Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Patience is personal. Patience is a great teacher. Patience is a great achievement. Patience is a great power. I hope and pray our Heavenly Father will help us to be patient with God, to be patient with our families, to be patient with our friends and neighbors, and most of all, today, to be patient with ourselves. You are someone special. Our Heavenly Father is aware of you. All he asks in return is for you to be patient with him. I bear witness he knows the beginning. He knows the end. He knows you. Joseph Smith remained true and faithful and was a vital instrument in the hands of the Lord because his patience was unceasing and undying. Some of you may wonder, "What can I do to make my testimony stronger?" One of the greatest ingredients for a strong, enduring, vigorous testimony is patience.   Patience Is a Great Power MARVIN J. ASHTON Brigham Young University on 13 February 1973

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Infinite Work......

I am of infinite worth May I ask you to think with me for a few moments about patience with self. Have more patience with yourself--more self-understanding. I would plead that we understand it is not our role to be self-condemning. I like to think when we are taught "Judge not, that ye be not judged," that it has direct reference to us and our relationship with ourselves. We should not judge ourselves. We should teach ourselves patience--patience to believe in ourselves, patience to motivate ourselves, patience to believe that God and I can do it. When necessary, lean on the truth "I am a child of God." God and I, with patience on my part, can do it. I remind you we do not have to worry about the patience of God, because he is the personification of patience, no matter where we have been, what we have done, or what we, to this moment, have allowed ourselves to think of ourselves. Two of Satan's greatest tools today are spreading impatience and discouragement. Drugs, moral misconduct, violent protest are merely evidences of internal impatience on our part. When you have hours and days of a feeling of inadequacy, when you are inclined to say, "I don't have much going for me; no one cares about me," I bear witness to you that an eternal truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the value of the individual. God will not forsake you. Patience Is a Great Power MARVIN J. ASHTON Brigham Young University on 13 February 1973

Friday, May 25, 2012

Carry Your Cross......

Another cross that isn't always visible but on occasion can be very heavy and worrisome, is the cross of self-unacceptance--a continuing rejection of oneself through self-condemnation and low self-appraisal. Can you find it in your heart to once in a while give yourself a good grade on your behavior? Or do you give yourself low marks no matter what you do because you carry the cross of self-unacceptance? An unannounced, but obviously self-imposed, personal-enemy-number-one status in regard to ourselves is a heavy cross. Sometimes in solitude and in humility there is only one person on earth that can be your advocate, and that must be you--someone who will not condemn you under that cross and cause you to fail. Being down on ourselves is destructive. As we bear this kind of a cross we have a tendency to reach only the low levels we expect of ourselves. What a cross it is to convince yourself, "I'm no good. I can't do it. I can't make it." What a cross! It doesn't even show. But by lifting that cross we can become more than we would have been had we not been required to carry the cross. Some of us spend too much time protecting our wounded selves.   Carry Your Cross MARVIN J. ASHTON Brigham Young University on 3 May 1987

Cross and Ladder....

It is a fact of life that God can make our crosses easier to bear if we are but willing to admit we have them and then seek his help. In D&C 56:2 we read, "And he that will not take up his cross and follow me, and keep my commandments, the same shall not be saved." A willingness to take yourself as you are and build from there is pleasing to God. If you have more than one cross--three or four--maybe you could build a ladder out of them and use them to climb to new heights. Sometimes becoming is more important than achieving or arriving. I'm not talking about self-indulgence. I'm talking about self-acceptance. All tomorrows can be in our favor if we carry on in a spirit of commitment and self-encouragement.   Carry Your Cross MARVIN J. ASHTON Brigham Young University on 3 May 1987

Monday, May 21, 2012


Sometimes the most challenging form of endurance is found in trying to stay with our priorities, commitments, and assignments. How easy it is for some of us to lose our way when the unexpected, and seemingly undeserved, surface in our lives? Greatness is best measured by how well an individual responds to the happenings in life that appear to be totally unfair, unreasonable, and undeserved. Sometimes we are inclined to put up with a situation rather than endure. To endure is to bear up under, to stand firm against, to suffer without yielding, to continue to be, or to exhibit the state or power of lasting.
Day by day we can make the effort to gain the power to last and to suffer without yielding. Inspiration and motivation are found in many places. We can also receive strength from studying the scriptures and praying constantly.
Marvin J. Ashton, “‘If Thou Endure It Well’,” Ensign, Nov 1984, 20
God doesn’t give us what we can handle,
He helps us handle what we are given.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Life Is What Happens.....

In whatever circumstance we may find ourselves, whether in the midst of tragedy, the pain of misconduct, or merely the daily struggle to live the life of a faithful Latter-day Saint, we must remember “the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”
Sometimes as children we were told everything would be all right. But life is not like that. No matter who you are, you will have problems. Tragedy and frustration are the unexpected intruders on life’s plans. Someone has said, “Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans.” It is important that we not look upon our afflictions as a punishment from God. True, our own actions may cause some of our problems, but often there is no evident misconduct that has caused our trials. Just the normal journey through life teaches us that nothing worthwhile comes easy.
Marvin J. Ashton, “‘If Thou Endure It Well’,” Ensign, Nov 1984, 20

Friday, May 18, 2012

Race for Eternal Life....

As we viewed on television some of the Olympic games held this summer in Los Angeles, we thrilled at the abilities of these fine young athletes from all over the world. One might easily compare these races and contests of the Olympics with the great race in which we are all involved—the race for eternal life. One gold-medal winner said his success was achieved by being able to endure the pain of commitment and self-discipline.
The Apostle Paul likened life to a great race when he declared: “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain.” (1 Cor. 9:24.)
And before the words of Paul fell upon the ears of his listeners, the counsel of the Preacher, the son of David, cautioned: “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” (See Eccl. 9:11; Matt. 10:22; Mark 13:13.)
What does it take to endure in the race for eternal life, to become a champion?
To become a winner in the race for eternal life requires effort—constant work, striving, and enduring well with God’s help. But the key is that we must take it just one step at a time.
Marvin J. Ashton, “‘If Thou Endure It Well’,” Ensign, Nov 1984, 20

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Help Us O Lord.....

A worthwhile attitude for all of us could well be, “Help us, O Lord, to remember thy love for us and help us to be fortified by thy strength when our eyes are blurred with tears of sorrow and our vision is limited.”
It is expedient for all of us, particularly those who may be weighed down by grief because of acts of misconduct or misfortune, to recall that even the Prophet Joseph Smith had hours of despair because of his very trying experiences in the Liberty Jail. Perhaps he too was entitled to question, “What did I do wrong? What have I done to displease Thee, O Lord? Where have I failed? Why are the answers to my prayers and pleas withheld?” In response to the feelings of his heart and mind he cried out:
“O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?” (D&C 121:1.)
The reassuring response came: “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; “And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.” (D&C 121:7–8.)
The promise God gave to Joseph Smith is a promise for all of us: “If thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes,” and also over heartaches caused by misconduct of loved ones.
Marvin J. Ashton, “‘If Thou Endure It Well’,” Ensign, Nov 1984, 20

Monday, May 14, 2012

In The Past....

Sometimes we spend so much time trying to determine what we did wrong in the past to deserve the unpleasant happenings of the moment that we fail to resolve the challenges of the present. Og Mandino wrote in his book The Greatest Miracle in the World, “If we lock ourselves in a prison of failure and self-pity, we are the only jailers … we have the only key to our freedom.” (New York: Frederick Fell Publishers, 1975, p. 61.) Marvin J. Ashton, “‘If Thou Endure It Well’,” Ensign, Nov 1984, 20

Saturday, May 12, 2012

No Middle Ground......

‘...with the right of choice comes the responsibility to choose. We cannot be neutral; there is no middle ground. The Lord knows this; Lucifer knows this. As long as we live upon this earth, Lucifer and his hosts will never abandon the hope of claiming our souls.
Our Heavenly Father did not launch us on our eternal journey without providing the means whereby we could receive from Him God-given guidance to assist in our safe return at the end of mortal life. I speak of prayer. I speak too of the whisperings from that still, small voice within each of us, and I do not overlook the holy scriptures, written by mariners who successfully sailed the seas we too must cross.
Each of us has come to this earth with all the tools necessary to make correct choices. The prophet Mormon tells us, “The Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil.”’
Thomas S. Monson, “The Three Rs of Choice,” Ensign, Nov 2010, 67–70

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Who Is The Co-Pilot......

If God is your Co-pilot – swap seats!
The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Among the many weapons we use to castigate other people we disapprove of, is sarcasm. True, it relieves our pent-up feelings, and if our remarks are really pointed, gives us a certain satisfaction. Repugnant as it is in itself, sarcasm becomes even more distasteful when we find it comes from Greek verb “sarcazo,” which means to tear flesh. It is that form of irony in which the speaker is motivated by scorn. If I have ever used this weapon against anyone, I promise myself not to do it again. I have no right to scorn anyone, since I can never know what creates their need to behave as they do.
I will make an effort to blend gentleness with firmness, to add a note of harmony to my relations with others instead of tearing and destroying. I will realize that the wounds made by sarcasm are slow to heal, and may defer the longed-for improvement in my life.
“A scorner seeketh wisdom and findeth it not. He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding. (Proverbs)
One Day at a Time in Alanon, April 23

Look back and thank God,
Look forward and trust God,
Look around and serve God,
Look within and find God!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Innocent Victims.......

“The innocent victim should not be required to carry guilt and scars and baggage of shame.  A loving and willing Master desires to lift those things from our hearts and minds and replace them with His love and sweet peace. Christ will take on Himself our illnesses, our sicknesses, our sufferings-but we must let Him.” “Do not put time limits on justice against the wicked.  Many men and women leave this life without ever having felt a particle of guilt, some without having had their vile crimes detected.  They have felt no remorse for their conduct.  They may even have served in Church callings and had wonderful reputations, wealth, good health, and glowing funeral services.  Do not be concerned; the demands of justice reach beyond the veil!  The important thing is for those who are innocent victims to remember the words of the Lord:  ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ (D&C 110:16). We must forgive and leave judgment to Him who promised justice.” “The Incomparable Christ, Our Master and Model, Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, 1995

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Parenting and children....

Although we bring personal weaknesses to our parenting that may provide real opposition for our children, we do not need to feel that all is lost. We remember that our Heavenly Father knows the end from the beginning. (See Abr. 2:8.) He knew beforehand the ignorance, the failings, the confusion, and the spiritual infirmities of each of his children— including those who would become parents. Knowing all these things, the Lord prepared the gospel plan and allowed us the experiences of mortality, with certain compensations and blessings and talents available within the child or along life’s path that would help the child as he or she struggled with opposition. God provides ample opportunity to learn and recover from the opposition. (See 2 Ne. 2:11, 15; Ether 12:27, 37.) Some of the learning experiences we undergo may cause us heartache. But fortunately, divine growth can be the outcome of the pain and opposition in anyone’s life