Are There Any Miracles for Me?

What examples come to mind when you hear the word miracle? I think of the ancient miracles found in the scriptures: the parting of the Red Sea, the birth of Christ, Christ healing people and raising some from the dead, and Christ’s resurrection, to name a few. What about modern-day miracles? I think of beating cancer, surviving what should have been a fatal accident, or other incredible healing or protection stories.

But what if those kinds of stories don’t apply to you? What if someone you know and love doesn’t survive a terminal illness or survive a devastating accident? Can miracles still be found in your life? According to Elder Donald L. Hallstrom, of the Seventy, the answer is yes. Elder Hallstrom suggested that perhaps we need to look at a deeper understanding of what a miracle is in order to see more miracles around us. He said:

“My limited knowledge cannot explain why sometimes there is divine intervention and other times there is not. But perhaps we lack an understanding of what constitutes a miracle.


Often we describe a miracle as being healed without a full explanation by medical science or as avoiding catastrophic danger by heeding a clear prompting. However, defining a miracle as “a beneficial event brought about through divine power that mortals do not understand” gives an expanded perspective into matters more eternal in nature.”

“A beneficial event brought about through divine power that mortals do not understand.” That sounds a lot like a blessing. Can some of our blessings also be considered miracles? I believe so. Continue reading

Are We Haters or Forgivers?

This is a General Conference Odyssey post.

(Sunday morning session, October 1977)

 

Our society today demands tolerance from everyone, however Elder Packer’s talk on The Balm of Gilead, I think, demands an even greater attribute. The Balm of Gilead is about forgiveness.

Do we really have too many haters around us? I believe none of us are true haters. We all just keep making mistakes because we’re human. The real problem is in the forgiving.

Elder Packer simply states: “Leave it alone.” By leaving it alone we don’t make things worse. We don’t let it fester and build up into some uncontrollable thing inside us. By leaving it alone, we don’t become haters. But we must become forgivers.

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The Difference is in Obedience to the Right Voice

This is a General Conference Odyssey post.

 

Add to Faith, Virtue, Walter Rane

There are many voices that shout for our attention in the world, but there is only one voice worth listening to.

President N. Eldon Tanner spoke about “Obeying the Right Voice,” causing me to think about the voices I heed. He told story after story of those who listen to the wrong voices. Those voices always end in unhappiness.

For example, he talked about some prison inmates. One inmate, speaking to youth, said, “I’m 45 years old now and I know I’m never going to see the streets again. We’re all dying to get out and you guys are pounding on the doors, saying ‘Let us in.’” Prisons are full of people who listened to the wrong voices but wish now they had listened to the right one.

All of us are born with the Light of Christ. This is a quiet voice that tells us right from wrong. We all know the difference between the two choices. Voices call to us from all directions. Some are cunning, others are distracting. By listening to the Light of Christ within us, we can make choices that bring us happiness.

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A Special Moment of Our Own

 

This is a General Conference Odyssey post.

Elder W. Grant Bangerter (Sis. Julie B. Beck’s father) spoke during this session (Saturday afternoon of October 1977) about “A Special Moment in Church History” for him. This special moment happened when it was confirmed to him that Spencer W. Kimball was indeed called of God as the prophet to lead His church.

I believe we must all have that special moment and we must all come to that same conversion.

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That We May Always Remember Them, and Him

Russian cemetery

The small bus that served as both hearse and family transport vehicle slowed to a stop in the middle of the cemetery. My first observation was how lovely it was, in a wild unkept sort of way. We stood on the road as the small wooden casket was pulled from the bus floor and lowered onto a cart. We walked behind the caretakers as the cart was pushed away from the bus and into the plots.

As we walked we passed several small picnic type tables along the road. Chad and I wondered to each other what the purpose of those might be. Continue reading

Wickedness is Happiness Said No One Ever

This is a General Conference Odyssey post.

 

Alma said, “Wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10). After Jesus Christ left the Nephites and Lamanites in the land Bountiful, His spirit remained in the hearts of the people for almost 200 years (see 4 Nephi). During this time, there was no contention and all were of one heart and mind. That means the first generation of witnesses remembered throughout their lives and taught it to the next generation who remembered throughout their lives. After that, Jesus Christ’s visit must not have been taught quite so much or remembered quite so vividly.

This past summer, my husband and I had the opportunity to visit Pompeii. Everyone knows the tragic story of how the volcano covered the entire city and it lay buried and petrified for several hundred years.

What we don’t realize is that Pompeii was a well-known port city. It’s miles away from the sea now, because of the ash, but in its day this port city had a very prominent Red-Light district.

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The Essence of the Gospel is Service

This is a General Conference Odyssey post.

 

Balm of Gilead by Ann Adele Henrie

“The essence of the gospel is service.” So sayeth Sis. Bonnie L. Oscarson this past Oct. 2017 conference. She also raises these challenging questions:

  • What good does it do to save the world if we neglect the needs of those closest to us and those whom we love the most?
  • How much value is there in fixing the world if the people around us are falling apart and we don’t notice?

Challenging questions indeed! With so much turmoil in the world, sometimes it’s easier to just fall down and give up, exclaiming, “What in the world can I do?” Jesus Christ simply stated, “This is my gospel; … for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do” (3 Ne. 27:21). As we all know, Jesus Christ didn’t travel across the world to serve, do any big humanitarian service project, or juggle a hundred different obligations. His service was simple, sincere, and singular. And this is all that He asks of us. Starting in our own families.

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How to Use Lehi’s Vision to be Glad

In the most recent general women’s session of conference, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf shared a parable about three sisters. One was always sad, one was always mad, and one was always glad. Their circumstances were very similar, and yet their personal view affected how they felt about life and themselves. It’s pretty obvious that the sister who is glad is the sister that all of us should aspire to be. President Uchtdorf said that all of us share traits with each sister at different times in our lives. The week leading up to the women’s session I was most definitely like the sad sister, and during his entire talk I felt like President Uchtdorf was speaking directly to me. Continue reading

Passing the Torch To My Daughters

My darling daughters, I can’t tell you what joy it brings me to sit with you during the General Women’s Session. I can see your eyes light up as the speakers talk with clarity and truth. I feel your excitement when something resonates especially deep within your soul. I know you realize that the prophets truly are speaking about women. And you are ready to respond.

I was barely 5 years old when Sister Camilla Kimball, President Spencer W. Kimball’s wife, gave her husband’s charge to the women of the Church. It was a powerful message “that has not been said before, or at least in quite this way.”

In our current conference, Sister Sharon L. Eubank asked those of us who were alive when President Kimball’s message was read to share his message with the younger generation. So let me share some of the things I have learned as I pass this “torch of light” on to you.

In September of 1979, Sister Kimball read….

Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world.

“Among the real heroines in the world who will come into the Church are women who are more concerned with being righteous than with being selfish. These real heroines have true humility, which places a higher value on integrity than on visibility. Remember, it is as wrong to do things just to be seen of women as it is to do things to be seen of men. Great women and men are always more anxious to serve than to have dominion.”

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The Joy Harvey is Bringing

I stank. Everyone around me stank too. In fact the whole area stank. But each of us, including sweet Paula and Juliette whose homes were destroyed by hurricane Harvey, were feeling the joy that being served and serving brings.

I’d like to share with you the experience I had this past weekend as my husband and I traveled down with 30 others from our Ward in the Dallas area down to south Texas to assist in the mucking out of homes, thousands of them, that have been damaged or destroyed by the terrible flooding that accompanied this storm. I don’t do so to draw attention to myself, but I want to share the beautiful experience it was. I also recognize that thousands of wonderful people— not of our faith and of no faith at all— have rallied to the aid of all those affected. I cannot speak to their experiences, but I can tell you how members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are responding. And it’s beautiful for all involved. Continue reading