March 3, 2014

The Road Less Traveled

The next morning, I woke up with a new excitement to go to the cemetery. I guess I assumed that my special moment in the car when I had felt Emmett’s presence would be continued at his grave. I was hopeful that as soon as I got there, we would share yet another special moment.
We headed out early. It was sprinkling a little bit, and I hoped that as we drove, the weather would improve. It didn’t. In fact, the closer we got to the cemetery, the more the rain came down. The road up the hill to the headstones was covered in thick mud. The snow had melted, and the water that remained had turned everything to slop.
As we pulled up, I could see some of Emmett’s family members already standing around his grave. I had planned on seeing them at his aunt’s house later on, but inside, I felt disappointed that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to be there alone with him.

It was raining so hard that the kids didn’t even really want to get out of the car. What I had thought would be the perfect moment . . . turned out to be a dirty, cold, wet mess. I didn’t get to stand over his grave and yell about all the pain in my heart; I didn’t get to scream at him about how lonely I felt. I didn’t get to tell him how badly it hurt that I missed him. I was longing to share all the thoughts that had been eating at me, and I wanted to ask a whole lot of “whys.” All of those perfect words I had laid out in mind to say that day . . . were left stirring inside of me.
The kids came out and put the flower wreath down on the ground.
Emmett’s headstone wasn’t up yet, and the grass hadn’t had time to grow. It didn’t look like a grave. It looked like a pile of mud. I had had this picture in my mind that we would sit on the grass and cry together. I thought for sure my children and I would spend all morning sharing good memories of their father. Instead we ran through the rain to throw flowers on the mud. My expectations were destroyed.
In my disappointment, we drove over to Emmett’s aunt’s house. It was strange being there without him. These people—whom I continued to love so much—were still sad, just like us. It was hard for me to see the pain that remained in their eyes, but in some ways, it was also a relief knowing that, like me, they were still struggling to find peace. I wasn’t alone on that quest. They still had so many unanswered questions about why Rob had pulled that trigger, and why Emmett had not been at home with me that night. We didn’t say a word about any of it, but I could feel it radiating from each of them. It felt nice to be with some of Emmett’s favorite people. We had built many wonderful memories with each of them. He loved them more than most people love their own siblings. They were not just aunts and uncles and cousins to him . . . they were all at the top of his world . . .  they were all his family. As we left them that day, I could feel each one of them hug us with all of the love they had for Emmett. My eyes burned as I thought about all the hugs he would not get to give them and all of the memories these people would no longer be able to make with him.
We got back to Logan just in time to go to church with some family friends of Tiffanie’s. I felt empty inside . . . still longing for the moment I had not been able to have at Emmett’s grave. I felt like everyone in the church could see my pain. I was overwhelmed with anxiety . . . like everyone was watching me and wondering why I couldn’t pull myself together, and why my kids were being disruptive and loud. Instead of finding the calmness of just being in the church building, or seeking the spirit conveyed through the talks and music, I just sat there bitter and angry. I didn’t fold my arms in reverence—I crossed them in disgust.
I was so distraught about our visit to the grave, I almost considered having a do-over the next day so I could go back and try again to have the special moment for which I was still waiting. Instead, the kids played with old friends and swam in the hotel pool. I spent a lot of that weekend looking at real estate. I actually went through a handful of houses . . . hoping to find an answer about whether or not I should move back to Logan.

Nothing felt right. I got a few texts and phone calls from Walmart boy . . . but that didn’t feel right either. I was so confused. My heart longed for more Walmart moments where I could tangibly feel the faith Emmett had in me, and I wanted him to continue to guide me. Why did I feel like I was back on my own again? Why couldn’t he just always be in the seat next to me . . . helping me remember my worth and assisting me in moving forward? I didn’t feel settled about anything, and I was frustrated that no answers came to help me get to where I wanted to be. It didn’t feel right to move back to Logan, but all weekend, I kept trying to force it to be right.
Driving back home, I grew a little bit bitter, angry that I hadn’t gotten the moment I had planned for at Emmett’s grave, and disappointed that moving back to Logan had not felt like the right choice after all. If we weren’t supposed to be there . . . then what were we supposed to be doing? I was pissed that the answer—which had felt so simple and laid out before me on our drive to Logan—now just seemed like a dream I was trying to push on my own.
On our way back home, we stopped to see Tiffanie’s family. While we were sitting in their living room I said, “Hey Uncle Dave, I feel like I need a more reliable car. Don’t you have a friend who owns a car dealership?” I had my heart set on getting a Sequoia. For months, that is what Emmett and I had planned on buying. Uncle Dave’s friend happened to have one on his lot, so we drove over to take a look.
We pulled up to the car lot, but my eyes were immediately drawn to a giant Yukon parked right in front of us. The minute I saw it, I got chills all over my body. I had never had a spiritual experience buying a car before, and in an almost amused manner, I turned to Dave and said, “That’s the car I’m supposed to buy right there, but of course I’m not going to get what I want today.” He laughed and said, “I’m not sure that car’s for sale . . . it isn’t parked by the other cars in the lot, but we can ask.”
His friend walked over to us and said, “So, you want to know more about Sequoias?” I looked at him and said, “I think that big Yukon over there is the car I’m supposed to buy. I had my heart set on your other car, but I want to look at that one first. Is it for sale?” I was pleased to learn that it was. The car had just been returned from a test drive and hadn’t been put back in its proper spot.

We took it for test drive. It felt so right. That feeling I had been seeking all day . . . was finally here, and it was about a car? I didn’t want answers about a car . . . I was seeking long term revelation about more important things. Buying a car seemed so insignificant and unimportant, but since I am so not a car person, I knew this had to be a prompting to buy this exact vehicle. It was bigger, newer, and more reliable than the Sequoia. That made me happy, knowing I would be traveling alone with the kids. I was also excited to have extra room in the car to accommodate having a friend ride with us. We had gotten to the point in our little minivan where we filled every seat. So, I could see some good that would come from buying this new car, but I was frustrated that the questions to which I was seeking answers didn’t seem to be on the list of important things with which Heavenly Father would help me.
I had no idea why I was supposed to buy that car that day, but it felt good to be making a choice that I had not thought of on my own. It didn’t make a lot sense at the time, but in the weeks that followed, I came to understand exactly why I was supposed to buy that car. The entire weekend, I had been searching for BIG answers for my family. I was trying hard to force things to feel right. Moving to Logan was not the answer to my prayers. I wanted to do what was best for my family, but I was having a hard time seeing why my ideas were not right for us.

When we do His will . . . it can be so powerful. When we follow our own will, we will cause more pain and hardship for ourselves.  

I remember a time in 8th Grade when I attended a ski club for my school every Saturday. We would meet in the school parking lot and ride the bus up to the ski resort and spend the day skiing together. I loved it every time we went, and I always looked forward to the next trip.
One afternoon, as I was preparing to head up the mountain for my weekly ski trip, my mom came into my room. She said, “Ashlee . . .  I have a really bad feeling about your going skiing today. I don’t want you to go.” Well . . . this idea seemed preposterous to my young fourteen-year-old self. I had my mind made up, and I was not going to stay home.
However, my mom felt so strongly about it, that she wouldn’t even drive me to the school. I found a ride with a friend and got on the bus to head up the hill. It was like any other normal bus trip: kids were laughing, boys were flirting, the snacks were yummy, and everyone was having a great time.
We were almost to the top of the mountain when something went wrong with the bus, and we began sliding downhill. Luckily, instead of skidding off the road, we got stuck in a snow bank. We spent that entire evening in a cold, broken-down bus, waiting for hours for the back-up bus to come and bail us out.
I didn’t get back home until long past midnight . . . to a mother I can only assume had been praying her heart out the whole night. She threw her arms around me and said, “I am so thankful you are okay.” With grateful hearts, we went to bed. She never said, “I told you so.” She didn’t rub it in my face. She just showed me how much she loved me and that she was grateful that everything was okay.

My mother taught me a great lesson that day. She had felt the inspiration that I should stay home . . . she had a plan for me that she knew would have been easier for me. She felt strongly about what I needed to do, yet she knew that I had to learn for myself. How much easier it would have been if I had just listened to her counsel. Why did I, as her daughter, feel the need to ignore her inspiration, and go through the pain and fear that were the consequences of my choice?
I’m certain she is not the only parent who has wondered about my choices at times. Heavenly Father knows exactly what is best for us . . . He has a plan based on the potential he sees in us, and He knows exactly what decisions would be best for us. But, He cannot force us to do anything we don’t want to do. He will send us warnings and counsel over and over again . . . but eventually, we will have to choose for ourselves. He will not force us to obey His will . . . but He willingly sends us His counsel and advice.

When you feel you don’t know which choice to make . . . let the Spirit guide you. He cares about all the decisions you are making, no matter how trivial you think they must seem to Him.

God wants us, as parents, to teach our children correct principles . . .  but then at some point, we have to let go and let them govern themselves. They will learn more from their mistakes than they would from us forcing them to do what we want them to do. It would have been easy for my Mom to force me into respecting the promptings she felt about my ski trip. I would have been safe, and her worries would have been soothed for the moment. However, I wouldn’t have learned the lesson about refusing to listen to the Spirit, and finding out for myself how alone I felt without that influence in my life. I needed to learn the hard way that the counsel given was for my good. I had to learn by doing—even if it was doing the wrong thing—and not just hearing what I was supposed to do.

That Memorial Day weekend, I wanted nothing more than to move to Logan . . . thinking it would be the answer to my pain. I truly believed the feelings I was cultivating inside myself about that plan would be confirmed by inspiration about how to make it happen. It all seemed so rational and simple in my own mind . . . and apparently I would have had a date (with Walmart boy) if I had moved back. Furthermore, I tried to force my own will while visiting Emmett’s grave that day. I longed to hear his voice again, and I wanted my desires to also be the will of God. I was angry when my designed plan did not match His plan, because the ease and perfection of my own plan seemed to me to be just exactly the choices I should make. But, in the long run, I was able to understand that it was not what Heavenly Father wanted for me.
He didn’t want me to force anything . . . because He was mapping out my course. At times, it felt as if I were standing on a winding road without direction or purpose, but each day, I have been blessed to see the whys of His plan for me.
Even creating and writing this blog was not my own idea. I spent hours in the temple and in my closet refuge begging Heavenly Father for a different way to find the healing that was promised me. I wrestled with the Spirit and with God’s promptings, which for years, pushed me to share the darkest hours of my life and the personal lessons I have learned from them. On many occasions, I have questioned His will . . . and just like my patient mother, He has waited for me to see that His will is greater than my own.

Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of his children. He sees our unlimited potential . . . no matter where we have been or where we are choosing to go. The limitations we find in our lives are not from submitting to His will . . . but come from following our own or someone else’s will.

There have been many moments along my path when others have set my course by the decisions or choices they have made. I don’t know how this works for our Heavenly Father, but I am certain His heart hurts as He sees us suffering the consequences of others’ poor choices, through no fault of our own.
These moments serve as crossroads, when we have the opportunity to use our own agency to take a stand. At times like these, some choose to retaliate . . . thinking that God has abandoned them, or that He has forgotten their promised plan. Others decide to let Him steer their course. Life is not about the events in our path . . . it is about what we choose to tell ourselves and what we choose to do in those moments.

Even if the course you are on seems to be shattered into a million pieces . . . God can take those fragments and build you a new road. There will be moments when it seems like your road has come to a dead end . . . but you just have to keep going and most likely you will find a fork in the road. This is the crucial moment when His will stands waiting for you, because this fork is more than just a curve in your path . . . it is the moment when you STAND . . . unsure of which way to choose. One road in the fork leads you to Eternal life . . . and to Christ. The other leads you to endless misery and the darkness of the world.
It is in those low times of our lives that we have the opportunity to decide if we are going to put our faith in Him . . . or if we will forget him and seek a road that comes with what seems, at the moment, to be more ease. The course we map out alone can, at times, feel simple and exactly where WE want to be. When we follow our own will, we don’t have to worry about anyone but ourselves. We can choose what feels good in the moment. We can justify that it is our life . . . and we need to live it up. However, I can promise you this . . .  eventually that selfish road will lead to self-loathing, solitude, loneliness, and depression. It may take years for the pain to come, but it will come.

Eternal happiness can never be built by man alone.
It is easy to be bitter . . . trust me, bitterness has come naturally for me. It is easy to be angry . . . it is a secondhand emotion that covers up much of the world’s pain. It is easy to wallow in self-pity when life gets hard. It is easy to just keep falling, but that is not the path that leads us home to Him. It is not the road that brings healing for our pain and faith for our doubts.

The good news is that even if you have traveled down all the wrong roads, even if all the forks have lead you to more pain . . .  your journey is NOT over. I have felt blessed because in all those times when I let the pain eat me alive . . . or the bitterness cause me to hate . . . I found the way to a brighter hour, and I fought for peace from the darkness that tried to pull me back into its murky paths. It has not been easy or natural, but it has been possible . . . and it has been worth it. I guarantee that if you fight the darkness every minute of every day, you can win when He is on your side. Don’t spend your days trying to stand alone.

Where there is a Will . . . there is a WAY, and if you have to do it on your own, then it is not the right way. That way is not the promised answer if you do it on your own . . . if you put your will above His. Pray for the answers to be able to follow the Will Christ has mapped out for you.  Don’t let the ways of the world map out the roads you drive. Seek for the course that only He can navigate.

We do not have to drive the course alone. … He is the mapmaker for our lives. He will navigate us home.

Borrow Mine 


Carrie said...

This post has touched my heart very deeply. The truths you teach are profound. I have learned for myself that God does have a plan for each of us, and it is far better than anything we can plan. The trick is learning to have the faith to let Him guide us to where He knows is best for us. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony and your experience. You have truly touched many hearts.

Anonymous said...

I never said it was easy, I only said it would be worth it- God!
Thank you for sharing your testimony and uplifting others who are going through similar
Emotions as you are. We all can relate. I appreciate your tender soft heart! It definitely speaks volume about your worth and your divine heritage:-) Thank you for sharing.

Mr. Thompson and Me said...

I read every post. I don't comment but I want you to know that I soak it all in.
You have so much to share...and we have so much to learn. Thank you for teaching me, by example, that I can do hard things.

Anonymous said...

You have such a talent for putting the right things in the right perspective. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You are a very strong, rightous woman. I remember seeing an article about what happened. I also watched a News show when they
were interviewing Kandi Hall. You
never think these things will
happen when you've been to the
Temple. People are still human.
When i watched her interview all i
could think is "she should of died
that night." Her husband should of
killed her also. He should of gotten
a lot less sentence by claiming
insanity. He was definately in a
different frame of mind.
Sorry about feeling this way but I'm
going through a Hell of my own
right now. I have a 12yr old
adopted daughter that was
sexually groomed by 18 & 19 yr old
males. We have two Court Cases
going on right now with this. My
daughter has been harassed,
bullyed, endured sexual
harassment and feared for her
safety at school till i had to take
her out of school. I tried in vain to
transfer her to another school in
my town but they all said they
didn't have room for her because
of her IEP. I even tried a different out of bounds District and they said the same thing. She hasn't
been in school for a few weeks.
They are finally going to find a
Tutor to come to the house to help
her and then putting her into a
special program after Spring Break.
After all this i was told by the
woman in charge in the District
Office that it was because of some
behavior issues she had earlier in the school year that all the schools were turning her down. How do you believe any of the School Officials when they have all lied to you?
I have a lot of hard work a head of me about forgiveness.
Thank you for listening.

Anonymous said...

All of your posts are direct answers to my prayers. I keep your blog open and check it everyday. Thank you for sharing your pain and experiences and wisdom! I know its hard to do at times. Writing happens to be a form of healing for myself as well. Please keep it up. God bless you.

Jeff Moss said...

Did you know that Joseph Smith married a 14 year old girl when he was 37? He told her that her and her entire family would go to the celestial kingdom if she married him. Her name is Helen Mar Kimball, you can look it up. Also, Joseph Smith couldn't translate Egyptian, check the Wikipedia page on The Book of Abraham for more info. I just thought you should know about this big lie, I know it's upsetting to hear it, but if you do some research on all this you will find all the answers you need. And don't ever trust anybody who tells you not to do your own research. Freedom awaits! :) Very sorry to hear your story, I also lost a loved one, it gets better.

Anonymous said...

I hope everyone ignores this man whose comment was meant to tear down this young woman's religious faith. There is enough of this type of contention in the world already. Choose a higher road. This is not what this blogs about. We are here to uplift one another and gain strength from this woman's courage to see the beauty among even the darkest hours through her Savior. We can all gain from her courage regardless of what faith and or religion any of us believe. Let's show her the respect she deserves.

Unknown said...

You are an inspiration! Truly an answer to many many prayers. And no matter what religion you believe in I think it's absolutely clear to see and feel the spirit through your words, that you are a child of god and more obedient and open to his will than most of us could ever hope for! So touched by your story. And typical for Satan to try to take away from the spirit by trying to disprove the gospel and add contention to an otherwise beautiful encouraging life changing story

Jeff Moss said...

An anonymous person telling everyone to ignore me. Is that righteous? Is that the way? I have a moral obligation to expose the lies, the truth must be told. If not me, than who? I'm not trying to tear anybody down, I just want the truth. Search and ponder what i'm saying, and have no fear, knowledge cannot hurt you, knowledge is always beneficial to you. Joseph Smith also married other members wives, sometimes he'd send men away on missions and then marry their wife, it sounds too terrible to be true, doesn't it? Just Google "Joseph Smith polyandry". When you learn the truth, pay it forward, just as I'm doing.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more with Anonymous and Bonnie. Unfortunately there will always be trolls. Anywho, thank you again Ashlee for another inspiring post. I check your blog everyday and it is always uplifting and so helpful no matter your situation in life. I absolutely loved the article that deseret news did! You are a blessing to so many and to share such a personal, difficult trial has to be hard. We are thankful!

P.s. I'm choosing to add this post anonymously because heaven knows I do not want Jeff Moss trolling my blog ��

Anonymous said...

If you're looking for answers, Wikipedia is the most unreliable source out there. Like Ashlee, we receive answers through the spirit-that comes from god and testifies truths to us about doctrine or doubts and concerns you might have regarding Joseph Smith. Instead of trying to get others to believe what you say comes from Wikipedia, maybe try to receive your own answers by asking and praying- I guarantee you'll find what you're looking for, and that won't be coming from a website of misleading "answers".

1 Corinthians Ch 2: 12-13

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Shaunie said...

Jeff Moss how sad you are. I assume you ex communicated or have been dumped by a LDS woman since you are spewing lies and hate. There was absolutely no reason what so ever for your comments. None. You are bored and lonely. If you are truly dumb enough to believe Wikipedia, then you are truly uneducated. This is her blog and what she experienced. It's not about your pathetic life and excommunication and your rationalization for it to make you feel better. Stop and go troll others who are as bitter as yourself. Ashlee I appreciate everything you write whether I agree with it or not. My only request is that you post several times a day. ;)

Shaunie said...

Jeff Moss how sad you are. I assume you are ex communicated or have been dumped by a LDS woman since you are spewing lies and hate. There was absolutely no reason what so ever for your comments. None. You are bored and lonely. If you are truly dumb enough to believe Wikipedia, then you are truly uneducated. This is her blog and what she experienced. It's not about your pathetic life and excommunication and your rationalization for it to make you feel better. Stop and go troll others who are as bitter as yourself. Ashlee I appreciate everything you write whether I agree with it or not. My only request is that you post several times a day. ;)

Anonymous said...

Jeff, Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God. He translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God, not by his own knowledge. He restored the true gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth. Members of the LDS church believe these things to be true, as I do. We also know that he was a man--an imperfect human. We, as a church, have never said that he was perfect, or that everything in his personal life was beyond reproach. He, himself, wrote that he was subject to weakness and temptation, and that he did things which were "offensive in the sight of God." Those writings are part of the LDS canonized scriptures.

There are many good men who have done wonderful things for the world, regardless of the mistakes they make. Martin Luther King, Jr., for example, is rumored to have been a "womanizer," but that doesn't take away from the value of his work in the civil rights movement. Joseph Smith, Jr. was not perfect, but that doesn't take away from the value of his work to restore the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and it doesn't make the LDS church untrue.

You are right: knowledge cannot hurt me. If Joseph Smith made some mistakes in his personal life, it will not hurt me, because it doesn't change the truth that I already know about his religious work. I don't need to research all the details of his life in order to believe in the church he established. I don't worship Joseph Smith; I believe he restored the Gospel. I worship God. I follow Christ.

There is a problem with your kind of "research." I was not alive when Joseph Smith was, neither were you, and neither were a lot of the people who have written about him. I didn't know him, and was not there to witness what he did or did not do. I cannot have firsthand knowledge about his life. So, if I do research, how am I to know whose account I can trust? Whose version is really true? If I Google it, or read on Wikipedia, I can come up with information from any number of sources that may or may not be credible. It may all be nothing more than rumor and gossip.

The research that I trust on this matter is to go directly to the source and read the words written by Joseph Smith himself, and to listen to my conscience to decide if his words ring true. I have read his words, and there is an unmistakable power that accompanies those words. I have felt that power for myself, and I believe what he wrote. I believe that God and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. I believe that he restored the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe the Book of Mormon is the true word of God, because I've read it and have felt the power in its words as well. That is what I want to "pay forward" to you.


Unknown said...

Hey everyone, I am new to this. I wanted to thank the person who started this. Your words have been an inspiration to me and my wife. My wife and I are very much in love. We both send each other links and always try to learn and love something about then. Please know that you helped me with so many things. Thank you.

To Jeff, I must reply with I'm sorry. I was not born into the church as some would call it. I was a Bible thumping preacher boy from Georgia. I was told by many Preachers on "What the so called truth was." Its funny you mention that LDS members cannot research. As a Baptist, I was always told never to open a Book of Mormon. A person is either told he/she can burn in Hell for eternity if they don't accept Christ, or if they do accept Him, they can return. If you even told someone you looked at a Book of Mormon, or any other doctrine, they would chastise you. They would make statements like, are you sure you're even Saved, or that you are am apostate. I have heard many churches make fun of the LDS people, make false allegations, all the while behind a pulpit. If you don't believe the way they tell you to, then your not Saved. However, I was never forced by anyone from the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints or coerced. I was asked to research, pray, and ponder. I was given a choice. I was treated with kindness. I have never heard one person (LDS), in church or out of church make fun of another persons beliefs. I am thankful for what I learned from the KJV Bible while I was in the Baptist church. I respect your thoughts Jeff, but I know both sides, and the side I'm on is restored. As for Wikipedia and Google, they are a great tool. It doesn't make it accurate. I do know that having more than one wife was practiced in the Old Testament, as well as being practiced after the Restoration. It was stopped later. If you want to get hung up on men marrying 14 year old girls, then maybe you should talk with my dad. He was not Mormon, but he too married a 14 year old with the blessing of the young lady, and the parents. This was just how things were. Does that make my father an evil an terrible man. No, my father is a great. He would later state he wished he had waited until they were both older. I would say times have since changed. You say you just want to let everyone know the truth because you are morally obligated. So a person of a different faith wants to testify about forgiveness, love, and happiness. Things our Savoir Jesus Christ spoke of, yet you are morally bound to interrupt her words of inspiration. Is that righteous? It had nothing to do with morals. It was you disrespecting a person who is reaching out to help others. because just like so many others, if its not your way its the highway. If you want someone to listen, start by listening fist. Listen to God, not Google or Wikipedia. I wish you all the best, and God bless.
Keep it up!! I love the blogs

Jeff Moss said...

Well Josh now you've seen first hand what happens to someone who looks outside their mormon religion for answers. I must have been exed or dumped by an outstanding mormon woman. I'm a tell. In fact most people who leave the church do so because they come to find out conflicting information. I was once a member, I left on my own, while I was single. You know those facsimiles in the back of the pearl of great price? We can now read those, there is no egyptian that we can't read, and Joseph Smith got it 100% wrong. They are funeral scrolls, it's the book of breathing, part of the egyptian religion. If you believe that Wikipedia is lies, why don't you click the sources at the bottom of the page and continue reading? I also believed that I had felt the still small voice, but I came to realize that feeling can neither confirm nor deny the truthfulness of any book, it is simply happiness, and I felt it just the other day when I took my wife and daughters to lunch. Never stop searching for the truth folks.

Jeff Moss said...

Here's a great source, Jeremy Runnels letter to his CES director:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for giving so much of yourself to the world through this blog. I have devoured each post since finding your site yesterday through a facebook post from a friend. My family will benefit from my renewed outlook on life, thanks to your positivity and words of truth. Blessings to you, Ashlee! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your post for the last 24 hrs, amazing, I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to find your blog. I was your Emmett 2 years ago, I was involved with another women and married with 4 kids. That year was a horrible for my family, I hate to even think of the Hell I put my wife and children through. Luckily I came to my senses and broke things off and my wife forgave me. I can relate so much in the feelings of evil in the home, it was a battle like I had never experienced before of good vs. evil. I have come back to Christ, and he is in my life daily, I still struggle with all that went on, I pray no know has to experience the pain that is involved. I'm glad you are willing to share your story, I only wish I had a way with words and a way of sharing your testimony the way you do. Keep up the great work. Amazing testimony, I am trying to get my wife to read this, it will be hard but well worth it for her. Thanks again for your testimony, it is amazing.

Anonymous said...

Ashlee, a lot of bloggers don't allow comments until they are approved. I saw your interview that you weren't into blogs at all until you did one on your own. I can see why. None of these comments are relevant so maybe you could require approval before comments show up on the site. I love your openness!

Shaunie said...

Did I call it or what? No longer a member. I gaurantee he "left" because he didnt feel worthy and now he is trying to justify his guilt by searching anything that will validate his guilt. He unlike Ashlee is the perfect example of how not to listen to the still small voice. I will go even further to say he is an adulter and has a addiction to porn. Ashlee, thank you for showing us how to listen and better ourselves. People like him will always spew hate and lies so they can bring peace to their troubled souls.

Anonymous said...

I hope Ashlee pays no mind to these posts. I would hate for her energy to be wasted and drawn away from posting.
Anxiously awaiting another post. My life has changed dramatically and for the better since being introduced to this blog less then a week ago!

Anonymous said...

I just have to say how much I appreciate your blog. I was thisclose to leaving my husband when I found your blog. I knew when I found your blog that I needed to read it. Forgiving is not easy but really, it is bringing me MUCH needed peace. Choosing happiness and goodness over the pain I was living with is hard but I am worth it, he is with it and my little ones are worth it. Thank-you for following inspiration and starting this blog.

Jenna Lake said...

I thought this blog was about Ashlee and her life - ?

Danielle said...

I love your blog Ashlee! It is so inspiring and uplifting and your faith is such an example to me. I check all the time for new posts... "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." (13th Article of Faith) Your testimony of Christ shines bright. You have such a way with words, a true gift. Keep the posts coming :)

Anonymous said...

Seriously?????!!!! So totaly inappropriate! This is not the place for your spewing of hate. Move along.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ashlee. Your words are powerful and true. They are helpful. Your voice is helping me so much.

The Banners said...

I just found your blog last night and just finished reading all your posts. Although I am not going through any big trials right now, your story has touched and inspired me! I feel renewed and ready to make better choices and change bad habits. I'm so sorry for the immense suffering you and your family has endured, but I'm sure your story has and will continue to change many lives for the better. You have a gift for writing and sharing your testimony. You should turn your blog into a book :)

Anonymous said...

I have been so drawn to your blog since finding it weeks ago. I can't relate to the marital hardships you went through but am helplessly drawn to the spirit felt here while reading. I admire your courage to share Ashlee. Truly.

This may sound strange, but I actually appreciate the comments from Jeff Moss. I've been struggling myself with some of the very things he brought up (even though typing them here was pretty inappropriate and disrespectful) but seeing it all written out and then reading the responses and thinking and praying about these things, confirmed what I've known all along....that there are many who will try and persuade the followers of Christ to follow darkness and ignore the light. I have felt a bit shaken lately that I would let doubt creep in but realized I have been trying to survive this world lately without Christ's hand. I have forgotten to invite Him in and haven't put all my trust in Him. The adversary saw the crack in my door and jumped right in. My prayers haven't been as meaningful as they once were and my personal study and reflection has been at a standstill.....and those are my strongest defenses against evil. Why would I forget that? Again, it's as if I was leaving a welcome note for satan to come right on in. But that's what's scary.....he wants to trip up as many people as he can, so he can have even more company. And he loves seeing doubt and confusion. But truth will always win. Christ, will always win.

Again, kind of crazy that I would be grateful to the negative commenter.....but this thread of comments has been an answer to some frustrated prayers of mine. Especially the commenters who kindly responded to Jeff and reminded me of the things I already knew. Then the spirit jumped in and did the rest for me. So thank you Ashlee, as strange as it sounds, for not deleting the comments. I really needed all of them to trigger some searching from within.

To Jeff, I'm sorry you're having your own struggles. Your accusations sound like they're coming from a place of pain and confusion and I wish you well on your quest for real truth.


Anonymous said...

Wanted to let you know about an amazing reaource;
Wonderful information and support specifically for women who are healing from betrayal and addiction in their marriages.

Julie said...

I came across your blog from a link off of a Deseret news post. I started reading it out of simple curiosity after having seen a 20/20 program. I NEVER expected to find what I did when I read your blog. I am so inspired by you!!! I know that with great trials we have the potential to gain great strength but I also know that few people could've endured what you did & ever found a way past bitterness & anger, you REALLY are amazing! You are so young to have developed such strength and faith! I also believe you should write a book. You are a gifted writer! Your children are SO blessed to have such a great Mom! Because you have chosen to allow The Lord to heal you, you have proven the truth that with God nothing is impossible! I hope you post again soon, you have so much to teach others !

Rita said...

Thank you for your thoughts!

Hailey Bea said...

I wanted to say thank you for your honest responses and for sharing your story. I feel like reading this has given me the opportunity to heal from insecurities I have never been able to shake. I have read every post on this blog and it has truly changed my life and given me Hope and Faith in my own story. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing and being husband was unfaithful in our marriage almost 2 years ago and through the Atonement we have been able to heal our marriage and our family. It is nice to hear the remorse and regret, while I will never understand his reasons I do know he is sorry
Reading this blog has blessed me in so many ways!! I hope your wife can read this...I think she would be able to draw alot of help and peace from it. Yes it might stir up some emotions, but I love that I stumbled onto this blog! Good luck in your marriage.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story with the world. You've blessed so many I am sure. Every time I read, it is exactly what I need at that very moment. Xoxo

Anonymous said...

Thank-you. I appreciate the link.

Ashlee said...

I don't take the time to always read right away, or comment on everyone's thoughts... but I want everyone to know that I appreciate your willingness to share with me. We are all in different walks of life, and we all believe our own personal beliefs. I am so thankful for the ability I have been given to be able to stand true to what I believe. There isn't a doubt in my mind that I am exactly where I want to be in the things that I have learned to be true for myself. We are so lucky to have that freedom! Where ever we are on our paths to seek truths for ourselves... I commend everyone who is searching for them. There is power in this world that is so much greater than our own; we all have to continue searching for it every day. Thanks to everyone who is willing to help me as I learn to become more reliant on the powers that I have learned to trust, and true to the missions that I know I am here to fulfill.

Anonymous said...

Well said!

Anonymous said...

Reading your story in the Deseret News, and subsequently finding your blog has reminded me of feelings long since buried. Some years past, my 22 year old sister was murdered by her boyfriend's jealous ex-girlfriend.

While I could never know what it must have felt like to learn of the murder and infidelity, I do know and understand the darkness and hopelessness that settles into the lives of the homicide victim's family and loved ones.

Ours is an experience that few have to pass through, and others cannot possibly comprehend without having passed through the same pain. The selfish act that took the life of another causes ripples of suffering that effects the lives of many.

Ever since my sister's murder, whenever I see a story like yours in the news, it opens the wound and the depression and pain return.

However, thank you so much for your words of faith and optimism. Your experience shows to others like myself that God exists, loves his children (despite our many weaknesses), and that through hope and faith we can be happy in the midst of great pain and suffering.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention there are several great support groups (all free)that meet weekly by phone. It is amazing to be strengthened by other women in our circumstances. They are available if you simply email the contact on the Healing Through Christ website with a question to receive the information on the support groups. They will get back to you and give you the call in number. My husband and I have been fighting his pornography addiction for over 13 years. We are winning! This support group has been the most amazing strength and resource I have found! You would be welcomed with open arms. Completely last names are used.

Anonymous said...

Ashlee, I needed to find your blog...I have been through so many of your same experiences and feelings in my own marriage, and your testimony, healing, and experience have helped me release some of the pain that I know is still deep within me. I know there are many others that have gone through the same feelings from a spouse being unfaithful and all that goes along with it. I truly believe that if you put all these posts, exactly how they are here, into a book and published it, it would be able to help, heal, comfort, and strengthen so many more people through your trials and the healing, and testimony, you have received through the love of our Savior. I would love to read these over and over, but my eyes wig out because of looking at the computer screen so long. :) When you are done posting and healing from this tragic, yet growth filled experience, I would love to buy it in a book and be able to read it and share it with others who are suffering through some of the same experiences and pain. You truly are "THE ANGEL" in many lives right now as they read your story and find comfort and strength. I hope someday, if you haven't already, that you find a truly amazing man to live out the rest of your life with...he would have to be truly AMAZING as you are such an incredible, amazing person!!! You have suffered much, you have learned much, and now, you are truly amazing. I don't know how else to say it other than AMAZING!!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, hurts, pain, struggles, hatred, healing etc. with all of us.

Anonymous said...

Shaunie, as much as I think Jeff is only trying to rock the Mormon boat, your comments to him are hateful and in no way reflective of Christ's example. Unfortunately, it is this judgemental tone that gives our whole religion a bad reputation, in Utah especially. Please refer to the comment Ashlee made below. And Josh above. They were able to be respectful and loving while still disagreeing and standing up for their faith. Calling someone an adulterer and porn addict? Your hate for this stranger is shocking. I invite you to approach with love. This anger and contempt only hurts your spirit and stunts your growth.

Anonymous said...

Thank-you for giving me hope. I am so grateful.

r-pentomino said...

The OCD in me is getting the better of me. I apologize for intruding in (perpetuating) the off-topic, but I feel compelled to clarify, that Jeff's presented information, while mostly factual, is not truthful, and the only provided resource is neither. He presents the factual information that The recovered Scrolls appear to be text form the book of the dead (which was reported by the church quite some time before the scrolls were recovered), but He fails to be truthful by ignoring the fact that the recovered scrolls represent less than 20% of the scrolls which Joseph had, (the rest having been destroyed by a fire in the Chicago Museum where they were interred. He refers to (without references) a DNA study claiming that there is no trace of Jewish ancestry in modern native Americans, but fails to mention that the Book of Mormon makes no claim of Jewish Heritage by the people it documents. He also fails to note that the book of Mormon enumerates at least three different groups who came to the America; at least two of which intermingled. Nothing in the Book of Mormon excludes the possibility of of migrations, before or after the period the Book of Mormon covers. The study also ignores other factors such as genetic drift, and trait suppression, due to aforementioned racial mixing. The one reference he provides is from a clearly biased source, and frequently relies on logical fallacies in his analysis (for an alternative analysis of the DNA studies, I recommend In short, a critical analysis of the presented information neither proves, nor disproves the Book of Mormon, the Claim the Joseph Smith was a Prophet. And I suspect this will always be the case, given that a fundamental part of God's plan is for us to learn, grow, and exercise faith. I would encourage any who are interested in the TRUTH, to evaluate any evidence (for or against) critically, and prayerfully, and engage in your OWN personal scientific experiments by applying the concepts presented in Alma Chapter 32 of the Book of Mormon; seek to understand the core motivation behind the instruction given, apply the instruction based on that understanding, and observe the outcomes.

Sara said...

I'm so touched by your experiences, this post is beautiful. You have a beautiful gift.

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