Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Peace and Joy of Knowing The Savior Lives

I'm back! It has been crazy the last couple of months but I am filled with so much joy and gratitude that I can't help but share a few thoughts. Christmas time is my favorite time in the whole world! I love giving gifts and enjoy time with family and friends! I especially love at this time to share music and praises unto our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am grateful that we publicly set time to remember His birth and to remember what the birth really means to each one of us. I hope that we can ALWAYS remember Him and that this Christmas season can spark something new and something extraordinary that you can emulate from the Savior Jesus Christ. I love Him with all of my heart, might, mind, and soul. I hope to get to know Him even better....

The ensign printed for this month is remarkable and I have been able to feel the true spirit of Christmas this season and I am overwhelmed with the feeling of love for others and gratitude for all we have because of Him who died for us. If we were wise we would still seek Him.... Christmas brings joy and happiness to all but, there is still room for joy and happiness throughout our entire lives even in the hardest of times.

Elder Russell M. Nelson put it plainly,"Difficult days are ahead. Sin is on the increase. Paul forsaw that members of the Church would endure persecution. Peter counseled,"If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf". As Jesus descended below all things in order to rise above all things, He expects us to follow His example. Yoked with Him, each of us can rise above all of our challenges, no matter how difficult they may be." (emphasis added)

Yes, difficult days are ahead. It is clear that we will be persecuted for choosing to do as the Savior has done, BUT let us NOT be ashamed...we will rise above all things because Christ has risen and because He is aware of us individually and collectively. He knows with perfect understanding how to help us rise above and conquer. We can ONLY rise above what is set within our course if we CHOOSE to be "Yoked with Him". We must let Him in.

Elder Nelson goes on to say," Considering all that the Savior has done--and still does--for us, what can we do for Him? The greatest gift we could give to the Lord at Christmas, or at any other time, is to keep ourselves unspotted from the world, worthy to attend His holy temple. And His gift to us will be the peace of knowing that we are prepared to meet Him, whenever that time comes." (emphasis added)

I am hit with "WOW!" as I read this over and over again. We aren't asked to give much...except what He has already given us. It was by Him and ONLY through Him that we were given gift to choose for ourselves, and the greatest gift we could give to Lord is to choose to be unspotted from the world and worthy to enter His house? Isn't it interesting that Christ would bleed from every pour and die on the cross for each of us and all He asks of us it to keep His commandments in being unspotted from the world and be worthy of His house? Think about the temple alone and the privileged blessings we have from attending. He asks us to be worthy to partake of his Sacred and Holy blessings and covenants when in reality we should already have the desire to go and to be there all the time because the blessings are SURE. He expects us to be unspotted from the world... to live in the world but not be of  the world. Does the world offer everlasting life, happiness, peace, and joy? Does it offer to sacrifice itself for you and then love you with a capacity that you cannot even fathom? Then why do we worship and idolize the world? We have to remember that THIS IS NOT our home. We have a Heavenly Father and a Savior Jesus Christ who deserve our praises. We owe it to our Heavenly Father and our Savior to worship them and to stand as witnesses of them at ALL times, in ALL things, and in ALL places. They offer all that the world cannot. The world is a counterfeit of true happiness. The "worldly" is Satan's temporary happiness. We are not here to sell ourselves short. If we could just give Christ those two things then we will, in return, be blessed with an even greater gift of peace in knowing that we are prepared to meet Him! What a profound thought! We aren't asked to give much... and return we are blessed with more than we can comprehend. I love the Savior and this Gospel more than I could ever express. He lives and I am amazed at the love He offers to me everyday of my life. I am SO grateful for Him. I am grateful for this season and for the true meaning of it! We are a blessed people and we owe all that we have to Him who gave us life. May you all have a very merry Christmas and may you remember THE greatest gift you could ever give. Work for that and never give up until you have reached the Savior's loving arms again. He is coming. He loves us. Remember Him.

I leave you with Elder Nelson's Testimony,"As a special Witness of His holy name, I testify that Jesus the Christ is the divine Son of the Living God. He will love you, lift you, and manifest Himself unto you if you will love Him and keep His commandments. Indeed, wise men still adore Him."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Word Is Commitment

"A truly committed person does not falter in the face of adversity. Until one is committed, there is a chance to hesitate, to go off in another direction, or to be ineffective. Members within our ranks who are committed to living the gospel of Jesus Christ will not be affected by the rationale of hecklers.

Our enemies are becoming more hostile with each passing week. They seem intent on not only deceiving the uncommitted among us but on leading astray even the elect. They criticize our leaders. They scoff at what we consider to be sacred. They mock ordinances and covenants we know to be true and holy. They delight in discovering and sharing human flaws and frailties among our leaders past and present rather than acknowledging and benefiting from the truths they taught. They go to the tree, and instead of enjoying the fruit thereof, they point out the scars discovered on the tree trunk.

Do not be deceived. God will not be mocked. (See Gal. 6:7.) We have no intention of quarreling or demanding equal time to refute. We invite the dissenters as well as all others to open their eyes and see the beauties and thrills available to those who walk in His path looking for the good.

We all have eyes, ears, and minds to lift, lead, and love. Total commitment to God and His ways will not permit us to engage in destructive criticism, retaliation, or undue disgust. We should commit ourselves to marching shoulder to shoulder in the battle to save soulswithout destroying, condemning, or belittling." -Marvin J. Ashton

I was so impressed to share these profound words of wisdom spoken from a man with great love for this gospel. Brothers and Sisters all around the world, we MUST be committed to this gospel! We must not falter in the face of adversity! Every week our enemies are combining against us! Even the elect are in danger. As we become committed to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we will be protected and we shall not be deceived. Let us march shoulder to shoulder in the battle to save souls! We are here for a righteous cause and we are not here to condemn or belittle each other! I hope and pray that we can all be a little kinder and stand a little taller as we commit ourselves to this gospel and to His children. This life is hard but it is through our brothers and sisters that we are able to endure... marching shoulder to shoulder in the same cause. The word is commitment.

In closing I wish to share Elder Marvin J. Aston's testimony,"The word is commitment. To be something, we must be committed. God is our Father. Jesus is our Savior, and this is His Church. May we commit ourselves to living Christlike lives regardless of the environment or opposition I pray, in the worthy name of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, amen."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done

Be not afraid by Greg Olsen
"As we endure physical suffering, we are increasingly aware of how many wait upon each of us. To all the Marys and Marthas, to all of the good Samaritans who minister to the sick, succor the weak, and care for the mentally and physically infirm, I feel the gratitude of a loving Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son. In your daily Christlike ministry, you are waiting upon the Lord and doing your Heavenly Father’s will. His assurance to you is clear: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” He knows your sacrifices and your sorrows. He hears your prayers. His peace and rest will be yours as you continue to wait upon Him in faith." (emphasis added)

"Every one of us is more beloved to the Lord than we can possibly understand or imagine. Let us therefore be kinder to one another and kinder toward ourselves. Let us remember that as we wait upon the Lord, we are becoming “saint[s] through [His] atonement, … submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as a child doth submit to his father.”" (emphasis added)

"...I express gratitude that “in my Gethsemane” and yours, we are not alone. He that watches over us “shall neither slumber nor sleep.” His angels here and beyond the veil are “round about [us], to bear [us] up.” I bear my special witness that our Savior’s promise is true, for he says, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” May we wait upon Him by pressing forward in faith, that we may say in our prayers, “Thy will be done,” and return to Him with honor. In the holy name of our Savior and Redeemer, even Jesus Christ, amen." (emphasis added)

This talk was given by Elder Hales on Sunday morning of this last conference. I have no words to describe the great impact this talk has had on my heart! I remember how I felt listening to him speak and the feeling gets greater and greater as I review it. I feel as though the urge to stand on top of a mountain and shout, testifying of the truths Elder Hales has spoken! We must wait upon the Lord! Sometimes this concept is harder for us grasp and we become so bitter and unwilling to submit ourselves to Him who has trodden the wine press! We must press forward with faith in Him who knows us better than we will ever know ourselves. The promises are sure and everlasting as we wait upon the Lord. His angels are here and we are not alone. We shall mount up with wings as eagles. Let us be kinder to each other and more importantly kinder to ourselves! We are royal sons and daughters! Wait upon Him in faith.... The blessings of this Gospel are so sweet and beautiful! :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Each Life That Touches Ours for Good

Each Life That Touches Ours for Good, Hymn 293

Each life that touches ours for good
Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord;
Thou sendest blessings from above
Thru words and deeds of those who love.

What greater gift dost thou bestow,
What greater goodness can we know
Than Christlike friends, whose gentle ways
Strengthen our faith, enrich our days.

When such a friend from us departs,
We hold forever in our hearts
A sweet and hallowed memory
Bringing us nearer, Lord, to thee

For worthy friends whose lives proclaim
Devotion to the Savior's name,
Who bless our days with peace and love,
We praise thy goodness, Lord, above.

I don't know about you but this song from me is one of great meaning and it touches my heart so strongly. When I read the words to this song I am immediately brought to the faces of those in my life that has touched me for good. The Lord has blessed me with so many great influences and examples. He has blessed me with, "Christlike friends, whose gentle ways Strengthen our faith, enrich our days." They truly do strengthen my faith and enrich my days.

"For worthy friends whose lives proclaim devotion to the Savior's name, Who bless our days with peace and love, We praise thy goodness, Lord above." Do you have friends like that? I look at this and think of one specifically that has had such a great impact on my life. No matter how hard her life has been or how hard it might be right now, her life still proclaims devotion to the Savior's name. She could give up and fall away but she wont because of her love for the Savior Jesus Christ and what His name means to her. I want to be like her one day. She blesses the lives around her with peace and love. I do praise the goodness of the Lord above for bringing her into my life. I know that she is a woman of God and that angels are sent to us to bless our lives and help us grow along the way. She is a Christlike friend who strengthens my faith and enriches my days.

I love at verse 3 and I am brought to tears. " When such a friend from us departs, We hold forever in our hearts a sweet and hallowed memory bringing us nearer, Lord, to thee." One of my greatest friends now resides in Heaven where she watches over me and those she loves. I know that the work she is doing there is far greater than anything we could EVER accomplish here on earth. She is my greatest example of devotion and love for friends. When she left this mortal experience it was one of the hardest things I had experienced. But, because of the sweet memory of her in my heart I have been brought nearer to the Lord who loves me above all. I am so grateful for that understanding and knowledge. I know that I will see her again but in the process I have come to know the Savior more.

The point is that God is SO good to each of us. We can all think of those special people in our lives and it is because of Heavenly Father's love for us that those people exist in our lives. We need to understand that we are never alone. Heavenly Father has not only blessed us with the presence of angels in each one of our lives but He has also blessed us with His friendship and the friendship of our Brother Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the Savior, Jesus Christ as my best friend. I hope that I might be able to continue being His friend and in turn become your friends as well. I know He lives and loves us. Have a great week!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

God Speaks.

I don't know about you....but, I am loving EVERY moment of conference! Through God's chosen servants we have heard the voice of the Lord and felt of His infinite love for us. Conference is but a small moment but has eternal importance and changes the course of our lives forever if we let it. I am grateful for the truth that has been spoken and for the peace I have felt in my heart as I have listened and allowed my heart to be filled with the message for me.

If there is one thing I wish to echo it is the message from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf that we matter to Him. "It may be true that man is nothing in comparison to the universe.... but we are everything to God." No matter how invisible we may feel we are NOT invisible to God. Our Heavenly Father sees us as the beings that we are capable and designed to become. He sees us as His children.

When thinking about what President Uchtdorf has taught us I am reminded of the Christus statue at temple square. Look at this image.... What do you see?
Christus Statue at Temple Square

In the background I see worlds without number and all the wonders of the world. I see the beautiful and miraculous creations of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I see the awe that the naked eye captures. As astounding as these things may be to us... look at Christ. Where are His eyes? He is looking down. He is not turned around to view all of these so called beautiful and miraculous creations. For those of you who have had the opportunity to go to temple square and stand in front of this statue know what I am getting at with this. As you stand in front of Christ... He is only looking at you. You are the only thing He cares about. Yes, those things behind Him are amazing and we are at loss for words for those things but in Christ's eyes we are more than those things. We are worth His sacrifice. We are worth saving. We are worth the price of death, persecution, and betrayal. "The worth of souls is great in the sight of God." Our souls. God wants us to know that we DO matter to Him! Now... THAT is miraculous and beautiful. His love is matchless. I love Him. I live for Him.

Now to close these are the words from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, " As our conference comes to a close, I ask you to reflect in the days ahead not only on the messages you have heard but also on the unique phenomenon that general conference itself is--what we as Latter-day Saints believe such conferences to be and what we invite the world to hear and observe about them. We testify to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people that God not only lives but also that He speaks,that for our time in our day the counsel you have heard is, under the direction of the Holy Spirit,"the will of the Lord,... the word of the Lord,... the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.""

Conference will come to a close tomorrow. I hope that we can reflect on the messages that have been taught to us by our Heavenly Father and that we can understand what we testify and believe to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. We do testify that God lives and that He does speak to us today. Enjoy every last second of this Conference! Listen to what God has for you! I love you all! May God Bless you! :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Finding Joy through Loving Service

Mormons Serving Worldwide
" It is only when we love God and Christ with all of our hearts, souls, and minds that we are able to share this love with our neighbors through acts of kindness and service--the way that the Savior would love and serve all of us if He were among us today.

" When this pure love of Christ--or charity--envelops us, we think, feel, and act more like Heavenly Father and Jesus would think, feel, and act. Our motivation and heartfelt desire are like unto that of the Savior. He shared this desire with His Apostles on the eve of His Crucifixion. He said:

" A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you....
" By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:34-35).

" The love the Savior described is an active love. It is not manifested through large and heroic deeds but rather through simple acts of kindness and service" -Elder M. Russell Ballard, Finding Joy through Loving Service 

We are a very blessed people with many opportunities to serve and love our neighbors. It is through those selfless acts of kindness and service that we are filled with the pure love of Christ. Charity is a gift that we should so earnestly strive for and desire within our hearts. It is through charity--or the pure love of Christ-- that we can think, act, and feel more like our Savior, Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. Through the pure love of Christ we are able to serve and love as the Savior did. I can't think of a better way to Become like Him than to serve and love as He did. We are all trying to be like Jesus in all that we do and say. Our life has little purpose if we remain selfish and unwilling to give of ourselves in the service of our God and King. Let us actively love one another by small and simple acts of kindness and service everyday. There is no need for the "large and heroic" deeds but rather there is a need for the small and simple ones. I hope to be better at giving my heart to the service of God's Children. I know that when we are truly serving our brothers and sisters that we are becoming more like Our Father in Heaven and Our Savior.

As Elder Ballard has said," May we show our love and appreciation for the Savior's atoning sacrifice through our simple, compassionate acts of service." It is my prayer that we all may do so with a happy heart.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Faith---the Choice is Yours

Richard C. Edgley once said, "But, while I don't know everything, I know the important. I know the plain and simple gospel truths that lead to salvation and exaltation. I know that the Savior did suffer the pain of all men and that all repentant people can be cleansed from sin. And what I don't know and don't completely understand, with the powerful aid of my faith, I bridge the gap and move on, partaking of the promises and blessings of the gospel. And then as Alma teaches, our faith brings us to a perfect knowledge (see Alma 32:34). By moving forward into the unknown, armed only with hope and desire, we show evidence of our faith and our devotion to the Lord."

I love this so much! I feel like I could do better at demonstrating my faith in Heavenly Father and the Savior. I often find myself asking why and I hope to rather be moving forward into the unknown with hope and desire. I don't know everything but I too know the important. The important is enough to move forward with faith into the unknown. Sometimes the unknown can be scary and very overwhelming, but it is with the powerful aid of faith that we can bridge the gap and move on! In the process of replacing fear with faith we are able to access the promises and blessings of the gospel. Let us show evidence of our faith and our devotion to the Lord. God has a plan for each of us and it is through faith that we keep walking even when our course may be uncertain.

"Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and the unseen, and choose faith over pessimism."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Touch of the Master's Hand

I found this while cleaning out my Grandmother's house and It hit home pretty hard. I just wanted to share it with you today in hopes that it may touch you as well. Many of you have probably heard it and others not.

The Touch of the Master's Hand:
'Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin
but held it up with a smile:

"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,
"Who'll start the bidding for me?"
"A dollar, a dollar"; then, "Two!" "Only two?
Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three--" But no,
From the Room, far back, a gray-haired man
came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
and tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
as a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
with a voice that was quiet and low,
said: "What am I bid for the old violin?"
and he held it up with the bow.
A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two?
Two thousand! And who'll make it three?
Three thousand once, three thousand, twice,
and going, and gone." said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried.
"We don't quite understand
What changed its worth, "Swift came the reply:
"The touch of the master's hand."

And many a man with life out of tune.
and battered and scarred with sin.
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
much like the old violin.
A "mess of pottage." a glass of wine:
a game--and he travels on.
He is "going" once, and "going" twice,
He's "going" and almost "gone."

But the Master come, and the foolish crowd
never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that's wrought
By the touch of the Master's hand

- Myra B. Welch

I love this so much! I know it to be so true! I hope that you all can gain something from this and use it to help someone else!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cheerfulness Brings Others

One of my favorite scriptures of all time is D&C 68:6 "Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come."

I love this scripture for so many different reasons but I want to focus on two phrases "be of good cheer" and "ye shall bear record of me". Finding Joy in the journey that lies before us is very important in carrying out God's ways. We are always counseled to be of good cheer and to be optimistic. The plan of salvation is also referred to as the plan of Happiness. We are a church of happy living and good cheer. When we are full of happiness we have the desire share our testimonies with others of what we know and feel. We have a desire to help others to feel of the joy that we also feel in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Missionary work is carried out in such a different way when we are living a happy and loving life.

Elder Holland profoundly said, "Surely there is no more powerful missionary message we can send to this world than the example of a loving and happy Latter-day Saint life. The manner and bearing, the smile and kindness of a faithful member of the Church brings a warmth and an outreach which no missionary tract or videotape can convey. People do not join the Church because of what they know. They join because of what they feel, what they see, and want spiritually. Our spirit of testimony and happiness in that regard will come through to others if we let it."

We are all missionaries and by living happy and loving lives we can bring so many to the fold! Just by a smile or an act of kindness we can "bring an warmth and an outreach which no missionary tract or videotape can convey"! How powerful our optimism in our everyday lives really is! How powerful our words and testimony can be! How powerful our smile can be to someone else. We are to be examples of the believers in all that we do and say. I pray that we each can share our testimonies, talents, and smiles a little more. I hope that we can reach out to others in kind acts of service! We are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and let us represent well!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Finished Story

"With the Lord, nothing is impossible, but we each have to finish our story. He sends His Spirit, we call our encouragement to each other, but we have to keep writing, keep walking, keep serving and accepting new challenges to the end of our own story. "Still walking" is the fundamental requirement in the journey of life. He wants us to finish well. He wants us to come back to Him. I pray that each of our stories will end in the presence of our Heavenly Father and His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, the authors and finishers of our faith. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen." - Gayle M. Clegg

I wish to echo the words uttered by Sister Clegg that with the Lord, nothing is impossible. Our stories must be finished. Christ has promised as declared in D&C 84:88, "... I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my spirit shall be in your hearts, and my angels round about you, to bear you up." I can't think of a better promise. How could any of us afford to keep Christ out of the details of our story? As Sister Clegg states,""Still walking" is the fundamental requirement in the journey of life." All that Christ requires of us is to keep walking and He will be on our right hand and on our left. As we keep moving He will send angels to be round about us to bear us up. As we keep writing our story and keep trekking along His spirit shall be in our hearts. Nothing is impossible with the Lord! Our stories began with our loving Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ... It is our Heavenly Father's and Savior's plea that we might end mortality and begin Eternity with them. I know this to be true with all of my heart. Keep writing, Keep walking, Keep Serving and remember Christ in the details. Our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ love us. They want us to succeed. They want us to return! So keep moving and find joy in the journey!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Heavenly Help

Mark Mabry Photography: Reflections of Christ -Angels
Elder Holland profoundly said," I have spoken here of Heavenly help, of angels dispatched to bless us in time of need. But when we speak of those who are instruments int he hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk and talk with- - here, now, everyday. Some of them reside in our neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me. Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind."

I believe in this with all of my heart and soul. I have no doubt in my mind that everyone has someone in their lives that is truly angelic! I am lost for words when it comes to the gratitude I feel for the people in my life who are like this. One person I know who really emulates this profound concept of angelic is always so close to God and so pure and so good that is scares me. Sometimes I think this person could just move to the other side of the veil at any given moment. I am so grateful for that person and the example that has been shown to me. I hope that all of us have people like this in our lives. I hope that there are angels around each one of you to bless and help you in times of need. I hope you walk and talk with many of them. I know that there are SO many of you out there that are purely angelic! I love you! I am grateful for you! (Thanks for the amazing quote! You know who you are and I love you!). May God bless each one of you!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Loneliest Walk
He pushes up the board they've tied onto His shoulders
He bears, with dignity, disgrace
He hears the jeering and the wind is getting colder
Tastes the blood upon His face

His body bruised and back still open from the scourges
The consequence of wicked men
He knows no man on earth has ever deserved this
But still He bears it all for them
And He keeps moving up the hill to do His father's will

With each step He takes there's another to follow
and one more ache, one more tear to swallow
We all stand by and watch as the price is paid
Through the loneliest walk of His life
So we don't feel alone in the night
We can have His hand holding the light
Through the loneliest walks of our lives

Keep pushing through this lonely walk you're going through
Cause someones walked this way before

This song is one that I have loved for awhile. Life is hard for everyone and there is devastation, heartache, and loss all around us. We knew when we came here that it wasn't going to easy but that it would be worth it. The greatest thing about life is that Christ can be the center if we will let Him. Christ brings me hope and faith to keep going even when it is hard. I love Him with all of my mind, heart, and soul. Christ is my brother and my best friend. For me and for you, He suffered and died. "He knows no man on earth has ever deserved this, but still He bears it all of them." He did that for me and for you so that we don't have to feel alone. He loves us and I know that without a doubt in my mind. Someday I will be able to thank Him and kiss the hands and feet that were driven with nails for me. I hope that each of you will take 4 minutes and 34 seconds to listen to this song. I hope that through it we can remember that life is hard but it is worth it because of Christ. He loves us.

If you would like to listen you can find the song here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lessens The Power

Taken by Shantell Giles
"Every foundation stone that is laid for a Temple, and every Temple completed according to the order the Lord has revealed for his holy Priesthood, lessens the power of Satan on the earth, and increases the power of God and Godliness, moves the heavens in mighty power in our behalf, invokes and calls down upon us the blessings of the Eternal Gods, and those who reside in their presence"(Millennial Star, 12 November 1877, page 743).

The temple alone in all of its beauty lessens the power of Satan on the earth because of its purpose. I am grateful for this truth that we know and very privileged to have a temple within walking distance. With every temple built Satan's power becomes less and the power of God increases! This is a remarkable truth that we each can see. What happens inside those sacred walls is an increase in power and the heavens are moved in mighty power in our behalf. I can't help but thing that what happens inside those walls is more than a physical description. What happens inside changes things for eternity and we are left speechless.

The temple is our way "out of the world". When we as members of the church are troubled or when decisions truly weigh heavily upon our minds and hearts we commonly go to the temple. While preparing for my talk last Sunday I came across this article by Boyd K. Packer entitled The Holy Temple.

President Packer states, "Sometimes our minds are so beset with problems , and there are so many things clamoring for attention at once that we just cannot think clearly and see clearly. At the temple the dust of distraction seems to settle out, the fog and the haze seem to lift, and we can "see" things that were not able to see before and find a way through our troubles that we had not previously known." He says,"Our Labor in the temple covers us with a shield and a protection, both individually and as a people."

I testify that this is true. I know that in the midst of our troubles the temple is the place where the fog and haze lift and the dust of distraction settles out. Our minds and hearts are open new ways through our troubles and trials. I can testify from my own experience that this is true. The temple is truly a place where we are out of the world. I am so grateful for the temple and the privilege I have to go and to feel of the power of God. I am so grateful for my testimony of the temple and its importance in my life! I hope that we can all be better at attending the temple and claiming the blessings that are ours! Have a wonderful weekend! :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Cart Began Pushing Me

Photo by Papa Michael
"We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism? Every one of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with Him in our extremities! " I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up for I cannot pull the load through it. I have gone to the sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me! I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the Angels of God were there." Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No! Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company." - Francis Webster, Martin Handcart Company

There are no adequate words to express my love and absolute gratitude for the pioneers. They suffered more than I can completely comprehend in my mind. They did all that they did because faith encircled their minds. They knew that God was in control and God lead their journey. Trek is just around the corner and I am grateful for the privilege to go and to gain a greater testimony of my brothers and sisters. This quote empowers me to try harder to be better! It pushes me to have greater faith in my journey. Life is hard and sometimes it feels like it never gets better. Sometimes it seems a trial lasts a life time and you can't do it anymore. Sometimes we see a patch of sand or a hill slope. We say we can only go that far and then we must give up because we cannot pull the load through any longer. Suddenly something else is pushing us through and we look back with praise unto our Heavenly Father for His mighty miracles and we thank Him for our trials. Life may be hard but with Heavenly Father and Christ our Savior it's worth going through! I hope we can all read this quote to ourselves when we feel it's just too much to bear and remember they didn't give up and they weren't worry for themselves!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Following Christ to Victory

Simon Dewey- He Lives
"Since we, each of us, are invited to follow the Christ to victory, it seems we should become vitally aware of how he fulfilled his mission, and seek to emulate his example. Surely we will never be able to do precisely what he did, partly because his mission and purpose is different than ours. He is the Savior; we are the saved. He is the Mediator between God and man; we are those for whom he mediates. He is the Redeemer; we are the redeemed. The list of differences is long, and possibly endless. The Master’s statement to Moses is a summation of his mission on earth: “My work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). The immortality portion of this mission he has already accomplished—the resurrection is a reality and all will partake."
"However, we are permitted, encouraged, even commanded to assist in bringing to pass the eternal life of man, which is, of course, the continuing part of his great mission. His promise to us of things which I do, ye can do, and greater things than I do, ye can do (see John 14:12) rings loudly in the ears, stimulating the amazement of everyone who reads the holy scriptures."

This talk was from the ensign many many years ago. I came across this marvelous talk while searching through I highly recommend that each of you read this talk on your own because of the power of the entire message. 

I have been thinking a lot lately about what really lies ahead. I have thought a lot about exaltation and eternal life with my Father in Heaven and how important that is to me. I think about victory in that matter and how glorious that idea seems in my mind. I am moved upon by the spirit to realize that I can conquer and I can end  this life with victory. Victory over death because of the Savior Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for me. Victory over Satan by following the commandments and being obedient in following the Prophet. Victory by putting off the natural man and rising above the barrier of the world. And Victory with my own family because of the choice to go to the temple to make and keep sacred covenants with my Heavenly Father. There is power and understanding that lies within my heart that is so precious and simple that leads me to speak. These quotes given by a man called of God are true! Christ's mission here on earth was much different than ours may be. Of  course He is the one who leads us back home if we follow. His mission however is still continuing. As faithful members of His church it is important that we each continue in His work. We are all to assist in bring about eternal life to our dear brothers and sisters. Many may follow and seek the 99, but Christ went after the 1. May we all go after that 1 who may not be physically calling our name but may be seeking out in prayer for a friend or one to love them. We can go undefeated before the Lord if we choose to. Let us all go on in Victory!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I Will Rest in You

This video is shared in seminary quite often but it is one of my favorites. I testify that we can rest in God's love. We can rest from fear, doubt, sin, and all suffering by having faith in Him and believe that we can rest. Toward the end there is challenge to write in your journal. I encourage each person who watches this video to do so! I am so grateful for the knowledge I have and it helps to write things down. Enjoy! :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Our Personal Portrait

Puzzle Hands
"The truth is, those who diligently seek to learn of Christ eventually will come to know Him. They will personally receive a divine portrait of the Master, although it most often comes in the form of a puzzle—one piece at a time. Each piece helps us to see the big picture a little more clearly. Eventually, after enough pieces have been put together, we recognize the grand beauty of it all. Then, looking back on our experience, we will see that the Savior had indeed come to be with us—not all at one but quietly, gently, almost unnoticed."- Dieter F. Uchtdorf April 2011 Conference

As I have read this talk over and over again I have been touched by it's message and the truth that it holds. I am simply drawn to the fact that if we will learn of Christ, we will know Christ. My testimony has grown as I have taken the time to learn more of Christ and His love for me. Christ may not appear to me as He did to Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove, but I have reason to believe that He lives! I have reason to believe that He knows me and the things that I face everyday. As I have looked back on the past year and where I have been in my life I have come to understand that there are many puzzle pieces fitting together. I see trials, pains, and afflictions coming together to bring greater beauty. I see relationships, influence, and simple acts of kindness coming together to bring greater beauty to my big picture. Life is a big picture that can be seen more clearly as we move forward in faith and let those puzzle pieces come to us and be attached to our puzzle. When enough of those puzzle pieces come together we realize that the Savior has come to be with us and has come to help us. Trials come. It's not a matter of "If", but it is a matter of "when". When those trials and hard times come in your life remember that the Savior has come to you to be with you. Maybe not in an extraordinary vision or appearance, but quietly, gently, and even almost unnoticed. Jesus Christ lives. He is our Savior and our Redeemer. He is the only begotten of the Father. He loves me. He died for me and for you. I know that as I continue to seek diligently to learn of Him that I WILL know Him. I am grateful for this truth. I know it can be true for you.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

An Apostle's Easter Thoughts on Christ

This is absolutely one of my most favorite talks. This video brings tears to my eyes as we are able to feel of Our Savior Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for this Easter Sunday and for the spirit we are able to feel. I know that Jesus Christ lives. He is Risen. Let us all remember what this is all about. I hope that as you watch this video that you might remember who the Savior is to you. I hope that we can stand by Him and take His name upon us.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Lord's Side of The Line

Captured by Michael Palmer
"Being steadfast and immovable on the Lord's side of the line is the only strategy that works long-term against Lucifer. If the adversary can't get us to succumb to blatant evil, he tries to wear us down, weaken our resolve, and dim our memory of who we are. He promotes the Sin  Now, Pay Later Plan. He feeds our vanity with promises of popularity and power. He tells us that life is supposed to be easy and that if we experience undeserved pain the gospel much not be true. He always promises shortcuts, though there are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going. But he cannot duplicate joy or peace. That is why there is such safety on the Lord's side of the line, where the power of the priesthood and the Holy Ghost protect us." - Sheri Dew Saying It Like It Is

I find this quote to be absolutely true. Isn't this how Satan works on each of us every single day of our lives? Isn't this the things he puts into our mind when we are having a hard time? I have found that over the last little while as I have struggled with things that Satan tries so hard to ease his way in. He tries so hard to make me feel like nothing but a pile of dirt. BUT I know that when I am on the Lord's side of the line and I let Him teach and comfort me I feel peace and joy. I know that those are two things that Satan cannot duplicate. Embracing the gospel and continuing on the Lord's side brings joy! Joy that is not existing anywhere else. I know this to be true because I have felt it.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Be Strong: I Know Who I Am

I love this video with all my heart and I watch it almost daily to remind me to " Be His, Be One, Be Strong." I know with all my heart that our Heavenly Father loves us and He knows me and He knows you. I love Him and I know my Savior Jesus Christ loves me enough to suffer and die for my sins. I hope that each of us can represent Him and remember who we are and what we stand for. I hope each of you can enjoy this video and take it to heart!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

More Than Conquerors

As conference came and went I felt inspired by the Savior's messages to each of us. The Savior of the World came to tell us the things which we should do and remember to become more like Him. I know that conference has affected each of us in different ways and I hope within the next little while to refresh your memory with posting about such things.

A talk that really touched me and the one that I would like to start with is called "More Than Conquerors through Him That Loved Us." This message was given by Paul V. Johnson of the Seventy. I am grateful for the words that were spoken and I truly hope that we can all learn something from these few quotes. I think in the midst of trial and hardship we forget what it's all about. We forget that we are not alone and that Christ himself, as a perfect being, went through the worst trial and hardship so that he might be able to understand YOU and I and help us along the way.

"Earth life includes tests, trials, and tribulations, and some of the trials we face in life can be excruciating. Whether it be illness, betrayal, temptations, loss of a loved one, natural disasters, or some other ordeal, affliction is part of our mortal experience. Many have wondered why we must face difficult challenges. We know that one reason is to provide a trial of our faith to see if we will do all the Lord has commanded. Fortunately this earth life is the perfect setting to face—and pass—these tests."

Elder Orson F. Whitney said: “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. … All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable. … It is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire.”

Remember the next time that you have a bad day that it is all as trial of our faith to see if we will do all the Lord has commanded. Remember that when you have a bad day that trial and tribulation is there to bring us TRUE joy and happiness. I am grateful for this knowledge and I know that it is so true! Have a great weekend! :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Walking the Path

"There is not a single loophole or curveball or open trench to fall into for the man or woman who walks the path that Christ walks. When He says, " COME, FOLLOW ME" ( Luke 18:22), He means that He knows where the quicksand is and where the thorns are and the best way to handle the slippery slope near the summit of our personal mountains. He knows it all, and He knows the way. HE IS THE WAY." - Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

It is such a comfort to know that Christ is the way. He is the way through the path and He is the one that holds our hand as we climb our personal mountains. It makes all the difference in the world to have the testimony that Christ knows each of us individually as He has suffered for each of us individually. Wherever you are in your personal journey remember that Christ IS the way and He knows where the thorns are and the quicksand lies. He knows you and is by your side every step of the way. Trust Him and Follow Him.

"The Savior has not only walked the course, but will walk it again with you every step of the way." - Elaine S. Dalton

Sunday, March 20, 2011


The past couple of weeks I have thought a lot about happiness and the nature of it. I have talked with many friends and family about the subject. I asked many questions life how they define happiness, what makes them happy, and where it comes from. I have been enlightened with so many different answers and ideas and I am fascinated with it all! I wanted to share a thought or two on happiness. (Not to mention, I just got back from Disneyland where you can't help but feel happy!)

I found a talk given by President James E. Faust a number of years ago called "Our Search for Happiness". In his talk he said a few things that I don't think we recognize on our own. President Faust said, "Having lived quite a few years now, I have concluded that since we don't always desire that which is good, having all our desires granted to us would not bring us happiness. In fact, instant and unrestrained gratification of all our desires would be the shortest and most direct route to unhappiness.

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught,"Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected by Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 255–56).

In closing this is a poem given in President Faust's talk with an unknown author:

Success is speaking words of praise,
In cheering other people’s ways,
In doing just the best you can
With every task and every plan.
It’s silence when your speech would hurt,
Politeness when your neighbor’s curt.
It’s deafness when the scandal flows
And sympathy with others’ woes.
It’s loyalty when duty calls.
It’s courage when disaster falls.
It’s patience when the hours are long.
It’s found in laughter and in song.
It’s in the silent time of prayer,
In happiness and in despair.
In all of life and nothing less,
We find the thing we call success.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Not Our Home

"This earth is not our home. We are away at school, trying to master the lessons of "the great plan of happiness" so we can return home and know what it means to be there." - Bruce C. Hafen

I find this quote to be so profound and enlightening to the soul. I love this reminder that we are here to master the lessons of the plan of happiness which could not be here without the sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ. But it's the last phrase that hit home. "so we can return home and know what it means to be there." Life may be hard and the world may be troubled but this is not our home. God has sent us here to TRY to master the lessons of His great plan so that we may surely know what it means to be there with Him at home.

Have a great weekend!:)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

You Are My Hands

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave a talk in last year's April conference entitled "You Are My Hands". This talk is one that teaches us the ways of the Savior and the love He has for each one of us. I wanted to focus on the importance of Love within the church. As quoted from the talk, "Love is what inspired our Heavenly Father to create our spirits; it is what led our Savior to the Garden of Gethsemane to make Himself a ransom for our sins. Love is the grand motive of the plan of salvation; it is the source of happiness, the ever-renewing spring of healing, the precious fountain of hope."(emphasis added)

It is very obvious that Love plays a key role in our existence and it also plays a role in our salvation. It is up to us to love others as Christ does. It is up to us to serve others with all purpose of heart and with charity. Love is more than a four-letter word... it is an action that we should be extending to all of God's children. This next quote gives us just a few of the blessings we receive by reaching out to others with Christlike love. "As we extend our hands and hearts toward others in Christlike love, something wonderful happens to us. Our own spirits become healed, more refined, and stronger. We become happier, more peaceful, and more receptive to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit." (emphasis added)

In closing, “Let our hearts and hands be stretched out in compassion toward others, for everyone is walking his or her own difficult path. As disciples of Jesus Christ, our Master, we are called to support and heal rather than condemn.” I can testify that when I forget myself and go to work I can see just a minuscule of the love Christ has for me. I feel happier and I feel that my spirit is stronger. EVERYONE around us is walking on a difficult path and there are those that need our help. Let us extend our hands and our hearts.

Its a new week! Make it good :)