July 19, 2015

My talk today in Ray 2nd Ward

Collin is my dada
Nikki is my mama
I'm freddie and I'm 3.5, my sister, Hattie, is 1
We just moved into a new house. 
I love to look at the book of Mormon with my family. It makes me feel really happy. 
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.  

Thanks Freddie. He saw all those boys get up here last week and he thought it was so cool and wanted to get up and speak too, so thank you so much for your good example to my son.  Hi, I'm Nikki smith and We were asked to share our thoughts on Linda k Burton's talk from this past general conference called, We'll Ascend Together. After studying it I feel impressed to talk to you about Love. 

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

We have a lot of relationships in this life. W Our families, ward members, coworkers, neighbors, classmates, people we talk to at the grocery store, park, library... We interact w people all day long.  
My family is among the most important relationships to me. I need them and they need me. We look to each other for support, for help, for answers to problems. 

Linda k Burtons says, "As covenant-keeping women and men, we need to lift each other and help each other become the people the Lord would have us become."

In our 6.5 years of marriage Collin and I have lived in 6 different places. We are very social people we love jumping right in and getting involved in the ward and community where we live. We love getting to know people and making good friends and going to activities and throwing parties. Sometimes it's been really hard and scary. But We have found that when we go out of our comfort zones and make the effort to get to know people, we are so blessed. Some of the people we have met over the years we have stayed in touch with, some not so much. Some we have crossed paths with again and some we will never see again in this life, but everyone we have met has touched our lives one way or another and have helped us grow and learn something. 

The church is amazing. No matter where we go, we have this support system and structure.  No matter how hard change and transition is, I know My kids are going to have primary, and my husband is going to go to elders quorum and have brotherhood and I'm going to go to relief society and have sisters. We are going to have a bishop who loves us. 
We don't ever have to be alone. I think God gives us this because he loves us.  I think it's up to us whether we take advantage of these things or not. 
In the short time we have been here in Ray 2nd Ward, we have seen 4-5 missionaries get their calls, give farewell talks, go through the temple or leave for their missions. We have met people who have touched our souls and even people who I completely trust and have asked for help. There is a lot of love in this ward. 

Thomas S Monson:

Brothers and sisters, some of our greatest opportunities to demonstrate our love will be within the walls of our own homes. Love should be the very heart of family life, and yet sometimes it is not. There can be too much impatience, too much arguing, too many fights, too many tears. Lamented President Gordon B. Hinckley: “Why is it that the [ones] we love [most] become so frequently the targets of our harsh words? Why is it that [we] sometimes speak as if with daggers that cut to the quick?”9 The answers to these questions may be different for each of us, and yet the bottom line is that the reasons do not matter. If we would keep the commandment to love one another, we must treat each other with kindness and respect.

Collin and I, are both opinionated loud people plus we are both oldest children who think we are right about everything. When we were about to get married one of our bishops counseled with us and told us we will probably butt heads a lot but that our opinions and passions could become strengths if we could learn to work together. 
He was totally right. 

Over the years we are learning to not be so competitive. We have  been humbled and have gone through trials that have brought us together. We are learning to work together and be less contentious. We have the desire to have peace in our home and raise our children in confidence and love. But we still mess up. 

Isaiah 63:9 speaks of Jesus Christ:
In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
-the motivation behind the atonement was love. Love makes it all possible. God asked us all to love each other as ourselves. To me that means that we should give others the benefit of the doubt that they are doing the best they can with what they have been given. 

The perfect love Jesus Christ has for us was again demonstrated when he was visiting the people on this continent after his resurrection....
3 Nephi 17
1 Behold, now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked round about again on the multitude, and he said unto them: Behold, my time is at hand.
2 I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time.
3 Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.
4 But now I go unto the Father, and also to show myself unto the lost tribes of Israel, for they are not lost unto the Father, for he knoweth whither he hath taken them.
5 And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.
6 And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.....
he asked for all the sick to come forward and blessed them one by one.
Then he asked for all the little children to come forth and one at a time, he blessed them, prayed for them and spent time with them. 
11 And it came to pass that he commanded that their little children should be brought.

He had important work to do. He is a God. But he is also our older brother. The scripture doesn't say that they begged him to stay or that they even said anything at all...It says that he looked at them, observed what their needs were and he had compassion on them. He made time for them. This is how he showed his love for them.  

This reminds me of my mother. I have a 16 year old brother-he's the last one at home and he is super busy with school and sports and church responsibilities. And my mom and dad are super involved with everything he's involved in. This is how they were w all of us. 
My mom specifically is so busy and she's late a lot of times, she over schedules herself, she can't say no to anyone....it drives us a little crazy sometimes!!! but when my mom comes and visits us at our house, we're the most important people in the world. She always leaves my house later than she supposed to because she's finishing up reading books with her grandkids, or just talking or taking out the trash. And she's probably going to be late to her next appointment but she'll get there and then they will be the most important people in the world. She and my dad are very generous with their time. I love them.

Linda burton in her talk recalls the times of having small children and the difficulties from day to day that come with that and how she was so happy when her husband would come home every evening.  but she also shared that she regrets how she often focused on the long list of to-dos and what was on the schedule that night instead of focusing on having fun with her family and things that mattered most. I'm so grateful to read her words and feel the spirit touch my heart and remind me of what's most important and that I can change to be more focused on them. 

I challenge you all to listen to the spirit. If you have not yet felt the Holy Ghost today tell you something you can do or change, I encourage you to pray to Heavenly Father and ask him for guidance. I have a testimony that God hears and answers our prayers. 

Robert D Hales shared this proverb: 
“Thee lift me and I’ll lift thee, and we’ll ascend together.”

I know that relationships are so important. God made this earth for us to come get bodies and become like himself and our savior. And he also sent us here to find love, and to learn from each other. I know the relationships we make are eternal. 

I love my husband so much. He's my best friend and we are working at becoming better together, everyday. I love my babies and I love being a mother. It's the hardest and best thing I've ever done. I love my parents and family so much too and I'm thankful for everything they've taught me. I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know this gospel is true. 

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

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