Saturday, February 14, 2009

Know where to stand. . .

Ansel Adams once said, "A good photograph is knowing where to stand." I have thought a lot about this recently because I have thought a lot about where I want to stand in my life. When people think of me, Patti Merrill, what do they think of? What do I stand for? It is an interesting question, indeed, to ponder. It is hard to know what others really think of ones self. I sometimes have to stop and wonder myself what I stand for. I find myself thinking that I know what I want to stand for and I can only hope that those around me see it in me.

So, do you know where I stand?! Do you want to know where I stand?! Well, if you do . . . read on. Otherwise, it's ok you can click away (just don't tell me)!

First and foremost, I stand for righteousness. I want everyone who knows me know that I love God and I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. Sometimes in the world of "business" it would seem unprofessional to profess one's conviction as a Christian. But it is who I am. Every weekday morning I wake up at 5:30 to teach a religion class to a group of High School students. This year we are studying the New Testament. I LOVE doing this! There is such a wonderful something that happens as I share my convictions of the Gospel of Jesus Christ every morning. No better way to start out my day!

I also stand for family. I have been married now for 20 years. I have 8 children. One of which was called Home to God on May 31st, 1995. Almost 14 years ago now. I miss her every single day. I think of her every single day. I experience the deepest sorrow and pain because of this. However, I also feel an indescribable peace knowing that she is with Heavenly Father and that, because of the Atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, I can be with her again. My other seven children are my greatest joy and I am so very grateful for each and every one of them. I could not bear the burdens that life gives without their undying love that they have for me. Even my teenagers bring such joy and happiness to me that I find myself kneeling in prayer daily expressing my gratitude for them!

I stand for honesty, integrity, sincerity and charity. I think that these attributes are honorable and so important to strive for. I am not always the best at displaying them. . .but I am trying! I want to be honest in all that I do. Keeping my integrity is very high on my list of things I must do! Before my mother-in-law passed away in 2005, she spoke to her family about integrity. The dictionary defines integrity as: adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. These are things that we can control. I want for people to know that I have principles that I believe in and that, though I am not really an opinionated person, I will stand for truth and righteousness at all times and in all places!

Gordon B. Hinckley once said that we should all "stand a little taller". It is my desire to stand taller and stronger. To always know "where to stand" whether taking a picture, teaching the Gospel at 6:00 in the morning, interacting with my family, clients, friends, strangers, etc. There is a right place to stand. When I take a picture, I know what I am looking for. I know how to find the right place to stand. . .sometimes a little more to the right, sometimes a little more to the left. Sometimes higher than I am, sometimes lower. But I know it when I see it through the viewfinder. . .and when I see it, it's an incredibly wonderful feeling!

I think in life, it is the same. It becomes very clear where to stand, once you know what you want the final outcome to be!

I would challenge you to ask yourself if you know where to stand. And if you do, are you standing there?!

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