Sunday, March 31, 2013

Our Role is to Build Strong Families





BLEH!! Can this whole same-sex marriage debate just go away??!! Really!!  That is how I  feel!!  You are seeing  my extremely super white personality coming out: I like" peace at all costs, happy feelings,  no one fighting, I like to resist confrontations,  and recoil from perceived hostility or verbal battle."....So this is really not my thing! 
(see color code test )

I do  realize however, that for evil to triumph, good men (and women) just have to do nothing.  So in spite of my white-ness, I do have a deep conviction about this subject and I must throw in my two bits. And that is that marriage should be between one man and one woman.

This is a debate that carries with it deep emotional feelings on both sides.  I care about everyone. It goes with my white personality, and because I am a daughter of God.  However,  my sympathies do not cause me to join their parade. I can love the person, without embracing what they do.

Same-sex attraction is basically new to us now, but this is not a new issue going on in the world. This has been going on since ancient times, although it has never been so widely accepted and "trendy"  which scares me a lot. I am not even going to try to get all intellectual on you about it and try an explain WHY it would be so bad for same-sex marriages to be legalized. From the legal stand point, it would not be good. From a moral stand point...among many things, homosexuality takes away who a woman is and makes her something she is not.

It is our divine role as women to BUILD and STRENGTHEN  strong families.  That is our role.
That is who we are.

Sheri Dew in her book "If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn't Be Hard" she says it so perfectly:
"Women have unusual powers to strengthen and build families.  But they also have unusual powers to destroy them.

It is simply not possible to measure or limit the influence a righteous woman has on her husband and her children and extended family members, as well as on others who feel like family."
 
Women who choose to go against their divine nature have chosen to do so by completely forsaking their nature.  They have to go almost complete opposite to who they really are to take upon them that other role. 

In my opinion, a woman who does this is worse than a man that does. I don't know why, but it just has a worse feel to it.  For example if you see a man with several to many tattoos, it is not pleasant.  IF you see a woman with the same, it makes me cringe. If you see a man with multiple piercings, it is not pretty, but if you see a woman with multiple piercings, it is so sad to see.  If you see a man with a horrible gage in their ear, I can hardly stand to see it. If I see a woman with gages in her ears, something inside of me cries for them.  WHY? is what I ask myself in those circumstances.  There is something worse to a woman giving up her divine nature.

Sheri goes on to say:
"In order for Satan to obtain a secure grasp on a woman, he must first completely neutralize her nature, including her divine gifts.   
Women who have surrendered their divine nature to Satan are both frightening and pathetic, for their situation represents a dire reversal of the gifts our Father gave his daughters premortally.  He endowed women with the nature to nurture and the inclination to bless and heal, encourage and inspire."

WELL SAID SHERI!!

I am grateful for the strong role model I have in my mother! She has taught me by example and word.  I have a great responsibility to teach these principle to my daughters.  The examples and choices we make as women, will directly effect generations. 

No pressure, but we have to get it right! 

Our most important role is in the home...Teaching  and strengthening our families.  I believe a family should be a man and woman, a father and a mother who are married to each other and honor their marital vows with complete fidelity. 


 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blessings of the Resurrection: The Promise and the Hope


This week as we lead into Easter Sunday, and celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior, I will be having a guest writer on my blog, my 79 year old Dad. This actually comes from a talk he gave in Sacrament Meeting several years ago. It was so well done and so perfect for this week, that with his permission, I will be sharing excerpts from his talk all week long.

Thanks Dad.


                                Blessings of the Resurrection: Not All Believe
 
______________________________________________________________________
 
Del Parson's "He Is Risen"
follow link to read the background of the painting
 
"My knowledge of the foregoing events and the scriptural records of all the events surrounding the resurrection are blessings which are unsurpassed.  How could we put a value on such information?
 
My heart goes out to those who reject the idea of a resurrection.  But as I've contemplated my blessings, there are many.  As you get older you begin to lose many of the abilities of the body.  Things that use to be easy, become hard to do or in some cases, impossible.
 
I remember my first recollection of that reality when I made the decision to quit playing basketball on weekday nights at the chapel.  And when I decided that when the ward engaged in a softball game to just watch or at best volunteer to be the umpire.  These decisions were based on the fact that I just couldn't do the things I use to do.  It was a gradual change and a gradual realization.
 
In later years I had to get glasses and then bifocals and now trifocals.  I've lost my hearing. Without the little plastic inside my ears I am virtually deaf.  I've had heart bypass and cancer surgery both of which you worry when will they raise their ugly head again.
(since this talk was given, my Dad has battled throat cancer)
 
I can only assume if I have the good fortune to live a few more years that other bodily dis-functions will develop.  How long will it be before I need a new hip or knee?  Will I be confined to a wheelchair some day or to a nursing home because there is too much wrong with me to live at home?
 
I've come to know that the older you get, the more these things press on your mind.  They are a matter of "when" and not "if". 
 
As our body deteriorates with age, the promise of the resurrection gives great hope.  The thought of a restored body in its prime becomes more exiting with age.
 
We are told we will come forth with a renewed body.  That not one hair will be lost.  Our achy joints will work like new and we'll be able to see and hear without help.
 
I look forward to the resurrection with great hope of a young and well functioning body.
 
We have two grandsons who came into this world with serious physical limitations due to heart and internal problems.  They look normal, but their normal functions as boys are seriously curtailed.
How exciting it will be to see them resurrected.  How excited will they be with a body that works like it should.
(one of these boys had a heart transplant a few years ago, and is now serving a full-time mission. Although with limitations and not with a perfect body, he has best body he has had his whole life)
 
Many people have bodies with serious deformities or have lost essential parts or abilities  due to accidents or illness.  The hope of the resurrection looms even more exciting for them.
 
These are great blessings to look forward to.
 
In our eternal journey, the resurrection is a milepost that signifies the end of mortality and the beginning of immortality.  The Lord describes the importance of this transition in Doctrine and Covenants 29:43.
 
"And thus did I, the Lord God, appoint unto man the days of his probation—that by his natural death he might be raised in immortality unto eternal life, even as many as would believe;"
 
The Book of Mormon teaches:
 
"For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord. "
 
One of the greatest blessings of the resurrection, as I think about it, has to be the assurance that it will include the opportunity to be with family members who have gone on before: my parents, my grandparents, brothers, and sisters.
 
I look forward with great anticipation to meet Horatio Talbert who appears in our family tree with no knowledge of his parents or their origin.  And his son George Talbert, my great-grandfather who left three little boys with a neighbor and went off to the Civil War to never return.  One of those little boys was my grandfather.
 
How exciting will it be??? All of this anticipation of these great reunions is a powerful incentive to keep the commandments and to fulfill all these requirements to have the opportunity to be resurrected with them.
 
Our knowledge of the resurrection also gives us the courage to face our own death.  The people of Ammon... "never did look upon death with any degree of terror, for their hope and views of Christ and the resurrection;  therefore, death was swallowed up to them by the victory of Christ over it." 
 
We should all praise God of the assured resurrection that makes our mortal separations temporary and gives us the hope necessary to carry on.
 
He is not here.  He has risen--as we all will rise too in the resurrection."




 






Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Blessings of the Resurrection: Not All Believe


This week as we lead into Easter Sunday, and celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior, I will be having a guest writer on my blog, my 79 year old Dad. This actually comes from a talk he gave in Sacrament Meeting several years ago. It was so well done and so perfect for this week, that with his permission, I will be sharing excerpts from his talk all week long.
Thanks Dad.
 
_____________________________________________________________________
 
 
 
 


"The Resurrection  remains the greatest miracle in human history.  It is universal. It means that we will all be resurrected.  It means that everyone that ever lived on the earth that who now fill the cemeteries of the world and all those who will yet live will be resurrected.
 
The resurrection is the central subject of our religion.  The very pillar of our faith.  The thought of being resurrected motivates us to do better and provides hope for our future.
 
Not all believe in the resurrection or the reuniting of the spirit body with a body of flesh and bones never again to be divided.
 
The resurrection in not a fairy tale.  The scriptures are full of proof.  The resurrected Lord was seen by many people during that times as the Gospels describe.


He ate fish and honey
•He said He had flesh and bones
•Numerous people touched him



Luke 24:36-39, 45-46

  •  "Jesus ... saith unto them, Peace be unto you."
  • "But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit."
  • "And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have ."
  • "And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:"

The Savior gave the Apostles a second witness.  Thomas, one of the Twelve, had not been with them when Jesus Came. He insisted that he would not believe unless he could see and feel for himself.  John records:

source

  • "And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 
  •  Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
  • And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
  • Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."


source
He appeared to Mary Magdalene at the tomb
 
 
 
 
source
 
He appeared to large and small groups-and seen by 500 brethren at once
The Book of Mormon testifies how the risen Lord invited the multitude to come forth and touch him-to feel the nail prints in his hands and feet and thrust their hands into His side.
During His personal ministry, as recorded in 3rd Nephi,
 "He took their little children, one by one, and blessed them."
This even was witnessed by 2500 men, women, and children.





Christ was the first to be resurrected on this earth.  Others dad been brought back from death, but were restored to mortality.

Resurrection means to become immortal, without blood, yet with a body of flesh and bone.

All mankind will be resurrected, but not all will be raised to the same glory in the resurrection.  Nor will all be resurrected at the same time.  Christ was first.  The righteous will come forth before the wicked and the unrepentant sinners will come forth in the last resurrection."





Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blessings of the Resurrection: Cemeteries


 
 
We are celebrating the Resurrection of our Savior this week!  or Easter...    I still get flashbacks from my childhood when I did not understand what the holiday was all about as we did not celebrate the pagan side of the Easter holiday in my home. 
 
We walked into church on an Easter Sunday, and there in the foyer was a large picture of the Savior after His Resurrection. I remember stopping at this picture and feeling,
 "this is Easter." 
 
 Since then, I have felt a connection to and been fascinated with pictures of the resurrection, and want to understand it more.
 
What really is the resurrection?
 
This week as we lead into Easter Sunday, when we celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior,  I will be having a guest writer on my blog, my 79 year old Dad.  This actually comes from a talk he gave in Sacrament Meeting several years ago.  It was so well done and so perfect for this week, that with his permission, I will be sharing excerpts from his talk all week long.
Thanks Dad.
 
 
 


Cemeteries

" Like all of you, I have walked through a few graveyards during my lifetime. I have stood and looked at seemingly endless rows of white crosses in Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and other Civil War cemeteries.
I have not had the privilege to visit the shores of Normandy or stand over the sunken ships at Pearl Harbo, but I've see those places by various pictures and movies.
I have visited Arlington National Cemetery and watched them change the guard at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
I have stood at the grave site of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum and walked through that old pioneer graveyard in Nauvoo and Winter Quarters. I have visited the unmarked grave sites of the many who died at Martin's Cove in Wyoming.
I have often walked through the cemetery in my small home town in Illinois where my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents are buried, and a sister.  I have visited my great-grandparents grave in Indiana and walked through numerous cemeteries in Ohio looking for ancestors that we know are there somewhere.  Grave sites do not move around but without proper records, grave sites can be elusive.
 
We have to remind ourselves as we visit such places where countless dead reside that all these individuals who have gone to the grave, played a vital role in life. They loved and were loved.  When they died they left a defining void in the lives of those who knew and loved them. They were greatly missed.
Graveyards are sacred places. We often walk there silently and reverently remembering the lives of those we loved or wishing we had known.  But they are also fun places to visit.  There is a story told and a bit of history on each gravestone.
You have all had similar experiences.
Some of you have had more personal experiences of visiting the grave site of a child or a spouse.  My life has not yet been burdened with that experience.
The one thing that graveyards and grave sites have in common is that those people buried there have all died and passed through life.  Their turn on earth is completed.  As they say, they have stepped over the threshold of death.  Some died in their old age, some died far too young.  Others died tragically and unexpectedly or on the field of battle.

As we survey the graveyard we remember the days when those individuals blessed our lives and we long for the time we will embrace them again.
 
All of us must die.  Death is as much a part of the great plan of happiness as birth.  Death would be sad and dismal without that knowledge.  The bleakness of death is illustrated in teh owrds of Shakespeare, "the undiscovered country from which no traveler returns"
That puts a dark twist on death but our Savior Jesus Christ changed all that through the Resurrection. He broke the bonds of death when He rose the third day after his crucifixion.

The declaration, "He is not here.  But is risen." are the most profound of all words ever spoken or written. 
 
 
 


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sacrifice Brings Forth the Blessings of Heaven



Although I have managed to put up a few posts these past few months, I really feel I have been missing in action with this blog. I love this blog and love sharing and communicating spiritual thoughts to all of you.  I have been deep into motherhood, and really the blog has taken a back seat!  As it should.  Our most important calling is that of motherhood!  I firmly believe that.

With my daughters of several ages, I have my young adult and teenager crowd, who want my undivided attention when they are home. They want to tell me about their day, want me to understand them, want me to tell me about their crushes, about their friends and who likes who, who is going on missions, and they need me to help guide them through their own future plans.

That is one group!



Then I have my one middle-school girl who is feeling the aches and pains of those years. Remember middle school? Ya.  It is a daily battle everyday reminding her of her potential, that life WILL get better, and that she does have talents, although right now she doesn't feel like she does. 12 and 13 year old girls are in such a hurry to grow up!  They all want to fast-forward to teenager hood. My question is, "what is wrong with being 12 and 13?"  In 4 years they will be teenagers, lets enjoy this age!  ....Maybe I'll write about that on another day.  Sigh. 

Then I have my grade-school girls who also want my undivided attention asking if a friend can come over to play, or what they can have to eat.(actually that is everyone asking what they can eat)   I also have to remind myself that these cute girls also need my full attention.  This is the only time they are going to be their age, and I don't want to miss it.  They love to read books to me and follow me around the house, sitting on the counter or in a chair reading to me as  I cook dinner or fold laundry. I had a thought they other day while this was going on, how important these moments are. 

I don't have any children married yet, so I can't compare to mothers who are in that stage of life. But the Senior in high school- young adults has been the hardest stage for me so far.  One, because they think they have it all figured out.  You have to put up with "Mom you don't know "  and 'I am 18 now  I can do what I want"  said of coarse with humor and sarcasm because they know they aren't going to get away with that comment!

You also have to be in "stand-by" mode on those flash moments when they really do need you.  They are becoming adults and have so many decisions to make that are of such importance. 

It is fun and extremely rewarding as your mother-daughter relationship evolves a little bit. It can be a roller-coaster ride as  you go up and down with them through all their experiences. Some days I wish I could jump off the roller-coaster ride, but that is kind of what we signed up for.  These last few months have been heart-break city at our house.  On one week, I had not just one, but TWO daughters crying and heart-broken.  And I mean deeply heart-broken.  It was hard for me because I felt so much of their pain myself, and was completely helpless to take their pain away. I knew they had to go through it. I knew it was the Lord's plan that they experience this trial, and I had to just be there with words of guidance and comfort. I couldn't take away their pain, and I wasn't supposed to. 

This  is totally different then when they are 5 or 6 and all I had to do was wrap them up in their favorite blanket and watch a Disney show together.

I really can't fix this with anything. It is between them and the Lord and they have to do it. 

One daughter especially thought she would be engaged right now, and instead is just trying to figure out what is the Lord's plan for her life.  My previous posts on faith and waiting on the Lord came out of that experience. 

What a change I have seen come over this girl as she has completely turned to the Lord in her trials, depended on Him and tried to really let Him guide her life. We have had deep discussions about the Atonement and grace and for the first time in her life, she was faced with realizing she needs the Atonement and striving to understand what the Savior did for her and how she is part of it. 

 I have watched as her understanding of the reality of God and that she is His daughter grow very real and very deep.

This wouldn't have come any other way. 

Hard lessons, but tender mercies as we see the hand of the Lord work in the lives of our children.

To top it all off we received a great letter from our missionary daughter who is getting it!!  She is realizing what it is all about, and as a mom I couldn't be more proud of her and more humbled by what the Lord has done for her in 8 short months.  This is what she wrote to us:

"Last Monday my companion and I were talking about how we have the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ... literally... As we were talking it hit me differently then it usually does. We are literally apart of Christ's church! People need to know about this!!

After this, the way I talked to the people  was different. The seriousness and urgency of my calling was different. I have reflected a lot on Elder Hollands talk this past week.

He says, "Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world."

Seriously stepping back and thinking about this. This isn't just something I'm doing for fun for a year and a half. This is the work of ALMIGHTY GOD! "So we have neighbors to bless, children to protect, the poor to lift up, and the truth to defend. We have wrongs to make right, truths to share, and good to do. In short, we have a life of devoted discipleship to give in demonstrating our love of the Lord."

There is so much work to do!  Do we truly understand the seriousness of our baptismal covenants? When we entered the waters of baptism we promised to devote our lives to him, to do all in our power to follow him.

How great is our calling? SO GREAT! (she says this a lot)

 This church is true. God lives as does his son Jesus Christ. They lead and guide this church and ask you to follow him."




Saturday, March 16, 2013

Teaching the Atonement Using Comparisons

In preparing to teach my Sunday School class of energetic 13 year old boys, I asked them what they already knew about the Atonement.  I got a lot of blank stares.  They knew it had to do with this picture above, and faith, but in all reality, the whole topic was a little blurry to them.

I have been struggling with WHAT and WHERE to teach. So I decided this week to approach the teaching and learning through comparisons.

 
Comparisons is using a story or visual with symbolism to teach a principle.






"A man walking along a road fell into a pit so deep he could not climb out.


 No matter what he did, he  could not get out by himself. 


 "The man called for help and rejoiced when a kind passerby heard him and lowered a ladder down into the pit. This allowed him to climb out of the pit and regain him freedom."



 
 
 
"We are like the man in the pit. Sinning is like falling into the pit, and we can’t get out by ourselves. Just as the kind passerby heard the man's cry for help, Heavenly Father sent his Only Begotten Son to provide the means of escape. Jesus Christ’s atonement could be compared to lowering a ladder into the pit; it gives us the means to climb out.
 
But the Savior does more than lower the ladder, He comes down into the pit and makes it possible for us to use the ladder to escape. 
 
Just as the man in the pit had to climb up the ladder, we must repent of our sins and obey the gospel principles and ordinances to climb out of our pit and make the Atonement work in our lives. Thus, after all we can do, the Atonement makes it possible for us to become worthy to return to Heavenly Father’s presence." 
 
by Linda K. Burton



Do you know what I love about this particular comparison to the Atonement?
The principle that

 1) the Savior literally comes down into the pit where we are to help us out

AND

2) that He redeems us, making Him just what He says He is: our REDEEMER.
He doesn't just put us back where we were before we fell into the pit.

He puts us in a higher place. Making us better than we were.






 

 The illustrated story above of the pit and the Savior was  from the October 2012 conference issue.  It was perfect for this lesson so I decided to add it with this teaching section.

You can see how simple it is, while teaching a great principle.   You can use it in FHE, Primary, or any environment where you are teaching someone else about the Atonement.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Power in Courage

Me, facing a fear


This picture is of me at the challenge course at the Heber Valley Girls Camp
and I was scared to death!

Each of the challenge coarses at Heber teach  a spiritual lesson. On this particular course, I learned how dependent we are upon the Lord for everything. Faith is the rope we hold on to which strengthens our courage and helps us to accomplish what we didn't think we could.  The people nearby and far away encouraging and cheering you on, represent the Savior who cheers us on and just wants us to keep moving forward in faith trusting in Him. 
 He will take us to places we didn't think we could go.


 

I am finishing up the last point from an outstanding Women's Conference we had here in our area.  I previously shared my notes from this conference in Power in Faith and Live "As If", both GREAT concepts taught by Laurel Christensen, our speaker.  Today I am writing about Power in Courage.

Laurel shared with us in a humorous way her journey to become a runner.   I don't know if she has become a die-hard runner, but it was funny listening to her tell the story. It was a story that we all can relate to I think as we all have this shared goal of wanting to lose weight, don't we?!

She shared with us her inner struggles on this journey about literally being afraid of succeeding. The concept that we are  more afraid of succeeding than failing, resonated with me.  I feel personally, that many times, yes, I am more afraid of being awesome than being mediocre.  Maybe the success is the unknown and we are all very comfortable with  the mediocre. For me, many times it seems just when I start to succeed and do well, something inside me says "that is enough for right now" and I go back to my old ways.  So frustrating!!  I completely related to this part of her talk.

Laurel talked about an experience she had on her treadmill with a trainer she had hired to help her train for a half marathon.   My first thought was, "you have a trainer?! How would that be!" 

As Laurel got on the treadmill and was about to begin her training to "become a runner", her trainer asked her specifically, "What are you running towards?"  Meaning, what is motivating you for change?  What or who do you want to be?  What is your vision of your future self? "   Laurel mentioned that she did not know at all.  She didn't know what she was running towards.

For those of us who have watched the TV show, The Biggest Loser, we know it isn't just about the weight. There is usually a long-term issue that they are trying to overcome which is WHY they have a weight problem.

Laurel's trainer then taught her something which I thought was really profound:  You are always running TOWARDS something (your goal or vision of who you want to become) away FROM something (your fears, anger, hurt, pain, etc)

This was powerful to me. It made me ask myself, "are you running towards something or away from something?"

After a few runs, Laurel then saw who she was running towards. She saw who was in front of her-- stopping her from succeeding. It was  herself, but not the part of her that she liked or wanted to see.
It was the part of her she didn't like.  Her anger, her fears, the person that caused her all of her grief and why she was standing on the treadmill to start with.   Her trainer then told her to keep running until that person you are fearing takes their rightful place BEHIND you.  (awesome thought) 

This was about  facing our biggest obstacles in life with true courage and becoming in the process who the Lord intended us to be.  Just like my experience on the high challenge course, we can't do this alone. We need the Savior!  We truly don't rely on Him as we should. Too much of it we try to shoulder on our own. We think if we have enough grit and sheer will power we can do anything. 
 

Doctrine and Covenants 6: 33-37

"Fear not to do good...Fear not little flock, but look unto Me in every thought.  Doubt Not--Fear Not."
 
Then in verse 37  the section interesingly ends with reference to the Atonement as a reminder that the Savior knows. He get it. He understands.



 

 
 "Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven."
 
What kind of fears did the Children of Israel face when they stood at the shores of the Red Sea and the Egyptians were coming up on them. They had to exerise great courage in the Lord that He was in charge and He would protect them.

Exodus 14:14

"Fear ye not, and stand still. The Lord shall fight for you"

I loved that thought, the Lord will fight our battles for us.

Do we let Him? Do we believe He can? Do we believe He will?

Their is definitely a power in exercising courage and faith in the Lord.  We must believe He wants to. We must lay our will on the alter, let go of our fears, and  put our hand in His. 
 
He will lead us.
 
He will fight our battles for us.
 
There are things in our lives waiting for us.  Trust that He wants more for us than even we want for ourselves.


 



 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

"That We Might Not Shrink"



 
Elder Bednar in his usual greatness at a CES Fireside given March 3rd, 2013.
 
I was able to attend this with my husband and 3-- 18 and over daughters. 
 
After Elder Bednar made his cute comments about his wife, Susan, my husband said loud  "AMEN" because that is how he feels about me as well.  My daughters did their usual "oh DAD, embarrassment roll of the eyes"
 
Get your notebook or journal out....this is a good one! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Power in FAITH

Today I am sharing more of my notes from our Regional Women's Conference. It was so incredible!  I apologize to all of the Vernal-ites out there who went and have already heard this.  I have to share this..it is too good to keep to myself.  I even e-mailed it to my missionary daughter this morning, and it was exactly what she needed. And I have decided it is just what everyone needs. So inspiring and so powerful!!

In my last post I wrote Live "As If", which was about POWER in  PATIENCE.  I encourage you to go back and read that if you haven't already. This conference was really life changing-good. 

The other two principles Laurel Christensen, our speaker, covered were  POWER in FAITH and POWER in COURAGE.  Today I am covering the POWER in FAITH.


Laurel and the other speakers taught an important concept that I guess I needed, because Elder Bednar also spoke of it at the CES fireside last night as well, and that is that having faith doesn't mean we have faith in a specific OUTCOME necessarily, but our faith is in the the Lord REGARDLESS of the outcome. That is so vital because if that outcome doesn't come to play, if our faith is centered in Christ and not the outcome, we don't lose our testimonies over it. I really liked that thought.
 
 
Laurel shared some great scripture insight.. One was the parable of the bread and the stone in Matthew 7.   The principle is  that the Lord wants to give us everything--the best blessings and the best gifts, but that we also need to ask for it. The bread symbolized the BEST gift or the BEST blessing.   If we ask for what we want the most (bread)  He is not going to give us a stone. We need to trust in the Lord to know that HE WANTS to give us bread. He is not going to give us a stone if we ask for bread.
 
 
Find out what is the RIGHT  thing and pray for what you need and what you want.  She commented that the tragedy isn't in  not getting it, the tragedy is when we  stop praying for it, or when we stop wanting the righteous desires of our hearts.
I love this scripture illustrating this principle:

Hebrews 4:16 "Come BOLDLY unto the throne of grace and ASK in time of need"

 
 
It is not only OK to ask for what we really really want, but to trust that the Lord WANTS to bless us with it. But we have to ask. She called this intentionally praying.
We need to have intentional prayers.
 
 
Following of coarse this counsel given:

Doctrine and Covenants 9:7-8: "But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
 
But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong."
 
 
 
Praying for the "RIGHT" things  is a great concept.  But how do we know what is right when we want something so badly?  For me when I am in a situation when I really need a blessing, or want something very badly, I have to go back and really evaluate:
 
What I have FELT from the spirit? What has the spirit tried to TELL me?  What PROMISES of the Lord have I felt?  What are the righteous DESIRES of my heart?  What feels right to pray about?
 
 
 Then go forward in intentional faith praying for what we should pray about.  When we pray for the right blessings, it can change our life..and we will realize that prayer when accompanied with faith has a true POWER. 

 
"The fervent prayer of a righteous woman availeth much"
 
It reminds me of a time in my life when my husband and I wanted something very badly. It felt right. And we recieved that promise from the Lord through the spirit, that it was going to happen, it was only a matter of time.  During this time we exercised great faith in prayer as we prayed for what seemed the "right thing" and waiting on the Lord for it to happen.
 
It wasn't immediate, and although it did happen just as the Lord promised us it would, it wasn't easy.  But  we learned how to pray for the "right thing" and instead of thinking I don't deserve this, or I am asking for "too much", we prayed knowing the Lord  heard us and knowing He wanted it for us as much as we wanted it for ourselves.
 
Although we wanted a specific outcome, our faith was in the Lord, that He knew the right timing and His will be done regardless of the outcome.  That is a very hard thing to exercise faith in, but it is really our only choice because the Lord is ultimately in charge.
 
He knows all and sees all and stands at the door ready to give if we will just let Him in.
And remember, He comes bearing bread, not stones.


See a previous post: God's Way/My Way
 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Live "As If"

Today we had an annual Women's Conference and it was GREAT!!  I would say one of the best I have been to.  One of our speakers was Laurel Christensen who helps organize Time Out For Women.

She taught us so much today and I was totally fed.  And it wasn't fluff...{I can't stand fluff.}   it was meat. 
A daughter at five, waiting for Grandma to come

One of the principles she taught was that we are all" women in waiting."  Or as I like to refer to it, waiting on the Lord.  This is so true and such a powerful principle. I love to know that others are also waiting on the Lord for something, like I am, although we are all waiting for different things.

Do you want to hear what I am waiting for? I promise to not get too personal here.  If I share mine, it might help you think of what you are waiting for.

I am waiting on the Lord for my twin daughters.  They don't know if they should go on missions, and I don't either. But He does. He knows. And I am waiting on Him to help them know if they should. If it is right for them.

I am also waiting on the Lord for another daughter who wants very much to go on to the next phase of her life: temple and marriage.  He knows the plan for her life, and I don't.  So I wait on the Lord with her.

One more: I am waiting on the Lord for my oldest who is serving a mission. The whole mission is about waiting on the Lord as she serves Him.  I hope and pray she is becoming who she should and that she is giving it her all.

 I don't have any control in any of this- at all. I put my faith in the Lord knowing that although I can't see the end from the beginning  or even around the corner: HE CAN.  And I wait in faith on Him.

Laurel Christensen shared a great scripture insight in 1 Nephi 5:5

"But behold I have obtained a land of promise, in the which things I do rejoice."
 
A simple scripture that maybe we have read many times without much deep thought to it.  When Lehi said this to his wife Sariah, they had just barely left Jerusalem. They hadn't even gotten to their promised land yet. But Lehi spoke in a past tense, "as if" they had already obtained it.

 WHY? Because the Lord promised him he would obtain a promised land, and he knew that THE LORD KEEPS HIS PROMISES. So he spoke of a promised land "as if" he had already been given it.

Don't you love this concept of waiting on the Lord  with the mindset of faith "as if" you have already recieved promised blessings.

I love it because I too know that the Lord keeps His promises. 

All of them.


 
See a previous post: Waiting on the Lord