Tuesday, December 28, 2010


A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Proverbs 17:22

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

John 10:10

Jesus Christ is life, and every good thing He created is part of that life.  We get so caught up in doing and accomplishing, in working and keeping our commitments, that if we are not careful, we will come to the end of our life and suddenly wake up and realize that we never really lived.  Heavenly Father wants us to enjoy life and to live it to the full, til it oveflows.

We have a choice in life.  We can grumble our way through our troubles, or we can sing our way through our troubles with a merry heart.  Either way, we have to go through troubles, so why not take the joy of the Lord as our strength and be filled with energy and vitality.

In John 15 Jesus talks about abiding in Him.  In verse 11 He says,  "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."  Jesus Christ wants us to have a merry heart.  He wants us to put a smile on our face so everybody around us can feel happy and secure.

Don't spend your life waiting for things to change before you can become happy.  Learn to be happy now.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

Psalm 27:3

Not only must our heart be fixed and steadfast, it must also be confident.  I have discovered that staying confident is a key to being positive in my mind and overall life.

Lucifer is constantly trying to introduce thoughts into my head to make me lose my confidence.  Teh mind is the battlefield, and the devil lies to everyone through wrong thinking.  The one thing that he's trying to steal all the time is our confidence.

The devil doesn't want us to have confidence in prayer.  He doesn't want us to believe we can hear from our Father in Heaven.  He discourages us concerning the call of God on our life.  He wants us to go around feeling like a failure.

We need to confidently declare what the scriptures say about us, such as, "I am a divine son or daughter of Heavenly Father.  I can do all things through Jesus Christ; who strengthens me.  I am of divine worth."  This means that we have Heavenly Father and the Lord on our side.  They will help us along the way.  They will speak truth to us.

We need to get up every morning prepared to keep the adversary beneath our feet.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


"My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise."
Psalm 57:7

To have a fixed heart means to have our mind made up so tha we are not going to change it.  If we are going to experience any kind of victory andd be positive in our lives, we must be determined.  If we are going to see the fulfillment of Heavenly Father's will, walk in or follow the leading of the Holy Ghost, or accompolish anything worthwhile in this life, we must set our face like flint.

And we must understand that the adversary is not going to roll out a red carpet for us just because we decide to get saved and serve our Father in Heaven.  He is going to oppose us at every turn.

The problem is that because of the mentality of our society, we are always looking for something easy.  We have to be determined to do the will of God, to stay positive and happy, and to walk in His peace.  His will won't just happen in our life.  We are partners with Him, and we must do our part.  Part of what hwe have to do is never give up!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Eases our stress
Clears away our clutter
Increases our appreciation
Clarifies our priorities
Purifies our hearts
Uplifts our spirits
Settles our emotions
Encourages our friends
Deepens our peace
Builds our character

Dr. Steve Stephens
Psychologist and seminar speaker

Monday, November 8, 2010


Call a friend.
Drive to the supermarket and buy fresh flowers for your kitchen table.
Give someone a compliment.
Eat five bites of something rich and fattening and delicious.
Put on your favorite CD and dance.
Sit on the porch and drink tea from your most elegant china.
Do one thing you've been putting off for months.
Plant something.
Take a mini-vacation.
Rekindlle your dreams.
Simplify your life.
Protect your privacy.
Forgive someone who hurt you.
Guard your thoughts.
Take care of your body..
Tend to your soul.
Write in your journal.
Pray for your friends and family.

- Karen Scalf Linamen -
Condensed from Sometimes I Wake Up Grumpy... and Sometimes I Let Him Sleep

Sunday, November 7, 2010

THE ATONEMENT: The Healing Powers of Mercy and Forgiveness

The Savior’s Atonement makes it possible for us to overcome spiritual death. Although all people will be resurrected, only those who accept the Atonement will be saved from spiritual death.

We accept Christ’s Atonement by placing our faith in Him. Through this faith, we repent of our sins, are baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and obey His commandments. We become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. We are forgiven and cleansed from sin and prepared to return and live forever with our Heavenly Father.

The Savior tells us, “For behold I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer… even as I” Christ did His part to atone for our sins. To make His Atonement fully effective in our lives, we must strive to obey Him and repent of our sins.

President Boyd K Packer of the Council of the Twelve gave the following illustration to show how Christ’s Atonement makes it possible to be saved from sin if we do our part.

“Let me tell you a story – a parable.

“There once was a man who wanted something very much. It seemed more important than anything else in his life. In order for him to have his desire, he incurred a great debt.

“He had been warned about going into that much debt, and particularly about his creditor. But it seemed so important for him to do what he wanted to do and to have what he wanted right now. He was sure he could pay for it later.

“So he signed a contract. He would pay it off some time along the way. He didn’t worry too much about it, for the due date seemed such a long time away. He had what he wanted now, and that was what seemed important.

“The creditor was always somewhere in the back of his mind, and he made token payments now and again, thinking somehow that the day of reckoning really would never come.

“But as it always does, the day came, and the contract fell due. The debt had not been fully paid. His creditor appeared and demanded payment in full.

“Only then did he realize that his creditor not only had the power to repossess all that he owned, but the power to cast him into prison as well.

“’I cannot pay you, for I have not the power to do so,’ he confessed.

“’Then,’ said the creditor, ‘we will exercise the contract, take your possessions, and you shall go to prison. You agreed to that. It was your choice. You signed the contract, and now it must be enforced.’

“’Can you not extend the time or forgive the debt?’ the debtor begged. ‘Arrange some way for me to keep what I have and not go to prison. Surely you believe in mercy? Will you not show mercy?’

“The creditor replied, ‘Mercy is always so one-sided. It would serve only you. If I show mercy to you, it will leave me unpaid. It is justice I demand. Do you believe in justice?’

“’I believed in justice when I signed the contract,’ the debtor said. ‘It was on my side then, for I thought it would protect me. I did not need mercy then, nor think I should need it ever. Justice, I thought, would serve both of us equally as well.’

“’It is justice that demands that you pay the contract or suffer the penalty,’ the creditor replied. ‘That is the law. You have agreed to it and that is the way it must be. Mercy cannot rob justice.’

“There they were: One meting out justice, the other pleading for mercy. Neither could prevail except at the expense of the other.

“’If you do not forgive the debt there will be no mercy,’ the debtor pleaded.

“’If I do, there will be no justice,’ was the reply.

“Both laws, it seemed, could not be served. They are two eternal ideals that appear to contradict one another. Is there no way for justice to be fully serviced, and mercy also?

“There is a way! The law of justice can be fully satisfied and mercy can be fully extended – but it takes someone else. And so it happened this time.

“The debtor had a friend. He came to help. He knew the debtor well. He knew him to be shortsighted. He thought him foolish to have gotten himself into such a predicament. Nevertheless, he wanted to help because he loved him. He stepped between them, faced the creditor, and made this offer.

“’I will pay the debt if you will free the debtor from his contract so that he may keep his possessions and not go to prison.’

“As the creditor was pondering the offer, the mediator added, ‘You demanded justice. Though he cannot pay you, I will do so. You will have been justly dealt with and can ask no more. It would not be just.’

“And so the creditor agreed.

“The mediator turned then to the debtor, ‘If I pay your debt, will you accept me as your creditor?’

“’Oh yes, yes,’ cried the debtor, ‘You save me from prison and show mercy to me.’

“’Then,’ said the benefactor, ‘you will pay the debt to me and I will set the terms. It will not be easy, but it will be possible. I will provide a way. You need not go to prison.’

“And so it was that the creditor was paid in full. He had been justly dealt with. No contract had been broken.

“The debtor, in turn, had been extended mercy. Both laws stood fulfilled. Because there was a mediator, justice had claimed its full share, and mercy was fully satisfied”

Our sins are our spiritual debts. Without Jesus Christ, who is our Savior and Mediator, we would all pay for our sins by suffering spiritual death. But because of Him, if we will keep His terms, which are to repent and keep His commandments, we may return to live with our Heavenly Father.

It is wonderful that Christ has provided us a way to be healed from our sins. He said:

“Behold, I have come unto the world… to save the world from sin. Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved.” - 3 Nephi 9:21-22

God sent his Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to overcome the obstacle of sin in addition to the obstacle of physical death. We are not responsible for the Fall of Adam and Eve, but we are responsible for our own sins. God cannot look on sin with any degree of allowance, and sin prevents us from living in His presence. Only through the Savior’s grace and mercy can we become clean from sin so that we can live with God again. This is possible through exercising faith in Jesus Christ, repenting, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

As used in the scriptures, to atone is to suffer the penalty for an act of sin, thereby removing the effects of sin from the repentant sinners and allowing them to be reconciled to God. Jesus Christ suffered in Gethsemane and on the cross. He was the only one capable of making a perfect Atonement for all mankind. He suffered the penalty for our sins in Gethsemane and died on the cross. He took upon Himself the pains, sicknesses, temptations, afflictions and infirmities of us all (Alma 7:11-12)

“11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and aafflictions and btemptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will ctake upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

12 And he will take upon him adeath, that he may bloose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to csuccor his people according to their infirmities.”

As we rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, He can help us endure our trials, sicknesses, and pain. We can be filled with joy, peace, and consolation. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Atonement of Jesus Christ satisfies the demands of justice and answers the pleas for mercy.

Mercy is the spirit of compassion, tenderness, and forgiveness. Mercy is one of the attributes of God. Jesus Christ offers mercy to us through His atoning sacrifice on conditions of repentance.

In the New Testament there are many accounts of Jesus Christ showing compassion to the sinner. One such account shows the deep compassion that the Savior had toward a woman taken in adultery. (John 8:1-11)

“1 JESUS went unto the mount of Olives.

2 And early in the morning he came again into the atemple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a awoman taken in badultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

5 Now Moses in the alaw commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger awrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without asin among you, let him bfirst cast a cstone at her.

8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own aconscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I acondemn thee: go, and sin bno more.”

As Jesus Christ is our exemplar we are to exercise the principle of mercy and forgive our brothers and sisters. Joseph Smith taught:

“One of the most pleasing scenes that can occur on earth, when a sin has been committed by one person against another, is, to forgive that sin; and then according to the sublime and perfect pattern of the Savior, pray to our Father in heaven to forgive [the sinner] also.”

“Ever keep in exercise the principle of mercy, and be ready to forgive our brother on the first intimations of repentance, and asking forgiveness; and should we even forgive our brother, or even our enemy, before he repent or ask forgiveness, our heavenly Father would be equally as merciful to us.”

“Bear and forbear one with another, for so the Lord does with us. Pray for your enemies in the Church and curse not your foes without: for vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, and I will repay (see Romans 12:19]. To every ordained member, and to all, we say; be merciful and you shall find mercy. Seek to help save souls, not to destroy them: for verily you know, that ‘there is more joy in heaven, over one sinner that repents, than there is over ninety and nine just persons that need no repentance.” [see Luke 15:7.]”

We Must Forgive Others

A vital part of repentance is to forgive those who have sinned against us. The Lord will not forgive us unless our hearts are fully cleansed of all hate, bitterness, and bad feelings against other people (see 3 Nephi 13:14-15).

“14 For, if ye aforgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you;

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

In September of 1831, Joseph Smith received revelation from the Lord. Part of that revelation included commandment to the saints that they forgive one another, lest there remain in them the greater sin. In Doctrine and Covenants section 64 verses 1-11 we read:

“ 1 BEHOLD, thus saith the Lord your God unto you, O ye elders of my achurch, hearken ye and hear, and receive my will concerning you.

2 For verily I say unto you, I will that ye should aovercome the world; wherefore I will have bcompassion upon you.

3 There are those among you who have sinned; but verily I say, for this once, for mine own aglory, and for the salvation of souls, I have bforgiven you your sins.

4 I will be merciful unto you, for I have given unto you the akingdom.

5 And the akeys of the mysteries of the kingdom shall not be taken from my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., through the means I have appointed, while he liveth, inasmuch as he obeyeth mine bordinances.

6 There are those who have sought occasion against him without cause;

7 Nevertheless, he has sinned; but verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, aforgive sins unto those who bconfess their sins before me and ask forgiveness, who have not csinned unto ddeath.

8 My disciples, in days of old, sought aoccasion against one another and forgave not one another in their hearts; and for this bevil they were cafflicted and sorely dchastened.

9 Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to aforgive one another; for he that bforgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.

10 I, the Lord, will aforgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to bforgive all men.

11 And ye ought to say in your hearts—let God ajudge between me and thee, and breward thee according to thy cdeeds.”

In the May 1992 Conference issue of the Ensign Richard G Scott shared the following counsel to those who needed to heal and learn to forgive others of serious injustices:

“Father in Heaven’s children enjoy agency, there can be some who choose willfully to violate the commandments and harm you. Such acts temporarily restrict your freedom. In justice, and to compensate, the Lord has provided a way for you to overcome the destructive results of others’ acts against your will. That relief comes by applying eternal truths…

Know that the wicked choice of others cannot completely destroy your agency unless you permit it. Their acts may cause pain, anguish, even physical harm, but they cannot destroy your eternal possibilities in this brief but crucial life on earth… Your attitude can control the change for good in your life. It allows you to have the help the Lord intends you to receive. No one can take away your ultimate opportunities when you understand and live eternal law. The laws of your Heavenly Father and the atonement of the Lord have made it possible that you will not be robbed of the opportunities which come to the children of God.

During prolonged recovery from massive surgery, a patient anticipates complete healing in patience, trusting in others’ care. He does not always understand the importance of the treatment prescribed, but his obedience speeds recovery. So it is with you struggling to heal scars… Forgiveness, for example, can be hard to understand, even more difficult to give. Begin by withholding judgment... The way to repentance must be kept open for them... As you experience an easing of your own pain, full forgiveness will come more easily.

You cannot erase what has been done, but you can forgive. (see D&C 64:10.) Forgiveness heals terrible, tragic wounds, for it allows the love of God to purge your heart and mind of the poison of hate. It cleanses your consciousness of the desire for revenge. It makes place for the purifying, healing, restoring love of the Lord.

The Master counseled, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you.” (3 Ne. 12:44; italics added.)

Bitterness and hatred are harmful. They produce much that is destructive. They postpone the relief and healing you yearn for. Let God be the judge—you cannot do it as well as he can.”

In The Book of Mormon the account that Enos gave encompasses the full healing power of the Atonement. Enos recognized his weaknesses and presented himself to the Lord:

“Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart. And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.”

The voice of the Lord came unto him saying that his sins had been forgiven and Enos said:

“And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.”

Enos did not stop with his own welfare. He understood the demands of justice and mercy. He wanted the same salvation for his brethren and he said:

“Now, it came to pass that when I had heard these words I began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren, the Nephites; wherefore, I did pour out my whole soul unto God for them.”

He not only prayed for his brethren the Nephites; he also plead for the Lamanites and again heard the voice of the Lord promising salvation for them all.

The amazing healing power of the atonement is a miracle to both the saint and the sinner. Christ suffered for all pains and anguishes that he of us would suffer in this life. Because he was prepared in the Garden of Gesthemane he is able to wrap his arms around us and provide healing relief. All we need to do is believe him and accept his gift.

I know that God lives! I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I know that they love us. I know that Jesus Christ will come again unto his people. We will be ready if we seek and follow the counsel of his servants the prophets. I know that Thomas S Monson is a true prophet of God. I know that he speaks with him and receives counsel on our behalf. Listen to the words of the prophets, they will bring you unto salvation.

I bear this solemn testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


  • Health enough to make work a pleasure
  • Wealth enough to support your needs
  • Strength enough to battle difficulties and overcome them
  • Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them
  • Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished
  • Clarity enough to see some good in your neighbor
  • Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others
  • Faith enough to make real the things of God
  • Hope enough to remove all anxious fears confronting the future
-- GOETHE Poet, playwright, and novelist

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


  1. Count your blessings.
  2. Today, and every day, deliver more than you are getting paid to do.
  3. Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don't look back at it too long.
  4. Always reward your long hours of labor and toil in the very best way, surrounded by your family.
  5. Build this day on a foundation of pleasant thoughts.
  6. Live this day as if it will be your last.
  7. Laugh at yourself and at life.
  8. Never neglect the little things.
  9. Welcome every morning with a smile.
  10. Search for the seed of good in every adversity.
From A Better Way to Live

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Unto the Hills - Billy Graham

You can have peace in your heart with little if you are in the will of God, but you can be miserable with much if you are out of His will.

You can have joy in obscurity if you are in the will of God, but you can be wretched with wealth and fame out of His will.

You can be happy in the midst of sufferings if you are in God's will, but you can have agony in good health out of His will.

You can be contented in poverty if you are in the will of God, but you can be wretched in riches out of His will.

You can be calm and at peace in the midst of persecution as long as you are in the will of God, but you can be miserable and defeated in the midst of acclaim if you are out of His will.

Monday, October 25, 2010


The best day, today;
The greatest puzzle, life;
The greatest thought, God;
The greatest mystery, death;
The best work, work you like;
The most ridiculous asset, pride;
The greatest need, common sense;
The most expensive indulgence, hate;
The most disagreeable person, the complainer;
The best teacher, the one who make you want to learn;
The greatest deceiver, the one who deceives himself;
The worst bankruptcy, the soul who has lost enthusiasm;
The cheapest, easiest, and most stupid thing to do, finding fault;
The greatest comfort, the knowledge that you have done your work well;
The most agreeable companion, the one who would not have you any different than you are;
The meanest feeling, being envious of another's success;
The greatest thing in the world, love -- for family, home friends, neighbors.
- Author Unknown

Friday, October 22, 2010


Leroy Brownlow wrote:  A Psalm in My Heart

here is a portion of what he wrote:

One is Poor If He...

Is not content.
Is short on good works.
Has no self-respect.
Has no real friends.
Has lost the zest for living.
Has little joy.
Has lost his health.
Has no eternal hope.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


In my family there are many of us who often partake in everything that is out there.  We never say no.  We think we have to do it all or we have to have it all.

As an end result we end up overwhelmed; frustrated; our house is a mess; and we don't have time to do the things that are the most important or the most valuable.

Robert and Debra Bruce along with Ellen Oldacre collaborated in writing:  "Standing Up against the Odds".

The following is a list of questions to ask yourself to help you stay on track to keep your life simple; uncluttered and at peace:

  • Is this really important to me?
  • Do I truly enjoy this?
  • Do I really need this?
  • Does this cause stress and drain my energy?
  • Does this cause me to hurry to much?
  • What are healthier alternatives?
  • How did I manage without this?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Dad has often been discribed as the "Eternal Optimist" and I believe his children are the same way.  I know I am...

There is an organization that dad and all other optimists should apply:  Optimist International


This organization is a volunteer organization that is focused on helping others.

The members of this organization live by the following creed:

  • To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
  • To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.
  • To make all your friends feel that there is something special in them.
  • To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
  • To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
  • To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  • To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
  • To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
  • To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have not time to criticize others.
  • To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
How can you be bothered with the turmoils of life and struggles if you are always thinking positive?

Try smiling all day long today and say only positive things.  It will make you feel so much better and you will bring peace and happiness to those around you.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


A barefoot walk along a sandy beach.
A quiet visit to the place where you were raised.
Listening to a rippling brook running over the rocks through a forest of autumn leaves.
Singing the song of your alma mater.
Looking over childhood photos in a the family album.
Watching your now-grown child leave home.
Standing silently beside the grave of a close personal friend or relative.
The smell and sounds of a warm fire.
 - Charles R Swindoll
From Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life

When Dara comes to visit one of her favorite things she likes to do is walk barefoot in the sand at the beach.  I really enjoy it too.  It is pretty fun to have sister time talking about life while walking along the beach.  I also enjoy the sound of the waves late at night and the smell of the ocean air.  There have been times where Victor and I have sat on a bench and listened.

When we lived in Indiana one of my favorite sounds was the rustling of the leaves from the large black walunt tree (which no longer exists) and the babbling of the creek during Spring and Summer.  I would leave my window open to hear both and often fell asleep to the steady sounds of both.  To this day I still fall asleep to subtle white noise.  Some evenings a red squirrel would come to visit at my window; chattering and nibbling.  We would sit there observing each other.  Those memories come back each time I hear the leaves rustling in my back yard today.

Just the other day we were in Lompoc and I left flowers on Grandma Mead's grave stone.  When I stood there flashes of memories, conversations and quiet moments with her ran through my mind.  It has been many years and I still can see her face and hear her voice.

Memories of peaceful moments can often bring us moments of peace today as we reflect on them.  The memories fade but the feelings and emotions stay forever.

Monday, October 18, 2010


In this crazy world we often feel like we are going 100 miles an hour.  Our mind screams out:  "Stop the world!  I want to get off!!"

Alice Gray is an inspirational conference speak and the compiler of the bestselling Stories for the Heart book series.  Working with Steven Stephens (license psychologist) and John Van Diest they put together the book:  "Lists to Live By for Simple Living"

On the cover:

"Simplicity is a gift of peace,
harmony, and delight!
But is simplicity possible today?
The wonderful answer is, "Yes!"
Discover the gateway to simple living in these uplifting lists
that will uncomplicate your life and enrich your spirit.
Enjoy. Treasure. Share. It's really very simple!"

I love this book.  It has helped me to slow down; be at peace and appreciate the many blessings in my life.  I hope to share with you some of the amazing things that I have discovered while reading this book.

Friday, October 15, 2010


"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you."

Ephesians 4:32

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;"

1 Timothy 4:1-2

Having a tender heart is equivalent to having a tender conscience, and tenderness of conscience is vital in our relationship with God.  It is dangerous to become hard-hearted and to develop a seared conscience so that we can't really tell if we are doing anything wrong or not.  The key is to learn to quickly repent whenever Heavenly Father convicts us of something, not make excuses.

When Heavenly Father shows you that you have done something wrong, just say:  "You're right, I'm wrong.  I have no excuse, so please forgive me and help me not to do it again."

It is amazing how much that will help us have a tender conscience toward our Father in Heaven and a positive mind.  But as soon as we try to reason things out and make excuses for our wrongs, we start getting a little callou on our conscience.  It becomes just a little bit harder for us to feel than the time before.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


"For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars."

2 Chronicles 16:9

What does it mean to have a perfect heart?  It means to have a heartfelt desire to do right and to please God.  A person who has a perfect heart truly loves God, though he himself may not be perfect.  He may still have things in the flesh to deal with.  His mouth may still get him into trouble.  He may make mistakes or lose his temper.  But when he does, he is quick to repent and make it right with God again.  If he has offended someone else, he will humble himself and apologize.

When God looks into our lives, He doesn't look for somebody with a perfect performance but a terrible heart attitude.  He looks for someone who may not have a perfect performance but who has a right attitude toward Him.  If we have a perfect heart toward God, He counts us as perfect and works with us while we are trying to manifest that perfection.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


"And thou shalt speak unto all that are awise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of bwisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office." 
-  Exodus 28:3

I am absolutely amazed by some of the stupid things we do.  We wonder why we don't have the things in life we want, when all we have to do is watch how we act.

In the bokk of Haggai we see a group of people who did not like their circumstances at all.  Jevovah's response to them was:

"Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; aConsider your ways."  -  Haggai 1:5

For eighteen years they had put off something God had shown them to do, and yet they could not understand why they were not prospering.

We must use wisdom in anything we do in life.  It shows up in the way we talk, act, handle our money, meet our responsibilities, treat other people, keep our word, and in a thousand other ways.  There are all kinds of ways we have to walk in wisdoem, yet so many of Heavenly Father's children are totally stressed out because they are going in ninety-five different directions at once.

Without wisdom, we will never experience the power of being positive.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


"Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou astir up the bgift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my chands"  -  2 Timothy 1:6

Jesus Christ wants us to stay stirred up.  It doesn't do any good to say, "I wish I felt that way."  You have to decide to do something about the way you feel.  If you want to have victory over your feelings strongly enough, you will do whatever it takes to get it.

How do we stay on fire?  I have discovered that the bearing my testimony; kneeling in prayer; pondering on the words of hymns and truly reviewing my week when I partake of the sacrament stirs my soul and I find that the fire that burns within me fans to a bonfire.  These spiritual activities stir our hearts and keeps the fire aflame,  and prevents our spirits from sinking or shriveling into a lump of coal.

Passivity, procrastination, and laziness are the tools that the Adversary uses against Heavenly Father's children.  A passive person waits to be moved by an outside force before taking action.  We are to be motivated and led by the Holy Spirit; not by outside forces.  The best way to guard against passivity is to do it with all your might.

Monday, October 11, 2010


"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering."

Exodus 25:1-2

"Every man according as he apurposeth in his heart, so let him give; not bgrudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a ccheerful dgiver"

2 Corinthians 9:7

When we talk about a willing heart, we are basically talking about "want to."  If there is something we want to do strongly enough, somehow we will find a way to do it.  With it we can lose weight, keep our house clean, save money, get out of debt, or reach any other goal in life we may have set for ourselves.  Our victory or defeat has a lot to do with our "want to."

We are really good at laying the blame for our failures on the adversary, other people, the past, and on and on.  But the truth is that most of the time the bottom line is we just don't have enough of the right kind of "want to."

Heavenly Father examines our heart attitude, and whatever we do for Him must be done willingly.  God delights in those who give to Him willingly, joyfully, and cheerfully, but not those who give legalistically or under compulsion.  I don't believe we receive any reward for doing things with a bad attitude.

The passage in 2 Corinthians is easy for me to relate to.  When Allisa is helping around the house she does so with a huge smile and a great heart attitude.  She is a pleasure to be around.  She is always asking how she can help; if anyone would like something to eat or drink; she asks to walk the dogs and other acts of service and kindness.  She does everything willingly and without being compelled.

When I have had opportunity to teach in Relief Society or Sunday School I expressed the different heart attitudes that exist when we pay our tithing; when we accept callings; when we attend church; or when we participate in Service or Humanitarian Projects.  Do we do these things because we feel obligated; or it's a commandment; or because it is expected of us - or do we do them because we are grateful and we love to serve; or because we feel that it is a priviledge.

Remember, Heavenly Father loves a cheerful willing Son or Daughter.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Yesterday in Seminary Evan was learning about the "Worth of Souls" and his teach shared a scripture with the students found in the Doctrine and Covenants.  She also stated that there were other scriptures found in the other standard works.  She couldn't remember the reference and challenged the kids to locate the scripture.

The keys words she gave the students:  "engraven in his hands"

Evan and I were coming home from his school.  I stated that I couldn't remember the the scripture reference but I knew that Grandpa could tell us.

After calling mom and dad's I was given mom's new cell phone number!  Yeah!  Called and asked Grandma the question so that she could relay it to Grandpa since he was driving.  He gave us more key words and gave us additional information.  The scripture could be in Isaiah, Zechariah and there could be some reference in the Book of Mormon and in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Evan and I each got on our computers and started searching the scriptures on lds.org and found some scriptures but not the exact one.  Evan decided to use his favorite search tool:  Google.  He found the scripture reference.

We looked up the scripture on lds.org and talked about it and then proceeded to find 4 other references.

We then discussed what the scriptures were talking about.  I asked him what it meant to have us graven in his hands.  I explained that it was a mental picture.

We then talked about the Atonement and the crucifiction and resurrection.  I asked him who Jesus Christ did this for and he stated:  "For us."  I told him he was correct.

My challenge to you is to tell us what scriptures we found.  I will give you the following hints:

There are two references in the Old Testament; one reference in the Book of Mormon; one reference in the New Testament and one reference in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Thanks Dad!

Friday, September 17, 2010


"But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." - 1 Samuel 16:7

Heavenly Father does not look only at the exterior of a person, or even the things a person does, and judge the individual by that criterion.  Man judges after the flesh, but Heavenly Father judges by the heart.

It is possible to do good works and still have a wrong heart attitude.  It is also possible to do some things wrong but still have a right heart on the inside.  Heavenly Father is much more inclined to use a person with a good heart and a few problems than He is to use a person who seems to have it all together but who has a wicked heart.

It is very important that we get in touch with our inner life and our heart attitude, the way we fell and think about things, whe the Old Testament calls the hidden man of the heart, if we want to have any success as a Christian.

"When Heavenly Father seeks to promote He chooses a person after His own heart."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


"For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"  - 1 Corinthians 3:3

Envy and jealousy cause us to strive after things that Heavenly Father will give us in His timing, if it is His will that we have them.  A jealous, envious heart in no way blesses.  The negativity spills out over others that He means to bless through us.

We need to be happy with what Heavenly Father has given us.  We need to trust Him that if we are supposed to have more, He will give it to us when He knows we are able to handle it.  We also need to be eternally grateful for all that he has blessed us with.

When I served as the 1st counselor in the Relief Society Presidency the 2nd counselor shared with us that when she prayed she always expressed her gratitude.  She explained that when she first started expressing her gratitude in pray it was a little foreign because she was taught to pray and ask for things.  I decided at that time I needed to express my gratitude more.  It has been many years since that time and I continue to express my gratitude.  As a result I have been able to recognize the great wealth and abundance my family and I have.  Asking for more or wanting more is not a focus.

But you may feel that the devil is keeping you from being blessed.  Look at it this way.  If you are doing what Heavenly Father wants you to do, and your heart is right, no man on earth or devil in hell can keep you from having what Heavenly Father wants you to have.

Many times, blaming everything on the devil is just an excuse not to grow up.  It is an excuse not to develop personal character and let Heavenly Father do the work on the inside of us that He wants to do.  Instead of focusing on the works of the enemy, we need to keep our eyes on Heavenly Father and let Him have His way in our lives.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6

This is one the scriptures I remember from Seminary and it was pretty easy to memorize.  I remind myself on a daily basis that I need to counsel with the Lord often so that I make the correct decisions; or say the right things.

Leaning on the Lord is a humbling act.  We are human and we make mistakes.  We don't know everything and we should not pretend to know everything.  :)

When we depend on the Lord and we seek his guidance we open are hearts to understanding.  Discernment starts in the heart and moves up and enlightens the mind.    He wants us to use our mind to reason, but He wants us to reason in a way that lines up with his will. 

In the Doctrine & Covenants we are reminded that we must first study it out in our minds and then go to the Lord asking what his will is.  We should go to him with a plan and ask him if it be right.  When we are open to his answers we will be able to recognize the correct path.  Sometimes the answer will be no.  Other times it will be not yet.  And still other times we will receive an affirmation.

When we receive answers from the Lord we should feel confident in our deeds and actions know that what we say and do is pleasing unto Him.

Monday, September 13, 2010


"When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people. And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you."  -  Deuteronomy 20:1-4

Fainthearted people are people who give up easily.  When the heart faints, it just gives up.  It has to have everything a certain way or it quits.  It gets discouraged and depressed quickly.  The person gets his feelings hurt easily.  Everything bothers him.  He is touchy.  In his heart he sayas, "I can't do this.  It's just too hard."

In Proverbs 24:10 we are told:  "If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small."  We can never stand against the enemy if we are fainthearted.  And if we would enjoy the power of a positive mind, we cannot be wimpy or a quitter.

All of us have to resist against getting tired and giving up because we are being hassled by the devil.  With God's strength, we don't have to faint, no matter what kind of adversity we are facing.  The best way to fight the devil, especially in times of challenge and stress, is to just stay calm, to maintain a peaceful, gentle heart.  Be constant, be fearless.  That is a sign to the devil of his impending destruction.

And we must not be fainthearted with God's correction of our lives.  When God is dealing with us, sometimes He has to do it over and over.  Molding is never fun, but we will reap if we do not faint.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Our Responsibility to Nurture the Rising Generation

This month's visiting teaching message is awesome!

"Without nurturing, our rising generation could be in danger of becoming like the one described in Mosiah 26. Many youth didn’t believe the traditions of their fathers and became a separate people as to their faith, remaining so ever after. Our rising generation could likewise be led away if they don’t understand their part in Heavenly Father’s plan.

So what is it that will keep the rising generation safe? In the Church, we teach saving principles, and those principles are family principles, the principles that will help the rising generation to form a family, teach that family, and prepare that family for ordinances and covenants—and then the next generation will teach the next and so on.

As parents, leaders, and Church members, we are preparing this generation for the blessings of Abraham, for the temple. We have the responsibility to be very clear on key points of doctrine found in the proclamation on the family. Motherhood and fatherhood are eternal roles and responsibilities. Each of us carries the responsibility for either the male or the female half of the plan.

We can teach this doctrine in any setting. We must speak respectfully of marriage and family. And from our example, the rising generation can gain great hope and understanding—not just from the words we speak but from the way we feel and emanate the spirit of family."

 - Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president.

I think as we get older and our children get older we figure out better ways to instruct them.  I sometimes feel that we have failed our older children because we didn't teach them enough; or protect them enough from the ways of the world.

I look at our four younger children and I understand them better than the older ones.  Victor and I are on the same page when it comes to them.  Our expectations of serving missions; getting married in the temple and having families raised in the gospel are known by our children.  We have tried to teach them correct principles.  We have also taken special care to participate with them in their youth activities as well as the youth programs and setting goals.

Seminary has become extremely important and we encourage participation and study.  We have seen how Evan especially has benefited from this early morning education.

I also think about my siblings and how they are constantly checking themselves against the standards of the church.  I see their deep love and concern for their children and their desire to help them along the way.  I do not fear for my children or my nieces and nephews.  I know that they are being taught and nurtured in the gospel. 

I look forward to the day when we all will be standing in Holy Places in the presence of our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
I know that we each have been given the strength to endure and the knowledge to bestow upon our children from a loving Heavenly Father who only wishes for his children to come home.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


"The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy."  - Proverbs 14:10

"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:"  -  Matthew 6:14

One of the most dangerous heart conditions we can have is unforgiveness.  If we do not forgive others, we will not be forgiven, and our faith will not work.  And everything that comes from Heavenly Father comes by faith.  If our faith doesn't work, we are in serious trouble.

"But you don't know what was done to me," people always say to try to excuse their bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness.  Based on what the New Testament says, it really doesn't matter how great their offense was.  We serve Heavenly Father who is greater, and if we will handle the offense in the right way, He will bring justice and recompense.

Jesus Christ taught us that we are to forgive those who hurt us, pray for those who despitefully use us, and belss those who curse us.  This is hard.  But there is something harder -- being full of hatred, bitterness, and resentment.  Don't spend your life hating someone who is probably out having a good time while you are upset.

Never try to get people back for what they have done to you.  Forgive them and leave them in Heavenly Father's hands.

Power in the Christian life comes from love, not from hatred, bitterness, and unforgiveness.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


"Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things."  -  Romans 2:1

Anyone judges and condemns other people for doing the same things he does has to be deceived.  Yet to some degree, we all do that.  We tend to look at ourselves through rose-colored glasses while looking at everyone else through a magnifying glass.  We excuse our wrong behavoir, while claiming that others who do the same things we do are deserving of judgment.

That kind of attitude is hypocritical and the same as the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus' day.  Jesus noted that they put on a big show of being holy while refusing to help anybody:

"Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:  All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.  For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."  -  Matthew 23:2-4

Proud and haughty, they did good works only to be seen by the crowds and to be thought of as great and important.
All of that kind of fleshly glory means nothing to Heavenly Father.  He is looking for people with a right heart so He can bless us.  Our degree of spiritual maturity is not measured by how much we read the scriptures or accomplish, but by how much we promptly obey God's word and by how we treat other people.
I was talking to dad on Sunday and expressing my feelings about forgiveness and understanding and how it is easy for me to forgive because I have had a flaw filled life myself and I can not justify punishing or not forgiving others who have wronged me or offended me.  My shortcomings will convict me if I can not forgive another.  My sins and transgressions; even if I have repented; will be mine if I convict another for the same.
If there is pride in our lives, Heavenly Father is obligated to show us our flaws.  He does not do it to embarrass us or to make us feel bad about ourselves, but to keep us in a place where we are dependent upon Him and merciful with other people who have faults.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


"Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer."  -  Psalm 101:5

Has Heavenly Father ever had to deal with you about pride?  From personal experience I can tell you that a proud person hates to admit his problem with pride.

How can you tell if you have a problem with pride?  If you have an opinion about everything, if you are judgmental, if you can't be corrected, if you rebel against authority, if you want to take all the credit for yourself, or if you say "I" too often, you hve a problem with pride.

It is hard to let Heavenly Father get all that pride stuff out of us, but it is vital.  If we want to experience the power of being positive, we must realize it flows out of an attitude of humility.  When we recognize we are not always right about everything, it makes us teachable and willing to take correction.  It is only in the place of humility that Heavenly Father can bless us.

The enemy will attack and tempt you with a spirit of pride.  It takes effort to keep a right heart.  One of the most powerful things we have to guard against is a spirit of self-righteousness.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


"Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith: Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:" - Hebrews 3:7-8

"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God." - Hebrews 3:12

In Hebrews 3 we see two wrong conditions of the heart - a hard heart and an unbelieving heart. In the wilderness, a hard heart caused the Israelites to rebel.  A person with a hard heart cannot believe God easily, which is a major problem because everything we received from God comes through believing.  To receive from Him, we must come to Him in simple, childlike faith and just believe.

The atonement of Jesus Christ cannot work in us if we have a hard, unbelieving heart.

We call ourselves believers, but the truth is, there are a lot of "unbelieving believers."  For some reason when we ponder on the promises made to us through covenants we think that we are unworthy and so we don't believe or trust in Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ.

Even Moses arrived at the place in the wilderness where he was slow of heart to believe God.  That's why we have to stay sharp spiritually if we are going to be quick to believe and to walk in faith day by day.  We must be careful to go from faith to faith and not begin to mix in any doubt and unbelief.

It is amazing to watch friends and family come to a point in their lives when they become a believing believer.  Victor's sister, Sandy and her children Nico and Raquel have been taking the discussions.  I have watched as they have grown and progressed.  Sandy and her children have become believing believers and trust that Jesus Christ will redeem them.  Because of their faith they have decided to become members of the Church.

Their baptismal date is September 18th at 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon.

Our older brother, Jesus Christ, longs to be the restorer of our souls.  We need to trust and believe in Him; letting him into those areas of our lives that no one else can ever reach.  Ask Him to change you into the person after His heart, a person who has the same kind of heart that He has. 

Friday, August 27, 2010


"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.  And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.  But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord."  -- Genesis 6:5-8

The story of Noah tells us that many people today are being destroyed for the simple reason that their hearts are wrong.  There were three heart issues concerning the people of Noah's day that displeased God:  wickedness, evil imaginations, and evil thinking.  But Noah had a right heart and found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

We can not imagine how many areas of our lives would be straightened out if we would just get our hearts in the right place.  Our hearts may not be filled with the exact same evil thoughts and imaginations of the people in Noah's day, but a bad attitude or wrong thinking can also be labeled evil imaginations and evil thinking.  If we have a bad attitude and "stinking thinking" we are going nowhere in life.

This is why we must guard our heart  --  out of our heart flows the issues of our life.  Our problem is that if we let garbage in, garbage will come back out.  Allowing negative, evil thinking in our hearts cannot produce a life that glorifies God.  We have to be careful not only about our actions but also about our imagination, our intent, our motivation, our attitude.  If we fail here, we may end up with an evil heart.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."   - Proverbs 4:12

When Heavenly Father speaks to us about our heart, He is asking for our entire life, the entire personality, character, body, mind, and emotions in the spirit of a person.  The heart is the real person, not the person everybody sees.

The heart is the most important aspect of the spiritual body, and the heart attitude should be the major issue of every Latter-Day-Saint and Christian in the world.  It is not lack of ability or potential that prevents most people from making progress and enjoying fulfillment in life.  It is wrong heart attitudes that negatively affect our minds and thoughts.

There are many conditions of the heart.  Some are positive, and some are negative.

"Amaziah was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.  And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart."  -- 2 Chornicles 25:1-2

King Amaziah is noted for having a negative condition of the heart.  He did all the right things, but his heart was not right.  Therefore, God was not pleased with him.  That's a scary thing.  We can do the right thing, and yet have it not acceptable to God because we do it with a wrong heart attitude.

Some of us accept callings out of duty, but dread the responsibilities and try to find ways to get out of it.  Some of us may only pay tithes and offerings because it is a commandment, thus never experiencing the true fruits of obedience:  gratitude for the things that we have.  Some of us read our scriptures daily because we should, yet we haven't feasted upon the words to learn of Christ and to learn of Heavenly Father's will for us.

Doing the "right thing" is not enough.  Doing the "right thing" with the right spirit is great!

Heavenly Father is more concerned about our hearts than He is about what we do, because if our hearts are right, what we do will eventually catch up with that.  Who we are in our hearts is reflected in our thoughts and attitudes.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit"  --  Matthew 12:33

For the believer, right thinking is something that is so important that one simply cannot live without it -- like a heartbeat is vital, or blood pressure is vital.  There are things without which there is no life.  Our life source, our source for right thinking, is regular, personal fellowship with Heavenly Father in prayer and regular study of his Word found in the standard works.

The Bible says that a tree is known by its fruit.

The same is true of our lives.  Thoughts bear fruit.  Think good thoughts, and the fruit of your life will be good.  Think bad thoughts, and the fruit in your life will be bad.

Actually, you can look at a person's attitude and know what kind of thinking is prevalent in his life.  A sweet, kind person does not have mean, vindictive thoughts.  By the same token, a truly evil person does not have good, loving thoughts.

Remember Proverbs 23:7 "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:"

As Mom pointed out in her blog today, our appearance also reflects our thoughts.  When we present ourselves civilly we show others respect.  When we take the time to make ourselves lovely for worship each Sabbath we are showing respect for our Heavenly Father.

Monday, August 23, 2010


"For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit."  -  Romans 8:5

In the King James Version, the eighth chapter of Romans teaches us that if we "mind" the flesh, we will walk in the flesh.  But if we "mind" the things of the Spirit, we will walk in the Spirit.

Let me put it another way:  If we think fleshly thoughts, wrong thoughts, negative thoughts, we cannot walk in the Spirit.  It seems as if renewed, godlike thinking is a vital necessity to a successful Christian life.  I think of the scriptures in the Book of Mormon that talk about "the natural man is an enemy to God" and the many scriptures that talk about man's carnal nature.  It takes a lot of study; practice and learning to change our natural state to that of a Godlike state.

Your life may be in a state of chaos becuase of years of wrong thinking.  If so, it is important for you to come to grips with the fact that your life will not get straightened out until your mind does.  You should consider this area one of vital necessity.

You cannot overcome your situation by determination alone.  You do need to be determined, but determined in the Holy Spirit, not in the effort of your own flesh.  The Holy Spirit is your helper  -- seek His help.  Lean on Him.  You can't make it alone.

Friday, August 20, 2010


"Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."  - Luke 10:19

I love this scripture!  We have been blessed with the physical and mental strength and ability to overcome anything that may possess us.

Far too many of us are fainthearted, weak in determination, and diseased with an "I can't" attitude.  They are plagued with a lack of spiritual strength.

You and I don't have to beg Heavenly Father to give us power.  We just need to realize and accept that we have been blessed with the strength and power; and then walked in what is already ours.  We must develop and maintain a "power consciousness" -- an aggressive, power-packed attitude.

Heavenly Father has given us spiritual power for spiritual warfare.  Spiritual power is released when our faith is firm.  When we walk in faith we can approach every situation with an enemy-conquering attitude.

An attitude of confidence will exude from us when we know who we are; when we know our relationship with Jesus Christ; and when we believe in the power that the scriptures testify that is ours through faith.

Do you desire to be a powerful believer?  Try approaching every situation in your life with a simple childlike faith -- believing Heavenly Father is good, that He has a good plan for our lives; and that He is working in our situation.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."  - 1 Corinthians 10:13

Sadly, many people do not always accept the truth that God reveals to them.  It is painful to face our faults and deal with them.  We tend to justify misbehavior.  We allow our past and how we were raised to negatively affect the rest of our lives.

Our past may explain why we're suffering, but we must not use it as an excuse to stay in bondage.

Everyone is without excuse because Jesus Christ always stands ready to fulfill His promise to set us free.  The amazing miracle of the Atonement.  He will walk us across the finish line in any area if we are wiling to go all the way through it with Him.

We have the weapons to tear down the strongholds.  Heavenly Father doesn't abandon us and leave us helpless.  He promises us that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear, but with every temptation He will also provide the way out, the escape.

You may have some major strongholds in your life that need to be broken.  Let me encourage you by saying, "Heavenly Father is on your side."  In the spiritual battle going on in your mind, Heavenly Father is fighting on your side.

No matter how great the temptation, Heavenly Father has promised us everything we need to walk in victory.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


"Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.  Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;"  -  Psalms 149:5-6

In David's Psalm 149, he gives us a picture of the position that the saints of God should take  -- with songs of praise and worship in their throats and the two-edged sword in their hands.  In the remainder of the psalm, he goes on to infer that this position is taken by the saints in order to defeat their enemies.

Praise defeats the devil quicker than any other battle plan.  Praise is a garment that we put on and that will protect us from defeat and negativity in our minds.  But it must be genuine heart praise, not just lip service or a method being tried to see if it works.  Also, praise involves the Word of God found in the scriptures.

Worship is a battle position!  As we worship Heavenly Father and strive to know Him, and to exemplify His attributes, and humbly recognize his abilities and might, we will see His great power and attributes released on our behalf.

I am sure your heart frequently fills up with love and worship for Heavenly Father.  Always remember to be greatful.  When we humbly seek the Lord in prayer and supplication our enemies have no power over us.  The chains of iniquity are shed and we are released from the grasp of the advesary.

God never loses a battle.  He has a definite battle plan, and when we follow it, we always win.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;" - Ephesians 6:18

Prayer is another spiritual weapon God has given us to wage warfare.  Prayer is a relationship with our Heavenly Father.  It is coming and asking for help or talking to God about something that bothers us.  It also an opportunity to express our gratitude for the blessings and opportunities we have in our lives.

If you want to have an effective prayer life, develop a good personal relationship with the Father.   Know that He loves you, that He is full of mercy, that He will help you.  Get to know Jesus Christ our Saviour.  He is our Friend.  He died for each of us.  Get to know the special relationship that the Holy Spirit has with each of us.  He is with each of us all the time as a companion; comforter; healer and guide.  Let Him help you.

All kinds of prayer are to be used in our walk with God.  There is the prayer of agreement between two people and also the united prayer of a group of people.  There are prayers of thanksgiving, praise and worship, petition, intercession, commitment, and consecration.

Whatever kind of prayer your bring, learn to fill your prayers with the Word of God and offer them with the faith and assurance that God keeps His promises to the righteous. 

Monday, August 16, 2010


Aislyn has many new experiences this past summer with visiting family in Utah; going to Girl's Camp; and receiving her patriarchal blessing just two weeks before school starts.

Aislyn followed the counsel of the Patriarch and read the scriptures that he assigned and she fasted the whole day yesterday.  Her appointment was at 4 p.m.

We love Patriarch Lassen and his wife Debbie.  Debbie was the Stake Young Women's President when I was the Young Women's President for Oxnard 1st Ward.  We are always warmly welcomed into their home.

Yesterday was especially warm.  The spirit in their home is very strong.  Aislyn was spiritually prepared and it was evident with her demeanor and her responses to Patriarch Lassen's questions.

I am very blessed to have been present when she received her Patriarchal blessing and I am thankful for her faithfulness.  Her blessing will be a light for her to follow her entire life.  Her love for Heavenly Father and her faith in Jesus Christ is the foundation that will keep her strong in the Gospel.  We were all deeply touched by the counsel and love given to her in her blessing.

What an amazing experience.  I hope each of by brothers and sisters are able to sit in the room when each of their children receives their patriarchal blessing.  What an amazing insight we gain into the spirit and lives of our children.

Friday, August 13, 2010


"And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God."  - Ephesians 6:17

"If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples.  And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free."  -  John 8:31-32

The attacks of Satan against the church are more intense than ever before.  More people than ever are experiencing tremendous attacks against their minds and enduring great attacks of fear.

A person who learns to abide in the Word of God and lets the Word abide in him will have a two-edged sword with which to do battle.  To abide means to remain, to continue in, or to dwell in.  If you make God's Word a small part of your life, you will know only a partial truth and will experience only limited freedom, but those who abide in it will know the full truth and will experience complete freedom.

Several years ago we were counselled to read the Book of Mormon, cover-to-cover, before the year was through.  We were promised many blessings if we did.

I remember going through this exercise and I read very quickly, especially toward the end of the year because I had missed a few days of reading.

Shortly after completing the the Book of Mormon I received additional counsel to read it again and I have, several times.  Each time I begin I slow it down a bit.  I think I am on my 5th or 6th time and I am only on Chapter 2 of second Nephi.

I have not just focused my energies on reading the Book of Mormon.  I have found comfort in all the standard works and have been studying topics that are relevent to me in my life right now.
I can testify that the Word of God has caused me to be victorious over the devil.  I am able to combat dispair, depression and dispondency.  My life was a mess because I was ignorant of the Word.  I lacked direction because I had set my heart on those things that were less than divine.  I had been a Christian for many years who loved God and was active in church work.  But I had zero victory because I did not know the Word.

Knowing God's word is essential.  It is even more important to apply His word to our lives.  We should be living, eating, breathing the Gospel every moment of the day.  We should be devoting our time and energy to becoming like the Saviour.

"If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free." - John 8:31-32

Learn the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to wield it by speaking, singing, or meditating on the portions of Scripture that you feel He is placing on your heart.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" - 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Through careful strategy and cunning deceit, Satan attempts to set up "strongholds" in our mind.  A stronghold is an area in which we are held in bondage (in prison) due to a certain way of thinking.  Strongholds are lies that are believed.

The aposlte Paul tells us that we have the spiritual weapons we need to overcome Satan's strongholds.  Using our weapons, we refute the enemy's lies, arguments, theories, reasonings, and every other thing that tries to exalt itself against the truth of God's Word.  We must take our thoughts captive and refuse to indulge in the fleshly luxury of receiving and meditating on every thought that falls into our heads.

The primary weapon with which we do battle is the Word of God used in various ways -- preached, taught, sung, confessed, meditated upon, written, and read.  We must get the knowledge of God's truth in us to renew our minds.  The Word of God has a cleansing effect on our minds and lives any way we use it.

No one will ever live a truly victorious life without being a sincere student of God's Word.


"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."  - Ephesians 6:12

A careful study of Ephesians 6 informs us that we are in a war, and that our warfare is not with other human beings but with the devil and his demons.  Our enemy, Satan, attempts to defeat us with strategy and deceit, through well-laid plans and deliberate deception.

Jesus called the devil "the father of lies and of all that is false" (John 8:44).  He lies to you and me.  He tells us things about ourselves, about other people, and about circumstances that are just not true.  He does not, however, tell us the entire lie all at one time.

He begins by bombarding our mind with a cleverly devised pattern of little nagging thoughts, suspicions, doubts, fears, wonderings, reasonings, and theories.  He moves slowly and cautiously.  Remember, he has a strategy for his warfare.  He has studies us for a long time.

Satan knows what we like and what we don't like.  He knows our insecurities, weaknesses, and fears.  He knows what bothers us most and is willing to invest any amount of time to take to defeat us.  His strong point is patience.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


As many of you know, we had Ward Boundary changes.  The Gonzales Family is still in the Oxnard 1st Ward.

Victor was released from all his callings and so was I.  However, I have been re-called to the same callings that I had prior to the boundary changes with some additional instruction from the Bishop.

I am still the Activity Day Leader and the Primary Pianist.  I have been asked again to help support the music needs in the ward.  This time I was asked to support the choir since we now have a choir director.  I am really excited!  I love Sis. Jardin and she was the choir director when we were both in the Oxnard 3rd Ward.

I have not been asked to help out with the Organ, however, I am sure that when there is a need I will be asked.

I am glad that I can still offer service in the church.  I always enjoy the responsibilities that are given to me and I love the individuals that I serve.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I have had some pretty amazing conversations over the years regarding the amazing healing power of the atonement.

On a couple of occassions I have been asked to bear my testimony of the atonement by the Stake President.  My understanding of the atonement is vastly different from the first time I shared by testimony to the last time.

I have on occasion been able to share my testimony with the Bishop, close friends, my husband and a few of my siblings.

Most of us understand the basics of the atonement.  Christ suffered for our sins in the Garden of Gesthesmane; ultimately paying the price for our individual transgressions.  The atoning sacrifice only works if we repent and believing in Christ we accept his sacrifice as a blessing and a miracle in our lives.  I often reflect on scriptures "though your sins be as scarlet..." and "my soul hungered" and others like them that describe the depth of sin and its contrast to righteous living  "white as snow"  and "filled with light"...

We then think of others who are seeking forgiveness and we watch them as they mark their path with the steps of repentance.  We have hope for them and we have faith that Christ's sacrifice will be a blessing in their lives.

The most amazing blessing of the atonement is the blessing of being healed.  The atonement wasn't just a price to be paid for sin; it was the culmination of all pain and suffering from loss; despair; betrayal and the sadness we often feel from day to day living.  Christ understands the depth of pain and suffering we go through in this life because he has felt it and experienced it.  Who better to save us from our pain and suffering than that of the Savior.

I have learned to lean on Jesus Christ; knowing that he is the Savior of my soul.  I do not need to hold onto pain and suffering or feelings of betrayal when it can so easily be replaced with peace and love.

The miracle of the atonement is complete healing.  We can be forgiven of our sins and weaknesses.  We can help others with the repentance process; and to be forgiven by letting them know we forgive them. 

We can fill our soul with the light of Christ - never experiencing the hunger described by Enos.  Christ's atoning sacrifice is the Mercy that we all want when the Eternal Laws require Justice.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Saturday evening I was having a discussion with Alex and shared with him some spiritual truths that are found in the scriptures.  I invited him to seek those truths for himself by searching the scriptures.

I also made a declaration:  "Those who know Christ and those who have seen Christ testify of Christ."

I have known this truth for many years.  I often reflect upon the words spoken by Bruce R McConkie and know that he knows Jesus Christ personally and has seen his face.  Every Prophet and General Authority of the Church has testified of Christ.  That says something.

As the Young Women's President one of my responsibilities was to help the young women gain a testimony of their Savior.  How could I do that if I did not possess a testimony myself?  I had to evaluate my testimony.  Did I know that Jesus was the Savior?  Did I know of his divinity?  Those were things I knew.  I realized I needed to know him better.

When I was 17 I received my patriarchal blessing and in it I was counselled to teach my children to love as the Savoir loved.  I understood Christ's unconditional love for others and I understood his capacity to forgive and his amazing gift to teach and instruct.

Recently, I have begun to understand the magnitude of Christ's love for all of Heavenly Father's children.  To love others in spite of their weaknesses.  To learn to forgive completely and to accept others as they are.  I have understood how to teach and to not withhold knowledge or understanding from those who seek.

The prophets and general authorities have often taught about Christ's unconditional love and the blessing of his forgiving heart.  They could not know if they had not felt his love and had experienced the miracle of His atoning sacrifice.  Christ's love each of us is infinite. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Yesterday I was reading in 1 Nephi 16 and came across a scripture that describes how I have felt about individual family members over the years:

"And it came to pass that they did humble themselves before the Lord; insomuch that I had joy and great hopes of them, that they would walk in the paths of righteousness."

Since Nephi was reflecting and writing about his experiences I can sense a little sorrow with the knowledge that his brothers chose a different path.  I look at my children and feel the same way when I seem them walking in the paths of righteousness.  I am hopeful that they will continue to choose correctly.

I have wondered about my children who have wandered off the paths of righteousness; I still hope that they will return to the correct path.  I do feel a little sorrow because I know they know the truth and have chosen otherwise.  I often wonder if they will be as prideful as Laman and Lemuel and never return to the straight and norrow path.

I have had occassion to correct my children and have been treated with disrespect and told that I was being controlling and unfair.  Those words heart my feelings and I have felt bad that I had angered them.  I have been struggling with this for some time and wondered if I should have kept my words to myself.  I have since learned that I was right to say something.  And I have also learned why my family has regarded me as being harsh.  I discovered this in reading the scriptures:

"And now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had made an end of speaking to my brethren, behold they said unto me: Thou hast declared unto us hard things, more than we are able to bear.

"And it came to pass that I said unto them that I knew that I had spoken hard things against the wicked, according to the truth; and the righteous have I justified, and testified that they should be lifted up at the last day; wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.

"And now my brethren, if ye were righteous and were willing to hearken to the truth, and give heed unto it, that ye might walk uprightly before God, then ye would not murmur because of the truth, and say: Thou speakest hard things against us.

"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did exhort my brethren, with all diligence, to keep the commandments of the Lord. " - 1 Nephi 16:1-4

I know that as a mother and a wife I have the divine right to instruct my children and give them guidance.  I also have the responsibility to correct them when they are wrong.  I have an equally responsible duty to counsel with my husband. 

As long as I have hope for my family I can with confidence continue to guide and direct them to do what is right.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I have served off and on the Primary over the past 20+ years.  I have most often been the primary pianist.  On other occassions a primary work teaching the older girls.

My current callings in the Primary are the Primary Pianist and the Activity Day Leader.

When I first started playing the piano for Primary I was 18 years old.  I was not that good, yet I seemed to be a magnet - drawing the small children to the piano bench as I played.  I always thought the kids were really cute and that they just enjoyed watching someone play.

As the years have passed I noticed that there were other pianist in Primary, but they did not have the same draw.  I thought it was odd.

I have been serving in the Primary now as the Primary Pianist for the last year and a half.  I am still a magnet and the children enjoy coming around the piano before primary starts to sing along; or to watch; or just to chat with me while I play.  I have my own thoughts regarding this phenomenon that occurs each Sunday (I have chosen to keep those thoughts to myself) :)

Yesterday right before the third hour one of the classes arrived for singing and sharing time a little early.  Sister Beck has a group of about 5 kids on a regular basis.  A group of kindergartners :)

One by one each one of the children in her class walked up to me and expressed their gratitude for being the Primary Pianist.  I was taken aback at first and then as each one said thank you I gave them each a big hug and shared a sweet comment.

Sometimes the best expressions of gratitude come the most humble of individuals.  Their sincere words and loving expressions bring great peace to a trouble soul.  I am grateful for the blessing and opportunities I have to serve in the church.  And I am especially grateful for the opportunity to serve Heavenly Father's precious little angels.