Monday, November 22, 2010

It's All About Tonight

Recently, I was listening to the radio, and a particular song caught my ear. It’s got a great sound, and I like the singer’s voice; however, its message made me think and then laugh. It celebrated partying and having fun. It said, “It’s all about tonight!”
Hmm. If it is all about tonight, then I need to reexamine things. Let’s see, tonight I have to fix dinner, lasso children to help clean up and do homework, have family home evening- which is always accompanied by weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, get kids ready for and into bed, and so much more.
When it comes down to it, as hard as family life is, it really is all about tonight. It’s about staying calm when children aren’t nice to each other or to me. It’s about TRYING to invite the Spirit into our home. It’s about showing compassion and love to children and spouse when I really want to go hide under my bed and not come out until they’re all asleep. It’s about teaching my children the gospel of Jesus Christ as well as living it. It’s about following the prophet and having FHE when my kids say it is their least favorite time of the week -besides Sunday, of course. It’s about spending the time with my family that they need. It’s about taking time to communicate with my Father in Heaven.
It’s not about partying, meeting a new member of the opposite sex, and living it up. It is about living the commandments, receiving the blessings, and feeling the Spirit. When should we do these things? Right now- this day, this evening, this night. It really is all about tonight.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Doctrine of Christ

I have just listened to a fabulous
CES fireside by Elder Ballard. The Spirit touched my heart, gave me hope, and encouraged me to improve my efforts so that I can grow closer to my Savior. I wanted to share it with you. Let me know your thoughts and feelings about the words of this apostle of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Who are you?

I am so glad that Halloween has come and gone! I just can’t stand it. I’m not sure why. Alright, maybe it’s because I gain ten pounds as I inhale miniature candy bars by the fist full, or maybe it has something to do with the annual argument with my son. He doesn’t understand why I don’t want him dressing up as something like Satan’s Guardian. Hmm. Someday he’ll get it.
This year, during Trick or Treat time, it was pouring rain, and the neighborhood kids were bundled up in coats. However, this did not detour them, or their soggy parents. They were still determined to get their candy. As they came to our door, my husband would say to them things like, “Who are you?”, “What are you supposed to be?”
I got to thinking about this. Imagine how it was from my perspective. I couldn’t see the children, just heard them answer my husband’s questions. They would answer, in excited tones,”I’m Harry Potter”, “I’m a witch”, “I’m a zombie”, “I’m a lady bug.” etc.
I know it sounds strange to compare Trick or Treating with spiritual things, but it brought to mind another meeting. When we knock at his door, what will be our response to Heavenly Father’s similar questions? Will we be able to say, “I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.”, “I am polished by adversity.”, “I am changed by the grace of the atonement.”, “I am clean.”, or “I am yours, Father.”? Will we be excited to enter his presence, and receive all that he has, because we have repented, stretched spiritually, consecrated ourselves and our lives and received Christ’s image in our countenances?
I invite you to evaluate your current responses to the questions my husband asked our neighborhood children: “Who are you? What are you supposed to be?” Because our lives are different, each of us will have different answers. But, our goal is the same- to become like Christ. In this process, we need not pretend to be something other than who we are- children of Father in Heaven. We need no artificial disguises of righteousness. We need only to become righteous, or more so, more charitable, more humble, more malleable, and more like Christ.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Don't give up!

I recently made a new friend, and her story breaks my heart. I long to comfort her, and take away her sorrow. But, that is something only the Savior can completely do. Speaking about trials, she writes: “I was taken away from my parents when I was only 3 days old. I was found by authorities with a broken collar bone and had not been fed or changed for days. I was placed in a foster home for 3 years. I don't know how or why I was returned to my parents but I was. At the age of 5 my parents divorced and I went with my mother never to see my father again until the age of 18. My mother was the youngest child of 10 and she moved me down to her family. I had my problems looking back at a very young age and no one helped me or asked me why. In the first grade I can remember stealing from other kids. This behavior stayed with my thru out my school career. At the age of 7 to 17 I was sexually abused by many men. Starting with my mothers boyfriends. The major of my abuse came from my mother’s older brother. His abuse was daily and I didn't know if I was going to make it to school or not. My mother was the physically abusive to me. I looked too much like my father and therefore I deserved to be hit every time she walked by me. I finally told my mother about my abuse at age 15. She did nothing to keep me safe and because I had told I was an outcast in my family. I removed myself from my home at the age of 17 and that was the day that I feel apart and have been that way ever since. It's hard to explain but it was like the day I left is the day I died. I know longer had to fight for my life daily because the threat was gone however that is all I knew how to do. I stop living that day. I have struggled every since. I wasn't raised in any church matter of fact just the opposite. The adversary was a mighty force in our family. I joined The Church of Latter-Day Saints 12 years ago. Many people would say that I have come along way since they met me but I don't see it. I have never allowed anyone to get to close to me and that even includes Heavenly Father and the Savior. I long for it but am scared of the unknown. Your book has encouraged me to start changing my attitude and looking to find Holy Places in my life.

Although our challenges or different they are somewhat the same as they both lead us to the Savior and his Healing Power. I look forward to learning more about Grace. Boy do I need that one in my life. Thank you for letting me share with you part of my story. It's only part of my story because I'm just now learning and believing that the Savior can play a major role in healing me. So I will have to write back on the rest of my story.”

If this hits a little close to home for you, please know that you are worth loving and that healing is available through Jesus Christ and his atonement. Making and then keeping covenants with Heavenly Father will bring meaning and purpose to the struggles we face.

It isn’t fair that my new friend, and many, many others, are put into such difficult life situations, but this life isn’t about fairness. This life is about finding Christ and allowing him to help us grow and stretch until we are able to rest with him in a better world. There is a place where no hurt or physical or emotional damage will be done to us. There is a place where we will find joy, acceptance and real, pure love. There is a place prepared for you and me where mortality can do no more harm. The way to find this place is through the Way. It is the Way. Jesus really is the Christ. For me, this means that he is there to save, carry and love me every day. He is there to give me courage and strength when I have neither. He is the one who has already suffered for my sins and is anxious for me to repent and find peace. He is there to lead me back to the Father.

Don’t give up, my friend, and those friends whose stories I don’t know. Don’t give up the battle to live a Christ centered life. He will help. I know it. He loves you perfectly.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Good Gift

I have had a few months where I have felt pretty horrible physically. I am doing better now, but for a while, my doctors had no clue what was wrong. In fact, I had three of them say to me, “I don’t know what to do with you.” Isn’t that a fun diagnosis?
One day, while I was lying in bed feeling yucky and discouraged, my little boy came in to lay by me. As we were talking, he said that he wished I could still see. I agreed. Then he changed his outlook and said,” But, seeing blackness is a good gift.” I smiled at this one. He then patted my arm and said something that melted my heart, “You are a good gift, Momma.” Isn’t that darling?
My son’s simple comments that day, not only lifted my sad heart, but helped me look for the “good gift(s)” in my life. Even seeing blackness is a gift because it means I am still alive to care for my cute little family- even when they drive me crazy.
If you are reading this, you are a good gift! You really are. You are alive to do the Father’s will for you. If you are discouraged, like I was, look for those good gifts in your life. They might even be the things that get you down.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


In studying for a Sunday School lesson, I found this quote about the purpose of trials. I hope my rough spots are smoothing out. What do you think?

The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, … knocking off a corner here and a corner there. Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver of the Almighty” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 304).
Can you relate?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sea Ranch

I recently returned from a vacation to the northern California coast at a place called the Sea Ranch. It is a beautiful 10 mile area along the cliffs of the ocean on one side and redwood forests on the other. Growing up, Sea Ranch was a wonderful place where my parents took my siblings and me, and it was fun to be able to allow my two boys to enjoy it.
One evening, I sat alone on the beach, my feet in the sand near where the tide came in. I felt the breeze on my skin and listened to the waves crash off shore. It was so peaceful and calming to me.
I felt that in such a state, some great wisdom should come to me. I waited and listened, and waited and listened. My thoughts were only, “I’m sitting here in the sand and can’t see a dang thing!” Well, that certainly wasn’t anything new or wise. But, that reality led me to think about my life in the dark and my hope in the resurrection. I wouldn’t always have physical troubles. They will end. The things I wish I could see, like the powerful waves crashing right in front of me, wouldn’t be lost forever. I would some day see things more beautiful than the ocean and beech. If I endure well, I will see the Lord. I recommitted to myself to be more patient and faithful- to keep going.

I’m grateful for my knowledge of Jesus Christ and my hope in him which helps me move forward.
Elder Orson F. Whitney said: “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven” (quoted in Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, 98). So, we'll keep on keeping on. Grin.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer Challenge

The month of June has been a tough one for me. I have had some health problems-nothing huge- and have not felt much like posting. However, I am pulling out of the hole of illness and hope to be finding my personality again.
My Relief Society has issued another invitation. In order to prepare for October General Conference, we will be studying the previous Conference. Join me in taking this challenge. We’ll read 3 talks each week and share what we learn, think, and feel. Sound good?
I’ve already read this week’s assigned talks and especially loved Elder Uchtdorf’s address. One thing that really hit me is that when I show impatience, I am manifesting selfishness. Ouch! So, this morning I have really been working on being more patient with my boys. So far, so good. Well, I did have one little slip up.
Let me know what you learn.

May 2010 Conference Addresses

Week of: July 4 Faith Welcome to Conference (4)
The Rock of Our Redeemer (16)
Continue in Patience (56)
July 11 Virtue Remember Who You Are! (120)
Video Presentation: I Have (123)
July 18 Adversity Turn to the Lord (78)
All Things Work Together for Good (101)
Your Happily Ever After (124)
July 25 Values “And Upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit” (10)
Our Path of Duty (13)
When the Lord Commands (38)
Act in All Diligence (60)
Aug 1 Values Preparation Brings Blessings (64)
Developing Good Judgment and Not Judging Others (103)
Be of a Good Courage (114)
Never, Never, Never Give Up! (117)
Aug 8 Family: Children Help Them on Their Way Home (22)
Watching with All Perseverance (40)
That Our Children Might See the Face of the Savior (81)
Aug 15 Family: Children Our Duty to God: The Mission of Parents and Leaders (95)
Things Pertaining to Righteousness (106)
Tell Me the Stories of Jesus (108)
Aug 22 Family: Motherhood Mothers and Daughters (18)
Mothers Teaching Children in the Home (29)
Mother Told Me (98)
Aug 29 Priesthood the Power of the Priesthood (6)
Healing the Sick (47)
The Magnificent Aaronic Priesthood (54)
Sept 5 Service When the Lord Commands (38)
“You Are My Hands” (68)
Sept 12 Additional Doctrine The Blessing of Scripture (32)
The Divine Call of a Missionary (51)
Sept 19 Additional Doctrine Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul (44)
Generations Linked in Love (91)
Sept 26 Jesus Christ He Lives! All Glory to His Name! (75)
We Follow Jesus Christ (83)
He Is Risen! (87)
A Word at Closing (112)

Conference October 2nd and 3rd

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hope In Good Things to Come

I have been writing another book and thought you might like a sneak peak. Here's one of my chapters. What do you think?


After n hour, we finally arrived at our family reunion in a canyon near Salt Lake City, and I had one thing on my mind. I had to find the restroom.
Before we joined my husband’s family members around the camp fire, we detoured into the cabin. I opened the bathroom door, then closed and locked it. I leaned my cane in the corner, and got all ready to sit on the toilet. However, as I was sitting down, I reached out my hand to find the toilet, and instead, felt…a head of hair! Needless to say, I yanked up my pants extremely quickly.
Noting the altitude of the head, I deduced that it was a young head, and was probably a bit disturbed by what had flashed before its eyes. Trying to reassure my new friend, I inquired, “Was that scary?”
It spoke! The head could speak! Why it hadn’t found its voice earlier, I’m not sure, but I was glad to hear it nonetheless. After apologizing, I left my bathroom buddy, and walked out to the group- shaking my head in disbelief. When they saw me approach, the family asked me what was wrong.
“I’ll pay for therapy.” I said. “Some little girl in the bathroom is going to need it.”
You know, being able to look behind you does have its advantages.
I am amazed at the situations I get myself into. So many embarrassing things wouldn’t happen if only I could see. As things stand, however, I guess I’ll continue collecting experiences for my stand-up comedy routine.
But, not all my experiences are funny. There have been times that have been so difficult and discouraging, that I’ve longed to have my life back the way it was before my cancer and blindness. I miss the woman I used to be, and the things I was able to do.
I look back to my days of light, and wish things had turned out differently. Do you, like me, ever suffer from the “If only” syndrome? It is so easy to look to our past and say, “If only this or that hadn’t happened, then…”, “Why didn’t I…?”, or “Why did I…?”
Sure, we can benefit by remembering lessons learned, and good times we’ve had, but too much looking back can damage our spiritual eye sight. If we focus on mistakes, wallow in guilt or regret, hold tightly to grudges, or long for what has been lost, then our eyes are again removed from the Light. Our vision dims, and our progression slows.
It may be extremely difficult to move beyond sadness, anger or bitterness caused by past events. But, if we remain stuck in those emotions, we forfeit light which can lead us forward. It works the same when we long for the good days of the past. We may not live fully in today because yesterday was easier or happier.
“…I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experi¬enced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives” ( Brigham Young University 2008-2009 Speeches, Remember Lot’s Wife, Jeffrey R. Holland
13 January 2009).
I love the truth that faith points us, and helps us to move forward. Faith in Jesus Christ promises hope for good things to come. It brings meaning to our struggles, and offers courage to continue through dark times. Faith in Jesus Christ is light.
My life is definitely not easy, and I don’t like living every day in darkness. But my faith in my Savior leads me to have hope in what lies ahead. I invite you to allow Christ to hold and heal pain from the past. Allow his sacrifice to pay for sin- your own and those who have hurt you. Point yourself forward with hope in a loving God who wants your happiness. This takes work, of course, but our faith will bring the needed strength found through and in the atonement.
It’s true that I miss those far off days of light, but I know that the woman I was had not been polished enough to someday sit with my Savior and the Father. I needed to grow more. I needed to become more. Although I thought I would never again be happy after I went blind, my hope in Christ has brought me to a much better place- a place where joy still exists.
Whether our past is filled with sadness or joy, we cannot dwell there. This life is all about progression, and our individual growth will come as we keep our eyes firmly facing forward, not backward. Have hope. There is joy and happiness ahead. There are good things to come.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Today, I finished The Book of Mormon. I made it through Moroni 9, which I never like to read. It hurts my heart to hear how horrible both the Lamanites and the Nephites behaved.
But, I found an answer to prayer amidst the yuck. Mormon writes to Moroni by saying, “let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God” (Moro. 9:6).
I’ve been really struggling lately as a mother. One of my sons is going through a difficult time and it affects the whole family and atmosphere of our home. I also home school him, and it is like pulling teeth to get him to do anything. I wonder if my efforts are making any difference. Some days, I just want to give up. It feels like every moment is filled with disrespect and contention. However, it is nothing compared to the atmosphere in which Mormon and Moroni lived.
I know that I must “labor diligently” and not cease, even when I don’t see results of my labors. I’m grateful for the grace of Christ spoken about in Moro. 10:32. I know that “his grace is sufficient” to help me in this situation and to help my son as well. I’ll continue pleading for that grace to help me through this difficult time.
This time, as I’ve studied the Book of Mormon, I have again felt gratitude and love for the truths in it. These truths can and do help me to stay on the path of righteousness. This book is like an old friend that I love spending time with. I know what’s coming next, and yet the Spirit brings different verses to my attention that I am in need of at the moment they’re needed. I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to listen to the words that have been preserved to lead me back to Christ. Now, I’ll begin again.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"I will not deny the Christ"

Well, the Nephites and the Jaradites are destroyed now. It doesn’t matter how many times I read The Book of Mormon, they always die. I’m saddened as I read and see their change from depending on the Lord, to hating those that believe in Christ.
Needless grief must have filled the souls of those 24 Nephites that stood on the hill and witnessed the annihilation of their people. No wonder Mormon mourns and records his mourning. His words should stand as a warning to us in our day to choose only Christ. If only his people would have stayed true, they would have been spared and even protected.
The people of Jarad end up in the same boat (after the barges, of course). They too seek to kill the prophets and turn their backs on the Lord. It seems incredible to me that they would rather die than repent.
Then, we have Moroni who has fought for his people, and watched them die. He then writes the words of the Book of Ether, and sees their destruction as well. He knows the perils of believing in Christ- the LamanittesLamanites are killing all who believe. Yet he declares, “ And I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ” (Moro. 1:3).
What a fantastic example and disciple of the Savior. Whereas his people would rather die than repent, Moroni would rather die than deny the Christ.
I am grateful for Moroni for enduring faithfully, and suffering loneliness and grief so that we could have the truthfulness of the gospel found in the Book of Mormon. He surely played a vital role in its coming forth.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

In The Lord's Hands

Thank you to Audrey for sharing a little part of her story with us.


“in early 2003, i was pregnant with my third child. the whole pregnancy was something of a spiritual experience. i had known all along that something was different. i could feel myself being prepared, and ,thoughts that seemed crazy at the time, raced through my mind about the potentials of what i could be facing. I, like most pregnant mothers, had a routine 20 week ultrasound scheduled, but this time i wasn’t anxious to race off to find out "what i was having"- as if thats the reason behind that test. So, i canceled my apt without even knowing why for sure. i rescheduled it for about a week later, with no real apparent explanation.
the day finally arrived and i felt as though i was headed to a funeral. the day itself was dark and gloomy and it paralleled my feelings. i was desperately concerned and even at that point, feared the baby (who was actually still moving inside me) was dead.
On the way into the hospital, i saw a few women outside- clearly pregnant- heading inside. one had just finished smoking, and i felt a surge of severe anger that her baby was healthy and mine was not. i felt very judgemental and angry. as i looked around the waiting room, that anger continued to grow as i began to dwell on how unfair this was. looking backwards with hindsight i of course see that my hand was far more blessed then theirs and guilt now surges my veins.
It didnt take long for the emotions on the technicians face to translate into concern. i quickly noticed the awkwardness of my babies feet and promptly started asking questions. i overwhelmed and scared her right out of the room. A tall lanky doc appeared and started reviewing her pics and taking his own, i over inundated him with questions. until he finally turned off the machine and quietly said, i think your baby has spina bifida and some other deformities. the rest was a blur. i started crying and, of course, so did nate. But i cried with relief that the unknown had become known and, that i now could focus on the task at hand, and move on.

he gave us a few min and then we met him down the hall in his office to talk about treatment plans. in this man's office, i learned how involved the Lord had been; how is hand had so intricately placed people and places in the right times and moments. the week prior when my apt was supposed to occur, this doc had been at a fetal surgery conference for the opening of a study called MOMS, for spina bifida fetal treatment. had i gone when i was supposed to, this particular doc would have been away and i would have met with a colleague instead. He had only been back one day, and the study itself would open for enrollment the following day. here was a treatment option placed intricately and timely in our laps.

as difficult as it was to take in the prognosis of what we were facing and what it meant, as bleak as it was and as emotionally devastated as we were, neither my husband or i could deny the presence and participation of the Lord. That office that day was a holy place for us."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Everlasting Kindness

I am so grateful for the kindness of the Lord. I have loved reading again how he ministered to the troubled people of 3 Nephi after the massive destruction following his death. I can only imagine the terror that must have filled their hearts and minds as storms raged, the land changed, darkness enveloped, and their loved ones perished. Christ appeared to them, allowed them to feel the wounds in his body, gave the disciples power to baptize, taught them, provided the sacrament for them, healed their sick and ministered to their little children. He must have provided so much hope and comfort for them.
In chapter 22, Christ speaks about the gathering of Israel, and uses such words of love, saying, “but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed” (v. 10). With “mercy” (v. 8) and everlasting kindness” (v. 8) he will gather his people. Several times, Christ tells the people of Israel –as well as us- not to fear, but to trust that he will be there.
So many times in my life, I have found this to be true. He has not left me alone, but has shown me mercy and such everlasting kindness. I am so grateful for and depend upon his love and mercy. Without his kindness, there would be no way to make hard times into places of holiness.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Be converted that I may heal you

Isn’t it so difficult to keep up with everything that needs to get done, and not loose your mind? That is how it’s been for me lately. I’ve been in and out of town for speaking assignments for Time Out For Women, trying to write a book, home school my son, help another son with home work, cook, clean, do laundry….all while not feeling the best. Call the wambulance-right?
I feel guilty about not being as consistent as I’d like to be with this blog. I had the naive` idea when I wrote Hard Times and Holy Places that my thousands of readers would send me their stories for me to share, but only a few have really written. So, the blogging is up to me.
As I listened to 3 Nephi 9 today, this line sounded so beautiful to me. Christ asked the people to repent and “be converted that I may heal you” (v. 13). Isn’t that fantastic. The closer we come to Christ through repentance and righteous living, we will receive healing. I know I need that, so I try to continue forward through the struggles. My faith is strong, but there is so much more to suffer, learn, experience and grow from so that I can be further converted. I love the promise of healing.
If you need healing, I invite you to follow this plea from the Savior. Healing is available and closer than you and I know.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I know he lives

No worries. I haven’t dropped off the face of the Earth. I haven’t blogged for some time, but am still reading the Book of Mormon. I’m so grateful for the strength I feel as I read it.
I’ve been speaking a lot lately, and have begun Time Out For Women again this season. This past week end I was in Indianapolis, and met so many fabulous women. This week end I am off to Pittsburg. I love to be with the thousands of sisters and share my testimony of Jesus Christ. I thought of this great opportunity as I read 3 Nephi 5:13, “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.” Of course, I am not a prophet historian like Mormon, but I am grateful I can testify in my own sphere. I know he lives. I know he loves each one of us personally and infinitely. I’m so grateful for the knowledge I have of him and the Plan of Salvation.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Better Cause

The armies of the Lamanites were twice as numerous as the Nephites, and it would seem that the odds were against the Nephites, but the Lord was with them. While the Lamanites fought for power and monarchy,
“ Nevertheless, the Nephites were inspired by a better cause, for they were not fighting for monarchy nor power but they were fighting for their homes and their liberties , their wives and their children, and their all, yea, for their rites of worship and their church. “
“And they were doing that which they felt was the duty which they owed to their God” (Alma 43:45-46).
This gives me hope to fight on when troubles overwhelm me and I feel like giving up. I also can put my trust in the Lord and he will –and has- always delivered me.
We don’t have to loose heart. We don’t have to become hopeless. We can do what is needed with the power of the Lord which he’ll grant us if we turn to him. We can “fight for “a better cause”.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Deep in the Earth

As I’ve been learning about the Anti-Nephi- Lehis, I’ve wondered about the significance of their burying their weapons “deep” in the earth. They could have thrown them in the river or sent someone to take them far away and get rid of them. But, they dug a deep whole and buried them.
They did this as a testimony to the Lord- to show him of their Ernest intent and complete repentance of their sins. They turned to Christ and completely away from their former ways.
When our difficulties and hard times come from our sins or wrong choices and we try to repent, how dedicated our we to turning away from our sins? Do we burry them “deep”, or do all we can to leave them behind? Do we desire so much to be like Christ that we’d do anything not to repeat our offense? Real repentance is just what these followers of Christ show us. They did all in their power – including die- in order to keep their covenants. They were grateful for the atonement and mercy of Christ so their stains could be washed away. They did not hold onto their sins just incase they needed them later.
Are we this dedicated to our covenants? Are we this grateful for the atonement? Do we hold onto our temptations and not completely give up our options to sin?
I know that as we follow the example of these righteous saints, we will become more like our Savior and many of our hard times will be avoided.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Reason to Rejoice

I’ve learned something new in Alma chapter eight this morning. When Alma sorrows because of the wickedness of the people of Amoniha, and angel appears to him, and before giving him instruction, he encourages him and blesses him. Then, Alma is told that he has reason to rejoice. When he follows the command to return to the city, Alma goes by a different way. Here he meets Amulek whom the Lord has prepared to care for him and join Alma’s ministry.
Now, what could be new in this account? It’s the same story I’ve read many times, but I see a pattern for myself. When I’m discouraged and ready to give up, the Lord is there with encouragement and instruction. He helps me see that I have reason to rejoice. I then can return to the problem in another way which the Lord has prepared for me.
I know that problems in the life can become more than we can handle, but we are not left to face those problems alone. We have reason to rejoice. New ways will be shown to us in order for our success. “Moreover, though we live in a failing world, we have not been sent here to fail” (Neal A. Maxwell, “Encircled in the Arms of His Love,” Ensign, Nov 2002, 16).
Our Savior will help us even in, and especially in, extremely difficult circumstances. He is the reason to rejoice.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Light and Life

Mosiah 16: 9
He is the alight and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.

When I first lost my sight, I longed for light. I really went through withdrawals-wishing I could burst the darkness that surrounded me both emotionally and physically. I was fighting for my life and wasn’t sure I would make it. I was definitely in darkness.

I came across these words from Abinadi which gave me hope, strength and comfort to face the experience I found myself in. I knew that Christ was both the light and the life. Those were the two things I most needed, and I could turn to him when I most needed these things.

I am so grateful for the scriptures and for the power of the Spirit to carry their truth into my frightened and aching heart. I know that Jesus Christ overcame death so that he could free us from its grasp. I know that his light leads, warms, warns and comforts.

Friday, February 5, 2010

He Will Console You

I received an email this week from a new friend. He explained a little of the struggles he has been facing and my heart broke for him and his family. As I read the doctrine in Jacob 3 and 4 this week, this man’s story came to mind. Although our sins may be different, the source for comfort, feeling and forgiveness is the same. I love this promise, “ BUT behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions , and he will plead your cause…O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm , forever”(Jacob 3:1,2).
Although sin has brought pain and misery to my friend, it is wonderful that Jesus Christ offers forgiveness, peace and hope as he has turned to the Savior. This is his story::

My trial, unfortunately, is largely if not mostly of my own doing. I wanted to let you know that even if our trials come because of sin, as we turn toward the Lord in true repentance He will still consecrate our trials and performance for our gain and our welfare. I know this because I have felt His love and His strength lifting and guiding me each day, and discovering my relationship with my Savior through this trial has certainly been a gain for me.

I am recently divorced because of dishonesty and deceit that I brought into my marriage of 15 years to a wonderful woman. I have been struggling for most of my life with an addiction to pornography that has taken me into dark places that I am trying to forget. Because of pride and fear I lied and deceived instead of letting my help-meet be what an eternal companion was intended to be, a companion. I hurt her deeply and my consequences have been a divorce that at times has left me feeling like my heart will just stop because of the pain. I have four young children who need their daddy to be whole and worthy of the Priesthood. My only hope and comfort through this time has been the growing knowledge that my Father in Heaven knows me personally and that He loves me despite my sins. I know that he gave my wife the courage she needed to walk away from this marriage so that I could find the Lord in a way that would make a difference in my life. I can truly say that I have been humbled by my sins and humbled by the scope and magnitude of the Saviors divine Atonement. I have finally been able to be free of my addiction for six months now. This may not seem like much success to some, but it has brought me joy, hope, and peace that I had never known before. I know what it feels like to be able to repent of smaller sins each week and take the Sacrament worthily. Tomorrow I will go to the Temple worthily for the first time in my life! The Savior has shown me what is truly important in life...a close relationship with Him despite everything else.

I know that my struggles are not over. I still feel such loss and pain every day. However, I will now more fully consecrate my actions to the Lord with more faith that He will create a future for me that is better than what I could create on my own. I have faith and hope that He will support me in my trials as I turn to Him. I know that the Atonement is for everyone. Even the vilest of sinners!”

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Christ in 2 Nephi

I don’t understand all of the chapters in 2 Nephi which quote the words of Isaiah, but I do understand the main theme. The House of Israel must turn to Christ. He is the only means of deliverance, the only way to peace, and the only way to the Father.
Since I am of that house, the message holds true for me. In trouble, in sadness, in everything, I must turn to Christ. When life becomes overwhelming, I know my Savior will help me.
I echo these words, “ Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation” (2 Nephi 22:2). I know this is true.

The Temple

As I read the description of the world in this chapter, I realize how much it describes our day. There is so much evil in the world, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. But, I don’t think it a coincidence that this chapter starts with the temple and, to me, a reminder to go up to it.
I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to worship in the house of the Lord. It is wonderful to go often and to hear the promises that are mine according to my faithfulness. I take comfort and receive peace through sacred covenants which I have made there, and know that however wicked this world becomes; there is safety in the Lord.
Recently, I have received a prompting that, honestly, I didn’t want to have to obey. While in the temple, I pondered and prayed. I asked Father in Heaven if he really wanted me to do this particular thing, and I was given feelings and thoughts in my mind that confirmed that prompting. I knew that it was the Spirit communicating truth to my spirit, and I knew I could obey with the help of the Lord.
I am so grateful for a place of peace where I can commune with the Father, receive light and truth, and learn the sacred things of eternity that help me through the difficulties right here and now.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Are you Happy?

Nephi makes a statement in 2 Nephi 5 that has always intrigued me. He says, “we lived after the manner of happiness” (2Nephi 5:27). I’ve thought a lot about this. What does that mean- the manner of happiness? We are given clues in this chapter to the Nephites’ habits of happiness. After Nephi prayed, having been threatened again by those darn angry brothers, the people followed counsel and left their dangerous circumstances. They believed the warnings and revelation of the Lord and the words of the prophet. The people tried to obey the commandments and the law. Then, here is the key, “the Lord was with us and we did prosper”( 2 Nephi 5:11). So, when they labored, they were blessed with abundance.
Perhaps, the “manner of happiness” is actually a way to live –a method or a standard which will lead to happiness. When I think of the most happy person, I think of the Lord filled with joy. If we substitute his name for the word “happiness”, then maybe this will make more sense. Nephi could have said that they lived after the manner of Christ. The things they did, the way they live, pointed their souls to Christ, who brings true happiness and joy.
Also, Nephi did not say that they were always happy. He just described the way they lived –“after the manner of happiness”. So, they didn’t walk around in a constant state of glee, but they directed their lives in such a way that they were in the right position to receive happiness.
The next time you or I are not feeling happy, we can look closely at our lives and the direction we are pointed. Are we following the habits Nephi described? Are we seeking to have the spirit of the Lord with us? Are we laboring with our might so that we can be in the best position to receive an abundance of joy? Are we really living“after the manner of happiness”- the manner of Christ? How will we change so that we can answer, “Yes.”?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Good Part

After teaching his sons of the great doctrine of agency, Lehi says, “I have chosen the good part” (2 Nephi 2:30). I love this statement. What a great example to his family and also to me. There is so much in this world that demands our attention, yet you and I are given the ability and responsibility to choose for ourselves. To what will we give our time and energies? Will it be “the good part”? Or, will we choose that which is evil and of no worth when we are enticed to do so?
Christ is” the good part”. His way, his gospel, his atonement is the part of this life which is truly good. All that is good around us comes from Him.
Additionally, after choosing, we then can act. Lehi teaches that there are “things to act, and things to be acted upon”(2 Nephi 2:14) As God’s children, you and I do not have to be acted upon, but we can and must do the acting. Our choices and actions must be deliberately focused on the “good part”. We do not have to be held back by our circumstances, disadvantages, disabilities, etc. We “are free to choose liberty and eternal life” (2 Nephi 2:27). What a wonderful gift!
Lehi’s statement, reminds me that each day, I should focus all my efforts on choosing “the good part” and then go forward and do it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tired & Hungry?

It is interesting to me to see the polar opposites in the behaviors and attitudes of Nephi and Laman and Lemuel. Take the situation they faced in 1 Nephi 16. They were exhausted and hungry-which I can relate to. When Nephi’s bow would no longer work to obtain food, the rest of the group blamed him for their misery. Although the bows of the other family members had broken as well, they still blamed Nephi. I can picture them all gathered around complaining and getting angry. They didn’t choose to better their predicament.
Instead of getting angry and defensive, Nephi got to work and made another bow. Then he went to his father and priesthood leader for direction. He received instructions from the Lord through the Liahona, and went to the mountain tops where he was able to find food.
Now, I’m pretty grouchy when I am tired and hungry, so I can understand the natural temptation to become upset; however, Nephi provides a better way to deal with the situation. When things are difficult and I feel like blaming another, or getting upset, which doesn’t change anything, I can get up, get to work, seek direction and help from my father and priesthood leaders, and then receive instructions through the Spirit. I then can move forward, take action and progress with a plan to correct the problem, or make it through the challenge. I hope that I can act more like Nephi.
This talk about food is making me hungry. I think I’ll go have some lunch, but probably not wild beasts.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dwell vs. Dwindle

I have always love words. It seems that some words sound like their meaning. Take for example, “dwell” and “dwindle” from The Book of Mormon. When the people dwell in righteousness, they are stable and firm in the gospel-they dwell in the bright light provided by Christ. But, when they “dwindled in unbelief” (1Nephi 12:22), their faithfulness faded away, decreased, or shrank. I picture the fading light of a candle as it burns down.
Whenever I hear these two words as I read, I ask myself questions to determine how stable or firm I am in the faith of Jesus Christ. Am I doing those things which will keep me anchored to my Savior? Are there things I should stop doing which are causing me to dwindle from that which I know is true?
It is interesting that as we read the story of the Nephites and Lamanites, we can see which way their behaviors, attitudes and words will lead them. They are either pointed in the direction to dwindle, or to stay firm in the faith and dwell.
I invite you to join me in evaluating your direction. Are you dwindling, or dwelling? What will you do or stop doing to keep you pointed to and dwelling with Christ?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nephi's Example

Nephi is a great example to me when I am faced with a difficult challenge. Sometimes things seem simply impossible. I struggle to see how they will work out, but I have to trust that Father will direct things for my good.
When he goes back to get the plates from Laban, after he and his brothers had tried everything they could think of on their own, Nephi says, “And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do” (1 Nephi 4:6).
Nephi didn’t know how to solve the problem, but moved forward, trusting he would be directed. That is a key, I think, when things seem too hard. If we seek the Spirit, and live worthy of its companionship, we will be led, even if we don’t know exactly how to accomplish what we are asked to do.
I am dealing with a difficult situation right now, and I can’t see what I can do to help the outcome be positive. I am doing all I know how to do, and it may not be enough. But, I am trying to trust that I will be led by the Spirit. It’s hard, but it has got to be better than cutting off Laban’s head and then putting on his dirty clothes. I’ll have to remember that when I feel like cracking under the stress. J

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Testimony of The Prophet Joseph

I am so grateful that Father in Heaven knows each of us by name and will teach us individually, in the exact way we can understand, what we need to know to accomplish the difficult things we are called to do. Joseph was taught by Moroni. This in its self is amazing to my human mind, but so natural to my spirit. Of course, Father would send the one who had charge over the plates to instruct the next person in his duty concerning them. And the repetition of his instructions to Joseph remind me that Father will do all he can to help us learn all we need to know.
I think of my children, and how often I say something like, “How many times do I have to tell you to do this?” Well, if I were trying to be like Father, I would ask, instruct, help and encourage as many times as it takes. Maybe these little children, are my little “angels” actually teaching me the lessons I need to learn- patience, tolerance, kindness, charity…. It sure is difficult sometimes, but if I look at it this way, hopefully, I can learn the lesson and not get disgusted that it takes so long and is so tiring. Afterall, Joseph got no sleep the night his instructions were repeated over and over. The next day, he was exhausted, and couldn’t do his work. It was then that his instructions continued and the message was repeated again.

I hope that I can have the same response as Joseph when I am asked to do extremely difficult things in my life. Joseph simply stated, “I obeyed”.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


The thing that most stands out to me in the introduction is that The Book of Mormon, “puts forth the doctrines of the gospel, outlines the plan of salvation, and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life”. When I think of the book in this light, why wouldn’t I study from its pages and feast on its words? Why would I let insignificant yet pressing things take me away from spending times in its pages? Yet, I all too often fall into that trap.

However, I know that the truths expressed above from the Introduction are true. There have been so many times in my life when I’ve been discouraged or have just needed comfort and peace. In these times, I have often turned to the passage in 2 Nephi 4 to receive these blessings. As I have read Nephi expressing his sorrows and subsequent determination to trust Christ, it has given me reassurance and the comfort I have so desperately needed.

So many in the world seek this peace, and it is right here in the Book of Mormon, because it leads men to Jesus Christ and his doctrine and saving atonement.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Title Page?

As I asked myself, “What in the world can the title page of The Book of Mormon teach be about making my hard times into holy places?”, I found the answer in the first few lines. This ancient record was made by “
commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation.” So, if I read the record looking for help and answers, I will receive them in the same way it was written- through prophesy and revelation.

The Spirit can and has taught me through personal revelation as I have studied The Book of Mormon and searched for the doctrine of Christ within its pages. For example, I remember a time on my mission when I just felt like giving up. Every day was so difficult and I didn’t feel like I was doing much good. I came across a passage in 1 Nephi 3. No, it’s not verse 7- which you’d expect. It was the verse before. I read it this way,” Therefore go, my ]daughter], and thou shalt be favored of the Lord, because thou hast not murmured.”

I knew that, although things were very difficult and I wanted to complain and give up, I would receive the Lord’s help if I did not murmur. It was that simple –not easy, but simple. Each time I was tempted to complain, I recited this verse in my mind and remembered the promise to Nephi. This helped me resist my impulse to murmur. I was definitely blessed by the Lord to find happiness even when it was difficult. I am grateful for the merciful gift of personal revelation.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Invitation

My ward’s Releif Society has invited its members to read the Book of Mormon in six months, and I am extending that invitation to you. Now, don’t worry, this isn’t one of the challenges where you have to read 10 pages per day. It goes by week and doesn’t fill me with stress to look at the assignments.

I love this promise from President Gordon B. Hinckley: “I hope that for you [studying the scriptures] will become something far more enjoyable than a duty; that, rather, it will become a love affair with the word of God. I promise you that as you read, your minds will be enlightened and your spirits will be lifted” (“The Light within You,” Ensign, May 1995, 99).

I certainly need an enlightened mind and a lifted spirit, so I am putting President Hinckley’s words to the test. I hope you will join me in this adventure to come to know the Savior better through the words of The Book of Mormon. Please let me know what the Spirit teaches you as you read, and please pass along this invitation to those around you. I know that the words we will study are true and will bring us the promises given by President Hinckley and will help us as we try to make our hard times become holy places.

January 3-Title Page, Introduction, Testimonies, 1 Nephi 1-11

January 10-1 Nephi 12-20

January 17-1 Nephi 21-2 Nephi 8

January 24-2 Nephi 9-25

January 31-2 Nephi 26 - Jacob 4

February 7- Jacob 5-Jacob 7, Enos, Jarom, Omni, Words of Mormon, Mosiah 1-3

February 14-Mosiah 4-16

February 21-Mosiah 17-29

February 28-Alma 1-10

March 7- Alma 11-19

March 14-Alma 20-31

March 21- Alma 32-42

Mar 28- Alma 43-52

Apr 4- Alma 53-63

April 11-Helaman 1-10

April 18-Helaman 11-3 Nephi 4

April 25- 3 Nephi 5-18

May 2- 3 Nephi 19-Mormon 3

May 9- Mormon 4-Ether 8

May 16- Ether 9-Moroni 10