Saturday, November 29, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Needing No Other Reason

"Blessed are those who need no reasons other than their love for the Saviour to keep his commandments."

James E. Faust, "The Lord's Day," Ensign, Nov. 1991

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gratitude & Spirituality

"I believe there is a definite link between gratitude and spirituality. Those who are unaware of their blessings miss the opportunity of rejoicing in the goodness of God, [and] the richness of life. I believe that personal peace and increased humility often follow our expressions and feelings of gratitude."
(Elaine L. Jack, Eye to Eye, Heart to Heart)

I have noticed a difference in my life, and my overall attidude when I try and notice the little mircales that are dotted throughout my day. When my heart is grateful, trials that I imagined were big, appear to be more like speed bumps that just slow me down enough to notice the beauty that is close by if only I would look.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

We Need Not Postpone

“We need not wait for Christmas, we need not postpone till Thanksgiving Day our response to the Savior’s tender admonition: ‘Go, and do thou likewise.’ ”

—President Thomas S. Monson (Ensign, Nov. 1994, 71)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Counting and Recounting

Short but sweet:

"Counting blessings is better than recounting problems."

—Russell M. Nelson, Perfection Pending-

Monday, November 24, 2008

Looking Beyond Imperfections

Mormon 8:12
"And whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these.Behold, I am Moroni; and were it possible, I would make all things known unto you."

When I read this the other day I recognised what great principle is shown here that can be applied to our relationships. It is sometimes so easy to notice the imperfections in each other (but also ourselves), but if these imperfections become our focus it shadows us seeing who people really are and missing out on the "greater things" than these.

The people who have motivated me the most in my life are the ones who look beyond my weaknesses, and see meas God sees me. So, that is my invitation you today -to look beyond the imperfections, and allow yourself to see the greater things which are available to those who do.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Saviour

A post for the weekend. You will need to mute the song playing on my blog (bottom right-hand column) before playing. Enjoy:

Friday, November 21, 2008



"And again, it shall come to pass that he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed.
"He who hath faith to see shall see.
"He who hath faith to hear shall hear.
"The lame who hath faith to leap shall leap.

All we need is faith.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Who we belong to

"..Those who have chosen to 'come unto Christ' soon realize that they do not 'own' themselves. Instead, they belong to Him. We are to become consecrated along with our gifts, our appointed days, and our very selves. Hence, there is a stark difference between stubbornly "owning" oneself and submissively belonging to God."

—Neal A. Maxwell
Ensign, November 1990

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Our True Source

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland on Relying on the Savior

"Jesus said, 'Without me ye can do nothing.' (John15:5). I testify that that is God's truth. Christ is everything to us and we are to 'abide' in Him permanently, unyieldingly, steadfastly, forever. For the fruit of the gospel to blossom and bless our lives, we must be firmly attached to Him, the Savior of us all, and to this His Church, which bears His holy name. He is the vine that is our true source of strength and the only source of eternal life. In Him we not only will endure but also will prevail and triumph in this holy cause that will never fail us." ( "Abide in Me," Ensign, May 2004, 32)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Positive Proofreading

This is an excerpt from a talk by Elder Oaks, called“Judge Not” and Judging (from the August 1999 Ensign) which I love:

“In a BYU devotional address, Professor Catherine Corman Parry gave a memorable scriptural illustration of the consequences of judging by the wrong standards.The scripture is familiar. Martha received Jesus into her house and worked to provide for Him while her sister Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His words.

“But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

“And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha,thou art careful and troubled about many things:“But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her”(Luke 10:40-42).

Professor Parry said: “The Lord acknowledges Martha’scare: ‘Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things’ (Luke 10:41). Then he delivers the gentle but clear rebuke. But the rebuke would not have come had Martha not prompted it. The Lord did not go into the kitchen and tell Martha to stop cooking and come listen. Apparently he was content to let her serve him however she cared to, until she judged another person’s service: ‘Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me’ (Luke 10:40). Martha’s self-importance, expressed through her judgment of her sister, occasioned the Lord’s rebuke, not her busyness with the meal” (“ ‘Simon, I Have Somewhat to Say unto Thee’: Judgment and Condemnation in the Parables of Jesus,” in Brigham Young University 1990-91 Devotional and Fireside Speeches [1991], 116).

The great essayist William George Jordan wrote: “There is but one quality necessary for the perfect understanding of character, one quality that, if man have it, he may dare to judge—that is, omniscience.Most people study character as a proofreader pores over a great poem: his ears are dulled to the majesty and music of the lines, his eyes are darkened to the magic imagination of the genius of the author; that proofreader is busy watching for an inverted comma, a misspacing, or a wrong font letter. He has an eye trained for the imperfections, the weaknesses. …

“We do not need to judge nearly so much as we think we do. This is the age of snap judgments. … [We need] the courage to say, ‘I don’t know. I am waiting further evidence. I must hear both sides of the question.’ It is this suspended judgment that is the supreme form of charity(“The Supreme Charity of the World,” The Kingship of Self-Control [n.d.], 27-30; emphasis in original).”

I hope that we will be proofreaders of the positive qualities and attributes of others (and ourselves!) today.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Magnifying Glass Goals

"When we set goals, we are in command. Clearly understood goals bring our lives into focus just as a magnifying glass focuses a beam of light into a burning point. Without goals, our efforts may be scattered and unproductive."

—Ezra Taft Benson-

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Barefoot to the Celestial Kingdom

"I would rather walk barefoot all the way to the Celestial Kingdom than to let the things of this world keep me out of that kingdom."

—N. Eldon Tanner-

Friday, November 14, 2008


I thought more about this scripiture today:

"And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do."
(1 Nephi 4:6)

Often we read this familiar scripture and stop there -what caught my attention today was the next few words of the verse which follows:"Nevertheless I went forth,....." (v.7)

I love Nephi's example of faith in action - he didn't wait to be instructed or to receive knowledge, but 'went forth' knowing the Lord would guide him. He is much like his father Lehi, who didn't just pray in behalf of his people, but went amongst them and prayed as he did (1 Nephi 1:5).

It reminds me of the quote which says: "Some people pray cream and live skimmed milk"

I hope that the energies with which we live the gospel and exercise faith will be equal to the energies with which we pray to our Father in Heaven.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Setting Ourselves Free

I love this little bit from the article by Elder Holland in March 2005's Ensign on Elder Uchtdorf:

"Elder Uchtdorf’s son, Guido, remembers a German phrase his father often used when there was a problem or a difficulty in their lives. “Man könnte sichdarüber ärgern, aber man ist nicht verpflichtet dazu,”he would say, which roughly translated means, “You could be upset about it, but you are not obligated to be.” Dieter Uchtdorf feels that with agency and self-control, with the gospel of Jesus Christ and power in the priesthood, no one has to be victimized by circumstance. Terrible things can happen—and they have happened in his life—but with our hand in the hand of God, we can still chart a course that will set us free, that will eventually bring triumph. It requires courage, patience, optimism, and faith in God, but things can come out right if we stay with the task and stay in control."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Making the Most of it

2 Nephi 5:16:
“And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were not to be found upon the land, wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon's temple. But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine.”

I read this scripture a couple of days ago, and loved how resourceful Nephi was. Coming closer to Christ and worshipping the Lord was important to Nephi, and although he didn’t have the resources available to him that Solomon had, he made the best of the things he DID have, and made it holy. Sometimes in our own lives as well we may want to wait for everything to be perfect, or covet someone else’s gifts or talents, thinking that we can’t do what they have done as we don’t have those same abilities - but that’s a sad error, as the life we build, to be a happy one, is made holy when we use whatever God has blessed us with, and then look to Him to make up the rest ~ and do you know what, when we put our trust in Him, He always does:)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why Not Now?

Mosiah 27:31:
“Yea, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him. Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God;”

Neal A. Maxwell:
“And, if you sense that one day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord, why not do so now? For in the coming of that collective confession, it will mean much less to kneel down when it is no longer possible to stand up!”
(“Why Not Now?” Ensign, Nov. 1974)

I want to do so now - what a privilege that we can.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Cosmic Fact!

"Isn't it marvelous, brothers and sisters, that God, who knows everything, still spends time listening to our prayers? Compared to that cosmic fact, what does the world really have to offer us? One round of applause, one fleeting moment of adulation, or an approving glance from a phantom Caesar? May God bless us to see things as they really are and as they really will be."

(Neal A. Maxwell, "The Tugs and Pulls of the World,"Ensign, Nov. 2000, 37)

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Here's todays.....

These verses give an important message to us all:
“And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way,a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
“And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
“And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said,Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
“Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead:but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
“And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
(Luke 9:57 - 62)

Are we like these men - do we say, 'Lord, I will follow thee'? These men all said that, but when the time came for them to do it, in effect they said ‘But,let me just do this first, and then I’m all yours’.

Sometimes we may feel that living that gospel, really living the gospel, isn't convenient for us. We can have that attitude towards, home/visiting teaching & sharing acts of kindness - we can put it off. Sometimes it’s our scripture study, prayers or temple attendance. Sometimes it’s with overcoming our weaknesses and developing our true character.

Elder Russell M. Nelson said: "Our busy lives force us to focus on things we do from day to day. But the development of character comes only as we focus on who we really are. To establish and accomplish those greater goals, we do need heavenly help."
("Getting Where You Want to Go," New Era, May 2003)

Life is busy, and will ever be so. We need heavenly help, we need our Saviour. He will help us to focus on who we really are and accomplish the goals which are of real worth, but we must be focused on Him first. He knows us and loves us perfectly.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Seek Faith, Dispel Doubt

The Saviours disciples were on a boat one night and they saw a man walking across the water to them. The Saviour told them, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.”
“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
“And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
“But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
“And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith,wherefore didst thou doubt?
(Matthew 14:27 - 31)

Like Peter, we desire to come closer to the Saviour, and the Saviour always says "Come". Often when we make the initial decision to make a concerted effort to come closer to Him we step out with all confidence in our actions and direction. More often than not the sea we cross to reach Him isn’t calm, usually, as Peter found, it is ‘boisterous’. The movement of the waves shook Peter’s faith, and He cried out for the Lord to save him. I think that is beautiful. And how long did it take the Saviour to save him? It says,‘immediately’ he stretched forth His hand, and caught him. The Saviour taught him that despite the external forces around him, that faith can overcome all obstacles in our journey to Him.

We will all have times when the vastness and immensity of what we are to cross seems greater than us, at those times when we reach for the Saviour He will reach for us, but He will also teach us that we don’t need to doubt, only increase in faith.

President Thomas S. Monson shared this:
"President Stephen L Richards, who was a counselor in the First Presidency many years ago, was a profound thinker. He said, 'Faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other.' My advice is to seek faith and dispel doubt."
(Thomas S Monson, "Pathways to Perfection," Ensign,May 2002, 99)

Seek faith, dispel doubt.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Let the Sunshine in!

"You're going to have some dark moments. We all do. But when they come, I hope you will remember to let the sunshine into your life. Don't be hard on yourself, and don't let other people be hard on you either. Give yourself credit for the good things you do. If you make a mistake, give yourself credit for trying. Laugh a lot. Catch yourself singing. Whistle or hum as you go about your duties. If you do only half of what you wanted to do, or do it only half as well as you would have liked, pat yourself on half your back. But lighten up! Be lighthearted enough that you can float above the dark clouds and see the rainbows in your life. The gospel brings a whole rainbow of light into our lives".

(Chieko N Okazaki - 'Lighten Up!')

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Purposeful Decisions

"It must not be expected that the road of life spreads itself in an unobstructed view before [you]... You must anticipate coming upon forks in the road. But you cannot hope to reach your desired journey’s end if you think aimlessly about whether to go east or west. You must make your decisions purposefully."

President Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, May 1999

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Leaning into Trust

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding".
“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths". (Proverbs 3:5-6)

This scripture was mentioned at least a couple of times during General Conference April 2005. I have always loved it, but have always abbreviated it in my mind to: 'Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; ….and he shall direct thy paths.'

Two other parts really struck me this time though, and have stuck with me since. I thought about the word ‘lean’, and what we lean on. It seems the Lord is saying to us: “give your heart to me, don’t solely rely on your own thoughts/opinions”. Sometimes we can work things out in our minds, trying to see what makes sense or what is logical, and ‘lean’ on that. The image that I had in my mind was that of walking down a path, and along this path we have to make decisions,we come to some ‘forks’. I then thought, “well how can we progress if we are leaning on something?” - I imagined leaning against a wall, and therefore halting my progress, as your feet are no longer moving. I’ve seen that in my own life, times where relying on my own understanding and trying to work things out in my mind has stopped me being directed, because I have closed my heart to divine guidance.

I remember when my best friend had asked me to pray about going on a mission – I remember thinking “are you crazy, what would I want to do that for?” – but I prayed because I loved her. For 3 months or so, my prayers sounded something like this: “Heavenly Father, do I have to go on a mission? Amen”. My heart definitely wasn’t open, whilst my mind definitely thought of all the fun I could have at home, the thought of talking to strangers (or anyone!) about the gospel was just so scary, and I really couldn’t imagine contributing to the building of the kingdom in that way. I don’t remember what happened, but one day I remember thinking, “Sarah, sort yourself out! Pray and have faith, and Heavenly Father will do the rest”. So that night and prayed and said, “Heavenly Father, I will go if Thou wants me to, and I know that Thou wilt change my heart so that I will be excited to go, I just want to know Thy will for me.”. Well, that night I had a dream and woke up, with the first words being “I’m going on my mission”, and as I heard myself say these words my heart changed in an instant, and I was filled with a great desire to serve in this way –which I will always be grateful for.

The Lord says: “And I will give them one heart, and Will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:”
“That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people,and I will be their God.”(Ezekiel 11:19 - 20)

The Lord can and does change hearts. Progress happens when we take leaps of faith, trusting the Lord, even at the expense of what we sometimes think is wisdom, knowing that the Lord desires our happiness, and will change our hearts so that the journey will bring joy to us.

I find that so exciting. I hope your day is happy, and once again, thanks for listening to one my rambles:)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Temple Attendance

The revelation to build the Kirtland temple was given in December of 1832. In June of the following year, just six months later, the Lord said, “For ye have sinned against me a very grievous sin,in that ye have not considered the great commandment in all things, that I have given unto you concerning the building of mine house . . .” (D&C 95:3)

Think about the implications of this rebuke. If you wait six months to start this house, it will take six months longer to finish. Clearly, six additional months without the blessings of a temple would be costly to the people – and their delay in preparing for these blessings was a 'grievous sin.' Think about the longest time you have gone without a visit to the temple when there was a temple available. How many blessings have we missed because of our delays in seeking the blessings that come from being in the Lord’s House?

The Lord is just so eager to bless us:)

Monday, November 3, 2008

More Than These

After the Saviours resurrection he appeared to Simon Peter whilst he was fishing. They then dined together:

'So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.' (John 21:15)

I’ve thought about the phrase 'more than these'. The Saviour here was referring to the fish, asking maybe “do you love me more than fishing?”, I wonder what 'these' things would be for you and I?

Maybe the Saviour says to us, “do you love me more than………your job, the TV programme you’re watching, your studies, the clothes you wear, your money, your friends, your bed” (which is hard to get out of sometimes:), really there is a never-ending list of things which could be 'these'.

After Simon Peter had responded that he does love the Saviour, the response from Him, in effect, was “prove it” [Feed my Lambs]. If we do really love the Saviour, we’ll turn off the TV and go and do our Visiting & Home Teaching, we’ll get out of bed and read our scriptures, we’ll wear clothes that are modest and clean, we’ll help those in need, we’ll share the gospel, we’ll 'feed his sheep'.

I hope that our love for the Saviour is easy to detect.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fasting Blessings

A Fast Sunday scripture. As you read it, particularly look out for the blessings the Lord promises us as we fast with real intent:

“6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.
9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones:and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not”.(Isaiah 58:6 - 11)

We have access to all of these…. Heavenly Father loves us all so much.

I hope that this Fast Sunday that the Lord will answer your prayers.
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