Sunday, November 25, 2012

Becoming Goodly Parents

I want to highly recommend that each of my family read this excellent conference talk on parenting by Elder Perry.  One quote is, "Parents must resolve that teaching in the home is a most sacred and important responsibility. While other institutions such as church and school can assist parents to “train up a child in the way he [or she] should go” (Proverbs 22:6), this responsibility ultimately rests on the parents."  Please read this talk!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

You have to remember Him in order to know Him.

We have to know the Savior in order to gain eternal life.  However we cannot come to know Him unless we remember Him daily, numerously throughout the day.  In the sacrament prayer we covenant to remember Him ALWAYS.  While we are remembering Him how could we sin?  Would we not be strengthened while drawing close to Him?

The point is that while the world is a dangerous place spiritually and good people can fall, the more we read His words and follow his directions, the more we revere Him and want to be like Him.  The more we work on becoming pleasing to Him, including Father in Heaven in all our thoughts and decisions, the safer ground we are on.  The closer we are to Him, the more protected we are.  He, and only He, has the power to bring us safely through this life.  Let's get closer to Him!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Spacesuit

This physical body is not me.  It is the spacesuit that allows me to live and work in this spiritually hostile environment.  Because of the Savior, it will be perfected and become mine forever after the resurrection.  It enables me to do many things I was not be able to do prior to birth, like manipulate matter.  Depending on how I use its on-board computer, how I learn to control its machinery and emotions, how I take care of it, and what I use it to do will determine what I will be able to use it for after this life.

So I spend my time working on each of these facets of me.  I continue to learn about how my body functions, so I can keep it in good working order.  I work on controlling and using the emotions and appetites appropriately and only for good purposes.  I continue to add "apps" and facts to the computer.

Life is about developing ourselves as best we can with the body and situations, including weaknesses, purposefully given us.  It is also about testing what our spirits will do with this increased power and freedom that we did not have before.

How are you doing with your spacesuit?!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Atonement gives courage and hope

When we come to understand what the atonement is all about through study and meditation, it gives us the hope and the courage to get up again when we trip and fall (sin) or when the world knocks us down through no fault of our own.

When we come to truly love the Savior by serving and coming to recognize all the tender mercies he does for us, THAT gives us the determination to get up again, even when we're tired and discouraged.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Faith and enduring

I spent time this morning watching the Church’s videos on the life of Christ.  I was particularly impressed watching those that depicted His apostles as He told them that His hour was come, and that when the shepherd was taken, the sheep would be scattered.

When Peter said that though all might deny, he would not, but would stand with Him, the Savior foretold his thrice denial.  I watched as the mob took Him away for His “trial.”  I pondered on the confusion that the apostles must have felt.  It was impressed on me what great faith it took at that time to not understand, to feel the confusion, to see everything going wrong.  Remember that they did not have the Holy Ghost yet to be a companion and strengthening influence.  I wondered how they endured it!

Despite being scattered, they remained true.  In his denial Peter did not deny that Jesus was the Christ, but merely that he knew Him.  They did not throw away their faith in the midst of this confusion and trauma. They were frightened, greatly distraught, and very anxious.  Nevertheless they remained faithful.

May we likewise, when times get tough and confusing, use the shield of faith to ward off the fiery darts of the evil one.  And then let us stand, having girded ourselves with the armor of God, by way of the scriptures, hearing the prophets and leaders, and doing His will.  With the preparation of the Gospel, our foundation will be sure, and the floods will not wash us away.

Imagine the relief of these brethren after struggling through, not perfectly, but still holding on, when the Lord showed Himself to them later.  How wonderful it must have been to know they were still His.  May we likewise feel this great joy when we at last see each other on the other side, resurrected, and glorified with Him!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A New Heart

It has been said that anything desirable is either illegal or immoral.  This would be true with the natural man.  However if we put off the natural man, repenting, and asking in faith, we become "born again."  If we continue with a contrite spirit, He will give us a new heart that abhors sin and a new mind as stated in Mosiah 4:13 "And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due."  When this happens we no longer desire that which is illegal or immoral.  We begin to see things as God does.  We see things "as they really are" instead of as we wish, desiring that which will only bring sorrow.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Developing Kindness

One of the “fruits of the spirit” is kindness.  How do we develop kindness?  We have to start by becoming aware of others and then by serving others.  Even then kindness is not achieved without gaining some measure of charity, which is a gift of God bestowed because of faithfulness.  Therefore kindness, more than mere activity in church, is a measure of how close we are to the Savior.  Activity in church is designed to help us gain this and other qualities, but one can be “active” and not have developed kindness.

Kindness is not a quality you either have or not.  It is acquired line upon line, here a little and there a little.  We can be kinder at one time and lesser at another.  Initially it seems a continual struggle to get ourselves to think of others.  However with much practice it becomes more natural.  Just as with a great athlete or pianist, we must devote attention to and actively and continually seek it to develop this character trait.

It is impossible to develop this trait without also developing patience, for patience is one of the most important manifestations of kindness.  How kind it is when someone shows patience with our weaknesses!

Kindness is not indulgence however.  Sometimes the kindest thing we can do for our children is to teach them discipline, for self-discipline helps us avoid a great deal of suffering and pain.

Kindness then is thoughtfulness, awareness, and gentleness in helping each other along this difficult path of mortality.  It is one of the most desired fruits Father in Heaven wants to have grown in his vineyard.

At this Easter season, let us think on the greatest of all kindnesses, the atonement, which allows us to live again both spiritually and physically.  It took much strength, patience, and love to provide and was entirely a one-sided gift from the Savior to us.  May we use that atonement and gift of repentance to develop kindness in ourselves, especially toward those closest to us, our families, and thus be one bud that produces much desirable fruit to our Father in Heaven.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Iron Rod

When we want to talk to God, we pray.  When we want to listen to God, we read the scriptures and the conference addresses.