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.

Friday, July 2, 2010


The visiting teaching message this month is awsome!  So I thought that I would add it to my Tender Mercies Blog:

Strengthening at Every Opportunity

"Each of us is in a different family situation.  Some families have a mother and father with children at home.  Some couples no longer have children at home.  Many members of the Church are single, and some are single parents.  Others are widows or widowers living alone."

"No matter what our family looks like, each of us can work to strengthen our own families or help in strengthening others."

"[Once] I stayed in the home of my niece and her family.  That evening before the children went to bed, we had a short family home evening and a scripture story.  Their father told about the family of Lehi and how he taught his children that they must hold fast to the iron rod, which is the word of God.  Holding fast to the iron rod would keep them safe and lead them to joy and happiness.  If they should let go of the iron rod, there was danger of drowing in the river of dirty water."

"To demonstrate this to the children, their mother became the 'iron rod' that they must cling to, and their father played the role of the devil, trying to pull the children away from safety and happiness.  The children loved the story and learned how important it is to hold fast to the iron rod.  After the scripture story it was time for family prayer..."

"Scriptures, family home evening, and family prayer will strengthen families.  We need to take every opportunity to strengthen families and support one another to stay on the right path."

- Barbara Thompson, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency.