Friday, December 17, 2010

Kids and Christmas

I've been trying to figure out what I want to do with this blog. I stopped posting, honestly, because everyone else did. But, it doesn't mean that I haven't had Spiritual experiences since September. I've been feeling as though I still need to do something like this, the missionaries even challenge my husband and I to get out there, spiritually, on the web. I told them I used to write weekly on a Spiritual blog and then I realized how much I missed writing my experiences down. Sheesh! Leave it to the missionaries to remind me of a Spiritual purpose! :)

Anywho, I watched this today and it sums up the wonder of the Christmas season. I love this time of year when we can openly discuss the Savior and His role in the Plan of Happiness. I also love the pure, simple testimonies of these children. It's no wonder that we are encouraged to be like a little child.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

At the End of Your Rope

Meridian Magazine - At the End of Your Rope

Click on the link above and read the article. If memory serves me correctly, I did this activity at Girl's Camp growing up. I believe I was youth leader and had the task of leading my girl's through the 'treacherous path.' I did my best to act as the Holy Ghost. I remember coming out of the woods with the girls crying. They were so grateful to have made it to the end. It was an incredible experience, and like the sister who wrote the above article, everyone involved felt the affects in one way or another.

But, what happened to the girls who let go? They had the chance to come back and to take hold of the rod. Jesus Christ will never ever give up on us. We may have times where we feel alone and downtroddened, and those are the times when we need Him the most. I'm so grateful to know He loves me, you and everyone who has lived and will ever live on this earth. He genuinely wants us to be happy eternally and it's up to us to hold on and greet him gratefully at the end.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Voice of the Lord

If ya'll haven't seen this yet, check it out:

Thursday, September 2, 2010

House of the Lord

We had to renew our temple recommends tonight and I thought about this quote:

Under the definition of ‘Temple’ in the Bible Dictionary, we read the following: ‘It is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth,’ followed by this insightful statement: ‘Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness.’ For me this suggests a sacred relationship between the temple and the home. Not only can we turn the doors of our homes to the temple, or the house of the Lord; we can make our homes a ‘house of the Lord.’

Gary E. Stevenson, “Sacred Homes, Sacred Temples,” Ensign, May 2009, 101

I like the comparison of the temple and homes. I had a friend tell me today how she loves to walk in our home because she feels happy. That's how I always want it to feel. I want joy to radiate from the walls because the spirit can be felt. This means, each and every day, my family needs to be a little better. Soft words and kind tones instead of loud and accusing voices. Listen to uplifting music instead of questionable material. What we choose to bring into our homes can make each moment feel temple worthy. Our homes and temples are sacredly intertwined and we can bring out that potential.

What an incredible prospect!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

18 Random Rules

My MIL sent these to me a LONG time ago, and I've been wanting to share them:

Eighteen Random Rules of Life - Michael Josephson

I love maxims, those concise capsules of worldly wisdom. I collect them
and write them and, of course, love to share them. Here are 18 random
rules of life worth posting on your mirror or, better yet, using as
dinner-time discussion starters.

1. Find the lesson in every failure and you'll never fail.
2. The likelihood that you're right is not increased by the intensity
of your conviction.
3. Real friends help you feel worthy and make you want to be better.
4. When you're in a hole, stop digging.
5. Don't confuse fun with fulfillment or pleasure with happiness.
6. Refusing to let go of a grudge is refusing to use the key that will
set you free.
7. Hating hurts you more than the person you hate.
8. Counting on luck is counting on random chance. Your odds are much
better when you plan and work.
9. Being kind is better than being clever.
10. Don't underestimate the power of persistence.
11. The easy way is rarely the best way.
12. It's much easier to burst someone else's bubble than to blow up your
own.
13. You can't avoid pain, but you can avoid suffering.
14. Self-pity is a losing strategy. It repels others and weakens you.
15. Shortcuts usually produce short success.
16. Control your attitude or it will control you.
17. It's more important to be significant than successful.
18. The world is waiting for you to heal it.

I haven't shared this yet, because I really wasn't sure how to connect it with nurturing our spiritual growth. What I've realized, with this email sitting in my inbox, is ALL of these 'rules' can apply to our spirituality and the gospel. What it all boils down to is trying to be a little more like Jesus Christ each day. Each one gets us to be a better version of ourselves---which is one step closer to Him who we should follow.

He is our ultimate example--- our 'rule of life.'

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

No Need for Darkness

I got this in my inbox and wanted to share:
We know Joseph Smith is a prophet; that the Father and the Son appeared to him in the spring of 1820 to usher in this final gospel dispensation; that he translated the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God; that he received keys and authority from angels sent for this very purpose; and that the Lord revealed to him the doctrines of salvation. "We announce that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth, the only place where men may come to learn the true doctrines of salvation and find the authority of the holy priesthood. "We believe the Holy Ghost is a revelator and that he will bear testimony to honest people everywhere that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and that this church is 'the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth.' (D&C 1:30.)"There is no need for anyone to remain in darkness; the light of the everlasting gospel is here; and every sincere investigator on earth can gain a personal witness from the Holy Spirit of the truth and divine nature of the Lord's work. "Peter said: '. . . God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted' by him (Acts 10:34–35), which means that the Lord will pour out his Spirit upon the faithful so they will know of themselves of the truths of this religion.

Joseph Fielding Smith, "Out of the Darkness," Ensign, June 1971, 4

What a great testimony. There is no need for darkness. The Church of Jesus Christ is on the earth today and we need to declare it to anyone who will hear. :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fortification

A few days ago, in my quest to read the {Book of Mormon} again, I came to {Alma 49}. They are in the midst of the war years during this chapter. What struck me this time was the measure of the Nephites' attack preparation. They did one of two things during this time period: fought or prepared to fight.

They never once asked if the fight may or may not happen. They knew, one day, it would happen--- so they prepared. They didn't waste a moment making sure their families and cities could withstand the imminent Lamanite invasion. When the invasion occurred in Chapter 49, the Nephites' fortifications worked. Now, the Lamanites tried numerous ways to get through the Nephites' defenses. They didn't just stop after the first attack, they kept going. With the guidance of Moroni, the Nephites prepared for more than one attacks. Even though the Lamanites kept trying to get in, the Nephites stood strong through their protection.

Such is the same today. We may not be in a physical war, but we are in a spiritual war. Satan and his followers will try to get at us in more than one way; they won't give up because they want us to be miserable like them. Does that mean we should give up? NO! We must follow the example of the Nephites and prepare! Use our time to strengthen ourselves and others through the gospel---so that when our trials come (because they will) we will stand strong and be able to fight off the foe!

The best part about this whole reading was in Chapter 50 verse 23:
But behold there never was a ahappier time among the people of Nephi, since the days of Nephi, than in the days of Moroni, yea, even at this time, in the twenty and first year of the reign of the judges.
Just because they spent time preparing for the battles in life, didn't mean they couldn't be happy. Not just happy either--- really really happy. We can find joy in fighting for the truth because it is that--- the truth!

I needed this message now because it reminded me that the little things I do for myself, others, and my family matter. If I'm doing the right thing, then I'm helping the fortification become that much stronger and we become that much happier. :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Watching Over

Like Meagan, this week I'm in awe of Heavenly Father's ability to watch over us---all of us. My husband was gone most of last week; he went off hiking and camping with the Scouts for High Adventure. Before he went, I had mixed feelings about it all. I really didn't want to be left alone the whole week, but I knew he was supposed to be there to guide and protect the boys--- plus he really wanted to go and I didn't want him to be disappointed.

Before he left, he said a prayer asking all of us to be watched over and protected during the week. Multiple times, I watched and felt this prayer being answered. From my friends spending time with me to scriptures in my personal study talking about the Lord always being there I knew we were never alone.

He knows us all. He knows our strengths and weaknesses. He knows what makes a laugh, and what makes us cry. He knows what we need and when we need it. During that week, I needed to feel loved and watched over--- I was able to have that prayer answered through promptings of the Holy Ghost and friends, who I'm guessing had promptings too.

I'm so very grateful for a Heavenly Father who knows and loves me and my family. And, I know He knows and loves all of us. Because of that love He never leaves us---even during our trials--- He's there watching over.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Little Acts of Service

Today I had the most wonderful experience. My husband has been extremely sick for the past week and has had to keep his distance from both me and our 2 month old son. Thus, I was left to care for our little guy entirely alone, round the clock, for going on 7 days now (I have no family in the area to help out). It has been a tiring and trying week for me. Apparently my exhaustion was visible because a new sister in our ward promptly came up to me at the end of church and said, "You look so tired. Can I bring you dinner tonight?" All week I had been praying that I would make it through and that somehow I could get help if I needed it. This sister had never met me, yet she was so in tune with the Spirit that she recognized my need for help.

I swallowed my own pride and accepted her help. It was so wonderful to be able to come home and relax (even take a nap) all afternoon because I knew that dinner was taken care of. And dinner was of course delicious. Better than anything I could have whipped up.

This sister's act of service got me thinking that I need to be more observant when I am around others. There will always be someone in need and it is our job to serve them in any way we can. I only hope that someday I can return the favor! I am so grateful for our church and for the built in support system we have in our ward families. The church is true. If you ever doubt this then just look at the love members have for one another through their service to each other.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Joyfully Living

When I arrived home from vacation, I had a pile of mail waiting for me. Mostly filled with ads and bills, something out of place caught my eye, the July/August 2010 issues of {LDS Living}.

In scanning the magazine, I found a brief article, Message of Joy, about a brother who was paralyzed from the waist down 20 years ago. One of the things Brother Rushton said really stuck out to me:
Not one of us can escape mortality. My challenge is very obvious, but everyone has their own unique challenges that are not as visible as mine. We can either go away from God and lose our faith, or adversity can bring us closer to Him.
I felt as though this was speaking to me. This life is not meant to be easy. Challenges and trials help us to grow; help us to see how we are weak and strong. We'll always have some kind of challenge in our lives and it is up to us how we react to them. Do we mope and complain about everything that's happening and wonder why? Or do we stand up, do what is right, and then learn and grow through the process?

Heavenly Father knows how many times I've chosen number one instead of two. I feel I difference when I choose the latter. I feel happier, healthier, and more in tuned with the part of me who has existed throughout the eternities.

The beauty of it all is that we have the choice of how to face our challenges/trials. It is up to us to choose who to serve... the adversary or the Lord.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Priesthood: A Beacon

On Sunday, we had the Gospel Principles lesson about {The Priesthood}. At one point, a sister related an analogy another member pointed out to her early in the week.

This sister has solar power nightlights outside along her driveway. These warn cars, and people, about the drop on the other side and act as a guide to the driveway. As she routinely replaced the batteries in these lights, the young man helping her noticed how these lights are similar to the Priesthood. He said the Priesthood acts as a shield and guide the Children of God. It protects us from potential dangers by guiding us to the right path. But, it only works when Priesthood holders are worthy to use it by staying worthy of the Holy Ghost--- 'recharging your spiritual batteries.'

To me, it seemed very timely. My brother reported to the MTC on Wednesday to prepare to preach the gospel to the people of Columbus, Ohio. He, along with every other missionary, acts as a beacon to those who are searching for the gospel. But, like the young man noted, the priesthood is a beacon to all. The Priesthood is the power of God on the earth through proper authority. Without it, we would be lost. We would miss the opportunity to make essential covenants with our Heavenly Father. We would not even have the earth on which we stand. It is by this power, and through worthy holders, that we have the chance to live eternally with our Heavenly Father.

I don't know about you, but I'm sure grateful for the Priesthood. :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God

This is the newest Mormon Messages video. I know I've needed words of encouragement on those days when my two-year-old tries my patience. Even those who aren't mothers yet are mothers at heart. We help our nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, cousins, ward members to be better through our divine qualities of Motherhood. In using these qualities we grow closer to the Lord.

Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Little Taste of Job

I posted this yesterday on our family blog and thought I should share with y'all.

These past couple weeks have been dooseys. I've had a few health problems which all collided this week making it Job-worthy (at least to me). So here's the back story:

Problem 1---My knees.. and NECK? Go figure. I've always had bad knees; chalk it up to the genes (my mom and aunt both had knee surgery growing up). It really hasn't been a big deal; I get an occasional ache here or there and then it passes. Well, back in March my left knee started clicking when I went upstairs. I didn't think it was a big deal, until it started hurting. So, I scheduled an appointment with a Chiropractor. While I was there I mentioned a constant neck pain that I have; again I didn't think anything of it. They took x-rays of my knees and neck and found bone spurs in my knees and severe whiplash in my neck (FYI: never go on the Boomerang ride at Seven Peaks in Provo, UT---that's when I got my whiplash). WHAT? So much for being minor things; my chiropractor was more worried about my neck, so I currently go to the chiropractor once every two weeks because, frankly, that's all we can afford.

Since she didn't really do anything about my knees, I took that problem to our family practice doctor. I ended up getting MRIs around both knees. It showed no bone spurs (whew) but some kind of problem with both my meniscus and one ACL and it also showed the beginning stages of arthritis----great.... So he referred me to Physical Therapy. I've actually enjoyed it a lot; I've learned exercises to do at home and I'm in my last couple of weeks (good thing because we're going to Seattle next week...wow...next week...). The clicking is now occasional and I hope it goes bye-bye soon.

Problem 2----umm...well... I won't go into great detail with this one but I've had more issues with Annabelle, feeding her and clogging. For a couple of months I got into the pattern of getting a clot or two a week, thinking about calling my OBGYN and then the next day it'd go away. Finally, a couple weeks ago, I gave in and called her office. They wanted to see me IMMEDIATELY--- so after begging my amazing neighbor/friend to watch Jared for a couple more hours (thanks again) Belle and I were off to see the doctor. She took one look at me and said, yeah, you have an infection, but they took a sample just to be safe. A week later, just after finishing my first round of medications, her office calls and says the culture came back resistant to the medication I just finished so they are prescribing me a stronger one... great.... unfortunately... that leads to problem three... we think...

Problem 3----REALLY? In the middle of problem two, I get a weird leg rash. So I go to my dermatologist and he gives me more medications---- Yikes! That goes away after applying my meds for a day, so I stop, which is what he told me to do. This past Saturday, after romping around in a grass field for family pictures (stay tuned for those) I noticed at home, that I had a small allergic reaction around my armpits, so I take a benadryl and think nothing of it--- until it wakes me up in the middle of the night because I'm itching subconsciously. Sunday morning, it was bad, luckily I was able to cover it up for church and hope it didn't get worse. Greg and a friend gave me a blessing and it was the first thing that really helped all day. I felt like it would get better, and it did, before it got worse. By night fall, I had it on my legs too....and by the next morning it got larger on my arms and on my torso.

Nothing really helped the burning itching pain and it never went away. So, yesterday, I went back to the dermatologist. He determined that I'm having a reaction to my stronger antibiotic that I stared taking a couple days before the rash appeared. So, he gives me something to stop the reaction and tells me to stop taking the medicine. I call my OBGYN to get the okay to take my new medication while feeding Belle, and she gives me a new one for my infection---one that I'm not allergic to *crosses fingers*.

Mostly I'm typing this up because I want to document what I've been going through the past couple of months. I'm not doing it to complain (okay, maybe a little). I've had a hard time trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be learning from all of this, because I found myself thinking 'one of these things I can handle, but all of this, come ON!' I started to understand, even in the smallest form what Job had to have been feeling when trial after trial came his way. After starting to throw a pity party, I always found myself coming back to the Savior; it didn't help at all that our lesson was all about the Atonement.

Yeah, I've had worse pain. Ovarian cyst---worse. Labor--- WAY worse. But, in that moment I felt helpless because nothing was helping. Until I remembered the One person who's felt it all. Not only does he know exactly what physical pain I've been through, but also the emotional trials along with it. He can take it away. Yesterday, when I was having issues with all of this, I got I church gem in my inbox titled: "severe trials, supreme blessings" My first thought was, what? really? It was from President Uchtdorf's talk from last priesthood session. He was talking about the Kirtland era of Church History and how it was a time of great trial but also great blessings, he then said: " 'Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me' (D&C 88:63). As the Saints of Kirtland drew near unto the Lord, He truly did draw near unto them, pouring out the blessings of heaven upon the heads of the faithful."

Of course, the emotional basket case that I am, I cried as soon as I read that and said, 'message received.' I'll do my best, even though it may seem small, because I know I can get through what this life brings with my family, my faith, and the Lord by my side.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Just a Thought

Since I've been using Mormon-Ads as my pictures, I thought tonight I'd just share the picture and let everyone 'think' about it... don't forget to read the scripture.
I've been thinking about thinking lately. Our thoughts are so powerful; it is the place where our agency is born. It is where we learn and grow; forming opinions and ideas which create and define us.... and it's up to us to invite the Holy Ghost in to help them stay clean and happy. This does not mean there won't be a struggle, but as long as use the Spirit as our guide, we have the chance to wipe the slate and be clean again.

Remember, remember what is important and what's not. :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Green-eyed Monster



Recently in my 8-year old primary class, we have been talking about being covetous or jealous. It was a little hard to explain why jealousy is a sin. They kept asking if it was okay to want things that their friends have or the stores have, or what is on the tv and I found myself repeating the same thing over and over, "If we are jealous of what other people have then we are not being grateful for the things that we already have that God has given us."

A few years ago, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave a conference talk called, "The Other Prodigal" in which he examines why the brother that has always been faithful and blessed is suddenly jealous of his brother who has come home from filth and hardships that left him a broken man. I personally felt a slap to the face when Elder Holland gave this talk in 2002. That was the year that my brother and my father came back to the church and I had to hear about how wonderful they were and I was literally acting like "the other prodigal." It took a lot of repentance and a change in perspective, but now I look at their lives and instead of being jealous of the attention that they receive, I can rejoice in their happiness with them.

" Who is it that whispers so subtly in our ear that a gift given to another somehow diminishes the blessings we have received? Who makes us feel that if God is smiling on another, then He surely must somehow be frowning on us? You and I both know who does this—it is the father of all lies...Brothers and sisters, I testify that no one of us is less treasured or cherished of God than another. I testify that He loves each of us—insecurities, anxieties, self-image, and all. He doesn’t measure our talents or our looks; He doesn’t measure our professions or our possessions. He cheers on every runner, calling out that the race is against sin, not against each other."

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Power of Our Voice

My seven month old is currently discovering the power of her voice. Up until this point, she has been a very laid-back baby; hardly ever cries to let us know if something is amiss. She'll usually go longer between feedings and changes then she needs to.

Case in point, the other day was witching hour at our house: nap time. Getting two kids down at the same time requires more energy than I ever realized. I usually pick one and get that child down, then move on to the next. The two-year-old is usually first because his nap time is more consistent each day.

After getting him down, I sat next to my daughter and played for a little while. She seemed okay the whole time we played, until she wasn't. She started whimpering, looking at me and then used her new found skill, her voice, to let me know sometime was wrong. I picked her up, she wiggled and didn't stop talking to me. She wanted my help, so she let me know. I finally connected the dots and placed her down for a nap. The look she gave me as I set her down told me how grateful she was for my help and that I was able to finally understand her.

Walking downstairs, I realized this is how Heavenly Father must feel sometimes. We are our own agents, always being watched over by a loving parent. However, no matter how much He loves us, He will not help us unless we communicate our needs to Him. We need to take the time to kneel in prayer to Him.

It's not that He doesn't want to help us; we need to want the help as well. We have been given that choice through our agency. Once we know He's there, just like my daughter, we communicate our gratitude for all He does and continues to do for us.

It's amazing the things you can learn from a seven-month-old.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Conference Ensign


I have been wanting to post on this blog for the past two weeks. Every day I feel like I want to share something, and then I completely forget. I think it must be the new mommy brain (or lack thereof). Anyway, I am finally remembering and having time to post.

These days I spend much of my time nursing my son. While I am doing this there really is not a lot I can do besides watch a movie or read. So I have decided that I should be spending the majority of my time reading. I have finished three books and in the span of about 1 week I read through the entire May 2010 Ensign with all of the conference talks. I have never read through an entire conference issue before. I have read conference talks here and there, but have never really made time to sit down and read the entire issue. I must say it has been a wonderful blessing in my life. Each day I have had something meaningful to ponder about. And each day I feel like I have done something productive with my time. I don't know about you but when I feel productive my self confidence goes up and I am a much happier person. There are so many wonderful messages shared by the leaders of our church. It is there job to lead us, but it is our job to follow. I have found over the past few weeks that I can fulfill my duty of following our leaders by studying and pondering on there words. I hope that we all can put a higher priority on reading and learning the words of the prophets of God. Hope you all have a good and productive week.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Article of Faith 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."
I memorized this article of faith one Sunday when we had a sub in our primary class. I thought so much of myself after that because it was the longest, hardest, article of faith to memorize in my opinion. Now, having that message easily accessible to my awareness has allowed me to discover for myself in my life what is part of the gospel. Sometimes it seems increasingly difficult to decipher with so many conflicting ideas, or just thought pathways out there. Do you ever just wish you could go live in a tent in the woods and not have to hear all the fuss and the hub-bub of everything?

Sometimes I think that kind of situation might be ideal, but then I think that being alone would not be very fun either. In fact having such easy access to other people's opinions via internet social networking is quite a blessing much of the time! I am a member of a group that is about helping families who want to succeed in cloth diapering their babies. (Many people view this as quite a challenge since they are used to disposables.) It is easy for me to ask a question in this group on my computer and quickly get responses from others experiences. 

Therefore, the whole "hiding in the woods" scenario probably is not ideal for long periods of time. Maybe I will just plan a nice camping trip and feel rejuvenated when I get back. Anyway, what I would like to emphasize today in this post is that even though there are a lot of good things out there to be involved in....a lot of "praiseworthy" or "of good report" things and they totally overwhelm us sometimes....we need not run and hide in the woods from utter exhaustion of "too much of a good thing". If you are ever feeling like this, just have a moment to yourself to reflect on all the societies and peoples of the past who did not have these blessings. Think of the prophets of old who foresaw our time and probably were thinking of all the great and wonderful things that could be accomplished easily. Think of the prophets today who do what they can to spread the gospel around the world and are always relying on us to BE the gospel. They count on us to shine our light and wake up the world. 

How easy it is...

how easy!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Spiritual Application!

I absolutely love fifth Sunday lessons; I love being able to having another testimony of the Bishopric. Since we had family in town, I was able to take notes and delve into the topic.

A few months ago, all of the regional leaders in our area had a training with Elder Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Our Bishop was so touched by how it was done that he spoke to the youth a couple months ago (my husband works with them, so that's how I know) and then the adults this past Sunday.

We were asked to come to the meeting with questions about our multiple stewardships, be they in the family or at church. And, not just any questions, but the type of questions that keep you up at night. He then stated: When a problem is present, there needs to be a reinforcement of doctrine or principles. Well, in order to reinforce we must first understand what doctrine and principles are.

Doctrine is truth revealed from heaven about eternal progression. It answers the why questions in life. Elder Bednar explained there are only 3 or 4 doctrines: Nature of the Godhead, Plan of Salvation, the Atonement and an unknown (it was implied that either E. Bednar was still trying to figure this one out or didn't want to give it away because it's meant for own discovery). These doctrine, eternal truths, set the foundation for everything else in the church and in life.

Principles then are guidelines for activity which grow out of doctrine. They answer the what? question; things like faith, obedience, repentance, everything in the scriptures, etc. Our Bishop reminded us not to get too rapped up in classification. The importance is in how we apply the doctrines and principles in our lives.

Applications of doctrine and principles are very personal and can change throughout time and circumstance. Applications cannot be taught by an every day mortal human being; they must be taught through the Holy Ghost through personal revelation. We use personal revelation to apply revealed principles like the Word of Wisdom, Sabbath Day, repentance, etc. in our lives and do so; but what may be good for one is not what was revealed to another.

Does this mean one is right and the other is wrong? I don't know, but what I do know if two trying-to-be righteous individuals are using the gift of the Holy Ghost to make right decisions, then they must both be right. The key there is we know if it's right for us by our own personal worthiness. We need to be worthy of the Holy Ghost in order to make decisions with his help.

What we can do is use our illustrations (experiences) of how personal applications of doctrine and principles work in our lives; which I think is exactly what we do with this blog! "I read this the other day," or "I was thinking about..." is usually how our posts begin. The spirit is talking to us; wanting us to share how it helped us because then we help each other. We try to grow closer to Christ, and each other, by sharing our own personal experiences of how we applied the gospel.

This whole hour was a big A-Ha! moment for me. The gospel is much simpler than we think. My husband wonderfully shared when the Bishop spoke to the youth, but I didn't write it down so I forgot. I remember how when he shared with me how I wanted to turn around and share it to my Spirituality sisters and everyone who would listen. I'm so grateful for inspired leaders who take their stewardship responsibility seriously and strive to spread the happiness around.

Let's never be afraid to share our 'secret weapon' because it's a something that helps us all.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On America

We had a great time celebrating Memorial Day yesterday, and at the end of the night, when I was dead-tired, I opened my Book of Mormon to read my five verses and I got this perfectly-timed gem from the Book of Ether:

Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written. (Ether 2:12)

I am so proud to be an American, and that we, as a nation, are generally a God-fearing people. I'm so grateful for my liberty and the men and women who work so hard to preserve our freedom.

Photo courtesy of jcolman.

Monday, May 31, 2010

In Memoriam

As it is Memorial Day, I was thinking about the soldiers and saints that have sacrificed their lives for the freedoms of their families, friends, neighbors, and strangers. I also thought about the example of our Savior Jesus Christ who led the way along that path and still strengthen those who are fighting for righteousness and humanity today.

"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."--Helaman 5:12

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Humility & Deeper Learning

First off--- I forgot to say Congrats to Meagan and family! Bennett is adorable! ;)

As natural men, we all go through spiritual slumps. In my mutual days, I remember our Spiritual journey described as a roller coaster ride. Some days (or longer periods of time) we feel as though the world is on our shoulders and nothing we do is right, we are at the lowest low. But then, something changes and we keep moving closer to Christ and living righteously, we've reached the top. And, since we are imperfect, we inevitably come back down. Why? One reason: pride.

Heaven knows my imperfections and I attempt to work on them daily; sometimes that attempt isn't as successful as it should be and I always wonder why. A couple days ago I was feeling particularly low, then I got this gem (emphasis added):
How can I question without losing the Spirit? . . . All of us have questions at times in our lives on policies, procedures, or even principles. The best way to find the answers we seek is to search out the solution for ourselves."How do we go about it?"First and foremost, it is our attitude, or how we ask the question, that is very, very important. If it is a demand, one loses the opportunity for an answer."Second, if we have strong feelings about the way something should be and are unwilling to listen, we may lose the opportunity to get an answer." One only has to remember when Martin Harris wanted to take home pages of the Book of Mormon translation to show to others. Joseph Smith prayed to the Lord a number of times to finally be allowed to let the man do it. The Lord knew that the pages would be lost. But sometimes we want something so much and keep praying about it that the Lord lets us do it for our learning experience." Sometimes we are drawn into seeking and giving answers that bring recognition or notoriety to 'our' thinking and to 'our' opinion. Don't look for signs or answers that build you up. Humility and submissiveness to God will always be fundamental in receiving direction from Him.

Robert D. Hales, Gifts of the Spirit, Ensign, Feb. 2002, 17–18

How do we get answers? How do we get out of Spiritual slumps? We need to seek and then be willing to listen. We need to have the desire to learn, grow and become better.

Sometimes, when the right answer comes to us, we forget to listen. We forget to use the precious gift of the Holy Ghost because we think we know better. Pride enters and grabs hold. Like Martin Harris, sometimes the answer will come how we want it because the Lord wants us to learn and remember. Remember Him who is teaching us. Remember that He definitely knows better than we ever will.

Deeper learning and revelation only come when we strive to be like Christ and recognize that just in the striving we are becoming better. We are not asked to be perfect in this life, we're asked to do our best through being humble and following His ways.

To my fellow perfectionists out there, this is a good thing! His perfections make up for our imperfections; we just need to be humble enough to look to Him.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Quick thought

I have been really tired lately because my son hasn't been sleeping very well. His teeth act like they want to come in and then they just don't. But I can tell that they hurt him because of the drool and the fingers in the mouth, the list goes on there. Sometimes days just seem to go by unnoticed, unappreciated for many of us. When we look back on these days and wonder how we got through them all, let us remember the poem,
"Footprints on the sand":


One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed 
footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of 
footprints,
other times there were one set of 
footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of 
footprints.
So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one set of 
footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?”
The Lord replied,
“The times when you have seen only one set of 
footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you.”

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A New Life!

This week has been a week full of wonder and love. Our baby boy was born this past Wednesday and we are in utter amazement at his sweet little life. We are grateful that he is healthy and here safe in our family. Today I wanted to share some thoughts from my husband about the birth. I was so touched by his perspective that I thought it would be wonderful to share with all of you. He said the following:

Spiritually speaking, there exists no better example of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and parallel suffering of our Heavenly Father. Meagan, in her beautiful own way, suffered selflessly for another who was powerless to help himself. I had to watch and reassure and love Meagan and baby as best as I could having no power to relieve their suffering. Heavenly Father, on the other hand, had all power to stop his Son's suffering and had to exercise Godly restraint to stay His almighty hand to allow Christ's sacrifice for us to be efficacious. In the end, Meagan was delivered victorious from her suffering, Bennett's deliverance was complete, and Meagan enabled a sparkling new soul to live a life full of joy in a way profoundly similar to what Christ has done for us.

I don't know if my words do the thought justice, but that's what I learned and I learned it in a more intense and beautiful way than I have ever before experienced. Welcome Bennett, we love you forever.

Now, meet baby Bennett:

Friday, May 14, 2010

"We are not alone in the Universe..."

"We are not alone in the universe. God is not the god of only one planet."--Neal A. Maxwell

Last night Nate and I went to see Hubble 3D at our local planetarium. I saw a billboard for it and my inspired friend called me an hour later and asked if we wanted to go. We said yes immediately because Nate is big on astronomy and I just knew he would love it. I had no idea when we went though, that it would turn out to be such a testimony building experience.

The movie follows the launch and subsequent repair missions for the Hubble space telescope. In the 3D format it also took us through the stars and the far reaches of the universe almost as if we were actually flying through it using renditions of Hubble's images. It was the most beautiful thing I have every witnessed. My favorite part was actually flying into the nebula on Orion's belt. once there we looked across the cloud into a canyon where there were baby stars they referred to as "tadpoles." Each of these stars were centered around a major star and encompassed by a shockwave from the fierce winds that surrounded them. The narrator spoke of how some of these stars could grow up and form their own galaxies some day, but the ones that could not withstand the fierce winds would never make it that far.

It's an easy comparison to make.. Each of us, as God's "tadpole" literally have the potential to grow our own galaxies someday if we can withstand the fierce winds of temptation. We will one day walk with Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Universe, and know God as He knows God, as a loving father and friend.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Active Learners

Recently, I read these verses at the end of 2 Nephi Chapter 28:
29 Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we aneed bno more of the word of God, for we have enough!
30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon aprecept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn bwisdom; for unto him that creceiveth I will give dmore; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have. {emphasis added}
I really like these verses because it reminds me to never stop learning. It is not enough to say, "okay, I think I've learned enough about the gospel or I think I've learned all about Chemistry." When we start thinking that, we are in trouble because we won't have the capacity to learn and grow more.

If we are to become eternal beings, we need to recognize the importance of knowledge. Learning and gaining knowledge is a process. If we don't use our agency to choose to learn and grow, we won't continue on the path towards greater knowledge. Knowledge isn't going to be forced upon us; just like everything else, we have the right to choose, to act.

I've always loved this thought; being a teacher and all. We need to be active learners and seekers, so--- I say to us all--- go and seek out the best books and gain some knowledge!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mothering

I often ask myself this question: 
"Do all mothers feel the same way I do? Like they are failing...like they will never be the kind of mother they wish they could be?"

Answering that question may be a different feat for every mother. So my thoughts are on how I have felt about that question today. Yes, babies can be very draining to a mother's energy. The more my baby cries, the more I feel like I am going to lose my mind

But what I realized in his time of need was that I needed to be more fully present and understand his ordeals. He is just so little and so many think that such a small being isn't capable of much feeling or thought at all. But I disagree with those who would say that. I think my baby is aware of much. And although his memory may not be fully developed as of yet, his feelings are present..... until they change.

What I had to admit to myself lately was that I need to be less selfish. It feels like I had nothing much going on in my life until my little boy came into the world. I spent way too much time entertaining myself...basically just waiting for him to show up. And now that he is here I feel like suddenly I have all these pursuits that I have been undertaking and sometimes because of them I cannot give myself fully over to being a mother. And it isn't that my pursuits are bad or dishonest. It is that I let them overwhelm me, and take more time than I ought to sometimes. 

It is funny what music can do for our hearts
My husband was a dear and suggested something that I had never uttered the other day, but that I was feeling and thinking about already. That was to play the music from a CD I got at a baby shower for the baby while he is going to sleep. We just had been using the mobile and other little fishy contraption for this purpose. But that music doesn't play very long and I don't know if it is really best suited for helping a baby fall asleep. Anyway we pulled out my old CD player that I was sure wasn't working well, and put the CD in it. We have been playing it the last few days for him while he sleeps. I think it must affect him in a better way than the chimes do/did. It affects me in a much better way. 

I wrap him up in a blankie, turn on the music and just give him all of the snuggles and love from my heart. I decided to just listen to the music with my heart instead of focusing on "When is this baby going to fall asleep???!" (so I could go get something done) Wow. You know what? That approach real well. It appears the babe knows when my heart is fully vested in him and he sleeps quicker and better.  He knows when I am really "loving" him. Also it is a time of contemplation for me. The spirit talks to me. I feel good inside. My heart is touched and my gaze is guided to the place it ought to be.

I guess my main point or final thought here is that when we as mothers have our priorities straight (focusing our heart on our children) then we are more able to receive what we require and desire in our lives. Things work out. Our children are taken care of. We feel good about it. Our heart continues on in worthy pursuits. 

Sometimes it might not be easy but it is worth it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Little Reminders

I just wanted to quickly say how grateful I am for little reminders, echoing kind of what Meagan talked about. I too feel very grateful for the blessings the Lord gives me. Most of the time I don't know what I do to deserve them. I try my best, and I think, the Lord recognizes that.

One of the little reminders I have in my life is my CTR ring. I wear it on the ring finger of my right hand. Besides my wedding ring (and fake engagement ring), it is the only ring I wear. They are my physical 'little reminders.'

They remind me of the woman I am and have covenanted to become. They remind me of the goofy redhead who I'm blessed to spend now and forever with. They remind me of the eternal blessings in store if I can somehow pass this mortal test. They remind me of the truthfulness of the gospel. They remind me to never ever give up--- always hold to the rod and choose the right. They remind me of the potential in us all.

I know this is silly, but for me, I need the physical reminders. My mind likes to play tricks on me; getting me to think that no one likes me/wasting my time/never going to do my best. One of the ways I get out of that horrible downward spiral is to look at my hands. When I do, I see the two things that have never failed to bring me happiness: family and the gospel.

Isn't that what this life is all about?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Book of Mormon/ You Tube Challenge

Don't forget to go and watch Elder Holland's testimony of the Book of Mormon. Like and comment on the video so it's popularity increases. Here's the {LINK} and here's the video:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Blessings Pour Out

Do you ever feel like you receive blessings that you don't deserve? I taught a lesson today in church about the covenants we make with the Lord and the blessings we receive when we honor those covenants. During the lesson I kept having the feeling that Heavenly Father is so generous with the blessings he gives us. All we have to do is read our scriptures, say our prayers, go to church, and keep trying everyday to be more and more like our Savior. With those simple things we receive blessings beyond compare.

In my life I feel like I have received many blessings without having done the work. Growing up I was never consistent with reading my scriptures or saying my personal prayers. It just wasn't something that I made a priority. However, I look back and see the infinite amount of blessings that Heavenly Father poured out upon me, even in my laziest of times. He led and directed me by the Spirit to a wonderful school where I met my amazing husband (whom I literally feel I was not worthy of at the time of our meeting). So why was I blessed with these wonderful things when I was not deserving of them?

Honestly, I am not sure. The only guess I can possibly have in my mind is that Heavenly Father saw and knew my potential as His spirit born daughter. Years later I feel like I am more closely on track with keeping my end of the covenants I have made. For the first time in my life I am reading my scriptures and saying my personal prayers more consistently. With this recent change I have felt a change in myself. I am much happier each day. I speak more kindly to my dear spouse. I am less quick to judge others and instead I am able to focus on my own silly faults that need to be addressed and changed.

The blessings in my life continue to pour out. This doesn't mean in any way that I do not have trials or struggles each day, but when they come I am blessed with greater strength to endure them. It really is the small and simple things, or the primary answers as we call them, that give us the strength to live the gospel each day. Not only are we happier when we do these simple things, but the Lord is standing by waiting and hoping to bless us in every capacity. I have seen this in my own life and I have seen this in the lives of others. We as Latter-Day Saints can do it! We CAN live the gospel to it's fullest each and every day. All we need to do is rely on the Lord and He will make up for the rest!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Safety & Peace

Just a quick thought I had a couple weeks ago. At the beginning of {First Nephi Chapter 17}, Nephi explains the journey in the wilderness is taking a toll. They had "many afflictions." But, within their afflictions they were blessed. Nephi gives the reason in verse 3:
And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and astrengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did bprovide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness. {emphasis added}
Heavenly Father knows and loves each and every one of us. Right here in this verse, it says what we need to do to face our challenges: Keep the Commandments. If we keep the commandments, then the Lord with bless us to keep moving forward. Just like the {primary} {song} says:

Keep the commandments; keep the commandments!
In this there is safety; in this there is peace.
He will send blessings;
Words of a prophet:
Keep the commandments.
In this there is safety and peace.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The FHE post

For FHE tonight, Nick and I are writing a post together. We found the recent conference talks online. And we decided to listen to Elder Christofferson speak because we like him. (We like all of them, but we like him a lot because we know him on a more personal basis.)
His talk centered around the scriptures and the story of William Tindale and all of the efforts made hundreds of years ago in the publishing of the Bible. Also he spoke of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and how in times past people who had a Bible in their house were considered very lucky or privileged. They were hard to come by. And William Tindale was executed for translating the Bible into English.
Hearing this talk made me feel a bit ashamed for not being more thankful for my scriptures and not reading them and cherishing them more often. Also during the talk I thought about how we can be like prophets of old in our writings and have something to pass onto our future generations. We may or may not have many of the writings of our ancestors but our progeny will sure have much from us! How blessed we are to live in this day and age where all of this is possible to us. Not only can our writings be much more easily kept and organized for our future generations but also for the current generation. How fast doth information flow these days with the internet and so much technology!

From my (Nick's) point of view... this was a most excellent and invigorating piece of elocution. I think the main point that struck home to me was that we are all so familiar with so many stories from the scriptures - ranging from the Old Testament prophets like Moses, through New Testament and Book of Mormon prophets like Peter, Nephi, or later Joseph Smith.
Then I got thinking about how much we would really know today about God without the scriptures... basically nothing. Or rather, we would possibly know the theory and principles of the gospel through inspiration in our time, but we wouldn't be able to put them into context as easily as we can today. It is so much easier to think about Faith when you've read about the example of a seed growing into a tree, and it is so much more simple to talk about what kind of man Jesus was when you can read about his teachings and miracles.
So I guess I'm just echoing Trish's thoughts - stop taking what you know for granted and go back and learn more. The more you read these revelations the more you open your mind and heart to receive other revelation that is on a much more personal level.

Wow that was a fun activity! Do you and your spouse (if you are married) study the scriptures together? It is also fun writing spiritual blog posts together about the scriptures! Try it sometime!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

More about God's Message


To add on to Tricia's thoughts, today in Primary we had a special lesson on the Book of Mormon. Our Primary president is a pretty awesome lady and she was telling us about a goal she had to read the Book of Mormon before her youngest son's birthday and she had been lagging behind a bit so the few days before she was reading up to 50 pages a night. She gave this great analogy about how she feels when she keeps up with her scripture reading.

"Think of it as like a faucet. When I'm doing okay with my scripture reading it's like the handle is turned a little bit so there's a little stream of the spirit coming into my life. When I'm doing really well with my scripture reading, though, the handle gets turned all the way and I feel the Spirit begin to fill my life."

I loved her testimony and I know exactly how that feels. I know what Tricia says is true also, it's in those times when we're doing really well that we can see that God is answering all our questions through his inspired words. I can't remember who said this in General Conference a few years ago, but I remember it so clearly. "When you want to talk to God, get on your knees and pray. When you want him to talk to you, open your scriptures."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

God's message to me


The other night I was feeling particularly drowsy. I couldn't keep my eyes opened or my focus on anything. So to be short and quick, my husband flipped the scriptures open and read this:
6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall areap also sparingly; and he which bsoweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

  7 Every man according as he apurposeth in his heart, so let him give; not bgrudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a ccheerful dgiver.
I imagine this type of scripture having a varied reaction depending on the receiver of the message. I don't imagine that what I got from the message is something that my husband might have gotten from it. And another interesting insight from this was that, this one short message stuck in my drowsy mind longer than when he reads an entire chapter to me and I am lying next to him mostly awake. (Usually I am participating in this, just not when I'm nursing my son.)

Anyway I believe that the scriptures are full of a lot of great principles that God has taught his children throughout history. Then he prompts us to open up our scriptures and read and often times we find something that is exactly what we need. The message is clear to us. Because God knows us, and how we will interpret what we are told, or what we read and he thus works with us. This has happened to me one other specific time that I can remember. It was a time of a great struggle in my life, and as I lay weeping in sorrow and in Satan's grasp the spirit whispered to me to open my scriptures. I obeyed and found a clear and precise set of instructions to get me out of my hole. It was amazing.

The scripture above wasn't meant to get me "out of a hole" again this time. This time there was a different purpose. To me it was more of a "keep up your good work" kind of feeling. You see, I sometimes feel like I'm a bit overbearing; at the same time I know that I can't help myself. It is just who I am.

Smile. God sees you. He loves who you are.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Before the Call

I found out today that my youngest brother had his mission papers sent in last night. I'm so very excited for him, the experiences he'll have, and the lives he'll touch. I know he'll be amazing. I'm grateful to call him my brother and for him to be an example for my kids, especially my little boy.

My son is only a toddler, but it is important for me (and my husband) not to forget that he's two going on 19. As his parents, we have a divine responsibility to teach him NOW to have the DESIRE to love the Lord and serve Him. Not if he'll serve a mission, but when. Elder Bednar, in {Becoming a Missionary}, said:

My dear young brethren {and sisters}, the single most important thing you can do to prepare for a call to serve is to become a missionary long before you go on a mission. Please notice that in my answer I emphasized becoming rather than going. Let me explain what I mean.

In our customary Church vocabulary, we often speak of going to church, going to the temple, and going on a mission. Let me be so bold as to suggest that our rather routine emphasis on going misses the mark.

The issue is not going to church; rather, the issue is worshipping and renewing covenants as we attend church. The issue is not going to or through the temple; rather, the issue is having in our hearts the spirit, the covenants, and the ordinances of the Lord’s house. The issue is not going on a mission; rather, the issue is becoming a missionary and serving throughout our entire life with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength. It is possible for a young man to go on a mission and not become a missionary, and this is not what the Lord requires or what the Church needs.

My earnest hope for each of you young men is that you will not simply go on a mission—but that you will become missionaries long before you submit your mission papers, long before you receive a call to serve, long before you are set apart by your stake president, and long before you enter the MTC.

A future missionary needs to have good examples set before him. I'm so grateful for my husband, father, and brothers---who have set an example for my little boy. Because of their examples I'll be able to have teaching moments with my children. We can write to their Uncle, learn about what he's teaching to others, and become more like Jesus.

Even though I didn't serve a mission I hope I can be the example they need. I hope I'm up to the challenge, to show my children just how amazing this gospel is. I hope they see the light in my eyes when I talk about my Savior, the temple, and having the chance to be with our family forever.

Like everything in this life worth having, it will not be easy. In December 1979, a man working for the Ensign related what parents can do before a mission call. He talked about sitting at the dinner table with his parents while he refused to eat his cauliflower. At one point in the dinner, his mom mentioned this, "missionaries eat everything on their plate whether they like it or not because that’s the polite thing to do. When you’re a missionary, somebody will eventually serve you something you won’t like. If you don’t eat it, you’ll hurt their feelings. So you might as well get into the habit now of eating everything on your plate.” Eventually, he ate his food, and it wasn't that bad.

I want to be that kind of Mom. I want to have the ability to teach gospel principles of kindness and sacrifice---then allow my children to make the choice for themselves. Further in the article, he gives suggestions on how parents can help children prepare for missions. Frankly, there's a lot and it's all good, so go read it! He ends with this:
If preparing sons for missions sounds like a big job, it’s because it is. But the challenge is not beyond reach—and the blessings are truly great, both in the home and in the lives of those involved. Rewards don’t come without effort, though, so parents should start preparing their sons now, no matter how young they are. My present concern is teaching my two-year-old son to like cauliflower. The next step will be the scriptures!
It's a noble work to spread the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our children were, and will be, born in the church for a reason; they are MEANT to become missionaries. They are meant to gain a testimony and proclaim its truths to the world. We are here to show them the first step and be their examples.

FYI:The New Era had {a special issue} all about missions a few years back and I went looking through it today and found lots of amazing gems. Take some time this week and glance over this issue. I recommend: Missionary Mail, The Five M's of Missionary Work, and Gifts to Bring Home from the Mission Field. It's a wonderful issue full of insights for anyone---I'm really excited to use the Missionary Mail one! :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Screwtape Letters


This week I started reading "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis! I just want to let you all know that this is one of the best books I have ever read. It is entirely entertaining and I have learned so much about the ways in which Satan tempts us. It has truly opened up my eyes towards temptation. I feel that I am better aware of Satan's tactics and that I can better ward off temptations as they arise.

There are about a hundred quotes that I would love to share and elaborate on from this wonderful book, but today I want to leave you all with this thought:

"To get the man's soul and give him nothing in return - that is what really gladdens Our Father's heart."

Explanation: Screwtape (the senior devil) is saying this to his nephew (a junior devil). Satan is referred to as "Our Father." Satan's goal is to make us miserable like unto himself. When we choose to follow him we are exactly that - miserable. But in the end Satan has nothing to give us. He literally CANNOT give us anything. God can give us EVERYTHING, if we but choose to follow Him.

I am looking forward to finishing this book and hopefully sharing many of the things that I learned from it! You should all really read this book. Check it out at your local library or buy a paperback version for cheap. It is truly insightful!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Need to Talk

First off--- I'm sick right now, so I'm sorry if my ramblings don't come together for efficient understanding...

On March 31st, I accomplished one of my goals this year and finished the {Book of Mormon} in a three month period. It was fantastic. Each time I finish it, I come away a better person. It is the one book, I can read over and over again without being disappointed. This is one of the ways that I know the words in it are true and from God.

So, now I'm back to the story of {Lehi} and his posterity. Lehi's son, {Nephi}, has always been an amazing man in my eyes. What particularly impressed me this time was how he's constantly did one thing before anything--- he prayed. Next time you read his story, notice the pattern. Before he sets out with his brother, before going back to Jersualem the second time, before killing Laban, before talking to his brothers about their conduct or trying to escape from their murderous intentions, before going hunting with his 'new' bow, before believing the words of his father---- he prayed. He opened up a line of communication that is ALWAYS there--- and it's always there for us too. It's a direct line to our Heavenly Father.

After realizing this about Nephi, no less than 24 hours later did I get a 'Church History Gem' with this quote in it:
Since my youth, I have always been impressed by the fact that our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, would answer the heartfelt prayers of a 14-year-old boy who was searching for the truth. Just as He answered Joseph Smith's prayer, our Heavenly Father will answer your prayers in His own time and in His own way.

Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Growing into the Priesthood," Ensign, Nov. 1999, 41

I kept being reminded, even when I think I'm all alone---I'm not. If I can't talk to anyone, not even Greg, I know I can talk to Him. And even in those times I can talk to someone, prayer is how I show gratitude to Heavenly Father by recognizing his role in my life.

Prayer is how we learn to communicate with the spirit. It shows Heavenly Father we have a desire to know for ourselves. To know which decision to make, to know the truth of the gospel, to know why we have the challenges we do; prayer helps us gain knowledge. Eternal Knowledge; this knowledge (answer to our prayers) may not be what we expected, but that is for us to deal with because the fact remains that Heavenly Father did and always will answer the prayers of His children.

But all this only comes when we ask---- and how do we ask? Through prayer. When you need to talk, Heavenly Father is always there--- all you need to do is kneel.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Teaching Your Children


I wanted to talk today about General Conference last weekend. It was absolutely wonderful! I am so excited to get our copy of the May Ensign with all of the conference addresses. I have decided that it will become our "Parents Manual." I loved that almost every talk focused on the family and teaching your children in the home. I think that they are obviously trying to tell us something.

The world is changing so much in the way that they view the family, but our church is standing firm! The family is the most important unit in society. Without the family our country is doomed. We need to stand up and speak up for the family! The best way I think we can do this is by starting in our own individual homes. We must teach our children so that together as a family we can be an example to the world. I encourage us all to spend more time IN our home WITH our children and our spouses. Our children need to hear the gospel from us every single day. We must be reading our scriptures and saying our prayers together as families every single day. Family home evening is more than just being together. It is about teaching our children the gospel in a place where they feel safe and in place where they can trust their teachers. We NEED to have family home evening every week.

My favorite thing that was said in conference was that we can start teaching the gospel to our infants. This was particularly important to me at this time as my husband and I prepare to welcome our first little one into our family. Infants are very aware of what we say and what we teach. We need to start right from the beginning. Even if our babies cannot fully understand everything we teach them we are still creating good habits as a family that will carry with us for many years. If we build good habits while our families are new and growing then we will be able to improve upon them over the years! I encourage you all to make these good habits. Read the scriptures and say prayers with your children, even your infants, every day - starting NOW!

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