Sunday, August 28, 2011

Your Insight Can Help...Pretty Please

So one of the most frequented pages on my blog is the page about becoming a member of the Church. Recently this caused me to search the terms "becoming a mormon", "becoming lds", and "becoming mormon" on Google and the results have me feeling like I'd like some input.  My blog came up as the first result in each of those cases which has me feeling a greater sense of responsibility and urgency in making that page the best it can be.  So please, please go check it out HERE and come back and leave a comment on this post of what suggestions you might have.   This isn't for me, it is for everyone who comes searching. 

Thanks in advance for your help!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Simplifying Christmas: Early Planning

Okay, so it has been a little while but this has been occupying my thoughts for the past while.  I love the holiday season. Thanksgiving leading into Christmas.  Cheerful music.  Giving.  Serving. Family.  It is a unique and wonderful time of year.  But sometimes it slips away from me and thus my family.  The hustle and bustle of shopping and shopping and more shopping amidst mad house stores and crowds and blah!  Not what I call fun or cheery or wonderful.  And then you have the heaps of presents under the tree and a moment or two to stop and think about what it is really all about and then back to the gifts. Worldliness.  More.  Wants. Greed.  Stress.  Lack of family time.  Ahhh!

Not this year.  I want change.  I want simple.  I want time with family. Time to serve.  Time to give. Time to ponder.

I have had some thoughts on how this might take place but no firm determinations.  Shopping done by Thanksgiving.  And even then much less shopping.  Less gifts but simple, fun, perfect ones. My thoughts are churning. 

How do you keep Christmas simple?  How do you focus on Jesus Christ and the special day of his birth rather than the gifts under the tree?  How do you keep your family away from the gimmees and more happy to serve and give?

Friday, August 5, 2011

No "World" Allowed...Do Not Enter

My husband and I have had worldliness on our minds.  And recently had a portion of this talk by Elder Ballard thrown into our laps.  Awesome! It stirred things up in both of us but I would love, love some additional thoughts from all of you.  It is a little long but well worth the read.  Please read on and then stick around to share.  I'd love it.

Now the words from Elder Ballard:

"In the Church, we often state the couplet: “Be in the world but not of the world.”...we often wish we could lock out the world in some way and isolate our families from it all (this is kind of how we have been feeling).

...Perhaps we should state the couplet previously mentioned as two separate admonitions. First, “Be in the world.” Be involved; be informed. Try to be understanding and tolerant and to appreciate diversity. Make meaningful contributions to society through service and involvement. Second, “Be not of the world.” Do not follow wrong paths or bend to accommodate or accept what is not right.

...In spite of all of the wickedness in the world, and in spite of all the opposition to good that we find on every hand, we should not try to take ourselves or our children out of the world. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven,” or yeast. (Matt. 13:33.) We are to lift the world and help all to rise above the wickedness that surrounds us. The Savior prayed to the Father:

“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” (John 17:15.) 

Members of the Church need to influence more than we are influenced. We should work to stem the tide of sin and evil instead of passively being swept along by it. We each need to help solve the problem rather than avoid or ignore it.  (This seems like a hard balance, how do we do this?  How do we stay away from worldliness, yet stay positively involved in the world?)

I like this simple little poem:
All the water in the world
No matter how it tried
Could never sink the smallest ship
Unless it got inside.
All the evil of the world
And every kind of sin
Could never damn a human soul
Unless we let it in.

We can live in the world, brothers and sisters, without letting the world into us. We have the gospel message that can carry men and women buoyantly through the “mist of darkness” (1 Ne. 8:23) to the source of all light. We can raise children who have been taught to discern and to make personal righteous decisions.
The Lord does not need a society that hides and isolates itself from the world. Rather, he needs stalwart individuals and families who live exemplary lives in the world and demonstrate that joy and fulfillment come not of the world but through the spirit and the doctrine of Jesus Christ."

So what do you do to help keep the world out and still let the world in? Make sense. Please Share.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Behind the Scenes

Sorry for the lack of posting.  Behind the scenes there have been some opportunities to share the Gospel  and I have been occupied by that.  It is neat to see the Spirit work in other's lives. I have been amazed by an individual who has taken so much initiative in learning about the Church.  This person has read many books including all of the standard works, Church History, and Articles of Faith.  What an example to us all.