Sunday, July 31, 2016

Of Hearing What You Need to Hear

Every once in a while, church speakers say exactly what I need to hear. I'm sure they do every single week, but trying to keep four kids quiet makes it slightly impossible to truly focus every week.

But today, I NEEDED to hear. Not just listen, but to HEAR what he was saying. We had a returned missionary speak. I'm sure half of my notes are more my thoughts than what he actually said, but he gave an amazing talk. Here are a few of my notes:

- David & Goliath
- this church is true. What am I going to give up for it? (He talked about a couple converts giving things up simply because the Church is true, and they knew that.)
- we need to impress the Lord and no one else
- it's easy to lose focus when people aren't watching
     - do what's hard
     - integrity
- look to the future - make every day the highlight of my life
- we can all move mountains, with the Lord's help and with the faith to do it. But we have to "take our pick and shovel and start moving that mountain."
- family is the most important thing -- family is everything
- love is the essence of the Gospel
     - if we lose that love, WE need to take a step back and make a change

It was the perfect talk for me. Exactly what I needed to hear. :)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Of the Sabbath

I know I've neglected this blog, but I DID have a baby, so hopefully you'll forgive me for that. :)

I have a strong testimony of the Sabbath day. I didn't appreciate it as much as I should have before this focus we've had in the past year. But now I understand more. I also have a part-time job now, so I appreciate the Sabbath even more!! My mind is constantly thinking about the business, so it's nice to have that weight lifted off each Sunday and really focus on other things.

I know that as we focus on Christ and truly make the Sabbath a delight, we will be blessed!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Of Balance

Last week's scripture was one of my favorites - Mosiah 4:27:

And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.

I love the wisdom of this scripture. Everything we do has a purpose. But we need to be careful to not "run faster than [we have] strength." It reminds me of that "perfect" Molly Mormon. You know the one. She bakes homemade rolls, sews a quilt for every new baby in the ward, gives a perfect Relief Society lesson (with a beautiful table display), and does it all while homeschooling her 11 children.

That person doesn't exist, just so you know!

If we try to be that person, we'll get burned out pretty quickly! However, there's a second part to this scripture: "it is expedient that he should be diligent." Just because we can't be that perfect person (and don't really want to be!) doesn't mean we can just give up and say, "Oh well, this is who I am." We have to be diligent in becoming better. Every day is a new chance to be a little better. And if it doesn't work out, we always have tomorrow to start again. "... that thereby [we] might win the prize." When we do all things "in order" - the way Heavenly Father will guide us to do them - we'll be able to create a balance in our lives that will lead us to Him.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Of Jesus Christ

The scriptures my family chose for the last two weeks went really well together.

Last week was Helaman 5:12:

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

This week is Job 19:25:

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shallstand at the latter day upon the earth:

I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He's my Savior and Redeemer. Nothing else in this world matters if you know those truths. I try to base my life on Him and on His teachings, because I know that's where real joy is found. Nothing else really matters. Either things will align with those beliefs or they're water under the bridge.

If you base your life on Jesus Christ, everything else will work out. He's waiting for us to turn to Him so that He can bless us. And He does bless us, with more than we can ever imagine!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Of Service

This week, my daughter chose Mosiah 2:17 for us to focus on. It says:

17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

I love service. I'm 8 months pregnant right now, and it has been so hard to not be able to serve others like I want to. It really does make me happy. And I know that's why the scriptures tell us it's important - not only for those that we serve, but for US.

So many people in the world are focused only on themselves, it seems. What would the world look like if every single person focused on someone else? Even if for just one day?

I know as we serve, we will find joy. As we look beyond our own lives and our own shortcomings, we can all find something that we can do for someone else, no matter how small. Because a lot of times, something that seems so small to us can have a great effect on the person receiving the service.

Here's a great little video we watched for Family Home Evening to go along with my thoughts. :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Of Self-Reflection

I have a testimony of self-reflection. To me, that means stopping "life" for a short amount of time and really thinking about my life. It means focusing on things that I could improve in my life, just by changing little things.

I noticed a lot of self-evaluation-type questions in Conference this time. I thought it would be interesting to collect them all into one spot. Maybe I can focus on one or two each time I write in my journal.

I am a child of God ... Therefore, what?
What will I do to live my life as a child of God?
How can I develop the divine nature that is within me?

What helps or tools have we been given to help us stay clean and virtuous?
What does Heavenly Father want me to do?
What will it matter what we suffered here if, in the end, those trials are the very things which qualify us for eternal life and exaltation in the kingdom of God with our Father and Savior?

Is the Gospel Working for You?
Does my life have meaning?
Do I believe in God?
Do I believe that God knows and loves me?
Do I believe that God hears and answers my prayers?
Am I truly happy?
Are my efforts leading me to the highest spiritual goals and values in life?
Is my experience in the Church working for me? Is it bringing me closer to Christ? Is it blessing me and my family with peace and joy as promised in the gospel?
Are we making our discipleship too complicated?
How is being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints working for you?

What will you become through the Atonement of Christ?

How do we, a modern, busy, competitive people, become yielded and still?
How do we make the Lord’s ways our ways?
I have found that after I pray for forgiveness of sins, it is instructive for me to ask Heavenly Father, “Father, is there more?”
True worship begins when our hearts are right before the Father and the Son. What is our heart condition today?
Can we love Jesus Christ and His way more than we love ourselves and our own agenda?

What do I need to change?
How can I improve?
What weakness needs strengthening?
What lack I yet?
What is keeping me from progressing?
What do I need to change?
What can I do to improve my life?

If I make this choice, what is the worst thing that could happen?
Will we let ourselves be led? Will we hear His voice and the voice of His servants?
What areas of my life do I want to strengthen so that I can strengthen others?
Where do I want to be a year from now? two years from now? What choices do I need to make to get there?

As we look at our children and our grandchildren today, what does the Savior want us to see in them?
Do we recognize that our children are the largest group of investigators of the Church?
What must we do to bring about their lasting conversion?

Is it wise to place our eternal well-being in the hands of strangers?

“Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?"
"What greater witness can you have than from God?"
Am I as close to living like Christ now as I was before?

How does the Savior see my faith?
When was the last time that you read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover?

Are we like Daniel?
Do we stand loyal to God?
Do we practice what we preach, or are we Sunday Christians only?
Do our daily actions reflect clearly what we claim to believe?
Do we help “the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted”?
Do we just talk the talk, or do we enthusiastically walk the walk?

Do you realize the breadth and scope of your influence when you speak those things that come to your heart and mind as directed by the Spirit?

How might your family benefit as you continually strive to fill your mind with God’s words?
Will you ponderize a verse of scripture each week for the rest of this month? this year? longer?
Is there something you need to be doing today to prepare yourself spiritually for future opportunities to teach and bless your family and others?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Of Prophets

This week, my 11 year old chose our scripture to focus on. Here's what she chose:

D&C 1:38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.

I'm glad she chose this scripture. It's one of my favorites. I've always had a testimony of prophets - especially our living prophets. I've always looked forward to Conference and to hearing their words. The older I get, the more I realize that I need to DEPEND on their words.

This world is a scary place. I can't begin to imagine going through life without some sort of direction. The scriptures are marvelous, but I love that the prophets' words work hand-in-hand with the scriptures. They provide modern guidance for modern issues.

I'm excited for my kids to be getting older so I can share this love with them. We're studying all the Conference talks together over the next several weeks. I know that as we study the words of the prophets, the Spirit will enter our homes. Our homes will then become a refuge from the storms of this world.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Of the Scriptures

General Conference made me realize that there's so much I can share with the world, simply by sharing my testimony. So it's time to resurrect this blog!

I do have a testimony of the scriptures. All of the scriptures - the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the words of our modern prophets. After a wonderful weekend, I'm especially grateful for modern revelation that continues to guide us.

This week, I've chosen 2 Nephi 25:26 to ponder.

26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

"We write according to our prophecies." That's the part I've been missing. Not that I get prophecies like the prophet, of course. But I need to write my testimony down so my kids know without a doubt that I believe. And also so they know where they can turn when life gets hard.

I KNOW that we can find answers when we search the scriptures. I also know that when you spend some time in the scriptures each and every day, there is a special spirit that comes into your home. Your days go more smoothly. Your kids don't fight as much...

The scriptures just make life better!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Of Inspired Leaders

Today, Elder Bednar spoke at Education Week (you can watch or read it here). We truly have inspired leaders! His entire message was on how we can utilize social media in spreading the Gospel. I highly recommend watching it!

One of my favorite lines in his devotional was something like, "Social media needs to be our servant - not our master." That's definitely not a direct quote, but that's the message I heard. And I must admit that it has been my master way too many times! I'm ready to take over and show it who's boss! :)

I'm so grateful for the leaders of our Church. They truly are inspired to share with us what we need to hear on that very day!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Of Calmness

In this digital age that we're living in, it's easy to be distracted ALL the time. I see so many (including me) get sucked in to their smart phone while life happens around them. I have a testimony of calmness. That means that I believe we ALL need more CALM in our lives. More pondering. Even more meditating. I know that the Spirit can't speak to us when we're always distracted. He wants to speak to us and teach us, but He's not going to be pushy. We have to do our part. We have to put all those screens down. Put them away. Shut them off. Silence them. Because we're missing some precious truths every time we get sucked into them.

"Be still, and know that I am God..."
Psalm 46:10
If you would like to contribute to this blog, please email me at blhvamos [at] gmail [dot] com to be included as a blog author! (If I don't know you personally, please include your blog address or some background information about yourself. Thanks!)