Monday, February 29, 2016

What Matters Most

Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


I'm thinking of coining a new term:
The ability and confidence to make sustained effort and consistent choices with the aim of realizing a long-term and distant goal or reward.
Those who have little faith live day-to-day, week-to-week; but those of great faith are involved in great endeavors to which they devote much effort and work, despite receiving very little if any evidence that they are making progress or that their efforts are paying off.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Receiving Gifts From God

For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.

Sister Hansen, ...recently returned from serving a full-time mission, ...told this story.

Following a zone conference, her mission president had presented each of the missionaries with a fresh red rose. He gave no explanation for his gift, and this young sister took the rose home to her modest apartment. It had been a long train ride home for her and her companion, and in her exhaustion and eagerness to get some sleep, Sister Hansen had laid the rose on the table, where it lay withering for a week. By the time she noticed it again, there was nothing to do but throw it away.

As she looked at the stiff and blackened rose, she felt a little guilty for neglecting it. Several months flew by, and she didn’t give the rose another thought until it was time for another zone conference. Just as before, the mission president gave each missionary a red rose. This time, however, Sister Hansen carefully wrapped the stem in damp paper and held it gently on her lap during the long train ride.

When she arrived at her apartment, she recut the stem and placed the rose in a glass of water. To her surprise and delight, the rose bloomed the following day. Under her care, it thrived and perfumed the small apartment for several weeks.

Sister Hansen told the campers that blessings from Heavenly Father are like roses. We can ignore them, thereby receiving no joy or pleasure from them, or we can recognize and enjoy the blessings the Lord has lovingly given us.

Many of the blessings we receive from God require care, nurturing, and patience before we can fully realize their worth and enjoy them.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Learning Your Family History - FHE Idea

Living prophets and apostles have promised magnificent blessings upon those who get involved in family history work and research.

Here's something we did for Family Home Evening. We printed out a copy of the template below for each person (they write their own name at the base of the trunk). We also printed out copies of pictures of our ancestors for each person (it's neat if you can find pictures of when they were in their 20s), that they could cut out and then paste onto the appropriate position on the family tree template. Then they write the names below the pictures.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

We Believe in Being Positive

I knew the importance of being positive, but was pleasantly surprised to find it documented in the official magazine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The spirit of the gospel is optimistic; it trusts in God and looks on the bright side of things. The opposite or pessimistic spirit drags men down and away from God, looks on the dark side, murmurs, complains, and is slow to yield obedience.
Orson F. Whitney, Conference Report, April 1917
as quoted here.
How we respond in any situation has to make things better, not worse.
Remember, our Savior, Jesus Christ, always builds us up and never tears us down.
Of course, this does not mean that God does not call us to pass through some heart wrenching trials to chasten and purify us. If God does tear us down, it is with the careful design to build us back up again, much greater than before. There is a balancing truth:
I heard the Prophet Joseph say, in speaking to the Twelve on one occasion: ‘You will have all kinds of trials to pass through. And it is quite as necessary for you to be tried as it was for Abraham and other men of God, and (said he) God will feel after you, and He will take hold of you and wrench your very heart strings, and if you cannot stand it you will not be fit for an inheritance in the Celestial Kingdom of God.’
John Taylor, quoted of Chapter 19 of
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith
Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity