the Lord desires, through His Atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost, to live in us—not only to direct us but also to empower us. -David A bednar
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Move Forward

Original post Oct. 21, 2018

Updated Feb 17, 2022

Photo by Анна Рыжкова from Pexels

It may seem easier to be complacent, but why would I want to remain complacent or “comfortable” when I am meant to progress, learn and grow?

Well, for one… it’s hard! I’m still learning how to overcome behaviors and habits that hinder my ability to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, which ultimately allows me to receive direction and inspiration in my life (D&C 121:45–46; D&C 20:37, Doctrine & Covenants; Moroni 4:3, Book of Mormon).

I’m going through the Addiction Recovery Program (ARP) through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for the third time because I just want to progress; I want to move on and move forward in my life. I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for as long as I can remember. I never saw it as a problem, but from the time I was a kid. I was doing what many kids do- steal candy from our parents’ closet and binge eat on candy, sweets and treats from Halloween to Christmas and Valentines day to Easter. These rituals seemed to focus on binge eating and secrecy.

Eventually I began binge eating then extreme dieting and rigorous workout regimes during my adolescence. I was obsessed with food, diet and exercise. It haunted my thoughts constantly, and took away time I could invest with loved ones or creating or doing something worthwhile. Instead, I chose to fill my time with activities that “numb” my mind from the anxiety I felt with daily stressors.

Stress is a part of life, and stress is not unhealthy. I recently learned that stress causes the same physical response in your body as excitement; however, the only thing that changes is how I’m perceiving the stress. If I tell my brain, “I’m freaking out” then my body reacts negatively with anxiety. If I tell my brain “everything is okay” then my body reacts accordingly.

When I experience some advanced form of stress in my life, I would turn to habits to numb my mind. In 2018, when I first created this post, when even the tiniest bit of stress showed itself, I typically didn’t think twice before I went straight to spiritually destructive patterns. I had (and continue to have) a desires to change, and I believed I could through Jesus Christ. If we’re struggling with any addiction whether it’s alcohol, drugs, anger, eating, watching shows, listening to music, having unhealthy thoughts or anything that drives the spirit away; I know there’s hope to overcome these patterns, but we must always be honest with ourselves.

Here’s a link to step 1 for ARP

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2012-12-001-step-one-honesty?lang=eng

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Fall Time in Georgia

References:

Addiction Recovery Program. https://addictionrecovery.lds.org/addiction-recovery-program-guide?lang=eng

Photo. Web accessed. https://www.lds.org/media-library/images/category/fall?lang=eng

Strive for Progress

Original post Sept 17, 2018

Photo credit by Anna Tarazevich from Pexels

I’m currently studying Marriage and Family Studies through BYU-Idaho online. I completed Pathway Connect in April 2018. I was at the crossroads again of deciding what major or career to pursue in college. This process is similar to picking a restaurant for date night. We need to eat, and we’d be happy with many different cuisines, but what will fill us up and make us happy on a typical Friday night? Usually it’s pizza. But, sometimes I want something more healthy and that makes me feel good.

There are many flavors to life and multiple careers I would be happy with, but what will be most filling and most “healthy” for my life? Sometimes I just want God to say, “This career is your best option, so pick this one.” It doesn’t work like this (D&C 58:27-28). A question asked by a loving family member helped me to form my own ideas and opinions of what would be best for me. She asked, “What area of study will benefit your family the most?” I began asking myself other questions like, “What goals do I want to accomplish?” “What career will help me progress the most and become a better person and help others?” “What career will best suit my interest, my talents, my taste and create a satisfying and fulfilling life?”

I am going to write metaphorically about health and work to connect the dots. Most days I prefer to eat in a pattern that promotes energy, health and vitality to my mind, body and soul (D&C 89:18), and I prefer to do work that does the same (D&C 88:15; Abr. 5:7). So, how did I choose to move forward with my educational path? I made a list of what I enjoy doing, what I’m good at, what skills I’ve developed, what skills I’d like to develop, and my talents (D&C 60:2). I read The Family: A Proclamation to the World (read by President Gordon B. Hinckley, 1995, General Relief Society Meeting), I pondered and studied it out in my mind of what I wanted then I prayed about it (D&C 9:7-8). My tastes are ever changing, so what I did must satisfy a higher purpose.

I want to learn about the family, and how I can create healthy family relationships. *Yawn for some and, at one point, for me too, but as I have gotten older, my season of life has changed. I no longer have the ambition to move to Paris and model like I did when I was fifteen (I’m tall and wanted to escape my town). I no longer have the desire to pursue a career as a nurse anesthetist like I did when I was 25 (independence and living in comfort was my goal). As I pursued education and learned to follow promptings from the spirit, I was able to choose what would fit me best. As long as I didn’t get any “red lights,” “stop signs,” or “red flags” I continued going (see Elder Rasband’s talk, “Let the Holy Spirit Guide” APRIL 2017).

I know if I desire to be happy in my career choice, then I must choose to read my scriptures, pray, have faith, and participate in Sacrament meeting; I must choose to turn to God constantly through prayer to overcome hardships and trials for the rest of my life. Slowly but certainly, I will progress and become better and be happy through the atonement of Jesus Christ and by having the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

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Peru

Why Did The Lord Send Elijah?

Henry B. Eyring, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints discusses this question during the April 2005 General Conference which was held in SLC, Utah, USA.

He’s states,

It is important to know why the Lord promised to send Elijah. Elijah was a great prophet with great power given him by God. He held the greatest power God gives to His children: he held the sealing power, the power to bind on earth and have it bound in heaven. God gave it to the Apostle Peter. And the Lord kept His promise to send Elijah. Elijah came to the Prophet Joseph Smith on April 3, 1836, just after the dedication of the Kirtland Temple, the first temple built after the Restoration of the gospel. Joseph described the sacred moment.

“Hearts Bound Together,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2005, 78


Eyring then quotes Joseph Smith’s account of “visions manifested to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery in the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, April 3, 1836” as recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 110. This experience describes “Elijah’s return and he commits the keys of his dispensation as promised by Malachi” (see Doctrine and Covenants 110).

13 After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:
14 Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—
15 To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—
16 Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.

Doctrine and Covenants 110:13–16

What did Elijah restore?

President Henry B. Eyring said: “It is important to know why the Lord promised to send Elijah. Elijah was a great prophet with great power given him by God. He held the greatest power God gives to His children: he held the sealing power, the power to bind on earth and have it bound in heaven” (“Hearts Bound Together,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2005, 78).

See Come Follow Me, January 11–17
Doctrine and Covenants 2; Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65 “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn to Their Fathers”

See also Doctrine and Covenants 110:13–16; David A. Bednar, “Let This House Be Built unto My Name,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2020, 84–87.

I believe the earth was created for families as taught throughout scripture (insert reference here) and as found in The Family: A Proclamation to the World. The family is sacred. Marriage is sacred. Many share different beliefs, but The Savior’s love is infinite and eternal (see D. Todd Christofferson) just as the family can be and is meant to be (insert scripture reference here). However, we all have our own agency (reference) and we must decide for ourselves the path we will follow. In the end, “Decisions determine destiny” (Thomas S. Monson).

People Sell Children “Like Fish”

Lake Volta in Ghana swarms with child trafficking. One small and simple way I try to help organizations combat trafficking is through Smile.Amazon. A small amount amount overtime will make a difference. Even if it’s just one child. That child is worth saving.

Find an organization you want to help too. The two I’ve come across that fight human trafficking is Nurturing Nations, and Operation Underground Railroad. Good luck and God bless these efforts to abolish child slavery.

Warnings Against Private Political Practices in the Book of Mormon: The Gadiantons

Why did the Lord inspire the prophet Mormon, to include the accounts of the Gadiantons in his abridgement of ancient records?

The following is taken from Ezra Taft Benson’s October, 1961, General Conference Address, “The American Heritage of Freedom – A Plan of God.” Ezra Taft Benson was the former Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (1985-1994), and served as the United States secretary of agriculture under the leadership of President Dwight D. Eisenhower from January 1953 to January 1961.

When all of the trappings of propaganda and pretense have been pulled aside, the exposed hard-core structure of modern communism is amazingly similar to the ancient Book of Mormon record of secret societies such as the Gadiantons.

In the ancient American civilization… the Gadiantons…was a secret political party which operated as a murder cult. Its object was to infiltrate legitimate government, plant its officers in high places, and then seize power and live off the spoils appropriated from the people. (It would start out as a small group of “dissenters” and by using secret oaths with the threat of death for defectors (Hel. 11:25-26) it would gradually gain a choke hold on the political and economic life of whole civilizations.)

President Benson, then Elder Benson at the time of this address, emphasized the importance of the the United States Constitution and warned against the secret combinations of our time that occur through certain political and social practices.

God placed a mandate upon his people to befriend and defend the constitutional laws of the land and see that the rights and privileges of all mankind are protected. He verified the declaration of the founding fathers, that God created all men free. He also warned against those who would enact laws encroaching upon the sacred rights and privileges of free men. He urged the election of honest and wise leaders (D&C 98:5-10.)

God declared that the United States Constitution was divinely inspired for the specific purpose of eliminating bondage and the violation of the rights and protection which belongs to “all flesh.” (D&C 101:77-80.)

The Lord proclaims,

“. . . I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose….” (D&C 101:80.)

It is clear from the accounts in Book of Mormon, and from both ancient and modern records that practices matching the Gadiantons secret combinations will destroy families, communities, and nations.

The object of the Gadiantons, like modern communists, was to destroy the existing government and set up a ruthless criminal dictatorship over the whole land. . . .

Concerning the United States, the Lord revealed to his prophets that its greatest threat would be a vast, worldwide “secret combination” which would not only threaten the United States but also seek to “overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, (Ether 8:25.)

In connection with attack on the United States, the Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith there would be an attempt to overthrow the country by destroying the Constitution. Joseph Smith predicted that the time would come when the Constitution would hang, as it were, by a thread, and at that time “this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.” (Journal History, Brigham Young’s Speech, July 4, 1854.)

The Lord revealed to the Prophet Nephi that he established the gentiles on this land to be a free people forever, that if they were a righteous nation and overcame the wickedness and secret abominations which would arise in their midst, they would inherit the land forever. (1 Nephi 14:1-2.)

But on the other hand, if the gentiles on this land reject the word of God and conspire to overthrow liberty and the Constitution, then their doom is fixed, and they “. . . shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant.” (1 Nephi 14:6; 3 Nephi 21:11, 14, 21; D&C 84:114-115, 117.)

One of the most urgent, heart-stirring appeals made by Moroni as he closed the Book of Mormon was addressed to the gentile nations of the last days. He foresaw the rise of a great world-wide secret combination among the gentiles which ” . . . seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; . . .” (Ether 8:25). He warned each gentile nation of the last days to purge itself of this gigantic criminal [combination] which would seek to rule the world.

The Prophet Moroni, viewing our day, said, “Wherefore the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation.” (Ether 8:24.)

The fight against godless communism is a very real part of every man’s [and woman’s] duty… It is the fight against slavery, immorality, atheism, terrorism, cruelty, barbarism, deceit, and the destruction of human life through a kind of tyranny unsurpassed by anything in human history.

Brothers and sisters, we must defend our rights, our liberties, our families, our faith, and our freedoms.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing.”

― Edmund Burke (in a letter addressed to Thomas Mercer).

Full text for this General Conference address of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints can be accessed for free through deseret book shelf or archive.org.

https://read.deseretbook.com/media/140572/read/5205550?src=VGV4dC9kb2NfNDkxNzgueGh0bWw%3D

https://archive.org/details/conferencereport1961sa

“To Thine Ownself Be True.” Part II/IV Point of Beginning

The following is taken by President Gordon B. Hinckley’s October 1975 General Conference Address, “Opposing Evil.”

Second point of beginning: A better tomorrow begins with the training of a better generation. This places upon parents the responsibility to do a more effective work in the rearing of children. The home is the cradle of virtue, the place where character is formed and habits are established. The home evening is the opportunity to teach the ways of the Lord.


You know that your children will read. They will read books and they will read magazines and newspapers. Cultivate within them a taste for the best. While they are very young, read to them the great stories which have become immortal because of the virtues they teach. Expose them to good books. Let there be a corner somewhere in your house, be it ever so small, where they will see at least a few books of the kind upon which great minds have been nourished.


Let there be good magazines about the house, those which are produced by the Church and by others, which will stimulate their thoughts to ennobling concepts. Let them read a good family newspaper that they may know what is going on in the world without being exposed to the debasing advertising and writing so widely found. When there is a good show in town, go to the theater as a family. Your very patronage will give encouragement to those who wish to produce this type of entertainment. And use that most remarkable of all tools of communication, television, to enrich their lives. There is so much that is good, but it requires selectivity. President Kimball spoke yesterday of the efforts of the television networks to present in prime-time evening hours suitable family entertainment. Let those who are responsible for this effort know of your appreciation for that which is good and also of your displeasure with that which is bad. In large measure, we get what we ask for. The problem is that so many of us fail to ask, and, more frequently, fail to express gratitude for that which is good.


Let there be music in the home. If you have teenagers who have their own recordings, you will be prone to describe the sound as something other than music. Let them hear something better occasionally. Expose them to it. It will speak for itself. More of appreciation will come than you may think. It may not be spoken, but it will be felt, and its influence will become increasingly manifest as the years pass.
Listen to more of this address by Gordon B. Hinckley, former prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on YouTube:


https://youtu.be/Um0HDyIVGKA