I Listen for His Voice Every Day

What a unique moment in my life to write you a note on why I choose to believe. I have some challenges I am facing right now that are weighing very heavy on my shoulders and in my heart. And while I am sitting here writing this, at my feet sit the fragrant aroma of yummy peaches, filling my nostrils knowing the deadline I am facing will prevent me from getting them bottled. Some things you just must let go.

A week ago my husband and I were studying the “Come Follow Me” chapters 3 Nephi 8-11. These are my most favorite scriptures we have. The people were gathered together at the temple in the land Bountiful and they were “conversing about this Jesus Christ.” Then they heard a voice and they understood not, “it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.” “Then the third time they heard the voice they opened their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.”
I listen for this voice every day.
As I have been listening, I have witnessed many miracles in the lives of my children, tangible miracles. I have witnessed miracles in my life, the finger of God reaching into my life and touching me and those I have stewardship over.
As I look out into the world on social media, the news, conversations of those around me, the fires on the west coast, the fear of Covid-19 I have found it all to be very loud and unsettling, wondering where the truth really lies. When I close my ears and mind to all of that and become still and open my ears and look with my eyes towards this other voice, a small voice, not a harsh voice, but a voice that makes my heart burn, I am comforted by the Holy Ghost letting me know that everything will be okay and that I am dearly loved and not forgotten by my Heavenly Father. Our Heavenly Father. President Russell M. Nelson said: “Does God really want to speak to you? YES!...Oh, there is so much more that your Father in Heaven wants you to know.”
As “I Choose to Believe” I hang on to the gospel principles I have been taught. I hang on to the covenants I have made with Him. I hang on to the teachings that happen in my home. I hang on to the gospel conversations I have with my adult children, their faith, their testimonies. My faith, my testimony, the Book of Mormon, are among my most prized possessions.
What an incredible time to be on earth, to witness first hand the unveiling of prophecy spoken to us in our day in the Book of Mormon. To be lead by modern day prophets in this dispensation. To be here with our loved ones offering love and support and having those actions strengthen our own testimony and bring us peace. Peace in Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice.

~Melinda LeCheminant

Seeing the Hand of the Lord in Your Life

Last November I was counseled through a Priesthood blessing to increase the amount of time studying the scriptures. I pondered the blessing for a few weeks and then decided on my plan of action. I’m so grateful for that blessing! As I read and studied the scriptures for a few additional minutes each day there were so many teachings that seemed to jump off the page, things that I hadn’t noticed before. As I look back on difficulty of these past several months it is the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon that has helped me to keep going. I have also found great peace in General Conference talks.

A few years ago I read in a book that President Eyring wrote in his journal about how he had seen the hand of the Lord in his life that day. I wasn’t much of a journal writer at the time but I decided that I could at least write a few lines as President Eyring suggested. Since then I have tried to write in my journal about how I had seen the hand of the Lord that day. As I began to record these experiences I became so much more aware of the blessings and the tender mercies me and my family were receiving on a daily basis. There have been days lately when it’s been difficult to come up with something to write about since most days aren’t real exciting and they all seem to run together. When this happens and I get down or discouraged I go back and read some of the entries from my journal. I am reminded of the many blessings the Lord has given me and how grateful I am for those experiences. It helps me to put one foot in front of the other and to move forward.

I Choose to Believe that the Lord speaks to us through the scriptures and the words of our modern day prophets and apostles. These words have brought so much peace and strength to my soul and I’m so grateful for the wonderful blessings that have come to me by studying the scriptures.

~Shauna Weidman

Combating Satan's Tactics Day by Day

In the October 2019 Conference, Elder Peter M. Johnson of the Seventy gave some incredible counsel that I am just now beginning to fully appreciate.

In his talk, he discussed how we can find peace, remember who we are, and overcome the three Ds of the adversary. Those three Ds were Deception, Distraction, and Discouragement.
If ever there was a time when we are seeing these tactics of Satan’s being used in full force, it is today.
I choose to believe my Savior and my Father in Heaven. I choose to believe the promises They have made. I know that if we read our scriptures, pray, partake of the sacrament, repent, attend our church meetings, go to the Temple (when we can!), and remember that we are daughters of God; we will be just fine. It doesn’t matter what goes on in this world.
I know this is easier said than done. So, one of my most favorite ways to remember these principles, to truly feel peace, and to fight back against the deception, distraction, and discouragement is to be out in this amazing world our Father has created for us. So, my dear Sisters; if you are struggling to believe or to feel peace during this time and haven’t found your own way yet, please use mine.

~Mona Andrus

I Know the Lord Loves Me Because I Have Seen His Hand in My Life

I choose to believe because believing helps me to have HOPE for a better world AND to feel PEACE in the midst of this troubled one. I must admit that this pandemic has not been too much of a road bump for me. I have enjoyed extra family time, I have loved having church at home, and I have also improved my focus on studying various gospel topics. I am so thankful for a living prophet on the earth and how his words bring me comfort.
I know that the Lord loves me because I have seen His hand in my life so many times. How can I not believe, when I know that He is very aware of me? I feel that believing is so much easier than not believing! I definitely feel His strength every day helping me to become the person He wants me to become.

~Tammy Foote

Making Time to Hear Him

Why do I believe? Nothing is sure in life except the love of our Savior and the Gospel. As the world is in total chaos right now, I am so grateful to know something that is true and that I can believe in. My sister told me of a challenge her husband gave to her. When she is in the car alone, not to turn on the radio. Let there be silence so she could “hear”. I loved that challenge and try to do it myself. It is a time where I can just focus on what the Savior wants me to do, a time where I can just hear Him. I am thankful for that time alone to listen. It brings me peace. I am with people daily that don’t have the same belief as me but hope by my example they can see what the Gospel brings into my life. Awhile back a co-worker of mine asked me if I would pray with her. She is not a religious person but knew that I was and hoped that I could help her. There we were in the back room of my business and I offered up a prayer with her as she was going to the doctor that day and was worried. Heavenly Father blessed her life that day. Our Prophet also helps me to stay believing. He brings such hope and love when he speaks to us. I am a little anxious about his comment that “We need to buckle up”, but know that if I am doing all I can, I will be blessed. I don’t know what is coming down the road, but I am just leaning on the scriptures, family, the words of the prophet, and the Holy Ghost that will get me through “still believing”.

~Jamie Hancey

Choosing Light Over Darkness Makes All the Difference

I choose to believe because I know what it is like to choose otherwise and I have learned how quickly the light of Christ can leave you and darkness can start to creep in. I somehow thought that certain things would hurt less if I chose to believe that the Gospel was not essential to happiness. Shockingly (haha), it didn’t work and I found myself struggling with anxiety and depression even more than usual. I distanced myself from those around me and felt overwhelmed. I knew what I needed but it wasn’t easy. I was embarrassed and ashamed and had to humble myself. It didn’t take long to feel the light start to come back and heal my soul. The trials we all go through, quite frankly can stink but I can testify that the difference between choosing to walk them alone or with our Savior by our side, is literally choosing light over darkness. In the end, I realize my Savior was always there just waiting for me to let him back in.

I often feel a little envious when I hear others testimonies of how they have never wavered but I have actually become grateful for my experiences, they are what makes me who I am today. I have a simple testimony and I am not eloquent with my words but I have come to realize that I am enough. Whether we don’t feel worthy or maybe just can’t find the energy to muster the strength to get on our knees, it’s OK! He is there waiting patiently with unconditional love. HOPE is all we need and CHOOSING to believe is the first step. It is never too late! Our Savior will never leave our side and I am so grateful for that knowledge.

~Shelly Franklin

We Know the Outcome of this Battle

I choose to believe because I know my Heavenly Father and Savior know me personally and love me beyond my understanding. They both want me to be happy and successful especially in these trying times. The spirit has confirmed these things to my soul. I know we are all loved and cherished. The Lord is very aware of the spiritual battle we face on a daily basis and we have been prepared to live in these trying times. We know the outcome of this battle. We know the Lord will win this battle and He will come again! I feel so much hope in good things to come because of this knowledge. I choose to hold on to the iron rod so that I can be with Him again!

~Darci Burnett

I Find Peace in My Savior and My Prophet

Holy Moly is this world for real?!? I cannot believe how often I look at Facebook or the news or look at the magazines in the grocery store aisle and am left reeling (and nauseous) at how bizarre this world is getting. So much Evil 🤦‍♀️. I even miss the three headed baby and alien abduction headlines from the National Inquirer.

I find peace in my Savior and my Prophet. My son asked me “who do you think you will vote for for president? Like, who do you like?” ... I thought about it and tried to answer, but all I could come up with is “I love our Prophet”.

I choose to believe that my Heavenly Father loves me, that the Holy Ghost will guide and direct me and that my Savior and Redeemer lives!!!

~Heather Wykstra

We Can Find Peace as We Turn to Him

The last 6 months have been filled with lots of highs and lows, a time of reflection, anxiousness, renewal, goal setting and despair. I don’t like change and I despise contention. I feel like we are living in a world filled with constant contention and chaos. I keep thinking, as soon as we get back to “normal” everything will be okay. I am in the process of learning that this could be our new “normal” and it causes great fear and anxiousness. However, it can be the complete opposite, we have been given a unique opportunity to make our homes a refuge from the storm. I have been fighting against the 82 meals a day, the constant clutter and craziness instead of looking for the good.

I Choose to Believe that we can find the peace we need during this difficult time as we turn to Him. I know that He knows what each of us need individually, what our families need, He knows how we can grow stronger and more capable and feel the spirit more abundantly in our homes and lives.
One of my favorite scriptures is John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; NOT as the WORLD giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

~Julie Brophy

In "Simplifying" I Hear Him

Every year for New Years I pick one word that I want to focus on for the upcoming year. My husband teases me and tells me not to pick such good words because without fail the Lord teaches me (and my family) lessons on the word that I have chosen. Usually they are hard lessons, but worth it. This year I picked the word 'Simplify'. Now some might think that 2020 has been anything but simple, but 2020 has taught me what's truly important and what can be weeded out. My husband got furloughed before Christmas and was furloughed for 7 months. With my husband being home, the soft closure of the schools, the 'stay at home' order, and having a high risk child, needless to say we have spent a lot of time together this year. It's been wonderfully trying! We didn't have any of the usual busy/normal life stuff to fill our time. We had each other. We laughed, cried, fought, played, prayed, and learned. I took this time to refocus on the Savior and follow the prophets council to "Hear Him". 2020 has been noisy. Things are constantly changing. But there is one thing that has remained the same and always will... the love of our Savior. It's simple. I choose to follow Him because he is constant. When I get caught up in the noise of the world and social media, I refocus on the Savior and I instantly feel His peace. He does not take away the problem, but he strengthens me to be able to take another step. It has not been an easy year for any of us. I have been so grateful for the opportunity the Lord gave me to 'simplify' so I can 'hear Him' more clearly. Next year I hope I can learn the lessons of my word more quickly so we don't have to shut the world down with another pandemic!

~Brittney Patane

I Know He Believes in Me

I choose to believe because through countless simple and strong tender mercies…I know He believes in me.

There is no possible way I can describe these sacred and sweet moments that have flooded my life, especially these last two years. I never saw coming what came. I never thought I would be fighting the mental battles that I witnessed so many courageous women fight every moment of every day. I never thought I would personally feel those dark places the mind can take you. I never thought I would know the deep despair the adversary relentlessly tries to compress into the hearts of His daughters. It is real. It is a battle. And it is one brave reach in trusting His hand, and the hands He sends, to give you that reassurance…you can do this…He believes in you…and after a simple yet strong reminder one afternoon in May, I held tight to the fact that I knew He believes in me too.
I needed to stop driving and breathe. I needed to stop and just let out the sadness, the fear, and the desperate cry to be given relief from all of it. With my wet and swollen eyes from the hours of tear filled pleading, I finally turned into the nearest church parking lot. The despair and worry was just too great. It was suffocating. Gratefully, I had a dear friend with me in the car, pleading her own prayer to Him for help. She didn’t need to say or do anything. All that mattered to me was that I wasn’t alone.
My despair grew deeper and my fear grew stronger. I wanted to quit. I couldn’t do it anymore. I was exhausted. How can this be happening to me? How can my once calm mind feel like storm raging every moment? Who was I anymore? I couldn’t do it. I was done.
Just as those thoughts came into my mind, another car pulled into that church parking lot. I looked over to see who it was. It was the sweet husband of my friend. I wanted to hide. I didn’t want anyone, especially him, to see me like that. My friends husband walked calmly towards us. He knocked on my window, and with the most peaceful and merciful smile, he told me everything was going to be ok. How did this good man find me? How did he know the mental battle I was struggling with that day? Even seeing the mess that I was, he never asked and never felt he needed to know why. This man knew He knew, and that was enough. This man just came, and shared hope. I could feel it. So, I looked up and by the slightest glance into this good man’s eyes, I knew He was there for Him. I felt in that moment it wasn’t just my friends on either side of me, but He was there and so many from the other side. He believed I could and would get through this. That this battle...all this I was fighting against in mind…will and is being made beautiful. I needed to just be patient. I needed to hold on tight. He believed in me. And that simple truth was enough to let my heart and mind breathe.
We find so many experiences in the scriptures of God finding people where they are, and extending a hand of undeniable confidence in whatever challenge they are faced with. He gives tokens of strength and resiliency to demonstrate His belief in our ability to get through the tests and trials given. He sees and knows we are stronger than we think we are. He sees us perfectly. Loves us unconditionally. He has armed me and you with everything we need to fight through those deeply personal tempests. And as we take His hand and look into His eyes, we will dwell with Him. In a place of peace...of joy...and discover a love He has for us that is profoundly powerful.
How can I not believe in Him who has perfect belief in me.
~Ashley Quist

Heavenly Father (and His Angels) are Watching Over Us

A year ago last spring I was unloading a few groceries from my car. I was in the last month of pregnancy and my mother had come to help me that day. As I unloaded the bags she unbuckled my 22-month old son and then came to get a load. After putting the bags on the table I looked up to see my mother with her load of bags, but no Maxwell. I quickly moved to the front door calling his name. As I came to the door I caught a glimpse of him running down the driveway towards the busy street. Adrenalin kicked in and I sprinted with my 8-month pregnant belly towards him. I flew down the steps, across the patio and down some more steps. He had taken the longer route around our van. I took the shorter route in hopes that I would catch him before he came to the street. Just as he came into my view I tripped on some uneven grass, smashed my knee into the ground and went skidding on my belly head first from the grass to the driveway. My first reaction was to hop up and catch my son, but as I tried to do this my body wouldn’t do what I was telling it to do. I couldn’t move. Panic struck and I began to sob as I laid there watching my son running at top speed right for the street where many cars were passing by. I was completely helpless and in a lot of pain. I thought to myself, “I’ve just killed my unborn child and now I’m going to watch my little boy get hit by a car and die!” I watched my little Maxwell through my tears dreading what I was about to witness, then suddenly a miraculous thing happened. He had been headed directly for the street, but once he came to the sidewalk he immediately turned and continued running. A huge wave of relief and gratitude passed over me. My mom helped me up, then caught Max. She helped me hobble inside. I couldn’t stop crying for a long time. Finally I was able to compose myself enough to call my doctor and ask what I should do.

Later on while I was alone laying in a hospital bed connected to the monitoring equipment I couldn’t stop thinking about what happened. Why did Max stop and turn down the sidewalk instead of continuing his path into the street? I pondered that question for a while and then an answer came that filled me with the spirit. Either Max at 22 months of age knew better than to run out into the street or God had placed angels there to guard the way. As I remembered how Max turned and changed his course it was as though there was someone there blocking the way. I believe angels were there that day guarding the street and protecting him from danger. I don’t think Max was mature enough to know how dangerous the street was. I am full of gratitude to God for protecting my son. I am also grateful for that experience. Every time I reflect on it I feel the spirit testify to me personally that Heavenly Father cares about me, He loves me, and He will protect me and my family. Choosing to believe this brings me great joy, peace, and relief.
When I choose to believe I feel the Holy Spirit bearing witness of truth. Choosing faith takes courage and it brings the best blessings. Lately I find myself asking this question when a choice arises: “Am I choosing to believe?”

Every time I remember this question before I react I am happy with my response. When I don’t remember this question it’s easy for me to lose control of myself or say something I regret. I’m grateful for the theme “choose to believe” and the strength and courage it gives me. Remembering these words helps me retain my agency and stay in control of myself. It helps me be who I truly want to be and act for myself instead of allowing other people or situations to control me and to be acted upon.
The world is in commotion. All of the difficulties we are facing as a nation aren’t going to go away. They aren’t going to get better on their own. They may even continue to escalate. I believe God is giving us an opportunity to step up and dig in. I believe now more than ever is a time for us to choose to believe, to be an example of the believers, and to do something about it. We can ask God what he needs us to do and then do it. I love our Heavenly Father and His plan! We can trust Him!

~Jen Doll

Adversity Aquaints Us with Our Savior

A great blessing of adversity is that we can become very personally acquainted with our Savior as we look for Him. I have witnessed this many times. It brings me so much comfort knowing that He is there for us and with us every step of the way. He helps us endure, guides our path and gives us strength. I've learned that He is the Prince of Peace, and can bring peace to our souls! He blesses our lives with so many amazing gifts! He truly loves each one of us and desires to bless us. In this crazy time we are living in, I choose to believe! I choose to follow Him. I choose to allow Him to bless me and help me through. With God, all things are possible!

~Nedra Hunsaker

I Choose to Believe in the Power of the Priesthood

I especially choose to believe in a time like this! 2020 has been a year like no other. I know that each one of us could share with one another, the sorrows and challenges, as well as the joys and blessings we have had and felt! From sickness, financial loss, difficult family dynamics, death of loved ones to blessings of worshiping in our homes and being together as families and feeling the love of our Savior in the midst of it all.

I’m a nurse and work in a newborn intensive care unit. Yesterday, as I was working, a father asked if we could find an LDS elder to help give his baby a blessing. A call was made over head by the hospital operator and shortly after, one of our physicians came to assist with the blessing. The curtain was pulled quietly, as both men stepped up to the bed where this sweet baby boy laid. I have seen and heard many blessings given throughout the years I have worked as a nurse. This one was different. The doctor who anointed has a distinct, strong voice. As I sat at my computer and listened to his voice, I was overwhelmed with the spirit and brought to tears. I knew at that moment, God our Father was listening to the words of that blessing. By the power of Christ’s name, the blessing of anointing and healing was being given by two worthy priesthood holders. One of which was the father of this baby boy and felt the faith of both men so strongly.
In spite of what is happening in our world today, I choose to believe in the power of the priesthood. The love our Heavenly Father and his Son have for us, will help us overcome any pain or sorrow, as well as feel joy and happiness during these challenging times.
May each one of you sisters be blessed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. I say these things in His name, amen.

~Jessica Steele

I KNOW How This Story Ends...

Nine years ago, I got a phone call early in the morning from my brother that rocked my world. He told me we lost my baby brother in a car accident. My dad was living with us at the time, and telling him he'd just lost his son was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. It was unexpected and devastating. So many things surrounding that event left us with broken hearts, and unanswered questions, even to this day. But there were miracles too.

The days and months following the accident I remember feeling comforted and lifted up beyond anything this earthly world could offer. I remember that even through the pain and heartache, there were tender mercies and peace. One of the tender mercies I believe I received, was a greater perspective on the Plan of Salvation. It was like my eyes were opened to better understand the scale of eternity, and how this life really is but a "moment" in the grand spectrum. I realize our Father in Heaven has a plan for each of us. It's so individual and intricate, every detail is known by Him. There's no experience, good or bad, he doesn't know about or want to be with us through.
The greatest gift of all, is my strengthened relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ. I have felt Him by my side, bringing comfort and peace, even through the hard times. Right now, in this uncertain world with chaos all around, I'm grateful for this broadened perspective that I have such a strong testimony about, because I KNOW how this story ends. We just have to keep choosing to believe, every single day, no matter what happens. This life is a wonderful, crazy, beautiful, faith testing roller coaster, and the true test, is holding on until the very end of the ride.
I'm grateful for the Plan of Happiness, and that it's a light in this dark world. I choose to believe, again and again, because I've never been happier than when I can feel my Savior near me. I imagine Him, returning to the earth in all his glory, with choirs of angels, and the majesty of that moment, awaited and foretold for thousands of years!! And THAT is worth all the trials and sacrifices this life can bring.

~Jessica Barber