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Showing posts from 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

Church History Tour- 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.  [Update: The Atonement plates are in the Brigham Young home, but no longer used as a lesson for visitors coming in. They stopped teaching it because these plates were found on site before renovations, but they can’t prove they were Brigham Young’s. I decided to keep my post because the lesson remains powerful regardless

Church History Tour: Liberty Jail Experience

As we visited Liberty Jail and saw with our eyes and felt so much of what Joseph Smith and the other prisoners went through, I really felt grateful for how he endured that trial and what he learned from it, and how I have grown from this experience as well as my own Liberty Jail trials. Liberty Jail:  A small jail in which the Prophet Joseph Smith and others were unjustly imprisoned from November 1838 to April 1839. While in these difficult conditions, Joseph received certain revelations, gave prophecies, and was inspired to write an important letter to the Saints, excerpts of which are contained in Doctrine and Covenants 121–123 . Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave an astoundingly great talk on this very subject called "Lessons From Liberty Jail" It is a must read, and I hope you will take the time to study that talk. "In the Prophet Joseph’s letters, he spoke of the jail being a “hell, surrounded with demons … where we ar

Church History Tour: Independence, Missouri

These shoes served me well and stood in many sacred holy places that were "temple-like" in their sacredness and spirit... from Independence, Missouri...to Liberty Jail...to Parley Street in Nauvoo...to Winter Quarters in Omaha, Nebraska.  Hi everyone!  Just got back from a whirlwind Church History Workshop with my husband and am excited to share some of the awesome, insights we learned along the way.  This was SUCH a great opportunity that I wish all of you could experience. I know we may be boring people or boring parents, but I would MUCH rather spend my money and time on a Church History Tour than a trip to Disney Land.  It is so worth it and such a testimony building experience. You can't go to these sacred places without coming away moved, that yes indeed, something sacred happened here.  You feel it. However,  let me interject and say that you don't have to be in these places to know it is real, or to feel the power of testimony of these people and

Understanding Lehi's Dream

In 2007 something kind of awesome happened.  There were 3  Devotional/Fireside talks  given back to back one month after another....on Lehi's Dream.  Coincidental??  I think not! Lehi's Dream and You - President Boyd K. Packer, BYU Devotional given January 16, 2007 Reservoir of Living Water -Elder David A. Bednar CES Fireside , given February 4, 2007 Hold Fast to the Words of the Prophets - Elder Neil L.Anderson CES Fireside given March 4 2007 Interesting don't you think that all three randomly inspired, chose to speak on the same topic?  Here is what Elder Anderson said prior to giving his CES Fireside talk. "I want to tell you of the Lord’s guiding hand in our meeting tonight. During the early days of January I worked to organize and outline what I would present to you. Knowing that Elder David A. Bednar was scheduled to speak to you in February, I asked him if he had finalized the subject he would address. I was taken aback when he responded

The Order of Obedience

We had our first four children in three years.  It was a feat that few can accomplish.  We had twins which doubled things up pretty fast. I remember waiting for the birth of our twins, and realizing how out numbered my husband and I would be with our little family and knowing that above all, we needed to have order.  Prior to their births, I prayed many times that the Lord would show me how to have a family with order. I knew my sanity and happiness depended on it. I started training myself to be more orderly, and started teaching my children some basic principles. My first realization from the Lord was to teach obedience.  Obedience comes in  steps or layers, especially when they are very young. They can't be expected to do step 3 if they haven't mastered step 1.  If they do, and you allow it, the order is lost, and no principles are taught. For example, one of our first steps when they were little bitty, was to stay in our own yard to play.  This was very import

Making Conference Journals

How are YOU preparing for General Conference?   One way to prepare is to create a Conference Journal.   A conference journal is a journal where you will write down the special messages from the Lord that are just for you.  You will hear these at General Conference. They will come as personal messages, or impressions from the Spirit, or answers to your prayers. Write them down as they come so that you will be able to remember them, and  implement them.       Elder Richard G. Scott mentioned an experience he had in a church meeting he attended, while listening to a lesson, inspiration came to him...   "As each impression came, I carefully wrote it down. In the process, I was given precious truths that I greatly needed in order to be a more effective servant of the Lord. The details of the communication are sacred and, like a patriarchal blessing, were for my individual benefit. I was given specific directions, instructions, and conditioned promises that hav

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 t

Power in FAITH

I attended a Women's Conference about  POWER in FAITH and POWER in COURAGE.   Our speakers,  taught an important concept that  I needed, 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. A great scripture insight was taught: 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 b

What is The Book of Mormon?

A question from a friend not of my religion, "what is The Book of Mormon"?  "I haven`t understood why the prophecies of LDS are considered by critics to be more fake than those of any other religion in the world and I like the part in the Book of Mormon that says that there can still be new prophecies as opposed to general view in many religions that the prophecies ended forever with their favorite prophet. But if it is clear that the Book of Mormon has been assembled in different times according to current political views of the leaders and made to look like a whole, then it would be understandable why some people don`t take it seriously. Personally I find all central books of religions are influenced by the writer`s views and it is known that the Bible was assembled over a long period. It would just be honest to admit that parts of the book have been added or rewritten later and are thus fictional illustration to held beliefs." I wrote a blog post a while

The Name of our Church

  The official name of our church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "The Mormons" is actually a nickname given to us because of our belief in   The Book of Mormon ,  Mormon was a prophet-historian and was the one who abridged all the ancient records into the book called The Book of Mormon. I'll talk more about that later.                                                          What makes us different than almost any other religion is our belief in God. Most people believe in some sort of a Supreme Being although they may call him by different names. We know that God lives and I am excited to share with you my feelings about Him. "We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost." [Article of Faith 1] We believe in what is referred to as the Godhead.   The Godhead consists of three separate beings who are all Gods: God-our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ-His Son, and the Holy Ghost. You

Best Marriage Advice Ever

Before I was married, my wise mother sat me down and gave me the best advice I have ever received about marriage: 4 Ways to Have a Happy Husband Happy Husband #1: Keep the Cave Clean We wives really underestimate how important this is to our husbands. They may not say it, but oh, how they love a home that has order. When they come home from work and the house is a place of chaos both physically and spiritually... they feel that stress and it adds an extra burden to their shoulders. This does not mean that our homes have to be perfect, or that we have to do all the work ourselves. Keeping the house clean is kind of family project. For the most part, this is something we can all strive to make run smoothly, and to not give up after a few bad experiences. I realize that some women are offended at this suggestion, and I don't mean to offend anyone. But, you must know , a husband is a happy husband who comes home to order not c