Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Well, as you can imagine there have been many consquences carried out around here but with little improvement. There have been time outs for him and time outs for his favorite toys and even reward systems to help out. None have resulted in much improvement. The idea of being nice to his little sister just doesn't seem to be sinking in.
He often tries to put his hands on her head to do who knows what but it almost always is too rough. So on this particular day he put his hands on her head and I quickly told him to take his hands off of her. He then looked at me so innocently and said, "No, I'm giving her a blessing."
At least some things are sinking in but until they all do I will keep our baby guarded by gate and be ready to bolt to the rescue at any moment. :)
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
This wonderful quote comes from the Christmas page found on LDS.org. Here you can find activities to do with your children, traditions you may want to start with your family, Christmas videos and much more. All of these things are meant to help us "Simplify our Christmas by embracing the spiritual side of the season."
Monday, November 23, 2009
Just a little over a week later in Relief Society on the board was written:
PONDER the privilege it is to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I thought back to the baptism and the Spirit that I felt there, I thought back to the Sacrament meeting earlier that morning where he received the Holy Ghost, I thought back to my childhood growing up in a home with the Gospel and again I was reminded of the great blessing it is to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have so much and we know so much.
This Thanksgiving season I have so many things to be grateful for, big and small. I am grateful for my sweet family, for the little things that brighten my day like my little boys laughter, and I am especially grateful this year for my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am so grateful for my testimony. I am so thankful for the guidance that the scriptures, a living prophet, and the gift of the Holy Ghost give me in my life. In a time when the world is chaotic, busy, and wicked I am very grateful to know of God's plan for me and to know what I need to do to make it back to Him.
Enjoy this short video of what other's are thankful for and Count Your Blessings.
What are you thankful for this year?
To watch more videos or to read more on gratitude visit the GRATITUDE Topic Page.
Friday, November 6, 2009
So I attended a ward other than my own this last Sunday. It was a good meeting, somewhat interesting, but good. But as the meeting kept rolling and then came to a close it was obvious the meeting was lacking. It was a fast and testimony meeting but even with the testimonies that were shared something was missing.
I sat near the back in the cultural hall. As always the meeting began with an opening hymn and there was not a book in sight in the back where I sat. I don't recall exactly what song was played. It was not an unusual hymn but one that we don't all know the words to without a book in front of us. I sat and hummed along but wished I could sing the words.
Then the sacrament hymn rolled around and again it wasn't an unusual song choice but still not one of the most common. Again, I looked around for a book and again I began to hum along. No one near me had a hymn book and thus no one sang along. Although those in front had books I felt as if there were only a handful of people singing this hymn about our Savior. The room felt quiet and the words could not be heard.
The meeting closed with yet another hymn of less than familiar words and yet again I hummed along. In some ways I felt robbed of a portion of the meeting that I must so often take for granted. I felt an inner battle and desire to sing out. Because I was unable to participate in the meeting by singing the Hymns and because others didn't take the opportunity to participate I felt that I couldn't fully wrap myself in the Spirit of the meeting.
I have never to this point fully realized the power that the Hymns have in our meetings and in our lives. I missed them last week and I fully enjoyed the Spirit that they brought to the meeting this week as I sung out.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
From this page you can read testimonies of modern prophets about the Book of Mormon, you can request a free copy of the Book of Mormon and much more.
I personally have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. I know that it is the Word of God. I know that Joseph Smith did see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I know that he translated the plates and brought forth the Book of Mormon in our day. I know that the Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ and that if we read it we can become more Christ-like and draw nearer to our Heavenly Father.
Monday, October 26, 2009
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Some conferences I do well at reading most, if not all, of the talks and other conferences, well...I may not read much of any of them at all. This time around our little family has decided to make our Family Home Evenings very much centered on the General Conference talks and I am excited.
We're making a schedule to help us along but we will not be hitting all of the talks (at least not during FHE) due to the number of weeks available before next conference. On my husband and my weeks to be in charge of the FHE lesson we will focus on a talk. The person in charge must read it ahead of time and share their thoughts or a quote or two as well as something to draw the attention of our 2 1/2 year old. Hopefully whoever is not in charge will have read the entire talk that week as well but we are not making it a requirement. Then on our sons weeks we will have a lesson that comes from The Friend magazine, which he really seems to enjoy.
So that is our plan. What is your plan to keep the conference messages alive until next April arrives?
If you'd like to join the fun over at Diapers and Divinity of an online General Conference Book Club click on the picture below:
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
First, enjoy this great video about listening to our Prophet's voice. It is from the Friend's main page and is just about a minute long.
Now here are a few ideas and printables to help keep your children involved and part of General Conference:
LDS Bingo - printable bingo boards
Let us all prepare ourselves and our families for this General Conference:
"Decide now to make general conference a priority in your life. Decide to listen carefully and follow the teachings that are given. Listen to or read the talks more than once to better understand and follow the counsel. By doing these things, the gates of hell will not prevail against you, the powers of darkness will be dispersed from before you, and the heavens will shake for your good." - Elder Paul V. Johnson, "The Blessings of General Conference", Ensign, Nov. 2005, 50.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
With his passing and the timely watching of this video I have been drawn to reflect upon "what matters most". Just now I sit here thinking of my Grandpa, listening to President Monson's words as I type, along with the wonderful sound of my young family in the background and am reminded so profoundly of what matters most.
Let us always remember "what is important and what is not." Let us show our loved ones how much we love and appreciate them. Let us cherish them.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
This weeks scripture share actually comes from many weeks back in my studies but it has still been on my mind so I thought I'd start here.
As I was reading in Alma 44 I was incredibly impressed by a leader in the Book of Mormon who was not righteous but who had a very admirable characteristic - His word was his word. In our world these days this characteristic is slipping and often non-existent. Do you always keep your word? To your spouse? To your children? When you say you will or will not do something is your word as good as done?
In Alma 44:6-7 it reads, "6 Yea, and this is not all; I command you by all the desires which ye have for life, that ye deliver up your weapons of war unto us, and we will seek not your blood, but we will spare your lives, if ye will go your way and come not again to war against us.
7 And now, if ye do not this, behold, ye are in our hands, and I will command my men that they shall fall upon you, and inflict the wounds of death in your bodies, that ye may become extinct; and then we will see who shall have power over this people; yea, we will see who shall be brought into bondage.
So Moroni clearly states here that if they do not deliver up their weapons and promise to never come against them in war they plan to make them extinct. That is a scary thought. Now in our day most people would probably deliver up their weapons and say that they would not come again to war but all the while be planning their attack in that very moment. But listen to Zerahemnah's response in verse 8:
8 And now it came to pass that when Zerahemnah had heard these sayings he came forth and delivered up his sword and his cimeter, and his bow into the hands of Moroni, and said unto him: Behold, here are our weapons of war; we will deliver them up unto you, but we will not suffer ourselves to take an oath unto you, which we know that we shall break, and also our children; but take our weapons of war, and suffer that we may depart into the wilderness; otherwise we will retain our swords, and we will perish or conquer."
Even this wicked leader held his word in high regard. What an admirable characteristic. I think we all could learn from this scriptural account a little about keeping our word. It is such a necessary characteristic to have today. We all make covenants with our Heavenly Father. We all make promises to our children or our spouse. We all accept upon us responsibilities in church callings or within our communities. We all set personal goals and declarations that may only be known to us. In all of these situations the keeping of our word is so important.
As I thought about Zerahemnah I was reminded of the words of Karl G. Maeser:
"I have been asked what I mean by my word of honor. I will tell you. Place me behind prison walls-- ever so high, ever so thick, reaching ever so far into the ground - there is a possibility that in some way or another I will escape; but stand me on a floor and draw a chalk line around me and have me give my word of honor never to cross it. Can I get out of the Circle? No. Never! I would die first."
Let us all be more accountable for our word. Let us all hold our word in higher regard. We will become a more honest and covenant keeping people to God, ourselves, and our family and friends if we will always keep a promise, always tell the truth, always keep the covenants that we make, and always remain accountable for an agreemant we make. Let us learn from a not so righteous leader that our word is important.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood:
Priesthood holders covenant to:
• Receive in good faith and with honest intent both the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods (see D&C 84:33).
• Magnify callings by fulfilling all responsibilities associated with the priesthood offices they are called to.
• Teach the word of God and labor with all their might to advance the Lord’s purposes (see Jacob 1:19).
• Obtain a knowledge of the gospel (see D&C 107:31).
• Give service by comforting and strengthening the Saints of God (see Mosiah 18:8–9).
• Be obedient and “give diligent heed to the words of eternal life” (D&C 84:43).
• Listen to and follow revelation from the Lord. “Live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God” (v. 44). See also Elder Carlos E. Asay, in Conference Report, Oct. 1985, 56–58; or Ensign, Nov. 1985, 43–44.
Worthy priesthood holders receive these promises:
1. Be “sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies” (D&C 84:33).
2. “Become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham” (v. 34).
3. Become members of “the church and kingdom, and the elect of God” (v. 34).
4. Receive the Father’s kingdom and “all that my Father hath shall be given unto him” (v. 38).
5. Receive of the Father’s fulness and glory and become “gods, even the sons of God” (D&C 76:58).
6. Are warned that anyone who rejects this covenant and “altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come” (D&C 84:41). President Marion G. Romney of the First Presidency made the following comment about D&C 84:41: “I don’t think he is talking here necessarily about the unpardonable sin, but I am saying that those of us who receive this priesthood and understand what it is about and fail to magnify our callings will lose something we cannot recover hereafter” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1974, 116; or Ensign, May 1974, 80).
My Other Posts on Covenants:
Covenants for All Members: It's Time for a Review
A Blessing from the Priesthood and a Week at Girl's Camp
I posted this experience previously but I thought it would fit nicely with this post. My husband and I had just moved into a new ward. We had only been married for about 4 months or so. We were excited to start our family and to be living in a new place. We quickly received callings. I was called as the Assistant Camp Director for the Young Women. I was excited by the calling. A few weeks after moving into the ward and receiving our callings I got pregnant and I became quite sick.
I was put in charge of doing all of the shopping for our week long excursion with the Laurels. It was to be a long shopping trip. I was just in the beginning stages of sickness but I remember it took all of my will power to handle rows and rows of foods and smells while in the midst of excited and squeally teenage girls, all the while trying to keep my stomach where it should be. That afternoon was exhausting.
Things only got worse. I got sicker as time went on and as girl's camp drew nearer. I wasn't sure if I would be able to make it and if I did I wasn't sure if I would be any help while we were there. I was not very far along so I wanted to keep the news to myself but because of the circumstances I ended up telling the YW's President and the Camp Director that I was pregnant and sick. Telling them helped a lot and I ended up deciding that I was going to go, sick or not. I felt like I was supposed to.
The morning we were to leave I asked my husband for a blessing. Before I walked out the door to my week long girl's camp and pregnancy adventure I had already lost-my-cookies three times. I just knew it was going to be a long week.
Something extraordinary happened that week. I felt better that week than I had in a long time. I only threw up once the whole week. I had more energy. I had a better appetite. I could keep almost everything down. I felt amazing...well amazing for that point in pregnancy. I still had a few moments here and there. I still stayed in bed a little longer in the mornings. I still munched on things quite often. I didn't join the other's on the hike or playing kickball. But...I was there and was okay. The difference was night and day.
On the way home from our adventure the car had to be stopped and I had to step out and the fun began once again. When we made it back to our town I went straight for the bushes and the fun began again. When I got home the fun continued for several more months. I was blessed that week by the power of the priesthood to be filled with the strength, health, and peace I needed to fulfill my calling and to enjoy it.
I know that the priesthood is real. I know that we all can receive the blessings that priesthood has to offer. I know that throughout that week the Power of Priesthood took a great role. I was blessed with strength and health. I was blessed to be able to receive those things for a time by the priesthood.
I am so grateful to have a worthy and loving priesthood holder in my home and to be surrounded by many other great men who hold the priesthood. The blessings of the priesthood can strengthen, uplift, and bless us all. We can receive comfort, guidance, and healing from the priesthood. We are blessed with sacred ordinances because of the priesthood. The priesthood is the power of God on the earth today. It is real. I know that we all have access to the blessings of the priesthood and that through our faith those blessings can strengthen and direct us in our lives.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Elder Kevin W. Pearson of the Seventy gave a talk entitled, "Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ" this last conference and I enjoyed it when I heard it but it was when I read it that the message had a profound effect on me. It is powerful and life-guiding. (I'm sorry that it is such a long post but I couldn't do it any other way :) I hope you will read on or if anything simply go read his talk.
A Commandment to Teach Faith -
He shares so perfectly the importance of teaching our children Faith in Jesus Christ, "As parents, we have been commanded to teach our children “to understand the doctrine of . . . faith in Christ the Son of the living God” (D&C 68:25)...faith is truly a spiritual gift worthy of our utmost efforts. We can give our children education, lessons, athletics, the arts, and material possessions, but if we do not give them faith in Christ, we have given little."
I love that last statement. We live in times of chaotic and full schedules. We live in times when people measure themselves on the total of their material possessions. We live in times that urge us to give our children both experience and material things. But are we making sure that during this time we are taking the time to give them faith? He clearly states that those other things add up to be much of nothing, that if we give them those things without faith "we have given little".
Throughout the rest of Elder Pearson's talk I have pulled 3 ways to build and strengthen the faith our children (all along the way strengthening our own faith in Jesus Christ):
1 - Bear Testimony to Your Children (this stirs up a seed of faith)
“Faith is kindled by hearing the testimony of those who have faith” (Bible Dictionary, 669; see also Romans 10:14–17). Do your children know that you know? Do they see and feel your conviction?"
I love the use of the word 'kindled' here. As we simply give our children opportunities to hear us bear our testimonies or to hear the testimonies of others their faith will light up, it will start burning, it will be ignited.
Do Your Children Know That You Know?
2 - Be an Example of Exact Obedience (this strengthens faith)
"If we desire more faith, we must be more obedient. When we teach our children by example or precept to be casual or situational in obeying God’s commandments, we prevent them from receiving this vital spiritual gift. Faith requires an attitude of exact obedience, even in the small, simple things."
I was struck by the bolded phrase above and particularly the word PREVENT. This thought simply multiplies the feeling of obligation we as parents must have be strictly and exactly obedient in our example because when we as parents are examples of casual obedience we are responsible for preventing our children of receiving the vital spiritual gift of faith. We rob ourselves of more faith and as our children follow our example we prevent them from gaining their own personal faith. What a responsibility the Lord has entrusted us with.
3 - Avoid and Overcome the Forces that Erode Faith
"Because there is an opposition in all things, there are forces that erode our faith. Some are the result of Satan’s direct influence. But for others, we have no one but ourselves to blame. These stem from personal tendencies, attitudes, and habits we can learn to change. I will refer to these influences as the “Six Destructive Ds.” As I do, consider their influence on you or your children."
You may watch this video of the 6 Destructive Ds or read a short definition of each below:
- Doubt - Lack of confidence in one's self or abilities
- Discouragement - Missed expectations
- Distraction - A lack of focus
- Lack of Diligence - A reduced commitment to remain true and faithful
- Disobedience - Lack of obedience
- Disbelief - The state of having CHOSEN to harden one's heart.
I find it powerful that each D leads to the next. It makes it simple to know that if we stop the destruction early we will never reach the state of disobedience or disbelief. If we recognize and avoid the work of Satan in our lives and overcome the bad personal tendencies that we have formed we will never be lead to the destruction of our faith and we can help our children to avoid and overcome these influences in their lives.
The D's are a well thought out plan or map in watching ourselves and our children. It is a guide to checking where we are at and where we should be. I will use these 6 Destructive D's in my life and as a parent. I am so excited for such a simple list because looking back on my life I can see some of the steps taking place little by little and I wish I would've caught them sooner.
I also find it interesting that the destruction begins with each of us personally and our faith in ourselves, it does not necessarily begin with the eroding of our faith in Christ, although they are so closely connected. Elder Pearson doesn't explain the first D of Doubt as doubting our faith but simply the lack of confidence in ourselves. Satan works in such small ways to bring us down in such big ones. He starts with confidence in ourselves to eventually lead us to a state of disbelief.
The Savior's Promise
"Challenging times require greater spiritual power. Consider carefully the Savior’s promise: “If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me” (Moroni 7:33)." What a wonderful promise.
I don't think that I have even skimmed the surface of explaining what this talk has taught me and the profound effect it has had on me, I don't know how. I do know that it was a powerful message, one that we as parents need to listen to and follow. With all that is going on in the world today adding more faith to both our own and our children's lives will be essential.
Let us strive to bear our testimonies to our children more often. Let us strive to be more exact examples of obedience. Let us recognize, avoid, and overcome the destructive influences that attempt to erode our faith. Let us remember that these thoughts are not only to help us gain stronger faith but that it is a commandment to teach our children the doctrine of faith. "Challenging times [do and will] require greater spiritual power."
Friday, July 24, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
He loved the chandeliers because they were "sparkly" and had "lots of colors, green, blue, pink, etc." He also wanted to go see the oxen up close and even take a swim in the baptismal font. It was pretty cute. He really did quite well until... he wacked his head on the metal handle of a door which created a crying fest right before we sat down to listen to a couple in one of the sealing rooms. We fought the whining and squirming and little smackings (from him to us not from us to him :) for a few minutes and it was soon over and he was excited to reach the destination of cookies and so was I. We survived.
It really was fun but by the end we were ready to head home. As we got in the car our little boy said, "I wanna go in the temple again." Yeah, right. :) As we pulled away from the temple I realized that we didn't take one single picture of our trip to the temple. I wanted at least one of us outside of it but don't worry we got a few pictures from our trip.
Don't worry, we are all okay. So here is what happened. On the way to the temple we felt a little rattle in the car but nothing to be too worried about, or at least we thought. Then on the way home the rattling became more of a shaking and definitely more concerning. Before we knew it our tire had blown into shreds with a loud gun-like sound and we had four lanes to get across. There was smoke and the scraping sound of our front bumper and lack of much of a tire dragging on the ground. Luckily my husband was able to remain in good control of the car and we miraculously had openings to get across the freeway safely. It was getting close to rush hour so the freeway wasn't packed but more congested then it could've been. We were so blessed to not have our car spiral out of control, to not be swiped by another car, and to be able to make it across all of the lanes as smoothly as we did.
We felt so blessed to have a screaming child in the back seat not because of injuries from a horrific accident but simply because he was ready to get out of the car and go play at Daddy's work. The Lord truly is mindful of us and we are so grateful that we were so blessed to be so safe in a scary situation. We also luckily have a ward friend who works at a car place near where we were who was able to send a car to pick us up and a tow truck to get our car. It was indeed an adventure.
Our little boy and I will be carless for the next little while, but we're not complaining. We're just glad we survived a trip to the temple. :)
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
We covenant to:
“Observe the law of strict virtue and chastity, to be charitable, benevolent, tolerant and pure; to devote both talent and material means to the spread of truth and the uplifting of the race; to maintain devotion to the cause of truth; and to seek in every way to contribute to the great preparation that the earth may be made ready to receive her King,—the Lord Jesus Christ” (James E. Talmage, House of the Lord, 84).
1. “With the taking of each covenant and the assuming of each obligation a promised blessing is pronounced, contingent upon the faithful observance of the conditions” (Talmage, House of the Lord, 84).
2. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that the endowment was designed to give us “a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 324), “to prepare the disciples for their missions unto the world” (p. 274), to prevent us from being “overcome by these evils” (p. 259), and to enable us “to secure the fullness of those blessings which have been prepared for the Church of the Firstborn” (p. 237).
3. President Gordon B. Hinckley in the dedicatory prayer of the Vernal Utah Temple said, “We pray that Thou wilt visit it, and may Thy Holy Spirit dwell here to sanctify it and make it holy unto all who enter its portals” (“We Thank Thee for This Sacred Structure,” Church News, 8 Nov. 1997, 4). Through the temple endowment, we may seek “a fulness of the Holy Ghost” (D&C 109:15). Temple ordinances are seen as a means for receiving inspiration and instruction through the Holy Spirit and for preparing to return to God’s presence.
Celestial Marriage -
Couples who promise to abide the law of celestial marriage:
• Covenant in pure love to remain faithful to each other and to God through all eternity.
• Covenant to confine their intimate affections and sexual relations to each other.
• Commit to live in ways that contribute to happy and successful family life.
• Covenant “to ‘be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth’ (Gen. 1:28). A primary purpose of temple marriage in this life is to grow and mature in sharing God’s creative work in raising a family in righteousness. Parents enter into a partnership with God by participating in the procreation of mortal bodies, which house the spirit children of God” (in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 2:859).
1. Husbands and wives will receive eternal life in the world to come, the glory of the celestial kingdom (see D&C 88:4; Moses 6:59).
2. They shall become gods with all power and “shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers” (D&C 132:19).
3. They shall obtain exaltation in the highest degree of the celestial glory (see D&C 131:1–4).
4. They will come to know God the Father and Jesus Christ (see D&C 132:48–50).
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
In addition to this video I just wanted to share one of my favorite stories from this last General Conference about temples. This story was told by Elder Gary E. Stevenson. I love the simple reply of a young child that reminds us of the guide and director the temple can be.
"I remember a warm, sunny afternoon when spring was trying to nudge its way through a long winter in Cache Valley, Utah. My father, whose Saturdays were always filled with chores for his grandsons, stopped by our home with an offer to “go for a ride.” Always happy to ride in Grandpa’s truck, our four- and six-year-old sons scurried into the back jump seat, and I joined my father in the front. Our drive took us through the streets of downtown Logan, which wrap around the Logan Temple, prominently situated on a hill, centered beautifully in the city. As we moved further away from the city, we turned from paved, busy streets to seldom-used dirt roads, where we crossed old bridges and weaved through trees far into the country. We were far from any other traffic and all alone.
Realizing his grandsons were in a place they had not been before, my father stopped the truck. “Do you think we are lost?” he asked the wide-eyed boys as they gazed out the windshield across the valley. Followed by a moment of silent assessment came the profound reply of a young child. “Look,” he said, pointing his finger, “Grandpa, you are never lost when you can see the temple.” Our eyes turned, focusing with his, seeing the sun glistening off the spires of the Logan Temple, far across the valley.
You are never lost when you can see the temple. The temple will provide direction for you and your family in a world filled with chaos. It is an eternal guidepost which will help you from getting lost in the “mist of darkness.”1 It is the house of the Lord.2 It is a place where covenants are made and eternal ordinances are performed."
If you live in or near Utah (or are willing to travel) there is currently a temple open house that you can attend to see the inside of an LDS temple. Click HERE to read more about the open house and to make reservations to attend the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple Open House. The Open House runs from Monday, June 1 - Saturday, August 1, 2009.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
The full question went as follows (this question was asked in a comment on this blog):
"OK, so what does it mean to be "worthy" and to "qualify" for God's presence in the life of an LDS church member?
What about the grace of God? None of us are worthy, doesn't the Bible say that we all fall short?"
My answer would not fit as a comment so I decided to post the answer here for the commenter and all to read. Please feel free to add to the conversation and to assist in answering these questions. Thank You.
I appreciate your question. It is a very valid question. It was interesting to read portions of a few talks and scriptures about your thoughts. It was a learning experience.
First, to answer your last question, we all, of course, fall short. None of us are perfect, but we can be worthy. I think that the confusion here may lie in our definitions of the word ‘worthy’. I loved this quote that I found by Cecil O. Samuelson of the Seventy that clears up the confusion of our view of being worthy.
He said, “Occasionally, for well-motivated and highly devoted Latter-day Saints, confusion occurs about the differences between worthiness and perfection. Worthiness and perfection don’t mean the same thing! All of us are “works in process.” We can be worthy while still needing improvement.”
So basically our view of being worthy or qualifying to be in the presence of God does not mean perfection it simply means that we are doing our best and are repenting and using the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives. You mentioned grace. And yes, we believe that the grace of God is crucial.
In the Book of Mormon (2 Nephi 2:6–8) it states,
“6 Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.
7 Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.
8 Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.
A further description on our belief of the need for grace I found under Gospel Topics on LDS.org and it shares this:
“Grace is a gift from Heavenly Father given through His Son, Jesus Christ. The word grace, as used in the scriptures, refers primarily to enabling power and spiritual healing offered through the mercy and love of Jesus Christ.
Everyone on earth experiences physical death. Through the grace of Jesus Christ, all will be resurrected and will live forever (see 1 Corinthians 15:20–22; 2 Nephi 9:6–13).
Because of personal choices, everyone also experiences the effects of sin (see 1 John 1:8–10; Mosiah 16:4). These effects are called spiritual death. No one can return to the presence of God without divine grace. Through the Atonement, we all can be forgiven of our sins; we can become clean before God. To receive this enabling power, we must obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, which includes having faith in Him, repenting of our sins, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and trying to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ for the rest of our lives (see Ephesians 2:8–9; James 2:17–22; 2 Nephi 25:23; 31:20).
The grace of God helps us every day. It strengthens us to do good works we could not do on our own. The Lord promised that if we humble ourselves before Him and have faith in Him, His grace will help us overcome all our personal weaknesses (see Ether 12:27).”
So as it stated in bold, “No one can return to the presence of God without divine grace.” We all must do our part to be “worthy” and the Lord’s grace will fill the void. We must be obedient. We must have faith in Christ. We must repent of our sins. We must be baptized. We must receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. And then we must endure and follow the commandments, the teachings of Christ, for the rest of our lives.
President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency said, “So, the great test of life is to see whether we will hearken to and obey God’s commands in the midst of the storms of life. It is not to endure storms, but to choose the right while they rage. And the tragedy of life is to fail in that test and so fail to qualify to return in glory to our heavenly home.
I pray that we will choose to obey the Lord quickly, always, in quiet times and in storms. As we do, our faith will be strengthened, we will find peace in this life, and we will gain the assurance that we and our families can qualify for eternal life in the world to come.”
So in conclusion, we believe that we all can be worthy and qualify to be in the presence of God if we do our part by doing our very best “in the midst of the storms of life”. Our worthiness may not mean perfection but it is what we should be seeking for. But even after we have done our best we believe and know that we must rely on the mercy and grace of God. We are imperfect and carnal people and the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the only way that we can be forgiven of our sins and make it back to and qualify to be in the presence of God.
I know that God loves us. I know that he wants all of us to return to Him and to dwell in His presence. I know that there has been a Way provided for us all to return to Him and that is through our individual obedience and continual repentance and more profoundly through the grace of God granted by the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I hope this has answered your question. Feel free to ask for clarification if my words were confusing in any way.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
There are so many freedoms that we all enjoy and I am grateful for the message and the reminder that the video below shares - "People from all over the world share their gratitude for the freedoms they enjoy." What freedoms are you grateful for?
Hope everyone has a Happy 4th of July!!!
Monday, June 29, 2009
We covenant to:
• Come into the fold of God.
• Take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ.
• Stand as a witness for Jesus Christ.
• Always keep the commandments.
• Bear one another’s burdens.
• Manifest a determination to serve God unto the end.
• Manifest by works that we have repented of our sins.
• Prepare to receive the Holy Ghost for the complete remission of sins.
1. We qualify for membership in Christ’s Church.
2. If we are worthy, the Lord promises to:
• Pour out His Spirit upon us.
• Redeem us from our sins.
• Raise us up in the First Resurrection.
• Give us eternal life.
See 2 Nephi 31:17–21; Mosiah 18:8–10; D&C 20:37; Articles of Faith 1:4.
Gift of the Holy Ghost –
Covenants we make with God:
In order to qualify for the gift of the Holy Ghost we must fulfill the covenants of baptism, continue in humility and faith, and otherwise be worthy of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost (see Articles of Faith 1:4).
1. We are confirmed as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
2. We receive the right or privilege to enjoy the continual companionship of the Holy Ghost. We can receive inspiration, divine manifestations, spiritual gifts, and direction from the Holy Ghost continually. We also receive blessings by receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost as the Holy Ghost bears witness of Jesus Christ and of divine truths, provides spiritual guidance and warnings, and enables us to discern right and wrong.
3. We are sanctified or cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost and are born of God as we continue faithfully. Through this baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, individual hearts and desires are cleansed
and spirits are made pure. Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is the culmination of the process of repentance and baptism (see 2 Nephi 31:13, 17; 3 Nephi 27:20).
4. We know the gift of the Holy Ghost is the key to all of the spiritual gifts found in the Church, including the gifts of prophecy and revelation, healing, speaking in tongues, and translating and interpreting tongues.
We Covenant to:
• Renew our baptismal covenants.
• Recommit to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, always remember Him, and keep His commandments. Partaking of the sacrament is a time for personal introspection, repentance, and rededication.
1. The Lord forgives sins we repent of.
2. The Lord promises that we may always have His Spirit to be with us.
See 3 Nephi 18:28–29; Moroni 4–5; D&C 20:75–79; 27:2; 46:4.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I have been blessed to be surrounded by these types of men, by these types of Fathers. My Dad and my husband are both incredible men. They are great examples. They honor their priesthood. They love their children.
I was reminded today that we all to often pull men down or don't see them as the wonderful people they are. This happened as I read a post that stated, "Just like Satan wants men to see all women in the wrong way, he also wants us women to see men as something less than they were meant to be.”
But isn't that statement so true? I think that Satan does get us in that way. He makes us forget who these men are. Don't we forget all to often the sacrifices they make and the many roles they fulfill so well? The men in our lives do so much. They work so hard. They balance countless duties. They lead and guide our families along. They are amazing.
Let us remember how great the men in our lives truly are. Let us express to them tomorrow and everyday how much we love and appreciate them.
I loved both of these videos put out on Mormon Messages. They are both great reminders of the good men that surround us:
A Father Indeed
Let Us Be Men
Happy Father's Day!!!
Friday, June 19, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I posted this about a month ago but I found it saved as a draft and no longer on the blog so I thought I'd try once again, so enjoy!
"It isn't always easy to give a 'why' for everything. But we owe it to you of the coming generation to do more than just say, 'Don't'" -President Boyd K. Packer
I recently purchased a new book that strays so perfectly away from the method of saying "Don't" and instead uses modern apostles, stories, and statistics to explain "Why". It is titled, "Why?: Powerful Answers and Practical Reasons for Living LDS Standards" (you can read a excerpts from the book here). The message and idea behind the book is powerful and essential. It is particularly written for the youth of the Church but boy does it have a wonderful message for all of us. This book answers why we do the things we do and why asking why and knowing why is so important.
Even if you don't rush out and buy this book I hope that we will all begin to ask and come to understand why we do the things we do...this is important:
Elder David A. Bednar explains this importance:
"It concerns me as I see young people in our Church who know all the correct things they should do and do not have a clue as to why...Do we understand why? If we do not understand the why, then the power available to us through the doctrine of Christ will not be evident in our lives."
Last night for scripture study my husband shared a scripture found in Joseph Smith - History 1:20, I'll share a portion of that scripture here:
"He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven. When the light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering in some degree, I went home. And as I leaned up to the fireplace, mother inquired what the matter was. I replied, “Never mind, all is well—I am well enough off.” I then said to my mother, “I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true.”
The Prophet Joseph Smith learned so much at such a young age and that because he simply went to ask, not particularly to ask why, but to ask a question of the Lord. I love his words when he says, "I have learned for myself..."
Those words were very noticeable as my husband read and I determined then that if we can help our children truly learn for themselves at a young age,at an early enough age that Satan cannot take hold of them, they will stand tall in this wicked world. So if we can help our children gain testimonies of there very own when they are young they will know why we do the things we do, they will learn for themselves.
It is our job as parents and teachers to help our children learn for themselves what they should do and why they should do it.
Sister Julie B. Beck shares her thoughts on this:
" I think we underestimate youth. They’re in a searching age—it’s the “why” age. There’s a reason for that: the Lord wants them to get their own testimonies. It’s leaders’ and parents’ job to give them the doctrinal “whys” and to back up standards by teaching about the reasons for them."
As I have been thinking about all of this a statement well known by parents came to mind, "Because I said so." When we know why a boundary or standard or commandment as been given we are more likely to obey. We are more likely to understand and not have to ask "why?" again and again and not have to be reprimanded again and again.
Elder Richard G. Scott once said,
"All too often in the world, a teacher's relation to a student is one of giving counsel with...no explanation of the reasons why there are commandments, rules, and standards."
As Elder Scott said all too often we don't explain why and as Elder Packer said "...we owe it to you of the coming generation to do more than just say, 'Don't'"
Let us strive to understand why we do the things we do. Let us all strive to say more than "Don't" or "Because I said so." to our children. Let us learn why and explain why. Let us help our children learn for themselves so that they have the foundation and know the reasons why they have the standards and commandments they do.
As we do these things we will be creating something beautiful:
"Of all the creations of the Almighty there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter (son) of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so." -President Gordon B. Hinckley.