Monday, April 30, 2012


I didn't have my own lamb photo, so I borrowed a free one.
My strength is not always in recounting history or understanding it per se.  But I am really good at application of principles.  So here is my attempt at connecting a portion of history with the current applications of the principle of sacrifice.  I am sure there are many of you out there who know and understand more than I do.  Feel free to comment :-)

The Lord has always required sacrifice of His people.  In Old Testament times and under the Mosaic law, the sacrifice was a blood sacrifice, to symbolize the coming atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.  A lot of times we brush right past that thought and we do not look at what that really required of the participants.  Now, I am no expert but....

These animals were the best that they had to offer.  Some of the requirements were that it was a male animal without blemish.  It is my understanding that these people raised these animals---they were their pets--they loved them.

The Bible Dictionary, under sacrifices states, "It is noteworthy that when three offerings were offered together, the sin always preceded the burnt, and the the burnt, the peace offerings.  Thus the order of the symbolizing sacrifices was the order of atonement, sanctification, and fellowship with the Lord."

Sacrifice is a law.  It is required of us.  In our day of me and mine and my rights and I want it now---sacrifice seems like a very foreign concept.  But it is still a concept and it is still required of us.  So then the question becomes:  How do we practice the law of sacrifice today?

Today the Lord requires a different kind of sacrifice.  3rd Nephi 9: 19-20 states, " ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood....and your burnt offerings shall be done away....And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit."  The Gospel Principles Manual says that means "that we offer deep sorrow for our sins as we humble ourselves and repent of them."  In the dictionary, contrite is defined as grieving and penitent for sin or shortcoming.

If we truly understood the scriptures and really believed them, i.e. no unclean thing can dwell with God (1st Nephi 10:21); we would understand that the tiniest sin of omission or commission would keep us from returning to our Father in Heaven---the smallest judgmental thought---would keep us out.  And we of ourselves have absolutely zero power to rectify that, to fix it, and if we truly felt a part of the cost that Heavenly Father and the Savior paid to fix that for us, we would sacrifice and pay any price They asked of us.  We would accept all of our callings and assignments.  We would pay all of our tithing, follow the Word of Wisdom and have and keep a temple recommend.  We would make the sacrifices necessary to bring our lives in harmony with the principles being taught.  And as we learned new principles where we were not in line, we would make new sacrifices to bring our lives in harmony in those places.

D&C 97:8  Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are ahonest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are bwilling to observe their covenants by csacrifice—yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are daccepted of me.

It is not enough to make covenants.  We must observe them.  The Lord tells us that we do that through sacrifice--and not just any sacrifice, but every sacrifice which I the Lord shall command---He gets to chose what the sacrifice is.

Elder Maxwell:  The only truly unique gift we can give our Heavenly Father is the complete submission of our will; all else we give Him is only returning the things He has given us.

Also, from Elder Maxwell's biography:  'The true disciple develops, then, from accepting to appreciating, to adoring, and then emulating Christ.  Now Neal was seeing that emulating One who suffered as Jesus did also means the follower must somehow yield his own kind of full sacrifice. "If we are serious about our discipleship, Jesus will eventually request each of us to do those very things which are most difficult for us to do," Elder Maxwell.  Within that process that process, the Savior blesses us with the gift of the Spirit---including charity---after all we can do.'

So then, personal application:
I was giving a presentation to my son's third grade class about my 'job'---being a stay at home mom.  They were studying the community and how the community is influenced by the work we all do.  I felt prompted to go in a speak in a very bold way about the work of mothers.  So I did.  We were discussing how many children we have and the teacher said, "Mrs. L. likes having children so much that she kept having them."  In the moment, I did not correct her.  But after I got home and pondered her comment, I thought, I do not keep doing this because I like it.  It is very, very difficult for me and if I were doing what I wanted to do, I would not have done this so many times.  I do it because He asks me to.  Now, I am not going to go into any doctrine to justify my position.  This is a personal statement about my relationship with the Savior and what He has asked of ME.  But because of Elder Maxwell's statement above, I am sure that for those of you who are serious in your discipleship, He has asked difficult things of you.  But they will be different than what He has asked of me.  And I have noticed, as I obey and receive the blessings of obedience, He again asks me to do that which is more difficult than what I have already done.  Have you noticed the same things??

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Then and Now!

Spike Today
I have been pondering a lot lately about a woman's role---particularly MY role.  It began with this post from Becca @ My Soul Delighteth...

This new baby has been quite the journey for me.  For 17 years all of my days and nights were spent in a season of early motherhood.  Yes, my children grew and I had older ones too, but because I always had a baby and toddlers, I was also constantly in that very small children, sleep-deprived state.  After five years of 'moving on' and thinking that early stage was over for me, I was not excited about returning to it.  My personal philosophy has always been 'do diapers as long as you need to but once you're out, NEVER return'!  I think I have felt that way just because being a mother of a newborn and toddlers is so exhausting---always!!  There is no way around it.

On Sunday, I had a realization.  I had this experience.  I was in the nursery.  A mother was in there with her just barely 18 month old.  He was not interested in being in nursery.  He was very sad, but managed as long as he was on his mother's lap.  Well, she was ready to go to class.  So she plopped him in my lap, while he screamed for her and off she went.  He cried for most of an hour, not loud and horrible, but little things would set him off again.  He sat with me most of the time.  After about an  hour, my other nursery worker said, we had better take him to his mother.  I agreed.  As I watched and participated in the process, I realized that there was a time when I was that mother.  Not that she did anything wrong, because I do not think she did.  But in that moment, I realized that I am not that mother anymore.  I have grown. I was no longer 'wishing away' the little years.  I was no longer looking for and waiting for ME time.  I was committed and completely invested in this journey of motherhood.

It is a really good thing too.   This little baby is just that---a little baby.  He is much younger than all of my other babies at this age, if that makes any sense.  At 9 months old, he still will not hold his own bottle, will not fall asleep by himself, nurses 7-8 times during the day and 2-3 times at night.  Even though he is crawling and can crawl up stairs, he hasn't realized that he can sit up in bed or stand in the crib so he just lays there and screams.  Now that he pulls himself up to stand next to the couch or furniture, he doesn't know he can get down.  So when he is done standing, he yells for someone to come and help him back to the floor.  He is totally capable of doing those things, he just doesn't know that he can yet.

What if I were the mother I was at the beginning---impatient with the process and always looking for ME time??  I would not be the mother THIS child needs.  My previous experiences have prepared me for the here and now.  He needs me the way I am, not the way I was.  I am ready today to be his mother.

Each and every child is a gift---a divine gift of love.  Each is a precious gift from God.  My ability to have more is a divine gift and responsibility.  It is a blessing and a privilege.  A few months of physical inconvenience, of trial and stress so another soul can have a lifetime of experience?  Why wouldn't I make the sacrifice if I am able?  Why wouldn't I?

Today I am the right mother for THIS child....tomorrow I may be ready for someone else....

As a side note, I have been cleaning off an old computer.  Take a look at some of my favorites:  'THEN and NOW'

Photo by Olan Mills THEN
Slim NOW

Spanky NOW

Sport, Scuff, Spanky, & Slim THEN
Scuff and friend NOW
Sport THEN
Sport--not quite NOW
Speedy THEN
Speedy--not quite NOW
Little Sun THEN
Shorty THEN
Sun, Shorty, Smiley, (NOW) & Spike (THEN)
Smiley THEN

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Just Maybe.....

Scuff and I decided Just Maybe this pair of his shoes has been outside too long!!!???  Ya' think??!!  Sorry, it was just too funny not to post that his shoes were growing grass!

Monday, April 9, 2012

General Conference

So I am only a week late!!  Oh well!  That is how my life is functioning lately.  Two Sundays ago, we were actually LATE for church.  I don't remember the last time I was late for church.  This Sunday we walked in just as they were beginning the opening hymn.  I think I am going to have to do some adjusting!!  But back to Conference......

Another revelation filled weekend!  I LOVE IT!!!  Why?

Because sometime several years ago, I learned somewhere (sorry I cannot adequately acknowledge the source) that if I came to General Conference with questions and prayed about them, I would receive answers.  One year I decided to try it out.  I received answers then and I have ever since.  I LOVE IT!!  Personal revelation for personal questions!

I specifically LOVED this quote:

"One of the great lessons that each of us needs to learn is to ask. Why does the Lord want us to pray to Him and to ask? Because that is how revelation is received."
Elder Richard G. Scott

I have to tell you, asking questions is hard for me.  It is not an easy process.  I am not quite sure why I struggle with it, but asking is a big deal to me.

And I LOVED this insert from the Ensign:

Focusing on Conference

In addition to studying past conference addresses, consider these ideas to help you learn from the current conference:
  • Pray and fast to receive answers to your prayers through the words of the speakers.
  • Approach conference with specific questions in mind.
  • Complete all chores, shopping, and other errands before conference so you can focus on listening.
  • Get good rest the nights before conference so your mind will be ready to receive inspiration.
  • Take notes of the impressions, promptings, and insights you receive.

    Sometimes my questions are completely temporal---one time our Suburban was dead.  It was going to cost as much to fix it as it would to purchase another car---so my question was:  What do I do with the Suburban??  (Push it into the bay???  was my personal thought.)  Other questions are more spiritual in nature:  How do I help this child desire to serve a mission or strengthen his testimony or learn this principle?

    One time (and I literally fell off of my chair) I had read a phrase in the scriptures.  I couldn't figure out what it meant.  I researched it, looked in the topical guide and the Bible dictionary, read the footnotes.  I just could not figure it out!  So I wrote it down as one of my conference questions.  I kid you not----a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, quoted my scripture and then said, "this means...."  I was TOTALLY stoked!!  Usually I just have impressions from the Spirit.  But word for word????  Totally cool!!

    What impressions and thoughts did you have over the Conference weekend??  What are you going to do so that you implement the revelation you received??

    I have written mine down in a special journal.  Now I have to go back and reread them and pull them out periodically so that I do what I have been instructed......remember....never delay a prompting!! :-)  Hope you had a terrific Easter weekend!!