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April 28, 2024 28 mins

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Navigating the tempestuous seas of parenthood while anchoring oneself to a spiritual foundation can be an odyssey of its own—just ask Lauren, the devoted mother and faithful soul who graciously joined us this week. As we sat with her, stories unfolded of her Pennsylvania upbringing, instilled with the robust religious beliefs of her family, and how these beliefs have rippled through her life. The tapestry she weaves between nurturing her children and nourishing her own soul is riddled with the beautiful complexities of sustaining faith amidst the relentless pace of adult life. Lauren's poignant memories serve as a lighthouse for parents striving to impart sacred values in their young, even when the pressures of the world loom large.

Her journey reveals those quiet, intimate moments when we seek a higher comfort, and the universe responds in the most unexpected ways—like the time Lauren, hesitant and in need of solace, found an answer in Brother S, the newly appointed bishopric member who would become a testament to the reality that we're never truly alone. Our conversation traversed these cherished memories and the solace they offer, acting as beacons of hope and reassurance that divine support is ever-present. It's in these shared experiences that we uncover our own earthly angels and the strength to carry us through life's trials, a message that resonates deeply with anyone searching for meaning in the chaos of their daily lives.

Please reach out to me if you are interested in sharing your story! I would LOVE to hear from you. :)

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Episode Transcript

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Lily (00:06):
Hello everyone and welcome to.
More Than Coincidence,remembering Jesus Christ in your
Story as the author andfinisher of our faith, our
Savior writes personalexperiences into each of our
lives which can later strengthen, empower and bring us peace
upon reflection.
This podcast is dedicated tosharing these anchoring memories

(00:26):
from everyone's unique storiesin order to collectively
remember and testify of thereality of Jesus Christ and his
presence in our lives.
I'm your host, lily, and I'mvery excited to share these
experiences together.
Okay, so tonight on the podcastwe have Lauren.
Lauren, how are you?
I'm good, thank you.

Lauren (00:46):
Good.
Will you tell us a little bitabout yourself?
Yes, so I am 35 and I have ahusband and two kids, and I grew
up in Pennsylvania.

Lily (01:03):
I didn't know that, yeah, okay, you're East Coast, east
Coast connection.

Lauren (01:06):
Yes, I grew up in Pennsylvania and I grew up as a
member of the church and myparents are.
They have fantastic, strongtestimonies Right and so growing
up, I loved the church.

(01:29):
I loved the church, I loved thegospel, I loved the culture of
the church and I loved like allthe EFYs and all the activity
days back then and mutual.

Lily (01:40):
Yeah.

Lauren (01:42):
Going home teaching.
I have five sisters and nobrothers where and where do you
fit in?
I'm the third, okay, the third,uh-huh, yeah, and so my dad
would take us home teaching withhim.
Oh, that's awesome, uh-huh yeah, and so and and I just loved it
.
I loved, yeah.
I feel like that was kind oflike the spiritual highs in my

(02:04):
life for my teenage years.

Lily (02:07):
Right yeah, is your family still in Pennsylvania?

Lauren (02:09):
No, they're not, they're here oh they are.

Lily (02:13):
Was it hard for them to leave?
Because I feel like the EastCoast, just I don't know.
We lived in Virginia for fouryears and I miss all of the
greenery.
I miss, just like I don't knowwe get the four seasons here and
it's really pretty here, but Idon't know if the East coast,
just there's something specialabout it.
I love the East coast.

Lauren (02:31):
Yeah, I actually lived in.
I was born in California andlived there and then we moved
when I was nine to Pennsylvaniaand we were all mad about it.
All the kids were so mad aboutit.
But now we claim it.

Lily (02:44):
Really, yeah, see, that's awesome.

Lauren (02:46):
We all love Pennsylvania and the East Coast, but we're
all out West.
Now what?
Yeah, I have a couple sistershere in Utah and my parents just
moved to Midway in November.

Lily (02:59):
Well, I'm glad to know that you love the East Coast and
that's where you're from,because that's really fun.
Yes, so I'll just ask you thequestion then.
So, lauren, what memories doyou reflect on that prick your
heart and remembrance of ourSavior Jesus Christ and anchor
you to him?

Lauren (03:17):
Well, so.
I've been a mom for eight and ahalf years, and I'll just say
that it's been more difficult tofeel the spirit since I've
become a mother.

Lily (03:35):
Yes, I would agree.

Lauren (03:36):
And I won't go into depth with that.
Like I said earlier, I feellike the teenage years and early
20s, being I went to BYU werevery was a great time to develop
my testimony, and the lastdecade or so has been more it's

(04:00):
more work.
When you're an adult, you havea lot more pressures surrounding
us, and I feel like, as ateenager, the testimony is
almost handed to you.
Yeah.
Because my parents have verystrong testimonies and I went to
EFY every year and I went toEFY at SVU.

Lily (04:18):
Oh, did you really?
Oh, my gosh, that's whereMichael graduated from.
That's hilarious.
I love that campus.
That's so wow.

Lauren (04:25):
Okay, we'll have to talk about that after this but, um,
yeah, it's just.
It's a lot more personal work.
You don't have as many peoplesurrounding you when you're an
adult that are trying to yeah,like make you believe and make
you feel right right orsometimes Right right, or
sometimes even as an adult, it'slike more pressure to not

(04:46):
believe.

Lily (04:47):
I feel like sometimes.

Lauren (04:48):
Yes, so when I teach my children the gospel too, there
have been moments in the back ofmy mind where I've thought do I
?
This is good?
Right, I want to be teachingthem this, right?
This is not a lie, right and soright, like because I'm

(05:13):
teaching it to someone and it'sgoing to affect their entire
life.

Lily (05:17):
yeah, that I have a worldview.

Lauren (05:19):
Yes, so I have to really ask myself how deep is my
testimony and how strong am Iand how strongly can I stick to
these things that I'm teachingthem.
So I look back.
I have a couple experiences toshare, and these are ones that

(05:41):
I've looked back to over andover again from my youth and
early years and that helped meremember that, yes, this is real
Jesus Christ.
He was a real person and he wasalso the Savior and is my
Savior, and so the first one I'dlike to share is from when I

(06:05):
was about 14 or 15, living inPennsylvania and out on the East
Coast.
Everything is spread out.

Lily (06:15):
Yes.

Lauren (06:15):
So, like here in Utah, church is maybe a mile away,
Right right In Pennsylvania wewere driving up to 35 minutes to
get to church.

Lily (06:28):
There you go, yeah, and so anyway so how far was the
temple from you?
Because we had to drive threehours to the DC temple.
Yeah, we were there.
You're DC.

Lauren (06:37):
Yeah, we were assigned to the DC temple and so our
youth group would go once a yearYep.
And now they have thePhiladelphia temple, so that
would be maybe 40 minutes frommy home.
That's awesome.
Yeah, it's so cool.
Yes, it's very exciting.
When they announced it, myfriend and I just jumped up Yep.
So I was 14 or 15.

(07:00):
It was about the year 2003.
And there's not a lot of churchmembers out where I lived and I
had a couple of friends in ourward and my best friend in the
ward was moving.
Yeah, so she's gone.
She moved.

(07:20):
And I don't make friends easilyand I'm an introvert and I
actually really am okay withbeing alone.
So I just wanted to point out Ididn't have a lot of friends and
I had a couple friendsgirlfriends in the ward that
were my age age and soon aftermy best friend moved, it was

(07:45):
announced that our ward wassplitting, so they were taking
half of our ward and half ofanother ward in the stake and
combining them into a new wardand I was sad.
I was so sad because I thoughtwell, I just lost a friend and
now I'm losing.
I think I had two other friendsand now I'm losing both of them

(08:08):
.
Yeah.
And we have to now go to adifferent building Right With
other people that.

Lily (08:17):
I don't know, and it's a lot.
It's like starting over.
It honestly is starting over ina way.

Lauren (08:23):
So yeah, and that's not good to do when you're that age.
Right, it's very dramatic, yeah, and so, anyway, long story
short, this new board getsformed and there are a couple
other girls my age.

(08:44):
They're a year younger than mein school, but they ended up
becoming my best friends and Idon't know that I ever would
have talked to them because wewould see each other at girls
camp, but I don't know that Iwould have ever talked to them
if I hadn't been placed in thesame ward as them and my two

(09:05):
friends from my previous ward.
They both moved, they were gone,like within the next year.
No way, yeah, they were gone,and so I think that, if this, I
think that it was.
God's hand.
Yeah that this new ward wasformed because I had been
praying to make new friends.

(09:26):
And my friends felt like theywere taken from me, right, and
so I was upset.
Why is this happening?
Well then, the new ward wasformed and, ta-da, I made new
friends.
Yeah, and these friends, theynever moved away.
They were here to stay.
Yeah, we were with each otherfor the next four or five years

(09:49):
wow and I even roomed with oneof them in college, yeah, yeah,
and so I look back at that and Ithink that was so formative in
my testimony.
Yeah, because it helped me toknow that Christ was aware of me
, yeah, and that he was lookingout for me yeah so fast forward

(10:12):
several years, it um, and I wasserving a mission, and I served
a mission in Utah.
Oh, which mission was it?
So it's it or I don't know.
Well, it was.

Lily (10:27):
It was called yeah.

Lauren (10:29):
Because missions are always changing.
Yeah, it was called the SaltLake City South Mission.
Okay, so I was.
I was just up the road inRiverton, south Jordan, west
Jordan, cottonwood.

Lily (10:42):
Heights.
Coming from Pennsylvania,getting your mission call to
Utah.

Lauren (10:46):
Yes, and I had already done a couple of years at BYU.

Lily (10:48):
At BYU.

Lauren (10:49):
Uh-huh, yeah.
So I opened my mission call andI kept saying I'm going back,
I'm going back.
It was very strange for me,uh-huh, and I actually even had
family that lived in my mission,and so I got and I actually
served in their ward.

Lily (11:07):
No way, so you got to see them.

Lauren (11:09):
Yeah, I got to see my cousins my aunt and uncle and my
cousins and had dinner at theirhouse.
Wow, I know that's reallyinteresting.
It was.
Serving a Utah mission is veryunique.
Yeah, that's crazy.
Yeah, yeah, and one of theunique things about it is that
you are assigned to so manywards at the same time.

(11:32):
Right, and at one point I hadthree stakes.
My companion and I were overthree stakes.
So why I bring that up isbecause you you're assigned to
so many different wards.
You're always hopping around tothem.
You might attend a sacramentmeeting in a ward and not go

(11:53):
back for a month to that wardright, and so you don't get to
know the members very well.
Right, you're really onlytalking to the members who are
serving in leadership positionsyeah, or like the world mission
leaders and stuff yeah, or orwho?
those who have a referral foryou or helping you teach, right,
so you don't get.
You don't get to be very closewith the members.

(12:15):
So it was 2010.
I had been on my mission abouta year, about a full year, and I
was serving in West Jordan.
Uh-huh and the sisters who werethere before I got there had

(12:36):
become close with this onefamily, and so then I came in
and it was just very naturalbecause my companion already
knew them.
So I got to become close withthis, yeah, one family as well.
So I'll talk about them againin a minute.
But, um, I got to this point onmy mission where I felt very

(12:57):
good and confident in what I wasdoing, but that can be kind of
dangerous as a missionary.
Interesting, okay, because,like I felt I was, I loved my
companion, right, I was in agreat place and we were teaching

(13:19):
really good people and, like Iwas friends with other
missionaries and just in a happyplace, but then also not
following the rules withexactness, and that's very much

(13:40):
expected of you, right, at leastit was.
You know, 12, okay, this was 14years ago you're not old, I
promise it doesn't feel thatlong ago, but so, anyway, you

(14:01):
just are told exact obedience,follow everything, exactly Right
.
And I wasn't and it's not thatI was doing anything naughty
Right or anything bad Right oranything that a member of the
church shouldn't do.

Speaker 3 (14:22):
It's just that.
As a missionary, I could havedone better.

Lauren (14:23):
And so I felt I started getting this feeling like I
needed a blessing Because I knewI knew that I could be better.
And so I had had a fewblessings priesthood blessings
on the mission, for when I gotsick, right but I had never had

(14:47):
a blessing of comfort, right.
And that was something that Igot a lot when I was young,
because my dad would givefather's blessings, right, and
it was something that I startedto miss and realized that I
needed.
And there was a Sunday that wewere, my companion and I were

(15:08):
sitting in sacrament meeting andwe were far back in the
overflow and I just keptthinking about how I needed a
blessing, but I didn't know whoto ask and I don't remember why
I didn't ask the elders.
And I don't remember why Ididn't ask the elders, right,
because they're not that faraway.

(15:28):
My Utah mission was very small,right, and we even like I could
have even asked the stakepresident that we lived with to
give me a blessing.
I don't remember why I didn't,but this sacrament meeting that

(15:51):
I was sitting in, this, thefamily that I mentioned earlier
yeah, I don't know if I can usetheir name, so I'm just going to
use their initial Uh huh S.
Okay.
So, brother S, uh huh.
He had just been called to thebishopric, yeah.
And so I'm sitting in theoverflow.
He's sitting up on the stand.
And I looked up and when I sawhim I thought, oh, just ask

(16:17):
Brother S for a blessing, right.
And after the meeting I startedto walk up to ask him and I
chickened out.
But I met his wife like halfwayup and so I asked her hey, can
we come by later?
Can I get a blessing from yourhusband?

(16:39):
Oh, yeah, sure, right.
So later we were at their houseand they asked me why do you
need a blessing?
And I told them well, I'm notsick, I just feel like I need
this blessing of comfort becauseI haven't had one.
Yeah, and this sister, she saidwhat?
You've been on your mission ayear and you haven't had a

(16:59):
blessing of comfort.
Yeah, and she just made me feelvery normal and relaxed, right.
And she just made me feel verynormal and relaxed, right.
And so Brother S gave theblessing and he blessed me with
comfort, and he blessed me to.
He said that Heavenly Fatherwas pleased with the work that I

(17:21):
was doing and to just continueon, and he blessed me that I
would be calm waters to thosearound me, and it was everything
I needed.
And then, after the blessing,his wife turned to him and she
said tell them what you told meearlier.

(17:42):
Tell them what happened.
And he said that in sacramentmeeting that morning when he was
sitting up on the stand andthis is a man probably in his
50s, see, and he's sitting upthere, newly called to the
bishopric and he said that hewas looking around and thinking

(18:04):
what the heck am I doing up here?
Yeah, I'm, I don't know whatI'm doing in a bishopric.
I don't know how to be in abishopric, yeah, and he was
looking around everyone in thecongregation and he said, when
his eyes, when he looked at me,that everything else faded away

(18:27):
and he just saw my face just fora few seconds and then
everything came back into focusand he thought that was weird
and that was it.
I wonder if the moment thathappened to him is the moment

(18:48):
when I thought ask Brother SRight For the blessing.
I believe that day God wasreaching out to both of us and
we didn't understand thesignificance of it until later,
when we were able to connect andeach share our side of the
story.
Brother S had been looking atthe congregation as a newly

(19:11):
called member of the bishopricand he was looking out in
humility and fear, wonderingwhat could he offer, and
Heavenly Father showed him thathe was capable.
He was there to serve me in away that I wasn't able to

(19:32):
receive from anyone else, and Ilove this story because it's not
like anything too miraculous,but it was a message from
heavenly father that he wasaware of me and that, even
though I was thousands of milesfrom home and I was serving in a

(19:56):
mission where I didn't knowmost of the people other than
the missionaries that he wouldstill work through someone to
take care of me.

Lily (20:06):
Yeah.

Lauren (20:07):
And it made me cry later on when.
I was recounting it to some ofthe missionaries, because I just
felt like I wasn't alone andand that has been an anchor to

(20:29):
me when I have felt alone, andmost of the time I don't mind
being alone.
Yeah, yeah, I enjoy it, right,but sometimes it gets to me and
I can look back at theseexperiences that I had and

(20:50):
remember that I'm never on myown, that Jesus Christ is aware
of me, right, and he is takingcare of me.
Yeah.
He's not doing everything for me, right, but he's there watching
out for me, yeah, and he iscalling angels to help To

(21:12):
minister and stuff, mm-hmm,that's awesome.
To help me along the way and toRight.
I don't know if Brother S wouldhave reached out.
I think for him it was justwhat just happened.
Right, you know, and she's noteven I was a missionary, I
wasn't a member of the ward, amember of the ward Right Right.

Lily (21:33):
You literally could have just been there the one Sunday
and then left and not come backfor two more months, but it had
to.
It happened that one Sundaythat you happened to be there.

Lauren (21:43):
Yes.
So I'll just say that I lovelooking back on these
experiences when you know how itis when you've got a newborn
and your husband's at work andyou're home all alone taking
care of them, just thought, whathave I done having this baby?

(22:08):
And literally looked upward andsaid why is this happening?
You know, when you're rocking Iwould be holding the baby.
It's crying.
I literally looked up, eventhough I thought they only do
this in the movies, but lookedup to heaven and said yeah why

(22:31):
is this happening?
where are you?
Yeah, and and I could look backand remember that he's been
there for me before and not tolose my faith or my testimony
that he's still there.
Right.

Lily (22:51):
Those are some wonderful experiences and I think that
those what I do see, thoughoften as people are sharing
their testimonies and sharingthese experiences is a lot of
the things have happened whenthey're younger.

Lauren (23:03):
Yeah.

Lily (23:04):
Either you know little well, little girls, little boys,
or you know teenagers, and Ithink that it just is impressed
upon my mind the importance ofthat, and I was flipping through
my scriptures today, and Iremember I can't even.
I think it was a scripturemaster.
I can't remember where it was,though, but it was the scripture
.
That's like you know learnwisdom in thy youth and learn to

(23:27):
keep the commandments in youryouth, and so I think it's cool
hearing your stories as justanother testament to the
importance of our childhoods andthe importance of doing our
best to teach our kids inrighteousness, and I think that
I loved your concern of likeokay, well, as a parent, do I
truly believe this, because ifI'm going to be teaching my kids

(23:49):
like I want to teach them goodthings, I want to teach them the
truth.
I don't want to lie to them,and I love how you brought that
up, and I think, as we reflectand remember these experiences
that we've had in our youth andthe way, the feelings that we've
had in our experiences, then weare able to more confidently
say to our children or towhoever you know, these are the

(24:12):
feelings that I've felt, and Iknow it, and I know that God
knows it Right and I think, atthe end of the day, like that's
all you can do.

Lauren (24:21):
So yeah, the church and the gospel were such a huge part
of my upbringing, right.
I believe that it it shaped.
It shaped me more than anythingelse, right, and I loved it and
so I want that for my kids too,right?
I want them to be able to turnto the savior.
I know that he's there for them, right?

(24:44):
Uh, because the teenage yearsare hard.
And yes, yes, right, becausethe teenage years are hard and
yes, yes, and it's just great tohave the Savior when you're a
teenager.
It really is, because the hardtimes are going to come, friends

(25:08):
are going to come and go, yourrelationship with your parents
is going to be tried and it'sgoing to change.

Lily (25:22):
And it's just lovely to have the church there for you.
Something constant, right,that's cool.
Well, would you mind justleaving us with a testimony then
, of course?

Lauren (25:32):
I just was thinking about.
When I was 12, I think I was atmy first girls camp and we were
standing, we were around thefire for testimony meeting and I
got up and I told everybody ifI, when I die, and I get to the

(25:52):
other side and somebody comes upto me and says it actually
wasn't true, yeah, I said.
If that happens and somebodysays, like the church actually
wasn't all that it said it was,and there actually are no three

(26:15):
kingdoms and whatever, yeah, andI said, if that happens, I
won't care because this way ofliving has made me so happy and
I will still have been proud ofthe way that I lived.
Yeah, and you know, here we area couple decades later and my
testimony has developed sincethen.

(26:38):
Right, but I still share thesame sentiment that being a
member of the Church of JesusChrist of Latter-day Saints and
following the teachings and thegospel of Jesus Christ lead to
happiness.
Yeah.
And I'm proud of the life that Ilive, and I know that the

(26:59):
Savior is a resurrected beingand that he's alive and that
he's watching over us.
I know that the Bible and theBook of Mormon are his teachings
and that when we study them wewill draw closer to him, and
that's the best thing we can do.
And I know that joy a member ofhis church can be more simple

(27:40):
than we think and that followinghim is more simple than we make
.
It is more simple than we makeit.
And I know that when we dofollow him, we can be at peace.

(28:00):
And I know that Jesus is theChrist and that we have prophets
and church leaders who love usand only want the best for us.
And I leave that in the name ofJesus Christ, amen, amen.

Lily (28:16):
Well, thank you for coming tonight and I really appreciate
you sharing your experiencesand your testimony with us.
Thanks again for tuning in toMore Than Coincidence,
Remembering Jesus Christ in yourStory.
Please follow us on socialmedia or share us with a friend.
If you have an experience you'dlike to share, feel free to
reach out tomorethancoincidencerememberhim

(28:39):
at gmailcom.
I can't wait to hear all of theamazing memories you all have
of our Savior.
See you next time.
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