"Motherhood is not a burden to be borne, it is a privilege to be enjoyed. It is not a trial of endurance, it is a time of celebration." Winnie Dalley

12.27.2010

The Handmaid of the Lord

These are some thoughts that I found about the virgin Mary that are specifically geared toward women. Hope everyone had a glorious Christmas!

I was quite young at the time the Lord sent His angel Gabriel to me. I had tried all my life to serve the Lord. I kept myself clean and pure and my heart and spirit virtuous. I knew the Lord and His goodness. I had faith in the prophecies concerning the Messiah, but had no idea of my role in the fulfillment of those prophecies. When the angel appeared to me he said, "Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."
I wondered at his saying and he, knowing this said, "Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest."
I wondered how this would be, seeing that I knew not a man. He told me that the Holy Ghost would come upon me and the power of the Highest would overshadow me. "For with God, nothing shall be impossible." I did not doubt at his saying, but I replied "Be it unto me according to thy word." I trusted in the word of the Lord and submitted to His will.
I went quickly to see my dear friend and cousin Elizabeth. As I greeted her, she immediately told me that I was a blessed woman. The Holy ghost had bourne witness to her before i even spoke that I was to be the mother of the Son of God, and she rejoiced with me. Her faith and testimony strengthened mine and caused me to praise the Lord.
"My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath done great things to me: and Holy is His name."
"And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation. He hath showed strength with his arm. He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath filled the hungry with good things."(Luke 1)
I know you too have felt to praise the Lord. I know you have felt the strength of His arm. What a blessed thing it is to be one of His daughters- to be a woman! He has given us all a special role- that of a woman- and as women- mothers. Whether of our own children, or of those around us...women are mothers.
My experience was definately unique, but perhaps you can relate to it. You see, I grew up in the small town of Nazareth where everyone knew what was going on in everyone else's lives. I assumed that most people would call me a sinner and not believe the miraculous nature of my conception, and I was right. I endured much persecution throughout my entire life. But, I did not fear men and I bore the burden of being misunderstood. I focused on the Lord.
You as women of our Savior's true church also have the choice to listen to the voices of the world, or to the voice of your God. Listen to Him and rejoice in Him! As you celebrate our Savior's birth at this time of the year, do celebrate! But not just during this season. Make everyday of your life a celebration of His infinite love and sacrifice for you.
And help eachother to celebrate! Women need women! Just as my relationship with my dear Elizabeth was such a strength to me, turn to and nurture eachother as women. And as Elizabeth and I rejoiced together in our miraculous motherhoods- rejoice in yours and hold the title of mother sacred in your heart. For it is sacred. Teach your children and the world what a divine and spectacular gift it is to be a mother. I know how much that role is valued by Him.
Trust in Him and submit your whole self to Him- that is where true happiness is found.
Learn to be submissive, for in reality our own will is the only thing that we can really give to the Lord, because everything else is already His.
I invite you to take time to ponder on all that our Savior has done for you, and all that he does everyday for you. I know as you listen and learn from His Holy Spirit, that your soul will magnify the Lord and your spirit will rejoice!

12.07.2010

11.29.2010

Follow-Up

So, I know I'm a week late, but I didn't forget about our value experience:) I actually had the opportunity to do this one with my Young Women as well as by myself. I did study the Proclamation again and was impressed by the very specific and different roles that Heavenly Father has given to men and women. I am grateful for the truths stated that a successful marriage and family is established and maintained on principles of "faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities....By divine design...mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children." (The Family Proclamation)
I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has given me the knowledge and the tools to raise a family in the best possible way....and so grateful that I can repent when I don't do it right!
In studying Proverbs 31 again, verse 21 stuck out to me.
"She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet." I thought that this could mean that a virtuous woman is not afraid of the storms (trials, tests) that will come in her life or the life of her family because all her household are clothed with scarlet....representing the atonement, faith in Jesus Christ and His mighty and miraculous power and ever-reaching arms of love and mercy. I really loved that. I want to be full of faith and have my whole household to be full of faith so that we won't fear the storms of life, but face each day being 'clothed' with the power that comes from having faith in and using the atonement...from trusting in and relying on Our Savior Jesus Christ. I rejoice that part of my divine role as a woman is to teach these truths to my family by example and also by word.
What thoughts or insights did you have in doing this challenge?

11.07.2010

Love Personal Progress!

I love this program! Since being in Young Women's I have been working on doing this program again with my laurels. Let me just say how much I love the organization of the church and that Heavenly Father has given a way for everyone to come to Him and learn about who they are. Though not as young a woman as I used to be, I feel so blessed and strengthened by doing these value experiences. There is one in the Divine Nature section that I thought was a fantastic thing for every woman to do, even if you've done it before. So, if you want to, let's do this value experience together and share what we have learned about being a woman and what are important attributes for womanhood and motherhood.

Divine Nature Value Experience #2

"As a (young:) woman you are blessed with divine feminine qualities. Increase your understanding of and appreciation for womanhood. Read Proverbs 31:10-31 and two talks on womanhood from a conference issue of the Church magazines. Review what "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" says about being a wife and a mother. Then ask your mother or another mother you admire what she thinks are important attribues for being a mother. List the attributes in your journal. Then choose one of those attributes and strive to develop it. After two weeks report your success to a parent or leader." (Or friend! :)

I would love to hear the insights and things you learn from doing this challenge. Hooray for womanhood!

Well Fed By This...

I read this talk yesterday morning and it was so what I needed and I didn't even know it! I love the truths taught and the beautiful simplicity and peace of the word of God. I love it!
"Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts." Jeremiah 15:16
I feel to say that after every precious moment I have to study the words of God and whenever I feel Him speak to me through the Holy Ghost. What a blessing!

LDS.org - Ensign Article - Of Things That Matter Most

10.02.2010

Good Food!!

Really, really great counsel from Julie Beck. Find the time to watch it.....it is really worth it! :)
BYUtv - BYU Women's Conference: Julie B. Beck (2010)

10.01.2010

I Love Relief Society!

I know it has been almost a week since the General Relief Society Meeting, but I loved it so very much that I couldn't let another day go by without putting it up here. I LOVE Relief Society! I get so excited when I get to go to Relief Society(I am in YW and so it doesn't happen very often). I am so grateful that Heavenly Father organized a place for women where we could go to be taught more about our divine natures and where we could work together and strengthen and help each other. I love it! I also loved the meeting last week and wanted to post just a few tidbits from it.

Our dear, sweet President Julie Beck said:
"There is a worldwide hunger among good women to know their identity, value, and importance. Studying and applying the history of Relief Society gives definition and expression to who we are as disciples and followers of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Our faithfulness and service are signs of our conversion and commitment to remember and follow Him.....The history of Relief Society teaches us that our Heavenly Father knows His daughters. He loves them, He has given them specific responsibilities, and He has spoken to and guided them during their mortal missions."

Sister Silvia H. Allred said:
"I know that each of us has a vital and essential role as a daughter of God. He has bestowed upon His daughters divine attributes for the purpose of forwarding His work. God has entrusted women with the sacred work of bearing and rearing children. No other work is more important. it is a holy calling. The noblest office for a woman is the sacred work of building eternal families, ideally in partnership with her husband."


Sister Barbara Thompson said:
"The Savior has asked us to do the things which He has done, to bear one another's burdens, to comfort those who need comfort, to mourn with those who mourn, to feed the hungry, visit the sick, to succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and to "teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom." To me these words and actions describe visiting teachers- those who minister to others.
Visiting teaching gives women the opportunity to watch over, strengthen, and teach one another. Much like a teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood is charged with the responsibility to
"watch over the Church always" and to "be with and strengthen them", a visiting teacher shows her love by prayerfully considering each woman she is called to serve."



Our inspired and wonderful example, President Thomas S. Monson counseled us:
" My dear sisters, each of you is unique. You are different from each other in many ways. There are those of you who are married. Some of you stay at home with your children, while others of you work outside your homes. Some of you are empty-nesters. There are those of you who are married but do not have children. There are those who are divorced, those who are widowed. Many of you are single women. some of you have college degrees; some of you do not. There are those who can afford the latest fashions and those who are lucky to have one appropriate Sunday outfit. Such differences are almost endless. Do these differences tempt us to judge one another?
Mother Theresa, a Catholic nun who worked among the poor in India most of her life, spoke this profound truth. "If you judge people, you have no time to love them." The Savior has admonished, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." I ask: Can we love one another, as the Savior has commanded, if we judge each other? And I answer-with Mother Theresa-"No; we cannot."
True Charity is love in action. The need for charity is everywhere....Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down; it is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others."
Love it, love it, love it!!! I am so excited to hear more of the words of my Heavenly Father through His servants this weekend! Happy feasting, everyone!
(You can read or watch the entire Relief Society meeting by going to lds.org.)





9.13.2010

Lessons From Eve

I love this by Elder Russell M. Nelson.....

"As Adam bore the responsibilities of fatherhood, so Eve bore the responsibilities of motherhood. She did not shirk them. So with welcome arms you may gratefully greet those children God may send, through your divine design as cocreator. With your husband, be obedient to the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth, as your opportunity, your spiritual guidance, your wisdom, and your health allow. You will gain joy and rejoicing in your posterity. That enrichment becomes more beautiful and precious with each passing year.
For you childless sisters and those without companions, remember the eternal timetable of the Lord is much longer than the lonely hours of your preparation or the total of this mortal life. These are only as microseconds when compared to eternity. Your willingness and worthiness are surely known to Him. The spiritual rewards of motherhood are available to all women. Nurturing the young, comforting the frightened, protecting the vulnerable, teaching and giving encouragement need not- and should not- be limited to our own children.
Sisters, be patient. I know something of the pressures you feel. Your kitchens are too small. Your budgets are too tight. Demands upon you exceed your capacity to help all you cry out to you. Through it all, "Improve the shining moments; Don't let them pass you by"(Hymns, 1985, no. 226). Take time for spiritual regeneration.
I'll share a few lines that have sustained Sister Nelson through the years. They also reflect her sense of priority:

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait 'til tomorrow.
For babies grow up,
We've learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs.
Dust, go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby,
And babies don't keep.

I'm glad Sister Nelson has not tried to be a "supermom". But she has been a "soothing" mom. This she has done simply by being herself. When priorities are in place, one can more patiently tolerate unfinished business."

Lessons from Eve by Elder Russell M. Nelson given November 1987
http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=6a5079356427b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD


9.12.2010

Degrees


I love my calling at church. I get to teach the 16-18 year old young women. They are really wonderful girls and today I had such a neat experience teaching them. We were talking about Lehonti in the Book of Mormon and how he was poisoned by degrees. He started out on the top of a mountain and refused to come down, but he gradually listened to the enticings of his enemy and was eventually overtaken and killed. I read to them a quote by Sister Elaine Dalton about how we as women and men could be poisoned 'by degrees' today, to be deceived and led astray in many different ways. She said,

"What could be more deceptive that to entice women, young and old, you and me, to be so involved in ourselves, our looks, our clothes, our body shape and size that we lose sight of our divine identity and our ability to change the world through our virtuous influence?"

As I looked into the eyes of these beautiful young women in front of me, I was overwhelmed with the great purpose that they and each of us as women have. I was so grateful to be able to bear my testimony to those sweet girls about what it means to be a woman and what our divine identity is. We are destined to be mothers for eternity....to be nurturers forever! What a magnificent purpose! I am so sad when I hear what the world tells us is important. I feel so sad when women have to prove that they are more than just mothers. What could possibly be more?! Whether we are mothers physically on this earth, or mothers in the heart, women are mothers! Motherhood is not just the act of bearing and raising children, it is a state of being. I think that mothering is love and that love extends far beyond our own families. I think that every woman has this gift of mothering in her....we either choose to nurture those feelings and learn how to develop our abilities to love and soothe and bless and serve, or we choose to quench those feelings and drown them out with the voices of the world. I believe, with Sister Dalton, that women who know and embrace their divine role can change the world through our virtuous influence! I want to lift my voice to the world and shout that I rejoice in my womanhood! I love being a woman! I want to choose to listen to the truth about who I am and not be deceived by the lies of satan, however small a degree of a lie it may be.

9.02.2010

The Power of the Mommy Instinct


I am sure a lot of you have heard about this story. There is a woman in Australia who delivered her twins premature at 27 weeks. Her daughter lived, but the doctors said that her son was dead. They handed him to her wrapped in a blanket. She unwrapped him and put him on her chest and held him. She talked to him and cuddled him and fed him some breastmilk on her finger and he started to breathe again! He totally recovered and is now a healthy 5 month old baby. I love this story! This woman didn't listen to the doctors, she listened to the spirit....even if she didn't know that was who she was listening to:) Heavenly Father works in amazing and beautiful ways!

You can read the article here...

8.31.2010

Voice of the Spirit

I love this truth! I am so grateful that Heavenly Father doesn't leave us alone on the earth. I am so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost and the peace that I felt as I watched this, and the strength that it is to my testimony every time I hear the words of God.

8.19.2010

Nourishment

I am pregnant again! Because of this wonderful blessing, I am constantly reminded of the need my physical body has for nourishment, and with a little one growing inside me, the need for nourishment is greatly increased, and cannot be ignored:) I was thinking about this tonight as I was feeling ravenously hungry (after eating just 2 hours earlier)....and then I thought about my need for spiritual nourishment. Just as my physical body needs more nourishment when I am feeding and growing a baby, I believe that my spirit needs more nourishment because I am a mother. It is my job to nurture my children and my husband, and to provide an environment where they can be spiritually nourished daily, by the Spirit of the Lord. In order to do this most important work, my own spirit must be fed constantly throughout the day.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks spoke about spiritual nourishment- what it is and how we obtain it.
He said, "God reveals Himself and His eternal truths- the spiritual food that the scriptures call the bread of life and the living water- to those who seek, who serve, who keep His commandments, and who wait and listen in humility for His teaching. Study and reason are appropriate to begin this process, but "the things of God cannot be learned solely by study and reason. Despite their essential and beneficial uses, the methods of study and reason are insufficient as ways of approaching God and understand the doctrines of His gospel. We cannot come to know the things of God while rejecting or failing to use the indispensable method God has prescribed to learn these things. The things of God must be learned in His own way, through faith in God and revelation from the Holy Ghost." (Dallin H. Oaks, Nourishing the Spirit [1996])

He goes on to emphasize just how important the role of a parent is in helping their children to be spiritually nourished. "Among the most important things parents can do for their children is to provide them with worthy examples and with opportunities for personal religious experiences. Statistical studies of Church members in North America show that the example of parents is the most important single factor in shaping the behavior and beliefs of youth. These studies also show that family experiences are the strongest methods of affecting religious behavior- clearly exceeding the effect of Church activities."

I am so grateful for the organization of the Church that guides me on how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. For He is the Living Water and the Bread of Life, and it is only through Him that our spirits can be filled and renewed every day. I am grateful to be a woman and for how Heavenly Father reaches out to me and teaches me so lovingly and personally through my every day responsibilities.

8.05.2010

New Treasure


My parents told me about the mormon channel, which is an LDS radio station. It has a really neat program called 'Conversations' which are interviews with prominent LDS figures such as members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and their wives. The most recent one was a conversation with Julie Beck and her daughters. I had the opportunity to listen to it throughout my day today and was totally inspired! I LOVE Julie Beck and her example and testimony and how her love of being a woman strengthens me. It was so neat to hear her daughters thoughts on how their lives have been influenced by their mother, as well as their grandmother. You should totally find the time to listen to it...(even if you have to keep pausing it and listening in segments because of the welcomed distractions of children etc.)

I can't quote her exactly, but I wanted to share some of her thoughts that inspired me.


She was talking about what it means to have a mother heart. She said having a mother heart is when a woman understands her identity and rejoices in being a mother. She said when we are exalted, it is the title of mother that we will hold. Eve was named the mother of all living before she ever bore a child. Every woman, whether she can bear children in this life or not, is destined to be a mother.

Her daughter said one of the things she learned from her mother and grandmother was this..."Mothers are that they might have joy!" I love that! It reminds me of a quote by President Hinckley who said, "Life is to be enjoyed, not endured." I think that goes for motherhood as well. It is to be enjoyed, not endured. Although some days require endurance and are just plain hard, if we rejoice in our divine role, the Lord will show us all of the many things that we can delight in and ENJOY! I love it!

Go to the mormon channel and listen to it! I am so grateful for the example of righteous women. I am so grateful to be part of the Relief Society organization where women can unite together in our divine purpose. What a wonderful time to be alive!

8.03.2010

The Tongue of Angels


I have been thinking a lot about words lately...mainly because I have been realizing that I say a lot of things that don't need to be said. I kept thinking about Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk from conference a few years back entitled "The Tongue of Angels". I have been studying it and really trying to follow the counsel that he gives in it. He quotes one of my favorite scriptures from the book of James who tells us of a way where we can become perfect.


"Said James: "For in many things we offend all. [But] if any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Continuing the imagery of the bridle, he writes: "Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also...ships, which though they be...great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm."

Then James makes his point: "The tongue is [also] a little member. ...[But] behold, how great a [forest] a little fire [can burn].

"...So is the tongue [a fire] among our member, ...it defileth the whole body, ...it is set on fire of hell.

"For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, ...hath been tamed of mankind:

"But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

"Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

"Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be."

Elder Holland continues, "Is this something we could all work on just a little? Is this an area in which we could each try to be a little more like a "perfect" man of woman?" Then Elder Holland speaks specifically to us women. He says, "Wives, what of the unbridled tongue in your mouth, of the power for good or ill in your words? How is it that such a lovely voice which by divine nature is so angelic, so close to the veil, so instinctively gentle and inherently kind could ever in a turn be so shrill, so biting, so acrid and untamed? A woman's words can be more piercing than any dagger ever forged, and they can drive the people they love to retreat beyond a barrier more distant than anyone in the beginning of that exchange could ever have imagined. Sisters, there is no place in that magnificent spirit of yours for acerbic or abrasive expression of any kind, including gossip or backbiting or catty remarks. Let it never be said of our home or our ward or our neighborhood that "the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity...[burning] among our members."



Well, these words are very humbling to me. I never want my words to be offensive in any manner. I am so grateful for these words from our Heavenly Father spoken through one of His apostles on the earth.


You can read the entire message from Elder Holland by following this link



Or you can watch his message by following this link (sorry, I don't know how to make the link into one word, it's kind of messy looking:)

7.17.2010


"Faith in something greater than ourselves enables us to do what we have said we'll do, to press forward when we are tired or hurt or afraid, to keep going when the challenge seems overwhelming and the course is entirely uncertain."

7.14.2010

Come to Jesus

Jesus said, "I am the light and the life of the world." (3 Nephi 9:18) I know that He is the only way to life now and hereafter. I am so grateful to feel His outstretched arms always reaching out to me. I love Him and am so grateful to know the way to happiness.

"Jesus Christ is the Way. He is Light and Life, Bread and Water, the Beginning and the End, the Resurrection and the Life, the Savior of the world, the Truth, and the Way. There is only one way to happiness and fulfillment. He is the Way. Every other way, any other way, whatever other way, is foolishness." Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge

In Him, all my insecurities fade away and He gives me self-esteem. I am so grateful for the truth that lies in Him.

Our True Identity

Sometimes I feel like I still have the insecurities of a teenager. I believe that what President Uchtdorf said is true, most of the confusion in my life comes when I forget who I am. When I remember my divine identity, I am filled with hope and the feeling that I can do whatever lies ahead of me. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father reminds me of who I am when I forget.

7.02.2010

Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God

I cried like a baby when I watched this this morning. I felt the love and acceptance of my Heavenly Father for my efforts as a mother, however imperfect they may be. Watch it and I know you will feel His great love for you as well.

6.29.2010

Create Reality

I made a new post this morning, but for some reason it posted for June 24, so you have to scroll down to find it:)

6.27.2010

Building A Ship



Ever since I have been married, when I read the account of Nephi being commanded to build a ship, it hits me on a very personal level. The Lord calls to Nephi to go to the mountain so that He can instruct him. Then He tells him, "Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee, that I may carry thy people across these waters." (1Nephi 17:8) When I read that, I hear the Lord talking to me. He wants me to build a ship, or a home..a haven...a temple, for my people...my family, that He may carry us across the waters of our life. The pattern for me is the same as it was for Nephi. He needed to go to the mountain to hear the Lord's commandments for him. I need to go to the temple, and the quiet places in my home to hear the Lord's counsel for me. Nephi didn't know how to build a ship. I don't know how to be a wife and a mother. The Lord tells Nephi, and all of us..."I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led." (1Nephi 17:13)


I know that being a woman is a calling and blessing from the Lord. It is hard work. I am so grateful to know that I can turn to the Lord every day to ask Him for help and guidance in building my family's ship. I feel His guidance as I turn to Him. I know that He loves me and that He does and will help me just as He did for Nephi. I can feel the world laughing at me sometimes just as Laman and Lemuel mocked Nephi saying..."Our brother is a fool, for he thinketh that he can build a ship; yea, and he also thinketh that he can cross these great waters."(1 Nephi 17:17) Sometimes the adversary gets me to be the one who is mocking myself..."I can't be a mother....I'm horrible at this! I have no idea what I am doing!" But thankfully, Heavenly Father's love rescues me every time. I know that I am His daughter and I know why I am here on this earth. So even when it is hard and even when I mess up, I can be rescued through the atonement of my Brother and Friend, Jesus Christ. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf told us of God's love for us...

"Think of the purest, most all-consuming love you can imagine. Now multiply that love by an infinite amount- that is the measure of God's love for you. Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God's love encompasses us completely."

How grateful I am to feel that love! His love changes everything and makes everything possible and wonderful! I am so grateful for my role as a woman and as a mother that allows me to feel His all-encompassing love as I strive to do what He has asked me to. I am so grateful for the knowledge that the gospel of Jesus Christ gives me of the true character of God. I feel to say with Ammon, "Who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of His great power, and of His mercy, and of His long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel."(Alma 26:16)

6.26.2010

Words To Live By


Our kindness may be the most persuasive argument for that which we believe. -Gordon B. Hinckley


6.24.2010

Create Reality


I was studying 1 Nephi the other morning where the angel is teaching Nephi the meaning of his father's vision of the tree of life. When I got to the part about the great and spacious building, this phrase struck me..."And the large and spacious building, which thy father saw, is vain imaginations and the pride of the children of men." The word 'imaginations' really stuck out to me, so I looked up the cross-reference in Jeremiah 7:24, which reads, "They hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward."


We know that the great and spacious building represents the world. We also know that everyone sets foot in that building at one time or another, because we are all imperfect people- and we know that when we are in the building, we are going backward and not forward. From this scripture we learn that one of the ways we can enter the building is by not living in truth....following after our own or someone else's vain imagination. Imagination- make believe- something that is not true! The Savior warned of the deceptive power of the adversary many times.... "Jesus andswered, and said unto them: Take heed that no man deceive you;...And whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived" (Joseph Smith-Matthew 1:5, 37).

President Brigham Young once said that if he could do only one thing to bless the Saints, he believed it would be to give them "eyes with which to see things as they really are."(Journal of Discourses, p. 3:221) In Jacob we learn that the Spirit "speaketh the truth...of things as they really are, and things as they really will be..."(Jacob 4:13), and in the Doctrine and Covenants we learn that truth is "knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come" (D&C 93:24).


So our spiritual safety, and our happiness here on earth is only guaranteed when we live in truth. There is so much confusion in the world and so many people who claim to know truth, as well as people who claim that there is no absolute truth. I think there is a special amount of confusion and chaos aimed specifically at women. There are so many ideas about what it means to be a woman. There are so many voices shouting at us that the noise is almost deafening.

Thankfully, we can have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost to help us live in reality every day. Elder Bednar said, "Obedience opens the door to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. And the spiritual gifts and abilities activated by the power of the Holy Ghost enable us to avoid deception- and to see, to feel, to know, to understand, and to remember things as they really are." I am so grateful for the mercy and kindness of our Heavenly Father who loves us so much that He has given us the gift of the Holy Ghost to give us power over the adversary so that we can live in truth and not be deceived! I am thankful for my responsibility as a woman to create an environment of reality for my family in our home. Heavenly Father truly does give us a way to accomplish everything He has asked.

6.22.2010

Let's Create Optimism!


Do you ever watch the news and think, "What kind of a world am I living in? What kind of a future will my children have?" I think we are all tempted to think that sometimes. But it only takes a second to think about that phrase to realize that that mindset does not come from Heavenly Father. There is a lot that is frightening in the world, but as women who believe in Jesus Christ and strive to follow Him, we are commanded to "Be not afraid, only believe" (Mark 5:36). When I find myself thinking in a state of fear, I turn to the Lord and ask Him to fill me with His spirit, which brings faith and hope and happiness. I am so grateful to be alive at this time on the earth. I am so grateful for the opportunity to raise my children in these the last days that we are living in. What a blessing to have the fulness of the gospel. I love the legacy of optimism that President Gordon B. Hinckley has left on the earth. Here are some of his words of wisdom to us...

"Stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I'm suggesting that we accentuate the positive. I'm asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue and effort...I am not suggesting that our conversation be all honey. What I am suggesting and asking is that we turn from the negativism that so permeates our society and look for the remarkable good in the land and times in which we live, that we speak of one another's virtues more than we speak of one another's faults, that optimism replace pessimism.
You are partakers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel means "good news." The voice of the Lord is a voice of gladness. I do not suggest that you simply put on rosecolored glasses to make the world look rosy. I ask, rather, that you look above and beyond the negative, the critical, the cynical, the doubtful, to the positive...Said the Lord in a dark and troubled hour to those He loved, "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).


I am grateful for these inspired words from a Prophet of God. I believe them! I believe that Heavenly Father is in control and that He loves His children and will always bless those who love Him with happiness and peace beyond measure, no matter what is going on in the world. It is a wonderful world that we live in and the greatest time to be alive!

If you feel scared about the world, or the country, watch President Hinckley's full message by clicking on this link:

http://www.byub.org/talks/talk.aspx?id=2105

6.16.2010

Truth



Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to the temple. I love the temple for many reasons, one of which is that it is there that I learn what it really means to be a woman. There is so much power that comes from the knowledge we receive there. I get distracted sometimes by listening to the voices of the world that tell me that the way my body looks is what matters most about being a woman. I love this quote by Elder M. Russel Ballard, he said, "It is, unfortunately, all too easy to illustrate the confusion and distortion of womanhood in contemporary society. Immodest, immoral, intemperate women jam the airwaves, monopolize magazines, and slink across movie screens-all while being celebrated by the world. The Apostle Paul spoke prophetically of "perilous times" that will come in the last days and specifically referenced something that may have seemed particularly perilous to him: "silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts"(2Timothy 2:1,6). Popular culture today often makes women look silly, inconsequential, mindless, and powerless. It objectifies them and disrespects them and then suggests that they are able to leave their mark on mankind only by seduction- easily the most pervasively dangerous message the adversary sends to women about themselves."


Wow. That really makes me stop in my tracks when I obsess about how many cookies I have eaten today. Yes, we should all try to be as healthy as we can, but I believe that the vast majority of women spend way too much time thinking and obsessing about how much they weigh and how they look- myself included! And when we do that, Satan wins! I am so grateful that Heavenly Father sends us the truth about what it means to be a woman through the scriptures, His prophets, and through the whisperings of The Holy Ghost. I am so grateful for the temple where I can learn and listen and remember who I am. I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father will help me when I do fall and give me strength to recognize and not listen to the noise of confusion that is the world.


6.14.2010

And Another Thing....

I wanted to post this quote with my last post, but didn't have it with me. I think this is a very profound statement and something I want to remember.

"Indeed, one of the signs of mature Latter-day Saint life is the ability to see a limitation in ourselves without letting it cast a shadow over all the many other things we do and say....It has always struck me as being sad that those among us who would not think of reprimanding our neighbor, much less a total stranger, for mistakes that have been made or weaknesses that might be evident, will nevertheless, be cruel and unforgiving to themselves. When the scriptures say to judge righteously, that means with fairness and compassion and charity. That's how we must judge ourselves. We need to be patient and forgiving of ourselves, just as we must be patient and forgiving of others."
Howard W. Hunter

6.11.2010

I Want To Be More!

There was an ad recently on a billboard where I live that went something to the effect of..."Tired of never being good enough? Come to our church where we accept you as you are." I am paraphrasing, but that was the jist. Obviously, there was a church targeting mormon women and our tendency to be perfectionists. It is true that we as women tend to be too hard on ourselves, which isn't good. However, it would break my heart to hear of anyone leaving the church because they were tired of trying to be better. No, we are not perfect. That is why our most loving Heavenly Father created the Plan of Salvation for us....so that we can become perfect, slowly but surely, day by day as we turn to our Savior and use the atonement. I for one refuse to give in to the idea that 'you will never be good enough, so you might as well stop trying.' No! I want to be more...more and more and more every day of the woman that my Father in Heaven knows that I can become. And I rejoice in my ability to become more because of my Savior. This song is the song of my heart!

6.10.2010

I've Been Thinking....

I have been thinking a lot about missionary work lately, and I've come to the conclusion that women are born missionaries. It is in our nature to reach out to others. It is in our nature to want to meet people's needs and strengthen those who are weak. It is in our nature to look outside of ourselves. These things about women are clearly manifest when you look at the role we have been given as mothers. We have the opportunity to sacrifice our own needs and comforts everyday in order to meet our children and husband's needs. Isn't that what the Savior did for all of us? So in doing those things, aren't we testifying of the Savior and being missionaries? Heavenly Father gave us this role because He knew that only in this way could we, as women, learn completely how to be like Him. We are missionaries just by developing our true womanly qualities and not listening to what the world says a woman should be.

I have been praying recently to recognize opportunities that I have to share the gospel, and I realized that I am a personal missionary to each of my children. It is my job to teach them the gospel. I am to be the light that feeds their little seeds of testimony and the watering can that pours the Living Water on them each day of their life. I am grateful for living prophets who teach me through the Spirit how to be a better missionary to my family.

Elder Neil L. Andersen admonished us in this past April Conference to speak more frequently about Jesus Christ. He said, " As you reverently speak about the Savior- in the car, on the bus, at the dinner table, as you kneel in prayer, during scripture study, or in late-night conversations- the Spirit of the Lord will accompany your words. In our world today we need more than ever Enos's words about his father to be our children's words about us: "The words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life...sunk deep into my heart. And my soul hungered; and I [knelt] down before my Maker".

I love this song "Go With Me" by Kenneth Cope. I found this video on youtube that a young man had put together before he left on his mission. The song is from Kenneth Cope's Album 'My Servant Joseph'. It is Joseph Smith singing to all of us...to go with him to inherit eternal life. I want to go with him! and I too say- to my children and to all of the world- Go With Me!

6.09.2010

Treasure The Doing

" There is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood. There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children....What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else.
We need to remember that the full commitment of motherhood and of putting children first can be difficult...There are moments of great joy and incredible fulfillment, but there are also moments of a sense of inadequacy, monotony, and frustration.
What can you do to reduce the pressure and enjoy your family more?
First, recognize that the joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction. Author Anna Quindlen reminds us not to rush past the fleeting moments. She said: "The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one most of us make....I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less."

Elder M. Russel Ballard

How grateful I am for the inspired counsel of the Lord's prophets and apostles to help us be happier and have greater direction in our lives!
(Click on the title of this post to read more from Elder Ballard)

6.08.2010

Create

I'm sure a lot of you have probably seen this...but I love it and it's worth watching over and over again! Creative Tuesdays....what did you create today, or this past week? Please share!

Today I created cheers and shouts and squeals as my hubby and I took our little ones to play at the water park. My little B hasn't smiled that big since last summer, and my little J hasn't either:)

Your turn!

6.07.2010

I Want To Shout From The Mountaintops!


I want to shout from the mountaintops how grateful I am to be a woman!! I am so grateful for our responsibilities as women. One of the most important ones that we have is of setting the tone and atmosphere in our homes. The world is a scary place sometimes, full of fear and anxiety, but ours is the great priviledge to build a haven for our families. A haven filled with light and peace and faith and love! That's our job! Isn't it fantastic?! For by doing this, we not only bless our families, but we learn how to receive revelation and inspiration and draw closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ every day...just by fulfilling our role as a woman. I was reading this morning in the Book of Mormon about faith. In Moroni 7:33 it reads, "If ye will have faith in me, ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me." I was hit with the impression of how much power the faith of a woman has to bless her family and the world. I love the power that faith in Jesus Christ brings. We live in a world dominated by fear and uncertainty...but as women of Christ, we certainly have no need to fear! We can and should see all the great good that there is in the world, and create that good in our homes. What a remarkable blessing it is to be a woman!

6.05.2010

Look to Your Mother

This past General Conference, Elder M. Russel Ballard spoke to the mothers and the daughters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. To the daughters he said, " Look to your mother. Learn from her strengths, her courage, and her faithfulness. Listen to her.....As you approach the time for marriage and young motherhood, she will be your greatest source of wisdom. No other person on earth loves you in the same way or is willing to sacrifice as much to encourage you and help you find happiness- in this life and forever. Love your mother, respect her. Listen to her. Trust her."
Today I was feeling a bit discouraged and overwhelmed by my own imperfections. I was able to spend some time talking with my mom and, as always, she said just what I needed to hear. I am so grateful for her and her love for me. I think every woman needs a mother no matter how old you are. I am grateful for the role of mother in my life....for the opportunity I have to be one, and to learn from my own and so many others. Once again, I am most grateful for the plan of happiness and how the family is central to that plan.
In what ways are you grateful for your own mother or someone else's?

6.04.2010

Make Enough of Me

I love this song by Julie de Azevedo, and I really needed to hear it this morning! It is so true that our Savior can work mighty miracles in the seemingly small events that we need help with in our lives. And He does everyday in mine.

6.03.2010

Happiness in Who We Are

"To live greatly, we must develop the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and triumph with humility. You ask, "How might we achieve these goals?" I answer, "By gaining a true perspective of who we really are!" We are sons and daughters of a living God, in whose image we have been created. Think of that: created in the image of God. We cannot sincerely hold this conviction without experiencing a profound new sense of strength and power."
President Thomas S. Monson

I love this quote by President Monson. When I grasp, even just a little, the fact that I am a literal daughter of God, it changes everything that I think and do. The knowledge of who I really am fills me with hope and happiness so great that there is no room for anything else. If I could only remember 100% of the time! Thank goodness for the Savior to catch me when I fall.


Today as I was folding this.....


I was so happy! I was folding my husband's socks and shirts and with each one, I was filled with an overwhelming love for him. I think the reason it made me so happy is because folding laundry is part of fulfilling my role as a nurturer. Julie Beck said, "To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow....Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home." Women are nurturers and it makes us happy when we do it! What made you happy that you are a woman today?

6.01.2010

Creative Tuesdays

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, educations, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before. Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty....President Brigham Young spoke to the Saints of his day..."There is a great work for the Saints to do," he said. "Progress, and improve upon and make beautiful everything around you. Cultivate the earth, and cultivate your minds. Build cities, adorn your habitations, make gardens, orchards, and vineyards, and render the earth so pleasant that when you look upon your labors you may do so with pleasure, and that angels may delight to come and visit your beautiful locations."
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf


Women are creators! It is in our nature. I have decided to have 'Creative Tuesdays' and I want your help. I want you to share things that you or women you know create. You can email it to me at lashermary@gmail.com. It can be anything from a delicious recipe you made to a smile that you created on someone's face. Read President Uchtdorf's talk 'Happiness, Your Heritage' (by clicking on the link under Good Words That Inspire) to get some ideas. I look forward to being inspired by you!!

5.31.2010

Words To Us From A Prophet of God


"We need you...the women of the Church, to stand with us and for us in stemming the tide of evil that threatens to engulf us. Together we must stand faithful and firm in the faith against superior numbers of other-minded people. It seems to me that there is a great need to rally the women of the Church to stand with and for the Brethren in stemming the tide of evil that surrounds us and in moving forward the work of our Savior. Nephi said, "Ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men, [women and children]......You are chosen to be faithful women of God in our day, to stand above pettiness, gossip, selfishness, lewdness, and all other forms of ungodliness. Recognize your divine birthright as daughters of our Heavenly Father. Be one who heals with your words as well as your hands. Seek to know the will of the Lord in your life, and then say, as did that wonderful exemplar Mary, the mother of Jesus, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word."
President Howard W. Hunter
When women are united, our influence and force for good is limitless. No wonder the adversary works so hard to pit us against one another...always trying to get us to compare ourselves with eachother and compete in one way or another. I am so grateful for the words of Prophets that remind me of who I really am and the kind of woman that I want to be. And I am most grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ that makes it possible for me to repent and to become even as He is. I love and rejoice in our Father's perfect plan for His children!

5.30.2010

Women of God


"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity."
Margaret D. Nadauld

5.29.2010

Show of Hands...

How many of you have ever felt like this?
I know most women do and pretty often! Here's what Julie Beck had to say about this:
"A good woman knows that she does not have enough time, energy, or opportunity to take care of all of the people or do all of the worthy things her heart yearns to do...A good woman must constantly resist alluring and deceptive messages from many sources telling her that she is entitled to more time away from her responsibilities and that she deserves a life of greater ease and independence. But with personal revelation, she can prioritize correctly and navigate this life confidently."
Yes! Thank you, Sister Beck!
You can read all of Sister Beck's talk from this past conference by clicking on this link:
http://www.lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-1207-3,00.html



5.28.2010

A True Queen

In a talk given to the Young Women this past conference, Sister Elaine Dalton told a story of an experience she had that taught her the meaning of what she calls "deep beauty". She had the opportunity to meet President David O. McKay and his wife Emma. She says, speaking of President McKay:

"He leaned back in his chair and reached for his wife's hand and said, "Now, young women, I would like you to meet my queen." There seated next to him was his wife, Emma Ray McKay. Although she did not wear a crown of sparkling diamonds, nor was she seated on a throne, I knew she was a true queen. Her white hair was her crown, and her pure eyes sparkled like jewels. ..Hers was a beauty that cannot be purchased. It came from years of seeking the best gifts, becoming well educated, seeking knowledge by study and also by faith. It came from years of hard work, of faithfully enduring trials with optimism, trust, strength, and courage. It came from her unwavering devotion and fidelity to her husband, her family, and the Lord.
On that fall day in Huntsville, Utah, I was reminded of my divine identity, and I learned about what I now call "deep beauty"- the kind of beauty that shines from the inside out. It is the kind of beauty that cannot be painted on, surgically created, or purchased. It is the kind of beauty that doesn't wash off. "
Here is a picture of President McKay and his queen Emma Ray. I want to be like her when I grow up.
I hope we all remember today that each one of us was born to be a queen, because we were. I am so grateful for the wonderful plan of salvation and for the part Heavenly Father has created for me, and all women.


You can read Sister Dalton's full talk by clicking on the link 'Remember Who You Are' under Good Words That Inspire.

5.27.2010

This Woman Has Deep Beauty

I am sure most of you have probably heard of this woman, Stephanie Nielsen. Her story is so beautiful, and she is such an inspiration to me and to so many women that I had to put it on this blog that celebrates women. Here is a woman who is able to rejoice in her role amidst great hardship and pain. She knows who she is and what an honor and privilege it is to be a woman. I rejoice in her example! She is truly the definition of real beauty. Her example strengthens my resolve to focus on what really matters in my own life and to not listen to what the world says is important.

5.26.2010

A Wise Woman Once Said...


"We are all in this together. We need eachother. Oh, how we need eachother...It is a sociological fact that women need women. We need deep and satisfying and loyal friendships with eachother. These friendships are a necessary source of sustenance. We need to renew our faith everyday. We need to lock arms and help build the kingdom so that it will roll forth and fill the whole earth."
Marjorie Pay Hinckley

5.25.2010

I Rejoice Through The Example Of Others


"Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O Lord God of hosts." Jeremiah 15:16
Today I rejoiced in my womanhood as I was blessed to have some time to study the word of God. I am so grateful for His spirit that He sends to teach us and testify of truth.
I was reading in the book of Ruth. I am grateful for the story of Naomi and Ruth. As I read, I was impressed with the great example and strength that Naomi was to Ruth. She must have been, because Ruth left her own mother and father and the land of her birth in order to follow Naomi...and to follow Naomi's God. Naomi was a woman whose example strengthened another. I am also grateful for Ruth's example of faith that she would follow what she felt was right in her heart.
As I pondered these women today, I thought about the many women in my life whose examples strengthen me and inspire me to fulfill my role as woman with greater love, strength and faith.
One friend in particular came to mind. She recently had a new baby and has 3 other small children. I admire so much the way that she raises her children. She is very tired, as I am sure most of you who might read this are, but she is filled with a light that radiates her whole being. I believe that light comes from the sacrifice she gives of herself to better meet the needs of her children. She told me of her desire for her children to trust her, and that desire leads her to be able to sacrifice her sleep and her own needs in order to accomplish that goal. It is clear that her children do trust her and that is so beautiful to see. I think that is the most important thing to establish when raising our children, because if they don't trust us, how will we have any power to be an example to them or teach them the ways they should go? We won't. So I am grateful this morning for the example of this righteous woman and how she embraces her role as woman.

Picture by Anthony Sweat

5.24.2010

This Made Me Happy Today

" I have a testimony gained from pondering and studying the scriptures of a plan of happiness given to us by our Father in Heaven. That plan has a part for His daughters. We have the female half to take care of, and if we don't do our part, no one else is going to do it for us. The half of our Father's plan that creates life, that nurtures souls, that promotes growth, that influences everything else was given to US! We can't delegate it. We can't pass it off to anyone. It's ours. We can refuse it, we can deny it, but it's still our part, and we're accountable for it. There will come a day when we will all remember what we knew before we were born. We will remember that we fought in a great conflict for this privilege. How do we meet this responsibility? We daily put our energies into the work that is uniquely ours to do."
Julie Beck, Relief Society General President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I too have a testimony of the divine role of women. Yesterday I was overcome by the influence I have over my children through a simple display at our breakfast table. My little J and I were eating cereal and as I finished, I drank the milk from the bowl. Upon seeing me do this, little J immediately put down his spoon and picked up his bowl and drank his milk just the same as he had seen me do (of course his dribbled all down his chin and made a big puddle on his lap:). I laughed and then was overcome with the realization that I am his greatest example of what is good and acceptable to do. Feeling a bit overwhelmed at my responsibility, I prayed for help from my Heavenly Father to be the example to my children that He wants me to be. I felt His peace and reassurance...and I rejoiced in my womanhood!

I Love Being A Woman!

I love being a woman so much! I love the goodness that is innate in women. I love the purity, virtue, and Christlike love that so many women display. I believe that this is the most wonderful time in the history of the world to be alive and to be a woman. Sometimes I feel like I am going to burst with the joy that I feel from fulfilling my role as a woman. I wanted to start this blog as a way to express my love of womanhood and all that it means to me.