Sunday, January 31, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
We grow accustomed to the DARK—
When LIGHT is put away—
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Goodbye—
A Moment—We uncertain step
For newness of the night—
Then—fit our Vision to the Dark—
And meet the Road—erect—
And so of larger—Darkness—
Those Evenings of the Brain—
When not a Moon disclose a sign—
Or Star—come out—within—
The Bravest—grope a little—
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead—
But as they LEARN to see—
Either the Darkness alters—
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight—
And Life steps ALMOST straight.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
PAIN has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.
It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
“Have patience as you are perfecting your ability to be led by the Spirit. By careful practice, through the application of correct principles, and by being sensitive to the feelings that come, you will gain spiritual guidance. I bear witness that the Lord, through the Holy Ghost, can speak to your mind and heart. Sometimes the impressions are just general feelings. Sometimes the direction comes so clearly and so unmistakably that it can be written down like spiritual dictation.”
Richard G. Scott, “To Acquire Spiritual Guidance,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 9
Saturday, January 23, 2010
"We are created in the image of our heavenly parents; we are God's spirit children. Therefore, we have a vast capacity for love—it is part of our spiritual heritage. What and how we love not only defines us as individuals; it also defines us as a church. Love is the defining characteristic of a disciple of Christ."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Love of God," Ensign, Nov. 2009, 22
“The relationship between love and appropriate action is demonstrated repeatedly in the scriptures and is highlighted by the Savior’s instruction to His Apostles: ‘If ye love me, keep my commandments’ (John 14:15). Just as our love of and for the Lord is evidenced by walking ever in His ways (see Deuteronomy 19:9), so our love for spouse, parents, and children is reflected most powerfully in our thoughts, our words, and our deeds (see Mosiah 4:30).”
David A. Bednar, “More Diligent and Concerned at Home,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 18
“I hope you will go out today looking for opportunities to do as He did and to love as He loves. I can promise you the peace that you felt as a child will come to you often and it will linger with you. The promise is true that He made to His disciples: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.’ “None of us is perfect yet. But we can have frequent assurance that we are following along the way. He leads us, and He beckons for us to follow Him.”
Henry B. Eyring, “Our Perfect Example,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 73
"The relationship between love and appropriate action is demonstrated repeatedly in the scriptures and is highlighted by the Savior's instruction to His Apostles: 'If ye love me, keep my commandments' (John 14:15). Just as our love of and for the Lord is evidenced by walking ever in His ways (see Deuteronomy 19:9), so our love for spouse, parents, and children is reflected most powerfully in our thoughts, our words, and our deeds (see Mosiah 4:30)."Feeling the security and constancy of love from a spouse, a parent, or a child is a rich blessing. Such love nurtures and sustains faith in God. Such love is a source of strength and casts our fear (see 1 John 4:18). Such love is the desire of every human soul."We can become more diligent and concerned at home as we express love—and consistently show it."
David A. Bednar, "More Diligent and Concerned at Home," Ensign, Nov. 2009, 18
Edgar Allan Poe
In visions of the dark night
I have dreamed of joy departed
But a waking dream of life and light
Hath left me broken-hearted.
Ah! what is not a dream by day
To him whose eyes are cast
On things around him with a ray
Turned back upon the past?
That holy dream - that holy dream,
While all the world were chiding,
Hath cheered me as a lovely beam
A lonely spirit guiding.
What though that light, thro' storm and night,
So trembled from afar
What could there be more purely bright
In Truth's day-star?
Friday, January 22, 2010
A Divine Image
Cruelty has a human heart,
And Jealousy a human face;
Terror the human form divine,
And secrecy the human dress.
The human dress is forged iron,
The human form a fiery forge,
The human face a furnace seal'd,
The human heart its hungry gorge.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
A POISON TREE:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe;
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I water'd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with my smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,
And into my garden stole
When the night had veil'd the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree
Monday, January 18, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
True charity, the absolutely pure, perfect love of Christ, has really been known only once in this world--in the form of Christ Himself, the living Son of the living God. It is Christ's love that Mormon goes to some length to describe for us and that Paul the Apostle did as well some years before, writing to the Corinthians in New Testament times. As in everything, Christ is the only one who got it all right, did it all perfectly, loved the way we are all to try to love. But even though we fall short, that divine standard is there for us. It is a goal toward which we are to keep reaching, keep striving--and, certainly, a goal to keep appreciating.
And as we speak of this, may I remind you, as Mormon explicitly taught, that this love, this ability, capacity, and reciprocation we all so want, is a gift. It is "bestowed"--that is Mormon's word. It doesn't come without effort and it doesn't come without patience, but, like salvation itself, in the end it is a gift, given by God to the "true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ." The solutions to life's problems are always gospel solutions. Not only are answers found in Christ, but so is the power, the gift, the bestowal, the miracle of giving and receiving those answers. In this matter of love, no doctrine could be more encouraging to us than that.
I have taken for a title to my remarks Mrs. Browning's wonderful line "How do I love thee?" (Elizabeth Barrett Browning,Sonnets from the Portuguese , no. 43.) I am not going to "count the ways" this morning, but I am impressed with her choice of adverb--not when do I love thee nor where do I love thee nor why do I love thee nor why don't you love me, but, rather, how. How do I demonstrate it, how do I reveal my true love for you? Mrs. Browning was correct. Real love is best shown in the "how."
There are many qualities you will want to look for in a friend or a serious date--to say nothing of a spouse and eternal companion--but surely among the very first and most basic of those qualities will be those of care and sensitivity toward others, a minimum of self-centeredness that allows compassion and courtesy to be evident. "That best portion of a good man's life [is] his . . . kindness," said Mr. William Wordsworth (Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey , lines 33–35). There are lots of limitations in all of us that we hope our sweethearts will overlook. I suppose no one is as handsome or as beautiful as he or she wishes, or as brilliant in school or as witty in speech or as wealthy as we would like, but in a world of varied talents and fortunes that we can't always command, I think that makes even more attractive the qualities we cancommand--such qualities as thoughtfulness, patience, a kind word, and true delight in the accomplishment of another. These cost us nothing, and they can mean everything to the one who receives them.
Love is a fragile thing, and some elements in life can try to break it. Much damage can be done if we are not in tender hands, caring hands. To give ourselves totally to another person, as we do in marriage, is the most trusting step we take in any human relationship. It is a real act of faith--faith all of us must be willing to exercise. If we do it right, we end up sharing everything--all our hopes, all our fears, all our dreams, all our weaknesses, and all our joys--with another person.
No serious courtship or engagement or marriage is worth the name if we do not fully invest all that we have in it and in so doing trust ourselves totally to the one we love. You cannot succeed in love if you keep one foot out on the bank for safety's sake. The very nature of the endeavor requires that you hold on to each other as tightly as you can and jump in the pool together. In that spirit, and in the spirit of Mormon's plea for pure love, I want to impress upon you the vulnerability and delicacy of your partner's future as it is placed in your hands for safekeeping--male and female, it works both ways.
In Mormon's and Paul's final witnesses, they declare that "charity [pure love] never faileth" (Moroni 7:46, 1 Corinthians 13:8). It is there through thick and thin. It endures through sunshine and shadow, through darkest sorrow and on into the light. It never fails. So Christ loved us, and that is how He hoped we would love each other. In a final injunction to all his disciples for all time, He said, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you" (John 13:34; emphasis added). Of course such Christlike staying power in romance and marriage requires more than any of us really have. It requires something more, an endowment from heaven.
Remember Mormon's promise: that such love--the love we each yearn for and cling to--is "bestowed" upon "true followers of Christ." You want capability, safety, and security in dating and romance, in married life and eternity? Be a true disciple of Jesus. Be a genuine, committed, word-and-deed Latter-day Saint. Believe that your faith has everything to do with your romance, because it does. You separate dating from discipleship at your peril. Or, to phrase that more positively, Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, is the only lamp by which you can successfully see the path of love and happiness for you and for your sweetheart. How should I love thee? As He does, for that way "never faileth."
Monday, January 11, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
"Seek out a forgotten friend. Sometimes seeking them out will really bless their lives. Sometimes it will greatly bless yours. It is easy for friendships to drift apart and it can be easy for friendships to drift back together. You may find that old friends have new things to offer. And really – you have more to offer than you think."
I'll be the first to admit that making friends--but more so keeping friends--has not been my forte in the past. I prefer solitude most of the time. I do not like people all of the time; people are confusing, dishonest, selfish, imperfect, and you can never count on them. However, I have changed my ways (to some degree)--this dang ward of mine seems to think they can befriend me--what were they thinking? ;) I don't know, but somehow it's working. People are imperfect, this it true--but just because we are different doesn't mean we don't belong together. Heavenly Father put us on this earth all together for a reason. Friendship is truly one of the greatest blessings we are given here. Don't let a day go by without love and friends--remember what it is in this life that matters most. To my friends: I love you.
Friday, January 8, 2010
“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.” ~ Morrie Schwartz
"Someone asked me today if love could be wasted. I didn’t know how to answer at first and the best I could really think to reply was “I hope not.” But, it got me thinking more in depth to that question and I would have to say, No. I don’t believe love could be wasted. I hear phrases like “…is wasted on this person” but I think they’re missing the point. Even if the person who was loved didn’t reciprocate or didn’t even know that they were…they were still loved. It wasn’t wasted. I think the most important part is that we are better for having loved. Love itself is something that improves a person. Just by possessing, we are becoming better. We are becoming more tolerant, compassionate, and so forth. So no, love is not wasted. Even if you hold to the belief that “love is wasted on that person” – love is not wasted on you."
from my favorite:
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
I hate New Year's Resolutions, but I find nothing wrong with wanting to be better, and setting realistic goals with a plan in mind. One of my major goals this year is to be more understanding. As I have changed so drastically (at least in my perspective) in the past 1-2 months I have found a resistance to my improvements. While I see a completely new me, others can't get past the old model--they can't see who I really am, who I've become. THIS FRUSTRATES THE HECK OUT OF ME! After my initial frustration however, I realize that I too fall prey to judgment, and I feel ashamed. This year I hope to find charity for all and work to better understand and love.
I can’t tell you the number of couples I have counseled who, when they are deeply hurt or even just deeply stressed, reach farther and farther into the past to find yet a bigger brick to throw through the window “pain” of their marriage. When something is over and done with, when it has been repented of as fully as it can be repented of, when life has moved on as it should and a lot of other wonderfully good things have happened since then, it is not right to go back and open up some ancient wound that the Son of God Himself died trying to heal.
Let people repent. Let people grow. Believe that people can change and improve. Is that faith? Yes! Is that hope? Yes! Is it charity? Yes! Above all, it is charity, the pure love of Christ. If something is buried in the past, leave it buried. Don’t keep going back with your little sand pail and beach shovel to dig it up, wave it around, and then throw it at someone, saying, “Hey! Do you remember this?” Splat!
Well, guess what? That is probably going to result in some ugly morsel being dug up out of your landfill with the reply, “Yeah, I remember it. Do you remember this?” Splat.
And soon enough everyone comes out of that exchange dirty and muddy and unhappy and hurt, when what God, our Father in Heaven, pleads for is cleanliness and kindness and happiness and healing.
Such dwelling on past lives, including past mistakes, is just not right! It is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is worse than Miniver Cheevy, and in some ways worse than Lot’s wife, because at least there he and she were only destroying themselves. In these cases of marriage and family and wards and apartments and neighborhoods, we can end up destroying so many, many others.
Listen to it: