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,