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Showing posts from November, 2011

Remember Christ

“Jesus is the reason for the season” is more often said than remembered. This Christmas use the following ideas to remember Jesus, for this holiday is in celebration of His birth. Have each family member give a gift to Jesus by writing down a promise to do or not do something, such as helping more, being nicer to a sibling, or not lying. Keep the written promises in a wrapped box under the tree. On Christmas Day, New Year’s, or the following Christmas, open up the box and have everyone evaluate his or her improvement. Set aside one night, such as Christmas Eve, as a holy night of reading from the scriptures the Christmas story and other stories of Jesus’s life and teachings. Sing together or play on an instrument the Christmas hymns. Follow a scriptural advent calendar, reading a scripture about Jesus every night. Involve the family in service: the Savior’s life was all about serving others. There are plenty of opportunities during Christmas. Visit friends, bringing treats and singin…

The Purpose of Suffering for Sin

Excerpts from "Sin and Suffering," a BYU fireside address by Elder Oaks:

Where there has been sin, there must be suffering.
Let us recall two scriptures: (1) “Repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment” (Alma 42:16); and (2) the Savior said that he had suffered these things for all, “that they might not suffer if they would repent; but if they would not repent they must suffer even as I” (D&C 19:16–17).
This obviously means that the unrepentant transgressor must suffer for his own sins. Does it also mean that a person who repents does not need to suffer at all because the entire punishment is borne by the Savior? That cannot be the meaning because it would be inconsistent with the Savior’s other teachings. What is meant is that the person who repents does not need to suffer “even as” the Savior suffered for that sin. Sinners who are repenting will experience some suffering, but because of their repentance and the Atonement, they will not experience…

Gratitude

It is no secret our country suffers from severe ingratitude. We are always wanting something more, newer, or better. We raise our children to be materialistic and high maintenance. We are deep in debt or bankrupt. We consider ourselves poor if we only have one car and a regular cell phone instead of a smartphone. We celebrate Christmas--the season of buying and getting--before Thanksgiving is even in sight. And the only time we momentarily wake up from our selfish lives to be reminded of gratitide is when something tragic occurs: death, natural disasters, crime, and the like. This quickly passes and we go on with our lives, complaining bitterly or wishing wistfully about what we don't have.

But the kind of gratitude we show matters too. There are different degrees of gratitude: there is the obvious gesture of saying thank you, the nicer gesture of doing something in return, and the heavenly attitude of constantly living a thankful life. As President Monson stated in General Confer…

Scrubbing the Tub

A poem I wrote for my BYU creative writing class. My professor loved it, but the New Era didn't. I hope you appreciate it.

It’s about time the bathtub was cleaned. A detailed history of sweaty workouts, first dates, bad hair days, And all-night cramming stains the puky plastic. I snow the tub with Comet and let the dam loose, Warm water crashing down. I start to scrub. And scrub. The tub frowns back at me the same. I think I’m going to need a bigger brush.
Scritcha, scritcha, scritcha. One layer gone. Scritcha, scritcha, scritcha. Two. Three. My wrist is as limp as a doggy ear. More Comet. More water. More slaving away like Cinderella. I think I can even hear my evil step-sisters laughing. If only, if only I had not waited until the grime came, saw, and conquered! The clock tick-tocks in rhythm with the scrub brush, but it doesn’t harmonize. Red knees, cramping arms, everywhere wet, wet, wet, Forehead and faucet dripping.
Finally! One last scritcha and I stand up to behold The fruit…

Marriage: Underrated

This popular t-shirt, TV sitcoms, and movies such as Hall Pass all joke about how awful, boring, unromantic, and overrated marriage is. Marriage is not taken seriously in our culture. Weddings are; marriage is not.

We married people are responsible for changing this terrible attitude toward married life. If all we do is complain about the bad and encourage every negative stereotype about husbands and wives, then that is all people will think of marriage. If we focus on the good and break negative stereotypes, then perhaps more people will want to be like us.

What is it about marriage that changes things? Regular boyfriends and girlfriends work, go to school, have kids, maybe live together--things married people do too--and yet still have time for each other and find their relationships exciting and desirable. I think it is the fact that a legal marriage makes people feel stuck or more accountable. And people like easy exits. The fear of such a high commitment level is the reason suc…