Twenty-six thousand! You read that right. There were twenty-six thousand hanging crystals to individually clean, by hand, on the massive and breath-taking chandelier that floated above our heads in the Celestial Room of the Dallas Texas temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It took eight volunteers a combined thirty-five to forty hours over two days to accomplish the task.
As I stood on scaffolding wiping each crystal with alcohol and water-moistened white cotton gloves I marveled at all the cuts made to the once solid blocks of crystal creating the prisms. Those prisms would refract—meaning divide or split—the light from one central source and scatter it in multiple directions in many beautiful colors. One light would become many points of light.
Across the hall from where I was working was the largest of many sealing rooms in the temple. It also has a beautiful chandelier, hanging over the altar in the center of the room where many a couple had knelt to commit to each other and the Lord, and be married for time and sealed for eternity. When the crew working on it had finished and the chandelier was lit I heard a gasp from that room. Turning to look I saw the lowered chandelier absolutely sparkling. It was so beautiful. It was so brilliant. Glistening, the prisms shared the light that filled them in hundreds of ways with all those around them. Immediately I saw a gospel application. Do you? Continue reading →
Women have the power to do–what?–you ask? Elder David A. Bednar says we all have the power to act. We have the power to do whatever is necessary to bring ourselves to the feet of our Savior. It doesn’t work the other way around–Jesus may look in on us from time to time, but He is really waiting for us to come unto Him. Yes, taking that walk, lifting that finger, moving our lips, and even plucking that fruit off the tree.
When it comes to Relief Society, we sisters can do a whole lot more than what we’re doing. We have a destiny that is greater than any sharp-tongued detractor can wield. We have God on our side because we have stepped up to stand next to Him. Let me show you what I mean.
Women Have the Power to Act in Our Communities
Jesus Christ needs women who will stand up for moral values and for truth. Too often we’ll hear only the voices who whine and complain while those of us who have testimonies cower in the corner. Not anymore! Elder Bednar points out, “We often testify of what we know to be true, but perhaps the more relevant question for each of us is whether we believe what we know.”(1) If we believe it, we can’t be afraid to show it in our communities, in the blog world, or whenever truth is challenged.
That means we have to study things out and be ready to share the truth we have studied and are prepared to testify of. As women in the gospel, we need to be “courageous defenders of morality and families in a sin-sick world. … Attacks against the Church, its doctrine, and our way of life are going to increase. Because of this, we need women who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ and who will use that understanding to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation.” (2)Continue reading →
Sundays are hard for moms. I’m not sure what is more difficult, keeping up with all of our children and our Sabbath Day responsibilities or feeling guilty that we’re not finding the Lord’s day more of a delight. We know that mothers of all ages struggle to create a picture-perfect Sabbath Day, perhaps that is why President Henry B. Eyring gave the talk, “Gratitude on the Sabbath Day” (General Conference, October 2016). Maybe President Eyring knows that we have a lot of work to do, but the key to making the Sabbath a delight isn’t by creating our own perfection, but by being grateful for the Savior’s perfection.
The key to making the Sabbath a delight isn’t by creating our own perfection, but by being grateful for the Savior’s perfection.
Let me give you an example: Years ago, while walking the halls of the church house with an over-active one-year-old, my neighbor stopped and talked with me. She shared with me memories of her husband serving as bishop while her kids were young and how she wondered why she should even come to church when she spent most of her time in the hallways with wiggly children. She didn’t give me any great advice or even words of encouragement. She just gave me understanding and acceptance of my situation that she knew would be over all too soon as my children grow. My neighbor didn’t give me the solution for perfection, but her desire to be a part of my life and share my concerns is definitely something I was grateful for that day.Continue reading →
It was their first day in their new home. The young mother stepped through the maze of unpacked boxes as she made her way to answer the knock at the side door. There on the porch stood a tiny bit of a woman, a long ponytail wound and pinned up around her head. She introduced herself as Delores Fizzy, the next-door neighbor. She was smiling with extended arms. On one hand rested a large plate filled with a two-layer chocolate cake, in the other hand a small blue book – The Book of Mormon.
Choosing the neighborhood for their first home was a big decision for Don and Marlene Grabow. When they had decided on a house they went up and down the street to meet the neighbors and get their impressions of the neighborhood and its families before they purchased it. The opinions were unanimously positive, though many included an interesting caution – a Mormon family lived in the home directly next door to the one the Grabows were considering. Those giving the caution seemed to think that might be negative, but to Marlene, it was an opportunity to learn more about the beautiful choir she had long admired, though she knew nothing of the beliefs of the church to whom the choir belonged. So when the Mormon neighbor made her delivery that first day, Marlene thought things might get more interesting than she had anticipated. Continue reading →