a blessing from institute.

{forewarning: this post is kind of long. but there are pictures. so if you don't feel like reading, just look at the pictures!}

hey ya'll.

so here's the thing:
i am taking three institute classes this semester. i don't say this as an "IN YOUR FACE," "i'm more spiritual than you" type of way. i'm saying it in an "i would like to graduate from byu-i next semester and if i don't take three, then i definitely can't do that" type of way.

in order for me to get credit for these classes, i have get to do a project. this project started out as a small thing. (let's be real. it's still small. i've only shared this with like 5 of my friends-- and they're all missionaries, oh and i asked my sister's permission to use one of the photos {it's polite to ask to use pictures of other people, even if you took them yourself-- at least i think it is}) sorry, i got distracted. this started out as a small thing-- i was only going to share these photos with my teachers. partly because i was nervous-- thousands of "what if" scenarios went through my mind. and partly because i didn't think they would turn out that great-- so much for confidence, right? well, i'm pleased to share the fact that the photos are turning out great. i love them. if you don't, oh well. because guess what. that's okay. i mean honestly, the whole project comes from my depictions of these scriptures and topics. so it's okay if you don't think that's what "it" looks or feels like. i decided to share them with you because these scriptures (and pictures) have changed my life. seriously.

without further adieu (i'm not sure i used that correctly, but whatever) here are a few of my pictures-- more to come as i continue the project for the next month! {note: i took all of these pictures. they are MINE. please don't steal them. and if you choose to do so (because you have agency) please give me some props at least.}

this first one is called, "The Magnificent 'Mormon' Church." it gets its name from a Doctrine and Covenants class period that we had on sections 20-22. I chose this picture because I feel that the Temple shows the spiritual aspect of the gospel, while the Church Office Building shows the temporal and "business" side of the Church. Both are so necessary and vital, and I'm so grateful that the Lord gave us instruction on both ends.

the next two go together, even though they depict different scriptures. {shout out to my little broski for being my model just before he went into the mtc. literally, we took these pictures an hour before he went in...} this first one is for Doctrine & Covenants 35:13. "Wherefore, I call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thrash the nations by the power of my Spirit;" {emphasis added} i love this because as a missionary, i felt all of those things. weak. unlearned. despised. and yet, the Lord, in His infinite goodness, called upon me and thousands of other young kids like me to thrash the nations by the power of His Spirit. and He made (and is still making) me and those other thousands strong(er). 

and i chose this picture for this scripture: "Therefore, treasure up in your heart until the time which is in my wisdom that you shall go forth."{D&C 11:26} i chose this picture specifically because i feel like the closer you get to leaving for your mission, the more you truly treasure everything. the gospel. your family. your time. tv. your cell phone. facebook (for those of us non-facebook missionaries). pants (for us sisters). everything. 

this picture has a really special place in my heart. not just because that baby is my adorable niece, but because it isn't posed. this picture just happened. i absolutely love the expression my brother-in-law has on his face. slight worry. so much love. the tenderness and carefulness he has in his hands as he holds his precious daughter. to me, there is so much emotion in this picture. and the way he looks at {homegirl} is the way i imagine Heavenly Father looks at each of us. this picture is titled "my daughter" from Doctrine & Covenants 25:1. i love the phrase "my daughter" because it feels so personal to me-- that Heavenly Father wanted Emma to know that He knows her. that He is aware of her. and that He loves her.

{confession: i shared this one on instagram... you got me.} but this next one is entitled: apostasy vs. restoration. i love this because after shooting these pictures (it took me a while to figure it out and get it just right...) i realized that {quoting myself here} "it's crazy what a little light can do." sometimes my camera would take in too much light and the picture was FULL of light. if i didn't have the camera in the right spot-- focused on the light-- it wouldn't take in enough light and the picture would be dark and/or burry. so once again. it's crazy what a little light can do. and i'm so grateful for that.

these next two go together as well. 
back story: for the last few years, Mark's edition (i'm not sure if that's the word i want to use) of the Savior's experience in the Garden of Gethsemane has been my absolute favorite because I LOVE the emotion he captures with his choice of words. and then later i came to love the word "nevertheless" because i feel like that word is the essence of "Thy will be done." with that in mind, these next two pictures are titled "nevertheless" and they were inspired by Mark 14:36 and Doctrine & Covenants 19:18-20. sometimes we too have to say, "nevertheless, Thy will be done" and "drink" our own bitter cups. but we can find comfort and solace in better days ahead; that the Savior has done the same and is always near with His arm outstretched; and that we are, in fact, living this mortal experience-- not just going through the motions. 

these pictures, and the ones that i am still working on have truly been one of the blessings of institute this semester. as i've pondered which scriptures to choose and how exactly to portray them, i truly have felt the Lord's help. i am so grateful for the institute program and for my amazing teachers! i have learned so much from them and from the Spirit they invite to class. 

go to institute. it'll change your life if you'll let it.... just like the gospel.

this was a lengthy post, so congratulations and thank you if you read all of that. i would love your feedback and comments. please share your feelings, thoughts, impressions, and favorite scriptures! 

have a lovely evening.
#sistersadie #out.