Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Hastening the Lords Game Plan

As a mother of boys who love sports, I loved this talk. In fact our oldest will be using this for FHE in January.
Since we are all on the Lords team, do we each have our own winning game plan? If we, as members, really loved our family, friends, and associates, wouldn't we want to share our testimony of the restored gospel with them?
A few of our kids are having a hard time with this recent move.  They are stuck wanting to live in the last place, think of their friends, wishing for the weather (although I can't blame them for that), and not finding joy and opportunity in the present in the place we are now.  I'm hoping this talk will better motivate them to think of what can be done now and who we can touch here.

What would you do if the prophet of The Lord really called you?  Well, he has!  President  Thomas S. Monson, as he did once again this morning, has called each one of us to a very important work.  He said, "Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to labor in the Lord's vineyard to bring souls unto Him".
Have we been listening? 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Articles for Christmas


Monday, December 16, 2013

Moral Force of Women/ Power in the Priesthood

We used this talk in Relief Society a few weeks ago. It was a good lesson with a lot of participation in the way of comments and dialog.
There are many strong feelings in the church and especially in the world on Women and their "place" in the Church. This was a good talk if you took it in the spirit it was given.
whether you are single or married, whether you have borne children or not, whether you are old, young, or in between, your moral authority is vital, and perhaps we have begun to take it and you for granted. Certainly there are trends and forces at work that would weaken and even eliminate your influence, to the great detriment of individuals, families, and society at large. Let me mention three as a caution and a warning.
A pernicious philosophy that undermines women’s moral influence is the devaluation of marriage and of motherhood and homemaking as a career. Some view homemaking with outright contempt, arguing it demeans women and that the relentless demands of raising children are a form of exploitation.8 They ridicule what they call “the mommy track” as a career. This is not fair or right. We do not diminish the value of what women or men achieve in any worthy endeavor or career—we all benefit from those achievements—but we still recognize there is not a higher good than motherhood and fatherhood in marriage. There is no superior career, and no amount of money, authority, or public acclaim can exceed the ultimate rewards of family. Whatever else a woman may accomplish, her moral influence is no more optimally employed than here.

Elder Andersen's talk was another one that was well written and delivered. Another topic that is tricky and needed in our society today.
My message to this faithful woman and to all is that we can live every hour “blessed by the strength of priesthood power,” whatever our circumstance...The power of God’s holy priesthood is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I testify that as you worthily participate in the ordinances of the priesthood, the Lord will give you greater strength, peace, and eternal perspective. Whatever your situation, your home will be “blessed by the strength of priesthood power” and those close to you will more fully desire these blessings for themselves.
As men and women, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters of God, we move forward together. This is our opportunity, our responsibility, and our blessing. This is our destiny—to prepare the kingdom of God for the return of the Savior.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Key to Spiritual Protection

There is so much to learn from in this talk by Pres Packer. Pres Packer often teaches parents how to create a home of learning and sanctuary from the world.
Parents wonder if there is a safe place to raise children. There is a safe place. It is in a gospel-centered home. We focus on the family in the Church, and we counsel parents everywhere to raise their children in righteousness...
In Paul's revelation, in addition to the list of challenges and problems, he also tells us what we can do to protect ourselves...
The scriptures hold the keys to spiritual protection. They contain the doctrine and laws and ordinances that will bring each child of God to a testimony of Jesus Christ...
Children taught an understanding of the scriptures early in life will come to know the parth they should walk and will be more inclined to remain on that path. Those who stray will have the ability to return and, with help, can find their way back."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

No More Strangers/ Come Join with Us

These were great talks!!! A recent concert who watched to conference with us commented that she'd never heard a church say they weren't perfect and that we had problems but that shouldn't impede the reason for worshipping God. 
It was Pres Uchtdorf's talk that she especially liked. 

"The Church is designed to nourish the imperfect, the struggling, and the exhausted.  It is filled with people who desire with all their heart to keep the commandments, even if they haven't mastered them yet."

Bishop Caussé's talk was very similar. 
"In this Church there are no strangers and no outcasts. There are only brothers and sisters... In this Churh our wards and our quorums do not belong to us. They belong to Jesus Christ. Whoever enters our meetinghouses should feel at home. The responsibility to welcome everyone has growing importance.... It is your duty to reach out anyone who appears at the doors of your church building. Welcome them with gratitude and without prejudice... 
"Please make the first move to help them feel welcome and loved, rather than waiting for them to come to you."

I read this and immediately resolved to do a better job of looking out for those who are new at Church.  I'm not always the most outgoing so I need to work on this. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Windows of Heaven, Articles of Faith, No Other Gods

Making the schedule this time was a bit tricky. This week we needed to have three talks- one or more of your own choosing to read on your own.
Elder Bednar's talk was one I was assigned to speak on in Sacrament Meeting last week. It was a nice reminder of the small and simple blessings of tithing and how to budget in our family. It was a nice feeling to know we are living the way the Lord has shown us. Tithing has always been an easy law to follow and to want to follow.

I really liked Elder L. Tom Perry's talk about the Articles of Faith. He always has such beautiful stories to tell from his life.
When I was given the assignment to speak in the priesthood session of general conference, I immediately thought of a wonderful Primary teacher. Her great desire was to prepare us to be worthy of receiving the priesthood. She grilled us on the requirements then in place for graduation from Primary—memorize the names of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the Articles of Faith. She also made us a promise—if all of us could recite the thirteen Articles of Faith by memory, we could choose the place and go on an outing for our last class...
She said memorizing the Articles of Faith would mean nothing more than a lot of words unless we understood the doctrines and principles contained in them. She encouraged us to study the gospel doctrine taught in each of the Articles of Faith. She explained that the doctrine found in the Articles of Faith was divided into sections...
The truths taught in the Articles of Faith build upon one another like the components of a cell phone mutually supporting one another. Like the elaborate supply chain that adds components to a cell phone, the Articles of Faith supply us with key doctrines of the Restoration. Each article of faith adds unique value to our understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Elder Oak's is always an exceptional speaker. Perhaps it's the judge in him. (He was on the Utah Supreme Court.) This was another good talk to remind me of where my priorities should be. The statistics he quoted where eye-opening!
What other priorities are being “served” ahead of God by persons—even religious persons—in our day?...
The principle is not whether we have other priorities. The question posed by the second commandment is “What is our ultimate priority?” Are we serving priorities or gods ahead of the God we profess to worship? Have we forgotten to follow the Savior who taught that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments? (see John 14:15). If so, our priorities have been turned upside down by the spiritual apathy and undisciplined appetites so common in our day.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Look Ahead and Look Up

I loved hearing from Elder Dube.  It is the first that I can remember, hearing from an African in General Conference.  My husband and I were reminded of the time we spent living and serving in the Inner City.  We had a few families immigrate from Nigeria.  The stories they told of their conversion and of being at the Agra Temple dedication were miraculous to say the least.  The people of Africa are truly inspiring and deeply spiritual.

Elder Dube's talk was great!

My dear brothers and sisters, the covenant we made with the Lord when we were baptized, “to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in”, is a lifelong commitment. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf counseled, “Those who have entered the waters of baptism and received the gift of the Holy Ghost have set their feet on the path of discipleship and are charged to follow steadily and fully in the footsteps of our Savior” .
“For verily I say unto you, blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether in life or in death; and he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven.
“Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation” (D&C 58:2–3).
We too can look ahead and believe.

Elder Ochoa has always had great stories to tell! Do you remember in 2012 the story of the Young Men in South Africa- Thabiso and Tebello?
The story he relates from his childhood is timeless- showing the natural tendencies of boyhood (I was able to recognize those boyish traits in my own sons), and also the hand of a loving Father in Heaven for each of His children.
"As children we were just thinking about ourselves. We never thought about the loved ones who were desperately searching for us back home—if we had, we would have never delayed our journey in such a useless pursuit. And if we had been wiser, we would have looked at the sky, spotted the clouds forming, and accelerated our pace to stay ahead of the storm. Now that I have a little more experience, I always remind myself,
Don’t forget to look up.
"My dear brothers and sisters, if you ever come across anything that causes you to question your testimony of the gospel, I plead with you to look up. Look to the Source of all wisdom and truth. Nourish your faith and testimony with the word of God. There are those in the world who seek to undermine your faith by mixing lies with half-truths. This is why it is absolutely critical that you remain constantly worthy of the Spirit. The companionship of the Holy Ghost is not just a pleasant convenience—it is essential to your spiritual survival."

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mormon Tab Choir Veteran's Day Special

Do We Know What We Have? and Claim the Blessings

I especially liked Sis Reeves talk from the Relief Society Broadcast. I thought of the investigator taking the missionary lessons in our home twice a week. He is such a good man and has been going through so very much- life threatening cancer, excommunication from Catholic Church to which he's devoted most of his life, and family and friends rejecting him.
Sis Reeves said,
"My dear sisters, the Lord allows us to be tried and tested, sometimes to our maximum capacity. We have seen the lives of loved ones—and maybe our own—figuratively burned to the ground and have wondered why a loving and caring Heavenly Father would allow such things to happen. But He does not leave us in the ashes; He stands with open arms, eagerly inviting us to come to Him. He is building our lives into magnificent temples where His Spirit can dwell eternally."

I know this to be true in my life and the lives of family members. The Lord promised Joseph Smith "all these things shall be for thy good". And Alma teaches us as he teaches his son Helaman "I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and in their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day".

In Sis Stephens talk we learn how priesthood ordinances and covenants can bring great blessings. She quoted Elder Ballard
“Our Father in Heaven is generous with His power. All men and all women have access to this power for help in our own lives. All who have made sacred covenants with the Lord and who honor those covenants are eligible to receive personal revelation, to be blessed by the ministering of angels, [and] to commune with God.”

Monday, November 4, 2013

Learning from General Conference

It wasn't until the last several years as our family began to use the talks from General Conference for FHE, that we truly came to love and learn from Conference.  We have gained such a powerful testimony of the blessings that come from studying the words ofliving  prophets and general authorities. Our children's understanding of gospel doctrine and principles has increased as well as their love for the Prophet. 

We have been helping the sister missionaries teach a gentleman in our home for the past few weeks. He has truly been searching for God's will in his life and it has been exciting to watch and hear his testimony grow.  Tomorrow night he will watch Pres Monson from conference- not sure which one the sisters will choose- and I think this opening talk by Pres Monson would be a good one. 

How has your family been blessed by conference?  

How have you been able to incorporate what you've heard and learned at conference in your family or personal life?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The new reading schedule is up. Let me know if you see any corrections that need to be made. I loved Conference!! I hope that I can be more diligent at reading and truly pondering the teachings that were given. I especially liked Elder Hales' talk right at the beginning of Conference ON Conference.
...if we listen and obey the prophets now, including those who will speak in this very conference, we will be strengthened and protected.
The greatest blessings of general conference come to us after the conference is over. Remember the pattern recorded frequently in scripture: we gather to hear the words of the Lord, and we return to our homes to live them.
After King Benjamin taught his people, “he dismissed the multitude, and they returned, every one, according to their families, to their own houses.” In his day, King Limhi did the same.  After teaching and ministering to the people at the temple in Bountiful, the Savior entreated the people, “Go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.”
We accept the Savior’s invitation when we ponder and pray to understand what we have been taught and then go forward and do His will. Remember President Spencer W. Kimball’s words: “I have made up my mind that when I go home from this [general] conference … there are many, many areas in my life that I can perfect. I have made a mental list of them, and I expect to go to work as soon as we get through.”  President Monson recently said: “I encourage you to read the talks … and to ponder the messages contained therein. I have found in my own life that I gain even more from these inspired sermons when I study them in greater depth.”
In addition to inviting us to hold personal and family scripture study, Heavenly Father wants us to regularly study and apply what we have learned in conference. I testify that those who put their trust in the Lord and heed this counsel in faith will gain great strength to bless themselves and their families for generations to come.

I hope this inspires you to read with us and share your thoughts/feelings in the comment section. I learned a while back that when you share a goal with another person, and especially if you work on that goal with another, your likelihood of achieving that goal goes up 90%.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Get ready ....

Conference is just around the corner and I'm determined to make a better go at this "bookclub" this time around. Things have quieted down since moving and unpacking.  Homeschool & public school have started, new friends haven been/are being made, and the extra-curriculars are off to a good start.

I'll try to get a good schedule up shortly after Conference concludes- perhaps starting with Pres Monson's opening and closing remarks as we wait for the Conference Ensign to come in the mail.

But I'm totally inspired this week, having heard the story of a recent convert here in our new ward.  Her name is Sis G.  She was baptized a few months ago.  She had the missionaries track her down 20 years ago and she has been coming off and on since then. Her husband didn't want her to be baptized so she chose to wait and see if his heart would soften. It never did and late this Spring, while her husband was cutting down a tree on their property, the tree fell on him and killed him.  A week later she was baptized!! She is so excited to finally have the full blessings of the gospel.  She is my Visiting Teacher and I can't wait to get to know her better.  She must have great faith to have waited so long, and must have truly loved her husband to do what was best for her marriage. But nothing is stopping her now!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013


I apologize for leaving this blog in the dark for so long. My husband recently returned from a year long deployment and we will be moving to a new assignment this summer.

I will restart this blog in the fall after everyone has settled into new school, new seminary, new house, new work, new routines.

Check back in time for October 2013 General Conference.