Monthly Archives: February 2015

Take a Stand

STANDThere is an old saying, “Put your money where your mouth is.”  I’d like to change that up a bit to, “Put your mouth where your heart is.”  In other words, stand in all places, in all things, and at all times.

We know that we are living in the last days.  This is the last dispensation before Christ comes again to the earth.  We know the prophecies about the last days, and we are seeing some of those prophecies fulfilled.  For me, personally, they are being fulfilled at an alarming rate.  I’m not prepared for what is to come.

We are losing ground with religious freedom, persecution of Christians has become an everyday occurrence, and the world is becoming a very evil place.  While it is a scary thing to watch, we are told to remain calm and that all is as it is supposed to be.  We are told to stand tall, stand firm, don’t apologize for our beliefs, and to stand in holy places.  Indeed, we are being asked to put our mouths where our hearts are.  We are being asked to stand up and be counted among the righteous. Continue reading

We Believe in Religious Freedom

images (1)Jeffrey R Holland proclaimed: “I want you to be proud you are a woman. I want you to feel the reality of what that means, to know who you truly are. You are literally a spirit daughter of heavenly parents with a divine nature and an eternal destiny.  That surpassing truth should be fixed deep in your soul and be fundamental to every decision you make.”

One Christian woman, not of our faith, has made her understanding of heavenly truth “fundamental to every decision.”

Two years ago, Barronelle Stutzman, the sole owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington denied a request to use her artistic talents to solemnize a same sex marriage. Over the years, Stutzman had employed and served members of the homosexual community, but she felt like being a fundamental part of a gay wedding went against her religious, biblical, and Christian beliefs and could not in good conscience be a part of it. She referred the customers to another florist. Continue reading

Extending Our Love

HUGOThe world looks at love in a very selfish way, and it is the polar opposite of what the Savior tells us it is in the scriptures. The Lord leaves nothing which we have to guess at in this life. Throughout the scriptures, He is very explicit, yet very plain. Not only does He tell us to whom we are to extend our love, but how to give that love in a manner pleasing unto Him. In contrast, the thought process coming from the worldly viewpoint of love is conditionally based, as in, “How would it benefit me, or what will I get out of it?” It is a one-sided love, requiring and expecting more from other individuals than we do of ourselves. We want to receive it, but we don’t want to give it, especially if it involves any effort, time, or sacrifice on our part.

In Matthew Chapter 22 of the New Testament, a Pharisee came to Jesus inquiring of Him which was the greatest of all the commandments. In His answer, Christ pointed out to him that the first two commandments are the answer to his question, and they tell us exactly who we are to love. They are the nexus, or the foundation and basis on which all the other commandments lie.

First and foremost we are to love God above all else: Continue reading

Huffington Post Reports on Mormon Sexuality

Mormon sexualityRecently, The Huffington Post did a series of interviews on various religions, asking select members of each faith how their church views sexuality. This controversial subject is one that is often misrepresented amongst members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Where those interviewed did a fair job in answering the questions, it’s clear that the world really doesn’t understand what Mormons believe when it comes to sexually related topics. For instance, within the LDS faith masturbation and pornography are never okay — before or after marriage or within the marriage relationship.

Mormons are very much like other religious people. We follow what the scriptures say. We believe that keeping one’s self pure and free of sexual sin brings one closer to God and brings happiness into one’s life. We believe that good is still good, and evil is still evil. Our prophets have reminded us to be sensitive and respectful, to those who struggle with sexual or gender identity, but by the same token, we desire to be respected for our own beliefs. Continue reading

Apostates Exposed in the Book of Mormon

rp_scriptures-300x214.jpg“The Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ. It confounds false doctrines … It fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day. The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time.” ~ Ezra Taft Benson, 1

The Book of Mormon was written for our day. Ezra Taft Benson pointed out that the ancient people from whom we got the Book of Mormon did not even have the book. The prophet Mormon abridged centuries of records. The Lord guided him to know what needed to be included for our wisdom and safety. Here’s what we can learn about the apostates and their teachings as found in the Book of Mormon. Continue reading

Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy

chapelOn Sunday, February 1, 2015, Mormon Women Stand posted on our Facebook page the following:

“The Sabbath is a holy day in which to do worthy and holy things.  Abstinence from work and recreation is important but insufficient.  The Sabbath calls for constructive thoughts and acts, and if one merely lounges about doing nothing on the Sabbath, he is breaking it.  To observe it, one will be on his knees in prayer, preparing lessons, studying the gospel, meditating, visiting the ill and distressed, sleeping, reading wholesome material, and attending all the meetings of that day to which he is expected.  [Failure] to do these proper things is a transgression on the omission side.”  President Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness (1969), 96–97.

Where will you be today? How will you keep the Sabbath Day Holy?

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How Do You Show God You Love Him?

If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15The first great commandment to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” (Mark 12:30) seems on the surface to be so simple. Truly, how hard can it be to love God? We say we love Him, but do we show it? The Savior taught the way to show our love for God, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15), and “If ye love me, feed my sheep.” (John 21:16) Yet all around us we see people, even ourselves, professing to love God but being unwilling to obey and follow all His commandments.

The great test of life is obedience to God. “We will prove them herewith,” said the Lord, “to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abr. 3:25).

The great task of life is to learn the will of the Lord and then do it.

The great commandment of life is to love the Lord” (The Great Commandment – Love the Lord, Ezra Taft Benson, General Conference April 1988).

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The Three Most Important Words are Not ‘I Love You’

loveWhen we find ourselves caught up in measuring how much we are loved (especially when it’s done according to the romantic standards of the world) we’re bound to be disappointed. Instead, I think we better serve ourselves and others when we look to the teachings of Jesus Christ— He who is the ultimate example of what it means to truly love.

The first and great commandment is to love God and put Him first — above all else. The second is to love our neighbors as ourselves. I truly believe that we fulfill the first commandment (to love God) by keeping the second (to love others as ourselves). I can’t think of anywhere in the scriptures that we are taught to be concerned about how much other people love us — only that we are to love others as God loves them and we are to do it in the way that we desire to be loved. That’s a pretty interesting standard if you think about it.

Please don’t misunderstand: I’m not down on shows of romantic affection. In fact, I quite love them. My only concern is for those who struggle with these types of recognition days. Rather, we should  instead focus on what it means to genuinely love versus focusing on the romantic kind of love that is marketed at every turn. Continue reading

Best LDS Conference Talks On Love

LoveIn honor of Valentine’s Day, the following is a compilation of beloved general conference talks on love. There are fourteen listed here, but feel free to add your own favorites that teach about God’s love for us, our love for Him, and His children’s love for one another.

 

 

 

 

1.          “Love—The Essence of the Gospel,” President Thomas S. Monson, Apr. 2014.

“Bernice left her own work and went to Arlene’s side, kindly giving her instruction and help. She stayed until Arlene gained confidence and was able to successfully complete the piece. Bernice then went back to her own machine, having missed the opportunity to complete as many pieces as she could have, had she not helped … Every day of our lives we are given opportunities to show love and kindness to those around us.”

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The Need For Friendship

zion plaqueFor ages, men have pondered Zion. Enoch and his people built the great city Zion. Melchezidek ruled a Zion community that, like the City of Enoch, was taken into heaven. After the Savior left the Nephites, these people had a community very much like Zion. Joseph Smith taught the early saints about the commandment to build again Zion. And in our own time, Elder D Todd Christofferson has taught us many things that we must do to build again Zion.

As a child, reading 4th Nephi, I yearned to join the community they made. As an adult I have pondered how. How can we build Zion?

Often from the pulpit, we hear, “I love each and every one of you.” And in a way, I am sure those who say that really do. In a calling of service, I know that one cannot help love those whom they serve. And after all, we are commanded to love everyone and it is great that so many people are trying to do just that. But I just don’t feel particularly loved from the person who says, “I love you each and every one of you,” at the pulpit but doesn’t seem to know that I exist in any other circumstance. Continue reading