Sunday, January 25, 2009

We Are All Children of God

Gal. 3: 26
 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Sometimes things don't appear as they really are.

We all have a personal history that we carry,
a unique journey of joy and pain.
I was told once that when we get to paradise,
we will be able to hug a person and then
feel their life on earth.
Feel what they have been through,
have empathy and compassion
beyond description. 
I don't know if this is true,
but I like the premise.
We would be incapable of judging others.
I really like this.

I try to apply this in my life.
To look beyond the obvious,
dig down into the heart of the child of God.
To love like God,
and know their goodness.

The landscape is larger than it appears
in this life,
like the heart of our fellowman.
Each of us,
a child of God.

So, I have had some regrets.
1.  In 1982 I saw a women in an Arctic Circle in Buhl, Idaho with five children sitting in a booth. Her demeanor was sad and depressed. I knew I should go over to her and ask her if she needed help.  What prevented me?  I had my own babe in my arms, I was shy, what if she rejected me. 
I didn't  do it.  I was so young and lacking in courage. To this day I pray for her, and regret I didn't do it.

2.   A few years back, I was with my sister Judy in down town San Diego.  We were in a flower market.  A young girl about 20 or so with coal black hair, black and white striped tights, black makeup all over her face....saw me and my sister walking towards a booth.  She came up to me, looked me in the face and gave me the finger.  I looked back into her eyes  and never felt so much love for a person as I did for her that day. ' I said, 'Are you alright?'  She ran off.  I felt compelled to buy her a flower.  I went to the vender and bought her a daisy.  I looked all over for her, then gave up.  I regret that I gave up.  I think she needed that daisy.  I pray for her, too. 

3.   Many years ago I saw a man carrying around a young little girl in DI.   She was dirty and barefoot.  I wanted to buy her a pair of shoes.  He was a mean looking man.  He scared me.  I reflected on how I would approach him.  I didn't do it.  I was afraid. I regret this.

Because I have a stronger testimony of this truth that we are all children of God, the same source, the same flesh, the same...
I have become less afraid, more able to approach, more guided, just more....
 I want no more regrets.

John 13: 34-35
34 A new commandment I give unto you, 
That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

How can you express more love to your fellowman...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

To Be Of Good Cheer

I am a lucky girl.  I grew up in a cheerful home.  Of course, there were times of sadness and heartbreak, but for the most part my childhood home was filled with my dad's silly sense of fun, my mother's talent for cooking yummy foods, singing songs from musicals, celebrating gardens and food and  fun. Yup, I am a lucky girl.

The older I get, I have learned to appreciate this unique aspect of my family.  I have come to realize that not all families are cheerful.  In fact, it is rather rare and distinct.  And, I am grateful for being taught to see the glass half full, the sunshine midst the clouds, the lesson learned from adversity.  It has developed the ability to see the good in others, the good in life, the just plain good. 

So I seek good cheer.  I am filled with the spirit of hope as a result. 
Most importantly, the spirit of all that is good and happy and filled with love. 
Basically, the spirit of love. 

Marvin J. Ashton, “‘Be of Good Cheer’,” Ensign, May 1986, 66

Over the last number of weeks as I have contemplated this occasion, I have been strongly impressed to share some thoughts about the Lord’s invitation to “be of good cheer”—yes, to be of good cheer without fear. With world conditions of riots, protests, arms buildups, wars and rumors of war, mistrust, poverty, disappointments, terrorism, tragedies, etc., there has never been a period in history when there is a greater need to accept another of the Lord’s eternal promises.

“Behold, this is the promise of the Lord unto you, O ye my servants.

“Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come.” (D&C 68:5–6.)

Good cheer is a state of mind or mood that promotes happiness or joy. Some like to think good cheer is found in a bottle, a six-pack, an injection, a pinch under the lip, rationalization, or self-deceit. Incidentally, it has been my observation over the years that those who try to drown their sorrows with drink only sicken their tomorrows. With God’s help, good cheer permits us to rise above the depressing present or difficult circumstances. It is a process of positive reassurance and reinforcement. It is sunshine when clouds block the light.

Recently, while visiting with a wife who had suddenly lost a husband through a tragic death, I was touched by this lovely lady from Washington, Utah, when she said, “My heart is heavy and sad, but my soul is of good cheer.” There was a powerful inward cheer dominating the sorrowful situation. The promise, “for I the Lord am with you,” was triumphing over heartache and despair. People of good cheer soften the sorrow of others as well as those that weigh mightily upon themselves.

None of us will escape tragedy and suffering. Each of us will probably react differently. However, if we can recall the Lord’s promise, “for I the Lord am with you,” we will be able to face our problems with dignity and courage. We will find the strength to be of good cheer instead of becoming resentful, critical, or defeated. We will be able to meet life’s unpleasant happenings with clear vision, strength, and power.


He promises to stand by us. He invites us to bear record and witness of him. 
What a joy and honor it is for me to declare in good cheer and without fear that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God, that he was the Only Begotten of the Father, that he is, and that he will yet come again in God’s name. I thank God for the Savior’s life, his cheerful love, and his example. 
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.” (1 Jn. 4:18.)

To all mankind everywhere I cheerfully testify that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is our Redeemer. He will sustain us now and forever if we will walk in his paths, be of good cheer, and not fear. 
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

To Be Pure

Moroni 7: 47-48
47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

I ask myself how I can be more pure.
Living in a world where every turn
lies the soil of the deceiver.

I despise the filth.

I crave light,

I want to be pure, like Christ. 
Let my heart be cleansed before Him.
Let me leave this world behind.
May my words and deeds be
a source of refreshment,
that I might be more like Him.