Hey there!  I am Tiffany Braithwaite and I had the best time meeting all the women who attended SALT!

My favorite truths that I shared centered around the fact that the ENTIRE plan of happiness is evidence that CHANGE was exactly what our Heavenly Father was certain we could achieve.

The ENTIRE plan of happiness was created with the Lord’s confidence that we could make it back. Your agency is backed with Godly confidence! That’s power!

Elder Oaks reminds us, “He (the Lord) has dedicated his entire life, His entire purpose, to OUR change.”

In the quest for progress and betterment don’t be too hard on yourselves–think of treating yourself as kindly and patiently as you do the faces of your children. Because, in the end, YOU never outgrow being a child of God. So basically– You should go and love yo’self!

I like steps.  Steps help me, well, step.

I hope these steps help you have something concrete to hold on to as you make your way through the difficult process of making and embracing change and progression for yourself.

Steps to Embracing Change

1.    Lord is it I? Identifying your role in the process.
2.    Self-Love: How love conquers fear.
3.    Step, Act, Move: The difference between feeling stuck and the reality of having stopped.
4.    Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.

1. Lord, is it I? Identifying your role in the process.

In the Savior’s final days on the earth, he sat down with his 12 apostles only to deliver the heartbreaking and shocking news that one of his own would betray him.

Matthew 26: 21-22

21 …Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?

What did the apostles do? They immediately looked on themselves.  They were quick to identify their potential role in the situation. They felt sorrow (the complete absence of pride, btw).

Think about the change that we could achieve in our marriages, in our personal development, in our relationships if in response to accusations, heartbreaking circumstances or blunt criticism we could say, “Is it I?”. When we embrace our ROLE in our problems we begin to embrace our power in solving them.

We haven’t betrayed the Lord like Judas did but do we betray him a little when we partake of His sacrament with the promise to renew yet refuse (put off) making eternal progress?

You know, “My diet starts tomorrow”…;)

Do we betray Him a little when we don’t utilize His atonement and embrace true change? Do we betray him a little when we refuse to take accountability for our role in our own lack of progression? Thought provoking, I know.  I think my diet shall start TODAY. 😉

Embracing our role in the process to change creates a starting point for our faith to work miracles in our lives. Remember, the same was true for Peter when we walked on water. His faith preceded the miracle of walking on the water and it was his fear that led to him sinking. By the Lord’s love, Peter walked on the water but it was by Peter’s own POWER.

Your faith has power.

The scriptures promise us that if we had faith the size of the grain of a mustard seed we could move mountains—that’s power. Don’t give away your own power to experience miracles in your life! Embrace your FAITH–it has power to change you.

2. Self-Love: How love conquers fear.

Elder Holland said this, “As children of God, we should not demean or vilify ourselves, as if beating up on ourselves is somehow going to make us the person God wants us to become…Except for Jesus, there have been no flawless performances on this earthly journey we are pursuing, so while in mortality let’s strive for steady improvement without obsessing over what behavioral scientists call “toxic perfectionism”. That is not what the Lord wants for Primary children or anyone else who honestly sings, “I’m trying to be like Jesus.”

Comparison is the thief of JOY, my friends.  Put on your blinders and aim for that steady improvement Elder Holland so prophetically speaks of. Perhaps the greatest antidote for a lack of love for yourself is learning how much the Lord loves you.

Let’s talk woman to woman by way of the scriptures.

Luke 8:43-48 King James Version (KJV)

43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,

44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.

45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

Let me break it down for you.

This woman had spent 12 years TRYING to change her life!  TWLEVE YEARS. I think we can all identify in some way with the type of discouragement she must have felt.  Knowing that all the attempts to solve her problems by way of secular source and medical profession had failed her, she turns to her faith. This story teaches us, don’t ever underestimate the Lords love for us.

He, among the thronging multitude, you know—the thronging multitude full of women with 10,000 followers on Instagram, the girl with the PERFECT house, the girl with the incredible story, the girl with the most breathtaking beauty and charisma, or the girl who holds the most esteemed calling in the church (whatever THAT is?!)…in THAT thronging multitude He knows the intents and desires in our hearts for change, for help, and for healing. We are not lost in the crowd to Him.

The Lord loves you today.  Right now.  With all your issues—issues you may have been working on for the last 12 years. He will capitalize on  blessing us to the highest capacity, in return for even our smallest gestures to know him.

She barely touched the hem of his robe, remember that.

When “virtue had gone out” of Him? That translates to “Power had gone out”—when we reach out in faith, we link ourselves to perfection.  THE LORD IS PERFECT. We can tap into His power.

Faith enables access to power greater than our own!

May we remember the only validation we will ever need is from our Heavenly Father. Remembering also that ‘perfect love (for ourselves) casteth out fear’.

3. Step, Act, Move: The difference between feeling stuck and the reality of having stopped.

My daughter loves to play on the Lovesac.  It sits against the corner of two walls, creating a hole that she loves to climb in.  One day, after admitting I was tired of pulling her out of the hole, I said, “If you climb down there again, you’re going to have to crawl out yourself!”

Of course, she immediately climbed back in. She started to cry, “Help Mom, I’m stuck!”

I said, “You’re only as stuck as you are stubborn!” #momwin

Eventually, and with ease, I might add, she pulled herself up and crawled out of the hole. She wasn’t stuck. She had simply stopped doing what she knew she should be doing to make progress–moving her feet.

So what is the difference then between feeling stuck and having stopped?

I had a Bishop who spoke wisely when he said to us as Young Women:

“You know, 99% of the people I see in my office have landed themselves there because they STOPPED doing something. Every person who is having a problem has neglected one or more of the following: personal prayer, family prayer, couple prayer, daily scripture study, and/or temple attendance.”

We are never stuck. We’ve just stopped!

Remember, that it is by ‘grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” Change requires ACTION. Start moving those feet. 😉

4.    Don’t look back; you’re not going that way.

The Lord asks of us, “Lovest thou me more than these?” Easier said than done, right? Of course it is! Life wasn’t meant to be easy—there would be no growth, no change, no progress if it came easy.

Do you remember Lot’s wife? During the destruction of Soddom and Gomorrah as a result of its wickedness she is commanded to flee her home and ‘not look back’. She does look back. As a result, Lot’s wife is turned into a pillar of salt. Apparently what was wrong with Lot’s wife (according to Elder Holland) was that she wasn’t just looking back; in her heart she wanted to go back.

The past is to learn from but NOT to live in.

Faith is for the future.  Looking back is only good for seeing how far you’ve come. 😉 The message here is this: You’ve read the scriptures; you’ve read the incredible stories of transformation and changed natures. Who are we to say who the Lord can change? Don’t mock his infinite love for you by believing you aren’t worth a mighty change.

Alma was worth it (he persecuted the church). Became a prophet.

Saul was worth it (wanted to destroy the believers of Jesus). Became his beloved Apostle Paul.

Get the picture?

Elder Oaks says it best, “The Lord has devoted His entire life, His entire purpose, to OUR change.” Don’t be discouraged, His love for us rings true like the words in the primary song,

“Jesus is a God of miracles.
Nothing is at all impossible to him.
I know this, of all His miracles the most incredible must be,
the miracle that rescues me”.

You fought for your agency. Your power to change. It must have been worth fighting for. Which means, at one point, you thought YOU must be worth fighting for too.

Embrace that.

Tiffany Braithwaite is living out her biggest goal as a stay-at-home mom to her four small children.  She is married to the love of her life and is living proof that ‘ladies love country boys’. Together they are raising their family in Mona, Utah—where they embrace the family motto, “Small town, big dreams”. She is a Health & Fitness Coach and enjoys sharing her views on keeping your momentum in fitness and motherhood on her social media pages.  Above all, she enjoys uplifting and empowering women to know who they are and live like it matters.  A former Primary President and EFY Counselor, she loves the children and youth of the church (mostly because she is as tall as they are!).  She embraces that life is full of beautiful surprises and that there is significance in the everyday small and simple. With 4 children under six, the most beautiful surprises in her life are quiet moments, eating popcorn alone, and sleeping—anywhere.

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