I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor his name. I'll do what is right; I'll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Even More to be Thankful For!

Laura at Heavenly Homemakers made mention of her Gratituesday today. I'm fairly new to her blog, and I enjoy reading it. But I'd forgotten about her Gratituesday. I love the idea! And with how wonderful everything has been, I definitely wanted to participate. Especially as it's great preparation for my next year's Joy and Gratitude Every Day. I had planned it as part of my online journal, which has only a few readers. But perhaps I should have it on this blog. It would reach more people, n'est-ce pas? Plus, it's all in relation to the ever wonderful Time Out for Women.

Anywho. This was from my online journal yesterday, and I thought it was perfect for Gratituesday!

I've had so much I've wanted to say, and yet I don't write because I've been so short on time, and current lack of easy Internet access at home. It's just that busy time of year--throwing in two classes of subbing as Institute teacher and preparing for a vacation. Many thanks that this year does not involve a move. Many thanks.

But I'm happy. So, so happy and at peace and filled with joy. Prayers are truly answered and I haven't felt this good in about 3 years. It has been the most wonderful thing. I've wanted to share, but I wanted to give it full attention and focus. I don't think I'm going to find it. But I wanted you to know that I'm being blessed with a happy happiness. And I'm so grateful!

My other news had been health-related. Great discoveries and the use of the tool that has been making things go so well. I guess with financial matters doing well in being taken care of, it was time to turn to the physical. And it has been exciting as well as fun to work with this.

So just in quick summary (since I really need to get back to work!):

1. PCOS is very often caused by Insulin Resistance. That news has literally changed my life and perspective.
2. www.sparkpeople.com is exactly what the Lord knew I needed to get me the kick start and desire and support I've been wanting for years.
3. I go home in 3 days!
4. Despite the snow, I still made it to the temple and not only was able to join an endowment session, but also got to be present as my great-grandmother's 3 brothers were baptized and confirmed by proxy. I hadn't expected to experience what I did, but it was wonderful.
5. I was part of 3 different choirs for the Christmas season. Two of which I was able to sing in and not play the piano. While I love to serve as a piano player (even with my flaws), I love celebrating the Christmas season with singing. And the music we sang was wonderful.
6. I managed to get Christmas presents for family, branch, and co-workers all within the budget I set for it.
7. The credit card I thought I could pay off in 7-8 months may take less since there is $1000 less that I owe on it!!!!
8. I've watched some wonderful Christmas movies this season and it has made me so happy.
9. Last Christmas being my worst Christmas ever only makes this Christmas-Full-of-Happiness even more wonderful!
10. I've lost 7 pounds in 11 days!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Student as the Teacher, Teacher is the Student

[from my personal online journal today]

Sunday night, after the amazing 1st Presidency Christmas Devotional, I found out that our Institute teacher was still fighting a cold and wanted me to substitute as the teacher. I haven't subbed in Institute since my mother asked me back in '04 or '05. It's been a while. And the one thing I have the most difficulty teaching (for I love teaching) is scriptures. I always feel so lacking in knowledge, and I worry the Spirit will have such a small well to draw from.

But what I do love is how much teachers always learn so much (often more than the students) from any lesson that they prepare. And I have gained so much in preparing for this lesson! Personal things that I have been needing. And while some show me where I could and should have been doing better, it has all come out in an encouraging, I-can-do-this way. And I feel so incredibly uplifted from this. Full of light even! I know I could never convey to the students all that I have been able to gain in this less-than-48-hours to prepare. But I'm so glad our teacher felt impressed to have me teach, for this has been exactly what I've needed in my life.

How I love that the Lord loves me and always knows what I need, when I need it.

P.S. May I beg a prayer from you for me for tonight? I am still a bit on the nervous side, not only in worrying about having the Spirit with me, but also in the temporalness of feeling so ignorant and silly next to some of the most amazingly spiritually intelligent people I have ever known in my life. And the worry of teaching false doctrine!! Ah, I need to stop or I'm going to work myself into a tizzy. (Used to always want to be able to use that phrase--I've changed my mind.)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Renewing and Reinforcing My Focus

There are cycles of good and bad times, ups and downs, periods of joy and sadness, and times of plenty as well as scarcity. When our lives turn in an unanticipated and undesirable direction, sometimes we experience stress and anxiety. One of the challenges of this mortal experience is to not allow the stresses and strains of life to get the better of us—to endure the varied seasons of life while remaining positive, even optimistic. Perhaps when difficulties and challenges strike, we should have these hopeful words of Robert Browning etched in our minds: 'The best is yet to be' ("Rabbi Ben Ezra," in Charles W. Eliot, ed., The Harvard Classics, 50 vols. [1909–10], 42:1103).”

L. Tom Perry, "Let Him Do It with Simplicity", Ensign, Nov. 2008, 7

That is certainly my challenge in life right now. "Remaining positive, even optimistic" in spite of the roller coaster of life. And trust me, my roller coaster has been rough. This year hasn't been as many ups and downs. Rather it has been many, many lows. And if any of you are enjoyers of roller coasters as I am, you know that a roller coaster of all lows is very depressing, boring, and even a bit suffocating. Why wouldn't you want that rush of wind and excitement that you get with all the highs and even the loops?

Every time I try to make that roller coaster go higher, I get shoved back down. Often it is my own self doing the shoving. I believe it is because I've been focusing on the wrong things. While the Savior is ever at my side and I try hard to rely on Him, it is the particular things that I'm trying to change that I'm wrong about. I don't change myself. The Savior changes me, through His Atonement. All I can truly change is my attitude and how I choose to let the down times affect me. I've been trying for happiness. But I don't think I've been trying hard enough. I am determined to find a truer, more lasting happiness that can be felt by anyone around me.

And I really do think that I can bring that happiness and turn it into joy by continuing to focus on the Savior and following His commandments, and remembering that the best really is yet to be. So much has been promised me. I'm just in the preparation stages so I can handle all of that wonderfulness. Plus, it will mean more to me when it does come having gone through what I've had to.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

"There's so much to be thankful for"

[from my online personal journal today]

I'm alive! Never fear. I am around on this Thanksgiving Day. And very grateful to be so, too. S much gratitude that I could share--in this trip as well as in life overall. But I must be off to make a relish/vegetable tray (I love making these!). And then we're setting off for Jacksonville for the big feast. And sometime today I will call me Mum and remember my family memories and traditions as we talk about her better-than-anyone's dressing (aka stuffing--just not in our home), her millions of pies, her amazing mashed potatoes, THE rolls, and John Denver & the Muppets.

I miss my family. The one I grew up in and the one I am still preparing to have. But I'm grateful for eternal sealings that will keep us together through eternity if we our faithful in keeping the commandments and our covenants. I cannot be with them physically on this very family favorite holiday of mine, but I will always be with them spiritually and emotionally. They are "written upon the fleshy tables of [my] heart." I've often thought that an oddly-phrased phrase, but it is quite true. They are permanently in my heart. And we will always be together.

Those two things are always what I'm most grateful for: my eternal family and the glorious Gospel of my Brother, Savior, and Friend Jesus Christ who made that eternal connection possible. May each of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and be thankful every minute of every day throughout every year for that which truly matters most.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A bit of personal gratitude

So, a week or so ago I made mention of the talk Elder Oaks gave at BYU-I about the importance of our holding to our right of freedom of religion. Today I received an email that was related. I'm on a list for ProtectMarriage.com, which keeps me informed of various movements and actions taking place concerning the protection of the institution of marriage. It felt good to hear them support us. This was the email:

Dear Friends,

Nearly a year after the passage of Proposition 8, one of the most ardent supporters of traditional marriage remains under attack by homosexual marriage activists. The same people who verbally harass and intimidate anyone seeking to defend society’s most important institution are proclaiming the bogus media mantra of “tolerance” and “non-discrimination”. Such attacks have not gone unnoticed by voters, and with vandalism to homes, businesses, and churches, many voters who initially favored same-sex marriage have now changed their opinions.

But when we learned of a Mormon apostle, Dallin H. Oaks, who recently urged members to exercise their freedom of religion in the face of Prop 8 intimidation, even we were surprised by the vitriolic response of four pro-homosexual marriage groups.

In a speech at Brigham Young University-Idaho defending the Church’s involvement in Prop 8, Oaks said “We must insist on our constitutional right and duty to exercise our religion, to vote our consciences on public issues and to participate in elections and debates in the public square and the halls of justice. These are the rights of all citizens and they are also the rights of religious leaders."

But gay rights advocacy groups – including Mormons for Marriage, Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons, the LDS Safe Space Coalition, and Foundation for Reconciliation – fired back, saying that the Mormon Church’s support of traditional marriage via Prop 8 runs “contrary to core doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

Now, back to reality: file the above statement about “contrary to core doctrines” under the “If you say it enough times, people will believe it” heading. The LDS Church in the United States is known, among other things, for its high percentage of registered voters. Not only do they register to vote, they also vote! And, like the rest of us, Mormons vote according to their consciences and moral values. The other side repeatedly states that religious perspectives, and religious people, should have no voice in the public square. No religious perspectives allowed? How silly!

It is a sad day when our allies are recriminated – even if by disaffected church members – for simply exercising their religious liberties, which are protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It is even worse, and a potential precursor to our future, that such attacks continue nearly a year after a majority of Californians passed Prop 8.

We need your continued support to defend our right to protect marriage between a man and a woman and to push back against the radical attempt to silence public expression of religious beliefs. Whether it is in the courthouse or the court of public opinion, we will continue to find ourselves fighting for this liberty against well-heeled gay activists, particularly as California gears up for another statewide initiative to reverse Prop 8 in the coming years.

And my gratitude was so great, that I decided to thank them:

Thank you for your constant fight in this. And thank you for acknowledging we of the LDS (Mormon) faith who do believe in voting according to our morals and consciences. It is a sad thing to know people within our own religion don't understand some of our most basic and eternal principles of marriage--and following a living prophet! Your support of us and for the sacred, important institution of marriage between a man and a woman is very much appreciated by me.

I wish I could say more, but please accept my sincere gratitude.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Prayer and Service

"We can and must go often and carefully to the word of God. If we become casual in our study of the scriptures, we will become casual in our prayers.

"We may not cease to pray, but our prayers will become more repetitive, more mechanical, lacking real intent. Our hearts cannot be drawn out to a God we do not know, and the scriptures and the words of living prophets help us know Him. As we know Him better, we love Him more.

"We must also serve Him to love Him. Joseph Smith did that, finally surrendering life itself in His service. Joseph prayed with the intent to obey. That obedience always includes service to others. Service in God's work allows us to feel a part of what He feels and come to know Him."

Henry B. Eyring, "Prayer," Ensign, Nov. 2001, 17

I think that the beginning part of this quote is most poignant and pertinent to me at this point in my life. I feel too often I am rushing in my prayers, or not giving my Heavenly Father the time, reverence, gratitude, and devotion owed Him through that most sacred communication. In short, too casual. I do not falter in my prayers, I know. They are innumerable. I just feel I could and should be doing better. That's why I'm grateful that two Conferences in a row Elder Bednar spoke on ways we could improve our prayers and make them more meaningful.

It is quotes like these that give me the reminders to keep working on things--service also included. I hope we may each try to leave off the casual and have more meaningful prayers. After all, when one looks at it--you really cannot afford to not pray. So if prayer is vital, then why would you waste your time on something that isn't meaningful?

Pray because you need to, and pray because you mean to.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Religious Freedom - LDS Newsroom

This talk is amazing and perfect. I highly recommend other LDS members to read it. It is so important! It personally means a lot to me that one of our Apostles spoke on this subject and I'm very grateful that he did.
Religious Freedom - LDS Newsroom

Shared via AddThis

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Some Great Thing - Part 2

"We have in the modern history of the Church contrasting examples of men who were highly favored of the Lord. One, Hyrum Smith, remained totally faithful and committed, even to the giving of his life, while the other, Oliver Cowdery, despite having witnessed 'some great things' in the history of the Restoration, became blinded by his personal ambition and lost his exalted place in the leadership of the Church.

". . . No one except the Prophet Joseph was more honored with the ministering of angels than Oliver Cowdery.

"But when the Prophet Joseph fell upon hard times, Oliver was critical of him and became estranged from him. . . .

". . . Even though Oliver came back, he lost his exalted place in the Church.

"In contrast, President Heber J. Grant said of Hyrum Smith: 'There is no better example of an older brother's love than that exhibited in the life of Hyrum Smith for the Prophet Joseph Smith. . . . They were as united and as affectionate and as loving as mortal men could be. . . . There never was one particle of . . . jealousy . . . in the heart of Hyrum Smith. No mortal man could have been more loyal, more true, more faithful in life or in death than was Hyrum Smith to the Prophet of the living God' ("Hyrum Smith and His Distinguished Posterity," Improvement Era, Aug. 1918, 854–55).

"He responded to every need and request from his younger brother, Joseph, who led the Church and received the revelations which we have today. Hyrum was steadfast day to day, month by month, year in and year out."

James E. Faust, "Some Great Thing," Ensign, Nov. 2001, 46–47

I love the word steadfast. It is so powerful and describes something we most need to be in the Gospel. Couple it with immovable and you catch a glimpse of the strong force of a mountain the Lord wants us to be as servants of Him.

This quote ties in quite well with the previous related post (both quotes coming from the same talk). But the point that stands out to me more is who stayed steadfast--with no jealousy, full of faith, giving all trust and support. Joseph's very own brother. His elder brother. Sadly too often the people we are most contentious with in this life are those of our own family. Those whom we should love more than any other. Jealousy has a stronger tendency to arise in familial relationships than in others. And yet Hyrum did not do such an un-Christlike thing.

O to be like Hyrum, and Sam, and the other brothers who loved their siblings and leaders with full devotion and whole purpose of heart!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bungee Jumping

“All of us can find enjoyment in a wide range of wholesome, entertaining, and engaging activities. But we diminish the importance of our bodies and jeopardize our physical well-being by going to unusual and dangerous extremes searching for an ever greater and more exhilarating adrenaline ‘rush.’ We may rationalize that surely nothing is wrong with such seemingly innocent exploits and adventures. However, putting at risk the very instrument God has given us to receive the learning experiences of mortality—merely to pursue a thrill or some supposed fun, to bolster ego, or to gain acceptance—truly minimizes the importance of our physical bodies.”

David A. Bednar, “Things as They Really Are,” CES fireside for young adults, May 3, 2009

I know some hear, think, and feel different things when our leaders speak to us. Hopefully those are things of the Spirit that we use as a personal guide to help us make the best decisions and choices for ourselves. It may be silly to some, but as soon as I heard Elder Bednar say this, I knew that my desire (and reasons for that desire) to want to try bungee jumping some day were wrong. In general I am fairly protective of the body Heavenly Father has placed me in charge of. But I occasionally do like the thrill of something fast and exhilarating. But for mine own self, I know that at least this one desire is wrong. It pushes boundaries of safety and goes into dangerous, thus being something I know I am not to pursue. Others will feel this means something else to them. What is most important is if what you feel is the Spirit guiding you, and then following that spiritual prompting.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Some Great Thing

"As persecutions came and Joseph fled the mob at Nauvoo in 1844, Hyrum went with him. As they stood on the bank of the river, contemplating whether to return, Joseph turned to Hyrum and said, 'You are the oldest, what shall we do?'

"'Let us go back and give ourselves up and see the thing out,' Hyrum replied.

"They returned to Nauvoo and were taken to Carthage, where they died as martyrs within minutes of one another. Hyrum had been faithful to his trust even to the laying down of his life. In all respects he was a disciple of the Savior. But his day-to-day striving made him truly great. In contrast, Oliver Cowdery was great when handling the plates and being attended to by angels, but when called upon to faithfully endure day-to-day trials and challenges, Oliver faltered and fell away from the Church.

"We do not prove our love for the Savior only by doing 'some great thing.' If the prophet personally asked you to go on a mission to some strange and exotic place, would you go? You would probably make every effort to go. But what about paying tithing? What about doing your home teaching? We show our love for the Savior by doing the many small acts of faith, devotion, and kindness to others that define our character."

James E. Faust, "Some Great Thing," Ensign, Nov. 2001, 48

This is precisely how I feel concerning the way we should be living the Gospel. An absolute "Amen!" from me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

(From my online journal today)
What is not taught
will be forgotten,
and what is forgotten
cannot be defended.

May We Never Forget

(Created for Memorial Day, but I think it is appropriate for Patriot Day, too)

P.S. Many, many thank yous to Jack for helping me keep my Freedom Tree tradition.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Strength through Adversity

“The Savior said:

"‘Therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock—

"‘And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.

"‘And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand—

"‘And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it' (3 Nephi 14: 24–27).

“It is interesting to notice that the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew against both houses! Living the gospel does not mean that we will everlastingly escape adversity. Rather, it means that we will be prepared to face and endure adversity more confidently.”

Rafael E. Pino, “Faith in Adversity,” Ensign, May 2009, 42

Absolutely! I have a very strong testimony of this one.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

He Always Knows What I Need

[from my online journal today]:

Self worth is one of the hardest trials I believe any woman deals with. Why? Because we are so precious to our Father, and vital to His work, thus the adversary chooses that as one of the best ways to destroy us. Convince a woman she isn't of worth, and you've not only drastically affected the lives she touches, but also dealt a terrible wound on generations to come. It sounds exaggerated. It's not.

It is good to know that I'm not the only one who has my days where I struggle with feeling good about me, and what I do, and how I try. A woman may try harder than anyone, but will also beat herself more when not reaching the often unreachable goals she sets for herself. If that doesn't apply to every woman, I know it applies to me. In the last 3 or 4 weeks, I have moved leaps and bounds past my intense personal struggles of feeling of worth. For that I owe immense gratitude toward my Savior, and to Molly Gibson. :-)

Isn't it absolutely amazing how wonderful our Savior is? How He really does know what is happening to/with us, what we struggle with, and best of all how to help us? Yesterday I opened my brand new Ensign. That's always such a sense of excitement. About 75% of the time, I read the First Presidency message first. This changes only if there is an article that leaps off the page saying "Read Me Now!" Yesterday, I couldn't have felt more strongly that I needed to read the First Presidency message before anything else, especially as the "Read Me Now!" impression was so strong as I read the title: "The Influence of Righteous Women."

I'm not saying the article was not magnificent, because, of course, it was. But it was going right along where I had expected it to. And it was something I knew all sisters needed. And I was thinking of how wonderful a Father we have to inspire the Church leaders to include this article at this moment. And then I read a passage that--though I know it is to every single Daughter of God--at that moment, it was only for me.

"May I invite you to rise to the great potential within you. But don’t reach beyond your capacity. Don’t set goals beyond your capacity to achieve. Don’t feel guilty or dwell on thoughts of failure. Don’t compare yourself with others. Do the best you can, and the Lord will provide the rest. Have faith and confidence in Him, and you will see miracles happen in your life and the lives of your loved ones. The virtue of your own life will be a light to those who sit in darkness, because you are a living witness of the fulness of the gospel (see D&C 45:28). Wherever you have been planted on this beautiful but often troubled earth of ours, you can be the one to 'succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees' (D&C 81:5).

"My dear sisters, as you live your daily life with all its blessings and challenges, let me assure you that the Lord loves you. He knows you. He listens to your prayers, and He answers those prayers, wherever on this world you may be. He wants you to succeed in this life and in eternity."

Is not that the most perfect thing I could have heard right now? I, who am a major fan of rising to potential. I who try to reach it, and run faster than I'm able--especially with my own "feeble knees"...spiritually as well as physically. This counsel touched on almost every trial I have been enduring in my life of late--all of my own making, of course. There are problems I create because I go about reaching my potential in the wrong way. I highlighted with color each one for emphasis and as a reminder to me of what to and what not to do. And I know if I am obedient to exactness (Alma 57:21) in this, I will achieve even more happiness through and in the Lord than He has already been blessing me.

This is a quote I need to put every where around me in my life. Memorize it, remember it, and apply it. For I need every word. I believe every one of my Heavenly Sisters needs it, too.

Friday, August 21, 2009

One's View...make that two

I received this forwarded email and thought "Yes!" I was also relieved to know that the evil others have been calling good, I have maintained as evil or wrong. Always good to see others with pieces of light and truth who stand up for what is right.

Billy Graham's Prayer For Our Nation


'Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem. We have abused power and called it politics.. We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and Set us free. Amen!'

Sunday, August 9, 2009

If ever I feel...

...that I am flawed, that I am undesirable, that I am undeserving, that I am not of worth, then I need to remember that

I am a Daughter of My Heavenly Father,
Who Loves Me.

If that isn't enough, then I can read President Hinckley's entire talk. I remember crying then, as I cry now.

I know it's true.

I am Heavenly Father's daughter. His little girl. That divine relationship is enough for me to not pay heed to any one who tries to make me feel and think less of myself...including myself.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam

A couple of days ago, I was visiting a special needs friend who asked me to record myself singing Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam. It reminded me that once at a BYU devotional, the speaker had us sing 3 other verses that we never sang in Primary when I was in it. I don't think they do now either. I had written them down in haste as the congregation sang, and I've had them sitting near my scripture study materials ever since. I promised I'd share them with her. And then I thought I should share them here, too. (You can listen to it here.)

I knew that the words have a great message, one that I need to try to incorporate more in my life. I should read them often and live them more.

1. Jesus wants me for a sunbeam
To shine for Him each day
In every way try to please Him
At home, at school at play

A sunbeam, a sunbeam
Jesus wants me for a sunbeam
A sunbeam, a sunbeam
I'll be a sunbeam for him.

2. Jesus wants me to be loving
And kind to all I see
Showing how pleasant and happy
His little one can be. (Chorus)

3. I will ask Jesus to help me
To keep my heart from sin
Ever reflecting His goodness
And always shine for Him. (Chorus)

4. I'll be a sunbeam for Jesus
I can if I but try.
Serving Him moment by moment
Then live with Him on high. (Chorus)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Making Good Decisions--and for the Right Reasons!

"Precious young people, make every decision you contemplate pass this test: What does it do to me? What does it do for me? And let your code of conduct emphasize not 'What will others think?' but rather 'What will I think of myself?' Be influenced by that still, small voice. Remember that one with authority placed his hands on your head at the time of your confirmation and said, 'Receive the Holy Ghost.' Open your hearts, even your very souls, to the sound of that special voice that testifies of truth. As the prophet Isaiah promised, 'Thine ears shall hear a word . . . saying, This is the way, walk ye in it' (Isaiah 30:21).

"The tenor of our times is permissiveness. A most popular feature of one of the leading newspaper Sunday supplements portrays the idols of the movie screen, the heroes of the athletic field—those whom many young people long to emulate—as flouting the laws of God and rationalizing away sinful practices, seemingly with no ill effect. Don't you believe it! There is a time of reckoning—even a balancing of the ledger. It's called Judgment Day, even the Big Exam of Life. Are we prepared? Are we pleased with our own performances?"

Thomas S. Monson, "Whom Shall I Marry?" New Era, Oct. 2004, 6

Isn't this quote just fantastic? I love it!

Friday, July 10, 2009

For Our Good

"The Lord puts challenges in your path to mold your character. For your own personal growth He will often let you struggle with a matter for a while, even when you are pleading for help. But as you follow true principles, He will finally see you through. He intends that when you have reached your extremity, you will turn to Him for comfort, peace, and assistance. He will send these through the quiet prompting of the Spirit. He will give reassurance and guidance that are essential to correct decisions in your life.

"You are learning powerful, eternal lessons. Be sure you understand them. The Lord does not abandon your urgent pleas, nor is He ever, for even a moment, unmindful of your anguish and heartache. He hears every supplication. He invariably answers according to spiritual law. Understanding that law will help you appreciate how the Lord answers your prayer. His silence and seeming absence at times are a powerful means of expanding your vision and understanding as you continue in faith to do your best."

Richard G. Scott, "Making the Right Choices" (CES fireside for young adults, Jan. 13, 2002), 2

I have seen this in my life innumerable times. And while it is quite difficult at times, at least we know that it is meant to be and very much for our growth and benefit!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Our Influence for Good

As you walk your various paths, walk with faith. Speak affirmatively and cultivate an attitude of confidence. You have the capacity to do so. Your strength will give strength to others. Do not partake of the spirit so rife in our times. Rather, look for good and build upon it. There is so much of the strong and the decent and the beautiful to build upon. You are partakers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel means 'good news.' The message of the Lord is one of hope and salvation. The voice of the Lord is a voice of glad tidings. The work of the Lord is a work of glorious accomplishment."

Gordon B. Hinckley, "Be Not Afraid, Only Believe," CES Fireside for Young Adults,

I like this quote. And, being Father's Day, I thought of it in that context. Yes--my father was a great influence for good in my life. I am so grateful to him for that. I am even more grateful to my Heavenly Father not only for all He does as my Father, but for also entrusting me to the wonderful earthly father that I have had.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

To Help Inform You

ParentalRights.org provided the following message for us supporters to spread the word in hopes to inform others, as well as ask others for their show of concern and support. I hope you agree with me in the importance of this matter, especially as it flies in the face of one of the basic commandments to "Honor they father and thy mother."

A parent’s right to raise their children as they see fit is a time-honored American tradition, but today it is being threatened. The Supreme Court’s Troxel v. Granville decision in 2000 undermined a 75-year heritage of Constitutionally-protected, fundamental parental rights, which 8 of the 9 justices abandoned. At the same time, a growing body of international law fuels activist judges to legislate foreign standards from the American bench, while treaties such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child would subject parental decisions to government oversight and international review.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (MI-2) has proposed HJR-42, the Parental Rights Amendment, to stop the erosion of parental rights in American courts while simultaneously defending our laws from international invasion. Please, visit
parentalrights.org to learn more about the Amendment, and to join their email network by signing the petition to protect parental rights.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Patience for Answers

"President Joseph F. Smith gave these sobering words of advice to leaders and members of the Church to help us when making decisions. It is a statement I have had displayed in my office since becoming Presiding Bishop.

“'In leaders undue impatience and a gloomy mind are almost unpardonable, and it sometimes takes almost as much courage to wait as to act. It is to be hoped, then, that the leaders of God’s people, and the people themselves, will not feel that they must have at once a solution of every question that arises to disturb the even tenor of their way.' (Joseph F. Smith,Gospel Doctrine, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1939, p. 156.)"

-Robert D. Hales, "Making Righteous Choices at the Crossroads of Life," Ensign, Nov. 1988, p.9 (emphasis added)

This quote of President Smith's stood out to me as I read this article today. Note the emphasis that I added. It is something I know, but must remind myself again and again. Answers or solutions come in the Lord's time. And that doesn't just go for things I ask for myself, but for counsel I may be asked for from those I lead. Or counsel I have asked of those who lead me. Patience in every regard, every aspect. The Lord answers in His time, and we can be absolutely sure that it is the best time, and the best answer.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Reach for Your Potential--But Don't Beat Yourself Over the Head with It

"Don't judge yourself by what you understand of your potential. Trust in the Lord and what He can do with your dedicated heart and willing mind (see D&C 64:34). Order your life more effectively and eliminate trivia, meaningless detail, and activity. They waste the perishable, fixed, and limited resource of time. Choose to emphasize those matters that have an eternal consequence.

"Permanent, worthwhile growth is attainable, but not without great effort and the honest application of truth. Worthy accomplishment is founded in integrity. Righteousness is fundamental to happiness and desirable attainment. Righteousness is rooted in a pure heart. And indeed it protects one from contamination and the filth of the world. Righteous love is the supreme motivation for constructive change. The examples of our Father in Heaven and the Savior and Their teachings are the perfect source of motivation and direction for life."

Richard G. Scott, "Making the Right Choices" (CES fireside for young adults, Jan. 13, 2002), 4

My word--if this isn't exactly what I've been needing to hear for months! I have a terrible time in not just being extremely hard on myself, but also in expecting too much from myself. And too much too soon. I believe in progression, but I forget "line upon line, precept upon precept" (Doc & Cov 98:12). This quote is so comforting and inspiring to me. It provides simple yet perfect and doable guidelines. I think in so many ways I try to do that, but I try to do too much at once and berate myself for not succeeding at the impossible task I set before myself. Which is why the most meaningful part of this quote to me--right now--is where Elder Scott counseled, "Trust in the Lord and what He can do with your dedicated heart and willing mind." If I offer the desire and determination, and go one step at a time, then I can trust in and know that the Lord will make of me what He would, not as I would.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

[from my online journal today]:
In memory of the all the many heroes--particularly the fallen--who have helped us obtain and keep the freedoms we have, I am posting a few personally meaningful things on this Memorial Day 2009.

A wonderful, patriotism-stirring song I have always loved.

A song I love, but one I hadn't attributed to our military.

Deeper meanings in these 2 songs touched me more than ever before, and I had to include them.

(Lyrics to songs in previous video)
In Dreams
When the cold of Winter comes
Starless night will cover day
In the veiling of the sun
We will walk in bitter rain

But in dreams
(But in dreams)
I can hear your name
And in dreams
(And in dreams)
We will meet again

When the seas and mountains fall
And we come to end of days
In the dark I hear a call
Calling me there
I will go there
And back again

Prayer of the Children, arr. by Kurt Bestor
Can you hear the prayer of the children on bended knee, in the shadow of an unknown room?
Empty eyes with no more tears to cry, turning heavenward toward the light.
Crying, “Jesus, help me to see the morning light.
But if I should die before I wake, I pray my soul to take.”

Can you feel the hearts of the children aching for home, for something of their very own?
Reaching hands with nothing to hold on to, but hope for a better day, a better day.
Crying, “Jesus help me to feel the love again.
But if unknown roads lead away from home, give me loving arms, away from harm.”

Can you hear the voice of the children softly pleading for silence in their shattered world?
Angry guns preach a gospel full of hate, blood of the innocent on their hands.
Crying, “Jesus, help me to feel the sun again upon my face.
For when darkness clears I know you're near, bringing peace again.”

Dali cuje te sve djecje molitve?

Can you hear the prayer of the children?

And yet even with the fights fought, and victories won, the biggest battle still rages on.

We cannot lose it. We must not lose it. Fervent prayer for the Savior's aid, and diligence in keeping His commandments, and we can win. Our country still has a chance at remaining free.

Who will help me?

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'd like that

"The family proclamation states that a husband and wife should be equal partners. I feel assured that every wife in the Church would welcome that opportunity and support it. Whether it occurs or not depends upon the husband. Many husbands practice equal partnership with their companion to the benefit of both and the blessing of their children. However, many do not. I encourage any man who is reluctant to develop an equal partnership with his wife to obey the counsel inspired by the Lord and do it. Equal partnership yields its greatest benefit when both husband and wife seek the will of the Lord in making important decisions for themselves and for their family."

Richard G. Scott, "Honor the Priesthood and Use It Well," Ensign, Nov. 2008, 45–46

I have received similar personal counsel myself. And I look forward to the opportunity to someday have a chance to work side by side  with my husband. Until that day, I know to look for and befriend the kind of young men who do treat me equally. I also must learn how to not be a dominating personality myself. To know how to compromise. To be understanding. More open-minded. To admit when I'm wrong. To not be afraid to change what needs changing. And learn to do and to be all those things that will help me be work with my husband in an equal relationship and partnership.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Be the Best You

[from my online journal today]:
I'd heard/read this once or twice before. But had forgotten about it until M. emailed the family with it a couple of days ago. I find enough humor in it that I felt to post it here for a humorous addition.

Dear Tech Support ,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a
distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower
and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as:
. Romance 9.5, and
. Personal Attention 6.5,
and then installed undesirable programs such as:

. NBA 5.0,
. NFL 3.0 and
. Golf Clubs 4.1.

Also Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2. 6 simply crashes
the system.

. Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems,
but to no avail.

What can I do?



First, keep in mind:
. Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while
. Husband 1.0 is an Operating System.

Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.html, try to download Tears 6.2,
and do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update.

If that application works as designed , Husband 1.0 should then
automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to
default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1.

Please note that Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the
Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install Mother-In-Law 1.0
(it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all
your system resources).

In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 program.
These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory
and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying
additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend
Cooking 3.0 and Hot Lingerie 7.7.

Good Luck!
Tech Support

It can also be seen as a humorous reminder of how we all can be better spouses. Or, in my single adult case, a better person. There are many wonderful talks from Church leaders that give counsel and advice to help us be better.

"To Love and Care for Each Other" By Karl R. White

According to the Desire of [Our] Hearts” By Elder Neal A. Maxwell

The Pitfalls of Parallel Marriage" By Charles B. Beckert

Bringing Out the Best in Marriage" By Val R. Christensen

Concern for the One" By Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

Good, Better, Best" By Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Clean Hands and a Pure Heart" By Elder David A. Bednar

Living in the Fulness of Times" By President Gordon B. Hinckley

Be Your Best Self" By President Thomas S. Monson (given this past Priesthood session, but still quite applicable to us all)

Isn't it a magnificent blessing to have a lifetime to spend in becoming Our Best Self?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bear All Things Patiently

" 'Our challenges are just as important as those of the past. Our testing is as crucial; our contributions may be as great. . . .

" 'An essential quality of the first pioneers was optimism, an ability to see new possibilities in a strange and unsettling environment. To beautify the desert, they needed faith in God, but they also needed faith in themselves and in their ability to help shape the world. The need for that faith has not diminished. . . .

" 'A pioneer is not [necessarily] a woman who makes her own soap' or a man who grubs sagebrush from the land. Pioneers are those who take up their burdens and walk toward the future. With vision and with courage they make the desert blossom and they press on toward new frontiers. (Laurel Thatcher Ulrich)"

David B. Haight, "A Call to Serve," Ensign, Nov. 1988, 82–83

I added my own emphasis to this quote--things that speak to me, and that I need to remind myself of frequently. It brings peace, comfort, joy, assurance, confidence, inspiration, and determination. And I feel to simply add to it the following, a favorite scripture of mine:

Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed. -Doctrine & Covenants 123:17

Monday, May 18, 2009


" 'My soul delighteth in the things of the Lord' (2 Nephi 4:16)—His law, His life, His love. To delight in Him is to acknowledge His hand in our lives. Our gospel duty is to do what is right and to love and delight in what is right. When we delight to serve Him, our Father in Heaven delights to bless us. 'I, the Lord, . . . delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end' (D&C 76:5). I want to be worthy always of His delight."

Susan W. Tanner, "My Soul Delighteth in the Things of the Lord," Ensign, May 2008, 83


Friday, May 15, 2009

Personally Developing Charity

"The more we obey God, the more we desire to help others. The more we help others, the more we love God and on and on. Conversely, the more we disobey God and the more selfish we are, the less love we feel."Trying to find lasting love without obeying God is like trying to quench thirst by drinking from an empty cup--you can go through the motions, but the thirst remains. Similarly, trying to find love without helping and sacrificing for others is like trying to live without eating--it is against the laws of nature and cannot succeed. We cannot fake love. It must become part of us. The prophet Mormon explained:

'Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

'Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love' (Moroni 7:47-48)."

John H. Groberg, "The Power of God's Love," Ensign, Nov 2004, 9-10

A lifelong quest for me. But a very possible one with the great examples in my life and especially with the Savior at my side to help.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Duty to Family

"[Women are] to strengthen families and homes. Families worldwide are being assaulted and weakened by corrupt practices and false teachings. . . .

"The First Presidency has counseled, 'However worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely-appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform' (First Presidency letter, Feb. 11, 1999). . . ."

Julie B. Beck, "Fulfilling the Purpose of Relief Society," Ensign, Nov. 2008, 110

I especially love that last bit of counsel and that she included "however worthy and appropriate." They may be so, but are they worthwhile when the family is the most important duty and it becomes neglected from those other things? I think not. Especially if the leaders are saying so.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day and Me

On this Mother's Day, I also wanted to include the full text of this article that I read today as part of my Gospel study. It is always good for me--a young single adult surrounded in and out of my family with marriage and children--to read things like this. They serve as great reminders and help to give me courage, confidence, direction, faith, encouragement, support, and a number of other things to help me pick myself back up and keep pressing forward. One other thing that has been helping me with that of late is a present from my mother: A Single Voice by Sister Kristin Oaks. I highly recommend both.

Singles and the Proclamation on the Family

Cynthia Doxey, “Singles and the Proclamation on the Family,” Ensign, Jan 2004, 33

The principles in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” can help single adults find happiness and purpose in their lives.

“What if you don’t get married until you’re a grandma?” my little niece queried one day. “Isn’t there something you can do?” She wondered why I could not just ask a man to marry me. When I asked her where I might find a man to ask, she said a grocery store would probably be a good place to look.

Many times I have pondered my niece’s innocent question “Isn’t there something you can do?” and wondered if there actually is anything I can do to change my life. I realize marriage is a goal I should work toward. But getting married just so I will not be single anymore is not a sufficient reason for marriage. Instead, my greatest desire is to progress toward eternal life, which will include being married to someone who also has been progressing toward the same goal.

One of the things any Church member—married or single—can do to bless his or her life is to apply the principles and counsel contained in the divinely inspired document “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” 1 For some of us single adults, there may be times when the blessings of family life seem distant and unattainable. However, Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counseled that we should “live whatever portion of the plan [of happiness] you can.” 2 In examining the proclamation from the viewpoint of single adult life, we can learn many principles that will help us find happiness and purpose in our lives.

Sons and Daughters of God

The proclamation teaches that “all human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.” This statement shows that each individual, regardless of marital status, is a member of a family—God’s eternal family. We are literally His sons and daughters, and consequently, we have reason to be happy.

The proclamation teaches of our inheritance of godly characteristics and of our potential to become like God. This knowledge can help all of God’s children find comfort in the midst of trial. Single individuals in particular can be reassured that Heavenly Father loves them as His precious children, even if they do not presently experience the love of a spouse in a traditional family setting.

When I have felt lonely or concerned about my single status, I try to remind myself that the most important aspect of my identity is that I am a child of God, sent to earth to be tested and to learn patience. The proclamation teaches that as God’s offspring, I “accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life.” President Lorenzo Snow (1814–1901) taught, “If a young man or a young woman has no opportunity of getting married, and they live faithful lives up to the time of their death, they will have all the blessings, exaltation, and glory that any man or woman will have who had this opportunity and improved it.” 3 Therefore, singles can still receive all the blessings of eternal life as long as we strive to keep our covenants, live worthily, and serve the Lord and His children.

Family History and Temple Work

Another important concept found in the proclamation is that “family relationships [can] be perpetuated beyond the grave” and that the ordinances of the temple “make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.” One of the choicest blessings God has given His children is the opportunity to receive eternal ordinances in the temple for ourselves and then to provide those same ordinances for our kindred dead.

Single adults, although not without demands upon their time, talents, and energy, may have more freedom than married couples in choosing how they will spend their leisure time. One wise use of our time is to attend the temple “as frequently as time and means and personal circumstances allow,” as President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95) admonished Church members. 4 Single members of the Church can become more connected to their eternal family doing family history and temple work.

As I have participated in family history and temple work, my love for my own family and my appreciation for my heritage have grown. In addition, I have recognized more fully the fact that this earthly experience is only a brief period in the eternal scheme of God’s plan. I know that I am an integral part of an eternal family that is depending on me to help them receive the blessings of the gospel. As I develop this eternal perspective more fully by working on my family history and attending the temple, my concerns about daily life become less significant and more manageable.

The Law of Chastity

Another important proclamation principle states: “The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.”

As a single adult, I am grateful that the prophets again reminded us of the eternal principle of the law of chastity and the importance of children. President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, stated, “The gift of mortal life and the capacity to kindle other lives is a supernal blessing.” However, he also noted that because of the importance of the procreative power in Heavenly Father’s eternal plan, the adversary has fought against that plan by influencing our society in a “rapid, sweeping deterioration of values … characterized by a preoccupation—even an obsession—with the procreative act.” 5

The world teaches that immorality is acceptable. Our society provides a constant barrage of movies, television shows, magazines, books, and other media that portray the procreative act as nothing more than the satisfaction of a physical appetite. Gone is the understanding found in the restored gospel that keeping the law of chastity actually brings great blessings, not the least of which is a pure heart, free of guilt and free from the consequences of sin. As Elder Merrill J. Bateman of the Seventy stated: “The power to create new life is given to men and women for a season. … For those who are obedient to eternal law, the procreative power is restored in the Resurrection. For those who are disobedient to righteous principles and are unrepentant, the power is never returned.” 6 Each single individual has the challenge to fight against succumbing to immorality. However, the battle can be won, and the blessings of living a chaste life far outweigh any transitory physical pleasures.

Marriage and Parenthood

The proclamation warns that those “who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God.” Church President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) reminded us that “the greatest responsibility and the greatest joys in life are centered in the family, honorable marriage, and rearing a righteous posterity.” 7

While most single adults in the Church desire to have a spouse and children, there may be times when we lose sight of this goal. We may need to periodically reevaluate our conduct and desires to ensure that we have not misplaced our priorities on worldly pleasures and accolades. In other words, we may need to ask ourselves if we are spending too much effort on our professions or leisure pursuits such as travel, social activities, or hobbies. While none of those activities are wrong in and of themselves, they should not become the focus of our lives.

Pursuing our ultimate goal of marriage requires a certain amount of time and energy and a willingness to put forth the effort to make possible relationships work. Elder Scott counseled singles not to overlook people who may have great potential, because some desirable attributes “are best polished together as husband and wife.” 8

Sometimes we may find ourselves being overly concerned with marriage, an attitude which can lead to feelings of frustration, failure, and loneliness. President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “Do not give up hope. And do not give up trying. But do give up being obsessed with it.” 9 We should heed his sound counsel.

As we study the proclamation and become grounded in our faith in Jesus Christ and in Heavenly Father’s plan for His children, we will be able to keep our priorities centered on the family. We can find joy in knowing that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us with a pure love that never fails, even if we do not experience the love of a spouse during mortality.

All people, whether married or single, have the responsibility to live the principles of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” By doing so, we will find great happiness and comfort now and the blessings of eternal life with our families in the life to come.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Greg Hally

[photo] Photography by Craig Dimond


1. See Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102.

2. “The Joy of Living the Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 75.

3. The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, ed. Clyde J. Williams (1996), 138.

4. “The Great Symbol of Our Membership,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 5.

5. “Our Moral Environment,” Ensign, May 1992, 66.

6. “The Eternal Family,” in Brigham Young University 1997–98 Speeches (1998), 112.

7. “To the Single Adult Brethren of the Church,” Ensign, May 1988, 52.

8. “Receive the Temple Blessings,” Ensign, May 1999, 26.

9. “Women of the Church,” Ensign, Nov. 1996,