29 April 2006

Saturday Smiles!


25 April 2006

Remember

On Sunday Rachel fell asleep in the car on the way to church so I stayed in the car with her until the last minute. To pass the time I read the Book of Mormon that we have there. I read Helaman 4 and 5 and was really struck by the word “remember.” I thought it would be interesting to find all the references in the Book of Mormon that say what we are supposed to remember. I think one scripture really sums up the reason for remembering. Mosiah 4:30 says, “O man, remember, and perish not.”

Here are some of them:

Remember the Words of the Lord
1 Ne 4:14 I remembered the words of the Lord
2 Ne 9:52 Remember the words of your God
Mosiah 1:6 Remember that these sayings are true, and also that these records are true.
Mosiah 1:7 Remember to search them diligently, that ye may profit thereby
Mosiah 2:41 O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

Remember to keep the Commandments
1 Ne 15:25 Remember to keep his commandments always in all things
2 Ne 1:16 Remember to observe the statutes and the judgments of the Lord
Mosiah 13:16 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy
Alma 34:29 Remember to be charitable
Alma 37:13 O remember, remember … how strict are the commandments of God
Alma 37: 35 O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.
Helaman 5:6 Remember to keep the commandments of God… Behold, I have given unto you the names of our first parents who came out of the land of Jerusalem; and this I have done that when you remember your names ye may remember them; and when ye remember them ye may remember their works; and when ye remember their works ye may know how that it is said, and also written, that they were good.
2 Ne 10:23 remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.

Remember the Savior
1 Ne 19:18 Remember the Lord [your] Redeemer.
2 Ne 9:41 Remember that His paths are righteous.
2 Ne 9:40 Remember the greatness of the Holy One of Israel 2 Ne 10:20 Let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off;
2 Ne 10:24 Remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.
Mosiah 4:11 Remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
Mosiah 5:12 Remember to retain the name written always in your hearts
Mosiah 16:13 Remember that only in and through Christ ye can be saved
Alma 29:10 Remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.
Alma 32:22 Remember, that God is merciful unto all who believe on his name; therefore he desireth, in the first place, that ye should believe, yea, even on his word.
Alma 38:5 Remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
Helaman 5:9 Remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to redeem the world.
Helaman 5:10 Remember … that the Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins.
Helaman 5:12 Remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation
3 Ne 18:7 And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.
Moroni 4:3 That they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
Moroni 5:2 That they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them.
Moroni 10:3 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.
Moroni 10:18 remember that every good gift cometh of Christ. Moroni 10:19 Remember that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men.

23 April 2006

Angels and Demons

I have hardly done anything the last few days. Why you ask? The couch held me captive so of course I had to read a book to keep myself occupied. The book? Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. It's the precursor to the Da Vinci Code but no one paid any attention to it until the Da Vinci Code became popular. Now people are clamoring to read it. I myself have not read the Da Vinci Code, but I plan to real soon! I started reading this book on Thursday afternoon and finished it yesterday morning. I was spellbound. I could not put it down! I read for probably six hours on Friday--the longest continual stretch being from 7:45 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. As soon as breakfast was over yesterday morning I picked it up. I just had to finish it!

For those of you who don't know what the story is I'll "summup." It's a story about a scientist at a research facility is Switzerland (CERN, that really does exist) who discovers something called antimatter. Basically he proves that the Big Bang did occur but that it was orchestrated by God. A lot of people interpret the Bible creation story of God creating the earth out of nothing. "Let there be light and there was light." Of course to scientists this can never be true. You can never make something out of nothing. But this scientist did and he was killed for it.

The story takes you on a treasure hunt throughout Rome and the Vatican City looking for this sample of antimatter that is buried somewhere in it and also looking for what is called the Church of the Illuminati. The Illuminati were a secret brotherhood of scientists in the 1600's that were constantly at odds with the Catholic Church. Over time the brotherhood evolved into something much more evil.

But that's not why I'm writing this. I'm writing it because I was fascinated by the Catholic Church. There was so much information about how the church works. The book took you all around Rome to actual sites of churches, Catholic libraries, old buildings...etc. There is so much tradition and ritual in the church. The story is set during a time where they are about to elect a new Pope and so there is so much ceremony surrounding the choosing of the new Pope. There are so many things that have to be done just because they have always been done that way. You have to start the Conclave 15 days after the Pope dies, only certain cardinals are eligible (only those under 80), there has to be a 2/3 majority vote and so on. Seems strange that it wouldn't have to be unanimous. I also find it strange that people vie for the position of the Pope. They can vote for themselves (and no doubt they do).

Reading this book I was also reminded of the oath that Catholic priests and nuns take of celibacy. What I know of the Catholic church regarding this (and correct me anyone if I'm wrong) is that the priests and the nuns allegedly "marry" the church. Now please no one get offended but this thought of never getting married or having children kind of reminds me of homosexuality. In each case there will never be any progeny. Now I believe that one of our main purposes on earth is to find a spouse and rear children. Children are the way that we live on and bring so much joy and happiness. It seems that those who should know the plan of salvation the best (priests and nuns) in reality seem to not understand it at all.

This book was fascinating in so many ways. I learned so much about the city of Rome and the Vatican City, much of the Catholic Church and also it was just an exciting story. I highly recommend it if you have 3 straight days to devote to it cuz you won't be able to put it down!

16 April 2006

Happy Easter

Today, the lesson in Relief Society was from Wilford Woodruff and entitled Understanding Death and Resurrection. Last week the lesson was about the Atonement so I've been thinking about this topic for a while. I've always wondered what was meant by the Atonement and Resurrection "overcoming death". What did that mean? In the lesson last week it gave me half an answer. President Woodruff says
"But man, having transgressed the law of God, justly entailed upon himself the
curse of disobedience, from which he was incapable of redeeming himself,
neither could any less than an infinite sacrifice atone for his fall. The effect
of his disobedience, it is well known, was death and this curse has been hereditary to all the posterity of Adam. He is now under the jurisdiction and within the dominion of death, and to achieve a victory over death it was necessary that some one more holy and pure than the being who had become the transgressor should enter into his dominion, in order that he might thereby have that dominion destroyed; and unless this be done, the control which death will hold over mankind must be eternal. "

So because we sin, we need the Atonement or we will be held in the powers of death. We need that one pure, holy, perfect person to overcome death. My question at this point is why is death so bad that we need someone to overcome it? The question was asked in Relief Society today "How does the Atonement of Jesus Christ take the sting out of death?" I started thinking about that.

When we die, our spirits and our bodies are separated; our bodies stay here in this earth and our spirits move on to the Spirit World. When we are resurrected our bodies will be joined with our spirits again. Without our bodies, we cannot progress. Essentially if this was our last state we become as Satan and his followers. They will never have bodies and therefore will never have a chance to be exalted. If the resurrection of the Savior had never taken place our spirits and our bodies would be eternally separated. We would never be exalted. We would never have an opportunity to be like our Savior and Father in Heaven. This was not Heavenly Father's plan for us.

The Anonement of Christ takes out the sting of death by providing an opportunity for everyone who lives on this earth a chance to become like Christ. God has given everyone the gift of resurrection because he wants everyone to come back to him. So truly without the Atonement and Resurrection we would be captive to the powers of death--we would have no progression. Because of the Atonement and Resurrection we have every chance we take to become more and more like our Savior. Because of the Atonement and Resurrection there is hope.

13 April 2006

Choose Wisely

Tonight I was given a ride home by my Relief Society president from our book club and we started talking about choice and the power of agency. She made the statment that most of life just happens--God rarely steps in. What she meant by that is that God rarely makes or doesn't make things happen. God is bound by the laws of actions and consequences. People have choices and most of the time our lives are affected by either our own choices or someone elses. I totally agree.

When I got home and rehashed the details of the conversation to Spencer I made an interesting connection. I came to the conclusion that choice is intertwined with our knowledge of being a child of God. For example, if I know I'm a child of God then I know my choices matter. I know that God has given me this gift of agency and I am in charge of my own destiny. I ultimately have the choice of being happy or not despite what may be going on in my life.

On the other hand, if I didn't know--or didn't belive in--my divine worth, then whatever choices I make I would think don't matter anyway. I would also tend to think what difference does it make what I decide because it's all going to turn out bad anyway. Plus I probably don't believe in myself enough to actually go through with them.

I don't belive that it's the actual events in our lives that make us who we are. I believe that it is how we deal with them. Life happens and we may have been dealt a crappy hand because of other people's bad choices. I believe the the real test of character is whether we choose to turn to the Lord during these trials to help us through them. We all have this choice. Choose wisely.

09 April 2006

Update...

Here's a little update to a couple things. First, I had my appointment with the High Council member on Thursday. Thankfully the calling I received has nothing to do with Relief Society--I wonder what my dream was all about, though. They called me to be on the Stake Emergency Preparedness committee. I get to work with one of my really good friends who is the chair-person and it sounds pretty low-stress. Yay!

Second item of discussion deals with this man I met in Vons a while back. He was the one passing out his "purse holder" things. Well I saw him again today! He was standing at a main intersection--you know, where the newspaper guys stand--and when the light turned red, walked out and started handing these things out to people in their cars. Granted this man is like 80 years old and not fit to be hanging around a busy intersection! I'm not sure what his motive is for handing these out, but I hope he stays safe.

Oh yeah one more thing. My husband has so many thoughts swimming around in his head, that he's decided to put them all down on paper, errr, a computer screen? He just wrote his first guest post last night so check it out. Not sure if he will become addicted to this blogging thing and join me permanently, but enjoy his sense of humor while it's here!

08 April 2006

Get Out Of Your Freakin’ Car!

Guest Post by Spencer J

There are a few things in this world that drive me crazy. Nuts in brownies, nuts in cookies, nuts in banana nut bread (should just be banana bread), and the loud continuous typing noise coming from my wife’s fingers (at this very moment) as she types away at 100 wpm or close to that. The worst of them all are the nuts in their cars who insist on using their horn instead of their legs to draw someone from their home.

You know the ones: they honk, and then honk again ten seconds later because they think ten seconds is long enough for someone to get out of their house. I also am vicariously annoyed by the honking for my neighbors because I know there are about fifty or more of them in the horn’s sound range. To top it all off, the honking is usually done in the early morning when everyone is awake and no one dare sleep in to disrupt the use of the precious horn. Oh yes one more thing, the courteous genius honking the horn is often found double parked to stay in the ready position for immediate take off once the honkee enters the car (no race comment intended). The open spot just twenty feet ahead of the honker is too far away and would disrupt the take off position. If they would just park their vehicle in one of the many open spots and get out of their car, all would be right.

If I were to take action against those socially disabled honkers, here’s what I would do. I’d pull up next to the honker on my scooter and triple park next to them. I’d sound off an air horn in the opposite direction of the SUV or car and start yelling “Stiney get out here!”, and just for fun I would add in “Don’t forget to bring grandpa’s hemorrhoid donut!”. Oh Man, that would be awesome… I don’t think this is any real type of revenge, but it sure would make me feel better. So here is my question for you, if you could retaliate in some way to these gross offenders, what would you do?

05 April 2006

Meeting

Last night a member of the High Council in the Stake called me. He asked if he could meet with Spencer and I tomorrow night. Hmmmm....That could only mean some kind of stake calling for either of us. Anyway, last night I had a dream that the Relief Society secretary was at our house and asked me if "they" had talked to me. I said no, not until Thursday. So I don't know if that dream was just brought on by my fear or if it actually means something. Guess we'll find out tomorrow!

01 April 2006

I love Conference!

Conference this morning (Saturday session) was one of the best sessions I think I have ever watched. Spencer and I watched it on BYU-TV on our computer--I love the internet!--and thankfully Rachel was sleeping so I really could listen! I loved what Elder Hales said about choosing. Our choices are truly the only things we have. "Choose to act in faith in obedience. Choose to accept that you are a child of God, that he loves you and has the power to help you. Chose to use your agency to do his will." I loved that. We have the choice of how we are going to use our agency--to do good, or to do evil. The choice is always up to us. He also said, "Choose to believe in the Atonement of Jesus Christ, accept the Savior's forgiveness and then forgive yourself." For me that is something I have a hard time doing. I beat myself up over it but I know if I really accept the Atonement's power, I have to forgive myself. The Lord has forgotten once I repent and so should I.

Elder Eyering's talk really struck me too. I have been really praying a lot lately about how to recognize the Spirit. When I read the part in the Bible about Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac I wonder, how did Abraham really know it was the Spirit telling him to do that? Obviously he would not want to kill his only son, but if I got a thought like that I would seriously question whether it was a temptation from Satan. I also think about Nephi being told to kill Laban. "And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him. And again, I knew that the Lord had delivered Laban into my hands for this causeƂ—that I might obtain the records according to his commandments. Therefore I did obey the voice of the Spirit, and took Laban by the hair of the head, and I smote off his head with his own sword." (1 Nephi 4:10, 17-18). To kill a man is a horrible sin. Why would the Spirit ask this and how did these two men know it was the Spirit?

Elder Eyring says that he has prayed to know what to do when choices that he has to make have eternal consequences. Once he prayed through the night to know what he should choose to do in the morning. He knew what choice looked most comfortable to him. He said he could not see which choice would lead to each outcome. He prayed for hours, then he had a feeling that he was a child. "My heart and my mind seemed to grow very quiet. There was a peace in that inner stillness. Somewhat to my surprise I found myself praying, "Heavenly Father, it doesn't matter what I want...I only want Thy will be done. That is all that I want. Please tell me what to do." He continues to say, "In that moment I felt as quiet inside as had ever felt. And the message came and I was sure who it was from. It was clear what I was to do. I received no promise of the outcome. It was only the assurancee that I was a child who had been told what path led to whatever He wanted from me. This touched my heart so much. I felt the Spirit when he was speaking this. That alone helped me to realize what the Spirit feels like. Like Elder Eyring says "Only when my heart has been still and quiet in submission like a little child has the Spirit been clearly audible to my heart and mind." This is one thing that I really need to work on. I have a hard time sitting still and quiet.

It has been a while since I really felt the Spirit strongly testify something to me. I guess that's why I've been having these questions. Feeling the strong spirit that I felt today helped me to remember that the Lord knows us. He loves us. He wants us to have answers to our prayers and if our desires are righteous he will answer them. He will help us in any way he can to learn how to return back to Him.

I love Conference! I can't wait for tomorrow!