Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Chapter of My Life

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Living-- eh?

What is living? Really living?
I was asked a question by a former Bishop lately that provoked my thoughts. “When are you going to start living Lauran?” I laughed at his remark and said, “Bishop! I am living!” Of course this good man was asking about my dating situations and was prying at my mind of why I’m a single woman here at BYU-Idaho. But I found his question quite interesting.
Whether being a student, teacher; friend, employee or any other walk of life that we find ourselves- are we living? Really living? Do we find ourselves complacent and neutral at times? Like a ship in a whirlpool…full of use, but staying in the same spinning motion. Sure we all have ruts, but what drives a person into the spinning motion? Or could it possibly be that the ship has no idea that it is even spinning until the dizziness happens! That the need for change is rooted deep down within us, and is pressed upon with the prodding’s of the spirit- if we can but listen. That something drastic or silent must be said, done or directed to us in order to provoke change.
Change can come in all forms of direction. But mainly it derives from two choices.
1- Desire
2- Faith
I’ve seen individuals that have a desire to change and become a new and living creature in Christ, but lack the faith of their own divine knowledge of whom they really are. Therefore they become as a seed that was cast among stony ground and eventually wither or are eaten be the viperous birds that prey upon souls. When one has the faith to change hopefully they have the desire as well! But sometimes the case isn’t so. Whereas from past experiences with certain individuals I have found that their faith was strong; but they lacked the desire for change. They were too caught up in the joy of spinning and desired to shoot off into another direction.
Though when faith and desire are pressed together wonderful works can be seen and felt. Enos had a remarkable experience. His soul hungered and he was full of desire and faith that he could change. That his sins could be forgiven and that God would not and could not lie to him. His great desire led to faith- which led to making him whole.
The story doesn’t stop there. In fact this is where Enos begins to live for Jesus Christ. Not only repenting of his own sins and bringing himself unto Christ; but then Enos begins to pray for his brethren, and then his enemies. That desire to faith, leads to:
3- Action.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ isn’t complacent. It’s the rock that will roll forth into all nations and to all people that was seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream long ago. It’s full of people living the Gospel of Christ and bringing life to those that don’t know what ‘real life’ is. That we can be instruments through our desires and faith that leads to follow the Living Son of God in showing those we love how to live. Even if we aren’t dating them!
Life! Life is amazing. That with a douse of water and light things can grow- physically and metaphorically speaking that is! That creatures, creations, and humankind are living. Naturally all life comes from the One that created all. That everything that is alive or that was once living is under the direction of the great and eternal God. He who is the creator of all things, and therefore He will always be very much aware of all the works that His mighty hands have made. Anything that He touches and has touched can live.
So have we been touched? And if we have- are we living?

I sure hope that I am! dah!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


The mind is a wonderful thing. As humans we can comprehend objects, sounds, understand and communicate with other individuals and creatures. We have the power to act and execute the knowledge that we have obtained through previous experiences. Hopefully fulfilling better choices and from learning from past mistakes.

The mind 'remembers' lessons learned, experiences that have been lived; smells, sounds, sites, and emotions. Many times memories are a flooding flash back of choices that have been made and the outcomes that have been accumulated through trial and error.
Remembering is a powerful learning lesson. Repetition is the key to all learning! This is a golden trait- but can it also be a curse? Or does it depend on if we look through life with the lens of eternity?

There are things that MUST be dropped and not remembered, but what if it's not necessarily something that you would like dropped? Then is it a reoccurring theme that just drives the mind mad and causes the heart to sink or race? Reliving certain breath taking moments can be happy, sad, and pleasurable- but must one always be living in the past?
'Look to the future" - one may say, "If you don't know your past you don't know your future!"

But moving on is a difficult thing. Closing a book that you just started to really get into, one that you really wanted to read; and one that you would curiously gaze at when it was placed on a shelf--- WAY out of reach. So do you place the book back on the high shelf and then burn the ladder? Or just continue to stare at the book from afar or... plainly just stay out of the room in which the book lies within. Or do you toss the book out? Knowing that you will always wonder just what you could have done, or how you could read just a little more of the book- fully knowing that seeing the beautiful pages will strike your curiosity even more! What do would you do?

Or do you gaze at the other books that are in the library? Carefully inspecting each one...comparing it to the ultimate book that you are still so curious about? Each book is wonderful in it's own unique way... but you aren't dazzled. Do you still keep searching the library? "Look to the future!" Echoes in the mind. Remembering is good, comparing in the right mind is good- but knowing what happened in the past, we can make the future better. Someday a book will catch the attention! Just keep looking!

The best that can be done is remembering what we did: good and bad, and build off of those experiences. Loving people with our whole hearts, and giving all that we have-when we can.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Being at the Right Place at the Right Time!

While attending the BYU Nauvoo Joseph Smith Academy It was a requirement to visit all of the Church History sites that were available to us. We traveled all over New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and other places visiting Church History sites.
Three years ago on October 6th 2005, I had an incredible experience. But on this particular day we were heading to the banks of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania in Harmony. There is a little cemetery called the McKune Cemetery where Joseph Smith and Emma Smith buried their first child Alvin Smith. It’s a beautiful area with thick woods and breath taking colors in the crisp fall air. The colors of the trees rolled outside the tour bus windows, as I heard our professors inform us that Elder Bednar was going to be at the Susquehanna River filming his new section of the ‘Witnesses of Christ’ video that the church gives out!
Cheers and a sense of anticipation were heard and felt in the bus as we drew closer to the Church Site! Finally we arrived, the bus stopped and 120 students and professors ran to the river. With our Professor ‘Papa’ Paul Thomas Smith leading the way down through the brush, over railroad tracks, and to the banks of the beautiful river; we were going to see a Prophet of the Lord!
I was happy to be with so many people that literally ‘ran’ to see and hear a Prophet of the Lord. What a blessed associations that I have had the opportunity to be with! So many good people that just desire to do the right things and follow the Lord’s servants. I learned a lot from my friends and professors that day; and just what type of humble people that they are. So willing to listen, learn, experience, and act on the good things that the Lord blesses His children with. They are just good people.
I’ll never forget the looks on my fellow students’ faces as we dashed through the trees occasionally holding branches for others as we made it down the trail. Everyone had smiles, laughter was heard and then when we arrived to the bank we were saddened to not see Elder Bednar. Hah ha…so Brother Smith continued with his instruction.
The river was beautiful. The autumn colors gracing the river’s reflections, while we watched a filming crew prepare for the Apostle’s testimony for the world. I felt a pressing on my heart as the Spirit spoke to me and testify the John the Baptist came to the Prophet Joseph and Oliver Cowdery on these very banks. It was fantastic!
Soon enough we turned to see Elder Bednar walking down the banks of the river. He had a big grin on his face. He was excited to see us and we were excited to see him! I noticed something though- the Spirit was strong already when we had arrived on the sacred shores of the Susquehanna; but Elder Bednar had a special feeling that amplified the Spirit. The spirit strives with Elder Bednar, and I can testify of that!
Then something happened that I never believed would. Elder Bednar turned to us and declared that he would like to speak to us for a time then he said, “What would you guys like to know?” We were shocked! We had an apostle of the Lord right in front of us…and we could ask him any question! It was an amazing experience! We asked several questions and pried at his great mind for a time. What a powerful impression that has made on my mind.
Finally after some instruction a girl in our group finally raised her hand and asked, “Elder Bednar, I have prayed for an opportunity to meet and shake hands with an Apostle of the Lord for the past month. I know that you are an answer to my prayer, can I please shake your hand?”
Elder Bednar smiled, and walked over to her and shook her hand. I was blown away! Her simple prayer was answered, by a very mindful Heavenly Father. I later found out that this certain sister had never met an apostle in her life, and was actually feeling selfish for asking Heavenly Father for an, opportunity to meet an Apostle. I learned so much from this experience.
I know and can testify; that if your life right and place yourself on holy ground that opportunities come. Some life changing ones too! That if we really pray, and ask—we WILL receive, especially if we pray in faith. Whether it’s shaking an Apostle’s hand or any other life matters, doors open. We have a very mindful Heavenly Father that loves us! We are so blessed!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Getting Run Over by the Roller Coaster!

One February afternoon I was on a family trip in California; California Adventure Lands to be precise. A bright day with excitement just dousing the smiling people around me; my mother, sister and I were waiting while my little brother waited in a line for the ‘Screamer’ roller coaster. It was an exciting ride with twists, turns and it went upside down at a blazing speed of 60 miles per hour while blasting rock music into your ears. Not only did this ride have all of the newest and most inviting colors and enticements but it was partly over a manmade reservoir within the park! What a thrill! My little brother Travis couldn’t resist! The roller coaster was indeed an amazing ride, but what I found amusing was not the ride itself but the people on the ride. The roller coaster would be newly loaded with fresh people and slowly click around a bend and stop. The people inside would anticipate and wait for the roller coaster boosters to blast the ride into a wild 60 mph in seconds. When this would occur the occupants would then jerk back into their seats while spectators would witness the victims’ hair and face blow backward creating hideous looking people with terror filled looks and a collection of screams and colorful words sounding. This is always the fun part about going to amusement parks! Watching people and seeing their reactions to the events that occur around them. People are so funny!
But on this particularly nice day my lovely Mother, my little sister Cynda, and I while waiting for Travis…were eating the expensive corndogs that we purchased from a happy character in a yellow suit. Standing by the dock and watching people’s faces we noticed in the manmade lake several domesticated ducks. Of course in knowing the nature of a ‘Miller girl’ we immediately began peeling the cornmeal off of out corndogs and throwing it to the cute ducks that were gently quacking in the water. Naturally more and more ducks gather and then the adorable little ducks become hostile; fighting amongst themselves over the coveted corndog pieces. Finally (sheerly out of curiosity) my sweet Mom throws part of the hotdog itself into the water, only to find a Seagull bombarding the ducks to steal the goods. I thought that this was a jolly ole’ time and seeing the seagull steal food right under the ducks beaks was exciting! Until I saw where the seagull landed.Of course…our little corndog stealing friend made himself really comfy on none other than the ‘Screamer’ rollercoaster tracks! DAH! And to make things even better…the rollercoaster was coming around the bend.
While the seagull was on the tracks he was entirely engulfed on choking down the corndog that was in front of him. He was completely unaware of the dangerous rollercoaster that was literally going to run him over. Out of fear and deep concern; my mother, sister and I started to yell and throw things at the bird to try and warn him about the perilous situation that he was in. And Yes—the unthinkable happened; feathers everywhere and a crazy thud at an incredible 60mph. I have often thought of this situation, yes my family and I became the ‘Killer Miller Clan’ while at Disneyland (of all places…goodness). But I have always thought, ‘What was the seagull even thinking?’ Hadn’t he seen the rollercoaster buzz by on the same track every day, all day long, and he still was oblivious to where he was standing. So concentrated on what he lusted and stole for that he was completely unaware of his poor standings. That he would pay no heed to the people trying to help, and warn him.
I feel like I sometimes find myself in those situations. Dah! Why?! Or I find myself blatantly stepping on the tracks knowing that I can see the train coming—but is it really coming that fast? It won’t hit me…It couldn’t. Not me! It’s just interesting how the natural man can and will do as a hungry seagull will do by going after what will satisfy an appetite! No matter the risk. What we have to deal with in the end is the result of the consequences that we have heaped up in a pile...feathers and all!But in reality...if we didn't get hit by the train once in a while...what great lessons would we learn? Would we ever really feel deep pain, sorrow to understand pure joy?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Yes on PROP 8!

Everyone needs to see this clip!!!

I believe that we should all educate ourselves, family and people that we love- especially in California to vote Yes on Proposition 8. This will not only affect California but the entire United States and the world on the 'definition' of Marriage.

I see this as a fierce attack from Satan on the family. The Family is the very core of Our Father in Heavens plan, and is ordained by Him. We must stand strong in our moral values, and not let family and marriage become redefined to satisfy that which the world deems okay.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Thoughts of Late

Weakness is determined by one’s character that finds fault within them… negatively. One can healthily look upon his or her own soul and decipher the devil within, and humbly force the evil connotations out. When an individual is on the high and rocky road to improvement, the Lord will allow the weaknesses of man to be made known unto him. Many times in a painful remedy, which will further mankind’s glorious refinement in a slow process.
The weakness comes to a realization when an individual is willing to discover imperfections to their own character. Many people may soak in the pride of their hearts with their complete ‘so called’ perfection, while in the absolute opposite realm; others struggle while placing every weakness and fear upon their own person. One type is to ‘puffed up’ to notice imperfections, while another has the tragic blinders of self blame. A balance of realism and being kind to one’s own self is imperative, in becoming a stronger person in the Lord.
Weakness is a state where one realizes that all must rely on the Lord. Not only for the relief that we need to encounter in this hateful world, but for the need of a Savior and our ultimate dependency on Him. All that breathe, function, and comprehend are based on the power of the Almighty God; which is funneled through channels of agency to prove what will be done with His unfathomable power.
Weakness is ultimately not knowing and understanding the character of the Lord. Not knowing the Lord leads one to not knowing and understanding the individual’s own innermost soul, capacity, and potential of oneself. Accepting our own weaknesses and imperfections we leave our mind’s door open to criticism, mistakes, and sometimes the Lord’s chastisements. We become and desire to be His. Therefore we can change and become more perfected through the Atonement of Christ. It's hard. But well worth the refining.