Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Lyrics : Italics and bolded text added to show how the Lord covers me with His healing wings

1. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation!
Join the great throng,
Psaltery, organ and song,
Sounding in glad adoration!
2. Praise to the Lord! Over all things he gloriously reigneth.
Borne as on eagle wings, safely his Saints he sustaineth.
Hast thou not seen
How all thou needest hath been
Granted in what he ordaineth?
3. Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy way and defend thee.
Surely his goodness and mercy shall ever attend thee.
Ponder anew
What the Almighty can do,
Who with his love doth befriend thee
.
4. Praise to the Lord! Oh, let all that is in me adore him!
All that hath breath, join with Abraham’s seed to adore him!
Let the “amen”
Sum all our praises again,
Now as we worship before him.
Text: Joachim Neander, 1650-1680; trans. by Catherine Winkworth, 1829-1878
Music: From Stralsund Gesangbuch, 1665; arr. by William S. Bennett, 1816-1875, and Otto Goldschmidt, 1829-1907 1

The Lord sustains me in ‘body and spirit’2 and He is my defense against the ‘fiery darts of the adversary’3. Truly He is a merciful friend to ‘comfort me when faint’4.

“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”5

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Bittersweet Moments

Gushing, trickles, ever flowing-
Bright red to a light head
Panic and pain are growing. . .
Symptoms leading to oblivion
Everything went black like obsidian.
Life once inside is now dead to the earth
It was once a hopeful birth-
Full of dreams for that sweet spirit;
I’m now left alone to ponder it.
Short was the time I carried you;
Now I must wait anew.

Grateful Hearts are Happy

Recently, I had a bad day and my husband said he just wanted me to be happy. He asked what he could to do to make me happy. It was then that I realized I only needed to change my attitude. I needed to stop looking at myself and start looking outward in an attitude of service toward others. I truly am blessed with so much and have much to share with others.

“Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.”–Joseph Smith

Elder John H. Groberg wrote to his children: “I hope we can all be more grateful for what we have and be willing to share even more with others. There are so many who need so much—especially the truths of the gospel, which when lived bring first light, then love, then hope, then action, and finally fulfillment of our fondest dreams and more.”

I hope that I can more readily show my gratitude for the blessed gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the reason for this Christmas season and following His example brings us closer as friends, neighbors, and family.

General Conference Highlight!

Out of all the amazing talks, given in this past October’s 184th Semi-Annual General Conference of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints, Elder Neil L. Andersen’s talk had several points resonating with me that I felt I should share on my blog.

1″Spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers from God.”

2″We might remind the sincere inquirer that Internet information does not have a “truth” filter.”

3″ You may understandably question what you hear on the news, but you need never doubt the testimony of God’s prophets.”

4″You won’t be of much help to others if your own faith is not securely in place.”a

A major point of  spiritual inquiry for myself at age 16 was is the Book of Mormon true? I had been taught that it was scripture or the word of God but I wanted to know for myself it was true so I read the whole thing! Then I did as the prophet Moroni directs in the following verses found at the end of the book:

Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. (Moroni 10:3-5)b

After reading this passage, I knelt down in my room and bowed my head to utter a heartfelt plea to God to answer my inquiry. At first my mind was somewhat scattered and I realized I wasn’t being completely sincere so I asked a second time to know if the book was true. This time I felt a feeling of warmth rush over me and I knew that was God’s spirit confirming to me the truth of the Book of Mormon.

You cannot find an answer like that by surfing the internet. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Furthermore, I know His servant Joseph Smith the prophet translated it by the power of God and that through Joseph, the Lord restored His church, The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints, as it existed anciently with living prophets on the earth today. As members of this church “we believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers,evangelists, and so forth.”c

Elder Andersen ended his talk with an invitation to share  scriptures we know to be absolutely true and I know that the scriptures I shared above to be exactly that.

a-https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/joseph-smith?lang=eng

b-https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/moro/10?lang=eng

c-https://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/a-of-f/1?lang=eng

Looking Beyond

How can we look beyond our circumstances? I hope the following quotes and stories will prompt some answers to this question.

“Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges.

This is not a gratitude of the lips but of the soul. It is a gratitude that heals the heart and expands the mind.” –Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf 1

Recently, I offered my opinion on a baby product  to some people at the store as I had a good experience with the item they seemed to be debating on getting. As  they walked away one woman said, “Thank you…it’s not like I know anything about babies.” I realized a second later that her comment was very sarcastic and for a moment I was embarrassed as I had not intended to impose; I was only trying to be helpful. I had another similar experience earlier on in which a woman asked for my opinion on another baby product to get as a gift for someone else and she seemed satisfied with her choice after discussing with me the positive aspects of the product. We both walked away feeling good as a result of our interaction.

Why would I share these contrasting experiences and what do they have to do with looking beyond? Well, in my first scenario the end result of our interaction left a bitter taste in the woman’s mouth but it taught me a lesson on perspective. I could look on this experience and never share my opinion with another at the store again, but then I might miss out on future interactions that are more pleasant such as the conversation I had with the other woman.  I  am grateful for the seemingly unpleasant interaction with  the woman at the store because I learned that one it is a good idea to ask others first if they would like a second opinion but more profoundly that it is important to share your thoughts with others. Furthermore, it is expedient to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others. Some people will inevitably reject what we say and deny that our testimony is of any worth. However, I know that living the gospel is what brings us true happiness. I have had a mind expanding experience and the sting of another’s sarcasm has left my heart because I was willing to follow Christ’s example in forgiving. Christ said “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”2 This is what it means to me to look beyond.

1<https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/grateful-in-any-circumstances?lang=eng&gt;

2<https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/5.44?lang=eng#43&gt;

Why Life is Worth Living

A new life begun . . .

So tiny in my arms.

Getting so big!

Yay, you crawled to me!

No! Get out of there!

Yes–so sweet in slumber.

Waking up at odd hours and . . .

Laughing with me as you put your face into mine;

Life will never be the same without you.

I love you.

So many others do too –and will come to.

Live life to its fullest.

Soon enough you will understand  this poem for you–

For yourself–you are unique :0

Glad to share so many moments with you.

Moments are what make life worth living.

Be an Example

In Daughters in My Kingdom there are many beautiful illustrations of the influence of righteous women.  I felt the depiction of Tabitha by Jeremy Winborg was particularly inspiring and it caused me to question myself. (See link below for the image in context). How can I follow in the footsteps of righteous women  like Tabitha? I am thinking of a New Testament story to illustrate and hope to be able to paint something in a similar light. I also thought that I should serve those around me by reaching out more and getting to know my neighbors better.

https://www.lds.org/relief-society/daughters-in-my-kingdom/manual/relief-society-a-restoration-of-an-ancient-pattern?lang=eng