Friday, November 4, 2016

The Book of Mormon--Keystone of Our Religion

I have been doing some pondering and study.  I feel a need to let my family know the importance of studying the scriptures.  There are times in our lives when we seriously study the scriptures such as in seminary, institute, while on missions, during times of trial.  Then life happens and gets in our way.  We forget the thing that helped us gain a testimony in the first place.  We still have a testimony but we feed it in a haphazard way.  We read the scripture but not every day.  It is tough I know.  I have had this 'on again, off again' cycle of scripture study in my life.  I really want to retain my testimony of the gospel, the Book of Mormon, my Savior, temple work, genealogy, and all that goes along with it.  Several times in General Conference I heard reference to studying the Book of Mormon and decided that was what I really needed to be doing.  I looked up the talk by Ezra Taft Benson.  He also quoted Marion G Romney.  I love these quotes.  I feel we need to let my posterity know that I do have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and it can affect our lives in great and wonderful ways.  I have started the 21 day challenge for gaining and retaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon.  I challenge to to read it too. 21 day challenge to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon
President Ezra Taft Benson gave three reasons for studying the Book of Mormon
"The first is that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. This was the Prophet Joseph Smith’s statement. He testified that “the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion” (Introduction to the Book of Mormon). A keystone is the central stone in an arch. It holds all the other stones in place, and if removed, the arch crumbles.
"The second great reason why we must make the Book of Mormon a center focus of study is that it was written for our day. The Nephites never had the book; neither did the Lamanites of ancient times. It was meant for us. Mormon wrote near the end of the Nephite civilization. Under the inspiration of God, who sees all things from the beginning, he abridged centuries of records, choosing the stories, speeches, and events that would be most helpful to us.
"The third reason why the Book of Mormon is of such value to Latter-day Saints is given in the same statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith cited previously. He said, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (History of the Church, 4:461). That is the third reason for studying the book. It helps us draw nearer to God. Is there not something deep in our hearts that longs to draw nearer to God, to be more like Him in our daily walk, to feel His presence with us constantly? If so, then the Book of Mormon will help us do so more than any other book.
"...President Marion G. Romney, ...who knows of himself of the power that resides in this book, testified of the blessings that can come into the lives of those who will read and study the Book of Mormon. He said:
“I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness” (Ensign, May 1980, p. 67)."
(The Book of Mormon--Keystone of Our Religion, By Ezra Taft Benson, President of the Church, October General Conference, 1986)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

This is What CHRISTmas is All About

I love this time of year with all the beautiful music and videos of our Savior Jesus Christ.  The music Hallelujah is beautiful.  The video well done.  I am so grateful to my Savior that he was willing to die for me that I might be able to return to my Father in Heaven.

Moses 1:39
For behold, this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Our Savior wants each of us to return to our Father and have eternal life with Him.  He was willing to suffer, bleed and die for all man kind.  I am thankful "for the matchless gift of His divine Son."

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Spiritually Self-reliant

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately.  I have been wondering what I have done or need to do to become more spiritually self-reliant.  I feel like the world is in such turmoil.  I keep asking what more I can do to stay focused on what is really important.

Today in Sunday School a man made a comment that I really liked.  He said that he was asked once by a man that did not think being chase, smoking, or drinking were a problem.  The man asked if he was not open minded.  He told the man no that he knew what he knew and that he believed in being anchored.  He said being open minded means that you allowing the winds of change blow your ship in any direction the winds choose to blow you.  Being anchored allows you to stay in one place in spite of the fierceness of the winds.

Being spiritually self-reliant is my anchor.  I am finding that the more I learn, the more I want to know.  The past couple of months I have been so grateful for my dear husband.  He has allowed me to exercise every morning while he cooks breakfast.  While I exercise I study my scriptures.  I am so thankful for that 45 minutes that I start my day with.  I am feeling that anchor that is hooking me to my Savior.  I am feeling peace in a very troubled world.

 The other thing we have been trying to do is to attend the temple once a week.  There have been a couple of weeks that work has prevented us from attending but for the most part we have been there.  My Savior loves me.  Not because I am perfect but because He is perfect.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I Am Back

So is it time that I got back into the blog game?  YES!  What is my reason for staying away so long?  That is easy to answer.  It is something I am very good at.  PROCRASTINATION!  Oh how I need to get that word out of my life and how it just keeps sneaking back in the door once I throw it out.

Wikipedia defines procrastination as "the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time."   My plan was to blog on Sunday.  Then Sunday rolls around and I find myself doing more pleasurable things like taking a nap.  Well today I fought the nap battle and won.  Here I am blogging and not the least bit tired.

Now to blog about something important to me instead of the junk I just wrote.

This morning I was listening to a talk by Cecil O Samuelson.  He said something that just keeps going around and around in my head.  He said, "God loves us not because we are good but because He is good."

I love that.  So many times when I make a mistake the thought comes into my head that I am now unworthy.  God will not want me back.  It is too late to turn around and go back to HIM.  Then I remember who is talking.  It is satan.  Because it is too late for him, he wants it to be too late for all of us.  He want us to be as miserable as he is.

God on the other hand is saying it is never too late.  I love you now and always.  I want you back to live with me.  It is not too late to turn around and correct your mistakes.  There is a good video on lds.org called Wrong Roads.  It is by Elder Jeffery R. Holland.  he tell a personal experience that reminds us to always trust God and the direction He gives us.  He says that when we make decisions, God expects us to pray, trust, and be believing and then not to give up, panic, or jump ship when something doesn't seem to be going right.

Satan, on the other hand, wants to deceive us and get us on the wrong path that will lead us away from God.  He wants to overthrow us.  He tries to make the glitter of the world look better that which will bring us eternal happiness.

I know that God lives.  I know that God loves me.  He loves me not because I am good but because He is good.  He wants what is best for each for me and each one of us.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Prayer

I want to work on improving my prayers.  I was thinking of Jared and the brother of Jared.  His family had been promised a choice land, free from bondage and captivity.  All they had to do was serve God.  They came to a place by the sea and stayed there for 4 years.  Then the Lord came and talked to the brother of Jared for three hours and chewed him out for not remembering to "Call upon the name of the Lord." 

I have been kind of wondering about that.  Somehow I keep thinking that the brother of Jared was praying but not with the feeling that he had been praying with when his family thought their language was going to be confounded.  I was thinking about my own prayers.  When there is something that I have a deep feeling about I notice my prayers are deeper, more heart felt.  Then other times my prayers are superficial.  I'm just saying words with no feeling.  I am wondering if the brother of Jared forgetting to use feeling?

Elder Richard G. Scott says, "A key to improved prayer is to learn to ask the right questions.  Consider changing from asking for the things you want to honestly seeking what He wants for you.  Then as you learn His will, pray that you will be led to have the strength to fulfill it."  ("Using the Supernal gift of Prayer," Ensign, May 2007.)

Now I am thinking I need to honestly learn what the Lord wants for me instead of what I want for me.  D&C 19:23 says:  "Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me."  I need to ask in EVERY prayer what the Lord wants for me.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Where God's Full Presence Shines

A couple of weeks ago our 19th grandchild was born. He is beautiful. I have always thought that the veil between heaven and earth is very thin for babies. I have often thought that my babies were looking around the room at someone I could not see. I feel as if the reason babies cannot talk is so they will not tell us too much about heaven.

So, I was holding baby Jacob and talking with his mom about how thin the veil between heaven and earth might be. We were wondering if family that has passed on would be able to visit with him. I even asked Jacob if he could see his grandparents. All of a sudden Jacob smiled. Oh I know everyone says it is gas. I don't believe it for a moment. I have always thought that when a newborn baby smiles he is thinking of heaven. When he cries, he is thinking of birth. I thought, you know I think the veil is a lot thinner that even I think.

Then today I went with my husband to the nursing home to help with sacrament meeting. We helped gather those that wanted to go to church. Then I led the singing. We were singing the sacrament hymn "How Great the Wisdom and the Love." On the second verse it says:

"His precious blood he freely spilt;
His life he freely gave,
A sinless sacrifice for guilt,
A dying world to save."

As I looked up I saw a dying world in front of me. Tears sprang to my eyes. When we sang the 4th verse, I felt God's presence grow stronger in the room.

"He marked the path and led the way,
And every point defines
To light and life and endless day
Where God's full presence shines."

I couldn't help but wonder how endless some of their days feel, and yet God's full presence was there in that room, with people who's lives are so difficult.

So I have decided that the veil is thin for a newborn baby. It is also thin for those who are nearing the end of their lives. I felt God's full presence shine. What a wonderful day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How to Strengthen Husband & Wife Relationships

During stake conference President Staker quoted Elder Callister and gave us a list of 7 ways to strengthen husband/wife relationships. For some reason lists always make me perk up and listen.

1. Adopt an unyielding commitment to make it work.
I like the work "unyielding." It seems that too many people go into marriage thinking what they will do when marriage doesn't work instead of what will I do to make it work.

2. Adopt an "Is it I?" principle.
At the last supper, Jesus told the twelve apostles that one was about to betray him. "...They were exceeding sorrowful, and began everyone of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?" (Matt. 26:22) President Staker said when you have problems in your marriage you ask yourself "Is it I?" and the answer is always "YES!" It reminds me of a song I sing to my kids at school.

"I'm gonna tell, I'm gonna tell.
I'm gonna holler and I'm gonna yell.
I'll get you in trouble for everything you do.
I'm gonna tell on you.
....I won't tell teacher what I did to you,
I'm just gonna tell on you.

Notice the apostles were not looking around to see who they could blame for betraying Christ. Or who they thought might be the one to betray their lord and savior. They were looking within their own souls to see what they needed to fix. They were looking so hard within that they didn't even notice who was looking guilty.

Is it I? YES

3. Make your spouses happy. Make sure they are successful.
Don't spend your time trying to make your spouse guess what you want. President Staker said his mother told his wife that if she wanted flowers for her birthday etc. to go buy them and than thank him for the beautiful flowers. She will be happy with the flowers and he will be happy because she got what she wanted. I am not sure you would not have to go to that extreme but really if you want something tell your spouse what it is.

4. Stay out of Debt!
What more needs to be said than that? Debt binds you down and we must be free.

5. Speak in soft and kind voices and words.
The words spoken in the home are the most important. Some of the wittiest things ever thought should be left unsaid.

6. Make parenting a joint adventure.
Don't leave everything to your spouse. Take turns. Work together. Play together.

7. Pray together.
How can you stay angry at someone you are praying with and for?

Eternal Marriage has become a concept of time rather than a quality of life. It should be a quality of life because you wish to spend time together.