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"Lessons learned from Lola Fania"

FEBRUARY 26, 2015 Baggao, Cagayan Valley WOMANHOOD: "The Highest Place of Honor" “For her price is far above rubies!"(Pro...

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Things I've Learned from Marriage Year 1


1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt make your husband your number 1.
“A man wants a woman who will place him at the top of her priority list – not second, but FIRST. He wants to be the king-pin around which all other activities of her life revolve. He does not want to be the background music to her other interests and dreams. This desire in not necessarily a conscious one, but an inner need …” – Helen B. Andelin, Fascinating Womanhood, p.107
I realized that my number 1 role as a wife is to help bring out the best of my husband.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
What are some of the things women tend to place ahead of their husbands?
a. The Children
b. Homemaking
c. Appearance
d. The Wife’s Parents
e. Money and Success
f. Careers, Talents and Activities
I learned that it is important to be good at the things mentioned above. 
However, our reason behind our advancement is far more important. Ex. we take care of our husband just the way we look after our children. We want to enhance our physical appearance to please not the people around us but our husband.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
Thou shalt not take the name of your Husband in vain. Protect your husband’s reputation.
The Prophet Joseph Smith counseled the Relief Society to “teach women how to behave towards their husbands, to treat them with mildness and affection. When a man is borne down with trouble, when he is perplexed with care and difficulty, if he can meet a smile instead of an argument or a murmur—if he can meet with mildness, it will calm down his soul and soothe his feelings; when the mind is going to despair, it needs a solace of affection and kindness”
We never mock, joke rudely, humiliate, curse, criticize nor talk bad about our husbands behind or in front of him.We praise and appreciate him. We recognize his divinity.

4. Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy.
Go to church together and spend the day with the Lord.
“The Lord Jesus Christ is the focal point in a covenant marriage relationship. Imagine that the Savior is positioned at the apex of a triangle, with a woman at the base of one corner and a man at the base of the other corner. Now consider what happens in the relationship between the man and the woman as they individually and steady “come unto Christ”, and strive to be perfect in Him.” (Moroni 10:32). Because of and through the Redeemer, the man and the woman come closer together.” – Elder Bednar
 This year, my husband and I established holy habits that include praying together, companionship scripture study and going to church together diligently. We make sure that we add new habits only after we successfully strengthened the ones we are currently working out. 
I also enjoy supporting each other with our church callings. 

5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
Honour your father-in-law and your mother-in-law. How?
“If we truly honor [our parents], we will seek to emulate their best characteristics and to fulfill their highest aspirations for us. No gift purchased from a store can begin to match in value to parents some simple, sincere words of appreciation. Nothing we could give them would be more prized than righteous living for each youngster.” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982, p. 348.)
I learned that having a fine and a respectful relationship with my in-laws strengthens our marriage.

6. Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not keep grudges or harbor anger, resentments and bitterness.
I often say to my husband, "our home is not a house of complaining, but a house of forgiving!"
President Gordon B. Hinckley taught,
“If husbands and wives would only give greater emphasis to the virtues that are to be found in one another and less to the faults, there would be fewer broken hearts, fewer tears, fewer divorces, and much more happiness in the homes of our people”
I learned that a long-lasting marriage requires a never ending forgiveness. 

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Be Loyal to your Spouse. 
Forgiveness is the beginning of an honest path. You never keep a secret from your spouse. My husband and I wrote down rules on how to protect our marriage. We set limitations on how we should treat the people around us; co-workers, friends, our families and especially the opposite sex. We discussed the role of social media in our relationship. We strive to avoid situations where we can be dishonest. We gave up some habits we identified unhealthy for our companionship. 
                                  I learned to seek counsels from my husband first before anyone else.                  
8. Thou shalt not steal.
Be transparent in all of your budgeting and expenditures.
Budgeting is not solely a mother's task. This is done together as a couple. I learned that as a family we should set goals and each should have knowledge of the family's current financial status. When parents include their children in this activity, everyone can adjust happily with no complaints according to the plans. My husband and I also made a rule we called the "500 bill notice". Each of us is allowed to buy anything below 500 pesos without permission. 
An approval is required if  the price is higher than that.  

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
Be honest with your spouse at all times, and all things and in all places. 
Sometimes we might be tempted to tell a lie because we do not want to hurt our spouse or unintentionally lie due to our spouse's exaggerated reaction to our mistakes. I am learning to stay calm and to never raise my voice when misunderstandings and arguments arise. I learned that bearing false witness is also saying things you do not actually mean. I am learning to keep my words thoughtful, plain and most of all from the heart. Words can be more painful than physical wounds. It takes longer time to heal. 

10. Thou shalt not covet.
Thou shalt not compete with your spouse.
Our spouse is our reflection. Marriage diminishes our tendency of selfishness.  It taught me to prioritize my husband's welfare before any of my personal pursuits. I learned that loving him means to sacrifice for his happiness. It means slowing down or speeding up in this journey so no one will be left behind. We are to take each step together with charity, patience and holding hands. I used to say never to run faster than MY strength but now it changed to "OUR" strength.
Marriage is teamwork.

Marriage Year 1 had lots of adjustments to do. It was joyful, exciting, tearful and full of tests. I got to know not just my husband more but also myself. I am very grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ. It enabled me to forgive, love and sacrifice beyond my own limitations. I am also deeply thankful for my husband. My love for him grows stronger as the days go by. He is God's greatest gift to me. Truly he is a reminder of Heavenly Father's plan for  me.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Regular Spiritual Check-Up


I imagined Alma as a spiritual doctor while reading this chapter. His questions are like a personal check up list on how healthy our spirits are. I will use this from time to time to measure my spiritual growth and to be reminded of the spiritual vitamins and medication I need to take:

_____ 1. Have you sufficiently retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers? Yea, and have you sufficiently retained in remembrance his mercy and long-suffering towards them? And moreover, have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance that he has delivered their souls from hell? v.6

_____ 2. And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? v.14

 _____ 3. Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body? v.15

 _____4. I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth? v.16

 _____5.  Or do ye imagine to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say—Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth—and that he will save you? v.17

 _____6. Can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God with your souls filled with guilt and remorse, having a remembrance of all your guilt, yea, a perfect remembrance of all your wickedness, yea, a remembrance that ye have set at defiance the commandments of God? v.18

_____7. Can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances? v.19

 _____8. If ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now? v.26

 _____9. Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins? v.27

_____10. Are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life. v.28

_____11. Is there one among you that doth make a mock of his brother, or that heapeth upon him persecutions? v.30


Repentance. Repent, repent, for the Lord God hath spoken it! He sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you. v.32-33

Study the Gospel daily. Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely; v.34

Service. Come unto me and bring forth works of righteousness, and ye shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire— v.35 For behold, the time is at hand that whosoever bringeth forth not good fruit, or whosoever doeth not the works of righteousness, the same have cause to wail and mourn. v.36

Listen to the Prophets and Leaders. And now I say unto you that this is the order after which I am called, yea, to preach unto my beloved brethren, yea, and every one that dwelleth in the land; yea, to preach unto all, both old and young, both bond and free; yea, I say unto you the aged, and also the middle aged, and the rising generation; yea, to cry unto them that they must repent and be born again. v.49

Be baptized. And now I say unto you, all you that are desirous to follow the voice of the good shepherd, come ye out from the wicked, and be ye separate, and touch not their unclean things; v.57 For the names of the righteous shall be written in the book of life, and unto them will I grant an inheritance at my right hand. v.58 Come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life. v.62

"Our Weaknesses and Humility"


For tonight's Family Home Evening (FHE), my husband shared this beautiful lesson. He started by relating a story about a cracked pot.

A waterbearer in India had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole, which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it. While the other pot was perfect, and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the mistress's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to her master's house. The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream: "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."

               Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"

"I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your mistress's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in her compassion she said, "As we return to the mistress's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some.
But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them.“For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my mistress's table. Without you being just the way you are, she would not have this beauty to grace her house."

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots.
But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. We've just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them.
There's a lot of good out there.

Indeed we are all cracked pots. We are all imperfect. We each has weaknesses.
BUT there will always be beauty and divinity inside of us! 
He then taught me a formula on how to overcome these cracks in our lives found in Ether 12:27 in the Book of Mormon,

HUMILITY + FAITH = Weak things become strong

Our weaknesses should draw us closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. It is a tool to help us recognize that we couldn't do anything without His enabling power. We both shared a weakness we wanted to improve for this week. We concluded our FHE with this activity found in the Preach My Gospel:

Attribute Activity
Read each item below carefully. Decide how true that statement is about you, and choose the most appropriate response from the response key. Write your response to each item in your study journal. Spiritual growth is a gradual process, and no one is perfect, so you should expect to rate yourself better on some items than on others.

Response Key
1= never
2= sometimes
3= often
4= almost always
5= always

____41. I am meek and lowly in heart. (Matthew 11:29)
____42. I rely on the Lord for help. (Alma 26:12)
____43. I am sincerely grateful for the blessings I have received from the Lord. (Alma 7:23)
____44. My prayers are earnest and sincere. (Enos 1:4)
____45. I appreciate direction from my leaders or teachers. (2 Nephi 9:28)
____46. I strive to be submissive to the Lord’s will, whatever it may be. (Mosiah 24:15)

Be Humble. Stay Humble.
If we do our Best, God will do the Rest. 
If we could only do 80% of the job, the Atonement will complete the 20% remaining.
For with Christ, we can do all things. 
He makes every impossible, POSSIBLE. 
Have a Goodnight Everyone!