Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Optimistic Patriotism


“It is our firm conviction as a people that the stars and stripes will be waving triumphantly in the breeze, as a symbol of the greatness and stability of the United States of America, when the Lord comes. This nation was established to be the Lord’s base of operations in this final gospel dispensation. From it the gospel is to go to every other nation and people. The greater its influence among the nations of the world, the more rapidly the gospel spreads. But the Lord has told us that all nations, the United States included, shall cease to be when he comes” (The Millennial Messiah, 491).


“We are fast approaching that moment prophesied by Joseph Smith when he said: ‘Even this nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground, and when the Constitution is upon the brink of ruin, this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean, and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction” (Church Historian’s Office, Salt Lake City, July 19, 1840) (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 623 - 624).

Words of James Burgess: “In the month of May 1843, several miles east of Nauvoo, the Nauvoo Legion was on parade and review, at the close of which Joseph Smith made some remarks upon our condition as a people and upon our future prospects, contrasting our present condition with our past trials and persecutions by the hands of our enemies; also upon the Constitution and government of the United States, stating that the time would come when the Constitution and government would hang by a brittle thread and would be ready to fall into other hands, but this people, will step forth and save it. . . .I, James Burgess, was present and testify to the above” (The Words of Joseph Smith, 279).


“The Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith there would be an attempt to overthrow the country by destroying the Constitution. Joseph Smith predicted that the time would come when the Constitution would hang, as it were, by a thread, and at that time ‘this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction’ (Journal of Discourses, 7:15). It is my conviction that the elders of Israel, widely spread over the nation, will at that crucial time successfully rally the righteous of our country and provide the necessary balance of strength to save the institutions of constitutional government” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 618 - 619).


"Men may fail in this country, earthquakes may come, seas may heave beyond their bounds, there may be great drought, disaster, and hardship, but this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail.

"This is the cradle of humanity, where life on this earth began in the Garden of Eden. This is the place of the New Jerusalem... This is the place where the Savior will come to His temple.

"We are living in a time of great crisis. The Country is torn with scandal and with criticism, with faultfinding and condemnation. There are those who have downgraded the image of this nation as probably never before in the history of the country.

"I plead with you not to preach pessimism. Preach that this is the greatest country in all the world... It is the nation that will stand despite whatever trials or crises it may yet have to pass through. We must be on the optimistic side. This is a great nation; this is a great country; this is the most favored of all lands."

(Excerpts from a talk given at Ricks College Devotional Assembly, “Have Faith in America,” October 26, 1973, and printed in two sources:Ye Are the Light of the World: Selected Sermons and Writings of Harold B. Lee, 340, 350-351, and The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, edited by Clyde J. Williams, 365-366.)

Scripture of the Day: D&C 89:4 (in President David A. Bednar's talk 'Watching with All Perseverance')

Monday, April 26, 2010


Today I posted over on the ANWA blog. Feel free to pop over and check it out!

Scripture of the Day: 1 Kings 11:11 (in Bruce A. Carlson's talk 'When the Lord Commands')

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Conversation with Patch

Today while at a stoplight:

Patch: Mom, guess what? The lady in the car next to us just looked over here so I picked my nose! **laughs hysterically**

Me: Please don't do that. You are embarrassing me.

Patch: So? **laughs more**

Me: If you want to embarrass me then that means I can embarrass you. Next time I come to school to pick you up I will wear my ugliest miss-matched clothes, drive up with really loud, awful music, wear thick lipstick and kiss you in front of your friends, and then ask loudly if you had any potty accidents that day.

Patch: **no longer laughing** Please don't do that, Mom.

Me: Then don't pick your nose again like that.

Patch: Okay.

Scripture of the Day: D&C 52:40 (in Koichi Aoyagi's talk 'Helping Hands, Saving Hands')

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons #23

Yesterday was our Primary Talent show, so it was an extra busy day. I was really pleased with how the whole thing turned out. The kids, of course, were wonderful, the emcees hilarious, and the set up just perfect. I will have to post some pictures of it soon (if you took some, please e-mail me copies, please!).

Now that it is over I am enjoying the weekend! I hope your weekend is going well!

Scripture of the Day: Matt. 7:6 (in D. Todd Christofferson's talk 'The Blessing of Scripture')

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tech Tidbits

You may find it interesting to note that the LDS version of scriptures is now available online in a PDF format. This includes both the Bible and the Triple combination (including the indexes, maps, and other study aides), in English as well as Spanish. This makes it easy to print and share in a classroom environment and elsewhere. And one comment I read said it is ideal for iPad users.

And (speaking of iPads), there is also a free Gospel Library iPhone Application available. You can use it to study the scriptures, the Gospel Principles manual, conference talks, and many other Church publications. To get it, go to the Apple App store.

The Church is sure tech-ing up! ('Tech-ing' is not a real word, I just made that up.) I don't have an iPhone or iPad myself , so I am beginning to feel a bit left out :-(.

Scripture of the Day: Proverbs 22:6 (in L. Tom Perry's talk 'Mothers Teaching Children in the Home')

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sweet and Sour Sauce

Last week I made some sweet and sour pork. I used left over pork loin from Sunday's dinner, steamed up some veggies and rice, and then poured this yummy sauce over it. I also added pineapple to mine and the kids' plates, but not to Steve's as he is allergic. It got rave reviews from the kids, so it looks like this will be a keeper recipe. I hope your family likes it too.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

1 1/4 C. Water
3/4 C. Sugar (I used 1/2 C. Splenda and 1/4 C. Sugar to save calories)
1 Chicken bullion cube
1/2 C. Ketchup
1 T. Soy sauce

Add all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. If you prefer it thicker, add a little cornstarch. Serve over your rice, meat, and veggies as desired.

Scripture of the Day: 3 Nephi 14:13-14 (in Henry B. Eyring's talk 'Help Them on Their Way Home')

Monday, April 19, 2010

April Birthday Celebrations

Last week we celebrated the birthdays of my wonderful father and cute Kitty. On their actual birthday we went to dinner at Logan's Roadhouse, which was pretty good. They had good menu options to choose from and Steve said their onion rings were fabulous.

On Saturday Kitty had her friend party. The first hour was a tumbling class taught by Kacie and her sister Hawlie (thanks Kacie!). Here they were having a back bend contest.

Then they came back to our house for a pinata, cake and ice cream. Here they are getting ready to hit the pinata. It was kind of warm that day, so I had to warn them to put their chocolate candies in the fridge when they got home.

Scripture of the Day: 2 Timothy 3:6 (in M. Russell Ballard's talk 'Mothers and Daughters')

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons #22

I will be out weeding the garden, running Kitty's birthday party today (she turned 10 on Thursday!), doing the shopping, laundry, and cleaning as much as possible in between. What will you be doing today?

Scripture of the Day: Moroni 7:40-42 (in Wilford W. Anderson's talk The Rock of Our Redeemer - President Anderson is a former stake president of mine; a great man!)

Thursday, April 15, 2010


What is your favorite story about Joseph Smith?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Gila Valley Temple

"The temple will be an ever-present reminder that God intended the family to be eternal."

--Ezra Taft Benson, "What I Hope You Would Teach Your Children about the Temple", Tambuli, Apr 1986, 1

Did you get your tickets to the Gila Valley Temple open house yet? We did! We are headed over there on the afternoon of April 30. So excited!! Hopefully the dumpster (as seen in the above pic) will be gone by then :-).

Scripture of the Day: Eccl. 12:13 (in Bishop McMullin's talk 'Our Path of Duty')

'A' Mountain

Yesterday evening we went and hiked 'A' mountain for the first time. Yes, I have lived here for over 30 years and have never hiked it before. 'Bout time? Right? Since I am not sore today, and did not twist my ankle even once, I am taking it as a good sign that with more practice maybe the whole Grand Canyon goal is a possibility. We will be doing more hikes before a final decision is made, though.

Here are the kids at the top of the 'A' mountain trail.

Kitty and Sweetie Peach sitting by the 'A.'

And on the way back down.

Scripture of the Day: Jacob 2:17 (in Julie B. Beck's talk "And Upon the Handmaids")

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons #22

Have a great weekend!

Take a few minutes today to read this awesome article my brother had published on American Thinker yesterday--it is about the health insurance industry and the impact of Obamacare. Way to go, Jeff!

Scripture of the Day: D&C 10:22-23 (from Elder Packer's talk "The Power of the Priesthood")

Friday, April 9, 2010

I really did mean to post yesterday...

But I got caught up doing this:

Reading this:

How many words did I write in the three hours I participated? 1,134
(I admit I edit way too much while writing.)

Congrats to Sarah Eden who won the marathon contest with over 8,000 words in four hours!

Scripture of the Day: John 3:16

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Short Term Goals

Last week I finished a short term goal (yay for me!). I drew a picture for a small art contest. Although I am 99.9% sure it will not win, I felt the exercise of the process would be worth the effort. My picture turned out pretty good. Once I get the rejection notice I will have to post a scanned copy of it for my readers.

Now it is time for me to set a new short term goal. Here are some I am considering:

1. I am not a fiction writer, but I am considering participating in a contest sponsored by Precision Editing Group. I have long been intrigued by a romance my DH's grandparents and could use that as a storyline. The problem is that the contest is tomorrow... I need to make up my mind soon.

2. This is the year of the dreaded 40th birthday. I think I want to do some sort of physical challenge on my birthday, or near it. I have thought about hiking the Grand Canyon that day. Or maybe biking a marathon. Any suggestions?? I have 6 months left to prepare.

3. A home improvement project--maybe repainting the living room or redoing the master bedroom closet. I would love to redo the kitchen too, but am not sure my marriage could survive such a big, expensive, messy project :-)!

Which one(s) should I go for? What short-term goals are you working on now?

Monday, April 5, 2010

General Conference Review: Sunday Evening Session

Whew! Here is the last General Conference summaries. I hope these are helpful to a few people out there, but if not it helps me to really hear what is being said. I heard a lot of themes about teaching in the home, God's love for us (I think Moses 1:39 was quoted 6 times!), and the resurrection of the Savior. What were your thoughts and impressions?

Elder Russell M. Nelson

God's love for His children is infinite. The atonement enables us to have immortality and eternal life. But many have not had access to the blessings of the gospel while on the earth. A way has been provided for all to be part of an eternal family. When our hearts are turned to our ancestors we feel something greater than ourselves. Building more temples helps to make more families eternal. Our greatest responsibility is to seek after our dead. New technology, specifically New Family Search, helps to eliminate duplication of proxy work and exposes errors that need correction. The Church understands the problems associated with the huge endeavor of creating one huge family tree. They are working to solve these problems. Genealogy work blesses both the living and the dead and helps to exalt families.

Elder Robert D. Hales

Desires to encourage parents and youth leaders. We have a duty toward the rising generation. Doing our duty to God begins by living by example--there is no substitute for seeing the gospel lived. We should walk alongside them on the gospel path. Plan and take advantage of teaching moments to make strong impressions on their hearts. Sit and talk with the youth--be interested in their lives and let them feel your love. Parents need to understand the hearts of their children and have regular warm, caring interaction with their children. Nourish their souls. Pay attention to them; ask them questions; then take time to really listen. Participate in Personal Progress and Duty to God projects with them. They will grow, you will grow, and your bonds with each other will grow. Also, teach your children to participate fully in gospel and to earn their own testimony. Do this by helping them to understand who they are and that the Lord loves them. Share your testimony with them so your children know where your heart is at.

President Bradley D. Foster

Parents have the primary responsibility for the spiritual nourishment of their children. There is no greater good in all the world than motherhood. Nurturing is the spiritual heritage of women. President Foster tells of his experience as a rancher gathering lost calves who had wandered off the road, which reminded him of youth in the church who are distracted from living the gospel. The calves were led by their mothers back to the corral. Always go back for those who have strayed--keep trying and assure them of your love. Most often they will first turn to their mother, perhaps because a mother's love typifies the love of the Savior.

President James B. Martino

It is how we react to tests that will determine who we are; there "must be opposition in all things." Paul taught that "all things work together for good to them that love God." Our trials help us to become more like the Savior as we learn to recognize the good from each experience. As we understand this principle we will more fully feel Heavenly Father's love. Try to gain an eternal perspective while you are going through it, not just after it is over.

Five things we can learn from the last hours of the Savior's life:
1. He sought not to do His own will, but only to do the will of the Father.
2. When faced with trials, learn to not complain or murmur.
3. When you face challenges, seek the help of God.
4. Learn to think of others first, even in times of trial.
5. Forgive others and do not try to pass blame to them.

President Gregory A. Schwitzer

The Savior taught to "judge not," but how can we do this in a world where there is so much corruption? He does expect us to use excellent judgment. President Schwitzer tells the story of the Savior's visit to Mary and Martha, and the later story of Christ raising their brother Lazarus. It is easy to misjudge Martha without knowing both stories. President Schwitzer then told an account of some patients he had misjudged by their appearance. Judgments can lead us closer or further away from the Savior.

Four points of advice in developing good judgment:
1. Put your own standards in alignment with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel has a long track record of bringing people to happiness.
2. Listen to the messages of the living prophet.
3. Cultivate with the Holy Ghost a "relationship of listening." He will help us to judge.
4. Keep the commandments; doing so brings great blessings.

President Francisco J. Vinas

President Vinas is a member of the Caribbean Area Presidency and his experiences with the Saints after the earthquake have reminded him of the prophecies of the Book of Mormon. Immediate help was sent by the Church, both temporal items and comfort and counsel were provided. More than 40 members of the Church died in the earthquake, but Prophets from all ages have warned of another tragedy that is less perceptible but not less important: the "awful death [that] cometh upon the wicked; for they die as to things pertaining to things of righteousness; for they are unclean, and no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God" (Alma 40:26). Parents play an important essential role in helping their children to understand truth and righteousness.

Elder Neil L. Andersen

We have heard and felt the mind and will of the Lord in this conference. The youth are here at an important, but troubled, time. We cannot be casual in how we prepare the rising generation. We need to fan the flame of the spiritual glow already alight in them from the pre-existence. Each youth needs their own light and 'steadfast and immovable' faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, independent of parents, youth leaders and supportive friends. Teaching them the stories of Jesus helps to do this better than anything else. Our children need to know of Christ's life and that He will return to earth again.

Elder Andersen counsels the youth to live up to their important responsibilities and great spiritual capacities. They should study the scriptures. Single mothers should speak of the Savior and President Andersen promises they will feel of His love for them. Fathers should also speak to their children of the Savior. Wayward children will return--time and truth are on the side of parents.

President Andersen tells the story of the Forrest family. Brother Forrest died in a car accident, leaving seven children behind. The children know their father had a strong testimony because they had studied the scriptures before school and listened to him recite scriptures. Their testimonies are strong because of their dad's example and the strength of their mother.

President Thomas S. Monson

"Trust in the Lord." This has been the story of President Monson's life. President Monson encourages members to study the conference messages, to ponder their teachings, and then to apply them. He counsels us to "look to the lighthouse of the Lord. There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what its beacon light can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. The lighthouse of the Lord sends forth signals readily recognized and never failing." The Lord hears your prayers and blesses and directs us in the affairs of His kingdom here upon the earth.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

General Conference: Sunday Morning Session

Elder Dieter F. Uchdorf

President Uchdorf tells of a statue of Christ damaged in a bombing during WWII. The townspeople tried to repair the much loved statue, but the hands were too damaged to be fixed. They decided to put the statue up anyway, without the hands, but with a sign on the base which read, "You are my hands." Christ gave His life in service and love for others. We need to learn to feel the Savior's embrace. We often condemn others too quickly but are slow to forgive. We should be there for our brothers and sisters and love others as we love ourselves. Our priorities should be the two great commandments: to love God and our fellowman. Love is the grand motive of the Plan of Salvation. We should commit to become His hands that others, through us, might feel His love.

Elder Richard G. Scott

Easter morning Christ had the opportunity to rise from death and live again. How God must have rejoiced that day when his Son shattered the chains of death! Easter is the sacred season when the Christian gives humble gratitude to the Savior. It brings thoughts of love. He is a resurrected being who can love more than we can express. He gave his life and His atonement made fully active the plan. He is the fountain of all truth and fulfilled all of His promises. Without the atonement the plan could not have been put into effect. When we obey a law we are blessed. If we break a law we have the opportunity to repent, thereby avoiding the law of justice. No mortal can fully understand and appreciate what He has done for us. Understanding the atonement will greatly enhance mortal life. Challenges the Savior faced include:

1. Enormous sense of responsibility--everything had to be done perfectly or else the Plan of Salvation would have failed
2. He had to personally feel the consequences of all mankind's actions
3. Endure Satan's attacks without the presence of the Father nearby--He had to accomplish the atonement completely on His own.

It is imperative need for each of us to strengthen the need for the atonement, especially as the world becomes more devoid of morals. Establish a personal study plan to learn more about the Atonement and the Savior's calling as our Redeemer. Heartfelt prayer will fortify your testimony of the atonement. You can also strengthen you testimony of the atonement by going to the temple often.

As parents it is your responsibility to raise your children on truth. The Church is important, but it is in the home where children will learn more. We will be released from our many callings--except for being a mother or father. Prepare your children for the many challenges they will encounter in life.

President Donald L. Halstrom

Complications in a birth caused a baby to die. The parents blamed the doctor fully for the death of their baby. Eventually disassociated themselves from the Church. Four generations have now been effected by this choice. In President Halstrom's family similar occurrences took place, but instead of turning away from God, those suffering turned to God for help. This life provides us with great joy and great pain; we cannot know one without the other. No matter what the size of the issue, how we respond to it can reset the course of our lives. Joseph Smith was a great example of one who suffered greatly, but responded by turning to God. The best method is to deal with matters directly, not give up, and to turn to the Lord. Let Him share your burden. Never let an earthly circumstance disable you spiritually.

Sister Cheryl C. Lant

Child recognized image and knew the name of the Savior. Christ's invitation to seek Him is an invitation to know Him and what He has done for us. Knowing Him comes from a lifetime effort. It is our sacred responsibility as parents to bring our children to the Savior that they might see His face. As we bring our children to Him we also bring ourselves. How do we do this?

1. Learn how to love the Lord and our families -- this requires time and selfless service.
2. Become a worthy example for them -- this is also a process; it is important we seek the Savior's face for ourselves to be able to show it to our children. Ask yourself, "What do my children see when they look at my face?"
3. Teach our children the Gospel and how to live it's teachings -- from the scriptures and the prophet. Help them to learn to feel the Spirit. Children intuitively want to be good. It is up to us to protect them and help them. Teach them correct principles and help them apply them in life.

It takes a lot of hard work, patience, and faith. But nothing is more important. The Lord loves the children and will help is by praying for them and for us. "Behold your little ones." We are the angels that Heavenly Father has sent today to bless the children and encircle them with the fire of faith.

Elder Quintin L. Cook

The final two days before the death of Christ were very important because three significant ordinances and doctrines were presented to the apostles: the ordinance of the sacrament, the doctrine of loving one another, and the promise of the Holy Ghost as a constant companion. Because of Christ's death, we too will live again. Our path of discipleship requires us to also follow these same three points.

1. The sacrament meeting is the most sacred meeting of the Church. We must remember and reverence the sacrament because it allows us to repent and become a saint.
2. We need to learn to love one another and spend our lives trying to be more loving and kind. How we relate and interact with each other is a measure of how well we are following Christ.
3. Learn to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. If we are sealed by the Holy Ghost we will be blessed with all that the Father has.

No one is exempt from the storms of life. President Cook tells of the Samoan stake president who saw a tsunami coming and frantically saved some school children, his daughter, and mother. We need to follow our leaders' warnings to be safe.

President Thomas S. Monson

On a visit to London England, President Monson visited the Tate Gallery where he saw many masterpieces. He also saw another picture of a cottage and some women watching for fisherman who had been lost at sea. "A Hopeless Dawn" was the name of the picture.

Of all the facts of mortality is the certainty of death. Everyone wonders what comes after death. "If a man die, shall he live again?" asked Job. If there is a design in this world, there must be a designer. In Genesis we learn the Grand Designer created the earth. Last of all He created man in his own image. Man alone received intelligence, a brain, a will, a mind, and a soul. With these elements he had the capacity for faith and hope. To understand the meaning of death we must appreciate the meaning of life. We need to know we lived before we were born. A plan was presented there and a Savior was provided for us so we could overcome sin and death. As a result, Christ, the Savior, came to the earth. Near the end of his life He held the Last Supper. No one can understood what He did in Gethsemane, after which he was falsely tried, beaten, and then crucified. After giving up His life on earth He returned to His father while His body was placed in a tomb. Three days later Mary found the tomb empty and saw the resurrected Savior.
What happened that morning was the answer to Job's question.

President Monson testifies of the resurrection. He has read the scriptures and has read the words of Joseph Smith. The darkness of death can always be dispelled by revealed truth. "I am the light and the truth." President Monson tells of a letter of man with seven sons, one son, Jason, became ill but said he would "never" lose faith in Christ.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

General Conference Review: Saturday Afternoon Session

President Uchdorf

Sustaining of Church officers. A new Primary General presidency was sustained: Rosemary Wixon (president), Jean A. Stevens (1st couns.), Cheryl Esplin (2nd couns.).

Robert W. Cantell

Church Auditing Report

Brook P. Hales

Statistical Report
2,865 stakes
344 missions
616 districts
28,424 wards/branches
13,824,854 total membership of Chuch
119,722 new children of record
51,736 full-time missionaries
2 temples dedicated in 2009
130 temples operating by end of 2009

Elder L. Tom Perry

Elder Perry was recently shown some notebooks his mother had used to help prepare relief Society lessons. Although she was only able to use a portion of the research and materials she prepared, her extra effort was not wasted--she was able to use the information to help teach her children. Parents are entrusted with both the secular and spiritual education of their children. This responsibility falls mainly to the mother. Values, morals, ethical standards, and faith were all part of the things President Perry's mother taught. Teaching in the home is most sacred. Parents are the central cast members in their children's lives. We can improve the teaching in the church by improving teaching in the home.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Elder Christofferson relates the story of William Tindale's execution as the result of translating and publishing the Bible in English. We owe Tindale a great debt of gratitude, as well as to those who kept scriptural records over the years. What did they know about the importance of scripture that we too should know? Scripture enlarges the memory, sheds light on error, and brings us to Christ. there is growing scriptural illiteracy because people will not open the book. Scriptures are the touchstone for measuring truth; they tutor us in morals necessary for an honorable society. We should study the scriptures carefully, ponder and pray over them. Never in history has a people been so blessed with so much holy writ. This is because our need for constant recourse in scriptures is greater than in any other period of time.

President Koichi Aoiyagi

President Aoiyagi tells of his conversion story and how he stopped going to church for a time period. A friend and church member sent him a postcard with a scripture and expressed concern about his inactivity. This touched him and brought him to prayer and scripture study, which then reignited his testimony. We should offer a saving hand to others, in missionary work, in service, and in helping the sick and poor. When we serve others we are serving the Lord.

President Bruce A. Carlson

President Carlson tells of some fisherman who overloaded a plane, which stalled and crashed into a swampy area. The crash was caused by ground-effect. They had crashed similarly the previous year. Sometimes we want shortcuts to get where we want to go. But there are no shortcuts. Safety in the Church lies in keeping the commandments. Three reasons people do not keep commandments include:
1. We are convinced the commandment does not apply to us.
2. We think the commandment not important.
3. We feel the commandment is too difficult to obey.
President Carlson relates scripture stories supporting each of these three reasons for failure to obey the commandments.

Elder David A. Bednar

Spiritual early warning signs in our children can be detected by doing three things regularly:
1. Reading and talking about the Book of Mormon--this provides parents with the opportunity to teach, listen to, and observe their children and their reactions to gospel truths.
2. Bearing testimony of gospel truths spontaneously--A child's expression or questions in this type of conversation can help parents gauge spiritual growth/challenges.
3. Invite children to act and not merely to be acted upon--This helps children to gain their own testimonies. As parents we must be careful not to keep giving our children "fish," but must teach them to "fish" for their own spiritual nourishment. Help them to ask, seek, and knock.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Why is there do much moral decay all around us? Most days we find ourselves assaulted by pornography on the computer, in mass media, and even on cell phones/iPods. President Holland outlines the differences between love and lust. Lust is the most deadly of the 7 deadly sins. This is because it defiles the highest and holiest relationship God has given us here on the earth. True love ignites a feeling of permanence while lust is pathologically clandestine. Lust destroys faith and trust. To break the habit of pornography one must separate him/herself from people, materials, and circumstances associated with it--and do not leave a forwarding address. Talk to the Bishop, get a priesthood blessing, pray without ceasing. The only real control in life is self control. Picture the faces of those who love you if you are tempted to relapse. Go to the temple as often as circumstances will allow and remember the symbols you take with you from there. In the sacrament we take the name of Christ upon us and remember Him--do this literally. Nephi wrote, "I will give place no more for the enemy of my soul."

General Conference Review: Saturday Morning Session

President Thomas S. Monson

Thank you for all you do to serve in your own areas and try to follow commandments. The Church is providing much humanitarian assistance in the world. A new temple is to be built in Payson, Utah and renovations have been announced for the Ogden Utah Temple. Dedications of three other temples will take place soon. The Church will continue to build temples as our membership grows. May we be continuously faithful in performing ordinances for those who cannot do it for themselves. Sister Monson is now home after her serious fall and is attending today. You can’t keep Sweedish girls down! President Monson told several stories regarding his courtship of Francis. Welcome to new members and love to those going through challenges.

President Boyd K. Packer

Today we are encamped against the greatest amount of sin ever before on the earth. In the the story of Gideon it was necessary to choose men to fight; those who bowed down to drink were not chosen. Those who drank while staying alert were chosen. It has been 180 years since the priesthood was restored. We will never dominate by numbers, but we have the priesthood. We can, and in due time certainly will, influence all of the world. It is crucial for everyone to understand what is expected of the brethren. The priesthood will lose great power if the sisters are neglected. The priesthood should be firmly fixed in the family to improve the quality of life in LDS homes. He tells the story of a young soldier going to the Vietnam War and wanting a blessing from Harold B. Lee. President Lee told him to get a blessing from his father instead and told him to teach his father how. Too many of our priesthood brethren are living below their expectations. That the works of the Lord will prevail is not the question. It is now our responsibility to activate the power of the priesthood on this earth. Fathers have a sacred calling in the home. All aspects of the Gospel are there to perfect and lift the family.

Sister Julie B. Beck

Never has there been a greater need for increased faith, personal righteousness, stronger homes. How do we increase faith and stand strong and immovable against difficulties? A good woman knows she does not have enough time to do all good and important things. She needs to constantly resist urges to be away from her time and responsibilities in the home. The ability to qualify and obtain personal revelation is great. Those who earnestly seek help from prayer and scripture study often have paper and pencil ready to write down notes/questions. Mothers can seek help even when children are clamoring. Still, they should do what they can to diminish distractions. The spirit will enlighten our minds; it comes when we are prepared for it and ask for it. Additionally, the Relief Society will help—it lifts women up and out of the troubled world. “Charity never faileth.” Good women should seek appreciation and praise from proper sources; we know we are doing well when we seek to help those in need.

Bishop Keith B. McMullin

Bishop McMullin tells the story of the Tenboom family in WWII and how they helped Jewish families. A guard from the concentration camp sought Cory Tenboom’s forgiveness after the war was over. It was hard for her to forgive. She said she never knew God’s love as intensely as she did as she forgave. Christ wants us to follow Him and pattern our lives after Him so we can leave the world richer and better. “Let us hear the conclusion of the matter… this is the whole duty of man.” Duty is a manifestation of one’s faith. As members, our path of duty is keeping our covenants in daily life. Honor God with our intelligence, our strength, and all our power. We can only complete our duty in and through Jesus Christ. How do we know our path of duty in the midst of crisis? We pray.

President Wilford W. Anderson

Quotes from pioneer diaries were filled with hope and faith. Their hearts were broken, but their spirits were strong. Hope does not depend upon circumstance. The true source of hope is Christ and His atonement. The earthquake in Haiti was devastating, but a committee of local Church leaders helped to direct generous contributions of resources and donations. Food, tents, medical supplies, doctors, and water purification tablets were distributed. Chapels became bases to help the people. Faithful Haitian Saints are filled with hope for the future. Hope, happiness, and joy are not products of circumstance, but are from the Lord. Rebuild your hope by rebuilding your faith. Faith grows by keeping the commandments, by righteousness. President Anderson read part of a letter about death of a father from cancer. they had peace from the promise their family would still be together forever.

Elder M. Russell Ballard

Mothers and daughters play a critical role to help each other in a world where womanhood and motherhood are being corrupted. They need to lead the world in all that is uplifting. Every accomplishment YW reach brings their mother joy; every heartaches is theirs, as well. Paul spoke of perilous times and specifically referenced silly women laden with sin. Popular culture often disrespects women and suggests women can only leave their mark in life with seduction. YW: Model yourselves after your faithful mothers rather than women of the world. Listen to you mom: when it comes to the matters of the heart and the Lord she has a wealth of knowledge. Love your mother, listen to her, trust her, be kind to her, be patient with her.

Mothers: Your example is extremely important to your daughters, even if they don't acknowledge it. Messages in society to your daughter are terribly wrong and they may not understand this. Show them how to make good choices. You are your daughters’ first line of defense against the world. Even when you think your daughter is not listening, she is still learning as she watches your behavior. Teach them to avoid temptation to gossip or find fault with one another. YW learn how to nurture by being nurtured. Encourage her and believe in her. Teach your daughters the importance of keeping covenants and then how to keep those covenants by going regularly to the temple. Teach them about moral/sexual matters. Frequent discussions about sexual matters, including modesty of clothing, are necessary. Point daughters to the scriptures and the priesthood power in their lives. It is critical that parents and children listen to and learn from each other. The Church is there to help, but the home is where the leaders of tomorrow are prepared and the gospel is taught and modeled.

Henry B. Eyring

Heavenly Father needs our help bringing His children home, to gain early the spiritual strength to stay on the path, and to help to get them on the path quickly when they start to stray. He tells the story of girl who lost her way; downward spiral started with poor choices that seemed exciting. The need to repent seemed unimportant. The only way for her to get out of the trap was to exercise faith—much harder than it would have been to exercise faith at the beginning of when the problems started. Jesus Christ makes our safe passage possible, but we have been assigned to stations to help guide people to safety along the way. Many of these assignments are in the family, others are primary workers, still others are Aaronic priesthood holders who pass the sacrament. Leaders know the strongest people in the ward should be called to help individual children in primary. Story of his son getting lost on way home from lesson. YM/YW programs are there to help youth to learn what need to learn, do what need to do, be what need to be. Help them feel they are on the path home to God because the path is hard, step, and can be discouraging. Encourage youth with praise and love. Exemplify to them in our own lives righteous living.