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Everyday I am working to expand my mind by writing down my thoughts, listening to a book, podcast, or church talks. I feel the most motivated listening or reading from them. I notice my thinking, actions, and words are more intentional. They have been great influences and are giving more thoughts on the value I want to give in my life.

Dom and I were talking about ways we want to grow and produce more value in the world. We discussed the way we choose to live and expand in our mind is based on what we are mentally and spiritually consuming.  I told him how a part of what I want to write about is the ways I am growing from the material of books, articles, podcasts, etc. I am immersing myself in. 

Each day I am listening to at least one of these and every single one of them is benefiting me in some way. They also open my mind to how I want to express myself. 

Some of the ones I would like to share are podcasts, books, and talks that I am listening to now. 

Podcasts:

Jody Moore https://jodymoore.com/podcast/

The Alison Show: https://thealisonshow.com/podcasts/

All in: https://www.ldsliving.com/pages/allin

 Books: 

Insights from a Prophet’s life Russell M. Nelson: https://deseretbook.com/p/insights-from-a-prophets-life-russell-m-nelson-by-sheri-dew?variant_id=172666-hardcover

Living the Parables: https://deseretbook.com/p/living-the-parables?variant_id=171676-paperback

And my daily nourishment of The Book of Mormon: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/bofm/title-page?lang=eng

General Conference Talks:

Michelle Craig: Spiritual Capacity

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2019/10/15craig?lang=eng

Jeffrey R. Holland talks (one that I love listening to over and over): https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2006/04/broken-things-to-mend?lang=eng

All of these are refreshing my mind each day and I know they are helping me thrive to become a better version of myself. I wanted to share them with you guys. I also want to share some experiences I have from what I learn from them, hoping I can give you some insight and connection from my thoughts.  

I was listening to one of the podcasts from “All In” and the episode was called, “Eva Witesman: What May Be Keeping You From Accessing Your Spiritual Gifts.” “On the episode with Eva they talked about the importance of understanding our individual spiritual gifts as we seek to contribute to the world at large.” I thought about the conversation Dom and I had about what we want to contribute or give value by being our best selves. I know as we are striving to be our best selves, our best thoughts come to mind and our actions are influenced with better intent.

Ronen was so cute and noticed I was listening to something other than Jody Moore or some of my other podcasts that feature strong, good hearted woman. I listen to Jody Moore frequently because I feel like she speaks to my soul and helps me to produce better thoughts. (Shout out to my friend, Leanne Vomocil for spreading the word about her) Ronen, noticed I was listening to this “All In” podcast and was asking me about it. I told him that members of the church share spiritual experiences on this podcast and they share how they have grown and become better with using the spirit of Jesus Christ. (that’s what I receive from it) He said, “Oh, like Jody Moore.” Haha. I laughed because he really understands the type of people that influence me and what I like to listen to. 

I love all of these people and the influence they have on me. It got me thinking about my ultimate influence and motivator whom I love the most, Jesus Christ. I immerse myself in these books and other material and they bring so much joy. As I immerse myself in thoughts of Jesus Christ and follow His example I respond better in my life. What I have learned from His life is that he is perfect and responds to all of us with arms open wide and grace. He is our example because of His kindness, understanding, and ultimate influence for good. 

I try to put my thoughts in a state of mind where I can try to remember these good influences. I want to consume good thoughts so I can strive to produce good thoughts and actions. 

Recently we played with some friends where I wanted to contribute some good thoughts or value. Anytime the kids did something kind I wanted to acknowledge it to them. I would compliment them and shared how amazing it is to be kind and that Jesus Christ also shows kindness. They would say thank you and be on their way, haha. I don’t know if it was effective to say it, but I wanted to plant a seed in their head of the goodness of being kind. I remember as a kid my parents planted that seed in my mind. As I have grown older I have witnessed the kindness of Jesus Christ and in others. It is a great life value to have and continue to contribute.

Countless times I have witnessed Jesus Christ be kind in my negative moments and positive ones. When I get easily upset at my kids, I can feel the spirit prompt me to step back and choose to be kinder. When I serve a neighbor or friend, I can feel the spirit touch my heart that what I am doing is kind. With both experiences I am being prompted to choose kindness. It is the nature of Jesus Christ and what I have come to know of Him. He notices when I’m kind and wants me to continue to be kind, He notices when I am in the wrong and influences correction for kindness. He is kind and wants all of us to be kind. 

I love the quote, “When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.” -R.J. Palacio

I also found this scripture to touch my heart and influence me. 

3 Nephi 22:10 https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/bofm/3-ne/22?lang=eng

10. For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee. 

I love love this and feel so strongly that His kindness has not been removed. It’s a seed in my mind that I want continually growing.

When I shared with the kids how kind they were, I felt a light bulb go off. All of the studying of books, talks, podcasts I’m consuming and is influencing me for good. The experiences I gain from what I listen to. The experiences I gain from the influence from Jesus Christ is what I want to share with you all. Even if it’s just a small simple act of me acknowledging the kindness I witnessed from the kids playing. I want to share this to plant a little influence in your life of what good material and good influences can. And how simple acts of kindness can influence more and more good acts. I completely believe you can be kind without any of this material. I believe we can choose to be kind anytime. I just want to share with you that when I consume things that give me better thoughts and feelings, I will have more of desire to produce good thoughts and feelings. 

I want to go about my life giving value and sharing my love for Jesus Christ and the kindness he gives me. I want to acknowledge the good and kindness I see. 

I saw a reflection or future self in the eyes of these kids. I will want to lift others by sharing how good people are and how strong our spirit can influence themselves. 

I hope my testimony is a reflection of choosing to bring values of love, kindness, all through the influence and joy of Jesus Christ. I’m wanting to live like this and go throughout the world consuming more and sharing more goodness and especially kindness. 

What or who are some of your best influences? 

What is something you have done by being kind?

About Author

My name is Brianna Marshall. I was born in Dayton, Ohio into a Air Force family. We moved to Colorado Springs, CO when I was 5 years old and lived there till I moved off to College to Orem, Utah in 2007. I was raised into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'm still actively practicing the same faith today. I graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelors in Communications. I was married to my husband Dom in 2010 in the San Diego Temple. Dom and I have two children, one a boy, named Ronen, and a girl, named Ryen. I have been in and out of teaching physical fitness for over 10 years. I love to run and weight lift most days of the week. I also love to do yoga at night to calm me down before bed. I have always had a love for baked goods. My mom made a great dessert every Sunday and made them upon request growing up. I have always been really well at expressing my thoughts and feelings. I love to express a lot of my spiritual feelings with friends and family. As a young girl, I worked really hard to have a great relationship with my Father in Heaven. I have felt His presence from the time I was 8 and currently still feel his love and desire for me to become closer to Him. I desire to be a missionary as well as help others understand His love for all of His children. I find that being friendly, understanding and being compassionate to everyone is the best example of His son, Jesus Christ. I strive to follow His teachings. I also stumble with all of it. I'm so grateful for the atonement and repentance when I'm in need of change of heart and a compassionate spirit. I find life to be so beautiful and I'm grateful everyday for the experiences I have. I am a wife, mother, daughter of God, writer, runner, baker, and an imperfect being striving to be the best me.

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