Friday, March 30, 2012


Dear family, it is that time of year when we have the amazing opportunity to know what is on the mind of the Lord regarding us as a church and more importantly, us as His individual child. To better prepare us to receive that revelation please consider these ideas for General Conference.

* Make a list of questions or concerns you would like help with. Ponder and pray about your list, asking to receive guidance during conference.

* Get a good night's sleep so you can be alert and awake for general conference.

* Attend, watch, or listen to all the sessions of conference; men, include the priesthood session.

* Listen carefully and intently. Be especially ready to receive answers to your questions-whether your answers come from talks, prayers, songs, or promptings from the Spirit.

* Consider writing down what the Spirit teaches you or some specific things we are counseled to do, not just the exact words of the conference speakers.

* Sing the congregational hymns, even if you watch or listen to conference at home.


General Conference unities us with the Lord. General Conference unites us as a family. May we all watch to receive personal revelation and cherish this opportunity. Love you all. Mommy

Monday, March 26, 2012


I will never forget the pure joy and excitement I felt when I found out I was going to be a grandma. I still haven't figured out how you can fall so much in love with a baby that isn't yours....but you can and I did and that all started on the day we went to take Molly's very first picture which came in the form of an ultrasound. I knew the Lord had specifically picked out this little female spirit to come to earth at this time with Derrick and Brittney as her parents. There was no doubt in my mind whatsoever about this!! I knew this little baby would do amazing things just by being born. AND SHE HAS!

Molly is complex for a two year old. When I first saw her "organize" the blankets from one spot to another, I wondered what possessed her to do such a chore. When I watched her empty the dishwasher and take the laundry out of the washer and put it into the dryer, I continued to wonder about her thought processes. She is on task, even in her play. I have often pondered how those traits of determination and order will be manifest in her later years. What great things will she accomplish in her life? I don't doubt that she will!

It is fun for me to think about the person she will grow up to be. But for now, I focus on the person she is today: a little girl who lights up with a sweet smile when she hears her grandpa's voice or see's her grandma smiling back at her on the computer screen. She likes me; I can tell. I think she knows I am her grandma and that makes her happy. I can hardly wait to snuggle up, make cookies, take a walk, or just go to the grocery store with her. Small acts that will bind our relationship as grandma and granddaughter.

Happy Birthday my little Molly. I love you! Grandma Rust.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Turning Weaknesses Into Strengths

In two days I will be released as Overton 2nd Ward Relief Society President. I am being released six weeks shy of serving for three years. I am happy! I have served with all my heart and energies and have no regrets upon being released.

I learned many things about myself in those 34 months that I don't think I would have learned otherwise. I believe that the Lord didn't necessarily call me for what I could offer others although I feel I did teach and serve. I was called to learn about my weaknesses and be given opportunities to turn them into strengths. I share just two of those weaknesses with you at this time.

Compassion is not an innate characteristic for me. I never have considered myself cold and inconsiderate, but I also never felt comfortable looking for the need in others and then responding. I remember at the beginning of my service, being scared to death when Bishop Leavitt called me to go over and offer assistance and comfort to Sister Noreen Bishop as her husband was suffering a stroke and being taken to the hospital. I was horrified. I had no idea what to do. I begged Bishop Leavitt to tell me what I should say and what I should do. It was so scary and foreign for me. Now, it is instinctive to hurry over, with a prayer in my heart and often on my lips, to a family I love and give aid and comfort as I feel directed.

I have learned to rely less on myself and more on the Holy Ghost. I have always felt very capable in all of my callings and confident in how I went about doing them; this calling was different. I learned to be very sensitive to my thoughts, my feelings, and even my dreams. I learned that perhaps my way may not have been wrong, but it also may not have been the right way at that particular time. I will say that I cherish the gift of the Holy Ghost more now than I ever have before. I pray every morning to be worthy that day of having him as my companion.

There are other weaknesses that perhaps I will share at another time. I share those two because I worked so hard to turn them into my strengths. Hopefully I was successful.

I write this that my children may know that I can testify of the joy and growth that comes in accepting and serving in church callings. It is not enough to be a passive member in your ward. The Lord requires your heart and your hands and your mind. So dear children, accept callings that are extended to you. Always seek to magnify them according to direction from the Holy Ghost. Tremendous blessings await you and your family as you are molded and shaped through your service.

Let Your Light So Shine

I was impressed by seven words that Natalie spoke to Jared and I in a recent conversation. "I am so proud of my brothers!" Thank you my sons for being good! Your sisters are watching and find comfort in your righteousness. SHINE FORTH RUST MEN!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

One More Adventure With Judy

A couple of days ago Judy and I took off on our daily walk. It had been some time since we had gone down box wash so that is what we did. It was sunny, quiet and so beautiful. After walking down the wash for some distance, we followed an ATV road that took us on top of the mesa.

 Judy and I have an unspoken rule that whenever possible, we never take the same path back home. With that in mind, we maneuvered ourselves down the other side of the mesa following a mountain goat trail. I always figure if a mountain goat can make it, I can. I need to rethink that thinking in most cases. But it did lead us to another, beautiful, unexplored wash. This wash wound down between steep canyon walls (my very favorite scenery to walk in) which required sliding down huge smooth boulders. We were having not just our daily walk, but a fun adventure.

 We had been gone longer than anticipated so when I saw the trees of Overton in the distance, I was a little relieved knowing we were heading in the right direction. We could hear distant gun shots but that was okay, they were far away and we were aware of the shooting range that was back where we started in box wash. I reasoned that we had crossed over the mesa and were far away from where we began. Just as we rounded a bend and walked out of the canyon into the open we heard close,loud gun shots that were coming right in our direction. Both Judy and I instinctively hit the ground and just stared at each other in fear and probably shock. I looked over to the left and there was a practice target just yards away from where we had been standing. We could see the man behind the gun aiming and firing. He obviously couldn't see us. We started screaming for him to cease fire. When that didn't happen, we figured he was probably wearing ear plugs. Just like in the movies we did the "rambo crawl" back behind our bunker and started to laugh. We laughed and laughed and laughed at the predicament that we had put ourselves in. That wonderful, peaceful, canyon-line wash lead us right behind the firing range.

 I did have my cell with me and was grateful that I actually had service. I called Jared and told him someone was shooting at us. After explaing the situation, he hopped in the truck and headed to the wash while Judy and I stayed behind our bunker listening to the gunfire. Finally I received a call from Jared telling us that it was okay to come out. With our hands high in the air, we walked out into the open to a horrified elderly man who was obviously more shaken than us. Jared had told him that he had two women pinned behind the hill who were just out for their morning walk. Poor man. He just kept apologizing over and over.

I know there is an amazing lesson to be learned with this experience, but I am just going to chalk it up to another fun hike with Judy. It is a great way to start my day.

Monday, March 12, 2012


There is a message on my voice mail that no matter how miserable, sad, lonely, or angry I am, upon hearing it, brings a smile to my face and melts my heart. The message consists of two words: "Hi Mommy" spoken like Donald Duck. I will never, ever erase that message!

Brandon totally manipulates by utilizing the duck voice. He knows it is irresistible and can say things he would never get away with otherwise. But as I think about him growing up, that is exactly how he has always operated. I guess "manipulation" might be a little strong, let's just say he was "charming". When Brandon was little, I would put him and Derrick to bed. Brandon would patiently wait until Derrick was asleep and then would climb out of his bed and crawl up in bed with me and Jared. We called him the weasel because he weaseled into our bed night after night. He was so smart and knew that Derrick would tell on him if he got out of bed, so he waited until the time was right to make his move. I can still see in my minds eye Brandon snuggled under the covers with this cute little smirk on his face.

As I have contemplated my #2 child for the past few weeks, I have been flooded with so many specific memories of his childhood. I am convinced that these experiences have had a major impact on the person he has become. So that is what I have chosen to focus on in my tribute to Brandon...........the unspoken lessons learned through a few of his life experiences that has shaped who he is today.

Brandon learned early on that intelligence meant survival!

Brandon was so animated as a little boy. It was fun to live life through his eyes. He totally idolized his older brother and was bound and determined to keep up with him. Derrick and Brandon were such good friends. When Derrick was in first grade, his teacher Mrs. Schweppe, sent him home with homework every night. While Derrick was writing his spelling words each night, Brandon would do the same thing. The next day at school, Derrick would turn in both his and Brandon's homework. Mrs. Schweppe would grade it and send it back for Brandon to review. Derrick was a task master at making sure Brandon was doing it every night and doing it right.

One of my favorite memories of Brandon was seeing him sitting on top of our dining room table with his legs crossed (usually in his Power-Ranger Underoo's) playing Monopoly with Derrick. He was only four when he and Derrick started doing this and Derrick totally expected Brandon to keep up with him and play the game right. And he did! He learned very fast that Derrick had little patience and if he was going to have a buddy, he was going to have to learn to read and play the game the way it should be played.

Brandon learned to be self-assured and find joy in his journey.

Another memory that stands out to me is Brandon's voice. It is the type of voice that just carries and can be easily heard miles around. In fact, every one of his elementary teachers would make it a point to ask me early on in the school year if I had had his hearing checked. I had.......and his hearing was just fine. He just had a booming voice for a little guy.

I loved hearing that voice sing. When he was in 3rd grade he was asked to sing a solo for an assembly to honor Martin Luther King. It was such a sweet tender voice.......still loud, but so endearing. He also sang a solo in the Children's Primary Sacrament Mtg. when he was in 4th grade. He volunteered for that one, singing " I Wonder When He Comes Again." I love that Brandon was fearless and confident in himself.

I remember when he was a scout and his troop went on a biking adventure to Brianhead, Utah. Most of the boys had fancy, new mountain bikes; Brandon's bike was less than desirable and it seemed like the chain kept breaking causing him to repeatedly crash. He came home a mess. His scout leader call me on the phone to tell me that he had never seen a boy who was so determined to make the best of what had to be a miserable experience. He said how Brandon would crash going down the steep inclines, wipe off the blood, fix the chain and then hop back on his bike trying to catch up with the rest of the boys. I am sure that trip taught Brandon a lot about himself, but it also taught me a lot about him. He was not proud in the least. He did not feel sorry for himself or make himself out to be a victim. Brandon was determined, self-assured, humble and I knew that he would accomplish hard things in his lifetime. He does not take the easy way out....ever. He presses on doing his best and finding joy in his journey.

Brandon learned to find a way to be successful no matter what!

Brandon is a very determined individual. He doesn't take no for an answer! I love that attribute in him. He is an achiever who will make things right regardless of how long it takes or hard it is. When he was 16 years old we made a move to Lake Tahoe, Calif. One winter day, he received word that his friend Nicole May had passed away. He was devastated at the hearing of her death. Here he was, ten hours away from all his friends who were all in Moapa Valley mourning together. He expressed to Jared and I how desperately he wanted and needed to go to her funeral. We just did not see a possible way for that to happen. But Brandon did! I will never forget waking up the next morning and Brandon announcing that he was going to drive back to Overton that day so he could attend Nicole's funeral. I told him the car would never make it.....he responded by telling me that he would stop at dad's work and ask dad to give the car a priesthood blessing. He told me that he had been up all night figuring out the best route to go according to the weather. I could tell that I was not going to deter him, and I didn't want to. He was suffering a huge loss and needed to be with others who felt the way he did. I wanted him to go. So,we sent 14 year-old Daniel with him; they stopped and got a blessing on the car and off they went. A few years later, the mother of Nicole related to me how touching it was to have Brandon come through the viewing line stating that he was there to represent all of the Rust family. I was so proud of him and grateful that he had represented us in such an honorable way.

Brandon has a mind and heart fixed upon the teachings of the gospel.

Brandon has a very sound mind and weighs his words and responses carefully. He thinks things through and never is hasty in important matters. His words and opinions carry a lot of weight with me. I totally respect Brandon's counsel. He does not "flatter" or lead astray. He understands the doctrines of the gospel and is a master teacher. I love that the gospel has found place in his heart and now really defines who he is. I love how I can go to his Facebook and under favorite books, he has listed: Jesus the Christ, The Book of Mormon, Alma 32. This is not for show...............he does nothing for show. It is because he reads and studies and believes the principles and teachings.

I believe that Brandon's greatest achievements will come when he is a dad. He has developed traits of patience, sensitivity and compassion. He is gentle and kind. I loved seeing him with Molly. He was never flustered at her crying. He didn't pass her off for someone else to hold. He patiently won her over and loved every minute of it. He is tender with tender hearts, whether they be babies, children or the underdog. He has always been that way. He patiently teaches rather then tells. He takes into account the feelings of others being careful not to offend or embarrass.

My heart is full today as I honor this amazing man. I love you son. I am proud of who you were as a little boy and who you have become today. I am overcome with gratitude that the Lord entrusted me with one of his most valiant spirits. How I love you, MOMMY

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I've Got The Music In Me

* (Creative Autobiography Submission for my BYU class.)

The year was 1959. A handsome, young man drops a coin into the jukebox while his petite wife reminds him to play their song. Soon the familiar music of “‘Til” by The Angels, floats through the malt shop. Although I have never heard my parent’s “song”, I claim it as a mark to a significant event in my life, that event being my birth.

As a preschooler, living in Colonia Juarez, Mexico, I grew to love Mexican music. Every Saturday night my mom would open our windows so that the mariachi band playing across the street could serenade us to sleep. I loved listening to the strumming of their guitars, they way they rolled the “r’s”, and the mellow sounds of the male voices singing words I did not understand. It was mariachi music by night, but during the daytime, it was all about the calypso beat. My mom would put on her favorite Harry Belafonte album and I would sing “Yellow Bird” in my best Jamaican four year-old voice. Hence, I have a soft spot in my heart for salsa and reggae music to this day.

After moving to Las Vegas, my parents purchased a fancy stereo. It was a huge, intimidating piece of wood furniture but I cherished the sounds that came out of it. Porgy & Bess, West Side Story, Sound of Music were some of my mother’s favorite Reader’s Digest Broadway Hits albums that she would play and I would sing along to. Funny Girl, by Barbra Streisand became my favorite and I would spend hours belting out the songs, trying to imitate that famous voice.

As adolescence set it, I spent more time in my room with my little, blue record player. When sad or moody, I would play Bobby Vinton’s, “Mr. Lonely”, over and over, as if it was validating my every sorrow. Upon becoming a teenager, I opted for the sophisticated songs on Carole King’s hit album Tapestry. I would grab anything that resembled a microphone and sing every lyric perfectly.

With a drivers license in hand, I traded my little blue record player for an 8-track tape deck in my little blue Volkswagen bug. Wheels made me more adventuresome in both life and music and I became obsessed with Peter Frampton. In fact he was the first performer I went to see in concert. That concert was an eye-opener for this innocent girl. After seeing, hearing, and smelling things that I shouldn’t have, I decided that rock and roll concerts were not conducive to my lifestyle. However, I did wear out my “Frampton Comes Alive” 8-track tape upon high school graduation!

Just as luck (or fate) would have it, I began dating someone even more musically inclined than myself. He won me over instantly as he would serenade to me “Reasons” by Earth, Wind & Fire. He could totally hit the high notes and imitate the sounds of the saxophone so perfectly. I was impressed, but more importantly, I was in love. During our years at BYU we courted to the romantic songs of Dionne Warwick and were married on June 5, 1981. As we started our life together, Jared literally “fill[ed] my hands with kisses and a tootsie roll” (a line for a song by Art Garfunkel titled “Disney Girls” that he often sang to me).

The next sixteen years were filled with the births of our eight children and lots of music. I fondly remember Jared taking our first baby in his arms when he was just a few days old. He gently rocked him back and forth while softly singing the song “Faithfully” by Journey. I adored being a spectator of something so gentle yet so powerful. Derrick would stop crying and fall back asleep, and I would fall deeper in love.

I am now a grandmother. I have long abandoned the radio; CD’s are rarely played and I couldn’t begin to tell you even one of the top ten hits of last year. I can tell you however, that music probably influences me more now than it ever has before in my live. A few years ago, I received a calling as our ward choir director. My knowledge of music theory was extremely limited and I doubted my ability to lead a choir. In response to my overwhelming fear, I turned to the hymns of the church for help and relief. I received both. As I studied the doctrines that are reinforced in the verses of the hymns and allowed for those teachings to permeate my soul, I was given strength and courage to lead our choir. Just as the Spirit taught me through the doctrines of the hymns, the Spirit also taught me as to how the hymns should be sung. Our choir didn’t do anything fancy, but we always sang under the direction of the Spirit.

The hymns have found place in my home, as well as in my heart. When trials and sorrows come into my life, my mantra becomes “I Need Thee Every Hour”. When all of our family gathers together, we sing four-part harmony to “Nearer My God To Thee”. I find myself subconsciously singing the hymns during the week. How I love and need their influence.

I have informed my children of the music I would like at the services of my funeral. Because of the beautiful, comforting plea in “Abide With Me; ‘Tis Even Tide”, I would like that hymn to be sung first, offering peace to those who come mourning. I would ask that all of my children and grandchildren stand together and sing four-part harmony to “Nearer My God To Thee” as to honor the legacy of our family. Lastly, I would hope that as the congregation sings “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”, all in attendance will know and feel of my testimony and love for my Savior.

Every now and then I hear a familiar song of yesteryear and sweet memories of cherished experiences and tender relationships flood my mind. It is appropriate to say, “I’ve got the music in me”!

My Learning Development Plan

* Another BYU assignment.....let's you know a little more about me.

List the significant learning style strengths you identify in yourself. (Use the descriptions provided in the description about your learning style preference along with your personal observations.)
a. I enjoy the opportunity to be a leader in group projects and activities.
b. Making quick decisions and plans to carry them out is one of my strengths.
c. I don't look for the easy solutions and enjoy taking risks in organizing and implementing plans.

List the significant learning style weaknesses you identify in yourself. (Use the descriptions provided in the description about your learning style preference along with your personal observations.)
a. I often make quick decisions without regard to logistics and unforeseen problems.
b. I tend to focus mainly on my course of action rather than to listen to what others want to do.
c. I often need to redo as a result of not thinking things through.

1.Describe the relationships you will develop with people who have learning styles that contrast with yours.(Include what you will ask from the people or expect to get from the association.)
a. I will listen more intently to what my husband (a classic converger) shares about his job as a construction supervisor who uses models and logic to solve complex problems on a daily basis. I will ask him to show me how he did what he did at work and not just tell me what he did at work.
b. I will ask my institute teacher to show me how to make well thought out lesson plans. I will be mindful of his process of determining what is the best, most efficient use of both lesson and personal preparation time. I will also pay attention to his teaching techniques in involving the entire class and utilizing their input.
c. I will ask my employer to assist me in using more techniques of an assimilator learner. He is an orthodontist who gathers data on a daily basis to make decisions regarding the treatment of his patients. I will ask him to allow me to observe the problem solving and research aspects of his work.

2.Adjustments you will make to improve the match between your learning style and your life experiences. (Include changes you will make to your school, career, and family environment.)
a. I will seek out and listen to the opinions of the sisters that I work with in my Relief Society presidency. Before making a decision I will take time to think it through and be more receptive to their advice and counsel.
b. As I interact with my family I will be mindful of how they learn and I will choose to learn from them. I will do this by asking more questions, listening more intently, and paying closer attention to details.
c. At the end of the day I will evaluate as to what I did to seek out new opportunities, act on hunches and promptings, and how I was a positive influence on others.

3.Explain how you will become a more flexible learner. (Include how you will develop your abilities in learning style areas which are in contrast to your learning style preference.)
a. I will devote more thinking time to problems that arise. I will be careful to not hastily make decisions to solve problems until I have thought of all the consequences to my decisions
b. As hard as this will be I will relinquish some of my self-assigned duties as RS president to my counselors, allowing for me to be open to other alternatives plans and decisions.
c. I will take courses strengthening my abilities to make models and apply logic. I will learn to appreciate and apply these learning methods until I can count them as my strengths.
d. I will continue to strengthen basic study skills learned in lesson 4 until I become proficient at using them on a daily basis. I will strengthen my ability to better comprehend what I am reading.


1.Describe three personal and academic skills you have developed and will find easy to apply to your distance learning situation.
a. As a busy mother and wife, I have learned the skill of time management. Every day I prioritize my time so that I am productive and can accomplish what is needful.
b. I find it easy to apply situations and examples to my own life. I do this to have a greater understanding of how things operate and what meaning they can have for me personally.
c. I love personal reflection on almost everything I come in contact with. Whether it be listening to a talk, lesson, problem, or witnessing something from an outsider's point of view, I usually reflect on what impact it has on me personally.

2.Describe three personal skills you may need to develop to improve your distance learning.
a. I need to develop the skill of problem solving. As previously mention, I am a hasty decision maker and often I miss the mark of properly solving a problem in an efficient and effective manner. I find I waste time and have to go back to the beginning so to speak.
b. Deductive reasoning has never been my strong suit. In lesson 2, I was very pleased to learn deductive reasoning skills to better answer multiple choice and true /false test questions. It helped me immensely. I am excited to see how this skill can be widely applied to all of my distance learning adventures.
c. I will definitely continue to develop the skill of paying attention to detail. I can see how this skill can benefit learning. I tend to tune out last minute instructions when often important details are given. I also fail to observe what is going on around me and vital learning opportunities.

3.Describe three to five instructional methods you have already developed and how they will be to your advantage in distance learning.

a. I love to organize my papers. I tend to use outlines for lessons I teach, talks I prepare, and reports that I write. I feel that this type of organization will lend itself to be advantageous in distance learning simply because it keeps me organized and the computer can do so much of it for me.
b. I feel I have developed the skill of being proficient in writing individual reports. As previously mentioned, I use an outline system to keep my thoughts organized and this allows me to clearly portray my attitudes and beliefs in the things I write. My reports will enable my instructors to more appropriately evaluate my learning process.
c. Long distance learning affords us as students the opportunity and need to plan for meticulous assignments. I look forward to turning in my best work and feel I have developed that instructional method to some degree. As I wisely make use of my time, develop necessary computer skills, and strive for excellence in completing meticulous assignments, I will continue to develop this method.
d. I find memorizing details to be tedious, hard work. I often blame my age as a reason for the difficulty. To prepare me for my entrance back into a university learning mode, I have recently memorized The Living Christ. It has taken much effort and time, but proved to be a great accomplishment for me. I look forward to improving this method of instruction during my distance learning schooling.

4.Describe three to five instructional methods you will work to improve as you take distance learning courses.
a. The instructional method that I will need to develop and practice the most will definitely be “drawing conclusions from reading”. I realize the need for me to be more focused in what I am reading. I have found my attention wanders and I use valuable time in rereading what I just read.
b. I will work on taking laboratory tests simply because I have very limited experience with this. I am grateful for the test-taking skills I have learned through this course and I am anxious to practice those techniques.
c. Using the computer to simulate class room instruction is a method that I need to develop and hone. I find navigating the computer intimidating and often use it as an excuse to put off what needs to be done. With that said, I am anxious to over-come that fear.
d. I will overcome my fears to become a student of theories and research. Those methods of learning are very foreign to me and quite frankly, scary! But I do believe that are needed so that I can be a better, more flexible learner. I will work on developing those particular instructional methods.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Successful Intellectual Development In College

*(assignment for BYU Independent Study Course)

I have come to realize that success is most likely achieved when there has been an investment. It has been said: “For anything worth having one must pay the price …” (John Burroughs; I believe that the pursuit of developing my intellect while attending college is worth having and worth paying a price. Overcoming negative characteristics and applying positive values will lead me to success with this endeavor.

Overcoming Discouragement and Fear
Experience reminds me that even though I have a plan, it will not always be smooth sailing. I recognize in myself one huge factor that often causes a road block in my pursuits. That road block is discouragement. This negative nuisance bears its ugly head in many ways. Poor diet, lack of exercise and inadequate sleep seem to be a breeding ground for discouragement. The stress of a demanding church calling, needs of a ten-member family, and lack of computer skills, have also proved to be contributors’ to this detrimental state of mind. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf expounds on the dangers of discouragement:

“Occasionally discouragement may sneak into our day; frustration may invite itself into our thinking; doubt might enter about the value of our work. In these moments Satan whispers in our ears that we will never be able to succeed, that the price isn’t worth the effort, and that our small part will never make a difference.”
(Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “See the End from the Beginning”, April 2006).

Discouragement cannot be taken lightly. It stops progression and sabotages self-esteem. When beginning this course, I was frustrated because of my lack of understanding computer technology. Discouragement set in. As discouragement sowed seeds of doubt I became immobilized, fearful of the computer and fearful of failing. I convinced myself that I could never succeed in BYU Independent Study. Fear replaced function and wrecked havoc on my self-esteem.

As trite as it sounds, it is important to face our fears. I think of my cancer-ridden friend, my unemployed husband, my widowed neighbor; they are all examples of people who have faced their worst fears and have overcome discouragement. My fear is certainly not on the level that they experience, but it still is my fear and it still needs to be faced so I can be successful in my goal of developing my intellect.

Facing fears requires a conscience choice to act rather than to be acted upon (2Ne.2:26). I frequently teach my children the importance of this principle as a child often insists that a sibling “made” them get angry. This principle can be applied to facing our fears. Our fears cannot “make” us act or behave in a certain way. “We are free to choose liberty…or to choose captivity” (2 Ne.2:27). As we exercise our agency in positive, productive ways, “we choose liberty” and overcome our fears.

I put those teachings into practice and tackled my fear of computer technology. I acted and made the choice to enlist the help of my daughter. As I began to feel comfortable with my new understanding and knowledge, I went back to the computer determined to apply what I had learned. Although I experienced set-backs, I found confidence in conquering the smallest of feats which eventually led to bigger successes. My progress in learning basic computer tasks is minimal, but it is no longer a fear; it is a welcomed challenge.

Applying Spirituality and Commitment

President Brigham Young boldly stated:“Brother Maeser, I want you to remember that you ought not to teach even the alphabet or the multiplication tables without the Spirit of God.” (Brigham Young, in Reinhard Maeser, Karl G. Maeser: Biography (Provo: Brigham Young University, 1928, p.79). If Brother Maeser was not to teach anything without the Spirit of God, perhaps we should not learn anything without the Spirit of God. Spirituality must be a prerequisite to secular learning if we expect the degree of success we hope to obtain in our intellectual development. Pres. Henry B. Eyring clearly recognizes the positive influence of spirituality and its relationship to secular learning.

“It is clear that putting spiritual learning first does not relieve us from learning secular things. On the contrary, it gives our secular learning purpose and motivates us to work harder at it. If we will keep spiritual learning in its proper place, we will have to make some hard choices of how we use our time. We generally know when papers will be due, when tests must be taken, when projects must be completed. And we know when the Sabbath will come. We know when the institute class will be held. We know when the prayers at the beginning of a day and those at the end should come. We know about how long it takes in reading the scriptures before we begin to feel the Holy Spirit. We know about how many hours it takes to prepare and to perform our service in the Church. “When we see life as it really is, we plan for a time and a place for all of those things. There will come crisis when there does not seem to be enough time. There will be many instances when one thing crowds out another. But there should never be a conscious choice to let the spiritual become secondary in our lives. Never. That will lead to tragedy. The tragedy may not be obvious at first, nor may it ever be clear in mortal life. But remember, you are interested in education not for life, but for eternal life. When you see that reality clearly with spiritual sight, you will put spiritual learning first and yet not slight the secular learning. In fact, you will work harder at your secular learning than you would without that spiritual vision” (Real-Life Education, New Era, Apr.2009, pp. 2- 8).

My spiritual vision is based on the principles of personal prayers and scripture study. Prayer has become the vehicle to calm my nerves and to give me courage to open my books and turn on the computer. Scripture study has become the vehicle to prepare my mind to receive truth through the workings of the Holy Ghost. Spiritual learning creates the perfect atmosphere for effective secular learning to take place.

Just as applying a spiritual vision is essential for developing our intellect in a college setting, so is the need to just get to work and make things happen. I well remember the fervor of the 1980’s Nike company campaign, “Just Do It”. This catchy phrase seemed to resonate with the consumer so much that the sales soared and pushed this company ahead of its competition. (Mini-case Study:Nike’s “Just Do It” Advertising Campaign; “Just Do It” capitalized on an individual’s desire to be committed no matter what, in this instance, to sports, exercise, and anything else that required a sneaker. When we utilize a “Just Do It” mentality we become an individual who is committed in achieving their goals whatever they may be.

The level of success in our intellectual development is based on the level of our commitment. “The intellectual range of a BYU education is the result of an ambitious commitment to pursue truth” (Aims of BYU Education). Our commitment must be ambitious in order to keep us on track. Because distractions are a constant in life, our commitment will always be challenged. There will always be time constraints, pressing matters, physical ailments, or a myriad of other necessities that require our attention. We must appropriately address these distractions but they need not weaken our commitment to our goal. We reassess, reorganize, return and proceed in our pursuit. Commitment requires action and hard work. Thomas Edison once said: “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Accordingly a genius is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework.” If what Thomas Edison said is true, I have a shot at being a genius in my quest to succeed in my college academics.

Overcoming discouragement and fear, while applying spiritual vision and commitment, is a reliable plan in achieving success with any goal. As I apply these concepts to learning at a college level, I see learning as means to greater things. I envision this pursuit not just affecting my intellectual development, but also having great influence on my spiritual, emotional and even physical well-being. Upon reading the Aims of BYU Education, I am enlightened, encouraged, and enlisted; ready to embark upon this adventure and succeed in many aspects of my life.

“Such an education prepares students who can make a difference in the world, who can draw on their academic preparation to participate more effectively in the arenas of daily life. They are parents, Church leaders, citizens, and compassionate human beings who are able to improve the moral, social, and ecological environment in which they and their families live.”
“BYU graduates thus draw on an educated intellect to enhance not only what they know but also what they do and, ultimately, what they are”
(Aims of BYU Education).

Learning is a privilege. It is earned through sacrifice and hard work. It is an investment that is demanding, but always worth it. The process I will follow to gain success in intellectual development will hopefully result in receiving a degree, but it will not be the end. True success in this endeavor takes place when the learning is the means to becoming more.

Observations About the Author

Purpose The purpose for my paper is to convince the reader to take a deeper look
at the price they must pay in order to succeed with their college pursuits; the
degree not being the end, but rather the means of greater things to come. I hope
that the reader is convinced of the fact that their investment needs to be one of overcoming negative characteristics and applying positive values as a means to
help achieve success in intellectual development.

(made by the author about you)
The author assumes that the reader values the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as being sound in their assessments. The author also assumes that the reader understands that personal applicationof gospel principles as evidence of their effectiveness.

Evaluation of the Message

Delivery (Discuss how clear and persuasive the presentation was.)
The presentation was clearly laid out in the first paragraph as to what the author hoped to convey to the readers. Headings are instrumental in the organization of the paper and to keep the reader focused.

Evidence (Analyze the significance and truthfulness of the validations.)
Quotes, Scripture references, and personal experiences all lend to the validity of the author’s claim: “Overcoming negative characteristics and applying positive values leads you to success in pursuit of intellectual development in college academics.”

Conclusions and Inferences (Explain the rationale behind the reason.)
The author infers that introspection is a necessary step in success with education. The author also infers that action supersedes intellect even when pursuing intellectual development. The author wants the reader to acknowledge that there are other factors that must be first addressed if the endeavor is going to be not just degree obtaining, but more importantly, life changing.

Meaning (Relate the message to you or the community.)
The principles taught in this paper can literally apply to any one in any situation. Because we are human beings, subject to short-comings and weaknesses, we should all seek ways to constantly overcome those traits that keep us from reaching our goals. We should constantly be striving to incorporate positive values that help us reach our goals.

Questions Remaining (Identify key issues or points of view not presented.)
Because of the power of change, we are capable of progressing to heights that need not be limited. As we apply positive values to our lives, these values are instrumental in helping us not only conquer our negative characteristics, but successful in spiritual and secular learning as well. Changing who we are, leads us to become individuals who are capable of changing our world.