My activity in the church started when I was barely 13, as a New Years' resolution. I could see that my friends were happier than me and church attendance was really the only difference between my life and theirs. I know, not exactly typical. I'm not entirely sure if my trip was the immediate Summer or the one following, but I was still getting a feel for the spiritual life.
I always loved seeing my Aunt Kathy, and this year she offered for me to come visit for a week and attend girls' camp with her ward. She helped plan the camp and was going to be up there all week with the other 12-18 year old girls in her area. I was really excited for the opportunity, but also very nervous to be somewhere so new with people I didn't know.
While I don't remember a lot of details about that week, I remember being so touched and inspired. The theme was based on a song by Jenny Phillips - Live Like You Believe. I was in awe at the strength and happiness of my new friends. I grew up surrounded by the LDS faith. I basically lived the standards by default. These California natives talked all week about the trials they went through in picking good friends and sometimes being teased for the decisions they made based on faith. As a 14-year-old, I was incredibly impressed. I felt so fortunate. Besides the moral strength, the spiritual maturity in this group touched my heart.
On one afternoon, we had a special guest come up to camp. Lucky me, it happened to be my cousin, Matt Daley and his new wife, Kimber. In true youth activity fashion, they changed into their wedding outfits and visited with us about their story together. They put emphasis on a temple marriage. From the short time hearing from them, I saw honesty, love, and happiness in their relationship. From that time forward, a temple marriage became one of my biggest goals. I wanted so badly to have a relationship like Matt and Kimber...now they have two kids and live in Texas, and I'm hoping my family life will be just like theirs.
By the end of the week, I was so excited about life. I learned about camping, tying knots, hiking, and a lot of spirituality. All of these memories flood back to me each time I listen to "Live Like You Believe." Even without an emotional connection, the song is just beautiful. It has such a special place in my heart. I hope you enjoy: