Sunday, December 18, 2016

Gifts of Peace




Gifts of Peace

Some of us live in beautiful and peaceful surroundings, yet we are experiencing inner turmoil. Others feel peace and perfect serenity in the midst of great personal loss, tragedy, and continuing trials.
To all who have come into mortality, the Savior said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation.”  Yet He gave this wonderful promise to His disciples during His mortal ministry: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”  It is a comfort to know that this promise of personal peace continues for all of His covenant disciples today.
John 16:33
 33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
John 14:27
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
It is a promise given even on the very night of His birth. When heavenly messengers heralded the birth of the Savior, they declared, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace.
Luke 2:14
 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.
For all is hushed,
The world is sleeping,
Holy Star its vigil keeping.
Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.

Sleep, sleep, sleep,
'Tis the eve of our Saviour's birth.
The night is peaceful all around you,
Close your eyes,
Let sleep surround you.
Sleep, sleep, sleep,
'Tis the eve of our Saviour's birth.

Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.
While guardian angels without number,
Watch you as you sweetly slumber.
Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.

(Traditional Austrian Christmas Lullaby)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

On This Day of Joy and Gladness



Doctrine and Covenants 101:36

Wherefore, fear not even unto death; 
for in this world your joy is not full, 
but in me your joy is full.


Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; 
the which when a man hath found, 
he hideth, 
and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, 
and buyeth that field.

Matthew 13:44


Jesu, joy of man's desiring,
Holy wisdom, love most bright;
Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring
Soar to uncreated light.

Word of God, our flesh that fashioned,
With the fire of life impassioned,
Striving still to truth unknown,
Soaring, dying round Thy throne.

Through the way where hope is guiding,
Hark, what peaceful music rings;
Where the flock, in Thee confiding,
Drink of joy from deathless springs.

Theirs is beauty's fairest pleasure;
Theirs is wisdom's holiest treasure.
Thou dost ever lead Thine own
In the love of joys unknown.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Master Healer


Excerpts from the talk
The Master Healer
You don’t have to experience the sorrow caused by sin, the pain caused by others’ actions, or the painful realities of mortality—alone.

“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." 1 Nephi 11:36


Hope and healing are not found in the dark abyss of secrecy but in the light and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Elder Richard G. Scott counseled: “If you are free [from] serious sin yourself, don’t suffer needlessly the consequences of another’s sins. … You can feel compassion. … Yet you should not take upon yourself a feeling of responsibility. … When you have done what is reasonable to help one you love, lay the burden at the feet of the Savior. … As you so act, not only will you find peace but will demonstrate your faith in the power of the Savior to lift the burden of sin from a loved one through his repentance and obedience.”
He continued: “Complete healing will come through your faith in Jesus Christ and His power and capacity, through His Atonement, to heal the scars of that which is unjust and undeserved.”
Richard G. Scott, “To Be Free of Heavy Burdens,Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2002, 88.
“… If ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come … will I receive.”

Cast thy burden upon the Lord,
And he shall sustain thee.
He never will suffer the righteous to fall.
He is at thy right hand.
Thy mercy, Lord, is great
And far above the heav'ns.
Let none be made ashamed
That wait upon thee.


Text: Julius Schubring, 1806-1889; 
adapted from the Psalms

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Endure Well


“Certain forms of suffering, endured well, can actually be ennobling. …
“… Part of enduring well consists of being meek enough, amid our suffering, to learn from our relevant experiences. Rather than simply passing through these things, they must pass through us … in ways which sanctify [us].”
(Neal A. Maxwell, “Enduring Well,” Ensign, Apr. 1997, 8; )
Neil A. Maxwell


Ether 12:4
 Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.
Revelation 7:17

 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, 
and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and 
God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.



Thy Will, O Lord, Be Done


When in the wondrous realms above
Our Savior had been called upon
To save our world of sin by love,
He said, "Thy will, O Lord, be done."


The King of Kings left worlds of light,
Became the meek and lowly One;
In brightest day or darkest night,
He said, "Thy will, O Lord, be done."


No crown of thorns, no cruel cross
Could make our great Redeemer shun.
He counted his own will but naught,
And said, "Thy will, O Lord, be done."


We take the bread and cup this day
In mem'ry of the sinless One,
And pray for strength, that we may say,
As he, "Thy will, O Lord, be done."


Frank I. Kooyman, 1880-1963. © 1948 IRI


(all art by Morgan Weistling)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

An Uncommon Gratitude


D&C 78:19


  And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness
shall be made glorious;







We can only be said to be alive 
in those moments when our 
hearts are conscious of our treasures. 
~Thornton Wilder











Saturday, November 12, 2016

Let This Be Our Prayer


THE PRAYER

I pray you'll be our eyes,
and watch us where we go
And help us to be wise,
in times when we don't know
Let this be our prayer,
when we lose our way
Lead us to a place,
guide us with your grace
To a place where we'll be safe.
La luce che tu hai
I pray we'll find your light
Nel cuore resterà
And hold it in our hearts
A ricordarci che
When stars go out each night
L'eterna stella sei
Nella mia preghiera
Let this be our prayer
Quanta fede c'è
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace

Give us faith so we'll be safe
Sogniamo un mondo senza più violenza
Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza
Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino
Simbolo di pace, di fraternità

La forza che ci dà
We ask that life be kind
È il desiderio che
And watch us from above
Ognuno trovi amor
We hope each soul will find
Intorno e dentro a sé
Another soul to love
Let this be our prayer
Let this be our prayer
Just like every child
Just like every child

Need to find a place,
guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe
È la fede che
Hai acceso in noi
Sento che ci salverà.



Alma 37:37

  Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.




Saturday, November 5, 2016

Joy and Spiritual Survival



 I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
 11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Joy and Spiritual Survival

"My dear brothers and sisters, the joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives."
"When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation, ... and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy. We feel it at Christmastime when we sing, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come.”9 And we can feel it all year round. For Latter-day Saints, Jesus Christ is joy!"
"Just as the Savior offers peace that “passeth all understanding,”12 He also offers an intensity, depth, and breadth of joy that defy human logic or mortal comprehension. For example, it doesn’t seem possible to feel joy when your child suffers with an incurable illness or when you lose your job or when your spouse betrays you. Yet that is precisely the joy the Savior offers. His joy is constant, assuring us that our “afflictions shall be but a small moment”13 and be consecrated to our gain.14"
"How, then, can we claim that joy? We can start by “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”15 “in every thought.”16 We can give thanks for Him in our prayers and by keeping covenants we’ve made with Him and our Heavenly Father. As our Savior becomes more and more real to us and as we plead for His joy to be given to us, our joy will increase."
"Joy is powerful, and focusing on joy brings God’s power into our lives. As in all things, Jesus Christ is our ultimate exemplar, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.”17Think of that! In order for Him to endure the most excruciating experience ever endured on earth, our Savior focused on joy!"


2 Nephi 2:25
Adam fell that men might be; 
and men are, 
that they might have joy.

Isaiah 35:10
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, 
and come to Zion 
with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: 
they shall obtain joy and gladness, 
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.