Aside

I have the opportunity to grow, heal, ask questions and teach others what I have learned. Today for example, there was a talk on adversity, I taught a lesson on how to become a leader using the spirit of God and had a lesson taught to me concerning food storage and how it affects us now. My husband also had a lesson on ideas on how to improve finances in our home.

I am thankful that what we learn we can take with us home and take action on during the week.

I see myself like a pitcher. All week, it is drained a little at a time by dealing with daily “worldly things”. On Sundays, it is refilled to the top. If I am lucky, I go to the Temple during the week and give the pitcher a chance for a quick refill that can then be a blessing to others around me as well.

Church can tire me out, and I find that a nap is beneficial, but if I do not go, the pitcher is drained and I have no shield or strength to stand up to the daily things I have to deal with through the week. I am not as strong to stand up to the wickedness that is around me as I want to be. With this as my incentive, I find that there is nothing more valuable as taking time to go to church.

May you find ways to fill your pitcher and stay strong against the adversary.

I love to go to church on Sundays.

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Aside

I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. That means that I am a Mormon. I am a Mormon because I choose to be. I have been introduced to other religions, beliefs and ideas and I found that this form of teaching about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is right for me.

But what about all of the rules taught in the church? I find that the rules that are taught are to help me to learn to love myself unconditionally and to love others unconditionally as well.

I learn that there is an order to life instead of chaos.

I learn that we have the right to make good and bad decisions and we have to live with the consequences with whichever choice we make.

We are not alone in our choices. They do affect those around us. It is because of the many choices we have before us that it is a wonderful gift to have an organization that will teach us what is good and bad as well as why.

Yes, I do ask a lot of why questions. But, I find that those are answered as I am asking them.

I believe in the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I am willing to do everything I can to learn about it and to teach others what I have learned.

I have a testimony of the Gospel. I believe in it. I can have hope in my life knowing that I will be able to live after death. I know that this church and it’s organizations are right for me.  I also understand that it may not be the perfect answer for others in whom I love-both family and friends. The only thing I ask is that if you have questions, ask them. If you do not understand something, find the answer from a correct source. When you find out, take action in what is correct.

I am a Mormon because I choose to be

Moving mountains and those pesky grains of sand!

Ok, so I admit, I am much better at moving mountains in my life instead of focusing on the grains of sand! Ask me to help find a mate, background check them, introduce them, plan the wedding, move them I can do that. I have done that.

I spent a few years being a single adult representative. I had let go of looking for the quick-fix husband and instead, focused on becoming a good friend to those I associated with. I had many friends from all walks of life. I do not like games, so when I see a friend beginning to play them, I step in! I have gone to both the men and the women and told them about each other. I have had my fingers in many connections that got married. Most of them are still that way. When they announce the wedding date, I then pitch in and pull together weddings for a very low cost(remember, these are my friends and I had to consider this my hobby because I was not paid for most of them). I have even moved people in an efficient and quick manner!

I can start a business, run it and get it to run itself-without me.

But, when it comes to doing things like the dishes after every meal, or on a daily basis… maybe not going to happen.

I do my best to remember to get my visiting teaching done, but instead of actually visiting, I am emailing. Ok, so it is still a visit, but not the best! The results are great, though! My visit teachees actually do not mind because they are all so busy and are happy that I keep them up to date on activities going on and I do try to connect with them each time I see them.

My husband and I do read our scriptures daily together, but to do personal study, study for Sunday school, study for Relief Society, study for Young Women’s (I am the secretary, so it is good for me to be prepared to teach if I have to), and other studying, it may not happen…

When I really get my focus going, I can work my many jobs’ work schedules around each other nicely, but to get to the Temple on more than a monthly basis-not as easy…

So, what I see of myself is that I see the big picture of life, but sometimes my clothes may not match…

A matter of perspective

Elder Boyd K. Packer said this to the youth: “Oh, youth, if you could know, the requirements of the Church are the highway to love, with guardrails securely in place, with guide signs plainly marked, with help along the way. How foolish is the youth who feels that the Church is a fence around love to keep him out. How unfortunate to resent counsel and restraints. How fortunate is the young person who follows the standards of the Church, even if just from sheer obedience or habit, for he will find a rapture and a joy fulfilled.”

Therefore, if you really think about it, everything is a matter of perspective. If you let your heart be joyful and glad while doing all that you feel is right, than things around you increase in their ability to help you continue to be joyful. But, if you worry constantly about things, feel that things always go wrong, life is hard, than that begins to happen to you. They will be wrong.

Personally, my goal is to constantly bring joy into my life and to those lives around me. This is why I am so glad that I have the Church to give me wonderful ideas as to how to improve myself.

I find that the revolutionary part of who I am sometimes concerns people, but I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints because I want to be. Not because someone told me to be.

I use the ideas taught to me to change my world. I listen for things that ring truly in my heart and I find that this church is the place for that to happen for me. Therefore, the revolutionary part of me is that I do not just accept what I am being told, I weigh it for truth in my heart and then I act upon it.

May we always try to do our best to see things from a wonderful perspective!

In the Temple

Learning Christlike love in a relationship can be done in the Temple. For many of us, we have been to the Temple. Many of us have been sealed. When we are there, we make promises to each other and to Heavenly Father. These covenants, if actually taken to heart (meaning we actually do them, not just talk about them), give us an opportunity to open ourselves to give and receive love on a much larger scale than if we did not go. In many marriage relationship classes that I have been to, there is one concept that I have tried my hardest to incorporate into my life.

Marriage takes 3 people. Myself, my husband and Heavenly Father. It is like a 3 legged stool. One can be shorter(weaker) than the others, but the other 2 keep the stool steady. The key is to keep all 3 legs to make the stool work. With Heavenly Father as a participant in our relationship, we are able to open our hearts and discuss things with kindness and love instead of accusations and self-interest.

Bruce R. McConkie said, “I am firmly convinced that it is possible for a man or a woman to love his or her companion abundantly more in this thing which is called the new and everlasting covenant of marriage than it is ever possible to love such an individual outside this order of marriage, because we are entitled to have, and we do have all of the normal and wholesome affection that does and should exist between the sexes and then in addition to that, we can have in our family the sanctifying influence of the love of Christ. We can have a love which is abiding and eternal and which never ceases and never ends but will grow and increase until the perfect day is attained.”

This is the pure love that we are working for. We have the ability to stand up for each other and to be there for when the trials come.  Elder Parley P. Pratt said this of Joseph Smith, “It was Joseph Smith who taught me how to prize the endearing relationships of father and mother, husband, wife; of brother and sister, son and daughter.

It was from him that I learned that the wife of my bosom might be secured to me for time and all eternity; and that the refined sympathies and affections which endeared us to each other emanated from the fountain of divine eternal love… I had loved before, but I knew not why. But now I loved-with a pureness- an intensity of elevated exalted feeling.”

What a wonderful thought! Can we ever feel this way? The answer is Yes! Let us prepare ourselves to go to the Temple and learn how to love and to become a better person. Let us go to the Temple and encourage each other to do so. Many of us do not have recommends or have let them expire without using them. Some may have a recommend and have forgotten when they went last. Let us try to make an effort to go to the Temple. Why deny ourselves the blessings that we are entitled to?

Baking bread

Today I baked some bread. It has always been a time-consuming project for me, so I never really did it when I had kids at home or when I worked too many hours.

But, with the time it takes to make it, it reminds me of being like that loaf… I have to have a few ingredients put in and placed just right to make me who I am. Add items like Gospel, family, beliefs, friends, work ethics and they give me flavor. Let me get used to being who I am for a while and then mix me up and make my life interesting. This is done by growing up, adding spouses, children, callings at church… Let me ‘rise up’ to my challenges. Add more growth by lessons learned, talks by the prophets, deeper friendships, etc. Then place me in my ‘special place’ and let me bask in the love of our Heavenly Father. When I have become ‘strong’, pull me out of my comfort zone and let me share what I am with others. Let me give the love I have learned to have.

That is the lesson I learned today!

marysilverwhite

No matter what you think to the contrary, you marry who you date and hang around with.

If you are hanging around a library, you might meet someone who makes efforts to improve their minds. If you hang around a gym, someone who is interested in health may be someone you meet. If you go to church, the person you meet will have the desire to improve their spiritual self. Elder Mark E Peterson counseled, “What kind of a crowd are you going with? What kind of a person will you marry? You will marry from the crowd you go with; and if you choose the non-churchgoing crowd, remember that is what you will get, and all it includes. Think, consider it carefully, and then act safely.”

Also, President Spencer W. Kimball said, “Choosing a marriage partner is a vital decision. The greatest single factor affecting what you are going…

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How do we show love?

Another foster child that we had and I can remember very little of was a boy from Alaska. He was an American Indian who’s family were having difficulties.

One day, he was in trouble and mother had him sitting in the living room while she sat in the rocker rocking quietly. When my father came home from work, he saw what was happening and noticed that her knuckles were white, so he told us to all leave and make some orange juice in the kitchen.

My father then calmed her down and then went to talk with the boy. The boy wanted to understand why he was not beaten. He felt that if he was in trouble, he should be beaten. Did they not love him? My parents then told him that it was because they loved him that they did not beat him.

My mother had the experience of being spanked with willow switches that she had to pull off of the tree herself, when she began to have children, she promised herself that she would use her parents as the example as to what not to do. She did do her best and because of it, we do have love for her.

When this young boy was taken away from us and returned to his family, he ran away to came back to us. He was caught before he reached us. A second time, he ran away again. This time, he was hit by a car trying to get back to us. Our family truly loved this boy and had hoped to be able to give him the love that he had been craving while growing up.