The Appearance of Wildflowers

Last Spring I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a women’s conference hosted by my church. Every year, women from all over the world gather to be inspired, encouraged, challenged, and uplifted over the course of two-and-a-half days filled with music, world-renowned communicators, prayer, and a bit of pampering! To say it was a surreal experience would be an extreme understatement. I definitely left feeling inspired, encouraged, and uplifted, but also found myself challenged in a surprising area: my wardrobe. 

The conference took place in London – one of the fashion capitals of the world - and had countless fashionable, stunning, put-together Londoners in attendance, along with countless stunning, fashionable, put-together women from around the globe. I don’t know if I have ever been surrounded by so many beautiful people. Prior to the weekend, I had packed my suitcase with carefully selected garments, along with options just in case (I’m a notorious over-packer). After the first evening I immediately regretted all of my wardrobe choices. There was no way I could compete with the Glamazon runway models I found myself surrounded by! 

Day two arrived along with renewed anxieties about my appearance. I wasn’t thin enough/tall enough/ petite enough/ fashionable enough/ flawless enough. My clothes were frumpy and ill fitting and everyone was judging me, obviously. I reluctantly pulled on my clothing, distractedly adjusting them, feeling like a stranger in my own body, completely discontent with how I was presenting myself to the world. 

The morning session began and as the music started and I began to take focus off myself, it hit me. An overwhelming revelation. A moment that shifted my perspective. I felt the Holy Spirit say to me “When you focus so much on your outer appearance, you distract yourself from the things I have for you. Don’t sell yourself short by thinking so small – look beyond appearances and you will open yourself up to some amazing experiences that you otherwise would have missed. Don’t worry so much. Trust me.” 

I felt like I had been hit in the face. Such a small shift in perspective made me realize how selfish my thinking can be. I spend so much time worrying about myself, how I feel, how I fit in, that I can forget to look beyond myself and see the amazing things God has put before me. I decided in that moment I would not sell myself short by spending so much time worrying about something as trivial as my outfit. I made a commitment to look outward and take my eyes off my insecurities. 

Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.
— Matthew 6:28-33 | The Message

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think paying attention to fashion is a bad thing, nor do I think wanting to express myself uniquely through my clothing should be frowned upon. Rather, when the joy I find in these things is overshadowed by comparing myself to others, or by becoming too distracted by my insecurities, I need to take time to reevaluate my focus. 

So, from one fashion-loving girl to another: let’s not get so caught up on the shoes we’re wearing, what clothes are hanging in our closet, or how our appearance compares to someone else’s that we miss the beautiful wildflowers God puts on display, right in front of us.


Article submitted by Carley Lee. Please visit her website, Life Style Story, and social channels:

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Creating RAW Purpose

Believe it or not, you are intensely important, and just because life hasn't worked out for you up until now, does not mean your future can't be transcendental. After all, that's why you were created... to be transcendental (of or relating to a spiritual or nonphysical realm). There is a powerful force in the heavens that created you as insurmountable inertia set forth into the expanding cosmos.

Every creature, every creatively created creature ([CREATE]: late middle English; 'form out of nothing', used of a divine or supernatural being; from Latin creat- 'produced', from the verb create), is made for a purpose- a divine purpose ([PURPOSE}: from Latin proponere, 'put or set forth' and Old French poser 'to place'). It is through discovering this divine purpose we connect to why we are here. Just as our divine creator creates/ produces, we too become divine and perfectly transcendental by producing our own divine purpose.

To begin this possibility, it is important to understand the divine creator's definition of each of us; every human creature is compromised of Heart, Might, Mind, and Strength. We cultivate these to fulfill the measure of our creation. This 'measure' entails two parts: our Inner Purpose and our Outer Purpose. Our Inner Purpose engulfs the heart, mind, and strength, which equate to our soul (to clarify, the spirit= heart + mind). Whilst developing heart, mind, and strength into this so-called 'ship', 'might' then becomes the 'wake' we create with this ship, thus- outer purpose.

Heart: Desire

Mind: Understanding

Strength: Ability

Might: Influence

Consider the eloquent words of John Taylor:

[Man] stands erect on the earth in the likeness of his great Creator; beautifully constructed in all his parts, with a body possessing all the functions necessary for the wants of humanity; standing, not only by right, but by adaptability, beauty, symmetry, and glory, at the head of all creation; possessing also mental powers and the capacity of reflection upon the past, with capabilities to reason beyond cause and effect, and by the inductive powers of his mind, through the inspiration of the Almighty, to comprehend the magnificent laws of nature as exhibited in the works of creation: with the capacity also of using the elements and forces of nature, and of adapting them to his own special benefit; and by his powers penetrating into the deep, ascending into the heavens, rushing with mighty velocity across the earth, making use of the separate or combined forces of nature with which he is surrounded and subjugating them to his will; as, likewise, by his intelligence, he has dominion over the fishes of the sea, over the fowls of the air, and over the cattle.
— John Taylor

How then, do we take this inspiration and better produce a transcendental life in these four categories? By understanding the essence of God's intention for us, we naturally summarize the meaning of RAW philosophy. We must become more RAW.

RAW is the catalyst to helping see more clearly what our specific purpose entails. Anything RAW is simply in it's natural state, as God intended. RAW is entirely wholesome and is its most authentic true form. By taking a step back and examining every RAW creature created in its authentic state has the set forth ability to create as God intended- Life with Life. For example, consider a humble apple in its RAW state: as God intended it to be eaten, in its whole and true form. An apple also creates more apples; life with life.

Every creation on this earth has the ability to create. More specifically, as we are made in the like image of the Divine Creator, we also have the ability not only to create but to become divine creators! This entails that we are spectacularly creative as to our specific purpose. 

This life is simply a training, as we are God's in training... embryonic Gods if you will. As children of God, we "did not originate from a chaotic mass of matter, moving or inert, but came forth possessing, in an embryonic state, all the faculties and powers of a God." - John Taylor

The more RAW we are, the faster we can excel and grow into our transcendental future.

It is evident from the scriptures that the Lord wants us to use the raw materials He has so abundantly blessed us with.
— L. Tom Perry

RAW Heart: Pure, Love, Charity, Vulnerability, Courage, Trust, Humility, Contrite, Repentance, Meek, Faith, Personality

RAW Mind: Enlightened, Clean, Aware, Ready, Wise, True Belief Systems, Strategies for Achieving Desires, Reading Others and Their Intentions, Presence, Vocabulary, Conscious Thought

RAW Strength: Health, Body Renewal, Service, Repentance, Obedience, "Your body is the instrument of your mind and [the] foundation of your character.", Conscious Expression

RAW Might: Service, Power, Administer Relief, Attend to the Needs of Others, Potential, Accomplishments.

Come join me in the journey towards creating RAW Purpose.


Photos for Foundation c/o Skye Amanda Photography

Emily Shay is a certified Master Herbalist and has been a Wellness Counselor for 5 years. She enjoys being a full time mother and wife. While her baby sleeps she loves illustrating, writing on her blog, and making a dent in her stack of books. Emily is a Latter-Day Saint (Mormon) and is striving to align her mission with God's will. She hopes to ignite a worldwide Rawvolution in helping people create RAW purpose. You can follow her on her blog- LadyRaw.com

Finding Peace On The Trail

There is a distinct time I remember of when I was a young girl. My father had made me upset and, in typical childhood fashion, I decided to run away from home. I made it as far as the old maple tree in our front yard. I climbed the tree, and sat there quietly in my own thoughts. Peace came over me, and I calmed down enough to return home.

When I reached my mid-twenties, I found myself broken and tired, not feeling like I fit the mold. I was upset with my life, and those closest to me felt it. Despite the fact that I had done everything I wanted, I still wasn't satisfied. Around that same time, my husband and I had a friend visit us from Switzerland. She told us about all of her outdoor adventures- hiking, camping, and sailing- they sounded magical. While she was visiting, we took her to Zion National Park, which is just a few hours from our home. Even though we had been there before, this visit to the park was different from our other visits. While we were on a short hike, our friend taught us to see the beauty around us and feel a peace we never thought was possible. On that hike, I fell in love with the wilderness. I found more than just beauty and peace, I found myself.

From that point on, we were hooked. We spent every weekend outdoors, finding peace and refocusing. We started with short, local, well-known trails populated with other people. Then, we progressed to more difficult, unfamiliar trails where we rarely saw other people. Over a period of nine months, we hiked over two-hundred miles. We hiked whenever we could. We discovered beautiful wild flowers, breath-taking scenery, and steep mountains. For us, it was like taking a vacation every single weekend.

Nature taught us lessons along the way. It taught us about our limitations and our capabilities. We started out afraid to leave a paved path or climb up a short boulder. Over time, however, we learned to go on less-trodden paths and scale mountains. We learned to not compare ourselves to others. We would see others hiking and doing better than us. At first, this discouraged us. Then, we heard the phrase "hike your own hike" while listening to the radio one day. This simple, yet impactful, phrase has become our motto for both hiking and life. Another invaluable lesson we learned from nature was how to love in a way we didn't know was possible. When we started our hiking adventures, our hearts and souls were broken, and we didn't know how to fix them. Going into the wild taught us that, though we may be flawed, we can love. Our bodies were strengthened and our souls were healed.

Every time I go into nature, I think about this quote from John Muir,

Keep close to Nature’s heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
— John Muir

Take some time to get into nature. You never know what you might learn. Find a quiet trail and listen to your spirit. You just might feel your troubles being washed away.


Article and Photography c/o Lizzie Justice. Please visit her website, Quiet Trails, and social channels:

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This article was submitted to us via our Submissions Page

A Safe Harbor

Growing up near the ocean has lead me to have a deep love and appreciation of the sea. The tang of salty air, the soft call of sea gulls, the rocking motion of a ship, and the gentle sea breeze are things my soul craves. There is something so wonderful and energetic about the ocean and yet, it is one of the worlds most dangerous places.

I can remember as a child, my mom loading my sister and I into the car, just before a hurricane was about to make landfall, and driving over to the beach to take a look at the ocean. When we got there, I remember it being a mesmerizing site of some of the most forceful acts of nature, moving with such power in it's natural element. The sound of colossal and foamy waves crashing against the pier and the wind whipping sand and sea spray against me is something that I think I will forever have memorized.

How many times in life have we felt like we are the pier weathering an oncoming storm? Pelted from all sides with the power of life? Like we are sticking out our limbs, unprotected, into a raging tempest and being ambushed from all sides. In the many seasons of life, how can we find peace and protection? Where can we turn for safe harbor during life's most difficult times?

The answer is simple. We must make ourselves our own safe harbor. We must build up a strong foundation for ourselves so that we are spiritually and mentally prepared to weather the storms of life. We must become an anchor unto ourselves of unwavering faith with a true knowledge of and faith in God.

Mortality is a period of testing, a time to prove ourselves worthy to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. In order for us to be tested, we must face challenges and difficulties. These can break us, and the surface of our souls may crack and crumble- that is, if our foundations of faith, our testimonies truth are not deeply embedded within us. We can rely on the faith and testimony of others only so long. Eventually we must have our own, strong, and deeply placed foundation, or we will be unable to withstand the storms of life, which will come.
— Thomas S Monson

We must prepare ourselves for the raging tempest of life by building our personal foundations out of truth and righteousness. Charity, meekness, kindness, compassion, health, wisdom, knowledge- these are the tools we are given to fortify ourselves. Armed with these things, we will be able to feel a sense of peace and calm during life's roughest patches. We will be able to look at life with an eternal perspective and to step back, so that we might see the magnificent light outlining the dark and stormy clouds of life.


Photos for Foundation c/o Lauren Werkheiser Photography

Leslie graduated from BYU-Idaho with a BS in Communications. She is a firm believer that all good relationships start with healthy communication. She believes in seeing the best in those around her and loving everyone for who they are. Leslie is a new mother and enjoys spending time at home with her son. She loves to cook and travel, and she is a hockey fanatic. Visit www.diariesofadumpcook.blogspot.com to learn more.

Bright At Last

I think one of the commonalities in life is the struggle to continue to move forward without knowing exactly what lies ahead. It seems to me that it’s just in our nature to want to have an exact timeline of how our lives will go and when exactly things will happen. Heck, there are some days when I wish with all my heart that I could have such a timeline. A little map of sorts that would tell me- “In __ amount of time you will graduate school. Immediately following, you will work at ____ place, and during that time you will meet ___ person who will be your eternal companion. You will then proceed to live at ___ place.” So on and so forth.

Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake to guide the future as he has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake; all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
— Be Still my Soul | Katharina von Schlegel, b. 1697; trans. by Jane Borthwick, 1813-1897

It’s in those moments, when I let the uncertainties of the future rack my peace of mind, that I think of that beautiful verse from “Be Still My Soul”. It is such a soft reminder that there is a loving Heavenly being that is guiding the future, just as He has the past. What’s more is the incredible use of the word “guiding”, in that line. I think it clarifies where the role of agency comes in. He isn’t making decisions for us, rather, if we turn to the definition of the word “guide” we understand that he is indicating the way.

I think, regardless of the stage of life that we’re in, there are moments when we all feel that the uncertainties of the future can become overwhelming. It’s in those moments when we can take courage in the line, “Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake; all now mysterious shall be bright at last.” What we can’t see or understand now will be made bright at last through unwavering hope and confidence.

So much of our fear of the future comes from our limited scope on the “bigger picture”. I recently went to a devotional, at my university’s Institute, where the sister who was speaking, related a story that put the concept of the “bigger picture” into a deeper context for me. She told us of a time in her life when, because of health issues, she had to take her young daughter to rigorous weekly hospital visits. She told us how, as a parent, it was difficult for her to see her daughter have to face these challenging treatments. But because she understood that in the long run they would be beneficial to her daughter’s health, she could brave each visit. Her daughter, however, could only see the discomfort and difficulty and couldn’t see how the challenge of each visit would be beneficial to her in the future. She then related what this experience taught her about our own relationship with our Heavenly Father. Similarly, when we face trials and difficulties all we can see is the struggle. When if we could see with the perspective of our Heavenly Father we would be able to see how the struggles we’re facing are for our eternal benefit.

I recently came across a verse of scripture that is a new favorite:

For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.
— Doctrine & Covenants 58:4

Developing an eternal perspective can be difficult but through the confidence that “all now mysterious shall be bright at last” we can have the courage to trust that the hour when all that we’ve been promised will be given is “not yet, but is nigh at hand”.


Photos for Foundation c/o Lori Romney Photography

Allexis is currently studying Communication at the University of Utah and works as a Social Media Marketing Specialist by day. By night, she explores the great outdoors as a means to draw closer to The Savior and His creations. She believes that the end of all exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place as home. In her spare time, you will find Allexis planning Gospel Doctrine lessons for her Sunday School class, eating baked goods like they're going out of style, blogging about her personal life and style, and trying to do as much of all the above while sitting atop a mountain. Visit lifeofacoyfish.com to learn more.

Pattern In All Things- Guest Artist Jessica Frech

There are a myriad of facets that make up “me”. So many reasons and “whys” to what I do. I can trick myself into being passionate about a corn dog if I look at it long enough to find the one thing we have in relation (it being that a corndog is also made up of many unknown facets… points me). For the past 22 years, I’ve seen this sense of passion as a gift. At age 23 in 2015, that changed.

I hustle. I call it survival mode. Doing anything and everything to keep myself together. For the last year, I’ve worked full-time for a start up company, freelanced video production on weekends, and somehow made my sophomore record for my “artist career”, then toured over the summer. And I loved all of it. I want to be an entrepreneur. I want to create things. I want to make music. I want to make videos, take photos, paint, find a resolution to homelessness, and make a life changing social app. I JUST WANT TO MAKE COOL STUFF. But, under all of these facets, lied my passion for faith.  Forgotten under all of the things that I wanted to do and become.  

Priority check.

I was happy and surviving, but nothing was sticking (the definition of complacency).  I was unknowingly spread too thin, and forgetting my purpose.  I was forgetting His purpose for me.  To better refine my search for “purpose”, one of my facets was divinely eliminated… aka I lost my full time, rent paying job at the start up company.  I later recognized this as a manifestation of fatherly love. 

With what felt like my arm being torn from the rest of my body, I moved forward.  I had other facets to entertain.  I started asking what is my “real” purpose? My specific calling, if there is such a thing. Who am I to be?

We can fill our lives with accomplishment and well-doing, but in the end, if we do not enter into sacred covenants to follow Christ and faithfully keep them, we will have utterly and completely missed the mark.
— Elder Kevin W. Pearson | Stay by the Tree

I missed the mark.

I caught myself defining who I am with what I do. My sense of self was built from my many titles. With one of my facets gone, there was room. Space. A place for something with an assured “return on investment”. Faith. 

I began unburying key principles, truths, and testimonies that I already had. I pushed my facets aside for one second. Answers didn’t come immediately neither in full, but I started to discover what I really wanted to do and who I really wanted to become (am becoming).

Pattern in all things.

He took me from what I call “complacent to patience to placement”. It’s the pattern that Heavenly Fathers works in my life. He plucks me out of a comfortable position, asks for my patience, then places me in an extraordinary situation I couldn’t have conjured myself. Now, there are two tricks to this.  

  1. Recognizing good, better, best.  Complacent < Extraordinary.
  2. A cycle of disciplined patience, endurance, and faithfulness. 

I hope that you’ll make space for this system in your life. Our circumstances are different; I’m sure of it. I’m also sure that He works the same patterns in your life. Look for them. Write them down. Draw them out.  Make room for them. Make room for Him. An extraordinary future is in store for you.


Jessica Frech is a quirky, pop-folk artist who has been entertaining listeners and viewers for the past four years, bringing in over 77,000 subscribers and over 17 million viewers on her witty and energetic videos on her self-titled Youtube channel. In a Zooey Deschanel meets Norah Jones mash-up, the twenty-two year old Nashville native is tapping into this latest record with her southern-folk roots with an ever-growing spirit and hopefulness. Listeners of all ages are sure to find their own stories alongside her heartwarming and uplifting songs.

Be sure to check her out on her WebsiteYoutube | Instagram | Twitter |

photos for foundation c/o Russ Dixon

Don't Look Back

In life we have many opportunities to reflect on choices we have made. Some were good, others bad. But all choices lead us to our here and now. Which for me, is quite a lovely place to be.

Finding direction in the storm of life is a constant struggle. What job should I have? What school should I attend? Whom should I date? Will I ever love someone enough to marry them? Will I be a good mother or father? The endless questions of life are enough to drive any person to doubt themselves. It is a natural part of this life to have doubts and to feel confusion and regret. But we should not become consumed by looking back over past choices and wondering 'what if' that we forget to look forward and say 'I hope'.

Hope should be the cornerstone of the foundation of our future. It should be our constant companion so that it can provide a light during some of life's roughest weather. Hope can be the key to deciphering our own personal map of life.

With hope comes faith that things will work out. We often spend too much time analyzing our choices. Instead, we need to work on developing a deeper faith in ourselves and our relationship with God. He may let us make mistakes, but He will never lead us astray. The moment we cease to have hope and faith is when the adversary wins. To lose hope and faith is to give up an eternity of potential. I believe that we are divine beings with infinite potential in this world and beyond.

I can’t go back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.
— Lewis Carol | Alice In Wonderland

We must stop dwelling on who we were yesterday and think about who we want to be today and tomorrow. So, don't look back and wonder, but move forward with hope, having faith and determination to make your life what you choose it to be. Because the possibilities are limitless.


Photos for Foundation c/o Erin Christine Photography

Leslie graduated from BYU-Idaho with a BS in Communications. She is a firm believer that all good relationships start with healthy communication. She believes in seeing the best in those around her and loving everyone for who they are. Leslie is a new mother and enjoys spending time at home with her son. She loves to cook and travel, and she is a hockey fanatic. Visit www.diariesofadumpcook.blogspot.com to learn more.