We all have our free agency and God holds us accountable for the way we use it in thought and deed. "Kindness, compassion, and love are powerful instruments in strengthening us to carry heavy burdens imposed without any fault of our own and to do what we know to be right." Elder Dallin H. Oaks
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On this, Merrill Osmond’s Birthday, The Osmond Brothers take their final Bow and share their Testimony to their dear fans and friends in their United Kingdom’s Final Tour.
I know that Wayne and I so wish that we could have been there to perform and say thank you to the most wonderful fans and friends any musical artiist could ever wish to have.
I, Alan Osmond, was the oldest of the group and had to leave the group a few years ago due to having Multiiiple Sclerosis. Wayne Osmond, the second oldest of the group just recently had to leave the group due to health conditions.
We always said a word of prayer before each and every performance we did asking for the Lord’s blessings and for the Holy Spirit to touch those among the audience that they might feel our love and testimony through our music that we have for life, for family, and for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We know that Jesus Christ isThe Way to everlasting happiness and that He has restored His Gospel here upon the earth with all the power and authority to bless us with everlasting life in the world and heavens to come.
We usually always end our shows with a musical testimony via a song that we love so much; a song we wrote for The Plan Album called, “Are You Up There”, and ending it with the classic song, “I Believe”. These shows that we have done for about 55+ years have always started with a word of prayer backstage and usually ended with a song of gratitude and belief on stage.
In behalf of all of my brothers and sister Marie, myself and all of the Osmond families, may we say thank you for accepting us and our music, and especially for all of those tender words, hugs, kisses and eternal friendships that will never go away. We love our fans and call them friends knowing that there is purpose in life.
We Osmonds are all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are not ashamed of the fullness of His gospel. We sing His name, we take upon ourselves His Name, and always remember Him and strive to keep His Commandments.
If you have felt that ‘Spirit’ and love in our concerts, our music, our TV and media moments, or wonder why we are the way we are . . . then we invite you to click this link and ask of those who respond to share with you “what it is that you felt” and then ask them any questions. Ask them to explain and to give you answers to “the reason for the hope that is within us” Osmonds. Or, if you see us, just ask us personally and we will share with you the glad message of Jesus Christ and His Plan of Life that includes The Way to return back to our Heavenly Parents and what is needed to be able to live in the highest mansions of Heaven with them for all eternity.
The Apostle Paul taught that “faith is the substance [assurance] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11: 1).
Alma made a similar statement: “If ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (Alma 32: 21).
Faith is a principle of action and power. Whenever we work toward a worthy goal, we exercise faith. We show our hope for something that we cannot yet see.
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
In order for faith to lead to salvation, it must be centered in the Lord Jesus Christ (see Acts 4: 10-12; Mosiah 3: 17; Moro. 7: 24-26; Articles of Faith 1: 4). We can exercise faith in Christ when we have an assurance that He exists, a correct idea of His character, and a knowledge that we are striving to live according to His will.
Having faith in Jesus Christ means relying completely on Him—trusting in His infinite power, intelligence, and love. It includes believing His teachings. It means believing that even though we do not understand all things, He does. Because He has experienced all our pains, afflictions, and infirmities, He knows how to help us rise above our daily difficulties (see Alma 7: 11-12; D&C 122: 8). He has “overcome the world” (John 16: 33) and prepared the way for us to receive eternal life. He is always ready to help us as we remember His plea: “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (D&C 6: 36).
“Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness.” We believe in being honest. To be honest means to be sincere, truthful, and without deceit at all times.
When we are honest in every way, we are able to enjoy peace of mind and maintain self-respect. We build strength of character, which allows us to be of service to God and others. We are trustworthy in the eyes of God and those around us.
On the other hand, if we are dishonest in our words or actions, we hurt ourselves and often hurt others as well. If we lie, steal, cheat, or neglect to give the full amount of work for our pay, we lose our self-respect. We lose the guidance of the Holy Ghost. We may find that we have damaged relationships with family members and friends and that people no longer trust us.
Being honest often requires courage and sacrifice, especially when others try to persuade us to justify dishonest behavior. If we find ourselves in such a situation, we can remember that the lasting peace that comes from being honest is more valuable than the momentary relief of following the crowd.
Alan and Suzanne have gotten me excited about sprouting. I had never done it before and hadn’t received any classes at either my Master Gardener or Advanced Master Gardener courses. I like to think of it as gardening in a jar in your kitchen. The product is a nutritious fresh vegetable product and for those that want almost immediate results, this is the way to go. Generally within 2 days you are seeing the sprouts starting to germinate and harvesting can occur within 3-4 days.
To get started I got some advise from Suzanne. She admits that she is just beginning to learn about sprouting and is quite excited about the benefits. She got started by going to a local health food store and purchasing a sprouting jar. She advised me about soaking times and rinsing and draining the seeds. She likes the ‘tails’ to be as long or a little longer than the seed itself. She then puts them in the refrigerator to slow the process. She feels that they are most nutritious at this point. Alan especially likes the mung beans just eaten straight out of the sprouting jar. He says they remind him a lot of fresh garden peas. Suzanne also puts them into smoothies, but says it gives them a strong green taste.
Sprouts are an excellent source of nutrients, they are fresh, low in calories, a source of fiber, there are a large variety of seeds that can be sprouted, will grow in any climate at any time of year and there is no waste. They can also be grown very economically. Start out slowly so you won’t overload your body’s digestive system. Try different types of seeds to see what you like before you buy in large quantity. Never use seeds that are packaged for planting. They are often coated with chemicals that shouldn’t be ingested and the cost would be prohibitive.
Sprouts require air, so don’t try to sprout in a sealed container; water (initially they will need to be soaked for a period of hours depending on the seed, then twice daily rinsing); warmth, optimally between 70-75F (21-24C); space, some sprouts will grow to 30 times their size and light, most don’t need light at first and then only indirect sunlight.
Different sprouting systems can be used such as: bags, (best for beans and grains that require no light and can be rinsed and then hung for drying), trays (for those seeds that like to grow up toward the light)(they can be stacked and the sprouts ‘mowed’) and jars. It is easy to make your own sprouting jars. Procure a quart jar with an open lid ring. Buy a roll of screen at a hardware store. Either aluminum or fiberglass types will work. .
.Trace around the jar ring..
Cut out to the inside of the tracing.
There will be lots left over screen to share with family and friends. If you don’t have a lid ring then the mesh can be cut to a larger size and held onto the jar with a heavy rubber band.
Cheesecloth could be used, but it is harder to clean between each batch. You can also pick up sprouting lids for jars at a reasonable price at most health food stores.
Start by picking out and measuring the seeds.
Many of the seed packets will come with a recommendation of how much to put in the container. If not then this is a rough guide: small seeds: 2-3 tablespoons, medium seeds: 1/4-1/2 cup, large beans and grains: 1 cup, sunflower seeds: 2 cups . Some of the seeds that can be sprouted are the greens: alfalfa (Arabic for father of ll foods). Buckwheat, cabbage, red clover, mustard (hot), radish (hot), sunflower and wheatgrass (must be juiced); beans & grains (can be used as unsprouted beans & grains, but with less cooking): adzuki (cousin of the mung bean), barley (better cooked), lentil (steam or sparingly in salads), mung bean (famous Chinese sprout), oats (can also be eaten raw, but better cooked), pea, sunflower (hulled, grow for only 2 days) and wheat (use to make sprouted bread).
Next cover the seeds with water to a depth of a few inches above the seeds and then skim off any floating seeds, hulls or other materials floating on the surface of the water.
If you are concerned with your culinary water then use a purification system since contaminated water can contaminate the seeds. Then soak the seeds for a period of hours. A guide for a few seeds, beans and nuts is:
Soaking timeDays to sprouting
9 – 12 hours
2 – 3 days
5 – 10 hours
3 – 5 days
8 – 10 hours
2 – 3 days
8 – 10 hours
3 – 4 days
10 – 12 hours
2 – 3 days
8 – 11 hours
1 – 2 days
9 – 12 hours
2 – 3 days
9 – 12 hours
2 – 4 days
8 – 11 hours
3 – 4 days
6 – 8 hours
2 – 3 days
10 – 12 hours
7 – 10 days
After they have soaked for the appropriate time drain the seeds. Many recommend leaving the jars at a 45 degree angle to continue to completely drain for a few minutes. You can also put them upside down on some paper towel for a short time to wick excess water out. If there is too much water left the sprouts will rot.
The next step is rinsing at least twice a day. You can rinse more often, if you have the time. Doing this will decrease the chance of mold and the seeds will sprout more rapidly. The jar is filled with water, swished around and drained immediately. I then shake the sprouts so they are fairly evenly spread along the length of the jar. Then I set them on their side out of direct sunlight. (place photo of jar on side here) It is recommended that if you are going to eat them don’t let the sprout grow as long. For juicing it is recommended to let them grow longer. Most avoid using beans for juicing.
Once they are ready to eat them: rinse, drain and air dry. Put them in the refrigerator in airtight plastic or ziplock containers, but don’t remove all of the air from them. They will stay fresh for about one week this way. Some like to see small green leaves forming on the green seeds and white shoots on the grains and beans. Signs that they are should no longer be eaten: sprouts turning brown or have dry looking roots, or yellow/white moisture in the bottom of the storage container.
There are numerous ways to eat sprouts. (Do not eat tomato or potato sprouts as they are poisonous. Corn is said to not taste good) Try them raw, on salads, sandwiches, with steamed vegetables, soups rice, stir fry, coleslaw, potato salad, in wraps, mashed potatoes, baked beans, puree and used in vegetable spreads, mixed with soft cheeses for a dip, added to sushi, saute with onions, in omelets, tortillas, on pizza, in casseroles, added to vegi-burger recipes and sprouted grains to make baked bread. One suggestion that didn’t do too much for me was added to pancake batter.
To prepare your sprouts for juicing rinse, drain them and wrap them tightly in a lettuce leaf. Feed the stuffed lettuce leaf into the juicer. This should help the juicer extract the juice from the sprouts more efficiently. Alfalfa and Brussels sprouts are the 2 most commonly juiced sprouts. Make sure the alfalfa has 2 leaves on it before juicing. Other sprouts that are suggested for juicing: chia, barley, cabbage, clover, lettuce, radish, and/or watercress. If additional sprouts or vegetables are added, do it one at a time to see how your body reacts to each one. Tomato juice is the most common juice to add the sprouts to, but orange, apple or other juices can be tried. Some suggest, to maximize the benefits of vegetable juices, you should drink them at room temperature. To repeat an earlier statement, most avoid using beans for juicing.
If you plan to store seeds look at my week 5 article: saving and storing seeds. Rita Bingham writes, “Recently, I tested 30-year old wheat that was stored using the dry ice method of eliminating oxygen. At the same time, I also tested 15-year old lentils packed with nitrogen. That’s a long time without oxygen! The wheat and lentils both sprouted in only 2 days, with almost 100% germination! However, I was unsuccessful in sprouting seeds stored in a glass jar for only 3 years. The key seems to be whether or not the seed will sprout when it is first purchased. To be safe, buy a small amount and test the seed before purchasing and storing large quantities.”
If you are concerned about insect infestation add diatomaceous earth (2 1/2 Tbsp. per gallon) while filling containers to distribute evenly and coat ALL the seeds. It doesn’t change the taste and the soaking and rinsing of the sprouts eliminates it.
The following link also gives suggested amounts to store:
As with any vegetable eaten raw such as lettuce or spinach from a grocery store, salads eaten in restaurants or placed on hamburgers or sandwiches, there can be risks and sprouts are no exception. The publication ‘Growing Seed Sprouts at Home’ by Trevor V. Suslow and Linda J. Harris lists the details of the problem, and even though it is copyrighted, it is free for downloading at:
They make the following recommendations for those who are concerned about sprouting at home:
1. Buy only certified, pathogen free seed*
Initially treat the seeds with a preheated (140 F [60 C] solutions of 3% hydrogen peroxide. This can usually be found at a drug store. Use a clean accurate cooking thermometer to monitor the heat. Place the seeds in a small mesh strainer and place in the solution for 5 minutes. For a small amount of seeds, swirl the strainer in the solution every 1 minute for uniform treating. For larger amounts stir the seeds in the strainer. Discard the solution after each seed batch is done.
Rinse the seeds in running tap water for 1 minute and then place in a container and cover the seeds with water to at least an inch above the seeds. Skim off all floating seed, seed coat fragments and debris and dispose of these. This is where most of the contamination is found.
Sanitize the jars, lid rings and mesh by soaking them in a solution of unscented laundry bleach, mixed 3/4 of a cup to 1 gallon of water, for 5 minutres.
Sprout away from areas of food preparation, pets and high household traffic areas.
Raw spourts should not be eaten by young children, elderly debilitated persons or those who are immunocompromised.
If heated, they need to exceed 165F (74 C) or if steamed they need to be steaming hot.
*If you are buying seed to sprout at home, make sure to specifically request pathogen-free certification, as the seed is not marketed as such. Certified organic sprout seed is available from several sources, but the term “organic” does not necessarily mean that the seed is pathogen-free or that it has been tested for pathogens. At the same time, this does not suggest that organically grown seed poses any elevated risk of illness.
“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” Ether 12: 27
“Positive Activity Interventions”
The Spoken Word
By Lloyd D. Newell
New research affirms what most of us know from personal experience: positive thoughts and actions help both the giver and receiver feel better. Scientists call these “positive activity interventions,” though you might simply call them good deeds. They can be as simple as helping someone in need, showing some kindness, writing a thank you note, or even counting your blessings.
Besides the value such thoughts and actions have in themselves, scientists affirm that they can also “serve as an effective, low-cost treatment for depression.”1 These simple, everyday actions can have a profound influence on how we feel about ourselves, others, and life in general. They require no doctor’s prescription, have no negative side effects, and most often cost nothing more than a little time and effort—and a bit of your heart.
Yet, as we all know, common sense is not always common practice. We may be so focused on our own problems that it seems difficult—even impossible—to think of others or do for others in any meaningful way. So start small.
When one woman was mourning the loss of her husband, she found a way, even in her sorrow, to open her heart to others. She began writing notes to people who had touched her life for good. She made phone calls and visits to others who might be lonely. She baked homemade treats and shared them. Miraculously, her own loss became more bearable as she determined to think and act positively for the good of others.
Today, reflect on the good things in your life—even write them down. And as you go about your busy life, find time for “positive activity interventions.” A smile, a willing heart, and a helping hand can change someone’s day for the better—and yours as well.
In our eternal pursuit of perfection, we must be wary of the adversary’s counterfeit.
We are all familiar with the New Testament scripture “Be ye therefore perfect” (Matt. 5:48). The pursuit of perfection is holy, and those who center their lives on this pursuit are blessed. But, as with every good and holy thing, Satan is on hand to sabotage our efforts. Because becoming perfect through Christ is a powerful and important doctrine, Satan . . . comes up with a counterfeit. The counterfeit is often set up to look very much like the real thing, but it differs in important ways. . . . Perfectionism is a counterfeit of real spirituality and is easily confused. 1
Satan’s counterfeit promotes the belief that everything must be done perfectly right now. Such an expectation runs counter to the whole purpose of God’s eternal plan—which purpose is for us to gain experiences, to learn from them, and to grow. God’s counsel to the early Saints was to “continue in patience until ye are perfected” (D&C 67:13). Satan’s deceptive and cunning approach is to convince us that if we want God’s approval, we must do more than we know how or are prepared to do. That naturally sets the stage for developing feelings of being overwhelmed and discouraged—by ourselves and often by those around us. In this and other areas, Satan’s strategy does not require that we commit great sins. He just needs to keep us distracted from things of eternal consequence.
Quoting Marion G. Romney, Elder Dallin H. Oaks (BS ’54) noted that “Satan is a skillful imitator” and added that he “uses every possible device to accomplish his purpose to degrade and enslave every soul.”2 Satan is adept at robbing us of our courage, confusing us, making us believe that we are not good or capable enough, that our lives are out of control. In contrast to God’s counsel, he wants us to be pushed beyond our strength, to be weary in well doing. He wants us to believe that we must bargain with the Lord for His blessings and that we may not be helped or guided unless we continue in a driven frenzy.
Satan is a wretched soul, and he wants us to be as unhappy as he is. And, if he succeeds, if we give in to what he wants instead of what we truly want, we can miss some of life’s most valuable learning experiences and be diverted from our journey back home. The result, as Nephi said, is that “the devil cheateth their souls and leadeth them away carefully down to hell” (2 Ne. 28:21) as he seeks “the misery of all mankind” (2 Ne. 2:18).
“Peace be unto thy soul” (D&C 121:7) is an important message for us to remember. We are living in a day of harsh competition and unreasonably high expectations coming from many directions. Inherent in the message of peace is one of wisdom to not run faster than we have strength (see D&C 10:4). It is good to have plans, goals, and high expectations for ourselves. But when we experience tears, exhaustion, and feelings of depression, it may mean that we are self-imposing unrighteous expectations.
As we come to accept that perfection is a developmental process, something we learn “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” (2 Ne. 28:30), we can let go of guilt trips and over-complication of our lives. We can better understand the truly wondrous gift of the Atonement, which as Elder Bruce C. Hafen (BA ’66) has said, is not just to erase our mistakes, but to provide a way for us “to learn from our mistakes without being condemned by them.”3
1.“There Is Hope and Help: Dealing with Depression” (presentation, BYU Women’s Conference, Provo, April 30, 2010).
2.“Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall,” in Brigham Young University 1991–92 Speeches (Provo: BYU, 1992), pp. 107–8.
3.“A Disciple’s Journey,” in Brigham Young University 2007–08 Speeches(Provo: BYU, 2008), p. 300.
This essay is adapted from an October 2010 address by Janet S. Scharman,BYU vice president of student life. The full text is included in Virtue and the Abundant Life: Talks from the BYU Religious Education and Wheatley Institution Symposium (Deseret Book).