Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reflections on a Consecrated Life

(find the talk here)

I have actually listened to this particular talk maybe three or four times in the last several days. I listened to it really for the first time on Sunday, and listened to it twice on the way to pick up a friend from the airport.

One of the principles of the gospel that has always been concerning to me is that of the law of consecration. It seems like a simple thing, but in reality, I find it very complex and at times confusing.

I imagine that part of the confusion comes from not really knowing God’s will. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” (here)

Elder D. Todd Christofferson says “True success in this life comes in consecrating our lives – that is, our time and choices – to God’s purposes.” So, first we have to actually understand God’s purposes, or His will, and then we have to do His will – dedicating our time and choices to His will.

“Consecration therefore means repentance. Stubbornness, rebellion, and rationalization must be abandoned, and their place submission, a desire for correction, and acceptance of all that the Lord may require.” It is hard for me to realize when I am being stubborn, rebellious, and rationalizing. Sometimes I just feel like I am being stalwart and firm in the faith. The only thing that can help me know the difference is the Holy Ghost – but sometimes when I am being stubborn, it’s hard for me to admit that the Holy Ghost might be telling me I am wrong.

The other appealing part of this talk for me was how Elder Christofferson spoke about work. “God has designed this mortal existence to require nearly constant exertion.” I have been struggling to understand the meaning of constant work in my life –especially with two small children at home. “A  consecrated life is filled with work, sometimes repetitive, sometimes menial, sometimes unappreciated but always work that improves, orders, sustains, lifts, ministers, aspires.” It’s good to know that the menial tasks of changing diapers and cleaning up mess after mess after mess are still parts of a consecrated life – sometimes I feel like I can’t consecrate my life to the Lord, because I’m too busy doing the menial things that “sustain” us. But doing those things right now is what a consecrated life means for me.

“Just as honest toil gives rest its sweetness, wholesome recreation is the friend and steadying companion of work.” To be honest, I am a harder worker than I am a “leisurer” – if that makes any sense. It is hard for me to relax and enjoy “wholesome recreation.”  Probably because “much of what passes for entertainment today is coarse, degrading, violent, mind-numbing, and time wasting.” I think I am so afraid of choosing wrong forms of recreation that I just keep “working.” I do enjoy working, and some of it doubles as recreation for me, but there are times, I think, when we need to just sit down, put up our feet, and enjoy something that is pure entertainment – something made mostly to make us laugh or smile.

The last thought I want to share from Elder Christofferson’s talk is this: “Those who quietly and thoughtfully go about doing good offer a model of consecration.” Then he speaks of President Monson, “He has cultivated a listening ear that can discern even the faintest whisper of the Spirit signaling the need of someone he can reach and help.”

How do you consecrate your life to the Lord? How do you understand and come to know the will of the Lord? How do you make sure that you are making wholesome choices in your recreation? Are you cultivating a listening ear for the Spirit’s whisper?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gospel Learning and Teaching

(find the talk here)

When I read Elder David M. McConkie’s talk about gospel learning and teaching, I first wanted to apply it to my calling as a Primary pianist. Although I know it is also applicable to that calling, as I read further, I was inspired to feel that he was speaking to me as a mother.

He mentioned four things that we should do to be effective teachers:

1. Immerse yourself in the scriptures.

2. Apply in your life the things that you learn.

3. Seek heaven’s help.

4. Exercise your agency and act, without delay, in accordance with the spiritual promptings you receive.

As a mother, I am a teacher. I have a strong testimony of that. Mothers are their children’s first and most important teachers. We tend to outsource our children’s education – the secular education we outsource to public or private educations, the spiritual education we outsource to our Sunday School teachers and other Church teachers. But “mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.” To me, education falls neatly in the category of “nurture.”

In being my children’s primary gospel teacher, I know that those four steps apply to me.

Elder McConkie says “The role of the teacher is ‘to help individuals take responsibility for learning the gospel -  to awaken in them the desire to study, understand, and live the gospel.’ This means that as teachers we should not focus so much on our performance as on how we help others learn and live the gospel.”

As a mother, this means to me that I should not focus on my performance as a mother as on how strong my children’s desire is to study, understand, and live the gospel. That is my goal as a mother – to teach them to study, understand, and live the gospel, and I can do that more effectively if I immerse myself in the scriptures, live what I learn, pray for help, and follow the promptings of the spirit.

I got married when I was nineteen. I was young, but not foolish. I was pure, but not naïve. I knew that what I wanted was to be sealed to a worthy man in the temple for time and all eternity, and after getting to know the man who would become my husband, I decided that he would be a fit companion, if he felt the same way about me. He did, and we were married. A little over a year later, we brought our first child into the world – a son. I was a young mother, only twenty, and due to my stature, people often think I am even younger than I am.

When I was first a mother, I felt quite confident in my mothering abilities – I knew that I had prepared for motherhood my entire life. I had studied the scriptures and the words of the prophets, I had prayed mightily with God, asking him to prepare me to be a mother. Being a young mother is not easy, but I was prepared, and I felt that I would be a great mother. However, there were always people around me who thought I was too young to be an effective mother. My own husband sometimes had his doubts, knowing that I was young and didn’t have much experience.

I struggled for a few years after being around all the doubt and judgment, but in the past few months, my courage has been coming back – probably because I am doing the things Elder McConkie spoke about.

One thing he said comforted me:

“Note that what matters most in learning is not the number of years a teacher has been a member of the Church or how much teaching experience a person has or even the teacher’s knowledge of the gospel or teaching techniques. What matters most is the attitude or spirit by which the teacher teaches.”

I will restate that quote, changing it a little to apply to mothers: “Note that what matters most in learning is not the number of years a [mother has been a mother] or how much [mothering] experience a persona has or even the [mother’s] knowledge of the gospel or [mothering] techniques. What matters most is the attitude or spirit by which the [mother mothers].”

I testify that as we study the scriptures, live the gospel, pray for help, and follow the promptings of the spirit, we will become better mothers for our children, even if we don’t have much experience or knowledge – the Lord will guide us, and will bless our efforts.

Do you sometimes feel “inexperienced” as a mother (or a father)? What things do you do to be a great mother with the right attitude? How to you teach your children to study, understand, and live the gospel?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Have You Been Reading, Too?

I put up a poll at the bottom of my blog (it didn’t fit very well on the side bar...) so you can tell me if you’ve been listening to and/or reading the conference talks.

You can change your vote, too, so you can keep it updated – that is, if you having read/listened to a talk, but do later, you can come back and update your vote.

The poll is open until next General Conference starts on April 2, 2011. I will be posting a new poll them.

Please feel free to leave comments about your experiences reading or listening to the General Conference talks. I love to hear the testimonies, thoughts, and experiences of others, and would love to hear from you on my blog.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Obedience to the Prophets

(find the talk here)

I have such a testimony of obeying the prophets. I know that the prophets of God are called by God to testify of the Savior, and to receive revelation for the church and all mankind.

It would be unjust for God to give revelation only for members of His Church – for all mankind are children of Him. Every man, woman, and child born on this earth chose to follow Christ in the preexistence, and Heavenly Father will lead and guide all of them who hearken unto His voice.

Because I so strongly agree with the 14 points about prophets that Elder Claudio R. M. Costa talked about in his talk (and which several other general authorities mentioned in their talk as well) I will simply list them here. These 14 points were originally given by President Ezra Taft Benson.

1. “The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything...”

2. “The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works.”

3. “The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet.”

4. “The prophet will never lead the Church astray.”

5. “The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.”

6. “The prophet does not have to say ‘Thus saith the Lord’ to give us scripture...”

7. “The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know.”

8. “The prophet is not limited by men’s reasoning, ...”

9. “The prophet can receive revelation on any matter – temporal or spiritual.”

10. “The prophet may be involved in civic matters.”

11. “The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.”

12. “The prophet will not necessarily be popular with the world or the worldly.”

13. “The prophet and his counselors make up the First Presidency – the highest quorum in the Church.”

14. “The prophet and the presidency – the living prophet and the first presidency – follow them and be blessed; reject them and suffer.”

To me, this talk (and the others which mentioned these same 14 principles) were inspired, especially in light of the current political climate, and the uncertainty of many members of the Church over the prophets’ involvement in fighting for the sanctity of marriage.

In this same General Conference, but the next day in another session, President Boyd K. Packer spoke out about same-gender attraction, voiced a strong testimony of the reality of the temptation, and gave what I perceive to be encouraging words for those who struggle with same-gender attraction. His words were rejected by the world, with a petition being delivered to the Church headquarters petitioning him to retract his words.

Ask a prophet of God to take back his words? The Lord will NEVER take back His words, spoken through the mouth of His holy servants.

“...follow them and be blessed; reject them and suffer.”

“What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken,
and I excuse not myself...”
(Doctrine & Covenants 1:38)

I know that the Lord’s servants speak to us in these latter days, that they give us scripture, that their word is more significant and important to us than dead prophets, and that they receive revelation on any matter and that we should listen and follow them. They are true messengers of our Father in Heaven, and if we follow them, we will be blessed.

What is your testimony of the prophets? Do you listen to their words and follow them? What blessings have you received in your life by following the prophet?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stay on the Path

(find the talk here)

Sister Wixom, the Primary General President, gave a talk that hits close to home for me, with young children of my own. I am always concerned with how I am going to teach my children about the gospel. How will I teach them of Heavenly Father’s love for them? How can I teach them about the plan of Salvation? How can I help them learn about our Savior, Jesus Christ, and His love for us?

How will they know,
the ones for whom we care,
That God is Love,
and with us everywhere.
That life is good,
with blessings all can share?
How will they know
unless we teach them so?

How will they learn
that, though they go astray,
God will forgive
and help them find the way?
How will they feel
the Spirit day by day?
How will they know
unless we teach them so?

How will they grow
in wisdom and delight?
How will they choose
to follow what is right?
How can they trust
the future will be bright?
How will they know
unless we show them?

How will they live
when they at last are gown?
What will they give
to children of their own?
Will they reflect
the values we have shown?
How will they know
as on through life they go?
How will they know
unless we strive to teach them so?

That song has always been very poignant for me. I cry every time I hear it – if not the whole way through, then especially when I hear the words “How will they live when they at last are grown? What will they give to children of their own?” More than anything, I want to my children to be able to give their children a testimony of the gospel and a safe and happy home. It is so much harder for them to give those things to their children if I have not given it to them.

Perhaps that is one of the reasons I am so devoted to being a foster parent. I hope that maybe by caring for those children, I can teach them that “God is Love” and that “life is good” and that “God will forgive.”

A few quotes from Sister Wixom’s talk that stuck out to me:

“For children all over the world, we say, ‘Take my hand. Hold on tight. we will stay on the path together back to our Heavenly Father.’”

I add my voice to Sister Wixom’s and have made it my goal to say to every child I know who may need a hand to hold, “Take my hand, hold on tight, I will help you.” As members of Christ’s church, we have a responsibility to take care of all of God’s children. We can’t raise other people’s children, but we can be a good example. We can show other people’s children what a good family looks like, what standards look like, what faith in God looks like. We can open our home to our children’s friends, we can invite other families over, we can spend time with other families with children and set an example. We have a sacred responsibility to do so.

“We can stop, kneel down, and look into their eyes and feel of their innate desire to follow the Savior. Take hold of their hands. Walk with them. It is our chance to anchor them on the path of faith.”

I feel this way every time I see a child, and especially when I see adults “judging” children or assigning ulterior motives to their young children’s actions. I want to scream, “Those children want to follow the Savior!” and then kneel down next to those sweet, innocent children, take their face in my hands and tell them of their Heavenly Father’s plan for them.

“No child needs to walk the path alone so long as we speak freely to our children of the plan of salvation.”

This reminds me of Elder Bednar’s talk in April General Conference where he spoke about sharing “testimony spontaneously with their children...” I have tried to increase this in my own life with my own children, and it seems to have amazing results. Just last night, after we sang Jesus Num Presépio (Away in a Manger), our three year old, V, hopped down to the floor and said “We’ve got to say a prayer now!” He knew that it was time for family prayer, and he is so excited to pray and talk to Heavenly Father, and be a good example to his little sister. We talk about prayer all the time, and I try to bear testimony spontaneously of being kind to his sister, being a good example, being obedient, and choosing the right. It is working.

“We begin to make the plan known to our children when we hold tight to the iron rod ourselves.”

Obviously we cannot lift others any higher than we are ourselves. And we cannot lead our children along a path that we ourselves do not follow.

“They will follow our cadence when they feel secure in our actions. We do not need to be perfect – just honest and sincere.”

That could not be more true. Children can feel our sincerity. They know if we believe what we are saying. I also love that she reminds us that we do not need to be perfect. Sometimes we feel like we cannot teach our children the gospel effectively because we are not perfect – but isn’t that such a great thing to teach our children? That we can be imperfect, but God loves us anyway? I think the same logic holds true with any parenting issues – we don’t always have to be perfect, but if we let our children know that we care about them and that we are trying to learn how to be the best parents we can be, the response will be wonderful.

And I’ll just leave you with this quote and my testimony:

“The world will teach our children if we do not, and children are capable of learning all the world will teach them at a very young age. What we want them to know five years from now needs to be part of our conversation with them today. Teach them in every circumstance; let every dilemma, every consequence, every trial that they may face provide an opportunity to teach them how to hold on to gospel truths.”

I know that as we try to be sincere we can raise our children to stay on the path. As we try to live the gospel and show our children the way to walk – as we testify to them of their divinity and of the Savior’s love for them, they will walk with us.

Do you take hold of your children’s hands daily and walk with them on the path of righteousness? What things do you do with your children to keep them on the straight and narrow path?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Because of Your Faith

(Find the talk here)

Elder Jeffery R. Holland’s talk in the Saturday morning session of General Conference was quite different than most talks I have heard him give. Usually Elder Holland talks about spiritual purity, or about the Priesthood. He always speaks with boldness and clarity – and that was no different his October. But instead of giving his usual admonitions and direction, instead his talk was one of gratitude to those who do good things.

My thanks to all you wonderful members of the Church – and legions of good people not of our faith – for proving every day of your life that the pure love of Christ “never faileth.”

And then he closed his talk with a statement I don’t think I have ever heard from the pulpit at General Conference:

Brothers and sisters, seeing your example, I pledge anew my determination to be better, to be more faithful – more kind and devoted, more charitable and true as our Father in Heaven is and as so many of you already are.

It was fascinating to see an apostle of God get up and say that he was impressed by our example as doers of good. That shows humility and meekness, in my opinion. Elder Holland is a great man – I feel he is very much a doer of good, and I’m sure that he demonstrates charity daily. But he took his opportunity to speak in Conference to tell us that we are doing a great job and that he admires us for our sacrifice and hard work.

One of his statements that really hooked me was that “the personal value, the sacred splendor of every one of you, is the very reason there is a plan of salvation and exaltation.” He made me feel like he was talking about all the good things I do, even though I definitely don’t do that many good things. And to be reminded about the personal nature of the atonement of our Savior and the plan of salvation is something I can always hear again and again.

Elder Holland spoke a lot about all the various things members of the Church do to serve, and then he said

Smile, if you will, about our traditions, but somehow the too-often unheralded women in this church are always there when hands hand down and knees are feeble. They seem to grasp instinctively the divinity in Christ’s declaration: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the lease of these ..., ye have done it unto me.”

I want to be more like Elder Holland seems to think I am – charitable and sacrificing. And I especially want to be more grateful for the unselfish, sacrificing, charitable people in my own life. So many people have done so much for me, without expecting anything in return – simply because they live by the pure love of Christ.

More thank you cards need to be sent, more prayers of gratitude, and more “paying it forward.”

How does it make you feel to be publicly, individually appreciated on the pulpit by a prophet of God? How have you been blessed by the charity of others? How have you shown your appreciate for the charity others have shown you? Do you understand the personal significance of the plan of salvation?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

As We Meet Together Again

(find the talk here)


Twice a year, on the first weekend in April and then again the first weekend of October, the prophets of God speak to us in a worldwide General Conference. The president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints speaks, as do his counselors, and all the members of the quorum of the twelve apostles.

I love General Conference. I look forward every six months to the time when I get to soak in the words of the prophets. Rarely do they say anything new – it’s all been said before by the prophets since Adam. But there is always a new way to apply it to my life, or a new way to talk about it that strikes me in a certain way. And always I am left with a renewed sense of desire to follow the prophet, keep the commandments, and believe in Christ.

I make it a goal to read and re-read and listen and re-listen to the General Conference talks each year. So far I’ve listened to all of General Conference twice. You can download MP3’s of the General Conference addresses here.

I put the MP3’s on my iPhone and listen to them on long car rides, when I go for a run, or any other time I have more than 15 minutes of relative silence (the long car rides are anything but silent with two small children...).

Reading and listening to the most recent General Conference talks is as important (to me) as reading the canonized scripture (the Standard Works – the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price). The words of the living prophets are more applicable to us than the words of dead prophets. The testimony of dead prophets is equally as significant as the testimonies of our living prophets, for all prophets testify of Christ and of his divine mission. But as far as what we should be doing right now – those words are found in the General Conference talks.

So I think for the next little while, I will focus my morning scripture study on the General Conference talks. We didn’t receive the General Conference issue of the Ensign due to our move and our subscription being on hold, but I will probably end up buying one at the Church distribution center, and I can always read them online, as well.

I read the Book of Mormon at night before bed – as many verses as I feel able to stay awake, or digest effectively. In the morning is when I do some more in depth scripture study. So for my morning scripture study for the next several weeks, I will be studying the talks from General Conference. I haven’t read any of them yet (except President Monson’s opening address, which I linked to at the top of this post – and titled this post after).

President Monson’s opening remarks were exciting, as always – he announced five new temples in Lisbon, Portugal; Indianapolis, Indiana; Urdaneta, Philippines; Hartford, Connecticut; and Tijuana, Mexico.

He also spoke about preparing for missionary service. What especially stuck out to me was that he encouraged young men not only to prepare spiritually, but also to “maintain [their] health and strength.” It makes sense, as young men with health problems are generally not able to serve as full time missionaries. We should be maintaining our health and strength whether or not we are preparing to serve a full time mission, because we are always preparing to serve the Lord in some capacity. Even those with physical disabilities and other limitations can maintain what physical strength they have, and possibly even increase their health and strength. Too often we become discouraged because we have some “health problem” and we think that is the end – we have a health problem and will never be fully functioning/healthy like “normal” people. I know lots of “normal” people and all of them have to do something unique to keep themselves “normal” and healthy. My mother in law has a gluten intolerance, but she runs half marathons, marathons, and relay races. And makes good time, at that. She teaches pump classes and aerobics glasses at a gym, and is the epitome of health and strength – even though she suffers from a gluten intolerance (which has actually led to other allergies and intolerances as well – there are more things she can’t eat than that she can).

The Lord needs us to serve. If we struggle with our health, our emotional or mental capacity, or with our physical strength, we can overcome it. I know that we can. Our Father in Heaven provided a Savior for us to overcome all of our infirmities – not just our sins. If we will do our part and maintain our health and strength, the Lord will make up for our gluten intolerances, for our iron deficiencies, for our ADD, for our physical infirmities, for whatever ails us – if we do our part and try our best, we will find ourselves able to “run and not be weary” and “walk and not faint.” (D&C 89:20)

Have you found yourself able to overcome physical, mental, or emotional infirmities through maintaining your health and strength and relying on the Savior’s atonement? What do you do to maintain your health and strength so that you will be able to serve the Lord when the calls come?

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Bridegroom Cometh

We watched The Testaments: Of One Fold and One Shepherd yesterday as a family. That movie always stirs a deep part of me that is anxious for the second coming of the Savior. I have a sincere testimony that Jesus came to earth, and I know that He will come again.

Every time I watch that movie, I get a renewed sense of urgency to:

1.) Live my life righteously so that I will have oil in my lamp when the Savior comes

2.) Study the scriptures for the signs of His second coming

3.) Watch for the signs of the second coming so that I will be ready when He comes again

So that’s what I have been doing this morning. I’ve been re-reading the last chapter of James E Talmage’s Jesus The Christ entitled “Jesus The Christ to Return.” I haven’t read much, but there are so many signs, and it is my goal over the next few weeks to learn about as many of them as I can.

Christ came to earth. I know He did. I know he was crucified and then rose on the third day. And I know that He will come again. And I want to be ready for Him.


Extra Reading:

Gospel Topics: Second Coming of Jesus Christ on

Dallin H. Oaks Preparation for the Second Coming

Gospel Principles: Signs of the Second Coming

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ammon and Motherhood

We often relate the story of Ammon in the Book of Mormon to missionary work.

I have been studying motherhood lately, but this morning as I began my daily reading of the Book of Mormon, I realized that I was reading the first part of the story of Ammon. This is one of my favorite Book of Mormon stories, but not because of Ammon cutting off arms.

I actually love the prelude to Ammon’s story – when Alma the younger meets the sons of Mosiah after they have been preaching the gospel in various lands for nearly fourteen years and “they were still his brethren in the Lord...they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth...”

How did they become such strong influences for good? They “searched the scriptures diligently... they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting...” This preparation and devoutness had given them “the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation.” Moreover, “when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.”

As I mother I recognize the need for all of these blessings (the spirit of prophecy and revelation, and most importantly power and authority from God). Why? Because “by the power of their words many were brought before the altar of God, to call on his name and confess their sins before him.”

Motherhood does not release you from bringing God’s children unto Him. We have a responsibility to raise our children in righteousness, and raise them up to the Lord. This includes bringing them “before the altar of God, to call on his name and confess their sins before him.” We need to teach our children this very important process of repentance and obedience to God’s laws.

There is a lot more insight for mothers to be found in this story, but I’ll save that for another day.

Is there a scripture story that teaches you more about motherhood? How are you teaching your children to come before the altar of God? How do you increase the power and spirit you have as a mother?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Blindness of their Minds

In the current political climate, there is a lot of talk about being “open minded.” In a recent discussion about open mindedness and politics, my very wise uncle said, “If you’re too open minded, your brains will fall out.” Another uncle countered with “If you are too close minded, you’ll risk having a stroke.”

All humor aside, I was reading in Alma 13 the other day and came across verse 4. It seemed very appropriate in light of the current discussion.

…while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds…

I find it very interesting that Alma says people who reject the Spirit of God have “blind” minds. But in the world, I think it is suggested that people who have accepted the gospel and a Savior and a God in Heaven are close minded, brain-washed, or otherwise confused. I tend to think that those who have accepted religion are in fact more open minded (and open hearted) to those who vehemently deny a God and Creator, and Savior.

I pray that my heart can be soft and that my mind can see and accept the Spirit of God so that I can have what Alma defines as a “great privilege.”

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What I Was Looking For

I am always reassured that the Lord knows me when He answers my prayers so directly. I read this blog, along with several other religious blogs for women, and today an article was posted about a talk from Sister Julie B. Beck, Relief Society President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

She said:

I have a little exercise for those of you who want something specific to do in your scripture study. Get a new little copy of the Book of Mormon. In the front of it, open to a blank page and write three questions: Who am I? What are my responsibilities in the house of Israel? How do I fulfill my responsibilities? As you read and study, you will find some blank pages in the back. You can add Post-it notes if you like. Start writing your answers in the back as you read, and you will have a journey of discovery about who you are. It doesn’t matter how long this study takes. Take one month, take ten years, and discover who you are. When you finish studying those questions in the Book of Mormon, study them in the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Old Testament. The Lord knows who you are. He knows what your responsibilities are and how you can fulfill them. Power and strength will come to you as you understand who you are in the Lord’s kingdom.

Now how neat is that! Just yesterday I was saying that I needed “something specific to do in [my] scripture study.” Well, Sister Beck knew I needed this. More like, Heavenly Father knew I needed this.

I always have a small economy copy of the Book of Mormon that I use for my regular scripture study. It’s small, cheap ($2.50) and I like that I can write all over it, and then when I finish, start a new copy, and write more insights. It helps me get a fresh look at the scriptures when I don’t have my old notes staring me in the face. And, of course, I keep all my old copies, so I can keep all the little gems I’ve found in the scriptures.

I’m only half way through Alma right now, but Sister Beck’s talk has given me motivation to finish faster! I want to take her challenge!

I always love learning more about who I am – of all the people in the world to get to know, it is most important to get to know me. And that sure is complex!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Abraham Part I: A Follower of Righteousness

I was going to pull out my gospel library app on my iPhone to read the lesson for tomorrow (Sunday, May 6) – and then remembered that it is the first Sunday of the month tomorrow (and that means a message from the Presidency of our women’s organization at Church). So I won’t know what the lesson is about tomorrow until about noon when I sit in class.

That’s fine – but now I’m faced with the dilemma of finding my own topic to study this evening. Not a problem, usually, but I haven’t been doing so well with my scripture study, so I don’t really have  a plan. One thing I know is that if I don’t have a plan, nothing happens.

I’ve been meaning to dive into a study of the Abrahamic Covenant, so here I go:

In the Book of Abraham, Abraham states that he is a “follower of righteousness.”

Abraham’s statement of desire echoes inside my spirit:

“…desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, … and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.” (Abraham 1:2)

I also desire to be one who possesses great knowledge. R and I talk a lot about what it means to want something. We like to say that “You want the end inasmuch as you want the means.”

If you truly desire something, then you won’t gripe and complain about doing the things that will yield that result.

For example, if I really want to be able to run a half marathon, I won’t complain about the training leading up to the half. I also won’t complain about how hard the run was. I will want to train, and want to run the hard 13.1 miles.

If I truly desire to be one who possesses “great knowledge” then I will desire to study, read, ponder, pray, and listen to the knowledge of others, and most importantly, listen to the Spirit to receive Heavenly knowledge and confirmation and testimony.

Do you find yourself saying that you “want” something, but not being truly committed to the way to get there? Or have you learned to love the path to your goals?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

untitled thoughts

I don’t even know where to begin. I have been doing a lot of “soul searching” lately. I have been pleading with Heavenly Father to reveal His will to me, and I’ve been receiving a lot of inspiration. The unfortunate thing – it feels sometimes – is that most of the inspiration is just leads in certain directions. Specific areas of my life to address. Most of them are very very personal, so I won’t share them here. But I am weighed down with the significance of many of these facets of my life that need addressing.

I did, after all, ask for this inspiration. So I will be grateful and continue working through each problem. It is a lifetime process, thankfully, with no deadline – just steady progress each day.

I will continue to pray and study and ponder so that I can move forward in faith.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Mother’s Sacred Trust

I have been trying to be a good mother for the past three years, and I think I’ve been doing an okay job.

But I know that I can do more, and be better. And I also know that it is imperative for me to do a better job.

I attended a women’s conference last year with a friend of another faith. We are both Christian, and the conference was about raising good Christian boys to be good Christian husbands and fathers. It was a really good conference, and the keynote speaker had a book that I decided needed to be a part of my home library.

I love the book. It’s called Preparing Him for the Other Woman and talks about teaching your son and raising him to be ready to marry a good Christian woman some day. The author is missing some truths – but nearly every thing she writes about is true, and the spirit has testified to me of its truthfulness. I will supplement my reading with LDS General Conference talks and the counsel of our modern day prophets, but her book is a beautiful resource – full of a mother’s testimony of God and Christ, and of her responsibility as a mother. There is truth everywhere – and the spirit will help us find that truth. I’m grateful for my friend who invited me to this conference. It was really uplifting, and this book has been an invaluable resource.

The thing I want to work on this week with my son is teaching him to have a real relationship with God (and with Christ, and the atonement). The book’s author suggests, “When he is crying, have him tell is Daddy in heaven what hurts. When he is happy or excited, lead him in thanking God for His goodness.”

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a mother, and I hope and pray that I can raise my children to the Lord.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Time to Prepare to Meet God

I have been thinking a lot lately about the Second Coming. I want to be prepared for that time – not just the actual Second Coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ, but also for the events that have been prophesied will lead up to that glorious day.

I want to be prepared. I want to prepare my family. I feel a great desire and a great urgency to be prepared.

I cannot tell you what day or time Christ will come, but I know that He will come. And when He does, I want to be ready to meet Him. I want to be able to weather the storm with my family and anyone else we can help so that when Christ comes we can fall at His feet and worship Him.

I want to have oil in my lamp.

Someone recently asked (in light of all the natural disasters, political instabilities, and the Church’s preparations for them, etc) “Makes you wonder what our [Church] leaders know that we don't.”

I responded with this testimony, which I bear again now:

Everything our leaders know, they have told us (I mean, as far as preparation goes). "Be prepared - spiritually, temporally, and mentally - for the last days." 

Every six months at General Conference, our Church leaders counsel and plead with us to be better and do better at living the gospel. They are building the best technology and standards in buildings because that is what the people of the Lord do - they prepare them for the Second Coming. Whether it be tomorrow, or in 600 years (I recall Lehi telling his family that the time was "near at hand" for the Savior to come into the world... about 600 years before Christ was born).

I think we should live like our leaders have asked us to, and the way they run the Church - prepare every needful thing.

Some questions we can all think about:

How prepared are you? Are you becoming more prepared? Or are you doing better, doing more? Or are you getting comfortable, thinking that maybe the Lord won't come for another 600 years, and so that means we don't have to be prepared just yet?

I do believe that the Lord’s servants are preparing every day for the Second Coming of the Lord. They keep their lamps filled, because we “know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 25:13).

It needs to be the first thing on your mind, in all you do – how can I keep myself prepared for the Second Coming of the Lord?

Sunday, April 18, 2010


The Mirriam-Webster dictionary defines refined as “free from impurities.”

Then, God, being perfect, must be free from impurities, and we, as His children striving to return to him, must be constant in our quest to be refined.

Other definitions include “fastidious, cultivated, precise, exact.”

Last summer this article was published in the Ensign magazine.

One of my favorite quotes is from the very beginning of the article (which is adapted from a BYU Devotional address). The author says, “God speaks all languages, and He speaks them properly. He is restrained and modest of speech. When God described the grand creational process of this earth, He said in measured tones that ‘it was good’ (Genesis 1:4). We would be disappointed if God had used ‘awesome’ or other exaggerated phrases.”

The article has caused me to reflect on my life. I feel like I have become less refined, which is a little discouraging. However, I know that the atonement is real, and as I slip from the path, if I recognize my mistakes, I will be able to return quickly to the path toward Heavenly Father and eternal life.

I know that I can pray and ask for forgiveness, and moreover ask for strength to continue to be refined and cultivated, pure and fastidious.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Food for the Soul

We weren't able to watch or listen to the Saturday sessions of general conference this past weekend, so I downloaded them to my phone and have been slowly catching up.
Sister Julie B Beck, from the General Relief Society Presidency, gave an excellent talk about motherhood.
I try to make it a habit to go into conference weekend with specific prayers for guidance that I am particularly in need of at that time. I have recently been struggling with my duties as a mother, and more importantly, with being a good mother.
Sister Beck's talk felt as if she and I were sitting in private conversation, and I felt as if she had been observing my mothering for a few days, then listened to me pour out my heart to her. It felt as if she were responding directly to me and my concerns and weaknesses as a mother.
I have a great testimony of our Father's mindful rss of us. I KNOW that He knows me and hears my prayers. I am positive the His appointed servants, whether they be Priesthood authorities or auxiliary leaders, are guided by Him and inspired by Him to preach His word to us. And I can feel the Spirit confirming the truthfulness of their words.

Come and be lifted up by the words of true prophets, seers, and revelators in our day.

You can read, listen to, and watch the entire conference at

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Provident Living

Provident means “making provision for the future” according to Merriam-Webster.

The Visiting Teaching message for February is titled “Managing Resources Wisely and Staying Out of Debt.”

This is a very timely message, given the rough state of the economy. Every time I read the words of the leaders of the Church I am buoyed up and encouraged to work harder and become better.

Elder Robert D. Hales says in the message that we’re not just expected to do good, but to be good.

Let us strive to be good so that we can be in a position to do good.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Do Not Fear

1 Nephi 22

In today’s world, and in light of the prophecies of the scriptures regarding the second coming, it is easy to get anxious and a little fearful. There is so much deception, deceit, and destruction it is often hard to feel confident about our own safety.

But Nephi says

Wherefore, he will preserve the righteous by his power, even if it so be that the fulness of this wrath must come, and the righteous be preserved, even unto the destruction of their enemies by fire. Wherefore, the righteous need not fear; for thus saith the prophet, they shall be saved, even if it so be as by fire. (1 Nephi 22:16-17)

With this promise we will be safe if we are righteous. Which still makes me nervous because I know how unrighteous I am. I know that I have so many weaknesses and I fail every day. But I also have faith in the Savior and the atonement, so I keep working at it, knowing that if I am trying, Christ will take up the slack and pull me into His arms.

Mark E. Peterson said

You do not need to fear about world conditions. You do not need to fear about anybody. Just serve the Lord and keep his commandments and build the kingdom, and as you do so you will be protected in these last days. (Conference Report, Oct. 1960, p. 82)

We need not fear. Only serve the Lord. I’m trying, and I’ll keep doing my best, because that’s all I can do. I know the Lord will bless me as I keep His commandments and serve Him, and I know that He will expand my abilities as I continue to have faith in Him and accept His will in my life.

The world is in turmoil, but we can find peace through the Savior and in the scriptures. May we do so is my prayer.

Monday, January 18, 2010

More Longing For Home

Yesterday our Stake President challenged us to be more pure and be better followers of Christ. The closing hymn for our Ward Conference was “More Holiness Give  Me”, which is one of my favorite hymns. One of my very favorite lines is “More longing for home…” There was a time when I prayed with all energy of heart to have Heavenly Father purify me and make me better than I am so that I could return to live with Him. There was nothing I wanted more than to be worthy of the Celestial Kingdom, and I was living my life that way. I was praying constantly, and as a result I felt the Lord’s hand in my life, and I felt His power helping me in everything I did. I felt more productive, more kind, more charitable, more loving.

I haven’t become a monster or anything, but I feel like I have lost focus and become too involved in the “here and now.” I don’t long for Home as much as I did, and I can see it affecting my life and my family.

I need to look beyond today – I need to focus on eternity and draw nearer to my Savior again so that my todays and tomorrows will be full and will help me reach my goal of eternal life, instead of just being a today and a tomorrow. Each day should be a step toward exaltation, not merely a step. I don’t want to be running in place, I want to be running toward my Heavenly Father. I will reach out to Him so that He can reach toward me and pull me toward Him.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why the words of Isaiah?

1 Nephi 21

When I read this chapter my first thought was “why Isaiah?” Of all the prophets, why did the Nephi quote Isaiah? Many people find Isaiah’s words hard to understand. His words definitely require a little more thought to get through. They are filled with imagery and allegory. Honestly I find Isaiah very satisfying to read. It’s not cut and dry, it’s interesting, alive, and changing, since the meaning will come from the Spirit’s testimony.

When Christ appears to the Nephites in 3 Nephi, he says

“And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye outght to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah. For surely he spake as touching all things concerning my people which are the house of Israel; therefore it must needs be that he must speak also to the Gentiles. And all things that he spake have been and shall be, even according to the words which he spake.” (3 Nephi 23:1-3)

Isaiah’s words are the words of Christ – and they are very important and significant, because they are timeless and true.

I have a desire to understand the scriptures better. I want to know the word of God, and the word of God is spoken by the prophets.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

He Led Them

1 Nephi 20

In Chapter 19, Nephi writes that he “did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.” I think it is very fitting that following this statement he begins quoting Isaiah as he speaks in messianic prophecy about Israel fleeing Babylon. Isaiah speaks of the Israelites as chosen, even in their wickedness, and describes how the Lord will lead them from Babylon and through the desert and will provide for them.

This is a parallel of Lehi’s family being chosen by the Lord to leave Jerusalem. Even when Nephi’s brothers and the sons and daughters of Ishmael were being rude and unrighteous, the Lord still guided the family of Lehi. He still led them through the wilderness and across the oceans to the promised land. 

Why? Well, we read in verse 11, “For mine own sake, yea, for mine own sake will I do this, for I will not suffer my name to be polluted, and I will not give my glory to another.” The Lord doesn’t cut off people in order to fulfill His own purposes, not because He doesn’t care that they are wicked. In verse 22, He reminds us that “there is no peace… unto the wicked.”

The Lord needed Israel, so He spared them. The Lord needed Lehi’s family, so He spared them. If the Lord needs us, He will spare us. If He doesn’t need us, He won’t. And even if he does spare us, if we are not righteous, there is “no peace” for us.

On the other hand, the Lord says that if we hearken to His commandments, “then [would] thy peace [be] as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.”

I love the imagery of Isaiah. This particular passage reminds me that there are sweet sweet blessings that await if I follow the Lord’s commandments. I know that He will bless me if I try to do what is right. I love having peace in my heart, and I know that peace comes when I am doing what is right and when I am involved in good, holy, righteous things.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Part of Prophecy

1 Nephi 19

The Lords prophecies are often fulfilled by man. Whether they be good or bad, men often carry out the will of God (also, whether knowingly or unknowingly).

Nephi says “…as for those who are at Jerusalem… they shall be scourged by all people, because they crucify the God of Israel…” (1 Nephi 19:13)

This prophecy is not the same as a commandment for faithful Saints to persecute the Jews. On the contrary, the wicked who fulfill this prophecy will be subject to punishment of their own.

However, there are other prophecies of which we may be proud to take part.

Wilford Woodruff speaks of fulfilling the revelation that a temple would be built in Far West, MO.

“On the morning of the 26th of April, 1839, notwithstanding the threats of our enemies that the revelation which was to be fulfilled this day should not be, and notwithstanding that ten thousand of the Saints had been driven out of the State by the edict of the governor, and though the Prophet Joseph and his brother, Hyrum Smith, with other leading men were in the hands of our enemies, in chains and in prison, we moved on to the temple ground in the city of Far West, and held a council, and fulfilled the revelation and commandment given unto us, and we performed many other things at this council.” (“Leaves from My Journal,” Millennial Star, October 10, 1881, 645–47)

Elder Carlos E. Asay mentioned that “Prophecy will be fulfilled, with or without us,” but also states that “…I believe that all members can become a part of prophecy fulfilled…”

I believe that we as faithful Saints and followers of the Lord can become a part of prophecy fulfilled. But we should be very careful and mindful of the parts of the prophecy that we partake in.

It is my desire to read and understand the prophecies of the Lord so that I may be a righteous part of prophecy fulfilled. I want to be part of the fulfillment of the prophecy “The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth.” I do not  want to be part of the prophecy the before the second coming “shall many be offended,” or “men’s hearts shall fail them,” or many “shall betray one another.”

Let us learn of the prophecies of the Lord and prayerfully fulfill the prophecies of righteousness, not wickedness. As Elder Asay stated, “Prophecy will be fulfilled, with or without us.”

Friday, January 8, 2010

“I did not murmur against the Lord”

1 Nephi 18

When Nehpi’s older brothers tied him up on the ship, and the ship was tossed around in the ocean, Nephi comments that he “did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions.”

What humility and faith! I murmur a lot when things are going right, not to mention when things are going poorly. And especially if I feel afflicted. Now, I don’t necessarily murmur “against the Lord,” but I don’t think any murmuring is appropriate.

My institute teacher when I was living with my parents, Dr. Wally, is a great example to me of never murmuring. He and his wife endured a lot of trials, and didn’t murmur against the Lord or anyone.

I want to be more like Nephi – more humble, and more willing to accept what the Lord has for me. It is hard when people around you are complaining and “murmuring” – but it can be done! I can be an example to those around me who may murmur.

I will murmur less, and praise more. I will find the silver lining in every cloud, and thank God for my blessings each day. I will work harder at seeing the blessings in my afflictions. If I am tried and tempted it is only so that God can prove me and my faithfulness. I will not let Him down. I will show Him that through every trial and affliction I will stay true to the faith and that I will praise Him through my weaknesses and trials.

God allows us to be tried and tested. Actually, if you remember that we were present in the counsel in Heaven, we chose to come and be tried and tested. You and I jumped up and down, waving our arms saying “Pick me! Pick me! Send me down there so I can become like You!”

And here I am. Am I becoming like Him?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Faith to Move Mountains

1 Nephi 17

I have thought a lot about what it means to have faith to move mountains. I want to have faith to move mountains, but I don’t know exactly what that means.

I have studied it before, but perhaps it is time to delve into the study of faith once again. More importantly, it is time to delve into the practice of faith again.

Here is a prime example of my lack of  faith. I lack faith that the Lord will teach me about faith. If only I could simply have faith in Him and confidence through the Lord.

I will practice having faith that if I study and pray and try to live my life correctly, Heavenly Father will teach me what it means to have “faith to move mountains.”

Or in Nephi’s case, faith to build a ship.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hard Truth

1 Nephi 16

This chapter starts off with Nephi’s brothers complaining that Nephi had spoken hard things to them. In part of his reply, Nephi stated:

“…the righteous have I justified…the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.”

I have experienced this many times. When people speak truth to me about my actions or thoughts, I feel horrible. Their words cut me “to the very center.” Unfortunately, I am a lot more prideful that I will usually admit. When something cuts me to the very center, I often reject the counsel, statement, or advice as false and/or preachy or just the person being unkind. I have often given this attitude the false face of being hard to be offended. I told myself that I don’t get offended easily, because when people say things that cut me, I just brush it off.

Perhaps there is some kind of balance. I don’t need to be offended when I hear hard truth, but I should probably think more on it. I should ponder the meaning of the truth that I have heard, and look inside myself for things to change, and ways to grow.

After yesterday’s post about receiving inspiration from the same source as the Apostles, I have been pondering ways to hear the still small voice more clearly. Hearing that voice more clearly is one of my greatest goals. I think humility is one of the things I need the most. Pride has always been a big hurdle for me. I always feel like I am making progress, only to realize that I haven’t come nearly as far as I thought. Which I guess is part of pride.

During our pillow talk last night, I mentioned to my husband that I think the Spirit speaks to me most often as images. I see images in my mind of what the Spirit wants to tell me. I don’t hear a voice nearly as often as I see an image. A vision, I imagine. They aren’t frequent, and the are rarely clear. And unfortunately, I rarely give them a second thought. Only after the fact do I realize their source.

My goal this year will be to hear the holy Spirit more clearly. Or I guess in my case, to see it more clearly. I think this means also realizing more clearly whether the image I see is from the Spirit, or just me thinking. Although, I believe that they are often the same thing, if we are living closely enough to the Spirit, our thoughts are more often than not inspired.

I will follow the promptings I receive, I will write down when I receive a prompting so that I can remember what it was like. And perhaps I will be able to fine tune my reception to have clearer communication with the Lord.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Same Voice

1 Nephi 15

Elder Boyd K. Packer taught that everyone can receive guidance from the Lord the same way that Apostles receive guidance. He says

“As an Apostle I listen now to the same inspiration, coming from the same source, in the same way, that I listened to as a boy. The signal is much clearer now…”

Lehi’s family crossed the wilderness together. It was the same wilderness for all of them. However, when Lehi had his visions, Nephi asked to receive confirmation and testimony of the same visions (and did), whereas Nephi’s brothers did not seek to learn.

Nephi asked his brothers, “Have ye inquired of the Lord?”

To which his brothers answered, “We have not; for the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us.”

Nephi’s brothers hadn’t asked the Lord because they didn’t believe that the Lord would answer them.

But Elder Packer’s testimony simply echoes the testimony Nephi bore to his brothers:

“Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said? If ye will not harden your hearts and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you.” (1 Nephi 15:11)

The Lord is no respecter of persons. He does not withhold testimony from any who are earnestly seeking a testimony. He does not give revelation only to those in high positions of authority in the Church. He gives revelation, confirmation, and understanding to anyone who has a sincere heart, asks in faith, believes they will get an answer, and keeps the commandments.

I love how Elder Packer mentioned that the voice is clearer now for him. I imagine Elder Packer keeps the commandments a little more consistently than most of us. I imagine that he has a little more faith, a softer heart, and that beyond believing he will receive I imagine Elder Packer knows that he will receive. And I imagine that the more we keep the commandments, the clearer the influence of the Holy Ghost will be in our lives. As we strive to believe, have faith, live the gospel, and ask with sincerity, I believe that the Lord will answer our prayers and give us understanding and a testimony.

If I ever find myself struggling for faith, I remind myself of what Alma said, “Yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye can believe…” (Alma 32:27, emphasis added) And tears come to my eyes every time I read about the humble father who brought his son before the Savior with the plea, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief!” (Mark 8:24; exclamation added) If we can be like that father, and no more than desire to believe, the Lord will bless us and help us find our faith. And as we grow in faith and obedience, we will be blessed with inspiration and revelation from the same source to which the prophets look. As we grow in truth and light, the voice will become clearer and clearer until it is as if we are speaking face to face with God.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Armed With Righteousness

1 Nephi 14

There are two forces in this world – God, and everyone else. Either you’re on God’s side, or you’re not. I think more people are on God’s side than we realize. I’m surprised each day by the sheer number of people I hear who praise God and have faith in Him, and try to live their life pleasing to Him (the best they know how – and that is different for all of us!)

There is always a battle between good and evil, and in order to protect ourselves and our families we need to be armed with righteousness.

As a mother it is my responsibility to arm my children with righteousness.

Elder Packer gave a talk many many years ago about fitting our children with the shield of faith. It sums up my feelings on the subject, so I will simply share this quote:

As it has been since the beginning, the adversary would divide us, break us up, and if he can, destroy us. But the Lord said, “Lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, … taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (D&C 27:15, 17; emphasis added).

The ministry of the prophets and apostles leads them ever and always to the home and the family. That shield of faith is not produced in a factory but at home in a cottage industry.

The ultimate purpose of all we teach is to unite parents and children in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, linked to their generations, and assured of exaltation in the presence of our Heavenly Father.

Lest parents and children be “tossed to and fro,” and misled by “cunning craftiness” of men who “lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. 4:14), our Father’s plan requires that, like the generation of life itself, the shield of faith is to be made and fitted in the family. No two can be exactly alike. Each must be handcrafted to individual specifications.

The plan designed by the Father contemplates that man and woman, husband and wife, working together, fit each child individually with a shield of faith made to buckle on so firmly that it can neither be pulled off nor penetrated by those fiery darts.

It takes the steady strength of a father to hammer out the metal of it and the tender hands of a mother to polish and fit it on. Sometimes one parent is left to do it alone. It is difficult, but it can be done.

In the Church we can teach about the materials from which a shield of faith is made: reverence, courage, chastity, repentance, forgiveness, compassion. In church we can learn how to assemble and fit them together. But the actual making of and fitting on of the shield of faith belongs in the family circle. Otherwise it may loosen and come off in a crisis.

Boyd K. Packer, “‘The Shield of Faith’,” Ensign, May 1995, 7

It is my goal this year to more fervently fit a shield of faith for my children. It is my responsibility as their mother to work with their father, my husband, in outfitting them to be protected from the fiery darts of the adversary. I cannot do it alone, I need the Lord’s help, and so with prayer and scripture in my hands and heart I will move forward to prepare my children to serve the Lord.

Other related reading: L. Tom Perry, “Build Your Shield of Faith,” Ensign, May 1974, 98
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