Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Family Meal Time

So I was asked/volunteered to teach a Meal Planning Workshop at an Enrichment activity tonight. While preparing I decided to focus a portion of my workshop on the benefits of meal planning. The number one benefit I thought of is that when you plan meals you are more likely to sit down as a family and eat together. It hit me pretty hard how important it is to do this. It is amazing to me how significant the consequences are of both eating or not eating together.

I am so grateful that I grew up in a family where meal-time was an important time. We all gathered for scripture study and family prayer and then immediately following we all ate dinner together. I think it brought us closer as a family and helped all of us children to stay out of trouble and to succeed in many areas in our lives.

Elder Oaks shares this about eating together as a family, "The number of those who report that their “whole family usually eats dinner together” has declined 33 percent. This is most concerning because the time a family spends together “eating meals at home [is] the strongest predictor of children’s academic achievement and psychological adjustment.”3 Family mealtimes have also been shown to be a strong bulwark against children’s smoking, drinking, or using drugs.4 There is inspired wisdom in this advice to parents: what your children really want for dinner is you" (“Good, Better, Best,” Ensign, Nov 2007, 104–8).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Walk in the Light

I thought I would share this talk since most of us probably didn't get to hear it in the YW conference. It is a wonderul message. This will be my last official scheduled post - read the bolded text on the left side of the blog for more details.
Walk in the Light
Young Women Conference April 2008

President Henry B. Eyring
First Counselor in the First Presidency

"You are remarkable, even among those who chose right in the contest in the spirit world. You qualified to come into mortality and to make this journey at a time when the gospel of Jesus Christ was on the earth. And among the billions of Heavenly Father's children now living, you were privileged to find the gospel of Jesus Christ and His true Church. "

I think sometimes I lose sight of how blessed I am to be born into mortality in the circumstances that I am in. As members of the Church we truly are so blessed to have the Gospel on the earth at this time and to have it in our lives.

"You make choices every day and almost every hour that keep you walking in the light or moving away toward darkness. Some of the most important choices are about what you set your heart upon.

There are so many things you may consider desirable. For instance, all of us want, to some degree, the approval of other people. All of us feel a need for friends. All of us are searching for some evidence that we are persons of worth. We make choices based on those desires. Some might lead us away from the light God offers us as a guide. Some may brighten that light by which we can find our way."

I have always really liked the phrase in the scriptures about our hearts being set upon something such as riches. Each day our heart might be set on something different. Is it set on riches? Is it set on being better than others? Or if we checked our hearts would we find it set on the foundation of Christ?

What a wonderful message from President Eyring. To read the whole talk click on the title at the top of the post.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

13th Article of Faith

President Hinckley said that the 13th Article of Faith is a good statement of how our behavior should be. It can be our measuring stick to see how well we are living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is always good to periodically give ourselves a thorough check and to continually be watching ourselves. So lets all give ourselves a measure, how are you doing?

13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I am a Child of God

Psalms 82:6
All of you are children of the most High.

Wouldn't the way we treat people, our tendency to judge,
and our love for Heavenly Father be strengthened
if we realized this simple scripture...we are ALL children of the most High?

I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.

"That wonderfully revered Primary hymn
“I Am a Child of God”
has the children singing this request
to parents and teachers:

Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.
(“I Am a Child of God,” Hymns, no. 301.)

We are all children of God, and we must teach each other;
we must help each other “find the way.” "

"I Am a Child of God"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mormonad - Trash Talk

Matthew 12:36
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

What a bold reminder that we will be accountable for the words that we speak.

My son is at the age where he repeats everything we say. It has caused us to watch ourselves and we have started to notice that some of the things we say are not needful and definitely not the best thing to be saying. It has made me ask myself, "Do I really need to use the "sister" words or the substitute words to swear words to express my feelings?"

Q&A: Questions and Answers,” New Era, Mar 2001, 16
Many people try to substitute other words for swear words, but Elder L. Tom Perry warns that so many times those substitute words are so similar to the swear words or vulgar phrases that everyone knows what you meant to say and your vocabulary hasn’t really changed. Elder Perry suggests a simple activity to break the habit:

“First, make the commitment to erase such words from your vocabulary. Next, if you slip and say a swear word or a substitute word, mentally reconstruct the sentence without the vulgarity or substitute word and repeat the new sentence aloud. Eventually you will develop a nonvulgar speech habit” (New Era, Aug. 1986, 7).

Monday, September 22, 2008

Becoming Hearers and Doers

Spencer W. Kimball
"One cannot become a “doer of the word” without first becoming a “hearer.” And to become a “hearer” is not simply to stand idly by and wait for chance bits of information; it is to seek out and study and pray and comprehend." (“How Rare a Possession—The Scriptures!,” Tambuli, Dec 1985, 3)

Last night I thought of this becoming topic and was reminded of it once again as I was reading my scriptures not because of a particular verse but because I was not being a hearer and I was no where close to being a doer. When I neared the end of my scripture reading I realized that I had not heard anything that I had read. I was reading the words but not listening. Just as President Kimball said, we must first become hearers to be able to become doers. If we don't first seek out what we are to do and truly open our ears and hear it than we cannot make changes and be a doer.

Richard J. Maynes
"Remember when the Lord warned Joseph Smith regarding those who “draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” ( JS—H 1:19).

Remember the admonition of James: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only” ( James 1:22).

Actions truly do speak louder than words. In fact, actions mean much more to the Lord than words. The Lord declared in the Doctrine and Covenants, “If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments” ( D&C 42:29)."(“Keeping Our Covenants,” Ensign, Nov 2004, 92)

One of the reasons I thought of this becoming topic was because we have General Conference coming up in a few weeks. We will have the opportunity to listen to Prophets and Apostles but will we "hear" them? And if we do hear them then will we turn the things we hear into actions and be "doers of the word"? Let us all take the challenge of Elder Johnson below and resolve to listen carefully and then follow or do the teachings that are given.

Paul V. Johnson
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.(“The Blessings of General Conference,” Liahona, Nov 2005, 50–52)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Good, Better, Best

Sometimes our to-do lists can be overwhelming. Do the laundry, weed the garden, change that diaper and that one and that one, make dinner, go to work, do visiting and home teaching, fulfill other callings, clean up that spill, pick up that pile, call so-and-so, make that appointment, run kids to this and that, etc. You get the point! I loved this talk. It simplifies our to-do lists by knocking many things off or at least moving the most important things to the top of the list. Quite often I do the things that sound the easiest or the funnest first not necessarily the things that are best or most important. It is time for us all to check our priorities and cross some things off, move some things up, and maybe jot a few new "betters" and "bests" down.

Click on the title below to read the whole talk or watch the videos below.

Good, Better, Best
Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them...We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.

Some young people are amusing themselves to death—spiritual death.

Good, Better, Best - Part 1

Good, Better, Best - Part 2

Thursday, September 18, 2008

First Article of Faith

First Article of Faith
We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

President Gordon B. Hinckley

"The first article of faith is familiar to all members of the Church. It is the pivotal position of our religion. It is significant that in setting forth the primary elements of our doctrine, the Prophet Joseph put this number one:

“We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost” (A of F 1:1)."

Gospel Topics: Godhead

The true doctrine of the Godhead was lost in the apostasy that followed the Savior's mortal ministry and the deaths of His Apostles. This doctrine began to be restored when 14-year-old Joseph Smith received his First Vision (see Joseph Smith—History 1:17). From the Prophet's account of the First Vision and from his other teachings, we know that the members of the Godhead are three separate beings. The Father and the Son have tangible bodies of flesh and bones, and the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit (see D&C 130:22).

Although the members of the Godhead are distinct beings with distinct roles, they are one in purpose and doctrine. They are perfectly united in bringing to pass Heavenly Father's divine plan of salvation.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Are we Christians?

Elder Holland
But even as we invite one and all to examine closely the marvel of it, there is one thing we would not like anyone to wonder about—that is whether or not we are “Christians.”

2 Nephi 25:23,26
For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ...and we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ.

This talk by Elder Holland perfectly expresses
our love for the Savior and our belief in Him.
The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

I Believe in Christ
What a perfect song to express our belief and testimony in the Savior.
I do believe in Christ. I know that He is our Savior and our Redeemer. I know that He is the Son of God. He is our perfect example and He is the only Way to follow. He is at the head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and we worship Him as well as the Father. We are Christians.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mormonad - Down on Yourself

How often do you find yourself feeling down? Just a few weeks ago I was feeling low. I wasn't being my usual self and I was pulling my usual self down. I think that we all have days or even weeks like this so I thought that this post would be a good reminder of how the things that make us unique are wonderful and that we are all Children of God and have great potential.

“Comparing yourself to others can … result in either feelings of inferiority or superiority. … Accept yourself as the unique person that you are without comparing yourself to others. Doing this will help you love yourself properly without conceit” (Clark Swain, “Q & A,” New Era, Mar. 1979, p. 38) and I would also add that it will help you love yourself without being "down on yourself".

Q&A in the New Era: I have a bad habit of comparing myself to others. I know I’m being unfair to myself, and it makes me discouraged. How can I stop? To find out some answers to this question click here.

With all my capacity I encourage you to discover who you really are. I invite you to look beyond the daily routine of life. I urge you to discern through the Spirit your divinely given capacities. I exhort you to prayerfully make worthy choices that will lead you to realize your full potential (Richard G. Scott, “Realize Your Full Potential,” Liahona, Nov 2003, 41–43).

I love the story of "The Ugly Duckling" He was different than the others but his potential was immense. Enjoy the video below.

The Ugly Duckling - Disney Silly Symphony

Monday, September 15, 2008

Becoming Involved

Become Involved

Doctrine and Covenants 58:27
Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;

I love President Hinckley's B's - the talk. I think that they are all extremely important including becoming involved. I think that it is easy to become idle, to not make an effort to be involved, or to do things only when we are asked rather than taking the initiative to be involved ourselves. There are so many good things that we can be involved in - in our homes, in our churches, in our communities and neighborhoods, and in the world as a whole.

We can be involved more in our children's lives, we can be more involved in our wards and in our callings, we can be more involved in our neighbors lives or in our communities endeavors and concerns, we can be more involved in serving those in the world who are less fortunate than us. There are so many ways that we can be involved. To be involved meens to be commited to something or engaged in something.

"When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.” - Anonymous

What a true quote. There are days when looking at the mess I have to clean up looks overwhelming and sometimes even impossible. Some days I put it off and I feel like I haven't accomplished anything and become even more overwhelmed. But when I get up and get involved or engaged in cleaning up our house I feel more happy and powerful. This is such a simple everyday example. If we really pushed ourselves to be more anxiously engaged in every aspect of our lives just imagine how much more empowered and accomplished we would feel.

One of my favorite phrases from the Book of Mormon is found in Alma 60:24 - "begin to be up and doing". So I challenge us to be more up and doing, to find something good in our lives that we can be more engaged and involved in.

Friday, September 12, 2008

O Remember, Remember - President Eyring

O Remember, Remember
President Henry B. Eyring
Second Counselor in the First Presidency

"When our children were very small, I started to write down a few things about what happened every day...I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.

More than gratitude began to grow in my heart. Testimony grew. I became ever more certain that our Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I felt more gratitude for the softening and refining that come because of the Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ. And I grew more confident that the Holy Ghost can bring all things to our remembrance—even things we did not notice or pay attention to when they happened."

I randomly remember this talk now and then and think about how I might learn so much about God's hand in my life if I tried just what President Eyring did. I think we would all grow in our understanding, our gratitude, and our testimonies just as President Eyring did if we tried asking ourselves each day, " Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?”

Click on the title of the talk at the top of the post to read the entire talk
or watch a portion of the talk below.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Articles of Faith: Know What We Believe

This is something new I am starting. Each week I will post one of the Articles of Faith with some insights to help better understand the Article and to make us more familiar with them. I am starting off with a great talk by President Kimball about a boy who without hesitation shared the Articles of Faith with someone not of the LDS faith.

Articles of Faith: Know What We Believe
By President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985)
Twelfth President of the Church

Some years ago a young Primary boy was on a train going to California in the days when we traveled on trains. He was all alone. He sat near the window watching the telephone poles go by. Across the aisle from him was a gentleman who also was going to California. The attention of the gentleman was called to this very young boy traveling all alone without friends or relatives. He was neatly dressed and well-behaved. And this gentleman was quite impressed with him.
Finally, after some time, the gentleman crossed the aisle and sat down by the young man and said to him, “Hello, young man, where are you going?”
He said, “I am going to Los Angeles.”
“Do you have relatives there?”
The boy said, “I have some relatives there. I am going to visit my grandparents. They will meet me at the station, and I will stay with them a few days during the school vacation.”
The next questions were “Where did you come from?” and “Where do you live?”
And the boy said, “Salt Lake City, Utah.”
“Oh, then,” said the gentleman, “you must be a Mormon.”
And the boy said, “Yes, I am.” There was pride in his voice.
The gentleman said, “Well, that’s interesting. I’ve wondered about the Mormons and what they believe. I’ve been through their beautiful city; I’ve noticed the beautiful buildings, the treelined streets, the lovely homes, the beautiful rose and flower gardens, but I’ve never stopped to find out what makes them as they are. I wish I knew what they believe.”
And the boy said to him, “Well, sir, I can tell you what they believe. ‘We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost’ ” (A of F 1:1).

This wonderful story continues with this young boy sharing all of the 13 Articles of Faith with this man. President Kimball concludes with this question and challenge to us, "I am wondering how many of you know the Articles of Faith. … Have you repeated them? You are always prepared with a sermon when you know the Articles of Faith."

To read the remaining portions of this talk click on the title of the talk at the top of the post.
To read all 13 of the Articles of Faith click here.

Light vs. Darkness

Doctrine and Covenants 50:23-24
23 And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness.
24 That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.

Moroni 7:13
13...that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.
These are a few of my absolute favorite scriptures because they teach us how to know right from wrong or light from dark.

In the past, whenever I questioned if what I was doing was the right thing to be doing I would ask myself if I was edified while participating in that particular activity. To edify means to uplift, instruct, or encourage you to intellectually, morally, and/or spiritually improve. So more simply I would ask myself if I was being uplifted or if I was improving while engaging in that particular activity. Sometimes I found that what I was doing wasn't necessarily bad but maybe it wasn't the best thing I could've been doing.

Along with edifying us, the way we spend our time and the choices we make should also invite and entice us to do good continually. I love the word continually. In both scriptures the word is used. If we do good continually and continue in God we will receive more light that will continue to grow as we continue to do good. I really like the word continue because it means that we never leave or depart from that which is good. It means that we endure and are persistant even when it might be hard to choose light over dark or to be constantly obedient.

Both of these scriptures can be used to check ourselves and to continually watch ourselves. I think we would be perfectly guided in our daily pursuits if we asked ourselves if what we were doing edified, invited, and enticed us to do good and to become better.

Mormonad - Lies

James E. Faust, “Honesty—a Moral Compass,” Ensign, Nov 1996, 41

"We all need to know what it means to be honest. Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving...Honesty is a moral compass to guide us in our lives."

We are expected to be honest with others as well as honest with ourselves but I don't think it is unusual to find ourselves telling little white lies to others, to ourselves, to our children, or to our spouses. We live in a world where this has become common place. It is time to do as President Faust said and live truthfully. It doesn't take long for a little bit of yarn to create a big mess. So I give a challenge to us all to find an area in our lives where more honesty is needed.

This is an old Church Commercial (sorry it isn't great quality).
It is both entertaining and a good reminder to be honest.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Become a Peacemaker

I am sure we have all witnessed and been engaged in moments where we or other individuals were not peacemakers but were instead contention or conflict-makers. I think that to become a peacemaker is very highly associated with our self-control. Can we control our tongue when we see an opportunity for teasing or for pulling another down.? Can we have a good attitude despite being in an unfavorable situation or during a stressful time? Can we manage to be patient amongst our fast paced world and selfish agendas?

I remember times when I was younger when a younger sibling wanted to play with my friends and I and I wouldn't allow it. I remember times when I or other siblings ran to the bathroom in tears. I can think of more recent times when arguments have arised and both sides have been trying to get their points across rather than listening to the others point-of-view or concerns.

We all have experienced moments like this and so I chose the topic of Becoming Peacemakers. Enjoy the talk below on this much needed becoming characteristic.

Franklin D. Richards, “Be a Peacemaker,” Ensign, Nov 1983, 57
Click on the title to read the whole talk.

"It seems to me the most pressing need in the world today is peace—not only among nations, but also within families and in our social and business relationships.

Jesus Christ is called the Prince of Peace (see Isa. 9:6), and his message is a message of peace to the individual and to the world. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the plan of life that will restore peace to the world, remove inner tensions and troubles, and bring happiness to the human soul. It is the greatest philosophy of life ever given to man.

A mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to establish this peace and happiness in the hearts and homes of the people.

Have you ever wondered how you could be a peacemaker?

An interesting example that I was closely associated with and which I have referred to previously was one in which several young adults became peacemakers in their homes.

A very wise bishop called several young people into his office and said to them: “I would like you to help me in an experiment. I would like to prove the impact and influence of one member on the spirit of the family. For one month, I would like each of you to be the peacemaker in your home. Don’t say anything about this to your family, but be thoughtful, kind, and considerate. Be an example. Where there is quarreling or bickering among members of your family, do whatever you can to overcome these faults by creating an atmosphere of love, harmony, and helpfulness.

“When you are irritated—and irritations arise in almost every family—control yourself and help the others to control themselves. I would like to see every home in our ward be ‘a bit of heaven on earth.’ At the end of the month, I would like you to meet with me again and report.”

It was a challenge for these young people, and they met the challenge in a wonderful way... I can promise you as you try this experiment and become a peacemaker in your home that the rewards will be most gratifying."

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Looking beyond the Mark

Looking beyond the Mark
Elder Quentin L. Cook

Read portions of the talk below,
to read the entire talk click here.

Today there is a tendency among some of us to “look beyond the mark” rather than to maintain a testimony of gospel basics. We do this when we substitute the philosophies of men for gospel truths, engage in gospel extremism, seek heroic gestures at the expense of daily consecration, or elevate rules over doctrine.

Substituting the Philosophies of Men for Gospel Truths

Some people seem to be embarrassed by the simplicity of the Savior’s message. They want to add complexity and even obscurity to the truth to make it more intellectually challenging or more compatible with current academic trends...We look beyond the mark when we refuse to accept simple gospel truths for what they are.

Gospel Extremism
Another sign of spiritual immaturity and sometimes apostasy is when one focuses on certain gospel principles or pursues “gospel hobbies” with excess zeal. Almost any virtue taken to excess can become a vice.

Heroic Gestures as a Substitute for Daily Consecration
Some members profess that they would commit themselves with enthusiasm if given some great calling, but they do not find home teaching or visiting teaching worthy of or sufficiently heroic for their sustained effort.

Elevating Rules over Doctrine
Doctrine usually answers the question “why?” Principles usually answer the question “what?” Whenever we emphasize how to do something without reference to why we do it or what we do, we risk looking beyond the mark.

The “Mark” Is Christ
When we look beyond the mark, we are looking beyond Christ, the only name under heaven whereby we might be saved. When He is the foundation for all that we do and are, we avoid the theological blindness that results from looking beyond the mark, and we reap the glorious blessings He has promised us.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Home is a Refuge

President Thomas S. Monson
Excerpt from Dedication Day

"When the seas of life are stormy, a wise mariner seeks a port of peace. The family, as we have traditionally known it, is such a refuge of safety. 'The home is the basis of a righteous life and no other instrumentality can take its place or fulfil its essential functions' (quoted in Conference Report, Oct. 1962, 72). Actually, a home is much more than a house. A house is built of lumber, brick, and stone. A home is made of love, sacrifice, and respect. A house can be a home, and a home can be a heaven when it shelters a family. When true values and basic virtues undergird the families of society, hope will conquer despair, and faith will triumph over doubt."

Our homes can be a place of refuge, of peace, and of safety. It can and should be a place where our families want to dwell, where we want to spend our time.

A few years ago we lived in Las Vegas. We had interesting experiences and many trials there. We saw much wickedness and worldliness there. I remember after coming home after a long day and after passing many billboards and signs I felt relief to walk into our apartment. I felt peace as I looked at the pictures of the temple and of the Savior on our walls. Our home became a refuge from the "stormy seas of life".

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Temples Will Dot the Earth

"We expect to see the day when temples will dot the earth,
each one a house of the Lord..." -Elder Bruce R. McConkie

This is a wonderful video showing the earth dotted with temples.

To find answers to Frequently Asked Questions
about the Temple click HERE

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Praise to the Man - Joseph Smith

I chose this song this week because on Monday our family had the opportunity to go to the Church History Museum. We had a good experience there. I especially felt the Spirit as I was looking at some of Joseph Smith's belongings. I felt the Spirit witness to me that the Prophet Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of God and that he did see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. He did restore the Gospel to the earth and he did translate the Book of Mormon. I know this to be true.

Praise to the Man

There may be some misconceptions that we worship the Prophet Joseph Smith. However, we praise and honor him for restoring the Gospel to the earth and we have gratitude toward him for the many hardships and afflictions he had to face in order to do so but we worship our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ.

Click here to read the Joseph Smith - History
Click here to enter the Joseph Smith Site

Elder Ballard answers the question:
Do you worship Jesus Christ in your Sunday services?

Elder Ballard answers the questions:
Was Joseph Smith a prophet? Are prophets necessary today?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mormonad - Gossip

First I will share a personal experience where I was the victim of gossip. My sophomore year in high school I was asked to go to PROM and it was going to be my first date ever. I was a little nervous but also incredibly excited. I thought it would be a fun date since I was going with a boy that was simply a friend from one of my classes. The date turned out to be a good experience for my very first date.

During the weeks following the dance, my date started acting very weird around me and in many cases completely ignoring me. I couldn't figure out what was going on. I decided to not worry about him and forget the whole situation. A few months later I was at our final stag dance before the end of the school year when one of my guy friends somehow brought up how I had tried to kiss my PROM date. I was shocked at his remark - I told him that I did not try to kiss him. He was surprised. I asked him why he thought that I had and he told me that my date had told everyone that I had tried to kiss him. So while I was unaware, gossip had spread that I had tried to kiss my date. I was hurt, frustrated, and embarrassed that this lie had spread to all of my peers. This is only a small example of how gossip can hurt someone.

What an ugly thing gossip is. Whether we are passing on accurate or misleading information it is so often hurtful and definitely unnecessary. Why do we feel so inclined to spread information about others to our friends, our spouses, our children, or to anyone who might find joy or excitement in hearing the latest failure, mistake, or embarrassing situation of an individual?

I think that gossip so easily rests on our pride. It fits perfectly with the quotes in the previous post given by President Benson, "We are tempted daily to elevate ourselves above others and diminish them." I think that this is so often our reason for gossiping "to elevate ourselves above others".

How dark and hurtful gossip can be. As the Mormonad says, Don't Pass It On! I would also add to that, don't be the first to get your hands dirty either. Leave gossip alone and share the good things you find in others.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Becoming Humble

I've decided to add another becoming post. Becoming Charitable will still continue but will be dispersed throughout my other posts.


In portions of President Benson's talk "Beware of Pride" he talks about how we compare ourselves to others and try to put ourselves above them. Basically life becomes a competition with others and we measure our level of worth or our joy and fulfillment by having more and being better than others.

I have seen this so much in the world and in myself. However, I have met a few individuals who seem to have this portion of humility down. They seek out the good in others. They find others' strengths and they magnify them instead of diminish them. They are the type of people that you want to be around because they make you feel good about yourself. They are happy for you when you succeed. They don't secretly mark tallies of their successes verses your successes and failures. As C.S. Lewis said, "Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.”

Enjoy selections of the talk below. The entire talk is wonderful - to read the whole talk click here.
Beware of Pride
President Ezra Taft Benson

We are tempted daily to elevate ourselves above others and diminish them. (See Hel. 6:17; D&C 58:41.) The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device against others. In the words of C. S. Lewis: “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.” (Mere Christianity, New York: Macmillan, 1952, pp. 109–10.)

Some prideful people are not so concerned as to whether their wages meet their needs as they are that their wages are more than someone else’s. Their reward is being a cut above the rest. This is the enmity of pride.

When pride has a hold on our hearts, we lose our independence of the world and deliver our freedoms to the bondage of men’s judgment. The world shouts louder than the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. The reasoning of men overrides the revelations of God, and the proud let go of the iron rod. (See 1 Ne. 8:19–28; 1 Ne. 11:25; 1 Ne. 15:23–24.)