Category Archives: Book of Mottoes

On Self-Pity and Murmuring…

A dear friend of mine called the other day. She was having a really hard day and needed to vent. I had some pent up emotions and energy (read stress) from my latest doctor’s appointment. So, naturally, we let go with all the frustrations. I felt a bit bad when I thought about the conversation. I don’t think that I was very encouraging for her and that is what I would rather be. Later that week, she sent me a screen shot of a quote that really helped me to think of ways I could improve, and I thought I would share it with you all:

“Murmuring can also be noisy enough that it drowns out the various spiritual signals to us, signals which tell us in some cases to quit soaking ourselves indulgently in the hot tubs of self-pity. Murmuring over the weight of our crosses not only takes energy otherwise needed to carry them but might cause another to put down his cross altogether. Besides, brothers and sisters, if we were not carrying so much else, our crosses would be much lighter. The heaviest load we feel is often from the weight of our unkept promises and our unresolved sins, which press down relentlessly upon us. In any genuine surrendering to God, one says, “I will give away all my sins to know Thee.” (Alma 22:18) To whom should we give our sins? Only Jesus is both willing and able to take them!”

~ Elder Neal A. Maxwell

“Sally, you’ve got a good brain, too.”

“Sally, you’ve got a good brain, too. Don’t let it go to seed. A brain is only as good as you give it to a chance to be, and just as important to a woman as to a man.” (pg. 55)

This particular book that I am quoting from is called The Mountain Valley War by Louis L’Amour, one of several books about Lance Kilkinney, also known as Trent.

Kilkinney is a good man who wants to settle down, build a place, marry, and have a quiet, happy, productive life in the West. The problem is that he is good with a gun and has a reputation of being a gunfighter. Not because he wanted it or chased it, but because he was blessed with steady nerves, the ability to hit a target, and because he is one of those people who trouble seems to come to, whether or not they want it. He tends to drift from place to place, quietly working and earning money, trying to avoid trouble. In this place, though, he has started a homestead high in the mountain valley and has settled into making something out of his place. He calls himself Trent. He has several other neighbors who all have the same desires he does – to build a satisfying life through their own industry and hard work,

Unfortunately, trouble comes in the form of a large rancher who lives lower down in the valley. He resents these “nesters” and decides he wants their land, whatever it takes. These men are strong and in the right and when his blustering threats don’t scare them off, he turns to hiring gunmen and using force. It is at this point the story opens, and we find Trent coming upon the burned house and dead body of his neighbor. The gunmen did not find the neighbor’s children who escaped to Trent’s home. He takes them under his wing and tries to teach them how to survive in the harsh realities of western life. Woven through out the story in great moments are little gems like these:

“Whenever a brave man dies for what he believes, he wins more than he loses. Maybe not for him, but for men like him who wish to live honestly and decently.”  (pg. 12)

“One could not yield to the lawless and the ruthless, or soon there would be no freedom. It was among men as it was nations.” (pg. 73)

“There are those who use a cause to cover their own lust for destruction and cruelty. He who uses terror as a weapon does it from his own demands for cruelty and not because it succeeds, because it never has.

The killing of a strong man only leaves a place for another strong man, so is an exercise in futility. There is no man so great but that another waits in the wings to fill his shoes, and the attention caused by such acts is never favorable.” (pg. 74)

My sister and I discussed what age it would be suitable for children. We thought that 11-12 would be appropriate.

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and I receive nothing in return for my opinion.

Mary, Martha, and Me: Seeking the One Thing That Is Needful

Mary, Martha, and Me

photo via Amazon

Mary, Martha, and Me: Seeking the One Thing That Is Needful is a delightfully short motivating read that seeks to remind us that Mary and Martha are people like us in many ways. Sister Olsen teaches us that we should seek the ONE NEEDFUL THING in our lives, and as Mary and Martha so vividly demonstrate, we all find that in different ways…Christ IS the needful thing and He loves us all. When we put Him first, our cares can be put into proper perspective. And that makes all the difference in our daily lives. This quote jumped out at me one night when I was reading this book, and I think it is so profound because we let it slide in so many of our decisions to include just one more thing:

“Simplifying our temporal {physical} environment leads to discovery in the spiritual environment.” 

~ Camille Fronk Olsen

If we truly want to be at peace and happy, we MUST put the One Needful Thing (Jesus Christ) FIRST in our lives, and say no to some things in order to make real room for the best things.

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and I receive nothing in return for my opinion. 

First Things First

“Are there so many fascinating, exciting things to do or so many challenges pressing down on you that it is hard to keep focused on what is essential? When things of the world crowd in, all too often the wrong things take priority. Then it is easy to forget the fundamental purpose of life. Satan has a powerful tool to use against good people. It Is distraction. He would have good people fill their lives with ‘good things’ so there is no room for the essential ones. Have you unconsciously been caught in that trap?”

~ Elder Richard G. Scott, First Things First, pg. 7 (italics mine)