Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hard Work

Mosiah 3:7 And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.

I don't think there was a man that walked this earth who worked harder for the salvation of man than the Savior himself.  He gave his life to bring to pass the immortality of man.  I feel indebted to Him for all that He's done for me and yet, I know that I will never be able to repay Him so I choose to live my life in a way that helps me strengthen my relationship with Him.  I want to know Him so that I will know how to become like Him.

As a wife and mother to an amazing husband and some beautifully talented kids, there is no work here on earth that I've encountered that challenges me more on a daily basis like these two roles that I play.  Because family is everything to me, there isn't anything that I work harder at keeping in tact and on track than this.  But that doesn't mean that it doesn't have it's fair share of pain, stress, heartache, anxiety, sadness, pride, suffering, and loss.

J. Richard Clarke said, "Every piece of work that we do is a portrait of the one who produced it."  This is how I feel about my role as a mother.  I have a responsibility to teach my kids correct principles and rear them in righteousness or the Lord will hold me accountable for their wrong doings.  He's entrusted these amazing spirits into my care so that I may teach them to keep His commandments.  The best way for me to do that is by living it.  Nothing speaks louder than words like action.  Through action comes examples.  Sometimes I think that we think of work as an occupation outside of the home.  As much as it is, our most important work will be the one that's performed within the walls of our homes.  J. Richard Clarke also said, "We work to earn a living, it is true; but as we toil, let us also remember that we are building a life.  Our work determines what that life will be."

My husband and I have countless conversations about the well-being of our children.  We talk about what we're doing to help them develop into the divine beings they are meant to become in this life.  We set goals on how to help them reach their full potential and then we execute them by doing our best to be in tuned with the Holy Ghost so that when we receive promptings, we're able to recognize them and act on them immediately.  It's been our modern day Liahona to help guide us during these times when the world tries to sway us in every direction that points opposite of the Savior.  It can be a very scary place to live in, but living the gospel has been such a saving grace in my life.  It's everything.  It helps me to remember my covenants that I've made with the Lord as well as helping me to keep my lines of communication open with Him through constant prayer.

Something I've been working constantly on these past couple of months is the law of tithing.  I have seen the Lord's hand directing me in the very simplest of things as well as things I've had to increase in patience about in order to learn the things I've needed to really love this law/commandment.  My testimony in keeping this law has strengthened so much and the blessings that have come from it have been in such abundance.  I continue to work hard and tirelessly at being able to increase my learning in this sacred law so that I may know the Savior.  Giving of my time and talent(s) is another way of being an instrument in the hands of the Lord because He is the one that has given me the time that I have here on earth as well as the talents He wants me to use in order to move His work forward.  I am ever so grateful for the gospel in my life and for a loving father in heaven that continues to guide and direct me in the affairs of my life.  I'd be so lost without Him.  If you want to learn more about this gospel, click here

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Road Not Traveled

This past week I've indulged in the last part of 2Nephi.  I have read and re-read chapters 28-33.  There were many things I loved and learned while studying these different chapters and even verses.  The first one that caught my attention was 2Nephi 28:2 which reads:

2. And the things which shall be written out of the book shall be of great worth unto the children of men, and especially unto our seed, which is a remnant of the house of Israel.

President Ezra Taft Benson taught that, "Each of the major writers of the Book of Mormon testified that he wrote for future generations."  "If they saw our day and chose those things which would be of greatest worth to us, is not that how we should study the Book of Mormon?  We should constantly ask ourselves, 'Why did the Lord inspire Mormon (or Moroni or Alma) to include that in his record?  What lesson can I learn from that to help me live in this day and age?"

I have taken these questions to heart while studying it out in my mind.  I believe that these prophets of the Book of Mormon were inspired and guided through the power of the Holy Ghost to write specifically for our day.  The last days.  They were shown our day so that they may be able to discern what we would need in order for us to make it on that strait and narrow path back home to our father in heaven.  A path that is not easy at all.  You could call it. . . the road less travelled.  One of my peers in my online class used the Savior as the ultimate example.  He talked about how the Savior travelled the road not travelled at all by anyone else because no one else was qualified for that 'bitter cup' that he partook of in the garden of Gethsemane.  When I think of this moment in His life, I think of D&C 19:16-18:

16. For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent.
17. Bit if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
18. Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit-and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink

I am so humbled to my very core when I read this scripture.  It is such a heart-wrenching read.  I can't even imagine what He went through, but for Him to carry out His father's plan so that I may have a sure way back to my heavenly home, fills me so much love and compassion towards my Savior.  It helps me to continually ask for forgiveness for all of my short-comings and work towards turning them into strengths.  I am so grateful for such a loving father in heaven whose arm is always stretched out still.

Another interesting couple verses that I learned so much from this week was in 2Nephi 29:12-13 which reads:

12. For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it.
13. And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.

I was really excited after studying these two verses because I am excited to discover in the Lord's time, when he will reveal these "lost books" unto us.  It's so amazing to know that there are other people that the Lord is revealing His work to and I look forward to reading it.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, "Lost books are among the treasures yet to come forth.  Over twenty of these are mentioned in the existing scriptures.  Perhaps most startling and voluminous will be the record of the lost tribes of Israel.  We would not even know of the impending third witness for Christ except through the precious Book of Mormon, the second witness for Christ!  This third set of sacred records will thus complete a triad of truth.  Then, just as the Perfect Shepherd has said, 'My word also shall be gathered in one'.  There will be 'one fold and one shepherd' in a welding together of all the Christian dispensations of human history."

I have been working on the attribute of obedience these past couple of weeks.  Obedience to many things for this attribute can be applied across the board in our lives.  I see the Lord's hand in every single moment of my life.  I see it in my kids' lives.  I see it in the lives of those around me whether they be families, friends, or neighbors.  Keeping this attribute of obedience has given me such peace of mind in my life.  It has helped me to draw boundaries that I will never cross.  It has helped me grow my testimony in the law of tithes, offerings, prayer and fasting.  This road has not been an easy one to travel down and that's okay.  I'm not one to take the easy route in anything I do.  Some may call it stubbornness, but I know that every experience I go through is Heavenly Father's way of molding me into the person I am to become.  I have prayed for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost to guide me through this ever so lonesome and dreary world.  I have prayed to recognize his still, small voice so that I may be able to act on the promptings I receive.  It has been a saving grace for me.  I have been able to strengthen my personal relationships with my kids through consistent family prayers, weekly church attendance, and weekly family home evenings.  We've made some big changes in our lives as a family and I am touched with the Lord's hand in these decisions we've made.  We are working on our eternal salvation with a family goal of, "No empty seats in heaven."  That is our exact goal to eternal life.  We have talked about having no empty seats in heaven.  We don't want anyone to be left behind.  We can't imagine eternity without any one of us there in the celestial kingdom together so we have weekly challenges in our family home evenings that are attached to each lesson given.  We report on how we did or did not work on our challenges in the following week's family home evening.  It has been a success so far and has helped us to each work on different attributes that will help strengthen our relationships with the Savior on a more personal level.  This week's challenge is on prayer.  Praying to Heavenly Father on something we are struggling with right now or something we want to understand more of or just plain thanking Him for specific blessings he has bestowed on us individually.  I'm looking forward to hearing their reports and reporting my own experience.  These weekly challenges have forced us into action.  We are not just talking about how we should be.  We are doing what we should be doing and growing through our different progress.

Elder David A. Bednar said, "Coming unto Christ is not a single event with a fixed point of beginning or ending; rather, it is a process that develops and depends during a lifetime.  As an initial step in the process, we certainly must obtain knowledge and learn about Jesus and His life, teachings and ministry.  But truly coming unto Him also requires consistent obedience and striving to become like Jesus in our thoughts, motives, communications, and actions.  As we 'press forward' on the pathway of discipleship, we can draw near unto the Savior with the expectation that He will draw unto the Savior with the expectation that He will draw hear unto us; we can seek Him diligently with the hope that we shall find Him; we can ask with confidence that we shall receive; and we can knock anticipating that the door shall be opened unto us."

I challenge you all to, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30.