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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Successful Marriages

B y Spencer W Kimball: Successful Marriages Are Built on Selflessness

"Total unselfishness is sure to accomplish another factor in successful marriage. If one is forever seeking the interests, comforts, and happiness of the other, the love found in courtship and cemented in marriage will grow into mighty proportions. Many couples permit their marriages to become stale and their love to grow cold like old bread or worn-out jokes or cold gravy. Certainly the foods most vital for love are consideration, kindness, thoughtfulness, concern, expressions of affection, embraces of appreciation, admiration, pride, companionship,confidence, faith, partnership, equality, and interdependence."

(President Spencer W. Kimball, "Oneness in Marriage,"Ensign, Mar. 1977, 5)

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I just feel so grateful to be a member of the Church and to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ laid before me. When I think about all those qualities, most are ones which I hope to have and definitely all are ones I need to increase in, but I know that through the Saviour and His love, that I can become the daughter of God He knows I can be, and that His grace will be sufficient for me. It’s so wonderful that we can change and develop everyday don’t you think? Everyday is a brand new day:)

I hope you have such a lovely day today.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Life's Formula

President Thomas S. Monson:
"May I leave with you today a simple yet far-reaching formula to guide you in the choices of life:

Fill your minds with truth.
Fill your hearts with love.
Fill your lives with service.
By doing so, may we one day hear the plaudit from our Lord and Savior, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord' (Matthew 25:23)."
("Choose You This Day," Ensign, Nov. 2004, 70)
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Literature, TV and Radio

"Of making many books there is no end" (Ecclesiastes12:12).

Ezra Taft Benson: "Today, with the abundance of books available, it is the mark of a truly educated man to know what not to read. Feed only on the best. As John Wesley's mother counseled him: "Avoid whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, takes off your relish for spiritual things, . . . increases the authority of the body over the mind."

The fact that a book is old does not necessarily make it of value. The fact that an author wrote one good work does not necessarily mean that all his books are worthy of your time. Do not make your mind a dumping ground for other people's garbage. It is harder to purge the mind of rotten reading than to purge the body of rotten food, and it is more damaging to the soul.

Most novels and pulp magazines are filled with a lot of rubbish, and most TV and a lot of radio programs are a waste of time, if not corruptors of morals or distorters of truth. The less newspapers have to say of value and of truth, the more pages they seem to take to say it. Usually a few minutes is more than sufficient to read a paper. One must select wisely source of news; otherwise it would be better to be uninformed than misinformed. The subscribers of some mass magazines and newspapers are ever reading but seldom able to come to a knowledge of the truth in the areas of most vital concern.
(‘In His Steps’, BYU Speeches 4 March 1979)
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Melting the Frost

The Church News had a nice quote from former Pres. Faust:

"I have now lived long enough to know that, whatever our situation, our troubles melt and disappear like frost in the morning sun when we dwell upon our blessings rather than our disappointments. No matter how pessimistic one's view may become of the times and the seasons, we can always fall back on special friendship, on faithful, personal love, and on simple, true dealings in our own personal lives"
("Married or Single: Look beyond Yourself," Ensign, March 1980).
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Monday, January 26, 2009

On a Side Note - Lundons Bridge

This is quite an inspirational idea so I thought I would share it with you.

Lundon’s Bridge and the Three Keys is a modern day fantasy adventure for the whole family. Ancient sea-magic turns a dolphin into a human, an evil spell changes a teenage boy into a dragonfly and a once good and loving jellyfish queen becomes an evil fairy godmother. This story, filled with adventure after adventure uses family love and the magic of belief as weapons to fight a war between the land and the sea.

WHY? - Nationwide, Schools Desperately Need Funds! Across the nation, schools are experiencing major budget cuts. Teachers and parents are subsidizing supplies, from paper to textbooks and programs.

HOW? - Lundon's Bridge Project"Booking Millions For Schools"50% of all gross book sales go directly to your school; sales of other promotional items from this book will also be shared!

WHEN?
- March 17, 2009-10:00 AM Eastern Start. Let's set a World Record - most money donated to America's schools in ONE day! This amazing school money making event will continue for 24 hours!

WHERE? - Your Local School or on the Internet. Go to Lundonsbridge.com. Download an order form. Take it to your school and place your order before March 17 (to join the World Record Program) or place your order on-line now (buy now).

WHO? - We All Work Together. All individuals, businesses, etc. including: students, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, friends, anyone wanting to make a difference.
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Choosing Happiness

"For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.”
(2 Nephi 5:27)
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Saturday, January 24, 2009

What You Think

"It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about."
Dale Carnegie
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:…”
(Proverbs 23:7)
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Friday, January 23, 2009

Exposure = Influence

A week ago I was reading in Alma 1 and came to a verse which caused me to ponder a lot. It's at the time when Nehor, the Antichrist, had been preaching. Many believed his words and fell away from the church. In v.5 it gives the reason why people believed him:
"....he did teach these things SO MUCH that many people did believe on his words".

In this case exposure = influence.

A couple of days later I was in Alma 3. Alma is teaching about the reason why the Lord God put 'a mark' upon the Lamanites for the sake of the Nephites:
"that they might not MIX and believe in incorrect traditions which would prove their destruction" (v8)
"....whosoever did MINGLE his seed with that of the Lamanites did bring the same curse upon his seed".(v9)

I thought back to the scripture I had read in Alma 1,about how exposure = influence, and began to see these verses in the same light.

There are many different areas which Satan would like us to 'mix' and 'mingle' with more. We may try to justify watching a film which has, we say, a poignant message at the expense of profanity. We may listen to music whose melody is beautiful, but lyrics vulgar. We may also listen to gossip, whilst saying that it is alright as long as we don't spread it, the list could easily go on and on.

Whilst the marks that are put on us are no longer physical, as with the Lamanites, when we sin we do become spiritually marked. Our countenance is darkened, our sensitivity to the enticings of the Spirit decreases until we become spiritually numb. We are only kidding ourselves if we think that we can do something, or be around something, 'so much' that it does not influence us.

Thankfully the Lord knows this and has given us plain criteria about what we should 'expose' ourselves to:
"Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things". (Phil 4:8).

I hope that we will continue to expose ourselves to things which will help us to love the Saviour more, and to serve Him, that through His mercy we can become clean.
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hatching

I really liked this quote from a talk called "That Summer House in Babylon" by Sharon G Larsen at the 1999 BYU Womens Conference:

"According to the great Christian theologian C.S.Lewis, Christ says, "Give me all. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you.... Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked - the whole outfit. I will give you a new self". Lewis goes on,"The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self - all your wishes and precautions - to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do is remain what we call 'ourselves', to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life,....to let our mind and heart go their own way - centred on money or pleasure or ambition - and hoping, inspite of this, to behave honestly and chastely and humbly. And that is exactly what Christ warned us you could not do.... When he said, 'Be perfect,' He meant it. He meant that we must go in for the full treatment. It is hard; but the sort of compromise we are all hankering after is harder - in fact it is impossible." And Lewis explains why it's impossible: "It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like birds at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary decent egg. We must be hatched, or go bad".

I hope your hatching goes well today!
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Spiritual Roots for a Spiritual Tree

I was just looking over Jacob 5 and was reminded of some things. In the Allegory of the Olive Tree we read:

"And we will nourish again the trees of the vineyard, and we will trim up the branches thereof; and we will pluck from the trees those branches which are ripened,that must perish, and cast them into the fire."And this I do that, perhaps, the roots thereof may take strength because of their goodness; and because of the change of the branches, that the good may overcome the evil."(Jacob 5: 58-59)

The Lord desires our happiness and in this situation there were some branches of the trees which needed to be trimmed as they had become bad, this was done to enable the roots to continue in goodness, and for it to take strength. I thought how this is similar to our lives, that sometimes the Lord sees things about our character that are becoming 'ripened', and that threaten our spiritual roots. Our spiritual tree can't survive whilst branches like pride, greed, lust, impatience, arrogance, negativity and the other gazillion things exist that drive away the Spirit of the Lord. Our strength lies in our roots, and the only real strength comes when Christ is our root. Through His goodness we can change, and we can find peace.

I am so thankful to know that I have a Saviour who cares about the life I am leading, and also cares enough not to allow me to continue in error without His intervention, I also LOVE the fact that I can make Him happy when when I freely choose to do right.

I hope no matter where you are today in this beautiful world, that you will be able to find an increase in happiness.
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Kindness

How profoundly the Prophet Joseph Smith spoke when he expressed the yearnings of the human heart:

“When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what power it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind”
(History of the Church, 5:24)

I have nothing else to add to that:)
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Enjoying the Ride!

Just for Shan!

A favorite President Hinckley quote:

“Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration; most jobs are more dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time railway journey… delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.”
—Gordon B. Hinckley, quoting Jenkin Lloyd Jones-
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Acorns of Love

"Remembering that God does not measure time by man's calendar, that he is not in a hurry, we'll abide his time with assurance that eventually right will prevail. We'll plant acorns of love and watch the slow-growing oaks until time shall prove again that the law of the harvest is inexorable."
—Hugh B. Brown, Eternal Quest

I love this quote because it provides so much reassurance that nothing positive, or God-given, is wasted, everything is gathered, and everything is harvested, we just need to keep planting, especially those 'acorns of love'.
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Monday, January 19, 2009

Self Esteem

"We receive mixed messages today that self- love and a sense of self- worth are forms of selfishness and conceit. However, I know from my own experience that when I don't fully accept myself and all of my warts, blemishes, and imperfections, I am crippled in my charity toward God and my neighbors. Let me encourage you not to feel guilty as you aspire to appropriate self-love, which comes in part by honest self-knowledge and acceptance."

—Jeffrey R. Holland, On Earth As It Is in Heaven
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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Refined Beauty

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:”
“But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
(1 Peter 4:12 - 13)

Bishop H Burke Peterson:
“Just for a moment, think with me. Forget the trials you now have. Remember back to those trials you had last year, five years ago, ten years ago. What did you gain? What did you learn? Are you better prepared now because of them?
It's interesting to note that from the depths of trial and despair have come some of the most beautiful and classic passages of modern-day scripture-not from the ease of a comfortable circumstance. Might this also be the case in our own lives! From trial comes refined beauty.”

I hope so too:)
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Friday, January 16, 2009

Scripture Reading

"We don't need to be natural students to read the scriptures; we just need to love the Lord and desire to believe on his word."

—Joseph B. Wirthlin, Finding Peace in Our Lives
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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Preparation of a Stripling Warrior

"The true preparation of a stripling warrior begins when a child is nestled in the arm of his or her mother, being nurtured physically and spiritually. Mothers of stripling warriors sense... the eternal significance of every physical and spiritual experience that molds, shapes, refines, and prepares the body and the spirit of a child."

(Ardeth Greene Kapp, What Latter-day Stripling Warriors Learn from Their Mothers)
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Only Safety for our Children

President Marion G. Romney said:

"The only safety we have in the world for our children is what they build within themselves. We can make restrictions against drinking and smoking, and we can make regulations to guide the affairs of people. We can throw all the protections possible around them, but after all, the thing that holds them in the final test is what is inside of them"

(quoted by F. Burton Howard in MarionG. Romney: His Life and Faith [1988], 153).

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What Prayer Requires

"Prayer is more than words; it requires faith, effort, and a proper attitude".
Elder Marion G Hanks
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Monday, January 12, 2009

Your Words and Smiles

"You don’t have the power to make rainbows or waterfalls, sunsets or roses, but you do have the power to bless people by your words and smiles... You carry within you the power to make the world better..."
—Sharon G. Larsen, Ensign, May 2000-
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

"'Now and then' isn't enough"

I haven't always loved visiting teaching, but I really have a testimony of it. I don't love it 10 minutes before I leave, but when I'm there I do, and coming home I really do feel a bit lighter -I wish that translated to my physical, and not just spiritual self though:)

It has always been a good way for me to put others first, to remind me of what is important and I really have gained some great friends I otherwise would not have had. My secret to visiting / home teaching - MAKE AN APPOINTMENT. If you don't it is so easy for the month to creep away with things which, lets be honest, you would rather do - but once you make an appointment it's hard to back out.

The following quote is from a talk by Elder Eyring, about home teaching, and also applies well to visiting teaching.

Elder Eyring said:

“It shouldn’t surprise us….. that the Lord has said to you and me, “Watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them” (D&C 20:53). God loves us, and he intends for us to become like him. He doesn’t ask us now to worry about all his children in all the world, as he does. Instead, he begins with a call to watch over just a few families, just a few people. But he knows that to visit thirty minutes every month with the same lesson for every family would never produce the progress he wants for us.

And so he commands, “Watch over [them] always, and be with and strengthen them. “ You can’t be with them twenty-four hours a day. That would be “always”, wouldn’t it? But they can be in your hearts always. If you’ll think about the families you visit, those of you who are blessed to be called [visiting] teachers, you know the help they need is beyond your casual effort.

“I knew in my heart that effort “now and then” wasn’t enough, that “going out home teaching” or even “giving a good lesson wouldn’t do it. God called us to watch over and help people in all their struggles for physical and spiritual well-being. He called us to help by the Spirit. He called us to teach by the Spirit. He called us to live what we teach. He called us to bear testimony. He called us to love them.

“Now, he didn’t make it hard just to test you. He gave you a high calling because he loves you. He wants you home again, and to get there you have to become like him. So he gives you a calling that can only be done with persistence and endurance”.
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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Gifts to the Ten

This is one of my favourite quotes on charity and service.

"Suppose that in this community there are ten beggars who beg from door to door for something to eat, and that nine of them are impostors who beg to escape work, and with an evil heart practice imposition upon the generous and sympathetic, and that only one of the ten who visit your doors is worthy of your bounty; which is best, to give food to the ten, to make sure of helping the truly needy one, or to repulse the ten because you do not know which is the worthy one? You will all say, Administer charitable gifts to the ten, rather than turn away the only truly worthy and truly needy person among them. If you do this, it will make no difference in your blessings, whether you administer to worthy or unworthy persons, inasmuch as you give alms with a single eye to assist the truly needy."
(Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol.8, p.12, March 5, 1860)
It is not for us to decide who is deserving, it is only for us to follow our Saviour and "Go and do thou likewise".
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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Come to the Temple

"Come to the temple to learn. The temple is a great school. It is a house of learning. In the temples the atmosphere is maintained so that it is ideal for instruction on matters that are deeply spiritual."

—Boyd K. Packer, Holy Temple-
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Monday, January 5, 2009

A Brighter Hope

"The Lord wants us to be filled with hope—not just because it points us to a brighter tomorrow, but because it changes the quality of our lives today. We can endure all things when our hope is centered in one who will never fail us—our Savior, Jesus Christ, who is the light of the world."

Dwan J. Young, Ensign, Nov. 1986
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Friday, January 2, 2009

The Hearts Longing

"The gospel of Jesus Christ answers the heart's longing for fulness. The Father of our spirits knows where we belong— where our core being can say, "I was made for this." To that end, God would have us fulfill our deepest eternal yearnings and know the meaning of our very existence."

—Bruce C. Hafen, Marie K. Hafen, Belonging Heart
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Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Promise from a Prophet

I'm sure you remember this invitation being given and the change it made to you and those around you. What a great time to re-commit to reading the Book of Mormon with that same excitement -or to continue reading it:)

"Without reservation I promise you that if each of you, will observe this simple program, regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.”

(President Hinckley, Ensign, August 2005)
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