A good day to spend in a good place

This past Thursday was absolutely wonderful. Before I mention the temple, let me just state how much I love tithing and how grateful I am that it is now online, not only do I no longer have to wait to pay my tithing but I also no longer have to keep the tithing slips because they are now all online. Tithing is a great blessing, I know it has helped me in my life. All the Lord asks for is 1/10th of what we earn. That is little to nothing in the grand scheme of things when he has given us so many beautiful things, such as the temple.

I had the opportunity to go to the Dallas Texas Temple to help watch some kids for a family while they spent time doing a session in the temple.

We walked around the part of the grounds that was available to walk around, talked about different things in our lives, watched a few LDS videos, and did some puzzles. In fact, I even drew a lion. But one main thing struck me and stuck with me all weekend.

As we were sitting there watching the video On the Way Home, I was asked many questions. One of which was probably the most important question out of all they asked, will their family be together forever?

Even though the family in On the Way Home is a fictional one, I responded that yes they would be together forever because they all chose to be baptized into the Lord’s church and be reunited with their lost family members in the future. I was so glad that they had asked that and that I could proudly and confidently state that they would be together again and would have forever together.

There are many people who don’t understand this blessing that we have been given, but when an effort is put into understanding, that is where the truth can shine.

Maybe they already knew the answer to their question, maybe they were testing me, but whatever their reason for asking I am so grateful. They helped me realize with a surety that no matter what befalls you, there is always the opportunity to be together again, no matter how long  or how much effort it takes. Families can be together forever.

As we were watching this is reminded me of my own family. Now, we are quite different from the family in the movie because we aren’t converts, have more boys than girls in our family, and have not lost a sibling early due to an accident that caused a death. But, we are similar in the fact that we have lost someone. Not to death, no. But to a fate that might even be worse than death right now.

We have lost one of my brothers, all his life he was faithful to the gospel, he did everything he was supposed to: got his eagle, went on a mission, loved the gospel. I know he truly believed or he wouldn’t have chosen to do any of these things. However, he met a girl and she influenced him for the worse. He has stopped coming to church, has moved away, and I have seen a great change in how he interacts with us. Every once in a while, his old self will shine through proving that he hasn’t changed entirely, but this new self is not the brother I know and love. He is different.

However, this doesn’t ruin my knowledge of the gospel and how I know that no matter what he will come back. I know my brother. He doesn’t want to be stuck like this. He does want to come to church and one day I am sure he will, but that day is not today. Just as the family was angry about their sister being taken, I was angry about my brother being taken. But I have learned that no matter what, God knows what He is doing. He knows that we have worries and He knows what will come. We just need to trust in Him and He will make everything better. All things are better through Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and I sincerely believe that. I can’t wait to be truly reunited with my brother, even if it isn’t in this life. I dearly hope it will be, but if it isn’t there is a reason. Nothing happens without a reason.

This day has by far been my favorite day of the week. It brought me so much peace to just be able to spend 3 hours at the temple and I am absolutely grateful for this gorgeous building. I love the temple and I love that the plan of salvation exists for all of us. We are all children of our Heavenly Father and he truly loves each and every one of us and doesn’t want to lose any of us.

He lives in us, so let’s live for Him.

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A good day 🙂

The smile that was on my face all day, nothing could remove it and I am so grateful for the ability I have to recognize the beauty in all things, even when the temple grounds are being torn up and repaired. Nothing could stop the temple from being gorgeous, look at this picture.

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Dallas Texas Temple

  1. I love to see the temple.
    I’m going there someday
    To feel the Holy Spirit,
    To listen and to pray.
    For the temple is a house of God,
    A place of love and beauty.
    I’ll prepare myself while I am young;
    This is my sacred duty.
  2. 2. I love to see the temple.
    I’ll go inside someday.
    I’ll cov’nant with my Father;
    I’ll promise to obey.
    For the temple is a holy place
    Where we are sealed together.
    As a child of God, I’ve learned this truth:
    A fam’ly is forever.

With that, fare thee well!!

Karen Alyse

#donotbeafakefriend

I recently posted a FaceBook status that reads:

“It’s interesting when you realize just how many people you talked to/were friends with when you were younger that decided you were just another face in the crowd they could forget and now they have to interact with you. It always makes for some nice awkward encounters. Word to the wise? Maybe be a genuine friend or just don’t invest time in people. This way it won’t be awkward in the future. ‪#‎donotbeafakefriend‬

This is a good lesson for anyone to learn, but I am about to focus mainly on my faith. If no one knew this, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With this comes a lot of close-knit community ties. We have a tighter community than most other religions. Especially with the fact that we don’t necessarily “choose” where we go to church, but rather go to a specific building based on where we live. Not only is it the building that an area is assigned to, but different sections of the area go to the church building at a specific time.

In Utah, this topic may not be a thing seeing as there truly is a church on almost every corner, but in Texas, this is absolutely a real occurrence. Especially when you reach cities that are even slightly more city than suburb. Even 45 minutes away from a major city deals with the tiny close-knit community that Mormons/LDS members are known for.

However, it’s not even home wards that we are dealing with here, it’s YSA’s (Young Single Adult wards and branches). If you thought the way we did Sunday services was strange, you’re gonna get a real kick out of this one. Outside of Utah and Idaho, we don’t really have multiple YSA’s for each stake. We, more than likely, have one.

And this brings me back to my main point. Do not be a fake friend.

When we are younger, we have the chance to meet people in our area and age group in the church at various activities and we 0ften become friends with many people this way. The only caveat here is that many young members of the church will simply tolerate people that they wouldn’t want to be friends with outside of these activities. Thus, when college hits everyone goes their separate ways, UNLESS they continue to live in the same city that they grew up in.

This is because they now begin going to the YSA branch/ward in their area and now have to encounter those people again on a regular occurrence–even more than they had before as children.

This is not an issue for everyone, but this can be one for many because they have chosen to ignore those they “befriended” as young children because they, at the time or later, thought they were “too churchy”, “too weird”, “not cool enough”, or even “merely tolerable”. (This list doesn’t end. People have endless reasons for dropping someone and ignoring them completely–This isn’t only in the LDS community. It happens with EVERYONE.)

What drove me to write about this is that I now have an assignment where I have to interact with one of these “friends” from my childhood each month who I suppose was never truly a friend. It wouldn’t be weird if the person in question hadn’t continually ignored me as an adult and pretended like I didn’t exist. However, because they did this it will make interacting with them that much more awkward. I had made the effort to reach out to them as I was at school and such and they, countless times, ignored me.

Y’all may be thinking “oh she’s just butthurt that this happened to her…”, “she shouldn’t have tried…”, “only she would be affected by this…”, “it’s all in her head…”, “this isn’t really happpening to her…” but all of those phrases are so far from the truth.

If the person in question hadn’t been friends with me when we were young children there would be no issue and this would be another instance where I get to meet a new person, but because I’ve known them for over 15 years, have known what they went through, and have seen how far they’ve come without them even thinking that I might be a friend, this is going to be awkward. And it probably won’t be awkward just for me.

I can guarantee you that the second they realize that I was one of the people they knew as a child whom they often spent time with they will feel the awkwardness.

This is not a post where I am asking you to pity me or help me wallow in my sorrow, but this is a post where I am asking you to please, PLEASE, please be genuine. I cannot express how much I hope everyone takes this and decides to be a genuine individual and friend. It is hard to realize how important it is when we are young, but as we grow older we need to recognize that nobody has time for fake friends. Nobody has time to be fake. No one has time to even think about being fake. Genuine is where it’s at. This is the only type of friend ANYONE should be. And the only type of friend that I intend to be. I will interact with this person just as I would with any of my close friends. I will continue to love them and reach out to them, no matter what because I truly care about them and I hope, more than anything, that I can make a difference in their life.

 

These are my thoughts on this topic, I hope y’all have thoughts to share with me as well because I love to hear stories and comments from people.

Fare thee well!!

Karen Alyse