Sunday, May 16, 2021

It's been a while..

It's been a while since I've come home from church and felt the need to hide in bed; to just curl up around the hurt of fear and hold myself together before everything comes tumbling apart.

It's been a while. 

But here I am again, trying to take the grief one breath at a time, knowing I have to breathe it through and breathe it deep and release it one breath at a time. 

And just as my body began to relax, I heard his voice, "Let us be doing"....and I know that the way through this is to do...not just anything to stay busy, but do the things that build lasting relationships. Spend time with my kids, my spouse, my Lord. You know, the important things you can actually take with you when you go.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Lies, loneliness and love

What if one of Satan's many lies is that loneliness means we are worthless and unloved,  when really, loneliness is sacred, holy time we are blessed with to get to know ourselves and our God?

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Withdrawal from Wthdrawal

Remember that time when you took the challenge to not eat sugar for 3 weeks, and not just sugar, but gluten and milk?

What kind of self torture is that?

Remember how sad you were... and a little bored?

But you did it, thinking you would be back to sugar in no time...until the 3 weeks were up and then you were so scared to even think about eating sugar again because now you know for sure how much you depended on it to entertain you, to keep you company, to distract you from the hard things, and what if you can't just have it occasionally without eating all of it?


And not only that, remember how it made you wonder if there were other things in your life that you could give up; other things that are a waste of time and talents?

You know...

those things that you tell yourself you deserve to do....or eat, because you've worked so hard all day and you've earned it?

How does that even make sense?

Here, you've worked incredibly hard, now go do something that is going to negate at least half of the work you've deserve it.

What kind of self-hate talk is that?

Remember that?

Please, remember that.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

My Newly Broken Heart

At first it was just a stretching, pulling, relaxing and constriction…the natural and nauseating beginning pains of child birth.  The way it is supposed to be. No child would stay in the womb forever…no mother would want it so.
This separation begins, it pulls and stretches until she slips free and with all that new beginning, there is a new breaking of my heart.
It's a good broken, a necessary broken, to cleave you must first be broken kind of broken... pieces bond together as again and again she latches on for nourishment. My soldered heart, beating stronger in this new bond.....

I stare at her grey eyes...
                        and I can't imagine how....
                                        her flesh came from my flesh, my thoughts, my actions....

How could she not be a piece of my soul?

My life put on hold, my life just begun... to hold and love and continue to create someone from this new piece of my newly broken heart.
The breaking continues, slower now, but seems so fast as one moment right after another she chooses her path, breaking and cleaving only to sever again.

She fails, and we break together. We share the pieces of our always breaking hearts and build again something different, maybe stronger.

She succeeds, and my heart bursts into a billion new pieces of joy and she scoops it up and adds it to her own. 
And that bond heart is new and sinewy and strong and it stretches and somehow is still a part of me and I can't help but hold it close. Like the newbie I am, I hold too tight and she pulls even harder until I let go too soon and she falls slipping through my clenched fingertips. We pick up and brush off and patch up and move on. Constantly recreating as we learn that whatever she is, she is still a part of me to hold with open hands.
Day after day she builds her own heart, beating strong and sure and sometimes scared. She takes pieces from here and pieces from there, some light and some dark, building and breaking, blood flowing with passion and poison.

 She doesn't give up, although sometimes I think she has, my preference for speed threatening to rush what can't be rushed. Even that speed she must have a piece of... that impatience that I'm still working out of my own heart...she takes that too, and leaps and falls maimed... but leaps again.
I feel her heart even when I can’t see her; her fears and hurts, jagged lacerations in my own heart, telling me she is breaking. I can't fix her, she rightly claimed that piece for herself, it's natural and nauseating....but assuredly, the broken pieces drum the rhythm that she came from something stronger and infinitely sure... 
and we bond through the broken
both cleaving, leaning
on the Infinite Broken Heart.
Then without warning she makes that final tug and I feel the wind sucked out of me as my whole body contracts and on its own, pushes her out. It should be familiar.... child would stay in womb forever, no mother would want it so...

but the pain is raw and I am left with open, empty hands as this time, she bonds with someone new.

Is this what joy is?

My heart misses her pieces everyday and breaks a little more as I try to find all the pieces to build a whole heart. It works.... mostly, and life drums on and my blood pumps through my veins and my smile is still there...but barely. 
I do smile... we share so many heart pieces....I smile because I know she is a part of me still and someday....when she feels that first stretching and pulling and inevitable first tear, 

I will feel it too...

and my heart will gladly break again for her newly broken heart.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Sometimes it sucks

I run more than walk. It's my natural state. Today I headed out looking for the sun on my face and the need for new thoughts to pump through me like oxygen filled blood. My running feet on the ground did not disappoint and it felt like I was coming back to myself...

I needed that.

Then the reality of my malnutritioned body gave way and my sleep deprived soul gave in and the cold wind blew stronger than the suns rays and tormented me from all directions.

But this too is my running, this too is why I crave it. Sometimes it sucks and that is as real as any other part of me. It's not meant to always be sunny and 50 degrees with a cool breeze right when you start to get sweaty. Nope sometimes it sucks, and that's just fine.

I sometimes try to photograph how my run feels, to capture somehow, the change of mind and direction it can bring to my soul. It never really works that well, because I have to stop running to get a good shot and then it's just not the same. So at least to document, if not capture, I snapped a few today, because this is a day I will remember. The sunlight through the trees, the winding road up ahead, a hill to keep things interesting and and the bird crap that just missed my head and landed on my running leg.

Yeah, sometimes it sucks, but that's perfect and I want to live it all.

I hugged my little one goodby today. My toes cold on the driveway and my heart lodged in my throat. This one who has been a part of me from the beginning, my blood her blood creating her flesh. I remember just looking at her for hours not believing that she was mine...even just for this moment.

This moment that went too fast. This bueatuful girl, this girl that has turned me inside out, this girl that has made me be 100 percent sure of who I am before I could show her who she is...

my daughter, my friend...

I passed this piece of my heart off to him and they drove away.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Irrigation Illustration

I was asked to speak on how we can receive personal revelation through the scriptures. 
What ever our questions are, what ever trials or joys we are experiencing, we can receive personal revelation through the scriptures, that is just that, personal. In 2 Nephi 31:3  it says: “For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding.” God knows us and loves us and only wants the best for us. He never speaks just to hear the words come out of his mouth, he speaks directly to each of us, through the power of the Holy Ghost, in a way we can understand and act.

To illustrate how this principle can work in our lives, I’d like to share an illustration…we’ll call it an Irrigation illustration. Now, just to clarify, for all of you Indianaian’s, irrigation is an activity that is required to grow crops when your total annual rainfall is less than what Indiana sees in a week. Such was the life on the farm where I grew up in Southern Idaho. I was introduced to the joy of moving irrigation pipe at a young age and though I always seemed to be the smallest on the crew, I was determined to never be last in finishing my lines, so I worked my tail off  lifting the pipes which were often full of water, letting them drain, then racing 60 feet down the field to and reconnect the section of pipe in a straight line then running back to get the next one. It turned into a game of sorts with some interesting competitions and prizes….but I digress…The point here today is that the irrigation pipes provided a “simple” means by which the entire field could receive water. This was my job for over 8 years and by the time I graduated from high school and headed out into the big wide world, we joked that I already had my pipe moving degree, and indeed, from the work, fun and lessons learned moving pipe, I felt like I could conquer anything.

Fast forward 14 years and I found myself standing in the middle of my own field. Just a small 4 acre field in the middle of Colorado, but I was excited to get back to my farming roots and I needed some serious irrigation to make this happen. Irrigation…I totally got this. But. In this particular part of  Colorado, there were no shiny irrigation pipes to move neatly across the field, evenly sprinkling water to all parts of the field. Here, irrigation came only 3 times a year and for me, lasted a mear 28 hours. Flood irrigation was the only option and a totally new experience for me. When it was my turn at the ditch, the water ran down a large pipe at the top of my field, and it was up to me to open up a series of small gates in that pipe to let the water flow into different sections of my field. So, on day one, I opened the gates, waited to make sure the pressure was right and everything was working correctly, then went back inside to attend to my house work. A few hours later I went back out to the field to see how things were progressing. As I walked up through my field the first thing I noticed was that it was still dry. Where was my water? Looking up my field, I could clearly see the water still flowing into my field…where was it all going? It took a little investigating, but I soon discovered that my field was not the gentle slop that I originally saw, but was full of dips and slants that I hadn’t first noticed. Much of my water was following a zig zag pattern, flowing aimlessly across my field. Then I looked across the fence into my neighbors property and saw a couple random wet spots….where in the world was that water coming from? I solved the mystery by following the flow of the water to where it suddenly disappeared…. down a gopher hole, only to reappear in the middle of my neighbors horse corral. I was in trouble and I knew it.  I went to work, trying to fill in gopher holes, and creating small ditches for water to reach different parts of my field. By the time my 28 hours were up, I was completely exhausted and a solid 2/3rds of my field remained dry. I had all the water a girl could need, but I had not provided a place for it to go.

Brothers and sisters, I believe we have a loving father in Heaven who speaks to us often, with  words of guidance, warning and comfort, and yet many of us continue to walk through a lonely dessert, parched for personal revelation. 

President Spencer W. Kimball made this observation, “I find that when I get causal in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening, and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse my self in the scriptures, the distance narrows and the spirituality returns and I find myself loving more intensely.”

If you want hear that divine voice in your life, if you want to grow spiritually, if you want to love more intensely, the scriptures provide the means to make that happen, but if you want that living water to reach all parts of your spiritual field, you must create a place for it to go. 

After my first irrigation disaster, I noticed my neighbors fields that had set furrows running the length of their field. So I went to work and with some help from a neighbor, I created furrows that stretched from my water gates all the way to the opposite end of the field. I worked tirelessly with my dog and some local snakes to eradicate the gophers and was ever vigilant against the destructive prairie dog. I created a place for the water to go, and that is where it went. We have a literal flood of knowledge and revelation waiting for us inside the scriptures, but we must provide a place for it to go. 

President Benson taught this about the Book of Mormon: 
“We learn that as we covenant with Christ and structure our lives with keeping his commandments his peace flows into all areas of our lives.” 

 Commandments are blessings that allow the spirit of God to flow into our lives. In psalms 119 it says, “Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.” (psalm 119:77)  This law is found in the scriptures and they are meant to be a delight.  Building solid scripture study habits provides a place for the living water of Christ to enter our lives and the lives of our family. But it’s hard work. Here’s how our family scripture reading sometimes goes. 

Hey kids, time for scriptures.., please, yes, you need to come now, no, we can’t skip it tonight. Take a break from your homework that you just conveniently started as I called scripture study…stop yelling please, refrain from cussing while your holding your scriptures….hurry, just read, read a verse…maybe two….do you have your scriptures? Here, share with me, read a verse? Alma is not found on Instagram….can you please open your scriptures? shhhh, read a verse…that’s stripling warriors, not stripping…there’s an important difference….just read…

and then the chapter is over, kids are off to bed and the water disappears down the gopher hole. 

But sometimes…sometimes, things align and and sometimes we make a little more time, and sometimes questions are asked and prayers are answered and sometimes….something soaks in. But you can’t just leave it up to chance, there is a pattern to follow in irrigation and receiving personal revelation. First Act in faith. It truly takes a lot of faith to continue the practice of family scripture study, but as we do, our children will come to expect it and learn from experience that the guidance found in the scriptures can be a deep source of inspiration. As we actively apply the scripture truths in our lives, they will learn that of the many good books and sources of information out there, this is the best book. They will come to learn that in these stories, verse by verse, patterns of eternal truth are taught. As we act in faith and develop a habit for our own personal study as well, the living water of the gospel has the ability to reach the far corners of our lives.
President Benson made this promise: 
It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called “the words of life” (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance.” end quote

After I had prepared a place for my water to go, I discovered another problem. Yes, the water would go where I wanted it to, in fact, it went there very quickly, and taking me by surprise, even ran wasted into the street or my basement.  Sure my entire field was wet, but it all happened so quickly there wasn’t time for the water to soak deep and a lot was wasted. Over time, I learned to alternate the parts of the field I was watering, to let the water run over it once, give it a rest and then cover it again. I even alternated with a neighbor, allowing every last drop time to soak in. 

I remember vividly the first time I really took the time to let the word of God soak into my life. As part of the seminary council in high school I had been asked to travel around our stake and speak in the different wards about seminary. I had given talks before, but it had always been about just getting it done. I felt that this should be different. I wanted to share the truth I knew in my heart, but I didn’t know how to explain it. I followed the example of my parents and went to my scriptures.  I prayed and studied. I was lead to Alma 32 and the topic of faith. I was familiar with this passage, but as I read it this time, seeking for personal witness, I was indeed taught deeper meaning and application on how faith worked in my life. Still today, I will return to this chapter and find guidance and peace in it’s comfortable cadence. 

It was no coincidence that this first big drink of mine was accompanied by prayer and questions. In seminary we are taught not to just ask questions, but to frame them in an eternal perspective. Questions like, Why was this included in the scriptures?  Why is it repeated so often? Who am I in this story? What is the eternal truth being taught, and how can I apply this to my life? If we are really bold, we can follow Pres Uchdorf’s advice  and ask, Lord is it I? And I quote:

May I suggest that the holy scriptures are an effective mirror we can hold up for self-examination.
As you hear or read the words of the ancient and modern prophets, refrain from thinking about how the words apply to someone else and ask the simple question: “Lord, is it I?”
We must approach our Eternal Father with broken hearts and teachable minds. We must be willing to learn and to change. And, oh, how much we gain by committing to live the life our Heavenly Father intends for us.
Those who do not wish to learn and change probably will not and most likely will begin to wonder whether the Church has anything to offer them.
But those who want to improve and progress, those who learn of the Savior and desire to be like Him, those who humble themselves… and seek to bring their thoughts and actions into harmony with our Father in Heaven—they will experience the miracle of the Savior’s Atonement.” 

 When we approach our scriptures this way, when we “ask and expect to be given” when we  “seek knowing we will find” when we knock believing that he is waiting to fling open the door;  Not only will our questions be answered, but we will get answers to questions we don’t know how to ask, “for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered,” (Romans 8:26). This takes us from a study session to worship and communion with our Father in Heaven. Take the time to let it soak in.

 As we learn to hearken to the personal revelation that is offered, more will follow. After a little practice at this new form of irrigation, I got better at it and was able to use all I was given. As this happened, I found that the ditch rider would sometimes call me when he had a little water to spare and ask if I could take more….ummmm YES! If my field was already saturated, I had a huge underground cistern at the bottom of my field. I learned to channel extra water into this cistern for use around the yard, and in my garden.  This pattern and blessing of caring for what we are given is set forth in 2 Ne 28:30
“I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.”  

Care for the spiritual revelation you receive and you will be given more. Record it, ponder it, treat it like the sacred gift that it is. Let it lead you deeper into the scriptures. There is always more God wants to tell you….when you are ready. I had a stake president say once, that we should be writing our own scriptures as we receive guidance and inspiration for our lives and our families.  Another way to care for and store up what we receive is to memorize the passages that speak truth to you and then these simple verses will continue to change you. Memorizing will allow you to keep them with you like a good friend. Faster than you can tap a foot note in your digital scriptures, these memorized phrases will pop into your head when you need them the most, lighting your path and comforting your heart and when led by the Spirit, inspiring others.   In Peter 3 it says, “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you, a reason of the hope that is in you” (Peter 3:15)

I want to close today with the reason of hope which is in me and my specific testimony of the Book of Mormon. I have had the opportunity to get more up close and personal with this book this year than I ever have. It is truth. It is peace. It is hope. And I hear my Heavenly Father’s voice in it’s pages.  

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Invitation

With Valentines Day approaching, I couldn’t help but think of relationships and this thing called love. Who doesn’t love a good Valentines day done right? A note from your sweetheart, a little chocolate and a night out….and of course there will be money spent. Total  US spending on Valentines day is predicted to reach over 18 billion  this year. For such a day, someone might put a lot of effort into the preparation. The right outfit, the right hair do, getting all cleaned up and maybe even prepping some mental notes for a stimulating conversation.…. of course with all this preparation, expectations are high. Hoping and waiting for that assurance that you are valued, that you belong to someone, that you are loved, that’s a lot to put on one little day. Though Valentines day and relationships in general can feel a little risky, there is one relationship, one true love we can always count on to fill all of our needs. A relationship in which we will never be stood up, forgotten, misunderstood or left broken hearted. We can find the invitation for a love relationship like this, in the scriptures. It is a simple 3 word phrase, “Come unto Christ”

Come unto Christ is a phrase that is mentioned 287 times in some form in the scriptures.
Come unto Christ and partake, come unto christ and lay hold upon every good gift, come unto christ and be perfected and be saved. Indeed the very purpose of the Book of Mormon is to bring souls unto Christ. To bring your soul, to bring my soul, to bring any soul willing to Christ.
Come unto Christ. This phrase is powerful and it’s promise sure, but it gets better. See this sure invitation isn’s just a third party offering, it comes directly from Christ. “Come unto me” he says. And with that, he triples the number of times that that phrase is mentioned in the scriptures to over 1000 and the invitation suddenly becomes a very personal and intimate one, and one only we can only personally accept. This invitation to come is definitely one to be shared, but more than that, it is a very personal invitation from the Savior himself. 

Come unto me. Each year, each month, each day, each moment he is continually extending his love invitation to come. 

We have a date with Christ every day and he doesn’t care if we show up with bed head and morning breath, he doesn’t care if we showered and shaved, or when we last flossed…

He just wants us to show up. To bring our disappointments and day old make up, our mismatched clothes and our misunderstandings and show up. To walk with him. To covenant with him to share his easy yoke and His light burden. And in a strange change of culture norms, he actually helps us prepare for the date. In fact, he does it all.

In 2Nephi 31 it says ….for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save. Relying wholly….He does it all. ……. This may seem like a very one sided relationship, but that is just the beginning.  the cool thing is that this invitation Christ extends to come unto him is not a one time event, he continues to invite us to come closer and to participate more fully in the relationship.

“Come unto me and be baptized in my name”  he says, enter into a covenant relationship with me, he says. You’ve seen what I can do on my own, now lets see what we can do together… learn of me, walk with me, come unto me, covenant with me, take my name and my power will cover you….and with this he invites us to come closer.

When we are buried in trials and afflictions and the experiences of daily life he continues to invite each one of us personally with….

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

The idea of a yoke might seem restrictive at first. Holding us back, restraining our movements, limiting our freedoms. I imagine a yoke of oxen plodding across the plains, day after day pulling a heavy wagon, never free to explore or frolic in the grass. What I overlook sometimes is that it’s not a matter of yoke or no yoke, it’s a matter of which yoke we choose.   It really is one or the other…bondage or freedom. This is not a yoke that shackles us, but one we willingly choose by obeying God’s commandments. This yoke doesn’t steal your identity, but enhances it, bringing you closer to your divine potential. This yoke doesn’t limit you, it gives you the structure or focus to build bigger, go farther and love deeper.  Christ indeed showed us the way though his strict obedience to the father, which resulted in his soul saving atonement.
 We all have a wagon to pull in life and to pull it alone is unbearable,  so which yoke would you choose? …..and with this choice he invites us to come closer.

Ether 12:27 reads:  And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. At first glance this may feel like an invitation you’d rather decline. I have a pretty clear view of my weaknesses from right here, thank you very much. But this invite, though it may seem harsh at first, comes with promises that are pretty hard to resist. casey peterson, byu associate dean of students in a 2015 devotional said this, and I quote,

 “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble. Notice that the scripture refers to weakness—a singular term. In the presence of God, I imagine I would recognize many areas of improvement that I would need to make. Yet this scripture states that in His presence it is our weakness that we are shown. I believe this weakness refers to our relationship with God. If we come to Him, we see the infinite and perfect love that He has for us. Yet we also see the weakness in our relationship with Him and the many ways in which we are lax and lazy in how we honor Him, pray to Him, and show our love to Him. That is very humbling. But if we are humble and actively come to Him, the scripture goes on to say, “If they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things [plural] become strong unto them.” If we strengthen our relationship with the Savior, the many weaknesses we have are made strong. It is not merely us that changes.” End quote.

All my weak things….they are many, but to be honest, most of them don’t matter; the few that do have to do with the relationships I have. Relationships that I want to span eternity.  For this promise of his to make my weaknesses strong, I will run toward Christ with my whole heart.
As we come to Christ, we come closer to our friends, our kids and our spouse. If you want to improve or deepen a relationship in your life, start by coming closer to Christ and see what happens to those relationships around you. I remember a quote hung in my parents kitchen that said, “The secret in a successful marriage is not in two people finding each other…it is in two people finding Christ together. He make you one.”  Through strengthening these relationships he invites us still to come closer.

These words he continues to utter…Come unto me… are an invitation to partake of his love, power and eternal blessings in a way that not only saves us, but protects those around us. If that is true, then with out a doubt, this very invite is one Satan constantly and ferociously tries to intercept.  What are some of Satan’s interception strategies or tricks he uses to keep us from accepting or keeping our date with Christ?

There is a blog post on written by Celeste Davis titled, “The biggest barrier to our connection to God” She says,

“Satan knows just where to hit us to keep us from connecting with God, and distrusting we are worthy to connect with Him and be called His children is one of his most powerful tools.
Don’t fall for it.” End quote.

To those who have sinned….all of us… he says, “Come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal you” (3Nephi 18:32)

Our sins don’t make us unworthy to come to christ, but are the very reason he sends out the invitation in the first place.

In3 Ne 17:7 He says:  Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.

This is what Christ does, this is who he is. If you’re lost, he comes looking, what you break, he helps you fix, what you lack he makes up the difference. Every. time. we. come.

Sister Davis continues:

“You are a child of God. You can’t ever become more child of God by your merits, and you can't ever become less child of God by your imperfections. Trusting deep down that you are loved by an eternal father is also the key to believing you are worthy of connecting with Him all the time, even when you mess up.
So connect with Him. You are worthy to do so.” 

Another tactic Satan uses to intercept Christ’s invitation is Distraction…

Christ says, come unto me and feel and see… Well, and feeling seeing are part of my 5 senses, I’m pretty sure I can do that with our without Christ. but of course, he isn’t just talking about our physical senses. Leading up to this invitations to first FEEL then SEE is a clarifying scripture,  

Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always, lest ye be tempted by the devil, and ye be led away captive by him.”

So what is Satan’s tactic here? If Christ says to watch and pray, Satan would try to distract us from our vigilance. There are many ways he does this, but I’ll briefly hit on the obvious, our electronic devices. We all have them, depend on them and use and abuse them. For good and bad they are here to stay. But as we accept these tools into our lives, we must be vigilant, we must stay aware.

Rachel Macy Stafford author of Hand’s Free Life offers this advice:
She writes,
“Awareness … you see, awareness changes everything. Awareness is your weapon against the hidden influences and damaging behaviors. While you are online, your mind, your thoughts, your core values are drifting to wherever tech companies want you to go. The remedy is to limit the time you spend drifting in the online world and tether yourself to real life. 
Tether yourself
To real people, real conversations, and real scenery.
Tether yourself
To furry animals, interesting books, good music, the great outdoors.
Tether yourself
To spatulas, hammers, cameras, paintbrushes, and yoga mats.
When your worth is in question … when you feel lost and alone … when you feel sad and can’t explain why, tether yourself to real life. Tether yourself to real people. Tether yourself to real love.” End quote

Christ is the founder and giver of that real love in all it’s forms.

Now, the irony is not lost on me, I am fully aware that I heavily used all my electronic devices to prepare this talk and even find the previous quote. I believe the difference is between drifting and directed…and if directed, what are you directed towards…..Because there is more to this scripture…Christ says, come unto me, that ye might first FEEL  and then SEE and then..” ; even so shall ye do; and whosoever breaketh this commandment suffereth himself to be led into temptation.  The opposite of distraction is connection and there is no better way to feel connected than to serve. Elder Eyring says this:
“Many of you have loved ones who are wandering off the path to eternal life. You wonder what more you can do to bring them back. You can depend on the Lord to draw closer to them as you serve Him in faith.

My promise to you who pray and serve the Lord cannot be that you will have every blessing you may wish for yourself and your family. But I can promise you that the Savior will draw close to you and bless you and your family with what is best. You will have the comfort of His love and feel the answer of His drawing closer as you reach out your arms in giving service to others. As you bind up the wounds of those in need and offer the cleansing of His Atonement to those who sorrow in sin, the Lord’s power will sustain you. His arms are outstretched with yours to succor and bless the children of our Heavenly Father, including those in your family.

In closing, it may be interesting to note that the majority of the scriptures that contain this personal invitation are when Christ is already in the very presence of those he is inviting. Teaching in Jeurealsm or at the temple with the Nephites. Yes, his invitations spans time, but at the moment, He was inviting those who were right there in front of him to come unto him…to come closer…to take his name, to share his yoke, to symbolically take his flesh, his blood and make it a part of theirs….to be one with him through the power of his atonement…even as he is one with our father in heaven. Many of us, as we sit here today, have christ in our lives to some extent. We have a knowledge of his life and his commandments and with this he invites us to come closer. Come unto Chirst, it’s not a one time event or a destination to arrive at it is a daily choice, even an every moment choice, to choose him over instant gratification, to choose him instead of disconnecting, to choose his way instead of our best laid plans, and as we do He continues to wrap his arms around us and bring us closer.

Come unto me for my arm is lengthened out all the day long

Come unto me I have a place prepared for you in the mansions of my father.

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