We want to hear how you're feeling, what you're thinking and what you're learning. We want to hear about the Tender Mercies, the answered prayers, the ups and downs, the miracles, the mishaps, the missionary experiences and the moments of pure excitement. Talk to us.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Encounter with truth

Yesterday I went to the mountains to read-not my scriptures but some leisurely reading.  Peaceful, with light coming through the leaves.  When I my eyes strained to read at twilight, I left.  I realized I was hungry, and I craved chips.  I stopped at the convenience store close to the mouth of Provo Canyon.  I walked in, looked at the crackers then turned around to look at the chips.  I turned around, and a man in a Hawaiin shirt made some comment about my BYU shirt and shook my hand.  At that point I realized the man was President Monson!  There in the convenience store!  He moved on after shaking my hand, and I kept looking at the chips but not really seeing them as I focused on the feeling in my heart.  There in the convenience store, despite pop music and junk food, I felt the Spirit tell my heart that man is the Prophet.  The Prophet of God, mouthpiece of the Lord for the whole earth.

After finally purchasing some chips, I drove away but didn't go home.  I reflected on meeting the Prophet.  I realized I don't feel ready to meet the Savior.  And I realized exactly what I need to change to be ready.  So, starting then, I committed to change.  I also realized how important it is to look, act and be a Saint, at all times and in all places, not just on Sunday or in the temple.  My heart softened, and I felt so blessed.  I felt the love of God.  What a blessing it is to have a Prophet, who speaks regularly and gives God's counsel.  What a blessing to have the fulness of the gospel so I can be a Saint.  I love Jesus Christ, I know living the teachings of the Church bring me to Him, and I know for myself that Thomas S. Monson is the Prophet.  

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Our Sacred Privilege

A few nights ago I was babysitting for a family that I babysit for on a regular basis. I had put the all the kids to bed and was getting ready to finish up the dishes that were still left in the sink when I heard the three year old call for her mom a few times, then remembering that she was gone, started calling for me in her sweet, sleepy little girl voice. My heart immediately melted. I don’t know what it is, but there is something terribly endearing about hearing a small helpless child call for you. It had been a frazzling evening, but the moment she called my name things changed. Peace and love entered my heart. I don’t know what it is, but there is something terribly endearing about hearing a small helpless child call for you.

The nurturer in me came out and all my thoughts went to her and her comfort. All I wanted was to make sure she was comfortable and able to sleep well. And I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of why being a mother is such an incredible privilege.

As I went to help the little girl calling to me, my thoughts turned to Heavenly Father and how He must want to come running to my aid every time as soon as I call, just as I was for her. He is quick to come to our aid and wants so bad to help us here in mortality. Just as there are many things this girl couldn’t do on her own, there are many things that we cannot do on our own. We need the Savior and the Father in their infinite wisdom to come to our aid and bring us the help and comfort we cannot provide on our own.

Earlier that day, the little girl had thrown a tantrum because I wouldn’t let her just eat sweets for dinner. She saw things very differently from me, and with her limited knowledge, there was nothing wrong with eating candy for dinner. I was trying so hard to help her do what was best for her, yet she didn’t understand and so threw a tantrum. It made me wonder how many times I have thrown “tantrums” when Heavenly Father has asked me to do things. I may have felt like I knew what I was doing, and from my perspective it seemed like the best thing to do. But Heavenly Father in His infinite wisdom knew otherwise. What have I done when He’s told me this? Have I thrown my own little tantrums? At times yes I am ashamed to say. But I was so lucky to recognize this with this little girl and made a commitment to myself and the Lord that I would trust Him, knowing that He has a perfect perspective and that He would only do things that are for my good.

Nurturing is an incredible way to come to know our Father in Heaven and begin to understand the beginnings of His love for us. That is our privilege as women that we can look forward to. I had let myself get distracted a little from my goal of having a family. It hadn’t dropped completely from my mind, but it certainly wasn’t in the forefront of my mind. This experienced changed it. I began to remember why having a family is so important and see the incredible blessings that come from being a mother.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mine Angels Round About You

This is how we normally think of a blessing, at least I do. Me in white shirts and ties or a suit, hands folded reverently, eyes, closed, calmly listening to the word of the Lord.

This week, my experience was much different.

I'm a little nervous to go into too much detail, because I don't want to distract from the message, but I feel like the full impact of the story is lost without some background. I feel like there's a good lesson here that needs to be heard. It's a little more personal, but here's the basic story:

I decided to visit Provo for Fast Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, because I a)missed everyone, 2)had some errands to run on campus, and C) I had no previous obligations.
After a thoroughly enjoyable Sabbath and a nice rest, I awoke Monday morning and prepared to go to the HBLL to pick up a book I've been waiting to read for MONTHS (you know how that goes). The Really Good Book that Started All This---->

On the way up Maeser Hill (south of the Benson) I suddenly had severe cramping in the left side of my chest. Now, before anybody panics, 1)I'm not dead, and b)these happen sometimes as a result of a different medical problem.
I was with my roommate. She helped me over to the grass, where I immediately sank to my knees. This cramp was worse than I'd ever had before, but I still assumed in would pass in a matter of seconds, as they usually do. I motioned my roommate to wave people on, as many had stopped to ask what was wrong. I assumed I would be fine, and I was extremely embarrassed to be causing such a scene.

After about a minute of extreme pain and next to no oxygen, I began to be concerned (and more than a little light-headed). These cramps had never lasted longer than 40 seconds, and usually only 10-15. This one had not only continued, but had become more and more painful (like, the worst Charlie Horse of your life, in your chest). I was not totally aware of what was happening outside the pain and trying to calm my muscles down, but I heard my roommate say "blessing."

I nodded, and probably babbled something or other.

She immediately looked to the paved path up the hill and saw two male students walking, presumably to class or work. I didn't see their faces. She asked if they held the priesthood, and attempted to explain the situation. I think they misunderstood at first (she first tried to explain with "muscle cramps" and they laughed, a little embarrassed. BOYS: "Muscle cramp" does not always equal "menstrual." Bah.)

She explained that it was the entire left side of my chest wall that was cramping, and that I could not breathe. I was aware enough to think "Wow, she's keeping it together really well....stupid boys."

They came quickly, and gave me a blessing. I felt bad for thinking they were "stupid boys," as I was suddenly aware that they were indeed righteous holders of the priesthood. Ruefulness at immaturity was replaced with gratitude that they were worthy, capable, and willing to give such service when I needed it.

I do not remember everything they said, as I was collapsed in on myself and trying so hard to regulate internally with an extreme lack of oxygen. But when they placed their hands on my head--me, a girl they did not know and may never see again--I felt the tightness on my lungs loosen. The pain was still there; the muscles still in tight knots that rendered me unable to move or stand--but I had air.

I felt the power of the Lord, and became aware of the things being said in the blessing. They did not know me, but the Lord does. He comforted me, both for physical pain and for other problems in my life (we all have them). I knew I would be Okay, and calm was re-affirmed in my mind and heart. It was a brief blessing, and the two students went on their way.

The pain did not subside immediately--it was many minutes before it even lessened-- but I had just enough of what I needed (calm, and air, and assistance) to get me through.

And that, wonderful friends, is the moral of the story. In my time of unanticipated, unsolvable pain, the Lord knew exactly what I needed. He sent His angels, in the form of my roommate, police and medical officers, a randomly-passing-by nursing student, and two worthy priesthood holders that I'd never seen before.

After the first crisis had passed, He knew I needed more help. Those angels came in the form of roommates and friends that assisted in transportation, came to visit, sent notes/phone calls/text messages, and provided the care I needed during my unexpectedly extended stay in Provo. I was physically incapacitated, and He not only sent me the "bare necessities" of survival, but sent friends to help comfort me and make my life so much happier during the last few days until I was able to return to Lehi.

The Lord will send us that comfort, and those tender mercies that improve our lives. The testimony was re-affirmed to me in a very physical, very see-able way. He knew I needed a re-confirmation of that testimony, and now I pass it on to you: That even when we experience trials, pain, and heartache, whether from something completely out of our control or brought upon ourselves, the Lord will give us what we need in our time of crisis. He will also send us tender mercies; little things to remind us of His love for us, and tokens of brighter days ahead.

He loves us, and He will never abandon us. He gave us access to His priesthood, and we have been so blessed to be in a ward where so many worthy young men hold that priesthood and are willing to use it to help bless our lives.

Never forget that. Never forget that He loves you.

Epilogue:To assuage any Relief Society worries
I'm okay now; I have a really great doctor on the case with lab work and some meds. Physical therapist said life is to proceed as normal, which means I'm not an invalid, I'm just required to do some workouts and yoga-type stuff (oh, DANG ;-) ), AND I'm still hosting a dance next week, which you should all come to (the info is on Facebook). ^__^ See you then! Love you all!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Partial Faith....a Confession

A few days ago I was up early enough to see the sunrise. Its not that that never happens, but I guess not enough. I was able to see the darkness run and hide as the light penetrated the sky. It was incredible. I sat there just pondering on the beauty of the earth and the blessing of light. Both physically and spiritually. I love the light! My dad likes to say to me (usually if I am feeling discouraged) "Your future is bright!" 

But here's the thing....its called faith. No matter how much we learn and how much we grow and how strong our faith is...we still have those moments full of doubt and fear. About a week ago now I was saying my morning prayers. A few minutes later I was in the shower when I realized I wasn't done with my conversation with God. So I continued. Some trial or struggle I was going through fell from my lips and I was suddenly pleading with God for direction and help. I found myself telling Heavenly Father "I will do anything you want. Anything. I only want to do Thy will" and then in almost the same breath (and relating to the trial at hand) I added, "But please don't let it hurt me"

"Oh Sister Haag" He responded (yes, He DOES call me Sister Haag ;) "That is not real faith." And sisters, I think that is a problem. We have this thing, its called "partial faith". I really did intend to do whatever the Lord required but I was trying to do it without hurting. Sometimes the pain is required for the desired result. Partial faith is not sufficient. REAL and true faith takes everything you've got.
Lets give it everything we've got. After all President Monson Said; "The future is as bright as your FAITH" and sisters, get ready because it looks like the sunrise!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Finding Simplicity

Today while visiting teaching, I said something that surprised me, because it definitely wasn’t my words. I didn’t even know it before I said it. I was talking about how sometimes we get distracted when reading the scriptures. Sometimes the distractions come from things around us, sometimes things inside of us, and sometimes even things that originally have good intent.

But sometimes, at least for me, I get so consumed in looking for what I think I need to hear that I miss what is really important: Jesus Christ. I said that sometimes we get lost looking too hard for our problems, when really the answer is right in front of us, practically in every verse. The answer to a lot of our problems is to become like our Savior. When we spend our time looking for Christ’s characteristics in the scriptures, we know better how to become like Him and in that we find the happiness and satisfaction we’ve been looking for all along.

Life is complicated and crazy and confusing at times, but if we take the time to pause in our busy lives and ponder on the words in the scriptures we will come to know our Savior better and He will make Himself known to us. He is there and He is the simplicity of life. Even if we don’t know where we are going, He does. Right now, there are a lot of unknowns in my life, but I take comfort in knowing that despite that I still have something to work for – becoming like Christ. I know that as I work towards this and continue doing what He asks me to, He will make known to me what I need to do. He is there for each one of us. It is in the journey of becoming like Him that we find simplicity and joy in life.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hold on, the light will come

Be still my soul, thy God doth undertake, to guide the future as He has the past” is my favorite line from hymn #124. It reminds me that although sometimes I will panic that things are not going where they ought to go that God is leading me and He has NEVER ever in the past let me down. Not ever.
This week I was noting how frequently the Lord directs us into paths that are often unknown and loom before us as an impassible path filled with thorns and briars and our fears come to the forefront.

What is it we’re afraid of?

Confession: I am afraid of the dark. So when the Lord asks me to “take a step or two into the darkness before we can see the light” (President Harold B. Lee) I start to panic. Now I realize this is the spiritual kind of light but I am afraid of being without either light. The only dark I like is when I get small moments to lay out under the stars. The reason I like that darkness? Because I can see little bits of light penetrating through the darkened sky, ever reminding me that we can penetrate even the darkest periods of life with our light.
Now, confession #2: I am an organizer. I make big plans that almost never come to fruition. I think and analyze and plan perfectly until the Lord steps in and cancels my plans inviting me to His bigger and better plans, plans that in the end surprise me because they are what I wanted all along but never knew.

Sometimes we fight His plans though. Why? Because we’re afraid. What if things don’t work out? What if this isn’t what I want? What if I fail? How can I do this? How can I change? Am I sure I can handle this? Is the Lord sure I can handle this? Sometimes we are so afraid to trust in the Lord because we don’t want to let Him down. Fear is the opposite of faith. It comes from the adversary. God will never cause you to fear. Remember that. Don’t let your fear stop you from doing the incredible things you can. Moroni quoted the Savior when he said, “If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me". And that is a promise.
Sisters, we are not alone in this. When you've forgotten what it feels to feel the light, when you're not sure if you can make it one more step, remember that the Lord has promised us “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up" (D&C 84:88). 
Hold on, the light will come