Monday, May 31, 2010


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 ourselves a gentle heart ("Lord, I Would Follow Thee," Hymn #220)? Are we harsh and unforgiving with ourselves? Whatever we struggle with, whether it’s new or intimidating or scary or just plain hard, I am confident that the Lord is reaching out to us, to encourage and understand us, even when we feel no one can. We can be kind to ourselves and understand that we’ve “never done this before” and it’s okay.

It also struck me how important it is to forgive each other freely and completely. We should reach out with the same understanding and compassion we hope to receive from the Lord. There’s no place in Zion – and certainly not in our families – for fault-finding, nitpicking, or bitterness. There’s always more going on than meets the eye. Let’s all cut ourselves a little slack as we move, and help each other move, onward and upward.

Challenge: Have compassion on yourself next time you make a mistake.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


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 creations and each other's company and conversation in peace.

You don't even need to leave the house to have such bonding time. Set aside a little time when you can enjoy being together without the TV or music on, kids (if applicable) needing attention, or the phone ringing (set your phone on silent!). Just talking or relaxing together in tranquility will bring you closer and strengthen your love. Remember the little things too: saying prayers together and for each other, kissing or hugging hello and goodbye, and complimenting and encouraging one another.

At times when you feel indifferent toward or out of love with your spouse, pray for help. Pray to remember and focus on the good things that attracted you to your spouse in the first place. Eliminate anything that undermines your love for him or her: family-unfriendly TV shows, negative friends, romantic fantasies and unrealistic expectations. Work on your spirituality and you will find your love rekindling.

Sharing Time: What spiritual activities do you love to do with your spouse (fiance/fiancee, boy/girlfriend)?

Monday, May 10, 2010

"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!
Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
And the sacred song is mingled
With the worship in the sky--
Mingles where no tempest darkens,
Rainbows evermore are hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

("The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Is the Hand That Rules the World," William Ross Wallace)

Challenge: "Grow on for the good" and make your mommy proud!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"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.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

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 driving

He 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