22 April 2013

Lessons I Learned Too Late to Do Me Any Good, But Might Help My Children

Some time ago I began a list of lessons I wish I had learned and understood thirty or even forty years ago. I love my parents and am grateful they taught me the gospel, but there are some other things that I wish they'd taught me too. For the benefit of my adult children who are currently looking for companions here is my list, to date, of those lessons. (Not in any order other than as I thought of them and recorded them in my journal over the past few years.)

1. Work together at home. For example: when you finish a meal together, get up and clean up together; as you make this a family habit there won't be arguments about whose "turn" it is. If you eat, you help clean up and many hands make light work.

2. If you want your spouse to help with anything, express your expectations clearly, then don't criticize their methods. Praise the outcome and express gratitude.

3. Debt destroys your future--avoid it like the plague. Sacrifice now to be free later.

4. Experiences are more important than things; and some things are more important than others.

5. If you're a good listener, learn to be a talker; If you're a talker, learn to be a listener.

6. It takes faith, not time or money, to bear and rear children.

7. The cost of breaking the law of chastity is too high to be worth any momentary pleasure.

8. We reap what we sow. In everything.

9. Practice healthy habits from the beginning; help each other to stay slim, trim and vigorous from the start. Reward each other with service, notes, a flower, etc. rather than with unhealthy and fattening treats. Be active and work or play together rather than sitting and watching together.

10. Marry someone who inspires and encourages your best self, one who makes keeping your covenants and the commandments easier, not harder.

11. Don't marry someone who has an addiction of any kind, because often one leads to another.
   a. Word of Wisdom, including or maybe I should say especially caffeine
   b. Technology
   c.  Debt
   d.  Pornography
   e.  Cars (or other idols)
   f.  Sports
   g. Entertainment (TV)

12. Marry someone whose faith and faithfulness to it are the same as yours.

How can you learn these things about a potential spouse? Spend lots of time together in non-entertainment venues such as church or community service, work projects, family gatherings, and such. Marriage is not one long entertaining date; it is daily life with all the drudgery and non-exciting work that goes with it. You can talk about these things, but I've also learned that talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words. I guess that is number 13.

09 April 2013

My Spirit is Fed

Wasn't conference awesome this weekend?

I'm going to give a quick recap of what I heard in the sessions (except Priesthood);

Elder Packer talked about how the power of the priesthood is given to protect our families and I felt grateful that we are bound by temple covenants.

Elder Davies spoke of faith, repentance, baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost being the pillers sunk deep to form the foundation of our lives; he also talked of how prayer should be a natural as breathing. Very good talk.

Sister Dalton gave good advice about how our part in mortality matters because we matter! She is just so awesome, we will miss her as the YW President.

Elder Cardon gave a good explanation of repentance and forgiveness. He said "In His mercy He allows improvement over time." How grateful I am for that, because I'm not ready for a final judgement.

Elder Ballard explained about using the power of the priesthood to strengthen families, and partaking of the Living Water by turning to the Savior.

Pres. Eyring also talked about the family and drawing closer to the Lord.

Elder Scott talked lovingly of centering our lives and homes in the Savior; little things lead to big things. Simple, consistent good habits lead to big consequences. Be wise in your use of technology. We can't do all that the Lord asks of us at the same time, He speaks of times and seasons. Such good advice.

Elder Cook talked about the difference between universal or world peace and personal peace which is an abiding, deep happiness and contentment. He told us that repentance allows for peace of conscience.

Elder Ellis said "We are not spiritual orphans." And how we raise our children is more important than where. The Doctrine of Christ is the way.

Elder Dickson (who was our Stake President when we first moved to Oak Harbor, WA) talked about missionary work, both in the time of the ancient apostles and in this dispensation. He talked about the effect of revelation on spreading the gospel and told personal stories about Mexico and West Africa.

Elder Bednar gave a powerful talk about the Law of Chastity which is so needed in the world today.

Elder Nelson also talked about missionary work and proclaimed "Our living God is a loving God."

President Uchtdorf talked about Darkness and Light and said that we choose in which condition we will live. Healing comes when we walk away from the dark and dwell in the light of hope. He gave 3 keys: 1. Begin where you are; 2. Turn your heart to the Lord; 3. Walk in the light. He said Darkness cannot exist in the Light.

Elder Andersen gave a great talk about missionary work and told of miracles associated with that special work.

Sister Wixom talked about teaching and reaching children. She advised us to disconnect from technology to be about to connect with children (and each other).

Elder Clayton taught us about Faithful Marriages:
1. Husband and Wife consider the relationship to be of great worth.
2. Build a marriage on Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (be good and obedient to commandments)
3. Humble repentance is an essential element in good marriages.
4. Respect each other as equal partners
5. Cleave to each other, leave behind a single life. Love each other with complete devotion.
All promised blessings will be our for our faithfulness

Elder Perry ( former Marine) shared what he had learned from a little brown book given to him as he entered the military. "Obedience to Law is Liberty." There are moral absolutes. God and his commandments do not change. Blessings come from obedience.

Then our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson spoke about Obedience and called it an unfailing guide. Life would be simpler is we obeyed exactly. There is no greater example of obedience than our Savior.

I think that was my favorite talk! Because it is something I've been thinking about a lot and trying to teach the sisters of the Relief Society.

We heard from Elder Holland who forthrightly told us about having faith. He said to acknowledge what strength we have and to hold the ground we've already gained. He talked about having integrity, that is having our actions consistent with our beliefs. He advised us to start with what faith we do have because what we know will trump what we do not know. He encouraged us to not be afraid to ask for help, and said that belief is a good place to begin.

Elder Oaks talked about following the example of the Savior and showed from the scriptures how our church follows what Jesus did while on earth.

Elder Golden talked about the nature of Heavenly Father and encouraged us to have a true understanding of Him and His Son.

Elder Falabelle gave a good talk on marriage and parenting. At the end he said "It is not enough to know the scriptures, we have to live them."

Elder Kopischke helped us understand how to be accepted by God and others. He talked about having a soft heart, being teachable and making a conscious decision to keep our covenants by obedience and sacrifice. Having the Holy Ghost as a constant companion is the ultimate sign of our acceptance by God. He encouraged us to seek the Lord's acceptance and receive the promised blessings.

Elder Porter talked about overcoming the world. We need not fear the future for God is with us. Faithful Latter-day Saints will find sanctuary in the Stakes of Zion.

Elder Christofferson talked about Redemption coming through the Savior.

At the end President Monson bore his testimony and gave his blessing to us. He encouraged us to study the messages of conference and live them.

Now I have enough to feast on spiritually for the next five months; I say five because the last month before the next conference I feel like I'm starving!

I find it interesting to hear what others heard in the conference because by the power of the Holy Ghost we hear what we individually need to. How miraculous is that?

05 April 2013

Hungering and Thirsting

Spiritual and physical preparations for General Conference are well underway in many home including ours. I spend time cleaning and baking and cooking and such so I can enjoy a relaxing weekend. My heart is prepared and I am spiritually hungry and thirsty for the bread of life and living water.

My gratitude for living prophets knows no bounds. How do persons who do not know the truth live from day to day. All areas of my life are guided by gospel knowledge. I know these are true prophets who lead and guide us toward the Tree of Life. Hold fast to the rod! And may you enjoy a feast during conference.

01 April 2013


That is what our children called the missionaries and it has stuck. Our little branch just got a pair of missionaries after not having any for a long while. We had them over for dinner tonight.

When they introduced themselves at church and bore their testimonies the one announced that he is one of the first of the eighteen year olds. Tonight we heard the rest of the story. His family had moved from Twin Falls, Idaho to Helena, Montana last summer just before his senior year of high school. He could have stayed in Twin Falls with extended family to finish out high school, but when he prayed about it he was impressed to move with his family to Helena. There he found he could graduate mid-year and then be free to go back to Idaho to school before serving a mission. He was surprised by the announcement of the age change last October at General Conference, prayed about it and decided to graduate mid-year as planned and then immediately go on a mission.  WOW! He really is young.

What a blessing to our sons, age 16 and 14, to have him as an example and friend. We enjoyed visiting with him at dinner and found him to be articulate, personable, and valiant. Pretty impressive.