Spiritual Sundays: Recharging our light

Spiritual Sundays| Just Rhonda

Two of my boys share a room. And at ages 4 and 7 they both feel the need to sleep with some sort of a nightlight. We’ve tried quite a few kinds and even used a Sentsy Pot for a while just to keep them in their beds. I understand the need for a light as I still remember the bad dreams I had as a child. The funny thing about these two boys is that they keep unplugging the nightlight and trying to bring the light closer. You see the night lights that we finally settled on are these rechargeable kind of flash lights with night lights on them. And when the lights go out they automatically come on. So each night Oliver and/or Eli keep unplugging them and setting them near their heads to have it lighter near them. The charge will usually last at least one night, sometimes part of two but then inevitably they will run out of charge sometime in the night, the room will go dark and the boys will wake up scared, sad and confused.

Inside each one of is a light. We are born with it and it is something that God gave to us to help us. We call it “the Light of Christ.”

Every soul who walks the earth, wherever he lives, in whatever nation he may have been born, no matter whether he be in riches or in poverty, had at birth an endowment of that first light which is called the Light of Christ, the Spirit of Truth, or the Spirit of God – that universal light of intelligence with which every soul is blessed.  Mormon spoke of that Spirit when he said: “For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.”  (Moroni 7:16) — President Harold B. Lee quoted by Thomas S. Monson, “To Truly See,” Ensign, February 2005, p. 5

This light is burning inside of each of us to guide us and help us throughout our lives. When we listen to that yearning inside of us it can grow brighter and brighter. It can help us and comfort us and protect us from the scary things in the world. God gave us this gift because He loves us so much and He wants us to return to live with Him one day. That gift is something to be cherish and taken care of.  The tricky thing about this light is that is needs to be charged. It needs to be listened too and heeded. And it needs to be charged with spiritual food. Scripture study, daily and consistent prayers, church attendance, temple attendance. All the things we know we should be doing. These will charge our lights.

“Life will have its storms.  We can and must have confidence.  God our Heavenly Father has given us the right to know the truth.  He has shown that the way to receive that truth is simple, so simple that a child can follow it.  Once it is followed, more light comes from God to enlighten the understanding of His faithful spirit child.  That light will become brighter even as the world darkens.  The light that comes to us with truth will be brighter than the darkness that comes from sin and error around us.  A foundation built on truth and illuminated by the light of God will free us from the fear that we might be overcome.” — Elder Henry B. Eyring, “A Life Founded in Light and Truth,” Ensign, July 2001, p. 6

It takes work to do these things. It takes choosing to read my scriptures over starting that next Netflix episode. It means trying to stop saying those unkind things about our neighbor and loving our families more. And it takes a lot of time on our knees pleading and praying to the Lord to recharge our lights and then listening to and heading the promptings that He sends to us.

The great thing about our light is that it can influence those around us. We can be a light that spreads to others. To our children, to our husbands, to the neighbor on the street and the teacher at the school. And then our lights are added to each other to make something so bright and powerful.

“The ability to have an unsettled conscience is a gift of God to help you succeed in this mortal life.  It results principally from the influence of the Light of Christ on your mind and heart.  The Light of Christ is that divine power or influence that emanates from God through Jesus Christ [see Topical Guide, “Light of Christ,” p. 290].  It gives light and life to all things.  It prompts all rational individuals throughout the earth to distinguish truth from error, right from wrong.  It activates your conscience [see Moroni 7:16].  Its influence can be weakened through transgression and addiction and restored through proper repentance.  The Light of Christ is not a person.  It is a power and influence that comes from God and when followed can lead a person to qualify for the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Ghost [see John 1:9; D&C 84:46-47].” — Elder Richard G. Scott, “Peace of Conscience and Peace of Mind,” Ensign, November 2004, p. 15

When we lived in Nova Scotia I served with the Young Women. At one of our girl’s camps we had a very neat experience. At midnight on the last night of the camp, we all went down to the shores of the lake. And there parked were all the catamaran canoes. We filled up the canoes with girls and leaders and a few lights. In our hands each of us had a candle. We were quiet and still as we rowed out in the middle of the lake. Once we were all out there together we huddled the boats close to each other. Then one of the leaders had all the lights turned out but one. It was so dark. We were in the middle of a lake in the pitch blackness. The moon was up in the sky and the stars but there was little light on our boats. We couldn’t really even see each other. Then the leader lit a candle and used that candle to light another. We continued to light candle after candle until every person was holding a lit candle. The light was amazing and overpowering. It was strong and spread our from our boats on to the water around us. We could see as we shared out light with each other.

Light Shine Printable | Just Rhonda

(Click image and download it if you want to!)

As we rowed in to the shore the feeling stayed burning in my heart of the strength in my own light burning bright and being surrounded with the lights of others. It warmed me and even the memory of that experience warms my heart now. Our little lights have power and strength if we are willing to continue to charge them daily. We know what we need to do. So let’s do it.

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Spiritual Sundays

Just wanted to share a little thought poster I made for my RS lesson this week. Feel free to download and print or just pin it. 🙂

 

Spiritual Sundays

“Fathers, by divine decree, you are to preside over your family units. This is a sobering responsibility and the most important one you will ever assume, for it is an eternal responsibility. You place the family in its proper priority. It’s the part of your life that will endure beyond the grave” (L. Tom Perry, “Fatherhood, an Eternal Calling,” Apr. 2004 general conference).

“I make a special appeal to fathers: Please be an important part of talking to your children about the Savior. They need the confirming expressions of your faith, along with those of their mother.

“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” (Neil L. Andersen, “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus,” Apr. 2010 general conference.

As men of the priesthood, we have an essential role to play in society, at home, and in the Church. But we must be men that women can trust, that children can trust, and that God can trust. In the Church and kingdom of God in these latter days, . . . we cannot afford husbands and fathers who fail to provide spiritual leadership in the home” (D. Todd Christofferson, “Brethren, We Have Work to Do,” Oct. 2012 general conference).

“Fathers, you are the primary model of manhood for your sons. You are their most meaningful mentor, and believe it or not, you are their hero in countless ways. Your words and your example are a great influence on them. … Listen to them, and connect with them in regular, focused conversation. Talk with them in depth about their feelings and desires. Pray with them, and give them blessings as they face the important decisions in their future” (M. Russell Ballard, “Fathers and Sons, a Remarkable Relationship,” Oct. 2009 general conference).

Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful men in my life!

Spiritual Sunday

When we meet to learn the doctrines of the gospel, it should be in a spirit of reverence. … Our sacrament and other meetings need renewed attention to assure that they are truly worship services in which members may be spiritually nourished and have their testimonies replenished. … Leaders should teach that reverence invites revelation.”- Boyd K. Packer

Spiritual Sundays

“I invite all members of the Church to live with ever more attention to the life and example of the Lord Jesus Christ, especially the love and hope and compassion he displayed. I pray that we will treat each other with more kindness, more patience, more courtesy and forgiveness… Let us study the Master’s every teaching and devote ourselves more fully to his example. He has given us “all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” He has “called us to glory and virtue” and has “given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these [we] might be partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:3–4).  I believe in those “exceeding great and precious promises,” and I invite all within the sound of my voice to claim them. We should strive to “be partakers of the divine nature.” Only then may we truly hope for “peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (D&C 59:23).”

–       Howard W. Hunter, GC Oct 1994 (from his first general conference address as President of the Church)

Spiritual Sunday

“Parents, be patient with your children. Read to your little children and help them with their schoolwork, even if you need to tell or show them the same thing many times. Elder Richard L. Evans said, “If they find that they can trust us with their trivial questions, they may later trust us with more weighty ones.” – JOSEPH B. WIRTHLIN

 

Spiritual Sundays

nov 10- Remember
A white dove for peace.
How grateful I am for peace and for those who have sacrificed their lives and time and their families to bring peace to our country.

Spiritual Sundays

From President Thomas S. Monson:

“Many years ago,” he says, “on an assignment to Tahiti, I was talking to our mission president, President Raymond Baudin, about the Tahitian people. They are known as some of the greatest seafaring people in all the world. Brother Baudin, who speaks French and Tahitian but little English, was trying to describe to me the secret of the success of the Tahitian sea captains. He said, ‘They are amazing. The weather may be terrible, the vessels may be leaky, there may be no navigational aids except their inner feelings and the stars in the heavens, but they pray and they go.’ He repeated that phrase three times. There is a lesson in that statement. We need to pray, and then we need to act. Both are important.

“The promise from the book of Proverbs gives us courage:‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths’ (Proverbs 3:5-6).

“As we offer unto the Lord our family prayers and our personal prayers,” President Monson says, “let us do so with faith and trust in Him. Let us remember the injunction of Paul to the Hebrews: ‘For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him’ (Hebrews 11:6). If any of us has been slow to hearken to the counsel to pray always, there is no finer hour to begin than now.”

Spiritual Sundays

This great talk has been on my mind lately. This part specifically:

“I cannot promise an end to your adversity in this life. I cannot assure you that your trials will seem to you to be only for a moment. One of the characteristics of trials in life is that they seem to make clocks slow down and then appear almost to stop.

There are reasons for that. Knowing those reasons may not give much comfort, but it can give you a feeling of patience. Those reasons come from this one fact: in Their perfect love for you, Heavenly Father and the Savior want you fitted to be with Them to live in families forever. Only those washed perfectly clean through the Atonement of Jesus Christ can be there.

My mother fought cancer for nearly 10 years. Treatments and surgeries and finally confinement to her bed were some of her trials.

I remember my father saying as he watched her take her last breath, “A little girl has gone home to rest.”

One of the speakers at her funeral was President Spencer W. Kimball. Among the tributes he paid, I remember one that went something like this: “Some of you may have thought that Mildred suffered so long and so much because of something she had done wrong that required the trials.” He then said, “No, it was that God just wanted her to be polished a little more.” I remember at the time thinking, “If a woman that good needed that much polishing, what is ahead for me?”

If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. In all conditions, we can choose the right with the guidance of the Spirit. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ to shape and guide our lives if we choose it. And with prophets revealing to us our place in the plan of salvation, we can live with perfect hope and a feeling of peace. We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord’s service because we never are. We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up.10 And He always keeps His word.

I testify that God the Father lives and that His Beloved Son is our Redeemer. The Holy Ghost has confirmed truth in this conference and will again as you seek it, as you listen, and as you later study the messages of the Lord’s authorized servants, who are here. President Thomas S. Monson is the Lord’s prophet to the entire world. The Lord watches over you. God the Father lives. His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, is our Redeemer. His love is unfailing. I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

– BY PRESIDENT HENRY B. EYRING

Spiritual Sundays

“Faith is like spiritual oxygen. As we allow faith to freely flow within us, it awakens and enlivens our spiritual senses. It breathes life into our very souls. As faith flows, we become sensitively attuned to the whisperings of the Spirit. Our minds are enlightened, our spiritual pulse quickens, our hearts are touched. Faith fuels hope. Our perspective changes; our vision becomes clearer. We begin to look for the best, not the worst, in life and in others. We gain a deeper sense of life’s purpose and meaning. Despair gives way to joy.”
– David A. Bednar, GC Oct 2006

Spiritual Sundays

“To find real happiness, we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves,” President Thomas S. Monson teaches. “No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellow man. Service to others is akin to duty, the fulfillment of which brings true joy.”

“We do not live alone—in our city, our nation, or our world,” President Monson says. “There is no dividing line between our prosperity and our neighbor’s wretchedness. ‘Love thy neighbor’ is more than a divine truth. It is a pattern for perfection. This truth inspires the familiar charge, ‘Go forth to serve.’ Try as some of us may, we cannot escape the influence our lives have upon the lives of others. Ours is the opportunity to build, to lift, to inspire, and indeed to lead. The New Testament teaches that it is impossible to take a right attitude toward Christ without taking an unselfish attitude toward men.”

President Monson encourages Latter-day Saints to “reach outward. … Membership in the Church calls forth a determination to serve. A position of responsibility may not be of recognized importance, nor may the reward be broadly known. Service, to be acceptable to the Savior, must come from willing minds, ready hands, and pledged hearts.

And President Monson encourages us to trust in the Lord as we serve. “Occasionally discouragement may darken our pathway; frustration may be a constant companion. In our ears there may sound the sophistry of Satan as he whispers, ‘you cannot save the world; your small efforts are meaningless. You haven’t time to be concerned for others.’

“Trusting in the Lord, let us turn our heads from such falsehoods and make certain our feet are firmly planted in the path of service and our hearts and souls dedicated to follow the example of the Lord. In moments when the light of resolution dims and when the heart grows faint, we can take comfort from His promise: ‘Be not weary in well-doing. … Out of small things proceedeth that which is great’” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:33).

Spiritual Sundays

I have always loved the parable of the widows mite in the scriptures.

” And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing
And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did ccast in all that she had, even all her living.” – Mark 12:41-44

“The Lord often teaches using extreme circumstances to illustrate a principle. The story of the widow of Zarephath is an example of extreme poverty used to teach the doctrine that mercy cannot rob sacrifice any more than it can rob justice. In fact, the truer measure of sacrifice isn’t so much what one gives to sacrifice as what one sacrifices to give (see Mark 12:43). Faith isn’t tested so much when the cupboard is full as when it is bare. In these defining moments, the crisis doesn’t create one’s character—it reveals it. The crisis is the test.” – Elder Lynn G. Robbins

Elaine Cannon reminds us of an important way these blessings come and how we can make the most of them. “When we are pushed, stung, defeated, embarrassed, hurt, rejected, tormented, forgotten—when we are in agony of spirit crying out ‘why me?’ we are in a position to learn something” (Adversity, 47).

Elder Howard W. Hunter explained the principle in a general conference address many years ago:“We came to mortal life to encounter resistance. It was part of the plan for our eternal progress. Without temptation, sickness, pain, and sorrow, there could be no goodness, virtue, appreciation for well-being, or joy” (“God Will Have a Tried People,” Ensign, May 1980, 25).

One of my all time favorite quotes.
President Ezra Taft Benson explained: “It is not on the pinnacle of success and ease where men and women grow most. It is often down in the valley of heartache and disappointment and reverses where men and women grow into strong characters” (in Conference Report, Stockholm Sweden Area Conference, 1974, 70).

Go watch the video of the widow’s mitehere.

Spiritual Sundays

“While one portion of the human race is judging and condemning the other without mercy, the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard” – Joseph Smith, TPC-JS, pg39

My life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Ofttimes He weaveth sorrow
And I in foolish pride,
Forget that He seeth the upper,
And I the under side.

Not till the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver’s skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
-In Sourcebook of Poetry, comp. Al Bryant, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publishing House, 1968, p. 664; quoted by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, General Conference Oct 1985

“If men do no comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves” – Joseph Smith, TPC-JS, pg40

Spiritual Sunday

Spiritual Sunday

A few related quotes (chosen by Regan, not Rhonda this week…hopefully that’s alright with everyone).

“We invest a great deal in the acquisition of stuff. Companies bombard us with slick, relentless propaganda as to why we must have their stuff and judge an individual’s success by their stuff’s sheer quantity and supposed quality. I like stuff. I especially like the word stuff. But consumption never was creativity; it brings few lasting satisfactions and can bring burdensome debts. Stuff beyond our basic needs does not liberate. Consider the overall investment of your time. You have to shop for stuff. You have to clean, maintain and organize stuff. You lose stuff. You look for stuff. You polish stuff. Secure it against theft, trip over it, recharge it, upgrade it, accessorize it, pack it, move it, unpack it, insure it, fix it, and eventually sell, trash or bequeath it. Stuff has no use beyond this life and it takes a lot from us. Very much unlike stuff, knowledge has few such liabilities. Knowledge does not depreciate but grows deeper, stronger and more valuable with each use.”
– Shawn W. Miller, BYU Devotional, August 3, 2010 (punctuation my own)

“Increased goods will not suffice if men display decreased goodness.”
– Neal A. Maxwell, General Conference, Apr 1983

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
– William Morris, British craftsman, early socialist, designer and poet, lived in England, 1834-1896 (I don’t know if she ever reads this but Jodi Pinsent passed this quote along to Rhonda and I years ago, thanks, I’ve always appreciated the sentiment it expressed and the Pinsents)

Spiritual Sundays

I believe that we are all children of a Heavenly Father and because of that that my children are in fact my spiritual brothers and sisters that have been loaned to me for a time here on earth. A time that I can try and perfect how to parent and how to relate and love other people better.

I believe that there is nothing harder or more rewarding that being a parent. It is a magnifying glass to my imperfections and weaknesses that gives me a chance each day to try harder and do better.

I believe that there are as many ways to mother as there are children. And that no one on earth is perfect at parenting.

I believe that our Heavenly Father knows our children better than us and that He will help us in our parenting as long as we ask, search and follow guidance from Him.

I believe that we all lived in a pre-mortal existence before we came to earth together and that we had distinct personalities and characteristics that we brought to this earth. Because of that my role as a mother is not to mold my children into what I think they should be, but to help them discover their talents and strengths and learn how to deal with their struggles.

I believe women are born with specific roles in relation to children, whether they are lucky enough to have children or not, that means that women are called to nurture, love and care (called mothering) for children. There are children all around us that need love and support and parents who need love and support.

I believe that these children of mine are sealed to me for time and all eternity through the power of the Priesthood through the ordinances from the temple.

I believe that there is nothing of more importance that I will ever do in my life than be a wife and a mother. Everything else is gravy on top of those roles.

_MG_2169
DSC_8077
may 4 - Mother's Day Celebration
11:34am: Alden & Me

Spiritual Sunday

Speaking about fear and faith in the midst of intense spiritual adversity, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “While the battle rages, we need not fear. The Lord will help you, your family, and others you love who need special help. We know the outcome. The Savior will triumph over all!”

“We recognize the enemy and understand his plan,” Elder Andersen continued. “The pride of the world seeks to destroy faith by casting doubt on the existence of God or, if not His existence, His personal care and concern for His children. … You know all of this. You are on the battlefield, right in the crossfire. The conflict will not diminish but intensify in the years ahead. How will we—how will you—withstand the attack?”

Additionally, obedience and repentance help individuals rally spiritual strength. Elder Andersen said: “Think about the journey of your own conversion and discipleship through the years. When you are more sensitive in taking His name upon you, seeking the spiritual gifts from His sacred ordinances, and giving added care to following Him, you feel greater strength as you are armed with righteousness. You see more clearly, sense more deeply your identity as a [child] of God, and realize in greater measure the purposes you have accomplished, are accomplishing, and will yet accomplish.”

Being armed with righteousness through conversion brings happiness, peace, a greater portion of the Holy Ghost, and a bright hope for the future. Elder Andersen said: “I look forward to the future. I hope you do too. To your children and grandchildren, your friends and associates, you can speak about the future with optimism, joy, and anticipation. You are living your mortality in a glorious time of destiny.”

Lonely Road

Spiritual Sundays

Happy Easter!!

““I declare my personal witness that death has been conquered, victory over the tomb has been won. May the words made sacred by Him who fulfilled them become actual knowledge to all. Remember them. Cherish them. Honor them. He is risen.”” – Thomas S. Monson

Spiritual Sundays

“As we ask these questions, we realize that the purpose of our life on earth is to grow, develop, and be strengthened through our own experiences. How do we do this? The scriptures give us an answer in one simple phrase: we “wait upon the Lord.”12 Tests and trials are given to all of us. These mortal challenges allow us and our Heavenly Father to see whether we will exercise our agency to follow His Son. He already knows, and we have the opportunity to learn, that no matter how difficult our circumstances, “all these things shall [be for our] experience, and … [our] good.”” – Elder Robert D. Hales.

For more about facing trials with faith, read, watch, or listen to the rest of this talk “Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done” by Elder Robert D. Hales.

Spiritual Sunday

“We do not go to Sabbath meetings to be entertained or even solely to be instructed. We go to worship the Lord. It is an individual responsibility, and regardless of what is said from the pulpit, if one wishes to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth, he may do so by attending his meetings, partaking of the sacrament, and contemplating the beauties of the gospel. If the service is a failure to you, you have failed. No one can worship for you; you must do your own waiting upon the Lord.”

– Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign – Jan 1978

Spiritual Sundays

“President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said of discipleship: “By patiently walking in the path of discipleship, we demonstrate to ourselves the measure of our faith and our willingness to accept God’s will rather than ours.”2

Let us remember we are daughters of God and strive to live as His disciples. As we do so, we will help build God’s kingdom here on earth and become worthy to return to His presence.”

Spiritual Sundays

“All the other cardinal virtues—love, patience, humility, mercy, purity, submissiveness, justice—they all require endurance for their full development.”
– Neal A. Maxwell, GC Apr 1990

Peaceful Clouds

Spiritual Sundays

Look who tried solid foods this week….
16 January 2012

“Female roles did not begin on earth, and they do not end here. A woman who treasures motherhood on earth will treasure motherhood in the world to come, and “where [her] treasure is, there will [her] heart be also” (Matt. 6:21). By developing a mother heart, each girl and woman prepares for her divine, eternal mission of motherhood. “Whatever principle of intelligence [she] attain[s] unto in this life, it will rise with [her] in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through [her] diligence and obedience than another, [she] will have so much the advantage in the world to come” (D&C 130:18–19).” – Julie B. Beck

Spiritual Sundays

“The togetherness of technology is no substitute for the family.” – Neal A Maxwell, GC Apr 2001

23 January 2012

Every morning at nap time when I am nursing Oliver in his room before nap I notice the light coming into his room. And every day I think I should capture it. And I finally did. Love this little ear. And this little man. And these quiet moments we share together in the midst of all the other kids and all the noise. Just the two of us together.

Mummy DOES love Oliver

Spiritual Sundays

“It is this principle [of faith], my brethren and sisters, that points us heavenward, that gives us hope in the battle of life. When we become confused, and find ourselves confronted by obstacles we, seemingly, cannot overcome, having faith in the Redeemer of the world, we can go to Him and know that our prayers will be answered for our good.” – Pres. George Albert Smith
August 1 – Hope

Spiritual Sundays

“Motherhood is the greatest potential influence either for good or ill in human life. The mother’s image is the first that stamps itself on the unwritten page of the young child’s mind. It is her caress that first awakens a sense of security; her kiss the first realization of affection; her sympathy and tenderness, the first assurance that here is love in the world.” David O. Mckay

Me & my youngest two
02 January 2012 -2
day17
Day 1
Baby #4

Spiritual Sundays: Merry Christmas

from our family to yours
Christmas 2011

“We all can make the choice to give thanks in prayer and to ask God for direction to serve others for Him—especially during this time of year when we celebrate the Savior’s birth.”
—President Henry B. Eyring, First Presidency Message

Spiritual Sundays

“Oh, parents, we would plead, give good and happy memories to your children – not pampering or overindulging, not satisfying everything they take a fancy to – but memories of love, encouragement, of peace and harmony and happiness at home – memories that will bless and lift their lives wherever they are, always and forever.” – L. Tom Perry, Dec 1970

Spiritual Sundays

“Listening is an essential part of praying. Answers from the Lord come quietly, ever so quietly. In fact, few hear His answers audibly with their ears. We must be listening so carefully or we will never recognize them. Most answers from the Lord are felt in our heart as a warm comfortable expression, or they may come as thoughts to our mind,. They come to those who are prepared and who are patient.” – H. Burke Peterson, Oct 1974

Spiritual Sundays

Today’s topic is gratitude. The first two quotes are insightful but more on the ills of ingratitude so I added a third quote that is a bit more on the positive side and describes well the blessings of living a grateful life.

“Comparatively, we are so much quicker to return favors and to pay our debts to mortals — and we should be responsive and grateful. But what of Him who gave us mortal life itself, who will erelong give us all immortality, and who proffers to the faithful the greatest gift of all, eternal life? We are poor bookkeepers, indeed!”
– Neal A. Maxwell, General Conference, October 1988

“Our society is afflicted by a spirit of thoughtless arrogance unbecoming those who have been so magnificently blessed. How grateful we should be for the bounties we enjoy. Absence of gratitude is the mark of the narrow, uneducated mind. It bespeaks a lack of knowledge and the ignorance of self-sufficiency. It expresses itself in ugly egotism and frequently in wanton mischief. We have seen our beaches, our parks, our forests littered with ugly refuse by those who evidently have no appreciation for their beauty.”
– Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, August 1988

“Mercies and blessings come in different forms–sometimes as hard things. Yet the Lord said, ‘Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things’ (D&C 59:7). All things means just that: good things, difficult things–not just some things. He has commanded us to be grateful because He knows being grateful will make us happy. This is another evidence of His love.”
– Elaine S. Dalton, General Conference, April 2007

Spiritual Sundays

Our beloved prophet Gordon B. Hinckley has promised: “If you have any doubt about the wisdom, the divinity of observing the Sabbath Day, … stay home and gather your family about you, teach them the gospel, enjoy yourselves together on the Sabbath Day, come to your meetings, participate. You will know that the principle of the Sabbath is a true principle which brings with it great blessings.” 17

Spiritual Sundays

“A wife may love her husband, but it is different to that of the love of mother to her child. The true mother, the mother who has the fear of God and the love of truth in her soul, would never hide from danger or evil and leave her child exposed to it. But as natural as it is for the sparks to fly upward, as natural as it is to breathe the breath of life, if there were danger coming to her child, she would step between the child and that danger; she would defend her child to the uttermost. Her life would be nothing in the balance, in comparison with the life of her child. That is the love of true motherhood—for children. … I have learned to place a high estimate upon the love of mother. I have often said, and will repeat it, that the love of a true mother comes nearer being like the love of God than any other kind of love.” – BY PRESIDENT JOSEPH F. SMITH

Spiritual Sundays

‎”Greatness is best measured by how well an individual responds to the happenings in life that appear to be totally unfair, unreasonable, and undeserved. Sometimes we are inclined to put up with a situation rather than endure. To endure is to bear up under, to stand firm against, to suffer without yielding, to continue to be, or to exhibit the state or power of lasting.” – Marvin J Ashton

Spiritual Sundays

“How sweet is the assurance, how comforting is the peace that come from the knowledge that if we marry right and live right, our relationship will continue, notwithstanding the certainty of death and the passage of time. Men may write love songs and sing them. They may yearn and hope and dream. But all of this will be only a romantic longing unless there is an exercise of authority that transcends the powers of time and death.” – Gordon B. Hinckley

Spiritual Sunday

“Comparatively, we are so much quicker to return favors and to pay our debts to mortals—and we should be responsive and grateful. But what of Him who gave us mortal life itself, who will erelong give us all immortality, and who proffers to the faithful the greatest gift of all, eternal life? We are poor bookkeepers, indeed!”
– Neal A. Maxwell, General Conference; October, 1988

Spiritual Sundays

When your life is filled with the desire to see the holiness in everyday life, something magical happens: Ordinary life becomes extraordinary, and the very process of life begins to nourish your soul. Rabbi Harold Kushner

Spiritual Sunday

“The things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God.”

Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3:295; as quoted by Howard W. Hunter General Conference April 1975

Spiritual Sundays

“There exists a righteous unity between the temple and the home. Understanding the eternal nature of the temple will draw you to your family; understanding the eternal nature of the family will draw you to the temple”
– Elder Gary E. Stevenson, GC Apr, 2009

Spiritual Sundays

june 4: All of us

“One thing is very clear: the safest place and the best protection against the moral and spiritual diseases is a stable home and family. This has always been true; it will be true forever. We must keep that foremost in our minds. The scriptures speak of ‘the shield of faith wherewith,’ the Lord said, ‘ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked’ (D&C 27:17). This shield of faith is best fabricated in a cottage industry. While the shield can be polished in classes in the Church and in activities, it is meant to be handcrafted in the home and fitted to each individual.” – Boyd K. Packer, “Do Not Fear,” Ensign, May 2004, 79

Spiritual Sundays

“We invest a great deal in the acquisition of stuff. Companies bombard us with slick, relentless propaganda as to why we must have their stuff and judge an individual’s success by their stuff’s sheer quantity and supposed quality. I like stuff. I especially like the word stuff. But consumption never was creativity; it brings few lasting satisfactions and can bring burdensome debts. Stuff beyond our basic needs does not liberate. Consider the overall investment of your time. You have to shop for stuff. You have to clean, maintain and organize stuff. You lose stuff. You look for stuff. You polish stuff. Secure it against theft, trip over it, recharge it, upgrade it, accessorize it, pack it, move it, unpack it, insure it, fix it, and eventually sell, trash or bequeath it. Stuff has no use beyond this life and it takes a lot from us. Very much unlike stuff, knowledge has few such liabilities. Knowledge does not depreciate but grows deeper, stronger and more valuable with each use.”
– Shawn W. Miller, BYU Devotional, August 3, 2010 (punctuation my own)

Spiritual Sundays

“Love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity, and ought to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God. A man filled with the love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.”
– Joseph Smith, TPC-JS, pg 330-331

Spiritual Sundays

“[A person may have] a strong desire to be led by the Spirit of the Lord but…unwisely extends that desire to the point of wanting to be led in all things. A desire to be led by the Lord is a strength, but it needs to be accompanied by an understanding that our Heavenly Father leaves many decisions for our personal choices. Personal decision making is one of the sources of the growth we are meant to experience in mortality. Persons who try to shift all decision making to the Lord and plead for revelation in every choice will soon find circumstances in which they pray for guidance and don’t receive it. For example, this is likely to occur in those numerous circumstances in which the choices are trivial or either choice is acceptable. We should study things out in our minds, using the reasoning powers our Creator has placed within us. Then we should pray for guidance and act upon it if we receive it. If we do not receive guidance, we should act upon our best judgment. Persons who persist in seeking revelatory guidance on subjects on which the Lord has not chosen to direct us may concoct an answer out of their own fantasy or bias, or they may even receive an answer through the medium of false revelation.”
– Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign Oct 1994; pg 13-14

Spiritual Sundays

“Our promised blessings are beyond measure,” President Thomas S. Monson declares. “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.”

Spiritual Sundays

“I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination. . . . It is a love of liberty which inspires my soul.”
– Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 5:498.

Spiritual Sundays

“We can add to each other’s storehouse of self-esteem by giving deserved, specific commendation more often, remembering, too, that those who are breathless from going the second mile need deserved praise just as the fallen need to be lifted up.” -Neal A. Maxwell, GC, Oct 1976

Spiritual Sunday

“My dear brothers and sisters, we would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most. Let us be mindful of the foundational precepts our Heavenly Father has given to His children that will establish the basis of a rich and fruitful mortal life with promises of eternal happiness. They will teach us to do “all these things … in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that [we] should run faster than [we have] strength. [But] it is expedient that [we] should be diligent, [and] thereby … win the prize.” -Of Things That Matter Most, DIETER F. UCHTDORF, Second Counselor in the First Presidency

Spiritual Sundays

“Come unto Christ” is “the most important invitation you could ever offer [and] … the most important invitation anyone could accept.”
—President Henry B. Eyring

Spiritual Sundays

“God’s purpose in giving us commandments is to bless us. He wants to give us eternal life, the greatest of all His gifts (see D&C 14:7). To receive the gift of living with Him forever in families in the celestial kingdom, we must be able to live the laws of that kingdom (see D&C 88:22). He has given us commandments in this life to help us develop that capacity. The law of tithing is one of those preparatory commandments. The law is that we give to the Lord one-tenth of all our income.” – BY PRESIDENT HENRY B. EYRING, First Counselor in the First Presidency