Monday, September 24, 2012

The Relief Society

I was sad to see Sis Beck released.  For me, she was a spiritual giant I looked up to.  Do you remember her talk "Mothers Who Know?"  I keep that in my purse and read it often.  This talk, her last as RS General President, was a nice tribute to the Relief Society.

"Just as the Lord’s prophets have continually taught elders and high priests their purposes and duties, they have shared their vision for the sisters of the Relief Society. From their counsel, it is clear that the purposes of Relief Society are to increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help those in need. Faith, family,and relief—these three simple words have come to express the vision of prophets for sisters in the Church."


Monday, September 17, 2012

The Race of Life

Pres Monson always has something happy to share with the members.  With everything around us becoming more negative and frustrating- with politics, financial situations, and social ills- we can find happiness in knowing who we are, where we came from, and where we are going.

He shared a poem by William Wordsworth-

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thanks Be to God

This was a good talk.  It's always a great reminder to give thanks to Heavenly Father for all that we have all the time- our physical gifts, spiritual gifts, and gospel gifts.
"How much better it would be if all could be more aware of God’s providence and love and express that gratitude to Him... Our degree of gratitude is a measure of our love for Him." 


Monday, September 3, 2012

Why of Priesthood Service & Willing and Worthy to Serve

These were great talks about Priesthood service.
The first by Pres Uchtdorf. He explains the power of Why and that it's the why that needs to come first and foremost before we can truly magnify the What in our calls to serve.
"We need to be constantly reminded of the eternal reasons behind the things we are commanded to do. The basic gospel principles need to be part of our life’s fabric, even if it means learning them over and over again. That doesn’t mean that this process should be rote or boring. Rather, when we teach the foundational principles in our homes or in church, let the flame of enthusiasm for the gospel and the fire of testimony bring light, warmth, and joy to the hearts of those we teach."

The second talk was given by Pres Monson.
"In one capacity or another, in one setting or another, I have been attending priesthood meetings for the past 72 years—since I was ordained a deacon at the age of 12. Time certainly marches on. Duty keeps cadence with that march. Duty does not dim nor diminish. Catastrophic conflicts come and go, but the war waged for the souls of men continues without abatement. Like a clarion call comes the word of the Lord to you, to me, and to priesthood holders everywhere: “Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.”...
"When that same call comes to you and to me, what will be our response? Will we murmur, as did Laman and Lemuel, and say, “This is a hard thing required of us”?7 Or will we, with Nephi, individually declare, “I will go. I will do”? Will we be willing to serve and to obey?"

Monday, August 27, 2012

How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration For Your Personal Life

I'm a little late in getting this published. Sorry, but I'm sure you can all relate to a busy First Day of School.

This is a great lesson to go over as the new school year begins.  Especially for older kids.  I know Chris found a lot from this lesson when we went over it a few weeks back.  There is so much to learn from this talk that you can apply to studying for tests, getting along with friends, and sharing the gospel with those around you.
I love how he still feels his wife, Jeannene.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rescue for Real Growth and Lost May Be Found

This was an inspiring talk by a member of the (recently released) Presiding Bishopric, Bishop Edgley. I could probably do more to help reactivate members in our ward.
One of the most meaningful and important ways to establish real growth in the Church is to reach out and rescue those who have been baptized yet are wandering in a less-active state, void of the blessings and saving ordinances."
I loved the story about the WW II rescue of US soldiers and locals who were held captive in a prison camp.

After the volunteers were assembled, the commanding officer instructed them somethinge like this: 'This evening you men meet with your religious leaders, you kneel down, and you swear to God that as long as you have a single breath of life, you will not let one of these men suffer one more moment.'"

I seem to be saying over and over again how each talk was so good, all of them were. I liked Elder Ballard's talk, too. :)
Today we live in a time when so much of this world has lost its way, particularly with regard to values and priorities within our homes...It is our homes and families that need reforming in this increasingly materialistic and secular world... When people make family and religious commitments to gospel principles, they begin to do better spiritually and often temportally as well...when families work and play together, neighborhoods and communities flourish, economies improve, and less government and fewer costly safety nets are required."

Monday, August 13, 2012

In Tune with the Music of Faith

As someone who loves music and has learned over the years the great power music has both physically and spiritually, I loved this talk. Elder Cook is becoming another favorite of mine. The musical imagery in this talk was fabulous! He uses this "music of faith" imagery from a speech given by Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks of England.
"there are those who are in tune with the music of faith. You know who you are. You love the Lord and His gospel and continuously try to live and share His message, especially with your families. You are in harmony with the promptings of the Spirit, have awakened to the power of God's words, have religious observance in your homes, and diligently try to live Christlike lives as His disciples."

Monday, August 6, 2012

Powers of Heaven and the Aaronic Priesthood

Elder Bednar shared this story before, right, about his Dad and the question he asked each week about him being baptized.  This was a good talk and I learned much about it and also thanked my Heavenly Father that I had a good Priesthood Holder in my home, two now.
A lot of times at work gatherings I will be told of how much the agents and staff appreciate Gabriel's example and his counsel.  There have been several times where staff members will tell me they were thankful for the insight and advice they were given by Gabriel.  Gabriel is very different from other Detachment Commanders and it is because he holds the priesthood, even if those who work for him don't know exactly what it is that sets him apart.
"I believe my father was wrong to judge the validity of our Church's claim to divine authority by the shortcomings of the men with whom is associated in our ward. But embedded in his question to me was a correct assumption that men who bear God's holy priesthood should be different from other men. Men who hold the priesthood are not inherently better than other men, but they should act differently."

Chris had an experience in his Teachers Quorum recently. He was the quorum president until about a month ago and while serving in this assignment, one Sunday as he was teaching he felt inspired to challenge the members of his quorum to hand out books of mormon to their friends at school.  One teacher, Foster, was having a hard time finding someone he felt would benefit, so at the last minute he put a couple in his back pack and while in the locker room after gym class asked the guys if anyone wanted a Book of Mormon.  Not the best approach, but there were a couple who took the 2 he had.  There was another boy who wanted one, but Foster was all out and promised to bring one the next day.  He did and this boy took it home.  
After a month or so, Chris and Foster hear about this young man in Seminary one morning where it was announced that this boy was going to be baptized and that everyone was invited to attend. There are about 6 wards that are zoned for the same high school, and this young man was taught in another ward so we hadn't heard what had come of the book of mormon invitation.  Chris and Foster were so excited.  Gabriel and I took Chris, Foster went with his mom, to the baptism of this young man and his mother!!  The spirit was so strong.  This mother, as she entered the water was so overcome with joy that there wasn't a dry eye in the whole room!  You could feel her love for the gospel and her Savior.  Afterward, Chris and Foster went up to present this young man with a scripture quad with his name on it.  Foster was the first to give him a missionary book of mormon and wanted to be the first to give him his real set.  They had gotten one for his mother as well.  (Very cool!)  When this mother found out who Chris and Foster were, and that they were the catalyst in their conversion, she was so overcome with gratitude!  Through tears she expressed her thanks for the boys' courage to share the gospel, as daunting as it can be for teenage boys.

It was an experience I think neither Chris or Foster, or us as parents will ever forget. As I read this talk by Elder Ochoa again, I was struck by the following:
"If only [every Aaronic Priesthood holder]could understand that they have the sacred duty to help their friends find the pathway that leads to the Savior.  If only they knew that Heavenly Father will given them the power to explain the truths of the restored gospel with such clarity and sincerity that others will fell the undeniable truthfulness of the words of Christ."\
"You are called to 'arise and sine forth' not to hide your light in darkness. Only those who are brave will be counted among the chosen." 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Abide in the Lord's Territory

I like Elder Soares. Chris used this talk in FHE and did a great job.
"You can't be right by doing wrong; you can't be wrong by doing right ... to sow in the Spirit means that all our thoughts, words, and actions must elevate us to the level of the divinity of our heavenly parents."

Monday, July 23, 2012

Laborers in the Vineyard

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland always give such great talks. This one was another.
The formula of faith is to hold on, work on, see it through, and let the distress of earlier hours- real or imagined- fall away in the abundance of the final reward."

Monday, July 16, 2012

Single Parents and Families Under Covenant

With Gabriel's deployment I found great comfort in this talk by Elder Baxter.
"it is through the hardships of life that we grow toward godhood as our character is shaped in the crucible of affliction, as the events of life take place ... along the way you will obtain compensatory blessings, even if they are not immediately apparent ... although you often feel alone, in truth you are never totally on your own. As you move forward in patience and faith, Providence will move with you; heaven will bestow its needful blessings"

Families Under Covenant
This talk by Elder Eyring was superb! 
for all the priesthood, a great work ahead is to lead in saving the part of Israel for which we are or will be responsible, OUR FAMILIES ... Let me suggest four things you can do as a priesthood father to lift and lead your family home again to be with Heavenly Father and the Savior. 
 "First gain and keep a sure witness that the keys of the priesthood are with us and held by the President of the Church.
"Second, .. love your wife ... choose .. to put her happiness above your own, I promise you that your love for her will increase.
"Third, enlist the entire family to love each other. President Ezra Taft Benson taught, 'in an eternal sense, salvation is a family affair'
"Fourth, lead your family in the Lord's way when discipline is needed." 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mountains to Climb

Pres Eyring is such an inspiration! As G's deployment is this week and I've been reading mroe and more and studying more and more to make sure I have a sure foundation to be able to have the Spirit to protect my children, to ensure my husband's protection, and to have the strength to carry on in FHE, scripture study, and family prayer on my own.
You and I have faith that the way to rise through and above trials is to believe that there is a "balm of Gilead" and that the Lord has promised, "I will not forsake thee' ... a foundation of faith in the reality of those promises takes time to build.. If the foundation of faith is not embedded in our hearts, the power to endure will crumble."

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Teaching Children to Understand/He Truly Loves Us

We recently read this in FHE. I love love love this talk!  G loved the talk so much he printed out some printouts for all of us to put into our scriptures. We do this now and then, glue quotes, preach my gospel lessons outlines, the family proclamation, etc into the extra pages of our scriptures.

the Lord instructs parents to teach their children to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost... Teaching our children to understand is more than just imparting information. It's helping our children get the doctrine into their hearts in a way that it becomes part of their very being and is reflected in their attitudes and behavior throughout their lives.

This next talk was a bit confusing. I think Elder Keolliker had a lot to say in a short time. But I was able glean out a few thoughts.
"How can we help each individual develop a desire to know more about Heavenly Father? How do we help them feel His Spirit? How can we help them know that we love them?... Two scriptures stand out in my mind that can help us find our way through [the distractions of the world] and feel the power of God's love.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sacrifice/ Coming to Ourselves

Elder Oaks is so very smart! His brother, USAF Retired 4 Star General Oaks, has been to our ward a couple times to visit, and he's simply a delight to be around! His wife is so sweet! Anyway.. back to Elder Oaks. As is customary of lawyers and judges, Elder Oaks distinctly outlines his written talks and I love it!
I am grateful for the marvelous examples of Christian love, service, and sacrifice I have seen among the Latter-day Saints. I see you performing your Church callings, often at great sacrifice of time and means. I see you serving missions at your own expense. I see you cheerfully donating your professional skills in service to your fellowmen. I see you caring for the poor through personal efforts and through supporting Church welfare and humanitarian contributions.10 All of this is affirmed in a nationwide study which concluded that active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “volunteer and donate significantly more than the average American and are even more generous in time and money than the upper [20 percent] of religious people in America.”
I believe that Latter-day Saints who give unselfish service and sacrifice in worshipful imitation of our Savior adhere to eternal values to a greater extent than any other group of people. Latter-day Saints look on their sacrifices of time and means as a part of their schooling and qualifying for eternity. This is a truth revealed in the Lectures on Faith, which teach that “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation. … It [is] through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life.”

It was so good to see Elder Hales, looking much better, at Conference! His talk was so sweet. I especially loved his counsel to those who teach, instruct, oversee the youth of the church.
As our spiritual desires increase, we become spiritually self-reliant. How, then, do we help others, ourselves, and our families increase our desires to follow the Savior and live His gospel? How do we strengthen our desires to repent, become worthy, and endure to the end? How do we help our youth and young adults let these desires work in them until they are converted and become true “saint[s] through the atonement of Christ”?
I challenge each of us to follow our spiritual desires and come to ourselves. Let’s have a talk with ourselves in the mirror and ask, “Where do I stand on living my covenants?” We are on the right path when we can say, “I worthily partake of the sacrament each week, I am worthy to hold a temple recommend and go to the temple, and I sacrifice to serve and bless others.”

Monday, June 18, 2012

Converted to His Gospel/The Doctrine of Christ

I love talks where they are clear about outlining the principle they are talking about! :) This one was one of those talks. Elder Hallstrom out lines three fundamental ways to have the gospel be our foundation:
    1.Deepen our understanding of Diety
    2.Focus on the ordinances and covenants
    3.Unite the gospel with the Church

The Lord wants the members of His Church to be fully converted to His gospel. This is the only sure way to have spiritual safety now and happiness forever.

This was a great talk and has helped us teach our children how to respond to those in their circle of friends who question things about the church.
We have seen of late a growing public interest in the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is something we welcome because, after all, our fundamental commission is to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, His doctrine, in all the world (see Matthew 28:19–20; D&C 112:28). But we must admit there has been and still persists some confusion about our doctrine and how it is established. That is the subject I wish to address today.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Little Child Shall Lead Them/ Upon Principles of Righteousness

It was very clear this April, that there was a renewed emphasis on the Family.  At least from the perspective here in our home and from others I've talked with about Conference. And Pres Packer doesn't mince words- he's bold and unapologetic.  I loved this talk. There was so much in here! I especially loved the parts about not scheduling the family so much with Church activities.
"The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is to see a husband and his wife and their children happy at home, protected by the principles and laws of the gospel, sealed safely in the covenants of the everlasting priesthood. Husbands and wives should understand that their first calling is to one another and then to their children... in all that we do in the Church, we need to provide a way,as leaders, for parents and children to have time together as families... Family time is sacred time and should be protected and respected. We urge our members to show devotion to their families."

This was another talk about Parents' Responsibilities to their Children. We've tried so hard to make sure our children understand the doctrine- (That's in another talk later on)- to have them feel the spirit on their own, to see the hand of God in their lives, and to feel the Spirit in their own good choices.
In raising our family, we decided that our most important goal would be to help our children establish their own connection to heaven. We knew that ultimately they would need to depend on the Lord, not on us. Brigham Young said, “Were I to draw a distinction in all the duties that are required of the children of men, … I would place first and foremost the duty of seeking unto the Lord our God until we open the path of communication from heaven to earth—from God to our own souls.”

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

As We Gather Again/ As We Close this Conference

This was one of the best descriptions of the purpose of Conference, and the blessings we can receive from Conference.
We meet each six months to strengthen one another, to extend encouragement, to provide comfort, to build faith. We are here to learn. Some of you may be seeking answers to questions and challenges you are experiencing in your life. Some are struggling with disappointments or losses. Each can be enlightened and uplifted and comforted as the Spirit of the Lord is felt.

Should there be changes which need to be made in your life, may you find the incentive and the courage to do so as you listen to the inspired words which will be spoken. May each of us resolve anew to live so that we are worthy sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father...Many messages will be shared during the next two days. I can assure you that those men and women who will address you have sought heaven’s help and direction as they have prepared their messages. They have been inspired concerning that which they will share with us.

His closing remarks echoed his opening. I especially appreciated the counsel to love your family and avoid contention.
My dear brothers and sisters, may your homes be filled with love and courtesy and with the Spirit of the Lord. Love your families. If there are disagreements or contentions among you, I urge you to settle them now. Said the Savior:

“There shall be no disputations among you. …

“For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.

We have been so richly blessed as we have listened to the counsel and testimonies of those who have spoken to us. I think you will agree with me that we have felt the Spirit of the Lord as our hearts have been touched and our testimonies strengthened...Now as we leave this conference, I invoke the blessings of heaven upon each of you. May you who are away from your homes return to them safely. May you ponder the truths you have heard, and may they help you to become even better than you were when conference began two days ago.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Commemorating Memorial Day with Kids

Commemorating Memorial Day with Kids |

Power of Prayer

If it's one thing my kids know from family experiences, it's that God hears and answers our prayers. Often I will hear my youngest say, "See Mom! Heavenly Father heard our prayers!"

Little children, young people, and adults alike, please believe how very much your loving Heavenly Father wants to bless you. But because He will not infringe upon our agency, we must ask for His help. This is generally done through prayer. Prayer is one of the most precious gifts of God to man.

Monday, May 21, 2012

This was a great talk! I try to read this right before I'm scheduled to teach in young women. I taught an Easter lesson month ago and was so impressed at how the spirit touched hearts more than the teacher (me) because I was clearly a mess (blubbering) trying to share my testimony of the Atonement and the gift of eternal life and forever families.

While we are all teachers, we must fully realize that it is the Holy Ghost who is the real teacher and witness of all truth. Those who do not fully understand this either try to take over for the Holy Ghost and do everything themselves, politely invite the Spirit to be with them but only in a supporting role, or believe they are turning all their teaching over to the Spirit when, in truth, they are actually just “winging it.” All parents, leaders, and teachers have the responsibility to teach “by the Spirit.” They should not teach “in front of the Spirit” or “behind the Spirit” but “by the Spirit” so the Spirit can teach the truth unrestrained.

Moroni helps us understand how we can teach by the Spirit without replacing, diluting, or dismissing the Holy Ghost as the real teacher. Moroni said the Saints conducted their experiences “after the manner of the workings of the Spirit.”3 This requires more than just having the Spirit with us. To conduct ourselves “after the manner” of the Holy Ghost means that we may need to change our way of teaching to emulate the way the Holy Ghost teaches. As we align our manner with the Holy Ghost’s manner, then the Holy Ghost can teach and testify without restraint.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Ensigns are Out!

We had ours come through the mail, but the etras were finally put on the shelf at our local Distribution Center/Deseret Book store. The kids were able to get their own copies last night during FHE. They put their names on the cover (and all over by our 2 youngest) and we handed out new red pencils for highlighting. I take silver duct tape and wrap once around so I can then mark each pencil with initials so that there aren't any arguing over whose pencil it is- crazy what little things kids can fight over! :) We had them bring out their notes from Conference and tell us what talk was their favorite and some of the things they wrote down while listening. It was fun to hear what each thought.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Stand in Holy Places/ Choose Eternal Life

I was intrigued by the article he mentioned by Jonathan Sacks. I looked it up on the Wall Street Journal website and it was both fascinating and scary.

“There are large parts of [the world] where religion is a thing of the past and there is no counter-voice to the culture of buy it, spend it, wear it, flaunt it, because you’re worth it. The message is that morality is passé, conscience is for wimps, and the single overriding command is ‘Thou shalt not be found out.’”

My brothers and sisters, this—unfortunately—describes much of the world around us. Do we wring our hands in despair and wonder how we’ll ever survive in such a world? No. Indeed, we have in our lives the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we know that morality is not passé, that our conscience is there to guide us, and that we are responsible for our actions.

I love when people share stories that aren't so flattering, that show they are human. This story of swimming in unsafe waters was a good one.

In reality we have only two eternal choices, each with eternal consequences: choose to follow the Savior of the world and thus choose eternal life with our Heavenly Father or choose to follow the world and thus choose to separate ourselves from Heavenly Father eternally.

We cannot successfully choose both the safety of righteousness and the dangers of worldliness. Wading or dabbling in worldliness may seem harmless, but so did my “refreshing” swim!

Like the current that could have changed the course of my family’s lives, today’s currents of worldliness, deceptive philosophies, false teachings, and rampant immorality seek to drag us away and eternally separate us from our families and from our Heavenly Father.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Teachings of Jesus/ Importance of a Name

Our youngest used this talk in FHE a couple weeks ago and did a fabulous job! It was simple for him and easy to understand and share with the rest of this.

I address believers but others as well. As Elder Tad R. Callister taught us this morning, some who call themselves Christians praise Jesus as a great teacher but refrain from affirming His divinity. To address them, I have used the words of Jesus Himself. We should all consider what He Himself taught about who He is and what He was sent to earth to do.

Elder Ballard gave a beautiful talk on the importance of the name of the church and started off with a beautiful comparison of naming a child.

Because the full name of the Church is so important, I echo the revelations from the scriptures, the First Presidency’s instructions in letters of 1982 and 2001, and the words of other Apostles who have encouraged the members of the Church to uphold and teach the world that the Church is known by the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the name by which the Lord will call us at the last day. It is the name by which His Church will be distinguished from all others.

Monday, April 30, 2012

I was listening to John Bytheway's talk "Five Scriptures" that will something- change your life maybe I can't remember... anyway.. one of the scriptures was from 1 Nephi 11:17. The angel asks Nephi if he understands the condescension of God. Nephi responds
And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

We don't know everything but one thing we CAN know- that God loves His children.

Elder Hales's talk was equally moving. He clearly is suffering physical ailments.

... the purpose of our life on earth is to grow, develop, and be strengthened through our own experiences. How do we do this? The scriptures give us an answer in one simple phrase: we “wait upon the Lord.” Tests and trials are given to all of us. These mortal challenges allow us and our Heavenly Father to see whether we will exercise our agency to follow His Son. He already knows, and we have the opportunity to learn, that no matter how difficult our circumstances, “all these things shall [be for our] experience, and … [our] good.”

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Book of Mormon

Elder Eyring's talk about the Book of Mormon was one I used in my YW lesson to the Beehives.
We learn from the words of Alma, the great Book of Mormon prophet, what we promised God that we would become: “Willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life.”

"That is a lofty charge and a glorious promise from God. My message today is of encouragement. Just as the Book of Mormon makes the charge plain to us, it also directs us upward on the path to eternal life.

"First, we promised to become charitable. Second, we promised to become witnesses of God. And third, we promised to endure. The Book of Mormon is the best guide to learn how well we are doing and how to do better.

The talk by Elder Callister is one we've been using as a couple as we are teaching a woman from Lebanon. She is devout Catholic and her husband has been a member just over a year and recently went to the temple for the first time. She's going to be a hard nut to crack, but we love her!