Monday, December 30, 2013
“You can do anything you set your mind to!” “Follow your dreams!” “Envision it and it will become reality.” These kinds of statements always make me cringe a bit. So, when the speaker prior to me spoke to the youth with such words, I began squirming in my seat. I believe firmly in envisioning great things, setting righteous goals, and working hard to make my life great; however, there is a huge component missing from the statements above. It is vital to include the Father’s will in the whole picture, or discouragement will take over when life doesn’t match our plans. The room was filled with teen-agers, including my sons. How was I going to share my story of facing cancer and going blind without telling them that the previous speaker was almost correct? I had giant plans for my own life. I had great faith. I even worked hard to have good things happen. But, mortality gets in the way of dreams sometimes. My battle with cancer and subsequent blindness were devastating to me and to my dreams. No matter how much faith we have, we are not completely in control of what happens to us. I taught those kids that we dream big, follow our dreams, and make great plans for our lives. We do these things with the help and direction from the Spirit. Then, when hard things come, because they will, we don’t remain crushed. Because we already have a strong relationship with our Father, we can trust that we are still on the right path for our lives, the path he wants us to travel. For, he will take our dreams and exceed them.
Friday, December 13, 2013
I have always loved studying the attributes and titles of Jesus Christ in the scriptures. I get excited when I find a new title that I can study and ponder. This stems from my mother’s love for the Savior, and that she taught us to search for Christ’s roles and titles. So, when I was told about a new product sold by Deseret Book, I knew exactly what to get my mom for Christmas. It’s always so difficult to find something for her that is meaningful, but not this year. I gave it early, so she could enjoy it before Christmas. Going crazy with curiosity yet? It is a box of twelve silver star Christmas tree ornaments. On each star is one of twelve titles of Christ from the New Testament. It was the perfect gift for my mom! I got some for my own family, too. My youngest son was as intrigued as I pulled each star out of the box. There were several titles that he had not heard before, and I was able to teach him. It was a sweet few moments for me to share with him my love for the Savior and the Savior’s love for him. “What does this mean, Mom?” Benji asked as he stumbled to sound out the word. It was the ornament that had “Mediator” on it. I love this title! Christ is the Mediator, the one who goes between, or bridges the gap between us and the Father. The “Guide to the Scriptures” states, “An intercessor or intermediary. Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and man. His atonement made possible a way for people to repent of their sins and become reconciled to God. • No man cometh unto the Father except by Jesus Christ: John; • There is one mediator between God and men:1 Tim. 2:5; • Christ is the mediator of a better covenant:Heb. 8:6; Heb. 9:15; Heb. 12:24; D&C 107:19; )The Holy Messiah shall make intercession for all the children of men:2 Ne. 2:9” This is a fabulous title to ponder on and learn about. It’s only through Christ, my Mediator, that I can be reconciled to my Father in Heaven. Through his atonement, Jesus is the link that enables my return to my God.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
I recently spoke to one of my cute friends about a miracle that had occurred in her life. I asked her to write it down so I could share it. It’s a good reminder that the timing of things is really in the Lord’s hands. He will work miracles as he’s sees fit for us. Thanks for the reminder Kenzie. “Ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be a nurse, and when I started my freshman year at BYU that desire got even stronger! About three weeks ago, now a sophomore at BYU, I applied to the nursing program. This was my second time applying, and because I wasn’t nervous enough…they decided to only accept 49 students this semester, rather than their usual 64. On the Friday we were supposed to find out, I got the news that I wasn’t accepted. This meant I would either have to switch schools or change my major, and I didn’t like either of those options. I was sad and confused, but I didn’t doubt that the Lord would guide my steps and provide a way for me to accomplish all He had in store for me. But don’t worry; this story has a happy ending! Two days later, I received a call from the Nursing Advisement Center. One girl was going on a mission, and I was next on the alternate’s list! Obviously, I was shaking, crying, and jumping so much that I could barely accept their offer! Looking back, I am so grateful for the way things happened. I am grateful I didn’t get in at first because it gave me the opportunity to show my Heavenly Father that I would trust whatever He had planned. Getting into the nursing program truly turned into a miracle and helped me to see that our Heavenly Father is in our lives every step of the way. He knows exactly what we need and is so anxious to provide the way for miracles to happen. “ You’ll be a fantastic nurse! Trust me. I should know.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Yesterday,, I listened to a talk by Elder David A. Bednar that stirred thought an emotion within me. He taught a truth of the Gospel that is difficult, yet magnificent. Elder Bednar spoke of a couple who faced an enormous struggle with cancer. The husband was diagnosed with bone cancer only three weeks following their marriage. They, of course, desired his healing and his life to be preserved. When Elder Bednar visited them in the hospital, the husband asked for a blessing. Elder Bednar explained, “I then posed questions I had not planned to ask and had never previously considered: “[John,] do you have the faith not to be healed? If it is the will of our Heavenly Father that you are transferred by death in your youth to the spirit world to continue your ministry, do you have the faith to submit to His will and not be healed?” DAVID A. BEDNAR, That We Might “Not … Shrink” (D&C 19:18), CES Devotional for Young Adults • March 3, 2013 • University of Texas Arlington ) Isn’t that a piercing question? We often think of having the faith to be healed, but this is a deeper truth. As we learn to submit to the Lord’s will, we must answer this probing question. Do we have the faith not to be healed? Although I did not think of it in this way, I came to this point during my cancer/surgery journey in 2004. I wasn’t sure what the future held for me. I wasn’t certain I would even survive, but I finally came to submit to the will of the Father. I tried to have the faith to not be healed, even though it broke my heart. Many difficult situations have arisen since that time. I’m still trying to learn this principle. Having the faith not to be healed is so tremendously difficult. It cuts to the very center of my heart and discipleship. I know that problems will confront me in the future as they have in the past, and I hope I can not shrink. I hope I can answer that my faith is strong enough not to be healed.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
“264 clicks!” announced Benjamin. He was so proud and excited. Christopher reported a whopping 1,200 and something clicks over the space of one week! It was amazing! On a Monday night, our family watched a video on YouTube by my friend Hilary Weeks. In it, she explains her experiment with reinforcing positive thoughts, and the difference it made in her life. http://www.billionclicks.org/video1/ The Belcher family clicks: Well, our family most definitely needed a more positive environment in which to live. So, we decided to give it a try. How does it work? So glad that you asked. I obtained a couple of clickers from Hilary. You know those clickers that you can hold that keep a running count each time the button is pushed. Anytime we had a thought that was positive, we clicked the clicker. I meant to touch base every night about how the clicking was going, but, frankly, I didn’t remember when we were all together. I figured that we would have to start our weeks experiment over. However, I was totally surprised when I brought it up the following Monday evening. The miracle: Benji and Christopher had followed through! They hadn’t needed any reminding or coaxing. The clicking was reward enough for them. Amazing! I asked each boy about their experience. Christopher explained that he tried harder to think positively so that he could click. He said it made him happier. Wow! Now, Christopher is 14 and generally a happy boy. But, clicking his positive thoughts had helped him be even happier and able to face those things that were difficult for him at school. Benji agreed with Christopher, and then explained that he just felt better when he clicked. I noticed him a few days later, sitting on the couch, just clicking away. I didn’t stop him or police his clicks to ensure he was playing by the clicking rules. You know, making sure each click really did represent a positive thought. O, no. His clicks were just that- his. Whatever he was thinking about and clicking about was his personal way to be happier. He has been so cute about it Our clicking days have just begun. I’m excited to see the difference this experiment continues to make for our family. Invitation: I wanted to blog about it so clicking could make a difference for you or for those in your circle. You can click alone, with friends at work, with your kids, etc. Plus, what a great way to promote gratitude during this month of Thanksgiving. Or, clickers would make great Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers. ***Go to Hilary’s website: www.billionclicks.org to order the Clicker Kit ($11.95 + shipping. You can use coupon code: KRIS667 until Nov. 30. Free Digital Kit! Enter your clicks at BillionClicks.org, and receive a free digital kit with downloadable quotes, wallpaper and more. Hilary says: “Help us reach a BILLION clicks! We are on a mission to change the world for good...one click at a time. We have almost 3.5 millions clicks and hope to reach a billion! Think of the difference one positive thought makes, then multiply that by a billion and watch the world become a better place.” What are clickers saying? My mom ran across this program and it has changed my life. After a long bout of toxic negative thoughts that plagued my life (funny thing was I did not even know it was happening) my little clicker helped empower me again. I have a strong and firm testimony of what these clickers represent...the power of having a positive outlook on life!" Sam "I used my clicker with my third graders to combat bullying at school. Instead we clicked for kind words and actions on the playground at recess for about a month. My kids loved it! It was great for them to look for the good." Mrs. Houser "Life is short, click on!" Lulu "Making my life happier, one click at a time!" Bethany "Told myself over and over that I would be able to understand the concepts being taught in my Chem. 285 class. After doing that, I was able to do my homework. On my own. For the first time! It makes us physically capable of more!" Kenzie "I just got my clicker today and it was such a great tangible reminder to have happy thoughts!!" Julianne I hope that you have a great experience clicking just like my family did! Kris Belcher Happy clicking!
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
I’ve always been impressed with how the Nephites welcomed and even embraced the Anti-Nephi Lehi’s when they came to them for help. They gave them land to dwell on, and defended these new converts with their armies. Now, I’m sure not every Nephite was thrilled to give up land to those who may have been responsible for the deaths of many Nephite people. I imagine that some of the fathers and/or brothers might have been slain by those who now were living on their land, or, possibly, in their homes. It must have been a difficult adjustment, but the Nephites did it. If they had held onto anger or resentment, they must have prayed that Father would give them power to forgive. I say this because when they are all threatened again by the Lamanites and the Anti-Nephi Lehis are about to break their oath and fight, look what happens. The sons of these covenant men step up to defend their people and the Nephites so their fathers don’t break their promise to God. The Nephites don’t say, “Well, it is about time you all started to pull your own weight around here. You know how many of our people have died just because we’ve had to babysit you?” No, they view their situation much differently. “And now behold, as they never had hitherto been a disadvantage to the Nephites, they became now at this period of time also a great support…” (Alma 53:19). I learn several lessons from both groups of people. First, how amazing that the Nephites were willing to give everything to protect and care for those who were their former enemies. These Nephites took their own covenants seriously. Because they were followers of Christ, they offered all they had to the Lord. As a result, they didn’t view those who needed their help as inconvenient or a problem they wish would go away. They gave all for them. Now, that is real charity. The anti-Nephi Lehis teach me that part of being a covenant keeper is allowing others to serve me. I might think I am troubling those who offer their help, but, when some one needs my help, that’s not how I view them. I serve and must be willing to be served. Of course, allowing some one to bring me dinner or fold my clothes is nothing compared to allowing them to protect my life and the lives of my family like the Anti-Nephi Lehis did, but the concept is the same. When we make a covenant to give all to the Lord, we also covenant to receive the Help other people offer.
Monday, October 14, 2013
I recently spoke in Washington State, and met so many wonderful women at the event. Each person who came to shake my hand seemed to be carrying very heavy burdens. One woman, in particular, has stayed on my mind. She was crying before she could even explain her situation. Her four –month- old daughter has just been diagnosed as being blind. I held her as she shook with tragic sadness. There had been many health complications, and now her baby would never see. She was embarrassed for falling apart, but I explained that she should go ahead and cry. She was worried about her baby, and worried about her future. I knew from experience that part of the sadness comes from a loss of your hopes and dreams. She was feeling loss on so many levels, and sometimes crying is all you can do. “You’ve had a good life. Haven’t you?” she asked in desperation. “Absolutely!” was my answer. Even with all the horrible things that have happened in my life, I have had a great life! Much of the good has come because my mother taught me the doctrines of Jesus Christ. I told her that her daughter, too, would be alright. She would have a fantastic life. I encouraged her to do as my mother had done, teach her sweet girl that Christ was there to help her with each step. I felt her emotionally square her shoulders and pull herself together in a resolve to do this for her daughter. This hurting woman walked away with a little more hope. Of course, all the problems were still there, but it seemed that she felt Christ there as well. I know that all of us face such difficult things. I also know that the atonement is for the pain that each of us carries. There is hope, and life is still worth living.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
I can’t stand him! Every time I read the account of Amalickiah in The Book of Mormon, I get so irritated by him. He causes so many problems, and even thousands of deaths, due to his own pride. Because of his desire for power and authority over the people, he flatters and persuades many of them to follow him and to make him king. Dissenters, who refuse to follow the current system of judges, play right into Amalickiah’s plan. Now, when Moroni, the captain of the Nephite army, sees the people growing wicked and following this nasty man, he rallies them to repent and fight for their liberty. They probably don’t even see their liberty in danger, but Moroni does. Perhaps these verses are familiar to you: “And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole. “And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land—“ (Alma 46:12-13). This has always been the focal point of this story for me, but today, when I read it, something else stood out. He didn’t just proclaim these principles and reasons for fighting, He, “planted the standard of liberty among the Nephites” (v. 36). He “planted” the standard. That is an interesting verb to use. It is intentional, on purpose, an action with anticipation of growth. When I plant a seed, I expect it to grow and produce. I care for it. I remove weeds which threaten its progress. I give it light and water to nourish it so that it has the optimum growing environment. Moroni’s actions were intentional. He had the standard of liberty raised on every tower so it would be seen, and act as a reminder and encouragement for the people to fight against the threat. I’m sure Moroni wanted the standard planted more than just on the towers or on poles in the ground. I’m certain he wanted and prayed for the standards on his torn coat to be planted in the hearts of his people. But, it was up to the individuals and families to take the standard he presented, and plant it in their lives and hearts. It’s only then that they would fight with all their might. I think about these same standards, and other truths I am taught. Are they planted within me? Do I nourish them so they grow? Or, do I neglect them, thinking they are fine? Do I intentionally protect gospel truths so that religious liberty is maintained? Do I plant the standard of liberty in my children’s hearts, in my home? Moroni probably had no idea that thousands of years after his fight against Amalickiah’s tyranny, his actions would affect me; however, his “planting” of his standard has awakened in me a desire to more firmly plant my standards within my own heart.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
In the General Relief Society broadcast last week, Sister Reaves’ description of the Provo Tabernacle stood out to me. She spoke of how it was nearly gutted three years ago by a fire. “Why didn’t God stop this from happening?” she said some might ask. He could have. That is for sure. But, he didn’t. Now, what is left of the structure is being renovated and rebuilt into a temple of God. It will no longer be a pile of ashes inside. It will be a place of beauty, a place where holy covenants are made, and a house of God. This is so fantastic! Isn’t it interesting how we don’t have all the answers, or even part of the vision the Lord has? In our own lives we might wonder why he allows things to happen. Why let suffering occur?? Although Father doesn’t necessarily send all the hard things our way, he can use them for our good and growth. Like the Provo Tabernacle’s change into a holy temple, we too can change. We can become a place of holiness. Even out of our ashes, we can be made beautiful, renovated, and rebuilt. When we experience life’s flames, we can trust that through the power of Christ’s atonement, we will become what and who he knows we can become. Her talk can be found at www.broadcast .lds.org.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
I love that one of the titles of Jesus Christ is “the Light of the World” (John 8:12). As the only light that I have access to, Christ gives me direction, guidance, comfort and peace. Loosing my vision because of cancer has been extremely difficult. It has been nine and a half years since my world went dark, and, although most days I do fine, there are still those that seem very dark and hopeless. It is the Light, my Light that gives me hope to move forward through the emotional and physical darkness. Jesus Christ is the center of my life and the foundation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a member of this church, as a disciple of Christ, I try to constantly turn myself to him. I try to see my struggles as opportunities to seek his help and grace. There have been many moments when I have hurt terribly with physical pain, moments when I have cried for the help of the Savior. I have felt that help come a little at a time when my challenges seemed to difficult to endure. Because of the sacrifice which Jesus willingly offered, he not only paid for my sins, but suffered all the pains and misery that I have experienced so that he could give me his perfect omniscient comfort and very real strength. I think about this when I am hurting. I remember that his love was so great, that he suffered in Gethsemane and on the cross on Calvary. Then, I remember the empty garden tomb, and that Jesus Christ is not a Lord that used to be. Christ is the Lord who is. He was resurrected and overcame death. Because of his resurrection, I will also be resurrected. My body will one day be perfected. I will see perfectly. This knowledge gives me hope and courage to live with purpose. This gift of resurrection will come to every single person who has ever lived on this earth. It is given no matter how righteous we are. Each of us will receive bodies which are perfected, which cannot die again. It is because of Jesus that this is possible. Some people believe that Mormons do not believe in or follow Jesus Christ. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I am a Mormon, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I know that Christ lives. I know that as I follow his light, I will make it through life’s dark days until I am with him again. I invite you to learn more about the Light of the World. Go to: http://mormon.org/faq/belief-in-jesus-christ, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” John 8: 12
Friday, May 24, 2013
I recently received a message from a sweet woman who heard me speak at a Time Out For Women event. After describing some heart problems I was having, I talked about the different conditions we experience while on the path of discipleship. I wanted to share her story. I love how she refers to Christ as a “specialist” who can and did heal her broken heart. “I too have dealt with a heart that likes to race. Sometimes for no reason. Like when I am asleep. Although one morning it started racing after doing a strenuous exercise routine. I am not sure how high it was, but it wouldn't stop. By the time my husband arrived from work and the EMT's got to our house and hooked me up it was 220. And it just kept going and going. They asked me to bear down but that didn't help. So they loaded me into the ambulance and while going to the hospital, they gave me the med that stopped and started my heart. Although, they didn't tell me that that is what they were doing. They just told me that I would feel funny for a minute. And I did. It felt like I was being tipped upside down and all the blood was rushing to my head. Then I was fine. My heart rate started slowing down and soon it was back to it's normal range. Well soon a heart ablation was scheduled and wow. Not an easy thing to go through is it? But my heart no longer races and it has been almost a year and a half since my procedure and I am back to doing my strenuous workouts without any worries of a racing heart. I know that Heavenly Father was with me the whole time healing my "broken heart" Well a few months after that I went through a really rough experience where I was shunned and betrayed by one who I considered to be my best friend. I was devastated and hurt deeply. My heart literally "broke". But thank goodness I knew just where to turn. And I sought my Savior, the One Specialist who could heal my heart and make it stronger than ever. And through time I have gained a New heart that is stronger and better than ever. And I have developed a friendship with the One who will never betray or shun me.” Thank you, Marilee, for offering evidence of the power of Christ to heal.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Thursday, April 25, 2013
I'm not dead, but I did come close. In January, I had a brain surgery to remove an abscess, and had a rough couple of months. But, I'm coming back to life! I recently spoke at Two Time Out For Women events and loved being among such great people again. I went to Idaho Falls and to Alberta Canada. In case you missed these events, here's an article about the Canada Time Out. http://www.westwindweekly.com/news/local-news/1281.html