Sunday, July 31, 2011

July Issue: Living Water

This article, Drink Deeply of the Living Water, has really made me think about what kind of effort I am willing to put forth to partake of the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love this experience shared by Mathew Heaps of Welfare services: "I will always be grateful to a woman in Kenya, Africa, who taught me about willingness to work to obtain water. I met her at a celebration following the installation of a well in her community. With gratitude she told me that the new well would cut her daily nine-mile (14 km) trip to get water to a one-mile (1.6 km) trip. She was overjoyed at the opportunities that would now be hers.

I couldn’t help but think how I would feel if I had to walk a mile to get water. I was impressed that she put everything—from housework to gardening—aside while she made her journey to fetch water. She knew she couldn’t complete the other tasks without that water. I thought about how heavy her burden was. Carrying water takes strength and endurance. Yet, for the sake of her family, she was willing to walk nine miles every day to get it.

I wonder if we who get clean water from taps in our homes sometimes expect to come unto Christ with the same ease as turning a knob to get a glass of water. Or are we willing to put aside other tasks, even important ones, to seek to know Jesus Christ and His Father?"What is the living water?

  • The living water is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • "The fountain of living waters...[is] a representation of the love of God" (1 Nephi 11:25).
  • Living water can bring us "everlasting life" (John 4:14; D&C 63:23).
How does the living water bless us?
  • The living water heals us through the power of the Holy Ghost.
  • The living water nourishes and sustains us.
  • The living water brings peace and joy.
What are you willing to set aside each day to "drink of the water"?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

July Issue: Fasting Journal

On pg. 73, in the section called Small and Simple Things, there is a short side bar written by Renee Harding about keeping a "fasting journal." She says, "Fasting used to be difficult for me - until I began keeping a fasting journal. Now before I begin each fast, I write down a specific purpose for my fast. Throughout my fast, I jot down relevant things that transpire; thoughts, feelings, and impressions that come into my mind and heart; and scriptural references that especially pertain to the purpose of my fast."
I really love this idea! It reminded me of my "temple journal." A couple of years ago a good friend of mine gave me a very nice leather journal - you know, the kind you're afraid to write in! After tucking it away for several months the thought came to my mind to use it as a "temple journal" to record my feelings each time I attend the temple. I try to keep the journal in my temple bag, so that right after I come out of the temple, I take a few minutes (before I go home because I know I'll never get it done once I'm home) to write any thoughts, feelings and impressions that came to me while I was in the temple. I'm not always consistent, so I'm thankful for this short article that has reminded me the importance of recording spiritual impressions.
"By small and simple things are great things brought to pass" (Alma 37:6).

Sunday, July 24, 2011

July Issue: Faith to Answer

"Faith to Answer the Call" by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland is a beautiful article with some incredible stories of faith filled pioneers. Today is one of my favorite days of the year - Pioneer Day. The pioneers have a special place in my heart. I truly honor, respect, and admire their faith, courage, and determination. I never tire of hearing their stories filled with trial, tribulation, and triumph.

Elder Holland teaches, "Little wonder that faith always has been and always will be the first and abiding principle of the gospel and of our work. I don't know how else mothers and fathers could leave those babies in those makeshift graves on the plains and then, with one last look, weep their way forward toward Zion. I don't know how else a woman like Belle Smith could set her children at the edge of a cliff and muscle her wagon down the perilous incline. I don't know how else Samuel Claridge could sell all he owned and head off to build Zion in the desolate Muddy Mission. The fundamental driving force in these stories is faith - rock-ribbed, furnace refined, event-filled, spiritually girded faith that is the very Church and kingdom of God and that when you are called, you go." He concludes with this, "We must have faith in this work - faith in what all believers are called to do, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in our Father in Heaven. We need to conform our will to Theirs and then make that will rock-ribbed and pioneer strong indeed."

To learn more about the stories referenced above, and to honor the pioneers today, read Elder Holland's article and several others in the July issue of the Ensign.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

July Issue: Islands of Faith

There are so many powerful articles in the July issue, I'm not sure where to start. (Should have started a lot earlier in the month - blogging is not so easy in the summer)!
I chose this article because it is beyond my imagination that there are people in the world who live like this. It is so humbling and inspiring.
It begins like this, "Nelson and Dora Coila live on an island - not a typical island made of solid rock jutting up from an ocean or lake - but a tiny island they made themselves of nothing more than floating reeds on Lake Titicaca in Peru." - An island they made themselves!!
This article teaches valuable lessons about consistency and diligence. Click here to see a photo gallery of these people and their hand made island. The images are beautiful. Then click here to read the article. It is worth ten minutes of your day!
Elder Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy had the opportunity to visit the islands and shared his experience in a General Conference message in April 2008. Click here to learn what he teaches about "special experiences that are building blocks for our testimonies."