Saturday, October 14, 2017

Can I Help You?

 







 I have been quite worried over the last few months. Maybe I should stop reading Apocalypse books, including Revelations. It seems like all the things predicted are coming true. Even the total eclipse of the sun and the red moon felt threatening. Two moves ago, about five years, we decided forty years was long enough to save the year’s food supply and we tossed the worst of it, and are starting over. Now I wonder if we have time. I have trees full of apples and no energy to preserve them. I have hundreds of books; many are not read. I have consumed and consumed on a grand scale and what will I have to show for it when Yellowstone volcano erupts. What of my spiritual pursuits? Hopefully my daughter will take one of my quilts to her conference for a scholarship auction.
Someone put this quote on Face Book the other day.  I’ll have to think about changes I can make in my life.
President Henry B. Eyring said, “The Lord is watching over us. He is with us.
“I promise you that if you go in His name to others, you will be not only able to touch their lives and help them in a way that will last forever, but you will become more like the Savior because you have done what He would do.
Some of you may have family members, friends, or neighbors who have more emotional stress than you know. Some of them may have been troubled for quite some time. Go to the rescue to your family and neighbors not just now but over a period of time. Be kind. Don’t help just with their physical needs, but help them with their hearts as much as you can. Reach out to them over time. The real rescue they need is to have someone come to them so they can feel the love of the Savior and the love of Heavenly Father through you. That will give them a confidence that may have been shaken from their lives.
Jesus Christ lives. He is close by. He will get you through. He will get those around you through. He watches over us. He guides us. He protects us. By His Atonement, we become magnified. I promise you that if you will be faithful and reach out to others and think of Him, you will feel the Atonement of Jesus Christ working in your life. Your heart will change and will expand. You will become better than you ever thought you could be.”
There are so many hurting in our world today. What can we do?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Choose Happiness


September has been a frightening month. With three hurricanes hitting our country; an earthquake in Mexico; and the western states on fire. Wars and rumors of war blast us from every direction. Our country is being torn apart by ideologies. How can we survive?
When I was in high school, way back in the Dark ages, There were some cute little figurines that I loved , called “Precious Moments”  I think my favorite was a little girl named “God Loveth a Cheerful Giver.” I wondered at the time, while going through the angst of teenager-hood what one had to do to be cheerful?
In the September 2017  Ensign magazine, Jeffrey R. Holland quotes Joseph Smith (1805—40)
“Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it.”
Aristotle, one of the greatest intellectual minds the Western world has ever known once said that “Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
Elder Holland writes,”So how do we “pursue” happiness?? Well, we know one thing for sure: happiness is not easy to find running straight for it. It is usually too elusive, too ephemeral, too subtle. If you haven’t learned it already, you will learn in the years ahead that most times happiness comes to us when we least expect it, when we are busy doing something else. Happiness is almost always a by-product of some other endeavor.”
Living “after the Manner of Happiness”Elder Holland continues, “The first 30 years of Book of Mormon history do not present a pleasant story. The hostility within the family of Lehi and Sariah became so intense that the two halves of their family split asunder, with one group fleeing yet farther into the wilderness, fearing for their lives lest they fall victim to the bloodthirsty quest of the other. As the first group plunged into unsettled terrain to seek safety and fashion a life for themselves as best they could, the prophet-leader of this Nephite half of the family says they “lived after the manner of happiness” (2 Nephi 5:27).
But my reassurance to you is that in God’s plan we can do much to find the happiness we desire. We can take certain steps, we can form certain habits, we can do certain things that God and history tell us lead to happiness with the confidence that if we live in such a manner, that butterfly is much more likely to land upon our shoulder. In short, your best chance for being happy is to do the things that happy people do, live the way happy people live, and walk the path that happy people walk. As you do so, your chances to find joy in unexpected moments, to find peace in unexpected places, and to find the help of angels when you didn’t even know they knew you existed improve exponentially. Here are five ways we can live “after the manner of happiness.”
Choose Happiness I remember my brother, during a contentious time in his life said that he had decided to be happy even though his family situation was not. He chose to be happy and to live in the manner of happiness until he was truly happy.  U.S. president Abraham Lincoln had plenty to be unhappy about in the most difficult administration a president of the United States has ever faced, but even he reflected that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Be Kind and Pleasant Anger damages or destroys almost everything it touches. As someone has said, to harbor anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. It is a vicious acid that will destroy the container long before it does damage to the intended object
Work at It Here is one last suggestion when there are so many others we should consider. Nephi said that in an effort to find happiness in their new land after their 30 years of trouble, “I, Nephi, did cause my people to be industrious, and to labor with their hands” (2 Nephi 5:17). By contrast, those from whom they fled became “an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety” (2 Nephi 5:24).
During Hurricane Harvey there was a woman in one shelter who one day broke into song. She started to sing Gospel music and soon many others joined in. She enjoyed the happy feeling and moved on to other shelters in Houston bringing music and happiness to others in distress. She was a cheerful giver.
Watching news reports about all the hurricanes this month, the earthquake and the fires, I saw report after report of people helping peple, people who were happy to be alive and able to help.

I like making quilts. I sent some to Texas and I made some for fire victims and hospitals over the years. We all have some talent to share and it brings happiness to both the receiver and the giver.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Priorities


 








Someday I’m going to die.
I don’t think I will be finished yet!
Thirty years ago, I gave a talk in church. It was in January and it was about setting goals.
Since I’ve always been a list maker, I had a list of 357 or some things I would like to do. I typed these on adding machine tape end and at the end of my talk I said, “Here are a few of my goals >” and rolled the tape down the aisle to the back of the chapel.
Twenty years later someone who still remembered that talk asked me how many things on that list I had accomplished.
Last month I found the list cut up in strips and put in an old fashion bean pot (my dream pot!!
Going through them today I’m having a laugh and wondering how many I will ever do?
I know I won’t make plaid pants for my four-year-old, or knit a yellow dress for her Barbie doll.
And what was a Millennial wreath anyway? Some embroideries and quilts I have finished and they adorn my home and the homes of others.
As I age and I see the end of my lifespan creeping closer I am wondering about my priorities. Have I done what the Lord sent me here to do?
Have I learned those things I need to enhance my eternity and that of others?
1.    Have I been kind?
2.    Have I been honest?
3.    Have I taught lessons and skills to enhance other’s lives?
4.    Have I kept the promises I have made to God and those around me?
5.    Have I shared all the best things in my life to improve the lives of others?
6.    Have I forgiven, and been forgiven?
7.    Is the world better because I was here?

In an article in the May 2011 Ensign magazine “We Have Work To Do”
President Gordon stated
…I do not have a perfect knowledge, but I will try a little harder to be a little better

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Lay It On Me


 







My cousin has been dreaming again. He dreamed that he was in a parking lot and a few people came out of the building and walked by. Two said hello and invited him to go with them. As they walked through the cars in the parking lot a couple would disappear. Then some more and some more till all were gone but him.
He asked what it could it mean. I said “Are you worried that you are being left behind?
He comes from a very religious family but decided in his young adulthood that it wasn’t for him. Are angels searching for him?
There are many times in our lives when we feel the burdens of our lives are too heavy to bear.
I know a man who lost a child to an illness. He couldn’t console himself so he left his family.
A woman suffered a terrible accident and her husband left the family on their own because he couldn’t help her. A girl left the comfort of her religion because she felt rejected by her church peers. Others say, If there is a God, why does he let bad things happen to people.

I like to listed to country gospel music. One of my favorite is

Lay it On Me by Christy Lane

When a hill seems like a mountain and some chain has got you bound
Lift up your knee to the Savior and He’ll say Lay it down.

 He said,lay it on me, lay it on me.  Lay it on me and I’ll set you free.
Lay it on me

It’s just a breeze softly blowing still you’re bending in the wind
And you’re too tired to lift your burden. lift your guilty hands to him.

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
I will not forget the words He said
Or the promise that He made.

He said lay it on me, lay it on me.  Lay it on me, and I’ll set you free.
Lay it on me.

When I was first married and had three -year old and one year old sons we found out that my husband had cancer. The night of the final diagnosis, I was too upset to sleep. But with children that young I knew I had to be able to carry the burden. As I knelt to pray I begged the Lord to just help me get to sleep. As I climbed into bed I felt his hand on my shoulder comforting me, and I slept. A few hours later the baby woke up. After comforting him and meeting his needs I went back to sleep, again with His hand on my shoulder. God and his angels were watching over me. 

Take your burdens to the Lord and trust in him.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

LISTEN!


Sometimes we have little flashes of insight and we don't recognize them . We don't act on them. Sometimes we don't understand until later that we could have saved time and anxiety by being more in tune with the Spirit.
I have a funny story for you.
This morning in the pre-dawn hours as I was going into a light sleeping period
I was dream/thinking about one of our sixty year- old apple trees. Two years ago, a big wind blew down from the mountains and ripped off a large limb. But the tree was sturdy and produced a decent crop. Last year a big wind blowing off the desert came through town and blew off the other large limb. We cut off a few of the small branches and brought them into the house to enjoy the apple blossoms.
Towards the end of the summer, I looked up at the poor twelve -foot tall stump of the tree in sorrow for its loss. I was surprised  to see a dozen leafy green twigs poking out of the top of that stump like a soldier with his crew cut. I’m trying he was saying to me. I’ve faced diversity many times, but I’m still trying. This spring, still trying, the tree put out limb, after limb, after limb. Suckers grew all the way down the trunk till it looks like a giant bush. We had our pear tree looked at by an expert years ago who told us that those suckers indicated that the tree was dying and we should cut it down. But, we saved it.  This morning I was trying to think of who we could get to come cut the suckers and excess limbs; to prune it and try to save it.
As the sun started coming up and the birds began to sing, my husband got up to feed the cats, who think that’s the first thing that he should do every morning.
“Oh! No! he cried. During the night Lenny the cat had pried open the sliding glass door to go for a stroll. My husband ran around the outside of the house in his pajamas looking for the cat. On the second rotation, calling the cat’s name, he heard a weak, frightened mew. “Lenny?” he called looking up. Lenny the cat, who had never climbed a tree before, was cowering at the top of that poor old apple tree, hidden from whatever creature of the night had spooked him, by a hundred little limbs. The tree was still trying. After feeling rescued, Lenny tore across the lawn; into the garage, scratching at the door. “Let me in! Oh please let me in”!
He was still terrified.
God loves the little creatures. He loves the trees and the flowers. He loves us, and he loves you. He is ever mindful of all our needs. If we listen, we can learn many things.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Sky is Falling



Do you remember the story of Chicken Little? An acorn fell on her head, and she thought the sky was falling. She ran to tell the lion about it. On the way, she met Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, and Goosy Loosey. Telling each one that the sky was falling. They all ran to tell the King.
Today I put my feet up to rest my poor tired legs and listened to the news. Our world today is filled with distress. Everyone seems to be fighting and hurting. As the news ended a hymn that I love filled my mind. How Firm a Foundation
Text: Attr. to Robert Keen,
The third and fourth verses go
3.Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
4. When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o'erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
In our latest General Conference
Reminds us. “We have all felt peace tonight. All of us would like to feel such peace often within ourselves, in our families, and with the people around us. The Lord promised peace to His disciples as He was about to leave them. He has made the same promise to us. But He said that He would give peace in His way, not in the world’s way. He described His way of sending peace:
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.
You will at times have your faith challenged by Satan; it happens to all disciples of Jesus Christ. Your defense against these attacks is to keep the Holy Ghost as your companion. The Spirit will speak peace to your soul. He will urge you forward in faith. And He will bring back the memory of those times when you felt the light and the love of Jesus Christ.
Remembering may be one of the most precious gifts the Spirit can give you. He will “bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever [the Lord has] said unto you” (John 14:26). The memory may be of an answered prayer, of a priesthood ordinance received, of a confirmation of your testimony, or of a moment when you saw God’s guiding hand in your life.
This is the goal that your Father in Heaven has for you, His precious daughters. It may seem to you like a distant goal, but from His perspective, you’re not that far away. So He visits you with His Spirit to comfort you, encourage you, and inspire you to keep going.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Believe Him










On Easter morning
I dreamed I was at the
Garden Tomb
Purple and yellow flowers bloomed
Carpeting the path
The air was cool and glowing
Birds sang joyously.
A little lamb
Sat quietly enjoying the sun.
I joined him, thinking--
Am I willing to suffer?
To give up my sins?
Can I live Christ’s life?
Can I believe Him?
Am I ready for hope?
And joy?
And forgiveness?