Thursday, September 1, 2016

Friendship

Image result for friendship

Being a mother of teenagers, I am introduced to many things that I otherwise may not have found interesting, or on my own. One of which is music. My playlist is getting quite diverse since my daughter has learned that I have a weakness for good music. All she needs say is "Mom, I found this song, you should listen to it...and then buy it." She has learned that if the message is good, I generally don't hesitate to click the 'buy' button. Yesterday she introduced me to one such song.(see link below) 
I don't know the artist's reasoning and vision behind the lyrics, but I felt that it was singing about love, hope, and helping one another through the battles of life. In short, it sings of friendship.
Since I am limited in my talent abilities to sing, or create through works of art when I am inspired, I will take the feelings I felt while listening and try to convey those ideas into words.

Joseph Smith gave us a glimpse of his measure of friendship when he said, “If my life is of no value to my friends, it is of none to myself”(HC 6:549). The Savior said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”(John 15:13).

When Robert Louis Stevenson was asked the secret of his radiant, useful life, he responded simply, “I had a friend.”1
Friendship plays a very important role in each of our lives. A friend lifts the heavy heart, says the encouraging word, and assists in supplying our daily needs. Elder Richard G. Scott says, “Be a true friend. This kind of enduring friendship is like asphalt that fills the potholes of life and makes the journey smoother and more pleasant.” 2 
Parents provide a foundation for who we will become. A loving God and Savior make it possible for us to realize our earthly, and eternal potential. Next to those profoundly influential personages is that of the influence of friendship. 
Friendship touches almost every aspect of our lives. It affects our work, our parenting, our community service, our church service, our family relationships. No wonder we counsel our youth to choose their friends wisely. Friends have a profound affect on who they become as they learn and grow throughout their life. 
Thinking back, my husband was first my friend long before he became my eternal companion. Perhaps it was a friend that first introduced you to your spouse. Perhaps it is a friend that helps keep you married to your spouse. Siblings are just siblings until a friendship is built between them. Think about what it is you want to find at the heart of each meaningful relationship: a friend, someone who will stand by you and be there for you when the need arises.
Friendship definitely plays an intricate part as we travel along this mortal journey. I have known many great, wonderful people and family relations that I feel privileged to call friends. They have helped shape me into who I am today. What is it then that makes friendship special, meaningful, and influential? 
A friend gives the hope that “the best is yet to come” in whatever that may be, even if it means waiting until the eternities to receive it. That hope is an anchor to the soul and will touch our lives with light. Hope and light are a motivating force for good. In short, friendship make us feel good, even if only for a brief moment. When we feel good, then we do good. So, open your heart. Love those that come into your circle of influence, small or large, and help bring light and hope into this world.






 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Stepping Into the Light


In the chapters of Ether, after having read and recorded great things that the Brother of Jared experienced, it would seem that Moroni was moved by the Spirit. He is taught and commanded of the Lord to write what he learns for the benefit of our day. In chapter 4 he pauses in his narrative account to teach us a little about faith in Jesus Christ and the veil of unbelief that hinders our learning from the Father. Verse 11 we are given a promise, "he who believes the word of the Lord, him will [the Lord] visit with manifestations of [His] Spirit."
In the short video above, Elder Bednar speaks of the light of revelation. I like the imagery we are given as he explains the different ways we may receive revelation. As we pray to the Father, and come unto Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, we will not be held back from receiving the revelation we need to progress and move forward along our path of life.


A photograph of a sunset at the beach, combined with a quote by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “With Christ, darkness cannot succeed.”

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Fine Tuning a Listening Ear

  



The last chapter of 3 Nephi begins with the word hearken. In fact, several times throughout these last chapters of 3 Nephi, the people of our day are given warnings and told to hearken. Throughout the Book of Mormon we are called to attention with such words as hearken, listen, give heed, and behold. When we come across one of these words, it is wise to slow the pace and pay attention. Bishop H. David Burton spoke of hearkening to the word of the Lord in General Conference: "Perhaps the greatest obstacle to our ability to hearken courageously to the word of the Lord involves our egos, vain ambitions, and pride. It seems that the proud find it burdensome to hear and accept the instruction of God. We are told in Proverbs that “pride goeth before destruction” (Prov. 16:18)." 

I have been consistently, almost daily, reading the Book of Mormon for over a year now. I took part of a Relief Society challenge and read the entire Book of Mormon last fall, then I began the book again when I started school in January. I have found Christ through these words. I have found love. I have found an added measure of strength that comes from a higher power. As I read the word of the Lord, I feel pride dissipate and a humble desire to follow and emulate Christ take place of that pride. I feel the fine tuning of my eyes to see, my ears to hear, and my heart to feel. 

If you want to be an instrument in God's hands to rescue and lift others, may I suggest a two step process for developing a listening ear: humbly turn to God by reading the words of scripture given to His prophets both anciently and in our day; then make the sacrament a priority. As you humbly forsake sins, through the partaking of the sacrament, the power of the atonement is given an opening to work within you, teaching, guiding, strengthening you to do all that you have been asked to do. I give you my witness that as you forsake sins and consistently read and hearken to the word of the Lord, Christ will be there right beside you and you will be able to walk and progress in life, even during the times when your path is darkest and you feel the heaviest of burdens upon your shoulders. I have felt this power at work within myself and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn to hearken.

Note: See comment for additional confirming quote. Link to full devotional here