Author Archives: Gina Holt

About Gina Holt

I am a happy wife and adoring mother of two, a son and a daughter. I'm an artist and a writer. I think good books are a gift and I love to read. I'm intrigued with cooking, experimenting with new recipes, especially for Indian food. I'm happiest when I'm with my family and even happier if they are playing their bluegrass music together. I think I was meant to live by the ocean, but living by the Great Salt Lake is the next best thing; you should see the sunsets! I feel excited to belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Gospel of Jesus Christ makes me happy and gives me hope.

Peace Through a Heart Full of Hope

Hannibal, Missouri

Two years ago this Easter, I lost a very special friend to an unkind and excruciating death because of cancer.  In the few short months between her diagnosis and her death, our friendship grew even deeper in its spiritual and eternal scope.  We shared deeply our testimonies and our feelings about our Savior, Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father and the glorious Plan of Happiness.  We laughed and we cried.  When the final weeks turned into days, our visits took more time, but our conversations were no longer.  With my friend too fragile to speak, we would just hold hands and sit together. Continue reading

Just Knowing…the Savior Stands by Me

I have playlists on my smartphone through a streaming service that I enjoy.  I have playlists for exercise, driving in the car, the Sabbath Day, cleaning, and others that represent various genres such as classical, R&B, and yes, even disco (I was a young teenager in the 70s).  I do have one that’s a little unusual.  It’s called “Get to Heaven.”  The songs there are very eclectic.  It includes church hymns, classical instrumentals, some songs from Broadway scores, and even modern music.  I had a seminary teacher that very nearly saved my life by teaching me to see gospel messages even in modern music.  Now 34 years later, I can hear gospel messages in much of the music that is positive and clean.  Sometimes it surprises my friends and family when I share these insights with them, and maybe they don’t see it the same way, but to my mind, it makes sense that the Spirit could teach me, even if the radio is on. Continue reading

Flooding My Mind and My Heart

Did you know that the Lord's command to Joseph Smith to take plural wives is recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 132?Do you like to read?  Do you ever listen to audio books?  What is it about a particular book that makes you excited to recommend it to others?  Do you ever share your list of favorites with friends or family?  Have you ever seen someone you don’t know, reading your favorite book, and felt an overwhelming connection to them, simply because they were reading something so dear to you?

On Labor Day, my husband and I spent the day running errands in preparation for our son’s upcoming wedding.  On our trip to the grocery store, we picked up some salted mixed nuts that my husband’s sweet mother, Margie, said she was wishing for.  We stopped into the care center for an impromptu visit to give them to her, knowing how much she was craving the salty goodness of some roasted cashews.

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When we entered her small apartment, Margie was so excited to see us and was thrilled at the yummy treat we presented to her, but she wanted to share something with us that was much more nutritious.  She clapped her hands together and exclaimed, “guess what?!  I just finished the Book of Mormon, again!”  She was beaming with the Spirit that comes to a person when they have a burning love for and testimony of the Book of Mormon and she wanted to pass on her enthusiasm to us.  She wanted us to feel the warm glow she was already basking in. Continue reading

Boundaries or Betrayal?

fashion-person-woman-hand-largeEvery year it seems, my mobile phone becomes antiquated and “old.” It might still work for me, but there is always a newer and better version that the phone carrier wants to talk me into.  It might have a bigger screen, better camera, or maybe more memory.  The old phone works, but the new phone is better, faster, easier to use.  The mobile company never tries to deceive me into keeping my old phone, hiding the new and improved one away for only itself.  It actually invites me to try the latest phone, telling me how much more I can do with it and what a wonderful tool it is.

When I think of the first smartphone I had, a BlackBerry that I loved, it was only 7 years ago.  That phone, now 7 years later, is a relic.  My smartphone is now a computer.  I never use my laptop anymore because my phone can do everything.  I design artwork on my phone.  I do banking and email.  I write for my blog.  I do family history work.  I buy books and clothes online.  I make hotel and airline reservations.  I check the weather and road conditions.  I get Twitter feed from the International Space Station.  Why would I want the old phone that only did email and text?

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Boundaries are both natural phenomena and man-made, set by men and by nature. A river draws a boundary and so does a cliff.  A steep canyon creates a boundary, and so does the sea.  One might be careful to think about crossing both.  We place fences around our properties to keep children and pets in and other children and pets out.  We place cattle guards on busy road crossings to protect cows and people.  Homes have thresholds and locks on doors.  Elevator doors close to protect people from falling to their deaths during the trip up a high-rise.  Even people have boundaries and carefully guard their personal space. Continue reading

Refugees: “What If Their Story Were My Story?”

refugees women's session ldsAs I sat in the congregation of the Conference Center, waiting for the women’s general session of General Conference to start, I was overwhelmed with the Spirit and with gratitude. My friend from Mormon Women Stand, Kathryn Skaggs, came from out of state to attend and offered tickets to me and my daughter.  It was a wonderful time to finally meet her face to face and to bask in the counsel we were about to receive from Church leaders.  I was amazed at how beautiful the pink flowers were and the pink and red lights illuminating the area behind the angelic choir.  I was humbled as I watched scores of women and girls of all ages gather together for this historic meeting, in such a beautiful building.  I knew in my heart we were all in for a magnificent feast and I was not disappointed.

The choir sang and I was overcome by the love that I felt for my beautiful daughter who I have known for her entire life, and also for my new friend, Kathryn, after having met her just moments earlier. As the choir sang, “I am a Child of God” and “Love One Another,” I could not keep the tears from falling.  Surrounded by faithful and radiating women and girls, Daughters of the Most High God, I felt love for them.  One by one, the speakers touched my spirit and even pricked my heart.  I felt myself being gently called to repentance while simultaneously being inspired and lifted with new ideas and generous thoughts.  I knew that the words I was hearing were inspired and I knew they were true.  Each testimony, each video, each song, pierced my soul. Continue reading

And None Were With Him–An Apostle’s Easter Thoughts on Christ

“May we declare ourselves to be more fully disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, not in word only and not in the flush of comfortable times, but in deed and in courage and in faith. May we stand by Jesus Christ at all times, and in all things, and in all places that we may be in, even until death, for surely that is how He stood by us when it was unto death and when He had to stand entirely and utterly alone.”  —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

 

Be Not Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ

ballard-214x300Mormon Women Stand’s collaborative effort will consistently follow the counsel from Elder M. Russell Ballard that “every disciple of Christ will be most effective and do the most good by adopting a demeanor worthy of a follower of the Savior… The Apostle Paul has admonished us to not be ‘ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation.’ (Romans 1:16) Let us all stand firmly and speak with faith in sharing our message with the world” (Ensign, July 2008). With this in mind, anything contentious, contrary to or criticizing the teachings, doctrines, or leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will not be welcome.  Mormon Women Stand Mission Statement

In the world of today, women are on the battlefield. Many don’t know it and many choose not to acknowledge it.  Still, others are quick to note the places in which they find themselves and accept it, even relish it, and charge forward on the battlefront with the banner of the Gospel of Jesus Christ held high–unashamed of their testimonies, and proud of who they are as women in the Church. Continue reading

I Will Always Follow the Prophet

follow the prophetI’ve been thinking about the phrase I’ve been hearing a lot lately, about how children shouldn’t be “punished” for the sins or actions of their parents.  Let me clarify, as one who should know.  Children are not punished for the actions of their parents, but sometimes they do suffer for them.

Some children suffer a lot more than others, but whenever parents make choices that negatively affect their children, believe me, the children suffer.  I attended World Congress of Families IX two weeks ago.  It was a productive and enriching experience.  I learned and re-learned things and made new friends.  I came home feeling excited about what I might be able to do to curb the tide that threatens traditional marriage and family values.  Let me share with you my personal story of how I know that even though children might suffer for their parents’ choices, but are never punished for them. Continue reading