Friday, October 30, 2015

Stake Conference This Week at Northridge Stake Layton Utah 30 October 2015

Adult Session of Stake Conference
Elder Peter S Evans of the Seventy presided at the meeting.
The Lord is bringing people to Utah to learn about the gospel. We should pay attention to our neighborhood for ways we can serve our neighbors.

“Question: Why do you feel so strongly about family councils?
“Elder Ballard: There has never been a time when the world was in greater need of the strength and security that are best sown and cultivated in the deep, fertile soil of family love. The family is under heavy attack from antagonists bent on extinguishing this powerful source of light in a darkening world. Successful families have a wide assortment of tools, and one of the most useful tools is the family council.“ (Ensign June 2003, “Family Councils: A Conversation with Elder and Sister Ballard”)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 25 October 2015

Sacrament Service 

The stake young men presidency spoke to us.

One of the speakers talked about the Duty to God program.

Fulfilling your duty to God is a lifelong pursuit.

Doctrine and Covenants section 84

Another speaker talked a little about the American civil war and the battle to defend our agendas vs the battle to defend what is right. There were examples of both of these on both sides of the American civil war.

Elder Jeffrey R Holland priesthood session 2011
As President Boyd K. Packer taught this morning, Satan cannot directly take a life. That is one of many things he cannot do. But apparently his effort to stop the work will be reasonably well served if he can just bind the tongue of the faithful.

Alma 53:18-21
 18 Now behold, there were two thousand of those young men, who entered into this covenant and took their weapons of war to defend their country.
 19 And now behold, as they never had hitherto been a disadvantage to the Nephites, they became now at this period of time also a great support; for they took their weapons of war, and they would that Helaman should be their leader.
 20 And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.
 21 Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him.
The strippling warriors had not been to war before. They were not hardened warriors, but they did not fear because they had faith in the Lord and faith in the faith of their mothers.

Sunday School
My teaching partner’s lesson on developing and keeping up a relationship with the savior.

Elders Quorum
Teachings of Presidents of the Church; Ezra Taft Benson lesson 20 Feed My Sheep
The lesson talked about a fellow that was not active in church and he was called to be Elders Quorum president.   The guy commented that he would square his life with the Lord and accept the calling.

I find when I am called to a calling in the Church I always feel like I need to strengthen my life in some way to do it.

Youth Fireside
John Hilton III and his wife Lonnie spoke to us

Girls should expect respect and learn to accept the respect.  Do not be haughty when expecting respect and accept it gracefully.

For you, my dear friends, the sky is the limit. You can be excellent in every way. You can be first class. There is no need for you to be a scrub. Respect yourself. Do not feel sorry for yourself. Do not dwell on unkind things others may say about you. Particularly, pay no attention to what some boy might say to demean you. He is no better than you. In fact, he has already belittled himself by his actions. Polish and refine whatever talents the Lord has given you. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life and look for its opportunities, and forever and always be loyal to the Church.“ (President Gordon B Hinckley, “How Can I Become the Woman of Whom I Dream?”, April 2001 General Conference)

“Girls, you have an equally important role.  Remember the wayward woman we discussed earlier?  Your job is to keep your brother from being led astray by her charms.  Please be aware of how easily your actions and glances can stir up lust in a guy’s mind.

“You may not realize this, but we guys most commonly struggle with our eyes.  I think many girls are innocently unaware of the difficulty a guy has in remaining pure when looking at a girl who is dressed immodestly.  Now, I don’t want to dictate your wardrobe, but honestly speaking, I would be blessed if girls’s considered more than fashion when shopping for clothes.  Yes, guys are responsible for maintaining self-control, but you can help by refusing to wear clothing designed to attract attention to your body.

“I know the world tells you that if you have a nice body, you should show it off.  And we men have only helped feed this mentality.  But I think you can play a part in reversing this trend.  A single mom who had recently rededicated her life to Christ told me, ‘I went through my closet and got rid of anything that might have caused a brother in the Lord to stumble.  I asked God to forgive me and to help me protect the purity of those around me.’  Aly from Wisconsin wrote, “I think I’ll have to get rid of over half my wardrobe, because much of what I have is too revealing or tempts me to look at me with impure thoughts.’

“Are you willing to be that radical?  My friend Janelle asks her dad to evaluate every outfit she buys.  She wants a godly man’s opinion of whether or not it’s modest.  It’s not always easy.  There have been many times her dad asked her to return items.  But she doesn’t complain--even in the summer, when it seems impossible to find a modest pair of shorts!  She wants to honor God.

“I know many girls who would look great in shorter skirts or tighter blouses, and they know it.  But they choose to dress modestly.  They take responsibility of guarding their brothers’ eyes.  To these women and other like them, I’m grateful.” (Josh Harris, The book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”)

If you have to ask this question “is this outfit too…? “  then it probably is.   Whether it is too tight, too short, too wrinkly.

Is there anything in your life that is trapping you the you need to let go?

As we visit with young adults all over the church often they will ask, ‘Well what are the characteristics I should look for in a future spouse?’  – As though they have some checklist of  ‘I need to find someone who has these three or four or five things.’  And I rather forcefully say to them, ‘You are so arrogant –  to think that you are some catch and that you want someone else who has these five things for you.  If you found somebody who had these three or four or five characteristics that you’re looking for what makes you think they’d want to marry you?’
The list is not for evaluating someone else, the list is for you, for me, and what I or you need to become.  And so if there are three primary characteristics that I hope to find in an eternal companion, then those are the three things I oughta be working to become. – Then it will be attractive to someone who has those things.  So my advice is you’re not on a shopping spree looking for the greatest value with a series of characteristics.  You become what you hope your spouse will be and you’ll have a greater likelihood of finding that person.” ( “Conversations: Episode 1:Elder and Sister Bednar“ (original emphasis))
How do you treat your sisters and your mother? The best place to practice the type of spouse you want to be is in your home.

How can I learn to sense even the beginning of sin and so repent early?“ (Elder Henry B Eyring, Do Not Delay, October 1999 General Conference)

In our own time, we have been warned with counsel of where to find safety from sin and from sorrow. One of the keys to recognizing those warnings is that they are repeated.“(Elder Henry B Eyring, “Finding Safety in Counsel, April 1997 General Conference)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 18 October 2015

Sacrament Service
One of the talks was based on President Uchtdorf priesthood session talk from General Conference, Be Not Afraid, Only Believe
"Brethren, let me be clear: there is nothing noble or impressive about being cynical. Skepticism is easy—anyone can do it. It is the faithful life that requires moral strength, dedication, and courage. Those who hold fast to faith are far more impressive than those who give in to doubt when mysterious questions or concerns arise."

Another speaker spoke on Carol McConkie's conference talk, “Here to Serve a Righteous Cause”.
"The early Church leaders and pioneers of the past pressed forward with heroic courage and determined faithfulness to establish the restored gospel and build temples where ordinances of exaltation could be performed. The pioneers of the present, meaning you and me, also press forward in faith, ‘to labor in [the Lord’s] vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men.’(Doctrine and Covenants 138:56)"

The whole world was against her and her husband,  but Emma Smith let strangers into their home.  We must follow the spirit and in ways that it tells us to do good, even though things may be in turmoil in our lives.

Another speaker spoke on grace.

The word proffers is related to, but stronger than the word offer. It is like being offered in such a way that it is hard to deny.

Grace opens the windows of heaven.

"I marvel to think that the Son of God would condescend to save us, as imperfect, impure, mistake-prone, and ungrateful as we often are. I have tried to understand the Savior’s Atonement with my finite mind, and the only explanation I can come up with is this: God loves us deeply, perfectly, and everlastingly. I cannot even begin to estimate ‘the breadth, and length, and depth, and height … [of] the love of Christ.’7

A powerful expression of that love is what the scriptures often call the grace of God—the divine assistance and endowment of strength by which we grow from the flawed and limited beings we are now into exalted beings of ‘truth and light, until [we are] glorified in truth and [know] all things.’8" (President  Dieter F Uchtdorf, The Gift of Grace, April 2015 General Conference)

Grace gets us from here to there.   Through enabling our efforts to get as far as we can and also making up the difference where we fall short when we have given our all.

Grace is not about just about obtaining something,  but is about becoming something.

Grace is like fuel in a car. We go as far as we can on the fuel we have and must constantly stop and obtain more grace. Grace is free,  but we have to stop and get it.

Alma 48:17
17 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.

We may think we could never be like Moroni,  but we can have Moroni moments. As we have more Moroni moments one day we will find we are closer to Moroni than we realize.   The same is true for being beyond that which is being like the Savior. It is hard,  but it is a step by step process, not all at once.   We don't get there in a one time event.

"Whenever Church members speak of consecration, it should be done reverently while acknowledging that each of us ‘come[s] short of the glory of God,’ some of us far short (Rom. 3:23). Even the conscientious have not arrived, but they sense the shortfall and are genuinely striving. Consolingly, God’s grace flows not only to those ‘who love [Him] and keep all [His] commandments,’ but likewise to those ‘that [seek] so to do’ (D&C 46:9)." (Elder Neal A Maxwell, “Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father”, October 1995 General Conference)

"Again, my brothers and sisters, our Heavenly Father is aware of our needs and will help us as we call upon Him for assistance. I believe that no concern of ours is too small or insignificant. The Lord is in the details of our lives." (President Thomas S Monson, “Consider the Blessings”, October 2012 General Conference)

Another element of God’s grace is the opening of the windows of heaven, through which God pours out blessings of power and strength, enabling us to achieve things that otherwise would be far beyond our reach. It is by God’s amazing grace that His children can overcome the undercurrents and quicksands of the deceiver, rise above sin, and ‘be perfect[ed] in Christ.’22

Before we were born, we accepted our Heavenly Father’s plan ‘by which [we] could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize [our] divine destiny as heirs of eternal life.’13 Of this premortal covenant, Elder John A. Widtsoe explained: ‘We agreed, right then and there, to be not only saviors for ourselves but … saviors for the whole human family. We went into a partnership with the Lord. The working out of the plan became then not merely the Father’s work, and the Savior’s work, but also our work. The least of us, the humblest, is in partnership with the Almighty in achieving the purpose of the eternal plan of salvation.’14

Another speaker
Sometimes we feel like we can tackle huge things, but sometimes the most basic things are difficult for us to do.

Naman had leprosy and was willing to do some great thing, but dipping in the river tripped him up.

The speaker talked about president Uchtdorf's talk on simplicity.

There great power in thanking Heavenly Father for the people in our life.

Start where we are. Don't get locked up because we aren't at a place we think we should be at.

Sunday School
My lesson on How can I show love for those I teach?
What have you learned this week in your gospel studies?

Do you have any questions that you feel comfortable asking?

I had a thought this morning, let's see how this goes.  Who had been through a gay good drive through?  Describe that process for me.

What would it be like if you rattled off your order, quickly closed the window and drive on to the next window.  What if you ordered a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, and avocado, Spicey fries, and a lemonade and then get to the window and find out that cheese was a dollar more and lettuce and tomato were a dollar more and avocado was a dollar more and you didn't bring that much money. What if they were out of Spicey fries and just have you regular and would've order onion rings if you couldn't get Spicey fries?

The prices for everything were posted on the board at the ordering spot, but you didn't have time to read the board. The person on the microphone tried to tell you they were out of Spicey fries, but you didn't wait to hear if they had anything to tell you because you put in your order and were done.

Think about if you have every dealt with God that way. Have you ever not taken time to read the instructions he has given you and tales to him without giving him a chance to talk?

Any thoughts about this idea that you would like to share?

How can I show love for those I teach?

President Monson said,
"... we are all teachers in some respect, and we have a duty to teach to the best of our ability."

Dnc 88:77-78
77 And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.
78 Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;

Thomas S. Monson, “Examples of Great Teachers,” Ensign, June 2007, 106–12; Liahona, June 2007, 74–80
President Monson shared a story :
"I share another example of the value of learning the Articles of Faith. Forty-five years ago I worked with a man named Sharman Hummel in the printing business in Salt Lake City. I once gave him a ride home from work and asked him how he came to receive his testimony of the gospel.
He responded, 'It’s interesting, Tom, that you asked me that question, for this very week my wife, my children, and I are going to the Manti Temple, there to be sealed for all eternity.'
"He continued his account: 'We lived in the East. I was journeying by bus to San Francisco to establish myself in a new printing company, and then I was going to send for my wife and children. All the way from New York City to Salt Lake City the bus trip was uneventful. But in Salt Lake City a young girl entered the bus—a Primary girl—who sat next to me. She was going to Reno, Nevada, there to have a visit with her aunt. As we journeyed westward, I noticed a billboard: ‘Visit the Mormon Sunday School this week.’
“I said to the little girl, ‘I guess there are a lot of Mormons in Utah, aren’t there?’
“She replied, ‘Yes, sir.’
“Then I said to her, ‘Are you a Mormon?’
“Again her reply: ‘Yes, sir.’”
Sharman Hummell then asked, “What do Mormons believe?” And that little girl recited the first article of faith; then she talked about it. Continuing, she gave him the second article of faith and talked about it. Then she gave him the third and the fourth and the fifth and the sixth and all of the Articles of Faith and talked about all of them. She knew them consecutively.
"Sharman Hummel said, 'When we got to Reno, and we let that little girl off into the arms of her aunt, I was profoundly impressed.'
He said, 'All the way to San Francisco I thought, ‘What is it that prompts that little girl to know her doctrine so well?’ When I arrived in San Francisco, the very first thing I did,' said Sharman, 'was to look through the yellow pages for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I called the mission president, and he sent two missionaries to where I was staying. I became a member of the Church, my wife became a member, all of our children became members, in part because a Primary girl knew her Articles of Faith.'"

What do you think about this story?

President Monson quoted Francis of Assisi,
"Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words."

Have any of you ever had anyone who it was hard to want share things about the gospel? Someone who perhaps behaves badly and you are just fed up with trying to get through to them that there is something better?

How do you deal with someone like that? How do you love them? How do you continue to teach them?

Mosiah 28:1-3
1 Now it came to pass that after the sons of Mosiah had done all these things, they took a small number with them and returned to their father, the king, and desired of him that he would grant unto them that they might, with these whom they had selected, go up to the land of Nephi that they might preach the things which they had heard, and that they might impart the word of God to their brethren, the Lamanites
2 That perhaps they might bring them to the knowledge of the Lord their God, and convince them of the iniquity of their fathers; and that perhaps they might cure them of their hatred towards the Nephites, that they might also be brought to rejoice in the Lord their God, that they might become friendly to one another, and that there should be no more contentions in all the land which the Lord their God had given them.
3 Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.

The Lamanites hated the Nephites. Why would they want to go live among those people and try to teach them? Wouldn't that be a pain? Wouldn't that be a depressing struggle?

But the Lord was with them and they had success.

Most of our ways that we can teach and strengthen others are going to be much easier. They are going to be more about paying attention to what is happening around us and acting on what we see and as the spirit guides is on what to do.

Teaching Youth How to Lead in the Savior’s Way, October 2015 Ensign
Sister Carol F. McConkie
First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency said,
"When I was 14, I met some young women who were excellent leaders. At that time, my family moved across the United States and became members of a new ward. I do not remember who served in the Mia Maid class presidency, but I clearly remember that the young women were particularly kind to me. They sincerely embraced a scared and scrawny new girl as a long-lost friend and made me feel welcome. Coming from Delaware, where I was the only Mormon girl in my junior high school and where the only other Mormon girl I knew lived an hour’s drive from my home, I thought, “This must be what heaven is like!”
For the first time in my life, I had a circle of friends who lived the standards in For the Strength of Youth, invited me to participate in activities, and shared their testimonies of the gospel with me. Their examples of loving-kindness did more to secure me to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at that time than any talk or lesson could have done. In their love and Christlike light, they were the message of the gospel of Christ, and they were the ones to lead and guide me into His fold."

Any thoughts on what sister McConkie shared?

Sometimes the place we will need to pay attention to what is happening and what the spirit tells us about what someone needs may be in our own home.

Maybe a sibling or parent is being grumpy and we might be tempted to be offended or let our feelings get hurt.

Is it hard to hear the spirit when our family members are in our space or being unkind?

How have you had success in not letting yourself react badly to grumpy family members and instead help bring them comfort and give them love?

Times like these are moments when you can teach with the savior's with our being preachy.   How is this a time to teach and how do you do it without lecturing?

Elders Quorum
Teaching of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson - Chapter 19 - Leadership
What are qualities of good leaders?

Leading by example is very powerful. Just like in sharing the gospel, most times our example teaches more than our words or our nudging.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 11 October 2015

Sacrament Service

Sunday School
My teaching partners lesson on plan of salvation and Christ and the Atonement.
What would we like to tell a friend about Christ?
What would you like to ask Christ?
What is a scripture about Christ that you like?

Elders Quorum
The light of Christ
Something you are born with.  Kind of like a conscience.

"Instead of asking for riches or a long life, Solomon asked for “an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad” (1 Kings 3:9).”

"Though Solomon was indeed very wise and did many great things, he did not finish strong. Sadly, later in his life, “Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord” (1 Kings 11:6)."

We hear about many people who start strong, but finish weak.

Many people serve strong missions, but fizzle out.

"How often do we make resolutions in January and pursue them with red-hot determination for a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months only to find that by October, the flame of our commitment is little more than cold ash?"

Our standard is Christ. That is the bar we need to aim for, but our journey should be a series of bars. A last night be the representation of those bars.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

This Week at Church October 2015 General Conference

Women’s Conference
“God has a plan for each one of us, and our individual purpose began long before we came to this earth.”

‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World’ teaches that each one of us ‘is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents’ and ‘each has a divine nature and destiny.’

There are two important days in a woman’s life: The day she is born and the day she finds out why.”(Elaine Cannon, in “‘Let Me Soar,’ Women Counseled,” Church News, Oct. 17, 1981, 3.)

Our divine nature has nothing to do with our personal accomplishments, the status we achieve, the number of marathons we run, or our popularity and self-esteem. Our divine nature comes from God. It was established in an existence that preceded our birth and will continue on into eternity.

Looking out through a window, not just into a mirror, allows us to see ourselves as His.

Often the first Primary song we learn is ‘I Am a Child of God.’8 Now it is time to take that beloved phrase ‘I am a child of God’ and add the words ‘Therefore, what?’ We might even ask questions such as these: ‘What will I do to live my life as a child of God?’ ‘How can I develop the divine nature that is within me?’

The divine nature within us ignites our desire to reach out to others and prompts us to act.

It is through the whisperings of the Spirit that the divine nature of a doubter, after gasping for breath, finds the peace to breathe again.

“The commandment to multiply and replenish the earth … is essential … and is the source of human happiness. Through the righteous exercise of this [creative] power, we may come close to our Father in Heaven and experience a fulness of joy, even godhood. The power of procreation is not an incidental part of the plan; it is the plan.” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Plan of Happiness,”Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 26–27.)

Alma 30:18
18 And thus he did preach unto them, leading away the hearts of many, causing them to lift up their heads in their wickedness, yea, leading away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms—telling them that when a man was dead, that was the end thereof.

We cannot play with Satan’s fiery darts and not get burned.

When we are involved in watching, reading, or experiencing anything that is below our Heavenly Father’s standards, it weakens us.

Doctrine and Covenants 58:42
42 Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.

There are so many of us who are thrashing around … with feelings of guilt, not knowing quite how to escape. You escape by accepting the Atonement of Christ, and all that was heartache can turn to beauty and love and eternity.”(Boyd K. Packer, Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 28)

There are also great blessings and protecting promises associated with the proper wearing of our temple garment. I have come to feel that I am symbolically putting on royal robes given me by my Heavenly Father. I testify, sisters, that when we strive to wear the garment properly, our Father recognizes it as a great sign of our love and devotion to Him. It is a sign of the covenants we have made with Him, and He has promised, ‘I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.7

Sisters, I do not know why we have the many trials that we have, but it is my personal feeling that the reward is so great, so eternal and everlasting, so joyful and beyond our understanding that in that day of reward, we may feel to say to our merciful, loving Father, ‘Was that all that was required?’”

Sisters, in this cause we are all valued. We are all needed.

We are the cause for which Jesus Christ suffered, bled from every pore, and in perfect love gave His life.

The pioneers of the present, meaning you and me, also press forward in faith, ‘to labor in [the Lord’s] vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men.’”

We join with faithful sisters of the past, of the present, and of the rising generation when we join together in the work of salvation!

We agreed, right then and there, to be not only saviors for ourselves but … saviors for the whole human family. We went into a partnership with the Lord. The working out of the plan became then not merely the Father’s work, and the Savior’s work, but also our work. The least of us, the humblest, is in partnership with the Almighty in achieving the purpose of the eternal plan of salvation.” (John A. Widtsoe, “The Worth of Souls,” Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, Oct. 1934, 189)

Righteousness emanates out to the world when we understand what God wants us to do and then we do it.

How magnificent will be the future as the Almighty rolls on His glorious work … through the selfless [service] of those whose hearts are filled with love for the Redeemer of the world.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Stay the Course—Keep the Faith,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 72)

“We agreed, right then and there, to be not only saviors for ourselves but … saviors for the whole human family. We went into a partnership with the Lord. The working out of the plan became then not merely the Father’s work, and the Savior’s work, but also our work. The least of us, the humblest, is in partnership with the Almighty in achieving the purpose of the eternal plan of salvation.”(John A. Widtsoe, “The Worth of Souls,” Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, Oct. 1934, 189)

“...the most important work we can do is to prepare for marriage and family.

We honor the Father’s plan and glorify God when we strengthen and ennoble those relationships in the new and everlasting covenant of marriage.

This sacred work is about developing a broken heart, a contrite spirit, and a willingness to use our divine gifts and unique talents to do the Lord’s work in His way.

Whatever our circumstances, wherever we are along the path toward salvation, we unite as one in our commitment to the Savior. We sustain one another in His service.

Elder Dieter F Uchtdorf, A Summer with Great-Aunt Rose
His parables invited His disciples to embrace truths not just with their minds but also with their hearts and to connect eternal principles with their everyday lives.

And every evening as the two of them knelt by Eva’s bed to pray, Great-Aunt Rose would say the most beautiful prayers, thanking her Heavenly Father for the blue jays and the spruce trees, the sunsets and the stars, and the “wonder of being alive.” It sounded to Eva as though Rose knew God as a friend.

“Over time, Eva made a surprising discovery: Great-Aunt Rose was quite possibly the happiest person she had ever known!
But how could that be?

“What did she have to be happy about?

“She had never married, she had no children, she had no one to keep her company except that creepy cat, and she had a hard time doing simple things like tying her shoes and walking up stairs.”

“The days of summer were passing more quickly now. Before Eva knew it, Great-Aunt Rose said it would soon be time for Eva to return home. Though Eva had been looking forward to that moment since the day she arrived, she wasn’t quite sure how to feel about it now. She realized she was actually going to miss this strange old house with the stalker cat and her beloved great-aunt Rose.”

“‘But,’ Eva said, ‘you can’t just flip a switch and go from sad to happy.’
“‘No, perhaps not,’ Aunt Rose smiled gently, ‘but God didn’t design us to be sad. He created us to have joy!3 So if we trust Him, He will help us to notice the good, bright, hopeful things of life. And sure enough, the world will become brighter. No, it doesn’t happen instantly, but honestly, how many good things do? Seems to me that the best things, like homemade bread or orange marmalade, take patience and work.’”

“‘Dear Eva, do you really think that my life is perfect?’ Aunt Rose sat with Eva on the overstuffed sofa. ‘There was a time when I was so discouraged I didn’t want to go on.’

“‘You?’ Eva asked.

“Aunt Rose nodded. ‘There were so many things I wished for in my life.’ As she spoke, a sadness entered her voice that Eva had never heard before. ‘Most of them never happened. It was one heartbreak after another. One day I realized that it would never be the way I had hoped for. That was a depressing day. I was ready to give up and be miserable.’”
‘‘It’s not fair’ was the song I sang over and over in my head.”

“I could hang my head and drag my feet on the dusty road of self-pity, or I could have a little faith, put on a bright dress, slip on my dancing shoes, and skip down the path of life, singing as I went.”

“Faith in the Savior taught me that no matter what happened in the past, my story could have a happy ending.”

Revelation 21:3-4
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

“Are you saying that being happy means just looking forward to happiness in the future? Is all our happiness in eternity? Can’t some of it happen now?”

“I exercised faith in God’s promises by filling my life with meaningful things.”

“...most of those busy, unhappy people have forgotten the one thing that matters most in all the world—the thing Jesus said is the heart of His gospel.”

“And one day, as she was standing in her own home, admiring a painting of a girl in pioneer dress skipping down a bright blue path, she realized that somehow she had reached the same age her great-aunt Rose was during that remarkable summer.”

Saturday Morning Session
President Dieter F Uchtdorf, It Works Wonderfully!
“Sometimes, the truth may just seem too straightforward, too plain, and too simple for us to fully appreciate its great value. So we set aside what we have experienced and know to be true in pursuit of more mysterious or complicated information. Hopefully we will learn that when we chase after shadows, we are pursuing matters that have little substance and value.”

14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?
26 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?

“I know firsthand how the gospel can invigorate and renew one’s spirit—how it can fill our hearts with hope and our minds with light.  I know for myself how the fruits of the gospel of Jesus Christ can transform lives from the ordinary and dreary to the extraordinary and sublime.”

“This beautiful gospel is so simple a child can grasp it, yet so profound and complex that it will take a lifetime—even an eternity—of study and discovery to fully understand it.”

“The more we walk in this path of discipleship, the more we desire to learn the word of God.”

“I invite you to step back, look at your life from a higher plane, and simplify your approach to discipleship. Focus on the basic doctrines, principles, and applications of the gospel.”

“...start where you are.
Sometimes we feel discouraged because we are not “more” of something—more spiritual, respected, intelligent, healthy, rich, friendly, or capable. Naturally, there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve. God created us to grow and progress. But remember, our weaknesses can help us to be humble and turn us to Christ, who will ‘make weak things become strong.’4  Satan, on the other hand, uses our weaknesses to the point that we are discouraged from even trying.”
“God will help you become something greater than you ever thought possible. And you will discover that the gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed working in your life. It works.”

“I pray that we will focus on ‘the simplicity that is in Christ’18 and allow His grace to lift and carry us during our journey from where we are now to our glorious destiny in our Father’s presence.”

Elder M Russell Ballard, God Is at the Helm
“It has always been a challenge for the world to accept living prophets and apostles, but it is so essential to do so in order to fully understand the Atonement and the teachings of Jesus Christ…”

“Too many people think Church leaders and members should be perfect or nearly perfect. They forget that the Lord’s grace is sufficient to accomplish His work through mortals.  Our leaders have the best intentions, but sometimes we make mistakes. This is not unique to Church relationships, as the same thing occurs in our relationships among friends, neighbors, and workplace associates and even between spouses and in families.

“Looking for human weakness in others is rather easy. However, we make a serious mistake by noticing only the human nature of one another and then failing to see God’s hand working through those He has called.”

“The plan [of salvation] also provides us with a unique, eternal perspective that we are God’s spirit children.”

“Another important doctrine that we should cling to is to observe the Sabbath day. This helps us remain unspotted from the world, provides us with physical rest, and gives each of us the spiritual refreshment of worshipping the Father and the Son every Sunday.6When we delight in the Sabbath day, it is a sign of our love for Them.7

“This same spirit of worship should permeate our monthly fast and testimony meetings. This sacrament meeting is for members to briefly express gratitude, love, and appreciation for our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the restored gospel and to bear personal witness of these things. Fast and testimony meeting is a time to share brief inspirational thoughts and bear solemn testimony. It is not a time to give a speech.

“Young children should practice sharing their testimonies in Primary and with their parents in family home evening gatherings until they understand the important meaning of a testimony.”

“The joy we experience in this life will be in direct proportion to how well our lives are centered on the teachings, example, and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.”

My Thoughts
We often try to do life our own way without instruction and we can’t figure out why life doesn’t work for us.

“Despite their hardships, they were able to live after the manner of happiness because they were centered in Christ and His gospel.”

Sister Neill F Marriott, Yielding Our Hearts to God
“Based on this knowledge of the Lord’s mercy and power, my husband, children, and I chose this family motto: ‘It will all work out.’ Yet how can we say those words to one another when deep troubles come and answers aren’t readily available?”

“Our family motto doesn’t say, ‘It will all work out now.’ It speaks of our hope in the eternal outcome—not necessarily of present results. Scripture says, ‘Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good.’5 This doesn’t mean all things are good, but for the meek and faithful, things—both positive and negative—work together for good, and the timing is the Lord’s. ”

“When we open ourselves to the Spirit, we learn God’s way and feel His will. During the sacrament, which I call the heart of the Sabbath, I have found that after I pray for forgiveness of sins, it is instructive for me to ask Heavenly Father, ‘Father, is there more?’”

“For example, perhaps I have a carefully guarded resentment toward someone. When I ask if there is more to confess, that ‘secret’ comes clearly to my memory. In essence, the Holy Ghost is whispering, ‘You honestly asked if there was more, and here it is. Your resentment diminishes your progress and damages your ability to have healthy relationships. You can let this go.’ Oh, it is hard work—we may feel quite justified in our animosity—but yielding to the Lord’s way is the only way to lasting happiness.”

“True worship begins when our hearts are right before the Father and the Son. What is our heart condition today? ”

“The result of sacrificing our heart, or our will, to the Lord is that we receive the spiritual guidance we need.”

“[Jesus Christ’s] way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.”

“Can we love Jesus Christ and His way more than we love ourselves and our own agenda?”

“So trusting my all to thy tender care,
And knowing thou lovest me,
I’ll do thy will with a heart sincere:
I’ll be what you want me to be.” (“I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go,” Hymns, no. 270.)

Larry R Lawrence, What Lack I Yet?
“...we need to ask the Lord for directions along the way. We have to ask some difficult questions, like ‘What do I need to change?’ ‘How can I improve?’ ‘What weakness needs strengthening?’”

“The young man was stunned; he had never considered such a sacrifice. He was humble enough to ask the Lord but not faithful enough to follow the divine counsel he was given. We must be willing to act when we receive an answer.”

“A perfect time to ask, ‘What lack I yet?’ is when we take the sacrament.”
“In this reverent atmosphere, as our thoughts are turned heavenward, the Lord can gently tell us what we need to work on next.”

28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

“Every one of us, if we would reach perfection, must [at] one time ask ourselves this question, ‘What lack I yet?’” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee(2000), 197)

My Thoughts
Haven’t we all received nudgings like these people, even if they are not so strongly worded.
“The Holy Ghost doesn’t tell us to improve everything at once. If He did, we would become discouraged and give up. The Spirit works with us at our own speed, one step at a time, or as the Lord has taught, ‘line upon line, precept upon precept,’”

“I would like to suggest that each of you participate in a spiritual exercise sometime soon, perhaps even tonight while saying your prayers. Humbly ask the Lord the following question: “What is keeping me from progressing?’”

“I have learned that where there is a prayerful heart, a hungering after righteousness, a forsaking of sins, and obedience to the commandments of God, the Lord pours out more and more light until there is finally power to pierce the heavenly veil. ... A person of such righteousness has the priceless promise that one day he shall see the Lord’s face and know that he is.” (Spencer W. Kimball, “Give the Lord Your Loyalty,”Ensign, Mar. 1980, 4; Tambuli, Feb. 1981, 47)

“Our hearts can be filled with anguish when we see a loved one suffer the pains of a horrible disease.

Francisco J Vinas, The Pleasing Word of God
“Through our experience in life, we learn that joy in this world is not full, but in Jesus Christ our joy is full (see D&C 101:36). He will give us strength so we will not have to suffer any manner of afflictions save they are swallowed up in His joy (see Alma 31:38).

“The death of someone we love can leave an empty place in our soul.”
“The suffering and distress endured by people of this earth is the result of unrepented and unremitted sin. … Just as suffering and sorrow attend sin, so happiness and joy attend forgiveness of sins” (President Marion G Romney, in Conference Report, Apr. 1959, 11).

“The moment we begin to remember Him and keep His commandments every day—and not just on the Sabbath day—is when the remission of our sins begins to gradually take effect and His promise of having His Spirit with us begins to be fulfilled.”

“What might be some of those vanities that can interfere in the process of receiving a remission of our sins and that are associated with keeping the Sabbath day holy?
Some examples include arriving late for sacrament meeting without a valid reason; arriving, without previously having examined ourselves, to eat the bread and drink from the cup unworthily (see 1 Corinthians 11:28); and arriving without first having confessed our sins and having asked God for forgiveness for them.
“Other examples: being irreverent by exchanging messages on our electronic devices, leaving the meeting after partaking of the sacrament, and engaging in activities in our homes that are inappropriate for that sacred day.”
Isaiah 58:13-14 (Emphasis added)
13 ¶ If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

“With the influence of the Holy Ghost, we will not be offended, nor will we offend others; we will feel happier, and our minds will be cleaner. Our love for others will increase. We will be more willing to forgive and spread happiness to those around us.

“We will feel grateful to see how others progress, and we will seek the good in others.

“It is my prayer that we may experience the joy that comes from striving to live in righteousness and that we may keep the companionship of the Holy Ghost in our lives through sincere and continuous repentance. We will become better people, and our families will be blessed.”

“The adversary has been successful in planting a great myth in the minds of many people. He and his emissaries declare that the real choice we have is between happiness and pleasure now in this life and happiness in a life to come (which the adversary asserts may not exist).”

‘...we must be righteous, follow rules, and be prepared for difficult situations.”

”...the storms and temptations of this life are often unpredictable. But this we know: they will come! In order to overcome the challenges and temptations that each of us inevitably faces, it will require righteous preparation and the use of divinely provided protections. We must determine to be temple worthy regardless of what befalls us. If we are prepared, we shall not fear.”

Alma 40:12
12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.

“Unfortunately I see little evidence that people are actually happier in the emerging dispensation, or that their children are better off, or that the cause of social justice is well-served, or that declining marriage rates and thinning family trees … promise anything save greater loneliness for the majority, and stagnation overall.” (Ross Douthat, “Gay Conservatism and Straight Liberation,” New York Times, June 28, 2015, Sunday Review section, 11)

“How, then, do we prepare in such a difficult time?
“First: Righteous Self-Control and Conduct
“Second: Honoring the Sabbath Will Increase Righteousness and Be a Protection for the Family
“Third: Divine Protections Are Provided When We Are Righteous”

“I believe that sometimes our loving Father in Heaven must view us with the amusement we feel when we watch our own small children as they learn and grow. We all stumble and fall as we gain experience.”

“...honoring the Sabbath is a form of righteousness that will bless and strengthen families, connect us with our Creator, and increase happiness. The Sabbath can help separate us from that which is frivolous, inappropriate, or immoral. It allows us to be in the world but not of the world.”

Ezekiel 20:20
20 And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.

“In the last six months, a most remarkable change has occurred in the Church. This has been in the response of the members to renewed emphasis on the Sabbath by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve and to President Russell M. Nelson’s challenge to make the Sabbath a delight.” (Russell M. Nelson, “The Sabbath Is a Delight,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 129–32)

“We may hit the bottom and even be tipped over on our sides. Amid such trials, I promise you that living and maintaining temple-worthy lives will hold together all that really matters.”

Saturday Afternoon Session
Three new apostles (Ronald A. Rasband, Gary E. Stevenson, and Dale G. Renlund) were sustained.

“Much has been written and said about today’s generation of young adults. Research shows that many resist organized religion. Many are in debt and unemployed. A majority like the idea of marriage, but many are reluctant to take that step. A growing number don’t want children. Without the gospel and inspired guidance, many are wandering in strange paths and losing their way.”

“That eternal plan includes holding fast to the iron rod—cleaving to God’s word and the word of His prophets. We need to tighten our grip on the rod that leads us back to Him. Now is the ‘day of choosing’1 for all of us.”

“...never deliberately fly into a thunderstorm.”

“You are responsible to think about the consequences of every choice you make. Ask yourself, ‘If I make this choice, what is the worst thing that could happen?’”

“Think of it: If you choose not to take a drink of alcohol, you will not become an alcoholic! If you never choose to go into debt, you will avoid the possibility of bankruptcy!”

“Many of your generation are facing crushing debt. When I was a young adult, my stake president was an investment banker on Wall Street. He taught me, ‘You are rich if you can live happily within your means.’”

“Don’t buy what you can’t afford.”

“Many young adults in the world are going into debt to get an education, only to find the cost of school is greater than they can repay. Seek out scholarships and grants. Obtain part-time employment, if possible, to help pay your own way. This will require some sacrifice, but it will help you succeed.”

“Knowledge does away with darkness, suspense and doubt; for these cannot exist where knowledge is. … In knowledge there is power.”(Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 265.)

“Dating is the opportunity for lengthy conversations. When you date, learn everything you can about each other. Get to know each other’s families when possible. Are your goals compatible? Do you share the same feelings about the commandments, the Savior, the priesthood, the temple, parenting, callings in the Church, and serving others? Have you observed one another under stress, responding to success and failure, resisting anger, and dealing with setbacks? Does the person you are dating tear others down or build them up? Is his or her attitude and language and conduct what you would like to live with every day?”

“Be careful about taking advice from your peers. If you want more than you now have, reach up, not across!”

“You may want to conduct what I’ll call a ‘personal council.’ After praying, spend some time alone. Think about what is ahead. Ask yourself: ‘What areas of my life do I want to strengthen so that I can strengthen others? Where do I want to be a year from now? two years from now? What choices do I need to make to get there?’‘

Elder Jeffrey R Holland, Behold Thy Mother
“Bear, borne, carry, deliver. These are powerful, heartening messianic words. They convey help and hope for safe movement from where we are to where we need to be—but cannot get without assistance. These words also connote burden, struggle, and fatigue—words most appropriate in describing the mission of Him who, at unspeakable cost, lifts us up when we have fallen, carries us forward when strength is gone, delivers us safely home when safety seems far beyond our reach.”

“ love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child.”

“Be peaceful. Believe in God and yourself. You are doing better than you think you are. In fact, you are saviors on Mount Zion,”

“...there is a difference between hearing and understanding. If our children merely hear but do not understand the gospel, then the door is left open for Satan to remove these truths from their hearts.”

“...our children learn when they are ready to learn, not just when we are ready to teach them.”

“It’s never too early and it’s never too late to begin [telling our children what happened to you when they were their age].”

“Smile. This small action can help those who are overwhelmed or burdened.”

“I want to summarize the four points:
First—go the second mile.
Second—please smile. Your smile will help others.
Third—express compassion.
Fourth—invite others to come to church.”

Vern P Stanfill, Choose the Light
“When we consider thoughtfully, why would we listen to the faceless, cynical voices of those in the great and spacious buildings of our time and ignore the pleas of those who genuinely love us? These ever-present naysayers prefer to tear down rather than elevate and to ridicule rather than uplift. Their mocking words can burrow into our lives, often through split-second bursts of electronic distortions carefully and deliberately composed to destroy our faith. Is it wise to place our eternal well-being in the hands of strangers? Is it wise to claim enlightenment from those who have no light to give or who may have private agendas hidden from us? These anonymous individuals, if presented to us honestly, would never be given a moment of our time, but because they exploit social media, hidden from scrutiny, they receive undeserved credibility.
Our choice to heed those who mock sacred things will distance us from the saving and life-giving light of the Savior.”
“We must act, expecting that the Lord will fulfill His promise to lift us from the darkness if we draw near unto Him. The adversary, however, will try to convince us that we have never felt the influence of the Spirit and that it will be easier just to stop trying.”
“When faced with questions or tempted to doubt, we should remember the spiritual blessings and feelings that have penetrated our hearts and lives in the past and place our faith in Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.”

“Doubt not the Lord nor his goodness [for] we’ve proved him in days that are past.” (“We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet,” Hymns, no. 19.)

1 Nephi 15:10
10 Behold, I said unto them: How is it that ye do not keep the commandments of the Lord? How is it that ye will perish, because of the hardness of your hearts?

26 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?

2 Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.

“Prayer and fasting will allow us to be susceptible to spiritual promptings. Communicating with Heavenly Father while purposefully abstaining from food and drink allows us to ‘loose the bands of wickedness [and] to undo the heavy burdens.’ (Isaiah 58:6)”

“These personal religious habits—obedience, scripture study, prayer, and fasting—strengthened the sons of Mosiah. The lack of these same personal religious habits was a major reason that Laman and Lemuel were left vulnerable to the temptation to murmur and doubt.”

“Ask yourself, ‘Am I as close to living like Christ now as I was before?’”

“The Atonement of Jesus Christ offsets these two certainties of mortal life.”

“He had no debt to pay. He had committed no wrong. Nevertheless, an accumulation of all of the guilt, the grief and sorrow, the pain and humiliation, all of the mental, emotional, and physical torments known to man—He experienced them all.”(Boyd K. Packer, “The Savior’s Selfless and Sacred Sacrifice,” Ensign, Apr. 2015, 40; Liahona, Apr. 2015, 38.)

12 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.

“Our Savior experienced and suffered the fulness of all mortal challenges ‘according to the flesh’ so He could know ‘according to the flesh’ how to ‘succor [which means to give relief or aid to] his people according to their infirmities.’ He therefore knows our struggles, our heartaches, our temptations, and our suffering, for He willingly experienced them all as an essential part of His Atonement. And because of this, His Atonement empowers Him to succor us—to give us the strength to bear it all.”

“Sometimes His power heals an infirmity, but the scriptures and our experiences teach that sometimes He succors or helps by giving us the strength or patience to endure our infirmities.

“Earth has no sorrow that heav’n cannot cure.”(5. “Come, Ye Disconsolate,” Hymns, no. 115)

“Because of His atoning experience in mortality, our Savior is able to comfort, heal, and strengthen all men and women everywhere, but I believe He does so only for those who seek Him and ask for His help.”

Priesthood Session
“I ask myself, ‘How does the Savior see my faith?’ And tonight I ask you, ‘How does the Savior see your faith?’”

"Your faith is either growing stronger or becoming weaker."

"Your faith will grow not by chance, but by choice."

“Fear not. … The future is as bright as your faith.”(Thomas S. Monson, “Be of Good Cheer,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2009, 92.)

Randall K Bennett, Your Next Step
"When we perceive a gap between who we are now and who we desire to become, many of us are tempted to choose to lose faith and hope."

"Our loving Heavenly Father rejoices in each and every faithful step, and if we fall, He rejoices in each effort to get back up and try again."

President Dieter F Uchtdorf, Be Not Afraid, Only Believe
"To all of us who bear the holy priesthood of God, I ask, are we like Daniel?
Do we stand loyal to God?
Do we practice what we preach, or are we Sunday Christians only?
Do our daily actions reflect clearly what we claim to believe?
Do we help ‘the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted’?5
Do we just talk the talk, or do we enthusiastically walk the walk?"

"We will have to stay calm under peer pressure, not be impressed by popular trends or false prophets, disregard the ridicule of the ungodly, resist the temptations of the evil one, and overcome our own laziness."

"Our spiritual experiences are sometimes too sacred to explain in worldly terms, but that doesn’t mean they are not real."

"He is your Father. He wants to speak to you. However, it requires a little scientific curiosity—it requires an experiment upon the word of God—and the exercise of a “particle of faith.”7 It also takes a little humility. And it requires an open heart and an open mind. It requires seeking, in the full meaning of the word. And, perhaps hardest of all, it requires being patient and waiting upon the Lord."

"If we make no effort to believe, we are like the man who unplugs a spotlight and then blames the spotlight for not giving any light."

"If we can put the burden of proof on God, we think we can excuse ourselves from taking God’s commandments seriously and from taking responsibility for our relationship with our Heavenly Father."

President Henry B Eyring, You Are Not Alone in the Work
“We know of their great capacity. Yet they will need reassurance in their calls, as we all do, that the Lord is with them in His work. The newest deacon needs that confidence, as does the most experienced high priest who receives a new call.”

“[A Deacon] may think that his work for the Lord is to pass the sacrament tray to people seated in the sacrament meeting. But the Lord’s purpose is not simply to have people partake of bread and water. It is to have them keep a covenant that will move them along the path to eternal life. And for that to happen, the Lord must give a spiritual experience to the person to whom the deacon offers the tray.”