Author Archives: Montserrat Wadsworth

About Montserrat Wadsworth

Montserrat is completely devoted to her wonderful husband, Joseph, and their eleven children. They live on a 5,000 acre alfalfa farm nestled in a small Northern Nevada valley. Montserrat enjoys homeschooling, photography, cooking, crafting, chocolate, and sloppy goodnight kisses. She strives to live each day as God would have her do following Mary’s biblical supplication, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38) You can follow her family's varied adventures at CranialHiccups.com

Five Promises from President Russell M. Nelson

It’s always a welcome sight to open my mailbox and see the newest General Conference issue of the Ensign. While I enjoy the benefit of having the talks online and in the Gospel Library app, nothing beats sitting down at my kitchen table, marking pen in hand, to read and study the Conference messages. The first morning I sat down I decided to read all of President Russell M. Nelson’s talks to remember what the prophet had counseled us to do. As I read his talks over the course of the week I began to notice he made certain promises. Those promises are powerful!

Promise #1

Speaking to the women of the Church in the Women’s session President Nelson offered four invitations. It was in the second invitation that a promise was given.

“I invite you to read the Book of Mormon between now and the end of the year. As impossible as that may seem with all you are trying to manage in your life, if you will accept this invitation with full purpose of heart, the Lord will help you find a way to achieve it. And, as you prayerfully study, I promise that the heavens will open for you. The Lord will bless you with increased inspiration and revelation.”

I know this promise to be true! I currently have seven of my eleven children home. We homeschool. I also am very busy with my callings as the stake young women president and ward choir director. When I heard President Nelson’s invitation my first thought was, ‘Where will I find the time?’ Then I recalled something I had come across just the week before. It said, “Replace saying “I don’t have the time” with “It’s not my priority” and see how it makes you feel.” Continue reading

Answer the Call to Defend the Family!

family with many childrenThere is no question there is an attack on the family. Just scan the headlines of any news outlet and you’ll find startling evidence of the strategic ways the adversary is trying to destroy this most beautiful and basic of human relationships.

How do we counteract all of these attempts to redefine the traditional family out of existence? The Family: A Proclamation to the World tells us: “We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”

We start right where we are: in our own homes, in our schools, in our communities. We teach the truths, live the truths, taught in the Proclamation.  Our examples will speak louder than any words we might say but at times words are necessary to defend truth. If we have our examples to back up our words others are more likely to listen. Continue reading

A Global Online Sisterhood

1975-12 Isamare Guelita (1)

My mother and grandmother in 1975

My mother’s hands are a lovely brown against the white material as she pushes her needle back up through the fabric. I’m lying in my favorite spot under the quilting frame as women are gathered around stitching away. The thread is pulled from top to bottom, bottom to top binding the various layers that make up the quilt. I can hear the women talking and laughing and, occasionally, crying. They discuss everything from what Johnny did yesterday to an upcoming trip to what was taught in church last Sunday. There is a camaraderie here. It is made with every experience shared, every thought expressed, every hug to comfort and wipe away tears. This is sisterhood. It is a cherished childhood memory.

We truly live in a time where our Relief Society sisterhood is a great global community! Not only do we have the opportunity to meet with sisters locally but with the advent of the internet we can meet women in the gospel worldwide who have the same beliefs and values we do, who stand for truth and righteousness.  In a Mormon Channel episode Sister Julie B. Beck spoke specifically about the internet and how women can use their influence for good. Continue reading

12 Family Home Evening Ideas to Review General Conference

The October 2015 General Conference was one week ago. How well did you and your family pay attention? Can you remember what was taught, what stories were told, and who spoke on certain subjects?

In his Sunday morning talk Pres. Russell M. Nelson spoke to the women of the church and said in part, “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.”

What better time to review the teachings and counsel of church leaders with our family than in family home evening? It can be a powerful way to reinforce doctrine and our families’ understanding of it. We can use this special time to help our children become sin-resistant.

Here are 12 ways to review the October 2015 General Conference in family home evening.

Family home evening ideas to review General Conference with your family. Start planning your next lesson now!

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Do You Know God as a Friend?

Have you ever had the experience of casually listening to something and without fully paying attention to what is really going, on a certain phrase will stick out and enter your subconscious? That phrase will work on you, coming to mind over and over again until you realize, “Oh! God must be trying to teach me something!”

dieter-f-uchtdorf-largeThis past Saturday I sat in a darkened chapel with four of my daughters and my infant son. It was too dark to take notes so I became distracted watching my daughters interact with their baby brother trying to get him to smile. I was only half-heartedly listening to Pres. Uchtdorf (did I just admit that publicly?) when I heard this part of his parable, A Summer with Great-Aunt Rose.

“And every evening as the two of them knelt by Eva’s bed to pray, Great-Aunt Rose would say the most beautiful prayers, thanking her Heavenly Father for the blue jays and the spruce trees, the sunsets and the stars, and the “wonder of being alive.” It sounded to Eva as though Rose knew God as a friend.”

“Rose knew God as a friend.” That statement pierced my heart causing me to ask myself pointedly, “Do I know God as a friend?”

I feel I do and, yet, why would the question come to mind to begin with? Maybe there are some areas of my life I need to work on. I looked again to  Pres. Uchtdorf’s parable to teach me more about becoming God’s friend. What actions did Great-Aunt Rose take? Continue reading

The Soul Knows Its Worth

None of us came to earth to gain our worth.; we brought it with us. Sheri L. Dew“None of us come to this earth to gain our worth; We brought it with us.” (Sheri L. Dew,  No One Can Take Your Place, pg. 21)

From the time my children are born and on into adulthood we remind them that they are God’s children first before they are ours. As I rock my baby or tuck my young children into bed, I sing “I Am a Child of God” to help them remember they were in His presence not too long ago. As my older children have entered Young Women, they memorize the Young Women Theme which starts, “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him.” This is reiterated in the Relief Society Declaration, “We are beloved spirit daughters of God, and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction.”

We are immortal beings come here to have a mortal experience. I love these lines penned by William Wordsworth:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:

 

We came here “trailing clouds of glory.” Our souls know their worth! Have you ever gazed into the eyes of a newborn and felt the strength of her/his spirit? Or watched young children as they play and explore the world around them? Certain talents and abilities are plainly evident as they begin to grow and mature. Where did those particular talents come from? I believe those special characteristics that we each have are those “clouds of glory” we bring with us. Continue reading

Bonnie L. Oscarson: Be Defenders of the Family Proclamation

bonnie-oscarson-md-1190455Twenty years ago I sat with my sisters-in-law on a pew at the Church watching the General Relief Society session being broadcast to our stake center. I remember the questions I had in my heart and the overwhelming feelings I had of inadequacy. I was one month away from giving birth to my first child. How could I, a young seventeen-year-old girl, be a good mother? As I listened to President Gordon B. Hinckley read the words of The Family: A Proclamation to the World peace came into my heart. I knew that prophetic document would be the guide my husband and I could follow in raising our children and teaching our family. All these memories came flooding back as I listened to Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President, speak of the truths and principles contained in the Family Proclamation. Sister Oscarson said,

“Little did we realize then, how very desperately we would need these basic declarations in today’s world as the criteria by which we could judge each new wind of worldly dogma coming at us from the media, the internet, scholars, TV and films, and even legislators. The proclamation on the family has become our benchmark for judging the philosophies of the world and I testify that the principles set forth within this statement are as true today as they were when they were given to us by a prophet of God nearly 20 years ago.”

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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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Motherhood is Mundane

mother-children-reading-friend-1236378-printMotherhood is made up of the mundane. Doing simple repetitive tasks, day after day, to provide a place of comfort, a place of refuge for those who are most important in your life is taxing. Talk to any wife and mother. If she is honest, she will tell you it is hard work. It is real work. It takes sacrifice and a lot of love, sweat, and tears to do the same things over and over again each day. But in the sacrificing we become more. President Thomas S. Monson taught,

“When we do the mundane, the mechanical, the repetitious patterns of our lives yield to the spiritual qualities, and we acquire a much-needed dimension which inspires our daily living” (Thomas S. Monson, Gifts, April 1993 General Conference).

These spiritual qualities are made manifest in the care we give to our families. In an article titled Mothers are not Wimps, Stephanie Nielson said,

Motherhood is natural. We know what we are doing. Deep within us we are born with a maternal instinct, and we carry traits of honesty, faith in God, duty, respect for others, kindness, self-confidence, and the desire to contribute and teach love to our children’s minds and hearts. We are kind and soft and brave and powerful (Nielson, Stephanie, Mothers are not Wimps, NieNie Dialogues via Deseret News (Nov. 10, 2014)).

Motherhood is mundane. Or rather, most of the tasks of motherhood are mundane. So why do we keep going? Why do we keep doing what we are doing? We are teaching our children, showing our husbands that they are valued, they are worth it. At the end of a long day at work or school where do people long to be? Still at work, or stuck in a car in traffic, or sleeping in a hotel? No! The place that beacons them is home. Home, where someone is waiting for them with eagerness. Home, where the mundane brings comfort and reassurance. Continue reading

Eucharisteo – Thanksgiving

family-kneeling-prayer-889739-printThis time of year when grateful hearts turn into giving hands, my scripture study focuses on thanksgiving and the commandment we are given to be grateful. Gratitude is not just a commandment from the Lord, “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.” (D&C 59:7) It is a commandment with a promise, “And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.” (D&C 78:19) How is it that gratitude has the potential to make us glorious? To find out, I look to the example Jesus Christ set.

There are only three recorded occasions in the Bible where Jesus offers thanks or eucharisteo.¹ Eucharisteo is the original Greek word used and means thanksgiving. ²  In each instance Christ offers eucharisteo before a miracle is performed. Digging further into the etymology of eucharisteo and how it is used in the Bible one gains even greater insight into not only the miracles Christ performed, but how they each fit together to point us to Him. Looking at the miracles simultaneously provides deep meaning for our lives. Eucharisteo comes from two root words. Charis meaning grace and chara meaning joy. These intertwine reminding us that it is through the atoning grace of Jesus Christ that our joy will be full.

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