Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fear and Knowledge

Elder Nattress shared with us a story of asking the brethren a question at an area meeting he attended. He asked them, "What can we teach the youth of this world, with everything going to crazy and spiriling downward?" {this question is paraphrased ... I didn't write down the exact question word for word}
After asking this question, Elder Hales stood {I believe that's who he said was there} and said, "I'd like to answer that questions. I would teach the youth to love their Savior; I would teach them who they are; and I would teach them about the sacrament."

I thought this quote was so amazing, because it immediately gave me three things to thing about in regards to my testimony of them and my ability to teach my own children someday about them. I wondered if my own testimony was strong enough to teach these concepts to my children so that they can be strong, and also so that I can be strong.

Then after sharing that thought from Elder Hales, Elder Nattress said:
"You'll never see fear in the eyes of the brethren because they know who they are and they know our Savior."

This is so powerful! I may not be an apostle and I know I have much to learn in this life, but this thought was so powerful to me and really made me realize just what a testimony of these two things alone does for a person. I don't want to be afraid of things going on in the world - I don't want to worry all the time about things I can't control. I know how I can combat that fear: faith. But this thought really helped me to understand just how faith keeps us from being afraid. If we have a strong testimony of our Savior and His mission & Atonement and we understand and have a testimony of our relationship to our Heavenly Father, then fear just won't be a part of who we are - just that alone strengthens me and helps me to not be afraid.

Key to Revelation

Elder Nattress shared this key to revelation with us from Elder David A. Bednar. This is something that really stuck with me and has still been sticking with me all week. Right after Elder Nattress shared this quote, I immediately felt prompted in knowing how I could apply this to my own life. I've followed that prompting all week and already I have felt the spirit stronger in my life.

"The key to receiving [personal] revelation is to 1), Sacrifice, and 2) Make a Covenant."
Elder Nattress, sharing the key to revelation from Elder Bednar
Stake Conference, 10/09

I'm so grateful for inspired counsel from our priesthood leaders and I have a testimony that when they give us a challenge and we follow through with that challenge, our spirituality will be strengthened, our lives and relationships will improve, and our overall happiness will grow.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Revelation and the Priesthood

"The spirit of revelation attends brethren who exercise their priesthood."
Elder Nattress
Stake Conference 10/09

Elder Nattress said this right after he gave all the brethren in attendance at that meeting the challenge to go home and give their wives a priesthood blessing. He talked about how important it is for the brethren in this church to exercise their priesthood righteously and help their wives by giving them blessings. I think it is good to be reminded, for both men and women, that the priesthood of God is not to be used lightly but that this power is on the earth to be used.

Family and Marriage Relationship

Elder K. Brett Nattress was the presiding authority at our Stake Conference this time. He shared so many wonderful insights and challenges with us. I loved hearing him speak each time he got up and I think I learned so much from him. It was truly inspired to have him at our conference.

In the Saturday evening session, Elder Nattress talked a little to us about families and our relationship with our spouse. These are a couple of the things he said:
  • Mothers in Zion bearing testimony to their children is the one bright shining hope. {This particular quote made me wonder, 'What does it take to be a Zion mother?' I'm not currently a mother, not even close really, but right now is when I can be preparing to be a mother. Hearing this segment of Elder Nattress's talk made me wonder what I should be doing in my life now to prepare to become a Zion mother someday. I don't think I have the answers but I think I'm gradually figuring it out.}
  • No matter what you do, your job or station in life, you will never rise above your relationship with your spouse.
  • Look to each other, only, first and always forever.
  • Serve one another. Give of yourself to your loved ones and you will grow to love them more.
  • Pray together. Small and simple thing are significant.
  • Your relationship is eternal. Never let anything or anyone come between you and your spouse.
Elder Nattress also talked a lot {both days} about Prophetic Patterns. Those things which the Brethren, the General Authorities and Apostles of the church always do that create righteous patterns in their lives, and how we can follow their examples in these patterns. One pattern Elder Nattress mentioned to us is how the Brethren approach all new things by asking these two questions:
  1. Will this strengthen my testimony of Jesus Christ?
  2. Will this strengthen my family?

I was glad to hear these two questions and learn more about this prophetic pattern. It is such a good way to be sure that we never allow things into our lives and families that will not answer affirmatively to both of those questions.

I always love hearing thoughts from the Brethren on what we should be doing in our families. It is one entity that is certainly under attack from Satan. I'm glad for the help we receive from our priesthood leaders to know how we can thwart the power of Satan and grow as strong family units. I hope that DH and I can always stay focused on the one thing that really matters: our family.

Monday Message: Lifting Burdens

This Mormon Messages clip is powerful. I invite you all to click over and watch the short clip - you will be uplifted!
Lifting Burdens

{I'm sorry you have to click the link - I couldn't find the embed code for the video.}

Sunday, October 25, 2009


"A little bit of faith goes a long way."
Sister in Stake Conference

This sister's story: She was introduced to the gospel while a teenager and developed a testimony of it. Her parents were very antagonistic towards the LDS church and told her that if she joined with them that she would no longer be welcome to live under their roof. After much deliberation and prayer, she finally decided that she had been given a testimony of the gospel, had felt the Spirit and knew that she should be baptized. She went against her parent's wishes and was baptized. Things were difficult for her but she doesn't regret her decision. She is now married and the mother of a beautiful baby boy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Effort brings happiness

"Strong family relationships require effort, but this effort is what brings happiness now and forever."
Brother in Stake Conference

This brother's story: After being married civilly to his wife for a year, this brother was blessed to be able to take his wife to the temple and be sealed to her for time and all eternity. A couple short weeks later, they welcomed their first baby into this world.
As this brother shared his testimony of the importance of eternal families, my own testimony of strengthened of the temple and eternal families. I am so grateful that I have been sealed to my wonderful husband in God's Holy House and that we have the promises of forever together if we keep our covenants. This is a great source of comfort and peace in my life.

Stake Conference

A week ago,my DH and I attended our bi-annual stake conference. It was a very spiritual enlightening experience for me. The things I learned at that conference have stuck with me all week and DH and I have had many wonderful discussions from things we learned. I'm going to be sharing insights and personal thoughts from that conference. Unfortunately, I didn't always catch the names of speakers who were members of our stake so some of the things I share will be anonymous. A lot of this is to share how living my religion in my day-to-day activities helps me through my life and what kind of an impact it has on me.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Prophetic Patterns

At Stake Conference, we watched a short clip from the videa, "On the Lord's Errand" about President Thomas S. Monson. We watched the parts of the film where President Monson shares stories of going to conferences and taking time to help one person. One story is that President Monson is in the Pacific Islands {I believe?} attending a conference and he feels impressed to personally shake every child's hand. At first he feels that the time constraints won't allow for such a thing, but then the impression returns and he decides to do it. When he tells the local leader of his desire, the leader is grateful and says that the children were all so excited for an apostle of the Lord to come see them and they were told that if they each prayed very hard that Pres. Monson would greet each of them and shake their hands. By following the impression he received, President Monson answered the childrens' prayers and they learned that the Lord does hear and answer our prayers.
The other story we saw depicted in the film was of President Monson attending a conference somewhere here in the US {I wish I could remember where}. While he was there, the stake president asked Pres. Monson if he would be able to give a little girl who had been plagued with cancer a blessing. Of course he was willing but then decided against it when he learned that the girl and her family were 80 miles away and would be unable to attend any of the conference meetings - the schedule wouldn't allow it. The family of the girl was disappointed, as they had been praying that Elder Monson would be able to give this girl a blessing. Finally, at one point, Elder Monson heard in his mind this scripture, "Suffer the little children to come unto me," and he knew right away that he should go to that girl and give her the asked for priesthood blessing. They changed the conference schedule and he went, praying and fasting with the family to give her the blessing she needed. When he was there, this little girl said, "Oh! Brother Monson, I knew you would come." Only a few days later, the little girl died, but the family felt peace in her blessing and knowing that their prayers had been answered.

From these two stories, we learned about some Prophetic Patterns that help us to receive revelation:
  1. We must be willing to change plans and follow the spirit when it prompts us to do something
  2. Follow the spirit explicitly
  3. Trust in the Lord
  4. Be willing to serve {which begins in the home}
  5. Sacrifice for the one, as the Savior did in His ministry
  6. Fast and pray for what is desired
  7. Preparation of the Spirit - always be prepared for what is prompted
  8. Understand and apply the voice of the spirit {in {Presdent Monson's case, this was understanding the scripture that came to his mind}
  9. Be Perfectly obedient in following the counsel of our leaders
  10. Accept the will of the Lord - always be on he Lord's errand
These ten things seem like a lot, but I believe that the last one encompasses them all. If we are on the Lord's errand, we will follow Him, trust Him, do as we are asked, and prepare ourselves for what the spirit prompts us.

Weaknesses make us realize the Atonement

"When we are weak, then we are strong in the Lord. The Atonement is infinite but it is also the most personal gift we can ever be given."
Sister in Stake Conference

This sister's story: She had complications and difficulties with her second pregnancy. After the delivery she had severe pain in her hip and could barely walk. After months of talking to the doctors, they discovered that she had nerve damage in her hip, causing the pain and difficulty walking. She has been using a cane to walk for 11 months while waiting for the nerves to grow back and the pain to cease, all while attending school and raising two children.
After the conference, I reflected on this sisters story. I wondered if I was strong enough to trust in the Lord, even if I were put through that kind of pain. My testimony of Christ's Atonement was strengthened from hearing hers born and I hope that if I'm ever faced with such pain that I can learn to trust in my Savior and the comfort He's promised through His Atonement.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Have the Holy Ghost

"When people are touched by the Spirit, they change right away. These changes bring us closer to, and help us become like, God. . . .
When the spirit attends us, we are in the presence of God."
President Chaffin
9th Stake

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday Message

I read this post from Blissfully Domestic and loved it! The autor is so right, that it is all too easy to lose our perspective and not appreciate the love we have today. And I also believe she is right when she says that we should ask ourselves, "How much did I love my Heavenly Father today and show Him that love?" and by that question can we measure the success of our day.
Enjoy reading!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Navigating our Mortal Journey

"In our search to obtain relief from the stresses of life, may we earnestly seek ways to simplify our lives. . . . May we be worthy to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost and follow the guidance of the Spirit as we navigate this mortal journey."
L. Tom Perry
"Let Him Do It with Simplicity, Ensign," Nov. 2008, 10

Monday, September 21, 2009

Building Character and Compassion

"Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering, and sorrow is part of our on-the-job training. These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others."
Joseph B. Wirthlin
"Come What May, and Love It, Ensign", Nov. 2008, 27

Monday, September 14, 2009

Choosing the Right Way

"If we choose the right way, we are sustained in our actions by the principles of righteousness, in the which there is power from the heavens. If we choose the wrong way and act on that choice, there is no such heavenly promise or power, and we are alone and are destined to fail."
William R. Bradford
"Righteousness, Ensign," Nov. 1999, 85

Monday, September 7, 2009

God adapts to our Intellectual Ability

"The truths regarding God are understandable to all His children, whatever their level of education or intellectual faculty."
Gérald Caussé
"Even a Child Can Understand, Ensign," Nov. 2008, 32

Monday, August 31, 2009

Opportunities in Differences

"God will help us see a difference in someone else not as a source of irritation but as a contribution. The Lord can help you see and value what another person brings which you lack. More than once the Lord has helped me see His kindness in giving me association with someone whose difference from me was just the help I needed. That has been the Lord’s way of adding something I lacked to serve Him better."
Henry B. Eyring
“Our Hearts Knit as One,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 70–71

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Spiritual Preparation for the Day

"There may be things in our character, in our behavior, or concerning our spiritual growth about which we need to counsel with Heavenly Father in morning prayer. After expressing appropriate thanks for blessings received, we plead for understanding, direction, and help to do the things we cannot do in our own strength alone."
David A. Bednar
"Pray Always, Ensign," Nov. 2008, 41

Monday, August 17, 2009

Prayers are Linked

"Morning and evening prayers—and all of the prayers in between—are not unrelated, discrete events; rather, they are linked together each day and across days, weeks, months, and even years."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Never Alone

"I testify of angels, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so I am testifying that God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face."
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Angelic Mortals

“We are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us. . . . Heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind."
Jeffrey R. Holland
"The Ministry of Angels, Ensign," Nov. 2008, 30

Monday, August 3, 2009

Express Thanks

"The most meaningful and spiritual prayers I have experienced contained many expressions of thanks and few, if any, requests. As I am blessed now to pray with apostles and prophets, I find among these modern-day leaders of the Savior's Church the same characteristic that describes Captain Moroni in the Book of Mormon: these are men whose hearts swell with thanksgiving to God for the many privileges and blessings which He bestows upon His people (see Alma 48:12)."
Elder David A. Bednar

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Scripture Thought
D&C 101:90 -

"And in his hot displeasure, and in his fierce anger, in his time, will cut off those wicked, unfaithful, and unjust stewards, and appoint them their portion among hypocrites, and unbelievers;"

Our responsibilities as stewards over that which God has appointed are very important! This scripture promted me ask myself these questions: 'Am I a wicked, unfaithful, or unjust steward? What are my stewardship responsibilities? Am I faithful in some and not others? What does it mean to be a wicked steward? an unjust steward? How can I be sure to never to fit under these three categories in my stewardships?'
I hope to figure out all the answers to these questions and share them here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Message

"Lessons I Learned as a Boy", by President Gordon B. Hinckley

President Hinckley was so good at sharing stories that were touching and made a person desire to change without telling them how to do that. I loved this story when I heard it. I don't remember where I heard it, I just remember that the story was familiar but with the video in addition, it is a moving representation.

Provident Living

“All of us are responsible to provide for ourselves and our families in both temporal and spiritual ways. To provide providently, we must practice the principles of provident living: joyfully living within our means, being content with what we have, avoiding excessive debt, and diligently saving and preparing for rainy-day emergencies. When we live providently, we can provide for ourselves and our families and also follow the Savior’s example to serve and bless others.”
Elder Robert D. Hales
“Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually,” Ensign, May 2009, 8

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Scripture Thought - Question
D&C 42:32, 53, 70 -
"And it shall come to pass, that after they are laid before the bishop of my church, and after that he has received these testimonies concerning the consecration of the properties of my church, that they cannot be taken from the church, agreeable to my commandments, every man shall be made accountable unto me, a steward over his own property, or that which he has received by consecration, as much as is sufficient for himself and family. . . .
"Thou shalt stand in the place of thy stewardship. . . .
"The priests and teachers shall have their stewardships, even as the members."

God makes us stewards over all our blessings; priests, teachers and even members of the church are stewards over all we've been given. I've been thinking about this a lot and wondering what my stewardship responsibilities as a member of the church are?

Any thoughts?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday Message

Create, by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I love the way this video was made - it is so inspiring. I wanted to find hidden talents after hearing this talk, and even more so after seeing this clip!

The Lord's Way

"The Lord's way is not hard. Life is hard, not the gospel."
Lawrence E. Corbridge

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Scripture Thought
1 Nephi 17:3 -

"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 strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness. "

This verse reminds me of 1 Nephi 3:7 in which Nephi tells his testimony about the Lord providing a means to accomplish what He has commanded us. In this (17:3) verse, we learn that when we keep God's commandments, He nourishes us and strengthens us, which gives us the means to continue keeping His commandments. I've been thinking a lot about this particular verse lately, and how all of God's commandments apply to this promise. Take the law of tithing for example. We have been given the command to pay tithing; it's a command that was instituted even in biblical times. When we pay our tithing, the Lord blesses us and strengthens us which gives us a greater resolve to pay our tithing further. Of course, we should pay our tithing because we love the Lord and want to keep His commandments, not just because we want blessings. But the Lord uses His spirit to help strengthen our testimony of His principles.

I believe this principle also applies to trials. Whenever the Lord speaks, it is commandment. I don't view anything He says as a "suggestion". This includes the trials we go through. Perhaps that sounds harsh in a way, but I believe that He desires what is best for us to be happy through eternity, and sometimes that means giving us {or commanding us to go through} trials. When we strive to continue faithful through our trials, He blesses us and gives us the "nourishment" we need to continue faithful in His commands. So this verse applies a circular reasoning to thinking about commandments and the Lord's will for us.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Worth of Souls

We had our Home Teachers here on Sunday and received a wonderful lesson from the Ensign. It is titled "Sugar Beets and the Worth of a Soul" and I felt very spiritually fed from it. In this lesson, President Monson shares a story from Bishop Marvin O. Ashton about sugar beets and likens the story to the worth of souls {I won't tell the story so you can go read it yourself and see it told in better words}. Our home teacher asked us about things that we do in the church to be sure that no one gets lost; things we do to help everyone realize their worth as a child of God. Dan mentioned home teaching {of course!} and our home teacher agreed and elaborated by saying that home and visiting teaching are some of the most important callings we have in the church, and yet they are the ones that are followed and magnified the least. Then he said something I've never thought of. He told us that home and visiting teaching is the Lord's way of reaching out and teaching the worth of souls; he taught us that we have home and visiting teaching because the worth of souls is great and because God wants us to reach out to one another.
This made me think about Moroni 6:4 where we learn the of the command to reach out to members of the church - that each member's name is recorded that they may be 1) remembered, and 2) nourished by the good word of God. Both of these injunctions are kept through home and visiting teaching. I was highly enlightened tonight with the added thoughts that we have these injunctions because we are loved by our Heavenly Father, because He feels that we all deserve to be remembered and nourished.
Then later Dan and I were talking about it and I had another thought. Many of us in the church pray to have missionary experiences but I think I am missing the mark. I pray for missionary opportunities and then I miss them - I have the greatest of all missionary tools offered right within the church through visiting teaching. I have this wonderful opportunity to teach the sisters in my stewardship, to be a missionary. I'd never thought of visiting teaching as an opportunity to become a missionary before. I thought of this because of the scripture is D&C that talks about the worth of souls and laboring to bring souls to Christ. What better way is there to bring souls to Christ than through home and visiting teaching??
After this discussion tonight and thinking about it, I'm going to resolve to be a better visiting teacher; to remember the sisters I teach {all throughout the month and not just when we go for the regular visit} and be sure I nourish them through the good word; to be a missionary. I'm resolving to be better.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Message

Marriage and Divorce, by Elder Dallin H. Oaks

I think that the words of advise Elder Oaks gives to couples struggling in their marriages also apply very well to any married couple. Very succint and touching.


"The Savior was critical of some of the early Saints for their 'lustful . . . desires' (D&C 101:6; see also D&C 88:121). These were people who lived in a non-television, non-film, non-Internet, non-iPod world. In a world now awash in sexualized images and music, are we free from lustful desires and their attendant evils?"
D. Todd Christofferson

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Scripture Thought

I feel as though this blog falls by the way side a little for me. I have three blogs, and usually my personal and cooking blogs get more updates than this one does. But I've been trying to write in a "scripture journal" with some thoughts from my studies in the scriptures and I've decided that I'm going to try and share some of those thoughts here. I can't guarantee that these thoughts will be daily, but I am going to try to have them more frequently so it will be a "spiritual journal" for me and not just a record of events and quotes that have helped me in some way.

Scripture Thought
1 Nephi 17:13 -
"And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led. "

Though this scripture is specifically talking to Lehi's family and their situation as they strive to get to the promised land, I think it can apply to our personal lives as well. God lightens our journey through life, this "mortal wilderness", with the scriptures, personal revelation, prophets, temples, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. He provides the way for us to get through life and trials by means of the Atonement, so that we can return to the "promised land," the Celestial Kingdom, on the provision that we keep His commandments. Because we know it is through the Atonement that we are able to return to live with God again, we know it is by our Savior - only through Him - we are led to that ultimate goal.

Any other thoughts?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Trust in the Lord

“‘God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.' The Lord Jesus Christ is our partner, helper, and advocate. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to be successful. If we do our part, He will step in."
Joseph B. Wirthlin

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sunday Will Come

This is a video from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin's talk, "Sunday will Come." Please visit the link below to see.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Greatest Gift

"By participating weekly and appropriately in the ordinance of the sacrament we qualify for the promise that we will 'always have his Spirit to be with [us].' That Spirit is the foundation of our testimony. It testifies of the Father and the Son, brings all things to our remembrance, and leads us into truth."

Dallin H. Oaks, "Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament," Ensign, Nov. 2008, 17

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Our Homes

“We may be well-advised to consider together, in family council, standards for our homes to keep them sacred and to allow them to be a ‘house of the Lord.’ The admonition to ‘establish . . . a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God’ (D&C 88:119) provides divine insight into the type of home the Lord would have us build. Doing such begins the construction of a ‘spiritual mansion’ in which we all may reside regardless of our worldly circumstance—a home filled with treasure that ‘neither moth nor rust doth corrupt’ (see Matthew 6:19–20; 3 Nephi 13:19–20).”

Gary E. Stevenson, "Sacred Homes, Sacred Temples,” Ensign, May 2009, 102

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hope is a Gift

"Hope is a gift of the Spirit. It is a hope that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the power of His Resurrection, we shall be raised unto life eternal and this because of our faith in the Savior."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Infinite Power of Hope," Ensign, Nov. 2008, 21

Friday, June 12, 2009

Weathering Storms with Optimism

I needed this today.

"We can't predict all the struggles and storms in life, not even the ones just around the next corner, but as persons of faith and hope, we know beyond the shadow of any doubt that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and the best is yet to come." [emphasis added]

Elder L. Tom Perry
"Let Him do it With Simplicity"

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Church Response to California Supreme Court Decision on Prop. 8

The Church has issued a statement in response to California's Supreme Court Decision that the citizens of California exercised their right to amend their constitution and pass Proposition 8. You can read the response here.
I was relieved when the Supreme Court recognized that the citizens of California exercised their right to pass Prop 8. And I think the church's response is very dignified {as all their responses are} and it is good to remember that this Church is based on God's principles and laws and the doctrines will not be modified to fit popular beliefs. To me, that really affirms to me that this is God's church and that His laws reign supreme.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


This is more of my thoughts and notes from our Stake Conference back in March. These thoughts come a talk given by Brother Hicks, but I can't remember anything else about him. The basic thoughts are pretty simple. This may seem a bit scattered, and for that I apologize. This is just some simple but profound thoughts about prayer, each new idea "bulleted" with an asterisk.

*Prayer is an opportunity to talk with God. Sometimes we worry about what we should say in our prayers, but it is not something we should worry about. Follow the counsel given in Matthew 10:19-20, which reads:
"But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
"For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you."

God will help you to know what to pray for. I can personally testify that He will help you and when you allow Him to, your prayers will become more meaningful to you and you will desire to pray more often, for longer periods, and with more intent.

*God doesn't want to hear "words" and vain repetitions (see Matthew 6:7). He wants to hear what is in our hearts. Talk to Him. Tell Him what is on your mind, what you are thinking and how you feel. Make Him your Best Friend.

*Revelation comes through our desire to learn and grow. God will answer our prayers if we are truly seeking the answer. I wonder if sometimes we do not "receive" an answer because we fear what the real answer may be and we don't really want to hear it. We must have our hearts prepared to receive the answer God sends. We must also seek out an appropriate environment to receive God's words. Jesus exemplifies this in Matthew 14:23, which says, "And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone." Being alone and creating an environment where we can have the spirit with us to help know what to pray for and to receive answers will also make our prayers more meaningful to us.

*I'd like to finish with a direct quote of something Brother Hicks said at the end of his talk. I agree with him completely:

"It is only through prayer that I have had my heart settled and found joy."
~Brother Hicks~

Monday, April 20, 2009

Believe in Yourself

"I believe in myself. I do not mean to say this with egotism or arrogance, but I believe in my capacity and in your capacity to do good, to make some contribution to this society of which we are a part. I believe that I am a child of God endowed with a divine birthright. I believe that there is something of divinity within me and within each of you. I believe that we have a godly inheritance and that it is our responsibility, our obligation, and our opportunity to cultivate and nurture the very best of these qualities within us. I do not have to be a scrub, though my work may be menial. Though my contribution may be small, I can perform it with dignity and offer it with unselfishness. My talents may not be great, but I can use them to bless the lives of others. I can be one who does his work with pride in that which comes from his hand and mind. I can be one who works with respect for my associates, for their opinions, for their beliefs, with appreciation for their problems, and with a desire to help them should they stumble. I believe in the principle that I can make a difference in this world."
Gordon B. Hinkley
("Articles of Belief," Bonneville International Corporation Management Seminar, February 10, 1991.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Badge of Honor

"Our responsibility is not trivial. It is not by chance that we are who we are. The keeping of covenants in these days of destiny will be a badge of honor throughout all the eternities."
Elder Neil L. Andersen

Newly Called Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Easter Message

The following is an Easter Message from the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

"At this Easter season of hope and renewal we testify of the glorious reality of the atonement and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The empty tomb brought comforting assurance and provided the answer to the question of Job, “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14).

"Because of the Savior’s resurrection we will overcome death and become the beneficiaries of His mercy and grace. In a world of trouble and uncertainty, His peace fills our hearts and eases our minds. Jesus is in very deed 'the way, the truth, and the life' (John 14:6).

"We give our sure witness that Jesus is the Christ. Though He was crucified, He rose triumphant from the tomb to our everlasting blessing and benefit. To each member of the human family He stands as our Advocate, our Savior, and our Friend."

New Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

I'm kinda slow in posting some new information from the Church. But I'm here now!

"Elder Neil Linden Andersen, 57, was named the newest apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Saturday during the morning session of the Church’s 179th Annual General Conference."

You can go here to read more about Elder Andersen and his new calling.

There is also a press release from the Church News as Elder Andersen met with reporters and answered questions regarding his new calling. Following are a few of his remarks:

"I'm very humbled by this day, very overwhelmed at what is ahead of me, and the great honor and responsibility that has come to me," he said. "I would express my appreciation to the members of the Church who voted to sustain me, and I pray that I can become what I must become in the years ahead."
"I'm not sure how it will change our lives, except that it will make us more contemplative and ponderous. Our own spiritual development must increase, which we are hoping it can do."

You can click on the article title to read the full report:

"'Great honor and responsibility' have come to him" by Sarah Jane Weaver Church News staff writer

Elder Andersen also shared his testimony with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during General Conference:

"Above all, we proclaim our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ," he said Sunday morning. "All that we are, all that we will ever be, we owe to Him. While we gaze in awe at His majesty, He does not ask us to stay our distance, but bids us to come unto Him: 'I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him'" (Revelation 3:20)."

The Lord is at the helm. He knows what He is doing and He will guide us if we believe in Him!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Weekly Article

For this week, I've chosen to highlight an article from April's Ensign rather than a Conference talk. When I read it, I felt the Spirit and knew that the words I was reading were true. The Holy Ghost truly is remarkable and the very fact that the Lord can communicate directly to us through Him is a tremendous gift. I know that if we ever have a question or desire to learn, we have only to ask and search and the Lord will make the truth known to us. We can always trust that He will answer our prayers and that the Spirit will make things known to us.

The article for this week is titled, "What does the Atonement Mean to You?" by Cecil O. Samuelson Jr.

One of the quotes that really meant a lot to me from this article was:
"His Atonement does indeed cover the world and all people from the beginning to the end. Let us not forget, however, that in its comprehensiveness and completeness it is also intensely personal and uniquely crafted to fit perfectly and address perfectly each of our own individual circumstances. The Father and the Son know each of us better than we know ourselves and have prepared an Atonement for us that is fully congruent with our needs, challenges, and possibilities."

What a remarkable promise that is made to each of us! This is just a part of what makes the Atonement so incredible - that it was make for all mankind but that each of us benefit from it individually and personally; that it is so far reaching that every man and woman can enjoy the blessings and promises available because of it but also because each of us is different, the Atonement meets our very own specific needs and challenges. What an incredible blessing!

There is so much to glean from this article that I encourage you to go read it. I would love to tell you everything I thought of it and all I learned from it, but it would be neither conducive to time nor appropriate. Go read it.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Trials + Faith in Christ = Refinement

Dan and I had Stake Conference this past weekend. It was really inspiring and I have been pondering over many things this week, particularly what I can do to be a better person and grow spiritually. I will be gradually sharing thoughts I’ve had from conference here, including snippets of the talks {from my notes} that we were blessed to learn from.

The first one I would like to share has been my thoughts on afflictions, trials, hardship, whatever you choose to name it. A Brother Lewis gave his talk based on this topic. He asked us this simple question which has really had me thinking: “How do I deal with affliction in my life and does it bring me closer to my Savior?” This question really got me to thinking about trials. He said that our trials should be steps that take us closer to Christ, not the stumbling blocks that bring us down. This was so profound to me. I am not currently suffering from any major trials, just the little ones we are always going through, but I had never really thought about trials like that before. I’ve always known that trials are a way of life, kind of the reason for this life, so that we can learn and grow and become perfected in Christ. But trials are more than that. Trials are designed to bring us closer to Christ; they are designed to test our faith in Him and learn to trust in Him.

I know that for me, this is the lesson I keep having to learn over and over. I will think to myself, “I can do this. I know what I need to do,” but the honest truth is that most of the time I really don’t know what I need to do. I trick myself into believing that I can do something on my own. But that’s not what life is about. If we have a God in Heaven, and He loves us, and He’s blessed us with the gifts of prayer and the Holy Ghost, why in the world would He expect us to cover ground on our trials alone? I don’t believe that my Heavenly Father is a terrible, mean God; I believe that He is wise and compassionate and that He truly cares about me.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin in his talk "Come what may, and Love it" from the October 2008 General Conference said, “. . . in spite of discouragement and adversity, those are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser, and happier as a result.” Isn’t that we all want? And, in a way, isn’t that what Brother Lewis is saying from above, that our trials should bring us closer to Christ? I know that I am happiest when I am close to God.

Another thing I’ve just recently really thought about is something a dear friend of mine mentioned in her blog. Amy talks about how our trials are tailored to fit us individually because something that may be really hard for me to deal with is probably not something that would be a big deal for you. I just love what she says and so {risking her fury with me for doing this without her permission} I’m going to share some of what she wrote:
“I guess we all have our own trials. I was reading in 1st Nephi, and I realized that everyone in Nephi's family has their own personal trials, along with generally being in the wilderness and such. Sariah has to deal with her sons not being with her, while they go into Jerusalem to get the plates from a man who's not known as the nicest guy. She's already sacrificed to go to the wilderness, and part of her thought [was] probably that at least she'd be able to be with her family. Lehi has to deal with his son being more humble than him, at a time when hunger had its own voice, and [with] the Lord speaking directly to his son instead of him. Sam and Joseph have to watch their brother Nephi being beaten up by Laman and Lemuel time and again.
”I don't think the Lord gives us more than we can handle on this earth, but I do think sometimes He puts us in the situations that are the hardest for us. I can remember thinking a few times, 'I'd almost rather have any other trial but this one' and wishing to trade lives with someone - but everyone has their own cross to bear.”
This is so profound to me! Thanks, Amy!

And now, this post has turned into an epistle, but I am really realizing that I don’t have to do anything by myself. God doesn’t expect me to and so I shouldn’t expect it of myself. And I’m discovering that when I turn my life over to God, He molds me into who I should be. He helps me walk my path, He makes me strong to carry my burdens, He opens my mind to learn what I need to learn, and suddenly, I can do it. No, He doesn’t take things away. He loves us too much. As Brother Lewis so adequately said at the end of his talk on Sunday, “He will help us through – not always out – of affliction if we exercise our faith in Christ.”

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Why the Church builds Temples

This is a beautiful short film produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints explaining why we build temples. It is an inspiring and uplifting film, and it is only just over 3 minutes long. Please enjoy it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

MormonAd - Wish you were Here

MormonAd has been creating videos to correspond to the ads they have been making for a long time. They are all very short and to the point. Here is the newest MormonAd, "Wish you were here." You can find it (and many other fun little videos) on the NewEra Website or on the NewEra channel of YouTube. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Professor Advocates Religious Freedom

Here is an article titled "Professor Advocates Religious Freedom" where we learn of a Brigham Young University law professor (W. Cole Durham Jr.) who "was awarded the 2009 International First Freedom Award for extraordinary advocacy of religious freedom." This is what he said in the article about religious freedom:
"I learned something fundamental about this heritage the summer I went to Iraq to work on the Iraqi constitution,” said Durham in his acceptance speech. “I had never before been asked to put my life on the line for principles in which I believed. I realized many things as a result of this experience. Perhaps most importantly I became convinced at a deeper level than ever before that religious freedom is a principle that is indeed worth risking one’s life for."

In a couple of posts I've made over the last couple of days I've mentioned how grateful I am to live in a country where religious freedom is prized and honored. I believe that President George W. Bush mirrors my sentiment in this comment he made (which can also be found in the article) in proclaiming Religious Freedom Day:
"Our Nation was founded by people seeking haven from religious persecution, and the religious liberty they found here remains one of this land’s greatest blessings. As Americans, we believe that all people have inherent dignity and worth. Though we may profess different creeds and worship in different manners and places, we respect each others humanity and expression of faith. People with diverse views can practice their faiths here while living together in peace and harmony, carrying on our Nation’s noble tradition of religious freedom."

LDS Leaders feel deep emotion at inauguration

I know this is a little bit old news, but I wanted to post it here anyway.

LDS Leaders feel deep emotion at inauguration

I love that we live in this free country and we are free to worship how we choose. I also love that leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are here to guide us and direct us in this world we live in. What a blessing!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tom Hanks Apologizes for Calling Mormon Supporters of Proposition 8 'Un-American'

Tom Hanks made a statement on January 16 saying that Mormons who voted in favor of California's Proposition 8 were "Un-American." Then on January 23, he apologized for what he said:
". . . everyone has a right to vote their conscience; nothing could be more American. To say members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who contributed to Proposition 8 are 'un-American' creates more division when the time calls for respectful disagreement. No one should use 'un- American' lightly or in haste. I did. I should not have."
Tom Hanks Apologizes for Calling Mormon Supporters of Proposition 8 'Un-American'

I am grateful that we have the ability to say "Sorry, I shouldn't have said that." I have nothing against differing opinions than my own. But please allow me to have my own opinions and express them; I'll do the same for you. I am grateful for people who are not afraid to admit that they said things in haste. I do that too - everyone does. I am especially grateful for the blessings of living in this wonderful country, where people are free to voice their opinions and feelings without fear of governmental discrimination. What a blessing that is for us!

Weekly Article

This weeks article is by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin. In light of his recent passing, I thought it wouls be appropriate to share something he told us. I thought this talk was so amazing. I was always struck with his optimistic, loving personality, and it shines right through this talk. It is powerful; I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

Come What May, and Love it

I know that Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin passed away last year (his funeral was held December 5, 2008), so it isn't quite as recent as it was when I first wrote this (and then forgot to post it). But it is still a relevant and heart-warming talk, given by a man who truly loved life and knew how to teach others to do the same.

My apologies

I apologize profusely for getting so far behind. I don't really have any good excuses so I won't feed you any. But I'm back and plan to post lots of great things: news updates, articles about life and from general authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and deals from DeseretBook and other places. Check back soon!