Category Archives: Scripture

Christ versus Santa

I have always struggled with the commercialization of Christmas.  Yes it is cool, fun, cute and all, but is it supposed to be ALL about Santa.

Does anyone remember who “Santa” really was?  I felt like it was all lost.

What is Christmas supposed to be?  All these questions kept going through my mind and I was really struggling with what we should do as a family about and for Christmas. I felt it would benefit our family and our children to focus more on Christ for Christmas.  I felt it would help us grow closer to Him.

I also don’t like the idea of lying to my children when we try so hard to teach them not to lye.  Princess asked me weeks ago if Santa was real.  I explained to her how he lived long ago and was a good person who helped others.  We talked about how we pretend Santa is real now to help us keep that spirit and mindset of helping and loving others.  We then talked about sometimes parents don’t tell their kids Santa isn’t alive.  They want the children to believe in that spirit he had.  We can still believe and celebrate with that spirit but focus more on Jesus Christ.  We can celebrate His life and rejoice in His birth.

Yes there are moments I wish I could say; “you better be good because Santa is coming!” But in reality I can say; “mommy doesn’t like it when you are not nice.  It makes mom, dad, Jesus and Heavenly Father sad.  Can you try to be nice to your sister?”  The latter helps them understand instead of tricking or forcing them to be good.  I feel it helps them build a relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ when we talk of them as people.  Helping them realize their actions have consequences, although small and simple, they know when they are not nice, we are sad.  Just as we are happy when they are good.  (Yes, when I tell them I’m proud of them I also tell them Heavenly Father and Jesus is proud of them.)

Christmas needed to be CHRISTmas for me.  I wanted the focus to be on the Only Begotten of the Father, the Savior of mankind, the Beloved, our brother.

Please know, we do not judge others whether the celebrate Santa or not.

This is just our personal path.

We Believe Wednesday-Sacrament

Jesus Christ sat with His apostles the evening before the atonement.  Christ knew it was time for Him to atone and die for us.  In Luke 22, we read about the first sacrament and Christ said, “this is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. . . . this cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.”

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we feel sacrament is an important part of our spiritual growth and worship, as we remember and renew the covenants we make with Heavenly Father when we are baptized.  As we partake of the bread and water, we remember the atoning sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us.  We take the time, while the sacrament is being passed, to reflect on the ministry, life and Atonement of Christ, the Son of God.

The bread being broken is a symbolic reminder of His body on the cross and His physical sufferings.  It is also symbolic to ancient times when as part of the covenant, they would cut (break) an animal into pieces as a sacrifice and say “Let what happened to this sacrifice, happen to us, if we break our covenant.”

The water is symbolic of the blood of our Savior shed in extreme spiritual suffering and grief, commencing in the Garden of Gethsemane and concluding on the cross.  In Matthew 26:38 Christ said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.”  In the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 3:7 we read and understand, “Blood [came] from every pore, so great [was] his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.”

Jesus Christ suffered for the sins, sorrows, and pains of all people.  He is the only one who truly understands us, emotionally and spiritually.  When we get that call, your grandma has suffered a stroke and is on the way to the hospital, He truly felt the pain, regrets and overwhelming fears.  When we sin, because we all will, He felt the sorrow, fear, and humility.  What greater gift could our Father give us than a big brother who truly knows us?

As a mother, I want to teach my children of this great gift.  When my oldest, Princess, was around 12-months, I was contemplating how to teach my children about Jesus Christ and the sacrament.  Almost intuitively, as I handed her the bread, I whispered, “this helps us remember Jesus made it so we can live with Heavenly Father again.”  Then with the water I whispered, “this helps us remember we can say sorry and repent for our sis.”  As simple as these words were, they truly help us focus on the atonement, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Princess is now almost five, and I have Tiny, three; and B, one.  They each are told these same words each time we partake of the sacrament.

We Believe Wednesday-Finding Yourself

This last weekend I attended Time Out For Women

Among the many speakers, S. Michael Wilcox spoke. He said “find yourself in the scriptures.”  This brought back a memory I thought I would share.

Six years and seven months ago I was dating a young man (Gordon) whom pursued me heavily. I was dating him because I strongly felt I should, but in reality I wanted nothing to do with boys. (Having just gotten out of a complicated relationship, I just wanted “me” time.)

After dating a while, we kept feeling like we were supposed to be together, the next step would be marriage.  Honestly, I was rarified and excited at the same time. 

I prayed to Heavenly Father for guidance on wither I should marry Gordon.  I immediately feel the Holy Ghost telling me YES.  I was uneasy.  Although the prompting was so strong and overwhelming, it felt too easy and fast.  I quickly told Heavenly Father I would pray about in the temple and then accept any answer He gives me then.  

I know this may be a little shocking for some, that I would not accept the first answer. It was partially stubbornness and partially that I needed to be reassured when my answer cam so fast.  

The same week as the first prayer, I went to the temple with a group of young single adults from church.  A member of the Temple Presidency came to speak to us.  He talked about utilizing the scriptures to help us receive answers to our prayers.  He said, sometimes we need to just be willing to let the Lord guide us and the pages fall open to where He wants us to read.  I decided, since I never do this, I would give it a try.  

I sat quietly with my scriptures in hand.  I looked up, opened my scriptures, looked down and read: 

Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth;

Yea, I tell thee, that thou mayest know that there is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.

Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?

And now, behold, you have received a witness; for if I havetold you things which no man knoweth have you not received a witness?

Doctrine and Covenants 6: 15-16, 22-24

I knew then, Heavenly Father answered me before. I knew the words written for Oliver Cowdery years ago, were for me at that moment.  I knew our Lord understood me, better than I could imagine. 

I am still ever so thankful Heavenly Father knew what I needed to understand and feel.  I found myself in the scripture.  I married Gordon after he was a member for a year.

We Believe Wednesday-One of the Three

Today’s post is inspired from questions a friend asked about my beliefs.  Always feel free to ask me questions!

We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.-Articles of Faith 1

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe in Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are separate distinct beings.  We refer to the three of them as the Godhead.  Today, I want to talk about the Holy Ghost (some people refer to him as the Holy Spirit).

I believe the Holy Ghost has the ability to influence ALL people who strive for good.

The Holy Ghost helps us recognize and comprehend truth. He also gives us spiritual strength and comforts us in times of trials. In John 14:26 it says; “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

In John 3:5 Jesus was talking to Nicodemus, a Pharisees, and said “…except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” While we believe all have the opportunity to feel the Holy Ghost, we believe that in order to have him with you at all times, one would need to be baptized and then given the gift of the Holy Ghost.

I invite all wanting to know more about the Mormon church to consider meeting with the missionaries.  They devote 18 months to two years to serving Heavenly Father’s children and to teach others of Jesus Christ, as well as helping those they teach have a stronger relationship with Him.

We Believe Wednesday-I’m a Mormon

I’m starting a weekly post called “We Believe Wednesday.”  Feel free to link up with our weekly posts.  Each week I will post information on what I believe or stories that are relevant to my life as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

So, I’m a Mormon.

What is a Mormon?

A Mormon is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Often times people refer to us as the Mormon Church or Mormons.

Why are you called Mormons?

We believe in the Book or Mormon.  This book is scripture, like the Bible.  We believe the Book of Mormon aids in testifying of the life of Jesus Christ.  The Book of Mormon is given out freely, all over the world by members of our church, as well as by missionaries.  If you would like one, feel free to ask me, a member, or click here.

What is the Book of Mormon?

The Book of Mormon is a compilation of writings from ancient prophets starting in Jerusalem with Lehi. Around 600 B.C., Lehi, his family and a few others traveled from Jerusalem to America.  The Book of Mormon follows their journey and and continues to follow the people as they become a large civilization.  Heavenly Father, God, continued to call prophets to help teach and guide the people. In the end of the Book of Mormon, the prophet Moroni, promises that if you sincerely read and pray with an open heart, you will know of its truth through the Holy Ghost (Moroni 10:4).

Pay Attention

We are blessed to have missionaries in our home at lease once a week. As we struggle to have our small children to to sit and listen we were loosing our patience. In those moment of pure desperation came such a simple answer.

Princess, did you know they are going to talk about Jesus?
Oh I love my big brother!
Can you listen really carefully as the missionaries talk and raise your hand when they say ‘Jesus?’

And so it began. An answer to a silent prayer. Now when the missionaries give their spiritual thoughts they listen to hear “Jesus” and their hand shoots up into the air with excitement.

We have expanded this into our scripture study. As we read from the Book of Mormon, our girls raise their hands for: Jesus; Father; Lord; God; Heavenly Father and angel. Gordon will even join in on the action and raise his hand or if he is holding B, he will help raise B’s hand.

On occasions they pay enough attention in sacrament meeting and you will see little girls’ hands shoot up into the air as they whip their head around and say;

“Mommy he just said Jesus!”

You are welcome, for the added distraction in church. 

Saying Goodbye

We, as people, say goodbye. We use it so often, yet there are so many reasons. It is hard teaching children “goodbye.”

In Princess’ short four-and-a-half years she has said goodbye to three dogs that have passed away, several friends that have moved, family as they come and go from visits and countless missionaries.

Several months ago we said goodbye to Hermana Vigil. She served 18 months, teaching others of Jesus Christ. As much as we have missed her, I know her family is happy to have her back home.

Princess wearing Hermana Vigil's name tag.

Princess wearing Hermana Vigil’s name tag.

Four weeks ago we said goodbye to Hermana Bass. Our girls are having a hard time understanding why this sweet women in their lives have left.

IMG_3976

Hermana Bass reading to all three kiddos.

Many mornings I am asked:

“mommy, when is Hermana Bass coming back to visit us?”

I do not have the words to express my great appreciation for all the individuals who choose to serve missions. You dedicate your life between 18 months to two years, teaching others of Jesus Christ. You leave your family, friends, and often significant others.

You are an example to myself and more importantly, my children.

Each move you make is being watch by little eyes. They watch your strength. They watch you teach. They watch you preach of Christ. They watch you serve. They watch you love.

With all my heart, thank you!