Friday, October 16, 2015

Behold, My Mother!

Meet Heidi Jo Giles, the woman I call Mom. Born 41 years ago TODAY! She stands about 5 Foot and 2 inches tall and is full of life. Mom is a friend to SO many people and let me tell you what, people prefer to keep it that way because you wouldn't ever survive as her enemy. She is known for her blunt, fun, and giving personality. If she knows that there is someone in need, she is always there to lend a helping hand. One of the things I love most about her is the love she has for little children. I believe she is the best preschool teacher out there (I am definitely not biased or anything). My mom spends countless hours each day teaching children. She knows their names and loves them each individually. 

I have found no woman who loves and adores her family like my mother does. If you were to ask her, she would tell you that we are her world and nothing else matters. There isn't a moment in time where she isn't 100% devoted to our needs, wants, and dreams. 

Mom has always been my biggest fan and has encouraged me to believe that I am capable of anything I put my heart to. Mom and I have been through a whole heap of trails, but we have overcome each one together. I wouldn't trade the relationship I cherish with my mother for anything this world has to offer me. It was those trying times that brought us to where we are now. Mom and I have always shared the desire for an eternal family and our dreams came true in September of 2009. As I gathered with my family in the temple, I looked first at my mother and we both began to weep as we knew what this meant for eternity. I will never forget that tender moment.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, "No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child." I know that Elder Holland was inspired to give a tribute to mothers in such a way by our Heavenly Father. I know that my mother is everything God knows she is. Elder Holland continued, "You see, it is not only that they bear us, but they continue bearing with us. It is not only the prenatal carrying but the lifelong carrying that makes mothering such a staggering feat." I owe it all to my wonderful mother for bearing my burdens and continuing to carry me through. I am so blessed to call this woman MY mother and my very best friend.

Thank you for being my mom. Thank you for loving me just as I am and making me always feel like I matter most. Thank you for raising me to work hard and be smart about my decisions. I am grateful for your guiding influence and encouragement along the way. Thank you for giving me the confidence to walk with with my head held high, remembering that the Savior is always near. I love you! Happy Birthday!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Was That All...?

The reward is far greater than the trails we face.

With conference right around the corner I can hardly contain my excitement! It almost is unfair to tease us with Women's Conference only to wait an entire week for more to come. There are no words to describe my experience from this last weekend except a big fat WOW! As I sat listening with my dear sweet mother, my heart was opened and I was forever changed. How blessed we are to have so many incredible leaders to enlighten, encourage, and provide warning for us.

Over the course of the last several months I have experienced some difficult times and I have had to redirect my path so that it is in line with our Heavenly Father's will. Sister Linda S. Reeves' talk hit home and changed my perspective about the trials we face.

"Sisters, I do not know why we have the many trials that we have, but it is my personal feeling that the reward is so great, so eternal and everlasting, so joyful and beyond our understanding that in that day of reward, we may feel to say to our merciful, loving Father, “Was that all that was required?” I believe that if we could daily remember and recognize the depth of that love our Heavenly Father and our Savior have for us, we would be willing to do anything to be back in Their presence again, surrounded by Their love eternally. What will it matter, dear sisters, what we suffered here if, in the end, those trials are the very things which qualify us for eternal life and exaltation in the kingdom of God with our Father and Savior?"

Does this not strike a chord deep within your heart and bring you to real heart-felt tears? Sister Reeves, a member of the general relief society presidency just said so herself that she doesn't know why we have the trials we do, but points out beautifully that at some point we will be saying, "was that all?" In mortality it is hard to gain that perspective that in the end it will all be worth it, right? As I have read this message over and over again the Spirit sings to my hear of its truthfulness. I know that what Sister Reeves is calling her personal feeling is a beautiful new perspective that we all can learn from.

I believe that as we strive to follow God's plan no matter the trials that come our way, if we endure them well, we shall have eternal life with our Father in Heaven. Speaking of Enduring, Elder Kevin W. Pearson said, "Enduring to the end is a hallmark of true discipleship and is ESSENTIAL to eternal life." (emphasis added) He goes on to say. "But when trials and challenges come our way, we are often told to simply "hang in there." Let me be clear: to "hang in there" is NOT a principle of the gospel. Enduring to the end means CONSTANTLY coming unto Christ and being perfected in Him." (emphasis added) We can't hang around and wait for trials to pass because I promise you they won't. Endure to the end clinging to rod which leads to the fruit bearing tree, our Savior Jesus Christ.

My message to you is simple. When your trials seem like more than you can handle, don't you quit, the reward is far greater than we truly comprehend. They are the very things that may qualify us to meet at the Savior's feet and soak them with our tears. Enduring to the End is the only way to true discipleship and simply "hanging in there" is not the way to Christ.

God is speaking to His children in just two short days and He has a message for you specifically. Are you ready? Have you done all you can do to prepare? Have you cleared your schedule? If you have not done all you can do to make conference a priority for your weekend, its not too late to do so. Show God you are serious about what He has to say. 


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Scripture...The Power of the Word

Recently I have been attending a class at The Orem Institute of Religion. The class I chose to take this semester is called The Power of the Word focused specifically on scripture study within the Standard Works of the church. I have been richly blessed by faithfully attending institute each week and I never leave that classroom without being edified and uplifted by the Spirit. I have a testimony of the programs that have been organized for our day. We are blessed to have resources at our feet each and every day.

As part of institute we are instructed to complete a set of reading assignments each week and without fail, every time I am increasingly blessed as I fulfill those assignments. A couple of weeks ago it was our assignment to read a talk given by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. His talk entitled, "The Blessing of Scripture" was given in April 2010 Conference. It speaks of the sacrifices that were made for us to have the precious gift of scripture that we now enjoy. He spoke of several blessing we receive as we read in the scriptures each day. One portion of his talk really hit home for me and has not left my mind. I would like to share a small piece of that as it touched my heart deeply.

He said, "The scriptures enlarge our memory by helping us always to remember the Lord and our relationship to Him and the Father. They remind us of what we knew in our premortal life. And they expand our memory in another sense by teaching us about epochs, people, and events that we did not experience personally. None of us was present to see the Red Sea part and cross with Moses between walls of water to the other side. We were not there to hear the Sermon on the Mount, to see Lazarus raised from the dead, to see the suffering Savior in Gethsemane and on the cross, and we did not, with Mary, hear the two angels testify at the empty tomb that Jesus was risen from the dead. You and I did not go forward one by one with the multitude in the land Bountiful at the resurrected Savior’s invitation to feel the prints of the nails and bathe His feet with our tears. We did not kneel beside Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove and gaze there upon the Father and the Son. Yet we know all these things and much, much more because we have the scriptural record to enlarge our memory, to teach us what we did not know. And as these things penetrate our minds and hearts, our faith in God and His Beloved Son takes root." (emphasis added)

I can't help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the sacrifice made by countless individuals to bring to each of us such a precious gift. All those who sacrificed, sacrificed with you and I in mind. In the event that we search the scriptures each day we have the opportunity to be reminded of the things we once knew before our life began here in mortality. My eyes well up with tears as I contemplate the words of Elder Christofferson reminding me of all that I have not experienced personally, but hold dear to my heart as precious truths. I am not an expert in the scriptures, but it is my heart felt prayer that as I diligently study His word, that they will penetrate my heart and mind and become a part of me. I often pray and ask for God to teach me something I don't know as I open the scriptures and it amazes me the things that stand out in my mind and fill my heart. Scriptures are just books upon a shelf until we open them and let God teach us. A sweet man we all know and love, Richard G. Scott said, " If you want to talk to God, pray . If you want Him to talk to you, read your scriptures." I testify that as we faithfully open the scriptures and let the Spirit guide the floodgates of revelation will open and we will see all things as they really are. We are never lost as we read and live the teachings found in the scriptures.

In just a short week, Jesus Christ will have a message for each of us through Our beloved Prophet and Apostles. It is my hope that each of us are preparing for this coming Conference by faithful prayer and scripture study. Be prepared with questions and when revelation comes write it down, It is my testimony that revelation comes individually to each of us.

Just some thoughts that have come to me recently:

To think that for you and me, Our Savior was sent to bleed and die at Calvary. We think of Him, oh precious one, the resurrected Son. His life freely gave, a lasting saving grace. I think of the prints He now bears as a symbol of the one who truly cares. In debt we owe a place where His name may lay, upon our hearts, and forever stay. Walk forward now... with faith stand tall, He is the Master of us all.

I'm not a poetic individual and I don't have an explanation for this added revelation but I wanted it to be written for my children who will someday be a part of my future. The purpose of this blog is to have written record of my life, thoughts, and feelings for those that will come after me. Take it or leave it but please don't criticize or belittle.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Well, well, well look who's back?

photo credit: Greg Olsen

Fellow Blog Readers,

Its a miracle that I am back here writing again. It has been years since I have shared my thoughts over social media. Honestly, I am ashamed of myself for not taking the opportunity to share what the gospel has so graciously led me to believe and understand.

I am not here to reach a million views or become a "blogging phenomenon". I am an imperfect member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints trying a little harder to be a little better. Too often, we find ourselves wrapped up in some idea that perfection comes in in a single moment's time. The truth of the matter is that we aren't going to reach perfection in a blink of an eye. Each and everyday we ought to be striving to be more like our Savior Jesus Christ and thankfully the Savior will be there to lead the way. YES we are going to stumble and fall and scrape our knees along the way, but the Savior is there stretching forth His hand picking us up and brushing us off. How blessed we are to have the Savior and a loving Heavenly Father who know each of us individually. They know where I will fall, but more importantly they know of my potential and will not give up on me.

Friends and family, I know that God lives. I know that Jesus is the Christ. Jesus, a perfect being, once lived in an imperfect world. Beaten, persecuted, spit upon, and nailed to the cross for the sake of you and me. His grace is sufficient for all of mankind. We are all God's children. Let us try a little harder to be a little better. Line upon line, precept upon precept. The gospel is true.

Thank you for your continued love and support.