I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from The Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity - the pure love of Christ - will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness.
- President Marion G. Romney

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Latter-Day Saint Voices-Ensign July 2009

Last night was one of those perfect nights. The boys went to bed early, the kitchen was clean and I had time to lay in bed and read church magazines before falling asleep.

I was reading from the friend looking for ideas for family night lessons for the month. My husband passed me the Ensign with the page opened to this article and said I think you need to read this. I did, twice. Maybe even three times. (Repetition is good) I learned something new each and every time I read it.

Was I Living the Gospel Fully?

By Carolynn R. Spencer

Carolynn R. Spencer, “Was I Living the Gospel Fully?,” Ensign, July 2009, 71

My scripture study would have to wait. All three of our sons had awakened—and much earlier than usual. The youngest, Caden, then 18 months old, was screaming in his crib. I went into his room and saw instantly that he was sick.

Thus began a Monday of one challenge after another. At one point, shortly after I had changed Caden’s clothes and tried to feed him, he flung a large jar onto the floor, spilling applesauce everywhere and sending shattered glass across the kitchen. As I was cleaning up the mess, I thought about all the things I wasn’t getting done: family history, service, home storage, missionary work.

“How in the world can I do everything I know I should be doing when I am barely managing the basic tasks of my day?” I wondered. By early evening I was exhausted, but I set aside discouraging thoughts during dinner, family home evening, and the boys’ bath and bedtime routine.

Finally, with the children in bed, I sat down to do what I had not had time for earlier. I picked up the May 2006 Ensign, which was open to a talk by President Henry B. Eyring titled “As a Child.” My eyes fell on a passage I had previously marked: “To keep the blessing of [changed natures] in our hearts will require determination, effort, and faith. King Benjamin taught at least some of what that will require. He said that to retain a remission of our sins from day to day we must feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and help people spiritually and temporally” (Liahona and Ensign, May 2006, 17).

Immediately, I again felt that I wasn’t living the gospel fully. I wondered, “How can I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and help people spiritually and temporally when I can scarcely take care of my own family?”

That’s when I experienced an overwhelming feeling of divine approval. It was so clear, precise, and tangible that I knew I had to write it down so I wouldn’t forget. I could see my day replay in my mind—full of feeding the hungry, doing laundry to clothe the naked (I changed Caden’s outfit multiple times), gently caring for our sick baby, helping our five-year-old prepare a family home evening lesson on missionary work, and then discussing the power of example with my family—in other words, helping people spiritually and temporally.

The impression flowed with such an overpowering feeling of peace that I knew the Lord was telling me He had accepted my offering. In caring for my family, I was fulfilling the admonitions of King Benjamin and President Eyring.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Song of the Righteous; A prayer unto Me- Hymn 223

I've been thinking about an idea for about a week now. And I've decided enough thinking! Time to act. Even if I'm the only one who comments; it's like a church lesson, often times it's the teacher that needs to hear it most. But I'd like to encourage everyone to comment, we can learn a lot from each other.

So my idea was that I would pick a church Hymn. I love the Hymns. I once made it a goal to memorize my 25 most favorite hymns, all the verses. And I did. And then I picked 25 more. And 25 more. And then I decided to memorize the first and last verses of 25 more. I love it. It's a work in progress, but I have seen the blessings of it numerous times over.

Often times I've found myself in a scary situation; driving in a snow storm, riding in a taxi with my baby in anaphylactic shock, driving home late and I'm tired. Other times I've been in need of an answer to a prayer, a reminder that I'm loved or a way to calm a sad child. At those times (and countless others) I've been able to recall the beautiful words of the hymns. And I can testify that the song of the righteous is indeed a prayer. One that gives strength and delivers peace.

I LOVE the hymns. If you look on lds.org and search hymns you'll find that there are several references to blessings and power of hymns. The following was in the Liahona and the Ensign in 2007.

The Nourishing Power of Hymns by Elder Jay E. Jensen Of the Seventy

Last Sunday, as I was thinking about our Julie A. and Brigham and the rest of the family, I was feeling very far away from the situation. Boston-Utah. I felt completely helpless. I knew my prayers would be heard and felt, but how could my prayers become answers without physically being able to serve them, in person.

The situation was weighing heavily on my mind as I went to Sacrament meeting.

And then as our closing hymn, we sang 223 Have I Done any Good.

The words in the second verse resonated in my mind and heart all afternoon. "there are chances for work all around just now, opportunities right in our way. Do not let them pass by, saying Sometime I'll try. But go and do something, TODAY."

I knew I could do something right then. And something we did, but not all on our own. I was amazed at the effect our prayers had, doors were opened hearts were made available and many were blessed by serving. Even serving someone they didn't know directly. I was once again reminded that we are the serving hands of the Lord here on earth, when our hearts are able and willing, mountains can be moved.

The scriptures that go along with the hymn are

James 1:22, 27

27 Pure areligion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To bvisit the cfatherless and dwidows in their eaffliction, and to keep himself funspotted from gthe hworld.

22 But be ye adoers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.


Therefore, prepare ye the way of the Lord, for the time is at hand that all men shall reap a areward of their bworks, according to that which they have been—if they have been righteous they shall creap the salvation of their souls, according to the power and deliverance of Jesus Christ;

Please share your thoughts on the hymns and then pray to have your heart and mind open to the opportunities that are all around just now.