Diane Robertson is just a plain old ordinary person with nothing terribly special about her. She's a homeschooling mother blessed with 11 kids, Diane spends most days in yoga pants taking care of her children, teaching, cooking, and cleaning while never actually doing yoga. Motherhood has helped Diane develop a passion for protecting the family and children. She blogs about political family issues at unitedfamiliesinternational.wordpress.com and journals about her family at thoserobertsons.blogspot.com
In our day, many people proclaim that we must always be happy and positive and if we are not, then we are need help. Emotions have been categorized into negative and positive or good and bad emotions.
The world teaches that happiness, rejoicing, and peace are good and positive emotions and we must seek for them, and that sorrow, anger, and mourning are bad and need to be cured. However, with a careful reading of the standard works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one can learn that God takes a different view on the matter.
If we can learn the truth about emotions, we will be better equipped to deal with and understand our own.
Let’s look at some scriptures to learn truth about emotions.
Consider the story of the rich young man, as found in the Book of Mark:
“17 ¶ And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.” (Mark 10:17-22)
Sometimes I wonder, “Am I even as good as the rich young man?” I am neither rich, nor young, nor a man. I do not have wealthy possessions and I do not live in the time of the Savior. Yet I don’t think I have spent enough time in my life asking if I am keeping all the commandments and what more do I need to do. And if I asked would I do as bidden or go away sorrowing?
Repeatedly in our current culture, I hear the phrase, “You are enough.” The scriptures say things more like:
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matt 5:48)
“O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.” (Mormon 9:27)
“12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” (Philippians 2:12-15)
There is work that I still need to do before I am enough. My salvation has not yet been worked out. I need to obey more. I need to repent more. I need to perfectly keep all my covenants. I need to gain knowledge. I need to despise not, doubt not, and hearken more. I need to live so as to always have the Holy Ghost with me as promised in the Sacrament prayer. I need to continually ask the question of the rich young man: “What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” And then, unlike the rich young man, I must do as commanded.
If I want to receive eternal life, I cannot afford to waste away my days believing I am enough or that I have done enough. I must choose not to be satisfied with where I am today. To be satisfied is to stop progressing.
In my head, I often compare the phrase, “You are enough” to the hymn More Holiness Give Me. This is my desire.
More holiness give me,
More strivings within,
More patience in suff’ring,
More sorrow for sin,
More faith in my Savior,
More sense of his care,
More joy in his service,
More purpose in prayer.
More gratitude give me,
More trust in the Lord,
More pride in his glory,
More hope in his word,
More tears for his sorrows,
More pain at his grief,
More meekness in trial,
More praise for relief.
More purity give me,
More strength to o’ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains,
More longing for home.
More fit for the kingdom,
More used would I be,
More blessed and holy–
More, Savior, like thee.
In his April 2017 General Conference talk, titled, Drawing the Power of Jesus Christ into Our Lives, President Nelson teaches that if we want to know how to be healed and receive salvation we must learn about Jesus Christ and how to be like Him. To receive those promises, there are things we must do. In Doctrine and Covenants section 88, Christ counsels, “draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (D&C 88:63)
I love the word “diligently” in this scripture. Diligently means action marked by persevering, painstaking effort.
President Nelson is earnestly trying to lead us to Christ. He gave counsel in what we can do to seek Christ diligently.
Earlier in the year, President Nelson invited the young adults of the Church to diligently search the standard works for all of the words and works of Christ. He continued that theme during General Conference:
“Today I would like to speak about how we can draw into our lives the power of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.
We begin by learning about Him. ‘It is impossible for [us] to be saved in ignorance. ’The more we know about the Savior’s ministry and mission—the more we understand His doctrine and what He did for us—the more we know that He can provide the power that we need for our lives.”
Elder Nelson points members of the Church to the scriptures. He said that he spent time reading the references about Jesus Christ from all of the subsections of the Topical Guide. He counsels us to do the same as well as to read the Living Christ.
Pointing us to the man, Jesus, President Nelson corrected word usage that has become common in the Church.
“It is doctrinally incomplete to speak of the Lord’s atoning sacrifice by shortcut phrases,” he said, “such as ‘the Atonement’ or ‘the enabling power of the Atonement’ or ‘applying the Atonement’ or ‘being strengthened by the Atonement.’”
He continued by explain the problem with shortcut phrases, “These expressions,” he declared, “present a real risk of misdirecting faith by treating the event as if it had living existence and capabilities independent of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.”
Where do we go to receive a remission of sin? We go to the Savior, Himself. Christ declared:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
As a second witness to those words, President Nelson declared, “The Savior’s atoning sacrifice—the central act of all human history—is best understood and appreciated when we expressly and clearly connect it to Him.”
Seeking out all of the scriptures about the Savior is seeking diligently to know the Savior.
In addition to searching through the words and works of Christ in the scriptures, President Nelson continued his counsel us on how to diligently seek the Savior. He asked us to, “stand out, speak up, and be different from the people of the world”, “make sacred covenants and keep those covenants with precision”, “seek for ways to keep [ourselves] unspotted from the world so there will be nothing blocking [our] access to the Savior’s power,” and to reach up to the Savior in faith.
Diligently doing these things, Elder Nelson declares, will allow “His [Jesus Christ’s] power will flow into you.”
“And then,” he says, “you will understand the deep meaning of words we sing in the hymn ‘The Spirit of God’:
The Lord is extending the Saints’ understanding. …
The knowledge and power of God are expanding;
The veil o’er the earth is beginning to burst.”
President Nelson concluded that, “the gospel of Jesus Christ is filled with His power, which is available to every earnestly seeking daughter or son of God. It is my testimony that when we draw His power into our lives, both He and we will rejoice.”
In it, he prophesied that “attacks against the Church, its doctrine, and our way of life are going to increase.”
Then he named the sort of women needed to withstand these attacks. He said, “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. We need women who can detect deception in all of its forms. We need women who know how to access the power that God makes available to covenant keepers and who express their beliefs with confidence and charity. We need women who have the courage and vision of our Mother Eve.”
There are five main traits, President Nelson told that women they need to have:
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.
Women who can detect deception in all of its forms.
Women who know how to access the power that God makes available to covenant keepers
Women who express their beliefs with confidence and charity.
Women who have the courage and vision of our Mother Eve.
Myself, like many others, have probably asked how. “How can I become that woman?” After some pondering and visits to the temple, these are my initial answers to how we can become the women President Nelson described: Continue reading →
President Henry B. Eyring continued the theme of service during the April 2016 women’s session of conference in his talk, entitled, Trust in That Spirit Which Leadeth to Do Good . He said that throughout the meeting, the sisters would be “inspired to do more to help our Master in His work to lift up and to succor the children of our Heavenly Father.” I hadn’t thought much about what I should do before he spoke those words, but they prompted me to say a little prayer and ask what I could do.
Like others I have heard from, I enjoyed the conference, but I too wondered how could I fit in more when my life is already so full. I had to evaluate how I use my time. I have 10 children and they all still live with me. I homeschool all but one of those children. I have a constant battle with toys, piles and piles of papers, laundry, dishes, and cooking enough food to fill my growing children. I am spending time trying to make money working from home. We recently moved to a new area and I do not know anyone… I sat back and quickly thought about how I use my time. Continue reading →
“Mormon Women Stand is not an official page of the Church. However, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we strive to follow the counsel provided in the new Handbook 2: Administering the Church, which addresses social media use: “Members are encouraged to use the Internet to flood the earth with testimonies of the Savior and His restored gospel. They should view blogs, social networks, and other Internet technologies as tools that allow them to amplify their voice in promoting the messages of peace, hope, and joy that accompany faith in Christ.” (Handbook 2, 21.1.22).” Mormon Women Stand Mission Statement
In D&C 81:88 it says, “Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.”
There are few things in life that bring as much joy as the joy that comes from assisting another improve his or her life. That joy is increased when those efforts help someone understand the teachings of the Savior and that person decides to obey them… I know many more would follow that charge were they to realize that there are many different ways to fulfill that responsibility. Continue reading →
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.
James Madison, author of the Constitution of the United States of America declared:
“Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, that Religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and convection, not by force or violence. The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man: and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate.” (James Madison A Memorial and Remonstrance, 1785)
With that same spirit, Joseph Smith taught the importance of religious freedom for all men of all faiths when he said:
“If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a Mormon, I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves. It is a love of liberty which inspires my soul — civil and religious liberty to the whole of the human race.” (Joseph Smith, 1843)
Grace and works are not opposing principles. Often they are treated that way, yet as we make an effort to understand how they work together we will begin to understand the beauty and the power of Plan of Salvation, how agency of man plays an important role, and how grace works toward our salvation.
The two opposing views are typically stated as follows:
God loves all of His children and that through Grace gifted by the atonement, God will save all of His children no matter how much they obeyed on Earth.
Those who were saved were saved through their obedience alone.
“God loves all of His children and that through Grace gifted by the atonement, God will save all of His children no matter how much they obeyed on Earth.” Continue reading →
Back in September I began feeling alarmed at the refugees coming out of Syria. Like many people, I felt distress over the young boy that was found washed up on the shores of Greece and the other photos of the refugees appearing on the news and on the internet. I thought about my personal difficulties and those of my family. My husband has been unemployed or underemployed for nearly three years now.
I thought about some of the difficult things. The times when my husband only ate one meal a day because we hadn’t received the promised pay from contract work. I thought about how my picky eater kids suddenly would eat whatever was put in front of them because they were very hungry. I thought about how the kids wore shoes that were too small or worn out or the wrong type. And I knew that compared to these refugees, we have not suffered at all.
I thought of some of the people who have helped us. I thought about the brand new washing machine that showed up at our door just as ours was breaking or about the Santa Claus that showed up on our doorstep on Christmas Eve after I told my little children that Santa did not come to kids whose dad does not have a job. And I knew that these refugees needed angels and they needed them now!
A few days later, I listened to some conservative news radio and heard people saying how we cannot bring the refugees here because there are terrorists trying to get into our country through the refugee program. I heard that again and again over a couple of months. And I felt confused. Shouldn’t we help the destitute no matter who they are? Continue reading →