Wednesday, September 28, 2011

...With Forget-Me-Nots

President Uchtdorf just this last weekend shared a small legend about the small Forget-Me-Not flowers. In Germany they say that just after God had finished naming each plant one was forgotten -- the Forget-Me-Not flower. In despair the flower cried out, "Forget me not, oh, Lord!" and that is how it got its name.

There is great significance in the simple Forget-Me-Nots. President Uchtdorf used its 5 small petals to remind us of 5 simple things:
  1. Forget not to be patient with yourself. God is aware that we are not perfect. He is also aware that the people we think are perfect are not. Keep working on learning and growing, but stop punishing yourself for your imperfections.
  2. Forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice. We need to ask ourselves if we are committing ourselves to the best things.
  3. Forget not to be happy now. If we are always looking forward to our expectations for the future we miss out on the joys of now and today. Don't put your happiness on hold while waiting for some future event. Discover and treasure the small daily moments.
  4. Forget not the "Why" of the gospel. Sometimes we get caught up in "what" we need to do, or "how" we need to do it. We should not see the gospel as a long list of tasks that we must somehow fit into our busy schedules. The gospel is not an obligation, it is a pathway. Don't get distracted by what we need to do, but focus on the fire of the "why". The "why" of the gospel transforms the mundane into the magestic.
  5. Forget not that the Lord loves you. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you may feel your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

...With the Little Things

I loved this talk and I love this video! I've found that it's the little things that make all the difference. When we go around looking for large blessings, or to feel the spirit in large, moving ways, we'll come back disappointed. It's only when we find the value in the small things that we begin to treasure life.

Back in March I decided to keep a daily record in my journal of at least five things I was grateful for each day. Some days I sit down and stare at the blank page. What could I write about? It was a horrible day! There is nothing to be grateful for! But as I seriously reflect on my day I remember one small thing that I truly appreciated, and then one more, and then one more, and suddenly I realized how blessed I really was that day. Life isn't as bad as I thought! It has really changed my attitude. I find that as I go through the day now I'm continually keeping an eye out for things I can write in my journal to be grateful for that night.

I've found great treasures of happiness, fleck by fleck as I've looked diligently for them, just as the man in the video gained treasure after hard searching and many flecks.

Monday, September 12, 2011

...With a Cheese Grater

In my last blog I issued myself a challenge to relate any object back to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Since then I have only received one object: a cheese grater. Hopefully this analogy satisfies the challenger:

We all go through the cheese grater of life. Our lives are those blocks of cheese, shaped just the way we want them. We are satisfied with our block, but sometimes the Lord finds it needful to send us through the cheese grater. Piece by piece we feel our life is getting shredded, but those trials, the cheese grater, shapes us into some one completely different. Through those challenges the Lord changes us so that we can be instruments in His hands in another cause, just as important, but different than before.

Friday, September 9, 2011

...With Symbols of Christ

I'm a firm believer that everything points back to Christ. When I was about the age of fourteen I had a Sunday School teacher who challenged us to choose one thing that week and see how it pointed back to Christ. Her object was to show that everything we receive is to help us grow closer to Christ.

I remember wandering down the hallway at school looking at the lockers, the tiles, the backpacks, trying to understand how each item could relate back to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I struggled to see how it was possible. How could everything  point to Christ? Then, as I was sitting on the swing at the park the challenge presented itself in my mind again. I looked at a tree and noticed how the branches pointed upward -- towards Christ. A tree grew up towards God! I understood. Excited, I began to ponder about the swing I sat on and how that pointed to Christ. I swung higher and higher -- towards the heavens! I understood.

Later in life I had a friend who had served a mission. He told me of a game he and his companions used to play as they walked: relate any object back to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He showed me some examples: the posts of a fence being those who support one another and keep that "fence" of the gospel up and a light pole being a beacon in the darkness like the gospel is for us through trying times.

Now, a missionary myself, I have fun playing the same sort of game. I love looking around me and seeing evidence that there is a God and that all things point to him. I love a challenge, so leave a comment; ask me to relate a particular object back to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let's see Christ in everyone and in everything!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

....With Scripture

Do we remember the great blessing it is to have the scriptures? The blood of so many people was shed so that we could have the scriptures to guide and direct us. The least we could do is open them and read from them each day.

I have suffered from anxiety before. I feel sick to my stomach with nerves and stress. But there is a time in the day that all that pain dissipates: it's when I read the scriptures. There is a calming strength that comes from the scriptures. It doesn't make every day a perfect day, but we're given the support and strength we need to get through any day. It's such a simple task, yet it often goes neglected. I've been guilty of the same charge. But I know that there is power in the scriptures.  Take advantage of the marvelous blessing of having the word of God at your finer tips. Take time, even just a minute or two, to open up the scriptures today.
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