Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Faith Precedes the Miracle

I was given the opportunity last weekend to speak to the Laurels of the stake. It was such a beautiful experience. There is something about being around those young women that seems to recharge my battery. Here's a portion of the talk. I thought it turned out pretty good. I can always tell when divine intervention is involved, because it always sounds smarter than I could make it myself.

I’m so thankful for this experience to speak to you beautiful young women. You have such a wonderful spirit about you. I was asked to speak to you about How my faith is Jesus Christ has helped me through life’s trials.

I guess I should start by giving some background. (plane crash)

Trials and Faith:

Everyone in this life will experience trials. They are there to humble us, and teach us. There are two responses that people have to trials. 1. Cry and whine, and say woe is me. This is the pity party attitude. 2. Is to suck it up, look beyond the trial itself and try to see the miracles that are going on around you.

I find that my mind is pretty powerful, so it is important that I look at things in a positive light. For instance when I was younger I could get a headache just by hearing the word. So, whenever I’m faced with something that I may think is hard, I have to tell myself that It’s really not hard, just time consuming. I do this same thing with trials. So we are going to change trials to trails…TRIALS and TRAILS. The word is nearly the same, just two letters are flipped. Now we are looking at a set of trails, instead of a set of trials. How do we know which trail to take? Well we probably need a few tools with us so that we don’t get lost.

· Compass- Faith - In Nephi’s time, they were given a compass that would only show them the way if they exercised their faith.

· Map – Scriptures – The scriptures truly are Gods way of speaking to us, all we need to do is study them, and they will show us the way.

· Warning Signs – The holy ghost -When we learn to listen to that still small voice, we will be able to avoid trouble, and the pit falls of life.

Now if we can look at that trial as a journey, suddenly our outlook changes from why did this have to happen, to what can I learn from this.

I believe that our family was prepared for the loss of John through inspiration. I also believe that because of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we listened, and acted upon the promptings that were given, and as a result we were blessed beyond measure. We were set on a trail that lead us to friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances that have allowed for the exact kind of support that we needed to help us through this difficult time.

So, I want to stop there and talk about Faith. I have been asked, “How has your faith grown because of your experience?” This question has really given me pause, and I have thought about it even more since being asked to speak tonight. The answer that I have come up with is this…I have always had faith that my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are here for me. I have always known that the gospel is completely true. I have always known that Christ Atoned for me. So my faith was always there. What I have learned since the accident is that Faith Precedes the Miracle. The miracle being the simple fact that my family and I have survived the unthinkable, and in fact, we have not only survived, but we have thrived.

There is a scripture in 1 Nephi that I love. 1 Nephi 7:12 Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.


How many times do we forget? I know that I forget more often than not. We get busy in our lives and we forget that ALL things are possible, not SOME, but ALL as long we exercise faith in him. Our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ love us more that we can know, and all they want for us is happiness. That’s why it’s called the plan of Happiness, not the plan of sorrow, or the plan of frustration, or the plan of loneliness. We need to exercise faith, that they know what they are doing, and that if we follow our trail, that we will end up where we need to be.

Faith is not something that is going to swoop in and save the day after being ignored. Faith needs to be our foundation, and then with that sturdy foundation, our structure can weather any storm.

I heard a wonderful story about this from a friend of mine. She said that she was in the mall one day, and noticed the gardener was violently shaking the trees as she went around watering them. My friend though to herself, “I wonder what is going on there?” This strange though stayed with her for several days, and then she realized that with the indoor shelter that these trees had, they had no reason to lay down deep roots. In nature, when the wind blows, and the weather changes, trees will instinctively force their roots deeper into the earth to protect themselves, and ensure their survival. Have you noticed the trees at the bottom of the canyon? The wind has constantly blown and forced them to grow at an angel, but they are alive and thriving in that environment, because they have been forced to develop enough strength to survive where they were planted. The trees indoor, have none of those natural forces, so the gardener was shaking the tree to force it to protect itself, and become more hardy.

The wind doesn’t blow the same on all of us. The storm may rage in one place, and not another, but we are all out in the weather. Each of us are here on this earth for a propose. We were chosen for that purpose before we were born, and I believe that trails are merely a way for us to realize our full potential in life.

I know that I will see my sweet John again. I know that the veil is thin. I know that, though it is really hard now, that it will become easier. I know that we are protected through the holy ghost and priesthood blessing. I know that my Father in Heaven and my Savior Jesus Christ love me, and want me to succeed. I have often wondered about what my life would be like now if this hadn’t happened, but I have realized that with all the promises and blessings and knowledge that my family and I have received, there has come a sacred knowledge of faith, the plan of salvation, and the role of families in our lives, that I would never want to be without that knowledge.


  1. Thanks for sharing. Your have such a strong testimony. The Laurels were blessed to hear you and we are because you shared it with us. I need to feel your strength. It helps me every day. THANKS!!!

  2. wow. look at you. you are amazing. i loved reading this. i didn't even know you had a blog until you logged onto mine today. i am glad you did because this posting was a treasure to read and i am grateful to you for it.
    i loved the story you told about the indoor trees. that is one that i should share on my blog... because it is SO true when it comes to the trials we face. the more difficulties in life, the stronger our roots CAN become.
    we have got to get together soon. so lets plan a time.

    thank you again for this. this month has been difficult as i anticipate selling the house and the 2nd anniversary of aaron's death. this was a great thing for me to read today.

    love you.

  3. FYI did you know you are amazing!!!!! You are such a strength to me. You keep me going some days. (and that isn't a lie) Love ya!!!!

  4. That was truly inspiring! Thank you for sharing it and I hope you don't mind if I put a link on my blog- It makes me happy that the Laurels of the Stake were able to hear that! Thank you!

  5. You guys are all too kind. If it helps anyone, I would love to share. Leslie, we need to get together soon. I know it's a busy time of year, if nothing else we'll talk on the phone.

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  7. A fé é muito importante. Quando alimentamos nossa fé estamos fortalecendo a vida. Tanto a vida temporal como a espiritual. E ao compartilharmos experiências estamos na verdade mostrando que a fé não é só importante para o indivíduo mas importante para todos. A vida necessita da fé. O indivíduo, a família e a sociedade necessita da fé. Até mesmo os cientistas necessitam da fé, pois sem fé não podem continuar seus estudos.
    Mandar um homem para a lua, para os que não tem fé é algo impossível. E ainda hoje tem muita gente que acredita que o ser humano não pisou na lua. Uma das carasterísticas do ser humano é o poder de desenvolver a fé. Sem ela o nosso desenvolvimento pode ser comprometido!