Thursday, December 4, 2014

When No is the Answer to sincere prayer....

It is so hard when sincere prayer about something we desire very much is not answered the way we want. It is especially difficult when the Lord answers no to that which is worthy and would give us great joy and happiness. Whether it be overcoming illness or loneliness, recovery of a wayward child, coping with a handicap, or seeking continuing life for a dear one who is slipping away, it seems so reasonable and so consistent with our happiness to have a favorable answer. It is hard to understand why our exercise of deep and sincere faith from an obedient life does not bring the desired result.
No one wants adversity. Trials, disappointments, sadness, and heartache come to us from two basically different sources. Those who transgress the laws of God will always have those challenges. The other reason for adversity is to accomplish the Lord’s own purposes in our life that we may receive the refinement that comes from testing. It is vitally important for each of us to identify from which of these two sources come our trials and challenges, for the corrective action is very different.
Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more (see Prov. 3:11–12). He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain.

When you face adversity, you can be led to ask many questions. Some serve a useful purpose; others do not. To ask, Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this, now? What have I done to cause this? will lead you into blind alleys. It really does no good to ask questions that reflect opposition to the will of God. 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? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial? Willing sacrifice of deeply held personal desires in favor of the will of God is very hard to do. Yet, when you pray with real conviction, “Please let me know Thy will” and “May Thy will be done,” you are in the strongest position to receive the maximum help from your loving Father. Trust in the Lord, Elder Richard G. Scott, Ensign, Nov., 1995

Continued...Elder Scott.....

Trust in the Lord, Elder Richard G. Scott, Ensign, Nov., 1995 continued:

This life is an experience in profound trust—trust in Jesus Christ, trust in His teachings, trust in our capacity as led by the Holy Spirit to obey those teachings for happiness now and for a purposeful, supremely happy eternal existence. To trust means to obey willingly without knowing the end from the beginning (see Prov. 3:5–7). To produce fruit, your trust in the Lord must be more powerful and enduring than your confidence in your own personal feelings and experience.
Our Father in Heaven has invited you to express your needs, hopes, and desires unto Him. That should not be done in a spirit of negotiation, but rather as a willingness to obey His will no matter what direction that takes. His invitation, “Ask, and ye shall receive” (3 Ne. 27:29) does not assure that you will get what you want. It does guarantee that, if worthy, you will get what you need, as judged by a Father that loves you perfectly, who wants your eternal happiness even more than do you.
I testify that when the Lord closes one important door in your life, He shows His continuing love and compassion by opening many other compensating doors through your exercise of faith. He will place in your path packets of spiritual sunlight to brighten your way. They often come after the trial has been the greatest, as evidence of the compassion and love of an all-knowing Father. They point the way to greater happiness, more understanding, and strengthen your determination to accept and be obedient to His will.
Don’t let the workings of adversity totally absorb your life. Try to understand what you can. Act where you are able; then let the matter rest with the Lord for a period while you give to others in worthy ways before you take on appropriate concern again.

Please learn that as you wrestle with a challenge and feel sadness because of it, you can simultaneously have peace and rejoicing. Yes, pain, disappointment, frustration, and anguish can be temporary scenes played out on the stage of life. Behind them there can be a background of peace and the positive assurance that a loving Father will keep His promises. You can qualify for those promises by a determination to accept His will, by understanding the plan of happiness, by receiving all of the ordinances, and by keeping the covenants made to assure their fulfillment

Trust in the Lord......

Trust in the Lord, Elder Richard G. Scott, Ensign, Nov., 1995 Continued:

The Lord’s plan is to exalt you to live with Him and be greatly blessed. The rate at which you qualify is generally set by your capacity to mature, to grow, to love, and to give of yourself. He is preparing you to be a god. You cannot understand fully what that means, yet, He knows. As you trust Him, seek and follow His will, you will receive blessings that your finite mind cannot understand here on earth. Your Father in Heaven and His Holy Son know better than you what brings happiness. They have given you the plan of happiness. As you understand and follow it, happiness will be your blessing. As you willingly obey, receive, and honor the ordinances and covenants of that holy plan, you can have the greatest measure of satisfaction in this life. Yes, even times of overpowering happiness. You will prepare yourself for an eternity of glorious life with your loved ones who qualify for that kingdom.

I know the principles that we have discussed are true. They have been tested in the crucible of personal experience. To recognize the hand of the Lord in your life and to accept His will without complaint is a beginning. That decision does not immediately eliminate the struggles that will come for your growth. But I witness that it is the best way there is for you to find strength and understanding. It will free you from the dead ends of your own reasoning. It will allow your life to become a productive, meaningful experience, when otherwise you may not know how to go on (see D&C 24:8).

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Love and Marriage...

Now one piece of advice to those of you who have never had a companion through no fault of your own, or to those of you who have lost companions in death or through divorce or desertion: Do not despair or think that all is lost! Remember that you are children of God. Have faith in your Heavenly Father. Don’t worry about what will happen to you after death. Don’t worry about who will have inheritance of your children who are born in the covenant. People make themselves miserable over such questions that cannot be answered at present because earth life is not yet over. Death does not end our possibilities for solutions to often very difficult present problems.
When people tell you that all such problems must be solved during earth life, just ask them this question: “Why then are we to have a thousand years of peace before the final judgment is made?” I think it will be during this period of time that under the direction of a loving Father in Heaven and a devoted, loving, understanding Savior—who will be our advocate with the Father—that all these problems will be worked out to our best advantage. Those great men and women who will be officiating on earth in the power of the holy priesthood will be in constant communication with the heavens. Directions can then be given to those on earth to make necessary adjustments in the temples through which all these marital and other problems can and will be solved.
The present solution is a simple one. Have faith! As Jesus said so positively: “Believe!” Remember that God loves you enough to have given his Only Begotten Son to atone for your sins if you will just try, try, try to repent! Jesus in his great mercy was willing to give his life for you because he loved you enough to make that atonement for you if you will only repent. No matter how desperate your personal situation or your marital problems may appear to be to you, there are solutions possible if you will just keep the faith!

Love and Marriage, Elder Theodore M. Burton, BYU, June 03, 1986

For Peace at Home!! Recognize the Good in others.....

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.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I must Do My Par.... Let Go Let God.....

Let Go and Let God
(One Day at a Time)

Our slogans are so clear and simple, yet they may still mean different things to different people.  We naturally color them somewhat according to our own experience and reaction to the words and ideas.  For example, the slogan Let Go and Let God may suggest to some people that all we have to do is sidestep the challenges that confront us and somehow, by a kind of spiritual magic, God will do all the work.

There was a purpose in His giving His children free will, intelligence and good sense; we can fulfill ourselves only by using these gifts in dealing with the daily problems that arise.

Today’s Reminder

I may be ready to submit to God’s guidance, I may humbly ask for it, but along with being willing, I must cooperate by doing my part.  If I am truly receptive, He will make His will known to me step by step, each day, but I must carry it out.

I Much Wisdom Is Much Grief......

In much wisdom is much Grief
(Making Sense of Suffering)

Physical imperfections present all sorts of distractions relating to pleasure, pain, and fatigue.  But we are dual beings.  The finer part of us must get control of the coarser part before the two fuse together in resurrection.  The daily question is “Shall I do with my physical temple what God would ask?”

This earthly school offers us our finest hours, even on ordinary days.  The lab of the bitter cup teaches us to discern good from evil, polish from stain, living water from poison.  Our hearts develop perfect hearing and bearing.  Graduation with highest honors awaits every learner who wears the garb of flesh with patience and faith.

In much wisdom is much grief

The Lord gave Joseph Smith a sample list of troubles that might be permitted in the life of a righteous person, such as being hunted by bloodthirsty men, opposed by the forces of nature, or jailed unjustly. Then the Lord explained that trouble serves two purposes.

All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

Trouble teaches.  What did Joseph learn from his troubles?  Above all, he learned that “the God of my fathers delivered me out of them all, and will deliver me from henceforth.”  Serious trouble can give us serious experience.  Experience reveals the living God to be a faithful God.

But trials will only give us the knowledge necessary to understand the minds of the ancients.  For my part, I think I never could have felt as I now do, if I had not suffered the wrongs that I have suffered.

Trouble transforms.  We are here to do more than experience the goodness of God.  We must acquire it.

It seems to me my heart will always be more tender after this than ever it was before.

Because of the matchless ways it teaches and transforms, a mortal life rich with difficulty is the best educational bargain in eternity.  It fits us to be witnesses, heirs, and friends of God.  That is why it is worth the trouble.


LET HIMIn Much Wisdom Th

Get Through A Phase or Day at a time...

“First of all, I do not want you to give in to the pressure of the moment. Whenever you’re hurting bad, just hang in there. Finish the day. Then, if you’re still feeling bad, think about it long and hard before you decide to quit. Second, take it one day at a time. One [phase] at a time.
“Don’t let your thoughts run away with you, don’t start planning to bail out because you’re worried about the future and how much you can take. Don’t look ahead to the pain. Just get through the day, and there’s a wonderful career ahead of you.”

Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson, Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 (New York: Little, Brown, 2007), 124.

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.....

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support,
To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done..
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it, it is real, But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life..

Thank you for being a part of our life, whether you are a reason, a season or a lifetime

Why Me.... We do not have the Numbers....

Although you may at times have asked, why me? it is through the hardships of life that we grow toward godhood as our character is shaped in the crucible of affliction, as the events of life take place while God respects the agency of man. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell commented, we cannot do all the sums or make it all add up because “we do not have all the numbers.”1

Faith, Fortitude, Fulfillment: A Message to Single Parents , David S. Baxter, April 2012 Conference

Parents Concerns for Children....

Second, we should remember that errors of judgment are generally less serious than errors of intent.

Third, even if there was a mistake made with full knowledge and understanding, there is the principle of repentance for release and comfort. Rather than constantly dwelling on what we perceive as a mistake or a sin or a failure to the detriment of our progress in the gospel or our association with family and friends, it would be better for us to turn away from it. As with any mistake, we may repent by being sorrowful and by attempting to correct or rectify the consequences, to whatever extent possible. We should look forward with renewed faith.

Fourth, don’t give up hope for a boy or a girl who has strayed. Many who have appeared to be completely lost have returned. We must be prayerful and, if possible, let our children know of our love and concern.

Howard W. Hunter, “Parents’ Concern for Children,” Ensign, Nov. 1983, 63;

Holy Ghost / Atonement...

“If you have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost during this day, or even this evening, you may take it as evidence that the Atonement is working in your life. For that reason and many others, you would do well to put yourself in places and in tasks that invite the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Feeling the influence of the Holy Ghost works both ways: the Holy Ghost only dwells in a clean temple, and the reception of the Holy Ghost cleanses us through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. You can pray with faith to know what to do to be cleansed and thus qualified for the companionship of the Holy Ghost and the service of the Lord. And with that companionship you will be strengthened against temptation and empowered to detect deception.”

Elder Henry B Eyring, BYU, 10 Sept, 2006

People You think Are Perfect....Forget me not........Pres Uchtdorf

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 quite there yet. Keep working on it, but stop punishing yourself.

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

A Picture Perfect Family.....

f you consider success to be only the most perfect rose or dazzling orchid, you may miss some of life’s sweetest experiences.
For example, insisting that you have a picture-perfect family home evening each week—even though doing so makes you and everyone around you miserable—may not be the best choice. Instead, ask yourself, “What could we do as a family that would be enjoyable and spiritual and bring us closer together?” That family home evening—though it may be modest in scope and execution—may have far more positive long-term results.
Our journey toward perfection is long, but we can find wonder and delight in even the tiniest steps in that journey.

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

Getting Past The Hurt.....

How does one survive the loss of a serious relationship? Three factors can help us overcome any painful loss or misfortune:

The first is a personal commitment to finding meaningful purpose in life…. As we commit ourselves to faith in the plans and purposes of God, we learn to endure the pain of life’s disappointments, and we are buoyed up by the eternal perspective of the covenants He has made with us.

The second factor is a belief in one’s ability to influence one’s surroundings and the outcome of events. The gospel teaches that our efforts, when coupled with faith in God, can help us overcome trials and afflictions and can bring about much good. “For the power is in them,” says the Lord, “wherein they are agents unto themselves” (D&C 58:28).

The third factor is a belief that one can learn and grow from both positive and negative life experiences.  For example, in a profound statement to the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord lists the calamities that had befallen or could befall the Prophet and then emphasizes that even these hardships can benefit him: “Know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?” (D&C 122:7–8).

Here the Lord teaches that our mortal suffering, in some degree like the suffering of the Savior himself, can have significant purpose, meaning, and value that can enhance our growth and our development toward godhood.

Getting Past the Hurt, BY ROBERT F. WILLIAMS, ENSIGN, JULY, 2006

Some trials come from Him and some from Me...

I believe that trials come from many sources and for many reasons. It is true that some of our trials are sent directly from our Father in Heaven in the hope that they will refine us and draw us closer to him. However, some of our trials are self-imposed because of our own poor judgment. These errors are a part of the learning process. They may not necessarily result from an evil act. Whatever the source of the trial, if properly approached and handled, it will draw us closer to God. 
It may be helpful and comforting to refer to some of the promises of the Lord as we struggle through these experiences. We read, as Paul recorded: 
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God (who?) God is faithful, who will (who will? God will) not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. [1 Corinthians 10:13] 
Remember Paul's two points: (1) There will be no trial--there will be no challenge--beyond our ability to handle. (2) As we turn to him, God provides the way for us to escape, or to get through the trial. (We must turn to God in order to get through and for help with our trials)
Come unto Christ Through Your Trials

H. Burke Peterson was an emeritus member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when this devotional address was given at BYU on 16 February 1996

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

“Tell Me the Stories of Jesus.....

“Although there may be times when a child does not listen with a believing heart, your testimony of Jesus will remain in his or her mind and soul. Do you remember the story of Alma, who had chosen the wrong path? Returning, he said:
“I remembered … my father [speaking] … concerning the coming of … Jesus Christ … to atone for the sins of the world.
“As my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me.” (Alma 36:17-18)
If a child is not listening, don’t despair. Time and truth are on your side. At the right moment, your words will return as if from heaven itself. Your testimony will never leave your children.
As you reverently speak about the Savior—in the car, on the bus, at the dinner table, as you kneel in prayer, during scripture study, or in late-night conversations—the Spirit of the Lord will accompany your words. (Enos :3-4)”

Neil L. Andersen, “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus,” Ensign, May 2010, 108–

Step 3, Step 11...

Once, for instance, I prayed through the night to know what I was to choose to do in the morning….
I prayed, but for hours there seemed to be no answer. Just before dawn, a feeling came over me. More than at any time since I had been a child, I felt like one. My heart and my mind seemed to grow very quiet. There was a peace in that inner stillness.
Somewhat to my surprise, I found myself praying, “Heavenly Father, it doesn’t matter what I want. I don’t care anymore what I want. I only want that Thy will be done. That is all that I want. Please tell me what to do.”
In that moment I felt as quiet inside as I had ever felt. And the message came, and I was sure who it was from. It was clear what I was to do. I received no promise of the outcome. There was only the assurance that I was a child who had been told what path led to whatever He wanted for me.

Henry B. Eyring, “As a Child,” Ensign, May 2006, 14–17

Step 3: Decide to turn your will and your life over to the care of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Step 11: Seek through prayer and meditation to know the Lord’s will and to have the power to carry it out

Personal Peace.....

The Savior is the source of true peace. Even with the trials of life, because of the Savior’s Atonement and His grace, (my)  righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace. In the intimate setting of the Passover chamber, the Savior promised His Apostles that they would be blessed with the “Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost” and then uttered these important words: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”30 Then just before His Intercessory Prayer: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”31

Personal Peace: The Reward of Righteousness, Elder Quentin L. Cook, Ensign, May, 2013



And there was no way that they could deliver themselves out of their hands. (Mosiah 21:5)

For I am unworthy to glory of myself. (Mosiah 23:11)

And were it not for the interposition of their all-wise Creator,…they must unavoidably remain in bondage until now. (Mosiah 29:19; emphasis added)

Here are three more scriptures to “liken unto ourselves” if we want them to really speak to us. Blending them together, we might hear them say: There is no way, child, that you can deliver yourself from your enemies—your fear, your anger, and your guilt—that you are attempting to avoid by using your addiction. Avoidance is not deliverance. Of yourself you are unworthy and have no glory or power. Until you realize that it is the power of Christ and His atonement and grace that is “sufficient for you” (Moroni 10:32), you will remain in bondage, having no power of yourself to freeyourself.

We must all come to a place where we realize the following as Ammon did:

Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my own strength I am weak;
therefore I will not boast of myself. (Alma 26:12)

He Did Deliver Me From Bondage, p 20

Sunday, October 5, 2014

As Women We are to Hard On Ourselves...Rejoice.....Elder Holland

Elder Holland: Knowing women as I do and as the presiding Church officer here today, I want to say to you, “No, everything you have done is not wrong. No, you are not a failure. No, you are not personally to blame for every mishap in the world since the ark landed.” We are all pretty hard on ourselves, but it seems to me women are harder on themselves than men will ever be. Why is that so? We ask you not to do it. Repent when or where that is necessary, but then honor that other “R”—Rejoice! Make a resolve today that this is “your time” to be good to yourself. It will surprise you how much that helps you be good to all the others whom you want so much to bless in your life.

What Time Is This? Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Patricia T. Holland, Friday, May 4, 2007, at the BYU Women’s Conference

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Detaching from the Addict......

“Detaching from the addict is extremely difficult to do, especially if he or she has just embarrassed you, hurt you, or stolen from you.  But keep in mind that what is most important to your salvation is what you do regardless of the addict’s behavior.  Codependents can measure the level of their recovery by discovering their ability to act and to feel according to their relationship with God, whatever the addict’s behavior.  Achieving some level of detachment (and that doesn’t mean that you don’t care) allows the codependent to add the additional ingredients to an effective strategy.
Hold on to Hope, p 124

Letting go or Detaching means:
Is not to enable but allow learning from natural consequences.
Is not to care for, but to care about.
Is not to fix, but to be supportive.
Is not to be protective, but to permit another to face reality.
Is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.

Is to fear less and to love more.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Becoming Codependent.....

“Family and friends become codependent as their feelings and actions increasingly depend on what the addict does or doesn’t do.  Gradually, codependents lose control over their own emotions and behavior, and they deal with the addict by adapting and exhibiting the behaviors of rescuing, persecuting, and suffering. Codependency is at its strongest when loved ones become so preoccupied and worried about working out the salvation of the addict that their own salvation is neglected and jeopardized.  In the end, everyone becomes his or her own problem.  Codependents can learn to become responsible to each other, instead of for each other.  Eventually, the codependent can acknowledge that he didn’t cause the addiction, he can’t cure the addiction, and that he can’t control  the addiction.  This acknowledgment is accomplished by the codependent learning how to love the addict as God loves him.”

Hold on to Hope, p 37

The Spirit of Revelation...

We as members of the Church tend to emphasize marvelous and dramatic spiritual manifestations so much that we may fail to appreciate and may even overlook the customary pattern by which the Holy Ghost accomplishes His work. The very “simpleness of the way” (1 Nephi 17:41) of receiving small and incremental spiritual impressions that over time and in totality constitute a desired answer or the direction we need may cause us to look “beyond the mark” (Jacob 4:14).
I have talked with many individuals who question the strength of their personal testimony and underestimate their spiritual capacity because they do not receive frequent, miraculous, or strong impressions. Perhaps as we consider the experiences of Joseph in the Sacred Grove, of Saul on the road to Damascus, and of Alma the Younger, we come to believe something is wrong with or lacking in us if we fall short in our lives of these well-known and spiritually striking examples. If you have had similar thoughts or doubts, please know that you are quite normal. Just keep pressing forward obediently and with faith in the Savior. As you do so, you “cannot go amiss” (D&C 80:3).
President Joseph F. Smith counseled: “Show me Latter-day Saints who have to feed upon miracles, signs and visions in order to keep them steadfast in the Church, and I will show you members … who are not in good standing before God, and who are walking in slippery paths. It is not by marvelous manifestations unto us that we shall be established in the truth, but it is by humility and faithful obedience to the commandments and laws of God” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1900, 40).

The Spirit of Revelation, David A. Bednar, Ensign, May, 2011

We Are Only Responsible for Our Own Space.....

“We have work to do to strengthen each other and ourselves.  Tolle likens negative, obsessive, painful thinking to pollution.  Unhappiness, he says, spreads more easily than a physical disease.  The negative entity of one person can trigger and feed on the negativity in others, unless they are immune through being highly conscious.  He asks, ‘Are you polluting the world or cleaning up the mess?  You are responsible for your inner space; nobody else is.’ “

From “Power of Now, p 79, as quoted in Light in the Wilderness, by M. Catherine Thomas, p79

We Do Not Have All The Numbers....When We ask Why...

Although you may at times have asked, why me? it is through the hardships of life that we grow toward godhood as our character is shaped in the crucible of affliction, as the events of life take place while God respects the agency of man. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell commented, we cannot do all the sums or make it all add up because “we do not have all the numbers.”1

Faith, Fortitude, Fulfillment: A Message to Single Parents , David S. Baxter, April 2012 Conference

“So when we are not clear about spiritual things.....

“So when we are not clear about spiritual things, we can get trapped in a particular way of thinking because we don’t see our options-we hear about the joy of the Son-but where is it? We’re not trying to be bad; we just don’t know a better way.  I had a friend say to me a few weeks ago, ‘We know what we’re supposed to be and feel like, but we don’t see how to get there.’
We suffer from the limitations of the Natural Mind.  If we try to solve spiritual problems, like enmity and lack of love, in the Natural Mind, we will fail, because this mind can’t feel the spiritual way of things; we will find ourselves just going through motions, but not changing our heart at all.  Soon we realize that half-measures will not produce the change we need.  We have to stop protecting our carnal behavior and totally renounce it.
…Quotes Alma 22:15-16. With that commitment a profound change was wrought in this man.  We learn that the person who wants to be freed from the effects of his carnal programming must commit himself to an abandonment of the Carnal Mind or he can never hope for anything but adjustments to his behavior.”

Light in the Wilderness, M. Catherine Thomas, p158

Hold on To Hope. Effective Strategy......Detachment....

“Detaching from the addict is extremely difficult to do, especially if he or she has just embarrassed you, hurt you, or stolen from you.  But keep in mind that what is most important to your salvation is what you do regardless of the addict’s behavior.  Codependents can measure the level of their recovery by discovering their ability to act and to feel according to their relationship with God, whatever the addict’s behavior.  Achieving some level of detachment allows the codependent to add the additional ingredients to an effective strategy.

Hold on to Hope, p 124

Step 3: Decided to turn our will and our life over to the care of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus

Sins trouble you…
When Ye Shall Receive these Things

Now, my son, I desire that ye should let these things trouble you no more, and only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance. Alma 42:29

If we are to remain on the strait and narrow path, we must understand a proper remorse of conscience.  We must distinguish between the devil’s dissonance (which is demoralizing and counterproductive) and divine discontent (which is a godly invitation for gradual and constant improvement).  True Saints pray to know that they are in good standing with the Lord.  They ask the Father to help them desire righteousness and resist temptation.  They know that they are not to beat themselves up endlessly over past misdeeds.  But no one seeking salvation would want to feel any less guilt than is required for complete forgiveness.  “Now I rejoice,” Paul wrote, “not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance.”  And then the apostle added: “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation,” while “the sorrow of the world worketh death” (2 Corinthians 7:9-10).  We are to remember our past sins enough to stay far away from them and then faithfully go forward.

“The work of devils and of darkness is never more certain to be defeated than when men and women, not finding it easy or pleasant but still determined to do the Father's will, look out upon their lives from which it may seem every trace of God has vanished, and asking why they have been so forsaken, still bow their heads and obey. [Paraphrased from C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1961), p. 39] “
The Will of the Father in All Things JEFFREY R. HOLLAND BYU 17 January 1989
Step 3: Decided to turn our will and our life over to the care of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus

If someone hurts you so much that your feelings seem to choke you, forgive and you will be free again. “

“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
* If someone hurts you so much that your feelings seem to choke you, forgive and you will be free again. “

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

Revelation Can Serve Various Functions........

“Whatever its form, revelation can serve various functions:
1. The testimony or witness of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ and that the gospel is true is a revelation from God.
2. Prophecy is another function of revelation. Under the influence of the Holy Ghost, a faithful member of the Church may be inspired to forsee something that will come to pass in his or her life.
3. Another function of revelation is to comfort.
4. Closely related to the feeling of comfort is the fourth function or purpose of revelation, to uplift.
5. Another function of revelation is to inform.
6. The sixth function of revelation is to restrain us from doing something.
7. A common way to seek revelation is to propose a particular course of action then pray for inspiration to confirm it.
8. The eight function of revelation is evident in those instances when the Spirit impels a person to action.
In all of its forms and functions, revelation is distinct from study and reason. Revelation is an experience, most often communicated by a feeling. It is God’s way of communicating to His children.  It is a vital way of learning from and about God.”

The Lord’s Way,  Dallin H. Oaks, 1991, Deseret Book. Pp 23-32

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Why Did This Happen To Me......

“We think God isn’t involved in our situation and that’s why we get angry and try to get even and hurt those who have hurt us.  But when you come to believe God is at work in your life, you will find yourself being able to rest in the confidence that He will work out your circumstances for the best.  You will feel as if you can just stand back and let God do whatever He wants to do.”

“Why Did This Happen to Me?  Ray Pritchard,  Harvest House Publishers, Oct., 15, 2005

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Getting and Getting.Answers in Life.....

I heard a sweet lady speak in church not long ago. She spoke of a difficult marriage and a husband who was unwilling to live the gospel. She spoke of abuse and emotional disorders. She spoke of trouble and debt. Real physical illness resulted from trying to hold her marriage together. My heart went out to her. Then she said, “But finally I asked my dear bishop what to do and he told me to get a divorce, so I did.”
She said, “dear.” She meant “poor.” Shame on a bishop who would tell a woman to get a divorce. The effect of doing that was to deprive the woman of the opportunity of paying the price for her own inspiration or revelation. Certainly she was entitled to it. But as with all other valuable things, there is a price attached. I do not know whether the bishop told her the right thing or not. But I do believe that there are no shortcuts to inspiration. The price is always praying and studying the matter in your mind. Often there is fasting and patient waiting. No earthly power can change all of that. I fear that the woman was trying to find the will of the Lord for her without paying the price. That simply cannot be done. Yet how many of us say to our bishops, “Tell me what to do”?

On Giving and Getting, F. Burton Howard, BYU, May 22, 1984

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Surrounded by Angels....

Making Sense of Suffering
Surrounded by Angels

Dearest children, holy angels watch your actions night and day.

Our heavenly associates “think it not beneath their state to abide in the hovels of the poor, to stand by us in the most menial labor.”  They know of our amnesia and our trouble focusing on important things.  To them, we are both needy and precious—the perfect project.  Bundled with our joy is theirs.  We get some idea of this when it is our privilege to watch over others: our affection increases, their needs occupy our minds, and we want to do for them what they cannot do for themselves.

You cannot tell the interest felt in eternity for you, my brethren and sisters, by those of our dead who have gone before us.  Their hearts yearn after us.

So why do they not intervene more often in our suffering?  Intervening may be interfering, if it interrupts growth, and this they cannot do. The more clearly we understand the great plan of growth and enlargement of souls, the more we understand their restraint.  But they do intervene in certain ways.  They “come down and join hand in hand” in our labors.  They point our minds to the truth.  They encourage our repentance.

He is near by, His angels are our associates, they are with us and round about us, and watch over us, and take care of us, and lead us and guide us, and administer to our wants in their ministry.

By ourselves, we are small and generate only modest force.  But we have the privilege of aligning ourselves with the powers of heaven.

Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

Chief among these giants are the Father and the Son, the ultimate companions.  Through the priceless gift of the Holy Ghost, these two Supreme Beings will be close to us “unto the end of the world.”  They join the angels in rejoicing over our integrity, and along with all the heavenly hosts, their watchful eyes weep over our suffering, sorrow, and sin.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Preparatory Experiences......

Author Corrie ten Boom’s observation seems applicable here: “Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for a future that only He can see.”(1)
Perhaps some of you have had a similar experience to that which our six children have had as they have searched for worthy eternal companions. Because hindsight is 20/20, they can now see that they each needed to have certain experiences in order to be able to recognize the Lord’s hand leading them to their eternal companions. Some of those experiences required years of patiently waiting and moving forward in faith. At times the heavens even seemed closed to them as they prayed. When the Lord’s timing conflicts with our own desires, trust that there might be some preparatory experiences the Lord needs us to have before our prayers are answered.

Tuning Our Hearts to the Voice of the Spirit, Linda K. Burton, CES, Mar, 2 2014

(1) Corrie ten Boom, with Elizabeth and John Sherrill, The Hiding Place, 35th anniversay ed. (2006), 12.

On HIS own time! Prayer

William E. Berrett, one of our finest gospel teachers, who served as an administrator at BYU and for the Church Educational System, said this about the matter of constant or continuous revelation: “Those who pray that the Spirit might give them immediate guidance in every little thing throw themselves open to false spirits that seem ever ready to answer our pleas and confuse us. … The people I have found most confused in this Church are those who seek personal revelations on everything. They want the personal assurance from the Spirit from daylight to dark on everything they do. I say they are the most confused people I know because it appears sometimes that the answer comes from the wrong source.”

The Prophet Joseph Smith said something similar. When the Saints “supplicate at the throne of grace,” he counseled, they shouldn’t do so over trivial matters but rather should “pray earnestly for the best gifts.”  That is an important principle. We pray continuously for guidance, but we shouldn’t expect continuous revelation. We expect continuing revelation, which is the continuing assurance of revelation whenever we seek guidance and our circumstances are such that a wise and loving Lord chooses to give it to us.

In His Own Time, in His Own Way, ELDER DALLIN H. OAKS

From an address delivered to new mission presidents on June 27, 2001.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Threats Only Cause a Problem! Love this!

“Love is often difficult to show, especially when it results in pain.  When someone we love abuses alcohol or other drugs that are harmful, 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.)

We Cannot Flog Family Into Heaven.....

A great many (parents, spouses, and loved ones) think that they will be able to flog people into heaven, but this can never be done, for the intelligence in us is as independent as the Gods.  People are not to be driven and you can put into a gnat’s eye all the souls of the children of men that are driven into heaven by preaching hellfire.  (President Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 64)

No Matter How Difficult The Experience......You will not be denied...

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

Faith to Forgive....Love this!

n our live-and-let-live society, we may believe that being forgiving is just etiquette and good manners. It is not. We may think that forgiveness requires us to let mercy rob justice. It does not. Forgiveness does not require us to give up our right to restitution. It simply requires that we look to a different source. The non-judgmental worldly phrases “don’t worry about it” and “it’s no big deal” are not illustrations of the doctrine of forgiveness. On the contrary, when a person sins against us, it can be a very big deal.  The point is that the Atonement is very big compensation that can take care of very big harms. Forgiveness doesn’t mean minimizing the sin; it means maximizing our faith in the Atonement.

My greatest concern is that if we wrongly believe forgiveness requires us to minimize the harms we suffer, this mistaken belief will be a barrier to developing a forgiving heart. It is okay to recognize how grave a sin is and to demand our right to justice—if our recognition triggers gratitude for the Atonement. Indeed, the greater the sin against us—the greater the harm we suffer—the more we should value the Atonement.

Faith to Forgive Grievous Harms: Accepting the Atonement,
James R. Rasband, BYU, October 23, 2012

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What do I accomplish? One Day at A Time...Love this!!!!!!

What do I accomplish?
One Day at A Time

Have I ever accomplished anything good while my emotions were churning with hysteria?  Am I aware that reacting on impulse—saying the first thing that pops into my head—defeats my own purposes?  I couldn’t lose by stopping to think: Easy does It.  Wouldn’t any crisis shrink to manageable size if I could wait a little while to figure out what is best to do?  Unless I’m sure I’m pouring oil on troubled waters, and not on a raging fire, it might be best to do and say nothing until things calm down. Easy Does it.

Today’s Reminder

It may take a bit of self-control to back away from conflict and confusion.  But its wonderful protection for my peace of mind, unless I can say or do something to quell the storm, I’ll only be inflicting punishment on myself.  And each little battle I win—with myself—makes the next one easier.  Take it easy, for easy does it.  It will all seem much less important tomorrow!

“Quietness is a great ally, my friend.  As long as I keep my poise, I will do nothing to make bad matters worse?

Forgiveness requires us to consider the other side of the Atonement....

Forgiveness requires us to consider the other side of the Atonement—a side that we don’t think about as often but that is equally critical. That side is the Atonement’s power to satisfy our demands of justice against others, to fulfill our rights to restitution and being made whole. We often don’t quite see how the Atonement satisfies our own demands for justice. Yet it does so. It heals us not only from the guilt we suffer when we sin, but it also heals us from the sins and hurts of others.

Faith to Forgive Grievous Harms: Accepting the Atonement,

James R. Rasband, BYU, October 23, 2012

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Word Succor...

“Let me quote the marvelous James E. Talmage:
Into every adult human life come experiences like unto the battling of the storm-tossed voyagers with contrary winds and threatening seas; oft times the night of struggle and danger is far advanced before succor appears; and then, too frequently the saving aid is mistaken for a greater terror. [But,] as came unto [these disciples] in the midst of the turbulent waters, so comes to all who toil in faith, the voice of the Deliverer--"It is I; be not afraid." [Jesus the Christ, 3d ed. (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1916), p. 337]
Brother Talmage used there the word succor. Do you know its meaning? It is used often in the scriptures to describe Christ's care for and attention to us. It means literally "to run to." What a magnificent way to describe the Savior's urgent effort in our behalf. Even as he calls us to come to him and follow him, he is unfailingly running to help us.”

"Come unto Me" JEFFREY R. HOLLAND, Brigham Young University on 2 March 1997

Are You Codependent......

Are You Codependent?

In reaction to negative  circumstances, we have learned to endure life rather than to live it. We have developed personality characteristics which act as coping mechanisms. These mechanisms, while at one time protective, prove to be detrimental to forming healthy relationships. Some of these characteristics are:
  1. We assume responsibility for other’s feelings and/or choices.
  2. We have difficulty identifying our own feelings: happiness, pain, anger, joy, sadness, loneliness, etc.
  3. We have difficulty expressing our feelings in healthy ways.
  4. We tend to fear that our feelings or needs will be belittled or rejected by others.
  5. We tend to minimize, alter or even deny the truth about our feeling or needs.
  6. We tend to put other’s feelings and needs ahead of our own, not allowing there to be a healthy balance with our feelings and needs.
  7. Our fear of other’s feelings (especially anger) determines what we say and do.
  8. Our serenity and attention is determined by how others are feeling or by what they’re doing.
  9. We do not realize that feelings are not good or bad, that they just are.
  10. We question or ignore our own conscience, our own values, in order to connect with significant others—trusting and obeying their feelings or opinions more than our own.
  11. Other people’s actions or desires tend to determine how we respond or react.
  12. Our sense of self-worth is based on other/outer influences instead of on our personal witness of God’s love and esteem for us.
  13. We have difficulty making decisions and are frightened of being wrong or making a mistake.
  14. We are perfectionistic and place too many expectations on ourselves and others.
  15. We are not comfortable acknowledging good things about ourselves and tend to judge everything we do, think, or say as not being good enough.
  16. We do not know that it is okay to be vulnerable and find it difficult, almost impossible, to ask for help.
  17. We do not see that it is okay to talk about problems outside the family, thus we leave ourselves and our families stranded in the troubles they are experiencing.
  18. We are steadfastly loyal—even when that loyalty is unjustified and often personally harmful to us.
  19. We have to be needed in order to have a relationship with others.

Overcoming codependency follows the same path as overcoming any other addiction or life trauma—developing a one-on-one relationship with Jesus Christ.

Excerpted from the pamphlet, “Speaking Heart t’ Heart on Codependency.” Used with permission from Heart t’ Heart.

Today is the Day to Forgive.......

It remains only for you and me to both seek and tender that forgiveness—to both repent and to extend charity to others—which enables us to pass through the door the Savior holds open, thus to cross the threshold from this life into exaltation. Today is the day to forgive others their trespasses, secure in the knowledge that the Lord will thus forgive ours. As Luke significantly recorded, “Be ye therefore merciful” (Luke 6:36; emphasis added). Perfection may elude us here, but we can be merciful. And in the end, repenting and forgiving are among God’s chief requirements of us.


Little Things Matter...

Little Things Matter

Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
Alma 37:6

Little things matter.  Those who inherit the highest degree of the celestial kingdom will be those who become partakers of the divine nature through regular attention to small things.  Walking to Missouri, offering to give one’s life for the faith, or baptizing a nation may not be the actions that will bring about the greatest good; it is, rather the little things—the smile, the gentle touch, the selfless gesture, the unanticipated compliment, the quiet response to an inner prompting to serve—that will bring about great good.  “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work.  And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.  Behold the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days: (D&C 64:33—34).  Zion is established: in process of time” (Moses 7:21), and the march to that holy city begins with a single step.

(When ye shall receive these things – Lloyd D. Newell and Robert L Millet)

As You Under Go the Process of Repentance...

As you undergo the process of repentance, be patient. Be active with positive, righteous thoughts and deeds so that you can become happy and productive again.

As long as we dwell on sin or evil and refuse to forgive ourselves, we will be subject to return again to our sins. But if we turn from our problems and sins and put them behind us in both thought and action, we can concentrate on good and positive things. As we become fully engaged in good causes, sin will no longer be such a great temptation for us.

The Meaning of Repentance, ELDER THEODORE M. BURTON, AUG, 1988

Love this! Light In The Wilderness!

“On reflection, we see that our gravest problem does not lie in our life circumstances, but in our lack of a truer perception of reality, a larger frame of reference, which could liberate our mind from self-will and self-absorption. Much spiritual change can come simply as we become aware of the truth that the Natural Mind thoughts are illusory.  So as we notice how the Natural Mind works, we can begin to make different choices.  Instead of insisting on being right, or making demands of others, or drooping in a bad mood, or indulging in self-pity, or feeling wronged, or fearing that we are not liked, we can see the insubstantial nature of these thoughts, note how they make us feel,  and begin a process of inquiry.
…we can quietly, deliberately, and deeply entertain the possibility of the opposite of what the thought is tempting us to believe. There may, in fact, come a time when we decide that there are certain thoughts that we will no longer entertain.”

“Light in the Wilderness,” M. Catherine Thomas, P 82

Love, includes Our Selfs!!

The Thing Called Selves
C. S. Lewis – Mere Christianity

I admit that loving people who have nothing lovable about them is hard sometimes.  But then, has oneself anything lovable about it?  You love it simply because it is yourself.  God intends us to love all selves in the same way and for the same reason: but He has given us the sum ready worked out in our own case to show us how it works.  We have then to go on and apply the rule to all the other selves.  Perhaps it makes it easier if we remember that that is how He loves us.  Not for any nice, attractive qualities we think we have, but just because we are the things called selves.  For really there is nothing else in us to love: creatures like us who actually find hatred such a pleasure that to give it up is like giving up beer or tobacco……

Love is doing what is right for our loved ones, that includes ourselves.  What is RIGHT for me?  Healing would be one thing.

Clearing out the "Storeroom".....

I must work to clean out my storage room of hurt, fear, resentments and anger to find the peace I am looking for.

“It will take a great deal of faith and maybe some false starts to get people to attempt this effort, though, for the substance of its promise is only hoped for and not yet seen.  And after all, their hesitancy is understandable because (1) this is going to be hard work on their part-no quick fix from a priesthood blessing or a counseling session; this is the ‘working out one’s own salvation’ part of humbling themselves; (2) there are some pretty scary things back there in that storeroom of the past-boxes and bundles, for instance, marked ‘From Mom (or Dad) with Love’ that stink to high heaven.  How do people clean those out without offending their parents-whether living or dead?  These are real concerns and need to be met with patience and the assurance that it’s worth it.”

He Did Deliver Me From Bondage,  Colleen B. Harrison, p A20

Step 4..Doing a fearless and written moral inventory of myself!

“After this process (Doing a fearless and written moral inventory of myself step 4 in Healing through Christ) we must turn to Christ consciously and deliberately (see Alma 36:18 and Alma 38:8) and ask Him to apply His atoning power to our hearts, to purify them of those character traits that cause us to resist His gracious offer of cleansing-to give us a ‘remission of our sins.’  He will then burn through our inner unconscious selves-cleansing us and revealing to us all that we’ve missed.  We will find ourselves awakening to (sometimes gradually, sometimes abruptly) and enjoying the ever increasing companionship of the Holy Spirit.
Note, however, the Lord’s choice of the word remission of our sins.  What we have obtained (this cleaned our storeroom of life) must be retained by taking frequent, even daily inventories, and when we find ourselves tempted to store away a fear or an anger, etcetera, we must promptly admit it to ourselves, to God and to another trusted person…When we not only feel tempted but actually give into a temptation, we need to promptly admit it to God, and to that trusted other person-and not hide in denial or rationalization.

He Did Deliver Me From Bondage,  Colleen B. Harrison, p A23

Learn From Experience,“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 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

Forgiving is letting go of the pain
It doesn’t mean that what someone did was ok

Let Go and Let God

Making Sense of Suffering

Making sense of suffering – Wayne Brickey

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick.

One anxiety is the fear of further pain: “How long will this last?” An even more terrifying and misleading link is, “This wasn’t supposed to happen.”  Our fond plans seem holy to us, as if they were the very plans of God.  Timid doubt thinks perhaps God himself has lost control.  And yet another anxiety may erupt: “No one cares.”  Self-centered, self-deceiving, and self-defeating, anxiety robs us of good cheer and chains us to a dungeon floor.

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer.

The truth is, our troubles are not so mighty when viewed from eternity.  We preceded the world and will long outlive it.  We can ignore its passing threats, smile at its thorns, and enjoy its good things.

Good cheer, so basic to our nature, is kindled by increasing the other “goods” in life.  Let surroundings be flavored with good music and natural beauty, with good tastes and smells.  Let words and works be unselfish.  Let associations be with others of good cheer.  Believe the good promises of God.  These things remind us of our home of light.

In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Stunning blows to the life of good souls are normal and should be expected.  But from him who overcame all things we have a commandment to be of good cheer.  It is our way of overcoming with him.

Sometimes God calms the Storm

Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms the child

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly and leave the rest to God.

Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly and leave the rest to God.


When I was discharged from the Army and had saved the money to go on a mission I patiently waited for the Bishop to call me on a mission.  The Bishop seemed so slow in calling me.  I learned for the man who was then the Bishops ward clerk that my bishop had felt, since I had been overseas for quite a while, I shouldn’t be rushed into the mission field.  He waited for me to tap on the door.

Oh, how quick we are sometimes to judge with so little data! And these experiences are in each of our lives, and they are illustrative of large issues, if we will but learn from them. I am so grateful to that ward clerk who, at least 40 years later, sent me a note one day saying he'd heard I'd mentioned this tapping on the bishop's door at night, and he thought I ought to know the bishop's feelings. The rush to judgment continues to be the reflex of the natural man and the natural woman if we do not guard against it carefully.
Another insight that seems to recur again and again in confirmation is that the todays of life constitute the holy present. We can't fix the past. We may be able to repent of it, but we can't change past events. We can fashion the future, and we do that by using what someone has called the holy present, which indeed it is.

Sharing Insightsfrom My Life

devotional address was delivered at BYU on 12 January 1999.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Parable of the divers

Parable of the divers
This goes with my previous post of today: (Stephen E. Robinson, Following Christ: The Parable of the Divers and More Good News [Salt Lake city: Deseret Book, 1995], 34-38.) Parable of the Divers “Many years ago, when I was somewhere between nine and eleven, I participated in a community summer recreation program in the town where I grew up. I remember in particular a diving competition for the different age groups held at the community swimming pool. Some of the wealthier kids in our area had their own pools with diving boards, and they were pretty good amateur divers. But there was one kid my age from the less affluent part of town who didn’t have his own pool. What he had was raw courage. While the rest of us did our crisp little swan dives, back dives, and jackknives, being every so careful to arch our backs and point our toes, this young man attempted back flips, one-and-a-halfs, doubles, and so on. But, oh, he was sloppy. He seldom kept his feet together, he never pointed his toes, and he usually missed his vertical entry. The rest of us observed with smug satisfaction as the judges held up their scorecards that he consistently got lower marks than we did with our safe and simple dives, and we congratulated ourselves that we were actually the better divers. “He is all heart and no finesse,” we told ourselves. “After all, we keep our feet together and point our toes.” “The announcement of the winners was a great shock to us, for the brave young lad with the flips had apparently beaten us all. However, I had kept rough track of the scores in my head, and I knew with the arrogance of limited information that the math didn’t add up. I had consistently outscored the boy with the flips. And so, certain that an injustice was being perpetrated, I stormed the scorer’s table and demanded and explanation. “Degree of difficulty,” the scorer replied matter-of-factly as he looked me in the eye. “Sure, you had better form, but he did harder dives. When you factor in the degree of difficulty, he beat you hands down, kid.” Until that moment I hadn’t know that some dives were awarded “extra credit” because of their greater difficulty. . . . . “Whenever I am tempted to feel superior to other Saints, the parable of the divers comes to my mid, and I repent. At least at a swim meet, we can usually tell which dives are the most difficult. But here in mortality, we cannot always tell who is carrying what burdens: limited intelligence, chemical depression, compulsive behaviors, learning disabilities, dysfunctional or abusive family background, poor health, physical or psychological handicaps—no one chooses these things. So I must not judge my brothers and sisters. I am thankful for my blessings but not smug about them, for I never want to hear the Scorer say to me, “Sure, you had better form, but she had a harder life. When you factor in degree of difficulty, she beat you hands down.” “So, enduring to the end doesn’t have much to do with suffering in silence, overcoming all life’s obstacles, or even achieving the LDS ideal (“pointing our toes” and “keeping our feet together”). It just means not giving up. It means keeping—to the best of our abilities—the commitments we made to Christ when we entered into the marriage of the gospel. It means not divorcing the Savior or cheating on him by letting some other love become more important in our lives. It means not rejecting the blessings of the atonement that he showered upon us when we entered his church and kingdom.

(Shared with us by Alli)

Our Pre-mortal Self...

“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.....

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

Friday, August 1, 2014

Detachment Spiritual Lightening......

Spiritual Lightening – M. Catherine Thomas

We know that we are required to do all that we appropriately can to promote the spiritual, emotional, and physical well being of those the Lord has entrusted to our care.  But when older children and other adults behave in ways that are distressing to us, it is easy to become involved in ways that do not help them or ourselves.  We may be so emotionally entangled that we think obsessively about what the other is doing, and this involvement only keeps us in turmoil.  Sometimes our over-involvement is a blend of resentment, self-pity, and guilt.  These we need to set aside.  With our thoughts on bringing ourselves to the Savior, we will be less affected by what others are doing to the contrary.  Thus, one who wishes to enter into at-one-ment first learns a special detachment from others whose behavior they can’t control.  Detaching ourselves emotionally, ceasing to manipulate the other person’s life, letting that person take responsibility for his or her own behavior—this frees us from soul-sickening stress.  This detachment does not imply that we withdraw our love and compassion or any appropriate help.  It means that we can turn our attention to the things we have neglected, the things that truly are our concern.  This special detachment produces inner serenity as we take full responsibility for what we do, repenting and correcting ourselves as necessary, and giving others responsibility for what they do.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

“The Great Plan of Happiness,”

“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.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Bashing Our Selfs and Others....

There will always be those in the days ahead who will be inclined to bash ourselves and others, but we cannot allow a heavy, crushing blow to destroy us or to deter our personal or church progress.
Bernard Baruch, an adviser to six United States presidents, was once asked whether he was ever disturbed by attacks from enemies. He said, “No man can humiliate or disturb me. I won’t let him.”
We are reminded that Jesus Christ, the only perfect person to ever walk the earth, taught us through quiet example to say nothing or to be silent in stressful times in our lives rather than to spend time and energy bashing for whatever purpose.

Marvin J. Ashton, “The Tongue Can Be a Sharp Sword,” Ensign, May 1992, 18

Finding Peace One Day At A Time....

Finding Peace
(One Day at a Time)

Philosophers, clear back to the ancient Greeks, have always made much of the idea of correcting bad habits by daily practice of good ones.  In ARP we make much of this, too.  We learn we cannot go on functioning as we have been, impulsively and automatically, if we hope to improve our lives.

If we really do want peace of mind, the first thing to realize is that it does not depend on conditions out-side us, but those inside us.  An honest search of our own motives may show that we relish our martyrdom or that we fear, subconsciously, that we deserve it.

When we find the causes of our distress and frustration, we can establish corrective habits to over come them.

Today’s Reminder

A program of self-recognition and self-change “reads easy and does hard.”  Many failures come from trying to do too much too fast—and from expecting results overnight.  I will search out just one fault, one bad habit, and work to eliminate that.  As I observe the changes this effort brings about in my outside circumstances, I will find the courage to keep on changing myself for the better.

“It is no easy thing for a principle to become a man’s own unless each day he maintain it and work it out in his life.” (Epictetus)

If Thou Endure It Well Neal A. Maxwell 4 December 1984

Can you and I endure hatred, misrepresentation and misunderstanding? “And ye shall be hated to all men for my name sake. But he that endureth to the end, shall be saved.” Mark 13:13. In this world, brothers and sisters, try as may, the record is never set fully straight anyway. Misunderstanding and misrepresentation, go with this terrestrial [earthly] territory and we as a people are just beginning to learn that all over again. Moreover, enduring well involves all of life’s seasons, not just one. “and they have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time afterwards when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.” Mark 4:17. “and now my son, I trust that I shall have great joy in you because of your steadiness and your faithfulness unto God. For as you have commenced in your youth to look to the Lord your God, even so I hope that you will continue in keeping his commandments, for blessed is he that endureth to the end.” Alma 38:2.
That’s your situation.

If Thou Endure It Well Neal A. Maxwell  4 December 1984

The future is as bright as your faith.” President Monson.....

Ensign, May, 2009, pp. 89,92

None of us makes it through this life without problems and challenges—and sometimes tragedies and misfortunes. After all, we are here to learn and grow from such events in our lives. We know that there are times when we will suffer, when we will grieve, and when we will be saddened. However, we are told, “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.”2
How might we have joy in our lives, despite all that we may face? Again from the scriptures: “Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you.”3…
From the holy scriptures we read, “Behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in [Him], they who have endured the crosses of the world,… they shall inherit the kingdom of God, … and their joy shall be full forever.”9
I testify to you that our promised blessings are beyond measure. Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us.
My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.”
2. 2 Nephi 2:25.
3. D&C 68:6.

9. 2 Nephi 9:18.

If I could Just Take A Pill...... Would I....

If someone were to say to me: ‘Here is a medicine that can change your whole life for the better; it will put you in a state of relaxed serenity; help you overcome the nagging undercurrent of guilt for past errors, give you new insight into yourself and your spiritual value, and let you meet life’s challenges with confidence and courage. ‘ Would I take it?

That is the promise of the Twelve Steps and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, if we do not cling to our burdens, our emotional upsets, family wrangling and wretchedness.

I will set aside a time each day to center my thoughts on the Twelve Steps and/or the Atonement.  I will take them one at a time and observe how constant study changes my point of view.

It is not easy assignment, but life without them isn’t easy either.  My choice will be to take this beneficial medicine and let its healing magic work in me.

Paraphrased from One Day at a Time in Alanon, p 166

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Emotional Detachment.......

Emotional  Detachment
(One Day at A Time)

ARP, like other groupings of people with a common interest or cause, has a language of its own—certain words and phrases which describe specific ideas.  We may recognize them and the use them without being quite clear as to their real meaning.
Take, for instance, the phrase: “Detach from the problem, but not from the person.”  Some have actually imagined it means that ARP advises against separation from the spouse!  Others think it means shutting your mind and coldly ignoring everything that happens.  Neither is true.

When we are urged to practice detachment, it never means disinterest or abandonment. The latter would express only despair and hopelessness, while loving detachment gives us every hope of better days.

Of course I must be concerned with what happens to the people in my life.  The purpose of EMOTIONAL DETACHMENT is to keep myself from being drawn into crises of the addicts making.  If I do not interfere, he will be compelled to find his own way out of his difficulties.  This is the wholesome, helpful ARP kind of detachment. It helps the person that we detach from grow.  That is God’s plan – GROWTH.

“Detachment motivated by love can shield us from needless pain and set the stage for a truly rewarding relationship.”

Sometimes we are given crosses so we can be taught to pray...

Some of us have a tendency to resent, resist, rebel, and delay, and to debate worthy direction, supervision, and communication. I plead with you to avoid the ranks of professional counsel resisters, who make such statements as, "Who are you to tell me?" "I didn't come here to be babysat." "Why all the restrictions?" "Where does the free agency come in?" "Why don't you just leave us alone?" Some carry that heavy cross of wanting to rebel or to resist counsel from friends. They reject that counsel because it may cause inconvenience, or because they may not be able to see far enough ahead to see its value.
Sometimes we are given crosses so we can be taught to pray. Crosses become lighter and more manageable when we learn to pray and when we learn to patiently wait for the answers to our prayers. 

An unwillingness to listen and learn can be a silent cross of considerable weight. Carry the cross of constant prayer even when answers are slow in coming or are difficult to accept.

Patience with God...How can I trust him....

Patience with God. How often have we heard people say, "I cannot believe or put my trust in an unknown being who permits my mother, my father, my brother, my sister, my child to die or suffer when I know I am entitled to have my prayers answered. If there is a God, he surely would have answered my prayers and heard my pleas."  Our relationship to God will improve as we learn to ask rather than to tell. Surely it is wisdom that we seek. Aren't we out of our realm when we judge or are inclined to second-guess God in our human frailties?
Doctrine and Covenants, section 54, verse 10: "And again, be patient in tribulation." Proper prayer teaches us patience. I declare to you, my friends, this morning, very often our prayers are best answered in silence. Sometimes the answers to our prayers are delayed so we may learn patience. I bear witness to you today our Heavenly Father is an almighty God because he has eternal patience with us. God lives; he loves us; he hears our prayers; he answers our prayers; he answers the prayers of the faithful; he hears the prayers of the repentant. God can be found if we have the patience to seek, knock, ask, and listen.
Patience Is a Great Power MARVIN J. ASHTON Brigham Young University on 13 February 1973
Sometimes the answers to our prayers not only seem unanswered because what is seemingly bad happens.  In the future, we find out that what happened was for our best or the best of the person we are praying for.  Example:  I pray for a beautiful son to be free of drugs, that doesn’t happen.  Bad answer to prayer?  My son then does enough wrong that he could go to prison.  I pray that this doesn’t happen, he goes to prison.  Bad answer to prayer?  Now I look back and Prison is where he finally changed and is now becoming who God knows he can become.  Conclusion, God does answer our prayers, not the way we think they should be answered but he answers with what he knows is BEST for us and our loved ones.  Sometimes we just don’t understand.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thy own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, (the key) and he shall direct thy paths.”

(Proverbs 3:5-6