Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Scrapbook Pages

I'm really loving digital scrapbooking.  I'm not a fan of the popular method of scrapbooking where you have one or two small pictures on a page with a whole ton of blank space.  If I'm gonna spend my hard-earned money to print pages there's gonna be a lot of pictures on them (I print 12x12s).  But everything I see on the internet is the other way.  I don't care.  I like my pages and that's all that matters.  But don't expect anything fancy.  Here are a few pages with pictures I haven't posted on the blog.  I couldn't get them to work side by side like they're supposed to be so just image them next to each other instead of on top or bottom of one another.  And you can always click on them to view a bigger version since some of the pictures are kind of small on this view.

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 21

Read Alma 55-58
Mark & Ponder Alma 37:35
Scripture of the day: "yea, they had been taught by their mothers." (Alma 56:47)
Thought for the day: "The family is the basic unit of the kingdom of God on earth. The church can be no healthier than its families. No government can long endure without strong families." (Pres Spencer W Kimball)

It's been a super busy day so I got my reading done early but haven't had time to blog yet and now I'm ready for bed so here's the short and sweet of it all. The 2000 stripling warriors were men of profound faith.  They knew the Lord and trusted Him without a doubt in their minds because they saw the example of testimony of their mothers.  There are many things I want to be and do as a mother but most of all I hope I can be that kind of mother;  a mother that not only teaches my kids the gospel of Jesus Christ but lives it so well that they have no doubt about what I believe; a mother that has such faith that I NEVER doubt the Lord even a little bit and my children know that I trust the Lord in all things; a mother that inspires her children to live their lives that way too.  I could ask for no greater gift as a mother. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 20

Read Alma 51-54
Mark & Ponder 37:6
Scripture of the day: "And the Lord called his people ZION, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them." (Moses 7:18)
Thought for the day: "there is no real happiness in having or getting, but only in giving." (N Eldon Tanner)

Wahoo - half way there!  Alma 53:9 "And thus because of iniquity amongst themselves, yea, because of dissensions and intrigue among themselves they were placed in the most dangerous circumstances."  I think we are setting ourselves up for this disaster as well.  The contention between the right and left is becoming stronger and stronger by the day.  My personal conspiracy theory is that Obama and his people are trying to get the American people to start something so they can fight back and relinquish more of our freedom, but regardless...the more contention we have at home among our own people the easier it will be for terrorists to attack us. 

My other thought for the day is about offenses that took place hundreds of years ago.  Why are the Lamanites still fighting the Nephites for wrongs they perceive happened 600 years ago????  Why do they feel like they were the ones who were wronged?  Why do some African American people today feel like they were the ones who were slaves, that they were the ones wronged and that we, the ancestors of the people who had slaves but had nothing to do with slavery ourselves, owe them something?  It makes absolutely no sense to me.  Satan is a master of our carnal nature.  He knows where every single button is and how to push it.  That's the only explanation as far as I can see. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 17, 18, 19

Read Alma 37-41
Mark & Ponder Alma 36:18-19
Scripture of the day "...I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood."  (D&C 101:80)
Thought for the day: "Nothing pleases Godmore than to have His children seek greater light and knowledge." (Hugh Nibley)

I read this late last night when my brain was barely functioning because I didn't want to get another day behind after missing Thanksgiving my thoughts may not be of the genius nature.  Alma 37:46: "...do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever."  If the Lord asked me to give up my life for Him I would do it in a heartbeat.  If He asked me to leave my home and all my possession behind and walk to Missouri with only the stuff I could carry in a backpack I would totally do it  But when He asks me to read my scriptures every day, or to love and serve my neighbor, or to go to the temple as often as possible...I struggle.  These are all easy things in comparison to what He could ask of us and yet they are harder for me to do. 

Alma 36:3 "...whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions..." I know this to be true for I have experienced this many times.  Even when I've been in the middle of a very difficult trial I've been able to feel peace and the love of God and been able to be happy even though everything around me was crap.  I don't know how people without God in their lives get through their trials without Him.

Alma 39:14 "Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world; for behold, you cannot carry them with you." We, as a nation, spend WAY too much time seeking after the vain things of the world.  Why do we do that?  I always have a list a mile long of the things I want.  They aren't bad things; most of them are actually good things.  I want window well covers so the kids don't fall in the window wells, I want a fence so the kids can play out in the backyard without me worrying about them running into the street, I want the internet so I can keep our family journal on this blog and keep in contact with family and friends and be a part of their lives, I want lasik eye surgery so I don't have to deal with my contacts anymore, I want to do IVF so I can have another baby and add sweet little soul to our family...there isn't anything wrong with any of these things but they all require money so I'm constantly "seeking after riches."  I always want more money.  In today's world, how do you not focus on money?  The answer of course is found below in tomorrow's scripture but much easier said than done.

Read Alma 42-44
Mark & Ponder Alma 34:32-34
Scripture of the day: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33)
Thought for the day: "Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born, if He is not born in thee, thy soul is still forlorn."

 Something that has always baffled me about the scriptures: if someone swore an oath, good guy or bad guy, it was a concrete thing that wasn't broken.  In these chapters, Moroni tells Zerehemnah that if they will lay down their weapons and swear an oath that will never come against them in war again he will let them depart in peace.  Zerehemnah says they will not swear an oath they know they will break and would rather die and goes back to fighting.  That makes no sense in today's world.  We're talking about evil men who will not break an oath because they have integrity?  Bad guys today would say sure we'll make an oath with absolutely no intent of keeping it and it wouldn't bother them a bit.  A person's word today doesn't really mean anything.  Even good people tell someone they'll do something and then don't do it.  What was so different back then that a person's word was gold, regardless of how good or honest of a person they were?  Baffling...

Read Alma 45-50
Mark & Ponder Alma 46:12
Scripture of the day: "Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be like unto Moroni, behold the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men." (Alma 48:17)
Thought for the day: "The central conflict in the premortal council was: Shall man have agency , or shall he be coerced to be obedient? Christ stood for the former, satan for the latter. The conflict continues in mortality. One of Lucifer's primary strategies has been to restrict our agency through the power of earthly governments...we live in one of history's most exceptional moments - in a nation and a time of unprecedented freedom. Freedom as we know it has been experienced by perhaps less than 1 percent of the human family." (Pres Ezra Taft Benson)

It's hard to understand how a person like Amalikiah can be so incredibly evil and cunning.  Today I believe George Soros is an Amalikiah.  They seek to destroy and gain power and will do anything and everything in order to do so.  They don't care about human life or anyone else's quality of life, or how their actions will affect other people.  They only care about power.  It is frightening and hard to understand how someone could be that evil. 

One thing that always stands out to me in the war chapters is the need to prepare, strengthen, and fortify ourselves.  In these chapters they are physically fortifying themselves against the Lamanites.  In our lives we need to spiritually fortify ourselves against Satan.  Because there are such evil men in this world and it is only getting worse by the day (being the last days and all), we need to be spiritually prepared to meet the challenges, trials, afflictions, tribulations, etc that will befall us.  Adversity will come.  Are we prepared to meet it?  The reason there are so many members of the church today who have lost their testimonies and become inactive or fallen away is because they weren't prepared when Satan attacked.  Moroni dug ditches, built walls of dirt, put walls of timber on top of the dirt, put spikes on top of the timber walls, and built towers on top of that.  He didn't just do one thing and hope it was enough.  He kept strengthening and fortifying until the Lamanites came.  If we aren't constantly working on our spiritual fortification we won't be prepared when Satan attacks and we will fall spiritually.  We will commit sin.  We will lose our testimonies.  We will be like the Lamanites who completely forgot the Lord their God and will become people of the world instead of people of God.  It is so hard to watch loved ones who have fallen prey to this.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My clumsiness has reprocussions

So anyone that knows me well knows I'm not the most coordinated person in the world. I've fallen down the stairs more times than I can count.  One of those falls sent me to the urgent care and put me in a sling for 3 days.  My brother Derek was just telling someone a couple days ago about the time we went running together and I tripped on air and ended up bloody on the road with my ankle the size of a baseball.  Plus there's the time I broke my ankle because I apparently can't even climb a fence.  Needless to say I've had many injuries because of my clumsiness.  But tonight my clumsiness had the worst outcome yet.  We were at Derek's indoor soccer game and I was helping Morgan up the bleachers after taking him to the bathroom when I tripped.  Unfortunately I'm perfectly fine but Morgan was in front of me and in my arms so he fell further down than me and hit his chin on the edge of the stairs which cut it all the way to the bone.  My poor little boy is bleeding everywhere and screaming his head off and it's totally my fault.  He has nine stitches in his chin now and is a total trooper.  The worst part was when they were stitching him up and he was screaming like they were cutting his heart out.  My clumsiness has never cost me so dearly.  But it was super cute when he told me he wants to walk by himself from now on.  What a sweetheart!  Incidentally, as the BYU vs UTAH game was today and Morgan is wearing his Utah shirt, you can see in the pictures that he does indeed bleed red.

Morgan in his chin sling that is holding the numbing medicine on

Can't see the cut very well since it's through the plastic but it's all the way to the bone

Also bit a good size hole in his tongue

The numbing stuff made him cold so he wrapped up in my coat

Teagan spent most of the waiting time spinning on the chair

Friday, November 26, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 16

Read Alma 30-36
Mark & Ponder Alma 32:21
Scripture of the day: "Wherefore, fear not even  unto death; for in this world your joy is not full. Therefore care not for the body, neither the life of the body; but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul. And seek the face of the Lord always that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life." (D&C 101: 36-38)
Thought for the day: "The gospel of Jesus Christ is not insurance against pain. It is a resource in event of pain, and when the pain comes...rejoice that you have resource to deal with your pain." (Carlfred Broderick)

Today's reading had so much good stuff I have no idea what to focus on.  I love the thought for the day, so true.  From Korihor in chapter 30 "I always knew that there was a God. But behold, the devil hath deceived me...I taught [the devil's words] because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind."  We learned early that the natural man is an enemy to God.  Our carnal mind desires things that are not pleasing unto God.  Satan uses those things, our very natures, to deceive us and lead us away.  Many let themselves be deceived, even though they know deep down that there is a God and that He doesn't want them to live their lives this way, because it is so pleasing to our carnal minds and fallen natures.  It's like when your alarm clock goes off and you know you need to get up and that you're going to be late if you don't but it just feels so good to drift back into sleep.  We let Satan deceive us because it feels so good to give in to those carnal desires and then we try to convince ourselves that it's ok to make ourselves feel better. 

Again (one thing you will notice as you read the Book of Mormon, especially if you read it quickly, is that themes are repeated over and over and over again.  The Lord really has to drum things into us a billion times to get us to listen) we come across the idea of being compelled to be humble.  If we won't humble ourselves and turn to the Lord, He may step in and try to help us find our way back to Him.  That way may be poverty as in these chapters, or it may be cancer, or it may be any number of things.  But I would much rather humble myself so I don't have to be poor, or have cancer, or whatever (not that humbling myself will eliminate the possibility of those things.  See my list of afflictions in a previous post).  We always struggle with money and I HATE being poor.  Well, it's more that I hate being stressed about money.  I hate having to worry about whether we'll be able to pay our bills this month.  I don't handle stress well and man is it hard for me.  I really hope that I can keep myself humble and keep trying my hardest to live the commandments so that I will someday learn whatever I'm supposed to learn from financial trials and be able to prosper.  It would seriously suck if it was my fault we had financial struggles because I was too proud to humble myself and turn to the Lord.

I love the analogy of the seed.  Anyone that truly wants to know if something is true can find out for themselves.  If someone is sincere and truly wants to know if the gospel of Jesus Christ is true, they will undoubtedly find out.  Most people aren't willing to "experiment upon His words" because they like their lifestyle too much and don't want to know if it's true or not. 

I also love the story of Moses holding up the rod and all the people had to do was look and be healed and yet some would not.  Pride is a funny thing.  So many people today refuse to look and thus, refuse to be happy.  It's so obvious sitting on this side of the fence but they think the world will give them happiness and are too stubborn to admit otherwise.  They hurt themselves, they sacrifice healing and happiness, and for what?

And finally (there's actually a ton more but I really do need to move on) I LOVE Alma 34:32-34.  "This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God..."  This is what it's all about.  Now is the time to prove the kind of people we are and the kind of people we want to become.  Right now, today, is the time to prepare to meet God.  Are we doing everything we can to prepare for that day?  It's so overwhelming sometimes.  Life is hard.  Being a good person is hard.  Trying to become like the Savior is hard.  Sometimes I look back on my day and think "I definitely slid backwards today."  When I've had a trying day with the kids and there's been too much yelling and being frustrated or when I've had a "me" day where I just wanted to read my book or do some scrapbooking for a while and the boys just want to me to play with them I think "if the boys were taken from tomorrow (like in a car accident or something) would this day be what I would want for our last day together?  With the same thought process, if I died in a car accident tomorrow, would I have done enough today so I would be prepared to meet God.  I can ALWAYS do better in this area.  Sometimes my answer is a resounding NO and it helps me to do better the next day.  I hope and pray that I have the strength to do what is necessary to prepare to meet God and the strength to refuse to give in to my carnal and fallen nature.

Black Friday

I just wanted to stop for a moment here at 6:30am on Black Friday and say how much I love it.  I hear so many people talk about their unwillingness to either get up early or to fight the mobs and I just don't see it.  The fun started yesterday when a bunch of stores put their Black Friday sale items on sale online.  I got everything I wanted at Kohls (plus 20%, free shipping and Kohls cash) without having to even go to the store.  I also got stuff on Amazon throughout the day as they matched other store's Black Friday sales (with free shipping and no tax).  Next was Walmart whose sale started at midnight.  At 12:15 I was walking back out to my car.  Granted it did get a little crazy for a few minutes and I was smushed quite a bit, but seriously, in 15 minutes I walked around the store, grabbed the stuff I came for and checked out.  That's pretty good.  So I came back home and slept for a few hours then got back up to go to Smiths Marketplace because Randy and I are both desperate for socks and they always have them 50% off (actually, Smiths Marketplace on Black Friday is the ONLY time and place I ever buy socks).  It was freezing outside and the store isn't open 24 hours like Walmart so I sat in my car until the doors actually opened (letting a lot of people in front of me in line- oh no) then walked inside and very leisurely got everything I wanted without any craziness at all and checked out in about 30 seconds.  Now I'm back home and writing this will I wind down so I can go back to sleep.  Usually I hit a bunch more stores but we're trying not to spend very much money this year because we're saving money to do IVF and add another cutie to our family.  But overall a very pleasant experience and definitely worth the money we saved.  And as far as the getting up early argument...please, I get up at 4:30 am everyday, what's the big deal?  Thank you Black Friday, I love you!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 15

Read Alma 25-29
Mark & Ponder Alma 30:60
Scripture of the day: "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek Him that seek Thy face, O Jacob. Selah." (Psalms 24:3-6)
Thought for the day: "Peace is more than a spot of ink on a piece of paper or a sound upon lips. It is the application of the teachings of the Prince of Peace in our daily lives."

Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving and all..."We will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of His great power, and His mercy, and of His long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." (Alma 26:16)  I, too, feel so blessed that I cannot even begin to describe what I feel.  I'm especially thankful for my brother and Savior Jesus Christ who gave His life for me; who is always there for me when I need Him; who made it possible for me to live with Him and Heavenly Father again.  I am thankful for His love, His understanding, His comforting arms, His compassion, and His mercy.  I am thankful for parents who raised me in the gospel and taught me how to live my life by following the teachings of Jesus Christ.  I am thankful they taught me the plan of happiness so that I can be happy in this fallen world even when it appears as though everything is going to Hell in a hand basket.  I am thankful that I am friends with my parents and that they are such a support to me.  I am thankful for the gifts and talents the Lord has blessed me with.  I am thankful I was married in the temple for time and all eternity.  I am thankful for my two precious boys who I love more than anything in this world and who are such a joy to me each and every day.  I am thankful for our beautiful new house and new location in which we live.  I'm thankful for our great jobs that allow us to support our family.  I'm thankful that the Lord has always provided a way for us (like that fact that my work let's me come in at 5:30 am so I can be home in time for Randy to go to work and the kids can always have a parent with them).  I'm thankful for this beautiful state we live in.  I'm thankful I was born in America.  I'm thankful for the freedom we have (for now).  I'm thankful for medical science and technology.  I'm thankful for chocolate.  I'm thankful for the small and simple precious moments that make life worth living.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Putting up the Christmas Tree

Ok, so I know it's before Thanksgiving but I always end up putting up the tree by myself on Black Friday while Randy is at work and I didn't want to do it by myself this year so I FINALLY talked Randy into it.  We started on Sunday then got to finish we he got sent home early for the blizzard today.  Morgan had tons of fun and I'm already loving the new Christmas spirit in our house.  Here are a few pictures:

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 14

Read Alma 20-24
Mark & Ponder Alma 11:43
Scripture of the day: "Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarned you, by giving unto this word of wisdom by revelation" (D&C 89:4)
Thought for the day: "The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving." (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

The Anti-Nephi-Lehis are such a great example of how to forsake sin and, even more importantly, how to make sure you are never in a situation where you are tempted to sin.  I don't think most people today are strong enough to make choices like they did.  Defending yourself and your family isn't a sin, but they were so concerned about doing something that was even related to their past sins that they would rather lay down and give up their lives than pick up a sword.  And many of them did just that.  How many of us would be willing to not have a television in our house, or not go anywhere where they serve alcohol, or not listen to the radio ever again, or not ever get behind the wheel of a car, or whatever it is that's related to our weaknesses and temptations? I could definitely use some pondering time regarding to this.  Maybe there are some things I should give up so that I'm not ever in a situation where my weaknesses can get the best of me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 13

Read Alma 15-19
Mark & Ponder Alma 11:40
Scripture of the day: "My God hath been my support, He hat filled me with His love; even unto the consuming of my flesh. He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before m e. Behold, He hath given me knowledge by visions in the nighttime." (2 Nephi 4:20-23)
Thought for the day: "The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in.  The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of the people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold me by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature." (Pres Ezra Taft Benson)

Ok so Teagan is hanging onto my legs and crying and is so ready for me to be done so I'll make this quick.  I love the story of Zeezerom because it shows that it is never too late to repent and we can always be forgiven.  And who doesn't love the story of Ammon.  The Nephites had been trying to convert the Lamanites for hundreds of years with no success.  Any sane person wouldn't waste their time trying, but look what comes of his missionary work.  What a great example.  We need to always always always keep trying.  I also love the thought for today.  The problems in our country today would be about a billion times better if our leaders just grasped this one concept.  Now to the baby...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 10, 11, 12

Ok so I failed my weekend test miserably.  Thursday was Randy's birthday so I asked my parents to babysit Friday night so I could take him to Harry Potter 7, part 1, which came out on Friday.  I get up at 4:30 am and our movie was out 10:20 pm since Randy doesn't get home from work until after 9pm and we wanted enough time to get there early so we wouldn't have to sit on the front row.  So obviously I knew I would need a nap.  Usually I put the boys down for their nap, read my scriptures in peace and then join them for a shorter nap on my end.  But since I knew I need a nice long nap and that I'd be taking the kids to my parents and would have time to read in peace in the evening, I laid down when they did.  We got up, ate some food and went to Mapleton.  On my home I stopped at a boutique in PG and shopped in peace (which I never get to do) for some girly hair stuff since I'm cutting it all of tomorrow (since it's falling out in even greater abundance then when I first posted about it).  Then when I got home I was so excited I didn't have the boys and get some scrapbooking that I did that until Randy got home and totally forgot about reading my scriptures.  Harry Potter was fantastic by the way.  I very very rarely say that about movies made from books I loved but this.  Usually I hate them but they did a great job on this one.  Anyway, I got up Saturday morning and went right back to scrapbooking until Randy got up, really enjoying my time with kids.  Then we picked up the kids, ran some errands, did some grocery shopping, got all the Christmas stuff out to find the outside lights (I know it's before Thanksgiving but it's supposed to be snowing all week and we didn't turn them on), put up the Christmas lights outside, had some dinner, hung out as a family and went to bed.  Totally spaced the reading.  So today I had to read three days worth which wasn't as pleasant as I would like my scripture reading to be.  So that's why you'll see Day 10, 11, and 12 all in today's post.  And my thoughts probably won't be so fabulous (and quite short) because it was just so long and I was so tired and missing my nap time with the rest of the fam.  But that's what I get.

Read Alma 1-5
Mark & Ponder Mosiah 4:30
Scripture of the day: "I am the way the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 13:6)
Thought for the day: "If we desire to learn the ideal life to lead among our fellow men, we can find a perfect example in the life of Jesus. Whatsoever our noble desire, our lofty aspirations, our ideals in any phase of life, we can look to Christ and find perfection. So, in seeking a standard for moral manhood, we need only to go to the Man of Nazareth and in Him find embodied all virtues that go to make the perfect man." (Pres David O. Mckay)

 There were a few things that stuck out in today's reading but I'm having a hard time putting my thoughts into words on a few of them so I'm going to stick with just one.  In Alma 5:28 it says "Are you stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meed God."  Obviously I would like to be prepared to meet God at any time because I could go at any time.  You never expect to die in a car accident but it could happen every single time you get in a car.  I'm really trying to obey the commandments and do what the Lord as asked me to do and I'm trying to become a better person each day but am I stripped of pride?  Heck no.  I got in an argument with Randy earlier today that needn't have been an argument at all of I was actually stripped of pride.  Do I walk around thinking I'm better than everyone?  No.  But I certainly have a lot of pride which is evident when I have a hard time humbling myself and saying sorry when I still think I'm right.  So apparently, I'm not prepared to meet God.  I hope I have enough time on earth to correct that before it's my time to meet God.

Read Alma 6-10
Mark & Ponder Alma 4:10
Scripture of the day: "...I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine." (D & C 38:27)
Thought for the day: "Nothing is so much calculated to lead people to forsake sin and to take them by the hand, and watch over them tenderness. When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what power it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind." (Prophet Joseph Smith)

Alma 7: 11-12 "And He shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith He will take upon Him the pains and the sicknesses of His people. And He will take upon Him death, that He may loose the bands of death which bind His people; and He will take upon Him their infirmities, that His bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that He may know according to the flesh how to succor His people according to their infirmities."

I am so thankful that my Savior Jesus Christ suffered for my sins because I commit a lot of them and life would be so hopeless without the Atonement.  But I'm also so thankful for all the other parts of the Atonement: he suffered my temptations, my sicknesses, my hunger, my thirst, my fatigue, my sorrow, my heartache, every pain and every affliction I will ever experience.  He did this so He will have perfect compassion and know exactly how to help me through it.  What an amazing gift.  There is always someone who knows EXACTLY how I feel because He felt it.  He knows how it feels to be tempted with my exact temptation because he felt it.  Therefore He knows how to help me say no and follow His path.  There really aren't words for how magnificent the Atonement is or for how incredibly grateful I am for it.

Read Alma 11-14
Mark & Ponder Alma 5:14
Scripture of the day: "...that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof int he day of judgment. For by the words shalt thou be justified, and by thy words shalt thou be condemned." (Matthew 12:36-37)
Thought for the day: "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

Alma 13:28-29
"Watch and pray continually that...
  1. ye may not be temped above that which ye can bear
  2. and thus be led by the Holy Spirit,
  3. becoming humble
  4. meek
  5. submissive
  6. patient
  7. full of love
  8. and all long-suffering
  9. having faith on the Lord
  10. having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life
  11. having the Love of God always in your hearts
  12. that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into His rest"
If all I have to do is watch and pray continually and those 12 things will follow accordingly, I'd say that's a good thing to make sure I'm doing. (This is obviously the end of my marathon of reading and my brain had pretty much turned off by now so sorry, that's all I've got for ya)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 9

Read Mosiah 23-29
Mark & Ponder Mosiah 4:27
Scripture of the day: "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." (Ephesians 2:19-20, 22)
Thought for the day: "Search the scriptures, search the revelations which ye publish and ask your heavenly Father, in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, to manifest the truth unto you, ad if you do it with an eye single to His glory, nothing doubting, He will answer you by the power of His Holy Spirit. You will then know for yourself and not for another. you will not then be dependent on man for the knowledge of God; nor will there be any room for speculation...For when men receive their instruction from Him that made them, they know how He will save them...Again we say: search the scriptures, search the prophets and learn what portion of them belongs to you." (Prophet Joseph Smith)

The story of Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah is one of my favorite in the scriptures for two reasons:

1) it shows that can go from being an enemy to God, committing all manner of sins, to being the prophet of God.  That's a pretty amazing example of the Atonement.  As it said in the reading, as many times as we repent the Lord will forgive us.  What an amazing gift the Atonement truly is.  I screw up every single day; maybe not with the big sins but sins nonetheless.  What a fantastic blessing it is to be able to repent and be forgiven as if we had never screwed up in the first place.  The Atonement truly is miraculous.

2) An angel appeared to Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah to answer the prayers of their fathers.  These five young men completely changed their lives around and became valuable servants of the Lord because of faith and prayers.  Pretty much everyone has family and friends that have chosen a different path.  Sometimes it feels like there is no hope that they will ever come back.  But if we continue to pray with them and exercise our faith in the Lord, it's not just possible but probable.  It's so easy to forget the power of prayer sometimes because we aren't immediately rewarded with whatever we're asking for.  The scriptures say "endure to the end" a billion times for a reason.  We have to keep asking and keep exercising faith, and someday those blessings will be ours. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 8

Read Mosiah 16-22
Mark & Ponder Mosiah 2:17
Scripture of the day: "And thou shall love the Lord they God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." (Deut 6:5)
Thought for the day: "Surely every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord is precious. So each word in this name must be important--divinely designed for a reason." (Russell M Nelson, speaking about the name of the church)

Why do we have trials/tribulations/afflictions/etc? 
1.  We need them to learn and grown
2.  The agency of others
3.  Because of our own iniquity
4.  Because they are part of the moral experience

I personally don't really like trials, tribulations, or afflictions.  I would like to limit mine to those I absolutely need or those I can't do anything about.  I can't change the fact that I'm living a mortal experience and with that comes trials (ie hunger).  Somethings are hard to go through but just part of life.  I can't change anything that happens to me because of the choices of others (and the Lord won't take away their agency). I don't want to stop anything that I need to become more like the Savior and will help me to live with Him again.  But I can do something about the trials I put myself through because of my own choices, my own iniquity.  There have been multiple times in my life where I've thought to myself "Mindy, you need to do better before the Lord gives you a trial just so you'll remember Him and do what He's asked you to do."  The Lord won't take away our agency. He let's us choose the way in which we live our lives.  But we can't choose the consequences.  Following Satan ALWAYS comes with consequences.  The Lord loves us and wants us to come back and live with Him again.  So while He lets us choose how to live our lives that doesn't mean He won't try to remind us of Him and what we should be doing.  Nothing brings us to our knees faster than trials.  I think I'd rather get on my knees on my own.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 7

Read Mosiah 10-15
Mark & Ponder Mosiah 3:19
Scripture of the day: "And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith. Organize yourself; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God." (D&C 88: 118-119)
Thought for the day: "We cannot be made perfect without our progenitors, neither can they be perfected without us, and they are as much dependent upon us as we are dependent upon them.  We can build temples, they cannot, it is not their province to administer in them at present, but it is ours, and we are called upon to do so. They are interested in our welfare, they are our fathers, we are their children; they are laboring there, we here, for our mutual salvation and exaltation in the kingdom of God." (Pres John Taylor)

The more often I sit down and actually contemplate what the Savior did for me personally the more impact it makes on my life and the better I am at using the Atonement in my life.  I know I'm supposed to focus on this during the Sacrament each week but with two kids it's REALLY hard to do so.  I try to think about the Savior but I'm usually trying to so hard to keep the boys quiet that I don't get to really focus and contemplate during this time.  The teachings of Abinidai and Isiah (who Abinidai quotes) are great for focusing on the Atonement, even with kids climbing all over me while I was reading it.

"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief...He was despised and I esteemed Him not. Surely He has borne my griefs and carried my sorrows...He was wounded for my transgressions, He was bruised for my iniquities...with His stripes I am healed. I, like sheep, have gone astray; I have turned to my own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him my iniquities.  He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb so He opened not His mouth...for my transgressions He was stricken."

"God Himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem me...God suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to temptation, but suffereth Himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out and disowned by His people...He shall be led, crucified, and slain...being filled with compassion towards me, standing betwixt me and justice, having broken the bands of death, taken upon himself my iniquity and my transgressions, having redeemed me and satisfied the demands of justice."

(excerpts from Mosiah 14: 2-8 and Mosiah 15: 1-9 with slight alterations to personalize it for myself)


Signs that turning 30 does indeed mean you're getting old

#3 I don't know why I even thought of this but it popped into my mind the other day: one of my core requirements in high school was a computer class  where we learned what the Internet was and how to use it.  I remembering learning how to look up a web page and how to search for things.  Can you even imagine kids today having to take a class to learn what the Internet was?  I also remember that at the time I took this class it really was my only experience with the Internet.  We even learned how to make a basic page using HTML.  I can remember life without the Internet but it's almost like a fake memory because how did we ever look anything up before Internet? And since we're on the subject of technology and being old: when I was in elementary school my friend's dad was some sort of a big wig with a company car and had a car phone in his car.  It was the coolest thing ever. Imagine being able to get a hold of him while he was out and about.  Kids today have cell phones starting at like age 5.  I could probably go on for quite a while in this post.  It's amazing how far technology has come just in my lifetime.  Just looks at how my kids came to be born.  IVF probably sounded like some kind of fantasy just 30 years ago.  Crazy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 6

Read Mosiah 4-9
Mark & Ponder Jacob 2:18-19
Scripture of the day: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" (Romans 8:35)
Thought for the day: "A true Mormon home is one in which if Christ should chance to enter, he would be pleased to linger and rest." (Pres David O Mckay)

I'm having a hard time focusing my thoughts today (the boys were really crazy while I was reading and are still crazy at the moment, I can't imagine why I can't concentrate) so this is going to be a short one. 

The part that sticks out them most in my mind is in Mosiah 4 where King Benjamin is talking about taking care of the poor.  He says "are we not all beggars?" meaning who are we to withhold anything when we are constantly begging God for forgiveness, for help with this, help with that, comfort, etc.  I know I'm begging all the time.  I don't understand how people can turn down callings for the same reason.  How can I spend all day asking Heavenly Father for help with something if I'm not willing to do something he asks?  How can I not help someone in need and then asking for Heavenly Father to help me with something I need?  Sometimes it's hard to know if we're giving enough or not being that we're on a tight budget and already go without a lot of things most people thing are necessities (internet, tv, cell phones, ipods, etc).  So I try really hard to follow the promptings of the spirit in this area.  If we're struggling to make ends meet but they're collecting food at Walmart and I feel like I should buy something to put in the box, I do.  If I don't feel that prompting but feel instead that I really wish we had more money so that I could put something in there, I don't worry about it and know that I would give if I could.  

Sunday, November 14, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 5

Read Words of Mormon, Mosiah 1-3
Mark & Ponder 2 Nephi 33:8-9
Scripture of the day: "Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry and the needy, and the naked, and sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?" (Mormon 8:39)
Thought for the day: "But as a people we should endeavor in them midst of our troubles, difficulties, trials and temptations, to remember that we are God's people; that we are called to be His, and we should put our firm faith and trust in Him and leave Him to work out the results." (George Q Cannon)

I love King Benjamin's address to his people. Whenever I open the scriptures and don't have a specific place I'm reading at the time I usually end up reading these chapters.  For this post I just want to focus on Mosiah 3:19 because I love this scripture and it's something I think about a lot and I actually referenced a post or two ago.  The natural man drives me crazy.  Reading my scriptures everyday should not be a hard thing.  It only takes a few minutes, it isn't painful, it doesn't require a large sacrifice, sweat, tears, or exertion of any sort.  It's really a pretty easy thing.  And yet I struggle and struggle with it.  The same thing goes with things that aren't necessarily spiritual in nature like exercising & dieting (eating reasonable portions, moderating unhealthy foods, not wanting to eat all day long - which is me in a nutshell).  The natural man is lazy.  The natural man accomplishes nothing.  The natural man doesn't grow or progress or do anything for anyone else.  "The natural man is an enemy to God."  We were sent to earth as a test to prove ourselves.  If it wasn't hard it wouldn't really be a test.  But it continues to baffle my mind how much the natural man is in opposition to the spirit.  My spirits yearns to obey the commandments and live a Christ-like life.  I want nothing more.  But the natural man in me is always causing problems with this desire.  Things that sound easy to do and I want very much to do are so difficult.  But each time I conquer that natural man, each time my spirit is triumphant over my carnal nature, the more I become like the Savior and the closer I get to living with Him again. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 4

Read Jacob 6-7, Enos, Jarom and Omni
Mark & Ponder 2 Nephi 31:20
Scripture of the day: "Thou shalt not idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer." (D&C 42:42)
Thought for the day: "I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I love, I rejoice in  life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me; it is a sort of splendid torch which I've got to hold up for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations." (George Bernard Shaw)

Yay! I passed my first Saturday test.  I'm what I like to call a Saturday Failure.  I always start things on Monday morning with a whole heap of motivation.  It might be a new diet, a determination to exercise everyday, a determination to read my scriptures every day, a determination to keep the house clean, etc.  I do so well all week until Saturday comes along.  On Saturday I don't have the same routine as Monday - Friday.  Randy's home and we're busy doing projects or running errands or having some family fun and I simply forget.  Things always fall apart on Saturday.  And then once I miss one day it all goes downhill from there.  Well, I completed my reading for today and have passed my first Saturday test.  Hallelujah!!!

As you can probably tell from previous posts I've been very worried about the times in which we live lately.  I learned some things this past week about where our country is headed and the things that are going on behind the scenes and I was truly frightened.  I went to bed terrified the other night.  The scriptures say if we are prepared we shall not fear but I'm still afraid.  Am I really prepared?  Even if I am, I'm still scared of the things we're going to have to live through.  I think it's going to get pretty bad over the next few years and I really do worry about it.  Tonight as I was reading my scriptures I felt such peace.  It wasn't anything specific I read that answered a specific question or worry.  Feasting upon the words of Christ really does bring peace and power into our lives.  I usually know everything will be ok on an intellectual level but tonight I really felt it.  The future will come.  I can only do what I can do and I know the Lord will take care of me and my family.  It still might be hard and not very fun but I really felt peace while I was reading tonight and that's what I love about the scriptures.  I don't understand why it is so hard for me to read sometimes because the benefits of reading are so great that it is unfathomable that I would choose not to read.  Stupid human nature really bugs me sometimes.

Anyway, on to tonight's reading...one thing that stood out to me was in Jacob 7 where we meet Sherem.  "...he began to preach among the people, and to declare unto them that there should be no Christ. And he preached many things which were flattering unto the people; and this he did that he might overthrow the doctrine of Christ. And he labored diligently that he might lead away the hearts of the people, insomuch that he did lead away many hearts...and he was learned, that he had a perfect knowledge of the language of the people; wherefore, he could use much flattery, and much power of speech, according to the power of the devil."

This is so prevalent in our day.  People want to take "under God" out of our pledge of allegiance.  They want to take God out of everything.  Something that drives me crazy this time of year is "Happy Holidays."  Everyone is so overly-sensitive about offending someone that they don't dare to say "Merry Christmas."  It's so ridiculous.  And it's obviously Satan's doing because he wouldn't waste his time if it wasn't important.  Why does anyone care what anyone else believes.  If you don't believe in Christ, why would you be offended if someone says Merry Christmas?  I wouldn't be offended if someone said Happy Hannakuh to me.  If you don't believe in God, why would you care that it says God in the pledge of allegiance.  If He's just a myth that makes people feel warm and fuzzy inside, let them feel warm and fuzzy inside.  It isn't hurting anyone and it doesn't affect your life in anyway so why do you care?  If you don't believe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Saints is God's church on earth or that the leaders of that church are prophets of God, why would you be offended by anything they say to their people?  I wouldn't be offended if the Pope gave an address and said short people are evil or Mormons are evil or any other number of things because I'm not Catholic and I don't believe what he says is from God.  It wouldn't bother me one bit and I certainly wouldn't start a protest over it because I don't care what he says.  But I'll tell you why all these people are offended and why they work so hard to take the rest of our rights to worship away: because Satan is working overtime on them.  Satan doesn't want God in anything either so he and his minions work extra hard to rile everyone up exactly the way he did with Sherem. 

I love the one-liners in the Book of Mormon that are repeated over and over and over again because they're things I need to constantly be reminded of and since they are in there so many times there's a good chance I'll come across it every time I need it.  Here's an example from tonight's reading "Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it." (Enos 1:15)  Now, of course I've read this/heard this a million times and yes, I know it's true.  But sometimes, when you've been praying really hard about something (as I have been lately), you need the spirit to reaffirm it in your heart as you're reading it, which is what happened tonight.  I'm so grateful for the Lord's patience with me.  He's told me a thousand times but He keeps telling me again and again (and with much more love and understanding than I use with Morgan when I've told him over and over and over).

Friday, November 12, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 3

Read Jacob 1-5
Mark & Ponder 2 Nephi 31:13
Scripture of the day: "...Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." (2 Nephi 32:3)
Thought for the day: "The Book of Mormon must be re-enthroned in the minds and hearts of our people. We must honor it by taking its precepts into our lives and transforming them into lives required of true followers of Christ." (Pres Ezra Taft Benson)

The Allegory of the Vineyard: the longest chapter in the Book of Mormon. I think a lot of this chapter is about missionary work but something else always comes to mind when I read it.  Each of us is born into different circumstances which has the tendency to raise a lot of questions.  Why was that child born into an abusive family? Why was this person born poor and that person born rich?  Why was this person born in America and that person in Cambodia?  Why can't I find someone to marry?  Why can't I have children?  Why did I get cancer?  The questions could go on and on and on.  Here is what I believe: The Lord wants ALL of us to make it back to Him.  He does everything in His power (which is A LOT) to help us get there.  Sometimes we have to be "pruned" and "dug about" in order to develop the qualities necessary to make it back to Him.  I know with all of my heart this is true.  When I'm really praying for something I want very badly (like help with some big trial) I can honestly add "Thy will be done" and really mean it because I know without a doubt in my mind that everything I go through the Lord will consecrate unto me for my own good.  I know He will help me learn what I need to learn so that I can live with Him again.  If the choice is get cancer and make it back to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus or don't get cancer and maybe not make it back...bring on the cancer.  Life may not be fair but we each get the circumstances we need to help us become the best version of our self we can possibly be, whether it is poor ground or good ground.  Obviously some people don't use their circumstances to do that.  That is their choice.  I choose to accept my challenges and trials and let them mold me into the person I want to be.  I'm not saying it's easy or that I have a perfect attitude all the time.  In the midst of a trial it's a lot harder to have the right perspective.  But the more practice I have the better I get.  I hope and pray I can always live up to the expectations the Lord has of me and use all  my circumstances, good and bad, to come closer to Him and to living with Him for eternity.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 2

Read 2 Nephi 22-33
Mark & Ponder 2 Nephi 28:8
Scripture of the day: "And it shall come to pass, that if ye are faithful you shall receive the fullness of the record of John. I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of His fullness." (D&C 93: 18-19)
Thought for the day: "I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I just wanted to read the book." (Parley P Pratt's first reading of the Book of Mormon)

Why do this walk with Christ?  Why is it important to focus on Christ and really come to know Him?  One reason that I've kind of been thinking about and was covered in the reading for today is because Satan does such a good job of imitating Christ (appearing as an angel of light) that you need to know Christ well enough to know the difference.  Satan is a master manipulator and a master deceiver.  He doesn't just come out and show you who he is and what he's about (not until you're so evil he doesn't need to worry about it anymore at least).  He makes good appear evil and evil appear good.

The reason I've thinking about this is because of what I see in the news everyday. All the socialistic programs the government is forcing on us have Satan written all over them (I'm not saying the people putting them into place are evil, just that they've been deceived).  Is it good to take care of the poor?  YES!  We are commanded multiple times in the scriptures to take care of the poor and are given very serious consequences if we don't.  The Savior wants us to make the choice to take care of the poor out of compassion and charity.  Satan's plan is always to force people to do things and take away our agency.  So...the government creating more and more programs to force us to take care of the poor is Satan's plan.  Yes, we should take care of those who have less than we do.  Yes, we should take care of the elderly, the widows, the fatherless, etc.  But we need to make that choice.  We need to develop compassion for others.  We need to develop charity (the pure love of Christ) for others.  We develop those attributes by voluntarily giving of our substance to those who need it.  Satan doesn't want us to develop those attributes.  It is so frustrating when people say you don't care about the poor people who don't have healthcare just because you don't agree with Obamacare.  Forcing the people into slavery by creating so many government programs and raising our taxes through the roof isn't good for anyone.  It isn't good for those whose wealth is redistributed and it isn't good for those who receive the redistributed wealth.  Have you noticed the attitude of entitlement that is developing in this country?  I can't tell you how many times I've heard statements like "I can't believe the government expects me to support 3 kids on the amount of money they give me." "Why would I try to find a job when I can make more collecting unemployment?" "We should raise taxes on the rich because they don't deserve that much money or they don't need that much money."  WHAT???  This attitude of entitlement is growing rampant in our country because of the all the government hand-outs and bail-outs.  The people giving money don't have the chance to develop Christ-like attributes because they are forced to give their money away through taxes, many of the people receiving money become entitled instead of developing Christ-like humility and gratitude.  Obviously, this isn't true for everyone.  There are many people out there truly in need and are very grateful for the help.  They aren't bad people for taking advantage of government programs.  The problem is the system.  It is turning more and more into a Satan-centered system than a Christ-centered system and most people don't even notice.  They believe Satan's lies.  They want to help people and Satan's plan sounds like a good way to help people.  That's why Satan is so good at what he does. 

Another example: recently President Packer made a statement about homosexuality in conference and a lot of people were in an uproar about it and had a protest at the temple.  So many people are deceived by Satan's lies.  The Lord loves gay and lesbian people just as much as heterosexual people.  Having feelings towards members of the same sex is a temptation and trial I can't even imagine having to live with.  But having those feelings isn't the sin.  Acting on those feelings is.  Just the same as acting on the temptation to fornicate, or commit adultery, or steal, or lie, or drink, or murder, or rape, or a hundred other things.  We all have our temptations and trials in this life and what we're tempted with doesn't make us bad people.  We are supposed to love one another.  We are not supposed to judge.  We are to treat everyone with kindness, respect, and love.  This is good.  Satan's lie is that believing homosexuality is wrong means you are hateful, judgemental, and are causing people to commit suicide.  Not true.  He takes something good (loving all people, treating them with kindness and respect, etc) and distorts it.  I can love my friend that's gay and love my friend that fornicates and love my friend that does drugs.  It doesn't make any of those things ok but it also doesn't mean I'm hateful or judgemental just because I believe those things are wrong.

In 2 Nephi 28: 21 it says "...the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away CAREFULLY down to hell."  Satan is tricky.  He knows how to manipulate and deceive.  He knows how to play on people's goodness and ever so carefully lead them further and further away from the truth.  It can happen to any of us.  That's why we must always focus on Christ and His teachings so we will always see through his tricks and not fall prey to his treachery.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 1

So my Relief Society challenged us to do a 40 Day Walk with Christ in preparation for the season to help us focus on the Savior during the days leading up to Christmas. In essence, I have to read the Book of Mormon in 40 days.  They also challenged us to write in a journal while we did this so I decided to just put it on my blog instead since I plan on printing this as my family journal. 

I've read the Book of Mormon in less than 40 days before but at the time I didn't have any kids.  So I think this is going to be quite challenging but so is everything that's worth doing.  Along with the reading for everyday is a mark & ponder scripture, a scripture of the day, and a thought for the day.  I'll record those first (so I have it for future reference if I want to do it again) and then add my thoughts on the reading.  Since this is a Walk with Christ I'm going to focus my thoughts on the Savior and how to strengthen my relationship with Him.

I actually just re-started the Book of Mormon a while ago and don't want to start over again so I'm starting on Day 7 in the reading and will finish up with 1st Nephi at the end (if I don't get behind).

Read 2 Nephi 13-21
Mark and Ponder 2 Nephi 9:28-29
Scripture of the Day: "...they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God. But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophesy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God." (Alma 17: 2-3)
Thought for the day: "The time is coming when no man or woman will be able to endure on borrowed light.  each will have to be guided by light within himself. If you do not have it, you will not stand." (Pres Harold B Lee)

The reading today is Isaiah chapters which I really struggle with but here a few things that stuck out to me.  Isaiah speaks a lot of about the last days and what the world will be like at that time.  A lot of the signs of the times are not very pleasant and don't sound like very much fun to live through.  In 2 Nephi 18:13-14 it says "Sanctify the Lord of Hosts himself, and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. And He shall be for a sanctuary..."  Sometimes I worry about the things going on the world and what's going to happen to my family as it gets worse.  It's so easy to let fear and dread of the future pull you down into despair.  Yet, having fear or dread doesn't do anything to change what's coming.  How much better to let the Savior take your fear and dread on Himself so you don't need to be worry about it.  He really can be a sanctuary from the world if we give those things to Him and let His peace fill our lives. 

2 Nephi 19:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."  The Savior has MANY names in the scriptures and I think it's because He is so many things to us.  Sometimes He strengthens us, sometimes He comforts us, sometimes He holds us up, sometimes He just listens as we pour out our hearts, sometimes He gives us peace, sometimes He encourages us to action...you get the point.  He is the perfect friend because we can turn to Him for anything and everything we need.

Multiple times throughout these chapters is the phrase "His hand is stretched out still."  No matter what we choices we make He is ALWAYS there for us.  He will always accept us back.  He will always listen to us.  He will always be there for us.  The Savior's love is not contingent upon our actions.  His blessings may be, His judgements may be, but His love is not.  It's never too late.  He is always waiting with open arms.  What a comforting thought.

Living in Lehi

I LOVE where we live. 

  • Close to the freeway
  • Convenient to Utah County and Salt Lake County
  • Right in the middle of both of our parents (we see my parents about 10 times more often now, it's great)
  • Surrounded by cows and horses, they really do make good neighbors
  • Fantastic view of Mount Timpanogas  (the pink pictures below taken from my back porch)
  • Fantastic view of the sunset over the mountains in the west (the orange picture below taken from my front porch - about one minute after I took the pink ones in the east, weird huh?)
I love our neighborhood.  Everyone on our block is super friendly and we all get along really well.  I was better friends with my neighbors here in the first month than I ever was in 5 years in our last house.  The ladies on the block and I do a little preschool for our kids then we usually hang out and visit afterwards.  Last week we took the kids to Arctic Circle for lunch while we visited. I would feel comfortable calling any of them to watch the kids if I ever needed to or asking for any favor for that matter!  When the weather is nice you pretty much always find someone outside.  Everyone has kids and they all like to play together.  What more can you ask for?

And last but not least, our house.  I LOVE our house.  Obviously it's not literally perfect and if I had an unlimited supply of money there are a few things I would change, but it's so fabulous that I feel like it's perfect.  I love the spaciousness. I love the storage space downstairs.  I love the main floor living.  I love how big our yard is.  I love the landscaping we did ourselves this summer.  I love my master bathroom/closet.  I love that we have a front room for when people come over and the house is a mess.  I simply LOVE our house. 

While life certainly isn't perfect bliss, I have to say that between our sweet boys, our fabulous new home, our good jobs, our great families, and having the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives... we've got to be some of the luckiest people on the planet.  I'm not just saying this because it's Thanksgiving this month; I feel like this all the time.  We have been so blessed and I am so incredibly thankful.

We're getting big

Teagan is officially walking now. I haven't really seen him crawl for 3 days. He's getting two new bottom teeth at the moment which hasn't made him the happiest camper.  And he's going through some kind of insecure stage.  A week and half ago Randy dropped the boys off at his parent's house, and Teagan freaked out. He knows them very well and has spent tons of time with them and has always been very comfortable around them but he didn't want Daddy to leave.  Last night I took him to the nursery so I could go to a Relief Society activity and they brought him to me 5 minutes later sobbing.  I'm talking the super super sad kind of sobbing where they can't catch their breath.  Then he sat and cuddled into my chest for 20 minutes without moving a muscle.  It was so sad.  Today we took the boys to get their pictures taken and I don't think we got a single one with him smiling.  This is a kid who barely stops smiling.  But you could tell he just wasn't sure and felt insecure.  Hopefully this phase won't last long. 

In regards to the pictures: I can't believe how grown up Morgan looks in his new pictures.  It's like I blinked and he's a big boy now.  How sad.  But such a cutie!!! So far, the terrible twos haven't been very terrible.  Yes, he tries his hardest to push our buttons but he's a really good kid and is such a joy to be around MOST of the time.

Teagan loves to climb up on the table. He climbs onto the bean bag, then up to the couch, then up to the table. Look at that happy face once he accomplishes his goal and then the sad/mad face after I take him down off the table.  Such a stinker!

We are so blessed to have such sweet boys!!!

A few funny Morgan stories

I'm trying to get Morgan to start using his brain to figure things out rather than just asking "why?" to everything under the sun. 

Morgan: Why'd you do that?
Mindy: Why do you think?
Morgan: I don't know
Mindy: Why don't you think about it for a minute and see if you can figure it out
Morgan: I can't
Mindy: Why not?
Morgan: Because my head isn't big enough

I mentioned Morgan is learning how to do chores.  The other night he got to learn how to use the vacuum.  He was so excited.  He vacuumed the kitchen, the family room, the hall and the master bedroom.  There were a few spots on the kitchen floor he couldn't vacuum up.  I told him they were stuck and we'd have to wash them with a rag when he was done vacuuming. The first one came up very easy and he was very pleased to see it disappear.  The second one however was not coming up.  He was crouching down trying to scrub it and I, knowing how tired my legs get when I crouch down for too long, said "you might want to sit down on your bum to scrub that one."  I looked over a few seconds later and he was scrubbing the spot with his bum.  Why else would Mom say I should sit on my bum to scrub?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

We're Getting Big

Morgan has started doing chores and it's actually going pretty well.  I love to see the look of accomplishment on his face when he finishes a task he thought he couldn't do.

Teagan is walking 80% of the time now but he's still really wobbly.  It's interesting to see how much the boys are alike and then how much they're different.  From Morgan's first step he was walking without many problems.  Teagan has gradually learned to walk one step at a time, getting a little better each day. 

Cuddle Monkeys

I love that my boys are such cuddle monkeys.  When Teagan wakes up in then night crying like he's just had a nightmare, I wrap him in my arms and he immediately calms down and goes right back to sleep. I love how he cuddles in to me and I love that my presence brings him so much comfort. Sometimes I just lay there awake for awhile and enjoy this special time with him. 

Morgan is the same way.  He cuddled in much better when he was a baby but he still loves to "snuggle."  Probably about once a day he'll say "Mom, I want to snuggle with you."  Sometimes we sit in a chair with the boys on my lap and read a book, sometimes we cuddle up in the bed to watch a movie, sometimes we just rock in the rocking chair and hold each other close. 

Granted, a 2AM wakeup is not always on the top of my favorite things list. And I'm not a big fan of the emotional breakdowns.  But I know they won't be this cuddly forever and try to take advantage and enjoy it while I can.  Give me something to look back on when they're teenagers and being punks. : )

Here are some pictures of us enjoying our season passes at Trafalga:

Teagan waits patiently while big brother rides the big boy rides

Practicing my moves

Teagan even gets to ride

Teagan is definitely a rule breaker, always looking for trouble

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kick your little butt!

Ok, so this happened a while ago but I have to put it on here and save it for posterity.  It was one of those days when your kids are just pushing all your buttons, not doing anything you tell them to, and driving you absolutely crazy.  Morgan did something else to add to the list and I had had enough.  In my sternest, most exasperated voice I said "Morgan."  He turned to face the other way, looked back over his shoulder at me, stuck is butt way out and said "You wanna kick my little butt?"  Of course, I busted up laughing.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Some thoughts on election day...

I love America but my America seems to be drifting away and it saddens me.  America is about being the best version of yourself that you can be.  It's about meeting challenges head on and rising above them. It's about each individual person being whoever they want to be and, as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others, living their life in whatever manner they choose.  The Left and the Right may have different opinions on how to accomplish those things but the fundamental principles that make America what it is should always be at the core and remain intact. 

The move toward socialism by our government leaders makes me sick to my stomach.  Socialism has never worked anywhere in the world at any time in history. It degrades the individual. It turns people into the mediocre version of themselves.  It only tears down and destroys.  It punishes people for being successful so, in turn, people stop striving to be successful. It rewards people for being lazy and incompetent so people become more lazy and more incompetent.  Socialism isn't good for anyone. Even those who think they benefit greatly (ie those living off the government) are done a disservice because they don't grow or progress as human beings.  Everyone is hurt.

I also don't like that our government leaders don't seem to care what the people want.  Their whole purpose is to represent and serve the people, not to serve their own personal agenda. It is frightening how they have blatantly disregarded the voice of the people.  Sure, there are minority groups that support what they're doing but the majority of the people (as shown by poll after poll after poll) don't want  it and they just don't care.  What is America if you take out By The People and For the People?  How long until we turn into a dictatorship?

This isn't about Republicans vs Democrats.  There aren't quite as many Republicans on the socialism bandwagon as Democrats but there are still a startling number. The politicians in this country, on both sides, have become incredibly elitist. They believe we're too stupid to know what's best for us so they'll just force us to do what they, in their all-knowing wisdom, know is best for us.  It is truly frightening. 

I hope and pray The People get out and vote today.  I hope and pray there are candiates out there, on either side of the isle, that will stop this madness.  I hope and pray our country can turn back around, get back to the constitution, stop taking away more and more of our rights, stop raising taxes and making it impossible to be prosperous and successful and restore the America I love so much.  May God be with us on election day.