Tag Archives: Lord

I Love The Temple!


Last night beloved hubby and I went to the Denver Temple.

I love the temple!

You don’t even have to go inside to feel that the temple is a special place.  As a matter of fact, we love going there on Christmas night and stand there outside the gate looking in at the temple, all lit up in the darkness.  It is a beautiful sight.

And we talk about how standing out there is like being in the Telestial Kingdom.  And that inside the gate is like the Terrestial Kingdom.  But inside the temple is like the Celestial Kingdom where God and Christ are.  How wonderful it would be to be there with Them!

Going inside the temple brings an almost unspeakable feeling of joy, and love, and peace.  When you leave your worries and cares outside its doors, you free up your heart to feel the Spirit of God and open yourself up to receiving inspiration from your kind, loving Father in Heaven.  You can receive answers to questions or issues that concern you.  You feel drawn to new heights of gratitude for the Lord and His blessings.

You see your life from a new perspective – not just the here and now, but the before and after of life too.  You realize life has possibilities unimagined, and you want to experience all of it!  And you know you can.  You become a kinder, gentler person, more understanding of others and the frailties we all have in life.  And you are enveloped in deep feelings of great love – God’s love for you, your love for your family, and even love for all mankind.  It is a sublime and exulted state of being, and you find yourself hesitating to leave, and longing to return soon.

It is the most wonderful place on earth!

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Missionary Homecoming


Missionaries Mormon

Missionaries Mormon (Photo credit: More Good Foundation)

After 2 years, our missionary returned home last night!  What a joyous reunion it was.

We went to the airport to greet him.  We went in to meet him, I scoured the area looking for a tall young man dressed in a dark suit, white shirt, a tie, and a black badge with the name “Elder” on it.

When at long last I spied him from several yards away, I found myself bee-lining straight for him, moving faster and faster the closer I got to him.  In fact, beloved hubby says I was running!

Then all at once, there he was!  Arms outstretched to return my hug, I hugged him for what must have been a full 60 seconds.  Tears were streaming down my face, I was so overcome with emotion.  As I stepped back to get a good look at him, I saw that he, too, had tears in his eyes.

He looked wonderful.  Tall and straight, with a confidence inherent in those who serve the Lord with all their heart, might, mind, and strength, he, too, was moved by the reunion.

My feelings ran the gamut from joy at seeing him after the long separation, peace for knowing he has been immersed in the Spirit of God and in developing his relationship with his loving Father in Heaven and in serving His children, gaining a love and appreciation for God’s children everywhere, happiness for the experiences (challenging and rewarding) that he has lived through these 2 years, thankfulness to God for His great mercy in giving my son this opportunity and in allowing him to have this great adventure, to humility in realizing he is very soon moving on to the next stage of his life which will again take him away from home but which is the next step in his progression.  So much emotion.  🙂

It was wonderful to hear of some of his experiences.  Things that are different (like almost no thunderstorms there) and things that are the same (people are people no matter where you go).  He has become a man, he has learned to love people, to help and serve them just as the Savior did, to moderate his feelings and reactions, to become a leader and to watch for what people need and to address those needs.

It is so good to have him home!

And as I contemplate this experience and these feelings, I can see a similar reaction in Heaven by our Heavenly family to the homecoming of their children from their great adventure that we call life here on earth.  I catch a glimpse of the joy and rejoicing that must be present when one of God’s children returns from whence they came, to their family and loved ones, to their Father in Heaven.  What a wonderful homecoming, reunion, it will be!  It is a place of perfect love, of hope, and of great happiness for all we have done here that has helped us to progress and become better than we were!

And so here I am, encouraged to try a little harder, to seek a little more, and to step outside my normal sphere to connect with others around me, especially those in need, and to love and strengthen each other more than I have before.  And I look forward to my own homecoming when the time comes to leave this frail existence and return to Him who gave me life.  Oh, how joyous it will be!

Obedience, Protection, and Blessings of God


This is from a beautiful talk given at church a few weeks ago.  I hope you enjoy it and that you find it as informative and inspiring as I did!  🙂

(It is a bit lengthy, but worth every bit)

I am grateful for this opportunity.  I have prayed for guidance, and I hope that there will be at least one thing in my message today that will touch, teach, or inspire you.  I prayed that the Holy Ghost will be with me as I talk, and with you as you listen.

The subject of my talk today is Obedience, the first law of heaven.  Many of the brilliant insights in my talk have come from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, and from Elder Eldred G. Smith.  I found their teachings to be very wise.

Bruce R. McConkie, who served as an Apostle said, ” Obedience is the first law of heaven, the cornerstone upon which all righteousness and progression rest.”

Joseph B Wirthlin, another apostle, told us, “ Nothing is more important … than obedience to God’s commandments. ”   Every blessing we receive is based on our obedience to that law, upon which it is predicated.

The manual, Preach My Gospel teaches, “”Obedience is an act of faith.  As we obey, we increase in faith, knowledge, wisdom, testimony, protection, and freedom.

“The discipline contained in daily obedience and clean living builds an armor of protection and safety from the temptations that beset us as we proceed through mortality.”

Remember that “it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.”  The way to grow and learn is by overcoming obstacles.

In his address titled Decisions, Eldred G. Smith spoke about the fact that having Satan here to tempt us is an important part of our Heavenly Father’s plan.  He talked about the War in Heaven, when Lucifer (who we know as Satan) and his followers were cast out.  He points out that they were put here on earth to test us.  “Free agency requires that there must be a choice. There must be an opposing force. There is no growth, no movement, no accomplishment, or progress without overcoming an opposing force.”

Lucifer and his agents provide that opposing force, which make free agency possible for us in this life.

The right to make a decision, is ours, and it is the greatest asset we have on earth.  The Lord will not, cannot, and does not intend to take it away from us. He intends for us to use it. He is constantly advising and teaching us how to use it for our own good and further growth; even to attain eternal life.

Elder Smith continues, “”I would think God would be very unjust to put Lucifer here with all his power, to test us and try us, if he did not give us power to resist or overcome him.”  Remember, Lucifer did not come here of his own choosing. He lost that war in heaven and was put here to do a job, and he is doing a good job.

God is just. Lucifer, then, can do on this earth only what he is permitted to do.

Remember the story of Job? (Who, by the way, I regard to be a very real person…)  Elder Smith points out that in each trial Job was subjected to, Lucifer asked for permission to test him. He was given permission to go just so far, one step at a time.  Job lost his wealth on one test, his family on another, his health on another. Then the Lord gave Satan full control over Job, except he could not destroy his soul.

You may have often thought of how hard it would be to endure all that Job did, but have you stopped to consider the other side?  While he started out strong, one step at a time, Job became more strengthened to withstand all.  He grew more capable and more faithful until there was nothing that Satan could do to pull him from the correct path.

If we are to attain a degree of perfection, we too must come to that stage where, if the Lord desired, he could loose Satan on us with his full power, except not to destroy the soul. If we withstand that, then we will have attained a stage of perfection, even exaltation.

As with Job, so with us.  The Lord will not permit Satan to try us beyond our ability to resist or withstand his efforts, if we will accept The Lord’s help.  Many Prophets and church leaders have echoed that same sentiment, and through prayer you can gain testimony in the knowledge that The Lord does not expect anything of you that you cannot do.

Elder Wirthlin taught, “The commandments of the gospel come from a tender, loving Father who wants us to be happy and to return to His presence.  Heavenly Father gives us laws to make us happy, to protect us, and to help us avoid the inescapable pain and misery that always result when we yield to Satan, and give in to temptation. ‘Wickedness never was happiness.’  God is, indeed, our loving Father.  Everything He does is for our good. He knows all things. He knows us much better than we know ourselves, and He knows what is best for us.”

We live in a world filled with evil. Swirling all around us are the whirlwinds of strife and contention, temptation and sin.  Willing obedience provides lasting protection against Satan’s alluring   and   tantalizing   temptations.

Jesus is our perfect example of obedience. Learn to do as He did when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness. Even though He was weakened by fasting, His answer was quick and firm: The apostle,Elder Neal A. Maxwell said this of the Savior’s example in resisting temptation: “Jesus noticed the tremendous temptations that came to Him, but He did not process and reprocess them. Instead, He rejected them promptly. If we entertain temptations, soon they begin entertaining us!” 

When Satan comes calling, cast him out as quickly as possible. Do not let temptation even begin to entertain you.

Elder Wirthlin continued, “Even though a loving God has provided a pathway to repentance, you simply do not have the time to waste in transgression. Sin wounds the soul; healing slows progress, and takes time that could have been used in productive service and growth. The Lord needs you faithful and worthy, now and in the future, to combat the forces of Satan that are ravaging the earth.

In John 14:15 Jesus said “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”  We show our love for Heavenly Father and Jesus by obeying their commandments. It is by keeping the commandments that we are able to receive all of the blessings of the plan of salvation.

Elder Boyd K. Packer, also an apostle, said: “Obedience to God can be the very highest expression of independence. Just think of giving to him the one thing, the one gift, that he would never take. …

“Obedience—that which God will never take by force—he will accept when freely given. And he will then return to you freedom that you can hardly dream of—the freedom to feel and to know, the freedom to do, and the freedom to be, at least a thousand fold more than we offer him. Strangely enough, the key to freedom is obedience”

As we give to the Lord, we should give in the same manner that we want The Lord to give to us.

In a general conference address, N. Eldon Tanner, who served in the first Presidency, used the subject of tithing to illustrate his point.  He said, “” How would you like the Lord to figure out his blessings on the same basis that you do when you are figuring out your tithing? If you were in deep trouble, had physical or mental illness, or your family were suffering and causing you much concern, would you want him to say, “Well now, just how much can I keep from giving? How close can I figure this blessing?”

If we love our Heavenly Father we will want to obey him. If we find it hard to obey, we should strengthen our love for Him.  Although it may seem like the same answers that we always discuss, there is power and strength by doing things like daily prayer and scripture study because they help us to learn about, and, in turn, love, our Father in Heaven.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, while a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles urged, “Do not let pride stand in your way. The way of the gospel is a simple way. Some of the requirements may appear to you as elementary and unnecessary. Do not spurn them. Humble yourselves and walk in obedience. I promise that the results that follow will be marvelous to behold, and satisfying to experience.”

While Satan would have us believe that Obedience is weakness, or that in will enslave us, that is not the case. Obedience is a great sign of strength and will actually make us free.  Free from sin, guilt and confusion.  Free from worry and doubt.  Free from ignorance, and  free to make intelligent choices.  Free to be advanced in the priesthood.  Free to go on a mission.  Free to marry in the temple.  Free to be blessed and strengthened. Free to return to Heavenly Father.

The Lamanite stripling warriors in the Book of Mormon are an excellent illustration of the blessings that flow from precise obedience. Helaman had formed them into an army of 2,060 young men who fought on the side of the Nephites.  When they were fighting for the Nephites, the Nephites could not lose.

200 of the Stripling Warriors were so badly wounded that they fainted from the loss of blood. When they were carried from the battlefield, it was thought they were dead, but they weren’t. It seemed they could not be killed. They qualified for this mighty miracle by their obedience. Their leader, the prophet Helaman, says of them in Alma 57:21: “They did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness.”

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “”The windows of heaven are open wide to the faithful and righteous; nothing closes them faster than disobedience. …”

The obedience of the Stripling Warriors did not mean that they would never experience tough times.  Hard times are a critical part of this life.  They will happen whether we are obedient, or not.  The question is, would we rather have an easier time dealing with difficulties, and be blessed as we grow; or would we prefer to fight against the help we are offered and not progress as we encounter trials?

Elder Wirthlin shared that by obedience to the laws of the gospel, we can lift ourselves above the quagmire of sin that surrounds us in this world.   “In addition to helping you to become better servants of the Lord, obedience to these laws will help you to be better in everything you undertake in life, whether it be your activity in the Church, your family, education, business, profession, science, athletics, or any other worthwhile endeavor. You will be a better family member, and a better friend. You will enjoy your life more; you will be happier and at peace with yourself because you will know that your life is acceptable to your Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.”

He finished by admonishing that, “To achieve your goals in this mortal life and prove yourselves worthy of eternal blessings, learn to obey. There is no other way. Obedience brings great strength and power into your lives. ”

 

Home Sick


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)

 

It’s the second day of being home, not feeling too well.  Though I do feel better today than I did yesterday.  I wasn’t sure if it was a cold, sinus thing, or even just allergies getting the best of me.  Stuffy nose, no sore throat or coughing.

 

So I rested, tried medications, and finally (why is it sometimes the last thing I try?) asked beloved hubby to give me a husband’s blessing.  I’m so glad he holds the Melchizedek Priesthood and has the power and authority of God to be able to do that for me!  It’s just like when Jesus was alive on the earth and blessed the sick.  He also gave His authority to his apostles so they could do the same thing.  And that same priesthood power has been brought back to the earth in our day.

 

We have been so blessed by the priesthood.  Marriage in the temple of God not just till death do you part, but for time and all eternity!  Blessing of babies – not baptism because, as Moroni 8:8-11 says:

 

“8 aListen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the bwhole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little cchildren are dwhole, for they are not capable of committing esin; wherefore the curse of fAdam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them; …

 

 9 And after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me; wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemnamockery before God, that ye should baptize little children.

 

 10 Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are aaccountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their littlebchildren, and they shall all be saved with their little children.

 

 11 And their little achildren need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the bremission of sins.”

 

This is a beautiful truth that we learn from the Book of Mormon.  Heavenly Father wanted us to know the truth of these things and set in motion, thousands of years ago, the process so we would have these truths today!

 

 

Husbands and Wives


English: Created by Phil Scoville on June 25, ...

English: Created by Phil Scoville on June 25, 2005 Downloaded from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/philscoville/21528732/ This picture is free to share and remix with proper attribution under the following license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

You know, life with  beloved hubby is certainly adventurous.  And after so many years we have been through thick and thin, had our share of ups and downs, experienced much joy and pain.  We have learned from each other, and we have learned together.  We are now in a place of comfort with each other.

 

What is this place of comfort?  It is a place of:

 

  • deep love and abiding faith
  • a forgiving nature
  • supporting the other when we are going through rough times
  • being the anchor when the world seems totally against you, or great depression descends upon you
  • laughing together
  • finding joy in each other’s strengths
  • looking for ways to do for the other, to serve them
  • total trust, knowing and understanding that we are looking for ways to encourage each other, and if hurt is perceived, that it was not intended (or quickly saying, “I’m sorry” if it was, and striving not to do it again)
  • knowing when to let things go unsaid
  • knowing that you do not have to always be right, and even if you are right you do not have to point it out (and you can apologize for the other’s  ill feelings)
  • “we” is more important than “me” or “thee” (you)
  • a oneness in purpose (sometimes agreeing to disagree)

 

Interestingly, our son who is on a mission recently wrote his father a letter expressing thanks for the example he set of the way he treats me.  Our son pointed out that if you look at the media, or at society in general, or even at some members of the church you see a very different attitude about marriage and the way husbands treat their wives.

 

I was also talking with a friend who has been married about 3 years.  She expressed how wonderful their life together is.  As we talked about it she said they both work, and very different schedules at that.  They each pitch in and take care of whatever needs to be done at home.  They didn’t have to “divide up the work”, and they don’t feel there are things that they won’t do, or that the other has to do.  She mentioned that if she’s folding clothes and he comes into the room, he walks over and helps her finish.  She watches for ways to help him too.  What a wonderful world they live in!

 

Course, the great thing is, any of us can live in that same wonderful world.  When we think about what makes the other happy, or what can we do to enrich our lives together, particularly as we include turning to God, our Father in Heaven and inviting Him to show us the right way to live and be happy, we step into that same wonderful world.  It is not a world devoid of heartache or pain, trials or hardships.  But it is a world where we can overcome those things.  Where we can draw closer to each other and to God.  A better world than we often see portrayed on TV or in society.

 

I love to look around me and see those couples who are happy.  I watch them to see what I can learn from them.  I also look for ways to serve and please beloved hubby.  I do little things like fix breakfast for him in the mornings (OK, it’s just cereal but we both like it), speak kindly to him even if he is upset, fix his favorite meal, spend time with him, pick things up for him because it’s hard for him to bend over, cheerfully go and help him with paperwork when he wants to work on it because he doesn’t always feel up to it (and because doing paperwork and bills is such a huge project and a great pain anyway), etc.

 

Doing this brings me great joy.  I don’t go around feeling ill-used, or worrying about what he should be doing and what I should not be doing.  That just causes contention and drives the Spirit of the Lord from my life and from our home.  You may wonder at my willingness to serve my husband.  It was Jesus Christ who showed us that true joy comes in serving.  He set the example and showed us that this is the way to true happiness.  It helps us to see our own problems with a clearer perspective, and often to gain greater understanding about our trials and how to overcome them, or sometimes even to see them in the new light where we recognize they are only problems because of the way we are looking at them.  Often things are no longer such stumbling blocks when we cease to see them as such.

 

I invite you to look at marriage and the relationship between a husband and wife in a new light.  Don’t worry about what society and the media is expounding as the acceptable way to treat this most sacred and glorious of all relationships (just look at what that attitude has gotten them).  Instead, turn to the Lord for true knowledge and insight as He designed this institution and knows exactly how to make it work.  🙂

 

Sickle or Combine?


Two Missionaries of .

Two Missionaries of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Talk about excitement!

 

It started with my Jan. 22, 2013 post entitled, “Moment of Fame”.  Thanks to the Recommendations section of WordPress, I was led to a Denver Post article about the Mormons entitled, “LDS Scholars: Mormon Moment could expand into cultural shift”.  Cultural shift caught my eye, as well as, “Mormonism will be the first- or second-largest religion in America by 2106”.  Wow!  That’s pretty exciting!

 

Then I heard about someone who said that with all our resources these days, the scripture, “For behold the afield is white already to bharvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in cstore that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;”  (Doctrine & Covenants 4:4) is now more like using a combine (a harvesting machine) than a sickle.  WoW!  That’s even more exciting!!

 

And then I heard the Lord had prepared a great many people within an area to hear the gospel message.  WOW!  It is almost overwhelming!!!

 

But not in a bad way.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is the most important thing in my life.  And to think that others will be able to have that same blessing in their lives fills my soul with great joy and happiness.  It is what God’s plan for His children is all about.

 

We are not here by accident.  We are not left alone to try to figure out what life is all about.

 

Our loving Father in Heaven prepared a specific plan for His children to grow and progress.  And then He sent His Son to show us the way and to prepare the way back to God.  He also provided prophets who received His words and shared them with us.

 

So, whether by using a sickle, or a combine, we are living in the greatest period in the history of the world.  We get to participate in sharing the knowledge of God’s Plan of Happiness, His Plan of Salvation, with as many as we can.

 

And that is exciting!

 

Trusting the Lord


You know, I usually think of trusting the Lord in the passive sense, meaning that I believe God will bless me and help me as I patiently wait for it to be His will and for when the timing is best for me, and any others concerned.

But as I’ve been reading the book I referred to in my last blog, Teachings of Presidents of the Church, Lorenzo Snow, I am reminded that I can trust, and in fact should expect to trust, the Lord in the active sense.  By this I mean that we can believe the things He says, and when we obey those laws and rules that He has set forth, we will reap the blessings He has promised.  And even moreso, I am feeling that I can have the desire to say and do things that will strengthen and help others, and I can expect that as I move forward, initiating an action in that direction, God will bless my efforts, fill my mouth, and enable my meager attempts at encouraging someone else to be magnified!

And these acts do not need to be huge, or grandiose.  Sometimes just opening my mouth or stepping forward is enough to begin with.  For instance, today on that shuttle ride from the parking lot to work, there were several people already on it when I boarded.  I found an empty seat and pulled out my book to begin reading.  But it was so quiet!  The Spirit of God nudged me, so I didn’t begin reading.  And after a minute I asked the woman I was sitting next to how she was doing.  She said fine.  I thought for a moment, and then said the thought that entered my mind, “When I started for work this morning it was pretty nice.  But when I got into town it felt so much colder!”  And the gal behind me spoke up and said, “It’s true!  It is colder here in town than by the foothills!”

This sparked a lively conversation between the 3 of us and even a couple others on the shuttle and we had a very enjoyable ride in to work!  And did some teambuilding in the process.  Again, not a big thing, but sure a nice way to start the day!