Today for President Thomas S. Monson's 87th birthday, we tried to find six life experiences that the prophet has never shared at general conference. You may not have heard these inspiring stories before!
A Missing Photograph Miracle
Brother Edwin Q. Cannon Jr., we call him Ted, was a missionary to Germany in 1938. He loved the people and served faithfully. At the conclusion of his mission, he returned home to Salt Lake City. He married and commenced his own business.
Forty years passed by. One day Brother Cannon came to my office and said he had been pruning his missionary photographs. (That’s a good word. You go through all of them, throw two away, and keep all rest.) Among those photographs he had kept since his mission were several which he could not specifically identify. Every time he had planned to discard them, he had been impressed to keep them, although he was at a loss as to why. They were photographs taken by Brother Cannon during his mission when he served in Stettin, Germany, and were of a family—a mother, a father, a small girl, and a small boy. He knew their surname was Berndt but could remember nothing more about them. He indicated that he understood there was a Berndt who was a Church leader in Germany, and he thought, although the possibility was remote, that this Berndt might have some connection with the Berndts who had lived in Stettin and who were depicted in the photographs. Before disposing of the photos, he thought he would check with me.
Women today are bombarded by harmful messages in society about their bodies and appearances. And sometimes our harshest critics are the eyes looking back at us in the mirror. When our sense of personal beauty is threatened, it’s important to remember who the rightful beholder of true beauty is—our Heavenly Father.
In the second grade when I got my first pair of eyeglasses, my mother said, “My little girl isn’t pretty anymore.” A few years later, my brother told me I had ugly teeth and called me a rude name.
Years later, I overheard a boy I was dating say to his friends that he thought I was cute, except he thought my nose was too big. Another boy who was teaching me to dive commented that I looked great in a swimsuit, barring my large hips. Yet another boy told me I was a fun person but that I didn’t have much on top. I took all of these comments about my body and tucked them away in my heart. They have stuck with me over the years and negatively affected the way I see and feel about myself.
Eventually I got contact lenses and had my teeth fixed, which helped me feel better about myself. Yet, whenever I looked in the mirror I still saw a big nose, large hips, and a flat chest. I habitually wore long sweaters and shirts to cover my hips, padded bras to enhance my chest, and avoided wearing swimsuits like the plague.
These experiences have taught me that words can have a deep impact on people— for good or bad. Why do those careless, negative words seem to stick like superstrength adhesive while the positive ones slide off like soft butter? Why do we so willingly believe the negative words?
When will the Second Coming be and how can we prepare for it? Find out the truth behind 5 myths about Christ's return to earth.
In working as a religious educator for almost four decades, I have been delighted to witness a significant rise in what might be called scriptural literacy or gospel scholarship among the young people of the Church. This is a tribute to devoted mothers and fathers, advisers and teachers, seminary and institute instructors. Our members are simply more capable and adept at utilizing the standard works in finding answers to their questions, seeking divine guidance, and explaining or defending the teachings of the restored gospel to those not of our faith.
And yet, there are certain misleading concepts, unsupportable ideas—myths—that persist among our members. Recently I wrote of five myths about the Millennium. Let me now suggest some mistaken notions I have encountered about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Myth #1: Every person on earth will have heard the message of the restored gospel before the Lord returns in glory.
I suppose this idea has spread because of the Savior’s declaration on the Mount of Olives: “And again, this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come, or the destruction of the wicked” (Joseph Smith-Matthew 1:31).
Every Monday, we're excited for FHE, but a lot of hard work goes into it! Follow the 10 emotional stages parents go through as they get ready for this night of family learning and fun.
Mondays are the worst. But Monday nights are the best! Time for family home evening!
Wait. You haven’t actually planned FHE yet. You have no lesson plan, the house is a mess, and there's nothing in the cupboards for dessert.
You can do this. You do this every week. Just delegate some tasks to the kids, shove the kids' toys into the hall closet, and throw some store-bought cookie dough in the oven.
You've shopped, cleaned, and planned, but nobody else is ready for the epic FHE you've prepared.
Time to round up the kids.
Make sure they pay attention.
They won't sit still long. You've got ten minutes tops before they run off again.
After someone attempts or commits suicide, the things we say to those affected can help heal--or cause hurt. Find out what and what not to say to someone whose loved one has attempted or committed suicide.
When I was in high school, my father attempted suicide several times. He ended up committed into psychological and addiction institutions more than once across a range of months. As a family, we desperately struggled to cope with this trial.
I remember that we had to lock up everything that could hold an edge, from my shaving razor to seam rippers to straight pins. I remember wondering if I would come home to find my dad alive or not. And I remember the things that people said--both good and bad.
My heart goes out to the children of beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams, who committed suicide earlier this week. Some of the things said over social media about him and to his children have ranged from caring and supportive to thoughtless and downright cruel.
In light of the Williams' experience and mine, I'd like to propose my list of things you should and shouldn't say to the loved ones of someone who has attempted or committed suicide:
Click here to find out what you should and shouldn't say to someone with depression.