Prophet’s speak still

    I am loving studying the Doctrine and Covenants and History of the church so much this year in seminary. We reticently had a lesson that sparked great interest in me to study more about the man by the name of Oliver Cowdery.

      What I discovered was one of the most powerful piece of scripture I have ever read.

      Oliver Cowdery was a school teacher. And at the time school teachers would live with you at your house (can you imagine waking up every morning and walking into your kitchen to find your teacher waiting to have breakfast with you? haha)

      While Joseph Smith was in Harmony Pennsylvania working on the translation of the Book of Mormon, Oliver was residing at Joseph Smith’s family’s home in Palmyra, New York. The two had never met, but because Oliver was living with Joseph’s family he began to hear about Joseph and the work he was doing in Pennsylvania. He became very interested in this work and began to feel a desire to go to Pennsylvania.

      Little did Oliver know that Joseph had been praying to the Lord to send him help.

      A few days after Joseph prayed, Oliver knocked on his door. Oliver had walked all the way from Palmyra to Harmony and had become an answer to Joseph’s prayer.

      Oliver was called to become a scribe for Joseph. And since I will never be able to dictate his experience as well as he did I am going to post his own words. (This can be found at the very end of Joseph Smith–History) These are Oliver’s words, with my highlights in different colors and annotations in {brackets}.

        {I love this!}
      • Oliver Cowdery describes these events thus: “These were days never to be forgotten—to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom!Day after day I continued, uninterrupted, to write from his mouth, as he translated with the Urim and Thummim, or, as the Nephites would have said, ‘Interpreters,’ the history or record called ‘The Book of Mormon.’
      • “To notice, in even few words, the interesting account given by Mormon and his faithful son, Moroni, of a people once beloved and favored of heaven, would supersede my present design; I shall therefore defer this to a future period, and, as I said in the introduction, pass more directly to some few incidents immediately connected with the rise of this Church, which may be entertaining to some thousands who have stepped forward, amid the frowns of bigots and the calumny of hypocrites, and embraced the Gospel of Christ.
          • {Oh how I want to be counted among these incredible Saints}
      • “No men, in their sober senses, could translate and write the directions given to the Nephites from the mouth of the Savior, of the precise manner in which men should build up His Church, and especially when corruption had spread an uncertainty over all forms and systems practiced among men, without desiring a privilege of showing the willingness of the heart by being buried in the liquid grave, to answer a ‘good conscience by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.’
      • “After writing the account given of the Savior’s ministry to the remnant of the seed of Jacob, upon this continent, it was easy to be seen, as the prophet said it would be, that darkness covered the earth and gross darkness the minds of the people.   
          • {And it is getting darker}
      •  On reflecting further it was as easy to be seen that amid the great strife and noise concerning religion, none had authority from God to administer the ordinances of the Gospel. For the question might be asked, have men authority to administer in the name of Christ, who deny revelations, when His testimony is no less than the spirit of prophecy, and His religion based, built, and sustained by immediate revelations, in all ages of the world when He has had a people on earth? If these facts were buried, and carefully concealed by men whose craft would have been in danger if once permitted to shine in the faces of men, they were no longer to us; and we only waited for the commandment to be given ‘Arise and be baptized.’
        • “This was not long desired before it was realized. The Lord, who is rich in mercy, and ever willing to answer the consistent prayer of the humble, after we had called upon Him in a fervent manner, aside from the abodes of men, condescended to manifest to us His will. On a sudden, as from the midst of eternity, the voice of the Redeemer spake peace to us, while the veil was parted and the angel of God came down clothed with glory, and delivered the anxiously looked for message, and the keys of the Gospel of repentance. What joy! what wonder! what amazement! While the world was racked and distracted—while millions were groping as the blind for the wall, and while all men were resting upon uncertainty, as a general mass, our eyes beheld, our ears heard, as in the ‘blaze of day’; yes, more—above the glitter of the May sunbeam, which then shed its brilliancy over the face of nature! Then his voice, though mild, pierced to the center, and his words, ‘I am thy fellow-servant,’ dispelled every fear. We listened, we gazed, we admired! ’Twas the voice of an angel from glory, ’twas a message from the Most High! And as we heard we rejoiced, while His love enkindled upon our souls, and we were wrapped in the vision of the Almighty! Where was room for doubt? Nowhere; uncertainty had fled, doubt had sunk no more to rise, while fiction and deception had fled forever!
          • {Wow. Just wow.}
        • “But, dear brother, think, further think for a moment, what joy filled our hearts, and with what surprise we must have bowed, (for who would not have bowed the knee for such a blessing?) when we received under his hand the Holy Priesthood as he said, ‘Upon you my fellow-servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer this Priesthood and this authority, which shall remain upon earth, that the Sons of Levi may yet offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness!’
        • “I shall not attempt to paint to you the feelings of this heart, nor the majestic beauty and glory which surrounded us on this occasion; but you will believe me when I say, that earth, nor men, with the eloquence of time, cannot begin to clothe language in as interesting and sublime a manner as this holy personage. No; nor has this earth power to give the joy, to bestow the peace, or comprehend the wisdom which was contained in each sentence as they were delivered by the power of the Holy Spirit! Man may deceive his fellow-men, deception may follow deception, and the children of the wicked one may have power to seduce the foolish and untaught, till naught but fiction feeds the many, and the fruit of falsehood carries in its current the giddy to the grave; but one touch with the finger of his love, yes, one ray of glory from the upper world, or one word from the mouth of the Savior, from the bosom of eternity, strikes it all into insignificance, and blots it forever from the mind. The assurance that we were in the presence of an angel, the certainty that we heard the voice of Jesus, and the truth unsullied as it flowed from a pure personage, dictated by the will of God, is to me past description, and I shall ever look upon this expression of the Savior’s goodness with wonder and thanksgiving while I am permitted to tarry; and in those mansions where perfection dwells and sin never comes, I hope to adore in that day which shall never cease.”Messenger and Advocate, vol. 1 (October 1834), pp. 14–16.
            • {He is the only way to true happiness}

        Never in my life have I read a testimony with as much enthusiasm as this testimony written by Oliver Cowdery.

        I was enchanted by the words “These were days never to be forgotten” because these are truly magnificent times. We live in a time on earth where miracles are happening around us. We live in a time that is paving the way for the Lord to come again. Last week I participated in the dedication of a temple of the Lord. This is just one example of the incredible things that are happening around us that we will remember for eternities.

        I was also impressed by the description of his experience. I love the words he uses; “What joy!” “What wonder!” “What amazement!” “above the glitter of the May sunbeam.” “pierced to the center”
        I love these phrases because they accurately describe my feelings of the gospel. too often church is just something we do, and not enough something we feel. Oliver’s testimony is a reminder of the great joy the gospel can bring us. This gospel is the only way to the truest happiness.

        I just want to add my testimony to Oliver Cowdery’s that I am enthralled with the greatness of this gospel. It brings me so much joy and It is this joy that I want to share with the world.

        Now I never sat with the prophet one on one and heard him tell me what the Lord wants me to know, but I have sat with the Prophet one on millions and heard him tell me what the Lord wants me to know. And I get to experience this every six months.

        Every six months we have the opportunity to listen to the prophet speak at General Conference. Every six months we get to hear prophet’s speak just like Oliver did back in 1834.

          I can’t wait for conference next week. And for all the lovely females that are reading I want to let you know about the General Women’s meeting. The General Women’s meeting is an extension of conference where the prophet’s speak directly to the women of the church. This will be broadcasted TONIGHT! I can’t wait! You can watch it right on my blog below, or CLICK HERE to see other ways you can view live.

          Be prepared for many more conference posts. For me Conference is about the equivalent to Christmas, so you can imagine I’m just a little excited. I love you all lots and lots!

          feel my sunlight

          p.s. Did I just write two blog posts in one day?! What is life? 

          Exciting happenings

          New pictures from Multnomah Falls in Oregon up on the Portfolio Site!

          Happy Sunday my friends!!!

          I’m in this really bad habit of starting blog posts and then not finishing them. Which explains my lack of posts. haha ops.

          I was writing the other day when my mom said to me “how do you have so much to write about?” haha well to answer your question mom, I guess the more you write, the more you have to write!

          And oh my GOOD-NESSSSS there are so many things to be excited about.

          Exciting happenings:

          1) I have been invited to coach competition team. This is a great opportunity and is proof that things really do work themselves out and that God really is involved in the details of our lives. God cares.

          2) I turn 18 on Thursday! That’s 4 days away!!! WHOOO!

          3) The Ogden temple celebration is this Saturday! After many long practices I am so excited to be able to join together with so many other youth in celebration of this awesome gift the Lord has given us.

          4) The Ogden Temple will be dedicated next Sunday! The Ogden temple has been under renovation since I was a 12 year old. It is so exciting to finally have my temple back. By far the greatest 18th birthday present I could ask for!

           5) Conference is coming up soon! For us Mormons the Conference excitement is about the equivalent of Christmas. Conference is an opportunity for everyone to listen to living prophets speak. For me it means the tradition of watching church on TV in my pajamas, It means the tradition of making food with my family, and most importantly it means hearing the things the prophets of God have to say. Every time I watch I receive something that seems to be directed specifically to me. It will be broadcasted on TV, the radio, and online in several places and to learn more about where you can watch or listen to conference CLICK HERE! I encourage everyone, Mormon or not, to tune in to this incredible experience on October 4th and 5th. I promise you won’t regret watching!!!

          So many fun things. Things are happening and life is swell. In the words of C.S. Lewis:

          I love this so much because it speaks truth about the reality of life. Too often we find ourselves reminiscing on the past and wishing we were still there. I feel that sometimes we forget that God has a plan for our future, and not just for our past.  We can’t see the big picture so we just assume that there isn’t one. God has exciting plans for us, but in order to accomplish those things we must sometimes give up things we desire, suffer trial, and often ride into battle.

          After all, you cannot be crowned Kings and Queens of Narnia, until after the battle is won.

          The question is not; “who will win” for we already know the outcome of the battle, the question is rather; “what side will we be on?” Because while we already know that God’s army will win, it is up to us to decide if we will be fighting for him or against him. And if we decide to fight for him we will find that he has great reward for us. We will find that we become heirs to the kingdom of God, a gift in which I will gladly ride into battle for.

          feel my sunlight

          p.s. I wrote an ENTIRE blog post. Snaps and claps for me!!!

          the greatest storyline

          You know that feeling you get as you close an amazing book for the last time after reading the words “the end”, or the way you feel as the credits roll on your favorite TV show’s last season finally? That way it seems like in the end everything is over and finished and you will never be able to live in that story again. To me this feels as if something inside of me has died. Like I’ve just lost all of my friends and they can only come back through reliving the stories you’ve already been through.

          I know this sounds way dramatic for a book or pictures on a screen but I ask anybody who lived through the Harry Potter era that has read all 3407 pages and watched all 17 and a half hours of footage that can honestly say they didn’t cry when the watched this…

          Crying yet? You should be.

          Now, while stories and books always come to an end, our lives don’t. Just like Daniel Radclif says about the Harry Potter phenomenon that “the end of the story [doesn’t] end tonight.” it is the same in our lives.

          Our lives extend much further than than a few pages and a few hours on a screen. Our lives extend into eternity. And they do that because we have the greatest writer and director anybody has ever known.

          Our writer is our God, and our director is our Savior, Jesus Christ. God wrote our lives in a way that they would extend forever, and because of our Savior and his Atonement, our lives are possible.

          Now, just like in any story worth reading or watching, there is conflict. If there wasn’t it would be a boring story.

          There would be no story with out Voldemort, no excitement with out the White Witch, and no anticipation without factions. There would be no enthusiasm without the switch, no empowerment with out the shark, and no story without cloning. There would be no exhilaration without the Capital, no interest without the maze, and no anticipation without crime.

          There would be no life without trial.

          The good part is that in our movie, our writer and director have their hands on our lives. They will make sure that everything turns out. Granted, things don’t always turn out as we imagined them to, and they don’t always turn out how we wanted them to, but they will always turn out how the writer wrote if we listen to the director.

          In our lives we are to become great. God has written us into beautiful characters who have lessons to learn and trials to overcome, and amazing people to become, and he has given us a director to show us how to do it. He has given us the greatest gift to become the greatest us. He has given His Son.

          We must listen to the director.

          And the best part of life is it doesn’t end when our figurative “credits” roll. They don’t end because our lives extend beyond the grave. This is only the audition. The time when we are tested to see what kind of characters we will play.

          Life is less about how much money you have and weather or not you own the iPod 3,000 or the newest athlete endorsed shoes and more about who you are and who you are becoming.

          Who you are and who you are becoming is the greatest storyline that will ever exist.

          Live it right.

          feel my sunlight

          p.s. My photography blog is no longer called WhitneySue Photography and is now called keep life bright photography and graphic design. We’ll see if this stays.

          a Library, a Museum or a Zoo

          Me? I’d pick a library. I’d pick a large library with a large glass roof. If I had the decision I would fill it with all kinds of love storie and fantacy novels. That way even though I would be trapped in one place for the rest of my life, my mind would be free. I would have a large comfy area for reading and I would let the public come and read with me. I would remain there until my prince came to rescue me. Then he would come live with me in my castle of stories. Can you tell I am a hopeless romantic? Too bad boys don’t know I exhist.
          What would you pick?
          Feel my Sunlight
          
          p.s. End of term = lots of free time on the computer to write blog posts because teachers don’t teach anything = Happy Whitney!
          p.s.s. I want to read now, but I need books. Anyone have any good sugestions?

          Happily ever after

          You know that feeling you get as you finish a really good book? As you read the last sentence pausing for a second before you close the book, as if to say good bye to the characters. Because while you where reading the book the characters became your friends. When the words stop you have no choice but to say goodbye. But it’s bitter sweet, because your ultimate goal was to finish the book, yet when you finally do, you wish you could have had more time with your “friends”. Knowing you will never share a new adventure with these characters (that is, unless there is a sequal, and in that case all that runs through your mind is; MUST GET NEXT BOOK…MUST GET NEXT BOOK…MUST GET NEXT BOOK!)
          I always think about this as I finish books. These moments usually happens late at night while I lie awake in my bead, with my lamp on, and my alarm clock flashing numbers like 1:24, and 2:19 in red glowing lines.

          I just finished a fantastic book called Read Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & her daughter Samantha Vanleer

          Go find a copy and read it!!

          Feel my Sunlight

          P.s. I start work at Bowmans tomorrow! Wish me luck!