Monday, September 26, 2011

If It Hurts, Don't Do It

 This is an article from the July 2011 Ensign, "This Year It's a Weed-Pull It", by Mont Poulson:
When I was growing up in Lehi, Utah, USA, my family had a garden large enough that we rotated the corn and potatoes every year. One day my father told me to weed the corn while he weeded the potatoes. As I worked my way down a row of six-inch-high (15 cm) corn, I found a solitary potato plant growing larger and more beautiful than any of the potato plants on Dad’s side of the garden. I called to him and asked, “What should I do with this?”

Dad barely looked up. “Pull it.”

Believing he hadn’t realized I was pointing to a potato plant, I objected, “But Dad, it isn’t a weed. It’s a potato.” Again, without looking up, he said, “Not this year. This year it’s a weed. Pull it.” So I did.

Since then I have often pondered the wisdom of my father’s words. I have come to realize that obedience is not just making a right choice but making a right choice in the right season. When I consider all the things Heavenly Father would have me do in this life, doing them at the right time seems as critical as doing them at all. For instance, serving a mission, dating, getting married, having children, gaining an education, and beginning full-time employment are right choices. Yet when people do these good things in the wrong order, the consequences are often disastrous.

King Benjamin taught that we should “see that all … things are done in wisdom and order” (Mosiah 4:27). Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught, “Faith also includes trust in God’s timing, for He has said, ‘All things must come to pass in their time’ (D&C 64:32).”

I believe Satan deceives us by convincing us to do the right things in the wrong order: sexual intimacy before marriage, dating before age 16, becoming a parent and then getting married, and so forth. The greatest commandments of God, when compromised or polluted, become plants grown out of season—weeds. When I have been tempted to justify doing the right thing in the wrong season, I have been grateful for my father’s important lesson: “Not this year. This year it’s a weed. Pull it.”

When I consider all the things Heavenly Father would have me do in this life, doing them at the right time seems as critical as doing them at all.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Change....

The Tennessee Nashville Temple

Let me ask you, if I may be so bold, as to what you love and value most in life? What do you put before everything else? What is the first thing you are you not going to give up without a fight?

For me, the answer is family. I don't have a lot of things in this world, but I would have nothing at all if I didn't have the people I love.

We know through the Bible that families are ordained of God, they being central to the Plan of Happiness which God has for us. We know that they are meant to be a place of safety and refuge from the world, bound in righteousness.

From the Prophet and Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" is more then just wise council... It is a warning call, a plead to remember the family and its importance. Go ahead and read it real quick, its not that long and this can wait a second...

 I had the opportunity to go to the temple the other day. I went through, learning much and feeling the spirit, and had time to myself in the Celestial room.

When I went to the temple, I went with many questions that I was seeking personal revelation for. I went hoping in some way to feel my burdens lightened in the house of the Lord. I left feeling fulfilled, and uplifted.

As I was leaving, I passed by the Sealing room where families are bound together by the authority and power that God has delegated to man. This sealing is done not just for the duration of our earthly lives, but done for time and all eternity. I paused at the door, absolutely caught with a flood of memories of my family and the vision of the family I someday hope to have.

When a bride and groom are married in a civil union, we often find the words, "till death do you part" emblazoned somewhere near the end of the officiators words. The happy couple proceeds on to enjoy a wonderful life together, full of challenges and and opportunities for growth, but most especially happiness and peace and joy. Children come, the family grows, and the love that once was only contained by two is multiplied and is filled over capacity. All is well, a "happily ever after" if you will.

The question that comes to my mind is, "How long do you want 'Ever After' to be?"

I KNOW that through the same power and authority that Christ gave Peter in Matthew 16:19, we have the opportunity and blessing to be with our families for eternity. Not just for life, but forever. That marriage and families can be recognized in heaven and on the earth through the Sealing power, that whatever is, "bound on earth shall be bound in heaven" as in the Sealing ordinances found only within the House of the Lord.

I love a song that's been sung to me since I was first adopted and sealed to my family:

I have a family here on earth.
They are so good to me.
I want to share my life with them through all eternity.

Families can be together forever
Through Heavenly Father’s plan.
I always want to be with my own family,
And the Lord has shown me how I can.

While I am in my early years,
I’ll prepare most carefully,
So I can marry in God’s temple for eternity

Families can be together forever
Through Heavenly Father’s plan.
I always want to be with my own family,
And the Lord has shown me how I can.

The value and importance of the family is too important to settle for anything less then everything. My family does and will mean more to me then anything else that I can think of. That is a priority that cannot be compromised. This is because I know that a family living righteous principles, being united by the common goal of being together after this life, is a family built upon a sure foundation. It is a family that will grow and stay close together, and it is a family that will find joy and peace within its walls, and it is a family that will be blessed with the Spirit of the Lord.

My challenge to you is to make an eternal family a goal and priority of yours as well.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Trust Fall

This great story came to my mind the other day and I wanted to share!
A little girl took her father’s lunch to him as he worked deep in a well. Although she could not see her father down in the darkness of the well, when she called to him he answered, so she knew he was there. The father told her to drop the lunch bucket into the hole, and he would catch it. He did so, and in a moment called up to her that he had too much lunch for just one person, and invited her to join him. “Jump,” he said, “and I will catch you. You cannot see me, but I can see you, and I will not let you fall.” She jumped into the dark well and landed safely in her father’s strong arms. Together they had a fun time sharing the lunch.
Great Story, Huh?!
Even though the hole was very deep and likely very scary, the little girl trusted her father after hearing his voice and knowing he was there. She could not see him, but she believed two things about her father: The first was that he COULD catch her, and the second was that he WOULD catch her.

Perhaps not just anyone could have caught her as she fell several feet down the dank well, but as her father was a strong working man, he would have no problem making sure she would be safe. He had the means and capability to make sure everything would be okay.

He also made the promise that he would not let her fall. He had a perspective so that he could see her perfectly silhouetted against the lighted backdrop of day, and he was attentive to her and aware of her as she peered over the edge into the blackness. He called out to her, and promised he would be right there. If she trusted him enough to leap, he would do the rest.

This trust that the father and daughter experienced together is like faith. We too cannot see our Father in Heaven, but He can see us and will make sure that we are okay. He has the power to do so, we have His promise He will follow through. Things wont always be perfect, but He will be there to make sure we end up in His arms as we fall through the darkness.

Ether 12:6 is one of my favorite scriptures on showing faith:
And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trail of your faith.