On Love: "Pursue love by striving to give it rather than possess it."
On Agency: "We often talk about the plan of salvation as if ourMemorable passages:
On Love: "Pursue love by striving to give it rather than possess it."
On Agency: "We often talk about the plan of salvation as if our lives were mapped out for us, a good enough metaphor, but he cautions, "once you get to work, you'll be unnerved by the distance between the neat map in your hand and the rough terrain at your feet. Fighting to coordinate the two, you'll be tempted to throw the whole thing over or, by way of compromise, to sit down and gossip about how great the map is. This latter kind of admiration is often mistaken for a religious life. Perhaps it is religious, but it is no life. Even sound maps are just maps. They are no substitute for real roads."
On Faith: "They say in Zen, waking up to life requires three things: great faith, great doubt, and great effort. Faith isn’t a way of going to sleep. It’s the work of waking up. And, in order to wake up, you’ll need both great faith and great doubt. In itself, doubt is neither good nor bad. Its value depends on what you do with it. You can doubt what’s real in order to stay asleep or you can doubt your daydreams in order to wake up. You can use doubt to protect you from the truth or you can use doubt to leave you vulnerable to it. You’ll have doubts regardless. Repurpose them for the sake of faith. Saving doubt is a strong solvent that can burn holes in your [worldview] and lead you back to the work of being faithful to life and, thus, to God. Practicing doubt for the sake of faith is hard work and it demands great effort. Great faith, great doubt, great effort."
"When your faith falters and you’re tempted to run, stand up and bear testimony instead. A testimony is a promise to stay. A testimony gives form to your great faith, it gives direction to your great doubt, and it publicly commits you to the great effort of trying to live what God gives. It is less a measure of your certainty about a list of facts than it is a mark of your commitment to bearing the truths that, despite their weakness, keep imposing themselves as a grace. In this way, bearing a testimony is like saying “I love you.” A testimony doesn’t just reflect what someone else has already decided, it is a declaration that, in the face of uncertainty, you have made a decision. Saying “I love you” or “I know the church is true” commits you to living in such a way as to make that love true.”
"Faith is more like being faithful to your husband or wife than it is like believing in magic. Fidelity is the key. You may fall in love with someone because of how well they complement your story, but you'll prove yourself faithful to them only when you care more for the flawed, difficult, and unplotted life you end up sharing with them. Faith isn't the opposite of knowledge. Rather, like love, faith perfects knowledge by practicing fidelity to it."
"Being a good person doesn't mean you're not a sinner. Sin goes deeper. Being good will save you a lot of trouble, but it won't solve the problem of sin. Only God can do this."
We all have a story of our own life. A story we want our life to tell- a picture of how we'd like it to look...
"You'll lavish attention on this story until . . . it becomes your blueprint for how things ought to be. As you persist in measuring life against it . . . [it] will become a substitute for God, an idol."
"Jesus Christ is not asking you to tell a better story or live your story more successfully, He's asking you to lose that story. Let His life manifest itself in yours rather than trying to impose your story on the life He gives."
"Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it." (Matthew 10:39)
"Free yourself from the self-obsessed burden of your own story, and center yourself on Christ. You don't need to generate merit in order to be saved, you need instead to come unto Christ and "rely wholly upon the merits of Him who is mighty to save." (2 Nephi 31:19)
"The law points wholly to Christ and His grace. Keeping the law is the work of relying on Christ's merit, not the work of generating your own."
"At some point, God will ask you to sacrifice on his altar not only your stories about your own life but your version of his stories as well. Your softly lit watercolor felt-board version of scripture stories and church history must, like all your stories, be abandoned at his feet, and the messy, vibrant, and inconvenient truths that characterize God's real work with real people will have to take center stage. If they don't, then how will God's work in your hungry messy, and inconvenient life ever do the same?"
On History: "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? There is no one but us. There is no one to send, nor a clean hand, nor a pure heart on the face of the earth, nor in the earth, but only us..." Adam S. Miller quoting Annie Dillard
On Scriptures: "The Book of Mormon is the new covenant. It is given to you as a Urim and Thummim, as your own personal seer stone. Look into it and learn how to see the world by its light. And as you do, you'll be shown how to do what The Lord requires. " See D&C 84:54-57
“Get close to the scriptures. Do anything you can. God is in there.… Underline everything. Pack your margins with notes. Read Paul out loud like poetry … Squeeze their verses like oranges. Know Isaiah by heart. Love Matthew like a brother. Sing the psalms as your prayers.”
On Prayer: "Sometimes when you pray and wait in silence, a messenger will come, you'll hear the voice of the Lord, and you'll be empowered to do as God directs. But sometimes when you pray and wait in silence, there will only be silence and you will wonder where God has gone. When this happens, you'll have to make a choice. You'll have to decide whether to get up and leave the room or whether to continue in silence. If you choose the first, then you'll return to the bustle of the world. But if you persist in the second, you may discover something more powerful and primal than the voice of the Lord. You may discover that God's silence is not itself a rebuke but an invitation. The heavens aren't empty, they're quiet. And God, rather than turning you away, may be inviting you to share this silence with him. This is part of what atonement looks like: sitting in shared silence with God."...more
“I said "it is my first language, my mother tongue, my family, my people, my home; it is my heart, my heart, my heart." NSome of my favorite passages:
“I said "it is my first language, my mother tongue, my family, my people, my home; it is my heart, my heart, my heart." No one says any of these things. But they should.”
“How is it we come through the most difficult miles? Do we come silent or singing? Do we come in company, or do we come alone? Are we all alone on the open plains under starlit skies, all alone with the cooing owls in the dark of early morning? Our ancestors, our grandmothers, will their spirits take pity on us?”
“How badly I wanted to belong as I had when I was a young Mormon girl, to be simply a working part in the great Mormon plan of salvation, a smiling exemplar of our sparkling difference. But instead I found myself a headstrong Mormon woman staking out her spiritual survival at a difficult point in Mormon history. ”
“I can’t go on like this, I told myself. And You can’t possibly want me to feel this way, I demanded of God. God didn’t argue. Forced to choose between my nostalgia for the faith of my childhood and my dignity as an adult, I put down the doll and drove away.”
“Who watches over us when we leave? Who remembers our names when we disappear ourselves from home? Who hears the absence of our voices? Who misses the sound of our stories?”
“I am not the same kind of Mormon girl I was when I was seven, eight, or eighteen years old. I am not an orthodox Mormon woman like my mother. I am an unorthodox Mormon woman with a fierce and hungry faith. ”
“What do we do with ourselves when we find we have failed to become the adults we dreamed as pious children?” ...more