During April 2018 I will be blogging about my memories as MOM OF 6 from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Creation and Compassion http://marcyhowes.blogspot.com/

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Family

"Behold, their husbands love their wives, and their wives love their husbands, and their husbands and their wives love their children . . . "

Jacob 3:7 
The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ
I am so grateful for my entire family.  I feel that we made the choice to be a family before we were born, and I'm so happy my family felt ok to include me!   I love you all! ♥♥♥

Sunday, October 23, 2011

God Will Never Give Us More Than We Can Handle

I read a post last weekend that has kept me thinking about it this entire week.  Here is the introduction to Ru’s post at And then she was like blah blah blah

“Something I do not believe: God will never give us more than we can handle.
First of all, for the religious folks out there, this sentiment isn't found in any religious text I've ever read. It's far more likely to show up on bumper stickers. In general, I am wary of things people throw around like scripture that I've never actually read in scripture. ("I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it" ring a bell for anyone?)
In fact, this sentiment is actually just a misstatement of a scripture found in Corinthians (God will not allow you to be tempted beyond your ability, and let's not get into some big theological discussion about how those are two distinct ideas.)”

Ru then goes on to talk about some of the terrible things that can happen in life and concludes:

“So while half of me believes in a loving God who knows me personally and cares about my struggles, the other half believes in that old clockmaker God who put his chips down on the table and let it ride. (Ah yes, the patented Ru mixed metaphor.)
Personally, I don't find those two visions of God particularly at odds with each other -- I just think of God as the anti-helicopter parent. He cares, but there will be no swooping to my rescue.”

Ru, I agree with you that God is not always swooping down to rescue us from life's challenges and that we need to live to help others. However, I know that God loves and cares about us very much and is always aware of what we're going through. We need to have difficult experiences that will help us to learn and to grow. We need to live and act and work and serve others. Experiencing pain and illness and heartache and even death is part of life. However, I do know that through the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ we can be strengthened to successfully “handle” anything that life has to throw at us.

There are many scriptural examples from The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ that give me comfort and help to explain this concept. The first verse that came to my mind when I read Ru’s post was this one:

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

          1 Nephi 3:7

In this instance, the young man Nephi and his brothers had been given a difficult assignment from the Lord through their father, the prophet Lehi. When Nephi’s older brothers complained that it would be too hard, Nephi had the courage to lead the way. The brothers traveled to Jerusalem to obtain a sacred record from a distant relative, and even though they did experience failure at first, by seeking the guidance of the Lord, eventually they were able to complete the assignment and carry the record to their father Lehi. (you can read the entire story here at 1 Nephi chapters 3 & 4.)

Yes, bad things happen to everyone during this life time. That is actually part of God’s plan and purpose for us, to give us experience and to help us grow, and also to help us recognize and appreciate the good things in life:

For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.

           2 Nephi 2:11, 12

God has granted free agency to all men, and he will not force anyone to be righteous. Therefore, mostly because of the actions of other people, and sometimes because of acts of nature, bad things do and will happen to good people. This has happened often in the history of our difficult world. One particularly troubling example is found in these Book of Mormon verses. A group of righteous saints who believed in Jesus Christ were trying to live by his teachings. These saints were being persecuted by wicked unbelievers, even to the point of death.

And they brought their wives and children together, and whosoever believed or had been taught to believe in the word of God they caused that they should be cast into the fire; and they also brought forth their records which contained the holy scriptures, and cast them into the fire also, that they might be burned and destroyed by fire.

And it came to pass that they took Alma and Amulek, and carried them forth to the place of martyrdom, that they might witness the destruction of those who were consumed by fire.

And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames.

But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory; and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day.

          Alma 14:8-11

Sometimes God will step in and save us from our problems and challenges, and sometimes he cannot.  We cannot see the whole picture like he can.  In this instance these innocent people needed too suffer to stand as a witness against the wicked.  However, they were blessed to return to the presence of the Lord.

What does it mean to handle something? Does it mean to never have to face a difficult situation? Does it mean to always turn the other cheek? Does it mean to never become angry or depressed or even mentally ill?  Does it mean never dying?  No one is perfect, and I don’t believe that God expects us to be perfect, but only to strive towards perfection, one step at a time. It is because of the atonement of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that we can handle anything and everything. Jesus Christ suffered for all our sins and all of our sorrows in the Garden of Gethsemane. If we repent, we need not suffer or atone for our sins. He has already paid the price. He allowed himself to be crucified. He died and was resurrected on the third day. Because he was resurrected, we can all be resurrected live again with God, our Heavenly Father.

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

Mosiah 3:19

How can we take advantage of the atonement of Jesus Christ and use the power of the atonement to handle anything and everything? By developing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We can study his life and teachings and his example, and try to emulate him in our own lives. We can pray to him, asking for help and strength and guidance as we encounter the challenges of our lives, knowing that he understands us and our challenges perfectly.  The Savior has already experienced everything we could ever experience in this life. 

 I love reading about Jesus Christ and his selfless life.  I wish I could always selflessly love and serve others the way that he did, and hope to become more like him each day.  None of us will ever perfectly handle everything that life throws at us, but I believe that by drawing on the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can successfully handle most challenges that God gives to us.

This video shares more about how Christ's Atonement can bring peace and lift burdens: 

You can learn more about The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ right here.

You can read from The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ right here.

If you would like your own personal copy of The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, please email me at marcyhowes@gmail.com and I will see that you receive a copy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Favorite Book, The Book of Mormon

What is your favorite Book?  Can you choose just one?

If you've happened to read my profile, you've seen that I read a lot of fiction; always have (except during college and on my eighteen month long church mission) and probably always will. I could never list all my favorite books and I keep finding new favorite authors all of the time!  It started with P.D. Eastman, Dr. Suess, Esther Wilkin and Eloise Wilkin; moved on to others like Laura Lee Hope, Julie Campbell, Louise Fitzhugh, Gertrude Chandler Warner, Johanna Spry, Frances Hodgson Burnett; then to the likes of  Phyllis Whitney, Mary Stewart, Shirley Sealey, James Mitchner, Robert B. Parker, Margaret Mitchell, Gerald N. Lund, Rachel Ann Nunes, Jennie Hansen, Sharon Creech, Lisa Mangum, Diane Mott Davidson, Earlene Fowler, John Grisham,  and on and on etc etc.  You probably get the idea. However, there is one book that stands apart from all the rest.  This book is not fiction.  Who introduced me to my favorite Book?

My Parents
( Shown with the first five of their eventual six children.  I'm the little one sitting on my Mother's lap)

In this post from last week I talked about being read to as a child.  I, Marcy was born of goodly parents who are wonderful examples to me. They read to me, bought me books, and encouraged my reading.  The taught me to work hard and to do my best in school.  They taught me to obey, to be kind, to help others, to not quarrel.  They taught me to love Jesus Christ as my Lord and my Savior. 

As part of their teaching, my parents introduced me to my favorite book The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, at a very young age. 

I have known about The Book of Mormon for as long as I have known about Dr. Suess.  When I was a child, we regularly read together as a family from this book along with reading from The Holy Bible.  The Book of Mormon gives us important truths about God, Jesus Christ, and the meaning and purpose of this life, as taught by ancient prophets.  I have learned these truths a bit at a time by reading and re-reading The Book of Mormon.  I recognize these teachings as truth, just as I know that the sun will rise each morning and that if I drop a book it will fall.  As I prayerfully read portions of this book daily, I continue to find help and encouragement and answers to my problems.  It brings me peace.  The prophet Moroni says it best here:

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will mannifest th truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.  And by the power  of the Holy Ghost ye may kow the truth of all things.
         Moroni 10:4-5  (pg 529)

I know from experience and from the whisperings of the Holy  Ghost that The Book of Mormon is the most important book in my life.  It is true. If I could only keep one book and give up all of the hundreds of other books I own (which would be a true sacrifice), I would definitely keep this one.  It is my very favorite book. It is a treasure. 

 Have you read The Book of Mormon?   You can read it for yourself on-line right here. If you'd like to read about other's experiences with the book of Mormon, come along on this Blog Hop

Sunday, October 9, 2011

General Conference

Ok, So I know that I haven't been posting my daily favorite Book of Mormon scriptures this past week.  I promise that I'm still reading and I will finish reading the Book of Mormon again this year.  I'm a bit behind my schedule, but I am reading.  I've also been posting quite a bit to my other blog, Creation and Compassion, and I've been including a lot of my favorite Book of Mormon scriptures there.  Go and check it out if you'd like.  Anyway since last weekend was General Conference, today I thought I would blog a bit about General Conference.  One day this past week I was reading from Jarom:

Wherefore, the prophets, and the priests, and the teachers, did labor diligently, exhorting with all long-suffereing the people to dilligence; teaching the law of Moses, and the intent for which it was given; persuading them to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was.  And after this manner did they teach them. 
And it came to pass that by so doing they kept them from being destroyed upon the face of the land; for they did prick their hearts with the word, continually stirring them up unto repentance.
     Jarom 1:11, 12 (pgs 139 & 140)

My thought when I read this was, wow, the Nephites must have had their own version of General Conference.  Can't you just see them gathering for church, sometimes in smaller groups and other times in bigger conferences?   And of course we know that King Benjamin gathered the people together later on for his famous meeting and teachings to them.  The prophets and the priests and the teachers were all busy exhorting the people to live the Law of Moses (remember this was before Christ was born) and to have faith in the Messiah, even though he had not yet been born.    Isn't that pretty much what our General Conference was about?  The Savior loves us.  Read and learn about him.  Keep the commandments.  Follow his example.  He atoned for our sins. He knows and understands us personally.  This is His Church. He loves us.  Our Prophet and Apostles have just witnessed and testified of Jesus Christ.  I love it!

I also love the announcement of the new temples.   My facebook post on Saturday afternoon was:

 Loving General Conference! So excited for the new temples!  Barranquilla Colombia . . . one of the most beautiful cities in the world! Provo Tabernacle . . . my old stomping grounds! Star Valley Wyoming. . . one of my Grandpa's favorite places! And France and Africa!

I served my mission in Colombia and spent 6 months in the city of Barranquilla.  If I am rich when the Branquilla Temple is dedicated we will be taking a family trip!!! (not likely, but it would be my dream!)  Colombia has more than it's share of problems, but it is by far one of the most beautiful places in the world.  I met some fantastically wonderful people during the time that I was there during my mission. When I was there I served in the Paraiso (translation:  Paradise)  area, which was only a branch at the time, meeting in a small rented home.  Barranquilla had the strongest, most faithful priesthood leaders of any of the cities where I served.  Now this area is the Paraiso Stake.  I am so happy and excited for the members there to have their own temple.  I hope and pray that the temple will be built quickly and without problem and delay. 

I love General Conference!  I love the Temple!  I love our Prophet, President Monson!  I love our Savior, Jesus Christ, and am so grateful that I live in a time and place where I can enjoy these wonderful blessings.

Thanks for stopping by.