Thankful for the Greatest Generation

Written by Sister Erin Light on Thursday, 28 November 2019. Posted in Special Series Hits 570

Thankful for the Greatest Generation

Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you're enjoying a wonderful holiday with your loved ones. Today's article is another installment in our series of childhood church memories, and Sister Erin Light shines the spotlight on something that we can be very thankful for in our church — the fact that we benefit from having a wide span of ages interacting with and supporting one another.

One of the first questions out of my mouth as a child after Sunday service was not, surprisingly, “What’s for lunch?” It was, “Where are we going today?” That's because, more frequently than not, Sunday afternoon was the time when Mom and Dad would decide to go visit someone from the branch who was elderly or sick.

In the San Diego Branch, when I was little, we had a large group of seasoned saints who all lived within a half-hour of the church building. I remember sitting on their couches, always being offered a cookie or some juice, but the best memories were the stories. Soft-spoken sisters and brothers, with years of serving God and a huge pile of blessings, were just waiting to share. I remember trying to hold in my excitement at hearing their stories of prayers answered and miracles that got them through poverty, family trials, sickness, or layoffs. At the end of our visits, Mom and I would sit together and hold hands as Dad said a prayer for them.

City Building (3 Nephi 21)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 27 November 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 356

City Building (3 Nephi 21)

For about the past 30 years, there has been a genre of computer games known as "city building" games. These games allow the participants to build virtual (pretend) cities on their computer, designing the individual buildings, laying out the streets, etc. The grandfather of all city-building games was called "SimCity," which is considered rather basic today but paved the way (ha ha) for many other games to be created over the years.

The top-of-the-line city-building game available today is one known as "Cities: Skylines." If you invest enough time in this game, you can build a sprawling metropolis for which you will determine how to run power lines and water pipes, which businesses should be established, how taxes will be collected, what type of transit system to create, etc. By the time you're done, you will have put in enough effort to have built a real city.

In 3 Nephi 21, Jesus describes to the Nephites a city-building opportunity that will be presented to their descendants as well as others of the House of Israel:

The Real-Life Armor of God

Written by Brother Rich Nath on Tuesday, 26 November 2019. Posted in Special Series Hits 413

The Real-Life Armor of God

Today's article is another installment in our series of childhood church memories. Today, Brother Rich Nath discovers an interesting connection between an old memory and a recent experience.

All throughout my toddler and school-age years, I attended VBS in the Monongahela Branch. Every summer, there was a weeklong series of lessons on a particular theme.

My great-great aunt, Sister Mabel Bickerton, planned many, many VBS lessons for all age groups that covered people, events, or in one case, a specific item. Back in 1980-something, when I was in my early grade-school years, the VBS theme was about the armor of God. We studied the pieces and their meanings throughout the week, ending with a program on Friday night where we sang the songs and displayed the pieces of armor.

Thanks, Thanks Again

Written by Catherine Poma on Monday, 25 November 2019. Posted in Holidays Hits 376

Thanks, Thanks Again

Today, in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, we are publishing this poem, written by Catherine Poma, that appeared in the November 1955 issue of The Gospel News. We hope it inspires you to gratitude!

For the clasp of a hand
In a weary land,
When you're sure nobody cares;
For the pat on the back
When the skies are black,
And the pain's too great to bear;

For the friendships based
On a love as chaste
As the love of God to men;
For all these things
My glad heart sings,
"Thanks, thanks again!"

Spread the Good Word: Alma 38:12

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 22 November 2019. Posted in The Good Word Hits 616

Spread the Good Word: Alma 38:12

For Good Word Friday, we're exploring scriptures about boldness. Merriam-Webster defines "bold" as

  • fearless before danger (intrepid)

This dictionary also includes the archaic meaning, which is "assured and confident," which, you can argue, applies nicely to today's scripture, too. In this light, boldness is good. It's something free from fear and doubt — how refreshing!

Thank You for the Music

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Thursday, 21 November 2019. Posted in Special Series Hits 477

Thank You for the Music

Today's article is another installment in our series of childhood church memories. Today, Sister Natalie Shawver takes a musical trip down memory lane.

“Deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide…”

Know that song? I learned it (hand-motions included) thanks to Sister Linda during a Sunday School class in the Youngstown Branch in the late ‘80s.

“I am a promise, I am a possibility, I am a promise with a capital ‘P,’ I’m a great big bundle of potentiality!”

How about that one? Those words (and tune) are permanently ingrained in my head (and heart) thanks to Sister Carolyn from a GMBA Campout in the early ‘90s.

How to Have Beautiful Feet (3 Nephi 20)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 20 November 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 432

How to Have Beautiful Feet (3 Nephi 20)

Welcome to today's beauty tips column. Here are a few tips for maintaining your feet that come from actual websites on this subject:

  • Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes.
  • Perform regular self-examination; deal with problem areas immediately.
  • Moisturize the skin; remove dead skin.
  • Exercise on a regular basis — walking, etc.

In 3 Nephi 20, Jesus describes to the Nephites the covenant God made with Abraham and his descendants, specifically the House of Israel. He mentions how the House of Israel has been scattered but will eventually be gathered together again in a place referred to as Zion. He then quotes Isaiah 52:7, which makes reference to those who will assist in bringing about Zion:

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings unto them, that publisheth peace;…that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion: Thy God reigneth!" (3 Nephi 20:40)

The above verse contains four actions that workers for Zion will undertake with the House of Israel to help bring them to a knowledge of Christ. These same activities can be undertaken by any of us as part of our Christian walk in the hopes that people we come in contact with can be brought to a knowledge of Christ. Let's see how we can make our feet beautiful upon the mountains in the way this verse describes.

Open to the Spirit

Written by Sister Stefanie Callens on Tuesday, 19 November 2019. Posted in Special Series Hits 476

Open to the Spirit

Today's article is another installment in our series of childhood church memories. Today, Sister Stefanie Callens remembers feeling the Spirit of God for the first time.

God touched me for the first time when I was 11 or 12 years old. That particular Sunday, there wasn’t anyone else who had come to the branch except for my immediate family, so they decided to just do a Bible study. We read a couple of chapters, and I remember feeling really disappointed when we finished up. I just wanted to read and learn more and more. It was to the point that I was on the verge of tears. I didn’t understand why I was feeling that way and actually hid in the bathroom because I was embarrassed.

My Experience of Repentance

Written by Sister Eva Moore on Monday, 18 November 2019. Posted in Testimonies Hits 400

My Experience of Repentance

Today, we're sharing the testimony of Sister Eva Moore, abridged from the original in the March 1951 issue of The Gospel News.

At the age of 26 I decided I wanted to be a Christian. I had three little children and I decided that God belonged in our home, that we would be happy in no other way. I began to read the Bible and literature of all kinds, books on Christianity, and I listened to radio programs. They preached, "Believe only Believe." I would cry out, "Oh Lord, I believe," yet, my soul was not satisfied.

After belonging [to a church for] two years, I realized something was lacking in our lives. There was no change to speak of in my husband. I wasn't happy. Was this all that we would get out of Christianity? I was known as a good Christian woman, but my soul was empty. I would cry myself to sleep at nights. My heart grew heavy. Ours was not a Christian home, although we took the children to Sunday School, and we attended church regularly. We also began going to other churches, including The Church of Jesus Christ.

Spread the Good Word: Ephesians 3:11-12

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 15 November 2019. Posted in The Good Word Hits 651

Spread the Good Word: Ephesians 3:11-12

Today, we're continuing our Good Word theme of "Boldness." In this passage, Paul is explaining to the Ephesians that God has revealed to him and the other apostles a great mystery. (Ooh! What is it?!)

The mystery is that the Gentiles have access to the gospel of Jesus Christ and are being invited into the fold of God.

If you remember, this was a pretty seismic shift in the way Israel thought about God and man. It was huge. It was divisive. It was not an easy message for Paul to deliver no matter which way you slice it.

Feeling Emotion vs. the Spirit

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Thursday, 14 November 2019. Posted in Special Series Hits 457

Feeling Emotion vs. the Spirit

Today, we're happy to introduce a new series called Early Church Memories. We all have certain childhood memories that stand out as interesting or important to us. For those who were raised in church, many of these early recollections play a role in our spiritual development. You'll see articles in this series pop up through November, and we hope they remind you of your earliest memories with the Lord.

To start things off, Sister Michelle Watson shares two memories that are the same but different.

I had to have been 6 years old or younger, and I was sitting in a pew near the back of the sanctuary in the old church building in Anaheim, California (before the blue remodel). The minister at the pulpit was telling a very touching story about a young child. Because the story was about a kid, my ears perked up, and I listened. The narrative was sad and beautiful, and I both pitied and admired the fictional child.

Why Do You Travel So Far for Church? (3 Nephi 19)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 13 November 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 451

Why Do You Travel So Far for Church? (3 Nephi 19)

For quite a few years, my family lived in the town of Thorndale, Pennsylvania, and we attended church services in the town of Levittown, Pennsylvania. If you look on a map, you will see that these two towns are both located in eastern Pennsylvania, but they are in fact 60 miles apart! Yes, every Sunday, my parents and my sister and I dutifully piled into the car by 8:45 a.m. to make the hour-plus trip to Levittown for Sunday school and the worship service and then traveled the same distance to return home, arriving home sometime in the mid-afternoon.

Every so often, one of us would be in a conversation with someone about the church, and when we mentioned where the church was, the same questions would be asked. Why do you travel so far for church? Isn't there a church in this area that you can attend?

Gratitude Is All in Your Perspective

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Tuesday, 12 November 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 442

Gratitude Is All in Your Perspective

Recently, two of my students, who happen to be biological sisters, taught me an important lesson about perspective and gratitude. I am going to refer to them as “A,” a second grader, and “E,” a fourth grader. They are both new students to our school and previously attended an inner-city school that lacks many things, but most importantly, quality instruction and safety.

As I began working with them, I sensed “E” was extremely paranoid of lockdowns. She asked me about them every day. I finally asked if she had lockdown drills at her previous school, or if they happened to be real, meaning an intruder was in the building. To my dismay, she said they were not drills, but they happened because there was an intruder.

A Good Prescription

Written by Sister Julia Nicholas on Monday, 11 November 2019. Posted in Miracles Hits 378

A Good Prescription

Today's Miracle Monday is the experience of Sister Julia Nicholas from the Muncey Indian Reserve, in Ontario, Canada, as recorded in the August 1952 issue of The Gospel News. It also appears in Vol. 1 of the church history book.

On the night of March 26,1940, I dreamed that a visitor came to see me when I was sick. He sat on a chair at the foot of my bed. When he began to talk, the first thing he said was, "I see you're very sick." I replied, "Yes."

There was a glass of water on the stand beside my bed. He asked, "Where do get that water?" I told him we got it just aways down. Then he said: "Well, I have water that is better than that."

Spread the Good Word: Moroni 8:16

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 08 November 2019. Posted in The Good Word Hits 462

Spread the Good Word: Moroni 8:16

Today, we're talking Moroni 8, hoping to learn more about our Good Word theme of "Boldness."

This chapter contains a letter from Mormon to his son Moroni shortly after Moroni's ordination into the ministry. It's full of sage advice for everyone, especially those called to leadership.

We're looking at verse 16, which is almost an aside within a larger discussion about the abomination of baptizing children. Moroni condemns the baptism of little children with boldness — without fear or doubt, in complete confidence.

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