Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bee Changeful

Over the past few months we have dealt with many various difficult situations and behaviors with our children.  It has been a ride and it is, for the time being, slowing down a bit.  Whew! One day while thinking about what I could do to change the way things were going once again I actually had an idea that "worked"! 

My 4 year old son and I sat down at the computer and printed out a beehive, some bees, and various flowers and then for FHE we colored and colored and then later I cut and cut and when all was said and done we created this:

The idea originally stemmed from President Hinckley's B's but we put our own family twist on it so that it would encourage us to work on the things that our little family needs to work on right now.  Our "Bees" include:  Be Prayerful, Be Patient, Be Polite, Be Kind, Be Brave, Be Happy, Be Obedient and Be Clean. 

At FHE we talked about all of these things we were going to try to become and we set off to become better each and everyday.

Here is how it works:  We try to do things that will help us be more like the Bees we have chosen and make an effort to notice when we are doing them and at the end of the day we head to our chart for "Bee Time".  We even have a Bee Song that we sing each night before our bees start flying around on our chart.  And if you read THIS post from a while back this song will be familiar, it comes from a cheerleading chant from Saved By the Bell.  "B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B. B-B-B-B-B-B-B. It's Bee Time!" Repeated two times.  You gotta love it. 

After our ever so lovely song we notice what others in our little family did during the day to be more like one of the attributes we have selected.  For example, if we saw someone being really patient then the Patient Bee gets to fly to his next flower (each attribute has a certain color of flower and each flower is numbered).  When all of the bees have made it back to the hive we get to do something special as a family, because we are doing this TOGETHER.  We just received our first family reward last night when we went to Chuck E. Cheese (it took us a while to redeem it we are about to reach the end of another round).

As simple as it is, it has helped a ton.  When my son is doing something that doesn't match one of our bees, I will sometimes say, "Are you being like one of our bees?"  Or "what bee should you try to be like right now?"  Or sometimes I will be specific and say, "are you being kind?"  Occasionally I will simply make a buzzing sound at him as a little reminder.  Kind of silly but hey it works (some of the time :).

It has been amazing what an incentive it is to just simply get to move a bee or two each night.  Of course the family "prize" helps as well but it isn't an immediate reward.

So here we are buzzing along and Conference comes shortly after with this perfect gem from Elder Robbins "What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?".  It was perfect.  It helped to pull all of my thoughts together and to expand and teach me so much more.

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while know that I love the word "BECOME" so our Bee Chart and this talk about Being were right up my alley.  Here are a few tidbits I pulled out of this great talk:
  • To become as He is, we must also do the things He did: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do” (3 Nephi 27:21; emphasis added).
  • To be and to do are inseparable. As interdependent doctrines they reinforce and promote each other.
  • While He recognized the importance of do, the Savior identified be as a “weightier matter.”
  • Many of us create to do lists to remind us of things we want to accomplish. But people rarely have to be lists. Why? To do’s are activities or events that can be checked off the list when done. To be, however, is never done. You can’t earn checkmarks with to be’s.
  • Because be begets do and is the motive behind do, teaching be will improve behavior more effectively than focusing on do will improve behavior.
I hope that we can do more to become better and be more by doing better.

Oh and if you are still wondering what the title is about.  Ever since we have started doing all of this Bee Business my son has asked for help in his prayers by saying, "Help us to be prayerful.  Help us to be kindFUL."  Too Cute.  Let us all BE CHANGEFUL!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He Lives!

D&C 76:22  And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the atestimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he blives!

I hope we all have a HAPPY EASTER as we remember that HE LIVES!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Are You (Really) Easter Ready?

So I think I am done with all of my candy buying and I have a few free Easter Egg Hunts on my calendar but am I REALLY ready for Easter?  I have some work do.  One of the things that I love about having this blog is that I can refer back to things that I have done in the past and prepare myself once again. I thought I would post links to some of my past Easter posts for all of you just in case you are in need of some ideas to make Christ the center of Easter, where He should be.  I wish I would've prepared for true Easter first and Easter bunny second.  It is time to think of Christ.

And finally here are a few great things that were not posted on this site but that would be great to read or do this Easter season:
  •  This first one is an article from April's Friend magazine.  It is called "Easter Week" and has scripture readings for 8 days (sorry this is a little late to start on time but you coud always start out with a few the first day :)  Or you could put them in Easter Eggs and do a hunt on Sunday and put them in order, or even do both.  Text Version   -   PDF Version
  • Read President Monson's First Presidency Message - He is Not Here, but is Risen
  • Read The Living Christ as a family.
 And to finish off I wanted to share the First Presidency Easter Message for 2011 and this wonderful Easter Mormon Message video (both would be great to read or watch individually or with your family):

"Among the most cherished thoughts and writings in this world is the divine statement of truth: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
This precious Son, our Lord and Savior, atoned for the sins of all mankind. That memorable night in Gethsemane His suffering was so great, His anguish so consuming that He pleaded, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." Later, on the cruel cross, He died that we might live, and live everlastingly. Resurrection morning was preceded by pain, by suffering in accordance with the divine plan of God. Before Easter, there had to be a cross. The world has witnessed no greater gift, nor has it known more lasting love.
The message of Easter is that the Savior lives! And because He lives all shall indeed live again. This knowledge provides the peace for loved ones of those who have passed on, "Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: 'I know that my Redeemer lives!'"

I hope we all have a spirit-filled Easter!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Counsel from the Sunday Afternoon Session - April 2011

Sunday Afternoon Session
Richard G. Scott
·    “If you are a young man of appropriate age and are not married, don’t waste time in idle pursuits. Get on with life and focus on getting married. Don’t just coast through this period of life.”
·    “Young men, serve a worthy mission. Then make your highest priority finding a worthy, eternal companion.”
·    “When you find you are developing an interest in a young woman, show her that you are an exceptional person that she would find interesting to know better. Take her to places that are worthwhile. Show some ingenuity. If you want to have a wonderful wife, you need to have her see you as a wonderful man and prospective husband.”
·    “If you have found someone, you can form an extraordinarily wonderful courtship and marriage and be very, very happy eternally by staying within the bounds of worthiness the Lord has established.”
·    “If you are married, are you faithful to your spouse mentally as well as physically? Are you loyal to your marriage covenants by never engaging in conversation with another person that you wouldn’t want your spouse to overhear? Are you kind and supportive of your spouse and children?”
·    “Brethren, do you lead out in family activities such as scripture study, family prayer, and family home evening, or does your wife fill in the gap your lack of attention leaves in the home? Do you tell your wife often how very much you love her? It will bring her great happiness. I’ve heard men tell me when I say that, ‘Oh, she knows.’ You need to tell her. A woman grows and is greatly blessed by that reassurance. Express gratitude for what your spouse does for you. Express that love and gratitude often. That will make life far richer and more pleasant and purposeful. Don’t withhold those natural expressions of love. And it works a lot better if you are holding her close while you tell her.”
D. Todd Christofferson
·    “Perhaps some of the things said in this conference have come to you as a call to repentance or change, which if heeded will lift you to a higher place.”
·    “Even when we encounter mean-spirited criticism from persons who have little regard or love for us, it can be helpful to exercise enough meekness to weigh it and sift out anything that might benefit us.”
·    “Parents can and must correct, even chasten, if their children are not to be cast adrift at the mercy of a merciless adversary and his supporters.”
·    “Remember that reproof should be timely, with sharpness or clarity, ‘when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy’” (D&C 121:43).
·    “Remember that if we resist correction, others may discontinue offering it altogether, despite their love for us. If we repeatedly fail to act on the chastening of a loving God, then He too will desist.”
·    “Eventually, much of our chastening should come from within—we should become self-correcting.”
·    “It is a diligent, devoted effort on our part that calls forth this empowering and enabling grace, an effort that certainly includes submission to God’s chastening hand and sincere, unqualified repentance. Let us pray for His love-inspired correction.”
Carl B. Pratt
·    “Let us not be accused of robbing God. Let us be honest and pay our debts to the Lord. All He asks is 10 percent. Integrity in paying our debts to the Lord will help us be honest with our fellowmen.”
·    “[The Lord] expects us to pay tithing not from our abundance nor from the “leftovers” of the family budget but, as He commanded anciently, from the “firstlings” of our income, be it scarce or abounding.”
·    “Let us show our faith in the Lord by paying our tithing. Pay it first; pay it honestly.”
·    “Teach our children to pay tithing even on their allowance or other income, and then take them with us to tithing settlement so they know of our example and our love for the Lord.”
Lynn G. Robbins
·    “To become as [Christ] is, we must also do the things He did.”
·    “When children misbehave, let’s say when they quarrel with each other, we often misdirect our discipline on what they did, or the quarreling we observed. But the do—their behavior—is only a symptom of the unseen motive in their hearts. We might ask ourselves, ‘What attributes, if understood by the child, would correct this behavior in the future?’”
·    “We will never have a greater opportunity to teach and show Christlike attributes to our children than in the way we discipline them. Discipline comes from the same root word as disciple and implies patience and teaching on our part. It should not be done in anger. We can and should discipline the way that Doctrine and Covenants 121 teaches us: ‘by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness and pure knowledge’ (verses 41–42).”
·    “Through discipline the child learns of consequences. In such moments it is helpful to turn negatives into positives. If the child confesses to a wrong, praise the courage it took to confess. Ask the child what he or she learned from the mistake or misdeed, which gives you, and more important, the Spirit an opportunity to touch and teach the child.”
·    “When our children misbehave, we must be careful not to say things that would cause them to believe that what they did wrong is who they are.”
·    Never let failure progress from an action to an identity, with its attendant labels like ‘stupid,’ ‘slow,’ ‘lazy,’ or ‘clumsy.’”
·    “We need to be careful, therefore, about using permanent phrases such as ‘You always …’ or ‘You never …’ when disciplining. Phrases like these make actions appear as an identity and can adversely influence the child’s self-perception and self-worth.”
·    “In helping children discover who they are and helping strengthen their self-worth, we can appropriately compliment their achievement or behavior—the do. But it would be even wiser to focus our primary praise on their character and beliefs—who they are.”
·    “During family scripture time, look for and discuss examples of attributes discovered in your reading that day. Because Christlike attributes are gifts from God and cannot be developed without His help, in family and personal prayers, pray for those gifts.”
·    “At the dinner table, occasionally talk about attributes, especially those you discovered in the scriptures earlier that morning.”
·    “May your efforts to develop Christlike attributes be successful so that His image may be engraven in your countenance and His attributes manifest in your behavior.”
Benjamin De Hoyos
·    “Humble members of the Church who conduct daily family prayer and scripture study, engage in family history, and consecrate their time to worship in the temple frequently, become Saints.”
·    “The Saints, or members of the Church, also come to know our Savior through afflictions and trials. Let us not forget that even He had to suffer all things.”
·    “Even though our understanding of the gospel may not be as deep as is our testimony of its truth, if we place our confidence in the Lord, we will be sustained in all of our difficulties, our trials, and our afflictions (see Alma 36:3).”
C. Scott Grow
·    There are times when each of us needs ‘relief from feelings of guilt that come from mistakes and sins.’ As we repent, the Savior removes the guilt from our souls.”
·    “As you consider your own life, are there things that you need to change? Have you made mistakes that still need to be corrected?”
·    “If you are suffering from feelings of guilt or remorse, bitterness or anger, or loss of faith, I invite you to seek relief. Repent and forsake your sins. Then, in prayer, ask God for forgiveness. Seek forgiveness from those you have wronged. Forgive those who have wronged you. Forgive yourself.”
·    “Go to the bishop if necessary. He is the Lord’s messenger of mercy. He will help you as you struggle to become clean through repentance.”
·    “Immerse yourself in prayer and scripture study. As you do so, you will feel the sanctifying influence of the Spirit.”
Jeffrey R. Holland
·    As our conference comes to a close, I ask you to reflect in the days ahead not only on the messages you have heard but also on the unique phenomenon that general conference itself is—what we as Latter-day Saints believe such conferences to be and what we invite the world to hear and observe about them.”
·    “Consider the variety of the messages that you hear—all the more miraculous with no coordination except the direction of heaven.”
·    “In wanting to measure up to the stern as well as embrace the soothing in our general conference messages, please be reassured that when we speak on difficult subjects, we understand not everyone is viewing pornography or shirking marriage or having illicit sexual relationships. We know not everyone is violating the Sabbath or bearing false witness or abusing a spouse. We know that most in our audience are not guilty of such things, but we are under a solemn charge to issue warning calls to those who are—wherever they may be in the world.”
·    “So if you are trying to do the best you can—if, for example, you keep trying to hold family home evening in spite of the bedlam that sometimes reigns in a houseful of little bedlamites—then give yourself high marks and, when we come to that subject, listen for another which addresses a topic where you may be lacking. If we teach by the Spirit and you listen by the Spirit, some one of us will touch on your circumstance, sending a personal prophetic epistle just to you.”
Thomas S. Monson
·    “May we long remember the messages we have heard. As we receive the issues of the Ensign and Liahona magazines which will contain these messages in written form, may we read and study them.”
·    “May we be examples of honesty and integrity wherever we go and in whatever we do.”

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Counsel from the Sunday Morning Session - April 2011

Sunday Morning Session
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
·    “The truth is, those who diligently seek to learn of Christ eventually will come to know Him. They will personally receive a divine portrait of the Master, although it most often comes in the form of a puzzle—one piece at a time. Each individual piece may not be easily recognizable by itself; it may not be clear how it relates to the whole. Each piece helps us to see the big picture a little more clearly. Eventually, after enough pieces have been put together, we recognize the grand beauty of it all. Then, looking back on our experience, we see that the Savior had indeed come to be with us—not all at once but quietly, gently, almost unnoticed. This can be our experience if we move forward with faith and do not wait too long on the road to Damascus”
·    “To better hear His voice, it would be wise to turn down the volume control of the worldly noise in our lives. If we ignore or block out the promptings of the Spirit for whatever reason, they become less noticeable until we cannot hear them at all. Let us learn to hearken to the promptings of the Spirit and then be eager to heed them.”
·    “My dear brothers and sisters, let us strive to be among those whom the Lord can rely on to hear His whisperings and respond, as Saul did on his road to Damascus, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”
·    “My dear young friends, perhaps the Lord’s encouragement to ‘open [your] mouths’ might today include “Use your hands” to blog and text message the gospel to all the world! But please remember, all at the right time and at the right place.”
·    “Do not doubt. Remember, ‘Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.’”
·    “Brothers and sisters, dear friends, let us not wait too long on our road to Damascus. Instead, let us courageously move forward in faith, hope, and charity, and we will be blessed with the light we are all seeking upon the path of true discipleship.”
Paul V. Johnson
·    “We must be careful that we don’t resent the very things that help us put on the divine nature.”
H. David Burton
·    “Each generation is required to learn anew the foundational principles of self-reliance: avoid debt, implement principles of thrift, prepare for times of distress, listen to and follow the words of the living oracles, develop the discipline to distinguish between needs and wants and then live accordingly.”
·    “No matter how many temples we build, no matter how large our membership grows, no matter how positively we are perceived in the eyes of the world—should we fail in this great core commandment to ‘succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees,’ or turn our hearts from those who suffer and mourn, we are under condemnation and cannot please the Lord and the jubilant hope of our hearts will ever be distant.”
·    “The work of caring for one another and being ‘kind to the poor’ is a sanctifying work, commanded of the Father and divinely designed to bless, refine, and exalt His children. May we follow the Savior’s counsel to the certain lawyer in the parable of the good Samaritan: ‘Go, and do thou likewise.’”
Silvia H. Allred
·    “Church members all over the world have rejoiced in the past and should rejoice now at the opportunities we have to serve others. Our combined efforts bring relief to those who are poor, hungry, suffering, or distressed, thereby saving souls.”
·    “We can all contribute to the Lord’s storehouse when we pay our fast offerings and make all our resources available to the bishop to assist those in need.”
·    “Let us each renew our desire to be part of the Lord’s storehouse in blessing others.”
David A. Bednar
·    "I invite you to consider two experiences most of us have had with light. The first experience occurred as we entered a dark room and turned on a light switch. Remember how in an instant a bright flood of illumination filled the room and caused the darkness to disappear…The second experience took place as we watched night turn into morning. Do you recall the slow and almost imperceptible increase in light on the horizon? From these two ordinary experiences with light, we can learn much about the spirit of revelation.”
·    “Because the Spirit whispers to us gently and delicately, it is easy to understand why we should shun inappropriate media, pornography, and harmful, addictive substances and behaviors…Each of us should consider seriously and ponder prayerfully how we can reject the devil’s enticements and righteously 'apply unto it,’ even the spirit of revelation, in our personal lives and families.”
·    “As you appropriately seek for and apply unto the spirit of revelation, I promise you will ‘walk in the light of the Lord’ (Isaiah 2:5; 2 Nephi 12:5). Sometimes the spirit of revelation will operate immediately and intensely, other times subtly and gradually, and often so delicately you may not even consciously recognize it.”
Thomas S. Monson
·    “If you have been to the temple for yourselves and if you live within relatively close proximity to a temple, your sacrifice could be setting aside the time in your busy lives to visit the temple regularly. There is much to be done in our temples in behalf of those who wait beyond the veil.”
·    “If you have not yet been to the temple or if you have been but currently do not qualify for a recommend, there is no more important goal for you to work toward than being worthy to go to the temple. Your sacrifice may be bringing your life into compliance with what is required to receive a recommend, perhaps by forsaking long-held habits which disqualify you. It may be having the faith and the discipline to pay your tithing. Whatever it is, qualify to enter the temple of God. Secure a temple recommend and regard it as a precious possession, for such it is.”
·    “Now, my young friends who are in your teenage years, always have the temple in your sights. Do nothing which will keep you from entering its doors and partaking of the sacred and eternal blessings there. I commend those of you who already go to the temple regularly to perform baptisms for the dead, arising in the very early hours of the morning so you can participate in such baptisms before school begins. I can think of no better way to start a day.”
·    “To you parents of young children, may I share with you some sage advice from President Spencer W. Kimball. Said he: ‘It would be a fine thing if … parents would have in every bedroom in their house a picture of the temple so [their children] from the time [they are] infant[s] could look at the picture every day [until] it becomes a part of [their lives]. When [they reach] the age that [they need] to make [the] very important decision [concerning going to the temple], it will have already been made.’”

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Counsel from the Priesthood Session - April 2011

Priesthood Session
Neil L. Andersen
·    “One of your important responsibilities is to help prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Savior.”
·    “To you, President Monson has said: ‘The Lord needs missionaries. Every worthy, able young man should prepare to serve a mission. Missionary service is a priesthood duty—an obligation the Lord expects of [you] who have been given so very much…’ My young brethren, your mission is a great opportunity and responsibility, important to this promised gathering and linked to your eternal destiny.”
·    “In the years prior to your mission, please remember the sacred assignment ahead of you. Your actions before your mission will greatly influence the priesthood power you bring with you into the mission. Prepare yourself well.”
Steven E. Snow
·    “Hope alone does not mean our children will grow in righteousness. We must spend time with them in family home evening and worthwhile family activities. We must teach them to pray. We must read with them in the scriptures and teach them important gospel principles. Only then is it possible our fondest hopes will be realized.”
·    “We should never let hope be displaced by despair.”
Larry W. Gibbons
·    “I invite each deacons, teachers, and priests quorum presidency to regularly counsel, study, and pray to learn what the Lord’s will is for your quorum and then go and do. Use Duty to God to help you teach your quorum members their duties. I invite each quorum member to sustain your quorum president and look to him for counsel as you learn and righteously fulfill all of your priesthood duties. And I invite each of us to see these remarkable young men as the Lord sees them—a powerful resource for building and strengthening His kingdom here and now.”
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
·    “Too often we attend meetings and nod our heads; we might even smile knowingly and agree. We jot down some action points, and we may say to ourselves, ‘That is something I will do.’ But somewhere between the hearing, the writing of a reminder on our smartphone, and the actual doing, our ‘do it’ switch gets rotated to the ‘later’ position. Brethren, let’s make sure to set our ‘do it’ switch always to the ‘now’ position!”
·    “Don’t let a day go by without doing something to act on the promptings of the Spirit.”
·    “Let us commit to reading the scriptures and handbooks with more purpose and more focus. Let us begin by rereading sections 20, 84, 107, and 121 of the Doctrine and Covenants.”
·    “I invite you to also become experts in the doctrines of the gospel—especially the doctrine of the priesthood.”
·    “Let us earnestly seek the light of personal inspiration. Let us plead with the Lord to endow our mind and soul with the spark of faith that will enable us to receive and recognize the divine ministering of the Holy Spirit for our specific life situations and for our challenges and priesthood duties.”
·    “You may want to ask yourself if you are merely going through the motions as a priesthood bearer—doing what is expected but not experiencing the joy that should be yours.”
·    “Brethren, let us not pass through life immersed in the three Ws: wearied, worrying, and whining. We live beneath our privileges when we allow worldly anchors to keep us away from the abundant joy that comes from faithful and dedicated priesthood service, especially within the walls of our own homes.”
·    “Young men, if coming to church early to help prepare the sacrament feels more like a hardship than a blessing, then I invite you to think about what this sacred ordinance might mean to a ward member who perhaps has had a challenging week. Brethren, if your home teaching efforts don’t seem to be effective to you, I invite you to see with the eye of faith what a visit from a servant of the Lord will do for a family that has many unseen problems.”
·    “As bearers of the priesthood, let us never become hardened to the wonder and awe of what the Lord has entrusted to us.”
·    “My dear brethren, may we diligently seek to learn the doctrine of the holy priesthood, may we strengthen our testimonies line upon line by receiving the revelations of the Spirit, and may we find true joy in daily priesthood service. As we do these things, we will begin to live up to our potential and privileges as priesthood holders.”
Henry B. Eyring
·    “In the priesthood we share the sacred duty to labor for the souls of men. We must do more than learn that this is our duty. It must go down into our hearts so deeply that neither the many demands on our efforts in the bloom of life nor the trials that come with age can turn us from that purpose.”
Thomas S. Monson
·    “Many movies and television shows portray behavior which is in direct opposition to the laws of God. Do not subject yourself to the innuendo and outright filth which are so often found there. The lyrics in much of today’s music fall in the same category. The profanity so prevalent around us today would never have been tolerated in the not-too-distant past…I am sorry that any of us is subjected to profane language, and I plead with you not to use it. I implore you not to say or to do anything of which you cannot be proud.”
·    “Stay completely away from pornography. Do not allow yourself to view it, ever. It has proven to be an addiction which is more than difficult to overcome. Avoid alcohol and tobacco or any other drugs, also addictions which you would be hard pressed to conquer.”
·    “If you have not read the Book of Mormon, read it.”
·    “If you do not already have a testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far. Once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through obedience to the commandments of God and through regular prayer and scripture study. Attend church. You young men, attend seminary or institute if such is available to you.”
·    “Should there be anything amiss in your life, there is open to you a way out. Cease any unrighteousness. Talk with your bishop. Whatever the problem, it can be worked out through proper repentance. You can become clean once again.”
·    “Brethren, there is a point at which it’s time to think seriously about marriage and to seek a companion with whom you want to spend eternity. If you choose wisely and if you are committed to the success of your marriage, there is nothing in this life which will bring you greater happiness.”
·    “When you marry, brethren, you will wish to marry in the house of the Lord. For you who hold the priesthood, there should be no other option. Be careful lest you destroy your eligibility to be so married. You can keep your courtship within proper bounds while still having a wonderful time.”
·    “Choose a companion carefully and prayerfully; and when you are married, be fiercely loyal one to another.”
·    “We who are married in the house of the Lord do so for time and for all eternity, and then we must put forth the necessary effort to make it so. I realize that there are situations where marriages cannot be saved, but I feel strongly that for the most part they can be and should be. Do not let your marriage get to the point where it is in jeopardy.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Counsel from the Saturday Afternoon Session - April 2011

Saturday Afternoon Session
Boyd K. Packer
·    “Obedient to revelation, we call ourselves The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rather than the Mormon Church. It is one thing for others to refer to the Church as the Mormon Church or to us as Mormons; it is quite another for us to do so.”
·    “We ask that when we refer to the Church we use its full name wherever possible…When referring to Church members, we suggest ‘members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.’ As a shortened reference, ‘Latter-day Saints’ is preferred.”
·    “Everyone is tested. One might think it is unfair to be singled out and subjected to a particular temptation, but this is the purpose of mortal life—to be tested. And the answer is the same for everyone: we must, and we can, resist temptations of any kind.”
·    “A Latter-day Saint man is a responsible family man, faithful in the gospel. He is a caring, devoted husband and father. He reveres womanhood. The wife sustains her husband. Both parents nurture the spiritual growth of their children.”
·    “If you are carrying some burden, forget it, let it alone. Do a lot of forgiving and a little repenting, and you will be visited by the Spirit of the Holy Ghost and confirmed by the testimony that you did not know existed.”
Russell M. Nelson
·    “You parents bear the primary responsibility to strengthen their faith. Let them feel your faith, even when sore trials come upon you. Let your faith be focused on our loving Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Teach that faith with deep conviction. Teach each precious boy or girl that he or she is a child of God, created in His image, with a sacred purpose and potential.”
·    “Teach of faith in God’s plan of salvation. Teach that our sojourn in mortality is a period of probation, a time of trial and testing to see if we will do whatever the Lord commands us to do.”
·    “Teach of faith to keep all the commandments of God, knowing that they are given to bless His children and bring them joy. Warn them that they will encounter people who pick which commandments they will keep and ignore others that they choose to break.”
·    “Teach of faith to know that obedience to the commandments of God will provide physical and spiritual protection. And remember, God’s holy angels are ever on call to help us.”
·    “To develop enduring faith, an enduring commitment to be a full-tithe payer is essential.”
Richard J. Maynes
·    “Learning, teaching, and practicing the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our homes helps create a culture where the Spirit can dwell. Through establishing these celestial traditions in our homes, we will be able to overcome the false traditions of the world and learn to put the needs and concerns of others first.”
·    “The responsibility for establishing a Christ-centered home lies with both parents and children. Parents are responsible to teach their children in love and righteousness. Parents will be held accountable before the Lord in how they perform their sacred responsibilities. Parents teach their children with words and through example.”
Cecil O. Samuelson
10 Observations regarding our testimonies:
·    “First, everyone has worth because we are all children of God. He knows us, loves us, and wants us to succeed and return to Him. We must learn to trust in His love and in His timing rather than in our own sometimes impatient and imperfect desires.”
·    “Second, while we believe fully in the mighty change of heart described in the scriptures (see Mosiah 5:2; Alma 5:12–14, 26), we must understand it often occurs gradually, rather than instantaneously or globally.”
·    “Third, we need to remember that a fundamental purpose of life is to be tested and stretched, and thus we must learn to grow from our challenges”
·    “Fourth, we must learn to trust the things that we believe in or know to sustain us in times of uncertainty.”
·    “Fifth, as Alma taught, gaining a testimony is usually a progression along the continuum of hoping, believing, and finally knowing the truth of a specific principle, doctrine, or the gospel itself.”
·    “Sixth, teaching someone else what we know strengthens our own testimony as we build that of another.”
·    “Seventh, we must do the little but necessary things daily and regularly. Prayers, scripture and gospel study, attendance at Church meetings, temple worship, fulfilling visiting teaching, home teaching, and other assignments all strengthen our faith and invite the Spirit into our lives. When we neglect any of these privileges, we place our testimonies in jeopardy.”
·    “Eighth, we should not have higher standards for others than we do for ourselves.”
·    “Ninth, it is good to remember that being too hard on yourself when you make a mistake can be as negative as being too casual when real repentance is needed.”
·    “And tenth, we must always be clear that the Atonement of Christ is fully and continuously operative for each of us when we allow it to be so.”
Dallin H. Oaks
·    “Readjusting our desires to give highest priority to the things of eternity is not easy. We are all tempted to desire that worldly quartet of property, prominence, pride, and power. We might desire these, but we should not fix them as our highest priorities.”
·    “We should remember that righteous desires cannot be superficial, impulsive, or temporary. They must be heartfelt, unwavering, and permanent. So motivated, we will seek for that condition described by the Prophet Joseph Smith, where we have ‘overcome the evils of [our lives] and lost every desire for sin.’ That is a very personal decision.”
·    “To achieve our eternal destiny, we will desire and work for the qualities required to become an eternal being.”
·    “All should desire and seriously work to secure a marriage for eternity. Those who already have a temple marriage should do all they can to preserve it. Those who are single should desire a temple marriage and exert priority efforts to obtain it. Youth and young singles should resist the politically correct but eternally false concept that discredits the importance of marrying and having children.”
·    “Let us remember that desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. In addition, it is our actions and our desires that cause us to become something, whether a true friend, a gifted teacher, or one who has qualified for eternal life.”
M. Russell Ballard
·    “We should strive to keep our lives…simple, unencumbered by extraneous influences, focused on those things that matter most.”
·    "There are myriad ways and circumstances in which we can serve and love others. May I suggest just a few.
·    “First, charity begins at home. The single most important principle that should govern every home is to practice the Golden Rule—the Lord’s admonition that “all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12).
·    “Another place where we have ample opportunity to serve is in the Church…By treating each other kindly, speaking words of support and encouragement, and being sensitive to each other’s needs, we can create loving unity among ward members…Ward members, both adults and youth, can unite in meaningful service to bless the lives of others.
·    “A third area where we can serve is in our communities. As a pure expression of our love and concern, we can reach out to those who have need of our help.”
·    “Another way we can serve Heavenly Father’s children is through missionary service—not only as full-time missionaries but also as friends and neighbors. The future growth of the Church will not happen through just knocking on strangers’ doors. It will happen when the members, along with our missionaries, filled with the love of God and Christ discern needs and respond to those needs in the spirit of charitable service…Then and only then will the Church expand to fill all of the earth. This cannot be accomplished by missionaries alone but requires the interest and service of every member.”
·    “In all of our service, we need to be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. The still, small voice will let us know who needs our help and what we can do to help them.”