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 →
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.
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.
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 →
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.”
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 →
Recognizing my own worth has never been easy for me, and I guarantee I’m not alone in the struggle. Why is this such a difficult battle for women? We learn in our homes and at Church from a very young age that we are children of God. We are taught the Plan of Salvation. Our Young Women study Divine Nature and Individual Worth. And, yet, strong self-esteem eludes many women and girls. Why? Continue reading →
Week after week, I sit at my computer reading and thinking about these General Conference addresses spoken long ago. I have loved reading through their messages, paying particular attention to the prophet’s words. After forty or so years, it’s easy to see prophecies fulfilled. In fact, that has become a personal joyful journey for me. So far, the prophets have always been right.
But I don’t need that kind of proof to know if what the prophet says is true. Whether it was forty years ago, or today, the spirit bears testimony to me instantly, and I am ready to respond. I feel motivated to implement and apply the principles that will lead toward assured happiness.
“All Church members, from kindergarten to high priests groups and all Relief Society sisters should be so plainly, accurately, and inspirationally taught that they will be motivated to implement applicable welfare principles and procedures in their personal lives and in their family and Church responsibilities.”
Another wonderful General Women’s Meeting has just concluded and we have been left with inspired council from leaders from our women’s auxiliary organizations and a member of the First Presidency. From beginning to end, the meeting was full of truth, light and goodness. Everyone is still buzzing about it and for good reason. Continue reading →
The Prince of Wales Hotel, photo courtesy of Waterton.ca
I was raised on the windswept prairies of Alberta; a place where the blue sky and golden wheat fields touch the Rocky Mountains and continue on through jaw-dropping scenery. My home province is the gateway to both the extraordinary Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park—an area of the world that has been aptly named “God’s Country”. As one writer observed:
Tumbling mountains stretch toward the sky, then slope gracefully toward the earth and toward sparkling lakes and streams at their bases. The ruby reds, sapphire blues, golds and emeralds of wildflowers are so vibrant and piercing that the sprawling valleys may at first appear dotted with jewels.
As wildfires ravaged our beautiful national parks this summer, my thoughts turned daily to the fires near the Going-to-the-Sun Road. It’s one of the main attractions: a spectacular 52-mile road which begins at the bottom of lush valleys and winds its way up steep cliffs to the Logan Pass, crossing the Continental Divide and continuing onto the wildflower-dotted mountaintops. The steep and narrow road climbs gradually, with stop-offs along the way to soak up the gorgeous scenery. Here, visitors are constantly rewarded with world-renowned scenery until they finally reach the top and see Heaven’s Peak rising above the St. Mary Valley. Continue reading →