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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Is it really Great?


A little is too much! I've lived long enough to see the degenerating effect that choosing entertainment that dulls and crushes the spirit has had on society. Slowly we are being lead downward as more and more we excuse "just a little bad".  Motivated by greed, those who pander the base and the crude are making themselves rich as they weaken our souls. 

"The books you read, the magazines you read, the videos you look at, the television programs you look at, the shows you go to, all have an effect on you and will do if you subject yourself to the influence of those titillating kinds of things which are designed to make you poor and somebody else rich. Stay away from them." 

Gordon D. Hinckley Prophet and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1995 to 2008

https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-of-presidents-of-the-church-gordon-b-hinckley/chapter-7-the-whispering-of-the-spirit?lang=eng

Sunday, April 16, 2017

He Is My Example

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-10-025-he-is-risen?category=final-events&lang=eng

This video reminds me of not only that we can live forever because of the Savior's sacrifice, but reminds me how to live now.  I am so impressed by the Savior's great love and willingness to suffer the consequences of our mistakes, so that we can learn and grow. He does not waver from what He knows must be done to help us, even when socially persecuted and threatened with death.  He is the perfect example. He is who I desire to become like.

Here are links to videos of the Savior's last week. They help me experience the last week of the Savior's life on this earth.
https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-10-025-he-is-risen?category=final-events&lang=eng

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Easter Thoughts of My Savior

For God So Loved the World
https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-10-042-for-god-so-loved-the-world?category=topics/easter&lang=eng

Our Savior brings hope and peace to my life. He is my example and through his power I can grow.

Easter

When birds sing again
and green shoots push through bare ground;
When seemingly dead twigs
burst into blossom ,
and newness sparkles in the air;
We remember our Savior
who brought new life to man
giving us hope that after death
our bodies will live again,
and that our spirits may be healed,
and with new life,
blossom into greatness.




Easter Thoughts
by Cheryl Merrick
The depth of His love and sacrifice
I can not comprehend,
but I feel it strengthening my soul.

His determined desire and patience
in helping me experience happiness
is more than I can understand,
but I know it is there.

Peacefully,
I feel my fears and frustrations
dissolving
as my faith
in His loving wisdom
grows. 

Why Do I Celebrate Easter?


Because of Him

To many Easter is just a traditional holiday; a day when they celebrate spring; a day of bunnies, chicks, chocolate, and Easter egg hunts. Of course I'm ready for a celebration when spring finally comes, but this is not why I celebrate Easter. Like me, some remember that the bunnies, chicks, and eggs are to remind us of new life. They represent the hope for the future that we have through the atonement of our Savior.

Some people claim that when a person dies, life is over.  They are right that we do not have the power to refuse to die, or to bring someone back to life. Though we do not have such power, our God, our creator, surely does. Through the exercise of His power, the Savior made it so that all men's spirit and body can be eternally reunited.  We will then be a complete soul; not just a spirit.

Yes, everyone will live forever, but think about that more closely. Think about being as you are -- forever!  I find that a scary thought.  It reminds me of the book, Tuck Everlasting, where a family drinks from a spring and finds that they remain as they are; not only physically, but emotionally and mentally. There is no change. Just living forever even with a body that doesn't change, isn't enough for me. If I couldn't change, if I couldn't progress, if I were doomed to repeat my mistakes, I know I would be miserable!

This is why I celebrate Easter. It is a time to especially remember the gifts our Savior has given us.  Not only has He made it so that we have the opportunity to live forever, but to change and grow -- forever.  Our Savior has given us hope. Hurts can be healed, wrongs can be righted, mistakes repented of, relationships mended, and character perfected. I am so grateful for our Savior's love and gift of hope. I feel peace knowing that, though His power,  I can change today and always. This is why I joyfully celebrate Easter!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Faith in Future Blessings


I have always loved the story of Joseph being sold into Egypt. Even after his older brothers sell him into Egypt, he doesn't become bitter. He keeps trying to do his best and never loses faith in his Heavenly Father. Eventually, he becomes a ruler in Egypt, second only to the Pharaoh, forgives his brothers, and saves his entire family from starvation. (This picture shows Jacob, Joseph's father, before he dies blessing Joseph while his brothers watch.) Even though he was sold into slavery and thrown into a dungeon, he did not give up hope. In time, the Lord turned all the seeming detours into great blessings. 

I could not see the future blessings when we moved last May, and had to leave all our children and grandchildren. I couldn't see that our move would really be the answer to my deepest prayers. We especially wanted to help our youngest daughter with their baby, but we felt it was right to move, so we did. Now, instead of having to drive an hour battling the congested big city freeway traffic, sometimes icy roads, and pollution to visit them, they will be living just five minutes away from us. The Lord surely moves in mysterious ways. We never expected that they would move here, or that our prayers would be answered in this way. I could never have foreseen that moving four hours away would result in the opportunity to live close by each other and give the support we wanted, and they needed. I'm learning more and more to be like Joseph and trust the Lord's far greater wisdom. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Blessings in Disguise

I like this poster. Our adversity, is often just blessing in disguise. 

Looking back, I can see that my life has been filled with many blessings in disguise. Of course they didn't seem like "blessings" at all when I was experiencing them. How could I have known that having poor health with lots of allergies was really an opportunity to break with some dysfunctional family traditions, would help me learn to be more assertive and compassionate, strengthen my marriage, help me spend more time with my children and help them become more capable adults, and give me many opportunities for service.

This last year there have been many obvious blessing such as knowing we should move to the St George area to help improve my health, and finding a new home there in just four days. Far less obvious was the blessing of being felt alone in our new home for a month to unpack and get settled. I gained a lot of confidence in my abilities. It got me back up on my feet after being bedridden for so many years. During this time there were other blessings. One was that the city asphalted the road in front of our home. Our old neighbors had moved to the St George area a few years before and were now our neighbors again. They took me in for the day which gave me the support I needed at that time. Also, I really smacked my index finger trying to put furniture together which led to my finding a new doctor in the area.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Given More than What I Asked For

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2012-01-014-the-will-of-god?category=topics/faith&lang=eng
This is one of my favorite stories. I have experienced a lot of "pruning" in my life.

Most of us consider our prayers answered when we receive what we asked for-- right now. Is that really how prayers are answered? Almost exactly a year ago, I prayed for help to get better. Every medical option and test had been tried, but I was still very ill. As the months passed, my health became worse and worse till I could barely stand and could only get down some pureed baby food. Were my prayers answered? Yes.  Did I immediately receive the miraculous healing I desired? No. Has my health improved since last February? Definitely!

Sounds confusing? Yes, I didn't get what I asked for, instead I got what I really wanted-- when the time was right.  I've heard it said that we ask for help building a shack only to watch the Lord knock it down in preparation for building a mansion. My life had some major demolition. When all the dust settled, I had a lovely home in an area where I could be outside and exercise. My husband was able to finally retire, so we could spend more time together. I could breathe better in the clean dry air and my lungs are healing away from all the city pollution. Not only has my health improved, but the quality of my life is better than I had hoped for.

I was thinking small. I was just peering through a crack in the fence, while the Lord could see the whole field. He knew what I really needed to heal, and He helped me finally see it for myself.  When I prayed for help, He gave me the impression to "Go to St George", then He let me discover how much better I felt there. Becoming so ill when I returned to our old home, helped my husband and me understand what we needed to do. It also gave me the determination and courage to leave my home of 40 years and our family and move to a new area.

So, were my prayers answered? Yes, and I was given far more than I had asked for.  I was given not just the opportunity to heal, but to grow.