Saturday, January 5, 2019

21 Tips to Upgrade our Spiritual Learning (with printable quote list)



I am giddy about teaching the first adult Sunday School lesson with our new Come, Follow Me curriculum tomorrow! 

As a former seminary and institute teacher, the intro and first lesson remind me of meaty trainings I received of how to get the gospel down into our hearts by inviting ACTIVE LEARNING. 

I am THRILLED all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will now be learning these concepts! 

Click here for a free printable version of the quote handout I'm giving my class. 

The quotes are also listed below. I used a paper cutter to trim the edges so we can tape it into the front cover of our manuals and keep writing our own ideas on the back throughout the year. 



A) Ask QUESTIONS

  1. “To ask and to answer questions is at the heart of all learning and all teaching.” (Henry B. Eyring, CES Broadcast, Feb. 6, 1998)
  2. "I plead with each of you to . . . take your questions directly to your Heavenly Father in prayer.  Ask Him, in the name of Jesus Christ, to guide you. You can learn for yourself . . . how to receive personal revelation. And nothing will make a bigger difference in your life than that!" (Russell M. Nelson, "Hope of Israel," Worldwide Youth Devotional, June 3, 2018)
  3. "What can happen as you follow a course of searching the scriptures for answers to your life dilemmas? Your confidence will begin to grow because you will know where to find answers to your problems. You will be far less stressed when yet another problem arises because you will know where to go for guidance and direction. . . . You will truly experience His words showing you all things that you should do." (Wendy Watson Nelson, Change Your Questions, Change Your Life [2010], 142)




B) Be worthy of and pray for the SPIRIT to teach and testify of truth

  1. "The real teacher is the Spirit. I am not the teacher, and you are not the teachers." (Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, June 2007)
  2. “The spiritual strength sufficient for our youth to stand firm just a few years ago will soon not be enough. . . . The pure gospel of Jesus Christ must go down into the hearts of young people by the power of the Holy Ghost. . . . Our aim must be for them to become truly converted to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ while they are young.” (Henry B. Eyring, Ensign, Sept. 2004)
  3. "The Spirit not only informs and increases mutual understanding, it convinces!" (Neal A. Maxwell, “Teaching by the Spirit—‘The Language of Inspiration’” Teaching Seminary: Preservice Readings (2004), 35–40)
  4. "Ask for the Spirit to be with you as you seek an answer to your one question for that day. Picture the Holy Ghost being right there with you as you read.” (Wendy Watson Nelson, Change Your Questions, Change Your Life [2010], 139
  5. "The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life." (Julie Beck, "And upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit," Ensign, May 2010)




C) Consistently feast on the SCRIPTURES

  1. "The scriptures are not the ultimate source of knowledge, but what precedes the ultimate source. The ultimate knowledge comes by revelation. . . .The scriptures can be a Urim and Thummim to assist each of us to receive personal revelation." (Dallin H. Oaks, "Scripture Reading and Revelation," Ensign, Jan. 1995)
  2. "Never let a day go by without holding family prayer and family scripture study. Put this, the Lord's program, to the test; and see if it does not bless your home with greater peace, hope, love, and faith." (L. Tom Perry, "Back to Gospel Basics," Ensign, May 1993)
  3. "Don't yield to Satan's lie that you don't have time to study the scriptures. Choose to take time to study them. Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it!" (Richard G. Scott, "Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority," Ensign, Nov. 2014)




D) Deepen your understanding with WRITING  

  1. "Do you want to know how to get the most benefit from this time together? Write down the impressions you feel. . . . Spiritual moments in life often come when it seems difficult to record them. Yet that special effort to crystalize in a permanent record sacred impressions of the Holy Spirit is powerfully rewarded. Begin now even if you have to borrow paper and pencil to do it." (Elder Richard G. Scott, "To Live Well Amid Worldly Decay," BYU-Idaho Devotional, Feb. 24, 2004)
  2. "Those who earnestly seek help through prayer and scripture study often have a paper and pencil nearby to write questions and record impressions and ideas." (Julie B. Beck, "And upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit," Ensign, May 2010)
  3. “Record your thoughts and feelings. There are many ways to record the impressions that come to you as you study. For example, you could mark a meaningful word or phrase and record your thoughts as a note in your scriptures. You could also keep a journal of the insights, feelings, and impressions you receive.” (Come, Follow Me -- For Individuals and Families, New Testament 2019, viii)




E) Engage - ACT on your promptings

  1. “The goal of gospel teaching … is not to ‘pour information’ into the minds of class members. … The aim is to inspire the individual to think about, feel about, and then do something about living gospel principles(Thomas S. Monson, Conf. Report, Oct. 1970, 107)
  2. “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26)
  3. "Just as pondering the scriptures invites the companionship of the Holy Ghost, so does doing the things we have been told to do and doing them promptly. We are promised that the scriptures and the Holy Ghost will tell us all things that we should do. When we go and do what we have been told and do it the best we can, we qualify for more instructions of what to do. If we do not act, we will not receive further instructions." (Henry B. Eyring, "Raising the Bar," BYU-Idaho Devotional, Jan. 25, 2005)
  4. "I believe that you can leave the most precious, personal direction of the Spirit unheard because you do not respond to, record, and apply the first promptings that come to you." (Richard G. Scott, "To Acquire Spiritual Guidance," Ensign, Nov. 2009)


F) Faith over doubts - MANAGE DOUBTS so faith wins

  1. “Anyone who doubts [the scriptures or the living prophets]—and none are discouraged from personal doubt—can verify the authenticity and content of the message by checking it with the official source, by personal revelation." (Dallin H. Oaks, BYU Studies, vol. 44:4 [2005], 170)
  2. "Once there has been genuine illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don't give up when the pressure mounts. . . . Don't give in. Certainly don't give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. He wants everyone to be miserable like unto himself. Face your doubts. Master your fears. 'Cast not away therefore your confidence.' Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you." (Jeffrey R. Holland, "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence," BYU Devotional, Mar. 2, 1999)
  3. “When we have unresolved questions, our challenge doesn't lie in what we think we know. It lies in what we don't yet know. . . . Questions are not just good, they are vital, because the ensuing spiritual wrestle leads to answers, to knowledge, and to revelation. And it also leads to greater faith.  Men and women of faith are expected to have faith. While the Lord will reveal many things to us, He has never told His covenant people everything about everything. We are admonished to ‘doubt not, but be believing’ (Mormon 9:27-29). But ‘doubting not’ does not mean understanding everything. Doubting is not synonymous with having questions. To doubt is to reject truth and faith. As covenant sons and daughters, we are required to have faith, live by faith, ‘ask in faith, nothing wavering’ (James 1:5-6), and ‘overcome by faith’ (D&C 76:53).” (Sheri Dew, “Will You Engage...Wrestle, BYU Devot. May 17, 2016)



Sunday, December 16, 2018

Two Heaven Journaling books just in time for Christmas! On sale through Tuesday!


(Note: I normally wouldn't post about business on Sunday, but I was awoken in the night, reminded that there are people who follow my blog but not my Facebook or email, and would have missed this opportunity, so I made an exception to my normal rule.) 





If you know me, you know that I LOVE Heaven Journaling!

I've had the honor of seeing it change THOUSANDS of lives. 

I'm excited to announce TWO NEW BOOKS!
  • Heaven Journaling Journal
  • 365 Days Closer to Christ Through Personal Revelation: Quote-a-day Calendar 


As a faith-based mentor, writer, and speaker, Heaven Journaling is my FAVORITE tool for: 

  • More connection and two-way communication with God
  • More of God's peace, power, and purpose in your life 
  • Solutions to problems you can't figure out on your own

These make unique and life-changing gifts! 

  • Bonus 1: Order two or more books and get FREE shipping!
  • Bonus 2: For every five books you order, get a bonus book FREE! (Once you order your sixth book and use the code BONUSBOOK you'll get the sixth book FREE!)
  • (Note: People have let us know that the bonuses haven't always worked via phone, so I suggest using the computer. If you still have issues with it, email me at becky@purposedrivenmotherhood.com)

If you’re wanting to receive more confident, consistent answers from heaven, these books are for you. 

Hugs!

Becky 

P.S. UPDATE: The sale has now expired, but both books are still available at regular price here. I also have free shipping on any size order. 




We launched the Heaven Journaling books on Friday, and on Saturday, my little home office became a shipping station! Thank you to all of you who have ordered books for yourselves and for gifts, and especially to those who keep sharing how powerful of a tool Heaven Journaling had been in your lives. 💖💖💖 JOY!! 💖💖💖



Thursday, December 13, 2018

A shout out to the value of MENTORS



I want to give a shout out to the value of quality mentors and coaches. 


They can save you soooooo much time, money, energy, mistakes, frustration, and they can help you get UNSTUCK. 

The past handful of weeks I have been doing projects I have NEVER done before. 

If I would have taken the time to figure all these things out myself, it could have taken me YEARS and it still wouldn't be as good as these coaches helped me make them.

This pile of papers holds the notes from the FIVE hours I spent with my new friend and tech mentor Danielle Doucette on video calls today, having her help me figure out and troubleshoot new technologies I had never used before. Even the things she didn't know answers to, she had a can-do, unstoppable attitude and figured things out. And kept her calm the whole time. She saw so many details I didn't even notice that I needed to fix and didn't even know it. I can't count how many times I cheered for joy on the video call for things she helped me figure out that had me completely stumped.

My book formatter and graphic designer Jordan Jones made my two new books look soooo pretty, got them formatted for two different publishers, and is a ninja at the coolest design software I have ever seen. His gifts blessed my projects and blessed my life!


Did I pay these wonderful people for their services? You bet I did! Was it worth it to me? YEEEESSSS! 

I am totally serious when I say that NONE of these projects would be done now, or honestly, probably EVER without the help of mentors.

I also want to give a shout out to others who have been instrumental in the book projects - Hailey Welch, Tammy Zufelt- Thomas, ToriAnn Dunaway Perkey, Brittany Bullenn, Tiffany Berg Coughran, and about THIRTY wonderful beta testers who gave tremendous feedback and valuable ideas as they read, edited, and tested out the Heaven Journaling Journal. And my awesome photographer Abbey Kyhl and her friend, whose pics I used for both books!

AND two of my personal mentors who were BIG-TIME instrumental in teaching me how to mentor MYSELF through the obstacles, setbacks, and doubts that come up when you're pushing past your comfort zone and doing what you feel called to do - Kirk Duncan and Ann Washburn.

AND my biggest cheerleader EVER on this side of the veil - the love of my life, Mike Edwards. Words are utterly insufficient.

Here's the thing. When you feel right about doing something, when you feel CALLED to make a difference, YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO IT ALONE.

We weren't meant to do life alone!

Reaching out to a quality mentor, one who is "ahead of you on the freeway" in the areas you're wanting to improve, is SMART.

P.S. I know many of you are antsy to be able to order these two Heaven Journaling books, especially as Christmas is getting closer. I have been working like crazy, sometimes into the night, to get things finished and set up for that. In the morning we should be able to LAUNCH this baby! And I'll do the giveaway drawing at the same time!

Friday, December 7, 2018

The BEST healthy chocolate pudding EVER






While I'm busy working long hours in a book project, my hubby made a big batch of my FAVORITE healthy avocado chocolate pudding so I can have a stash in the freezer! Yummm...

The recipe is from Wendy Thueson's (Raw Chef Wendy) amazing cookbook. Check it out here. 

When you eat without gluten, dairy, corn, potatoes, or oats, it's really nice to have a stash of healthy treats in the freezer during the holidays when all those goodies are around!

Wendy generously shared the recipe with my readers! Thank you, Wendy! 

CHOCOLATE PUDDING 
Yield: 4-6 servings 

Ingredients: 
2 avocados, mashed 
1 cup coconut milk 
¾ cup raw honey or maple syrup
1 cup cacao powder
2 teaspoons vanilla 
¼ teaspoon cinnamon 
Pinch of sea salt 

Instructions:
1. Blend in a high-speed blender until smooth.
2. Chill in the refrigerator to set a bit in a large bowl.
3. Serve in the serving dishes.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Our FHE yesterday about the power of little choices, and self-mastery with tech and distractions

Yesterday we had an FHE lesson on how powerful small and simple habits are.

“By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.” (Alma 37:6)



First, we watched this 3-minute video and discussed people's takeaways.

The contrast in this video was such a great teacher! The kids could easily see the results of repeated small choices.


Then, I asked these three questions, which led to a GREAT discussion.

Keep in mind, you might be tempted to guilt certain people about their weaknesses in these areas. Don't do it. Keep this a very safe place where people feel free to discover their own answers and solutions. And if you give in to criticism, that pushes the Spirit away. The Spirit is vital to a pivotal, self-awareness discussion like this.

1) What things work to help you "do it anyway" when you want it but you don't want it?

Our ideas included praying for desire, just doing a little bit on an overwhelming project, celebrating successes, focusing on your "why," and having an accountability partner.

2) What are your biggest distractions are from choosing those "higher" choices in the moment?

Keep in mind that Satan knows our individual weak areas with this and targets them. But if we don't know the enemy's plan, how can we win our battles? I love Captain Moroni's example of continually sending out spies to discover the enemy's tactics, as well as checking with the prophet Alma to receive God's guidance of how to win their battles.

Common answers that came up in our family were technology, sugar, and going to bed late.

3) What two small choices would make the biggest difference in your life when done regularly?

People shared ideas like these:
  • Starting the day with God, not the phone
  • Doing homework first with the phone in another room, use a timer to limit tech time
  • Healthy food and sleep
It was a simple FHE - just a short video and three questions, but it led to some great discussion, and even excitedly people making plans afterward of how to conquer their distractions and create a life of more focus and purpose. It was one of the best FHE discussions we've had in a long time.

Yes, small and simple things have great power in our lives.


Friday, November 9, 2018

As evil increases so does a compensatory spiritual power for the righteous.



An old Chinese fable shared by Elder George A. Smith: 

“A man travelling through the country came to a large city, very rich and splendid; he looked at it and said to his guide, ‘This must be a very righteous people, for I can only see but one little devil in this great city.’

“The guide replied, ‘You do not understand, sir. This city is so perfectly given up to wickedness … that it requires but one devil to keep them all in subjection.’

“Travelling on a little farther, he came to a rugged path and saw an old man trying to get up the hill side, surrounded by seven great, big, coarse-looking devils.

“‘Why,’ says the traveller, ‘this must be a tremendously wicked old man! See how many devils there are around him!’

“‘This,’ replied the guide, ‘is the only righteous man in the country; and there are seven of the biggest devils trying to turn him out of his path, and they all cannot do it.’” (Journal of Discourses, 5:363–64.)

Quoted by Carlos E. Asay, "Opposition to the Work of God," Ensign, Nov. 1981.


Also, here is the source for the quote meme above: 

The Prophet Joseph Smith related from his own experience, “The nearer a person approaches the Lord, a greater power will be manifested by the adversary to prevent the accomplishment of His purposes” (in Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1967, p. 132).

On the other hand, here's some good news. Elder Neil L. Andersen said:  

"As evil increases in the world, there is a compensatory spiritual power for the righteous. As the world slides from its spiritual moorings, the Lord prepares the way for those who seek Him, offering them greater assurance, greater confirmation, and greater confidence in the spiritual direction they are traveling. The gift of the Holy Ghost becomes a brighter light in the emerging twilight. ... My brothers and sisters, as evil increases in the world, there is a compensatory power, an additional spiritual endowment, a revelatory gift for the righteous." ("A Compensatory Spiritual Power for the Righteous," BYU Devotional, August 18, 2015, emphasis added)




Click here for a post of Elder Holland sharing that evil influences are real and that by using God's power we can cast them out.


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One Powerful Promise or Invitation from Every Gen Conf Talk! And an FHE idea.


Here's how I plan on using this great list for FHE soon: 


  1. First, print the quotes below using this handy printable I received from a seminary teacher friend who gave me permission to share. 
  2. Each person in the family gets a copy of the quotes and two colored highlighters: One to mark the invitations and one to mark the promises. We will also encourage them to make a star in the margin for things that stood out to them the most. 
  3. Then we'll take turns sharing our takeaways. 
  4. I plan on ending by inviting each person to choose one action they'll take from general conference and a plan to make it happen. 

Here is a printable handout of the quotes below. Click here for a copy. 

One Powerful Promise or Invitation from Every Talk Given During the October 2018 General Conference

General conference has come and gone, but hopefully, the power behind the messages given by our living prophet and apostles lingers with you for a good while still. Here are invitations extended and promises given during the October 2018 general conference that might lead you to take action, be still and listen, or simply help you keep the Spirit you felt over the weekend.



Saturday Morning Session


Speaking about the adjustment to the Sunday meetinghouse schedule:
"The purposes and blessings associated with this adjustment and other recent changes include the following:
•  Deepening conversion to Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthening faith in Them.
•  Strengthening individuals and families through home-centered, Church-supported curriculum that contributes to joyful gospel living.
•  Honoring the Sabbath day, with a focus on the ordinance of the sacrament.
•  Helping all of Heavenly Father’s children on both sides of the veil through missionary work and receiving ordinances and covenants and blessings of the temple.

"The announcements made today will result in profound blessings for those who enthusiastically embrace the adjustments and seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost. We will become closer to our Heavenly Father and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, of whom I am a sure witness."


"To help us travel and triumph over our hard times . . . may I suggest two things. We must face hard things, first, by forgiving others and, second, by giving ourselves to Heavenly Father.'”


"Consistent, wholesome family traditions that include prayer, scripture reading, family home evening, and attendance at Church meetings, though seemingly small and simple, create a culture of love, respect, unity, and security. In the spirit that accompanies these efforts, our children become protected from the fiery darts of the adversary so embedded in the worldly culture of our day.

"As we establish wholesome traditions that teach the doctrine of Christ, the Holy Spirit bears witness of the truthfulness of our message and nourishes the seeds of the gospel that are planted deep in the hearts of our children by our efforts all along the way."


"Stand in holy places. When we stand in holy places—our righteous homes, our dedicated chapels, the consecrated temples—we feel the Spirit of the Lord with us. We find answers to questions that trouble us or the peace to simply set them aside. That is the Spirit in action. These sacred places in the kingdom of God on earth call for our reverence, our respect for others, our best selves in living the gospel, and our hopes to lay aside our fears and seek the healing power of Jesus Christ through His Atonement."


"I promise that increased perspective, purpose, and power will be evident in our learning and living of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as we strive to gather together in one all things in Christ—even in Him.

"All opportunities and blessings of eternal consequence originate in, are possible and have purpose because of, and endure through the Lord Jesus Christ." 


"The work of the Lord is going forward despite the organized and constant opposition that confronts us as we strive to practice the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For those who falter under that opposition, I offer these suggestions.
"Remember the principle of repentance made possible by the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell urged, don’t be among those “who would rather try to change the Church than to change themselves.”

"As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland urged:
'Hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes. …In this Church, what we know will always trump what we do not know.'
"Exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the first principle of the gospel.
"Finally, seek help. Our Church leaders love you and seek spiritual guidance to help you. We provide many resources such as you will find through lds.org and other supports for gospel study in the home. We also have ministering brothers and sisters called to give loving assistance."



Saturday Afternoon Session


"It is challenging but vital to remain firm and steadfast when we find ourselves being refined 'in the furnace of affliction,' something that comes soon or late to all of us in mortality. Without God, these dark experiences tend to despondency, despair, and even bitterness. With God, comfort replaces pain, peace replaces turmoil, and hope replaces sorrow. Remaining firm in the faith of Christ will bring His sustaining grace and support. He will convert trial into blessing and, in Isaiah’s words, 'give … beauty for ashes.'"


"Listening to and hearkening to living prophets will have profound, even life-changing effects in our lives. We are strengthened. We are more assured and confident in the Lord. We hear the word of the Lord. We feel God’s love. We will know how to conduct our lives with purpose.

"I love and sustain President Russell M. Nelson and the others who have been called as prophets, seers, and revelators. I testify that he has the gifts the Lord has bestowed upon his head, and I witness that as we solidify in our lives the practice of listening to and heeding the voice of the living prophets, our lives will be built according to the Lord’s divine pattern for us, and we will reap eternal blessings. The invitation is extended to all. Come, listen to a prophet’s voice; yea, come unto Christ and live."


"I invite you to seek the Lord’s help in loving others as He has loved you. Let us all follow the counsel given by Mormon: 'Wherefore, my beloved brethren [and sisters], pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ.'"


"When we have felt, or feel, uncertain, alone, frustrated, angry, let down, disappointed, or estranged from God and His restored Church, it may take an extra measure of effort and faith to enter again on His covenant path. But it is worth it! Please come, or come again, unto the Lord Jesus Christ! God’s love is stronger than the cords of death—temporal or spiritual. Our Savior’s Atonement is infinite and eternal. Each of us strays and falls short. We may, for a time, lose our way. God lovingly assures us, no matter where we are or what we have done, there is no point of no return. He waits ready to embrace us."


"As we follow [the] divinely designed covenant path, our commitment and efforts to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ will give us the strength 'to retain [His] name written always in [our] hearts.' We will love God and our neighbors and feel a desire to minister to them. We will keep His commandments and yearn to draw nearer to Him by entering into additional covenants with Him. And when we find ourselves weak and incapable to act on our righteous desires, we will plead for the strength that comes only through His name, and He will come to our aid. As we endure in faithfulness, the day will come when we will see Him and be with Him, and we will find that we have become like Him, thus qualifying us to return to the presence of the Father."


"In my experience, belief is not so much like a painting we look at and admire and about which we discuss and theorize. It is more like a plow that we take into the fields and, by the sweat of our brow, create furrows in the earth that accept seeds and bear fruit that shall remain.
"Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. This is the promise to all who seek to believe."


General Women's Session


"Sometimes we may initially serve from a sense of duty or obligation, but even that service can lead us to draw on something higher within us, leading us to serve in 'a more excellent way'—as in President Nelson’s invitation to 'a newer, holier approach to caring for and ministering to others'.
"When we focus on all that God has done for us, our service flows from a heart of gratitude. As we become less concerned about our service magnifying us, we realize instead that the focus of our service will be on putting God first."


"We should welcome feelings of divine discontent that call us to a higher way, while recognizing and avoiding Satan’s counterfeit—paralyzing discouragement. This is a precious space into which Satan is all too eager to jump. We can choose to walk the higher path that leads us to seek for God and His peace and grace, or we can listen to Satan, who bombards us with messages that we will never be enough: rich enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, anything enough. Our discontent can become divine—or destructive."

"Because of our Savior’s atoning sacrifice, we can be made equal to the tasks that lie ahead. The prophets have taught that as we climb the path of discipleship, we can be sanctified through the grace of Christ. Divine discontent can move us to act in faith, follow the Savior’s invitations to do good, and give our lives humbly to Him."


"Sisters, it will not matter if we sat in the comfy seats or if we struggled to get through the meeting on a rusty folding chair in the back row. It won’t even matter if we, of necessity, stepped into a foyer to comfort a crying baby. What will matter is that we came with a desire to serve, that we noticed those to whom we minister and greeted them joyfully, and that we introduced ourselves to those sharing our row of folding chairs—reaching out with friendship even though we aren’t assigned to minister to them. And it will certainly matter that we do all that we do with the special ingredient of service coupled with love and sacrifice."


"Whatever your personal circumstance, you are part—a key part—of the family of God and of your own family, whether in the future, in this world, or in the spirit world. Your trust from God is to nurture as many of His and your family members as you can with your love and your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

"Your practical challenge is to know whom to nurture, how, and when. You need the Lord’s help. He knows others’ hearts, and He knows when they are ready to accept your nurturing. Your prayer of faith will be your key to success. You can depend upon receiving His guidance."


"Young women, you are blessed and you are wonderful, but you are like all of Heavenly Father’s children in your need to 'strive to do what’s right.'
"Here I could give you counsel on many different things, but I have chosen to speak of only two.

"My first counsel concerns cell phones. A recent nationwide survey found that over half of teens in the United States said they spend too much time on their cell phones. More than 40 percent said they felt anxious when they were separated from their cell phones.6 This was more common among girls than boys. My young sisters—and adult women too—it will bless your lives if you limit your use of and dependence on cell phones.

"My second counsel is even more important. Be kind to others. Kindness is something many of our youth are doing already. Some groups of youth in some communities have shown the way for all of us. We have been inspired by our young people’s acts of kindness to those in need of love and help. In many ways, you give that help and show that love to one another. We wish all would follow your example."


About the invitation to read the Book of Mormon:
"As impossible as that may seem with all you are trying to manage in your life, if you will accept this invitation with full purpose of heart, the Lord will help you find a way to achieve it. And, as you prayerfully study, I promise that the heavens will open for you. The Lord will bless you with increased inspiration and revelation."


Members of the Young Women choir from stakes in Pleasant Grove form hearts with their hands as President Russell M. Nelson leaves the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.


Sunday Morning Session


"I testify that the vision President Joseph F. Smith received is true. I bear witness that every person can read it and come to know it is true. Those who do not receive this knowledge in this life will surely come to know its truthfulness when everyone will arrive in the spirit world. There, all will love and praise God and the Lord Jesus Christ for the great plan of salvation and the blessing of the promised Resurrection when body and spirit will once again be reunited, never to be separated again"


"Whether our sheep are strong or weak, rejoicing or in anguish, we can make certain that no one walks alone. We can love them wherever they are spiritually and offer support and encouragement for the next step forward. As we pray and seek to understand their hearts, I testify that Heavenly Father will direct us and His Spirit will go with us. We have the opportunity to be the 'angels round about' them as He goes before their face."


"With the apostolic authority granted me by the Savior of the world, I testify of the tranquility to the soul that reconciliation with God and each other will bring if we are meek and courageous enough to pursue it. 'Cease to contend one with another,' the Savior pled. If you know of an old injury, repair it. Care for one another in love."


"I testify that we are sons and daughters of God, the seed of Abraham, the house of Israel. We are gathering Israel for the last time and are doing so with the Book of Mormon—a book that, combined with the Spirit of the Lord, is the most powerful tool of conversion. We are led by the prophet of God, President Russell M. Nelson, who is directing the gathering of Israel in our day. The Book of Mormon is true. It has changed my life. I promise you, as have Moroni and many prophets through the ages, that it can change yours."


"Never give up—however deep the wounds of your soul, whatever their source, wherever or whenever they happen, and however short or long they persist, you are not meant to perish spiritually. You are meant to survive spiritually and blossom in your faith and trust in God.

"God did not create our spirits to be independent of Him. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, through the incalculable gift of His Atonement, not only saves us from death and offers us, through repentance, forgiveness for our sins, but He also stands ready to save us from the sorrows and pains of our wounded souls."


"My dear brothers and sisters, I promise you that if we will do our best to restore the correct name of the Lord’s Church, He whose Church this is will pour down His power and blessings upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints, the likes of which we have never seen. We will have the knowledge and power of God to help us take the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people and to prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Lord."



Sunday Afternoon Session


"Since the beginning, the tests have not been easy. We face trials that come from having mortal bodies. All of us live in a world where Satan’s war against truth and against our personal happiness is becoming more intense. The world and your life can seem to you to be in increasing commotion.

"My reassurance is this: the loving God who allowed these tests for you also designed a sure way to pass through them. Heavenly Father so loved the world that He sent His Beloved Son to help us. His Son, Jesus Christ, gave His life for us. Jesus Christ bore in Gethsemane and on the cross the weight of all our sins. He experienced all the sorrows, the pains, and the effects of our sins so that He could comfort and strengthen us through every test in life."


"Given the distance between what we are as mortals and what Heavenly Father has become, it is not surprising that some feel that becoming like the Father is unattainable. Nevertheless, the scriptures are clear. If we will cleave in faith to Christ, repent, and seek God’s grace through obedience, eventually we will become like the Father. I take great comfort in the fact that those who strive to be obedient will 'receive grace for grace' and ultimately 'receive of his fulness.' In other words, we won’t become like the Father on our own. Rather, it will come through gifts of grace, some big but mostly small, that build upon one another until we have a fulness. But, brothers and sisters, it will come!

"I invite you to trust that Heavenly Father knows how to exalt you; seek His daily, sustaining help; and press forward with faith in Christ even when you cannot feel God’s love.

"There is much we do not understand about becoming like the Father. But I can testify with certainty that striving to become like the Father is worth every sacrifice. The sacrifices we make here in mortality, no matter how great, are simply incomparable to the immeasurable joy, happiness, and love we will feel in God’s presence. If you are struggling to believe it is worth the sacrifices you are asked to make, the Savior calls to you, saying, 'Ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath … prepared for you; … ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along.'"


"In any of life’s travels, why would you ever turn away from the only Savior who has all power to heal and deliver you? Whatever the price you must pay to trust Him is worth it. My brothers and sisters, let us choose to increase our faith in Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ."


"Our spiritual healing requires us to submit ourselves to the conditions our Savior has outlined. We must not delay! We must act today! Act now so that spiritual paralysis does not prevent your eternal progression. . . . If you have felt the need to ask forgiveness of someone you have wronged, I invite you to act. Tell them what you have done. Ask for their forgiveness. If you have committed a sin that impacts your temple worthiness, I invite you to counsel with your bishop—today. Do not delay."


"Choosing to follow the Father’s plan is the only way we can become inheritors in His kingdom; only then can He trust us to not even ask for that which is contrary to His will. But we need to remember that 'there’s no one so hard to teach as the child who knows everything.' So we need to be willing to be tutored in the Lord’s ways by the Lord and His servants. We can trust that we are beloved children of Heavenly Parents and worth 'bothering about' and be assured that 'on our own' will never mean 'alone.'"


"Several years ago, while preparing for a business trip, I began to experience chest pain. Out of concern, my wife decided to accompany me. On the first leg of our flight, the pain intensified to the point that it was difficult for me to breathe. When we landed, we left the airport and went to the local hospital, where, after multiple tests, the attending physician declared us safe to continue our travel.

"We returned to the airport and boarded a flight to our final destination. As we were descending, the pilot came on the intercom and asked me to identify myself. The flight attendant approached, said they had just received an emergency call, and told me there was an ambulance waiting at the airport to take me to the hospital.

"We boarded the ambulance and were rushed to the local emergency room. There we were met by two anxious doctors who explained that I had been misdiagnosed and actually had a serious pulmonary embolism, or blood clot, in my lung, which required immediate medical attention. The doctors informed us that many patients do not survive this condition. Knowing we were far from home and not sure if we were prepared for such life-altering events, the doctors said that if there was anything in our lives that we needed to consider, now was the time.

"I remember well how almost instantaneously in that anxious moment, my entire perspective changed. What seemed so important just moments earlier was now of little interest. My mind raced away from the comfort and cares of this life to an eternal perspective—thoughts of family, children, my wife, and ultimately an assessment of my own life.

"How were we doing as a family and individually? Were we living our lives consistent with the covenants we had made and the Lord’s expectations, or had we perhaps unintentionally allowed the cares of the world to distract us from those things which matter most?

"I would invite you to consider an important lesson learned from this experience: to step back from the world and assess your life. Or in the words of the doctor, if there is anything in your life you need to consider, now is the time."


"President Russell M. Nelson taught us last conference: 
'Our message to the world [and, may I add, 'to our ministering flock” is simple and sincere: we invite all of God’s children on both sides of the veil to come unto their Savior, receive the blessings of the holy temple, have enduring joy, and qualify for eternal life.'
"May we raise our sights to this prophetic vision so we can shepherd souls to the temple and ultimately to our Savior, Jesus Christ. He does not expect us to perform miracles. He asks only that we bring our brothers and sisters unto Him, for He has the power to redeem souls. As we do so, we can and will secure this promise: 'And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.'"



"I urge you to study these messages, commencing this week. They express the mind and the will of the Lord for His people, today. . . . I bless you with increased faith in Him and in His holy work, with faith and patience to endure your personal challenges in life. I bless you to become exemplary Latter-day Saints. I so bless you and bear my testimony that God lives! Jesus is the Christ! This is His Church. We are His people, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."