Wednesday, June 18, 2014

If you Love what you Know....

Two summers ago, I had the opportunity to be an EFY counselor. It was great because I never went to EFY as a youth, and because my brother went the first week I was a counselor, and it was just a wonderful time. One of the things that one of the many speakers said that has stuck with me ever since was: "If you love what you know, share it."

In that moment, it was simple for me to say that I loved what I know. Of course I loved it. I loved it as easily as I loved my own family. 

Since that time, I have watched as the religion and church I love have suddenly become a regular topic of discussion in sensationalist media. People are sharing what they know....and what they think, and what they feel, and sometimes, it is not because they love it. 

Most of the time when I read things written by people who want to share what they don't love, it made me annoyed, or angry. So I would go looking for articles that supported what I think, and how I feel. There are plenty of these, too - so I would binge-read a bunch of them, expecting to feel better. Because, confirmation bias, or whatever. 

But I realized recently that it didn't make me feel better. It just made me feel more annoyed, until I had an epiphany the other day. The quote I mentioned earlier came into my mind, along with this question: "What do you love?"

Hence, this blog. I'm Heather, I love what I know, and I'm a Mormon. 

-I love that I know, firsthand, what it means to grow up in a happy home. I love that I always knew my parents and siblings loved me, and I love that I have never expected anything less than forever with them. 

-I love that I know that I am a child of God. 

-I love that I know that Heavenly Father knows everything, and I love that I know that I can ask him anything. 

-I love that I know that one day, all of my questions will be answered. 

-I love that I know that my best is enough. And I love that I know when my best could be better. 

-I love that I know that I will have friends wherever I go in the world. Sometimes you'll meet a mean or grumpy Mormon, but in general, Mormons are nice, friendly people. 

-I love that I know that my sister Nicole is exactly where she needs to be.

-I love that I know that Stephen is not just mine for now, but for forever. 

-I love that I know that what I do in this life matters. The time I hope to spend as a mother may be trivialized by some, and rejected by others as a calling that is not important enough to be worth of their time and energy, but it is one that I have always felt I was meant for. One day. Don't panic, Stephen. 

-I love that I have always felt important in church, too. Ever since my first calling as the Beehives President, I have felt like my ideas were listened to, and I have seen things happen and change based on my suggestions. 

-I love that I have before me a legacy of faithful people. I love that I can feel my grandmas being proud of me when I go to the temple. 

-I love that Marjorie Pay Hinckley existed, and that someone put together a book of her quotes. 

-I love that optimism and joy are a part of our church culture. 

-I love the youth programs of our church - the dances, the Youth Conferences, the Treks, the awkward flirting in the hallways after Mutual every Wednesday. I love the Young Women's leaders I was blessed to have and who I hope to be like.

-I love the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and I love how BYU turns out awesome award-winning dancers. I love that we care about things that add beauty to the world. 

-I love the confidence that we put in our youth, to the point that we send 18-22ish year-olds out to represent the church. I love that my sister is one of them, and my brother will be soon.

-I love what a mission does for people, and I love how it changes them. I love the effect it had on my dad, several of my friends, and especially on the man I married.

-I love every time the primary kids sing in church. 

-I love EFY songs. Jenny Jordan Frogley is so wonderful. Also, Alex Boye. 

-I love that the kids I teach in school sometimes invite me to their baptisms, and I love the amazing spirit I feel when I go to one. I love their little examples to me. I love feeling their faith and being strengthened by it. 

-I love that I know that Joseph Smith was inspired. 

-I love that there is always more evidence for the church being uncovered. I love that all of the pieces of the puzzle aren't yet in place, but I love that if someone looks for evidence, they can find it. 

-I love that this church began with a simple prayer. 

-I love that Stephen and I got called to teach in Primary. 

-I love that our church teaches against smoking and porn. I love that it encourages family time, education, and going on dates. 

-I love that President Hinckley was so cute and sweet, and that he loved his wife so wonderfully. I love that some of his quotes are collected in a book for women, called "One Bright, Shining Hope." I love this book.

-I love temple open-houses. I love that so much work is put into making the temples beautiful places. I love that it has always been this way.

-I love that I know that we may not always get what we want, but we will always have what we need. Heavenly Father knows perfectly what experiences we need to progress, and what people we need in our lives. He knows the material things that we need as well as the chances and opportunities that will shape us into the people we need to be. If you don't have it, you don't need it.

I have never believed that I know everything there is to know. I don't know all of the answers or even all of the questions that will arise.

But what I do know, I love. So I thought I'd share :) What do you love?

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