Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Power to Work is a Gift

My friend posted a quote on Facebook some time ago, and it struck me as very important. I wrote it down and began to make a printable from it right away. With Labor Day coming up next weekend, I thought it would be a good time to share and discuss my thoughts on the quote.

President David O. McKay said, "Let us realize that the privilege to work is a gift, that the power to work is a blessing, that love of work is success" (quoted by Franklin D. Richards, “The Gospel of Work,” Improvement Era, Dec. 1969, 101).

For anyone who cannot work, they can testify (maybe more than others) that the privilege to work is a gift. My father-in-law, for example, cannot work because of a disability caused by a terrible car accident, and he wishes every day that he could work. He wishes that he could support his family so that his wife didn't have to work. He misses being productive and useful and building his talents and knowledge, and he has encouraged and taught his sons about the gift of work. There is so much freedom in this privilege–freedom from debt and stresses caused by lack of work, freedom from living off of the government or others, the freedom to grow and develop.

The power to work very much is a blessing. In the United States, we are given that power, that freedom. We can go get jobs to contribute to society, to earn a living, and to build up our country. We have a great responsibility because of that power–we are responsible to use our power to work to make the world a better place. Just like our baptismal and temple covenants require, we should use our power to do good and to bless the poor and needy. We need to use our power to work to empower others who may not know that they, too, can work hard and have a good life.

President McKay also said that the love of work is success. He didn't say the love of your "job" or the love of your "tasks" or even the love of your "chores" is success, but he said the love of work is success. If we learn to love to work, to be productive, to use our bodies/minds/spirits for a good cause, then we will be successful. If one hates to work, one will not become successful. I know people who hate work and yet want success–it does not come to them. They wander aimlessly putting in as little effort as possible, wondering why they aren't getting the results that they want. As a contrast, my husband is a very hard worker and loves to work. He enjoys physical labor as well as mental labor. He is studying to be a mechanical engineer, and he looks forward to working every day. Not only does he work hard at his job, but he works hard in his studies and works hard at home to help me keep the house and children in order. He loves work and because of that, he has found success to be his constant companion, and I have no doubt that he will the rest of his life.

Let us be grateful for every opportunity that we have to work. I hope that those who are searching for work will find chances to excel. I pray that those of you who don't enjoy work will learn to love it, for hard work (although it may sound counterproductive) will give you the success and peace you long for.

Happy Labor Day!

What are some ideas you have for teaching your children the importance of hard work?

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

True Love and Sharing the Gospel

Do you use Instagram? Well, if you do, I have great news for you:

After a lot of consideration, I decided to start an Instagram account for LDS Printables. I have seen the power of using social media to bring others to Christ, and I feel as though you and I could share our testimonies with (potentially) millions through Instagram. As I get my account going, I'll be posting lots of previously created printables, as well as the new printables that I'll be adding to the blog. This is a great missionary opportunity for us! So, come follow me @ldsprintables and help me to spread the gospel! Feel free to follow, like, share, and give me feedback. I'm still so new to the Instagram world... (and I'm learning about hashtags– #majorlyconfusing #oramIjustoutoftheloop )

Anyway, on with the good stuff!

Today's free printable is a quote that I absolutely adore. It comes from a speech by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and it says, "True love blooms when we care about another person more than we care about ourselves." (Read the speech here.)

Oh, how true this statement is! I have been learning this the hard way. My husband and I recently had a "discussion" in which we came to the realization that we don't always respect and honor each other. We tried to break down this truth so we could get to the very center, and it came down to the simple fact that we are both prideful and selfish. Even though we are madly in love, we sometimes miss out on true love because we are being selfish. He and I immediately set a goal to improve. We want to honor, respect, and adore each other unconditionally and forever.

As part of our goal, we decided to seek to care about the other person's needs more than our own. It is proving to be difficult, as my "natural man" comes out more than I care to admit, but we have already reaped great benefits from our efforts. I love my husband more today than I did a few weeks ago, and that love continues to grow each day. I love my children more as I seek to be less selfish and self-centered. In return, my husband has loved me more and we have served each other in a greater capacity. My children seem pleased with the extra attention and care that they are receiving, as well.

It's a win-win. We serve others unselfishly, and they serve us unselfishly; we develop true love for one another, and that love grows stronger daily. I like it.

I'm so grateful for the teachings of Christ that are taught to us by the Master and His servants. I'm grateful for living prophets and apostles on the earth who enlighten us and encourage us.

How can you this quote help your love to bloom with someone in your life?

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Modesty in Dress and Action

Have you heard about the new dress standards for full-time missionaries? It is so exciting. Not much has changed for the elders, but the sisters now are being encouraged to dress in bright colors and patterns. I am so jealous! When I served my mission, we still had to wear nylons and plain/simple clothes, with skirts that came mid-calf. I still wore some bright colors, but patterns weren't encouraged or always acceptable.

I'm so happy for the sisters. Missionary clothing shopping is going to be so much easier for them than it was for me!

In regards to the changes in dress for the sisters, President Thomas S. Monson said, "You can dress attractively without being immodest. Within the Lord’s guidelines, there is room for you to be lively, vibrant, and beautiful both in your dress and in your actions."

I love this statement, and I think it is wise counsel for all women, LDS or not. God wants us to show our beauty, but he wants us to show respect to our bodies. We do not dress modestly because our bodies are bad, but we dress modestly because our bodies are gorgeous and wonderful. I also love that he implies that we can be modest in our actions. We do not need to seek attention or the world's approval, whether it be in person or on social media.

I have been a happier, more confident person since I committed as a young woman to dress modestly, and I have been able to feel the Spirit more abundantly. I am grateful for a living prophet who helps us to understand how God wants us to live in these troubled times and how to avoid the temptations of the world.

How has dressing modestly blessed your life?

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

She Openeth Her Mouth With Wisdom

One of my best friends called me a day or two ago to ask for some advice about marriage. She just got married back in July and was struggling with figuring out how to communicate with her husband effectively in an argument. Sadly, I am not an amazing communicator in my marriage, so I wasn't able to give her great advice.

At times in my marriage, I forget to be loving, kind, and respectful towards my husband. I turn to harsh words and demeaning statements when I am frustrated or irritated. Instead of kindly talking to my husband to work out our misunderstandings, I become rude and cold. I am very aware that this behavior is not appropriate, successful, Christlike, or justifiable, and I have been trying to improve and change. Do you ever get caught in the same trap as I have been in?

Together, my friend and I turned to the scriptures to see what God has taught us about communicating with our husbands.

We found an excellent scripture that humbled us and taught us how we can be virtuous and loving spouses. In Proverbs 31:26 it says, "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness." This scripture was exactly what we needed to hear.

Whenever we open our mouths, we should think before we speak, and then choose only to speak those things that are wise and kind. We should never resort to malicious or cruel statements, and we do NOT need to say everything that we are thinking. In all honesty, most of what I am thinking when I am upset is illogical or untrue anyway, so why would I say those things to the one I love most?

Do I really need to tell my husband that a former boyfriend used to do such and such for me? NO. Not wise, not kind.

Do I constantly need to remind my husband of his flaws whenever I see them? NO. Not wise, not kind.

Do I need to point out every time my husband makes a mistake? NO. Not wise, not kind.

Do I need to tell my husband that he makes me crazy and I wish I could have a vacation from him? (Guilty...) NOOOO. Not wise, not kind.

I have been praying about this scripture since the Lord directed us to it, and I have tried to apply this in my marriage for the last few days. The result? A MUCH happier marriage! Even though I'm still not perfect, this gentle reminder to be kind and wise when speaking to my husband has been a blessing. My husband has noticed a difference and has thanked me for being kinder, and he has tried to apply these same principles when he is speaking to me. We have felt more love, more peace, and more trust.

I am so thankful for the scriptures and the lessons they teach. I know that this lesson not only applies to marriage, but to ALL of the people we communicate with, in whatever form. I love the scriptures and I know that they are the words of our God.

What other scriptures have you found that have helped you communicate with your husband better?

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