Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Stop making excuses

My wife and I where recently discussing many of the excuses that we have used not to do things that we have been commanded to do. For example Home and Visiting Teaching are our biggest problems when it comes to making excuses. In the end it really comes down to a few excuses, we are too busy, we don't have an active companion, or we are too tired. 

As I listened to the Priesthood lesson last week on being a valiant saint my thoughts turned to Nephi and the challenges he faced. One in particular stuck out to me, his attempts to get the plates from Laban. I am sure at the time that Nephi could easily had said he was too busy, there was more than enough work available in their little camp to keep him busy for a life time. I am also sure that he could have complained that his brothers would not be good companions for him and decide that he should not go. He also could have decided that the long journey into the wilderness had left him weary and that he would go later when his strength had returned. 

He did none of these, he went and did as the Lord had commanded. He was tried more during his attempts to obtain the plates and could have decided that he was not able to accomplish the Lords commandment and returned home, but he did not.

If Nephi can take the time to travel with unworthy companions while still tired from his previous travels, add stick to it until he had accomplished the Lords plan than I can do the same. I can take a few hours out of the month to visit my friends and neighbors in my ward!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Great Video

I have to say, this is one of my favorite videos I have seen from the church on YouTube.


Growing up I did not really watch conference that often. My family saw it as a weekend off, although they saw most weekends as just time off. It was not until I started attending seminary while I was in High School that I really tried to watch conference more often. 

Unfortunately I have seen that the habits of the past are more difficult to get rid of than most would want. I have seen over the past few years that I have not been the example to my children that I should be regarding watching conference, and the times that we do watch conference it has been difficult to encourage them to watch and pay attention. In the past several years I think that I have only attended the Priesthood Session once or twice, choosing instead to stay home. 

This year I vow to be a better example for my family. I vow to attend all of my meetings, and firmly but nicely encourage my children to watch with my wife and I. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Trusting in the Lord

Recently I have decided to take stock of my life, really see how things are going. As I have done so I have come to realize that I rely too much on my own strength and wisdom. I have found that I have not been asking for the Lord to help me through my trials or even provide me with daily guidance. Elder Bednar gave a speak during the General Conference in October of 2004 (shortly after being called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) titled In the Strength of the Lord. I can only imagine what he was going through at the time, the newest member of the Quorum asked to talk to millions and give them spiritual guidance and direction (by comparision many of my trials seem small and insignificant). After admitting that he was very scared and nervous he shared his reliance upon the Lord and spoke of the Lords ability to make us strong and to help us through our trials. In his talk Elder Bednar spoke of leading the transition of Ricks College to BYU - Idaho and his total reliance on the Lord for direction. I have no doubt that the Lord directed him as he helped with this momentous step in the schools history, but I also know that the Lord has helped me with many things that seem small, almost unimportant. 

The Lord provides this help in several ways. The scriptures are full of accounts in which the Lord lent his strength to his servents to help them through struggles and trials, he promises that through him our weaknesses can become strengths (Ether 12:27). There are many accounts in which the increased knowledge and guideance provided through revelation resulted in successes both large and small. There are many other ways that the Lord helps and protects us but recently I have come to a stronger understanding that there are conditions to receiving these blessings. 

Although the Lord may give this guidance, revatlation, and protection to any of his children we should always strive to be worthly for him to provide us with the blessings. Along with our obedience to the lord there are many times that the Lord waits for us to ask for his assistance. This is where I fall short, too often I feel that I should rely upon my own strength; that asking for guidance from the Lord shows weakness or a lack of drive to face my own challenges. Sometimes I feel that my struggles are not importanat enough to ask the Lord for guidance or strength and so I go through my life without asking for help. But the Lord is always ready to assist us as we work through our challenges, he wants to see us succed, he wants to guide us down the straight and narrow path to return to live with him and often it is the small, everyday choices that will help lead us there. I need to work on relying on the Lord and allowing him to provide the blessings he has in store for me. 

One last thought, as I mentioned earlier the Lord can provide provide these blessings to anyone he see fit, that also means that there may be times (even when we are worthy) that He may not grant our desired blessings. We must remember that the Lord has his own time table and his own design that we may not understand. As Joseph Smith was told while in the Liberty Jail "Thine adversity and thine afllications shall be but a small moment. And then, if though endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high, thou shalt triumph over all thy foes"(D&C 121:7-8)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

About Me

A little about me:

I live in Salt Lake City, Utah with my family consisting of my wife and our two sons. I was born and raised as a member of the LDS church, although I was not always a faithful member. My wife and I where married in 2004 and sealed in the Salt Lake Temple in 2006 after returning to activity. Through out my life I have often struggled to do the right thing and now I find myself as the priesthood head of my family and struggling to keep us in the world, but not of the world. 

I have always been fascinated with blogging and have wanted to start one for some time. I have realized that this is a great way to put my thoughts and feelings on paper, so to speak, regarding the struggles of living and raising a family in our current dispensation. My main goal is simply to make myself reflect on my life as it occurs, but I hope that I may be able to help others as well.