Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Roll With the Changes

Sometimes life doesn't work out the way you'd planned.

Yesterday my companion and I prepped for a wonderful day. We had a variety of set appointments. We had recently received letters and packages from home. We spent time in the scriptures learning more about the Savior. What could go wrong?

As we went jogging in the morning, we both made note of the ominous red sunrise—

Red sky at morning; sailors take warning.

And sure enough, by afternoon, nature's warning became our harsh reality. We arrived under the safe cover of an apartment stairwell just in time to avoid getting pelted by golf ball-sized hailstones. We watched the fantastic display for 15 minutes before bundling up for a chilly evening. As we biked along busy highways we were drenched with icy water flung upon us by the onslaught of oncoming traffic. The piercing wind cut through our jackets and seemed to penetrate our very bones. We arrived home that night tired and frozen, but we were not defeated.

Let me assure you, none of this was in our plans!

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
When life gives you hail, make good memories anyway.
Roll with the changes, and be happy about it.

A good attitude is not dependent on good circumstances. We can choose to be happy in spite of the golf-ball sized (and sometimes much larger) obstacles around us.

Elder Carl B. Cook said of President Thomas S. Monson
Of all people, he could feel weighed down by his responsibilities. Instead, he exercises great faith and is filled with optimism, wisdom, and love for others. His attitude is one of “can do” and “will do.” He trusts the Lord and relies on Him for strength, and the Lord blesses him.
We, too, can choose to 'look up' and have a positive attitude in spite of adversity.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Spiritual Crocodiles

We are surrounded on all sides with temptations from Satan. He is both more bold and more cunning than ever before. His temptations are at once both more widely open and more cleverly disguised. He is the father of lies, and he is tragically successful at convincing many to buy into them.

Like a crocodile, Satan lurks everywhere around us
Satan's methods are comparable to crocodilian tactics. Just as a crocodile hides in a water hole where thirsty animals must go to drink, Satan lurks throughout the world we must live and labor in. He is on television and radio. He is in the movies, Internet, newspapers and magazines. He is found in shops and stores, in houses and homes, in schools and offices. Everywhere his influence is blatant, and yet he is masterfully hidden in plain view.

This video I watched often in high school seminary classes (and which I was recently reminded of in a missionary training meeting) illustrates this principle.

As we watch for spiritual crocodiles around us, we would do well to remember this counsel from President Thomas S. Monson, the Lord's prophet on the Earth today—
As we go about living from day to day, it is almost inevitable that our faith will be challenged. We may at times find ourselves surrounded by others and yet standing in the minority or even standing alone concerning what is acceptable and what is not. Do we have the moral courage to stand firm for our beliefs, even if by so doing we must stand alone?
In order for us to be strong and to withstand all the forces pulling us in the wrong direction or all the voices encouraging us to take the wrong path, we must have our own testimony. Whether you are 12 or 112—or anywhere in between—you can know for yourself that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. Read the Book of Mormon. Ponder its teachings. Ask Heavenly Father if it is true. We have the promise that 'if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.'

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What's In a Name?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has more than half a million fans on Facebook. So how do those fans describe the Church?

The most common responses to the question: "What three words describe your faith as a Latter-day Saint?" include faith, love, Jesus Christ, and truth, charity, and family.

Photo courtesy
How would you respond to this question? What words would you use to describe the church?

I often describe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—truly the Lord's restored Church—as my foundation. In a changing and often unpredictable world, I never have to wonder if the Church is true. I do not have to doubt that God loves me. I do not question that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. For these reasons and more, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is my foundation for happiness and peace.