Thursday, June 30, 2011

"17 Miracles"

Thanks you for all the kind remarks yesterday.
I really had gotten to the point of thinking no one was out there.
Your response startled and encouraged me.
Thank you!

I usually don't promote things on Good News!, but I'm going to today. D4 is in town for a visit and so D5 and her family joined us and we all went to see the movie 17 Miracles. The cinematography was beautiful and the story is about the true account of the Willey handcart company. I learned a lot that I hadn't understood before but most of all I came away determined never to take for granted my heritage and the price people paid so that I could live comfortably as a Mormon in this valley.

While none of my ancestors were part of the Willey or Martin companies, every line in my family goes back at least five generations in the Church and one line goes back six. Mr. J is also a fifth or sixth generation Mormon and one of his ancestors, Luke S. Johnson, was called as one of the first apostles in this dispensation by Joesph Smith. I don't know all that my own ancestors suffered in their treks across the plains, but I'm sure there were similar trials. Ever since I saw the movie I can't quit thinking about the suffering, the miracles, and the faithful people that are my heritage.

Go see "17 Miracles"!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy 1,000th Post!

Today is my 1,000th post on Good News! D7 started this blog as a surprise for me on September 19, 2007. I added things periodically for awhile after she presented me with the blog and then one day one of my students told me he checked Good News! everyday and tat I needed to post something daily. So I did. Then Grizelda came along and I began posting about my battle with her.
After that the gratitude for the Good News! that was mine compelled me to keep posting. I have been so blessed that I wanted to shout the Good News! to everyone and anyone who would listen. Miracles happen! Jesus Christ lives and is real and He helps us.
I'm not sure many people stop by anymore except to view the images I've found, but the few of you who do read and comment are greatly appreciated. It takes a lot of time to write a daily blog, so I've often contemplated not doing it anymore but at the same time I know that it helps me to remember and to feel gratitude for the Savior and all He has done for me. It was a major source of joy and celebration during Christmas and Easter for me and helped me to remember that Jesus Christ is the Good News! I love and rejoice in His gospel, The Good News.
I don't know how much longer I'll keep Good News! up as a daily blog, but thank you so much to all of you who have prayed for me through Griselda and who have added your comments and ideas. Thanks for the loving kindness and for dropping by. I love you all.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chasing Mechanical Rabbits

Greyhounds chasing mechanical rabbit.
I’d never heard of greyhound racing until I recently read an article about mechanical rabbits. It seems that the racing of greyhounds has been around for a long time, but originally the dogs were enticed to run by first sending out a rabbit for them to chase. When caught the rabbits would squeal a child-like sound that caused many potential spectators to avoid the races. So an enterprising man named Owen Smith built a mechanical rabbit that was used as a lure to entice the greyhounds to run.

The thought of a fake rabbit being chased by greyhounds caused me a good chuckle but after a second or two that laugh turned into an introspective pause. How much of my life has been spent chasing fake lures?  The adversary puts so many “mechanical rabbits” in front of us, winds them up, and then watches us chase breathlessly after them. (And I’m sure he laughs as he watches.)

We chase appointments and fail to visit with our neighbors. We chase social pleasures and miss telling a bedtime story to a child. We chase wealth and fail to notice the beauty of a sunset or the unfolding of a rose. We chase after the prestige of having the cleanest house or the fittest body or the most in-style clothing and fail to grasp the lasting joys of life.

In short, we need to realize that mechanical rabbits are running all around us, but until we learn to identify a real rabbit we are constantly in danger of running after the wrong thing.

Monday, June 27, 2011

There's Help!

I’m preparing to teach a series of classes on C. S. Lewis again this year for BYU Education Week. This means I’m re-reading many of his books and marveling once more at his wisdom. This morning I read in Mere Christianity, “When a man is getting better, he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: A thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right . . . . Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either.”

This is so true. As we grow closer and closer to the Savior our understanding expands and we realize how far we are from where we want to be. The amazing thing is that this realization while uncomfortable doesn’t sink us into despair or bog us down with discouragement. Instead we sorrow for what we have done wrong, we wish to be better, but we strive all the harder for righteousness because we understand that Someone is helping us. We are not in this alone!

It is that awareness that we are and will be helped along the path of righteousness that brings peace into our lives. And oh, what a wonderful blessing that is!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sabbath Scripture - Be Still

Let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion;
for all flesh is in mine hands;
be still and know that I am God.
 Doctrine and Covenants 101:16

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Good Christian

Repentance is a U-turn
What is a good Christian? Some would say it is a person who does everything exactly the way Christ taught—someone who keeps all the commandments perfectly. But we would never say that a good body is one that is never hurt or in which nothing ever goes wrong. There isn’t such a thing. Instead a good body is one that heals rapidly, one that resists illness so that the person doesn’t get sick as often as others, one that when bruised or cut mends fast and well.

Likewise a good Christian is not someone who never does anything wrong. Good Christians turn back to Christ the moment it is discovered they are off course. Good Christians repent well and fast not because they reason that it is the right thing to do or because they are trying to please those around them but because the Light of Christ within them leads them to do it. It is just who they are.

As C. S. Lewis said, a good Christian “does not think God will love us because we are good but that God will make us good because He loves us just as the roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it.”

Friday, June 24, 2011

Opening Windows and Doors

Pride shows its head in hundreds of ways and is disguised sometimes even as a virtue. A woman once asked me a gospel question. In order to answer her question I needed to back up and explain a point that laid the foundation so that she could understand the answer to her questions. But as I started to explain, she thought I was moving on to a new subject and quickly stopped me. “No, don’t tell me anything else,” she said. “I want to learn it myself so I can experience that ahh-hha moment of discovery.” So our conversation ended.

I’ve often thought of that encounter and wondered how often I’ve cut short what I could have learned because of pride.

There is so very much to learn and that’s one of the reasons God has given us parents, teachers, friends and others who can help us. We can't possible learn it all ourselves. When others teach us what they know it opens up new doors and windows of possibility which leads us on to new things to learn. In other words, there will always be plenty to learn. And all new things learned lead to new possibilities of implementing gospel principles in our lives and making us better people. The more we can learn and the faster we learn it the better.

So build yourself a house of learning with lots of windows and doors and let anyone who can open them up for you. Then rejoice in the new view you have!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Have a "GOOD" Day

graphic link
The phrase, "Have a good day" should mean more to us than it usually does. Instead of simply meaning, "Have a day in which only good things happen to you," it should mean, "Have a day in which you only do good."

It is impossible to have such a day without consciously choosing goodness. The default position in this mortal world is badness. Therefore, if a person doesn’t consciously decide to be and do good, badness takes over. In other words, goodness must be worked for if we are to achieve it. No one is going to accidently arrive in the celestial kingdom.
The other day one of my daughters told me how she had found that if the night before she makes a list of all the things she is going to do the next day, she achieves so much more than if she just wakes up and does whatever comes to mind in each moment. She was amazed at how planning increased productivity.

It is the same way with goodness. When we plan ahead to be good, look for opportunities to be good, recognize that every moral choice will bring us closer to or farther away from good, surround ourselves with good in order to strengthen ourselves, we will be good. But if we don’t work at it, plan for it, and consciously determine that it is what we want, we will find ourselves swept away in the default.

“I want to be good,” is the first thing we should say in the morning, the last thing we should say at night, and everything in between should remind us that we want good. In that way we overcome the default and rise to new levels of joy and happiness.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Mathematics of Life

I’m not a mathematician. 
I do good to get my checkbook balanced and marvel at people who can make numbers mean something. But despite my lack of mathematical talent, I have learned some important lessons from the little I can do with numbers.

One thing I’ve learned is that when you make a mistake in a mathematical problem you can NEVER arrive at the right answer if you just keep doing more adding and subtracting. Once a mistake is made it sends you down a wrong road and no matter how well you multiply and divide from that point on you are still on the wrong path to solving the problem. The only way to get back on course to finding the right answer is to back up until you find the mistake, correct it, and go forward from there.

Life is like that. When we discover we are on the wrong path, the only thing that put us right again is to go back to the mistake, repair it (repent) best we can, and then move forward. If instead of correcting our path, we just keep plodding on, we only go farther and farther down the wrong road.

From my experience hiking and walking, I’ve also learned that the sooner I turn around after discovering I’m on the wrong road, the easier the journey is. The longer I persist on the wrong path the more difficult it is to return to the right path.

(There are a lot of advantages to getting old. One is that you learn a lot of good lessons even from things like the arithmetic you hated in third grade!)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Longest Day

Today is the longest day of the year here in the Northern atmosphere. That means more sunlight than on any other day of the year. Being a person who is always looking for something to celebrate, I’m using this “Longest Day” to celebrate light. As we are taught in D&C 50:24, “That which is of God is light, and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light and that light growth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.”

While I soak in the sunlight of this day, I’m going to think about and take note of every good thing I encounter. I’m going to count the good that is and has been mine. I’m going to glory in the light that is mine.

Isaiah tells us to “Eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness” (55:2). Nephi also tells us to feast upon the word and to “let your soul delight in fatness.” (2 Nephi 9:51). In other words, you can binge all you want on the “soul food” of the scriptures and you will never get fat. Likewise you can bask in the light of Christ and never get sunburned.

So enjoy this longest day and let it remind you of God and the light He sheds upon you.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Scripture Power

There are many verses of scripture that lift and encourage everyone. There are also verses that when read immediately zap into the heart in such a way that it immediately empowers you and ever after that moment the verse has special significance to you.

President Ezra Taft Benson had such a verse. He served as Secretary of Agriculture during the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower and as Secretary he encountered a great deal of opposition. At Pres. Benson’s funeral Elder Boyd K. Packer read a verse of scripture, 3 Nephi 22:17 which says, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall revile against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.” Elder Packer explained that President Benson carried a copy of this verse in his wallet all his life.

This verse encouraged Pres. Benson and verses of scripture can and will lift and encourage us, but we have to use them if they are to do that. It isn’t enough to once in awhile read our scriptures. Instead we need to find the verses that speak specifically to our hearts and surround ourselves with them. We can put them on walls, carry them in our wallets where we refer to them frequently, or we can memorize them so we can recite them whenever we need them. But the key here is to in some way make them highly accessible. When we do this, their power is always available to comfort and encourage us.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Today as you remember your mortal fathers, 
take time to remember your Heavenly Father.

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God created he him; 
male and female created he them.
And God blessed them.
Genesis 1:27-28

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Down With Vexation

Yesterday I toured two gigantic, beautiful homes that are part of the Utah Valley Parade of Homes. I went seeking ideas for decorating my own home, but found myself bombarded with many thoughts and feelings I hadn’t expected. One home consisted of 17,000 square feet and the other 14,000. Both had swimming pools and marvelous outdoor living areas.

Now I’ve seen homes like that before, and before they were so big and so extravagant that they were like fairy tales that you listen to but don’t believe. These kinds of things have always been fun for me to see but so far out of my league that they didn’t affect me. But for some reason yesterday the elegant furnishings, everything necessary for opulent living, and luxury to the max that were evident in every square inch began to eat away at me. As expected I came away with lots of ideas, but what I didn’t expect was the discontent. I found myself full of ingratitude for what is mine, self-pity for what I don’t have, and discouragement.

But . . . the blessing was that I recognized immediately what I was doing wrong and began pulling out the Truth Tools to eradicate the vexing feelings before they did much damage. I am soooo grateful for Truth Tools. Within a short time, the “poison” in my soul was gone and I was fine. Then, just a few minutes ago I found myself Anchoring, not because I was consciously forcing myself to Anchor, but because it is becoming a natural habit. While in that state of enjoying the hope, peace, love, gratitude and joy of this present moment I realized I may not have all the materials things life offers, but I have something much greater!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Becoming Acquainted

In Lectures on Faith, we are taught that in order to have faith we must know what Jesus Christ is like. I think that is one of the main reasons we are encouraged to read scripture so that we can get acquainted with our Savior. In the scriptures we come to know of his love. We read of him inviting the children to come to him (Mark 10). We read of him deciding not to leave when he knows how much the people want him to stay (3 Nephi 17). The references to his healing those in pain and sorrow are too numerous to cite and each tells us a little bit more about how very much he loves us.

Through the scriptures we also learn of his amazing attributes of justness, kindness, power, and mercy. There is no doubt that he is wonderful. But I used to find myself wanting more. I'd never seen an artist's depiction of the Savior with a full-on smile, and yet in my heart I felt certain that he smiles. I wanted to know if he laughs at jokes or if he playfully teases a child just a little. I wanted to know if he winks or if he sings when he is happy. Does he dance? Does he express delight at good food? What does he enjoy?
Then one day I found this quote that answered my questions. Heber C. Kimball said, “I am perfectly satisfied that my Father and my God is a cheerful, pleasant, lively, and good-natured Being. Why? Because I am cheerful, pleasant, lively and good-natured when I have His Spirit. That is one reason why I know; and another is—the Lord said through Joseph Smith, ‘I delight in a glad heart and a cheerful countenance’ (D&C 59: 15).” (JD 4:222.)

Since reading that quote, I've paid close attention to what I think, feel and am when the Spirit is with me, and by so doing I’ve come to better know my Savior. Yes, he sings! Yes, he laughs! And I’m positive that at appropriate times he winks to expresses his joy

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Two-Edged Sword

Recently I’ve been studying the connection between faith and words which this morning led me to an interesting verse that is repeated throughout scripture. The verse is found in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

This strange metaphor sent me on a dictionary sleuthing adventure (which is my favorite thing to do!) that has been interesting. I’m not sure I’ve squeezed all the meaning out of this verse, but what I’ve discovered so far is fascinating.

The “word of God” is sometimes used as John uses it in John 1 to mean Jesus Christ. But Paul never calls Christ the Word and so this use of the word seems to mean th just what it says, that the wors of the gospel are quick and powerful. Usually we use the word quick to mean “acting with speed” but the first definition of quick in my dictionary is “living or alive.” Thus the word of the gospel is alive and powerful.

Next comes the strange part of the metaphor for me, “sharper than any two-edged sword.” A two edge sword can inflict damage from both sides of the blade and thus is more powerful, but it also means that if you are striking at an enemy one side of the sword is poised to cut the enemy but the other side is poised to hurt you. In other words, a two-edged sword offers a good or a bad consequence depending upon how the sword is handled. Learning this brought one of those “AH-HA” moments that I love. But before I explain we need to look at the meanings of joint and marrow.

Obviously joint is “a place where two things meet,” but not so obvious is the meaning of marrow which is “the best or essential part” and has come to be metaphorically known as “vitality.”

Now for the “Ah-Ha” part of my study. What the verse is telling us is that the word of God is a living and powerful thing which if believed and acted upon will bring us great joy and will protect us from enemies; but if fought against or not used, it will separate us from God to whom we were once joined and from the Spirit which gives vitality and life to our being.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Yesterday was a busy one. Classes are over for the term, but I had to move my office. I’ve been in the old office for ten years and have so many fond memories connected to it that it ached a little to leave. But I only had to move down the hall and it only took a few hours to move everything. I swallowed back the hurt and am practicing loving what comes.

I keep telling myself this is a new adventure, that it is symbolic of new doors opening up for me, and I’ve got a new office mate to get to know better. I’m finding the silver lining and I may even find some gold!

Change is part of life; so we might as well enjoy it!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


In the Old Testament we find the story (Judges 12:1-6) of a battle between the Gileadites and the Ammonite.The Gileadites win, but the Ephraimites, from the east side of the Jordan River, are upset that the Gileadites never invited them to be part of the war and so they invade Gileadite territory. The Gileadites win that war also and then to make sure none of the invading army escapes back to Ephraim they set guards at the passage over the Jordan river that leads back to Ephraim.

To get home the Ephraimite men pretend to be Gileadites so they can cross the Jordan. However, the Gileadite soldiers are wise. They stop everyone trying to cross the river and ask, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If the man answers no, the interrogator asks, “Then say Shibboleth.”

This was a clever test because the Ephraimites could not pronounce the “sh” sound and would reply, “Sibboleth,” at which point they were discovered and executed. We are told that 42,000 men lost their lives because they could not say shibboleth.

I’ve pondered on this story a lot and imagined what must have gone on. After the first dozen or so men were given the verbal test, at least some of the other 41,986 would have known what the test was and passed along the warning. But why then did so many fail the test and die? If they knew they couldn’t pronounce the word when asked, why did they attempt to cross? Were they self deceived? Did they think they were saying shibboleth when they were really saying sibboleth? Did they just hope no one would notice they weren’t saying it right? If the person giving the warning couldn’t say the word correctly either, perhaps they got the message wrong and mislead the others. We don’t know exactly what happened, but the absence of one tiny letter caused the death of thousands.

In the early 1600s the word shibboleth came into the English language and means “a use of language regarded as distinctive of a particular group” or “a custom or usage regarded as distinguishing one group from another.” In other words, a shibboleth is something that divides us from something else.

As I’ve pondered the story, I’ve realized it’s the detail in the application of the gospel in our lives that distinguishes us from others. I’ve learned that I need to watch that I’m not self deceived. I need to make sure I am following those who “pronounce” the gospel message correctly. I need to repent and not just hope that no one will notice that I’m doing something wrong. I need to make sure I “speak” the gospel language without missing a letter.

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Hands

As I started to write just now I looked down and was startled. How did my mother’s hands get attached to the ends of my arms? I don’t feel older, but these hands are her old hands. The blood vessels look like blue cords, the threads of muscles that work my fingers look like tight-ropes and the skin is loose and soft just like Mother's. Like I said, my mother’s hands have somehow become attached to my arms. These hands are not the young strong hands that used to be on the ends of my arms.
For many years I’ve watched these hands do dishes, wring out diapers (That’s right—no disposable diapers when I began mothering. You young mothers don’t know how lucky you are!) I’ve watched them knit, crochet and do all kinds of hand work. I’ve washed garden soil off them and once in a great while painted the nails. I’ve adorned the fingers with rings and the wrists with bracelets. Through tears that distorted their shape I’ve looked at these hands clenched in front of me as I prayed. And more times than I wish, I’ve watched cuts and burns slowly heal on these hands.

But the best memories are of these fingers softly caressing a sleeping child’s cheek. Or of Mr. J slipping a ring on my finger as we stand beside an altar. Or of these fingers patting my dying father on the shoulder as a final goodbye. Or of little people kissing my hands as I tucked them into bed. So many wonderful memories now adorn these hands.

Yes, these hands have turned into my mother’s hands but I’m grateful. Her hands did all those things too, and they did even more than that for me. I just pray that someday my daughters will look at their hands and see mine and be grateful. What more could a mother wish for?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sabbath Scripture-Adversity

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial
which is to try you,
as though some strange thing happened unto you:
But rejoice,
inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings;
that, when his glory shall be revealed,
ye may be glad also with exceding joy.
1 Peter 4:12-13

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Measuring My Actions

I’ve been intrigued lately by the verses of scripture that teach us that we should do and say all that we do and say in the name of Jesus Christ. For example, in Colossians 3:17 it says: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” To me this is the measuring tape by which we should determine if our actions and thoughts are righteous and pleasing to God.

I know that I’ve fallen fall short of this measurement a lot, but since I’ve discovered this it has brought a new awareness that is helping me do better. When contemplating an action I ask myself if what I am about to do could be done in the name of the Savior. The simple yes or no in answer to that question tells me if I am on the right track or not.

This is also true of my thoughts. When I find myself getting angry or worried or fearful or vexed in any way, I ask myself if that thought could be closed like a prayer and the answer is always, “No!” That helps me get my thinking back on track. But surprisingly there are many thoughts that don’t appear at first to be very negative that I find I cannot think “in the name of the Lord Jesus” like when I'm being critical or judgmental.

I’ve got a long way to go that's why I love finding new helps that will get me there.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Spiritual Health

Ever since winter hit last November I’ve done my daily exercising on the tread mill in my home. But today I walked outside in the sunshine. Green trees, blossoms, and flowers waved at me like old friends and the crisp cool air filled me with its freshness. What a way to start a day.

We’ve had record amounts of snow and rain in Utah this year which means that the last few days of sunshine are melting the mountain snow and sending it down the rivers. The Provo River I walk along overflowed its banks and ran swifter than I’ve ever seen it. The music of the rushing river, the sound of birds in the trees, the whisper of my shoes on the sidewalk made me want to sing.

But the best thing was the stop on the bridge to meditate for a moment. I didn’t realize how much I missed that. Taking a moment to consciously let go of the bad energy and drink in the good energy is health for the soul. That healing is vital and while the treadmill replaced the exercising adequately, I didn’t do anything to replace the healing time. I’m resolved now to figure out a way to replace my “bridge” time when I exercise on the treadmill.

It is surprising, but just that two or three minutes a day makes a big difference in how the day goes. I feel like a new me! Happy sunshine to you all!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pure Love

Before the end of his life, the prophet Mormon gave us one of the most powerful sermons ever delivered on faith, hope and charity. (See Moroni 7.) In this sermon Mormon explains that faith is the means by which we obtain everything good.  He goes on to explain that the reason we can hope for (or expect) all things good is because of the atonement of Jesus Christ.  

At the end of the sermon Mormon tells us to seek after charity which is the pure love of Christ. Charity is “Benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity; The providing of help; The inclination to think well of others; or spiritual benevolence.” This love is not an emotion like we experience as mortal love, it is a power that fills us with divine attributes.

But one of the factors that helps us understand faith, hope, and charity as Mormon is teaching them is not in the words themselves but in the prepositions used with the words. Mormon speaks of “faith in Jesus Christ.” In is a function word used to “indicate inclusion, location, or position with limits.” It also indicates “means, medium, or instrumentality.” Thus the means by which faith works is for us to use our agency to choose to place (position) our belief in Jesus Christ. In other words, we trust in Him.

When Mormon speaks of hope he tells us to “hope for.” For is a function word that indicates a goal or an intended purpose. So our goal is to receive the promised blessings of Jesus Christ. We expect them to come to us because we have faith in Him.

But when Mormon speaks of charity he explains that this pure love is of Jesus Christ. Of is a function word that indicates origin or derivation. It also indicates possessiveness or characteristics or distinctive qualities. Thus charity belongs to Jesus. It is possessed by Him and it comes to us as a gift that empowers us to feel toward others what God and the Savior feel for us.

Faith and hope, then, are things that we use our agency to gain and develop. They are things we choose by our thoughts, words, and actions. But charity is a power of divinity that is shared with mortals who use their faith and  hope to seek after and be worthy of it. It is not something we can generate on our own. As Mormon says, “Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ” (Moroni 7:48).

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

There's Power Within

Life tends to get so busy and hectic that our minds are full of what needs to be done or what hasn’t been done or what we wish we could do. But while we’re focusing on such things we forget about and miss what is right now. That means we miss some of the joy being sent our way and some of the meaning we could be gaining right now, but it also means we miss being a facilitator or conduit of God’s goodness right now.

God loves us and in any given moment He extends His power to us. When we take time to recognize that power is flowing through us, it encourages us and we can in turn use that power with the intention of helping others. In other words, as we recognize and focus on God’s power within us it flows through us to assist and help us and others. But if we aren’t recognizing and focusing on it, it goes unused and we miss opportunities to be blessed and to bless others.

While going about our day, if we are conscious of the power God shares with us it flows through us to melt away stress and vexation and fill our hearts with happiness. Then we not only are better able to help others, we find ourselves at peace.

All this happens not because we are so wonderful, but because Jesus Christ is. As He instructed, “Hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up” (3 Nephi 18:24).

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Don't Worry!

In the King James Bible, Philippians 4:6 reads, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” The New International Bible reads, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” But the New Revised Standard Bible translation is my favorite. It says, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

“Do not worry about anything!” Just let God take care of you. It reminds me that when we were children most of us turned to something for security. One of my daughters had a little blue doggy that she carried around and slept with. Others had a blanket and one even carried around pieces of batting that she loved to hold and rub against her cheek while she sucked her thumb. Those things are comfort, security, peace to a child.

But as we grow older we give up those things and replace them with other things. Money in the bank. Lots of friends. Good positions. Knowledge. Fancy neighborhoods. Degrees. These are some of the things that replace our blankets and stuffed animals as we seek safety, comfort, and security in life. But there is only one thing that allows us to live a life without worry and that is to turn to the Lord in “prayer and supplication with thanksgiving” and let Him guide us.
It is possible to “not worry.” But it can only happen if we let go of the things of the world and find our security in God. And then, "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).

Monday, June 6, 2011

For My Good

Last week I told you about my use of the Truth Tools. Well, I’m reporting in to tell you I survived the week because of those Truth Tools. Each day started out with fear and trepidation as I thought about standing up in front of my classes with no makeup. It was more difficult than I thought it would be, but I found that as soon as I forgot about myself and started thinking about my students and the message of Jesus Christ that I had to deliver to them, things worked out.

When I'd start to think about myself again and how awful I looked, I'd pull out a Truth Tool and I made it through. The pathology report came back that I had no cancer, but the cells are in a precancerous state that needs to be treated. So now I do the chemical thing again that makes me look like a monster. I think the Lord is trying to teach me something, but I'm not sure what yet. I just keep repeating: "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purposes" ( Romans 8: 28) over and over.

This is for my good. I know it is.