Friday, December 25, 2009

Another Extra Christmas Quote!

"All of us need to follow the example of the Savior in giving these kind of gifts. . . .

This Christmas, 'Mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.'

"Christmas is a celebration, and there is no celebration that compares with the realization of its true meaning---with the sudden stirring of the heart that has extended itself unselfishly in the things that matter most." (The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, p. 270-271).

Christmas Quote

"Christmas is a fitting time to renew our desires and to strengthen our determination to do all that lies within our power to make real among men the message heralded by the angels when the Savior was born. Let us glorify God by seeking the good, the true, the beautiful! Let us strive to establish peace on earth by exercising that same good will toward one another which God has shown toward us!

". . . If every man desired to show good will toward his fellow men and strove to express that desire in a thousand kind sayings and little deeds that would reflect unselfishness and self-sacrifice, what a contribution each would make toward universal peace on earth and the happiness of mankind" (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, p. 36-37).

Thursday, December 24, 2009

An Extra Christmas Quote!

“What shall we do with Jesus who is called Christ? Learn of him. Search the scriptures for they are they which testify of him. Ponder the miracle of his life and mission. Try a little more diligently to follow his example and observe his teachings. Bring the Christ back into Christmas.” Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Dec. 1983

Christmas Quote

"Christmastime is a glorious time of happy friendliness and unselfish sacrifice; a time of increased hospitality, devotion, and love; a time of the subduing of selfish impulses; a time of renewing friendships, cementing loosening ties, and the swelling of the heart. It transcends the individual, the family, the community, the nation; it approaches the universal, crosses borders, and touches many nations of the earth. . . .

"Though we make an effort to follow the pattern of gift giving, sometimes our program becomes an exchange---gift given for gift expected. Never did the Savior give in expectation. I know of no case in his life in which there was an exchange. He was always the giver, seldom the recipient. . . . His gifts were of such a nature that the recipient could hardly exchange or return the value. His gifts were rare ones: eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf, and legs to the lame; cleanliness to the unclean, wholeness to the infirm, and breath to the lifeless.

"His gifts were opportunity to the downtrodden, freedom to the oppressed, light in the darkness, forgiveness to the repentant, hope to the despairing. His friends gave him shelter, food, and love. He gave them of himself, his love, his service, his life. The wise men brought him gold and frankincense. He gave them and all their fellow mortals resurrection, salvation, and eternal life. We should strive to give as he gave. To give of oneself is a holy gift" (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 246-247).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Quote

“There is no better time than now, this very Christmas season, for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus the Christ. It is the time to love the Lord our God with all our heart and our neighbors as ourselves. It is well to remember that he who gives money gives much, he who gives time gives more, but he who gives of himself gives all.” Thomas S. Monson, New Era, Dec 2001, 4

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Quote

“If you desire to find the true spirit of Christmas and partake of thes weetness of it, let me make this suggestion to you. During the hurry of the festive occasion of this Christmas season, find time to turn your heart to God. Perhaps in the quiet hours, and in a quiet place, and on your knees—alone or with loved ones—give thanks for the good things that have come to you, and ask that His Spirit might dwell in you as you earnestly strive to serve Him and keep His commandments. He will take you by the hand and His promises will be kept.” Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, Dec 2005, 22–25

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Quote

“What will you and I give for Christmas this year? Let us in our lives give to our Lord and Savior the gift of gratitude by living His teachings and following in His footsteps. It was said of Him that He ‘went about doing good.’ As we do likewise, the Christmas spirit will be ours.” Thomas S. Monson, Liahona, Dec. 1998, 3

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Quote

“When we read the story of His birth at this season of the year, the warm inner glow that we feel is our testimony of the reality of Jesus Christ growing within us. It grows, too, as we realize that our very best Christmas traditions are those in which we honor Jesus by doing things for others. The poet James Russell Lowell, writing what he thought the Savior might say, put it this way: Not what we give, but what we share,
For the gift without the giver is bare;
Who gives himself with his alms feeds three,
Himself, his hungering neighbor, and me.”
(Christmas Greetings from the First Presidency, Friend, Dec 1983, 3)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Quote (look for one each day until Christmas!)

“Our first gift at Christmas should be to the Lord; next to the friend or stranger by our gate; then, surcharged with the effulgence from such giving,we would enhance the value of our gifts to our very own.” John A. Widtsoe, Ensign, Dec 1972, 4

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"Christmas Gifts" RS Lesson Dec. 6th

What is one of the best gifts you’ve ever gotten for Christmas? What’s at the top of your Christmas wish list this year?

Now I’d like for you to ponder the following questions and we’ll come back to them in a little bit: What do you think is at the top of Christ’s wish list? What would He most like to receive from us?

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year when the spirit of Christ is felt more strongly. Often there is an increase in generosity, goodwill, and love for others. But sometimes the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can leave us feeling overwhelmed, burnt-out and longing for the peace that His birth promised us. Sometimes it’s helpful to be reminded of the real reason for our celebrations.

Without Christ there would be no Christmas, and without Christ there can be no fulness of joy.
In our premortal state we shouted for joy as the plan of salvation was unfolded to our view. (See Job 38:7.)
It was there that our elder brother Jesus, the firstborn of our Father’s children in the spirit, volunteered to redeem us from our sins. He became our foreordained Savior, the Lamb “slain from the foundation of the world.” (Moses 7:47.)
He was the Only Begotten Son of our Heavenly Father in the flesh—the only child whose mortal body was begotten by our Heavenly Father. His mortal mother, Mary, was called a virgin, both before and after she gave birth. (See 1 Ne. 11:20.)
And so the premortal God, the God of the whole earth, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Lawgiver, the God of Israel, the promised Messiah was born a babe in Bethlehem. (Ezra Taft Benson, “Keeping Christ in Christmas,” Ensign, Dec 1993, 2)
… that night of nights the shepherds were abiding in the fields and the angel of the Lord appeared to them, announcing: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy. … For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

The shepherds with haste went to the manger to pay honor to Christ the Lord. Later, wise men journeyed from the East to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. … When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”
Since that time, the spirit of giving gifts has been present in the mind of each Christian as he or she commemorates the Christmas season. (Thomas S. Monson, “What Is Christmas?,” Ensign, Dec 1998, 2)

I think that the principle of giving gifts is an eternal one. Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have been the supreme example of this to us. They have shown us how to be generous, kind and charitable.

What are some of the gifts that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have given to mankind as a whole? What are some of the gifts they’ve given to you individually?

All that we hold dear, even our families, our friends, our joy, our knowledge, our testimonies, would vanish were it not for our Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Among the most cherished thoughts and writings in this world is the divine statement of truth: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

“This precious Son, our Lord and Savior, atoned for our sins and the sins of all. That memorable night in Gethsemane His suffering was so great, His anguish so consuming that He pleaded, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Later, on the cruel cross, He died that we might live, and live everlastingly. Resurrection morning was preceded by pain, by suffering in accordance with the divine plan of God. The world has witnessed no greater gift, nor has it known more lasting love.” (Thomas S. Monson, “Gifts,” Ensign, May 1993, 59)

“Never did the Savior give in expectation of receiving. He gave freely and lovingly, and His gifts were of inestimable value. He gave eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf, and legs to the lame; cleanliness to the unclean, wholeness to the infirm, and breath to the lifeless. His gifts were opportunity to the downtrodden, freedom to the oppressed, forgiveness to the repentant, hope to the despairing, and light in the darkness. He gave us His love, His service, and His life. And most important, He gave us and all mortals resurrection, salvation, and eternal life.” (Howard W. Hunter, “The Gifts of Christmas,” Ensign, Dec 2002, 16)
Anciently the three Wise Men came from afar to bring gifts to the baby Jesus. Wouldn’t it be marvelous this Christmas if we could personally give gifts to the Savior? I believe this is possible to do.

Jesus said in Matthew 25: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. …
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:“Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?“When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
“Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:31, 34–40).

Jesus is the source of all we have. Because of this He really has no need for anything that we can give Him. But He never rejects our gifts. He simply asks that we transfer our gift to someone else who is in need of it.

We’ve already talked about the many gifts He’s freely given each of us. Now we need to go back to the question I asked earlier. What would be at the top of Jesus’ wish list? What would He most like to receive from us? (Obedience, serving others, love) How can we give to the Savior? (Serving others) What are some specific acts of service that you can do? We’ve been given a built-in opportunity to serve when we were asked to be visiting teachers. This month is the perfect time to find a special way to serve the sisters on your route!

The only things that Jesus has asked for that we can really give Him is our obedience to His commandments, and a willingness to follow His example, which includes serving others. As we follow His example in serving, loving, teaching and giving we’ll be blessed to have a full measure of the real spirit of Christmas in our hearts.

An unknown author wrote:
I am the Christmas Spirit.
I enter the home of poverty, causing pale-faced children to open their eyes wide in pleased wonder.
I cause the miser’s clutched hand to relax and thus paint a bright spot on his soul.
I cause the aged to renew their youth and to laugh in the glad old way.
I keep romance alive in the heart of childhood and brighten sleep with dreams woven of magic.
I cause eager feet to climb dark stairways with filled baskets, leaving behind them hearts amazed at the goodness of the world.
I cause the prodigal to pause a moment on his wild, wasteful way, and send to anxious loved ones some little token that releases glad tears—tears which wash away the hard lines of sorrow. I enter dark prison cells, reminding scarred manhood of what might have been, and pointing forward to good days yet to come.
I come softly into the still, white home of pain; and lips that are too weak to speak just tremble in silent, eloquent gratitude.
In a thousand ways I cause the weary world to look up into the face of God, and for a little moment forget the things that are small and wretched.
I am the Christmas Spirit.

I’d like to challenge each of you to give a gift to the Savior this month. Reach outside your family circle and give to someone in need. Whether it’s baking cookies for the sisters you visit teach, visiting an elderly sister who is homebound, babysitting for a friend, or sharing your time and talents in some other way, make an effort to go out of your way and give to the Savior through your service to others.

What are some things you do that help you stay focused on the Savior during the holiday season? Do you have any family traditions that help with this?

A couple of great service ideas/traditions were shared:

An empty gift box is passed around to each family member before opening gifts on Christmas Day. Each person is asked to tell what gift they will give to Jesus in the coming year. It could be reading the Book of Mormon, being more diligent in holding family home evenings or doing visiting teaching, or many other things.

Firefighters often have to work on holidays in order to help others. You can take cookies, goodies, or even a meal to any firehouse in the area on Christmas Day to show your appreciation for their sacrifice and to help them enjoy their Christmas.

If you and your family or friends like to sing you can visit nursing homes and sing to the residents. Just check in at the front desk and make sure it’s okay (most homes will welcome it!)

Take cookies to neighbors.

I tried to remember all of the ideas that were shared, but if I’ve missed one, or if you weren’t there for the lesson and would like to share your family tradition or special service opportunities, please email me and I’ll be happy to add it! -Sis. Radabaugh

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First Presidency Christmas Devotional

This Sunday, December 6th, is the broadcast of the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. Members of the First Presidency will speak, and music will be provided by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square. It starts at 8pm.

To listen or view:
Live audio broadcast:
Live audio and video broadcast:

This devotional will be available on various broadcast, cable, satellite, and Internet television stations and broadcast, satellite, and Internet radio stations throughout the world. Check local program listings for availability in your area, or visit,,
or for more information.

Spirit of Christmas Nativity Display

Visit: for information about this year's Nativity Display at the Liberty Building. It runs Friday 1-9pm , Saturday 1-9pm and Sunday 1-5pm and is open to the public. Please invite friends, neighbors, co-workers and family to visit this beautiful display.

Ward Christmas Party

Come join us for the annual Fairfield Ward Christmas Party! It's Saturday at 6pm at the church. Invite your friends and neighbors and come enjoy soup, hot chocolate and time with the ward family.
Please bring soup to share if you can.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"Relief Society Meeting"

Our next "Relief Society Meeting" (formerly known as Enrichment) will be on Thursday, November 5th at 7pm. We will be making mats for "The Living Christ." You are also welcome to bring your own craft or project if you'd like. Please join us!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

For those of you who missed the Visiting Teaching Conference:

Unfortunately, I can't replicate the wonderful camaraderie that was present or perfectly relay the input that the sisters gave who attended the conference, but I can post most of the lesson, some helpful tips and great quotes. If you didn't have a chance to attend the conference, please take the time to read this over and pray to have your testimony of visiting teaching strengthened.

“The bishop, who is the ordained shepherd of the ward, cannot possibly watch over all of the Lord’s sheep at one time. Every bishop has a Relief Society president to depend upon, [and she is dependent on] visiting teachers, who know the trials and the needs of every sister. She can, through them, know the hearts of individuals and families. She can meet needs and help the bishop in his call to nurture individuals and families.” (“The Enduring Legacy Of Relief Society” Elder Henry B. Eyring, General Relief Society Meeting, Sep. 2009)

“[Visiting Teaching] is one duty we have in the Church where we are certain to have the help of the Lord if we ask for it. This is one responsibility that is certain to increase our faith and personal righteousness and strengthen our own homes and families as we become partners with the Lord. A sister in this Church has no other responsibility outside of her family that has the potential to do as much good as does visiting teaching.” (“Relief Society: A Sacred Work” Julie B. Beck, General Relief Society Meeting, 2009)

In our ward we have, on average, 26 visiting teaching companionships who have stewardship over 90 or more sisters. Even if I was able to visit one or more sisters every day of the month I still wouldn’t be able to see everyone. I often don’t know of the needs of sisters and their families unless their visiting teachers have been faithful in visiting and caring for them, and then let me know when there’s a problem. The Bishop depends on me and I, in turn, rely on you to be the eyes and ears of our ward, to help us be aware of the spiritual and temporal needs of our sisters and their families. It takes every one of us doing our part.

Sister Beck has said: “Visiting teachers minister in behalf of the Savior. Our hands are His hands, our love is His love, and our service is His service. Good visiting teachers know the sisters they visit. They love them, serve them, and help them learn the gospel by the Spirit. They focus on fortifying homes and lives. There is no greater privilege than to watch over and strengthen another person—it is truly the business of salvation.” (Julie B. Beck, “Focusing on the Lord’s Work of Salvation,” Liahona, Mar 2009, 26–30)

Being a visiting teacher is a vital part of our membership in Relief Society and is a necessary service if we are to live up to our baptismal covenants. But it’s often not easy or convenient.

I’m assuming that all of you have had struggles with visiting teaching. Do you ever ask yourself “How can I be a good visiting teacher when I have so many challenges?” Do you ever feel like you’re alone in the challenges you face in visiting teaching?

Tonight I’d like to discuss some of the challenges we face as visiting teachers and hopefully come up with some solutions or at the very least some inspiring thoughts to help us overcome and learn from these challenges.

Everyone was asked to write down their top 3 challenges in visiting teaching. The answers were very telling. Out of the 30+ responses, 11 were directly related to time issues, 5 were about fears, 5 were about companions, and others were about laziness (I love the honesty!), difficulty contacting sisters on a route, etc.

I think it was important for the sisters to realize that they weren't alone in the challenges they face with visiting teaching. But I also think it’s important to know that we are each entitled to help from Heavenly Father in following the commandment He has given us to love and serve one another.

I think that most of the challenges we’ve listed can be grouped together under these 6 headings:

The first challenge is: Children.
How many of you have children that you need to take with you when you do your visiting teaching? What solutions have you found that work for you?
Here are a few solutions:
Bring along some of your children’s favorite toys, special ones that will hold their attention.
Invite the sister (and her children) to meet at your house.
Meet and visit at a park or at a food place with a play area.
Arrange for a babysitter for all the children and go out to lunch WITHOUT the kids!
Swap babysitting with other sisters in the ward- take turns watching the kids while the other goes visiting teaching.

The second challenge is: Lack of Time
How have you fit visiting teaching into your life? I thought it was interesting that this was one challenge that almost every sister had, even if she didn't write it out. But what's amazing is that these busy women are also the ones who usually make the time to do their visiting teaching. They may not be able to visit every sister every month, but they make an effort to contact them.

The main solution I’ve found to the time problem is to prioritize and make sure Visiting Teaching is near the top of the list at least one week a month! We can't make more hours in the day but we can change what we do with some of the time we've been given.

Sister Bonnie D. Parkin once said: “Wouldn’t it be easy if we were choosing between visiting teaching or robbing a bank? Instead, our choices are often more subtle. We must choose between many worthy options.” (Bonnie D. Parkin “Choosing Charity: That Good Part,” Ensign, Nov 2003, 104)

I love this quote from an article titled “Selfless Service”: “... many things, in fact most, are interesting, and many are enticing. But some things are important. The limits of time dictate that we must prioritize what we do. The divinely given and heaven-protected gift of agency allows us to determine to what degree we will serve others and allow them to serve us. The depth of involvement in that which is important, rather than just interesting, is our own choice.
As we make these choices, we might consider that the glitter and excitement of festive, fun-filled projects are interesting, but the shut-ins, the lonely, the handicapped, the homeless, the latchkey kids, and the abandoned aged are important. ….The meetings and materials and planning are all interesting, but the doing is important.” (William R. Bradford, “Selfless Service,” Ensign, Nov 1987, 75)

A handout was passed out that contains the following time management tips:

1. Set aside a quiet, prayerful time each morning for planning. (Or do it the night before if that is when you have quiet time.)
2. Establish your priorities: Seek Heavenly Father’s guidance as you set your priorities. Each day and week consider what you have to do, then decide which items are most important. Number them if you need to and then do the most important things first.
3. Eliminate unimportant things. If you find that some of your activities only waste time and don’t add much to your life, eliminate them. This goes back to finding balance and simplifying your life. Re-visit those principles by reading articles on them to help motivate you.
4. Use your time wisely to accomplish the most important items.
5. Avoid procrastination. Do things now. Even when you don’t feel like it. Do it anyways!

The third challenge is: Fear
You need to recognize that most people have some fear associated with Visiting Teaching. It may be fear of contacting someone you don’t know, or fear of being rejected by someone who isn’t active. Maybe you’re shy and afraid of seeming awkward or not knowing what to say, or are afraid to bear your testimony or teach a lesson.

The solution to fears, first and foremost, is to turn to the Lord for help. As it says in 2 Timothy: “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7.)
President Monson had this to say “Now, some of you may be shy by nature or consider yourselves inadequate to respond affirmatively to a calling. Remember that this work is not yours and mine alone. It is the Lord’s work, and when we are on the Lord’s errand, we are entitled to the Lord’s help. Remember that whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.” (President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency, “Duty Calls,” Ensign, May 1996, 4.)
Visiting Teaching isn’t just an assignment from the Relief Society President or the Bishop, it’s a call from the Lord and we are entitled to the Lord’s help in accomplishing it.

“Through the gospel you learn that focusing on yourself and your weakness is not the answer. If you look outside of yourself and focus on others, your problem diminishes.” When we worry less about what someone else thinks or how they might react to us and focus instead on loving them, we will find that it becomes easier to make the phone calls or to go and visit.
One thing to remember when overcoming fears is to be Persistent! “President Heber J. Grant, known for his willingness to practice a difficult task until he mastered it, often said these words: “That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed, but that our power to do is increased.” 3 Almost every person who has overcome [fears] would agree with that principle.” (Rebecca M. Taylor, “Beyond Shyness,” Ensign, Jun 2001, 56)

A practical way to help overcome the fear of talking to someone you don’t know is to use ice-breakers or conversation starter questions when you meet someone for the first time. On the handout are 25 questions that are just about guaranteed to get some sort of conversation going!
(**The handouts are still available in the RS basket. If you don't have access to the basket, please ask for a copy and we'll get one to you!)

You can also do simple acts of service that will help you to get to know the sister better and help you overcome any fear of visiting teaching her: Ask her to sit with you in Relief Society; Go out of your way to greet her by name, Pray for her specifically, and If you don’t see her at church give her a call and let her know she was missed.
You’ll find that many of the sisters you visit will freely open up and share many details of their life with you, or that you have things in common and conversations will come easily. But you can also end up with someone like me: I’ve always been shy and often don’t give details about my life unless I feel that I can trust someone, or feel that they are genuinely interested. I hope that you don’t end up with many sisters on your route like me, but if you do, please be patient with them and persevere!! As you build trust you’ll usually find that even the shyest sisters will open up and the visits will become easier.

The fourth challenge is: Health Issues
This is a hard one to deal with on a regular basis. Often our options are limited. But there are a few things you CAN do: Pray to the Lord for strength, Be willing to ask for and accept help and know that it’s okay to lean on someone else, Make sure to take care of yourself so that you can help take care of others. If you can’t make it out for a visit, make a phone call, send a card, do the same things for the sisters on your route that you would like to have done for you…

The fifth challenge is: Companion problems (scheduling, can’t contact, doesn’t help)
What challenges have you faced with the companions you’ve had, and how have you overcome them? Have you found any strategies that work well?
Some of the suggestions I have would be: Pray for your companion and try to befriend her. Be the example for her. Show your companion that you have a testimony of visiting teaching and that you love the sisters you visit. Be supportive and help teach your companion about what it means to be a visiting teacher. Refer her to the RS president to learn more about visiting teaching if she doesn’t understand it. Report problems with your companion during your visiting teaching interview, or directly to the RS president if it’s urgent. Let the RS Presidency know if there are serious scheduling conflicts between you and your companion. Practice the principles of simplifying and keeping your life in balance so that you are available, and hopefully your example will inspire your companion to do the same.

The sixth challenge is: Finding the motivation to do it.
The only real solution to this one is to gain a testimony of it through prayer, fasting, and just plain DOING. Often we don’t gain a testimony of, or even a desire to do something until we actually start doing it. Sometimes the testimony doesn’t come until after much effort and sacrifice, but I can promise you that it does come. And when you have a testimony of visiting teaching, it becomes much easier to make the calls and go visit. It’s no longer just another chore- it becomes a recognizable blessing.

Sister Beck shared this with us: “Visiting teaching becomes the Lord’s work when our focus is on people rather than percentages. In reality, visiting teaching is never finished. It is more a way of life than a task. Faithfully serving as a visiting teacher is evidence of our discipleship…. If our watchcare were primarily about reporting that every sister in the ward heard the Visiting Teaching Message printed each month in the Ensign it would be much more efficient to read it aloud to everyone in a sacrament meeting. Our reports are most helpful to the bishop and the Relief Society president when we inform them of the spiritual and temporal well-being of sisters and how we have been able to serve and love them.” (“Relief Society: A Sacred Work” Julie B. Beck, General Relief Society Meeting, Sep. 2009)

Elder Eyring said: “…each time you and your companion prepare to go visiting teaching, you just need to remember what success will be. It will be more than getting in the door. It will be more than giving a message. It will be more than asking how you can help. Success will come perhaps only after many visits. And you may not in this world see the evidence that you have succeeded. But you can feel by the Spirit if you are on the way. (“The Enduring Legacy Of Relief Society” Elder Henry B. Eyring, General Relief Society Meeting, Sep. 2009)

I’m living proof that sometimes you won’t know that you’ve had success. I was inactive or just on the fringes of activity throughout most of my 20’s and was also dealing with depression, social anxiety and word of wisdom problems. During that time I was blessed with several loving, faithful visiting teachers who taught me, motivated me to improve myself, and helped me to feel more comfortable when I did come to church. The process of becoming active again was very slow and I often took only baby steps. I also moved every few years and often had to leave behind the sisters who had befriended me. But there were enough times that Heavenly Father sent me loving visiting teachers that didn’t give up on me, and that helped me to not give up on myself. I’m sure that none of them had any idea that their efforts would help me get to where I am today, but they played an important part in my life and I’ll be eternally grateful for their love, friendship and example.

You also may never know the results of your visiting teaching efforts. But if you are faithful and strive to truly love each sister you have stewardship over, you will be a blessing in their lives. You never know what a difference you might make in someone’s life just by being a faithful visiting teacher.

(We were then blessed to hear the testimonies of 4 sisters about visiting teaching. I can't even try to replicate the spirit they brought. It was a wonderful experience.)

Sisters, my goal isn’t to motivate everyone to attain a 100% on their visiting teaching. Having each sister receive a visit would be great, but my main concern is that you come to understand and gain a testimony of the importance of visiting teaching. As Sister Allred has said: “We have divine promptings encouraging us to do good. Let us commit to effective visiting teaching. We can provide temporal and spiritual nourishment. We can and should offer understanding and be able to teach doctrine. We can relieve spiritual hunger and feed the sheep.” (Silvia H. Allred, “Feed My Sheep,” Liahona, Nov 2007, 113–15)
We can do this great work! I hope that each of you will be filled with a greater desire to more deeply love the sisters you visit. You can make a difference in someone else’s life, and visiting teaching can give you that opportunity.

*Although this can give you a good general idea of the spirit of the meeting it really can't replace the feeling of unity and strength that came from meeting with other sisters who have the same struggles and were willing to share their solutions and their testimonies. I'm very thankful for everyone who participated and helped make the conference successful.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Visiting Teaching Conference

Please join us for our annual Visiting Teaching Conference on Thursday, October 15th at 7pm. All are invited to attend. Please don't miss out on this opportunity to be spiritually uplifted and encouraged in this great work!
Refreshments and nursery will be provided.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

General Conference: October 3rd and 4th

General Conference is this weekend! Sessions can be seen at 12:00 pm and 4:00pm on both Saturday and Sunday. There will be a Priesthood Session at 8:00 pm on Saturday (only available at a church building.)
Sessions can be viewed at the church building, on BYU-TV (if your cable or satellite provider carries it) or online at or .

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Stake RS Enrichment Meeting and General RS Broadcast

Please mark your calendars and make every effort to attend the Stake Enrichment Meeting and General RS Broadcast on Saturday, September 26, starting at 6:00 p.m.

Appetizers and desserts will be served, followed by musical numbers in the chapel by each ward and branch in the stake.
The Relief Society General Broadcast will then follow at 8:00 p.m.

Please invite the sisters you visit teach as well as friends, family and neighbors. This can be a wonderfully uplifting experience for every sister.

"Sacred music has a unique capacity to communicate our feelings of love for the Lord. This kind of communication is a wonderful aid to our worship. Many have difficulty expressing worshipful feelings in words, but all can join in communicating such feelings through the inspired words of our hymns. When a congregation worships through singing, all present should participate. " Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, Nov 1994, 9

Friday, September 18, 2009

Please Share Your Thoughts On Visiting Teaching

How do you feel about visiting teaching?
What challenges do you face in doing it?
What blessings have you seen in your life because of it?
What would make it easier for you to do your visiting teaching?

Please share your answers these questions or any other thoughts you'd like to share about visiting teaching!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cincinnati Ohio North Stake Labor Day Picnic

The Stake Labor Day Picnic will be on Monday Sept. 7th at Noon at Harbin Park Shelters 1-4.

Meats, beverages and paper products will be provided. Please bring a large dish to share based on your last name:
A-E salads
F-N side dishes
O-Z desserts

Activities will start at 1:00 p.m. Look for team sign up sheets for soccer and cornhole tournaments. Games and fun for the kids! Come join us!

Book Group

The next meeting of the book group will be on Tuesday, September 8th at 7 pm at Dory C.'s house. We will be discussing the book "The Middle Place" by Kelly Corrigan. Please join us for an evening of fun and fellowship!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Stake Conference

Stake Conference is this next weekend!
The Adult Session will be on Saturday, August 29th at 7 pm at the Liberty Building.
The General Session will be on Sunday, August 30th at 9 am at the Montgomery Building.
Please make every effort to be there!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sunday's Lesson

Much of this lesson is pulled from an article in the Sep 1973 Ensign entitled: “Judge Not” by Kenneth L. Higbee (pg. 8)

Ancient and modern scriptures frequently warn us not to judge others or be quick to find fault with them. (Matt. 7:1; Acts 10:28; Rom. 14:10, 13; D&C 20:54.) We are told that Christ is to be our judge (John 5:22; Acts 10:42; Rom. 14:10–12; James 4:12; Morm. 3:20), and he has even said that he is more concerned with saving us than judging us (John 12:47).

Sometimes this leaves us with the feeling that we should never judge others in any way. Here is what it says on
“Sometimes people feel that it is wrong to judge others in any way. While it is true that we should not condemn others or judge them unrighteously, we will need to make judgments of ideas, situations, and people throughout our lives. The Lord has given many commandments that we cannot keep without making judgments. For example, He has said: "Beware of false prophets. . . . Ye shall know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:15–16) and "Go ye out from among the wicked" (D&C 38:42). We need to make judgments of people in many of our important decisions, such as choosing friends, voting for government leaders, and choosing a spouse.
Our righteous judgments about others can provide needed guidance for them and, in some cases, protection for us and our families. We should approach any such judgment with care and compassion. As much as we can, we should judge people's situations rather than judging the people themselves.” (Topic: “Judging Others” on

Although we need to be able to righteously judge people and situations, we need to be careful.
We need to follow the counsel of our Savior when he said:
"Judge not, that ye be not judged.
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." (Matthew 7:1-5)

It’s so easy to get caught up in the bad habit of finding fault with others, even though we know we shouldn’t do it. We may find ourselves criticizing our family, friends, church leaders, or total strangers.
This leads me to ask: why do we criticize and find fault with others? Let’s consider some possible answers:

(1) It is easier to criticize than to be constructive. As a nineteenth century clergyman noted, “Only God can form and paint a flower, but any foolish child can pull it to pieces.” People are not perfect; they are sometimes annoying, disappointing, inconsiderate, and selfish, and they do make mistakes. Thus, it is easy for us to find faults, because there are plenty of them around.

What effect could this have on a marriage or a family? How about a friendship? Would this make it harder for us to sustain our church leaders?

(2) The second reason we may try to find faults is To magnify our own virtues. One way to improve ourselves is to develop our talents, skills, and virtues. However, because it is easier to criticize than to be constructive, we may decide not to improve ourselves but instead attempt to make others look smaller by tearing them down; then we will look bigger by comparison without actually becoming any bigger. Secure, successful people do not feel the need to undermine others in order to establish their own worth.

How does this affect us when we do this to others? How does it affect our spiritual growth? (Lack of progression, damaged relationships) And on the flip side- how do you feel when you are criticized or have your faults pointed out?

(3) Another reason we judge others is To justify our own faults. By pointing out how many other people have faults and that some of their faults are worse than ours, we make our faults seem smaller by comparison. As President N. Eldon Tanner has noted, “Sometimes as I move among people I am almost convinced that it is human nature to magnify the weaknesses in others in order to minimize our own.” (Improvement Era, June 1967, p. 29.)

Again, we are halting our own spiritual progress by focusing on the faults of others rather than addressing our own.

(4) The fourth reason might be Revenge or jealousy. Because we may have been wronged by someone, we may want to get even with him by hurting him. Or we may want to tear down a person who outshines us if we are covetous or envious of what he has.

How does this affect those around us? What kind of example are we being? Who might be harmed by our example?

(5) And the fifth and final reason could be To shift the blame. When we make mistakes, we may avoid the responsibility for them by criticizing the performance of those who are working with us. Or we may try to shift the responsibility by finding fault with the performance of others.

We’ve established that finding fault and judging unrighteously have some very negative impacts on ourselves and others. In addition to what we’ve discussed, Brother Higbee pointed out 5 very good reasons not to judge others:

1. Our perceptions may be wrong.
Brother Higbee gives a good example of how perceptions can vary widely. He says “ …in a speech class I took in college, each student gave a speech on which all other class members turned in a written critique. One student informed me that “some gestures were vague and repetitious,” while another complimented me on “good motivated gestures.” One student noted, “You seemed so nervous,” while another commented, “You seemed very much at ease.” Since the students were perceiving the same person giving the same talk, their different impressions must be due to factors other than the person being perceived. What are some of the factors that may cause differences in our perceptions?

What affects our perception? (Upbringing, education, experiences, family, attitude, beliefs, etc.)

Another factor that might affect our perception could be Context. The context in which we perceive a person affects our impression of him. A person or an act may be perceived differently in different situations, not because the person or act has changed but because the context has changed.
For example, a 31-year-old college professor was introduced to a group of college students as a fellow student. The students were asked to estimate his age. The average guess was 23. He was introduced to another group of students as a professor. This group estimated his age at about 30. In addition to the age difference, the “professor” was also perceived as being significantly taller than the “student.” Thus, he was viewed in the context of “student” or “professor.” If the perception of physical characteristics such as age and height can be distorted by context, then we can understand how perceptions of emotions, attitudes, words, and actions can be even more susceptible to distortion.

2. The second reason we should be careful of finding fault with others is that our perceptions are limited.
A tendency of most people is to form impressions of others on the basis of very limited information. Having seen someone for only a few minutes, people are willing to make judgments about a large number of his characteristics. When we start to judge someone on the basis of one exposure to him, remember that even the Lord does not propose to judge a man until the end of his days.

Even if we could observe all of a person’s acts and words, we would still not have sufficient information to judge him, because we cannot see his reasons for his behavior. We can only infer his intent from what he says and does, and we have seen some reasons why such inferences can be wrong. Yet the intent may sometimes be more important than the act itself. For example, suppose a four-year-old girl knocks a glass off the kitchen table and breaks it. Would you judge her as harshly if she were trying to surprise her mother by cleaning up the dishes as you would if she did it because she did not want to drink her milk?

Have you ever had someone misjudge you because they didn’t understand your intentions? How did that make you feel? What could be some reasons that people act in ways that seem offensive to us?

We should always err on the side of mercy and assume that the person meant no harm and probably didn’t even realize the effects of what they did.

The judgment of the Lord is fair and just, because he can accurately perceive intents (1 Kgs. 8:39; 1 Sam. 16:7), and he takes these into account in judging us. As President Brigham Young noted, “It is not by words, particularly, nor by actions, that men will be judged in the great day of the Lord; but, in connection with words and actions, the sentiments and intentions of the hearts will be taken, and by these will men be judged.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 10.)

3. The third reason we need to be careful not to judge is that: We may not be worthy to judge.
Even if our perceptions were accurate and we could perceive intent as well as behavior, we would still not be qualified to judge. The Lord indicated the reason for this in his Sermon on the Mount when he told us to not be too concerned about the mote in our brother’s eye until we get the beam out of our own eye. (Matt. 7:3–5.) In contrasting a small particle of dust in our brother’s eye with a large piece of wood in our own eye, the Savior was suggesting that, because we ourselves are sinners, we are not justified in condemning others for sinning. …Some of us spend too much time discussing other people’s sins when we should be working on our own. If we cannot make ourselves into what we want, what right do we have to try to make others over?

What happens when we take this a step further and advertise the weaknesses or faults of others? What effect can that have?

Think of the harm you can do to others by not only focusing on their faults, but then advertising those faults to others. You may inadvertently change someone’s entire opinion about that person, or even create hard feelings between others when there weren’t any to begin with. When we focus on the weaknesses of others we tend to build up our own pride and think “I’m better than that” or “at least I don’t have to worry about doing that.”

4. Another reason that we may judge unrighteously is because we see only what we are looking for.
Our expectation that something is going to happen may cause us to act in such a way as to actually cause it to happen, thus fulfilling our prophecy that it would happen. For example, if many people believe a rumor that a bank is going to collapse, and they all hurry to withdraw their money, they may cause its collapse. The same phenomenon can be found in our interpersonal relationships. To a considerable extent, people act as we expect them to act. If we expect the worst from people, we are likely to get it. If we are always criticizing, emphasizing weaknesses, and looking for others’ faults and dwelling on them, we may give them the impression that we expect them to behave in the very manner we criticize; we thus encourage the negative behavior that we are always emphasizing. The principle of the self-fulfilling prophecy is suggested in the following words of President Tanner:
“If we will always look for the best in others, in our friends, in our neighbors, in our wife, in our husband, in our children, they will turn out to be the most wonderful people in the world. On the other hand, if we are looking for their weaknesses and faults and enlarge upon them, these same people may become even despicable.” (Improvement Era, June 1967, p. 29.)

Have you ever experienced this? Why does knowing someone well sometimes increase our likelihood to find fault? How can we overcome feelings of frustration or annoyance with those we are close to?

5. We need to be careful because we may be setting ourselves up to be judged harshly.
The Lord said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (Matt. 7:1.) We frequently focus on the first part of this statement without realizing the significance of the second part. The next verse explains what the second part means: “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matt. 7:2.) The same idea is expressed in the Lord’s Prayer (again note the second part of the statement): “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matt. 6:12; 3 Ne. 13:11.)

What these verses suggest is that the criteria we use in judging others during mortality may be applied by the Lord in judging us. Thus, we may actually be judging ourselves when we judge others, in the sense that we are establishing the measure of justice and mercy that will be measured to us in the final judgment. (See also Alma 41:14–15)
If the Lord uses his own criteria for judging, we are assured of a just and merciful judgment. (Ps. 103:8; John 5:30.) Are we confident enough with the criteria we use in judging others that we are willing to have the Lord judge us by our criteria rather than his? Do we want him to judge us in the same way we judge others? If not, then perhaps we should be hesitant to criticize and condemn others.

How can we work to overcome the tendency to judge others and learn to be more tolerant?
What qualities do we need to develop to counteract the desire to find fault?

N. Eldon Tanner said: “Only by suspending judgment do we exhibit real charity. It is hard to understand why we are ready to condemn our neighbors and our friends on circumstantial evidence while we are all so determined to see that every criminal has a fair and open trial. Surely we can try to eliminate pride, passion, personal feeling, prejudice, and pettiness from our minds, and show charity to those around us.
Let us look for the good rather than try to discover any hidden evil. We can easily find fault in others if that is what we are looking for. Even in families, divorce has resulted and families have been broken up because the husband or wife was looking for and emphasizing the faults rather than loving and extolling the virtues of the other.
Let us remember too that the further out of line or out of tune we ourselves are, the more we are inclined to look for error or weaknesses in others and to try to rationalize and justify our own faults rather than to try to improve ourselves.

If we’ll stay busy with improving ourselves and try to be filled with charity towards others we won’t have the time or energy to notice or point out the faults of others, and in the process we’ll draw closer to Heavenly Father and be better able to draw on the power of His mercy and forgiveness.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"...Having 'freedom to' means that we have the potential of making wrong choices. Wrong choices have their merciless consequences, and when they are not stopped and corrected they lead us into misery and pain. Wrong choices, if not corrected, will lead us to the ultimate possible disaster in each person's life: to become separated from our Heavenly Father in the world to come." F. Enzio Busche, Ensign, Nov 2000, 83-84July 20, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"Jesus' teachings help us to have a correct view of life and our circumstances. Sometimes the solution is not to change our circumstance, but to change our attitude about that circumstance and its difficulties so that we see more clearly our opportunities for more abundant service. It has been said that hell is to be frozen in self-pity." Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Jul 1978, 3

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"Unless the way we live draws us closer to our Heavenly Father and to our fellowmen, there will be an enormous emptiness in our lives." Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Jul 1978, 3

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Inspirational Thought

Stick to your task 'til it sticks to you;
Beginners are many, but enders are few.
Honor, power, place and praise
Will come, in time, to the one who stays.
Stick to your task 'til it sticks to you;
Bend at it, sweat at it, smile at it too;
For out of the bend and the sweat and the smile
Will come life's victories, after awhile.
Quoted by Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, Oct 1993, 2

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Recipes from 30 Minute Meals Group

We had a great time at the 30-Minute Meals Group on Tuesday. Here are the two recipes that were used to create a super yummy meal:

Marinara Sauce

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 medium onion, chopped
2 28 oz. cans or 2 quart jars plum tomatoes
1 12 oz. can tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil

Heat oil and cook onion until tender; add garlic and cook one minute more.
Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, oregano, sugar and dried basil. If using fresh basil add it in the last minute of simmering. Heat to boiling, stirring to break up tomatoes. Reudce heat to low; partially cover pan and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Can be processed in a food processor for a smooth sauce to use on pizza. Freeze in pint or quart jars.

Penne with Turkey Meatballs (serves 4-6) recipe by Giarda De Laurentiis

1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons whole milk (Corrie used lower fat and it turned out great)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup Romano cheese
1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat (look for it in the freezer section)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 cups tomato sauce (use the recipe above or 2 jars of store bought sauce)
1 pound dried penne pasta

In a large bowl add bread crumbs and milk and mix well until combined. Mix in eggs and 1/2 cup of the Romano cheese and mix well. Add turkey and gently combine, being careful not to overwork the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Shape into golf-size balls.

In a large skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. When almost smoking, add meatballs and without moving or turning the meat, allow it to brown for about 3 minutes. Turn meatballs and brown other side. Continue to cook until all sides are golden brown, about 8 minutes total. Add tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow meatballs to simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and keep warm on stove. Be careful not to overhandle the meatballs since they are soft and fragile.

In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain pasta in a colander. Do not rinse pasta with water since you want to retain the pasta's natural starches so that the sauce will cling to the penne.

Remove meatballs from sauce and place in a serving bowl. Pour some tomato sauce over the meatballs, but leave about 1 cup of sauce in skillet. Place the cooked penne into the skillet with the remaining sauce and toss well. Pour sauced pasta into a large serving bowl. Serve alongside the meatballs.


Inspirational Thought

"...There is a big difference between mere desire and covenant. When we just desire something, we will work towards achieving it only when convenient. But when we are bound by a sacred covenant, like baptism, we are learning to overcome all obstacles through obedience, and in so doing we will be blessed with the presence of the Spirit and therefore eventually with achievement. We are beginning to become alive as we take, knowingly, full responsibility for our own life and as we stop blaming circumstances." F. Enzio Busche,Ensign, Nov 2000, 83-84

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Enrichment Meeting Coming Up!

Come join us for our "Don't Stress" Enrichment Meeting! Thursday August 6th at 6:30 pm.
Pot luck dinner will begin at 6:30. Sign up to bring a 30 minute meal, salad or dessert.
The stress workshop will begin at 7:30 p.m. with a speaker from the Doctors Speakers Bureau. The class is "entertaining and motivational, free from the usual boring advice we've all heard. . . . And it really works!"
Babysitting will be provided.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Book Group

The Book Group will be reading "The Middle Place" by Kelly Corrigan. The time and place for our next meeting will be announced soon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Relief Society Lesson from Sunday 7/12

Relief Society lesson on Service

I was inspired by Sister Kingrey’s lesson last month on what holds us back from following the Savior. I would like to follow the same train of thought and talk about what holds us back from serving Him because we don’t serve His children or vice versa, not serving His children and therefore not serving Him.

Remember the principle taught in John 21:15–17. The Lord asked Peter, “Lovest thou me ¼ ?” Peter answered, “Thou knowest that I love thee.” And the Lord replied, “Feed my lambs.” The Lord asked him the second time, “Lovest thou me?” Peter again answered, “Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.” The Lord said to Peter, “Feed my sheep.” The Lord asked a third time, “Lovest thou me?” Peter answered, “Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.” Jesus said unto him, “Feed my sheep.” Last week Corrie used this scripture to talk about how if we truly would be able “ to feed His lambs and nourish His sheep with testimony and the Spirit, we must also cultivate in our homes and classrooms respect for each other and reverence for God.” This scripture also suggests that to show our love for Christ we would be of service to His sheep. That’s what I would like to talk about today - service - however, talking about Relief Society and service will also include some discussion of visiting teaching, the place in Relief Society where service often starts.

Read Mosiah 18:8-10 We made this commitment when we were baptized. VT is the program that helps us put this scripture into practice. Many of us wouldn’t do some of these things on our own but will do them when assigned. I think VT helps us fulfill the commandment to “feed my sheep.” VT benefits not only those who are being taught but the one who does the teaching.

And look at what VT can accomplish. Christ “multiplied his service by twelve” in order to further his ministry, rather than doing it alone. I can see the reasons for doing it this way. FIRST, the Lord knew that every-one needed to experience the joy of service. I have learned that it I am the one who grows when I give service whether by VTing or doing compassionate service. SECOND, He needed the service of the Twelve, men who could spread his goodness and compassion, men who would carry on even after he left them. There are real needs that need to be addressed and people need the physical and spiritual help that we can bring.

The Christlike service of Relief Society visiting teachers is a living example of this multiplier effect. Fanning out into LDS homes, they can maintain heart‑to‑heart contact with every sister for whom the bishop is responsible - does our ward look like that - sisters maintaining heart-to-heart contact with each other? And their effectiveness is limited only by their creativity. “The purposes of visiting teaching are to build caring relationships with each sister and to offer support, comfort, and friendship.”

So what stops us from VTing or doing compassionate service, either freely or when called upon by assignment? IDEAS

As disciples of Christ, we too declare that we love Him. So how do we go about feeding His sheep? IDEAS
1. Visit each assigned sister regularly (where feasible, in her home every month).

2. “Learn of the spiritual and temporal needs of the sister and her family.”

3. “Offer appropriate assistance.”

4. “Give spiritual instruction through a monthly message.”3

The Lord has blessed women with divine attributes of love, compassion, kindness, and charity. Through our monthly visits as visiting teachers, we have the power to bless each sister as we extend our arms of love and kindness and give the gifts of compassion and charity. No matter what our individual circumstances are, we all have the opportunity to edify and nurture others.

We can and should be able to provide meaningful relief. We have the gospel perspective in our lives. We have divine promptings encouraging us to do good. Let us commit to effective visiting teaching. We can provide temporal and spiritual nourishment. We can and should offer understanding and be able to teach doctrine. We can relieve spiritual hunger and feed the sheep. Feeding the sheep might mean strengthening and nourishing the new members, the less active, or even the fully active members.

Sister Beck: Latter‑day Saint women must be strong and immovable in relief. We are a Relief Society, and we should be the best women in the world at providing relief. This has been our special province from the beginning. The word relief means “to lift up, lighten.” It means “a raising [up].” “The notion is ‘to raise (someone) out of trouble.’ ” Our service and the relief that we offer are a sign that we are the Lord’s disciples and we are members of His true restored Church. It is a privilege to be part of this worldwide organization for women, whose name describes what we are meant to do: provide relief.

Notwithstanding the important relief efforts of the past, the greatest and most important work for the women of this Church still lies ahead. The earth must be prepared to receive the Lord Jesus Christ, and we must help with this preparation in the midst of wars, turmoil, natural calamities, and an increase of evil. There has not been a time in the history of the world when a full‑scale relief effort was more needed. Because we are disciples of Jesus Christ and we have made covenants with Him, we are already committed by covenant to participate in that relief effort.

You are each unique and precious. Each of you has your own burdens and challenges, which give you the blessing of turning to the Lord for help. We also have the opportunity to assist the Lord by providing relief for others, which is the greatest, fastest solution to loneliness and hopelessness and a sure way to obtain the companionship of the Spirit. All we need to do to start offering relief is get on our knees and ask, “Who needs my help?” Every sister—married or single, young or old—is needed in this relief effort, and it is what we should do better than anyone else.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"God has provided a way to live in this world and not be contaminated by the degrading pressures evil agents spread throughout it. You can live a virtuous, productive, righteous life by following the plan of protection created by your Father in Heaven: His plan of happiness. It is contained in the scriptures and in the inspired declarations of His prophets." Richard G. Scott, Liahona, May 2004, 100-102

Friday, July 3, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"The whole idea of Mormonism is improvement---mentally, physically, morally, and spiritually. No half-way education suffices for the Latter-day Saint. He holds with Herbert Spencer that the function of education is to 'prepare man for complete living,' but he also maintains that 'complete living' should be interpreted 'life here and hereafter.' Joseph Smith declared that the glory of God is intelligence, that a man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, and that whatever principles of intelligence he attains to in this life, they will rise with him in the resurrection, giving him the advantage over ignorance and evil in the world to come. He taught that man by constantly progressing may eventually develop into a divine being, like unto his Father in Heaven" (The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, p. 27).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"Because one man is more talented than another, he should not use that talent to take advantage of his brother and then expect that God will approve of his actions, for he will not do it. He never did, nor ever will. We should operate for one another's interest, having sympathetic feelings for each other. We are supposed to be brethren in the church and kingdom of God, knit together by the indissoluble ties of the everlasting gospel; not for time only but for eternity. Hence all our operations should be for that end, founded on the principles of righteousness and friendship" (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 63-64).

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"I wish this people to pay particular attention to the education of their children. If we can do no more, we should give them the facilities of a common education, that when our sons are sent into the world as ministers of salvation and as representatives of the Kingdom of God in the mountains, they can mingle with the best society and intelligibly and sensibly present the principles of truth to mankind, for all truth is the offspring of heaven, and is incorporated in the religion which we have embraced.
Every accomplishment, every polished grace, every useful attainment in mathematics, music, and in all science and art belongs to the Saints, and they should avail themselves as expeditiously as possible of the wealth of knowledge the sciences offer to every diligent and persevering scholar" (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 252).

Monday, June 29, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"The Lord intends that men shall be happy; that is his purpose. But men refuse to be happy and make themselves miserable, because they think their ways are better than God's ways, and because of selfishness, greed, and the wickedness that is in their hearts; and that is the trouble with us today. The leaders of our nation are struggling and trying to do something to better conditions. I can tell you in a few words just how it can be done, and it is not going to be done by legislation---it is not going to be done by pouring money out upon the people.
Temporary relief is not going to better the situation, because we will still be struggling and fighting and contending with crime, with disease, with plagues, and with pestilence, with the whirlwinds, and with the dust storms, and with the earthquakes and everything else coming upon the face of the earth, according to the predictions of the prophets---all because men will not heed the warning voices.
When we quit loving money and get the love of gold out of our hearts and the greed and selfishness, and learn to love the Lord, our God, with all our hearts, and our neighbor as ourselves, and get on our knees and learn to pray and repent of our sins, we will have prosperity, we will have peace, we will have contentment. But the people will not repent no matter what warning is made, no matter how much their attention is called to these things; the people will not repent because their hearts are set upon evil, and destruction awaits them" (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3, p. 35-36).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"In this old world, the easiest way seems to be the indulgent way. If a person have the least desire or inclination to drink tea and coffee or to smoke tobacco, temptations to indulge the appetite are on every hand. At parties, during social calls, at chance introductions or friendly visits, in restaurants or trains, indulgence in these stimulants and narcotics is not only encouraged but also too often urged. Under such influence and environment, the easy way is to yield and become one of the crowd. But that is not the best way. One never develops character by yielding to wrong. 'To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life. . . .' (Rev. 2.7.) Strength comes by resisting" (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, p. 377-378).

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Inspirational Thought

President David O. McKay said, “The peace of Christ does not come by seeking the superficial things of life, neither does it come except as it springs from the individual’s heart.” He said further that this peace is “conditioned upon obedience to the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. … No man is at peace with himself or his God who is untrue to his better self, who transgresses the law of what is right either in dealing with himself by indulging in passion, in appetite, yielding to temptations against his accusing conscience, or in dealing with his fellowmen, being untrue to their trust. Peace does not come to the transgressor of law; peace comes by obedience to law, and it is that message which Jesus would have us proclaim among men.” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1938, p. 133.) (Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Peace Within,” Ensign, May 1991, 36)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Inspirational Thought

What is our greatest potential? Is it not to be Christlike ourselves? And what are the qualities we must develop to achieve such greatness? We might consider intelligence, light, knowledge, and leadership. But perhaps the most essential godlike quality is that of compassion and love—compassion shown forth in service to others, unselfishness, that ultimate expression of concern for others we call love. Wherever our Father’s children magnify their opportunities for loving service, they are learning to become more like Him. (Spencer W. Kimball, “President Kimball Speaks Out on Service to Others,” New Era, Mar 1981, 47)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Inspirational Thought

In serving others, we “find” ourselves in terms of acknowledging divine guidance in our lives. Furthermore, the more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls. We become more significant individuals as we serve others. We become more substantive as we serve others—indeed, it is easier to “find” ourselves because there is so much more of us to find!
George McDonald observed that “it is by loving and not by being loved that one can come nearest to the soul of another” (George McDonald Anthology, Geoffrey Bles, London, 1970). Of course, we all need to be loved, but we must be giving and not always receiving if we want to have the wholeness of our lives and a reinforced sense of purpose. (Spencer W. Kimball, “President Kimball Speaks Out on Service to Others,” New Era, Mar 1981, 47)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Inspirational Thought

What does it mean to be converted? President Harold B. Lee said, “Conversion must mean more than just being a ‘card carrying’ member of the church with a tithing receipt … [or] a temple recommend.” One who is converted “strive[s] continually to improve inward weaknesses and not merely the outward appearances” (Church News, 25 May 1974, 2). (W. Mack Lawrence, “Conversion and Commitment,” Ensign, May 1996, 74)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Inspirational Thought

In this life, people continue to have agency; even if their personal freedoms are restricted or taken away, they can choose how to feel and react. Their use of their agency determines their happiness or misery in this life and in the life to come. People are free to choose and act but are not free to choose the consequences of their actions. The consequences may not be immediate, but they will always follow. Choices of good and righteousness lead to happiness, peace, and eternal life, while choices of sin and evil eventually lead to heartache and misery.
(Gospel Topics "Agency,"

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Inspirational Thought

The word hope is sometimes misunderstood. In our everyday language, the word often has a hint of uncertainty. For example, we may say that we hope for a change in the weather or a visit from a friend. In the language of the gospel, however, the word hope is sure, unwavering, and active. Prophets speak of having a "firm hope" (Alma 34:41) and a "lively hope" (1 Peter 1:3). The prophet Moroni taught, "Whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God" (Ether 12:4).
When we have hope, we trust God's promises. We have a quiet assurance that if we do "the works of righteousness," we "shall receive [our] reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come" (D&C 59:23). Mormon taught that such hope comes only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ: "What is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise" (Moroni 7:41).
(From Gospel Topics, "Hope",

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness."
Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Come What May, and Love It," Ensign, Nov. 2008, 2

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"This life, this narrow sphere we call mortality, does not, within the shorts pace of time we are allowed here, give to all of us perfect justice, perfect health, or perfect opportunities. Perfect justice, however, will come eventually through a divine plan, as will the perfection of all other conditions and blessings-to those who have lived to merit them." Spencer W.Kimball, Ensign, Jul 1978, 3

Friday, June 12, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"Brethren and sisters, the thing you should have in your mind, and which you should make a motto in your life, is this: Serve God faithfully, and be cheerful. . . . In the family it is always a good thing for the parent to be cheerful in the presence of his wife and children. And out of that cheerfulness may arise many good gifts. The Lord has not given us the gospel that we may go around mourning all the days of our lives. He has not introduced this religion for this purpose at all. We came into the world for certain purposes, and those purposes are not of a nature that require much mourning or complaint. Where a person is always complaining and feeling to find fault, the Spirit of the Lord is not very abundant in his heart. . . . Always cultivate a spirit of gratitude. It is actually the duty of every Latter-day Saint to cultivate a spirit of gratitude" (Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, p. 61-62).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"Be not dismayed at the trials of life; they are sent for our good. God knows what keys in the human soul to touch in order to draw out its sweetest and most perfect harmonies. These may be the strains of sadness and sorrow as well as the loftier notes of joy and gladness." Reed Smoot, Ensign, Oct 1972, 16

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"Our great concern, our great interest, must be to preserve for the generations to come those wondrous elements of our society and manner of living that will bequeath to them the strengths and the goodness of which we have been the beneficiaries. To do so, we must retard and then halt the decay we observe about us, which comes of forsaking the God whom our forefathers knew, loved, worshiped, and looked to for strength. . . . Future blessings will come only as we deserve them. Can we expect peace and prosperity, harmony and goodwill, when we turn our backs on the Source of our strength? (Gordon B. Hinckley, Standing for Something, p. xxiii).

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"Men may be turned out of colleges as walking encyclopedias of facts, but if they cannot control their emotions, desires, and way of thinking, they are ships without a rudder, being blown about by the winds until they may be dashed to pieces. The world needs men and women of knowledge, but it has far greater need for men and women who can thoughtfully make application of that knowledge for a better and happier life" (The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, p. 177).

Friday, June 5, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"There are even many members of the Church who are lax and careless and who continually procrastinate. They live the gospel casually but not devoutly. They have complied with some requirements but are not valiant. They do no major crime but merely fail to do the things required. . . .
"It is true that many Latter-day Saints, having been baptized and confirmed members of the Church, and some even having received their endowments and having been married and sealed in the holy temple, have felt that they were thus guaranteed the blessings of exaltation and eternal life. But this is not so. There are two basic requirements every soul must fulfill or he cannot attain to the great blessings offered. He must receive the ordinances and he must be faithful, overcoming his weaknesses. Hence, not all who claim to be Latter-day Saints will be exalted" (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 48-49).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Inspirational Thought

Don't Judge Yourself
"Don't judge yourself by what you understand of your potential. Trust in the Lord and what He can do with your dedicated heart and willing mind (see D&C 64:34).
Order your life more effectively and eliminate trivia, meaningless detail, and activity. They waste the perishable, fixed, and limited resource of time. Choose to emphasize those matters that have an eternal consequence.
"Permanent, worthwhile growth is attainable, but not without great effort and the honest application of truth. Worthy accomplishment is founded in integrity. Righteousness is fundamental to happiness and desirable attainment. Righteousness is rooted in a pure heart. And indeed it protects one from contamination and the filth of the world. Righteous love is the supreme motivation for constructive change. The examples of our Father in Heaven and the Savior and Their teachings are the perfect source of motivation and direction for life."
Richard G. Scott, "Making the Right Choices" (CES fireside for young adults, Jan. 13, 2002), 4

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"We grateful for trials, adversity, and affliction. It is sometimes difficult to express gratitude when we are under stress, yet it is often such situations that permit significant spiritual growth." The Latter-day Saint Woman: Basic Manual for Women, Part B, 303

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"One of the beautiful things to me in the gospel of Jesus Christ is that it brings us all to a common level. It is not necessary for a man to be a president of a stake, or a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, in order to attain a high place in the celestial kingdom. The humblest member of the Church, if he keeps the commandments of God, will obtain an exaltation just as much as any other man in the celestial kingdom. The beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that it makes us all equal in as far as we keep the commandments of the Lord. In as far as we observe to keep the laws of the Church we have equal opportunities for exaltation. . . .
"We will continue to go forward and grow and develop in life, and in the end we shall find a reward as inheritors in the celestial kingdom of our God right here upon this earth and enjoy the companionship of those we love forever" (The Teachings of George Albert Smith, p. 35-37).

Monday, June 1, 2009

Last Chance for Submissions!

If you have any suggestions for the next selection for the Book Group, please post it in a comment on this blog or email it to Sis. Radabaugh! Suggestions will be posted in a poll at the end of the week.

Today's Thought

"The true key to happiness in life is to labor for the happiness of others. I pity the selfish man who has never experienced the joy which comes to those who receive the thanks and gratitude of the people whom they may have aided in the struggle of life."The real secret of happiness in life and the way in which to prepare ourselves for the hereafter, is service" (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant, p. 143).

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Inspirational Thought

Challenges Mold Character
"The Lord puts challenges in your path to mold your character. For your own personal growth He will often let you struggle with a matter for a while, even when you are pleading for help. But as you follow true principles, He will finally see you through. He intends that when you have reached your extremity, you will turn to Him for comfort, peace, and assistance. He will send these through the quiet prompting of the Spirit. He will give reassurance and guidance that are essential to correct decisions in your life."You are learning powerful, eternal lessons. Be sure you understand them. The Lord does not abandon your urgent pleas, nor is He ever, for even a moment, unmindful of your anguish and heartache. He hears every supplication. He invariably answers according to spiritual law. Understanding that law will help you appreciate how the Lord answers your prayer. His silence and seeming absence at times are a powerful means of expanding your vision and understanding as you continue in faith to do your best."
Richard G. Scott, "Making the Right Choices" (CES fireside for young adults, Jan. 13, 2002), 2

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Inspirational Thought

Exhibiting Compassion
"Being compassionate is [a] great work of our Heavenly Father and a fundamental characteristic of who we are as a people. We are commanded to 'succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees' (D&C 81:5). Disciples of Christ throughout all ages of the world have been distinguished by their compassion. Those who follow the Savior 'mourn with those that mourn . . . and comfort those that stand in need of comfort' (Mosiah 18:9)."When we reach out to bless the lives of others, our lives are blessed as well. Service and sacrifice open the windows of heaven, allowing choice blessings to descend upon us. Surely our beloved Heavenly Father smiles upon those who care for the least of His children."As we lift others, we rise a little higher ourselves. President Spencer W. Kimball taught, 'The more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls' (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 254)."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Happiness, Your Heritage," Ensign, Nov. 2008, 119

Friday, May 29, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"Let us evidence by our conduct, by our gentleness, by our love, by our faith, that we do keep that great commandment that the Savior said was like unto the first great commandment, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself'" (The Teachings of George Albert Smith, p. 135).

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Inspirational Thought

The Lord Knows How to Resolve Problems

"No matter how difficult the problems that surround you, the Lord knows how to resolve them. As you exercise faith, doing what you can, He will help you handle those things within your capability. He will bring into your path priesthood leaders who can counsel and advise, friends who can give you support, and parents who can provide answers. Through the avenue of prayer and the path of inspiration, He will help you know what to do. It is a process that takes time to master, but knowing that it exists should give you great comfort as you face the difficult decisions you must now make in life."
-Richard G. Scott, "Making the Right Choices" (CES fireside for young adults, Jan. 13, 2002), 2

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"The Lord's way is not hard. Life is hard, not the gospel. 'There is an opposition in all things' (2 Nephi 2:11), everywhere, for everyone. Life is hard for all of us, but life is also simple. We have only two choices (see Moroni 7:15–17). We can either follow the Lord and be endowed with His power and have peace, light, strength, knowledge, confidence, love, and joy, or we can go some other way, any other way, whatever other way, and go it alone—without His support, without His power, without guidance, in darkness, turmoil, doubt, grief, and despair. And I ask, which way is easier?"
-Lawrence E. Corbridge, "The Way," Ensign, Nov. 2008, 36

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"When we have passed through the sorrows of mortality and have the joy and glory of the celestial kingdom conferred upon us we shall then know that the afflictions of mortality have prepared us for and enabled us to appreciate the blessings which God has in store for the faithful" (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff, p. 87).

Monday, May 25, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"Let us ever keep in mind that life is largely what we make it, and that the Savior of men has marked clearly and plainly just how joy and peace may be obtained. It is in the gospel of Jesus Christ and adherence thereto." Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay, 81

"We can choose to look at the bright side of things or at the dark. We can follow good and eschew evil thoughts. We can be wrong-headed and wrong-hearted, or the reverse, as we ourselves determine. The world will be to each one of us very much what we make it. The cheerful are its real possessors, for the world belongs to those who enjoy it." Reed Smoot, Ensign, Oct 1972, 16

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"Trees that can stand in the midst of the hurricane often yield to the destroying pests that we can scarcely see with a microscope. Likewise the greatest foes of humanity today are the subtle and sometimes unseen influences at work in society that are undermining the manhood and womanhood of today. The test, after all, of the faithfulness and effectiveness of God's people is an individual one. What is the individual doing?" Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay, 81

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"To find real happiness, we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves. . . . No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellow man. Serivce to others is akin to duty, the fulfillment of which brings true joy."We do not live alone---in our city, our nation or our world. There is no dividing line between our prosperity and our neighbor's wretchedness. Try as some may, we cannot escape the influence our lives have upon the lives of others. Ours is the opportunity to build, to lift, to inspire and to lead" (Church News, May 9, 2009, p. 3).

Friday, May 22, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"The pioneers were loyal. They were loyal to one another. They were loyal to the Church. They were loyal to the nation of which they were a part and which, in a sense, had betrayed them. . . . Loyalty to one another and loyalty to the Church marked their actions."God be thanked for their great and noble example to each of us. My brethren and sisters, we must be loyal. We cannot be found on the sidelines carping and criticizing and finding fault with one another. We must help one another with each other's burdens. We must share the sorrows of one another. We must rejoice with one another in their victories. We must be loyal to the Church against all its enemies" (The Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 320-322).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"And when we are asked why we are such a happy people, our answer is: 'Because we have everything---life with all its opportunities, death without fear, eternal life with endless growth and development.'"When one realizes the vastness, the richness, the glory of it all, which is the Lord's promise to bestow to all the faithful, it is worth whatever it costs to be patient, have faith, sacrifice, to endure sweat and tears. The blessings of eternity are ours because the Lord has promised them, if we will live all of his commandments" (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 159).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Next Book Group Selection

It's time to pick out the next book for our book group. We're accepting suggestions until the end of the month and will then put them on the blog as a poll again. We would also like your suggestions on which night of the week works best for you, whether it's easier to attend during the summer, or if you're interested in it at all. Please post your comments and suggestions to this blog or send them to Sister Radabaugh by email.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Inspirational Thought

Hope Sustains Us

"The things we hope in sustain us during our daily walk. They uphold us through trials, temptations, and sorrow. Everyone has experienced discouragement and difficulty. Indeed, there are times when the darkness may seem unbearable. It is in these times that the divine principles of the restored gospel we hope in can uphold us and carry us until, once again, we walk in the light."We hope in Jesus the Christ, in the goodness of God, in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, in the knowledge that prayers are heard and answered. Because God has been faithful and kept His promises in the past, we can hope with confidence that God will keep His promises to us in the present and in the future. In times of distress, we can hold tightly to the hope that things will 'work together for [our] good' (D&C 90:24) as we follow the counsel of God's prophets. This type of hope in God, His goodness, and His power refreshes us with courage during difficult challenges and gives strength to those who feel threatened by enclosing walls of fear, doubt, and despair."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Infinite Power of Hope," Ensign, Nov. 2008, 23

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"By this principle (tithing) the loyalty of the people of this Church shall be put to the test. By this principle it shall be known who is for the kingdom of God and who is against it. By this principle it shall be seen whose hearts are set upon doing the will of God and keeping his commandments, thereby sanctifying the land of Zion unto God, and who are opposed to this principle and have cut themselves off from the blessings of Zion. There is a great deal of importance connected with this principle, for by it it shall be known whether we are faithful or unfaithful" (Gospel Doctrine, p. 225).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"Where was it ever promised us that life on this earth can ever be easy, free from conflict and uncertainty, devoid of anguish and wonder and pain? ... The purpose of life is to matter, to be productive, to have it make some difference that you lived at all. Happiness, in the ancient, noble sense, means self-fulfillment- and is given to those who use to the fullest whatever talents God ... bestowed upon them." (Leo Rosten, This Week Magazine, 20 Jan. 1963, p. 2.) As quoted by Barbara B. Smith, Ensign, May 1982, 79

Monday, May 11, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"We like enjoyment here. That is right. God designs that we should enjoy ourselves. I do not believe in a religion that makes people gloomy, melancholy,miserable and ascetic. ... I should not think there was anything great or good associated with that, while everything around, the trees, birds, flowers and green fields, were so pleasing, the insects and bees buzzing and fluttering, the lambs frolicking and playing. While everything else enjoyed life, why should not we? But we want to do it correctly and not pervert any of these principles that God has planted in the human family." -Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, 97

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

"Someone has coined a statement that has great significance: 'God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.' . . .
"From my experience, it would seem that faithful mothers have a special gift that we often refer to as a mother's intuition. Perhaps with the great blessing of motherhood, our Heavenly Father has endowed them with this quality, since fathers, busy in priesthood callings and with the work of earning a livelihood, never draw quite as close to heavenly beings in matters that relate to the more intimate details of bringing up children in the home. It might be described in this way: Father is the head, but Mother is the heart of the family home" (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, p. 291).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Today's thought

"Sin creates disharmony with God and is depressing to the spirit. Therefore, a man would do well to examine himself to see that he is in harmony with all of God's laws. Every law kept brings a particular blessing. Every law broken brings a particular blight. Those who are heavy-laden with despair should come unto the Lord, for his yoke is easy and his burden is light. (See Matt.11:28-30.)"Ezra Taft Benson, Tambuli, Mar 1987, 2

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Today's thought

"Our Father knew of our day. He prepared the scriptures and provided continuing divine guidance to sustain us. That help will assure that you can live with peace and happiness amid increasing evil." Richard G. Scott, Liahona, May 2004, 100-102

Friday, May 1, 2009

Today's thought

"We need to build ourselves spiritually. . . . We are busy people. We have so much to do. We need to get off by ourselves once in awhile and think of the spiritual things and build ourselves spiritually. . . . Get by yourself and think of things of the Lord, of things of the Spirit. Let gratitude swell up in your hearts. Think of all the Lord has done for you. How blessed you are, how very blessed you are. Think of your duty and your responsibility. Think of your testimony. Think of the things of God. Just meditate and reflect for an hour about yourself and your relationship to your Heavenly Father and your Redeemer. It will do something for you" (The Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 608-609).