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.