Tag Archives: LDS women

My Social Media Fast – I didn’t want it to end!

During the women’s session of the April 2018 General Conference, President Russell M. Nelson, the prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, invited the women of the Church to do four things. The first was to take a 10-day social media fast. He said,

“I invite you to participate in a 10-day fast from social media and any other media that bring negative and impure thoughts to your mind. Pray to know which influences to remove during your fast. The affect of your 10-day fast may surprise you. What do you notice after taking a break from perspectives of the world that have been wounding your spirit? Is there a change in where you now want to spend your time and energy? Have any of your priorities shifted – even just a little? I urge you to record and follow through with each impression.”

When President Nelson issued that challenge, I knew that the Lord had been preparing me for it. A week prior, I had felt inspired to uninstall the Facebook app from my phone and only view it on the computer.

President Oak’s talk also went well with this challenge. He issued a challenge of his own as he encouraged us to become less dependent on our cell phones. He shared that over half of the nation’s youth admit they spend too much time on their cell phones; more than 40% feel anxious when they are away from their cell phones. As we move forward and apply conference to our lives, it would serve our youth – and ourselves – well to help lower these numbers.

Without hesitation, when the women’s session was over; I turned off my twitter notifications (a couple of days later I uninstalled twitter from my phone). I did not even go on either Facebook or Twitter to say goodbye or announced my 10-day departure. I chose to “go dark” immediately.

I loved being off of social media for 10 days. I didn’t miss it. During the same session, I had received some personal revelation on how to better help my son with his reading homework. Without the constant temptation to check Facebook, I was able to spend the needed time implementing that revelation into my day. I also had time to figure out a reading schedule and begin President Nelson’s second invitation: to read the Book of Mormon before the end of the year. My free time that I would normally use to pull out my phone and scroll for a bit has now turned into Book of Mormon study, as well as other important things.

During my fast, we traveled out of state for a family function. I had a better time visiting my family because I wasn’t constantly posting about our travels with pictures and updates. I simply lived in the moment and enjoyed my family.

I will confess that I got on Facebook once, and Pinterest once. I needed to share something important in my family’s group page (I figured the male members of my family would see it and pass it on), with the request to contact me via text message, phone call, or email. Since I didn’t scroll through my news feed, I don’t feel bad for doing that. I also quickly searched Pinterest to find a Book of Mormon reading schedule that would work for me. I only get on Pinterest when I’m looking for something specific anyway. I don’t just sit and scroll, so I also don’t feel bad for those few minutes either.

When the 10 days were up, I really didn’t want to get back on Facebook; but I did want to touch base with my awesome fellow writers here at LDSWS. You know that first bite of dinner after a food fast? It’s so yummy, and you really enjoy that meal. That’s not how I felt when I got back on Facebook. The very first post on my news feed was negative. I quickly checked the things I wanted to: family page, ward page, and our wonderful LDSWS community. I did not miss the negativity. I have decided not to reinstall Facebook or Twitter on my phone. I will still only get on the computer, which fortunately gives me less time. I’ll hang out here at LDSWS, and keep up with important people in my life, but I’m going to stay away from scrolling the news feed as much as possible.

This fast was good for me. I’m glad I followed my personal inspiration the week before, and I’m glad I accepted President Nelson’s invitation. What about you? Did you accept the invitation? What was your experience like?

Enticements and Choices – Sister Joy D. Jones Speaks at BYU Education Week Devotional 2018

Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was the devotional speaker for BYU’s Education Week on Tuesday August 21, 2018.

She opened up her address by stating that we have choices to make between good and evil everyday. She said, “We always have the privilege to choose, but we can loose the ability to choose.” She explained that God will never take our agency away, but when we give into temptation, we give up our agency to the adversary.

Sister Jones used the word enticements to describe the opportunities we have every day to choose good or evil. She explained that we are enticed to either progress or regress, and it’s how we respond to each enticement that determines whether it is a positive or a negative experience. She said,

 “As we make a daily effort to overcome our enticements and put off the natural man we begin to experience greater control in our lives. The little things don’t bother us as much because we see them for what they really are — opportunities to use our agency to turn to our Heavenly Father and to become as He is.”

Sister Jones gave several real life examples of how to do this, I will summarize four of them.

The first was her own experience in receiving a speeding ticket. At the end of the encounter the officer told her to have a good day, but she did not want to have a good day. She had just been issued a speeding ticket and was very embarrassed. Sister Jones explained that we hand our emotions over to other people when we let their actions affect us. When she realized this, she regained control of her emotions, and did have a good day.

The second example was of a father in the supermarket who appeared to be telling his son to “be patient, just be patient and when we get to the car you can have a treat.” It turned out, the father was speaking to himself, not his son! As a mother of young children, I can relate. In the trenches of parenthood, keeping our cool with our children, can be difficult,  but it works when we do. When we don’t, how grateful I am that God’s littlest children so easily forgive their imperfect earthly parents.

The third example was a scenario of a teenage child coming home hours after curfew. Sister Jones had us imagine how angry and scared we would feel as we wait impatiently for our disobedient child to return home – essentially driving the Spirit away. She suggested that during that time of waiting to pray for the Spirit to be with us, so when our child walks through that door, we can have a positive discussion.

The fourth example I will summarize, is the story of Nephi when his brother’s tied him up while they were crossing the ocean to the promised land. Nephi continued to pray to the Lord, and did not lose hope.

“Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions.” (1 Nephi 18:16)

Sister Jones taught that any enticement to do wrong is a spiritual enticement to do right. She recommended that we begin to pray the minute we recognize that a negative enticement is happening.

Sister Jones finished with a powerful testimony,

“The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a theory. It is not a group of unproven assumptions. It is not conjecture nor speculation. It is not unlivable. It is based on the doctrines and principles of the Son of God. When we follow His teachings we are happy. When we do not, we reap sadness.” — “Simply put, the gospel of Jesus Christ works.”

I would like to add my testimony to Sister Jones’. Living the gospel of Jesus Christ has brought tremendous joy to my life. I do face daily enticements; some I overcome, others I give into. How grateful I am for the gospel of repentance when I do give in to the negative enticements. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will always be there to guide us  with the Holy Spirit. May we learn from Sister Jones to pay attention to the enticements we face and do our best to choose the positive response.

 

Women’s Divinely Appointed Responsibilities in the Priesthood

The role that women play in anything that involves the priesthood can sometimes feel confusing. God allows priesthood authority to be used through His worthy sons; however, it benefits and blesses everyone. As women, do we stand by and wait for the blessings of the priesthood to come to us? Do we get to take part in this important work? We absolutely get to take part!

When talking about the restored priesthood keys, Elder Quentin L. Cook called them “divinely appointed responsibilities.” He said that the key of the gathering of Israel is missionary work, the key of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham is a preparation for the Kingdom of God, and the key of the sealing power is family history work and temple ordinances for the living and the dead. Elder Cook said,

“As individuals, we should do well to evaluate our effort in pursuing missionary work, temple and family history work, and preparations to meet God.”

Continue reading

General Women’s Meeting Highlights: Joy D. Jones

Woman hugging her daughterRecognizing 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

At The Pulpit: With Their Testimonies Intact

I had an opportunity to visit with Kate Holbrook and Jenny Reeder, the two editors of At the Pulpit. It was also my privilege to attend a formal reception in the Relief Society building where Virginia Pearce, Gladys Sitati, Elaine Jack, and Jutta Busche (whose talks are included in the book) spoke to us. There are 54 faithful voices in this new publication.

 

After reading the talks from this book, and listening to these women, a thought came to me that feels true:

 

Every one of us struggles with pain, disappointment, and suffering. But the purpose of life is how we get through it all. When we read how others succeeded–WITH THEIR TESTIMONIES INTACT–we march on, yearning to celebrate with them at the end of the path. Who knows that there isn’t a band of women beyond the veil offering help from heaven, inspiring these historians to find their stories, and offering us the strength they gained so that we too can be strengthened?

 

One of the questions I asked Jenny Reeder was what are some of the overall important messages of the book. She suggests four: Continue reading

Celebrating Relief Society’s 175 Years Renews Our Conviction

Relief Society

 

 

 

 

It’s true! Celebrating our Relief Society’s 175 years renews our conviction. We are all daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. As Julie B. Beck said, the Lord is counting on His daughters to

“… do our part as women under the Lord’s plan, we must stand strong and immovable in faith, strong and immovable in family, and strong and immovable in relief. We must excel in these three important areas which set us apart as the Lord’s disciples. Through Relief Society we practice being disciples of Christ. We learn what He would have us learn, we do what He would have us do, and we become what He would have us become. When we gather with this focus, the work of Relief Society is relevant whatever your circumstance—whether you are 18 or 88, single or married, have children or not, or whether you live in Bountiful, Utah, or Bangalore, India.” [1]

We are God’s Female Army. So,

   If

Russell M. Nelson really means that “the kingdom of God is not … complete without women who make sacred covenants and then keep them. [2]

And if

Sheri Dew really feels that by “unleash[ing] the full influence of covenant-keeping women, the kingdom of God would change overnight.” [3]

And if

Jeffrey R. Holland really believes that “something is going to be asked of this dispensation that’s never been asked before.” [4]

Then

Relief Society sisters need to step it up. As Sister Dew put it eighteen years ago,

“This is a call to arms, it’s a call to action, a call to arise. A call to arm ourselves with power and with righteousness. A call to rely on the arm of the Lord rather than the arm of flesh. A call to ‘arise and shine forth, that [our] light may be a standard for the nations’ (D&C 115:5). A call to live as women of God so that we and our families may return safely home.” [5]

Sisters, our power comes from priesthood power. Our early sisters understood it, lived it, and set the standard for it. Now, it’s our turn to understand how the priesthood works through us. Consider these suggestions made by President Linda K. Burton:

“Two sections have been especially revelatory to me. I recommend them to you for your careful and prayerful consideration. First, the oath and covenant of the priesthood, which can be found in D&C 84:33–40. I invite you to memorize those eight verses, sisters. By doing so, I promise you that the Holy Ghost will expand your priesthood understanding and inspire and uplift you in wonderful ways. 

Secondly, I would invite you to ponder Doctrine and Covenants 121:34–46 [the doctrine of the priesthood]. Look for the principles in these verses that govern the righteous exercise of priesthood power. Look for warnings and promises from the Lord, and apply them to yourself.” [6]

Continue reading

Visiting Teachers: Representatives of the Lord

women-gather-661366-galleryA couple of years ago, the priesthood session of LDS general conference started being broadcast on BYUtv.  Now, during each priesthood session I turn on the TV so my husband can watch it, and I get to listen as well. In order for my husband to fully pay attention, I tend to our home and kids by myself. (He hasn’t asked me to do this, I choose to because I want him to enjoy the session the way I enjoy the women’s session.) During the most recent Priesthood Session, Elder Jeffrey R Holland gave his talk, “Emissaries to the Church”. As he began talking, I immediately felt a strong impression to really listen and pay attention. Elder Holland spoke about home teaching, and much of what he said can be applied to visiting teaching as well.

Visiting teaching is a topic near and dear to my heart because I love it! I truly do. I love visiting with my sisters, I love my companion, and I love being visited by my visiting teachers. I wasn’t always that way, though. When I first turned 18, I rarely went and my companion always set up the appointments and gave the message.  When I moved into a single’s ward, I never went visiting teaching. I always felt a little guilty because my home teachers came monthly without fail. When I got married and returned to a family ward setting, I tried to do better. My success, however, depended on my companions and their investment into visiting teaching. Continue reading

Ten Things I Said to My College Freshman

college 1Tis the season.  Not for decking the halls and trimming the tree (though that is right around the corner) but for our daughters and sons. They’re leaving the structure and security of our homes and venturing off to the halls of ivy covered buildings to begin not only their college career, but also their lives as autonomous adults.

We raised six children: three girls and three boys.  We have pushed six baby birdies out of the nest. It got easier and we got better at it with each one spreading their wings. Below is a list of ten things we talked with our daughters about before they left our home. Continue reading

Mothers in the Scriptures

Motherhood isalt-lake-temple-pioneer-family-lds-770842-gallerys one of the most important aspects of the Plan of Salvation. Without it, none of us would be here in our mortal bodies. When discussing mothers and motherhood, I find it fitting to think about and study ancient women who serve as wonderful examples of what kind of mothers and women we should be. Although there are many wonderful women in the scriptures, I have chosen to highlight five: Eve, the Mother of Moses, Namoi, Mary the Mother of Jesus, and Sariah from the Book of Mormon.

Eve

Eve was the very first mortal mother on this earth. She was given the ability to bear children when she partook of the forbidden fruit and was cast out of the Garden of Eden with Adam. She was given the name Eve “because she was the mother of all living.” (Genesis 3:20) In fact, Eve means “life” in Hebrew.

We know from the book of Moses that Adam and Eve had many more children than Cain, Abel and Seth. “And Adam knew his wife and she bare unto him sons and daughters, and they began to multiply and to replenish the earth.” (Moses 5:2) The Book of Moses also goes into a deeper description of the type of woman Eve was. Moses 5:1 says that Eve labored with Adam. In verse 11 Eve says, “Were it not for our transgression we never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.” Then in verse 12 Eve taught her children. Continue reading

Be Not Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ

ballard-214x300Mormon Women Stand’s collaborative effort will consistently follow the counsel from Elder M. Russell Ballard that “every disciple of Christ will be most effective and do the most good by adopting a demeanor worthy of a follower of the Savior… The Apostle Paul has admonished us to not be ‘ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation.’ (Romans 1:16) Let us all stand firmly and speak with faith in sharing our message with the world” (Ensign, July 2008). With this in mind, anything contentious, contrary to or criticizing the teachings, doctrines, or leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will not be welcome.  Mormon Women Stand Mission Statement

In the world of today, women are on the battlefield. Many don’t know it and many choose not to acknowledge it.  Still, others are quick to note the places in which they find themselves and accept it, even relish it, and charge forward on the battlefront with the banner of the Gospel of Jesus Christ held high–unashamed of their testimonies, and proud of who they are as women in the Church. Continue reading