Followers

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sunshine in Your Heart

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As part of my "structured summer," I decided that I would spend some of my time each day focusing more on spiritual things.  We recently had a General Conference of our church back at the beginning of April.  My goal is to read one talk a week and blog about it as part of my spiritual study.  I also want to study my Sunday School lessons, my Relief Society lessons, a hymn, and be better prepared to teach my Primary lesson each week.  I'll probably create some digital artwork to represent what I studied each day.  Then maybe I'll have it printed...So, now you know everything!  I've decided that I'll start today with a Conference talk.

The talk I chose to read was the first talk given, entitled "As We Gather Once More" and given by our prophet, Thomas S. Monson.  He starts out by giving a very concise explanation of WHY we have general conference by saying, "We meet each six months to strengthen one another, to extend encouragement, to provide comfort, to build faith. We are here to learn. Some of you may be seeking answers to questions and challenges you are experiencing in your life. Some are struggling with disappointments or losses. Each can be enlightened and uplifted and comforted as the Spirit of the Lord is felt."

I LOVE general conference!  Each time I listen to the words of living prophets and apostles, I feel the love of Christ emanating around the globe as words of exhortation, love, peace, and goodwill are spoken from the words of men called by God.  I resolve to do a little bit better.  I learn something new from each talk and gain insight into how my Father in Heaven and Savior want me to conduct my life.  IT IS AMAZING.

President Monson went on to say, "Should there be changes which need to be made in your life, may you find the incentive and the courage to do so as you listen to the inspired words which will be spoken. May each of us resolve anew to live so that we are worthy sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. May we continue to oppose evil wherever it is found." 


I'm not sure about you, but I KNOW that I am far from perfect.  I think that it is amazing that such an exhortation of this magnitude could be given and that millions of people around the world can feel how POSSIBLE it is.  That is the beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ--it is so easy!  You just have to DO IT.

The next portion of Pres. Monson's talk is about the blessings we have been giving in our generation.  How lucky we are to have the modern technology that is available!  He says, "How blessed we are to have come to earth at such a time as this—a marvelous time in the long history of the world. We can’t all be together under one roof, but we now have the ability to partake of the proceedings of this conference through the wonders of television, radio, cable, satellite transmission, and the Internet—even on mobile devices. We come together as one, speaking many languages, living in many lands, but all of one faith and one doctrine and one purpose."

It is amazing to think that just less than 100 years ago, NONE of these modern marvels were available for use to use!  How great is the wisdom and love of God to give the inspiration for this amazing technology to be present here on this earth at this time--I for one am MOST grateful for indoor plumbing and central heating and air conditioning...I think I would die without it...probably not really, but I am SOOOO grateful for them!!!

President Monson continues, "From a small beginning 182 years ago, our presence is now felt throughout the world. This great cause in which we are engaged will continue to go forth, changing and blessing lives as it does so. No cause, no force in the entire world can stop the work of God. Despite what comes, this great cause will go forward. You recall the prophetic words of the Prophet Joseph Smith: 'No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.'"

A story from the Bible comes to mind when reading these statements.  It is found in the book of Daniel.  The prophet Daniel had been called before King Nebuchadnezzar to interpret a dream that he had experienced during the night. The king saw a great statue made of different materials and then a stone cut from the mountain without hands that came and destroyed the image.  That same stone continued to grow until it filled the entire earth.  

Daniel 2:44 states, "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever."

As a Latter-day Saint, I believe that this stone or kingdom is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, the Kingdom of God here on the earth today.  Although it is populated by imperfect people, it will one day be populated by a people made perfect by the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

As I try to live this gospel more fully each day, I am convinced a little more each day that this gospel is true.  The convictions that I feel come from the DOING of the word, and not the hearing of the word alone.  If I am to become strong and unmoving, I must continue to DO what God wants me to do.  Doubt comes only when I stop the DOING.  Faith is an action word, my friends.

President Monson says that, "There is much that is difficult and challenging in the world today, my brothers and sisters, but there is also much that is good and uplifting. As we declare in our thirteenth article of faith, 'If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.' May we ever continue to do so."

It is so wonderful to be reminded that in a world with so much that is bad, there is also so much good!  There is always so much to be thankful for!  And you know who is in charge of making sure that we are grateful and happy?  WE are!  I LOVE that I am the person in charge of my own personal happiness--I can be happy no matter what happens, because I have Hope in Christ!  This reminds me of a fabulous hymn.
  
You Can Make the Pathway Bright
Helen Silcott Dungan

You can make the pathway bright,
Fill the soul with heaven’s light,
If there’s sunshine in your heart;
Turning darkness into day,
As the shadows fly away,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.

If there’s sunshine in your heart,
You can send a shining ray
That will turn the night to day;
And your cares will all depart,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.

You can speak the gentle word
To the heart with anger stirred,
If there’s sunshine in your heart;
Tho it seems a little thing,
It will heaven’s blessings bring,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.

 If there’s sunshine in your heart,
You can send a shining ray
That will turn the night to day;
And your cares will all depart,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.

You can do a kindly deed
To your neighbor in his need,
If there’s sunshine in your heart;
And his burden you will share
As you lift his load of care,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.

 If there’s sunshine in your heart,
You can send a shining ray
That will turn the night to day;
And your cares will all depart,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.

You can live a happy life
In this world of toil and strife,
If there’s sunshine in your heart;
And your soul will glow with love
From the perfect Light above,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.

 If there’s sunshine in your heart,
You can send a shining ray
That will turn the night to day;
And your cares will all depart,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.

Is there sunshine is YOUR heart today?  I hope so!  My sunshine has been getting stronger with each word I've read and written! :)  I am so thankful to be on the earth at this time and to have a loving Father in Heaven who has provided so many wonderful opportunities for me to serve Him!  

Here is my digital print for this post, I'm calling it "Sunshine Soul"~

Gratitude is so very important.  Our prophet is very big on gratitude.  He has stated on more than one occasion that one of the greatest sins that we can commit is the sin of ingratitude.  He is always a wonderful example of gratitude, and towards the end of his talk he expressed his gratitude to us by saying, "I thank you for your faith and devotion to the gospel. I thank you for the love and care you show one to another. I thank you for the service you provide in your wards and branches and in your stakes and districts. It is such service that enables the Lord to accomplish many of His purposes here upon the earth. I express my thanks to you for your kindnesses to me wherever I go. I thank you for your prayers in my behalf. I have felt those prayers and am most grateful for them."

How blessed are we to have such a wonderful example of gratitude and thanksgiving given to us through our prophet dear?  I just love our prophet!  I love him for all of the countless hours he spends serving the Lord by serving US, His children.  I love him for the kindness that he show in each word that he says and for the life that he has led.  I love him for the humor and youth and vitality that he still has, even at a ripe "old" age!  I love him for his willingness to set aside the things he would have done for the things that the Lord needed him to do.  A fabulous example to all of us of Christ-like service and love!

He ends his talk by stating, "Our Heavenly Father is mindful of each of us and our needs. May we be filled with His Spirit as we partake of the proceedings of this conference. This is my sincere prayer in the sacred name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, amen."

Amen to that, indeed!  I need constant reminders that my Heavenly Father is mindful of me.  Why?  Because I am one of the most insecure people you could meet.  Apparently it doesn't show very much, but my DH will attest to the fact that I am not one to have much self confidence.  The things I do the best are the things that I criticize myself about.  It has taken me YEARS to work on this.  I am grateful to a Heavenly Father who has provided a Savior to help me through this struggle.  He has also blessed me with an excellent husband who is a righteous example to me and helps me through the trials of life that I face.  I am also grateful for each person who has touched my life in a positive way.  No matter how "small."  Because in the grand scheme of things, there is no such thing as a "small" act of service and kindness.  God bless you all!  Have a fabulous day!!!

This post linked to Word Art WednesdayThink on These Things, Hearts 4 Home, and Scripture Sunday.

2 comments:

Karen Letchworth said...

Well, look at you with TWO beautiful works of art in one week. And we, at Word Art Wednesday, are so grateful to have you share this art that God has laid on your heart...with us at Word Art Wednesday. Aren't we lucky indeed?! I agree that we have MUCH for which to be grateful to God. I also believe that it is vital to our continued growth that we spend time daily in the precious Word of God. I like to do this through personal devotions and reading over sermon notes. God is SO GOOD to us in so many ways. Thanks for sharing your heart Mynnette. I pray for you!
Blessings,
Karen L

Wendy said...

WoW! This is an awesome post! These are things which I have been hearing all week, i.e. (1) the possibilities of using social media for the glory of God and also (2) gratitude!!!

I was just thinking that you may like a post I came across this week by Laura at Beholding Glory:

http://www.beholdingglory.com/1/post/2012/05/using-social-media-to-glorify-god.html

Laura is teaching in 4 parts in this particular series re: Using Social Media to Glorify God and gives excellent advice regarding such.

Thank you for linking this wonderful post to Scripture Sunday this week. I's a real pleasure to host a link to your site.

It would be a real blessing if you consider linking your testimony regarding your journey each week (as mentioned in your post above) on SS; however, please do not feel burdened to do so - I know you have a busy schedule and only if you have time to link up again - this would be terrific :D

God bless Mynnette
Wendy @ ECTaS