....we will stand as Witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all Places as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are: Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, Integrity, and Virtue.
So, I have started something that I have wanted to start for a long time: Redo my Personal Progress. The Personal Progress program is this program that is instituted in the LDS Church for the Young Women from 12-18 to do. I finished mine 10 years ago when I was 13. I worked very hard in that year to accomplish it, and I did. The program was based off of 7 Values: Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, and Integrity. A couple years ago a new Value was added to the list: Virtue. I wanted to start this up two years ago after hearing about the new value, but I was in the midst of getting married, school, then having a baby, and I never had time to start it. But I found my old book while we were cleaning out our office and flipped through the pages remembering all of the requirements and projects that I had done and it was fun to reminisce about. Then I was cleaning out my Mustang and found the new Pink book that I had bought many years ago and decided that that must be my sign to start it up again. So I have started from the very beginning, with Faith. Yesterday was the first day of my Personal Progress. About a year and a half ago, right after Jon and I were married, he went and bought me new scriptures with my new name on it (complete with my ! ) and they were so nice I didn't want to start marking them... so I didn't. I love my old scriptures because they have been marked in since I was 8 and I felt like all that progress would be lost if I just started all over again. I have found the opposite to be true. I have a new understanding of the scriptures, and I feel like they are my "married" scriptures and so everything in them will be related to me as a mom and a wife, whereas my old scriptures were my "single" scriptures so everything in there was me growing into a mom and a wife. I love that my new scriptures are going to be Christened with my Personal Progress though!
So my first required value was reading Hebrews 11; Alma 32:17-43; Ether 12:6-22; and Joseph Smith-History 1:11-20 and two General Conference Talks on Faith. Then establish a habit of Prayer. I will admit that I am not the best at morning and evening prayers. I am constantly talking to God though and listening to the Guidance that He sends to me though, so I haven't felt bad about it, but I have officially started having personal, on my knees- official, prayers, and already I'm feeling a difference. I just started this yesterday. It's amazing how great of a difference personal prayer makes. Some of my favourite scriptures with this first one are:
- Hebrews 11:1 "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen"
- Hebrews 11:6 "...without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is
- Alma 32: 17-18 "yea there are many who say: if thou wilt show unto us a sign from Heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall believe (18) now I ask, is this faith? Behold, I say unto you, nay; for if a man knoweth a thing he hath no cause to believe, for he knoweth it"
- Alma 32:23 "little children do have words given unto them many times which confound the wise and the learned"
- Alma 32:27 "if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith... ye can give place for a portion of my words"
- Moroni 12:6 "ye receive no witness till after the trial of your faith"
- Moroni 12:12 "for if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them"
- Joseph Smith History 1:15-16 "I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me.... thick darkness gathered around me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction...when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head"
The second experience that I did today was to read Alma 56:45-48; Alma 57:21 and "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" about a mother's role.
For those of you who are members and know which verses these are, you will believe me when I say that I almost immediately started crying. The versus in Alma that I was to read was the story of the Army of Helaman, Helaman had sent this epistle or letter to Moroni telling him how things were going with his troops, and it is probably one of the most heart warming scriptures.
- In Alma 56:47-48 Helaman writes "Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers saying, we do not doubt our mothers knew it.
- Then in Alma 57:21 "Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them."
Here are the points that really stuck out to me:
- 1st paragraph: "...Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children"
- 2nd paragraph: "All human beings-male and female- are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual permortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose"
- 3rd paragraph: "Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally"
- 4th paragraph: "God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife"
- 5th paragraph: "Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live"
- 6th paragraph: "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities"
- 6th paragraph: "Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners."
- 7th paragraph: "We warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets"
Anyway, that's my fun update. I am really excited to get into this Personal Progress, already it's a much different experience than it was when I was younger. Before it was me growing into a mother and wife and now it's all about ways to become a better mother and wife.