It Is Up to Each of Us…Personal Stewardship

It is up to each of us to develop the faith necessary to survive spiritually and to project a light for others to see. Thomas S. Monson

There is a rare commodity in this world called being spiritually prepared. Being spiritually prepared is a gift that we must give ourselves by allowing God and His work to be a part of our lives.

We all have trials and tribulations. We all need the gift of spiritual strength. Yet, few recognize the value of spiritual strength let alone take the necessary steps to obtain it.

I am a huge fan of many individuals who have both developed and then demonstrated spiritual strength. I am grateful for their examples. Several years ago, I read the story that I am sharing today. That single story both taught me and instilled within my heart the importance of example. I am thankful to Mahatma Gandhi for teaching me through his own example!

We are each meant to be a light in this world! We each have important tasks and gifts to share with this world!

I hope as you read today’s story that you will be able to internalize the importance of your own light and example! May great blessings be yours and may you be a great blessing!

Be The Change You Want To See In This World – Mahatma Gandhi

During 1930’s, a young boy had become obsessed with eating sugar. His mother was very upset with this. But no matter how much she scolded him and tried to break his habit, he continued to satisfy his sweet tooth. Totally frustrated, she decided to take her son to see his idol – Mahatma Gandhi; perhaps her son would listen to him.

She walked miles, for hours under scorching sun to finally reach Gandhi’s ashram. There, she shared with Gandhi her predicament. –
“Bapu, my son eats too much sugar. It is not good for his health. Would you please advise him to stop eating it?”

Gandhi listened to the woman carefully, thought for a while and replied,
“Please come back after two weeks. I will talk to your son.”

The woman looked perplexed and wondered why had he not asked the boy to stop eating sugar right away. She took the boy by the hand and went home.

Two weeks later they revisited Gandhi. Gandhi looked directly at the boy and said,
“Boy, you should stop eating sugar. It is not good for your health.”

The boy nodded and promised he would not continue this habit any longer. The boy’s mother was puzzled. She turned to Gandhi and asked,
“Bapu, Why didn’t you tell him that two weeks ago when I brought him here to see you?”

Gandhi smiled,
“Mother, two weeks ago I was eating a lot of sugar myself.”

Story shared from the following website: http://www.avani-mehta.com/2008/08/14/breaking-someones-sugar-habit-gandhis-story/

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What I Learned from My Near Death Experience About God and Life

heaven-where-the-truth-is-foundadobestock_65462109I have had a few experiences in which I have seen people who are passionate about their beliefs using a megaphone to shout their message from busy street corners.  I always find

their attempts a little puzzling. They are standing on a busy street corner so that more will hear their message and yet – because they are standing on a “busy” street corner and people passing them by are “busy” no one seems to really hear or care about the messages being broadcast.

There have been a few times when I have wanted to “broadcast” a message to my fellowman – no desire for street corner megaphone but definitely a desire to share information I consider important.

I think I could compare my passion to that of a reformed smoker. You know the type: the kind that having learned their lesson – doesn’t want to see anyone else make the same mistake. That’s how I feel now that I have seen what heaven is like and I have gained insights about God that few mortals seem to have.

Here’s what I would say if I could have my chance to tell everyone who is struggling with their life or struggling to know if God is real:

Believe in what your heart tells you. It speaks truth when it tells you that God is real, He loves you, you have potential and you deserve to be loved.

  • Understand that evidence of God’s existence is so abundant that you should feel overwhelmed with the sheer volume of evidence He has provided us with. If you are able to love, see, feel, touch, hear, taste…if you are able to marvel at the beauty of a sunset…if you are able to feel warm rays of sunshine…if you can hold a newborn baby in your arms…if you have the ability to change in even the smallest of ways…if you can look at any single creation from nature and recognize the miracle of its existence…you can know in your heart that despite the difficulties that life can and will bring…God does exist, you are His child and He loves you.
  • Know that the conscience that every living soul is born with is not an accident – it is a gift from God and will lead you along the right paths if you will allow it to.
  • Life is not an accident and every living soul born to this earth has a purpose.
  • Death is not an end…it is a necessary transition to another world.
  • How we live matters. It doesn’t matter whether we are wealthy or famous or remarkably talented or beautiful. It does matter that we love, learn, and serve.
  • We have each been blessed with the gift of choice. Because of that gift…our lives and the world are sometimes impacted in negative ways. However, because of that gift…we can grow and overcome difficulties, we can choose our attitude and learn new things…we can love and we can forgive.
  • Our lives were planned prior to our births but the objective of those plans were not to create a billion billionaires of extraordinary fame – the objective was to provide life experiences that would enable us maximum potential for positive growth.
  • God and His angels are there to help us.
  • We can change and our lives can be changed and if we are willing to utilize His perfect understanding – God knows how to get us from where we are to where we are meant to be.
  • Life was never meant to be a spectator sport. To create the life that we each have the potential to create – we must get in the trenches and work hard. We will experience trials and tribulations but if we utilize the divine assistance that is available to us – we will also experience joy, love, growth and personal success!

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Who God Is

Doorway to Heaven

Have you ever found that your interpretation of who God is has changed with where you are in your life and the situations that you are or have faced?

There was once a time when my understanding of God was greatly influenced by where I saw myself. If I believed that my life was in a good place and filled with blessings – then God loved me and all was well. However, if the events surrounding my life seemed unfair – then I would question God’s love for me and wonder what I had done to deserve my circumstances.

I was fairly young during those times of uncertainty and doubt. Over  time, life experiences (which relied heavily on God’s guidance) showed me that even though life was not always fair – my Father in Heaven was always there and always helping me (even if the help came in ways I had not requested or did not always understand).

I am a witness not only of God’s existence but of his character and perfection. Why I have been blessed to be such a witness I cannot say. I can only say that apparently God knows my heart and knows my capacity to witness of His perfection better than I do.
Many life experiences have given me that witness but the crowning event of my “witnessing” came on a night that I had prayed to my Heavenly Father and expressed to Him my intent to end my life the next day. It was on that night, after my tearful prayer, that I was escorted back to that place where we (you and I) were being prepared to come to earth.

I think you could call the place I visited heaven. Whether it was literally heaven or not doesn’t really matter to me. God was there and a spirit of love so powerful that all partakers of that environment revered our Father in Heaven, loved, honored, &served each other, and wanted to make the most of our divine potential. In a word – it was glorious and heaven like place even if it wasn’t heaven.

It was there that I was shown a meeting that I had once had with my Father in Heaven. It was during that meeting that I came to know, in ways I can only describe as profound, the complete perfection and all knowing intelligence of my Creator.

That meeting taught me that my Creator has great expectations of me, loves me perfectly and completely, knows me and my potential in ways I have not yet begun to comprehend, and is my ardent and most devoted supporter and guide. I also was shown that He is not a respecter of persons –in other words, those feelings and desire to teach and guide me were not isolated to just me but extended to each and every one of His children.

I saw preparations taking place in that place I will call heaven. I think the best comparison I could make of what I saw is to compare it to a major opening of a massive department store. Everyone was being trained and given a part in deciding which “department(s)” (life experiences) they would participate in. No detail was overlooked and great attention was given to making sure that individuals were matched with those “departments” which would give them most opportunity for learning and advancement. So intensive was that training that no one walked away from their training without being fully and completely prepared for the “department store” work that they would participate in. Those preparations were the most complete and best organized training event I have ever witnessed.

Of course, after the training comes the real deal – earth life. How amazing to know that we were all so incredibly trained and prepared and yet we have come to earth with memories of our training erased. It would almost seem like a cruel trick were it not that we were each sent here with a couple of guides – guides called our conscience and our heart. We each have been blessed to inherently know right from wrong and to feel God’s love for us in our hearts. Though we can ignore those feelings and that guidance and, as a result, have those gifts overshadowed by selfishness and disobedience to God’s commandments; we also have the choice to utilize those gifts, refine our ability to use them and utilize them in ways that will make ourselves and the world around us better.
As we open our hearts and follow our conscience, we are allowed to know our Creator better; more freely feel His perfect love for us and better understand our own potential and worth.

I don’t know how long I was allowed to stay in that glorious place I call heaven but I know that I will never be the same as a result of that precious experience.  That glimpse I was given of my Father in Heaven will remain with me forever. The truth of who my Divine Father is and what He desires for each of us resonates within my heart and soul:

•    He is perfect, unchanging, and loving. Any human efforts to make him mortal or to change Him are only human efforts to remove Him and His divinity from our lives. He is the God of Adam, Moses, and Paul. As such, the teachings revealed to and taught by them still apply now as much as they did then.

•    He is the Creator of this earth and all that lives here. As such, He is completely aware of each hair on our heads, each leaf that leaves the branch of a tree, and every feather on the body of a bird. I cannot even remotely begin to explain how He does it – I just know that He can and He does.

•    He is a God of truth and righteousness. His work is to guide us to truth, enable us to develop our God- like potential and to help us improve and be better.

•    He is a God of complete knowledge and intelligence. He knows us. He knows our potential and He knows how to guide us to reach it. While I was in heaven, I saw that my Heavenly Father’s understanding of me would not stifle me and impair me in any way. He sees beyond my own limited perspective and knows not only my complete potential but what will provide me with the greatest fulfillment and joy. I only have to be a willing participant.

•    He is a God of justice and mercy. To revert back to my department store example, there will come a time for “employee reviews”. As such, it is important that we live in accordance with those things we know to be true and right. We will all return and we will all be judged. He will extend all of the mercy that we deserve but He will not reward us equally. His perfect discernment will take into account our experiences, our knowledge and our works. His reward will not be one of “one size fits all”. Each of us will be given the reward that we deserve based on His perfect understanding.

•    He is a Divine mentor. We have no greater supporter, fan, or counselor. He is truly there for us if we are willing to reach out to Him and to embrace Him and His truth.

•    He is a God of inspiration. God will guide us, inspire us, and provide us with all the help we need (notice I did not say all the guidance we want). He is our unfailing source of support. We have the gifts of prayer and personal revelation available to us 24/7 as long as we are willing to ask, listen and then follow through with the guidance we are given.

I am grateful to know who God is. I am grateful for the many profound blessings which are a part of my life because of His guidance and support in my life. I am grateful for His perfection and for His love and I am grateful to be able to call Him Father.

What life experiences have you had with our creator? What experiences have increased your faith and how? What wonderful things has our Father in Heaven taught you? I look forward to hearing your stories!

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The Refiner’s Fire – Great Story! A Glimpse of Heaven

I wanted to share this story that I came across at                                    http://lds.about.com/library/week/aa100702a.htm.                                                            It is a great story with a great message and reminds us that as our refiner – Heavenly Father is always watching over us! Enjoy! JoAnna Oblander

The following story is a great example of how the Lord teaches and molds us through life’s trials.

There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter three, they came across verse three which says: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” (Malachi 3:3) This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study. That week this woman called up a silver smith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silver smith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot–then she thought again about the verse, that he sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.

She asked the silver smith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silver smith, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?”

He smiled at her and answered, “Oh, that’s easy–when I see my image in it.”
If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you.

Author unknown

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