Newman Family

Newman Family

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My Beloved Children,

I cam across this quote again today in my study.  I love President Ucthdorf, and I really believe in what he teaches here.  When I stop in my busyness, and listen I do get instruction from Heavenly Father.  I love you all so much, and I am so proud of you and your awesome talents and testimonies.

We are continually counseled to increase our spiritual knowledge through prayer and through studying and pondering the scriptures and the words of the living prophets. In his general conference talk about receiving a testimony of light and truth, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said: 
“The Everlasting and Almighty God … will speak to those who approach Him with a sincere heart and real intent.
“He will speak to them in dreams, visions, thoughts, and feelings.”
President Uchtdorf continued: “God cares about you. He will listen, and He will answer your personal questions. The answers to your prayers will come in His own way and in His own time, and therefore, you need to learn to listen to His voice.”4
I also love this scripture from 3 Nephi 22:13
"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children"

Cherish Newman

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I have been reading 3 Nephi slowly and carefully.  There has been some interesting things…  I have read 3 Nephi 5 at least 4 times in the last few days.

Vs. 1  “…There was not a living soul among all the people of the Nephites who did doubt in the least the words of all the holy prophets…”  I kept reading this statement over and over again.  What will it take to get our ward or our stake to this level?  I first thought, these people must be super, amazing righteous people…  However, look at verse 3: “Therefore they did forsake all their sins, and their abominations, and their whoredoms, and did serve God with all diligence day and night.”

These people had sins, but as they placed their faith in the Savior and in his prophets, they were able to forsake their sins and serve God.

They were unified!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Helaman 14 - By Dad

I was impressed with the numerous signs and wonders prophesied of by Samuel… So many how could one not believe?  As we get closer to the Second Coming, there will also be many signs and wonders that will help us know that it is close…

As fun as it was to read about all the signs that would come to the Nephites…That wasn’t Samuels main message.  He taught so well about the Atonement...

Why all the signs and wonders?  vs. 12 “that ye might know of the signs of his coming, to the intent that ye might believe on his name”
If you do believe on his name? vs. 13 “ye will repent of all your sins, that thereby ye may have a remission of them through his merits”
How does this happen? vs. 15 “he surely must die that salvation may come”

After teaching about all signs and the about Christ, he finishes with: “ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves” vs. 30

I like his style… he taught so well about the Atonement.  His message had to be interesting to many listening as he talked about all the signs, including the graves opening up (vs. 25) and taught about the Savior, his coming and his redemption… But at the end of his intriguing and convincing message, he says essentially… “It’s up to you"

Monday, July 13, 2015

One of my first thoughts while reading this chapter was about repentance.  First of all, true servants of God will preach repentance (vs. 2) as Samuel does.  Samuel points out this in vs. 26-28…  “if a prophet come among you and decelerate unto you the word of the Lord, which testifieth of your sins and iniquities, ye are angry with him… But behold, if a man shall come among you and shall say: Do this, and there is no iniquity…ye will receive him, and say that he is a prophet”  

Often the prophets words will be hard to accept and urge us to change things in our lives.  This is one of the evidences of a true prophet.

The other thought about repentance is Samuel uses the words “turn" and “return" in verse 11 when discussing repentance.  This is significant because this is the phraseology used in the Old Testament instead of repentance (like in 1 Samuel 7:3).  They essentially mean the same thing.  As we turn back to the Lord (or return) than we are in the act of repenting…. 
                                                                                                                             Kelly Newman 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Returning to Faith:  Sacrament Talk
Cherish Newman  (June 2015)

Introduction: Speak on Sister Wixom’s talk “Returning to Faith”
I like the title. I have the special privilege of being with the Primary children and they are great examples of humble and true faith.  They know who they are and they believe with all their hearts.  We were all like that once.  As we grow we experience life and some hard things and we get questions and concerns. Everyone does at times in their lives.  We all have our trials of Faith that is part of the plan.

Sister Wixom shares the story of a sister in the gospel who had a trial of faith.  This sister was a young mother and had been raised in the church.  She had always been an inquiring person, wondering the “Whys” behind everything.  As a adult she had some questions that she didn’t feel she got answers to.  She became inactive.  She came back too!  She talked about her journey and others’ responses to her journey. 

I want to talk about 3 roles we have in returning to Faith.  As Individuals, As family members, and as ward members.

Individual returning to Faith:

Trials of faith are part of the plan.
Ether 12:6
 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 trial of your faith.

Elder Ballard at Women’s Conference. As members of the Church, we should not be critical of those who have sincere, heartfelt questions or concerns about their faith. Remember, the Restoration in all of its glory and wonder was launched in response to a spiritual question of a 14-year-old young man. Such questions can be a catalyst to real conversion if they prompt us to seek truth in the light of faith.

In our time the whole world wants to answer those questions.  You can google anything.  But how much truth do we get?

Elder Ballard
Today we live in a world in which people don’t ask of God—they seem to want to ask of Google. Even when it comes to questions of faith, there are many who trust the Internet to provide accurate, fair, and balanced answers to their questions more than they trust the ultimate source of truth, our Heavenly Father. It’s as if they believe that the scripture in James actually says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of the Internet.”
Please don’t misunderstand, sisters. I am not saying that we should never search the Internet for information about the Church’s history, its teachings and doctrine. What I am saying is that we need to be prudent and careful about seeking answers to spiritually important questions online. We’ve all heard people make jokes and sarcastic comments about how you can’t trust everything you read on the Internet. There’s a good reason for that. It’s no wonder that many people emerge from their online search for religious truth feeling surrounded by the same kind of “darkness and confusion” that Joseph Smith felt after talking to the various religious teachers of his time.
So what can we do if our own faith is being tried?
In Alma 32, Alma teaches about our Faith being like a seed that we have to plant.
Plant analogy:
Seed is the positive desire: I believe that God hears and answers prayers.” Or “I believe the Book of Mormon is true.”
Heart is the ground and needs to be fertile=teachable
Elder Russell M. Nelson has said, “The Lord can only teach an inquiring mind.”
Plant it with some plant food=desire
Nourish it=daily practices
Allow the roots to go down way deep, scorching, freezing, wind=trials, tribulations, questions, pondering.  Prepare for them, but allow them, those things deepen roots.

103:12 For after much tribulation, as I have said unto you in a former commandment, cometh the blessing.

Building Faith contains the same principals as building muscles, the repetition of simple steps to get the muscle to the point of shaking and trembling.  All trainers and body builders will tell you, that the true muscle growth comes during that time of trial.  When you want to give up, it hurts and you think you can’t keep going. You have doubts! Doubts that you can really do this, doubts of can this really be the answer. This trainer doesn’t know what he is doing, this just doesn’t work for me, I am different.  In the pain is the growth.

            President Ucthdorf: Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters—my dear friends—please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.8 We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

  Just keep going! Finish that rep and give it one more.  That is the only way that muscle will grow and develop.

We are all infants and toddlers in the gospel.  Our faith being built is like learning to walk.  It starts with desire.  It is a slow process, lots of wobbling and falls.  More we try and practice the faster and stronger we get.

President Ucthdorf: We have all seen a toddler learn to walk. He takes a small step and totters. He falls. Do we scold such an attempt? Of course not. What father would punish a toddler for stumbling? We encourage, we applaud, and we praise because with every small step, the child is becoming more like his parents.

Sister Wixom’s friend:

She learned that when she came up against a statement that caused her to doubt, she “could stop, look at the whole picture, and make the gospel personal.  She said, “I would ask, ‘is this the right path for me and my family?”
Sometimes I would ask myself, ‘What do I want for my children?  I realized I want them to have temple marriages.  That’s when belief came back to my heart.”

Family members returning to Faith:

During this confusing time, some of those around her said, “Just lean on my faith.” But she thought, “I can’t. You don’t understand; you’re not grappling with these issues.” She explained, “I was willing to extend courtesy to those without doubts if they would extend courtesy to me.” And many did.

Many of us have family members who have struggled with their faith and have left the church.  What is the Lord asking us to do for them?

“What man of you having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost , until he find it?” (Luke 15:4)

On our mission to find them what should we do to get them back?

Mark 12:30-31
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Elder Nielson quote: “Waiting for the Prodigal”
Elder Nielson’s sister had doubts that overcame her faith; this is how they evolved into helping her.  They made sure that her place in their family was sure.  That they loved her unconditionally and that she was still an important member of their family.

“Although we could not embrace all of her choices, we could certainly embrace her. We loved, we watched, and we waited.”

She said, “My parents knew my heart and allowed me space. They chose to love me while I was trying to figure it out for myself.”

I was in the temple with my 5 sisters for the first time ever in the Fall.  After 15 years of inactivity and bad choices, they came back.  I asked Heavenly Father, “What was it?  What finally made them come back?  Many fasts, many counseling sessions, many prayers, many things we did to try and bring them back, Did any of that help?
I felt like the Lord answered me.  I felt the answer was-that All of it helped.  Their spiritual journey was like a huge 10,000 piece puzzle, that each effort to love and help them was one of those pieces.
Helping Ward members return to Faith:

While our immediate and extended family is who will have the most influence on us or us on them.  Our ward family is often who we interact with on a daily basis.

Our role as a ward family is to nurture and love.  Only the bishop has the keys to stand in judgement.

The Lord has referred to the members of the ward as the Body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:
 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

We need the strong and the feeble!  We are all necessary.  Even the strongest parts of the body can be wounded. If you are wounded, how do we care for that member of
the body?  If our finger gets broken, what do we do?  Do we cut it off?  Ignore it?  Be angry at the finger for getting wounded and talk to others about how weird it was that the finger did this?
No! We wrap it, nurture it, have it rest and heal in safety and security.
We need the strong and the feeble!

Sister Wixom’s friend:
Likewise, this young mother’s bishop often met with her and spoke of his confidence in her.
Ward members also did not hesitate to give love, and she felt included. Her ward was not a place to put on a perfect face; it was a place of nurture.

With permission, I want to share a story about my sister and her husband.  If you were to just see my sister and her husband at a grocery store, you would feel to make an immediate judgment.  You would see their bodies covered in tattoos, you would maybe smell some cigarette smoke coming from them.  You might feel like you knew that they were not members or that they don’t care about God.  What you would not see in the first impression is that they are would give their last $20 to a homeless person or a friend in need.  You would not see that they have 3 children under 3 years old AND have taken in their 12 year old niece who has some trauma from her childhood, and they are great parents!  You would not see the mental illness demons that they both battle everyday just to function, and they do function! Luckily their ward family chose to see past the first impression.  They have embraced them and loved them and served them.  My sister made it to the temple this fall, after 15 years of inactivity.  My brother-in-law is more open to the gospel than he has ever been.

Every person is on his or her own journey.  Our Father and Savior are the travel guides for each person.  They are exactly aware of where they are and what they need.  We are allowed and encouraged in our own journeys.

Sister Wixom:

And, oh, how I want to be like those who surrounded this young mother, loving and supporting her. As President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said: “We are all pilgrims seeking God’s light as we journey on the path of discipleship. We do not condemn others for the amount of light they may or may not have; rather, we nourish and encourage all light until it grows clear, bright, and true.”10

Whether we are the individual struggling with our own questions or doubts or we are trying to help loved ones.  We can attain peace and hope in the same way.  We will rejoice as we stay close the things we know to be true, we remember what we really want, and we counsel with the Lord.

Sister Wixom:

We too may wonder, “Is Heavenly Father really there?” only to rejoice—as my friend did—when the answers come in quiet, simple assurances. I testify that those simple assurances come as His will becomes ours. I testify that truth is on the earth today and His gospel is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

In Helaman 3 there is great prosperity in the Church that even the leaders are "astonished beyond measure” (Helaman 3:25).  Mormon uses this to teach a principle…

Who will be saved in the Kingdom of God?  Anyone that wants to be…

28 Yea, thus we see that the gate of heaven is open unto all, even to those who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God.
 29 Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked—
 30 And land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out.
I am grateful that this applies to every single person.  If they will believe it and believe Him they can be exalted...

                    -  With Love - Your Dad kelly 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Not part of my talk
Saturday night I prayed fervently to know the deeper meaning of the phrase in the name of Jesus Christ.  I specifically wanted to connect it somehow with the Atonement.  I asked my Heavenly Father to reveal to me the meaning.  I specifically asked for a dream or some way to understand better the phrase we use so often.  The next morning, I attended my 6:30 am High Council meeting.  The Stake Presidency showed us a video that was from the Apostles training all General Authorities right before General Conference.  They all shared different things as part of the training.  Elder Nelson got up and said these words (from memory)… “Brothers and Sisters, when we use the phrase in the name of Jesus Christ and do things in His name as far as we can tell the scriptures teach us that this means His work and more specifically His Atonement”

I about fell out of my chair.  That was the exact answer I was looking for.  Elder Nelson gave the answer almost 2 months ago, the day before General Conference. The Lord knew I would be giving a talk on this subject, He knew I would be at my meeting and orchestrated a simple answer to my prayers so amazingly!  Needless to say, I was grateful and amazed…

Start of Talk
My fellow brothers and sisters, it is a pleasure to be in your ward this morning… to share some of the things the Lord has placed in my mind and in my heart.  I have a burning testimony of the Savior and His work upon the earth.  We are so privileged to be a part of it…My desire today is to speak, teach and testify of Him whose Gospel this is... and in whose work we are engaged.  My prayer is that you will feel deep down within your souls a greater love for the Savior and a deeper desire to be like Him.  Isn’t that why we are here?  Because we love Him and want to be like Him.

Jesus Christ is known by many names and titles—some of the most common are Jehovah, Son of God, Lord, Redeemer, Messiah, Savior and God. Of the 120 sections in the Doctrine and Covenants that are revelations from Jesus Christ, at least 68 of them He identifies Himself in the 1st verse by a name or title.  Each name and title can convey a different message, principle or teaching to us.  Each name or title can remind us of who He is, what He has done for us and what He will do for us.  Some examples from the Doctrine and Covenants are:

15:1 “Listen to the words of Jesus Christ, your Lord and your Redeemer.”

19:1 “I am Alpha and Omega, Christ the Lord; yea, even I am he, the beginning and the end, the Redeemer of the world.”

27:1 “Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Lord, your God, and your Redeemer, whose word is quick and powerful.”

29:1 “Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the Great I Am, whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins.”

42:1 “Hearken, O ye elders of my church, who have assembled yourselves together in my name, even, Jesus Christ the Son of the living God, the Savior of the world; inasmuch as ye believe on my name and keep my commandments.”

My brothers and sisters, the world has profaned, blasphemed and taken in vain the name of Jesus Christ as well as many of His other names and titles.  However, one of my favorite names or titles for Jesus Christ is SAVIOR.  The world and Satan haven’t figured out a way yet to take that one in vain.  I hope and pray they never do.  He is my Savior… not just from sin, but from mortality.  He saves me daily from my sins, temptations and weaknesses.

I often feel as Peter did in Matthew 14
25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him

He is my Savior, my Lord and my God.

D&C 42:1 also uses the phrases “in my name” and “believe on my name.”  It is not just about the words in these names and titles…there is something else.  The phrase, “in His name” or “in the name of Jesus Christ” means much more.  Consider these verses:

2 Nephi 25:13 “all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God.”

Mosiah 3:9 “salvation might come unto the children of men even through faith on his name”

Acts 10:43  “through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins”

Acts 4:12 “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

John 20:31“believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

Matthew 12:21 “And in his name shall the Gentiles trust”

D&C 20:29 “And we know that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and worship the Father in his name, and endure in faith on his name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God”

All ordinances are performed in the name of Jesus Christ, except two.  Baptisms and Sealings are performed in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

We all have the opportunity to invoke the name of Jesus Christ in all talks, prayers, testimonies, lessons….

Why?  What does it mean… What is the Lord conveying to us by these phrases.

Shortly after Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden.

Moses 5
And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.
 And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.
 And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth.
 Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.

His name is His Atonement.

(This next part came to me like a lightening bolt as I sat on the stand during the sacrament.  As I listened to the prayer, my eyes shot open realizing that we invoke His name twice during the prayer)

Each week when we bless the sacrament, “O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ…” or we ask our Eternal Father through the Atonement of His Son to bless and sanctify the bread, symbols of His Atonement.

Then, we “witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son” or we show our Father that we want to take upon us the Atonement of His Son throughout the coming week.

May I invite you at family prayer tonight to discuss briefly the phrase, “in the name of Jesus Christ” with your children?  Please discuss what it means, what it invokes and the sacred use of it.  Too often in the Church it is the colloquial ending to anything we do.  Too often it is slurred and sped through without meaning.  Too often we don’t think what we are saying.  May we reverence Him and His name, which is His Atonement in all that we do in the Kingdom.

In D&C 35:2 it says “I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified for the sins of the world, even as many as will believe on my name, that they may become the sons of God…”

Many years ago, I had the privilege of touring the Holy Land.  One day as I got on the bus something dawned on me.  I was in a country with Jews, Muslims and Christians…  All fighting, arguing and conflicting with each other.  However, all of them believe in and are striving to follow the same God…Jesus Christ.

Jews worship Jehovah who we know as the pre-mortal Jesus Christ.  They rejected Him as the mortal Jesus.  Some people erroneously think that the Jews worship the Father, but that is incorrect.  They strive to worship the God of the Old Testament, who is Jesus Christ.

Muslims believe in Allah who is God.  Allah is a generic name for God.  Allah is Jesus Christ.  Muslims have no idea that the God they revere and worship actually came to earth and was crucified for their sins.  From the Quran:

“He is God: there is no god other than Him. It is He who knows what is hidden as well as what is in the open, He is the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy. He is God: there is no god other than Him, the Controller, the Holy One, Source of Peace, Granter of Security, Guardian over all, the Almighty, the Compeller, the Truly Great; God is far above anything they consider to be His partner. He is God: the Creator, the Originator, the Shaper. The best names belong to Him. Everything in the heavens and earth glorifies Him: He is the Almighty, the Wise.” [Quran, 59:22-24]

When He comes again, it won’t be too hard for the nations of the earth to accept Him… they already believe in Him, they just don’t realize all He has done for us.  When He comes again Philippians says…

Philippians 2:9-10 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth”

Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ.  May we reverence Him and His name, which is His Atonement in all we do in our lives.

Alma 56: The Power of Families - Cherish Newman

I love this chapter of the Book of Mormon.  I cannot get through it without tears.  The spirit always fills me.

This chapter is about the first battle of the stripling warriors.

The lesson that gets taught to me when I read this chapter is the immense power that righteous families doing their duties and living in faith can have on the world.

The Fathers:  The Ammonite fathers play two huge roles in this story.  First off they are providers. See verse 27
            27 And now it came to pass in the second month of this year, there was brought unto us many provisions from the fathers of those my two thousand sons.

This a first witness to the truth that is in the Family: A Proclamation to the World

            By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.

These Fathers did provide for their families and especially their sons at war.  I have always had a picture in my mind of these fathers gathering their harvests and supplies and making a trek to their sons at war, to do whatever they could to support and provide. 
The one thing they could not do was to protect.  They could not go to war themselves because of a covenant they had made, to bury their weapons of war and never fight again.  So when the Nephites needed help to protect their country the fathers wanted to help, and wondered if they should break their oath.  Instead their sons volunteered to go to war.  Oh what an excruciating trial of faith that must have been.  It would be really hard to leave your family to go to war, but to be asked to send your child in your place, it seems unimaginable. Yet it was the right thing to do.

I do believe there were some fathers that were able to help protect these sons.  (Alma 24) About 13 years before this battle when the Fathers and the Mothers of these boys had been converted and had made their covenant and buried their weapons of war.  Some other Lamanites came to attack these people.  A large group of these fathers went out to meet them.  Not with their weapons, but with their faith.  They knelt in trust of their God and sacrificed their lives for their covenants and their families.  Their sacrifice caused the battle to stop and many Lamanites to be converted.

23 Now when the Lamanites saw that their brethren would not flee from the sword, neither would they turn aside to the right hand or to the left, but that they would lie down and perish, and praised God even in the very act of perishing under the sword—
 24 Now when the Lamanites saw this they did forbear from slaying them; and there were many whose hearts had swollen in them for those of their brethren who had fallen under the sword, for they repented of the things which they had done.
 25 And it came to pass that they threw down their weapons of war, and they would not take them again, for they were stung for the murders which they had committed; and they came down even as their brethren, relying upon the mercies of those whose arms were lifted to slay them.
 26 And it came to pass that the people of God were joined that day by more than the number who had been slain; and those who had been slain were righteous people, therefore we have no reason to doubt but what they were saved.
 27 And there was not a wicked man slain among them; but there were more than a thousand brought to the knowledge of the truth; thus we see that the Lord worketh in many ways to the salvation of his people.

Among our stripling warriors, we had boys who had lost their fathers in that battle, fathers who had been the ultimate example of faith and protection.  There were also probably boys whose fathers had been part of the attacking Lamanites who had converted.  What examples of faith, conversion, and forgiveness.

Alma 56, teaches about the stripling warriors going into battle, for the first time.  They had great faith.

44 Therefore what say ye, my sons, will ye go against them to battle?
 45 And now I say unto you, my beloved brother Moroni, that never had I seen so great courage, nay, not amongst all the Nephites.
 46 For as I had ever called them my sons (for they were all of them very young) even so they said unto me: Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go, lest they should overpower the army of Antipus.
 47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
 48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

They go into battle.  These young 14-18, boys go into battle.  They go up against adult, seasoned soldiers.  The boys win!  How is this possible?  Obviously the Lord helped them, but what did the Lord do to help them?  I propose that he probably enlightened their minds, gave them clarity, confidence and the ability to think quickly.  I think He also probably strengthened their bodies, more endurance, strength, and quicker reflexes. 
I also think He sent them ministering angels, and specific ones. We know that one of the rights of the priesthood is the “ministering of Angels” which is the daily teaching and help of angels.  These boys held and honored their priesthood; they had the right of angelic help.  Wouldn’t God have sent them angelic help?  What angels would he send?  I felt that the Lord revealed to me that he sent their fathers.  The Lord sent the very same fathers that had been martyred, whose calling it was to protect their sons, even on the other side of the veil.   I saw that the angelic fathers were standing as shields, deflecting blows, and adding resistance to the enemy as shields of protection for these courageous boys.  Oh how beautiful, and merciful of our Lord.  Just like in the Old Testament with Elisha the prophet:

15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
          16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

            This first battle with the stripling warriors turned the tide of the whole Nephite and Lamanite war, from this point on the Lamanites do not gain any ground.  It was the power of the whole family that changed this war and people.  The incredible power of the mother’s (and grandmother’s, sisters) testimonies, nurturing and teachings helped mold the boys into the courageous, valiant and remarkable young men that they were.… they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
 48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

            The boys’ powers lie in their characters.  They were teachable in the scripture above, they show that they listened and obeyed their mothers.  They also internalized and applied the teachings of their parents.

20 And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.
 21 Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him.

Alma 57:21 Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them.

            These powerful and righteous families changed their world.  We are in a war in our times as well, a spiritual war.  I know that the Lord will protect and deliver our children and us.  I testify that as we as mothers are faithful and teach and nurture.  As father’s we teach, protect and provide.  As children we listen, obey and apply, we can be powerful families that will come of conquerors!

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Written By Dad:

Last night while studying Ether 12, I couldn't get past vs. 19

 19 And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad.

And in the next verse it gives the example of the brother of Jared.

My thoughts are this: 
  • It is not necessary to see the Savior or visions
  • Witnessing visions and visitations is a consistent part of the Gospel in all ages
  • The witness of the Holy Ghost is stronger than a visitation from the Savior.
  • The Savior wants to manifest himself to us in very person and tells us how to do so (Exodus 24:9-11, D&C 93:1)
  • I sincerely desire to have a visitation from the Son of God and I have prayed for it on numerous occasions
  • I know it will happen one day whether in private, at death or at the Second Coming
  • In the meantime, I need to seek to increase my faith, be purified and sanctified

Another witness of this truth is found as Lehi, is speaking to his son Jacob:

2 Nephi 2:4
4 And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory; wherefore, thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh; for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

There are a few places in scripture where Faith, Hope and Charity are taught together...  Last night as I was studying Ether chapter 12 I realized that these three doctrines were taught in verse 4 but not as clearly as in other places.

4 Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

Faith leads to Hope... Not the modern definition of a wish but of an assurance and expectation.  Once we truly have Faith in Christ and have Hope for our own exaltation we abound in good works (Charity) to others...

Perhaps one of the best evidences of our own Faith and Hope is how charitable we are...


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Written By: Mom 

Alma 50 insights:

Yesterday Dad and I had lunch with a couple.  They are older than us, and have 4 grown daughters.  They have had 6 Son-in-laws.  5 of those 6 son-in-laws have had pornography addiction.  Two of their daughters have divorced and remarried and even their new husbands have pornography addiction. The father of these 4 girls is a bishop in a Young Single Adult ward, almost all of the issues that come into his office are pornography and 1/3 of those with that issue are young women, even returned missionary young women.   This is scary and so sad to me.  So I have been pondering how to protect my children from this horrible drug.

In reading in Alma 50, the Nephites had just won a huge battle against the Lamanites without losing one Nephite.  It was because the Nephites had fortified the border cities in the land of Ammoniah (which had earlier been totally decimated by the Lamanites).  The Lamanites had then taken their fight to the land of Noah and encountered the same fortifications, however this time because of their pride they attacked anyway and were defeated solidly.
So the Nephites, instead of hanging out in their fortified cities and enjoying their victory, Moroni had them do this in:
50:6 Thus Moroni did prepare strongholds against the coming of their enemies, round about every city in the land

Moroni does not stop there, he then in verses 7, and 8 he drives out any Lamanites in the wilderness next to their borders, had good Nephites inhabit and fortify their borders.

So what does this have to do with pornography?  I felt the revelation today as I read that our spirits, brain, and hearts are the cities that need to be made into strongholds.  Right now, while most of my children are living in my home, Kelly and I can be their generals, and lead them how to fortify against Satan and his artillery of Pornography.

Some ideas of fortification are:
1.      This scripture came to my mind.
45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
-have only virtuous things in our home.
-inspirational music
-get rid of Netflix
-weekly checks on all devices and computers
-show greater charity in our family
-recognize God more in our daily lives
-be active together as a family
-interviews with the kids consistently

Alma 50:20

 20 Blessed art thou and thy children; and they shall be blessed, inasmuch as they shall keep my commandments they shall prosper in the land. But remember, inasmuch as they will not keep my commandments they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.

Friday, May 15, 2015

I had the privilege and honor of teaching Relief Society yesterday for Mother’s day.  These thoughts are what I tried to convey to the Relief Society during my lesson.  My overall impression was it started a little rough but the Spirit was present and stamped it with approval after I got over my nervousness…

Principle #1
I viewed this as a priesthood assignment.  You see the Relief Society presidency prayed and discussed whom they should invite to teach Relief Society.  They decided to ask me to do it.  They called me and asked if I would be willing to teach on Mother’s day. The Relief Society Presidency, under priesthood authority, invited me to fulfill a priesthood assignment of teaching.  This is a unique situation but I wanted to make it clear that it wasn’t just a favor—it was a priesthood duty.

“Thus, it is truly said that Relief Society is not just a class for women but something they belong to—a divinely established appendage to the priesthood.
We are not accustomed to speaking of women having the authority of the priesthood in their Church callings, but what other authority can it be? When a woman—young or old—is set apart to preach the gospel as a full-time missionary, she is given priesthood authority to perform a priesthood function. The same is true when a woman is set apart to function as an officer or teacher in a Church organization under the direction of one who holds the keys of the priesthood. Whoever functions in an office or calling received from one who holds priesthood keys exercises priesthood authority in performing her or his assigned duties” (Elder Dallin H. Oaks,

I spoke of honoring women, that it was both a priesthood duty and a privilege.  I shared this quote on motherhood “Motherhood, is near to divinity.  It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind.  It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels” (President J. Reuben Clark Jr., Oct.1942).

Principle #2
The second principle, which was the main principle I wanted to address, was that the Book of Mormon brings us to Christ (President Benson).  More specifically, it prophesies about the Savior and His mission.  It explains and teaches clearly how the Atonement works.  It helps us to apply the Atonement more intimately and personally.  It gives us hope for daily peace and salvation in eternity.

The Relief Society sister who asked me to teach mentioned that the sisters didn’t want to feel guilty.  A lot of Mother’s day lessons end up making the mom’s feel guilty somehow.  I thought a lot about that and counseled with Cherish on it.  I decided to use the Book of Mormon teachings on the Atonement to help the sisters understand better.

Today, I will teach you in 5 minutes how to be a perfect mother!  Never feel guilt again!  Who is interested?

 32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
 33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.
(Moroni 10:32-33)

How can we become perfect right now?  By coming unto Christ and being perfected with Him.  Him and I are perfect.  His grace is sufficient for my weaknesses.  Just as His Atonement will make up all that I lack for salvation… it will make up all that I lack as a parent.  This doesn’t mean we can be lazy and do anything, it means we don’t have to worry about the things we can’t do… the Savior’s grace is sufficient for those shortcomings.  There is nothing we can’t accomplish if the Savior is my partner.

This doesn’t mean effects are immediate.  Raising children is like investing in real estate.  The return on investment generally happens several years later. 

 33 And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.
Moroni 7:33

If we exercise faith in Him, we will have power to do whatsoever thing is right and good with His help.

What kind of faith do we need to exercise in Him?

23 And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.
2 Nephi 9:23

This verse use to scare me—“perfect faith?”  How is that possible?  The meaning is simple.  It must be complete faith… all of our faith… “relying wholly upon the merits of Him…” (2 Nephi 31:19).  We must offer our whole souls to Him.

26 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.
(Omni 1:26)

If we truly come unto Christ and exercise faith in Him, Satan will still strive to bring us down with feelings of inadequacies.  He will tempt us to feel we just aren’t enough…

Nephi felt that…

17 O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.
18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.
19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins;
(2 Nephi 4:17-19)

We all may feel this from time to time.  However, Nephi understands the doctrine well.  After describing these feelings of inadequacy… he says:

19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; NEVERTHELESS, I know in whom I have trusted.
 20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
 21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh.
(2 Nephi 4:19-21, capitalization and underlining added)

Despite his weaknesses and shortfalls, Nephi trusted in the Savior.  He knew the Savior would heal, support, make up and save Nephi despite any of His weaknesses.  His grace was sufficient for Nephi.

The Atonement is so powerful to help us, the Book of Mormon illustrates that it can make the vilest of sinners men of God (Mosiah 28:4 and Moroni 48:17-18).

I bear testimony of the Atonement and the power it has to help us in our daily lives.  Let His grace be sufficient for you.  Perhaps instead of wishing you could have 1-2 more hours in a day or getting discouraged because you didn’t complete your to do list for the day… turn to the Savior, ask for an increase of faith and allow His Atonement to work fully in your lives.

Principle #3
The Book of Mormon is the convincing power and evidence of the truthfulness of the Restoration and the Prophet Joseph Smith.

In my opinion, these chapters prove the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon because of their doctrinal complexity.  Even the best theologians today can’t equal the inspired writings of these prophets.  To think that an unlearned, unschooled farm boy at the age of 23 made it up is ridiculous. 
2 Nephi 2 on the Fall and Agency; Alma 42 on the Resurrection; Alma 32 and Ether 12 on Faith;  Mosiah 3 and Alma 7 on the Atonement; and many, many others.

Elder Holland
For 179 years this book has been examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart like perhaps no other book in modern religious history—perhaps like no other book in any religious history. And still it stands. Failed theories about its origins have been born and parroted and have died—from Ethan Smith to Solomon Spaulding to deranged paranoid to cunning genius. None of these frankly pathetic answers for this book has ever withstood examination because there is no other answer than the one Joseph gave as its young unlearned translator. In this I stand with my own great-grandfather, who said simply enough, “No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.” 10

If anyone is foolish enough or misled enough to reject 531 pages of a heretofore unknown text teeming with literary and Semitic complexity without honestly attempting to account for the origin of those pages—especially without accounting for their powerful witness of Jesus Christ and the profound spiritual impact that witness has had on what is now tens of millions of readers—if that is the case, then such a person, elect or otherwise, has been deceived; and if he or she leaves this Church, it must be done by crawling over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make that exit. In that sense the book is what Christ Himself was said to be: “a stone of stumbling, … a rock of offence,” 11 a barrier in the path of one who wishes not to believe in this work. Witnesses, even witnesses who were for a time hostile to Joseph, testified to their death that they had seen an angel and had handled the plates. “They have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man,” they declared. “Wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true.” 12
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Safety for the Soul” October 2009 General Conference

4 months prior to this talk, I went jogging at 5 am.  I recorded in my journal…

“Today I went jogging at 5 am.  When I finished running, I was listening to a really good song.  However, the Spirit whispered to me ‘how can the Lord speak to you with the music playing?’  I immediately turned off the song and received much direction.   The most important thing I received was the Lord telling me that I needed to make a covenant to read from the Book of Mormon every single day for the rest of my life.  I got home, knelt down and did that very thing.”

I signed my name to it in my journal.  Although I haven’t been perfect… this has greatly blessed my life.

10 And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.
 11 And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.
(2 Nephi 33:10)

29 And God shall show unto you, that that which I have written is true.

(Moroni 10:29)