Friday, April 30, 2010

Capturing Sunlight

I woke up this morning to an inch of snow on the ground and big flakes of snow tumbling through the sky so the whole world was one white, wet mass. Today is when I speak at Women's Conference and at first I took it as a bad omen. I saw its chilling, dampening effect.

But then I remembered what I have been learning about storytelling and how we create our own meaning and immediately changed my story. So now I'm thinking this snow is bringing down God's blessings (straight from heaven!) upon me. Hurray, for white, pure snow! It's a much better story that has brought me peace. I still marvel at how my thoughts can be changed so easily and the power they have to make my whole body feel and respond differently. It is amazing! It's as if I captured my own sunlight!

I speak at 11:00 on what we have discussed on Good News! about necessary and unnecessary pain. I'll be thinking of all of you as I speak, and wishing you (my blog friends) were all with me.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

BYU Women's Conference

BYU Women's Conference has begun and the campus is abuzz with the laughter and chatter of women. I love that part of the conference the most. All over campus you see people discovering long lost friends and room mates and relatives. A squeal of laughter ensues and then hugs and giggles as they catch up on the years that have elapsed. I wish everyone had the opportunity of being here at least once for the conference! You can feel the sisterhood, but most of all the power that emanates from so many good people gathered in one spot for one purpose is amazing.

So for those of you who can't be here, I'm trying to recapture it all. Close your eyes and pretend for a minute. See yourself here. Breathe in the cold, snow filled air. Imagine the love and let it flow into your soul. (I'm sending it your way!) Sisterhood is amazing!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Good News

Today I begin teaching again after the ten-day-break between semesters. I am always excited to start a new semester, but this semester I am teaching the Four Gospels of the New Testament and that adds to the excitement. The Four Gospels are the life of Jesus Christ and to study, review, ponder, and discuss the life of Christ for the next seven weeks is not only a privilege but an absolute delight.

Because it will be on my mind, I’ll probably be recording many New Testament thoughts on Good News! beginning today! But that’s appropriate since the Greek word gospel means good news.

Whenever I introduce the Four Gospels to students I am struck by the power of traditions over the people. We are so blessed to have the Spirit to guide us, but following the Spirit takes work and constant effort and requires us to be obedient and repentant. Traditions, on the other hand, are like the tracks of a train. Once you are on them they carry you without any thought on your part. Thus the ancient Jews took the easy route and became caught up in tradition instead of following the Spirit and after a few years the traditions were all that mattered to them.

There are many things in our lives that we need to evaluate. Are we doing those things because it is habit or because we are being directed to do them? Are we walking through the rituals because they are tradition or are we really thinking and pondering and renewing ourselves through the rituals?

It is easy to slip into the realm of tradition. But it only takes a little thought and effort to bring ourselves back to a state of awareness and alertness—a state that will feed our souls and keep us in tune with the Spirit.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


The other day with “tongue in cheek” I wrote about being invisible during my book signing adventure. I was trying to be funny, but I think I missed the mark. Maybe it was because I ended by asking for comments about my book Gospel Insights, but instead of comments about the book many of you left comments about me. I’m a little embarrassed that it appeared I was fishing for compliments about myself, but I do appreciate all your kind words. It was very nice of you, and I will treasure the words. But there was something very good that came out of this and it was the insightful advice you gave and how you opened up your own hearts about being invisible. I loved that part of your comments most. It just goes to show how wonderful this blogging world can be.

I sometimes hear women say they can’t “waste time blogging,” and I can see how too much time on the computer would be a problem. But a few minutes a day can be a great blessing. Blogging gives us ways to communicate with each other—to find out what others are thinking and to share our own ideas.

Years ago people sat on their front porches and visited. Or they talked over the fence as they hung out laundry or did other chores. They connected. They spoke their minds and they heard what their friends and neighbors were saying. That connection between human beings is important.

Most of us don’t have front porches now. We don’t hang out laundry or do many chores that keep us outside where we can personally connect. But we can connect through technology. Instead of dismissing technology as a bad thing, we need to use it wisely.

So thank you for making this blog more interactive! I loved your input and hope you will all continue to share with me and others! As a matter of fact, I think from now on when I post something I’ll just imagine myself sitting on the front porch (I’ll have to imagine the front porch, too, since I don’t have one!) waiting for you to come sit in the other rocking chair to have a good visit with me.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wolves at War

I once heard an old Native American legend that I love. It is about a Cherokee chief who is teaching his people. He says to them, “There is a terrible war going on inside me in which two wolves are constantly fighting. One wolf is called by the name of Peace and he is joy, happiness, love, generosity, kindness, truth, faith, trust, and thoughtfulness. The other wolf is called by the name of Misery and he is hate, envy, greed, jealousy, sorrow, regret, arrogance, and lies.”

The chief waits for a moment and then adds, “And this war is going on inside you, also.”

Again the chief pauses until a young brave breaks the silence. “Who will win this war?” he asks.

“The wolf I feed,” the chief answers.

This is what Living in Truth is all about—learning to feed the wolf called by the name of Peace.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I Don't Like Being Invisible

I did a book signing for Gospel Insights for Everyday Living in Logan, Utah, yesterday and met a lot of wonderful people. I fell in love with Logan when I got my Masters degree at Utah State, but I haven’t been there for years and since it is one of the most beautiful places on earth, I was delighted to return. I took D5 with me and her son the Big E and we went up early to stop at some of our favorite spots—like Cox Honey where I stocked up on flavored honeys and of course bought some honey popcorn which is absolutely heavenly and something I’ve never found anyplace else on earth. Then we went on to the Old Grist Mill and bought English scones. Again—I’ve never found these delicious treats anyplace else and they are fantastic! All they had left at 1:00 in the afternoon were peach and I prefer the berry or cherry, but the peach was delicious and it is worth the long drive up there just for the honey popcorn and English scones. Then we found an Indian restaurant that was new to us, and enjoyed a fantastic lunch before going on to the book signing at the Book Table book store booth at an event held at the Riverwoods-Marriott.

Book signings are interesting things. People walk by and pretend you are invisible so they don’t have to talk to you. Do you know how awful it is to be treated like you are invisible? But even worse, it is very boring to sit there being invisible. So I have to get people’s attention. I’m not very good at this. As a matter of fact, I'm terrible at it. I’ve watched other author’s do it and some of them are masters of the art of attention getting. I think it’s because I’d rather be invisible that it makes it difficult for me to get attention. That's the part about writing I like--sitting in my library all alone exploring my thoughts on paper. But being a writer also means you have to sell your books and invisible doesn’t sell books. Yesterday, I thought I'd found a way to break through the invisibility barrier. I brought a bowl full of bite-sized candy bars and offered those for free, but it seems everyone is on a diet and refused even my candy. In short, after two hours of sitting there trying not to be invisible I only sold three books! I came home feeling rather rejected.

So if any of you have read Gospel Insights and liked it, please leave a comment and tell me you have read it and that I'm not invisible to you. Better still, go on to and leave a review of the book. If you have read Gospel Insights and didn’t like it, please refrain from any comments anywhere. I’ve had all the rejection I can take for one week!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Celebration Time!

Yesterday at 8:57pm the 40,000th visitor to Good News! stopped by to visit. The location of the person is unknown but their ISP is Road Runner and their ISP address is 97.117.60. It was an exciting time for me and I wish I knew who you are so I could thank you. As a matter of fact I wish I knew who all of you are!

I got into blogging because D7 got me into it, but I have loved it. I love sitting down each day and thinking about all of you—you have all become my invisible friends! I really appreciate those of you who have left your pictures as followers. It helps me envision who I am writing to. I appreciate those of you who leave your comments and thoughts because a one sided conversation isn’t a conversation.

I used to reply to all of the comments, but I’d ask people questions and they wouldn’t answer so I began to think that no one went back and read my replies. But I miss that—so let me know if you’d like me to start that again or if it doesn’t matter because you don’t have time to go back and read.

In short, thanks to all of you. I hope in some small way I’ve encouraged and brightened your days. A lot of readers dropped off after it was obvious I was going to live, and Mr. J jokes that the only reason anyone read this was to see if I’d die. So thanks to those of you who still come around even though I’m alive and thanks to those of you who share the Good News! with your friends. I’m hoping some day to have 100 friends in the box to the left!

I’m a writer at heart. I love to write as much as I love to read, but half the fun of writing is having someone read what you write! So thanks for stopping by. I love you all! And I hope that RR 97.117.60 fesses up so I know who you are!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Aren't We Thankful for Hope!

The most discouraging trials in life, the ones that are the hardest to deal with, are the ones that involve righteous desires. You want to be a wife, but no one asks you. You want to be a mother, but no children come. You want to have a temple worthy marriage, but your spouse doesn’t. You want to be righteous, but you struggle with things that seem to be inborn like same sex attraction. You want to help in the Lord’s work but your efforts meet with rejection. These kinds of trials are double trials because not only are they adversity, but they are troubling in the fact that they don’t make sense.
With these kinds of trials all we can do is hold on, trusting in God, and know that at some point we will understand. All things will work for our good. The law of justice will be applied and at some point we won’t just understand, we will be grateful for the way all things turned out.

That is one of the most beautiful things about the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is hope.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I’ve been experimenting with some new contact lenses the past two weeks. I tried bifocal lenses a few years ago and they didn’t work for me at all. But the last time I went into the eye doctor, he told me about a brand new bifocal contact and asked if I wanted to try it. It works in a strange way. The lens that covers the pupil of the eye is divided like a target with the center circle focused for reading, the next circle for midrange activity like working on a computer, and the outer circle for seeing into the distance. The theory is that the brain will adapt to seeing through the proper circle.

At first it didn’t work too well, but as I continued to wear them things began to come into focus better. Because of my astigmatism, things aren’t sharp and clear, but I can see better than I’ve been able to for years and I can read with the same contacts. So wonderful.

But while adjusting to the contacts I’ve been thinking about how so often what I “see” in life is slightly out of focus and what a difference that makes in my perception and understanding. I don’t have the ability to see everything in life completely and clearly. Sometimes I don't even know which circle to look through. I’m not sure it is possible to see everything perfectly here in mortality, and so instead of depending on my own vision, I need to trust in God’s vision for me. He is the one who has everything in focus. He is the one who sees clearly. He is the one who know which circle to look through at what time. And besides being able to see it all, He loves me and wants me to be happy. If I can just keep contact with Him, He will lead me.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


In Lectures on Faith we are taught that faith is the first principle of the gospel. In other words all righteousness is built upon faith. Or in more words, faith is the foundation of all that is good. That being true it is so important that we understand faith.

In the scriptures the word faith is used to represent four concepts. (1) Faith is belief. (2) Faith is trust in Jesus Christ. (3) Faith is power. (4) Faith is a belief system [as when someone asks, “Which faith do you belong to?”].

What this means is that when we read the word faith we need to recognize which meaning is intended which in turn means understanding it within the context it is used. When Paul tells us that faith is the “assurance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen” (JST Heb. 11:1) he is speaking of faith as a belief. But when he says that “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God” (Heb. 11:3) he is talking about faith as a power. But which concept is intended when Paul says, “Without faith it is impossible to please him [God]”? (Heb. 11:6).

Through the use of our agency we gain faith and with that faith we are empowered to serve God and help in His work. And when we are in the service of our God we find happiness and joy in life.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Book Recommendation

I (finally) got around to changing the Words of Encouragement on the left of my blog. I know I was long over due, but the short message now there is powerful and comes from the amazing book Light in the Wilderness: Explorations in the Spiritual Life by M. Catherine Thomas.

Cathy and I shared an office for a couple of semesters when she was teaching religion at BYU part-time, and so I know from experience what an amazing woman she is. She taught full time in the religion department at BYU, then retired, has gone on several missions with her husband, and once in awhile returns for a semester to teach part-time. I grew to love her and I cherish all I learned from her. I can't recommend this book highly enough.

Light in the Wilderness is not a quick read. Instead it is a book that you will read paragraph at a time and then ponder. It is beautifully written and packed with insights and encouragement on gospel living and how to draw closer to Jesus Christ.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Good Sabbath!

Take time to soak in the holiness that is the Sabbath day. It will get you through the rest of the week!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I Feel Like 'm Coming Out of Hibernation

I’m on a diet to try and get back into my clothes by women’s conference. I figure that no one wants to see me up there speaking in my pajamas or just a slip since that’s about all I fit into since my two California trips and a week of company in the house. Anyway, dieting makes me ornery. I’m hungry as a bear that's just come out of winter hibernation and I'm twice as cross as a bear. I'm using every Truth Tool in my bag to try and keep myself nice enough to be around. I've never tried the Truth Tools on ornery-from-dieting.

I may need a new Tool because I’m not sure I’m succeeding. You’ll have to ask Mr. J about that, but hopefully I’m losing weight. If after all this I get on the scales and haven’t lost weight, I may need three bags of Truth Tools—no make that four. And if you hear a great growling sound, don’t be worried. It isn’t an earthquake—it’s just ornery me growling (between trial and error attempts at using the Truth Tools, of course!).

I do have to thank a kind friend who out of the blue sent me a love-and-appreciation email yesterday. She didn’t even know I was ornery from dieting and her kind words were like ointment to my (hungry) soul! We all really need each other, don’t we!!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

I'm A Luftmensch: Notes On the Lighter Side

I learned a new word today. (If you’ve been reading this for very long you know how much I love words!) Anyway, the new word is luftmensch which is a Yiddish word meaning “an impractical contemplative person having no definite business or income.” The prefix luft comes from a Germanic root meaning “air” and mensch is a derivative of mentsh which means “human being.” "Human being" plus "air" gives it the connotation of someone who walks around with their head in the clouds.

I think the reason I like the word so much is because it describes me perfectly. I’m always off in another world meditating. (That sounds much better than “head in the clouds.”) But I often worry that people will think I’m snobbish because I get so deep in thought I don’t even realize people are around me. (Ask my children—they have lots of stories about this. [Or, heaven forbid, one of them may even leave a comment and tell on me!]) This also happens a lot at Church when I’m thinking so hard about something that was said that I walk down the hall between meetings and don’t say a word to anyone because I don’t see them pass me by. But I really do like people. (Maybe I ought to have the bishop announce that I'm a luftmensch so no one will take offense at my rudeness.)

But if that isn't enough embarrassment, the last part of the definition is equally applicable. I have no business or income from my luftmensching. I do share my thoughts for free often (like I do here on Good News!), but it is not a business and I have no income. Thank goodness I have a wonderful husband who loves supporting a luftmensch. Otherwise I’d be a homeless human being walking around with my head in the clouds.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


The scriptures tell us that “All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it” (Alma 30:44). I firmly believe this, but I think that in springtime it is even more evident.
New life in the form of crocus, daffodils and tulips sends hope and joy through my soul. Yellow, red, white, and purple break through the dismal brown earth in a chorus of color that without words sings “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” Birds call to one another in a sung language so full of joy that it thrills and delights even though I can’t translate it. Apricot blossoms dress the bare, skeletal branches of the tree with their delicate beauty and promise of forthcoming fruit.

In short, spring is joy and hope which like Christ testify that there is something better coming—something more.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Counting My Miracles

I’m counting miracles today, but not just any miracle. I'm counting my miracles. One of the unexpected benefits of Living in Truth is that you become much more aware of all the miracles that happen in your life. And over the last year I have had more than my share of miracles. It was a year ago that I finished my radiation treatments and was so weak I could barely function. Today I’ve walked three miles and am going about my chores with vim and vigor! It is a miracle and I am so grateful for it.

This has also made me think about all the other miracles that have happened in the last few months. Daily I get better and am blessed with so many wonderful things that make my life rich and wonderful! To top it off, the sun is shining brightly so that not only is my heart warm, but my whole being! There is so much good in life to celebrate!!!!!!!!!!!

So help me celebrate life! Everyone leave a comment with one miracle that is in your life this very day!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Intelligent Use of Agency"

I’m getting ready for BYU Women’s Conference which is being held at the end of the month. The topic I’ve been asked to address is "The Intelligent Use of Agency" and I’m going to be talking about using agency to rid ourselves of unnecessary pain and to get the help we need to see us through the necessary pain. So if I talk a lot about necessary and unnecessary pain in the next couple weeks you’ll know it’s because I’m preparing and am preoccupied with “pain” thoughts.

As I’ve learned about these things I’ve been amazed at how much pain we generate for ourselves. All around me I see examples how the choices people make cause them pain—unnecessary pain. And as I review my own life I can see where I’ve caused myself so much unnecessary pain. Now I understand how getting rid of unnecessary pain is so simple and yet sometimes habit causes me to create or take on unnecessary pain anyway.

I think it is a process. First we have to intellectually learn the concepts, and then it takes time to incorporate the things we have learned into our lives so that they become the habits that direct our lives. Overcoming those old habits is difficult, but it is doable. So I say, “Out with the old and in with the new!” It takes time, but it will happen.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Seeing Love At Work

I’ve been in California with Mr. J. We went for two reasons; first, he had a conference in Berkeley and second, one of our grandsons was being baptized. Mr. J has been going to these Intellectual Property conferences for years and has become good friends with many of the people who attend from other universities, so on Friday night we went to dinner with one of them. I had met Mr. B only one time before, but have heard Mr. J talk about him often. Therefore, it was a delight for me to be with him and find out for myself that all the wonderful things Mr. J has told me about him are true.

Mr. B. has a nine-year-old daughter that is severely handicapped. She is blind, deaf, and confined to a wheel chair, but it is a long way into any conversation with him that you find that out and then only because you become a little confused and start to ask questions. Mr. B. doesn’t talk about the handicap; instead he talks about how his daughter has blessed his life and the life of his family. He stresses how she brings out the best in other people. He talks about the incredible experiences they have had traveling with her and the people they’ve met because of her handicap—how people are drawn to her.

As the evening wore on and I began to see the whole picture, that the “angel” he was talking about still wore diapers, had to be fed, couldn’t communicate with language, etc. I was amazed. Never once did he come even close to a complaint or a disparaging word. Instead he chuckled as he told us how they had learned to communicate, marveled over all he had learned from the experience, and with as much love and pride as a father whose daughter had just been crowned Miss America showed us pictures of how surgeries had lifted the bone structure of her face and changed her appearance.

I came away from our evening together so uplifted and touched. Newspapers are full of all that is wrong in our world, but Friday night I experienced all that is good and beautiful in human beings. I tasted heaven.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It's All in the View

Last night I watched the sun go down through hazy clouds over the Bay while listening to the gentle sloshing of the waves. From where I stood I could see the man-made wonders of the Bay Bridge on my left and the Golden Gate Bridge on my right. When we first arrived at the beach, two airplane tailings perfectly crossed the sun as if to x it out. But the golden sun soon dipped below the x to sit over the land in a final pronouncement of majesty before it began to disappear.

After saying goodnight to this glorious sunset, we traveled back to the hotel through the dusky streets Mapquest directed. The streets emanated dismal, industrial, ghetto. Vision was limited by walls, fences, houses, and trees that confined and encroached. Litter, vulgar advertisements, persistent honking cars jolted us from the peace of the sunset.

We reached our hotel which is situated in the Berkeley Hills and ate dinner at a table overlooking the valley and the Bay. Lifted there on the hill, I could once again see both bridges outlined in lights against the dark night and observed the wonder of the lights shining in yellows, reds, oranges, greens, and blues as if in celebration of something great. From up there on the hill the world was once again beautiful—expansive, enlightening, encouraging.

It made me think about the fact that we often have to pass through the dismal, vulgar, painful parts of life. Those paths are necessary in order to get to the beautiful things God has in store for us. But God has given us temples and scriptures and many other things that will lift us out of the mundane and help us see the bigger, more beautiful picture. When we visit the majestic places often, we not only are encouraged but it gives us memories that can motivate us when traveling the dismal and mundane paths of life.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Thoughts on Unnecessary Pain

The sun dances in everything green here—and that means it dances in everything because everything here is lush green. It is a nice change from Utah winter. Today D6 and her two children took me to Tilden Park where we rode an old fashioned real-carved-wooden–horse-merry-go-round, visited the small animal farm, climbed on the playground equipment and had a picnic lunch under the sun.

I’m still watching people, but today I was drawn to my nineteen-month-old grandson. He is walking, but is very unsure of his step and wobbly. He fell often, but got right back up and kept on going. I watched, especially at the playground, as other toddlers his age waddled and fell, waddled and fell, and waddled and fell some more. Watching them is a great lesson in unnecessary pain, and I couldn’t help but think about how few of us would walk if we didn’t have the strength to do it until we were eight or nine years old.

By nine or ten reasoning power has kicked in enough that many people would stop trying to walk because they noticed that people laughed at them when they tried. Or other people would look at mom and dad walk and think, “There’s no way I can ever do it as good as them so why try?” Others would give up with the thought, “Falling down hurts too much. I can’t keep trying to do this.” Still others would sit and watch everyone else attempt to walk thinking, “If God intended me to walk, I would have been born walking. Walking is unnatural.”

In each of these cases and others (I’ll bet you can think of more!) people would give up on walking and content themselves with crawling forever. But their fear of passing through the necessary pain of learning to walk, would not allow them to escape pain, it would only take them into a different kind of pain—unnecessary pain. Crawling would be hard on hands, knees and feet, but the physical pain isnt' all that would cause pain. Crawling around would always give them feelings of inadequacy. They wouldn’t have the self-confidence walking people had. They’d always be humiliated and constantly be working to convince themselves and others that they were really all right.

But because we learn to walk before we learn to reason, we all learn to walk.(Hallelujah!) How wonderful it would be if we approached all areas of our lives like that. The talents we would all have! The abilities! But most of all how wonderful it would be to live without all that unnecessary pain we heap upon ourselves because of the way we reason and refuse to grow!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pondering In California

I'm in California again! This time I'm at Berkley with Mr. J while he attends a conference. I'm on vacation doing my favorite thing--observing people. We ate lunch at a sidewalk Mediterranean cafe and as I watched people pass by I was struck by the fact that they are ALL my brothers and sisters. It was an overwhelming feeling. We are all family and when we sing "Families can be together forever" it could mean more than what you and I usually think about. As you can tell, I'm in a pondering mood, but it is late and so I'll ponder more tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thanks for the "Radiation"

I start each day with a brisk walk along the Provo River with two friends. It begins my day right as I soak in the beautiful natural surroundings, listen to the birds and the rushing water, and enjoy the company of two amazing women. But one of my favorite things is that on the way back home we stop on a bridge for a morning meditation. First we face down stream and I think about jettisoning all the negative things that have accumulated in me and watching them float away downstream. I mentally rid myself of all the bad baggage and spend a few moments thinking about my Savior—the one who heals me. After that we turn around and face upstream. Then I think about being filled with good and positive things. I imagine that the water rushing toward me is flowing through me to cleanse and purify me—that it comes from the Fountain of Living Waters, Jesus Christ. It is a wonderful time that I look forward to every day. But this morning was extra special.

Usually as we walk onto the bridge, we space ourselves over about thirty feet of the bridge and then meditate, but this morning for some reason we ended up almost elbow to elbow in the middle of the bridge with me between my friends. As I meditated besides feeling the usual strength from the thoughts I was surprised by an empowering feeling coming from both sides of me. It was a radiation of love and goodness that seeped into me from my friends and it was so strong I could actually feel it warming me like sunlight.

It made me wonder how often others have influenced me in this way simply because of what they are. I think in the next life we are going to be surprised to find out how much other people actually helped us and encouraged us just by their presence. It is a very real thing, but since it is unseen it too often goes unnoticed. I am so grateful for my many friends and others who over the years have shared their goodness and love with me through the radiation of their character. Thank you! I love you all!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Making Lemonade

We've all heard the saying, "When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade." But I'd like to know how you have done that. Please share the "lemons" you've encountered and how you turned them into "lemonade." Don't be shy. Your sharing will help us all. Just leave a comment with your story.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Saving Attitude

Yesterday we celebrated the Resurrection of the Savior and the life He has made possible for us. Today I am celebrating the fact that He has invited me and you to be part of His work. We do it daily whether we are changing a diaper, disciplining a child, or visiting an ailing friend. In anything we do, if we do it with love and with an eye to His glory, we are helping in His work. What a trust He has placed in us!

President John Taylor once said that “we are here as saviors of men” (JD, 24:268). While Jesus Christ is our Savior, to help in His work means that we are to be saviors also. Note that our being saviors is savior with a small “s”, and is different that the great work He did, but in some ways similar. A savior is someone who does something for others that they cannot do for themselves. Obviously we could not save ourselves from sin and death, but He could. But how do we act as saviors?

As women we give life to others—something they cannot do for themselves. As men we administer the life-giving ordinances to others—something they cannot do for themselves. As followers of Christ, we do temple work for those who were unable to do it for themselves. Anytime we do things for others that they cannot do for themselves, we are acting as a savior thus the mundane task of changing a diaper or feeding a newborn is a saving act.

There is something beautiful that happens inside us as we go about our days with this realization. What could be dismissed as a trivial act becomes a glorious opportunity and can feed our souls with joy and delight depending on how we approach the task. When we think of ourselves as saviors helping in The Savior’s work, life is different.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Today commemorates the greatest event in all the history of mankind. 
Lift up your hearts and rejoice!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Saturday Before

One can only imagine what the followers of Jesus Christ were feeling on this their Sabbath day--the day after the crucifixion of their Lord. Promises had been made, some they understood and some they didn't, but would the promises come to pass now that Jesus was dead?

It must have been a bleak day for them, but oh what surprises and joy lay ahead.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Good, Good Friday

Last night Mr. J and I attended a Passover Seder that was put on by one of my past students. It was a delightful evening of remembering and celebrating and I was grateful to be invited and share in the festivities and the feelings. Though my Jewish friends might cringe at the thought of Passover being a celebration of Jesus Christ, that is what it is for me. Because of Jesus Christ, whose crucifixion we remember today, the heavy consequences of sin will Passover you and me if we accept His sacrifice.

I know that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and that He died for me. I am so grateful for that knowledge and the peace and joy it brings into my life. I love my Savior and hope you all will take a moment this day to remember what Good Friday commemorates--especially remember why it is Good.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Celebrating Maundy Thursday

Today is Maundy Thursday which is called by some Holy Thursday or Covenant Thursday, or the Thursday of Mysteries. But I like the term Maundy Thursday best because Maundy comes from the Latin mandatum which means command and refers to the command Jesus issued on the last Thursday of His life: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34).

Traditionally on Maundy Thursday the Maundy Ceremony has been performed where people wash the feet of the poor in commemoration of the event that occurred on the first Maundy Thursday when the Savior washed the feet of His apostles and told them to serve others. Over the years the traditions have changed and in some places the Thursday before Easter Maundy Money is given to the poor.

In addition, today is the first day of the Easter Triduum or the three days that commemorate the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ—in my mind the three holiest days of the year. Besides the command to love one another, and His example of serving one another, the Savior gave us so much direction and expressed so much love for us on this day. So for me, today is a day to think about and savor His words. I love Maundy Thursday and hope to celebrate it by doing what He told me to do—love others.