Thursday, November 26, 2015

Express Appreciation

"How helpful and rewarding it would be if all of us would likewise thank God for one more day. For what? For the opportunity to take care of some unfinished business, to express appreciation, to repent, to right some wrongs, to influence for good some wayward child, to reach out to someone who cried for help—in short, to thank God for one more day to prepare to meet Him."

"Let us remember that acts of kindness with pure motives and righteous purposes can be and are encouraged to be done in quietness, gentle voices, and in privacy. We can program ourselves to build, encourage, and give strength."
Elder Marvin J. Ashton - April 1991 General Conference

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Don't Judge!

Surprise! Surprise!

I dreamt death came the other night
And heaven's gate swung wide;
With kindly grace an angel came
To usher me inside.

And there to my astonishment
Stood folks I'd known on earth,
Some of whom I'd judged unfit
And of but little worth.

Indignant words rose to my lips,
But never were set free,
For every face showed stunned surprise;
NOT ONE expected ME! 


Adapted from "A Book of Prayer" collected and compiled by Canon W. F. Shail, Christ Church, Dorset, United Kingdom

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Sacrament

In a talk in sacrament meeting earlier this month, one of our friends spoke and shared a couple of things I want to remember. The first was a quote or saying from her dad that the "power of an inspired teacher can change lives."

She also shared the five principles from Elder Don R. Clarke's talk on the sacrament given in the 2012 October general conference.

  • Have a feeling of gratitude for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
  • Remember that we are renewing our baptismal covenants.
  • During the sacrament we can feel forgiven of our sins.
  • We can receive inspiration for solutions to our problems.
  • Partaking of the sacrament worthily will help us be filled with the Holy Ghost.

He said that it will always be a great sacrament meeting if the sacrament is the center of our worship, and he also shared this quote from Elder Melvin J. Ballard:

“I am a witness that there is a spirit attending the administration of the sacrament that warms the soul from head to foot; you feel the wounds of the spirit being healed, and the load being lifted. Comfort and happiness come to the soul that is worthy and truly desirous of partaking of this spiritual food.”

Friday, November 6, 2015

Reflections on a Consecrated Life

Our seminary lessons always have such great quotes as part of the devotional, and yet I've found that when I take the time to go read the entire talk from which the little blurb was taken, I learn even more. Isn't that wonderful?

Here was today's thought:

To consecrate is to set apart or dedicate something as sacred, devoted to holy purposes. True success in this life comes in consecrating our lives—that is, our time and choices—to God’s purposes. In so doing, we permit Him to raise us to our highest destiny.

But Elder Christofferson had so much more to say on the subject! Here are some more of the bits and pieces of his talk, Reflections on a Consecrated Life, that stood out to me.

The Lord’s law of consecration is an application of celestial law to life here and now.

The consecrated life is a pure life. 
Consecration therefore means repentance. [This includes] submission, a desire for correction, and acceptance of all that the Lord may require.*

A consecrated life is a life of labor.
Work builds and refines character, creates beauty, and is the instrument of our service to one another and to God. A consecrated life is filled with work, sometimes repetitive, sometimes menial, sometimes unappreciated but always work that improves, orders, sustains, lifts, ministers, aspires.

A consecrated life respects the incomparable gift of one’s physical body, a divine creation in the very image of God.
As our body is the instrument of our spirit, it is vital that we care for it as best we can.

A consecrated life is a life of service. 
Those who quietly and thoughtfully go about doing good offer a model of consecration.

A consecrated life is a life of integrity.
Integrity is not naiveté. What is naive is to suppose that we are not accountable to God.

*See Mosiah 3:19, also this quote by B. H. Roberts: “The man who so walks in the light and wisdom and power of God, will at the last, by the very force of association, make the light and wisdom and power of God his own—weaving those bright rays into a chain divine, linking himself forever to God and God to him. This [is] the sum of Messiah’s mystic words, ‘Thou, Father, in me, and I in thee’—beyond this human greatness cannot achieve.”