Spiritual Thoughts

Spiritual Thoughts By Members of the Fayetteville Ward

Kerry Parsons – Write it Down

“I am not giving you these experiences for yourself, write them down,” revelation given to Henry B. Eyring as he considered and recorded in his journal a particular act of kindness that had been shown him.  When our days begin before dawn and when activities keep us from rest until late into the night, we are encouraged to take a minute to write down, or at least recognize and acknowledge the “hand of God reaching out to touch us or family” during those hectic days. This recognition and acknowledgement will lead to the strengthening of our testimonies, and those of our family members as we share instances of the small daily miracles in our lives.  Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, He loves us and blesses us each and every day.

 

Adam Ripperdan – Matthew 11:28-30

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

 

Dale Stanton – Minister to Those in Need

You Fayetteville young men hold the Aaronic Priesthood.  That means you have a responsibility to minister to those in need.  Each one of you knows someone at school that is being bullied to some degree.  Minister unto them.  Be their friend at all costs.  Help them feel safe.  Show others they are of worth. Do it in your own way.  Fulfill your duty to God.

Juli Beckwith – Simple Truths

Heavenly Father’s generous compensation for living in perilous times is that we also live in the fulness of times. (Elder Gary Stevenson) We are blessed to know so many plain and precious truths that the Lord has revealed. The more we read and learn of Him the more our faith can grow.  We need to concentrate on the simple truths of Christ’s gospel and that will prepare us for the present and future, but not worry about the unknown. The Lord is very aware of and loves each one of us.

Lisa Coburn – The Spirit of Spring

I love spring; the warmth of the sun, the beautiful Bradford Pear trees full of white blossoms, the colorful Azalea bushes, the yellow daffodils, and the smell of honeysuckles.  It is a time of rebirth for the earth and a season when we celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior.  Out of pure love, He suffered, “Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit” D&C 19:18. Our Savior rose again and broke the bands of death and because of this all shall live again! Let us truly celebrate!!

Jody Jennings – The Gift of Repentance

One of my favorite hymns is “Know this that Every Soul is Free” page 240. The first verse are as follows:

Know then that ev’ry soul is free,
To choose his life and what he’ll be;
For this eternal truth is given,
That God will force no man to heaven

He’ll call, persuade direct him right;,
Bless him with wisdom, love, and light;
In nameless ways be good and kind;
But never force the human mind.

So as we celebrate the wonderful Atonement made possible by our Savior during this Easter season. We need to choose to use the remarkable gift of repentance in our lives. Let us not waste this precious gift that the Savior gives us. We simple need to act upon it and repent.

Tim Robinson – Mosiah 5: 15

“Therefore,  I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen.”

 

 

Steven Parks – Mothers

   As I sit and think about this wonderful day to pay tribute to our mothers. I am reminded of a poem titled “The Name of Mother” by George Griffith Fetter.

“The noblest thoughts my soul can claim.
The holiest words my tongue can frame,
Unworthy are to frame the name
More sacred than all other.
An infant when her love first came,
A man, I find it just the same:
Reverently I breathe her name—
The blessed name of mother.”

I hope that we can all pay tribute to the mothers in our lives and especially those mothers (our Wives) of our own children.

Brother Keillor – The Work of Saving Souls

We are in the work of saving souls, of inviting people to come unto Christ, of bringing them into the waters of baptism so that they may continue to progress along the path that leads to eternal life. This world needs the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel provides the only way the world will ever know peace. … We send this message of love and hope to all the world.      Howard W. Hunter

Hector Knudsen – Finding Our Way Through the Atonement

“As I read through the scriptures, I can’t help but to think about the powerful nature of Christ’s Atonement.

The scriptures are full of examples of how repentance brought on great blessings to those that humbled themselves. Throughout 1 Nephi, Lehi’s family is faced with numerous trials and tribulations. The Lord provides a tool, the Liahona, which through faith, can be used for guidance and instruction. Many times, Lehi’s family murmurs against him because of what they are commanded to do. Such iniquities caused the Liahona to cease. This caused Lehi and his family great sorrow. Repentance, however, brought about great blessings and successes.

Similar to the how the Liahona ceased to function when faith was lost in the Lord’s commandments, we too can loose the direction and protection of the Holy Ghost. It is imperative that we correctly use Christ’s atoning sacrifice on a daily basis so that we may always have the guidance and protection we need to go about our lives.”

Samantha Taylor – Growing Through Our Choices

2 Nephi 28:30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.

The Lord gave us the ability to use our agency. I believe that it is through our choices and our ability to act upon our circumstances that we can learn to grow and improve. If we use our agency wisely and hearken to the principles and counsel of the Lord our
understanding of the doctrine and the nature of God will increase, our wisdom will grow and our faith will be strengthen.

Sister Coburn – Choose the Right Way and Be Happy

Abraham Lincoln Said “When I do good I feel good.  When I don’t do good, I don’t feel good.  In the strength of youth book it says “you cannot do wrong and feel right.  It is impossible.  All of us desire inner peace. And it really is quite simple.  Choose the right way and be happy.  Jesus Christ is the right way, the only way to peace, happiness, and the abundant life.

 

Bishop Waldorf – Divine Hand of God

As I consider the uniqueness of our backgrounds, experience, and ultimately our potential; I can’t help but acknowledge and witness the divine hand of God in every aspect of our lives. Whether it be in tragedy or triumph, I know that God lives and that His divine plan of happiness is available to all. I testify that our Savior, Jesus Christ, is central to His eternal plan. I further witness that He lovingly invites us to look to Him “in every thought; doubt not, fear not.” I invite you to earnestly seek and invite all those who are only kept from the joy of the restored gospel because “they know not where to find it.”  I pray for His blessings to be upon your family this week and always.

 

Sister Okonkwko – “Missionary Work and the Atonement.” From Jeffery R. Holland

“Why is this so hard?… I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that [this] is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? …to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, [We] will have to pay a token of that same price.”

I believe we each will have to ask ourselves this question many times in our lives, “Am I willing to pay the price for my Salvation?” We can only answer that question for ourselves, but I testify it is worth the price, and we can do it by calling down the powers of heaven through the Atonement, to get us through to the “other side.” (As Elder Holland also so beautifully explained when he shared this scripture: Mark 4:35-41)

 Brother Watson – Regaining Your Agency
Sometimes we can make choices that leave us struggling with the thick darkness of addictions. There are many programs and strategies to help. But ultimately, because we are children of God, fully regaining our agency over an addiction must include obedience to Him. As Elder Hales counseled, you can start regaining your agency by including these steps.
  • Choose to accept, truly accept, that you are a child of God.
  • Choose to put everything, literally everything, on the altar before Him.
  • Choose to put yourself in a position to have experiences with the Spirit of God through prayer, in scripture study, at church meetings, in your home, and with wholesome interactions with others.
  • Choose to obey and keep your covenants beginning with your baptismal covenant.
  • Choose to prepare to worthily attend the temple.
  • Choose to believe in the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Your first choices to regain control can be the scariest steps you have ever taken, but remember; there is a way back for everyone.

 

Nnamdi Okonkwo – Spirituality

Spirituality – It takes serious practice. The power that makes all things possible, though available to all, never comes to one merely from asking, believing, or from giving lip service. It comes in proportion to how much a person is willing to Practice the principles of abundant life. These principles are so difficult to master because their practice may seem at first as turning one against himself, his self preserving attitudes and natural tendencies. But in reality one is only learning to give up a significant part, if not all of his personal and selfish nature, so he can arrive at his Divine nature. It is when a person is connected to his divine nature, that all things are possible. When a man cheats a little, hates,or does anything that he would not want another to do to him, for example, he is unwittingly proclaiming forcefully with his actions, his lack of faith in divine wisdom, love, and power. He is separating himself from the authority of divinity. That man will never know or use that power which he rejects with his actions.

Steven Parks – Remember Our Sins no More

As we gather here today I think of Alma and when he was visited by an Angel of God. He was tormented by his memory of sins, but remembered his father’s prophesy about Jesus Christ atoning for the sins of the world. When Alma though of this, he cried out for Jesus to have mercy upon him and then, he could remember his sins no more. We to can turn over our sins through Jesus Christ, in the sacrament prayer we promise that we will “always remember him”. “As we always remember the Savior, our lives will reflect His standards and teaching, and we will also find and sustaining influence in our lives (Eric B. Murdock).”

Ward Council

Although time seems to fly, it never travels faster than one day at a time. Each day is a new opportunity. Start each day with prayer and seek to do the Lord’s will. With the holidays approaching it’s a good time to remember a favorite quote from our Prophet Thomas S. Monson. “Seek heavenly guidance one day at a time. Life by the yard is hard, but the inch it’s a cinch.” By doing this I think we can avoid the trap of becoming overwhelmed and stressed out and instead focus on what really matters.

Ward Council

“Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.” Elder Dallin H. Oaks

 

Kathy Austin- Ministering

1 Peter 4:11: “…if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth…”

Ministering to others is not just a responsibility that comes with a specific leadership calling. Each person baptized into the church has committed to “come into the fold of God, … to be called his people, and [is] willing to bear one another’s burden, that they may be light; year, and [is] willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.t” (Mosiah 18:8-9)

(from “Ministering to Others is Commandment and Covenant” by Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women’s General President.)