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Thursday, December 31, 2009

The 'W' Formula!

W ork
W ill
W in
W hen
W ishy
W ashy
W ishing
W on't

by Thomas S. Monson

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Vague Goals

"A vague goal is no goal at all. The Ten Commandments wouldn't be very impressive, for instance, if they weren't specific, but simply were couched in a phraseology such as 'thou shalt not be a bad person."
—Neal A. Maxwell-
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just Distracting Enough

Does it feel as if Christmas happened months, not days ago to anyone else?? Anyway, here's your thought for the day:)

"It is wonderful, but not surprising, that after the admonition to "be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God," he tells us how this is to be in these few simple and compelling words, "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not" (D&C 6:20, 36). Doubt and fear are enemies that can enslave us in prison walls of our own making.

Thoughts don't have to be sinful, only distracting enough to weaken the communication so we don't hear the whisperings of the Spirit. Looking unto him in every thought will eradicate thoughts that fuel the fires of jealousy, envy, pride, and related diseases that distract and destroy.

We are instructed,
"Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God" (D&C 121:45). President David O. McKay said, "No principle of life was more constantly emphasized by the Great Teacher than the necessity of right thinking".
(Ardeth Kapp, BYU Womens Conference 1999)

David O McKay also said,
"I will tell you who you are, when you tell me what you think about, when you don't have time to think".

Remember our
"thoughts don't have to be sinful, only distracting enough to weaken the communication so we don't hear the whisperings of the Spirit."

Hope you have a good day.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Christmas Spirit

"Born in a stable, cradled in a manger, He came forth from heaven to live on earth as mortal man and to establish the kingdom of God. During His earthly ministry, He taught men the higher law. His glorious gospel reshaped the thinking of the world. He blessed the sick. He caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear. He even raised the dead to life. To us He has said, 'Come, follow me.'

"As we seek Christ, as we find Him, as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas spirit, not for one fleeting day each year, but as a companion always. We shall learn to forget ourselves. We shall turn our thoughts to the greater benefit of others".

(Thomas S. Monson, "In Search of the Christmas Spirit," Ensign, Dec 1987, 3).
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

True Gifts

"We all enjoy giving and receiving presents. But there is a difference between presents and gifts. The true gifts may be part of ourselves—giving of the riches of the heart and mind—and therefore more enduring and of far greater worth than presents bought at the store.

"Of course, among the greatest of gifts is the gift of love....

"Some, like Ebenezer Scrooge in Dickens's A Christmas Carol, have a hard time loving anyone, even themselves, because of their selfishness. Love seeks to give rather than to get. Charity towards and compassion for others is a way to overcome too much self-love"

(James E. Faust, "A Christmas with No Presents," Ensign, Dec 2001, 2–6).
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Only One Christmas


"There has been only one Christmas - the rest are anniversaries".

~W.J. Cameron



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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hero at the Grocery Store, by Stephenie Meyer

Suddenly everyone was quiet. Even my rowdy children paused, feeling the change in the atmosphere.

Christmas stories happen in the most everyday places. I was part of one not long ago at the grocery store. I hope I never forget it, though the memory is bittersweet.

I had been shopping for almost an hour by the time I got to the checkout lines. My two youngest sons were with me, the four-year-old refusing to hold onto the cart, the two-year-old trying to climb out of the basket and jump down to play with his brother. Both got progressively whinier and louder as I tried to keep them under control, so I was looking for the fastest lane possible. I had two choices. In the first line were three customers, and they all had just a few purchases. In the second line was only one man, a harried young father with his own crying baby, but his cart was overflowing with groceries.

I quickly looked over the three-person line again. The woman in the front was very elderly, white haired and rail thin, and her hands were shaking as she tried unsuccessfully to unlatch her big purse. In the other line, the young father was throwing his food onto the conveyor belt with superhuman speed. I got in line behind him.

It was the right choice. I was able to start unloading my groceries before the elderly woman was even finished paying. My four-year-old was pulling candy from the shelf, and my little one was trying to help by lobbing cans of soup at me. I felt I couldn’t get out of the store fast enough.
And then, over the sound of the store’s cheery holiday music, I heard the checker in the other line talking loudly, too loudly. I glanced over as my hands kept working.

“No, I’m sorry,” the checker was almost shouting at the old woman, who didn’t seem to understand. “That card won’t work. You are past your limit. Do you have another way to pay?”

The tiny old woman blinked at the checker with a confused expression. Not only were her hands shaking now, but her shoulders too. The teenage bagger rolled her eyes and sighed.

As I caught a soup can just before it hit my face, I thought to myself: “Boy, did I choose the right line! Those three are going to be there forever.” My mood was positively smug as my checker began scanning my food.

But the smiling woman directly in line behind the elderly lady had a different reaction. Quietly, with no fanfare, she moved to the older woman’s side and ran her own credit card through the reader.

“Merry Christmas,” she said softly, still smiling.

And then everyone was quiet. Even my rowdy children paused, feeling the change in the atmosphere.

It took a minute for the older woman to understand what had happened. The checker, her face thoughtful, hesitated with the receipt in her hand, not sure whom to give it to. The smiling woman took it and tucked it into the elderly woman’s bag.

“I can’t accept …” the older woman began to protest, with tears forming in her eyes.

The smiling woman interrupted her. “I can afford to do it. What I can’t afford is not to do it.”

“Let me help you out,” the suddenly respectful bagger insisted, taking the basket and also taking the old woman’s arm, the way she might have helped her own grandmother.

I watched the checker in my line pause before she pressed the total key to dab at the corner of her eyes with a tissue.

Paying for my groceries and gathering my children, I made it out of the store before the smiling woman. I had made the right choice of lanes, it seemed.

But as I walked out into the bright December sunshine, I was not thinking about my luck but about what I could not afford.

I could not afford my current, self-absorbed frame of mind.

I could not afford to have my children learn lessons of compassion only from strangers.

I could not afford to be so distant from the spirit of Christ at any time of the year—especially during this great season of giving.

I could not afford to let another stranger, another brother or sister, cross my path in need of help without doing something about it.

And that is why I hope never to forget the Christmas hero in the grocery store. The next time I have a chance to be that kind of a hero, I can’t afford to miss it.

- Stephenie Meyer, “Hero at the Grocery Store,” Ensign, Dec 2006, 20–21
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

This Beating Christmas Heart

"Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years... Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart."
-- George Matthew Adams (The Christmas Heart)
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Monday, December 14, 2009

Humbug: A Christmas Carol

My brother-in-law Lee, has written a really cute children's Christmas book and was on TV promoting it this morning. You can see the clip by clicking here.

'Humbug: A Christmas Carol' is the story of Winterton, a frozen town with frozen hearts and frozen people. A magical humbug that attracts the magical reindeer of Santa is brought to the town of Winterton by a little orphan girl called Mimi. The warmth of the little girl and the magical music of the humbug bring Santa, the reindeer and Christmas back to Winterton.

The illustrations are great too as they start off without color, but as the peoples hearts unfreeze they become more and more colorful. Ebenezer Scrooge even wrote the Forward to it:).



You can visit the website http://humbugchristmas.com/ to order and see previews of it, and if you use code 'UYV" you get a 5% discount and $1 will be given to the Utah Youth Village. Check it out!
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All Must Go To Bethlehem

"All the world must go to Bethlehem
though some but shut the door to Christ
all the world must go to Bethlehem
and some will find the world's wisdom there.
All the earth must go to Bethlehem,
for there is earth's hope."

—John F. Mulholland- "We Must Go to Bethlehem," Treasury of the Christian Faith
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Some Tips for a More Worshipful Christmas

  • Replace some holiday decorations in your home with reminders of Christ.
  • Politely decline requests that will take you away from family.
  • Play more Christmas music.
  • Donate gently used items to a thrift store.
  • Go Christmas caroling.
  • Avoid “mad rush” shopping times.
  • Say thank you as often as possible.
  • Schedule a night to help another person or family.
  • Call someone you normally wouldn't to wish him or her a Merry Christmas.
  • Delegate some holiday preparations to children or other family members.
  • Trim the gift list.
  • Simplify a traditional activity.
  • Find quiet time to pray.
  • Write down great memories as they happen.
  • Set and stick to a holiday budget.
  • Forgive a grudge.
Ideas from lds.org
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Tips for a Christ-Centred Christmas

Nurturemama shared a link to a website the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had made to give us idea's for Christmas, like family activities, traditions, free music downloads, video's and talks. Check it out here:

Here is am excerpt from one of the talks on there from Jeffrey R. Holland, "Maybe Christmas Doesn't Come From a Store":


"There are so many lessons to be learned from the sacred account of Christ’s birth that we always hesitate to emphasize one at the expense of all the others. Forgive me while I do just that in the time we have together here.

One impression which has persisted with me recently is that this is a story—in profound paradox with our own times—that this is a story of intense poverty. I wonder if Luke did not have some special meaning when he wrote not “there was no room in the inn” but specifically that “there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7; italics added.) We cannot be certain, but it is my guess that money could talk in those days as well as in our own. I think if Joseph and Mary had been people of influence or means, they would have found lodging even at that busy time of year.

I have wondered if the Inspired Version also was suggesting they did not know the “right people” in saying, “There was none to give room for them in the inns.” (JST, Luke 2:7.)

We cannot be certain what the historian intended, but we do know these two were desperately poor. At the purification offering which the parents made after the child’s birth, a turtledove was substituted for the required lamb, a substitution the Lord had allowed in the Law of Moses to ease the burden of the truly impoverished. (See Lev. 12:8.)

The wise men did come later bearing gifts, adding some splendor and wealth to this occasion, but it is important to note that they came from a distance, probably Persia, a trip of several hundred miles at the very least. Unless they started long before the star appeared, it is highly unlikely that they arrived on the night of the babe’s birth. Indeed, Matthew records that when they came Jesus was “a young child,” and the family was living in “a house.” (Matt. 2:11.)

Perhaps this provides an important distinction we should remember in our own holiday season. Maybe the purchasing and the making and the wrapping and the decorating—those delightfully generous and important expressions of our love at Christmas—should be separated, if only slightly, from the more quiet, personal moments when we consider the meaning of the Baby (and his birth) who prompts the giving of such gifts.

As happens so often if we are not careful, the symbols can cover that which is symbolized. In some of our lives the manger has already been torn down to allow for a discount store running three-for-a-dollar specials on gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

I do not feel—or mean this to sound—like a modern-day Scrooge. The gold, frankincense, and myrrh were humbly given and appreciatively received, and so they should be, every year and always. As my wife and children can testify, no one gets more giddy about the giving and receiving of presents than I do.

But for that very reason, I, like you, need to remember the very plain scene, even the poverty, of a night devoid of tinsel or wrapping or goods of this world. Only when we see that single, sacred, unadorned object of our devotion—the Babe of Bethlehem—will we know why “tis the season to be jolly” and why the giving of gifts is so appropriate."

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Nothing Will Startle Us More

"Nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar His face is to us".
– President Ezra Taft Benson, 'Jesus Christ--Gifts and Expectations', BYU, 10 Dec 1974
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Dirty Dishes

I/we have a bad habit of not doing dishes straightaway, it'll often be the next morning before we 'get' to them. I will invariably find that food that was left on the plate the night before, now has the consistency of super glue, and that I have to soak and then scrub them before the dishwasher takes a turn at them. It makes my kitchen look messy, and provides extra jobs that could've been avoided if I had just spent the 10 seconds to rinse off the plate straightaway.

This reminded me of sin (naturally:). There have been times in my life when I know I have done something wrong and I repent and change straightaway. Other times I am too spiritually lazy to do so, knowing that it's going to take some effort on my part. When I have left things which shouldn't have been left, and when I do wake up and want to change, I find I now have more damage to repair and more spiritual dirt to deal with.

Sister Beck says: "Sometimes people get casual about repenting. I have heard some people say that repenting is too hard. Others say they are tired of feeling guilty or have been offended by a leader who was helping them repent. Sometimes people give up when they have made mistakes and come to believe that there is no hope for them. Some people imagine that they will feel better about themselves if they just leave the restored gospel and go away". (Julie B. Beck, “Remembering, Repenting, and Changing,” Ensign, May 2007, 109–12)

The Lord says: “If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” (Ether 12:27)

I am grateful that the Lord teaches us little lessons that we need, even in the oddest of places. I need reminders, and His reminders show He cares.
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Our Personal Conviction

Straight to the point:
"The intensity of our desire to share the gospel is a great indicator of the extent of our personal conversion."
Dallin H. Oaks - Ensign, Nov. 2001, 7
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Parental Certainty

"No child in this Church should be left with uncertainty about his or her parents' devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ."
- Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, May 2003, 85
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fiery Darts

Our sunday school lesson last week was on this subject, based on this scripture:

"Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked". (Eph 6:16)

Someone made a comment on this that really resonated with me. Paraphrasing, they said that fiery darts were much more dangerous than regular darts/arrows. A dart might be able to penetrate a chink in some armour, but it would only do localised damage, whereas a fiery dart once it has penetrated will consume the rest of the body, and quickly.

You can definitely see the correlation here to temptation and sin - that it is never localised, that it does affect 'all' of us, once acted upon. I think that the reverse is also true though that good attributes can consume the bad too. I hope that we will increase our faith, thereby increasing our protection from these nasty fiery darts, that just keep on coming!


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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Journals and Blessings

I was reminded recently of this talk by Elder Eyring about the importance of keeping a journal, and recognising your blessings. I hope it uplifts you too:):
______________________

"I came home late from a Church assignment. It was after dark. My father-in-law, who lived near us, surprised me as I walked toward the front door of my house. He was carrying a load of pipes over his shoulder, walking very fast and dressed in his work clothes. I knew that he had been building a system to pump water from a stream below us up to our property.

He smiled, spoke softly, and then rushed past me into the darkness to go on with his work. I took a few steps toward the house, thinking of what he was doing for us, and just as I got to the door, I heard in my mind—not in my own voice—these words: “I’m not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down.”

I went inside. I didn’t go to bed. Although I was tired, I took out some paper and began to write. And as I did, I understood the message I had heard in my mind. I was supposed to record for my children to read, someday in the future, how I had seen the hand of God blessing our family. Grandpa didn’t have to do what he was doing for us. He could have had someone else do it or not have done it at all. But he was serving us, his family, in the way covenant disciples of Jesus Christ always do. I knew that was true. And so I wrote it down, so that my children could have the memory someday when they would need it.

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.

The years have gone by. My boys are grown men. And now and then one of them will surprise me by saying, “Dad, I was reading in my copy of the journal about when . . . ” and then he will tell me about how reading of what happened long ago helped him notice something God had done in his day.

My point is to urge you to find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness. It will build our testimonies. You may not keep a journal. You may not share whatever record you keep with those you love and serve. But you and they will be blessed as you remember what the Lord has done. You remember that song we sometimes sing: “Count your many blessings; name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

"O Remember, Remember", General Conference, October 2007, Henry B. Eyring

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Power From on High

"When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, then God will endow us with power from on high."
Ezra Taft Benson - Ensign, May 1998, p.81
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Humble, Up and Down

Fabulous quote on humility, courtesy of Elder Maxwell:

"One can be sincerely grateful for his major blessings but regularly murmur over minor irritations. One can have humility that is hierarchical: being humble up, but not humble down. Enduring large tests while failing the seemingly small quizzes just won’t do."

—Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, November 1997-
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Who has Lighted your Flame?

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us".
Albert Schweitzer

Who has done that for you, and do they know????
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Reconciliation

Anne C. Pingree:
"I remember a time when, without any intent to do so, I offended a sister in my ward. I needed to reconcile this issue, but I must admit that my pride kept me from going to her and asking for her forgiveness. Family, other commitments, on and on--I found ways to postpone my repentance. I was sure things would work out on their own. But they didn't.

"In the stillness of not one night but several, I awoke with a clear realization that I was not taking the course the Lord would want me to take. I was not acting on my faith that His arm of mercy was truly extended towards me--if I would act aright. I prayed for strength and courage, humbled myself, and went to the sister's home and asked for her forgiveness. For us both, it proved to be a sweet, healing experience."
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Womanhood - Our 'Real' Gifts

"I wonder if you sisters fully understand the greatness of your gifts and talents and how all of you can achieve the 'highest place of honor' in the Church and in the world. One of your unique, precious, and sublime gifts is your femininity, with its natural grace, goodness, and divinity. Femininity is not just lipstick, stylish hairdos, and trendy clothes. It is the divine adornment of humanity. It finds expression in your qualities of your capacity to love, your spirituality, delicacy, radiance, sensitivity, creativity, charm, graciousness, gentleness, dignity, and quiet strength. It is manifest differently in each girl or woman, but each of you possesses it. Femininity is part of your inner beauty.

"One of your particular gifts is your feminine intuition. Do not limit yourselves. As you seek to know the will of our Heavenly Father in your life and become more spiritual, you will be far more attractive, even irresistible. You can use your smiling loveliness to bless those you love and all you meet, and spread great joy. Femininity is part of the God-given divinity within each of you. It is your incomparable power and influence to do good. You can, through your supernal gifts, bless the lives of children, women, and men. Be proud of your womanhood. Enhance it. Use it to serve others."
("Womanhood: The Highest Place of Honor," Ensign, May 2000, 96)
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happiness - Living in the Present

The final part of President Monson's talk from the May 2003 Ensign:

"Third, live in the present. Sometimes we let our thoughts of tomorrow take up too much of today. Daydreaming of the past and longing for the future may provide comfort but will not take the place of living in the present. This is the day of our opportunity, and we must grasp it.

Professor Harold Hill, in Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, cautioned: “You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you’ve collected a lot of empty yesterdays.”

There is no tomorrow to remember if we don’t do something today, and to live most fully today, we must do that which is of greatest importance. Let us not procrastinate those things which matter most.

I recently read the account of a man who, just after the passing of his wife, opened her dresser drawer and found there an item of clothing she had purchased when they visited the eastern part of the United States nine years earlier. She had not worn it but was saving it for a special occasion. Now, of course, that occasion would never come.

In relating the experience to a friend, the husband said, “Don’t save something only for a special occasion. Every day in your life is a special occasion.”

That friend later said those words changed her life. They helped her to cease putting off the things most important to her. Said she: “Now I spend more time with my family. I use crystal glasses every day. I’ll wear new clothes to go to the supermarket if I feel like it. The words ‘someday’ and ‘one day’ are fading from my vocabulary. Now I take the time to call my relatives and closest friends. I’ve called old friends to make peace over past quarrels. I tell my family members how much I love them. I try not to delay or postpone anything that could bring laughter and joy into our lives. And each morning, I say to myself that this could be a special day. Each day, each hour, each minute, is special.”

A wonderful example of this philosophy was shared by Arthur Gordon many years ago in a national magazine. He wrote:

“When I was around thirteen and my brother ten, Father had promised to take us to the circus. But at lunchtime there was a phone call; some urgent business required his attention downtown. We braced ourselves for disappointment. Then we heard him say [into the phone], ‘No, I won’t be down. It’ll have to wait.’

“When he came back to the table, Mother smiled. ‘The circus keeps coming back, you know,’ [she said].

“ ‘I know,’ said Father. ‘But childhood doesn’t.’ ”

One day, each of us will run out of tomorrows. Let us not put off what is most important.

Live in the present.

(to read the full talk, click here)

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happiness - Preparing for the Future

Part 2 of President Monson's talk from the May 2003 Ensign.

"Second, prepare for the future. We live in a changing world. Technology has altered nearly every aspect of our lives. We must cope with these advances—even these cataclysmic changes—in a world of which our forebears never dreamed.

Remember the promise of the Lord: “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” Fear is a deadly enemy of progress.

It is necessary to prepare and to plan so that we don’t fritter away our lives. Without a goal, there can be no real success. One of the best definitions of success I have ever heard goes something like this: Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. Someone has said the trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never crossing the goal line.

Years ago there was a romantic and fanciful ballad that contained the words, “Wishing will make it so / Just keep on wishing / And care will go.” I want to state here and now that wishing will not replace thorough preparation to meet the trials of life. Preparation is hard work but absolutely essential for our progress.

Our journey into the future will not be a smooth highway which stretches from here to eternity. Rather, there will be forks and turnings in the road, to say nothing of the unanticipated bumps. We must pray daily to a loving Heavenly Father, who wants each of us to succeed in life.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happiness - Learning from the Past

In April 2003 conference, President Thomas S. Monson shared ways in which we can gain more happiness. He said:

"Today I have chosen to provide the three pieces of your treasure map to guide you to your eternal

happiness. They are:

1. Learn from the past.

2. Prepare for the future.

3. Live in the present.

Let us consider each segment of the map.

First, learn from the past. Each of us has a heritage—whether from pioneer forebears, later converts, or others who helped to shape our lives. This heritage provides a foundation built of sacrifice and faith. Ours is the privilege and responsibility to build on such firm and stable footings.

A story written by Karen Nolen, which appeared in the New Era in 1974, tells of a Benjamin Landart who, in 1888, was 15 years old and an accomplished violinist. Living on a farm in northern Utah with his mother and seven brothers and sisters was sometimes a challenge to Benjamin, as he had less time than he would have liked to play his violin. Occasionally his mother would lock up the violin until he had his farm chores done, so great was the temptation for Benjamin to play it.

In late 1892 Benjamin was asked to travel to Salt Lake to audition for a place with the territorial o

rchestra. For him, this was a dream come true. After several weeks of practicing and prayers, he went to Salt Lake in March of 1893 for the much anticipated audition. When he heard Benjamin play, the conductor, a Mr. Dean, told Benjamin he was the most accomplished violinist he had heard west of Denver. He was told to report to Denver for rehearsals in the fall and learned that he would be earning enough to keep himself, with some left over to send home.

A week after Benjamin received the good news, however, his bishop called him into his office and asked if he couldn’t put off playing with the orchestra for a couple of years. He told Benjamin that before he started earning money there was something he owed the Lord. He then asked Benjamin to accept a mission call.

Benjamin felt that giving up his chance to play in the territorial orchestra would be almost more than he could bear, but he also knew what his decision should be. He promised the bishop that if there were any way to raise the money for him to serve, he would accept the call.

When Benjamin told his mother about the call, she was overjoyed. She told him that his father had always wanted to serve a mission but had been killed before that opportunity had come to him. However, when they discussed the financing of the mission, her face clouded over. Benjamin told her he would not allow her to sell any more of their land. She studied his face for a moment and then said, “Ben, there is a way we can raise the money. This family [has] one thing that is of great enough value to send you on your mission. You will have to sell your violin.”

Ten days later, on March 23, 1893, Benjamin wrote in his journal: “I awoke this morning and took my violin from its case. All day long I played the music I love. In the evening when the light grew dim and I could see to play no longer, I placed the instrument in its case. It will be enough. Tomorrow I leave [for my mission].”

Forty-five years later, on June 23, 1938, Benjamin wrote in his journal: “The greatest decision I ever made in my life was to give up something I dearly loved to the God I loved even more. He has never forgotten me for it.”

Learn from the past."

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Monday, November 16, 2009

A Prophetic Promise

Remember this??? It's still true:)

President Hinckley:


"Without reservation I promise you that if each of you, will observe this simple program, regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.”


(Ensign, August 2005)
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happiness

"For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness."
Ralph Waldo Emerson“
And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.”
(2 Nephi 5:27)
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

So Concerned

"We are becoming so concerned about having perfect figures, or straight A’s, or professional status . . . that we are being torn from our true selves. We often worry so much about pleasing and performing for others that we lose our own uniqueness, that full and relaxed acceptance of ourselves as a person of worth and individuality".
[Patricia T. Holland, “The Soul’s Center” (13 January 1987), BYU 1986–87 Devotional and Fireside Speeches]
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

There is Always Hope!

More from John H. Groberg:

"Let me read something on this point written by Elder Orson F. Whitney, one of the Twelve Apostles some years ago:

You parents of the wilful and the wayward: Don't give them up. Don't cast them off. They are not utterly lost. The Shepherd will find his sheep. They were his before they were yours--long before he entrusted them to your care; and you cannot begin to love them as he loves them. Our Heavenly Father is far more merciful, infinitely more charitable, than even the best of his servants, and the Everlasting Gospel is mightier in power to save than our narrow finite minds can comprehend.

See how important it is to follow the admonition given by King Benjamin in Mosiah 4:9:

Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; [most of us will go along with that, but the last part] believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend [sometimes we, by our actions, think we are smarter than he is].

Let's not spend our time hoping or worrying about justice being done to others. It will be done. Let's spend our time being just ourselves.

One of Satan's ultimate weapons (if not the ultimate) is to remove hope from your life. He tries to convince you that you can't do it, that there is no hope. Thus, by removing hope, he removes Christ from your life, for Christ is hope. Satan can never quite accomplish that fully--at least not here--because it is a lie. There is hope built within all of us. There is always hope.

On the other hand, the thing Satan cannot fight is one who is full of hope--for he is then full of the Spirit of Christ--and when that hope is perfected or full, Satan has lost completely.
(John H. Groberg, 'There is Always Hope', BYU 3 June 1984)
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Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Sign of True Hope

From a talk given by John H. Groberg:

"I often hear people talk of hope .... They say, "Well, I hope he gets what's coming," or, "I hope justice is done." Don't worry about that. He or she will. The ones we ought to worry about are ourselves.

We spend so much time and effort seeking remedies or justice (on spiritual things especially) "here and now" when, in fact, much, if not most, of justice will be done "there and then." We ought to spend time and effort here and now to prepare for there and then. Most "justice" occurs after this life. We ought to be glad it does, for so much went on before and will go on after of which we are not aware--but God is aware.

If we are to have a fullness of hope (and that is our goal--hope in all things), our hope must transcend this mortal existence. It had better, or as Paul indicated, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable" (1 Corinthians 15:19). One who has true hope in Christ will not judge others.

From a remarkable talk give by President Stephen L. Richards in April of 1956, let me quote:

The Lord has said, "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men" (D&C 64:10). If we were more liberal in our forgiveness, we would be more encouraging to repentance. Someone has said that the supreme charity of the world is in obedience to the divine injunction, "Judge not." When the Savior gave that injunction, he was well aware of the limitations of human understanding and sympathy. We can see overt acts but we cannot see inner feelings nor can we read intentions. An all-wise Providence in making judgment sees and knows all the phases of human conduct. We know but few of the phases, and none very well. To be considerate and kind in judgment is a Christlike attribute. [Stephen L. Richards, April Conference, 8 April 1956]

Those with hope, then, do not judge. When I hear of people making judgments (and we all do more than we want to--we do too much--and it is a sign of our having less hope than we should), I think, "Who do we think we are anyway? The very best of us, the most kind or most loving and forgiving among us is only, as it were, in kindergarten--or lower."
(John H. Groberg, 'There is Always Hope', BYU, 3 Jun 1984)
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Look Forward

Mosiah 29:10: And now let us be wise and look forward to these things, and do that which will make for the peace of this people.

Howard W. Hunter "Fix your attention on your...goal[s] and never look back on your earlier problems... Our energies [should be] focused not behind us but ahead of us..."
(Ensign, May 1987)

Can I tell you something interesting I found out as I was looking for some scriptures to go with this great quote…. I put in “look” + “forward” into the search and it brought up quite a few different references, and ALL of them were in the Book of Mormon. I loved that! When I read the Book or Mormon that is really how I feel too, much more positive, I “look forward with an eye of faith…” (Alma 5:15) so much more easily, and I have a clearer view, and feel for, my Heavenly Fathers love for me. I love the Book of Mormon, and I know that it’s true!
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hiatus

After taking a little bit of a hiatus due to pregnancy (we're having a really cute baby girl in March, to go with our already ridiculously cute baby boy) and house hunting, I am getting back on top of this blogging thing. All being well it should be back to being regular again. Thanks for the emails:)
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Monday, August 24, 2009

Advancements

Ether 4:12 – 13:
“And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. I am the same that leadeth men to all good; he that will not believe my words will not believe me—that I am; and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me. For behold, I am the Father, I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world.
“Come unto me, O ye Gentiles, and I will show unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief.

I remember a fireside I went to where the speaker spoke about the Restoration of the Gospel and why it took place when it did. He pointed out something I thought was interesting.. it was that in 1830 the Patent Office in America was closed as they thought that everything had been invented, that was ever going to be. Since then there have been more inventions and advancements than ever before. When the light of the gospel was restored to the earth of the light of Christ burned brighter, and it’s amazing what has happened since then.

It is like that in our life also – we make look at ourselves (or others) and think that we have stopped progressing, or that we aren’t able to achieve miraculous things, but when the light of Christ burns brighter in our live, and we abandon unbelief, the Lord will show us “greater things”. The Saviour will lead us and persuade us, with Him we can become who we really are, and have oodles of joy:)
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Friday, August 21, 2009

Faith

Mosiah 8:18
“Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings”

A. Theodore Tuttle:
"The Lord’s ability to help us succeed is limited only by our faith in him."
(Ensign, Nov. 1975)
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Our Whole Hearts

By Elder Theodore M. Burton:

"A person’s attitude is perhaps the hardest of all personal attributes to change. If your attitude is right, then your life is made right. If your heart is touched, your mind and way of thinking will change and your life will change for the better accordingly.

I believe we must become so immersed in the gospel of Jesus Christ that we become physically as well as mentally more and more like the Lord himself. We must yield our whole hearts to him. What we then do is done not because we are asked to, nor because we are forced to, but because we want to. Neither pressure nor force can be exerted upon us from outside, when what we do is done because it is our own choice and desire. It then makes no difference to us what other men may think, or say, or do. Our hearts being committed wholly to God, what we do is done out of our love for and our trust in him".
(“Conference Excerpts,” New Era, Jan. 1974, 6)
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Giving All

"The Lord has seldom required individuals to give all, but it is important for Him to know that we would and could do it, if asked."
—Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, May 1975 -
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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Giving Parental Love

"The giving of love from a parent to a son or daughter must not be dependant on his or her performance. Oftimes those we think deserve our love the least need it the most".
(Elder H Burke Peterson)
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Friday, August 14, 2009

Love Reaches

"Love reaches deep into the inner soul, removes barriers, and causes an open spirit to emerge to be receptive to truth, goodness and change".
(Elder James M Paramore)
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Get the Venom or Pursue the Creature?

"It is reported that President Brigham Young once said that he who takes offense when no offence was intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense was intended is usually a fool. It was then explained that there are two courses if action to follow when one is bitten by a rattlesnake. One may, in anger, fear, or vengefulness, pursue the creature and kill it. Or he may make full haste to get the venom out of his system. If we pursue the latter course, we will likely survive, but if we attempt to follow the former, we may not be around for long enough to finish what we started".
(Elder Marion D Hanks, "Forgiveness: The Ultimate Form of Love")

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I just really liked that too. I think not forgiving people is ..... stupid (don't know what other word to use here...) and is something that is as a result of selfish pride. The Saviour died so that we would be able to be forgiven, so what right do we have withold forgiveness from another? I am sure this is what is lacking in the majority of marriages/relationships that struggle.
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Witholding Love

From Elder Marion D Hanks's talk called "Forgiveness: The Ultimate Form of Love":

"Someone has written: The witholding of love is the negation of the spirit of Christ, the proof that we never knew him, that for us he lived in vain. It means that he suggested nothing in all our thoughts, that he inspired nothing in all our lives, that we were not once near enough to him to be seized with the spell of his compassion for the world". Christ's example and instructions to his friends are clear. He forgave, and he said, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you". (Matthew 5:44)
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When I read this it, the part that really struck me is where it says, 'the witholding of love is the ..... proof that we never knew him, that for us he lived in vain'. I think it's sometimes so easy to 'withold' love from people - but it is so important to 'show' love to people, the genuine kind of love which softens peoples hearts, and helps them to see who they are more clearly. It would be a feeling I don't think I could handle to be told at the end of my days that I never really came to know Christ during my life - I can't imagine a worse possible feeling.
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