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