Here it is December...where in the world did this year go?! Time seems to fly by more and more quickly with each year that passes!
Here we find ourselves at the beginning of the Christmas season. It truly is one of the most wonderful times of the year, as it does seem to have a positive change upon people. Folks seem to be kinder toward one another. There seems to be more brotherly kindness. There seems to be a shift in focus from one's self to those in need. There is something magical that seems to be almost tangible, floating through the air.
As talk of the holidays and Christmas are all about, one thought that has been upon our minds is that of 'seeking'...
As a vital part of the Christmas story, we know that wise men set out following a star in search of the Christ child. They went seeking for the one who had been promised to be sent to guide and save them. It says they diligently went searching for Him. The didn't just go out on a casual stroll and hope to happen upon Him. No, they went out with purpose and determination. The sought after Him. And when they found Him, they offered all they had to Him...the gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and they worshiped and praised Him.
Today do we not have the same need? Do we not need to still diligently seek Him with that same purpose and determination? We need to find Him. We need to offer all we have to Him...our life, our heart, and our will. For when we give those things to Him, the worship and praise will come naturally as we see that what He gives us in return for what we offered is so much greater and better than that which we gave. Our life will have purpose and meaning, and our will and heart shall be pure and His...
And after we have found Him, we will not be able to help but want to bring others to Him as well. As it says in Luke 22:32 "...and when thou are converted, strengthen thy brethren." When we know Him, when we have felt of His love, and know of His power to change lives, we will want nothing more than to share that with every soul we come in contact with.
There are so many in this world that are lost. That are searching. That are seeking. That are in need. That are hopeless. That are desperate. There are so many that just need Him...they need Jesus and the mighty change that He can bring about in their heart and in their life.
As we seek to find those who need help and hope and Jesus, let us not limit that seeking just to the Christmas season. The need for Him and His love is never ending, so let our search for those who need it be the same...
There is so much we are thankful for. Blessings big and small. Our hearts are drawn out in deepest gratitude to our Father in Heaven, for He is the source of each and every blessing and good thing we enjoy...
"Someone has said it is better to appreciate the things you don't own than to own things you don't appreciate. I hope we will have with us a spirit of appreciation for all of the good things we enjoy, all the blessings that we have, many of which have come so easy to us, with very little effort on our part, and yet they are very real and very choice and are truly rich blessings."
During this season of Thanksgiving and gratitude, something for which we are eternally grateful for is the Atonement. It is a gift that touches and blesses every aspect of our lives.
Let us not forget that He knows on a very intimate and personal level, all that we experience here in mortality. He knows just how we feel, for He felt it too in the Garden. He knows the precise height of our joys, as well as the exact depth of our sorrows. He didn't abandon us in the midst of His agonizing sacrifice, and you can bet He won't abandon us now. He loves us deeper than we can comprehend, and will forever be by our side. During the difficulties, let us remember these comforting and powerful words:
"Even during the hardest moments of your life, when your powerlessness seems absolute and your isolation total, you are not alone. The Savior is with you... Your survival and even your triumph are assured through His atoning sacrifice and love." -Chieko Okazki
"If you ponder the scriptures and begin to do what you covenanted with God to do, I can promise you that you will feel more love for God and more of His love for you. And with that, your prayers will come from the heart, full of thanks and of pleading. You will feel a greater dependence on God. You will find the courage and the determination to act in His service, without fear and with peace in your
heart. You will pray always. And you will not forget Him, no matter what the future brings.
"I bear you my testimony that God the Father lives. He loves us. He hears our prayers, and He answers with what is best for us."
Weekend before last, we spent three days at an essential oil convention at the Salt Palace Convention Center. It was fantastic!
All three of us have started to use essential oils in our everyday lives, and have grown to really love them. They have so many uses, everything from cold prevention and mood lifters, to headaches and hot flashes! We've seen them do some incredible things, offering amazing relief and remedies to every day ailments.
(If anyone is interested in learning about some of the things that we did at the convention, they are having an introduction to oils and a little recap of the classes that were offered...it will be held Saturday November 5th, 2011 at the Roy Library (1950 West 4800 South) from 1:30-4:30. If you want to know more about essential oils and their benefits, this would be a great place to start!)
Last night was the General Relief Society meeting...
President Uchtdorf gave a talk entitled "Forget Me Not." He spoke of a time when he was walking through a beautiful garden with his wife and daughter when he noticed the tiny bloom of a Forget-Me-Not among the flowers. He said he recognized this flower because he has had a tender connection to it since his childhood. He went on to use the flower and it's five petals as a metaphor...
**First, forget not to be patient with yourself.
"Dear sisters, many of you are endlessly compassionate and patient with the weaknesses of others. Please remember to also be compassionate and patient with yourself."
**Second, forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice.
"Dedicating some of our time to studying the Scriptures or preparing to teach a lesson is a good sacrifice. Spending many hours stitching the title of the lesson into homemade pot holders for each member of your class perhaps may not be." :)
**Third, forget not to be happy now.
He spoke of the story of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and the search for a 'golden ticket'... "The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy."
**Fourth, forget not the "why" of the gospel.
"While understanding the "what" and the "how" of the gospel is necessary, the eternal fire and majesty of the gospel springs from the "why." When we understand why our Heavenly Father has given us this pattern for living, when we remember why we committed to making it a foundational part of our lives, the gospel ceases to become a burden and, instead, becomes a joy and a delight. It becomes precious and sweet."
**Fifth, forget not that the Lord loves you.
"Sisters, wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love."
He concluded by saying, "Sisters, we love you. It is my prayer and blessing that you will never forget that you are truly precious daughters in God's kingdom..."
There once was a group of women reading in the book of Malachi together, while in a Bible study group. As they were studying chapter 3, they came across verse 3 which says: “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver…”
This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study.
That week the woman looked in the phone book, and called a local silversmith with whom she made an appointment to go watch him at work. The day arrived, and she was off to see what this silver refining process was all about.
As she stood and watched the silversmith, he carefully held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot then she thought again about the verse, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver...”
She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the entire time the silver was being refined. The man answered yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. For if the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh that is the easy part, when I see my image reflected in it."
We all have felt the heat and flames of the refining process. It's hot and unpleasant, but we must remember that it is necessary. Like the silversmith in the story, our loving Father stands close, never leaving us for a moment. He will not let us receive more heat than we can handle. He will not let us be overcome. We are much like that piece of silver, though now imperfect,through His tender refining of us we will one day shine with perfection. His image will brightly reflect from us, for we will have become like Him.
"I have heard the story told of a mother who, wishing to encourage her son's progress at the piano, bought tickets to a Paderewski performance. When the evening arrived, they found their seats near the front of the concert hall and eyed the majestic Steinway waiting on the stage. Soon the mother found a friend to talk to, and the boy slipped away. At eight o'clock, the lights in the auditorium began to dim and the spotlights came on. Only then did they notice the boy up on the piano bench, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" on the Steinway. His mother gasped, but before she could retrieve her son, the master appeared on the stage and quickly moved to the keyboard. He whispered to the boy, "Don't quit; keep playing." Leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filing in the bass part. Soon his right arm reached around the other side and improvised a delightful obligato. Together the old master and the young novice held the crowd mesmerized." (as told by Ardeth Kapp)
As everyone who has ever taken piano lessons (or any other sort of lessons) has heard, 'practice makes perfect.' There will be times that we mess up, that we hit the wrong note, that we feel discouraged and want to quit. At times such as those, remember that with Him all things are possible. We are told repeatedly in the Scriptures, by small and simple things great things come to pass. He will take our simple songs and turn them into masterpieces. All we have to do, is keep playing.
Let our souls be still so that we may hear the voice of our Father, gently and tenderly whisper to us, "Don't quit; keep playing." Then with all the love in the world, He puts His arms around us. And as those loving arms wrap around us, they lift us, they assist us, they make up the difference. They make us enough. They give us strength when we are weary. They steady us when we are afraid. They comfort us when we are sad. They make simple things, great. They make us more.
"For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."
"...when we cannot do more, or when we simply do not understand, or when we feel so exhausted we want to lie down in the snow and go to sleep, He picks us up and His strength becomes our strength. In His arms, we find rest, comfort, acceptance, and knowledge. And then, He gently sets us on our feet again and says, "This is the way. Walk in it with me.""
Seek Him. Seek the one who longs to embrace you and help you through this life. He stretched forth His arms as He sacrificed His life so that we could have a way to return back to our heavenly home to live with Him and our Father for eternity. Never has there been such a great love, and never will there be a greater one. He loved us then and He loves us now. No matter where we may find ourselves...whether well along the path of righteousness, or far from it...He loves us deeply and perfectly. Nothing will ever change or alter that love. It is eternal and endless.
Know that He sees each of us and is very aware of our weariness, challenges, and trials He wants nothing more than to help us. All we need to do is ask. Reach out to Him. He stands ready with His arms outstretched waiting to encircle us in the safety and comfort of His loving, tender, peace filled embrace.
Earth lost a good man, while Heaven gained an angel this week. We offer our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to Lori and her family with the passing of her beloved father.
You may view the obituary here and offer your condolences to Lori and the family here...
"And we too can anticipate that when the time comes for us to step through the veil of mortality, leaving our failing and pain-filled bodies behind, we will see the loving smile and feel the welcoming embrace, not only of our Heavenly Parents and of the Savior, but also of our loved ones who will greet us in full vigor, full remembrance, and full love." ~Chieko Okazaki
Ardeth Kapp said: "There may be times when we want to pray and try to pray, but we're not sure what to pray for or even if we are getting through. We know the challenge we're faced with, but aren't even sure how to ask for help. At such times, perhaps more than any others, we can be greatly blessed by the comforting promise of Paul to the Romans. We read: "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." (Romans 8:26) "
There are many times when the pain and the challenges we are experiencing are more than we can put into words. We know that we cannot face them alone, we know that we need help, but it all feels so big and heavy that we don't even know where to begin to ask for that companionship and aid. In those moments of heartfelt prayer, in the moments of kneeling before the Lord with heavy hearts and tears streaming down our face, the moments when our broken hearts and emotions seem to consume us and the words just won't come...it is the moments like those, when the Spirit does the communicating for us. The Spirit offers up to our Father what we are feeling, and conveys what our broken and troubled hearts can't find the words for. He hears every one of our pleas, the spoken and the silent ones.
He is always listening. Go to Him often in prayer. He will hear you, and He will answer you. He longs to hear your voice, to ease your pain, and to encircle you in His peace and love.
Decades after the Pioneer Trek, the following story occurred in a Sunday School class in Cedar City, Utah. The following story was recalled by William Palmer about what he saw that day involving Francis Webster bearing an unforgettable testimony:
"Some sharp criticism of the Church and its leaders was being indulged in for permitting any company of converts to venture across the Plains with no more supplies or protection than a handcart caravan afforded.
"An old man in the corner sat silent and listened as long as he could stand it. Then he arose and said things that no person who heard him will ever forget. His face was white with emotion, yet he spoke calmly, deliberately, but with great earnestness and sincerity.
"He said in substance, 'I ask you to stop this criticism. You are discussing a matter you know nothing about. Cold historic facts mean nothing here, for they give no proper interpretation of the questions involved. [Was it a] mistake to send the handcart company out so late in the season? Yes. But I was in that company and my wife was in it and Sister Nellie Unthank, whom you have cited, was there too. We suffered beyond anything you can imagine, and many died of exposure and starvation, but did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism? Not one of that company ever apostatized or left the Church because every one of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives, for we became acquainted with Him in our extremities.
" 'I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it. I have gone to that sand, and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back so many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew that the angels of God were there.
" 'Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin handcart company.'
Here we are in the full swing of Summer with all it's sun, fun, and opportunites for vacations. With that being, we thought we would share this little video of Me'Chel telling a true tale of one of her vacations. Here is her 'Cruise Story'...
President Joseph F Smith assured us that we are not forgotten as he spoke of our loved ones beyond the veil:
"If we can see, by the enlightening influence of the Spirit of God and through the words that have been spoken by the holy prophets of God, beyond the veil that separates us from the spirit world, surely those who have passed beyond, can see more clearly through the veil back here to us than it is possible for us to see to them from our sphere of action. ...We are not separated from them...We cannot forget them: we do not cease to love them; we always hold them in our hearts, in memory, and thus we are associated and united to them by ties that we cannot break, that we cannot dissolve or free ourselves from. ...I claim that we live in their presence, they see us, they are solicitous for our welfare, they love us now more than ever. ... They see the temptations and the evils that beset us in life, and the proneness of mortal beings to yield to temptation and wrong doing; hence their solicitude for us and their love for us and their desire for our well being must be greater than that which we feel for ourselves."
Those we love who have gone Home before us, see us, love us, and are cheering us on. And so we must keep pressing forward knowing that though it may not be this day, but one day, one joyous day, we will be together forever, never to be parted again...
The booklets are out, and we are so humbled and equally happy to announce that we have the opportunity to present at this year's BYU Education Week!
Our first is class is from 9:50 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Music...a Conduit From Heaven to Heart Tuesday: Small and Simple Things--"By Small Means the Lord Can Bring About Great Things" (1 Nephi 16:29) Wednesday: "The Lord Is My Strength and [My] Song" (Exodus 15:2) Thursday: "In The Arms of His Love" (2 Nephi 1:15) Friday: Tender Mercies--"Great Are Thy Tender Mercies, O Lord" (Psalms 119:156)
Our second class is from 11:10 a.m. -12:05 p.m.
Help, My Life's On Fire!--Finding Peace in an Unpeaceful World (John 14:27) Wednesday: This is a Test, Only a Test Thursday: Stop, Drop, and Pray Friday: From Heartache to Peace...How Do I Get There?
(Both of our classes will be held in the Madsen of the Harris Fine Arts Center)
Education Week is a wonderful opportunity to get away from the world for a little bit and wrap yourself up in the goodness of the Gospel. There are a wide variety of classes with over 200 different presenters! Click here and it will take you to the Education Week home page where you can learn more about the program, have your questions answered, or register to attend!
David O McKay said: "As precious as life itself is our heritage of individual freedom, for man's free agency is a God-given gift. In sensing our responsibility to preserve it for ourselves and our posterity, let students and patriotic people ever keep in mind the warning voice of James Russell Lowell proclaiming: "Our American republic will endure only as long as the ideas of the men who founded it continue dominant." He concluded his remarks by saying, "To live in a land in which each individual has the right to life and liberty is a glorious privilege."
We thank all of those who have served and continue to serve this great country...We offer our deepest gratitude for the service you give and the sacrifices you make that allows us to enjoy safety and freedom.
Wishing our own fathers, husbands, sons, and son-in-laws, as well as the rest of you good fathers out there, a very Happy Father's Day!
We can all take great comfort and confidence in the knowledge that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us unconditionally and eternally. President Hinckley said, "God is our father. We are His children. We sing, "I am a child of God." We do not think very much of what that means. It means so very much, that you and I, my dear brothers and sisters, have a divine birthright. There is something of divinity in each of us that is eternal and everlasting, and in the expression of that divinity we ought to stand tall..."
Nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of our Father in Heaven. No matter where we have been, or where we may find ourselves now, whether it be on the path or far from it...don't ever forget that He has prepared a way for you to return to Him. For He wants nothing more than to hold you in His arms again. May we want nothing more than to be held in those arms...
Wishing a Happy Mother's Day to our mothers and daughters, and to all of you who have children, those of you who someday will, and for those who bless the lives of children through your example and love...
We share the following humorous quote from Sister Marjorie Hinckley with you, as we are sure that many will be able to relate...
"The rewards of mothering are not immediate. There are times when you are less than appreciated. I took from the oven one day what I thought was a beautiful casserole, only to have my six-year-old son say, "Mom, how come you baked the garbage?"
Motherhood is a difficult job, but it's blessings are priceless. Elder Jeffrey R Holland so beautifully spoke of the joys, challenges, and promises of motherhood:
"...it is clear that some...Rhode Island–sized shadows come not just from diapers and carpooling but from at least a few sleepless nights spent searching the soul, seeking earnestly for the capacity to raise these children to be what God wants them to be. Moved by that kind of devotion and determination, may I say to mothers collectively, in the name of the Lord, you are magnificent. You are doing terrifically well. The very fact that you have been given such a responsibility is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you. He knows that your giving birth to a child does not immediately propel you into the circle of the omniscient. If you and your husband will strive to love God and live the gospel yourselves; if you will plead for that guidance and comfort of the Holy Spirit promised to the faithful; if you will go to the temple to both make and claim the promises of the most sacred covenants a woman or man can make in this world; if you will show others, including your children, the same caring, compassionate, forgiving heart you want heaven to show you; if you try your best to be the best parent you can be, you will have done all that a human being can do and all that God expects you to do.
"Sometimes the decision of a child or a grandchild will break your heart. Sometimes expectations won’t immediately be met. Every mother and father worries about that. Even that beloved and wonderfully successful parent President Joseph F. Smith pled, “Oh! God, let me not lose my own.” That is every parent’s cry, and in it is something of every parent’s fear. But no one has failed who keeps trying and keeps praying. You have every right to receive encouragement and to know in the end your children will call your name blessed, just like those generations of foremothers before you who hoped your same hopes and felt your same fears."
He concludes by saying, "Rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily. Rely on Him forever. And “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope.” You are doing God’s work. You are doing it wonderfully well. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even—no, especially—when your days and your nights may be the most challenging. Like the woman who anonymously, meekly, perhaps even with hesitation and some embarrassment, fought her way through the crowd just to touch the hem of the Master’s garment, so Christ will say to the women who worry and wonder and sometimes weep over their responsibility as mothers, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.” And it will make your children whole as well."
May our Heavenly Father bless each of us as we strive to be the best mothers, grandmothers, and women of influence, we can be.
Once again our country has been unified. Together we unite and say that we are proud to be Americans and thankful to be living in the land of the free and the home of the brave, and offer deep heartfelt gratitude to those who sacrifice to maintain that liberty.
We offer this song and video to you, and desire to stand with you and proudly say "We Are America!"
What a beautiful thing Easter is, a celebration of Jesus and His glorious Resurrection. Oh what hope this gives us! It is proof that this life is not the end. It is proof that we too shall live again after we die. It is a deep source of comfort that when death separates us and our loved ones, that we shall see them again.
Here are these beautiful words from David O McKay:
"At some time or other every human being faces that which we call death. When i was but a boy, I sensed this deeply in the cry of a mother who sat by the side of thecasket that contained her little boy. Several of us boys had been playing with firecrackers on Twenty-eighth street in Ogden. We did not know then that one of our playmates had powder in his pocket...Unfortunately, in a moment of thoughtlessness, this young boy broke what we called a "lighter," and while it still had sparks in it, he put it in his pocket where the powder lay, and an explosion occurred. His clothes were set on fire, which we, his associates, tried to extinguish as best we could; but he was very severely and fatally burned.
"Two or three days later his playmates sat in the funeral services. I chanced to be near enough to the mother to hear President Charles F. Middleton say: "Don't cry, Ann! Don't cry! You'll meet your boy again." And then...a cry came from that mother's soul in these words: "Oh, if I only knew!" That is all. I did not know its significance then. I could just respond to the cry. But since, I have read in that cry the answer to the longing of the human heart.
"No parent can lay aside a child without longing, without wishing, that the child might come again, or that the parent might speak with the child again...No husband can kneel at the side of a departed wife; o wife can kneel at the side of a departed husband; no child can part with a loving parent without being filled with an ardent desire to meet that loved one again somewhere in a better world where the pangs of parting are unknown...
"Living in posterity is not immortality...; living in deeds, living in writings, living in monuments, living in the memory of friends is not immortality; neither is living in the lives of our children and our grandchildren to the latest generation...the immortality that Jesus had in mind when he said: "And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." (John 11:26.)...
"To sincere believers in Christianity, to all who accept Christ as their Savior, his resurrection is not a symbolism but a reality.
"As Christ lived after death, so shall all men, each taking his place in the next world for which he has best fitted himself...
"He is not here: but is risen." (Luke 24:6.) Because our Redeemer lives, so shall we."
We too testify that He lives. He lived and He died for us. He paid the ultimate price to free us from the bonds of sin and death, so that we could become clean and live with He and Father for eternity.
Let us follow Him each day of our lives, and find comfort in His sacrifice and promise that we all may live together forever someday, never to be parted again...
It is Conference weekend! What a wonderful opportunity we have to listen to the inspired words of those called to lead this Church. It is a perfect time for us to receive answers and guidance.
Consider these words of Wendy Watson Nelson as she spoke of a time in her mid-twenties when she was pondering the question of whether or not to marry the man she was engaged to:
"In preparation for April general conference, which was just two weeks away, my Bishop taught me a truth I had never known before. Although I hadn't spoken to him about my engagement or my concerns, when my Bishop offered this truth over the pulpit, he was speaking to me. He didn't use my name-but I knew-he was talking directly to me. He even let others listen in. But clearly, he was speaking to me.
"Here's the truth my Bishop spoke: "If you have a question that you need answered, if you will prayerfully and humbly listen to general conference, you will get it answered every time. Perhaps at the time, perhaps over time, but you WILL get your question answered every time!""
(Click here to read the entire talk from her March 2002 BYU-I Devotional)
It is our prayer that each of you may feel the Spirit of the Lord as you watch and listen to Conference this weekend, and that you may receive the answers, comfort, and guidance you are in need of.
Our dear friend Selma Smith, passed away this morning due to complications from surgery that resulted in liver failure.
Selma was an amazing lady. She treated us like queens and made us always want to be better.
We will miss so many things about her... Her beautiful smile, her strong testimony of Jesus Christ, her amazing talent when it came to sewing and crocheting, and her unwavering love for her family. Selma made this world a better place and her memory and legacy will live on!
Here is a photo that was taken just 5 short days ago while we were visiting with her in the hospital. If you notice, Debbie is holding the phone up to Selma's ear as Me'Chel was on the other end singing.
Thank you Selma, for blessing our lives! We love you!
Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! On this day, everyone wears their green and there is much talk of luck and leprechauns and pots of gold and treasure at the end of rainbows...
Here is a picture taken just last week. A beautiful full rainbow that filled the sky...
Now we know that rainbows are a symbol of God's promise to Noah (Genesis 9:9-17). What a beautiful reminder they can be to us as well, that our loving Father in Heaven keeps His promises. If He says it, it shall be. He has promised us that ALL things (every trial, every affliction, every difficulty, every painful challenge and loss...) will work together for our good. Consider what President George Q Cannon had to say:
"No matter how serious the trial, how deep the distress, how great the affliction, [God] will never desert us. He never has, and He never will. He cannot do it. It is [against] His character [to do so.] He is an unchangeable being...He will stand by us. We may pass through deep waters; but we shall not be consumed not overwhelmed. We shall emerge from all these trials and difficulties the better and the purer for them, if we only trust in our God and keep His commandments."
What comfort is found in these inspired words!
Every rainbow comes after the rain. And so it is with us...the rains of 'adversity' will come throughout our lives. But let us look for the 'rainbows', the gentle reminders that our Father in Heaven loves us more than words can say, that He is with us and always will be, and that all of these things will really work together for our good.
Doctrine & Covenants 58: 3-4 "Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation."For after much tribulation cometh the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand."
As the oft quoted saying goes, 'He never said it would be easy, He only said it would be worth it.' Our Heavenly Father has promised us blessings and rewards beyond our comprehension if we will but love Him and endure to the end. So on those days that feel so difficult and overwhelming, think of the rainbow and remember His promises...
Last night we had the wonderful privilege of doing a program for the Special Needs Young Women. Here are some pictures from the evening...
With their help, we've never sounded better!...
Here we are with our new friends...
Consider these words by President Faust: "Is it not possible to look beyond the canes, the wheelchairs, the braces, and the crutches into the hearts of the people who have need of these aids? They are human beings and want only to be treated as ordinary people. They may appear differently, move awkwardly, and speak haltingly, but they have the same feelings. They laugh, they cry, they know discouragement and hope. They do not want to be shunned. They want to be loved for what they are inside... "Those who are close to the handicapped can frequently feel the nobility of the spirits who are confined in differently shaped bodies or who have crippled minds."
What an honor it was to spend the night with these amazing young women. We most certainly did feel of the 'great nobility of their spirits' that President Faust spoke of, and were quite moved by it. Our hearts were deeply touched with the pure joy and love they shared with us.