Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Young Mothers - Challenges and Blessings

My 21 year-old recently returned missionary daughter, Ashley, was asked to watch three young neighbor children today for a few hours today. Their mother has been very ill and in need of some rest and healing.

Ashley was going to take them to feed the ducks at the BYU-'duck' Pond, do some finger-painting, and take them to play in the park. 

BYU Botany Pond
I am grateful for her willingness to serve and it reminded me of one of the times I was the recipient of some very needed help.

It was nearly 20 years ago when I was a recently separated mother of three young children. I was going through extremely difficult emotional and financial challenges. Some days I wondered how I would make it. We had been blessed to be able to live in my grandmothers' 100+ year old home (instead of them tearing it down) while we figured out our next steps.

We never thought we'd find ourselves in such difficult and sometimes heart-wrenching circumstances but we attended church each week and I was doing the best I could to love and care for and nurture my children, all the while I was suffering greatly from huge life changes and challenges.

I will never forget the day when a lady in our ward (church congregation) with small children of her own, called me and asked if she could take my three children (ages 6, 4 and 3) for a few hours so that I could have a little time for myself. It was truly a God-send. She came and got them, took them to her place and with her little family, and gave me some greatly needed time to rest and be alone.

In all the things I have experienced and suffered in life, I consider that sweet act of mercy on her part - to be one of the most meaningful and important in my life. I was greatly in need and she either had seen that or had had a prompting to help me. 

I will never forget her kindness as it helped me know that my Heavenly Father was aware of me and had answered my need through a beautiful sister who ministered unto me. That was life-changing for me and gave me a needed break and boost to continue on.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Ten Things I KNOW for Certain

Today we spoke in our Fort Walton 'Ward' (Church Congregation). We'd been asked to speak on a topic relevant for end-of-year or beginning of New Year. (Church members give the talks and prayers each week.)

I was immediately 'given' to know the topic I should speak on. I entitled it "Ten Things I Know for Certain."

I asked the congregation to think of the things they KNEW for CERTAIN. And, that, perhaps, at the beginning of the New Year, they could make it something to work on in 2018, finding out some more things "for certain'.

I KNOW that the Spirit of the Lord teaches us truth. We find it out by searching, pondering, and praying with a sincere heart. And, we are promised that if we do so (with a sincere and honest heart), He WILL reveal it to us.

What greater gift can we have than from God? Direct and personal answers (revelation) from Him? And, it is open to ALL of us!!!

I share my talk with that same thought in mind and with much love to all of you out there.
- Heidi

Our little apartment Christmas Tree this year

My Talk in Church today:
Sunday, Dec, 31, 2017
Fort Walton Beach, First Ward, Florida

Good Morning Brothers and Sisters. It’s good to be back with you again after spending a week in Utah for Christmas and our daughters wedding. We love you and are grateful for you. It has been a great blessing in our lives to get to know you and to offer all we are in His work. We hope to be fit servants for His Kingdom and to bless and lift those around us as we have been blessed.

Today is the end of another year. As I pondered on what to share I was given the topic (from the Spirit) and have entitled my message: Ten Things I Know for Certain. 

These are ten things I know of myself, independent of anyone else. For the Lord and His Goodness I am eternally grateful and pray that I may love Him, serve Him, and Keep all of His Commandments, so that I may one day again enter into His rest and be with him in our Heavenly Home and receive His eternal blessings.

Ten Things I Know for Certain:
1.     That we have a very loving Heavenly Father who we knew before we came here. We walked and talked with Him. We knew Him well. And, we ‘shouted for joy’ when we heard His plan of happiness. We knew that in order to progress we needed to come to earth to receive a mortal body and have mortal experiences and learn to walk by FAITH, and not by sight. ONLY in this way could we would be strengthened in our Faith (which is the FIRST principle of the gospel) and become more like Him so that we could someday be worthy to return to His presence. 
2.     He knew we would make mistakes as we learned to walk by FAITH, so, in His perfect plan, He provided a SAVIOR, our beloved and elder Brother, Jesus Christ, to make it possible for us to repent and change. His Atoning sacrifice for us is the GREATEST Gift for mankind, and we should be eternally grateful for it and for His willingness to do this for us. We could NOT return to the presence of God with ANY stains at all. ONLY through the Atonement of Christ can we be made whole and perfect. IT is the GREATEST Gift we could have ever received and I am eternally grateful to them for providing this for us.
3.     The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead – and can be our constant companion if we are worthy and as we ask for it. I am so grateful for his role in my life. He has taught me, comforted me, testified of truth to me, taught me of Christ and of my Loving Heavenly Father. He constantly motivates me to do good works and helps and comforts me when I make mistakes or when I hurt others or others hurt me. He teaches me truth about myself and about the gospel plan and helps me forgive others. He helps me want to be better and has been my closest friend when I’ve had no one else. I always want to do what is right because of Him.
4.     Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the FIRST Principle of the Gospel. It is a principle of POWER. I have come to LOVE this principle of POWER which is MUCH more than we often may recognize it to be. 
The Prophet Joseph taught us that: “Faith (is) the FIRST PRINCIPLE in revealed religion, and the FOUNDATION of ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS….. Faith is the (assurance) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. .…Faith is the principle of ACTION in all intelligent beings……We receive by faith, ALL spiritual blessings that we do receive. Faith is not only the principle of action, but of POWER also…. “Had it not bee for the principle of faith the worlds would never have been framed neither would man have been formed……