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
Merry Christmas from all of us at The Millennial Star!
“Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.
And it came to pass that there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. And it came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.
And it had come to pass, yea, all things, every whit, according to the words of the prophets.
I know there has been some backlash from a few of the talks given at General Conference over the weekend, specifically the talk on the Family Proclamation given by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the 12. I’ll just say this, it saddens me to see the level of vitriol aimed at him from those who preach tolerance and love ad nauseum. If you’ve engaged in this, stop it today. I came across this wise council from Elder David A. Bednar last night and it was very comforting to me.
“The Savior declared, “Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38). May we hear and heed the eternal truths taught by the Lord’s authorized representatives. As we do so, I promise our faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will be fortified, and we will receive spiritual guidance and protection for our specific circumstances and needs.”
There were things I heard from the Conference that have made me squirm in my seat a bit — but not because I thought the messenger was trying to be hateful or mean to me and my particular circumstance. It’s because I knew those words were true. Nephi teaches us in the Book of Mormon that the guilty take the truth to be hard. And we’re all guilty of something. I know there are areas I need to work on in my life. Change is hard — but I felt the nudge from this weekend. Giving up our ideas for God’s better ideas and way, is hard. It means sacrificing our wants and our agenda. It might mean finding new friends, living life differently and breaking old and comfortable habits. However, if we don’t do those things, we don’t grow and improve. That’s the whole point of this mortal existence — to grow, to improve, to learn, to come back to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
What Elder Bednar has said, is true, particularly this last part, “We will receive spiritual guidance and protection for our specific circumstances and needs” Hear, and heed — those are your action verbs! Then take it to the Lord. He does know you, and all of us, and will help us in a way that’s best for us. This is where we put faith into action and trust. The question of the day is this, “Dear Lord, how do I apply this council, from a prophet of God to my life? Please help me to go and do the things You have commanded.”
A reminder, when you’re out and about on Facebook and in your online interactions with people, to remember, the other person is a person with feelings and all. I was reminded today, thru something that was brought to my attention, and which I had chance to observe, how hate, bitterness and the desire for revenge can canker and destroy your soul. I get why Jesus Christ taught us to pray for our enemies, not so much for them, but for ourselves, so we don’t go over the cliff.
We need to do better, and be better in our online interactions. Christ gives us a template in Matthew 18: 15, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” Heavenly Father needs us up on top, not down at the bottom of that cliff.
In the end, you don’t have to win all the arguments, you don’t have to save the world with your tweets, but we should all be working face to face with each other when we need to resolve our differences. Commit today to be a better online participant.
Facebook reminded me today of a post I wrote a few years ago about how I gained my testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. From the original post:
“Growing up in the Church I think I look the life and Marytrdom of Joseph Smith for granted. I never really thought about my own testimony of Joseph Smith I just always thought I knew he was a prophet, because everyone around me said he was. Thankfully, that changed. Twenty years ago, on the 150th anniversary of the Martyrdom, there was a fireside broadcast in commemoration of the event from Carthage Jail in Illinois. President Howard W. Hunter and his councilors were going to be there as well. I was a young single adult at the time, attending a student ward. We had the last block of meetings in our building that day, and everyone had planned on staying for this broadcast. I really didn’t think much about it; in fact I didn’t even know that June 27th was the exact day Joseph Smith had been killed. But my friends were going to be there, so I stayed.
I’m so glad I did stay and I thought to pay attention because it was at this fireside that I gained my own testimony of Joseph Smith.
The service started with and opening song and a prayer and there were speakers. I don’t remember what they said at all. But near the end of the program there was a congregational hymn. I can’t even remember what song it was we were to sing, “Praise to the Man,” or “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief?” It didn’t matter. The camera panned to President Hunter, who was in a wheelchair and who looked uncomfortable in the heat of a late June afternoon in Illinois, but he was singing and enduring it well I thought. It was at this time that the Spirit spoke to my heart and my mind. “Joyce, Joseph Smith was the Prophet of the Restoration. And all the power and keys which were given to Joseph, reside with that man there, President Hunter. He is the living prophet – follow the prophet!” From then on, and for the last 20 years, I have had an abiding testimony of Joseph Smith. I know he was a prophet of God.”
I still testify that Joseph Smith was the prophet of the restoration. That has been made manifest even more this year, as I’ve had the opportunity to teach Church History and the Doctrine & Covenants in our ward’s Gospel Doctrine class. We have living prophets on the earth today, and we will always do well to follow their council and teachings in all things. Helping others follow the prophet is also one of the most important things we can do. If you are struggling with something, look to what the living prophets have said and taught us. They love us, and want us to return to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Their words are the words the Lord and the Savior would speak if they were sitting next to us. Listen and follow!
Here are just a few thought’s I’ve had this Sunday afternoon, they are in no particular order.
Thought One: I posted a meme with a quote by Pres. Howard W. Hunter on the Millennial Star Facebook page a few weeks ago which said, “We need to be kinder with one another, more gentle and forgiving.”
Along the lines of forgiveness and kindness, in my Gospel Doctrine class today I included a story of Edward Partridge, the first bishop of the Church. He was one of the leaders of the Church in Missouri and in charge of helping people settle into land and life there. He was a target of mob violence and suffered a tarring and feathering. He said of the incident,
“I told [the mob] that the Saints had suffered persecution in all ages of the world; that I had done nothing which ought to offend anyone; that if they abused me, they would abuse an innocent person; that I was willing to suffer for the sake of Christ; but, to leave the country, I was not then willing to consent to it. I bore my abuse with so much resignation and meekness, that it appeared to astound the multitude, who permitted me to retire in silence, many looking very solemn, their sympathies having been touched as I thought; and as to myself, I was so filled with the Spirit and love of God, that I had no hatred towards my persecutors or anyone else” (Our Heritage: A Brief History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, chapter 4).
In the age of social media mob violence, we need to be kinder, gentler and more forgiving of each other. We will be more effective as Latter-day Saints by being kinder to people than by being argumentative and rude. Continue reading →