On Forgiveness

I love President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  His personable manner and inspired topics never fail to touch my heart.  I feel as if he is speaking directly to me, and I know that the Spirit is.  His most recent address in the April 2012 General Conference of the Church fit well into this category.  How often have I caught myself nursing anger and resentment and heard his words again:  stop it!

Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdor speaks on mercy

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Finding the Common Ground

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, an LDS candidate, spoke at commencement exercises for Liberty University, a Baptist institution, about how important it is that we as a people stand together for what is right to protect our society and our nation.  I strongly agree with the opinions he expressed in this speech and so wanted to share it.  He says it much better than I can.

In this article, the editor of an online Catholic magazine reported on the speech and used it as the lead article of that day’s issue.  He refers to the 2012 presidential race as “one of the most important Presidential elections in the history of the United States” in commenting on the unlikely convergence of three very disparate denominations at Liberty University.  He goes on to state:

The fact that a Mormon, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, would be the commencement speaker at the Baptist University founded by Dr Jerry Falwell speaks to the urgency of the hour. Add to this the fact that this Catholic Editor in Chief of Catholic Online would consider the speech important enough to make it the lead article, and the point is made even clearer.

All too often, people of faith find themselves bickering and quarreling over the differences in their beliefs, until anger and animosity overcome all hope of a reasonable exchange of ideas.  I have seen, much to my dismay, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints exchange words of bitter acrimony with others whose beliefs challenge their own.

This is not only regrettable but counterproductive—even harmful to all parties concerned.  It is especially sad because of the great commonalities members of the Church share with other Christian denominations.  We believe and strive to follow so many of the same tenets and principles, our faith shares far more commonality than differences.

It is those shared beliefs—the sanctity of marriage, the importance of family, the necessity of freedom of religion—that we must protect when they come under assault in the public forum.  Only by setting aside our differences and banding together to stand against the forces destructive to our society will we effect any change for the better.

To Alora on Her Baptism

We believe that man will be punished for his own sins and not for Adam’s transgression. Pearl of Great Price, Articles of Faith vs 2

May 12, 2012

Our granddaughter, Alora, was baptized on Saturday.    In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe that children are free of sin until they reach the age of accountability.  Their salvation is assured through Jesus Christ and, therefore, no baptism is required.  (Moroni 8:14-20)

This past week, Alora reached the eight years old.  She is mature enough to discern right from wrong and control her behavior.  She has decided to be baptized, to take upon her the name of Christ, and to be confirmed a member of the Church.  This is a day for which all members pray, that their children will set their feet upon the path of righteousness of their own volition.  It is a day of great joy.

To commemorate the occasion, Dallas and I bought Alora a set of scriptures, one book which includes the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, and the Pearl of Great Price.  Inside the front cover, we wrote our personal testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the importance of scriptures in her life.  The following are those words:

Dear Alora,

Of all the gifts you could receive, these scriptures are the most precious, second only to redemption through our Savior, Jesus Christ. These scriptures are a gift from our Heavenly Father because He loves you and wants you to return to live with Him and His Son forever. These books are His words to you to guide you home. When you read them with a prayer in your heart, you will know He loves you and these words are His words just for you.

We want you to know how much we love you and how proud we are of you for taking this important step in your life, knowing that you are striving to return to Heavenly Father and be with us as a forever family. That is our greatest wish for you and all of us.

We know the Book of Mormon is true and Heavenly Father prepared it for us through his prophets. We know Joseph Smith is a prophet, as is President Thomas S. Monson. Our greatest gift we can give you is our testimony of Jesus Christ. He is our Lord and Savior, and only through Him can we return to our Heavenly Father. Reading these pages and pondering them in your heart will lead you to the same testimony.

You are our great joy.

Nanny & Papaw

To All The Women In My Life

It’s difficult to choose of all Pres. Uchtdorf’s messages to share as a Mother’s Day thought, but this particular address emphasizes the inherent self-worth of all women, mothers or not, and so it’s well-worth sharing. My wish to all the women in my life this day is that they know they are loved, appreciated, and valued, especially by our loving Father in Heaven.

Happy Mother’s Day.