Sunday, May 1, 2016

12 Quotes About Testimony



1.  “I get concerned when it appears that strong emotion or free-flowing tears are equated with the presence of the Spirit. Certainly the Spirit of the Lord can bring strong emotional feelings, including tears, but that outward manifestation ought not to be confused with the presence of the Spirit itself.”3  Howard W. Hunter


2.  “Those who diligently seek to learn of Christ eventually will come to know Him. They will personally receive a divine portrait of the Master, although it most often comes in the form of a puzzle—one piece at a time. Each individual piece may not be easily recognizable by itself; it may not be clear how it relates to the whole. Each piece helps us to see the big picture a little more clearly. Eventually, after enough pieces have been put together, we recognize the grand beauty of it all. Then, looking back on our experience, we see that the Savior had indeed come to be with us—not all at once but quietly, gently, almost unnoticed.”  Dieter F. Uchtdorf


3.  3.  “Let us acknowledge that most often gaining a testimony is not a task of a minute, an hour, or a day. It is not once and done. The process of gathering spiritual light is the quest of a lifetime.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf

4.  “If you do not yet have a firmly rooted testimony and conviction that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on the earth, now is the time to do what it takes to gain that conviction. To delay making the effort required to earn that kind of conviction can be dangerous to your soul.”  Bonnie Oscarson


5.  “True conversion is more than merely having a knowledge of gospel principles and implies even more than just having a testimony of those principles. It is possible to have a testimony of the gospel without living it. Being truly converted means we are acting upon what we believe and allowing it to create “a mighty change in us, or in our hearts.”3 In the booklet True to the Faith, we learn that “conversion is a process, not an event. You become converted as a result of … righteous efforts to follow the Savior.”4 It takes time, effort, and work.”   Bonnie Oscarson


6.  “When problems come and questions arise, do not start your quest for faith by saying how much you do not have, leading as it were with your “unbelief.” That is like trying to stuff a turkey through the beak! Let me be clear on this point: I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. It is not! So let us all remember the clear message of this scriptural account: Be as candid about your questions as you need to be; life is full of them on one subject or another. But if you and your family want to be healed, don’t let those questions stand in the way of faith working its miracle.”  Jeffrey R. Holland


7.  “Is there a way to safety? Is there an escape from threatened destruction? The answer is a resounding yes! I counsel you to look to the lighthouse of the Lord. I have said it before; I will say it again: there is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what the lighthouse of the Lord can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. It calls, “This way to safety. This way to home.” It sends forth signals of light easily seen and never failing. If followed, those signals will guide you back to your heavenly home.”   President Thomas S. Monson
8. “I wish to talk with you tonight about three essential signals from the Lord’s lighthouse which will help you to return to that Father who eagerly awaits your triumphant homecoming. Those three signals are believe, obey, and endure.”   President Thomas S. Monson


9. “Some people speak of a testimony as if it were a light switch—it’s either on or off; you either have a testimony, or you do not. In reality, a testimony is more like a tree that passes through various stages of growth and development.”  Elder Craig C. Christensen  


10.   “The more we incline our hearts and minds toward God, the more heavenly light distills upon our souls. And each time we willingly and earnestly seek that light, we indicate to God our readiness to receive more light. Gradually, things that before seemed hazy, dark, and remote become clear, bright, and familiar to us.   By the same token, if we remove ourselves from the light of the gospel, our own light begins to dim—not in a day or a week but gradually over time—until we look back and can’t quite understand why we had ever believed the gospel was true. Our previous knowledge might even seem foolish to us because what once was so clear has again become blurred, hazy, and distant.”  Dieter F. Uchtdorf


11. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a place for people with all kinds of testimonies. There are some members of the Church whose testimony is sure and burns brightly within them. Others are still striving to know for themselves. The Church is a home for all to come together, regardless of the depth or the height of our testimony. I know of no sign on the doors of our meetinghouses that says, “Your testimony must be this tall to enter.”  Dieter F. Uchtdorf

12.  “There will be times when you will face challenges which might jeopardize your testimony, or you may neglect it as you pursue other interests. I plead with you to keep it strong. It is your responsibility, and yours alone, to keep its flame burning brightly. Effort is required, but it is effort you will never, ever regret.”  President Thomas S. Monson

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Super Short General Conference Summaries (April 2016)

Last conference I challenged myself to take notes and summarize each talk in general conference.  It gave me a new purpose in my note taking and proved to be a meaningful exercise.   Here are this year's Super Short General Conference Summaries.    

Links and  titles to the actual talk have now been added.   

Saturday morning

Henry B. Eyring:  Where Two or Three Are Gathered 
HOW TO GET THE MOST FROM GENERAL CONFERENCE
Pay attention to the Holy Ghost, pray for the speakers and the choir.   Pay special attention to the testimonies borne.  

Mary R. Durham:  A Child's Guiding Gift
IMMERSE OURSELVES IN THE WAYS OF THE SPIRIT
1. point out times that children are feeling the spirit  
2. prepare our homes to be a place where we can immerse ourselves in the Holy Ghost
3.  help our children understand how the spirit communicates with them

Donald L. Hailstorm: I am a Child of God
I AM A CHILD OF GOD
Do we truly understand in our hearts, minds, and souls that we are children of God?   We should remember our divine heritage in our daily lives, in the midst of trials, and in the way we treat others. 


PRIESTHOOD KEYS = BLESSINGS
Just a like car keys  unlock the doors and ignition to unleash the full potential of the car, the keys of the priesthood  unlock the way to access the atonement and reach eternal life.   

CHRIST WILL HELP US FORGIVE
Atonement is not just for those who seek repentance, but also for those who seek forgiveness.   We must try to see others as God sees us---without regard to the "color of our jerseys" or to our political affiliation--but with eternal potential.  Not forgiving others is allowing yourself to be a victim twice    

Steven E. Snow: Be Thou Humble
BE THOU HUMBLE
Ether 12:27:  Humble yourself before God and he will help you overcome weakness
Be constant, worshipful, and prayerful.   Humility is essential for increasing peace and contentment in our lives.  

COME UNTO GOD AND AVOID SPIRITUAL ENTITLEMENT
The greater the distance between the giver and the receiver, the greater the sense of entitlement that develops in the receiver.   Heavenly Father and Christ are the ultimate givers and when we distance ourselves from God, we can develop a sense of spiritual entitlement (wanting things YOUR way with YOUR timing).   It's better to be a repentant sinner than to be proud and think that you don't need God.   Life on earth is not fair and we should not expect it to be so, but in the eternities every wrong will be made right.  

Saturday Afternoon

SUPPORT EACH OTHER IN FAITH
We can't afford to be casual in our faith.  Let's support each other in our faith.  Reach out and take the Savior's hand, which is always extended out to us.  

REACH OUT TO THOSE OUTSIDE THE FENCE
Families are very varied and we need to be sensitive and loving to those who are different.  Embrace those who may feel that they are "outside the fence". 

Mervyn B. Arnold:  To the Rescue:  We Can Do It
WE ARE CALLED TO RESCUE OTHERS
1. Do not delay going to the rescue--it's easy to get too caught up in doing it "right" that we can miss the window of opportunity to rescue
2.  We must never give up.   No one is beyond reach. 
3.  Great is the worth of every soul. 
4. We are all called to go to the rescue.  

JOSEPH SMITH WAS A TRUE PROPHET
Do not give up.   When you seek for truth, God will provide (James 1:5).   Joseph Smith was a true prophet.  

ORDINANCES ARE ESSENTIAL FOR OUR ETERNAL SALVATION
Always retain a remission of our sins.   Ordinances are sacred acts with eternal consequences.  

M. Russell Ballard:  Family Councils
COUNSEL WITH THE LORD:   HAVE FAMILY COUNCILS
Family councils are eternal and will counteract the effects of modern technology.  Make the walls of our home to be a safe haven from the world.  Counsel with the Lord in all our doings (Alma 37:37).

SUNDAY MORNING

Thomas S. Monson: Choices
CHOICES WE MAKE DETERMINE OUR DESTINY
Repentance allows us to correct our course settings.  The doors of history turns on small hinges. And so do people's lives. The choices people make determine our destiny.   May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.

Bonnie L. Oscarson: Do I Believe?
TRUE CONVERSION IS MOVING THE GOSPEL FROM OUR MINDS TO OUR HEARTS
The church is the same as when Christ was upon the earth.  True conversion comes over time with the deliberate consistent exercising of faith.  Choose faith over doubt and don't be swayed by the voices of mockery coming from the great and spacious building. 

W. Christopher Waddell: A Pattern for Peace
GREAT  IS THE PEACE THE GOSPEL BRINGS
We may not understand everything, but through our deliberate exercising of faith we can find peace.   
LEARN + LISTEN + WALK = PEACE
Many good church members have partaken of the fruit of the tree of life and are still influenced by those in the great and spacious building. 

D. Todd Christofferson: Fathers
FATHERS SHOULD LEAD WITH LOVE AND THE HOLY GHOST
Fatherhood requires sacrifice, but brings great satisfaction and joy as they turn the hearts of their children to Heavenly Father.   Fathers should lead out in making teaching the gospel a high priority in our homes.   

Quentin L. Cook: See Yourself in the Temple
SEE YOURSELF IN THE TEMPLE
Happiness, fulfillment, and peace come to those who live the gospel.  There is no more important goal than for us to strive to be worthy to go to the temple.   

OBEDIENCE IS THE LIFEBLOOD OF FAITH
Just as ruined cities can be rebuilt to an even greater grandeur, our ruined, abandoned lives can be rebuilt through Jesus Christ.  Lift up your heart to the Savior and He will rescue you and carry you home.  If our faith/beliefs do not change/affect the way we live our lives, it does us no good.  

SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Robert D. Hales: The Holy Ghost
THE HOLY GHOST WILL TESTIFY OF TRUTH
The Holy Ghost will help us discern between truth and those who seek to lead us astray.   Pay attention to the promptings of the spirit and ACT ON THEM!

Gerrit W. Gong: Always Remember Him 
ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM
1. Have confidence in his promises and covenants.  2. gratefully acknowledge the Lord's hand in our lives.   3. trust when the Lords assures us that our sins are forgiven  4. remember that he always welcomes us home 5. remember him when we take the sacrament  6. remember that he always remembers us! 

Patrick Kearon: Refuge from the Storm
REFUGEES NEED OUR HELP
Mormons were refugees too.  Jesus Christ was a refugee.   We need to do our part.   
We need to increase our awareness of world events and stay in tune to what we can do.  
iwasastranger.lds.org   

Dallin H. Oaks:  Opposition in All Things
OPPOSITION IS A CENTRAL PART OF FATHER'S PLAN
Opposition comes in many forms and is a central and necessary part of the plan of salvation.   Satan wanted perfect equality, without tests, or faith, or growth, or choice, but "all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." (D&C 122:7)


Kent F. Richards: The Power of Godliness
BLESSINGS OF THE TEMPLE ARE PRICELESS
Real power of the temple found in its ordinances.   Find a way to serve in the temple, whether as a patron or a worker.  Young people can be temple workers too.  

FINDING HOPE IN THE RESURRECTION
Through the resurrection we can find hope and a fullness of joy.   There is no salvation without the resurrection.  We are made whole through the power of the resurrection. 

GOD LOVES US AND WILL ALWAYS BE WITH US
Keep loving, trying, trusting, believing, and growing.   Divine love and unfailing help will be with us always; but especially when we struggle.   God's love is the foundation stone of eternal life.   God will never desert us!  

Click here for my October 2015 Conference summaries.  

Sunday, March 27, 2016

8 Quotes on Faith




Quote #1 “It is never too late to strengthen the foundation of faith. There is always time. With faith in the Savior, you can repent and plead for forgiveness. There is someone you can forgive. There is someone you can thank. There is someone you can serve and lift. You can do it wherever you are and however alone and deserted you may feel.”  Pres. Henry B. Eyring


Quote #2  "Immersing oneself in persistent doubt, fueled by answers from the faithless and the unfaithful, weakens one’s faith in Jesus Christ and the Restoration. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him.” Elder Neil L. Andersen


Quote #3 “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel and is more than mere belief. 4 Faith is a “hope for things which are not seen, which are true.” 5 “Faith always moves its possessor to … physical and mental action.” 6 “To have faith in Jesus Christ means to have such trust in him that we obey whatever he commands. There is no faith where there is no obedience.”  Elder L. Whitney Clayton


Quote #4   “Your faith will grow not by chance, but by choice.      How we live our lives increases or diminishes our faith. Prayer, obedience, honesty, purity of thought and deed, and unselfishness increase faith. Without these, faith diminishes. Why did the Savior say to Peter, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not”? Because there is an adversary who delights in destroying our faith! Be relentless in protecting your faith.” Elder Neil L. Andersen


Quote #5 “No matter who we are or where we live, there is much about our daily lives that is routine and repetitive. As we go about this dailiness, we must be deliberate about doing the things that matter most. These must-do things include making room first for the minimum daily requirements of faithful behavior: true obedience, humble prayer, serious scripture study, and selfless service to others. No other daily vitamins strengthen the muscles of our faith as fast as these actions. We also must remember that genuine fasting fosters strong faith. This is especially important as we faithfully seek to fix deeply embedded character flaws which go “not out but by prayer and fasting.” Elder L. Whitney Clayton


Quote 6:  I have never witnessed the removal of an actual mountain. But because of faith I have seen a mountain of doubt and despair removed and replaced with hope and optimism. Because of faith I have personally witnessed a mountain of sin replaced with repentance and forgiveness. And because of faith I have personally witnessed a mountain of pain replaced with peace, hope, and gratitude. Yes, I have seen mountains removed”  Bishop Richard C. Edgley

Quote 7:  “When faith is properly understood and used, it has dramatically far-reaching effects. Such faith can transform an individual’s life from maudlin, common everyday activities to a symphony of joy and happiness. The exercise of faith is vital to Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness. But true faith, faith unto salvation, is centered on the Lord Jesus Christ, faith in His doctrines and teachings, faith in the prophetic guidance of the Lord’s anointed, faith in the capacity to discover hidden characteristics and traits that can transform life. Truly, faith in the Savior is a principle of action and power.”  Elder Richard G. Scott


Quote #8 “Because of the conflicts and challenges we face in today’s world, I wish to suggest a single choice—a choice of peace and protection and a choice that is appropriate for all. That choice is faith. Be aware that faith is not a free gift given without thought, desire, or effort. It does not come as the dew falls from heaven. The Savior said, “Come unto me” (Matthew 11:28) and “Knock, and it shall be [given] you” (Matthew 7:7). These are action verbs—come, knock. They are choices. So I say, choose faith. Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and the unseen, and choose faith over pessimism.”  Richard C. Edgley

Sunday, March 20, 2016

7 Quotes on the Atonement



Quote #1 “For some reason, we think the Atonement of Christ applies only at the end of mortal life to redemption from the Fall, from spiritual death. It is much more than that. It is an ever-present power to call upon in everyday life. When we are racked or harrowed up or tormented by guilt or burdened with grief, He can heal us. While we do not fully understand how the Atonement of Christ was made, we can experience “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.”    Elder Boyd K. Packer  
Quote #2   “Most of us clearly understand that the Atonement is for sinners. I am not so sure, however, that we know and understand that the Atonement is also for saints—for good men and women who are obedient and worthy and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully.” Elder David A. Bednar


Quote #3  “It is my testimony that many of the deepest regrets of tomorrow can be prevented by following the Savior today. If we have sinned or made mistakes—if we have made choices that we now regret—there is the precious gift of Christ’s Atonement, through which we can be forgiven. We cannot go back in time and change the past, but we can repent.”   Dieter F. Uchtdorf


Quote #4 “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… He Loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken.”   Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Quote #5 “The Atonement has practical, personal, everyday value; apply it in your life. It can be activated with so simple a beginning as prayer. You will not thereafter be free from trouble and mistakes but can erase the guilt through repentance and be at peace.”  Elder Boyd K. Packer

Quote #6 "The gospel of the Savior is not simply about avoiding bad in our lives; it also is essentially about doing and becoming good. And the Atonement provides help for us to overcome and avoid bad and to do and become good. Help from the Savior is available for the entire journey of mortality—from bad to good to better and to change our very nature."  Elder David A. Bednar

Quote #7 "The Savior has suffered not just for our iniquities but also for the inequality, the unfairness, the pain, the anguish, and the emotional distresses that so frequently beset us. There is no physical pain, no anguish of soul, no suffering of spirit, no infirmity or weakness that you or I ever experience during our mortal journey that the Savior did not experience first. You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out, “No one understands. No one knows.” No human being, perhaps, knows. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burdens before we ever did."  Elder David A. Bednar 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

How to Print Temple Names on FamilySearch

Have you been doing family history work and want to know how to print off the names you've found to take to the temple?     

Here are step-by-step directions for you:   

1.   Go to FamilySearch.org.   

2.  Click on the "Sign In" button.  


Sign in using your LDS log-in info.  


Click on  the "Temple" tab.     

In the pull-down menu click on "All Reserved"

This is what it will look like:  

Go to the "Ordinance" button and select the ordinances that you want to print off.  In our case we were wanting to print some off for the kids' upcoming temple trip, so we selected only those who needed baptisms.  

Now all of the names needing baptisms will be listed at the top.  

Select (by checking the box) the names that you would like to print off  

Go to the print button and select "Print Family Ordinance Cards"

This screen will pop up and you will need to click "Continue". 

Click "continue" again.  


You should now see this page, from which you can just use your browser's "Print" function (from the pull-down menu on "File").   If you don't see this page, look in another tab or in your download section.  On my computer it was in another tab. 


And now you have these cards that you just need to cut out!   

VOILA!   You're all ready to take your own names to the temple!  








Monday, February 8, 2016

YW in Excellence with a Nautical Theme

I was just going through old pictures and came across these pictures from our YW in Excellence program this past fall.  In keeping with "Embark in the Service of God"  from last year's mutual theme, we decorated in a nautical theme.  

See below for some of our pictures and ideas:  

We dressed as cruise ship directors. 


We decorated the lobby to look like an entrance to a cruise ship.


We served nautical theme foods (that also happen to be super easy to make):








We have 33 girls in our YW program, so the only space big enough for us was the gym.  We used portable chalkboards to partition off the back half, then decorated the one half to look like a cruise ship.


All posters and  decorations were made by the girls at a mutual activity before YWIE.

 These posts were made from painted shipping tubes, cardboard, and paper chains.  The life preservers were made with posterboard and cardstock.


The girls also rolled these cute silverware place settings.


This mural was purchased.









It was a great night and although the girls helped make all the decor, they were definitely still wowed when they walked in the door and saw it all come together.