Saturday, June 30, 2012


I went out walking with my Chinese family today and I thought about how great it is that I get to have them in my life for these two months. They were married a few years ago, and moved to Beijing two years ago. But what if they hadn't? Then I wouldn't have ever met them! And I possibly wouldn't have a family to stay with and would have to stay in the dorms by myself for two months. But instead they're here--married, with an adorable little girl, good jobs so they can have me, and life experiences that made them open to have a strange live with them. Life has so many possibilities, so many roads, choices, options, its boggling! And yet somehow it works out. Like magic, there is a wonderful family prepared and willing to take me in. And things like this happen all the time! It is extraordinary to think of all the possible dimensions of existence and somehow we ended up in this one. And in most ways it is pretty darn great.

Looking forward, its the same. So many roads to take! Daily choices, life-altering ones, decisions we make without even knowing it. And it will all somehow work out. I wonder what people are being prepared right now for me to meet in the future. People in Bulgaria who I will teach. People are meeting who will have children who I will teach High School history and Chinese to. And perhaps those children will go on missions because they studied Chinese in my class. But right now their parents are just meeting. Merely going on a first date. It all seems so serendipitous! And at the same time, I am being prepared for other people. I am being prepared with lessons that I will teach my future children. I am being prepared for a man who I will meet and fall in love with. I am being prepared for primary children I will teach, sisters I will visit teach, friends who will need a happy word or a hug. And with the Master's help, I will be there when someone needs me. Just like people seem to always be there when I need them. I guess its not so serendipitous after all.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Being a Daughter of God

During my time at the temple and driving for a few hours this week I have been contemplating the role of women and the relationship with God and His daughters. I felt like I really needed to write it all down since it is very important to me, and I want to always remember what impressions I have received. I do want to be clear that I DO NOT believe that women are better than men. I believe they have absolutely equal worth and potential. However, I also fervently believe that their roles and their responsibilities are unique from each other. Also, their relationships with God are different. Neither is superior. Both have their divine worth. This week my impressions emphasized the position of women, which is why I am focusing on us. 

While watching temple workers search out endowed priesthood holders to perform baptisms (since there is always a scarcity of endowed men in the baptismal area, considering most people doing baptisms are un-endowed girls) I was impressed with the thought of the different responsibilities God has given men and women. I remember a time when I was little that I felt a bit resentful that women couldn't hold the priesthood. As I watched men perform baptisms in the temple, I was filled with God's love for His daughters. I don't know how to express the feeling that I had. I believe that God very carefully chose the responsibilities He would give His sons and daughters according to their purposes. While women could be equally capable at controlling the administration of the Church, I feel like God wanted us to focus on a different purpose. He didn't give us those responsibilities so that we could be blessed with focusing on our other responsibilities--caring, loving, raising, beautifying, care-taking. He did this because of His love for His daughters and His faith in their ability to positively influence the earth. We may not hold administrative powers within the Church, but that does not limit our ability to have influence and power. In fact, in my opinion, it allows us to even better fulfill our potential in our unique role.

God loves His daughters. I cannot express how well and clearly I feel His love for me. I have heard from married couples that one of the most interesting things you learn about God through marriage is His differing relationship with daughters verses sons. I like to compare it to the family relationships between children and fathers on earth. Let's face it, dads have a soft spot for their little girls. Dads are protective, loving, strong, and kind to daughters. According to psychologists, a great predictor of a girl's self-confidence is her relationship with her father. It is different for dads and sons. The position there is for the father to teach, love, and instruct. A father wants to mould his son into a good man, and this sometimes takes being strict, giving responsibility, and having confidence in sons. Now displace this onto our relationship with God. God loves His daughters. He often seems to be gushing forth love, confidence, faith, and strength into me. He fills my life with blessings and joys that I couldn't have dreamed up. I cannot comprehend how great His love is. But I know that it is real big. He definitely loves His little girls. He respects them for their hopes and love and potential. He wants us all to have every joy possible, and is going to walk beside us as we find our way, as long as we let Him. 

My next thought is that God must be awfully disappointed in men and women today. I imagine He is quite angry at people who mistreat His daughters. At the same time I think He must be very disappointed in us for the way we treat ourselves. If he could sit down all of His little girls, I think He would say--Why have you forgotten who you are? Don't you know that you are my daughter, a daughter of Divinity, with the potential of a Queen? You are the daughter of God, and yet you let people mistreat you. You let people tell you your worth is based on such stupid things like physical looks, grades, ability, or position. Do you know what you are capable of? Don't you know who you are, what you are worth to me, and what you are capable of becoming?--And after such a humbling lecture, I think He would hug each daughter tightly. (And every daughter would ball, because its what we do, ha ha.) I think He wants His love to penetrate our souls so that we will behave like the Daughters that we are.

Being a Daughter of God means having courage. It means being brave enough to love people deeply and dedicate yourself to taking care of them. It means not needing plastic surgery to believe you're beautiful. It means being beautiful without being immodest. It means being confident that you are successful and talented even if you don't have a big career and big money. These are the things I want to be.