This blog shares my ongoing study of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and my studies draw from the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, as well as teachings of LDS Church leaders past and present, many of which are prophets and apostles. This site is not an official representation of Latter-day Saint doctrine and practice. For official sites, please visit or

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Answers to Prayer

"Now, this thing was pleasing unto me, Jacob, for I had requested it of my Father who was in heaven; for he had heard my cry and answered my prayer." Jacob 7:22

Receiving an answer to prayer is tremendously faith promoting. Anyone that recognizes an answer to prayer feels closer to God and more inclined to believe in Him. Conversely, when someone doesn't see their prayers being answered, they often conclude that either God isn't there, or, if He is, He doesn't care about them. How very important, then, to recognize the answers to our prayers.

President Thomas S. Monson recently taught:

"Reinforced constantly during my own review of the years has been my knowledge that our prayers are heard and answered. We are familiar with the truth found in 2 Nephi in the Book of Mormon: 'Men are, that they might have joy.' I testify that much of that joy comes as we recognize that we can communicate with our Heavenly Father through prayer and that those prayers will be heard and answered—perhaps not how and when we expected they would be answered, but they will be answered and by a Heavenly Father who knows and loves us perfectly and who desires our happiness. Hasn’t He promised us, 'Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers'?

"...I would like to share with you just a tiny sampling of the experiences I have had wherein prayers were heard and answered and which, in retrospect, brought blessings into my life as well as the lives of others. My daily journal, kept over all these years, has helped provide some specifics which I most likely would not otherwise be able to recount." ("Consider the Blessings," October 2012 General Conference, paragraphs 4 and 5.)

I want to highlight that he mentions keeping a journal. Much of my testimony of prayer comes from writing down questions I ask in prayer and then later reviewing them and recognizing that they have been answered.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Rethinking Endurance

William Barclay declared, "Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory." (

I like this because it reminds me to expect more of myself when I am enduring something difficult and it provides me with hope that there can be a positive outcome to what I am experiencing. This past school year was a great challenge to me. I was at a new school, teaching new subjects (AP Statistics and Precalculus). I was required to put in many many extra hours on almost a daily basis just to stay ahead with my lesson plans. The school culture was also quite different and took me a while to grow accustomed to. It was easy to slip into the mindset of "just endure, this too shall pass," but then I came across this quote and I thought, "I want to do more than survive this, I want to turn it into glory!" Ultimately I was able to build a large number of new friendships and I learned a great deal of mathematics that has already begun to benefit me professionally. I am now very grateful that I had the school year I did.

Christ taught, "Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life" (3 Nephi 15:9).

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf has explained, "... [E]nduring to the end is not just a matter of passively tolerating life’s difficult circumstances or “hanging in there.” Ours is an active religion, helping God’s children along the strait and narrow path to develop their full potential during this life and return to Him one day. Viewed from this perspective, enduring to the end is exalting and glorious, not grim and gloomy" ("Have We Not Reason to Rejoice?" Ensign, Nov. 2007, emphasis added).

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Throughout my life I've been reminded of the importance of setting goals. I've decided this morning to focus on goal-setting more and more. A recent talk in church reminded me to set at least one goal each day. Now I've got a set a goal each day. Ha ha ha.

Elder M. Russell Ballard taught, "I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the technique of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When you learn to master the principle of setting a goal, you will then be able to make a great difference in the results you attain in this life." (Click here to go to talk.)

Preach My Gospel states, "Goals reflect the desires of our hearts and our vision of what we can accomplish. Through goals and plans, our hopes are transformed into action. Goal setting and planning are acts of faith. ... Challenging goals will help you work effectively and lead you to stretch and grow." (p. 146)

I've always felt like there was something magical about goals. The Universe seems to acknowledge and honor those with clearly-defined goals and the determination to accomplish them. I think of movies like Rudy, Secretariat, Stand and Deliver, and Lean on Me. These stories always leave me feeling more determined to focus myself and set goals and go accomplish something really significant.