Sunday, June 23, 2013

[thoughts on happiness]

Some quotes from Mary Ellen Edmunds' BYU Women's Conference talk on April 29, 2004:

"I was told that Picabo Street, the great Olympic skier, wants to become a nurse and work in the ICU so she can answer the phone with “Picabo, ICU.” Isn’t it like a dose of good medicine when we laugh together? It feels unifying!"

"It’s true that “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10). And so righteousness never was misery. Adversity, deep water, and fiery trials for sure, but not misery. We can choose to cultivate either happiness or misery."

"Joy is a gift of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22). President Marion G. Romney said, “The key to happiness or joy is to get the Spirit and keep it” (CR, October 1961, 61). Heber C. Kimball said: “I am perfectly satisfied that my Father and my God is a cheerful, pleasant, lively, and good-natured Being. Why? Because I am cheerful, pleasant, lively, and good-natured when I have His Spirit” (JD 4:222). Has that been your experience? As you have felt the Spirit, have you also felt joy? Joy brings the Spirit, and the Spirit brings joy."

Elder Neal A. Maxwell said: “Ultimate hope and daily grumpiness are not reconcilable. It is ungraceful, unjustified, and unbecoming of us as committed Church members to be constantly grumpy or of woeful countenance” (Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], 164).

Saturday, June 15, 2013

[Father's Day thought]

Thinking about my Heavenly Father on this Father's Day. I read this quote by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and my heart breaks when I hear people say bad things about God, our Heavenly Father. 

"One of the most important verses I know of in all of scripture is the
supplication Jesus gave in the great intercessory prayer prior to His suffering in
Gethsemane and crucifixion on Golgotha. In that prayer, which President David O.
McKay once called the greatest prayer ever uttered, the Savior said, “And this is life
eternal, that they [that is, we] might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom
thou has sent” (John 17:3; emphasis added). I stress that phrase, “the only true God.”

May I declare to you and all others who will hear me that one of the tragedies of our day
is that the true God is not known. Tragically, contemporary Christianity has inherited the
view of a capricious, imperious, and especially angry God whose primary duty is to
frighten little children and add suffering to the lives of already staggering adults. May I
unequivocally and unilaterally cry out against that sacrilegious and demeaning view of a
loving and compassionate Father in Heaven. I wonder if the Savior may not have known,
even in His mortal years, that this would happen, thus His plea for the world to know the
true God, the fatherly God, the forgiving and redeeming and benevolent God. To bring
that understanding was one of the reasons Christ came to the earth.

So feeding the hungry, healing the sick, rebuking cruelty, pleading for faith—and hope
and charity—this was Christ showing us the way of the Father, He who is “merciful and
gracious, slow to anger, long-suffering and full of goodness”4 In His life and especially in
His death, Christ was declaring, “This is God’s compassion I am showing you, as well as
my own.” It is the perfect Son’s manifestation of the perfect Father’s care."

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
From a talk given on May 4, 2007, at the BYU Women’s Conference.

Monday, June 10, 2013

[Elder Holland's talk "Remember Lot's Wife"]

I LOVE this talk! I LOVE Elder Holland! 

[there is an instruction manual]

I'm really enjoying rereading S. Michael Wilcox's book "What the Scriptures Teach Us about Raising a Child". So many great insights in the book about using the gospel to be a better parent. I've often joked that babies should come with an instruction manual. Well, they do: the scriptures. 

I just read a part in the book that talks about how Heavenly Father told Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it." So there were many trees to eat from (many choices of things to do) and only one tree was off-limits. Then Lucifer enters the garden and says "Yea, hath God said - Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Satan wants us to focus on the one thing we shouldn't do and forget about the many things we can do. So often we warn our children of the "do nots" instead of talk about the many "dos" that will bring them much happiness and joy. Yes, the warning needs to be there but there should be much talk about things that really bring us joy. "If one movie is not up to our standards, can we not point out ten that are?", Wilcox says. It's just a great reminder to show the positiveness of the gospel instead of focusing on the "thou shalt nots". Such a good book!

Here's a quote from Brigham Young (love him!) which I found in the book too:

"You may, figuratively speaking, pound one Elder over the head with a club, and he does not know but what you have handed him a straw dipped in molasses to suck. There are others, if you speak a word to them, or take a straw and chasten them, whose hearts are broken; they are as tender in their feelings as an infant, and will melt like wax before the flame. You must not chasten them severely; you must chasten according to the spirit that is in the person... There is a great variety. Treat people as they are."

Each child is unique. What works for one child, might not work for the other one. We must know our children and nourish and admonish them according to their personality.