Saturday, April 19, 2014

Because of Him has a page this year titled "Because of Him" (you can find it at you haven't already seen it, I recommend going there and watching the video). This page talks about everything that Christ made possible through His atonement and resurrection--peace instead of turmoil, forgiveness instead of guilt, innovation, technology, love, and the wonderful truth that every single one of us will live again. 

When this page was published, several of my Facebook friends started posting things with the hashtag #becauseofhim, sharing their testimonies and experiences. For the past week I've been thinking about all the things I have #becauseofhim, and as I've done so, I've been absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude. My life right now is amazing; every little piece of it is working together in ways twice as miraculous and wonderful as anything I, by myself, could have imagine or engineered. 

So, here are a few of the things that I have #becauseofhim (because one of my blog posts would never be complete without a bullet-point list, would it?)

  • I am going to school at BYU, my dream school; I'm on track to building the career of my dreams.
  • I'm financially stable (which, considering how much it costs to feed myself, is a real miracle). 
  • My job rocks.
  • I got to sing with Men's Chorus this year, a dream I've had since freshman year.
  • Temple blessings mean I'll get to be with the coolest people I know (that's my family, in case you were wondering) forever.
  • My health is fantastic.
  • The weather is beautiful.
  • Prayer and the scriptures help me answer any and every question I have. 
  • I am able to find forgiveness to replace guilt for my imperfections with peace.
  • Even when I'm unsure about what is going to happen, I trust that God has a plan for me that will take me wherever I need to be. 

I only hope that I can be as faithful to Him as He is loving, kind, and merciful to me.

Happy Easter.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


I am a dreamer.

When I was a small child, I remember spending hours at a time day-dreaming, inventing wild stories and fantasies, planning great and fantastic futures. As I've grown older I've continued dreaming, but focused my dreams more and more on reality and the future, on the things I'd like to do and the person I want to become.

I am willing to fight for my dreams. In popular literature I believe this is depicted as a positive trait, and in many cases I think it does benefit me; for example, my willingness to fight for my dreams sometimes keeps me studying late into the night, knowing that every hour of study will pay off when I graduate. However, this fighting spirit is also a problem, for my personal dreams do not always coincide with the will of God.

In those cases where my own dreams and plans for my future are not the same as God's, I sometimes find myself resentful of having to give up my dreams. I try to accept God's plan for me, but often do so while whining and grumbling. My constant challenge is to let go of my own dreams, to let go of my own will, and to totally, faithfully accept God's will in all things.

Because He loves me and is awesome, God lets me know every now and then that I can trust him--that I really can let go of my own will in favor of His. He does so through what Elder Bednar once identified as "tender mercies," little blessings that aren't necessary but that let God say "I love you." I think that these tender mercies are like dreams that God gives me when he asks me to give up my own.

Tonight was one of those dreams. Tonight was so fantastic that I had to remind myself that it actually was reality, and not one of my boyhood fantasies.

Part 1: At the beginning of the school year, I auditioned for and was accepted into BYU Men's Chorus. I've wanted to sing in Men's Chorus ever since I started school at BYU, and singing with them last year has been fantastic.

Part 2: Sometime during my teenage years I learned about a cool a capella group named Vocal Point, also from BYU. I've been lucky enough to see them perform a few times live.

Part 3: A few weeks ago, somebody had the idea that Men's Chorus and Vocal Point should do a song together. As a result, I spent three and a half hours this evening in a video recording session, preparing a music video that will be released in the next few months; Men's Chorus and Vocal Point met in a professional theater to record a beautiful version of "Nearer My God to Thee." There was even a crane camera and a fog machine! The whole experience was surreal, dreamlike, and a whole lot of fun.

I may be a dreamer, but I think God is too. I also think He has a lot more experience dreaming than I do and is better at it. I hope I can always see and appreciate the dreams, the tender mercies that God gives me. I hope I can learn to accept and embrace His will, His dreams, even over my own.