“We’re all at different places on the path. But we can WORK TOGETHER to help each other “PRESS FORWARD with a steadfastness in CHRIST, having PERFECT BRIGHTNESS of HOPE, and a LOVE OF GOD and of all men.”
~ Carole M. Stephens
I recently read the March issue of the Ensign and really appreciated the article titled “When Doubts and Questions Arise” by Adam Kotter. There were some excellent suggestions in it, and this particular quote caught my eye:
“…Elder Neil L. Anderson…asked:
“How do you remain ‘steadfast and immovable’ during a trial of faith? You immerse yourself in the very things that helped build your core of faith: you exercise faith in Christ, you pray, you ponder the scriptures, you repent, you keep the commandments, and you serve others.
“When faced with a trial of faith—whatever you do, don’t step away from the Church! Distancing yourself from the kingdom of God during a trial of faith is like leaving the safety of a secure storm cellar just as the tornado comes into view.”
Elder Andersen also taught that “faith … is a decision.” The Lord will not force your intellect or your obedience. You must choose faith intentionally! That choice does not violate your intellectual honesty; it is evidence of eternal and divine respect for your agency.”
To read the complete article, click here.
I ran across this quote while studying today. I thought it worthy of my Book of Mottoes and a particularly applicable lesson to share with my children, especially my girls that participating in the Personal Progress Program for the Young Women at Church.
“God gave us the strength, the courage, the faith in all our choices to choose that which will enrich the mind, strengthen and discipline the body, nourish the spirit, and thus give us growth and joy in this life and eternal life in the world to come …
Each of us has a choice between right and wrong. But with that choice there inevitably will follow consequences…
The decisions we make, individually and personally, become the fabric of our lives. That fabric will be beautiful or ugly according to the threads of which it is woven.”
~Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, pg. 54-56
And it is one that Charlotte Mason would have agreed with – indeed, she stated many times that it is vitally important to teach our children correct habits of choice since those decisions create habits…and those habits dictate the kind of person we become.
Book of Mottoes (aka a Commonplace Book): a compilation of quotes, poetry, hymns, scriptures, or anything else that caught your attention during your studies.
I choose a pretty pink book with a ribbon book mark to use for mine.
I use a black pen for mine. I keep the pen with my book so that it is available to me whenever I need it. I make entries as I see fit – it is not scheduled in my to-do list.
Jitterbug is using a little red one that was a freebie at a meeting I attended. (It doesn’t matter a bit what you use – a spiral notebook, a journal, notebooking pages, even the computer.) I choose the bound book to give it a special feel for her so she will want to do her best when she is writing in it – and it will be something that she can cherish for years.
She has learned to write in cursive beautifully and has started typing class. To keep her handwriting practice current, she makes one entry per week of her choice from the books she is reading or the scriptures. She uses a pencil to make her entries so that she can easily correct mistakes. (I have a correction tape pen for mine. 😉 )
Here is a quote from Lorenzo Snow that I really appreciated. I put it in the girls’ planners for the year and I included it in my personal Book of Mottoes:
“Learning requires faith, exertion, and perseverance.” ~ Lorenzo Snow
Can I just say that again??
Every conference is better than the last… I am so inspired, uplifted, encouraged, spiritually nourished, enriched, enlightened and full of comfort and peace every time I participate in these amazing meetings!
The Spirit is so strong, my questions (known and unknown by me) are answered, and I feel ready to face the challenges of being a Christian in the last days again.
I cannot choose a favorite talk yet! They were all so good! But several that really spoke to my heart were these – I am not sure of the actual titles of them yet, so I gave the general topic of the talk as names (click to view them):
Strengthening a Marriage for Eternity by L. Whitney Clayton
Enriching Our Relationships with Our Children by Rosemary M. Wixom
Why the Law of Chastity Is So Vital and Relevant Today by Elder David A. Bednar
On Jesus Christ:
A Christ Centered Home by Elder Jeffery R. Holland
Come Follow Me by Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Our Redeemer by Elder D. Todd Christofferson
Draw Near Unto Me – By President Henry B. Eyring
Come Into the Light of God – by President Dieter E. Uchtdorf
Finding the Truth Through Obedience – by President Thomas S. Monson (loved the story of the matches and learning the lesson of obedience)
As Conference ended and President Monson was bearing witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ and his mission as his living prophet on the earth, my heart was so full of the Spirit bearing witness to my soul that he is indeed a living prophet. How thankful I am that the Lord in His infinite wisdom and loving compassion has provided a way for all of us on this earth to hear, to read and to know of Him, of the Plan of Salvation, and of His saving grace.
“Tolerance for behavior is like a two-sided coin.
Tolerance or respect is on one side of the coin,
but truth is always on the other.”
~ Elder Dallin H. Oaks
I have had conversations with many of you about where we draw the line in our tolerance and our knowledge of the truth. I found this article about Balancing Truth and Tolerance by Elder Dallin H. Oaks in the February 2013 Ensign. It was wonderful and answered many of our uncertainties.
Since the Savior ministered to people as individuals and instructed us to “go and do likewise”, we have an obligation to do so as his disciples. We cannot minister to people and lift them up and help show them a better way if we are rude, discourteous, mean, harsh, or judgemental. However, we cannot accept that what they are doing is right either. Elder Oaks, who is a former Utah Supreme Court judge and scholar of the law, explains in understandable ways how to draw our lines. He encourages us to be courageous and stand for truth – but also helps us how to understand how to separate the PERSON from the BEHAVIOR – a very distinct and important responsibility, indeed.
He then spoke of how diverse our world has become through the advancement of transportation and technology. This greater exposure to diversity both enriches our lives and complicates them. We are enriched by associations with different peoples, which remind us of the wonderful diversity of the children of God. But diversity in cultures and values also challenges us to identify what can be embraced as consistent with our gospel culture and values and what cannot be. In this way, diversity increases the potential for conflict and requires us to be more thoughtful about the nature of tolerance. What is tolerance, when does it apply, and when does it not apply?
Tolerance is defined as a friendly and fair attitude toward unfamiliar or different opinions and practices or toward the persons who hold or practice them.
Posing this question: So what does tolerance mean to us and other believers, and what are our special challenges in applying it?
He discusses three absolute truths –
First, all persons are brothers and sisters under God, taught within their various religions to love and do good to one another. President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) expressed this idea for Latter-day Saints: “Each of us [from various religious denominations] believes in the fatherhood of God, although we may differ in our interpretations of Him. Each of us is part of a great family, the human family, sons and daughters of God, and therefore brothers and sisters. We must work harder to build mutual respect, an attitude of forbearance, with tolerance one for another regardless of the doctrines and philosophies which we may espouse. Note that President Hinckley spoke of mutual respect as well as tolerance.
Second —this living with differences is what the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us we must do. We are called to live with other children of God who do not share our faith or our values and who do not have the covenant obligations we have assumed. We are to be in the world but not of the world. Because followers of Jesus Christ are commanded to be leaven, we must seek tolerance from those who hate us for not being of the world. As part of this, we will sometimes need to challenge laws that would impair our freedom to practice our faith, doing so in reliance on our constitutional rights to the free exercise of religion. The big concern is “the ability of people of all faiths to work out their relationship with God and one another without the government looking over their shoulder.”4 That is why we need understanding and support when we must contend for religious freedom.
We must also practice tolerance and respect toward others. As the Apostle Paul taught, Christians should “follow after the things which make for peace” (Romans 14:19) and, as much as possible, “live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). Consequently, we should be alert to honor the good we should see in all people and in many opinions and practices that differ from our own.
Third – Our tolerance and respect for others and their beliefs does not cause us to abandon our commitment to the truths we understand and the covenants we have made. We are cast as combatants in the war between truth and error. There is no middle ground. We must stand up for truth, even while we practice tolerance and respect for beliefs and ideas different from our own and for the people who hold them.
Elder Oaks then built on and expanded on our tolerance for behavior, even giving specific ideas that we can incorporate into our daily lives as disciples of Christ. Here is a link to the whole article: Balancing Truth and Tolerance.
How do you maintain your balance of truth amid the “tolerance”?
I was totally unprepared for this amazing story. I picked up the book the other day while I was browsing the library shelves thinking “oh, I love the movie”. The book, unsurprisingly, is so much MORE than the movie had time to touch on. I couldn’t put it down!
As you know from the movie, the von Trapp family lives in Austria when Hitler takes over. She doesn’t dwell on that situation for long, but long enough for the reader to know how intensely her family unhappy her family was with their new situation. They lost all their money in the uncertain economics of the time – the bank failed. She shares an experience of how the schools started teaching that the parents were nice, old fashioned people and for the children to leave them alone – and not talk about what they learned in school. She also shared an experience of sitting down in the new German museum built by Hitler, and then realizing that he sat with his commanders at a table next to them. She observed them for an hour or so, and decided that Hitler was really quite “common” and “coarse”. When they turned down an opportunity to serve the Nazi’s for the third time, the family had a council and decided to leave “because you can’t do that three times without consequences”. They planned a mountain hiking expedition to Italy. The day after they arrive, the borders were closed. They do what they always did – immediately started to pray and LOOK for solutions. Over the course of the next few years, we see them kicked out of America when their VISA expires, go to Europe, return to America and get thrown in jail for being spies, struggling to live and find their footing in a new and strange (to them 😉 ) place.
The book is wonderful – it flows and invites and encourages the reader to experience life with Trapp family, to to love and appreciate beautiful music and it’s message, to value hard work and success, to love and support one another, and most importantly – to have complete faith and hope in the Lord.