Wednesday, March 31, 2010

He Lives

In finding the link for my post today, I came across this:

He Lives

I love Easter. I love Easter because I love my Savior--our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Quiet Time

In studying talks from last General Conference, to prepare for this weekend, a section of Sister Matsumori's talk, Helping Others Recognize the Whisperings of the Spirit, really spoke to me. Keeping in mind the title and subject of the talk, I decided to listen. :)

She explains how we help others recognize the spirit by understanding the Holy Ghost, sharing personal testimonies, and providing an environment where the Spirit can be felt. My 'ah-ha' moment came when she spoke of the places we feel the Spirit:
The challenge for each of us is in providing an environment where the Spirit can be felt daily in our homes and weekly at church.

One reason we are encouraged to pray and read the scriptures every single day is that both of these activities invite the Spirit into our homes and into the lives of our family members.

Because the Spirit is often described as a still, small voice, it is also important to have a time of quiet in our lives as well. The Lord has counseled us to “be still, and know that I am God.” If we provide a still and quiet time each day when we are not bombarded by television, computer, video games, or personal electronic devices, we allow that still, small voice an opportunity to provide personal revelation and to whisper sweet guidance, reassurance, and comfort to us.

I have come to know just how important this quiet time is. As always, I struggle with consistency, so I notice a huge difference on the days that I have a few minutes to gather myself and connect with myself spiritually and the days I 'don't have the time.' I seem to have more time to do the things I need to accomplish, feel the Spirit, teach my children, and keep my house in order on those days I take a few minutes and recharge.

So---even though I'm using the computer to tell you this, I want to issue a challenge: unplug for 15-30 minutes each day. Use the time to study the gospel, and begin to recognize how the Spirit communicates with you. Use some of your time this weekend to ponder your feelings about the Savior and the Prophets. After all, it is Easter and General Conference. :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Happy Passover!

To all our Jewish friends out there...

Happy Passover!!

Interestingly enough, our lesson this past Sunday was on the story of Moses! What good timing! The teacher taught us all about the passover and the story of how the children of Israel were delivered out of Egypt. Then we sampled this unleavened bread (called matzo I believe) in tradition of the Jewish Passover.

“Leaven, or yeast, was seen anciently as a symbol of corruption because it so easily spoiled and turned moldy. … For the Israelites, eating the unleavened bread symbolized that they were partaking of the bread which had no corruption or impurity, namely, the Bread of Life, who is Jesus Christ."

Even though we don't celebrate Passover in the LDS religion because of our Christian belief that Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law of Moses, I feel it is quite remarkable that this passover celebration has literally been celebrated by the Jews traditionally ever since the first one. What other holiday has gone on that long? 

Today in our religion, we take bread and water weekly at church (the sacrament) as a way to remember our Savior and the covenants we made at baptism.
  • Elder Jeffrey R. Holland asked:
  • “Do we see [the sacrament] as our passover, remembrance of our safety and deliverance and redemption?
  • “With so very much at stake, this ordinance commemorating our escape from the angel of darkness should be taken more seriously than it sometimes is. It should be a powerful, reverent, reflective moment. It should encourage spiritual feelings and impressions”
I hope that for the LDS readers of this blog, that they will take more time to ponder over the sacrament. And for the Jewish readers, that they enjoy their Passover.

Monday, March 29, 2010

An honest heart

Yes, there is a city with this name it is in New Mexico.

Today I want to talk about honesty. Because more and more all the time I get the feeling that people are choosing on purpose to be dishonest. Not just dishonest with other people but dishonest with themselves. People are completely out of touch with themselves because they have been lying to themselves for so long. Also they are choosing to believe lies...from other people...from Satan....or whatever the source.

The more and more we are honest with ourselves, the better of a person we become....the more like Jesus we become. I think that our cells respond to it. We physically feel inferior to someone who has a higher standard of honesty. When we are dishonest with ourselves and/or others we shrink.

The little things each day provide us with an opportunity to be honest. To illustrate: 
My son cries. He wants to be held/fed/etc. I want him to be held/fed/etc. I don't want him to feel neglected. He is the most important thing to me. Yet I may choose to hold off because I am googling something amazing and just can't wait to find the results...which makes me even more curious....and causes me to ignore my son's wishes even more. Hopefully this doesn't happen to anyone else. But I have an intense need to be involved on the internet with finding new interesting things that could possibly enrich my life or give me some sort of pleasure. So sometimes I struggle with that. It is a simple thing but I try to be honest with myself and my son in how I REALLY feel about him.

That example may or may not have worked out well for you. I apologize if it didn't. But I hope that you can begin to realize that it is the little things that we tell ourselves or choose to believe or tell other people that either make us a more honest person or a dishonest person. 

D&C 51:9
9 And let every man deal ahonestly, and be alike among this people, and receive alike, that ye may be bone, even as I have commanded you.
I found this off the church website under honesty:

When we are honest in every way, we are able to enjoy peace of mind and maintain self-respect. We build strength of character, which allows us to be of service to God and others. We are trustworthy in the eyes of God and those around us.
On the other hand, if we are dishonest in our words or actions, we hurt ourselves and often hurt others as well. If we lie, steal, cheat, or neglect to give the full amount of work for our pay, we lose our self-respect. We lose the guidance of the Holy Ghost. We may find that we have damaged relationships with family members and friends and that people no longer trust us.
Being honest often requires courage and sacrifice, especially when others try to persuade us to justify dishonest behavior. If we find ourselves in such a situation, we can remember that the lasting peace that comes from being honest is more valuable than the momentary relief of following the crowd.

Make a goal to be more honest today. Start with what you tell yourself.  

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dedicate Your Home

Quick Question: Have any of you dedicated your home?

If your answer is no or you are wondering what in the world I am even talking about then you MUST read this post! If your answer is yes then you rock, way to go you!

Dedicating your home is a wonderful thing to do! It is very simple and it helps you create a home where the spirit can dwell constantly! My husband and I have been meaning to dedicate our home for months, but somehow we kept forgetting. We finally were able to dedicate our home last Sunday evening. It is a simple priesthood ordinance that is much like a prayer. You women who are reading this go tell your husband's that you would like them to dedicate your home.

“Church members may dedicate their homes, … as sacred edifices where the Holy Spirit can reside” (General Handbook of Instructions, p. 11-5). If your husbands do not know how to dedicate your home then have them refer to their General Handbook of Instructions under Priesthood Blessings.

If you are single and would like to have your home dedicated then you can ask either a family member who holds the Priesthood or a home teacher. I highly encourage all of you to dedicate your homes so that you can better be guided by the Spirit of the Lord each day!

PS: Remember that you don't have to own your home to dedicate it. My husband and I live in a little 2 bedroom apartment but it is our current "home" so we have dedicated it as such! This would be a perfect Family Home Evening lesson tomorrow night!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cherish Each Day

I got this in the Family Gems a couple days ago:
"Near the end of his life, one father looked back on how he had spent his time on earth. An acclaimed, respected author of numerous scholarly works, he said, 'I wish I had written one less book and taken my children fishing more often.' Time passes quickly. Many parents say that it seems like yesterday that their children were born. Now those children are grown, perhaps with children of their own. 'Where did the years go?' they ask. We cannot call back time that is past, we cannot stop time that now is, and we cannot experience the future in our present state. Time is a gift, a treasure not to be put aside for the future but to be used wisely in the present."

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Ashley G. and her daughter came to visit us this past week and it was fantastic. It was so nice, I ended up moping around yesterday (they left that morning) wishing the week hadn't gone by too fast. Then I looked at my son... the boy who is about to turn two and began to mope some more. He's growing, changing, (along with his little sister) and some days I forget to stop and enjoy the little things that mean much more than finishing the laundry.

I seem to relearn this lesson every few weeks, and I hope to never stop. I want to live the best I can in the present, so I can cherish my memories and look forward to tomorrow. So---don't forget to cherish each day because what you have right now is most important.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spiritual Bugs

Last week while visiting family in Utah we heard a talk about temptation. The sister sharing the message quoted from the following New Era talk:

When I went outside that Saturday morning, I didn’t say to myself, “I hope a bug flies into my mouth today.” But as I was jogging, it happened. A bug flew right into my mouth! It wasn’t my fault. I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I didn’t even see it coming.

What do you think I did when that insect zipped between my teeth? Well, I didn’t swish it around and savor it. I didn’t leave it there just to see what would happen. I didn’t swallow it. I didn’t even take time to think about it. I just spit it out and kept running, sputtering along the way.

Have you ever had a “bug” fly into your mouth? Have you ever innocently come across an inappropriate picture or song or word or idea? You probably have. Evil influences are all around us, and while we can do much to avoid them, we will probably be exposed to them through no fault of our own. These spiritual bugs are deadly—much more harmful to our spirits than that little insect was to my body.

What should you do if a spiritual bug flies into your mouth? You should give it the same treatment I gave the bug that flew into mine: Spit it out! Don’t hesitate. Walk away. Run away if you have to. Turn off the TV. Turn off the radio. Turn off the computer. Throw that book or magazine in the garbage can where it belongs.

I thought that this image was absolutely perfect and one that every single person could relate to. When temptations are thrown our way, as they always are, we need to spit them out and keep running towards God. Lets not take a peek, or savor the spiritual bugs in our lives!

Check out the rest of the talk HERE.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


On Sunday we had some really amazing talks about death and the life we will have after earth. We had a really entertaining speaker that asked us to close our eyes and envision what our Spiritual Paradise would be like. He described his as a tropical island with white sandy beaches. Looking to the right there was a line of lawn chairs because in his paradise you can lounge all day. There was no sunscreen because in his perfect world nobody gets sunburned. To the left there was a McDonald's and you could get as many Big Mac's as you wanted because in his paradise all the good things are free and you never gain any weight from them.

When he first asked us to close our eyes, though, the firsr thing I envisioned in my paradise was my whole family standing in front of me all dressed in white. I couldn't tell you where we were or what we going to do, we were just all together. The strongest and earliest part of my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel was my knowledge that there is a life after this one, and our families are there and the Spirit World is part of God's plan for us. And I think when we get there our spirits will truly recognize each other as brothers and sisters and bad feelings will melt away.

It saddens me that so many people that don't believe in God think that when we die we disappear into the dust of the earth. But it makes me happy that they will be disappointed to find out that's not true.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Lifesaver

We had the missionaries over for dinner recently. The Elder giving the thought of the night likened missionary work to lifesavers (the floating tubes not the candy). As members of the church we are already in the lifeboats and it's up to us to throw lifesavers out to others, to share with them the saving message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He also remind our family that, members, not missionaries, can throw lifesavers a lot closer to those we know because---well---we know them.

One way we throw lifesavers is through sharing our testimony of the gospel, which is what I want to do now:

I know this is the true and living church of Jesus Christ. I know Jesus is the Savior of all mankind---even you and I. I know he lived, still lives, and will come again. I know the church was restored through Joseph Smith and that he was a prophet of God. 190 years ago, he really did see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They spoke to him beginning the greatest time the earth has ever seen. I know the power of God is on the earth today through the priesthood and I know through that power the Book of Mormon was translated. I know the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ; among other things it reminds us how much He really loves us. I know every prophet since Joseph were true men of God, inspired to lead the Lord's work to where it should go. I know Thomas S. Monson is the prophet on the earth today; he leads and guides the church as the Lord's mouthpiece. I know because I made sacred covenants with my Father in Heaven, if I stay worthy, I can live forever with Greg and our family---this has become the greatest motivator in my life. If I stay true to what I know, eternal happiness (which I've already felt a little bit of) awaits.

I'm so grateful to know for myself, the truthfulness of the gospel. It is my lifesaver, now all I need to do it toss it out and share it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Give oh give away

I've been thinking lately about this little primary song and I how I didn't understand it when I was in primary. I was seeking to understand it, but I just sang it because it was a fun song to sing. But now I can understand what it means to be like a little stream and to give life and love to all those we come in contact with. I didn't know about the other two verses on this video. I hope you take a moment to ponder the meaning of this song and how you can give more to others.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Abounding Love

Just a thought:
Let us lower our voices in our homes. Let love abound and find expression in our actions. May we walk the quiet ways of the Lord, and may prosperity crown our labors.

It is so simple. Does our love for our family members guide the choices we make---or---the love of ourselves or the world? Do we do cook, clean and change poopy diapers because we have to or because we love and we want to serve our family members?

I notice a difference when I don't have the right attitude and since I'm the Mom it affects the whole house. I've learned---it starts with me. Since my kids are young, they feed off of my attitude. I would rather have my 21 month old mimic acts of love then frustration. I want to be the example that I mother should be. I want him (his sister and their Daddy) to know that everything I do is because I love them.

So--the question is---do I tell them and then show it in my service? Those days that I do are always much sweeter than the days that I don't. My goal is to show and tell them--every day, especially if I don't feel like it--- why I do what I do. I do what I do because of love. I do what I do because Christ first showed me (and us all) to serve---with love.

I sure hope it's love--because there's no other reason I'd touch poop.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

We Thank Thee Oh God For a Prophet

Today my lesson was on Prophets of God. I really enjoyed teaching this lesson because I feel like this is a topic I have never put much thought into. Having a living prophet on the Earth is absolutely amazing. Have you ever stopped to think about how fortunate we are as Latter-Day Saints to have a prophet to guide us in our lives? Before this week I hadn't.

Thomas S. Monson is the current President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He has been called of God to lead us in these latter days. He is truly an amazing man! In the lesson I prepared it asked the following question: "What has the current prophet taught or counseled us to do recently?" When I read this question I thought to myself, "I don't know." Do you know what President Monson has counseled us to do recently? I decided that I would go back through each talk he gave at conference since he was sustained as the President of our church. He was sustained in February 2008 so I looked at May and November Ensigns of 2008, as well as May and November Ensigns of 2009. Wow, did I learn a lot. Here are just a few of the things that he has asked us to do:

Don't Gossip
Be Examples - "Have the moral courage to be a light for others to follow."
Be kind and loving to your spouses and children
Be honest in your dealings with others, at all times and in all circumstances
Show kindness and respect for all people everywhere
Demonstrate respect toward those whose beliefs differ from ours
Create a home where the Spirit dwells and where love reigns
Make your home a sanctuary of righteousness and a place of prayer
Go to the temple often - "Doing so will help to strengthen marriages and families."
Pray for the opening of those areas around the world where we are not allowed to share the gospel freely
Be prudent in our planning, conservative in our living, and avoid unnecessary debt
Pray concerning our callings in the Church and seek divine help
For those who hold the Priesthood - use it to bless and serve others ("The man who fails to use it is apt to lose it.")

These are only the beginning of the teachings that President Monson has given us since he has been called and sustained as our prophet and leader. I encourage you all to go back through the talks that he has given over the past 2 years. I know that you will find counsel and wisdom that will benefit your lives! And don't forget to read between the lines in order to find the counsel he is giving us. Many times it is through a story or the sharing of an example that he tells us what we need to do to grow closer to our Heavenly Father and Savior.

Friday, March 5, 2010


I feel increasingly drawn toward this value. I remember growing up in the church in Young Womens and reciting the value statement, "Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Choice and Accountability, Good works, and Integrity." (now virtue too!) There has been an unfortunately large use of the word, "free agency" in the church which really confuses people and leads them to less than effective thinking patterns. (such as "I can do whatever I want, ha ha")

My goal is everyday to think of being 100% accountable for my actions. Do I really want to answer to the Savior for this or that action/word/thought? What would I say if he asked me what I chose one thing over another? Goodness sakes, I don't want to feel embarrassed standing in front of a perfect being and feeling like I coulda/shoulda/woulda repented more often of whatever mistake I instead chose to keep repeating. Not only that but I want to choose to live like Christ would live if he were here today.

For each of us that represents various challenges. Because we all have unique strengths and weaknesses, it takes recognizing our own challenges and to refrain from judging others on the same path as us. Perhaps our strength is their weakness and what they need is a little understanding and guidance. In this case we need to do so lovingly.

We all can recognize the light of Christ within each other. We don't always see it in ourselves. Therefore I think we ought to tell each other about this light we see. Empowerment is the result of this type of encouragement. When I was really quite new to blogging I had a good example of someone who would always leave me nice, positive, and thoughtful comments.

This woman currently writes on this blog on Sundays. Because of her early example I decided that I wanted to be that person. I wanted to be the person who always made other people feel good by leaving them comments as often as I could. Occasionally I let myself get worked up over people who haven't left me any comments and think that they deserve not to have any comments. But really that is not what Christ would do. He would look far beyond his own need of love and see the needs of others - they need comments too.

That is just one example of encouragement, or charity, a Christlike attribute. There are so many others. Over the next couple of weeks I encourage my faithful bloggers to write about a Christlike attribute. Maybe it will be your strength, or a strength you see in someone else. I can't wait to read what all ya'll write about!

With love,

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Alma & Korihor

How did your scripture challenge go? Honestly, I missed one day---but that's a big step for me---so keep chugging!

Yesterday I was reading in Alma 30 about the encounters with Korihor and two things really stuck out to me:
  1. Even though Korihor's beliefs were contrary to the ways of God, there was no law in the land to forbid him to believe so---and Mormon points this out in verse 7-11. Why would Mormon make sure to point this out? Because, in a God-fearing land, there should and will not be laws against agency---making sure not to force beliefs on others. Now, this can get complicated in the world today, but if you use the Spirit to recognize when your beliefs, and others' beliefs, are in jeopardy, then all will be good.
  2. Korihor would not let up about Alma needing to show him a sign of God's existence. Finally Alma says this to him (verse 44):
    Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of aall these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the bearth, and call things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its dmotion, yea, and also all the eplanets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.
    In simple terms Alma was trying to tell him that ALL THINGS on this earth point to the existence of our Heavenly Father. We do not need to see Him to know he's there; we just need to look around. We just need to reach out and recognize the good within ourselves and the world around us.
Korihor ended up being struck dumb for his lack of faith and dying in an accident. Once he noticed his wicked ways, Satan abandoned him; he didn't care about the fate of Korihor. But, we should. Since we have his example in the scriptures we are able to be reminded of the blessing it is to have agency and EVERYTHING else around us to show us just how much our Heavenly Father loves us. Even though what happened to Korihor stinks for him, his example can make sure it won't stink for us---or anyone else around us.


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