Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Not to be acted upon

Lately, I've been spending a lot of time contemplating  this scripture:

2 Nephi 2:26 

"And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall.  And because that they are redeemed from the fall, they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given."

It all started a couple of weeks ago when our lesson in Young Women's was on resisting sin.  The Young Women's President had us write a response to 10 questions on a piece of paper.  "I am a spirit child of Heavenly Father", "I was present in the Council in Heaven", and so on.  The first few questions really apply to everyone, but as they went on, we could see the questions were referring to Lucifer.  Lucifer is a spirit child of Heavenly Father, he was also present at the Council in Heaven, he is our spirit brother.  So.... what's the difference???  Agency--he did not want us to have a choice.

Then earlier this week as I was reading in this month's Ensign, I came across a quote from Elder David Bednar.
"In the grand division of all of God's creations, there are 'things to act and things to be acted upon'.  As children of our Heavenly Father, we have been blessed with the gift of moral agency, the capacity and power of independent action.  Endowed with agency, we are agents, and we primarily are to act and not merely be acted upon--especially as we 'seek study and also by faith'.

This brought even more pondering.  What power is our agency!  We can choose not to be offended, hurt, prideful.  We can choose our reactions.  The behaviour of others does not dictate our behaviour.  We have a choice.  We can choose not to put ourselves in situations where we know we would be tempted to compromise our standards.  We can choose to associate with those who share our standards and opinions and choose not to associate with those who don't.  Our life, our destiny, is our choice.  We can bind those who lead us astray with our choices. 

But first, we must know ourselves.  Study the scriptures, spend time in prayer and fasting, pondering gospel concepts.  Pondering our own behaviours.  Then, with that knowledge, we can make the choices that will best help us attain our eternal salvation.  And when we attain that goal, it will be so much more of a glorious celebration because we have earned it.  We made the choices, we set the goals, we endured to the end.   We showed our Father in Heaven that we are on His side as He does and will always show that He is on our side. 

What a wonderful blessing our agency is!  And the power of the Atonement to allow us to try again when we fall short of our goals.  What wondrous gifts!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Back at it

I took a few months off from blogging entries to deal with some personal issues, and now I plan to get back to why I started this deal in the first place!

In Sacrament meeting this past Sunday, we had an excellent talk given by one of the counselors in our Branch Presidency.  He had planned to talk on preparing for the Second Coming; but at the last minute, he felt inspired to speak to us about our own preparedness and specifically food storage.  He mentioned that he and his family mostly live off the land and do a lot of canning/hunting/etc and this is how they get their food.  They do very well with it and know what they're doing!  They are an impressive family.  He also mentioned that this year, their harvest was slim and they have not been able to put away enough food to last the year. 

This prompted my thoughts somewhat.  My food storage goals have been to stock up on what we buy, and I've been doing well with that--being able to this summer go 2 months without having to go to the grocery store.  That is amazing for us!  I have also made goals regarding learning how to garden and grow my own foods as we have been counselled by our prophets.  At the same time (reminder that these are my opinions only), I have felt that the strange weather phenomena the world has been experiencing the last few years may just be the beginning of "the end" so to speak.  This talk on Sunday helped me connect those two thoughts.  If I spend all of my time and effort learning how to grow/hunt my own food and not storing away at the same time, how will I feed my family if the climate dictates that we cannot live off the land? 

This further prompted me to take another look at the Word of Wisdom (Doctrine and Covenants section 89).  I'll mention here that this is not the first time that I've studied this section; but as I have learned throughout my life, the scriptures are alive and ever teaching and leading us in the paths that we should go.  So with this read of Section 89, a few things caught my eye. 

First of all verse 10--"all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man."  I had been wondering about home remedies lately and the implications.  I know there is nothing wrong with modern medicine, but I had been leaning lately towards trying some natural remedies for some of the physical ailments I struggle with.

Next verse 12--"flesh also of beasts, and of the fowls of the air.  I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly.".  How interesting is this?  I had never caught this before.  I thought it was red meat that was to be used sparingly, but seemingly it is all meat.  I will have to work on this one for sure.

Several of the leaders in our branch have mentioned lately that they have really felt inspired to teach about food storage.  I have been trying to listen and obey and not only do the best I can with the knowledge that I have; but also have made goals to increase my knowledge and abilities.  This talk on Sunday just further emphasizes the need we have to trust in The Lord.  He has all of the information.  Why would we not heed His words??  I firmly believe that if we pay attention and do the best we can with the tools that we have, we will be saved in the end.  With that being said, I think I need to step up my goal setting!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Interesting how you realize things sometimes

I was in a meeting at work today (I go to lots of them, not because I'm important, just because we're a "meeting" company), and was wondering why when I suggest something that to me seems so simple and obvious, people act as though it had never occurred to them.  I always assumed they were being nice because I am sort of the "newbie" at work.

Then I remembered a conversation I had with a dear dear friend about something that had been preying on my mind. I was expressing my worry and frustration at not being able to help the Young Women properly understand the seriousness of one of the tasks we (their leaders) ask them to complete on a regular basis.  My dear, dear, wise friend then asked a question so simple that I was privately embarrassed at not having thought of it myself since I had spent so many hours pondering the subject <awkward>.  "have you written down for them the steps they need to follow, like a checklist"? 

WOW!  I won't think folks are just being nice to me anymore when they say they never thought of  something I think is simple.  It's quite possible they actually didn't think of it.  I didn't.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What a talent!

Last week for our Homemaking meeting (I don't care, I'm still calling it that), we learned about different ways to combat the "winter blues".  One presentation was from a retired music professor who shared with us several videos of Bobby McFerrin performing.  You should search for him on You Tube.  He really does have an amazing talent.  Here is the funnest one.  Everyone loves the Wizard of Oz!  It's definitely worth your time to watch this amazing performance!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Nony the slob has written a new ebook!

I am lucky enough to be an affiliate for Nony the slob's new ebook.  It is called 28 Days to Hope for your Home.  I'm not sure if you follow her blog, but she is a great example to me and I am sure that we are in fact kindred spirits!  How could we not be when the stories she tells of her struggles with housekeeping feel like they are from my own life?

There is a picture on my sidebar with a link underneath leading to a site where you can purchase the ebook for $4.00 in the month of February.  After that, the price is $7.99, so I would buy in February!

She has been a wonderful example to me and her advice and stories are very real and her down to earth writing style is very refreshing and easy to read and understand.

DISCLAIMER---if you press the link on my sidebar and purchase the ebook, I get paid for being a referring site.

Just couldn't resist the opportunity to share something that has helped me.  Tomorrow, back to our regularly scheduled silliness and confusion!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I was "tagged" in a fun game over at Mormon Hermit Mom's blog to answer some questions and tag other blogs.  I don't have too many bloggy friends yet, so I won't be tagging others, but here are my answers.  Soooo here are my questions:

If money were not a problem, where in the world would you most like to go?  
If money were not an issue and I could go anywhere, I think Alaska would be first on the list.  I've always wanted to visit there for some reason, however, Alaska would be closely followed by a tour of Europe and a visit to all 50 states (or the remaining 49).

What's in your pocket?


Who was your favorite teacher?

Mrs. Duck--1st grade teacher.  She taught me to read, how to tell the difference between b's and d's, 3's and e's.  Also, as I was a 12 year student at the school I attended in Bartlett, TN she had several opportunities to see me after the 1st grade and always recognized me.  Even from across a room!  That always made me feel special.

You walk out your door, go to the corner, turn left, walk two blocks and turn right. What are you standing in front of?

2 taverns--we live in a very exciting neighborhood, not unlike many others in Central Wisconsin.  LOL

What was the first word you said when you woke this morning/afternoon/evening?

  "I"  closely followed by "don't want to go to work today".  

Now,  if you have the chance, it's well worth the time to visit Mormon Hermit Mom's blog.  She's crazy hilarious!!!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012


I've been trying in vain to post about an experience I had this weekend that troubled me somewhat.  After several attempts, I have decided that maybe I shouldn't share it with everyone.  It involved more than just myself, and I'm unsure of the comfort level of the others involved, so there!  You can have a cute picture instead of me blabbing on and on about this and that. 

And a note that I experienced another of Heavenly Father's  tender mercies today.  A stressful situation I have been dreading for 3 or 4 days and had been praying about and finally just had to square my shoulders off and face, was removed.  Isn't Heavenly Father fabulous??!!!!  Yes!!!  He is!!!  I'm so grateful to have received this and so many other blessings every single day. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

To drink or not to drink

Disclaimer--this post is a little more personal than usual--so you're warned.

Recently, my workplace began providing free herbal tea, coffee, and hot chocolate during the workday to their employees.  There was a time in my life when I was a heavy duty coffee drinker and I will admit that smelling those cups of coffee next to my coworkers in meetings all day can be a distraction.  Sometimes a big distraction.  There was a time in my life when I did not attend church.  I smoked, I drank alcohol, I watched rated r movies, and I drank coffee--lots and lots of coffee.  Of all of those habits that I needed to forsake to come back into the fold, coffee was the most difficult for me.  I'm not sure why.  I have not succumbed, however.  I worked too hard to quit it and I'd only have to quit again, so. 

My question today is on herbal tea.  I have been drinking herbal tea.  Usually one or two cups a day.  I have done this in the past and know some other members who do.  When I questioned it within myself I thought, well, I just won't drink flavors that have caffeine.  But then, what sense does that make?  I drink soda with caffeine.  I then went to to attempt to find counsel on this matter with no luck.  So---is it okay?  Is it not???  Usually my advice to folks is that if you have to question it, you have your answer.  But do I?  Does it even matter?  I mean it says tea, but does that mean black tea, sweet tea, herbal tea, all of the above???  What do you guys think?  Do you drink herbal tea??? 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Is there a support group for this?

This is a picture of my husband (and my daughter).  Isn't he cute???  Doesn't he look extremely manly and masculine?  I think so. 

This is a picture of PART of his troll collection.  Not so manly anymore, is he???  Today he received another one in the mail that he had purchased.  It is a 3 foot tall dracula troll doll.  He was like a kid on Christmas morning when he realizes that Santa does in fact bring you at least some of the toys you want.  It was very cute--and very troubling. 

However, I just wanted to share that when I walk up the steps to go to our bedroom, this is what I see.  Not too exciting for someone who thinks trolls are creepy and dumb.  I think they may be growing on me though.  EEK!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

What do you do when you're feeling floopy????

Have you ever had a stupor of thought?  I have.  It's confusing and blecky and frustrating because I feel like I'm not spiritual enough to "hear" the answer.  Most times, in my case, I feel I usually experience this because it's one of those things where you're choosing between two good things.  When your desires are righteous and acceptable either way, and Heavenly Father is letting you go ahead and "take your shot".  Honestly, I'd most of  the time rather be told what to do, so these situations are difficult for me.  Thankfully, a loving Heavenly Father helps me and I don't have those situations too terribly often. 

On the flip side (kind of maybe) sometimes I know something is "wrong" and am unable to determine what that something is.  Is this because of something I am doing, or is it just a signal that it is time for a change?  If so, what needs to change?  Am I doing something wrong?  UGH!!  I just pray and read scriptures and talks and it more often than not works itself out before I have to be committed to the insane asylum.  I'm always afraid that its me.  What if someone else misses a chance to serve or obtain blessings because I made an error?  Or wasn't worthy or listening?  Thankfully again, a loving Heavenly Father helps me so this doesn't happen too terribly often either.  Its happening now, however, and I'm definitely beginning to feel the strain.  Perhaps I'm struggling because the problem isn't anything I have control over.  Could this be the case?  We'll just have to wait and see I guess. 

In other news as I seem to be in a rambling mood today--I did not receive an email message requesting I give a talk this past Sunday.  I agreed to do what I could from the time I walked into the building until the time for my talk and it appears to have gone well.  Again, thankfully a loving Heavenly Father helped me in a time of need, or helped those in the congregation.  However you want to look at it I suppose.  Heavenly Father sure takes good care of me! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Am I that naive???

I'm not even sure where to begin this story, so.....

When I receive a calling, I trust that this is what The Lord would have me do.  Even if it is something I would not have chosen for myself.  I've not yet turned down a calling and I'm not entirely sure I would unless I had so many extenuating circumstances that I knew the Bishop wasn't aware of.  I don't view it as trusting the Bishop or Branch President.  I view it as trusting my Heavenly Father.  He knows what is going on with me.  He knows what I can do.  He knows what I have to offer and can even cross reference that with what someone else is in need of.  I feel that if there is a calling that I am either not qualified or not meant, for whatever reason, to have; I will not have it.  So there.  Agree with  me or don't.  I will still feel that way. 

Now I have come across some information that would indicate strongly that not everyone feels that way.  Some even go so far as to voice these opinions in public forum when they disagree with a decision the Bishop or Branch President has made.  So I would just like to say that I believe (very strongly in fact) that only the Bishop or Branch President has the keys and stewardship over the ward or branch.  When a change is to be made, Heavenly Father notifies those with stewardship over that auxiliary, or area, or whatever the politically correct term to use here is. 

Isn't that how it works?  Am I that much of a goody goody that I have innocently believed all of the inspiration/revelation talk I've been hearing my whole life to believe it actually works that way?  All I know is this:  Every calling I've had has enriched me in some way, shape or form.  Even being called to Young Women, which I thought would never happen.  So if I am naive, I would like to stay that way.  Sometimes ignorance is pure bliss. 

DISCLAIMER:  This post is not in any way, shape, or form pointed or directed at anyone in my branch, ward, or stake.  It is from something I encountered in a totally non related activity.  Just wanted to say that.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Just thinking I guess

Lately I've been studying in the book of Revelations, so I guess that's where my thoughts are.  I'm surprised as I go throughout my other scriptural or lesson adventures how many things in the book of Revelations are other places in the scriptures as well.  I have been trying to test the quote from Joseph Smith stating that the Book of Revelations is plain.  I have discovered that is true, and it is also very beautifully written.  You only have to open your mind in the right way.  Just like when you're looking at those "hidden picture" things or studying Bruce R McConkie's teachings.  Sorry Elder McConkie, sometimes you can be confusing, but again--incredibly beautiful if your mind is open in the right way. 

I challenge anyone reading my comments to do the same thing with their scripture study.  I have really been touched and amazed at the awesome power of our Heavenly Father and the care and intricacy of the scriptures and gospel teachings. 

I also saw this video on another blog and wanted to share.  It touched my heart.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Kinda funny.

We have two vehicles in our family that we love dearly.
We have the "g" van
And a little  blue isuzu pickup--this is a google picture as I don't have one of our actual truck, but add a little more rust and a little less paint, and it's the same.

Saturday on my way to errands in the van (Tom had been driving it all week to work as it gets better gas mileage and I had missed my g van) I went to McDonald's.  I put the window down and guess what---it wouldn't go back up.  This is a problem because, well, I do live in Wisconsin and it is January.  Luckily, we've had 40 degree weather and no rain or snow the last few days and the van is getting repaired tomorrow.  YAY!!!

Today, I drove the truck home from work.  When I stopped in the driveway, as I was turning off the truck with my foot on the brake, my foot went straight to the floor.  I got out of the truck and saw a lovely pile of goo by the front driver side tire.  Broken brake line.  Isn't it wonderful that happened as I stopped in my driveway???  I think it may be the most  fabulous thing ever.  What a blessing!  It will be repaired before the week is out hopefully.

Our family has always had vehicle trouble.  Always.  Lots and lots and lots and lots of vehicle trouble--all. the. time.  Thanks in large part to the kindness of others in giving and/or selling us dependable vehicles, we've been enjoying almost a year without a major repair or junked out vehicle.  I cannot express to you the joy and exultation this fact provides me on a daily basis.   It is a blessing to get into your vehicle and not be afraid you may not make it to your destination.  I'm grateful to know this and to have seen both sides.    

Also grateful these are easy repairs and that we have the funds on hand to pay for them and the ability to have them completed pretty much immediately.  Still a wonderful blessing and reminder for me. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Why do I do the things I do?

Okay--I guess I've had enough of a holiday blogging break, soooo.....

Today, we had our testimony meeting and a sister I don't ever remember seeing before gave her testimony.  It seemed like she has been inactive for a while and is starting to work her way back into activity, or at least see if that's what she wants to do.  She said several things that were thought provoking to me.

1--"God loves me as I am"--absolutely correct!  Heavenly Father loves us as we are.  I believe He also loves our desire to grow and progress.  He understands our hearts and as someone else said today at church "when we give Him our best, we get His best in return".  I have been trying to be more like that.  To accept people how they are instead of wishing they would hurry up and move on to the next step already.  That is rude and insensitive of me and something I hope to be able to change.

2--"If I don't wear a skirt to church, I am sinning."--I disagree with this one.  It is custom to wear our best clothes to church.  I'm not sure it's a sin if we don't though.  This issue doesn't bother me in the slightest.  As long as people are dressed modestly, I'm pretty much just happy that they're there and hope they feel The Spirit.  I wear my Sunday clothes to church because I believe it is what Heavenly Father would have me do and I want to please Him.  Not because I'm afraid of Him or am trying to make appearances, but because I love Him.  That is something I don't want to change about myself.  I want to please those I love, and I love my Heavenly Father.

3--"I can worship God from home."--again, absolutely true.  However,  I have a deep need to learn from others and help to bear their burdens and have them help to bear mine.  I gain comfort from knowing that others are struggling and striving and doing the best they can even when its hard.  I love the hugs.  I love the crying.  I love the lessons and the parts of themselves the teachers bring into them.  Again, I believe this is what Heavenly Father would have us to do.  Are there people there who are not as righteous as they present themselves to be?  Yes.  Are there people there who hurt my feelings and make me uncomfortable?  Yes.  Am I one of  those people?  I hope not, but I very well may be for some.  I come in spite of those who hurt me, judge me, etc, etc, etc and I hope others do too.

4-A recurring theme throughout her testimony was "why do we go to church".  As I have thought about this, I think there are many reasons why I go to church.  But the most prominent one I can think of is love.  Giving it, receiving it, everything about it.  I believe my weeks go better when I have attended church.  Partaking of the sacrament and renewing of covenants aside, I have my thoughts and goals for the week from the experience of my Sunday worship.  I have wonderful experiences and examples to follow and I am grateful just for the opportunity to go and learn something and feel my Heavenly Father's love for me and for others.