Have you ever boiled an egg in a paper cup by placing it in a campfire? If you have, you have probably marveled at how the water keeps the cup from becoming ashes. This phenomenon has been the source of study in the home of Michelle Boulter, a mom from St. George, Utah, and her boys this week. Michelle is always on the lookout for a fun science experiment and it didn’t take much convincing to encourage a household of boys to try to set things on fire. Flames were lit under latex balloons, paper cups and plastic sandwich bags all filled with water. All of these normally flammable items stayed perfectly intact when filled with water, but without water, they burned and melted in seconds.
The Boulter boys went on to study the science behind why the water was so protective, but it was their inspired mom who explained the spiritual connection of Living Water: “But unto him that keepeth my commandments I will give the mysteries of my kingdom, and the same shall be in him a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life.” (D&C 63:23). Continue reading →
There is a unique war raging all around us. It’s unlike any war we can remember and it is so cleverly disguised that most do not even recognize that it’s happening. This isn’t a war that is designed by men; with big artillery, armor, trenches, and an army that is fed by C-Rations. Instead, it’s a war designed by women; with words as it’s weapons and under the leadership of anyone with a microphone or a blog who is willing to feed us the emotion we are so hungry for.
If this war took you by surprise, you are not alone. Most families who are busy raising and providing for their children and serving those around them did not see it coming either. As we have tried to wrap our heads around what is causing so much anger and frustration, we have been quite startled to see that the attacks were starting to come our way, very personal attacks against our womanhood, our family and our religion. It feels like we have been dragged into a war we did not want and we are not quite sure how to fight it. Continue reading →
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 →
It has been my experience that those I personally know who struggle with the SSM attitudes in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are those whose testimonies are not firm in the doctrine of the family. As bold a statement as this may be, I have seen it proven time and time again by what I have seen and what the Brethren have taught in General Conference for years. If we don’t hold firm to the family doctrine of the Church, we may be swayed.
We’ve been warned that we are in danger of falling away from the Church if we don’t put our faith in Jesus Christ; that we must read the Book of Mormon regularly and how vital it is to have regular, sincere prayer in order to be guided by the Holy Ghost. I have also come to learn that the people I know personally who have struggled with this debate are not following the prophets who have raised these warnings.
There is so much temptation in the world today. I often wonder how anyone can possibly go unscathed from the many cunning ways that Satan lures us into his seductive web of enticing experiences, both physical and spiritual. We must be ever-vigilant in recognizing and turning away from everything that would cause the Spirit to flee from our lives. We can never kid ourselves into believing that some things just aren’t that bad, especially if everyone is seemingly engaging in them and there isn’t immediate harm. If we find ourselves comfortable in our sins or find ourselves in “good” company as we partake, it’s probably a good time for a reality check. This is exactly what I felt Sister Linda S. Reeves provided for the women of the Church in her recent address in the General Women’s Session of Conference titled “Worthy of our Promised Blessings”. Continue reading →
Every child needs a dad, even though each of us has a biological father. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we place the highest esteem on the use of the title: Father – as this is how we address our Father in Heaven. Here in mortality, I believe, that sacred designation is earned after one has proven himself a to be a Dad and for most this doesn’t come easy. It’s a lifelong journey of commitment (an inherent covenant), that begins at the birth of a child. This journey then, takes on the rigors of raising the child and continues through adulthood and ultimately till the end of days – never.
“The Lord’s plan of salvation requires that you pass through trials in this mortal life. Those trials seem to be greatest when you reach fatherhood, but be assured—fatherhood, in a sense, is an apprenticeship to godhood.”
“The temple endowment was given by revelation. Thus, it is best understood by revelation, prayerfully sought with a sincere heart”. (Russell M Nelson, April 2001 General Conference)
The word endowment means gift. As we take out our endowments and return each time to do the work for the dead, we ought to be seeking for the knowledge offered there. Diligently keeping our temple covenants, asking, seeking, and knocking will open our minds and bring us to a firm understanding of our Heavenly Father and His plan for us.
Many of us go to the Temple seeking answers to personal questions and help in our daily lives. Certainly, we can and should look for those answers within those sacred walls, but we should not let those questions keep us from the spiritual knowledge the Lord intends to impart to us. Continue reading →
This is part two in a four-part series on LDS temple symbolism. Read part one here.
Earth stones on the Salt Lake Temple
There is much symbolism in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament is a book full of eastern symbolic language, which makes it hard for us western people to interpret, but when the symbolism is understood, the gospel comes to life in a whole new level. Our temples are full of this symbolism. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) has temples that teach of Heavenly Father’s Plan of Salvation, which is a plan that returns His family, us, back to Him.
Moon stones on the Salt Lake Temple
On the outside walls of the Salt Lake Temple, at the ground level, and ascending along the exterior walls, you will find earthstones, moonstones, and sunstones, in that order. Upward, into the towers you can see starstones. One interpretation of these stones is of kingdoms. The sun represents the
Sun stones on the Nauvoo Temple
Celestial, the moon represents the Terrestrial, and the stars represent the Telestial. The earthstone would be a repeat representation of the Telestial Kingdom, or the world in which we currently live. Symbols tend to have multiple meanings though, which is why they were used so often by Jesus Christ. Continue reading →
This is the second part of a two-part article that discusses how our loyalty to the Church and its inspired leaders is similar to our loyalty to a spouse. Click here to read Part 1.
Just as the Savior was loyal to us, we have promised to be loyal to Him and his chosen leaders.
Hitting the public “share” button on a criticism may at times be appropriate at a concert, in a corporate setting, or in some personal settings, but there should be an inherent difference between our relationship to the Savior’s Church and his leaders and, say, the business we work for. And that difference is the covenant we’ve made to the Savior and his earthly Church. In fact, it is much like a marriage relationship. We have promised to be loyal to our (imperfect) spouse, to the (perfect) Lord, and his chosen (imperfect) spokesmen. Unlike an employer and employee, it is not our job to find fault with the Lord’s anointed, regardless of how noble or altruistic we feel our reasons are. Elder Dallin H. Oaks elaborated:
I have given the following counsel to Church members—those who have committed themselves by upraised hands to sustain their church leaders: Criticism is particularly objectionable when it is directed toward Church authorities, general or local. Jude condemns those who ‘speak evil of dignities.’ (Jude 1:8.) Evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed is in a class by itself. It is one thing to depreciate a person who exercises corporate power or even government power. It is quite another thing to criticize or depreciate a person for the performance of an office to which he or she has been called of God. It does not matter that the criticism is true. 1
What If I Think I See Something That is Wrong?
Notice what George Q. Cannon said of whose responsibility it is to condemn the Lord’s servants if they need it, and what the consequences are when we attempt to do it: Continue reading →
This is Part 1 of two-part post on sustaining Church leaders. Click here to read Part 2.
During the past year or so, I’ve noticed a number of members of the Church who, for some reason or another, have publicly vented frustrations about the Church’s doctrine, its leaders, or other goings-on. While I am never happy when someone is frustrated, I think there are better ways to deal with this kind of frustration as Latter-day Saints besides jumping online to share them with the world.
In a previous post, I brought up specific examples of Church leaders who had every worldly reason to be offended at doctrine being taught because of their personal situations, but instead of offense or softening the doctrine, have stood for it boldly. This two-part post will explore what it means to “cling to our covenants” in the social realm when we are tempted to break them. We’ll address covenant-appropriate ways to deal with our “beef” and why dealing with frustrations within the Church should be inherently different than how we deal with them in other settings.
Before I jump into my commentary, let me share with you a powerful parable written by a friend of mine that illustrates some great points about our covenant relationship with the Lord’s Church. Though it is written about marriage, it’s not primarily about our marriage covenants. Like most parables, the main message the author hopes to get across is not explicitly mentioned in the story. I’ll explain the meaning below, but here’s a hint: