Prior to the adoption of my daughter in 2012, my husband and I had been married for 12 years and actively trying to have children for eight of those. During that time, all of my closest friends and 11 of my 12 siblings all had children, some while we were in the midst of failed fertility treatment after failed fertility treatment. It was a heart-wrenching time for me. I hid in the bathroom at church on Mother’s Day. I left more than one lesson in tears. I was the recipient of frequent, unsolicited advice on how to get pregnant, and I rolled my eyes at the not-so-subtle hints people would make that my husband and I should have kids. I found joy in my work and in my marriage, but I wanted desperately to be a mom. I longed to hold my baby in my arms. At times, the very idea of holding a friend’s or sibling’s child would fill me with a yearning and heartache that overwhelmed me. Continue reading
Recently my neighbor asked me to share my testimony of Joseph Smith in one sentence for a video he was making. I really didn’t want to because I really don’t like being filmed, but considering Mormon Women Stand also encouraged me to share my testimony of the prophet right around the same time, it was a good opportunity to ponder and record my thoughts. After waiting about a week to see the finished video, I was pleased with how well it turned out! I think you’ll enjoy it, too. After watching this, the words of Praise to the Man stuck in my mind, and I felt such gratitude toward Joseph Smith for all that he did for us. I love knowing that others share the same feelings and respect toward Joseph Smith that I have. Continue reading
Plunged into civil war, the United States had fallen into dark days. Brother fought against brother. Blood stained battle fields dotted the landscape. Yet, on October 3, 1863 while enumerating the blessings of the year, President Abraham Lincoln declared a national day of Thanksgiving. In a Proclamation sent to the people of the United States, Lincoln declared: Continue reading
This time of year when grateful hearts turn into giving hands, my scripture study focuses on thanksgiving and the commandment we are given to be grateful. Gratitude is not just a commandment from the Lord, “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.” (D&C 59:7) It is a commandment with a promise, “And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.” (D&C 78:19) How is it that gratitude has the potential to make us glorious? To find out, I look to the example Jesus Christ set.
There are only three recorded occasions in the Bible where Jesus offers thanks or eucharisteo.¹ Eucharisteo is the original Greek word used and means thanksgiving. ² In each instance Christ offers eucharisteo before a miracle is performed. Digging further into the etymology of eucharisteo and how it is used in the Bible one gains even greater insight into not only the miracles Christ performed, but how they each fit together to point us to Him. Looking at the miracles simultaneously provides deep meaning for our lives. Eucharisteo comes from two root words. Charis meaning grace and chara meaning joy. These intertwine reminding us that it is through the atoning grace of Jesus Christ that our joy will be full.
November 24th is “International Day of the Bible.” How appropriate to celebrate this day near the day of Thanksgiving, in the United States, where we can show our gratitude for these words that “testify of Him (Jesus Christ). They provide the perfect example of righteousness for us to follow” (Elder L. Tom Perry, Finding Lasting Peace and Building Eternal Families, Oct. 2014 General Conference). Learn more, here, about how you, too, can participate online using hashtag #BibleCelebration.
Years ago, I was preparing a lesson and wanted to find an example from the scriptures. Not thinking I would find anything on food storage, I found a scripture that changed my complete outlook on the messages contained in the scriptures. Luke 12:16-20 is a parable about a man storing an extreme harvest. He decided to build a bigger barn to store all of it, and then he took a nice long break by doing nothing, but partying. The Lord called the man a fool, because he stopped short of enduring to the end.
It’s funny, I had no expectation of finding anything and just happened on this parable, which fit my needs perfectly. I realized, with that experience, and can now testify with countless additional experiences since then, that every possible personal scenario we face in life will have a corollary for us to learn from, or find strength from, in the scriptures. It’s all there waiting for us to discover! The word of God is given to us to live a good life, make good choices, and follow the Good Shepherd back to our heavenly home. And it’s the spirit that inspires us with the beautiful answers we seek. The scriptures have also become very precious to me as I have read and learned about how they were made available to common lay people, like so many of us.
When I was baptized just after my seventeenth birthday, I did not have a testimony that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was true. I wanted one, but I didn’t have one. Just before I started my lessons with the missionaries, a friend taught me how to pray to learn what is true. The missionaries taught me even more about it. Since I had been seeking God’s only true church since I was a child, I set out to pray. I had never prayed for information before. I’d been raised to recite a little prayer at bedtime, but I never asked for advice or to know what is true. I didn’t know how God’s answers would come to me, and the missionaries had given me some possibilities, but told me I’d learn to recognize them with practice. When no answer came to my requests to know if the Church was true, I was afraid. Finally, I realized I was asking a question that was too hard—not too hard for God, but too hard for me. Maybe I wasn’t ready yet. I asked a new question: Should I join this Church? Continue reading
I admit it: I don’t always tell myself the truth. Whatever name I give them–rationalizations, excuses, fibs—these thoughts in my head are the opposite of truth. I have learned that I often tell myself lies. Maybe some of my lies sound familiar to you: “I don’t have time to exercise.” “I’m too tired to say a good prayer right now.” “It’s not my fault that my relationship with (fill in the blank) is rocky. If they would just (fill in the blank), then we wouldn’t have problems.” “I don’t need to listen to this lesson; it doesn’t apply to me.” “I’m not good enough. . .” None of these statements contains full truth. Some of them are lies of the worst sort.
Here’s the straight-up truth about these lies we tell ourselves: the more we repeat them, the more we believe them, and the more we believe them, the greater distance we put between ourselves and the atonement of Jesus Christ. Whether we have convinced ourselves that we are beyond the reach of the Atonement, or we have determined that we don’t need repentance because we’re not committing any “major sins”, we are not being honest. Continue reading
“For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.” (Moroni 7:16)
From the spring of 1820 onward, wicked men consistently called the character of Joseph Smith into question. Vast lies were told and written about him to discredit him and to stop The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) from going forward. Many have accused the Church of hiding the “true history” of Joseph Smith, because someone wrote that Joseph Smith committed all kinds of evil. Some questionable “historical evidence” has been taken from the enemies of Joseph Smith and the enemies of the truth. Continue reading
Church leaders from 23 countries representing 14 different faith based traditions are meeting by invitation to attend a historical conference in Rome at the Vatican this week. President Henry B. Eyring is representing The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and is accompanied by Elder L. Tom Perry, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, along with Bishop Gerald Causse of the Presiding Bishopric. The format of the discussion is a colloquium—a three day conference with addresses centered around the serious topic of traditional marriage and the important complementary roles that men and women play in upholding and preserving this vital God-ordained institution. Continue reading
UPDATE: This post has been updated at the bottom to include the video of President Eyring’s talk.
In a historic address at the second day of the International Interreligious Colloquium at the Vatican City, President Henry B. Eyring defended the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman and quoted core LDS doctrine found in The Family: A Proclamation to the World. His address was literally part of the witness segment in the program. This is significant and not by chance. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we know that President Eyring is indeed a witness: President Henry B. Eyring is one of fifteen special witnesses of Christ to all the world. These witnesses are prophets and apostles, and they speak today to the world. It is their duty to represent and carry out the Lord’s will as they lead all of His children in this dispensation.
As a special witness of Christ at the Vatican, President Henry B. Eyring provided the pattern of God’s marriage by solemnly declaring that:
Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. ‘Children are an heritage of the Lord’ (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
“The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
… By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)
These words are prophetic, and they went throughout the entire world today from a prophet, seer, and revelator. He boldly testified of the doctrine of the family not only at the Vatican, but to the world and made an international call to stand up and defend marriage between a man and a woman when he said: Continue reading