Friday, August 30, 2013

Spacious Buildings

This past Monday night, Corey shared a lesson with the kids about Hollywood and the great and spacious building of Lehi's dream (see 1 Nephi 8:26).
We talked about seeking the praise of the world and if it's hard or not to be righteous in a decaying world. Then we read them this article about Corbin Allred. (He is awesome.) Then lo and behold, I learned Tuesday morning that we had yet another perfect example of what we had just talked about. I have never watched MTV or their music awards, but thanks to facebook I have heard about the awards show this past Sunday. Friends and news articles linked me up to some articles - I agree with Nancy French's article  where she says "There’s nothing original, clever, or entertaining about her slide away from virtue.’s sad but boring. In pop culture, there are no boundaries left to transgress, no consciences left to be shocked." Also this one was spot on. And now, to quote Stephanie Nielsen:

"I heard they were crass, explicit, embarrassing and very disrespectful. Awesome. I like a good song as well as the next person, but if those idiots ever think they can come into my home and mess with my children and influence them with their "shocking" ways; then I say: over my dead freaking body. Nice try world. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. -13th article of faith"

From an interview President Hinckley gave to Mike Wallace in 1995 (5:06-6:34)

Mr. Wallace: “Since World War II, we seem to be splintering; we seem to be becoming more selfish, more self-absorbed, less community minded. Families don’t seem to mean so much, and morality has gone to hell [his expression] in a handbasket. Why?”
Response: “The basic failure is in our homes. Parents haven’t measured up to their responsibilities. It is evident. A nation will rise no higher than the strength of its homes. If you want to reform a nation, you begin with families, with parents who teach their children principles and values that are positive and affirmative and will lead them to worthwhile endeavors. That is the basic failure that has taken place in America. And we are making a tremendous effort to bring about greater solidarity in families. Parents have no greater responsibility in this world than the bringing up of their children in the right way, and they will have no greater satisfaction as the years pass than to see those children grow in integrity and honesty and make something of their lives. …”
All those Hollywood award shows sure do make it look like they're having a lot of fun, don't they? Are you convinced that is where we'll find real lasting happiness? Not me, and I'll strive everyday to give my kids a big dose of what true happiness feels like (aka - babies learning to walkplaying on the beach, or just goofing around at home) so that they won't be duped by Satan's counterfeit.

Nice try.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Loving This Book

I've been reading this book this week and am feeling pretty excited about it. :) The baby needs me, so I'll try to write some of my thoughts later, but did want to hurry and shout out to go get this book and read it! Good Great stuff!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Let Your Happiness Shine

In 1975, the Church did an extensive survey of new converts to determine what it was about the Church that had initially interested them (article here). These were the results, in order of frequency of mention:

1) The feeling of closeness to God that they wanted to experience because they could see this closeness in the lives of Mormons they knew.

2) Happiness and a sense of peace, which they wanted and which they saw in the lives of Mormons they knew.

3) They wanted a better sense of purposefulness and direction in their lives. They tended to see this in Mormons they knew.

Only 9% of new converts said that doctrine was the main thing that attracted them to the Church. For all who are baptized and remain active, doctrine becomes much of the glue that cements them in the Church, but it typically isn't what they were looking for at the outset. And from my testimony in the previous post, when it comes down to it, the doctrine isn't what converted me either. It was the happiness and joy that I felt when I believe. Here are some other stories from converts who are finding joy in the gospel.
That happiness is still a huge part of my testimony today. Keeping the commandments and obedience to God's laws continue to give me peace and joy. I hope I can help others find this same happiness, it is found in loosing yourself and putting God first. I'm very happy when I let go of worry and doubt and turn my problems over to Him. I know I can trust him and that I will be happy as I say "Thy will be done."

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Happiness and Truth

I shared my testimony on Sunday in our ward at church.  This is what I shared, from what I remember.

When I entered the MTC to prepare to serve my mission, my boyfriend now husband was a week away from finishing his mission.  That is one of the main reason why after entering the MTC, I began to have second thoughts~

"Should I really do this?  I'm gonna be gone another year and a half on top of the 2 years he's been gone and just finishing up.  I could see him really soon if I weren't going on a mission.  Do I really want to do this?  Do I really know that this gospel and things I'll have to be testifying of are true?  Ummm..."

Thus began my doubts that first week.  And as I doubted, my happiness plummeted and I was a very miserable person. I continued to doubt and wonder if there was a way for me to get out when I attended my first Sunday sacrament meeting. Our branch president spoke, and the words he shared were for me. The part I remember was him saying "You've already committed to go, you signed a letter to the prophet promising that you would go." After hearing those words, I thought "Well, I guess I have to do this then..." and as I changed my commitment in my mind, my attitude changed too.  As I let to of my doubts, I was immediately happy again.  That was a testimony to me.  Maybe I didn't know if it all was true, but I did know that if I believed it was true and obeyed what the Church teaches, I am happy.

It often now reminds me of this scripture from Alma 30:35 -

And now, believest thou that we deceive this people, that causes such joy in their hearts?

If we are happy, we will know it. I think there are a lot of people who look like they are happy who are not. And I know that wickedness is not happiness, and righteousness and obedience do give me happiness.

Also, when I got my hair cut recently and was going to pay the cashier, my hairdresser mentioned to the cashier that I was expecting my 9th, and he said "wow" and I got excited and said how fun it was, and I could have gone off about it, but I could tell it wasn't something I needed to share, didn't sound like "fun" to him, so I smiled and said thank you and as I left to my car, the thought "it is foolisness to them" came to me from this scripture in 1 Corinthians 2:14

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

I felt he would not believe it that having a big family is fun, no way that he'd ever wish he could trade places with me. But I wish he really knew the joy I have. We first have to obey the commandments as an act of faith, and then as we obey and do, we will truly know the happiness and joy that come from them. But most people can't see it until they experience it themselves. I'm so thankful for the happiness that my family gives me, for my amazing in everyway husband who is my best friend, and for my beautiful children. I'm thankful to know that I can be with them forever. Here in this life, they will soon be fleeing the nest and starting their own lives and gaining their own experiences, and so although things will change, we start and end with FAMILY, thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful for this knowledge that I have of this happiness and truth.
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