Monthly Archives: November 2014

Running the Wrong Way


Suppose you are running a race.  You are doing your very best, running as fast as you can.  

Suddenly, there’s a problem.  :0

You discover that you are running the wrong way!  What do you do?

Would you keep right on going?

No, you are going the wrong way.  If you kept going you wouldn’t get where you want to go, and you wouldn’t win.

So you’d stop what you’re doing, and go the correct way.  And, you would do so quickly!

The same principle applies when you “discover” that you did something wrong.

If you keep on going, you’re not going to get where you really want to go.

But, you may think, it’s too embarrassing to correct.  Or you don’t want to correct because you deserve it, or because no one will know anyway, or because you just don’t want to or it’s just too hard.

But if you really think about it, do any of those excuses really make any sense?  And while it may seem easier to just let it be and keep going as you were, in reality you know that that plan of action really isn’t any good.

Course corrections, otherwise known as repentance or change, are a necessary part of life.  No one makes no mistakes.  So we all have to change, to repent.  Here are the steps of repentance:

  1. Recognize that you did something wrong
  2. Feel sorry for what you did
  3. Admit what you did and ask forgiveness from the person you wronged
  4. Right the wrong, do what you can to make up for it
  5. Learn from the mistake and never do it again

Think of a time when you repented, corrected something you did wrong.  Yes it is hard to repent.  But, how did you feel when you repented?  You felt good inside, like a burden was lifted off your shoulders.  And you were able to move on with your life.  You were a stronger, better, and much happier person for it!

Resolve today that you will change the things in your life that need to be corrected.  And not to stew over them debating whether or not to repent or when.  Just like realizing you’re running the wrong way, quickly repent and get moving in the right direction.  You’ll lose less time, be less stressed, and feel much happier.

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Yes, Mormons Celebrate Thanksgiving


A dear friend, who know that I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (otherwise know as the Mormons), asked me the other day if I celebrate Thanksgiving.

A great question!

Of course, most people throughout the world and throughout history have celebrated the harvest and given thanks to whatever God they believed in.

In the United States George Washington called for a day of thanksgiving after the battle of Trenton, a battle which saved the Revolution.  And when he became President, he called for an annual day of thanksgiving.

I’m glad we have Thanksgiving.  It’s good for us to take a moment once in a while and contemplate what we have to be thankful for.  It’s good for us, puts us in a different frame of mind.  It brings peace to our heart and our very soul.  It softens us and helps us remember what is truly important.

Taking time to thank God, our Heavenly Father, for those things brings humility.  Not humiliation, and not subservience.  But humility.

Humility is knowing we are God’s children and turning to Him in faith and in prayer.  It is trusting Him, believing (or trying to be believing) that He is there, that He loves us, and that He can, and will, help and guide us and our friends and loved ones.  Humility is turning to God and being teachable enough that we act on the inspiration that He sends to us.

If you ever wonder if a thought that comes to you is from God or not, there is a sure way to tell.  “For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

“But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.” Moroni 7:16-17.

There are many, many benefits to being thankful.  In fact, it is so important that members of the Church are taught from our early childhood on up to pray daily and always to thank Heavenly Father for the blessings He has given us.

Not only do we celebrate Thanksgiving, we essentially do it on a daily basis.  🙂

 

The Deep Freeze


It’s been COLD around here for a few days now!  We’re in a deep freeze.

Luckily, it sounds like we’ll get above freezing again tomorrow.  Good thing, ’cause we’re starting to go a little stir-crazy.

I was home yesterday and working on a project.  It was taking some time and I thought of other things I should work on and about the “reasons” why I hadn’t already done them.

Next thing you know I found I was starting to get a little short with Beloved hubby!

This time I caught myself, took a moment to calm down, and thought about being glad that we were getting this project done, even if it was taking longer than normal.  I concentrated on the job at hand rather than letting my mind wander to other things.

We got through it and I’m glad I stopped myself from taking off on that little side-road my mind had wandered onto.  Instead of feeling angry, guilty, or sad I ended up feeling a sense of accomplishment for getting something important done, relieved to relax and plan what I wanted to do next, and very happy that I wasn’t upset with Beloved hubby!

Nipping it in the bud certainly saved me a lot of time, energy, and hurt feelings.  I’ll take that any day, especially house-bound in the middle of a deep freeze.  🙂

Warm Tender Feelings


“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  Proverbs 22:6.  A perfect scripture to go with the Primary Program!

Today was our Primary Program.  It was absolutely wonderful!  As the member of the Bishopric said when he announced they were on the program today, “you never know what is going to come over this pulpit when the Primary does their program!”  Everyone smiled, knowing some children might be too shy to speak in front of the congregation, some might speak way too fast, some might leave the pulpit while still saying the last few words of their part, some might speak quite energetically and loudly into the microphone, and some might forget the order or mispronounce a word in their part and come up with something quite interesting.

Apparently the kids were able to get most of their wiggles out yesterday at the practice, because from what I saw they were pretty reverent during the whole meeting.  They did very well with their talks.  They sang beautifully, just like angels – who I’m sure joined them!  It was definitely an inspirational meeting.  You could feel God’s presence in that meeting, a warm, comfortable, peaceful, and very joyful feeling!

I think the Primary Program is THE best meeting of the year.  Even better than the Christmas program.  🙂

For the closing song we sang, “Love At Home”.  Another of my favorites all my life.  As we sang about how wonderful and beautiful everything is when there’s love at home I thought, “This is what it’s all about.  I’m so glad I learned about having a loving family when I was growing up.”

Then my thoughts turned to times that there is not love at home.  They do seem to happen, times when people are upset with each other, arguing, etc.  Luckily I was raised learning that those do not have to be the norm.  They can be the times that come but don’t have to stay.  And that we really do truly love each other even when we don’t always act that way.

And I thought of people who had more difficult circumstances to grow up in.  Some might feel there is no love at home, or that it might be a fleeting and temporary thing.

I want you to know that if you ever feel that way, you do not have to believe that it is true!  We all have moments of doubt, of trouble, of pain.  But things do not have to stay that way.  Part of Heavenly Father’s loving plan is that we can turn to Him anytime, anyplace.  When we do, He will lift our spirits.  We can have a feeling of calm and peace even when nothing in our current circumstances dictates that we could or should!

And when we ask God for His help, believe (or even just try to believe) that He will, amazing things start to unfold.  We can find ourselves suddenly feeling lighter, like a load has been lifted off our shoulders, people may start entering our lives and helping us in unexpected ways, out of the blue opportunities come our way.

Heavenly Father loves you so very much!  He wants to help and bless you.  He did not send you here expecting you to simply figure things out or to be stuck in a bad situation.  His purpose is to help us become better people.  He has given every one of His children (all of us) a spark of divinity, a piece of Himself if you will, that can guide us through life.  It is called the Light of Christ.  It is often called our conscience.  It’s that little voice in your mind and heart that tells you to Stop! when you consider something that is wrong or untrue.  It whispers Yes when you consider something that is good or true.

The more you follow that spark, that Light of Christ, the brighter it becomes.  Your kind, loving Father in Heaven has promised you that you can know the truth of anything, of all things.  You can feel in your mind and in your heart whether something is good or bad, from God or not, the correct path or the wrong one.  It is His promise.

In the meantime, He will send thoughts and feelings your way that will nudge you in the right direction.  And as you follow those promptings, and seek out more ways to feel His Holy Spirit, He will bless you with His choicest warm, tender feelings.  I testify that this is true.  I have experienced it in my own life.  He will bless you!  🙂

Primary Practice


Tomorrow is our Primary Program at church, so today the Primary went to the church to practice in the chapel.

The first time through is always a little rough.  The kids wiggle a lot, play with the choir seats, sometimes get silly, have a hard time sitting still while the others are saying their parts.  But we get through it.

The second time most of the kinks have been worked out of the process and things are starting to run a little smoother.  There’s still a lot of playing around, but the kids are a little more sure of speaking when it’s their turn, and one of the youngest actually says her part this time!

It is interesting to hear the children sing.  I can’t pay a lot of attention to them because I’m busy concentrating on playing the piano and staying in sync with the music director.  Pianos are different and this grand piano’s keys feel different and play differently than the upright in the Primary room.

But you can tell which songs the children love and know really well.  A lot of the time they’re a little quiet, but sometimes they really belt it out.  It makes me smile.

We get through the practice, have the closing prayer, and go to the kitchen for treats – doughnut holes and apple juice this year.  Yum!

The kids were leaving to go home, and I decided to go back to the chapel to run through the songs again.

After playing the songs again, trying to keep it smooth and gloss over any mistakes instead of stopping to redo that part, I was enjoying spending this time at the piano.  So I began playing some of the other church hymns.

Wow, did that bring back memories!  I played songs that I have grown up with and known all my life: Love At Home, O My Father – my all-time favorite song so I decided to sing along with it even though I’m not very good at singing and playing at the same time anymore, Hold To The Rod, and A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief – all 7 verses and I sang with this one too.

The feelings that washed over me as I played these beautiful hymns was amazing!  I felt close to God, and realized anew why I used to love sitting at the piano playing Primary songs and Church Hymns.  And I was thankful once again for learning about Heavenly Father and His gospel all my life.  It has brought me so many blessings, so much strength, and so much happiness.

That is why we keep practicing.  Every time we sing or play the songs, every time we prepare a lesson, every time we say our prayers, or read in the scriptures, or share stories of faith, or stories of how we overcome hardship or survive something traumatic, or choose to be kind when we feel like getting angry – all these things help us become better people and advance us on our journey back to our kind, loving Father in Heaven.

They help us to remember.  And practice makes perfect.

Life in the Church Foyer


I got to church kind of late today for Sacrament Meeting, so went to the foyer, which is right outside the chapel.

Being the first Sunday of the month, today is Fast Sunday in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  For Fast Sunday we fast 2 meals (no food or dink) and give the money we save doing so to the Bishop (the leader of the local congregation).  This “offering” is used to help the poor in our Ward (congregation), or if not needed at that level it will be used to help the poor in a different area.  It is a wonderful part of the Lord’s plan!

Also on Fast Sunday we have a special Sacrament meeting.  Members are invited to go to the pulpit and bear (share) their testimonies.  When you are fasting there is often a special feeling you have, you feel closer to God, with a greater portion of His Holy Spirit in your heart.  Again, a wonderful part of Father’s plan.

As I listened to the testimonies that were being shared, I noticed those who were also in the foyer with me.  A young family, a couple sisters (ladies), a couple missionaries.  And after a time, members of the Ward who meet before us and were now leaving to go back home.  Lots of families, friends, children, and adults.

I realized I was watching life in that foyer.  We are a family-oriented church, so all are invited to Sacrament meeting.  Sometimes children get fussy and are taken out of the chapel to be calmed in the foyer.  Or people might arrive late and wait in the foyer for Sacrament meeting to end and to join in on the Sunday School, Priesthood, Relief Society, Young Men and Young Women, and Primary portions of the day.

I see that friends visit, teachers put last minute touches on their lessons, people make plans for the coming week, fathers play reverent finger games with toddlers, children sway with the music and learn to conduct, and babies learn to walk!

Ah, life is learned in the Church foyer!  🙂