Thursday, December 31, 2015

How to Use Coconut Oil (Very Handy!)

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving breakfast: Orange rolls with gardein sausage and fruit :D


Thanksgiving lunch: finger foods!


Cherry blueberry pie with coconut cool whip!!!


Full Thanksgiving spread, vegan style!


My full vegan Thanksgiving dinner!! :D


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Cruelty-Free Makeup!


Fun fact, Wet n' Wild makeup is not tested on animals! I have a hard time finding foundation that is pale enough for me lol, so I'm really grateful for this!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mormon View on Law of Attraction

My entire life changed for the better when I picked up a book called "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne. My dad had given it to me as a Christmas present and though I was excited to read it, I left it sitting in my closet for some time, forgetting it was there. Months later, after a lot of stress and soul searching, I suddenly remembered the book, dashed over to retrieve it from my closet, and started reading it immediately. I didn't stop reading for quite some time. At many points I even cried tears of joy as the words touched my heart. 
The book told me several things I really needed to hear at the time which were:
- The Secret is the Law of Attraction, in which bad thoughts attract bad circumstances, but good thoughts attract good circumstances.
- Everything (good or bad) that has happened to me is a result of something I have thought.
- I can manifest anything I desire if I use positive thinking.
- I can make a negative thought into a positive thought by changing both wording and perspective. "I don't want trouble," changes to "I do want peace," which, if using the Secret correctly, changes to "I HAVE peace already."
- Choosing to notice every wonderful and beautiful thing around me is a way to use the Secret every day. 

All of these things DO work and I would suggest reading "The Secret" to anyone who was feeling the way I felt at the time I discovered it. I've learned so much in the four years since I read it and have found an even greater power within all of us that was already there in the first place. It is called faith. For all intents and purposes, faith and the Law of Attraction are really one and the same. defines the word "Faith" as:

1. Confidence or trust in a person or thing.
2. Belief that is not based on proof.

In the Bible dictionary, faith is defined as:

"To hope for things which are not seen, but which are true."

The Law of Attraction teaches that you must focus on what you want daily and always be reminded of it. Picture yourself having it. Make plans as to what it will be like once you've succeeded. After you've done that, just sit back and let the "Universe" do the rest. That is all wonderful, and I agree that visualization is VERY important when it comes to reaching one's dreams. If you can dream it, you truly can achieve it. However, I noticed that there are some definite rules when it comes to this technique:

1. It is not the universe blessing you, it is our Heavenly Father. After all, the universe is just the creation. We receive blessings from the creator. Prayer is by far the most effective way to use the Law of Attraction. 

2. You can't do nothing. It's nice to think that we can just visualize what we want and just wait for it to come. Once in a while, this may be true. However, most of the time, worthwhile things take action. Not hard work, but an effort that comes from the passion inside the person. When you're working toward the thing you love, it really doesn't feel like work anyway! :)

3. Receiving requires giving. You can't expect to receive money if you never gave it. Paying tithing, donating to those less fortunate, giving away old belongings, creating things with others in mind, and doing random acts of kindness are all things that will come back to you 100%. The positive things you put out, you will get back. Period. It works the same way with negativity, so be sure and keep things positive! :) 

4. You must want what you already have. If you are not grateful with the blessings you've already received, it is unwise to expect more. Look for more than one thing to be grateful for every day! :)

5. Don't think it, feel it. If you are trying to bring something positive into your life, your thoughts about it must have a good feeling attached to it. That is why having a fleeting negative thought or two is completely harmless day-to-day and completely natural. However, if a negative thought carries a negative feeling with it, we must shift it back to positive thoughts and feelings so that we keep the spirit with us, guiding us toward our blessings. 

Most of us have read these inspiring scriptures before:

Matthew 7:7-8

"7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."

And Matthew 21:22:

"22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."

There is an amazing quote by Jeffrey R. Holland that sums up this idea in his talk "This, the Greatest of All Dispensations" from a Church Educational System fireside address given on September 12, 2004. He stated:

"God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t believe."

Prayer, faith, and action are the true keys to success in this mortal life. Those who succeed are the ones who DO. If there is a career you want, start doing it for free until you make it. Ask for help and guidance in personal prayer. If you do these things and truly believe you're going to make it, you will!! Heavenly Father may lead us to success in a way we hadn't thought of, but that's just it. There is a way. This is why I feel that the Universe is just a place, not a magic genie that grants us wishes. Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to achieve our dreams because when we do so, we are helping to build his kingdom. Is that not the reason he sent us here with unique talents and abilities to magnify? We each have a quest and the Law of Attraction is how we each can achieve it.

We've all heard of "lucid dreaming" in which a person is able to control and manipulate their dreams into whatever they desire. We can do the same in real life! Not only is lucid dreaming possible; so is lucid living. This is done through truly knowing ourselves, our potential, and what we came into this world to accomplish. Once we've decided that, our pathway becomes lit. With every thought and action we make progress toward becoming our best selves and even bettering others in the process. Success in the Law of Attraction can only be achieved through purity of heart, mind, and deed. In this life we will really only make two choices: the light or the dark. Will we choose those things which are uplifting, joyful, and helpful to others? Or will we choose those things that are driven by greed, lust, and personal gain at the expense of others?
We cannot be perfect, but we must keep striving toward becoming our best possible selves.

Matthew 6:24 states:

"24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

Here the scripture is saying that a person cannot remain true to God's commandments while still harboring thankless greed (in this case, toward money). Many people have the false idea that it is greedy to want money at all. I disagree. Greed of money implies that a person favors money over other people and intends to cheat or take money from of others for personal gain. Earning money, on the other hand, is a blessing and using the Law of Attraction for it is absolutely nothing to be avoided or ashamed of. The scripture really just means that man cannot serve both good and evil at the same time. We cannot serve both the light and the darkness. Physical light and physical darkness are a good thing. The light still casts shadows and the dark reveals the stars. Such is the concept of Yin and Yang. However, when it comes to which we should follow spiritually, there is no gray area; no in-between because we are beings of light ourselves. Therefore, when we choose to focus our thoughts on those things of the light and not upon the dark thoughts of things we don't have, our troubles, etc., our light shines even more brightly. We are then ready and worthy to receive the blessings of the light.

"The Secret" carries a phrase in the book that I found especially helpful: "Ask, believe, receive, These are the steps in which we reach our dreams. I would even go as far as to add "give thanks" after "receive." ;)

After all The Law of Lucidity is about faith, and as it says in James 2:14, 26:

"14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

As the Law of Attraction would teach, thoughts DO become things. As the scriptures teach, actions determine destiny.
You CAN do it! <3

Secret Combinations

As you can see by the rest of this blog, I am what society would most likely view as a peculiar person. I believe in God. I believe in being kind to animals rather than enslaving and eating them. But what most people don't know is there is something much bigger going on in the world than just these issues. For so long much of the world has fallen for the oldest trick in the political book: the "divide and conquer" tactic. We let ourselves judge others as our enemies for being different or making us feel inferior rather than loving them and treating them as our equals. The secret to peace is realizing that WE ARE ALL ONE. This is definitely NOT to imply that there should be one culture, one money system, or anything even close to that. Cultures and diversity make the world a wonderful and exciting place to live. But when it comes to having respect and love for one another, love should know no height, age, hair color, eye color, skin color, heritage, origin, culture, religion, or belief system. Love should be unconditional and universal. 

The importance of love is that it creates peace. However, peace is something that may seem difficult to find in much of the world today. There is a reason for this. Not only are people making the choice to be unloving, judgmental, violent, and ignorant (because we are all accountable for our actions, no matter the circumstance), but we are also being constantly indoctrinated to do so. This is achieved exclusively through the media.

Isn't it odd how "normal" it is for absolutely EVERYONE in the western world to have at least one talking box in their home? The television is constantly giving us commands whether we know it or not. It tells us what to believe, what to eat, what drugs to take, what cars to buy, and even what other shows to watch that will only tell us the exact same things over and over and over again.

I should clarify, the television itself is not evil. It's a mechanical bunch of parts. A tool even. In all honesty, it's even a miracle. When used for education and uplifting purposes, it can be very beneficial. However, watching celebrity gossip, mindless dramas, troubling news shows, constant commercials, sitcoms with canned laughter, and shows with crude/derogatory conversation does absolutely nothing but harm us. When it comes to knowing what's going on in the world, many people are afraid to go without the TV because they're afraid of "missing out" on current events. In reality, the TV screws up real life, even when broadcasting the news, SO much that people gain a biassed opinion before they even know the whole story (or the REAL story) being reported. If one wants to be updated on news, go to reliable sites on the internet. It's what I do all the time and it's kept me from all the drama and depression of televised news.

As I have said before on this blog, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In both the Book of Mormon and Bible it gives references to something called "secret combinations" to beware of during our present day. 

Ether 8: 24-26 states:

"24 Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.

25 For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.

26 Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have ano power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be bpersuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all crighteousness and be saved."

Secret combinations are VERY real and very dangerous. There are very evil groups of people in the world with their own agendas and that simply cannot be denied. By supporting the horrible things MANY public figures do, we are supporting that very evil.

I would like to say also that I love the world we live in. It is full of infinite possibilities. I am so happy to to live freely and be given all the blessings and opportunities a person could ask for. That is why I have chosen to remove myself from the mainstream media, and instead focus on the positivity of life. REAL life. I want to spend time with my friends and family, create things, write books, dance, sing, cook, and make the most of this short mortal existence. As it says in the LDS Articles of Faith, Number 13:

"If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

Remember to always seek after the things that uplift you and strengthen the positive things you believe in, not the things contradictory to what you stand for. <3

I thought it would be appropriate to close these thoughts with an amazing and very telling scene from the movie "They Live." Take it for what it is.

Veganism in Mormonism

"That the children may live long and be beautiful and strong, tea and coffee and tobacco they despise,

drink no liquor and they eat but a very little meat, they are seeking to be great and good and wise.

Hark! Hark! Hark! Tis children's music, children's voices, oh how sweet, when in innocence and love, like the angels up above, they with happy hearts and cheerful faces meet."

-2nd verse of the LDS hymn "In Our Lovely Deseret." Lyrics by Eliza R. Snow.

"In Our Lovely Deseret" has been one of my favorite songs we sang in church ever since I was small, but the second verse often puzzled me. Being in a family and culture who eat meat all the time, usually with every single meal, I wondered why it mentioned the line "they eat but a very little meat," as part of the saints' quest toward righteousness in the song. It wasn't until I was 23 that I began considering what this actually meant and looking over the Word of Wisdom with literal application.

For those who are not familiar with my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we follow what is called the Word of Wisdom, which is a health and living code that sets us in the right clarity and frame of mind to feel the spirit. When our bodies are pure, so can be our soul. The Word of Wisdom comes from verses written by Joseph Smith in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Mormon Health Code Benefits according to medical professionals:

Doctrine and Covenants 89: 10-13 states:

"10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—

11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.

12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;

13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine."

Verses 10-11 are very similar to what God said to Adam and Eve concerning their food in the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 1:29). I often hear people say, "As long as we eat meat 'sparingly' though, it's okay." But if you look at the footnote on "sparingly" in the passage, it shows the word "temperance." The definition of "temperance" is abstinence and/or self restraint. That being said, why should we not SPARE the animals life? Eat the grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds that Heavenly Father has so generously given you, and allow the animals to live their precious lives.

Doctrine and Covenants 49:18-21 states:

"18 And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God;

19 For, behold, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man for food and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance.

20 But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin.

21 And wo be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need."

In the scriptures, the word "meat" is most often used as a word to simply mean "food," so it doesn't always mean flesh. So this scripture is actually saying that those who forbid others to eat certain foods are not ordained of God. So yes, certain foods are bad for us, but we should not take another man's word as commandment, only God's word. If, however, the meaning was referring specifically to eating flesh, it can be interpreted about the same way. If someone says it is a sin to eat meat,  their words are not specifically of God, only themselves. This is because, during the time period that the Doctrine and Covenants was written, we see in the chapter heading that this was a time when the Shakers society was telling people to only eat certain fruits and vegetables, abstain from freshly baked bread, etc. So this scripture was not referring to the lifestyle of vegans/vegetarians. However, Verse 21 is key here, because MANY people skip over it. We are held responsible for any life we take OR any death that we contribute to. If we know it is wrong but do it anyway, such will be held against us.

There are MANY other quotes by past general authorities of the LDS church who have supported upholding kindness and compassion toward ALL animals. Here are just a few:

Just as Brother Cannon asked "Am I or my family hungry?," we should ask ourselves the same question. Do I live in a place where I can go buy any kind of food I want at any time? Am I living in a time of convenience or a time of famine? If you are able to go and get any food you please, you are able to buy and eat any fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds that you please. You can STILL make beautiful and MUCH more healthful meals for your family in doing so too.

"When you are in the service of your fellow beings you are only in the service of your God." (Mosiah 2:17)

I think the reverse applies as well: If you act in the disservice of your fellow beings then you act in the disservice of your God. We have a moral duty of kindness towards ALL beings on this earth.

Here is a video with a lot more quotes from LDS general authorities about abstaining from meat:

If you would like more information on LDS people who have adopted a compassionate, plant-based, vegan lifestyle, please look up Dr. Chris Foster, a faithful Latter-day Saint and doctor who started "Mormons for Animals" at Brigham Young University. Here are some wonderful and uplifting videos by Brother Foster.

"Mormons For Animals" Part 1:

"Mormons For Animals" Part 2:

Also, here is a great lecture given by Dr. Chris Foster to a class of University students on the correlation of Mormonism and Vegetarianism (though Chris is a full vegan, not just vegetarian).

There is a much bigger movement in the church nowadays where more LDS people are returning to the full practice of the Word of Wisdom, including only eating animal products in times of famine/great need. Here is a short film about this movement.

Veganism in Religion

Ever since I went vegetarian and then vegan, I've had many religious people ask me odd questions. Being a religious person myself, I understand the concern of changing your lifestyle and wondering if it is in line with what God would have you do. If you're not a religious person, none of this should really matter to you. But if you're like me, you'll just over-think everything, so I'm here to help anyone who wishes to know more about how religion and veganism DO intersect, specifically when it comes to my religion, the LDS Church (and the Bible/Christianity in general). 

First of all, if you are a different religion than Christian or LDS, I highly suggest referring to Gary Yourofsky's website where he gives amazing examples for every religion on how veganism is acceptable for ALL beliefs. You can check that out here:

Is being vegan a sin?

Absolutely NOT! lol. For one thing, when has it ever been a sin to abstain from something? People try and tell me that God created cows, chickens, and pigs, so it would be a sin not to eat them. Well, God also made grains, so should it be a sin if someone abstains from alcohol made from grain? Or what about people who can't eat gluten? Are they being sinful for abstaining? You see, it's all a very ridiculous assumption. 

Veganism in Christianity:

We can see the Bible's very first reference to veganism right on page one. The Garden of Eden was essentially a vegan paradise, and Adam and Eve were full vegans before the fall.

(Keep in mind, I am using verses from the King James Bible. But you are free to search the same verses in whichever version you prefer. They all express the same teachings.)


Genesis 1:28-30 states:

Adam and Eve lived a harmless existence while in the Garden of Eden. 
"28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29 ¶And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so."

As we can see, the word "meat" is used often in the scriptures to describe food in general, and not just flesh. Also, many people are confused by the word "dominion" in verse 28. Some take it to mean that the animals are ours, so it is alright to enslave, kill, and eat them. However, Adam and Eve had "dominion" over all the animals in the garden and did not use or harm any of them. This tells us that God ordained human beings to be the wise spirits of the earth because we are his children, but that does not lessen God's love for the animals he created as well. 

Also in Genesis, it moves on the the story of Noah. When speaking to Noah in Genesis 9: 2-5, God said:

"2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man."

After the fall of Adam and Eve, people began using animals for food and clothing because at times, there was little to no choice. Overtime, animals have come to fear and dread human beings, just as verse 2 says. The people of old were not condemned for killing and eating the animals to stay alive. But as we can see in verse 5, we are purely responsible for any spirit we kill, human or animal. If we have no dire need to kill an animal, we simply should not do it. 

In both Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17 it states:

"Thou shalt not kill." 

Not anywhere do those verses say this is limited to humans. If there is an animal that feels pain as we do, has a family, thoughts and hopes as we do, it is pleasing to God to let it live. 

Some Christians may think back to the fact that animals were sometimes given as burnt offerings in the days before Jesus Christ's ultimate sacrifice, after which the sacrifices were done away. This was a form of tithing for those who could not survive without using animals for food and clothing, so again, such a thing is not condemned by God. Let us not forget,

Romans 6:23
"23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Death was the ultimate compensation for sin before Christ's ultimate sacrifice. Even Heavenly Father sacrificed his own son so that all of so would have a chance to live an eternal life in paradise with him again.

John 3:16
"16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Now that Christ has provided that sacrifice, thankfully, there is no more need for animal sacrifice.

If we kill animals for no purpose but our own pleasure, or even if we pay people to do it for us, it does not please our Heavenly Father. After all, why would he delight in blood shed at all?

Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego all refused the king's meat and wine. 
One of the greatest examples of meat abstinence in the Bible occurs in the story of Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar wanted select men from Judah to learn the language and literature of Babylon. This would be a 3 year training course to qualify to serve in the King’s Palace. Those chosen were to partake of Babylonian royal food and wine. Daniel refused to drink the wine and eat the MEAT! Along with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they ate only pulses (foods that grow from a seed) and were found to be far healthier than any of the other youth who consumed the wine and MEAT!


There has been much speculation over time that Jesus Christ was even a vegetarian. Some would argue saying that Jesus ate fish, as it says he partook of some cooked fish that was offered to him after being resurrected. Some LDS people who go vegan are disheartened when they think that Jesus Christ, the most perfect and merciful human that ever lived, still ate meat. However, let us consider the time period in which Jesus lived. People had to use animal skins for clothing, supplies, and sandal leather. While they also were able to have a diet high in whole grains, vegetables, etc., weather and nature conditions were not always kind and no one could ever be sure that there would be enough to eat. Fish was eaten as the most common animal food, especially for lower class people. During the miracle of the loaves and fishes, some vegans wonder why Jesus chose fish as the secondary food to feed the people.

For one thing, he didn't kill any fish, as far as the record goes. He simply made them appear along with the bread. As mentioned before, this was a time period where animal products were usually necessary for survival, because obviously, they didn't have the convenience or luxury of things like grocery stores that we have today. The main point of the story, though, is the miracle. Not the foods that were used.

Romans 14:19-21 states:

"19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed arepure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.

21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thingwhereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak."

The animals that we slaughter for food, fabric, or heartless recreation are STILL heavenly creations. They are loved just as much by our Heavenly Father and savior Jesus Christ as we are. Many have the intelligence of small children. We have ALL the food options we could wish for besides animal products. Why then should they be enslaved, tortured, and killed in vain? I truly believe that Heavenly Father loves these innocent spirits and wants us to grant them LIFE. 

1st Corinthians 10:31 states:

"31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

When Christ returns we will finally be at peace will all creatures. The world will be as it was for Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden again. They never killed or ate animals until after the fall. My thought on this wonderful future is "Why wait?" We should always be striving for the perfect state we had in Eden, and that we will have during the second coming. I love animals and never want to see them hurt or killed, so I choose to abstain from all animal products. Just as in Eden, the animals are my friends, not my food. I urge all of you to do the same. <3

Meditation and Prayer

Ever since I took a semester of "World Religions" class at BYU-Idaho several years ago,  I have been fascinated by meditation. I even did a big project on it near the end of that semester. After researching it, I was surprised to discover that I'd been doing forms of meditation my entire life without even knowing it. 

Cat Pose (above), Cow Pose (below.
Example #1: When I was in kindergarten I faced a fairly traumatic event involving bullying that left me very shaken. My family came with me to speak to a children's therapist who taught me some ways of relaxing so that I could de-stress and sleep better during the night. The first method was something called "the cat" where I would, on hands and knees, slowly arch my back upward and downward, breathing deeply. This, I later found, was two common yoga poses called the "cat" and "cow" poses. My therapist also taught me a technique of full-body relaxation where I would lie on the floor and slowly relax one isolated body part at a time until my whole body was completely free of tension. I started with relaxing the muscles in one leg, then the other, one arm, then the other, the torso, the neck, the head, the face, etc. This also is one of the most commonly practiced forms of meditation and let me tell you, it works! 

Example #2: When I was eleven years old I took classes in tae kwon do (I eventually made it to a yellow belt by breaking a board with my foot! LOL) At the end of every class our sensai would have us sit with our legs criss-crossed on the floor and our hands sitting palms-up in our lap, one resting over the other. He asked us to silently think about ways in which we could use what we'd learned to better the world. We did this for about 5 to 10 minutes each time. 

Example #3: There have been countless times when I've put on a beautiful piece of music (soft music or classical) and found somewhere comfortable to sit or lie down and just listen. I remember becoming calm and still, focussing on the way the rise and fall in the sounds awoke different emotions in my heart and guided the pleasant images in my mind. Under my closed eyes I saw colors and felt my heart beating gently in my ears, sometimes even in sync with the beat of the music. When the music was over, I always felt relaxed and refreshed. This is a kind of meditation that I did without anyone even telling me I was meditating, and I did it without any goal in mind except to relax and ponder. 

What can be gained from meditation that is so vital? And does it align with the teachings of the gospel? From my own experience I can say that meditation is definitely a powerful tool in which we can open infinite possibilities of health, peace of mind, and even good fortune. For these reasons I would even go as far as to say our Heavenly Father wants us to meditate as an exclusive branch off of prayer. 

I recently purchased a beautiful children's book called "I AM a Rainbow" by Roseanne D'Erasmo Script. It tells the story of a teacher taking two of her students, a little boy and a little girl, through the seven different "worlds" inside the rainbow and showing them how each color is connected with one of their seven chakras. (For more info on chakras, click here: When the children reach the color violet (which represents the chakra involving spiritual connection) the teacher has this to say:

"This is where you connect with spirit, a higher power or universal good. It is the point of prayer."

They then go on to briefly discuss how prayer works with opening the chakras. I was amazed when I read this! So very true.

I have heard so many General Conference talks and read so many scriptures mentioning the word "meditation" that there wouldn't be room in this post to list them all. However, I will share some of my favorites. 

But first, what does meditation really mean?'s definition states:

Meditation- 1) continued or extended thought; reflection; contemplation. 
                   2) devout religious contemplation or spiritual introspection.

The practice of meditation has been used in every religion and belief system around the world since the beginning of the world itself. 

The Book of Mormon provides several mentions of the words "meditation" or "pondering" including this passage in 
2 Nephi 32:1-5:

 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, I suppose that ye ponder somewhat in your hearts concerning that which ye should do after ye have entered in by the way. But, behold, why do ye ponder these things in your hearts?
 Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?
 Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.
 Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.
 For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.

Not only is meditation a way to relax as much of the modern world believes, it is also a tool to connect more closely with the spirit!

Joseph Smith History 1:44 states:

44 I lay musing on the singularity of the scene, and marveling greatly at what had been told to me by this extraordinary messenger; when, in the midst of my meditation, I suddenly discovered that my room was again beginning to get lighted, and in an instant, as it were, the same heavenly messenger was again by my bedside.

The mind and the heart are connected in meditation. As we see in Joseph's account, when the mind is pondering wonderful things, a path is made for the light to shine through, thereby making the way for us to understand. 

Psalms 49:3 states:

 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.

When we shut out those things in life that distract our mind, we start listening to the pondering of the heart. Only then can the spirit fill us and give us guidance. 

President David O. McKay in a 1967 general conference address emphasized the importance of meditation as an essential feature of worship in the lives of Latter-day Saints. He said:

“I think we pay too little attention to the value of meditation, a principle of devotion. In our worship there are two elements: one is spiritual communion rising from our own meditation; the other instruction from others, particularly from those who have authority to guide and instruct us. Of the two, the more profitable introspectively is meditation.

Meditation is the language of the soul. Meditation is a form of prayer. We can say prayers without having any spiritual response.

Meditation is one of the most secret, most sacred doors through which we pass into the presence of the Lord.” (“Consciousness of God: Supreme Goal of Life,” Improvement Era, June 1967, pp. 80–82.)

So how does one go about meditating? Well to be honest, there technically isn't a wrong way to do it! Still, here are a few techniques I've tried myself that provide wonderful results:
The "Root to Leaves" technique- Sit or lie down in a position where your spine is straightened and you are perfectly comfortable. Breathe in and out slowly until you reach a steady breath. Close your eyes and imagine the twisting roots of a large tree embedded in lush, rich soil. In your mind, move your gaze upward very slowly until you see the base of the tree. Imagine every detail; every chipped piece of bark, every knot, every bit of moss and continue this as you stare further up the trunk. Do this (slowly still) until you are all the way to the tip of the leaf at the highest point of the tree. When you are finished, take a deep breath and you're done! This technique provides clarity of mind and relaxation. 
The "Opened Chakras" technique- Sit or lie down in a position where your spine is straightened and you are perfectly comfortable. Slowly focus on each of the seven body parts in order as you open each one.
1) Root: feel the vibration at the base of your spine and imagine the color red. Breathe deeply in and out, awakening feelings of security and connection with every living thing around you. 
2) Sacral: feel the vibration in your lower abdomen (just under your naval) and imagine the color orange. Breathe deeply, awakening feelings of inspiration and creativity.
3) Solar Plexus: feel the vibration just below your ribcage and around your stomach, imagining the color yellow. Breathe deeply, awakening feelings of bliss and confidence.
4)  Heart: feel the vibration in your chest, lungs, and around your heart while imagining the color green. Breathe deeply, awakening feelings of love, compassion, and peace.
5) Throat: feel the vibration in your throat and imagine the color blue. Breathe deeply, awakening feelings of positive self expression and uplifting communication with others. 
6) Third Eye: feel the vibration in your forehead, just above the center of your eyebrows, and imagine the color indigo. Breathe deeply, awakening feelings of clarity and understanding.
7) Crown: Feel the vibration at the very top (the crown) of your head and imagine the color violet. Breathe deeply, awakening feelings of spiritual connection, revelation, and eternity. 
When this is done, you may either be finished or do the chakras backwards from crown to root. Once finished, arise slowly, take a deep breath and just smile. You are filled with light! This technique provides heightened spirituality, better sleep, clarity of mind, confidence, and increased self-esteem. 

The "Cleared Mind" technique- Sit or lie down in a position where your spine is straightened and you are perfectly comfortable. For a 5-10 minutes, focus on nothing but your breathing and imagine only white light beneath your eyelids. Try to focus on nothing but those two things, noticing the steadying of your breath, the rise and fall of your chest, etc. This technique provides feelings of relief and calmness. 

The "Calming Music" technique- This is the same technique I mentioned above where I simply sit or lie calmly with my eyes closed as listen to classical or calm instrumental music, imagining positive images as the music plays. This technique provides feelings of elation and peace of mind. 

The "Limp Body" technique-  This is the same technique I mentioned above where I lie on the floor on my back, palms facing upward, relaxed. Focus on fully relaxing one isolated body part at a time, starting at the feet until you've worked all the way to the top of the head. This technique provides relief from tension in the body and boosted energy. 

Meditation is always best done before or after prayer, but it is helpful at ANY time! :)

These techniques have all worked for me in different ways and I hope they work for you too! Remember to always focus on those things of the light, not of the darkness, and the spirit will always be within you.