Sunday, April 26, 2009


Many of us struggle with effective ways to teach those around us the things we know to be true. We don't want to be perceived as "preachy" or make the person feel belittled in anyway and fears such as these often make us not say anything at all about our beliefs. There is a wonderful article in this month's Ensign entitled "Teaching True Doctrine" by President Henry B. Erying. He outlines powerful reasons to share our beliefs as well as meaningful ways to do so. He encourages us to keep messages simple and begin teaching early and sharing often eternal truths with the young.

I love these and many other lessons in his message, but I felt most strengthened in his counsel regarding those who are not necessarily receptive to hearing what we have to teach. President Erying says, "truth can prepare its own way. Simply hearing the words of doctrine can plant the seed of faith in the heart. And even a tiny seed of faith in Jesus Christ invites the Spirit." I am grateful that in teaching, as well as all other efforts in the gospel, we do not have to rely upon our merits alone to succeed. As President Erying has reminded us, eternal truths, simply upon being heard, will plant a seed in the recipient that will invite the Spirit into that person's life. I know that it can sometimes be overwhelming to teach others, but I also know that we can simply and surely plant the seeds of truth that can lead others to true happiness.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Noise of Worship

Growing up in a Protestant faith I was used to quiet Sunday services. Hymns were sung with enthusiasm, prayers were said, but unnecessary audience participation was rarely heard. The community of my youth was predominantly LDS and it was a running joke among those outside of the Mormon faith at the noise level of their main Sunday meeting - sacrament meeting. Attending these meetings did little to dispute the stereotype as I observed children moving in and out of pews and parents trying to corral activities and voices. Before I had children I vowed that I would never add to the irreverent activities that I witnessed during my conversion process. But, as motherhood has taught me once and again, I should certainly never say never. My husband and I do the best we can to help our little ones learn reverence and respect for Sunday services, but it is admittedly a long process with very slow results.

Why doesn't our church have a nursery program during sacrament meeting? Wouldn't the added reverence surely help people worship more fully? These questions may have occurred to many a tired parent, but there is a very simple reason why we include all ages in our worship services: the Spirit can testify truth to even the very young (and sometimes disruptive) members of a congregation. Why it would certainly be easier to have young children in a different room, even the very small can learn about eternal truths by being present when they are taught. In a wonderful article that appeared in the Ensign, Joan Hughes and Helen Hughes recounted some important scriptural lessons about children:
"When the Savior ministered to the Nephites following His Resurrection, He
took care to include the children in the transcendent acts of worship that took
place. It is recorded that “he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.” He said to the multitude, “Behold your little ones.” The adults watched in awe as angels descended “as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and … the angels did minister unto them” (3 Nephi 17:21, 23, 24).

Our children were not there; nor were they present during the Savior’s mortal ministry when He said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14). Yet our children are also precious to Him, and their hearts can be touched by the Holy Ghost. One of His opportunities to so touch our children is in sacrament meeting, the sacred worship service held in His name for all Church members."

We invite all to attend their local LDS church meetings. We hope that you will feel of the reverence that church members have during sacrament meeting and you will be patient with the little ones that are also there to learn more of our Heavenly Father's plan for all of us.

For LDS parents, two great articles about helping your child learn reverence are found here and here. It is certainly a work in progress in our family! If you have any suggestions for helping children learn these traits, I would certainly love to hear any advice.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

I hope the Easter Day we can all remember our Savior, His great sacrifice for us, and that He lives and loves us so much!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Relief Society

The Church of Jesus Christ has an amazing organization for women called the Relief Society. This group includes all women, ages 18 and older, and gives those involved the opportunities to learn and serve together. Recently, my ward had a wonderful lesson on the Relief Society Declaration and I have since been studying the powerful points in this message. We were given the challenge to focus on one point and work to improve in that area. I hope that we can all review these powerful ideas and implement them more fully into our lives.

Relief Society Declaration
We are beloved spirit daughters of God, and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction. As a worldwide sisterhood, we are united in our devotion to Jesus Christ, our Savior and Exemplar. We are women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity who:
~Increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ through prayer and scripture study.
~Seek spiritual strength by following the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
~Dedicate ourselves to strengthening marriages, families, and homes.
~Find nobility in motherhood and joy in womanhood.
~Delight in service and good works.
~Love life and learning.
~Stand for truth and righteousness.
~Sustain the priesthood as the authority of God on earth.
~Rejoice in the blessings of the temple, understand our divine destiny, and strive for exaltation.