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Reverence

 
Sacrament meeting is the most important hour of the week. It is the reason we attend church. And yet, it seems to be when we are the most irreverent. During sacrament meeting, people are talking, texting, sleeping, eating, preparing lessons, reading scriptures, and playing with babies. What's worse is when these things go on during the actual passing of the sacrament, the time we should be thinking of Christ, His Atonement, and the covenants we made. It is the time to reflect on our week, repent of our mistakes, and promise to improve.

We should also be reverent during the talks. You all know how daunting it is to go up there. We should give the speakers our respect and attention, no matter how boring or "bad" the talk is. As John Bytheway notes in his talk "The Best Three Hours of the Week," we decide what we get out of church. There is no such thing as a bad talk; we can always come away with something if we are listening with the Spirit.
Reverence also ap…

Round Yon Virgin Mother and Child

I love this painting of Mary and baby Jesus, featured on lds.org. Reminds me of my own "holy [i]nfant, so tender and mild" ("Silent Night," Hymns, 204). Can you imagine being the mother of Jesus and getting to see Him grow, watching His milestones, teaching Him how to walk and talk? Can you imagine cuddling with Him, playing with Him, singing Him to sleep? Mary was truly blessed among women (Luke 1:28, 42)!

Challenge: Treat your children as if you were raising Christ. All are children of God!

More Ideas

In conjunction with the previous post, I have listed below three articles that will help you accomplish some of the Christmas activities:

How to Remember Christ during Christmas

How to Have a Family Christmas Pageant

How to Do Random Acts of Kindness

Sharing Time: Any other ideas?

'Tis the Season...

....for missionary work! There is no better time to share the gospel than during the Christmas season. People are more receptive because the Spirit is strong, everyone is kind and cheerful, and there is a lot of focus on Christ. Invite friends and family to: walk the temple grounds, especially if it has a visitors' center, is decorated with lights and a nativity, or hosts mini concerts.watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional the first Sunday in December.watch Joy to the World, the Church's short DVD on the Savior's birth.watch any Christmas video by the Church.read or reenact the story of Christ's birth.go to a religious Christmas pageant.participate in service.attend your ward's Christmas party.go caroling, singing Christmas hymns.write letters or send care packages to missionaries.join you for Family Home Evening.come to church.read the Book of Mormon.Challenge: Invite friends or family to do one of the above activities. Share your testimony with them aft…

The Spirit of General Conference

This past weekend we were blessed to listen to the prophet and apostles, enhanced by the beautiful music of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. This Conference's theme was the gospel basics, such as faith, obedience, and agency. The theme reinforced the Church's efforts this year in going back to the basic principles of the gospel to strengthen our testimonies.

The spirit of Conference is wonderful and contagious: the Saints are excited, in tune with the Spirit, united, and happy. The Spirit is strong and testifies of the truth of the words we hear. We should strive to keep these feelings with us until the next Conference. We can reread or watch the talks online or read them in the Ensign. We can download them to our iPods. We can use them as Sunday activities or FHE lessons. We have so many options to keep Conference alive in our hearts until again we gather together to listen to the prophet and apostles speak to us.

Challenge: Keep the spirit of Conference with you for the next six m…

Saturday's Warriors

As corny and somewhat doctrinally incorrect the play Saturday's Warrior is, the main song is truly inspiring:



Who are these children coming down, coming down,
Like gentle rain through darkened skies,
With glory trailing from their feet as they go
And endless promise in their eyes?

Who are these young ones growing tall, growing strong,
Like silver trees against the storm,
Who will not bend with the wind or the change,
But stand to fight the world alone?

These are the few, the warriors saved for Saturday,
To come the last day of the world.
These are they on Saturday.
These are the strong, the warriors rising in their might
To win the battle raging in the hearts of men on Saturday.

Strangers from a realm of light who have forgotten all
The memory of their former life, the purpose of their call.
And so they must learn why they're here and who they really are.
They must learn why they're here and who they are!

These are the few, the warriors saved for Saturday,
To come the last day of the world.
T…

Temple Garments FAQ 2

More analysis on my stat counter has prompted me to write yet another post on temple garments, this time for Church members. Some information is repeated from the last FAQ to clarify common questions.

What age to wear garments
Officially you can attend the temple and begin to wear garments at age 18 if you are worthy. Most leaders discourage doing so unless you are preparing for a mission or marriage to ensure readiness, necessity, and maturity. However, all worthy members may attend the temple and wear garments regardless of mission service or marital status. Newly baptized members must wait one year so they can learn and grow spiritually. Keeping temple covenants is serious, and leaders want to make sure you are prepared and willing to take on that responsibility, no matter what your age.

How to order garments
To order garments, go to your local distribution center, which is usually next to the nearest temple. If there isn't one close by, then you can order garments online at sto…

The Ensign

This month I received my first issue of the Ensign. It took me 3 years before I finally subscribed. Before, I read it other ways: buying General Conference issues, borrowing copies from friends or the church library, and reading articles online. I love having my own copy now.

The Ensign is so uplifting. My day goes more smoothly when I start out my day reading the magazine. It brings such a good spirit into my heart and home. For example, one day a couple weeks ago I felt a desire to study more about the gospel, so I wrote on this blog and listened to the uplifting music. I was more patient with my friend's children and I had positive feelings about my upcoming birthing. The stories I read encouraged me to live more righteously and strengthened my testimony of various gospel principles.

There is no excuse not to subscribe to and read the Ensign. It is only $10 for a year, the cost of one movie ticket or a couple fast food meals. If we have time to read other things and watch TV, …

Callings

The Church runs on volunteered time and service, organized through callings. We choose to accept or reject these callings when Church leaders extend them to us. When we are faced with this choice we must remember the following:
Church leaders truly are inspired from heaven. They know where we need to serve. We must not doubt them even if it is difficult not to.There are many reasons why a certain calling is right for us. Most obvious, we have the necessary qualities and skills for that position or, conversely, we need to develop the needed qualities and skills. Other reasons may not even be related to the calling. In my case, I needed to meet a certain person, who shared the same calling. We have since become close friends and blessings in each other's lives.When we magnify our callings, everyone benefits. We grow and the ward grows; we learn and the ward learns; we love and the ward loves us back.Every calling in the ward is important. 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 emphasizes this by co…

"I'm Going to Boise!"

The LDS comedy The Singles Ward plays up the oft-used missionary joke of being called to serve in Boise, Idaho. After a young man opens his mission call, his friends say something polite and quickly come up with excuses to leave, commenting privately how awful his call is. When the young man shares his call at a store, the employee smiles politely and says, "How nice." Other mission calls viewed as awful include a missionary's home country, a place only a few hours away, or a place where they speak the missionary's native language.

Why do we have this attitude about mission calls? The purpose of a mission is not to go on a vacation, study abroad, or collect stories for bragging rights (as played up in The RM). It's not about us! The purpose of a mission is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). Heavenly Father wants all His children to return to Him and He loves them all the same, regardless of where they live or what la…

"Praise to the Man"

June 27 marks the 166th anniversary of Joseph Smith's death. I found this amazing video in honor of him (click here for another good one). I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and restored His church to the earth. I know that he loved the Saints and the Lord and that he sacrificed so much to bring us the blessings of the gospel. Praise to the man!

Challenge: May we continue to share his story and our testimony of him with all the world so that he did not die in vain.

"God's Words Never Cease"

I know that Jesus Christ still speaks to His children, through all types of revelation: the scriptures, our Church leaders, and personal revelation through the Holy Ghost. It does not make any sense to me why some believe He has stopped communicating with His children. His works never change, for He is "the same yesterday, today, and forever" (2 Nephi 29:9; see also Hebrews 13:8). He has not stopped, but has spoken to His children ever since Adam and Eve, giving us all the knowledge we need to return to Him. We especially need His guidance in these latter days, the final scenes before His Second Coming, and I am so grateful we have it. I know the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and that President Monson is a prophet. I know that Christ lives and loves us, and I am so grateful He shows His love by continuing to speak to us today.

Challenge: Read 2 Nephi 29.

Primary Music

I love singing and listening to Primary songs. Their sweetness, energy, and sincerity touch my spirit and remind me to be childlike. Their simple words emphasize the basic yet most important principles of the gospel. They bring the Spirit, joy, and peace. And some songs are just plain fun to sing!

Sharing Time: What is your favorite Primary song?
photo from deseretbook.com

The Salt of the Earth

Christ commanded us to be the salt of the earth (3 Nephi 12:13, Matthew 5:13). What is so special about salt? The Israelites had to use salt in their sacrifices to symbolize the Lord's preserving them just as salt preserves food (Leviticus 2:13, Numbers 18:19). Christ fulfilled the law of Moses and did away with sacrifices, but He still used salt symbolically when He called us the salt of the earth.
Salt is obtained by evaporation, the removal of moisture by sunlight. We become the salt of the earth by allowing Christ, the source of all light, to remove our sins.
Salt is white, the color of purity. We too must be pure.
Salt preserves food, drying out moisture that allows it to spoil. We can preserve souls by bringing them to Christ and showing them how to repent of all soul-spoiling sin.
Salt draws out and intensifies the natural flavor of food. Likewise, we can draw out and intensify the natural goodness in others by being an example of good.
Salt adds flavor to bland food. We can add…

One Smile at a Time

My friend shared this amazing video with me, called "Validation." It's touching and funny and shows the best, easiest, fastest, cheapest way to make Heavenly Father's children happier and kinder. I try to live by this principle (making others happy). I hate seeing people sad or upset, because I know how painful it is to feel depressed or stressed or whatever other negative emotion. People want validation, and it's so easy to give. This small act has such huge results: "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine . . ." On the flip side, small acts of unkindness also have huge results: " . . . but a broken spirit drieth the bones" (Proverbs 17:22; see also Proverbs 15:13). How can we not afford to be kind to one another? Smiles and compliments take little time and energy. And for every smile we bring to someone's face, we also bring a smile to Christ's. Challenge: Let's change this world one smile at a time!

Compassion

I read this post on my friend's blog and asked her if I could repost it here. Note, it has been edited for length and clarity.

One Sunday an adorable 12-year-old boy was passing the sacrament for the first time, and I happened to be sitting in his line of duty. I have long since forgotten exactly what happened (and which new, adorable deacon it was), but that new, adorable deacon made some silly mistake, some noticeable breach of “protocol,” in passing the sacrament to me. My heart went out to him in complete and immediate forgiveness. I instantly excused his mistake, thinking, “It’s okay. He’s never done this before.”

As my heart turned back to its repentant self-reflection, I realized that perhaps the Savior looks on us that way sometimes.

“It’s okay. You’ve never done this before.”

Never tried to get through sacrament meeting (or life) with three little kids while pregnant before. Never had this or that calling before. Never tried to x while also dealing with y before.

Do we show ou…

Romance

Need romantic ideas? Try spiritual activities. Marital success is dependent on a love triangle between you, your spouse, and Heavenly Father. The closer you both become to Him, the closer you become to each other.

My favorite romantic activity is going to the temple with my husband. Every time I go, my love for him increases and my resolve to reach exaltation grows stronger. Other great activities include reading your patriarchal blessings, working on family history, reading the scriptures, reading the Ensign and Church books, discussing gospel principles, preparing gospel lessons together, going to a temple visitor's center or other Church-related site, having Family Home Evening even if it's just the two of you, doing service, or attending a fireside.

Just spending time together away from worldly distractions is beneficial too. I like riding along in the cart while my husband golfs when the course is not busy and we can be by ourselves. We enjoy Heavenly Father's beautiful…

"The Hand That Rocks the Cradle"

For Mother's Day, the ward gave all women a booklet of a BYU Women's Conference talk by Elder Packer entitled "Blessings on the Hand of Women." In it he quoted this beautiful poem:


Blessing on the hand of women!
Angels guard its strength and grace,
In the palace, cottage, hovel,
Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbows ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Infancy's the tender fountain,
Power may with beauty flow,
Mother's first to guide the streamlets,
From them souls unresting grow--
Grow on for the good or evil,
Sunshine streamed or evil hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Woman, how divine your mission
Here upon our natal sod!
Keep, oh, keep the young heart open
Always to the breath of God!
All true trophies of the ages
Are from mother-love impearled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Blessings on the hand of women!
Fath…

"My New Life"

This new Mormon Message has been floating around Facebook, and I can see why. This beautiful woman radiates peace, faith, and courage. We should all have her attitude with whatever trials face us.
I like Elder Holland's quote at the end: "When suffering, we may in fact be nearer to God than we've ever been in our entire lives. That knowledge can turn every such situation into a would-be temple."
Challenge: Use your trials as opportunities to come closer to Christ.

The Highway of Life

Bishop H. David Burton spoke at today's CES Fireside about achieving happiness through the plan of salvation. He compared our journey through life to a road trip:
The scriptures are our road map
The Atonement is our insurance
Temptations are the detours
A temple recommend is a driver's license
Spiritual evaluations of ourselves are car checks before the trip
Service is the sightseeing and joy of the journey
Church guidelines are the rules and regulations of drivingHe closed with a kite analogy, reminding us that although it seems as if the wind (worldly ways) makes us fly higher and the kite string (Church guidelines) hinders our flight, it really is the string that allows us to soar and avoid crashing from the wind. Discussion: How else is life like traveling on a highway?
photo from stock.xchng

"Far above Rubies"

Certain TV shows and previews reminded me of a quote from Sister Margaret Nagauld:

"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity."

We need to be classy women--women with manners, discipline, integrity, virtue, sincerity, and charity. Sister Nagauld isn't the only one to have said this:

1. "It is, unfortunately, all too easy to illustrate the confusion and distortion of womanhood in contemporary society. Immodest, immoral, intemperate women jam the airwaves, monopolize magazines, and slink across movie screens—all while being celebrated by the world. The …

Temple Garments FAQ

Thanks to my stat counter account, I have discovered that a popular search item is the temple garment. That is understandable since it is such a symbolic and sacred item in our Church and inspires much curiosity in the outside community. Therefore, I am going to address some frequently asked questions about temple garments.

What are temple garments?
Garments are white undershirts and underpants that many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wear.

Who wears temple garments?
Members of the Church who have attended the temple wear garments. In order to attend the temple, they must be at least 18 years old and have received a temple recommend (card), which is given after two interviews with local Church leaders to establish personal worthiness to enter the temple. Most men receive their garments before going on their mission [at age 18 as of 2013]. Most women receive theirs before getting married or going on a mission [at age 19 as of 2013]. Worthy members who have no…

Little Girls No More

Read this article.

And we wonder why girls as young as eleven are losing their virginity and why there are so many sexual predators out there.

The company argues the padding is for modesty. On the one hand, that is understandable. My little sister went through puberty very early, and my mom had a hard time finding a little-girl bathing suit that covered my sister completely. On the other hand, if parents are so worried about modesty, why are they letting their little girls wear bikinis, especially if they are starting to blossom at a young age?
Why can't little girls just be little girls? They'll have the rest of their lives to be grown women. Childhood lasts only for a brief moment. And once it's over, most everyone wishes at some time or other that they could go back.
I apologize this isn't actually a doctrinal post. But this problem of sexualizing our little girls really bothers me. As members of the Church, we must set the example and dress our children modestly from b…

Recognizing Pornography

My Relief Society president shared that her biggest fear is her sons viewing pornography. It is sad she has to fear this, especially since her sons are only four and five. But my former bishop shared--to my shock and dismay--that nowadays it is at this young and innocent age that many boys get trapped into the sticky web of pornography. Knowing the lifestyle of this woman and her family, I am confident she will succeed in raising young men who do not actively search for X-rated material. However, pornography is not always directly labeled so. It comes in many forms and levels; thus, it is important to learn to recognize and avoid all of them.

"Pornography is any entertainment that uses immodest or indecent images to stimulate sexual feelings," explains a New Era article featured on the new Church Web site. "So even a mainstream television program or advertisement can be pornographic. If images trigger sexual feelings in you, you should avoid them."
The Church pamp…

The Woman at the Well

John 4:1-15 tells the story of Jesus and the woman at the well. Jesus told her, "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (vv. 13-14). I have drunk deeply from the gospel well thanks to the following, and I can already feel it reviving my spirit:

General Conference: Amazing! I love Conference so much for the Spirit and motivation it brings.Personal scripture study: I've gotten back into the habit almost daily and am learning a lot from the wars in Alma about fighting spiritual enemies.Family scripture study: While my family was here, we sang a hymn and had a spiritual thought every night.Family Home Evening: My little sister gave an excellent lesson on the Holy Ghost and truth.Priesthood blessing: My husband gave me a blessing of comfort (see the post "The Priesthood and Love&…

The Priesthood and Love

Recently I had a disturbing nightmare, and the images bothered me all the next day. At bedtime I asked my very tired husband to give me a blessing. He readily agreed and gave me a beautiful priesthood blessing, saying that which I needed to hear and tenderly comforting me. The blessing not only filled me with peace, but also with intense love for my husband for caring for me and for using his priesthood to do so. Of course, I slept soundly that night.

I am so grateful for the priesthood; it truly is the power of a loving God. I am also thankful for loving men who are willing to use this power properly to bless others. How blessed I am to have one of those loving men!
The priesthood revolves around love: "No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned" (D&C 121:41). My husband's love for me brought him close to the Spirit; my love for him increased …

Parenthood

General Conference focused on parenthood, specifically teaching children the gospel and setting an example for the youth. Some paraphrased highlights: Church programs should support, not supplant, the home. (Elder Packer)If we strengthen children when they are young, they less likely will need to be rescued as teenagers. (Elder Eyring)Begin to teach children by the cradleside, by example and precept. (Elder Perry)Children, even infants, respond to the spirit of the Book of Mormon. (Elder Bednar)If we want our children to come unto Christ, we should too to show them the way. (Sister Lant)Children intuitively want to be good. It is up to us to help them retain that connection with heaven. (Sister Lant)There is no substitute for the youth seeing us live the gospel. (Elder Hales)Sharing Time: Which General Conference talks or quotes stuck out to you?

"We Listen to a Prophet's Voice"

We listen to a prophet's voice and hear the Savior too.
With love he bids us do the work the Lord would have us do.
The Savior calls his chosen seer to preach the word of God,
That men might learn to find the path marked by the iron rod.

In ev'ry land, in ev'ry tongue, our prophet will be heard;
How swiftly round the world his voice reveals the gospel word!
The sacred message that he brings will witness and agree
With ev'ry prophet called of God throughout earth's history.

Hosanna! Let our praise ascend unto the Savior's throne;
Rejoice! The prophet has confirmed that by Him we are known.
Attend, ye earth! The prophet speaks; come listen and obey.
He is the man who holds the keys of priesthood pow'r today.


(Hymns, 22. Listen to it here.)

Challenge: Study the words of this hymn to strengthen your testimony of the prophet.

Spring

Warm weather, beautiful birdsongs, fragrant flowers--spring is here! Spring is a happy season, full of life and beauty and hope. It is no wonder that so many significant events have happened during spring.
Passover and Easter: Both of these holidays--one Jewish, the other Christian--celebrate Christ's Atonement and Resurrection, the most important parts of the plan of salvation. Also, it was on Passover that Christ instituted the sacrament before His death. [For more information on the relation of these two holidays, read this talk by then Elder Howard W. Hunter.]
Joseph Smith's First Vision: Joseph Smith saw the Father and the Son amid Their wondrous creations in the spring of 1820, during the country's Second Great Awakening (a religious revival).
The Restoration of the Church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was officially organized and established on April 6, 1830. The timing also coincides with Easter, and for symbolic reasons: Christ's church was dea…

"Sacred Homes, Sacred Temples"

Friday evening I went to the temple with a friend. I had not gone in a long while, and I forgot the incredible peace I always feel there. I want to return soon to feel it again. But I don't have to wait until I attend the temple to feel that joy. There is another place where I can feel it every day: my home.

"Temples are literally houses of the Lord. They are holy places of worship where the Lord may visit. Only the home can compare with temples in sacredness" (True to the Faith, 170). "There exists a righteous unity between the temple and the home," Elder Stevenson reminded us in General Conference April 2009. "Understanding the eternal nature of the temple will draw you to your family; understanding the eternal nature of the family will draw you to the temple."
The purpose of the temple is to provide saving ordinances, all of which lead to the ultimate ordinance of uniting families. The home, the place of family growing and gathering, should be a tut…

Visiting and Home Teaching

Ah, yes, everyone's favorite topic of guilt. And we have good reason to be guilty: visiting/home teaching results in more blessings than we realize, and when we do not do it we deny ourselves and others these blessings.
Foremost, we learn more about the gospel from preparing the message and sharing our insights. We are supposed to discuss the message and edify one another. I think too often we do not give this part of the visit as much focus as needed.
We provide or receive service by being or having a constant support system.
We make friends! This is my favorite blessing of visiting/home teaching. It's fun getting to know others and becoming close to some of them.
Also, the relationships we create strengthen the ward as a whole. If everyone were friends, there would be less drama, gossip, hate, and offenses. We would be unified and feel loved and cared about.
We learn to be selfless by serving and we increase our spirituality by praying for those we teach. We grow closer to the …

"I Will Give unto This Last, Even As unto Thee"

Often after being around people who have been righteous and valiant their entire lives, I feel like scum and I wonder how in the world Heavenly Father loves me just as much as He loves them. My justice-oriented mind doesn't understand the mercy of the Atonement and the unconditional love of the Savior. It's unbelievable that someone who has sinned so greatly can repent and receive eternal life. I know such thoughts are from Satan (see the post "Love Thyself" and this Ensign article), but I still allow myself to believe them.

Then I try to remember this New Testament parable: Matthew 20:1-16. What matters is not when I began to work in the vineyard, but that I am there working. Whether I have been like Nephi or like Alma the Younger, I will still receive the same celestial reward. That knowledge gives me comfort and the courage to strive for exaltation.
Sharing Time: What scripture story or passage inspires you to aim for a heavenly goal?

Amazing

Every day the same realization hits me as if brand new: the human body is amazing. It is amazing how our bodies work; it is amazing what our bodies can do; it is amazing how much we know about the human body and how to care for it.
Recently, the Winter Olympics has reminded me of this most amazing of Heavenly Father's creations. The speed, agility, balance, flexibility, strength, endurance, and precision the activities require our bodies can fulfill. And we take great pleasure in doing them.
There is so much our bodies can do, physically and mentally. How can anyone call it an accidental result of evolution? Only Someone amazing could create something so amazing that can do things so amazing. Even daily and normal functions are amazing: eating, sleeping, laughing, crying, hugging, walking, breathing, growing, thinking. Even bodies that cannot do these things are still amazing because of the things they can do, even if it is just staying alive.
We should never take our bodies for gr…

The Creation of Life

Being pregnant has made me ponder the creation of life. It's a little mind-boggling to think that another human being is growing inside my body, that somehow my body and the baby's body know how to do this. I wonder which spirit from heaven I will give birth to and raise. My endless thinking about this baby has helped me discover much symbolism in the creation of life:
Pregnancy involves the "magic numbers" of the gospel: 40 weeks (40 days/nights of the flood, 40 days of Jesus fasting in the desert, 40 years of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness), 3 trimesters (Christ's resurrection on the third day, 3 members of the Godhead and thus 3 members in all auxiliary presidencies, Moroni's 3 visits to Joseph Smith in one night, Peter's 3 denials of Christ, etc.).
As shared in a seminary video, new life requires blood, water, and a spirit. Also, new spiritual life requires blood (the Atonement), water (baptism), and a spirit (the Holy Ghost).
Furthermore, t…

Mormon Messages

  On the Church Web site, at the bottom of the home page and on the right sidebar, are featured videos called Mormon Messages. They are short clips from General Conference talks with music, photos, and background videos added to them. My favorite is the one entitled "Prayer."

Mormon Messages is a great way to share short and uplifting stories, testimonies, and counsel with family and friends, whether they are LDS or not. Above the featured video on the Church Web site is a toolbar allowing you to post the video or link on various social networking sites, such as Facebook. Mormon Messages also has a channel on YouTube, with videos in Spanish, to which you can subscribe. Share the light!
Sharing Time: Which Mormon Message is your favorite?

A Few Degrees

"I have learned that the difference between happiness and misery in individuals, in marriages, and families often comes down to an error of only a few degrees," said President Uchtdorf in General Conference April 2008. To illustrate this point, he explained that if your course flying around the world were just one degree off, by the time you got back around, you would be 500 miles (800 km) off course.

It almost seems unfair that a small mistake can have such a negatively dramatic effect on our lives. However, it is not one small error that does this, but many "small errors and minor drifts away from the doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is therefore of critical importance that we become self-disciplined enough to make early and decisive corrections to get back on the right track and not wait or hope that errors will somehow correct themselves.
"The longer we delay corrective action, the larger the needed changes become, and the longer it takes to get back on…

Light

It is no coincidence that light is symbolic of Christ, the light and life of the world (Mosiah 16:9). Every characteristic of light is also characteristic of the Son of God:


All life requires light for survival and growth.Light dispels darkness.Light makes everything visible and clear (also used in the forms of lenses and mirrors) and is used to lead the way.Light provides warmth and happiness; its absence leads to cold and depression.The brightest light is white.The solar system revolves around a light source (and isn't it interesting that sun and son are homophones in English?).Light signifies knowledge (light bulb ideas, the word enlightenment, D&C 93:36).Light comes from above.The scriptures reveal how light has been used to symbolize the Savior:Before the Savior was born, the Nephites experienced a day and a night and a day of full light (3 Nephi 1:15, 19).On His day of birth, a new star--the brightest and only constant star--appeared (3 Nephi 1:21, Matthew 2:2).When the S…

The Sabbath

The fourth commandment is to keep the Sabbath day holy. In order to do so, we must first examine our motivation for doing certain activities. Are we reading our biology textbook because we love to study about God's creations or because we procrastinated our homework all weekend? We must be sure that the reason we do something we normally wouldn't do on Sunday is that it is necessary or unavoidable. President Kimball wrote in an Ensign article, "The Savior knew that the ox falls in the mire, and one must pull the ox from the mire when necessary. But no one deliberately puts the ox in the mire every week, or lets him get in the mire with no effort to keep him out."

This may seem hard when we want to play all weekend. President Kimball noted, "Sometimes Sabbath observance is characterized as a matter of sacrifice and self-denial, but it is not so. It is merely a matter of scheduling and choosing seasons. There is time enough, particularly in our era of the world’s h…

Gospel Principles

I am so excited for the new Gospel Principles manual! I have always felt strongly about focusing on the basic principles of the gospel. Elder Nelson expressed the same in the January Ensign: "All Church members will benefit by a return to the basics. A careful study of core doctrines . . . will help members strengthen their understanding of the fundamental teachings of the gospel."
As time goes by, we often forget the simple aspects of the gospel and tend to only study deeper doctrine. But our understanding of deeper doctrine will increase when we understand the foundational principles upon which the deeper doctrine is built. To bake a cake, every little ingredient is important in producing the delicious dessert. So it is with developing knowledge and a testimony: every little principle is important in producing a strong understanding of the gospel.

Some members may fear there will be some redundancy. Elder Nelson said, "Of course there will! Isn't it wonderful that …