BOTTLED

  • Anything large enough for a wish to light upon, is large enough to hang a prayer upon. George MacDonald

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

HOPE, HAPPINESS, and HOLDIN' ON

Dear Nena;

Arriving to your family was an adventure.

Of all the choices that could have been  -
   we, you and I, chose to be - family.


Peek-a-boo ...


You've always chosen gleeful delight - 'extreme joy'.
Here you could derive it in a simple game and props.


And then you found real joy.
Real joy in real things.

Hold on to delightful things.
Live gleefully in good.

Choose happiness.
Believe.

We hope a happy birthday for both you and hubby this month -
Extremely so ...

Love Mom and Papa

Monday, April 8, 2013

TRIAL: KNOWING SELF

Now and again, as I study, I learn something.
Some little thing that forever alters my views.
Or answers some nagging doubt or question.
(I have those sometimes - especially during trials.)

 Such an answer was in  Lesson 22 from John Taylor:
(Teachings of the Presidents of the Church.)
Being Perfected Through Trials.

Prophets declare we all WILL face trials.

John Taylor taught, "You and I cannot be made perfect except through suffering: Jesus could not (Hebrews 2:10). ... there is no other way .... It is the process by which knowledge is increased and peace will ultimately be established universally. ...(page 111)."

Such declarations leave my heart cold.

I waffle there - must I really?

Thankfully prophets also declare solutions and concise instructions. They tell us to "Cease to fear" (Richard G. Scott 7 April 2013).

Such were also the teachings of Elder Jefferey R. Holland on 7 April 2013. He told the classic story of a troubled child and a parent's agony from Mark Ch. 9. "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (Mark 9:23-24)."  

Elder Holland taught, " The father asserts his strength first and only then acknowledges his limitations. His initial declaration is affirmative and without hesitation." He encouraged us that we have more faith than we think and we can start where we are.

"In moments of fear, or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won," he said, "even if that ground is limited. In the growth we all have to experience in mortality the spiritual equivalent of this boy's affliction or this parent's desperation is going to come to all of us. When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know until additional knowledge comes."

I experience such moments.

Moments, and longer, of testing.

I have learned to pray.

I have learned to sing.

Sometimes a song is a prayer.

President Taylor taught, "We complain sometimes about our trials. We need not do that. These are things that are necessary for our perfection. We think sometimes that we are not rightly treated, and I think we think correctly about some of these things. We think there are plots set on foot to entrap us; and I think we think so very correctly. At the same time we need not be astonished at these things. We need not be amazed at a feeling of hatred and animosity. Why? Because we are living in a peculiar day and age of the world; which is distinctively called the latter days.

I know that as other men we have our trials, afflictions, sorrows, and privations. We meet with difficulties; we have to contend with the world, with the powers of darkness, with the corruptions of men, and a variety of evils; yet at the same time through these things we have to be made perfect. It is necessary that we should have a knowledge of ourselves, of our true position and standing before God, and comprehend our strength and weakness; our ignorance and intelligence, our wisdom and our folly, that we may know how to appreciate true principles, and comprehend and put a proper value upon all things as they present themselves before our minds.

It is necessary that we should know our own weaknesses, and the weaknesses of our fellow men; our own strength as well as the strength of others; and comprehend our true position before God, angels, and men; that we may be inclined to treat all with due respect, and not to over value our own wisdom or strength, nor depreciate it, nor that of others; but put our trust in the living God, and follow after him, and realize that we are his children, and that he is our Father, and that our dependence is upon him, and that every blessing we receive flows from his beneficent hand (page 203)."


Thank you President Taylor.

Perhaps I can accept my life with more grace.
I have experienced learning about myself as you say.
I do know myself better because of trials.
I do comprehend my own "strength and weakness" better.

I am willing to learn my "true position before God".
I want to "appreciate true principles".
I accept that all "flows from his beneficent hand".

I testify that the additional knowledge and help promised by the prophets, like Elder Holland, does come. God is omnipotent and loving. He is mindful of us and does help and bless us, even if only to strengthen us like Alma's people (Mosiah 24).

I am nearing the end of my Book of Mormon classes. This past week I read:“And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me … for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men … (Moroni 7:33).”

My student manual, page 391, quoted Elder Holland teaching, “that one of the profound themes of the Book of Mormon is the role and prevalence and central participation of angels in the gospel story ….” Elder Holland's teachings then expanded my understanding about “those more personal ministering angels who are with us and around us, empowered to help us and who do exactly that (Ensign Jan 1996, 16-17).” Why am I so surprised? I have read and heard such promises many times. General Conference talks in 2011 were peppered with such references but this time I heard so much more and felt powerful comfort and hope from the promises for such help.

In General Conference Elder Holland encouraged us to "hope on, journey on .... even if you can no more than desire to believe." He promised, on Sunday afternoon, "God will send help from both sides of the veil."

I am so grateful for scriptures and prophets. I feel so weak and foolish. Why am I troubled by the simple things of this life? With the father of the possessed son I too cry “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief (Mark 9:24).”

Sunday, April 7, 2013

SING IN THE DARKNESS

I have always loved Isaiah.

One of my favorite passages is Isaiah 24:14 After graphically describing the terror preceding the second coming Isaiah, as always, tells us the solution: those awaiting Christ in the engulfing darkness "shall lift up their voice, [and] they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord, they shall cry aloud from the sea."

In General Conference we repeatedly heard, not only excellent music, but leaders of the church described the benefits of singing praise to the Lord and using such good music to dispel the darkness that surrounds us in our day. I especially felt the mood of dark terror such as Isaiah often describes, but that may be changed to pure joy, as Elder Deiter F Uchtdorf spoke. Isaiah rejoices in Christ and glorifies his power and majesty.

After describing the horror and darkness wherein we accept darkness exists but choose to not dwell there as we choose to remember light also exists and to constantly radiate light ... through faith, hope, and charity  Elder Uchtdorf described a joyful people that sang in darkness, thus:

"Some years ago ... we saw this promise* [of light] fulfilled in West Africa.... Even though these dear saints were surrounded by difficulties and trials they were filled with light. The meeting began ... but soon the power went out in the building and we were left in complete darkness. ... The darkness in the chapel continued ... As we waited something remarkable happened. A few voices began singing one of the hymns of the restoration, and then others joined in and then more. Soon ... [sweet] voices filled the chapel. These members ... did not need hymnbooks. They knew every word of every song they sang. And they sang one song after another with an energy and spirit that touched my soul. ... In the midst of great darkness these [saints] had filled [this place and us] with light.

"From time to time our lives may seem to be touched by or even wrapped in darkness. Sometimes the night that surrounds us will appear oppressive, disheartening and frightening. ... Our living hope is in Jesus Christ. He is the ... entrance to divine enlightenment. I testify that with Christ darkness cannot succeed. Darkness will not gain victory over the light of Christ. I bear witness that darkness can not stand before the brilliant light of the living son of God. April 6, 2013"

I was filled with joy.
It is such a simple solution to darkness: SING.
Sing praises to God.
Sing, all that love light.
Sing of light, for the darkness cannot abide such goodness.

Sing.
Sing praise for prophets and apostles.
Sing until you know the songs of light.
Sing until they are entrenched in our minds.
Sing until they fill our hearts with relief.
Sing for we live in a time of darkness.
Isaiah and other prophets have forseen this time.

Sing.
Sing for salvation, and sanity.

Sing for joy.
"Lift up your voice and sing."


* NOTE: Elder Uchtdorf taught "Even though we may feel lost in the midst of our current circumstances God promises the hope of his light. He promises to illuminate the way before us and show us the way out of darkness.

"...healing comes when we move away from the darkness and move towards the hope of a brighter light ... in the practical application of faith, hope, and charity [we] transform our [lives]... God's light is real. It is available to all. ...It can be a healing balm for the loneliness and sickness of our souls. In the ? of despair it can plant the seeds of a brighter hope. It can enlighten the deepest valleys of sorrow. It can illuminate the path before us and lead us through the darkest night into the promise of a new dawn.

"How do we open our eyes to the hope of God's light? First start where you are. ... We don't have to be perfect to experience the blessings and gifts of our Heavenly Father. We don't have to wait to cross the finish line to receive God's blessings. In fact the heavens begin to part and the blessings of heaven begin to distill upon us with the very first steps we take towards the light.

"The perfect place to begin is where you are right now. ... The very moment you begin to seek your heavenly Father, in that moment the hope of his light will begin to awaken, enliven, and ennoble your soul. ... As surely as the night always gives way to dawn, the light will come.

"[The gospel of Jesus Christ] teaches us ... the things we must know, do, and be to walk in his light, following in the footsteps of his beloved son, our Savior. ... To all who feel they walk in darkness I invite you to rely on this certain promise spoken by the Savior of mankind, 'I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shalt not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of everlasting life (John 8:12).'

"I bear witness that darkness can not stand before the brilliant light of the living son of God. April 6, 2013"



Saturday, April 6, 2013

BETTER MORE and MARVELOUS


Are you enjoying?
It continues tomorrow!

"We are not spiritual orphans ..." (Stanley G Ellis)
"We need to protect our fledglings ..." (Boyd K Packer)
"Catch the wave..." (Russell M Nelson).
This is the "test" ... (David A Bednar).
"...CEASE TO FEAR ..." (Richard G Scott).
"Stand in Holy Places ..." (Elaine S Dalton)

I can hardly wait ... what can be better than that?

MORE!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

183 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Are you ready?
It starts tomorrow!

I can hardly wait ... what can be better than this?