Knowing For Ourselves

This week in several of my classes there has been one resounding theme that has stuck out to me time and time again. That theme is truth and knowing truth for ourselves.

The world is constantly trying to redefine the idea of truth. Today, more than ever before, we are being fed half truths. And by their very definition these half truths are complete lies. Truth is something that never changes. There is no opinion involved in truth. Truth is truth. It has been since before the beginning and will be until after the very end.

The problem with humans today is that we tend to rely on other humans way. too. much. It's a proven fact. Just look at the internet.

I rest my case.

And sometimes relying on other humans is okay, but when it comes to the things that really matter don't you think that we should rely on the source of ALL knowledge and truth?

Of course, I'm talking about our Heavenly Father. The creator of our spirits. The one who leads us and guides us through life.

The second president of my church (all the way back in the 1840's before internet and all that jazz...) said that the most troubling thing that he has seen is that people are relying too heavily on other people. People who are human. Who might make mistakes.

It is important, then, that we learn and know for ourselves that what our church leaders teach are true. And the easiest way to do that is to get on our knees and pray. Pray harder than you've ever prayed before. And ask with a sincere desire and real intent. And then listen.

We won't receive our answers through loud and powerful experiences. I think a lot of times we try to classify ourselves with those people recorded in the scriptures. Like Paul in the New Testament, or Nephi and the Brother of Jared from the Book of Mormon. What we need to remember is that these examples are the exception to the rule. In most cases our answers come through the still and quiet.

Have you ever been laying in bed, thinking about how quiet and peaceful you feel, and then suddenly you think of something that you had never thought of before? Yeah. That's how answers come.

I've had enough answers to my own prayers to know.

And when we know for ourselves that whatever doctrine is being taught is true, then we come off stronger than we ever were before. Because it is no longer dependent on THEM, it is dependent on God.

I think we can all find comfort and assurance in knowing that.


Unmarried Cohabitation: A Big Lie

This past week in my Marriage class (I'm a Marriage and Family Relations major, remember?) we have been talking about marriage and divorce trends. It has been really, really insightful.

For instance- did you know that today's divorce rates are double what they were in the 1960's? Yet only roughly 65% of adults in the united states are married. That, as opposed to about 85% in the 60's.

So, fewer marriages yet more divorces? Marriage seems terribly daunting these days.

What in the world started these trends? And how did they get so rapidly out of control?

Well, honestly, it started in 1970 when a no fault divorce law was signed by the state of California. In this law it allowed any divorce to take place without having to declare a wrongdoing. The rest of the country got immensely excited over this new law, and soon thereafter every state had one just like it.

That's how it started. It was all quite downhill from there.

One of the main destroyers in marriage that I have seen, and bear with me here, is unmarried cohabitation. That is, in modern terms, living together before marriage.

The idea, in theory, isn't too far gone. Before a couple gets married they should live together for a while. By doing this they can see if the marriage will work.There are few investments, and so if the relationship dies then termination is inexpensive.

Unfortunately this theory is pretty null and void. When studied at an academic level, the majority of the marriages that occurred after unmarried cohabitation ended in (yes, you guessed it) the big D. Divorce.


Marriage is a sacred union. My church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sent out a proclamation to the world 18 years ago. In it, they said the following:

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children...

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

(You can read the rest of it here)

Now, I am not insinuating that God intentionally breaks up marriages because they didn't follow His commandment. In fact, the opposite is true. Here. Let me say it loud and clear:

God loves us so much that He wants us to be truly happy and live fulfilled lives. Because of this He has given us commandments to keep us safe. He knows that if we live clean lives before we are married that we will most likely succeed in our marriages. And how does He know this? He knows us better than we could even possibly know ourselves. He created us. That's how.

He really does love us. I wish I could shout that on the mountain tops. It's a concept that most people don't get.

I think that if more people understood that, then divorce might disappear all together. Because when we catch a glimpse of how much God loves us, we realize how much He loves everyone else as well. And when we realize that, well, then we would do everything and anything in our power to make sure that each beloved son or daughter of God is treated in the way they deserve to be treated. Disagreement, name calling, hate, lust, envy, immorality, all of it would stop and one thing would remain.



The Awesome Thing About New Years Resolutions

I used to be the kind of person that made new years resolutions like this:

LOSE 100 POUNDS (This wouldn't be healthy for me, by the way. Just an example...)

And on January 1st I went for a run, January 2nd I drank a smoothie, and then on January 3rd I was too lazy to do anything. The resolution was broken and I couldn't ever take that back, so I quit trying.

This year I decided to take a different approach. I made goals like this:

Be healthy.

Love as God loves.

Sleep well. Not too short, nor too long.

Take pictures.

Instead of writing the resolution that required a 180 turn, it became more of a long term progression thing. If I miss a day of working big deal. It's about the big picture. It's about how I will change between now and December 31st, 2013.

Honestly. I think that's what New Years Resolutions were meant to be in the first place.

In other news. I'm starting to like this whole photography instagram stuff. =D