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Mother of the Year Goes to.... Not Me

Every morning I go to the gym to exercise. I love it because I have a lot of friends there (it's my adult interaction for the day...hahah...but seriously...), endorphins are released, I feel powerful and strong....etc. Fast forward to about 10 minutes after I arrive home.

Kids are fighting over who grabbed the box of cereal first.

Tears are rolling down cheeks from, "Cameron looked at me in a mean way."

Fights are breaking out between who has to be the flippin' monkey in the middle...

You get the idea.

So pretty much all the good I do at 5:30 in the wee early morning hours gets completely undone. (Perhaps I should schedule my workouts to after the kids leave for school instead?)

Anyway, today was no different. The kids actually all got ready on their own really well without any fights. They had a good 20 minutes to kill before we had to leave for school. They decided to play a game (but not the blasted Monkey in the Middle game...No! No! I banned that game [and 'jinx&#…

Tati's Talk, "Are we Not all Beggars"

Are We Not all Beggars
Tatiana Southam
12/31/2017

Introduce family, story of how we met
Moved here 6 months ago. Became rusty waiting to speak in church

This time of year is always one of my favorites. I love seeing the good in people come out. I love seeing people conscientiously serving other people in need. Just from our ward alone, I’ve seen countless acts of charity:
-people buy treats to help support the financial burden of a relative
-people take in another family’s children as the mother had to leave occasionally
-people supply dinners for a family who didn’t have time to prepare meals themselves
-Neighbors take a friend on a walk around the neighborhood to relieve the parents for a short time
-the youth singing uplifting songs to ward members, and cleaning up yards for those who needed assistance
-People waving at me every time I pass through the neighborhood. 
-People raking the leaves of their neighbors, even though they were also in need of help
-People plowing the driveways and sidewalks of their neighbors
-Ward members doing yard work for others in the ward
-I’ve seen people all over the neighborhood be “booed” or “socked” at Halloween and Christmas time.
-I have seen the love of Christ as I witness you all serve each other.

In Elder Holland’s talk “Are we not all beggars,” he poses the question, ‘How can we “do all that we can?”’ We all are in different financial circumstances. Some may have “a lot” while others may have “little.” However, no matter your financial situation, you can still do “all that you can” --Even those in the most humble of circumstances.

Jesus Christ himself didn’t have much. His monetary possessions were few. Yet He did all that he could to relieve the burdens of those around him. He healed the sick, he forgave, he loved the people, he taught by example and with patience. (find specific stories in scriptures)

As I have pondered on this question myself of “how can we do all that we can”, I came up with a few ideas through an acronym that I hope you all can remember--LIFT:

Love: Seeing others through God’s eyes. We dont look at their imperfections. I attended a TOFW Conference several years back where a quote from Sister Marjorie Hinckley was shared that really struck me. She said she truly learned how to be a happy person when she was about 50 years of age--which was when she stopped comparing herself to others. She was able to see other people as God’s children. Equal. I love going to the temple--in part because I love seeing everyone dressed in white. It is easy for me to see people through God’s eyes this way. If we are able to look at people this way outside of the temple, our lives will be filled with much more enjoyment.

Pres. Uchtdorf said “We are not perfect. The people around us are not perfect. People do things that annoy, disappoint, and anger. Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn how to let go of such things.  That is the Lords way. Remember, Heaven is filled with those who have this in common: they are forgiven, and they forgive.”

Blame keeps wounds open. Only forgiveness heals. (Monson)

Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. 

D&C82:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, my servants, that inasmuch as you have forgiven one another your trespasses, even so I, the Lord, forgive you.
Forgiving (Joseph in Egypt). 

Elder Holland: “...be kind regarding human frailty—your own as well as that of those who serve with you in a Church led by volunteer, mortal men and women. Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we.”

Beware of Pride (quotes): “Most of us consider pride to be a sin of those on the top, such as the rich and the learned, looking down at the rest of us. There is, however, a far more common ailment among us—and that is pride from the bottom looking up. It is manifest in so many ways, such as faultfinding, gossiping, backbiting, murmuring, living beyond our means, envying, coveting, withholding gratitude and praise that might lift another, and being unforgiving and jealous.”—Ezra Taft Benson
Inspire: Praying for those who need help (Alma/Amulek and Zoramites. Enos)
Generous in fast offerings/mission funds/humanitarian funds: Fast offerings enable us to share our blessings with others. A minimum donation is the value of the two meals not eaten while fasting. A widow with three young children was out of funds and in debt. Her bishop, seeing a crucial need, wrote her creditors—and several substantially reduced her bills. Then, through fast offering funds, other bills were paid. This financial help and subsequent guidance from priesthood leaders restored the family’s self-respect and helped them become self-reliant. Both sons later served missions; all three children later married in the temple. (See Ensign, Feb. 1979, p. 23.)
Blessings also await the giver. Many who pay tithes and offerings testify that the Lord has opened the windows of heaven and poured out blessings unto them. 
Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Because I have been sheltered, fed by thy good care,
I cannot see another’s lack and I not share
My glowing fire, my loaf of bread,
My roof’s safe shelter overhead,
That he too may be comforted

Don Ward and refugees
A journalist once questioned Mother Teresa of Calcutta about her hopeless task of rescuing the destitute in that city. He said that, statistically speaking, she was accomplishing absolutely nothing. This remarkable little woman shot back that her work was about love, not statistics. Notwithstanding the staggering number beyond her reach, she said she could keep the commandment to love God and her neighbor by serving those within her reach with whatever resources she had. “What we do is nothing but a drop in the ocean,” she would say on another occasion. “But if we didn’t do it, the ocean would be one drop less [than it is].”9Soberly, the journalist concluded that Christianity is obviously not a statistical endeavor. He reasoned that if there would be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over the ninety and nine who need no repentance, then apparently God is not overly preoccupied with percentages
Elder Holland said, “As King Benjamin taught, cease withholding our means because we see the poor as having brought their misery upon themselves. Perhaps some have created their own difficulties, but don’t the rest of us do exactly the same thing? Isn’t that why this compassionate ruler asks, “Are we not all beggars?”11 Don’t we all cry out for help and hope and answers to prayers? Don’t we all beg for forgiveness for mistakes we have made and troubles we have caused? Don’t we all implore that grace will compensate for our weaknesses, that mercy will triumph over justice at least in our case? Little wonder that King Benjamin says we obtain a remission of our sins by pleading to God, who compassionately responds, but we retain a remission of our sins by compassionately responding to the poor who plead to us.”

Friendship: Friend to ALL neighbors (members and non members). Make them feel included.
Lifting others up (a note, a compliment, a smile). Sharon Falardeau, Jim Southam, Dyana
Seeking out those who are lonely/lost (Jesus’ story of the 99 sheep)

Teach: Home/Visiting Teaching
Teaching within your church calling
Within our own families. Some of the greatest work we do is within our own homes.
Lead by example.
Each year for Christmas, our family likes to participate in a Sub for Santa. The first year we started doing it, our oldest was about 3. We found, with the help of our bishop at the time, a sweet older lady who we grew to love. We called her Grandma G. She had a rough life. A history of abuse, drugs, and medical issues. She lived alone, and the only income she had was from her social security checks, which was barely enough to pay the rent. We helped her out with a lot of BASIC necessities: pots and pans, clothing, and groceries. At first when we would visit, I didn’t want to stay long because of the cigarette smell that permeated her apartment. But as we kept visiting her to find her needs, we grew to really care for her, and see her as our Father in Heaven sees her. She was a child of God. And although she had made many mistakes in her life, so had we. Who were we to judge her solely off her sins and her past? One night before we left she hugged me for a while and cried saying, “You guys are angels.” She said she had not felt that loved in a really long time.

It hit me that night on a drive home that she hadn’t felt loved in so long. I began crying and my 3 year old said to me, “Mommy are you sad?” I responded that no, I wasn’t sad. I was happy to feel the love of Christ and to share His love with someone who really needed it. “ What a neat teaching opportunity for me and my daughter.

Isn’t that really what it’s about when asked how we are able to “do all that we can?” To LOVE people the best we can. To uplift those are are hurting, to ease the burdens that seem to fall on someone you love. This life is about relationships. It’s about our relationship with others. It’s about our relationship with our God. It’s about our relationship with ourselves. Its about LIFTING (loving, inspiring, friendshipping, and teaching) those around us.

Elder Holland: “While I’m not my brother’s keeper, I am my brother’s brother.”

Bear Testimony

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