Saturday, October 13, 2012

Remember the Sabbath

"And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day; For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High."
— Doctrine & Covenants 59:9-10

How many of us truly keep the Sabbath day holy? Do we even know what that means anymore? 

When the children of Israel were delivered from Egypt, the Lord God gave them this commandment concerning the Sabbath day —

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates."
— Exodus 20:8-10

Many may think, "I keep the Sabbath day holy because I go to church." But what about after you go to church? Do you go shopping? Do you go out to eat with family? Do you go watch or participate in sports events? Do you spend your day online or watching TV programs?

Which of these activities worships the Lord? The answer is none of them. The Sabbath was made so we can spend our time worshipping the Lord, learning His gospel, and serving others. It is not a day to spend working, inside or outside our homes, and it is not a day to make others work for us. 

Think of the store employees where you shop on Sunday. Think of the waiter at the restaurant where you have Sunday brunch. They cannot keep the Sabbath day holy because they have to work for YOU. In a way, you are turning them into your manservant or maidservant the Lord spoke of.

I could spend all day listing do's and don'ts for appropriate Sabbath activity. But in reality, all any of us has to do is answer one simple question — Do my Sabbath activities help me and others think of and worship God?

Spencer W. Kimball said, "Sometimes Sabbath observance is characterized as a matter of sacrifice and self-denial, but it is not so. It is merely a matter of scheduling and choosing seasons. There is time enough, particularly in our era of the world’s history, during the six days of the week in which to do our work and play. Much can be done to organize and encourage weekday activities, avoiding the Sabbath."

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
— Ecclesiastes 3:1

There is a time and season to do everything. The Sabbath day is the "season" of worship and service. Everything else can be done the rest of the week. The Sabbath day is a gift from God for us to rest and rejuvenate our bodies and spirits. Take this opportunity to accept God's gift and use it as it was meant to be.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sweet and Simple Thursday

Monday, October 8, 2012

Come Unto Christ Through Repentance

"Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more. By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins — behold, he will confess them and forsake them."
— Doctrine & Covenants 58:42-43

Christ made an atonement for us - he suffered for our sins in the garden of Gethsemane, he died for us on the hill called Calvary, then he was resurrected so that we might all live again. 

The Lord has said that no unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of God. We must be washed clean through the blood of Jesus Christ. How exactly do we do this? In addition to having faith in Christ, and being baptized, we must also repent of our sins. The verse above gives us the key to repentance — we must confess and forsake our sins. 

Confession is a powerful exercise in humility. To fall on our knees and confess to God our sins requires us to admit that we are not perfect, that we make mistakes, that we are not always right and we know it. We have to accept the fact that we aren't going anywhere in our progression towards salvation without Christ's atonement - His grace and mercy -  to bring us into God's presence. We must confess our wrongdoings and sincerely ask for God's forgiveness so we can be cleansed through the blood of the Lamb.

Forsaking our sins can be very difficult. After acknowledging what we did is wrong, we have to master ourselves — our tempers, our habits, our tongues, our thoughts — to overcome our sins. Again, this can only truly be done through Christ's grace and mercy. Forsaking our sins requires daily (or even hourly!) prayer, asking for God's strength and love to overcome our natural man. 

"For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."
— Mosiah 3:19

When we are patient, humble, and meek, we can truly repent of our sins and become more like Christ. We can become clean through the blood of the Lamb and be worthy to enter His presence.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sweet and Simple Thursday

Friday, September 28, 2012

Marriage Is Ordained Of God

"And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. Wherefore, it is lawful that he should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer to end of its creation."
— Doctrine & Covenants 49:15-16 

 Marriage is ordained of God. It is where we find the fulfillment of our creation. It is a divine crucible where we can attain Christ-like qualities better than any other place or circumstance in our lives. Marriage is the best place to learn humility, sacrifice, service, obedience to God, love for our fellow man, endurance, joy, patience..... the list goes on and on.

Marriage is the best institution where a man and woman can work together in the journey of parenthood, blessing and succoring each other as they learn and grow and watch their children do the same. Life is a tough road to walk. How happy I am that God's plan does not mean for us to walk that road alone!

I have been so fortunate and blessed to walk this road with my sweetheart for the last 14 years. It's been no picnic - there has been heartache and pain between us as well as joy and happiness, but that is part of God's plan. We will never realize and appreciate the good if we don't experience the bad. Today I thank my Father in Heaven for the blessings he has shared with me through my marriage. He has been so good to me!

With love,

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sweet and Simple Thursday

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sweet and Simple Thursday

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On My Heart

For the last few days I've been stuck in my scripture reading. I have reached some verses God REALLY wants me to blog about, but for some reason I've been hesitating. So as I write this, I have a prayer in my heart that God's voice will speak through me and touch those it is meant to touch.

"And this is my gospel—repentance and baptism by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which showeth all things, and teacheth the peaceable things of the kingdom."
— Doctrine & Covenants 39:6

Last fall I participated in a MOPS program at a local church. Most of the women in my group attend this church, but I do not. One day I asked the women in my group what the church's stand was on baptism - was it necessary or not. The group leader said the church did not hold baptism to be necessary, it was just a way to show other people that you have chosen to follow Christ. Then some women even said there was nothing in the scriptures that said baptism was necessary.

I was shocked. I couldn't believe these women had just said this. The first thing that came to my mind was Jesus's own words in the bible —

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
— John 3:5

That is as straightforward as you can get, and yet here were women, members of a 'bible' church, who believed the bible didn't teach the necessity of baptism.

Baptism is an ordinance. An ordinance is a physical performance showing you have made a covenant with God. All ordinances must be performed by someone having authority from God. Jesus taught not only in word, but in deed that this ordinance is necessary for EVERYONE, even Himself.

"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness."
— Matthew 3:13-15

Even Jesus, the sinless one, had to make this covenant with God. His pure example shows us plainly that everyone, in order to follow in His footsteps, must be baptized. Jesus didn't go to just anyone to be baptized. He went to John, who had authority from God to perform this ordinance.

"Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on my name, and you shall receive my Spirit, and a blessing so great as you never have known."
— Doctrine & Covenants 39:10

On the day of Pentecost, when the apostles and disciples of Christ were filled with the spirit of the Lord, Peter also taught of the importance of baptism.

"Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
Acts 2:37-38

As I mentioned earlier, when you are baptized you enter into a covenant with God. A covenant is a promise between two or more parties. The covenant of baptism says that the disciple being baptized takes upon them the name of Christ, and God in turn will bless them with His spirit - specifically by giving them the gift of the Holy Ghost. This gift is also given by one having authority from God. It is a marvelous gift - to always have the Lord's spirit with you, not just when you're being good, or when you need answer to prayer, but ALWAYS.

I was baptized when I was eight years old. My father, an ordained elder in my church, baptized me and later laid his hands on my head and confirmed me with the gift of the Holy Ghost. I don't remember too much about that day (except the white jumper I was wearing was too big and the pants legs unrolled while I was in the water.) But I am thankful to my parents for teaching me in my childhood the importance of baptism and of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. This special knowledge has carried me through my life, blessing me and my family in so many ways.

With love,

Friday, September 14, 2012

Waiting to See Them Again

"For a trump shall sound both long and loud, even as upon Mount Sinai, and all the earth shall quake, and they shall come forth — yea, even the dead which died in me, to receive a crown of righteousness, and to be clothed upon, even as I am, to be with me, that we may be one."
— Doctrine & Covenants 29:13

I miss my grandmothers a lot. I often think about them and wish I could see them again. They both passed away when I was newly married. I thought I knew them pretty well, but only as a child does. I now realize there are so many things I wish I knew about them as women. Like how they raised their children, and how they worked day by day to keep their marriages strong. How did they find the strength to battle their daily struggles?

I am so happy that I will see them again one day. For the Lord has given everyone a special gift — the resurrection. Through His loving grace and mercy, EVERYONE will be resurrected one day, both the good and the bad. This is a gift we don't have to choose to accept. It is ours forever. We will all be raised again and be reunited with our Lord and Savior, and with our loved ones.

I personally cannot wait for that day!

With love,

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sweet and Simple Thursday Link Up Party

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In Remembrance

I had just set a new goal to get up early and exercise. I had found an aerobics show on cable that I liked, and I was working hard at dragging myself out of bed in time for the show.

So this particular morning started out like the rest - sleepy walk into my daughter's room, pull her out of her crib, go into the kitchen to get her bottle, then set her down on the floor as I turn on the TV.

But that's when things changed.

The first thing that greeted me on the TV screen was the twin towers in New York, with smoke billowing from the tops. I remember being very confused, thinking "Are they talking about a new action movie??" But no, this was real and happening right now.

I pulled my daughter up into my lap and just held onto her as my eyes were glued to the screen. Eventually I called my mother, who was sleeping in and couldn't figure out what I was talking about. Then I called my sister. She was also glued to her TV, and we both sat there with the phone to our ears, not saying much, just watching.

I remember the grief I felt that week. I truly felt like someone I knew had died. I was depressed. I couldn't think of anything else. I remember taking my daughter to the playground that afternoon and watching the sky - it was so empty. A few days later I sat on my front step, lit a candle and sang a hymn. My husband sat with me.

Last year for this anniversary, I pulled up the youtube videos and watched them. My children (except for my oldest) had never seen them, and they were as shocked to watch them as I was that first day.

So many memories. So much sadness. I will never forget.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Choose For Yourself (SAST Link Up)

A man went grocery shopping, and wanted to buy some soup. He found two different brands that both looked good, but he only needed one can of soup. Which one should he buy? He read the labels and studied the ingredients. He compared the prices. They both looked good, and the man couldn't make up his mind. So the man prayed about it. Which can of soup would God have me buy? After prayer, the man felt he had received an answer, put one can of soup in his cart, and went to make his purchase.

Some may say, "Wow, what a spiritual man! He even prays over what food he will buy." But in fact the man in this story has forgotten the blessing God has given us to choose for ourselves.

"For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness. For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward."
— Doctrine & Covenants 58:26-28

God has given everyone the divine gift to choose for themselves the path they will take, and he will never take that gift away from us. In the Old Testament, the prophet Joshua said, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve" (Joshua 24:15). Sometimes our choices are between good and evil, and sometimes our choices are between good and good. Sometimes it doesn't matter to God which choice we make -- "Should I wear my red socks or my blue ones? Should I buy the chicken soup or the tomato?" 

Don't get me wrong - there are some choices that take a lot of study and prayer, but do not feel you must be directed in every single choice you make. If you are studying God's word daily, praying daily, and always looking for the opportunity to do good, you will not be led astray. Be confident in the gifts God has given you of free will, and show Him you are confident and capable of choosing the right. Have faith in yourself!

With love,


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Seek This Jesus

"And now, I would commend you to 
Seek This Jesus 

of whom the Prophets and Apostles have written, 

that the grace of 
God the Father
and also the Lord Jesus Christ
and the Holy Ghost
which beareth record of them, 

may be and abide in you forever. Amen."
— Ether 12:41

Letting Go Of Weakness

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
— Ether 12:27

When I was young and single, one time I said to myself, "I'm doing pretty good. I'm an honest person, I'm kind, I do what I'm supposed to do. I think I'm living a fairly perfect life." Within a day or two I made a terrible mistake that brought me to my knees. I was miserable. I was ashamed. I knelt in prayer and pleaded with God to forgive my mistake, and to forgive me for being so proud.

We all have weaknesses. Some weaknesses are things we have very little control over, like physical ailments and limitations. Other weaknesses have to do with willpower (or the lack thereof) and desire to give into temptations. Maybe we're too proud. Maybe we're too afraid to take that step into the unknown - we just want to stay in our comfy spot.

When we come unto Christ, He will show unto us our weaknesses. Not to hold them over our heads as a threat to do better, but to invite us to become better. To show us HOW to become better. He wants us to become like him - full of love and obedience to our Father in Heaven. But we can't become like him when we are weak. We must be made strong. Through Christ.

BUT - He won't strengthen us if we don't want to be. His grace is sufficient for us, but only if we accept the grace He offers us. God won't force anyone to heaven. We have to willingly accept this opportunity. And we accept it by humbling ourselves before Him. We must be willing to let go of our weaknesses, and put on the strength of Christ. 

Are you willing to let go of your weaknesses? Think about it - those little (or big) temptations you give in to - are you willing to let go of those things? Can you let go of the hurt someone caused you? Can you let go of your pride? Only when we are truly willing to let go, and humbly kneel before God in prayer, then is His grace sufficient for us, to strengthen us. Then will Christ begin to strengthen us and help us overcome and cast aside our weaknesses.

Then we can say with Paul, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Phillipians 4:13)

With love,

Thursday, August 30, 2012

SAST Link Up Party

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Abide In The Lord's Territory

I had been invited to a summer swim party held by a family in my church. Lots of church members attended, and everyone was having a great time. At one point, some young women arrived at the party, and changed into their swimsuits. They had chosen to wear very immodest swimwear, and were happily snapping pictures of each other in them with their friends. Soon after their arrival, one man turned to his wife and told her he needed to leave. He was very uncomfortable being around women so immodestly dressed. So the couple hastily packed up their things, said their goodbyes, and left.

I'm sure this was a difficult decision for this couple. Everyone was having fun and enjoying themselves. It seemed like a simple thing to just ignore or avoid these young women during the party. But this man could see the shades of grey in this situation. He didn't want to have these images stuck in his mind forever, and I'm sure it would be really awkward to greet someone at church when all you can remember is how they looked in immodest clothing.

Ulisses Soares, a leader in the LDS church, states, "Our daily question must be, "Do my actions place me in the Lord's territory or in the enemy's territory?" If we are in the Lord's territory, we will have no desire to do wrong. If we are in the devil's territory, we lose the spirit of the Lord, and even our ability to think or reason properly can become impaired.

We know that Jesus Christ was sinless. But the scriptures say he experienced temptation of every kind, even more than mortal men can handle. So how did he remain sinless? He did not give heed unto the temptation. Pure and simple. He saw the temptation, he turned his back on it, and thought about it no more. If Christ can do that, experiencing more than we are capable of, then surely we can do that as well.

Let's take up the challenge to become more like our Savior. Follow His example to seek after that which is good and right, and abide in the Lord's territory, so we can always have the Spirit of the Lord with us.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

SAST Link Up Party

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Endure To The End

"And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day."
— 3 Nephi 27:6

Endure to the end.

I didn't like this phrase as a teenager. I didn't really understand what it meant. I always pictured some terrible beast of burden, struggling through the mire, getting caught up in the muck and being sucked down to his death. I particularly remember giving my Sunday School teachers grief whenever they taught a lesson about this. "But what does it mean?" I would shout. "What are we supposed to endure?"

My parents divorced when I was 15. At first I was very supportive of my mother in this decision, but soon I spurned both of my parents and wondered if it were possible for any adult to have a loving, lasting marriage or a happy, fulfilled life. Enduring to the end meant suffering through grief and pain until you die. And that's all that life had to offer.

Today I'm no longer a rebellious teenager, I have found the love of my life, and together we have built a loving marriage and family. I have learned that life has SO MUCH to offer, both good and bad. I have learned that it is possible for two adults to build a loving, lasting marriage. I have learned that life is not just grief and pain, but pleasure and joy as well. 

But most importantly, I have learned what 'endure to the end' really means. It means to remain faithful to God. No matter what happens, what bumps and jolts you travel over, be faithful unto God. Trust in His abiding love, and have peace in your heart. Do not give up, do not fear, do not doubt, do not let go. Just trust in the love and devotion our Savior Jesus Christ has for you. He died for us. He wants us to succeed, and He will walk with us daily if we choose to walk with Him.

Life is a beautiful journey. It's not something just to be endured, but enjoyed.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I Am Blogging For Christ

This is a beautiful video I just ran across this morning. Isn't it wonderful how many ways we can share the message of Jesus Christ all over the world?!?

With love,

Thursday, August 16, 2012

SAST Link Up Party

Hello again everyone! I'm back from my summer vacation, and I have hit the ground running, getting everything in order for the beginning of school. There are school supplies and new shoes to buy, vaccinations to get (sshhh! don't tell the kids!) open houses to attend, and backpacks to pack.

But first, let's take a minute and enjoy a link-up party!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Things in Common

"And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."
— 2 Nephi 25:26

I have received many comments to my blog that start like this—
"I don't agree with Mormon theology or doctrine, BUT I do agree that Jesus Christ is our Savior...."

It pleases me to hear that I find this important common ground with readers. To all of you who find yourself in agreement with this statement, I want to assure you of one thing —

Mormons believe in Jesus Christ. If there is one thing that frustrates and saddens me more than anything else, it is the false belief that Mormons are not Christians. The first principle of Mormon doctrine is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus has provided the means where we can come back into the presence of our Father in Heaven. He has atoned for the sins of the world, and it is by the grace of His atonement that we partake in the resurrection of the dead and can receive remission, or full forgiveness, of our sins.

There are a lot more things that comprise Mormon doctrine, but this is the core of our beliefs. For all of you out there who are wary of Mormon doctrine and theology, please accept my witness of Jesus Christ and don't be afraid anymore. Without Jesus Christ, we wouldn't have a religion. Without Jesus Christ, we don't have salvation. 

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I stand united with all other Christians around the world, no matter what belief system you adhere to. Let us focus on the things we have in common, not our differences. A house divided against itself cannont stand. Be open and welcoming to all those who profess a love of and faith in Jesus Christ, and make the "house" of Christianity across the world strong and unshakeable.

With love,

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Patterns in Scripture

"Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance.."
— Alma 26:22

Throughout the scriptures are patterns. This particular verse shows an excellent example of an if/then pattern — IF you adhere to a gospel principle, THEN you receive a blessing.

Let's look at this scripture to find the IF portion of the pattern.

"Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance.."

This pattern has four gospel principles that are essential for the pattern to work:

1. Repentance — This is a very important, yet simple gospel principle. When you do something wrong, or sin, you must realize that your actions were wrong, apologize, and make things right. Three simple yet crucial steps.

2. Exercise faith — In Ether 12:6 it says, "I would show the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for he receive not witness until after the trial of your faith." God will not bless us until we show we have faith in Him and his power. This must happen first before He can bless us.

3. Bring forth good works — If you are exercising faith, then you are bringing forth good works. Did you catch that second pattern? If you have faith in Jesus Christ, then it is the natural result that you are acting on it. For example, if you have faith that God answers prayer, then naturally you will pray for help from God when you need it. The cause (faith) will bring its own effect (good works). Good works don't save you, because they are the natural result of faith. It's the faith that saves you. If you truly have faith in Jesus Christ, you will naturally be drawn to prayer, scripture study, self sacrifice, good thoughts, etc. You won't be perfect at it, because the natural man is corrupt. To perfect yourself, you will have to work at these things, but your faith will naturally bring these effects, and the stronger your faith becomes, the greater the good works will manifest themselves in your life.

4. Pray continually without ceasing — again, this is one of the natural results of having faith in Christ. It is a habit that does need practice, but the greater your faith, the more willing you will be to turn to God in prayer at anytime and in any circumstance.

Let's review and focus on the THEN part of our scripture—

"Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance.."

There are three blessings here that are a result of the four gospel principles we have discussed:

1. It is given to know the mysteries of God
2. It is given to have things revealed that have never been revealed before

These first two I have listed together because they both require personal revelation. This scripture states that God can reveal mysteries to us, things we have never known before. How does he do that? By the power of the Holy Ghost. Moroni 10:5 states, "By the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." That is the job of the Holy Ghost — to manifest truth to us, whether it is truth we have already heard or not. I have personally experienced this blessing as I have read the scriptures. The Holy Ghost will speak to my mind and help me understand what I read (mysteries). I will suddenly see different facets and aspects of the words I read that I have never seen before (things revealed), and see ways to apply the words to my life or find answers to prayer as I read.

Isn't this just a wonderful blessing? A promise to receive understanding and knowledge and wisdom from God – and all just by exercising our faith day by day, bit by bit. What a powerful promise!

3. Bring thousands of souls to repentance — This part of the pattern brings it around full circle. Do you remember what the first part of the IF statement was? That's right, repentance! And now that you have been through the entire pattern, you have the opportunity to bring others through the pattern, and let it repeat and repeat unendingly. How amazing is that! I personally have not brought thousands to repentance, but I always pray that my blog is a vehicle or instrument in the Lord's hands to bring about His will. Who knows? Maybe this message will touch one person's heart today and bring them to act on the pattern, then they will touch someone else, who will touch someone else....

Today I challenge you to work on this pattern in your own life, and look for more patterns in scripture. See how many ways you can enrich your life today.

With love,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sweet & Simple Thursday (SAST Link-Up)

Today I'm blogging from my mother's house in Draper, Utah. Having a great vacation with the kids (and eating WAY too much fast food!) I hope everyone's summer is going well. Thank you to everyone who has linked up at SAST in the past couple weeks. And I apologize for the little snafoo with last week's link up. Hopefully this week's link up party will go much better :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Salt Of The Earth

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the salt of the earth; but if the salt shall lose its savor wherewith shall the earth be salted? The salt shall be thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and to be trodden under foot of men."
– 3 Nephi 12:13 (see also Matthew 5:13)

Salt is used to bring out the flavor in dishes, and also used as a preservative. It is a valuable mineral, and has been used in some ancient cultures as a form of money. So when Christ teaches us to be the salt of the earth, what does this mean? 

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we have the good news of the gospel to share with the world. We can share a spiritual flavor with those around us, and season our speech, our actions, and our lives with spirituality. We become the salt of the earth as we study the word of God, keep the commandments Christ has given us, and strive to live a life of worthiness. 

How does salt lose its savor? Have you ever really thought about this? You can keep a canister of salt on your shelf almost indefinitely, and the salt stays salty and potent indefinitely. You can mix salt in food, and it will increase the flavor and savoriness of the dish. It doesn't lose its savor. The only thing that makes salt lose its savor is mixing it with dirt.

So think about that for a minute. As God's spiritual salt, we can lose our spiritual savor when we allow filthiness into our lives. There are so many different kinds of filth that can damage our spirituality - what we say, what we do, who we associate with, things we pursue for entertainment, the list can go on and on. We have to be careful and show discretion about these things. If we do this, we will not lose our spiritual savor. 

Personally, I don't want to be cast out and trodden under God's foot, worthless to Him. There is nothing I want more than to be valuable in my Lord's eyes and to be put to good use for Him. I am made for Him and His service, and I long to stay that way.

With love,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sweet & Simple Thursday (SAST Link Up) - FIXED LINK UP!

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Rock of Our Redeemer

"And now, my sons, remember, remember that 
it is upon the rock of 
our Redeemer

who is Christ, 
the Son of God, 
that ye must build your foundation; 

that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds
yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, 
when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, 

it shall have no power over you 
to drag you down to 
the gulf of misery and endless wo, 

because of the rock upon which ye are built, 
which is a sure foundation, 

a foundation whereon if men build 
they cannot fall."
– Helaman 5:12

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Gone Swimmin' (SAST Link Up)

As you read this, I am officially on my summer vacation. Yeehaw! So my posts will be a little sparse for the next several weeks. In the meantime, keep visiting for my weekly link-up, and happy summer to you!

With love,

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Trust That God Loves You {SAST Link Up}

In high school, I memorized what would become one of my favorite scriptures of all time –

"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 path."
– Proverbs 3:5-6

Usually when we read this verse, we think about trusting God's will for our lives, and that He has a better plan for us than we can ever know. But have you ever thought of this idea: Trust in God's love for you. Trust that He loves you so much He will NEVER let you down. He will never be fickle or untrustworthy or false as a friend. He will never betray you.

Lean not unto your own worldly understanding of relationships. God does not love you by these 'rules.' He loves you by a higher, heavenly law. He loves you so much He died for you. Put your trust in Him and know that your trust is well-founded.

Sometimes it's hard for people to put this kind of trust into anyone, especially someone we cannot see or hear except in our hearts and minds. Some people have been so hurt by others they have chosen to never trust again. It's so sad to see people hurt so badly like this, it can make people bitter and resentful, and the end result is they scare away would-be true friends.

Our Savior is not scared away by your bitterness. He does not ever harbor doubts about loving you. He is always there for you, through the good and the bad. He wants to share your triumphs and cry with you in defeat. He wants to love you more than you can ever comprehend.

Trust that God loves you, and your life will be transformed.

With love,


It's time for Sweet and Simple Thursday! One of my favorite times of the week!

There were some fun and though-filled links this last week. Thank you everyone for making SAST so successful!

Jenni at Thrive @ Home Thursday shared a beautiful post about how to create a loving atmosphere in your home. Her post really resonated in my heart.

Monday, July 2, 2012

What is spiritual fasting?

In my last post I mentioned that I practice spiritual fasting. Once a month I join other members of my church and fast for 24 hours. During that time, I refrain from eating and only drink water when absolutely necessary, I pray about burdens on my heart, and pray for others that need the Lord's blessings.

The practice of fasting has been around for a very, very long time. We first see evidence of it in the Old Testament, where it is used as a natural way of showing sorrow and humility.

"And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: and I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession."
– Daniel 9:3-4

How do I fast?
Since fasting is a spiritual practice, it must always be coupled with prayer. Without prayer, you're leaving out all the spirituality and just starving yourself. I personally begin my fast with prayer on a Saturday afternoon, and end on Sunday afternoon with prayer and a family meal. During my fast, I will pray continually in my mind and heart. When hunger pains hit me, that is a good time to remember to get down on my knees in prayer.

What's the benefit of fasting?
As a teenager, the benefit of fasting was always hard to understand. I just saw it as intentionally starving myself! But now that I'm older, and have (hopefully) more mature spiritual eyes, I can see some benefits of fasting. 

"They did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God."
– Helaman 3:35

This verse explains that fasting and prayer will increase our faith, purify and sanctify our hearts, and increase our humility. When we yield our hearts unto God, we bring our hearts in alignment with the will of our Heavenly Father. 

How I know for myself –
I have personally found that fasting and prayer is a way to receive strength from God. Several years ago I was experiencing major temptation. Satan was pounding some horrible ideas into my brain, and I couldn't take it anymore!! I needed to cast Satan and his temptations out of my mind.

"Howbeit, this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."
– Matthew 17:21

Praying about it day in and day out just wasn't working, so I decided to have a personal day of fasting and prayer to plead for God's help. AND IT WORKED!!! The thoughts and feelings left my mind completely, and they have never returned since then. What a blessing that was! This special day increased my faith in the doctrine of fasting, and now I am much more willing to fast when special help is needed from above.

I encourage you to consider having your own special day of fasting and prayer. Think about what you may need special help for from God. Or perhaps you know someone else who is suffering physically, spiritually, or emotionally. Dedicate the day to prayer and fasting. I promise you God is waiting to pour His blessings down upon you as you witness your faith in Him.

With love,

Friday, June 29, 2012

Daily Manna From Heaven

"Whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery...and land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven."
– Helaman 3:29-30

In the last few weeks I have become a morning person. I set my alarm so I can get up an hour before any of the kids do. I pour my breakfast drink, sit down at my computer, and pull out my scriptures. This is the time I have to start my day right, studying God's word.

In Exodus, the children of Israel were blessed with manna from heaven. They had to go out early every morning to collect it, and they could only gather enough for that one day, because it wouldn't keep through the night.

"And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted."
– Exodus 16:21

I have tried studying my scriptures during different times of the day, but early morning seems to work the best for me. Not only do I have some dedicated, personal time with (almost) no interruptions, but it clears my mind and sets my feet on the Lord's path first thing, before other distractions and responsibilities creep up on my day. If I try to read later in the day, I never have more than one or two minutes to sit by myself before someone or something needs my attention. Like the manna, my opportunity for scripture study has melted away, and I have to try again the next day.

I have also found that daily scripture study does my heart and spirit good. Like a daily ration of manna, it feeds my soul, and fills my belly with peace and comfort. My faith is strengthened as I read gospel truth and study the words of Christ and His prophets. 

I wouldn't ever consider intentionally going without food for an entire day (unless I'm fasting, which I will talk about later.) So why should I consider going without spiritual food for an entire day? Our spirits truly pine for the presence of God, and you can feel this when you read the scriptures and feel your heart rejoice as you read.

I encourage you to start today and read your scriptures daily. Read them early and start your day right with spiritual manna from heaven.

With love,