Saturday, December 27, 2008

Laboratory of our own homes

Everything we need to be able to return to our Heavenly Father can be found in the laboratory of our own homes.

I came across this in my files today. It's from a church conference in Montana in 2003. The President reminded the congregation of some simple and important principles. I appreciated the reminder and, of course, need to work on some of them.

5 principles that are vital to the happiness of our families:

1. Speak softly (we seldom get into trouble if we speak softly)
2. Council with the Lord. Seek His help and advice. Take our problems to the Lord. (There are over 700 scriptures, where the Lord asks us to come to Him in our needs.
3. Don't embarrass the members of your family (knowingly)
4. Don't criticize members of your family. Learn to still a critical tongue. (Look for and a
acknowledge the good).
5. Don't be controlling. Heavenly Father is not a controlling Father. All must have agency.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Spirit of the Season

What is the true spirit of the season? We are often reminded to focus on the 'true spirit of the season' yet do we ponder on what that really means and how to really accomplish it?

Can people in third world countries with no gifts experience the 'real' meaning?
Can those who are wealthy have that same blessing? Is it harder for them?

How are we able to not be materialistic when we're surrounded by it on every side?
What has helped YOU most to focus on things of God instead of things of man?

Do we have a gift to offer to the One who has given us everything? Are we willing to give that gift? Is it a priority? Are the things happening in the world today --- meant to remind us of what we should be focusing on?

These are some of the things that I am pondering. What are your thoughts?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

We rejoice in and prophesy of Christ

I posted a favorite scripture on a kitchen cupboard today; as a reminder for what truly matters this season and as Christmas approaches. I hope it's a reminder to us all of why we are here and what we are meant to do.

"We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remisssion of their sins." 2 Nephi 25:26

Friday, December 5, 2008

Elder Wirthin passing and .....laughter, law of compensation

I love Elder Wirthlin and have felt a real sense of loss at his passing. I haven't always loved him this much but he has grown on me over the past few years and especially with his last talk in General Conference. He reminded us of 4 things that we needed for a happier life and the statement from his mother "Come what may, and love it".

I've given these things much thought over the past few months -- especially since his was the chosen topic for our church Relief Society meeting which I taught last week.

The thing I loved most was his reminder for us of laughter. We need to laugh more and take things less seriously. He laughed so hard when his daughter mistakenly went out to the car with her supposed 'blind date' to quickly run back into the house when she found that he was actually the man who came to get her younger sister as a babysitter for the evening. I loved that he told us about laughing hard with his family when they made one wrong turn after another on vacation.

I also deeply appreciated his comment on the law of compensation as it is very personal and almost sacred to me (and many others).
"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. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."

I hold on to that hope and know that it is the truth.
I miss Elder Wirthlin and hope that I will be worthy to be with him and many other humble men and women of God, in a coming day.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Preparedness Information

I'm putting some preparedness sites here.
Most of us desire to be prepared as we know somewhat of the times ahead.
We need both physical and spiritual preparation.

http://lds.org/ has preparedness information for food storage and quotes by church leaders.

These other sites give information by way of dreams, visions, quotes etc. about the last days.
http://ldslastdays.com/
http://avow.com/ (a voice of warning)

A great blog with much good information is found at http://blog.totallyready.com/

We need not fear if we are prepared --- yet, we must be continually preparing and filling our lamps. Each drop of oil comes from our personal daily righteousness -- a drop at a time (each prayer, scripture study, church and temple attendance, repentance, following Spirit, service etc.)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Conditions Existing in the Last Days

My dear friend Melissa sent me this quote.

'We read in the Scriptures of a time that is coming when there will be a howling among the merchants in Babylon, for men will not be found to buy their merchandise. This is in accordance with the prediction of John the Revelator. And the gold and silver and the fine linen, etc, in Babylon will be of no avail. But before that time comes, we as a people must prepare for those events, that we may be able to live and sustain ourselves when in the midst of convulsions that by and by will overtake the nations of the earth and among others, this nation. The time that is spoken of is not very far distant.
-John Taylor, JD 21:33, April 9, 1879

What is True Religion?

As I have understood it true religion is to visit the fatherless and the widow and to help the poor and the needy. But, here are some other insightful and powerful comments on True Religion. They are worthy of much pondering as we approach the time of year in which we naturally reach-out in an effort to be more Christlike.


I don't believe that true religion is just an action. It's an attitude of the heart. The question then becomes -- do we love the poor (and in spirit) and the needy more than we love the things of the world? Are we willing to give up all 'things' in order to put the Lord and His work (the building up of His Kingdom on earth) first?


Elder Howard W. Hunter writes in his talk entitled True Religion -- that "James tells us that true religion is a devotion to God, demonstrated by love and compassion for fellowmen, coupled with unworldliness. Be rather religious both in appearance and in reality, remembering what true religion means."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Standing Firm for what is good and true

We're living in the day where we may have to stand-up for what we believe in -- even if the cost is high.

Residents of California who strongly supported marriage to be defined as between one man and one woman -- are facing persecutions and near riots. It will, most likely, get worse before it gets better. I honor them and support them. We are to stand strong amid the buffetings and storms that may come.

No matter what lies ahead we are to stand firm for what is good and true. The opposition is going to get worse but it's a time of weeding-out and purifying. I love it when Elder Oaks reminded us that no matter what lies ahead this we do know; that "in the end, our team wins".

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Happy Person is . . .

I read this statement "A Happy Person is a Grateful Person" by Pres. Howard W. Hunter years ago. It has stayed with me as I have needed the reminder over and over again.

Oftimes this statement will come to mind when I am feeling down. I have conscientiously tried to be more grateful and have often written my gratitude list in my daily journal. Yet, I'm still not always cheerful or 'happy'. But, I do have an underlying joy that overcomes the lack of constant 'happiness' by the worlds terms. I wonder if the 'fun' or energetic kind that we often associate with 'happiness' is the fleeting kind discussed in the scriptures. True joy is lasting and brings peace -- the kind that is not associated with the fun and games so often sought in this temporal existence.

What do you think?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Quotes about the Last Days- live on what we produce

These quotes tend to indicate that in a coming day there will be no trade between the righteous and the wicked; and the righteous will have to live on what they produce. It's something to think about.....

..."By and by there will be a gulf between the righteous and the wicked so that they can not trade with each other, and national intercourse will cease. It is not so now, they can pass from one to the other with ease. But if this is the Kingdom of God and if we are the Saints of God -- I leave you all the judge for yourselves about this -- are we not required to sustain ourselves and to manufacture that which we consume." (Brigham Young)

"Lay up your stores, and take your silks and fine things, and exchange them for grain and such things as you need, and the time will come when we will be obliged to depend upon our own resources; for the time is not far distant when the curtain will be dropped between us and the United States. When that time comes, brethren and sisters, you will wish you had commenced sooner to make your own clothing. I tell you, God requires us to go into home manufacture; and prolong it as much as you like, you have go to do it." (Heber C. Kimball)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thanksgiving and journal writing

Despite the fact that the stores are filled with Christmas items --- it's our blessing and privilege to take time out for Thanksgiving and to count our many blessings.

My sweet Uncle Earl brought me over a new journal yesterday! I was very touched and humbled!

On Sunday in our personal history class I mentioned that I had just finished writing on the last page of my journal and would be saving my pennies to buy another one! Unbenonced to me, he had a new one that he wasn't using and was somehow prompted to think of me. I would bet that he has no idea of how much that meant to me (though I will try to tell him) as I will think of him and feel humbled and grateful EVERY time I write in it!

This thing touched my heart and reminded me of how the little things in life mean the most; a kind word, a thoughtful note, a hug or pat on the back, encouragement, noticing a need and giving of one's self or one's means.

This past year has brought some difficult challenges for our family. The kind gesture of a thoughtful person truly uplifted me and lightened my load. For that I am extremely grateful. I am starting my beautiful new journal tonight with a page of all the things that I have to be thankful for. Uncle Earl will be at the top. Thank you, Uncle Earl!

And, thank you for those of you who make kind comments on any of my blogs. You bless my life and help me along the path!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

55 Million in Mourning.....

Today millions are celebrating the victory of their candidate. Others of us are mourning the loss of a hope that we had for conservative principles and leadership.

It may take some time for us to work through that sense of loss and re-group with other like-minded individuals.

An ABC representative interviewed on KSL radio this morning commented that most politicians are 'self-serving'. Despite his rhetoric we have no way of knowing just what Obama will do once he enters the White House. We won't know until he gets there if he will remain leftist or center himself more in an effort to pull the nation together as he has claimed.

I believe he'll remain closer to what he's been in the past especially since Reid and Pelosi are part of the threesome. That whole thought should not be a pleasant one for any of us; even Democrats. Balance in power is one of the things that we need most in Washington. Without it many important and informed voices in the nation will not be heard.

And, with the Senate and House both having gained more seats for Democrats; we're in for a rocky ride. In an already tough state-of-being this may be more than we can handle. We must keep ourselves rooted to true principles and pray for our elected officials.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Constitution hanging by a thread

This morning on the Glenn Beck radio program I heard Senator Hatch from Utah interviewed. He said (as has been prophecied) that he feels that the Constitution is hanging-by-a-thread! Glenn Beck echoed these comments over the next few hours.

I've known that this day would come -- I just didn't expect that it would be today!

Senator Hatch said that he had fought against this for the whole time that he has been back in Washington.

We live in times that have been prophecied. President Benson was a strong-proponent and advocate for the Proper Role of Government. We are getting away from that and heading towards a socialistic society. This could be the downfall of our nation.

In the days ahead our quest is to hold fast to proper principles, be steadfast and immovable for righteousness, heed the counsel of our Prophet and obey what the Lord has asked us to do. Only in this way can we be strengthened in the stormy weather that is ahead.

Freedoms We Enjoy

What a blessing to have the freedoms that we enjoy!

Today we had the opportunity to vote. I remember watching the voters in Iraq last year. Some travelled by foot for hours to cast the first ballot of their lives.

Do we know what we have? Are we grateful for what others did to sacrifice so that we could have the freedoms that we do?

These moments have caused me deep reflection and deep gratitude. We pray that we may continue to enjoy them. They are being threatened!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Light and Truth

I love section 93 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Some favorite verses are:

vs. 24 And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come;
vs. 27 And no man receiveth a fulness unless he keepeth his commandments
vs. 28 He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.
vs. 36 The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, LIGHT and TRUTH.
vs. 37 Light and truth forsake that evil one.

These are verses worth pondering. Sometimes we take a verse at face value -- but, when we ponder more about each word and meaning our eyes are opened to deeper discoveries and meanings.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Work of the Master

I miss our beloved Prophet President Gordon B. Hinckley. He passed away last year but his memory lives on.

He made this remark:
"This church does not belong to it's President. It's head is the Lord Jesus Christ, whose name each of us has taken upon ourselves. We are all in this great endeavor together. We are here to assist our Father in His work and His glory....Your obligation is as serious in your sphere of responsibility as is my obligation in my sphere. No calling in this church is small or of little consequence."
This is the Work of the Master, "Ensign, May 1995 p. 71

I'm grateful for a new and living Prophet President Thomas S. Monson. I love how he cares for 'the one'. We pray for him as a family and know that the caravan moves on!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I was tagged...

I was 'tagged' by sweet Merrianne http://merrianne.blogspot.com/ --- and figured that I'd better respond today.

Apparently I'm to tell you 7 (or 10) things that you didn't know about me. So.....here it goes:

1. Years and years and years ago :) certified scuba diver (wierd for me - I know)
2. Ruffles and milk, carrots from the garden, watermelon, fresh Hawaiian pineapple
3. Fer really, really Dumb; trying out for jr. high gymnastics team -- without ever having taken gymnastics
4. First election won: 4th grade "Sanitation Engineer"
5. First job; picking cherries (Favorite job; teaching at MTC)
6. Favorite thing; playing the female lead in stake production of The Music Man
7. Wear two toe rings and still waiting for knight in shining (or dented and rusted) armor
8. Biggest pet-peeve; gum chompers/snappers (even worse when they are on the stand) :)
9. Popcorn chompers (have to move around in the movie theater) :)
10. Tom's of Maine -- all natural toothpaste - peppermint

Thanks Merrianne!

I'm tagging 7 others....
Allison http://alliesantiks.blogspot.com
Christie http://bellyacrefarm.blogspot.com
Angie http://falslev.blogspot.com
Kirsten http://bartonmania.blogspot.com/
Mindy http://craigandmindy.blogspot.com
Jeffery http://wordsmeantfornoone.blogspot.com
Sondra http://murrayandmathews.blogspot.com

Monday, October 20, 2008

Name Blessings One by One

We sang this hymn in church yesterday. It was definitely the reminder that I needed as sometimes I count others' blessings and not my own. I've been a bit down, as of late, and am grateful for these words of truth that strengthened me when I was in need. They are a good reminder to all of us.

Count Your Many Blessings
When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings; name them one by one,
And it will suprise you what the Lord has done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings; every doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you his wealth untold.
Count your many blessings; money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged; God is over all.
Count your many blessings; angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey's end.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

How Firm A Foundation

On my mission to Torreon, Mexico, Sister Gillie and I were the only American sisters. We were never companions but were able to see each other a few times over the 18 months that we were there. How grateful I am for some inspirational comments she gave to me that have helped me throughout the ensuing years.

One day she wrote me a note and included the words to the third verse of "How Firm A Foundation". I have loved that verse ever since that day. It has meant much to me and the words have often come to my mind as an answer to my prayers.

Verse 4 has also come to mean a lot to me recently. The words are these:
"When through the deep water I call thee to go-
The rivers of sorrow shall not Thee o'erflow
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless.
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress."

How grateful I am for the beautiful hymns of the church that teach truths, give comfort in time of need, strengthen, encourage and bless. I have many favorites that often speak to my soul. Words aren't often able to express how much they have meant to me.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Messages of hope and inspiration

This past Saturday and Sunday, we gathered in homes and churches around the world to hear messages from our church leaders in what we call our semi-annual General Conference. Speakers were chosen from church leadership including the Prophets and Apostles. It's my favorite time of year and I am always saddened when it is over as I love what we are taught and how we are inspired.

I wrote down a few favorite passages that were of hope, strength and inspiration to me.

"Faithfully endure trials."
"The rain falls on the just and unjust."
"We are not going to suffer any more than is for our good."
"The Atonement of Christ covers all the trials we may experience."
"Heavenly Father is mindful of the trials we face."
"Care for one anothers."
"Keep the Commandments."
"Be of good cheer, for I am the Lord and will be with you."
"Continue to persevere."
"Every cloud doesn't result in rain."
"There will be lean years and years of plenty."
"This work is true. Our Savior lives. He guides this church".

How grateful I am for truths that strengthen us, remind us of what we already know, and encourage us to perservere amidst storms of life. There is joy to be found in the journey as we walk the paths of life. In the day-to-day challenges of life we are to express gratitude and, thereby, find happiness.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Politics --- asking the wrong questions

I came across this article today by Richard Eyre and felt it was worth sharing.
He ran for govenor of Utah several years back and offers a perspective worth pondering.

http://www.ldsmag.com/deceivers/080926questions.html

Friday, October 3, 2008

Death of an animal...

Death is part of the process of life - even for animals. It's not easy to have to let-go a beloved friend. My 12 yr. old son had to make the choice about having his cat remain in severe pain or release her to heaven. It was a difficult and heartwrenching decision for him -- as he loved this kitten as a best friend. But, with my reassurance, he made the choice so that she would not have to suffer anymore.

Times like these cause us to reflect on life and the after-life. How grateful we are for the knowledge that there is much more after this earthly existence. If we didn't have that understanding -- then, death would be nearly unbearable -- even for a child with a beloved pet.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Accidents can happen...

Accidents can happen to anyone. That is why they are called 'accident's.

We were involved in a car accident on Friday. Our small vehicle was totalled and the woman who hit us felt badly. She raised her hands into the air and said in her broken English "I love God, but why this?"

Though we were hurting and were in shock, I tried to reassure her that this was something that was part of life. God doesn't 'cause' all accidents. We are human beings who make mistakes, use poor judgement, don't pay attention, and don't always have things go the 'right' way for us.

But, it doesn't mean that God doesn't love us. In allowing us the ability to learn and grow and progress in this life - he, by higher laws, permits consequences to happen. In this way we can learn how to respond to daily challenges and sometimes even serious trials. These things all shape and mold us into better beings if we rely on Him to help us through them.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Church Leadership

I am very grateful for good church leadership. Every once-in-a-while I get a call from a church leader or member who wants to check on me to see how I am doing. I appreciate that. I am grateful to know that we can care about and help each other as we're in this earthly realm.

Someone once said that 'we're not human beings having a spiritual experience - but spiritual beings having a human experience'. I like that perspective and appreciate it's truth.

Our lives can be filled with all kinds of challenges, trials and opportunities for growth and learning. When we fall down or scrape a knee -- it's nice to know that someone else cares, or has a band-aid or some ointment.

I hope that I'm that person for others' when they need a listening ear, hug, or inspirational message. Perhaps that's the greatest lesson in life; to learn to love others despite the challenges and struggles.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

CELL PHONE vs. BIBLE

I received this e-mail from someone recently. I thought it was worth passing along and pondering.

CELL PHONE vs. BIBLE
I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?
What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
What if we flipped through it several times a day?
What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?
What if we gave it to kids as gifts?
What if we used it in case of an emergency?
This is something to make you go... hmm... where is my Bible?
Oh, and one more thing. ...
Unlike our cell phone, we don't have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.
Makes you stop and think 'where are my priorities?
And no dropped calls!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mormon Moms Who Blog

I'm looking for Mormon Moms who blog. If you know of any will you send them my way or to this list http://MormonMomsWhoBlog.blogspot.com?

We're trying to build a strong repertoire of LDS women who blog and can strengthen and support one another as they also build their readership!

Thanks!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Calling ALL Mormon Moms...

Will you please join our LIST of "Mormon Moms Who Blog"? Make a comment at http://www.MormonMomsWhoBlog.blogspot.com and we'll add your name!!!

We desire this to be a win-win for ALL!!!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It is God who sustains us

Today I ran across an article in Meridian magazine about God who sustains us. The author quoted Brigham Young and then made his own statement. It reminded me to trust in God in all things. He will deliver us -- if we are true and faithful.

Brigham Young -- June 8, 1856:
"The first year that I came into this valley I had not flour enough to last my family until harvest, and that I had brought with me, and persons were coming to my house every day for bread. I had the blues about one day; I went down to the old fort, and by the time I got back to my house I was completely cured. I said to my wife, “Do not let a person come here for food and go away empty handed, for if you do we shall suffer before harvest; but if you give to every individual that comes we shall have enough to last us through.”
I have proven this many a time, and we have again proven it this year. I have plenty on hand, and shall have plenty, if I keep giving away. More than two hundred persons eat from my provisions every day, besides my own family and those who work for me.
I intend to keep doing so, that my bread may hold out, for if I do not I shall come short. Do you believe that principle? I know it is true, because I have proven it so many times.
I have formerly told this community of a circumstance that occurred to brother Heber and myself, when we were on our way to England . We paid our passage to Kirtland, and to my certain knowledge we had only $13.50, but we paid out $87.00; this is but one instance among many which I could name.
You who have flour and meat, deal it out, and do not be afraid that you will be too much straightened, for if you will give, you will have plenty, for it is God who sustains us and we have got to learn this lesson. All I ask of you is to apply your heart to wisdom and to watch the providences of God, until you prove for yourselves that I am telling the truth, even that which I do know and have experienced. 4"

Brigham Young had been diligent in doing all that he could before he received these blessings where the Lord literally multiplied his food. His wagons were full of flour and his land planted as best he could. Also, in true pioneer spirit of thrift, industry and hatred of the dole, those in need who were able bodied would expect and be expected to work for what they received.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Christ is the Good Shepherd

"I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep." John 10"14-15

"Christ proclaimed: "I am the good shepherd." He then further showed, and with eloquent exactness, the difference between a shepherd and a hireling herder. The one has personal interest in and love for his flock, and knows each sheep by name, the other knows them only as a flock, the value of which is gaged by number; to the hireling they are only as so many or so much. While the shepherd is ready to fight in defense of his own, and if necessary even imperil his life for his sheep, the hireling flees when the wolf approaches, leaving the way open for the ravening beast to scatter, rend, and kill." (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ: A Study of the Messiah and His Mission According to Holy Scriptures Both Ancient and Modern [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1983],388.)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Education Week

Here is a wrap-up of some of the classes from BYU Education Week this past week. I felt badly that I was not able to attend this year - but, am glad that there is access, via internet and TV, to some of the classes and lectures.

Education Week at BYU is filled with hundreds of spiritually-uplifting and strengthening classes on many topics. Here are just a few reports.

http://mormontimes.com/WC_education.php?id=1867

Friday, August 22, 2008

A House of Order

In my quest for a House of Order -- I've pondered many things. One of the scriptures that comes to mind is 'don't run faster than you have strength'.

I've found that simplifying the work to be done is the best place to start. The less we have (physically and emotionally) the easier it is to accomplish other tasks.

When I realized that you never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul it made me think of all that we collect and attain throughout our lives. We spend much of our mortal so-journ gathering 'stuff and things' around us. Some of these bless our lives -- others don't.

As we lessen the load we are able to enjoy more of the free things that God has given to us; a birds' chirp, a walk down the road, barefeet in the sand, sun shining on our face, a child's laugh, hugs, neighbors who wave, rain and rainbows, crickets at night, stars in the sky.

The load lessened helps us to put our own personal house (our self) in better order so as to be more attuned to God's word, His will and His craftsmanship.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

No Trial is Wasted

This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. I'm putting it on my three blogs today as it is applicable to all things and all areas of life. On many occassions I have turned to this message for strength and inspiration. It's helped me know that no trial is wasted.

Elder Orson F. Whitney said: “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven” (quoted in Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, 98).

I hope this helps you as much as it's helped me.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Famous Mormons

Just thought this might be of interest to someone. It's nicely done and represents some of the good people of the church who are trying to do right -- who are more well-known than the rest of us.

http://www.ldsmag.com/youtube/080814famous.html

Temple Square

Last Thursday we went on a long-awaited and very-needed short 'vacation'. We ended up staying at the Hampton Inn at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah. (It was a nice hotel as I have a thing for clean places to sleep). We spent a few hrs. with Mona, a woman in Orem who TRULY helps in the healing process (we LOVE her and she does WONDERS for us all) and then ate at our favorite Mexican restaurant: Taco Amigo, in Orem. (I worked there when I was 15-16).

We shopped for school clothes the following day and ate Crepes in West Jordan at European Connection (Ashley's choice). We swam in the evening when we got back to the hotel and ended the day by watching the olympics; women's gymnastics and men's swimming.

Saturday morning we loaded the car, checked-out of the hotel, and headed to Salt Lake and to Temple Square. (This was my vote for the day.) It had been several years since we'd seen the movie "Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration" and I had been wanting to take the children there for several months. I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I was awed and humbled and we were all very moved by the powerful and truly sweet presentation. We were touched by the Spirit of the Lord as we saw His hand in restoring the truths of His gospel to the earth in these latter-days. It was an unforgettable experience and brought us all closer as a family. As we walked around Temple Square after the movie, the children were more reverant. I am grateful that they were able to feel the Spirit of the Lord as it teaches us, blesses us, and subdues us. It was honestly their favorite part of the trip.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Scripture Study for Children

This year I’m teaching ages 5-8 at a private LDS school here in Cache Valley. It is very important to me that we read from the scriptures often as these are the tender ages before the age of accountability. I feel that if children can gain a love for the scriptures in these early and teachable years, it will stay with them forever.

Before my children could read I’d tell them scripture stories at night as they held their scriptures near their hearts. When scared, they were more comforted by holding their scriptures than their stuffed animals.

In our school and family scripture study we mark special passages as we come across them. The older ones help the younger ones mark. This makes it more meaningful and personalized to them. For those that can’t read we help them find passages by page numbers. If they can’t do that then we find the page for them and help them underline or color the correct passage and then we read and discuss it together. With inexpensive copies of the scriptures (about $2.00 at church distribution) the children can practice marking passages special to them. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do it. They can color the names of the books with different colored pencils, make small drawings of special characters in the margins, highlight all the words that Jesus spoke, or simply color what they are feeling as the read the passage.

Another suggestion is to have little people, characters, chess pieces or cut-outs that represent the people that we are talking about. As I read, a child places the object (or person) in the proper place. As certain groups are destroyed we take them off the table. This part has really helped the children visualize both the events taking place and understand the reality of the people we are reading about. They are also more engaged in the story-line and anxious to know what happens next.

In my own personal scripture study I often draw a small heart above passages that discuss the condition of the heart. This simple visual reminds me to think about the condition of my own heart and the consequences of such.

How blessed we are to have the scriptures and to be able to really sup from their pages. As we truly learn from their messages our lives are blessed and our hearts are changed.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Go to the Source Part II

Yesterday I blogged about going to the proper source to find answers to questions.

I received a comment from someone who has had bad experiences in doing so. I felt badly about that. But, it is true that sometimes we have a negative experience with someone or hear something on the news - or elsewhere - that makes us feel strongly one way or the other. Maybe, if we give that same thing another chance or view it from a different perspective -- our minds will be enlightened and our understanding enhanced. Perhaps we'll change our point of view completely.

It seems to me that a lot of misunderstandings can be cleared up if there is open communication and a willingness (from both sides) to learn. I'm willing to share and hope that I would have the opportunity to respond to someone else's concerns.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Go to the Source

If you want a question answered you must go directly to the proper Source. Sometimes we ask others for their opinions or we seek answers from those who are unacquainted with the real issues and truths.

We can honestly and humbly talk to God in heaven through prayer. It's a personal thing that one must find out for himself.

I've often known that there is much anti-Mormon literature around. Why would a person seek to find out about Mormons from those who are against the church?

Would we ask a non-Catholic about Catholicism? Or a non-Jew about Judaism?

I would welcome any questions about my beliefs -- especially if they are sincere.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fasting

The first Sunday of each month we fast as a world-wide church population. We fast for 24 hours and donate the amount of money that we would have used for meals (plus more if we are able) to charity.

Fasting is a blessing in many ways. We turn our hearts to the Lord in prayer, supplicating His blessings and power to be with us. We seek to be more humble, prayerful and teachable. Fasting also allows us the opportunity to have our spirit strengthened over our bodily appetites. In this way we are more receptive to the Spirit of the Lord and answers to prayers that we are seeking.

It's not always easy to fast, nor to have children fast, but it is a blessing that provides many other blessings. Those who have health problems or nursing babies are not asked to fast. They will still be blessed as the Lord knows their desires and intents.

Fasting, combined with sincere prayer, has brought me blessings that are too sacred to write on here. I have gained my own personal witness of it's blessings; both physical and spiritual. It is a cleansing agent in both areas.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Baptism

This morning I attended the baptism of my sweet little neighbor Marianne. She is eight; the age which we consider 'the age of accountability'. She was able to make the choice for herself to be baptized as she now is aware of her agency to make choices and to experience the consequences of those same choices.

We believe that babies are born innocent. They do not bring with them to the earth the sins of their fathers. They have no need to be baptized as an infant. (...the infant perisheth not that dieth in his infancy.....")

The baptism was beautiful and so was Marianne. She had a special glow and innocence and purity about her. After baptism, worthy men (including her father) who hold the Priesthood of God, layed their hands upon her head and bestowed upon her the gift of the Holy Ghost. This is the Spirit of God which He has sent upon the earth to be our companion, guide and comforter.

He has been my dearest friend on earth and guided and comforted me through life's challenges, sorrows and .... joys.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

GPS

The best GPS system available is from a heavenly source: God's Positioning System! I've found that when I put my trust in Him; not in any earthly 'system' or compass, I am guided beyond my own understanding. He can see ALL things from afar and knows what locations and situations will best suit us.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Be Faithful

"And he who is faithful shall overcome all things, and shall be lifted up at the last day."

I love this scripture found in Doctrine and Covenants Section 75 verse 16. It gives me hope and helps me remember for what purpose I have come to earth.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Charity

"Charity Never Faileth". What does that mean? To me it means that if we are worthy to be a vessel for sharing the Love of Christ with others ..... we won't fail in doing so. It means that if we are blessed with charity (it is a gift that is bestowed ---- not 'earned') we will also be blessed to know how to share that love; we will be led to do the things that Christ himself would do.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mormon Pioneers

My daughter is going on a 3-day Pioneer Trek with several hundred other youth from our church. They will pull handcarts and retrace 17 miles of rough path through Wyoming that the early Mormon Pioneers took on their way west to find religious freedom.

We are all pioneers in some ways. We each have those who have gone before us and paved the way for us to follow. Some made the paths for us easier and some left them more difficult.

On our own journeys we must pull the handcart and sometimes we will be blessed to have the aid of others. We may experience fatigue and sorrow along the way. There will be rainy, dusty and windy days as well as times of blue skies and pleasant surroundings.

As we turn to the Lord he helps us along the way. He will lead us, guide us and walk beside us.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stress

In church on Sunday we were talking about 'stress'. The older ladies said that they didn't use that word when they were raising their children. They shared with us that their work was mainly physical. They gardened, canned, washed, cooked, cleaned etc. There were no computers and children weren't involved in 20 activities each.

Someone mentioned that the stress we experience today may be because much of our work is mental. We still may keep physically busy but with the addition of mental work and much going on around us in society.

If we have prayer and meditiation time in the morning, we are set for a more structured day. When stressers pop-up we are already at peace with ourselves and better able to handle the things that come. We are also able to let-go of less-important 'busy-work' if we are grounded to something bigger and deeper than ourselves.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Children of God

For we are als0 his offspring.
Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
Acts 17: 28-29
See also: Romans 8:16

"What do we really mean when we sing or say, "I am a child of God"?.... we human beings are souls; that is dual beings, and dual means two. .....two parts. A human soul, each of us, is composed of two parts, or two bodies -- a spirit body and a physical body. it is the Lord himself who said that "the spirit and the body are the soul of man." Thus, it is our spirits, not our physical bodies, that were 'begotten' of God."
(Marion G. Romney, "We Are Children of God," Ensign Magazine, Sept. 1984 p. 3)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Personal Revelation

I have come to know for myself that the Heavens are not closed. I'm grateful for thoughts, insights, promptings, feelings, and pricks of conscience that help me in my daily travels. I'm deeply thankful that there is an All-Wise Being and Creator who knows the beginning from the end, who is never more than a thought or a prayer away from me. He is omniscient and perfect and, as such, can give me perfect ideas, perfect answers to prayers, perfect insights and perfect wisdom for where-ever I am on the road of my life.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Prayer

Nothing has meant more to me in this life than to know that I am not alone. I know that my Father in Heaven hears my prayers (silent and vocal) and answers them. Sometimes the answers come through something I read in the scriptures or from a friend, sometimes they are felt through the words of a hymn or song, oftimes they appear in the form of a thought or a feeling or a prompting.

As children of a loving God --- we are not left to figure things out alone. He has provided scriptures and revelation to help us in our day. He is aware of us, mindful of us and more interested in our well-being than we are. He is perfectly loving and merciful and kind and has not left us to walk the road alone.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Trust in Spirit which leadeth to good

A favorite scripture says:

"And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good --- yea to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit." (see Doctrine and Covenants 11:12-14 and Galatians 6:2,9)

It's a continual quest to leave my comfort zone and trust in a higher power yet it's something that I seek for and strive for daily for I know that He will bless me beyond my ability to yet see.

In my morning prayers I always ask for His spirit to be with me -- and then, throughout the day I try to follow all those feelings and promptings. As I have done so, I have been blessed, my load lightened, my spirit comforted, and I have been led to do good.

He knows what we can become and will bless us to be able to do so if we trust in His spirit which leads to that.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Where Did I Come From?

Where Did I come from?
Why Am I here (on earth)?
Where am I going after this life?

These are 3 basic yet major life questions that each of us want to know.

They are best answered here:
http://www.mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/

Monday, June 16, 2008

Peace

"Many people think of peace as the absence of war. But we can feel peace even in times of war, and we can lack peace even when no war is raging. The mere absence of conflict is not enough to bring peace to our hearts. Peace comes through the gospel—through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the ministration of the Holy Ghost, and our own righteousness, sincere repentance, and diligent service. " lds.org

We live in uncertain times. Though wars of all kinds rage around us we can find peace within. The Savior said: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:26–27).

Peace is to be found within though outwardly trouble and turmoil abound. We do not have to partake of that. We can arm ourselves with God's protection:

"Take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, that ye may be able to stand. Stand, therefore, . . .
. . . your loins girt about with truth,
. . . breastplate of righteousness
. . . shield of faith
. . . helmet of salvation
. . . sword of my spirit."
(Doctrine and Covenants 27:15-18)

"War and Peace"
http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=f318118dd536c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=a00fee9ba42fe010VgnVCM100000176f620a____&hideNav=1

"Great Shall Be the Peace of thy Children"
http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=f318118dd536c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=a00fee9ba42fe010VgnVCM100000176f620a____&hideNav=1

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Father's Day. . .

This Sunday we will honor Fathers. That is a good and noble thing to do. Most fathers appreciate expressions of gratitude for all they do and any human kindness extended to them by way of word or deed. Fatherhood is a noble and sacred calling and one that we ought to understand better.

In "The Family, A Proclamation to the World" we read:

"All human beings -- male and female -- are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

...The First Commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife.

...Husband and Wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children.

...Children are entitled to.....be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.

...By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families......Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation......"

These holy words are comforting, strengthening and empowering. When we know our roles and what is expected of us we are able to choose those paths.

In our day there are many good fathers; many good men who strive to do all that is required of them. We are grateful for their strength and examples. There are many others who forsake family and children -- who leave trails of heartache and grief behind them.

We live in a day where many people don't have ideal situations. The Father of us all knows the longings of our heart and the areas in which we lack. He is full of mercy and truth and will someday bless us with all the righteous longings of our heart if we remain faithful to what he has asked us to do in the meantime.

For those of you who have blessed with good fathers in your homes -- in the past or currently -- I hope that you will take this time this weekend to thank them. You are truly blessed.

For those of you who don't, I hope that you will turn to the Greatest Father of all who knows all, understands every feeling of your soul, and is the most Merciful Being we can comprehend. He epitomizes love, charity, tenderness, compassion, kindness and mercy. He is there for us when no one else may be. He is the One who has given all the other fathers the correct example to follow. He is One who loves our children --- and us --- more than we do. He is the One who can comfort us when there is not a father in the home to do so.

From personal experience I know that He is there. I know that He knows all the longings of my heart and soul. I know that He knows all the longings of my children as well and their desire to have an intact family like 'everyone' else. Someday that desire will come true as they remain close to Him and obey His commandments and hearken to His will. There is no doubt of that.

Fatherhood is a noble and beautiful calling. As I have been taught, we are responsible for these things and in this order:
1. Our own spiritual well-being
2. Well-being of spouse
3. Children
4. Church
5. Profession or School
6. Civic

As we maintain these in their proper order there is much more of peace and harmony in the home. Children feel safe and secure and spousal support is mutual. When we rearrange the order of this -- there is dis-order, dis-harmony and .....dis-content.

I have learned much from my own father and grandfather. Besides example, teachings, patience and fortitude is a favorite hymn that has been passed down from both of them. It is called "Love At Home". It states "There is beauty all around when there's love at home; there is joy in every sound when there's love at home."
http://library.lds.org/nxt/gateway.dll/Curriculum/music.htm/hymns.htm/special%20topics.htm/294%20love%20at%20home.htm#JD_Hymns.294
If you've experienced that --- you know it is true. And, if you long for it, you long for something worthy and good.

In our quest to have more of that in our home, I have found that some things contribute to it and others take away. Wholesome music, wholesome recreation, family prayer and family home evening, all make home a better place. Repentance and Forgiveness heal wounds and soften hearts.

Where there is a righteous father in the home -- there is more security and stability, love and laughter, peace and contentment. There is an example to the children of how to treat mother and how to deal with 'grown-up' issues as they come along. There is an example of work and testimony, education and humility. All the things that a father is --- are examples to the rising generation and all with whom he comes in contact.

We are all threads of a tapestry being woven. The place of a father is vital to it's construction, beauty and long-lastingness!

As we recognize fathers for all they do, may we continue to learn from the Father of us all. He will help and guide us as we raise His spiritual offspring. We are not asked to do so alone. (John 14:18 ..."I will come to you")

"O My Father"
Hymn 292

1. O my Father, thou that dwellest
In the high and glorious place,
When shall I regain thy presence
And again behold thy face?
In thy holy habitation,
Did my spirit once reside?
In my first primeval childhood
Was I nurtured near thy side?

2. For a wise and glorious purpose
Thou hast placed me here on earth
And withheld the recollection
Of my former friends and birth;
Yet ofttimes a secret something
Whispered, “You’re a stranger here,”
And I felt that I had wandered
From a more exalted sphere.

3. I had learned to call thee Father,
Thru thy Spirit from on high,
But, until the key of knowledge
Was restored, I knew not why.
In the heav’ns are parents single?
No, the thought makes reason stare!
Truth is reason; truth eternal
Tells me I’ve a mother there.

4. When I leave this frail existence,
When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you
In your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I’ve completed
All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation
Let me come and dwell with you.

Text: Eliza R. Snow, 1804–1887
Music: James McGranahan, 1840–1907
Romans 8:16–17
Acts 17:28–29 (22–31)

Proclamation on the Family

One of the greatest documents of our day is called "The Family, A Proclamation to the World." It was penned by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have a large framed copy hanging on my wall and another copy next to my scriptures. The document is a powerful commentary on the family and the Lord's will for such. I hope that you will read and ponder on it's message.

As the world strays farther from the truth, we hope to hold fast to the word of God as it is the only thing that will lead us to joy and happiness in the end.

The truths of God are not outdated as some would suggest. The Lord provides current revelation for our current needs. This is one of the greatest differences in beliefs in my church and other churches. How grateful I am for the knowledge that God speaks to us, His beloved children, as we need Him to. He truly is a loving and merciful God.

"The Family; A Proclamation to the World"
http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=e1fa5f74db46c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=1aba862384d20110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&hideNav=1&contentLocale=0

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Parenting

Parenting is one of the most difficult life challenges -- and can be the most rewarding as well. If things were easy we wouldn't stretch and grow and ...... deepen our roots. I believe that we turn inward and upward when we don't have easy answers. In that way, we become more open to receiving heavenly light and truth that we might not otherwise seek.

Here is a very beautiful talk by Elder James E. Faust (who has since passed on). It is a good reminder of what matters most and how we can strengthen our families amidst the decay around us.

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=2b862ee01e31c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

Women in the Church

Women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are part of a world-wide organization of sisterhood who lead, serve, teach, and nurture. We know that the greatest work we will do is within the walls of our own homes. Yet, we are also called upon to provide relief for those around the globe who are in need.

Recently, the President of our organization spoke to us at a bi-annual world-wide Conference for the church. Her talk entitled "What Latter-Day Saint Women Do Best: Stand Strong and Immovable" was a powerful commentary of what we are all striving to do and to become.

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=55281b3e50cf5110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&hideNav=1

I consider it to be one of the greatest blessings in my life to have righteous leaders who are providing us instruction from the Lord.

Scouting and Duty to God

In the church, Young Men ages 12 - 18 are encouraged to participate fully in scouting, earn their Eagle Scout and participate in Duty to God -- a partner in scouting. My son is working towards these goals which are truly strengthening him educationally, spiritually, morally, physically and socially.

Young men are instructed and strive to:

1. Keep the commandments of God.
2. Live high standards or moral and personal cleanliness and worthiness.
3. Have daily personal prayer.
4. Read the scriptures.
5. Attend religious classes.
6. Attend regular church meetings.
7. Obey a law of health (called The Word Of Wisdom)
8. Pay a full tithe.
9. Prepare the sacrament.
10. Serve others and obeying church leaders.

They are also instructed to “Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” D&C 88:118

Young Women's Theme

I have a teenage daughter. This is the theme that the church espouses for all young women. Every Sunday the girls' repeat these things as a group. There is strength in doing so and it helps to empower and fortify them. It also teaches about and reminds them of who they really are.

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will "stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places" (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:

Faith
Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Knowledge
Choice and Accountability
Good Works,
and Integrity.

We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Thirteen Articles of My Faith

These are my beliefs. I know them for myself - independent of any other person.

THE ARTICLES OF FAITH OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
History of the Church, Vol. 4, pp. 535—541 see also: http://www.lds.org/

1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Joseph Smith