My Baptism

My daughter recently turned 8, and chose to be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It was such a wonderful day.  And of course, it reminded me of when I was baptized.

 

Father and Daughter

I, also, was baptized at 8, along with my mother and older sister by missionaries that taught us.  First, my mother was baptized, then my sister, and then me.  I think we were all confirmed in the same orders.  I was baptized by Elder Stevenson, and confirmed by Elder Goslin.  They were both from England.  I remember how excited I was.  The only other thing I remember is one of the missionaries throwing an apple in the air and it following to the ground.

I’m grateful the Spirit has always helped me remember my baptism.  And more important, looking back 30 years later, I’m grateful for the things I learned while being taught by the missionaries that have made a difference in my life, such as the Word of Wisdom (the Lord’s law of health) and how to pray.  Being able to pray meant I could receive answers from Heavenly Father when I needed them most.

President Thomas S. Monson said, “I have been thinking recently about choices.  It has been said that the door of history turns on small hinges, and so do people’s lives.  The choices we make determine our destiny.”   “Choices,” Ensign, May 2016, 86.

My choice to be baptized was the beginning choice that has influenced my destiny more than any other.  I hope my daughter’s remembers this choice and that it will bring her the same joy that my baptism has brought me.

Choosing the Kingdom of Heaven

“Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” 3 Nephi 12:3

Choosing to be Humble

Maintaining humility can be a challenge.

How do we choose to be humble?

How often are we compelled to be humble?

Our level of humility — how much we acknowledge our dependence on God — can vary day to day.  Our righteous daily habits help us to choose to be humble.

What do you do to choose to be humble?

  • Scripture study
  • Prayer
  • Partaking of the Sacrament
  • Temple attendance
  • Family History work
  • Serving in children
  • Remember the Savior
  • Nature and Exercise

In effect, obedience to any commandment is choosing to be humble.

And humility leads to eternal life — living with our Heavenly Parents and our Savior in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I Am Poor in Spirit

What does it mean to be poor in spirit?

Because of the word poor, I have struggled to understand what poor in spirit means.

My natural inclination is to think of poverty. Or, more personally, that I am a broken person – through sin or life experiences.  But, this does not match the other Christlike characteristics with the Beatitudes, or describe someone who will receive the kingdom of Heaven.

So what does it mean to be poor in spirit?

It means to be humble.

“Humility is to recognize gratefully your dependence on the Lord – to understand that you have constant need for his support.”  (True to the Faith, p. 86)

What comes of being humble?

Humility can lead to healing!

After Solomon dedicated the temple, the Lord accepted it and made the promise to heal the land.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

All healing, especially healing of the soul, requires humility.

We need humility to recognize and accept our mistakes, our sins, our shortcomings, and are weaknesses.

It takes humility to change.

When we act upon that knowledge and desire to change through the Atonement of Jesus Christ,  He will heal us.

How has humility helped you change and heal?

Our Very Best

I have days which seem wildly successful and that days that I think I should not have gotten out of bed.  

Each day brings us different situations.  These may include an illness, a busy day, fighting children, happy children, vacation, money issues, car trouble, etc.  The list can go on and on.  Some days we act better then other.  Some days we are more frustrated then others.  Some days we are disappointed with what we accomplished or how we acted.  And on other days we happy and joyful about our experience.

Recently, after a difficult week, I listened to the talk, “The True, Pure, and Simple Gospel of Jesus Christ.” President M. Russell Ballard repeated a conversation he had with one of his children who asked,

“Dad, I wonder if I will ever be able to make it.”  

Don’t we all wonder that at times? 

President Ballard responded,

“All Heavenly Father asks of us is to do the very best we can each day.”

I learned that my best is going to be different on different days!

Some days are easier for everyone in my family to be happy and treat each other well.  Then there are the days when everything is a struggle, and my best is to feed them and let them entertain themselves.  

Often I compare my easy days to my harder days, when in truth my best is different on each of those days.

How do you evaluate if you did your best today?