Category Archives: Build a Better Life

Blessings Await You!


Sunday in Relief Society I taught a lesson from Elder Dale G. Renlund’s talk, Family History and Temple Work: Sealing and Healing.  He gave it during General Conference in May, 2018.

He mentioned several blessings that we might have asked for sometime in our lives:

  • Increased understanding of the Savior and His atoning sacrifice;
  • Increased influence of the Holy Ghost7 to feel strength and direction for our own lives;
  • Increased faith, so that conversion to the Savior becomes deep and abiding;
  • Increased ability and motivation to learn and repent8 because of an understanding of who we are, where we come from, and a clearer vision of where we are going;
  • Increased refining, sanctifying, and moderating influences in our hearts;
  • Increased joy through an increased ability to feel the love of the Lord;
  • Increased family blessings, no matter our current, past, or future family situation or how imperfect our family tree may be;
  • Increased love and appreciation for ancestors and living relatives, so we no longer feel alone;
  • Increased power to discern that which needs healing and thus, with the Lord’s help, serve others;
  • Increased protection from temptations and the intensifying influence of the adversary; and
  • Increased assistance to mend troubled, broken, or anxious hearts and make the wounded whole.9

He then said “If you have prayed for any of these blessings, participate in family history and temple work. As you do so, your prayers will be answered. When ordinances are performed on behalf of the deceased, God’s children on earth are healed. No wonder President Russell M. Nelson, in his first message as President of the Church [of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints], declared, “Your worship in the temple and your service there for your ancestors will bless you with increased personal revelation and peace and will fortify your commitment to stay on the covenant path.”10″

As I studied the lesson, I was amazed at how often, and in how many different ways, he brought up the healing aspects of searching out our ancestors and working to link our families together.  He also profoundly pointed out that, “When God directs us to do one thing, He often has many purposes in mind.” (emphasis added)

The class discussed many options that are available to us these days to help us work on family history – genealogy, seek out our ancestors, compile family histories and photos, Family History libraries, FamilySearch.org, family history consultants, Indexing, Ancestry.com to name a few.

This is exciting work and becomes even more so when you consider the blessings that are awaiting you to help in your current situation!  (take a quick gander at the bulleted list above!)

What have you done to find your ancestors?  What blessings were yours as you did so?

What can you start doing to obtain these wonderful, healing, blessings?  🙂

Advertisements

Taking Stock of Where We Really Are


Sometimes I get caught up in all the things that I haven’t done, things I long to do but can’t, and mistakes I’ve made, pain I have had.  It can be a miserable, downward spiral!

The other night I was having a similar session when I couldn’t sleep.  I finally decided to grab my calendar (where I keep everything) and left the room.

As I walked out, wondering what I wanted to do, the thought came to brainstorm what I would do in my life right now if anything were possible and nothing was holding me back.  Hmmm, interesting idea.

So, I started a list.  Pretty soon I had a good-size list going, over a dozen items.  Most were not costly as that is not what my life is all about.  Many of them had to do with developing closeness with family and friends.

When I’d written everything I could think of, while contemplating what to do next, it occurred to me that I am doing some good things already.  So, next to my list I started a list of things I am doing well right now.

I started with simple tasks – keep up the laundry on Saturdays, keep up pretty well with the dishes – doing them when I have a load in the dishwasher, etc.  Then I moved on to more varied topics – doing well at my job, reading the scriptures almost every day, attend Church every Sunday, connecting with extended family, etc.

I started feeling pretty good about my life.  It helped to realize that I am accomplishing more than I give myself credit for, even though I’m not doing everything I can picture.

And, suddenly, I started looking at that first list a little differently.  If I do this thing a little bit differently, or tweak that a smidgen, look at what I might be able to start doing now after all!  Wow, this is starting to be a little exciting!

Taking stock of where I really am, instead of just feeling completely overwhelmed and under appreciated, opens up a whole new realm of possibilities!

Talk about a good day, and being able to get some sleep again!  🙂

Easter, Christ’s Atonement, and Offenses


Easter is a celebration of Jesus Christ’s atonement.  And through His atonement, we can overcome the offenses others can cause – intentional or unintentional.

When we feel offended by someone it feels as though we were stabbed to the very heart!  We find ourselves re-living it over and over in our minds.  We can’t take our minds off that event.

It eats at us, we picture different responses to it – most of which are very unpleasant, especially towards the other person.

We feel as though we’d fallen into a constricting tunnel, a funnel really, a bottomless one at that.  You may have felt this at one time or another in your life.

But, because of Jesus Christ, the example He set for us, and His atonement where He also suffered for all our pains, we can look to Him and remember that what others do to us does not define us and does not have to affect us in those ways!

Instead, we have a number of options available to us, i.e.:

  • Most offenses were not even meant to offend.  It is simply the way we interpreted them that caused us to become upset.  We can choose to decide that nothing negative was meant and move on with our lives.
  • Even if the offenses were meant to offend, we have choices for how to deal with them.  We can let it go (thus taking their power to hurt us away from them); talk with the offender to see if we can work out something more constructive in our relationship; we can do something nice for them and totally disarm the offender (or do it without letting anyone know and start healing our own spirits immediately); go and do something we find joyful or engrossing to take our minds off it and thus not feel the pain.
  • One of my own favorite things to do is to turn to prayer.  Talking things over with our kind and loving Father in Heaven can help calm us, puts us in a different state of mind, and invites Him to bless us with His tender mercies and all-powerful love.  (It might take a good long talk, or even several good long talks sometimes.)

This is only a few.  But we are invited to move forward in our lives and not let little hiccups stop our progress.

Use this Easter season to remember Christ’s great love for you.  And pass that love along to others.

Truly celebrate Easter this year!  🙂

Easter is Almost Here!


Easter is just around the corner.  It is such a wonderful time of the year!

Spring is coming, grass is greening, flowers are blooming, baby chicks and bunnies are everywhere – especially at the stores.  🙂

All these are a reminder of the greatest event that ever happened.  The atonement of Jesus Christ – His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross at Calvary, His death, and His subsequent resurrection – affects every person.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”  John 3:16-17.

Jesus Christ has given everyone, everywhere, the free gift of resurrection, thus doing away with the sting of death.

“But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.”  Mosiah 16:8.

That is the glory of Easter and spring – coming back from death.  And even better, through repentance we can be forgiven for our sins because Jesus Christ paid the price for them.  He has provided a way for us to return to live forever with God, our Eternal Father, and His Son,  Jesus Christ!

The Answers to School Shootings – Self-Control and Respect For Others


I believe the answers to school shootings – and a host of other problems in society – is as simple as respect and self-control.

If people, children and adults, were taught respect, we would be living in a different world.  We would see others as important, as meaningful, as having worth.  And we would treat them that way.

If we were taught self-control, it wouldn’t matter if we did think of others as different from ourselves, we would control our actions and even our thoughts, and treat others well.

Think what the world would be like if everyone was kind.

It would be …

heaven.  🙂

Missing Time With the Family


I heard a brief blurb on TV the other day that mentioned that, since there are not enough childcare openings in the city, some parents are deciding to stay at home with their children.

While it is unfortunate they feel they are forced into this choice, I think they will find it is a great choice.  I used to be a stay-at-home mom and I loved it.

I miss being there to watch, guide, help, support, and have fun with my family.  Most of all, I miss all the time I had when I stayed at home!

Working full-time takes at least 10 hours out of my day (50 hours a week).  And the rest of my life must be squeezed into the remaining 14 hours a day (or 118 hours a week figuring 2 days off from work).

When you take the meals, dishes, wash, shopping, errands, appointments, and cleaning that we all have to do, there’s not much time left for everything else.  There are so many things that I just do not have time and/or energy for.

I used to be able to keep up with the house better, reach out to others more, plan better and more economical meals, work on hobbies or personal interests, even spend better quality time with my family!

And, while I hope to get back to those types of things when I retire, I find that my body may have other plans and refuse to keep up with me then!  🙂

 

Oh, Sugar! Progress Report


You may remember the poem I came up with to encourage people to think about the words they use and say “Oh, sugar!” instead of using profanity or obscenities.  And then when people use God’s or Jesus’ name as an exclamation or a curse, I was going to start saying “I’m so glad you brought Him up.  He loves you so very much!”

I printed the poem and put it in a frame and put a pretty bowl of sugar cubes in front of it at my desk about a week before Thanksgiving.  And I still have it up along with some Christmas decorations now.

A good handful of people have noticed the sign or the sugar while I was around, so I invited them to read the poem and explained why the sugar cubes.  Everyone of them left with a smile, and most seemed to agree it was kind of cute.

Then today along came the perfect opportunity to try the 2nd part of my plan.  I was talking one-on-one with someone and as she described a recent painful event, she was suddenly exclaiming God’s name several times.

I couldn’t hold myself back.  I jumped in with, “Yes, God certainly was watching over you!” and as she continued, I went on with “Please don’t say that, God loves you so much!  Please stop saying ‘God’.  Don’t use His name in vain.”

So, I have broken the ice.  I hope to be more courageous now and to speak up in love when people misuse His name.  I want everyone to know that God is real, He loves you, and He knows who you are.  🙂

Here’s the poem again if you want to use it (I’m thinking of substituting Christmas for the word Thanksgiving now on my framed copy):

Thanksgiving is the perfect time

to give up words not sublime.

To drive those words right from your head,

try Grandma Pearson’s words instead:

“Oh, sugar!”