Saturday, June 18, 2011

Aaron Carter's Advice

Hey everyone!

Remember Aaron Carter?  He was such the teen sensation not-too-long-ago.  Well, he is still doing his thing and recording and making exceptional music.  He plans on releasing an album this year, so watch for that to drop!  (There's my plug.)

Well, my buddy Aaron was in town to perform a set for a benefit concert that my great friend Jess (who I met Aaron through) put on last night in Allentown, PA.  I picked up my friend Mel, Aaron, and his manager slash assistant from where they were staying and make the 2 hour journey to the venue.

We had many a discussion throughout the car ride, but I just wanted to share something we are all jaded to hear, but something that we all need to be reminded about.  I was talking about how it would be fun to live in Los Angeles, and I was talking about schools out there.  Aaron replied by saying that: Yeah, while LA can be fun, you need to really watch out with the crowd you end up in.  He said that if you get invovled in the wrong crowd, things can turn down-hill very quickly.

How true this is!  Moral of the story: Be aware and on the defense.  Friends are such a blessing of life, but choosing the right friends can be tricky.  Sometimes people can seem great, but they may not have your best interest in mind.  You know the people that will uplift and love you.  Stick with them.

Here's a picture of Mel, Aaron, and I backstage from the show last night!
Oh...And something funny.  Our family always keeps a copy of The Book of Mormon in our car.  Aaron found it, flipped through the pages, and said, "Who's Book of Mormon is this?"  Mel says..."U, the Mormon driving the car."  End.


PS: This is probably going to be the last post for the next couple of days.  Tomorrow is my last full day in Jersey, and I fly back West on MONDAY!  Mission is COMING UP!  We will be going through Las Vegas and Southern California next week.  I'll update when I can, so please keep checking back!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Matter Most

I was literally just thinking about my next blog post. I was thinking that I could talk all about how overwhelming all this mission shopping is. I must have tried on 100 white button down shirts, tried on 50 different pairs of dress pants, tried on countless numbers of dress shoes, etc.

And then...I signed on to and watched the most recent video from Mormon Messages.
This one is yet another good one! Watch below.

And then I thought, the mission shopping might not be my favorite thing, but I get to do the shopping with my best friend...My Mom. And, that's what makes it special to me. That is one of the things that matters most. :)

I hope the video means something to you as well.


Monday, June 13, 2011

So Classy

I feel like the Church is so classy.

Just last night at the Tony Awards, the Broadway Musical, "The Book of Mormon" won Best Musical for 2011.  The musical is not an accurate depiction of our faith and beliefs.

When it was first coming out, the Church put out an official statement:

"The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people's lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ."

I 100% completely agree with this statement.

Oh...And MY BLOG JUST HIT THE OVER 10,000 VIEWS MARK!!  Thank you to everyone who reads my blog posts.  It makes me so happy to know that even one person is out there reading about my thoughts.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Princeton Farewell Talk

I gave my last talk (at least for the next two years) in my Princeton, New Jersey Ward this Sunday.  The topic was a challenging one for me, but I learned so much in preparing for this talk.  The topic was Death and Resurrection.

I know it's a long talk, but if you have a moment, take the time to read my talk for yourself.  It's posted below.

"Good morning Brothers and Sisters.  Every time I come home, there are always new faces.  For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Sean Edwards.  I’ve spent the past 5 years living in Provo, Utah.  I spent this past year doing my first year of teaching at Timpview High School, which is where our very own Brother Draper went to school.  I taught a severe Special Education class as well as Peer Tutoring classes.

    Just before graduating from BYU in 2010, I was trying to decide where to live, what I wanted my next step to be.  I was very interested in moving to Las Vegas.  They pay teachers well and I was looking into graduate programs at UNLV.  While my Dad and I were out looking at houses with a real estate agent, I said to my Dad, “Our whole family should just move here!”  My Dad quickly responded by saying, “I will never bring Mom, Krista, and Elaine back here.  This place is a cesspool of sin!”  … Fast forward to May 2011.  I open my mission call.  And, I read that I will be serving in the Nevada Las Vegas Mission!  My Dad was so excited.  He kept saying, “Vegas!  That is so great.  I can’t think of a more perfect place for you to be!”  I feel like I’m getting mixed messages.

Well, I have been anticipating this talk for a long time, and when I was told that the topic I was to speak about would be death, I thought about a couple of things.  The first thing that came to mind was, “Oh, my mission covers Death Valley!  Wait, I wonder if this is personal revelation on exactly where I will be serving.”  Then, I thought “Great, I’m going to make my whole home ward depressed and sad right before I leave for two years, and I won’t get any letters from them!”  But, that’s the tricky thing about death.  Death can be very tragic and sad, but there is a silver lining.  It doesn’t have to be completely sad.  Not all is lost.

Death is not the end.  It’s the beginning of a beautiful, brand new chapter in Heavenly Father’s plan for us.  Our physical bodies must die in order for us to return to our Father in Heaven, Savior, and loved ones that passed before us.  As difficult as death is, it is a necessary part of God’s plan of salvation for us.

The death that I want to focus on is that of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  We can learn so much about the Plan of Salvation through Christ’s death and life after death.

Before the death of Christ, He went through the Garden of Gethsemane to fulfill the Atonement.  We learn in 2 Nephi 9: 21, that Christ suffered “the pains of all men, yea the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children.”  Mosiah 3:7 tells us that while in Gethsemane “Christ shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer…for behold, blood cometh from every pore.”  The Atonement becomes a pinnacle to our faith, because it is through the Atonement that we can be resurrected.  It is through the Atonement that we can repent and be forgiven of our sins.  It is through the Atonement that we can one day return to our eternal home.  The Atonement has been a blessing in my life.  No matter who we are, we all need the blessings of peace and strength the Atonement offers us.  It is because of the Atonement that I had the opportunity to humble myself and repent of my sins, and it is because of the Atonement that I have been forgiven by my Father in Heaven.

After Christ’s death, there were three days before His return to Earth.  What was He doing?  Well, we learn in Doctrine and Covenants 138 verse 30, that Christ preached the gospel to the dead.  Ray L. Huntington and Camille Fronk have an article in the January 1999 issue of The Ensign.  They say of the three days Christ’s physical body was in the tomb, “While darkness reigned figuratively and literally on the earth with the death of Jesus, it had never been so light in the spirit world. Those spirits of the just had “countenances [that] shone, and the radiance from the presence of the Lord rested upon them, and they sang praises unto his holy name”

The knowledge of Christ’s ministry in the Spirit World after His death means the world to me.  My cousin and best friend, Jace Davis, was serving his mission in Romania when he passed away in January of 2010.  Jace was valedictorian of his high school, tennis star, and loved by everyone.  His premature death was extremely hard on our whole family.

I have always felt a love for President Hinckley because he was the prophet for most of my life.  He and I even shared the same birthday. I had the great privilege of seeing him in person many times at general conference.  I also had the sacred opportunity of seeing him during a viewing at his funeral.  He wrote the following poem about his wife after she passed away.  I read this poem in an Ensign the day after my cousin died.

It is titled:

What is This Thing That Men Call Death

By President Gordon B. Hinckley  (1910-2008)

What is this thing that men call death,
This quiet passing in the night?
‘Tis not the end, but genesis
Of better worlds and greater light.

O God, touch Thou my aching heart,
And calm my troubled, haunting fears.
Let hope and faith, transcendent, pure,
Give strength and peace beyond my tears.

There is no death, but only change
With recompense for victory won;
The gift of Him who loved all men,
The Son of God, the Holy One.

Jace had everything going for him here on Earth, but he had a much more important calling to fulfill.  I have been so grateful for the peace that I have felt, knowing that Jace was needed by the Lord to minister to those in another world. There is a scripture on my cousin’s gravestone.

It is 3 Nephi 5:13 “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.” I am so happy to know that Jace is still fulfilling his mission.  The truth we know about death and resurrection allow us to know that our loved ones are being taken care of by our Heavenly Father, and someday we will be with them again.

The Resurrection is commonly known as Christ’s “victory over death.”  And, it is a victory.  We also have the gift to overcome death.  Everyone who dies a physical death will receive a complete Resurrection and restoration of soul and body.

After Christ’s return to Earth, he appeared to the people of the Americas.  We read in 3 Nephi 11, that as the people looked up, “they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them…he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying: Behold, I am Jesus Christ.”  He invites each person to come up one by one and touch His wounds.

“Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.” (3 Nephi 11:14)

“And it came to pass that the multitude went forth and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he. For whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.”

Just as Christ did in ancient times, as a missionary, I will have the amazing opportunity to continue to ask people to find out for themselves, one by one about Christ.  Although they will not be able to physically touch his wounds, I know through the Holy Ghost, they will be able to spiritually feel his wounds and experience the blessings of knowing his love for them.

We are still asked to come one by one and use the Atonement in our lives to gain forgiveness of our sins and ask him to help us carry our burdens.  Forgiveness of our sins will help bring us peace, and His help in carrying our burdens will help bring us strength.  It is through the peaceful and strengthening events in my life that that I am able to serve a mission.  As a missionary, I will be teaching about how the resurrected Christ can help individuals to live happier lives and gain exaltation.

Brothers and sisters, death can be very difficult, confusing, and sad.  But, it doesn’t have to be completely devastating.  Remember the silver lining.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “When it is dark enough you can see the stars.”  I remember going camping with my Dad in Arizona in the desert.  In this darkness, we could see hundreds of beautiful stars.  Death can be a very dark time, even for those who understand the plan of salvation.  However, infused in the dark, we will see beautiful stars. Remember that because of Christ’s victory over death, we can all have our own victory over death.  With the Atonement and Resurrection, we can return to live with our family members and Father in Heaven with our Savior by His side.

I love this quote by Elder Holland about the resurrected Christ:

“On that first Resurrection Sunday, Mary Magdalene first thought she saw a gardener.  Well, she did, the Gardener who cultivated Eden and who endured Gethsemane.  The Gardener who gave us the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valley, the cedars of Lebanon, the tree of life.”

Just last week I had the opportunity to go to the John Johnson Farm in Hiram, Ohio with my Mom and Krista.  It was in this very house that Joseph Smith had the vision found in Doctrine and Covenants 76.

    “…the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about.  And we beheld the glory of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of his fulness; And saw the holy angels, and them who are sanctified before his throne, worshiping God, and the Lamb, who worship him forever and ever.  And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!”

I am so excited to have the opportunity to commit two years of my life to sharing with people the thing that I hold most precious to my heart, that is my Testimony and love for the gospel.

I know this Church is true.  I know that President Monson is a modern day Prophet, and he receives revelation for the Church.  I know the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ.  I know that if we desire to do good, the Lord will look upon our hearts and help us make the right decisions.  I know that death is an integral part of the Plan of Salvation, and that if we humbly come to our Father in Heaven with concerns and questions about death, he will comfort us and disperse our fears and worries.  I know because Christ was resurrected, we will also be resurrected.

I leave these things with you and say these things in the name of Jesus Christ,


Thank you so much for reading this.  I hope you got something from it.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pic From The Past: Play-Doh Party

A number of months ago, in the winter-time, I went to my friend Melody's for a Play-Doh Party!  What did I make?  I made a Play-Doh version of Las Vegas Blvd, "The Strip".

Here it is!
Look in the 2nd Picture: We've got a clam with a pearl in it representing Treasure Island (which should be on the other side of the road, but I didn't have enough room), the Eiffel Tower, the MGM Grand, a dragonsaur terrorizing the city, The Mirage, Luxor, The Statue of Liberty representing New York New York, The Bellagio, and Caesar's Palace.  Oh, and a huge turtle.  Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas!

Even though I'll never see The Strip on my mission...I thought the coincidence was funny.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Civility Experiment

I just watched this new Mormon Message. This one is so good! It makes me think of one of my favorite hyms, "Lord, I Would Follow Thee"

"Who am I to judge another,
When I walk imperfectly..."

Click here to see more Mormon Messages.  Or go to:


Monday, June 6, 2011


Ohio was a great time!  Thank you to The Bakes Family for letting us stay with them!

I got to spend time with my best friend, Tucker!

And...Mom, Krista, and I went to some of the sites in Hiram, OH and Kirtland, OH

And...I got to see my dear friend Amanda, and her sister Alaina.
And...Now it's time for me to do something productive for the day!



Thursday, June 2, 2011

Road Tripping It To Ohio

Hey everyone!

I will be in Ohio for the next couple of days!  I am going to see my dog (who now lives with my best friend's, Kelsie's, family in Ohio).

I can't wait to see this beast!  TUCKER!!!! :)