Monthly Archives: September 2014

PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE

Learning from the Past and Present Illuminates the Future

Learning from the Past and Present Illuminates the Future

The following quote left me with a question. “One day at a time, this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone, and do not be troubled about the future for it is yet to come.” Must we dismiss the past and the future in order to fully live in the present? I believe that all three—past, present, and future provide valuable teaching opportunities. The following quote hits the target for me: “Learn from the past; prepare for the future; live in the present” (Thomas S. Monson). Although I shouldn’t wallow or grieve indefinitely in the past, I must not leave it behind without learning valuable lessons from it. My firm belief is that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (George Santayana). This is a profound truth. “There are great lessons to be learned from the past, and we need to learn from them so that [we] don’t exhaust strength repeating past mistakes and bad choices” (M. Russell Ballard). I want to examine my past, both good and poor choices, and apply this learning to illuminate my future. I can then move forward with greater light and confidence. But I will live in the present, cherishing each moment of life.

Family Scripture Study

With all the gains in technology, some things have been lost—like reading together as a family. I’m grateful for counsel from our prophets to have family scripture study every day. It might go like this: Parents call the children to gather. They each take turns reading a few verses. Even the toddler joins in, repeating the words read by an older sibling. They talk about the principles and how to apply them, ending by kneeling together in family prayer. The session doesn’t have to be long—just consistent. “Most of us would not shirk from the task of defending our families if they were in physical danger—even giving up our own lives, if necessary. Yet are we as quick to make the less obvious sacrifices necessary to protect our families from spiritual dangers?” (Robert Eaton). Children are strengthened as they ponder and practice principles of truth. They are armed with spiritual defense against temptations and worldly influences. Families are unified in common direction and purpose. Family scripture study produces strong and spiritually healthy children.

Lessons: Past, Present, and Future

LessonsThe following quote left me with a question. “One day at a time, this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone, and do not be troubled about the future for it is yet to come.” Must we dismiss the past and the future in order to fully live in the present? I believe that all three—past, present, and future provide valuable teaching opportunities. The following quote hits the target for me: “Learn from the past; prepare for the future; live in the present” (Thomas S. Monson). Although I shouldn’t wallow or grieve indefinitely in the past, I must not leave it behind without learning valuable lessons from it. My firm belief is that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (George Santayana). This is a profound truth. “There are great lessons to be learned from the past, and we need to learn from them so that [we] don’t exhaust strength repeating past mistakes and bad choices” (M. Russell Ballard). I want to examine my past, both good and poor choices, and apply this learning to illuminate my future. I can then move forward with greater light and confidence. But I will live in the present, cherishing each moment of life.

Peace Amid Turmoil

Though the world is in turmoil, I don’t need to be afraid. These promises from prophets bring comfort and peace: (Pres. Howard W. Hunter) “I promise you in the name of the Lord whose servant I am, that God will always protect and care for His people. . .The Lord has power over His saints and will always prepare places of peace, defense, and safety for His people.” (Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley) “Our safety lies in repentance. Our strength comes of obedience to the commandments of God.” (Pres. Thomas S. Monson) “Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of Heavenly Father and of the Savior will comfort and sustain us—and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. . .Fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.” This is where I put my trust. The Lord wants us to look for Reasons to Rejoice and feel His peace through obedience. That’s the course Alan and I choose to pursue.

Man vs. Car

Tender Loving Care

Tender Loving Care

If I bought a pricey sports car, I would be motivated to take good care of it, polishing it to a radiant shine and keeping the engine in tiptop working order. But of far greater value is the sacred human body, designed and created by God.And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. . .So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:26-27). God has given us a principle and a promise to care for and maintain our bodies. These principles of health, referred to as the Word of Wisdom, can be read in full by following this link: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/89?lang=eng

A GREAT BLESSING--Healthy Bodies

A GREAT BLESSING–Healthy Bodies

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lord provides a promise to those who comply with these principles: “And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint. And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them” (D&C 89: 18-21).

 

 

What is Follow-ship?

As a child, did you ever race across the playground to be first in line—to be the leader? Throughout our lives, leadership is celebrated with positions of popularity, promotions, and power. Don’t get me wrong. Leadership IS important. We need good leaders in families, societies, churches, governments, and businesses. Be we also need good followers. Follow-ship is the unsung, underrated cousin of leadership, mistakenly associated with weakness. When I think of follow-ship, I think of counselors of presidencies or members of committees. I think of assistants, deputies, students, and aides. They are all indispensable, giving input and feedback, offering creative ideas and solutions. They learn when to stand up, speak up, and when to step back and submit to the leader’s decision. Follow-ship is strength, not weakness. We, as disciples of Jesus Christ, must learn to follow. We embrace His plan, follow in His footsteps, and obey His commandments in faith. The Savior expects us to be diligent leaders—but He also expects us to be faithful followers. He has promised, “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Getting Older?

Old ManAny benefit in getting older? As I age I am better able to learn life lessons from things I observe.  As an example, scientists can use tree rings to measure the age of a tree and learn more about the local climatic conditions the tree experienced during its lifetime.

Look at Growth Variation

Look at Growth Variation

Dendrochronology or tree-ring dating, is the scientific method of dating based on the analysis of patterns of tree rings, also known as growth rings. For the entire period of a tree’s life, a year-by-year record or ring pattern is formed that reflects the climatic conditions in which the tree grew. It is believed that during times of stress in a tree’s life it’s  growth slows, taking time to recover from the extreme condition.  In our lives we might think that during times of hardship that our learning may slow, but in fact the opposite has been the case in my life.  It is during the times of adversity that real learning takes place.  It takes perseverance combined with introspection to elevate these lessons from their hiding places into full view, allowing learning to take place and the development of an associated appreciation.  I have further learned that rather than cower from the lessons being taught, during stressful times, that if I am patient and don’t jump to conclusions before having the full picture, I will benefit and learn from the lessons being taught. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin counseled, The way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be. . . . The simple secret is this: put your trust in the Lord, do your best, then leave the rest to Him.”  I further love the phrase, “Be still and know that I am God.”  As I place my trust in a loving Heavenly Father and quietly listen for the Holy Ghost to provide instruction I will learn valuable heavenly lessons.