It’s difficult to read 3 Nephi 17 in the Book of Mormon and not weep alongside the Savior and those who experienced the sacred occasion of His appearance and ministry to the Nephites following His Resurrection. It is also difficult to imagine that anyone, after reading the account, would not also experience a deep witness of the Spirit that Jesus is the Christ and that the Book of Mormon is a true record. A record that was written for our day and preserved to come forth at this very time, when more than ever in the history of the world we need Him and His gospel. We need Him to save us and heal us from the inevitable, broken hearts of mortality!
How grateful I am for the Book of Mormon. It has truly changed my life. Tonight I found myself in the crowning chapter of the book, weeping. I wept because I imagined myself among the Nephites, with my husband, our children, and grandchildren – my entire family. I wept because I know that what the Savior wants more than anything else is to heal each and every one of us through the power of the Atonement. I wept because the Savior wept. He was truly overwhelmed by the love He received from these people. What a contrast to what He had just experienced in Jerusalem, among His own, only days before. They crucified Him!
18 And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying unto the Father, he arose; but so great was the joy of the multitude that they were overcome.
19 And it came to pass that Jesus spake unto them, and bade them arise.
20 And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full.
21 And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.
22 And when he had done this he wept again;
I wept because I know that I will have that same experience at His Second Coming if I am true and faithful to the covenants that I have made in His Holy Temple. I wept, imagining what it will be like to kneel with the Savior and have Him pray for me – I know He will. I wept because I know I need to repent more, and more often. I wept because I so want to be a better person and to become like Him. But oh, I am so weak. How grateful I am to know that although we are commanded to be perfect, it’s not going to happen in this life. What we can become is pretty perfect at striving to be perfect. I think that’s what’s expected of true disciples of Jesus Christ. I am committed to ‘striving’ a little harder, every day.
“Perfection is an eternal goal. While we cannot be perfect in mortality, striving for it is a commandment which ultimately, through the Atonement, we can keep.” President James E. Faust
I’ve always loved the Primary song, ‘I Wonder When He Comes Again.’ After reading the account of the Savior’s appearance to the Nephites, I think I now know.
Emmeline B. Wells was one of those rare people you had to admire and love. She was full of life, her voice was strong and persistent, and she was faithful to the very end. Her rarity also figured around her birth date—February 29th, 1828—a Leap Year.
Every one of us experiences trials and pain in this life. Sometimes, it is easy to lose ourselves in our own difficulties and begin to think that we can do nothing to change things or to make things better. Prayer may begin to feel dry and even pointless. We may begin to feel bitter or abandoned by the Lord.
Not too long ago, I was asked a sincere question that went something like this:
“If it’s God’s will, why do we pray for things? Wouldn’t it show more faith to just leave it in His hands and not try to change His will, through prayer?”
My answer came from thoughts that I had been putting together over about a ten-year span.
Prayer is powerful. It has the power to heal, and it has the power to get us through when healing is not an option. We cannot become who we were meant to become without prayer.
Considerable and deliberate counsel from the Brethren on observance of the Sabbath day has been noticeable as of late. Elder Russel M. Nelson gave an inspired, and inspiring, address in April 2015’s General Conference entitled “The Sabbath Is a Delight.” During this past October General Conference, 2015, four of the speakers gave time to the topic. Also in October 2015, a special training was given to the General Authorities and general officers of the Church, then disseminated down to each local congregation, concerning Sabbath observance. The December 27, 2015 edition of the Church News had many articles devoted to the Sabbath. Our stake presidency announced that our stake’s theme for 2016 will be “Honoring the Sabbath Day”. Is this all coincidence, or is there something more to the call for us to be more mindful of how we spend this holy day? I’m guessing the latter.
One of Elder Nelson’s opening comments was this…
”I am intrigued by the words of Isaiah, who called the Sabbath “a delight.”  Yet I wonder, is the Sabbath really a delight for you and me?” [2}
It wasn’t that many years ago when I would probably have answered, though to myself, “Are you kidding? Have you tried to keep six little Indians busy and entertained on a Sunday? I have seriously considered bringing some duct tape to Sacrament meeting in my giant Church bag. I’m exhausted at the end of a Sunday.” (If no none else is nodding their head in agreement here then I feel very embarrassed and bad about myself right now.) There has got to be a reason, a real concrete reason, for the Lord encouraging us, though His chosen servants, to reconsider how we prepare for and spend our precious Sabbath day. And I believe I’ve found it, right here under our noses, in latter-day scripture. Continue reading →
Life is complicated and it’s becoming more so. With more choices being considered socially acceptable we are facing situations where many of us find ourselves at odds with not only society at large but with loved ones near and dear to our heart. Thankfully, there’s no counsel or commandment, that I’m aware of, that admonishes us to love conditionally. Rather, I believe, the great test of discipleship is learning how to apply the principles of the gospel when we are most challenged by our differences, even when those differences may be contrary to the teachings of the Master and His inspired prophets (or we believe that they are).
The first and second commandments, the greatest among them, demand that we love God first, and one another as ourselves. I think one of the most profound achievements of mortality is learning to love ourselves as God loves us. When we finally do, it is miraculous how we are then able to look beyond our weaknesses as negative and instead lay them humbly upon the altar of the All Mighty (as offerings of the heart) and plead for divine grace to turn those weaknesses into strengths. We begin to understand that our weaknesses are not a curse at all but a way for God to draw us to Him so that He can transform us. Continue reading →
One of the questions that I get frequently is, “Is it okay if I work outside of my home or I don’t work outside of my home?” You have to know that as an international, global, Relief Society president, that question isn’t always appropriate in all of the world’s countries. There are many, many places where if our women don’t work, they don’t eat. So of course they have to work. The question of whether or not to work is the wrong question. The question is, “Am I aligned with the Lord’s vision of me and what He needs me to become, and the roles and responsibilities He gave me in heaven that are not negotiable? Am I aligned with that, or am I trying to escape my duties?” Those are the kinds of things we need to understand. Our Heavenly Father loves His daughters, and because He loves us and the reward at the end is so glorious, we do not get a pass from the responsibilities we were given. We cannot give them away. They are our sacred duties and we fulfill them under covenant.
I have learned and I have heard it taught that the Lord will not do for us what we can do for ourselves. There are consequences to both the choices to have a mother work outside the home and to have a mother stay home. Continue reading →
This article is to the young adult women of the Church. I have had a few conversations recently, coupled with some other experiences that have prompted me to speak up. In one recent conversation many young women were angered at the idea that their choices would have anything but good consequences. They expected that God would bless them fully no matter what choices they made, as well as the common misconception that all choices are equal. This is simply not true. All choices do have consequences, God does not bless us all equally, and all choices are not equal.
I am crazy in love with my wonderful husband, Chad. It is more common than not for me to introduce him to others as ‘my boyfriend’. I make no apologies for it, or for advocating that every marriage can, and should, be as wonderful as ours is. The health and vitality of our relationship is not due to who we each are individually, because we are each flawed people (trust me on this). Instead, it has everything to do with the conscious choices we have both made to:
Use the counsel of the Lord on marriage, given through His prophets, as our guide.
Watch and follow the example of those couples we have observed around us who obviously find joy and satisfaction in their marriages.
And to make ‘us’ our highest priority.
Camilla & Spencer W. Kimball
President Spencer W. Kimball was the prophet of my youth and during the emergence of my personal testimony. I love him, and trust his counsel still. He and his sweet wife, Camilla, have (yes, I say that in present tense) a beautiful marriage. I enjoyed watching them together. So when he spoke on marriage, I listened. In an address titled “Oneness In Marriage”, this beloved prophet made this hope-filled promise: Continue reading →