Friday, May 31, 2013

They watch over us

“Now, this is the truth. We humble people, we who feel ourselves sometimes so worthless, so good-for-nothing, we are not so worthless as we think. There is not one of us but what God’s love has been expended upon. There is not one of us that He has not cared for and caressed. There is not one of us that He has not desired to save and that He has not devised means to save. There is not one of us that He has not given His angels charge concerning. We may be insignificant and contemptible in our own eyes and in the eyes of others, but the truth remains that we are children of God and that He has actually given His angels … charge concerning us, and they watch over us and have us in their keeping.”

George Q. Cannon

He cannot forget us; we are engraven upon the palms of his hands.

“If you are on the right path, it will always be uphill. To choose the Lord’s way is to choose higher ground.
The Lord is anxious to lead us to the safety of higher ground, away from the path of physical and spiritual danger. His upward path will require us to climb."

Henry B. Eyring

“You cannot lift another soul until you are standing on higher ground than he is. You must be sure, if you would rescue the man, that you yourself are setting the example of what you would have him be. You cannot light a fire in another soul unless it is burning in your own soul.”

Harold B. Lee

"We must not lose hope. Hope is an anchor to the souls of men. Satan would have us cast away that anchor. In this way he can bring discouragement and surrender. But we must not lose hope. The Lord is pleased with every effort, even the tiny, daily ones in which we strive to be more like Him. Though we may see that we have far to go on the road to perfection, we must not give up hope."

Ezra Taft Benson

“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist,

but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

G.K. Chesterton

Your once upon a time is now for a moment, think back about your favorite fairy tale.  In the story the main character must overcome Adversity…  will experience your own adversity…. It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life’s story will develop…Your own wondrous story has already begun. Your “once upon a time” is now.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Jesus said, ‘I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.’ Start with yourself, and forgive others as well. If God will not remember our repented-of sins, then why should we? Avoid wasting time and energy reliving the past.”
Anthony D. Perkins
Why Wish Upon a Star when you can pray to the one who created it.
"The voice of the Lord is unto all men"  The heavens are not closed, God is not silent, and each of us can, individually, receive specific and personal revelation from God that can bless us with direction, insight, and comfort.

“The Lord’s purposes are often accomplished as we pay heed to the guidance of the Spirit. I believe that the more we act upon the inspiration and impressions which come to us, the more the Lord will entrust to us His errands.”

Thomas S. Monson

“Heavenly Father is ever mindful of those who need, who seek, who trust, who pray, and who listen when He speaks. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. God’s gift becomes our blessing.
May every heart open wide and welcome Him this day and always.”

Thomas S. Monson

Baby Banana Gingerbreads

Baby Banana Gingerbreads
Yield: 3 mini loaves
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup molasses
3 eggs
Powdered sugar for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 375, and grease three mini loaf pans (5x3x2).
2. Combine flour, sugar, ginger, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
3. Mix in banana, butter and molasses until well blended, about 2 minutes on medium speed.
4. Stir in eggs until well combined.
5. Divide batter among loaf pans and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. Cool in the pans for about 15 minutes, then continue cooling on wire racks.
7. When completely cool, gently spoon powdered sugar into a wire mesh strainer, and shake the strainer over the loaves to garnish.

Friday, May 24, 2013

We are to be like Christ

The mind will quit a 100 times before the body ever does.

“If thoughts make us what we are, and we are to be like Christ, then we must think Christlike thoughts.” 
 Ezra Taft Benson

ONE... One tree can start a forest: One smile can begin a friendship; One hand can lift a soul; One word can frame the goal; One candle can wipe out darkness; One laugh can conquer gloom; One hope can raise your spirits; One touch can show you care; One life can make the difference, be that one today.

“Anger is the mother of a whole brood of evil actions.”
Gordon B. Hinckley
“Forgiveness plants and nourishes the seeds of Christlike love in both the giver and the receiver. Indeed, forgiveness, in its fullest expression, is synonymous with charity, the pure love of Christ.”
Roderick J. Linton
“The Savior…was not concerned that he would seem too forgiving or soft on sin. Said he, ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. … For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ He spoke these comforting words in the context of asking his followers to develop a love pure enough to extinguish hatred, lust, and anger. His yoke is easy-but he asks for all our hearts. His words do not describe an event, but a process. He does not request the answer to a yes-or-no question, but an essay, written in the winding trail of our experience. As we move along that trail, we will find that he is not only aware of our limitations, but that he will also in due course compensate for them, áfter all we can do.’ That, in addition to forgiveness for sin, is a crucial part of the good news of the gospel, part of the victory, part of the Atonement.”
Bruce C. Hafen
“Some of you may think that you will discover your strengths and abilities by living on the edge… Your identity, however, cannot be found from thrill seeking, such as intentionally and unnecessarily exposing your life or your soul to any kind of danger, physical or moral. There will always be enough risks that will come to you naturally without your having to seek them out…. Each of you will have to work very hard to qualify for your eternal potential. It will not be easy. Finding your true identity will tax your ability far beyond climbing a dangerous cliff or speeding in a car or on a motorcycle. It will require all of your strength, stamina, intelligence, and courage.”
James E. Faust
“Joy is an emotion of the spirit. It comes through righteous living. It is not a casual or shallow feeling, ever. If we equate fun and pleasure with happiness, we may think pain must always be equated with unhappiness. But that is not true. Joy is not a stranger to pain. We may not feel deeply enough to know joy unless our hearts have been hollowed out by sorrow. A heart may not be big enough to know real joy until it has been stretched and pulled by trials and hard things. ….‘having no joy, for they knew no misery.’ Our capacity to feel joy actually increases as we righteously endure our pain.”
Barbara Workman
“When we strive to be Christlike, He is ‘formed’ in us; if we open the door, He will enter; if we seek His counsel, He will counsel us. For Christ to be ‘formed’ in us, we must have a belief in Him and in His Atonement. Such a belief in Christ and the keeping of His commandments are not restraints upon us. By these, men are set free. This Prince of Peace waits to give peace of mind, which may make each of us a channel of that peace.”
Howard W. Hunter
“That man is most truly great who is most Christlike. What you sincerely in your heart think of Christ will determine what you are, will largely determined what your acts will be.”
David O. McKay

Cookie Dough Topped Brownies

Cookie Dough Topped Brownies
1 package brownie mix, plus ingredients to prepare it
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips
1. Prepare brownies according to package directions, using a 13x9 inch pan lined with foil sprayed with cooking spray. Allow the foil to extend over the edges as this will let you lift the brownies out of the pan easily. Cool completely.
2. When brownies are cooled, lift them carefully out of the pan, using the foil edges as a handle, and place on a cutting surface.
3. Combine butter, sugars, milk and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl and mix well. Stir in flour until completely combined, then stir in chocolate chips. (This will give you a "cookie dough" that is perfectly safe to eat, as there are no raw eggs in it.)
4. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough on top of the cooled brownie. Using your fingers, gently press down on the dough until it is spread evenly across the top of the brownie.
5. Cut the brownies into small squares and serve.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Some people feel the rain others just get wet

some people feel the rain others just get wet
“Man…need not stand alone. Prayer will open doors; prayer will remove barriers; prayer will ease pressures; prayer will give inner peace and comfort during times of strain and stress and difficulty.”
Ezra Taft Benson
It is so hard when sincere prayer about something we desire very much is not answered the way we want. It is especially difficult when the Lord answers no to that which is worthy and would give us great joy and happiness. Whether it be overcoming illness or loneliness, recovery of a wayward child, coping with a handicap, or seeking continuing life for a dear one who is slipping away, it seems so reasonable and so consistent with our happiness to have a favorable answer. It is hard to understand why our exercise of deep and sincere faith from an obedient life does not bring the desired result.
No one wants adversity. Trials, disappointments, sadness, and heartache… for adversity is to accomplish the Lord’s own purposes in our life that we may receive the refinement that comes from testing.
Richard G. Scott

The first principle of the gospel is not “faith.”
The first principle of the gospel is “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ”

To my dear friend and all those whose souls are hungering for faith, I invite you “to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written.” Let their witness that the Savior gave His life for you sink deep into your heart. Seek a witness of the truth through the Holy Ghost in prayer, and then see your faith strengthened as you joyfully meet the challenges of this mortal life and prepare for eternal life.
Jesus Christ did come. He did live. And He will come again. This I know and give my special witness and testimony, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Robert d. Hales

Write down your blessings. Recording our blessings in a journal helps focus our minds on them and enables us to recall them later when we may have forgotten. Others, too, might benefit. ‘Journals are a way of counting our blessings and of leaving an inventory of these blessings for our posterity’

Carolyn Wright

Let us never worry about the time it takes to learn of spiritual things. It is time well spent. It provides a foundation for secular learning. Indeed, the Lord will bless us if we trust in Him and learn about His eternal plan first. We are talking about a widening, not a narrowing, window of opportunity to learn if we attend to first things first.”

L. Tom Perry
“The adversary uses despair to bind hearts and minds in suffocating darkness. Despair drains from us all that is vibrant and joyful and leaves behind the empty remnants of what life was meant to be. Despair kills ambition, advances sickness, pollutes the soul, and deadens the heart. Despair can seem like a staircase that leads only and forever downward. Hope, on the other hand, is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances. It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn. It encourages and inspires us to place our trust in the loving care of an eternal Heavenly Father, who has prepared a way for those who seek for eternal truth in a world of relativism, confusion, and of fear.”
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“We don’t seek out tests, trials, and tribulations. Our personal journey through life will provide just the right amount for our needs. Many trials are just a natural part of our mortal existence, but they play such an important role in our progress. … Sometimes we want to have growth without challenges and to develop strength without any struggle. But growth cannot come by taking the easy way. We clearly understand that an athlete who resists rigorous training will never become a world-class athlete. We must be careful that we don’t resent the very things that help us put on the divine nature.”
Paul V. Johnson

Applesauce Cookies

Applesauce Cookies
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup chunky-style applesauce
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup golden raisins
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Make cookies: Preheat oven to 350. Put butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until combined. Add egg and applesauce, mix until well blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix in raisins.
Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake cookies until golden and just set, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack set over parchment paper; let cool completely.
Make icing: Whisk confectioners' sugar, syrup, and 3 tablespoons water until smooth. Drizzle over cookies, let set.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

For your full potential to be realized

"I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect' Are you vexed by your own imperfections? For example, have you ever locked your keys inside the car? Or have you ever moved from one room to another, to accomplish a task, only to find you had forgotten what you wanted to do? (Incidentally, troubles of that nature don't disappear as you grow older.) Please do not be discouraged by the Lord's expression of hope for your perfection. You should have faith to know that He would not require development beyond your capacity. Of course you should strive to correct habits or thoughts which are improper. Conquering of weakness brings great joy. You can attain a certain degree of perfection in some things in this life. And you can become perfect in keeping various commandments. But the Lord was not necessarily asking for your errorless and perfect behavior in all things. He was pleading for more than that. His hopes are for your full potential to be realized: to become as He is! That includes the perfection of your physical body, when it will be changed to an immortal state that cannot deteriorate or die. So while you earnestly strive for continuing improvement in your life here, remember that your resurrection, exaltation, completion, and perfection await you in the life to come. That precious promise of perfection could not have been possible without the Lord's Atonement and example."
Russell M. Nelson
"None of us know when the Savior will come again, but I'm quite certain that you sense, as I do, an unmistakable acceleration in the fulfillment of prophecies. Each of us must prepare now to play his or her foreordained part as the final pieces of Heavenly Father's plan come together in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times. It will require of us much because much has been given to us."
L. Tom Perry
"Let us be mindful of the foundational precepts our Heavenly Father has given to His children that will establish the basis of a rich and fruitful mortal life with promises of eternal happiness. They will teach us to do 'all these things … in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that we should run faster than we have strength. But it is expedient that we should be diligent, and thereby … win the prize.'"
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"The Lord expects us to be as faithful, as devoted, as courageous as those who went before us. They were called to give their lives for the gospel. We are called to live our lives for the same purpose. In these last days we have special reason to do so. Before that sacred night in Bethlehem, the events of history and the words of the prophets of all dispensations prepared the way for the first coming of the Lord and His Atonement. Similarly, history and prophecy laid the groundwork Restoration of the gospel ….. Do we have eyes to see that the events and prophecies of our time are preparing us for the Savior's Second Coming?"
Robert D. Hales
"Joy comes when we have the Spirit in our lives .
When we have the Spirit, we rejoice in what the Savior has done for us."
Quentin L. Cook
"The gospel is a thing of joy. It provides us with a reason for gladness. Of course there are times of sorrow. Of course there are hours of concern and anxiety. We all worry. But the Lord has told us to lift our hearts and rejoice."
Gordon B. Hinckley
"Do not fear the future. Go forward with hope and faith. Remember that supernal gift of the Holy Ghost. Learn to be taught by it. Learn to seek it. Learn to live by it. Learn to pray always in the name of Jesus Christ. The Spirit of the Lord will attend you, and you will be blessed."
Boyd K. Packer
"The things we hope in sustain us during our daily walk. They uphold us through trials, temptations, and sorrow. Everyone has experienced discouragement and difficulty. Indeed, there are times when the darkness may seem unbearable. It is in these times that the divine principles of the restored gospel we hope in can uphold us and carry us until, once again, we walk in the light."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
The Savior wants to forgive. I knew that was true the moment I read the title, but had not considered that part of His character much before. Not only does the Savior forgive–which we talk a lot about–but he wants to forgive.
He can.  And he wants to.
It is not an annoyance or task He does grudgingly, but rather willingly and anxiously. He was not coerced into Gethsemane. He does not withhold mercy, nor is He a miser with his love. When Peter asked him how often we should forgive, the Lord not only gave an answer and counsel to the Twelve, but also a peek into His character and heart. It is beneath Him to consider forgiving someone less than 490 times; and never, ever just seven. This brings hope to all, "Especially to those who feel that recurring human weakness is beyond the Savior's willingness to help and to save."
Emily Freeman
"The responsibility mothers have today has never required more vigilance. More than at any time in the history of the world, we need mothers who know. Children are being born into a world where they 'wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places' However, mothers need not fear. When mothers know who they are and who God is and have made covenants with Him,
they will have great power and influence for good on their children."
Julie B. Beck
"A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being."
James E. Faust
"It is so important for us to be on the Lord's side.
But we should never forget that the Lord is also on our side."
Bruce C. Hafen

Monday, May 20, 2013

Frances B. Monson, Wife of President Thomas S. Monson, Passes Away

Frances B. Monson, wife of Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, passed away at 6:35 a.m. this morning in a Salt Lake City hospital surrounded by family. She had been hospitalized for several weeks and passed away peacefully of causes incident to age. Sister Monson was 85 years old. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Recognized by her husband as the family’s beacon of love, compassion and encouragement, Sister Monson lived a Christ-centered life in word and deed. She will forever be remembered for her kindness and quiet, sustained support of her husband in his Church duties.

Born on 27 October 1927, Frances Beverly Johnson was the youngest and only daughter of Franz E. Johnson and Hildur Booth Johnson’s five children. Her parents were delighted to have a little girl in the family, whom they promptly named Frances, after her father Franz.
She grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, as a child of the Great Depression and learned the value of hard work and thrift, which served her well throughout her life. She graduated from East High School and the University of Utah, where she excelled in math and science. When asked why she enrolled in these difficult classes, she replied with a twinkle in her eye, “Because that is where all the cute boys were.” Frances was also an accomplished pianist and was often seen playing tennis in Liberty Park during her teenage years. Later, she worked in the accounting department of a large department store to help pay for her college education.
It was also during her university days she met a handsome, strapping young man also of Swedish descent, Thomas Spencer Monson, at the time known as Tommy. “The first time I met Frances, I knew I’d found the right one,” he would later say about their courtship. They met in 1944 and were married on 7 October 1948 in the Salt Lake Temple.
The couple was blessed with three children: Thomas Lee, Ann Frances and Clark Spencer. The children soon learned that they had a very special mother. She helped her sons learn about, buy and raise Birmingham Roller pigeons, at one point helping her son to travel to England to meet a Birmingham Roller expert. She allowed one son to keep a pet snake in the bathtub. Most mothers would shudder at the word snake, let alone have one in the tub. The herd, gaggle and flock of family pets eventually included chickens, more pigeons, a dog, geese and other animals.
Daughter Ann Dibb said her mother was always good at bookkeeping, budgeting and “being mindful of where the best bargains could be found.” Ann’s mother followed the Church’s provident living advice of thrift and self-reliance, making her grocery money go further by researching and buying items on sale and then storing them at home. Up until recently she continued to read both Salt Lake newspapers looking for coupons and bargains.
She was known as the family assembler and fix-it person. Early every Christmas morning found Frances assembling bikes, toys and doll houses and on other occasions fixing an electrical switch or plumbing leak. Ann said this was something her father readily admitted was her mother’s talent, not his.
She served in the Relief Society and Primary and spent many hours preparing lessons for those callings. She also served alongside her husband when he was called to preside over the Church’s Canadian Mission, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, from 1959 to 1962. Both concur that the mission was a beautiful experience that gave them many opportunities to learn and grow both spiritually and intellectually.
Frances was blessed with an endearing sense of humor, a part of which President Monson shared in a general conference talk: “Several years ago my dear wife went to the hospital. She left a note behind for the children: ‘Dear children, do not let Daddy touch the microwave’ — followed by a comma ‘or the stove, or the dishwasher, or the dryer.’ I’m embarrassed to add any more to that list.” Her recipe for life included plenty of encouragement, kindness and hard work, with a dose of humor thrown in for good measure.
Most importantly, Frances will be best remembered for the love and support she showed to her husband and family and the service she rendered to others. Ann said, “She dearly loved my father and recognized his talents and the gifts that he’d been given and took pleasure in supporting him and helping him magnify the talents that were his.” She completely supported her husband in all of his Church duties. She also delighted in being a mother, continually teaching her children the importance of sacrifice and serving the Lord.
Ann shared a tender example of her mother supporting her father in his Church callings. As a newly called member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the then Elder Monson was assigned to speak in general priesthood meeting. Frances tried to stand in the doorway of the Salt Lake Tabernacle to listen to her husband speak, but the ushers wouldn’t allow it, so she stood as near to the window as possible to hear the talk. She loved to listen and show her support and accompanied him many times on his visits to the elderly and those with poor health.
Frances radiated patience and compassion when serving others. She tenderly cared for her mother, who suffered from cancer for more than six years. In April of 1988, the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s Villa, an elder-care facility, presented Frances and her husband with the Continuum of Caring Humanitarian Award, honoring both of them for their dedicated and untiring service to the senior citizens of Utah.
Never purposely in the spotlight, Frances Beverly Johnson Monson was always gracious, kind and supportive in everything she said and did. Her quiet influence felt around the world will be missed.


Funeral Services for Frances J. Monson Announced

The funeral of Frances J. Monson, wife of Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will be held in the Salt Lake Tabernacle at noon on Thursday this week, 23 May.  The public is invited to the funeral service.