Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Facing the Fire

Recently in my studies in the morning I came across the story of Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego found in Daniel chapter 3. There was a specific verse that really caught my eye which says:

"If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." (Daniel 3:17-18)

It started me on thinking about how much faith these three men must have had to say such a bold statement in front of the king, their peers as well as the crowd that was surely listening to them. I can't even imagine what they must have been feeling as they were bound and thrown into the furnace. But it's a great lesson to be learned here. Not only did they stand up for what they believed in they didn't back down when everyone else was telling them otherwise. In the climax of the story we learn that because of their faith and because they stood true and tall to their knowledge irregardless of the opposition, Heavenly Father protected them from harm.

Some good things to ask ourselves is: do we stand up for what we believe in or do we follow the crowd because it is the "popular" thing to do. Do we act upon our beliefs or will we run when we feel the first sting of the adversary. I know that if we follow the example found in this story that we too will have Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the midst of us protecting us from the things that may be opposing us. I hope that all of us can stay true to our beliefs and trust in God and Jesus Christ when we are facing the fire.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

An Ode to Mothers

I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a Stake conference for the Kalispell Stake in Montana. This is a semi annual meeting that the different congregations of the church hold to listen to the leaders of the area share spiritual thoughts. It was an amazing experience and one of the speakers shared a poem about mothers. It got me thinking about my own mother and how grateful I was for all the things she had done for me in my youth and even today as a grown adult. My mother is truly an amazing example of Christ like love and I'm thankful and indebted to Heavenly Father for allowing me to be raised by her. It was her example and teachings that prepared me to receive the restored gospel from the missionaries in my teenage years and will prepare me in my future as a mother. In light of mothers day being right around the corner I thought I would share the poem I heard.

A Mother’s Eyes Reflect the Love of Heaven
By Steven Jones
A mother’s eyes reflect the love of heaven.
A love borne long before this life began.
A love which grows each day, which will not fade away,
A love inspired by Heavenly Father’s plan.
A mother’s hands reflect a life of service,
A life of sacrifice for those she loves,
And with her giving hands she shapes the soul of man,
Prepares him for eternal life above.
A mother’s words teach children righteous living,
And her example leads them to the light,
She speaks the words of truth that guide their tender youth,
And points the course they take throughout their lives.
A mother’s life reflects itself in our life,
Her ways of living are ingrained in ours,
And through the changing years and days of joy and tears,
Her love will lead us on,
Her words will point the course,
Her hands will lift us up to God.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Armor of God

Recently as I have been reading from the Doctrine and Covenants and I came across a scripture that I really enjoyed found in Section 27 verses 15 - 18. It reads as follows:

Wherefore, lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, that ye may be able to stand.
Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, which I have sent mine angels to commit unto you;
Taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked;
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of my Spirit, which I will pour out upon you, and my word which I reveal unto you, and be agreed as touching all things whatsoever ye ask of me, and be faithful until I come, and ye shall be caught up, that where I am ye shall be also. Amen.

It got me thinking about a story my sister had told once about when she was learning Kendo in Japan. She had explained how she was in a sparing match with one of the club members. There are three places where one can get hit by the kendo stick and therefore the armor is designed to protect those areas. She was all armored up and while they were going at it with their kendo sticks she got hit in a spot where there was no armor. She said it hurt a lot and she proceeded to tell her sparing partner that he wasn't being fair and was hitting in a spot that wasn't covered.  He responded, "You can't expect to be only hit where you're protected."

She related it to the gospel on how we must too put on the whole armor of God to protect us but we must also be prepared. We cannot be fooled into thinking that just because we have the armor on that we can stand there and do nothing. Preparation is key. Satan will not go easy on us and not try to tempt us in a spot where our armor does not cover or maybe in places where it may have weakened. We must always be diligent in keeping the commandments and following the example of our Savior. It is only then that we can effectively use the armor of God and also be prepared for when Satan tries to get us in our weakness.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I was sent this poem the other day from one of the Sisters I served with on my mission. As I read the poem I realized how many times in my life I had been the person described. It talks a lot about our personal relationship with Heavenly Father and the struggles that we as humans take on when we seemingly think that Heavenly Father has not heard our cries for help or even a plead for direction. The poem highlights the truths of the scripture found in the Book of Mormon in Mosiah 4:9 
"Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend." 
It helps us understand that the Lord has a plan for all of us and that it takes time and faith for us to come to the same understanding that God has. The scripture and the poem tells us to have faith and believe that anything we receive from God will be for our benefit and that we must trust in His timing and His wisdom. I definitely encourage everyone to read this and reflect upon their personal relationship with the Savior and how we react to the answers we receive to our prayers.
by Russell Kelfer
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, "Wait."

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign.

"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply."

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

"You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

"You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait."

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I've been reflecting recently on identity and what defines a person when I came upon this video in the Mormon messages for youth. It's true that all too often we compare ourselves to others that the world told us are the standard and the example of what our appearances should be. Even more so we compare ourselves daily with those people that are around us and with those whom we interact daily with. Have you ever thought "If only I could have her hair" or "I wish I was just a little bit taller". Maybe the comparisons are deeper than the skin. "If only I could be as smart as that person" "Why do they seem to have a better life than me?". It was through this video that President Dieter F Uchtdorf of the First Presidency was able to address this thought. He teaches us that we all have a divine potential and parallels our lives with the famous story "The Ugly Duckling". He then encourages us to stand tall and understand who we are and where we came from. We must realize that we are indeed "glorious sons and daughters of our mighty God" and take a look at our reflection and see us the way the Lord does.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Seeking Revelation

I had the privilege of watching the April General Conference this past weekend and was able to be inspired by the different talks that were given by the General Authorities of the church. One talk in particular that really got my attention was the address given by Elder David A Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
He spoke of how one can seek for and recognize guidance from the Holy Ghost. He tells us that if we constantly seek for a huge sign as an answer to our prayers that we might miss the bigger picture and miss the small still voice that the Holy Ghost normally answers us with. We learn that we must gain our knowledge and answers from God line upon line and precept upon precept. I invite all to take a look at this talk and learn for yourself how to recognize God's answers to prayers from a living Apostle of God.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Come Listen to a Prophet of God

“We hope and we pray that there will continue to go forth to the world from this pulpit declarations of testimony and doctrine, of faith in the Living God, and of gratitude for the great atoning sacrifice of our Redeemer.”
—President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), 15th President of the Church
It's amazing to me that another 6 months has passed since the last General Conference where I had the privilege of listening to leaders of the church give spiritual guidance to me live at the Salt Lake City Conference Center. General Conference it one of my favorite times of year because it is a special opportunity for members of the church to gather together as a religious group and listen to the Lords chosen servants give us guidance for our day.
I can recall the first time that I was able to attend a live session of General Conference, I was a brand new missionary and was trying my best to take it all in. My trainer had told me all about live sessions and how wonderful they were. She told me that I needed to have questions in my mind that I wanted Heavenly Father to answer for me. I had to remember that these men were servants of the Lord and their words were inspired by God and would answer my questions. As I waited in the Conference Center the whole auditorium sounded like a beehive, busy with the sound of people talking one with another and going about finding seats to sit in. I was incredibly nervous and excited and my mind was a mess, I wondered,  how was I ever going to get the answers to my questions feeling like this. It was then that I immediately felt a calming spirit around me and a quiet hush fell into the room, and President Monson and his counselors walked into the room. It was at that moment that I felt a reassuring spirit tell me that if I focused on their words I would be able to find the answers that I sought for.
This experience has brought me closer to my Savior, knowing that His spirit was able to calm me down and testify to me that these men where His chosen servant to minister His word. Echoing President Hinckley's quote above, I was able to hear about the Living God and Jesus Christs great atoning sacrifice and give thanks in my heart for my abundance. I was able to learn more for myself what I needed to do at that point in my life. The questions that I had written on my paper were being answered right before me and it seemed as if those talks were written specifically for me. It was then I knew that God loved and knew us perfectly and wants us all to listen to his words. So it is my invitation to you all to come and listen to a prophets voice this weekend. If you have a testimony of a living prophet, strengthen it. If you don't have one yet, I invite you to listen and gain one. I know that if you go to conference with a question to be answered by Heavenly Father you will feel His love for you and you will also find those answers through the words of those called to speak. Come join me and other missionaries and members alike April 2-3 to hear what the Lord has in store for the world.

Conference will be held on
Saturday April 2 10AM-12PM  2PM-4PM
Sunday April 3    10AM-12PM  2PM-4PM

Friday, March 18, 2011

All The Difference

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference"
Robert Frost

This is one of my favorite poems from Robert Frost and I really like the last passage found in it. As I reflected over these lines I really have thought about the choices that one can make in life and the difference it makes when we actually make a choice. It reminds me of the Savior and what He must have been thinking as He was faced with different temptation and choices. I am always brought back to the story where Jesus Christ had just finished suffering for our sins in Gethsemane and was about to be taken by the Roman soldiers. He simply states to the men:

"Thinkest thou that I cannot Pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" (Matthew 26:53-54)

Jesus Christ made the ultimate choice in that statement. How grateful I am that He selflessly gave up His life so that we could all live with our Father in Heaven. He understood completely the impact of His choices and His choice has made all the difference in the life of single person who has ever lived. As I think of the choices that the Savior made I hope that I too can always make the choice in my life that will make all the difference.