The world has been talking about love for a long time. Who do we love? How do we express love? What does love look like? What does it not look like? We have been spending so much time telling others to love as we do, that we have forgotten to love those very people we are talking to. We have been spending so much time trying to convince everyone else that our way of love is the right way, that we have forgotten to follow the true example of love: Jesus Christ. We talk about love, but do we actually love? Do we follow Jesus Christ’s example?
Loving each other is a commandment:
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34-35)
Growing up, one of my favorite Christmas stories was commonly titled, “Teach the Children.” * In the story, the narrator comes across Santa Claus in their house. Santa requests that the narrator teaches their children the true meaning of Christmas. In this story Santa teaches that the popular symbols of Christmas like candy canes, Christmas trees, and stars all center around Jesus Christ, his love, and his sacrifice. I believe that these spiritual meanings for our Christmas symbols are vital for our children to know and pass along. We must teach our children about Jesus Christ and how he is not only the center of Christmas, but the center of our lives.
The Star – Stars are commonly placed on top of Christmas trees. Heavenly Father placed a bright star in the sky when Jesus was born. It was so bright that when the sun set, there was no darkness. In the New Testament (Matthew 2), the star led the wise men to Jesus; and in the Book of Mormon it was a sign to the world that Jesus Christ, our Savior, had been born (Helaman 14:1-2,5 and 3 Nephi 1:21). In the story, the star represents God’s promise being fulfilled that he would send us a Savior. We can also teach our children that because the star was recorded in both the New Testament and the Book of Mormon, we know that Jesus Christ truly was born. Continue reading →
We are all anxiously awaiting what the Brethren will tell us this weekend, but I have the great fortune of filling my heart and mind already with their words. We should always be most concerned with the latest messages our leaders give us, but we cannot forget the great messages we have heard over the years. They are still of great value and most definitely filled with the spirit of edification, warning, and love. I have taken on the challenge to read and write about General Conferences of the past. As a writer for the General Conference Odyssey, I am overwhelmed with what the Brethren have been telling us–for years.
The General Conference Odyssey is a group of writers who write, each week, on a past session of conference, starting with April 1971. At this point, we have reached the Friday morning session of April 1974. And I repeat, I am overwhelmed with the doctrine, advice, warnings, love, and spirit of those early talks.Continue reading →
Do you like to read? Do you ever listen to audio books? What is it about a particular book that makes you excited to recommend it to others? Do you ever share your list of favorites with friends or family? Have you ever seen someone you don’t know, reading your favorite book, and felt an overwhelming connection to them, simply because they were reading something so dear to you?
On Labor Day, my husband and I spent the day running errands in preparation for our son’s upcoming wedding. On our trip to the grocery store, we picked up some salted mixed nuts that my husband’s sweet mother, Margie, said she was wishing for. We stopped into the care center for an impromptu visit to give them to her, knowing how much she was craving the salty goodness of some roasted cashews.
When we entered her small apartment, Margie was so excited to see us and was thrilled at the yummy treat we presented to her, but she wanted to share something with us that was much more nutritious. She clapped her hands together and exclaimed, “guess what?! I just finished the Book of Mormon, again!” She was beaming with the Spirit that comes to a person when they have a burning love for and testimony of the Book of Mormon and she wanted to pass on her enthusiasm to us. She wanted us to feel the warm glow she was already basking in.Continue reading →
Do you recognize this? It was posed by Bilbo Baggins to Gollum during their famous riddle battle in J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’. The answer: Time.
It’s about time…
We have too much of it, then quickly too little. It speeds by and then at other times drags on, and on, and on. We often misjudge the amount of it we have, waste it, or lament we don’t have enough. A few things though are certain concerning time –
Modern medicine advocates lower sodium for better health. But the Great Physician and Master Healer prescribes more salt in the world’s diet.
‘Be in the world, but not of the world’…
…is a common phrase we hear in the LDS Church. It suggests that as we move through our lives, outside the circle of our Church relationships and activities, we not forget our understanding of who we are, why we are here, and what our divine potential is. That we keep our covenants shamelessly, and perhaps be the means of illuminating the truth to those in an ever darkening world. And that while we do so we not allow the values, ideas, and philosophies of men to attach themselves to us in an effort to be kind, accommodating, and politically correct. Continue reading →
The Mormon Women Stand community is made up of LDS women from around the world with varying ages, backgrounds, locations, and professions who believe that women have a powerful opportunity to be a force for good both in the Church and online. This endeavor was established to invite all LDS women to stand together in a positive online community. It is a safe haven and gathering place for women to join in doctrinally sound and uplifting gospel conversations in an atmosphere of loyalty to those whom the Lord has authorized to lead His church.
It has been such an incredibly rewarding few years and I’m amazed at all of the powerful content the bloggers and community members have created. Together with our 40,000 + members (and growing!), we’ve created a gathering place for LDS women to link arms and stand together for prophets, apostles, the Savior, doctrine, family and faith. We knew from the outset that women needed a place to be able to talk about their love for the doctrines of the gospel without fear of persecution. We knew how important it would be to ensure that women of faith never feel alone as they stand for all that we hold sacred—despite it being unpopular with the world. So, when we hit an audience reach of 1.2 million on Facebook for two consecutive weeks last summer, we realized that this space is being filled with women eager to stand with the prophet on doctrinal issues and The Family: A Proclamation to the World. 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 →
I told a miracle story, several years ago, thinking it “was the rest of the story,” but eternity is funny that way. Life continues and will continue forever. Ron’s and John’s story is an example of just how eternal eternity really is.
The original story can be read here, but I’d like to tell you more of this story, and what it really means to me, even though I now believe it is far from over. The rest of the story will surely continue, as all of our own personal stories will.
Today, we say goodbye to our sister in Christ, Terrie Lynn Bittner, who lost her battle with brain cancer and has returned home to be with her Heavenly Parents. She was the beloved Chief Editor for Mormon Women Stand since its inception and the technical brains behind the launch of this website enabling us to get up and running. Through her strong testimony of Jesus Christ and incredible writing and editing skills, Terrie’s influence has been a strong guiding force to what we have accomplished as a team in a little over one year. Presently, Mormon Women Stand is fast approaching 35,000 “Likes” on our Facebook page. This is only a facet of her online influence within the LDS community, and one I know she loved very much.
I’ve known Terrie since 2008 when we connected online through writing about Mormonism. She was always encouraging of my desire and passion to share our faith with others. When I determined to gather and launch Mormon Women Stand, she was the very first person I approached for counsel with an invitation to join me.
When finding out her condition was terminal, only recently, she gave up everything except her association with MWS. Her remaining days were spent focusing on her family and leaving a legacy by writing personal thoughts, which will strengthen her posterity for generations to come.
Terrie also leaves behind a legacy of empowering faithful LDS voices (particularly women) to stand for Jesus Christ. Terrie is a true disciple of Jesus Christ; a covenant woman. Terrie will forever be remembered for her stalwart understanding of the doctrine of Christ and her gift of teaching it to many of all ages.
On behalf of our entire team, you will be greatly missed, Terrie. Our thoughts and prayers are with all members of your family. We love you and will eternally be grateful for your loving influence and the Christlike example you brought to every facet of your life. We are all better for having known you. You will forever hold a very special place in our Mormon Women Stand family.
God bless and keep you until we meet again.
Kathryn Skaggs MWS Founder
In loving memory, some of our admins here at MWS would like to share some very personal and tender thoughts about Terrie: