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Small and Simple Things

A very small thing to most is the reading of the Holy Scriptures. Yet, this is what they did for me before I was even 5 years old: The story of Daniel, when he was in Nebuchadnezzar’s court gave me faith and hope for things to improve. They showed me that others, who were obedient to God were saved and over the years, I have proven that He does this same thing for me. I know He can do it for you as well.
My older sister read to me in private, so no one would know she was speaking. We had been forbidden to speak, so she was risking great punishment by doing so. This was not an easy thing for her, yet she shared this story from the Holy Scriptures with me. It has stayed with me all these years, and that is a very long time. I see a parallel in today’s society. I invite you to read this story and see if you feel the same way. (The Book of Daniel found in the King James Version of the Holy Bible – Old Testament)

This particular story from the Book of Daniel told me that Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were children of the most-high God. They did what the laws of Moses had instructed them to do. They lived the commandments and kept the Word of Wisdom regarding diet. They were obedient, even though they lived in a society that went against all those things. They were doing what they knew to be the right thing, while others laughed or mocked or tried to stop them. The laws allowed evil to run rampant in the city and country back then.

These three young men, because they would not worship the idols of the king, were to be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

We know that the King really liked these three young men. He had placed them in his own palace because they were such wise young men. It hurt him that he might have to punish them, so he warned them what would happen if they did not at least “make the appearance” of worshiping, as all the other people did. He flat out ask them who this god was that they worshiped, and how he could deliver them out of his hands.

Here is the answer they gave:

“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)

Are we that brave? Are we that knowledgeable to trust God that much? Do our young people today know that God is real because we have read the Holy Scriptures to them, so they can learn how others lived and suffered and were saved by being obedient? Have we seen for ourselves that He is not only able, but that He desires to bless us and help us during our struggles of living in the world? Are we able to live ‘in’ the world, while not being a part of the world?

I invite you to read to children, no matter how old they are. As I said, I was not even 5 years old, yet these words and feelings have blessed me all my life. I ask you, how can the Holy Spirit bring to our minds that which we do not know nor have ever heard before? Once the words of truth are in our minds, they can be that second witness to what the Holy Spirit is sharing is truth. When He speaks to us in that quiet whisper, if we have no other witness of the truth He shares, others in the world might be able to convince us otherwise. I never wanted my children to suffer as I did, yet, I was only able to read to them when they were babies. I do pray over the years you have not only read privately, but also read to others, no matter their ages.

Please, brothers and sisters, read to your children. Read words of truth so they can withstand the temptations of this day just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego did.

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My Tribute to Russell M Nelson

“Men can do very little of themselves to heal sick or broken bodies. With an education they can do a little more; with advanced medical degrees and training, a little more yet can be done. The real power to heal, however, is a gift from God. He has deigned that some of that power may be harnessed via the authority of His priesthood to benefit and bless mankind when all man can do for himself may not be sufficient.” (Russell M Nelson)

God honor’s Russell M Nelson, I know this because God said He would honor those who serve Him in Righteousness and in truth unto the end and I happen to know that God never lies.

“Hear, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth, and rejoice ye inhabitants thereof, for the Lord is God, and beside him there is no Savior.”

“Great is his wisdom, marvelous are his ways, and the extent of his doings none can find out.”

“His purposes fail not, neither are there any who can stay his hand.”

“From eternity to eternity he is the same, and his years never fail.”

“For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.” (D&C 76:1-5)

I admire and shall continue to sustain Russell M Nelson in his new calling as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In the years since joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints, I have never heard or seen him do or say anything that might be displeasing to our Father in Heaven. I have watched as he reaches out across the world to bless the lives of our Heavenly Father’s children. His actions speak even louder than his words and his words are powerful.

When I first came to Salt Lake City, Utah, I was crossing the street one day while downtown. We passed each other in the crosswalk. I said a casual “Hello, Elder” and kept walking as did he. It was obvious he was deep in thought. Then, as I reached my sidewalk and turned, so did he from his side of the street; he smiled at me before he finished walking into the building. I could feel his kindness all the way across the street.

For you, this might not mean anything. But if you knew how busy this man and all those whom the Lord has called to serve the children of man around the world are, then you would know that he is a fellow traveler on this journey we call life. He too takes the time to offer a smile or handshake, or even has done surgery on those who stood in need over the years. While he is a highly educated man, he is also a humble man. I admire him for that quality. He is a lot like our Savior was while He administered to God’s children.

We may at times be busy in our lives, just as he was and is, but may we all have time to at least smile to strangers, no matter how busy we think we might be.

I love this photograph of he and his family. This is what a good father is suppose to look like. A good man can become great when God is the head of his house and he has a good woman by his side. President Nelson is a great man, in my humble opinion.

His counsel in the 2015 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints was for all of us to show our love to God by keeping the Sabbath day holy. This is a sign between us (men and women) and God that we do always remember Him and His Son, even Jesus Christ. God gave us that day so we could rest from our labors, not the other way around.

One of my favorite prophets of the Old Testament was Isaiah. He too spoke of the Sabbath just as Elder Nelson did:

“If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

“Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 58:12-14)

I pray we may do as God’s prophets counsel us and honor those whom He honors, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen

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A Most Precious Book

Many years ago, two young men gave me a book. They told me that within it’s pages I would find truth. As I read from it’s pages, I saw what they told me earlier was truth.  I would like to share a few of the things I learned from this wonderful book that night.

This is part of the story of a man by the name of Lehi. He too was a visionary person, and one time he had a dream wherein he saw a tree. This is part of his dream:

“And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.

“And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.

“And as I cast my eyes round about, that perhaps I might discover my family also, I beheld a river of water; and it ran along, and it was near the tree of which I was partaking the fruit. (1 Nephi 8: 11-13)

For me, the “fruit” that he spoke of, was the Holy Scriptures. In years past I had read from the Holy Bible, the words of Isaiah, other prophets and even Jesus Christ and his Apostles. I had read how wonderful it was for people who were treated poorly or shunned by others to follow those who could lead them to God. Growing up, I had wanted a Father as the father of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego who sent His Son to save them from wicked people who wanted to kill them. When those two young men left that blue book, I sat up all night reading, and towards the end of the night and early dawn, I read these words:

“Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.”

“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.”

“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”

“And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is.”

“And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever.” (Moroni 10:3-7)

I would like to invite you to get a copy of this book and read it for yourself. It is called, “The Book of Mormon.”

Mormon was a man who was very valient in preserving the records of the descendants of Lehi as well as others who lived on the American Continent prior to Columbus; prior to the Pilgrims; prior to most other nations. God had instructed him to hide them up so they would not be destroyed. God had made a promise to His people that in the last days those records would come forth to help teach those who really did not know Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. This is why the book is named after him.

Since God never lies, and Mormon knew that, he buried them up and many centuries later, another man, asked God which Church to join. Many churches use that same Holy Bible, only different versions of it, but they all teach different things. But that is for another day. Just now, I invite you to read and then pray and ask God yourself if this true or not.

You can obtain a free copy at: http://www.mormon.org/  If you have any question, there are people there 24/7 and someone will be more than happy to answer your questions. If you don’t want to talk, you may request a copy of the book and no one will bother you.

Always remember, and never forget: Jesus Christ died for you personally. God is your Heavenly Father and He loves you, personally. It is up to you, personally, to learn that for yourself, so you too may have a personal testimony of this truth.

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My respects to L. Tom Perry

This was truly a man who loved God with all his heart, might, mind and strength. I am going to share with you some of his words. It is my prayer that you will read and understand his wisdom.

“In order to find answers, the Lord says, we not only have to search for them, but we have to search diligently. That means there is effort involved. We really have to work at it. One of the best places to search for answers is in the scriptures, and searching diligently means reading them again and again, prayerfully and with faith, until the answers become apparent.”

“Search after truth, and remember that word diligently. That doesn’t mean halfheartedly. That means with all your might. It is also important to keep the commandments so you can feel the promptings of the Spirit. Part of being diligent is being worthy.”

“Carry a prayer in your heart. You don’t have to express it out loud all the time, but there are very few hours in the day when you don’t need guidance and direction in the course that you would want to follow. It is a wonderful, satisfying thing to know that the Lord is there. And He is there “24/7,” as they say. He is always available to us.”

“All of us have to gain our own testimonies, and the example of others is a tremendous way to start. We can feel confident when we find someone we trust who can bear solemn witness. There is a natural affinity that draws us to that desire to “be believing.”

“It is also important to live the commandments. You have to know the law of the Lord and try living it in order to prove that it works and brings blessings. The Savior said, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17).

“If you “search diligently, pray always, and be believing,” it is very difficult to get off course. The Lord has promised us that. When people turn away from the Lord, there’s an automatic deterioration of the ability to follow the Spirit and a loss of the opportunity to experience true joy in life. When people follow the Lord, they prosper, they grow, and even though there are difficulties, the good things of life come according to the plan of the Lord.

“There is great satisfaction in knowing who you are, what you are supposed to do here, and what eternal blessings our Father in Heaven has promised to the faithful in the eternities to come. What greater comfort could there be than that?” (Elder L Tom Perry, an Apostle of the Lord, Jesus Christ in life as well as in death.)

Personally, I am still learning from this great man. He shall always hold a place in my heart, mind and life. His wisdom proved him to be a man of sound understanding, and it is my prayer that I may endure as well as he did all the way to my eternal home, in the Sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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What think ye of Christ?

In the Holy Scriptures we find these words:

“What think ye of Christ?” (Matthew 22:42)

Many of the prophets throughout the ages have taught truth and asked us this same question. In what I am sharing, where it says “men” I am including “women”. I know that the Lord loves us equally, and thus expects the same from us all.

Many who have read the Holy Scriptures, most especially the Book of Mormon, can be convinced that Jesus is the Christ. The interesting question comes next: “Will we choose to follow him?” The devils believe that Jesus is the Christ, but they choose to follow Satan. (James 2:19-20)

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”
“This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:36-38)

As you know, I listen to prophets both living and dead. Thus, I shall be quoting from both.

“When you choose to follow Christ, you choose to be changed.” (President Ezra Taft Benson, October 1985)

I knew that prophet personally. He was a very wise man. He gave me good counsel when he called me to Utah to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints. My official mission for the Church ended in 1990. I received an honorable release.

“No man or woman can sincerely resolve to apply in his or her daily life the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth without sensing a change in his or her own nature. The phrase ‘born again’ has a deeper significance than many people attach to it. This changed feeling may be indescribable, but it is real.” (David O McKay, In Conference Report, Apr. 1962, p. 7.)

Here again, I shall quote from President Benson as well as from Peter and Paul and John from the New Testament:

“The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men and women by changing their environment. Christ changes men and women, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.” (President Ezra Taft Benson)

Men and women changed for Christ will be captained by Christ. Like Paul they will be asking, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6.)

Peter stated, they will “follow his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21.)

John said they will “walk, even as he walked.” (1 John 2:6.)

Our Lord told Nicodemus that “except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3.)

“This is the simple total answer to the weightiest of all questions. … To gain eternal life there must be a rebirth, a transformation.” (Spencer W Kimball, In Conference Report, Apr. 1958, p. 14.)

Their will is swallowed up in His will. (See John 5:30.)

“…as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

“And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.”

Jesus taught us how to do those things that please our Heavenly Father by setting the example. As my Lord taught me, I strive to share these same things with you as well as live them myself. And He that gave me life is with me: yeah, the Father hath not left me alone, for I do those things that I know are pleasing to Him. When I mess up, I repent.

Lip service is worth nothing.  I would not only die for the Lord, but I will live for Him as well. What do you think of Christ?

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Obedience: Is it important?

“Obedience builds faith in Christ. Faith is a principle of action and power. Consistently following the Savior’s example produces spiritual power and capacity. Without the strengthening and enabling power of the Atonement, it’s impossible to stay on the path and endure.”

“To heed is to give careful attention. Heeding those who do not believe in Christ will not help you find Him. Searching #spaciousbuilding for knowledge will not lead you to truth. It’s not posted there. Only the Savior has “the words of eternal life.” Everything else is just words.”

“True disciples continue to awaken unto God each day in meaningful personal prayer, earnest scripture study, personal obedience, and selfless service.” (part of a talk given by Kevin W Pearson, a member of the Seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints)

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints, we have a book called the “Book of Mormon” which tells of ancient people who populated the American Continent prior to the coming of Jesus Christ.

I personally have read this book, many times. In fact, I read it most every day, along with the Holy Bible. They help me to withstand the evil in the world today and have shown me how to overcome my own issues. The Book of Mormon is very plain and speaks in words that are easy for me to understand. While I love the Holy Bible, I also love the Book of Mormon, as it shows me specifically what to watch for and how to stay close to the Lord. It works for me.

This book is another testimony of Jesus Christ, as written by people and preserved and edited by a man whose name was Mormon. While I only shared a part of Elder Pearson’s talk, it is because that good man was addressing members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints who have already read the Book of Mormon, so we could relate to the things he said.

If the choice comes, where you can only read one book, I suggest it be the Book of Mormon. But then, I had already read the Holy Bible before I ever heard of that book. As I read it, I felt the same Spirit that exists in the Holy Bible. Others may tell you not to read it, but then, when asked if they have ever read it, they will probably say no. Or perhaps they might have read a page or two, and then tossed it away.

One of the stories in the Book of Mormon, is of a young man who became a prophet, just as his father had been a prophet back in Jerusalem. This young man’s name was Nephi. He had two brothers who rebelled against their father and were very wicked. They were also very cruel to Nephi, yet, Nephi loved his brothers and taught them truth. I would like to share this same truth with you: (I have changed the tense from past to present: “would” to “will”, plus I changed “possessed” to “possess”.)

“. . .whoso will hearken unto the word of God, and will hold fast unto it, they will never perish; neither can the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.”
“Wherefore, I, Nephi, did exhort them to give heed unto the word of the Lord; yea, I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul, and with all the faculty which I possess, that they will give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his commandments always in all things.” (1 Nephi 15: 24-25)

Personally, I know that when we turn toward the Lord, and hold fast to the truths prophets have given and are giving us, we can live a much better life, plus we can have eternal life when this mortal life is over. Please, always remember and never forget: No person gets out of this life alive and you can’t take anything with you.

Jesus Christ died and arose again to show us we can live forever. He was a God, yet He came to earth and even He had to die. He was totally obedient to our Heavenly Father. I for one am trying to be like Him, so when I get home, God the Eternal Father will say, “Welcome home, my beloved daughter.”

If you would like to know more, or obtain your own copy of the Book of Mormon at no cost, I invite you to go to: http://www.mormon.org/eng

Hugs to you from a foster sister, aunt, mother or even grandma or great-grandma.

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Whom do you follow?

The Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, while He was upon the earth, taught many of the same principles that our living prophets and apostles teach today. For example, in the Holy Bible, James, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ once said:

“Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.”(James 3: 3)

I find it interesting that living Apostles still teach us the same thing. They teach us in plain and simple ways, just as they did back in James day.

“One day I asked my grandfather how I would know if I was always doing the right thing, given that life presents so many choices. As my grandfather usually did, he answered me with an experience from farm life.”

“He taught me about breaking in a team of horses so that they would work together. He explained that a team of horses must always know who is in charge. One of the keys to asserting control and directing a horse is a harness and bit. If a member of the team ever believes that it does not need to obey the will of the driver, the team will never pull and work together to maximize their ability.”

“Now let’s examine the lesson my grandfather taught me using this example. Who is the driver of the team of horses? My grandfather believed it is the Lord. He is the one who has a purpose and a plan. He is also the trainer and builder of the team of horses and, in turn, each individual horse. The driver knows best, and the only way for a horse to know it is always doing the right thing is to be obedient and follow the driver’s lead.”( L. Tom Perry, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.)

One of the things I love about Apostles is that they always give clear direction. I have heard many people say that what the apostles ask is just too hard. “It is not all black and white,” they say, “there are many shades of grey. Things are different today.” Perhaps you have heard this as well. The Lord, Jesus Christ was totally obedient to His Father. He never said, “Oh, let me just disobey today, and then I’ll do better tomorrow. There is plenty of time.” Thus, why do we tend to justify our lives in that way? Didn’t Jesus say, “Come follow me” ?

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16: 24)  (NOTE: He was speaking to women as well as men.)

From what you can read in the Holy Bible or the Book of Mormon, you will see that not all people changed. Not all people wanted to stop doing what they were doing, much like in this day. In those days, everyone used horses, donkey’s or camels, so they understood about a “bit”, however, now we have other modes of transportation. Can you imagine being on an airplane and having the pilot say, “I think i’ll not follow the rules on being a pilot today. I’d rather just let the plane do it’s own thing.”

Now you might think, “Isn’t that why they have auto pilot?” Try asking a real pilot about that and he or she will set you straight on that. Just as there is cruise control in cars, I would not want to trust that during freeway traffic during rush hour, would you?

Regarding families: Pope Francis, of the Catholic Church said:

“We now live in a culture of the temporary, in which more and more people are simply giving up on marriage as a public commitment. This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom, but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. … It is always they who suffer the most in this crisis.”

In referring to those of the rising generation, Pope Francis said it is important that they “do not give themselves over to the poisonous [mentality] of the temporary, but rather be revolutionaries with the courage to seek true and lasting love, going against the common pattern”. (Complementarity of Man and Woman, Nov. 17, 2014, humanum.it/en/videos; see also zenit.org/en/articles/pope-francis-address-at-opening-of-colloquium-on-complementarity-of-man-and-woman.)

Today, in my email, I received a prayer request from a member of a Protestant church.  It is wonderful to know that many of us are pulling together, as a team, to exercise our faith and prayers in doing what God wants us to do. By being obedient to God; following the commandments; and praying for those who lead our nation: there is great strength. By praying for those whose hearts are hardened, that they might chose to repent, we give America back to God (who gave it to us in the first place). God decided a very long time ago about what a family should be. Even though I did not come from a loving family, that does not mean I do not believe in families. In deed, I do believe in the kind of families God wants us to have. 

For several years, we have had the “Proclamation on the Family” put out by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints. have you read it, yet? https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation  I recommend you read it, and then pray above it. It is truth from God.

As for me and my house, I will follow Jesus Christ.

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