Rock Solid–Our Girls Camp Message

Rock Solid–Our Girls Camp Message

Back in February, I told my mom about this project I wanted to start–all about helping women achieve better health by learning to love their bodies. I also told her that my sister-in-law, Heidi, was starting the process of becoming a life coach, and that she wanted to help women find more confidence and joy by managing their mental and emotional health. She was excited for both of us, and then excited for herself as a light came on in her head. “Want to speak at our girls’ camp this June??” Their theme, she told me, was going to be “Rock Solid: Emotionally, Physically, and Spiritually.” She was sure that we would be the perfect speakers for their opening night. Of course, we said yes!

LDS Girls Camp is an interesting event. For one week each summer, the young women in our church (girls between ages 12 and 18) go camping. Yes, camping. There are lots of silly songs, skits, and pranks, very little hygiene, and sometimes a little drama. But there is much more to it than that. They also learn camping, emergency, and survival skills (almost none of which I have ever used again), and also many spiritual lessons (which have benefited me numerous times since). For most young women, girls camp is a life-changing, or at least life-directing experience. As the time approached, both Heidi and I felt nervous and excited about it. We knew how much our message could help these young women, and we wanted to share it with them in a way that would be meaningful and inspirational. It was also our first time sharing our message in a public speaking venue. We decided that we would break the topic into its three natural segments. Heidi would talk about her area of expertise, being rock solid emotionally. Then I would do the next portion of the presentation, rock solid physically. We decided to split up rock solid spiritually. Heidi would go first, sharing a few insights, and then I would finish it up.

When the night finally came, we felt like young women ourselves, giddy with excitement. But thanks to a lot of prayer, we both felt like we delivered the exact message we wanted to share with those young women. And now I want to share it with all of you as well. It isn’t exactly word for word, since we both spoke with just a few notes, but this is what we wrote up to write our notes from to practice and present that night. Yes, it is long. (We spoke for almost an hour!? Maybe you can read it in segments.) But yes, it will be worth your time. I promise!

Rock Solid Emotionally–Heidi

My name is Heidi and I am so excited to be here.  I am so excited to talk to you about being emotionally solid.  Growing up we are taught many skills.  We are taught to tie our shoes and ride a bike.  We are later taught how to read and how to do math problems.  We are told to be mature and act responsibly.  But rarely are we taught the skill of managing our emotions.  We don’t really learn emotional maturity.  That is exactly what I want to talk about today.

The world teaches us that emotions are just something that happens to us.  Events happen in our lives and we have an emotional response.  Our dog dies and we are sad.  We fail a test and feel disappointed.  A cute boy likes us and we are excited.  We eat ice cream and we are happy.  I want to suggest that we have this all wrong.  Events or circumstances do not create emotions.  It is our thoughts about those circumstances that create our feelings.  You with me?  This is great news.  Think about it.  You control your thoughts.  While you cannot always control what happens in your life, you CAN control what you think.  So therefore, you can control how you feel, all of the time.  Isn’t that amazing??

Guess what?  It gets even better.  Our thoughts create our feelings and our feelings drive our actions.  Our actions are what determines the results we get in our lives.  So, by managing our thoughts we can literally choose whatever outcome we desire in our life.  Let that sink in for a minute.  Thoughts- Feelings- Actions- Results.

What you want to become, what you want to feel, what you want to think is 100% up to you.  That is powerful.  That is being emotionally solid.  And that is Heavenly Father’s plan for us.  Heavenly Father did not intend for us to come to earth and be victims to our circumstance.  His plan was for us to come to earth to receive a body and to use our agency.  That agency starts by choosing what thoughts we are going to think.

Unfortunately, this is a little easier in theory than in real life.  But don’t worry…I got you!  I will teach you exactly how to be emotionally solid.  The most important thing to remember is that managing your thoughts is a skill.  Just like playing basketball or the piano, the more you practice, the better you will become.  You will probably not master this skill overnight.  But through repetition and practice you will get better.I want to break this down into 3 easy steps.

  1. Recognize your thoughts. Before we can change something, we must be aware of it right?  Start to listen to the chatter going on inside your head.   The average person thinks 60,000-70,000 thoughts per day.  Obviously, we can’t monitor all of those, so just pay attention to any thoughts that are causing you to feel pain.   In this step, just be curious.  Don’t judge your thoughts as good or bad.  Just observe.  Become acquainted with your brain.
  2. Find a new thought. Finding a new thought can be a little tricky but it is absolutely possible.  Our brains are amazing machines.  They are designed to adapt and can be rewired at any point.  That is called neuroplasticity.  But rewiring can take some work because our brain also likes to be efficient.  They get very good at thinking the same thoughts.  So, if the thought you are trying to replace is one that you have been thinking for years, it will take some work to replace it.  Keep at it.  When finding a new thought, make sure it is something that you can believe.  Many of us struggle to know of our true value.  We might have thoughts that we are not good enough.  It is difficult to jump from thinking “I am not good enough” to “I am the most amazing person in the world.”  So try to take baby steps.  Try first a more neutral thought, something like “I am a human being.”  Once that feels good move on to “I am a daughter of God.”  Next try “I am a daughter of God who loves me.”   Choose a thought that will give you the feeling you desire.  That will drive your action and will get the results you want.
  3. Continually Redirect. Once you have found your new thought continually redirect your mind to that thought. Write the thought down.  Write it everywhere.  Write it on your mirror.  Write it on a piece of paper and carry it around in your pocket.  Save it as the background on your phone.  Put it wherever you will see it over and over.  Practice believing that it is true.  Our brain will look for evidence for whatever we believe.  If we believe that we worthless, our brain will find evidence to support that.  But if we believe that we are a daughter of God, we will find the proof.

Managing our thoughts will not only help us manage our emotions but will help strengthen our relationship with others.  We are taught from a very young age to blame other people for our emotions.  We say things like “they hurt my feelings” or “they made me mad.”  The truth is no one can make you feel anything without your permission.  Your thoughts are the only thing that causes emotion.  When we let other people determine our emotions we are giving away all of our power.  And usually we are giving it to the people that are least capable.  Mostly likely they cannot manage their own emotions let alone ours.  So just keep your power by managing your thoughts.

Being emotionally solid is liking yourself and being okay if others don’t.  Other people can choose to not like you and you can choose not to care.  How many of you like ice cream?  What is your favorite flavor?  We all like different kinds.  Some like fruity kinds and others like chocolate.  Some like plain and others like lots of chunks and swirls.  Every person is a different flavor of ice cream.  You are a flavor of ice cream, and not everyone loves that flavor and that is okay.   You might be the best strawberry ice cream in the entire universe and some people just don’t like strawberry ice cream.  That doesn’t mean anything about you.  Because what people think of you says far more about them than it does about you.

Let me give you an example.  I have been up here speaking for a while now.  You have all been having thoughts.  Some are thinking, “Wow, who is this amazingly wonderful woman?”  Others are thinking, “When will she stop talking? I have no idea what she is even saying.”  Other girls are just thinking about the s’mores that they are going to eat later tonight around the campfire.  Each of you has had the exact same experience.  I have stood here, said the exact same words, yet each of you have a different opinion.  What you think of me says more about you than it does about me.

So, you might be thinking…great, sounds good.  Just think happy thoughts and your life will turn out wonderful.  That is not what I am saying.  Managing your thoughts is more than just pretending to be cheerful all of the time.  Managing your life is living with intention.  It is choosing to think on purpose.  It is making the choice to no longer be the victim of the story.  Because your life really is just a story you tell.  Are you going to be the victim or the hero?  It is completely up to you.  Whatever thoughts you choose to think, whatever role you choose to play, that will be the outcome of your life.  And it all starts with your thoughts.

There are certain times in our stories that making choices can become more difficult.  Things like depression, anxiety or other mental illness.  If this is part of your story, I want you to know that you are not alone.  I have dealt with these challenges myself and have talked with many people struggling with these issues.  There are medical professionals to help.  Please seek help.  You do not have to face this alone.  If you have a broken bone you would need help; there is no shame in seeking treatment for these very real and serious medical conditions.   More importantly, you are not alone because your Heavenly Father will never abandon you.  Always remember that you are loved, you are valued, and there is always hope!

I want you to think about some of the emotions you feel.  Perhaps you feel lonely.  What thoughts are creating that feeling?  Maybe you think you don’t have any friends.  Maybe your brain tells you that no one likes you.  Or maybe you feel like you aren’t as pretty or talented as this girl or that girl.  You are feeling lonely because of your thoughts not because of what is happening in your life.  So how can we change those thoughts?  Remember the steps.

First, recognize the thought.  Observe it, be curious.

Second, find a new thought.  Ask yourself if that thought is even true.  Often, we generalize, like “No one likes me.”  Challenge that statement.  Really, no one?  There is not one single person in the entire world?  Well, you have not met everyone in the entire world so that statement is false.  Usually when we say things like “everyone” or “no one” we really mean one or two people.  That statement isn’t true so we need one that is more accurate.  Find a thought that feels good.  Maybe something like, I am a great friend to others.  Whatever creates the feeling that you desire.

Next, you continually redirect your mind to that thought.  Write it down everywhere.  Remind yourself to think it often.  Think it over and over until it becomes your new habit.  Tell your brain to find the evidence.

Changing your thoughts changes your feelings.  Changing your feelings changes your life.

I want to give you a very personal example.  When I was 26 years old, I was out running one morning.  All of a sudden, my vision went blurry and I couldn’t see out of my left eye.  My left arm and leg became weak and tingly.  Luckily, I was able to limp my way home and get some help.  It turns out that I had suffered a stroke.  It caused damage to my brain that effects the left side of my body.  Following the stroke, the doctors discovered that there was a problem with my heart and I had to undergo heart surgery.  It has been a huge challenge in my life.  I have experienced seizures, migraines, extreme fatigue, chronic pain, depression and anxiety.

Every morning I can choose which thoughts I want to think.  And truthfully, some days are better than others.  I can choose to think that life is not fair, or that this shouldn’t have happened to me.  Those thoughts don’t generate good feelings and definitely not a whole lot of action or results.  I usually just end up feeling sorry for myself and don’t accomplish much.

But most days I choose to thank Heavenly Father for my blessings.  I get to raise my four beautiful children.  I can walk and do almost everything fairly normally.  Heavenly Father was not punishing me, He was giving me an opportunity to learn and grow.

Life is about choices.  Choosing your thoughts will determine how you feel, how you act, and how you live.  Being emotionally solid is completely up to you.  And you can do it.  You are amazing.  Heavenly Father has blessed each of us with these amazing minds that are so powerful.   I know that he wants us to be happy and that joy is available if we just manage our thoughts.

Rock Solid Physically–Taffy

I am so excited to be here with you beautiful young women tonight at girls camp. I grew up in Cokeville, and came to this very camp for girls camp myself, and I know that while I was here, my testimony grew. And so I am excited for you to be here this week with that same opportunity to learn and grow, and I hope that what I share with you tonight will be part of that experience for each of you.

So Heidi has just given you some fabulous advice about how to be rock solid emotionally, and many of the things she taught you have a direct impact on our ability to be rock solid physically as well.

When you think about being rock solid physically, you probably think about things like exercising, getting enough sleep, eating right, and obeying the Word of Wisdom, right? Well, those are all important parts of it, for sure! And I will get to those soon. But first, I want you to think for a minute about a possession you have that you absolutely love! Maybe it’s a piece of jewelry that is special to you, or maybe an item of clothing, like those cute new shoes you just got. How do you treat that thing? How do you treat it in comparison to an item that doesn’t really mean as much to you? My guess is that the more you love something, the better you treat it. I believe the same is true about our bodies. The feelings we have about our bodies are the KEY to how we treat them, and whether or not we are rock solid physically.

And where do feelings come from? That’s right. Our thoughts. So, then, where do our thoughts come from? We learn a lot of our thoughts from the people around us, like our parents, friends, teachers, and church leaders. We hear the things they say, and we see the things they do, and we interpret how they feel about things, and we develop thoughts of our own based on all those experiences. We also have the media—movies, TV, music, the internet, and social media—offering us all kinds of thoughts every day. And finally, there are two more, very powerful sources that offer us thoughts all the time: Our Heavenly Father and Satan.  With all these conflicting messages, and so many thoughts available for us to embrace and believe, there is a gift that Heavenly Father has given us that is extremely important, and that is the gift of agency, or the power to choose. We can CHOOSE which thoughts we allow, and which ones we will dismiss. This isn’t always easy, but we do have agency which gives us the ability to do this important work.

So, what are some of the thoughts Satan offers us about our bodies? What about, “You’re not pretty enough?” “You’re too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall?” “Your hair isn’t pretty, like so-and-so’s?” “If only you looked more like her, then you could be happy.” “Who could ever love someone who looks like you do?” “It doesn’t matter how you treat your body.” “Your body is just an object.” Has he offered you some of these thoughts? Let me tell you one thing—they are LIES! Satan is the father of all lies, and he uses those lies to try to destroy us. It says in 2 Ne. 2:27 that “He seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” He wants you to be miserable. He wants you to doubt your worth, and if he can use thoughts about your body to do that, then he will. And he has issues with your body as well. He is extremely jealous of it because he will never have one. And so he wants to make you feel miserable about yours and he knows that hateful and fearful thoughts about it will achieve that exact goal for him.

But we don’t have to believe him. There are other thoughts being offered to us as well, thoughts from our loving Father in Heaven. And how does he speak to us? Three ways: The scriptures, the prophets, and the Holy Ghost.  Let me share some of the thoughts He offers us.

  1. Our bodies are a gift from God. In 1 Cor. 3:16-17, perhaps the most famous scripture about the body, we learn that the body is a temple, and that it is a holy place where the Spirit of God may dwell. A temple!! Imagine giving someone a temple. This is no small thing! And God gave every one of us a unique one, created in His image, but completely unlike anybody else’s. In Job 38:7, it says that we “shouted for joy” in response to the plan for us come to earth and gain a body. Our Heavenly Father knew that we needed to experience mortality in order to learn, progress, and ultimately be prepared to once again enter His presence.  We did too. And we knew that “mortality” meant pain, illness, and even disability in our bodies. But we knew that this “mortality” was the only way we could also learn to have joy. Without struggle, there is no growth. And without sadness, there is no joy. We needed the wonderful gift of a mortal body to experience it all.
  2. At the time of the resurrection, our spirits and bodies will be reunited permanently, and our bodies will be perfected. In D&C 93:33, it says that it is only in this resurrected state that we can “receive a fullness of joy.” So you’ve probably heard this scripture—Alma 40:23—which states that after the Resurrection, made possible by our Savior, Jesus Christ, “the soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.” We love this promise, right? We look forward to the day that our bodies will be perfected. Now, let me be clear—I’m going to put my own interpretation on this. So, from the gospel of Taffy, I don’t think this scripture means that when we are resurrected, we will all have a body that looks just like Kim Kardashian’s or (insert body idol here). No. Heavenly Father did not create just one perfect body, and mess up on all the rest of ours. I believe that the “perfect body” we will have will be our own body, with its own unique size, shape, eye color, skin color, and everything else that makes it only ours. However, it will have all the body parts—and yes, all the hair—and it will function perfectly. Because it will now be immortal, it will not be subject to illness, injury, or aging, which will be amazing! But if I am looking forward to trading my body in for somebody else’s, I think I will be disappointed. So love the body you have, and look forward to the day that it becomes your body, perfected.
  3. Your body is unique, beautiful, and created in the image of God. It tells us in Genesis 1:27 that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”  And then, a few verses later, Heavenly Father looks over everything they had created, and he concludes, “It was very good.” He doesn’t mess up. And He–especially right now, in this phase of life where your body is changing and growing, and you feel awkward at times, and Satan is offering you all kinds of lies about your body–He is having the Holy Ghost offer you these exact truths about your body. “Your body is unique. It is beautiful. It is created in the image of God.” When he whispers these thoughts to you, believe them.  They are true.

If you are struggling to love your body, and you have bought into the lies Satan has offered you, let me tell you a secret. Have you ever heard that God is love? What that means is that our Heavenly Father is the source of all love, and that if we want to love more, He is the one to ask. Pray to him. Ask him to help you love your body. He will help you. I know He will. And once you love your body, taking care of it becomes so much easier.

So, as you are working on loving your body, there are also many actions you can take that will help you be rock solid physically. And you likely already know what these are. But I’d like to talk a bit about a few of them and point out that as you care for your body, it also helps you become rock solid spiritually and emotionally as well. I found a fabulous talk in the Feb. 2017 New Era called “Spiritual Athletes” that I am going to take this next portion of my talk from.

First of all, Get Enough Sleep. I often struggle with this one.  In D&C 88:124, we are instructed to not “sleep longer than is needful” and to go to bed early and “arise early, that [our] bodies and [our] minds may be invigorated.” When we don’t get enough sleep, or get too much sleep, our minds are often sluggish and distracted, and we have a harder time choosing our thoughts and handling our emotions. A clear mind is important to receiving and understanding promptings from the Holy Ghost. Getting enough sleep also helps our bodies have the physical strength to go throughout the day doing the things Jesus Christ wants us to do.

Secondly, Eat Healthy. Our Heavenly Father created our bodies, so who better than him to tell us how to fuel them, right? D&C 89:11 teaches us to avoid overindulgence and make nutritional choices with “prudence and thanksgiving.” If we follow its principles, including eating grains, meat, fruits, and vegetables in variety and moderation, we get the physical reward of being able to “run and not be weary, and… walk and not faint.” But we also get the amazing spiritual blessings of “wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures.” By following the Word of Wisdom and eating nutritiously, we “gain the blessings of a healthy body, an alert mind, and the guidance of the Holy Ghost.”

Third, Exercise Regularly. Exercise is a great way to take care of your body. Exercising makes your heart and lungs stronger and more efficient. It strengthens your bones, muscles, and ligaments, and even releases endorphins, which help us feel happier. In fact, studies have shown that regular exercise helps with many emotional issues, including anxiety and depression, which can sometimes make it harder to feel the Spirit.

Fourth, Avoid Addiction. Drugs and alcohol inhibit our brain’s ability to make good decisions, weaken our self-control, and make it difficult to hear the promptings of the Holy Ghost. They can lead to addiction, which will destroy your body and rob you of your agency—your body and your agency! Two of the most prized gifts your Heavenly Father has given you.

And finally, Treat it Like a Temple. By this, I mean, keep it sacred. Dress your body in clothes that you love and look fabulous on you, but don’t objectify your body by dressing immodestly. The prophets have taught us to not get tattoos or excessive piercings. If you think of your body as a temple, this makes perfect sense. Keep the law of chastity. Your body is a sacred gift, and should not be used as an object to gratify passions.

I know that as you learn to love your body, and that as you show love toward it by treating it the way our Heavenly Father wants you to treat it, you will be healthier and happier, and you will become rock solid physically.

Rock Solid Spiritually (Part 1–Heidi)

Being spiritually solid begins by having a relationship with Heavenly Father.   A relationship with Heavenly Father begins with prayer.  Prayer is a gift available to us at any time.  We can speak directly to our Father.  He loves us and cares for each one of us individually.  No matter what you are going through, no matter what trial or sorrow you are facing, seek the Lord in prayer.  He will help you.  Sincere, meaningful prayer is the solid foundation we must all strive for.

Elder David A. Bednar spoke in General Conference about meaningful prayer.  He gave 3 principles.

Principle #1. Prayer becomes more meaningful as we counsel with the Lord in all our doings. Simply stated, prayer is communication to Heavenly Father from His sons and daughters on earth. We are commanded to pray always to the Father in the name of the Son. We are promised that if we pray sincerely for that which is right and good and in accordance with God’s will, we can be blessed, protected, and directed.

Principle #2. Prayer becomes more meaningful as we express heartfelt gratitude. As we strive to make our prayers more meaningful, we should remember that “in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments” (D&C 59:21). Let me recommend that periodically you and I offer a prayer in which we only give thanks and express gratitude. Ask for nothing; simply let our souls rejoice and strive to communicate appreciation with all the energy of our hearts.

Principle #3. Prayer becomes more meaningful as we pray for others with real intent and a sincere heart. Petitioning Heavenly Father for the blessings we desire in our personal lives is good and proper. However, praying earnestly for others, both those whom we love and those who despitefully use us, is also an important element of meaningful prayer. Just as expressing gratitude more often in our prayers enlarges the conduit for revelation, so praying for others with all of the energy of our souls increases our capacity to hear and to heed the voice of the Lord.

Satan wants us to believe that we must be worthy to pray.  That is completely false.  The scriptures tell us to pray always.  There is no worthiness criteria.  Satan knows that if he can prevent us from praying he can weaken our relationship with our Father.  He can make us forget who we truly are.

Remembering who you are is being spiritually solid.  Each week in Young Women’s you stand and state these words: “I am a daughter of Heavenly Father, who loves me and I love him.”  Have you ever stopped to ponder what that really means?  You are a daughter of Heavenly Father.  You are the daughter of the King of Kings.  You are worthy and you matter.  The Lord of Lords knows your name and he loves you.  Because you are his child.

Pray to him.  Thank him for all that he has blessed you with.  Tell him your troubles.  Ask his advice.  He is pleading with you to come unto him just as a Father opens his arms to embrace their child.  Sometimes when we pray we may feel that our prays are not answered.  Have faith that your prayers are always answered exactly as they are meant to be.  Heavenly Father can see the whole picture.  Just because we don’t receive the answer we want does not mean that we didn’t receive an answer.

After my stroke, I spent hours praying that I would be healed.  I thought that if I just had enough faith that the Lord would make me whole.  What I didn’t understand was that the Lord had a different definition of whole than I had in mind.  Through years of trial and suffering, the Lord did in fact make me whole.  I was not healed from my physical challenges.  I still walk with a limp and have crazy symptoms, but I am whole.  The Lord healed my heart.  He did not forsake me.  He did not abandon me and he will not abandon you.

I do not know everything there is to know in the gospel.  I have not memorized the scriptures or mastered church history.  But I do know one thing with all of my heart.  I know that Heavenly Father loves me.  And I know that he loves each one of you.  I know that each one of you are beautiful and unique and special.  Each of you were sent to this earth for a divine purpose.  You are exactly who Heavenly Father intended you to be and he wants more than anything for you to return home to him.  He loves each one of you individually.   He knows your strengths and your weaknesses.  He wants to hear from you.  Please pray.  If you can do nothing else, just pray.  In a world when no one else understands what you are going through, turn to your Heavenly Father.  He knows you perfectly.  He loves you perfectly and he knows your amazing potential.  It is through sincere, meaningful prayer that we can be spiritually solid.

Rock Solid Spiritually (Part 2–Taffy)

Another way we can become spiritually rock solid is to trust and follow the game plan. I coached volleyball for ten years, and one of the things that the head coach, Angela, and I decided was important for our team’s success was to have a game plan. Each week, we would analyze the team we were going to play. We considered where they might attack us, and what our strengths and weaknesses were. Then we wrote up a game plan and gave it to our team. We discussed it with them and gave them a printed copy. We also practiced the different strategies and skills we needed to execute in practice that week. Each player knew exactly what she needed to do in order to be successful.

Our Heavenly Father is the master coach. He knows the goal and how to succeed. He understands our opponent, Satan, better than we ever can. He is his father. He is our father as well and knows each of us individually—our strengths and our weaknesses. He knows the strategies and skills we need to execute to be successful in life. And he has written a game plan for us as well. This game plan can be found in our scriptures, church magazines, Sunday lessons, and the For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet.  He doesn’t give us the commandments as a list of rules to restrict us. They are simply the best strategies we can use to have more joy, become more like our Father, avoid Satan’s deception, and ultimately return home to our Heavenly Father. We need to trust Him and follow the game plan he has created for us.

I want to share an experience I had about ten years ago. Angela and I had been to a coaching clinic in Seattle, and flew into the airport late at night. By the time we got into our car and left the airport parking lot, it was after midnight. As we started driving, I noticed a little shaking in the dash. I thought maybe the air conditioner was running too high, so I turned it down. Then I saw something flapping low and in front of my window. I thought maybe something was wrong with my wiper blade. The shaking was getting worse as I tried to get up to speed, and I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. I thought maybe my hood was popped and air was getting under there, shaking the whole car. We got into the canyon just a little ways, and BAM! We blew a tire. I have no idea why neither of us had figured out that we had a flat tire. I guess we were too tired, or had too much volleyball on the brain. I don’t know. So, now it was 1am, and neither of us were real confident with changing a tire. We pulled out a flashlight, jack, and donut tire and tried to figure it out. Then a truck driver pulled up behind us. We were hoping and praying he would be kind and helpful, and not a murderer or something. Thankfully, he was nice, and had our tire changed in about 15 minutes.

So we started out again, going only 45 mph on the donut. We weren’t shaking anymore, but I noticed that strange flapping again, and thought something must still be wrong with my wiper blade. Finally, as we were approaching Evanston, there were some lights on the side of the freeway. I could finally see just enough to see that it was a piece of paper wedged between my wiper blade and window. I said, “Wow! Good thinking! An advertiser can really hit a lot of cars in an airport parking lot.” Then Angela said, “It’s probably a note telling us that our tire is flat.” We both laughed, and then said, “What if it really is?!” So we pulled over to investigate. And sure enough—It was a courtesy notification from AMPCO SYSTEM Airport Parking that said, “We noticed that one of your tires may be low.”  We about died laughing at the irony of it all.

As I have thought of that experience, I have realized that there is a lesson in it. I failed to recognize the warning. I didn’t understand what it was, and if I had, I could have saved us a potentially scary situation. The Holy Ghost is speaking to us. He not only warns us, but he will comfort us, guide us, and testify of truth. He doesn’t do it loudly. He speaks to our minds and our hearts—through simple thoughts and feelings.  We need to pay attention and learn to recognize his quiet voice. As we do, we will become more spiritually solid.

Finally, as I pondered your theme for this week, the word ROCK stood out to me. We’re not just talking about being spiritually strong, having physical endurance, or being emotionally stable. We want to be ROCK solid. And I don’t believe we can ever be that alone. In Heleman 5:12, it says that “it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation”—your emotional, physical, and spiritual foundation—“that when the devil shall send forth his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”

Jesus Christ, our Savior, is the ROCK. We cannot be ROCK solid without Him. Every one of us is imperfect. That is part of the plan. Our weaknesses are given to us so that we can come to know our Savior and rely on him. So that he can be our ROCK. His atonement is not just for our sins, although we are so grateful for that aspect of it. But it is also for our weaknesses. The Bible Dictionary says that through grace, we “receive strength and assistance to do good works that [we] otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to [our] own means.” We often feel that we have to become strong all on our own. This is another of Satan’s lies. We are actually meant to try our best, all while relying on the grace of our Savior. I testify that with our Savior’s help, we can become who he wants us to be—daughters of God who are not just solid, but ROCK solid—emotionally, physically, and spiritually. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

When we were finished that night, we were on cloud nine! The adrenaline was pumping. We had LOVED sharing our message face to face, rather than from through a computer screen. And we would love to share it again! So if you have an event–girls camp, a fireside, or any venue where our message would be applicable, let me know! Email me at and we will see what we can do!  And in the meantime, if you want to keep working on being rock solid yourself, follow my facebook page, Project Love Your Body, as well as Heidi’s group, Joyfulness Project.

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