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

Live In Thanksgiving Daily

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I feel like this year has been a slog thru the trenches of life for me and my family. One of the things that has helped me this year as I have navigated some pretty big trials is to be grateful and to show gratitude is hand writing thank you notes. I bought a big box of thank you cards in the spring when I was recovering from a broken foot and spent time each day writing thank you notes to people that had come into our home to serve me and my family. It felt good to hand write a card, to stick a stamp on it and wait for the mailman to take it away. I love a well written thank you note. Its something we need to bring back, don’t you think? (The only answer is yes here).

Sister Bonnie D Parkin, former Relief Soceity General President said of gratitude,

“Gratitude is a Spirit-filled principle. It opens our minds to a universe permeated with the richness of a living God. Through it, we become spiritually aware of the wonder of the smallest things, which gladden our hearts with their messages of God’s love. This grateful awareness heightens our sensitivity to divine direction. When we communicate gratitude, we can be filled with the Spirit and connected to those around us and the Lord. Gratitude inspires happiness and carries divine influence. “Live in thanksgiving daily,” said Amulek, “for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.”

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to concentrate on gratitude in our family — even more than I already make my kids do — they roll their eyes most days, because I won’t let them complain until they’ve told me three unique things they are thankful for. Usually by the time they get to the second thing, their gripe is dampened, or gone altogether. I hope you will join me and my family in our daily thanksgiving, and comment here on my posts as I make them. I’m inviting you to reach deep inside and think and ponder on the things you are thankful for. I’m also inviting you to share that gratitude with those in your circle — and beyond just social media, which is fine, but let’s take it to the next level which is connecting with people. Reach out to the people in your life and share the spirit of gratitude with them I feel like if we can be grateful ourselves and encourage others to also be grateful, we might be successful in diffusing some of the angst in our respective circles, with the hope that we might all be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit in the process.

Happy November!

Standing with Paul on Mars Hill

This week in Come Follow Me we get to read Acts 17.  This chapter starts out with Paul and Silas making their way through Macedonia and Thrace, spreading the gospel and teaching the Saints.  After Paul escapes the angry mob in Thessaloniki, he ends up in Athens, a city, “wholly given over to idolatry”.  He goes to the Aeropagus, or Mars Hill, which is a place where people congregate to gossip and debate. While there he preaches the gospel. Continue reading

Timeline of Life

It’s been a week of contemplation for me. You see two friends died this week, one young, one older, both from cancer, a thousand miles apart.  It was also the fourth anniversary of the death of a best friend. I have been thinking and pondering my life as I’ve thought about all of their lives.

I had this mental picture of life as a ongoing timeline.  We hop on when we are born, and others join us and leave as relationships wax and wane, and eventually you jump off the timeline when you pass away.   For my younger friend, we spent our time on the line in high school.  None of us know what life will bring or how we leave — of course she didn’t know that cancer would take her, when we were singing in choir and worrying about the problems of youth.  We don’t know that when we join the timeline of life.  That is the greatness of mortality though — we have people, opportunity, good, bad, all of it.  Isn’t life wonderful?

My thoughts also have turned to how I spend my time, and the things I worry about.  I see the madness we’re continually descending into as a society and I am tired of it.  It doesn’t matter what goes on in the news, or who is offended about what.  What matters is that we’re teaching our children the gospel, teaching them to keep the commandments, and preparing them to enter the temple.  Everything else will either work out, or not matter.  The night before I’d spent several hours at a City Council meeting listening to people quibbling over stupid, trivial things.  I didn’t want to be there, but I had to make a statement.  When I was done, I sat down and decided, I was going to remove myself from this local political issue.  I just can’t waste my time on stupid things that have no bearing on eternity.  I want to live my life better, and work on those things that matter most.

“And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:  But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” Acts 5: 38-39.

It was fitting that last night in our family Book of Mormon study we read Alma 32: 21, “And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.”

I asked my kids what do we hope for, what do we have faith in?  My 2 year old just shouted out, “Dee-zus! (Jesus!)”  Yes, we do.  We hope for Jesus and the resurrection he made possible for us, and all of the other promised blessing we have access to as we live the gospel, keep the commandments, and really deeply let our covenants surround us and protect us and remake us into what God wants us to be.

This is what I know, I hope for, and have faith in the resurrection, for my friends, and my self.  The Plan of Salvation is real, the gospel of Jesus Christ gives us hope in these things and helps us to make the right changes so that we work out to be with God.

175th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Joseph & Hyrum Smith

Today marks the 175th anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith at Carthage Jail.

I cannot express adequately my feelings for Joseph and Hyrum, other than to say, I am profoundly grateful for their sacrifice.  I am thankful that Joseph, as a young boy, had the courage to “ask God in faith, nothing wavering”.  I know that Joseph was the prophet of the restoration and that the Church of Jesus Christ continues today with the same priesthood keys, and authority from God.  In 1842, as part of the Wentworth Letter, Joseph declared the following:

 “The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.” (History of the Church 4:540)

Last year I shared Doctrine & Covenants 135, and a video of the Tabernacle Choir singing “Praise to the Man”.  Click HERE to read and listen.

Here are some other articles and media on this subject. I will update these links as I find more today:

Joseph Smith Timeline

96 Hour Timeline Surrounding the Martyrdom

Conference Talks about Joseph Smith

From the series, “Joseph” episode 49, The Martyrdom of Joseph & Hyrum Smith

Martyrdom at Carthage, by Reed Blake

John Taylor: Witness to the Martyrdom, from BYU Religious Studies Center, article by Mark H. Taylor

The Martyrdom and other Noble Dates in 2019

Summer Music: The Promise of Living

For many people their favorite holiday is Christmas. That’s fine — weirdos (just kidding!). In our house we’re summer people, especially Independence Day people. Starting about Memorial Day I begin to blitz the house with red, white, and blue decorations, my children wait for me to bring out the fire crackers, we read the Declaration of Independence the night before Independence Day, and we watch 1776 on the day itself. We carry our celebrations into late July and truly enjoy Pioneer Day and celebrating our ancestors and our country.  I love this time of year.
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