Our Savior's love, shines like the sun with perfect light. As from above, it breaks through clouds of strife.

Apr 11, 2010

Conference Takeaways

I wanted to record some of my favorite quotes from General Conference (every six months, the leaders of our church speak about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the issues we face today, including inspiration and counsel).

"Women should be women and not babies that need petting and correction all the time. I know we like to be appreciated but if we do not get all the appreciation which we think is our due, what matters? We know the Lord has laid high responsibility upon us, and there is not a wish or desire that the Lord has implanted in our hearts in righteousness but will be realized, and the greatest good we can do to ourselves and each other is to refine and cultivate ourselves in everything that is good and ennobling to qualify us for those responsibilities.”
Measuring Success:
Good women always have a desire to know if they are succeeding. In a world where the measures of success are often distorted, it is important to seek appreciation and affirmation from proper sources. We are doing well when we develop attributes of Christ and strive to obey His gospel with exactness. We are doing well when we seek to improve ourselves and do our best. We are doing well when we increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help others who are in need. We know we are successful if we live so that we qualify for, receive, and know how to follow the Spirit. When we have done our very best, we may still experience disappointments, but we will not be disappointed in ourselves. We can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when we feel the Spirit working through us. Peace, joy, and hope are available to those who measure success properly.

Ideas for watching over our children...
"(1) reading and talking about the Book of Mormon with your children
(2) bearing testimony of gospel truths spontaneously with your children
(3) inviting children as gospel learners to act and not merely be acted upon
Parents who do these things faithfully will be blessed to recognize early signals of spiritual growth in or challenges with their children and be better prepared to receive inspiration to strengthen and help those children."

"When we are tempted to judge, let us think of the Savior, who “loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. . . .
“[And] he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, . . . [for] all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.”
As I read the scriptures, it appears that those who receive the Savior’s strongest reproach are often those who hold themselves in high esteem because of their wealth, influence, or perceived righteousness.
On one occasion the Savior taught a parable of two men who went into the temple to pray. One man, a respected Pharisee, prayed: “God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.”
The other man, a hated publican, stood “afar off, [and] would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.”
And Jesus said, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other.”
In truth, we “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”3 We are all in need of mercy. In that last day when we are called to the judgment bar of God, do we not hope that our many imperfections will be forgiven? Do we not yearn to feel the Savior’s embrace?
It seems only right and proper that we extend to others that which we so earnestly desire for ourselves.
An old Jewish legend tells of two brothers, Abram and Zimri, who owned a field and worked it together. They agreed to divide both the labor and the harvest equally. One night as the harvest came to a close, Zimri could not sleep, for it didn’t seem right that Abram, who had a wife and seven sons to feed, should receive only half of the harvest, while he, with only himself to support, had so much.
So Zimri dressed and quietly went into the field, where he took a third of his harvest and put it in his brother’s pile. He then returned to his bed, satisfied that he had done the right thing.
Meanwhile, Abram could not sleep either. He thought of his poor brother, Zimri, who was all alone and had no sons to help him with the work. It did not seem right that Zimri, who worked so hard by himself, should get only half of the harvest. Surely this was not pleasing to God. And so Abram quietly went to the fields, where he took a third of his harvest and placed it in the pile of his beloved brother.
The next morning, the brothers went to the field and were both astonished that the piles still looked to be the same size. That night both brothers slipped out of their houses to repeat their efforts of the previous night. But this time they discovered each other, and when they did, they wept and embraced. Neither could speak, for their hearts were overcome with love and gratitude.
This is the spirit of compassion: that we love others as ourselves,9 seek their happiness, and do unto them as we hope they would do unto us.10
Here are my (Nicolle) goals for putting the teachings of our prophet and apostles into action:
-Love more people more unconditionally
-Increase my ability to receive personal revelation... especially regarding parenting
-Increase my compassion and service for others

Apr 3, 2010

Happy Easter

We had an Easter Brunch/ Easter Egg Hunt for about 30 people at our house.
(Is Greg helping selflessly or does he see some Reese's eggs in his future?) hmm...

Sarah-Jane got in on the egg hunt action. She liked to shake the eggs with jelly beans inside.

The Easter Egg Hunt was followed by a treasure hunt... 3 adorable baby chicks were at the end!
Clara named them Bear, Bird, and Molly.

We adopted these little girls for a few days, then passed them on to our friends, who raise chickens. (Greg wanted to keep them, and I actually thought about it, but there were just too many reasons that made it not a good idea).

We had such a great time... thanks to everyone who came and participated and brought delicious food!

Sneak Peak

Clara is playing soccer for the first time, this season. Greg thinks I am more excited than Clara is. (He might be right.) She does love it, though.

Not only is she the only 3 year old, she is also the only girl on her team of 4 year old boys. She has had a couple of practices, and her first game is next week. I can't wait. Oops, I mean Clara can't wait. We'll let you know how it goes. If it is anything like the practices, she'll spend more time picking clovers and dancing than actually playing soccer.