Monday, May 24, 2010

Combating Pornography Website

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Double Peak Park

On Saturday May 1, Felicita Flight 2010 had a little "layover" at beautiful Double Peak Park in San Marcos.

We were treated to a wonderful view, breakfast and short devotional. A group of sisters sang "How Great Thou Art" as we sat in the amphitheater and took in the vast view of hills, valleys and ocean. Then we had our keynote (and only) speaker, Cathy Nielsen and closed with the song "Nearer My God To Thee". Cathy started her speech with a lively demonstration. She took sisters out of the audience to perform "Row Row Row Your Boat". She showed us how we can take something ordinary and make it fantastic. (See video).

After the impromptu "performance" Cathy said the following... "As we row our boat down our own personal stream of life, do we fix our eye on what’s straight ahead of us? Or do we look around and take in what’s all around us as we “mosey” on down the river? Are we enjoying the ride? The greatest satisfactions in our lives don’t come from singing solos. They come from adding something more to the music, creating beautiful harmonies. 'Life is a big canvas; throw all the paint on it you can.'
-- Danny Kaye ..

Gordon B. Hinckley 'Let us rise to the high ground of spiritual, mental and physical excellence. Let us all try to stand a little taller, rise a little higher, and be a little better. Make the extra effort. You will be happier. You will know a new satisfaction, a new gladness in your heart.' We can’t limit ourselves, sisters. We have to expand ourselves-work outside our boat. How do we do that? By choosing a more excellent way...

Our Relief Society Presidency has challenged us, to expand ourselves a little more in the areas of service, knowledge and spirituality. They have been inspired to bring this challenge to us this year so we can more align our lives to the example given to us by our Savior, Jesus Christ. Seneca said: “The wise man will always reflect concerning the quality, not the quantity of life.” This is my prayer that regardless of our past, that in 2010, we can row our boat down the stream more merrily, making exaltation with our Heavenly Father a reality." Cathy Nielsen

Quotes from Lynn's Lesson

Lynn Davis gave an excellent lesson on Prophets of God. The beauty of a modern prophet is knowing we are given guidance and counsel for what we are experiencing at this moment in time.

The following are some quotes from prophets of the past and today. May these words from true prophets of the Lord give you peace, comfort, hope and courage to stand up for what is right.

Joseph Smith
"With his great faith, and trust in God, Joseph [Smith] had an insurmountable optimism. he knew the truth, and the truth made him free - free from fear, free from doubt, and free from pessimism. He said, 'If I were sunk in the lowest pit of Nova Scotia, with the Rocky Mountains pile on me, I would hang on, exercise faith, and keep up good courage, and I would come out on top.'" (The Prophet and His Work: Essays from General Authorities, 89).

(thanks Jane Thurston for passing this one on)
Joseph Smith
“We are fast approaching that moment prophesied by Joseph Smith when he said: ‘Even this nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground, and when the Constitution is upon the brink of ruin, this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean, and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction” (Church Historian’s Office, Salt Lake City, July 19, 1840) (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 623 - 624).

Harold B. Lee

"Men may fail in this country, earthquakes may come, seas may heave beyond their bounds, there may be great drought, disaster, and hardship, but this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail.
This is the cradle of humanity, where life on this earth began in the Garden of Eden. This is the place of the New Jerusalem...This is the place where the Savior will come to His temple.
We are living in a time of great crisis. The Country is torn with scandal and with criticism, with fault finding and condemnation. There are those who have downgraded the image of this nation as probably never before in the history of the country.
I plead with you to not preach pessimism. Preach that this is the greatest country in all the world..It is the nation that will stand despite whatever trials or crises it may yet have to pass through.
We must be on the optimistic side. This is a great nation; this is a great country; this is the most favored of all the lands. While it is true that there are dangers and difficulties that lie ahead of us, we must not assume that we are going to stand by and watch the country go to ruin. We should not be heard to predict ills and calamities for the nation. On the contrary, we should be providing optimistic support for the nation..
You must remember ..that this church is one of the most powerful agencies for the progress of the world, and we should ...all sound with one voice. We must tell the world how we feel about this land and this nation and should bear our testimonies about the great mission and destiny that it has.
If we do this, we will help turn the tide of this great country and lessen the influence of the pessimists. We must be careful that we do not say or do anything that will further weaken the country. It is the negative, pessimistic comments about the nation that do as much harm as anything to the country today. We who carry these sacred responsibilities must preach the gospel of peace, and peace can only come by overcoming the things of the world. Now, we must be the dynamic force that will help turn the tide of fear and pessimism."(Excerpts from a talk given at Ricks College Devotional Assembly, “Have Faith in America,” October 26, 1973, and printed in two sources: Ye Are the Light of the World: Selected Sermons and Writings of Harold B. Lee, 340, 350-351, and The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, edited by Clyde J. Williams, 365-366.)

Ezra Taft Benson

"The Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith there would be an attempt to overthrow the country by destroying the Constitution. Joseph Smith predicted that the time would come when the Constitution would hang, as it were, by a thread, and at that time 'this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction' (Journal of Discourses, 7:15) It is my conviction that the elders of Israel, widely spread over the nation, will at that crucial time successfully rally the righteous of our country and provide the necessary balance of strength to save the institutions of constitutional government". (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 618-619).

Howard W. Hunter

"I am here tonight to tell you that despair, doom, and discouragement are not an acceptable view of life for a Latter-day Saint. However high on the charts they are on the hit parade of contemporary news, we must not walk on our lower lip every time a few difficult moments happen to confront us." (Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, 199).

Gordon B Hinckley

"We came into this life for experience, and that's all we can take out of it. Thank God we have the right to decide personally and individually what we shall do. The future belongs to those who know what to do with it.. We must look forward to the unknown with optimism and confidence; look to tomorrow with happy expectancy, realizing that with God's help we can do all things. We need to constantly build faith in ourselves and those about us. We need to personally make dark days brighter. Isn't it a joy, a lift, a light, to see someone with heavy challenges and burdens moving forward to victory in the only contest that really matters!" (Faith, 49).

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
"The Lord has probably spoken enough comforting words to supply the whole universe, and yet all we see around us are unhappy Latter-day Saints, worried Latter-day Saints, and gloomy Latter-day Saints into whose troubled hearts not one of these innumerable consoling words seems to be allowed to enter...on the night of Gethsemane, the night of the greatest suffering ever to take place on this world, the Savior said, 'Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you..let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid'(John 14:27). I submit to you, that may be one of the Savior's commandments that is, even in the hearts of otherwise faithful Latter-Day Saints, almost universally disobeyed" (CES Young Adult Fireside, Brigham Young University, March 2, 1997).

Thomas S. Monson
"My brothers and sisters, today as we look at the world around us, we are faced with problems which are serious and of great concern to us. The world seems to have slipped from the mooring of safety and drifted from the harbor of peace....My counsel for all of us is to look to the lighthouse of the Lord. There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what its beacon of light can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. The lighthouse of the Lord sends forth signals readily recognized and never failing." (April 4, 2010 General Conference)

Chapter 9 - Prophets of God

Many believe prophets were a thing of the past; a biblical figure that no longer exists. Through the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we were so blessed to have all the keys of the Priesthood restored to the earth. Along with those keys came the real power and proper authority to call one man to be the mouthpiece for the Lord. Today we definitely "Thank Thee oh God for a Prophet". What a tremendous gift and blessing it is to have a living prophet on the earth.

Amos 3:7 states "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." Heavenly Father would not leave his children to fend for themselves in this ever increasingly wicked world. There is one man on the earth who holds all the keys of priesthood authority. He is chosen by God and "called through proper priesthood authority." He is assisted by his counselors and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve "who are also prophets, seers, and revelators".

Knowing this man receives revelations and directions from the Lord for our benefit, makes it paramount that we listen to his counsel.

If we follow the prophet the Lord promises, "The gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name's glory " (D&C 21:6).

Happily Ever After

Aundrea Ristine gave the Presidency lesson in May. She used President Uchtdorf's talk given to the Young Women this past March.

President Uchtdorf states that in almost all the languages of the world there is a magical phrase, "Once Upon a Time". Elder Uchtdorf said, “Once upon a time” promises something: a story of adventure and romance, a story of princesses and princes. It may include tales of courage, hope, and everlasting love. In many of these stories, nice overcomes mean and good overcomes evil. But perhaps most of all, I love it when we turn to the last page and our eyes reach the final lines and we see the enchanting words “And they lived happily ever after.”

We are all striving for our own "happily ever after", which ultimately is eternal life. Our lives are the pages between "Once Upon a Time" and "Happily Ever After". We can have the faith and courage to overcome the trials and tribulations that inevitably happen in each chapter of our lives.

President Uchtdorf tells the young women, "Isn't it remarkable to know that our eternal Heavenly Father knows you, hears you, watches over you, and loves you with an infinite love? In fact, His love for you is so great that He has granted you this earthly life as a precious gift of 'once upon a time,' complete with your own true story of adventure, trial, and opportunities for greatness, nobility, courage, and love. And, most glorious of all, He offers you a gift beyond price and comprehension. Heavenly Father offers to you the greatest gift of all—eternal life—and the opportunity and infinite blessing of your own 'happily ever after.'

Are You Somebody or Nobody?

Deborah Haynie's lesson came from President Monson's Talk "What Have I Done For Someone Today?"

All President Monson wanted for his birthday was to hear stories of people doing something nice for someone else. He calls them "warm fuzzies". Deborah had on display a huge jar full of fuzzy balls to represent the hundreds of letters President Monson received.

Service is truly President Monson's "theme". It is through us the Lord helps feed the sick, clothe the naked, strengthen the weak, comfort the poor in spirit.

This little poem reminds us to step up to the plate.

This is a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job.

Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done

Chapter 8 - Praying to our Heavenly Father

One of the greatest blessings we have been given is the ability to communicate with Heavenly Father. We can offer up our heart's sincere desires and if we listen, He will guide us.

Even from the time of Adam and Eve, we have been told to pray. We are to pray to Heavenly Father and no one or nothing else. We pray to the Father in the name of his son Jesus Christ. Jesus is our Advocate with the Father. We are not worthy to be in His presence, except by way of Jesus of Christ. This is why we start our prayers by addressing Heavenly Father and close our prayers in the name of Jesus of Christ.

We should pray for strength to resist the temptations of Satan. Our prayers should not become meaningless repitition of words. We are in a "live chat" and should speak from our hearts and give thanks daily. As parents we know it is a little bit easier to give to those children whom we know are grateful. Before we ask Heavenly Father for blessings, we should thank Him for what we already have. We should be meek and humble, asking for His will to be done.

We have been counseled to pray on our own at least morning and night. We should be gathering our families for prayer morning and night as well.

Our sincere prayers are always answered. The answer may not be what we want but when we exercise our faith in a loving Heavenly Father who knows what is best for us, the best will come.

It is good to remember that sometimes the Father answers our prayers through other people. Sometimes He gives us the power to answer our own prayers through actions we must take.

Jesus taught "Ye must pray unto the Father in my name" (3Ne 18:19). Thankfully we can.