Or like this? :)
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Or like this? :)
Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
For many years now, whenever Christmas pageants are talked about in a certain little town in the Midwest, someone is sure to mention the name of Wallace Purling. Wally’s performance in one annual production of the Nativity play has slipped into the realm of legend. But the old timers who were in the audience that night never tire of recalling what happened.
Wally was nine that year and in the second grade, though he should have been in the fourth. Most people in town knew that he had difficulty in keeping up. He was big and clumsy, slow in movement and mind. Still, Wally was well liked by the other children in his class, all of whom were smaller than he. The boys had trouble hiding their irritation if the uncoordinated Wally asked to play ball with them (or any game, for that matter, in which winning was important.)
Most often they’d find a way to keep him out, but Wally would hang around anyway—not sulking, just hoping. He was always a helpful boy, a willing and smiling one, and the natural protector of the underdog. Sometimes if the older boys chased the younger ones away, it would always be Wally who’d say, “Can’t they stay? They’re no bother.”
Wally fancied the idea of being a shepherd with a flute in the Christmas pageant that year, but the play’s director, Miss Lumbard, assigned him to a more important role. After all, she reasoned, the Innkeeper did not have too many lines, and Wally’s size would make his refusal of lodging to Joseph more forceful.
And so it happened that the usual large, partisan audience gathered for the town’s yearly extravaganza of beards, crowns, halos and a whole stageful of squeaky voices. No one on stage or off was more caught up in the magic of the night than Wallace Purling. They said later that he stood in the wings and watched the performance with such fascination that from time to time Miss Lumbard had to make sure he didn’t wander onstage before his cue.
Then the time came when Joseph appeared, slowly, tenderly guiding Mary to the door of the inn. Joseph knocked hard on the wooden door set into the painted backdrop. Wally the Innkeeper was there, waiting.
“What do you want?” Wally said, swinging the door open with a brusque gesture.
“We seek lodging.”
“Seek it elsewhere.” Wally looked straight ahead, but spoke vigorously. “The inn is filled.”
“Sir, we have asked everywhere in vain. We have traveled far and are very weary.”
“There is no room for you in this inn.” Wally looked properly stern.
“Please, good innkeeper, this is my wife, Mary. She is heavy with child and needs a place to rest.
Surely you must have some small corner for her. She is so tired.”
Now, for the first time, the Innkeeper relaxed his stiff stance and looked down at Mary. With that, there was a long pause, long enough to make the audience a bit tense with embarrassment.
“No! Begone!” the prompter whispered from the wings.
“No!” Wally repeated automatically. “Begone!”
Joseph sadly placed his arm around Mary, and Mary laid her head upon her husband's shoulder, and the two of them started to move away. The Innkeeper did not return inside his inn, however. Wally stood there in the doorway, watching the forlorn couple. His mouth was open, his brow creased with concern, his eyes filling unmistakably with tears.
“Don’t go, Joseph,” Wally called out. “Bring Mary back.” And Wallace Purling’s face grew into a bright smile. “You can have my room.”
Some people in town thought that the pageant had been ruined. Yet there were others—many, many others—who considered it the most Christmas of all Christmas pageants they had ever seen.
I personally love this story. It's one of my favorite Christmas stories. I think it's just the sweetest thing and shows such a good, Christ-like example. Do something kind for someone this holiday season.....reach out with all the love you can give!!
Merry Christmas Eve, everyone :) Don't forget the true meaning of this holiday season.
-Read: Alma 52-54
-Mark: Alma 53: 20-21
"In the spiritual battles you are waging, I see you as today's sons of Helaman."
~President Ezra Taft Benson
In the spirit of Christmas, I wanted to share with you another wonderful story. It's called "Two Babes in a Manger."
In 1994, two Americans answered an invitation from the Russian Department of Education to teach morals and ethics (based on biblical principles) in the public schools. They were invited to teach at prisons, businesses, the fire and police departments and a large orphanage. About 100 boys and girls who had been abandoned, abused, and left in the care of a government-run program were in the orphanage. They relate the following story in their own words:
It was nearing the holiday season, 1994, time for our orphans to hear, for the first time, the traditional story of Christmas. We told them about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem. Finding no room in the inn, the couple went to a stable, where the baby Jesus was born and placed in a manger.
Throughout the story, the children and orphanage staff sat in amazement as they listened. Some sat on the edges of their stools, trying to grasp every word. Completing the story, we gave the children three small pieces of cardboard to make a crude manger. Each child was given a small paper square, cut from yellow napkins I had brought with me. No colored paper was available in the city.
Following instructions, the children tore the paper and carefully laid strips in the manger for straw. Small squares of flannel, cut from a worn-out nightgown an American lady was throwing away as she left Russia, were used for the baby's blanket. A doll-like baby was cut from tan felt we had brought from the United States. The orphans were busy assembling their manger as I walked among them to see if they needed any help.
All went well until I got to one table where little Misha sat. He looked to be about 6 years old and had finished his project. As I looked at the little boy's manger, I was startled to see not one, but two babies in the manger. Quickly, I called for the translator to ask the lad why there were two babies in the manger. Crossing his arms in front of him and looking at this completed manger scene, the child began to repeat the story very seriously. For such a young boy, who had only heard the Christmas story once, he related the happenings accurately-until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger.
Then Misha started to ad-lib. He made up his own ending to the story as he said, "And when Maria laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him I have no mamma and I have no papa, so I don't have any place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with him. But I told him I couldn't, because I didn't have a gift to give him like everybody else did.
But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, so I thought about what I had that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe if I kept him warm, that would be a good gift. So I asked Jesus, "If I keep you warm, will that be a good enough gift?" And Jesus told me, "If you keep me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave me." "So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and he told me I could stay with him---for always."
As little Misha finished his story, his eyes brimmed full of tears that splashed down his little cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed. The little orphan had found someone who would never abandon nor abuse him, someone who would stay with him-FOR ALWAYS. I've learned that it's not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that counts.
"Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17)
I hope all of you have had very Merry Christmases! I know mine was sure great. I love being able to spend time with my family :) Also, they kind of spoiled me this year, which was unexpected....but I'm grateful for their willingness to give and their kind hearts. Love you all!
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
-Read: Alma 42-43
-Mark: Alma 42:14-15
"How great the wisdom and the love
That filled the courts on high
And sent the Savior from above
To suffer, bleed and die!"
Something to think about: How does understanding the Fall help you more fully love Jesus and appreciate what He did for us?
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
GET BACK ON SCHEDULE
Use your reading chart to find the chapters you still need to read to be caught up through:
If you are already up-to-date with your reading, take the time to study:
Something to think about: To what does Alma liken the seed? Why is faith important for the seed to grow? How can you know if it is a good seed?
I decided to read Richard G. Scott's talk entitled "Trust in the Lord" (1989). Blogger is being dumb again, so I'm going to post the link to it:
It is a good talk! Some things that stood out to me that he said:
"In many ways, the world is like a jungle, with dangers that can harm or mutilate your body, enslave or destroy your mind, or decimate your morality. It was intended that life be a challenge, not so that you would fail, but that you might succeed through overcoming. You face on every hand difficult but vitally important decisions. There is an array of temptations, destructive influences, and camouflaged dangers, the like of which no previous generation has faced. I am persuaded that today no one, no matter how gifted, strong, or intelligent, will avoid serious problems without seeking the help of the Lord.
I repeat: Don’t face the world alone. Trust in the Lord.
If one of you has seriously sinned, repent—now. It is not good to violate the commandments of the Lord. It is worse to do nothing about it. Sin is like cancer in the body. It will never heal itself. It will become progressively worse unless cured through the medicine of repentance. You can be made completely whole, new, purified, and clean every whit, through the miracle of repentance.
Trust in the Lord. He knows what He is doing. He already knows of your problems. And He is waiting for you to ask for help."
"If you have had such feelings of depression, turn around—literally turn your life around. The other end of the tunnel is filled with light. No matter where you have been or what you have done, that light is always available to you. Satan will try to convince you that you have gone too far to be saved. That is a lie. You will need some help to get started. The scriptures are a good place to begin. A father, mother, brother, sister, bishop, or friend will help. As you move nearer the light through repentance, you will feel better about yourself and more confident in your future. You will rediscover how wonderful life really is.
The Savior gave his life that you and I can correct mistakes, even the most serious ones. His plan is perfect. It always works for each one who follows the rules."
Satan is sneakier than we think. He knows how our minds work. He wants us to feel depressed and delight in doing wrong, because he knows the pain that follows. He can't feel the joy and light of Christ like we can, and that drives him bonkers! Don't EVER give up if you've sinned. There is always another chance when it comes to the Lord. He will never turn you away if you want to change and try again.
Monday, December 19, 2011
-Read: Alma 39-41
-Mark: Alma 41:10
"You cannot do wrong and feel right. It is impossible."
~President Ezra Taft Benson
Something to think about: Alma uses 4 chapters (39-42) to counsel his son Corianton to repent. How important is it to you to follow the counsel of your parents and other righteous priesthood leaders? Read Alma 36:20. During the time Alma was racked with torment for his sins whose words did he remember that caused him to cry our for forgiveness?
Ok....I can't post any pics like I wanted, or do any bolding or italicizing cuz blogger is being dumb. So I guess this is it for now..
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I slacked off on blogging yesterday.....sorry!! So here are days 49 and 50. Can you believe we're already halfway through the Book of Mormon??! So awesome :)
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
-Read: Alma 5-6
Friday, December 2, 2011
-Read: Alma 2-4
-Mark: Alma 2:18, 28
“Safety can’t be won by tanks and guns and airplanes and atomic
bombs. There is only one place of safety and that is in the realm
of the Almighty God that he gives to those who keep his
commandments and listen to his voice.”
~ President Harold B. Lee
Something to think about: Why were the Nephites strengthened by the Lord?
How can we receive the Lord’s help in the challenges we face?
Okay, so I don't know how many of you read my post from yesterday, but the Lord answered my prayer in a very obvious way again today :) I think this challenge has really made a big difference in my life....like I have never really had my prayers answered so obviously--that I can remember. I am so glad that I was given this challenge, and that I decided to buck up and take it. It's been a real blessing, and I am growing so much :)
So~~~today my first class was at 8 am, and I wanted to get up at 6 (or 6:15 by the latest) so that I would be able to get my scripture reading in before class and also have time to make a turkey sandwich (yes, REAL turkey!) and then get to the school, find a parking spot, and print out a powerpoint before class began. Well....at 5:47am on the dot, right outside my window, again (I think the Lord has a sense of humor), there was a little red car in the parking lot that was stuck in the snow. It was sitting there for a while just gunning it, wheels spinning, trying to get going. Noisy. It woke me up. But this time (instead of the annoyed reaction I had at first yesterday) I just smiled great big. I know that the Lord loves me and He does answer prayers.....sometimes in the weirdest ways!! But I was able to do all that I needed to do this morning, and I think I did well on my Physiology quiz, so I'd say my weekend is off to a good start!
Just thought I would share with you. I know that the scriptures are the word of God and that if you read them and make them a priority over other things in your life, that the Lord will answer your prayers and you will have a different spirit about you every day. It's amazing. Don't take the Book of Mormon for granted. Read it and SEE FOR YOURSELF!
Have a happy weekend!!
Thursday, December 1, 2011