The Twelve Apostles

Jesus Ordaining the Twelve Apostles

I have been reading about Jesus giving His twelve apostles the Priesthood power to act in His name and bless the people who had faith in Him in St. Matthew chapters 10-12. I love how the Lord commands His Apostles to preach the gospel to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:6).

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

In His restored Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we have a living prophet. President Russell M. Nelson has two counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks, and President Henry B. Eyring make up the First Presidency. The present day Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are witnesses of Christ just as the original Twelve. Last Sunday President Nelson dedicated the new Rome, Italy temple. The above picture brings a lot of peace and gratitude that I have the gift of the Restored Gospel in my life, that my Savior loves me enough to offer me the gift of eternal life with Him and Heavenly Father. I know that Jesus Christ is the head of His church and that He loves me. He knows me, and wants to bless me.

And bless you. All we need to do is ask.

The Sacrament

My mom and brother have been sick for several weeks now, and haven’t been able to attend church and take the weekly Sacrament. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, two Aaronic Priesthood holders bless the bread as they say this prayer:

“O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.”

When we have all partaken of the bread, they bless the water (instead of wine) with this prayer:

“O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee, in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.”

Each Sunday in our church building, known as a Meetinghouse, where we take bread and water (instead of wine) and renew our covenants that we made when we were baptized. I try each week to repent of my sins and general mistakes and remember to take His name upon me. Because my mother and brother have been too sick to go, we asked the Bishop (similar to a local priest or pastor) of our ward (congregation) if someone could come to our house and bless the Sacrament for them. A short time later two teenage boys knocked on our door, and I was kind of excited to see them. Last year they were in my Sunday School class and are good kids. Although this may seem like a small act of kindness, it means a lot to people who aren’t able to attend church themselves.

Whenever we help someone, even in a small way, we become the Savior’s Hands. One of the best ways to feel better about yourself and your life to get on your knees and pray, and then stand up and get to work serving someone.

Anyone. Especially people online who may need a kind word, because we all have unseen trials. We can all use a friend.

Teenagers

It must be so difficult to be a teenager in the world that we live in. Navigating through a tougher curriculum than when I was in high school would definitely stress me out. It seems to me that the teachers cause our teenagers stress as they keep talking about what will be on the State exam. I’m all for testing the kids and identifying what my son needs to work on, but don’t agree with their method of intimidation.

And the bullying! Yes, we had bullies in school back in the 80’s, but fortunately we didn’t have social media to publicly humiliate people, and the teachers had authority to discipline the kids who were out of control. I remember when I returned to college about 2001 – 2002 to become a teacher and learning about how much had changed in the public schools, which caused me to change my major to business.

My son has a wonderful attitude and has a sweet spirit. I prayed that the Lord will give my son strength to resist Satan’s enticements as he prays with us and folds the clothes. Faith that will help all of us to overcome our challenges.

Challenging Week

Our younger son has autism but is considered high functioning. He has had problems controlling his anger, which both the doctors and therapists warned us would happen as our son navigates through his teenage years. He loves to play video games and hasn’t worked on his school projects, so I took away his game privileges, computer, and his phone.

He did NOT take it well and repeatedly hit my husband while I drove my son to work. My son has been at a local behavioral hospital where the doctor added some more meds to what he takes already. I have also set a goal to really research autism and how it effects the brain, new research findings, etc. and what essential oils I can add to help with any anxiety, frustration or anger that may seemingly strike him at random times.

The nurse called me today to tell me that my son and his room mate got into a physical fight, though they don’t know who started it since there were no witnesses. I’m worried about his future and will continue to pray that the Lord watches over my son and guides him, especially since deep down he has a sweet spirit.

Gosh, this is tough. So very tough.

But I refuse to give up on him. Heavenly Father gave me this sweet spirit to raise and He trusts me to do my best. And the Lord ALWAYS helps those who believe in Him. Tomorrow my husband, brother and I are going to the temple to work on our family names and pray about how we can help my son and focus more of our energy serving the Lord by praying more often and learning more about Him.

Seth is 18!!

My son is 18 on the 18th! I can hardly believe that he has lived with Jim and I for over 13 years. He moved in with us when he was 41/2 years old with his little brother. We had the honor of adopting him in 2006.

Seth is funny, smart, sensitive and loyal. He has great potential to create his own path in life because he knows who he is: a son of God.

Happy Birthday, Seth, I love you!

Valentine’s Day

Jim took a vacation day yesterday and bought a sweet card and beautiful flowers that were waiting for me when I entered the kitchen. I thank Heavenly Father everyday that I am married to a righteous husband who loves and respects me. I thank God for Jim, my soulmate, because his very presence calms my soul. 

We ate an early dinner at Salt Grass Steakhouse and had an hour to ourselves where we could just focus on us and the love we have for each other. I’m beyond grateful that our marriage will last for time and all eternity!

Trusting in the Lord

Tonight my family held family scripture study. We are studying, not just reading, the New Testament as part of my church’s new home-centered and Church-supported curriculum. (I’ll write more about that in another post). We read Luke 4 and Matthew 4. Both chapters started with Satan tempting Jesus after His forty days and forty nights of fasting:

Luke 4:5-8

And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

These versus are a wonderful reminder to me that Jesus was tempted by Satan but easily overcame it because He is the Son of God. He fasted and prayed to the Father as He prepared to begin His three year ministry.

Jesus calling his Disciples. lds.org

Matthew 4: 18-19


18 ¶ And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

I have wondered, how can I follow Jesus and become fishers of men? By obeying His commandments and following his example of how to live. As I act on my trust in the Lord, He can help me do so much more then I could ever do on my own.

Let Him In Your Heart

Photo: Lds.org

This picture of Jesus knocking at the door hangs on the wall by my back door. It is a reminder to my family and I to invite our Savior into both our hearts (and homes) by the way we think and behave.

Because Jesus never forces His love or will on us, it’s important for us to ask: would this invite Him in, or would it send Him away from us? I know that when I become angry and yell (I grew up in Queens, NY with loud parents), I can sometimes feel the sudden absence of the Holy Spirit. I’m slowly getting better at controlling my frustration now that my sons are growing up, but wow, it’s been a tough road!

My goal as the heart of my home and family has always been to invite Him in, as we can not afford to live in this dark world without His guidance, love and protection. I’ve found that the more I remember to pray and read my scriptures, the closer I feel to the Lord. Every night we say “family prayer,” where we take turns praying for our family and friends. For a while we read scriptures together every night as part of my Pathway class assignment, and then when we went to California and Las Vegas to see my brother-in-law for Christmas, it threw us out of the schedule we had.

I believe that this blog, which I bought the domain for tonight, will help me stay focused on having a lifetime of faith and be a light to the world.

 

BYU-Pathway Program

Last fall I took two classes with BYU-Idaho’s Pathway Program because I knew it was time for me to refocus my life on the Savior and His Gospel. I have about sixty college credits from various schools, but I hungered for spiritual knowledge. I have been raising my two sons who are now teenagers, and I missed learning.

This program is inspired, and I LOVED the combination of spiritual and secular learning. It was mostly online, except for our Thursday Gatherings, where we met at a local church building and taught each other the lesson plan for that particular week. It is an active learning where we need to study the material. We discuss how to apply principles, such as developing deeper faith in Christ, and trusting Him to guide us throughout our life.

Due to my chronic pain, I had to withdraw from the winter semester. The math class required a ton of writing with my bad arm. I might have a torn rotator cuff. Ugh. As a result, I created this blog as a way to continue building on my increased faith.

Welcome!

I tend to become very distracted with various things in my day-to-day life that I created this daily blog to hold my self accountable to focus on my faith in my Savior, Jesus Christ. I will also be recording cover songs that uplift me through many of my challenges and hope that you will join me in living a life of faith!