Saturday, February 28, 2009

Parental Teaching - Elder Eyring

"We cannot control what others choose to do, and so we cannot force our children to heaven, but we can determine what we will do. And we can decide that we will do all we can to bring down the powers of heaven into that family we want so much to have forever.

A key for us is in the proclamation: 'Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.'

What could make it more likely that people in family would love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and obey the law? It is not simply teaching them the gospel. It is in their hearing the word of God and then trying it in faith. If they do, their natures will be changed in a way that produces the happiness they seek."
(Elder Henry B. Eyring, "The Family," Ensign, Feb.1998, 18)

Friday, February 27, 2009

How Not to Drown

This is an entry from my journal from a few years ago:

This is probably going to be one of my thoughts where you think – “Sarah, you think way too much!”

Nevertheless, here I go again!

I went swimming yesterday, and those of you who know me well, know that the water and I are not the best of friends. People keep telling me that you can’t drown if you relax, as you will just bob to the top. As yet, that theory remains unproven and is just a ‘nice story’ as far as I am concerned. However, last night I did make some headway and was a lot more relaxed, and did notice that the more I let the water carry me, the easier it was, and a lot more enjoyable (I’m even considering not doing my usual deathbed repentance before stepping into the pool next week:).

Well, as I was a kicking and a splashing this familiar scripture kept coming into my mind:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
(Matthew 11:28 - 30)

Just as I had to trust the water to carry my heavy body, so must we trust the Lord with our heavy burdens. He is eager to take them from us, and as we let go of our fears and worries He will carry us, life will be easier and more enjoyable also. I really have a firm testimony of this, and no matter how unnerving it can feel to let everything go to the Lord there is no feeling, or freedom, like it. I know He will never fail us, He is the Living Water who keeps us safe.

I hope you have a really great day!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Creation of Something of Substance or Beauty - Elder Uchtdorf

This video, created from a segment of Pres. Uchtdorf's talk at the last Women's Conference, is powerful and significant:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Unkept Promises

Elder Neal A Maxwell:
"The heaviest load we feel is often from the weight of our unkept promises and our unresolved sins, which press down relentlessly upon us".

I love this quote because it is so true! We can feel so much more happiness than we do, so much more quickly, if we put off that natural man. The atonement can take an immediate effect upon our hearts if our desires are sincere.

The Saviour loves us and is eager to take the weight from us, I really know this is true.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Directing Light into Dark Places

"The light of the gospel illuminates the path of life to eternity that otherwise would be dark and nondirecting. We can be like a mirror and direct light even into dark places. We are not the sources of light; nevertheless, through us light can be reflected to others. "

—Ted E. Brewerton, Ensign, Nov. 1991-

Monday, February 23, 2009

Where Obedience Springs From

"Obedience springs not from weakness, but from spiritual strength and from a reservoir of affirmative experience, which helps us to trust God for that which we do not yet know."
—Neal A. Maxwell, Wherefore, Ye Must Press Forward

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Being Someones Answer

"Have you ever thought that someone somewhere may be pleading with Heavenly Father for help, and you may be the one chosen to help answer that prayer? If we're willing, He'll use us. You likely have no idea how often you rescue someone. "
—Mary Ellen Edmunds, Knit Together in Love-

I hope that you can be used today by Him, and that if you are the one in need of rescue that you will be rescued.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Little More Personal Than Usual - Fellowship of Those who Bear the Mark of Pain

Over the last week or so my family has had the opportunity to feel the love of those around us abundantly, due to an out-pouring of love following our second miscarriage and my father passing away yesterday. It has really been over-whelming at times to realise how many people care about our little family. We had gifts (usually sweet:) left on the doorstep everyday, many phonecalls, notes, emails and visits, and now with my dad passing the same again. Often the calls of support were from people who had been through similar experiences and could offer the gift of empathy to us. This is one of my favorite quotes, and since these 'trials' it has been on my mind:

“One of Dr. (Albert) Schweitzer’s most important concepts is that of the Fellowship of Those who Bear the Mark of Pain. … Who are its members? Those who have learned by experience what physical pain and bodily anguish mean. These people, all over the world, are united by a secret bond. He who has been delivered from pain must not think he is now … at liberty to continue his life and forget his sickness. He is a man whose eyes are opened. He now has a duty to help others in their battles with pain and anguish. He must help to bring to others the deliverance which he himself knows.“Under this Fellowship come not only those who were formerly sick, but those who are related to sufferers, and whom does this not include?”
(Thomas Dooley, “Worldwide Fellowship,” Words of Wisdom, ed. Thomas C.Jones, Chicago: J. B. Ferguson, 1966, p. 150.)

Trials stretch our hearts wider, and allow us to experience more of the Saviours love. Because of this, it is our duty and privilege to help others in their battles too. Heavenly Father rejoices when we share the burdens of others and when we help others to open their eyes to see how much they are loved by Him.

I am thankful to have been blessed with a little baby boy whose sole purpose in life seems to be to bring me joy, for a husband who made waiting the long 32 years to meet him worth it, and for a father who was a giant in meekness and compassion, who loved my angel mother and now is reunited with her in heaven, never to be parted again. Above all I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ that helps you to see the silver lining to the trials in life and gives you the correct perspective that there really is a 'happily ever after' after all.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Divinity Within Ourselves

"There is a divinity within ourselves that is immortal and never dies. Thousands and thousands of years hence we will be ourselves, and nobody else, so far as our individuality is concerned, that never dies from all eternity to all eternity."
—Lorenzo Snow-

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Being Strung Up

William M. Allred, one of Joseph Smith's followers, stated that some straight-laced people had problems with the Prophet Joseph playing ball with the boys. Said Allred, referring to the Prophet:

“He then related a story of a certain prophet who was sitting under the shade of a tree amusing himself in some way, when a hunter came along with his bow and arrow, and reproved him. The prophet asked him if he kept his bow strung up all the time. The hunter answered that he did not. The prophet asked why, and he said it would lose its elasticity if he did. The prophet said it was just so with his mind, he did not want it strung up all the time.”
(Juvenile Instructor,1 Aug. 1892, p. 472.)

Take time to relax today:)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Free People

President Spencer W Kimball taught:
"When you do not worry or concern yourself too much with what other people do and believe and say, there will come to you a new freedom".

The Lord has said:
"Wherefore, hear my voice and follow me, and you shall be a free people...."
(D&C 38:22).

As we hear the Saviour's voice and follow it, we can be free from emotional, spiritual and physical worry and pain, if it is His will. And if it's not at this time, He will strengthen you to be able to bear it and will bring you closer to Him.

Monday, February 16, 2009

What a Day!

Neal A. Maxwell:

“One's life is brevity compared to eternity- like being dropped off by a parent for a day at school. But what a day!”
(Ensign, Nov.1985)
“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it"
(Psalms 118:24)

Seeing as how we do have a choice about how we feel about our day, we may aswell choose gladness!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Good ol' Love

"People are more influenced by love than anything else".

(George Albert Smith, 'Teachings of George Albert Smith')

Friday, February 13, 2009

How Do I Love Thee, by Jeffrey R. Holland

Elder Holland gives a powerful talk about how you can better show love for your friends, family, dates or spouse by following the example of Jesus Christ. Believe the good, doubt the bad and love like the Saviour. A great pre-valentines day message.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Eternal Life

"What we want is eternal life... We don't just want it if that is what works out, nor do we want something approaching eternal life. We want eternal life, whatever its cost in effort, pain, and sacrifice."

(Henry B. Eyring, To Draw Closer to God)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

By His Power

Alma, in speaking to the people in the land whose families were previously in bondage to the Lamanites said:
"I say unto you, they were in captivity, and again the Lord did deliver them out of bondage by the power of his word;.."
(Alma 5:5)

The kind of bondage that we experience is of more of a spiritual nature nowadays, but the method of delivery is still the same. We are delivered by the power of His scriptures, the power of His teachings, by the power of Him - and when needed, He will deliver us again and again, until He has us back.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

He sees our Successes!

"God not only forgives our failures; he sees successes where no one else does, not even ourselves. Only God can give us credit for angry words we did not speak; temptations we resisted, patience, and gentleness little noticed and long forgotten by those around us. Such good deeds are never wasted and not forgotten, because God gives them a measure of eternity."
-Rabbi Harold Kushner-
It is so easy to be self-critical and unfortunately, all too often, we have a perfect memory when it comes to our shortcomings and mistakes, even replaying them over over again in our minds. It is good to know that Heavenly Father has a perfect memory of our efforts to improve and the untold desires of our hearts too. Thank goodness He loves us perfectly and sees who we really are!

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Latest Two MormonAd Videos

The Church's new Homefronts campaign has some awesome new videos on parenting, here are two of them (remember to mute the music on the blog first):

God vs. Santa Claus

This is a great quote I got from Valerie's blog, by a Rabbi called Harold Kushner:

"We have confused God with Santa Claus. And we believe that prayer means making a list of everything you don't have but want and trying to persuade God you deserve it. Now I'm sorry, that's not God, that's Santa Claus."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Brightness of Hope

“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men”. (2 Nephi 31:20).

Neal A. Maxwell:
“Daily hope is vital, since the "Winter Quarters" of our lives are not immediately adjacent to our promised land... Those with true hope often see their personal circumstances shaken, like kaleidoscopes, again and again. Yet with the "eye of faith," they still see divine pattern and purpose.”
(Ensign, Nov. 1994)

I hope that we will daily confirm our hope, as “hope deferred maketh the heart sick”. (Proverbs 13:12), and that we will expect the best, prepare for the worst and live each day with hope.

The Testaments - Part 4

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Try Again

Another thought by Neal A. Maxwell:

"Often we tally our failures with great precision and self-depreciating fanfare while failing to inwardly records our successes. For instance, after a disappointing personal act of expressing our ego we may exclaim inwardly, "I have done it again!" Clearly, even God's long-suffering cannot excuse us; nevertheless He still waits for us to move from recognition on through to remission. "His arm is extended to all people who will repent" (Alma 19:36). He thereby provides fresh "space" and encouragement "all the day long" (2 Nephi 28:32). He is ever encouraging us to regroup and try again. And there are no restrictive office hours for receiving returning prodigals - night and day He awaits us!."

Have a lovely day.

Friday, February 6, 2009

After All We Can Do

Henry B. Eyring: “That urge to rise above yourself is a recognition of your need for the Atonement to work in your life, and your need to be sure that it is working. After all you can do, after all your effort, you need confidence that the Atonement is working for you and on you.” (To Draw Closer to God)

2 Nephi 25:23
“For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

I do hope you have a lovely day, and that you will gain an increased confidence that the Atonement is working for you, and on you, for after all we can do - we need Him so much.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Wise Selection

"The Lord in the Doctrine and Covenants tells us to be 'anxiously engaged in good causes'. This suggests we can't respond to all causes. We must be selective in the things we seek to do in terms of community and civic chores. But it also suggests we ought to devote a measure of our time and talent to do these things, for they do count on the scales of action as God sees it.

"The world is full of fads. The world is full of the marches of lemmings to the sea. The world is full of causes that lead into conceptual cul-de-sacs. Our task, therefore, is to be wise in the selection of good causes, using the scriptures and the modern prophets as our guide.

"Anne Morrow Lindbergh, in her book Gift from the Sea, says: 'My life cannot implement in action all the demands of all the people to whom my heart responds.' You will care for more things than you will be able to do things about. Wise selection of causes is one of the highest forms of the uses of free agency that there is, and, really, one of the ways God tests our basic wisdom and our capacity to love."

(Neal A Maxwell, speech delivered at Catalina Young Adult Conference, 23 Oct 1972)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Casting Our Minds Back

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.”
(D&C 6:22)
One of the things I’ve always believed is that reason and emotion will only carry us so far, but never far enough – faith is what carries us forward. One of the ways which my faith has been built the most is by ‘remembering’ what the Lord has told me, thus instilling confidence. As with Oliver Cowdrey, who was told by the Lord to ‘cast his mind back’, remembering is the beginning place to go when you begin to feel doubt. Cast your mind back to when you felt peace, and there you will find your answer waiting to be re-discovered.

As with any principle that has great power in it, Satan knows how to use this one against us. He will want us to come and dwell on all the bad times. He’ll want us to think about them and remember them, so that we speak and act out of those instead of the good memories. I used to have a bad habit of only being diligent in my journal writing when I was having a hard time with something. Now when I look back over some of these past entries I regret not recording the positive experiences. Now I am being more diligent in writing down my daily blessings, so that when future children read “the small plates of Sarah”, it will be a much more faith-promoting up-lifting read, and the answers to my questions will be able to be brought to the fore-front of my mind.

Hope today finds you happy.

Monday, February 2, 2009


“And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.”
(Genesis 1:16)

I was thinking about these words yesterday, and the different types of lighting that Heavenly Father made for us on this beautiful earth. I thought how it’s similar to how our lives are lit as well. Mostly we feel the warm glow from the sun, there are times though when darkness is more apparent to us than light and we wait for that time to pass. It is never so dark though that light is still not seen, even if it’s just a sliver in the night-sky of our lives.

I used to love going for walks at night-time, things just seem more peaceful then, and I love looking at the stars. Something I noticed one time was that as I came away from the distracting street-lighting I could see the stars more clearly. I then noticed that if I stood still, and looked up at the sky, the stars became visible to me, and the more I looked the more I saw.

Sometimes it’s like that in life also, we all go through periods of darkness, when we don’t feel the Son’s rays warming us as strongly. It’s during those times that we need to step away from any distractions, and look up, and if we are still we will see that we have not been left alone, but that throughout the darkness are sprinkled moments of hope & joy, which are ours to enjoy, if only we would see.

I know our Heavenly Father loves us, He watches over us and He will never, ever, fail us.

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