Monday, October 31, 2011

What's Your Source?


In light of the potential republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many are discussing "Mormon" doctrine and much misinformation is circulating on blogs and other social media conversations.

If you're smart, you'll understand that not everything you read online is true. For example, I read one article entitled, "Romney isn't Christian, and That's All Right," on Bloomberg.com makes ridiculous claims as to why members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints aren't Christian. People, the Church is called The Church of Jesus Christ, where's the confusion? In contrast, I also read an article from The Economist simply entitled, "Mormons Are Christians," which does a much better job representing what the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe. However, even in that article, not all the sources cited-though cited as "LDS sites"-are official Church sources, so once again, be careful.

Really, I just feel that if you want information about something, go to the source. If I want to know what Rick Perry is all about, I'm going to go to his website and get information from the source, from him. If I want to know about Obama's latest policy, I'm not going to simply Google it and click on the first hit, oblivious of the source whether it be from an opposing party or not. And if I want to know Verizon's coverage area, I'm not going trust an AT&T commercial and vice versa.

So why, then, would anyone settle for what Bloomberg or The Economist or CNN or Fox or Mormonhaters.com or any blog--including mine--says about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Why not go to the source? The Church has ample, easy-to-access information available on several official websites. (Oh, look, the links are listed right there on the right!)

"Come unto me all ye that labour
and are heavy laden."
As for the question of Christianity and Mormons, this blog discusses that topic here, here, and here. The Church's discussion page discusses it here. But for those who are still wondering, Mormons are Christians. Mormons are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nicknamed "Mormons" because we read the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the center of everything we do, teach, and strive to live. Indeed, the Book of Mormon itself says of those who wrote it, "We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins" (2 Nephi 25:26).

The source for the remission of our sins, the only source, is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is only in and through Him that we are saved--through the cleansing power of His Atonement.1 He is the central figure in the plan of our Heavenly Father and the cornerstone of my faith. I know that He lived and died, and lives again and that He will once again return to the earth. And, though I am far from perfect, I strive to do as He did, to love and serve, to come unto Him. Yes, I am a Mormon and I am Christian.

Jesus Christ will come again!
Jeremy

1. References from the Holy Scriptures:*

*These are just a few of many teaching of Jesus Christ and His Atonement found in the scriptures. To say nothing of the words of the modern-day apostles and prophets.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Promptings, Revelations, and Directions from the Spirit



The promptings, revelations, and directions from the Spirit never cease to amaze me. A while back one Sunday at church, the teacher of the missionary preparation Sunday school class did not show up and the class was left without a teacher. The responsibility of the class then fell on me. I have a strong testimony of the mission prep class; what is taught in that class is so vital and helpful to the Church and to the members of the class and I didn't want to just have them go to a different class for a day so I opted to teach the class myself.

Without a plan, I went into the classroom praying for inspiration and guidance from the Lord that I may be able to facilitate a lesson for the 45-minute class. I had previous lesson plans in my scriptures from when I taught that same class the year before and I began to review those in hopes that one would stand out and give me at least a starting point for a discussion. Nothing did. We prayed, we reviewed Doctrine and Covenants 4 that the members of the class were challeged to memorize, and we started. As I opened my mouth, I was prompted to share a certain scripture and then ask for questions. That sparked a discussion filled with other comments and questions and as we searched the scriptures for answers and shared experiences, the influence of the Spirit was strong and all were edified. Soon the class was over. As the potential full-time missionaries were leaving, I was humbled and my heart was filled with gratitude for the help I received and the Spirit we felt as we discussed the gospel of Jesus Christ and how to better share His great message.

I love the scripture recorded in the 100th section of the Doctrine and Covenants that reads, "speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts . . . .

"For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea in the very moment, what ye shall say."

And then the promise:

"And I give unto you this promise, that inasmuch as ye do this the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say."

That promise was fulfilled in that small missionary prep class in Boise, Idaho that day. I went in to that class not knowing beforehand what I should say but with faith that as I asked what the Lord would have the members of that class know, I would receive and all would be "edified and rejoice together" (D&C 50:22).

His promises are true.

Jeremy

Friday, October 14, 2011

How can I know for myself that what you teach is true?

This is part ten of a ten-part post. Elder Cuthbert of the First Quorum of the Seventy suggested ten questions which members of any church might ask our missionaries or any other member of the Church.


Question number ten: How can I know for myself that what you teach is true?

Elder Cuthbert's answer:

To all who ask this question, the promise found in the Book of Mormon is powerful, true, and of eternal significance.

“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moro. 10:4–5.)

Yes, my dear inquiring friend, we will add to the truth you have, for God speaks again through prophets. He has revealed himself to man in modern times. It is possible for families to be forever, for God has restored the sacred temple ordinances for the living and the dead. Furthermore, he has given us a health law, a welfare program, and a missionary system. He has revealed the purpose of life and has given us the Holy Ghost that we might testify to others and know for ourselves that this is the living Church of the living Christ, and that he speaks through a living prophet, even our beloved President Spencer W. Kimball. I so testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

My testimony:

I do not have much to add to that which Elder Cuthbert has said. Ponder the things that you have read and then do as Moroni exhorted in the Book of Mormon, that is, ask God if these things are true.

I know that if you ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost will testify to your heart that these things are true. You can know the purpose of life. You can know how to be successful. You can know how to be truly happy. You can know how to ensure that your family relationships are eternal.

Try it. The blessings are indescribable.

Jeremy

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How do you know the answers you have given are true?

This is part nine of a ten-part post. Elder Cuthbert of the First Quorum of the Seventy suggested ten questions which members of any church might ask our missionaries or any other member of the Church.

Question number nine: How do you know the answers you have given are true?

 
Elder Cuthbert’s answer:

I know because of my testimony, which comes from deep inside me and yet is from a divine source. The wonderful missionaries brought a special gift, which I received following baptism.

“A gift, you say? What did they buy for you that has made you so happy and made you so sure that God and Jesus live and that they speak to us in these days through prophets?”

No, it was not a gift purchased, except by the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. He promised that he would send a Comforter, even the Holy Ghost, to guide and bless and comfort and testify of truth.

“You mean you have the gift of the Holy Ghost as was promised and bestowed in the early Church?”

Yes. After I had come up out of the water, hands were laid upon my head by one having authority from Jesus Christ himself, and I received the Holy Ghost to be my constant companion. The Holy Ghost testifies of truth; he bears witness of the Father and the Son.

My testimony:

We read in the scriptures of miraculous conversions of prophets such as Moses and Samuel who heard the voice of the Lord; later Moses even spoke to God face to face. Others have visitations of the spirit, angelic messengers who appear to them and teach them in person such as Saul of Tarsus and Alma the younger. And the scriptures are full of stories of others who had a foundation of faith and then saw angels and visions and heard the voice of the Lord.

Those of us who have never seen visions or angels may wonder how we can know that Jesus is the Christ, that He and His Father called Joseph Smith to be a prophet and restored Their Church through him, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.

I will tell you how I know.

I have never seen an angel or a vision of spiritual things. I have never heard the voice of Jehovah in a burning bush or called down fire from the heavens upon my enemies. I have never even spoken with someone who told me that any of those things have happened to them. I have not even had one specific, overwhelming, confirming witness that the Book of Mormon is true when I have read it through and followed the exhortations of Moroni at the end. No, nothing so "miraculous" has ever happened to me.

Indeed, I often say that I was born with a testimony; I have never doubted the faith of my parents or that the standards and principles I was taught in my home and at church are correct principles. I have never doubted that the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a living prophet or that the Book of Mormon is true. I was baptized at age eight because I was taught that was the right thing to do, the thing that Jesus Christ wanted me to do. Some may argue that eight is too young to make decisions of such eternal significance but I have never looked back. I do not have one big "conversion story;" instead, I have hundreds of small conversion stories.

I know how I felt when my father and a handful of other worthy priesthood holders put their hands on my head and gave me the gift of the Holy Ghost. Although I was barely eight years old, I still recall the immense feeling of warmth that started in my chest and spread until it filled my extremities. I feel that same way when I hear the prophet of the Lord and the apostles speak. I feel that same way when I read the Book of Mormon, when I pray for insights and help with problems and questions in my life, and when I find answers to those problems and questions in the scriptures. I feel that same way when anyone talks about the prophet Joseph Smith and his experience with God the Father and Jesus Christ in the grove of trees near his house now known as the Sacred Grove. I feel that same way when I partake of the sacrament each Sunday and when my peers share their own testimonies.
I felt that way when I was twelve years old and my younger brother who had barely spent a week on this earth died in my mother's arms. My whole family knew that because my parents were married in the temple and we are sealed as a family that we would see him again and be together as a family. I felt that same way when my brothers left on missions, when my niece was born, and when I saw two of my best friends, my younger brother, and my roommate each marry their sweethearts and make eternal covenants in the house of the Lord. I felt that way every time I spoke of Christ and His restored gospel on the frozen or sweltering streets of Ukraine and when I heard the pure testimonies of members there who sacrifice so much because they know that Jesus is the Christ and that they can become cleansed and ultimately eternally happy through the miracle of His Atonement.

I know the Book of Mormon is true because I have read it many times, I have searched its pages for answers to specific, pressing, and personal questions and each time found an answer. I have seen so many lives transformed by the power of the Book of Mormon as people read the words of the Lord contained therein, feel the Spirit, and decide to change their lives. The power of the Book of Mormon is miraculous and transforming, I know because I have experienced it.

I know that the Word of Wisdom helps keep me healthy and in control of my decisions, that I receive immense blessings from living the Law of Tithing, that I am truly happier when we live the Law of Chastity, that keeping the Sabbath day holy adds a heightened spirit to my week, and that a life of service-loving our neighbors as ourselves-enables me to feel closer to God and keep an eternal perspective. I know these things because I strive to live them everyday. At times I do not succeed but at times I do and I recognize the difference in my life each time.

Making mistakes and repenting-striving to do better and be better-has taught me of the sweet and incredible healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He is the master healer. I have seen His healing in the scriptures, in the lives of people all around me, and I have experienced it in my own life many, many times.

Yes friends, I know that the answers I have given you are true because too many things have happened in my life for them not to be true. Of course, none of my testimony came by default, each experience upon which I have touched required a degree of faith, a degree of stepping into the darkness with the hope that all would work out. But each time I make a choice to live the commandments of my Heavenly Father I have received a witness through the Holy Ghost after the trial of my faith.

And so it is with each of you! Exercise a particle of faith-begin with even a desire to believe and you, too, can know. More on how you can know personally in the tenth and final part of this series.

This is my testimony.

Jeremy

See also:
Topic: Testimony on LDS.org
Elder David A. Bednar, "The Spirit of Revelation," Ensign, May 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Wait, Mormons or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?


As I talk to people and they ask what church I attend or for which church I served a mission, I respond "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" to which I usually get a slightly puzzled look. The light of understanding then turns on when I clarify, "the Mormon church."

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the "Mormon" church, or rather, the "Mormon" church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Mormon" is merely a nickname given to our church members because we read The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or LDS Church, and I am a Latter-day Saint.

The nickname "Mormon" is not offensive, it simply is inaccurate.1 One reason knowing the real name of the "Mormon" Church is helpful and important is because it helps clear up confusion whether Mormons are ChristianMormons are Christians. I worship Jesus Christ and I believe that His suffering and Atonement enable me to become cleansed from sin through repentance. It is only through His grace that we can be saved. We do not worship Mormon, or Joseph Smith, or anyone else for that matter save God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

In accordance with ancient and modern revelation, the Church is called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (see D&C 115:3-4). Jesus Christ Himself taught:

"And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day.

"Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake." (3 Nephi 27:6-7.)

Just a week ago, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles very clearly and succinctly expounded on the name of the Church. In his address, "The Importance of a Name," (Ensign, Nov 2011), Elder Ballard discusses what it means to take upon ourselves the name of Christ, the importance of the full name of the Church, the significance of each part of the name of the Church, and the proper use of the nickname, "Mormon." I really like how Elder Ballard breaks down the name of the Church and discusses the significance of each part of the name "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." From Elder Ballard:

"I have thought a lot about why the Savior gave the nine-word name to His restored Church. It may seem long, but if we think of it as a descriptive overview of what the Church is, it suddenly becomes wonderfully brief, candid, and straightforward. How could any description be more direct and clear and yet expressed in such few words?"

In an earlier General Conference address, President Boyd K. Packer also discussed the name of the Church, citing the importance and significance that we belong to the Church of Jesus Christ. Read his talk entitled, "Guided by the Holy Spirit," (Ensign, May 2011, 30).

In addition, the Church has a webpage that gives a breakdown of the word "Mormon" in relation to the people, the church, and the prophet.


I conclude with the simple words of a song I learned as a child:

I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow Him in faith.
I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor His name.
I'll do what is right; I'll follow His light. His truth I will proclaim.

("The Church of Jesus Christ," Children's Songbook, 77.)

Jeremy

1. The term "Mormon" is used by the Church in various functions. The Church operates a website under the URL mormon.org, we have the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the people who migrated to the Salt Lake Valley in the 1800s will always be called the Mormon pioneers.

Friday, October 7, 2011

What is your understanding of the purpose of life?

This is part eight of a ten-part post. Elder Cuthbert of the First Quorum of the Seventy suggested ten questions which members of any church might ask our missionaries or any other member of the Church.

Question number eight: What is your understanding of the purpose of life?


Elder Cuthbert’s answer:

In its basic form, this question might be expressed as “Why am I here?” There is a yearning deep down in all people to know the answer in order to live a purposeful life. As all loving parents do, our Heavenly Father had made a plan for us, his children, before this earth ever existed. In that period of time, which we call the premortal existence, we lived with God as his spirit children. In order for us to progress further, it was necessary for us to experience mortality by receiving a physical body provided by earthly parents. Being away from the presence of God for a while, we learn to walk by faith and develop qualities which will eventually qualify us to return to our heavenly home as resurrected beings.

The Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, has declared his great purpose and plan for his children: “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39.) Without this period of life on earth, we can achieve neither immortality nor eternal life.
My testimony:
I love this question. I love this question because I feel that a lot of problems would be solved or not even arise and that feelings of self-worth would increase if more people slowed down and pondered the possible purposes of life on earth. Do you really know the purpose of life? Do you really understand why you get up every day and do the things that you do? Do you really believe that we’re here to earn, buy, and consume, to eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die? Is the happiness bought by money, position, and things the highest form of happiness attainable? Or is it just easier not to care and to just buy a bigger TV and be nice to your neighbors rather than think about a potential after-life and the reality of someday being responsible and accountable for your actions? Reality is that ignoring or neglecting desires to think about the actual purpose of life only temporarily masks the reality of facing truth eventually. A knowledge of why we are here on earth brings a higher level of responsibility and with that responsibility a higher level of joy and hope.
Our loving Father in Heaven has provided a purpose to life. In fact, life on earth exists as a means for attaining a higher purpose created long before the world was. As Elder Cuthbert and so many others of the Lord’s servants have taught, we are all children of our Heavenly Father. He loves us and desires to give us all that He has. This life is a step toward that goal and if we hold out faithful to the end we are received into heaven that thereby we may dwell with God in a state of neverending happiness (see Mosiah 2:41; D&C 121:8).
The purpose of life is simple, simple enough for even children to understand. Ponder the words of this song we sang in Primary at church when I was young:
My life is a gift; my life has a plan.
My life has a purpose; in heav’n it began.
My choice was to come to this lovely home on earth
And seek for God’s light to direct me from birth.
I will follow God’s plan for me,
Holding fast to his word and his love.
I will work, and I will pray;
I will always walk in his way.
Then I will be happy on earth
And in my home above.
(I Will Follow God’s Plan, Children’s Songbook #164)
Remember, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoso believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants what is best for us. Perhaps we do not feel that way when life gets hard and seemingly unfair, but this life is only a small part of a much greater plan. When the prophet Joseph Smith was unjustly imprisoned in the ironically named Liberty jail, Jesus Christ taught him a comforting lesson concerning this life. Spoke the Lord, “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high” (D&C 121:7-8).
When we understand the greater plan of our Father in Heaven and the simple yet vitally important role this life plays in that plan, the words the Lord spoke to Joseph Smith also speak comfort to us and help us understand divine purpose of life. The prophet Jacob taught that, “Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25). The purpose of life is to exercise faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ and to be happy doing so! Indeed, such a lifestyle of discipleship is a happy and hopeful lifestyle! President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught, “But to what end were we created? We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fulness of joy (see 2 Nephi 2:25). Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness” (“Happiness, Your Heritage,” Ensign, Nov 2008, 118).
This life is the time for us to prepare to meet God. Everything the Lord requires of us, all the commandments and principles and guidelines that He gives us through His servants the prophets are given to help us successfully navigate this life and to better understand our purpose. The Lord promises, “he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive the world, and eternal life in the world to come” (D&C 59:23).
I am grateful for the plan of my Father in Heaven. I am grateful for the atoning sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ that makes possible eternal families and eternal happiness. Although His way may not be the easiest at times, it is the most fulfilling and I know that it brings the greatest joy.
Jeremy

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why do you send missionaries all over the world, when most churches concentrate on third-world countries?

This is part seven of a ten-part post. Elder Cuthbert of the First Quorum of the Seventy suggested ten questions which members of any church might ask our missionaries or any other member of the Church.

Question number seven: Why do you send missionaries all over the world, when most churches concentrate on third-world countries?

Elder Cuthbert’s answer:

I must confess that question was in my mind when the young men knocked on our door and announced they were missionaries. Having studied the New Testament, I should have known the answer, for the Savior gave it so clearly as he instructed his Apostles just before his ascension. “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matt. 28:19.) The fact that the Lord gave the commission is sufficient justification for carrying the gospel to the ends of the earth. People of all nations need the truth and purpose and happiness which the fulness of the gospel brings. Everyone should be interested in truth, and so we say to people of all faiths, Keep all the truth you have and we will add to it. This is why tens of thousands of young men and women and well over a thousand retired couples are voluntarily giving eighteen months to two years, preaching the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world.

My testimony:

Quite frequently on my mission I encountered the mentality of “why are you talking to me, you should be out talking to the drunks and the teenagers, look at their lives, they need the help.” Even now as my mission comes up from time to time, I continue to encounter the same, “why didn’t you go to Africa or Central America and build houses or work on providing clean water? That’s what my church does.” This question has always confused me somewhat because not once have I ever thought that a certain group of people needed the restored gospel of Jesus Christ more than another. As we went door to door in Ukraine, we were no respecter of persons (see Acts 10:34; D&C 1:35); we knocked on every door and talked to as many people as we could. We did talk to the teenagers and the drunks (when they weren’t drunk and a conversation wasn't pointless.) But we also sought out families, people with full-time jobs, and those who were strong in their own faith. We tried to bring the restored gospel to everyone.

My mission wasn’t specifically to improve living conditions of the worst people we could find. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does do an incredible amount of humanitarian work and encourages all of its members to participate in efforts across the world and in their own communities (see part six of this series.) But my mission specifically was to “invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end,” (Preach My Gospel, 1).

Remember, this is life eternal: that we might know our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ whom He sent (see John 17:3). The work and glory of God is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life (see Moses 1:39), therefore our physical comfort and temporal desires should be of lesser importance to us. Indeed, as President Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) taught, “Since immortality and eternal life constitute the sole purpose of life, all other interests and activities are but incidental thereto” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, Bookcraft 1969, 2).

Jesus Christ taught this principle when He lived on the earth. Remember with me the story in the sixth chapter of John about the multitudes who followed Jesus and the apostles into a mountain “because they saw his miracles which he did on them.” When the apostles tried to send the multitudes away, the Savior commanded that they instead feed the 5000 present, which they did through another miracle. However, the next day when the multitudes again sought out Jesus, He perceived their intentions, saying, “Ye seek me, not because ye desire to keep my sayings, neither because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you.” Christ fed the 5000 people and later another 4000 through a similar miracle because their temporal needs needed to be met in order for them to focus better on that which would truly help them. However, when they came back to Jesus because they wanted another free meal, He taught them where their focus should be: “I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).  Of course there is merit to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and we cannot focus on the spiritual things as well when we are vitally concerned for our basic needs, hence the reason the Church Welfare Program was started. Yes, physical and temporal needs must be met, but more importantly, we must see the Son and believe on Him, that we may have everlasting life.

Jesus Christ said of himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). To His “other sheep” in America, Jesus taught, “And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, . . .” (3 Nephi 27:14, italics added). Our Father in Heaven wants so that each of His children returns to Him, the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak, the young and the old, the believer and the nonbeliever. So he commands His missionaries, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt 28:19, italics added).

Jeremy

Monday, October 3, 2011

Forget Me Not--Five Lessons from an Apostle


President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, apostle and counselor to the prophet President Thomas S. Monson gave a very tender and compassionate address to the women of the Church. In this address, he told of the legend surrounding the Forget Me Not flower:

"There is a German legend that just as God had finished naming all the plants, one was left unnamed. A tiny voice spoke out, “Forget me not, O Lord!” And God replied that this would be its name.

"Tonight I would like to use this little flower as a metaphor. The five petals of the little forget-me-not flower prompt me to consider five things we would be wise never to forget."

Those five things are:

First, forget not to be patient with yourself.

He taught, "many of you are endlessly compassionate and patient with the weaknesses of others. Please remember also to be compassionate and patient with yourself. In the meantime, be thankful for all [your] small successes."

Second, forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice.

"There are so many good things to do, but we can’t do all of them. Our Heavenly Father is most pleased when we sacrifice something good for something far greater with an eternal perspective. Sometimes, that may even mean nurturing small but beautiful forget-me-not flowers instead of a large garden of exotic blooms."

Third, forget not to be happy now.

"The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments."

Fourth, forget not the "why" of the gospel.

"While understanding the “what” and the “how” of the gospel is necessary, the eternal fire and majesty of the gospel springs from the “why.” When we understand why our Heavenly Father has given us this pattern for living, when we remember why we committed to making it a foundational part of our lives, the gospel ceases to become a burden and, instead, becomes a joy and a delight. It becomes precious and sweet."

Fifth, forget not that the Lord loves you.

"Wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love."

Read President Uchtdorf's entire address, "Forget Me Not." While President Uchtdorf was addressing the women of the Church, each of us, male and female, member of the Church and those who are not yet members of the Church, can apply these principles of happiness to our own lives. We would all do well to remember the love the Lord has for us and be patient with our own shortcomings as we strive to be perfected in Him. We would do well to prioritize and make the necessary sacrifices that we may be happy now as we experience this great gift of life. And we would do well to remember why we are here and why the Lord has given us His gospel to live.

Our Father in Heaven loves us. He knows each one of us personally and desires our success and eternal happiness. Remember who you are and who is helping you succeed as the daily stressors of life bear down upon you. All things work together for good to them that love God.

Jeremy