Friday, September 19, 2014

Daughters in the Covenant

This coming Saturday is the General Women's meeting for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As I have been preparing myself to hear the words of the inspired leaders of the church, I studied a talk given by President Eyring. His talk is entitled, "Daughters in the Covenant". One of my favorite quotes from his talk says, "You were tutored by Him before you came into this life. He helped you understand and accept that you would have trials, tests, and opportunities perfectly chosen just for you. You learned that our Father had a plan of happiness to get you safely through those trials and that you would help bring others safely through theirs."

I know that we were with our Heavenly Father before this life. He tutored us and helped us prepare for what we would face in this life. God doesn't do random. We have been given our specific trials because we knew that we could handle it. We were prepped for this. We can have faith that God is aware of us and wants to help us through all of our trials.

He ends his talk by saying, "I have a sure witness that God the Father watches over you in love. He loves each of you. You are His daughters in the covenant. Because He loves you, He will provide the help that you need to move yourself and others upward along the way back to His presence."

I know that these words are true. Never forget how much your Heavenly Father loves you! We will live with him again one day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Modern-Day Prophets

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe in modern day prophets. We believe that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He called prophets in ancient times, and continues to call prophets today. Preach My Gospel says:

"One important way that God shows His love for us is by calling prophets, who are given the priesthood—the power and authority given to man to act in God’s name for the salvation of His children. Prophets learn the gospel of Jesus Christ by revelation. They in turn teach the gospel to others and testify of Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer. The teachings of prophets are found in sacred books called scriptures."

On you would find the following:

"Mormons are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are committed to honor and follow God’s will, which comes through His Prophet and Apostles. This means we prayerfully listen to their words, support them, and pray for their well-being."

The Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of
        Latter-day Saints
Coming up this October, we will have the opportunity to listen to the living, modern day prophets and apostles. I love to hear from Thomas S. Monson. I know that he is a prophet of God! He holds the authority to reveal to us things that Heavenly Father would want us to know.

In the New Testament in the book of Matthew chapter 7 it says:

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

What this scripture tells us is that there are many that may come to us claiming to be prophets. The way that we can tell if they truly are called of God is to look for their "fruits". By the way they talk, act, and advise, we can come to know if they are prophets. I would like to invite everyone to watch General Conference. As you hear the prophet of the world, Thomas S. Monson speak, you can come to know that he is a prophet of God. I know that he is. By his fruits shall ye know him! I can testify of that!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Service, Service, Service.

I was in a meeting this week when I heard this word repeated three times in a row: Service, service, service. Thinking about all of my time I have spent as a missionary, this completely sums up what I have tried to do. Of course, I'm not even close to being done yet. I am only given 18 months to give up practically everything to serve my Heavenly Father. 18 months is a really short time. There is so much I want to do, and so little time.

Mental, physical, spiritual, emotional--we have many needs. In this meeting, I was reminded of a story in the bible it is found in John 13: 4-17.

Jesus Christ was the perfect example of service. The perfect example in everything. As I have tried to emulate his example, I have fallen short. But I still feel the approval of my Heavenly Father. I know that he is proud of me. I know that he has accepted the small sacrifices I have made.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Daddy-Daughter Day

I have been blessed with a wonderful earthly father who cares about me very much. Since I have been out on my mission, I have known when he misses me most when he sends me Taco Bell gift cards. Let me tell you, that's real love. He has been a wonderful provider, great listener, and disciple of Christ. I am so grateful for his example in my life.

Like many other girls, I would be blessed with the opportunity to go on "Daddy-Daughter Dates" with my dad. Now, they usually weren't pre-planned and specific to spending quality time together, but they were special to me any ways. In fact, they were often trips to St. George Utah for doctor appointments, dentist appointments, etc. What I loved most about these trips was just being with my dad, talking, and always making a stop at Taco Bell (hence the gift cards).

These trips mean so much to me now, because it really bonded me to my dad. Looking back, these days spent alone with me and my dad were exactly what I needed to secure a good relationship with him. I can now see how this quality time allowed me to have a deeper relationship with him that most people crave to have with their parents.

Recently while reflecting about this, I thought about how this exactly relates to keeping the Sabbath day holy. Our Heavenly Father has set aside Sundays for us to rest. But most importantly to me, he has set aside time for us to worship him. On it says:

"Besides giving us a rest from the stresses of the workweek, keeping the Sabbath day holy shows respect for God and reminds us to slow down our busy lives to give thanks to our Creator. Sunday is a day to look forward to, one when we get to enjoy the things that really matter."

I love Sundays! Let me tell you--I need that day of rest. But the reason why I have come to enjoy it most is because it is my personal "Daddy-Daughter Day" with my Heavenly Father. It is the day that I devote ALL of my time and attention to strengthening my relationship with my Heavenly Father. Don't get me wrong, I am constantly trying to improve my relationship during the week, but it is a day that I especially work at it. It is a day where I attend church to renew my commitment to him. Its the day where I try to serve others. It is the day where I spend quality time with my earthly family that he has blessed me with. It is the day I spend devoted in prayers of gratitude.

I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father has set aside Sundays as a day of rest and worship. We need this time to renew each week. The world is just getting crazier, so we need this day to step back and re-charge. I know that this is the day where we can especially spend that time improving our relationship with our Heavenly Father. I truly love it!

Mark 2:27, "And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath:".

Saturday, September 6, 2014

You Matter To Him

From ages 12-18, I attended "young women's" during the third hour of church every Sunday. At the beginning of every meeting we would recite what is called the "Young Women Theme". It says:

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:
Faith • Divine Nature • Individual Worth • Knowledge •
Choice and Accountability • Good Works • Integrity • and Virtue
 We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.
As I recited this every week and completed Personal Progress, I came to know that my Heavenly Father knows me and loves me. I was blessed to be able to increase my faith and become the best woman that I could be. Every single one of the values played a significant role in helping me become the person I am today. Recently, I have been reflecting on some of these values. Something that I would like to talk specifically about today is the value Individual Worth. I hope that I can portray my feelings in way that is not too scattered! :)
Almost my whole life I have watched as people close to me have struggled with their individual worth. When I speak of individual worth, I am referring to not only your worth in this world, but your worth to your Heavenly Father. In Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 it says:
Let me testify to you that I know this is true. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us. He has a perfect plan. Within his perfect plan is an exact purpose for us. PLEASE UNDERSTAND. You are a child of God. He loves you.
President Uchtdorf puts it best:

"My dear brothers and sisters, it may be true that man is nothing in comparison to the greatness of the universe. At times we may even feel insignificant, invisible, alone, or forgotten. But always remember—you matter to Him! If you ever doubt that, consider these four divine principles:
"First, God loves the humble and meek, for they are 'greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'
"Second, the Lord entrusts 'the fulness of [His] gospel [to] be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world.' He has chosen 'the weak things of the world [to] come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones' and to put to shame 'the things which are mighty.'
"Third, no matter where you live, no matter how humble your circumstances, how meager your employment, how limited your abilities, how ordinary your appearance, or how little your calling in the Church may appear to you, you are not invisible to your Heavenly Father. He loves you. He knows your humble heart and your acts of love and kindness. Together, they form a lasting testimony of your fidelity and faith.
"Fourth and finally, please understand that what you see and experience now is not what forever will be. You will not feel loneliness, sorrow, pain, or discouragement forever. We have the faithful promise of God that He will neither forget nor forsake those who incline their hearts to Him. Have hope and faith in that promise. Learn to love your Heavenly Father and become His disciple in word and in deed."
One of my favorite scriptures is found in the Book of Mormon. It is found in 1 Nephi 11:16-17:
Here Nephi is asked a question: Knowest thou the condescension of God? His response (paraphrased): I may not know everything, but I know God loves his children.
So let me ask you: Do you KNOW that God loves you? I can promise you, that if you pray to know this for yourself, almost any other concern we may have, whatever challenge, can be dissolved by knowing that God loves us and has a plan for us. So please, pray to know. It can change your whole outlook on your own life. And that is what Heavenly Father desires for us.