Saturday, October 24, 2015

'Judged Of Their Works'

It's amazing how a single choice can alter your whole life.  I've been struggling to post about something so personal in my life because I didn't know what to say or even how to feel about it.  My husband called me last week from work and asked me if I'd seen the article that the Salt Lake Tribune posted about my cousin being arrested for murder.  I told him no and I hurried and logged on to read the article and was in complete shock.  You can read the specific article here.  Basically, my cousin, Henry Kaufusi, beat his girlfriend's ex-husband to death.  I was so confused when I read the article and thought for sure that there had to have been a mistaken identity.  I've grown up knowing Henry since I was little.  He's never even been one to get into fights or cause trouble.  He started a clothing company where he promoted the talents of polynesians in pursuit of their dreams in all different areas of life.  What we call the Poly Movement.  I couldn't wrap my mind around what he did.

This past week's reading really hit home for me while I was going through this roller coaster of emotions.  It's easy to read this article and automatically pass judgement on a man accused of beating someone senseless. . . .even to death, but it's different when you actually know the accused as someone being THEE total opposite of this terrible, terrible act of violence.  Of course, Henry isn't perfect and has made many mistakes in his life just as we all have, but this?  This is so unimaginable, yet it happened.  I am in no way passing judgement on my cousin, who I love so much, but my eyes were opened in a different way when reading Elder Dallin H. Oaks conference report from the Ensign, Oct. 2001, where he says, "the Final Judgement is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts - what we have done.  It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts - what we have become.  It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions.  The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become."

I have complete compassion and so much love for all those that are grieving the loss of Sione Mangisi, which is the man that was murdered.  I can't even to begin to comprehend their grief.  I, honestly, shed so many tears on their behalf for their loss.  I also shed many tears for my cousin, Henry.  I have no idea what caused him to go over the edge, but that single choice has altered the life of so many people.  No one can relate to this horrible tragedy like the Savior can for He literally prayed for those that were crucifying Him on the cross and asked His father to please 'forgive them for they know not what they do.'

I broke down when I explained to my kids about this tragedy and took the opportunity to teach them about how a single choice can alter your whole life.  My kids cried with me because they know I'm not a crier, but to see me in such a vulnerable and sad state made them feel the same way.  I bore my testimony to them on the atonement of Christ.  How it's everything!  It's the only thing I can turn to when I can't even comprehend the things of the world and what's going on in it.  It's my only source of comfort and I hope and pray that they realize that as well.  It's helping me to heal from this horrific tragedy.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

My Journey Goes On

It's been a pretty long time since I posted on here.  A lot has happened these past couple of months.  I'm going to start with my most recent change in life, which might not be that much of a surprise to those of you that know me well.  I'm back in school!  I know, I know.  I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but to all of you that do know me, I could never stay away from it for too long, right?

This time around, I've been blessed with an amazing opportunity that you can learn more about by clicking here.  I am at the end of week three of the semester and I'm honestly loving it.

I am taking online courses through BYU-Idaho and the Learning Model is so different from anything I've ever encountered before.  We prepare, teach one another, and then ponder and prove.  Of course, we expound on these points, but this is to give you an idea of the awesomeness I've been able to participate in these last couple of weeks.  We were given some tips to help guide and direct us.

1.  Seek the will of God and the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

Ummm. . . .can I just say, where else would you get a tip like this, besides church?  Definitely not any typical university I've ever attended.

2.  Expertise is unnecessary.

How much relief did you feel reading that?  Me, MAJOR!

3.  Begin with the end in mind.

I had a complete 'AHA' moment with this one.  I thought, if I begin with the end in mind, I'll be able to create a plan/roadmap/mini goals that will help me get to where I want to go.  I thought, I would be at a different place in my life if this actual tip clicked for me in the past because this is definitely not the first time I've heard it.  But I do know that the Lord has a plan for me and I was not ready to hear it until now.

There are seven other tips, but that's for a whole different post.  I have been exercising my faith in many different areas of my life while starting this journey back to school and I'm not going to lie, it isn't always easy.  What in life is that's worth it?  I'm learning that I have far more weaknesses than I thought I had, but with that comes a lot of humility in recognizing that I am nothing without my loving Savior by my side.  I am grateful for His continual patience in helping mold me into the person I am supposed to become.  I'm also excited to strive to become like Him.  He's always been the goal.  I love Him and I know that He lives.  I'm grateful for His atoning sacrifice for someone so unworthy as me.  I count my blessings every day and night and in between for the life that I live.  Come and partake of His goodness.  Find out more by clicking here.