There are times that prison seems like a pretty uninspiring place to be. I have been going through one of those times and found a way to change the way I see things. I play this game called, “The things I like about prison.” I list all of the things I like about prison and it helps a lot. For example, I like the humble circumstances in which we live, I like meeting so many people from different backgrounds. I like how simple life is here and I like being able to go outside!  I like the food, (compared to other jail food:) I like the staff members and the way we’re treated here.  Regarding incarceration, I’d have to say, that in my experience, California kicks Utah’s butt in the treatment of inmates department. I’m a big Utah fan so I don’t say that lightly but I’ve been to jail in 4 states and Utah was by far the worst! The thing I like the most about prison is being a member of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon).

People of many faiths read my blog and I’ve been asked, “How has your church treated you through all of this.”  I decided to say a little bit about that. First of all, our church and community are amazing! Actually, amazing isn’t a strong enough word for the good that has come from others through this experience. We were under investigation and dealing with an indictment for almost 10 years! The emotional pain and financial destruction was intense. We lived in several different neighborhoods and could have faced ridicule or gossip, but there was none of that. Only love and kindness. We had leaders and entire congregations fast and pray for us, give us Priesthood blessings that were inspired and personal. We faced a church court to address any moral misconduct and were treated fairly and with love. In all honesty, I don’t think that we would have survived without the support of our faith and religion. We live in an affluent area, around people who work very hard to avoid these kinds of mistakes but I didn’t ever feel judged. We had close personal friends who were harassed by the FBI on a regular basis during our investigation. They were asked all kinds of inappropriate questions, including were they having a sexual relationship with me or dealing drugs. Many of these interviews took place in our friends places of work.  Through this nightmare people loved and supported us anyway.

I have been a member of the Mormon faith my entire life but I wasn’t active in the church until my late twenties. I have made many mistakes that without the power of God would ruin a person. I am unworthy of many of the blessings that have been bestowed upon me. Our Church teaches that families can be sealed together for time and eternity, a doctrine that I know to be true! We believe that through the healing power of the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ we can be healed and born again, changed from our natural state and that we will be blessed with a mighty change of heart and lose the disposition to do evil if we will turn to him. Our Church teaches of the dangers of addictive substances and we are taught to live a healthy life, both physically and spiritually. It is a precious gift to be a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know the difference because I spent years not participating with the church. There are two scriptures that as I have prayed have come to my mind regularly. One of them is, “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass” and the other is, “Be though humble and the Lord thy God will lead thee by the hand”

I worried so much about money for so many years and was so foolish! Being in prison has really changed my perspective on what’s important. I have always been a hard worker and would do anything to give my kids a good life.  I wanted them to have a nice Christmas and be able to participate in sporting events. This year I couldn’t give them any material things but as Christmas came closer I felt a desire in my heart to give my children my love.  I wanted to give them everything good that I have inside of me. I wanted them to know how important they are to me and for them to see their potential. I prayed that they might feel the love of our Father in Heaven in a very special way and that I could give them his love this Christmas season. When they came to see me I was blessed with a love for them that was precious and sacred and when I wrote them each a letter I reached out to them in the depth of my heart. The experience transcended any material things that I could have provided, it was from God.

It is my testimony that God lives and that he loves his children. I know that life is filled with ups and downs, but we get to decide how we will respond to them. We get to decide how it all ends. Our Father in Heaven works in small and simple ways, our Savior is mighty to save! No matter the mistakes we make, or where we are at in life, if we turn to him, he will make a mighty people out of us. I have been a bit down the last week but I know that better days are ahead.  I know that if I keep moving ahead and do my best our Father in Heaven will do the rest. I love you all and appreciate your support, thank you for following along.