Charity - the everyday kind

Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.

Marvin J. Ashton, Ensign May 1992


As Thy Days Shall Demand

How Firm a Foundation is my favorite hymn. On bad days in college, I would call my mom in the middle of the night and make her sing it to me. I'd whisper it to myself all night on bad days in the mission field. And I think of it still whenever I have a bad day and need some comfort. My favorite part is this: "As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be." However badly you need comfort, that's how much you'll get. Whatever you need, that's what will come your way. It's such a lovely, beautiful promise of constant looking-after which really is exactly what we need and crave when our days are hard.

"It is simply a truism that nothing very valuable can come without significant sacrifice and effort and patience on our part... I am asking you this morning not to give up 'for ye are laying the foundation of a great work.' That 'great work' is YOU - your life, your future, the very fulfillment of your dreams. That 'great work' is what, with effort and patience and God's help, you can become. When days are difficult or problems seem unending, I plead with you to stay in the harness and keep pulling."*


Evidence Of...

The Book of Mormon is here to be handled and to be
read with prayer and earnest inquiry...
The evidence for the truth of the Book of Mormon is found in
the lives of the millions, living and gone, who have read it,
prayed about it, and received a witness of its truth.
Carol C. Madsen, New Era Nov. 1975


What Matters Most

Each moment in time we have it all,
even when we think we don’t.
― Melody Beattie


Measuring Motherhood

"Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore
you will be magnified, compensated,
made more than you are and
better than you have ever been
as you try to make honest effort, however
feeble you may sometimes feel that to be."

I've been thinking a lot about how to measure motherhood. I do think it should be measured - because there have always got to be things that we can do better. But I realize that it also needs to be a moderate measuring because there's so much good that's overlooked in favor of focusing on what we aren't or don't or haven't or didn't.

So what should be measured? Is it what you put in - time, energy, love, persistence, faith, endurance, sheer will? Or is it what you get out - and are these results even measurable before your children are grown and gone? Maybe it's best as a day by day kind of thing. Sometimes I hope that one 'good mom' moment will make up for several 'not so great mom' moments. Yesterday, for example. Reagan spent the day alternately playing nicely with his legos and begging to go to the park. I spent the day alternately feeding the baby, doing laundry and trying to work. Consequently - we did not go to the park. But finally - after running our last errand to the post office (just before closing and well after dark) I gave in to those 'good mommy' urges and took him to the mall to play there. Dinner was later, bedtime was later. But for a glorious little while - he got to play.

Where's the measurement in that? Do we measure how many time he asked to go the park and didn't or the time he spent playing at the playground in the mall? Do we measure my 'so much to do I can't' or 'sure, we'll make it happen'? Regardless, I find comfort in Elder Holland's promise that I will be magnified, compensated, and made more than I am and better than I have ever been - because I certainly need it.


The Best Kind of Literature

I love to read.

There's no way to actually pin down the root of this passion of mine. My parents don't read. In fact, reading was considered much too much like leisure in our busy ranch life and no one was allowed that luxury when there was so much work to be done. So - I'd stay up until the wee hours or read while riding horse (yes, it's possible) or stop mending fence for 20 minutes to sit against a tree and read. I snuck it in wherever I could.

But the one big problem with a voracious appetite for books and none at hand is that I ended up reading a lot of really sub-par kinds of things when I could have had great literature had I had someone - anyone - to lead me along. So, when I came across this quote about the scriptures as literature and the best kind of literature at that, it struck a chord within me. Because though I devoured less-than-savoury books in my youth, I also got a healthy dose of the scriptures - one thing we certainly had plenty of in my home.

"When we follow the counsel of our leaders to read and study the scriptures, benefits and blessings of many kinds come to us. … Where could there be more profitable use of time than reading from the scriptural library the literature that teaches us to know God and understand our relationship to him?" (Howard W. Hunter, Ensign Nov. 1979).

My mother is a fantastic storyteller and I learned the scriptures - and their accompanying lessons from her, but as a young woman I developed an appetite for them on my own and I remembering reading the Book of Mormon the summer before I left for college like I couldn't get enough of it - yes, late at night and yes, on horseback. But also during a quick lunch break and on the tractor and in the car on the way to town (it's a 30 min. drive) and every spare minute I could find.

The scriptures really are the best kind of literature - the kind that yes, teaches us to know God and understand who we are, and that always offers something new and enriches our life and experience every time we read them. Every time.


Pray Always

Sincere prayer is the heart of a happy and productive life.
Prayer strengthens faith.
Prayer is the preparation for miracles.
Prayer opens the door to eternal happiness.
H. Burke Peterson - Ensign Jan. 1974