Service and Smiles

A sentiment that I’ve heard quite a bit over the years in discussions of service is that sometimes "all people need is a smile". Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about that and wondering about the times in my life when a smile was all it took to change my...

Ellis Island – The Gateway to America

On today's date, November 12 in the year 1954 Ellis Island closed it's doors after 62 years of operation. In that period of time, over 12 million immigrants had been processed. Today, It is important to note that not all immigrants who sailed into New York went...

Your First Family Home Evening

Although many LDS children have grown up with family home evening, your family will be doing it for the very first time. You want it to be successful right away, so the children will enjoy it. What can you do to make Family Home Evening an instant hit? Keep your first...

Honesty is Always the Best Policy

Mormons believe in honesty. Some struggle with it -- but in the long run it is always the best policy. President Gordon B. Hinckley said, "How cheaply some men and women sell their good names! I recall the widely publicized case of a prominent public figure who was...

Under Scrutiny

We've captured a lot of attention recently. We've had articles and headlines written about us not only in the United States but around the world as well. I'm referring of course to the increasing media attention that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has...

Joseph Smith, Jr. – Praise to the Man

There is a song called "Praise to the Man," written by William W. Phelps and put to an old Scottish folk song. William W. Phelps was in Carthage jail himself, when Joseph Smith, Jr. and his brother, Hyrum, were assassinated. He suffered greatly as he watched the...

Attending School Dances as a New LDS Youth

Soon after beginning to investigate the church, I realized members of the church love to dance. There were church dances several times a month and even a large dance festival. I obtained a dance card (a card that allowed me to attend dances and showed I knew and...

What Do You Do for Fun?

Soon after I was baptized, I was chatting with a classmate on my college campus. After he learned I was LDS, he asked, “Aren’t you the ones who can’t drink, or smoke, or be immoral or anything like that?” I said he was correct. He looked at me, puzzled, and asked,...

The Passion of the Christ: A Sacrifice for Sins

The King James translation of the Holy Bible refers to Christ’s “passion” in the Acts of the Apostles: “Until the day in which [Jesus] was taken up, . . . To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion” (Acts 1: 2, 3). The New International Version of the Holy...

In the Garden

Mankind began, on this earth, in the Garden of Eden. We learn of it and the creation in Genesis, Moses and Abraham. There has been much speculation as to where the Garden of Eden was located. Mesopotamia, Iraq, Turkey . . . on and on the wild speculation has gone on,...

Heber J. Grant: Comfort In the Hour of Death

Heber J. Grant, the seventh called prophet in this modern day, spoke most eloquently about death. Having lost a number of family members young in life, including his wife at 34 years of age, it was a topic he was intimately acquainted with. When President Grant spoke...

Brigham Young: Tithing

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we pay a 10% tithe. Brigham Young, the second modern-day called prophet of the Lord in the Mormon Church, taught us some good thoughts on the principles of tithing and consecration. “If we live our religion we will be...

Teachers Who Misrepresent the Church

Soon after I joined the church, one of my college instructors attacked the church over the large families most members had then. He said we had so many in order to more easily take over the world. I took this environmental science class just after my Institute of...

Single and Mormon Life

You know, looking at the focus on the family in the LDS Church can seem difficult to those who are single. I didn't marry until I was almost 32 years old, and it's only been 12 years. So I was single a lot longer than I've been married. As I grew older and marriage...

The United States Census 1850-1930

In a previous post we discussed the United States Census 1790-1840. Today we’ll be taking a look at the 1850-1930 censuses and what they can tell you. 1) 1850 Census – Though remember this doesn’t necessarily mean they were all related. But from 1850 onward, it...

Keeping Families Connected

On September 23, 1995, President Gordon B. Hinckley presented what has become the Church's definitive statement on the family. This inspired proclamation is titled "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." Families are important to the Church of Jesus Christ of...

Lost in the Woods

Within the borders of Indiana, where my sister-in-law Melanie grew up, there lies a wooded area right next to her parents’ home, owned by a railroad company. Nestled in the middle of the wood is a large field (she thinks it’s wild corn). If she were to start walking...

Youth: Ways to Keep the Sabbath Day Holy

We’ve discussed why we should keep the Sabbath Day holy. For those of us who aren’t the quickest to think of ways to keep it holy, I’m here to help. When you go to church I challenge you to take a look at the members, especially those in your peer group. Is someone...

In Times Like These

Wars and rumors of wars . . . this is a phrase I’ve read and heard so much in the very short forty-four years I’ve lived on this earth. The Lord has said that in the last days there will be “wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s...

Reverence for Life

He is happy for us. He is disappointed in us. He hurts for us. He cries for us. But through it all the value we hold in His eyes is immeasurable, even incomprehensible to mortal minds and hearts. The life of a child born into this world is precious beyond all things...

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