Friday, October 5, 2012

Is it possible that God speaks to us today?

General Conference is almost here!!  This is the time of the year when we Mormons gather around and listen to the words of the prophet.  It's a brillant opportunity to receive motivation, inspiration, and instruction from Church leaders.

A prophet, as a righteous and inspired leader, is the mouthpiece of the Lord; a representative of God.  They will always be a special witness of Jesus Christ.  They literally pass on God's words to us, His people, to teach, inspire, refine, and warn us.
So their words will help us come closer to Christ and know God's will.

God has always spoken to prophets.  Always.  And today is no different.
Ever since Adam was roaming around here and here.  Think about it.  Heavenly Father loves us; He's not going to leave us to wander through this mortal life without direction and guidance.  That defeats the purpose of being alive.
It truly is such a simple and wonderful concept - we are God's children, we are in constant need of direction and advice, and so regardless of the era we live in, God will always speak to us via prophets (see Amos 3:7 in the Old Testament).
(this is, of course, in addition to personal answers to prayers and personal inspiration)
The teachings of our Heavenly Father are not the ordinary, predictable, run-of-the-mill kind you can pick up in paperback at the local bookstore.  They are the wisdom of an all-powerful, all-knowing celestial Being who loves His children.  Encompassed in His words is the secret of the ages—the key to happiness in this life and in the world to come.  [1]

To anyone who may wonder if this is possible ... I invite you to come and see.
Read the word of God as found in the scriptures.  Listen to general conference with an ear willing to hear the voice of God given through His latter-day prophets.  ...  For if you seek “with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, [God] will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moroni 10:4).  [2]

Remember .. we believe he is God's spokesperson for everyone, not just Mormons.
Which means you can all tune in to listen or read copies of the address.  Perhaps the answers to your questions will be found somewhere over this weekend.

Visit to learn more about prophets and apostles speaking today.

"General conference is intended to be a revelatory experience as participants learn from living prophets and apostles through the power and influence of the Holy Ghost.  Proper preparation will help ensure that you get the most out of your conference experience." [3]

How can I possibly prepare for this event?
Here are three basic concepts to help us to better receive, remember, and apply the words spoken by the Lord’s servants: [4]
1. Members of the Church are entitled to personal revelation as they listen to and study the inspired words spoken at general conference.
So think of questions you need to have answered. Weall have some challenges to face, and we all need direction and guidance to face them.

2. Don’t discount a message merely because it sounds familiar.
God isn't going to introduce a new commandmentor teaching now.  His laws are eternal, and have always been around.  Which means His prophets have always taught by repetition.  It's how we learn.

So you and I will probably continue to hear messages on similar issues from time to time ... because the Lord is teaching and impressing upon minds and hearts certain foundational principles of great eternal importance that must be understood and acted upon before we can move on to other things.

Sometimes we just ain't listening, so He'll try again ...

3. The words spoken at general conference should be a compass that points the way for us during the coming months.Ever heard of a Liahona?  How about a compass?
The Holy Ghost, like a compass, will guide us ... but we need to listen and then apply the messages the Lord provides for us.

For this is no ordinary blessing.

In preparation for General Conference this October, Stephanie at Diapers and Divinity is doing a little series about the 14 Fundamentals in Following the Prophet.

If you need an alternative, or are on the road, you can download this app here and watch conference live.

[2] ibid
[3] source

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Do not let your self worth be defined by bullies.

My appearance and my weight.  They have both been on my mind for most of my adult life.  Hey, I'm only human, and I'm a woman too.  Most women, even if it doesn't seem like it, are most likely judging themselves or thinking critical and negative comments about their physical appearance.

I've personally battled this, and I know most of you do too.  It may not be the weight you see on the dreaded scales, but perhaps the shape of your nose, or the annoying flicks in your hair that can never be controlled, or the blotches on your skin.  We all have insecurities.

Well, to you (and myself) I say ... you are beautiful.
You are a son or daughter of God.  Literally.  You are a precious spirit child of our Heavenly Father, and as such, you are valued, respected, and you have much potential.
You are also somebody's friend.  In fact, you are a friend to a lot of people, an example to even more people, and you are valued in your community, your family, and probably your workplace or school.  You just don't know it.
Some days it feels like that ain't so.  But it has to be ... we are each born with a unique mixture of talents and abilities that no one has.  There is a great need for you and me.  Yes, my friend, we have a purpose.

In fact, you should watch this short film right now.  You deserve to be validated!

The reason I share these thoughts with you today, is because of the media.  A great tool, as we all know, but also a terrible avenue for wrong and hurtful activity.

A few weeks back, when our brilliant and hard working Olympians were finishing their training and embarking on that great event that is the Olympic Games, someone said our very own swimming champion looked fat.  They saw a picture of her in her swimmers, leaning over the pool, and they said she looked fat.  It's pretty sad that when I type in her name in a Google search, the word fat automatically comes up.

Then a few weeks later, with no baby stories or nude photos to show, tabloid magazines decided to attack Kate Middleton by calling her skinny.  TOO skinny.  Photos taken are sharp angles, piztelated close up shots of her body printed up in bright colours to accentuate their point.

Was Liesel Jones too fat?  Is Princess Kate too skinny?
Well why is it any of our business?!  Why is this deemed great entertainment to sell?

And why on earth are we focusing our attention and extra energy on negativity?  I am continually reminding myself of the power of positive thinking.  We really do underestimate this power.  Even now I am learning to re-tap this valuable source of happiness and health, with a few issues of my own that I may blog about in the future.

Both here, here and here are great suggestions for us all.

Today, an American local news anchor had something of a personal nature to share with her viewers.
I think she says it best.  To her, I say well done.

Ms Livingston turned what could have been a hurtful loads of comments into a powerful opportunity against bullying.

I'm really glad that when Ms Livingston’s husband posted the emailed letter on his Facebook Page, that they received an outpouring of support.  Kindess and empathy gave Ms Livingston a way out off possible-negativity.
And Ms Livingston was clearly empowered in this moment.  She decided to single the writer out as a bully.

“The truth is I am overweight,” Livingston said.
“You can call me fat and yes, even obese on a doctor’s chart.  To the person who wrote me that letter, do you think I don’t know that?  Your cruel words are pointing out something I don’t see?  You don’t know me.  You are not a friend of mine.  You are not a part of my family, and you admitted that you don’t watch this show so you know nothing about me besides what you see on the outside - and I am much more than a number on a scale.”

“We are better than that bully.  We are better than this email.  We are better than the bullies that would try to take us down.”

"Do not let your self worth be defined by bullies."

Monday, October 1, 2012

What does a Mormon temple look like?

The Mormon temple is different to a regular meeting house.  And you're welcome to have a look:

How wonderful these holy houses are.
As a Mormon, I can go to the Adelaide Australia temple from time to time.  I went recently to witness the sealing of our good friends.  That family is going to be together forever.
Most of the times I attend the temple, I go to commune with God personally, to bring some particular questions and seek personal revelation and inspiration.

Sometimes we just need to set aside the things of the world, put our day-to-day havoc on hold, and seek silent solace.

So there is a different between our church building and our temple building.
And neither of them are a secret.  We desire all to come unto Christ.

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