Wednesday, August 26, 2020

What team are we on? Team Jesus.


What team are we on? 

Team Jesus. 

I just gave a training about this. 

"You're an evil idiot if you don't wear a mask." 

"You're an evil fool if you wear a mask."

Masks are just one of many divisive topics of our day. 

  • Holistic healing vs medical treatment.
  • Covid vs plandemic.
  • Homeschool vs public school.
  • Racism. 
  • LGBTQ.

We know this list could go on and on and on. 

But here's the thing. 

Did Satan trick us into thinking it's us against THEM? 

When it's really us against HIM? 

Who's the real enemy here?

Whose team are we on, anyway?

Team Jesus. 

I'm not talking about evil people who traffic children or maliciously cause harm to others.

I'm talking about your neighbor, your sister, your ward member who has a differing opinion than you about one of today's hot topics. 

Perhaps her news sources are different than yours. 

Perhaps his political priorities are different because he experiences pain in ways you have not. 

It can be easy to vilify, demonize, and shame people who have different education sources and worldview than you do about a certain topic. 

Whose team are we on? 

Team Jesus. 

I'm not saying we're supposed to all have the same opinion, think the same, look the same.
That would be oh, so boring. 

I would never want to live in a world of me clones. 


But when Captain Moroni was working his heart out to protect freedom, guess what ruined everything? 

His own team fighting against his own team.
That meant when the enemy arrived, his team was too busy fighting each other and they weren't ready to fight the real enemy. 

The real enemy.

What team are we on? 

Team Jesus. 

What was often the very beginning of the pride cycle in the Book of Mormon over and over and over? 

Contention. "I'm better than you." Divisiveness. 

Sound familiar? 

Christ created our baptismal covenants to mourn, bear, and comfort. 
Not to villainize, shame, and hate those with differing views.

Can we learn to listen with the intent to understand, rather than to judge or marginalize? 

What did Jesus say was the most important, the very tippy-top highest law of all laws? 

Love God and love others as you love yourself. 

What did Paul say was the very most important spiritual gift, that even if you had faith to move mountains or could speak with the tongue of angels, if you didn't have THIS gift, it didn't really matter what other gifts you had? 

The pure love of Christ. 

What team are we on? 

Team Jesus. 

What can you and I do to remember it's not us versus THEM?

It's us against HIM. 

The adversary is the real enemy of Team Jesus.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Is it worth it?

Is it worth it?

If you feel called by God to do something, there is risk.

It can be tempting to hold back, play small, or hide because of self-doubts or fear.

Fear that people might judge you, might misjudge your intentions, criticize or disagree with you.

I had an experience with this after a webinar I gave a couple of days ago.

We had a lot of tech issues with Zoom so I stayed up late to re-record the webinar to send to the 500+ people who registered so they'd have a week to watch it. I finished recording late at night and felt utterly exhausted.

Then I opened an email.

It was a woman yelling at me, harshly criticizing me.

She thought any webinar related to faith should be 100% free content, and not have an offer for people to purchase more content. 

After reeling from the hurt, I thought about how grateful I am that so many others follow promptings to create faith-based books, music, art, or audio CDs that I have purchased that bless my life. 

I love my Sheri Dew books, my Steven Sharp Nelson music, my Jesus and angel art around my house, and my Hank Smith CDs. It's a good thing those people don't agree with that woman, or the shelves at Deseret Book would be empty. 

I thought of how I'm doing my best to follow God's direction to me to create a business being a faith-based mentor, speaker, blogger, and author. I do give plenty of free firesides and such, and I also have times when I charge because that's how business works, after all. 

The webinar was valuable, free content, with a short segment of offering a paid program for those interested. The woman was incredulous. 

I was too tired to deal with the emotions that welled up from feeling attacked, so I used a few quick faith-based mentoring tools to calm myself and went to bed.

Early the next morning I had a mentoring session where the client expressed awareness that she's been hiding, playing small, and holding back because of fear. Fear of being judged, misjudged, or falsely accused.

This thought popped into both my mind and my client's mind.

"What if Joseph Smith or Jesus held back because of fear of being criticized?"

That fear would have kept them from fulfilling their missions.

Here's the truth.

There is a risk when we step out of our comfort zone and step into doing what God calls us to do.

It happened to Jesus. To Joseph Smith. To Joseph of Egypt. To Nephi. To Alma. To Joan of Arc. To Martin Luther King, Jr. To missionaries. To converts. To me. Perhaps to you too.

People may criticize you.

They may judge you.

They may misjudge you.

Is it worth the risk?

I'm sure grateful Jesus chose to accept the risk and accomplish His mission.

I'm sure grateful Joseph did. And many other heroes.

Yes, to me, it's worth the risk to do what I feel God calling me to do.

And I'm very grateful to have mentoring tools to help me work through the emotions when it happens.

How about you?

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Do we sometimes label a person by their worst moment?

Do we sometimes label a person by their worst moment?

By their sin? Their addiction? Their weakness?
Like Doubting Thomas?

Do I want someone to label me by my worst moment? Heck no.

But Satan wants all of us to. He wants us to take on our mistakes, our sins, our weaknesses as our identity. He feeds us lies about who we really are.

Today I gave a training in my Life on Purpose program about this concept.

Let's give ourselves grace. et's give other people grace.

One of my favorite metaphors is this.

A parent knows that a toddler learning how to walk includes lots of mistakes, falling, bumps and bruises, but that the messiness is the ONLY way to learn how to walk, which then allows the child to run, jump, skip, climb, and dance.

Do we shame that toddler because they fell? Because the toddler didn't get it right the first or second or third time?

No. We love that toddler. We are excited that they're learning how to walk! We celebrate and cheer them on. We understand the fact that it's messy and takes time. That doesn't discourage us because we trust the process.

We know it's totally worth it.

I love picturing our Heavenly Parents loving us through our messiness and mistakes of learning how to become like them in a similar way that we parents love our toddlers through the messiness and mistakes of learning how to walk.

I believe that our Heavenly Parents don't shame us because we fall. Or because we don't get it right the first or second or third time.

No, they love us. They are excited that we are learning, growing, progressing, becoming incrementally more like them as time goes on. They're not discouraged that the process is messy and takes time. They know Jesus is more powerful than all our mistakes.

They know it's totally worth it.

They LOVE us and CELEBRATE with us.

Let's not label ourselves or each other like Satan wants us to.

Let's follow our Heavenly Parents' lead. Let's remember that we are actually Their child and we're learning how to become like Them.

And it's okay if it's messy and takes time.

It's totally worth it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Why do I wear rainbow t-shirts and rings?

I'll be honest, I used to feel uncomfortable about rainbow flags and t-shirts and rings. Then two years ago I found out that my own son, Hyrum, is gay.

That started a deep dive into educating myself about LGBTQ people, hearing their stories, researching the science, and learning how to love bigger, better, and more expansively than I have before.

I've listened to countless podcasts, read quite a few books, attended many lectures and events, I'm active in a handful of Facebook groups, and I have discussions with my son daily. And I've gotten to know many amazing LGBTQ people personally.

I discovered that being an ally and loving my LGBTQ brothers and sisters helps me keep my baptismal covenants to mourn with those who mourn, comfort those in need of comfort, and bear one another's burdens.

It's been a journey I wouldn't trade for anything.

And my LGBTQ friends are some of the best people I know.

Seriously. Amazing. People.

So easy to love.

If you don't know any, I feel sad for you. Because you're missing out.

I love what Marion, another mom of an LGBTQ child said about rainbow flags. It describes my feelings too.

Copied from Marion McClellan:

Why we fly a Rainbow Pride flag.

We fly our rainbow flag for the LGBTQ+ children and teens in our community. We fly it so that the kids who walk or drive past our home know that we love them. We see them.

We fly our flag for these precious children’s parents. We fly the pride flag so that after their child musters all of their courage and bravery and comes out to them, those parents know that they have friends they can reach out to.

We fly this beautiful rainbow flag so that one child sees it, that one teen who is sure that there is no place for them in our community or in their family or in their congregation absolutely knows they ALWAYS have a place next to us.

Our flag is for that one LGBTQ+ person who is certain there is no place for them in this life. It is for the one child who isn’t sure they can live for one more day.

June is Pride month. Please join our family and show the LGBTQ+ children, youth, and adults in your neighborhood and family that they are loved and welcome.

It actually matters. It actually can help to save a life. ❤️๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’œ

Click here for my blog post of resources for LDS parents of LGBTQ children.

Click here for a CNN video featuring three Mama Dragons I know of LGBTQ kids in my area.

Click here for a great blog post by my friend Ben Schilaty about pride being the opposite of shame.

Our Twin Boys Featured on KSL TV

Click here to watch the video and read the news article. 

Friday, June 26, 2020

Seeking Heavenly Mother

I was raised with the cultural belief that Heavenly Mother is too sacred to talk about.
Did you know that's a myth? It's not supported by doctrine.
“The doctrine of a Heavenly Mother is a cherished and distinctive belief among Latter-day Saints.” -The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gospel Topics 
“I am a beloved daughter of Heavenly Parents.”-The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Young Women’s Theme
Here are resources to help you connect with Heavenly Mother.

1. A Girls Guide to Heavenly Mother by McArthur Krishna and Brady Spaulding, authors of the bestselling series Girls Who Choose God.

I got mine in the mail a couple of weeks ago and shed a few tears reading it. The artwork is STUNNING. It's written by women and seems to be written for the audience of teenage girls, but is great for adults too. I wish I had this book when I was a teenager!

Here is a book description from their site:

"To more fully understand the restored doctrine of Heavenly Parents, we all need a deeper knowledge of our Heavenly Mother. A Girl’s Guide to Heavenly Mother is designed for Young Women to explore glorious truths about Her through the teachings of prophets, apostles, and female church leaders. Filled with expansive art from Latter-day Saint artists around the world, this guide will help girls come to know and love our Heavenly Mother, while strengthening their faith in their own divine potential."

2. Podcast about Seeking Heavenly Mother with Kayla Bach, Emily Peck and Charlotte Shurtz, interviewed by my friend Richard Ostler.

To listen to the podcast, click here for Apple Podcast or here for Google Podcast.
This podcast has three articulate women, all affiliated with BYU, sharing their experience of learning about and seeking a connection with Heavenly Mother. They are have created a website called Seeking Heavenly Mother that showcases writing and artwork about Heavenly Mother.
This was one of my favorite lines from the podcast: 
"Wouldn't the adversary be thrilled to rob us of a Mother's love? Wouldn't he be thrilled to justify the oppression of women under a false narrative? Wouldn't he be glad to have us waste our time avoiding seeking Her, rather than embracing Her? ... The work of hiding a divine being and ignoring a Deity sounds much more like the adversary than anything I know about God."
3. Seeking Heavenly Mother website

You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Here is what Richard Ostler, the podcast host, had to say about the interview:
These three women, all LDS Returned Missionaries who are attending or have graduated from BYU, have great insights about our Heavenly Mother.  
They answer these questions:
1) What is the Church’s position on Heavenly Mother?2) Why does Heavenly Mother matter?3) Why did they start the Seeking Heavenly Mother project?4) What is the positive impact of more discussion about Heavenly Mother?5) What can we do as individuals?
This was a transformative podcast for me. I learned so much with several light bulb experiences. I encourage all our listeners to listen to and share this podcast. It will help you have a better relationship with our Heavenly Parents, find more hope and healing, and help others come unto Christ. 
Thank you Kayla, Emily and Charlotte for you beautiful and unique life mission. You are three of my new heroes.
4. A BYU Studies paper called, "A Mother There": A Survey of Historical Teachings about Mother in Heaven by David L. Paulsen Author Martin Pulido.
5. Other academic sources (I'm gathering sources here as I study, so I haven't necessarily studied all the sources below.)

Friday, May 8, 2020

Two FREE webinars about spiritual and emotional preparedness

Has this been on your mind?

It's been on mine.

A lot.

Food storage is great and I'm a believer in that.

But what about how to call down God's power to work miracles in the last days?

Like multiplying the loaves and fishes? Like healing?

What about pulling yourself together during a natural disaster rather than being paralyzed by panic?

We know we're getting closer to the Second Coming.

The signs are here.

So how can we be more sturdy, clear-headed, and resilient?

How can we be a conduit of God's messages, power, and peace during the "latter part of these latter days" as President Nelson called our day?

That's what I'm antsy to share with you.

For free. It's my gift to you.

I'll share insights to help answer these questions: 

  • How can I pull myself together and manage my own emotions so I can help others rather than freeze with fear?
  • How can I live up to my privileges in connecting with heaven and drawing upon God's power to work miracles when they are most needed?
  • How can I build that "rare kind of faith" and co-create impossible things with God?
  • How can I be a source of peace and calm no matter what's happening around me?
  • How can I be more ready for challenging times?
  • How can I hear Him better in my daily life?
  • How I can THRIVE in these last days rather than just endure?

Click here to register for these two free webinars.

1) Mental and Emotional Preparedness for Thriving in the Latter Part of these Latter Days (Wed. May 13, 7-8:30 pm MT) 

2) Spiritual Preparedness to Thrive in the Latter Part of these Latter Days (Wed. May 20, 7-8:30 pm MT) 

  • If you aren't able to join us live, you'll get access to the recording for seven days after each webinar. 
  • Feel free to share this post so others can join as well.

If you have any questions, you can email