Wednesday, February 28, 2018

What I Learned From Smiling 24/7 For One Month

When I was in high school, my English teacher introduced me to The Scarlet Letter. To be honest, I don't remember much of it. What I remember is the assignment she gave us: Choose a label we've been given in life, and physically wear it on ourselves for an entire day.

Guess what label I chose.


If RBF was a thing back then, I had it. I was told by many an adult, "You should smile a little more, Brittan" and "Hey, it wouldn't hurt to smile" and "Where's that nice smile?"

Through the course of several months, some good choices, some life-changing experiences, etc. etc. (story for another day), I rid myself of the dreaded ornery label and decided JOY was my course in life.

And I lived happily ever after.

And then some years passed and peaks and valleys and ebbs and know, that whole bit, and I woke up in January 2018 with a frown on my face. And I said to myself, "This just won't do."

So I set my sights high and decided February was my month for smiling. Now, I will admit that I did not succeed at the goal of smiling literally 24/7. But if I did, I would be perfect, and then what would I even do for next month's goal, right?

Here's what I learned from [attempting at] smiling 24/7 in February:

First of all, there are actual face muscles that atrophy if you don't use them to smile. Do not let that happen to you.

Second, my favorite time to choose to smile is walking around the store. In January, I would have walked around the store with my regular, average joe face on, basically avoiding people. But not in February, my friends! I walked around the store with a giant smile, and guess what! When people saw me, they would smile back. Pretty much every time, almost like magic.

My second favorite time to choose to smile is in the car.  Just try it. I promise you'll love it.

Third, it's not actually appropriate to literally smile 24/7. Not everything is happy and worth smiling over, and that's okay.

Fourth, compared to the investment, the return on a smile is absurdly large. It takes almost zero time, very little effort, no money, and no special skill. Yet so many times it is just what someone needs to brighten their day, lift their spirits, and inspire them to do good. When you see someone smile at you, you naturally want to smile back. When you smile, your brain is like, "Whoa! I'm happy!" and then you smile more.

Have you heard about the importance of smiling at infants? Apparently when moms and dads smile at their babies, their brains literally develop into healthy, emotionally intelligent, strong little brains. Well guess what I've decided: Smiling is important for the development of adult brains, too. When we smile at each other, we connect and we open up, and we be ourselves.

I also like to smile at myself. One of my favorite things to do is smile at myself in the mirror right when I wake up. I look hilarious, so it's not that hard, and it starts the day off right.

I think we underestimate the impact something as simple as a smile can have.

February is over, but I know what I'm going to be doing in March.

"The greatest self is a peaceful smile, that always sees the world smiling back."
-Bryant McGill

Sunday, January 28, 2018

What I Learned From Reading The Book of Mormon in One Month

I decided to start the year off right by reading the entire Book of Mormon. I finished this morning with 3 days to spare! Here's what I've decided:

1. It's easier than you would think to read it in 28 days, even with school and other books, and a brother getting married, and work and etc.

2. My favorite part is Mosiah and Alma.

3. It is crazy applicable to my every day life.

4. I really do know it is true and inspired.  Honestly, much of what I know about Jesus Christ comes from the pages of this book. In the dozen or two times I've read it, I have found more and more that it brings me to Christ.

Almost everyday this month, as I finished my reading for the day, I would say to myself, "Sooooo repent! Let go of my pride, turn to Christ, and let Him heal me."  It's an oddly refreshing reminder. In a world of pride and self-aggrandizement, it's not cool to submit to God and His will. It can be confusing to know what is "right" or if there even is a right. Page after page in this book, we are reminded that there is a truth, there is a right, there is a way to peace and happiness in this world. That way is humility and repentance through the Atonement and sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Listen to this:

Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered. Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise. (2 Nephi 2:6-8)

Those verses are such a good representation of what the entire book is and stands for! It is a testimony of Jesus Christ. He is our Savior. Through Him we are saved through grace and mercy, one day to stand before God again. How important it is to make these things known!

If you are looking for that missing something in your life this year, I invite you to read the Book of Mormon. You won't regret it.

(If you need a copy, go to, or send me a message and I'll be happy to get you one)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Tribute to Jenna H.

I once had a tradition of writing Jenna poems when she would go on dates. (I'm not going to link them to this post because who knows who would find that old blog and YIKES).

This one's for you, GP:

There once was a girl named Jenna H.
Quite the friend to have, was she.
She traveled all over the Eastern states,
And many a site she did see.

With a degree under her belt and a resume to boot,
She landed herself the dream job.
Great roommates galore, and her ward was a hoot,
There was nothing about which she could sob!

Until one day, God whispered in her ear,
And she realized where she should be.
It was quite hard, and she shed a tear,
But back to Utah she did flee.

Confused and alone and physiological...
She dreamt of her DC days.
Her return to Utah did not seem logical,
And she missed her job that pays!

Slowly but surely her life turned around,
And many great friends she did make.
Her pre-reqs went well, her spirit was sound,
Many leaps of faiths she did take.

With blessings poured down, and love in her heart,
She wondered what would be next.
Would she get into school, would this be her new start?
Or would it just be another test!

But with all of these things only time would tell,
So she decided to just do her best.
Then one wintry day, that was going quite swell,
She received a nice little text.

"What splendor, Jenna H. I've got news for you!
My wonderful friend is here.
He is quite attractive, with eyes so blue,
And for years he's been a great peer."

"But what could this mean?" Jenna thought in her mind,
"A date with a stranger again?
Well I guess I'll go, he could be a good find,
After all, he's a friend of a friend."

The fateful day came, David knocked on her door.
She wondered, "How will it be?"
But when their eyes did meet, their hearts did soar,
And all her worries did cease.

She saw then and there how her life would pan out,
How things past had led her to this.
Eleven months later, with joy they would shout,
For as husband and wife they would kiss.

But it didn't stop there, for that's never the end,
There is life after the wedding day!
They traveled to Syria, Greece and Japan,
Much good did they do and say.

Seven children they had, all with character and brains,
And desires for the good of the earth.
David and Jenna and their kids relieved many pains,
And helped everyone see their great worth.

Life can be hard, you might say, "Poor me,"
But don't you forget one thing:
From their example it is clear to see,
What good two people can bring.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I am breathing, so I must be living. Physics. Chemistry? Both. Always both.


You may recall that moment about 2.5 years ago when I created this blog?  And then it died?

Welcome to the resurrection (a.k.a. never to die again!!)!! Get excited. Although I do not 100% guarantee that last statement.

So let's get right down to it.

I am fascinated with my ancestors and church history these days.  A few weeks back, I read an autobiography written by my ancestor, Elizabeth Haven Barlow.  She lived in the 1800s and shared many experiences she had with the early church. I was totally enthralled with her account of Joseph Smith's death.  Had I seriously never read an account of someone who was there??  It was quite captivating, to say the least.  Testimony = more solid.

On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, I attend an institute class called, "Women in the Scriptures." The majority of the class is obviously focused on women in the Old Testament (today we discussed Sarah, Abraham's wife).  However, my teacher spent the first few weeks discussing Lucy Mack Smith and Emma Hale Smith.  Oh. My. Goodness.  Mind blown.  Gratitude skyrocketing.  Humility punch to the face.  Those women were amazing and inspiring. Testimony = more solid.

But perhaps most importantly, my grandmother and her sister recently published a book called Seventeen Sisters Tell Their Story.  It's a legit book.  On Amazon and everything. (Click here for evidence).

Anyway, in case you don't know, my grandmother was raised in a polygamist home.  She was the 16th of her father's 34 children, and the 3rd of her mother's.  If you need a refresher, polygamy was discontinued in the church in 1890.  My grandma was born in 1940.  You see? She was raised outside the LDS church.

The book is a compilation of the stories of the seventeen remaining daughters in that family (remaining, as in, still living).  It is incredible.  Each of them is so unique.  Several of them describe the same event, but from their own perspective.  They all incorporate their perception of how they were reared; particularly on their relationship with their father (my own great grandfather, and their shared parent), and their view on the things he valued, taught, and did.

Testimony = more solid.

I have many questions from the reading. For example, many of these women did choose to live polygamy as adults, and continue to do so to this day.  Each of them describe the spiritual journey that led them to this decision, testifying of God, His power and knowledge, and care to answer prayers.  Powerful stories.  But how could this be?  Why did they feel so strongly that the Spirit had guided them into this polygamist marriage? They can't be members of the church and receive the blessings of the temple in this kind of a marriage!!

I know there are many strong opinions on this topic, and that is not really what I want to bring out.  I don't care if you think polygamy is horrendous, or if you are embarrassed that we ever did it as a church, or if you think it is the greatest thing ever.

Here is what I got from the book:

1.  Heavenly Father seriously loves us soooo much.  I was reminded over and over again about the power of prayer.  And the power of the Priesthood. Isn't it amazing that God has given us these gifts?  My mind is blown basically on the daily about this awesomeness.  Along with that, I do believe that He sees a picture that is much bigger than the picture that you and I see.  I don't understand conflicting promptings slash doctrine.  I don't even understand all the straight forward stuff.  But I do understand that every time I have listened to Him, I have been okay.  In fact, I have been happy.

I think that is something significant. Worth noting.

2.  We are hugely impacted by our families. This is not a new thought process for me.  I'm in my last semester of this Family Studies degree for crying out loud.  Four years of studying families secularly, 1.5 years of bringing them to the gospel, and 23 years of living in one...I've thought a lot about them.  I love families.

In fact, one of the biggest things I learned on my mission was about the family.

Our family is what brings us into this mortality!  Our family is what teaches us about living.  Our family is the cause of most of our childhood memories, our traumas, our joys, our desires, our hopes, our hurts, our values, our understandings of the world.  It starts with the family.

With the completion of this book, I gained a new gratitude for the family I was given. Especially for my grandma.  I remember a couple years ago (back in my Utah State days, wooooooot) I had an epiphany one day. I was like, "What the crap.  I was THIS close to being a polygamist.  My grandma! She has shaped my whole life!! What if she didn't join the church?  WHERE would I be??"

My grandma has been a great example to me.  I remember one time she babysat us for a few days while my mother was away (perhaps on her honeymoon? I don't remember).  Anyway, I felt sad one night because I missed my mom.  I remember going in to my grandma, and instead of shooing me back to my bed, she sat me down and opened up the Book of Mormon.  She said, "Sometimes I just like to read the chapter headings to get the quick version of the stories." And that is what we did.  I felt better.

I have heard her speak countless times of the miracles she has seen at God's hand in her life.

I visited her when she served a mission with her husband in Australia. (They also served one in Texas!)

She's the one that always said to me, "You're not lucky; you're blessed."

One time, she was the veil worker that helped me through at the Salt Lake Temple.

Her life was definitely not perfect, and she made her fair share of mistakes.  But, after reading this book, I have even more appreciation for her. She did not have it easy -- none of them did.  But because of the things she has done and the person she has become, I am a better person today.

Testimony = more solid.

The church is true.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Last Thing

Dearest Blog Reader.

I regret to inform you that I cannot have a blog as a member of the TLM. I was unaware. But today I was made aware. And I must be obedient, right?


So this will be the last thing that my beautiful amiga posts on this blog for me. I don't know what to do about it. I am thinking that maybs you can just email me a line that says you want me to email you and then I will just write a blog post and send it to you in email form.  What do you think?  

I don't know.

But! For the last legitimate post, let me tell you something I have learned this week.

I started the Book of Mormon over with the beginning of this new transfer, and my oh my. All throughout 1 Nephi, it is just evidence after evidence and testimony after testimony and story after story of the Lord directing His people! So I have been thinking a lot about that. Then I was reading 1 Nephi 18 and it talks about the Lord giving them direction in every single verse for like 6 verses straight.

And then I was studying PMG. There is principle titled, "Heavenly Father Reveals His Gospel in Every Dispensation."  And it was like it was the first time I had read that. I said to myself, "Whoa! He REVEALS it!"  We would not have this church here today if it were not for revelation.  The Prophet is seriously called of God to receive revelation to direct the church and the world. I'm pretty sure I wrote that line basically word for word on this very blog before, but it has just been hitting me hard this week.

We are so blessed to know that there is revelation in this very day.

And not only that, but we can receive personal revelation on the daily.  I have read soooo many scriptures that say, "Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you." And I would be like, "Wow, great, knock, receive." This is great. 

But this week I have been reading scriptures like that, and actually, legitimately believing it. Because guess what. It. is. true.

When we pray, God hears us. And then He answers us. And He guides us.  Personal revelation is a real thing.

Jacob 4:8.... Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God.

And then I was reading all these scriptures about opening our ears and humbling ourselves so that we can receive revelation. And True to the Faith! Best book ever! Read that thing!

Okay, I must end this.

This is what I know:  Personal revelation is such an important, and very real gift from God.  I have experienced it, and I am excited to learn more about it, and to learn how to receive and act on it more effectively.  And I know that each of you can, too. If you want to. So. Want to.

It is such a blessing to be a missionary at this time.  This is the Lord's work! His purposes will roll on. So let's get crackin.

Love, Sister Brittan E Plante

Monday, July 29, 2013


Remember obedience?

I love it.

I don't have much time today, but this is what I would suggest:  Read Elder L. Tom Perry's talk from last conference called Obedience to Law is Liberty. And then the very next talk by President Monson called Obedience Brings Blessings.  Both are amazing and enlightening and will change your life if you allow them to. So. Please, do allow them to.

Obedience literally brings us freedom. In every way. EVERY way!  Additionally, it brings us knowledge and truth that we cannot even imagine. Freedom, knowledge, and truth. Would you want anything else?

There is so much more, but I will just leave you with this, until next time...

Recipe for a successful missionary:

1. Obedience.
2. Hard work.
3. Testimony.

In that order.  Because even if you don't have the second two, you WILL get them, if all you have is the first. So be obedient.

The church is true, my friends.

Love, Sister Brittan E Plante

Monday, July 22, 2013

Whenever I was fixin a go on a mission

I love being a missionary!

So, now that I have been here in Lubbock for almost a whole transfer, would you like to know what it is like?

1. The sky here is absolutely amazing.  We get these cloud shows that just do not happen in Utah, I am assuming because of the mountains. But seriously. It's like Toy Story, but 17 times better.
2. People say things like, "Have a blessed day!" on a daily basis. So great.
3. They also say things like, "We're fixin' a eat."  Like going to eat, but fixin a eat.  A girl named Amy told us that her new niece is fixin a be born. And her grandpa is fixin a die. Haaaaa.
4. They use the word "whenever" when it's supposed to be just "when." Like, "Whenever I was 7 we went to Disneyland."  What?
5. So Sister O and I say to each other, "Whenever I was fixin a go on a mission..." We are too funny.
6. Everybody AND THEIR DOG has a dog! Or 7!
7.  There are a million chicken places. And like 2 hamburger places. It's quite funny. And they always serve some sort of bread (usually a roll) with their chicken. 
8. There are 2 million Sonics, DQs, and donut places.
9. There are as many churches as there are in Utah, only they are waaaay bigger, and a LOT more variety. Lot's of Baptists, Catholics, Church of Christ, Trinity, and THE abominable of all abominable churches....Experience Life! And of course on campus we meet a crazy number of Hindus and Muslims. And Chinese people who do not believe anything. That was hard for me.

It's so fun! I love it here. It's weird that this is the biggest city in the mission because it's tiny. But there are like 4 walmarts. So I guess it's big.

On to the spiritual.


It is the first law of Heaven.

Sister O and I are studying/working on/applying the Christlike attribute of obedience this week and I am so so excited.

We watched a little bit of the video "Special Witnesses of Christ" on Saturday, and Robert D. Hales said something like this:

Everything Christ said and everything He did was out of obedience to the Father.  He had no personal agenda.  He said I do nothing of myself, but as my Father taught me.

Isn't that amazing?  Literally everything He did was out of obedience!  He never did anything for Himself or for His own recognition.

John 5:30
 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is ajust; because I seek not mine own bwill, but the cwill of the Father which hath sent me.
(Thank you

So. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm excited.

I love every one of you!

Love, Sister Brittan E Plante