In the ranks of today’s Latter-day Saints, there are thousands who serve in the armed forces. Here are five ways we, as an LDS community, can best support troops and their families.
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1. Be friendly.
“Accept us as part of the ward, even if you know we won’t be there very long. Build a real friendship—that’s the biggest help,” said Lindsay Madsen. Sometimes when a military family enters a new ward, the members are slow to friendship, regarding them as transients because they may not stay. “I find that there’s a lot of support in the form of people just being my friend and being there for me, and keeping an eye out for me when they know my husband might not be around,” added Sarah Raines.
2. Invite them to dinner and holidays.
“Invite military families to your home for dinner or for special occasions when spouses are deployed,” said Miranda Lotz. On two separate occasions, the Relief Society president in Miranda’s ward invited her over for a Mother’s Day dinner because her husband was gone. “Those special times are often the loneliest, and no one wants to intrude into others’ holiday celebrations, but being invited . . . makes your holiday more bearable.”
3. Be an active home or visiting teacher.
How can your family history help you understand your own identity? Read one man's tips on how family history can be more than just genealogy.
The image above is being used for illustrative purposes only and does not reflect the opinions or feelings of the models found therein. Image from iStock.
I grew up in Utah as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so I know that my four-generation family chart has been filled out my entire life. I know the names on my family tree and have visited many of my ancestors’ graves over the years, but I never really got to know any of them. I wondered why it was so important to know who my great-great-grandparents were and why their journals were important to read. But throughout the process of growing up, as I tried to understand who I really was—and still am—I realized that knowing about my ancestors helped me a great deal. Here are three things that I learned about myself from family history work, which may help you learn something about you.
Be Proud of Who You Are
When I would introduce myself to people in my hometown by my full name, they would respond with a nod of respect and an approving smile. At my father’s funeral, one of my cousins explained this feeling as she ended her remarks. It’s something my grandfather told her to say when introducing herself: “Tell them who you are—you’re a Devey.”
If you've ever found yourself wondering about the answers to the many questions posed in the Book of Mormon, a new book will help.
Over the last couple centuries, a lot of questions have surrounded the Book of Mormon—queries about its origins, its authenticity, and its teachings have been perpetuated by skeptic and believer alike. The book's contents are no different. From the first writings of Nephi to the dying testimony of Moroni, the Book of Mormon contains questions from an astounding 61 individuals—including prophets, missionaries, investigators, and apostates. Alma the Younger asked a grand total of 103 questions, Nephi posed 41, and the Savior Himself included 35 questions during his short ministry among the Nephites.
Luckily for us, this abundance of inquiry need not go unanswered. In their book 52 Life-Changing Questions from the Book of Mormon, authors John Hilton III and Brad Wilcox help us to not only recognize difficult questions from scriptures, but to discern the answers through true doctrine. The following is a brief sample taken from their text.
Question: Wherefore can ye doubt?
When Nephi was trying to convince his brothers to try to obtain the brass plates from Laban, he said, “Now behold ye know that [what I say] is true; and ye also know that an angel hath spoken unto you; wherefore can ye doubt?” (1 Nephi 4:3). Laman and Lemuel had seen an angel—yet they still had doubts. Some people today are in a similar situation—they are in a position where they should know, but they remain unsure.
Advances in technology offer new and easier ways to live life. Check out these 10 apps that can help you live and learn about the gospel even better.
Would you like to read the sealed portion of the plates? Or know the body temperature of translated beings? How about find a GPS tracker for all of the Three Nephites? Well, there’s an app for that.
Actually, there isn’t, but at the rate technology is advancing, you might not have to wait much longer. As we become a smartphone species, people create apps for seemingly everything under the sun. A historically industrious and assertive people, it was only a matter of time before the Latter-day Saints jumped on board. We all know about LDS Tools and the Gospel Library, but dozens of individual members have taken the initiative to create digital programs that could best be described as “in the App Store, but not of the App Store.” Here’s a sampling:
Wardplan creator Greg Trimble described his app as a great way to “get the right people working on the right things in the right priority.” For anybody who’s ever sat in a ward council, you know how effective those meetings can be—but you doubtless also know that often, they’re not nearly as effective as they could be. The Wardplan app seeks to maximize that productivity. Essentially, it provides members a quick and easy way to organize and prioritize their ward or auxiliary assignments. For iOS only, Wardplan is available for under a dollar on the App Store.
Pornography runs rampant throughout our world, and although we are all encouraged by our Church leaders to avoid it, it’s still a snare that can entrap anyone. But for those who do become ensnared in pornography, it’s much easier to break free with the help of loved ones and family. Here are a few things to say (and not say) when someone you love tells you they’re struggling with pornography.
What Not to Say
“You know it’s wrong, right?” Yes, they know. And yes, they already feel bad about it. Saying something along these lines will only make them feel more ashamed of their weakness. G. Sheldon Martin, author of Helping Others Avoid and Overcome Pornography, says, “If individuals are going to make it through this challenge, they cannot bear the weight of constant shame. People do not improve when they feel there is nothing to fight for. For true repentance to occur, people must feel godly sorrow. We need to allow that sorrow to happen so the Lord can work within them. Don’t kick them while they’re down.”
“You could get over it if you prayed (or read your scriptures, attended meetings, or simply tried) more.” This statement mistakenly equates a loved one’s difficulty of overcoming their addiction with a lack of faith. Even the most faithful people can struggle with pornography. And trust me, they have prayed about it—hard. Their struggles are not due to a lack of faith. Sexual thoughts are some of the strongest our minds create, so the adversary knows that if he can turn these thoughts against us, real addiction can happen. And pornography can become a severe addiction—has strong as drugs, tobacco, or alcohol. “Praying harder” is not a sure-fire way to overcome this problem.