This page contains most of my former “LDS Women Converse” Facebook and Instagram posts. I had used the image below for both accounts before closing down all of my social media. Because of the large number of Christmas and advents posts, I have created a separate page for those on this website; access them under the link “Our Favorite Depictions of Christ” on the Homepage.
Currently, I’m in the process of transferring some of that data (posts, videos, memes, illustrations, and some personal photos) onto this page with the original post dates.
(Originally posted on Nov. 15, 2019)
Sometimes, a commercial or advertisement becomes a work of art, an inspiration, a motivation, an insight, a revelation…or whatever activates our inner power switch.
In 2016, Olympian swimming champion, Michael Phelps, made this powerful commercial for Under Armour with its call to action, “Rule Yourself.”
The lyrics of the featured song, “It’s the Last Good-bye, I Swear,” serve as a potent subtext in framing the dark and lonely images. The ending tagline is especially inspiring: “It’s what you do in the dark, that puts you in the light.”
In its historical context, this advertisement pays tribute to Phelps’ Olympic achievements: He’s won a total of 28 medals at the Olympic Summer Games in Athens, Beijing, London, and Rio de Janeiro. Before his comeback at the 2016 Olympics, Phelps fought personal demons including depression, suicidal feelings, a DUI, and rehab. His need for focus and meaning in his life motivated Phelps to make an astonishing comeback at the 2016 Olympics. Consequently, his additional gold medals made him the most decorated athlete in Olympic history–finishing his career with 23 gold medals and 28 overall. Furthermore, his performance in the Rio Olympics was unique in his win of multiple gold medals at 31 years old–well beyond the typical peak for male swimmers. His victory set the record for the most medal wins by any Olympic athlete making him the greatest Olympian of all time.
Soon after this video became public, my son, Steve, sent it to me, and we talked at length about the advertisement’s ability to resonate with viewers on so many levels. Since then, I’ve watched it many times when I feel a weakening resolve in my work (and it is work) in refining and transcending my spiritual and emotional self. In my previous blog post, I wrote about the strength and endurance required to overcome negative mindsets and destructive coping patterns passed down from one generation to the next. Moreover, suffering and struggle is part of our mortal experience. Disciplining and transcending our physical and emotional selves is an individual trek. And if we are to make progress, we must constantly hike uphill. Our work is often done in isolation and in the dark. The more we resist the work, the more stuck we become. And as we can see in this video, no one can do the work for us.
Thankfully, we have the atoning power of Christ to help us climb and conquer our mountains–or swim in our stormy seas. He helps us get back up no matter how far we fall, how badly we stumble, or how long we sit and refuse to move. However, we are the ones who still must decide how hard we want to work; how far we want to go, and how much we want to achieve spiritually, emotionally, and temporally during our mortal lives. Through Christ, we have the power to do it. And with and through Him, “What we do in the dark, puts us in the light.”
This powerful quote from scientist, political commentator, and author Ayesha Siddiqi has inspired many. Whether we apply this concept to helping others and/or helping our emotional and spiritual selves, we help to strengthen and uplift.
I like getting older. Wisdom comes with age. Other benefits: increased confidence, increased ability to love unconditionally, enjoying the fruits of our labors, and being surrounded by loving family and friends.
The lyrics from an old Rod Stewart song are strangely appropriate for the above meme:
I wish that I knew what I know now
When I was younger
I wish that I knew what I know now
When I was stronger.
I know I’m getting old when my adult children echo these same sentiments! It’s all part of the human experience. And…yet…we do another form of work as we age. We learn to still be compassionate with ourselves for not knowing better when we were younger.
Out of all the ancient apostles, I feel the greatest kinship to Peter. Like all of us, he was full of contradictions: brave and fearful, impetuous and hesitant, loyal and inconstant, full of faith and full of doubt. Still, as he watched Christ walk atop the turbulent sea, Peter was the only apostle who had the faith and temerity to get out of the boat and onto the water. Ok, so he eventually sank. But at least he got out of the boat. I’m striving to do the same. Sure, I’m getting wet (well…drenched) in my attempts to walk on water. But I’d rather take my chances in the water as I walk toward Christ than stay dry and “safe” in a boat that will sink in a storm. And thanks to Peter’s literal and figurative example, I know Christ will save me from drowning.
So true!! And the sooner we see challenging and difficult people as sources for our spiritual growth, the less likely they will leave permanent scars on our hearts. Christ has been the one who salves my wounds. Because of Him, my scars fade away. This season, we celebrate the ultimate person who came to this earth and graced our lives as the greatest of all blessings! #healinghearts
Don’t Limit God
(Originally posted September 19, 2016)
I’ve been following this wonderful man for a few years. Talk about turning our suffering into a force for inspiration! No suffering goes to waste if we use it to help and inspire others.
He Is My North Star
(Originally posted September 9, 2019)
I love the Savior! He is my light and my North Star. And, like Peter, I continue to step out of my comfortable boat and try to walk on water. Fortunately, Christ is always there to save me from drowning!
(Originally posted on October 20, 2019)
I spoke in Sacrament meeting today. I based my talk on Elder Gary Stevenson’s general conference talk, “Be Not Deceived” where he emphasizes Satan’s deception in terms of our identity and worth.
We are indeed children of God. Our divine individual worth supersedes any attempts to self-identify. The Savior is our ultimate source of empowerment–not our group identity, not human-made rules or government laws, not social groups, not wealth, not status, not friends, not fame, not protests for our moral causes.
I also spoke about Esther of the Old Testament. I love this story–especially where the villain, Haman, put forth an edict against all the Jews in Persia. As part of the royal court, Esther (a Jew) had influence with the king. But Esther’s initial fear kept her from approaching the king about the plight of her people.
Her mentor, Mordecai, challenged Esther to forget about herself and do something to stop the destruction of her people. He reminded her, “Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Knowing that she risked losing her royal position and perhaps her life, Esther accepted her mission, saying, “If I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16).
We have all been born “for such a time as this” with a special identity and foreordained mission. To fulfill our life’s mission, we need to find out who we really are, who we were in our pre-mortal lives, and what our special assignment is here on earth. Through personal revelation, we can find out. Let the Savior identify us as individuals. And through His atoning power we can have the strength and fortitude to accomplish our life’s mission.
P.S. The best part of giving my talk: Watching and hearing my little grandbaby, Savannah, shout from the back of the chapel, “Gwammy!!!” My daughter finally had to take Savannah out to the foyer. 🙂
Now that I’m a grandmother, a New Testament verse has come to resonate with me all the more: “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou has learned them. And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures which are able to make thee wise…” (2 Timothy 3:14-15).
And, now that I’ve had many years of studying scripture and through lived experience, I can pass this knowledge on to my grandchildren. I can testify to them as to the source of my knowledge and experience: A loving and righteous God who does indeed exist and gives meaning and clarity to the human condition. As cynical and scoffing voices grow louder and with increasing viciousness, I will stand strong in my faith. And I pray that I will be unafraid to proclaim it. #Istandwithhim