Sunday, May 15, 2011

Opposition "Every life has peaks and shadows and times when it seems that the birds don't sing and bells don't ring. Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser, and happier as a result." BY J.B.W.

Can you remember this old Poem?  Set on almost every wall in Christian homes across the world.  I have seen it in Spanish and in English.  As a youth I remember how thoughtful it made me and helped me remember that I was not alone in difficult times.  Just to refresh our memory I will post it:

Footprints in the Sand
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

Mary Stevenson, 1936

I held on to many Poems and writings that I kept close during many years.  Many of those I loaned to Missionaries and never saw again.  They move so often it seems one of them took it home or to their next area.

Another more recent Leader gave me a boost in Hope when I felt my Prayers were not getting any answers.  He said:
"Prayer is a privilege and the soul's sincere desire. We can move beyond routine and 'checklist' prayers and engage in meaningful prayer as we appropriately ask in faith and act, as we patiently persevere through the trial of our faith, and as we humbly acknowledge and accept 'not my will, but Thine, be done.'

"I witness the reality and divinity of our Eternal Father, of His Only Begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Ghost. I testify that our Father hears and answers our prayers. May each of us strive with greater resolve to ask in faith and thereby make our prayers truly meaningful."  BY D.A.B.

I believe that Opposition is a very important part of our lives.  I think we could never become like our Savior if we did not have Opposition in all things.  I pray that I am a force for good and not Opposition in the life of anyone. 

Today I spoke to my boys about Courage and not fearing Opposition.  I felt it important to tell them that fear is normal and even the most Powerful and Courageous Leaders Nephi, Joseph, even President Monson felt fear right before showing their courage.  I also taught them to convert this mixture of fear and courage into righteous anger, igniting their will to conquer evil and the wicked plots of others that have been inspired by Satin himself.  We will all have many chances to prove our courage and our power to defy Opposition in all things. 

7My son, apeace be unto thy soul; thine badversity and thine afflictions shall be but a csmall moment;
8And then, if thou aendure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy bfoes.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Have Courage "Some people mistakenly think responses such as silence, meekness, forgiveness, and bearing humble testimony are passive or weak. But to 'love [our] enemies, bless them that curse [us], do good to them that hate [us], and pray for them which despitefully use [us], and persecute [us]' (Matthew 5:44) takes faith, strength, and, most of all, Christian courage. . . .BY R.D.H.

I love these words from the poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox:
 
It is easy enough to be pleasant,
When life flows by like a song,
But the man worth while is one who will smile,
When everything goes dead wrong.
 
The gift of courage is not just taking a bullet for your brother or sister, or loved one.  Courage is also praying for those who use you and desire your demise.  Courage is Forgiving your enemies and also yourself.  Courage can be shown best of all by making the choice to always keep this question in mind whenever ANY choice needs to be made.  "What would Jesus do?"
 
I get chills when I see courage in the eyes of my children.  They obviously got this gift from their Mother.  I have a long way to go to have the Courage of Jesus. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Children “Do not try to control your children. Instead, listen to them, help them to learn the gospel, inspire them, and lead them toward eternal life. You are God’s agents in the care of children He has entrusted to you. Let His divine influence remain in your hearts as you teach and persuade.” BY R.M.N.

"Give," said the little stream,
"Give," oh, give, give, oh, give,
Give," said the little stream,
As it hurried down the hill;
"I'm small, I know, but wherever I go,
The fields grow greener still."

Singing, singing all the day,
"Give away, oh, give away,"
Singing, singing all the day,
"Give, oh, give away."

"Give," said the little rain,
"Give, oh, give, give, oh, give,
Give," said the little rain
As it fell upon the flowers.
"I'll raise their drooping heads again,"
As it fell upon the flowers.

"Give," then, what you can give,
"Give, oh, give, give, oh, give,
Give," then, what you can give,
There is something all can give.
Do as the streams and blossoms do,
And for other people live.

I tend to remember this song as I spend time with my children.  I want to teach them that by giving like a little stream gives, we can touch the lives of many, even our own.

Being a Father is not easy.  A Mother must be even harder.  The past few days I have spent celebrating my daughters birthday.  She is an angel.  As the years have gone by I am able to watch her progress and learning.  Precept after Precept, taking one step at a time.  She seems to be growing so fast I am afraid to miss a moment in time with her.  What a beautiful gift she has been to my life. 

Here is one of my favorite Poems reminding me of her.

Little girls are made of daisies and butterflies and soft kitty cat purrs
And all the precious memories of times that once were.

Little girls are made of angel's wings and giggles and a firefly's glow
And all the happy feelings, deep inside, that we all know.

Little girls are made of cinnamon and bubbles and fancy white pearls
And snowflakes and rainbows and ballerina twirls.

Little girls are made of sunshine and cupcakes and fresh morning dew,
And these are the reasons, little one, why everyone loves you.  BY K.B.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

"Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can—working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!" BY D.F.U.

Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When, with a wounded heart, anger, or malice
I draw myself apart searching my soul?

Where, when my aching grows?
Where, when I languish?
Where, in my need to know?
Where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.

He answers privately.
Reaches my reaching.
In my Gethsemane, Savior, and friend.
Gentle, the peace He finds
For my beseeching.
Constant He is, and kind.
Love without end.


LDS HYMNS

The words of  this song always seemed to lack patience.  Then as I sang it, the power of patience is never stronger.  It has taken me a long time to learn the value of patience.  I can remember the longest days of my life were due to my lack of this virtue.  Today and over the past few weeks I have been waiting and learning anew this quality, this gift I am needing, yet still lacking. 

I know that GREAT things come to those that wait, is true.  Yet there is a fine line drawn for those who procrastinate.  I have crossed this line a few hundred times.  This is not a good idea. 

Fasting is a great way to learn patience.  I find that the joy of this life is sweetened by Fasting and Prayer.  Everything seems better at the end of a perfect Fast.  Temporal worries seem childish, the suffering of others become more present and the Spirit of Thanksgiving returns.  Colors seem brighter, and time itself seems to find a way for me to accomplish whatever it was that I was Fasting for. 

I am a big fan of President Uchtdorf's words.  Here are some more I found on Patience.

"Patience—the ability to put our desires on hold for a time—is a precious and rare virtue. We want what we want, and we want it now. Therefore, the very idea of patience may seem unpleasant and, at times, bitter.

"Nevertheless, without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect."
"Not all will follow the map [Heavenly Father has given us]. They may look at it. They may think it is reasonable, perhaps even true. But they do not follow the divine directions. Many believe that any road will take them to a 'happily ever after.' Some may even become angry when others who know the way try to help and tell them. They suppose that such advice is outdated, irrelevant, out of touch with modern life.

"Sisters, they suppose wrong."
"Enduring to the end is not just a matter of passively tolerating life's difficult circumstances or 'hanging in there.' Ours is an active religion, helping God's children along the strait and narrow path to develop their full potential during this life and return to Him one day. Viewed from this perspective, enduring to the end is exalting and glorious, not grim and gloomy. This is a joyful religion, one of hope, strength, and deliverance. 'Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy' (2 Nephi 2:25).

"Enduring to the end is a process filling every minute of our life, every hour, every day, from sunrise to sunrise. It is accomplished through personal discipline following the commandments of God."

I don't know where I would be without Patience.  This does not mean that I am good at it.  Sometimes we don't have a choice.  The Lord is mindful of us and our lack of understanding.  This is why learning Patience is one of the best roads to Perfection.  My road today towards Perfection seems endless.  Thus my journey begins. 












Monday, May 9, 2011

Marriage "What does it mean to love someone with all your heart? It means to love with all your emotional feelings and with all your devotion. Surely when you love your wife with all your heart, you cannot demean her, criticize her, find fault with her, or abuse her by words, sullen behavior, or actions." BY E.T.B.

Is love like a rose
That blossoms and grows,
Then withers and goes
When summer is gone?  (Old 1930 song)
 
I truly doubt that love will ever wither.  Even knowing people that have had some sort of divorce, they tend to harbor feelings of love for their partner.  Everyone has freedom to choose and freedom to change is part of this freedom.  I think that many people really feel a true love when the fall for each other.  Later on they begin to make choices that cause the other to lose faith or feel offended.  Unless these fractures are addressed and repaired, they will never heal and be forgotten. 
 
I have an enormous amount of love that sometimes I feel can never be eclipsed towards my wife.  Then a few years go by and my eyes see her from a different perspective, understanding love in a higher more brilliant light.  I could never see myself understanding another person in another light than I see my wife.   Our Marriage was really made to last by some angel in heaven.  I look forward to the many years to follow.
 
 

The Eternal Blessings of Marriage

Richard G. ScottOf the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles


Richard G. Scott
The temple sealing has greater meaning as life unfolds. It will help you draw ever closer together and find greater joy and fulfillment.
That beautiful message by this magnificent choir describes, I think, the pattern of life for so many of us: “trying to be like Jesus.”
On July 16, 1953, my beloved Jeanene and I knelt as a young couple at an altar in the Manti Utah Temple. President Lewis R. Anderson exercised the sealing authority and pronounced us husband and wife, wedded for time and for all eternity. I have no power to describe the peace and serenity that come from the assurance that as I continue to live worthily, I will be able to be with my beloved Jeanene and our children forever because of that sacred ordinance performed with the proper priesthood authority in the house of the Lord.
Our seven children are bound to us by the sacred ordinances of the temple. My precious wife, Jeanene, and two of our children are beyond the veil. They provide a powerful motivation for each remaining member of our family to live so that together we will receive all of the eternal blessings promised in the temple.
Two of the vital pillars that sustain Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness are marriage and the family. Their lofty significance is underscored by Satan’s relentless efforts to splinter the family and to undermine the significance of temple ordinances, which bind the family together for eternity. The temple sealing has greater meaning as life unfolds. It will help you draw ever closer together and find greater joy and fulfillment in mortality.
Once I learned an important lesson from my wife. I traveled extensively in my profession. I had been gone almost two weeks and returned home one Saturday morning. I had four hours before I needed to attend another meeting. I noticed that our little washing machine had broken down and my wife was washing the clothes by hand. I began to fix the machine.
Jeanene came by and said, “Rich, what are you doing?”
I said, “I’m repairing the washing machine so you don’t have to do this by hand.”
She said, “No. Go play with the children.”
I said, “I can play with the children anytime. I want to help you.”
Then she said, “Richard, please go play with the children.”
When she spoke to me that authoritatively, I obeyed.
I had a marvelous time with our children. We chased each other around and rolled in the fall leaves. Later I went to my meeting. I probably would have forgotten that experience were it not for the lesson that she wanted me to learn.
The next morning about 4:00 a.m., I was awakened as I felt two little arms around my neck, a kiss on the cheek, and these words whispered in my ear, which I will never forget: “Dad, I love you. You are my best friend.”
If you are having that kind of experience in your family, you are having one of the supernal joys of life.
If you are a young man of appropriate age and are not married, don’t waste time in idle pursuits. Get on with life and focus on getting married. Don’t just coast through this period of life. Young men, serve a worthy mission. Then make your highest priority finding a worthy, eternal companion. When you find you are developing an interest in a young woman, show her that you are an exceptional person that she would find interesting to know better. Take her to places that are worthwhile. Show some ingenuity. If you want to have a wonderful wife, you need to have her see you as a wonderful man and prospective husband.
If you have found someone, you can form an extraordinarily wonderful courtship and marriage and be very, very happy eternally by staying within the bounds of worthiness the Lord has established.
If you are married, are you faithful to your spouse mentally as well as physically? Are you loyal to your marriage covenants by never engaging in conversation with another person that you wouldn’t want your spouse to overhear? Are you kind and supportive of your spouse and children?
Brethren, do you lead out in family activities such as scripture study, family prayer, and family home evening, or does your wife fill in the gap your lack of attention leaves in the home? Do you tell your wife often how very much you love her? It will bring her great happiness. I’ve heard men tell me when I say that, “Oh, she knows.” You need to tell her. A woman grows and is greatly blessed by that reassurance. Express gratitude for what your spouse does for you. Express that love and gratitude often. That will make life far richer and more pleasant and purposeful. Don’t withhold those natural expressions of love. And it works a lot better if you are holding her close while you tell her.
I learned from my wife the importance of expressions of love. Early in our marriage, often I would open my scriptures to give a message in a meeting, and I would find an affectionate, supportive note Jeanene had slipped into the pages. Sometimes they were so tender that I could hardly talk. Those precious notes from a loving wife were and continue to be a priceless treasure of comfort and inspiration.
I began to do the same thing with her, not realizing how much it truly meant to her. I remember one year we didn’t have the resources for me to give her a valentine, so I decided to paint a watercolor on the front of the refrigerator. I did the best I could; only I made one mistake. It was enamel paint, not watercolor. She never let me try to remove that permanent paint from the refrigerator.
I remember one day I took some of those little round paper circles that form when you punch holes in paper, and I wrote on them the numbers 1 to 100. I turned each over and wrote her a message, one word on each circle. Then I scooped them up and put them in an envelope. I thought she would get a good laugh.
When she passed away, I found in her private things how much she appreciated the simple messages that we shared with each other. I noted that she had carefully pasted every one of those circles on a piece of paper. She not only kept my notes to her, but she protected them with plastic coverings as if they were a valuable treasure. There is only one that she didn’t put with the others. It is still behind the glass in our kitchen clock. It reads, “Jeanene, it is time to tell you I love you.” It remains there and reminds me of that exceptional daughter of Father in Heaven.
As I have thought back over our life together, I realize how blessed we’ve been. We have not had arguments in our home or unkind words between us. Now I realize that blessing came because of her. It resulted from her willingness to give, to share, and to never think of herself. In our later life together, I tried to emulate her example. I suggest that as husband and wife you do the same in your home.
Pure love is an incomparable, potent power for good. Righteous love is the foundation of a successful marriage. It is the primary cause of contented, well-developed children. Who can justly measure the righteous influence of a mother’s love? What enduring fruits result from the seeds of truth that a mother carefully plants and lovingly cultivates in the fertile soil of a child’s trusting mind and heart? As a mother you have been given divine instincts to help you sense your child’s special talents and unique capacities. With your husband you can nurture, strengthen, and cause those traits to flower.
It is so rewarding to be married. Marriage is wonderful. In time you begin to think alike and have the same ideas and impressions. You have times when you are extremely happy, times of testing, and times of trial, but the Lord guides you through all of those growth experiences together.
One night our little son Richard, who had a heart problem, awoke crying. The two of us heard it. Normally my wife always got up to take care of a crying baby, but this time I said, “I’ll take care of him.”
Because of his problem, when he began to cry, his little heart would pound very rapidly. He would throw up and soil the bed clothing. That night I held him very close to try to calm his racing heart and stop his crying as I changed his clothes and put on new bedsheets. I held him until he went to sleep. I didn’t know then that just a few months later he would pass away. I will always remember holding him in my arms in the middle of that night.
I remember well the day he passed away. As Jeanene and I drove from the hospital, we pulled over to the side of the road. I held her in my arms. Each of us cried some, but we realized that we would have him beyond the veil because of the covenants we had made in the temple. That made his loss somewhat easier to accept.
Jeanene’s kindness taught me so many valuable things. I was so immature, and she was so disciplined and so spiritual. Marriage provides an ideal setting for overcoming any tendency to be selfish or self-centered. I think one of the reasons that we are counseled to get married early in life is to avoid developing inappropriate character traits that are hard to change.
I feel sorry for any man who hasn’t yet made the choice to seek an eternal companion, and my heart weeps for the sisters who haven’t had the opportunity to marry. Some of you may feel lonely and unappreciated and cannot see how it will be possible for you to have the blessings of marriage and children or your own family. All things are possible to the Lord, and He keeps the promises He inspires His prophets to declare. Eternity is a long time. Have faith in those promises and live to be worthy of them so that in His time the Lord can make them come true in your life. With certainty, you will receive every promised blessing for which you are worthy.
Please pardon me for speaking of my precious wife, Jeanene, but we are an eternal family. She was always joyously happy, and much of it came from service to others. Even while very ill, in her morning prayer she would ask her Father in Heaven to lead her to someone she could help. That sincere supplication was answered time and again. The burdens of many were eased; their lives were brightened. She was blessed continually for being an instrument directed by the Lord.
I know what it is to love a daughter of Father in Heaven who with grace and devotion lived the full feminine splendor of her righteous womanhood. I am confident that when, in our future, I see her again beyond the veil, we will recognize that we have become even more deeply in love. We will appreciate each other even more, having spent this time separated by the veil. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Mothers Day "You young men need to know that you can hardly achieve your highest potential without the influence of good women, particularly your mother and, in a few years, a good wife. Learn now to show respect and gratitude. Remember that your mother is your mother. She should not need to issue orders. Her wish, her hope, her hint should provide direction that you would honor." BY R.M.N.

Out in the cold sits a lonely soul,
                        waiting to feel they belong,
Lo and behold a young woman arrives,
                    singing the most precious song...
"You are a Son of the most noble blood,
                        you have been sent from above,
listen and learn, put your hand in mine,
                        I will protect you with Love."
How many hearts has a Mother touched?
                        How many souls have been found?
Show me a Man and I will show you no shame,
           when they follow their Mothers sweet sound.  BY  D.R.J.

I really do love my Mother.  I feel that she cares.  I hope she will have me someday. 
I have tried to be good and to show that I love Her, in every last minute each day. 
I have failed many times in my life many people, Mothers included in this claim.
I think Heaven is trying to find a most suitable person to direct me to do what I should.

I may have not very valiant before I came to earth.  Losing two Mothers is the proof.
I have been given another chance and I will do everything I can to keep her.  I would have them all if it meant that they could be happier.  I am afraid the Lord is teaching me a lesson I have yet to learn. 
Since I first read the book "Are you my Mother?"  The words have echoed the halls of my soul. 
I pray daily that this confusion will pass and I can enjoy what a real Mother is and what she can be.
My wife is an example to my girls of what a Mother should do and know.  How she must act and believe.  How to have faith and show the Lord the true meaning of Motherhood and nurturing a child.  Even if this child is forty years old. 

I pay tribute to the Mother that has given me a new sort of Life, a new Hope and simple kindness.  I am living proof of Freedom and the free will of even a Mother.  Many give up.  Many let go.  Many inflict pain.  Many control.  Many humiliate and manipulate their children for their own benefit.  Most just nurture and show love.  Most can feel the hurt inside with only a look in your eyes.  Most would rather give up their own life than watch a child lose their way.  Even when everything is said and done.  I would give up my life for any of the Mothers that assisted it in any way.  This does not make me a good person, just a true Human feeling the True light of Christ. 

May my beautiful wife live a peaceful life knowing that her children are growing up with a Mother.  Someone that cares for them in every way a Mother can.  She suffers every moment she is away from them and Prays for their safe return.  I have felt these connections pass over into my own life and we have become a great little family thanks to this great Woman.  My wife.  My love has grown daily for her and her patience with me and my faults.  Her example helps me strive to live better. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkUwh1YUMtE

The Women in Our Lives

Gordon B. HinckleyPresident of the Church


Gordon B. Hinckley
How thankful I am, how thankful we all must be, for the women in our lives.

My brethren and sisters, at the outset, if you will bear with me, I wish to exercise a personal privilege. Six months ago, at the close of our conference, I stated that my beloved companion of 67 years was seriously ill. She passed away two days later. It was April 6, a significant day to all of us of this Church. I wish to thank publicly the dedicated doctors and wonderful nurses who attended her during her final illness.
My children and I were at her bedside as she slipped peacefully into eternity. As I held her hand and saw mortal life drain from her fingers, I confess I was overcome. Before I married her, she had been the girl of my dreams, to use the words of a song then popular. She was my dear companion for more than two-thirds of a century, my equal before the Lord, really my superior. And now in my old age, she has again become the girl of my dreams.
Immediately following her passing there was a tremendous outpouring of love from across the world. Great quantities of beautiful floral offerings were sent. Large contributions were made in her name to the Perpetual Education Fund and her academic chair at Brigham Young University. There were literally hundreds of letters. We have boxes filled with them from many we know and from very many we do not know. They all express admiration for her and sympathy and love for us whom she left behind.
We regret that we have been unable to respond individually to these many expressions. So I now take this occasion to thank you every one for your great kindness toward us. Thank you so very, very much, and please excuse our failure to reply. The task was beyond our capacity, but your expressions have shed an aura of comfort in our time of grief.
I am grateful to be able to say that in our long life together I cannot remember a serious quarrel. Small differences occasionally, yes, but nothing of a serious nature. I believe our marriage has been as idyllic as anyone’s could possibly be.
I recognize that many of you are similarly blessed, and I compliment you most warmly, for when all is said and done there is no association richer than the companionship of husband and wife, and nothing more portentous for good or evil than the unending consequences of marriage.
I see those consequences constantly. I see both beauty and tragedy. And so I have chosen to say a few words today on the women in our lives.
I begin with the Creation of the world.
We read in the book of Genesis and in the book of Moses of that great, singular, and remarkable undertaking. The Almighty was the architect of that creation. Under His direction it was executed by His Beloved Son, the Great Jehovah, who was assisted by Michael, the archangel.
There came first the forming of heaven and earth, to be followed by the separation of the light from the darkness. The waters were removed from the land. Then came vegetation, followed by the animals. There followed the crowning creation of man. Genesis records that “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31).
But the process was not complete.
“For Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
“And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman” (Gen. 2:20–23).
And so Eve became God’s final creation, the grand summation of all of the marvelous work that had gone before.
Notwithstanding this preeminence given the creation of woman, she has so frequently through the ages been relegated to a secondary position. She has been put down. She has been denigrated. She has been enslaved. She has been abused. And yet some few of the greatest characters of scripture have been women of integrity, accomplishment, and faith.
We have Esther, Naomi, and Ruth of the Old Testament. We have Sariah of the Book of Mormon. We have Mary, the very mother of the Redeemer of the world. We have her as the chosen of God, described by Nephi as “a virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins” (1 Ne. 11:15).
She it was who carried the child Jesus into Egypt to save His life from the wrath of Herod. She it was who nurtured Him in His boyhood and young manhood. She stood before Him when His pain-wracked body hung upon the cross on Calvary’s hill. In His suffering He said to her, “Woman, behold thy son!” And to His disciple in a plea that he care for her, He said, “Behold thy mother!” (John 19:26–27).
Crossing through His life we have Mary and Martha, and Mary of Magdala. She it was who came to the tomb that first Easter morning. And to her, a woman, He first appeared as the resurrected Lord. Why is it that even though Jesus placed woman in a position of preeminence, so many men who profess His name fail to do so?
In His grand design, when God first created man, He created a duality of the sexes. The ennobling expression of that duality is found in marriage. One individual is complementary to the other. As Paul stated, “Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord” (1 Cor. 11:11).
There is no other arrangement that meets the divine purposes of the Almighty. Man and woman are His creations. Their duality is His design. Their complementary relationships and functions are fundamental to His purposes. One is incomplete without the other.
I recognize that we have many wonderful women among us who do not have the opportunity of marriage. But they, too, make such a tremendous contribution. They serve the Church faithfully and ably. They teach in the organizations. They stand as officers.
I witnessed a very interesting thing the other day. The General Authorities were in a meeting, and the presidency of the Relief Society were there with us. These able women stood in our council room and shared with us principles of welfare and of helping those who are in distress. Our stature as officers of this Church was not diminished by what they did. Our capacities to serve were increased.
There are some men who, in a spirit of arrogance, think they are superior to women. They do not seem to realize that they would not exist but for the mother who gave them birth. When they assert their superiority they demean her. It has been said, “Man can not degrade woman without himself falling into degradation; he can not elevate her without at the same time elevating himself” (Alexander Walker, in Elbert Hubbard’s Scrap Book [1923], 204).
How very true that is. We see the bitter fruit of that degradation all about us. Divorce is one of its results. This evil runs rampant through our society. It is the outcome of disrespect for one’s marriage partner. It manifests itself in neglect, in criticism, in abuse, in abandonment. We in the Church are not immune from it.
Jesus declared, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt. 19:6).
The word man is used in the generic sense, but the fact is that it is predominantly men who bring about the conditions that lead to divorce.
After dealing with hundreds of divorce situations through the years, I am satisfied that the application of a single practice would do more than all else to solve this grievous problem.
If every husband and every wife would constantly do whatever might be possible to ensure the comfort and happiness of his or her companion, there would be very little, if any, divorce. Argument would never be heard. Accusations would never be leveled. Angry explosions would not occur. Rather, love and concern would replace abuse and meanness.
There was a popular song we sang many years ago, the lyrics of which said:
I want to be happy,
But I won’t be happy
Till I make you happy, too.
How true this is.
Every woman is a daughter of God. You cannot offend her without offending Him. I plead with the men of this Church to look for and nurture the divinity that lies within their companions. To the degree that happens, there will be harmony, peace, enrichment of family life, nurturing love.
Well did President McKay remind us that “no other success [in life] can compensate for failure in the home” (quoted from J. E. McCulloch, Home: The Savior of Civilization [1924], 42; in Conference Report, Apr. 1935, 116).
Likewise, the truth of which President Lee reminded us: “The [greatest] work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home” (“Maintain Your Place as a Woman,” Ensign, Feb. 1972, 51).
The cure for most marital troubles does not lie in divorce. It lies in repentance and forgiveness, in expressions of kindness and concern. It is to be found in application of the Golden Rule.
It is a scene of great beauty when a young man and a young woman join hands at the altar in a covenant before God that they will honor and love one another. Then how dismal the picture when a few months later, or a few years later, there are offensive remarks, mean and cutting words, raised voices, bitter accusations.
It need not be, my dear brothers and sisters. We can rise above these mean and beggarly elements in our lives (see Gal. 4:9). We can look for and recognize the divine nature in one another, which comes to us as children of our Father in Heaven. We can live together in the God-given pattern of marriage in accomplishing that of which we are capable if we will exercise discipline of self and refrain from trying to discipline our companion.
The women in our lives are creatures endowed with particular qualities, divine qualities, which cause them to reach out in kindness and with love to those about them. We can encourage that outreach if we will give them opportunity to give expression to the talents and impulses that lie within them. In our old age my beloved companion said to me quietly one evening, “You have always given me wings to fly, and I have loved you for it.”
I once knew a man who has since passed on but who insisted on making all of the decisions for his wife and children. They could not buy a pair of shoes without him. They could not take a piano lesson. They could not serve in the Church without his consent. I have since witnessed the outcome of that attitude, and that outcome is not good.
My father never hesitated to compliment my mother. We children knew that he loved her because of the way he treated her. He deferred to her. And I shall ever be profoundly grateful for his example. Many of you have been blessed likewise.
Now I might go on but it is not necessary. I wish only to give emphasis to the great, salient truth that we are all children of God, both sons and daughters, brothers and sisters.
As a father, do I love my daughters less than I love my sons? No. If I am guilty of any imbalance, it is in favor of my girls. I have said that when a man gets old he had better have daughters about him. They are so kind and good and thoughtful. I think I can say that my sons are able and wise. My daughters are clever and kind. And “my cup runneth over” (Ps. 23:5) because of this.
Women are such a necessary part of the plan of happiness which our Heavenly Father has outlined for us. That plan cannot operate without them.
Brethren, there is too much of unhappiness in the world. There is too much of misery and heartache and heartbreak. There are too many tears shed by grieving wives and daughters. There is too much negligence and abuse and unkindness.
God has given us the priesthood, and that priesthood cannot be exercised, “only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile” (D&C 121:41–42).
How thankful I am, how thankful we all must be, for the women in our lives. God bless them. May His great love distill upon them and crown them with luster and beauty, grace and faith. And may His Spirit distill upon us as men and lead us ever to hold them in respect, in gratitude, giving encouragement, strength, nurture, and love, which is the very essence of the gospel of our Redeemer and Lord. For this I humbly pray, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fathers and Sons “Do not try to control your children. Instead, listen to them, help them to learn the gospel, inspire them, and lead them toward eternal life. You are God’s agents in the care of children He has entrusted to you. Let His divine influence remain in your hearts as you teach and persuade.” BY R.M.N.

Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see!  BY  J.W.W.

Lase night was Fathers and Sons night camp outing.  My boys and I went to the lake, trying to enjoy a night out with the boys and other Fathers with their sons.  We had a dinner and around 25 Fathers with sons came to the activity and it was a lot of fun.  The boys found frogs as they came out in the darkness. 

We all set up our beds in the back of the van and had very little night's sleep.  At around 6 in the morning we were all awake and ready to go home.  We rushed the hour and a half drive home to be with the rest of the family.

I assume this activity is a great chance for Fathers to spend a little time together.  We had fun but really missed the rest of the family.  We were happy to be home.  We are not very sleepy tonight and will enjoy the comfort of home and the company of the rest of the family. 

Mothers day is tomorrow and we will try to surprise Mother with a few fun ideas we thought up during our camping trip. 

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.  BY  S.T.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zP7K7PUU_24

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thankfulness "He who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious". BY C.D.Z

I am thankful each day for the breath I breathe, the food I eat and the water I drink. To speak to the Lord and to walk and to sleep in the comfort compared to the souls that shrink. This great Father above gave us promise to keep, every word from his mouth, as we're feeding His sheep.  BY.D.R.J.

I am thankful for three Mothers.  Hard lessons to be taught need great Mothers!  When we do not uphold this life's mantle we are usually replaced by another.  The more we anger and offend others over this great Law, we are left to fend for ourselves and watch others fulfill our destiny. 

I cannot judge another for their deeds left undone, for things I have not seen nor hard feelings that are not mine.  I judge myself and seek the forgiveness of others.  No matter how great they offend, I can forgive.  As in the same, I hope to be forgiven.  I will work as hard as time allows to repent, yet my sins are not worthy of grand punishment.  They have yet to cause any harm to others, maybe just to myself. 

I have found forgiveness from each source and feel that these three Mothers have given me a great beginning.  My life here on earth has not been easy in my eyes, but I have found that it sure has been allot easier than the journey of many others.  They have seen and felt suffering that I could never imagine.  I am thankful for their choice to take upon this burden and difficult journey. 

My thankfulness reaches over many plains and rivers.  Over even the tallest mountains.  I cannot thank enough the great Mothers that made me who I am, and also Fathers that took me in.  They have fed me when needed, they have given me drink, they have sent healing kisses when my brush cleans the sink.

Sure it is confusing to contemplate having three Mothers, yet don't we all have these great people in our lives.  Aunts and Uncles that fill in for their brothers and sisters when they are not willing to complete the task of Motherhood or Fatherhood.  I will never let my personal ambitions harm one of my children.  I promise to uphold this great mantle that calls me Father.  The day I abandon this charge, I am no longer a Father.  My responsibilities and blessings will land on another. 

"There is gratitude for our mothers.

"Mother, who willingly made that personal journey into the valley of the shadow of death to give us birth, deserves our undying gratitude. One writer summed up our love for mother when he declared, 'God could not be everywhere, and so He gave us mothers.'

"While on the cruel cross of Calvary, suffering intense pain and anguish, Jesus 'saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother!' (John 19:26-27.) What a divine example of gratitude and love!" BY. T.S.M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKpfE6qwGXI&playnext=1&list=PLFBAAB55FE17FD6A1

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Praying "Don't worry about your clumsily expressed feelings. Just talk to your compassionate, understanding Father. You are His precious child whom He loves perfectly and wants to help. As you pray, recognize that Father in Heaven is near and He is listening." BY R.G.S.

I simply search for security in answers found through Prayer,
Words I send to Heaven above floating distant Where?
Who am I and what must I do, I have not found a clue,
I kneel, I search, I send seeking words to find out what is true. BY D.R.J.

As a child we can learn the importance of Prayer.  Sometimes we miss such a chance. Many of us through hard trials or not, are prompted from a superior force to search the Heavens for the answers to Who, What, Where, When, How and especially Why? Life seems very confusing ninety nine times out of one hundred.

No one is exempt from pain and suffering.  No one is exempt from Hope and Happiness.  I can remember feeling alone, hungry, homeless and shame all at the same time.  I could not help but grit my teeth and ponder the reasons.  Even then my pondering sent silent prayers seeking wisdom in such moments that lasted weeks and then months.  I felt I was doomed.  I felt hopeless.  The hunger became a constant companion, as did the reality that my situation was totally my own doing.  I could not blame the Heavens or some strange person who crossed my life's path.  I found the fault lied within. 

Even on the brink of Starvation and Death after months of seeking answers, I was given an answer.  From the least expected source.  A category 5 Hurricane was bearing down on my community.  My worries turned into Charity towards others that were in harms way. I saw deeper pain and suffering of others and I began to seek forgiveness in my own selfish behavior.  A spark of Hope was ignited.  My repentance was complete.  I could understand the need of others and I was given a way out of this Terrible yet Wonderful Trial.

The Lord is mindful of each of us and gives every one of us a right to make a choice.  We all are expected to make the right choice, BUT...we are never left alone.  I found that my biggest concern during every Trial ever lived was How can the Lord ever answer MY Prayer?  What makes me so special that He would care about me?  After what I had done, could He ever forgive me in time for my life to ever have another chance. I was soon given an answer to every Prayer that I ever made when I held my first born Son. 

Life is not easy!
Life may not seem fair!
Could you ever know Happiness without Sadness?
Could you ever know Hope without Despair?
Can you feel energized without feeling tired?
Can you feel ever feel Charity without feeling Pain?

If Charity NEVER faileth.  Then that means "Either does Pain."

When the Lord sees fit, the pain will disappear. Sadness will depart. The pain will be but a memory reminding us of the path we once traveled, reminding us never to return. If we do, this pain will return
also. 

NEVER give up.  Our Prayers will be answered.  I have no doubt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfUgVWnTA34

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Death Hope and Happiness "Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us." D.F.U

To contemplate the trial of losing family, friends, and foes,
Is remember times we had together as our sadness shows.
We try and hide our feelings fast, and bury tears of pain,
As more and more the memories flood and cause the tears to drain.

I have a great hope that I will see Grandma and Grandpa Jensen again. 
Looking into the past records and stories left behind I found that they are
just as Human as I am.  I cannot blame any failure I have made, on them.

They were wonderful examples and teachers in my life. 
I will remember their words always and HONOR their name.

They both passed away and are once again united on the other side. 

The other side of what? 

The other side of Heaven. 

Sometimes as I remember times we shared together I know
that I was in Heaven.  My great HOPE is to be able to share the
same Heaven with my own Children and Grandchildren.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiRc84kihRM

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