Thursday, August 28, 2014

Live In Daily Gratitude~

                                                           Photo by Debbie @ It's All About Purple - graphic by LeAnn
 Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin gave a stirring message entitled; "Live in Thanksgiving Daily". He stated the following: " 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, and more likable." 
In D&C 59:7; "Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things". We are to have thankful hearts always.

Picture on - graphic by LeAnn
In the on going study and quest for a more charitable nature; I believe that Gratitude is one of the greatest of the divine virtues. 
 Take a moment and think about someone that you know that shows true happiness in the way they live. What are they like? What do they do to be happy? 
All around us we can find those that are unhappy. What are they like? What are they doing to be so unhappy? 
I believe that there is something we can do to be happier. In Elder Wirthlin's message he shared the following story. 
"A long time ago in a faraway village lived a man who everyone did their very best to avoid. He was the type of person who believed that there was only one competent person in the world, and that one person was himself. Consequently, he was never satisfied with anything. His shoes never fit right. His shirt never felt comfortable. When his food wasn’t too cold, it was too salty, and when it wasn't too hot, it was too bland.
If a field wasn’t sowed by himself, it was not sowed well. If he didn't close the door, the door was not closed properly.
In short, he made a career of frowning, lecturing, criticizing, and mumbling about the in competencies of every other person in the rest of the world.
Unfortunately, the man was married, which made matters all the worse. No matter what his wife did, in his eyes it was wrong. No matter what the unfortunate woman cooked, sewed, or cleaned—or even when she milked the cow—it was never satisfactory, and he let her know it.
She tried very hard to be a good wife, but it seemed the harder she tried, the less she pleased him. Finally, one evening she could take no more.“I’ll tell you what we’ll do,” she told him. “Tomorrow I will do your chores and you will do mine.”“But you can’t do my chores,” the man replied. “You don’t know the first thing about sowing, hoeing, and irrigating.”But the woman was adamant. And on top of that, she was filled with a righteous anger that frankly astonished and frightened the man to the point where he didn’t dare disagree.
So the next morning the wife went off to the fields and the man began the domestic chores. After thinking about it, he had actually convinced himself he was looking forward to it. Once and for all, he would demonstrate to his wife how things should be done.
Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan. In fact, nearly everything the man touched turned into disaster. He spilled the milk, let the pig get into the house, lost the cow, burned the dinner, and ultimately set the house on fire, narrowly escaping with his own life."
Elder Wirthlin further stated  the following: "In our story, it was the absence of gratitude that made the man miserable. His inability to appreciate others caused him to be critical of their efforts. Not only did he not empathize with them, he could not allow himself to acknowledge their contributions. The disasters that confronted him surely made him humble, but, more particularly, they made him appreciate and be grateful for his wife. 

Here are some thoughts that I learned from this message. 

First of all open your eyes and look around you at all the beauties of this earth. Look at all the wonderful people that surround you, your family, friends, co-workers, those you meet and see on a daily basis.
 Second, open your hearts. Get rid of the negative feelings and fill your hearts with love, faith and deep gratitude for all that you have.
Third, live in Gratitude daily. Open up your arms to those around you. Serve those around you; your family, friends and others that you mingle with daily.  
Here are some added thoughts from Elder Wirthlin; "When was the last time you unselfishly reached out to help another in need? Every time we cheer another's heart, every time we ease another's burden, every time we lift a weary hand, we show our gratitude to that God to whom we owe all that we have and all that we are.......As we strive to open our eyes, hearts, and arms, our step will become a little lighter, our smile will become a little brighter, and the darkness that sometimes broods over our lives will become a little lighter."
I want to work a little harder on this divine attribute of gratitude. Perhaps, we could all count our blessings each day. One way to do that is to write down 5 things you are grateful for each day. Here are my five for today~

1. I am grateful for this beautiful world we live in. 2. I am grateful for life itself. Just hold a new born baby and recognize the wonderful gift of life from a loving Heavenly Father. 3. I am deeply grateful for my very good loving and kind husband. I am grateful for our Eternal Marriage. I am very thankfull he a caring father to our children.4. I love and am so grateful for my large and growing posterity. 

5. I am thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Each day as I pray to my Heavenly Father in gratitude for all my blessings; I feel deeply blessed to have a testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the Scriptures, for the Temple and for the many opportunity to serve others. 
                                                         Photo by Debbie @ It's All About Purple - graphic by LeAnn

Here is a favorite Quote by President Gordon B. Hinckley; "My plea is that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life, we 'accentuate the positive'. I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good......that we more generously compliment and endorse virtue and effort." (Standing for Something 2000), 101. 

You can read Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin's entire message here. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Obedience Brings Blessings~ Choose The Right~

"The great test of life is to see whether we will hearken to and obey God's commands in the midst of the storms of life. It is not to endure storms, but to choose the right while they rage." - Pres. Henry B. Eyring~  | #obedience, #livingwatersbyleann
graphic by LeAnn
On a quest for Charity one vital virtue is Obedience and Submissiveness. Our Savior taught us to obey: "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15), and "Come follow me."(Luke18:22). Our present day Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson stated: "Ofttimes the wisdom of God appears as foolishness to men, but the greatest single lesson we can learn in mortality is that, when God speaks and a man obeys, man will always be right. ("The Call of Duty," Ensign, May 1986, 37)
                                         Selective Obedience vs Spiritually Mature Obedience - Choose The Right~ | #obedience, #trust
Photo by Debbie @ It's All About Purple - graphic by LeAnn
Elder Robert D. Hales taught the following in a conference address entitled: "If Ye Love me, Keep My Commandments. " Using our agency to obey means choosing to "do what is right and letting the consequence follow." He further stated that at times we may use "selective obedience" claiming to love God and honor God while picking and choosing which of his commandments and teachings - and the teaching and counsel of His prophets - we will fully follow." 
He then discussed; "Spiritually mature obedience" the Savior's obedience." It is motivated by true love for Heavenly Father and His son. When we willingly obey, as our Savior did, we cherish the words of our Heavenly Father. (Ensign, May 2014, pg. 35)
As a mother and grandmother I have tried to teach my children to obey the commandments, follow the Prophet, obey and honor parents. I have explained that when you are obedient and follow rules you develop a trust relationship resulting in more freedom with increased choices. Some of my children have listened and can tell you they experienced additional privileges. On the other hand some, at times, chose to be less obedient and experienced the consequences of "time outs" and restriction of activities. Obedience = Trust = More Privileges and Freedom.  
Of course, as children we each experienced this learning process. 
The following childhood story by President Thomas S. Monson is a great example. 
The Wisdom of Being Obedient ~
Compete message entitled: Obedience Brings Blessings by Thomas S. Monson -
 (Ensign - May 2013)
One of my best friends during those carefree days in the canyon was Danny Larsen, whose family also owned a cabin at Vivian Park. Each day he and I roamed this boys' paradise, fishing in the stream and the river, collecting rocks and other treasures, hiking, climbing, and simply enjoying each minute of each hour of each day. 
One morning Danny and I decided we wanted to have a campfire that evening with all of our canyon friends. We just needed to clear an area in a nearby field where we could all gather. The June grass that covered the field had become dry and prickly, making the field unsuitable for our purposes. We began to pull at the tall grass, planning to clear a large, circular area. We tugged and yanked with all our might, but all we could get were small handfuls of the stubborn weeds. We knew this task would take the entire day, and already our energy and enthusiasm were waning. 
And then what I thought was the perfect solution came into my eight-year-old mind. I said to Danny, "All we need is to set these weeds on fire. We'll just burn a circle in the weeds!" He readily agreed, and I ran to our cabin to get a few matches. 
Lest any of you think that at the tender age of eight we were permitted to use matches, I want to make a clear that both Danny and I were forbidden to use them without adult supervision. Both of us had been warned repeatedly of the dangers of fire. However, I knew where my family kept the matches, and we needed to clear that field. Without so much as a second thought, I ran to our cabin and gabbed a few matchsticks, making certain no one was watching. I hid them quickly in one of  my pockets. 
Back to Danny I ran, excited that in my pocket I had the solution to our problem. I recall thinking that the fire would burn only as far as we wanted and then would somehow magically extinguish itself. 
I struck the match on a rock and set the parched June grass ablaze. It ignited as though it had been drenched in gasoline. At first Danny and I were thrilled as we watched the weeds disappear, but it soon became apparent that the fire was not about to go out on its own. We panicked as we realized there was nothing we could do to stop it. The menacing flames began to follow the wild grass up the mountainside, endangering the pine trees and everything else in their path. 
Finally we had no option but to run for help. Soon all available men and women at Vivian Park were dashing back and forth with wet burlap bags, beating the flames in an attempt to extinguish them. After several hours the last remaining embers were smothered. The ages-old pine trees had been saved, as had the homes the flames would eventually have reached. 
Danny and I learned several difficult but important lessons that day - not the least of which was the importance of obedience.
This story is now  a children's book that can be found here. 
"To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams". (1 Samuel 15:22)
Prophets both ancient and modern have taught that strength and faith comes through obedience. Obedience is a virtue the leads us to the pure love of Christ; Charity~
I  know this to be true. 
#goodnessmatters - #sharegoodness

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Humility and Meekness - Christ Like Attributes~

The Divine Virtue of Humility~ |
                                                           graphic by LeAnn
The word that I chose for the year to study and emulate in my life is Charity. Charity isn't just one Christ-like virtue it is a combination of  divine virtues. The word charity is often used as a word for love or an act of love. To me there is a more defining message to the word Charity which is having the "Pure Love of Christ" or loving others as Christ loves us. 
Without being humble it is impossible to obtain the other Christ like attributes that lead to the "Pure Love of Christ". Humility is a foundational  virtue. 
Of course, Christ is our greatest example of humility and meekness. The Savior said: "Learn of me and listen to my words; walk in meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me" (D&C 112:10). One of my favorite stories about the Savior is when He washed the disciples' feet, showing and teaching his disciples and us what means to be a servant and a master. Jesus came to serve in humble ways. You can read about an experience that I once had with washing of the feet in the following; here
Elder Bruce R. McConkie stated in the Doctrinal New Testament Commentary Vol. 1, pg. 500. the following:  " In a sense, Jesus here (in Luke 14:11)) summarizes the whole plan and purpose of this mortal probation. It is to test men and see whether they will seek for worldly things - wealth, learning, honors, power - or whether they will flee from pride, humble themselves before God, and walk before him with an eye single to his glory. Without this basic Christian virtue of humility there is neither spiritual progression here nor eternal life hereafter. With it men are able to gain every godly attribute in this life and to qualify for full salvation in the mansions on high."
Our lives are surrounded by technologies and services which focus on the individual, supporting self centered behaviors, elevating our ego's and leading us to pursue "our dreams", often at the expense of those around us.  
However, I have noted that many life experiences can help us realize that we can't do it alone. We need others to help us and we need the Savior and His love and direction. I have had many humbling experiences. You know those kinds of moments when you think you know it all and find out quickly you don't. You can become humbled in seconds. 
In our church we are called upon to serve one another in various callings. Through the years, I have had some very choice assignments. Through these callings I have learned great lessons in humility. Here you can learn more about what a ward and stake is in our church.
One of the most challenging assignments came about 10 years ago. My husband and I were called to meet with one of the Stake Presidency. On the way there we were trying to determine the purpose of the meeting. As we met with him, he issued a calling to me to be the Nurse for the Washington Spokane Mission. My heart sank to the floor and I had a panic sensation go through my body. I had not been an active nurse for about 12 years. Although my license was current; I was overwhelmed with the idea of such an assignment. I am not one to turn down a calling. I looked over at my husband and as I said yes, a warm and sweet sensation went through me and I knew that I would be OK. As we left the office I told my husband about the sensation of warmth going through me; and he said: "Oh, that was just the blood returning to your face. 

I served in that position for 2 1/2  years. My responsibility was to be available to assist the missionaries with any medical needs or questions. They would call me with whatever health concerns they had. I would make the decision on what they were to do or determine if they needed to talk to the mission physician, go to an urgent care unit, or hospital. I knew that the Lord was watching over those precious servants. Often as I received a call; I would first think; "what do I tell them". Then immediately I would know exactly what to say. The words that came were not mine.  I knew then that the Spirit of the Lord was directing me in caring for these faithful missionaries. This was truly a deeply humbling experience. I loved those young men and women so much and it was such a privilege to know them and to care for them. There were at that time around 200 missionaries between the ages 19 to 21. This was an important learning experience in my life, during which I spent many hours on my knees.

                                                           graphic by LeAnn
Here's a touching poem written by one of our Prophets; President Spencer W. Kimball. He was a kind and humble man. While serving as president of the Church, he had throat cancer and could barely speak. With new technology for that day, he used a small microphone to to preserve his voice when speaking to large audiences. What a great example of a meek and humble man. 
Humility is royalty without a crown, 
Greatness in plain clothes, 
Erudition without decoration,
Wealth without display,
Power without scepter or force, 
Position demanding no preferential rights,
Greatness sitting in the congregation,
Prayer in closets and not in corners of the street,
Fasting in secret without publication,
Stalwartness without a label,
Supplication upon its knees,
Divinity riding a donkey. 
- Pres. Spencer W. Kimball 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Simple Woman's Daybook Entry - Sweet Moments~

For Today - August 7th, 2014
Just pop on over here and enjoy more Simple Woman's Daybook entries -

Outside my window...It is such a lovely day. We have had a lot of rain over the last few days. More is suppose to be coming. I want to enjoy this bright almost cloudless sunny day.
I am thinking...I had a good day yesterday of accomplishments. I had the goal of downloading pictures and histories of ancestors onto Family Search. I was able to get my entire father in law's history and photos downloaded. On this site you can research your family genealogy and histories. Here is the link for Family Search.  It is so fun to go in and find your ancestors. There are many histories on there. There might be a history of one of your family ancestors. 
I am thankful...for my family. Every day, I become more grateful for my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I am so happy that we are an Eternal Family. We had two wonderful family events in July that brought me great joy. 
In the kitchen...there will be a simple dinner; perhaps just an omelet and fruit.  For the past few days my sweet husband has been doing the dinner. I start it and he finishes it. Oh, what a good man he is. Tonight I need to be the cook.
I am wearing... a pink, white & gray shirt with light gray pants and white sandals.  
I am creating...this blog post and hoping to get it completed. I have  been busy trying to make a crocheted blanket for a new little great granddaughter. 
I am going... to lunch today with a very dear friend of mine named, Toni.
 We haven't been together for a long time. We have been friends for many years. She is more like a sister to me than a friend. I am excited to spend some time with her today. 
I had the opportunity of meeting a dear blogging friend named Lura from California for lunch in July. She is always such a joy to be with. We have lunch together each time she comes to Utah to see her family. It has been such a treat to get to know her and love her. 
Lura and me~ Taken on cell phone and there is some sun reflections~
 Then this past Monday, I went to lunch with another dear blogging friend named, Nola. We had a great visit and I feel very close to her also. We had such a delightful time. Friends play such an important role in my life.

  All three of these lovely women are those kinds of friends that you feel a special connection with. I feel like I have known them forever. I wonder sometimes if  I knew them in the Pre-earth life. 
I am wondering...if I can ever get organized like I would like to be. I wish my days were more like yesterday when I felt like I had accomplished a good goal. I want to do more family history work and I need to make more time for it. 
I wondering if I can figure out how to connect more with my grandchildren who all live away from me. I have so many that it is hard to make telephone calls. If any of you out there have some good suggestions for bonding with your grandchildren; let me know. 
I just have so many that It reminds me of the nursery rhyme.... There was an old woman that lived in a shoe.......
There was an old woman
Who  lived in a shoe,
She had so many children,
And loved them all too. 
She said, "Thank you Lord Jesus, 
For sending them bread."
Then kissed them all gladly
And sent them to bed. 
My granddaughters and my great granddaughters~
My grandson and one great grandson~
I am reading... The Book of Mormon with a workbook.  It has been slow process. I am learning many good things.  I restarted The Book of Mormon from the beginning recently as a challenge that was given in our ward. We are to read The Book of Mormon from cover to cover over 85 days which is the amount of time that it took the Prophet Joseph Smith to translate those ancient records. It requires reading about 5-6 pages a day and it takes about 20 plus minutes. Both my husband and I are doing it. This is such a marvelous book and as I am reading it for this challenge, I have been feeling the power of the book more than ever. I loveThe Book of Mormon and know that it is true.  

I am also reading the 2nd book of the Series; "Come To Zion - Through the Cloud and Sunshine" by Dean Hughes.

 I am  loving this book. It has given me a great appreciation for the Saints that came from England to the mid-west in the 1830-40's.Those stalwart pioneers felt that they were coming to Zion. They migrated from Palmyra, New York, to Kirkland, Ohio. They built a temple there that they had to abandon later.They then moved to Jackson Country, Missouri thinking that this was where Zion would be. They were then forced out of Missouri due to an extermination order by the Governor of that state.  They next settled in  Nauvoo, Illinois. Thousands came to live there and they built the city and a Temple to the Lord. This temple was destroyed in that day and then rebuilt in our day.
The original Nauvoo Temple~
The Nauvoo Temple Today~
In this book you will read the amazing story of the building of the Nauvoo temple There is also a more detailed history of the building of the Nauvoo temple here
The saints were again forced by mobs out of Nauvoo during  harsh winter months. They established a short term place in Winter Quarters, Nebraska to prepare for the trek to the Great Salt Lake Valley.The stories of those pioneers are legendary and poignant. Their faith was strong and true. They believed Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he restored The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You can learn about the Prophet Joseph Smith here. Before the Saints left Nauvoo their Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum were murdered  by a mob in Carthage Jail. They were martyr's for their God and the religion that they loved. This story is based around those times. The story is so compelling and emotional. I just do not know how they did what they did. It is so clear that God was with them. They were a people of great faith. You can learn more about the pioneers here.
I am hoping...that perhaps my three boys and their families will come down from Idaho and Heber City to my husband's family reunion on Saturday. I think my oldest son will come for sure. It is hard for the others to break away due to children in football and other obligations. I am still wishing they could. 
I am looking forward to...another couple of days of getting some things accomplished that I have been holding off doing. 
I am happy that this week we were able to attend a sealing of a child  to his parents in the temple. This child was adopted and then recently passed away.The spirit in the sealing room was so strong and there was not a dry eye in the room. 
 Of course, Saturday is my Temple shift and I always look forward to that. I am presently training six sweet women. This choice assignment will be ending soon. I have loved being the trainer. 
I am learning....a very hard lesson this week. I lost my day-timer (my brain) Monday.
This is exactly what it looks like; now if I could just find it. 

 This is the third time I have lost it. Three times in the airport it was lost and then found. This time I don't think that will happen.  I am going to have to recover a lot of information. It had all of my telephone numbers, addresses, notes, calendar events, physician information, appointments and etc. It really is devastating. It will take me a while to get it all together again.There were a lot of important notations and other important information. At least there wasn't anything valuable as far as money goes; but it had things in it that were worth far more than money. The lesson for me to learn is to not let it out of my sight. I really think someone stole it out of my car. However, I do try to make sure the car is locked so I don't know how that happened.
Around the house... I can hear the TV on in the kitchen which is where I should be making dinner. I can hear a little traffic outside. I wish we weren't so close to a main road. However, the traffic sounds really don't bother me unless I am listening for it. 
I am pondering...upon what I am going to do to get healthier. I have been exercising everyday on my exercise bike. I went 7 miles yesterday and it felt good. I believe in a plant based diet but I don't know if I can give up some of the other foods I love. According to the following quote; I won't have to give up Chocolate. 
Something New In My Life....I was recently called to teach the 3 - 4 year old class in our church on Sundays.  It is called the Sunbeam class. The class is for two hours. The first hour is opening exercises with the other Primary children. They sing and do other activities. The next hour is teaching a lesson.  I have three precious little 4 year old boys. I have had many calling assignments during my life and this is a sweet one; but also a challenging one. These little ones do not stay still for very long. It requires that I really come up with a good lesson that will keep their attention. Some may think that this is an easy calling; I would say it is more like a growing experience for me.
A favorite quote for today....
One of my favorite to kiss my sweet hubby. I love that he works at home and I can go into his office and give him a quick kiss a few times a day. How I love this man. 
A few plans for the rest of the week.... More work on Genealogy and Family History - Saturday Morning Temple time - My husband's family reunion Saturday afternoon - A lovely Sabbath Day -
A peek into my day......
Our Sammy~
Here is our sweet Sammy. He brings such joy into our lives. He has the cutest personality. I really believe that he thinks he is one of us. He loves to go for rides and he is such a great stress reducer for my  husband. They play together a lot and I love to watch them. Sammy is a treasure.


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