Monthly Archives: April 2015

What is a Mormon Parent Expected to Do?

Utah Stand for Marriage Rally My husband and I attended our first rally last night. Really, it was our first rally—ever. We had no idea what we were doing there, or what we would see, but as Mormon parents we chose to make a stand. It was exciting to be on the front lines.

As we took our seats, we were handed signs to hold up. There were a few empty seats around us, and the balconies were clear, but overall, the rotunda at the Salt Lake City Capitol Building was pretty full. As the meeting began, we opened with prayer from a local minister, we said the Pledge of Allegiance (which I haven’t had the privilege to say in a long time), and our National Anthem was sung. On our feet, with hands over our hearts, we all felt like patriots and fighters.

This rally was in support of traditional marriage between a man and a woman. As each speaker voiced their strong opinions, they declared that religion should not be political. Commandments are based on God’s will, not the will of the people. For that matter, why is the minority voice so intolerant of the majority voice? We were reminded of the importance to stand up for our rights as citizens, and as a Godly people. We were encouraged to teach our children so the next generation, who would surely be fighting this same fight, would know and understand the difference between right and wrong, truth and error, freedom of religion and uncensored choice. Continue reading

The Very Heart of Family Home Evening is Family

FHE_Resource_ManualA prophet of God instituted Family Home Evening in 1915, 100 years ago, with these words (in part):

Dear Brethren and Sisters:

We counsel the Latter-day Saints to observe more closely the commandment of the Lord given in the 68th section of the Doctrine and Covenants:

And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents (D&C 68:25).

To this end we advise and urge the inauguration of a “home evening” throughout the Church.”

Your brethren,32493_000_01_Title.qxd

JOSEPH F. SMITH

ANTHON H. LUND

CHARLES W. PENROSE

First Presidency

Years later, The First Presidency issued another letter: Continue reading

Russell M. Nelson: Sabbath Is A Perpetual Covenant

Russell M. Nelson

Russell M. Nelson

The purposes of LDS General Conference are numerous, the greatest of which are to hear the timely words the Lord would have us hear as spoken and declared by those He has placed in His stead. The messages delivered by His chosen mouthpieces and servants can motivate us to alter our course and/or adjust our attitudes as needed. They can also help us strengthen our resolve to be “fixed in our purpose” in living the commandments and aligning ourselves with our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Continue reading

Redefining Marriage and Polygamy

file000619663500Marriage is being redefined in a few countries across the world. In fact on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States of America will hear arguments on whether or not the states of that nation have the constitutional right to define marriage solely as a union between one man and one woman. Many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints find themselves asking or answering some tough questions about redefining marriage and polygamy.

I have heard many people complain that the Church has no right to defend the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman simply because in the early days of the Church some prophets, apostles, and common Church members practiced polygamy. They suffered great persecutions because of it. Shouldn’t  the LDS Church be more sympathetic to other types of unions? Continue reading

Prepare for His Coming

no unhallowed handJoseph Smith declared:

No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear; till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done. 1

Elder Neil L. Andersen recalled President Thomas S. Monson testifying that, “We do everything we can to move this work forward. But this is the Lord’s work, and He directs it. He is at the helm. We marvel as we watch Him open doors we cannot open and perform miracles we can scarcely imagine.” 2 Continue reading

Women Are Spiritual Leaders

elderly-couple-walking-rain-444770-galleryWe live in an older ward, so my children didn’t have many LDS friends. As a matter of fact, for quite a few years the two wards in the building combined the youth programs in order to have enough children to teach. Even so, my children usually only had one other person within a year of their own age. One might consider that a problem, but the benefits totally outweighed the disadvantages. My children were tutored by a ward of seasoned veterans of covenant-keeping saints who took a personal interest in every single child in the ward and knew them by name.

 

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There are many people I could tell you about who were stalwart members who set a good example to my children. The high priest group in our ward has always set an amazing example of service. One such high priest at 80 years old was up installing a new roof for a single sister in the ward. Continue reading

Jeffrey R. Holland: Jesus Is There. He Is Always There.

hollandWhy do we love Elder Jeffrey R. Holland so much? Of course, we love the other apostles too. Each and every one of them has such spiritual strength and love to offer us, and we love them all for it.

But there is something special about Elder Holland. He exposes himself to us in a way that makes him vulnerable, yet he shows us how to turn to Jesus Christ in our own dark hour. He makes us feel like we’re not alone as we climb to the summit to catch our breath before moving farther along the path toward that precious tree.

For many conferences now, we have listened to his encouraging words. He seems to say, life is hard, it’s easy to get tripped up, I’ve done it myself, but let’s pick ourselves back up and keep going. I’ll help you, and you help me. It will be worth it!

His passion for the gospel comes through in the honesty of his caring words. What mother doesn’t cheer when he speaks to our missionary age sons with passion that breathes such love? Continue reading

The Faithful Use of Agency

Apr2015GCBednar2Just a few weeks ago in General Conference, Elder Robert D. Hales reminded the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that their very ability to use their God-given agency depended upon religious freedom. He said:

“As we walk the path of spiritual liberty in these last days, we must understand that the faithful use of our agency depends upon our having religious freedom.”

“My beloved brothers and sisters,” he continued, “don’t walk! Run! Run to receive the blessings of agency by following the Holy Ghost and exercising the freedoms God has given us to do His will.”1

Today in the United States many feel concern about the erosion of religious freedom. Religious Freedom is being attacked on many fronts: public prayer, public religious displays, the removal of religion from public schools, and laws forcing business owners as wells as public servants such as doctors and lawyers to work for things that go against their closely held religious beliefs. This could be anything from forcing a doctor to provide an abortion to forcing a photographer to photograph a gay wedding.

In this article, I am going to focus on the newer infringements on religious freedom due to the legalization of same sex marriage. Continue reading

Raising the Bar for Youth (and Parents)

ballard-lds-634500-galleryAs mothers in Zion, we shoulder a great deal of responsibility. It is sometimes daunting to keep up with everything the world shoves in front of our children and grandchildren. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like an octopus with many arms reaching out to hold my loved ones close while doing battle with those who would do them harm. Elder M. Russell Ballard loves our youth, and he has always been there with a calm voice and a steady hand to help them. As parents, it would be wise to study the words of Elder Ballard as we counsel with our young people. In the April 2015 General Conference, Elder Ballard spoke directly to the youth of the Church.

If I may paraphrase what I said to missionaries 13 years ago, what we need now is the greatest generation of young adults in the history of the Church. We need your whole heart and soul. We need vibrant, thinking, passionate young adults who know how to listen and respond to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit as you make your way through the daily trials and temptations of being a young, contemporary Latter-day Saint.

In other words, it’s time to raise the bar not only for missionaries but also for returned missionaries and for your entire generation (Russell M. Ballard, “The Greatest Generation of Young Adults”, Apr. 2015 General Conference).

Elder Ballard understands that the young people of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. We live in difficult times, and these precious sons and daughters of God will face trials that we never imagined possible. They will need to be much stronger than their parents. The adversary has become much more blatant, and the world seems to be following him at an alarming pace. Continue reading

Questions, Doubts, Sustaining Votes

General ConferenceSometimes we all question whether we really believe in what we say we do, and whether or not we really have the faith that we profess. For me, those are momentary flashes, but important nonetheless. Each time it happens to me, I’m brought back around by something quite profound—a blessing indeed.

DesertMy husband and I traveled to Utah for the April 2015 General Conference. I have always loved driving through the desert, but we aren’t getting any younger. There are some health issues, and as I marveled at the various hues of green, brown, purple, and red in the desert, the thought occurred to me that we might have just bitten off more than we could chew with this trip. The closest hotel we could get to the Conference Center was a pretty good walk for my bad back and the metal plate and seven screws in my ankle. Traveling with my diabetic husband is always a challenge. Were we crazy?

The momentary fright of health issues cranked my brain into high gear. What are we doing this for? Is it worth it? Then the clincher: Are these men we are going to hear speak truly prophets, seers, and revelators, or are we just two crazy old people following the pied piper? Brushing away those thoughts, I continued to concentrate on the beauty of the desert I truly love. Continue reading