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My family of nine just moved from Arizona to Utah in a three week whirlwind of hard work and blessings. We listed our house for sale November 1, received an offer November 2, accepted it November 5, signed the paperwork November 21, and moved November 23. It was intense.


This whole move felt impossible. I told my children to watch for miracles, because God was asking us to do impossible things, and that meant there would be miracles…and there were. I can’t begin to list them all, but the fact that I am currently sitting in my living room in Orem is proof that there were miracles.

Thomas Edison said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

I have learned that miracles often come in the same way, and we don’t always recognize them as the blessings they are because all we can see is the work involved. This great blessing - and we still don’t know the extent of the blessing, but trust it will unfold in time - came about through lots and lots (and lots) of work, but as we moved forward in faith, we were strengthened and blessed to do more than we could do on our own. That was a miracle.


After the Israelites returned to Jerusalem, they rebuilt their homes and put their lives back together, but waited to rebuild the temple. The Lord chastened them, warning them to consider their ways. He instructed them to “Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord.” (Haggai 1:2-8)


Then the people “obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the Lord.” And the Lord was with them. (Haggai 1:12-13)


When they began to rebuild the temple, the Lord told them, “be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts:


“According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.” (Haggai 2:4-5)


The Lord was exhorting His people to move forward in faith, give their best effort, and work hard to do what they had been asked to do. He promised that as they did so, He would be with them, and they didn’t need to fear. When we are called to do hard things, this is still His exhortation, and His promise. This move required all of my strength, and all the work I could do, and as I put aside my fears and actively chose to trust in the Lord, He was with me, and He strengthened me. I did have fear, but I had to choose faith instead, over and over again, and then I could do what I was given to do.


I also found peace and strength in the temple. I love the Lord’s words to Haggai: speaking of the temple, He said, “and in this place will I give peace.” Isn’t that a beautiful summary of what we find in the temple? So many times when I was struggling with overwhelm and fear at the impossible task before me, I went to the temple and found peace. I didn’t always find all the answers to my problems, but I found the strength to keep going, and my heart was calmed and comforted. I am so grateful for the peace God gives in the temple as we come to commune with Him. He is calling us there, so He can give us peace.


I pray that we will all take the opportunity to consider our ways, to be strong and do the work we are called to do, and to go to the house of the Lord where He is ready and waiting to give peace to those who will seek Him there. He wants to bless us, but we have to be willing to put the work and the time in to receive the blessings He has already prepared for us. When we do so, we will be able to do all we are asked to do, for He will be with us.


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The Lord asked the Israelites to build a temple. They were getting distracted by other things. In Haggai 1:6-8 the Lord is telling them that they are more concerned with temporal things and they need to build the temple.


What is he saying in verse 6? What happens when we rely on ourselves rather than the Lord?


In verse 7 the Lord is telling them to “consider their ways.” What does this mean? How can we consider our ways?


Watch the video https://youtu.be/sCcxyU5CRYU about how fitting the “Big Rocks” or important things in our lives first helps us make sure we can do what we need to.


The Lord isn’t asking us to physically go build a temple, but He has asked us to do things. What does the Lord ask us to do? What are the Big Rocks we should be putting in our jar first?


The picture of the Jar works similarly. The words/pictures are the big rocks or commandments from the Lord. The coloring is the good things that are less important, and glitter is the not important things that we fill our life with.


Have your child write (Or draw pictures) in the jar the first priorities that your family has so that you are following the Lord. Then have them color it (markers will make the glitter easier) while talking about the things we need to do, but come second. Then have them glue glitter on the jar and talk about the things we sometimes waste our time with but enjoy.


Optional Activity:

Watch “Good, Better, Best” from Dallin H. Oaks’ 2007 October conference.



PRINTABLE ACTIVITY PAGE

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Updated: 6 days ago


“The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him” (Nahum 1:7). That last phrase, “He knoweth them that trust in Him,” really stuck out to me. I’ve been thinking a lot about trusting in the Lord and following His prophet. How do I show my trust in the Lord each day? I show it by studying my scriptures and praying sincerely. I show it by being a good steward over my body and loving my children in the ways they need to be loved. I show my trust by fulfilling my calling in church and in my family. I show it by praying and reading the scriptures with my family. There are lots of ways that we act on the trust we have in the Lord. As I put my trust into actions, I come to know my Savior better.


My husband and I read/listened (I read, he listened) to a book recommended to me about praying: The Circle Maker. It’s by a man who’s a Christian, but not a member of The Church. It’s a fantastic book that’s given me lots to think about, and my ponderings on the subject have led me to increased inspiration and revelation about how I can improve. Same for my husband; I’ve noticed a change and difference in him since he listened to most of the book (I don’t believe he’s finished it). We’ve had some deep conversations and have set some goals individually and together as a couple to improve our prayers. He’s doing better than I am, and I’m super proud of him and his progress! He’s pretty amazing, and I’m grateful to be sealed to him for all eternity.


The other night, my husband was asking me about what we needed to be doing to follow the prophet better. We went back to the conference President Nelson was sustained as President of the Church in and looked up his talk from the Sunday morning session. It’s been quoted in every conference since then too, so you KNOW that it’s important for us. As mentioned above, my husband and I have been working on our personal prayers. In his talk, President Nelson said,

“Pray in the name of Jesus Christ about your concerns, your fear, your weaknesses - yes, the very longings of your heart. And then listen! Write the thoughts that come to your mind. Record your feelings and follow through with actions that you are prompted to take. As you repeat this process day after day, month after month, year after year, you will ‘grow into the principle of revelation.’”

We realized that we have not been following the prophet to the best of our ability. That was pretty specific counsel he gave us. I have not been writing the thoughts down that come to my mind and I have not been recording my feelings. I can and must do better. He’s the prophet and mouthpiece of the Lord. The Lord has spoken through Him, and I need to be obedient. How can I expect the Lord to bless me if I choose not to obey? I can’t. If I am not doing what he’s counseled me to do, then who am I trusting in?


The Doctrine and Covenants teaches us that “when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” (D&C 130:21). I’ve been desiring to increase my “spiritual capacity to receive revelation” like he urged us to do, but what have I been doing differently to get that blessing? To receive the blessings I desire, I have to keep the laws and commandments that bring about those blessings. In the book Insights from a Prophet’s Life: Russell M. Nelson this principle was reiterated in a secular sense. When he was lecturing to medical students about the body and its heart, one asked something like, “What if it doesn’t work?” His response was, “It will always work, because divine law is irrefutable. [...] You’d never climb into an airplane if you didn’t have confidence there are laws that, when obeyed, give an airplane life and allow it to take off. An airplane will always work if the pilots obey the laws that govern lift correctly, because air is buoyant and will support weight. Likewise, everything a doctor does is predicated upon the fact that if the laws are obeyed the results are certain” (Insights, 50).


[Somewhat random sidenote: the more I study and learn about any of God’s creations, the body, trees, the brain, animals and their instincts etc, the more I am surprised that anyone can believe in the Big Bang Theory. There is intelligent design in every aspect of this world and in us. How can all of that be random?]


In that same book, President Nelson further taught, “You can pray all you want, you can hope all you want, but until the law is fulfilled upon which that blessing is predicated, it won’t happen” (Insights, 50). So if I want to do as the Prophet has said and “increase [my] capacity to receive revelation.” Then I need to do as he said to do. He taught us in that wonderful conference address when first called, “Nothing opened the heavens quite like the combination of increased purity, exact obedience, earnest seeking, daily feasting on the words of Christ in the Book of Mormon, and regular time committed to temple and family history work.” What changes have you made in your life since then? It’s been 4.5 years since he spoke those words. Remember that we as humans can’t change too much at once or it won’t last. That’s a real thing, a natural law. We need to learn and improve bit by bit, line upon line, precept upon precept. 1% better - that’s the way to make it last.


Don’t feel defeated if you are frustrated or unimpressed with the amount of progress (or lack thereof) you’ve made in the last few years, or even the last year. Remember what we learn from the ancient Israelites. These prophets in this Come Follow Me block, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah weren’t just prophets prophesying their doom for lack of obedience and improvement, they also taught about God’s mercy and deliverance. Zepheniah counseled them to “Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness” (Zephaniah 2:3). Our prophet’s message for us in our day is the same.

  • Seek the Lord - “increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation”; “earnest seeking, daily feasting upon the words of Christ in the Book of Mormon”

  • Seek righteousness - “increased purity, exact obedience”; “find rest from the intensity, uncertainty, and anguish of this world by overcoming the world through your covenants with God” (source)

  • Seek meekness - [meekness from ancient Greek can also be translated to mean “self mastery”] “My call today, dear brothers and sisters, is to end conflicts that are raging in your heart, your home, and your life. [...] I plead with you to do all you can to end personal conflicts that are currently raging in your hearts and in your lives” (source) “Today I would like to suggest five specific actions we can take to help us maintain positive spiritual momentum” (source)

  1. Get on the covenant path and stay there

  2. Discover the joy of daily repentance

  3. Learn about God and how He works

  4. Seek and expect miracles

  5. End conflict in your personal life


The Christmas season is upon us. How can I trust in the Lord better than I have been? His message for me today is the same to all His children over the ages: “Come, follow me.” Following Him by heeding the counsel He gives though His prophets, is a sure way to receive the blessings promised to us. Like Nahum teaches us, “The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him” (Nahum 1:7).

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I'm Tiffany and I live in sunny Arizona (love me some sunshine!). I have 5 beautiful daughters. I know what you're thinking, that's A LOT of estrogen! and you'd be right, but we have some of the greatest times known to mankind through our adventures in learning (we homeschool), loving, playing, and growing together. In my spare time, I love to read (I own literally thousands of books) and hike in the beautiful mountains near my home.


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