About Joyce Anderson

Joyce is a mother, wife, sister, school teacher, Bulgarian speaker, conservative, lover of good music, social media junky and a two time culinary arts Grand Champion bread baker. She and the family reside in a remote mountain community where great discoveries have been made. When not changing the world, she enjoys the occasional bowl of chips and salsa. She can be found at: http://pinterest.com/TheAtomicMom

Forgiveness Matters

trainwreckAmerica is having a bad year.

It seems like each week, and almost every day there is some sort of violence being perpetrated on one group or another by some other group or another who feels slighted or aggrieved. This year’s presidential election has not helped the national mood either. We live in this zero-sum game world now where we’ve taken justice into our own hands, because we must win at all costs, or make the people with whom we disagree pay for what we perceive as their sins against us and humanity. Daily, in the media, we hear pudits screaming that people who do not agree with them, “will pay”. My own social media feed is filled with articles written by foil-hatted fools who predict the end of world if their guy (or gal) does not win, or if justice is not served up right away. The anger and frustration is tangible.

Are you tired of it? Because I am.

We need to be having a discussion as a nation that is not about politics, or groups, or whose side will win and what they will do to the losers.

The real discussion we should be having is about forgiveness. Forgiveness Matters. Here, I’ll hashtag it for you #ForgivnessMatters. Now go and tweet that out, but first think about it and let it soak into you head. FORGIVENESS MATTERS.
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Stop the Contention

fightingI’m one of the Gospel Doctrine teachers in my ward. It’s a calling l love, but am terrified of all at the same time. Teaching the gospel to adults is very hard, especially when I feel like I’m the least experienced in the room. But it’s good to feel inadequate sometimes. It pushes me to rely on the Lord a lot more to do my calling the right way.

This year’s course of study has been The Book of Mormon and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Over the last few weeks as we’ve wound our way thru the chapters in the Book of Alma and Helaman there are stark patterns that emerge that parallel our day. Some people call it “The Pride Cycle”, but basically it’s the story of the human condition since the beginning of time. People are good, they are blessed, then become prideful and wicked. They fall, and become enslaved – either to their own vice and are destroyed , or are literally taken away as slaves to be humbled. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Sometimes the cycle repeats itself several times in the course of a year.

Right before the Savior’s visit to the Nephites in 3 Nephi, this cycle becomes particularly vicious, with the people dividing themselves up into tribes and with the Gadianton Robbers bearing down on everyone they can. At the death of the Savior, the land is broken up, there is great destruction and the Nephite civilization is destroyed, with “the more righteous part” of the people being left to pick up the pieces and start over. Continue reading

The Importance of Religious Freedom

1st-amendIn all of the political bickering as a result of this election, we’ve lost sight of something very important, preserving our religious liberty. This is not just an important issue for Latter-day Saints, it is an important issue for all people, regardless if they are people of faith or not.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” This is the first right enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Freedom of religion, coupled with freedom of speech are the two most important rights, we as Americans, have. Sadly, we know, we see, and we are experiencing the loss of these two rights daily. Lawsuits, political correctness, and people and groups with agendas are working overtime to make sure these rights are diminished, or only protected for certain classes of people, and that people of faith are excluded from the public square, and even punished for their faith. Continue reading

Ready and waiting for General Conference

first-presTomorrow we get to sit and listen to General Conference. Including the Women’s Session from last week, there are about 11 hours in which we will be instructed, counseled, and taught as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know many of us look forward to this weekend with anticipation.

This year I have approached Conference differently. In years past, I just sort of showed up and was wiling to hear whatever was said. If I learned something, great! And I always have. This year, however, I decided to do what many people do, and that is, come to General Conference with questions. I’m hoping that with a few particular points to focus on, in addition to learning what is presented, I will come away from Conference a bit more enriched and a bit more focused for the next six months.

In the Book of Second Nephi 2: 26-27, we read, “Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” The words of the prophets and other leaders of the Church are the way to eternal life. By choosing to follow their council and guidance, we are choosing to follow the Lord. But we have to choose to follow. Nephi also teaches us in these verses that we are here to “act” and “not to be acted upon.” Continue reading