Monday, February 23, 2015

Whitney meets famous Mormons! [episode 1]


Here is the newest episode of "Whitney meets famous Mormons!"

JK that's actually not a thing... but wouldn't that be a cool show?! I think so.

It's been an INCREDIBLE month when it comes to meeting incredible people.

I mean... I don't think I'll ever write a post again where I can say I've met Mallory Everton, T.C. Christensen, Hilary Weeks, Al Fox Carraway, Dawn Armstrong, and Anthony Armstrong all within the last month.

Several weeks ago two of my friends, SaBree and Kenna let me know that Mallory Everton from Studio C was speaking in their stake. I'm a huge fan of Studio C and so of course I went! She talked a lot about being in the world, but not of the world. I adored everything about her talk, but my favorite was when she was talking about perusing your passions and she said to "go with what you love, because you will serve more people that way... And wherever you are in life, the gospel will only make you better at it."

She also gave me curly hair envy and inspired me to go back to my no-heat hair days.

haha thanks for being so awesome Mallory!

Since I'm on seminary council at my school I had the chance to help organize a morningside for the students at Layton High. We were so lucky to get T.C. Christensen come speak to us! For those of you who don't know who he is, he is the directer of 17 Miracles, Ephraim Rescue, and he also helped with the movie Forever Strong.  He also has a new movie The Cokeville Miracle coming out soon. He showed us clips from his movies and gave us behind the scenes information about the stories in his movies.

What stuck out to me was the faith of the incredible saints that came before us. They went through a Hell that is unimaginable to me. If it wern't for them I wouldn't have the gospel in my life, which is the single thing that has brought me the most amount of joy. I will forever bless the names of my ancestors that came before me. While I may not be asked to die for my religion as many of them were, I have been asked to live for it. And I hope I can do it in a way that would make them proud.

This morningside also made it to the Standard Examiner! Read about it HERE!"

Yesterday I got a text from my adorable friend Lexi saying that Hilary Weeks was speaking in her ward. I've met Hilary two times before and both of those times were with Lexi so she said that it just wouldn't feel right to hear her speak without one of the Reid girls there. haha Hilary is always one of my very favorite speakers and she is an even better singer.

What stuck out to me a lot in her talk yesterday where the words;

"He loves me & ALWAYS WILL"

God Loves us all the time. Not just some of the time. He knows exactly who we are and what we are doing. You matter so much to Him. Because of this love he has given us everything, but we can't accept this "everything" unless we decide to follow Him. He doesn't usually give us a long to-do list, so we need to follow with exactness. He will let our testimonies grow until He lets us graduate from this life. 

"The trick is to enjoy life and stop wishing away our time waiting for another day."

Here are a few of my favorite Hilary Weeks songs...

And then TODAY was also a day for the books. If you've read my blog at all you probably know how much I love Al Fox Carraway. She is one of my all time favorite humans. I tell my mom all the time that "I want to be Al Fox when I grow up." I can never get enough of her enthusiasm for the gospel. It's seriously contagious. I've never seen a chapel so packed. I love love loved how when closing her testimony she said "in the name of Jesus Christ, my best friend, amen." Because he is my best friend and I want to be able to have the same kind of love and excitement for the gospel as she does.

After hearing her speak I just wanted to shout to the world that "I KNOW THE CHURCH IS TRUE AND THAT HAPPINESS IS REAL!" Because that is the kind of feeling she gives me when she speaks. One of my favorite lines from her talk was;

"The Gospel is the greatest thing you will ever be a part of... and I love that."

I also love that she took the time to talk to us and take a picture with us even though there were a BILLION people there. Also she remembered who I am which made me extremely happy. Thanks Al! Love you!

I'm not even done yet...

While at Al's fireside I saw a few familiar faces. All of which played major parts in the movie

I got to talk to both Anthony and Dawn Armstrong who are the "missionary" and "missionary mom" in the movie.

They are both such incredible people. While waiting in line to talk to Al, Dawn came over to our little circle and talked to us for a really long time. She was seriously one of the NICEST people I have ever met. I swear she hugged me like four times.

She also promised us that she'd go with us to go see Meet the Mormons in Salt lake at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in a couple weeks... Like who does that?!

She just commented on one of my instagram pictures saying "You are such a doll!! It was my honor to meet you all tonight. Yeah for kept appointments! They bring the greatest friendships! Whoot whoot! Stay sweet precious girl!"

She's seriously my new favorite person.

We also got to talk to Anthony for a little bit and I loved how when we asked him to take a picture with us he just said "I'm nothing special... just a regular RM."

Excuse me bro... but you're in like one of my favorite movies. haha

He was seriously one of the most humble "movie stars" I've ever met. haha Thanks so much for taking the time to meet us!

I am so thankful for all the opportunities I've been given to meet such incredible sons and daughters of God. I only hope that someday I can be half as good as these people. Thanks so much for all your enthusiasm for living the gospel. It makes me want to be a better person.

I have such a strong testimony that Jesus Christ really did die for me. That weather we are someone "Mormon famous", or someone that writes a blog with 14 followers, He knows who we are, and He loves us.


feel my sunlight

p.s. I promise my life isn't usually this cool. I just am an expert at crashing other peoples firesides.
p.s.s. I promise to blog more often. I've missed this corner of the internet.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Serve the Lord inside His house

Salt Lake City, Utah Temple

I'm a terrible blogger.

I know.

*insert cookie cutter apology for not blogging in a long time.*

Oh boy I feel like I'm living life at a dead sprint... Which I realize is kind of an oxymoron, but still an accurate description.

I'm currently trapped in my room. My little sister is literally on a date right outside my room. Complete with fancy attire and sparkling apple cider. When she was telling my mom her date plans I just looked at them and said "I'll be in my bedroom making no noise and pretending I don't exist." In the most awkward Harry Potter voice possible.

I must say that I'm living up to it right now. I'm completely content to sit here in my pajamas. So here I am in my room listening in to my sister and her date whilst writing this post... They are currently freaking out over the fact that their pie is ready to eat... in case you were wondering.

Like I said above, my life is a whirlwind, but isn't it like that for everybody?

Wasn't it like that for the Savior?

I was sitting in a seminary class the other day when I came across a verse in the Doctrine And Covenants.

Back in May of 1833 The Lord had commanded the saints to build a temple. He gave the saints specific dimensions that the temple should be built to, and he also gave them instruction about how it should be dedicated and should remain pure.

Later in August of the same year the Lord continues his instruction on the building of the temple. In D&C Section 97 verse 10, the Lord states that;

"Verily I say unto you, that it is my will that 
my house should be built unto me in the land of Zion, 
like unto the pattern which I have given you."

That last line really stuck out to me. Obviously it is in reference to the pattern after which they should build the temple, but could it also be a reference to Christ and his mortal ministry?

The main reasons for Christ's descent into mortality were to #1 Atone for our sins and afflictions so that we might be able to return to live with our Father in Heaven again, and #2 to set an example, or a pattern after which we should follow so that we can know how to return to live with God again.

While Christ lived a perfect life free of sin, his life never was "perfect."

His life was a whirlwind.

During his mortal ministry he was abused and tormented, he was tempted, yet never gave into temptation, his followers doubted him, and he was betrayed by his closest friends. And ultimately, in his final days, he atoned for the sins and afflictions of all mankind, his innocent blood was spilled and he was unjustly killed by those whom should have loved him.

Luke 22:44 gives us a glimpse into the pain he felt...

"And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: 
and he sweat as it were great drops of blood 
falling down to the ground."

Yet even with these great whirlwinds in his life, he still was able to remain the perfect example.

One of my favorite examples that he set for me was his love for the temple.

Palmyra, New York temple
We read at the end of Luke chapter 2 that as a twelve year old boy Christ went to Jerusalem with his family, and when his family returned, he stayed behind and his parents knew not where. When his parents returned to Jerusalem to look for him they found him in the temple teaching. What I love about this story was that Jesus was not compelled to go to they temple by anyone else.

He did not wait for his young mens leaders to organize a youth temple trip.

Nobody told him to go. Nobody was even encouraging him to go, but still he knew that he should be doing His fathers work in His father's house.

When his mother inquired as to why he was in the temple he said;

"wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?"

As youth living in the latter days with almost unlimited access to the temple, we should be following Christ's example by attending more often.

Ogden, Utah temple
You need no other reason to attend other than the fact that you want to follow Christ's example, and that you want to serve your Lord. Just because you are young doesn't mean you need to wait until others tell you to attend the temple.

You don't need to wait until your young men or young women leaders organize ward temple days.

You don't need to wait until your parents ask you if you want to go do baptisms for the dead. You can organize it yourself. Just like in Christ's story, your parents will be bewildered by your willingness to serve God. And you will be blessed beyond measure.

I recognize that for some parts of the world where the temple is not in close proximity it might be hard to attend on a regular basis, but I do encourage you to attend as often as possible. For those of us who do live near temples, we can do better. There are youth that arrive at the Bountiful temple every Tuesday at 4:30 in the morning to assist in the Lord's work. Surely these youth are following the example set by the Savior.

Bountiful, Utah temple

I know that as we attend the temple we will be blessed. I know that we can all do a better job at serving our Lord inside His house, and I know that as we work towards this goal the Lord will smile down upon us and grant us blessings that we would never have received otherwise. I have such a deep love for the temple and the Lord's work.

I encourage everyone to attend the temple more now than you have in the past. If you aren't ready to attend the temple, I encourage you to work harder to become ready. The temple brings blessings, and the temple brings us closer to the Lord.

Likewise I promise to do a better job at attending the temple, even if that means waking up before the sun comes up, because this small sacrifice is insignificant in comparison to all that Christ has done for me, so ultimately I can do this little part to give back to him.

feel my sunlight

p.s. Since I'm on seminary council, I helped organize a Seminary morning side for my school a little while ago and it made the news paper! Read about it here!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Guest Post by Shelby {Good Things to Come}

hola amigos!

Yesterday I was teaching one of my preschool tumbling classes when one of my three year old students that doesn't stand much taller than your average American Girl Doll (that's actually not true, but you get the point) gave me a hug and said "Teacher, you have skinny legs." 

And people wonder why I love my job so much. haha

I have something super awesome for my blog post today! Even better than hugs... and even better than three year olds that tell you that you have skinny legs...

The following blog post comes from one of the coolest chicks in all of blog land. Her name is Shelby and I've asked her to take over my blog for a day! She's kindly accepted. So enjoy her lovely writing, and then stay tuned for a guest post I wrote for her blog!


Hey Guys! My name is Shelby and I am so excited to be here guest posting for Whitney. You may remember me from this post. Whitney also did an amazing post here that you should definitely check out!

A little bit about me:
    - I blog over at Moore Light Shine
    - I love photography and design
    - I also love music.
    - I am Mormon. I try my hardest to live it and I absolutely love it.
    - I think the youth program is one of the most amazing things ever.

It is now February 4th, you probably set some awesome goals 35 days ago.
I know I did. How many have I completely stuck with? I don't know if I have 100% stuck with any of them, but I'm trying my hardest.
I’m not discouraged or disappointed because I’ve come to realize that the only way for me to be perfect is through Christ. So I’ll keep running towards him. I’ll keep trying my hardest. And he’ll keep standing there with his arms open wide ready accept me and you and help us become perfect. Isn’t that amazing?

Today I’m here to talk about keeping goals and sticking to things, whether they are new years resolutions or not. I’m talking about the kind of things that can seem tiring or worthless to some. The repetitive things that make you wonder if you can possibly learn anything else from it.

Everyone has something like that.
A standard they struggle to keep.
Something they just want to skip one night. Until it becomes 2. Then 3. Then 4 months.
It may be prayer, scripture study, going to church, media standards. Anything.

But I’m here to tell you to keep going. To keep moving. To not give up.

Because something bigger and better is waiting for you right around the corner. Your dreams are about to come true. Heavenly Father will be near you soon with his arms around you. Your Savior is ready now to give you hope, and peace, and joy.

All of these wonderful things are about to happen. But they won’t if you give up now.

You may want it so bad. You may feel like your prayers are being said to air. You may want to quit, But don’t. Because I promise your Heavenly Father is listening. He hears your prayers. He wants to help you. But he knows what’s best, so he waits until the perfect moment. You think you know the perfect plan, the perfect time. We humans think we have everything figured out. Ha! We don’t. Not even close.

We are so far from seeing the big picture we simply have to trust God and realize that his timing is not our timing, it is the best timing.

Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed if you are getting discouraged. It happens to the best of us. While reading my scriptures the other day, I noticed a verse in Nephi that had never caught my attention:

“And it came to pass that I was overcome because of my afflictions, for I considered that mine afflictions were great above all.....” (1 Nephi 15:5)

Even Nephi, the great prophet and a faithful servant of God became discouraged. He became dragged down because the world was beating down on him. He let others affect how he felt about life and himself.

Later it goes on to say “And it came to pass after I had received strength(1 Nephi 15:6)

I love this verse because he received strength. He didn’t become strong through himself. He received strength from The Lord. And our Heavenly Father is ready and willing to do the same for you.

He is ready to comfort you and encourage you. He may not be ready to fix everything. But he is ready to help you. To strengthen you. To love you.

I know this is so true.

I absolutely love the quotes below.

“There is help. There is happiness. There really is light at the end of the tunnel. It is the Light of the World, the Bright and Morning Star, the “light that is endless, that can never be darkened. It is the very Son of God Himself….Cling to your faith. Hold on to your hope… Don’t give up.... Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead—a lot of it…... You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.”

Please don’t give up. Please keep going. Whether it is a new years resolution, just getting through the day, or deciding if you beleive in your Savior. Please don’t lose hope. Know that you have devine capabilities and that you are loved beyond comprehension.

I hope you all have a wonderful, spectacular, amazing day!