Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What are YOU thankful for?

How grateful I am for all of my many blessings. I have so many wonderful blessings in my life.  Even so, it's not always easy to have a grateful count my many blessings.  Too many times I focus on the things that go wrong in my life.  It's so easy to dwell on my trials, challenges and my imperfections.  It takes effort to change focus and to dwell on the positive.  But I know that when I  make that effort to be grateful and to express gratitude to my Heavenly Father and to my fellow beings, I AM happier.  When my heart is filled with gratitude, even amongst the trials in life, life becomes easier, more enjoyable, and more peaceful.  Who doesn't want more of these things in their life? I definitely do!  Gratitude is a choice. 

"Gratitude is a mark of a noble soul and a refined character. We like to be around those who are grateful. They tend to brighten all around them. They make others feel better about themselves. They tend to be more humble, more joyful, more likable." (Joseph B. Wirthlin)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why Does Heavenly Father Love Us?

An excerpt from an Oct. 2009 General Conference talk by Dieter F. Uchtdorf (2nd counselor in the first presidency) entitled, "The Love of God"

Think of the purest, most all-consuming love you can imagine. Now multiply that love by an infinite amount—that is the measure of God’s love for you.

God does not look on the outward appearance. I believe that He doesn’t care one bit if we live in a castle or a cottage, if we are handsome or homely, if we are famous or forgotten. Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely.

He loves us because He is filled with an infinite measure of holy, pure, and indescribable love. We are important to God not because of our résumé but because we are His children. He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken. God’s love is so great that He loves even the proud, the selfish, the arrogant, and the wicked.

What this means is that, regardless of our current state, there is hope for us. No matter our distress, no matter our sorrow, no matter our mistakes, our infinitely compassionate Heavenly Father desires that we draw near to Him so that He can draw near to us.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mormon Myths

Last week at school, my son Parker (who is in 5th grade) was talking to some friends about Halloween. One of the girls knew that Parker was a Mormon and was really surprised that Parker would be celebrating Halloween. Parker assured her that Mormons do indeed celebrate Halloween. She then started talking about some of the other things that Mormons supposedly can’t do. She said that Mormons aren’t allowed to eat meat, and Mormons aren’t allowed to drink soda.

That got me thinking about the many Mormon Myths that seem to continually circulate around. Some of these myths have been around for AGES! Mormons actually get a kick out of some of the myths that we hear. It would take too long to go through all of the myths, but I’ll mention a few.

A Few Mormon Myths:

*Mormons don’t celebrate Halloween-False. Here are my kids in their Halloween costumes this year. :)

017 012 028

*Mormons aren’t allowed to eat meat-False.

*Mormons aren’t allowed to drink soda-False. I think that this misunderstanding comes from the fact that many Mormons don’t drink caffeinated pop. We all know how addicting caffeinated drinks can be, and many Mormons choose not to drink caffeinated pop. However, there is no rule against drinking soda pop-caffeinated or not.

*Mormons practice polygamy-False. With all of the Mormon polygamy jokes that go around, it’s no wonder that people believe this. Here’s an example from Saturday Night Live:

“According to a new study, Mormon teenagers fare better than regular teenagers when it comes to staying out of trouble and doing well in school…Although, you would too if you had two Moms yelling at you.” (Saturday Night Live)

It’s actually a pretty funny joke. It made me laugh. However, the problem is that jokes like this encourage the false belief that we practice polygamy.

*Mormons aren’t Christian-False. Like I said, Mormons get a kick out of most of the ridiculous myths that go around about us. But this one hurts. Although many people will try to convince you otherwise, we are ABSOLUTELY Christian. Jesus Christ is the center of our religion. We use the King James Version of the Bible just as other Christian churches do. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. It is only through Him that we can obtain salvation. There is much more that I could say about this subject, but I will leave that for another time.

The truth is that Mormons are much more mainstream than some people realize. No, we don’t drink alcohol or smoke, and we may have some beliefs that are different than other religions, but we’re not as different as some people believe.

This subject reminded me of a quote I once heard:

“Falsehood will travel the world, while Truth is just getting its boots on”