the Lord desires, through His Atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost, to live in us—not only to direct us but also to empower us. -David A bednar

Step 4: Truth – Make a Fearless Moral Written Inventory

I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.


I’ve been working on step 4 across a five year period. I’ve completed the 12 steps in the Addiction Recovery Program (ARP) through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints once in 12 years. I’ve restarted the Program several times, but tend to get stuck on step 4.

It seems self-abusive patterns sneak back into my life when things get hard. As I took step 4, I discovered underlying emotions and beliefs that were symptomatic of pride, envy, bitterness, and resentment. I learned the importance to supplement each day with gratitude, faith, prayer, and scripture study. Other vital steps include striving to remember my divine heritage as a child of God, striving to counsel with the Lord, and striving to follow promptings I receive. These daily practices help me step away from addiction and step toward Jesus Christ.


I’ve experienced varying forms of sobriety. In 20 years, this is the longest length of time I’ve resisted temptation, including self-abusive patterns, yet many days I make choices which slide me back to neglect my needs whether temporal, spiritual, or emotional.

I used to physically harm my body, especially during the ages of 15-17. Now, when I self-abuse, it’s in a verbal/emotional form. I look in the mirror or sit on the sofa and listen to the thoughts pick apart my body, my looks, my character, and who I am as a person. I could choose to walk away, I could choose to hum a favorite hymn or familiar tune, but when I’m tired, weary, and worn down, it becomes increasingly difficult to battle the adversary’s blasts of attempts to tear me down.

When we listen to the harmful thoughts, it engages our minds in an emotional self-destructive warfare. We have the ability to choose to tune our mind differently, but we must become aware of what’s happening. Typically, these patterns have seed in our childhood, are immensely difficult to break, and cannot be done alone.

To overcome these harmful cycles, Step 4 deals with telling the truth and making a fearless written moral inventory. It doesn’t mean we won’t have fear in writing our inventory.

The following ARP passages have helped me to navigate difficult memories as I’ve worked on my personal inventory:

Look beyond your past behaviors and examine the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that led to your behavior. Your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are actually the roots of your addictive behaviors. 

Unless you examine all your tendencies toward fear, pride, resentment, anger, self-will, and self-pity, your abstinence will be shaky at best.



This last week, abusive thoughts and temptations infiltrated my mind more often than usual. I’ve been dealing with sickness and lack of sleep. It seems these are times when harmful thoughts are most prevalent. Regardless, I continued to work on my inventory and came to realize how mentally crippling beliefs, attitudes, and emotions affected my destructive decisions.

I was concsciously unaware of feelings, thoughts, and beliefs which existed and continue to influence my reactions, but as I’ve addressed them and made a physical copy of my inventory, I’ve slowly begun to process examine these tendencies in the situations that come to my mind. Prayer and trusting the Lord through your process is key.


In his 96 years, President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has seen many trials. But he says there’s a simple remedy to help us find joy in hard times—gratitude.

President Russell M. Nelson on the Healing Power of Gratitude

Gratitude precedes miracles. Thomas S. Monson, 16th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, described the following biblical experience to illustrate this truth:

In the book of Matthew in the Bible, we have another account of gratitude, this time as an expression from the Savior. As He traveled in the wilderness for three days, more than 4,000 people followed and traveled with Him. He took compassion on them, for they may not have eaten during the entire three days. His disciples, however, questioned, “Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?” Like many of us, the disciples saw only what was lacking. “And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And [the disciples] said, Seven, and a few little fishes. “And [Jesus] commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. “And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.” Notice that the Savior gave thanks for what they had—and a miracle followed: “And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.” We have all experienced times when our focus is on what we lack rather than on our blessings. Said the Greek philosopher Epictetus, “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” Gratitude is a divine principle. The Lord declared through a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith: “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things. … “And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things.” In the Book of Mormon we are told to “live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which [God] doth bestow upon you.” Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings.

The Divine Gift of Gratitude

Gratitude, combined with faith can bring about miraculous events, including healing. I still have a long ways to go, but I’ve gone almost a year without a MAJOR relapse into eating patterns, gaming, or pornographic pursuits. I’ve had micro relapses but nothing compared to my past addictions. I could not have made it this far without Jesus Christ and His infinite sacrifice through The Atonement. Gratitude is one way to combat these patterns.

I could not have made it this far without the Saviors merits, mercy, and grace. I could not have done this without The Lord and all those people he has placed in my life to help me along my way. I would be a completely different person without my Lord, my God. My Redeemer. The truths I have learned through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ have given me the direction to take, one step at a time.

I am grateful for the knowledge I have gained, the experiences, the trials, and hardships. They have brought me to my knees and have brought me closer to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They have brought me closer to my family and relationships that uplift and inspire. I have worked on making reconciliation in many relationships and have been working to right wrongs that I didn’t realize needed addressing until going through another one of the Church’s Programs, The Emotional Resilience Course.


My cousin Audrey and I have been working on the emotional resilience course through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints too. This has been a huge help. Yesterday here’s what we covered:

You are a child of God. He is the Father of your spirit. Spiritually you are of noble birth, the offspring of the King of Heaven. Fix that truth in your mind and hold to it” (Boyd K. Packer, “To Young Women and Men,” Ensign, May 1989, 54).

“Be careful how you characterize yourself. Don’t characterize or define yourself by some temporary quality. The only single quality that should characterize us is that we are a son or daughter of God. That fact transcends all other characteristics, including race, occupation, physical characteristics, honors, or even religious affiliation” (Dallin H. Oaks, “How to Define Yourself,” New Era, June 2013, 48).

“You are unique. One of a kind, made of the eternal intelligence which gives you claim upon eternal life.
“Let there be no question in your mind about your value as an individual. The whole intent of the gospel plan is to provide an opportunity for each of you to reach your fullest potential, which is eternal progression and the possibility of godhood” (Spencer W. Kimball, “Privileges and Responsibilities of Sisters,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, 105).

My Foundation: Our Divine Identity and Purpose


I know as I remember the truth that I am a child of God and that everyone around me are children of God, a loving Heavebly Father, then I can begin to change my patterns of self-objectification and objectifying others. We are not objects to be acted upon. We are human beings with hearts and souls with divine worth and potential. As I remember these truths I can see others as they really are and I can see myself as a true daughter of a Heavenly King who loves me infinitely and truly wants whats best for me, but I mist choose. It is my choice. A choice a make daily to either follow after truth and light, or to turn away from the Savior. Many times, I turn away! But because of the gift of repentance and because of Jesus Christ, I can change! Glory glory hallelujah I can change!

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible, swift sword;
His truth is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

2. He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment seat.
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer him; be jubilant my feet!
Our God is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

3. In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me.
As he died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

Text: Julia Ward Howe, 1819–1910
Music: Anon., ca. 1861

Alma 5:50
Doctrine and Covenants 65:1–6

Battle Hymn of the Republic

God is truth. God is light. God is love. As I have trusted Him, and let Him direct my path, my joy is fuller, my happiness is more glorious, And my life is more uplifting and fulfilling. I promise that if you look to God, even if you can no more than desire to believe to know the truth for yourself, God will guide you. Just pray. I promise He is there. I promise He is listening. If it weren’t true. I would not be here today! God lives! He will hear you and answer your prayer if you but ask in faith, nothing wavering, to know the direction you must take to follow after truth. I promise if you ask God, our eternal Father in the name of His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, in faith, he will answer your prayer.

In the sacred name of My Lord and Savior, He who is most divine, most Holy, even Jesus Christ, Amen.

Plan of Pleasure or Plan Happiness: You Choose

“They have become free forever … to act for themselves and not to be acted upon” (2 Nephi 2:26).
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles [of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints] was… in the Africa Southeast Area and on one occasion, while speaking to a group of young single adults, he held up his scriptures. “These scriptures are an object,” he said. “They have no ability to move on their own unless I move them.” He lifted them up to show the congregation. “You and I, however, are agents. We have the power in us to act, not simply to be acted upon.” In this simple example, Elder Bednar taught us all that we can act; we can choose. We have the power to do for ourselves what we choose to do.
This principle of action or agency, called “moral agency” in the Doctrine and Covenants (see D&C 101:78), is central to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the foundation for God’s plan for His children, the plan of salvation. In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Lehi taught, “[God] hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon. …
“[And] the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. …
“… And because that [men] are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever … to act for themselves and not to be acted upon” (2 Nephi 2:14, 16, 26; emphasis added).
In our day, the Lord declared through the Prophet Joseph Smith that “men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
“For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves” (D&C 58:27–28; emphasis added). Think about that statement: We are empowered agents, anxiously engaged. We have the power to act for ourselves.

“Act … Not … Acted Upon”

For true believers, the tugs and pulls of the world—including its pleasures, power, praise, money, and preeminence—have always been there. Now, however, many once-helpful support systems are bent or broken. Furthermore, the harmful things of the world are marketed by pervasive technology and hyped by a media barrage, potentially reaching almost every home and hamlet. All this when many are already tuned out of spiritual things, saying, “I am rich, … increased with goods, and have need of nothing “ (Rev. 3:17).
Contrastingly, the perks of discipleship are such that if we see a stretch limousine pulling up, we know it is not calling for us. God’s plan is not the plan of pleasure; it is the “plan of happiness.”
The tugs and pulls of the world are powerful. Worldly lifestyles are cleverly reinforced by the rationalization, “Everybody is doing it,” thus fanning or feigning a majority. Products are promoted and attitudes engendered by clever niche marketing.
Peter counseled, “Of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage” (2 Pet. 2:19)… there are so many personalized prisons!

The Tugs and Pulls of the World

“Decisions Determine Destiny” -Thomas S. Monson

Agency is essential in the plan of salvation. Without agency, we would not be able to learn or progress or follow the Savior. With it, we are “free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil” (2 Nephi 2:27).

Agency and Accountability

The Lord has said that all people are responsible for their own motives, attitudes, desires, and actions. Even though we are free to choose our course of action, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions. The consequences, whether good or bad, follow as a natural result of any choice we make (see Galatians 6:7; Revelation 22:12).

Agency and Accountability

Behavior Affects Our Ability to Receive Spiritual Guidance

President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints explained how irreverent behavior affects our ability to receive spiritual guidance:

“This trend to more noise, more excitement, more contention, less restraint, less dignity, less formality is not coincidental nor innocent nor harmless.
“The first order issued by a commander mounting a military invasion is the jamming of the channels of communication of those he intends to conquer.
“Irreverence suits the purposes of the adversary by obstructing the delicate channels of revelation in both mind and spirit” (Boyd K. Packer, “Reverence Invites Revelation,” Ensign, Nov. 1991, 22). See also Lesson 19: 1 Nephi 18

In the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, we see an example of this behavior in an Israelite family who fled Jerusalem before its destruction. Nephi, son of Lehi, an Israelite prophet, recorded the following account:

9 And after we had been driven forth before the wind for the space of many days, behold, my brethren and the sons of Ishmael and also their wives began to make themselves merry, insomuch that they began to dance, and to sing, and to speak with much rudeness, yea, even that they did forget by what power they had been brought thither; yea, they were lifted up unto exceeding rudeness.
10 And I, Nephi, began to fear exceedingly lest the Lord should be angry with us, and smite us because of our iniquity, that we should be swallowed up in the depths of the sea; wherefore, I, Nephi, began to speak to them with much soberness; but behold they were angry with me, saying: We will not that our younger brother shall be a ruler over us.
11 And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel did take me and bind me with cords, and they did treat me with much harshness; nevertheless, the Lord did suffer it that he might show forth his power, unto the fulfilling of his word which he had spoken concerning the wicked.
12 And it came to pass that after they had bound me insomuch that I could not move, the compass, which had been prepared of the Lord, did cease to work.

See 1 Nephi 18:9–12 “They began to dance, and to sing, and to speak with much rudeness”

As I’ve struggled to overcome multiple addictions, my media selection in particular has impeded my ability to receive revelation and hear the voice of The Lord. My media decisions always preceed later decisions to succumb to temptations. However, when I’m cautious with my media, and choose to focus on uplifting media that doesn’t contain immorality, drug and alcohol use, and violence, I have a better ability to overcome the temptations to return to old habits I want out of my life!

Just keep going. I can’t tell you what to do, but I can testify of the power of spiritual guidance that came as I was first honest and truthful with myself, sought uplifting media and entertainment, and strived to have personal scripture study and prayer more often. This lead to personal revelation which directed me on what I needed to change, and these daily choices continue to allow the spirit to influence mine and my family’s life!

Some examples of change I felt I needed to do, through the spirit, included the elimination and deletion of social media accounts entirely for a time, including my personal email. I was also directed to restrict some relationships or eliminate contact with certain people, whom I loved and enjoyed hanging out with, that later I realized caused temptation to enter my thoughts.

It’s hard to live in a world of instant access and remove ourselves from relationships that impede our progression, but we are to live in the world and not be of it (see John 17:15–17). I testify that as we strive to love the Lord and keep His commandments, he will bless us with the ability to hear His voice. #Hearhim

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.

What Lack I Yet?

I was reading some of the stories of President Henry B. Eyring, and how a colleague once challenged him to improve on his view of others. I began wondering what I needed to change. I was tempted to ask others for what I may need to work on, but then I thought, “Why am I doing this? Couldn’t I get a more clear answer from the Lord?” So I prayed, and the word, “Worship” came to mind.
I thought about this word throughout the day, and finally in the late afternoon, I had an opportunity to read more about this word in the index of the scriptures. The first phrase that stood out to me was “fear of God.” I thought, “Oh, do I not fear the Lord?” I continued reading and this phrase appeared more eye-catching than the others, “worship him with all your might, mind, and strength,” (see 2 Ne. 25:29).
This is what I desire to learn how to do. I know as I turn to the Lord in faith and humility and study the gospel of Jesus Christ, He will be lead me and give me answers to my prayers (see D&C 112:10).
“What Lack I yet?” Elder Larry R. Lawrence. October 2015 General Conference. Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saits. Retrieved from


Last year, I met with my dear friend Jaqui (name change). She’s married, has two sons, and has her own business. “Coincidentally” (remember I don’t believe the Lord does coincidences), Jaqui and her husband moved up close by me. They use to live about two hours away, suddenly they were a 15 minute drive. We met up several times and chatted, and each time she would discuss surrogacy. I remember once learning about surrogacy three or four years ago. I read that many celebrities opted for surrogacy, so they could maintain their physique. I thought it was a great idea, but I also had a different perspective on life during that time.

As I’ve returned to the restored Church of Jesus Christ, I’ve come to learn that family is vital to God’s plan of Happiness (see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”), and that the Lord commands us to raise our children in “light and truth” (D&C 93:40). From the scriptures we understand that “whatsoever is truth is light, whatsoever is light is Spirit” (D&C 84:45), meaning, The spirit teaches us truth. We also learn in Alma that “whatsoever is light is good” (Alma 32:35). This would make sense. I would rather know the truth than follow after the “philosophies of man.” (think about Sherem, Nehor, and Korihor- these philosophies presently exist; see also “Modern-Day Korihors,” David J. Ridges, New Era, Mar. 2013, 20-23; “Countering Korihor’s Philosophy,” Gerald N. Lund, Ensign, July 1992, 16).

In my parenting class at BYU-Idaho, we were asked what other questions I may have after studying the importance of gender, and what we were going to do to seek an answer. I wondered how surrogacy fit into marriage and family, for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. I said I was going to search, ponder, and pray to find the truth. I wrote, “This is a very controversial topic right now with a very dear loved one, and I don’t know what to do.”

I never thought surrogacy should be advised against, until after conversing with Jaqui. I remember as she spoke, I felt confused. I thought it was wonderful she wanted to give this family a baby. I praised her for her unselfish desires. She then confessed it wasn’t all about the family not being able to have children. Of course her heart ached for them, and she wanted to help them, but she made it clear that the surrogacy would benefit their family financially too.

I still felt confused as I drove home that night. My husband greeted me as I walked through the door, and we began discussing our evenings activities. As I brought up surrogacy, I asked him if it was “wrong.” He instructed me that the church “strongly discourages” against surrogacy. Today, was the first day I looked into this teaching. In the Church’s handbook it states, “The Church strongly discourages surrogate motherhood. However, this is a personal matter that ultimately must be left to the judgment of the husband and wife. Responsibility for the decision rests solely upon them (“21. Selected Church POlicies and Guidelines,” Handbook 2: Administering the Church (2019). As I read this I thought,” this is a responsibility I don’t want, nor would I want to answer to in the next life.” This is my own opinion! If you’re considering surrogacy, search, ponder, and pray. If it is good, the spirit witness the truth of it to you. If it’s not, the Lord will let you know, I promise (D&C 9:9).

Consider the following questions taken from the “Lesson 6: ‘I Will Tell You in Your Mind and in Your Heart, by the Holy Ghost’” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual (1999), 29–34.

  • Why is it important to submit our will to God’s will when we seek personal revelation?

  • How can we recognize when God answers “no”? (Answers could include that we will have negative feelings, confusion, feelings of unrest and uneasiness, or a “stupor of thought” [D&C 9:9]… [think] of experiences you’ve had with receiving such feelings.)

  • How should we respond when a sincere prayer about something we desire very much is not answered the way we want? How can such experiences help us?

Let me share a story with you that happened to me yesterday. Disclaimer: I am not sharing this to boast, nor brag, but to glory in the Lord’s work as Ammon (see Alma 26:10-12).



Heavenly Father is aware of me, miracles are possible.

I just got out of the temple this morning. I woke up at 5:35am and knew I needed to go to the temple…I kept getting fixated on little things like house cleaning and tidying up. Long story short, I didn’t leave my house until about 8am and arrived to the temple close to 8:30. I did initiatories (ordinance performed in the temple) and walked out of the temple just before 10am. Usually I walk straight to my car, but instead I chose to sit on a bench near the reflecting pool. I focused on the beautiful landscape, the sounds of the fountain, and observed one of the gardeners working in a nearby flower bed.

After 20 minutes, I knew I needed to study. I thought I could go to a local library to study, but as I looked up the location and thought more about it, I thought about the institute building nearby. I kept shooing the thought from my mind. “Why would I study there?” I thought. I continually fought the thought, but my next thought was along the lines of, “I have so much homework, I need to get going.” I stood up and walked down the sidewalk. A nice older gentleman greeted me with a, “Good morning.” I smiled and greeted him back, and he responded again, “Enjoy the rest of your day.” “Thanks you too!” I was somewhat thrown off [by his] second response. Usually, if someone greets me that’s it, but this brief extra effort lifted my spirits.

I arrived to the University and parked my car at the free parking on the side of the road. I got out of my car and started walking toward the university. “I could just go to the library here and study” [I thought]. As I continued walking, I started thinking, “What am I doing?” And I repeated the thought several times in my mind, but I just kept walking. I had a subtle feeling in my heart that I was being lead by the spirit, so I just kept going.

I walked all the way up to the front of the institute building, and thought, “Please be open, please don’t be locked.” It’s August 14, 2019, so classes don’t start for two more weeks. I pulled on the doors [and] they opened… I felt relief sweep through my mind. I walked in thinking I should ask one of the ladies at the front desk if it was okay I studied in the giant student hall. (It’s the room with billiards and such). But as I looked to my right and saw the doors [to the student hall] were open and the lights were on, I caught glimpse of the beautiful brown baby grand piano. The room was empty, so I walked in. I knew this was good. I just felt good inside.

I sat down, began unpacking my things, pulled out my laptop with the thought to plug in my headphones and get right to work. My next thought was… “What if I plug in my headphones, then someone might see me and be swayed away from talking to me. Maybe I’ll want to talk to that person.” So, I left my earphones out, and turned on my laptop. Within moments of making this decision, I heard a man’s familiar deep voice. “Is that brother Carter (name changed)?” I wondered. He had been my institute teacher for the Foundations of the Restoration class. I leaped from my chair (literally), grinning from ear to ear. “Maybe it wasn’t him.” I thought, but I had to see.

I walked quickly to the front office, and peered through the looking glass. It was him! I hollered, “Brother Carter!” (I usually wait politely and patiently, but I couldn’t contain my excitement). One of the secretaries, smiled at me, “You have to be louder than that!” I smiled back, “Brother Carter!” I hollered again. These were quiet Hollers. Kind of like a whispering shout. If you’ve ever tried to get someones attention “quietly” without disturbing others around, it’s like a whispered holler. He was talking, so I thought I shouldn’t interrupt, vocally. I walked towards the door, and he smiled when he saw me.

He walked through the doors of the office, and we began catching up. As I briefly spoke about my recent schooling adventures, I pictured talking about Brother Bailey (name changed), and next thing I know we were talking about Brother Bailey and walking downstairs towards his office (I have been trying to get in touch with brother Bailey about becoming a seminary teacher for over a year, clearly it wasn’t a priority if all I did was call him). When we arrived, his secretary informed us that he should be back later this afternoon. Brother Carter planned to get in touch with Brother Bailey, so we could meet up and discuss the process of becoming a seminary teacher. I was elated, and I couldn’t believe what just happened; it was surreal.


Two weeks ago, I began studying my scriptures intently seeking further direction, further light and knowledge concerning which direction I should take. This was it. This is what I pictured. I pictured me coming up to the institute. And somehow, someway.. it just made me so happy at the thought of being there. That’s what prompted me to quit my current job. Which inadvertently I quit the position with an offer of another position, just working less hours, which is what I needed to maintain my schedule and sanity.

After this experience, I wrote, “I feel so blessed. My soul rejoices at [the Lord’s] tender mercies.” Several hours later, these feelings would be smothered with doubt, discontent, and confusion. When Brother Carter reached Brother Bailey by phone, Brother Carter found me studying to let me know I could go see Brother Bailey. I was excited and anxious, and I felt like I was going to a job interview.

When I first met brother Bailey, he said something like, “You seem very familiar.” We tried to pinpoint where we may have met, but I didn’t think we had ever met. I had only called him a few times to try to talk to him. That must have been what it was. While we talked, I kept picturing Bridgette, my second cousin. She recommended I take a class for teaching seminary years ago, when I wasn’t active. After meeting with brother Bailey I felt alone. I thought, “Where have I been? I still feel like I’m sinking. I feel like such a selfish person. Like I’ve buried myself form the world. I have lost touch. I can’t describe it. I just feel sad. My brain can’t remember simple things.”

I felt confused. I didn’t have a glimpse of peace. From the moment I left his office I was filled with doubt. He gave me all of the information about the pursuit of being a seminary teacher. I was so excited up until that moment. I remember picturing the kids I would be able to teach, and it slowly felt like this dream was fading into the background, like it didn’t matter anymore. I felt empty and lost. I was filled with dread, sadness, and doubt? Why? How could this be when everything perfectly aligned? From the moment of leaving the temple, everything was about my choices and timing. I chose to follow the prompting to go to institute to study rather than the library. I chose to leave my head phones out, in case I needed to talk to someone. I knew none of this was a coincidence, but it seemed the direction I was suddenly heading, wasn’t the one I wanted.

Brother Bailey asked who my teachers were in seminary. I could only remember one, Brother Gardner (name changed). Until later as I reflected I thought, “Wow I can’t even remember anymore.. sadness feels my soul. Why no gladness…” I prayed for comfort, for hope, for anything. I pictured President Nelson and the word “joy.” So, naturally I googled it (by adding “churchofjesuschrist” to any google search you’ll find topics in the churches website; e.g. “churchofjesuschrist Nelson Joy). Here’s the talk I found. “Joy Cometh in the Morning” by Russell M. Nelson.

The title of my message is taken from the thirtieth Psalm, verse 5 [Ps. 30:5]: “Joy cometh in the morning.” As I discussed this scripture with members of our family, they recalled that “men are, that they might have joy” (2 Ne. 2:25), but they had not pondered the intriguing concept that “joy cometh in the morning.”

After seeing this I had hope that I would have joy in the morning. I wondered, “If I maintain the growth mindset, where will I be?” and thought, “Maybe this is a tender mercy…”

Later that evening, I was embarking on an addiction I want completely uprooted from my life. I knew I had to leave my home, but I was tired. I continually prayed for the spirit to be with me, so I could finish what I need to for the day. After a good 45 minutes of wrestling with my natural tendencies, I finally left. As I drove, I had that same feeling again. I didn’t want to go to the library. “Where am I supposed to go then Lord?” I prayed silently. I pictured my niece, Madi (name changed). I drove straight to my brother’s home. This choice led to a conversation with my sister-in-law about my day’s events and about Adam and Eve. Eve chose to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge that she would know good from evil. Did she know this was the key to progression?

As we discussed this story I was reminded of a thought I had last summer. Are we going to have children? Are they going to be twins? one boy and one girl? Was this my imagination or a prompting? I felt so sure of this thought that I gleefully told my sister-in-law about it, as if it were a sure thing. Like I knew I would be 8 months pregnant by June 2019. It’s now August 2019. We have no children. Was this because I didn’t say anything to my husband? Was this because I lacked faith? I brought up having children multiple times, trust me. I brought up the doctrine to “multiply and replenish the earth.”

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago, I thought that perhaps God has a different plan for us.

July 23, 2019 I woke up with the word a certain word on my mind, I didn’t have a pen or notepad by my bed, so I kept repeating “Sophie,” until falling back to sleep (always keep pen and notepad by your bed). Here’s my journal entry on the experience.

When I woke up I couldn’t even remember “soph” at first, but then I did. So I hopped out of bed, went to find my phone and began typing in “sophie lds” into google search. Then “sophistiory” and something about the missionaries popped up. “No, it’s a real word.” I thought. “I have to find it.” I was determined, so I kept searching. But nothing. I came across something about “Is God Mormon?” and other questions about the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. For some reason I typed in “mormon” and that brought up the topic of contraception. Then I became curious…. “What is the church’s stance on contraception? What about condoms?” I searched “birth control” and I ended up on an article from titled, “Birth control: What the prophets have actually said” by Jannalee Sandau Nov. 29, 2017
I read “Presient Gordon B. Hinckley, 1984” in bright blue bold letters and continued reading his quote which stated, “ I am offended by the sophistry….” I paused, “Wait…. What???? This is the word!!!!” I thought, so I continued reading.

His teaching stated, ““I am offended by the sophistry that the only lot of the Latter-day Saint woman is to be barefoot and pregnant. It’s a clever phrase, but it’s false. Of course we believe in children. The Lord has told us to multiply and replenish the earth that we might have joy in our posterity, and there is no greater joy than the joy that comes of happy children in good families. But he did not designate the number, nor has the Church. That is a sacred matter left to the couple and the Lord. The official statement of the Church includes this language: ‘Husbands must be considerate of their wives, who have the greater responsibility not only of bearing children but of caring for them through childhood, and should help them conserve their health and strength. Married couples should exercise self-control in all of their relationships. They should seek inspiration from the Lord in meeting their marital challenges and rearing their children according to the teachings of the gospel’” (see also (General Handbook of Instructions [1983], p. 77)” (Cornerstones of a Happy Home, 6).


When I look back to this moment in time, I know I will be grateful for what happened yesterday. I feel my answer to being a seminary teacher may be, “not yet,” or “I have something else in mind for you.” The reason I feel this is because toward the end of mine and brother Bailey’s conversation he made two statements. They were along the lines of a: After going through the classes and the training they will pray about it, and if it’s right I will be in the program, or b: if not, Heavenly Father has a different plan for you. That’s when I felt nothing. But… I remember before going into meeting with him, I had Elder Dennis E. Simmons words go through my mind, “But if not.” I remembered the story Elder Bednar taught in That We Might “Not … Shrink” (D&C 19:18; CES Devotional for Young Adults • March 3, 2013 • University of Texas Arlington). A man with cancer, called for Elder Bednar to give him a blessing and Elder Bednar asked him this question,

“[John,] do you have the faith not to be healed? If it is the will of our Heavenly Father that you are transferred by death in your youth to the spirit world to continue your ministry, do you have the faith to submit to His will and not be healed?”

I know Heavenly Father has a plan. If we trust Him, if we follow Him, if we keep His commandments we will be blessed.

“We glory in tribulations … knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed”(Romans 5:3–5).

Revelation + Scientific Method

Can religion and science be present at the same time? Are there ways to see examples and experience for our selves the truths taught in the scriptures about faith and receiving revelation?

President Russell M. Nelson (2015) discusses how religion and science coincide. He states, “There is no conflict between science and religion…Conflict only arises from an incomplete knowledge of either science or religion, or both. … Whether truth comes from a scientific laboratory or by revelation from the Lord, it is compatible.” It is important to always keep an open mind, and to remember the scriptures teaching that one day all things will be revealed to us (2 Ne. 27:11;  2 Ne. 30:16, 18Ether 4:7D&C 101:32D&C 121:28).

Can we still receive revelation today? Jennifer B. Nielson, once a BYU professor of chemistry and biochemistry, describes that “doctrine remains theory in our minds until we show our belief in the doctrine by acting.” In the scriptures, there’s multiple examples of experimenting with gospel principles to find truth. She gives the example of Amulek teaching this truth to the Zoramites and quotes Alma 34:4 saying, 

Yea, even that ye would have so much faith as even to plant the word in your hearts, that ye may try the experiment of its goodness.

Sister Nielson (2015) continues to describe this seed as being the “doctrine of the Atonement” and quotes Alma 34:8 which reads,

I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

Why read the scriptures to learn this truth? Isn’t it just a record of an ancient people? In an Ensign Article from 2011 it helps us understand that, “the Book of Mormon is more than a historical account. It contains “the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (D&C 20:9): the teachings, doctrines, and prophecies that testify of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.” They are real experiences from a real people in the Americas, testifying of the Savior.

So, Is it true? Can you receive revelation or actual guidance from the Lord? You can choose to follow the examples in the scriptures to discover or determine if a gospel principle is true for your own account. I know if you follow this principle of desiring to know the truth, you will be guided and directed. Not only you will be blessed, but your family, your friends, your neighbors, and your community will be blessed. Just keep going.


“Common Questions about the Book of Mormon.” Ensign or Liahona, Oct. 2011,76. Retrieved from

Jennifer B. Nielson. “Experiment and Experience.”  March 3, 2015 • Devotional. Retrieved from

Russell M. Nelson, in Marianne Holman Prescott, “Church Leaders Gather at BYU’s Life Sciences Building for Dedication,” Church News, Apr. 17, 2015, Retrieved from

“Revelation.” Gospel Topics. Retrieved from