Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I love receiving priesthood blessings even when Heavenly Father is chastening me for something. The reason why is because Heavenly Father loves me enough to tell me where I need to do better, where I need to be stronger. He has the bigger picture in view and if I trust in him and follow the guidance he gives than I know he will bless me. In a talk by Julie B. Beck she says, "Each of us is equally entitled to a priesthood blessing when we are sick or need added support from the Lord in our lives." (Julie B. Beck, “An Outpouring of Blessings,”). The Lord is there for us and willing to help and guide us if we have faith in him and ask for a blessing.
I've had many experiences in my life where someone shares that they are having a hard time in their life with me, or that they are sick and don't know what to do. My first response is asking, "Have you asked for a priesthood blessing?" So many times the answer is no, which saddens me because I know that they will receive the guidance and healing needed if they just ask.
I know the power of the priesthood is real. I've read and heard stories where the spirit testified to me that they are true. I've had many experiences in my life that have strengthened my testimony in the power of the priesthood. I will share a few experiences that stand out.
One of the first ones comes from when I was 12 or 13. I was going to have surgery to remove my tonsils and adenoids. I was really nervous. I was afraid that something bad would happen and that perhaps I would die. I've always been terrified of Dr's and hospitals. My mom suggested that I get a priesthood blessing before having the surgery. We asked the missionaries who were serving at that time if they would administer a blessing to me. They of course said yes and gave me a blessing. I was told everything would be fine and that I would be comforted. The morning of the surgery I woke up and started to panic and ask "What if...?" Every time the "what if's" came to mind a voice spoke to me and told me I would be alright. I was calmed down and able to go in for surgery and everything was fine.
Another experience was more recent a little over a year ago. I was preparing to travel to Germany to visit my brother Eddy and his beautiful family. Just before leaving I put my back out and was barely able to move. I couldn't hardly walk or get out of bed. My ticket was already purchased and I desperately wanted to go. I turned to my husband and asked for a blessing. We called on our home teachers to help administer. I was told that I would be okay and told that I would be healed. As the words came my body felt different. The pain was evaporating away. Part of me was stunned but the rest of me was grateful to Heavenly Father for blessing me with a husband that is a worthy priesthood holder and that He saw it fit to heal me at that time.
Most recently was my experience with being pregnant and bringing Benjamin into the world. Shortly after I found out I was pregnant I asked for a blessing. I was told that my pregnancy would be fine but that I would experience pain in my labor. This made me nervous to some degree. I knew there would be pain but I wondered how much. I prayed to Heavenly Father and he comforted me and a scripture came to mind about how the Lord does not give us more than we can handle. When I went into labor and had been laboring for about 24 hours already I asked Jared for another priesthood blessing. I was told several things...one thing in particular that there would be some complications but that I would be healthy and so would our son. This was a hard thing to hear for Jared and I but we were able to prepare ourselves and trust in the Lord that everything would be alright.
Priesthood blessings are an amazing blessing in our lives. There priesthood holders all around us worthy and willing to bless us if we but ask them. I love to hear what Heavenly Father has to share with me and then write it down so I don't forget it and so I can look back and see what I was told.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I found a great article while researching the topic of judging and how we are told we should not judge. The article is from 1972 by N. Eldon Tanner. It may be old but it is amazing! It's titled "Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged". If you have time go and read it.
One of the reasons why I feel bad about when I judge is the scripture comes to mind of how we will be judged using the same judgement we dealt out. Now knowing that I am human and I judge unfairly I certainly don't want to be judged that way. The scripture is found in Matthew chapter 7 versus 1 through 5. "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” This scripture is a great reminder that when we are dealing out unfair judgements we probably have bigger faults in our own lives that we should be dealing with. And if we were taking care of our own problems then perhaps we could be there when someone else needs us to help them with theirs.
"It seems common practice for people to talk about their friends and neighbors and to criticize their seeming peculiarities and weaknesses. In fact, it is so general that one would think that gossiping about and judging others was the thing to do. How often have we heard of young men who were criticized, judged, and ridiculed because of their peculiarities and yet who eventually became leaders in their different fields of endeavor." (N. Eldon Tanner, “‘Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged’,”) How many times do we catch ourselves judging people or gossiping about them? It really is easy to do. I know that the adversary knows it is a weakness of mine and is constantly bombarding me with situations or feelings for me to fall prey to. There's been several Sundays where I will leave my home after praying for strength not to judge and then 15 minutes into the service I am judging someone. I then feel awful and have the "Doh!" moment and ask Heavenly Father to forgive me and try again.
"When we try to judge people, which we should not do, we have a great tendency to look for and take pride in finding weaknesses and faults, such as vanity, dishonesty, immorality, and intrigue. As a result, we see only the worst side of those being judged."(N. Eldon Tanner, “‘Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged’,”) It is so easy to see the worst in people. For some reason the worst is easiest to latch onto and not the good. For instance I work with the young women in my ward and there is a girl who I constantly judge. I have a very hard time finding anything good about her. I feel awful that I have these feelings about her but it makes sense now after reading this article. I let myself dwell for so long on the negative aspects of what I see in her that I can't find the good. I need to let go of those thoughts and start seeing the good she has.
In the scriptures in the book of John we find the story about a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. She was brought before the Savior for judgement and he simply said "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Then, after stooping and writing in the sand, he looked up and said, “… where are those thine accusers?” (John 8:7, 10, N. Eldon Tanner, “‘Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged’,”) The Savior made it very clear that we are not to judge. Only Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know us inside and out and understand our hearts and intentions. They have the whole story and will judge righteously.
We need to do our best to not judge and when we find ourselves judging or gossiping we need to repent quickly and ask for strength to not do it again.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
- Live a righteous life
- Get married in the temple
- Have a family and raise them in righteousness
These are all things I am trying to do and have done. The later is the newest one on my list of accomplishments and on my to do list. While looking at blogs yesterday I found a craft around the "The Family Proclamation". So I was trying to decide what to write on today it hit me...the Family.
Families are the central part of Heavenly Father's plan. In the book of Genesis in chapter 1 verse 28 the Lord commands Adam and Eve to multiply and replenish the earth. It is a commandment from the very beginning to have families. We all come from a Heavenly family, we were (and are) brothers and sisters in the pre-existence. We came down to the earth and were born into families. I know and believe that if we are sealed in the temple that our families are sealed together for time and all eternity. If we live worthy and obey God's commandments we can live together again with God and Jesus Christ.
A family consists of a mother and a father who have the "solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children" (The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Liahona, Jun 1996). Of course marriage is not easy but if you read the Proclamation closely it tells you how to have a happy and successful marriage and family. "Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." Basically all the principles of the gospel. Now if you do these things it does not mean that your marriage and family will be trial free. We are here after all to gain experiences and be tried to see if we will follow the Lord. I find it interesting how work is close to the end of the list. Work is good and necessary but it should not be all consuming. We need to balance our lives with family at the head.
I am grateful for the Proclamation on families and the principles it outlines. I am grateful for the family I was raised in and the bonds built there. I am grateful for my budding family and look forward with faith for the Lord to help me raise it in righteousness that we might all be worthy to return to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Earlier this week I made a batch of Strawberry Jam with pectin. Apparently pectin and I just don't get along. It won't set!!! Oh well next batch is without pectin and it will set. So weird! So for now I have Strawberry preserves.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I feel weird. I feel like I should be sadder. Jared thought for sure he would see tears by now. I guess I've just been preparing myself for this moment. I've wanted to get rid of my cats for weeks now. Since having Benjamin I have not been giving them the attention or care they deserve.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
So the results are in...depending on the stain if it's been washed already it can't do much but if it's been sitting in the dirty laundry just getting old than you have a fighting chance.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
About 2 weeks ago I was going downstairs to clean out the litter box for my cats. I was grabbing a garbage bag from under the kitchen sink to go clean it out. As I was grabbing one the thought came to me that I should take two bags. I thought about it for a second or two and dismissed the thought. One garbage bag was always plenty. Once downstairs I emptied the whole litter box into the garbage bag and quickly tried to haul it out to the garbage can outside. I made it to the door to the garage and the bag broke at the top. I had to run upstairs to grab another garbage bag. If I had listened I would have had one on me. But I didn't. On the positive side I got more exercise.
This past Saturday Jared and I were hanging out downstairs for awhile. I grabbed Benjamin, the wipes and a diaper so I wouldn't have to run upstairs. The thought came to me to grab a second diaper. I ignored the prompting. I changed Benjamin after I thought he was done pooping and I was wrong. I had to go get another diaper.
I know these are two small examples of not following promptings. But the thought keeps coming that the Lord is trying to teach me how to listen with small and simple things. I find it comforting and amazing that he cares about my chores and diaper changing to try to help me. I wish that I had listened. It is one thing that I am trying to be better at. To be a receptacle to the promptings from the Holy Ghost and then listen and follow them. It's not always easy though. So many times I feel like they are just my own thoughts especially when it's mundane things like changing a diaper. Yet the Lord is mindful of me and willing to help me if I would but listen.
I ask Heavenly Father often to forgive me for not listening and give me another opportunity. President Thomas S. Monson said that of those who do hear the promptings of the Holy Ghost that they "do not postpone following promptings of the spirit." ("The Spirit Giveth Life", Ensign, May 1985) If you read the article The Spirit Giveth Life by President Monson at the end you will find a story about a prompting he received to go visit someone in the hospital and give them a blessing. When he got to the hospital he found his friend on the verge of throwing himself into a pool to drown as he was depressed, alone and hopeless. He says that he "learned a lesson that day: Never, never, never postpone following a prompting."
If we don't follow promptings we one lose the opportunity for more promptings. And two we miss out on a opportunity to do the Lord's work and bless the lives of those around us. We are the Lord's hands if we would but let him use and mold us. I've seen many blessings in my life from following promptings and I do try to hearken to his voice. It's not always easy to recognize his voice but if we are doing our scripture study, attending church and all of our meetings, and saying our personal and family prayers it will be easier to recognize.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
I bought some peg board, screws, fancy furniture tacks, and spray paint. Once I found the furniture tacks I knew which color I wanted to pain the peg board. GOLD!!! I'm so not a gold person but it was too perfect and felt right.
So I got the peg board cut down to fit my measurements. Once home I set up shop in the driveway and sprayed the boards. After they dried I hid them in the garage. I didn't want Jared to see what I was up to until I was done. I was trying to surprise him since my vision involved him (sort of).
Today I got the boards out and the screws. I filled up the boards with screws and then eventually got it hung up in my closet. I had to use nails first to hang and then add my fancy furniture tacks.
I added some items and stepped back and admired my creativity and unique hat and belt holders.
Jared has like 30 some hats. I've tried a few different ways to organize his hats and I feel this is the best way so far. And it keeps the floor clear. Hooray for vision and gold spray paint!!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
In Exodus chapter 20 verse 8 we read “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” We are commanded to keep the Sabbath Day holy. We have six days to work and take care of things but we are asked to give one day unto the Lord and worship him. What things should we do on the Sabbath to keep it holy? Or better put how do we keep the Sabbath Day holy? We are to go to church and renew our covenants with the Lord by partaking of the sacrament. We are to abstain from working and to spend time with our families. We should be studying the scriptures and renewing our spirits. “The prophet Spencer W. Kimball counseled: “The Sabbath is a holy day in which to do worthy and holy things. Abstinence from work and recreation is important but insufficient. The Sabbath calls for constructive thoughts and acts, and if one merely lounges about doing nothing on the Sabbath, he is breaking it. To observe it, one will be on his knees in prayer, preparing lessons, studying the gospel, meditating, visiting the ill and distressed, sleeping, reading wholesome material, and attending all the meetings of that day to which he is expected. [Failure] to do these proper things is a transgression on the omission side.”” (H. Aldridge Gillespie, “The Blessing of Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy,” Ensign, Nov 2000) I remember always hearing growing up that naps on Sunday are a great way to keep the Sabbath Day holy yet here a Prophet makes it very clear that if that’s all that you do then you are doing the opposite. We need to use our time wisely and if done so we will be renewed and blessed for doing so.
I know that I am not always good at observing the Sabbath Day like I should but I try. Each week I have another Sunday to try again. I really like the quote from President Kimball as it is chalked full of ideas of things to do. And how can we not afford to do so? “Over a lifetime of observation, it is clear to me that the farmer who observes the Sabbath day seems to get more done on his farm than he would if he worked seven days. The mechanic will be able to turn out more and better products in six days than in seven. The doctor, the lawyer, the dentist, the scientist will accomplish more by trying to rest on the Sabbath than if he tries to utilize every day of the week for his professional work. I would counsel all students, if they can, to arrange their schedules so that they do not study on the Sabbath. If students and other seekers after truth will do this, their minds will be quickened and the infinite Spirit will lead them to the verities they wish to learn. This is because God has hallowed his day and blessed it as a perpetual covenant of faithfulness.” (James E. Faust, “The Lord’s Day,” Ensign, Nov 1991) When I was going to school I made a promise with the Lord that I would not study my homework on Sundays. I would abstain from all school work and by doing so I asked that he blessed me in my studies. I was blessed to have enough time to get my homework done and retain the knowledge I had gained for my exams. The Lord is aware of us and will bless us if we do what he asks of us.