29 August 2014

Wickenburg Sunset

I wandered off with just my camera for a while at the family reunion in hopes of catching a desert sunset. It wasn't looking very interesting for a while, but I waited, and suddenly—a firestorm of red, orange, and yellow light exploded from the horizon. I watched this entire process in a private little corner of the desert and it was incredible.

Wickenburg, Arizona
December 2013

25 August 2014


I'm still sorting through the pictures from my 2012 Europe excursion. Here are a few from Amsterdam.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
July 2012

05 August 2014

Portraits: Holly

These were actually for a work assignment for which I happened to know the model!

23 June 2014

16 June 2014

In which I share my thoughts on Ordain Women:

{These are the thoughts, understandings, and opinions I have come to upon pondering, discussing, and prayerfully considering the Ordain Women movement. Although they are not as well-written or organized or complete as they maybe could be, I finally decided I should share them on this small platform.}

While I appreciate some of the cultural questions and changes that the Ordain Women movement has brought about, I disagree with many of their aims. The movement has indeed brought about what I think is an important discourse addressing the inclusion and leadership capabilities of women. And I think the church has responded appropriately to the cultural questions raised. It is okay—even admirable—to ask hard questions. It is not okay to ask these questions and demand a preconceived answer, especially when it involves changing the doctrine set in place by Heavenly Father. I think it is inappropriate to assume that we—as extremely narrow-minded (relative to eternity) human beings—know what is best. We are a global and eternal organization.

I fundamentally believe that in every situation, you will always find what you are looking for. I choose to look for eternal truths in the gospel and its doctrine, and I have found such truths which confirm my divine worth as a daughter of Heavenly Parents and my divine and important role in Priesthood authority. I look for these truths with the knowledge that my own earthly perspective is limited, and with the knowledge and excitement that someday I will come to know and understand everything. I know that at some point in my existence, I will realize why things are the way they are, and how important that is in my becoming like my Heavenly Parents—specifically, like my Heavenly Mother. I am thrilled that we are beginning to talk about Her more for this reason.

The church is a house of order and this is for our benefit. I believe that through this organization, our Heavenly Parents and Jesus Christ are guiding us on our quest to become like Them and to help our brothers and sisters do the same. Both men and women exercise Priesthood authority in their own way. These responsibilities, although different, are of equal importance.

One of the purposes of this life is to learn how to better ourselves and to be more mindful of eternal things, so that we might be worthy to live with our Heavenly Parents and model our eternal lives after their divine pattern. One of the most important things we can do in this life is to learn how to look outside ourselves: the great commandment is to love one another, both in our hearts and through our actions. (This includes showing compassion and understanding towards those involved in the Ordain Women controversies.) That is the essence of the Priesthood: it can only be used to serve and bless others. It does not elevate the individual who holds the keys; rather, it signifies in what capacity the holder is called to serve.

If everyone had the same Priesthood keys, we would not be as inclined to rely upon each other. We would not need the family unit, or wards or stakes. The family is the fundamental unit of our society, and we believe this structure will continue onward into eternity. We do not aim to be a society of individuals, although the climate of today's world would encourage that. Rather, we aim to be a society of eternal families, within each are individuals who depend upon each other, and contribute to the whole in different but equally important ways. This is the essence of God's Plan of Happiness for us, and this is how we become more perfect, more whole. This model also applies to church organization on larger scales. Only by fulfilling our many and different callings and relying on each other's strengths and responsibilities—with both men and women humbly and faithfully using the power and authority of the Priesthood—can we create and become Zion: saints of one heart and one mind.