Ever Onward

Each year, the significance of Easter increases as my love for my family increases. Christ’s gift of his own life makes it possible for all to be resurrected and live with their families forever. More importantly, as Brad Wilcox said in his book, Changed through His Grace, “perhaps the greatest gift is not only that…

My Inner Toddler: Part 1

My toddler has given me an unexpected gift: the realization that I myself am a toddler. If I imagine that the way I look at my toddler’s actions is the same way Heavenly Father looks at my actions, somehow it’s much easier to be at peace with my shortcomings and to love myself. Plus the…

Motherhood: Nothing Can Prepare You . . . for How Wonderful It Is

One cannot remember mother and forget God. —Thomas S. Monson I always knew that nothing could truly prepare me for motherhood. But I always interpreted that to mean nothing could prepare me for how hard it is. On the contrary, it’s easy to prepare for how hard it is, but not so easy to prepare…

Developing Christlike Attributes: The Virtue Paradox

Lao-tzu, a Chinese philosopher and the founder of Taoism, proposed a phenomenon called the “paradox of virtue,” suggesting that when we consciously strive to become more virtuous, we actually diminish our virtue. For example, if we serve others because we want “to be a good person” then our motives are not truly selfless, and therefore…

Gratitude in Advance

“‘To know something is not as good as loving it; to love something is not as good as rejoicing in it.” —Confucius When I read this quote from Confucius, it made me pause. His first point, “to know something is not as good as loving it,” seems like a no-brainer; any normal person would agree that…

Replace “Balance” with “Harmony”

What comes to mind when you think of “balance?” A set of scales with a pair of weights at equilibrium? A tightrope walker strutting down a nearly-invisible wire? A juggler keeping multiple objects in constant motion? Well, I don’t know about you, but I can’t juggle. I can’t tightrope walk. And I certainly can’t give…

Your “As You Wish”

Do I tell my loved ones often enough that I love them?  Well, that depends.  Perhaps a better question to ask is “When am I really saying ‘I love you’?” The message that you love someone is almost never conveyed in the moment of saying the actual words “I love you.”  So when and how…

15 Ways to Increase our Capacity to Receive

In the fall of 2017, I went to General Conference with the question, “How can I stop being weighed down by the feeling that I’m not good enough?” My answer came when Elder Holland said, “Our only hope for true perfection is in receiving it as a gift from heaven. We won’t earn it.” Since hearing…

Eyes that Hear

I want to take you on a journey . . . Imagine you move to another planet.  On this planet, there are other human beings almost exactly like you.  They look like you, and they hear, see, smell, taste, and touch as you do.  There is only one difference.  These other human beings have a…

Stable in the Stable

When I was a child, I designed and created this plastic-canvas nativity set for my mother.  Like many nativity scenes, the figures in this set look so pristine and comfortable.  But the reality was probably anything but comfortable.  When we describe the Christmas story, we use special, holy-sounding words like “stable,” “swaddling clothes,” and “manger,”…