Sunday, December 20, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
- 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
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
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
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
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
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
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
Sunday, May 24, 2009
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
Monday, May 4, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
~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
(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
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
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
Coloring Packet (ages 3-7; 18 pages)
Conference Packet (ages 5-8; 17 pages)
Activity Book (ages 5-9; 10 pages)
Conference Packet (ages 5-11; 14 pages)
Conference Folder (ages 7-10; 7 pages)
Conference ABCs (ages 8-11; 1 page)
Conference Chase (ages 8-adult; 1 page; 1 posterboard needed)
~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.
~1 Thessalonians 5:18
~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.
~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.
~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.
~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...
~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
~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.
~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.
~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.
~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
~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
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
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
Friday, March 13, 2009
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
--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
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
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.'
"A Book with a Promise," Ensign, May 2008, 106
" '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."
"A Testimony Vibrant and True," Ensign, Aug. 2005, 3-4
Friday, February 27, 2009
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
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
My email: blhvamos (at) gmail (dot) com
Monday, February 9, 2009
"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
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.