We talk about the work of God, but what exactly are we doing about it? Below is a list from Robert L. Simpson, who spoke on “These Four Things.” He didn’t just talk about the work of God, he asked us to remember our vow when we promised we would actually perform the work necessary to bring salvation to all of Heavenly Father’s children.
First, the obligation to prepare one’s self and one’s immediate family for the presence of the Lord;
He explains how important it is to take care of one’s own spirituality first. We have to complete our own ordinances first. We have to know and understand the doctrines of Jesus Christ’s saving gospel first. We have to commit to righteous living first if we are ever to convince anyone else.
One of the titles that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, carries is the Prince of Peace. It is through him that we find peace, and one of the ways that happens is when we forgive others. Instead of writing about forgiveness in general, I want to talk about a specific type of forgiveness; and that is forgiving those who have not and may never apologize.
One of the most basic teachings of forgiveness is that when someone hurts us, they apologize/repent, and we forgive them. And when we hurt someone, we hope that they will forgive us when we apologize and repent. But what about when someone hurts us, and they don’t apologize, do we still forgive them? The answer is yes.
“I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.” (D&C 64:10)
There are several reasons why someone might not apologize to us: they might not know they hurt us, they might have moved on before we did, or they simply might not care. Whatever the situation, we forgive no matter what. In President James E. Faust’s iconic talk The Healing Power of Forgiveness, he said,
“Most of us need time to work through pain and loss. We can find all manner of reasons for postponing forgiveness. One of these reasons is waiting for the wrongdoers to repent before we forgive them. Yet such a delay causes us to forfeit the peace and happiness that could be ours. The folly of rehashing long-past hurt does not bring happiness.”
I lived in California for forty-five years. My husband and I were serving in a Young Single Adult Ward when Proposition 8 came about. This proposition defined marriage as between one man and one woman and if passed was to be an amendment to the California constitution.
Our ward received a letter, as did every other ward in California, from the First Presidency. In it, they asked us to donate our time, talents and anything that we could to keep marriage between a man and a woman. For the first time in my life, I was going to need to support a political cause that had moral implications, which we did so willingly.
In our YSA ward, we were very involved in the cause for Prop 8 and made phone calls, put up signs, handed out signs, knocked on doors and as a couple attended a Proposition 8 rally in Los Angeles. We were the only ones on our block that had the blue and yellow signs in our front yard. I was very proud of the young adults as they seemed to fearlessly serve as the Prophet had asked. Continue reading →
There is a battle going on all around us. The fight is against Good and Evil. Where Evil is trying to convince us there is no evil, only “honesty within one’s self”, Good is trying to defend, protect, and honor the God of all goodness.
God has taught us that there are eternal laws, that are absolute, that even He must obey. “There is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated–” (D&C 130:20). “If they would not repent they must suffer even as I; which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit–and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink–Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook” (D&C 19:18-19). Continue reading →
How many times have I read, or heard, or seen portrayed the account of the nativity, including Mary, Joseph, and the Christ child, as recorded in the New Testament? I couldn’t even begin to count the number. And neither probably could you. It’s a tradition at this time of year to tell the story in our home and I’m guessing in yours too. We like to act it out.
Of course, the coveted role is that of Mary. Each of our daughters, and now granddaughters, hope to pull her name out of the bowl. All eyes are on her as she slowly walks into ‘Bethlehem’. Joseph is always so attentive. Everyone wants to help her when the innkeeper turns them away. She so gently and politely shares her newborn with the many shepherds and their flocks, that come to adore him, as directed by the angel, and welcomes so kindly the wiseman that arrive with gifts of great worth. Reverence and honor for that righteous young woman who gave herself to the Lord and her part in His plan, is felt by all there. And rightfully so. Continue reading →
History shows us that those who choose consistent, enduring-to-the-end behavior come out stronger, happier, and more powerful than those who show behavior that is more erratic and discontinuous. This choice is demonstrated clearly by the following story about the first expedition to the South Pole.
Roald Amundsen led a team of men using sled dogs. From the very beginning of their 1,400 mile journey he decided that no matter what the weather was like they would set a goal to make 20 miles each and every day. Because of bad weather they sometimes made less than their goal, but they always strove for the goal of 20 miles every day—no matter what.
Robert Falcon Scott led another team of men using packhorses. Because of the horses, they were able to carry more provisions. From the beginning he psyched his men to go hard and push themselves on the good days. When the weather was too harsh, they would rest and prepare to set out hard as soon as they were able.
The summer before my Freshman year of High School, my family moved from Utah to Idaho. Imagine how thrilled I was to find that in Idaho, fourteen is the age a driver license can be issued. I took drivers training as a class that fall in school, passed the written and driving tests, and received my license. I will never forget an interchange between my mother and I one afternoon shortly thereafter. She needed something from the store for dinner, so I volunteered to take the car (my father’s Cadillac) to the store for her. She said she wasn’t comfortable with me taking that car out on my own just yet. In response, I said, “I passed the written and driving tests. The State of Idaho says that I’m just as good a driver as you are.” She then explained to me that just because I was “book smart” and had a bit of time behind the wheel, those things did not equal her many years of actual driving experience. All those years of driving developed her skills and enabled her to become a driver with the ability to make good decisions—sometimes quickly and under pressure. She had driven in many different weather and road conditions and had developed a sixth sense about unseen dangers ahead. She assured me that these would all come to me in time also, but for now my father’s car was off limits to me. My hands never did grip the steering wheel of that big Caddy. Continue reading →
Many people have shared stories with me over the years of times when they prayed, and the answer was “no.” Some were devastated when Heavenly Father answered in the negative; others just wondered why the answer was what it was. I was reading a story in the August 2015 Ensign, “The Example of a Faithful Father,” by Judson H. Flower, Jr., and it reminded me of a time in my own life when the answer was no.
Mother, mothering, and motherhood: each is a facet of the beautiful and divine nature of every daughter of God. To separate one facet of our eternal role as women is to minimize our divine destiny made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ: eternal motherhood. The Family Proclamation teaches the eternal and absolute doctrinal truth that gender is eternal. Our spirits were created either male or female before our mortal birth. Femaleness is not a social construct but is both biologically and physiologically created and stored in the DNA of every female soul by loving Heavenly Parents.
“That women were born into this earth female was determined long before mortal birth, as were the divine differences of males and females. I love the clarity of the teachings of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve in the Proclamation on the Family. They state: “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” From that statement we are taught that every girl was feminine and female in spirit long before her mortal birth.” (Margaret D. Nadauld, “What You Are Meant to Be,” New Era, Oct. 2002.)
The simple, yet glorious truth is that because we are female, we are inherently mothers. The state of motherhood is gender specific and is what compels the acts of mothering in different ways and stages of our lives. For reasons unknown, not every woman here in mortality has the opportunity to give birth. The full glory of our divine nature as females will be when every facet of being a daughter of God is made manifest—having become as our Heavenly Mother: exalted. Continue reading →