When the spirit speaks, we need to follow with exactness. God is interested in the details of our lives and will be as much a part of our lives as we let Him.
Wome women give birth and never really mother. Some women never bear children, but mother their whole lives.
Sometimes all it takes is to change our perspective.
Hope is an abiding faith and trust in God.
- No matter where you serve, it's how you serve that matters
- You don't have to be a child prodigee to be successful.
- Where there is Christ, there is hope.
- Often times hope is the only thing we have to offer others.
- Pride and competitiveness are traps and are patterns of the world we ought not follow
- Family prayer, consistent scripture study, family meals and gatherings together, attending meetings are all good patterns we can follow and model for our children.
She talked about how the observance of the Sabbath has changed over the years. It used to be referred to as the Holy Sabbath, then the Sabbath, then Sunday, and now it's most commonly just referred to as "the weekend". Are our Sunday activities centered around Christ and the Holy Sabbath?
God has given us a pattern. We give our children patterns to follow, but we and they have agency.
Shortcuts rarely pay off.
3 Nephi 11:29 "He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another. But behold this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, but this is my doctrine that such things should be done away."
Look to the scriptures for patterns that will give our lives direction and hope for parenting and marriage.
Challenge: You will feel a daily renewal of God's love by having a morning devotional of prayer, scripture study and meditation, even if it is a few minutes. We will be deeply blessed by the Lord and will feel his power. Are we in too big of a hurry or too busy to be blessed by the Lord?
Family Meals will help effect improvement in all areas if you meet 3 or more times together as a family.
We can't be casual followers of Christ because Satan is abroad in the land. We need to follow the patterns of happiness and optimism.
What light are we shinning? What patterns are emerging from our lanterns?
Hillary Weeks had lots of musical and speaking presentations throughout the day. She was really great.
- We might want to ask God to help us stop gossiping and find good in people. If we do we will find more love for others and more love for our self.
- 1 Peter 3:10 "For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile."
- Be kinder. Give the benefit of the doubt. Everyone yo umeet is facing something difficult.
- Gordon B. Hinckley, "Many of you think you are failures. You feel you cannot do well, that with all of your effort it is not sufficient. We all feel that way. I feel that way as I speak to you tonight. I long for, I pray for the power and the capacity to lift you, to inspire you, to thank you, to praise you, and to bring a measure of gladness into your hearts. We all worry about our performance. We all wish we could do better. But unfortunately we do not realize, we do not often see the results that come of what we do." (Ensign Nov. 2003)
Began with a story about going skiing for 3 days straight on a vacation and was so sore by the end, all she wanted to do was climb into pjs by 4pm on the 3rd day. She realized she needed to run to the store right after she got in her pjs and was too sore to want to change again.
She went to the store, returned 3 dvds, and began to check out a dvd while talking on the phone with a woman who needed help. Though she had a specific plan for her movies, the actual machine was quite slow and a line started to form. A woman came up and tapped her on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me, but you're not supposed to be on the phone while using this machine!" She thought the lady was joking, gave her a quick wink, and finished up what she was doing. When she left, the lady approached her again and said, "You are RUDE and you're wearing your pajamas!" As she walked through the store to get what she needed, her thoughts kept spiraling out to the point where she felt she was the worst mother and she was in tears by the time she got home.
Her point was, it only takes 1 person questioning us and our world can seem to come crashing down.
In our moments of discouragement, where do we turn?
Learn to see a good day
- change your perspective
- love life
- compare the perspective of Nephi and his brothers Laman and Lemuel. Nephi had "seen much affliction...but knew he was favored of the Lord" whereas Laman and Lemuel complain unceasingly, "Behold these many years we have suffered in the wilderness, which time we might have enjoyed our possessions and the land of our inheritance; yea, and we might have been happy." (1 nephi 17:21)
- Hope will come when we learn to see good in our lives
- Create a physical list of what you love
- Give your heart a great experience. Ecclesiastes 1:16 "yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge."
- She told a story of staying at her mother's and their neighbor had a really noisy dog. In the morning she was complaining to her mom about the horrible dog next door. The mom said she didn't hear a dog. How could she NOT hear the dog, she asked. "3 weeks earlier the neighbor came over and apologized in advance for the new noisy dog. She said, 'I have a son, who I adore, who is having a really hard time in life right now. His counselor suggested that the dog may give him something to live for.' So, I do not hear a dog. Whenever the dog starts to bark I hear, "I have a son, who I adore...'" Change your perspective. Everyone we meet is facing something difficult.
- Determine a reason for the hope that is in you. Where/to whom do we turn to in hard times? Family? Friends? The Savior can bring the oil of gladness. Our greatest hope comes from our Savior Jesus Christ.
- Jeremiah 29:11-13 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
- Hope for vs. Hope in. We hope for good things to happen. We hope in Christ. He has strength beyond my own.
Mariama Kallon -- Survivor from Siera Leon (the blood diamond place in Africa where the country was in war for 12 years over diamonds) Her story was very intense, very emotional, and it is one that changes lives and perspectives.
Ask the Lord to not be judgmental. "Create in me a clean heart, Oh Lord." Psalm 51:10
Her country was in war for 12 years over diamonds. She had to learn to live in light, even when circumstances were dark and dreary.
Her parents were killed by rebels while she and her brother and sister were running to try and escape. She heard the shooting in the house and began to turn to see if she could help her parents, but her sister yelled, "They are gone! Keep running!" They were unable to bury their parents because they had to run to protect themselves. Their brother was caught and refused to join the rebels. They chopped his hands off for this. She and her sister kept running. They found a hut where the slept for the night, thinking it would keep them safe. They awoke to rebels standing over them, the youngest which was 9. The rebels told them that they were going to rape them, then cut off their limbs and leave them there to die. She said the drugs the rebels were on made them view people as chickens. In that moment, she felt the need to talk to God. She pleaded with the Lord as her sister's legs were chopped off. As they were turning to her, there was a noise from the village saying the soldiers were coming. The rebels left and she was unharmed. "I didn't know how long I would live because it was a time of war." The soldiers came and helped her sister.
She ate and drank off the land as she ran. Her feet were swollen. She got to Freetown without any of her family. She found some people she knew, and stayed with them for a time. Their next door neighbors were members of the LDS church. One day they came to her and said, "We have nothing to give you except hope, refuge and courage in Christ from church." She found this to be intriguing, and went with them.
She found the LDS church to be very weird. Quiet. She was used to drums and dancing. But they described the resurrection as spoken of in Alma 40:23 "The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame." This gave her hope for her family she had left behind. She began reading the Book of Mormon.
At one point, some of her friends were turning to prostitution to try and earn money to live. As she considered this, she came across the scripture 2 Nephi 4:26-28 " O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions? And why should I yeild to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul."
She began taking missionary discussions from a returned missionary who lived in Freetown. She had to walk 3 miles every day, usually in the rain, to take the discussions. She was baptised in the river. She felt new, clean. During that time her Book of Mormon was her best friend. She had no school, nothing, because it was a time of war. So she read and often went to the church to clean the building and the yard. "I did things I didn't realize were service until I came here! I felt blessed to do those things because the Lord spared me to help others."
After a time, she decided she wanted to serve a mission for the church, but didn't know how that would be possible since she had no family to support her and no money to her name. The branch president said if she wanted to go, there a way would be prepared for her. Just as she was getting ready, she found out that her baby cousin and half sister were found, alive. She was the only relation that could take care of them. She felt very strongly about serving a mission and as she read the scriptures, she came across Doctrine and Covenants 31:1 "Blessed are you Thomas, because of your faith in my work. Behold you have had many afflictions because of your family; nevertheless, I will bless you and your family, yea, your little ones..." She told her branch president of her predicament, and he told her that he would take care of the kids while she was gone.
She was called to serve a mission on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. She was like a queen in Africa because she would be going to America. While she was serving her mission, she was often saddened that she had no support, no family to write her. The other sisters asked their mothers to write her as they wrote their daughters. She received much love and support as if she were their own.At one point, a couple from Texas asked to speak with the sister from Africa. She was afraid that she had offended someone by her bad English. But they told her that they wanted to adopt a boy from Africa and asked if she knew of anyone. She pulled out the picture of her baby cousin and half sister. They decided to adopt both of them. Her sister is here and married, and her cousin is now 12 years old and happy.
"When we listen and obey, he grants us his promised blessings."