This weeks lesson I’m teaching

I get the privilege of teaching Relief Society tomorrow morning. I decided I would share my lesson with you on my blog. I hope you enjoy it.

Chapter 2: An Ensign to the Nations, a Light to the World

From the Life of Gordon B. Hinkley:

After his mission, President Hinkley, instead of going back to college, accepted a job as executive secretary of the newly formed Church Radio, Publicity, and Mission Literature committee. This was his first of many job with the church.

Having developed the ability to express himself clearly in all situations, President Hinkley often received assignments to be interviewed by news reporters. As President of the Church, he continued to welcome such opportunities, doing his part to help bring the church “out of obscurity”

 

1 – Like the Stone in Daniel’s vision, the church is rolling forth to fill the whole earth:

When the Church was organized in 1830 there were but six members and oly a handful of believers. Today Stakes of Zion flourish in every state of the United States, in every province of Canada, in every state of Mexico, in every nation of Central America and throughout South America.

Congregations are found throughout the British Isles and Europe, where thousands have joined the Church through the years. This work has reached out to the Baltic nations and on down through Bulgaria and Albania and other areas of that part of the world. It reaches across the vast area of Russia. It reaches up into Mongolia and all down through the nations of Asia into the islands of the Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand, and into India and Indonesia. It is flourishing in many of the nations of Africa…

 

2 – Early church leaders had a prophetic view of the destiny of the Lord’s work:

President HInkley said he “marveled at the foresight of that little group. It was both audacious and bold. It was almost unbelievable. Here they were, almost a thousand miles from the nearest settlement to the east and almost eight hundred miles from the Pacific Coast. They were in an untried climate. The soil was different from that of the black loam of Illinois and Iowa, where they had most recently lived. They had never raised a crop here. They had never experienced a winter. They had not built a structure of any kind. These prophets, dressed in old, travel-worn clothes, standing in boots they had worn for more than a thousand miles from Nauvoo to this valley, spoke of a millennial vision. They spoke out of a prophetic view of the marvelous destiny of this cause. They came down from the peak that day and went to work to bring reality to their dream.

 

3 – We must never lose sight of the divine destiny of God’s work and the part we play in it:

… While you are performing the part to which you have been called, never lose sight of the whole majestic and wonderful picture of the purpose of this, the dispensation of the fulness of times. Weave beautifully your small thread in the grand tapestry, the pattern for which was laid out for us by the God of heaven. Hold high the standard under which we walk. Be diligent, be true, be virtuous, be faithful, that there may be no flaw in that banner.

Why do we need to see this grand picture?

Why do we sometimes lose sight of it?

In what ways can our small efforts contribute to the growth of God’s kingdom?

 

4 – We can become as an ensign to the nations from which the people of the earth may gather strength:

This section is simply amazing. I really feel that this is the section that I should focus on today!

President Hinkley said: My brethren and sisters, the time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a time to be found keeping the commandments. It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships. In other words, to become more Christlike.

It is not always easy to live in the world and not be a part of it. We cannot live entirely with our own or unto ourselves, nor would we wish to. We must mingle with others. In so doing, we can be gracious. We can be inoffensive. We can avoid any spirit or attitude of self-righteousness. But we can maintain our standards. …

We need not compromise. We must not compromise. The candle that the Lord has lighted in this dispensation can become as a light unto the whole world, and others seeing our good works can be led to glorify our Father in Heaven and emulate in their own lives the examples they have observed in ours.

Beginning with you and me, there can be an entire people who, by the virtue of our lives in our homes, in our vocations, even in our amusements, can become as a city upon a hill to which men may look and learn, and an ensign to the nations from which the people of the earth may gather strength.

If we are to hold up this Church as an ensign to the nations and a light to the world, we must take on more of the luster of the life of Christ individually and in our own personal circumstances. In standing for the right, we must not be fearful of the consequences. We must never be afraid.

… I urge you with all the capacity that I have to reach out in a duty that stands beyond the requirements of our everyday lives; that is, to stand strong, even to become a leader in speaking up in behalf of those causes which make our civilization shine and which give comfort and peace to our lives. You can be a leader. You must be a leader, as a member of this Church, in those causes for which this Church stands. Do not let fear overcome your efforts

We have nothing to fear. God is at the helm. He will overrule for the good of this work. He will shower down blessings upon those who walk in obedience to His commandments. Such has been His promise. Of His ability to keep that promise none of us can doubt.

Unitedly, working hand in hand, we shall move forward as servants of the living God, doing the work of His Beloved Son, our Master, whom we serve and whose name we seek to glorify.11

We must stand firm. We must hold back the world. If we do so, the Almighty will be our strength and our protector, our guide and our revelator. We shall have the comfort of knowing that we are doing what He would have us do. Others may not agree with us, but I am confident that they will respect us. We will not be left alone. There are many [who are] not of our faith but who feel as we do. They will support us. They will sustain us in our efforts.12

Let us glory in this wonderful season of the work of the Lord. Let us not be proud or arrogant. Let us be humbly grateful. And let us, each one, resolve within himself or herself that we will add to the luster of this magnificent work of the Almighty, that it may shine across the earth as a beacon of strength and goodness for all the world to look upon.

 

How can we live in the world without being of the world?

How can we “take on more of the luster of the life of Christ”?

Why is it important for us to stand for what is right?

 

The Story of Me week 7

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I didn’t have a lot of friends as a child. We moved around a lot, so I was not able to cultivate many long friendships.

We moved to Arkansas when I was 14, and I have mostly been around Fort Smith and Van Buren since that time. I do still have pretty regular contact with one of the girls that I went to Seminary with back when I was 14. It is nice to be able to say that I have had a friend that long. She is always the friend I tag on Facebook as the the “friend” that I have known longest in real life (other than family of course).

My best friend is my husband. We have been married for over 31 years. We have had our share of problems, and there was a few years that we were separated and I did not want to be married to him anymore. But, after I got clean and worked a few steps, I got rid of all of the anger I had toward him and was able to see the love again. We have had a really great last 10 years of married life. He knows me better than probably anyone. I know him pretty well too. One of the best things about our relationship now versus our relationship before I worked steps is that I feel comfortable telling him anything. Before the discomfort was not with ‘him’, it was my own insecurity and not believing I was worth loving. It is really nice to be able to tell him all my stuff and trust that he still loves me!!

I have a really good friend that I have known for about 10 years now. I trust her with all of my stuff. I can tell her anything and she will not judge me. She helps me find my way to my solutions. We did not start out as friends, this relationship has taken lots of work, but it sure has been worth it. I sure do love my Brandi!! I hope to always be friends with her!

I am friends with my remaining blood sister. We get along and we talk. There is 15 years difference in our ages and when our mom died I stepped into the parental role. I made many mistakes in our relationship over the years. I have done a lot better in the last 10 since I worked steps and have been able to mostly stop trying to be her mom and tell her what to do and how to live her life. I really enjoy just being her sister. We just don’t enjoy the same things too much. Also we are not at the same places in our lives and that is ok.

I was pretty good friends as one time with my sister Debbie. We were only 2 years apart in age. Once we grew up and mostly quit fighting, we did a lot together. Our son’s were born 10 days apart and they grew up together. There were many, many Friday and Saturday nights that we spent hours at her house all of us playing cards or watching TV or just chatting. That all changed not long after Mom died. A lot of things in our life changed within a few years of Mom dying. But I will always treasure those memories and I will also treasure the talks that her and I had in the past 8 years or so!

I am  still practicing being a good friend and I hope to continue making more friends for many years to come.

(((HUGS)))

 

 

 

 

 

The Story of Me m2.1

Do you know the story of how your parents met and fell in love?

I have been told parts of the story all of my life, both by my mother and father, some bits I have learned as an adult.

My parents met at an LDS Stake youth Thanksgiving dance in Fort Smith Arkansas in 1965. Not such a big thing except that my dad was raised in Tucson. My paternal grandparents moved their family from Tucson to Fort Smith in 1966 and only stayed for 6 months. That’s all. My dad always said that the only reason they came to Arkansas was so he could meet my mother!

They met at that Thanksgiving dance. I learned later that when my mom saw my dad she told her girl friends that she had dibs on him. Apparently he was tall enough that she could wear heals and he would still be taller than her. We learned this tidbit later from her best friend after mom died. Apparently my dad asked my mom to dance and that was all that was necessary. Because when his parents went back to Arizona a couple of months later he stayed (to take care of moving everything else back to AZ). My parents were married the next April 22.

They were married until my mother died on June 28, 1995. My father has not remarried. My mother was my father’s best friend, and he was her’s.

My dad use to do great loving things for my mom, a lot. He would bring her flowers, often. She use to always joke that if she even verbalized that she needed to lose weight, dad went out and bought her chocolates. My dad was always holding her hand, or telling her he loved her. I had to learn as an adult that people show love in many different ways. I was a bit disappointed in my early married life that my husband didn’t get me flowers or hold my hand a lot, and the fact that he had a best friend that wasn’t me nearly broke my heart. I have learned that people love in different ways! My dad showed his love for my mom in his way, which was great, and my husband shows his love for me in his way, which is amazing. Realizing that there is no “cookie cutter” mold for showing love has been one of the best lessons I have ever  learned.

By the way, my husband and I have been married since August, 9, 1985. We have had our struggles and were separated once for over 6 years, but we never got divorced. We have both grown and worked to make our marriage a wonderful place to be today!!

The Story of me w5.1

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That’s a hard question to answer. Part of me says I should answer my children and their children, etc. Part of me says that it will be something about how many different people that I can make a good difference in their life. And then, there is the part of me that says I need to discuss the fact about what I truly believe is our reason for being here on this earth. That I believe we are here on this earth as part of our eternal spiritual progression and so my greatest achievement should be striving for exaltation. If this question is talking about this “life here on earth”, then I might should talk about how I ended up becoming a drug addict, lousy mother, liar, thief and all of those horrid things that go along with drug addiction and how I was able to break free of that with God’s help, an Anonymous 12 step program and perseverance.

The really neat thing is that since this is my blog, I can talk about all of those things!

So, I have 2 children. A boy and a girl. Born in 1989 and 1990. My son is married and does not have any children. My daughter in not married and has 3 children. Those 3 are my wonderful grandchildren. They are my descendants, but more than that, they are my family that I love and strive to show love consistently.

God has Patty being of service on a consistent basis. Service is one of the things that allows us as humans to affect other humans in a positive way. I get to be of service A LOT. I babysit my 2 year old grandson 5 days a week while my daughter is at school, I pick up my granddaughter from school 5 days a week because my daughter works. Our daughter and the kids live with us so I get to be of service not only to my husband in our home by cleaning, cooking and trying to keep a happy atmosphere, but I am able to assist my daughter in so much of the daily tedious stuff of raising children. And yes, I believe that all of this is being of service!! My widowed father does not drive any more even though he is still able to live alone, so I am usually the one who takes him to do all of his shopping. We live about 10 miles apart and I usually take my youngest grandson with us on our shopping sprees. He and I practice the same religion, so I also take him to church with me when he feels like going. I have 2 callings at church, a ward calling as a Relief Society teacher (I teach 1 lesson a month) and my Stake calling is as the Facilitator for our Addiction Recovery Program in our Stake. I have been sponsoring women in the Anonymous 12 Step program that I am a member of for over 9 years. I am also a sponsor in the ARP. So I have been very blessed to be able to affect people through my service.

My religious beliefs teach me that the reason for this earthly life are to progress spiritually. I believe that this earth was made so that I could come here, occupy and body and by doing so the spiritual progression is massively increased in comparison to just the slow spiritual progression we were experiencing. So, the whole point of living here right now, is to learn lessons to forward my spiritual progress. It is not to amass money or possessions, it is not to find great wealth and power. It is to progress spiritually so that I can eventually reach my spiritual goals. Part of those goals are living with Heavenly Father and the rest of my spiritual family for eternity. I am finding that the lessons of charity, tolerance, and patience might take me that next 1000 years to master. But, I continue to attempt practicing them and repenting daily for my lack.

I also want to say a few words about being able to overcome addiction. This is a whole story that I am not going to get into on this blog, most of you who read regularly, know the story. But, I do want this noted as one of my accomplishments. No, I did not by any means do this alone!!! But I have put in a lot of the work. My clean date from drugs (including alcohol) is 2 Sept 2006. The last day that I smoked a cigarette (or had any type of nicotine) was 1 Oct 2013. The last time I went to the casino was in August of 2009. Stopping all of those addictions is a major accomplishment and I thank Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ for their help with that every single day!!

I hope all of you have had a great January. Are having a great 2017 and are enjoying these #52stories as much as I am.

If you want to share your answers to these questions in the comments please do, or leave me the address to your blogs, I would love to read your stories too!

(((HUGS)))

Gratitude for 1/24/17

I have so very many things to be grateful for:
Grown children, grandchildren, the Atonement that I can to apply to my life daily, a loving husband who teachers me about true friendship and forgiveness, the ability to work at friendships, 12 Steps, these are just a few of the many things I am grateful for. Plus a few more represented in picture form:


Great sayings to help keep me motivated.


Amazing conference talks that help me grow.


A sister that I got to share my childhood with.


Spiritual principles that help me know how to act.


Free will!!

The Story of Me – w4.1

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I would hope that my family and friends would learn to never give up. I didn’t go to college until after I was married and had 2 children. So it wasn’t the perfect scenario, but I graduated at the top of my class and became a LPN. That was the achievement of a lifelong dream.

I would also hope that my family learns from me that even if you go off track (even way off track) you can always come home. Literally and figuratively!

Elder Boyd K Packer in his talk “The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness” he states: “I repeat, save for the exception of the very few who defect to perdition, there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no apostasy, no crime exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness. That is the promise of the atonement of Christ.” And I was able to take advantage of that type of forgiveness!! I went to a place in my rebellion that I myself thought I would not only not be able to be forgiven for, but didn’t even know if I would ever have the desire to try. But, after I got clean in 1996 Heavenly Father gradually led me to where I wanted to go through the full repentance process. I was able to go through that process, be forgiven, forgive myself and become a member in good standing of my church. I am also allowed to help others in that process, through my calling in church.

I hope that all of you can understand that forgiveness is possible. It is not only possible for your own sins and shortcomings to be forgiven but it is possible for you to forgive others for their mistreatment, whether intentional or not, of you. Utilization of the Atonement is a beautiful things and I hope that all of you come to the place where you can apply it to your own lives!!