One of my favorite places in the world to shoot wedding pictures is in San Diego, California. The beach pictures were taken at Coronado Beach, just north west of the Hotel Del. The other pictures were taken at Balboa Park and the Mormon Temple in La Jolla, California. This wedding was intimate and the couple was a pleasure to work with! But I have to admit I loved taking pictures of this couple kiss. There kisses were especially romantic! Thanks for the opportunity to be a part of your special day. May these pictures serve as a memorial to you of the love you share for now and forever!
Here are a few pictures of some amazing friend and her Beautiful Family in San Diego, California in June of 2012. This was not an actual photo shoot… Just having fun and took a couple pictures along the way!
On May 3, 2009, Elder David A Bednar of the quorum of the 12 Apostles spoke to the young adults of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at a Church Education System fireside. He entitled his fireside, “Things as They Really Are”. This title derived from a passage in the Book of Mormon Jacob 4:13 (see alsoD&C 93:24).
I have also loved these scriptures that define truth and knowledge as “Things as They Really Are”. I have been studying this talk and listening to it over and over on my IPOD. Many people may be tempted to summarize this talk by simply stating that Elder Bednar is warning us against the improper us of video-games and online social media, but I believe he is also teaching us eternal truths, foundational truths about the value of our physical body. He is issuing an apostolic warning about the importance of our physical body in the plan of salvation.
These are a few of my favorite quotes from the fireside given my Elder Bednar.
PHYSICAL BODIES- Instrument of the Mind
Our physical bodies make possible a breadth, a depth, and an intensity of experience that simply could not be obtained in our premortal estate. President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has taught, “Our spirit and our body are combined in such a way that our body becomes an instrument of our mind and the foundation of our character.” 3 Thus, our relationships with other people, our capacity to recognize and act in accordance with truth, and our ability to obey the principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ are amplified through our physical bodies. In the classroom of mortality, we experience tenderness, love, kindness, happiness, sorrow, disappointment, pain, and even the challenges of physical limitations in ways that prepare us for eternity. Simply stated, there are lessons we must learn and experiences we must have, as the scriptures describe, “according to the flesh” (1 Nephi 19:6; Alma 7:12–13).
Adversary’s Attacks- Misuse our bodies and to minimize the importance of our bodies
Because a physical body is so central to the Father’s plan of happiness and our spiritual development, we should not be surprised that Lucifer seeks to frustrate our progression by tempting us to use our bodies improperly. One of the ultimate ironies of eternity is that the adversary, who is miserable precisely because he has no physical body, invites and entices us to share in his misery through the improper use of our bodies. The very tool he does not have and cannot use is thus the primary target of his attempts to lure us to physical and spiritual destruction. The adversary attempts to influence us both to misuse our physical bodies and to minimize the importance of our bodies. These two methods of attack are important for us to recognize and to repel.
Beware How Satan will lead us to physical and Spiritual destruction
Because a physical body is so central to the Father’s plan of happiness and our spiritual development, we should not be surprised that Lucifer seeks to frustrate our progression by tempting us to use our bodies improperly. One of the ultimate ironies of eternity is that the adversary, who is miserable precisely because he has no physical body, invites and entices us to share in his misery through the improper use of our bodies. The very tool he does not have and cannot use is thus the primary target of his attempts to lure us to physical and spiritual destruction.
Video-Gaming and Computer-mediated Communication CAN play a role in minimizing the importance of physical bodies
You may now be asking yourself, “But, Brother Bednar, you began today by talking about the importance of a physical body in our eternal progression. Are you suggesting that video gaming and various types of computer-mediated communication can play a role in minimizing the importance of our physical bodies?” That is precisely what I am declaring.
Maxwell-Youth Greatest Capacity for Obedience
I remember Elder Maxwell making a statement that greatly impressed me. He said, “The youth of this generation have a greater capacity for obedience than any previous generation.”
George Q. Cannon- Strength of the Rising Generation
He then indicated that his statement was based upon a truth taught by President George Q. Cannon (1827–1901), First Counselor in the First Presidency: “God has reserved spirits for this dispensation who have the courage and determination to face the world, and all the powers of the evil one, visible and invisible, to proclaim the gospel and maintain the truth and establish and build up the Zion of our God fearless of all consequences. He has sent these spirits in this generation to lay the foundation of Zion never more to be overthrown, and to raise up a seed that will be righteous, and that will honor God, and honor Him supremely, and be obedient to Him under all circumstances.”
Obedience- Constant Companionship of the Holy Ghost
Obedience opens the door to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. And the spiritual gifts and abilities activated by the power of the Holy Ghost enable us to avoid deception—and to see, to feel, to know, to understand, and to remember things as they really are. You and I have been endowed with a greater capacity for obedience precisely for these reasons.
Obedience is a weapon
If the adversary cannot entice us to misuse our physical bodies, then one of his most potent tactics is to beguile you and me as embodied spirits to disconnect gradually and physically from things as they really are. You and I are to be valiant and “obedient to Him under all circumstances.” Thus, obedience is the principal weapon upon which the rising generation must rely in the latter-day battle between good and evil.
And for the final quote… Elder Bednar invites us to consider to questions for our personal pondering and prayerful study.
For your happiness and protection, I invite you to study more diligently the doctrine of the plan of salvation—and to prayerfully ponder the truths we have reviewed. I offer two questions for consideration in your personal pondering and prayerful studying:
1. Does the use of various technologies and media invite or impede the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost in your life?
2. Does the time you spend using various technologies and media enlarge or restrict your capacity to live, to love, and to serve in meaningful ways?
You will receive answers, inspiration, and instruction from the Holy Ghost suited to your individual circumstances and needs. I repeat and affirm the teaching of the Prophet Joseph: “All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him.”
These eternal truths about the importance of our physical bodies will fortify you against the deception and the attacks of the adversary. One of my deepest desires for you is an ever-increasing testimony of and appreciation for the Resurrection—even your own resurrection with a celestial, exalted body “because of your faith in [the Lord Jesus Christ] according to the promise” (Moroni 7:41).
I know that we are tempted to misuse and minimize the importance of our physical bodies. I feel it is so important to share the message, to remember the importance of our physical bodies and provide these instruments with the care they stand in need of so that we may each fulfill our unique purpose one this earth.
One of the simple thing we can do to simplify our life is to have our bills set up to be paid utilizing online banking!
Okay, to be completely honest, I already had online banking, but in order to simplify my life, I brought our personal checking, business checking and savings account over to the bank that has our mortgage. I should have done it two years ago, when we got our mortgage, then I would not have had to set up all my online banking twice in the past two years. (Side note: by having all our accounts where we have our mortgage it will be easier to refinance or get another home “loan” from them in the future- Which, of course, simplifies my life even more!)
I was reluctant to try online banking. Mostly, I didn’t want to set it up. I had a million excuses like, “That will take time!” But it wasn’t until I took the time to set up online banking that I began to realize how much time I was saving! I also am saving money because I do not have to buy stamps, or waste gas going to the post office to buy the stamps. (Never mind how much time I save not standing in line at the United States Post office– By that I mean no offense, but how much time does an average person “waste” a year waiting in line at the Post office?)
I can use this tool to pay individuals, small businesses or established companies. I love that I can set up all my bills to be paid automatically– if it is the same amount each month or I can set up the bills to be paid manually. I don’t worry about remembering to pay my mortgage, because it is set up automatically. I can quickly review my upcoming bills and verify I have enough money in my account to make the payments. I love online banking! It helps simplify my life and saves me at least 4 hours a month along with countless hours I don’t have to “worry”.
Below are three simple steps to help simplify paying your bills and will save you hours each month!
Step 1- Set up online banking with your bank.
Step 2- Enter Information for your bills that will be paid online
Step 3- Set up Automatic payments for bills that are the same each month such as Mortgage, car loans or other loans.
I really don’t like paying bills, in fact, I hate watching money “leave” my bank account. So I have a simple system that allows me to pay bills 2-4 times a month.
Step 1- Put all my bills in the same place with the bill due the soonest on top
Step 2- Pick a day each week to pay bills (I do it at the beginning of the week for a stress free week!)
Step 3- Place paid bills in a binder or folder and organize by month. (Which makes it so easy to find things when needed later in life!)
Now, that I have set this system in place I really only have to pay bills on the 10 of the month and about the 25th of the month. It takes some practice, organization and discipline but it is SO easy and so worth it, to organize your personal finances like a “business”.
Online banking is a simple thing we can do to simplify our life. Because of Online banking and following the simple steps above I only spend a few minutes a month paying my bills, which leaves me hours a month to do the things that matter most to me, like reading in a hammock or going for a hike with my husband, Jared, or like finding a hidden waterfall in the desert!
How much time does online banking save you?
Spring semester is over and I have a compelling desire to simplify my life. I’ve been pondering the word and things I can do now to simplify my life.
What does it mean to simplify? What does it mean to simplify one’s life?
According to Dictionary.com to simplify means simply to make things less complex or less complicated. It means to make problems or things easier.
I did not think I was a complicated person, nor do I think I live a complicated life, but if I wasn’t and if I didn’t, I would not have such a strong desire to “SIMPLIFY”– Would I?
These are some of the things I have been pondering. Do I make situations or problems more complicated? Or in what situations do I make things more complicated and in what situations do I naturally simplify things? Do I add steps where I could easily eliminate steps? Are their any behaviors that are “redundant” or “excessive”? What can I do now to simplify my life and bring even more peace, love, happiness, and beauty into my life?
What does it mean to you to Simplify?
What are simple things you do to Simplify your life and that give you the time to do the things that matter most?
Okay… you can tell that I spent some time looking at photos of Jared while he was at Zion on Saturday, hiking without me. I miss him when he is gone. I am not use to going over 10 hours without seeing him. So excited that it is that time of year to celebrate LOVE!
Here are some then and now photos of us!
Anyone who knows me, knows that I do not like to suffer and I do NOT like pain. I don’t like being sick, I don’t like others being sick or in pain and I do not like suffering.
However, even though I do not like it, I do understand the need for suffering. I understand that there is a need for opposition in our life. In 2 Nephi 2:11, we read, “For it must needs be that there is an opposition in all things.” If it were not so righteousness could not be brought to pass. “And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God.” (2 Nephi 2:13)
“I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning: for there is a God and he hath created all things… both things to act and things to be acted upon.” (2 Nephi 2:14)
“Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.” (2 Nephi 2:16
There must be opposition in all things. It is part of our Heavenly Father’s Plan of Happiness, not only for happiness here on this earth but for happiness for time and all eternity. Our Father in Heaven wants his children to be happy, eternally happy and at peace. In order for us to come to understand this happiness we must choose to be agents and not merely acted upon, we must face temptation and learn to choose the path of happiness and peace, we must be tempted and tried in all things and come to know there is a God.
Opposition, suffering, temptation, sickness, cause some to doubt there is a God. But for others, the suffering causes them to turn to God for support, comfort, and even purpose. Elder Scott once taught that even during trials we can be filled with peace from the Spirit. The only way we can receive that gift is if we turn towards God in faith.
Purpose in suffering… is there such a thing? Should we even look for purpose in suffering?
On Saturday, I was feeling a bit tired in the morning and by early evening I had a temperature. It has been years since I had a temperature. My temperature was only about 100.4, enough to give me chills, make me feel “uncomfortable”, weak and so I laid down. I had a high temperature for about 10 hours.
What was the purpose? Though a fever is uncomfortable, I felt this fever was fighting off some sort of infection and I wanted to see if I could “handle” it without trying to dull the symptoms with a fever reducer. I took my temperature and knew I was no where close to the danger Zone. It took concentration to relax enough to sleep with the fever and even then I woke up every hour and had to drink lots of water. Finally after several hours, the fever broke and when I woke up, I found that I had perspired and my bed was wet, as were all my clothes.
It has been argued that there is purpose in a fever, that it is the body’s way of defending itself and helping it get well again. A fever is not necessarily a sign of sickness or disease, but a sign that the body is fighting infection. I did my best to drink lots of liquids and tried to assist my body in fighting the infection, even thought it was “uncomfortable” and every time I got out of the bed I got the “chills”.
Many times with suffering God is trying to teach us something, but we don’t like to be “uncomfortable”, so we choose to get out of the situation instead of persevering and learning that which God has intended us to learn.
I, also, learned once again how much I take my health for granted and that I need to make sure I get enough sleep and drink enough water to “guard” and strengthen my immune system. I feel that if I had got more than merely 6 hours a sleep a night, and had drank enough water, my immune system may have been strong enough to guard me from infection.
Another lesson I learned from this “suffering” is compassion. I have a dear friend who regularly is fighting infection and often has fevers over a hundred degrees. Because barely over a hundred degrees is not in the danger zone, we tend to forget and not recognize how uncomfortable it is. My muscles wanted to tighten up, I got the chills, my body ached, it was more difficult to communicate and to serve others, I just wanted to stay in bed and stay warm. I didn’t want to move. Having experienced that myself, I now look at others who are suffering in a different way, I have compassion for them because I have suffered. I may not know exactly how my dear friend feels, because in comparison my suffering was extremely brief, but I do know what a fever feels like and how uncomfortable it can be.
2 Nephi 2:26-28 reads, “And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of me from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil, to act for themselves and not to be acted upon… Men are free according to the flesh: and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great mediator of all men, or choose captivity and death according got the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself… I would that ye should look to the great Mediator and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit.”
We are free to choose eternal life and freedom, or captivity and death. We are free to choose to turn to the Savior, or be led away by the lies of adversary of truth. Satan wants us to believe that if we are “good” then we will not suffer in this life. But we have been taught that there must be opposition in all things and that there is a need for suffering in this life. We know that the only perfect man who has lived suffered greatly and many other great men and women have suffered afflictions in this life. Being good doesn’t mean a free ticket from suffering or sickness. Satan Lies!
Christ himself suffered for a purpose to redeem all mankind. He descended below all things to lift us up. Christ atoned for our sins and experienced all of our suffering, sicknesses and infirmities so that he could heal us. Christ has perfect compassion for us, he understand perfectly how we feel when we have sinned, when we are sick, or when we are suffering because of the mistakes and sins of others. His purpose in suffering was to redeem us, but we must turn to him to receive of his glorious gift.
The prophet Joseph Smith (along with all other prophets) suffered greatly in their lives. They lost children, homes and wealth, they were persecuted for there religious beliefs and for choosing to follow Christ. And Joseph Smith along with many others in the end were killed because they chose to follow the Savior and to teach and administer the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Now, if the Savior suffered and if Joseph Smith suffered, and if all the other prophets have suffered, we must expect that we too will experience some suffering and “discomfort” in this life. This life is a test. We were sent to earth to see if we would be obedient to God, we were sent here to be proved in all things (see Abraham 3). Suffering is a part of this life, there must be opposition in all things!
No matter what the source of the suffering, whether it is caused by our own sins or mistakes, the sins or mistakes of other, or is merely a tutorial from a Heavenly Father who loves us, that suffering “shall give (us) experience, and shall be for (our) good” (D&C 122:7, see also Romans 8:28 and D&C 98:3)
We need this experience and learning, in order to learn the things of God. Sometimes in the suffering we come to find that we are truly loved and we learn how much we need Him, we come to know that only He can heal our broken hearts.
About three years ago, I had kidney stones and other issues at the time that caused extreme pain for many months. I had a very difficult time functioning. My ward brought meals and prayed and fasted for me. One day, I prayed to know why I was “suffering” and why I was experiencing such pain.
The answer I received distilled upon my heart and was not what I expected, I heard in my heart, “I just wanted you to know that you were loved.” Now, to be honest, I could come up with lots of other ways to feel “loved”. But through this experience, I came to know how many people really cared about me. Yes, I could have suffered alone, but sisters in the ward brought me meals everyday. Young women brought me treats and dear people in the ward stopped me in the halls at church and told me they were praying and fasting for me. I did feel loved, even though I was in pain and that love made all the difference.
Sometimes we suffer so others can learn to serve, sometimes others around us suffer so we can learn the joy that comes through service. Sometimes we suffer to come to know of the pure love of Christ and to feel of his healing balm.
I have felt of his love, I know of his healing power. I know He longs to reach out and heal us, and I understand that suffering and opposition can be powerful teaching tools in this mortal experience. I pray that I will remember the purpose of suffering and opposition, so that I don’t have to be reminded quite so often!
Anyone who has really gotten to know Jared, loves Jared.
Once you are Jared’s friend, you are always Jared’s friend. People don’t come and go in his life. People become a permanent fixture in Jared’s wonderful happy world!
You can’t help but love a man who has a million adventures stories to entertain you, but would prefer to let you talk. You can’t help but love a man, who plans adventures to share with anyone willing to jump on board. You can’t help but love a man who finds joy in the simplest things and laughs just as much as he breathes. You can’t help but love a man who really loves people and the earth upon which we live. You can’t help but love a man who loves to serve those around him and who makes the world a better place, just by smiling.
His Smile continues to brighten my life!
Here are a few pictures to celebrate the life and the man that I love!
Having been married to Jared for over 7 years, I’ve almost forgotten what it was like to NOT have a Valentine and what it was like to be single. I love being married because I am married to Jared McBride.
Jared and I were married on November 12, 2004 in the San Diego Temple. We met less than 2 miles away from this temple in La Jolla, CA in November of 1999. We went on our first date in San Diego. We drove up to Del Mar and saw the christmas lights at the race track and then went down to the Hotel Del Coronado. The hotel is situated right on the beach at Coronado. To this day, it is my favorite hotel in the world. We spent our first night as a married couple at that hotel on November 12, 2004!
I found a photo of Jared and I from 1999 or 2000. (There were more pictures of us taken during that time, but someone got rid of them, after she told him she NEVER wanted to see him ever again! hmmm… wish I had a few more!)
Our wedding day was the most wonderful day of my life! It was the beginning of our journey together for time and all eternity. I am so grateful that I have these beautiful photos that help me remember that wonderful day and the love I have for Jared McBride!
Valentines is a day to remember and celebrate the love you share with that someone who is extraordinarily special. I am so grateful to be married to my Valentine. I am so grateful that everyday, I get to celebrate another day of love, and happiness with the man I married just over 7 years ago!
I love you, Jared M. McBride!
I love families, but sometimes taking family pictures can be quite the adventure. Lately, I have had a lot of luck with taking family pictures, especially if I view it as an adventure and let the families be themselves. Here are a few of my favorite shots of this young family!