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Showing posts from December, 2009

Love Thyself

The second great commandment is to "love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matthew 22:39). Countless lessons and talks have focused on the first part of the commandment, loving others, so we often ignore the second part. But love for others stems from love for self. It may not seem true: there are many people who are compassionate and kind who have self-love issues. However, I believe that their capacity to love others would increase dramatically if they learned to love themselves. When someone is filled with self-hatred and other negative emotions, there is little room for positive emotions, even for others. In fact, self-hatred is selfish (note self is in both words); it's focusing solely on ourselves. On the other hand, when we are filled with self-love, we are happier, more optimistic people with greater capacity to see the needs of others and fill them.
I remember first learning this lesson from watching The Buttercream Gang. A former member of the gang goes on a rampage in…

Time

Time is a mind-boggling concept. The scriptures reveal that our time and God's time are greatly different. We obsess over it, because we know that our earthly time is a gift. Most of us are appreciative of this gift, understanding that each day on earth is precious and can be taken away at any moment. However, with so many distractions and things to do, we usually do not use our time wisely.
The Lord advised us, "Let every man be diligent in all things. And the idler shall not have place in the church, except he repent and mend his ways" (D&C 75:29). We can be more diligent by being better organized, not being lazy, and quitting our addictions to less important things. I believe that last one is vital. Most of us do not struggle with excessive laziness--we are very busy and deserve the few breaks we get. I think the biggest problem we must overcome is dedicating our time to things that don't deserve it.
In Conference of October 1979, before Facebook and YouTube an…

CHRISTmas

Chilly weather. Snow. Winter clothes. Cookies. Candy canes. Gingerbread houses. Hot chocolate. Fireplaces. Lights. Wreaths. Trees. Holly. Mistletoe. Green. Red. Gifts. Shopping. Parties. Decorations. Bells. Sleigh rides. Sledding. Snowmen. Carols. Music. Concerts. Santa. Reindeer. Elves. Penguins. Smiles. Laughter.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Christmas is coming! It is no coincidence that so much beauty and happiness surround the holiday celebrating Christ's birth. (And the holiday celebrating His death and resurrection, for that matter, but that's a different post.) Whether people like it or not, there is no escaping the symbolism and spirit of Christmas. Yet people forget the source of it all.
Angels. Choirs. Stars. Wise men. Shepherds. Baby. Pageants. Hymns. Praise. Family. Church. Prophets. Prophecies. Scriptures. Parables. Charity. Service. Love. Joy. Peace. Humility. Hearts. Blessings. Birth. Death. Resurrection. Light. Life. King. Son. Heaven. Earth. Eternity.
N…

The First Presidency Christmas Devotional

Yesterday evening I watched the Christmas Devotional at our stake center. It was absolutely beautiful! It opened with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and congregation singing "The First Noel" and then after the prayer the Choir singing "For unto Us a Child Is Born" from Handel's Messiah. They sang with such contagious joyfulness.

President Uchtdorf spoke first about seeing Christ with the heart. He quoted from The Little Prince, "Anything essential is invisible to the eye." Although many saw Christ with their eyes, they did not see Him with their hearts and accept Him as their Savior and Redeemer. President Uchtdorf exhorted us to unclutter our lives and let it be the season of seeking the Savior with our hearts.
The Choir then sang "O Holy Night," my favorite Christmas hymn. I love when the Choir sings! President Eyring followed reminding us that the story of Christmas is a story of love. He advised us to create a small part of the Christmas stor…