Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas = Unselfish Service

I found another wonderful video on the Church's Christmas site. I think it shows exactly what Christmas is really about. It's not about the presents or the pretty lights or the frenzy. It's about remembering. It's about showing that we remember and are grateful.

Monday, November 23, 2009

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

This video just makes me smile! There are so many things to be grateful for!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Of Tithing

Over the summer, I really gained a stronger testimony of tithing. I've always had a testimony of it, but there were a few instances this summer, that made my testimony even stronger.

In June, my husband asked if we could round our tithing up a little. He's always liked it to be exactly 10%, so taxes are easier, and then we'd just put a little more in fast offerings. But he felt like we should give a little more toward tithing. Of course, I said sure!

In July, my husband's boss let them know that someone from their department would need to be laid off. There were only 8 people in his department. Unfortunately, his friend was laid off, but what a blessing to our family for my husband to keep his job.

His boss had also mentioned that if they didn't start to get more work, everyone would have to have pay cuts by the end of August. We continued to pay our tithing in faith, knowing Heavenly Father would bless us. Around the middle of August, we received the news that business had picked up enough that they were going to postpone pay cuts! It's been two months since then, and it seems like they keep getting more and more work. That's quite a blessing!

The last miracle was one that especially touched me and made me grateful to our Heavenly Father for truly being mindful of all His children. Our daughters were going to start a music class in August. Combined, their tuition would have been close to $70 a month. Thanks to my dear friend, the teacher of this music class, we traded babysitting for the "sibling tuition" for my second daughter. That still left me with $45 a month to come up with, out of my own budget! My husband didn't see music class as a true necessity, so I said I'd take care of it. I didn't know how I would, but it was really important to me that the girls started this music class.

Halfway through July, I got an email from my friend, saying that there was going to be a scholarship offered for the music classes to those who qualified. I had to answer a few questions, and send them in to the founder of these specific classes.

Not two days after hearing about not having pay cuts, we got the blessed phone call that we had qualified for the music scholarship! Our materials fee was waived ($98), tuition was cut in half ($22.50 a month now, instead of close to $70 in the beginning), and the scholarship is renewable next year!

Some people would call this a coincidence, but I don't believe that. I know we were blessed for faithfully paying our tithing.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lifting Burdens - The Atonement of Jesus Christ

These videos are too powerful to wait to publish, so I hope readers don't mind my clogging their Readers. This one is especially powerful, as it is filled with pure testimony of Jesus Christ. You will feel the love of our Apostles and of Jesus Christ as you watch this video.

Choose This Day

I know that as we choose Heavenly Father over all else, that He will bless us. I've seen it in my life. He's just waiting for us to choose Him and to be loyal to Him, so that He can pour out His love to us.

General Conference Highlights

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


While listening to President Eyring's talk (mp3 here) last night, from the RS Broadcast, I decided that I need to learn more about faith. So today, I read BD Faith. Here are some things that struck me:

- Faith is to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true. (In other words, faith IS hope, but in specific things that are true. Hope seems to be more of a personal thing - I hope I pass this test... I hope she forgives me...)
- It must be centered in Jesus Christ.
- To have faith is to have confidence.
- It's to place confidence in Him without reservation.
- It's kindled by hearing the testimony of others.
- Strong faith is developed by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Faith comes by righteousness.
- Faith is a principle of action and of power.
- By faith one obtains a remission of sins and eventually can stand in the presence of God.
- True faith must be based upon correct knowledge.
- Faith in Jesus Christ is more than belief.
- True faith always moves its possessor to some kind of physical and mental action. (This one struck me!)
- Faith is a gift.
- It must be cultured and sought after.
- The effects of true faith in Jesus Christ include (1) an actual knowledge that the course of life one is pursuing is acceptable to the Lord; (2) a reception of the blessings of the Lord that are available to man in this life; and (3) an assurance of personal salvation in the world to come.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Another Testament of Christ Slideshow

The people who did the Reflections of Christ have done a new series of photographs, Another Testament of Christ. Here's the video with the added music.

An Inspiring Weekend!

Wasn't General Conference wonderful?? It truly left me wanting more - and wanting to BE more. Underlying themes, for me, were service, virtue, integrity, personal revelation, diligence in teaching at home, love, and enduring to the end. I find it fascinating that everybody always gets different things out of Conference, so please share what you got out of Conference, if you'd like.

Stephanie, at Diapers & Divinity, created a General Conference Online Book Club back in April, and she's doing it again for October Conference. She puts up a new talk to discuss each week, and the comments are wonderful! You can go HERE for the explanation of the book club, and HERE for the first post about this weekend's Conference. (On the explanation page, there is also a link to each week's post, as they get added.)

Also, the mp3s of General Conference are already available on the Church site, if you'd like to listen or re-listen to any of the talks. The text is usually up before the week is through. I can tell you that studying each talk throughout the next six months will bless your life! I've begun to make Conference talks a part of my daily scripture study, and it has truly blessed my life!

I have a strong testimony of General Conference! It is truly a wonderful weekend of uplifting and inspiring thoughts. It always helps me become better! I know it can do this for everyone!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

General Conference Ideas

A huge thank you is in order to "Cocoa," from Chocolate of My Cranium!! I usually have to search for a while to find more than one or two General Conference packets/ideas. But this time, she did it for me! Thanks so much!

(P.S. She also has great FHEs on her site, plus other fun crafts and things for your family!)

Review of General Conference, April 2009

I had originally planned on typing up the key points I had found as I read through the Conference talks during these past 6 months. But then I thought that what hit me might not hit others the same way. Luckily, the Church is wonderful! They've provided a summary of the key points from each talk in a great video with inspiring music as background. So enjoy this video, and enjoy the Relief Society Broadcast this Saturday, as well as General Conference next Saturday and Sunday!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Best Laid Plans (by DeAnne Flynn)

If you don't subscribe to the Time Out for Women blog by Deseret Book, I would highly recommend it. They have some great articles on there, written by people like Michael McLean, S. Michael Wilcox, Merrilee Boyack... and many others. (She Doesn't Know by Michael McLean is my absolute favorite!)

A recent article by DeAnne Flynn really made me think about how I react to life's situations. Since I enjoyed it so much, I thought I'd put it on here. I hope you enjoy it, too.


One holiday season, more than ten years ago, my Sarah asked Santa for a fancy mouse. Since Santa had no place to keep a smelly little rodent until his big delivery night, he asked the owner of a local pet shop to save a certain tiny pink-nosed critter until he could pick it up on Christmas Eve. (This Santa happened to wear skirts and drive a Big Mormon Wagon.)

Getting that animal was all Sarah could talk about. My starry-eyed five-year-old absolutely knew it would be the very best Christmas ever!

The busy festivities of the season rapidly sped by and before Santa was totally prepared for Christmas Eve, it was time to pick up the little mouse for his early-morning deliveries the next day. The pet store closed at 4:00 pm, and he barely squeezed through the doors before quitting time.

Upon asking for the mouse-on-hold, the pet store owner began to sweat. “It’s been a very crazy day,” he explained. “And things got a little bit disorganized.”

“Disorganized?” Santa questioned.

“Yes,” he continued. “Well, uhhh. You see, in all of the confusion, we sold every single mouse, hamster, and guinea pig in the store! But we do have some rats left.”

“RATS?” Santa replied in shock and amazement.

A sudden sinking feeling crept over Santa as he listened to the pet shop guy give a ten minute oration about how rats actually make much better pets than do mice, hamsters, or guinea pigs.

Thoughts of burning ham left in his oven at home began to blur Santa’s mind and he started to envision little Sarah waking up on Christmas morning, only to see a giant RAT staring back at her through the slits of the clean white cage she had chosen in November!

With no other pet store options from which to choose, Santa reluctantly boxed up two baby “female” rats -- a white one with a pink nose, and a light brown one with a grayish nose. (Two-for-the-price-of-one was the very best deal Santa could strike at such a late hour.)

On Christmas morning, Sarah rushed to see the cute little cuddly mouse she had longed for, planned for, and prepared for over the course of several weeks. I held my breath as she peered carefully into the cage.

“Two wats?” she muttered, not yet “R” proficient. She stared at those rats so intently, realizing they were not at all what she had envisioned seeing there that magical morning. I saw her bite her little lip and put a smile on her determined, sweet face.

“Wow! I got TWO wats everybody! Come and see…”

Now, I’m not very pleased about my laid-back planning approach to Christmas that season, nor of the trust I placed in the pet shop owner’s guarantee of raising two female rodents (these rats had several babies - more than once) but I am sort of amazed (and especially pleased) that Sarah was able to just roll with her reality being much less exciting than her expectation had been.

As ambitious, starry-eyed grown women, we might occasionally feel like we’re staring into the cages of our own lives, only to see something MUCH DIFFERENT than we ever planned, hoped, or prepared to see waiting there for us. But like my Sarah, we each have a choice to make when we see the rats staring back. Do we throw a spoiled tantrum? Do we claim we’ve been robbed? After all, didn’t we make our life-expectations ultimately clear to our Father in Heaven through prayer?!

What Sarah had learned so well in Kindergarten that year is also great advice for us when our reality doesn’t precisely measure up to our expectations. And that’s simply, “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.” After all, Heavenly Father may not be giving us exactly what we want because He knows exactly what we need.

At least, for now.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Modern-Day Pioneers

I'm especially grateful for modern-day pioneers, because I'm the daughter of one.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Will Come

I kind of feel like I'm in the middle of my own Friday. I have a list of things weighing me down... I'm glad I saw this video today, because it really put things into perspective. Part of Elder Hale's Conference talk also put things into perspective:

"Our challenges, including those we create by our own decisions, are part of our test in mortality. Let me assure you that your situation is not beyond the reach of our Savior. Through Him, every struggle can be for our experience and our good. Each temptation we overcome is to strengthen us, not destroy us. The Lord will never allow us to suffer beyond what we can endure."

I'm in the middle of a Friday in my life, but it's strengthening me and preparing me for my next Sunday.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We Still Love You, President Hinckley!

It's been a year and a half since his passing, and I still miss President Hinckley. I watched his last talk from General Conference (besides his closing remarks) on Sunday, and I cried just watching it - knowing this is the only way I'll get to hear his voice. Today, on his birthday, I thought I'd post a couple of videos to remember him by. Enjoy looking back at a man - a prophet - who shaped millions of lives, including mine.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thoughts on Suffering

I looked up a bunch of scriptures on the topic of suffering and here are some things I observed. Suffering should not exist without a purpose. In the midst of suffering, joy can (and should) be had through Christ. If we are suffering and we have no peace, no joy, no purpose, then we have need to repent. If we are just suffering (without purpose), then the suffering we feel is because we are choosing to distance ourselves from Christ. Many scriptures show instances where there is a connection between great suffering and a refusal to look to God. In such cases, there is no joy. Suffering can come as a direct result of sin, however this suffering can be swallowed up in Christ when repentance has been undertaken. Suffering without peace & joy and hope comes from Satan.

Here are some of the scriptures I looked up and a few notes to go along with them.
Mosiah 4:20 repent, have joy
2 Cor. 1: 5-7 suffer, but also have joy in Christ
1 Pet. 2: 19-21, 23 When Christ suffered, he "committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
Alma 26: 28, 30, 34 as missionaries, they suffered as they were esconced in their goal of saving souls, which would bring them joy
Alma 31: 26, 30-31, 38 they suffered no afflictions save it were "swallowed up in the joy of Christ"
1 Pet. 3: 14, 17-18 suffer for righteousness sake--happy are ye
Alma 14: 11, 23, 26 Alma and Amulek ask for faith unto deliverance from the suffering
Matt. 3: 15 sometimes suffering happens to fulfill a righteous purpose
1 Nephi 16:19-20 Laman & Lemuel have been complaining of all their sufferings, yet Nephi has been seeing angels even though he is in the same living conditions as Laman & Lemuel are.
Alma 26: 28-34 Ammon notes that they had been suffering much, but also, he states that the power and wisdom of the Lord had been with them and the fruits of their labors were not few and "my joy is carried away, even unto boasting"
Moroni 9:7-25 Mormon tells son to not let all the things which he had just told him about sufferings going on weigh him down unto death, but rather may Christ lift him up and let that be in his mind forever.

What thoughts do you have to add?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Good Bread

Today, as the sacrament was being passed, I heard a little boy behind me say, “Daddy, this is good bread! I really like it!”

I thought about what he had said. I know he meant it literally tasted good, but I thought about the fact that it really is good bread. There is, in fact, no better. It is the bread we get to eat to cleanse ourselves again and renew our covenants to be like Christ. It is good bread because it symbolizes the sacrifice Christ made for us. It is good bread because through it we are made whole once again.

I can echo what the little boy said. “It is good bread. I really like it.” Where would I be without it?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Remember by Journal Writing

I have been feeling lately like I ought to spend time in regular journal writing, so I gave myself a challenge. Write for 5 minutes a day. I did it today and was surprised how much I could get written in such a short time. What was the inspiration to get me started today? Watch this video.

I love President Eyring's idea on how he went about doing his writing. I am trying to use the same method. Here is his entire talk on the subject.

This is such a great idea because it fosters gratefulness in our hearts and gets us writing in our journals at the same time. I know that whenever I look back over my old journals, I am glad for the things I wrote down. It is good to be reminded of lessons learned, of hard times and times to treasure.

If you would like start journaling for 5 minutes a day and want a little extra motivation to get it done, join me here where I issue a challenge, complete with a method of accountability and a possibility of a prize. For me, I am hoping that after doing this for the entire month of June that I will have a habit established for life, just like President Eyring.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Of the Book of Mormon

If you participated in the Book of Mormon reading challenge, you finished The Book of Mormon yesterday with me! I'm amazed at how many times I have read it, and I still get SO much out of it. There are advantages to each way of reading it, but I've found that when I read it in a short amount of time, I understand the flow of it better - the stories behind the doctrine.

No matter how you read The Book of Mormon, the truth of it will always be felt. I know that The Book of Mormon is true. Without a doubt. I know that the men who wrote it were called of God. I know that Joseph Smith was called to translate it into English. I am so grateful for his righteousness in doing so.

Thanks to those who took on this challenge with me. I know it wasn't easy, but I know you were blessed for it. I'd love to hear your testimonies, as well. Feel free to comment, even if you weren't able to do this reading challenge. I love hearing people's testimonies of The Book of Mormon!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Gratitude Shows Our Faith

I love this passage of scripture:

12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

All ten were healed of their leprosy, but only the one was made whole. To me, this means he was physically and spiritually cleansed. It's interesting to me that Jesus said, "thy faith hath made thee whole." He didn't say his gratitude had made him whole, or his willingness to come back had made him whole. However, these things showed his faith. He believed in Christ, and he came back to make it known by giving Him thanks.

As we express our gratitude to our Heavenly Father, our faith in Him is also expressed. "Coincidence" or "luck" turn into faith as we acknowledge God's hand in all things. They become tender mercies of the Lord. When we give prayers of thanksgiving, we let Heavenly Father know that we know of His love and guidance in our lives. We show Him our faith.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Elder Bednar's Talk is Now Available

I thought I'd write a quick note, letting you know that Elder Bednar's CES talk is now available as text, mp3, and video form. Here's the link to the CES Fireside site.

This is a really great talk. I think anybody who uses the Internet should read it. Enjoy!

Monday, May 4, 2009


I just want to say how grateful I am for the Gospel. There are people in my life who are going through a very difficult time right now, and I can't help but think that it would be SO much easier on them (and their kids!) if they only had the Gospel in their lives. If only they knew Who they could go to.

I'm so grateful that I know Who to turn to when times are tough. I know He will always be there, waiting to hear my worries and my concerns. I'm so grateful for that knowledge.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Things As They Really Are

If you didn't catch the CES Broadcast tonight with Elder Bednar, I would definitely watch it or read it, as soon as it's up on the Church Institute website! It was a very interesting talk, based on Jacob 4:13, specifically the line, "things as they really are." Go back and read his talk when it's available, because my notes do not do it justice! However, here are some of the things I wrote down as he was speaking:

~The devil only has power over us if we permit him to.
~Lucifer = confusion and unhappiness
~Satan can't progress, so he seeks to frustrate our progression by enticing us to use our bodies improperly.
~The adversary has us minimize the importance of our bodies.
~We shouldn't put our bodies (gifts from God) at risk just to experience a thrill or to boost our ego. It truly minimizes the importance of our bodies.
~If the adversary cannot entice us to misuse our physical bodies, he can employ some aspects of modern technology to achieve his purpose.
~We should seek things with high fidelity and good purposes. (Fidelity = accurate to real life)
~We need to experience REAL LIFE - not a high fidelity fantasy life (specifically those with bad purposes). They disconnect things from how they really are.
~We also need to have personal fidelity. We need to be the same person online as we are in person.
~Don't destroy real relationships by having fake relationships on the computer.
~You can be anonymous on the Internet, but deceitful acts are always deceitful. The Lord knows who we really are, what we really do.
~Apostasy is apostasy, whether it's in real life or on a computer.
~Study more diligently the doctrines of the gospel.
~Ask ourselves: Does my use of the Internet invite or impede the Holy Ghost? Does my time spent on the computer enlarge or restrict my capacity to live and love?

Again, his actual words are MUCH more powerful than my meager notes. The basic theme I got from it is that we need to focus on living real, fulfilling lives, rather than attempting to simulate sincere relationships through modern technology. He specifically mentioned video games and online gaming, naming Second Life as an example. (I don't even know what that is, but it sounds awful...)

When a prophet of God asks us to do something, we need to do it. Hopefully, you're all living your own lives - not trying to imitate real life and real relationships through video games or the Internet. :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

General Conference Highlights

I love that the Church is so technological! As President Monson said in General Conference, the Church "has a wonderful Web site, filled with valuable and uplifting information and priceless resources." I've just discovered one of those resources - the Videos section of the Gospel Library. Here is one of those videos, containing highlights from each of the talks given at Conference.

(I chose to find it on YouTube, since the only option on the Church's website is to download, then upload it here, which sometimes doesn't work with large files.)

As a sidenote, this video only shows clips from the talks of the Apostles. There were many other wonderful talks, so make sure you read and re-read ALL of the Conference talks!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

General Conference Online Book Club

If you're interested in discussing one General Conference talk each week, head on over to Diapers and Divinity for the first talk: Elder Holland's "None Were With Him."

(the picture is the link)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What's Your Job?

I was reading in John 6:22-36 and found that we have a job. In these scripture verses, the people came looking for Jesus. Jesus recognized that the reason they sought him wasn't so they could hear his teachings. It wasn't even because they had seen miracles. It was because of the food they had been given by Jesus earlier. (Remember the story of the 5 loaves and 2 fishes.)

Jesus gives them these words to help them understand. "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." That's our job too. Do we ever get caught up in focusing on the cares of our world that we forget what our job is?

The people in this story were focused on the fact that they would be able to get food, to be filled! How much more important is it to "believe on him whom he hath sent."? This is what is important. Focusing on the Saviour and his teachings is important. Focusing on worldly cares is not in our job description.

Even after telling the people what they should do, they didn't get it. They continued to focus on food. They asked for a sign and then told him that "Our fathers did eat manna in the desert...He gave them bread from heaven to eat."

Jesus answered them, "Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven." Jesus then explains the concept of the bread of life which means, in other words, Jesus Christ.

Then the scriptures refer back to the fact that the people have seen the Lord, yet not believed. Questions for self. Am I missing the plain and simple truth that is right in front of me? Am I doing my "job"?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

General Conference Packets for Kids

"Only when my heart has been still and quiet, in submission like a little child, has the Spirit been clearly audible to my heart and mind." - President Eyring

In order to help you parents out there to accomplish this, here are some Conference packets to keep your kids busy and thinking about spiritual things, so YOU can think about spiritual things!

I found most of these on sugardoodle.net. I provided the ages I thought appropriate for each activity.

October General Conference One-Liners

After General Conference last October, I made it a goal to read every talk given, taking notes along the way. It took me six months, but I just finished! So in preparation for this weekend, here are some quotes from the last General Conference. Sorry if the formatting isn't uniform, or if there are any errors. I didn't have time to go back and proofread.

President Thomas S. Monson:
~I urge you to pray for the opening of those areas [where our influence is limited], that we might share with them the joy of the gospel.
~Our Heavenly Father is mindful of each one of us and our needs.
~When there's a will, there's a way.
~We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt.
~Let us make our homes sanctuaries of righteousness, places of prayer, and abodes of love that we might merit the blessings that can come only from our Heavenly Father. We need His guidance in our daily lives.
~The worth of souls is indeed great in the sight of God. ours is the precious privilege, armed with this knowledge, to make a difference in the lives of others.
~A kind Heavenly Father will help us in our quest.
~Learn what we should learn. Do what we should do. Be what we should be.
~[The Priesthood] is an instrument of service... and the man who fails to use it is apt to lose it.
~It is the Lord's work, and when we are on the Lord's errand, we are entitled to the Lord's help.
~The Lord will shape the back to bear the burden placed upon it.
~Some of the most effective teaching takes place other than in the chapel or the classroom.
~"Learning" moves to "doing."
~"Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence."
~No assignment is menial in the work of the Lord, for each has eternal consequences.
~"If you do not magnify your callings, God will hold you responsible for those whom you might have saved had you done your duty." - John Taylor
~1 Timothy 4:12
~I would urge all of us to pray concerning our assignments and to seek divine help, that we might be successful in accomplishing that which we are called to do.
~Divine favor will attend those who humbly seek it.
~3 Nephi 27:27
~Nothing is as constant as change.
~Day by day, minute by minute, second by second we went from where we were to where we are now.
~I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that hep us distinguish between what is important and what is not.
~I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and non-existent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do.
~You pile up enough tomorrows and you'll find you've collected a lot of empty yesterdays. (from The Music Man)
~There is no tomorrow to remember if we don't do something today.
~Rather than dwelling on the past, we should make the most of today, of the here and now, doing all we can to provide pleasant memories for the future.
~"They do not love that do not show their love." - Shakespeare
~Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.
~"The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone." - Harriet Beecher Stowe
~Our realization of what is most important in life goes hand in hand with gratitude for our blessings.
~D&C 88:33
~1 Thessalonians 5:18
~Luke 17:12-18
~D&C 59:21
~If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues.
~Let us relish life as we live it.
~May we fill our days... with those things which matter most.
~May we ever be mindful of the needs of those around us and be ready to extend a helping hand and a loving heart.

President Henry B. Eyring:
~The more faithful service you give, the more the Lord asks of you.
~For Him to give you that increased power you must go in service and faith to your outer limits.
~Through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our natures can be changed. Then our power to carry burdens can be increased more than enough to compensate for the increased service we will be asked to give.
~The fact is that you can't do it by yourself.
~When those feelings of inadequacy strike us, it is the time to remember the Savior. He assures us that we don't do this work alone.
~D&C 84:88
~2 Kings 6:16
~The Lord will bear you up and will at times do it by calling others to stand with you.
~Recognize and welcome those whom the Lord sends to help us.
~See in every assignment the opportunity to strengthen another.
~"Don't ask me. Go to Him."
~The Lord's prophets have always called for unity.
~The joy of unity He wants so much to give us is not solitary. We must seek it and qualify for it with others.
~Everything Alma and his people were inspired to do was pointed at helping people choose to have their hearts changed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That is the only way God can grant the blessing of being of one heart.
~Mosiah 18:21
~Pride is the great enemy of unity.
~I am seeing more and more skillful peacemakers who calm troubled waters before harm is done. You could be one of those peacemakers, whether you are in the conflict or an observer.
~God will help us see a difference in someone else not as a source of irritation but as a contribution.
~Moroni 7:18
~I can promise you a feeling of peace and joy when you speak generously of others in the Light of Christ.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:
~Hope is one leg of a three-legged stool, together with faith and charity. These three stabilize our lives regardless of the rough or uneven surfaces we might encounter at the time.
~Hope... is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances.
~There are things we hope for, and thing we hope in. The things we hope for are often future event. ... The things we hope in sustain us during our daily walk.
~We learn to cultivate hope the same way we learn to walk, one step at a time.
~The things we hope for lead us to fiath, while the things we hope in lead us to charity.
~Stand close together and lift where you stand.
~The example of John Rowe Moyle
~Individual recognition is rarely an indication of the value of our service. We do not know the names, for exampke, of any of the 2,000 sons of Helaman.... They accomplished together what none of them could have accomplished alone.
~Whatever your calling, I urge you to see it as an opportunity not only to strengthen and bless others but also to become what Heavenly Fahter wants you to become.
~The Lord has not asked President Monson to organize and conduct our family home evening.
~Our splendid sisters sometimes undervalue their abilities - they focus on what is lacking or imperfect rather than what has been accomplished and who they really are.
~Creating and being compassionate are two activities that we as His spirit children can and should emulate.
~Don't let fear of failure discourage you.
~The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create.
~As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you.
~As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.
~"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves."
~In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, bu the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance.
~As you immerse yourselves in th ework of our Father - as you create beauty and as you are compassionate to others - God will encircle you in the arms of His love.

President Boyd K. Packer:
~If we are to be safe individually, as families, and secure as a church, it will be through "obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel."
~2 Nephi 25:26
~We will stayon course.
~We will anchor ourselves as families and as a church to these principles and ordinances.
~"The standard of truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing."

Elder L. Tom Perry:
~One of the challenges of this mortal experience is to not allow the stresses and strains of life to get the better of us—to endure the varied seasons of life while remaining positive, even optimistic.
~"The best is yet to be." --Robert Browning
~...a simplified lifestyle...
~D&C 89:18-21
~Our dress and grooming send a message to others about who we are.
~I believe very casual dress is almost always followed by very casual manners.
~We have been encouraged at almost every general conference of the Church I can remember not to live beyond our means.
~"I believe that the great majority of all our troubles today is caused through the failure to carry out that counsel [to not run into debt]." --President Grant
~Live within our income, stay out of debt, and save for a rainy day.
~Members of a well-managed family do not pay interest; they earn it.
~We must acquire knowledge of God's eternal plan and our role in it.

Elder Russell M. Nelson:
~A couple in love can choose a marriage of the highest quality. (emphasis added)
~All Church activities, advancements, quorums, and classes are means to the end of an exalted family.
~The earth was created and this Church was restored so that families could be formed, sealed, and exalted eternally.
~Each marriage starts with two built-in handicaps. It involves two imperfect people.
~Just as harmony comes from an orchestra only when its members make a concerted effort, so harmony in marriage also requires a concerted effort. That effort will succeed if each partner will minimize personal demands and maximize actions of loving selflessness.
~"To find real happiness, we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves." - President Monson
~We may choose celestial marriage or lesser alternatives.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks:
~When we do this—when we join in the solemnity that should always accompany the ordinance of the sacrament and the worship of this meeting—we are qualified for the companionship and revelation of the Spirit. This is the way we get direction for our lives and peace along the way.
~All who officiate in this sacred ordinance [of the sacrament] stand on sacred ground.

Elder M. Russell Ballard:
~Joseph Smith knew that no enemy then present or in the future would have sufficient power to frustrate or stop the purposes of God.
~"The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done." - Joseph Smith
~D&C 3:1-3
~We cannot afford... to be comfortable or content.
~The Lord isn’t asking us to load up a handcart; He’s asking us to fortify our faith. He isn’t asking us to walk across a continent; He’s asking us to walk across the street to visit our neighbor. He isn’t asking us to give all of our worldly possessions to build a temple; He’s asking us to give of our means and our time despite the pressures of modern living to continue to build temples and then to attend regularly the temples already built. He isn’t asking us to die a martyr’s death; He’s asking us to live a disciple’s life.
~Our testimonies must run deep, with spiritual roots firmly embedded in the rock of revelation.

Elder Joesph B. Wirthlin:
~Come what may, and love it.
~In spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser, and happier as a result.
~The way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life.
~If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness.
~Learn to laugh.
~The next time you're tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead.
~See for the eternal.
~Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering, and sorrow is part of our on-the-job training. These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others.
~Because Jesus Christ suffered greatly, He understands our suffering. He understands our grief.
~Sometimes the very moments that seem to overcome us with suffering are those that will ultimately suffer us to overcome.
~The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way.
~Put our trust in our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
~John 3:16
~The Lord Jesus Christ is our partner, helper, and advocate. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to be successful. If we do our part, He will step in.
~Put your trust in the Lord, do your best, then leave the rest to Him.
~Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives.

Elder Richard G. Scott:
~The greatest blessings from the use of the priesthood flow from humble service to others without thought of self.
~Are your private, personal thoughts conducive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, or would they benefit from a thorough housecleaning?
~Equal partnership yields its greatest benefit when both husband and wife seek the will o the Lord in making important decisions for themselves and for their family.
~"Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth." - President Hinckley
~Often the real value of something is not recognized until it is taken from us.
~It is required of us that despite age, infirmity, exhaustion, and feelings of inadequacy, we do the work He has given us to do, to the last breath of our lives.

Elder Robert D. Hales:
~One of mortality's great tests comes when our beliefs are questioned or criticized... These are important opportunities to step back, pray, and follow the Savior's example.
~When we respond to our accusers as the Savior did, we not only become more Christlike, we invite others to feel His love and follow Him as well.
~"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
~When we do not retaliate - when we turn the other cheek and resist feelings of anger - we too stand with the Savior.
~We can answer with love those who have been influenced by misinformation and prejudice.
~True disciples respond in ways that invite the Spirit of the Lord.
~We must never become contentious when we are discussing our faith. (3 Nephi 11:29)
~Surely our Heavenly Father is saddened - and the devil laughs - when we contentiously debate doctrinal differences with our Christian neighbors.
~True disciples speak with quiet confidence, not boastful pride.
~Our heartfelt testimonies are the most powerful answer we can give our accusers.
~Sometimes true disciples must show Christian courage by saying nothing at all.
~"Fret not thyself because of evildoers." (Psalm 37:1)
~We do not feel we are better than they are. Rather, we desire with our love to show them a better way - the way of Jesus Christ.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland:
~Even the Son of God, a God Himself, had need for heavenly comfort during His sojourn in mortality.
~Moroni 7:35-37,30
~Search diligently, pray always, and be believing.
~Not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them, we walk with and talk with... Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us.
~I prayed for a long time.
~God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face.
~Often enough that distress can be of our own making, but even then the Father of us all is watching and assisting.
~D&C 84:88
~May we all try to be a little more angelic ourselves.

Elder David A. Bednar:
~Prayer becomes more meaningful as we counsel with the Lord in all our doings.
~We are promised that if we pray sincerely for that which is right and good and in accordance with God's will, we can be blessed, protected, and directed.
~The Holy Ghost is the witness of and messenger for the Father and the Son.
~The spiritual creation preceded the temporal creation. In a similar way, meaningful morning prayer is an important element in the spiritual creation of each day - and precedes the temporal creation or the actual execution of the day.
~After expressing appropriate thanks for blessings received, we plead for understanding, direction, and help to do the things we cannot do in our own strength alone.
~"Let all they thoughts be directed unto the Lord." (Alma 37:36)
~Morning and evening prayers - and all of the prayers in between - are not unrelated, discrete events; rather, they are linked together each day and across days, weeks, months, and even years. This is in part how we fulfill the scriptural admonition to 'pray always.'
~Meaningful prayers are instrumental in obtaining the highest blessings God holds in store for His faithful children.
~Prayer becomes more meaningful as we express heartfelt gratitude.
~"Pray without ceasing, and ... give thanks in all things" (Mosiah 26.39)
~The most meaningful and spiritual prayers I have experienced contained many expressions of thanks and few, if any, requests.
~The prayers of prophets are childlike in their simplicity and powerful because of their sincerity.
~Let me recommend that periodically you and I offer a prayer in which we only give thanks and express gratitude.
~Praying earnestly for others, both those whom we love and those who despitefully use us, is also an important element of meaningful prayer.
~Praying for others with all of the energy of our souls increases our capacity to hear and to heed the voice of the Lord.
~Ponder His teachings and pray for understanding.
~Do our spouses, children, and other family members likewise feel th epower of our prayers offered unto the Father for their specific needs and desires?
~If those we love and serve have not heard and felt the influence of our earnest prayers in their behlf, then the time to repent is now.

Elder Quentin L. Cook:
~We know He cares for us in our time of need.
~There must be opposition in all things for righteousness to be brought to pass.
~This life is not always easy, nor was it meant to be. (emphasis added)
~"The sharp, side-by-side contrast of the sweet and the bitter is essential until the very end of this brief, mortal experience." - Neal A. Maxwell
~We are not going to suffer any more than what is for out good.
~Some trials are for our good and are suited for out own personal development.
~"If ye are prepared ye shall not fear."
~One of the great blessings of the scriptures is that they warn us of challenges that are unexpected but often occur.
~One form of preparation is to keep the commandments.
~Clearly, having the blessings of the Spirit - the ministration of the Holy Ghost - is an essential element to truly prosper in the land and to be prepared.
~"I do not know of any, excepting the unpardonable sin, that is greater than the sin of ingratitude." - Brigham Young
~D&C 68:6
~There is no grief, no pain, no sickness so great that the Atonement of Christ and the love of Christ cannot heal.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson:
~The Lord calls upon us to be beacons of righteousness to guide those who seek the safety and blessings of Zion.
~If we would establish Zion in our homes, branches, wards, and stakes, we must rise to this standard. (Moses 7:18)
~We cannot wait until Zion comes for these things to happen - Zion will come only as they happen.
~"In the private sanctuary of one's own conscience lies that spirit, that determination to cast off the older person and to measure up to the stature of true potential." --Monson
~To come to Zion, it is not enough for you or me to be somewhat less wicked than others. We are to become not only good but holy men and women.
~Let us once and for all establish our residence in Zion and give up the summer cottage in Babylon. --Maxwell
~Materialism is just one more manifestation of the idolatry and pride that characterize Babylon.
~1 Tim. 6:7-8
~(story of the man sharing half his dining room table)
~"We ought to have the building up of Zion as our greatest object." --Joseph Smith

**I'll be posting links to Conference packets for kids soon.**

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Blessings of the Temple

I know the temple can and does bless our lives. Whenever I go to the temple, all the troubles of the world seem to lift off my shoulders. I feel peace at the temple. I feel a clarity about my purpose on earth. I feel closer to God in the temple than anywhere else. I'm so grateful that President Hinckley, and now President Monson, have found ways to build more temples, so more people can experience this wonderful blessing.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Message of the Restoration

I love these videos put out by the Church. I'll try to space them out, but it's hard not sharing what I hold so dear. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

One of the Least of These

"...Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
-Matthew 25:40

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Geese Analogy

This week in sacrament meeting and Institute, we talked about two talks from last Conference, President Eyring's Our Hearts Knit as One and Elder Christofferson's Come to Zion. These are excellent talks to read together. Today, I just wanted to share an analogy given during sacrament meeting, about why geese fly in a V. Think about unity and Zion as you read this:

As the geese take flight from the Canadian shoreline, they lift off from the water in squawking discourse. Yet, in a matter of seconds, a line begins to emerge from the mass of brown feathers. This line straightens, arches slightly, and then, as on cue, bends sharply to form a perfect V shape. Canada geese fly in V formation for a very pragmatic reason: a flock of geese flying in formation can move faster and maintain flight longer than any one goose flying alone.

We have a lot to learn from these geese.

* By flying in "V " formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
=>People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

* Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.
=>If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are heading in the same as we are.

* When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.
=> It pays to take turns doing hard jobs, with people or with flying geese.

* These geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
=> We need to be careful what we say when we honk from behind.

* Finally, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshot, and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and then they launch out on their own or with another formation until they catch up with their group.
=> If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other, protect one another and sometimes make new friends who seem to be going in our direction.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hold to the Rod

Hold to the Rod, the Iron Rod

I love this painting! Here's the explanation that went along with the portrait on one of the websites:

"As we walk the road of life, we tend to collect things that make us feel safer and more sure of ourselves. These may be material possessions, titles or responsibilities, but in the end they amount to the same thing: a fleeting and superficial sense of security. It is only by holding fast to our beliefs that we can navigate life with any confidence.

"The character in Hold to the Rod finds himself so burdened with the mundane objects he has collected that, while he hopefully eyes the rod, he cannot reach up to hold it for fear of losing something else. The man has become little more than a vehicle for his adornments. He demonstrates that what is truly important is keeping sight of our true belief and faith, that they alone will guide us through."

So true. The story of the tree of life mentions a lot of things that get people to let go of the iron rod, but I never thought about the busyness of life being one of the causes. But it definitely makes sense! Life can really get in the way of the really important stuff sometimes! Hopefully, we all have the opportunity, every now and then, to step back and weed out the unimportant things, so that the things that bring us pure joy are the only things left!

Friday, March 13, 2009

How Can This Be?

Do you ever find yourself questioning the Lord? If so, you are not alone. In John 3 we read the story of Nicodemus who asks Jesus a question. No matter what Jesus responds, Nicodemus keeps questioning how it can be so.

I found the story rather interesting because, I think we often look at things from our own viewpoint and can't make sense of what the Lord is trying to tell us. No matter how much education we have, (And Nicodemus was apparently a learned man), we are still judging things from a limited view. If something doesn't seem logical, it probably isn't--to us! If we were able to see things the way the Lord sees, it would make complete sense. Keeping this in mind is what can allow us to go forward with faith.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Teach by Example

"If each and every one of us who are parents will reflect upon the responsibilities devolving upon us, we shall come to the conclusion that we should never permit ourselves to do anything that we are not willing to see our children do. We should set them an example that we wish them to imitate."
--Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses, 14:192.)

This is so true, in every aspect of teaching our children. I learned this firsthand this week.

I started teaching my 5-year-old the piano about a month ago. She was really excited for a few days. Then, nothing! I was bewildered at the sudden lack of interest. I didn't know what to do. I knew I shouldn't push her to practice, because that'll ruin everything.

Then, about a week ago, I was going through some of my personal goals, and I realized that I hadn't practiced the piano for probably weeks! So I sat down and played for a while. I just went through some music I've had for a long time - nothing major.

Not an hour later, my daughter said, "Mom, I'm going to practice the piano." And sat down and practiced from her lesson book! Not even an hour later!! It was definitely an eye-opening experience about teaching by example! It taught me that teaching by example doesn't just mean not doing certain things, it also means doing certain things! If I want something for my kids, I have to show them the way, not just tell them about it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Inquire and You'll Understand

We are reading the Book of Mormon as a family. I'm not sure if we'll get through it in three months, but we're going to try. :)

This morning we read 1Nephi 15. I started giggling after reading verse 3. Why? Well, I'll tell you.

I was just remembering every Sunday School or Relief Society lesson I've ever been in where Isaiah is mentioned. As soon as that great prophet's name is mentioned a few audible moans are heard, followed by grumblings and sometimes murmurings. Isaiah has been a stumbling block for many a Latter-day Saint. I've even heard some people admit that, when reading the Book of Mormon, they skip 2 Nephi just to avoid reading Isaiah.

Personally, I have always loved Isaiah. I had a wonderful seminary teacher, Brother K. Herbst, who, with a few small details, opened a greater understanding of Isaiah in my mind. I think I was also blessed with the gift of understanding in regards to the scriptures. Either way, I love Isaiah. But back to my giggling...

I started giggling because there, in 1 Nephi 15: 3, the chapters preceding Isaiah, Nephi tells us how to understand difficult things. He lays the path before us very simply and in a Very straightforward manner. But I hadn't really noticed it before. Not in this context.

The verse: "For he truly spake many great things unto them, which were hard to be understood, save a man should inquire of the Lord; and they being hard in their hearts, therefore they did not look unto the Lord as they ought."

I giggled because the answer to understanding Isaiah is simple. "Inquire of the Lord."

I giggled because the same people who moaned about Isaiah were the same people who, upon reading 1 Nephi chapter 15, condemned Laman and Lemuel for not asking the Lord.

There are many things within the scriptures that can be hard to understand. But I know that if we ask the Lord, He will help us. He did not want us to be lost and wandering. The whole point of the scriptures is to clearly point the way back to our Father in Heaven. And fortunately for us, our God is not a tricky and sneaky God. No. He is a loving and kind God who had set the path before us. The path is strait and narrow, but not impassable. Inquire of the Lord and you will find the way.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Today's the Day!!

If you're reading The Book of Mormon in 3 months with us, today's the day to start!! I'm going to try to keep an update in the sidebar of the reading schedule for each week, but no promises! :)

But I can promise that this will bless your lives! The Book of Mormon is an essential part of the Gospel. It's crucial to learning about the Savior.

No matter how you read The Book of Mormon - with us in 3 months, by topic, verse by verse - it will bless your life. I know that!

"The Book of Mormon is a book with a promise. . . . All who study and ponder its teachings are given a promise found in the last chapter of Moroni (see Moroni 10:3-4) as well as in the introduction to the Book of Mormon, where we read: 'We invite all men [and women] everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost.'

" 'I opened it with eagerness, and read its title page. . . . I commenced its contents by course. I read all day; eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when the night came, for I preferred reading to sleep."

'As I read, the spirit of the Lord was upon me, and I knew and comprehended that the book was true, as plainly and manifestly as a man comprehends and knows that he exists.'"

Parley Pratt was then 23 years of age. The reading of the Book of Mormon affected him so profoundly that he was soon baptized into the Church and became one of its most effective and powerful advocates. In the course of his ministry he traveled from coast to coast across what is now the United States, into Canada, and to England; he worked in the isles of the Pacific and was the first Latter-day Saint missionary to set foot on the soil of South America. . . ."

Parley Pratt's experience with the Book of Mormon was not unique. As the volumes of the first edition were circulated and read, strong men and women by the hundreds were so deeply touched that they gave up everything they owned, and in the years that followed not a few even gave their lives for the witness they carried in their hearts of the truth of this remarkable volume."

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Blackberry Bush

This was another article in the Ensign that got me thinking.

Donnell Allan, “The Blessing of the Blackberry Bush,” Ensign, Feb 2009, 53

"One day when our son Jesse was a toddler, I was watching our children play in the yard. Suddenly I realized that he was no longer with the others. One moment he was there, and the next he was gone.

"My heart pounded in panic. I called out for him as I frantically searched the yard. Soon I heard his frightened cries, which I followed. I found Jesse in the yard next door, entangled in the middle of some blackberry vines. He struggled to escape, but each time he moved, thorns from the vines buried themselves deeper into his clothing and skin. He was frightened and in pain. It took me quite some time to remove each thorn and pull Jesse free.

"It hurt me to see my little child suffer. But then I remembered the large pond located in the neighbor’s yard. If the blackberries had not detained Jesse, he might have wandered into the pond and risked drowning.

"I’ve since learned that God sometimes allows us to stumble into thorny places to protect us from more harmful situations. He loves us and does what is best for us, even when it hurts terribly, because sometimes the pain is necessary for our physical safety or spiritual growth. When we turn to Him in our trials, He carefully pulls out the thorns and comforts our hearts.

"Years after that incident with Jesse, I was touched when I came across this passage from Elder George Q. Cannon (1827–1901): “The Saints should always remember that God sees not as man sees; that he does not willingly afflict his children, and that if he requires them to endure present privation and trial, it is that they may escape greater tribulations which would otherwise inevitably overtake them. If He deprives them of any present blessing, it is that he may bestow upon them greater and more glorious ones by-and-by.”1

"My experience with my son—what I now call “the parable of the blackberries”—has brought comfort to me as I have watched my children endure trials and challenges. I am reminded that our trials and suffering have purpose and that the Lord always has our best interest in mind, even when allowing us to suffer temporarily among life’s blackberry thorns."

Sometimes I think about the trials I go through and wonder about the trials I could be asked to endure instead. While I have some hard days, I feel so fortunate to have trials that I know I can handle. (I may not feel like that at the time, but it IS true!)

The third paragraph of this article also makes me think of our Heavenly Father. He can only help us as we call to Him. It pains Him to see us struggling, but He can't do anything until we make the choice to ask Him for help. As soon as we do, He's there to help us and comfort us.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Resource

I've just discovered a great new website. It's called Mormons Made Simple.com. It has a few simple videos that explain such things as what to expect when coming to an LDS church on Sunday, or what is The Book of Mormon. They're already planning on more videos, as well. It seems to be a great resource, so go check it out!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Book of Mormon in 3 Months

I've decided to read The Book of Mormon in 3 months again, and I would love for you to join me! Last summer I did this same thing, and I learned SO much!!

I'll be starting March 1st, so you still have time to decide. But please let me know if you'd like to join me! I can email you a copy of the chart I've made up that tells you how much to read each day.

I know that reading The Book of Mormon makes life easier! Every day I DON'T read is a chaotic day!! I love reading it in all different ways - fast, slow, by topic. Each way teaches me something different, and I love it!

My email: blhvamos (at) gmail (dot) com

Monday, February 9, 2009

Running to Him

Every once in a while, I come across a really great article in the Ensign that I can't help but share. This one is from this month's Ensign.

"Years ago my son Derek competed in a much-anticipated track meet. For three years of his young life, he had prepared for and hoped to win the two-mile race. Now as we watched with the crowd gathered near the finish line, it seemed the race would last forever. When Derek crossed the line first, the crowd burst into cheers. He was surrounded by coaches, teammates, and friends offering congratulations. Derek seemed relieved and thrilled to have finally accomplished his goal.

"I noticed, however, that in the tangle of the crowd, he was frantically scanning the field as though he wanted to be somewhere else. I watched, with tears in my eyes, as Derek bolted across the field, arms outstretched, into the open arms of his father - the place he wanted to be. I recorded that moment in my mind - a moment when I saw just how much our son loves and needs his dad.

"Derek's preparation for this event had not been easy. There were times of discouragement, disappointment, and sometimes despair. But Derek had the constant support of his greatest fan - his father! In rain, wind, sleet, or snow my husband was at every race offering Derek encouragement.

"At those races my husband stood apart from the other spectators at what I considered an odd place. He wasn't at the finish line or even along the final stretch, but at a distant corner on the far side of the field. Once I asked him why he stood there. I will never forget his answer. He said, 'I stand at the place my son needs me the most. He needs to know I'm there at the most challenging moment - when his legs burn and he feels like he cannot go on. He needs to hear at that far corner a voice telling him to keep moving because he has worked hard and deserves to do his very best. There will be cheers at the beginning and loving support at the end, but I will be at the corner where I know he feels like giving up.'

"As I watched Derek leave his team at the finish line and run a great distance into his father's arms, I realized that spiritual whispers of encouragement from my Father in Heaven have not come at moments in my life when I felt most sure of myself. Instead, those reminders of His love have come when I thought I could go no farther, when I felt as if my spiritual legs would collapse in exhaustion. I have felt His love and I have known then, as I know now, that I am His child. As I remember my husband's arms encircling our son, I imagine what it will be like to cross the finish line of this life and run into the waiting arms of our Father in Heaven. I am grateful for His support and that of our Savior, Jesus Christ, which has helped ease every difficult turn in my life."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Speaking by the Power of the Holy Ghost

Today, I came across 2 Nephi 33:1. The last half reads, "for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men."

In the margins, I have written, "always speak with the Holy Ghost, especially to kids." This was, once again, an eye opener to me. There's been a lot of stress in my life lately, and when I'm stressed I tend to not be so nice. (Read: I tend to yell more.) This scripture made me realize that all the yelling in the world isn't going to do anything!

When I have the Spirit with me, He will carry my message "unto the hearts of the children." If I speak with the Spirit, they'll understand with the Spirit.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Who Will Believe?

I found a cool scripture chain that I thought I would share.

Isaish 53:1 is Isaiah writing and wondering who will believe his writings.

There are three ways to come by belief. You can find one of them in Romans 10:16-17. The other two are found in John 12:37, 38, 40. Each of those scriptures quotes Isaiah and also gives the answer to who will believe.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How Great Thou Art Scriptures & Background Story

I'm sharing a tidbit from a series I am posting on my main blog. I love the hymns and thought you all might enjoy this little scripture study session as well.

I deemed it appropriate to begin with something Swedish. {I am 1/2 Swedish and very much attached to my Swedish heritage.} This is why I chose the hymn How Great Thou Art for my first selection. Oftentimes I will include music with the song I choose, but I can't do that this time due to copyright restrictions on this song. Hopefully you have a hymn book yourself, or a good memory.

Scriptures for this song:
Psalms 8:3-9 David here recounts numerous wonders of the Lord and His amazing mercy towards each on of us.
Psalms 9:1-2 Here David speaks of his own desires to praise and rejoice in the Lord. How Great Thou Art song lyrics seem to be derived from David’s message.
Mosiah 4:5-13 In King Benjamin’s speech, he reminds us all of our own unworthiness without the Lord and of God’s great goodness. Each of us should remember to rejoice and be filled with the love of God.

Various facts:
English text by Stuart K. Hine, 1899
Original Swedish text by Reverend Carl Boberg “O Store Gud” or “O Mighty God”
Tune Swedish folk medley

The story behind the song:
This hymn originated in Sweden. The author apparently wrote the song while walking home in during a thunderstorm after church services. It was translated into a few different languages when English missionaries, Reverend and Mrs. Stuart K. Hine, heard the hymn in Russia. They wrote up an English version of the song using 3 verses. After WWII, eastern European refugees were flooding into England looking to find a new home. It was at this time that the 4th verse was written, receiving inspiration for the words after listening to the wondering questions about home from these people who were without one.

I am doing a little research online to find these things out. I also have a book entitled "Our Latter-day Hymns The Stories and the Messages" by Karen Lynn Davidson from which I am finding information on these songs. If you want more info, the aforementioned book and the internet search engines can get you much more than the little bit I shared.
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