Thursday, May 27, 2010


Be partakers of the divine nature....Giving all diligence,
add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience;
and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness;
and to brotherly kindness charity (2 Peter 1:4-7).

I love this scripture!  When I think about my marriage and the relationship with my husband I think upon this scripture and wonder if I behave appropriately towards him.  I use this scripture to check myself.  I also think about my responsibilities as a mother and evaluate my interaction with my children against this scripture.

These are attributes that the Savior exemplified during his life here on earth.  They were taught by his actions and deeds.  These are also attributes of our Heavenly Father.  These are divine attributes that we should strive to develop and then work towards perfecting them.

For the past couple weeks I have made a special effort to strengthen my relationship with my husband by showing my love for him through my actions.  It takes great effort to refrain from judging, criticizing or speaking unkindly when you are out of practice.  It takes an equal amount of effort to watch for positive qualities.  Writing notes of encouragement (or love notes); praying for my husband, finding ways to be helpful and verbally expressing my love have helped me see him for who he is.  A son of God who is of worth.

Another scripture that reminds me of how I should behave is found in Colssians 3:12-17

Put on therefore,as the elect of God, holy and
beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness,
humbleness of mind, meekness,
longsuffering; Forbearing one another, if
any man have a quarrel against any, even as
Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  And above
all these things put on charity, which is the
bond of perfectness.  And let the peace of God
rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are
called in one body; and be ye thankful.  Let
the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all
wisdom; teaching and admonishing one
another in psalms and hymns and spiritual
songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the
Lord.  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving
thanks to God and the Father by him.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


"Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things;
therefore if ye have faith
ye hope for things which are not seen,
which are true (Alma 32:21)."

The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Having faith in the Savior leads us to action. 

There are many principles of the gospel that require us to exercise faith:

  • prayer
  • tithing
  • fasting
  • repentance
  • keeping the Sabbath day holy

It is interesting that we teach these principles line upon line; precept upon precept staring with our children at home and at church.  "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" outlines some of the responsibilities we have as parents:

"Husband and Wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children.  'Children are an heritage of the Lord' (Psalm 127:3).  Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live.  Husbands and wivers -- mothers and fathers -- will be held acocuntable before God for the discharge of these obligations"

Each principle that we teach is primarly taught by example.  We can not effectively teach our children to pray if we haven't established a habit of prayer in our own lives.  When we begin to regularly offer up morning and evening prayers it will be easier to pray as a family and to teach our children to offer their own personal prayers.

Some principles of the gospel are also commandments, like paying tithing and keeping the Sabbath day holy.  Again, these are principles that are only taught by example.  Sharing experiences with your children about the blessing received from paying tithes and offerings may help embed these principles in their hearts.  Teaching your children to always be in their church meetings will also help them to keep the Sabbath day holy.

Sacrament meeting is the most important meeting that our children should attend with us.  This is the time that we have to partake of the sacrament and to ponder on the sacred words of the prayers.  This is the time we ask for forgiveness of our weakness and then to renew our baptsimal covenants.  The sacrament is an important part of the blessings we receive through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Friday, May 21, 2010


"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

- The Acts 17:11

What does "readiness of mind" mean?  In simple terms it means to be willing.

From dad's Comprehensive Commentary of the Acts of the Apostles he wrote the following about this particular passage of scripture:

"The generosity of the people of Berea lay in their willingness to invest time and effort into satisfying themselves as to whether Paul and Silas were telling the truth about Jesus as the Christ and the redemption of men from the pains of death and hell.  They studied the words of the prophets cited by Paul and his companions so that they might perceive those truths in context.  They were open without prejudice.  The honest in heart always seek understanding, attempting to comprehend the will of God in their lives.  It is for them "The kingdom of God or nothing".

As I re-read the scripture passage and the commentary; it occurred to me that a readiness of mind is the acceptance of the will of God in our lives after we have come to an understanding of His will. 

As individuals do we know and understand the will of God in our own lives?  Have we sought the Lord and conversed with him to know whether our minds are unified with His will?

To know and understand the will of God we must first humble ourselves.

Humility is willingness to submit to the will of the Lord and to give the Lord the honor for what is accomplished.  It includes gratitude for His blessings and acknowledgment of our constant need for His divine help.  Humility is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of spiritual strength.  When we humbly trust Him and acknowledge His power and mercy, we can have the assurance that His commandments are for our good.  We are confident that we can do whatever the Lord requires of us if we rely on Him.  We are also willing to trust His chosen servants and follow their counsel.  Humility will help us as westrive to be obedient, to work hard, and serve selflessly.

Humility is one of the Christlike attributes we should be striving to develop in our own lives.  When I reflect on this attribute as displayed by Jesus Christ I invision him in Gethsemane pleading with the Father and then ultimately giving himself to the will of the Father. 

Do we have the strength to submit to the will of Heavenly Father; even when the trials in this life seem to be unbearable?  Are we ready to submit to His will?  Have we sufficiently prepared ourselves spiritually and emotionally to accept the will of God?  Do we have a ready mind?

Scripture study; prayer and the teachings of the prophets help to know and understand the will of God.  If we seek for truth as the "noble" in Berea we will be ready to embrace the will of Him who sent us here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


"7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

"8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:"

- John 16:7-8

Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught:
“Manifestations of the Holy Ghost are given to lead sincere seekers to gospel truths that will persuade them to repentance and baptism. The gift of the Holy Ghost is more comprehensive. … [It] includes the right to constant companionship, that we may ‘always have his Spirit to be with [us]’ (D&C 20:77).
“A newly baptized member told me what she felt when she received that gift. This was a faithful Christian woman who had spent her life in service to others. She knew and loved the Lord, and she had felt the manifestations of His Spirit. When she received the added light of the restored gospel, she was baptized and the elders placed their hands upon her head and gave her the gift of the Holy Ghost. She recalled, ‘I felt the influence of the Holy Ghost settle upon me with greater intensity than I had ever felt before. He was like an old friend who had guided me in the past but now had come to stay’ ” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1996, 80; or Ensign, Nov. 1996, 60).

President Boyd K. Packer taught: “The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear. It is described as a ‘still small voice.’ And while we speak of ‘listening’ to the whisperings of the Spirit, most often one describes a spiritual prompting by saying, ‘I had a feeling …’ … Revelation comes as words we feel more than hear” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 77; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 60).

In a dream given to President Brigham Young, the Prophet Joseph Smith instructed him to teach the Saints that “the Spirit of the Lord … will whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness and build up the kingdom of God” (Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1846–1847, comp. Elden J. Watson [1971], 529).

On the way home from church this past Sunday the kids were asking gospel centered questions.  As I drove home I thoughtfully answered their questions about the Savior and his atonement.  We also talked about the Holy Ghost and his gift of companionship.  I relayed to them the necessity to remain worthy of his presence and how important he is in our daily lives. 

I further explained how important it is for us to act upon the promptings that we receive from the Holy Ghost.  As we listen for his whisperings we will be guided to do those things that are right and good.

The most important role that the Holy Ghost has played in my life is the role of comforter.  His companionship has helped me to forgive and show forth compassion and love to others.  Especially to those that the world would say that I should avoid or punish for their offenses.  I was especially touched by the dream that President Brigham Young had about the power of the Holy Ghost and his ability to bring peace and remove "malice, hatred, strife and all evil from their hearts;"

What a blessing to find peace and comfort.  What a blessing to be unburdened of ungodly attributes such as malice, hatred and strife; which are so easily replaced by love, forgiveness and compassion when we trust in the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
- 2 Corinthians 5:17

When we read and ponder these words we often think of those men and women who have taken the discussions and have been touched by the Spirit and as a result are baptised as members of the church. 

This conversion is a process of changing one’s beliefs, heart, and life to accept and conform to the will of God (Acts 3: 19).

Conversion includes a conscious decision to give up one’s former ways and change to become a disciple of Christ.

Repentance, baptism for the remission of sins, the reception of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and continued faith in the Lord Jesus Christ make conversion complete. A natural man will be changed into a new person who is sanctified and pure, born again in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5: 17; Mosiah 3: 19).

As "a new creation," you don't have to allow the old things that happened to you to keep affecting your new life in Christ.  You are a new creature with a new life in Christ.  You can have your mind renewed according to the Word of God.

The hardest part is saying to yourself, "I want to change.  I can't change myself, but I believe God will change me as I trust Him.  I know it will take time, and I'm not going to get discouraged with myself.  "God has begun a good work in me, and He is well able to bring it to full completion"  (see Philippians 1:6).

We must first recognize how we should change, and then we must make those changes, thus putting on the new and beginning to live as we have never lived before—walking in a newness of life. This work is true, and this is the way to come unto Christ and walk in newness of life!

Bruce R. McConkie New Era June 1980:

"I would like to touch upon some spiritual realities and on some of the basic things that we need to do to work out our salvation and to be worthy, representative members of God’s kingdom here in this life and to qualify for eternal reward in the realms to be. It is true that you can reason about doctrinal matters, but you do not get religion into your life until it becomes a matter of personal experience—until you feel something in your soul, until there has been a change made in your heart, until you become a new creature of the Holy Ghost."

David A. Bednar, Ye Must Be Born Again:
"Alma declared: “Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; “And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God” (Mosi... We are instructed to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny [ourselves] of all ungodliness” (Moroni 10:32), to become “new creature[s]” in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17), to put off “the natural man” (Mosiah 3:19), and to experience “a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2).

Because we are human we are subject to "the natural man" and are carnal and we often make mistakes that require repentance.  The awesome miracle of the Atonement washes away those mistakes allowing us to be better than we were the day before.  At some point in our lives we experience a mighty in change in our hearts.  When this happens we have the desire to make things right in our lives and then we only desire those things that are right and good.

There are many in the sphere of our influence that make mistakes and we need to be as the Savior; compassionate and forgiving.  We must allow them to repent and to be bathed in the power of the Savior's Atonement.  Every man has the divine right to seek for the blessings of the atonement.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


As my heart and soul search for peace and comfort in times of distress I ponder on the words found in church hymns.  One such phrase:  “Is there no balm in Gilead?”

In ancient days the balm of Gilead was an aromatic spice used to heal and soothe.  As of old, the heartbroken frequently and silently repeat the ancient question: “Is there no balm in Gilead?”  “Why me; why now?"

The strength of the balm is familiar to us through the words of a hymn: There is a Balm in Gilead, To make the wounded whole, There is a Balm in Gilead, To heal the sin sick soul.

If the burden is guilt, then repentance is the Balm of Gilead.
There are those within the sphere of our own influence who, with outstretched hands, cry out, “Is there no balm in Gilead?” I am confident it is the intention of each member of the Church to serve and to help those in need.
When we feel abandoned, heartbroken, alone; love is the balm that brings healing to the soul.

Another hymn rings through my mind: "When your soul was full of sorrow, Balm of Gilead did you borrow At the gates of day?"  Prayers of faith give us the strength necessary to get through our afflictions.

I guess what I have learned is that in order for us to be healed and made whole we need to first repent; second learn to love and to pray always.  When this happens, all are blessed and those with serious problems and afflictions feel the healing influence of the “balm of Gilead”.  I know from many personal experiences that Jesus Christ, and He alone, has ownership of the precious “balm in Gilead” (Jeremiah 8:22) needed for final and complete healing.

It is the ability of the Savior’s love to heal and make whole, to apply a balm of Gilead to sin-sick souls, to restore to full understanding precious truths long since hidden by the cares of the world and the wiles of the wicked.

For all those that suffer emotionally and spiritually there is a "balm in Gilead".  And it's not hidden from us.  We just need to ask.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


As you know, school tries to help with the Mother's Day holiday by encouraging students to draw a picture; write a poem or tribute on pretty paper to be presented to Mom on Mother's Day.

Some items I have received have been thoughtful and some have been beautiful projects that I have faithly entered in the fair for my children - mostly resulting in blue ribbons... :)

This year Allisa wrote a tribute on pretty stationary and a wallet size picture of herself.

My Mom Rebecca

I like it when she
encourages me to do something
My mom can do
many things!  I think she
is best at cooking and sewing.

Mom you have a pretty
smile!  I like to watch you smile
when Alex says something wrong
in grammer, or uses the wrong word,
or wrong meaning.

Mom you are as pretty
as a rainbow just after it rains,
when the colers are bright.

My mom is special because
she cares for me
and she is nice.

Is nice because she cooks
for me she is my only
mom in the whole world.

Mom you are smart
you even know the seven
wonders of the world


Friday, May 7, 2010


"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."  - Romans 8:28

The apostle Paul does not say that all things are good, but he does say that all things work together for good.

The same counsel was given as revelation to Joseph Smith the Prophet in 1833:

"Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith ye have covenanted one with another."  - D&C 90:24

This counsel was repeated again a few months later:

"Therefore, let your hearts be comforted; for all things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly, and to the sanctification of the church."  - D&C 100:15

Let's say you get in your car, and it won't start.  There are two ways you can look at the situation.  You can say, "I knew it!  It never fails.  My plans always flop."  Or you can say, "Well, it looks as though I can't leave right now.  I'll go later when the car is fixed.  In the meantime, I believe this change in plans is going to work out for my good.  There is probably some reason I need to be at home today, so I'm going to enjoy my time here."

Paul also tells us in Romans 12:16 to readily adjust yourself to people or things. 

"Be of the same mind one toward another.  Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate.  Be not wise in your own conceits."

The idea is that we must learn to become the kind of person who plans things but who doesn't fall apart if that plan doesn't work out.  We must be willing to conform and to be humble at the same time.

The choice is ours.  Any time we don't get what we want, our feelings will rise up and try to get us into self-pity and a negative attitude.  Or we can adjust to the situation and go ahead and enjoy what God has for us no matter what happens.

One of the challenges we face as Latter-Day Saints is to find peace and comfort in the face of opposition.  When we view trials and incendents that are uncomfortable it is natural for us to focus on the bad or the negative.  We can find peace and comfort when we take the opportunity to see what we can learn from the situation or know that blessings do come in the face of trials.

The pathway to freedom from negativity begins when we face the problem without making excuses for it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


"For as he thinks in his heart, so is he."
-Proverbs 23:7

Many years ago, I was an extremely negative person.  My whole philosphy was this:  "If you don't expect anything good to happen, then you won't be disappointed when it doesn't"  So many devastating things had happened to me over the years that I was afraid to believe that anything good might happen.  Since my thoughts were all negative, so was my mouth; therefore, so was my life.

Perhaps you're like me.  You're avoiding hope to protect yourself against being hurt.  This type of behavior sets up a negative lifestyle.  Everything becomes negative because the thoughts are negative.

When I really began to study the scriptures and to trust Heavenly Father, one of the first things I realized was that the negativism had to go.  And the longer I serve God, the more I realize the tremendous power in being positive in my thoughts and words.

Our actions are a direct result of our thoughts.  A negative mind will result in a negative life.  But if we renew our mind according to the mind and will of God, we will, as Romans 12:2 promises, prove in our experience the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

It is a vital necessity that we line up our thoughts with God's thoughts.  This is a process that will take time and study.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Yesterday I substituted at the organ for Sacrament Meeting.

As I sat at the organ playing the postlude I started to feel very light headed and slightly nauseated. 

About every three to four months I attempt to fast on Fast Sunday and have not been successful.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I have finally come to grips that I should not fast (a little sad because I feel that I am missing out on the blessings).  My body does not respond very well - and sometimes it is a little scary. 

After I was done playing the organ, Victor walked up to the stand and took one look at me and said "We are going home."  He quickly walked down to the Primary Room to let Leah (the Primary President) know that my blood sugar dropped too low and that he is taking me home.

He returned and walked me out to the car.  As we were walking out, Jeannette (the relief socity president)stopped us and asked if I was okay.  She said my eyes didn't look good (probably glossing over)... :)  She quickly asked if I needed a blessing.  I let her know that I would be fine once I ate a little and rested for a while.

I ate a little when I got home and then slept until about 4 p.m.

Later that evening, Sirena came by with her family with a plate of cookies and to make sure that I was okay.  Sirena is my visiting teacher and is also the Primary Chorister.  Her husband is the bishop.  I love my Visiting Teacher.  She is awesome!  :)

It was nice to know that there are members of the ward who are truly concerned and show forth compassion.