Come Follow Me: Living and Learning of Jesus Christ’s Gospel

Scripture study for me this year has been an amazing adventure! The president of the church I am a member of (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) issued a new curriculum for Sunday School and also for personal and family study. It is a Christ-centered study of the New Testament called Come Follow Me.

Come Follow Me is truly inspired of God for the purpose of becoming converted to His Son. I have come to understand the Savior a little bit better and have developed a stronger relationship with Him since January, when I started studying Come Follow Me.

I feel I have been able to put Christ in the focus of my everyday life. The purpose of Come Follow Me is to unite families and individuals in following Christ. We study His words and the testimonies of His prophets and disciples every day from the New Testament, supported by doctrines found in other works of scripture, like the Book of Mormon or the Old Testament, as well as the words of modern Prophets and apostles. 

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned among the lessons in Come Follow Me is using each scripture study session to draw closer to the Savior. I set aside a portion of time each day to learn of the Savior and to ponder what I can change in my life that day to become like Him. I remember the Savior’s conduct in different situations of His life and try to apply them to myself: how can I make someone’s day happier? Who can I serve? How can I be more grateful for what I have? These are some things I ask myself so that I can become better at emulating the Savior. I revue my actions and thoughts throughout the day and see where I can improve. It is often very hard to maintain this attitude. Sometimes I would rather fall into an old habit instead of trying to forge a new and holier habit. Often I forget that I’m supposed to be following the Savior and become distracted by everything else buzzing around in the world. But that’s where studying scriptures everyday helps because then I have a reminder of what I am really supposed to be focusing on. Making room for the Savior in my life allows me to enjoy my life in ways I do not expect.

I wish more people would study Come Follow Me! It’s been life-changing. I have learned so much about my Savior and feel the need to follow Him. I invite any reader who is interested to take a look at the study manual online. Just click this!


Summer Essence

No, I will not expound upon the nostalgia of beach balls bouncing along the burning sands of sunny SoCal beaches; I won’t say how much I love going out on hot nights to the local frozen yogurt shop, and I don’t dare mention something so prosaic as loving my three-month liberation from college classes. Those things are all the fundamentals of Summer and the easiest to rattle off. Summer is subtler than that. It has an essence of some sort-an essence I’m still trying to figure out.

I think I caught a bit of that essence this afternoon. It’s five O’clock (a very Summery hour), the AC is humming, and the heat of the setting June Sun is settling a deep peace all over the house. It may seem peaceful inside, but outdoors the earth has a fever and is tossing and turning fitfully. Sweltering winds shake the purple blossoms from the jacaranda trees and parches all green material till it turns a wheaty color. It’s usual for the winds to be a tad overexuberant in the late hours of noon. Today they carry an unmistakable scent in their drought. The sky has been muddied with a brown haze.


It came on suddenly; I hardly was away from the window for half an hour. But after that elapsed time I stepped outside and was greeted by smoky mists and bits of ash flurrying along the wind. A distinct impression rushed to my mind: Summer had arrived.

*I may sound insensitive to cite fire as something pleasant. Please don’t be offended if I seem so.*

Only in Summer does foilage become dry enough to begin toasting itself and everything around it. Only in Summer does the sky become an oven. I felt I had stepped into Mother Nature’s kitchen and was smelling her baked goods. I didn’t know where she was baking though; every horizon was hazy and slightly auburn tinged. I guessed the fire must have been in the south, where the mountains roll down to the coast. Fire always plagues that region.


The haziness all blew over in an hour or so with the westerly winds, and the sky resumed its azureness. But I still smelled the mustily wholesome flavor of smoke, almost like a barbecue. I guess I found a Summery essence in fire because it tends to smell like a great big barbecue. Or maybe because it tells me that the Summer climate is here to stay for a few months. Anyway, I’m glad that Summer has arrived.


Because Of Him

Easter is one of my favorite holidays. I love the feeling of new life and change that accompanies the Easter season. Most of all, I love how Easter helps me refocus on what really matters, the Savior.

“This Holy Week, change is possible #BECAUSEofHIM. ”

                               Happy Easter!

poetry · Thinking


During the summer twilight, I fix myself to a bench in the park. Lamplight glows among the swaying trees; Lovers, Children, Beings full of Life stroll before me. They do not stop or care to talk to a spectator. I am left alone with the stars and the fireflies, yet they do not stay with me for long.

I stare across a flaxen meadow; small brown birds swoop above its grasses and earth-bound creatures scurry around the roots. Life fills the silence of the air. I hear it, pulsing in my ears as a solemn drum. I see it in the rounds of nature. But I can only stare, and Life wheels along time.

I hear of songs and stories that tell of things I’ve never lived. They are apart of my mind, nothing else. I once tried putting them to life, but they are not Life enough. Imagination is not fuel enough to shake me from passivity. I remain a spectator of Life, exiled from the Living, existing only in my mind.

Photo Credit: William M Chase


Captured Moments of Life

A summer sky.

A moonrise during a windy night.

My brother’s drone footage of Chrystal Cove.

A summer morning.

My sister’s birthday balloons

Sycamore seeds.

A torrent of rain about to drop on my house.


Parched grasses and sycamore trees swaying in a hot summer breeze.

A butterfly caught in a sunburst.




Intersecting jet streams.

An iPhone camera and a few color saturation adjustments can go a long way!


Creativity Strikes

There are some days when creativity storms my mind. I am inspired to do about hundred things at once. On these sorts of days I feel constricted by my only having two hands. I want to do so many things at once, to create so many things, to discover so many things.

The call to create is strong. I must make something with my hands; translate what I am feeling into something physical; the momentary thoughts and dreams must take a concrete form or I might forget them. I fear that I lack the ability to convey that. These storms of creativity prove whether I am a match for my own imagination.

There are mornings when I rise with one of these creative storms brewing in my brain and it is all I can do to finish studying and homework. All the while I am thinking about the picture I’m dying to paint or the song that’s been on repeat in my head and won’t leave till I play it on the piano.

It’s a strange frenzy of productivity that urges me to jump from project to project. In one short afternoon I can be intensely focused on painting, then a moment later feel a sudden pressure to play a while on the piano, or be drawn in to taking a nature walk with my dog just because I happened to look out the window. When the evening falls, I feel I haven’t busy enough, even at the end of all I’ve done, and the blackness of night seems to warn me of a deadline. A deadline for what? I don’t know. Perhaps it is to do more, to do something amazing for a turn instead of just my usual creative endeavors. I feel that I’ve ran or am running out of time to do something…..extraordinary! And what constitutes as “extraordinary”? I don’t know.

For a moment, as I eye whatever is product of my frenzied efforts, pride and a sense of accomplishment swell inside of me like a wave. I suppose that I have done something monumental. But it all fades away when I see that I still haven’t accomplished anything truly “extraordinary”. It’s more like copies of someone else’s genius. Yet, I am still rather proud of what I’ve done; I experience a sort of joy mingled with a resignation to an ordinary destiny.

Still, I can’t stand as an admirer for too long: the next project calls and I cannot resist its voice.


An Invitation

What could be more complex than figuring out our purpose in life? And what can be more comforting than finally understanding it?

I believe we can find the purpose of our life through God’s word. That is why I am extending an invitation to you to watch a worldwide devotional for young adults that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is broadcasting on Sunday, January 14, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. mountain standard time. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf will speak at this devotional. They will address the adventure of mortality. You can find the link with the very simple details about how to watch it here.

I love the counsel I gain from these devotionals. I love the clarification. I want you to experience these things. I wouldn’t be sharing it unless I sincerely felt it would be of use to you.

At this moment, I would like to clear up some confusion about Mormons. Now, the term “Mormon” is a nickname. It is derived from the name of the man that compiled the Book of Mormon. There is no such thing as the “Mormon church”. In the Book of Mormon we are told to, “take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives” (Mosiah 5:8). So the proper name is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

“I have thought a lot about why the Savior gave the nine-word name to His restored Church. It may seem long, but if we think of it as a descriptive overview of what the Church is, it suddenly becomes wonderfully brief, candid, and straightforward. How could any description be more direct and clear and yet expressed in such few words?

Every word is clarifying and indispensable. The word The indicates the unique position of the restored Church among the religions of the world.

The words Church of Jesus Christ declare that it is His Church. In the Book of Mormon, Jesus taught: “And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man [like Mormon] then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel” (3 Nephi 27:8).

Of Latter-day explains that it is the same Church as the Church that Jesus Christ established during His mortal ministry but restored in these latter days. We know there was a falling away, or an apostasy, necessitating the Restoration of His true and complete Church in our time.

Saints means that its members follow Him and strive to do His will, keep His commandments, and prepare once again to live with Him and our Heavenly Father in the future. Saint simply refers to those who seek to make their lives holy by covenanting to follow Christ.

The name the Savior has given to His Church tells us exactly who we are and what we believe. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior and the Redeemer of the world. He atoned for all who would repent of their sins, and He broke the bands of death and provided the resurrection from the dead. We follow Jesus Christ. And as King Benjamin said to his people, so I reaffirm to all of us today: “Ye should remember to retain [His] name written always in your hearts” (Mosiah 5:12).

We are asked to stand as a witness of Him “at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9). This means that we must be willing to let others know whom we follow and to whose Church we belong: the Church of Jesus Christ. We certainly want to do this in the spirit of love and testimony. We want to follow the Savior by simply and clearly, yet humbly, declaring that we are members of His Church. We follow Him by being Latter-day Saints—latter-day disciples.”

poetry · Thinking


Oh, if I could solve the enigma,

If I could meet your mind’s hunger

And fill that need you cling to.


That need that gnaws at your strength

And isolates you from joy,

And makes me sorrow to see you so bereft of hope.


I’ve felt the desire for commemoration

I know the need for anonymity.

There seems no space between.


The struggle is there. That need I have felt.

The moment when the future shapes itself

And you reach for it, fingers straining.


Or when you feel it slipping from your grip,

And your knuckles whiten as you try to keep

That little bit of tangency from fleeing.


We have but to struggle against time.

For destiny and purpose, so like a curse,

Must torment us for eternity.


Oh, if I could patch your shattered dreams

With bits of reality and ideals

Into a tapestry of truth and attainability.


Then we could feel the dust of apathy

And tortuous uncertainty fall from

Our gleaming cities of desired realities.


For you and I have seen the same visions

And have built the same cities

Even though we are apart.


I have see your purpose and your future,

Shining as a solitary star.

You are struggling against the dark oblivion.


Some moment in eternity,

In a universe of possibilities

You will have found it and I will smile.




Photo credit



All these waves that foam and crash

All these dreams that never last

There they are, foundering in the past


They once ascended to lofty heights

They once glistened in the setting sun

Their time is gone, their glory done


But ideas push forward, they won’t be fettered

And the waves regain their raging speed

Dreams; ideas; they rise, the water’s strength is freed


Where does it end? There’s a sea of ideas

And there’s a sea of waves, and there is no tangency

Ever and ever consciousness stirs the still, deep sea





Photo credit


For The Love Of Nature


Some things I love about nature:

When the spring sky is a soft blue and the clouds amble carelessly above the fresh green grasses. Tiny buds line the branches of the trees, some allowing their captive blossoms to burst forth in snowy petals. The world feels fresh and young, and dons its most innocent colors.

Swimming in the ocean on a day when the sun shines gold and silver through the water and the waves are gentle and foamy. The summer sun is masked by a soft, golden haze, spreading a peaceful aura across the beach. I drift from wave to wave, admiring the way the light shines through a splash of water; the dark piles of sea weed drift beneath me, scraping the sandy bottom and stirring it up in murky clouds. On those days I feel I could become a sea creature.

Star-gazing. Even though it gives me a terrific crick in my neck, I love staring up at the night sky. There’s a whole world up there that no one has ever explored. Infinity literally lies above! On a winter night the sky is speckled with frosty lights; it seems as if winter nights host the most stars. The deep, dark dome of a midnight sky extends into the inaccessible forever, yet their is familiarity and a feeling of welcome in it. I am not afraid when I stare up into the sky. It is incomparably vast, and reaches to the beginning of days and the years ahead; yet I do not feel so insignificant. I feel it a privilege to share a part in the life of the stars and to have a purpose in the universe. I marvel at the ability God has to unite matter into life and beauty.

When the wind stirs the trees at twilight. The breeze that whispers through the twilight is a magical one, and the trees nod and bend, bound by the mysterious spell. Every evening in summer I can step outside and feel this magic; the old field of dead grasses and towering sycamores adjacent to our home ripples and rustles in the wind. I feel the summer day sigh into a peaceful night of rest.

A silent autumnal afternoon. No rushing cars can be heard from the highway; the birds have even hushed their twittering, and the wind has stayed its breath. The descending sun burns in auburn splendor through tree leaves and shrubbery. Tiny flies float up from the long, flaxen grasses beneath the trees and appear as myriads of sunbeams when the sun gleams through their wings. It is so quiet I can almost hear the earth below my feet and all around me humming a song. I do not hear music…it is not melodious at all, and I can find no words to describe it. I only know that I sense life- life that surrounds me in the tiny blades of grass and in the azure sky; life that emanates from the hawk circling up above and from the dark grove of trees just before me. Life is in me and around me, and I feel attuned to its song.

Sometimes I could dash off and become a thing of the wild. A summer night is meant to be admired, not slept through. Rain is meant to be ran through, without fear of getting drenched. When the full moon churns the ocean and the tides throw a tantrum, it is meant to have a loyal audience, not a fearful one. I want to watch the sun rise from the top of a high cliff, or hear the roar of a waterfall thundering down a mountain. I want to go to a lonely desert on a very clear night to watch the Milky Way and all its glorious entourage wheel across the horizon.

I have a great love for nature. What do you love about it?