I will make today's post a little longer, a little brighter and with a much more attraction photo. :)
I am thankful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Please excuse the way I look(I guess I didn't fulfill my promise as listed above.) This is us in front of the church in Roma, Italia.
My beautiful Logan Temple.
I know I've talked a lot about my religion in many of these gratitude posts. I think it all links back to the fact that the reason I have what I have is because I've been given these blessings by a loving Father in Heaven.
I am so glad to have been born into the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have vague memories of being in primary, learning simple doctrines and fun songs. I was glad I got to experience that as a child and to have the Gospel in my home growing up. I loved knowing my parent's values and standards and how they were passing them on to us, their children. But I think above everything else, I am so grateful I gained my OWN testimony of the church. I don't think I ever doubted it, but I had some very spiritual moments in my youth that really have caused me to know for myself it is true. Every single trial I faced as a teenager helped me grow stronger. Whether it be experiences with friends or boys or being a cheerleader or school or preparing for college. Each one of these has helped me grow stronger and more so, grow to be a stronger Latter-Day Saint.
I was so grateful I was able to attend EFY for four summers during my teenage years. Those were always times when I was able to expand my knowledge of gospel doctrine, improve my scripture study habits, gain close friends and strengthen my testimony. I am also very grateful for youth conferences and girl's camps. The testimony meetings in those settings were always very powerful and I grew closer to some of my friends more than ever there. Another experience I had as a youth that really help shape me into a better person was the Trek. I don't care who you are or where you live-- this is a MUST for every youth. I'll admit, I did not want to go. I didn't want to not shower for three days or pull handcarts in the dead heat of July. But oh boy, it was great fun. Our ward bonded like crazy! We became best of friends. And our testimonies grew immensely in that short time.
All of these experiences helped me to gain my personal beliefs and standards, which ended up being the same as those my parents have.
More importantly, these experiences really helped me when I moved away from home, to a new place with no friends and no mom or dad. Each decision I made was 100% my choice. It's safe to say, I quickly learned how vital the gospel was. It no longer was a good thing or a luxury-- it was a necessity. And I've experienced many things in the past three and a half years that have made me so happy to have that necessity in my life! Such as, knowing if I was supposed to be in Logan, break-ups with boys, being an example to others, going to Europe, and of course, knowing if marrying T was the right thing to do. These things and many other decisions I've made have been influenced so much by the gospel and I am just seeing how much more I'll be needing that in my life in the future.
I am blessed to have been born into the church, but even more blessed to have found my own testimony of such a lovely work and the truth. I love it! It's my sanity and my safe haven. I can never be too afraid of the future, because I know someone is looking out for me. :) I just have to do my part and he will always do his.