Saturday, May 25, 2013

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

Small Pebble, Eternal Persective......

Elder Scott (May 1988)

“When I take a small pebble and place it directly in front of my eye, it takes on the appearance of a mighty boulder. It is all I can see.  It becomes all-consuming—like the problems of a loved one that affect our lives every waking moment. When the things you realistically can do to help are done, leave the matter in the hands of the Lord and worry no more. Do not feel guilty because you cannot do more. Do not waste your energy on useless worry. The Lord will take the pebble that fills your vision and cast it down among the challenges you will face in your eternal progress. It will then be seen in perspective. In time, you will feel impressions and know how to give further help. You will find more peace and happiness, will not neglect others that need you, and will be able to give greater help because of that eternal perspective.”

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Friends and loved ones often offer strength and support when our own resolve is weak. In turn, our own strength and capacity will be doubled when we help others endure.

I pray that God will help us to endure well, with purpose and power. When we so do, the meaningful declaration in 2 Tim. 4:7 will take on a new dimension:  “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”
When heartaches, tragedies, disappointments, injury, unusual attention, fame, or excessive prosperity become part of our lives, our challenges and responsibilities will be to endure them well. God will assist us in our quest to conquer, triumph, and continue if we humbly rededicate ourselves to the meaningful declaration “We have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things.” (A of F 1:13.)

God does live. Jesus is the Christ. One of His marks of greatness, His endurance, stands as a constant beacon for us to emulate. During His earthly sojourn He endured well as He suffered agony and rejection in their deepest forms. I bear my witness that God will help us to endure as we put forth the effort to live His teachings, seek His guidance, and keep His commandments. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen

Marvin J. Ashton, “‘If Thou Endure It Well’,” Ensign, Nov 1984, 20

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

God Does Not Give Us.....

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. This has been helpful to us. Perhaps it will help you - Allen and Linda

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

Monday, May 20, 2013

Misfortune, Suffering, Sickness, Or Other Adversities.....

He (Elder A. Theodore Tuttle) said:

“Adversity, in one form or another, is the universal experience of man. It is the common lot of all … to experience misfortune, suffering, sickness, or other adversities. Ofttimes our work is arduous and unnecessarily demanding. Our faith is tried in various ways—sometimes unjustly tried [it seems]. At times it seems that even God is punishing us and ours. One of the things that makes all this so hard to bear is that we ourselves appear to be chosen for this affliction while others presumably escape these adversities. …
“[But] we cannot indulge ourselves the luxury of self-pity” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1967, pp. 14–15).

Elder Tuttle then left us these lines from Robert Browning Hamilton titled “Along the Road,” which teach a lesson on pleasure and a lesson on sorrow:

I walked a mile with Pleasure.
She chattered all the way,
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne’er a word said she;
But oh, the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me!

The Opening and Closing of Doors, HOWARD W. HUNTER, OCT. CONFERENCE, 1987

Lessons We Are To Learn In Mortality.....

Many of the lessons we are to learn in mortality can only be received through the things we experience and sometimes suffer. And God expects and trusts us to face temporary mortal adversity with His help so we can learn what we need to learn and ultimately become what we are to become in eternity.”

That We Might "Not Shrink" (D&C 19:18), David A. Bednar Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
CES Devotional for Young Adults • March 3, 2013 • University of Texas Arlington

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Not A Thread, But A Massive Link.....

I offer some final thoughts for those who love a family member who is not making good choices. That can challenge our patience and endurance. We need to trust in the Lord and in His timing that a positive response to our prayers and rescue efforts can occur. We do all that we can to serve, to bless, and to submissively acknowledge God’s will in all things. We exercise faith and remember that there are some things that must be left to the Lord. He invites us to set our burdens down at His feet. With faith we can know that this straying loved one is not abandoned but is in the watchcare of a loving Savior.

Recognize the good in others, not their stains. At times a stain needs appropriate attention to be cleansed, but always build on his or her virtues.

When you feel that there is only a thin thread of hope, it is really not a thread but a massive connecting link, like a life preserver to strengthen and lift you. It will provide comfort so you can cease to fear. Strive to live worthily and place your trust in the Lord.


The Son of Man........

As we are called upon to suffer we need to ask ourselves the question:
“The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?” (D&C 122:8.)
When I think of the Savior’s admonition to do cheerfully all things that lie in our power, I think of the father of the prodigal son. The father was heartbroken by the loss and conduct of his wayward son. Yet we have no mention of his lamenting, “Where did I go wrong?” “What have I done to deserve this?” Or, “Where did I fail?”
Instead he seemed to have endured without bitterness his son’s misconduct and welcomed him back with love. “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.” (Luke 15:24.)
When family members disappoint us, we especially need to learn endurance. As long as we exercise love, patience, and understanding, even when no progress is apparent, we are not failing. We must keep trying.

Marvin J. Ashton, “‘If Thou Endure It Well’,” Ensign, Nov 1984, 20
Sometimes we must wait and trust in the Lord to help our loved one back.  Do not fear, but have faith in our Father in Heaven to do the things that we cannot.  Fear comes from Satan.  Believing in our Heavenly Father to do the things He promised is Faith.  Trust God, He will not fail you.

Friday, May 10, 2013

No Power Over Anyone ... (marriage)

“First let’s talk about what we don’t have power over.  We have no power over the attitudes and actions of other people.  We can’t make our spouse grow up.  We can’t stop our spouse (or anyone else) from exhibiting a troublesome habit or character flaw.  We can’t force our spouse to come home on time for dinner, to refrain from yelling at us, or to initiate conversations with us.  The fruit of the Spirit is self-control, not other control. (Gal. 5:23).  God himself does not exercise such power over us, even though He could.  (2 Peter 3:9).

We don’t have the power to make our spouse into the person we would like him or her to be, but we don’t have the power to be the person we would like to be, either.  In and of ourselves we are powerless to change such things as our short temper or our eating problem.  To some extent, we all do what we have to do  (Rom 7:15).  It’s helpful to be aware of this powerlessness in our marriage, so we can be more understanding of our spouses’ struggle.  Also, being aware of our powerlessness over ourselves can help us realize how long it may take to learn to set appropriate limits in our marriage.” (and lives)

Boundaries in Marriage, Henry Cloud, p 44

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Addicts Can Only Help Them Self........

Only the addict can set himself free from the compulsion to use.  The non-addict cannot force him to want sobriety, although many of us feel we should be able to correct a situation that is causing us so much suffering.

Yet the more I try to force the issue, with tears, reproaches and threats, the worse it gets.

ARP can help me to cope with the situation in an entirely different way, by showing me how to recognize and correct my mistaken attempts to force a solution.

The same philosophy applies to the problems we face after the long-desired sobriety has come to pass.


I am powerless over addiction and its effects on another person; I cannot make him sober, no more than I can be responsible for his using.  The First Steps tells me this, and it tells me too, that I must acknowledge that my life has become unmanageable.  My first task is to manage my own life, whether or not the addict is still using.

“Help me to find peace of mind, within myself by uniting myself with God’s power and guidance.  That is the spiritual way out of my difficulties-the only sure way.”

Thursday, May 2, 2013

“Christ’s love for the codependent

“Christ’s love for the codependent shall not be hampered by the behavior of an addict.  However, it can be hampered by the codependent’s suffering behaviors of low self-esteem and low self-love.  That is, at times the love of others, including the love of Christ, cannot be experienced by a codependent, though Christ extends it.  This occurs because the codependent is in the depths of suffering and refuses to open his or her heart to anyone’s love.  The codependent simply believes he or she is unworthy of love.  Replacing suffering behaviors with self-love is an essential first step in recovery.”
Hold on to Hope, Help for LDS Addicts and their Familes, p. 80

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Heartache=Divine Growth......

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