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In this short devotional book for LDS girls, Laurel Christensen says, “Heavenly Father is anxious to talk to you. And if texting was His chosen method, He would do it. But, for now, it's not. He wants you to come to Him in prayer and scripture study and personal worship time. So, don't let these "text devotionals" be replacements for any of that. But if they can be little reminders of messages He is trying to send you, then they've done their job.”
LYFSGUD is full of inspirational thoughts especially for Latter-day Saint young women. Laurel's unique way of putting things will help them understand on a deeply personal level that they have a Father in Heaven, that they are His daughters, and that He loves them.
Each chapter includes a “Big Message” (a devotional), a “Little Message” (an invitation to act), and a section called “His Message for You” (where girls are invited to write down the impressions they receive from the Spirit while they read).
- Pages: 120
- Published: 2009
- Size: 4½" x 5½"
About the Author
Laurel Christensen, a runner, a Jane Austen devotee, and a sought-after speaker, grew up in California, Kentucky, and Missouri. After serving in the California Riverside Mission, she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and later received a master’s degree. She has spent most of her career at Deseret Book Company, where she is currently Vice President of Product Development. Laurel is a favorite speaker at both Time Out for Women and Time Out for Girls, and she has published several talk CDs and books for young women.
Recently I spoke at a youth conference. I had been told that the youth in attendance had their cell phones and had been texting during the message from their stake president the day before. Now, I can text as well as the rest of you (okay, not really, but I’m definitely impressively fast for someone “my age”), but I have to tell you that I just wouldn’t dream of texting while I was listening to one of my Church leaders. I just know I’d miss something important. When I heard about this issue, I knew that if I didn’t address it right at the beginning of our time together, the youth would do the same to me.
But then I realized it wasn’t about me.
And so, as soon as I stood up, I said this:
“I have a message from the Holy Ghost. It’s not that God CAN’T text. It’s just that, for now, He chooses not to. And so, if you are texting while we’re talking together, there will be little chance you’ll be able to get any message that God, through the Spirit, might really want to be giving you. God wants to send you a message. I just worry that you won’t hear it while you’re texting.”
The youth were great. They smiled and almost laughed as if they thought I was clever. Then they put their phones away for the entire time we were together. And you know what? We had a great experience. The Spirit came. They felt it. I felt it. I have no doubt they heard God tell them things they never actually heard me
say that day.
And the texting was still there when we were through. They hadn’t really missed a thing.
That got me thinking: What if God DID choose to text? What if He could get to me just as easily as any of my friends can through the convenience of my cell phone? I never miss a text message . . . but I think I miss messages from Him a little too often.
So, if He could text, or rather if He WOULD text, what would He say? I don’t pretend to know, but this book is my imaginative attempt at what some of those text messages might be.
I do know one thing: He is anxious to talk to you. And if texting were His chosen method of communication, He would do it. But, for now, it’s not. He wants you to come to Him in prayer and scripture study and personal worship time. So don’t let these “text devotionals” be replacements for any of that. If they can just be little reminders of messages He is trying to send you, then they’ve done their job.
At the end of each devotional, you’ll see a “Little Message.” These are just a few ideas of how you can implement the devotional in your life. But my hope is that you’ll get thoughts and messages beyond what you read on these pages. I trust that your Father in Heaven has other things to tell you—other impressions to give you. There is a “His Message to You” space at the end of each devotional. Use these pages to record the impressions YOU get from the Spirit while you read, promptings about something in your life you could change or do differently. And then maybe you could go back and record what happened in your life as a result of following those impressions.
He has messages of His own waiting for you. I promise He does.
And I can’t wait for you to discover what they are!
When I was in middle school, I got a new name. I didn’t choose this name. I liked my current name and had no need to get a different one. But there was a boy who thought otherwise. His name was Tony and he was . . . horrible.
Now, in fairness to Tony, he was the kid at school who got picked on by the other boys (and a few mean girls). And, like most picked-on kids, Tony had to turn his revenge on someone. For some reason, I was the “lucky” target.
Tony and I had gym class together, and about halfway through the term, he created this mean, albeit somewhat nonsensical, name for me. Nearly every day, he would wait for me to walk out of the girls’ locker room and then follow me to where I sat for roll call, all the while saying this name. I could have just rolled my eyes at it, but the worst part (at the time) was that “Jimmy B,” who I loved, sat in front of me, and I knew he could hear what Tony was saying. I was embarrassed. Actually, I was in seventh grade—let’s face it, I was devastated.
One day, after Tony had followed me to my seat on the gym floor, repeating the name to me over and over again for the umpteenth time, Jimmy B stood up—true story—and grabbed Tony by the shirt and pushed him up against the wall and said, “Don’t you ever say that to her again.” Isn’t that great? I heart you, Jimmy B, wherever you are. To this day, I still heart you for that!
The name bullying finally stopped, thanks to the interference of Jimmy B. But the damage of that name on my little spirit had already been done. I had heard that name over and over again so many times that it kind of stuck with me.
Now, let me shift gears for a minute. There is a great story in the New Testament that you are probably familiar with. Do you remember hearing about the evil spirits that Jesus cast out of a man? And the evil spirits entered the bodies of some pigs, who, then jumped off the cliff? I remember hearing that story many times as I was growing up. But I hadn’t ever really read the story for myself from the scriptures.
The story is found in Mark, chapter 5. A man, being possessed of many evil spirits, comes to Jesus. Jesus asks the man what his name is, and the man’s response is interesting, but also really very sad. The man answers, “My name is Legion: for we are many” (verse 9). Isn’t that interesting? He doesn’t tell Jesus his real name. He tells him some other name. Perhaps the adversary had been working for so long to discourage him that the man forgot who he really was. He forgot his real name—the name that God knew him by.
Maybe the adversary had been whispering to this man for a long time. Maybe the adversary had been telling him he wasn’t good, wasn’t loved, wasn’t worth anything. Eventually, the man believed it and let Satan overtake him.
I kind of understand a small part of that. For a long time in my life, whenever I would feel insecure or discouraged or afraid, it didn’t take much for Tony’s name for me to come back into my mind. In those moments, I wasn’t “Laurel, one of Heavenly Father’s loved daughters” anymore. I was some other girl—a girl not good enough or pretty enough or smart enough or worthy enough to be loved.
Do you have a name that you sometimes call yourself that doesn’t match your real identity? Has someone in your life said something negative about you so many times that you’ve started to believe it? Maybe you’ve been told that you aren’t pretty enough or smart enough or good enough? Whatever that name (or label) might be, it is NOT who you really are. Don’t let any “Tonys” in the world ever tell you that you are anyone else but a “daughter of our Heavenly Father” who LOVES you.
Let that truth be stronger and louder than any other identity someone might try to give you.
In addition to loving you, your Father in Heaven KNOWS you.
He knows you perfectly.
And your real name, your real identity, is known to Him.
* little message *
What if you knew that every time your Father in Heaven talked about you, He referenced a characteristic? What if, instead of calling you by your birth name or some other name you’ve been given, He referred to you as His “trustworthy daughter” or His “clean daughter” or His “kind daughter”? Write the name you WISH He called you by—and then live as if He already does.
Now This is a GUD BK
by DeAnn - reviewed on July 09, 2009
This author "get's it"! She understands how Young Women think. I love how she understands how some things really are hard and discouraging but that overall life really is good and Heavenly Father really does love us. It's a positively hopeful book. I would love to re-read this book (but unfortunately my 15 year old niece grabbed it so she could read it.)
Wish I'd read this when I was teenager!
by Julie - reviewed on July 20, 2009
I finished Laurel's book last night and I sooo wish I would've had this book when I was a teenager! I'd like to believe it would've inspired me to make better choices with my life in my late teens/early 20's. What an amazing book! I just loved it and even today at "my age" it has inspired me to be better and to try hard and to recognize and realize who I am and what I mean to my Heavenly Father! Big Thanks to Laurel! *****A must read for EVERY Teen LDS Girl*****
Wonderful -- like getting a warm hug
by John - reviewed on July 06, 2009
This book is full of uplifting messages and invitations focused to young women. As the father of 3 daughters I'm glad my girls can read such uplifting messages. I also really like how Laurel creates space for the young women to write down impressions that come to them through the spirit. Great book!
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