Friday, October 31, 2008

True Friends

"And now, Zoram, I speak unto you: Behold, thou art the servant of Laban; nevertheless, thou has been brought out of the land of Jerusalem, and I know that thou art a true friend unto my son, Nephi, forever." --2 Nephi 1:30

This verse made me think. Am I a true friend?? Would people say that they know I'll be a true friend to someone forever? Then I started thinking about what a true friend really is. That led me to the Topical Guide, under Friendship.

I think this verse defines what a true friend is: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." --John 15:13

I don't think that means to literally lay down our lives. (Obviously, it could, in some circumstances.) But I think it means to put our own "stuff" aside when a friend really needs us - even if for an hour or two, or for a short phone call. Being a true friend is to put that person first whenever they need it. And if they're a true friend, they'll do the same when you need them.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fool's Gold

This has nothing to do with the Gospel, but I want to get the word out to as many people as possible:

If your kids get any pirate coins (you know, the ones in the gold foil) in their Halloween candy, DON'T LET THEM EAT IT!!! Just got this:

"There is a new warning put out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Sherwood brand Pirate's Gold Milk Chocolate coins are being recalled due to the fact that they contain Melamine, the ingredient in milk product that has caused many infant deaths in China. These candies are sold at Costco, as well as many bulk and dollar stores. Please make sure to check your children's Halloween candy and DO NOT LET THEM EAT THE PIRATE COINS. Please let other parents know about this!"

Snopes says this is TRUE, so please be careful this week!! But also, have fun!!! :)

Shake It Off

I think most people are familiar with the verse in 2 Ne. 26, that says, "...yea, and [the devil] leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever."

If we didn't have the rest of the scriptures, that verse by itself would be pretty depressing! But luckily, we have hope! It comes in 2 Ne. 1:23: "Awake, my sons; put on the armor of righteousness. Shake off the chains with which ye are bound, and come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust."

If we find ourselves bound with the "strong cords" of Satan, all we have to do is decide to shake them off! Christ is there waiting, ready to help us as soon as we decide to "put on the armor of righteousness." We don't have to feel hopeless, we just have to decide. Once we do that, Christ is there to help us shake of those awful chains, "come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust."

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Yesterday, I was reading in 2 Nephi 1. I came to the second half of verse 12, which says, "...wherefore, my sons, I would that ye would remember; yea, I would that ye would hearken unto my words."

Those two things - remembering and hearkening unto his words - seem to be synonyms! If we want to remember Christ, all we have to do is hearken unto His words. As we are following His counsel, it's impossible to forget about Him!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Good Soldier in Christ

In 2 Timothy chapter 2, there are lots of great "one-liners" telling us how to be a good soldier in Christ. Some of my favorites are these:

  1. Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (Great, direct thought for my boys.)
  2. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. (Yeah, that makes sense--look towards the kingdom of God instead!)
  3. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: (Hmmm...which choice sounds better?)
  4. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. (This makes sense.)
  5. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. (Love the word choice here--I want to be a "vessel unto honour")
  6. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, (Easier said than done, sure, but this definitely paints us a peaceful scene.)

Do you have some favorite one-liners?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Better Than I Could Ever Put It!

"People need to know something of our faith as committed Christians with strong traditional values. Along with the Articles of Faith, we need to emphasize that:"We believe in the eternity of the soul, that God is the Father of our spirits, and that we can return to Him after death."We believe that Jesus Christ is our personal Savior, and we try to model our lives after Him and His teachings. We commemorate Christ's atoning sacrifice in our Sunday worship services, similar to taking communion in other churches. We accept as fellow Christians all who believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God and the Savior of all mankind. . . . Joseph Smith taught that Jesus Christ is the core of our belief, and everything else is an appendage to it (see Elders' Journal, July 1838, 44). The name of the Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints."We believe the original church that Jesus established was lost and has been restored again in our day. The priesthood, the authority given to man to act in the name of God, with apostles and a prophet to lead us, has been restored as have all necessary ordinances of salvation."We believe in and we use the Holy Bible, both the Old and New Testaments."And we believe in the Book of Mormon and other books of scripture which support and authenticate the Bible and testify of the ministry and divinity of Christ and of God's ongoing revelation to man. Indeed, the Book of Mormon is 'Another Testament of Jesus Christ.' "

Monday, October 20, 2008

No Way Out

Reading in Alma 17, I discovered something I had passed by before. In this story, Ammon is out with his fellow servants, tending the kings sheep. When the wicked Lamanites come to scatter the sheep, all the servants but Ammon, "began to murmur, saying: Now the king will slay us, as he has our brethren because their flocks were scattered by the wickedness of these men. And they began to weep exceedingly, saying: Behold, our flocks are scattered already. Now they wept because of the fear of being slain."

I found it surprising that every one of them figured they had no choices! They all assumed that because of the way things had gone before, that is how they would go again. Ammon, on the other hand, helped them to see that they could do something about the problem! He had them gather the sheep and keep them together. He then contended with the wicked Lamanites while the others kept the sheep from being scattered again. Ammon formulated a plan, encouraged the others and then followed through.

Why hadn't the other servants thought about the possibility of gathering up the sheep and fighting against their tormenters in order to save themselves from death?
Ammon was a servant, just like the others, but look what he managed to accomplish simply by a different way of looking at things. The different way, of course, is the Lord's way.

How many times do we assume there is no way out simply because that is the way it happened before? It would be much better to assume, as did Ammon, that the Lord has a wonderful plan in mind. Then, we can seek to follow Him instead of being paralyzed by fear. I'm hoping to get rid of the "No way out" mentality and be more like Ammon.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Sacrament

"How can attending your meetings--particularly sacrament meeting--bless you and your family? Regularly partaking of the sacrament will help you keep your baptismal covenant. As you live worthily and renew this covenant weekly, you will qualify for the guidance of the Spirit. The Holy Ghost will guide you and will teach you what you should do to bless your family."
Mary N. Cook, "Strengthen Home and Family," Ensign, Nov. 2007, 12

This quote made me think of how I experience the sacrament, but also how I allow my children to experience it. I don't know if you're this way, but I usually get a little annoyed if my kids take more than 2 seconds while taking the bread or the water. I get worried that they're taking too long...

But I just realized that I'm WAY off!! The sacrament is the most important part of our Sabbath worship! It shouldn't be rushed! I need to let my kids take the time they need. I need to take the time I need, in order to feel the full effect of the sacrament.

This Sunday, I'm going to take my time and really savor the experience of being able to partake of the sacrament!

Friday, October 10, 2008

General Conference Favorites

Now that all the General Conference talks are available for reading, I find myself drawn back to certain talks. It is so wonderful that we have the resources available to read, watch and listen to things we found so inspiring in the first place--and in so many, many languages!

I have to say that my pencil was flying across my post-it note pad as I listened to President Uchtdorf speak at the General Relief Society Meeting. (Read his talk here.) What wonderful things he had to say. Did it hit the spot for anyone else? Creativity and compassion is how God accomplishes His happiness. President Uchtdorf admonished us all to emulate those qualities to find our happiness as well. The way he spoke of creativity was so enlightening to me. I found it interesting that he said, "The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul." I was also intrigued by all the things that he listed that were creative things. My post-it notes will be on my computer desk for easy viewing for quite a while for this talk.

I also loved President Monson's talk on finding joy in the journey. It works well with President Uchtdorf's talk. Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family. This is a great quote: "Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family. One day each of us will run out of tomorrows."

Knowing enough, as Neil L. Anderson talked about, is such a powerful idea too. We don't need to know the meaning of all things. We can allow what we do know to work within us.

And finally, I am coming full circle back to President Uchtdorf. He talked of hope. I had never thought about hope being something that takes a courageous choice. But as I think about it, it is true!

There were so many great talks. these are just some of my favorites. I would love to hear some things you got out of a talk or two as well to provide additional insight.

Fireproof Your Marriage

I don't intend this blog to be an advertisement for movies or books, but I feel the need to make an exception for this movie:

It's an excellent movie with values that we hold dear. Right now, there aren't very many movies or TV shows that are FOR marriage, so to find one is refreshing! This movie is only playing another week in Arizona, so please go see it and support this kind of movie! There's a link on that website to find theaters and showtimes in your area.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Easiness of the Way

"He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished.
-1 Nephi 17:41, emphasis added

This verse struck me, as I was reading yesterday. The first thing I learned, that I hadn't realized before, was that they were to look after they were bitten. I always thought they were supposed to look so that they wouldn't get bitten, but that's not the case. If they were bitten by the snakes, all they had to do was look at the pole, and they were healed.

How many times are we "bitten" in life? "Life is hard," as Lawrence E. Corbridge said in Conference. But it is also simple. All we have to do is follow Christ! However, how many times do we get stuck "because of the simpleness of the way"? The world makes us think that if we mess up, we have to jump through all kinds of hoops in order to get back to where we were. But that's not the Lord's way. All we have to do is look to the Lord!

And how do we do this? Again, it's in the simple things. The "Sunday School answers," as many people call them.
- read your scriptures daily, individually and as a family
- pray daily
- have Family Home Evening
- attend Church
- go to the temple
- keep the commandments

I, for one, won't be calling these Sunday School answers anymore. They are the Lord's way. They're the "simple" things in life that will help us return to Him. There's a reason why they're the answer to every question!! It's because they ARE the answer to every question! If our life isn't going the way we want it, these are the things we need to return to. These are the things that make life simple!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Murmur Not

Yesterday, I came across one of those gems of a Conference talk. You know the kind - the one that you know you'll read over and over again... This time, it was Murmur Not, by Neal A. Maxwell (Ensign, Nov. 1989, 82). It's an excellent talk!! Here are some of my favorite quotes from it:

"...too many of us seem to expect that life will flow ever smoothly, featuring an unbroken chain of green lights with empty parking places just in front of our destinations!"

"Cutting truth does hurt, but its lancing can drain off pride."

Characteristics of a murmurer:
-"The murmurer often lacks the courage to express openly his concerns."
-"While a murmurer insists on venting his own feelings, he regards any response thereto as hostile."
-"Murmurers have short memories. ... Strange, isn't it,... how those with the shortest memories have the longest lists of demands!"
-Murmurers spend all their time in looking for the evil.

"Perspective makes such an enormous and constant difference in our lives."

"The goodness of the Lord is attested to in so many ways - mansions await! - yet we ungrateful guests still complain about the present accommodations."

Murmuring is contagious, but "being of good cheer is equally contagious."

"Letting off steam always produces more heat than light."

"Murmuring can be another form of mocking God's plan of salvation."

"Murmuring can also be noise enough that it drowns out the various spiritual signals to us... Murmuring over the weight of our crosses not only takes energy otherwise needed to carry them but might cause another to put down his cross altogether."

"Nonmurmurers are permitted to see so much more."

"Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." - 2 Kings 6:16

"If our lips are closed to murmuring, then our eyes can be opened."

More Conference Activities

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Conference Activities!!

I had a feeling a Conference packet would circulate through emails, but thanks to my amazing husband, I now have it as a link!! So enjoy this Conference packet, as well as a Memory game with the Quorum of the Twelve!

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!)