A Regular Week

A discussion on turning the other cheek appeared to go badly when Herbie and Moses immediately started slapping each other.
“We’re practicing! We're turning the other cheek!"
Deep thoughts about pirates:
Linus: Mom, I know why pirates wear eye patches...  
Me: Oh?  
Linus: It’s so they can see in the dark, when they’re sleeping...  
Me: Ah.  
Linus: Because they sleep with one eye open. Mom, why do pirates sleep with one eye open? 
And a few seconds later...
Mom, why do pirates always get one leg cut off? What happens to them? 

Woo was anxious to surf when he got back, but it hasn't gone well for him. Earlier this week he found a spot with surprisingly no one in it. He soon found out why when he thought he was going to die trying to get out of the surf. It was really rough, and he was exhausted, but he's learned his lesson. The other days he's gone have all seemed to be less than fulfilling also. The weather, however, is still great. Woo is convinced spring has come. If only the waves agreed.

Almost all of Moses' questions for revelation have revolved around his birthday, and what to get with his birthday money. He though Amazon Spain might have the stuff of his dreams, but it just is not great. I let him look, but we both were frustrated. Finally, he settled on a skateboard that Woo is going to take him to pick up on the day of his birthday.

He realized at dinner one evening that he was missing the best field trip possible at home. The 5th graders at home go to iFly, iRock and FlowRider at the end of the year. He cried a little bit, but then rallied, and seems to be okay with it.

Our new rewards system is still working great. Penelope continues to hardly ever cash in rewards. On her late morning she wanted to do more work, rather than cash any in, so she picked up the house and organized Archie's room while I exercised. Her goal was to earn 100 stars, which she did reach later that day. Almost every day she comes home from school and immediately starts setting the table. There was an argument about who got to clear the table the day before.

Archie, again, sat the entire time in primary, straight up, with his arms folded. He participated at every opportunity and stood up in the front to share a story of when he was a peacemaker in school and to bear his testimony about the importance of following Jesus' example in being baptized.

In fact, everyone was so good I had to choose the child who sat up straight, folded their arms, sang the best AND smiled during the whole song for the next reward. I finally feel like we can handle and suitably welcome new kids who've had no earlier experience in primary.

The rewards have also been good for Ruby. We're no longer nagging her to do a bunch of stuff, and she's also doing stuff we'd wished she do, but hadn't been nagged about like throw away an entire box of old drawings/school work and organizing all the dish cupboards in the kitchen.

She planned to give away two Book of Mormons this week. One was to a friend who gave it back because his parents wouldn't allow him to read it. And the other was for her math teacher, but she forgot and it is still waiting in her backpack.

This friend she gave a Book of Mormon to is a bit of a success story for Ruby. He's always been really friendly to her (and Moses and Herbie), but he creeped her out and she began to be pretty mean. However, when seeking revelation about how to handle him, her mind was enlightened on how to be his friend and be kind, without encouraging him in the way she did not want. She's done a good job. Much better than I did with that kind of thing at her age.

Herbie also continues to be a good missionary. He has a friend who has permission from his parents and wants to meet with the missionaries, but had an injury and surprise family visit come up and had to cancel twice. Herbie has been very responsible, contacting the missionaries himself to set up new appointments and cancel ones that will fall through as soon as he knows.

We didn't get a lot of pictures this week. Woo took Herbie and Moses to the skatepark in a bigger city for a joint daddy day.

Well, that's all I have for this week. Hope yours was great!

Also, I gave this talk a couple weeks ago, but keep forgetting to post it. Here you go.

This week I was walking to the store when this line from Mosiah 11:14 entered my head.

 “... and he spent his time ... with harlots.”

This verse is describing wicked King Noah, who was bad, really bad. Way more bad than any of us. However, walking to the store, I recognized that many of us spend more time with harlots than we realize.

When I was in college I did not have a lot of money. I did not want to pay for a TV, nor did I want to pay for its service, so I lived without a TV for a few years.

Then one semester I had a new roommate. She really wanted a TV, and tried to convince me to split the cost with her. I refused. She rented a TV anyway, and invited me to watch with her, thinking I would get hooked and would then share the cost.

I watched two shows with her. These were not overtly bad shows. They were fairly typical family type shows; however, because I had not watched TV in so long I was much more sensitive.

Sex was really high on the show writers’ minds. Even though nothing was obvious because these were family shows, there was A LOT of innuendo. In fact, almost every joke was related to sex.

And after watching only 2 shows I could see that my thoughts were already less pure and, most importantly, I was feeling the Holy Ghost less. I immediately stopped and would not watch another TV show with my roommate.

I had to learn this lesson a couple more times when I had only a couple babies. I tried to watch a TV show I remembered as being funny while folding laundry, but it was so painful to my spirit, I had to quit.

We also tried a Netflix subscription for a short time, but every single movie we watched had something disappointing in it and it was not worth it. We cancelled our subscription.

Something I know now, that I didn’t know then, is that when someone writes a book or an article or a tv show or a movie or a song, they put themselves into it. They can’t help it; it’s what they know. And if that self is less than pure, like most of our media creaters are today, we will consume that unpure spirit, even if they try to pretend they are something else. We are, in one sense, spending our time with harlots.

I read a talk this week by Elder D Todd Christofferson. In it he said, “It is not enough for you or me to be somewhat less wicked than others. We are to become not only good but holy men and women.” 

I think it is easy to boost ourselves up by thinking things like, “Well, I’m more patient than my spouse.” Or “I don’t swear as much as my co-workers.”

However, our spouses, or our co-workers or our mothers or our fathers or any other person we know is not the standard we are commanded to live up to or even surpass. Our standard is Jesus Christ, and if we have not reached His standard in any given area, than we have work to do.

Jesus Christ lives. He has a physical body. Yet I think few of us stop to think about what He’s doing all day or at any given moment.

But let’s imagine for a bit...

Do we honestly think that after a long day of preparing the world for His second coming, Jesus Christ sits down in an armchair for an hour or two to watch a few favorite tv shows?

And while traveling around to his various duties, does He listen to senseless pop music sung by singers who openly mock his commandments in their lyrics, dress and lives?

Does he unwind by watching a few inane clips some person he hardly knows and who cares little for him has posted to social media?

When he has a few extra minutes does He pull out His phone and play Angry Birds, Candy Crush or Pokémon Go?

Of course not. The thought of any of these is ludicrous. Jesus Christ would never do these things, and if He did, He would cease to be one with His Father and with the Holy Ghost.

And if we also want the Spirit to be with us always, then we will take a very careful and very honest look at how we’re spending our time and who it really is with.

Mosiah 23:14 says, “And also trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.”

And this is not just talking about in our church meetings, it’s in every second of our lives. We are constantly learning from and absorbing things from the things that we watch, listen to and read.

There was a time in my life, when I thought I needed some of these things to unwind. I would’ve said it was healthy.

Every night after the kids went to bed, I would pull out my phone and I would scroll through Facebook and design blogs. Every single night. Well, except Sunday.

And then about five years ago, the Spirit said to me, “You’ve been doing this every night for two years, and where has it gotten you?

You’re not better friends with anyone. You haven’t designed or created anything yourself. You’re not even “good” at Facebook. What have you learned or done?”

“What if you used this time every night to try and write a book? Where would you be in a year? Two years?”

So I changed my habits. To unwind I started to learn and create.

However, at that time, my daily burden was pretty heavy and writing a book is work; although, a different kind of work than my day job. I still had to recharge and refresh my mind for a few minutes before I could do it.

Kind of by accident I discovered that reading my scriptures for a few minutes was exactly what I needed. It didn’t matter that I’d already read earlier in the day, or that I couldn’t really concentrate on the words, the Holy Ghost recharged my brain and then I could pursue something that gave me real satisfaction, and not only allowed me to unwind and recharge, but also to grow.

And it wasn’t until I’d left it far behind did I realize that my daily Facebook and blog reading was hampering my ability to feel and receive guidance from the Holy Ghost, because I felt much better. I hadn’t recognized the burden I had been under until it was gone.

I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that he loves you and wants to speak with you, but He can’t if you’re choosing to spend your time with those who push Him away.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


Esta semana eu estava a caminhar para a loja quando esta linha de Mosias 11:14 entrou na minha cabeça.

 “...e passava o tempo com meretrizes”.

Este verso está descrevendo o perverso rei Noé, que era mau, e nenhum, se somos como ele; no entanto, quando fui até a loja, reconheci que muitos de nós passamos mais tempo com meretrizes do que imaginamos.

Quando eu estava na faculdade eu não tinha muito dinheiro. Eu não queria pagar por uma TV, nem queria pagar pelo serviço, então vivi sem TV por alguns anos.

Então um semestre eu tive um novo colega de quarto. Ela realmente queria uma TV e tentou me convencer a dividir o custo com ela. Eu recusei. Ela ainda alugava uma TV e me convidou para assistir com ela, porque achava que eu ficaria viciada e dividiria o custo.

Eu assisti dois programas com ela. Estes não foram mostras abertamente más. Eles eram programas típicos de tipo familiar; no entanto, porque eu não assistia TV há tanto tempo, era muito mais sensível.

O sexo era realmente alto nas mentes dos roteiristas. Mesmo que nada fosse óbvio porque estes eram programas familiares, havia MUITAS insinuações. De fato, quase toda piada estava relacionada ao sexo.

E depois de assistir a apenas dois programas, pude ver que meus pensamentos já estavam menos puros e, mais importante, eu estava a sentir menos o Espírito Santo. Eu parei imediatamente e não assisti a outro programa de TV com meu colega de quarto.

Eu tive que aprender esta lição mais algumas vezes quando eu tinha apenas alguns bebês. Eu tentei assistir a uma programa de TV que eu lembrava como sendo engraçado enquanto dobrava a roupa, mas era tão doloroso para o meu espírito que eu tive que desistir.

Também tentamos uma assinatura da Netflix por um curto período, mas cada filme que vimos tinha algo de desapontador e não valia a pena. Cancelamos nossa assinatura.

Algo que eu sei agora, que eu não sabia, é que quando alguém escreve um livro ou um artigo ou um programa de TV ou um filme ou uma música, eles se colocam nele. É inevitável; é o que eles sabem. E se eles são impuros, como a maioria dos nossos criadores de mídia são hoje, nós consumiremos esse espírito impuro, mesmo que eles tentem fingir que são outra coisa. Estamos, em certo sentido, gastando nosso tempo com meretrizes.

Eu li um discurso esta semana do Elder D Todd Christofferson. Nele ele disse: “Não é suficiente que vocês e eu sejamos só um pouco menos iníquos do que os outros; não basta que nos tornemos bons, temos que nos tornar homens e mulheres santos”.

Acho que é fácil estimular-nos pensando em coisas como: "Bem, sou mais paciente do que minha esposa" ou "Não digo palavrões tanto quanto meus colegas de trabalho".

No entanto, nossos cônjuges ou nossos colegas de trabalho ou nossas mães ou nossos pais ou qualquer outra pessoa que conhecemos não é o padrão que somos obrigados a viver ou mesmo superar. Nosso padrão é Jesus Cristo, e se não alcançamos o padrão Dele em qualquer área, do que temos trabalho a fazer.

Jesus Cristo vive. Ele tem um corpo físico. No entanto, acho que poucos de nós param para pensar sobre o que Ele está a fazer o dia todo ou a qualquer momento.

Mas vamos imaginar um pouco ...

Acreditamos honestamente que depois de um longo dia preparando o mundo para a Sua segunda vinda, Jesus Cristo se senta em uma poltrona por uma ou duas horas para assistir a alguns programas de TV favoritos?

E enquanto viaja para suas várias tarefas, ele ouve a música pop sem sentido cantada por cantores que abertamente zombam de seus mandamentos em suas letras, roupas e vidas?

Será que ele relaxa assistindo a alguns clipes fúteis de alguém que ele mal conhece e que pouco se importa com ele postou na mídia social?

Quando ele tem alguns minutos extras, ele pega seu telemóvel e joga Angry Birds, Candy Crush ou Pokémon Go?

Claro que não. O pensamento de qualquer um desses é ridículo. Jesus Cristo nunca faria essas coisas e, se o fizesse, deixaria de ser um com Seu Pai e com o Espírito Santo.

E se também quisermos que o Espírito esteja conosco sempre, então teremos uma visão muito cuidadosa e honesta de como estamos gastando nosso tempo e com quem realmente estamos.

Mosias 23:14 diz: “E também, que em ninguém confieis para ser vosso mestre ou ministro, a não ser que seja um homem de Deus, que ande em seus caminhos e guarde os mandamentos”.

E isso não é apenas falar em nossas reuniões da igreja, é em cada segundo de nossas vidas. Estamos constantemente aprendendo e absorvendo as coisas das coisas que assistimos, ouvimos e lemos. 

Houve um tempo em minha vida, quando pensei que precisava de algumas dessas coisas para relaxar. Eu diria que era saudável.

Toda noite, depois que as crianças iam para a cama, eu pegava meu telemóvel e passava pelo Facebook e criava blogs. Toda noite, exceto no domingo.

E então, cerca de cinco anos atrás, o Espírito me disse: “Fazes isso todas as noites há dois anos, e onde isso aconteceu?

Não estás uma amiga melhor de ninguém. Não projectas nem crias nada. Não estás nem "bom" no Facebook. O que aprendes ou fazes?

“E se usarias esse horário todas as noites para tentar escrever um livro? Onde estarias em um ano? Dois anos?"

Então eu mudei meus hábitos. Para descontrair, comecei a aprender e a criar.

No entanto, naquela época, meu fardo diário era muito pesado e escrever um livro é trabalho; embora, um tipo diferente de trabalho do que o meu trabalho do dia. Eu ainda tinha que recarregar e refrescar minha mente por alguns minutos antes que eu pudesse fazer isso.

Por acaso, descobri que ler minhas escrituras por alguns minutos era exatamente o que eu precisava. Não importava que eu já tivesse lido no início do dia, ou que eu não pudesse realmente me concentrar nas palavras, o Espírito Santo recarregou minha mente e então eu poderia buscar algo que me desse uma satisfação real, e não apenas permitisse me para descontrair e recarregar, mas também para crescer.

E foi só quando o deixei para trás que percebi que minha leitura diária no Facebook e no blog estava prejudicando minha capacidade de sentir e receber orientação do Espírito Santo, porque me sentia muito melhor. Eu não reconheci o fardo que eu tinha sofrido até que ele se foi.

Eu sei que Jesus Cristo vive. Eu sei que ele si ama e quer falar com você, mas ele não pode, se você está escolhendo gastar seu tempo com aqueles que o afastam.

Eu digo essas coisas em nome de Jesus Cristo. Amém.