None Were With Him

A video and excerpt from one of the most beautiful talks from last week’s General Conference by Jeffrey R. Holland:

“Brothers and sisters, one of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path—the merciful care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of this Beloved Son, the consummate gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven, family members on both sides of the veil, prophets and apostles, teachers, leaders, friends. All of these and more have been given as companions for our mortal journey because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His gospel. Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are. Truly the Redeemer of us all said, “I will not leave you comfortless. [My Father and] I will come to you [and abide with you].”

My other plea at Easter time is that these scenes of Christ’s lonely sacrifice, laced with moments of denial and abandonment and, at least once, outright betrayal, must never be reenacted by us. He has walked alone once. Now, may I ask that never again will He have to confront sin without our aid and assistance, that never again will He find only unresponsive onlookers when He sees you and me along His Via Dolorosa in our present day. As we approach this holy week—Passover Thursday with its Paschal Lamb, atoning Friday with its cross, Resurrection Sunday with its empty tomb—may we declare ourselves to be more fully disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, not in word only and not only in the flush of comfortable times but in deed and in courage and in faith, including when the path is lonely and when our cross is difficult to bear. This Easter week and always, may we stand by Jesus Christ “at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death,” for surely that is how He stood by us when it was unto death and when He had to stand entirely and utterly alone. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

Jeffrey R. Holland, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Rosie’s latest trauma and spiritual decisions

I was in the kitchen after I got off work and I suddenly heard a massively frightening scream. “Mommy the bee stunged me!” So we iced it, put some sting remedy on, put on some Spongebob, and she’s doing much better. What’s up with all of these weekly incidents? Makes me feel like a bad mommy.

Last night I was chatting with Hedger about how he and his fiance progressed from friends to more. It was cool to hear his story…he’s sending out his announcements tomorrow. They aren’t having a reception, just a little family shindig after the temple. I’ve thought a lot about what I’d like for a wedding if I do remarry. I feel like my wedding arrangements with Steve were a little more grandiose than necessary. It wasn’t flamboyant by any means, but there were somethings that could have been omitted and I would have been happy. IFF Taylor and I were to get married, it would have to be a much smaller affair…and I’d be happy with that.

I can’t remember the last time I felt so devoted and firm in my spirituality. It’s amazing the difference I’ve felt in my life since I changed my attitude from “How bad can I be and still be good?” to “How can I draw nearest to my Savior?” I’ve been keeping up on my daily study of the Book of Mormon and Jesus the Christ. And my prayers have felt so much more purposeful. Rosie had a REAL lesson out of the manual for FHE this week, and she seemed to understand the things I read directly from the text. I feel like I’m on the right track. Back when I was visiting with Bishop Monson in January, he told me that as soon as I figured out some of my demons, gave myself some time to heal, and found my way back to having the spirit in my life…finding a good worthy priesthood holder would soon follow. And the blessing Dad gave me 6 weeks ago mentioned something to that effect…that there was a great worthy man that would soon come into my life.

I wonder if these feelings I have for Taylor are founded and real…and that the “answers” I am getting to my prayers are what the Spirit wants me to hear (not just what I WANT to hear) Last night I was talking to Heidi about the ways she felt when her and Robby started dating. It reminded me a lot of Taylor and I. She said, “When you feel right about it, consider it a blessing from Heavenly Father. Don’t sit around and rationalize it. If things are meant to be, and you are keeping the commandments and drawing nearer to Him, you will know what to do.”

My thoughts have been turning a lot to the temple lately. I have faith that I’m doing what is necessary to make it there worthily very soon. And I think it will be important to recommit to frequent temple attendance. I’m sure Em will be willing to be my temple buddy. And I also would like to attend with Taylor. However, I do feel a bit of hesitation with that because of what happened with Tim (on our “supposedly righteous” temple day) I have been having a very strong draw to the Mt. Timpanogas Temple. I’ve thought a lot about the day I went through that temple for the open house (back in ’96 I think?) I remember walking into the bride’s room, and just being overcome with the spirit…I couldn’t even stand up. I had a whispering at that time. I don’t remember the exact words, but I remember the feeling. Good things were to happen to me in that temple. I don’t know if that is where I’d choose to be sealed, but I think my first time back to the Temple, I want it to be at Mt. Timp.

I was looking through my computer, and was very pleased to realize that I had saved several IMs from Taylor! These were some of our first conversations, and I though it would be cool to have them posted and easily readable. Also, I thought I’d give a quick run-down of our first few dates…just for “posterity’s sake.”

First Email to Me
From : Taylor Bullock
Sent : Wednesday, April 7, 2004 11:02 PM
To : cuteculturechick@hotmail.com
Subject : Hello there!

Hey cuteculturechick, I just wanted to introduce myself, my name’s Taylor Bullock. Your profile intrigued me and I thought that we could get to know each other a little better. A little bit about me, I’ll be starting my final year at BYU this spring (and am SO looking forward to being done.) I’m an international relations major and would like to work for the government eventually as an analyst. Time will tell, but I’m the oldest of 7, the youngest is seven (she’s the cute redhead in the pictures) and I’m a California boy, grew up in the subburbs of LA. I love dancing (especially big band), movies, and I sing a little (or took a semester of voice lessons at any rate). I served my mission in La Paz, Bolivia, and have been home about 3 and a half years. I graduated from Ricks with an AA in Spanish and International Studies, and have been plugging away at school ever since.

I’d love to hear a little bit about you, your family, ect. You’re a U2 fan? I think we could get along! Your daughter is adorable by the way, nice work! I’ve got some studies to take care of before bed, but take care, until next time…..

Sincerely,
Taylor

First Date
We met in Murray at Baja Fresh. Did a little of the basic “getting to know you chitchat. I was suprised to hear that he had only been out of his engagement for a month, and was suprised that he said he felt ready to give dating a chance again. I remember him distinctly telling me, “You are an amazing lady,” for the trials and adversity that I seem to be handling so well. He also said I reminded him of his mother. I instantly fell for his smile. After eating, we had a few minutes to kill…so we went in my car and listened to John Mayer. We sang along, and discussed our other music interests. He may have grabbed my hand for a squeeze once or twice, and the date ended with a hug.

Work Encounter
Taylor was working at Sugarhouse Circuit City at the time. I stopped by the store on my way to working for Linda one day….a few days after our first date. I brought Rosie along, and we browsed the computer section and talked for a few minutes with him when he wasn’t with a customer. There was a flat-screen monitor that had an animated fishtank design that looked a lot like “Finding Nemo.” Rosie asked about Taylor a few times after, “Where is the boy with the fish tv?”

Second Date
He picked me up at my house, and we went to a hole in the wall mediterranean restaurant in Fort Union. He got the info off of the internet, and was embarrassed that it wasn’t all that the website made it out to be. I don’t remember the conversations much, but I do remember enjoying my time with him. We went to the Sandy dollar theater, and he let me pick the flick. I chose “The Home Teachers,” which he moaned and complained about. I thought it was pretty stupid too. He didn’t have cash on him, and I threw down the money to see the movie. He said, “My sense of chivilry can’t handle that….I need to make it up to you.” So we went to Baskin Robbins and got ice cream. A few hand squeezes, and an hug at the end.

It’s hard to believe that this could feel so right

Sunday morning I had planned on attending a singles ward with Kellie, since Rosie would still be gone. But I had absolutely no desire to do so after my night with Taylor. I think that my prayer and scripture study was much more advantageous to setting myself on the meat market to be observed. I chatted with Steve for a few this morning, gave him the rundown on the Taylor situation…and declined the Sarah tix. I think I want to suprise Taylor with tickets. I picked up Rosie around noon from Steve. She had such a gorgeous flower girl dress from Selena’s wedding. I think I will need to get her picture taken in it. Taylor and I made plans to get together after church.

Sacrament meeting was wonderful. I partook of the sacrament for the first time since January. I don’t think it has ever been so meaningful….

As now our minds review the past we know we must repent
The way to thee is righteousness, the way thy life was spent
Forgiveness is a gift from Thee we seek with pure intent
With hands now pledged to do Thy work, we take the Sacrament

Sunday school was also excellent. RS was on principles of financial security. We discussed the blessings of paying a full tithe. That reminded me of Friday night, when Taylor called me when I was at the dance. He had called to find out which CDs I wanted him to burn for me. He had joked, “Ah, the blessings that come from paying your tithing.” It was cool.

Scripture of the day: Alma 26:35-37

Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, wisdom and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.

Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land.

Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.

I invited Taylor to come for dinner with my family. I went over straight after church so I had some time to be with my fam before he arrived. I gave my mom a heads up on the evening before, so she could be prepared. I had told her that Taylor had said that he loved me, and she got so excited and gave me a huge hug. I made him a mix cd of songs I like, but I think there might have been an error on it…I’ll have to ask him if it worked okay. We had tacos, then watched part of the Pearl Awards. I was hoping to see ME on camera, but the only shot I was in had my head cut off. LOL.

After watching the Pearls, Taylor and I took a walk on the Jordan River Parkway. We walked hand in had, enjoying the scenery and getting to know each other…with a little talk that nudged toward future plans. He asked me what my plans were for the next six months. I had said that I would continue to work, and make the decision about school (as to which program, full vs part time, and where to attend) I had told him that when I have prayed about it, I hadn’t ever gotten any definite positive answers. He said “You do need to make a decision though. The Lord can’t direct a parked car.” He also said that he’d like to be a part of helping me make my decision.

We did a little “comparison-ing”, how when we date people there is a a natural tendency to see how people compare to others we have been interested in. Both of us have dated several people in the two months we didn’t see each other. He said that he always compared them to Amanda. But with me, I don’t even compare…I stand on my own. (What an amazing compliment) He’s never dated or been interested in someone divorced or someone with a child, but with me it doesn’t intimidate him. We discussed how he had gotten engaged so quickly previously, and had vowed to take things slow with his next relationship. But we both know the feelings are there. We would be so good for each other. He has been good for my self-confidence, giving me affirmations like “Don’t ever doubt your self worth again,” and “You are a truly amazing woman.” How can a person not feel loved when hearing that and knowing that it is meant in all honesty and adoration?

This was one of the most beautiful and fulfilling conversations I have ever had. We talked about the importance of keeping our behavior in check, because nothing is worth losing out on the temple marriage opportunity. He didn’t propose to me, obviously….but I can definitely see us going in that direction….starving student and all. I was looking in his mingle profile today, and loved some of his comments…

If I had $10 million… I guess one doesn’t need a lot of Babylon to be happy. A nice house in the suberbs would be cool. (maybe one by the beach too!) I love to travel and would like to spend sometime in Europe and just getting to know this beautiful world, hopefully going on a lot of missions. Oh yeah, a car that doesn’t break down on me every few months would be way nice!

My perfect day would be… Going up Pacific Coast highway in a convertible (I can dream, can’t I?) with good music, good friends (or even better, my mate), and good weather. Most importantly, school has to be the most distant thing from my mind. I hope for a day in the future when I can come home from a great job and see my wife and kids and just know in that moment that all is right with the world!

One final thing I’d like to mention… Nah, I’m not that complicated! 🙂

Needless to say, I’m one happy camper!

Hallelujah

Just got back from my appointment with Bishop Peterson. I’m floating. I haven’t felt so good about my spiritual welfare in months. I’ll be partaking of the sacrament again Sunday, and I’m on the “needs a calling” list. And if I keep things up…I may be back at the temple next month. I can’t describe how wonderful it feels. There are a few challenges he gave me…

1. Daily scripture study,out of the Book of Mormon….alone and with Rosie
2. Daily Prayer, alone and with Rosie
3. FHE
4. Read Jesus the Christ, at least one page a day
5. Be careful with dating. Anyone one pushes for a physical relationship before anything else is not someone who will encourage me to keep my standards. Keep time alone and late hours to the minimum necessary. And don’t introduce Rosie to a man I date until I have an idea that there is a potential commitment.

One thing that was helpful was the way he gave suggestions and guidelines, not binding restrictions. Course, with the way things were for me a few months ago…I know that I did need them. I have a tough road ahead of me….but I know I’m on the right track.