Quote

Compensatory Light

This quote has been rattling around in my head all week. Need more light in your life? It’s available!!

Here is my major theme this morning: As evil increases in the world, there is a compensatory spiritual power for the righteous. As the world slides from its spiritual moorings, the Lord prepares the way for those who seek Him, offering them greater assurance, greater confirmation, and greater confidence in the spiritual direction they are traveling. The gift of the Holy Ghost becomes a brighter light in the emerging twilight.

To understand better, think of these comparisons: If the world were growing more physically dark, He could give us enhanced night vision. If loud noises were constantly in our ears, He could give us a filtering mechanism to block the unwanted sound. If the race we were running was extended, He could give us increased lung and muscle capacity. If the exam we were taking was more difficult, He could quicken our minds.

My brothers and sisters, as evil increases in the world, there is a compensatory power, an additional spiritual endowment, a revelatory gift for the righteous. This added blessing of spiritual power does not settle upon us just because we are part of this generation. It is willingly offered to us; it is eagerly put before us. But as with all spiritual gifts, it requires our desiring it, pursuing it, and living worthy of receiving it. “For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift?”

-BYU speech by Elder Neil Anderson

Here is the whole talk if you’d like to review it.

A Compensatory Spiritual Power for the Righteous

Have you found this to be true as the commotion in the world increases? I have! It usually means stepping away from the news, going somewhere by myself, and praying. I have felt Heavenly Father’s desire to communicate with me to a greater degree than I did before 2020. I have had some sweet experiences listening and Hearing Him – not in an audible way, but in my mind and my heart. I have received messages that were personal and unmistakably from Heaven- under the stars.

He is so aware of us and loves us so much!

Have a wonderful day, friend!

Love,

Laura

Cause it makes me happy...

Hope

Photo by Saffu on Unsplash

Do you find yourself needing to work a little extra hard to get your hopes up again these days? I sure do. It takes work to put on your tennis shoes and run out in the hope instead of getting stuck inside your head with fears, doubts, and looping in uncertainty.

A few weeks ago I was having a pretty lousy day. Nothing really that out of the ordinary- just a pretty normal run-of-the-mill funk. A friend texted me to see how I was doing and instead of texting a fake happy face to pretend everything was fine, I told her that it had been a rough one so far and that I was trying to shake it off but it wasn’t working so far. This is what she texted back: “Have you done anything to feed your spirit today?” She caught me in my tracks. No, actually, I hadn’t. The day had started out faster than usual and I had to skip my morning routine to take care of something. So even the basics had been skipped, not to mention anything extra that filled my cup. And then she proceeded to send me a few options as potential pick-me-ups. I was so grateful. One was a song that really lifted my spirits and gave me a very personal message from my Heavenly Father, reminding me that He loves me and is aware of me.

I thought I’d pay it forward. If you’re needing a pick-me-up, I hope one of these things speaks to you and lifts your spirits. Don’t forget that your spirit needs to be fed daily, just like your body. Sometimes I forget to tune into that (or maybe feel like there’s no space for it!) and my spirit (yours too?) begins to feel depleted and starved for nourishment. Here is a song that fed my spirit recently:

(This is one of the first songs that introduced me to Hilary Weeks and still my favorite!)

Dancing in the Rain (Lyrics are at the bottom of this page in case you’d like to follow along!)

Lyrics:

It clouded over on Monday morning
And I’d hoped to wake up to sunshine
Come Tuesday I think I felt it
A little raindrop on top of my head


On Wednesday no mistaken it
By Thursday no escaping it
the storm had rolled in

I thought about going back to bed
Or reading the book on my night stand
I considered calling the weatherman
Just to ask when it might end

I did something you would not have thought
I grabbed my polka dot umbrella
And I opened the door…

And I danced in the rain
I let my dreams know I hadn’t forgotten them
I let my heart take the lead and
I told my hopes to get themselves up again
And I danced, I looked, yes I danced in the rain

I invited my worries to step aside
I needed room to see in front of me
As the raindrops fell on my overcoat
I let em roll right off of my back

And I waited for the rainbow
Cause Heaven and me we both know
This storm’s gonna pass…

And I danced in the rain
I let my dreams know I hadn’t forgotten them
I let my heart take the lead and
I told my hopes to get themselves up again
And I danced, I looked, yes I danced…

I danced till my fears washed away
Then I thanked the rain for coming… today

So I could dance in the rain
And let my dreams know I hadn’t forgotten them

I danced in the rain
I let my dreams know I hadn’t forgotten them
I let my heart take the lead and
I told my hopes to get themselves up again
And I danced, I looked, yes I danced in the rain

I’m dancing in the rain

Music

Master of Colors: The Story

seeing-green-hero

Hello again, Friends!  Today I’m happy to share with you a piece I wrote last year.  I read this story (see below) by Jill Thomas in November 2016 and was so touched.  Her visual descriptions resonated with me, and I immediately knew I would love to write a song based on the ideas she shared.  A few months later in the Spring of 2017, I was asked to speak at a Women’s Conference, but I had to turn down the opportunity knowing I was going to be out of town that weekend.  After thinking about the topic I had been asked to speak on, I realized it was the same idea presented in this story.

Suddenly I had a (crazy) thought that if I wrote and recorded this song, I could still share the message at the Women’s Conference without being there.  The deadline was less than two months away (and I didn’t really know anything about recording!) so I had to get cooking.  It was a joy working on this piece, and even more delightful when I presented the finished product to Jill.  Enjoy!  (For convenience, I posted the entire article below; but the original article can be found here: https://www.lds.org/blog/seeing-green?lang=eng.)

Four years ago I lost my 21-month-old daughter, Penny, in a tragic accident. The cliché is that the death of a loved one puts your faith to the test. While this might be technically true, the actual experience is far more devastating than this little catchphrase lets on.

In the weeks and months that followed my daughter’s death, I desperately sought for some kind of real, tangible connection with her. But her death had wrecked me. And I felt nothing.

I believed that the Sunday School answers to read my scriptures, say my prayers, and go to church were inspired and true. But I was earnestly doing those things, yet felt nothing. I didn’t know how to be inspired or guided anymore. I was lost.

Meanwhile, in the midst of all this, my husband was also searching. He was looking for greater understanding, deeper knowledge, deeper connection, and deeper meaning to life. His searching had led him to question his faith.

So my situation was this: I had lost my daughter, and I believed the only way I could have her again was to fiercely live the gospel. But my husband was blocking our eternal progression by seeking answers outside of our church. I had lost my daughter. I was losing my husband. And according to my belief system, I was losing my eternal family. Where do you go from here?

My whole life I had found “formulas” to live by. There was a formula in my youth, to stay on the right path and to earn my parents’ trust. There was a formula as a young adult, to get married in the LDS temple and have a family. When I decided to be a film photographer in a very dense, digital age I found a formula that helped me become successful at my craft.

But now, with the death of my daughter, I found myself in a situation where the formula wasn’t right in front of me. I earnestly searched and prayed and eventually found a new formula that I discovered through the lens of photography. To understand it fully, bear with me as I share this story.

Imagine that we have a master and his intention is to create masters of green. Now imagine that up to this point we have never experienced color. So he could plant us into a world of green and it would be great. Except if the whole world is green, nothing is green.

The next option for the master would be to just tell us it’s green. Except this is how we teach our preschool students; we point and say, “This is green.” The master would be teaching us, but on a very basic level. This isn’t good enough for us. So what would the master do?

I propose he’d introduce distinction. He might plant us in a world of blue, but then he would take us out of the world of blue and plant us in a world of yellow. In doing so, there would be one group of people who would love yellow. They might even say, “Who needs blue anymore?”

But another group of people might hate yellow. They might say, “I hate these new ideas and these new perspectives. I just want to get back to what’s familiar. Get me out of here. Take me back to blue.”

Then you would have a third group of people. And this group is interesting because they wouldn’t abandon blue and they wouldn’t abandon yellow. They’d see that the master gave them both blue and yellow. In that moment they would have an awakening and they would see green.

This is called a paradox—two ideas or concepts that are both true but in general can’t be true at the same time. Now, I realize by definition blue and yellow are not paradoxical, but they are on opposite sides of the color wheel, one warm and one cool. And they’re helpful in explaining how you can have two contradictory ideas or concepts that can lead to a transcendent concept that eliminates the apparent contradiction.

It’s what I call “seeing green,” and I believe it’s where the highest truth lies. It’s how we learn to see things as the Master intended. And we can only do so through opposition in all things. Let me share how blue and yellow were manifested in my life.

seeing-green-web2When I got married, I lived in a world of blue. I had a great family and I was doing what I loved in film photography. Life was good.

seeing-green-web3
But the day my daughter Penny died, I was abruptly yanked out of my world of blue and thrown into a world of yellow. I hated yellow. It was full of grief and pain and suffering. My daughter wasn’t there. It was full of new ideas and new questions, like “What does it really mean to be a forever family?”

All I wanted was to go back to blue—to be happy again. So I tried. I tried to go back to my everyday life. But as I tried, I discovered that blue no longer felt blue any more. Things that used to excite me about life didn’t anymore. I knew the distinction between blue and yellow.

My world was just going to be yellow now. And since I didn’t feel like I was finding the answers I was looking for, I thought, “If I can just endure yellow, one day I’ll die and then answers will come.” But this didn’t resonate with me either.

So I started to create a space within myself where blue and yellow could exist together inside of me. At first this was very uncomfortable. But then something amazing happened. I realized the Master gave me blue and yellow because He wanted me to experience something more. He wanted me to see green. And I did. Through opposition in all things, I had direct experiences that brought me closer to God.

seeing-green-web4

So where am I now in this journey we call life? I found more than the apparent split of happiness and its opposite. Down this path I found green. I found God. And I found my daughter. They were in green the whole time.

Click here to hear the recording! Master of Colors