Sunday, April 24, 2011

He Is Risen: Remembering Christ on Easter

I thought this video was beautiful:

Happy Easter!

Monday, April 18, 2011

One chance

Recently, Thomas and I got to see a beautiful dance production by the BYU International Folk Dance Ensemble, accompanied by the band Mountain Strings. I was blown away watching those dancers and hearing those fiddlers (etc.) do things I am convinced I could never do.

This experience made me think about the opportunities we are given in life. I think sometimes we are fooled when we get caught up in popular culture. No matter how many roles our favorite actors play in the movies, each person who comes into this world really only has one chance at life and becoming who they want to become. Change and repentance are possible, but the further we go down an undesirable road, the more difficult it becomes to turn around, and the more time- and energy-consuming the return path becomes.

Along with that "one chance" principle, it is important to realize that we do not have enough time to do and be good at EVERYthing. Thus, I think we need to choose early who we want to be and work toward that goal. If, when we self-evaluate where we are and how we are doing, we find that we are doing things that are not helping us reach that goal, it is time to change those parts of ourselves.

What do you want to be? What do you want people to remember about you? What do you want to teach your children?

Earlier this month, Lynn G. Robbins spoke during the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In his talk, "What manner of men and women ought ye to be?" he discussed the relationship between "be" and "do", and how in order to be Christlike, one must do Christlike acts. He also spoke to parents about teaching and disciplining their children in such a way as to encourage good qualities and discourage bad actions. He taught that:
"Christlike to be’s cannot be seen, but they are the motivating force behind what we do, which can be seen. When parents help a child learn to walk, for example, we see parents doing things like steadying and praising their child. These do’s reveal the unseen love in their hearts and the unseen faith and hope in their child’s potential. Day after day their efforts continue—evidence of the unseen be’s of patience and diligence."
Being a true disciple of Jesus Christ is an identity I want to claim and work toward. Deciding now who and what I want to be, and then aligning my actions can get me to that goal. Work toward your goals and encourage those around you to do and be their best. And if you want to develop a new talent, go for it! :o)

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Doll's House

Last week I was assigned to read Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House in my Humanities class and to write a paper about it and my reaction to it. The play tells the story of a young wife and mother, Nora, who has fraudulently taken out a loan which saved her husband's life. This comes back to haunt her when her creditor threatens to blackmail her. The problem is that her husband does not know about the loan. The play ends with Nora abandoning her husband and children because she feels that she does not really know her spouse. I argue that this occurs because Nora was dishonest with her husband, and in addition to this, confided in other people about her problems. Here is the final paragraph from my paper:
I feel it is extremely important for spouses to be honest with each other and disclose with each other just about everything. Something my husband and I agreed upon around the time we got married was that we would not discuss the details of our relationship outside the relationship. Every couple has their occasional disagreements, and usually those disagreements are minor and are forgotten shortly thereafter. If those disagreements are shared and gossiped about with friends and family, then the little rifts are not so soon forgotten, and they usually make a negative impression on the hearer. Listening to many of those complaints eventually damages the confidante’s perception of the person’s spouse. Although this is not quite the situation illustrated in A Doll’s House, Nora does confide in Christina things that should have at the very least been shared with her husband first. When private things are broadcast like this, the emotional intimacy and trust that should exist between husband and wife are extended too far, weakening the connection between the spouses. One place where I see this occur too frequently is on Facebook. After witnessing friends struggle very publicly in their marriages, I decided that my infrequent posts on that site would of necessity only be positive ones. Reading post after post about the most recent spats made me wonder how many of those arguments would have never happened had these couples kept their problems between just themselves. By not sharing with anyone the rough places in my own marriage, I feel that I am safeguarding it against other people’s negative perceptions and against my own tendency to over-analyze and criticize. It is also a profound comfort to know that even though my husband is well aware of my faults, he does not relay every imperfection to people who do not know me as well as he does.
If this is something you struggle with in your own marriage, my advice would be to put an end to it immediately. Doing so might mean ending friendships with people who encourage you to spill your secrets. However, losing those friends is worth it if by doing so, you can restore emotional intimacy and improve your opinion of your husband.