Devotional

Our First Priority

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Tuesday, 04 August 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2221

Our First Priority

Priorities.

We talk about them a lot.

Spending time with our loved ones. Finishing the projects at the office. Saving for retirement. Watching the newest episode of our favorite television show.

We rank them in our own way, and our days are usually spent with one of them at the top of our mind.

But what about our relationship with the Lord? Shouldn't that come first? I hardly think we would have committed this verse to memory if it wasn't meant to be.

What She Is Becoming

Written by Sister Vicki Ali on Thursday, 30 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2174

What She Is Becoming

I've done it, and no doubt every person reading this has, too — looked at a picture of yourself or a loved one from the past and compared it side-by-side to a recent photo or the reflection in the mirror.

A Facebook friend posted a picture of her daughter as a toddler next to one of her four years later. She tried to express and process, as we all do, disbelief at the speedy effects of time in her child's life. Her comments ended with something that really resonated with me. She said, "I love what she is becoming."

Blogger's Choice: Time to Level Up

Written by Sister Erin Light on Wednesday, 29 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2986

Blogger's Choice: Time to Level Up

Today's Blogger's Choice highlight is from Sister Erin Light. She chose her article "Time to Level Up," originally published on April 30, 2013.

She says, "I like when God's inspiration surfaces to 'connect the dots' from our lives to His Word in peculiar ways; this article, for example, is a fun throwback to my 1990s childhood, reliving a familiar pastime!"

I will forever be grateful to my parents for making sure my childhood was chock-full of books, museums, and the great outdoors of trampolines and jungle gyms.

That being said, I secretly knew that when we took an airplane flight, Mom would reach into her purse and pull out the elusive Nintendo Gameboy, complete with "Super Mario Land 2." After takeoff, I'd have a precious hour to fight my way past acrobatic bears and zippy turtle shells until it was homework time and the video game disappeared until the next vacation.

Godly Gifts

Written by Sister Karen Watford on Thursday, 23 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2414

Godly Gifts

When I was young, I heard much talk about the gifts given to men from God and desired to receive a gift also. While visiting in Pennsylvania, my brother had many in-depth scriptural conversations with Grandpap, who had been an elder in our church for many years.

After one of these discussions, my brother requested that Grandpap bestow or confer a gift on him like men of old did in the Old Testament. While praying, Grandpap was led to ask for two certain gifts for my brother. When my brother came home and told me about it, I was so happy for him and desired for Grandpap to do the same for me.

Taking the Gospel Where It Is Not

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Tuesday, 21 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2429

Taking the Gospel Where It Is Not

We recently had an evangelist ordination in our branch, and one of the definitions I heard is that an evangelist is someone who brings the Gospel where it is not.

And I like that definition because, in my mind, I immediately started thinking of those in Africa or in Nepal or the poverty I saw for myself in Guatemala City.

It was stressed, however, that this definition doesn't just apply to places that aren't Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It applies at home, too.

But what we didn't mention is that when we say, "An evangelist is someone who brings the Gospel where it is not," the "where" does not just mean a place or a group of people. It can mean a single person — literally anywhere.

Which Kind of Pray-er Are You?

Written by Sister Erin Light on Thursday, 16 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 8123

Which Kind of Pray-er Are You?

This is part two of a two-part article. See yesterday's post for part one.

Yesterday, I confessed that I'm often more of a Prayer Worrier than I am a Prayer Warrior. Today, I'm going to share a few other examples of different prayer "personalities."

As you think about them, I hope they encourage you to explore your own tendencies regarding prayer in an effort to draw closer to the perfect pattern: "pray without ceasing" (#lifegoal) and daily communication with God.

Note: "Pray-er" (noun) Person who prays.

Prayer Warrior or Prayer Worrier?

Written by Sister Erin Light on Wednesday, 15 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2553

Prayer Warrior or Prayer Worrier?

I've begun to realize that my prayers have a tendency to be driven by my worries. "Dear Lord, please help me so I don't _____," and "Dear God, I worry ____ in my life won't work out."

I know I'm supposed to be a prayer warrior, but sometimes I find that I'm more of a "prayer worrier."

My life is full of what-if scenarios and the anticipation of what might go wrong next. I expect rough patches. I stress and try to plan in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. I struggle to release control, and I worry if God will answer me the way I think it should be handled.

Blogger's Choice: Spinach Pie

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Tuesday, 14 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2235

Blogger's Choice: Spinach Pie

Today's Blogger's Choice highlight is from Brother Jerry Valenti. He chose his article "Spinach Pie," originally published on December 4, 2012.

He says, "I chose this article because I think it's a good illustration of how we need to make sure the primary ingredient of The Church (God) is not left out of our worship services. As a side benefit, nobody makes spinach when I visit their homes now."

Some years ago, I was in Detroit, Michigan on business, and the group I was with decided to go out to dinner in an area of Detroit known as Greektown. I was somewhat concerned as I'm not someone who typically likes to experiment with different cuisines, and as I started looking over the menu, my worst fears were realized as I desperately searched for something I thought I could eat. I finally settled on an entrée known as spinach pie.

Blogger's Choice: Live Fearlessly

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Thursday, 09 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2187

Blogger's Choice: Live Fearlessly

Today's Blogger's Choice highlight is from Sister Alena Ricci. She chose her article "Live Fearlessly," originally published on July 16, 2014.

She says, "I chose it because with my upcoming departure for an extended trip in Chile, the idea of living fearlessly and taking that jump into the waterfall yelling 'Geronimo!' is a very critical feeling for me. I have spent a lot of time worrying about everything, from other people's opinions to variables that I can't even control, and this one reminds me to let it go and just live fearlessly."

Five Steps to Becoming a Conqueror

Written by Brother Frank Natoli on Wednesday, 08 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 3536

Five Steps to Becoming a Conqueror

Note: This is part two of a two-part article. See yesterday's post for part one.

Yesterday, we talked about being more than a conqueror. Today, let's discuss how we become that way. How do I get my name written in the Lamb's Book of Life?

As a church, we believe that obedience to the Gospel is necessary to obtain salvation by taking the following actions:

  • Believe and have faith that Jesus Christ is the risen Savior of the world
  • Repent of your sins with a desire to sin no more
  • Be baptized by immersion in water for a remission of sins
  • Receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands
  • Live righteously, remain faithful, and endure to the end of your life

More Than Conquerors

Written by Brother Frank Natoli on Tuesday, 07 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2604

More Than Conquerors

Ever wonder what you have in common in with Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great and Attila the Hun?

Probably not a lot, but there may be one exception — they were conquerors and so are you!

Webster's dictionary defines a conqueror as someone who acquires gain by force, but it goes on to say that it's also someone who acquires gain by overcoming obstacles.

The Sun Is Always Shining

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Thursday, 02 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2532

The Sun Is Always Shining

When I was young, a big priority in the United States was the quest to explore outer space. I am old enough to remember when men first walked on the moon. At the time, there was talk about eventually putting together an expedition to travel to Mars and perhaps even other planets at some point.

Around this time, I heard someone suggest that we should organize a trip to the sun. "How ridiculous," we said. You couldn't possibly come anywhere near the sun without burning up. But wait, this person had it all figured out — we can go there at night!

Blogger's Choice: Straight and Narrow But Not Always Flat

Written by Brother Rich Nath on Wednesday, 01 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2157

Blogger's Choice: Straight and Narrow But Not Always Flat

Today's Blogger's Choice is from Brother Rich Nath. He chose "Straight and Narrow — But Not Always Flat," originally published on June 6, 2012.

He says, "I chose this article because the vision of the straight and narrow is one of my favorite stories in scripture. Plus, it reminds me of how I got to one of, if not the worst, times of my life and how God brought me up and over the mountain. Life is full of hills and valleys, but no matter what, Jesus Christ is always there to guide me along the way."

I've heard the story of the straight and narrow path many times (1 Nephi 8), whether it be during sermons, classes, seminars, or reading the chapter myself. Lehi describes a dream where he saw the Tree of Life and a straight and narrow path leading to it. A rod of iron was seen next to the path, acting as a guide to those walking along.

Lehi said that when a mist of darkness came over the path, only those clinging to the rod of iron were able to press forward and make it to the Tree of Life. The others, who did not hold on to the rod, wandered off the path and were lost.

It's Not Fair!

Written by Sister Enza Pusillo on Thursday, 25 June 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2887

It's Not Fair!

One of the hardest things I discovered about parenting is that saying "No" to your child is no small, easy task, especially as they get older.

I guess one of the inevitabilities of parenthood is that, at some point, your children begin uttering phrases like "It's not fair," "I never get to have any fun," and "You never let me..."

A parent's reasons for saying no can range from "You're too young" to "It's not appropriate for you." It may be an act of discipline, not the right "season" in the child's life, or a simple lesson in patience — that a child must wait for or earn a desired thing.

Blogger's Choice: Casting Out Demons

Written by Sister Stefanie on Wednesday, 24 June 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2014

Blogger's Choice: Casting Out Demons

Today's Blogger's Choice is from Sister Stefanie. She chose "Casting Out Demons," originally published on July 31, 2013.

She says, "It's my favorite because it was the most powerful experience I've ever had. I had been struggling with it for weeks, and I had asked to be anointed because I wasn't feeling well, not for the issue — and God knew what I needed even when I didn't think to ask."

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