Tag Archives: God – Father

Strengthening The Family


Working in Primary during Sunday School and Priesthood/Relief Society time, I miss out on the special 5th Sunday meetings with all the adults.

I don’t mind too much because much of what’s discussed there – which I find out by asking those who attended – covers topics that I am already quite familiar with.  And because it helps the children in Primary to have more stability in their lives when they see the same people in Primary each week.

Our latest 5th Sunday meeting was about the Church’s 2013 Leadership training program.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is all about helping people progress and to learn more that will help them help others.  Our bishop deemed this program important enough that he wanted the adults in Primary, and anyone who missed it last time, to be able to see it also.

So arrangements were made for substitutes for everyone from the teachers, to the leaders, to the music leaders.  And today we were privileged to see this special presentation!  🙂

This program is important enough to the leadership of the Church that they put it on their website, http://www.lds.org, where anyone who would like to can go, drink in its inspiration, contemplate its meaning, and design appropriate ways to use this knowledge at home with our families and at church with our callings (responsibilities).

So, what is this program?  It is all about strengthening families!

Why? Because the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.  The family is the most fundamental institution of society.

The family is the primary support structure in God’s plan to help us resist evil, overcome weakness, and work out our salvation. For this reason we should do all we can to strengthen the family in these days of confusion and opposition.

As Satan and his emissaries work to tear down the family, many people are losing sight of the joys and blessings a strong and loving family can offer. In this gathering gloom, the teachings and ordinances of the restored gospel shine as a unique beacon of hope.

How? Begin with prayer.  Heavenly Father is ever present and ready to help and guide us in all our acts in life.  We need but to ask.  He knows the answers.  He wants us to succeed.  He doesn’t hide from us.  He has given us many good and wonderful resources to live successful lives and complete our missions in life!

What more exciting news could there be?  And as we try, even in our sometimes feeble and unsure ways, to help and bless our families, our loving God will be there to bless and magnify our efforts.  We do not always realize the difference we make in someone else’s life.  How an encouraging word can change give hope to a waning soul.  That an act of kindness can brighten someone’s day.  Even a smile can show the other person that they are noticed and worth one small moment of your time.

May you watch and pray for ways to strengthen your family and loved ones.  Please share what things bring them the most stability, guidance, closeness, and love!

 

Eventful Days


English: Statue representing Peter, James, and...

English: Statue representing Peter, James, and John conferring the Melchizedek Priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These last couple days have been quite eventful.

Yesterday morning hubby was feeling the effects of being out 2 hours the day before.  So we had a slow morning getting ready for the day. I was fasting for a child who has seizures a couple times a day – despite all of the medical attempts at getting them to stop.  He’s getting ready for the final step.  Since I found out about him my heart has gone out to him and his loved ones.  I’ve been praying for them, and for his medical team.  So I added fasting to my prayers to invoke greater blessings from our loving Father in Heaven.

And, as I said, things were going a bit slowly.  We got done what we needed to, and it made me about 1/2 hour late for church.  I debated skipping sacrament meeting altogether, staying home a little longer, and just going for Primary.  But I decided to go ahead and go and either slip in late for the meeting, or play some songs on the piano in the Primary room until the kids came.

After I parked and started walking to the building, I suddenly remembered that I had been asked, 2 weeks ago, to give the closing prayer in sacrament meeting!  Oh my.  Well, I knew then where I was going.  I slipped into an empty seat on the back row so as not to cause any commotion going to our usual spot up on the 2nd row.  As the member of the bishopric who was conducting was announcing the closing song and prayer, I was watching him intently.  He was looking around, unsure about saying who was giving the closing prayer.  I guess he didn’t see me come in.  I found myself raising my hand, but he still didn’t notice.  Then I started waving my hand trying to catch his attention.  Luckily, being on the back row I don’t think too many people noticed what I was doing (this is not normal “church” behavior – well, except maybe for the toddlers).  He finally saw me and announced that I’d given him a fright as I was not sitting in my usual spot, and that I was giving the closing prayer.

After church I went home to collect hubby and go to the ward where our new little granddaughter would be given a name and a blessing.  It does a woman proud to witness such special times as this.  Our son took his new little daughter to the front of the chapel.  He was joined by a few men, family and friends who also hold the Melchizedek Priesthood.  Our son held his daughter and the others stood in a little circle around her placing their right hands under his and their left hands on the shoulder of the man next to him.  Our son then said a prayer, giving her her name and then pronouncing a blessing upon her.

It was such a beautiful moment!  In the circle were my husband, and another son.  This is part of the joy of the true gospel as found in true church!  This is part of the weaving of families together, tying them closer to each other.  It is wonderful to know that children are born innocent and without sin.  They have no need of baptism.  They are baptized at 8 years of age, when they have reached the age of accountability and know right from wrong.  And best of all, to know what happens to children who die before the age of 8: “And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven” (Doctrine and Covenants 137:10).  What a glorious message that is!  And exactly the type of thing you expect from an all-powerful God who loves all of His children!

It was a beautiful and moving service.

Then on to our house to visit and eat.  Children playing together, and learning to get along.  Adults enjoying each others’ company, catching up on our lives, sharing ideas and food.  Poor hubby swallowing wrong or something, and coughing up a storm!  He finally recovered.

Or so we thought.  He had pain on his inside thigh.  Later after taking his night pills and an extra pain pill, the torturous pain was still there, and he could hardly stand up or sit down.  As it looked like we would be making yet another run to the local ED (emergency department), I started worrying about spending all night there, having to take time off work to recover or to be there with him, wondering why these things always happen at night or on weekends, and getting a bit cranky…

Then I realized he certainly can’t help what happened, and there have been many times that we’ve done this type of thing (and survived it), and that I should be looking at it from his side rather than worrying about myself.  So I calmed down, and we went to the hospital.

Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital is a great place.  Things actually moved along at a decent clip, considering we were in an ED.  The doctor who came in remembered hubby from previously!  As he walked in, he asked if we were there for pneumonia again.  We explained why we were there this time.  He ran some test to discover the problem, but it didn’t seem to be a rupture as we’d suspected.  Then he said that hubby’s history is that when he comes to the hospital he is usually admitted.  Therefore, he didn’t want to miss something.  And he ordered additional tests.

Finally he had a pretty good idea what was going on and that some anti-inflammatories and time would help it heal.  He did want to keep hubby there for observation to be sure, and to run a couple more tests.

After getting hubby settled in his room, I left…about 6am.  Heavenly Father was definitely helping me as I drove home.  I went straight to bed and slept a few hours.

It’s a snowy day, so it was a good day to take off work.  I called the family to fill them in, visited with a couple via long-distance, took some time to have a good talk with Heavenly Father, decided it was a good day to bake, so found my wheat grinder and got some of my wheat from my food storage in the basement, ground it into wheat flour, and made a couple loaves of homemade bread!

It has been an eventful couple of days.  And how glad I am to have a kind, loving Father in Heaven Who goes through it all with me – the good and the bad – and rejoices, or mourns, with me.  I am truly blessed to know Him and for inviting Him into my life.  🙂

Memorable Day


English: A monument commemorating the restorat...

English: A monument commemorating the restoration of the Aaronic priesthood, which is located in Oakland Township, Pennsylvania, United States (historically Harmony Township). The monument was placed at the Aaronic Priesthood Restoration Site in 1960 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

We had several inches of snow yesterday, so a friend gave me a ride to church.  She said she was glad to do it and that she enjoyed the company as she usually goes alone.  She drives right past my house on her way to church.  She is such a sweet lady and a good friend.

 

Sacrament meeting was wonderful as usual.

 

I must say that sitting in the back as I have the last few weeks certainly gives me a different perspective that sitting up front as we have always done.  I would say that anyone who has a difficult time at church and sits in the back, rather than not going back, try sitting up front.  You don’t get all the noise and commotion, you can actually hear the person talking, you never have to worry about what people are thinking about you because you have almost no idea who is there and who isn’t – especially when you have to hurry to Primary to play the piano, or to class to teach!  🙂

 

In Primary we’re learning a wonderful song, “A Child’s Prayer”.

 

“Heavenly Father, are you really there?
And do you hear and answer ev’ry child’s prayer?
Some say that heaven is far away,
But I feel it close around me as I pray.
Heavenly Father, I remember now
Something that Jesus told disciples long ago:
‘Suffer the children to come to me.’
Father, in prayer I’m coming now to thee.

 

“Pray, he is there;
Speak, he is list’ning.
You are his child;
His love now surrounds you.
He hears your prayer;
He loves the children.
Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of heav’n.”

 

Words and music: Janice Kapp Perry, b. 1938

 

© 1984 by Janice Kapp Perry. This song may be copied for incidental, noncommercial church or home use.

 

It’s a beautiful song, and you always feel the spirit of God when you hear – or read – it.  What a wonderful blessing from Heavenly Father, such beautiful, moving songs to stir our souls and help us realize that He is real!

 

After church I was able to watch as my son ordained his son to the office of Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood.  The blessing he gave was that of a loving father who knows his son and what he is facing, what he is capable of, what he can do, what he should be watchful of, and inspired by God.  It was a spiritual and memorable experience, and I’m so glad to have witnessed it.  Afterwards I suggested to my grandson that he take a few minutes to write down what he remembers from the blessing when he gets home.  It can guide and direct him in the days and even years ahead.

 

A memorable day indeed!

 


Two Missionaries of .

Two Missionaries of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hope you had a good week.  It is amazing to me how the weeks fly by.  We’re doing pretty well.

The sign language song went very well.  We did it in the chapel as usual.  Then we went to several of the floors throughout the hospital and did it at the nurses’ stations.  I thought it was interesting what the people’s reactions were.  Most just kind of seemed to go on with their work, and some stopped what they were doing to listen and to watch.  A couple even clapped.  But all 3 of us loved doing it.

Today has been a kind of quiet day, but I’m feeling a bit discombobulated.  As I think about it, I think it’s because some issues came up today that I haven’t been able to resolve but feel they should be resolved quickly.  It can be hard when you have to wait for someone to do something that you need for your boss and you don’t know when they’ll get to it.  So I figure I’ll give them a day or so, then remind them.  Also I was playing a CD on my computer from an LDS group, Mercy River.  I was in the other room and a co-worker asked if we could turn off my music.  It didn’t seem very loud to me, but I guess maybe when she came out to help someone it must have interfered with their talking.  I don’t mind turning it off, but I feel kind of funny about the situation.

I do think that Satan tries to make us feel unsure or uncomfortable about things so that we aren’t as close to each other as we could be.  Questions pop into your mind and if you don’t kick them out, you soon start wondering if things are different than what they really are.  I do think that’s one reason it’s important to talk with people.  To check things out with them, so that misunderstandings can be cleared up as quickly as possible before much damage is done.  And we have to be careful what we buy into. One of the talks in church on Sunday was wonderful.  A lot of it was from Preach My Gospel.  A few things she said really stood out for me: ·         We should talk to everyone.  We never know what seed might be planted [and I’ve found that sometimes others are listening and can glean information too] or what they might be looking for.  It has also occurred to me since then that we can be so much more encouraging and friendly than we sometimes are.  i.e. instead of just walking down the hall ignoring people, or even just smiling and saying hi, I can give a compliment when I notice something good about them, or I can strike up a conversation with the person I’m standing next to, even just a friendly little chat. ·         When others are talking, we should listen to them and not think about what we’ll say back to them.  This is hard, but Heavenly Father has promised that He will give us what we need in the very hour that we need it.  We need to trust Him and let Him work through us. It was a very inspirational talk and helped me want to try a little harder and not give up.  I just love her. Yesterday the April church magazines came, so I brought the Ensign with me to read on the shuttle.  In the first article, by President Eyring, he said something that really made me think, “In the sacramental prayers, God promises to send the Holy Ghost to be with us…I have found in that moment that God can give me what feels like a personal interview.  He brings to my attention what I have done that pleases Him, my need for repentance and forgiveness, and the names and faces of people He would have me serve for Him.”  Wow, that just caught my eye!  And how much more meaningful would the sacrament be if we approached it this way.  I hope to try to do this going forward, and not just during the sacrament.  I think it would be great to do this every day! Well, have a great week!  We love you very much.

 

Come With Me To Church!


Knowing that Mom and Dad would probably soon be going to the hospital to have the baby, I offered to take the kids to church with me.  Why bother going to church?  Why worry about it at a time such as this?

That thought crossed my mind as I text messaged the invitation, so as not to disturb this precious yet precarious time in their lives.

Going to church has always been very important to me.  I was raised that way.  You go every week.  You just don’t skip going.  You only miss if you or someone you have to care for is ill.  As a matter of fact, if we went on vacation over the Sabbath, we found the local meetinghouse and attended there.

The benefits of doing this have been astounding.  There is, in fact, a synergetic relationship between going to church and living the commandments of God and the attendant blessings that are bestowed.  And this is because, as it says in the Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21, “There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated – and when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.”

One of the benefits I have been blessed with in my life is a steadfast belief in God, our Father in Heaven; never wavering, no matter what the ever-changing and shifting philosophies of society’s latest craze tried to espouse.  I never had to wonder if what was being proclaimed by the news, media, government or social group was truth or not.  I could weigh it against the steadfast teachings of the gospel as taught in the scriptures, the Prophet of God, and in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and know for myself whether it was true or not.  I could pray to a loving God who blessed every one of His children with the Light of Christ so each of them could know for themselves, if they would humble themselves and ask Him in faith.

Moroni 7:16 in the Book of Mormon says:

“16 For behold, the aSpirit of Christ is given to every bman, that he may cknow 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.

 17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do aevil, 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.

 18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the alight by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same bjudgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.”

I invite you too, to “come to church with me” and feel the things I have felt, learn the things I have learned, and receive the blessings I have received!

 

Happiness, Your Heritage


English: , the Second Counselor in the First P...

English: , the Second Counselor in the First Presidency of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few years ago I heard a wonderful talk from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf about happiness.  He gave it during the 2008 Women’s Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  But it is applicable to anyone.

It filled me with great joy and happiness, and with hope for the future as I listened to it that day.  The Church treats women so beautifully, as the true daughters of God that they are.  And Church Leaders have always given women the greatest encouragement, hope, support, and inspired counsel.

I believe you will find President Uchtdorf’s remarks very worthwhile:

“My dear sisters, I am grateful for this, my first opportunity to speak to the women of the Church gathered together in all parts of the world. We are especially honored today with the presence of President Monson and President Eyring. The choir has touched our hearts. We have been inspired by the messages of Sister Thompson, Sister Allred, and Sister Beck.

Since learning that I would be with you today, I have thought about the many women who have shaped my life: my wonderful wife, Harriet; my mother; my mother-in-law; my sister; my daughter; my daughter-in-law; and many friends. All my life I have been surrounded by women who inspired, taught, and encouraged me. I am who I am today in large part because of these singular women. Each time I meet with the sisters of the Church, I sense that I am in the midst of similar remarkable souls. I am grateful to be here, grateful for your talents, compassion, and service. Most of all, I am grateful for who you are: treasured daughters of our Heavenly Father with infinite worth.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise, but the differences between men and women can often be quite striking—physically and mentally, as well as emotionally. One of the best ways I can think of to illustrate this is in the way my wife and I cook a meal.

When Harriet prepares a meal, it’s a masterpiece. Her cuisine is as wide-ranging as the world, and she frequently prepares dishes from countries we have visited. The presentation of the food is awe inspiring. In fact, it often looks so beautiful that it seems a crime to eat it. It’s as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the sense of taste.

But sure enough, no matter how perfect everything is, looks, and tastes, Harriet will apologize for something she thinks is imperfect. “I’m afraid I used a touch too much ginger,” she will say, or, “Next time, I think it would be better if I used a little more curry and one additional bay leaf.”

Let me contrast that with the way I cook. For the purpose of this talk, I asked Harriet to tell me what I cook best.

Her answer: fried eggs.

Sunny-side up.

But that isn’t all. I have a specialty dish called Knusperchen. The name may sound like a delicacy you might find at an exclusive restaurant. Let me share with you how to make it. You cut French bread into small slices and toast them twice.

That is the recipe!

So, between fried eggs, even when they are greasy, and Knusperchen, even when they are burned, when I cook, I feel pretty heroic.

Perhaps this contrast between my wife and me is a slight exaggeration, but it illustrates something that may extend beyond preparing meals.

To me it appears that our splendid sisters sometimes undervalue their abilities—they focus on what is lacking or imperfect rather than what has been accomplished and who they really are….

The good news is that this also points to an admirable quality: the innate desire to please the Lord to the best of your ability. Unfortunately, it can also lead to frustration, exhaustion, and unhappiness.

Today I would like to speak to those who have ever felt inadequate, discouraged, or weary—in short, I would like to speak to all of us.

I also pray that the Holy Ghost will amplify my words and bestow upon them additional meaning, insight, and inspiration.

We know that sometimes it can be difficult to keep our heads above water. In fact, in our world of change, challenges, and checklists, sometimes it can seem nearly impossible to avoid feeling overwhelmed by emotions of suffering and sorrow.

I am not suggesting that we can simply flip a switch and stop the negative feelings that distress us. This isn’t a pep talk or an attempt to encourage those sinking in quicksand to imagine instead they are relaxing on a beach. I recognize that in all of our lives there are real concerns. I know there are hearts here today that harbor deep sorrows. Others wrestle with fears that trouble the soul. For some, loneliness is their secret trial.

These things are not insignificant.

However, I would like to speak about two principles that may help you find a path to peace, hope, and joy—even during times of trial and distress. I want to speak about God’s happiness and how each one of us can taste of it in spite of the burdens that beset us.

Let me first pose a question: What do you suppose is the greatest kind of happiness possible? For me, the answer to this question is, God’s happiness.

This leads to another question: What is our Heavenly Father’s happiness?

This may be impossible to answer because His ways are not our ways. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are [God’s] ways higher than [our] ways, and [His] thoughts [higher] than [our] thoughts.” 1

Though we cannot understand “the meaning of all things,” we do “know that [God] loveth his children” 2 because He has said, “Behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” 3

Heavenly Father is able to accomplish these two great goals—the immortality and eternal life of man—because He is a God of creation and compassion. Creating and being compassionate are two objectives that contribute to our Heavenly Father’s perfect happiness. Creating and being compassionate are two activities that we as His spirit children can and should emulate.

The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.

Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.

Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty—and I am not talking about the process of cleaning the rooms of your teenage children.

You might say, “I’m not the creative type. When I sing, I’m always half a tone above or below the note. I cannot draw a line without a ruler. And the only practical use for my homemade bread is as a paperweight or as a doorstop.”

If that is how you feel, think again, and remember that you are spirit daughters of the most creative Being in the universe. Isn’t it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it—your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination.

But to what end were we created? We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fulness of joy. 4 Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness. One of the ways we find this is by creating things.

If you are a mother, you participate with God in His work of creation—not only by providing physical bodies for your children but also by teaching and nurturing them. If you are not a mother now, the creative talents you develop will prepare you for that day, in this life or the next.

You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us. 5 The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.

What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside.

If you still feel incapable of creating, start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it.

Nearly a century and a half ago, President Brigham Young spoke to the Saints of his day. “There is a great work for the Saints to do,” he said. “Progress, and improve upon and make beautiful everything around you. Cultivate the earth, and cultivate your minds. Build cities, adorn your habitations, make gardens, orchards, and vineyards, and render the earth so pleasant that when you look upon your labors you may do so with pleasure, and that angels may delight to come and visit your beautiful locations. In the mean time continually seek to adorn your minds with all the graces of the Spirit of Christ.” 6

The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create. That is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come. Sisters, trust and rely on the Spirit. As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you.

Being compassionate is another great work of our Heavenly Father and a fundamental characteristic of who we are as a people. We are commanded to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.” 7 Disciples of Christ throughout all ages of the world have been distinguished by their compassion. Those who follow the Savior “mourn with those that mourn … and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.” 8

When we reach out to bless the lives of others, our lives are blessed as well. Service and sacrifice open the windows of heaven, allowing choice blessings to descend upon us. Surely our beloved Heavenly Father smiles upon those who care for the least of His children.

As we lift others, we rise a little higher ourselves. President Spencer W. Kimball taught, “The more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls.” 9

President Gordon B. Hinckley believed in the healing power of service. After the death of his wife, he provided a great example to the Church in the way he immersed himself in work and in serving others. It is told that President Hinckley remarked to one woman who had recently lost her husband, “Work will cure your grief. Serve others.”

These are profound words. As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.

President Lorenzo Snow expressed a similar thought: “When you find yourselves a little gloomy, look around you and find somebody that is in a worse plight than yourself; go to him and find out what the trouble is, then try to remove it with the wisdom which the Lord bestows upon you; and the first thing you know, your gloom is gone, you feel light, the Spirit of the Lord is upon you, and everything seems illuminated.” 10

In today’s world of pop psychology, junk TV, and feel-good self-help manuals, this advice may seem counterintuitive. We are sometimes told that the answer to our ills is to look inward, to indulge ourselves, to spend first and pay later, and to satisfy our own desires even at the expense of those around us. While there are times when it is prudent to look first to our own needs, in the long run it doesn’t lead to lasting happiness.

I believe that the women of the Church, regardless of age or family status, understand and apply best the words of James Barrie, the author of Peter Pan: “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” 11 Often I have witnessed quiet acts of kindness and compassion by noble women who extended themselves in unselfish charity. My heart swells when I hear stories of the sisters of the Church and how they rush to the aid of those in need.

There are those in the Church—both men and women—who wonder how they can contribute to the kingdom. Sometimes women who are single, divorced, or widowed wonder if there is a place for them. Every sister in the Church is of critical importance—not only to our Heavenly Father but also to the building of the kingdom of God as well. There is a great work to do.

One year ago in this meeting, President Monson taught that “you are … surrounded by opportunities for service. … Often small acts of service are all that is required to lift and bless another.” 12 Look around you. There at sacrament meeting is a young mother with several children—offer to sit with her and help. There in your neighborhood is a young man who seems discouraged—tell him you enjoy being in his presence, that you feel his goodness. True words of encouragement require only a loving and caring heart but may have an eternal impact on the life of those around you.

You wonderful sisters render compassionate service to others for reasons that supersede desires for personal benefits. In this you emulate the Savior, who, though a king, did not seek position, nor was He concerned about whether others noticed Him. He did not bother to compete with others. His thoughts were always tuned to help others. He taught, healed, conversed, and listened to others. He knew that greatness had little to do with outward signs of prosperity or position. He taught and lived by this doctrine: “He that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” 13

In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us, and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers.

My dear sisters, I have a simple faith. I believe that as you are faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, as you draw closer to Him in faith, hope, and charity, things will work together for your good.14 I believe that as you immerse yourselves in the work of our Father—as you create beauty and as you are compassionate to others—God will encircle you in the arms of His love. 15 Discouragement, inadequacy, and weariness will give way to a life of meaning, grace, and fulfillment.

As spirit daughters of our Heavenly Father, happiness is your heritage.

You are choice daughters of our Heavenly Father, and through the things you create and by your compassionate service, you are a great power for good. You will make the world a better place. Lift up your chin; walk tall. God loves you. We love and admire you.

Of this I testify, and leave you my blessing as an Apostle of the Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

May you find joy and God’s happiness in creating and in showing compassion!