Saturday, August 25, 2012

B90 Days SOAP: Helping and Being Helped


Exodus 17:11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

 12 But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.


During a battle of the Israelites against the Amalekites, whenever Moses held up his hands, in which was the staff with which he had parted the Red Sea, the Israelites did better.  Holding your hands up and away from the trunk of your body for extended periods of time is not easy, let alone when you are holding something.  Standing up just aggravates the situation.  Not only did Moses have helpers (Aaron and Hur), but he sat on a stone, thus putting his outstretched hands at a more comfortable height for his helpers.

Everyone needs help now and again.


Sometimes, I don't like to ask for help.  It has been ingrained in me since I was young that "you do for yourself, by yourself".  If I didn't, I wasn't doing my job; I was failing.  I've carried a lot of guilt for a lot of years.

Even in the 1st six days of the "Bible in 90 Days" study in which I am participating, the Bible is FULL of examples of people needing and receiving help.

  • God provided a help meet for Adam when he made Eve.
  • God did not give an already completed ark to Noah.
  • God gave Abraham an heir (Isaac) when both her and Sarah were old.
  • God blessed and multiplied Jacob-Israel (and how!) even though he was Isaac's 2nd son, and by the tradition of man, not entitle to any inheritance from his father.
  • God brought Joseph from young boy, through slavery and incarceration, to be Pharoah's right-hand man.
  • God brought Moses from a Hebrew infant in danger from an extermination order, through the family of  Pharoah, to lead hundreds of thousands of the "nation of Israel" out of bondage.

And while I purposely started each of the above examples with blessings from God, each also includes plenty of help from mortal men and women.  We none of us get through this life by ourselves.  Sometimes we are the helpers, sometimes we are the ones in need of help.


Dear Father in Heaven,

There is no better plan for life than the one which Thou hast provided us in Thy gospel.  I am humbled and grateful to have found such a great group with whom to study Thy word and learn more about Thee.  I thank Thee for Thy presence in my life and for the people whom Thou hast placed in my life.  I know that my family have received amazing assistance from quite a number of Thy servants.  I pray that we may be active in both watching for others whom Thou placest in our lives for us to assist, as I know that both helping and being helped are part of Thy plan also.

I pray these things in the name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Relief Society

When I was younger, Relief Society seemed like an organization for "old married ladies".  *lol*  I did not become a member until my late 20's, and not much happened during that time to alter my opinion.  One of my earliest memories of Relief Society was when I visited a meeting with a friend.  Someone or other's husband happened to be visiting the meeting (for whatever reason) that day as well, and the woman conducting the meeting practically drooled all over herself because she was so "honored" to have a "member of the Priesthood" (a man) there.  My "women are just as good as men" part's eyes rolled back into my head several times, I think.

Today, of course, my opinion has changed.  Indeed, my views on the Church as a whole have changed, in large part due to the efforts of my sisters in the Relief Society.  We lost my father in 1979.  Social invitations for the family all but withered on the vine, except for the women who were in my mothers Swiss Chorus and also members of various wards' Relief Societies.  During my 2nd pregnancy, my Visiting Teachers came over several times to help with household chores after I was put on bedrest.  Even today, when my husband did not want the boys going to church with me because all they had were shorts and sweats to wear...bags of trousers were dropped off at our door.

So, what inspires the members of this wonderful Society to do their work and how does it get done?

God and Jesus are the inspiration!  In order to become more like them, we need to do the things that either they would do or that they would have us do.

How does the work get done.  Let's examine the Relief Society purposes:

  • increase faith and personal righteousness
  • strengthen family and home
  • seek out and help those in need

Now, many books, pamphlets, magazines, webites and other sources of information have been written on the Relief Society itself and its purposes over the years and it would be impossible to do any of the purposes justice by trying to cover them all at once.

So let's start at the beginning!

In order to help other people who have the desire to increase their personal faith and righteousness, I have to first get my own "house" in order.

Three things I can do to increase my personal faith and righteousness  are:

  • pray daily
  • read scriptures daily
  • stop smoking
Prayer has been difficult for me.  I tell myself I can't kneel on the floor because of the operation I had last year on my knee.  There's always another time, or a better place.  Sounds like someone is trying to stop me from communing with my Lord, doesn't it?  My goal for this week is to have personal prayer at least 2x per day.

Reading, or more accurately, studying scriptures has come easier...but I could still improve.  I am exposed to scripture many times during the day, but that is not the same thing.  I have two smaller goals in this area.  The first goal is to study scripture for 30 minutes daily (not necessarily all at once) and the second to memorize a verse of scripture.

Although I have the feeling that I will be studying and memorizing even more than that.  I smoked my last cigarette last night.  Not by choice, exactly ... I ran out and there is no money to buy more.  Even if there was, I could hardly justify buying cigarettes and letting my family do without.  So my goal here is to make it through the week without buying cigarettes.  Any and all prayers and well-wishes gratefully accepted!

What will you do to increase your faith and personal righteousness this week?

Monday, July 23, 2012


Many people hear the word missionary and think of people going to foreign countries to convert people to Christianity. And while many missionaries do fit the above description, not all that use the title fit that bill. They might represent a different religion. They might serve in their own country. In the widest sense of the word, many other people are on "missions", that may or may not have anything to do with religion: salespeople, recruiters, news reporters, teachers, etc.

The missionaries I will most often speak about are those who represent the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints, commonly known as "Mormons". While there are some 55,000 people serving full-time LDS missions around the world, they are not all young men between the ages of 19 and 21. A growing number of young women serve missions, I believe which are usually shorter than those of their male counterparts. And numerous senior couples serve missions.

And while many of the missions are of a proselytizing nature, there are several dozen other types of mission opportunities listed on the Church's website at, covering a wealth of subjects from Accounting and Finance to Welfare and Humanitarian missions.

In fact, it can be argued that everyone belonging to a group is, essentially, a missionary for that group.

 The first reference to "member missionaries" I can find in a cursory search at is to an article in the June 1989 Ensign magazine, titled (aptly enough), "Every Single Member a Missionary". I must admit my own faux pas here and say that I read this to mean that each and every member could be/was a missionary. After reading the article just now, the author was referring to unmarried members. But, with slight modifications, the suggestions can apply to any member.

So, my challenge today to myself (and anyone else who want to play), is to share your faith with someone whose views are unknown to you or different than yours. Please be respectful of those with other points of view. And people of any faith are invited to join in! Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Beliefs 1

There have always been questions as to "what exactly Mormons believe".  Back when the Church was founded in the 19th century, the prophet Joseph Smith wrote out an official "Articles of Faith", the full text of which can be seen here, on the site.  Today, many people do not believe or do not realize that Mormons are Christians.  Some change their opinion when they realize the official name of the Church is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", some do not.

I am not a spokesperson for the Church.  I am one woman, trying to live life as  God would have me do.

The text of the First Article of Faith is as follows:

"We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost."

The closest I come to understanding the concept of the eternal comes when I am standing at an ocean.  I cannot see what lies beyond the horizon, but I know it's there.  So while I cannot physically see God, and do not always understand His Plan, I know there is one and I am humbled and awestruck and oh so grateful that there is a plan.  I would not be here today, and would not have the family I have, if left to my own devices earlier in life.

God puts people in our lives and puts us in the lives of still others in order to carry out His Plan.  Sure, as the Almighty, he could just snap His fingers and have it be all done, but where would be the benefit in that for us, His Children?

Sometimes, as parents, we want to do things for our children.  It's faster, there's less mess...etc etc etc.  But again, how can our children learn if we don't give them the opportunities for both success and failure?  That demonstrates to me the great love our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for us.  We have agency - the ability to choose - how we will act and think.  Are our motives selfless...or selfish?  Do our thoughts and deeds bring good results, or something...less?

And wow...that the Son of God would come to earth in a mortal body, so He could better experience and understand the frailties to which we are subject.  How humbling is THAT?

Many times in my life I have felt the influence and/or comfort of the Holy Ghost.  Following is one more recent example:

Several weeks ago, my father-in-law seemed to be having a stroke.  He fell out of bed and when his wife got to him, his words were slurred and he was disoriented.  He was taken to the closest hospital, about 20 miles away, and they care-flighted him to UK Hospital in Lexington.  The first night, he alternately thought it was 1912 and/or 1963.  He told my husband to let his mother and father what had happened (his father had passed on about a decade ago).

My husband was pulled over in a town north of us, on the way to the hospital, for speeding.  I have rarely seen him that worried.  I stayed at home with our worried children.  As our children were engaged in other activities, I went out onto the porch and prayed...harder than I had in a while.  Some time later, I felt complete peace in the midst of our family emergency.

While my father-in-law had all the classic signs of a stroke that first night, now, several weeks later, his mind is clear, his physical abilities are better and his spirits are as good as I've ever seen them.  Now THAT is a miracle.

Respectful questions, suggestions and comments are encouraged and LOVED! (*hint, hint*)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Welcome to my New Blog - A Daughter in the Kingdom

For a long time, I have felt a tug to work more on my spiritual life, and a blog seemed a perfect place to record my journey.  It took me a while to find a title as many of my prior choices were taken or otherwise disallowed for some reason, such as "A Peace of My Soul".

I am a woman, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a friend, a Christian, a writer, an actress, a craftsperson, a musician.  I am also a Mormon.


I hope I didn't just lose most of my audience.  There are a lot of misconceptions Mormons, probably the biggest of which is that Mormons are not Christians.  The official name of the "Mormon Church" is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

My mother raised me in the  Christian Science Church.  My father, a chemical engineer by study and trade, did not go to church except on Easter and Christmas.  In January 1972, my family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, when my father was transferred by his employer.  Dad passed in 1979 while I was a senior in high school, in a play about Lazarus from the Bible; the irony of being in a play where the theme was "there is no death" at that time was not lost on me.  Mom passed a year ago yesterday.  Although I have not lived in  Salt Lake City for many years, I was able to visit her a couple of weeks before she passed and the last thing I said to her was a whisper in her ear, "I love you, Mom.  God loves you."


I'm trying to start out this blog with some sort of organized intent.  So I thought I would start out the next couple of weeks with covering the 13 Articles of Faith of the LDS Church and how they apply to my life.

Let me end for today by saying that respectful comments from anyone, whether they believe like me or not, are welcome.  We're all in this life together.  I would love to hear your thoughts.