Alma’s counsel to his sons

In Alma 36-39, Alma the Younger counsels his sons Helaman, Shiblon, and Corianton. I’ve been reading and studying these chapters and find them fascinating as to what he chose to mention to his sons.

What I did was read what he said to each child and compare the content in a venn diagram.

Helaman:

  • If you trust in God you will be supported in your trials
  • If you keep the commandments you’ll prosper in the land
  • Keep a record, the importance of record
  • Teach against wickedness
  • Do good works
  • Prayer
  • Secret Combinations
  • Liahona
  • Importance of faith
  • Follow words of Christ
  • Moses serpent storyy
  • Story of angel

Shiblon:

  • If you keep the commandments you’ll prosper in the land
  • Praised for righteousness
  • If you trust in God you will be delivered from your trials
  • Angel story
  • Saved through Christ
  • Bridle passions
  • Teach the people
  • Acknowledge unworthiness before God

Corianton:

  • Addresses his rebellion
  • Sadness of parent
  • Importance of Holy Ghost
  • Counsel with brothers
  • Refrain from iniquities
  • Turn to God
  • Christ is coming
  • Don’t seek riches
  • Every soul is precious unto God
  • Called unto ministry
  • Worried about resurrection

Read these chapters and study it yourself!

The Importance of Journaling

On March 21, 2012 I wrote in my journal that my crush had accepted my friend request on facebook. I write, “Yes, I did scream and yell and jump up and down. And then I ran to tell mom.”

In 3 Nephi 23, the Savior asks to see the records the Nephites have been keeping. After reading them, He reminds the Nephites of a prophecy that had come to pass. The Savior then asks them, “How be it that ye have not written this thing?” And it came to pass that Nephi remembered that this thing had not been written.

The Savior chastises the Nephites for the incompleteness of their records. I’ve always thought it interesting that in the few chapters we have of Christ visiting the Nephites, this little story was included.

All through the scriptures and throughout time, Heavenly Father has asked His children to keep faithful records. Because of this: we have four first-hand accounts of the Savior’s life, we have details on wars and knowledge of peoples, we have timelines, miracles recorded, genealogy written.

President Kimball said,

“Where would we be if Moses hadn’t written his history of the world, those first five vital books of the Old Testament?

How grateful we are that Abraham wrote his own life story,

And then we must not forget or minimize the great efforts of our modern prophet, Joseph Smith, to write the history of the Restoration of the gospel and also his own personal experiences in great detail. What a mass of confusion we would have without those authentic, personal, and carefully written records!”

Because a journal is a continuous record of meaningful experiences that affect our lives, they bless us now and in the future. And consistent with the history of the world, The Lord, through his prophets, has commanded each of us to keep a journal.

In General Conference, President Kimball said, “I urge all the people of this church to give serious attention to their family histories, to encourage their parents and grandparents to write their journals, and let no family go into eternity without having left their memoirs for their children, their grandchildren, and their posterity. This is a duty and a responsibility.(General Conference. April 1978)

Writing in a journal helps us remember the Lord in our daily lives. Journals are a way we can count our blessings. In moments of crisis or when our faith is struggling, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to read in detail how evident the Lord has always been in our lives?

Our lives are busy and we move at a fast pace. Sometimes I find that I most clearly recognize tender mercies as I am actively writing about my day. This is because when writing journal entries, we are making time to pause for once in our lives, ponder and reflect on the day.

Journals can help you remember pivotal experiences, and when you reread those entries you will remember exactly how you felt.

On August 19, 2013 I write, “I went downstairs to get ready to go to seminary at like 5:25 AM. I wondered where dad was. Then I saw the porch light on. I peeked out the window and there dad was in the early morning reading and marking his scriptures. He is such a good example to me. And do you know how special that is to find your dad- to catch him doing THAT when he is all alone? Such a testimony to me.”

Journals are also a great way to teach future generations about who came before them.

“A life that is not documented is a life that within a generation or two will largely be lost to memory. What a tragedy this can be in the history of a family.” (source)

In President Kimball’s talk on journals he says, “Your own private journal should record the way you face up to challenges that beset you. Do not suppose life changes so much that your experiences will not be interesting to your posterity.

Experiences of work, relations with people, and an awareness of the rightness and wrongness of actions will always be relevant.

Your own journal, like most others, will tell of problems as old as the world and how you dealt with them.

What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved?

Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity.”

Journals are often talked of when it comes to family history, but we need to remember how much keeping a journal can help you in the present. When I was younger I would start a journal, then the next year I would write in it for the second time saying something like, “I am so sorry I haven’t written in a year, so much has happened.”

I knew that that kind of a journal entry did nothing for me. So I worked hard at it. I love life and I want to remember accurately the things I experience. I made a goal and in that year I missed only three days of writing. Since then, writing in my journal has become a habit and it has blessed me immensely. My journals are very special and dear to me and when I read through them, I clearly see how I’ve grown throughout the years in my testimony, in my maturity, and in my relationships. They also help my siblings and I remember all our inside jokes.

President Kimball pleads with us, “Get a notebook, a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels may quote from it for eternity. Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events.”

Heavenly Father quotes & handout

Here’s a printable handout with my favorite quotes about Heavenly Father:

God the Father Quotes

And here’s one of my favorites:

“…There, in the midst of a grand vision of humankind which heaven opened to his view, Enoch, observing both the blessings and challenges of mortality, turns his gaze toward the Father and is stunned to see Him weeping.  He says in wonder and amazement to this most powerful Being in the universe: “How is it that thou canst weep? . . . Thou art just [and] merciful and kind forever; . . . Peace . . . is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep?”

Looking out on the events of almost any day, God replies: “Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands. . . . I gave unto them . . . [a] commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood. . . . Wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?”  (Moses 7:29–33, 37)

That single, riveting scene does more to teach the true nature of God than any theological treatise could ever convey.  It also helps us understand much more emphatically that vivid moment in the Book of Mormon allegory of the olive tree, when after digging and dunging, watering and weeding, trimming, pruning, transplanting, and grafting, the great Lord of the vineyard throws down his spade and his pruning shears and weeps, crying out to any who would listen, “What could I have done more for my vineyard?”  (Jacob 5:41; see also Jacob 5:47, 49)

What an indelible image of God’s engagement in our lives!  What anguish in a parent when His children do not choose Him nor “the gospel of God” He sent!   (Rom. 1:1) How easy to love someone who so singularly loves us!

Of course the centuries-long drift away from belief in such a perfect and caring Father hasn’t been helped any by the man-made creeds of erring generations which describe God variously as unknown and unknowable – formless, passionless, elusive, ethereal, simultaneously everywhere and nowhere at all.  Certainly that does not describe the Being we behold through the eyes of these prophets.  Nor does it match the living, breathing, embodied Jesus of Nazareth who was and is in “the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his [Father].”” (Heb. 1:3; see also 2 Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:15.) (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Grandeur of God,” Ensign, October 2003)

Quotes About Dating/Kissing

“Kissing has…degenerated to develop and express lust instead of affection, honor, and admiration. To kiss in casual dating is asking for trouble. What do kisses mean when given out like pretzels and robbed of sacredness?” (President Spencer W. Kimball, Teachings, 281.)

“Notice the words President Kimball used to describe a kiss: affection, honor, admiration, sacredness. Kissing and other expressions of affection communicate powerful messages of commitment that others may believe and act on. If you don’t have a commitment, your actions are dishonest and likely harmful. Two thousand years ago, someone else’s actions didn’t match his words either. Listen to the stinging rebuke: “Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:48). Judas used a symbol of affection as a tool of betrayal. We should not leave others feeling betrayed by our actions.” ‘(John Bytheway)

“In a dating and courtship relationship, I would not have you spend five minutes with someone who belittles you, who is constantly critical of you, who is cruel at your expense and may even call it humor.”

“Do you want capability, safety, and security in dating and romance, in married life and eternity? Be a true disciple of Jesus. Be a genuine, committed, word-and-deed Latter-day Saint. Believe that your faith has everything to do with your romance, because it does. You separate dating from discipleship at your peril. Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, is the only lamp by which you can successfully see the path of love and happiness. How should I love thee? As He does, for that way ‘never faileth.’” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “How do I Love Thee?,” New Era, October 2003)

“One good yardstick as to whether a person might be the right one for you is this: in her [or his] presence, do you think your noblest thoughts, do you aspire to your finest deeds, do you wish you were better than you are?” (President Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1988, 51.)

Tribe Study: Ephraim

Scriptures:

Genesis 48:19

Genesis 48:20

D&C 133:34

1Chr. 5:1-2

Jer. 31:9

Psalm 60:7

Hosea 14

Genesis 41:52

Look up Ephraim in Bible Dictionary

“Ephraim’s descendants will continue in significant roles.”

“In the last days, Ephraim’s descendants have the privilege and responsibility to bear the message of the restoration of the gospel to the world and to gather scattered Israel.”

“Many of Ephraim’s descendants are being gathered first, for they have the responsibility of preparing the way for the gathering of the other tribes.”

(Ephraim.byu.edu)

Quotes

“In the great majority of cases, Latter-day Saints are of the tribe of Ephraim, the tribe to which has been committed the leadership of the Latter-day work. Whether this lineage is of blood or adoption it does not matter.” (John A. Widstoe)

“It is essential in this dispensation that Ephraim stand in his place at the head, exercising the birthright in Israel which was given to him by direct revelation. Therefore, Ephraim must be gathered first to prepare the way through the gospel and the priesthood, for the rest of the tribes of Israel when the time comes for them to be gathered to Zion. The great majority of those who have come into the church are Ephraimites. It is the exception to find one of any other tribe, unless it is of Manasseh.”

“It is Ephraim, today who holds the priesthood. It is with Ephraim that the Lord has made covenant and has revealed the fulness of the everlasting gospel. It is Ephraim who is building temples and performing the ordinances in them for both the living and for the dead. When the ‘lost tribes’ come- and it will be a most wonderful sight and a marvelous thing when they do come to Zion- in fulfillment of the promises made through Isaiah and Jeremiah, they will have to receive the crowning blessings from their brother Ephraim, the ‘first born’ in Israel.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 3:252-253)

“An understanding of this mission of Ephraim helps us understand why the Lord would say that “the rebellious are not of the blood of Ephraim”(D&C 64:36) (D&C student manuel section 60-68)

“Of the twelve tribes, the tribes of Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, will be gathered first and then direct the other tribes in their gathering.” (Doctrines of the Gospel Student Chapter 24)

“The physical gathering of Israel means that the covenant people will be “gathered home to the lands of their inheritance, and shall be established in all their lands of promise”(2 Nephi 9:2). The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh will be gathered in the Americas. The tribe of Judah will return to the city of Jerusalem and the area surrounding it. The ten lost tribes will receive from the tribe of Ephraim their promised blessings.” (Gospel Principles)

President Brigham Young taught that, “Joseph was foreordained to be the temporal saviour of his father’s house, and the seed of Joseph are ordained to be the spiritual and temporal saviours of all the house of Israel in the latter days.” (Journal of Discourses 7:290)

“The prophet Joseph Smith was a direct descendant of Joseph, son of Jacob; most members of the church are of the lineage of either Ephraim or Manasseh, Joseph’s two sons. How are Joseph’s modern descendants (the church) spiritually doing for the house of Israel what he temporally did for his family anciently?” (OT seminary student study guide Genesis 44)

“Your patriarchal blessing includes a declaration of your lineage, stating that you are of the house of Israel-a descendant of Abraham, belonging to a specific tribe of Jacob. Many Latter-day Saints are of the tribe of Ephraim, the tribe given the primary responsibility to lead the Latter-day work of the Lord.” (True to the Faith, Patriarchal Blessings)

Ways to Study Your Patriarchal Blessing

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I make goals every month and always on my list of monthly goals is to either read my blessing or do a Patriarchal Blessing study. I’ve recently struggled with new ways to study my blessing, so I looked up ways people study the scriptures and applied it to blessings. Here is my list, print it out and work on them! I’m so pumped to study like this– it will be amazing.

Patriarchal Blessing study ideas

James E. Faust once said, “These privileged blessings are a powerful witness of the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ in bringing exaltation to each of us.”

I never want to not take full advantage of my Patriarchal Blessing, and I know one way is to study it and be ever learning more!

Preparing for General Conference

lds-conference-center

General Conference is this weekend and I am so excited. I love Conference and Conference weekends are my absolute favorite out of the whole year. General Conference is so important and I know that if we truly listen and study the words, we can feel comfort and guidance and better our lives.

 

“But then he added, “But my general conference talk is very different.  I will normally go through twelve to fifteen drafts to be certain that it is what the Lord would have me say.”  Many times since then I have asked myself, “If an Apostle will go through twelve to fifteen drafts, is it pleasing to the Lord if I listen to or read his message one or two times?  I don’t think so.”

– Elder Neil L Anderson

 

“In the sessions and in the several satellite meetings, truths [are] taught, doctrines expounded, exhortations given, enough to save the whole world from all its ills – AND  I MEAN FROM ALL ITS ILLS. . . .”

– President Spencer W. Kimball

I’ve put together a handout to fill out in preparation for conference, check it out!

Conference Questions Handout

What Must We Protect?

*This is a very important topic, and I ask that you read to the very end. There is a long passage from a church talk, but I break it down and add my testimony afterwards.*

“Throughout the ages, evil forces have attacked the family. Why do you suppose Satan is so obsessed with its dissolution? Because it stands for everything he wants and cannot have. He cannot be a husband, a father, or a grandfather. He cannot have posterity now or ever. Satan cannot even keep those he has led away from God. He has no eternal kingdom or inheritance.” (J. Richard Clarke, Ensign, May 1989, p. 60)

Find where Satan is attacking the most and that’s what we should focus on protecting. What is he attacking the most?

The Family.

We have to know what we’re fighting against. If our young people don’t understand what they’re fighting against, then they can’t prepare for the battle, and neither can you. We see evidence all around us that the family is not important. It’s becoming less important in all societies. We know that because marriage rates are declining, the age of marriage is rising, divorce rates are rising, and more than a fourth of all births are out of wedlock. We see lower birth rates, and they’re dropping every year worldwide. Abortion is rising…and we see unequal relationships with men and women, and we see a lot of cultures that still practice abuse of some kind within family relationships. Many times a career is gaining importance over the family.”

“We know, from our studies here at Church headquarters, concerning the rising generation, that our youth are increasingly less confident in the institution of families. They are less confident in their ability to form a successful eternal family. Because they are less confident in families, they’re placing more and more value on education and less and less importance on forming an eternal family.”

“We know, from visiting with them and conducting studies, that they show a lack of faith in their ability to be successful in families. They don’t see forming families as a faith-based work. For them, it’s a selection process much like shopping. They don’t see it as something that the Lord will bless them and help them to accomplish. They also distrust their own moral strength and the moral strength of their peers. Because temptations are so fierce, they aren’t sure they can be successful in keeping covenants. They also have insufficient and underdeveloped social skills, which are an impediment to them in forming eternal families.”

“This is the world our young people are growing up in. They are in this world where there is “spiritual wickedness in high places.” Public policies are being made every day that are anti-family, and the definition of family is changing legally around the world…There are media messages everywhere that are anti-family, and our young people are very connected with media-Internet, television… (Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter) Increasingly, our youth are seeing no reason to form a family or get married in spite of all the teaching you give them. They are being desensitized about the need to form eternal families.

Sister Julie B. Beck, Seminaries and Institutes of Religion Satellite Broadcast, August 4, 2009 (I suggest reading the whole talk-it’s a good one)

I know that was a long passage from Sister Beck’s talk in 2009. But here’s what we learn from it:

  • The family is not important in the world and there is evidence of it. Even if people say family is important to them, it shows how important family is in their priorities and how much time they are spending on this sacred institution.
  • Younger generations are growing up in this world that the family is more often something to joke about or lie to, and so that is what they know.
  • Youth are not confidence in their ability to form eternal families with the help of the Lord.
  • Anti-family messages are everywhere and they desensitize us.

We are becoming desensitized about the NEED for a family.

What we can do:

  • If we believe the family is important, let it show in how we spend our time. How much time are we spending with our families? How is that time spent? Let us not set aside time for our family members, later looking back knowing we never looked in their eyes but were intent on looking at our screens. My take-away: I will spend more time with my family members, doing wholesome things-playing with them. I will put my phone far away, and look in their eyes instead.
  • Though I am not a parent, I am blessed with many little siblings. It bothers me when they are watching a show and all the plot is the kids lying to their parents, making fun of them, or joking at their family members expense. I have an influence over my siblings, and I need to use it more. I will teach them about families to admire and aspire to, and together we can compare them to what they see everyday.
  • I wish to be completely confident in my ability to form an eternal family someday. Confidence I think, is something easily crushed. So to continually fortify our confidence on this topic, I can study in the scriptures and from the words of Latter-Day Prophets the divine origin of the family. I am not of this world and I do not wish to be of this world, and neither is the family. Learning more about family, spending more time with mine, and preparing myself for my future will increase my confidence.
  • I wish to never be desensitized by the things I don’t believe in. Anti-family messages are so apparent and I worry that I am desensitized to them. One thing we can do is go through all the media we intake. If we really understand the importance of the family, it will not be a hard choice to sacrifice some television show or a social media page. Another thing is to watch the jokes we laugh at. I’ve always loved thinking, “You can tell a lot about a person by what they laugh at.” Well what are we laughing at? Are the jokes we encourage hurting our Spirits?

The family is so important. No matter what kind of family we all come from, we know that people are supposed to be together, man is not supposed to be alone. No matter the past experiences we have with family, we always have the future. God’s plan is centered around families, and so the fight to win over evil has also had the family at the center of the attack. There is a lot of things to aspire to in the world: job titles, fame, followers on social media, world influence, money. But I know the one that really matters most is the family. I don’t know about you, but I wish it to be said of me,

“She really worked hard to protect her family.”

family

Integrity Packet (10-hour Project)

For part of my ten hour project for Integrity I created a packet and filled it out, learning about the importance of having integrity and being honest. This packet, if studied and really carefully and thoughtfully filled out, could take up at least four hours of a ten hour project. I suggest that for the remaining hours, do an art project that reminds you to be honest and to have integrity. Download and check it out, you know you want to!

Integrity Project

Save

Leaders of the Church Talking About Their Wives

I’m really interested in learning about others relationships in their family and marriage. That is why I’ve studied the Smith family and then wanted to learn about prophets marriage relationships. These are people I greatly admire, and we’ve heard from them in General Conference a lot. Their relationships are what I want mine to be like in my life. Here are some quotes of leaders in the church talking about their wives. It is just the sweetest thing to read up on and study.

*If you teach young women’s or have some of your own, definitely have them read these. Let them know what their goal can be when it comes to being adored in marriage.

Elder Richard G. Scott, “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”

I learned from my wife the importance of expressions of love. Early in our marriage, often I would open my scriptures to give a message in a meeting, and I would find an affectionate, supportive note Jeanene had slipped into the pages. Sometimes they were so tender that I could hardly talk. Those precious notes from a loving wife were and continue to be a priceless treasure of comfort and inspiration.

I began to do the same thing with her, not realizing how much it truly meant to her. I remember one year we didn’t have the resources for me to give her a valentine, so I decided to paint a watercolor on the front of the refrigerator. I did the best I could; only I made one mistake. It was enamel paint, not watercolor. She never let me try to remove that permanent paint from the refrigerator.

I remember one day I took some of those little round paper circles that form when you punch holes in paper, and I wrote on them the numbers 1 to 100. I turned each over and wrote her a message, one word on each circle. Then I scooped them up and put them in an envelope. I thought she would get a good laugh.

When she passed away, I found in her private things how much she appreciated the simple messages that we shared with each other. I noted that she had carefully pasted every one of those circles on a piece of paper. She not only kept my notes to her, but she protected them with plastic coverings as if they were a valuable treasure. There is only one that she didn’t put with the others. It is still behind the glass in our kitchen clock. It reads, “Jeanene, it is time to tell you I love you.” It remains there and reminds me of that exceptional daughter of Father in Heaven.

As I have thought back over our life together, I realize how blessed we’ve been. We have not had arguments in our home or unkind words between us. Now I realize that blessing came because of her. It resulted from her willingness to give, to share, and to never think of herself. In our later life together, I tried to emulate her example. I suggest that as husband and wife you do the same in your home.

Jeanene’s kindness taught me so many valuable things. I was so immature, and she was so disciplined and so spiritual. Marriage provides an ideal setting for overcoming any tendency to be selfish or self-centered. I think one of the reasons that we are counseled to get married early in life is to avoid developing inappropriate character traits that are hard to change.

From a Deseret News interview with President and Sister Hinckley

Recently, while standing at the pulpit together in a church area conference, President Hinckley discussed the years they had been together and began to weep.

“Has it been that bad?” asked Sister Hinckley.

Which is typical. Among the many traits she shares with her husband, humor is one of them, and it has served their marriage well over the years.

When President Hinckley noted that he remembered Marjorie as a little girl, she mumbled to him, “I was really cute. Tell him that.”

“Oh, yeah, she was a cute little girl,” he said without missing a beat.

When she was reminded of the long months that her husband used to be away from home on church business, leaving her to tend their household and five children, she said, “Then he’d come home and think he was in charge.”

Their feet have slowed, but not their wit. In the preface of Sister Hinckley’s biography, “Glimpses,” Sheri Dew recalls a meeting in which President Hinckley began to address a group of missionaries by announcing, “I am going to exercise my prerogative and call on Sister Hinckley to talk with you. This is something for which I will pay a dear price, but so be it.” Never at a loss for words, Sister Hinckley stepped to the microphone and said, “I like this man a lot, but I like him sometimes a lot more than others.”

In another meeting, President Hinckley again began his talk by saying, “Sister Hinckley and I have been all over the world speaking to missionaries, and I don’t know anyone who does a better job at this than she does. So I think I’d like for her to speak for a few minutes.” Sister Hinckley leaned into the microphone and said, “I’ll tell you exactly why I’m speaking. President Hinckley hasn’t decided yet what he wants to say and he’s stalling.”

In 1937, when a young Gordon Hinckley told her he wasn’t sure they could be married because he had only $150 in the bank in those Depression-era days, she replied, “You mean I get $150 and a husband?!”

Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Women in our Lives”

Before I married her, she had been the girl of my dreams, to use the words of a song then popular. She was my dear companion for more than two-thirds of a century, my equal before the Lord, really my superior. And now in my old age, she has again become the girl of my dreams.

Thomas S. Monson

The first day I saw Frances, I knew I’d found the right one. The Lord brought us together later, and I asked her to go out with me.

My sweet Frances had a terrible fall a few years ago. She went to the hospital. She lay in a coma for about 18 days. I sat by her side. She never moved a muscle. The children cried, the grandchildren cried, and I wept. Not a movement.

And then one day, she opened her eyes. I set a speed record in getting to her side. I gave her a kiss and a hug, and I said, “You’re back. I love you.” And she said, “I love you, too, Tom, but we’re in serious trouble.” I thought, What do you know about trouble, Frances? She said, “I forgot to mail in our fourth-quarter income tax payment.”

I said to her, “Frances, if you had said that before you extended a kiss to me and told me you love me, I might have left you here.”

“Abundantly Blessed” April 2008

She was the love of my life, my trusted confidant, and my closest friend. To say that I miss her does not begin to convey the depth of my feelings.

“I Will Not Fail Thee, nor Forsake Thee” October 2013

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Your Happily Ever After”

One Sunday the missionaries brought a new family to our meetings whom I hadn’t seen before. It was a mother with two beautiful daughters. I thought that these missionaries were doing a very, very good job.

I particularly took notice of the one daughter with gorgeous dark hair and large brown eyes. Her name was Harriet, and I think I fell in love with her from the first moment I saw her. Unfortunately, this beautiful young woman didn’t seem to feel the same about me. She had many young men who wanted to make her acquaintance, and I began to wonder if she would ever see me as anything but a friend. But I didn’t let that deter me. I figured out ways to be where she was.

When I passed the sacrament, I made sure I was in the right position so that I would be the one to pass the sacrament to her.

When we had special activities at church, I rode my bike to Harriet’s house and rang the doorbell. Harriet’s mother usually answered. In fact, she opened the kitchen window of their apartment on the fourth floor and asked what I wanted. I would ask if Harriet would like a ride to church on my bicycle. Harriet’s mother would say, “No, she will be coming later, but I will be happy to ride with you to church.” This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but how could I decline?

And so we rode to church. I must admit I had a very impressive road bike. Harriet’s mother sat on the top tube bar just in front of me, and I tried to be the most elegant bicycle driver over roads of rough cobblestone.

Time passed. While beautiful Harriet was seeing many other young men, it seemed that I could not make any headway with her.

Was I disappointed? Yes.

Was I defeated? Absolutely not!

Actually, looking back I recognize that it doesn’t hurt at all to be on good terms with the mother of the girl of your dreams.

Years later, after I had finished my training as a fighter pilot in the air force, I experienced a modern miracle in Harriet’s response to my continued courting. One day she said, “Dieter, you have matured much over these past years.”

I moved quickly after that, and within a few months I was married to the woman I had loved ever since I first saw her. The process hadn’t been easy—there were moments of suffering and despair—but finally my happiness was full, and it still is, even more so.

Neil L. Andersen

I am grateful for my wonderful companion, Kathy. She makes goodness look easy, and the purity of her spirit keeps our family focused on the simple yet saving truths of the gospel.

“Whom the Lord Calls, the Lord Qualifies”

Elder Andersen says, “Kathy is absolute and uncompromising in her loyalty to the Lord and to me and the family. She does so much to put me and the children first. It is impossible not to love her completely and want to do things for her.

“Once I married her,” he adds, “the standards in my life went way up—being totally consistent in prayer and scripture study, keeping the commandments with precision. Her influence upon me and our children is phenomenal. She has a pure and disciplined faith.”

“Elder Neil L. Andersen: Man of Faith”

Jeffrey R. Holland

Her faith has always been as pure and as powerful and as strong as any person’s I’ve ever known.

You always knew Dad was happiest when he was home with his family. (said by Holland’s son, Matt)

Quentin L. Cook, “Live By Faith and Not by Fear”

My wife, Mary, has been the joy of my life. Her spiritual strength, righteous example, sense of humor, and loving support have blessed me throughout my life.

David A. Bednar, “In the Strength of the Lord”

My wife, Susan, is a virtuous woman and a righteous mother. You will quickly see that purity and goodness are evident in her countenance. I love her and appreciate her more than words can express. I thank her for the woman she is, for the lessons she has taught me, and for the love we share.

Robert D. Hales, “Gratitude for the Goodness of God”

A colleague some years ago told me that my greatest asset was my dear wife, Mary. Of that fact I give public appreciation for what she has meant in my life.

Boyd K. Packer, “The Plan of Happiness”

Many years ago, after World War II, I was attending college. There I met Donna Smith. About that time I read that two essential ingredients to a successful marriage are a cookie and a kiss. I thought that was a pretty good balance.

I attended college in the morning and then went back to Brigham City to work in my father’s auto-repair garage in the afternoon. Donna’s last morning class was home economics. I stopped by her classroom before leaving. The door had a frosted glass window, but if I stood close to the glass, she could see my shadow outside. She would slip out with a cookie and a kiss. The rest is history. We were married in the Logan Temple, and that began the great adventure of our lives.

 

Handout of my favorite quotes: Leaders of the Church Talking About Their Wives

 

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