Eternal Marriage

Here is an excerpt from a talk I gave at church on September 30, 2018. It has not been posted with complete documentation on all my sources, but each should be easily found with a Google search if you need it. If you cannot find the source to a certain quote, let me know and I’ll pull it up for you.

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Hi, my name is Leslie Householder; as Nicholas said we moved in recently and are glad to be here. We have seven children, with 3 ½ still at home (I say half because he is sometimes with us, sometimes away at school). You met Nick, and our youngest daughters are almost 15 and 12. Thank you for your warm welcome to us.

I am passionate about my topic: maintaining an eternal marriage, not because ours has been only blissful but because the joys that have sprung out of getting through our difficulties have been extraordinary.

We’ve learned that marriage has a way of accelerating one’s personal growth and deepening one’s relationship with the Lord, when those challenges are faced in the Lord’s way. So many rewards OR tragedies sprout from, and hinge on those seemingly insignificant moments of decision, and we’ve experienced both. We’ve also discovered that the more difficult the challenge or decision, the greater the reward for setting OUR will aside and clinging to the covenant.

As James E. Faust said, “Happiness in marriage …can exceed a thousand times any other happiness.” And I can attest to this.

I told Brother Kennedy that this is a challenging topic for me, because I really want to just spew about everything we’ve learned in our marriage, but a lot of it would be too heavy for a sacrament meeting. I said, “I think many people divorce over much less than what we’ve gone through together.”

So today I just hope to touch on some principles of that I believe can be helpful to any marriage. And with this, I include a reminder from President Faust that, “Those who are single through no fault of their own, if worthy, will be given the blessings, if they wish, of an eternal [marriage and] family relationship.”

So that is the goal: to build and enjoy an Eternal Marriage.

It was the load

Elder Bednar shared a story of his friend who went too far along a snowy road. As he steered the truck off of the road at the place he had determined to cut wood, he got stuck. All four of the wheels on the new truck spun in the snow. Sometimes we feel stuck in our marriages, too, like there is no progress or improvement.

He said his friend decided:

“‘Well, I will not just sit here.’ So he climbed out of the vehicle and started cutting wood. He filled the back of the truck with the heavy load. And then determined he would try driving out of the snow one more time. As he put the pickup into gear and applied power, he started to inch forward. Slowly the truck moved out of the snow and back onto the road.”

He continued,

“I pray for the assistance of the Holy Ghost as I emphasize vital lessons that can be learned from this story about my friend, the truck, and the wood. It was the load. It was the load of wood that provided the traction necessary for him to get out of the snow, to get back on the road, and to move forward…

“Each of us also carries a load. Our individual load is comprised of demands… obligations… afflictions… and constraints.

“Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load. But bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness. Because our individual load needs to generate spiritual traction, we should be careful to not haul around in our lives so many nice but unnecessary things that we are distracted and diverted from the things that truly matter most,” (David A. Bednar, “Bear Up Their Burdens With Ease“).

And avoiding the heavy load, or choosing not to carry it at all, can literally rob us of the potential blessings and joy that were connected to the experience, for which the load was given to us.

This paradoxical idea gives me a new understanding of the scripture in the Joseph Smith Translation of James 1 that says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into many afflictions;” The King James version uses the word “temptations” but the index explains Afflictions, not temptations, help to sanctify us.

So, when we find ourselves in tremendous afflictions in our marriage, how can we overcome them? How can we gain the promised blessings of joy and progress when sometimes we are not united in how to solve them?

Since every situation is different, and since only God knows the full and complete situation, the decisions we make get us from here to the ultimate goal MUST be guided by the Spirit.

While we can get answers from studying the scriptures or reading counsel that the Lord has given to the early saints, we can get even more specific, relevant, and timely guidance directly from the Holy Spirit.

Larry Lawrence in Oct 2015 General Conference explained that the Spirit gives personalized, specific, direction when we prepare ourselves to receive it. He said:

I knew a faithful mother who humbled herself and asked [for guidance…] In her case, the response from the Spirit came immediately: “Stop complaining.” This answer surprised her; she had never thought of herself as a complainer…

A humble young man who couldn’t seem to find the right young woman went to the Lord for help: [His] answer came into his mind and heart: “Clean up your language.” …

A single sister bravely asked [for guidance]… and the Spirit whispered… “Don’t interrupt people when they are talking.”

The Holy Ghost really does give customized counsel. He is a completely honest companion and will tell us things that no one else knows or has the courage to say.

The Holy Ghost doesn’t tell us to improve everything at once. If He did, we would become discouraged and give up. The Spirit works with us at our own speed, one step at a time, or as the Lord has taught, “line upon line, precept upon precept, … and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, … for unto him that receiveth I will give more.”

God’s ways – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways.” Isaiah 55:8-9

Evan Almighty – As portrayed in one movie, a woman’s marriage was collapsing and she had an opportunity to speak with a stranger in a restaurant about it. In response, the stranger (who was actually God) replied:

“Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?”

I would add, “If someone prays for an eternal marriage, do we think God gives us a perfect companion, or the opportunity to face challenges, be refined, and sanctified through difficulties?”

This indeed is exactly how he prepared his saints to become the people they needed to be, by sending them on a harrowing westward trek across the great divide and Rocky Mountains. Sometimes marriage can feel just as difficult. But if we are meek and faithful to the covenant, it can sanctify us in a similar way.

You’ll hear society disparage the institution of marriage. It isn’t as popular of a notion as it has been in the past. To that I would apply the response of one survivor of the Martin Handcart company who, in substance, said:

(And think of this as it applies to marriage…)

“‘I ask you to stop this criticism. You are discussing a matter you know nothing about. Cold … facts mean nothing here, for they give no proper interpretation of the questions involved. Mistake to send the Handcart Company out so late in the season? Yes. But I was in that company … We suffered beyond anything you can imagine … but did you ever hear a survivor … utter a word of criticism? Not one of that company ever apostatized or left the Church, because everyone of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives, for we became acquainted with him in our extremities.

“‘I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it.’” He continues: “‘I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the angels of God were there.”

And I have felt angels attending to us in our marriage, in a similar way.

President Spencer W. Kimball taught that:

“two individuals approaching the marriage altar must realize that to attain the happy marriage which they hope for they must know that marriage … means sacrifice, sharing, and even a reduction of some personal liberties. It means long, hard economizing. It means children who bring with them financial burdens, service burdens, care and worry burdens; but also it means the deepest and sweetest emotions of all.”

HOPE in the power of communication and honesty

Years ago, I was visiting with a friend, whose marriage was suffering because her husband had a pornography addiction. She had come to the devastating news not by his admission, but through her own discovery. Upon confronting him, his response was one of anger and denial, and though they were still married years later, there had been no change, no real progress, and certainly no healing.

She wrestled terribly with what to do, because spending the rest of her life with a companion under that thick and evil cloud of deceit, emotional abuse, and bitterness had become beyond intolerable.

As we talked about other things, such as recent vacations, or what our kids were up to, she discovered that a man she had recently met was a good friend of mine. She said, “I have to tell you – that is one amazing individual.” She said, “I was attending church, and he was sitting in the row in front of me. He sang out joyfully during the hymns, and brought so much light and life to the room. I thought, I have got to find out who he is. When it was over, I tapped him on the shoulder. We talked for a while and I learned he was just passing through town and wanted to take the sacrament on his way home. He literally radiated – the light in his countenance was amazing.”

And then she added this: “And I thought to myself, now THERE is a man NOT on porn.”

I smiled and said, “Can I tell you something? And I only tell you this because he has given me permission to share it wherever it might help someone, but he was indeed struggling to overcome a pornography addiction at that time.”

She was shocked. How could he be so full of light? How could he possibly radiate the Spirit so strongly? How could he be so joyful?

I explained perhaps one major difference. This friend had been actively working on overcoming the struggle with a bright hope and expectation that one day it would be gone. He had found the courage and was humble enough to seek help, realizing it was too big for him to conquer on his own. He had been honest with himself, with his sweetheart, and with his bishop, who was lovingly guiding him towards complete and full recovery.

Even after experiencing a setback and returning to his bishop again, he learned some things about the atonement that day that he had not understood before, and joyfully reported, “I would have counted it a LOSS, had I NOT had a reason to meet with my bishop that day.”

It was the LOAD.

I explained to her, it’s not what we’ve done that determines whether our life will be full of light and joy, sometimes it’s whether we are open and honest in our communication, and whether we have an eye single to the glory of God, and a hope, desire, and expectation that we will one day be redeemed, healed, restored, and exalted in the kingdom of God, even if it takes us until the day we die, or beyond.

Truly, it’s not where we are, and it’s not even who we are today that determines our light. It’s the direction we’re headed, even when the victory has not yet been won. This is one reason we can have joy right now. Today, no matter what our past has been. In fact, this is exactly is why we are here, that we may have JOY. With each decision and effort to improve, we can taste joy, and I believe that the harder the challenge is, the greater that joy can be.

And the same goes with our marriages. It’s not who your spouse is today that determines your happiness, it’s not how your relationship looks today that determines your joy. It’s whether you are taking positive steps, and making the little decisions along the way that can have a great impact.

Credit for Trying

Elder Holland said:

“Keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever… The gospel, the Church, and these wonderful … gatherings are intended to give hope and inspiration. They are not intended to discourage you. Only the adversary, the enemy of us all, would try to convince us that the ideals outlined … are depressing and unrealistic, that people don’t really improve, that no one really progresses. And why does Lucifer give that speech? Because he knows he can’t improve, he can’t progress, that worlds without end he will never have a bright tomorrow. He is a miserable man bound by eternal limitations, and he wants you to be miserable too. Well, don’t fall for that. With the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the strength of heaven to help us, we can improve, and the great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying, even if we don’t always succeed.

“Please remember tomorrow, and all the days after that, that the Lord blesses those who want to improve, who accept the need for commandments and try to keep them, who cherish Christlike virtues and strive to the best of their ability to acquire them. If you stumble in that pursuit, so does everyone; the Savior is there to help you keep going. If you fall, summon His strength. Call out like Alma, “O Jesus, … have mercy on me.” He will help you get back up. He will help you repent, repair, fix whatever you have to fix, and keep going. Soon enough you will have the success you seek.

‘As you desire of me so it shall be done unto you,” the Lord has declared.’

‘… Put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously. …’

‘… [Then] whatsoever you desire of me [in] righteousness, … you shall receive.’

“If gospel standards seem high and the personal improvement needed in the days ahead seems out of reach, remember Joshua’s encouragement to his people when they faced a daunting future. ‘Sanctify yourselves,’ he said, ‘for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.'”

About the Covenant

The foundation of an Eternal Marriage is the New and Everlasting Covenant. It facilitates the difference between a relationship that is temporary, and one that will last into the eternities.

Elder Bruce C. Hafen said, “I watched a new bride and groom… emerge from a sacred temple. They laughed and held hands as family and friends gathered to take pictures. I saw happiness and promise in their faces as they greeted their reception guests, who celebrated publicly the creation of a new family. I wondered that night how long it would be until these two face the opposition that tests every marriage. Only then would they discover whether their marriage was based on a contract or a covenant.”

The difference between a contract and a covenant

One writer describes the difference this way:

“My mother came into their marriage with a heavy load of unresolved pain from growing up with an alcoholic father. She dealt with a debilitating blend of perfectionism and depression, which lead to a combination of chronic physical and mental health challenges. For the most part, my father dealt with this by going silent.

“Now, for the record, I want to say that when she IS feeling well, there is no greater cheerleader, scriptorian, or saint on the planet. She has a tremendous talent for building people up and making her children especially feel amazing. But when she is not feeling well, she can only see life through the lens of darkness, and though she is conscious of the distortion, she struggles tremendously to cope with it.

“On one particularly bad day in the 1980s when my dad was out of work and stress was high, I watched my mother berate him viciously, burst into tears, and then zoom away in the car. It hurt me to see her criticize my dad, and visibly upset, I asked him, “Dad, how can you put up with that??”

“He sat me down and became very stern. I can’t remember a time before or since when he addressed me so emphatically. He said, “Leslie, you have no idea what you mother has been through.” And then he became tearful and added, “I love that woman with all my heart.”

“It was in that moment I learned the difference between a contract, and a covenant.

“My parents suffered in their marriage my whole life, but they both desired the blessings of eternal life and exaltation, they trusted in the promises of the atonement, they understood the importance of the ordinances, and chose to make sacrifices and put the covenant they made ahead of every other desire: the covenant to be companions throughout this mortal sojourn and into the eternities.” – K. N.

Else what is a covenant for?

This father could see his wife through the lens of an eternal perspective. He knew who she was without her ailments. That’s who he will spend eternity with, and his daughter imagines it will be joyful.

Where she once saw a father who appeared to be small and diminished under constant criticism, she now saw a spiritual giant with the wisdom of a sage. He was not diminished at all. Somehow amidst his suffering, he had discovered the blessing contained in the challenge. It had humbled him, softened him, given him an opportunity to experiment with unconditional love, and even exalted him.

Weaknesses are from God

As it was with her mother, so much of our pain and suffering springs from physical or mental ailments and the mortal weaknesses that God—yes God—gave us:

Ether 12:27 says, “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. [Marriage does this like no other experience can]” He said, “I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”

Strong marriages are born out of weak marriages. So, if yours ever feels weak, that’s a good sign. Keep the faith, hold to the covenant, and let the Spirit teach you directly what to do about it. As you set your intention on building an Eternal Marriage, it will give you direct, specific, and personalized instruction from day to day, as promised.

I’ve experienced this personalized instruction. There have been times when I have felt instructed to let the Momma Bear come out and confront a hard issue. Other times I have felt instructed to hold my tongue and force a smile. Moment by moment we can all be guided to do the right things at the right time to realize the blessing we seek.

COMMUNICATION

Elder Spencer W. Kimball when he married our friends Julianne and Glenn on March 19, 1965 told them, “You’ve got to keep the doors of communication open. You’ve got to keep the windows of communication open…” and he rattled off numerous metaphors to emphasize his point. Then he added, “…any couple who will do that, will have an eternal marriage.”

Fear of Confrontation

A woman struggled for many years in a marriage where hurt feelings were never resolved. Hard conversations to work through issues and misunderstandings were avoided, because tensions had grown too high, feelings were always raw, and walls were solidly up. When her husband was too harsh with the children, she ached for their pain, but suffered her angst in silence. When he brought things into the home that were not appropriate or harmful, she bit her tongue, mentally stacking up the evidence to her case against him.

Although she was certain he would never physically harm them, the emotional tension was bad enough. Whenever she tried to bring up her concerns, her mind would freeze. They went to counseling, but he refused to open up, and then ultimately refused to return because, he said, “counseling doesn’t work.”  Even my friend, whose idea it was to try counseling in the first place couldn’t find the courage to speak her concerns during the sessions, even with a mediator in the room.

Ultimately, they divorced, because separation was easier than confrontation. Would facing the hard conversations and doing the hard work of addressing their issues saved their marriage? I don’t know. But unfortunately, the problem didn’t go away, they simply added to the communication problem the complexities of divorce and raising their kids under joint custody.

With or without marriage, healthy communication is a critical skill to seek, and it can be developed with the guidance of the Spirit.

True and honest communication, no matter how ugly the truth may be, has the power to bring the Spirit of God into any relationship, no matter how broken it may be, which is exactly why Satan wants us to believe it’s better to hide the truth, to suppress our feelings, or to avoid the hard conversations.

Some things will be changed in the hereafter

Everything wrong with your spouse will eventually be fixed, but not all will be fixed here. God can soften hearts and increase capacities, but sometimes it doesn’t happen until you stop needing it to happen.

Related: The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Tried to Write

Let me close with the words of Boyd K Packer:

“Eternal love, eternal marriage, eternal increase! … No relationship has more potential to exalt a man and a woman than the marriage covenant. No obligation in society or in the Church supersedes it in importance.

“I thank God for marriage. I thank God for temples. I thank God for the glorious sealing power, that power which transcends all that we have been given, through which our marriages may become eternal. May we be worthy of this sacred gift, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

 

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It’s not how much faith you have

“We don’t need to maintain perfect faith… We just need to show integrity toward the faith we do have. And then, through the Lord’s mercy, our mountains are moved.” – Daniel Blomberg

I received the following from a reader and thought it might help someone. So here it goes:

Hi Leslie,

How are you? …I still read your newsletter, and I still share your books with other people at any opportune moment. Hope things are going well for you and your family.

I just wanted to share a journal entry on the subject of rare faith – see below.

We just had a business miracle in April, and it merited a long journal entry—I want to remember this forever. Hope you enjoy it. Feel free to share if you think it could help someone.

Have a wonderful day!

Daniel

Background: We got back to Utah from the Middle East in August 2017. I tried life coaching and loved it, but it soon became clear that the Lord wanted me doing music—a very happy but scary proposition. I did my first songwriting session for a client in April 2018, and in March this year, after 19 months as an entrepreneur and 11 months in music, I was able to provide for my family exclusively through music for the first time.

It has been a grueling time, with way too many trips to the Bishop’s storehouse, lots of help from family, lots of advice to go get a job, and way too much self-doubt.

So after our March miracle, I was determined to keep this going. When the end of April came around and I still hadn’t made nearly enough to pay the bills, failure was just not an emotionally sustainable option.

What happened next is described below.

Journal, 2019-05-01

This is a precious thing that just happened. After March’s wonderful achievement, where we for the first time were able to make more money in the business than we needed to pay the bills, I really wanted to keep this going every month. Partly so we can prove that we are financially ready for the foster-to-adopt process, and partly because I need to know that I can provide for my family through music.

This month, I felt like I should take the time to build an online presence. Allie told me she wanted to build me a website for free! So I wrote some website content. And then Colleen wanted to tell people about me online. So I quickly bought a domain and put out the content, to have a place to send people while waiting for Allie….

Then, I felt like I should start running Facebook ads. So I did. It takes a few weeks to dial those in, so I haven’t seen any specific results from those yet. But I had to put together a business Facebook page to run ads from, and I didn’t want it to have 3 likes and look unprofessional, so I invited pretty much all my friends to like it. It crossed 100 page likes in the first 24 hours, and now has over 300 page likes, in less than two weeks! 🙂

Spending this much time building an online presence meant that I didn’t chase specific results a whole lot. I did read the sequel to The Go-Giver, Go-Givers Sell More, and learned to trust that as we give value to people around us, and not give sales pitches, most of our sales will come from “left field” – the 99% of the Universe that we have no idea about, but which God knows all about.

Come Sunday, which was April 28, I realized that we needed $2,485 more, plus Venmo and PayPal instant transfer fees, to cover April’s bills and buy my ticket to Sweden for Victor and Jessica’s wedding. So Monday morning, I set out to sell that much in services in two days. Technically, I realized I didn’t need $560 of those until May (the rest of the plane ticket), but I had my sights set on the whole sum.

On Saturday night at Allie and Zach’s wedding reception, I had mentioned to my client Greg that I would be going to Sweden for my brother’s wedding if we could swing it, and he had generously offered, without me asking, to prepay $700. That’s why we “only” needed $2485, or $1925 plus $560. I fasted on Sunday for help to achieve this big and worthy goal, for the sake of our family, including our future children.

A key piece of learning had also come on Saturday morning, as I went running with Vinicio. I was in a time crunch, and needed to complete 8 miles in about 90 minutes. I remembered as we ran and talked that Elder Holland teaches:

It’s not the amount of faith we have that is the issue, it’s the integrity we show toward the faith that we do have.

In this way, even partial faith, if shown integrity, is enough to move mountains. This applied to our running. I wasn’t sure the whole time that we would succeed, but I showed integrity to the faith that I did have by keeping running and not giving up. We finished on time. I felt that this principle should also apply to my big sales goal.

On Sunday afternoon, we got a text from Stephen and Emily, who asked if we wanted to come over, last minute. (We later learned Emily had felt a prompting to invite us over, kind of forgotten it, come home from some Church assignment, and her kids said, “We want the Blombergs to come!”)

We went, and had a lovely time. Partway through, Steven and Emily’s new neighbor, Amy, came over. Emily had invited her to come over that day, but not at any specific time. Amy, who had very recently felt that it’s time to pursue her music, was fasting and had just woken up from a nap. As she knelt to conclude her fast, she felt, “You’re not done yet. Go next door.” We talked about her music, and exchanged phone numbers. I had an appointment with her and her husband Tuesday morning, and she will be in Dave’s studio in July! 🙂 Wonderful news, but not any closer to the April goal.

(finished writing on May 10)

Since April 23 had been my one-year anniversary of returning to the music business, I had a 10% discount for all songwriting and production services until the end of April. As Shawna had 9 hours scheduled for May, I asked if she wanted the discount. She sent $688.50 on Tuesday, April 30.

With $1,853 left to reach my goal, and only a few hours left, I decided that the responsible thing to do for the business and my family was to swallow my pride and tell a couple of clients exactly why I needed the money. The foster-to-adopt process requires that families have “a little extra” money, and I felt we could claim that if we paid all our current bills and saved 4% in the business profit account. We did in March—time to achieve that goal again.

So I asked Art, who had scheduled a songwriting coaching session for his stepson for early May, if he would be offended if I asked for a prepayment so I could get it on the books for April. He prepaid $500.

I re-crunched the numbers, reducing for example our food and gas budget posts to actual money spent, not what I thought we needed for a month, and moving the plane ticket purchase to May. All of a sudden, there were only $39 missing. Or $44, if you consider that I had felt prompted to cut the car payment short by $5, even though I really wanted to pay in full.

So, while Kathryn and I were waiting to meet with a member of the stake presidency to renew our Temple recommends, I sent a message to Colleen, who is on a mission with her husband in Côte d’Ivoire, told her we are really close to our revenue goal to qualify for adoption, and offered to do her next song (a $170 value) for $60 if she wanted to prepay.

5 hours before midnight.

No reply, as she would likely be asleep until 11:30pm our time, or so I thought. (I was actually an hour off – Côte d’Ivoire was only 6 hours ahead of us, not 7.)

All things considered, a very successful two days of sales, even though we were still falling short. Kat and I went to bed at 9:30pm, and in our night prayer I thanked Heavenly Father for all the amazing success, and then poured out my heart and asked Him why:

How come we were so close to the goal, but couldn’t just have made $39 or $44 more? What was I supposed to feel and think about this?

After our couple prayer, I said my own prayer and laid down. But I felt like I should call my mother instead of sleeping. (This is significant, as I have felt for years that the Lord wants me to go to bed by 9:30pm.)

So I got up and talked to my mother in Sweden for almost an hour and a half – not much about the business goal, but about anything and everything. Towards the end, I got my answer—gratitude.

I was supposed to feel gratitude about what had just happened.

So after the phone call, I went to bed again, and laid there for a minute just feeling grateful. Then I considered some options. Would Heavenly Father want me to contact Colleen again? I decided to, and sent her a PayPal request for $60 in case she was interested, and then a note in Messenger to please ignore it otherwise. Pretty bold, I guess. By now, it was 11:35pm.

As I wrote the note, I saw that she had just read the previous message. She replied “For sure.” “It’s 5:36 here.” “We’ll get it done in the next 10 min”.

Turns out, she never gets up at 5:30am, but had decided to start the new month with an extra 30 minutes of scripture study – it was already May in Africa, but still April in the U.S. And so, with 8 minutes to spare, $60 arrived in our PayPal account, and the goal was met.

I cried with joy, told my sleepy Kathryn the great news, and went to sleep a very happy man.

We don’t need to maintain perfect faith the whole time. We just need to show integrity toward the faith we do have. And then, through the Lord’s mercy, our mountains are moved.

Daniel Blomberg is a Mindset Mastery Program Participant.

Learn more at www.ProsperTheFamily.com.

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Do the Challenges Ever Stop?

It’s thrilling to discover the principles, and it’s especially exciting when you see them work intentionally for the first time.

From there, you feel empowered and encouraged to think bigger and test the principles on more significant tasks.

But when you face a setback, you might be left wondering,

“What just happened here? I thought if I just live the principles perfectly, the rest of my life would be easy!”

I have an answer for this, and I hope it doesn’t burst anyone’s bubble too much, but we were placed on this earth to grow.

All life is compelled to grow and expand. That is one of the definitions that helps us determine whether something is alive: does it grow?

In order for us to grow, we must have challenges that stretch us beyond our present limits. We must work our mental muscles and exercise our mind, body, and spirit in order to have the joy and experience the success that only comes through growth and expansion. There are few joys that exceed the feeling of facing a difficult challenge, and overcoming it.

The truth is, that if we ever found ourselves without challenges, we would become unhappy and restless.

Remember when you were a child, and your mother tried to teach you how to tie your shoe?

Did it work the first time you tried it? Probably not. And it was probably very frustrating, and likely evoked some tears.

In that moment, there had never been so great a challenge in your life. You wanted to throw in the towel, give up, and if it didn’t make you cry, it probably made you growl in frustration. However, in time, it became old hat for you and you could do it without even thinking.

Sixth Grade

Then when you were in sixth grade, your teacher probably assigned you a book report that would take several weeks and had to fill up about 4 pages. You had never done an assignment that big before, and it was overwhelming. In time, and after being required to do a number of similar assignments, it was no big deal. What took several weeks could be completed in a day, because you had experience.

Fast forward to college.

Remember those projects that ultimately determined your final grade? Remember the countless hours on the computer? Remember closing off your social life in order to meet that deadline? It was overwhelming, and the stress was unbelievable. You had never been required to work so hard on something so important! If you were like me, you shed many tears and begged your professor more than once for mercy.

Then for some of you, you started in the work force and had job pressures and bills to pay. Sometimes it was too much to bear. You thought you had it pretty tough until…

You got married and added a spouse to the picture.

Now there were work pressures, bills to pay, and a spouse to please. Who knew that being responsible to one other person could stir things up that much?

Pretty soon, you got into the routine of things, and even though things are tough, you have no idea what tough means until…

You start having children.

Are there words to describe how complicated things became when kids entered the picture??

Now wait a minute. Think back to the time when you were learning to tie your shoe. Oh, if only life were that easy now!!!

But remember, at the time, when you were six and you had to figure out how to pull the string just enough to make a loop and not enough to make a knot, it was as though the world was falling apart and it was nearly more than you could cope with.

One day, today’s challenges will look like child’s play as you learn to conquer them.

All that I do through my books and programs is to provide the tools you need to learn how to succeed in overcoming the challenges you face today. Will challenges in general go away? No.

But you’ll be prepared to handle bigger challenges, and you’ll grow in faith, hopefully learning to rely more perfectly on God in all you do.

It seems that life will only get more challenging.

WAIT!

I didn’t say life has to get worse, or even harder, but it will constantly deliver more and more ADVANCED challenges.

As we learn the laws and adopt them into our habits, we become successful at overcoming them more and more gracefully. Every challenge could easily seem overwhelming, but only relative to what we’ve conquered in the past.

Challenges are important because they help us build confidence.

Imagine a child who never gained confidence in learning something simple. What if they were required to hold office as president of a large organization? Each challenge is intended to lead us along to receive all that God would have us receive. Each is an opportunity to overcome and gain increased confidence in the partnership we are developing between ourselves and God.

You can get good at handling finances and attracting wealth. Learning to achieve prosperity is a skill that can be improved. Just as you got good at tying a shoe, this is one skill that can become a strength.

Don’t get discouraged if new challenges show up. It doesn’t mean you are failing. It means you have grown to a point where God believes you can handle something else. It is an indication of His increased faith in you.

I heard somewhere, “When you are down to nothing, God is up to something.” There is joy to be had in the struggle. As we learn to find peace in each whirlwind of trouble around us, that is success. Then, the prosperity you want begins to flow naturally.

Seek peace and prosperity comes, seek prosperity and peace flees.

Let me help you find peace, by learning the laws and principles that are dependable and sure. Click here to join me in the Mindset Mastery course – as you allow me to walk you through each lesson and corresponding challenge, your life will never be the same.

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Unplanned Movie Review

Looking for the Tumbleweeds post? CLICK HERE

What would a woman feel, watching this movie, if she has already had an abortion? 

My husband and I saw Unplanned last night. This is the first time we’ve ever paid to watch an R-rated film at the theater, but trusted the feedback from friends who said the MPAA rating was “off”.

I really only had ONE main question on my mind:

*** What would a woman feel, watching this movie, if she has already had an abortion? ***

It was rated R for graphic and disturbing images by the MPAA, an admission that dismembering a fetus with a vacuum is disturbing. So in many parts of the country, a girl can GET an abortion without parent consent, but she can’t WATCH a movie about abortion without it.

So, was the movie only made for pro-lifers?
Who else would even WANT to see it?

This was my curiosity.

I wanted to watch the movie through the eyes of women who, perhaps at one time, found themselves in a crisis pregnancy of their own, who felt like they had no other options, and who were pressured to abort.

How would THESE women feel, watching an anti-abortion movie? How could they possibly WANT to watch it, at the risk of feeling triggered by memories of their own trauma, or of feeling movie-induced guilt? (Having not yet seen it, but assuming this is what the movie would cause.)

Why would ANYONE want to subject themselves to that?

I had to find out if I could recommend the movie to THESE women.

I read reviews that said that the movie was about LOVE and REDEMPTION, but none of the trailers really provided any significant glimpses into that. They all seemed to focus on horror and grief.

But, like many movies, I found that the action reel was NOT an accurate representation of the experience this film provided.

I don’t know if I should offer a spoiler-alert here, because the movie’s power doesn’t rely on surprises – it’s relatively predictable. But I’m going to share some things that are not revealed in the trailers.

First of all, the disturbing images happen during the early scenes of the film, showing one woman’s narrated experience with having a vacuum aspirated abortion, and then later a chemically-induced abortion (from a pill). The rest of the movie shows how she deals with the memory of her experiences.

At first, she buries the memories as deeply as she can, and throws herself into the cause of helping other women in crisis, dedicating her life to giving women the care they need. Her passion and heart for helping women is genuine.

But then… (insert trailer clip here)…

… and she spends the next segment of the film dealing with her feelings of deep regret for her own abortions, and for participating at a leadership level in an organization that was consciously deceiving thousands of women in crisis who were given mistruths about their procedures, and who were not fully informed of their options.

The movie was masterful at helping the viewer feel a good deal of what this woman felt all along the spectrum (as this is a true story). In the end, you feel (with her) a complete sense of being healed – her memories are still sad and probably always will be, but the remorse, horror, and grief is powerfully resolved, and she feels wholly loved, forgiven, and restored.

If someone had told me this before watching the film, I’m not sure I would have believed it was possible – not possible to experience, let alone possible to portray on the big screen. But I am convinced that this movie speaks truth. It illustrates how God can reach and restore a person, no matter how dark, fallen, or lost that person may feel. Here is a woman that was complicit in over 20,000 fetal terminations AND came to feel the full weight of it – but then ultimately felt that burden lifted. Watch the movie to feel her healing with her.

To sum up, if you or anyone you know has had an abortion or participated in one, and want to feel and remember it differently than perhaps you do now, I strongly encourage you to watch the movie.

I’m now convinced that these women are exactly who the movie was made for.

I invite you to see and feel it all, even the darker side of it, because feeling her Godly sorrow with her is precisely what makes the feelings of relief, joy, and awe possible.

#unplanned #lawofpolarity #rarefaith

Learn more here -> https://www.unplannedfilm.com/

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Examples of faith in daily life

Enjoy this interview by Scott Wilhite, as we talk about examples of faith in daily life.

Show notes:

Examples of faith in daily life

  • When you need the bank to reverse an overdraft fee
  • Driving through scary traffic
  • Late for a meeting
  • Relationship trouble – picture and feel the desired outcome (radio broadcast)
  • Finding lost wallet – Nick
  • When you worry, if the worst case happens then you’ve lived it twice
  • Bill due? Imagine it paid. Feel gratitude now, and always
  • This is mastering your mindset.
  • Woman wrote me about her daughter who shot her hand

For more about my story, visit ProspertheFamily.com

To learn more about Scott and his video series, “Are We Novice Gods”, visit ScottWilhite.com

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