quickly got out of the car to see what had happened, but the cat was not in the road. With held breaths, we checked under the car. Not there either. It took us a good ten minutes before we gave up and got back in our car to head home.

And that's when our headlights found him. Laying peacefully under a car in a nearby driveway. He was gone. We feel horrible.

Horrible doesn't really describe what we feel. I really have never seen Scott act the way he did. He didn't cry or scream or anything, he just kind of stared, and couldn't make a decision. I had to really suck up my emotions because I knew one of us had to be in control of the situation, and Scott couldn't do it. I suppose if I was the one driving, I wouldn't have been able to either.

So I told him we need to check the collar. We need to find the owner. It was 1 in the morning, but this cat BELONGED to someone. Someone who loved it enough to put a collar on it. We went across the street to a house with lights on, and they told us the driveway the cat was in belonged to a couple in our church congregation. Great.

We went back to the scene of the tragedy and knocked and knocked on the door, hoping they would answer so we could tell them what happened, or they would be able to help us figure out who owned this cat. They didn't answer.

I kept telling Scott: "We have to check the collar. We have to tell the owners right now." Neither one of us could do it. So we said a prayer, right there on that dark street, asking for peace for this animal's spirit, and discernment and courage to do the right thing. But still, I couldn't do it. As strong as I was being, I couldn't check the collar.

So Scott did. It took him a good half hour to get the courage to do it, but he did. That's when I starting crying. I couldn't watch. There was no name, just a bell. Another cat was meowing around the house, and that one also had a bell. This cat most likely belonged here.

So we went home, and I had a phone/address directory of our church congregation. I searched their address, and found a phone number. Of course, they didn't answer. I mean, who's going to answer some unknown number at quarter to 2 in the morning? I sent them a text:
"I know it's late, but if you own a cat with a bell on a green collar, PLEASE CALL ME ASAP!"

A minute later, they called back. I told them what happened.
"Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!" he said on the other line.
I told him we wanted to make sure they knew. Apparently they weren't home, but the owner said: "We'll meet you there."

Have you ever faced the family of a pet you killed? It's the worst thing ever, besides losing your pet. Apparently this was the woman's favorite cat. She had raised him since he was a baby.
I did most of the talking, Scott couldn't really function. I told the husband and wife how horribly sorry we were. The wife didn't say anything. She just sat in the car crying. The husband thanked us for coming over and letting them know. We left our name and phone number and a promise that if they needed ANYTHING, we were willing to help.

And then we went home.

We have been pretty depressed about the whole thing. I mean, this has never happened to either of us before. But we do have some spiritual knowledge that has comforted us, and we hope will comfort the couple at this time.

Sunday Reflections: See God in Everyone

"Sunday Reflections"Carrie Lynn1 Comment
I hope that by writing these Sunday Reflections, I don't give off the impression that I am some sort of self-righteous spiritual guru. I am far from being a religious leader. Rather, I am a simple 20-something who just finds comfort in looking at the "bigger picture" as often as I can. I find happiness in this, and am just seeking to share my impressions. I don't find embarrassment in this seeing as most blogs I follow are trying to do the same thing, but I want to make sure no one thinks I think myself especially enlightened.
Just thought I'd make that clear.

The other day I was walking on the beach and saw two footprints in the sand...

Just kidding.

But I did find a lot of seashells. Being from landlocked Idaho, this was an exciting and rare thing for me, so I decided to gather up all of the "cool ones" to take home as souvenir's. After picking up virtually every one I came across, I came to the conclusion that I would pick up all the shells, sand dollars and rocks that made an impression on me and then at the end of my walk, put back the "ugly ones."

After a while, with both hands full, I sat on a piece of drift wood and went to my task. I soon found it be impossible.

This one is pink, and this one is metallic silver! That one is perfectly round and that one is almost see through! This one is intact and that one is huge!

The closer I looked at each one, the more I saw how unique they were from each other and realized there was no way I could put back even one- dooming it to be labeled "ugly." Although to the glancing eye they all seemed a bit ordinary, to me they became special and individual assets to my new collection.

This experience reminded me of a quote from my good friend C.S. Lewis:

"There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses."

Sunday Reflections

"Sunday Reflections"Carrie Lynn1 Comment
I know that this post is late- I think it's even Monday for some of you.
I've been hard-core adventuring in an epic Washington state vacation that isn't even close to being over yet. More on that later...

Watch this and I dare you not to get choked up:

I know that even when things seem impossible, God provides a way for those that have faith and trust in Him. Don't you quit. Don't give up. Even if things are miserable right now, happiness is in the future. The Lord DESIGNED us to be happy. Know that even if you're not right now, you will be.

Sunday Reflections

"Sunday Reflections"Carrie Lynn2 Comments
Can you believe I almost forgot about my brand new weekly feature?

It's been a rough weekend. A close friend of mine suffered a really terrible loss. I honestly didn't know what I was "supposed" to do in the situation, but showed up with my heart and tears and a hug. And while my friend laid in pain, she asked a lady in the room how SHE was doing with the struggles in HER life. I was astounded. Here was my friend- in no position to be anything less than focused on her own problems, and yet she was STILL concerned about those around her. This love and charity comes natural to her. She's practiced all her life. She can't be anything different. She's beautiful.

We talked about this in church today and it made me think of her:

"A story is told that during the bombing of a city in World War II, a large statue of Jesus Christ was severely damaged. When the townspeople found the statue among the rubble, they mourned because it had been a beloved symbol of their faith and of God’s presence in their lives.
Experts were able to repair most of the statue, but its hands had been damaged so severely that they could not be restored. Some suggested that they hire a sculptor to make new hands, but others wanted to leave it as it was—a permanent reminder of the tragedy of war. Ultimately, the statue remained without hands. However, the people of the city added on the base of the statue of Jesus Christ a sign with these words: “You are my hands.”
My friend is a beautiful example of someone who takes her calling as a servant to her fellow man seriously. Her hands give this world a deeper glimpse into what it would be like if the Savior were here in the flesh.
There are many other quotes from this "You are my hands" article, and I highly suggest you take a look. To give you a hint, the subtitles are:
We are the hands of Christ
Our hands can embrace
Our hands can comfort
Our hands can serve
True love requires action
We can love as He does

Here's praying we all find a way to use our hands as Christ would use His this week!