Wednesday, August 12, 2015

5 Important Gifts

My daughter Amy asked me awhile ago if I would come and speak to the Sisters at her church on Friendship. I almost didn't know what to say? I am always asked to speak about Adversity,  this was going to be a stretch for me... not really but it was funny because I was for sure she was going to ask me to speak about Adversity.
I love having the opportunity to read, study and pray about a topic. I love what I learn in that process of preparing. I love to do Motivational Speaking, I truly do.
The ladies were wonderful, and it was a sweet experience and I feel grateful and blessed tonight to associate with those dear ladies. I am glad Amy asked me, because now...I just have more friends!
Some of the ladies asked if I would give my talk to them, so I told them that I usually put it in my blog here it is!
Good night dear friends!

Talk for Sultan Ward RS August 8th, 2015
 I am grateful to be here, and grateful to have the chance to study and learn more as I prepared for tonight. My sister in law got me this book for Mother’s Day. It has been one of greatest gifts to me, because I have read it and tried to apply the things I learned from it over and over again. I would like for just a few minutes to go over some of these Gifts that we have received from our Savior.
The first gift is from this story in the Book of John chapter 8, this is about  the gift of Mercy
Woman taken in adultery, the story is heart breaking , the scribes and Phariseees were trying to publicly disgrace her. They wanted her executed for her sin. I can only imagine how scared and ashamed she felt. I love the story, if you haven’t read it lately you should. To see the Gift of Mercy that Jesus Christ offers to her is amazing and it is the same gift that He offers to us.
This gift of Mercy is one that I had trouble with in a couple of ways.. because I was a child of incest, I always felt like I was never worthy of many of the blessings that my Primary and YW leaders told me about. The feelings I had of guilt, shame, filth….
But when I truly understood the Atonement made all the difference in my life, even though I didn’t have anything to repent of, I realized that no matter what happened in my life, the Atonement covers it.
                "He took upon himself our insecurities and personal
failings and pains and sicknesses. He took upon
himself our weaknesses of mind, will and character.
When we feel that no one understands, he may say,
'I do understand.' "
                                                              -Jamie Glenn
It is also important to apply this gift of Mercy to others too.
Brother Uchtdorf said “But when it comes to our own prejudices and grievances, we too often justify our anger as righteous and our judgment as reliable and only appropriate. Though we cannot look into another’s heart, we assume that we know a bad motive or even a bad person when we see one. We make exceptions when it comes to our own bitterness because we feel that, in our case, we have all the information we need to hold someone else in contempt.
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans, said that those who pass judgment on others are “inexcusable.” The moment we judge someone else, he explained, we condemn ourselves, for none is without sin.

I always  thought it would be a great idea if we could wear clothes that were made of that wipe off board material…then on it we could write what we have gone through that day or week.
For example the nasty check out lady at the store… my first thought is “ why are you working in Retail, where you have to be around people all the time?  But if when she turned to put my stuff in the bag…if I saw written on her Wipe Off Board Shirt , maybe something like this…
…This week my husband lost his job,
…we don’t have enough money to get my kids proper clothes, shoes and supplies for school,
 or… I just got a call back from the hospital saying there was something unclear on my mammogram and they needed me to come back in
Wow, wouldn’t I treat this check out lady a lot different? Wouldn’t I probably understand and even forgive her rudeness?  I do think we would we treat each other differently, and that we would be more willing to give this Gift of Mercy if we truly understood each others struggles. 
One of my favorite poems that reminds me of this exact thing is…
The Cookie Thief

A woman was waiting at the airport one night, 
With several long hours before her flight. 
She hunted for a book in the airport shop, 
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop. 
She was engrossed in her book, but happened to see, 
That the man beside her, as bold as could be, 
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between, 
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene. 
She read, munched cookie, and watched the clock, 
as the gutsy “cookie thief” diminished her stock. 
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by, 
Thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I’d blacken his eye!” 
With each cookie she took, he took one too. 
When only one was left, she wondered what he’d do. 
With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh, 
He took the last cookie and broke it in half. 
He offered her half, and he ate the other. 
She snatched it from him and thought, “Oh brother, 
this guy has some nerve, and he’s also so rude, 
why, he didn’t even show any gratitude!” 
She had never known when she had been so galled, 
And sighed with relief when her flight was called. 
She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate, 
refusing to look at the “thieving ingrate”. 
She boarded the plane and sank in her seat, 
then sought her book, which was almost complete. 
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise. 
There were her bags of cookies in front of her eyes! 
“If mine are here,” she moaned with despair, 
“Then the others were his and he tried to share!” 
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief, 
that she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief!!!

The 2nd gift is …. It is the Gift of Experience
                                In the book of John 11 we read the story of two sisters Mary and Martha and their sadness over their brother dying.
Jesus was close to their family and when he came to their home and saw Lazarus, He too wept
Then Jesus performed a miracle, He rose Lazarus from the dead.
In this story we learn that sometimes there are certain things that we have to
experience things to help us truly understand other things. Experience is an important part of life it is an amazing gift!
A poem that I have used many times when speaking is this one…why is it my one of my favorites? Because this could happen to any of us. Makes me always STOP and be more Observant of my life, my choices and my actions.
There are things that I have learned from being a Victim of Abuse and by having Cancer twice. I see life differently, I appreciate things that I might never had appreciated. Life is sweet because of my experiences.
Yes the Gift of Experience will teach us in ways nothing else could.
The 3rd  ( Gift is the gift of Nurturing
In Luke 1 we read the story about Mary the Mother of Jesus Christ and Elizabeth, her cousin who was a very
Old woman before she was able to have a baby. In this story we see how they were there for each  other. Elizabeth nurtured her young cousin Mary and helped her become the Mother she needed to be to raise the Savior of the world
It is important on -How we treat others, we need to always be there will to serve and nurture our friends and family. I also learned from this story that even things that seemed impossible …are possible for the Lord, what a gift.
 I love the quote… “We don’t meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason.”  So let’s all stop and think about the people you are in our lives and could we treat them more like the Savior would have us treat them? Could we nurture and help more than we do?

 The 4th gift is the Gift of Wholeness
In the book of Luke chapter 8
                -Woman- issue of blood thought there was no hope, for 12 years she had suffered from a terrible disease and because
Of it, she was considered unclean and not allowed to go around others. For 12 years she did everything she could to be healed, she had
It is amazing to think that she spends 12 years in this limiting and isolating condition. And at the end of those years, her funds are depleted and her options are gone. She was left to suffer for days, nights and years in that condition, with no hope of being healed through the medical knowledge of that time. But we read on to find out that she was healed, completely healed and it was all because of her faith.
And in addition to clean health she now could have a life with her friends and family, a life where she would now be allowed to go into the Temple. She no longer would be looked down upon by society. What an amazing gift of Wholeness!
Learning how to accept this gift of wholeness has been tough for me in many ways since my cancer /mastectomy
…Having to wear a prosthetic
…Embracing who I am and what I look like now
…Not comparing myself…we live in a world that constantly telling us to that we have to look a certain way, be a certain size and on and on. Not comparing myself is something that I need to work on daily.
So you can understand why I like this quote…
 'Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that counts. It's what you do with what you have left.'

Last by not least is the 5th Gift of Seeing
In the book of John 20 we read the story of Mary Magdalene, 3 days after her Savior was crucified on Sunday morning, Mary went to the sepulcher and realized that someone had taken Christ’s body, she was so upset and crying that when the Savior came to her, she didn’t even really see Him for who He was. Then Jesus spoke to her and told her who He was.
It is important to remember what Elder Richard G. Scott said, “sometimes we will not hear the delicate promptings of the Holy Ghost if we have such strong emotions such as anger, hate , passion, fear or pride, when these influences are present, we may miss that still small voice of the Holy Ghost”
The gift of seeing is really important to have in this journey we call life. We need to stay grounded in Christ so we can see things for what they are.
Just like the story of Queen Ester, when her uncle said to her about their threat from the king…
1st think not of thyself
2nd “Who knowth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Sisters we need to know our purpose here on earth, we need to know why we are here, why we are going through the things we are doing through.
I believe that nothing happens by accident, each trial and experience is here for our own good to teach us something we need to know or understand.
Is this difficult to remember and use these gifts?
Yes, of course.
Forgiving ourselves and others is not easy. In fact, for most of us it requires a major change in our attitude and way of thinking—even a change of heart. But there is good news. This “mighty change”8 of heart is exactly what the gospel of Jesus Christ is designed to bring into our lives.
How is it done? Through the love of God.
When our hearts are filled with the love of God, something good and pure happens to us. We “keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world.”9
The more we allow the love of God to govern our minds and emotions—the more we allow our love for our Heavenly Father to swell within our hearts—the easier it is to love others with the pure love of Christ.
My favorite scripture is on in Revelations where the Lord says that He will personally wipe away our tears from our eyes. Life is hard, remember it is our personal tutoring from the Lord….things that we could not use any other way. it is suppose to
We need to remember all these gifts that the Savior has given us so we will be ready and worthy to return to our Heavenly Father some day.  And because of this Gift of Seeing, we should be able to treat and help our Sisters as the Savior would.
I have this quote on my mirror and repeat it every day!

 Each day, each trial, each problem we have a choice, we can apply these gifts and be Happy, or we choose not to accept this gifts from the Savior and  be Sad, Mad or full of Anger… it is OUR CHOICE.

But we also need to remember our Choices directly affect our families, children and grandchildren… actually everyone around us, so maybe we all could strive to see how much better our lives can be, and to remember that we are truly never alone in any of our trials UNLESS we choose to be!

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