What You Didn’t See On The TV Networks
By Alan on May 24 in Blog tagged actions, adversity, bitter, choices, disappointments, humility, kicked the door, Obama, patience, poor, President, responses, sadness, stormed out, tantrum, trials | No Comments
What You Didn’t See On The TV Networks
President Obama Had A Tantrum
President Obama leaving a meeting with Congressional leaders
after Cantor told the president
“Republicans would not vote for his proposed tax hikes.”
Obama picked up his toys and stormed out of the meeting,
kicking the door open!
“Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,
and a gentle tongue can break a bone.”
As part of Heavenly Father’s plan of redemption, all people experience adversity during their lifetime. Trials, disappointments, sadness, sickness, and heartache are a difficult part of life, but with the help of the Lord they can lead to spiritual growth, refinement, and progress.
Each person’s success and happiness, both now and in the eternities, depend largely on his or her responses to the difficulties of life.
Adversity comes from different sources. Trials may come as a consequence of a person’s own pride and disobedience. These trials can be avoided through righteous living. Other trials are simply a natural part of life and may come at times when people are living righteously. For example, people may experience trials in times of sickness or uncertainty or at the deaths of loved ones. Adversity may sometimes come because of others’ poor choices and hurtful words and actions. Suffering may also come through a loving Heavenly Father as a tutoring experience.
When some people face adversity, they complain and become bitter. They ask questions like “Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this now? What have I done to deserve this?” But these questions have the power to dominate their thoughts. Such questions can overtake their vision, absorb their energy, and deprive them of the experiences the Lord wants them to receive. Rather than responding in this way, people should consider asking questions such as, “What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial?”
Different kinds of adversity require different responses. For example, people who are stricken with illness may simply need to be patient and faithful. People who suffer because of others’ words or actions should work toward forgiving those who have offended them. Victims of abuse should seek help immediately. If a person’s trials come because of disobedience, he or she should correct the behavior and humbly seek forgiveness.
“Therefore, O ye that embark in the of God, see that ye him with all your heart, might,
mind and strength, that ye may stand before God at the last day…
And , , and , with an single to the of God, him for the work.
Remember faith, , knowledge, , , ,
, charity, , .
, and ye shall receive; , and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.”
For The Family
Two of the greatest qualities in life are:
By Alan on Nov 16 in Daily Inspiration tagged patience, wisdom | Comments Off
Two of the greatest qualities in life are:
By Alan on Sep 04 in Daily Inspiration tagged Fathers, grandpa, patience, promoted | 1 Comment
A woman in a supermarket is following a grandfather and his badly behaved three year old grandson. It’s obvious to her that he has his hands full with the child screaming for candy in the candy aisle, cookies in the cookie aisle and for fruit, cereal and soda in the other aisles.
Meanwhile, Grandpa is working his way around, saying in a controlled voice, “Easy William, we won’t be long . . . easy, boy.”
Another outburst and she hears the grandpa calmly say, “It’s okay, William, just a couple more minutes and we’ll be out of here. Hang in there boy”
At the checkout, the little terror is throwing items out of the cart and Grandpa says again in a controlled voice, “William, William, relax buddy, don’t get upset. We’ll be home in five minutes, stay cool, William.”
Very impressed, the woman goes outside where the grandfather is loading his groceries and the boy into the car. She says to the elderly man, “It’s none of my business, but you were amazing in there. I don’t know how you did it. That whole time you kept your composure, and no matter how loud and disruptive he got, you just calmly kept saying ‘things would be okay.’ William is very lucky to have you as his grandpa.”
“Thanks,” said the grandpa, “but I’m William. That little terror’s name is Kevin.”
“Great fathers get promoted to Grandfathers.”
In Your Face
By Alan on May 11 in Daily Inspiration tagged collected mind, cool, emotions, feelings, in your face, long-suffering, passions, patience, slow to anger, voice control | Comments Off
In Your Face
A proverb in the Old Testament states: “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city” (Proverbs 16:32).
School thy feelings, O my brother;
Train thy warm, impulsive soul.
Do not its emotions smother,
But let wisdom’s voice control.
School thy feelings; there is power
In the cool, collected mind.
Passion shatters reason’s tower,
Makes the clearest vision blind. …
School thy feelings; condemnation
Never pass on friend or foe,
Though the tide of accusation
Like a flood of truth may flow.
Hear defense before deciding,
And a ray of light may gleam,
Showing thee what filth is hiding
Underneath the shallow stream.
School thy feelings, O my brother;
Train thy warm, impulsive soul.
Do not its emotions smother,
But let wisdom’s voice control.
Fathers, Mothers, and all members of the family, we MUST control our tempers, and put a smile upon your faces, which will erase anger; speak out with words of love and peace, appreciation, and respect. If you will do this, your lives will be without regret. Your marriages and family relationships will be preserved. You will be much happier. You will do greater good. You will feel a sense of peace that will be wonderful.
May the Lord bless you and inspire you to walk without anger, without bitterness of any kind, but to reach out to others with expressions of friendship, appreciation, and love.
A Mother First: My Mom Ann Romney
By Alan on Apr 26 in Blog tagged a mother first, Ann Romney, humility, importance of family, Josh Romney, Mitt Romney, mother of faith, my mom, patience | 2 Comments
A Mother First: My Mom Ann Romney
An excerpt from the book, Life Lessons from Mothers of Faith, from Covenant Communications.
I am thankful for a mother who has taught me many important life lessons, but most of all, through her example and faith, she has taught me humility, patience, and the importance of family.
My mother, Ann Davies Romney, attended Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. It was an all-girls high school, and was sister schools with Cranbrook, the boys school my father attended. They grew up just miles apart, attended the same elementary school, and later became high school sweethearts.
After high school, my mom and dad’s relationship blossomed, and they talked of marriage, but they both knew my dad would soon be leaving on a mission. When my dad was called to Paris, France, he encouraged her to wait for him. Although not a member of the Church, my mom attended BYU, and on her own accord, she sought out the missionaries and subsequently joined the Church.
Upon my dad’s return from his mission, my mom and dad were riding home from the airport and agreed, right then and there, to get married. Fearing their families’ response to a seemingly rash and emotional decision, it took them a while to finally announce their engagement.
I grew up in Belmont, Massachusetts, and am the third of five boys, including my older brothers, Tagg and Matt, and my younger brothers, Ben and Craig. We were much like any other family but did have an abundance of testosterone. My brothers and I were constantly pounding on each other for one reason or another. My mom was incredibly patient with us, despite our frequently testing her nerves with our antics.
She was once asked about raising five boys, and she put it best by saying: “There were times when, seriously, I wanted to pull my hair out because I’d wish they would just be quiet for a minute, or sit, or even bake cookies, or pick up their dishes, or any of that, which never happened spontaneously. But then there were the fun times when, honestly, they were so silly, the five all together, that I laughed a lot because there was just so much exuberance and happiness. I learned a lot from having boys.”
My mom is an intelligent, wise, and accomplished woman. She studied a year at the University of Grenoble in France and earned a bachelor’s degree at BYU, with a concentration in French language. She could have pursued a career in teaching, business, or science. But she always knew that the profession that would bring her the most happiness and fulfillment was that of a mom.
On one occasion, she was asked to speak at a women’s conference, where other accomplished women also spoke, many of whom were lawyers, doctors, and business professionals. She initially felt sheepish about being included with such a group of distinguished career women. She questioned how those in the audience would think that she measured up, since she was “only a housewife.” She stood before the audience and reported proudly that as a mother, she practiced psychology, nursing, and business, and had become skilled in a host of other professions, all of which she learned on her own without any formal training. The audience responded enthusiastically with the loudest cheers of the day.
As the boys grew and began leaving home, her life took a dramatic change. Not only had she recently lost her mother to cancer, but in 1998, she noticed numbness in her legs and began suffering from chronic fatigue. After stumbling several times, she called her brother Jim and described her symptoms. He listened carefully, and concerned, he encouraged her to see a neurologist.
The neurologist ordered a battery of tests. With my dad by her side, he watched as tests were performed that gave them some insight into the seriousness of her illness. My dad remembered it as the hardest day of his life. They later met with the doctor, and he broke the news that she had multiple sclerosis. After the doctor left the room, they sat quietly and wept together.
My mom has always been athletic. Not only was she an accomplished equestrian, but she also played tennis regularly and led a very active life. Facing an existence confined to a wheelchair was terrifying, and she prayed for guidance.
At this time, I was living in Provo and attending BYU. My father had put behind him his unsuccessful 1994 bid for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat and had settled back in at Bain Capital, where things were going very well.
Mom had focused her efforts on battling MS with the assistance of some of the greatest physicians in the world and had no intentions of leaving Massachusetts, when she received a call from her dear friend Kem Gardner, who was involved with Salt Lake City’s Organizing Committee for the 2002 Olympic games.
Knowing of my mom and dad’s relationship, Kem asked mom to consider moving to Utah so Dad could take over the operation of the scandal-ridden Olympics. He knew my dad would not consider a proposal if it came directly from him, or anyone else for that matter. But he knew that if it were the right thing, only my mom could convince him to do it.
After hearing of the opportunity for the first time, both my parents were sure it was not meant to be. Mom’s medical concerns were still mostly unresolved. Leaving the comfort and safety of her support network was a daunting prospect.
However, she became convinced that moving to Utah was the right thing to do. My dad, however, was not so confident. As weeks passed, she never wavered in her belief that they should take on this challenge. Eventually, she convinced him. It was a huge personal risk for my mother and a career risk for my father, who would be leaving behind a successful business he had helped found to work on something that seemed hopeless at the time. In retrospect, that single inspired decision led to a successful Olympic games, my father’s subsequent election as governor of Massachusetts, and many other opportunities for each of them.
After the move, my mom struggled to adjust to my dad’s hectic schedule, her new home, and the unfamiliar surroundings. I was still studying at BYU, so I was able to spend many wonderful visits with my mom as she contemplated her treatments and the new challenges she faced.
My mom’s open heart and mind resulted in her willingness to try some traditional and nontraditional therapies for her MS. She found value in receiving treatments from both Western and Eastern medicine, and miraculously, she is now nearly symptom free.
Her recovery was so incredible that she renewed her activity in equestrian competitions, and as an amateur, she won the 2006 gold medal and 2005 silver medal at the Grand Prix level from the United States Dressage Federation.
Although my father has many trusted advisors who are politically savvy and have many lifetimes’ worth of knowledge about politics and business, he relies on my mother for her wisdom, love, and guidance.
Get Our FREE Newsletter for “Strengthening The Family”.
By Alan on Apr 10 in Blog tagged Alan Osmond, diligence, fear God, fear man, fight, focus, FREE Newsletter, Get NoiZ, hearing impaired, heavenly parents, in charge, intelligence, Jesus Christ, Life is T.U.F.F., M.S., military, multiple sclerosis, noisy, Osmond Brothers, patience, Plan of Life, Power to choose, real challenge, say my prayers, scriptorian, scriptures, sin, Target, the resurrection, trophies, understand, Vietnam, Weakness, write it down, you can do it | 3 Comments
TheFamily.com publishes a FREE Newsletter Monthly Newsletter called, “GET NOIZ” (Noisy).
You can get these Free Newsletters by Signing up HERE!
We offer a FREE NEWSLETTER to help “Strengthen The Family” in several ways: Physically, Mentally, Socially, Spiritually, and Financially.
Here is a sample of one of our Newsletters from Last Month:
Subject: GET NOI-Z (Noisy) NEWSLETTER
Date: Saturday, March 31, 2012 11:15
‘LET’S TURN THE WORLD AROUND’
Life is T.U.F.F. but, So Are YOU!
By: Alan Osmond
Life is T.U.F.F.! But remember, when the going gets tough, the T.U.F.F. get going! You must be motivated and see the steps that need to be taken in order to accomplish your goals in life. You must believe in whatever you choose to do and to always remind yourself that “You can do it!” You must be strong with a positive mental attitude. If you think you can’t, you won’t! If you have the desire to achieve, you will! Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Whenever I face challenges, I remember this slogan that I created as the way to accomplish it and overcome it. See if it works for you! This is the way:
T = Target – What is it you are trying to accomplish? If there is one thing that you wished to do, to accomplish or become in life, what would it be? Write it down and make that your TARGET!
U = Understand – To achieve your target, you need to UNDERSTAND all you can about it. Identify what it is and what the various factors that are involved; what needs to be done to affectively put it into your grasp so that you can achieve it? Figure out those steps that you need to take in order to win the challenge and write them down. Study the positive and the negative aspects of that which you are targeting so that you totally understand it and know what to do in order to take it on!
F = Focus – Don’t just go at your target without first establishing a FOCUS point on what you are aiming to achieve. Make a plan and a checklist of the do’s and don’ts and study it each and every day. Besides just thinking of it, keep your eye on it and really be sure to “Rifle In” on your Target! Do not just go at it with a “shotgun” approach. You may only get one shot at it so never lose site or what you must do and keep your FOCUS!
F = Fight – Nothing good comes easy or without effort. If you want something that is worth having, it will usually take a lot of effort and will be hard work to accomplish it. So, you must FIGHT for it!
What is it that you wish to target?
-A health challenge?
-A career or a job?
-A marriage partner?
-A great idea that you have?
Write it down! Seeing believing! You will then be able to visualize the steps that you have to take. Start by following the T.U.F.F. format and fill in the details for each step. Set goals and make in a daily effort. Visualize it. Think about it. Study it. Keep it in your mind! Little by little you will accomplish those steps and with the best shot you’ve got, your Target will be accomplished with a bull’s-eye!
It is very simple but, with patience and effort, it works!
Where in the world did I get this idea of being T.U.F.F.? It came experiences I had in life but especially when I was told that I had Multiple Sclerosis or M.S.. I didn’t know what M.S. was and the first thing I thought it might mean, “Many Sons”! My wife Suzanne and I were blessed to have eight sons.
Yes, raising sons in today’s world is a real challenge but this challenge called “Multiple Sclerosis” was a physical one and the doctors didn’t know what to do to fix it! I was in the prime of my life with a wonderful marriage and a family started plus my entertainment career was at its peak. I didn’t want this! So, instead of looking at it negatively, I asked myself, “What is it that I am to learn?”
I first noticed that when I would walk and trip up on something, I’d look down for something like a nail or what ever it was in the floor but, nothing was there! I also soon realized that when I played my trumpet, I couldn’t move my fingers as fast as before. With time, my right side began to fail and would not respond as it should and it caused me to drag my right food and arm.
With several doctors telling me “they didn’t know what it was but thought it might be M.S.”, and telling me that “nothing they knew could reverse it”, I realized I was facing this challenge alone with my wife and my family. That’s when after many sincere prayers and fasting that I came up with the idea of being T.U.F.F. with a plan to achieve my goal of getting better. I first started a positive approach by establishing an attitude in my mind and my heart by saying, “I may have M.S. but, M.S. does NOT have me!” Other ways of dealing with it came with time.
What took place over the next while was in realizing that besides having a positive outlook on this health challenge, I needed a plan of attack, and I needed to be tough! That is when the idea of T.U.F.F. came into my mind as I analyzed the steps that I needed to take in order to overcome my health weakness. Over time with determination and a positive attitude It seemed to be working! I changed my style of eating to mostly organic and healthy foods. I worked at walking with a focus on picking my leg up and I “talked to those muscles” that wouldn’t respond. I kept an open mind with a prayer in y heart and promised that I would do anything my Lord would ask of me to be able to live happily with my wife Suzanne and my eight sons and family who love me.
I was the oldest of our singing group, The Osmond Brothers, when my brothers Wayne, Merrill, and Jay, and I, and then Donny, were growing up. We were at a very young age to be on stage with a weekly national television show called The Andy Williams Show. Later on, my sister Marie and youngest brother Jimmy also joined the group. Our father said to us boys when we were rehearsing, that there needed to be one person in charge of the group and that I was the leader and the “boss”. I hated being call the boss and to have to be in charge of my brothers. They didn’t like it either but, it taught me many things about being responsible and in making sure that we all accomplished what we were sipposed to do while getting along with each other and making it fun. There had to be order and I was in charge. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was also pretty tough! Besides that, my two oldest brothers, Virl and Tom were hearing impaired or deaf and often I would hear my parents say, “Alan, go get your brothers!”
I remembered when I turned nineteen and I got my orders to report to Fort Ord, California for active infantry training or boot camp, and to be trained as a soldier in the army during the time of the Vietnam War. I knew then that if I was going to succeed and become the best soldier I could, that I had better learn and remember all that I was taught and to do what I was supposed to do as it may someday save my life. It was hard work and it was almost was like they were brain washing us with what was expected of us during the war. It was so different from my civilian life and some of my fellow soldiers couldn’t take it. Staying positive was most important while always remaining tough myself.
I had never been away from my family like this before and for the first time I was on my own. You know it reality hits you hard when you don’t have that support system around you of loving parents and family members who stand by your side. Everything I did while I was in the military I tried to do well and to be the very best at it as I knew I was on my own.
The first day I was there in the army barracks, I heard more foul language and stories that I wish I had never heard. I realized that I needed to fit in with the other guys but to always be who I was. That night, I had a moment to prove it. The lights in the barracks were turned off, I laid in my bunk bed in a room filled with strangers that I had never known before. It was then that I realized that I hadn’t said my prayers of thanks to my Heavenly Father as I always do. I always knelt down beside my bed at night and offered my prayers. I hesitated thinking that these guys would all make fun of me and I didn’t want to stand out but to “fit in”. Just then, it was almost like a voice within me that said, “Do you fear man. . . or do you fear God?” I knew what I had to do and so I jumped out of my bunk and knelt down on the floor and said my prayers. It was probably the shortest prayer I have ever said but I said it! Before I could get back into my bunk bed I heard someone say, “Hey Osmond, say one for me!”
The next morning I was approached by several of those “tough talking” guys that asked me what I believed and what happens to someone if they died. With us facing this war, it was definitely on everyone’s mind and in their hearts. It was then that I had the opportunity to teach them some gospel principles of faith in Jesus Christ and His ‘Plan of Life’ with life for all after death. It brought several of us much closer together.
That period of time was really challenging for me
but I was successful and ended up receiving three basic training award trophies as a soldier. After completing my active infantry training, I received the highest grade on the overall testing, the highest scoring on the rifle marksmanship shooting skills test, and I was voted by all of the military training staff as The Outstanding Trainee. I had no idea they gave trophies for doing what I did, but I got them. The best thing that happened though was when the loudest and foulest mouth guy who became our platoon sergeant came to me before we got our orders to go to Viet Nam. He said, “Osmond, can I talk to you? … Alone?” I said, “Yes”, and we went int the empty barracks. He said to me, “You really believe that there is someone up there don’t you? (Meaning that therer is a God.) I said, “Yes”. He said, “Oh I wish I knew somebody loved me. When I was five years old, my Dad made me go out and steal money and stuff just so I could stay at home.” (I listened and just let him talk.) He said, “Would you teach me to pray?” I said, “Sure”, and explained a simple way to approach prayer. I then told him I would say one first to show him how, and then he could say one. I did and then it was his turn. He said a simple yet touching prayer and became somewhat emotional. We stood up and he gave me a bear hug and said, “Now, I can go to “Nam”! These were some of the experiences that I related to when I came up with a way to achieve my new challenges and goals and in being T.U.F.F.!
I come from a family heritage of school teachers and educators on my Mother’s side of the family (Olive May Davis), and a strong, driving, hard working and a ‘never give up’ style from my Father, George V. Osmond, and his side of the family whose life had always been one of hard work but with a “you can do it” attitude. In fact, when I was doing my physical test in the army to see if we could run a mile in full battle gear in under 6:00 minutes. I was running as hard as I could and I felt like I was going to die. I kept pushing hard and came in second place just behind a fast running athlete soldier. You see, it was then that I had remembered my Father’s slogan “You Can Do It!” . . … and I did!
My Mother, Olive Osmond, who was also a theologian and knew the scriptures very well,
taught us about God’s plan of life. She taught us much about gospel truths and about the beliefs of various other religions. In knowing and understanding this, and as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (Mormons) I studied and developed a burning testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. My mother also instilled into me her positive attitude and desire to gain as much truth and knowledge as I could by reading from the best books. She love to read and taught us the scripture that supported her thinking like this scripture says, “Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.” D&C 130: 18-19
She explained to us that knowledge is more about the information of many things but that intelligence is the knowledge of those spiritual things that are eternal and that are good yesterday, today and forever. This understanding became a guide for me to follow in deciding which books I chose to read and which movies and entertainment I would go and see and for those choices that I targeted to understand and know.
So, when you think of something that you want to accomplish and “Target” to achieve, I hope you will ask yourself if it is a worthy goal and worth your time. Is it something that will be long lasting and become significant enough in that it makes you a better person and which fulfills your life long dreams and ambitions as well as sets the course for your eternal existence?
One thing we all have is the “Power To Choose” ; to make decisions and choices of our own free will and choice. Those choices that we make in life, we will be held responsible and held accountable. This is why good principles are important in one’s life. When lived, they will influence you in the kinds of choices and decisions you will make in your life.
Your good choices will probably take a definite amount of time and effort on your part and will require some extensive work as well. But that is okay! This is why we are here in this life; to learn and to grow. We are told that the Glory of God is intelligence and if we attain more truth and knowledge in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. So it’s an investment in you and your future!
”As Spirit children of God, we all left our Heavenly Parents to come to this world to prove ourselves. A veil covered our momories which was necessary so we could exercise our agency to choose good or evil without our Heavenly Parents influence. Our earthly parents gave us a body of flesh and bones and we learned the purpose for us to progress in order to have a fulness of joy. We learned that we would be deceived, choose other paths, and lose our way; that we would have trials in our lives like sickness, disappointment, pain, sorrow and death. We understood that these would be given to us for our experience and for our good and that these trials would purify us rather than defeat us. They would teach us to have endurance, patience, and charity. (To be T.U.F.F.)
We also learned that because of our weakness, all of us except little children would sin. We learned that a Savior would be provided for us so we could overcome our sins and overcome death with resurrection. We learned that by placing our faith in Him, obeying His word and following His example, we would be resurrected, exalted, and become more like our Heavenly parents and live forever! That’s when we receive a fulness of joy!
That is God’s Plan of Life.
So… “Let’s Be T.U.F.F.” and ‘GET NOI-Z’ (Noisy) FOR GOOD because it is WORTH IT!
We hope you, your family and friends will enjoy these Newsletters!
Answering Our Accusers In The Savior’s Way – It Takes Christian Courage
By Alan on Apr 03 in Blog tagged answering our accusers, because they know not where to find it, become contentious, become more Christlike, can subdue the adversary, follow him, genlteness, goodness, great tests, humble, it takes Christian courage, Jesus, joy, kept from the truth, longsuffering, love, meekness, not a weakness, opposition, patience, peace, principles, show forth love, silence, staying on high ground, temperance, the Lord's purposes, the Savior"s Way, truths, turn the other cheek, values | 1 Comment
Kept From The Truth Because They Know Not Where To Find It
That Is Christian Courage
Recently I have been getting some of my really good blog and internet followers and friends on my websites and social networks that wonder why I don’t speak out and defend myself more actively when accusations that are made against me or my beliefs by those who don’t agree, can’t live moral standards, or are just trying to upset me when I post my feelings and various articles about certain values and principles and those religious truths that I believe and know to be true. Yes, sometimes I have had to block someone from my various sites who are trouble makers or have a personal agenda and are so blunt or who curse, and others that I have tried to just ignore or reason with and try to explain my thinking, my beliefs and those values in which I believe.
To their inquiry I would say that one of mortality’s great tests comes when our beliefs are questioned or criticized. In such moments, we may want to respond aggressively—to “put up our dukes.” But these are important opportunities to step back, pray, and follow the Savior’s example. Remember that Jesus Himself was despised and rejected by the world. And in Lehi’s dream, those coming to the Savior also endured “mocking and pointing … fingers” (1 Nephi 8:27). “The world hath hated [my disciples],” Jesus said, “because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:14). But when we respond to our accusers as the Savior did, we not only become more Christlike, we invite others to feel His love and follow Him as well.
Responding in a Christlike Way
To respond in a Christlike way cannot be scripted or based on a formula. The Savior responded differently in every situation. When He was confronted by wicked King Herod, He remained silent. When He stood before Pilate, He bore a simple and powerful testimony of His divinity and purpose. Facing the moneychangers who were defiling the temple, He exercised His divine responsibility to preserve and protect that which was sacred. Lifted up upon a cross, He uttered the incomparable Christian response: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
Some people mistakenly think responses such as silence, meekness, forgiveness, and bearing humble testimony are passive or weak. But to “love [our] enemies, bless them that curse [us], do good to them that hate [us], and pray for them which despitefully use [us], and persecute [us]” (Matthew 5:44) takes faith, strength, and, most of all, Christian courage.
Our Prophet Joseph Smith demonstrated this courage throughout his life. Though he “suffer[ed] severe persecution at the hands of all classes of men, both religious and irreligious” (Joseph Smith—History 1:27), he did not retaliate or give in to hatred. Like all true disciples of Christ, he stood with the Savior by loving others in a tolerant and compassionate way.That is Christian courage.
When we do not retaliate—when we turn the other cheek and resist feelings of anger—we too stand with the Savior. We show forth His love, which is the only power that can subdue the adversary and answer our accusers without accusing them in return. That is not weakness. That is Christian courage.
Opportunity in Opposition
Through the years we learn that challenges to our faith and family values are not new, and they aren’t likely to disappear soon. But true disciples of Christ see opportunity in the midst of opposition.
Experience shows that seasons of negative publicity about the Church or principles of belief can help accomplish the Lord’s purposes. In 1983 the First Presidency of our Church wrote to our leaders, “Opposition may be in itself an opportunity. … These criticisms create … interest in the Church. This provides an opportunity [for members] to present the truth to those whose attention is thus directed toward us.” 1 The same goes for those principles that are good for The Family.
We can take advantage of such opportunities in many ways: a kind letter to the editor, a conversation with a friend, a comment in an email, a blog, or a reassuring word to one who has made a disparaging comment. We can answer with love those who have been influenced by misinformation and prejudice—who are “kept from the truth because they know not where to find it” (D&C 123:12). I assure you that to answer our accusers in this way is never weakness. It is Christian courage in action.
As we respond to others, each circumstance will be different. Fortunately, the Lord knows the hearts of our accusers and how we can most effectively respond to them. As true disciples seek guidance from the Spirit, they receive inspiration tailored to each encounter. And in every encounter, true disciples respond in ways that invite the Spirit of the Lord.
One should never become contentious when discussing their faith. The Savior has said, “He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me” (3 Nephi 11:29). More regrettable than the Church being accused of not being Christian is when Church members react to such accusations in an un-Christlike way! May our conversations with others always be marked by the fruits of the Spirit—“love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance” (Galatians 5:22–23). To be meek, as defined in Webster’s dictionary, is “manifesting patience and longsuffering: enduring injury without resentment.” 2 Meekness is not weakness. It is a badge of Christian courage.
This is not to suggest that we compromise our principles or dilute our beliefs. We cannot change the doctrines of the restored gospel, even if teaching and obeying them makes us unpopular in the eyes of the world. Yet even as we feel to speak the word of God with boldness, we must pray to be filled with the Holy Ghost (see Acts 4:29, 31). We should never confuse boldness with Satan’s counterfeit: overbearance (see Alma 38:12). True disciples speak with quiet confidence, not boastful pride.
As true disciples, our primary concern must be others’ welfare, not personal vindication. Questions and criticisms give us an opportunity to reach out to others and demonstrate that they matter to our Heavenly Father and to us. Our aim should be to help them understand the truth, not defend our egos or score points in a theological debate. Our heartfelt testimonies are the most powerful answer we can give our accusers. And such testimonies can only be borne in love and meekness.
True disciples avoid being unduly judgmental of others’ views. My family and I have cultivated strong friendships with those who are not members of our Church. We need them, and they need us. As President Thomas S. Monsonhas taught, “Let us learn respect for others. … None of us lives alone—in our city, our nation, or our world.” 3
Staying on the High Ground
As the Savior demonstrated with Herod, sometimes true disciples must show Christian courage by saying nothing at all. Some may try to provoke us and engage us in argument. In the Book of Mormon, we read about Lehonti and his men camped upon a mount. The traitorous Amalickiah urged Lehonti to “come down” and meet him in the valley. But when Lehonti left the high ground, he was poisoned “by degrees” until he died, and his army fell into Amalickiah’s hands (see Alma 47). By arguments and accusations, some people bait us to leave the high ground. Sometimes others want us to come down off the high ground and join them in a theological scrum in the mud. These few contentious individuals are set on picking religious fights, online or in person. We are always better staying on the higher ground of mutual respect and love.
In doing so, we follow the example of the prophet Nehemiah, who built a wall around Jerusalem. Nehemiah’s enemies entreated him to meet them on the plain, where “they thought to do [him] mischief.” Unlike Lehonti, however, Nehemiah wisely refused their offer with this message: “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:2–3). We too have a great work to do here at TheFamily.com and in spreading the love of Jesus Christ, which will not be accomplished if we allow ourselves to stop and argue and be distracted. Instead we should muster Christian courage and move on. As we read in Psalms, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers” (Psalm 37:1).
To my inquiring friends and all who seek to know how we should respond to our accusers, I reply, we love them. Whatever their race, creed, religion, or political persuasion, if we follow Christ and show forth His courage, we must love them. We do not feel we are better than they are. Rather, we desire with our love to show them a better way—the way of Jesus Christ. His way leads to the strait and narrow path of righteous living, and the temple of God. He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Only through Him can we and all our brothers and sisters inherit the greatest gift we can receive—eternal life and eternal happiness. To help them, to be an example for them, is not for the weak. It is for the strong. It is for you and me as friends and believers who pay the price of discipleship by answering our accusers with Christian courage.
We must never become contentious when we are discussing our faith or values.
When we respond to our accusers as the Savior did, we not only become more Christlike, we invite others to feel His love and follow Him as well.
Like all true disciples of Christ, they stood with the Savior by loving others in a tolerant and compassionate way. That is Christian courage.
True disciples of Christ see opportunity in the midst of opposition.
“For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.” D&C 123: 12
Our Heavenly Family
By Alan on Mar 13 in Blog tagged a Savior, a spirit body, born into a physical body, charity, death, develop godlike qualities, disappointment, endurance, fulness of joy, gain experience, God, Grand Council, Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, like father like son, like Heavenly Father, like mother like daughter, obeying His word, of our Heavenly Father, pain and sorrow, passed our tests, patience, prove ourselves, receive immortal bodies, relationship to God, Ruler and Creator, sickness, sons and daughters of God, spirit children, the Atonement, The Family, The Plan, the purpose of progression, the scriptures, we are children | Comments Off
We Are Children of Our Heavenly Father
• What do the scriptures teach us about our relationship to God?
God is not only our Ruler and Creator; He is also our Heavenly Father. All men and women are literally the sons and daughters of God. “Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal [physical] body”.
Every person who was ever born on earth is our spirit brother or sister. Because we are the spirit children of God, we have inherited the potential to develop His divine qualities. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can become like our Heavenly Father and receive a fulness of joy.
We Developed Personalities and Talents
While We Lived in Heaven
The scriptures teach us that the prophets prepared themselves to become leaders on earth while they were still spirits in heaven (see Alma 13:1–3). Before they were born into mortal bodies, God foreordained (chose) them to be leaders on earth. Jesus, Adam, and Abraham were some of these leaders. (See Abraham 3:22–23.)
We were not all alike in heaven. We know, for example, that we were sons and daughters of heavenly parents—males and females (see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,”). We possessed different talents and abilities, and we were called to do different things on earth.
A veil covers our memories of our premortal life, but our Father in Heaven knows who we are and what we did before we came here. He has chosen the time and place for each of us to be born so we can learn the lessons we personally need and do the most good with our individual talents and personalities.
Our Heavenly Father Presented a Plan for Us
to Become Like Him
• How does earth life help prepare us to become like our Heavenly Father?
Our Heavenly Father knew we could not progress beyond a certain point unless we left Him for a time. He wanted us to develop the godlike qualities that He has. To do this, we needed to leave our premortal home to be tested and to gain experience. Our spirits needed to be clothed with physical bodies. We would need to leave our physical bodies at death and reunite with them in the Resurrection. Then we would receive immortal bodies like that of our Heavenly Father. If we passed our tests, we would receive the fulness of joy that our Heavenly Father has received. (See D&C 93:30–34.)
Our Heavenly Father called a Grand Council to present His plan for our progression. We learned that if we followed His plan, we would become like Him. We would be resurrected; we would have all power in heaven and on earth; we would become heavenly parents and have spirit children just as He does (see D&C 132:19–20).
We learned that He would provide an earth for us where we would prove ourselves (see Abraham 3:24–26). A veil would cover our memories, and we would forget our heavenly home. This would be necessary so we could exercise our agency to choose good or evil without being influenced by the memory of living with our Heavenly Father. Thus we could obey Him because of our faith in Him, not because of our knowledge or memory of Him. He would help us recognize the truth when we heard it again on earth (see John 18:37).
At the Grand Council we also learned the purpose for our progression: to have a fulness of joy. However, we also learned that some would be deceived, choose other paths, and lose their way. We learned that all of us would have trials in our lives: sickness, disappointment, pain, sorrow, and death. But we understood that these would be given to us for our experience and our good (see D&C 122:7). If we allowed them to, these trials would purify us rather than defeat us. They would teach us to have endurance, patience, and charity.
At this council we also learned that because of our weakness, all of us except little children would sin (see D&C 29:46–47). We learned that a Savior would be provided for us so we could overcome our sins and overcome death with resurrection. We learned that if we placed our faith in Him, obeying His word and following His example, we would be exalted and become like our Heavenly Father. We would receive a fulness of joy.
• Hebrews 12:9 (God is the Father of our spirits)
• Job 38:4–7 (premortal life implied)
• Jeremiah 1:5 (vision of premortal life)
• D&C 29:31–38 (vision of premortal life)
• Moses 3:4–7 (spiritual and temporal creations)
• D&C 76:23–24 (begotten sons and daughters)
Strengthening The Family – Spiritually
Senior Citizens Are Constantly Being Criticized
By Alan on Jan 20 in Blog tagged constantly being criticized, hand over their hearts, patience, patriotic, pride in their hearts, Senior citizens, tolerance | Comments Off
Senior citizens are constantly being criticized for every conceivable deficiency of the modern world, real or imaginary. We know we take responsibility for all we have done and do not blame others.
HOWEVER, upon reflection, we would like to point out that it was NOT the senior citizens who took
The melody out of music,
The pride out of appearance,
The courtesy out of driving,
The romance out of love,
The commitment out of marriage,
The responsibility out of parenthood,
The togetherness out of the family,
The learning out of education,
The service out of patriotism,
The Golden Rule from rulers,
The nativity scene out of cities,
The civility out of behavior,
The refinement out of language,
The dedication out of employment,
The prudence out of spending,
The ambition out of achievement or
God out of government and school.
And we certainly are NOT the ones who eliminated patience and tolerance from personal relationships and interactions with others!!
And, we do understand the meaning of patriotism, and remember those who have fought and died for our country.
Just look at the Seniors with tears in their eyes and pride in their hearts as they stand at attention with their hand over their hearts!
YES, I’M A SENIOR CITIZEN!
I’m the life of the party….. Even if it lasts until 8 p.m.
I’m very good at opening childproof caps….. With a hammer.
I’m awake many hours before my body allows me to get up.
I’m smiling all the time because I can’t hear a thing you’re saying.
I’m sure everything I can’t find is in a safe secure place, somewhere.
I’m wrinkled, saggy, lumpy, and that’s just my left leg.
I’m beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
Yes, I’m a SENIOR CITIZEN and I think I am having the time of my life!
Now if I could only remember who sent this to me, I wouldn’t send it back to them, but I would send it to many more too!
Spread the laughter
Share the cheer
Let’s be happy
While we’re here.
And, MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA
AND MAY AMERICA BLESS GOD!!
Go Green – Recycle CONGRESS!!
Get Service. Get It?
By Alan on Apr 23 in Blog tagged be of one heart, get service, glasses, love others, patience, see, The Family, theFamily, understand | Comments Off
Oh, I See!
Get some glasses and take care of The Family!
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How quick we are to judge others and only think of ourselves and our own desires. If we could only see and know what others are going through it would soften our hearts and give us more patience, love and understanding.
May we each ‘get service’ on our souls, our minds, and our hearts and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. May we serve others and be of One Heart with an eye single to the glory of God that Jesus may service us, that we might see The Way more clearly.