GOSPEL PRINCIPLES - VIDEOS
Hear "LDS Gospel Doctrine" with Donna Max explaining scriptures and modern applications, and relating inspirational stories at www.gospeldoctrine.org .
LOVE: "If the world is to be improved, the process of love must make a change in the hearts of humans. It can do so when we look beyond self to give our love to God and others, and do so with all our hearts, with all our souls, and with all our minds." ~Gordon B. Hinckley - "Stand For Something"
The Savior was asked which is the first and greatest commandment. His reply was to love God; the second was to love our neighbor as ourselves. Our Savior is our greatest example as the giver of love, for His love is unconditional.
CHARITY: Christ said, "If ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me."
I'm trying to be like Jesus, I'm following in His ways.
I'm trying to love as He did in all that I do and say.
At times I'm tempted to make a wrong choice,
But I try to listen as the still small voice whispers,
"Love one another as Jesus loves you;
Try to show kindness in all that you do;
Be gentile and loving in deed and in thought,
For these are the things Jesus taught."
MERCY AND JUSTICE: Mercy cannot rob justice, but both are required in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
FORGIVENESS: The Savior's admonition to FORGIVE can be one of the hardest principles of the Gospel to apply. Yet it is a key to spiritual growth for everyone involved. Chris Williams tells his story:
The movie "Unbroken," tells the true story of Olympic runner, World War II soldier and Japanese prisoner of war Louie Zamperini. But the movie only tells half of his life's story. After the war he turned his heart to Jesus Christ and forgave his Japanese captors - an amazing example of "Forgiveness". Please watch these two short interviews of Franklin Graham telling of Louie Zamperini:
Once upon a time, two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side-by-side, sharing machinery and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch.
Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference and finally, it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.
One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox. "I 'm looking for a few days' work," he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you?"
"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor. In fact, it's my younger brother! Last week there was a meadow between us. He recently took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll do him one better. See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence an 8-foot fence -- so I won't need to see his place or his face anymore."
The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you."
The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day -- measuring, sawing and nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.
The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge - a bridge that stretched from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, handrails and all! And the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming toward them, his hand outstretched.
"You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done."
The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in middle, taking each other's hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox onto his shoulder.
"No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother.
"I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, "but I have many more bridges to build."
God won't ask what kind of car you drove, but He'll ask how many people you helped get where they needed to go.
God won't ask the square footage of your house, but He'll ask how many people you welcomed into your home.
God won't ask about the clothes you had in your closet, but He'll ask how many you helped to clothe.
God won't ask how many friends you had, but He'll ask how many people to whom you were a friend.
God won't ask in what neighborhood you lived, but He'll ask how you treated your neighbors.
God won't ask about the color of your skin, but He'll ask about the content of your character.
God won't ask why it took you so long to seek Salvation, but He'll lovingly take you to your mansion in Heaven, and not to the gates of hell.
CHILDREN are an heritage of the Lord. They are precious to Him:
"And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying unto the Father, he arose; but so great was the joy of the multitude that they were overcome. And it came to pass that Jesus spake unto them, and bade them arise. And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full. And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them. And when he had done this he wept again; And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones. And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them." - 3 Nephi 17
Julie Through the Glass is a favorite 2 minute TV spot from 1981 that will bring tears to your eyes. The song was written and sung by Carly Simon. However this version was sung by Shelby Flint who wrote and sang "Angel on My Shoulder," in 1961.
FATHER & MOTHER: A parent is to a child as sheep is to a lamb. A divine trust is placed in parents. Therefore God has a special interest in guiding them as is shown in this poem by C. C. Miller, "The Echo":
"Twas a sheep, not a lamb, that strayed away in the parable Jesus told,
A grown up sheep that strayed away from the ninety and nine in the fold.
And why for the sheep should we seek, and earnestly hope and pray?
Because there is danger when the sheep go wrong; they lead the lambs astray.
Lambs will follow the sheep, you know, where ever the sheep may stray.
When sheep go wrong, it won't take long til the lambs are as wrong as they.
And so for the sheep we earnestly plead for the sake of the lambs today,
For when the sheep are lost, what a terrible cost the lambs will have to pay."
The little ones are special gifts to us, and to give a little one a home is an amazing way of inviting God into our lives. May God bless those who have adopted a little one, and especially a special needs child!
THE FATHER FACTOR: What happens when dad is nowhere to be found?
By Lois M. Collins and Marjorie Cortez, Deseret News - Sunday, Feb. 23 2014
MIDVALE, Utah — Jordan Ott was the third of his mother’s six children, born over the course of four marriages.
By age 8, he’d had two stepfathers; his brothers and sisters had more or fewer, based on birth order. Each child also had different numbers of siblings, depending on whether their own dads fathered other children. Ott has one full sister, four half-siblings and at one point had three step-siblings “that I know of,” he said. His own father has mostly lived far away.
His story is not uncommon today. More than half of babies of mothers under 30 are born out of wedlock. The divorce rate among those who do marry exceeds 40 percent, according to the 2012 State of Our Unions report.
These statistics play out most often in the form of absent fathers — or the arrival and departure of serial father figures involved in romantic relationships with a child’s mother. (Moms still usually retain custody in a breakup or divorce.) Twenty-four million American children — one in three — are growing up in homes without their biological fathers, the 2011 Census says. Children in father-absent homes, it notes, are almost four times more likely to be poor.
Like Ott, now 25, children may grow up with lots of father figures but no real dad. Or they can be like Arvie Burgos, 17, and in foster care in Utah, who grew up in a virtually man-free zone.
Ott said he learned not to pay attention to stepfathers, even one he had for years. “If I did something wrong and needed discipline, he was all over it. Otherwise, we didn’t have too much to do with each other.”
Meanwhile, Burgos’ sole significant male role model was a young man he saw a few hours each month courtesy of a Big Brothers program. His father had never been part of his life and his mother was a drug addict. He could count on his grandmother, but she died when he was 15, about the time his mentor moved away.
--- THE DAD FACTOR ---
“I think there’s consensus that cultural and family factors are causing children’s family lives to be more unstable than in the past,” said Andrew J. Cherlin, author of "The Marriage-Go-Round" and director of the Hopkins Population Center at Johns Hopkins University. Experts debate whether recent cultural shifts or economic changes most undermine family stability, but, said Cherlin, “most who I respect believe both are at play.”
Most children weather family turmoil and wind up OK, said Cherlin, who coined the term “family churn” to describe what happens to families as couples split, often moving dad out of the home and a new man in. A study in the Journal of Marriage and Family said children in such homes experience an average of more than 5.25 partnership transitions. That’s tough for kids who are used to having their own fathers within reach.
“Dad also helps with impulse control and memory and enhances a child’s ability to respond effectively to new or ambiguous situations, for boys and girls,” said Warren Farrell, author of "Father and Child Reunion." Children who are close to their fathers tend to achieve more academically, while kids with absent fathers are more likely to drop out. Fathers are the biggest factor in preventing drug use, Farrell said.
Burgos said one of his biggest challenges growing up without a father figure has been impulse control and anger management. He had no guide to teach him effective ways to handle frustrations — and he’s had a lot of them in his young life.
The time a dad spends with his children is a particularly strong predictor of how empathetic a child will become, according to a commission of experts who wrote a proposal asking President Obama to create a White House Council on Boys and Men. The group, which Farrell helped assemble, compiled research showing infants with dads living at home were months ahead in personal and social development. Children who lack contact with fathers are more likely to be treated for emotional or behavioral problems. Girls with absent or indifferent fathers are more prone to hyperactivity. If dad is around, girls are less likely to become pregnant as teens.
As early as 1993, studies showed that dads also influenced whether their sons became teenage fathers. A Temple University study found no boys born to teen mothers became teen fathers if they had close relationships with their biological fathers, compared to 15 percent of those who didn’t have that closeness.
“None of this implies men are better as dads than women are as moms,” Farrell and the commission emphasized. Children need both.
But dad’s place is not always secure. The commission report said, “The U.S. has done a better job of integrating women into the workplace than in integrating men into the family — especially into the lives of children in the non-intact family. We have valued men as wallets more than as dads.” The result is “moms feeling deprived of resources and dads feeling deprived of purpose and children feeling deprived of the full range of parenting input.”
--- ONE AFTER ANOTHER ---
Few have studied the relationship between children and sequential parent figures, said Paula Fomby, associate research scientist at the University of Michigan. She said research suggests someone not biologically related is less likely to invest in a child for various hypothetical reasons, including unclear parental roles. Sometimes, father figures compete or are stretched thin by obligations to children fathered with other women.
The more transitions a child endures, the worse off he or she typically is, Cherlin said.
In Ott’s case, not all the siblings growing up with him experienced the family’s transitions the same way. Some of his younger half-siblings were actually living with both biological parents while he was dealing with a stepfather. It was unequal and complicated as stepfathers treated him and his siblings each differently. He saw friends in intact families enjoy greater consistency, something he wants for his own future children.
“There is a great deal of evidence that children from single-parent homes have worse outcomes on both academic and economic measures than children from two-parent families,” wrote scholar Elaine C. Kamarck and Third Way president Jonathan Cowan in the introduction to "Wayward Sons," a report produced for Washington think tank Third Way. “There is a vast inequality of both financial resources and parental time and attention between one- and two-parent families.”
The report also said absent fathers particularly impact the psychosocial and academic development of boys.
University of California-Berkeley’s Philip A. Cowan and his wife, Carolyn Pape Cowan, study parent couples. Their research shows a couple’s relationship is vital to their children, even if they are no longer intimate partners — whether they’re divorced, separated or never married.
“The relationship between two biological parents determines a lot about how fathers are going to be involved, and that determines a lot how kids are going to be,” he said.
If parents get along, their children tend to be more psychologically and emotionally healthy. Moms who feel their child’s father backs them up are better mothers through all stages of the child’s development, reports the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — “more responsive, affectionate, and confident with their infants; more self-controlled in dealing with defiant toddlers; and better confidants for teenagers seeking advice and emotional support.”
Ott’s father lived too far away to be available physically or emotionally. Burgos “knew” his father through a single letter and a phone call. Neither of them gained the benefits the studies attribute to an involved, interactive dad.
The federal government is beginning to recognize how important fathers are to children after years of focusing almost exclusively on mothers. Government-funded programs to promote marriage for at-risk families now include money for paternal involvement, too, Cowan said. Social welfare programs have been told to include fathers in case management. The Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations all funded healthy-marriage initiatives. Cowan called attempts to include fathers “islands of hope,” but concedes they’re “fighting decades of prejudice.”
The odds are still stacked against fathers in many government and nonprofit agencies designed to assist families, he said. Often, men’s names are not included on case files, even when parents are married.
Simply improving the job market for young adults, especially men, would do wonders to stabilize families — particularly those just starting out, Cherlin said. Experts have been surprised by the real drop in divorce among the college-educated, who still can get good jobs. He said young people need more job training opportunities and apprenticeships, especially if they’re not college-bound. Making sure tax policy doesn’t discourage marriage and providing a modest earned income tax credit for disadvantaged childless young adults would also encourage formation of stable relationships, he added.
Stable relationships are something both Ott and Burgos long for, and each can picture one in his mind. But both admit to feeling somewhat unsure about how to make it happen in real life.
Burgos said he had some good teachers and a foster dad he liked a lot, but no confidants after his “big brother” Jacob moved away. “I don’t really have deep emotional conversations with anybody,” he admits.
Ott recently married and hopes to have children and a stable family life. Burned more than once by the choices adults made when he was young, he keeps one eye on the past. It’s a path he doesn’t intend to travel.
“I’ve never had a family,” Ott said. “I know what I’m not going to do.”
It's a MICROCOSM OF LIFE:
OBEDIENCE: A man was sleeping one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might.
So, this the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sunup to sundown, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might!
Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain. Since the man was showing discouragement, the Adversary (Satan) decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the weary mind: (He will do it every time)!
"You have been pushing against that rock for a long time and it hasn't moved." Thus, he gave the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.
Satan said, "Why kill yourself over this? Just put in your time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough."
That's what the weary man planned to do, but decided to make it a matter of prayer and to take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.
"Lord," he said, "I have labored long and hard in Your Service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?"
The Lord responded compassionately, "My friend, when I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of your strength, which you have done.
"Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed.
"But, is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back shiny and brown; your hands are callused from constant pressure, your legs have become massive and hard.
"Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. True, you haven't moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. That you have done. Now I, my friend, will move the rock."
At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is just simple obedience and faith in Him.
By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God Who moves the mountains.
When everything seems to go wrong ---- Just P.U.S.H.
When the job gets you down ---- Just P.U.S.H.
When people don't do as you think they should ---- Just P.U.S.H.
When your money is "gone" and the bills are due ---- Just P.U.S.H.
When people just don't understand you ---- Just P.U.S.H.
P = Pray
U = Until
S = Something
H = Happens
"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending."
Friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.
JESUS CHRIST IS MY SAVIOR: The true story of one man's conversion to Christianity. The God of Abraham is Jesus Christ.
DON'T GIVE UP ON GOD BECAUSE GOD WILL NOT GIVE UP ON YOU: One extraordinary man's life without arms or legs.
And the amazing story of a girl who was born without legs.
The complete story:
THE BEST POEM IN THE WORLD:
I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven’s door,
Not by the beauty of it all
Nor the lights, or it’s décor.
But it was the folks in Heaven
That made me sputter and gasp –
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics, and the trash.
There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice,
Next to him was an old neighbor
Who never had said anything nice.
Bob, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on Cloud Nine
Looking incredibly well.
I nudged Jesus, “What’s the deal?
I would love to hear your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must’ve made a mistake!”
“And why is everyone so quiet,
So somber, give me a clue!”
“Hush, child,” He said. “they’re in shock!
No one thought they’d be seeing you.”
Remember, just going to to church doesn’t make you a Christian
any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.
JUDGE NOT! - THAT'S GOD'S JOB