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!  🙂

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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!  🙂

What Is This Thing Called Death?


A good friend passed away this week, and got me to thinking.  What is this thing we call “death”?

Some would say that death is the end, a nothingness, ceasing to exist.

If that were so, where is the meaning of life?  And how could the injustices, the lives of those who seem to suffer so much, or those who live without hope make any sense?

Did we really just “pop” into existence only to be “snuffed” back out?

That just doesn’t sound or feel right!

Others say that death is the most horrific thing that can happen, leaving us hanging in a limbo for all eternity, or consigned to repeat life over and over, ever trying to improve minisculy.

If that were so, would life be lived in constant fear of not making the grade, not learning enough, or of being over before we have the opportunity to show what we can do?

Is that really why we are here, to blow it royally or to have to keep trying forever and ever?

That doesn’t sound or feel right!

Our loving Father in Heaven created the earth as a place for learning and growth for His beloved children.  He sends us, His spirit children, here to get a physical, mortal body.  Death is the separation of our spirit from our physical body (like when you take off a glove).

Our body is left behind, while our spirit continues to live and moves on to the next phase of our learning and growth.

If this is so, where is the meaning of life?  Are we really here to see if we blow it royally or have to keep trying to make it forever and ever?  Life means being able to do more than we could as just living spirits, having additional senses, abilities, and blessings!  Injustices or problems we have no control over that are not corrected here in our physical life will be taken care of after this life.

Father in Heaven’s plan included giving every one of His children the opportunity to learn of Him and to choose to follow His son, Jesus Christ.  If they do not have that opportunity in this life (which a great many of His children do not have), His perfect plan includes the contingency for them to learn after this life.  All will be taught and allowed to choose for themselves whether to accept and follow His great Plan of Happiness!

So, does it matter what we do while here in this life?

Good question!  Yes, the more we learn and grow in this life the better off we will be in the eternities.  All of us have things we struggle with, that is part of mortality, and part of increasing in abilities physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially.  All that we learn here stays with us forever!

We are also here to have joy and rejoicing in the goodness of God, in sharing what we do have with others, and to make a positive difference.  There is purpose to our lives, and the choices we make will impact our eternities.

This thing that we call death is a step along the path of Heavenly Father’s plan.  It is passing through a door, leaving our body behind, meeting with our friends and loved ones who have already passed on, and one day – because of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection – having our spirit and body reunited in a glorified and perfected form never to be separated again, and finally receiving all that we have earned through our many choices throughout our lives.

Now that makes sense!  🙂

The Church in Nigeria


Tonight I was looking for some more information about Nigeria.  I decided to see what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has about it.  The Church does an incredible amount of humanitarian aide around the world, so I figured if nothing else I would see information about that.

One of the things we found was a wonderful performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir of a Nigerian song, Betelehemu.  “Watch the Choir Perform ‘Betelehemu’ — A Nigerian Carol Complete with Drums, Choreography, and Surprises” the website says.  It is an impressive number.  Watch it at http://www.mormontabernaclechoir.org/articles/betelehemu-the-history-lyrics-and-translation?lang=eng.  You will be glad you did!  🙂