Monday, September 11, 2017

I just came across this "object lesson about being sealed in the temple and thought it was a good one! I remember when Lanning and I were engaged we had so many wonderful moments together, and he said something about how grateful he was that not just we were going to be sealed together but also all the times we've shared together would be sealed to us too....
The Empty Jar and Temple Sealings
The Empty Jar and Temple Sealings
While I appreciated all of the many gifts, cards and well wishes that Kim and I received at our wedding, there was one gift in particular that stood apart from the rest.
An empty jar.
Attached to it was a letter with a quote from S. Michael Wilcox and a note from some dear friends. I couldn’t finish reading the letter (I got a little teary) and had to have Kim read the rest of it for me.
From S. Michael Wilcox:
“My wife often cans peaches and pears in the fall. A great deal of work is necessary just to prepare the fruit. Then, once it is prepared, she puts it into jars, places the seals on, twists the lids tightly into place, and sets the jars in boiling water. Then she waits for the seals to set.
She has performed this operation dozens of times with hundreds of jars. In all that time I have never seen her seal an empty jar. Unless the jar is loaded with fruit, a seal is not placed. I doubt if anyone, among the thousands who can fruit every year, has ever sealed an empty jar. There must be something to preserve or the seal has no significance.
The sealing of temple covenants is similar. When we are married at the altars of the temple, the Lord, from one point of view, gives us an empty jar. Then he instructs us to fill it with the wonderful fruits of righteous marriage. We fill it with love and compromise and forgiveness and joy and peace and shared trails; we fill it with all the things of life, all the good fruit. As we keep our covenants, returning often to renew them as we work for the dead, the jar begins to fill. As we grow older and our love deepens, we desire to preserve forever all the good we have stored. 
Our abiding in the covenant allows the Lord to place the seal on our covenant relationship and preserve the fruits of our righteousness for all eternity. This is the same for all temple covenants. Nobody seals an empty jar; neither does the Lord seal empty covenants. First there must be fruit to preserve.”
After the quote was this note from our friends:
In the temple, you were given an empty jar as a present. Eternal marriages are not made at the altar. They are made by the things that you will do together and for each other every day thereafter. May you spend your lifetime filling your jar with all of the sweet things of your life together.
With love and best wishes for your marriage, The Snyders

Sunday, August 27, 2017

During the Saturday afternoon session of the October 1992 general conference, Elder Marvin J. Ashton gave his address titled "A Yearning for Home." He invited members to focus on returning to their heavenly home.

“When we have a yearning and don’t know what it is for, perhaps it’s our soul longing for its heartland, longing to be no longer alienated from the Lord and the pursuit of something much higher, better and more fulfilling than anything this earth has to offer." 

During the Saturday morning session of the April 2015 general conference, President Boyd K. Packer gave his address titled "The Plan of Happiness." During his talk, President Packer spoke of the Savior's Atonement and what it makes possible as it is applied. 

“I bear witness that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of the living God. He stands at the head of the Church. Through His Atonement and the power of the priesthood, families which are begun in mortality can be together through the eternities. The Atonement, which can reclaim each one of us, bears no scars. That means that no matter what we have done or where we have been or how something happened, if we truly repent, he has promised that he would atone. And when he atoned, that settled that. There are so many of us who are thrashing around, as it were, with feelings of guilt, not knowing quite how to escape. You escape by accepting the Atonement of Christ, and all that was heartache can turn to beauty and love and eternity.”

During the Saturday afternoon session of the October 2008 general conference, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin gave his address titled "Come What May, and Love It." Elder Wirthlin spoke about reactions to adversity and how those contribute to happiness and success. 

“As we look for humor, seek for the eternal perspective, understand the principle of compensation and draw near to our Heavenly Father, we can endure hardship and trial. We can say, as did my mother, 'Come what may, and love it.'” 

During the Saturday morning session of the April 2015 general conference, Elder L. Tom Perry gave his address titled "Why Marriage and Family Matter — Everywhere in the World." Elder Perry reminded members that family is the key to eternal happiness. 

“My brothers and sisters, the restored gospel centers on marriage and family. It is also on marriage and family where we can unite most with other faiths. It is around marriage and family where we will find our greatest commonality with the rest of the world. It is around marriage and family that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the greatest opportunity to be a light on the hill.

"Let me close by bearing witness (and my nine decades on this earth fully qualify me to say this) that the older I get, the more I realize that family is the center of life and is the key to eternal happiness."

During the Sunday morning session of the April 2007 general conference, President James E. Faust gave his address titled "The Healing Power of Forgiveness." He reminded members that on their path to a higher level of self-esteem and well-being, forgiveness is essential. 

“The Savior has offered to all of us a precious peace through his Atonement, but this can come only as we are willing to cast out negative feelings of anger, spite or revenge. For all of us who forgive 'those who trespass against us,' even those who have committed serious crimes, the Atonement brings a measure of peace and comfort.”

During the priesthood session of the April 2004 general conference, Elder Neal A. Maxwell gave his address titled "Remember How Merciful the Lord Hath Been." During his talk, Elder Maxwell invited the brethren to recall memories and count their blessings. He also spoke of using agency to follow God. 

"Brethren, there are clusters of memories embedded in each of your lives. And these can help us to 'remember how merciful the Lord hath been' (Moro. 10:3). He certainly has been to me!

"Brethren, as you submit your wills to God, you are giving him the only thing you can actually give him that is really yours to give. Don’t wait too long to find the altar or to begin to place the gift of your wills upon it! No need to wait for a receipt; the Lord has his own special ways of acknowledging."

During the priesthood session of the October 1994 general conference, President Howard W. Hunter gave his address titled "Being a Righteous Husband and Father." President Hunter encouraged priesthood holders to uphold their responsibilities and work toward eternal salvation for the entire family.

"A man who holds the priesthood regards the family as ordained of God. Your leadership of the family is your most important and sacred responsibility. The family is the most important unit in time and in eternity and, as such, transcends every other interest in life."

“The way to unity is for us to learn the will of the Lord and then to do it. Until this basic principle is understood and observed, there will be no unity and peace on the earth. The power of the church for good in the world depends upon the extent to which we, the members thereof, observe this principle.”-President Marion Romney

Due to health issues, during the Saturday morning session of the October 1982 General Conference, President Spencer W. Kimball's personal secretary, D. Arthur Haycock, read his address titled "The Lord Expects Righteousness." President Kimball's address focused on the changing times and the everlasting gospel. He also shared his witness of living prophets and apostles. 

"My brothers and sisters, there seems to be a general state of wickedness in the world in these perilous yet crucially momentous days. But in the midst of all the turmoil about us, we can have an inner peace. We are richly blessed and have so much to be thankful for. As I meditate upon these things, I remember the words of the Lord, 'For unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required' (Luke 12:48). The Lord expects of us righteousness and obedience to his commandments in return for the bounties of life he has so richly bestowed upon us."

During the Sunday afternoon session of the October 1982 general conference, President Nathan Eldon Tanner gave his address titled "Let Us Do As We Have Been Counseled." President Tanner reminded members to be obedient to the counsel of the Lord. He also expressed his gratitude for general conference.

“I wish to thank the Lord that we can participate in this kind of service and go away from here determined to improve our lives and to be an influence for good in the world. And I bear testimony that this is the work of the Lord. I know it is true, and if we will live according to its teachings, we will have greater joy than we will find in any other way.”



During the priesthood session of the October 1973 general conference, President Harold B. Lee addressed priesthood holders in his "General Priesthood Address." He spoke about being chaste and the importance of temple covenants.

"Brethren, let us have our eyes fixed on the eternal value of things, with an eye single to the glory of God, and say each to himself, that 'from now on, God being my helper, I am not going to engage in any activity unless it helps me to move myself further toward that goal of eternal life, eventually to return back to the presence of my Heavenly Father."



Sunday, July 23, 2017

  • I loved this entry on thesmallseedinstagram:
  • "'Come as you are,' a loving Father says to each of us, but He adds, 'Don’t plan to stay as you are.'"
    -Jeffery Holland

    Thinking today about the wonderfully inclusive plan of the Lord, who ate with sinners, had compassion on the sick, healed the outcasts, and noticed the invisible. He is the true source of tolerance and acceptance that the world desires so deeply. 
    But, instead of offering the false compassion of the world, telling us we are happy in sin, illness or bondage, the Lord offers us more. He does not have to lie to us to appease our guilt or lack. He can accept us as we are, knowing He can make more of us than we thought we could be.

    Feeling grateful for the freedom that comes through Him. Freedom to be loved now AND freedom to change for the better. He is the way. -xoxo Johanna

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"I love these little people, and it is not a slight thing when they who are so fresh from God love us." -Charles Dickens

Monday, April 17, 2017

"One forgets all through the year how lovely spring really is & so it comes as a surprise every time." -L.M. Montgomery "Pat of Silver Bush"

Our dear friend Liff shared this quote with me. It is so true! We are loving the new growth and buds of spring that are starting to show.  We are still waiting for our tulips to bloom this year... so this is a photo from many years ago, i think on our honeymoon to the Butschart Gardens.  Spring is such a hopeful, joyous time of year! Our girls are so excited about the dandelions they can pick now as we go on walks...i'm sure the neighbors don't mind if the girls pick a handful of them as we walk by;) 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

"I feel to invite women everywhere to rise to the great potential within you.  I do not ask that you reach beyond your capacity.  I hope you will not nag yourselves with thoughts of failure.  i hope you will not try to set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve.  I hope you will simply do what you can do in the best way you know.  If you do so, you will witness miracles come to pass."
-President Gordon B. Hinckley

Thursday, February 23, 2017


“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

 Lao Tzu

I may have already posted this quote, but i wasn't able to find it. (I really need to organize the quotes better!) Anyways, there is so much truth to this. When i think of the times in my life that i was down and depressed, i was either longingly remembering the past, or lamenting decisions and actions of the past.  And the times I feel anxiety it is usually when i am fretting about something in the future or fears of future events, etc... little children are great examples of living in the present. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

"There is a terrible ailment of pessimism in the land. It’s almost endemic. We’re constantly fed a steady and sour diet of character assassination, faultfinding, evil speaking of one another. …
I come … with a plea that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I’m suggesting that we accentuate the positive. I’m asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue and effort.
I am not asking that all criticism be silent. Growth comes with correction. Strength comes with repentance. Wise is the man or woman who, committing mistakes pointed out by others, changes his or her course. I am not suggesting that our conversation be all honey. Clever expression that is sincere and honest is a skill to be sought and cultivated. What I am suggesting and asking is that we turn from the negativism that so permeates our society and look for the remarkable good in the land and times in which we live, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism. Let our faith replace our fears.
We have every reason to be optimistic in this world. Tragedy is around, yes. Problems everywhere, yes. But … you can’t, you don’t, build out of pessimism or cynicism. You look with optimism, work with faith, and things happen.
Do not despair. Do not give up. Look for the sunlight through the clouds. Opportunities will eventually open to you. Do not let the prophets of gloom endanger your possibilities."
this is so so applicable today! love the optimism of this wise and prophetic prophet!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

“I have to plant some trees each spring,” President Gordon B. Hinckley recorded in his journal at age 82. “I think I have done so for at least the last 50 years. … There is something wonderful about a tree. It starts ever so small and grows through the seasons. It affords shade from the hot summer sun. It bears delicious fruit. It carries on the remarkable process of photosynthesis. … A tree is one of the remarkable creations of the Almighty.” -President Gordon B Hinckley

Monday, January 16, 2017

I am a child of God

1. I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.
[Chorus]
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.
2. I am a child of God,
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words
Before it grows too late.
3. I am a child of God.
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will
I'll live with him once more.
Yesterday at Sacrament meeting the kids were super wiggly and had a hard time paying attention to the speakers...but the closing hymn was "I am a child of God" and it was like the kids throughout the congregation all beamed and sang so loudly and i saw a huge grin on the choristers face! Even my kids who hardly ever sing were singing along with big smiles on their faces. A moment i never want to forget. The spirit was so thick and the ward felt so united! Young and old! There is a version of "I am a child of God" on lds.org that Oliver watches over and over again, he'll say "God, 'gain"  and watch it so happily! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

"Fifty was my favorite age.  It takes about that long to learn to quit competing-to be yourself and settle down to living.  It is the age I would like to be through all eternity!" -Marjorie Hinckley

My oldest brother just turned 50! I'm excited for him and this new stage of life he is entering. He is a grandpa of a darling and endearing one year old. He is a proud family man, a dedicated business man, and a constant disciple of Jesus Christ. So grateful to have him for a big brother.