Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Share your testimony


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Virtue



I love this song so much.  My daughter Abby told a story the other day about an Eagle who was raised with a flock of chickens.  And the man that took care of him told everyone that he thought he was a chicken so he doesn't know how to fly.

The daughter of the man was worried about the eagle not flying so she asked her Dad to try to teach him.  So, the Dad tried to help him fly off the edge of a trampoline and nothing happened.  The eagle just fell.  So the Dad took him up on the roof and told the eagle, "you are an eagle this is what you're meant to do." And he threw him into the air, but the eagle just fell.

So, the man and his daughter decided to take the eagle up even higher to try and fly.  So, they took the eagle to the mountains where there was a cliff.  Standing on the edge of the cliff, the Dad threw the bird up into the air and said "you are an eagle this is what you're meant to do".  The eagle started to fall again and then slowly he started to spread his wings.

Some people don't realize that they are eagles among chickens.  They have no idea of their real potential.  Tapping into it doesn't always take being thrown off a cliff.  It's literally as easy as finding your virtue.  If it's lost, you may be pecking at the ground.  Only you know if you've been pecking at the ground or not.  And only you know if you've been soaring through the clouds or not.  The difference between the two parallels is virtue.

One of the best examples of virtue is Captain Moroni.  He was passionate about serving others and protecting the Nephites freedom.  He helped them become stronger and he did it  without becoming blood thirsty, controlling or without seeking for power.

 Mormon said in Alma 48:17  “Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken FOREVER; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.” 

The reason he was so amazing is because of his virtue!  Amazing things can happen in your life when you find your virtue.  And amazing things can be lost when you lose it.
Moroni led them to victory in battle, but he didn't thirst after blood.  He didn't seek it, but he sure wasn't going to allow anyone to take their freedom.  There is a right and a wrong way to defend yourself, your land, your religion.  

The defination of virtue is this: behavior showing high moral standards.

So what are your moral standards?  If you were attacked what would you do?  Would you defend yourself?  Would you defend your family?  Would you defend your land?  Would you do it in hatred?  Or would you do it in prayer?

If you can find your virtue, you can find your wings.  Maybe you've been eating with chickens for so long that you didn't realize, YOU'RE AN EAGLE!  
Read the scriptures and live by standards.  In fact, live by high moral standards.  
You have the ability to fly.  So leave the coop, live with virtue and soar! 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Motherhood


I can't tell you the number of times I've felt looked after and protected simply because I'm a pleading Mother in prayer!  Gigantic miracles have taken place!
Angels have been present and my little family has escaped Satan's grasp so many many times.
When we feel small and powerless, We need to remember that our Heavenly Father is there giving aid in gigantic proportions if we are just obedient to his commandments. 
When you struggle to keep your temple covenants, remember you're not just keeping them for you, you're blessing the lives of your whole family!
I know this is true! I KNOW that as Mothers, our prayers for our family have high priority and the Savior is quick to comfort us when we need him!
I testify that I have felt the power of heaven several times in my life because of my role as Mother.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Once upon a time.....

Once upon a time...
It became too hard to go to a church that talked about families being forever. In fact, I remember one Sunday our Bishop stating at the pulpit that all he had to do was keep the commandments and he'd have his eternal marriage forever. OH REALLY?! You can't keep your spouses commandments though. I was struggling not to cry each week anyway, but that really hurt to hear. So, I told him I couldn't come for a while. I didn't need to explain. And he didn't ask for much of an explanation. He knew what I'd been through. I was released from being the organist and I said goodbye to my adorable nursery kids and tried not to look back.
I tried really hard to convince myself that it couldn't be true. How could it be? I had done everything right. I went to the temple often, I never turned down a calling, I read the scriptures, watched conference talks daily, did family home evening, I loved everything about the gospel! I put my heart and soul into my marriage and family. All of it.
But, I had been so broken so many times that I don't think I could even see clearly anymore. But I wasn't going to admit that to myself.
When I met Bob, we were going to a non denominational church. I didn't love it, but it was better than being reminded that you can do everything right and something that's holy and of God (your family), something you put your heart into can still be ripped from you and destroyed before your very eyes.
Anyway, I thought it was strange that no one dressed up. I always did. Even then. I dressed my girls up to go to church where everyone else wore jeans.
A few months after this picture was taken my sweet friends Mindy and Emily came to my house to check on me. We started talking and she said boldly, "Meredith, you're living the gospel why not just come back? "
I had a million reasons! ... but I couldn't think of any at that moment so... I agreed to go back that Sunday.
I had been gone for 18 months.
I lived with Bob and we weren't married yet. Crazy to think "oh I'll take my family to the LDS church. " I don't know why I wasn't more afraid! But we did it.
Mindy, saved our family seats and we walked in. I'll never forget that day. Once we walked in I was so embarrassed. I knew each person there. I had served with some. They were my friends, all while I was trying not to show what was really going on in a marriage some of them told me they'd envied. (Remember that! What you wish you had, probably isn't worth envying at all! If you look at someone and think they probably have no problems.... think again. They may be in tears pleading in prayer just to get through the day, maybe more than you. Might be nothing to envy at all.)
I'm glad it all happened now. It's humbling to think of the amount of pain I went through. For years! And years! Oh the choices I'd make differently now! Oh the warnings I see so clearly in hindsight! But it was worth it, to have my amazing Bob by my side!
I thought I'd have to have tough skin to go back to church. I thought there'd be comments and remarks that would hurt, but my ward literally and physically encircled us with prayer, love and support! No one has been more fellowshiped than Bob Haass! He was loved and befriended from the moment he walked in. And how strong a man is he to take us back and support us in a ward where another lesser man once sat next to us. He knew he'd be compared. And called the wrong name from time to time. But he wasn't. Not ever! He was just loved!
I don't know why this picture of my girls made me remember so much, but it did. I have so much to be thankful for. I know my Heavenly Father loves me. And he surely loves and cares about my family. And he hears us!
He hears us when we cry, plead and beg. He knows us. It's never ever too late to come back home. I'd wrap a Mindy up for each wayward soul and leave her on your doorstop if I could. Each person who's convinced themselves that "it can't be true".
I'm not as cool as her, but I'll say the same things... You're not that far from where you should be. Why don't you just come back?
Try it. No one is too broken that the Savior can't heal. I am living proof of that very fact! Make a promise to yourself to go this Sunday! You'll be amazed at how much love your Heavenly Father can provide through the Spirit and through everyone around who who is listening to the spirit!
You're not alone being broken. Welcome to the club! We'll get through life together! And by the way, it's the coolest club around! We're still alive!



The Plan of Salvation

Monday our FHE was on the plan of salvation. Thanks to my sister Jan, it was a tear jerker! We all cried about death and loss ... but it makes the fact that we have eachother forever even sweeter! Thank you Jan for all your help! Your prayers and following the promptings of the spirit made it a FHE to remember! I think my kids understood more than they ever could have before. I really wanted them to understand life and the rocky roads we face in life each day and how important it is to surround yourself with good friends and family to help steer you through life. I wanted them to understand death and the pain that it can bring and how sweet it is to escape it! I'm so thankful to have my big brother Dean! When I think of how close we came to not having him around it makes me so thankful that we DO!
Take care of yourselves! Help others along the way! Choose good friends! Start the day and end the day with prayer! Get yourself through this life the best you can with the ones you love the most by your side!

Proverbs 3 5-6
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."