Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 Primary Program Songs

As a fairly new primary president, I gave the assignment to myself and my counselors to read over the words to the songs for the program, and to write their thoughts and feelings concerning the messages of the songs. I know that this will be a great help to my dear counselor whom I've asked to write the program. For anyone else who is interested, I have decided to add a post to my blog. Maybe some of the ideas will help you in your own program or talks. HSS

Thoughts Concerning 2012 Primary Program Songs:

As a Child of God

I am thankful for parents who taught me the gospel. I am thankful that I grew up in a home where we were taught to love and to serve one another. I’m thankful for family prayer and that I could feel my parents’ testimonies and love for the Lord and for me as they prayed. I am thankful that I was baptized when I was eight-years-old and that I received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The Holy ghost helped guide me while I was a child in my parents’ home, and He has guided me in rearing my own family.

The Wise Man and the Foolish Man

Jesus told the story of the wise man and the foolish man. Living in California, we have seen houses slide down off their sandy foundations. After fires, rainstorms, and flooding, homes have been lost. House built on granite or other solid rock foundations are more secure. Recently in Highland, many beautiful homes were destroyed because they were built in zones where flooding was likely to occur.

When Jesus talks about building our houses on rock foundations, He means that we must build our testimonies upon Him and His restored gospel, and the Rock of Revelation. In Helaman 5:12, Helaman says to his sons, "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." Jesus is the true and sure foundation.

Nephi’s Courage

Nephi 3:7—“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”

Nephi did not know in advance what would happen when he went back to Jerusalem to get the plates. But Nephi believed that his father Lehi was a prophet, and he knew the commandment to get the plates came from God. So Nephi went, not knowing beforehand what he would do. (See Nephi 4:6)

Even though Laman and Lemuel laughed at Nephi because he was going to build a boat, Nephi was able to continue with his plans and obtain revelation from God on how to build the boat. He knew that God would help him and that he could do it because God commanded him to.

We can be like Nephi. We can learn to rely on the prophet and put our trust in the words he gives us. We can be obedient to our parents, and the Lord will bless us because of our faith and obedience. Our testimonies will become stronger as we do the things which we know are right.

Tell Me the Stories of Jesus

I love to hear about Jesus’s life. I love to hear how he blessed and healed so many people. I know that he loved the little children, and He told the people to suffer the children to come unto Him. He also said that we need to become like little children in order to return to Him. We know that He blessed the children in His homeland during His earth-life and the children of the Nephites and Lamanites after his resurrection. I know that he loves and blesses all of his children still today.

Choose the Right

(Also see Primary song There’s a Right Way to Live and Be Happy.)

We are all born with the Light of Christ, and it is given unto us to know right from wrong. The power of the Holy Ghost is also a gift to all of Heavenly Father’s children who are seeking after truth and righteousness. And when we become members of the Church through faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism and confirmation, we receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. He can be our constant companion if we choose to do what’s right.

We have been blessed to know right from wrong, and we have the Holy Ghost to help us to be faithful and obedient. Heavenly Father will bless us through the Holy Ghost to feel peaceful and happy when we do what is right.

Even when things go wrong in our lives, we need to keep choosing the right.

I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus

If I want to be like Jesus, I need to get to know what He is like. I need to read stories about Him. I need to treat people with love and kindness like He did. I need to follow what He said were the first two great commandments.

Mark 12: 29-31: “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

I need to listen to His prophets and follow His commandments. John 14:15: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” I need to show my love for Him by serving my fellowman. John 13:35: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

Jesus Once Was a Little Child

It is good to know that Jesus was a little Child. He had to grow from grace to grace like all of us do. He was tempted, but he didn’t heed temptation. He was mocked, scourged, spit upon, and crucified, but he did not retaliate or show anger or hatred.

In Hebrews 5:8 we read, “Though He were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which He suffered.” I try to remember to be more like Jesus by being obedient and by being like a little child, both meek and submissive. He always did those things which pleased His Father, and I am striving to do those things which will please my earthly parents, Jesus, and my Heavenly Parents. I love Him.

Stand for the Right

Our prophet speaks for the Lord. Jesus told us in the Doctrine and Covenants section 1 verse 38, “Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” If we follow the words and council of our prophet, we will not go astray. If we stand for the right, we will not fall for the things that are wrong. We need to listen to our prophet at conference time, and we need to read his words and follow his counsel. The Lord will bless us if we do.

When I am Baptized

I love seeing rainbows. The rainbow was the sign of the covenant that the Lord made with Noah that the entire earth would never be flooded again. In Noah’s day, the earth was baptized with water. That was part of its needed purification. The rainbow also reminds me that I need to be baptized just like Adam and Eve were and just like Jesus was. When I was baptized, everything that I had done or thought that was wrong, was washed away. Each week when I partake of the sacrament worthily, with a pure and honest heart, my wrongs are washed away again. I can be clean and pure all the time because of the atonement of Jesus Christ. The light that shines through a prism of water produces a beautiful rainbow. The Light that flows into me as a disciple of Jesus Christ creates in me a beautiful tapestry as I follow His commandments and do His will. I want to stay clean and pure and have Light in my life.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Daily Quotes

Posting my feelings about cancer on Facebook won't change anything. I hope that faith, prayers, and advances in modern medicine will someday. While it is such a debilitating disease, and we all share in our desire to see its end, those who have suffered through it are often blessed in ways that we can't begin to comprehend. I don't believe that cancer patients have their hopes and dreams and wishes snuffed out by the disease. They are way stronger than that! My experience is not that they only have one selfish dream, of themselves licking the cancer, but they have many hope and dreams for the happiness and welfare of all those they love. I can't begin to imagine that I can speak for someone who has, or has had cancer, because I don't. But I know that their cancer doesn't make them stop being who they are.
So appropriate for Earth Day to be on Good Friday. Thank you, Jesus, for this beautiful world we enjoy and for the gift of the Resurrection!
I did not know when I wrote these words that my sister would pass away on the same day. How fitting that she could go on Good Friday.
My sister's long battle with cancer is finally over, and she won. She endured to the end. I will miss her, but I know that because of Jesus Christ she is whole in spirit now, and she will be whole again in the flesh in the Resurrection. Happy Easter, everyone. ♥ ♥ ♥
A new sadness and a new gladness. Yesterday's gone, but a glorious future lays ahead for all of us. Kathy's funeral yesterday was beautiful. So wonderful to see family and friends. My new prayer should be my sister's, that I will endure to the end.
Kathy not only endured; she prevailed.
"Enduring is merely surviving the fear and the dangers of life. Prevailing is overcoming that fear and those dangers. To prevail is to triumph." (k-12 English lesson)
The point isn't trying to get away with doing the least that you can; the point is learning to do the best that you can.
We all have our quirks; we all have our problems. But if we all tried to be more loving and accepting and less judgmental and offish, the world would spin ever more nicely on its axis and follow its orbit with greater ease.
We need to be a little bit more discriminatory in our non-discrimination.
When the dark of night overtakes you, look to the source of all light, Jesus Christ. He will again carry you through to the light of day.
I hope that I will die gracefully when the time comes; but, even more so, I hope that I will learn to live graciously.
No one has a corner on pain or sorrow. If you are mourning the loss of a loved one, someone else is mourning the same loss or another one. If you are struggling with a financial burden, so is your neighbor. If you are struggling with an illness, so are many others around you. If you want to improve your lot, start by offering relieve to another. You will be immediately lifted.
Thank you to all the folk musicians who write and sing the music that speaks to my soul.
I stepped out of the car, and my glasses steamed up.

While waiting on the Lord, we must not put our lives o hold. We shouldn't wait to make the improvements that we want to see in our lives. We can begin now by asking, "Lord, what would You have me do?" Then we need to follow through and do it. (HSS)
We talked to this Apollo team member at Johnson's Space Center today. He was visiting for the 40th anniversary, and we got to listen to him talk about working on the Apollo capsule. He is a very humble man about his part in it all, but we are thankful for the behind-the-scenes people. They are always important.
Despite local residents claims that Houston is hot and humid, we think Houston is pretty cool.
I'm not interested in chasing fabricated rainbows for non-existent pots of gold. (HSS)
While it is true that God created us initially, he did not mean for us to stay in our infant condition. Within us are the seeds of godhood. One of the greatest gifts we have is agency or the freedom to choose. Each day we can redefine and recreate ourselves by the choices that we make, by our thoughts and our actions. To say that we are the way we are because God made us that way seems to be more of a copout than saying the devil made me do it.
I think that cat's should teach self-defense. They are masters at "circle, twist, and run."
You know YOU'RE from Grammarville if you don't like seeing a possessive determiner taking the place of a you are contraction.
We must always remember that when things seem too good to be true, they are!
Don't mess with the momma bear.
Reverse discrimination: Do unto others anything bad that has ever been done to you by whomever.
(Revised from another post) This is for all the wonderful students beginning a new year of school: If you see someone who is struggling, or someone who is being bullied, or someone who is not well-accepted because he or she dresses differently or talks differently, or someone who just seems shy--PLEASE step up. Say hi and smile at them in the hallway. You never know what someone is facing in his or her life outside of school. Your kindness might make a BIG difference in someone's life! Friendship begins with a smile.
I love my family. A special thanks to my children for teaching me how to be a mom. It's taking me many years, but I'm happy with the privilege that I've been given to be yours.
Heading to bed. Thanks to Jenae Terrill for inviting Christine M. Stevenson and me to come watch their puppies being born. There were already some born before we got there, but we got to witness the live birth of a puppy! The next two were stillborn. They were just too underdeveloped. Nine puppies so far. The mother is still delivering.
Awesome evening. It's not every day that I get to see new life entering the world.
I am real. I don't live in cyberspace. I knew most of you before Facebook existed.
God is allowed with our children everywhere they go. No politically correct measures can limit God's presence. Like always, we need to invite Him into our lives. Bad things, unfortunately, do happen and always have. God allows agency. It's too bad that He has been abandoned by so many people, but, if we are true to Him, He will never abandon us.
I'd like to encourage everyone to come up with his or her own status for just one day. Copy and repost if you agree.
By the way, this is not a repost.
I will get through this present struggle. I will get through this present. Struggle. I will get through this. Present struggle. Just give me the present, would you?
Acting superior by pretending to be magnanimous does not prove you believe in equality.
True understanding must stem from having in place a deep-rooted belief system that although we are all children of God, He knows and loves us better than we do ourselves, and although He knows that obedience to His laws is what will bring us happiness, He will not personally impose discipleship. While He must certainly expect that His children also not impose obedience on each other, He most certainly does not condone the repealing of His laws.
Remember that the Good Samaritan took the injured person to an inn, not to his own home. Do what you can to help others, but remember that your family comes first.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Discrimination, Some Cry

Acting superior by pretending to be magnanimous does not prove you believe in equality.

True understanding must stem from having in place a deep-rooted belief system that although we are all children of God, He knows and loves us better than we do ourselves, and although He knows that obedience to His laws is what will bring us happiness, He will not personally impose discipleship. While He must certainly expect that His children also not impose obedience on each other, He most certainly does not condone the repealing of His laws.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mormons are Christians

I wrote this blog in response to the video whose link is above this.

As a Latter-day Saint (Mormon), I would like to let you know that I would rather be considered a member of a cult than to be grouped with Dr. Jeffress.
Now, to clarify, Latter-day Saints do not belong to a cult. When one speaks of "Historical Christianity", please note that Latter-day Saints believe, as Joseph Smith stated, in the same organization that existed in the primitive Church: namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth. We believe that the authority to administer the ordinances of the gospel, as recorded in the New Testament, has been restored again to the earth in our day. We belief that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church.
When we look at Christianity, there have been true followers of Jesus on the earth since his lifetime, and even since Adam and Eve. But to say that Catholics, Mormons, Hindus, Muslims, etc. belong to a cult is one of the most extreme judgments that I have heard, especially when Dr. Jeffress's only leg to stand on is his call upon historic Christianity. I do believe that Catholics have Southern Baptists beat in this point. Guess what! Even Latter-day Saints do. The Southern Baptist Church was not organized until 1845 when it broke with the Northern Baptist Church over the issue of slavery.
Christians are those who believe in the doctrines of Christ and who follow His teachings. The Lord told us that by their fruits you shall know them. This can be applied to all of God's children. If their works are good, they are good, and they do not belong to a cult.

If you ever have questions concerning what I believe, you may ask me, or you may visit Thanks.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

5x7 Folded Card

Picture In Landscape 5x7 folded card
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My Parents are Missionaries

My father and mother have served three full-time missions together. Prior to that, Dad served a mission in Germany and numerous stake missions.

My parents served in Yerevan, Armenia. They helped so many people there. Dad helped get heaters working and did all kinds of physical labor service. They both loved and served the people. But their visas never came through, and so they were transferred to Kharkov, Ukraine. There they continued to serve and love the people of that country.

For their next mission, they were called to oversee the building of the Kiev Temple. Unfortunately, that did not happen during their mission, but took another ten years. Once they met a man who told them of a senior couple who'd been called to oversee the building of a temple in Ukraine, but who had failed in their assignment. My mother said, "Oh? That would be us!" Did they fail? Of course not. They weren't in Kiev to help prepare a temple for the people, but to help prepare the people for a temple.

Their last mission was to Samara, Russia.

They have numerous stories. They touched thousands of lives. That's the way with missionary work and it's ripple effect. Dad was in mission presidencies. They suffered extremely cold conditions and had meager amounts of food, and they traded their comfortable big home for small apartments.

I'm proud of my parents and the example that they've set for me and for the legacy they've given to our family. Dad was (and still is) self-employed and he's exhausted all of his savings to serve the Lord. Between each mission, he'd earn enough money to go serve again. Now nearly 82, he still is working. (1-25-13 He turned 83 last November.)

They have been temple workers for many years. Mom is sad that her current health won't allow her to serve in the temple, and hopes to be able to return again. (1-25-13 Lately, they are both serving one day a week, no longer two.)

One of the greatest blessing of my parents life was attending the Kiev Temple Dedication. In the ceremonies prior to the dedication, they were able to visit with people from the four different mission areas where they served. The people were so happy to see them, and my parents were blessed by the love and gratitude they were shown.

God loves us. He loves all of his children. What a blessing it is that as members of His Church; we can serve each other at home and abroad. I'm thankful for missionaries and for missions. I hope that Bob and I will have the opportunity to serve together as well. (We have done so as stake and ward missionaries in the past. 1-25-13 I have been called as a ward missionary again.)

27 September 2017:

Dad, I wrote this first in September 2011. I am so thankful for the example that you and Mom set for me in serving in the Church and loving Heavenly Father and all His children. I need to do better in serving. I’ve enjoyed the time that I serve in the California Redlands Mission office. And I am again a ward missionary. 6th time now I think. I know there is an added boldness that comes with the assignment to teach and share the gospel, and I often see Mom’s and your personality shining through when I share the gospel. I love you so much. I miss Mom. I know you miss her more. I’m sure that she is happy in the service that she is doing there helping to strengthen our families. I love you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Thoughts on Primary Program Songs 2011

Thoughts inspired by Primary Program Songs:
“If I Listen with My Heart”
Jesus loves me just as much as the children he blessed when He was living here on earth.
Jesus loves me just as much as the children that He blessed during His visit to the Nephites.
Jesus blesses me with His love every day! I can read His words in the scriptures and feel a testimony that they are true. This brings me comfort and peace.
I can follow the counsel of my parents and church leaders and, especially, the prophet. When I do this, I know Jesus is pleased.
Jesus speaks to me through the Holy Ghost, and I can feel His love for me every day. I am never alone. Jesus will always love me, and He will always help me.
“I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus.”

What can I do to be like Jesus?
I can learn about Jesus by reading in the New Testament and the Book of Mormon.
Jesus was kind to everyone; even to the people who were mean to Him.
I can be like Jesus by obeying my parents and being nice to my brothers and sisters.
I can be like Jesus be listening when the Spirit tells me to do something kind, and then do it.

What nice things can I do for my family?
What nice things can I do for my neighbors and my friends at school?
“Stand for the Right”
We can learn what Heavenly Father wants us to do by reading the words of the prophets and by listening to what they say.
Many prophets’ words are recorded in the scriptures. That’s a great blessing. If we listen to the Holy Ghost and follow these teachings, we will be happy.
We are even more blessed to have a prophet on the earth today: President Thomas S. Monson. We can listen to the words he has for us at general conference twice a year. We can also listen to the words of the Apostles. We can gain inspiration and direction that will help us currently, in the world today.
We can read their messages in The Friend and other church magazines each month.
President Wilford Woodruff said:
The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty. (Concerning the Manifesto, Doctrine and Covenants, Official Declaration 1)
If I follow the prophet, then I will be on solid ground, and I will stay on the path that leads me back to Heavenly Father and Jesus.
How can I get on the right path?
“The Fourth Article of Faith”
We learn in the Book of Mormon what the Doctrine of Christ means. It is also found in “The Fourth Article of Faith.” (Recite it.)
Nephi asked us if that’s all we need to do. Then he answered, No, we must continue to keep the commandments every day of our lives.
2 Nephi 31: 20
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
“I Will Follow God’s Plan for Me”
I lived with Heavenly Father before I came to earth. He wanted me to come to earth to receive a mortal body and to learn to be obedient.
He planned for me to be born to a family with parents who would believe in His Son Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father wants me to be happy. He knows that I can be happy if I follow his plan for me:
I must believe in Heavenly Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and I must seek to have the Holy Ghost as my companion; I need to repent when I do things that are wrong; I need to be baptized and then partake of the sacrament worthily each week.
I need to be a loving family member and a good neighbor; I need to be honest and school and at work.
I need to do my best to keep the commandments.
I need to do my best at school and get a good education.
If I trust in Heavenly Father and seek His help every day through prayer and scripture study and through service, I know that I will be happy while I live my life on earth. And then some day, I will return to live with Heavenly Father.

“The Lord Gave Me a Temple”
The Apostle Paul taught us that our bodies are temples and that we must keep them clean.
Jesus revealed Doctrine and Covenants Section 89 to Joseph Smith. This Word of Wisdom tells us how to care for our bodies so that we can stay healthy.
I will eat healthful foods and get the rest and exercise that I should. I will also drink water.
I will stay away from anything that can be addictive or cause me harm.
President Gordon B. Hinckley told us that we should not tattoo our bodies. Some people already have tattoos before they join the church or understand that they should not. That’s okay. Jesus loves everyone. But because the prophet told us not to tattoo our bodies, we need to follow that commandment, and we will be blessed for our obedience.
We also need to keep our minds and our spirits clean and pure.
How can I keep my mind and spirit clean and pure?
I can choose to listen to good music.
I can turn off the television when there is something on that makes me feel uncomfortable and I know that the Holy Ghost doesn’t want me to watch.
I can read good books.
I can read The Friend and learn about other children who are trying to do what is right just like I am.
I can read or listen to the scriptures on my own, and I can read the scriptures with my family.
I can sing a primary song or a hymn when I want to chase an unwanted thought away. That’s what President Packer does.
I know that pornography is dangerous. If one of my friends wants to show me something inappropriate, I will say no, and I will let my parents know right away.
As I take care of my own temple, my body, I will prepare to enter The Holy Temple. I need be clean both inside and out, so that I can.
“I Love to See the Temple”
The temple is a beautiful building. We are blessed to have the Redlands Temple so close to home. It’s spires point high into the air, reminding us to look upward and seek inspiration from our Heavenly Father.
My parents go to the temple so that they can be better parents. They go there to feel the Spirit and to seek answers to their prayers.
My parents were married in the temple (or are preparing to be sealed in the temple) so that we can be a forever family.
When I go with my family to the temple grounds, I feel peace, and I feel Heavenly Father’s love for me. It is a special and sacred place.
I am preparing now to go to the temple someday.
I’ll be baptized when I am 8 years old, and then if I live the commandments, I can go to the temple when I am 12 years old to receive baptism for other people who are no longer on earth.
I will receive my endowment before I go on my mission. An endowment includes many gifts from Heavenly Father than will endow me with power from on high. This will help me to be a better missionary and, someday, a better husband and father.
I will receive my endowment either before I go on a mission or before I get married. I want to be married in the temple, so I can gain the promises of the temple sealing. When I kneel at the altar with my husband, I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus will be pleased that I followed their plan for me and I was true to my goals.
I know that the temple is a blessing to our family. No matter what else happens in this life, if we are faithful, we can be together forever.
“I Hope They Call Me on a Mission”
Every since Joseph Smith helped to restore the true Church of Jesus Christ, there have been missionaries here on earth who teach the gospel and administer the ordinances to those ready to receive it. Samuel Smith, Joseph’s brother was the first member to be called on a mission.
My family would not be members of the church if it weren’t for the missionaries who taught________________.
President Spencer W. Kimball said that every member should be a missionary. I can be a missionary now by being a good example to my friends and be inviting them to Primary, (to Church, to Cub Scouts, or to Achievement Days.)
I am preparing to be a full-time missionary someday by saying my personal prayers every morning and every night.
I am preparing by helping my family have Family Home Evening. Sometimes we even read from Preach My Gospel.
I am preparing by memorizing The Articles of Faith.
I love the gospel, and I know that the Church is true. I want the rest of Heavenly Father’s children to know this, too. That is why I am preparing to be a missionary today.
I know that to be a good missionary, I need to find out for myself if the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph Smith was truly God’s prophet. I need to know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that my Heavenly Father loves me. I am so thankful that we can all know these things by the power of the Holy Ghost.
Moroni 10:3-5
Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

I am thankful that Joseph Smith was true to his assignment from Heavenly Father.

“Praise to the Man”

How was Joseph Smith a Hero? Joseph Smith was true to his testimony and safe-guarded the Church so that I can have the restored gospel in my life. He sealed his testimony with his own blood.

Joseph Smith was a prophet. He spoke to Heavenly Father and Jesus in the Sacred Grove.

Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God.

Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood by John the Baptist.

Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood by the Apostles Peter, James, and John.

The Keys of the Priesthood were given to Joseph Smith to govern the affairs of Heavenly Father’s kingdom here on earth during this dispensation.

Joseph Smith was true to the Heavenly Father’s plan for him. He will receive eternal glory with all the other true prophets of God.
No matter how many people mock Joseph Smith and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I am thankful for God’s prophet and his part in restoring the truth in our day.
I know that his testimony is true through the power of the Holy Ghost.
I also will be true to Heavenly Father’s plan for me.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Life is Good

My declaration: I do believe in a Deity. I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I believe in the Supreme Creator of the universe. I believe in the Father of our spirits. I believe in the Giver of all good gifts, including life itself. "We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost." (Joseph Smith, see Articles of Faith)

I believe in the power of creation. I belief that God has given us life and agency and, along with that, the ability to redefine ourselves and recreate who we are from day to day by the choices we make, the things we think (including the books we read or the blogs we write), and the deeds we do. Hence, when we feel to proclaim, "Life is good," it can very well be because we feel good about our choices and the direction we are headed.

But I affirm that "life" itself is good. The length of life or the quality of life, according to worldly standards of health, doesn't matter. Life is good! I believe that is because God is good, and whatsoever comes from God is good. (See James 1:17-18)

I feel to exclaim that life is and was good for my infant son who just lived 2 1/2 hours. I know that he was grateful to receive a mortal body, that his spirit lives on, and that he will take up his physical body again in the resurrection. This faith I have because I believe in the resurrection of Christ. Indeed, life is good. Our Father who has granted us earthly life, immortality, and the possibility of eternal life is good.

I am glad for the knowledge that I have of a pre-earth life, this earthly life, and life beyond death. Life is a miracle; in all of its stages, it remains a miracle. It is not something that mortal man can copy. But as children of God, we have the seeds of deity right within us, and He has permitted us to have the power of procreation wherein we can help provide His spirit children with physical bodies. Life and the power to perpetuate life is truly a gift.

For all the dear family members that I have said good-bye to for a time, I do believe and I must believe I will see you again! I feel it in my heart, and the Spirit testifies to my spirit that it is so. I feel the warmth of the testimony coursing through my veins. Both you and this testimony are an essential part of who I am. I know that Ed’s life is not snuffed out; nor is Robby’s; nor is my dear sister Kathy’s. Life is good; they are good; and they continue in God who is not only good, but great.

Tears flow freely as a think about my recently departed sister. She indeed had a testimony that life is good. I never once saw her bitter. Her circumstances or the quality of her life did not affect her testimony that life is good. Not once did she want people to feel sorry for her or pity her. She loved life; she loved her family and friends; and she was the best example of creating an atmosphere of happiness and faith no matter what. She even went so far as to say her cancer was kind. Why? Because it gave her time to concentrate on all the things that matter most and to have a couple more years to really enjoy her family, friends, and this beautiful world that we live in. Also, because she knew that cancer was not going to really bring an end to her life, but that life would and does continue for her. She believes in the resurrection as do I. I hope that I can face the challenges of life as well as she did with this motto: “Come what may and love it.” (Joseph B. Worthlin, see Article from October 2008 Conference)

I am so thankful to have the gift of life. I know that God who is the Creator gave me life. I know that I do not have the power to even maintain life on my own, but that He is the one who sustains me from day to day by giving me breath and nourishment through this beautiful earth on which we live. (See Mosiah 2:20-22, word from King Benjamin.)

So whether my individual days are good days or bad days, I do proclaim that life is good. We do experience joys and sorrows, and often there is sorrow mixed in with our joys. But even in the midst of sorrows, I feel my Savior’s love, and I still do proclaim, “Life is good.” I find that the sorrows help me to remember Him and to value life more. And when everything seems to be going along perfectly, I hope that I will do better at stopping to be thankful to Him and to those who have enriched my life and blessed me to be able to enjoy all the wonderful things I enjoy. I acknowledge that I am nothing of myself. But because God has chosen me to be His daughter, and because I have loving earthly parents, loving family, and friends, I have been nurtured in the good things of life and my possibilities for progression are endless. This gift is from my Father who is Eternal and whose gifts are Endless.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Shutterfly Card to thank those who helped with the wedding.

5x7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

General Conference Notes: Sunday Afternoon 3 April 2011

General Conference: Sunday Afternoon 3 April 2011

181st annual general conference; fifth session.

That we might receive an additional portion of charity and love to serve those around us. (Opening prayer)

Elder Scott

16 July 1953 his anniversary with Jeanene. As he continues to live worthily, he will be able to live with his wife and children forever. His wife and two children are beyond the veil. They are a reminder to live righteously.

Two pillars: marriage and the family. Satan wants to split the family and end temple marriages.

His wife wanted him to go play with the children rather than to fix the washing machine. “Go play with the children.” Next morning, two little arms around his neck, a kiss on the cheek and the words, “Dad, I love you. You are my best friend.” Don’t waste your time in unworthy pursuits. Get on with your life. If you want to have a wonderful life, you need to have her see you as a wonderful perspective husband.

Are you faithful to your spouse mentally as well as physically? Brethren, do you lead out in family activities? You need to tell your wife often that you love her. Express gratitude for what your spouse does for you. Don’t withhold natural expressions of love. It works better if you hold her close while you tell her. Send precious notes to your spouse. She not only kept my notes to her, she protected them with plastic covers. As husband and wife do not argue in your homes. Love unselfishly. As a mother you have been given divine instinct to help you sense you child’s divine needs. Times of happiness, testing and trial. “I will always remember holding him in my arms in the middle of the night.” He didn’t know that he would pass away in a few months. They knew that they would have him again because of temple covenants. (Jeanene came to me in the chapel that my parents attend after Robby died. She said, Oh Heidi, I can’t wait to tell you about the blessings that you are going to receive.) All things are possible to the Lord, and He keeps the promises that are proclaimed by His prophets. (Elder Scott pronounced the blessing that Cathy that she would marry and have children.)

Elder Christofferson

“I would that you be perfect as I or your Heavenly Father is perfect.” God’s purpose is that we can experience ultimate joy, to be with Him eternally and become as He is.

Practice and attitude we need to adopt: willingly accept and seek correction

Repentance is a necessary condition for forgiveness. Fruit—repentance leading to righteousness. It can refine us and prepare us for greater experiences. “He that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom.” We shouldn’t resent the very things that help us put on the divine nature.

“I am the gardener here; I know what I want you to do.” “Thank you Mr. Gardener for cutting me down, for preparing me to be what you wanted me to be.” (Hugh B. Brown)

Chastening may come in many forms. Correction can come through others. “Look into people’s eyes when you speak to them.” (Jeanene Scott)

Elder Pratt

Righteous grandparents that taught their children in the home long before Family Home Evening was instituted. (John and Ida Whetten) Ida suggested that they give the money to the Bishop to cover their tithing. A wealthy business man, Mr. Horde, came from the US. John worked with him and dispersed the money to the workers. There was money left over not expected. Mr. Horde gave it to John for his boys. The bag held the exactly 100 pesos in silver, the same that he’d given to the Bishop. The Lord remembers his promises to those who pay their tithing. When we obey commandments, we are blessed.

1. Payment of tithing was not related to cash income. They felt indebted to the Lord for their blessings. We are all indebted to the Lord. Let us not be accused of robbing the Lord. Paying tithing will help us be honest to our fellow man.

2. Payment of tithing cannot be related to how much we have or have not. It should come from the firstlings and first fruits of our income. Tithing is a matter of faith. Show faith by paying tithing. Do it first. Be an example to our children.

3. If we pay our tithing with money, it does not mean that we will be blessed with money. We will not lack for the necessities of life, but He does not promise us wealth. We will have wisdom to live with 90% of our income than with 100%. The Lord’s richest blessings are spiritual: family, friends, and the gospel. Spiritual sensitivity for rearing our children. The payment of tithing is an excellent insurance against divorce. Tithe paying fosters in us a gentle and forgiving heart.

The Lord will open the windows of heaven and pour out His richest blessings as we pay our tithing.

Elder Robbins

What manner of man or woman ought ye to be? To be or not to be is a very good question. Faith inspires one to pray, and prayer inspires ones faith.

To do lists versus to be lists. A to be list cannot be a check off list. Christ-like be s are what we are trying to develop in ourselves and in our children. Consider the more challenging child a blessing that helps you to become more Godlike. Could it be possible that you need this child as much as he needs you? Our children are God’s children. Disappointing behavior should be something that is considered not permanent. Focus primary praise on children’s efforts and attributes. “Be the kind of parents to our children that our Father in Heaven is to us.”

Elder De Hoyos

Be no more strangers and foreigners.

Why does are church have such a long name? It was not chosen by man, but given by the Lord. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It makes reference to the Lord and to the members of the church. The members of the early church also called each other saints. As we live the gospel and follow the prophet, we will become sanctified; we will become saints.

Elder Grow

His 51 year old brother died in his sleep.

We assess the gift of the Atonement through repentance. If we repent, we will confess and forsake our sins. His brother had done so. Our Savior offers redemption to all. Seek relief; repent and forsake your sins; in prayer, ask God to forgive you; go to the Bishop if necessary; he is the Lord’s messenger of mercy.

Elder Holland

President Brigham Young had a dream in Nauvoo. He saw an angel pointing to the west in the SL Valley. Ensign Peak. “The mountain of the Lord’s house…” (Isaiah 2) They made a flag with a walking stick and a yellow bandana. “Zion’s standard is unfurled.” Dual meaning is intentional.

Reflect on the messages that you have heard here and on the unique phenomenon that General Conference is. “We testify that God lives, and He speaks.” Talks are not assigned. Each person prayed and fasted to know what the Lord with have him say.

President Brigham Young saw an angel standing over this place. Elder Holland sees angels standing in it. The brethren who serve in the church, he sees as angels.

Consider the variety of the messages you here. They are speaking to those who know us very well and those who know us not at all, the young and the old, married and single. Declare liberty to the captives and something else. The gospel is to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. J In the matter of discipleship, the church is not a fast food outlet. We cannot always have it our way…Salvation can only come His way.

If you continue to hold family night despite the bedlam in a house of little bedlamites, you will be blessed. If you come to conference with the Spirit, you will hear a testimony just for you. In one way or another, God will have his voice heard.

President Monson is the senior apostle and the prophet of the church. His life is not easy. He was called to be an apostle at 36; his children were 12, 9, and 4. His wife and children have given their lives to his service for more than 50 years. He is irrepressibly cheerful through it all. He possesses remarkable faith and unusual stamina.

President Monson

His heart is full at the close of this conference. We’ve felt the Spirit of the Lord in rich abundance. Gratitude to those who’ve participated. Please read and study the Conference Ensign.

We look forward to working with them (newly called) in the cause of the Master. Reach out to those of other faiths, as well as to our own.

The Lord lives again! The lined lies there white and clean, and the tomb is empty.

General Conference Notes: Sunday Morning 3 April 2011

General Conference: Sunday Morning 3 April 2011

Saul was so hostile in pursuing the saints and destroying the church until he was visited by the Lord on the road to Damascus. This event changed Saul forever; indeed it changed the world.

Some hesitate to receive the blessings of the gospel. Those who seek to learn about Christ will eventually come to know Him. Usually comes in the form of a puzzle, one piece at a time. Each piece helps us to see the big picture one piece at a time. The Savior will come to be with us quietly. Our Father in Heaven loves His children. Often He speaks to us in ways that we can only hear with our hearts. Turn down the worldly noise in our lives. Hearken to the promptings of the Spirit. Be eager to heed them.

“Suffer the little children to come unto me…for such is the kingdom of God.”

Let us be among those that the Lord can rely on to hear his whisperings and respond.

We must study it out in our minds first, then we can seek the Lord’s inspiration. If we are thinking only of ourselves, we may miss some powerful revelations. “It is usually through another person that He meets our needs. Therefore it is vital that we watch over each other.” Selfish acts of service and consecration refines our spirits. The Lord expects the members of His church to open their mouths. Some would rather pull a handcart across the valley than open their mouths. We have a glad message; we have a message of joy. We can make our conversations more faith centered. Share things that are inspirational, uplifting, or humorous. Sharing the good news of the gospel is easier and the effects more far reaching than ever before. Sometimes a single phrase of testimony can stir emotion that will affect lives for eternity. If we are joyful and at peace with the world, people will want to know why. Preach the gospel at all times, and, if necessary, use words. Accept your road to Damascus and now move on! Move forward in faith, hope, and charity.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is on course; we have a living prophet.

Elder Johnson

Earth life includes test, trials, and temptations. Afflictions are part of our mortal experience. Trial of our faith, to see if we will do all that the Lord has commanded. These trials are not just to test us. They are the process of putting on the divine nature; they can be consecrated to our gain. It is through sorrow and suffering, trials and temptation that we gain the experience and knowledge that we came here to get. We will not be the same; we will be better; we will be awesome. Personal growth is the attended outcome of opposition. The furnace of affliction is meant for even the very better of saints.

The darkest and most dangerous attempts often bring the greatest of blessings. Nephi dealt with many trials with his brothers before receiving brass plates. Joseph Smith was about to sink into despair before the First Vision took place.

His mother had an extreme illness at 19. She studied the gospel and became converted. Many times a particular challenge helps prepare us for future blessings. Paul suffered many afflictions. Compared to our blessings and growth, our afflictions truly are light.

The Lord’s suffering was a prerequisite to His resurrection on Easter morning and to our future resurrection. We should not seek to escape the very things that will help us put on our divine nature.

Purifying process and testing will be in the Lord’s time and in the Lord’s way. (Elder Hales)

Whosoever puts their trust in God shall be supported in their trials…

“Well done, thou God and faithful servant.” “Who shall separate us from the love of God…in all these things we are conquerors through Him that loves us.” (Paul)

Bishop Burton

“Will this buy me any bread?” I had a deeper revelation that the Church of Christ is interested in the temporal salvation of man. Those in need of temporal help must have their needs met before they may be ready to receive the gospel.

President Grant wanted a system that would reach out to people no matter what the cost. He was willing to do this at the cost of closing seminaries and temples. He did not want to let the people go hungry. “We will not let you go hungry, without clothing, or without shelter.” Emphasis on personal responsibility and self-reliance. Other well-meaning programs are short sighted. They may help people without helping people learn how to help themselves. Each generation is required to learn anew the principles of self-reliance. The commission to help those in need goes far beyond the bounds of mortality. Through caring for others, we learn the celestial principles of sacrifice and consecration. These things help us retain a remission of our sins and to walk humbly before God.

We are under condemnation and cannot please the Lord if we are not willing to serve those in need of our help. Fly to the relief of a stranger…make the widows heart to rejoice, etc. We must love and care for our neighbors.

Willie Handcart Company. Snow deep and very cold. So cold that we could not move…people could not travel. Despite all that the rescuers could do, many were left by the wayside. Man gave his coat to wrap a cold baby in. Robert Burton was called as the presiding bishop of the church. “Be kind to the poor.” Feed the hungry; clothe the naked; visit the sick; release the captive. 75 years ago the welfare system rose from humble beginnings. The principles of the welfare program defines who we are as a people. The work of caring for one another and caring for the poor is a sanctifying work. “Go and do thou likewise.”

Sister Alred

Be of one heart and of one mind. Two great commandments: love the Lord and your neighbor as thyself. The essence of discipleship is to love one another. Help members become self-reliant, to care for the poor and needy, one more thing.

RS has always been at the heart of welfare. Exercising of all benevolent purposes. This society might provoke the brethren to good works. Strengthen the virtues of the community.

Inspired home teachers and visiting teachers are so needed. They are often the first response to immediate needs. Our combined efforts bring relief. Contribute to Lord’s storehouse through the payment of fast offerings. Self-reliance is the ability to supply temporal and spiritual necessities for self and family. Go about doing good. Story of the widow’s mite.

Who could I fulfill my calling when I was struggling with just being a wife and mother? Follow promptings of Holy Ghost and being willing to serve; you will help others in their responsibilities and help them fulfill their callings.

Elder Bednar

“Have I done any Good?”

Experiences with light

First: entering dark room and switching on a light. Immediate and intense recognition of light. Direct and in full.

Second: watching night turning to morning. Gradually and steadily the intensity of light increased. Line upon line, precept upon precept.

The Spirit of Revelation and Basic

Communication from God to His children on earth through companionship of Holy Ghost. Spirit of Revelation is available to every person who is baptized and confirmed and is acting in faith to be able to receive the Holy Ghost. Available to all of age, accountability, and desire.

Asked in faith, believing that they would receive.

Thoughts and feelings come into our hearts and minds through the power of the Holy Ghost. This is the spirit of revelation. Apply unto it.

Shun inappropriate material. Reject the devil’s enticements, and apply unto the spirit of revelation.

Restored church revelation did not come to Joseph Smith all at once, but line upon line as he was ready to receive it.

Do not overlook the customary pattern through which the Holy Ghost does His work. You do not need to receive frequent, miraculous, or constant impressions. Press forward, be obedient, have faith in the Savior. As you do so, you cannot go amiss.

We often receive revelation without recognize how or when we are receiving revelation. Pay attention. Oliver Cowdery received a revelation informing him that he had received revelation. Honor covenants and keep the commandments, do good and strive to become better; God will guide our steps and inspire our utterances. Our confidence will wax strong in the presence of God.

President Monson

57th anniversary of inspired welfare program. The welfare program of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is inspired of Almighty God.

Temples: 26 temples in construction or in pre-construction stages. Make the temple as accessible as possible. Temples bring joy to our members wherever they are built.

Temples are more that stone and mortar; they are built of faith and fasting…Sanctified with sacrifice and service.

The saints were forced to leave Ohio and their beloved temple. In Nauvoo Illinois they built another temple, and then when driven from their homes again. The SL Temple took 40 years to build.

Why are so many willing to give so much to receive the blessings of the temple? No sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, no struggle too difficult to receive those blessings.

My brothers and sisters, the work is ours to do. Your sacrifice may be bringing your life into compliance so that you can qualify. Until you’ve been to the House of the Lord and received the ordinances there, you have not received all that the Church has to offer. Do nothing that will prevent you to enter the temple’s doors.

“It would be a fine thing if parents would have in every bedroom of their house a picture of the temple.” (President McKay) Teach your children of the temple’s importance. In this sacred sanctuary we will find peace; we will be renewed; one more thing.

Rome, Italy. The Rome temple uniquely is being built in one of the most historical locations in the world. Apostles preached there and were martyred. As the Spirit of God was sung, heaven and earth were joined. Each of our temples is a testimony that life beyond the grave is as real as life is here. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice that we might all have eternal life and exaltation in our Father’s kingdom.

General Conference Notes: Saturday Afternoon 2 April 2011

General Conference: Saturday Afternoon 2 April 2011

Sustaining and statistics.

President Packer

Why do the people murmur because of this thing?…you shall call the church in my name. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” We should refer to ourselves by the revealed name. The use of our church’s name is important as we seek to spread Christianity throughout the world.

The Priesthood was restored to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery by John the Baptist, and Peter, James, and John. Today “every man may speak by the power of God.” We believe in prophesy, revelation, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The Lord revealed the Word of Wisdom long before the effects of the use of these substances were known. The Lord also said that the use of the procreative power is to only be used between a man and his wife. Everything else is sin. The Great Plan of Happiness is centered on family life with marriage as an equal partnership.

“John, leave it alone. Nothing you can do will bring her back, and anything that you do will only make it worse.”

Condemn not the things of God, so that you can be found spotless at the judgment seat of Christ. Be in the world but not of the world.

Elder Nelson

His 18 month old wanted to get close to the TV to see his grandpa. One day he’ll serve a mission, get married, be a father. One day, he will have to say good bye to his parents. The only death that is truly pre-mature is when the one is not prepared to meet death. We live to die, and we die to live again. Illness, injury, and accident will ever be present. We live in a time of turmoil. We have a great cause for concern, but we do not lead to let our fears take over our faith. Teach in faith to keep all the commandments of God. They are there to keep us safe and bring us joy. Do not develop a cafeteria approach to obedience. Keeping the commandments will provide physical and spiritual protection.

Unfailing faith is fortified through prayer. If we pray with an eternal perspective, we will know that the Lord does hear our prayers. Tithe payers develop faith until tithing becomes a special privilege. Tithing will keep your name enrolled with the people of God. You were reserved in heaven to be born in this day. As you walk in the path of righteousness, you will be a light and a savior to His people. “The power and authority of this priesthood holds the keys to all the spiritual blessings of this church.” “I the Lord would fight their battles, and their children’s battles, and their children’s children down to the third and fourth generation.” “Fear not, be of good church; the future is as bright as your faith.” (President Monson)

Elder Maynes

Many who have been interested in learning of our church are interested in our doctrine of the family: that families can be together forever. Paul taught that Heavenly Father is the Father of our spirits. “I am a Child of God.” The same sociality that exists between us here, will exist there, only coupled with eternal weight of glory. (Joseph Smith)

Selfishness, greed, and poverty seek to destroy the plan. Satan wants to thwart our happiness by destroying family. We need to hold family home evening, family prayers, scripture time, and family meals. There is great power and protection for us and our youth in establishing celestial traditions in our homes. We understand and believe in the eternal nature of the family. This understanding and believe should cause us to do everything in our power to have a Christ-centered home.

Elder Samuelson

“Who is entitled to have a testimony?” Everyone who is willing to pay the price or keep the commandments may have a testimony.
“Who does one obtain the necessary information?” When you receive these things, ask God. (Read, pondered, prayed, committed to follow answer to the prayer) By the power of Holy Ghost you may know the truth.
A testimony needs constant nourishment.
Everyone has worth because we are all children of God. Trust in Him.
A change of heart often occurs gradually.
A fundamental purpose of life is to grow and stretch.
Trust in things we believe and know.
Teaching others strengthens our own testimonies.
Do little but necessary things: prayer, gospel study, church and temple worship.
Don’t have higher standards for others than we do for ourselves.
Don’t be too hard on yourselves when you make a mistake.
We gain testimonies because of what we do.

Elder Oaks

The importance of desire. What do I really desire? What is my most important desire? Desires develop our character.

1. Food
We need food.

2. Shelter

3. Sleep

We can avert these desires by stronger desires. Our ultimate desire should be to be born of God and have eternal life. “What shall I do that I may be born of God and have eternal life…I will give away all my sins to know thee and to be saved at the last day.”

Property, prominence, pride, and power—worldly quartet.

Elder Ballard

You are so busy looking for large nuggets, that you are missing the little flecks of gold, which bring great wealth.

Flecks of gospel gold that will lead us to eternal life.

Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, and mind. Love thy neighbor as thyself. When we love our Heavenly Father and Jesus, then we are able to love our neighbors and serve them.

1. Charity begins at home
Practice the golden rule. Teach our family members to have love for each other.

2. Our wards and branches should be a place where we practice the golden rule.
Create unity. Where charity exists, there is no place for gossip or unkind words. Through love an service we can help our brothers and sisters, one by one, come back.

3. We can serve in our communities.
Reach out to those who have need of our help. Kindness is a measure of greatness.

4. Missionary service.

We should seek to develop the gift of Charity, the pure love of Christ.

General Conference Notes: Saturday Morning 2 April 2011

General Conference: Saturday Morning 2 April 2011

President Monson

Rededication of Hawaiian Temple. “The Gathering Place” performed by young adults from BYU Hawaii.

Three new temples: Fort Collins, Colorado, Idaho, on more.

Humanitarian aid to Japan, most recently. Over 40 thousand hours of service. Thanks for paying tithes and offerings and contributing to other areas. “Missionary work is the lifeblood of the kingdom.” Make a contribution to the general missionary fund of the church.

Elder Perry

The New Testament is focused on the life of Jesus Christ, the only person with dual citizenship in heaven and on earth. Centerpiece of sacred history. Savior should be centerpiece of our lives. We should cherish this book.

Timothy 4: These things command and teach: Be thou an example of the believers….Best way to do this is by observing the Sabbath day. “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy…The Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” It has always included worship. Offering of a sacrifice. Sacrifice of animals; the Lord’s sacrifice for us. The Lord instituted the sacrament of the Lord’s supper. Bread representing his body; wine representing his blood. Jesus was the great last sacrifice. Witness to the Father that we do always remember Jesus. “If you do always remember me, ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.”

Jesus gave the Priesthood authority to His apostles. This Priesthood authority is here again today. Young men bless and pass the sacrament. Taking the sacrament is the center of our Sabbath observance.

1. Keep ourselves unspotted from the world.
Avoid worldly distractions on Sabbath. Dress in Sunday dress.

2. Go to the house of prayer and offer up our sacraments to the Lord.
Confess sins to others and to the Lord. Sacrament table is a place for self-inspection. Bring yourself in harmony to teachings of the church and with your fellow men. Keep His commandments, always remember Him, have His Spirit to be with us. Filled with gratitude that the Savior was willing to drink from the bitter cup for my sake. The sacrament cup of water can remind us of that.

3. Rest from our labors.
Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Be an example of the believers in preparing for the Sacrament and for the rest of the week. Arise and shine forth by keeping the Sabbath day holy.

The greatest joy we receive in this life comes from following the Savior and keeping His commandment.

Sister Stevens

Children are a key to helping us become like our Heavenly Father.

Bishop asked faithful members to pay their tithing. Next he talked to the children and asked if they’d pay their tithing. They said that they would, and they did. The Bishop asked if the adult members would follow the example of their children. They were blessed by doing so.

Except you become converted and become like a little child, ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. They are full of faith and susceptible to the influence of the Spirit. Children are often the first to love and the first to forgive. Little boy viewing pictures of Jesus reverently spoke his name and folded his arms. Those who are greatest in the Lord’s kingdom are those who look for opportunities to serve others.

We cannot see our Heavenly Father, but we can listen for His voice and follow His directions to help us through the trials of life. Children with bright spirits, they are teachable and willing to follow the Lord.

Jesus took the little children one by one and blessed them and prayed for them. “Behold your little ones.” Embrace them with our eyes and with our hearts. Appreciate them for who they are, spirit children of our Heavenly Father. “God gave us families to help us become what he wants us to be.”

In our families we can learn to become more Christ-like. The divine attributes hold a key to helping us unlock our own spiritual gifts. Jesus is the Christ, the One perfect Son. May we all have a heart to follow His example.

Elder Gonzales

He and his wife were impressed with people in Ghana and Nigeria. They had such a willingness to follow Christ. We have the duty to invite people like this to come and see what we have to offer. They can know that Heavenly messengers restored the Priesthood and that Christ’s true church is here on the earth. “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

1. Followers of Christ are loving people.
We follow Christ because we love Him. Through love, Jesus was obedient to all the will of His Father. The atoning sacrifice is the greatest act of love ever. As Jesus followed the Father, we should follow Him. His tender mercies will make us mighty. We need to withstand adversity and temptation. “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” A young man from Ecuador served a mission even though his family said they would disown him. Later, his mother asked him to stay longer because of the blessings they were receiving. He is now a Patriarch. The way we treat others show the extent to which we are willing to follow the Savior.

2. Followers of Christ make and keep covenants.
Covenants were made in Heaven. The Savior was baptized to fulfill all righteousness; He made necessary covenants and set the example. Making covenants is an expression of love: Yes, I will follow Thee. All things will work together for our good if we make and keep our covenants. The power of our covenants is greater than any challenge we face or we may face. It will qualify you to receive all the promised blessing. Invitation to non-members to enter the covenant of baptism. We are happier when we follow the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ; the blessings of heavens will come to us.

Elder Richards

As a surgeon much of his time has been taken up thinking about pain. What purpose does pain serve? Pain is a gage of the healing process. It often teaches the patient patience. Trials that bring pain are a part of this life. Opposition is part of Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. The Savior is not a silent observer. He knows and understands our pain. Come boldly to the throne of grace that we may find mercy and help. There is balm in Gilead; there is a Physician there.

Spiritual pain can lie deep within our souls. There is a cure. Repentance is the key. Forgiveness comes from the Father through the Son. Christ was lifted up on the cross that He might draw all men unto Him. His purpose is to lift, bless, strengthen, guide, and forgive us. His bowels are filled with mercy; he knows how to succor us. Jesus chose to learn by His own personal experience.

Jesus healed all that came to Him. He turned none away. Sometimes a healing takes away our burdens; sometimes we are given strength to carry our burdens. In Him we can find rest to our souls. Our pain, worrying, suffering, and fear can be swallowed up in His loving balm.

Elder Cook

Women are incredible. Usually they are more religious. Women by divine nature have the responsibility for nurturing in home and family and other settings. I appealed to the Lord, and He came to my aid. Jesus will sanctify our service for our good.

Looking through a purse to find identification. Strength of Youth; five scriptures. Recipe for Black Forest cake. A quiet example of a young lady living the gospel.

No woman should feel the need to apologize that she is a mother and a homemaker.

President Eyring

We must serve the poor and needy of the Lord’s children. He has created ways to serve those who need help. Our hearts are often stirred with feelings of sympathy. The Lord hears their cries and sees your compassion. He has invited us to consecrate our time, means, and help. Law of consecration, United Order, Church Welfare Program. They are for all times and all places. Out of love, we need to consecrate what we have to those who have need.

Opportunities that the Lord has provided for us to help others in need. Renew and strengthen your commitment to act. Pay attention to wake up calls. We have all been touched with feelings of sympathy for those we don’t even know. Turn feelings of sympathy into decisions to act upon your covenants.

Principles to help in the Lord’s way.

1. Everyone is happier and feels more self-respect when they can provide for themselves and their families, and then can reach out to help others.
I can have a surplus when I spend less than I earn; then I can help others.

2. Missed this one

3. Love family and work together.

4. Seek out the poor. The Bishop needs to seek out and provide help to those who still need assistance after they’ve done all they can do. Rely on inspiration of Relief Society president.

Self project

1. Prepare yourself and those you lead spiritually.

2. Choose people in kingdom or community

3. Work on feelings of unity. They can grow and become a lasting legacy long after the project ends.

“I love this work, and it is work.” (President Benson)

‎"We cannot give a crust to the Lord without receiving a loaf in return." -Melvin J. Ballard

Seize opportunities to lift up the hands that hang down and strengthen the feeble knees.

Sunday Session of Stake Conference Notes 20 March 2011

20 March 2011 Sunday Session of Stake Conference

Today Presidents Poulsen, Avarell, and Ewell released.

New Stake Presidency: Presidents Garvin, Kinser, and Andrews

President Poulsen

Expressions of love and appreciation for us as his brothers and sisters. Testimony of the restored church of Jesus Christ. It is true, brothers and sisters. If we follow the brethren and the Spirit, we will find peace and joy. Expressions of love and appreciation for his counselors and others he has worked with and for the Bishops. How I love my Savior. I know that He lives. I know that He is my Redeemer.

Be more loving to each other and to our children. If we truly love one another and care for each other, the blessings will flow.

Every morning, on bended knee, petitioning our Father to help us and our families. Morning Devotionals. We will know what we are to do, what we will say, who we are to serve.

Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God, and I love him with all my heart. Joseph Smith is a prophet of God.

Expressions of love and appreciation for his mother.

Sister Poulsen

Gratitude for members of the stake, for the stake presidency and wives. She wants us all to know that they love us. She has seen the hand of the Lord in all of our lives in the past nine years. She is grateful for the opportunity and that she was able to support her husband.

President Avarell

As we read the scriptures and find something new, the Holy Ghost testifies that it is true. That’s how He knows that Heavenly Father lives, that Jesus lives and atoned for us, that we have a prophet.

President Ewell

Keep your white shirts. It’s not about your white or your blue shirt. You represent Jesus Christ. You are preparing yourselves now for the very thing that you see today—to become like the two men that are here visiting us. They are men of God. The Spirit of God has worked upon them. Your new stake presidency is called of God. I endorse them to you. Stay on the path. How our family has been blessed by service in the church! How the Spirit of God has moved over our family to provide what is needed for their growth! Grateful to his wife for understanding and knowing that the gospel is true. Loves parents and ancestors who died for this church. “I know that God lives, and I do know that He is directing this work.” If miracles have ceased, it is because of lack of faith. But we have seen miracles in our stake. “Those miracles are to confirm to us His reality, so that we can continue on.” We have a prophet on the earth; there is a prophet today visiting us. Joseph was a prophet. The Book of Mormon is true.

Sister Garvin

We have some tall shoes to fill. Grateful for past presidency. She felt prompted to get ready for the evening meeting right away. Elder Christofferson were so kind and genuine; it was like they had always known them. “Maybe we shouldn’t be driving for the next couple of days…I promise that we will get a grip.” Testimony of God’s love for us. Jesus Christ Is our Savior; He loves us, and I love Him. The scriptures are true; the Book of Mormon is true. President Monson reads and prays daily. Testimony of prophet. Thankful for her wonderful parents. Grateful for family and children and for Kirk’s children. “I love them; they are my own.” I hope that you will accept Kirk and me and that we will do everything that we are supposed to do, and more.

President Garvin

Gratitude to Sister Poulsen. We need look no further than to the members of this stake to see examples of righteousness. Grateful to the outgoing presidency. I don’t know how I can fill their shoes. I know that there are 15 to 20 members of the stake that can serve better than I. (No, there are probably more like 25 to 30). He was called by a prophet of God. He has learned some things before he came here, but he knew the gospel truths before that. Gratitude for his wife. “I would not be here without her.” Gratitude for the sealing ordinances of the temple. The Book of Mormon is the word of God; it is a shield against the power of the destroyer. Joseph Smith was indeed as the prophet of God, holding all of the keys of all those who proceeded him. “I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me.” Until your testimony is strong enough, look to the brethren and trust in their testimony. Jesus lives, and with His stripes we are healed.

Sister Godwin

The change of leadership in the stake is a testimony to observe and see the workings of the Spirit. President Monson is a true prophet of God. It is a testimony to see how smoothly things go in a change of leadership. The first presidency and quorum of the twelve are inspired of God. No success in life can compensate for failure in the home. We have seen the deterioration of the family. Follow the counsel given by the prophets. They see far into the future and into the past. We are extremely blessed to be the recipients of their seership. Scriptures are true.

President Godwin

What a privilege to receive counsel from a prophet. He testified that the outgoing presidency has loved and served us. He’s looking forward to working with new presidency. White shirts and ties are the uniform of the Priesthood. The gate is narrow and the path straight. The Gate is Him. He is the Redeemer of the world and our personal Savior. It is a gift from the Spirit that he knows that Jesus is the Savior. The boy Joseph knelt in the Sacred Grove in humble prayer seeking—the Father and the Son appears to him. The restored gospel is here; we are led by a prophet today. As we follow the prophets, we are shielded and protected. The Book of Mormon is here for us not only as a second witness of Jesus Christ, but to give us direction.

Sister Morgan

What a blessing to be President and Matron of the Redlands Temple. Her heart broke over the devastation in Japan. She lived in Japan with her parents when she was 18 and 19. People sold their land to be able to go to Hawaii to be sealed as a family. It broke her heart to see so many lose their homes and the land. Thank you for going to the temple regularly. I know it is the House of the Lord; I feel His presence. I’ve never seen Him; I’ve never seen anything from the other side, but I know they’re there. Please go to the temple.

President Morgan

He still expects President Poulsen to come and give him a hug when he goes to the temple. Every day is a good day in the temple. The ordinances performed in the temple are ordinances of exaltation. (The ordinances prior to that are ordinances of salvation.) His parents were married and sealed in the Logan Temple; he was born in the covenant. He had the faith that it was true when he was a young missionary. As he testified, he found that he knew. Ordinances are valid as long as we keep our covenants.

Elder Packer

A welcome to investigators. He loves seeing the missionaries sitting with investigators. Much has been spoken of the Holy Ghost. Through the power of the Holy Ghost the stake presidency was changed in the last 36 hours, and the loyalty of the members has changed like a snap of the fingers. Where else do you see that? Through the power of the Holy Ghost we can know the truth of all things.

1. I can see, hear, and know, and watch the mysteries of the gospel unfold through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Why wasn’t the young man bitter? His burden was lifted by the power of the Holy Ghost and the testimony that he already had.

There is a member of the Godhead.

Paul said, “The fruits of the Spirit are…” You don’t have to have the waves of intelligence constantly. Can you feel the fruits of the Spirit in your life? I knew when I had the Holy Ghost with me because of Paul. Equate the fruits of the Spirit with having the Holy Ghost with you. “I know that I have the Holy Ghost when I treat my wife (people) the way that I am supposed to.” (The man that he was speaking to was abusing his wife.)

Elder Christofferson

Expressing thanks to all who have participated in the preparations of the conference. “Please speak slowly; you are being translate…It didn’t work. I guess I didn’t speak slowly enough.” Words in Spanish. “If you don’t know Spanish, take it on faith that that made sense. That’s what I do.”

Expression of gratitude for other speakers. The Lord draws near and grants an extra blessing of His presence to those released and those sustained. Deepest thanks to outgoing presidency and their wives and families. The Lord has magnified you and given you added gifts and capacity to serve.

The Lord is the source for those who are called. He knows that the Lord has manifested His will for the new presidency. Pray for these men frequently in your homes. The Lord has added blessings to bestow on us and the stake as we pray for them. Petition the Lord for their sake and for our own.

He gets to see President Monson up close. He doesn’t give us a long list of to dos. He does a few things. Pay close attention. Take note and respond.

1. We need more missionaries; well prepared and faithful; YM and YW and couples! You can serve as church missionaries from your home. Couples do so much good, even if they don’t speak the language. “The worse they spoke, the more the people loved them.” Moroni at the top of the Tokyo Temple turned 90 degrees.

2. More attention to marriages and family. Some divorces are urgent and necessary and open doors for a better future. Difficult cases for the prophet to cancel sealings. Teach again and again and again the importance of what happens at home and between couples: honorable, faithful, fidelity. Guard against those things that will separate an eternal union. Brethren, lead out in spiritual things at home. You and your wives work together, but husbands lead out. You take the lead. Let that be your legacy.
(13 year old whose father was shot on Sunday called his family together for morning prayer and scripture reading, because of his father’s example.)
D&C 18:34-36 “You can testify that you have heard my voice and know my words.” Scriptures help us learn the language of the Spirit and recognize the voice of the Lord. Even when we can’t be with our children, they can have the voice of the Lord.

3. Look after one another; minister to one another; rescue both temporally and spiritually. Even with President Monson’s heavy responsibilities, he finds time to minister personally. Apostle of Compassion. He acts in faith. He does what he can now—smile, handshake, blessing, prayer. He is a wonderful model for us to follow. Do what we can now and have faith that the Lord will provide.
D&C 123:13 Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power. And then we can stand still with the utmost confidence that we will see the hand of the Lord. (Florence, though homebound, saved the life of someone who was near suicide through visiting teaching by mail.)

We can all have access to the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the witness of the Holy Spirit. Jesus asked the Apostles to wait until they received the Holy Ghost. He is essential to help us remember what we know, what we’ve been taught; essential to help us understand; essential to give expression with a divine witness of the truth of what we receive or speak. More powerful than seeing or feeling or touching. It is possible to doubt your senses. The witness of the Spirit cannot be doubted or forgotten. More powerful than any other form of testimony. Available to everyone who will seek it.

Jesus is His Son, the Only Begotten. The Father and the Son came to boy Joseph when he asked for guidance. They commissioned him as the prophet of the restoration. Joseph was faithful despite all of the challenges and sacrifices, even to death, in maintaining the cause of the Father and Son. He bore witness of the Savior that is incomparable. “Joseph, this is My Beloved Son.” We can all receive this same witness through the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost will be with the new presidency in all they do. It will make your testimony powerful and convincing. As you follow that Spirit, in your home there will be food, enough for you, and a little extra so that you can share. You will know that the Lord knows you and is looking after you. You will feel His love more than ever before. You will have a sense of His approval as well as His love.