About Kathy P.

Kathy is a mother to five beautiful children. She is married to her highschool sweetheart and living in beautiful Colorado. Kathy graduated with a BS in Family Sciences from Brigham Young University. In her free time, Kathy loves to write, sew and dabble in photography. Kathy can also be found blogging at www.DeliberateDiscipleship.com.

Early

*Original post found here*

I have four sons. Ever since my boys were little, I tried to prepare them for serving a mission for our church. Its what we do. It’s in our culture. This is something our church asks from each worthy young man at age 18. (Young women are also able to serve but they are not under the same mandate as our young men.) So, our boys, as they grow into men, plan to serve. Missionaries (usually) earn the money for their mission themselves, they spend night and day serving God, they leave behind girlfriends, scholarships and cars. And they are always so excited to finally get to be a full time missionary.

But nobody talks about what to do when things go differently than planned. It’s actually not a very comfortable topic. Maybe its just because not everyone knows how to handle it. So, lets lay it out there. Sometimes, missions end much earlier than anyone ever planned. Both of my sons who have served came home early; each with an honorable release, but each, at least partially, feeling like they failed.

Cognitively, they understand what supportive family, friends and ward members tell them. “You did your best.”  “God loves you anyway.”  “Your mission just looks different than everyone else’s.” Etcetera.

It’s a struggle. Its something that, I believe, they will ache over for some time. However, even in this trial – and it IS a trial for those who go through it – God did not leave us without an example.

Remember Alma the Younger? You can find his story in the Book of Mormon beginning in Mosiah chapter 27. His father, having been converted by the words of Abinidi, became the leader of Christ’s church. It must have been so hard for Alma Sr. to watch his son and four of his buddies do everything they could to destroy the very church he had helped build. These young men worked tirelessly to hinder the growth of the church… until an angel of God stopped them. Alma the Younger and his friends all had a miraculous change of heart and, consequently, wanted to repair the damage they had done. So, with more zeal than they had before, they went about to repair the harm they had wrought upon the church.

These were men who, with a changed heart, wanted to preach the gospel. The four friends of Alma the Younger were sons of the righteous King Mosiah. They wanted to serve a mission to the Lamanites – who, at that time were violent, wicked and hostile. After much pleading with their father, he finally agreed that they could serve that mission. The Sons of Mosiah, as they are often called, were incredible missionaries. They baptized multitudes of people. Often, converting whole kingdoms. Entire cities would believe in their words. What they accomplished was nothing short of miraculous.

When you hear people recount this story, they always assume Alma the Younger was with them in the mission field. But guess what? He stayed behind. He stayed with his father and accepted the appointment of Chief Judge from the people. So, even though he went on, after his conversion, to be a great leader, he did not serve a mission at the same time, or even in the same way as his buddies.

And yet, when we think of Alma the Younger, not one person would think of him less than his peers. He is counted as a great missionary, a great leader. Now, I don’t know why he stayed behind while his friends went to serve. But I imagine, it was a little difficult to hear of the amazing experiences his friends were having without wishing he were there too.

Alma the Younger went on to have incredible experiences of his own. He served a mission later with his own sons but his path did not look like his friends. I am convinced, however, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Some people are called to serve a mission like the Sons of Mosiah and some are called to serve like Alma the Younger. Thank goodness Heavenly Father looks on our hearts and knows our desires. Thank goodness He knows what we need most.

The Lord has an individual road map for each of us. Sometimes it doesn’t look like we expected it would look. Often it is different than what we planned. And, it almost never is the same as a friend’s road map. But always, His path for us will be the best. It will bring us to the greatest possible happiness.

So, for my two beautiful boys, who had to end their mission early and to every missionary who’s heart still longs to be in the mission field, I urge you to remember success is not measured by what you have planned. It is measured by how you respond to what the Lord has planned.

*find me at www.deliberatediscipleship.com.

He Longs to Gather Us

[Reposted from Deliberate Discipleship]mama duck

In my home I have displayed an image that reminds me of just one of God’s tender mercies in my life. The image is one of a mama duck, with her 10 ducklings gathered around her at the edge of a curb. While I did not personally take this picture, it is the perfect depiction of a scene frozen in time, forever in my mind and heart.

Our family was still reeling from the heart breaking tragedy of losing a loved one unexpectedly and all the associated repercussions. Each of us was grieving. Each of us was doing our best to just make it day to day. And frankly, I was handling it all very poorly. Sleepless nights and zombie like days became the norm. There seemed to be no Balm of Gilead to soothe my heart.

It was during this time, while I was out running errands, that God presented me with a very tender lesson.

The mama duck. There she was, her 10 ducklings walking single file behind her, attempting to leave the Costco parking lot. I almost ran right over her as I, too, was trying to leave.

My first reaction was to grab my phone and start snapping pictures. It was such an anomaly that she was even there – the nearest body of water being over a mile a way and in the parking lot of all places. Just as I was about to drive away, I noticed something.

The mama duck had hopped up onto the curb. Five of the ducklings had used their siblings as stepping stools and also jumped up onto the curb.

But five of them were stuck, unable to climb over.

The mama duck was frantic.
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And Still It Stands: The Truth About the Book of Mormon

And Still It Stands: The Truth About the Book of Mormon
By Kathy Penrod

[Originally posted at Deliberate Discipleship]

I am sure you have heard of it. Whether through the infamous Broadway Musical or the missionaries who travel the world sharing its message, chances are, you have heard of the Book of Mormon. So, my question to you is, what have you heard? What are your questions about the Book of Mormon? As you think about that, let me offer my thoughts on the Book of Mormon.book-of-mormon

Before the Broadway Musical, this sacred work of scripture had already seen great controversy (JS-H 1:59-65). I am not here to argue about that controversy and I am not here to debate the rightness or wrongness of such a musical, nor do I want to give it any more fame that it already seems to have. One of the glorious freedoms we have in this country is the right to free speech, even if that speech is degrading, incorrect, irresponsible and hurtful. So, I completely recognize that Broadway performers and producers have the right to belittle things that others may hold sacred. I DO want to discuss what the Book of Mormon actually is – from one who holds this book so close to her heart. Continue reading

Why Mortality?

[Cross-posted from Deliberate Discipleship]

It seems that each new day brings an onslaught of heartbreaking news from around the world. Families torn apart by political regimes. People tortured and executed for seeking an education, believing differently than others or trying to escape from the dark life of captivity. Street corners are inhabited by wisps of human beings who long for nothing more than a warm bed and roof over their head. Children have their innocence lost – stolen by the selfishness of those with malicious intent. Addictions, in many forms, are claiming the hearts and minds of our friends and family. Safety is threatened in normal everyday places.

Sometimes this world is scary. No, not sometimes. Always.

Some people live horrible, destitute, hopeless lives. And, frankly, it doesn’t seem fair.

Why are some people comfortable sleeping late Saturday morning – safe, warm and contented – while others are scavenging for their existence? Why are some privileged to have a golden education handed to them while others are being murdered for trying? Why do some never know heart-wrenching tragedy while some, on precarious rafts, hope for a tidal wave of good fortune to guide them to a place without so much tragedy as they have seen in their short lives?

In this fallen world of heartache and confusion, why do we even exist? Why are we even here?
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His Love

sunset-beach-775363-print[Cross-posted from Deliberate Discipleship] Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in the Godhead. Meaning, we believe in God, the, Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. (Articles of Faith #1) It is our Eternal Father that I wish to address in this post.

Often, we speak of the Savior’s gentleness and kindness. “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do” (John 5:19). Christ also teaches that He “…came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38) So, from scripture we learn that our Heavenly Father is much like His Son – or, more accurately, the Son is much like His Father. Our Heavenly Father, with His perfect love, loves us perfectly and seeks happiness for all His children. For all of us. He is the perfect parent.

I am NOT the perfect parent. Not by a long shot. But for all my imperfections, I love my children fiercely. And, I would do all within my power to ensure their happiness. Continue reading