Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Today's Quote

“He [the Savior] knows how to estimate and put a proper value upon human nature, for he, having been placed in the same position as we are, knows how to bear with our weaknesses and infirmities, and can fully comprehend the depth, power, and strength of the afflictions and trials that men have to cope with in this world. And thus understandingly and by experience, he can bear with them.”

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, 49

Monday, March 29, 2010

General Conference

General Conference will be held this weekend, Saturday, April 3rd and Sunday, April 4th. Sessions will be at Noon and 4pm on both days. There will also be a Priesthood Session at 8pm on Saturday. You can watch the Conference at the church, online (at,5161,9080,00.html), or on BYU-TV.

If you would like activities for children to help them benefit from Conference, visit:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Inspirational Quote

"Remember that when you help another up a mountain, you are a little nearer the top yourself. Try to look at your brother or your sister in the right perspective.
One man said, "I looked at my brother through the microscope of criticism, and I said, 'How coarse my brother is.' I looked at my brother through the telescope of scorn, and I said, 'How small my brother is.' Then I looked into the mirror of truth, and I said, 'How like me my brother is.'"

"An attitude of love characterized the mission of the Master. He gave sight to the blind, legs to the lame, and life to the dead. Perhaps when we make face-to-face contact with our Maker, we will not be asked, "How many positions did you hold?" but rather, "How many people did you help?" In reality, you can never love the Lord until you serve Him by serving His people" (Thomas S. Monson, BYU Devotional, January 11, 2009).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Inspirational Quote

“He [Heavenly Father] is our perfect Father. He loves us beyond our capacity to understand. He knows what is best for us. He sees the end from the beginning. He wants us to act to gain needed experience: “When He answers yes, it is to give us confidence. When He answers no, it is to prevent error. When He withholds an answer, it is to have us grow through faith in Him, obedience to His commandments, and a willingness to act on truth.”
Richard G. Scott, “Learning to Recognize Answers to Prayer,” Ensign, Nov. 1989, 30

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Inspirational Quote

“In the ideal home the soul is not starved, neither are the growth and expansion of the finer sentiments paralyzed for the coarse and sensual pleasures. The main aim is not to heap up material wealth, which generally draws further and further from the true, the ideal, the spiritual life; but it is rather to create soul-wealth, consciousness of noble achievement, an outflow of love and helpfulness.“
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, 381

Monday, March 22, 2010

Inspirational Quote

"It is a God-given law that in proportion to the service we give, in proportion to what we do in this Church and out of it---what we are willing to sacrifice for the Church and for those to whom we owe our loyalty outside of Church activity---we shall grow in the grace of God and in the love of God, and we shall grow in accomplishing the purposes of our being placed here on the earth" (Heber J. Grant, Gospel Standards, p. 186-187).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Inspirational Quote: Happiness

"So many people have lost the proper sense of values and have sought peace and happiness in vain in the acquisition of wealth at the expense of spiritual growth.

"Wherein then does the secret of happiness lie? The Savior gives us the key to it when he says: 'The kingdom of God is within you.' The power is within man to choose the right or to choose the wrong. Happiness is not an external condition, it is a state of the spirit and an attitude of the mind"
(David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, p. 495-496).

Friday, March 19, 2010

Today's Quote: Stand Up!

“Let us take upon ourselves the name of the Lord and then with faith go forth to share with relevance that which will affect the lives of mankind and bring peace and joy to the world. The world needs a generation of men and women of learning and influence who can and will stand up and in sincerity and without equivocation declare that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ.”
Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Aug 1988, 2–5

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Inspirational Quote: Be Happy!

“...Enjoy the journey. The people of God are a joyful people. We understand there are times for sobriety, reverence, and devotion; we also understand that we possess the joyful principles of eternal life. We have so much to smile about, be happy about, yes, even to laugh about.”
Joseph B. Wirthlin, Ensign, Dec 2000, 7

Monday, March 15, 2010

Today's Thought

“There is no more compelling motivation to worthwhile endeavor than the knowledge that we are children of God, the Creator of the universe, our all-wise Heavenly Father! God expects us to do something with our lives, and He will give us help when help is sought.”
Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Aug1988, 2–5

Emergency Preparedness Fair

This Saturday, March 20th is the Emergency Preparedness Fair at the Fairfield Building. It runs from 10am to 1pm. There will be many booths with great information. Please join us and check out all the great resources!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Inspirational Quote

“Do you think you can use the money you have earned in this life as currency in the next? Put your Heavenly Father first in your life. Commit to follow Him and obey His commandments and strive every day to become more Christlike. Focus your efforts on obtaining heavenly riches. To do otherwise will ultimately end in disappointment and sorrow.”
Joseph B. Wirthlin, Ensign, Dec 2000, 7

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Today's Quote

"Work is an antidote for anxiety, an ointment for sorrow, and a doorway to possibility. Whatever our circumstances in life, let us do the best we can and cultivate a reputation for excellence in all that we do. Let us set our minds and bodies to the glorious opportunity for work that each new day presents."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Two Principles for Any Economy," Ensign, Nov. 2009, 56

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Today's Quote

“Passive acceptance of the Lord is not enough. Vibrant testimony comes of anxious seeking. Strength comes of active service in the Master’s cause.”
Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Aug 1988, 2–5

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunday's Lesson on Steps to Having Joy in Your Life

How many of you are happy today? Shouldn’t we be happy? After all, we have the fulness of the gospel! And the gospel is good news! Not the kind of depressing news we see on tv every night, but GOOD news that lightens our hearts and brings joy to our lives!

I think we all want to have lives filled with joy. But first we need to understand what joy is. Is it just feelings of happiness or pleasure? It may include elements of these, but from what I’ve found it’s much more.
One of the greatest of all God’s revelations is Father Lehi’s teaching that “men are, that they might have joy.” Joy is more than happiness. Joy is the ultimate sensation of well-being. It comes from being complete and in harmony with our Creator and his eternal laws. (Dallin H. Oaks, “Joy and Mercy,” Ensign, Nov 1991, 73)

I’d like to know… what do you do in your life to experience joy? What makes you happiest?

What experiences have you had when you felt the kind of joy that Elder Oaks referred to?

How did those experiences differ from everyday moments of happiness?

It’s good that we have so many sources of happiness and joy in our life. Now I’d like to talk about the one source of ultimate joy. Dallin H. Oaks has given us some great counsel on this:

“Despite all we can do, we cannot have a fulness of joy in this world or through our own efforts. Only in Christ can our joy be full. This is why the angel proclaimed: “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
“For unto you is born this day … a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10–11.)
We are able to have a fulness of joy only when spirit and body are inseparably connected in the glorious resurrection to celestial glory. That joy, of course, comes only through the mercy of the Holy Messiah, whose resurrection broke the bands of death and whose atonement unlocks the reservoir of mercy by which we can be cleansed of our sins and come into the presence of God to receive the fulness of the Father.
We joyously proclaim that “there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah.” (2 Ne. 2:8.) God’s mercy is the only source of the ultimate and eternal joy, which restores every loss, dries every tear, and erases every pain. Eternal joy transcends all suffering.

Now we know that ultimate joy can only be obtained through the mercy of God and our Savior’s atonement. But how exactly does that happen? And what do we actually DO to have joy in our everyday lives?

I think it’s a great blessing that we have God’s own words to help us understand this. Let’s turn to the scriptures to see what God has said about joy.

D&C 42:61 If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things- that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.

What does this scripture say brings joy?
What are the mysteries and peaceable things?
How do we receive revelations and knowledge?

John 15:10-11
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

What did the Savior say is key to having a fulness of joy?

The Lord, speaking through King Benjamin, reminded us: “I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness” (Mosiah 2:41).

“In order to have joy, you need to understand that, as a child of your Heavenly Father, you inherited divine traits and spiritual needs—and just like a fish needs water, you need the gospel and the companionship of the Holy Ghost to be truly, deeply happy.

Because you are the offspring of God, it is incompatible with your eternal nature to do wrong and feel right. It cannot be done. It is part of your spiritual DNA, as it were, that peace, joy, and happiness will be yours only to the degree you live the gospel.” (James E. Faust, “Our Search for Happiness,” Ensign, Oct 2000, 2)

The gospel of Jesus Christ is, in fact, the only “great plan of happiness.” If you opt for any other way of life or try to live only the parts of the gospel that seem convenient, such a choice will cheat you of the full, resplendent joy and happiness for which you were designed by our loving Father in Heaven and His Son.
In general, the more faithfully we keep the commandments of God, the happier we will be. Obedience is the first step on our path to ultimate joy.

If we are living the commandments then the next step, repentance, should come naturally.

Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can receive forgiveness for our sins through sincere and complete repentance. Sinfulness brings suffering and pain, but the Lord's forgiveness brings relief, comfort, and joy. We can experience this miracle, whether we need to repent of serious sins or day-to-day weaknesses.
In this life and in the life to come, a fullness of joy comes about through the Resurrection and the remission of sins.

Isaiah 51:11 says: Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

When we repent and are forgiven we become the redeemed of the Lord, and we are filled with joy.

Can you recall how you’ve felt when you’ve been forgiven? What did it feel like?

This brings us to our last step… having the Spirit of God with us.

The joy that follows the remission of sins comes from the Spirit of the Lord. It is a fulfillment of the Lord’s promise in Doctrine & Covenants 11:13: “…I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy.” The Apostle Paul also taught in Galatians that, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace.” (Gal. 5:22.)

President Faust said: “I believe the Spirit of the Holy Ghost is the greatest guarantor of inward peace in our unstable world. It can be more mind-expanding and can make us have a better sense of well-being than any chemical or other earthly substance. It will calm nerves; it will breathe peace to our souls. This Comforter can be with us as we seek to improve. It can function as a source of revelation to warn us of impending danger and also help keep us from making mistakes. It can enhance our natural senses so that we can see more clearly, hear more keenly, and remember what we should remember. It is a way of maximizing our happiness.” (James E. Faust, “The Gift of the Holy Ghost—A Sure Compass,” Ensign, Apr 1996, 2)
Each of us is eligible to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost in our lives through repentance. As we have the Spirit’s constant companionship we are more likely to be filled with joy.

We’ve gone over the steps of having greater joy in our lives and the equation seems so easy: Obedience + Repentance + Holy Ghost = JOY!

So why are many of us unhappy so much of the time? Why do we struggle to feel joy in our lives? Why do you think God allows us to be miserable?

I love what Reed Smoot had to say about opposition to joy:
“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.
Think not that uninterrupted joy is good. The sunshine lies upon the mountain top all day, and lingers there latest and longest at eventide. Yet the valley is green and fertile while the peak is barren and unfruitful. Life that is all sunshine without shade, all happiness without sorrow, all pleasure without pain, were not life at all, at least not human life. Take the life of the happiest. It is a tangled yarn. It is made up of joys and sorrows, and the joys are all the sweeter because of the sorrows.” (Reed Smoot, “Joy,” Ensign, Oct 1972, 16)

What affects could it have on us and on our families if we constantly focus on our problems and trials instead of on God’s mercy and love?

I love what Richard G. Scott said about focusing on our challenges:
“A pebble held close to the eye appears to be a gigantic obstacle. Cast on the ground, it is seen in perspective. Likewise, problems or trials in our lives need to be viewed in the perspective of scriptural doctrine. Otherwise they can easily overtake our vision, absorb our energy, and deprive us of the joy and beauty the Lord intends us to receive here on earth. Some people are like rocks thrown into a sea of problems. They are drowned by them. Be a cork. When submerged in a problem, fight to be free to bob up to serve again with happiness.” (Richard G. Scott, “Finding Joy in Life,” Ensign, May 1996, 24)

We all need to strive to be corks!

How can we overcome feelings of discouragement and unhappiness?

Do we have a responsibility to live the gospel joyfully?

How does living joyfully help us fulfill our roles as women and disciples of Christ?

How might others perceive our religion if we come across as depressed, discouraged, and overwhelmed?

You are here on earth for a divine purpose. It is not to be endlessly entertained or to be constantly in full pursuit of pleasure. You are here to be tried, to prove yourself so that you can receive the additional blessings God has for you. The tempering effect of patience is required. Some blessings will be delivered here in this life; others will come beyond the veil. The Lord is intent on your personal growth and development. That progress is accelerated when you willingly allow Him to lead you through every growth experience you encounter, whether initially it be to your individual liking or not.

When you trust in the Lord, when you are willing to let your heart and your mind be centered in His will, when you ask to be led by the Spirit to do His will, you are assured of the greatest happiness along the way and the most fulfilling attainment from this mortal experience. If you question everything you are asked to do, or dig in your heels at every unpleasant challenge, you make it harder for the Lord to bless you.

Your agency, the right to make choices, is not given so that you can get what you want. This divine gift is provided so that you will choose what your Father in Heaven wants for you. That way He can lead you to become all that He intends you to be. That path leads to glorious joy and happiness. (Richard G. Scott, “Finding Joy in Life,” Ensign, May 1996, 24)

Your faith in Jesus Christ gives life enduring meaning. Remember you are on a journey to exaltation. Sometimes you have experiences that yield more happiness than others, but it all has purpose with the Lord.

I enjoyed having the opportunity to focus on what joy is over the last few weeks. I thought that it was interesting that as I started to prepare this lesson I was overcome with some of the worst feelings of depression and discouragement that I’ve felt in years. It felt as though all the sadness, fears, and troubles of the world had come to settle on my shoulders. It was hard reading about and pondering joy in the midst of this. But as I struggled through and continued to study and pray about it, I was blessed with a great testimony of the need to experience each end of the emotional spectrum. I was able to grasp God’s hand and be pulled out of the dark hole I was in, and I could better appreciate the daily joys He brought into my life. I can’t say that I’m feeling happy all the time, or that those feelings don’t creep back at times, but I have a greater reassurance now of God’s desire for me to have joy in my life and the reality of His ability to give it to me. And I know that He has the same desire for each of you. God wants us to be happy. He wants us to feel that “ultimate sensation of well-being.” We are here that we might have JOY! This is my prayer for each of you.

Many of the quotes were from the following talks:
James E. Faust, “Our Search for Happiness,” Ensign, Oct 2000, 2
Marcus B. Nash, “The Great Plan of Happiness,” Liahona, Nov 2006, 49–50
Dallin H. Oaks, “Joy and Mercy,” Ensign, Nov 1991, 73
Richard G. Scott, “Finding Joy in Life,” Ensign, May 1996, 24
Reed Smoot, “Joy,” Ensign, Oct 1972, 16

Inspirational Quote

"I want to say that the only way to happiness is the pathway of righteousness. There is no other way. We refer to them as commandments, though I have always looked upon them as the loving advice of a kind Heavenly Father who, knowing all things, has pointed the way that his children might be happy" (The Teachings of George Albert Smith, p. 6).

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Inspirational Quote

“As the showdown between good and evil approaches with its accompanying trials and tribulations, Satan is increasingly striving to overcome the Saints with despair, discouragement, despondency, and depression. Yet, of all people, we as Latter-day Saints should be the most optimistic and the least pessimistic. For while we know that ‘peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion,’ we also know that ‘the Lord shall have power over his saints, and shall reign in their midst.’ (D&C 1:35–36.)”
Ezra Taft Benson, Tambuli, Mar 1987, 2

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Inspirational Quote

“Let us … realize that the privilege to work is a gift, that power to work is a blessing, that love to work is success”
David O. McKay, Conference Report, Oct. 1909, 94 as quoted by Joseph B. Wirthlin, Ensign, Dec 2000, 7

Friday, March 5, 2010

Inspirational Quote

“Why is it that as humans we tend to emphasize the negative when there is so much to be positive about? We not only constantly criticize our children and each other, find fault, are very judgmental, and often seek out and build up people’s weaknesses and failings rather than their strengths and successes, but in our own personal life-styles there are those of us who are incessant, chronic worriers. We worry about all the negative things that could happen, but usually don’t, rather than positively trying to face problems with some amount of faith and hope of success.”
Paul H. Dunn, Ensign, May 1987