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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Choose Happiness

“So many of us are always waiting to be happy… Don’t wait for the right job, the right house, the right salary, the right dress size. Be happy today. Be happy now.”

Joseph B. Wirthlin, Ensign, Dec 2000, 7

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Friday, January 29, 2010

The Great Commandment

Joseph B. Wirthlin: The Great Commandment

"Nothing you do makes much of a difference if you do not have charity. You can speak with tongues, have the gift of prophecy, understand all mysteries, and possess all knowledge; even if you have the faith to move mountains, without charity it won't profit you at all....

"Without charity—or the pure love of Christ—whatever else we accomplish matters little. With it, all else becomes vibrant and alive.

"When we inspire and teach others to fill their hearts with love, obedience flows from the inside out in voluntary acts of self-sacrifice and service"
(Ensign, Nov 2007, 28–31).
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Goals

"To reach a goal you have never before attained, you must do things you have never before done."
--Richard G. Scott, "Finding the Way Back," Ensign, May 1990, 74
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Commit This To Memory!


“Everything works out in the end. If it hasn't worked out, it's not the end."


(then just keep repeating it, until you believe it:)
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Monday, January 25, 2010

Promises & Timing

I was talking with a friend the other week about God’s promises, and why some promises aren’t immediate.

You’ll remember Abraham’s promise that his seed would be as the sands of the earth, yet Sarah was not able to conceive for many many years. Then when they had Isaac he was told to sacrifice him – surely these things made him question how his promise would be fulfilled.

Then we have the example of Moses who was told that he would take the children of Israel from bondage to the promised land that took well over 40 years to be fulfilled.

There are many other examples throughout the scriptures or in church history, and I am sure in your own life too. This scripture came to mind as we talked:
“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: …. the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth,….” (1 Peter 1:6 – 7)

Sometimes in the middle of the “rejoicing” sandwich there is heaviness for a season. So many blessings come from feeling heavy at times – we realize a deeper need to be closer to the Saviour; our level of gratitude when the promises is fulfilled is that much more; we have increased empathy and love for others who may struggle; we develop patience and learn how to really pray; we can feel more motivated to live the gospel in word and deed, we daily seek for joy where joy can be found; we gain that all precious eternal perspective about life; and so many more. One day we will look back and realize how precious the experience was, and thank God for it.

“For he will fulfil all his promises which he shall make unto you, for he has fulfilled his promises which he has made unto our fathers.” (Alma 37:17)

I hope you have a lovely day.

(re-posted from Oct. 2008)
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Comforter


2 Nephi 8:12
"I am he; yea, I am he that comforteth you...."
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Who Am I To Judge Another?


Who am I to judge another
When I walk imperfectly?
In the quiet heart is hidden
Sorrow that the eye can’t see.
Who am I to judge another?
Lord, I would follow thee.

(“Lord, I Would Follow Thee,” Hymns, no. 220)
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Love

"Our joy now and forever is inextricably tied to our capacity to love."
John H. Groberg - 2004 Oct. Gen. Conf
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Whirlwinds

"What to do when adversity strikes? There is only one thing to do. Stand steady and see it through. Stay steadfast, constant, and true. The real tragedy in the whirlwinds of life comes only when we allow them to blow us off our true course."

David S. Baxter - Oct. Gen. Conf 2006
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Monday, January 18, 2010

No Cussing Club

I just found this article and video on www.youth.lds.org that was really inspiring. It shows how far a little courage and example will go. You can check the video out here too, definitely worth watching, I dare you not to be inspired:)

https://beta.lds.org/youth/from-every-nation/article/no-cussing-club?locale=eng

Article:

When McKay Hatch of Pasadena, California, and his friends started middle school at age 12, he was bothered by the increase in bad language. “I think what bothered me most,” says McKay, “was that they were using it every other word. It wasn’t just that they used a cuss word when they stubbed their toe. It was becoming part of their everyday language.”

McKay got up his nerve, spoke to his friends, and basically said that if they wanted to continue hanging out with him, they had to quit using bad language. He wondered if he would lose all his friends, but they stuck with him and cleaned up their language. McKay came up with the idea of starting a club—a No Cussing Club.

The first club meeting was held June 1, 2007, at the end of the school year. “A lot of people came,” says McKay. “I was surprised. We talked about what our goals were going to be and what we could do.” Since that simple beginning, McKay reports having members or branches of the club in all 50 states and in 35 countries. They now have T-shirts, wristbands, and a Web site.

The club wanted to have a cuss-free week in their city. McKay wrote to the city council, who agreed, and last year, March 3–7 was declared Cuss-Free Week. In March 2009, the county of Los Angeles, home to over 10 million people, is also going have a Cuss-Free Week, with McKay receiving the proclamation.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. At first, McKay almost quit because of negative response. Sometimes people would yell bad words at him. Or they would accuse him of trying to take away their freedom of speech. McKay points out that he isn’t making them do anything. He asks them to challenge themselves to improve. “I’m just trying to bring awareness about people’s language.”

McKay is often asked to talk at elementary schools. He tells the younger kids that their words become their thoughts, their thoughts become their actions, their actions become their character, and their character becomes their destiny. “I tell them it all starts with your words.”

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Because You Loved Me

When Celine Dion first released this song in 1996 a sister played it in Relief Society, and said how the lyrics reminded her of the Savior and His role in her life. Ever since then I've had the same thought when I listen to the lyrics. See what you think:

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Friday, January 15, 2010

What Happens When You Don't Get An Answer?

"Some misunderstandings about prayer can be clarified by realizing that the scriptures define principles for effective prayer, but they do not assure when a response will be given. Actually, He will reply in one of three ways. First, you can feel the peace, comfort, and assurance that confirm that your decision is right. Or second, you can sense that unsettled feeling, the stupor of thought, indicating that your choice is wrong. Or third—and this is the difficult one—you can feel no response.

What do you do when you have prepared carefully, have prayed fervently, waited a reasonable time for a response, and still do not feel an answer? You may want to express thanks when that occurs, for it is an evidence of His trust. When you are living worthily and your choice is consistent with the Savior’s teachings and you need to act, proceed with trust. As you are sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit, one of two things will certainly occur at the appropriate time: either the stupor of thought will come, indicating an improper choice, or the peace or the burning in the bosom will be felt, confirming that your choice was correct. When you are living righteously and are acting with trust, God will not let you proceed too far without a warning impression if you have made the wrong decision."

Richard G. Scott, “Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer,” Ensign, May 2007, 8–11

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Come To Know Who They Really Are

"It is not sufficient to have a vague understanding of truth or the reality of the Father and His Son, our Savior. Each of us must come to know who They really are. You must feel how very much They love you. You must trust that as you consistently live the truth the best you can, They will help you realize the purpose of your earth life and strengthen you to qualify for the blessings promised. To be obedient to the commandments of God requires an understanding of them. It necessitates faith in them. That comprehension is best obtained through personal study of doctrine."
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Time Has Come To......

"Now, my brethren and sisters, the time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a time to be found keeping the commandments. It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships. In other words, to become more Christlike"
Gordon B. Hinckley - Gen. Conf. 1995 Apr.
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How Do You Know If Someone Is Right For You?

"One good yardstick as to whether a person might be the right one for you is this: in her presence, do you think your noblest thoughts, do you aspire to your finest deeds, do you wish you were better than you are?"

This is good counsel that applies not only to dating, but friendships and associations too. Are you someone who makes others feel that way?
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Don't Let 'Reality' Cloud Your Judgment

"I once had an experience that taught me a great lesson about the way a highly developed tolerance for "being realistic" can inhibit the workings of the Spirit in our lives. When I had been on my mission in Germany about a year, I was assigned to work with a brand new missionary named Elder Keeler, who had just arrived fresh from converting--or so he thought--all the stewardesses on the plane from New York to Frankfurt. Within a few days of his arrival, I was called to a meeting in another city and had to leave him to work in our city with another inexperienced missionary whose companion went with me. I returned late that night.

The next morning I asked him how his day had gone. He broke into a big smile and said that he had found a family who would surely join the Church. In our mission, it was rare to see anybody join the Church, let alone a whole family. I asked for more details, but he had forgotten to write down either the name or the address. All he could remember was that the family lived on the top floor of a big apartment house. "Oh, that's great," I thought to myself as I contemplated all those flights of stairs. He also explained that he knew so little German that he had exchanged but a few words with the woman who answered the door. But he did think she wanted us to come back--and he wanted to go find her and have me talk to her that very minute. I explained to him that the people who do not slam the door in missionaries' faces are not all planning to join the Church. But off we went to find her, mostly to humor him. He could not remember the right street either, so we picked a likely spot in our tracting area and began climbing up and down those endless polished staircases.

After a frustrating hour, I decided that I really needed to level with him. "Based on my many months of experience," I said, "it is simply not worth our time to try any longer to find that woman. I have developed a tolerance for the realities of missionary work, and I simply know more about all this than you do."

His eyes filled with tears and his lower lip began to tremble. (That elder was no dummy--he recently graduated from Boalt Law School at Berkeley.) I remember it so well--he said to me through those tear-filled eyes, "Elder Hafen, I came on my mission to find the honest in heart. The Spirit told me that that woman is going to join the Church, and you can't stop me from finding her."

I decided that I had to teach him a lesson. So I raced him up one staircase after another until he was ready to drop, and so was I. "Elder Keeler," I asked, "had enough?"

"No," he said. "We've got to find her."

I began to smolder. I decided to work him until he pled with me to stop--then maybe he would get the message.

Then, at the top of a long flight of stairs, we found the apartment. She came to the door. He thrashed my ribs with his elbow and whispered loudly, "That's her, elder. That's the one. Talk to her!"

Not long ago, brothers and sisters, up on Maple Lane a few blocks from here, that woman's husband sat in our living room. He was here for general conference because he is the bishop of the Mannheim Ward. His two boys are preparing for missions; his wife and daughters are pillars of the Church. That is a lesson I can never forget about the limitations of the skepticism and the tolerance for ambiguity that come with learning and experience. I hope that I will never be so aware of "reality" that I am unresponsive to the whisperings of heaven."

(Love Is Not Blind: Some Thoughts for College on Ambiguity and Fait, Hafen, Bruce C., January 09, 1979, BYU)

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Parental Influence

M. Russell Ballard:

"Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it. [Alma 56:47–48; emphasis added]

Our youth need steadfast, courageous mothers--and they need fathers like Enos had. As you will recall, Enos was Lehi's grandson, the son of Jacob. Enos recorded that his father was "a just man" who "taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord--and blessed be the name of my God for it" (Enos 1:1).

The scriptural record seems to suggest that Enos had a spiritual change of heart one day while hunting. He wrote that during this quiet time alone, "the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart" (Enos 1:3).

Notice that this moment of spiritual enlightenment did not come at the height of a lecture from a concerned father to a troubled son. As important as those occasional lectures are, they rarely result in immediate long-term change. Nor did it come in the midst of one of Jacob's great gospel sermons. It may be that Jacob wasn't even alive to enjoy his son's spiritual rebirth. None of that matters. The important thing is Jacob made sure that he taught his son "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Enos heard, and eventually he understood. And, as Enos said, "blessed be the name of my God for it."

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Friday, January 8, 2010

He Doesn't Attack Jell-O or Peanut Butter Supplies!

M. Russell Ballard:
"When you stop and think about it, from a diabolically tactical point of view, fighting the family makes sense. When Satan wants to disrupt the work of the Lord, he doesn't poison the world's peanut butter supply, thus bringing the Church's missionary system to its collective knees. He doesn't send a plague of laryngitis to afflict the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He doesn't legislate against green Jell-O or casseroles. When Satan truly wants to disrupt the work of the Lord, he attempts to confuse gender and attacks God's plan for His spirit children. He works to drive a wedge of disharmony between a father and a mother. He entices children to be disobedient to their parents. He makes family home evening and family prayer inconvenient. He suggests family scripture study is impractical and not doable. That's all it takes, because Satan knows that the surest and most effective way to disrupt the Lord's work is to diminish the effectiveness of the family and the sanctity of the home."
(The Sacred Responsibilities of Parenthood, M. RUSSELL BALLARD, 19 August 2003, BYU)
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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It Doesn't Have To Be Final

Came across this quote today, and loved it:

"Our task is to become our best selves. One of God's greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need be final."
--Thomas S. Monson, "The Will Within," Ensign, May 1987, 67

There's also the opportunity to change, and there's always hope.
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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Your Book of Eternal Possibilities


"A patriarchal blessing is a revelation to the recipient, even a white line down the middle of the road, to protect, inspire, and motivate activity and righteousness. A patriarchal blessing literally contains chapters from your book of eternal possibilities. I say eternal, for just as life is eternal, so is a patriarchal blessing. What may not come to fulfillment in this life may occur in the next. We do not govern God's timetable. 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.' . . .

"Your patriarchal blessing is yours and yours alone. It may be brief or lengthy, simple or profound. Length and language do not a patriarchal blessing make. It is the Spirit that conveys the true meaning. Your blessing is not to be folded neatly and tucked away. It is not to be framed or published. Rather, it is to be read. It is to be loved. It is to be followed. Your patriarchal blessing will see you through the darkest night. It will guide you through life's dangers. . . . Your patriarchal blessing is to you a personal Liahona to chart your course and guide your way."

(Thomas S. Monson, "Your Patriarchal Blessing: A Liahona of Light," Ensign, Nov. 1986, 66)
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Monday, January 4, 2010

We Need Women

"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity."

Margaret Nadauld, "The Joy of Womanhood," Ensign, Nov. 2000, 14.
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