Monday, February 25, 2013

Recreation and Things That Matter Most

I read this article in the Marriott Alumni Magazine -
This talk is excellent ~ I first read it in the BYU Alumni magazine, then found the original talk online and listened to it here.  It's so good -
I loved this cause I've been on a quest these past few weeks to get on top of our life, to manage cleaning (all of our "stuff" blah!), to manage schedules - to want to make sure we are making time, or as Patti Freeman says, "create the space" for interaction and memories - true memories, true recreation that rejuvinates and edifies and gives us true happiness.  Again, a great talk with great counsel, advice, and ideas of things that I want to implement in our family vision. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

To Accuse or Forgive

I read this to Corey on Sunday, and then last night we shared it with the kids for family home evening (we gotta get some sibling love around here and stop the blaming and tale bearing) so we read this part and I love it!  From "The Second Comforter" by Denver Snuffer - starting on page 275:

Joseph Smith taught in DHC 4:445: "If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you.  If you have no accuser you will enter heaven, and if you will follow the revelations and instructions which God gives you through me, I will take you into heaven as my back load.  If you will not accuse me, I will not accuse you.  If you will throw a cloak of charity over my sins, I will over yours - for charity covereth a multitude of sins."  This notion of accusing one another is an important principle.  Joseph is explaining something directly relation to obtaining salvation.  

Accusing someone is Satanic.  One of the titles for Satan is "the accuser of the brethren" (Rev 12:10).  Satan's accusations are not said to be unwarranted or unsupported.  He is not necessarily accusing his victims unjustly.  It is probable some if not all of the accusations were, or are, just.  If any of us were measured by an absolute standard of obedience, faithfulness, or virtue, we would all necessarily fail.  Satan does not need to use an unfair standard to accuse and condemn us.  We are assured that "all ahve sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23).  So if you want to condemn any of us, you need only look at our actual deeds and you will find sufficient reason to accuse us.  Yet the negative and condemned roll of accusing belongs to Satan.  Those who take it upon themselves to do the condemning are acting the part of Satan.  What Christ has asked us to do is forgive each other.  Or, as Joseph put it, we are asked not to accuse each other.

The Lord is serious about our forgiving each other.  Christ meant it when He taught "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again" (3 Nephi 14:1-2).  This teaching is an integral part of the salvation of yourself and mankind.  If you are not accused by your fellow man, Satan's accusations alone will not be sufficient to condemn you.
The incident in John 8:10-11 illustrates the Lord's approach to judgement and mercy: "When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers?  Hath no man condemned thee?  She said, No man, Lord.  And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."  Here the woman had violated the law prohibiting adultery.  She was brought to Christ to find out His reaction to this breach of the law.  In spite of clear guilt, Christ found a way to avoid accusing her.  This incident shows the lengths to which the Lord will go to avoid becoming the accuser.  His title: "Our Advocate with the Father" is the antithesis of the role of the "accuser."  The Advocate helps defend us against accusations.  Even accusations properly brought, as was the one against the woman taken in adultery.  he will seek whatever reason or even excuse as may exist to warrant forgiveness for our mistakes and failings.  This role of Advocate He has adopted for Himself, is the role of Mercy itself. 

The Lord also revealed, "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men" (D&C 64:10).  Here we are admonished to forgive all.  Without regard to the justice of your claims against others, you are to forgive.  Certainly there are others who have offended you.  Certainly you have just complaints about others.  You are justified in finding fault with your fellow man, because your fellow man is weak, sinful, error prone, and ignorant.  Christ is saying to forgive them anyway.  No matter how right your complaint is against them, forgive them anyway.  No matter how little they deserve your forgiveness, forgive them anyway.  It is required of you to forgive all men.

We didn't mince words as we read this to the kids - The accuser is Satan's title, and when they accuse each other, that is following him.  We don't want to follow him, we follow Christ, so we will forgive and find excuses for each other.  We will be patient, kind, and show mercy, cause the Lord knows that I want as much mercy as I can get at the last day.  We will have that mercy shown to us as we show it now to each other.  It was a great lesson and we'll see how much of it stuck with the kids during this initial presentation.  "Forgive" and "don't blame" are on our newly printed family rules, hoping we can all learn to be kind and love each other, Christ is our perfect example.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Prayers are with Mitchell. There was a beautiful comment on his facebook page that I shared here.   Enjoy today.  If you have trials and struggles, face them today.  Don't worry about the future, live today.  Today is all we have.
From one of the videos about Mitchell's journey -  "Live life for the moment because everything else is uncertain - Louis Tomlinson"  "We may not control the events in our life, but we can choose how to respond to them.  What meaning they have for us.  And that's a powerful thing. The choice is ours."

And some words of counsel along these lines from an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, Elder D. Todd Christofferson: Work through Large Problems in Small, Daily Bites  

Asking God for our daily bread, rather than our weekly, monthly, or yearly bread, is also a way to focus us on the smaller, more manageable bits of a problem. To deal with something very big, we may need to work at it in small, daily bites. Sometimes all we can handle is one day (or even just part of one day) at a time. Let me give you a nonscriptural example.

A book I read recently, titled Lone Survivor, recounts the tragic story of a four-man team of U.S. Navy SEALs on a covert mission in a remote sector of Afghanistan five and one-half years ago. When they were inadvertently discovered by shepherds—two men and a boy—these specially trained Navy servicemen had a choice either to kill the two or let them go, knowing that if they let them live they would disclose the team’s location and they would be attacked immediately by al Qaeda and Taliban forces. Nevertheless, they let the innocent shepherds go, and in the firefight that followed, only the author, Marcus Luttrell, survived against well over 100 attackers.

In his book, Luttrell recounts the extreme training and endurance required for one to qualify as a SEAL in the U.S. Navy. In Luttrell’s training group, for example, of the 164 men who began, only 32 managed to complete the course. They endured weeks of near-constant physical exertion, in and out of cold ocean water, swimming, paddling and carrying inflatable boats, running in sand, doing hundreds of push-ups a day, carrying logs through obstacle courses, and so forth. They were in a near-perpetual state of exhaustion.

I was impressed by something a senior officer said to the group as they began the final and most demanding phase of their training.

“First of all,” he said, “I do not want you to give in to the pressure of the moment. Whenever you’re hurting bad, just hang in there. Finish the day. Then, if you’re still feeling bad, think about it long and hard before you decide to quit. Second, take it one day at a time. One [phase] at a time.
“Don’t let your thoughts run away with you, don’t start planning to bail out because you’re worried about the future and how much you can take. Don’t look ahead to the pain. Just get through the day, and there’s a wonderful career ahead of you.”1

Generally it is good to try to anticipate what is coming and prepare to deal with it. At times, however, this captain’s counsel is wise: “Take it one day at a time. … Don’t look ahead to the pain. Just get through the day.” To worry about what is or may be coming can be debilitating. It can paralyze us and make us quit.

In the 1950s my mother survived radical cancer surgery, but difficult as that was, the surgery was followed with dozens of painful radiation treatments in what would now be considered rather primitive medical conditions. She recalls that her mother taught her something during that time that has helped her ever since: “I was so sick and weak, and I said to her one day, ‘Oh, Mother, I can’t stand having 16 more of those treatments.’ She said, ‘Can you go today?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Well, honey, that’s all you have to do today.’ It has helped me many times when I remember to take one day or one thing at a time.”

The Spirit can guide us when to look ahead and when we should just deal with this one day, with this one moment. If we ask, the Lord will let us know through the Holy Ghost when it may be appropriate for us to apply in our lives the commandment He gave His ancient Apostles: “Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof” (3 Nephi 13:34; see also Matthew 6:34).

Sunday, February 10, 2013


This past week has been wonderful.  Two weeks ago I was feeling quite overwhelmed and cumbered about by many things (documented in these posts from our family blog: mazes - do it - drawing lines - charge!) I say my prayers, but also felt like I needed to pray more and that I need and want to feel the Lord nearer, I need His spirit to help me be calm and kind.

Then last week we sang this song during sacrament meeting, and the first and second verses especially touched me as I thought that even when I don't utter my prayer He hears me and knows.  Everytime I sigh from frustrations (which is a lot!) I am praying.  I remembered that as I just lift up my heart, I am praying to Him, and he is near. 

Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed,
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye
When none but God is near.
Text: James Montgomery, 1771–1854
LDS Hymn Book, no. 145

He has poured out his spirit upon me this week and I thank him for consecrating my small efforts. When I am left to my own strength I am weak, but with him I am strong.  I am determined to serve him.  I thank him that for now He has seen fit to deliver me.  Mosiah 24:10-16

 10 And it came to pass that so great were their afflictions that they began to cry mightily to God.
 11 And Amulon commanded them that they should stop their cries; and he aput guards over them to watch them, that whosoever should be found calling upon God should be put to death.
 12 And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their ahearts to him; and he did know the bthoughts of their hearts.
 13 And it acame to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
 14 And I will also ease the aburdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as bwitnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their cafflictions.
 15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did astrengthen them that they could bear up their bburdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with cpatience to all the will of the Lord.
 16 And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.

When we do not lift up our voices to God, He hears the prayers of our hearts.  He has made my burdens light that I cannot even feel them upon my back.  Praise I give to Him ~ thank you, Dear Lord, for your goodness to me.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Only Trust In God

The following quote was cited on page 232 of "The Second Comforter" - I thought it was a beautiful and profound quote. 
“Do not, brethren, put your trust in a man though he be a bishop, an apostle, or a president.  If you do, they will fail you at some time or place; they will do wrong or seem to, and your support be gone, but if we lean on God, He never will fail us.  When men and women depend on God alone and trust in Him alone, their faith will not be shaken if the highest  in the Church should step aside.  They could still see that He is just and true, that truth is lovely in His sight and the pure in heart are dear to Him.”

- George Q. Cannon - "Gospel Truth: Discourses and Writings of President George Q. Cannon." 1957 p. 249.

I believe in the prophet Joseph Smith because I believe in God and that He chose him.  The Spirit has testified to me of that truth.  Because I know that, I also know that the Church he restored and the Book of Mormon are true also, for God would not give a true book to a false prophet.  I follow the modern prophet Thomas S. Monson because I feel the spirit testify to me and inspire me when I hear him speak.  All who listen to him can receive the same witness.  The Holy Ghost from God lets me know I can trust in these words, for they are HIS words.  I trust God.  I don't follow because I am blind, I follow because I can see!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Single Most Important Skill!

"A good woman knows that she does not have enough time, energy, or opportunity to take care of all of the people or do all of the worthy things her heart yearns to do. Life is not calm for most women, and each day seems to require the accomplishment of a million things, most of which are important. A good woman must constantly resist alluring and deceptive messages from many sources telling her that she is entitled to more time away from her responsibilities and that she deserves a life of greater ease and independence. But with personal revelation, she can prioritize correctly and navigate this life confidently.  The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life."

Text of talk here.
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