Friday, June 25, 2010
"Certainly clumsy, embarrassing, unprincipled, and mean spirited things do occur in our interactions with other people that would allow us to take offense. However, it ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me. Indeed, believing that another person offended us is fundamentally false. To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else."
Thursday, June 24, 2010
"As we consider various choices, we should remember that it is not enough that something is good. Other choices are better, and still others are best. Even though a particular choice is more costly, its far greater value may make it the best choice of all.
"Consider how we use our time in the choices we make in viewing television, playing video games, surfing the Internet, or reading books or magazines. Of course it is good to view wholesome entertainment or to obtain interesting information. But not everything of that sort is worth the portion of our life we give to obtain it. Some things are better, and others are best. When the Lord told us to seek learning, He said, 'Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom' (D&C 88:118)."
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
(regional conference, priesthood leadership meeting, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, 14 Feb. 1998)
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
"At that point the days of turmoil began. What could I say about Dad? We hadn’t been close for as long as I could remember. Things had been especially strained during my teen years when, upon seeing the world in “black and white,” I fancied myself a female Nephi clutching the iron rod while Dad lurked somewhere across the way, in the shadowy depths of the great and spacious building. He was the dad with the year’s supply of brew; the dad who told home teachers and bishops and well-meaning relatives to leave him alone; the dad who cursed and came home late or not at all.
But he was also the dad who went to the daddy-daughter dinner; the one who attended the first (and last) spelling bee I was in; the father who perused every school text to make sure I was getting an adequate education; the man who fed a stranger, even one who’d tried to steal from him.
During the next few days, I thought a lot about the word honor. In every scripture I checked concerning the commandment to honor fathers and mothers, honor was used as a verb—a word expressing an act. One scripture I found especially meaningful was in Ephesians:
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
“Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with a promise;)
“That it may be well with thee.” (Eph. 6:1–3.) The issue at hand was not my father’s honor; it was how I honored my father. I was left with the nagging feeling that although I had certainly done my share of judging, I had done little honoring, little loving.
The prophets have said that our greatest tests often take place within our own homes. How we behave toward one another as children, parents, spouses, brothers, sisters, and roommates under the stress of everyday life is the real indicator of our Christianity. And although the gospel of Jesus Christ encompasses the highest ideals and standards, we must never forget its underlying principle—love. And that is what honoring implies—loving. Not judging, not resenting, but loving in its highest form.
Many of us know the sorrow of seeing loved ones choose a road in life other than the gospel path. We pray for them and rejoice when they come back to embrace correct principles, but we must also accept the possibility that some never will in this life. I do not know which path my father will ultimately choose, but I do know that my honoring him is not conditioned upon that choice.
Just as I remember the principle of repentance by thinking of four R’s, I think of the principle of honor as having four R’s. These include:
1. Recognize and accept. He is my father (my brother, sister, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, friend), a child of God, a combination of good and bad just as I am. Above all, he is an individual with agency.
2. Regard with respect. I needn’t deny reality, but I should never fail to appreciate the positive, to focus on the good. Through my father I received my earthly body. He provided for me physically, loved me in his way, and offered me a worthy lineage.
3. Revere and esteem. I should reconcile my negative feelings through humility, prayer, and counseling, if necessary, until I can truly revere and esteem. It’s amazing how relationships change when I respond to a person with my best self.
4. Reward by offering unconditional love. There are still many differences between my father and me; but, as I have tried to honor him, I’ve been greatly blessed with an appreciation for him, his life, his feelings, and his gifts to me. My new attitudes have resulted in a love that spans our differences, a bonding of generations, a bridge over the canyons that have divided us in the past."
(Kelly Clark Hinton, “I Just Don’t Have That Kind of Dad,” Ensign, Jun 1988, 51)
It seems to me that no matter how bad or painful our relationship with a parent is, or was, that blessings will come to us as we really look for ways to honour them and keep this important commandment, it's one of the Big Ten after all, and as the author reminded us, it's the first one that comes with a promise.
So a happy Fathers Day to you all tomorrow, may you be surrounded by love, and lots of it!
Friday, June 18, 2010
"Dr. Sidney Simon, a recognized authority on values realization, has provided an excellent definition of forgiveness as it applies to human relationships:
“Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves.”
Most of us need time to work through pain and loss. We can find all manner of reasons for postponing forgiveness. One of these reasons is waiting for the wrongdoers to repent before we forgive them. Yet such a delay causes us to forfeit the peace and happiness that could be ours. The folly of rehashing long-past hurts does not bring happiness.
Some hold grudges for a lifetime, unaware that courageously forgiving those who have wronged us is wholesome and therapeutic."
Thursday, June 17, 2010
“The biggest misconception is that we are not followers of Jesus Christ. That is the constant allegation that is lodged against us. There is not a bit of substance to it. If there is any people in this world who believe in Jesus Christ it is the people of this Church. The Church carries His name. He is the central figure in all of our worship. That is a misconception that has been fostered and refostered and broadcast, but it is gradually breaking down. Things are changing; we are more accepted than we once were. I think this is the great era of goodwill in terms of the Church”.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
“The Church will ask you to do many things. It will ask you to serve in various capacities. We do not have a professional ministry. You become the ministry of this Church, and whenever you are called upon to serve may I urge you to respond, and as you do so your faith will strengthen and increase. Faith is like the muscle of my arm. If I use it, if I nurture it, it grows strong; it will do many things. But if I put it in a sling and do nothing with it, it will grow weak and useless, and so will it be with you. If you accept every opportunity, if you accept every calling, the Lord will make it possible for you to perform it. The Church will not ask you to do anything which you cannot do with the help of the Lord. God bless you to do everything that you are called upon to do”.
(meeting, Praia, São Tiago, Cape Verde, 22 Feb. 1998)
Saturday, June 12, 2010
“No,” I would say to you, “put all of that in the back of your minds and bring forward to the front of your mind the worthy goals that you want to obtain. Then practice personal self-discipline.”
Benjamin N. Woodson had some good things to say about self-discipline:
“For my part, I have concluded that the quality which sets one man apart from another—the factor which lifts one man to every achievement to which he reasonably aspires while the other is caught in the slough of mediocrity for all the years of his life—is not talent, nor formal education, nor luck, nor intellectual brilliance, but is rather the successful man’s greater capacity for self-discipline.”
Mr. Woodson offers a great suggestion:
“All you need to do is this: Beginning this very day, stop doing some one thing you know you should not do.” After you have written this one thing down, stop doing it!
Some of you will have the necessary self-discipline and courage to do this. Others of you will just sit here and say, “Oh boy.” You won’t pay any attention to it, and so a month from now you will still be dragging behind you the same habit that is holding you back from being your best self.
A few of you will stop doing that one thing today. Why? Because you are going to write it down and then you are going to discipline yourself in such a way that you are going to take a problem out of your life."
(M. Russell Ballard, “Go for It!,” New Era, Mar 2004, 4)
Friday, June 11, 2010
"What are your concerns in life at your age? Some of you have had questions on your minds about schooling, employment, marriage, and other general directions in life—about how to best fulfill the expectations of yourself as well as the expectations the Lord has for you.
If I were your age and thinking about life and its meaning, there is one characteristic that I would strive to develop. That characteristic is to have a positive attitude. I am a great believer that what you and I think about will ultimately come to pass. I believe if we think about committing a sin long enough, we will find ourselves entangled in that sin. I believe if we think about what it takes to be successful long enough and if we are willing to discipline ourselves to the principle of success, we will experience success. Yes, I am a great believer that “as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7).
I have learned that I really do have control to a great degree over my circumstances. If I don’t like them, I’ve found there are certain things I can do to change them. If I want to move to higher ground, if I want to have more positive experiences, I must think about life in positive terms, not dwell on the negative."
(M. Russell Ballard, “Go for It!,” New Era, Mar 2004, 4)
Thursday, June 10, 2010
We have each felt to some extent these spiritual arms around us. We have felt His forgiveness, His love and comfort. The Lord has said, “I am he [who] comforteth you.”
The Lord’s desire that we come unto Him and be wrapped in His arms is often an invitation to repent. “Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.”
When we sin, we turn away from God. When we repent, we turn back toward God.
The invitation to repent is rarely a voice of chastisement but rather a loving appeal to turn around and to “re-turn” toward God. It is the beckoning of a loving Father and His Only Begotten Son to be more than we are, to reach up to a higher way of life, to change, and to feel the happiness of keeping the commandments. Being disciples of Christ, we rejoice in the blessing of repenting and the joy of being forgiven. They become part of us, shaping the way we think and feel."
(Neil L. Andersen, “‘Repent … That I May Heal You’,” Liahona, Nov 2009, 40–43)
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
(from Family Pecan Trees: Planting a Legacy of Faith at Home)
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.”