8.27.2014

Facebook: Faith not Fear

facebook.com

As I've made this big leap (for me) of joining Facebook I've been asking myself why I didn't do this before.  What was keeping me from joining the masses in this social media arena?  Sure the excuse may have been, "I have no need, I keep contact with the friends I want to."  Or I used that tactic that I didn't want to get addicted (still true).  And, I've also wanted my kids to not think it was a normal necessity in their lives.

As I've looked at it more closely, I've realized it's been about fear.  Fear that I would get "sucked in." Fear that I would look for outside approval.  Fear that my kids wouldn't learn how to really socialize.  Probably even some fear that I wouldn't be "liked."  Fear that I have no clue how to use it!  I don't want everyone seeing everything and worried I wouldn't know how to protect myself from that.  Fear of government control plays a tiny part of the hesitation I've had with joining.  In general, I can now see that I based my decision partially on fear.

I recently ran across this very interesting article by Elder L. Tom Perry where he said this:

It is "in the world" where we have the privilege of coming and enjoying a mortal experience. It is "in the world" where we we are tested and tried. It is "in the world" where we have opportunities to participate in sacred, saving ordinances which will determine our postmortal life.  It is "in the world" where we have the opportunity to serve and make our contribution to mankind.  It is to this world the Savior must come....May we have the necessary faith to place our trust in the Lord and not worry about the forces that will surely oppose righteousness.  May we have the courage to move forward in the cause of truth.  As we live "in the world," may we contribute by making it a better place because of righteous living, our service in causes that are just, and our faith that good will ultimately triumph over evil."  (CR Aprl 1988)

www.chriscruieses.com
I realize now, after listening to Elder Bednar's recent address as well, that we are to live in the world in which we were born.  I need to more fully embrace the technologies that are here by divine inspiration, to see them as tools for furthering the kingdom of God upon the earth.  I've still got some trepidation, but a little is okay to safeguard against the adversary.  This can be his tool as well.  But I will choose to have more faith than fear and to learn all I can so I can use these tools more effectively for the right purpose.

8.21.2014

"To Sweep the Earth as with a Flood"



If you haven't read, watched or listened to this talk yet...do it now!

I just went to a class at Education Week where the teacher quoted, "I will hasten my work in it's time (D&C 88:73)."  This speaker then commented, "After Elder Bednar's talk on Tuesday, I think you can cross out the words 'it is time' and write in 'NOW.'

It is the time.  We are to flood the earth.  So...be watching for my newly-created Facebook page...coming soon!!!

8.12.2014

God's Harvest

"The field is white all ready to harvest." 

Today I was looking at our heavy-laden peach tree and reflecting on how we neglected our plums this year.  I was not ready when the plums were ready.  We lost a lot of fruit because of my lack of readiness.  I'm determined to have a different plan or experience with the peaches!

With this reflection on our backyard fruit trees, my mind went to the law of the harvest.  Interestingly enough, President Uchtdorf had this on his mind as well because the first presidency message in this month's Ensign is just on that:  God's Harvest.  He beautifully brings out the principles of that particular law.

But what I was thinking as well was, "When the Lord's harvest is ready it will be time to pick the fruit.  If we are not ready, a lot will be wasted."  When this thought came I wasn't really sure what that meant.  Sure, there's missionary work and finding those souls who are ready to be harvested, but I sensed there was something more to that message.  It took a couple of days before it hit me (and when it did I was feeling a bit silly that it hadn't occurred to me sooner):  Family History!!

There has been a great amount of emphasis put on this principle of the gospel.  I've heard the messages and dabbled here and there with searching and indexing.  It wasn't until reflecting on the fruit I see falling to the ground did I catch the real meaning of the impression I had received.  The fruit is ripening, the ending is nigh, and if we are not prepared there will be many lost.

Though I still don't fully understand the significance of "why now?" when family history work will continue after the millennium, this small experience and that quiet whispering voice has instilled in me a greater desire to be more diligent in my family's work.

8.08.2014

Granola Bars

Heavenly Homemakers has made me ours a heavenly home!  They have a granola bar recipe that is delicious and addictive.  The good part, it is an omega-3 power bar and no white sugar!  Yummy!  I recommend  you make them this weekend.

Granola Bars
1 c. peanut butter (the natural, no sugar kind; I prefer creamy)
2/3 c. honey
1/2 c. coconut oil 
2 c. oats
2 c. total combination of any of the following ingredients: 
sunflower seeds, cia seeds, cocoa nibs, chopped nuts, unsweetened shredded coconut, dried fruit, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, etc.

Directions
In medium saucepan melt together peanut butter, oil and honey.  Remove from heat.  Add oats and two cups of miscellaneous ingredients.  Stir well and spread into pan (9x13 maybe, I use the Pampered Chef bar pan). Chill 2 hours and cut into bars. Store in fridge (they melt fairly quickly). 

My favorite combo: 
lots of coconut, chopped pecans, pumpkin seeds, cia seeds, flaxseed and cacoa nibs.  

8.05.2014

Do You Have the Faith....?

image from ldspictures.wordpres.com

As a young twenty-something with three small children I was asked to sub for a Relief Society class.  The subject was "Faith."  I had some great quotes (still hung up in my study area now, actually) and things were running pretty smoothly.  Then, one woman shared her story on what she thought was faith.  

"It's like when my husband works far away, he has a long drive, and yet every night I have the faith that he will make it home safely."  

To this another sister replied, "But what if he doesn't?  Where is your faith when he doesn't come home?"  

I remember standing there, feeling young and inexperienced, unsure of what to say or how to continue the discussion.  I don't even know what happened after that.  I'm sure I fumbled through, giving some simple answer and then turning back to the awesome quotes I had prepared.  I don't know.  But that question, "What if it doesn't work out?" has frequently occupied my mind.  

Until recently, I had never had to really ask that question myself.  What was once just an interesting theory has become a reality.  Not all in my life has worked perfectly, for sure, but most of my life I have seen faith work things out. However,  I believe we all will need to, at some point in our lives, ask this very question of ourselves in a very deep and personal way, "Where is my faith if it doesn't work out?"

I've searched through the scriptures and found that the Lord always fulfills His promises.  Always.  The most poignant example in my mind is from 3 Nephi.  It is a time of turmoil for those who believe the words prophesied by Samuel the Lamanite.  An edict has even been issued that if the sign does not appear on a certain night, all who do believe will be put to death (3 Ne. 1:9). 


     "And it came to pass that they did make a great uproar throughout the land; and the people who believed began to be very sorrowful, lest by any means those things which had been spoken might not come to pass. But behold, they did watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day as if there were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been vain (3 Ne. 1:7-8, emphasis added)."

And what if the sign hadn't come to pass?  What if their faith had been in vain? I can't even imagine the days that passed between hearing that order and the night the sign did appear.  What agony they must have gone through.  What questions they must have had!  I think those days in between were more of a test of their faith than the actual moment of fulfillment. 
Think about Abraham, willing to follow the command to kill his son while at the same time holding to the faith he had in the promise given to him that he would have multiplied posterity! That walk up the mountain must have been excruciatingly painful.  His heart must have been full of sorrow, his mind full of doubts and questions.  
In speaking to a young couple, the husband suffering from cancer, Elder Bednar once asked, "Do you have the faith not to be healed?"  It's one thing to have faith when things are going "right." It's a whole different type of faith when we ask ourselves, "Do I have the faith to NOTto..." - - find a spouse, have a baby, survive a fire or accident, etc... OR to ask the question, "Where is my faith when I..." -- lose a loved one, can't find a job, suffer from a terminal illness, etc.  "Do you have the faith NOT to be healed?"
Maybe our trial of faith isn't so much about believing whether or not the Lord will fulfill His promises.  Maybe it's more about receiving the promises and then watching where and how our faith grows while we wait for the fulfillment of the promise.  I can testify that the promises will be fulfilled for God cannot lie (D&C 62:6).  But, like Abraham and the Nephites, waiting to see how the Lord will fulfill His promises could be the part that tests our faith the most.  What do we do in the meantime with our faith, our talents, our minds, and our hearts?  It is then that we need to sincerely ask ourselves, "Where is my faith?" 
*****
Search these commandmentsfor they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled."
Doctrine & Covenants 1:37

8.01.2014

Our top Priority as Mothers


"Our teaching should draw upon our own faith and focus first and foremost on instilling faith in God in the rising generation. We must declare the essential need to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before Him in soberness, or in other words, with reverence. Each must be persuaded that service and sacrifice for the well-being and happiness of others are far superior to making one’s own comfort and possessions the highest priority." 
- - Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Moral Discipline - - 

*****

"Make the spiritual development of your spouse and chidren a very high priority.  Be attentive to the things you can do to help each one.  Give freely of your time and attention."
 - - Elder Richard G. Scott, CR Oct. 2013 - - 
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