Sunday, December 29, 2013

Following Christ's Examples......

Following Christ’s Example:

   What is Christ’s pattern for service?  He mercifully does for us only what we cannot do for ourselves, he never infringes on our agency, and allows us to suffer the consequences of our own choices.  In the Bible dictionary, a portion of the definition of “Grace” is to “receive strength and assistance to do good works that (individuals) otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means.  This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation, after they have expended their own best efforts.”
   If we follow Christ’s pattern, we will not step in and keep someone from expending their own best efforts.  We will not do for others what would strengthen them to do for themselves.  To do so sends a powerful crippling message that they aren’t good enough or strong enough to accomplish it on their own.

Friday, December 27, 2013

We Can NOt Be Neutral....

‘...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

Thursday, December 12, 2013


“When you operate from a position of victimization, you come into the future with the toxic waste from the past.
“And because your commitment to the issue of offense is stronger than your commitment to moving ahead, the prosperity in your public life and private lives pays a huge toll.  New relationships grind and sputter, new business deals hiss and jerk, suffering like a car being driven with the emergency brake still engaged.  It isn’t that you don’t move forward, but the grinding of your reservations thwarts the creativity and vibrancy you were created to give.”

Monday, December 9, 2013

Much Like Moles.....or Cancer.......

“Much like the removal of moles and skin lesions is done to prevent them from growing into more serious skin abnormalities, removing minor discord before it becomes a calamity is an important use of our time.  Most people don’t like to make waves and they swallow frustration and bury true feelings, not wanting to compromise temporary tranquility, never realizing that massive turmoil doesn’t start out massive-it grows beneath the skin like a cancer that could have been avoided with early detection.  My friend, people resign from a job long before they type the letter.  Husbands leave before they move out.  Children rebel in their hearts before getting arrested for vandalism.”

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Doing Your Best.....

Doing your Best
Harold B. Lee

Ye must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, yea, every soul who belongs to the whole human family of Adam; and ye must stand to be judged of your works, whether they be good or evil.
(Mormon 3:20)

President Harold B. Lee said that we will be judged on our capacities and efforts.  “All you have to worry about is that you are doing your best in the place where you are today… There is nothing you can do about yesterday except repent.  That means if you made mistakes yesterday don’t be making them today.  Don’t worry about tomorrow, because you may have no tomorrows…if you can always witness honestly that whatever you did, you did to the best of your ability, and next day try improvement on that, when your life’s end comes, of you it can be said in truth, his was a successful life because he lived to the best that was in him…all [the Lord] asks is that we do our best; and that’s the measure by which we’ll be judged when that time comes”  The Lord sees our efforts; he knows our desires

FHE What Could Be Wrong....

Sometimes you may struggle with a problem and not get an answer. What could be wrong?

It may be that you are not doing anything wrong. It may be that you have not done the right things long enough. Remember, you cannot force spiritual things.

Sometimes we are confused simply because we won’t take no for an answer.

On several occasions when a member has insisted that something be done his way, I have remembered that great lesson from Church history. I have said to myself in my mind:

All right, Joseph, give the manuscript to Martin Harris. Do it your own way, and see where you get. Then when you’re confounded and confused, come back and we’ll get you set on the course that you might have taken earlier if you had been submissive and responsive.

Someone wrote:

With thoughtless and impatient hands
We tangle up the plans
The Lord hath wrought.
And when we cry in pain He saith,
‘Be quiet, man, while I untie the knot.’

Put difficult questions in the back of your minds and go about your lives. Ponder and pray quietly and persistently about them.

Prayers and Answers, Elder Boyd K. Packer, Oct., 1979 Conference.

Where is the Pavilion.....

“The pavilion that seems to be hiding you from God may be fear of man rather than this desire to serve others. The Savior’s only motivation was to help people. Many of you, as I have, have felt fear in approaching someone you have offended or who has hurt you. And yet I have seen the Lord melt hearts time after time, including my own. And so I challenge you to go for the Lord to someone, despite any fear you may have, to extend love and forgiveness. I promise you that as you do, you will feel the love of the Savior for that person and His love for you, and it will not seem to come from a great distance. For you, that challenge may be in a family, it may be in a community, or it may be across a nation.
But if you go for the Lord to bless others, He will see and reward it. If you do this often enough and long enough, you will feel a change in your very nature through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Not only will you feel closer to Him, but you will also feel more and more that you are becoming like Him. Then, when you do see Him, as we all will, it will be for you as it was for Moroni when he said: “And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen.” (Moroni 10:34)”

Where Is the Pavilion?, Pres. Henry B. Eyring, Ensign, Nov., 2012

FHE Begin Where You Are........

“So how do we open our eyes to the hope of God’s light?
First, start where you are.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that we don’t have to be perfect to experience the blessings and gifts of our Heavenly Father? We don’t have to wait to cross the finish line to receive God’s blessings. In fact, the heavens begin to part and the blessings of heaven begin to distill upon us with the very first steps we take toward the light.
The perfect place to begin is exactly where you are right now. It doesn’t matter how unqualified you may think you are or how far behind others you may feel. The very moment you begin to seek your Heavenly Father, in that moment, the hope of His light will begin to awaken, enliven, and ennoble your soul.5 The darkness may not dissipate all at once, but as surely as night always gives way to dawn, the light will come.”

The Hope of God’s Light, Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Ensign, May, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


We cannot go back in time and change the past, but we can repent. The Savior can wipe away our tears of regret11 and remove the burden of our sins.12His Atonement allows us to leave the past behind and move forward with clean hands, a pure heart,13 and a determination to do better and especially to become better..

Of Regrets and Resolutions,  Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Ensign, Nov., 2012

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Worth vs Worthiness.......

Worth vs Worthiness
“It may be helpful to make a distinction between the worth and the worthiness of an addict.  Worth is the value of being a son or daughter of God.  Worth is innate.  Because we are born in this earth life, we are loved and acknowledged as a son or daughter of God.  By that heritage alone, each of us-whatever our worthiness-deserves respect, honor, and unconditional-love as a potential god.  The ‘worth’ of any soul including the Bishop’s, the Relief Society President’s, yours or the addict’s is great. Eah of us is loved by our Heavenly Father.
“On the other hand, ‘worthiness’ may fluctuate from day to day.  ‘Worthiness’ has to do with being a son or daughter of God and salvation.  Worth is constant. As a loved one, it is most important to intervene with the addict’s ‘worthiness’ and not their ‘worth.’  As fellow brothers and sisters, we want to make sure we honor and respect the ‘worth’ of each of our Heavenly Father’s children no matter how much they drink, steal, lie, or hurt us.”

Hold onto Hope, p 94

FHE When You Have Done Your Best........

You can know you have been a successful…when you:

• Feel the Spirit testify to people through you.
• Love people and desire their salvation.
• Obey with exactness.
• Live so that you can receive and know how to follow the Spirit, who will show you where to go, what to do, and what to say.
Work effectively every day, do your very best to bring souls to Christ, and seek earnestly to learn and improve.
• Help build up the Church (the ward) wherever you are assigned to work.
• Warn people of the consequences of sin. Invite them to make and keep commitments.
• Teach and serve other others.
• Go about doing good and serving people at every opportunity, whether or not they accept your message.

When you have done your very best, you may still experience disappointments, but you will not be disappointed in yourself. You can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you.

Preach my Gospel, p10

Seeing With Our Hearts.......

Brothers and sisters, no matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it.

Perhaps we should be looking less with our eyes and more with our hearts. I love the quote: “One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”7

We are commanded “to give thanks in all things.”8 So isn’t it better to see with our eyes and hearts even the small things we can be thankful for, rather than magnifying the negative in our current condition?

The Lord has promised, “He who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold.”9

Brothers and sisters, with the bountiful blessings of our Heavenly Father, His generous plan of salvation, the supernal truths of the restored gospel, and the many beauties of this mortal journey, “have we not reason to rejoice?”10

Let us resolve to be happy, regardless of our circumstances.

Of Regrets and Resolutions,  Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Ensign, Nov., 2012

Today Is Mine......

“There are times when the “poor me” mood is upon us; we’re overwhelmed by all the troubles we have to face.  This is especially likely to happen when we have begun to try to change our thinking about ourselves and our relation to others.  We may, at first, become too analytical and try to solve too much at once.
For this frame of mind there is an almost infallible prescription: to empty our minds of all thoughts but one: today and how to use it.
This day is mine.  It is unique.  Nobody in the world has one exactly like it.  It holds the sum of all my past experience and all my future potential.  It belongs to me to do with whatever I like.  I can fill it with joyous moments or ruin it with fruitless worry.  If painful recollections of the past come into my mind, or frightening thoughts of the past, I will put them away.  They cannot spoil today for me.
Today is my special gift from God. How will I use it?  The less I let others affect it, the more serene and satisfying it will be for me.”

One Day at a Time in Alanon, October 28 Copyright by Alanon Family Groups 2000.

We Can Choose Our Attitude.....

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

A Man’s Search for Meaning., Victor Frankl [Trans. Ilse Lasch (Boston: Beacon Press, 2006), 65–66]

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Noah's Ark...FHE...

Noah's Ark : Everything I need to know, I learned from Noah's Ark. 
ONE: Don't miss the boat. 
TWO: Remember that we are all in the same boat! 
THREE: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark . 
FOUR: Stay fit. When you're 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big. 
FIVE: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done. 
SIX: Build your future on high ground. 
SEVEN: For safety's sake, travel in pairs. 
EIGHT: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs. 
NINE: When you're stressed, float awhile. 
TEN: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals. 
ELEVEN: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dallin H Oaks.....

Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

And again, blessed are all they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.  (3 Nephi 12: 3-4)

The Savior knows that in this life we will have much sorrow and heartache, much adversity and affliction.  But we can find comfort;  we can find peace and joy In the Lord.  If we learn to let go of the world and really let Christ into our lives, we can find “peace of God, which passeth all understanding”  Philippians 4:7.  Elder Jeffrey R Holland said, “Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.”  (Ensign, November , 1999.  The key is for us to come unto Christ in all humility and meekness. If we cast our burdens at his feet and trust in his tender care, we will feel his comfort.  Not just now but for all eternity, we will feel his everlasting peace.  When Ye Shall Receive These Things. Robert Millett and Lloyd Newell, p 328
“…continuing revelation is the means by which the Lord administers His timing. We need that revelatory direction.”

Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  given at Brigham Young University on 29 January 2002.

Come Unto Me......

The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith means trust--trust in God's will, trust in His way of doing things, and TRUST IN HIS TIMETABLE. We should not try to impose our timetable on His. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell has said: 
The issue for us is trusting God enough to trust also His timing. If we can truly believe He has our welfare at heart, may we not let His plans unfold as He thinks best? The same is true with the second coming and with all those matters wherein our faith needs to include faith in the Lord's timing for us personally, not just in His overall plans and purposes. [Even As I Am (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1982), 93] 
More recently, during last April conference, Elder Maxwell said: "Since faith in the timing of the Lord may be tried, let us learn to say not only, 'Thy will be done,' but patiently also, 'Thy timing be done'" (CR, April 2001, 76; or "Plow in Hope," Ensign, May 2001, 59). 

Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  given at Brigham Young University on 29 January 2002.

The Pleasure of What We Enjoy Is Lost....

The pleasure of what we enjoy
is lost by wanting more.

“Someone has said that life is what happens to us while we are making other plans. Because of things over which we have no control, we cannot plan and bring to pass everything we desire in our lives. Many important things will occur in our lives that we have not planned, and not all of them will be welcome. The tragic events of September 11th and their revolutionary consequences provide an obvious example. Even our most righteous desires may elude us, or come in different ways or at different times than we have sought to plan….
So what should be done in the meantime? Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ prepares us for whatever life brings. This kind of faith prepares us to deal with life's opportunities--to take advantage of those that are received and to persist through the disappointments of those that are lost. In the exercise of that faith we should commit ourselves to the priorities and standards we will follow on matters we do not control and persist faithfully in those commitments whatever happens to us because of the agency of others or the timing of the Lord. When we do this, we will have a constancy in our lives that will give us direction and peace. Whatever the circumstances beyond our control, our commitments and standards can be constant.”

Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  given at Brigham Young University on 29 January 2002.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Despair--how many of us suffer from it?  Yet we do not realize that it is purely the absence of faith.  We cannot despair as long as we are willing to turn to God for help in our extremity.  When we are troubled, and can’t see a way out, it is only because we imagine that all solutions depend upon us.  We must remind ourselves that our human wisdom and ingenuity have often failed to bring the hoped for results.
Perhaps our too-heavy burdens have made us lose what faith we once had in our Heavenly Father.  Perhaps faith was never a part of our lives and we are not convinced we need it.
The reality and efficacy of faith, as a force for good, can be demonstrated.  When we let go of an overwhelming problem and let God handle it for us, we find that Divine Principle truly has a part in our lives.
A natural faith is indeed a gift, yet it is never denied to those who feel the need of something to cling to and are willing to reach out for it.  Knock and it shall be opened, seek and ye shall find, ask and ye shall receive.   When I consciously surrender my will to God’s will, I see faith at work in my life.
God answers our prayers for our best good.  When what we perceive as a bad outcome may be exactly what needs to happen so that we (or our loved one) can become who God knows we can become.  Where there is no struggle there is no strength.

“One Day at a Time in Al-anon”



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

You Need To fall and Fear.......

It is not expected that you go through life without making mistakes, but you will not make a major mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Spirit. This promise applies to all members of the Church.

Some will make critically serious mistakes, transgressing the laws of the gospel. Here it is time to remind you of the Atonement, repentance, and complete forgiveness to the point that you can become pure again. The Lord said, “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.”13

If the adversary should take you prisoner due to misconduct, I remind you that you hold the key that will unlock the prison door from the inside. You can be washed clean through the atoning sacrifice of the Savior Jesus Christ.

You may in time of trouble think that you are not worth saving because you have made mistakes, big or little, and you think you are now lost. That is never true! Only repentance can heal what hurts. But repentance can heal what hurts, no matter what it is.

October 2011 General Conference, Boyd K. Packer,  Despite the opposition, trials, and temptations, you need not fail or fear

Monday, November 11, 2013

Different Types of Burdens.......


In a general sense, our burdens come from three sources. Some burdens are the natural product of the conditions of the world in which we live. Illness, physical disability, hurricanes, and earthquakes come from time to time through no fault of our own. We can prepare for these risks and sometimes we can predict them, but in the natural pattern of life we will all confront some of these challenges.
Other burdens are imposed on us by the misconduct of others. Abuse and addictions can make home anything but a heaven on earth for innocent family members. Sin, incorrect traditions, repression, and crime scatter burdened victims along the pathways of life. Even less-serious misdeeds such as gossip and unkindness can cause others genuine suffering.
Our own mistakes and shortcomings produce many of our problems and can place heavy burdens on our own shoulders. The most onerous burden we impose upon ourselves is the burden of sin. We have all known the remorse and pain which inevitably follow our failure to keep the commandments.
No matter the burdens we face in life as a consequence of natural conditions, the misconduct of others, or our own mistakes and shortcomings, we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father, who sent us to earth as part of His eternal plan for our growth and progress. Our unique individual experiences can help us prepare to return to Him. The adversity and afflictions that are ours, however difficult to bear, last, from heaven’s perspective, for “but a small moment; and then, if [we] endure it well, God shall exalt [us] on high.”1 We must do everything we can to bear our burdens “well” for however long our “small moment” carrying them lasts.

L. Whitney Clayton, “That Your Burdens May Be Light,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 12–14

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sinner or Someone Who Has Sinned, The Difference......

This has helped us. Perhaps it will help you-Linda and Allen
I have been asked the question, “Isn’t it depressing to have to review the sins and transgressions of people involved in such difficulties?” It would be if I were looking for sins and transgressions. But I am working with people who are repenting. These are sons and daughters of God who have made mistakes—some of them very serious. But they are not sinners. They were sinners in the past but have learned through bitter experience the heartbreak that results from disobedience to God’s laws. Now they are no longer sinners. They are God’s repentant children who want to come back to Him and are striving to do so. They have made their mistakes and have paid for them. Now they seek understanding, love, and acceptance.
Let Mercy Temper Justice  Elder Theodore M. Burton, Ensign, Nov., 1985
The difference between a sinner and a person who sins is:

A Sinner loves to sin, the other is a person who has made a wrong choice.

We Are Not Takes Time.....

I want to tell you something that I hope you will take in the right way: God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect.  Let me add: God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not.

And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others—usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. This drives us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does.

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.  It’s wonderful that you have strengths. And it is part of your mortal experience that you do have weaknesses.

God wants to help us to eventually turn all of our weaknesses into strengths,1 but He knows that this is a long-term goal. He wants us to become perfect,2 and if we stay on the path of discipleship, one day we will. It’s OK that you’re not  there yet. Keep working on it, but stop punishing yourself.

October 2011 General Conference,  Forget Me Not,  Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Thursday, October 31, 2013

When We Have Done All.....

“Could it be that after we have done all we can to reconcile and make peace with those we may have offended that there does come a time when their tyranny will have no power of us? This may sound cruel when we think of a son or daughter-a Laman or Lemuel, Absalom or Cain-but even those we love most dearly, our family members, must not have power to forever darken our joy.  One day we will have God’s love, which is eternal love.  There can be no shadow that would or could darken our joy for eternity, for that would not be just.  What a marvelous gift that concept is.  We can begin to practice it in righteousness in this life.  The Master said, ‘Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ (John 8:32)”

“The Incomparable Christ, Our Master and Model, Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, 1995

Some Challenges....

Recognize that some challenges in life will not be resolved here on earth. Paul pled thrice that “a thorn in the flesh” be removed. The Lord simply answered, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” He gave Paul strength to compensate so he could live a most meaningful life. He wants you to learn how to be cured when that is His will and how to obtain strength to live with your challenge when He intends it to be an instrument for growth. In either case the Redeemer will support you. That is why He said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; … For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Friday, October 18, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

God Knows...

* God knows that you are not perfect. As you suffer about your imperfections, he will give you comfort and suggestions of where to improve.

* God knows better than you what you need. He always attempts to speak to you. Listen, and follow the uncomfortable suggestions that he makes to us—everything will fall into its place.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Look In a Person's Eye Long Enough......

“When we are filled with the Holy Spirit we will not sin. We will be filled with wisdom, and we will be able to have the fruits to heal the wounds of the afflicted and to build a community of Saints. It is also obvious that without constant efforts, it will be very difficult to always be focused on our most righteous desires. Therefore, I want to share with you a vehicle, an instrument, that I developed some time ago for myself and for my family. It can assist us to reach our focus as we read the suggested vision of true discipleship as a Latter-day Saint. It helps when, from time to time, we ponder and seek identification with the following thoughts:
* When you cannot love someone, look into that person's eyes long enough to find the hidden rudiments of the child of God in him. “

Unleashing the Dormant Spirit,  F. ENZIO BUSCHE,  BYU May, 1996

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Making Sense of Suffering, Plan A......?

Making Sense of Suffering

Facing a major loss, one faithful man asked, “So is that the end of plan A?”  In other words, had the Lord for some reason canceled the main event, the highest blessings?  Of course not.  Our Father leads us into valleys, but ahead of us are even greater elevations than we have known before.  The greatest days are yet to come.  With each passing mile, plan A gets closer all the time.

What is man…that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?  And…visit him every morning, and try him every moment?
Job, for one, may have felt God had too many plans for him! Why all this close trying and training all the starting over again?  God was not following Job’s plan, he was changing Job into a grand and holy being!  He placed Job below the angels and monitored him incessantly.  God’s attention to us comes not from too little love for us but from what C. S. Lewis called “the intolerable compliment of loving us, in the deepest, most tragic, most inexorable sense.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Before we accomplish plan A, we face ironies—humble preliminaries that seem unrelated to the main event.  In the tedious cultivation, in the rambling route of agency, in the time-consuming preparations, even the faithful seldom notice God’s hand moving them toward plan A.  Jesus himself had to descend before ascending.  Surely we are no greater than he.

He raiseth up the poor…to set them among princes,…to make them inherit the throne of glory.
But later comes the good kind of irony: wondrous reversals.  Plan A. the main event, emerges.  For example, countless people have gone through a whole mortal existence without basic blessings—health, sanity, happiness, parents, spouse, children—or have lost them along the way.  But there awaits, perhaps in the world of spirits, a stunning harvest after all that hoping and hoeing, thanks to the God of perfect reversals.
Thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.
Timing is everything.  God unfolds his deliverance in customized ways that a less comprehending being could never attempt.

Each trial in life is tailored to the individual’s capacities and needs.

We need more, not less, irony in our diets.  We need God’s careful planning, his watchful eye, his miraculous tailoring of our trials.  Whatever other crying we do, we must cry unto him for all our support.  With that support, we will see the puzzle come together and the main event at last unfold.  We are each getting closer, even now


“When my spirit is in turmoil and my troubled thoughts race round and round, and I try to reason myself out of this frame of mind, it may be well to stop reasoning and hold fast to a single idea that speaks of quiet and serenity.  One such is: Keep it Simple.
Probably there is nothing I can do now-this minute, this hour, today-to solve the problem that is gnawing at my peace of mind.  Then to what purpose do I torment myself?
I will stop trying to figure out ways and means.  I will not rehash, over and over, thoughts so bitter that they can make me feel physically ill.  I sill empty my mind of all this perplexity and hold to just one simple thought while I wait for God’s guidance.
Today’s Reminder:
The things that trouble me are often too complex to yield to human reasoning.  Indeed their only reality may be in my confused thoughts.  When I reach such an impasse and I remind myself to Keep it Simple I will find myself being restored to composure.
‘Under the shadow of Thy wing shall be my refuge until this tyranny be overpast.’ (Book of Common Prayer.)

ODAT in Alanon, p 205

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Now is the time To Repent......

Now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.  For behold, this live is the time for men to prepare to meet God.  (Alma 34:31-32

In a sense, every day is a day of decision.  We must decide whether we will continue faithful, remain open to spiritual promptings and keep our covenants.  We must decide whether we will continue to pause on our present spiritual plateau or choose instead to fight the inertia and climb higher.  Every thought, every feeling, every action contributes to who we are and what we are becoming, and thus either adds or detracts from the eventual realization of our salvation.  Thus today is “The time for men to prepare to meet God.”  There is nothing we can do about the past, except to repent, and the future doesn’t belong to us yet.  We have only now.  If we are striving to keep the commandments and cultivate the spirit of revelation, then it could be said of us.  As it was said of former-day Saints, that “now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” (Romans13:11)

Timing and Faith!

“So what should be done in the meantime? Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ prepares us for whatever life brings. This kind of faith prepares us to deal with life's opportunities--to take advantage of those that are received and to persist through the disappointments of those that are lost. In the exercise of that faith we should commit ourselves to the priorities and standards we will follow on matters we do not control and persist faithfully in those commitments whatever happens to us because of the agency of others or the timing of the Lord. When we do this, we will have a constancy in our lives that will give us direction and peace. Whatever the circumstances beyond our control, our commitments and standards can be constant.”
Timing, DALLIN H. OAKS, BYU, 29 January 2002

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Marriage and Timing.........

This has helped us. Perhaps it will be of help to you.  Allen and Linda
Someone has said that life is what happens to us while we are making other plans. Because of things over which we have no control, we cannot plan and bring to pass everything we desire in our lives. Many important things will occur in our lives that we have not planned, and not all of them will be welcome….Even our most righteous desires may elude us, or come in different ways or at different times than we have sought to plan.
For example, we cannot be sure that we will marry as soon as we desire. A marriage that is timely in our view may be our blessing or it may not…
The timing of marriage is perhaps the best example of an extremely important event in our lives that is almost impossible to plan. Like other important mortal events that depend on the agency of others or the will and timing of the Lord, marriage cannot be anticipated or planned with certainty. We can and should work for and pray for our righteous desires, but, despite this, many will remain single well beyond their desired time for marriage.
Timing, DALLIN H. OAKS, BYU, 29 January 2002
* God knows better than you what you need. He always attempts to speak to you. Listen, and follow the uncomfortable suggestions that he makes to us--everything will fall into its place. “
Unleashing the Dormant Spirit,  F. ENZIO BUSCHE,  BYU May, 1996

Monday, September 9, 2013

Do nothing to alleviate the pain.......

“Love is often difficult to show, especially when it results in pain.  When someone we love abuses alcohol or other drugs that are harmful, choose behaviors that are wrong, our tendency is to help him out of his problems because we love him…The problem drinker [and other addicts] must experience for himself the consequences of his drinking [or addiction]…The object is not to be vengeful, but rather to motivate him to receive the help he needs to overcome his problem.  By showing “tough-love,” we do what is best for him.  Circumstances and inescapable choices motivate change.  Threats only cause a problem drinker [or other addicts] to make promises that he seldom keeps. (Resource Manual for Helping Families with Alcohol Problems, LDS Church, 1984 pg 99.)

A general rule for those wishing to be helpful is:  Do nothing to alleviate the pain of an addict!  (Hold On To Hope., P 102.)

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Ultimately, the responsibility to learn by faith and apply spiritual truth rests upon each of us individually. This is an increasingly serious and important responsibility in the world in which we do now and will yet live. What, how, and when we learn is supported by—but is not dependent upon—an instructor, a method of presentation, or a specific topic or lesson format.

Truly, one of the great challenges of mortality is to seek learning by faith. The Prophet Joseph Smith best summarizes the learning process and outcomes I am attempting to describe. In response to a request by
the Twelve Apostles for instruction, Joseph taught, “The best way to obtain truth and wisdom is not to ask it from books, but to go to God in prayer, and obtain divine teaching” (History of the Church, 4:425).

And on another occasion, the Prophet Joseph explained that “reading the experience of others, or the revelation given to them, can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God” (History of the Church, 6:50).

SEEK LEARNING BY FAITH, Elder David A. Bednar, Address to CES Religious Educators • February 3, 2006

Saturday, September 7, 2013


The power of hope expressed in these examples is sometimes rewarded with repentance and reformation, but sometimes it is not. Personal circumstances vary greatly. We cannot control and we are not responsible for the choices of others, even when they impact us so painfully. I am sure the Lord loves and blesses husbands and wives who lovingly try to help spouses struggling with such deep problems as pornography or other addictive behavior or with the long-term consequences of childhood abuse.
Whatever the outcome and no matter how difficult your experiences, you have the promise that you will not be denied the blessings of eternal family relationships if you love the Lord, keep His commandments, and just do the best you can. When young Jacob “suffered afflictions and much sorrow” from the actions of other family members, Father Lehi assured him, “Thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain” (2 Nephi 2:1–2). Similarly, the Apostle Paul assured us that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28).

Dallin H. Oaks, “Divorce,” Liahona, May 2007, 70–73

Friday, September 6, 2013


“When it comes to the question of our forgiving other people, it is partly the same and partly different.  It is the same because, here also, forgiving does not mean excusing.  Many people seem to think it does.  They think that if you ask them to forgive someone who has cheated or bullied them you are trying to make out that that there was really no cheating or no bullying.  But if that were so, there would be nothing to forgive.  They keep on replying, “But I tell you the man broke a most solemn promise. “ Exactly: that is precisely what you have to forgive. (This doesn’t mean that you must necessarily believe his next promise.  It does mean that you must make every effort to kill every taste of resentment in your own heart-every wish to humiliate or hurt him or to pay him out.) The difference between this situation and the one in which you are asking God’s forgiveness is this.  In our own case we accept excuses too easily; in other people’s we do not accept them easily enough.  As regards my own sins it is a safe bet (though not a certainty) that the excuses are not really so good as I think; as regards other men’s sins against me it is a safe bet (though not a certainty) that the excuses are better than I think. One must therefore begin by attending to everything which may show that the other man was not so much to blame as we thought. But even if he is absolutely fully to blame we still have to forgive him; and even if ninety-nine percent of his apparent guilt can be explained away by really good excuses, the problem of forgiveness begins with the one percent of guilt which is left over.  To excuse what can really produce good excuses is not Christian charity; it is only fairness. To be Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.

This is hard. It is perhaps not so hard to forgive a single great injury. But to forgive the incessant provocations of daily life-to keep on forgiving the bossy mother-in-law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son-how can we do it? Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning our words when we say in our prayers each “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.”  We are offered forgiveness on no other terms.  To refuse it is to refuse God’s mercy for ourselves. There is no hint of exceptions and God means what He says.”

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Falsely Measure Our Fortunes.....

How easy it is to falsely measure our fortunes.  When we have more money, health, honor, or pleasure, are we winning?  Not necessarily, for our ills and fortunes are tests, not grades.
And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things…And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.  But…he rebuked Peter, saying…
Thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.
Even the chief apostle, Peter, early in his growth, found it hard to savor or value what was best.  To savor the wrong things guarantees unhappiness.  Suffering is a time to reeducate our hopes, our savoring reflexes.  It offers us an elevated spot above the landscape, a rare view, a chance at real wisdom.  But haste and self-pity can deny us the solemn and sweet fruit of wisdom, just when it is ripe.  In haste, we forget to reflect.  In self-pity, we ask the wrong questions.
To ask, Why does this have to happen to me?...will lead you into blind alleys,…Rather ask, What am I to do?  What am I to learn from this experience?
What am I to change?  Whom am I to help?
To learn from adversity, we need to slow down, kneel down, listen carefully, and consult the sacred books.  We even make our own sacred record, a book of remembrances and reflections.  We can consider the suffering of those around us.  We can think about him who bore all burdens.
In the day of adversity consider.
If we consider well, without haste and self-pity, the Father’s mind will at length whisper to ours.  We will see past the outward, we will be settled, even in the smallest holdings and poorest fortunes.  We will know that an outward loss opens the door to inner gain.
The emergency in your life may invite my life into action.  You will then be like the blind man who helped others to see.  If we consider well, we may see the mission in our submission.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me.

Not far from our life’s lessons is the Teacher.  We endure his lessons well by considering them well, by trusting him, and living what he teaches.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Blessings of God.....

If I believe that it is hopeless to expect any improvement in my life, I am doubting the power of God.  If I believe I have reason for despair, I am confessing personal failure, for I DO have the power to change myself, and nothing can prevent it but my own unwillingness.

Never let me imagine that my satisfaction with life depends on what someone else may do.  This is a thinking error I can get rid of in ARP.  I can learn to avail myself of the immense, inexhaustible power of God, if I am willing to be continually conscious of God’s nearness.

Today’s Reminder
   I am not at the mercy of a cruel or capricious fate, for I have the power to determine what my life will be.  I am not alone.  I have the power to determine what my life will be.  I am not alone.  I have the confidence and faith of all ARP to support my efforts, as it is expressed in the loving concern and help of the friends in my group.  I am not alone, because God is with me whenever I make myself aware of Him.

       “To be without hope is to deny the wonderful possibilities of the future and the blessings of God”

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Parents Love.........

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 (for us and our loved ones). (See 2 Ne. 2:11, 15; Ether 12:27, 37.)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Elder Holland...Personal Faith..............

“My appeal is that you nurture your own physical and spiritual strength so that you have a deep reservoir of faith to call upon when tasks or challenges or demands of one kind or another come. Pray a little more, study a little more, shut out the noise and shut down the clamor, enjoy nature, call down personal revelation, search your soul, and search the heavens for the testimony that led our pioneer parents. Then, when you need to reach down inside a little deeper and a little farther to face life and do your work, you will be sure there is something down there to call upon.
When you have your own faith, you are prepared to bless your family.

Faith to Answer the Call,  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, July, 2011

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Healing Power of Forgiveness.....

What can we all learn from  experiences?  We need to recognize and acknowledge angry feelings. It will take humility to do this, but if we will get on our knees and ask Heavenly Father for a feeling of forgiveness, He will help us. The Lord requires us “to forgive all men”15 for our own good because “hatred retards spiritual growth.” 16 Only as we rid ourselves of hatred and bitterness can the Lord put comfort into our hearts.
Of course, society needs to be protected from hardened criminals, because mercy cannot rob justice.17 Bishop Williams addressed this concept so well when he said, “Forgiveness is a source of power. But it does not relieve us of consequences.”18 When tragedy strikes, we should not respond by seeking personal revenge but rather let justice take its course and then let go. It is not easy to let go and empty our hearts of festering resentment. The Savior has offered to all of us a precious peace through His Atonement, but this can come only as we are willing to cast out negative feelings of anger, spite, or revenge. For all of us who forgive “those who trespass against us,”19 even those who have committed serious crimes, the Atonement brings a measure of peace and comfort.

James E. Faust, “The Healing Power of Forgiveness,” Ensign, May 2007, 67–69

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Family.......

“We cannot control what others choose to do, and so we cannot force our children to heaven, but we can determine what we will do. And we can decide that we will do all that we can to bring down the powers of heaven into that family we want so much to have forever.
A key for us is in the proclamation in this sentence: "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ."
What could make it more likely that people in a family would love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and obey the law? It is not simply teaching them the gospel. It is in their hearing the word of God and then trying it in faith. If they do, their natures will be changed in a way that produces the happiness we seek.”

The Family, HENRY B. EYRING,  B Y U, 5 November 1995

Sunday, August 25, 2013

“The Healing Power of Forgiveness,”

Learn from Experience
What can we all learn from experiences?  We need to recognize and acknowledge angry feelings. It will take humility to do this, but if we will get on our knees and ask Heavenly Father for a feeling of forgiveness, He will help us. The Lord requires us “to forgive all men”15 for our own good because “hatred retards spiritual growth.” 16 Only as we rid ourselves of hatred and bitterness can the Lord put comfort into our hearts.
Of course, society needs to be protected from hardened criminals, because mercy cannot rob justice.17 Bishop Williams addressed this concept so well when he said, “Forgiveness is a source of power. But it does not relieve us of consequences.”18 When tragedy strikes, we should not respond by seeking personal revenge but rather let justice take its course and then let go. It is not easy to let go and empty our hearts of festering resentment. The Savior has offered to all of us a precious peace through His Atonement, but this can come only as we are willing to cast out negative feelings of anger, spite, or revenge (for that is what forgiving is). For all of us who forgive “those who trespass against us,”19 even those who have committed serious crimes, the Atonement brings a measure of peace and comfort.

James E. Faust, “The Healing Power of Forgiveness,” Ensign, May 2007, 67–69

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Quiet Time......


“I will begin today to include a quiet time in each day, remembering this especially in times of family upheavals and dissension.  If I provide the element of quiet in my home, I will at least not be adding to the turmoil.

Quiet can be achieved with complete silence, but if the silence has in it even a trace of anger or hostility, it loses all its power.  A grim silence is even more challenging to ta combatant than speech.  True quiet has the quality of serenity, acceptance, peace.

I must remind myself of this constantly in times of stress.

I can persuade myself to be quite by realizing that angry words cannot touch me unless I allow them to .  Most angry words have no basis in logic or reason anyway, so why need they hurt me?  If a wrathful explosion on the loved ones (addicts) part seems aimed at me, I will understand that it may only express his own guilt I will not allow this to be shifted to my shoulders.

In quiet and in silence the truth is made clear…”

Rude or Mean Words......

“…when somebody says something to you that is rude or designed to hurt,  ‘instead of going into unconscious reaction and negativity, such as attack, defense, or withdraw, you let it pass right through you’ as though you were transparent, so that it no longer hits a solid ‘wall’ inside you.  That does not mean of course that you don’t tell ‘that person that his or her behavior is unacceptable, if that is what you choose to do.  But that person no longer has the power to control your inner state.  You are then in your power-not in someone else’s.” 

“Light in the Wilderness,” M. Catherine Thomas, P 83-84

Dart Test......

Dart Test

A young lady named Sally, relates an experience she had in a seminary class, given by her teacher, Dr. Smith . She says that Dr. Smith was known for his elaborate object lessons. One particular day, Sally walked into the seminary and knew they were in for a fun day. On the wall was a big target and on a nearby table were many darts. Dr.   Smith told the students to draw a picture of someone that they disliked or someone who had made them angry, and he would allow them to throw darts at the person's picture. Sally's friend drew a picture of who had stolen her boyfriend. Another   friend drew a picture of his little brother. Sally drew a picture of a former friend, putting a great deal of detail into her drawing, even drawing pimples on the face. Sally was pleased with the overall effect she   had achieved. The class lined up and began throwing darts. Some of the students threw their darts with such force that their targets were ripping apart. Sally   looked forward to her turn, and was filled with disappointment when Dr. Smith, because of time limits, asked the students to return to their seats.   As Sally sat thinking about how angry she was because she didn't have a chance to throw any darts at her target. Dr. Smith began removing the target from the wall. Underneath the target was a picture of Jesus. A hush fell over the room as each student viewed the mangled picture of Jesus; holes and jagged marks covered His face and His eyes were pierced. Dr. Smith said only these words.... “In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me."

Matthew 25:40. No other words were necessary; the tears filled eyes of the students focused only on the picture of Christ.

Love in our marriage......

n order to achieve this love in our marriage, we must give the energy of our heart to loving our spouse, regardless of how well they meet our expectations. This does not mean that we should desire or expect any less from our spouse, but that we should give our love freely no matter what point they are at on their personal road of progress.

In addition to strengthening my marriage, these realizations have altered my approach as a mother as I have come to better understand the meaning of charity. I am learning more how the love of our Heavenly Father truly knows no bounds.

When He Stopped Believing , NAME WITHHELD, JULY, 2012

Temple Marriage.....

The measure of our success as parents, however, will not rest solely on how our children turn out.  That judgment would be just only if we could raise our families in a perfectly moral environment, and that now is not possible.
“It is not uncommon for responsible parents to lose one or more of their children, for a time, to influences over which they have no control.  They agonize over rebellious sons and daughters.  They are puzzled over why they are so helpless when they have tried so hard to do what they should.  It is my conviction that those wicked influences one day will be overruled....
“We cannot overemphasize the value of temple marriage, the binding ties of the sealing ordinance, and the standards of worthiness required of them.  When parents keep the covenants they have made at the altar of the temple, their children will be forever bound to them” (Elder Boyd K. Packer. in Conference Report, Apr. 1992, 94 ;).

“Those born under the covenant, throughout all eternity, are the children of their parents.  Nothing except the unpardonable sin, or sin unto death, can break this tie.  If children do not sin as John says [1 John 5:16-17], ‘unto death,’ the parents may still feel after them and eventually bring them back to them again” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:90)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their affliction.”......

And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their affliction.”  (Mosiah 24:13)
“If we were honest, we would admit that we desire to become more Christlike by navigating life with little toil, few barriers, and only one or two difficulties.  That is, we yearn to join our Prototype at the top of the hill without being required to climb upwards.  But the scriptures affirm that those who inherit the highest heaven are those who ‘overcome by faith’ (D&C 76: 53). The wise know firsthand that the most enduring lessons in life come in the furnace of affliction.  When we are stripped of pride and double-mindedness, when we are naked in our frightening finitude, when as mortals we find ourselves up against the wall of faith, then is the time we open ourselves to the strength that comes only from him who knows perfectly how to succor his people (D&C 62:1). Eventually we cry out with the apostle Paul: ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my afirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me’ (2 Cor. 12:9).
When Ye Shall Receive These Things,  p 198

Here is Mission Advice for Parents, Series 10. Anonymous from a Mission President's wife:......

Here is Mission Advice for Parents, Series 10. Anonymous from a Mission President's wife:

Parents need to start letting their children work, and not reward them
for doing the things they should be doing anyway.

Start getting your children up at 6:30 in the morning. Help them learn
how to sleep at night, and not think that this is the time to go do things.

Teach them the value of scriptures. Don't just read to them or with
them, but talk about application.

Bear testimony, help them LEARN how to feel the spirit, and teach them
what it feels like.

Parents need to raise the bar on them selves. Get a great defense in
their home against the things of the world. Parents need to be pro-active and be prepared. They need to protect their children by thinking, "This could happen", and not just think: "This will never happen to us."

Mom's, there is no better place on earth that your son or daughter could be than in the mission field. If you are happy to have them gone, that's great. Don't feel guilty for thinking that way. You are still a great parent! Its not required that you are to be SAD to have them gone.

It is natural to feel a loss when they are gone. Of course you miss them! Life goes on and you will adjust to the change. Count your blessings that they are serving a mission. Don't dwell on sadness.

When you write letters, don't ever say, "I miss you." They will read that to mean you want them to come home. Only say how much you love them. I promise, they know you miss them, and they miss you. Just don't get them
focused on that. Always share your testimony, and spiritual xperiences, Not the every day stuff or bad stuff, they don't need to know that.

Well, I could go on, but I hope this helps. I love the mission, and
that great work. I do wish that parents would take this more seriously.
And realize what a blessing it is to serve, not a sacrifice.

-Anonymous Mission President's wife

Consider Staying Out of the Way......

“Of course, attentive parents and loved ones can nurture many aspects of a child’s potential and teach many skills. But each person comes with plans and covenants and predispositions already in place.  As nurturing efforts go forward, parents and teachers soon reach that core of the premortal spirit that will not respond to the most skillful shaping efforts.  This girl is going to play basketball no matter how many dolls we give her. It is peaceful wisdom to realize the formative power of pre-mortal events and to recognize the validity of many different attributes, strengths and weakness in the people who cross our path, as they work out their own salvation. Since we can never be sure what the Lord is doing with a person, it is our opportunity to consider staying out of the way.”

“Light in the Wilderness,” M. Catherine Thomas, P71

The will of God never takes you to where the grace of God will not protect you
Do what is right for those you love and then TRUST God
Sometimes  RIGHT is hard

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Agency and Anger......

Satan damages and often destroys families within the walls of their own homes. His strategy is to stir up anger between family members. Satan is the “father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another” (3 Ne. 11:29; emphasis added.
A cunning part of his strategy is to dissociate anger from agency, making us believe that we are victims of an emotion that we cannot control. We hear, “I lost my temper.” Losing one’s temper is an interesting choice of words that has become a widely used idiom. To “lose something” implies “not meaning to,” “accidental,” “involuntary,” “not responsible”—careless perhaps but “not responsible.”
“He made me mad.” This is another phrase we hear, also implying lack of control or agency. This is a myth that must be debunked. No one makes us mad. Others don’t make us angry. There is no force involved. Becoming angry is a conscious choice, a decision; therefore, we can make the choice not to become angry. We choose!
To those who say, “But I can’t help myself,” author William Wilbanks responds: “Nonsense.”
“Aggression, … suppressing the anger, talking about it, screaming and yelling,” are all learned strategies in dealing with anger. “We choose the one that has proved effective for us in the past. Ever notice how seldom we lose control when frustrated by our boss, but how often we do when annoyed by friends or family?” (“The New Obscenity,” Reader’s Digest, Dec. 1988, 24; emphasis added).

Lynn G. Robbins, “Agency and Anger,” Ensign, May 1998, 80

Sometime RIGHT is Hard!!!

Do what is right for those you love and then TRUST God
Sometimes  RIGHT is hard

Friday, August 2, 2013

He Can Heal our Wounds......

“It happened on December 16, 1991—our eighth wedding anniversary. On that day our first son died as the result of a babysitter’s actions. He was only two and a half months old.
The following months and years were clouded by sadness, anger, disappointment, and hopelessness. The personal turmoil that overcame me is indescribable. Nothing anyone said or did eased my pain.
I had the rare opportunity to counsel with Elder James E. Faust (1920–2007), then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
I asked many questions while he patiently listened. Elder Faust acknowledged that what I had experienced was certainly painful and extremely difficult. He shared several scriptures and talked about the need to work through my grief and find total submission to the Lord’s will in order to be reunited with my son again. He said, “Sylvia, this is about you now. I realize you are worried about your son, but in reality, you should be worried about yourself and how to rebuild your life. It won’t be easy, but you can mend your heart through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”
I left our meeting still discouraged; his counsel seemed so simple and yet so unattainable. My mother felt hopeless as well since nothing she said to me seemed to help. I recall her saying, “Please have faith and hope in our Savior, and allow time to heal your wounds.”
In my personal journey to attain joy once again, I decided to take to heart the advice I had been given and find out what it truly meant to put my faith in the Savior. Things didn’t change immediately. But day by day and year by year, with the help of prayer and a growing testimony, I came to know without a doubt that the Savior can heal our wounds.”

Sylvia Erbolato Christensen, “He Can Heal Any Wound,” Ensign, Jul 2010, 8

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Forgiveness...... His Grace.....

“And what about those who believe they have sinned beyond Christ’s redeeming grace? They can take comfort in His promise: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). Or perhaps there are some who believe their lives are shattered beyond repair. Can they not have renewed hope in these words of the Savior: “[I will] give unto them beauty for ashes” (Isaiah 61:3)? There is no problem, no obstacle to our divine destiny, for which the Savior’s Atonement does not have a remedy of superior healing and lifting power. That is why Mormon said, “Ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ” (Moroni 7:41).”

Our Identity and Our Destiny, Tad R. Callister, BYU, August 14, 2012


Mere Christianity—C.S. Lewis

I find I must borrow yet another parable from George MacDonald.  Imagine yourself as a living house.  God comes in to rebuild that house.  At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing.  He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on:  You knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised.  But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense.  What on earth is He up to?  The explanation is He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.  You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage; but He is building a palace.  He intends to come and live in it Himself.

The command Be ye perfect is not idealistic gas.  Nor is it a command to do the impossible.  He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command.  He said (in the Bible) that we were ‘gods’ and He is going to make good His words.  If we let Him—for we can prevent Him, if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us all into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness.  The process will be long and in parts very painful, but that is what we are in for.  Nothing less.  He meant what He said.

HIS Grace........Is.....

Should there be anyone who feels he is too weak to change the onward and downward course of his life, or should there be those who fail to resolve to do better because of that greatest of fears, the fear of failure, there is no more comforting assurance to be had than the words of the Lord: “My grace,” said He, “is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them

Thomas S. Monson, “Your Eternal Voyage,” Ensign, May 2000, 46

Thursday, July 25, 2013

What If.......

One Day at a Time

“What if….”  How often we hear these words from those who live with an addicts problems.  Only two little words, but they’re heavy with dread, fear and anxiety.

“What if he doesn’t come home?”—What if she doesn’t take care of the children while I’m at work?”---What if he spends all his pay on drugs?”
What if he is living on the street?”---What if he goes to jail?”---What if…anything our desperate imaginings can project.

Granted, these things can happen, but when they don’t, we have put ourselves through needless suffering and made ourselves even less prepared to deal with them if they should come.


In ARP, the answer to “What if… is “Don’t project!  Don’t imagine the worst; deal with your problems as they arise.  Live one day at a time.”  I cannot do anything about things that haven’t happened; I will not let past experiences make me dread the unknown future.

“It is a vain and unprofitable thing to conceive either grief or joy for future things

which perhaps will never come about.”

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Continue in Patience..........

We must learn that in the Lord’s plan, our understanding comes “line upon line, precept upon precept.”6 In short, knowledge and understanding come at the price of patience.
Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from the mountains of our future experience. Often we can’t see the Lord’s hand in our lives until long after trials have passed. Often the most difficult times of our lives are essential building blocks that form the foundation of our character and pave the way to future opportunity, understanding, and happiness.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Continue in Patience,” Ensign, May 2010, 56–59

Boundaries in Marriage......

“…loving God must be first.  He empowers us to change. He tells us how to change.  And, most of all, God becomes the one that keeps us from being ultimately in charge.  If we try to be in charge, we will do it our way, and then our own limitations become the limitations of the relationship as well.  We all need someone bigger to answer to so we will make the changes we need to make.

Love God first, with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength.  Lose your life to Him, and you will gain it.”

Boundaries in Marriage,  Cloud and Townsend, p 118

Things Will Be Set Right In The Millennium.....

“The Lord has promised that in the eternities no blessing will be denied his sons and daughters who keep the commandments, are true to their covenants, and desire what is right.

“Many of the most important deprivations of mortality will be set right in the Millennium, which is the time for fulfilling all that is incomplete in the great plan of happiness for all of our Father’s worthy children. We know that will be true of temple ordinances. I believe it will also be true of family relationships and experiences.”

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 75.

Endure and Move On.....

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.”  We can let ourselves out of such a prison by turning to the Lord for strength.  With His help we can use our trials as stepping stones.  The keys are in our hands. “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise. (D&C 82:10.) If we are offended and resentful, can we believe that He is bound to help us in our tragedies and disappointments?  This scripture does not tell us how or when this commitment will be effective or realized, but His promise is real and binding.  Our challenge is to endure (progress).  There will always be testing’s and trials along life’s paths.  Heartaches and tragedies need not defeat us if we remember God’s promise.  A worthwhile attitude for all of us could well be, “Help me 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.)

Marvin J. Ashton, “If thou Endure it well,” Ensign, Nov. 1988,69

Gaining Faith.....

You can learn to use faith more effectively by applying this principle taught by Moroni: “Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”  Thus, every time you try your faith, that is, act in worthiness on an impression, you will receive the confirming evidence of the Spirit. Those feelings will fortify your faith. As you repeat that pattern, your faith will become stronger. The Lord knows your needs. When you ask with honesty and real intent, He will prompt you to do that which will increase your ability to act in faith. With consistent practice, faith will become a vibrant, powerful, uplifting, inspiring force in your life. As you walk to the boundary of your understanding into the twilight of uncertainty, exercising faith, you will be led to find solutions you would not obtain otherwise. I testify that I know that is true.

Richard G. Scott, “The Sustaining Power of Faith in Times of Uncertainty and Testing,” Ensign, May 2003, 75

Friday, July 19, 2013

“God helps those who don’t try to take over His work.”

I have tried everything.  He won’t listen to reason.  I’ve yelled and complained, paid bills, threatened to leave—nothing works”.

Of course not.  This is you applying the force, and that never works.  I suggest you stop taking action.  The only force that can change the pattern is the pressure that builds up inside of him when the family refuses to react any longer.  When he can’t count on your helping him, when you won’t assuage his guilt by fighting with him and you refuse to get him out of trouble then he’ll be compelled to face up to things.  In other words, try inaction instead of constantly figuring out something to do about him.

It is not easy to restrain ourselves from reaction to what others do that seems to affect us.  A healthy detachment brings about the very changes we were powerless to make by continually fighting the problem.
“God helps those who don’t try to take over His work.I have tried everything.  He won’t listen to reason.  I’ve yelled and complained, paid bills, threatened to leave—nothing works”.

Of course not.  This is you applying the force, and that never works.  I suggest you stop taking action.  The only force that can change the pattern is the pressure that builds up inside of him when the family refuses to react any longer.  When he can’t count on your helping him, when you won’t assuage his guilt by fighting with him and you refuse to get him out of trouble then he’ll be compelled to face up to things.  In other words, try inaction instead of constantly figuring out something to do about him.

It is not easy to restrain ourselves from reaction to what others do that seems to affect us.  A healthy detachment brings about the very changes we were powerless to make by continually fighting the problem.
“God helps those who don’t try to take over His work.”

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Christ Center homes..

Clearly in the God/Christ centered home the atmosphere is one of love.  Love is kindness, patience, affirmation of the other person’s worth.  In saying this, however, we are not saying that love is permissiveness, softness, ‘nice-guyness.’  True love, divine love-charity, or the love of Christ-is ‘tough.’  It involves standards, expectations, requirements, and disciplines.  The criterion or essence of divine love is the growth and development of the person loved, not his temporary pleasure or one’s own popularity.  Sometimes the kindest thing we can do is to hold another to the responsible course while he is condemning us for doing so, or to allow natural and logical consequences to teach him accountability and responsibility.  This ‘tough love,’ as some call it communicates that we care more for and believe more in that person than he does in himself.  We are saying we know he can do it, and that we will neither give up on him nor give in to him.”

Sunday, July 14, 2013

No Bitterness.......

There are other significant keys for coping. “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23.) Wise self-denial shrinks our sense of entitlement.

Another cardinal key is to “live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which [God] doth bestow upon you.” (Alma 34:38.)

Another vital way of coping was exemplified by Jesus. Though He suffered all manner of temptations (see Alma 7:11), yet He “gave no heed unto them” (D&C 20:22). Unlike some of us, He did not fantasize, reconsider, or replay temptations. How is it that you and I do not see that while initially we are stronger and the temptations weaker, dalliance turns things upside down?

Jesus’ marvelous meekness prevented any “root of bitterness” from “springing up” in Him. (Heb. 12:15.)

Ponder the Savior’s precious words about the Atonement after He passed through it. There is no mention of the vinegar. No mention of the scourging. No mention of having been struck. No mention of having been spat upon. He does declare that He “suffer[ed] both body and spirit” in an exquisiteness which we simply cannot comprehend. (D&C 19:18; see also D&C 19:15.)

Irony: The Crust on the Bread of Adversity, NEAL A. MAXWELL, ENSIGN, MAY, 1989

Saturday, July 13, 2013


I learned that patience was far more than simply waiting for something to happen—patience required actively working toward worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results didn’t appear instantly or without effort.
There is an important concept here: patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can—working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!

Understanding the Atonement.....

“Until then, my understanding of the Atonement was limited to repentance and forgiveness. I had been an active member of the Church all of my life—graduating from seminary, participating in institute, serving in a variety of callings, and raising my family to live by gospel standards—but I had never really understood the healing power of the Atonement. I had no idea how personal and penetrating it could be, no idea that it could heal my broken heart and take away the pain and hurt and anger and bitterness that I had been feeling for so many years.
Oh, how I wish I had understood that principle sooner! It wasn’t until I could give my pain and anguish to the Lord and let go of the wounds that had been festering within me that I could also begin to forgive my father and my brother. Then the real healing could start to take place.
It took some time to work through the issues that I was dealing with, but I began to feel peace in my life. Through my understanding of the Atonement, I was able to move past the crippling image I had created of myself and develop relationships with my family.
It was at this point that I had the previously mentioned discussion with the counselor in the stake presidency. It left me wondering if I had taken full advantage of the Atonement. For many years I had blamed my youthful mistakes on the fact that I had been abused. There were some unresolved sins in my life that I knew I needed to repent of in order to be completely healed. Moreover, I felt that my own repentance process was hinging on whether or not I could finally and completely forgive my father and my brother.
After some intense prayer and scripture study, I came to understand what I had to do to be healed from the wounds that had been inflicted on me. I spent several weeks tracking down people from my past that I had wronged in some way and trying to make restitution as best I could. It was not easy, but I knew that I was moving in the right direction in correcting things in my life. Once I was able to own my sins and quit blaming them on those who had hurt me, I was able to really let them go, to turn them over to the Lord and fully repent. Once again, I was amazed at the power of the Atonement to heal my soul and give me the strength to come unto the Savior.
Possibly the most amazing thing about this process has been watching the Lord work in my life. He has consistently placed me in situations that have led me to stretch myself and grow closer to Him. After talking to my stake priesthood leader and hearing his counsel, after visiting with my bishop and confessing my own sins, after contacting people I had not seen in 20 years and begging forgiveness from them, how could I not forgive those who had hurt me? The process of repenting reminded me that the power of the Atonement is not just for me but also for those who have committed sins against me. It is for the abused and the abuser alike.
No one heals from this type of abuse overnight. In fact, getting to the point in my life where I felt I could forgive those who had sinned against me took more than 20 years—20 years of actively trying to understand why these things had taken place and how I could get past them. It has been a long process to learn how to “come unto Christ,” but through that process, I have finally been able to allow Him to become, quite literally, my Savior and His grace was sufficient for me (see Moroni 10:30, 32).
I still have days when I struggle and wonder why I have had to deal with these things in my life. Even though I never would have chosen these experiences, I am grateful for my understanding of the Atonement and for the healing I have felt.”

Thursday, July 11, 2013


“… While there are many things we must make judgments about, the sins of another or the state of our own souls in comparison to others seems not to be among them.…Our own sins, no matter how few or seemingly insignificant, disqualify us as judges of other people’s sins. I love the words in Susan Evans McCloud’s familiar hymn: ‘Who am I to judge another when I walk imperfectly? In the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can’t see. Who am I to judge another? Lord, I would follow thee.’ (‘Lord, I Would Follow Thee,’ Hymns, no. 220) So far as possible, we should judge circumstances rather than people. In all our judgments we should apply righteous standards. And, in all of this we must remember the command to forgive….May God bless us that we may have that love and that we may show it in refraining from making final judgments of our fellowman. In those intermediate judgments we are responsible to make, may we judge righteously and with love.”

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “’Judge Not’ and Judging”, Ensign, Aug, 1999

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Self Pity.......

Self-pity blocks effective action. The more I indulge in it, the more I feel that the answer to my problem is a change in others and in society, not in myself. Thus I become a hopeless case.

Exhaustion is the result when I use my energy in mulling over the past with regret, or in trying to figure
ways to escape a future that has yet to arrive. Projecting an image of the future and anxiously hovering
over it, for fear that it will or won’t come true, uses all of my energy and leaves me unable to live today.
Yet living today is the only way to have a life.

I will have no thought for the future actions of others, neither expecting them to be better or worse as time goes on, for in such expectations I am really trying to create. I will love and let be.

All people are always changing. If I try to judge them, I do so only on what I think I know of them, failing to realize there is much I do not know. I will give others credit for attempts at progress and for having had many victories which are unknown.

I, too, am always changing, and I can make that change a constructive one, if I am willing. I CAN
CHANGE MYSELF. Others, I can only love.” (Codependent’s guide to the Twelve Steps, p 192)

Healing Through Christ Workbook,. P 140

Monday, July 1, 2013

Atonement/ Abuse...

Know that the wicked choice of others cannot completely destroy your agency unless you permit it. Their acts may cause pain, anguish, even physical harm, but they cannot destroy your eternal possibilities in this brief but crucial life on earth. You must understand that you are free to determine to overcome the harmful results of abuse. Your attitude can control the change for good in your life. It allows you to have the help the Lord intends you to receive. No one can take away your ultimate opportunities when you understand and live eternal law. The laws of your Heavenly Father and the atonement of the Lord have made it possible that you will not be robbed of the opportunities which come to the children of God.

Healing the Tragic Scars of Abuse, Elder Richard G. Scott, Ensign, May, 1992

Understand and Love Other People.....

The paradox of this divine tutorial also includes afflictions of some kind. Because Elder Maxwell was such a faithful student of discipleship, I draw again from him: “The very act of choosing to be a disciple . . . can bring to us a certain special suffering,” because affliction and chastening are “a form of learning as it is administered at the hands of a loving Father.”47 He also said, “If we are serious about our discipleship, Jesus will eventually request each of us to do those very things which are most difficult for us to do.”48 And so, he said, “sometimes the best people . . . have the worst experiences . . . because they are the most ready to learn.”49

After Elder Maxwell learned he had the leukemia that eventually took his life, he said, “I should have seen it coming.” Why? Because ever since Okinawa he had wanted to become a fully consecrated follower of Jesus—no matter what the price. And the more he desired the gift of charity—to love as Christ loves—the more he sensed how dear the price might be. Christ’s love is so deep that He took upon Himself the sins and afflictions of all mankind. Only in that way could He both pay for our sins and empathize with us enough to truly succor us—that is, run to us—with so much empathy that we can have complete confidence that He fully understands our sorrows. So, to love as Christ loves means we will somehow taste suffering ourselves—for the love and the affliction are but two sides of the same coin. Only by experiencing both sides can we understand and love other people with a depth that even approaches Christ’s love.

A Disciple’s Journey, BRUCE C. HAFEN, BYU Devotional Address, 5 February 2008

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lessons From Liberty Jail.......

Now let’s talk about those propositions for a moment. Every one of us, in one way or another, great or small, dramatic or incidental, is going to spend a little time in Liberty Jail—spiritually speaking. We will face things we do not want to face for reasons that may not have been our fault. Indeed, we may face difficult circumstances for reasons that were absolutely right and proper, reasons that came because we were trying to keep the commandments of the Lord. We may face persecution; we may endure heartache and separation from loved ones; we may be hungry and cold and forlorn. Yes, before our lives are over we may all be given a little taste of what the prophets faced often in their lives. But the lessons of the winter of 1838–39 teach us that every experience can become a redemptive experience if we remain bonded to our Father in Heaven through that difficulty. These difficult lessons teach us that man’s extremity is God’s opportunity, and if we will be humble and faithful, if we will be believing and not curse God for our problems, He can turn the unfair and inhumane and debilitating prisons of our lives into temples—or at least into a circumstance that can bring comfort and revelation, divine companionship and peace.

Lessons from Liberty Jail,  JEFFREY R. HOLLAND 7 September 2008.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Brick..

A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up 
against a parked car shouting, 'What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?' The young boy was apologetic. 'Please, mister....please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do,' He pleaded. 'I threw the brick because no one else would stop...' With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. 'It's my brother, 'he said 'He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up.' 
Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, 'Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me.' 
Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. 'Thank you and may God bless you,' the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy! push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home. 
It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to 
remind him of this message: 'Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!' God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us It's our choice to listen or not.. 
God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way. 

Read this line very slowly and let it sink in... If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.