Immortality vs Eternal Life

“Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.”

D&C 6:7

I still feel very new to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Lately, I have felt like my “radar” is off. How do I know what I’m supposed to do? What do I want most in life?

Again and again I have to tell myself, “I want to live with my family forever.” If I can keep that focus it helps me make better choices.

I was listening to a worldwide devotional by President Russell M. Nelson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He described his role as prophet in the following way

My responsibility is to educate and prepare you…for your immortal experience—meaning, how to gain eternal life.

Choices for Eternity

What’s the difference between immortality and eternal life? In 2006, Elder Jospeh B. Worthlin differentiated between them in the following way:

[All] are given a priceless and incomprehensible gift: immortality. Because of Jesus the Christ, [the good shepherd] we will live forever. We are immortal.

Eternal life, however, is something altogether different. Immortality is about quantity. Eternal life is about quality.

To use a metaphor, immortality is how long the dinner lasts. Eternal life is what is on the menu and who is with us at the table.

Eternal life is “the greatest of all the gifts of God” (D&C 14:7). P9

“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9)…

However, eternal life does not come automatically.

We must purge our hearts of evil and fill them with the desire to do good continually. Our Heavenly Father, with love that is scarcely within our power to comprehend, desires more than just our immortality. He desires each of us to partake of this greatest of all gifts: eternal life.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
“What Is the Difference between Immortality and Eternal Life?” Liahona. 2006 November.

The desire to do good continually is not easy, but there is hope. We may feel lost and incabable, but we do not have to do it alone. We have a Savior who knows and loves us and a Heavenly Father, who wants each of us to return back to Him. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles discussed one parable and how it brings hope. He stated,

To me, the parable of the lost sheep is one of the most hopeful passages in all of scripture.
Our Savior, the Good Shepherd, knows and loves us. He knows and loves you.
He knows when you are lost, and He knows where you are. He knows your grief. Your silent pleadings. Your fears. Your tears.
It matters not how you became lost—whether because of your own poor choices or because of circumstances beyond your control.
What matters is that you are His child. And He loves you. He loves His children….

What Must We Do?…

Surely… [we must] do more than simply wait to be rescued.

While our loving Father desires that all of His children return to Him, He will force no one to heaven.

God will not rescue us against our will (Emphasis added)…

So what must we do?
His invitation is simple:
“Turn … to me.”
“Come unto me.”
“Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you.”

This is how we show Him that we want to be rescued.

It requires a little faith. But do not despair. If you cannot muster faith right now, begin with hope.
If you cannot say you know God is there, you can hope that He is. You can desire to believe. That is enough to start.

Then, acting on that hope, reach out to Heavenly Father. God will extend His love toward you, and His work of rescue and transformation will begin.

Over time, you will recognize His hand in your life. You will feel His love. And the desire to walk in His light and follow His way will grow with every step of faith you take.
We call these steps of faith “obedience…”

[O]bedience is a cherished concept in the gospel of Jesus Christ because we know that “through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel…

Obedience is the lifeblood of faith. It is by obedience that we gather light into our souls…..

[O]bedience is not so much the process of bending, twisting, and pounding our souls into something we are not. Instead, it is the process by which we discover what we truly are made of (emphasis added)…

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

In 1974, Elder Delbert L. Stapley Of the Council of the Twelve, counseled us to “walk uprightly before the Lord and…keep his laws and commandments. It is the only way we can find our way to the eternal life that God has held out to the faithful of his people…[O]ur God gave this promise: “… if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.” (D&C 14:7.) “Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.” (D&C 6:7.)

Joseph B. Wirthlin responded with scripture to the following q:

“What is the work and glory of God? “To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39; emphasis added)…

[M]an is placed upon the earth to learn, be tested, and gain experience.

Because of the sacrifice of the Son of God, the hour will come when “all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:28–29).

The just as well as the unjust are given a priceless and incomprehensible gift: immortality. Because of Jesus the Christ, we will live forever. We are immortal.
Eternal life, however, is something altogether different. Immortality is about quantity. Eternal life is about quality.

What Is the Difference between Immortality and Eternal Life? Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

We will all live as immortals because of Jesus Christ and His atoning Blood and sacrifice. Eternal life is described as “the greatest of all gifts,” for those who love God. Loving God means being obedient and keeping His commandments, “if ye love me keep my commandments”

The desire to be obedient and do good continually is not easy, but there is hope. We may feel lost and incabable, but we do not have to do it alone. We have a Savior who knows and loves us and a Heavenly Father, who wants each of us to return back to Him. As we repent daily and strive to become better each day, little by little, grace for grace, we can become better and work toward eternal life.

Elder Uchtdorf emphasized that no matter where we’ve been, or what we’ve done, we can be rescued by the Savior. He stated,

You Are Worthy of Rescue

[M]y dear friends, I testify that God sees us as we truly are—and He sees us worthy of rescue.

You may feel that your life is in ruins… You may be afraid, angry, grieving, or tortured by doubt. But just as the Good Shepherd finds His lost sheep, if you will only lift up your heart to the Savior of the world,

He will find you.
He will rescue you.
He will lift you up and place you on His shoulders.
He will carry you home…

We can have confidence and trust that our loving Heavenly Father can and will rebuild us. His plan is to build us into something far greater than what we were—far greater than what we can ever imagine. With each step of faith on the path of discipleship, we grow into the beings of eternal glory and infinite joy we were designed to become.
This is my testimony, my blessing, and my humble prayer in the sacred name of our Master, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, He Will Place You on His Shoulders and Carry You Home. May 2016 Liahona.

I believe these words are true. And if we can no more than desire to be obedient or believe, God will work with us one step at a time, if we turn to Him and ask Him for help. Stop Believing you can do this alone. You simply cannot. This is why we have the Savior. Through him and his atoning blood and sacrifice we can choose to change, permanently so we can gain eternal life and live with God again.

See also

We Can Live with God Again


Finding Unity in Diversity

Original entry 24 January, 2021

One challenge we face today is finding unity amongst diversity of our beliefs, backgrounds, cultures, goals, and desires. How can we seek for unifying ideas in such a time as this? The answer may lie within past experiences and words spoken by historical figures, lyricists, and everyday people.

What will happen if individuals continue to interact with hostility towards others? Martin Luther King Jr. described the end result of our interactions if we approach one another with hatred and anger when he stated,

“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? [2010], 64-65

Rather than focusing time and energy on hating others because of different beliefs and values, we can root out the hatred and anger by choosing instead to love others. Jesus Christ exemplified perfect love for all races, kindreds, tongues, and people. Why not choose to do love others as He did?
It’s hard to love someone who may declare your views as wrong, senseless, ancient, sinful, or godless, but it’s even harder to love someone when you’re choosing to be intolerant of them as a human being. When faced with differing opinions or views, why not give a listening ear without choosing to criticize, hate, or retaliate? In an article published online in The Liahona, Lori Fuller Sosa brings awareness to the following idea:

“If we could just listen without trying to change someone’s mind, I think we’d be surprised what we might learn” (2019).

Imagine if we all followed this line of thinking. Would it bring more unity?
Nearly 50 years ago, John Lennon once speculated the outcome of our world if we put our differences behind us and sought to live on earth, harmoniously.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.
Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can. No need for greed or hunger. A brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people, sharing all the world.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be live as one.
Original Lyrics by John Lennon taken from Pass It On

Notice how Lennon erases the concept of greed and hunger. Is this what divides the nations? Money and power?

In 1976, Howard W. Hunter stated,

“It is the proposition that everyone has a price, that material things finally matter most, that ultimately you can buy anything in this world for money.”

It’s true, you can have anything in this world for money, but at what cost? Is a life not worth so a great a value? In Lennon’s lyrics, he shifted the focus from earthly possessions to a “brotherhood of man.” Placing pleasures and monetary value above human life will not unify us. It will divide us. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? …[W]hat shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36–37.)

Many powerful leaders have sought to eradicate the existence of the poor, the mentally ill, and the races that were not considered elite in their eyes. In God’s eyes, we are all His children. He created us equally. It is not Christ’s doctrine to divide us or to bring contention. This is not from Christ. Christ’s teachings seek to uplift, unify, edify, and inspire all to love.

As The Savior taught,

Love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

John 13:34-35

I know for myself the impact pure Christlike love can have on an individual. I hated religion and any person who preached their beliefs. I discovered that I believed, these religious people thought they were so much better than me. I was judging. The same thing I didn’t like about religion, I was still practicing.

I came to see that I was not loving. I was a very judgmental person. I carried so much hatred, yet it was a religious person who showed me pure Christlike love and did not judge me for my choices, my mistakes, or my beliefs. Charity, the pure love of Christ has the power to change hearts. This love has changed life.

In moving forward to seek unity in diversity, the following question posed nearly 200 years ago, may be relatable to today:

In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?

Joseph Smith

We all share differing perspectives, opinions, and beliefs but ultimately, the way we can seek unity in diversity is to love one another as Christ has loved us. This is my prayer for each of us in the world today. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Step 1 – Honesty

Originally published: May 10th 2020

I have been suffering from addiction for nearly 20 years. My addiction began out of curiosity and was fueled by secrecy, rebellion, and the high. In taking the first step to be honest, I had to be honest with the one person I’ve deceived the longest, myself.

Step 1 – HONESTY
KEY PRINCIPLE: Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable

The ARP manual is located at the end of this post or available here.

I did not realize that my dishonesty with myself and others solidfied my addiction. I’ve not met a single person who didn’t first decieve themselves before becoming addicted to some substance or harmful habit later.

Overcoming Addiction One Step at a Time

Because I was addicted to multiple substances and harmful habits, I couldn’t see where I was or where I needed to go. I couldn’t see I was miserable. I couldn’t see my addiction lead my life and that I was no longer in control of my fate.

Russell M. Nelson of the [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] observed: “Addiction surrenders later freedom to choose. Through chemical means, one can literally become disconnected from his or her own will” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1988, 7; or Ensign, Nov. 1988, 7).

Once I began being honest with myself, I realized I wanted a family. I wanted to be with people I trusted, and I  wanted to be trusted. I wanted a husband I knew was honest, and I wanted all of this for the children I would bring into this world too. It was a hard decision to disconnect from those tying me to my addiction, but to this day, I can’t believe where I am, and I know I didn’t get here on my own.

I chose to follow the ARP’s manual to my best ability, I attended meetings in person, and I listened to the videos and life stories of recovering addicts. After graduating with my Bachelors of Science in Marriage and Family Studies, I couldn’t help but thank the Lord for all he has done to help me get where I am today. As other’s congratulated me on my accomplishments, I would repeat this scripture because there is no way I could have done this without the good Lord.

“I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own
wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is
brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.

Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength
I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but
I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all

Ammon (see Alma 26:11–12).

I know that because of the atonement of Jesus Christ, I was able to be strengthened to choose to be honest with myself. Because I try to be honest with myself and rely on the Savior’s merits, mercy, and grace,  I am here.  I still make mistakes and there is still trial and hardship, but life is better. I have more peace, more joy, and more happiness living my life this way. Through Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice, I have been able to be honest, and that’s the first step to recovery.


I was first introduced to the Addiction Recovery Program (ARP) Manual at age 18. In the last 11 years, I’ve tried and failed many times to overcome multiple addictions, but “no failure ever need be final” (Thomas S. Monson). I began accomplishing more than I could imagine once I tried to learn true doctrine, true principle, and apply what I’ve learned in this manual. I have been able to abstain from multiple destructive behaviors for over 4 years and have experienced for myself and know that  The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. “Boyd K. Packer

Step 1: A Story of Honesty

Feb 27th, 2021

I love the ARP videos. They remind me that others who struggle with addiction overcame it one step at a time through Jesus Christ and His infinite atonement which provides a way for healing, mercy, justice, and grace.

Somehow, I’m still here. Still struggling, yet, I believe I can be healed. Why? Because I’ve come so far. I’ve overcome so much. I make hundreds of mistakes each day, but I know as I’m honest to what I know is true and keep trying, keep believing, and keep repenting I will draw closer to the Savior and become who I truly desire to become, and it is through the enabling power of Jesus Christ’s atonement I will be able to withstand temptation for a minute longer. Even if it’s just for a second longer than before, I’ve progressed.

Beyond Reason

Job posed the question, “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). Many may find this question contrary to reason or common sense, but some wonder what happens after their death and what purpose they serve to exist.

President Thomas S. Monson, amongst other leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other ancient prophets have responded to this question. No doubt, they shared similar questions at some point in their lifetime and desired to know the truth of these things. In his Aprl 2007 General Conference Address, President Monson (2007) reminded us of one simple truth that can awaken hope in every nation, kindred, tongue, and people (see Mosiah 15:28):

The simple pronouncement, “He is not here, but is risen,” was the first confirmation of the literal Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The empty tomb that first Easter morning brought comforting assurance, an affirmative answer to Job’s question, “If a man die, shall he live again?”19

To all who have lost loved ones, we would turn Job’s question to an answer: If a man die, he shall live again. We know, for we have the light of revealed truth. “I am the resurrection, and the life,” spoke the Master. “He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11:25–26).

The apostle Paul taught, “The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:11), and James instructs how to gain wisdom from the source of all truth.

5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed (James 1:5-6).

Elder Bednar offers further guidance in this sincere desire, stating, “The requirement to ask in faith [implies] the necessity to not only express but to do, the dual obligation to both plead and to perform, the requirement to communicate and to act.” (Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Ask in Faith,” Liahona, May 2008, 94). We must act if we desire to obtain truth. 

Some may repudiate Job’s inquiry to the Lord, but I know that when an individual sincerely desires to know  truth, whatever the subject, if he or she “stud[ies] it out in [their] mind” (D&C 9: 7-9) and faithfully and asks the Lord “nothing wavering” (James 1:6), then they will gain knowledge “line upon line [and] precept upon precept” (2 Nephi 28:30). For as a prophet from the Book of Mormon once taught, “by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (see also Moroni 10:3–5). I know from personal experience these things are true, and I implore you to know for yourself, with certainty, whether these things are true. 


DISCLAIMER:  The personal thoughts and feelings  expressed are those of the author.  The author does not speak for or on behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.



Monson, T.S. (2007). I know that my redeemer lives. General Conference Address, 177. Retrieved from

Because of him. (2014). Video.



My trials can be a blessing

Given the tribulation that Paul faced in his ministry, it’s not surprising that he wrote a lot about the purposes and blessings of tribulation. Think about ways your trials can be a blessing as you read 2 Corinthians 1:3–7; 4:6–10, 17–18; and 7:4–7. For example, you might ponder how God “comforteth [you] in all [your] tribulation” and how you can, in turn, “comfort them which are in any trouble” (2 Corinthians 1:4). Or you might focus on the light of Jesus Christ that “hath shined in our hearts,” even when you are “troubled” and “perplexed” (2 Corinthians 4:6–10).

See also Mosiah 24:13–17; Gospel Topics, “Adversity,”


2 Corinthians 1–7 “Be Ye Reconciled to God.

Do Miracles Still Exist?

Growing up, my mom would often say, “There’s no such thing as luck, There’s no such thing as coincidence,” and my dad would remind us that, “This life is a test.” I didn’t believe it was true, but sometimes I wondered. The image that first comes to mind my mind is a memory from when I was age 24. It was dark and very late, as I rode the bus home that night, exhausted from a long day of work and school. The fluorescent lights glared down, as I leaned against the window and stared at my reflection through the darkened glass. I was filled with a feeling of complete emptiness and loneliness, but for some reason, I began wondering about those phrases I thought were ridiculous. “Are there coincidences or not?” “Is this life really was a test?” “Is there really a God?”

I grew up in a home that taught the true doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and my mom sang songs to me when I was 4 years old about being a “Child of God,” and “Yes, I know Heav’nly Father Loves me” (Children’s songbook p. 2; 228). In this memory, I’m in my second home, it’s dark, and I can’t see anything. My mom is holding me and singing these two primary songs. In my second home as a child, I lived there until I was about age four.  I remember after moving, my mom through me a party for my 5th birthday and invited all the neighbor kids I didn’t know, but that’s how my mom was. Even when I turned 16 she somehow got a hold of all my friends and neighbor friends and they all came to surprise me. That is part of the gospel of the Savior. I was living how I shouldn’t, and my mom did everything she could to show she loved me.

I hadn’t lived the true gospel of Jesus Christ since childhood. When I was younger, I would sneak into my mom’s room to make her bed or spend 2 hours doing dishes and hide when she came home. I’m not bragging to say “what a wonderful child was”, I’m only painting a picture of what the gospel did for me, even as a child. I wanted to show my mom love the best way I knew how, and my mom showed me that when you love someone, you serve them. As I grew older something changed.

Through my adolescent years, I wasn’t kind, and I didn’t love anyone but myself; In short, I broke nearly every commandment before middle school, and only continued that lifestyle through the majority of high school and college. Most of my friends didn’t go to church, and if they did, it was for their parents. So, I refused to go to church because it contradicted who I was (which, if you study the doctrine on this, we’re all children of God, and “refusing to go to church” because I felt like I didn’t belong is either the natural man at work or one of the adversary’s tools).  If I was going to party then I most certainly wasn’t going to church on Sunday unlike many people I knew from school. Eventually I graduated high school,  and I noticed the majority of my friends no longer went to church.

My church activity somewhat changed after a trip to a local correctional facility for underage drinking. I remember sitting in the cell singing, “Heavenly Father are you really there?” (Children’s Songbook p.12). I felt pathetic. Despite the warm summer night, the cell I was in was freezing, and I had goosebumps up and down my arms. It was a long night. I remember for breakfast they brought me boiled eggs, and possibly pancakes with syrup. All I ate were the eggs because I believed pancakes and syrup would make me fat (I had also been battling multiple eating disorders for several years). I was released sometime around 10am that morning. I spent less than 12 hours in the cell, and I never wanted to go back there again. All I remember, was my dad and uncle walking down a long hallway toward me as I walked toward them, and my dad embracing me.

I had to pay a hefty fine and was court-ordered to go through some kind of program. I went through the Addiction Recovery Program (ARP) at the age of 18, began seeing a psychologist, and tried going back to church. I remember wanting to change and going to church because I wanted to, not because someone was making me. But I remember the singles ward being a very uncomfortable experience. I felt surrounded by creeps. My first Sunday there, around winter 2009, I was wearing boots and some bald guy sat in front of me and began petting the boots I was wearing, commenting how soft they were while staring at me. Thankfully I was with my cousin, and we laugh about it to this day, but as an 18 year old, I was terrified. Regardless of my countless interesting experiences, I continued going to the singles ward.

After reconnecting with a another girl from high school at the singles ward, we began talking about moving out together, it was spring 2010. By the end of summer we moved out. We were going to church, and I was still trying to learn who I was. As I tried to return to church, it seemed more and more of my friends were leaving the church. Some described their first intimate moments with their boyfriends, their first time smoking weed, or the roommate drama they were experiencing. I had three wonderful roommates, but what I didn’t realize is one of them had a drank often and tried to hide it. We all went to church together, but I began seeing that same pattern in my student ward where the same people who were partying on the weekend were the ones going to church on Sunday. “Sunday Mormons” is what they were called or “Jack Mormons” at the time (I strongly dislike the latter term).

I think I lasted about 9 months without drinking. I didn’t realize I was still vulnerable to it, but I was mad… about something. I can’t even remember what it was. Perhaps it was the incident of me kneeling in the living room of my apartment, vocally praying for God’s help to make me a size “0,” but then a response along the lines of, “What if that’s not what I want for you,” came to my mind. I remember being enraged. I wanted desperately to model and be beautiful, so I thought, “Fine.”I’ll show you. If you’re not going to help me, I’ll do it on my own.” So I did. I was 20 years old. I was sick with an eating disorder. I had been suffering for over 7 years at that point. Sometimes I’d stay up until 3am binging and purging, or I’d wake up at 3am to go exercise in our gym. I remember protesting to the managers to keep the gym open 24 hrs (you could only get in if you had a FOB key between certain hours). Eventually, there must have been enough requests, because by the time I was experiencing a full fledged eating disorder, I was there every morning, religiously working out before I had work at 4:30am. I did the HCG diet and was consuming 500 calories or less per day. I was taking diet pills and doing everything I thought was right to be thin. I began listening to the same EDM again whenever I worked out. I began remembering old habits and soon was desiring old habits but I didn’t recognize what was happening. This mental battle that has existed for as long as I can remember.


I went out with someone from work, who I wasn’t even interested in. The only thing I liked was that his family did family history work. I knew he smoked weed, and I thought I knew where I was going, but without sleep, and without food, I was in no place to make decisions about dating.

My roommate and I met someone older who would buy us liquor, and once I started drinking again, I went to church less and less. I began seeing the person I went out with from work, the one I didn’t like because of his lifestyle. We dated off and on for over 5 years, and at one point we were living together. That may seem to have escalated quickly, but I can tell you, I didn’t become Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah (before their conversion) overnight (see Mosiah 27: 8-10).  I didn’t suddenly try to convince members of the Church, to reject their doctrines and beliefs, including members of my own family. It was gradual, and it started when I young, perhaps elementary school.  My complete 180 may have started in 2nd grade, and ended when I was 21.

What happened in 2nd grade? What didn’t happen in 2nd grade? That was the year other students would tell me awful stories about my teacher like putting glue in a kids eyeball. Aside from teacher horror stories, everyone played kissing tag, and didn’t everyone get married? Everyone except me. Maybe the kissing and “getting married” didn’t bother me as much, but I’d have thoughts like, “Why does Jake want to marry Stacia and not me?” I remember sometimes having this lonely feeling, that was similar to sadness, but different. Looking back, I wonder if these feelings may have been a result of consistently comparing myself to others.

By fourth grade I remember the sadness being somewhat tangible, heavy, and overbearing (though I wouldn’t have had the words to describe it as such). I just remember feeling like my entire body was filled with sadness, like I was in physical pain. I cried and I remember praying one night, begging Heavenly Father to take me away. What was so awful in fourth grade? What changed? I had many friends and we were all “popular” together, but then fourth grade hit. A new girl moved in, and the boy I liked, liked the new girl. I guess I had to find a new “muse” which seems so odd at such a young age, but my best friend and I decided we were going to like these two brothers, and she was going to like one and I was going to like the other.  Fourth grade was when Sam moved in. He was different, so everyone talked about him. I remember walking in from recess, and Sam was holding a chair up to his throat, threatening to kill himself. I don’t know if I understood suicide, but I wanted to be his friend.

5th grade came, and Sam moved away. More new kids moved in and things got worse. Students would tell me the teacher gossiped about me when I was gone. The one boy I liked, liked another girl, and my friends started leaving me out. I remember feeling like there was something wrong with me because it seemed that all of the boys liked all the other girls. Was I that ugly? I would get picked last in soccer often, and I just felt like an outcast. Sometimes I wonder if my insecurities stemmed from my exposure to pornography around 2nd grade and my inability to communicate what was going on inside my mind.

I didn’t tell anyone about it until many years later. To this day the images are still etched in my mind, and I remember the experience well. I was with my friends little sister, Jenna (name changed), and we came across a stack of magazines in their old shed. It was likely left there from the previous owners. We began flipping through it, out of curiosity. She was the one who stopped, but I wanted to keep looking. Eventually I went home and Jenna may have told her mom, and her mom may have told my mom, but  all I remember was my mom walking in my bedroom, saying she talked to Jenna’s mom, and my mom may have asked if I wanted to talk about it, but we didn’t talk. I just remember silently sitting in the corner of my room, playing with my toy ponies. But afterward,  I became obsessed with intimacy. I remember feeling different, like I had a big ugly secret I couldn’t talk about. I remember my friendships deteriorating, and I was being left out more and more at recess. I felt like I was alone.


I would watch movies like Princess Diaries, Miss congeniality, She’s All That, and soon, I became enthralled with how beautiful these girls looked after they had a makeover. There was an episode of Boy Meets World where Topanga gets a makeover, and the transformation was stunning. I had this idea in my head that if I looked beautiful, I would be happy because these girls seemed to be missing something, but everything came together once they were “updated.” I watched The Swan and Dr. 90210 because the women all looked happier and more beautiful after their transformations. In 6th grade I started connecting what you ate to your level of popularity. If you bought ice cream from the student store or candy or chips from the vending machine, you were cool. By 8th grade, I learned that the popular girls ate celery at lunch, or didn’t eat lunch at all. If they ate anything it was from the student store or the vending machine, not the cafeteria. After purchasing your food, you’d hang out in the “commons.” All the cool kids would sit and stare at everyone that walk past and laugh, joke, or sometimes make fun of others. They all looked happy and I just wanted to be happy. I thought that being popular and accepted by my peers would undoubtedly bring me happiness.


I did my first makeover during 6th grade (new clothes, new wardrobe, new hair (my best friend gave me highlights). I felt happy, but it was short-lived elation. As time progressed, I was exposed to anorexia, and something inside of me wanted apart of it. About 8th grade I saw this movie about girls who were getting all this attention from the guys. They snuck out, did drugs and drank alcohol. They obtained an array of piercings over their face, ears, and body, and they looked happy. I remember watching the thirteen year old girl do self-harm, but somehow all of the happiness outweighed those little moments of agony; I still wanted that lifestyle.

I started my first diet in 7th grade with a friend. I don’t recall eating breakfast or lunch. I’d come home and have a few Totino’s pizza rolls for a snack and maybe a Chimichanga for dinner. I  remember at one point bragging that all I had eaten for the day was an orange when I was a sophmore in high school. I showed my best friend Ally (name changed) and her sister Kirsten (name changed) how flat my stomach looked, and they both reacted with astonishment and praise.

I cycled through anorexia and bulimia throughout junior high and high school. I’d have a slim fast shake for lunch and a salad when I got home. I had no idea what I was doing to my body. I just thought if I stopped eating, I’d be thin. I didn’t know my metabolism would slow down, I didn’t know my beautiful hair would turn to toddler wisps, I didn’t think I’d grow cilia all over my body and turn into a wilder-beast. I didn’t anticipate long nights of no sleep, or the mental havoc I would experience later, I had no idea how this was affecting my body, mind, and spirit. For over 13 years I filled my mind with thoughts of how disgusting my body was, and that I must be skinny an pretty.

I chose to surround myself with people who constantly bad talked their body. Whether media, friends or family. Some of my loved ones would make remarks about women in the family who needed to lose weight. One family member made the comment, “nobody wants a fat wife” as we were about to go on a hike. I was about 13 years old. Another family member would say, “she’s as big a a house” if we saw someone who was obese. I vaguely have a memory of seeing a construction worker, pointing to him, laughing and saying, “look at that fatso!” My mom snapped back a quick scolding and taught me that we never  point and we never talk about anyone in that way. I was about 5 years old.


Do you know what anorexia does to your brain? Did you know Depression and anorexia are correlated? I was starving, cutting, drinking, and spinning out of control. Did I just need food and sleep, or was there something else going on? After 13 years, it wasn’t just food, it was many things. It was relationships, it was hobbies, it was sleep, but it was especially my relationship with Jesus Christ.

I can assure you, that from my experience, the 180 flip doesn’t happen overnight. These kinds of changes may be rooted in childhood or adolescent trauma. It may have been abuse, mistreatment, a broken home, the culture, the environment and choices made.  I never once asked for, “help.” I never once asked an adult, “why?” I always turned inward. I always turned toward my peers, never my family, and I rarely turned to my Heavenly Father. I still struggle immensely, but I have learned that we are not meant to suffer alone. We are here to bear one another’s burdens, experience pain, trial, and affliction, so we can learn to turn to Christ and help others along the way. I know miracles still exist today, and I know the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. If these doctrines weren’t true, I wouldn’t be here today. There are no coincidences. If it wasn’t for the love of the Savior, the gift of the Holy Ghost, my family, and true friends, I wouldn’t have remembered who I was. I know I am a child of God. I have an Eternal Father who loves me. I know family is central to to the great plan of happiness. I know this life is test, to see if we will do all things God commands us, and I know that if we follow Jesus Christ, we will have everlasting happiness.



Sing-a-long for primary video:

Test Moroni’s Promise.

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

I add my testimony to the truth of this principle. I promise if you pray, with a sincere heart, asking in faith, Heavenly Father will bless you in the most beautiful unimaginable way. Write down what comes to your heart, this is the spirit. It will be hard to make changes, I know you may lose friends and relationships, but you will progress and experience complete joy, peace and happiness. I know of no fuller joy or peace than from the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

See Also

“James 1:5-6,” Liahona, January 2017. Retrieved from

“Moroni’s Promise,” Ensign, Apr. 1994, 12. Retrieved from

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