Saturday, October 25, 2014

For My Baby Brother

"We may rest assured that all things are controlled and governed by Him whose spirit children we are. He knows the end from the beginning, and he provides for each of us the testings and trials which he knows we need. President Joseph Fielding Smith once told me that we must assume that the Lord knows and arranges beforehand who shall be taken in infancy and who shall remain on earth to undergo whatever tests are needed in their cases. This accords with Joseph Smith’s statement: ‘The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth.’ (Teachings, pp. 196–97.) It is implicit in the whole scheme of things that those of us who have arrived at the years of accountability need the tests and trials to which we are subject and that our problem is to overcome the world and attain that spotless and pure state which little children already possess.” (“Salvation of Little Children,” p. 6.) (taken from the D&C Institute student manual)

Twenty-two years ago today, my family lost someone very precious. My mom gave birth to a stillborn baby boy, who they named Jay. It was a very difficult thing for my parents to face. By the time he was born, they’d known for about a month that he was dead. Even though I was only about 21-months-old at the time and don’t remember the event, I think about him from time to time. On his birthday, I try to do my best to honor and celebrate the baby brother that I never got to meet. Though we never met on this earth, at times I think the Spirit whispers to me that he is near and watching over me. At times I wonder if he is my guardian angel. I believe we were friends in the pre-mortal world and that because of that I feel this connection to him, though I’ve never even seen his face in mortality.

Mom and Dad at the DC temple again after 25 years

I am grateful for the knowledge of the plan of salvation and specifically for the knowledge of eternal families. Because my parents were sealed in the Washington DC temple on July 17, 1974, my brothers and I were all born into the covenant. Because of this, we haven’t lost Jay. He is sealed to my parents and he is sealed to us. I will see him again. I cannot wait for the day when I get to see my baby brother again.

Happy birthday, Jay. I miss you.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bringing Zion Home

Last week I flew back to Utah. That means it's been a little over a week since I left the Zion-like community known as the Hill Cumorah Pageant. The other day I was talking with a Pageant friend about this. I told her that Pageant was one of the most Zion-like places I've been (the other one being North Star firesides and gatherings). She responded in agreement and expressing that she can't wait for that day to come for real. It got me thinking and I told her that in the meantime I want to do my best to bring Zion to my ward, because I don't believe we have to wait.

The scriptures say that Zion is a people of one heart and one mind who dwell in righteousness (Moses 7:18). Historically it has been a physical location (i.e. The City of Enoch, Jerusalem perhaps, and for a time Independence, Missouri). It will also be a physical place in the future in Independence. However, in the meantime, I believe we can have Zion in the church. I have my issues with Mormon culture, so I wouldn't trick myself into thinking "all is well in Zion" (2 Nephi 28:21) but I have felt Zion before. I've had wards that have felt like Zion. I've been to North Star firesides that just felt like home. And of course, as I mentioned earlier, the Hill Cumorah Pageant. I know it's possible, but now it is a matter of bringing that feeling of Zion with me to my current ward, or at the very least my group of friends. I cannot live (permanently) at the Hill Cumorah Pageant or at North Star firesides. However, I can work on building my own spiritual strength, building others up, and creating Zion in my circle of influence.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Letters from the Hill, Part 3

"And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen." (Moroni 10:34)

It's hard to believe that my time at the Hill Cumorah has come to a close. Last night was our last performance and today my parents are picking me up from the Hill. It has been such a blessing to be here and to be where prophets have been. I am grateful that repeatedly the Lord witnessed to me that this is where I've needed to be. By no means has it been easy. In fact, it's one of the most draining, exhausting experiences I've had. However, it's also been an amazing, spiritual learning experience. Every performance I could name something different that I learned. I've met amazing people. I've grown and I've had the experience that I needed to have.

It was such a blessing each night to be able to see a man in white descend onto the stage portraying the Savior. Though I know in my mind that he was just a man on  a stage, his face showed the light of the Savior. It was such a blessing to see that portrayal each night and ponder on how the Savior would interact with me if he was here. Surely he'd treat me better than I've treated myself. Just as I saw that man on stage portraying the Savior hug the little primary boy each night, I know the Savior would embrace me in His arms. I have felt those healing arms around me on some of my hardest days and I know that He loves me. I know He sacrificed Himself and suffered to redeem me and to change me into a better man. Because of Him, I feel hope. Because of Him, I know there is always hope. Because of Him, I know I can be happy every day of my life, even in turmoil and disappointment. Because of Him, there is always something to be grateful for. 

Now like Moroni (sort of) I bid you farewell, Cumorah, until the Lord brings me back here again.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Letters from the Hill, Part 2

I'm at the Sacred Grove and I just feel the desire to share my testimony.

know that what Joseph claimed is true. He saw God and Jesus Christ. I know Joseph translated the Book of Mormon. I know he restored the Gospel to the Earth. It is because of all of this that I am here. There is nowhere else I would have rather spent this July. It has been such an amazing blessing to be at the birthplace of the Restoration, to stand where prophets, both ancient and modern, stood. When I see the man portraying the Savior on stage in the Pageant, I see the Savior and I desire to come closer to Him. I know that He is the only sure foundation I can rely on. People disappoint, friends move away, but the Savior will forever be close to me, as long as I remain close to Him.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Letters from the Hill, Part 1

It's now day four at the Hill Cumorah Pageant. I've been blessed to have a good group of people  to call my cast team and my home base. I've been blessed to see old friends (including my cast team leaders from when I was 10) and to begin to forge new friendships. I was cast to be a Lamanite warrior in the Pageant, so I'll be in three scenes: the big fight scene after the Nephites and Lamanites separate, the burning of King Noah, and the big swarm of Lamanites known as the tsunami resulting in Mormon's death (sorry, spoiler alert: Mormon dies).

Yesterday was a calm, relaxing day to focus in the spiritual side of the stories we're portraying. There is a calm spirit here. The moment I arrived I felt at home again (you should have seen my giddy face when I arrived--it was similar to the picture above). I feel so blessed to stand on this holy ground where prophets have stood and where angels have visited. It feels like Zion. The only thing similar I've been to is North Star firesides.

In addition, it's just so beautiful here. I miss my Utah mountains, but I'm amazed by how green it is here. I love all the big trees! This is where the Lord needs me to be and I am so grateful to Him for this opportunity to serve Him and to be a missionary again. I know that the gospel was restored in this town. Just a few miles from where I am now, the Father and the Son appeared to Joseph Smith. At this very hill that I'm sitting by, the Angel Moroni gave the golden plates to Joseph that became the Book of Mormon. I know all this to be true because the Holy Ghost has witnessed it to my heart.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Preparing for Cumorah, Part 3

The day is finally here!!! As I type this, I'm on the train headed to Rochester. There will be someone there from Pageant to drive me to the Hill Cumorah. I can't believe it's finally here! Being out here, I have had the opportunity to reflect on a few things. 

First, it's been nearly seven months since I got my acceptance to Pageant. December 15 was the exact day, actually (the blessing of keeping a journal). I'll be honest: the past seven months haven't been easy. Even earlier that day, December 15, I was having an super emotional day. Throughout the whole thing, I've moved twice, I've had friendship/dependency issues, and I had one of the most difficult semesters of my college career (coincidentally it was also the most successful semester I've had). I didn't realize it until recently when David pointed it out to me, but these trials could have easily been reasons to doubt my faith. While it didn't cross my mind to cancel my trip and drop out of Pageant, if I had chosen to doubt my faith, it would have made the trip pointless. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who has patiently and gently (sometimes less gently when I need a good shove or a smack to the face spiritually) taught me and brought me to where I am now. I have a stronger testimony now of His love and His perfect timing. One hard day in particular, I remember crying and grieving a struggle I was going through. Once I was done, humbled, and ready to listen to truth, a phone call came from the exact friend I needed (literally, just as I was finished crying my phone vibrated). God is there and I know He loves me. 

Second reflection: it's been five years since I was in the cast of the Pageant before. That was before I started BYU. It was before I started this blog. It was before my mission. It was before I even accepted that SSA was really a part of my life, as opposed to just attached to my addiction (I don't think I've written here on that, but I mention it in my Voices of Hope essay and possibly my video). It was five years ago that I really first felt free of that addiction. In fact it was at Pageant that that miracle began. A lot has happened in the past five years: I've done several years at BYU, I left on my mission (twice), I came home from my mission (twice), I opened up to EVERYONE in my life about my SSA (that dark secret that I was never going to tell ANYONE), I have worked through (and continue to work through) feelings of dependency and codependency, I have made amazing friends, and (arguably most importantly) I have begun to accept my Heavenly Father's love and to believe that I am worthy of love. I am happier now than I remember being in a long time and largely that is because I've chosen to be happy. Life isn't always pleasant and I have bad days, but life is always worth living and it is always worth striving to be happy. As is mentioned various times in Pageant (quoting Alma) I have "felt a change in [my] heart" and I know that that change has come through the Savior Jesus Christ. He is the whole reason this Pageant is happening. He is the whole reason anything happens. Without Him, all of this mortal experience would be wasted.

I'm a couple hours away from Rochester, so I'll close this now. I'll try to make updates while I'm gone, but I just want to leave my testimony (the same as the last line from the Pageant--unless I'm remembering incorrectly): He lives and He will come again. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Beast is Alone; We Are Not

So… another Doctor Who post since I’ve been re-watching several with my pal Dalton. One that we’ve watched recently is a two-part episode “The Impossible Planet” and “The Satan Pit”.


The Doctor and Rose end up on a space base on a planet that should not exist: a planet that is orbiting around a black hole. The crew of the base, out of pure human curiosity, came to the planet in order to discover how that planet could possibly stay in orbit and possibly harness that power. Things start to unravel in the space base as a being that seems to be the devil incarnate, the being from which the legend of the devil emanated from, begins to terrorize the Doctor, Rose, and the crew. He begins speaking to them and digging at their deepest fears. The crew and Rose start to panic at his taunts, but of course it’s the Doctor who brings everyone back to their senses with a speech:

“That thing is playing on very basic fears: darkness, childhood nightmares, and all that stuff … What makes his version of the truth any better than mine? Hmm? Because I’ll tell you what I can see: Humans! Brilliant humans! Humans who traveled all the way across space, flying in a tiny little rocket right into the orbit of a black hole, just for the sake of discovery! That’s amazing! Do you hear me? Amazing! All of you: the captain, his officer, his elders, his juniors, his friends. All with one advantage: the Beast is alone. We are not.”

Just like Satan would, he plays on the fears of every living being. He uses our fears until we feel utterly alone. Those are the times that I feel most vulnerable and weak. The adversary tells me that I’m alone, that I have no friends, that I am not loved, or some other twisted tale. The adversary loves to use half-truths. Yes, I may be alone at this moment. Yes, I may be having a hard day. I may have had a bad day at work. I may have failed a test (thank goodness I’m not in school right now).

But even if those things are true, what makes his version of the truth any better than God’s? The truth, the better truth, is that God loves me. God knows I am of infinite worth. God sent His Son to suffer for me because He loves me. God is my Father. God wants me to be close to Him. God cares for me. God will always do what is best for me.

I don’t know about you, but one of those stories sounds a lot nicer and happier than the other. If I focus on the negativity of Satan, darkness will fill my life, but if I will listen to the light of the Savior and to the Spirit, He will bless me with truth, comfort, and love. I’ve seen this in my life and I know it to be true. The Savior loves me and He will always be there for me.

Satan is alone. He will always be alone. He will never have a body, a family, or the experience of this mortal journey. He will never be happy. On the other hand, I have a body, I have my friends, I have my family, I have my agency, and I choose to be happy surrounded by those who love me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Preparing for Cumorah, Part 2

Today I'm finishing off Moroni 10, so I've finished reading the Book of Mormon cover-to-cover for the first time in years (usually I just jump around). As part of us preparing ourselves for Pageant, the Pageant Presidency asked us it read it through before we got to the Hill. So I started over. It's been cool to read it through again. I've gained some cool insights and it has put some things in perspective. I also learned some cool facts that I'd never considered before. I'd like to share some of them.

Photo Credit to Garrett Wilkes :)

First off, just a cool fact (mixed with speculation), did you realize Alma the Elder was in his 70s at the time his son was converted? I always thought he was middle aged. Also, if Alma the Elder was that old, how old was his son? I'd always thought he was a teenager... Instead he was more likely middle-aged).

On a related note, one of the stories that really impressed me during this read of the Book of Mormon was Alma the Younger's conversion. We get Mormon's abridged version in Mosiah, but I love Alma's first-person re-telling of it in Alma 36. In addition, I love what he says in Alma 5, that though he saw an angel, he attributes his conversion to having "fasted and prayed many days" (Alma 5:46). As we see through the scriptures, signs do not convert: Laman and Lemuel saw an angel (1 Nephi 3:29) and only moments later doubted God's power (1 Nephi 3:31), Korihor was struck dumb (Alma 30:49) but had that curse been taken away he would not have changed his behavior (Alma 30:55), and the list goes on.

Sometimes I really want something concrete that without doubt the Lord is there or to simply give me a sign. At times I think I have gotten these little signs, but those things are easy to forget. More important for me than concrete signs is to consistently connect with God and feel His love. His love is always available, but I have to be willing to seek after it through scriptures, prayers, hikes in nature, looking at the stars, reading my patriarchal blessing, etc. If I look He is always there.

Another story I loved in this read of the Book of Mormon was 3 Nephi 9-10. Simultaneous with the crucifixion, the Nephites and the Lamanites were hit with destruction throughout the Americas. Cities sank into the sea, others were burned, earthquakes, floods, etc. After through destruction stopped, the voice of the Savior permeated the land. His sweet merciful voice pleaded with those who were "more righteous than [those who perished]" (3 Nephi 9:13) to "repent and return unto [Him] with full purpose of heart" (3 Nephi 10:6).

I have two thoughts from this that I want to share. First, these were the more righteous people of the Nephites and the Lamanites. And yet, the Lord implored them to repent. It is tempting for me to think that I'm doing well and to feel really good about it. It is good and healthy to recognize my progress and not discount my positive traits just to make myself feel "humble" (which in my opinion is a shadow form of humility). However, I need to not get complacent and forget the need that I have for the Savior and His Atonement. I need to continually "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ" (2 Nephi 31:20).

I love the Book of Mormon. It is truly the word of God. I have felt such peace as I've read through it over the past six months. I'm excited to share my testimony of this volume of scripture with those who attend the Pageant this summer. :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Preparing for Cumorah, Part 1

In December I got the amazing news that I would be returning to the Hill Cumorah Pageant. My mom grew up a couple hours from Palmyra, so I've grown up visiting Palmyra. The first time I remember seeing Pageant was in 1998 (though I also saw it at a year and half old in 1992). Three years later at the age of 10 I was in the cast of the Pageant with my family. That year I got to play Laman's son in the journey to the Americas. Seven years later I was in the cast again and I played a Lamanite warrior (spoiler alert: I died). Two years ago, my parents and my little brother were in the cast, so during my road trip with Garrett, we visited and watched the last full run through before the dress rehearsal. This year, I have the amazing opportunity to participate again.

So first, a quick FAQ about the Hill Cumorah Pageant:

No, it doesn't have any singing. You do not have to be musically talented to be in it (which explains why I can do it). There are some dancers, but that's kind of minor. Most people end up being in cried scenes. 

No, I do not know what part I'll be playing. I report to the Hill Cumorah on July 4. That night they have casting and in the days following they assign parts. So I will not find out who I'm playing until I get there (likely it won't be anyone with an actual name).

I'm at the Hill from July 4 until July 20. There are seven performances: July 11-12 and July 14-19. The dress rehearsal is July 10 and there is a full run through (without costumes) on July 9.

The members of the cast get trained by the missionaries there to proselyte and bear testimony to the audience members, both members of the church and friends of other faiths. 

If you can't tell, I'm really excited. One month from tomorrow I'll be at the Hill and this adventure will begin. If you live out east, I recommend coming, even if it means driving a while. It is an amazing experience and it changed my life :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

I Choose Hope

I've been thinking a bit about the power of agency and to what extent we choose happiness. Of course there are things like clinical depression and other mental conditions that affect a person in ways that no amount of positive thinking can fix. However that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about negative thinking. That can be fixed with positive thinking and choosing happiness and hope.


In the mid-season finale of Once Upon a Time, which I referenced in a recent post, I mentioned the flashbacks featuring the theme of happy endings. In Snow White and Prince Charming's flashback the Blue Fairy talks to them about their daughter Emma's destiny to save them all from the impending curse. At first Snow is worried about the uncertainty, that they don't know if the future will hold anything good for them. Charming responds that the future isn't what they planned, but that doesn't make it bad. In the end, Snow says, "I choose hope."

In another episode (chronologically after the flashback I just mentioned), Snow White/Mary Margaret is talking to her grown daughter Emma who is frustrated by her parents' insufferable optimism. How could they always be so optimistic when their lives have sucked so much? A line from Snow White/Mary Margaret right then hit me: "The minute I let go of the idea that things will get better is the minute I know they won't."

My life hasn't exactly been ideal lately. I've been stressed by school and preoccupied with making sure that my relationships with others are healthy. Many times I've wanted to just break down in tears feeling hopeless. Other times I have felt hopeless. As hard as it is, and it is incredibly hard, I am holding onto the hope of a "happy ending" (or at least reminding myself that the semester has an ending). It's really easy to be bitter toward God or others for what's going on in my life. However, instead of being bitter I choose hope. Hope that I will get acceptable grades in my classes. Hope that I will be able to maintain healthy relationships. And hope that no matter how many tears I shed, the Savior will be there to wipe those tears away (Revelation 21:4) and comfort me. I need Him. I cannot go through this journey alone.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I See His Hand

For the anniversary of the Voices of Hope project, I want to share something somewhat unrelated. Something I’ve been thinking about since Sunday.

In the Book of Mormon, Alma says that “all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator” (Alma 30:44). I’ve been thinking about what things “witness that there is a Supreme Creator” in my life, so here’s a little bit of a quick list.

1.      I see His hand in every picture I see my sister-in-law post of my nephew Carson. The little boy has an adorable innocent smile.
2.      I see His hand in every video I see of my “niece” Rachel, either posted on Facebook by her mother or sent to me by her grandma. This adorable 20-month-old always makes me smile.
3.      I see His hand when I hear just the right song at just the right time. I have a Christian radio station (kLove) favorited in my car and sometimes I’ll turn the car on and a song comes on to bless me in just the way I need.
4.      I see His hand when I see the numbers 4-4-4 together on a license plate, in a phone number, or wherever. Like I’ve said before, the triple-4 reminds me of serving with Elder Call and how it reminded him of his favorite scripture Alma 44:4. Now these numbers remind me of that scripture, that great missionary I had the honor to serve with, and the scripture that gives me strength to warrior on and keep going.

5.      I see His hand in a rainy day. I remember being on bikes on my mission with Elder Call and just how excited he was when it was rainy and stormy. Especially on those summer days in Toronto when it was really warm, I enjoyed the rain too.
6.      I see His hand in the welcoming arms of my friends. I am blessed to know some of the most Christ-like people and I am learning not to question why they would want to be friends with someone as ordinary and flawed as me. Regardless, every warm hug, every loving text, and every Christ-like act of love shows me that I am not alone and that God has answered the prayers that I prayed for years as a teenager, that I would finally have friends.

7.     I see His hand in the progress I’ve made emotionally over the past year or so. I look back at the person I was a year ago or two years ago and I feel such empathy for the young man who thought he’d never be capable of being happy. I have my stormy days still, but in them I try to hold onto the memory of all the good.
8.      I see His hand in the Voices of Hope Project. Sometimes I’ll be having a difficult day and a new video will come out that day and what is said is exactly what I need (on that note remember to like their page on Facebook).

I am grateful for the knowledge I have of a loving Heavenly Father. I am grateful for His love which helps me grow. I am grateful for the many blessings He has given me. I am grateful to know that He can help me in my life in whatever I am doing. I know He loves me.

In the comments, I’d love to hear how you see His hand in your life.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Your Happy Ending

Sometimes I look back at the past few years (pretty much all the way back to when I came home from Toronto, I suppose) and just marvel at all of what has happened. All of the good. All of the bad. A lot of it has been messy, but a lot of it has been miraculous as well. When I graduated from high school, I would have never guessed that I would have told ANYONE about my SSA (never mind putting it on Facebook). I would have never guessed I would go through the trials I’ve gone through.


"Your happy ending may not be what you expect..."

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a fan of ABC’s show “Once Upon a Time.” Their mid-season finale “Going Home” was great, in my opinion (you can argue that if you want, but I’m not up for arguing opinion). For those who are unfamiliar with the show, each episode is split into two storylines: present-day action and flashbacks. Usually the flashbacks tell one story from start to finish. The mid-season finale was different; each flashback was completely separate from the others. However, they had a common theme: finding a “happy ending.”

Each character had something different for their flashback. Snow White and Prince Charming’s flashback talks about finding the hope of a happy ending, even if it wasn’t the one that they expected. Captain Hook’s flashback has to do with his alternative to a happy ending: revenge. In Rumpelstiltskin’s flashback he says that his ending will not be a happy one. All of these have their own point to make, but I want to focus on the last flashback: Henry’s. In Henry’s flashback he is given his storybook by his teacher, Miss Blanchard/Snow White. Henry is becoming aware of the oddities in their town and is becoming depressed. Miss Blanchard gives him the storybook to give him hope of a happy ending. One quote of hers in particular I want to mention: “Your happy ending may not be what you expect, but that is what will make it so special.”

This quote rings true with me. I am far from my happy ending, but what I had once thought would be my “happy ending” (serving a two-year mission, getting  married, and becoming a dad) is not what I got or what I may get. I didn’t get to serve for two years. I’m not married (I’ve only ever briefly had one girlfriend) and I don’t know when that will happen (I do believe it will happen… but maybe not as quick as I want). My happy ending is a perfect family life, but that’s not going to happen. It’s part of mortality to struggle, to whatever extent, throughout life. I believe that it’s through struggle that we grow and become more like Christ.

My happy ending has not been what I expected, but the “happy ending” I’ve had so far has been special… Had I not come home from Toronto, I wouldn’t have met Eric, Justin, or many others. My experiences have helped me grow, bond with others, and become a strong man with a stronger faith. If it was not for my loneliness growing up, I would not appreciate my friends that I have now that have become my brothers and sisters.

3 years after I went into the MTC my little brother went in

I am grateful for my “happy ending.” However, I’m not done yet. I still have many great things to come. I still have a true love to find and a family to have. I have an undergraduate degree to finish. I have weaknesses and insecurities to work on. My happy ending isn’t here yet, but that’s the fun part. I still have great and hard things to do. And I can do hard things.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

He is My Spotter

I was working on my Doctrine and Covenants readings for my class tomorrow when I came across this scripture:

“And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.” (D&C 78:18)

“Ye cannot bear all things now.” To me this quote seems to say that this moment, this sliver of time, this second, I cannot bear all things. However, there are things I can bear and there are things I can learn to bear. Like any good workout, I need to stretch myself a little past what I think I can do. When I bench-press, I try to do one more rep than I think I’m capable of.

What if I’m about to drop the weight? That’s what my spotter is for. My spotter is not just for those last sets when I struggle most, he is there through the entire set. He helps me balance the weight when one of my arms can’t lift like my other arm can. He helps stabilize the bar when I’m near the end of my endurance and my arms start to get shaky.

In life, Christ is my spotter. I may notice His presence most when I struggle and when I feel I’m about to be crushed by a weight. However, He is always there, sometimes unnoticed. He helps me lift the burdens I am struggling to lift. He helps me balance the weights that I have out of balance (classes, work, friendships, etc.).

As my Spotter, Christ is often unseen but He is there. “[His] eyes are upon [me]” (D&C 38:7). He stands behind the bench I’m lying on. Though I am unable to see Him, He has said, “I am in your midst and ye cannot see me.” He sees the weight I am lifting and if I trust him and communicate with Him, He will not let it fall. He will help me lift the weights and develop the endurance and strength that I need for the trials of this mortal existence.

Garrett and I trying to look tough....
Long before we ever considered the gym