Monday, December 30, 2013

Making Changes and Being Redeemed

ANYone out there needing some changes in their life?  Or... am I the only one?

I am one of those people that thrive on the opportunity and moment of each new year, to start over with areas of my life that need an overhaul.  I know that I can actually do this anytime of the year, but for some reason my brain and heart don't respond as well unless it is the new year. 

So here we go!

I need some changes. Serious changes, and half the battle is convincing myself it can be done. Can I change?  Can anyone who wants to change, change?  Because it kinda seems like I keep making the same resolutions each year and have the same goals A lot!

All I really need is some convincing motivating words from our dear prophets, apostles, and church leaders that it can be done.  [Change] They speak in behalf of the Savior, and so, that motivates me quite a bit. I know that it is the Savior and His Atonement that brings about any change in ourselves.

 So I found this great talk. Actually my missionary daughter led me to it.  It was given to missionaries, but it is for all of us. Anyone who wants to change and wants to truly follow the Savior and become like Him, this talk is for you.  But you have to be ready for it. Ready to make changes and ready to try your hardest. I feel I am at that point. So here we go-

"As you consider the question of what kind of person you will become, you must understand the dynamic process of life. You not only can change but you do change all of the time. Sometimes people do not believe this. They excuse their failures and weaknesses by saying: "That's just the way I am." "I am just short tempered, impatient person." I can't get up in the morning. That's just the way I am." "That's my nature." Or, "I'm just shy. That's all. That's just who I am." "I am not really a spiritual person."

To believe that weaknesses and deficiencies in your character are unchangeable is to reject the central truth of the plan of salvation. You are not cast in stone. You not only can change but you do change all of the time. You are a dynamic, changing, evolving being. You are always changing. You never stay the same. You cannot stand still." (The Fourth Missionary, Lawrence Corbridge)

I personally, thought that was a powerful statement. And true. We are ALWAYS changing. Always.

One of my children came into the bathroom yesterday when I was getting ready for church, and made a statement of, "Oh just wish I could be 'like this'..."  Well, according to those paragraphs above. They can.  We can change anything about ourselves. We are not stuck a certain way, and we can change and be whatever we wish to be. 

"Jesus asked a similar question. He said: "What manner of men ought ye to be?" On this particular occasion he was speaking to his Nephite disciples and so he spoke in the male gender, but the question applies to us all, and so, He asks of you: "What manner of men and women ought ye to be?" Then answering His own question he said, "Even as I am."

Jesus Christ not only came to atone for our sins; He also came to show us the way. He is the Way. You not only may become like Him; everything is stacked in your favor to become like Him.

Think of this life as a path on which you never stand still. As you move forward, you incorporate into your being the characteristics and qualities of God. As you move backward you assimilate the qualities of Satan. 

Every challenge you face, every hard thing you confront, every bad thing that happens to you, every unfairness, every conflict, every sadness, tragedy, every disappointment and heartache, every temptation and every opposition happens for one purpose only: to give you opportunity to respond by applying in your life the teachings of Jesus.

As you do so you are changed to become more like Him. If you were never presented with some advantage to be gained by dishonesty, such as recognition, or money, or a better grade on a test or avoidance of punishment or embarrassment, you could never develop integrity. If no one ever offended you, you could never learn to forgive or internalize mercy. Were you never wearied by the annoying behavior of another or the repeated failures of someone else you could never become patient. Were you never subjected to the appetites and passions of the physical body for food, for water and for sexual fulfillment you could not develop self mastery. Without opposition the plan would be frustrated, you could not progress and the purpose of life would be unachievable.


In short when you choose to follow Christ you move forward and assimilate attributes of light; when you do not, you move backward and acquire attributes of darkness.

Can you see, have you seen, who you want to be? What will happen if you don't plan. What will happen if you have no vision of who you want to become?

There are two ways of evolving: deliberately and accidentally. You can either decide who you want to become and deliberately work toward that end, or you can just go with the flow and become whatever life makes of you. In that event, you will become whatever the fickle circumstances and forces of life and society will make of you; whatever is currently considered to be popular or in; whatever is

easiest. But, whatever you become accidentally it will not be nearly the full measure of our potential. You will become just someone, somewhere in the middle." ((The Fourth Missionary, Lawrence Corbridge)
That was kind of a long segment, and I hope you stuck with me through it, because it has some great principles of really changing and drawing close to the Savior, which when we do, brings the best changes in all of us.

Now we are moving on to who the FOURTH missionary is, if you haven't read the talk yet yourself. I know you are super curious who these missionaries are. Well, let me give you a hint...these missionaries, are us. They are all of us. Different versions of ourselves depending entirely on the changing we are willing to do....  I don't you have a calling in the Church?  Are you a mother or father? Are you a husband or wife? Are you a son or daughter of God? Do you have a job? ....Are you a person?  You get the idea. This is for Everyone!

*Does what he want to do
*Does what he want to do
*Serves his entire mission
*Obedient and Worthy
*Does his duty
*Serves faithfully, but withholds his heart
*He does what the Lord wants, but he wants to do what he wants to do
*Sacrifices his will for the Lord’s will
*May strive to be the best
*Measures success by comparison to others
*Obedient and worthy
*Total surrender
*Consecrates himself
*Disciple of Christ
*Measure of success from within
*His predominant desire is to do what the Lord wants him to do
*Either is sent home, or goes home
*The good he would have otherwise done, goes undone
*Shame and misery
*Impairment of faith
*Hard to fit in
*Inactivity or unproductive
activity in Church
*Is not changed by mission
*The good he would have otherwise done, goes undone
*Forgoes development
*Impairment of faith
*Forgoes development
*Is not changed by mission
*Does great good
*Enjoys the Spirit
*Has faith
Conforms his behavior
*Frustration and discontent
*Gains little or no knowledge
*Is not changed by mission
*Does great good
*Enjoys the Spirit
*Has faith
*Nature changed
*Content and happy
*Benefits immensely from and is changed by mission
*Gains great knowledge
(The Fourth Missionary, Lawrence Corbridge, go to the talk to read more)

Are you speechless, like I am after reading that chart? Pretty amazing. And true.

So I am ready to make some changes to work towards the qualities of that fourth missionary. On a personal side note, my daughter has become that fourth missionary while on her mission.  She'll be home in 3 weeks....

So the whole point is that last point of the chart....letting our [mission] life and experiences changes us. Not keep us the same, but change us.  Or as the fourth missionary ends....REDEEMED. 

I love the principle of being redeemed.  A great illustration is found here: Teaching the Atonement Using Comparisons.  When the Savior redeems us, He makes us better than we were when started. So a redeemed missionary, or a redeemed Bishop, or primary teacher, or Young Women leader, or Sunday School teacher, or mother, or wife, or daughter or son of one who is markedly changed by their experiences.  We can compare that to our lives. We want to be redeemed. We want to be changed. Only the Savior and His Atonement can do that. 

I love these thoughts.  I hope it strengthened you as well.



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

"The Fourth Missionary": My Next Great Read

Here is the latest talk I am studying:   The Fourth Missionary  by Lawrence E.Colbridge.  It was given June 22, 2002 and is an A-m-A-z-I-n-G talk. 

My missionary daughter told us about it when we Skped with her over Christmas.  This talk changed her as a missionary, and as I have read it, I realize, this is for EVERYONE who wants to be great. Anyone who wants to and is ready to change and be better.  This is the talk.   Download it and read it, it is great.  I printed it off (24 pages) and will be studying it in depth.  It is that good. Want to join me?!

What intrigued me was what Amber told be about it just briefly during our Skype.  She described the 4 different types of missionaries there are (from the talk)

Missionary #1: Disobedient.  He does what he wants to do.  Does not complete his mission.
Missionary #2: Disobedient. He does what he wants to do.  Serves his entire mission.
Missionary #3: Obedient and worthy. Does the duty and serves faithfully, but not with his whole heart. Is not changed by his mission.
Missionary #4: (the one we want to be) Obedient and worthy.  Serves faithfully, with his whole heart, and gives EVERYTHING to the Lord.  Overcomes weaknesses, submits His will to the Lord. His mission changes him.

This is not just about missionaries. This is about us.  All of us and our submission to the Lord's will. 

Let's read this talk!

  I can't wait!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving: Tithing Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I love Thanksgiving so much because it is not about anything but being grateful.

Today I want to write about how grateful I am for the blessings of tithing.

I know. Kinda random.

 But tithing blessings are some  the GREATEST blessings of my life.

Elder Bednar spoke about this in our last General Conference.  He titled his address:

 The Windows of Heaven

The insights I loved especially from his address was how the blessings we receive from tithing are not always the visual, physical blessing like always having enough money for our necessities, enough clothing for our family, enough food for our tables, ect.
But, that tithing blessings are also SPIRITUAL blessings that if we are not watching and paying attention, we may not notice them.  Yet we have them.
He called these blessings,

Subtle but Significant

Don't you just love Elder Bednar's careful and inspired choice of words and phrases? They have layers and layers  of meaning! Doesn't subtle but significant  just capture perfectly the nature of blessings from paying tithing?! 
"Often as we teach and testify about the law of tithing, we emphasize the immediate, dramatic, and readily recognizable temporal blessings that we receive. And surely such blessings do occur. Yet some of the diverse blessings we obtain as we are obedient to this commandment are significant but subtle. Such blessings can be discerned only if we are both spiritually attentive and observant (see 1 Corinthians 2:14)."  -Elder Bednar, Windows of Heaven
Think of a blessing you MOST desire and MOST want?  These may be blessings that no one even know about. They are your greatest desires, tucked away quietly deep in your heart.  You have them and the Lord knows about them.  You may think the blessings may never come  or that the Lord didn't answer your prayer the way you expected or wanted.  However, if you look closely and are "spiritually attentive and observant" as Elder Bednar so eloquently stated, you have already been blessed. Maybe with strength, hope, gratitude, or faith.  Here are Elder Bednar's words:
"For example, a subtle but significant blessing we receive is the spiritual gift of gratitude that enables our appreciation for what we have to constrain desires for what we want. A grateful person is rich in contentment. An ungrateful person suffers in the poverty of endless discontentment (see Luke 12:15).

We may need and pray for help to find suitable employment. Eyes and ears of faith (see Ether 12:19) are needed, however, to recognize the spiritual gift of enhanced discernment that can empower us to identify job opportunities that many other people might overlook—or the blessing of greater personal determination to search harder and longer for a position than other people may be able or willing to do. We might want and expect a job offer, but the blessing that comes to us through heavenly windows may be greater capacity to act and change our own circumstances rather than expecting our circumstances to be changed by someone or something else.

We may appropriately desire and work to receive a pay raise in our employment to better provide the necessities of life. Eyes and ears of faith are required, however, to notice in us an increased spiritual and temporal capacity (see Luke 2:52) to do more with less, a keener ability to prioritize and simplify, and an enhanced ability to take proper care of the material possessions we already have acquired. We might want and expect a larger paycheck, but the blessing that comes to us through heavenly windows may be greater capacity to change our own circumstances rather than expecting our circumstances to be changed by someone or something else.

The stripling warriors in the Book of Mormon (see Alma 53; 56–58) prayed earnestly that God would strengthen and deliver them out of the hands of their enemies. Interestingly, the answers to these prayers did not produce additional weapons or an increased number of troops. Instead, God granted these faithful warriors assurance that He would deliver them, peace to their souls, and great faith and hope for their deliverance in Him (see Alma 58:11). Thus, the sons of Helaman did take courage, were fixed with a determination to conquer, and did go forth with all of their might against the Lamanites (see Alma 58:12–13). Assurance, peace, faith, and hope initially might not seem like the blessings warriors in battle might want, but they were precisely the blessings these valiant young men needed to press forward and prevail physically and spiritually.

Sometimes we may ask God for success, and He gives us physical and mental stamina. We might plead for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience, or we petition for growth and are blessed with the gift of grace. He may bestow upon us conviction and confidence as we strive to achieve worthy goals. And when we plead for relief from physical, mental, and spiritual difficulties, He may increase our resolve and resilience.
I promise that as you and I observe and keep the law of tithing, indeed the windows of heaven will be opened and spiritual and temporal blessings will be poured out such that there shall not be room enough to receive them (see Malachi 3:10). We also will remember the Lord’s declaration:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8–9).-Elder Bednar, Windows of Heaven

We will be blessed in the Lord's way, not ours. But we will be blessed! The windows of heaven will pour out blessings upon us.

Elder Bednar's Testimony: I testify spiritual and temporal blessings come into our lives as we live the law of tithing. I bear witness that such blessings often are significant but subtle. I also declare that the simplicity of the Lord’s way that is so evident in the temporal affairs of His Church provides patterns that can guide us as individuals and as families. I pray each of us may learn and benefit from these important lessons.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

 Consider the blessings you have that come from paying your tithing!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

An Elder Holland Must-Read

I have been away from my blog for what feels like a super long time.  I apologize to anyone who has come here looking for a new post to read!  I have not quit....I love blogging....I have just been super busy making a recipe book for my awesome co-workers at the temple.  It has taken over my life and has been way more involved and complicated than I ever thought. I am almost done, and I can see the light at the end of the recipe book tunnel.  I did volunteer for this and came up with the whole idea, so I can only blame myself and ask, "what was I  thinking?!" 

In the midst of all of that, my college-age twin daughters, who are awesome, by the way, have this strict schedule for themselves of increasing their spirituality and coming closer to the Lord. One of them is waiting for a mission call [should get the call before Thanksgiving], and the other wishes she could go on a mission right now, but because of braces, she is not eligible at this time. 

So they read from their scriptures for 30 minutes every morning, write in their journals everyday, and study a conference talks every week.  They are always coming to me and asking  "Mom, what's a good talk to read?"  I have a lot of favorites, as you know here, as well as the most recent Conference that we are studying for the next 6 months, but I suggested a power-packed one from the past that I knew would answer many of the questions they are dealing with at this stage in their lives.  A Mother knows.

The talk is an old classic by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland given when he was the President of BYU at a Tuesday Devotional on March 2, 1999.  The talk is called:  Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence . A definite must-read for everyone.

 I remember listening to this talk on that very day.  I was cleaning my house, and had the BYU Devotional going on in the background. It was as if the Lord chose that message for me that morning.  Everything he said was what my husband and I  needed at that exact moment in our lives.  As he was speaking a thousand "ah-ha" moments were going off in my head. I remember running to find a pen and piece of paper to write down all the insights for my life that he was speaking (this was before DVR). 

It was a great talk for me then, a young mother, and is great for my daughters at the cross-roads of life they are at right now.  This talk is exactly what the title says...don't cast away your confidence and sure knowledge who have once received when personal revelation has touched your life. If it was true when you received it, it is still true later, although you may begin to doubt and wonder if it still applies, or if you were truly inspired. It is a great talk about having faith and trusting in the Lord when we receive revelation for our lives.

 Love this whole talk! Hope you will take the time today to read it.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

President Packer's Talk: The Key to Spiritual Protection

What an exciting time we live!  A day with living prophets and apostles on the earth.
And they speak to us twice a year, giving us inspired messages from our Father in Heaven.  We truly are blessed to have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth today with Jesus Christ Himself as the  head. 
We recently had General Conference where members of the LDS faith and anyone else who was interested listened to our beloved prophet, Thomas S. Monson, as well as 14 other men we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators; and other leaders of the Church.
View the entire Conference {HERE}

For me it is inspiring, spiritual, and becomes incredibly strengthening and rejuvenating.   It is current revelation and becomes scripture for the times we live in today. 

My notes
I usually never just sit and listen to conference.  I am one of those who is always taking notes.  I take notes on what I hear, what I want to remember, or what I am feeling...a revelation for my own life.  Although we will receive the entire conference through our Ensign magazine in a month, I internalize everything more if I am also writing down my own notes, and personal impressions I receive as I am listening.  This time I also wanted to pay particular attention to the individual testimonies of each speaker.

For the next few months on this blog I am going to be studying the words of our prophets and apostles and striving to apply these teachings to my life as a mother, wife, friend, and daughter of God. 


President Boyd K Packer:
"The Key to Spiritual Protection"

I absolutely loved this talk.  President Packer speaks with such power and conviction that I find myself wanting to soak in every truth that he speaks. 

I loved this great insight and revelation, that is enlightening for all of us raising a family: 

The safest place to raise children is in a Christ-centered home. 
In a world with constantly changing polls, and magazine articles that display "the safest place in America" is...... , we get a list of towns and cities that made the list, by whoever's job it is to decide safest places to live.  I have read these articles and lists  and light heartedly check to see if our home-town or a home-town I know made "the list"
Spoken with such simple, yet profound common sense, President Packer , a prophet of God, eloquently stated that the safest place to live is in a Christ-centered home.  How simple was that?  And so obvious.

"The scriptures hold the KEYS to spiritual protection.
" ....They contain the doctrine and laws and ordinances that will bring each child of God to a testimony of Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer."
  • Read the scriptures as part of a regular routine and the blessings will follow.
  ." up the Book of Mormon, for instance, and begin to read. Soon the feeling of peace and inspiration will come, and a solution will present itself.”
...There is in the scriptures a voice of warning, but there is also great nourishment."
Read my own experiences: 
Family Scripture Study and Following a Prophet
Feasting on the Scriptures
Improving Personal Scripture Study

The Sons of Mosiah (love them) searched the scriptures MUCH that they might come to know the things of God.

President Packer's Testimony: I bear certain witness of the scriptures as a KEY to our spiritual protection. I also bear witness of the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, “that through him all might be saved  ”who will be saved. The Lord’s Church has been established on the earth once again. Of the truthfulness of the gospel I bear witness. Of Him I am a witness.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Elder Hale's Talk: Strengthening Faith and Testimony

What an exciting time we live!  A day with living prophets and apostles on the earth.
And they speak to us twice a year, giving us inspired messages from our Father in Heaven.  We truly are blessed to have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth today with Jesus Christ Himself as the  head. 

This past weekend we had General Conference where members of the LDS faith and anyone else who was interested listened to our beloved prophet, Thomas S. Monson, as well as 14 other men we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators; and other leaders of the Church.
View the entire Conference {HERE}

For me it is inspiring, spiritual, and becomes incredibly strengthening and rejuvenating.   It is current revelation and becomes scripture for the times we live in today. 

I usually never just sit and listen to conference.  I am one of those who is always taking notes.  I take notes on what I hear, what I want to remember, or what I am feeling...a revelation for my own life.  Although we will receive the entire conference through our Ensign magazine in a month, I internalize everything more if I am also writing down my own notes, and personal impressions I receive as I am listening.  This time I also wanted to pay particular attention to the individual testimonies of each speaker.

For the next few months on this blog I am going to be studying the words of our prophets and apostles and striving to apply these teachings to my life as a mother, wife, friend, and daughter of God. 


Elder Robert D. Hales:
So many things I loved about Elder Hales talk!  The whole talk just really strengthened my testimony of the power and faith that I feel each time I listen to General Conference.  General Conference has become a favorite holiday in our house. We prep for it, eat a lot of food, and are a crazy note taking family. See my other posts on our General Conference Traditions.

One of my favorite statements from Elder Hales talk was this:

"I testify that we are gathered in His conference. I also testify that we will hear His word, for He has said, “Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”

I love the history lesson he gave of past General Conferences dating all the way back to Adam. It is a reminder of the continuing revelation of the Lords true Church that has never changed.
"Conferences have always been part of the true Church of Jesus Christ. Adam gathered his posterity and prophesied of things to come. Moses gathered the children of Israel and taught them the commandments he had received. The Savior taught multitudes gathered both in the Holy Land and on the American continent. Peter gathered believers in Jerusalem. The first general conference in these latter days was convened just two months after the Church was organized, and conferences have continued to this very day.

This window into the background of our apostles and prophets preparing for conference was touching to me, and also very "regular".  They prepare the same as we do! 
"These conferences are always under the direction of the Lord, guided by His Spirit. We are not assigned specific topics. Over weeks and months, often through sleepless nights, we wait upon the Lord. Through fasting, praying, studying, and pondering, we learn the message that He wants us to give.
Some might ask, “Why doesn’t the inspiration come more easily and quickly?” The Lord taught Oliver Cowdery, “You must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right.” Conference messages come to us after prayerful preparation, through the Holy Ghost."
Follow the prophet!!
"We may not know all the reasons why the prophets and conference speakers address us with certain topics in conference, but the Lord does. President Harold B. Lee taught: “The only safety we have as members of this church is to … give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through His prophet. There will be some things that take patience and faith. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your [personal] views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord Himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; … and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory’ (D&C 21:6).”
The application
"The greatest blessings of general conference come to us after the conference is over. Remember the pattern recorded frequently in scripture: we gather to hear the words of the Lord, and we return to our homes to live them."

"Studying the conference messages will help us gain great strength -which will bless families for generations to come."
 "How am I going to live different from what I hear at conference?"
Elder Hale's Testimony: " I bear my special witness that the Lord Jesus Christ lives and stands at the head of this Church. This is His general conference. I promise you in His name that if you pray with a sincere desire to hear your Heavenly Father’s voice in the messages of this conference, you will discover that He has spoken to you to help you, to strengthen you, and to lead you home into His presence"

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

5 Steps to Greater Spirituality

Over the summer my husband and I had a great opportunity to go to some workshops on a husband/wife retreat with his work.  In one of our workshops we were blessed to hear from Elder Yoshihiku Kicuchi. He is such a spiritual holy man that was a great joy and pleasure to be in his company.  He has had a remarkable life: Being a convert to the Church in Japan to begin with, then going on to serve a 30 month mission, Mission President in Hawaii, Temple President of the Tokyo Temple, and member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
He shared with us some experiences he had while serving as Mission President, as well as some very important principles he taught the missionaries.  These have had a profound impact in my life, and I hope they can help you as well
He told how when he arrived in Hawaii as a new Mission President there were many missionaries not living the missionary rules. He told us of surprise visits to their apartments in the middle of the day to find missionaries still in bed sleeping, surf boards in their living rooms, and so forth.  Because of this, not surprisingly, their baptisms per mission were extremely low. They needed a new commitment to their mission and to life.  He began to implement a program that was so powerful that their baptisms per month went from 24 to 154 in a matter of a few months time.  More than that, it changed the spiritual lives of many of the young missionaries. 
 This formula taught to Elder Kicuchi by President David O McKay can change OUR lives and increase OUR spirituality if we implement this into our daily routine. You can think of this as 5 Steps to Greater Spirituality, a Personal Devotional, OR... 
 How to have your OWN Sacred Grove Experience

The Sacred Grove
(taken by Susan Rust)
and get closer to the Lord
Now I am not talking about replicating the First Vision when Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ in this grove of trees. 
I am talking about beginning each day in a  daily devotional of sorts that is sacred and holy time  just for you.
By small and simple things....great things are brought to pass.
This is one of those small and simple things...which can bring great blessings into your life.
Here is the formula taught by Elder Kicuchi spoken in a cute Japanese accent:
  1. Arise Early...determined by you.  Arising early shows your willingness.  Follow this with some exercise which can be but doesn't have to be longer than 15 minutes.
  2. Wash Your Body...even if you have never been a shower every single day kind of person following this step has great benefits.  Besides feeling clean and being clean, there is something ritualistic to the physical cleansing of your body that is actually very spiritual.
  3. Get dressed for the day in clean linen...this goes without saying, but get dressed and ready for the day
  4. Subdue your Spirit... which is the time for  meaningful personal prayer.  Come to know the Savior Jesus Christ and commune with the Father.
  5. Wait for Inspiration of the Holy Father... immerse yourself in daily scripture and gospel study. This is where answers will come.
What a powerful yet simple way to start the day.  I have been living this and I love it.  If you feel your spirituality and life needs a new jump start....try this out.  It can change your life.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Which Plate Am I ?

Church History Tour: Brigham Young's Home

The Kitchen table in the Brigham Young home in Nauvoo
(Photo taken by Richard Rust, with permission)
B-A-C-K to the Church History Tour!  One of my favorite places of the whole tour was of coarse, Nauvoo.  I love that city and love visiting there.  It had been about 13 years since I was there last, so it was exciting to be back again.

While we were there we heard from various people and missionaries, "go see the Brigham Young house!"

We went inside and it was quaint and cute like all the other restored homes, smelling a little dusty, testifying to me that yes this place is old, and very authentic. 

At first I didn't quite see how it was "the best house in Nauvoo" or was any different than the other homes. I loved them all as there is some lesson or principle to learn in each house.

In the Brigham Young home the principle that they taught was the Atonement.  Just thinking about it now, I am taken back to the moment we stood in front of this table and were taught about plates and the Atonement.

The story: As they were beginning to restore the Brigham Young home, they found out by the cellar/or maybe in the cellar,  a dishes set, that was badly broken.  A Senior missionary serving in Nauvoo on a mission, knew about restoring plates like this and went about making these plates look as if they were  new and had never been broken. The process is interesting and remarkable how they can make something that is so badly broken and unusable, new again without even a mark or scar to be seen.

The missionaries compared these plates to the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  They explained how our Savior takes each one of us in a broken plate state, and through His mercy, grace, and the great power of His Atonement, redeems us, and makes us new again. 

I loved this lesson, and contemplated for days... Where  am I at in the cleansing process of the Atonement? Am I letting the Savior change me and redeem me? Which plate am I?



*All photos of the plates were taken in the in the Brigham Young home in Nauvoo
 by Richard Rust, with permission

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Improving Personal Scripture Study

By using Footnotes

 lds,org image library

If your personal scripture study has begun to feel mundane or repetitive and very predictable, I would suggest to spice things up a bit by digging a little deeper.

One of the greatest ways to improve the quality and spiritual experience of your personal scripture study is to take things a little slower, more detailed by searching the footnotes to the verses you read.

You may only get to one verse a day or even half a chapter instead of much more, but your experience will be greatly enriched.

Let's start with 3 Nephi 11: 1 as an example: image library

3 Nephi 11:1 And now it came to pass that there were a great multitude agathered together, of the people of Nephi, round about the temple which was in the land bBountiful; and they were marveling and wondering one with another, and were showing one to another the cgreat and marvelous change which had taken place.

(a.) gathered   Helaman 3:9, 14
 9  And the people who were in the land northward did dwell in tents, and in houses of cement, and they did suffer whatsoever tree should spring up upon the face of the land that it should grow up, that in time they might have timber to build their houses, yea, their cities, and their temples, and their synagogues, and their sanctuaries, and all manner of their buildings.

14  But behold, a
hundredth part of the proceedings of this people, yea, the account of the Lamanites and of the Nephites, and their wars, and contentions, and dissensions, and their preaching, and their prophecies, and their shipping and their building of ships, and their building of temples, and of synagogues and their sanctuaries, and their righteousness, and their wickedness, and their murders, and their robbings, and their plundering, and all manner of abominations and whoredoms, cannot be contained in this work. 

(b) Bountiful   Alma 22:29, 3 Nephi 3:23
29  And also there were many Lamanites on the east by the seashore, whither the Nephites had driven them. And thus the Nephites were nearly surrounded by the Lamanites; nevertheless the Nephites had taken possession of all the northern parts of the land bordering on the wilderness, at the head of the river Sidon, from the east to the west, round about on the wilderness side; on the north, even until they came to the land which they called Bountiful
23  And the land which was appointed was the land of Zarahemla, and the land which was between the land Zarahemla and the land Bountiful, yea, to the line which was between the land Bountiful and the land Desolation. 

 (c) great  3 Nephi 8:11-14

11  And there was a great and terrible destruction in the land southward.
12  But behold, there was a more great and terrible destruction in the land northward; for behold, the whole face of the land was changed, because of the tempest and the whirlwinds, and the thunderings and the lightnings, and the exceedingly great quaking of the whole earth;
13  And the highways were broken up, and the level roads were spoiled, and many smooth places became rough.
14  And many great and notable cities were sunk, and many were burned, and many were shaken till the buildings thereof had fallen to the earth, and the inhabitants thereof were slain, and the places were left desolate.

I love reading my scriptures using the footnotes. It brings a bigger picture and rich insights to my scripture study.
Another great verse to practice this on or to start with is Genesis 1:1

 In the abeginning bGod ccreated the dheaven and the eearth.

Happy scripture studying!!