Tag Archives: religion

My Church Gives Me Hope


I left Church today feeling incredibly happy and hopeful!  It was Ward Conference, so our Stake leaders were there with good messages of inspiration, encouragement, and hope.  It was absolutely wonderful!

In Sacrament meeting, Bishop Cox, the leader of our congregation, spoke about the influence of the Holy Ghost (or the Spirit of God) in our lives.  He talked about how meaningful personal, and family, prayers help us feel closer to Heavenly Father and we are able to feel the influence of the Holy Spirit better.

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we learn that prayer is communicating with God.  Bishop Cox explained that prayer is not like ordering groceries over the phone and then hanging up.  It is also not a wish list.  We are seeking to know what His will is for us.  He loves us and knows what is best for us, what will help us grow, and how we can help Him further His work among His children.

Seeking to find out, and then striving to follow, Heavenly Father’s will is something we consistently try to do.  Setting aside our will takes practice and time.  Our natural inclination is to seek to do and fulfill our own desires and purposes.  But allowing our Beloved Father in Heaven to guide our lives is trusting in His infinite power and goodness.  And His plans for our lives are more glorious than we could ever fathom!

Then our President Horsley, our Stake President, pointed out that there is power in surrendering our will to God’s will, and in seeking God’s will.  We discipline ourselves, learning to give everything to Heavenly Father.  We can become close to Him.  He is not just a friend.  He has created worlds without number!  He is God.

And he talked about 2 kinds of faith.  One functions in the life of every soul and is the faith born of experience – i.e. Spring will come, tomorrow is a new day, things will work out OK.  The other is a rare faith – it causes things to happen that otherwise would not be.  Seek to be directed, seek the Spirit of God, find comfort, find the Lord’s spirit.

Do not turn away the “still, small voice” of God.  Learn to recognize it.  It will take the hate, envy, strife, etc. from your heart.

Remain unyielding in following God, worthy of His choicest blessings, and prepared so you can receive all that God has to offer you, not only now – but in the eternities to come.

Talk about hope!  🙂

A Place to Set Aside Your Cares


Sitting in Church today, basking in the warm, energetic feelings of our opening song, “I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go”, it occurred to me that I was feeling much better than I have most of this week.

It has been an incredibly busy week, but even more so, an extremely emotionally challenging week.  Not much of that was personal, but my mind and heart were bombarded by the sufferings, worries, and challenges of those around me.  I had fallen into a state of discouragement and found myself wondering how to feel better – what could I do to raise my spirits?

And now, here was the answer.  By simply doing what I have done ‘most every Sunday since the day I was born – attending church at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – my wounds were being cleansed and bound up without my even paying much attention to the process.  I was being made whole again just because I was keeping the Lord’s commandments, living my life as I should, and participating in the great blessings that He has provided for us.

Ahhh, now I feel so much better, and ready to face the world and its concerns again.

I love the Church!  🙂

I Am Doing Great


For the first time in a few weeks I was able to attend the full 3 hours in Church today!  As I was walking down the hall afterwards, someone said hi and asked me how I was doing.

I replied, “Good”, and then I thought, “I am in Church, so of course I am doing great!”  I love The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and attending my church meetings brings me happiness, hope, and helps me be prepared for the week ahead.

I go to church because it is such a good way to feel closer to my Father in Heaven and to His Son, Jesus Christ.  At church we talk about things we can do to be closer to Them every day, and not just on Sundays.  We learn how Christ’s teachings fit into our lives today, and that by doing the things He did we can have the success that He had.

In the Church we are led by a living Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson.  But he is not the leader of the Church.  Jesus Christ is.  That’s why we are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Christ leads and guides the Church.  He speaks to His Prophet and His Apostles, giving them His will for us in our day.

Jesus knows how we can be successful, and gives us His loving guidance that shows us the path to happiness and eternal safety.  As we follow His guidance and keep His commandments, we are better able to live happy lives and help our families return to Him.  Jesus Christ is the only way back to God.  His greatest desire is to have everyone return to live with Him and His Father in joy and happiness forever.

He knows how we can not only get through life, no matter how difficult, but also how to do so joyfully despite the trials and sorrows we experience here.

I love Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, and I am so thankful to know about Them, my relationship with Them and with the people throughout the world, and for the blessings that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ brings to us in our day.

Tell me about your relationship with God.  🙂

The Mantle Transitions


Sunday our Stake Presidency changed, as is the normal course of events in the Church about every 10 years.   Our current Stake Presidency was released and the new Stake Presidency was called and sustained.  It was a wonderful meeting, and you could feel the Spirit of the Lord’s presence.

As Elder James B. Martino, General Authority Seventy, explained, this is a sacred process which the Lord, Jesus Christ, revealed.  He pointed out that he and Elder Thomas T. Priday did not come to select the new presidency, but to discern whom the Lord had been preparing and had chosen for this call.

These brethren in the Stake Presidency serve without pay.  They have regular jobs, and they serve in these callings on the side, volunteering their time, talents, and energy.  Why?  Because of their love for their Savior, Jesus Christ, and their commitment to keep the covenants that they have made with Him.

And so the mantle of authority transitions from one to the other.  No fanfare, no nominations, no voting.  Simply seeking to know and follow the will of God and serving where He wants them to serve.  It is not something we seek after, or that glorifies us.  And it is the same for every one of us.  Membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a beautiful blessing, a wonderful way to serve, and brings such love and growth as one can barely fathom!

I am so happy to be a part of it all!  🙂

 

What Makes It True?


This morning I read something interesting that reminded me of our world today:

“And it came to pass that he did teach these things so much that many did believe on his words…” Alma 1:5.

Doesn’t that sound exactly like what happens today?  It also reminded me of a quote I heard long ago and have found to be very true:

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.” – Alexander Pope.

Things that were abhorrent to even think of in our youth have been taught, displayed, and indoctrinated so much by society that many people have mistaken them for truth and either go along with, or even embrace them.

They wear many disguises, and are flaunted by politicians and media alike.  People start wondering if there might not be a spark of truth to them and find themselves being led down dangerous pathways that can only lead to unhappiness, emptiness, dissatisfaction, and social destruction.

Does that mean that we are at the mercy of flawed, misled, or corrupt individuals, and ideas?

No.  You have the power to find out for yourself what is true and what is not true.

Every individual has a special spark inside, known by many names: your gut, conscience, intuition, etc.  What is it?

“For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil” Moroni 7:16.

As you think about that, notice how it feels inside you.  Things that are true will feel right, comfortable, peaceful.

“Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.” Doctrine and Covenants 8:2.

Your loving Father in Heaven, who created you and this world for you to live on, thought to give you that special spark, the Spirit or Light of Christ, to help guide you throughout life.  He knew there would be many false beliefs, ideas, teachings, and people trying to lead you astray.  This is the one, sure way to know the truth of all things, the truth of anything.

You can develop this great gift from God.  The more you use it the more sensitive you will become to it and soon you will find that you are developing your relationship with your Heavenly Father and turning to Him automatically when something is unsure, when you need help, and when you long for peace.

I have known Him my whole life, and been greatly blessed by seeking the truth and trying to live it.  When I am uncertain, I know that I can turn to my Father in Heaven and ask for His help and guidance.  I know that He has often been there to comfort me and to remind me the right way to live to be happy, bless others, and return to Him.

May you have joy in the journey of seeking, and finding, what is true!  🙂