Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Conversion Stories

Yesterday I asked for submissions of conversion stories and have received quite a few already. I thought I would post them directly on my blog but because of the response and my hopes of more responses I have created a new page that now has several of your wonderul conversion stories on it. You can find the stories and future stories at this link - http://www.becomingldsconversionstories.blogspot.com/.

Because we all have to go through the process of becoming converted whether we are born into the church or are baptized into it at a later time I decided to add these great excerpts from True to the Faith.


Conversion includes a change in behavior, but it goes beyond behavior; it is a change in our very nature. It is such a significant change that the Lord and His prophets refer to it as a rebirth, a change of heart, and a baptism of fire.

The Process of Conversion
Conversion is a process, not an event. You become converted as a result of your righteous efforts to follow the Savior. These efforts include exercising faith in Jesus Christ, repenting of sin, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end in faith.

Characteristics of People Who Are Converted
The Book of Mormon provides descriptions of people who are converted to the Lord:
1) They desire to do good.
2) They do not rebel against the Lord.
3) They share the gospel.
4) They are filled with love.

Striving for Greater Conversion
You have primary responsibility for your own conversion. No one can be converted for you, and no one can force you to be converted. However, others can help you in the process of conversion. Learn from the righteous examples of family members, Church leaders and teachers, and men and women in the scriptures.

Your capacity to experience a mighty change of heart will increase as you strive to follow the Savior’s perfect example. Study the scriptures, pray in faith, keep the commandments, and seek the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.

Have you truly been converted? Have you had a change of heart? Do you possess the characteristics of a person who is converted?

Let us continually strive for a greater conversion and learn from the stories of these wonderful individual's who have shared their process of being converted. Thanks to all of you who have submitted so far and I hope to continue to receive more.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Send a Submission: A More Involved Blog

I’ve decided that I want to start incorporating all of you more in my blog. I am going to try to start sharing more personal experiences of my own but would love to involve all of you in this change.

Just like the Ensign, I will periodically ask for submissions of your experiences and testimonies on certain topics but will accept and encourage any appropriate submissions to the blog.

To start off I am looking for two different types of submissions:

1) Your Personal Conversion Story.
2) Your Testimony of the Savior and/or experiences with the power of the Atonement and the peace that it brings.

Please email your submission to becominglds@yahoo.com. Place in the subject line either Conversion or Savior depending on the topic of your post. Also please specify what you would like the title to be on your post, your name (anonymous is fine too, just let me know), and if you would like a link to be put on your post back to your own blog or website.

I hope that you will find the time to share about one of these topics or a topic in the future. I feel that the testimonies and experiences of more of us can be a more powerful tool for those of us striving to become better, striving to strengthen our testimonies, and also be a great missionary tool for those who are investigating the Church.

Please be patience and I will try to post your submissions as soon as possible.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

President Thomas S. Monson

Throughout this next little while I plan to post about each member of the First Presidency and the 12 Apostles. They are all such wonderful examples and give great guidance and counsel for our time. I hope that we will come to know them a little better and have a greater resolve to follow their words.

President Thomas S. Monson has served as the 16th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since February 3, 2008. He had served as a Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church since November 10, 1985. Most recently, on March 12, 1995, he was set apart as First Counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley. Prior to that, on June 5, 1994, he was called as Second Counselor to President Howard W. Hunter, and on November 10, 1985, as Second Counselor to President Ezra Taft Benson. He was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on October 4, 1963, and ordained an Apostle on October 10, 1963, at the age of 36. (Click on the link above for the entire biographical sketch.)

President Thomas S. Monson
By Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

This talk is filled with wonderful stories and experiences of President Monson (to read the talk it it's entirety click on the link above). I selected only a portion of the very beginning of the talk because I think it perfectly portrays the devotion President Monson has for this work and for the Savior. He has indeed responded according to the will of the Lord.

"Over the course of his many callings in the Church, President Thomas S. Monson has moved from office to office, location to location. With every move he has carefully taken with him a particular painting. He has had it since he was a bishop in the 1950s. He took it with him when he presided over the Canadian Mission, headquartered in Toronto. It now hangs in the office he occupies as President of the Church. The painting is a striking image of the Lord Jesus Christ by famed artist Heinrich Hofmann (I am assuming the picture below is the picture spoken of).

The painting is more than a decoration for the office wall. It is more than a reminder of who is the “chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is more than a declaration that the man called to be President of the Church is expected to be chief among the living witnesses of the Savior. The painting represents an ideal—the Master after whom Thomas Monson has modeled his life. “I love that painting,” President Monson said as he gazed at it yet again. “I feel strength in having it near me. Look at the kindness in those eyes. Look at the warmth of expression. When facing difficult situations, I often look at it and ask myself, ‘What would He do?’ Then I have tried to respond accordingly.”

Recent General Conference Addresses by President Monson

October 2008 - To Learn, to Do, to Be

Abundantly Blessed

President Monson Wiggles His Ears

President Monson as a Little Boy

Friday, December 26, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

Now that Christmas has come and gone...it is time to start thinking of our resolution(s) for this upcoming year. As some of you know I love the true definitions of words so I looked up the words resolution and resolve and found that their actual definitions are this: A determination to do something or an earnest decision. I often will make a list of things that I want to work on with great desire and determination at the beginning and then I will gradually slow down in my efforts until I reach the point of giving no effort at all. When it comes to the true defintion of resolve I guess I have rarely actually had one but the time is now.

I challenge us all this year to choose just one thing to work on, one thing to be better at. Often times we notice all of our weaknesses and when we determine to be better we try to tackle them all at once. I have found that this technique always results in failure to meet our well intentioned goals. My challenge to all of us is to make a list of the things we want to do or be better at this year and to tackle each of them one by one as priorities guide. My hope is that we all can have a greater determination to do something with the serious intent to follow through and meet our goal(s).

Elder Ballard said, "When you learn to master the principle of setting a goal, you will then be able to make a great difference in the results you attain in this life. We can become the masters of our own destinies by practicing self-discipline and by setting worthy goals that will lead to higher ground so that we can become what our Heavenly Father wants us to become."

Just as Elder Ballard said, we need to set worthy goals that will lead us to higher ground and that will help us see a greater result. One thing that I found very helpful in setting goals is to create goals that are measurable. When you can see your results and see that you are progressing or that you are meeting your goals it can be incredibly gratifying and rewarding - it can be a great propelling force to help you continue on in your quest to reach that goal or that resolve.

So as you write down your goals for this year think of ways to make them more measurable. For example, if you were going to write "be more kind to my sister" think of something more specific and measurable like "play with my sister every week" or "compliment my sister everyday". When you are more specific and have an actually action to complete it is more likely to take place as you will be more likely to follow through.

At the links below you can find great charts to help you stay on track and follow your progress throughout the year. There are charts and calendars for many different areas of life but if you can't find one here that you like or that matches your goal then create one that works for you.

Commitment Calendars by Emily Peterson - There are calendars to mark off anything from exercise to family home evenings.

Good luck to us all as we set out this next year to do better and to become better.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I just came across this Christmas Page on LDS.org. I wish I would have realized they had it earlier, oh well. It has Messages from the First Presidency, The Birth of Christ in the Scriptures, First Presidency Christmas Devotionals, and Christmas Hymns.

Merry Christmas!

A Light Unto All: A Christmas Gift

This is a great video of missionaries bearing testimony of our Savior's birth and life. Video is also shown and scriptures are read of the nativity. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Week of Christmas Scripture Readings

Well, I posted something similar to this a few days ago - it was a 12 day scripture reading. I have used that same list of scriptures but omitted a few and condensed the number of verses on some of them which is great for younger families.

We are starting our reading tonight so if you want to join the fun I have the dates listed along with the verses for that night and a song from the Children's songbook.

We are also using cutouts of the nativity scene to tape on our wall throughout the week. By the end of the week we should have the whole scene complete. I can't find the site where I got ours but there are nativity cutouts all over the internet.

December 18 - Mary is visited by Angel Gabriel
Luke 1:26, 30-32
That Nativity Song pg. 52
Tape Mary and the Angel on the wall.

December 19 - Baby Jesus is born.
Luke 2:1, 4-7
Away in a Manger pg. 42
Tape Baby Jesus and Joseph on the wall.

December 20 - Signs of His birth.
Helaman 14:2-6
Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus pg. 36
Tape the Star on the wall.

December 21 - Shepherds
Luke 2:8-14
Stars were Gleaming pg. 37
Tape the Shepherds on the wall.

December 22 - Wisemen
Matthew 2:1-5, 10-12
Beautiful Savior pg. 62 (This isn't a Christmas song but we love this song.)
Tape the Wisemen on the wall.

December 23 - Jesus came into the World to Perfrom the Atonement for us.
2 Nephi 9:20-21
He sent His Son pg. 34
Display a picture of the Atonement and talk about it.

December 24 - Names of Christ
Isaiah 9:6
Listen to "For Unto us a Child is Born" as we tape the different names and titles of the Savior on the wall surrounding a picture of the Savior.
Talk about how the Savior us done so much for us - He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our Examplar, our Friend, etc. - and that we should give something to Him this next year. Then write down your gift to the Savior (if you go to this link it explains this further under number 5).

Christmas Day - Watch the Nativity Video

So that is our week worth of Christmas scripture reading. I hope it helps some...I know I am excited to try it out. Our little toddler has been wavering a little on paying attention during scripture time. I hope that this week will be different - I'm crossing my fingers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Must Read...

True to the Faith

If you haven't read True to the Faith yet, it is a must read - to read it online click HERE, to buy it click HERE.

I have not personally read it all the way through yet but the sections that I have read are wonderful. The book is filled with simple explainations and applications for almost all gospel topics, principles, and doctrines. I have decided to use it during my personal scripture study. Each night I select a topic that I feel like reading, or a topic that has been on my mind, or sometimes I just flip to a random page and read. I read from the book and then read the scripture references that it has listed under it. I think that with this topical way of reading I will come to understand specific principles so much more clearly.

Last night I read the section titled "Judging Others" and it was a great reminder. I loved that it talked about both righteous and unrighteous judgements. I have added the entire entry on Judging Others below:

"Sometimes people feel that it is wrong to judge others in any way. While it is true that you should not condemn others or judge them unrighteously, you will need to make judgments of ideas, situations, and people throughout your life. The Lord has given many commandments that you cannot keep without making judgments. For example, He has said: “Beware of false prophets. . . . Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:15–16) and “Go ye out from among the wicked” (D&C 38:42). You need to make judgments of people in many of your important decisions, such as choosing friends, voting for government leaders, and choosing an eternal companion.

Judgment is an important use of your agency and requires great care, especially when you make judgments about other people. All your judgments must be guided by righteous standards. Remember that only God, who knows each individual’s heart, can make final judgments of individuals (see Revelation 20:12; 3 Nephi 27:14; D&C 137:9).

The Lord gave a warning to guide us in our judgment of others: “With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother: Let me pull the
mote out of thine eye—and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy
brother’s eye” (3 Nephi 14:2–5).

In this scripture passage the Lord teaches that a fault we see in another is often like a tiny speck in that person’s eye, compared to our own faults, which are like an enormous beam in our eyes. Sometimes we focus on others’ faults when we should instead be working to improve ourselves.

Your righteous judgments about others can provide needed guidance for them and, in some cases, protection for you and your family. Approach any such judgment with care
and compassion. As much as you can, judge people’s situations rather than judging the people themselves. Whenever possible, refrain from making judgments until you have an
adequate knowledge of the facts. Always be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, who can guide your decisions. Remember Alma’s counsel to his son Corianton: “See that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually” (Alma 41:14).

Additional references: 1 Samuel 16:7; Moroni 7:14–19; D&C 11:12
See also Charity; Forgiveness; Love; Mercy"

Let us all continue to gain knowledge. Let us all strive to learn more about the principles of the Gospel. Let us all "deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually".

I challenge you to read True to the Faith. The First Presidency said, "This book is designed as a companion to your study of the scriptures...We encourage you to refer to it as you study and apply gospel principles...May this book strengthen you in your efforts to draw near to the Savior and follow His example."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Becoming LDS or Becoming Mormon

So you may be asking one of these questions:

  • What do I need to do to learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints?
  • What happens in the process of joining the LDS Church?
  • Or How do I become a member?
Talk to the missionaries.
They will answer any questions you may have about the Church and walk you through everything you need to do to become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints if you so choose. But don't worry, by talking to the missionaries it doesn't mean that you have already decided to become a member, it is just the best step to learn our basic doctrines and to gain a testimony for yourself. You can contact the missionaries at these links:

Attend a Sunday worship service.
You may do so on your own or if you choose to meet with the missionaries they will invite you and encourage you to attend.You can find your nearest LDS church at the link below. Visitors are always welcome.

If you are a little nervous or simply curious about what happens at one of our meetings you may enjoy watching this short video which explains the basics of how our meetings go:

After attending a service if you would like to learn more or contact your local missionaries you can talk to the leader of the congregation called the Bishop or one of his counselors. These are the men that are sitting on the stand who conduct the meeting.

You may gain a testimony and be baptized.
As you go through the process of meeting with the missionaries you may gain a testimony of your own and your faith may grow.  As the Spirit teaches you, you may have a desire to make changes in your life and may begin to repent of past or current wrong doings.  If you gain a testimony of your own and repent of any necessary wrong doings you may be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

If you are in the process of studying and learning about the LDS church on your own and are not ready to meet with the missionaries yet you may find these sites helpful in answering your questions and/or clarifying our beliefs and doctrines:

Basic Mormon Beliefs - This is one of the best sites to answer your questions.  It is filled with profiles of members of the Church and their thoughts and testimonies. 

True to the Faith - This online book is a reference that covers all of the basic doctrines and principles of the LDS church.

Request Free Media - This includes booklets, videos, and the Bible and Book of Mormon.

Jesus Christ - On this site you will read more about our belief in Jesus Christ, His role in our lives, and will discover for yourself that we are Christians.

Joseph Smith - At this link you can learn more about the Prophet Joseph Smith and his role in the gospel.

Temples - Here you will learn about the purpose of temples and receive answers to questions that you might have.

Last I will just share my simple testimony with you:
I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church. I know that it is Christ's church restored to the earth in our day by the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he saw our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. I have a testimony that God answers our prayers, that He loves us, and that He sent His Son to die for us.  I bear testimony that our Savior is our perfect example, that He did perform the atonement for us, and that through Him we all may be able to return to live with our Father in Heaven again. I am so grateful to have the Book of Mormon so that I can continually feast upon the Word of God. I know that this book is true and can give us direction in our lives. I know that our modern-day prophet, Thomas S. Monson, is a true prophet of God who leads and guides us in these days. I am so grateful that I have been able to grow in this knowledge through the guidance and assurance of the Holy Ghost. What a wonderful blessing it is to be a member of the church. My hope and prayer is that all might have the opportunity to gain this knowledge for themselves, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

If you have any other questions that this post and/or these links do not answer feel free to email me at becominglds@gmail.com or leave a comment on this post. I hope this post helps a little.

Revised Young Women Theme

A Return to Virtue
"Now is the time for a return to virtue!"

The attribute and value of Virtue has been added to the Young Women theme. "Virtue is a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards. It encompasses chastity and moral purity."

The time has come for the young women of the Church to lead the world in a return to virtue. This is the time to be pure and to qualify for the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

"I believe one virtuous young woman led by the Spirit can change the world."

Elaine S. Dalton,
Young Women General President

Virtue is a prerequisite to entering the Lord’s holy temples and to receiving the Spirit’s guidance. Virtue “is a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards.”6 It encompasses chastity and moral purity. Virtue begins in the heart and in the mind. It is nurtured in the home. It is the accumulation of thousands of small decisions and actions. Virtue is a word we don’t hear often in today’s society, but the Latin root word virtus means strength. Virtuous women and men possess a quiet dignity and inner strength. They are confident because they are worthy to receive and be guided by the Holy Ghost. President Monson has counseled: “You be the one to make a stand for right, even if you stand alone. Have the moral courage to be a light for others to follow. There is no friendship more valuable than your own clear conscience, your own moral cleanliness—and what a glorious feeling it is to know that you stand in your appointed place clean and with the confidence that you are worthy to do so.”7

When looking up the word virtue in the dictionary it said that it is moral excellence, goodness, and/or righteousness. What a great value to add to the list of YW values - Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, Good Works, Integrity, and now Virtue.

It should be our goal to be more virtuous and to seek for the virtuous just as the 13th Article of Faith states - "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Ideas Centered Around Christ

Here are a few ideas to help keep your Christmas centered around Christ:

1 - Watch The Nativity video:

2 - Participate in this Scriptural 12 Days of Christmas or any other scripture plan to center your readings around the Savior the remainder of this month.
By Sister Slade found on Sugardoodle

Day 1--Luke 1 26-38 (Start reading on December 12)
Day 2--3 Nephi 1:4-9
Day3--Luke 1:39-45
Day 4--2 Nephi 9:19-22
Day 5--Matthew 1:18-25
Day 6--3 Nephi 1:12-21
Day 7--Matthew 2:1-12
Day 8--Helaman 14:2-6
Day 9--Luke 2: 1-7
Day10--Isaiah 9:6-7
Day 11--Luke 2:8-20
Day 12--Isaiah 7:14 (Finish reading on 24 December)

3 - Find opportunities for you and your children to serve.

-Visit someone who is lonely (in your ward, a local nursing home, or a hospital) and visit them.
- Serve one another and leave an ornament or other object behind and continue passing the service along with the ornament.
-Place a basket of ornaments under the tree and everytime a kind act or deed is done add another ornament to the tree.
- Help make and serve food at a local soup kitchen.
- Find an Angel tree or Giving tree and select one or more individuals to help this Christmas season.
-Just like President Monson said in my post below, "the opportunities are limitless."

4 - Act out the Navtivity Scene or create it using these cutouts found on lds.about.com.

5 - Give a Gift to the Savior
Ever since I was little on Christmas Eve we always give a gift to Christ. We each get a notecard and write down something that we are going to work on for that year - something that will help us to become better or be more obedient. After we write our gifts to the Savior we fold them up and put them either in a wrapped box or a stocking specifically for Jesus. As each year passes we pull out our last year's gift and see how we did. It is a great reminder of what Christmas is all about and it is a great reminder that the greatest gift we can give to the Savior is how we live our lives. He said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

I hope that we all have a wonderful Christmas and that we remember to keep Christ in the center of it all.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Give Joy To Everyone This Christmas: Give of Yourself

In the First Presidency message for this month, President Monson talks of the opportunities there are for giving of ourselves and spreading joy:

"Times change; years speed by; but Christmas continues sacred. In this marvelous dispensation of the fulness of times, our opportunities to give of ourselves are indeed limitless, but they are also perishable. There are hearts to gladden. There are kind words to say. There are gifts to be given. There are deeds to be done. There are souls to be saved."

As I watched the video (link below) and looked at the faces of people from all walks of life, from all over the world, I felt a great connection with them. We are all Children of God. We are all important. We all have needs. And we all can give of ourselves to make someone else's day or month a little brighter, a little bit more joyous.

My hope is that we will all find opportunities to serve and to give of ourselves during this Christmas season and throughout this next year. My hope is that we will remember our Savior - that we will remember what He has done for us and strive to more like Him and give of ourselves.

I was introduced to this song and video from another blog and thought I would share it here. It was produced by the Brigham Young University College of Fine Arts and Communication. I hope you enjoy it by clicking on the link below and I hope that we will all strive to help everyone around us have more joy this Christmas Season:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Trials: Be of Good Comfort

This last week was quite a tough one for our little family. We hit bumps and pot holes continuously throughout the week. We had one particular trial that seemed to take all of my energy and emotions - it seemed to take over all of me. It was an overwhelmingly emotional week. It was draining and frustrating and sad, and very dissapointing. One day I may write more personally about the whole situation but it is still too fresh and I think to wait some time may be good for me.

But as I have been dealing with this trial along with the many other bumps and holes we hit throughout the week I have been gratefully blessed with a peaceful assurance that my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ are there - that They know me, that They care about me, and that They will never leave me. I have felt the peace of knowing that my Father in Heaven does listen to my heart-felt prayers. That my Savior does understand - that He does know what I am going through.

At moments I am still overwhelmed and I am still brought to tears but the other night I was blessed to be guided to these wonderful verses:

Mosiah 24:13-16
"And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort...

And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

And now it came to pass that the burdens...were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage."

I know that I was visited by the Lord during these trials. I know that I have been stregthened and taught.

The last line in these verses says, "Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage." The following day after I read these verses my trial did not dissappear but I felt a greater peace, a greater amount of comfort, and I felt like I could lift my head a little and smile.

I know that we are all watched over and cared for. I know that we are not left to fight our trials on our own. I know that we are loved by our Heavenly Father and by Jesus Christ and that they will never leave us but will visit us in our times of need and will give us comfot if we will have greater faith and patience.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Great FHE Ideas

There are so many wonderful resources online to help with FHE and I just wanted to post a few links that might be helpful to all of you. Most of these sights have many other great helps as well.

Our latest fun FHE was about being kind. Our son is having a hard time with being too rough when he gets upset, so I copied off the phrases "Be nice.", "Be kind.", and "Be soft." We taped them to our wall and for several days when we'd ask him to please be soft he would run to the wall and say, "kind?, soft?, or nice?" and touch the phrases. The best part about it was that it took him away from the situation where he was being rough and turned his attention to the nice words on the wall. It seemed to help a lot until he ripped them off the wall and crumpled them up...so much for teaching him to be soft. :) No, it really was good and I just might have to copy them again and laminate them. Yea for FHE!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Read Becoming LDS In Any Of These Languages:

Read Becoming LDS in any of these languages by selecting your language in the box on the right with the fish (Yahoo! Babel Fish).

Chinese-simp - 读的成为的LDS用中文通过选择您的在箱子的语言在右边与鱼的。

Chinese-trad - 讀的成為的LDS用中文通过選擇您的在箱子的語言在右边與魚的。

Dutch - Lees het Worden LDS in het Nederlands door uw taal in de doos op het recht met de vissen te selecteren.

French - LDS devenant lu en français en choisissant votre langue dans la boîte du côté droit avec les poissons.

German - Gelesenes werdenes LDS auf Deutsch durch das Vorwählen Ihrer Sprache im Kasten auf dem Recht mit den Fischen.

Greek - Διαβάστε να γίνει LDS στα ελληνικά με την επιλογή της γλώσσας σας στο κιβώτιο στο δικαίωμα με τα ψάρια.

Italian - LDS diventante colto in italiano selezionando la vostra lingua nella scatola a destra con i pesci.

Japanese - 魚との権利の箱のあなたの言語の選択による日本語の読まれたなるLDS。

Korean - 물고기를 가진 오른쪽 상자에 있는 당신의 언어를 선정해서 한국어에 있는 읽힌 되는 LDS.

Portoguese - LDS tornando-se lido no português selecionando sua língua na caixa na direita com os peixes.

Russian - Прочитанное становить LDS в русском путем выбирать ваш язык в коробке на праве с рыбами.

Spanish - LDS que se convierte leído en español seleccionando su lengua en la caja en la derecha con los pescados.

Funeral Arrangements for Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

Funeral services for Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will be held in the Tabernacle on Temple Square on Friday, 5 December 2008, at 12 noon. The funeral will be open to the public.

The funeral services will be broadcast live on KSL, BYU-TV and LDS.org.
There will be no public viewing, but expressions of sympathy can be e-mailed to condolences@ldschurch.org or mailed to Church headquarters at 47 East South Temple St., Salt Lake City, UT 84150.

In lieu of flowers, Elder Wirthlin’s family has suggested that contributions be made to the Church’s Humanitarian Center or the Perpetual Education Fund. Donations can be made at www.ldsp.org/wirthlin or www.ldsphilanthropies.org/wirthlin.

For more details about seating, times, ect. see the full article found online at LDS Newsroom.

Draper Utah Temple Open House Reservations

I just wanted to post this information for anyone who might want to attend the Draper Utah Temple Open House. You do not have to be a member of the LDS church to attend. To make reservations to attend read the article below and click on the link provided. To read the entire article go to the LDS Newsroom. To learn more about temples click HERE.

SALT LAKE CITY 3 December 2008 Tours of the Draper Utah Temple, the 12th Utah temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, can be reserved by the general public beginning 1 December 2008 at 10 a.m.

Open house organizers request that advance reservations be made online at http://www.lds.org/reservations/0,10751,1619-1-501,00.html (maximum of 10 guests per reservation) or by calling 1-800-537-6181 (toll free) or 801-240-7932 (local). Reservations for larger groups can also be accommodated by calling these numbers.

The public open house will run from Thursday, 15 January 2009, through Saturday, 14 March 2009. Following the open house, the temple will be formally dedicated on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 20–22 March 2009. A total of 12 dedicatory sessions will be held.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Visiting and Home Teaching: A Serious Responsibility

I watched this video tonight (link below) and at some points it made me chuckle, and others moments I could relate, and it also caused me to think about how I am doing as a visiting teacher. There are definitely some things I can work on. Watch the video and enjoy it's many exaggerated moments but also reflect on and examine how you are doing as a visiting (or home) teacher.

I love this quote by Gordon B. Hinckley about Home and Visiting Teaching. It really puts into perspective how important our efforts are and what a big responsibility it is to be a Visiting or Home teacher:

"I hope that home teachers and visiting teachers will experience two things: first, the challenge of the responsibility that is in their great calling, and second, the sweetness of results from their work, particularly with those among us who are less active. I hope that these teachers will get on their knees and pray for direction, and then go to work to bring these wandering prodigals back into the fold of the Church. If home and visiting teachers respond to this challenge, I honestly believe that they will taste the sweet and wonderful feeling which comes of being an instrument in the hands of the Lord in leading someone back into activity in His church and kingdom.

"I am making a plea for us to reach out to our brethren and sisters who have known the beauty and the wonder of this restored gospel for a brief season and then for some reason have left it.

"May all home teachers recognize that they have an inescapable responsibility to go into the homes of the people and teach them to live the gospel principles more faithfully, to see that there is no iniquity or backbiting or evil speaking, to build faith, to see that the families are getting along temporally. That is a very serious responsibility; it really is. But it is not a heavy burden—it just takes a little more faith. It is worthy of our very best effort." (Instruments of the Lord," Ensign, March 1997.)

I hope that we all will determine to be better Home and Visiting Teachers - that we will recognize the serious responsibility that it is and it give our very best effort.

To read more about visiting teaching you can go to this link--->Visiting Teaching.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Elder Wirthlin Will Be Missed

Here is the article that is found in the LDS Newsroom:

SALT LAKE CITY 2 December 2008 Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, the oldest living apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died last night, age 91.

Elder Wirthlin had gone to bed at his Salt Lake City home, and died peacefully at about 11:30 pm of causes incident to age. His oldest daughter, Jane Wirthlin Parker, was present. A member of the family had been staying and caring for Elder Wirthlin, whose wife, Elisa Young Rogers Wirthlin, died in 2006.

He had continued to work at his office right up until the Thanksgiving holiday.Funeral arrangements will be announced.

To read his biography click on this link---> Elder Wirthlin's Biography.

This is great video of Elder Wirthlin's Testimony,
especially during this Christmas Season.

I am so glad we all had the opportunity to hear Elder Wirthlin speak in this last General Conference in such an uplifting, happy, encouraging, and funny way. It was a wonderful talk.

I couldn't resist posting an entire section (Learn to Laugh) of his talk below because it will forever be one of my last great memories of Elder Wirthlin. I had the opportunity of attending that session and I remember having a great laugh during his talk and now I am reminded of the determination I had to laugh more and to groan less. That is definitely something I can work on. I am grateful for his great counsel.

I will miss Elder Wirthlin a lot. I will miss his great attitude. I will miss his stories that showed his unwavering spirit of obedience. What a great man and what a great Apostle of the Lord.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness.

Over the years I have learned a few things that have helped me through times of testing and trial. I would like to share them with you.

Learn to Laugh

The first thing we can do is learn to laugh. Have you ever seen an angry driver who, when someone else makes a mistake, reacts as though that person has insulted his honor, his family, his dog, and his ancestors all the way back to Adam? Or have you had an encounter with an overhanging cupboard door left open at the wrong place and the wrong time which has been cursed, condemned, and avenged by a sore-headed victim?

There is an antidote for times such as these: learn to laugh.

I remember loading up our children in a station wagon and driving to Los Angeles. There were at least nine of us in the car, and we would invariably get lost. Instead of getting angry, we laughed. Every time we made a wrong turn, we laughed harder.

Getting lost was not an unusual occurrence for us. Once while heading south to Cedar City, Utah, we took a wrong turn and didn’t realize it until two hours later when we saw the “Welcome to Nevada” signs. We didn’t get angry. We laughed, and as a result, anger and resentment rarely resulted. Our laughter created cherished memories for us.

I remember when one of our daughters went on a blind date. She was all dressed up and waiting for her date to arrive when the doorbell rang. In walked a man who seemed a little old, but she tried to be polite. She introduced him to me and my wife and the other children; then she put on her coat and went out the door. We watched as she got into the car, but the car didn’t move. Eventually our daughter got out of the car and, red faced, ran back into the house. The man that she thought was her blind date had actually come to pick up another of our daughters who had agreed to be a babysitter for him and his wife.

We all had a good laugh over that. In fact, we couldn’t stop laughing. Later, when our daughter’s real blind date showed up, I couldn’t come out to meet him because I was still in the kitchen laughing. Now I realize that our daughter could have felt humiliated and embarrassed. But she laughed with us, and as a result, we still laugh about it today.

The next time you’re tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead. It will extend your life and make the lives of all those around you more enjoyable.

He then went on to share three more things that can help through times of trial:

Seek for the Eternal
The Principle of Compensation
Trust in the Father and the Son

To read the entire talk click on the title above.

I hope we all will strive to follow the counsel of Elder Wirthlin.

Monday, December 1, 2008

World AIDS Day

“All about us there are many who are in need of help and who are deserving of rescue. Our mission in life, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, must be a mission of saving. There are the homeless, the hungry, the destitute.”President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Our Mission of Saving,” Ensign, Nov. 1991, 59

Today is World AIDS Day so I thought I would take the opportunity to write about my experience in Kenya. I had the opportunity of going to Africa about 4 years ago. I saw the devastating results of AIDS as many of the children were orphans due to the effects of AIDS. I saw children being raised by grandparents or by once strangers or neighbors. I saw the sadness in children's eyes but I also saw hope. The children were taught to sing a repeated phrase, "Stay alive. Stay alive. Stay alive.", over and over again. It was a song filled with hope - hope of living long lives and lives without AIDS. Here are a few pictures from my trip. (Sorry they are not the best quality. They are pictures of pictures - I didn't have a digital camera then.)

If you would like to donate to help in the cause you can donate to the LDS Humanitarian Services, the group that I went to Africa with called Reach the Children, or you can donate at many other sites online.

Many of us may not be able to donate in this way and that is okay. Fast Offerings is one of the greatest ways to help those that are in need. We can also give great service by finding opportunities to serve those in our communities who are less fortunate. We may find that we can help at a soup kitchen, bring a meal into a neighbor in need, or simply lend a helping hand by giving of a our time and talents.

Let us all find opportunities to help the homeless, the hungry, the destitute. Let us all find opportunities to serve.