Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Having Gratitude

I'm a month behind in reading the Reader's Digest. This is one of the few "worldly" magazines that I can actually stand to read, mostly because in between all of the negative "we're all going to die of cancer because we eat too much junk food and the government is collapsing, etc." stuff, there are usually stories of hope and heroes.

In the September 2008 Reader's Digest, there's an article about the Herrin family of Salt Lake City, who, in 2002, gave birth to conjoined twins. Even after the medical community encouraged an abortion because of the possibility that the mother might die or that one or both of the twins wouldn't live beyond birth, this Latter-Day Saint couple prayed and fasted and decided to go forward with the pregnancy and birth. When the babies were born, they had a few medical problems, as conjoined twins obviously would, and it took several years before they were able to make the separation. When they finally did, they still had quite a few medical problems, but overall the surgery was a success and the girls are doing just fine.

I was literally sobbing as I read this article. It was very moving, and it brought to my mind a few of the issues I struggle with, one of which is gratitude.

Let's talk about gratitude. For some reason, just having gratitude about the things in your life can make you have a more positive outlook. After reading this article, I realized how much I have to be thankful for. While the Herrins had this experience that was probably faith-building and they are grateful for it, I am thankful that I didn't give birth to conjoined twins and have to sit through hours and hours waiting for the surgery of my precious children to be performed, all the while nervous of the outcome and wondering if I did the right thing, both by having them and by having the surgery done.

Just reading this article made me appreciate that my children are all healthy and have been since birth. I'm grateful that we aren't so steep in medical bills from something like this. I'm grateful that I had relatively easy pregnancies, compared to the one that this lady had to endure. The grass always seems to be greener, but really, when you take a good, hard look, you realize that even though other people seem to have it so much better, you really wouldn't want to have their little specialized package of trials at all. Then you really do become grateful for what you do have.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What is This World Coming To?

Sex education as the responsibility of the government-run public schools? Gay marriage being legalized in one state after another, with the very definition of marriage being between a man and a woman being challenged? Abortion being viewed as something that is the "choice" of a woman to do what she wants with her body, without regard to what she chose to do to get in that situation? Parents assaulting children, children subjected to pornography at young ages, etc., etc., etc. The list goes on and on.

I have been popping on and off of different message boards online, and it never ceases to amaze me how immoral the world has become, how accepting of the most base and offensive acts people are. It saddens me deeply to think that my children will be subjected to these ideas and I will have to ward off these evil notions on a continual basis. That I might have to teach my children as young as 5 why being "gay" is wrong, when they do not even have an understanding of sexuality to begin with.

I'm grateful that I have the true gospel of Jesus Christ to guide me through this, but it will still be an uphill battle with all that we are facing, and the COMPLACENCY of the modern world on such issues. They give such a good reasoning behind what they accept that sometimes it's hard to explain our reasoning, other than saying "because it's breaking God's law."

Did anybody read that fabulous article by Elder Russell M. Nelson about abortion in the October 2008 Ensign? I read it and wept and loved every word he said. And to think that there are even people out there who claim to believe all those things but still think that Roe vs. Wade had a positive outcome. It's like they claim to understand the doctrine but they really don't, or they wouldn't have such a view.

I just don't understand how people who claim to belong to the church with the true gospel of Jesus Christ can accept such perversions on the basis that they believe them to be wrong, but people have free will and can do what they want. Of course they can! But legalizing such things simply allows Satan to win.

We truly live in a messed up world, and the more these things become obvious to me, the clearer it is that the members of the church need to take a stand and not be afraid of being different in our standards and beliefs.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

General Conference and the Charge to Move Forward

Wasn't General Conference inspiring? Each talk seemed to be directed at me, at something I'm either struggling with or have been pondering about recently. It seemed that the message of hope was underlying all that the general authorities had to say, and I daresay that hope is what many of us need right now in these turbulent times.

I'm eager for the transcripts to come out online so I can reread my favorite talks, but I'm also anticipating the November Ensign, which I hope to really read and reread and study deeply. The thing is that we are going through some financial issues, so to be hit with such an economic crisis on a national level on top of that has really opened up a can of worries for me that I haven't really had before.

We are trying to move forward and do what we can to pick up the pieces of our situation. We knew it was risky to rent out our house, but we did it anyway, hoping that only good would come of it. It has and it hasn't, and we're trying to brush the bad under the rug and start over with a "perfect brightness of hope" that things will work themselves out as long as we continue to pay off debt, live frugally, pay tithing and do what the Lord has asked us in not postponing our family or Corey's education. We have seen many blessings along the way despite the hardships.

General Conference has stirred up some new hope in me, something that is especially hard for me to maintain. The future is uncertain, but there is still hope.


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