Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Love One Another

I saw this picture on my friend's wall on facebook the other day, and it got me wondering: how many of us feel like this once in awhile, or even all the time? 


What kind of emotions does this bring to your mind and heart? What do you feel? How does it make you feel to think that perhaps some of the people you are afraid to lose actually feel this way too?

I want to propose a challenge, and I would love your feedback on how this changes your life, and perhaps the lives of those around you. Instead of always wondering if people are afraid to lose you--because inevitably there are people who desperately want you in their life--try to make sure that those in your life know how much YOU love them.

Tell them in words.
Show them by your actions.
Let them feel it in your embrace.
Let them see it in your smile and in your eyes.
Don't hold back your love.

Often, we may have a feeling, or a prompting, that tells us we ought to call, or say, or do something for another person. Don't ignore that feeling! Act quickly! You will be an answer to their prayers--verbalized or not. In return, we will feel ourselves becoming more like Christ, closer to Him, because we are doing what He wants to do for each of us. We will often feel an increase in love return to us as well. 

Opening our hearts to love can sometimes be hard, but if you put your trust in God, and try to listen to His promptings, you can never go wrong. 

President Spencer W. Kimball has said, "God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs." (Small Acts of Service, Dec. 1974)

Be the kind of person who is willing to help fulfill others' needs. Be that conduit of love, faith, understanding, hope and peace. Don't let those who are in your life feel as if they don't matter. Love.

© Wendy 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

We Still Have Hope

On the anniversary of the attacks on the world in NY at the Twin Towers, most of us are experiencing the gamut of emotions that we felt that day 12 years ago. I actually dread this day every year because of the sadness and fear it can bring back to the forefront of my heart and mind.

I recall being pregnant with my first child, due the following month. I was fearful of what life would be like for my children and the world after this terrible event. Though the events of that day were so horrific, there are some beautiful things that also happened as a result. People held their loved ones closer. We helped each other more. We were unified in support for the families that lost members that day. We rallied around those who help to protect us and our freedoms. Where there was hate, there was also love. Where there was sadness, you could also find happiness. People leaned on God a little more. Perhaps prayers became more fervent, more deliberate, more personal.

I found comfort and peace in knowing that regardless of what happened (or happens) to our nation, God is still in charge. If we are trying to do what is right, we have no need to fear. God's watchful eye and His gentle hand are there to help and guide us through perilous and difficult times--regardless of how big or small. 

Since the tragic events of that day, LDS Church leaders offered comforting insights and inspiration:
“Peace may be denied for a season. … But God our Eternal Father will watch over this nation and all of the civilized world who look to him. … Our safety lies in repentance. Our strength comes from obedience to the commandments of God.
“Let us be prayerful. Let us pray for righteousness. Let us pray for the forces of good. Let us reach out to help men and women of goodwill, whatever their religious persuasion and wherever they live. Let us stand firm against evil, both at home and abroad. Let us live worthy of the blessings of heaven, reforming our lives where necessary and looking to him, the Father of us all. He has said, 'Be still, and know that I am God' (Psalms 46:10).
“Are these perilous times? They are. But there is no need to fear. We can have peace in our hearts and peace in our homes. We can be an influence for good in this world, every one of us.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley, October 2001 General Conference)

"Today, the world remembers the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. We are still shocked and dismayed at the infamy of those cowardly attacks.
"We know that much good has come of these dreadful circumstances. From the smoke and ashes of New York, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania and other areas of the world has arisen a greater sense of unity and purpose in ridding the earth of evil and providing for the freedom and security of all people. We endorse the righteous efforts of God-fearing people everywhere in this important endeavor.
"May our Father in Heaven smile upon us all, comfort those who continue to mourn and guide the leaders of nations in the quest for justice and liberty is our sincere prayer." (Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, Sept. 11, 2002, Memorial Service)

"If there is a spiritual lesson to be learned from our experience of that fateful day, it may be that we owe to God the same faithfulness that He gives to us. We should strive for steadiness, and for a commitment to God that does not ebb and flow with the years or the crises of our lives. It should not require tragedy for us to remember him, and we should not be compelled to humility before giving him our faith and trust. We too should be with him in every season.
"The way to be with God in every season is to strive to be near him every week and each day. We truly 'need him every hour,' not just in hours of devastation. We must speak to him, listen to him, and serve him. If we wish to serve him, we should serve our fellow men. We will mourn the lives we lose, but we should also fix the lives that can be mended and heal the hearts that may yet be healed." (Pres. Thomas S. Monson, 10th anniversary of 9/11)
We are so abundantly blessed. We must do all we can to repent, strive for righteousness, show love for all of mankind. We need to pray, to worship God, and strengthen our families. If we are living in accordance to the laws and principles of God, we will have no need to fear.

I know that regardless of what happens in this world, God has a plan, even a mission, for each of us to fulfill. Should we die while on His errand, all we be well. We will be in His presence, and free from our earthly cares.Trust in the Lord. Rely on Him and pray always. Have hope in His plan and His mercy.

© Wendy 2013 

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Lord Looketh on the Heart

I've been having a lot of thoughts recently about outward appearances vs. inward goodness. Too often, I think many choose to judge each other based on how someone else looks, or what is perceived based on a few observations. It's hard not to at times, but I think it is really important that we try to love and accept people regardless.

There are people who have tattoos, piercings, or who dress immodestly. Or perhaps the actions of some may be of concern--smoking, drinking, or other inappropriate actions. Even though our standards may be different, it is not our place to judge, as we do not know anyone's full story. We do not know anyone else's trials, their upbringing, their level of understanding, what their journey has been, or especially what their mission on earth is that they were sent here to complete.

A quote I read today states:
"Recognize the good in others, not their stains. At times a stain needs appropriate attention to be cleansed, but always build on his or her virtues."
—Richard G. Scott
In other words: LOOK for the GOOD in others. See what you can that is right with their lives and focus on that instead of the negative.

And this thought is perfect:

There are many good people who may not look the part. The opposite is also true. But, I know that the Lord can see beyond our outward facade and knows our hearts, our intentions, our thoughts and desires. Everyone can change; we need to allow change for others and ourselves. 

All of us can learn to accept and love others just the way they are. That will open windows and doors not only for them to perhaps be inspired to better themselves, but it will also create and allow for changes within ourselves. Try to see others the way God sees each of us. We are ALL children of God, even if some of us are a bit like the rebellious child at times. We're all in this together, so we need to help build each other up and truly love others. Being a Christian means acting as Christ would--and I am sure he would be found among those who outwardly we may not expect.

 © Wendy 2013

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Mormon Musings

My 10-year-old daughter has come home from school on many occasions reporting conversations she has had with one of her friends, who attends a Christian church in our city. The conversations disturb me--not necessarily the subject matter because religious discussions are not something I shy away from, but the fact that her friend's church and her parents are actually teaching her such false things about others.

Over the past couple of years, my daughter has been told by her friend very negative things and attitudes toward Mormonism, a.k.a., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

  • Mormons aren't Christians.
  • She doesn't like living here because of all the Mormons.
  • It's "annoying" that there are so many Mormons.
  • She doesn't like Mormons.
  • Mormons are weird because they can't have tattoos and piercings.
  • Slanted views of our beliefs in the Book of Mormon and prophets.
I have helped my daughter explain/refute some of these things:

  • Mormons ARE Christians; we believe in, worship, and testify of Jesus Christ.
  • If she doesn't like all of the Mormons, then she doesn't like my daughter. It hurts my daughter when one of her good friends says these things.
  • We don't have tattoos and piercings because we treat our bodies with respect and believe they are special.
  • We also believe in the Bible; The Book of Mormon is "another testament of Jesus Christ" and we do believe in (but do not worship) modern day prophets and revelation.
Having questions like this are not wrong, but having someone in authority in a church preaching falsehoods about any other religion or people IS wrong. Teaching your children such things is also wrong.

My daughter is still friends with this girl, and I'm happy about it. I hope that over time, the example and love that my daughter shares will ultimately help her friend understand that the things being taught to her are simply not true. Actions speak louder than words.

As best I can, I try to help my kids understand that not everyone is going to agree with all of their beliefs or opinions, but we still need to respect and love them; we can surely still be friends with people of other faiths, backgrounds, and situations. We are meant to learn to live with others in peace and harmony.We are meant to love each other even if we disagree.

I wish people would simply go to church to rejoice in Christ, preach of Christ, and be edified in Christ, not to preach against other religions that they do not understand, or may even fear. Isn't that what being a Christian means--worshiping Christ? Acting as Christ would if he were on the earth today?

Regardless of religion (or no religion), we need to be more united, more full of love for one another, work together instead of against each other. We can accomplish so much more good working together. We are all in this life together. Help your neighbor. Lift another. Share your light. Spread sunshine instead of gloom. Be a force for the positive: Seek it, live it, be it.

For some more inspiring posts:
Babes in Hairland
A Mouse in My Kitchen
Brassy Apple
Girl Loves Glam
Dreaming About Someday

© Wendy 2013