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.