Sunday, August 31, 2008
I finally decided to start singing some of the Hymns and Primary songs. I also recited my testimony in my head to try to get my mind off of my very realistic dream. I was not filled with peace immediately but as I continued to sing and to recognize my testimony I was able to feel a sense of peace and calmness in my heart.
Because of this experience I thought of this scripture, which is one of my favorites, which reads:
Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
I know that the spirit of fear comes from Satan and that through the Spirit of God we are given power and love. If we are obedient and if we invite the Spirit then we can have the Spirit with us always and should have no need to fear.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
The Need for Greater Kindness
President Gordon B. Hinckley
Next is the manner in which his newfound friend Richard treated him. It was totally opposite from his previous experience. It led to his conversion and baptism in the face of terrible odds.
This kind of miracle can happen and will happen when there is kindness, respect, and love. Why do any of us have to be so mean and unkind to others? Why can't all of us reach out in friendship to everyone about us? Why is there so much bitterness and animosity? It is not a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There is no end to the good we can do, to the influence we can have with others. Let us not dwell on the critical or the negative. Let us pray for strength; let us pray for capacity and desire to assist others. Let us radiate the light of the gospel at all times and all places, that the Spirit of the Redeemer may radiate from us.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Moroni 7:45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
I love her directions to - "Write it down every day: “Be kind.”" What a great reminder that would be if we truly put "Be kind" at the top of our daily to do list.
And then I love the blessings that we will receive if we are kind - we will have the blessing of the Spirit of the Lord where ever we are, we will have charity added to our storehouse, and we will be stregthened. What great blessings.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
After Jesus had eaten the Last Supper with His Apostles, He removed His outer robe and put a towel around His waist. Then He poured water into a basin and, one by one, began to wash and dry the Apostles’ feet. (See John 13:4–5.)
When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter asked the Lord why He was washing his feet. Jesus told Peter that he would not understand then but that he would know later. Peter said, “Thou needest not to wash my feet” (Joseph Smith Translation, John 13:8). “Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me” (John 13:8). Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head” (John 13:9). Jesus told him that He needed only to wash his feet (see John 13:10; Joseph Smith Translation, John 13:10).
Jesus told His Apostles that they were not all clean because He knew one would betray Him (see John 13:10–11).
When Jesus finished washing the Apostles’ feet, He said, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14–15).
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I am like a star shining brightly,
Smiling for the whole world to see.
I can do and say happy things each day,
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works,
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Testimony of my Grandpa- Ed J. Pinegar
My Simple Testimony
Robert C. Oaks, “The Power of Patience,” Ensign, Nov 2006, 15–17
How thankful I am for latter-day scriptures regarding core Christian virtues.
The Book of Mormon provides insight into the relationship between patience and charity. Mormon, after pointing out that if a man “have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity,” goes on to name the 13 elements of charity, or the pure love of Christ. I find it most interesting that 4 of the 13 elements of this must-have virtue relate to patience (see Moroni 7:44–45).
First, “charity suffereth long.” That is what patience is all about. Charity “is not easily provoked” is another aspect of this quality, as is charity “beareth all things.” And finally, charity “endureth all things” is certainly an expression of patience (Moroni 7:45). From these defining elements it is evident that without patience gracing our soul, we would be seriously lacking with respect to a Christlike character.
In the Bible Job offers the classic portrait of patience. In the face of losing his vast empire, including his children, Job was able, because of his unfailing faith, to proclaim, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Through all of his tribulation and pain, “Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (Job 1:21–22).
How often do we hear oppressed souls ask foolishly, “How could God do this to me?” when really they should be praying for strength to “beareth” and “endureth all things.”
The greatest scriptural examples of patience are found in the life of Jesus Christ. His long-suffering and endurance are best demonstrated on that excruciating night in Gethsemane as He uttered, in His atoning agony, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39). He truly suffered and bore and endured all things.
While nailed to the cross on Calvary, Christ continued in His perfect example of patience as He uttered the singular words, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
These examples of patience have greater meaning for us when we consider the admonition found in 3 Nephi: “Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am” (3 Nephi 27:27).
Several scriptures highlight the importance of patience. Let me mention a few:
“Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19).
“Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith” (Mosiah 23:21).
In Mosiah, King Benjamin instructs us that we will be a natural-man enemy of God until we yield to the enticings of the Holy Ghost through our patience, plus other virtues (see Mosiah 3:19).
Joseph Smith stated, “Patience is heavenly” (History of the Church, 6:427).
Is patience important and worthy of our pondering and pursuit? It certainly is if we would avoid the demeaning classification of “nothing” used to label those without charity. It is if we desire to be less a natural-man enemy of God. It is if we would be heavenly. It is if we would seek to become after the manner of Christ.
The impatient, natural man is all about us. We see it manifest in news reports of parents, in a fit of rage, abusing a child, even unto death. On our highways, incidents of mobile impatience, or road rage, result in violent accidents and sometimes fatalities.
On a less dramatic but much more common level are flared tempers and harsh words uttered in response to slow-moving customer lines, never-ending telephone solicitation calls, or children reluctant to respond to our instructions. Do any of these sound familiar?
Fortunately, there are seldom-reported but marvelous-to-consider stories of great patience. Recently I attended the funeral of a lifelong friend. His son told a beautiful story of parental patience. When the son was in his youth, his dad owned a motorcycle dealership. One day they received a shipment of shiny new motorcycles, and they lined them all up in the store. The boy did what every boy would like to do, and he climbed up on the closest one. He even started it up. Then, when he figured he had pushed his luck far enough, he jumped off. To his dismay, his dismount knocked the first bike down. Then, like a string of dominoes, they all went down, one after another. His dad heard the commotion and looked out from behind the partition where he was working. Slowly, smiling, he said, “Well, son, we had better fix one up and sell it, so we can pay for the rest of them.”
I think my friend’s response personifies parental patience.
Patience may well be thought of as a gateway virtue, contributing to the growth and strength of its fellow virtues of forgiveness, tolerance, and faith. When Peter asked Christ how many times he should forgive his brother, Christ replied, “Seventy times seven,” rather than the mere seven times that Peter had offered (see Matthew 18:21–22). To forgive seventy times seven certainly takes a large measure of patience.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell linked patience and faith together when he taught: “Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best—better than does God. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than His” (“Patience,” Ensign, Oct. 1980, 28).
We can grow in faith only if we are willing to wait patiently for God’s purposes and patterns to unfold in our lives, on His timetable.
Since impatience is so natural, how do we develop the divine virtue of patience? How do we move our behavior from that of the natural man to that of our patient, perfect example, Jesus Christ?
First, we must understand that to do so is necessary, if we desire to fully enjoy the blessings of the restored gospel. Such an understanding might motivate us to:
1. Read each of the scriptures in the Topical Guide listed under the topic “patience” and then ponder Christ’s patient examples.
2. Evaluate ourselves to determine where we stand on the patience continuum. How much more patience do we need to become more Christlike? This self-assessment is difficult. We might ask our spouse or another family member to help us.
3. Become sensitive to the examples of patience and of impatience that occur around us every day. We should strive to emulate those individuals we consider to be patient.
4. Recommit each day to become more patient, and be certain to keep our selected family member involved in our patience project.
This sounds like a great deal of work, but to achieve any worthwhile goal requires hard work. And overcoming the natural man and working to become more Christlike in our patience is a most appropriate objective. I pray that we will pursue this path with diligence and dedication.
I testify that Jesus is the Christ and that He stands at the head of this Church, guiding us through a living prophet and blessing our every effort to become more Christlike. And I so testify in the holy name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Monday, August 25, 2008
45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.
President Monson - The Good Samaritan
Friday, August 22, 2008
Some examples of things to look forward to are: to become charitable, to become clean, or to become quick to observe. I am starting out with the thing which all others fall under- we should be striving to become a saint, someone who is pure and holy, someone who is an exceptional example, someone who is a follower or a desciple of Christ. We should be striving to become perfect in Christ. We call ourselves Latter-day Saints and therefore we should be striving to become what we profess to be.
Becoming a "Latter-Day Saint"
David A. Bednar, “Clean Hands and a Pure Heart,” Ensign, Nov 2007, 80–83
"The gate of baptism leads to the strait and narrow path and to the destination of putting off the natural man and becoming a saint through the Atonement of Christ the Lord (See Mosiah 3:19).
Mosiah 3:19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
The purpose of our mortal journey is not merely to see the sights on earth or to expend our allotment of time on self-centered pursuits; rather, we are to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4), to become sanctified by yielding our hearts unto God (see Helaman 3:35), and to obtain “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16)...The infinite Atonement is for both the sinner and for the saint in each of us.
The requirement to put off the natural man and become a saint, to avoid and overcome bad and to do and become good, to have clean hands and a pure heart, is a recurring theme throughout the Book of Mormon. In fact, Moroni’s concluding invitation at the end of the book is a summary of this theme.
“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ. … “And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot” (Moroni 10:32–33; emphasis added)."
We should be continually striving to become a Saint, to become holy without spot, and to become perfected in Christ. Then one day we may be like Him:
Moroni 7:48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Elder Paul V. Johnson - Every time we are obedient…we reap great blessings. We receive more blessings than we can understand at the time, and we continue to receive blessings long after our initial decision to be obedient.
Here is a list of just 10 of the many blessings that come from being obedient:
1 – PROTECTION AGAINST SATAN
Elder Wirthlin - Willing obedience provides lasting protection against Satan’s alluring and tantalizing temptations.
Elder Ted E. Brewerton - "If we do not obey, the power to obey is lessened. Our capability to recognize good is weakened." If we do obey, then our power to obey is stregthened.
2 – CONSTANT COMPANIONSHIP OF THE HOLY GHOST AND THE GIFT OF PERSONAL REVELATION
Elder Robert D. Hales - Our diligence in keeping the commandments allows the Holy Ghost to dwell within us. We are given the gift of personal revelation. This is a spiritual light that protects us and serves as a beacon, guiding us in righteous ways.” (So with constant obedience you can have the constant Companion of the Spirit.)
3 – ENDOWED WITH POWER
President Benson - "When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment, God will endow us with power."
4 – RECEIVE HEAVENLY FATHER’S LOVE
John 14:21 - He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father”
5 – GREATER SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE AND A STRENGTHENED TESTIMONY
John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine...
Simple phrase from the friend – I CAN GAIN A TESTIMONY BY BEING OBEDIENT
6 – HAPPINESS AND PEACE
Elder Wirthlin – (When you are obedient)You will enjoy your life more; you will be happier and at peace with yourself because you will know that your life is acceptable to your Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
King Benjamin also taught this principle. "I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God, For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. (Mosiah 2:41).
7 – RECEIVE ANSWERS TO PRAYERS
D&C 101:7 They were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; therefore, the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers, to answer them in the day of their trouble. So if we are quick to obey, the Lord will be quick to hearken to our prayers.
8 – WE BLESS OTHER’S LIVES
Sister Ardeth G. Kapp: - “When you keep the commandments and follow the Savior’s example, it’s like holding up a light. Your good example helps others to find their way in a darkening world.”
9 – BE BETTER IN EVERTHING WE UNDERTAKE IN LIFE
Elder Wirthlin - In addition to helping you to become better servants of the Lord, obedience…will help you to be better in everything you undertake in life, whether it be your activity in the Church, your family, education, business, profession, science, athletics, or any other worthwhile endeavor…
10 – ETERNAL LIFE
Robery D Hales: “How I love the commandments of the Lord! They guide and protect us and allow us to return back into the presence of our Heavenly Father. If we faithfully obey the commandments, we are promised the blessings of eternal life. Eternal life, “the greatest of all the gifts of God” (D&C 14:7), is to be exalted and to live with Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ in all the eternities to come. He dearly wants us to return to Him.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Julie B. Beck, “Mothers Who Know,” Liahona, Nov 2007, 76–78
There is eternal influence and power in motherhood.
In the Book of Mormon we read about 2,000 exemplary young men who were exceedingly valiant, courageous, and strong. “Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him” (Alma 53:21). These faithful young men paid tribute to their mothers. They said, “Our mothers knew it” (Alma 56:48). I would suspect that the mothers of Captain Moroni, Mosiah, Mormon, and other great leaders also knew.
The responsibility mothers have today has never required more vigilance. More than at any time in the history of the world, we need mothers who know. Children are being born into a world where they “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).1 However, mothers need not fear. When mothers know who they are and who God is and have made covenants with Him, they will have great power and influence for good on their children.
Mothers Who Know Bear Children
Mothers who know desire to bear children. Whereas in many cultures in the world children are “becoming less valued,”2 in the culture of the gospel we still believe in having children. Prophets, seers, and revelators who were sustained at this conference have declared that “God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.”3 President Ezra Taft Benson taught that young couples should not postpone having children and that “in the eternal perspective, children—not possessions, not position, not prestige—are our greatest jewels.”4
Faithful daughters of God desire children. In the scriptures we read of Eve (see Moses 4:26), Sarah (see Genesis 17:16), Rebekah (see Genesis 24:60), and Mary (see 1 Nephi 11:13–20), who were foreordained to be mothers before children were born to them. Some women are not given the responsibility of bearing children in mortality, but just as Hannah of the Old Testament prayed fervently for her child (see 1 Samuel 1:11), the value women place on motherhood in this life and the attributes of motherhood they attain here will rise with them in the Resurrection (see D&C 130:18). Women who desire and work toward that blessing in this life are promised they will receive it for all eternity, and eternity is much, much longer than mortality. There is eternal influence and power in motherhood.
Mothers Who Know Honor Sacred Ordinances and Covenants
Mothers who know honor sacred ordinances and covenants. I have visited sacrament meetings in some of the poorest places on the earth where mothers have dressed with great care in their Sunday best despite walking for miles on dusty streets and using worn-out public transportation. They bring daughters in clean and ironed dresses with hair brushed to perfection; their sons wear white shirts and ties and have missionary haircuts. These mothers know they are going to sacrament meeting, where covenants are renewed. These mothers have made and honor temple covenants. They know that if they are not pointing their children to the temple, they are not pointing them toward desired eternal goals. These mothers have influence and power.
Mothers Who Know Are Nurturers
Mothers who know are nurturers. This is their special assignment and role under the plan of happiness.5 To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow. Therefore, mothers who know create a climate for spiritual and temporal growth in their homes. Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home. Home is where women have the most power and influence; therefore, Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world. Working beside children in homemaking tasks creates opportunities to teach and model qualities children should emulate. Nurturing mothers are knowledgeable, but all the education women attain will avail them nothing if they do not have the skill to make a home that creates a climate for spiritual growth. Growth happens best in a “house of order,” and women should pattern their homes after the Lord’s house (see D&C 109). Nurturing requires organization, patience, love, and work. Helping growth occur through nurturing is truly a powerful and influential role bestowed on women.
Mothers Who Know Are Leaders
Mothers who know are leaders. In equal partnership with their husbands, they lead a great and eternal organization. These mothers plan for the future of their organization. They plan for missions, temple marriages, and education. They plan for prayer, scripture study, and family home evening. Mothers who know build children into future leaders and are the primary examples of what leaders look like. They do not abandon their plan by succumbing to social pressure and worldly models of parenting. These wise mothers who know are selective about their own activities and involvement to conserve their limited strength in order to maximize their influence where it matters most.
Mothers Who Know Are Teachers
Mothers who know are always teachers. Since they are not babysitters, they are never off duty. A well-taught friend told me that he did not learn anything at church that he had not already learned at home. His parents used family scripture study, prayer, family home evening, mealtimes, and other gatherings to teach. Think of the power of our future missionary force if mothers considered their homes as a pre–missionary training center. Then the doctrines of the gospel taught in the MTC would be a review and not a revelation. That is influence; that is power.
Mothers Who Know Do Less
Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world’s goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all. Their goal is to prepare a rising generation of children who will take the gospel of Jesus Christ into the entire world. Their goal is to prepare future fathers and mothers who will be builders of the Lord’s kingdom for the next 50 years. That is influence; that is power.
Who will prepare this righteous generation of sons and daughters? Latter-day Saint women will do this—women who know and love the Lord and bear testimony of Him, women who are strong and immovable and who do not give up during difficult and discouraging times. We are led by an inspired prophet of God who has called upon the women of the Church to “stand strong and immovable for that which is correct and proper under the plan of the Lord.”6 He has asked us to “begin in [our] own homes”7 to teach children the ways of truth. Latter-day Saint women should be the very best in the world at upholding, nurturing, and protecting families. I have every confidence that our women will do this and will come to be known as mothers who “knew” (Alma 56:48). In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Friday, August 8, 2008
For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet
Message from the First Presidency 2
Agency and Accountability 4
Dress and Appearance 14
Entertainment and the Media 17
Music and Dancing 20
Sexual Purity 26
Sabbath Day Observance 32
Tithes and Offerings 34
Physical Health 36
Service to Others 38
Go Forward with Faith 40
The Living Christ 43
The Family: A Proclamation to the World 44