Thursday, December 24, 2009

Love at the CENTER of all and everything we do - Pres. Uchtdorf

"How Do We Become True Disciples of Jesus Christ?

The Savior Himself provided the answer with this profound declaration: 'If ye love me, keep my commandments.'  This is the essence of what it means to be a true disciple:  those who receive Christ Jesus walk with Him.

But this may present a problem for some because there are so many 'shoulds' and 'should nots' that merely keeping track of them can be a challenge.  Sometimes, well-meaning amplifications of divine principles -- many coming from uninspired sources -- complicate matters further, diluting the purity of divine truth with man-made addenda.  One person's good idea - something that may work for him or her -- takes root and becomes an expectation.  And, gradually, eternal principles can get lost within the labyinth of 'good ideas.' 

This was one of the Savior's criticisms of the religious 'experts' of His day, whom He chastised for attending to the hundreds of minor details of the law while neglecting the weightier matters.

So how we we stay aligned with these weightier matters?  Is there a constant compass that can help us prioritize our lives, thoughts and actions?

Once again the Savior revealed the way.  When asked to name the greatest commandment, He did not hesitate.  "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,"  He said.  "This is the first and great commandment."  Coupled with the second great commandment --- to love our neighbor as ourselves -- we have a compass that provides direction not only for our lives but also for the Lord's Church on both sides of the veil.

Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of all and everything we do in our own family, in our church callings, and in our livelihood.  Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships.  It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations.  Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect.  It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate.  Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope.  Love should be our walk and our talk. 

When we truly understand what it means to love as Jesus Christ loves us, the confusion clears and our priorities align.  Our walk as disciples of Christ becomes more joyful.  Our lives take on new meaning.  Our relationship with our Heavenly Father becomes more profound.  Obedience becomes a joy rather than a burden."

Excerpts from Oct. 2009 General Conference 'The Love of God" by Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Monday, September 14, 2009

Waste Not, Want Not

Do you remember the old pioneer adage; "Waste Not, Want Not"?

It's been on my mind as of late. As I have been preparing some fruits and vegetables for winter storage there was preparation involved. Each time I cut a bit too much of the peel off -- the thought would come to mind 'waste not, want not'. It's been a reminder to me that it's the wasting of small things that add up to larger things.

During time of war --- even small potato peelings can be savory and coveted dishes. Oftimes people are lucky to have any small meal at all.

With economic uncertainty --- this old adage takes on new meaning. We'd all do well to heed it's message and take note of what we may waste.

I remember an elderly couple who had served as missionaries in a third world country. They talked of the waste that saw when back in the U.S. They talked of so much good food being thrown into garbages.

I know that sometimes I've had food in the fridge that went uneaten --- and then, thrown out. I'm trying to do better at that and use up our resources more wisely.

On my mission to Mexico my companions were all very frugal. One sewed her nylons with a needle and thread so they would last longer. All were native Mexicans and used to living on very little. I learned some lessons in frugality that have blessed my life.

Another powerful pioneer adage would be well for us to note instead of always purchasing new items: 'use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without'.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lulled into Carnal Security

This article is a must read.
We're living in perilous times and haven't the luxury of putting out heads in the sand if we want to survive the storms ahead. We cannot afford to be lulled into carnal security.

I hope you'll read this article that was published today in LDSMagazine.

Monday, June 8, 2009

How I miss Truman Madsen

With the passing of a very dear man, I have felt a light go out in my own life. I only met him once but his life has touched mine in a very deep way.

I am happy for him. I can only imagine the glorious reunion he must have had. I weep with joy to think of that. And, I am also extremely grateful for the legacy that he has left for all of the rest of us.

My thoughts have been that when someone with so much light --- leaves this earthly existence --- it affects the rest of us. It gives us the renewed opportunity to increase our own light with righteousness and prayer.

I believe that the Lord desires to bless us with as much of that light as we are able and worthy to receive.

Thank you, Brother Truman.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Satan Divides, God GATHERS!!!

I found this wonderful article on Meridian Magazine today. It's worthy of reading and pondering. As we're in the 'winding-up days' this article gives added insight into how God gathers us to Him.

I hope you'll read and ponder it.
All of us long to be loved and to feel secure.
The message here is that it is a possiblity for all of us as we draw near unto the Lord.

A truly Happy Easter!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Preparing for the coming days...

Watch this short and powerful video clip from Prophets which teach us to prepare for the days ahead.

We have been warned and forewarned.
The Lord desires to bless us but can do so only if we are obedient to His instructions.

As I ponder and study about the times ahead (some of which we are already in) I am grateful for the peace which has come by way of the Holy Spirit and from my own personal preparations.

"If we are prepared, we need not fear".
But...we need to be prepared!!!

Here's hoping that we are all doing so!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mine Errand from the Lord - Valedictorians in Life

I've been pondering about these words (and meaning) for the past several weeks. Then, I came across a new book by Elder Boyd K. Packer by the same name; Mine Errand from the Lord.
It's what I desire to obtain -- and know that many of you feel the same way.

Here is a powerful quote that I found in it. It's definitely worth sharing and reminds us all of what matters most. For that info. I am eternally grateful.

The real valedictorians in mortality
"There are members across the world that live out their lives in obscurity, and they end up the valedictorians in mortality. I know we look at those that are great and are well paid and highly acclaimed, but when you get across the veil (and we know a little about what is there) the real valedictorians in mortality will be just what the prophet said, a man and a woman living together in love and raising a family under ordinary circumstances, doing the best they can with what they have got, wondering why someone else had the prominence and the good fortune, and ending up finding out that they had it all."

Monday, March 2, 2009

Gifts or Words?

"No gift purchased from a store can begin to match in value to parents some simple, sincere words of appreciation. Nothing we could give them would be more prized than righteous living for each youngster." Pres. Spencer W. Kimball

Monday, February 16, 2009

What Prophets have said about Socialism

Pres. Ezra Taft Benson; former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and later Prophet of our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) made the following statements years ago. We'd be wise to take heed as they are, perhaps, even more applicable to our day.

"I fear for the future when I realize that our once-free institutions -- political, economic, educational, and social -- have been drifting into the hands of those who favor the welfare state, and who would "centralize all power in the hands of the political apparatus in Washington. This enhancement of political power at the expense of individual rights, so often disguised as 'democracy' or 'freedom' or 'civil rights,' is 'socialism,' no matter what name tag it bears".

"Our people must think. They must discuss. They must have the courage of their convictions. They must decide on a course of action and they must follow through. All this must be done freely, in the open, without government dictation or control".

"We cannot afford to minimize the threat of socialism in America. We must be on guard against unsound theories and programs which strike at the root of all we hold dear. We have lived too long under a government of controls. Government by control has extended into almost all of our economy and even invaded many of our personal freedoms. We must be made aware of this and be awakened to its dangers.
This major effort is to keep left-wing, bureaucratic planners away from control of our national government. They are leading us today toward more and more socialization of our entire economy, a weakening of the free-enterprise system, and an increase in the regulation and domination of the people of America."

These quotes are from the 1960's to late 1970's. We're even much worse off than before. How did it happen? Perhaps this next statement can give us some insights as to why:

"From the fifth grade through the fourth year of college, our young people are being indoctrinated with a Marxist philosophy, and I am fearful of the harvest. The younger generation is further to the left than most adults realize. The old concepts of our Founding Fathers are scoffed and jeered at by young moderns whose goals appear to be the destruction of integrity and virtue, and the glorification of pleasure, thrills, and self-indulgence".

"Successful parents have found that it is not easy to rear children in an environment polluted with evil. Therefore, they take deliberate steps to provide the best of wholesome influences. Moral principles are taught. Good books are made available and read. Television watching is controlled. Good and uplifting music is provided. But most important, the scriptures are read and discussed as a means to help develop spiritual mindedness."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Of Course We're Christian; Glenn Beck's Interview Removed

Focus on the Family with Dr. James Dobson -- pulled an interview with Glenn Beck. They made excuses for why the wouldn't air it -- but, we all know that it's because they don't 'think' we're Christian.

Of course we are. Those of us who know what we believe almost can't fathom that anyone would tell us otherwise. Do they even know what we believe and feel? No, they don't. They have been 'taught' (or blinded) otherwise. (I wonder who spearheaded that movement.)

Glenn Beck's new DVD "An Unlikely Mormon" brought me to tears several times. His powerful witness of the Savior and how he came to know Him --- is deeply moving. He is honest, forthright and very open about his life's struggles and how coming to truly know the Lord has changed his whole existence. If you haven't seen it -- I would STRONGLY encourage it. You'll never be the same again.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Simple Kindnesses

Over the months on my several different blogs -- I've received many comments. Most are very kind. They uplift and bless. But, once in a while I get rude ones. They are not kind and are mean-spirited. Those tell us more about the person sending them than they do about ourselves.

I've often wondered why simple kindnesses are so vital and wonderful. They do all the good things; bless, uplift, encourage etc.

Rudeness is all around us. Thankfully it's not the majority of most of our interactions. But, when it does come it's like an attacking sword. Our only defenses are the light that we have within and the shields we've placed around ourselves.

I'm so grateful for friendships from those who desire to strengthen, encourage, not compete and who are kind-spirited whose mission is to bless those around them.

In the spirit of 'open-mindedness', 'truth', 'positive arguments' etc. many justify their rudeness. They have the "right" to do so. But, is that really what they'd like to be known for? Does it encourage fellowship? Does it make the world a better place? Is it true, noble, praiseworthy, virtuous, or of good-report? If not, perhaps those types would reconsider their manners of communication. It seems to me that humility and teachability are two of the best qualities for building relationships and encouraging ennobling traits.

Friday, January 2, 2009

God's Plan of Pleasure?

A few years ago my my Aunt and Uncle were missionaries in Montana. They took notes at a church conference when a President Oakey spoke. They sent their notes in an e-mail message which I have saved. He spoke on coveting and said that 'if envy were a fever, all the world would be ill." And, then stated "God's plan is not the plan of pleasure. It is the plan of Happiness."

I thought that that was worth pondering and praying about.
I am not a pleasure seeker --- and don't often have those opportunities anyway. The reminder that I need is that I have the same access to happiness as does everyone else. Isn't that a sweet way to start the new year?