Friday, December 25, 2009

Know the Only True God, and His Son, Jesus Christ that He has Sent

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
Jesus Christ (excerpts) from the Book of John

But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 7

The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
Jeremiah 31

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be cone fold, and one shepherd.
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
John 10

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Ephesians 3

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
John 14

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
John 14

For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
John 16

And the great and wonderful love made manifest by the Father and the Son in the coming of the Redeemer into the world;
D&C 138

Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.
Alma 26

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Charity Angel's Thoughts| Beware of Pride

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Charity Angel's Thoughts| The Spirit of Christmas

For the last 7 years our family has looked at Christmas differently, and celebrated it differently. While at times the changes that we have made have felt like we were one in a million, the spirit and benefits for our family were well worth it.

Seven years ago, we moved to Missouri. A great place, but foreign to us at the time. We both had come from the 'city life' mentality, and always hired someone else to do anything that we needed, and had learned to do little for ourselves. We tried to keep up with the Jone's and give our children all the latest and greatest things, and have new cars, a new house, and things that we really could not afford. That way of life, really hurt our family in many ways.

When we first moved to Missouri, we lived in a little place called Buffalo. The population sign said that it was a town of 3800 approximately. We had many miraculous experiences, that resulted in immediately being offered housing to rent, and then soon after that land. The people that we met in that area changed our lives forever. Never had I seen such humble circumstances, nor kind and generous people that seemed to have very little. No matter how little they had, they always were going about doing good.

We learned to live with less because of their examples. To make it do, or do without. While it took quite some time for us to adjust to the different cultures we ran into, it was the best choice we had ever made for our family. We learned how to live a simple life. We didn't have a lot of stuff, a lot of anything really, other then love for each other, the land, and our neighbors. We had many struggles, ones that surprise people when we talk about them still, but they were blessings.

Being around humble people, and having made the commitment to not go into debt, we lived on a cash only basis. We learned how to make use of what we had, and tried to fix it before buying anything, and when we bought, we tried to make sure that it was high quality and used.

Our Christmas changed dramatically. We focused on Christ only. No Santa, No huge long wish lists, and we turned off the TV forever during this time too.

Our new tradition was to have a manager that was empty, and to add pieces of yarn each time we did something for someone else, or someone had done something that we thanked them for, and filled the manager with the love we have for each other. Then on Christmas Eve, we put a baby in the manager, all nestled and snug in the love that we had shared. The children made homemade gifts, cards, artwork,, and other creative things, one of my favorite was toilet paper roll dolls and paper crowns and jewelry. My husband and I would make homemade gifts as well. I sewed many things by hand, since I did not have a sewing machine. All of us learned how to make blankets, scarves and hats on weaving looms, and besides that, we would give our children a treat.

We taught our children that Santa Claus represents Christ. And also how Heavenly Father gave us the greatest gift, and that was His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ. Who willing atoned for each and everyone of us, because he loves us. Santa also represents that we should share that love with others. Now our children will often respond to the question "What do you want for Christmas?" with an "I don't Know" because they have been focused on what they want to give to others. Recently, after returning to Utah, they have had something they will say they like, but it is generally a very touching answer. Our oldest daughter last night, was asked what she wants for Christmas by a man dressed as Santa, and she replied "A Happy Christmas" that would be the gift that she wants for everyone, that they have a happy Christmas.

This year, things are harder then they have been in a long while, but the children really do not realize it because they are able to still give, and they are also being given to by others. It is quite humbling, and a blessing at the same time to be where we are now, and experiencing what we are, but our trials have always turned out to be blessings.

May you have a Happy Christmas!