Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Most Wonderful TIme of the Year!

I have found that the message I would like to share this week is that of Christmas and how wonderful it really is. I love the Christmas holiday so much and it just makes me so happy to feel the way I do at this time. I have thought a lot about how blessed we are to be able to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. What a miraculous gift we have been given and I hope that we can focus on Jesus Christ a little bit more this Christmas season. The children in this video are so soft spoken and really touched my heart and I felt like the children have said it better than I could! I am grateful for all of the little children because they thrive on the things that matter. They take life simple and are some of the best examples to each one of us. I hope that we can listen to the children a little more. May you all have the joy and happiness in your heart this Christmas season as you think of Jesus Christ and who He is to you. I love Christ with all of my heart and I know that if I were there at his birth I would have thanked him and told him how much I truly love him as my best friend and my Savior! Merry Christmas!

Silent Night
For those of you who don't keep up with Paul Cardall there is one other video that brings warmth that I would like to share! Enjoy the music and video! :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Gift of Love

Paul Cardall was involved with this tree and its just so beautiful
Isn't this the most wonderful time of the year? A time for love.. a time for service... a time for happiness... a time for change... and a time for remembrance. For the last little while I have just been so excited about the Christmas season and the spirit of Christmas that flows through me like a whirlwind. I am so grateful for this time of year and it has to be my absolute favorite time! This year my family has started a new tradition to go to the Festival of Trees! I have never been before and I will never miss another year if I have anything to do with it! I want to share a few pictures with you that mean a lot to me and then share my message with you today.

These two pictures are of a tree that was donated to festival of trees by a dear sweet family that I am really close to. They happen to be the Manuela's who have lost two daughters to a rare condition and so they do a tree every year in memory of them. My sister and dear friend Jolyn Manuela is the one wearing green in the 2nd picture. The tree is filled with sea shell angels holding a heart or a star and many Hawaiian flowers. The tree's title is "Sisters in Paradise". This very tree had a great impact on me and really had me thinking as I went on to look at several trees dedicated to sick children from primary children's medical center. I thought for a small moment how lucky we are to have angels all around us to teach and care for us when things get hard here on earth. I thought for a small moment how blessed we are to know that angels like those on the tree touch our hearts. They make the stars so beautiful... Have you ever looked to the stars when you are missing someone who has made it to the other side? I know I have and what comfort that brings to my life. That's why I find this tree to be so special because it depicts those very things we feel when we think about our angels. Many of you have "Sisters in Paradise" you may have a brother, dad, mom, grandmother, grandfather, or friend in paradise. Paradise is not so far away. Our angels are all around us all the time lifting us up and catching us when we begin to fall. Each of them touches our hearts and fills the sky with stars. As this Christmas season continues I hope we will take time to help each other and to touch others hearts and be an angel to others in so many different ways. Let us remember Our Savior and remember that He is the greatest gift that has EVER been given! Festival of Trees is known as the A Gift of Love. Let us all give love to those around us! Merry Christmas! Love ya guys :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Motivation Through Trial

Over the past couple of weeks I have been really paying attention to people and observing what life may be like for them, what they are going through, and how I can help. Just this last week I was able to talk with a dear friend of mine about trial and the people around us. She pointed out one of her favorite quotes that I have grown to love and understand more by Marjorie Hinkley which states, " Be kind, everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." I believe this to be so true that everyone is fighting a hard battle. Something else she pointed out to me is that just smiling at someone could really change a lot of things. Maybe a smile is all we could really give to someone and what we don't realize is that something as simple as a smile may mean the world to someone else.

We all go through hard times. Nobody is perfect and we are all doing the best we can and know how. I share this post with you because I am struggling with a few things too and its been rough but there are three quotes that have really helped me through and have strengthened me to push through these weaknesses that I have and I would like to share them with you. These quotes are very near and dear to my heart and maybe they will help you too.

"During moments of discouragement I find strength to go forward with faith by surrounding myself with others who LOVE God." - Paul Cardall

"I used to tell God how big my problems were... Now I tell my problems how big my God is."

"It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out don't worry. Put your trust in God and move forward with faith." - Gordan B. Hinkley

God won't give us anything we can't handle. In fact, God is there every step of the way if we let him. He is our Father. How do you think He feels? What is is like for him to see us in pain, sorrow, sadness, and tangled in sin? I hope that I can do the best I can for Him. Put faith in Him and trust Him. He loves each of us! I hope you can find some motivation through your trials. Be happy and keep smiling wherever you go. Have a great week :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Way

"Jesus Christ is the Way. He is Light and Life, Bread and Water, the Beginning and the End, the Resurrection and the Life, the Savior of the world, the Truth, and the Way.

There is only one way to happiness and fulfillment. He is the Way. Every other way, any other way, whatever other way, is foolishness.

  • He offers a well of living water. Either we drink and never thirst more, or we
    don't and foolishly remain thirsty still.
  • He is the Bread of Life. Either we eat and hunger no more, or we don't and foolishly remain weak and hungry still.
  • He is the Light of the World. Either we follow Him and see clearly, or we don't and foolishly remain bling and in darkness still.
  • He is the Ressurection and the Life. He said, "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." Either we learn of Him and have life more abundantly, or we don't and foolishly remain dead still.
  • He is the Savior of the world. Either we accept the blessings of His Atonement and are made clean and pure, worthy to have His Spirit, or we don't and foolishly remain alone and filthy still.

He is the Way.

The Lord's way is not hard. Life is hard, not the gospel. "There is an opposition in all things," everywhere, for everyone. Life is hard for all of us, but life is also simple. We have only two choices. We can either follow the Lord and be endowed with His power and have peace, light, strength, knowledge, confidence, love, and joy, or we can go some other way, any other way, whatever other way, and go it alone--without His support, without His power, without guidance, in darkness, turmoil, doubt, grief, and despair. And I ask, which way is easier?

Life is hard, but life is simple. Get on the path and never, ever give up. You never give up. You just keep on going. You don't quit, and you will make it." - Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge October 2008 Conference

It is hard to find words to express my love for this talk. It is appropriate in such a powerful talk as this one to say AMEN. Amen to the fact that He IS the Way. Happiness ONLY come in ONE way and He is the Way. We are all able to make choices and we can choose to go his way which is NOT hard... or we can go another way and suffer. Jesus Christ has created the path. With His own blood and tears the path was laid for each of us. He is our ultimate example. If we follow His Way we have a promise. A promise of safe return into His presence with Our Heavenly Father. If we do not follow His Way we have no promise. " Life is hard, not the gospel." Life can be made easier by living the gospel. " Life is hard, but life is simple." Find His path and stay on it! Never go astray! Never give up! Do your best and you will find the greatest happiness in this life! Jesus IS the Christ and He IS the Way. I love you all! Have a wonderful day.

Love Shantell

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One Voice

I apologize for not posting in the last week. I have really been pondering on what I should really share with each of you and time and time again I have been reminded and inspired to share a little bit about how I personally feel about missionary work.

We have all heard the phrase " Every member a missionary." What a beautiful phrase but also may I point out that there is a responsibility within this very phrase. As members of this church we know that through baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost we make a promise with God that we will take upon ourselves the name of Christ. This promise is so important and yet taken so lightly, often. As we promise to take upon ourselves the name of Christ we are telling Heavenly Father that we will represent His son as best as we can and know how as imperfect human beings. We promise Him that we will walk in His path the best we can and be an example to the rest of the world of who we are. We promise Him that we will stand up for what's right and be disciples of Jesus Christ. What a powerful promise we have made with God and as we do the very best we can God will bless us. We do have a promise from Him as we do as He says. So as members we represent Jesus Christ and as His disciple we have the responsibility to teach, serve, love, and devote our lives in building God's Kingdom. That's why we are all here right? That is our test right? We are here to build His kingdom. So when you hear every member a missionary remember that you do have a responsibility to act and not solely be acted upon.

One Voice by Tyler Castleton
I am just one voice, but one voice can still be heard.
I have made the choice to seal my witness with my word.
Changed by holy fire that has burned into my soul,
Filled with new desire that calls me now to go

I am just one voice, but one voice can carry far.
Rising through the noise, of a world so deaf and dark.
Shining bright and clear to those with eyes to see,
Honest hearts will hear the truth that lives in me.

One but not alone, a thousand voices sing,
Praises at the throne of our Master and our King.

I am just one voice, but a voice of light and hope.
Grateful I rejoice and I share the gifts I hold.
I will sear with all my strength for the humble and the meek,
Praying they'll receive the simple truths I speak.

One but not alone, a thousand voices sing,
Praises at the throne of our Master and our King.

He was just one voice, but one voice that changed the earth,
Teaching love and peace to a lost and weary world.
I am just one voice, but one voice can still be heard.
I have made the choice to seal my witness with my word.

To finish up I would like to just share my testimony with each of you that I know that God has a great work and we are each part of that. We are all missionaries. We are all just one voice, but that one voice CAN be heard. Let us all seal our witness with our word. As I listened to conference, attended seminary last week, and a morning side today I saw a common theme. That is of missionary work. Step it up and be the missionary that you are. Don't let a moment pass you by in selfishness. Forget yourself and go to work. Let your testimony be heard and take every opportunity that comes your way to share it. We not only have a responsibly in this life but also an amazing opportunity. I know that God lives. Jesus is the Christ. He is our Savior. He is our Redeemer. I want to represent Him. I leave that with you in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Have a great day! :)
Love, Shantell

Sunday, October 10, 2010

New Life

Some of you may have already watched this video but I wanted to add it to my blog because of the power and message that it holds. I watch it over and over again and I learn something new and internalize something new each and every time. This woman inspires me to be better. She reminds me of how grateful I really should be for what I have. She has taught me that the inside doesn't change no matter how dramatic the outside may be. In this case she was burned really badly and may not look the same physically but all the clothes still fit. She is the same and even better on the inside. As a woman I know that its very difficult to look on the inside. We are so focused on the outside appearance and what the world thinks of each of us but not what really matters. It has never mattered how thin, tall, short, big, or even what color our eyes are. God created each of us. In his eyes each one of us are beautiful! Let us remember where we come from and who created us. Let us remember our divine identity on the inside and let us learn from this woman. I am grateful for her example and for the heart that she has! she is an incredible woman with a beautiful testimony and great amount of optimism. I love Elder Holland's remarks at the end as well. There is so much to learn and I hope you enjoy this AMAZING video and take something from it as well! Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Walking in the Light

Why is walking in the light so important? What difference does it make for me?

As each of us have chosen or will choose to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost is evidence that we have chosen or will choose to walk in the light. President Eyring said this regarding choices, "You make choices every day and almost every hour that keep you walking in the light or moving away toward darkness." Let us keep our choices in walking light and not away into darkness.

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we know that we are given the gift of the Holy Ghost. President Eyring reminds us of the power the Holy Ghost has. " The Holy Ghost is a powerful source of light to recognize truth, to follow and love the Lord Jesus Christ, and to find our way back to God after this life." What a true blessing it is and a comfort to have the Holy Ghost as a source of light. It is so important that we keep ourselves worthy to have His constant companionship. There are many things that force the Holy Ghost out of our lives and Gossiping is one of them. When we gossip, as it is so common today and a brutal problem, we lose an extremely POWERFUL source of light. Life becomes harder but our hearts beat with pain because of the lost happiness. It is so important that we are baptized but also important that we remain worthy!

" The enemy of your soul knows you and your goodness. He knows that if he can turn you away from walking in the light, he can both capture you and stop you from helping others along the journey. He knows how good you are and your power to teach and influence hundreds of Heavenly Father's children in this life--and thousands over the generations that will follow your path. If he can get you to wander away from the light on your journey, he can do harm and bring misery to many." Do you see how important this is? If this quote by President Eyring doesn't strike you in some way please find a desire in your heart to understand and care. You WILL teach and influence hundreds!! You have power to do that and Satan knows you do! Thousands will follow your path! All of which are Heavenly Father's Children. BUT, if he can get you to wander from your light he will... and MANY others will fall and be miserable in return.

To go along with this topic i have two scriptures that are so near and dear to my heart that I would like to share. They are Matthew 5: 14,16 " Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.".. " Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." It is so important that we let our light shine because we ARE the light of the world. I am so grateful for this blessing in my life. I know that it is important that we continue to bless others with the light that is within us. Let us show to others our light. One more quote that i just love with all my heart by President Eyring to sum it all up :) " When you walk in the light, you will feel at that moment some of the warmth and the happiness that will finally be yours when you are welcomed home again with the hundreds and perhaps thousands of others whom you will bring with you, who have walked in the light because you did." I have a firm testimony in this particular principle. I know that if we try our very hardest to walk in the light we will in fact influence so many others! You can and will make a difference! Don't give up! Keep going and keep smiling! :)


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Our True Identity

I am so grateful for the beautiful message of this short film and I feel the need to share with others. President Dieter F. Utchdorf put if very simple but yet it is so powerful! I know without a doubt in my mind that this is so true! We are all Sons and Daughters of Our Heavenly Father and his love fore each one of us is Infinite! I am so blessed to have this comfort in my life and to know of this very truth. I am so grateful to know that He loves me that much and that my worth is unchangeable! To know that Christ loved me enough and loved His Father enough to die for me and for you. I hope and pray that as you watch this that you will gain motivation to keep going. I pray that you will have the desire in your heart to know for yourself who you really are. As you do you will find joy and happiness in this life and you will find purpose and meaning. Enjoy it! :)


Thursday, September 23, 2010


"We have every reason to be optimistic in this world. Tragedy is around, yes. Problems everywhere, yes. … You can’t, you don’t, build out of pessimism or cynicism. You look with optimism, work with faith, and things happen." - President Gordan B. Hinckley

Ether 12:4- "Wherefore whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."

"When the days are gloomy, Sing some happy song; Meet the world's repining With a courage strong. Go with faith undaunted Thru the ills of life; Scatter smiles and sunshine O'er its toil and strife. Scatter sunshine all along your way. Cheer and bless and brighten Ev'ry passing day."- Scatter Sunshine... Hymn 230

I have a deep passion for the entire concept of optimism and what that really means. We are an optimistic people. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is full of optimism and light. Our prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson has counseled us to focus on being cheerful and finding happiness. He has asked us to live with optimism. We have every reason to feel optimistic about the world and about life. God did not set up this plan to fail. We will not fail. We must all look with optimism and work with faith. Optimism and Hope go hand in hand and are gained by faith and TRUST in God's plan. A plan of Happiness and Joy. Let us all live everyday with optimism singing songs of faith and happiness, Scattering smiles and light to the world! A dear friend of mine always has told me," Life should be lived with optimism... and a smile is a start!" The future is bright and the way is set! Start with a smile... find within your heart happiness and hope and faith and carry it out with optimism. You will be amazed at the difference that makes in your life! Keep smiling and look deeper. :)


Friday, September 17, 2010

Persecution and Hard Suffering

After Joseph Smith had seen God the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ he had the desire to share with others. In JSH 1:22 he speaks of what he notices as he shares," ...my telling of the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase.."
Joseph is just one of many who have faced brutal persecution for the things of God. There is something that has opened my eyes that I would really like to share with you and that is of 2 Timothy 3:12 " Yea, and all that will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." As long as we are on God's team and following in the footsteps of our Savior Jesus Christ we WILL suffer persecution. Bruce R. McConkie said this about persecution," Persecution is the heritage of the faithful."

As I have thought about this statement there are so many emotions that could be going through my head. Persecution is hard and its a rocky road and can bring you to the thought of anger, weakness, and frustration. For me as I realize that there isn't a way to get around it when you are on the Lord's Errand the only way to conquer is to fight through it. The Lord gives us weakness that it may become our strength and as we suffer for God we are blessed beyond comprehension.

My prayer is that we will continue to do what is right no matter the persecution we face. There are times when we will have to stand up for what is right and stand alone, but the Lord is on our side. We can make it. We have the strength and power to fight! To close I would like to share one of my absolute favorite scriptures with you. Its found in 1Peter 3:12" For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers..." & 14 " But and if ye suffer for righteous sake , happy are ye : and be not afraid of their terror neither be troubled" I know that we can all feel happiness even in times of persecution because the Lord's eyes are upon us and His ears are open to our prayers. Have a wonderful weekend! :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Joseph Smith History

Seminary has been the highlight of my experience at high school. I am especially excited for this year due to the fact that we are studying Doctrine and Covenants! It's so beautiful and special to me. Lately we have really been getting into our scriptures and finding what makes D&C unlike any others. Joseph Smith History has been so fascinating to me and I would like to share a bit from today's Lesson.

To start with... Think about these few questions. What annoys you? Are you annoying? Was Joseph Smith annoying?

Focusing solely on Was Joseph Smith annoying? I would answer directly with YES! In JSH 1:20 Joseph is telling his sweet mother of his experience in the sacred grove. He explains that he has learned that Presbyterianism is not true and he was forbidden to join any other church. The point in this verse is stated toward the end and it says, "..It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom..." Joseph Smith was absolutely annoying! But to whom? Satan and his followers. Satan was very annoyed with Joseph because he was on the Lord's side. Joseph continues on to prove this by saying ".. else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me, almost in my infancy?" Joseph was ultimately annoying to the adversary because he was destroying Satan's plan.

This all applies to us because we are all destroyers of Satan's very plan. We are annoying to the adversary when we do what's right and when we stand for what we know is right. We do not belong to Satan's team and by sticking with the Lord we are annoyers. I pray that we can all be annoyers and upset Satan by destroying what he works so hard for. We are all capable!


Intention and Responsibility

To be quite honest I never planned to start a blog or be known as a blogger. Obviously something changed that for me or I wouldn't be here today. As a youth in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I have the opportunity to attend seminary and expand my love and understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I would be very selfish not to share with others what comes to my heart and mind through the spirit. I feel as though I have so much I could share and would love to if it can make just a small difference in someone elses life. I feel with all that I have been blessed with that I have a responsibility to share with others. I am excited about this opportunity and I hope I can grow through it!