Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Light Will Come...Again...

The tragedy in Newtown Connecticut...The airwaves have been flooded with details, and our hearts flooded with sorrow. What happened is beyond tragic. Such a thing is incomprehensible. Many are trying to make sense of it. But that will never happen. Something this horrific and senseless, simply cannot have sense made of it.

The world we live in is ever darkening. Things like this shooting rampage are evidence of that. It causes people to wonder and question God. But at times like these we must not doubt Him, but rather turn to Him as we need Him now more than ever.

He is a loving Father. And we can turn to Him for comfort. In His loving embrace, we can find peace and refuge. He may not be able to give us the answers and reasons these things happen, but He can give us the reassurance that He is aware of what is going on, and will somehow, some way, make it okay. He can't return those lives taken. But He can fill those empty hearts and arms of the loved ones left behind, with the reassurance their loved ones are with Him and that one day they will be reunited, never to be separated again.

That first Christmas, the world was pretty dark. Jesus entered in to a lost and dim world. But His entrance brought light. And the day will soon come when the Light himself, will return to this lost and dim world. And with that return, there will be peace. And joy. And relief from heartache. He will come and make everything right and well.

Until then, look to Him. Hold on to each other in love and brotherhood. Hold on to Him and His promises.  He is on his way.

Just hold on, the Light will come...Again...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

He Became Man And Dwelt Among Us...

We came across this story and really liked it. It gave us much to think about.

It is a humbling thought, when we stop to consider that Jesus Christ, became a mortal, to show us the way. He came to Earth, and suffered things beyond comprehension, as He made the Atonement complete. He did all that He did so that when it was our turn to come to mortality, that He could come to us. Help us. Lead us. And that when He utters the words, "I understand." He could mean them. Wholly and completely. Because He has been where we are. He has done what we are doing. And in Gethsemane, He felt the very things we would feel, the very way we would feel them. And when we feel lost, He is there to lead and light the way. Because He knows the way. For He is the way.

Believe Him. Trust Him. Follow Him...

He Became Man And Dwelt Among Us

Once upon a time, there was a man who looked upon Christmas as a lot of humbug. He wasn't a scrooge. He was a kind and decent person, generous to his family, upright in all his dealings with other men. But he didn't believe all that stuff about incarnation which churches proclaim at Christmas. And he was too honest to declare that he did.

"I am truly sorry to distress you," he told his wife, who was a faithful churchgoer. "But I simply cannot understand this claim that God became man. It doesn't make any sense to me." On Christmas Eve, his wife and children went to church for the midnight service. He declined to accompany them. "I'd feel like a hypocrite," he explained. "I'd much rather stay at home. But I'll wait up for you."

Shortly after his family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window and watched the flurries getting heavier and heavier. "If we must have Christmas," he thought, "It's nice to have a white one." He went back to his chair by the fireside and began to read his newspaper. A few minutes later, he was startled by a thudding sound. It was quickly followed by another, then another. He thought that someone must be throwing snowballs at his living room window. 

When he went to the front door to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They had been caught in the storm, and in a desperate search for shelter had tired to fly through his window.

"I can't let these poor creatures lie there and freeze," he thought. "But how can I help them?" Then he remembered the barn where the children's pony was stabled. It would provide a warm shelter. He put on his coat and galoshes and trampled through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light. But the birds didn't come in. "Food will bring them in," he thought. So he hurried back to the house for bread crumbs, which he sprinkled on the snow to make a trail into the barn.

To his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow. He tried shooing them in the barn by walking around and waving his arms. They scattered in every direction--except into the warm, lighted bar. "They find me a strange and terrifying creature," he said to himself. "And I can't think of any way to let them know they can trust me. If only I could be a bird myself for a few minutes, perhaps I could lead them to safety..."

Just at that moment, the church bells began to ring. He stood silently for awhile, listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. Then he sank to his knees in the snow. "Now I do understand," he whispered. "Now I see why you had to do it."

Sunday, December 2, 2012

All Dogs Go To Heaven

We read the most tender story the other day. It was about a 4 year old little girl named Meredith. Meredith's dog, named Abbey, died. Meredith was distraught after Abbey's death. Her mom suggested that she write a letter to Heaven, asking that they take good care of Abbey. Here is her letter...

Dear God,
Will you please take special care of our dog, Abbey? She died yesterday and is in Heaven. We miss her very much. We are happy that you let us have her as our dog even though she got sick. I hope that you will play with her. She likes to play with balls, and swim before she got sick. I am sending some pictures of her so that when you see her in Heaven you will know she is our special dog. I really do miss her.

Meredith Claire

P.S. Mommy wrote the words after Mer told them to her.

Meredith put a bunch of stamps on the envelope (as she told her mom that it would take a lot of stamps to get it to Heaven...). Her mom took her to the post office and allowed her to mail it. A few days later she received a gold package in the mail. Inside was a copy of Mr. Rogers' book "When A Pet Dies," and a letter. The letter read:

Dear Mer,

I know that you will be happy to know that Abbey arrived safely and soundly in Heaven! Having the pictures you sent to me was such a big help.I recognized Abbey right away. 

You know, Meredith, Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me--just like it stays in your heart--young and running and playing. Abbey loved being your dog, you know...

Thank you for the beautiful letter. Thank your mother for sending it. What a wonderful mother you have! I picked her especially for you.

I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I am in Heaven, and wherever there is love.

God, and the special angel who wrote this after God told her the words.

May God bless the kind person who took the time to be an instrument in His hands, to ease the worry and heartache of this young child...And may He bless us to be in tune enough, to be this kind of gift for another in need...

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Jeremy's Angels

Jeremy and Simone Martinsen are two of the most amazing people you will ever have the chance to meet. We were blessed to meet them one year at Education Week in Idaho. They captured our hearts. They were married 9 years ago, and we had the honor of being asked to sing at their wedding...

It was an all out Cinderella and Prince Charming wedding!...

 Jeremy and his adorable wife, Simone are an inspiration to many...but they've started something so inspirational that when we heard about it we wanted to spread the word!...

Jeremy has proven that the best way to overcome personal challenges is to forget yourself and do something for someone else. Just over a month ago, Jeremy and a small group of volunteers founded "Jeremy's Angels." Together, they're changing the world, one orphan, one family, one child, at a time. In only one month they've sent hats and baby shoes to a disabled children's orphanage in Russia. "Trick or Treated" for coins and gathered nearly $800 to help feed orphans in Ecuador. And they've also sent a suitcase full of provisions to bless the lives of families in Laos.

Opportunities just keep falling into their laps. Right now they're gearing up to help make Christmas special for struggling families. They are gathering donations to provide Christmas gifts for a family in Angola who recently lost their mother.

Jeremy and Simone are so incredible, and we feel so blessed to know them! We want to help support them in their amazing cause...From now until Christmas, for every cd you purchase, Heartbound will donate $5.00 in your name to "Jeremy's Angels."

Last week we sang in Star Valley and had the chance to catch up with Jeremy and Simone...
If you are interested in learning more, or making a donation of your own to them, you can find them on Facebook:

"I do things you cannot, you do things I cannot; Together we can do great things"
-Mother Teresa

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hold On To The Promises...

Covenants. They are binding. And when made with our Father in Heaven, they are a kept promise. If we do what we say we will, He will always keep His end of the deal. Life is full of change and uncertainty. But our Heavenly Father's promises, as well as His love, is an eternal certainty. He will always love us. And He will always keep His promises. Never has He let us down or lead us astray. Nor will He ever.

Life can be difficult and challenging. Rarely does it turn out just as we plan. God often has other ideas. Better ones. Though from our vantage point, it can be sometimes hard to see it that way.

Often others disappoint us, or they let us down. Friends, spouses, co-workers... But He never will. He can't. It would be against His nature. If He says it shall be, it shall be. The only contingency is us keeping our part of the deal.

And so as we go through mortality. And things don't go as we planned. Or as we hoped. We must hold on with hope. And faith. To our covenants. To the promises we have made with our Father in Heaven. He will come through. He will make everything okay. Though it may not feel like it at the time. Or maybe not even in this lifetime. But He will make it right. He will bless us with all He has promised, if we can just remain faithful and keep the promises we've made to Him.

So wherever we may find ourselves, let us hold on. Hold on to Him. Hold on to His promises. Hold on to our covenants. And if we do, all will be well. Maybe not at this moment. But it will come. And it shall surely be worth it all...

Just keep holding on...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

So Much To Be Thankful For...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for." 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 Today is Thanksgiving, and we are overwhelmed with all that we have to be thankful for. The lists are endless. Our Father in Heaven is so good. His blessings are abundant. And His love and care are never ending.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday to sit down and contemplate, really contemplate, all our many blessings. Gratitude is an imperative thing. As Marion G Romney reminded us, "Gratitude is not merely a courtesy, but a commandment."

We need to be thankful. We need to be grateful. We need to thank our Heavenly Father on a regular and daily basis for that with which we are blessed. Sure, there are certain seasons and times in life when our blessings are much easier to see and count. But no matter our circumstances, there is always something to be grateful for. Something to thank Him for. And especially during the times we feel more lack than abundance, when we take the time to thank Him for what we do have, we will find more peace, contentment, and more things that we are thankful for. The blessings will be easier to see, when we look for them with a grateful heart.

Contentment and true happiness will come when we are at peace with what we have, and realizing that it is enough for now. There will always be things that we don't have...Whether they be material possessions, or personal attributes. Let us be happy with what God has given us for the moment. For whatever it is, it is a gift. Improvement is always possible. Let us seek it, but not at the cost of not being happy in the moment we find ourselves in or at the cost of our self acceptance.

Our Heavenly Father loves us. We know this. It is evident in everything around us. The beauty of the earth and it's creations. In the love of the family and friends that surround us. It is everywhere...

He knows us. He knows every detail of our circumstances and situations. He knows our needs. And He will send that which we stand in need of. And often times, even more. God is good. He is our Father. And He loves us beyond comprehension. Knowledge of these things alone, is something to be daily and eternally thankful for...

"And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more."
D&C 78: 19 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day!

Happy Election Day, everyone! May we all get out there and use the opportunity we have be given, of letting our voices be heard. We are so blessed to live in this land, and enjoy it's freedoms!

May God bless us, this great land we live in, and the one who will be chosen to lead it...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday Thought...

 Art Berg said: "If the veil could be pushed back, if the windows of Heaven could be opened to our view, we, too, would see concourses of angels, friends, and family all rushing forward to lend us aid in our times of most desperate need. In the midst of them all stands a kind, wise loving Father and a merciful and compassionate Savior, who struggle and weep with us. As we understand this, we, too, in our hour of affliction can with confidence say, "Let this cup pass from me, but not my will, but thine be done." And then the learning begins."

This life is a difficult test in which we learn and grow and become more like our Father in Heaven. Many times we will question why it must be so painful or so difficult. Sometimes we will understand the purpose, other times we will not. This in and of itself is a challenge and a test of our faith. But we must trust and know that all things with which we are afflicted really will work together for our good, if we allow it. We must offer our broken hearts to Him as well as our personal will, so that the 'learning may begin.'

Not 'til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unfold the pattern,
And explain the reason why.
The dark threads were as needful
In the skilful weaver's hand,
As the threads of Gold and Silver
In the pattern that He planned.
(Author Unknown)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November Special!...

For the month of November, we would like to offer you a little special...

Buy any cd, and receive a free copy of our Messages cd!...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

There You Are, Peter!

While watching the movie "Hook" the other day, a few thoughts came to mind...

The the biggest thought, was of our tendency to forget who we really are. The movie basically centers around Peter Pan, and that as he grew older, he forgot who he really was.

So often this happens to us too. We allow others to determine what we think of ourselves. We compare ourselves to others. We take our weaknesses, and hold them up in comparison to others strengths. We forget who we really are. Our potential. Our Divine nature. Our greatness. At times we forget who and Who's we really are.

"God does not look on the outward appearance. I believe that He doesn't care one bit if we live in a castle or a cottage, if we are handsome or homely, if we are famous or forgotten. Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God's love encompasses us completely." -President Dieter F Uchtdorf

We are wonderful. We are beautiful. We are inherently good, strong, and powerful. We are His...

His love will find and remind us of who we really are. He will send others to help in this process as well. Loving family and friends often help us and lift us, when we doubt ourselves. They encourage and love us. They see the good in us and remind us of who we really are.

In 'Hook' it was a friend of Peter's named 'Pockets' that believed in him, and helped him remember who he really was. (Click the link below to see what we are talking about...)

We all need a 'Pockets' in our lives. And it would be a wonderful thing if we could be a bit more like 'Pockets' in encouraging, loving, and believing those around us. Remind them who they really are, of their greatness and potential. It will greatly bless our lives if we try with all we are to see each other, and ourselves, as He see us...

"...for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." 
1 Samuel 16:7

Sunday, October 21, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude...


We've all received them. Big. Small. The obvious, and the unnoticed. But constantly, daily, we are being blessed by our Father in Heaven. He is giving us those things which we stand in need of. Sure there are times that we feel far from blessed...those times of difficulty and struggle. The times when things aren't turning out just like we think they should. In those moments, we must remember that God loves us deeply and completely, and because of this He will always do what is best for us, giving us what we need, rather than what we want. Those two things, may be very different. Nevertheless, let us remember that He is blessing us. During those times that we may not feel so blessed, let us remember the words of Marion G Romney, he said "Gratitude is not a courtesy, but a commandment." When we are thankful...When our hearts are filled with gratitude...When we see the haves, rather than the have nots...That is when we are happiest. It is when we are able to feel peace. Gratitude is a vehicle that brings us closer to Him.

Then there are the times that the blessings flow so abundantly and obviously, and we are overwhelmed and humbled by what we are receiving, wondering what we ever did to deserve such goodness and grace.

Have you ever sat back and done as the hymn suggests..."Count your many blessings, name them one by one?" It is a very humbling experience. And might we say, impossible? Impossible in the fact that we could not ever count or quantify all the blessings He has given us. There are too many. They are incalculable. He blesses us daily with things big and small, the seen and the unseen. It will not be until we are Home, that we will be able to see just how much He blessed our lives...

On Friday, this was the view of the Brigham City Temple...

Seeing this magnificent sight brought to mind the words of President Hinckley, "Be grateful. Be thankful to the Almighty for His wonderful blessings upon you. You have all that this great age has to offer, and beyond that the marvelous blessings of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. How lucky can you be. Walk with appreciation and respect for the blessings of life and happiness which you enjoy."

Let us count our blessings. We have so much to be thankful for. Our Father in Heaven lives and loves us, and blesses us each day of our lives. May we do our best to always maintain 'an attitude of gratitude'...

~ ~ ~
"...render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you...
"...serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another...
"...all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper... 
"...he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted to him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?"
(Mosiah 2:20-24)
~ ~ ~

Sunday, October 14, 2012

He Heals...

Recently we heard of a powerful fast and testimony that occurred in a local Singles Ward. It began as many do, brothers and sisters getting up and sharing their faith and love for the Lord and His Church. And then, a young man got up to bear his was not like any of the others that had come before. He shared his story of living a life of gang membership, drugs, and violence. He said he had gone to prison at the age of 17, for shooting and killing a friend of his. He spent 15 years behind bars. He has only been free for three months. But that wasn't the freedom he spoke of. He spoke of the freedom that comes through Jesus. The saving and healing power, and freedom from death and sin, that comes through the Atonement.

Following this incredibly powerful testimony, not one, but two more young men got up and shared their stories, that were quite similar.

These three men shared more than the fact that they had messed up...big time...and had to pay a price. More than the fact that they were all on a difficult road to recovery...

They each shared personal experience and knowledge of the Savior and His ability to help and heal. They bore powerful testimonies of the reality of the Savior and His Atonement. They bore witness of His ability to reach us, no matter how low we have fallen or how dark of a place we are in...

Boyd K. Packer offered these powerful words: "Restoring what you cannot restore, healing the wound you cannot heal, fixing that which you broke and cannot fix is the very purpose of the Atonement of Christ...
"There is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no apostasy, no crime exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness. That is the promise of the Atonement of Christ."

Read these words. Really read them. Believe them. For they are true. They are meant for you. And for me. We all need forgiveness. We all need the Atonement. We all need Jesus.

Jesus will never leave us. Never abandon us. No matter how far we estrange ourselves from Him, one thing is certain...He will never be more than an arm's length away, because that is as far as we can push Him. The very minute we turn to Him, He will be there. Ready to help, and bless, and heal.

If you have lost your way for a moment, all is not lost. You are not a lost cause. There is hope. There is help. And it comes in the form of the loving Savior and His Atonement. They way back may not be easy. But you will not travel it alone. He will be with you every step of the way, no matter how long or hard the journey. He loves you. He wants to help. Turn to Him. He will make you whole. He will make you new.

Trust Him. He is who He says He is, and He can do all for you He says He can do. He is your older brother, your Savior. And His love and power know no end...

Here is a music video to a song called "Cry Out To Jesus" by the band Third Day...

"One of the most viscous and destructive lies concocted by the father of all lies (the devil) is that there is no return from mistakes and sin. He would have us believe that there are no U-Turns allowed. This is wrong. We can turn around, change our minds, change our hearts, and come unto Christ." 
-Mary Ellen Edmunds