The Power of Music

In her recent talk “Worthy of Our Promised Blessings given at the Women’s Session of the October 2015 General Conference, Sister Linda S. Reeves suggests how we might fortify ourselves in remaining clean and virtuous in an increasingly wicked world.  She mentions the following eight tools we can use to fortify ourselves:

  1. Repentance
  2. Scriptures
  3. Prayer
  4. Temples
  5. Covenants
  6. Sabbath Day
  7. Living Prophets
  8. Virtue

I would like to add a ninth element to her list:  Uplifting Music.

How are you using music to strengthen and uplift yourself and your family?  Are there resources available that you might take advantage of more fully?

Last April I decided to download all the music from General Conference and place it on my  iPod.  I was amazed at the simpleness of the process.  In the same way that re-reading a Conference talk enables you to receive additional insight and inspiration, I discovered that repeatedly listening to the musical numbers has offered an ongoing supply of spiritual upliftment and insight and invites the Holy Ghost into our home.  I was spiritually strengthened by the truths as well as the spirit of the music.

I believe the Lord has made music resources readily available for our use for a reason.  It would seem that our Heavenly Father is beckoning to us to draw nearer to Him through a means that can readily invite His spirit into our hearts:  inspired music.  Discover this rich resource for yourself.  Begin today to more fully welcome the Spirit of the Lord into your lives through inspired music.

Blessings of Ponderizing

What blessings have you experienced from ponderizing a scripture each week?  We have spoken to a few family members including grandchildren who have committed to establishing this worthy habit.  Here are a few observations we can share after our first month of ponderizing.

  1.  Taking time throughout the day to ponder and repeat a passage elevates our thoughts.  If we elevate our thinking we elevate our living.  I love this quote from the poet Wordsworth:

William Wordsworth

“Feed [your mind] with lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues, rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men … shall e’er prevail … or disturb [your] cheerful faith.”

2.  Reflecting on the same passage over a period of time allows the Holy Ghost to illuminate truth that was hitherto hidden from us.  We learn this from Joseph Smith who was moved to an act of great faith after reflecting on the words in James 1:5:


“Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again. . .”                                                                                 Joseph Smith History 1:12

Are you beginning to experience this same miracle–of having passages of scripture come with power into your heart?  Are these experiences moving you to act in faith?

3.  We live in a day when we must increase our exposure to spiritual things.  Elder Dallin H. Oaks teaches:


“Spiritual food is necessary for spiritual survival,especially in a world that is moving away from belief in God and the absolutes of right and wrong. In an age dominated by the Internet, which magnifies messages that menace faith, we must increase our exposure to spiritual truth in order to strengthen our faith and stay rooted in the gospel”                                   April 2015  “The Parable of the Sower”

4.  Staying closely tied to all that is “virtuous, lovely, of good report and praiseworthy” is vital to us as children of God.

In the words of Goethe:


“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry,  and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.”


Blessings of Observing the Sabbath Day

Along with all Church members worldwide we have been encouraged to place a special emphasis on strengthening our relationship with God, the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ through proper observance of the Sabbath Day.  As we have focused on this objective over the past few months we have been amazed at the added blessings that have come into our lives by our efforts to do a number of  “small and simple things” to improve our observance of this “perpetual covenant.”

What experiences have you had in your family as you have put this challenge to the test?  Here are a few insights we have gained as we have taken to heart this inspired counsel.   Continue reading


Addiction Recovery Awareness Month

September has been designated as National Addiction Recovery Awareness Month.  In the new video series, “12 Steps To Change”  on the Mormon channel we discovered that 95% of all addictions begin before the age of twenty. That is a sobering thought.

The question naturally arises, “What can we as parents and leaders do to help protect children and youth from being ensnared by the  bondage of  addiction?”  Our children go into the battlefield every day, surrounded by temptation and evil which we cannot prevent them from encountering.


The following video instructs children regarding how to tap into the logical side of their brain when they encounter pornography–to call it what it is, recognize that it is bad, and to seek support from parents and leaders  to prevent them becoming addicted.  We encourage you to make use of this inspired video in your efforts to teach and prepare children and youth that they may remain safely on the Lord’s side of the line of chastity, virtue, and freedom from addiction.

Photos with Governor

Here are the professional photos from last week’s Investiture Ceremony with the Governor.

With family members following the ceremony

Investiture Ceremony

On Friday September 4 Keith participated in the Investiture Ceremony held at Government House Ballroom where Governor Kerry Sanderson presented this year’s recipients of Australian Honours with their awards.  We were inspired as the various recipients were introduced and their contributions acknowledged. The fields of medicine, education, conservation and the arts were represented to name a few, as well as awards for bravery.

Keith was allowed to invite five guests to witness  the Investiture.  Those who attended were:  Karen, his sister Trish, sons Paul and Peter and daughter in law Amanda.  We were not allowed to take photographs of the Governor bestowing the awards but will have access to professional photographs soon.  In the meantime, here are a few photographs from the evening’s events.  Following the ceremony we were joined for dinner by friends Laurie and Diedre Goodridge and Brother in law Kerry O’Neil.

The beautiful fruit of this plant that heretofore we had not seen.

Law of the Harvest

Yesterday morning Keith was  outside working and came to the door calling me to come outside.  He sounded very excited.  While strolling through the garden on the first sunny day after a week of winter storms to his immense surprise he saw a cauliflower plant that had suddenly and magnificently opened to our view its beautifully formed head.  We had not seen any sign of the forming head in the previous weeks and had wondered if it was producing a head at all.  We picked the head and enjoyed its delicious fruits for  our evening meal.

This experience has been a reminder that the same law that governs gardens is at play in our lives on this earth.  The Apostle Paul taught:

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

                                                                                                (Galations 6:7-8)

I take great comfort in the eternal Law of the Harvest.  It is a reminder to me that the rewards of our works may come soon or late, but they are sure to come.  And like our experience with the cauliflower, the rewarding moments can catch us by surprise at times when we least expect them. These moments confirm our faith and strengthen our hope in good things to come.

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”

(Galations 6:9).