Saturday, December 31, 2011


I tend to abuse the word "favorite," but when it comes to Book of Mormon prophets, I truly do have just one favorite above all others: Jacob, the brother of Nephi.

For as long as I can remember, I tend to turn to his writings for comfort and guidance. The Spirit often uses his words to teach me because Jacob the prophet and I share some ways of thinking. That's a bold comparison, putting myself with a cannonized prophet, but I say this because his personality comes through so strongly in his writings that I can see how it matches my own.

Jacob was also a writer. Nephi commanded him to write—to write of great prophecies and revelations, to write of what he knew, to write of truth—all for a people who only sometimes listened. "Wherefore, we would . . . that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world; wherefore, I, Jacob, take it upon me to fulfill the commandment of my brother Nephi" (Jacob 1:8).

Jacob speaks often of responsibility, at times with a certain resignation. He accepts his calling to invite his people unto repentance, but he seems so sad about it. The cruelty and unfeelingness of his people is directly opposite to the soft heart he bears to them. You can see that he feels personal sadness for those he teaches. He  cannot bear seeing them suffer and hurt each other. In this respect, he is a man after my own heart. He is anxious about people and eager to heal them. He keeps fighting a battle he may be losing with faith that good will always come of it.

I'm grateful to him for his writings, for every letter engraven in a plate of brass in the hopes of bringing someone unto Christ. I respect his courage to keep writing and to remain unshaken.

Before I say adieu, I would highly recommend this article on Jacob, which brings out the story of a man who was also a prophet.

Friday, December 23, 2011

"You can bet your bottom dollar on me" -Indie Rock n' Roll

Last week, my ever lovin' Bethany and Mr. Jimmy G got married. I've been waiting about seven years for this day. In May of 2005, I insisted that Beth begin spending more face time with the boy who drew her ships and circles and thought he could love her. I pulled up my car in front of a maze of towering rose bushes and boldly knocked on his door that fateful day. That's where it all started—at least my part of it. And I always knew this was how it would end. And by end, I mean begin.

Around senior year of high school, we began betting sodas. Not being real gamblers, we never staked more than an IBC on our opinions. I developed this idea though that Beth owed me a soda for saving her love life.

"If they don't get married, I'm giving up on love," I said. That become a sort of mantra to my dark dating life over the following years. I was certain that if things couldn't work out for Beth and Jimmy G, then they didn't work at all.

As we all entered our twenties, I realized my oath was a bit ridiculous. At times, I braced myself for the eventuality that things might not work out. I think I reached a point where I was willing to love for myself independently of what happened to two of my best friends.

Still, when I got the text from Beth saying they were engaged, I cried this mix of joy and relief and bliss that I didn't expect to well up from my soul. I asked for more story and laughed at her texted response, "Keep calm. I will call when I can."

Now that this deal is sealed, I've been thinking about why it was I felt fine staking my faith in love on two kids who started falling in love at fifteen.

Here are some reasons: 1) They talk. I believe they know how to communicate and to work through problems and difficulties. 2) They appreciate the strangest things about each other. 3) Something about the two of them together just feels so beautiful to me. They fit and balance and make all kinds of sense to me.

I can't think of any more reasons. The simplicity of that baffles me into a sort of reverence and awe at what love does.

I made sure to pay the debt Jimmy G said I owed him. "You owe me a soda—for saving your faith in love."

So, I sent them off with some soda. In an act of faith in the future, I also made sure that I caught her bouquet.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's time for one of these things...

I'm feeling the need for some gratitude listing right about now. Why quelch a feeling like that? And why miss an opportunity to say "quelch"? It's at least seventy times seventy more times awesome than saying "quench."

1. My brother played Risk: Factions with me on Sunday. It was a splendid game, and I'm grateful he still agrees to play games with me after our childhoods have ended.

2. I was really hoping and praying for some good deals while shopping. That prayer was indeed answered when I found these awesome boots at Target that will keep me warm and dry and still make me feel good about the way my feet look when I wear them and it doesn't end up snowing. I'm grateful for this insurance against the dark feelings the cold brings.

3. My dad has been reading my blog lately. I'm really grateful for his constant support of everything I do. He has always encouraged me to write, which has been invaluable for making me a happy person. I don't know what I'm do without him. I'm more grateful for him that my heart can hold.

4. My mom made some really great cornbread last night. I'm grateful for her efforts to make dinner for our family, even when it is really difficult to put together a meal in our kitchen and for our family's ever-changing tastes and preferences.

5. I'm grateful for the ability to write, the chance to move thoughts and feelings out through my fingertips. I sometimes wonder, if I couldn't write, would my fingers swell up with everything running through me?

6. I'm grateful for the Christmas holiday. Now, I hate commericalism and things, but I do love having a chance to think about gifts for those I love. Of course, gift giving is a very imperfect means of expressing love, but I enjoy the chance to think through what each person will enjoy the most and how I can create it for them.

7. I'm grateful for phones and text messages and emails that don't cost a fortune. 

8. I'm strangely grateful for the number eight. It reminds me of a memory trick one of my teachers taught me to remember the eighth amendment (it's sort of gruesome, so I'll spare you the mnemonic device) which then reminds me of all the wonderful teachers I've had throughout my schooling.

9. I'm grateful for Super and his general peaceable approach to setbacks.

I could put a number ten, but I don't want to give anyone the false impression that this is the end-all-be-all of lists.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Why finals are worth being apathetic over sometimes

A lovely non-engagement photo
For those of you who haven't been in college in a while—or ever—finals are the tests that you take at the end of every semester. The kicker comes for me that they happen about four days after classes have ended. By then, I have unattached myself from everything to do with school. During school, classes and I already have a love/hate relationship, making finals the—well, the final straw.

To top things off, I've been feeling rather sick lately. This of course means that studying is nigh unto impossible.

Well, nothing's impossible, but my mortal body thinks of studying as a side hobby that should be second to its well being.

I'm beginning to agree. When I crashed on the couch last night, Super was, well, super. He let me lay there and simply feel sick. How divine this feels compared to the thoughts I tell myself: Get up, Katie. You don't have time to be sick.

How wonderful it is to have someone wanting me well and who's willing to let me decide what I need at each moment, even when studying may seem like the obvious answer.

Sometimes it's not. I get this reminder every finals week. I'd even go so far as to call it the real final I take every semester.
"And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order."
-Mosiah 4:27

Photo credit: Elizabeth, our photographer friend.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Blog of One's Own: Beautiful Writing

My friend Juli was forced to keep a blog. Despite all her anger about this, I think she says beautiful things in this post on beautiful writing.

Monday, December 5, 2011

For the people

Many of you will have noticed a sharp drop in my blogging productivity. Well, rest assured. I have a good reason, and I have something to help make it up to you.

Right now, I'm in the full swing of final projects and final exams at school. In good news, they are not eating me alive like they normally do. I will survive the next two weeks in good measure. And I've already got some ideas for posts for next week.

Enough of meta-blogging. Here's something exciting. For my American Humanities class, we were supposed to paraody or make a tribute to one of the artists we studied. Some friends and I decided to make a film parody/tribute to Jackson Pollock. My boyfriend, Super, came in and turned my idea into something beautiful and entertaining. This genius boy of mine filmed and edited the entire thing in one day.

And you can see it here first. Be sure to hit the full screen button.

Pile of Pollock from Jacob Olson on Vimeo.

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