Monday, April 17, 2017

Teaching the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord

Dear Family and Friends,

Lately I've been thinking about how blessed I am with such wonderful parents. Almost every night when I think about the things I am grateful for I feel such an overwhelming graditude for my amazing family, particularly my parents. I cannot express the extent to which they have blessed my life, especially these past few months. In a lot of ways they have walked through much of this "trial of fire" with me. 

Parents are a pretty influential part of our lives, there are many prophets who write of the goodness and impact of their parents. This week I read Enos's recognition of his father. 

"Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it—" (Enos 1:1)

As I read and reread this verse I realized I wasn't entirely sure what Enos meant by "nurture and admonition of the Lord". There was a cross reference that took me to Ephesians 6:4 which had the same phrase it in. I was able to look up the verse from Ephesians on and see what the original Greek words were used to write the verses as well as looking at the meaning. Looking at the words this is what I learned. Nurture was "bring up, nourish up, to maintain . Admonition meant basically "the whole training and education of children. training and care, cultivating the soul, correcting mistakes and curbing passions. Instruction aimed at increasing virtue." 

With a flushed out meaning, Enos's words had a much greater impact. With just a simple line he describes what I can only imagine is an entire childhood, adolescence, and adult years with being guided and taught the ways of righteousness. I felt like I could also apply those words to the way my own parents brought me up. I am grateful for the many things I was taught, not only by my parents but by the many others that have influenced my life. 

I know that I want to one day teach my children in these same patterns to help them come to know Christ as well. I also know that even though I don't have children now there are others I can influence now. We all influence and shape those around us, particularly those that we love. My hope is that we can all recognize the influence that we have on others and live in such a way as to teach in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord!" 



Sunday, April 9, 2017

He Counseleth in Wisdom

Dear Family and Friends, 

Well the days keep coming bringing with them Finals and all the stress that comes with those. I'm amazed the semester is on it's final days, and quite relieved to see this particularly challenging semester end. I've learned so much these past few months, far more then I would have asked for. I'm grateful for the empathy these experiences have and will give me, but I'm still not sure I wanted them, particularly at the price they came. I understand that someday these experiences will bless me to be able to lift and relate to others. However, on the days I still cry for how painful this semester has been, I'm not sure how much I really want to be able to help others. Maybe because this has been a more stressful tear filled week is the reason this verse hit home. 

 "Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works." Jacob 4:10

On hard days I am guilty of crying to Heaven "Is this worth it? Did I really have to go through this valley of tears? When will it end, and the past hurt me no more?" I know we all have days we cry out, feeling lost and discouraged, because the path we are on is not what we wanted. We cry because the lessons we are learning come at a high price. Sometimes, even though we don't see it from the depth of the valley of tears, these paths really are required to get us to higher places. There is a reason Jacob tells us to "Seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand." Our Heavenly Father sees the whole picture when all we might be able to see is a few steps in front of us, and maybe not even that. We don't know what lies around the next bend, what might have happened if he hadn't taken us away from what we though was "good" to better paths. 

This verse from Jacob really does summarize most of the prayers and blessings I've said and been given this semester. God really does know what he is doing, I can feel that by the spirit. However, being mortal there are days when it is hard to not want to tell God that this seems like it is too much. However looking into my own past experiences during my short 22 years on this earth I can testify with Jacob that "he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works." I know when this challenging chapter ends I will see the great wisdom in why this path had to be walked. My hope is that each of you that are struggling with something will to be able to find strength and trust in God's council. I know that if we all hold on and keep going through the hard days, as well as the good, we will be able to testify of the goodness of God and in his great mercy and wisdom! 

Love to you all, 

Sunday, April 2, 2017


Dear Family and Friends, 
It's always interesting reading the scriptures to see what stands out; particularly when it's really not what you expected it to be. For me this week as I finished up 2 Nephi I came across two verses that I found particularly beautiful. Chapter 33 Verses 6-7. 
I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.
I have charity for my people, and great faith in Christ that I shall meet many souls spotless at his judgment-seat.
I love Nephi's faith, how not only is he so confident in his own redemption but in the redemption of others as well. As I read these words the though that came to mind was "wow, that's beautiful". I know at times, particularly when I go through hard times, I become a bit cynical about life, and struggle to believe in people with pure and good hearts. I feel like they don't exist because so many of the people seem shallow, selfish, or deceitful. Reading Nephi's affirmation that there would be spotless souls before the Judgement-seat of Christ reminded me I need to stop seeing only the worst around me and give people more credit for the good they do. Yes my generation has a high propensity for selfishness, but that doesn't mean all of them have turned away from Christ. Just like me there are souls reaching out to Christ, we are all being strengthened and purified by him. 
I am reminded of the need to try harder to see good. To not be so critical, and believe a little more in the innate goodness of men. I want to encourage all of you to find some good too! We are all travelers together on this mortal journey, and I know all of us could be better at believing that we all have the potential to be purified totally. Redemption isn't a competition, its a personal journey. The price has already been paid and Christ has the ability to cleanse ALL of us. There is no limit to his power, no mistake to deep to be not be healed. Not only for us personally, but for those around us, even them who hurt us. May we all believe a little more completely in the complete power Christ has.