Thursday, June 20, 2013

Miracles - Forget Me Not

My 2 year old daughter requested a hike today, so I loaded her in the backpack and off we went.  While by the lake (about three quarters of a mile from our home), I spotted forget-me-not flowers. These are my favorite flower. My great grandmother had some in her yard in Bergen, Norway. I her only once, in the summer of 1989, but this moment when she took the time to teach me about this tiny blue flowers is one of my fondest memories and always reminds me of her love. So today I thought of her and wished my little girl could meet her. This truly was a gift from Heavenly Father to see today and share with my daughter.

In October 2011, Elder Uchtdorf gave this talk. This was a message I needed to hear and was deeply touched by his use of the forget-me-not flower. Through I felt and remembered my great grandmother's love, but also the Lord's love because He inspired His apostle to use a symbol that is so important to me!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Success According the Lord

"I seek not mine own will but the will of my Father who sent me."
John 5:30

In the world we consider people to be successful based on careers, appearance, fame, money, and anything else we value.

But how does this differ from how the Lord defines success?

Lorenzo Snow, served as the fifth prophet in this day, stated, "There is a course that men and women may pursue wherein there will be no failure." (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church, Lorenzo Snow.)

This statement struck me as a bold statement, because I fear failure.  So, what is the course that allows no failure?

We must, like the Savoir, act according the will of the Lord.  To do this we must know and feel the Spirit.  We receive the guidance through the Spirit.  After Lehi and his family left Jerusalem they were given the Liahonna.  The Liahonna was like a compass.  It directed Lehi and his family on where to go and what to do.
"And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.  Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey;  Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course, and were afflicted with hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions.  And now, my son, I would that ye should understand that these things are not without a shadow; for as our fathers were slothful to give heed to this compass (now these things were temporal) they did not prosper; even so it is with things which are spiritual.  For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land."  Alma 37:40-44
The Spirit can works for us in the same way.  If we are righteous we feel the Spirit, we can feel it constantly.  This is how we know we are following the Lord's will - This is how we know we are living the Lord's definition of success.

Lorenzo Snow also said, "what we want is to have that spirit in every act of our lives and in every undertaking, whether temporal of spiritual." (Teachings.)

Our goal, under the Plan of Salvation, is to attain life with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again.  To do this we must obey the Lord's will.  Of salvation is dependent on meeting the Lord's definition of success.

How has following the Lord's will helped you know you are on the Lord's path to success?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Testimony Tuesday - Miracles

"they had ... many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.  Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works." 
Alma 37:40-41

I have been trying to look for the hand of God in my life on a more daily basis, inspired by the above verse.  The preceding verses talked about the Liahona, a compass that pointed Nephi and his family in the direction that they should go while traveling to the Americas after leaving Jerusalem.  It only worked if they were diligent to the word of God.  This was one miracle in their life daily, but Nephi could recognize the miracles that God gave them everyday. 

I know he does this in my own life, in all our lives if we look for them and recognize them. 

Here are a few of the miracles in my life within the last week.

Yesterday while driving into town (I live about 11 miles from the closest town), I felt drawn to get off an exit that I do not normally take on my way to the store.  On the way I saw a bike that was the perfect size for my 2 year old daughter, who I believe was yearning for a bike of her own.  And this bike was free, I was so grateful to able to get this for my daughter.  And it is in excellent condition.

Driving home from church on Sunday we saw a baby elk!  Seeing wildlife in the mountains always seems like a gift from God.  Yesterday we also saw a fox with its dinner. 

We went on a walk a couple days ago up to a lake near our home.  Although it is June, spring has just begun! (We live at 10,500 feet elevation).  Up by the lake we were able to see two different varieties of wildflower.  I always look for them, and one of them was so tiny that it could have been easily missed.

We went to look at the lake right outside my door one day to see if we could find any fish to show my daughter.  We could not see any in the water, but a fishermen was kind enough to get the fish he caught out of the water to show my daughter. She touched them and then was excited to go inside to eat some fish.

Two weeks ago I was asked to teach Relief Society on Father's Day.  When I looked at the lesson schedule, I was disappointed that it was not chapter 11 in the Lorenzo Snow manual (it is chapter 12).  Then this last Wednesday the teacher needed to go out of town so she asked me to teach chapter 11 two days ago.  I had felt impressed to read the lesson before the request. I was so happy to teach this lesson, the lesson really touched me and I will share later what I learned while preparing before the lesson.  

I know we can see the hand of the Lord in our life everyday, if we just look and acknowledge the small things the Lord has done for us!

What miracles have the Lord blessed you with recently?

Thursday, June 6, 2013


I always receive personal revelation through reading the scriptures.  I feel drawn to read a verse and it becomes my theme for a period of time before I move on the next one.

I love the idea of phylacteries.  A phylactery is a small leather box that a Jewish man wears around his head and left arm.  Inside the box is a piece of paper with a scripture written on it.  By wearing the scripture he is constantly reminded of Heavenly Father and the teachings contained within the scripture.  This practice developed from the scripture Deuteronomy 6:4-9,
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is bone Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.  And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates."

Picture originally found here.

Picture originally found here.

We have symbols that remind of us are devotion to Christ.  One of these is a ring with the initials or words Choose the Right.  Many Christians were a cross to remind them of the Christ and the Atonement.  When I was in high school in Alabama bracelets with the initials WWJD, What Would Jesus Do, were popular. 

My favorite thing about the phylacteries is that the scripture can be changed.  (Under Jewish custom, only certain scriptures are used.)  All you have to do is write it on a new piece of paper and switch it out.  Maybe one day I will have a bracelet with a locket where I can place my scripture theme inside. 

Here is the scripture I would currently want in my phylactery.  
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:10-20.
Lately I have been studying and pondering about protecting ourselves from the influences of the devil and the temptations he places before us.  It has becomes evident to me how important it is to literally shield ourselves from the darkness with the light and knowledge of the Savior.  Wearing this scripture would serve as a reminder to me to feel the light of the Savior about me so that I can be protected.  It would serve as a reminder of how to act so that I can have the Spirit to enlighten me.

What scripture or scriptures would you have in your phylacteries? 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Experimenting Upon The Word - Exercise Faith in the Word of God

And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.

What is faith?

Faith is not merely a wish or hope.  Faith is power.  It is the power by which God created the earth.  Joseph Smith stated, "we understand that the principle of power which existed in the bosom of God, by which the worlds were framed, was faith; and that it is by reason of this principle of power existing in the Deity, that all created things exist".  Lectures on Faith, 1:15.

Dennis E. Simmons stated, "True faith is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ—confidence and trust in Jesus Christ that leads a person to follow Him."  Dennis E. Simmons, "But If Not ...", April 2004 General Conference.

Faith is not always getting the results or answers we want.  

When we have faith it is in tune with God's will, not our own.  Our trust is in our Savior.  Our trust is in God's plan for our lives, which we do not always comprehend because we lack a perfect knowledge. But, remember, He is all-knowing. This is why we can trust in him!

How do we exercise it?

We exercise faith by being obedient to the Lord's commandments.  

So with regards to tithing, I exercise faith in Christ by paying tithing.  If I do not understand why the Lords requires tithing or what blessings He gives us, I must trust Him.  I must trust that He has a purpose to tithe His people.  

If you want to learn if the Book of Mormon is true, you must read it and trust that you will receive a witness.

If you want to share the Gospel, you must trust the Lord will help you find someone to share the Gospel with.

When have you exercised faith in your life?