Thursday, June 24, 2010


"For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:"  1 Peter 3:10

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."  Proverbs 18:21

The apostle Peter plainly tells us that enjoying life and seeing good days, and having a positive mind and mouth, are linked together.

Our mouth gives expression to what we think, feel, and want.  Our minds tells us what we think, not necessarily what God thinks.  Our will tells us what we want, not what God wants.  Our emotions tell us what we feel, not what God feels.  As our soul is purified, it is trained to carry God's thoughts, desires, and feelings; then we become a mouthpiece for the Lord!

Your words, as reflections of your thoughts, have the power to bring blessing or destruction not only to your life but also to the lives of many others.  In 1 Corinthians 2:16, the Word of God teaches us that we have the mind of Christ and that we hold the thoughts, feelings, and purposes of His heart.  We hold them in us, but the flesh often blocks them from coming forth.  Therein lies the battle -- the continual struggle between our flesh and the spirit.

No matter how negative you are or how long you have been that way, I know you can change because I did.  It took time and "heaping helpings" of the Holy Spirit, but it was worth it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


"All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast."  Proverbs 15:15

An "evil foreboding" is a vague, threatening feeling that something bad is going to happen.  There was a point when I realized that I had actually carried these feelings with me most of my life.  In fact, I had been made miserable by evil thoughts and forebodings.

Perhaps you have these feelings as well.  You have circumstances that are very difficult, but even when you don't, you are still miserable because your thoughts are poisoning your outlook and robbing you of the ability to enjoy life and see good days.

Pesident Ezra Taft Benson taught:

"As the showdown between good and evil approaches with its accompanying trials and tribulations, Satan is increasingly striving to overcome the Saints with despair, discouragement, despondency, and depression. In the Book of Mormon we read that “despair cometh because of iniquity.” (Moro. 10:22.) “When I do good I feel good,” said Abraham Lincoln, “and when I do bad I feel bad.” Sin pulls a man down into despondency and despair."

Richard G Scott stated:  "Feelings of turmoil and despondency often signal a need for repentance."

So, for many of us the evil forebodings; or feelings of despair, discouragement, despondency and depression come from us doing things that are not good.  If that is the case, then we know what we need to do.  Repent.

Enos spoke of his great despair as if his "soul hungered".  I understand those feelings all too well; and I think that is why this book in The Book of Mormon has touched me so deeply.  I have found that when I read of the anguish and despair of those individuals in the scriptures; who have overcome those feelings I come to the Lord with a humble heart - beseaching his forgiveness and his love.

James A Cullimore shared in his talk Confession and Forsaking the following statement:

"But when one reaches the depths of despondency and feels the hopelessness of his position, and when he cries out to God for mercy in helplessness but in faith, there comes a still, small, but penetrating voice whispering to his soul, ‘Thy sins are forgiven thee.’ ” (Miracle of Forgiveness [Bookcraft, 1969], p. 344.) The scriptures give us great comfort."

But what if those feelings of depression are no fault of our own?  How do we overcome those feelings?
This is a question that I ponder over frequently.  There are days; weeks and even months where depression is felt in the very pit of my stomach and there is no way to quench it.  Where do I find the peace?
In Octtober 2006, Dalin H Oaks gave a talk entitled:  "He Heals the Heavey Laden"  - the subtitle reads:  "The healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ … is available for every affliction in mortality."
The Savior said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

He Heals The Heavy Laden

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the answer to all those things that trouble the restless heart.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


"And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him."  (Isaiah 30:18)

I want to establish firmly in your heart forever that you need to begin to think about what you are thinking about.  So many people's problems are rooted in thinking patters that actually produce the problems they experience in their lives.  Remember that your actions are the direct result of your thoughts.  And although Satan offers wrong thinking to everyone, you don't need to accept his offer.

Isaiah 30:18 has become one of my favorite scriptures.  It you will ponder on it, it will begin to bring you great hope... and great power.  In it, God is saying that He is looking for someone to be gracious (good) to, but it cannot be someone with a sour attitude and a negative mind.  It must be someone who is expecting (looking and longing) for God to be good to him or her.

Don't ever give up, because little by little you are changing.  The more you change your mind for the better, the more your life will also change for the better.  When you begin to see God's plan for you in your thinking, you will begin to walk in it.

The mind is the leader or forerunner of all actions.  Always expect good things from God!

Monday, June 14, 2010


"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies (Proverbs 3:10)."

I have shared in previous blogs my love of the scriptures and the comfort I find in them.  I have also shared those scriptures that mean a great deal to me.  As such; I am reminded of the 13th Article of Faith when I read the above scripture:  "...if there is anything virtuous; lovely or of good report we seek after these things."

While teaching both Young Women and the Valient age girls I have tried to instill in them the necessity to prepare to enter the temple and remain pure and worthy.  I have reminded them it is important that their thoughts and actions should be based on high moral standards.

Virtue is a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards.  It includeds chastity and purity.  The power to create mortal life is an exalted power God has given His children.  He has commanded that htis power be used only between a man and a woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife. 

It has become increasingly important for me to teach my own daughters the value of virtue.  My girls are turning into beautiful young women who are pure and clean.  I try to teach them about the promised blessings of being sexually clean and pure and that they need to make a commitment now to be chaste.

Virtuous living "at all times and in all things, and in all places" qualifies us for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.  When we were baptized and confirmed, we were each given the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide all aspects of our lives.  Since the Holy Ghost does not dwell in unclean tabernacles, living a virtuous life is a prerequisite to having the companionship of the Holy Ghost and receiving the blessings of temple ordinances.

Yesterday morning as we were getting ready for church, Allisa came to me and reminded me that she had a talk to give in Primary.  I asked her what her topic was and she stated that it was on the Holy Ghost.  I asked her what she knew about the Holy Ghost from reading her scriptures and from memorizing the 13 Articles of Faith.  She shared with me that he is the third member of the God Head and that he is given to each member of the church when they are confirmed a member of the church after they have been baptized.  I asked her what his purpose was and she told me that it was to help her to choose the right.

What happens if we stray and make mistakes?  How do we regain the companionship of the Holy Ghost?  How do we become worthy to enter the temple and participate in temple ordinances?

Because the Savior loves us and has given His life for us, we can repent.  Repentance is an act of faith in Jesus Christ.  One of my favorite stories in the Book of Mormon is found Enos.  This book is the shortest book in the Book of Mormon, yet it has such a profound message.  Enos sought for a remission of his sins and ultimately was forgiven.

The Savior's atoning sacrifice has made is possible for us to be forgiven of our sins.  We have the opportunity each week to partake worthily of the sacrament. 

We should each determine to partake worthily of the sacrament each week and fill our lives with virtuous activities that will bring spritual power.  As we do thi,s we will grow stronger in our ability to resist temptation, keep the commandments, and become more like Jesus Christ.

The Savior chose to live a virtuous life.  Follow His admonition to "learn of me" (D&C 19:23) by reding the entire Book of Mormon:  Another Testament of Jesus Christ.  Liken the scriptures to your life and circumstances.

"I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book" (Joseph Smith, in introduction to the Book of Mormon).

Sunday, June 13, 2010


For many of us we want to help others.  We also believe that God wants us to grow.  We also realize that if God has a different plan, and if we end this year with no growth, we cannot let that situation control our joy.

We believe for many things, yet beyond them all, we believe in Jesus Christ.  We don't always know what is going to happen.  We just know it will always work out for our good!

"And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.  And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.  Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? (Genesis 17:15-17)"

"Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.  And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb:  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. (Romans 4:18-20)"

In Dad's Paraphrastic Study and Comprehensive Commentary of Paul's Epistle to the Romans he states:

"Abraham and Sarah could not, in their advanced age, have anticipated that the promises of God would be fulfilled in the literal sense that they would be in their behalf.  The voice of God proclaimed that they themselves would give birth to a son who would carry the seed of Abraham into all of the world through his posterity.  Thus would Abraham become the father of nations; inasmuch as his posterity would be as the stars of heaven, as the sand of the sea, and as the dust of the earth. 'So shall thy seed be.'"

Abraham was a realistic man and after sizing up his situation new that it was not possible for him and his beloved wife to have children of their own.  Yet Abraham believed and trusted in God to keep his promises.  All human reason for hope was gone; he hoped in faith.

Abraham was very positive about a very negative situation.

Elder Neal A Maxwell has instructed us:

"Being blessed with hope, let us, as disciples, reach out to all who, for whatever reason, have 'moved away from the hope of the gospel' (Col. 1:23).  Let us reach to lift hands which hang hopelessly down."

Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises.  It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance.  It is believing and expecting that something will occur.  When we have hope, we work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for our good.  Hope helps us conquer discouragement.  The scriptures often describe hope in Jesus Christ as the assurance that we will inherit eternal life in the celestial kingdom.

President James E. Faust taught:

"Hope is the anchor of our souls....
"Hope is trust in God's promises, faith that if we act now, the desired blessings will be fulfilled in the future....
"The unfailing source of our hope is that we are sons and daughters of God and that His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, saved us from death" ("Hope, an Anchor of the Soul," Ensign, Nov 1999, 59-60).

In Hebrews chapter 6 we learn more of hope:

"For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.  And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:  That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.  For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.  And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.  For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.  Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:  That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:  Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.  Hebrews 6:10-19)"

Hope is the force that keeps us steady in a time of trial.  Don't ever stop hoping.  If you do, you're going to have a miserable life.  Don't be afraid to hope.  No one can promise that you'll never be disappointed.  But you can always have hope and be positive.  Put yourself in God's miracle-working realm.

Expect a miracle in your life!

Friday, June 11, 2010


"Till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me (Job 27:5)."

It seems that there are many in this world who do not have the moral courage to make their actions consistent with their knowledge of right and wrong.  And there are as many who do not care and only desire recognition; fame; money; etc at any cost, including the precious virtue of integrity.

Integrity is the willingness and desire to live by our beliefs and standards.  This may cause us to be unpopular with the "in crowd" and we may be shunned by acquaintances. 

Moroni instructed us to "deny yourselves of all ungodliness (Moroni 10:30-33)."  The Lord's standards differ from the world's standards.  The Lord's standards are specific and are directed towards appropriate behavior, dress, and conversation, as well as literature, movies, television, Internet, music, cell phones, and other media.

If we were to conduct a self-assessment of our personal integrity; how would we stand?  Do we stand for truth and righteousness?  Are we recognized as daughters and sons of Heavenly Father and true followers of Christ by our actions?  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I avoid gossip, inappropriate jokes, swearing and profanity, and being light-minded about sacred subjects?
  • Am I completely truthful, morally clean, honest, dependable, and trustworthy in my schoolwork and other activities?
The Savior is the perfect example of integrity; He did what He promised the Father He would do.  As followers of Christ we should identify how we can personally stand as a witness.  King Benjamin said:

"stand as [a witness] of God at all times and in all things, and in all places (Mosiah 18:9)."

In 1 Timothy 4:12 we read about being "an example of the believers."

I think Integrity is one of the most valuable attributes we can hope to attain.  It requires a great deal of courage.  It is one of those Christ-like attributes that we really need to work at.  We can not do it on our own either.  We can ask for the strength and for the guidance of the Holy Ghost to help us live with integrity.

The cool and popular thing is not necessarily the correct and righteous thing.  We have to decide what is more important:  Pleasing others or pleasing our Father in Heaven.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


"Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven (3 Nephi 12:16)."

We have been counseled often to use our time and talents to help others and to help build the kingdom through righteous service.  Since our family is in a small ward; we have many opportunities to serve and have more than one calling.  I have found joy in my callings that I currently hold and I love those that I serve.

Service is a fundamental principle of the Gospel.  Jesus Christ's life was a life of service.  He would remind others that he was here to serve and to bless the lives of others.  As members of the chuch we are reminded that we should act as Christ did; offering ourselves as servants of the Lord to bless the lives of those we come in contact with.  We become disciples of Christ when we truly exemplify his life.

One of the pitfalls latter-day saints must overcome is the compulsion to itemize the things we do for others; forgetting the purpose of our service.  We become proud of our deeds; collecting hash marks in the column "Good Works" - hoping that they will out way the hash marks in the column "Unrighteous Deeds".  Instead of cataloguing the things we do; maybe we should take the time to recognize what others do.

Others often give service that we may not notice, such as preparing meals, reading to or listening to younger children, repairing clothing, or helping a brother or sister.  What if for the next two weeks we recorded in our journals the quiet acts of service that our family members and others perform?  Then take the time to acknowledge their service in some meaningful way.  Sending a thank you note; leaving a plate of cookies; bringing a vase full of flowers, etc.

When David and Debbie were living in Oxnard, David would say:  "You're doing a good job."  Most of the time he was just being silly.  I have thought about those words and how important it us for us to say it.  I have made a conscious effort to say:

"Did I tell that I really appreciate you?"
"You're doing a good job."

or just simply

"Thank you."

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


"Choose you this day whom ye will serve;... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15)."

I remember, while living with mom and dad, that mom would recite this scripture.  As I had heard it several times growing up I found myself thinking about what that really meant.  As a wife and a mother I have also recited this scripture to my family.  At one point I even typed it up and printed it in large font and posted it on mirrors throughout the house.  Unfortunately, there were members of the household who did not appreciate this statement of conviction.  They will remain nameless... :)

In today's world there are many who do not take respondibility for their own choices and actions; trying to blame others for their behavior or decisions.  As a member of the church we are taught that we are free to choose.  We are often confronted with the choice between good over evil.  When we choose poorly we are expected to accept the responsibility for that choice.

As a daughter of God I can make wise decisions and solves difficult problems.  The guidance; direction and answers are set before us when we establish a pattern of regular scripture study and prayer.  We will receive help in making personal decisions such as choosing good friend, being kind to others, getting up on time, or other decisions we make on a daily basis.

We are also faced with choices pertaining to righteous behavior.  We are taught at a very young age to live by certain standards.  As a mother, I have the responsibility to teach these standards to my children.  And not just by my words; but by my example.  There is so much out there for us to choose from.  The trick is to learn how to be selective.  I thought about the choices we have when it comes to our entertainment.  I can be more selective about television, music, books or other media. 

While I was the Young Women's President, the Bishop's daughter and been pondering about this particular area of her life.  She then came to the conclusion that the movies and music that were not acceptable by the Lord's standards needed to be removed from their home.  She discussed this with her family and as a result all offensive material was thrown away.  I have admired her strength; especially since she was so young.  How many of us have the courage to do the same?

I have also thought about moral character.  Can I improve in modesty, language and honesty?  Probably :)

One of God's greatest gifts given to His children is the gift of Agency.  We have the ability to choose for ourselves.  There are great blessings and responsibilities associated with agency.  There are also consequences that follow our choices and actions.

Thankfully, because some of our choices are poor, we have the great blessing of repentance.

I believe that another of God's greatest gifts to His children is the gift of the Holy Ghost.  The Holy Ghost is there to help us make correct choices.  When we pray for and live worthy of his companionship we are blessed with his presence.

Our choices can help us to remain free and happy.  We should know what we will do each day with regard to modesty, dating, and the media to be morally clean and worthy to enter the temple.  Our temple covenants should not be sacrificed because we chose poorly.  Our worthiness to enter the temple should be our top priority and we should protect it and keep it sacred.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Elder Robert D Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said:

"...It is not possible to make real change all by ourselves.  Our own willpower and our own good intentions are not enough.  When we make mistakes or choose poorly, we must have the help of our Savior to get back on track.  We partake of the sacrament week after week to show our faith in His power to change us.  We confess our sins and promise to forsake them."

I am grateful for the opportunity we have on a weekly basis to renew our baptismal covenants.  I would be a lost soul without that blessing.

When I think about the atoning sacrifice made by Jesus Christ I often think of scriptures that display this great miracle. 

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.   (ISAIAH 1:18)."

I also remember the great compassion Jesus Christ had on repentant sinners.

"And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.  Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.  So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.  And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, 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.

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?  She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.  (John 8:3-11)"

As individuals we each have the divine right for this blessing.  All we have to do is truly be repentant; forsaking the sins that we have committed; and renewing our covenants each week.  We can become perfected in the atoning sacrifice made by Jesus Christ our Savior.

Friday, June 4, 2010


"Seek learning, even by study and also by faith (D&C 88:118)."

As a mother I often remind my children how important their studies are.  I offer praise when my children have shown excellence in their studies.  I have also shown disappointment when they have performed below their abilities.  Both secular knowledge and spiritual knowledge are important and necessary for us to be successful in this life.

Why do we need to gain knowledge? Why do we need to understand?  How can we apply what we have learned to our present and future homes and family life?

We are all blessed with gifts and talents.  I don't think any of them were by accident.  In the past I had opportunity to catalogue the gifts and talents that I was born with and those that have developed over the years.  I have seen how I have improved in some and how I have lost skill in others.  Part of developing those talents is to use them.  I know that my ability to play the piano has grown because I have practiced and I have accepted callings in the church that require my skills.  I attribute this development to Heavenly Father's tender blessings to a much loved daughter.

While growing up in the church and participating in the Young Women's program I learned to love the 13th Article of Faith and have strived to develop the talents and skills that have been given to me in such a way that they reflect that part which is good and wholesome.

When I was the Young Women's President I shared my passion for that which was good.  And again, when I became the Activity Day leader for the Valent age girls.

There are so many good things in this world to learn:

  • Learn how to organize, clean and maintain a home.
  • Prepare for higher education and obtain marketable skills by learning about college or trade school entrance requirements.
  • Consider what you can do to be more physically fit.  Improve your health by developing and implementing a regular fitness program and learning to cook and eat food that is part of a healthful diet.
  • Learn about the proper care of clothing.
  • Learn skills in first aid, safety, sanitation and survival.
  • Memorize a couple of your favorite hymns.
  • Learn the correct conducting pattern to hymns.
  • Select a gospel principle you would like to understand better.  Read scriptures and conference talks that relate to that principle.
  • Memorize the 13th Article of Faith and then visit a museum or exhibit or attend a performance that involves dance, music, speech or drama.  Evaluate by using the 13th article of faith as a guide.
Have fun and keep on learning!  :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010


"Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God (D&C 18:10)"

I don't know how it happened or when...  I have always known that I am a daughter of Heavenly Father.  I know that he knows me individually and that he loves me.  I sometimes wonder if my children understand who they are.  Especially my daughters.  I think about Aislyn as she has grown into a beautiful young woman and I wonder if she knows how special she is.

I then think about the wonderful things that are given for us to know when we receive our patriarchal blessings and desire for my daughters to have the desire to obtain their very own.

I also think about the many individuals I come in contact with and wonder if they know their divine origins and if they know their own worth.  Is there a way for me to help them recognize who they are?  I know that if I help build them up and make them feel of worth that's a start.  How do I do that?

Maybe I can look for their individual qualities and positive attributes and focus on them.  Maybe I can acknowledge them openly; letting them know that I have noticed the good that is in them.

Each one of Heavenly Father's children has a unique and divine mission to perform on the earth.  Each one of us has been blessed with talents to accomplish that particular mission.  What have we done to develop those gifts so that we can be a benefit and a blessing to those around us?  Do we see the influence we have in the lives of others?  Do we take notice and witness the value and contribution of others?