Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Our Greatest Commitment

An image of a couple combined with a quote by President Eyring: “There is no more important commitment … than marriage.”

We invite you to read The Family: A Proclamation to the World, and pray to ask God of  the truth it contains. I can testify that this document holds the keys to real happiness in this life and in all eternity. Living the doctrine in this document will change and bless every aspect of your life, and fill you with peace and the assurance of a Father in Heaven. 

Posted by Brooke Kamalu- Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Monday, May 16, 2016

Article of Faith Five

We want to get back on track highlighting the Articles of Faith, and hope if you have missed some of the previous posts on these articles, you will be able to benefit from the truths in these statements as you read and study their content. 

Article of faith five holds key information about proper authority and how sacred ordinances are performed correctly as revealed by God. 

Article of Faith Five:

We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

This article of faith is filled with safety. We are kept safe from deception when we participate and receive all necessary ordinances by proper authority. The laying on of hands refers to the sacred power of the priesthood. The source of priesthood power is God. It is to be administered by worthy males authorized to perform sacred ordinances such as baptism, and the confirming of the Holy Ghost that follows. This is just one example. 

Elder L. Tom Perry, a late member of the quorum of the twelve apostles, taught it this way, 

"We believe that from the very beginning the Lord established a plan for His children on earth. He would, in times and seasons, have the priesthood on earth to bless mankind with the authority to perform the sacred ordinances that would prove man’s obedience to His will. There were tests to be conducted as we progressed in each step towards achieving God’s greatest gift, the gift of life eternal. Fundamental, then, is having faith in His plan, in His law, to be clean and holy and to repent of our sins, and to partake of the sacred ordinance of baptism required for admission into His celestial kingdom. And after baptism to be given the great gift, that Comforter, to abide with us, to lead and guide and direct us as we progress through mortality—all of these done under the authority given to mankind from God. Each man who officiates can trace that authority directly back to the Lord Himself, who bestowed that right on mankind."

I hope this article of faith brings peace and hope to those wondering where they can put their trust when it comes to church leaders and their claims on privileges of administration. To me, this doctrine is another beautiful way God shows His love for us. He has revealed and organized proper application of His power on earth. He would not have His children tossed about with questions of authority and how to fully and properly receive the wonderful saving ordinances required for eternal life. There is a perfect way, and He has provided it. 

Posted by Brooke Kamalu- Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

For Motherhood

A few weekends ago, my family and I were coming home from a family vacation by car, and stopped in Las Vegas for something to eat. As we were coming out of the restaurant and walking to our car, two women, loaded with shopping bags, passed me and my five children. 
I overheard one of them say, "Ugh! That is WAY too many children." While the other started counting my little crew just to see how many I had. 

They didn't know  I overheard them, and they went on their way happy to be free of such a burden. After they had passed, I looked down at my little three year-old boy, who was holding my hand, and I couldn't stop smiling. My heart filled with joy. But at the same time, I felt a sadness within my heart that rippled for a while. I wanted to run back and hug those two women and tell them that motherhood was the greatest thing in my life and that nothing could touch nor destroy the joy that it brought to my soul. I wanted to bear my testimony to them of their divine nature and inheritance as daughters of God and women on this earth, and plead with them to hold on to the moral authority that was rightfully theirs, but that Satan wanted to destroy. 

But they were gone. 
And so it is with far too many around us as parenthood, and especially motherhood is devalued and even looked down upon in many respects. 

In the last general conference of the church, Elder Holland declared, "No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child." 

Motherhood is given to and is endowed upon all of the daughters of God. To be a woman is to be a mother. Sister Sheri Dew, a former counselor in the general presidency of the Relief Society in the church, wisely taught, "When we understand the magnitude of motherhood, it becomes clear why prophets have been so protective of woman's most sacred role. While we tend to equate motherhood solely with maternity, in the Lord's language, the word mother has layers of meaning. Of all the words they could have chosen to define her role and her essence, both God the Father and Adam called Eve 'the mother of all living' and they did so before she ever bore a child. Like Eve, our motherhood began before we were born."

God gave to women the gift of nurturing. To nurture is to help grow. It is to selflessly love. There are not any words I could use here to adequately honor the endless and sacred sacrifice displayed by everyday women patiently mothering  children of all ages in every corner of the earth. 

Sister Julie B. Beck, one of the former General Relief Society Presidents of the church, testified, "The influence of righteous, conscientious, persistent, daily mothering is far more lasting, far more powerful, far more influential than any earthly position or institution invented by man."

As a mother of small children, I do know that there are some days when I am just sure that the only thing that might feel as worn down and raggedy as I do is my beat up diaper bag, and I am not sure how I am going to find the strength to last one more minute or make a meal or do another load of laundry or face another sleepless night. And when I start to wonder if any of the mundane things I do each day matter or not, one of my children will grab my face in their dirty little hands and tell me they love me. And I will catch them extending the love they felt at home to others. I have learned for myself that some of the very most important work I will ever do in mortality will be in a rocking chair with a child on my lap. 

Women serve, love, teach, lift, listen, and care in a divinely appointed and inherited way. As we celebrate all that is beautiful and eternal about motherhood, we are called upon to ponder the women in our lives who have set us on the right path, said endless prayers on our behalf, and sacrificed all they could to turn our hearts to goodness and Christ himself. 

 Elder Jeffery R. Holland quotes,
"A wonderful young mother recently wrote to me: 'How is it that a human being can love a child so deeply that you willingly give up a major portion of your freedom for it? How can mortal love be so strong that you voluntarily subject yourself to responsibility, vulnerability, anxiety, and heartache and just keep coming back for more of the same? What kind of mortal love can make you feel, once you have a child, that your life is never, ever your own again? Maternal love has to be divine. There is no other explanation for it. What mothers do is an essential element of Christ’s work. Knowing that should be enough to tell us the impact of such love will range between unbearable and transcendent, over and over again, until with the safety and salvation of the very last child on earth, we can [then] say with Jesus, ‘[Father!] I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do."'

What a blessing it is to have women in our lives who have a higher vision than what is just needed for today. Eternity is what is on their minds.  I end with this beautiful insight from Sister Marjorie Hinckley, wife of the fifteenth president of the church, when she declared, 
"I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.
I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.
I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children.
I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden.
I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.
I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.” 

I know and testify that motherhood is the highest calling of women. To honor the sacred role of mother is to honor God. It is worth every effort, and changes and blesses lives for all eternity.

Posted by Brooke Kamalu- Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Power to Endure

The most beautiful part of the atonement of Jesus Christ is the power to be, have, feel, or do something that is otherwise completely beyond our own mortal reach. The strength to carry on is not created by mortal will, extreme displays of individual effort, or even respect for duty alone.

This strength is only possible because of Jesus Christ and his willingness to overcome and descend below all things that He might raise us up and fill the space completely between our greatest challenges and sins and our loving Heavenly Father. Because of this beautiful atonement, we are not called upon to solely carry the weight of every degree and type of burden in mortality. 

Is life simply to be endured with no purpose or help or spiritual and divine aid? No. Elder Jeffery R. Holland, a member of the quorum of the twelve apostles answered this question beautifully when he testified, 

Is that what life was meant to be? Is this the grand finale of the human experience? 
 Are we all just hanging in a cold canyon somewhere in an indifferent universe, each 

 of us searching for a toehold, each of us seeking for something to grip-with nothing
  but the feeling of sand sliding under our fingers, nothing to save us, nothing to hold 
 on to, much less anything to hold on to us? Is our only purpose in life an empty
existential exercise- simply to leap as high as we can, hang on for our prescribed three score years and ten, then fail and fall, and keep falling forever? The answer to  those questions is an unequivocal no! . . . That Atonement would achieve complete  victory over physical death, unconditionally granting resurrection to  every person who has been born, or ever will be born into this world. Mercifully it would also provide forgiveness for the personal sins of all, from Adam to the end of the world,conditioned upon the repentance and obedience to divine commandments. 

This is why we can endure. Life has beautiful meaning because Jesus Christ first loved us, and we gain the strength needed to make it through every sorrow and sin because He overcame and designed the perfect way to endure here on earth and enjoy eternal life with our Father in Heaven. Don't quit. Don't settle for holding on to just anything. Hold on to Christ. He is there. He loves you. Be determined to find God in your life. He has never left endurance through difficulty or anything else to man alone. 

"For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." 
                                            -John 3:16

I invite you to get on your knees in prayer and ask Heavenly Father to send the light of His perfect Son into your life. Let your heart always seek the Savior of the world and His Father, of whom He  testified and obeyed with exactness. I don't have to know you to be able to testify that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you. They love you with a perfect love. And the personal strength you need to endure is a direct and beautiful consequence of being a child of God, and having access to that perfect atonement and love every day of your life. 

Posted by Brooke Kamalu- Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 

A God of Miracles

What miracles have happened in your life today?  God is aware of us. He loves us. One of the greatest miracles made possible thr...