I’m sure I’ve talked before here about the “Transformer Principle.”

It’s a principle my dad came up with as one of the “Grandfather’s Secrets” he shares each summer with the grandkids, and it’s attached to the one about sex. (More about that in another post if anyone is interested), but the “transformer principle” itself is really the ability to transform your thinking.

And I think about it a lot because it is so valuable with anything in life.

“I could be really hurt because of what so-and-so said to me but I’m going to transform my feelings to realize they may be going through something I’m not aware of.”

“I’m a mess because I’m not living up to my potential” can transform into “I am learning and growing even when I may not realize it, what steps/goals can I take to get going on things I can learn from?”

Or even better yet, “I am a beloved daughter of Heavenly Parents and I want to more earnestly seek guidance from Them.”

I copied down this quote from Brooke Snow on one of her podcasts that relates as well: “If you don’t like the way you’re feeling, change the way you’re thinking.”

This all takes practice, of course, but although sometimes it’s so much easier said than done, I have seen those those transformations through the blood and sweat and tears. In my own life as well as in others.

Our thoughts are so powerful.

So let’s go back to the reunion theme this year:Count it all JOY.”

For some trials we may feel baffled that the word joy could possibly be linked to the harrowing thing we’re going through.

But let’s delve in further because this is from James 1:2-4 and it is SO GOOD:

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

“Let patience have her perfect work.”

How beautiful is that?

I am surrounded right now by those who are in the depths of the trials of that patience. Sometimes I wonder how in the world human beings can carry sorrows that heavy, and oh how I want to help them heave and lift (and I do to the best of what I can.)

But I have to remember there is beauty of the transformation. And it doesn’t come as fully without the valleys.

And the push (“Good Timber doesn’t grow with Ease“)

Richard Rohr says, “The word “innocent” from its Latin root means ‘not wounded.’ That’s how we all start life. We’re all innocent. It doesn’t have anything to do with morally right or wrong. It has to do with not yet being wounded. We start unwounded. We start innocent, but the killing of our holy innocence (as in Herod’s command to kill the Holy Innocents [Matthew 2:16–18]) is an archetypal image of what eventually happens to all of us. Probably it has to happen for us to grow up. We have to leave the garden. This movement of leaving and returning, forward and back, is the process of transformation. It’s the way we increase the spaciousness of freedom in our lives, so that we have the capacity for true relatedness.

“Jesus tells three parables about losing and finding: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son (Luke 15:4–32). In each case, we think we have it, we lose it, we rediscover it, and then we throw a party. The party only happens after the rediscovery because we don’t really ‘have it’ until we’ve lost it and choose it consciously again. That’s the human journey, the movement from first naiveté or false innocence to the chosen and conscious freedom that God is calling us toward.” (more HERE)

We have to “transform” our thinking to understand that in “leaving the garden,” (going through the refiners fires) we have the power to actually transform ourselves.

And when we do, thoughts like “I am deserted by God because of the things I am going through” (thinking of our study of Job this week in Come Follow Me) could turn into “God is so much bigger than this.”

In order to choose it, we have to believe in the good. Look for the good. Believe that the good comes from God. And also believe that just because it’s not ALL good, that doesn’t mean we are forsaken.

When we chose to use that transformer principle and build on the thoughts that help us see progress in the burdens, and when we see the miracles and count them as such, our lives are transformed.

Similar Posts


  1. Shawni,
    This blog post today was very helpful to me on my spiritual journey.
    I think I might have mentioned in other comments to you that I’ve been on a personal spiritual seeking journey since the deaths of my sister a few years ago, and my mother last year. I feel like if I dont find something to believe in, I’m just going to melt down to nothing because my anger, sorrow, and even hate are just taking over my life. In all of my reading and exploring, I have found that the only bit of hope for peace and change for me is coming from all that I’m reading about the Mormon religion. For some reason, it keeps calling to me and pulling me in when nothing else has! I don’t know how to explain it, but I’m finding it very meaningful to me and I’m not really sure how that happened, considering how negative and cynical I’ve become. But what I want to tell you Shawni is that your blog has had a HUGE part in this “transformation” for me. I feel very comfortable learning from your words and experiences that you share. I honestly believe I’m onto something here! There is so much to learn, and still a lot that I don’t fully understand, but I keep getting a really sweet feeling when I seek out Mormon stuff on your blog! Is that dumb for me to say? If it is, I can’t help it because that’s the word that comes to my mind. And I think that’s kind of huge because I honestly have to say that I haven’t felt very sweet about much in the last few years. And I know that I don’t want to feel that way anymore. So I do thank you for your part in my journey! I also would like to ask you about the “Come Follow Me” app. that you have mentioned. Could you explain to me a little bit of what that is and if you think I could benefit from it? I’m referring to the fact that I have no formal religious training at all, only what I’ve explored on my own. So maybe it would be over my head since I’m still so new to the Mormon religion? In any case, I’m not very computer savvy, so if you could tell me where I need to go to read or listen to the app. I would appreciate it. I mean, I don’t even know how to download a podcast for that matter.
    I know I sort of rambled a bit here, but if you wouldn’t mind reading over my comment and telling me your thoughts, I would be so grateful. If you aren’t comfortable replying to so much on here, you could e-mail me if you would rather.
    I’m really looking forward to hearing from you! (if you have time)
    Thank you Shawni,
    Laura M.

    1. Besides the come follow me app, the website ComeUntoChrist.org is a really good one for learning about the church. 🙂

    2. I love everything you shared here. ❤️ I’m amazed by your open, searching heart. I know how hard it is to keep your heart open when you’ve experienced so much hurt.

    3. Hi Laura, I’m so sorry about your terrible loss, and glad if you feel peace and love when you read about the Church of Jesus Christ. I believe that is God speaking to you when you feel that “sweet” feeling that I believe really can help you on your journey to be released from your anger and sorrow. I would love to help with any questions, and I will email you so that you can just ask away.

      You can click right on this link to get hooked into the “Come Follow Me” program that I love so much: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/come-follow-me-for-individuals-and-families-old-testament-2022/32?lang=eng
      I think you would love the one this week on Job. So much to learn from that story!
      Each week there is a new set of scriptures to study with lots of thoughts and background to help apply the scripture principles to your personal life in a beautiful way. This year we are studying the Old Testament, next year will be the New Testament.

      I love listening to podcasts when I can that delve in even further into the scriptures. One I love is called “Don’t Miss This” and you can find it in the podcast app but also here on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=don%27t+miss+this

      I have also mentioned the Come Follow Me Foundation app (back here: https://71toes.com/2021/07/come-follow-me-app/, and also here: https://71toes.com/2021/09/look-whos-doing-the-come-follow-me-devotional-today/) that gives little three-minute devotionals every single day, and I love them so much. You do have to download the app for that one, but I believe you can do it!!

      There is something about having a way to try to intentionally connect with God every day that I love so much. And the ComeUntoChrist.org website is great as well, as Jill mentioned (thank you Jill!)

      I am sending you so much love as you seek and ponder and learn, and would love to help in any way I can!

      1. Shawni,
        I’m so grateful that you understand what I mean about what I’m trying to achieve. Did that even make sense?? Sorry, I just got back from having a root canal and I feel kind of funny.
        Anyway, I’m very excited about what you had to say and share. I can’t wait to get myself to the podcasts and other suggestions from you and some very nice people on here!!!
        Sometimes I’m amazed at the kindness people are willing to show to someone they have never even met!! It’s very inspiring. As I said before, I tend to get cynical. Especially living where I do in Portland Oregon. Not much kindness or decency around here. But I’ll find some!!! I’m not giving up!!
        Thanks a whole lot!!
        Laura M

    4. Hi Laura. I’m so sorry for your losses and so happy and excited for you to begin to feel peace and find answers. I believe you will find those answers and comfort from the teachings of the gospel and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have in my hardest trials, including the unexpected death of my children. I also love and listen to / use the CFM resources that Shawni mentioned. A few other resources that have been so helpful to me are the podcasts Follow Him with Hank Smith and John Bytheway and Choosing Glory with Lili Anderson. I also use the Red Headed Hostess children, teen and adult study guides which explain the scriptures so well and help me to liken them to our day and my life. Maybe you will find some of them helpful too. Sending love and prayers your way as you seek to find answers, comfort, peace and even joy in your trials. OOO (those are big hugs 🙂

      1. Thank you Kimberly,
        It feels so good to hear all of this kindness from people. I woke up angry and now I’m feeling much more light hearted and smoothed out!
        I’ll check out your suggestions also.

  2. I’m curious about the concept of “heavenly parents.” I have been part of both Catholic and other Christian denominations and this concept is new to me. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but the Bible only mentions God the Father. Are you referring to Mary? God having a wife? God and Jesus? Someone else? I’m always curious when I hear you and your parents speak of Heavenly Parents and “them.” Also, do Mormons read from an updated version of the Bible, like NIV, or does your church stick to an older version? Sometimes when you reference the Bible, I’m curious about why a new translation that is much easier to read and understand is not being used. Or is it? I could be wrong about this. I don’t mean to take away from what you’re writing about, but those two questions always pop up when you write. I’d love to learn more about each of them if you have time to share.

    1. We believe in a Heavenly Mother right alongside a Heavenly Father. We believe that families are the central part of God’s plan and to me it is so beautiful to think of our eternal family not only with a Father but with a Mother as well. You can read more about those beliefs over here: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics-essays/mother-in-heaven?lang=eng

      As far as scriptures go, we use the King James Version most often, and there are many sections with a “JST” (Joseph Smith translation) to bring more depth. But other versions of the Bible add understanding as well and I love that more and more are incorporating those versions into their scripture study.

      Thank you for the questions and I’m so happy to clarify so feel free to ask away!

      1. Interesting about heavenly mother and father. A central tenant is Judaism is that God is one. I think that’s why Judaism is called the first monotheism. (Before that people worshipped multiple Gods and idols) The first prayer most Jewish children learn to recite in Hebrew before they to bed each night is called Shema which mean “hear” the prayer can be translated to “hear oh Israel, God is our God, God is one” many Jewish families recite this once or twice a day. From my perspective the division of God into separate parts, including by gender, encourages division instead on unity. And could give a sense of “differences” first instead of the sense that we are all connected by the same Divine spirit that lives within each of us first and foremost

        1. It’s so interesting to me to learn about the similarities and differences in religion. I can’t help but think of a seminar I attended with Richard Rohr about the Trinity. He has written a book on this subject called The Divine Dance. It’s about the communion of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit into One. Such a fascinating mystery, and yet it is the crux of Catholicism (which is how I understood it, being a Catholic. I’m sure it is applicable to other religions as well.) Communion and relationship of these three, and our own relationship with God and One another.

          1. Is Trinity in the Bible?
            Image result for origins of the trinity
            Neither the word “Trinity” nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Hebrew Scriptures: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4).

            Most people assume that everything that bears the label “Christian” must have originated with Jesus Christ and His early followers. But this is definitely not the case. All we have to do is look at the words of Jesus Christ and His apostles to see that this is clearly not true.

            “It must not be forgotten that Jesus Christ never mentioned such a phenomenon [the Trinity], and nowhere in the New Testament does the word ‘Trinity’ appear. The idea was only adopted by the Church three hundred years after the death of our Lord; and the origin of the conception is entirely pagan . . .

  3. I hope you address the current news about a church “hotline” to address many, many cases of abuse in LDS congregations, communities, and families. To my mind ALL child abuse, and most especially child sexual
    abuse , should be reported to the police and other authorities immediately. This allows for legal protection of the children and for the perpetrator to be in the system so don’t have access to hurt more children. Would like to understand why your church believes otherwise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *