Sunday, December 13, 2015

Service - This Is How We Can Become Like Our Savior

Hello My Dear Righteous Sisters!

Now that my children are grown I have been trying to find out what God would have me do with my time. I have looked at several different things but one thing I keep asking myself is how can I become like my Savior; how can I love as He loved?

Christ in white robes with a yellow sash, kneeling to wash the feet of one of His Apostles while the other eleven sit around the table.

I wanted to be able to see people through His eyes so that I could love them as He does. Earlier this month I had my eyes of understanding opened as I realized that to love everyone as He does is to do acts of service for them. When we serve our hearts are open and we begin to feel the love of our Savior in our lives and for the person/people we are serving.

Wow, that was very simple, or is it? Jesus lived a life of service and so can we. He was the perfect example of love and we should be looking to His life as our example. We do this by reading and studying the scriptures about His life. Once we know the scriptures we can act more like Him. We can make better choices and use of our time.

A woman pointing at a green-highlighted verse in a well-marked set of scriptures.

I learned that He wants me to be like Him, who is like the Father. There is no happier way to find peace and joy in our lives than to live like Jesus did. This world needs more people like Him. So, I thought that my blogs for 2016 should focus on how we can become more like Him. By becoming more like Him and doing what He did we will find peace and joy in our lives as we bring peace and joy to others.

However it's not always as easy as it sounds. The key to all of this is to act. We can learn everything about Him and how we should live our lives but if we do not act it will all be for nothing. The pure love of Christ is to act in service for our fellow man. We all have struggles in this world, its necessary for our growth, but we all need each other and those acts of kindness can help strengthen us and those we serve.

A young man smiles while drying a dish in a kitchen and looking toward an elderly woman whom he is serving.

To serve one another is to love one another, and to love one another means we are becoming like Him who is the greatest of all.

Merry Christmas!!!

 All my love

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Why do you Think Abortion is your Only Option?

Hello my Dear Sisters of this World,

I was out running errands this morning and saw a sign at the St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Mango, Florida. It was talking about abortion and remembering the lives of the babies and their mothers. It made me think a little about this issue. I have participated in fasts and lots of prayers for this to stop but it's obvious that abortion is here to stay. I truly doubt it will ever go back to being an illegal practice, doesn't mean I will stop praying that it does, but I just think that it will never change.

However, a thought came to me, I call it inspiration, and it said we need to convince women that there are other options. If we can't make the practice of abortion go away then let's help women see the other choices they can make and why it is the best thing to do. Threats and making someone feel horrible about themselves hasn't worked, so there has to be a better way.

Lets look at this for a moment.  We should ask ourselves the question why does a women decide to do this? I can think of several reasons but I may not say them without it sounding hateful and I certainly do not hate these women who choose to do this. We can't walk in their shoes but we can show them that the other options can bring a sense of happiness in making a choice to let the baby live.

The Lord has commanded us not to take another persons life, it is a sin when we break a commandment and this is a commandment. But we can choose to avoid the sin by looking at the other options that are available when a baby is not the best thing for the mother at that time.

 “Thou shalt not … kill, nor do anything like unto it”  (D&C 59:6)

What are the options? Of course the best option is for the birth mom to keep her baby but sometimes that is not possible. So we have to think of other options with her. One choice is to have the child and give it up for adoption. Adoption is not a horrible thing. Have you ever seen a woman who is unable to have a child of her own. Her heart is so broken every time she see's a new baby. She knows that she may never hold a child of her own. Do you know that by making a choice to give her the baby will bring joy to so many people. It will bring happiness to the new mom, the baby, and giver of the life! That's a lot of good that is being done.

There are programs available where the birth mother can choose who she wants her baby to go to. That is awesome to be able to choose the home the baby will be raised. Some people are even good about letting the birth mother be involved in the child's life as well, now that is amazing. What a good heart on both sides.

 Life doesn't have to be filled with hatred and ill feelings towards one another, make any situation a good thing. The birth mom goes on with her life and still get's to see her child grow and the adoptive mom gets to raise a baby as her own. Peace (long sigh) of heart and mind. To me that is the only option. But there are other options, the key is to not make abortion an option.

We have to show love and not judgement to the birth mom, she needs moral support and sometimes financial support. What are we willing to do to avoid the decision of abortion? That is something that is between you, the birth mom and Heavenly Father. When we include Him in our decision we always choose the right one, doesn't mean life will be all wonderful and perfect, but it does mean it will be the right one and everyone will be blessed for it.

Now perhaps you are thinking about a very young girl, or a victim of rape, or even a mother who's life is on the line. Those are good examples of the fight today. People use those instances as a valid reason to have legal abortion options. But as I always say when we give in to something for the benefit of good, it gets abused and turned around so itis used for bad.

But even with those situations I would think the baby is worth fighting for as well. No, I have never been in that situation, nor have I known anyone that was ever in that situation but I would try to help the mom to see that the baby is a victim as well. We all experience challenges and trials in our lives but it's what we do with them that makes or breaks us. So if a person is raped, no matter the age, the mom can get help to get her through the tough times she will have in carrying the child. It will not be easy and it is a hard choice to make, but in the long run it can give the personal healing power to her soul.

As for the health of the mother, that is a tough one too. I think one of the saddest things in life is when a mother dies and leaves her young family. I'm sure it is one of the most unfair things in life. But God'd plan is one that we do not always undersand. The choice in all these situations is between the mother and God; we can not judge. We can only try to help no matter the choice.

I had a young friend who was pregnant and she did not want to be. I remember her calling me and asking for advice. I tried and tried to talk her out of the thoughts of abortion. She was a Christian but she was just so overwhelmed with grief. She had  broke up with the young man for a good reason but she did not want to raise a child alone. I was so heartbroken when she told me she had the abortion, but I couldn't let her see my disappointment in her decision.  I had made a lot of wrong choices in my life so I was not in a situation to judge her decision, all I could do is let her cry on my shoulder and be her friend.

I know she has her regrets but all we can do it try to help them make a good choice and if they don't , be as supportive as we can. I will not back down on my fight against abortion and the taking of a life. I believe woman should choice to save the life of the baby and then if she can not raise it , give it to a home where it can be raised in a good environment. Prayer and reflection on the situation will only aid in the decision. May God direct our lives for the good of everyone. And may He be allowed to direct your decision in the matter of abortion whether you are the birth mother or someone who cares enough to help someone make the best choice, and that is for all life.

Would Jesus have condemned the mother? No, he would have showed her love and support. He would have done everything He could to show her the best choices. And yes, he would have been disappointed if she chose to have the abortion. But we are given the gift of freedom of choice, and with that comes consequences of our choices. Not ones that are decided by people but ones that go with choices that are made.

We have to stand as righteous women and fight against evil. The person is not normally evil but the act of abortion is. I pray that God will direct your path to doing good in this fight for life. Love as Jesus loves and help build up His Kingdom.

All my love!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Enough! Are you Spiritually Prepared?

My Dear Sisters,

I have so enjoyed all the spiritual messages we have been given today in General Conference. I always pray ahead of time that I will be in the right spirit in order to hear the messages from our Heavenly Father. I fear some do not prepare for General Conference as they should.

We are counseled to fast and pray for answers to our problems and challenges in life; to receive messages that the Lord would have us know during our conference. But how can you be spiritually prepared if all you are doing is looking for the negative. You are missing out on some good things because you are not spiritually prepared.

A portrait of Christ in a simple white robe in front of a plain neutral background, looking out at the viewer.

For those of you who are not members of my faith, every 6 months we have a General Conference where all the members of the church go to a church building or watch on TV, our church leadership as they speak and uplift us with good messages about how we can become better people by following after the example of Jesus Christ. They suggest ways we can do this and how we can strengthen ours families and others. We do this within 5 meetings in 2 days. I always walk away from the conference uplifted and inspired to change my ways to become more like Jesus.

I would say to all those who are complaining about things they don't like in the church, you need to stand back and be honest with yourself. Ask, "Why am I in this church?" If you do not sustain the leadership then you do not sustain God. If you have a problem with the choices made in this church, by our leadership, then you need to take it up with God! These are men of God and I will testify to this because I have received witness of these men at different times in my life.

A portrait of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, five of them sitting in a row of chairs and the remaining seven standing behind them.

This is Christ's church!!! He will have it ran on His terms, and not ours. I fear some sisters believe in the leadership but do not want to say anything for fear of offending someone else. But remember we all have a voice and we should stand up for what we believe in, too. If all those who question the leaders can say what ever they want then why can't we? It is time for us to stand up for truth and righteousness. There is man's ways, and then there is Gods ways, and they often times do not fall in line with each other. The question is who's way do you stand for? Once you figure this out then stand up for those ways.

This is the time that was predicted that men's hearts would fail them and we can see this happening. If you have a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ then now is the time to renew that testimony through some of the counsel we received today. Hold to the Iron Rod, get back into reading and studying the scriptures and you will see what God wants you to see, what he wants you to do.

A photograph of a couple holding hands, combined with a quote by Elder L. Tom Perry: “If we hold tightly to the word of God, we will remain on the pathway.”

Sisters, I love you and I know God loves you. And, you have every right to voice your concerns about things that bother you but there is a wrong way and a right way. Be sure you know what God's plan is before you take a fight to the leaders of His church.

We are living in a time where there are no more gray areas. We are either on the right side or the wrong, we need to be sure we know which is which. I pray for you every day to make the right choices in the right ways. Turn your hearts to God and know what He would have you do, be spiritually prepared to receive the answers God would have you receive. You will then be able to sustain your choices.

A conceptual photograph of heart-shaped cookies frosted with words like “Service” and “Share,” paired with the words “Be a Smart Cookie.”

All my love

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Stand as Light to the World

Dear Sisters,

Wow, what a mess this world is becoming. This wonderful country that we live in is supposed to be a place of righteousness and protection, but our own country is so filled with evil and hatred. My blog today is for you, as righteous women, to take a stand for God; become that beacon of Light for all to see. The world needs us now more than ever.

So many souls are lost and don't know where to go for help. As God's beacon we can illuminate the way back to God. As Christian women we shouldn't be fighting against one another saying who's religion is right or wrong, but we should take the good part of all of us and reach out to the poor of spirit, or those who are struggling with life or, those who are blind to the ways of God.

We have been blessed with much good in our lives and now we are to take that good and share it with others. Most will not want to see God's ways, and will turn away from us but even one soul in need can make a difference in the joy of our hearts and the glory of God.

I was reading the other day in the scriptures about what God's whole purpose is for us. It says, "This is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)" That means His whole purpose is to help us gain eternal life, to live forever in joy with Him. That is awesome! It woke me up as I realized that God's plan is all about me, and everyone else, but it's all about me!!!

So, if that is God's plan, and I am in a good place right now, then aren't I supposed to take the blessings that God has given me and share them with others? And as I do, I realize that I am helping to build His kingdom by bringing souls unto Christ. What a concept, my goals in life changed at that moment of understanding.

So where do we begin? Look at this world, our own countries and towns. Instead of loving people we are learning to hate and kill them. What's wrong with that picture? It's not Gods way, it's Satan's way. He is laughing at us as we are destroying our brothers and sisters. Where is the peace on earth, goodwill to all men? Well, it has to start with us.

Righteous women we can no longer stand on the fence, it's time to choose a side and take a stand. We can all join together to fight against the evil one. So we start by committing ourselves to God and his plan, not mans. We have to say that we are willing to be instruments in His hands, then go and do.

There are a lot of battles going on over family, marriage bonds, and issues of race. There are issues of immigration, and child protection. There are so many places to take a stand and fight. The battle for God is not necessarily a physical one but a battle of the mind , heart, and soul. There are homeless people in our country, and those in abusive situation. There are those lost to alcohol and drugs. There are so many who are lost and can not find their way. They need us now.

We don't have to preach at them, but love them by helping them. Words are probably not going to make a difference with most people but our actions will. If we will stop and help our neighbor, or a person standing in line at the store, or volunteer to help at a hospital - we will see a big difference in the way people feel about the world around them; we can give them hope. And that is what we all need, hope mingled with faith will bring souls to the right place.

Never give up on a person, keep being a friend. Don't put yourself in a dangerous position but help where you can. Pray for guidance and listen for the answer, it will come. God loves you and will bless your life as you bless those for good.

There is a story where a man was walking on the beach and saw someone pick up a starfish and throw it back into the ocean, The man remarked that this person couldn't possible save all the starfish that washed up on the shore. The person smiled and said no, maybe not, and bent down picked up a starfish then threw it in the sea, and said but I just saved that one.

We won't be able to lead everyone back to God but maybe we can help with this one, or that one. All we have to do is try, and God will do the rest. Let's fix what we can, or at least stand firm in God's plan. He needs us to do our part now, before it's too late. Never give up, keep fighting for what we know is right and pleasing to God. We may find it exhausting but that's why we are here; to
continue the fight until our Savior returns.

All my love

Sunday, August 2, 2015

First Pray, Then Listen, and Don't Forget to Act

My Dear Sisters,

Last month I talked briefly about praying to our Heavenly Father. He loves us and wants to hear from us each and every day. But prayer is a part of a two way communication, speaking and listening. Many people don't think our Father speaks to us but He does, all the time.

Can you imagine calling your parents and doing all the talking? Would your parents not speak back? Of course they would and so does Heavenly Father. However, we have to learn how to listen and recognize his voice and promptings, then act upon what we learn. I would like to share with you how to recognize His messages to you.

Our Heavenly Father talks to us in different ways. I have had the blessing of hearing a still small voice. I have heard it in dreams as I woke up in the mornings. I have heard it quiet places. I have heard it as I pondered my questions. It was always amazing to me to feel that love and know He has answered me.

Sometimes we feel a peaceful feeling when He answers us. As we toil over an issue in our lives we are told to research our choices and make a decision, then take it to Him in prayer. If we feel peace and good about our decision then he is manifesting it is a correct one. Sometimes we may feel a burning around our heart. But if we feel absolutely nothing or are still confused or unsettled then we need to rethink our choice.

Sometimes our answers come when we are reading something, or a thought comes to our mind. I am learning to recognize the constant companion I have in the Holy Ghost helping to understand what my Father would have me know. I can't count the times I have made a decision about something not knowing why and found later that I was lead by the Spirit. I was so happy to see that I listened to Him.

Sometimes He answers our prayers through others as they come to our aid or say something that triggers an answer to our prayers. I have stood before a congregation and bore my testimony only to find that it was the answer to a question that someone was searching for. Or vice-versa, for me, I have heard people say things that was exactly what I needed to hear.

There are so many ways that He answers us and let's us know He is listening and cares about our worries. But with that in mind how is it then that the world is in so much trouble. Our Father has given us all the tools we need to live happy and successful here in this earth. He continues to be there for us and help us, as we need, on our journey. He has given us the Holy Spirit to always be with us. He hears us and loves us so much.

I can never deny knowing He is there because He has protected me from danger. He has blessed me with the things I need in life because of obedience. He has held me in times of great sorrow and loss. He has  given me courage to walk away from things that are not good for me. He has blessed me with opportunities to see the beauty of nature. He has blessed me with joy in witnessing a new life and the passing of an old one.

I could go on and on because I have been blessed to see those things that bring the greatest joy simply by being obedient, and keeping a good communication open with Him through constant prayers as well as putting myself in a place to recognize His communication to me. I feel so loved; how can I not be happy?

But I will say there are times that I fall and have to be reminded that He is there helping me. And for that I am truly grateful. I can do anything with the knowledge that He loves me and each one of us. He knows us better than we know ourselves. So all you have to do is talk to Him and then listen for His answers because He is always there.

Once you receive your answer or are prompted to do something then act upon it. Don't doubt just go and do. Everything always works out even if you don't know how to make it happen. I loved my life in Utah and wanted to live there for the rest of my life but I kept feeling the prompting to move back to Florida where most of my family were. Finally, after a couple of years of struggling with leaving my life there, I found the courage to move my family where the Lord would have us be.

I have been back for 11 years now and have found many reasons as to why we needed to be here. If I had not acted upon what I was told by my Father above, I would have missed very important blessings and direction for my life, and that of my families. It was the right thing to do and I love Him for leading me back to Florida, even though I still want to live out west.

Also, never forget to thank Him for those blessings and answers. It is easy to find the answers and forget to thank the One who sent them. Gratitude is the key to more of what we need.

Until next month, I pray God's blessing on you as you turn your heart to Him and start that journey with Jesus as your Savior and example.

All my love!!!

p.s. Next blog post will be Sept. 6th. See you then!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

I Will Do What the Lord Will Have Me Do

My Dear Sisters,

I have been remiss in my writings for quite some time due to my discouragement of not having any readers. Seemed the only time anyone viewed my blog was when I had crafts, food or the like. Was anyone reading my blog for it's true purpose?

So what is the purpose you may ask? The title of this blog should say it all, it's to help all women to stand up for righteousness; righteousness is goodness, to stand for all that is good. We must stand up for this each and every day of our lives. If we don't, well, if we don't then we will continue to go the way the world is going and that's not so good. Open your eyes sisters and see where we were, where we are, and where we are heading. I know it's not pretty, but we have to see what is happening around us and how we can do what ever it takes to protect those that we love and help others to do the same.

I have prayed for direction and divine purpose for the messages that come from this blog. You are welcome to comment how you feel, but remember that because I have prayed for Divine guidance, you will be arguing with God. So think your argument through very carefully because He always wins.

So over the past few months I have been praying for what I should be doing with my life, now that my children are all adults. Well of course, I still have to be a mom and give my opinion to things in their lives, and be the best Graggy (that's what my grand-kids call me) I can be. But I have asked the Lord what HE would have me do. I kept getting the same feeling about writing. I have good book ideas that have been in my head for years but the thought about this blog came to mind several times.

I was reading something the other day that talked about developing our talents, well I knew writing was something I needed to work on so it all began to make more sense that my part of building the Kingdom was through writing in this blog and other things, which you will learn about a few months, or so down the road.

I worried that no one would read it, or I wouldn't have anything worthwhile to say but I was assured that I just needed to do my part and He would do the rest. So that's how I got back here. This blog won't be about arts and crafts, food, or any how tos, but it will be about things that I see can that might be a help to you in raising your family, standing for truth and righteousness in all things, and to help you build God's Kingdom here on Earth.

So in my message today, I believe I should be talking about prayer because I can truly testify that He hears and answers our prayers. Since this blog is not only for followers of Jesus Christ perhaps some of you have never prayed so I want to talk about that today.  My blogs will be short and too the point, and I will only be putting a message out monthly, planning on the first Sunday of every month.

So here we go; when we pray we should pray to the one and only true God. When we pray we talk to him sincerely and freely about what ever we want to talk about; it's like talking to your mom or dad. Just tell Him what you want, He already knows what you want or need but it helps us if we tell him what we want or need. The why's behind that will have to be saved for another blog post.

He wants to hear from us, like our earthly parents he wants that weekly call, more like daily, or even more often. He wants to be a part of our lives. And when we trust in Him to answer with our best interest at heart, we will find that He really does love us and will always answer our prayers, not always the way we expect but the way that is best for us.

So a small thought, as we look at this world around us what should we be praying for? Our enemies for sure, all those who are standing for God and good things of this world, and definitely our families to be strong and good. There are so many things we can pray for, we just have to give it some good thought.

Jesus Christ taught us how to pray to the Father in the New Testament, see Matt 6:9-13 . When we pray we should always open with calling on His name like Dear Heavenly Father, or Our Gracious Heavenly Father, something like that.

Then we need to thank Him for everything in our lives. Gratitude is one of the most important elements of worship. When we show gratitude we can easily be blessed with more because our Father knows we appreciate the gifts that He showers us with, and yes, trials are things we should be thankful for because we can grow so much through the things we experience in our lives.

After we thank Him we need to ask for what we want or need. He will answer our prayers and it's usually through someone else. If we, who are Christians, are listening to the Spirit we will be prompted to do things we would not normally do on our own. This is a two sided blessing; to the giver and the receiver. A lot of our prayers will be answered with a peaceful feeling that everything will be fine.

I remember once struggling with finances, and I was exhausted after working all day in a physical job, I became very emotional. I prayed for help with my struggles then I received a spiritual message saying, "Why are you crying? You know everything always works out for the best." The peace came and I knew my prayers had been answered. And, as always, things worked out.

Then we close with our Savior Jesus Christ's name, and an Amen. So it would be something like - in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen. It can be that simple. It all just needs to be from your heart. The heart is key to your physical body and it is key to your spiritual self.  So pray from the heart.

Now that you know how to pray you should pray for spiritual guidance to know what to do in your life, as I have done. Then put yourself in places to hear the Spirit talk to you. He is always talking to us but there is so much worldly noise that we can not hear what He is saying. Remember the still small voice, that is Him. Go to quiet places and listen. Your thoughts will be directed for His work, for good work, one that will bring you and those you serve much joy in this life.

Well, I have made this longer than I said I would but I hope you have learned something or been reminded of things you already knew today. God loves each and everyone one of us and He knows each and everyone of us individually, like a parent knows their children. If you truly want to serve God or just do good, then it starts with prayer and receiving that guidance to do what He would have you do. Start your journey with God through prayer, and I promise you will find true joy and love in your heart.

All my love

P. S. My next blog post is scheduled for Aug 2, 2015- Help God get these messages out, share with everyone.
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