Light the World

light-the-world

My family and I will be sharing the light of Jesus Christ for 25 days starting on December 1st and ending on December 25th by performing a different service each day.

I learned about this on Sunday while I was at church. I was searching for ways to grow closer to Him this season, and the Lord answered my prayer. Fortunately for me, on the Mormon.org page, it offers lots of suggestions.

Click here and join us in lighting the world!

 

Faith

Six months ago my faith and resilience was challenged in a VERY unexpected way. My son revealed a hidden pain and struggle, along with some terrible decisions that have led me to self-doubt and guilt.

Because, seriously, how could I NOT have known this whole other side of him? I knew he had the typical teenage angst that comes with finding his way in this world, but this was a whole other level.

I’m grateful for the gift of the Atonement. I KNOW that my Savior, Jesus Christ, knows me, loves me, and atoned for my sins. He also felt my feelings of despair, confusion, pain, as well as my happiness! He knows how to help me help my family overcome our unique challenges, and for that, I’m full of faith, and grateful for Him.

I’m a Mormon, and if you’re interested, click on this picture to read about my faith.   temple-i-believe-blue-silhouette

Missing My Son

Life is tough at the moment. My fourteen-year-old son has been at a residential ranch since April. He had a traumatic early childhood, and some of these memories have come back to haunt him.

Seth with his long curls.

My husband, Jim, and I talk to him every Sunday (except on the weekends we get to visit him). He suffers from a mood disorder that causes dangerous, scary behavior, where we end up calling 911 so he can be evaluated. My heart is sad at his absence, but the alternative is even more frightening.

I’m grateful for my faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ, who will heal our minds, bodies, and hearts when we pray for His help. I’ve prayed for patience throughout this trial, to avoid pulling Seth from the ranch healing program. They progress through five levels of both reading and work before their graduation. I love knowing that they have year round school to help his reading fluency.

Seth after I cut off his beautiful curls.
Seth after I cut off his beautiful curls.

So while it’s difficult not knowing when he will be able to return home, I’m glad to know he’s in a safe place where he can work through his suppressed anger and sadness. I look forward to the day when he is healthy and happy!

LDS Writer’s Blogfest

LDS Writer Blogfest

Today I want to write about one of the most epic tales (non-fiction) I’ve ever read: The Book of Mormon. I am participating in the 4th annual Mormon Blogfest, where Mormon writers blog about their beliefs. 

If you are not a Mormon, you might ask, what makes the Book of Mormon an epic tale?

Well, it is a volume of Holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It was written by ancient prophets, and contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ for everyone living on the earth in the last days before our Savior returns to the Earth. These prophets lived in the Americas 500 years before Christ, during His mortal life on earth, and about 400 years after his death. They wrote about their spiritual experiences as well as the history of their people.

The reason I love this Holy scripture so much is whenever I have a question or problem in my life, the answer is ALWAYS in the Book of Mormon. I am so, so, grateful to be a Mormon and have this Holy scripture to guide me and my family through these troubled days.

 Here is the link to Kayeleen’s blog to read why being a Mormon is important to her.

LDS Writer Blogfest: Establishing a Christ-Centered Home

Every April and October members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) gather around the world (usually in front of their computers/TVs) to listen to the inspired words given in General Conference. Some LDS writers and I are sharing our favorite talk (think sermon). For more information, click here.

I chose to write about Establishing a Christ-Centered Home by Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Seventy as a result of recent problems with my ten year old.

Elder Maynes teaches us that: “Parents are responsible to teach their children in love and righteousness. Parents will be held accountable before the Lord in how they perform their sacred responsibilities.” I felt the Spirit when he said that and knew I was sometimes lacking in the ‘love and righteous’ parts of my teachings when it comes to my ten-year-old’s behavior. He goes on with “Parents teach their children with words and through example,” and realized I needed to parent with more love when conflict arises in my home.

When he told us how he and Sister Maynes held weekly family home evenings, I cringed. My husband Jim and I are both converts, and did not grow up with weekly family home evening lessons, so we often struggle to remember to hold them now that our children are older. When they were toddlers, we lived in a quiet neighborhood with almost two acres of land. We did not have the distractions of constant ringing of our doorbell that we  have in our wonderful but busy neighborhood today, so bringing up family home evenings on Mondays are met with gnashing of the teeth (sometimes literally).

One of my favorites quotes from Elder Maynes is: “Our eternal happiness is not one of Satan’s objectives. He knows that an essential key to making men and women miserable like himself is to deprive them of family relationships which have eternal potential. Because Satan understands that true happiness in this life and in the eternities is found in the form of family, he does everything in his power to destroy it.”

Elder Maynes states: “We understand and believe in the eternal nature of the family. This understanding and belief should inspire us to do everything in our power to establish a Christ-centered home…..there is great power and protection for us and our youth in establishing celestial traditions in the home.” I feel inspired to hold family home evenings every Monday night and read scriptures as a family every day, and I know the Lord will bless our family and protect us from the distractions of the world.

Please read the talks from the participating LDS bloggers:

Annette Lyon: “Desire”
Annie Cechini: “The Spirit of Revelation”
Ben Spendlove: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Chantele Sedgwick: “LDS Women Are Incredible!”
Charity Bradford: “LDS Women Are Incredible!”
Jackee Alston: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Jenilyn Tolley: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Jessie Oliveros: “Establishing a Christ-Centered Home”
Jolene Perry: “It’s Conference Once Again”
Jordan McCollum: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Kasey Tross: “Guided by the Holy Spirit”
Kayeleen Hamblin: “Become as a Little Child”
Kelly Bryson: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Krista Van Dolzer: “Opportunities to Do Good”
Melanie Stanford: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Michelle Merrill: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Myrna Foster: “Opportunities to Do Good”
Nisa Swineford: “Desire”
Sallee Mathews: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Sierra Gardner: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
The Writing Lair: “Waiting on the Road to Damascus”