Saturday, November 30, 2013


Being on a mission I have realized how grateful that I am for so many little things that I took for granted before. How grateful I am for the knowledge that I have of my Savior and of His Gospel. How grateful I am for loving parents who taught me the importance of a Gospel study and to ask the Lord when I have questions. How grateful I am for my Seminary and Institute teachers who took the time to teach me the importance of following the way of the Lord.
Missions are hard work. There are lots of times of frustration and sadness. There are lots of times of homesickness and sorrow. But how grateful I am for this opportunity to experience a sliver of what Christ experienced while He walked the earth. How privileged I am to get to bear His name and share His unique message to all who will soften their hearts enough to listen. 
I know that God loves His children. I know that He has provided a path for us to take to return to Him. I know that by following that plan do we get to be heirs to the Kingdom of God. I know that we have a prophet for our days who has been called of God and given His priesthood to lead and guide His church. How grateful I am for my friends, my family, my parents, my teachers, and most importantly, the Lord, who continually help me to come closer to my Savior.

Click Here to watch an awesome video of my cute brother and the importance of Seminary :)

The Spirit of Christmas

I know it isn't December yet, but I just can't wait for this one. Definitely one of my all time favorite videos! There will always be bumps in the road. There will always be things that don't seem to go quite right. But we can't focus on those things. Our minds are only big enough to think of one thing at a time. If we waste that space with nonsense, where is the room for Christ?
 I got a letter in the mail from my Dad yesterday. He reminded me of the Spirit of Christmas. He said, "Make sure to ask yourself this year...
Are you part of the INN crowd, or part of the STABLE few?"
A little play on words, but a very valid question nonetheless. Where is our standing with Christ this year? The best present we could ever give Him is to take one more step closer to Him this holiday season.
May we ever live in the spirit of Christmas.
Click here for a special clip about the Spirit of Christmas.


The word hope is sometimes misunderstood. In our everyday language, the word often has a hint of uncertainty. For example, we may say that we hope for a change in the weather or a visit from a friend. In the language of the gospel, however, the word hope is sure, unwavering, and active. Prophets speak of having a “firm hope” (Alma 34:41) and a “lively hope” (1 Peter 1:3). The prophet Moroni taught, “Whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God” (Ether 12:4).
When we have hope, we trust God's promises. We have a quiet assurance that if we do “the works of righteousness,” then we “shall receive [our] reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (D&C 59:23). Mormon taught that such hope comes only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ: “What is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise” (Moroni 7:41).
As we strive to live the gospel, we grow in our ability to “abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13). We increase in hope as we pray and seek God's forgiveness. In the Book of Mormon, a missionary named Aaron assured a Lamanite king, “If thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest” (Alma 22:16). We also gain hope as we study the scriptures and follow their teachings. The Apostle Paul taught, “Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
The principle of hope extends into the eternities, but it also can sustain us through the everyday challenges of life. “Happy is he,” said the Psalmist, “that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God” (Psalm 146:5). With hope, we can find joy in life. We can “have patience, and bear with . . . afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions” (Alma 34:41). We can “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Nephi 31:20).

Click Here to watch an incredible short story about when President Uchtdorf was a young child. He learned that his mother was a great example of how hope and faith can overcome fear.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Samuel the Lamanite

The story of Samuel the Lamanite has always been one of my very favorite stories! I love the fact that this man who came from a very strong unfaithful upbringing is now a man called of God to cry repentance to the people. That is pretty incredible! 
Helaman chapters 13-16 are fabulous to read. Samuel teaches the people who are hard hearted and don't listen. He leaves and the Lord commands him to return. As he does, the people refuse to let him in. But he was called to go in, so he fulfills his calling...
And it came to pass that in this year there was one Samuel, a Lamanite, came into the land of Zarahemla, and began to preach unto the people. And it came to pass that he did preach, many days, repentance unto the people, and they did cast him out, and he was about to return to his own land.
 But behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, that he should return again, and prophesy unto the people whatsoever things should come into his heart.
 And it came to pass that they would not suffer that he should enter into the city; therefore he went and got upon the wall thereof, and stretched forth his hand and cried with a loud voice, and prophesied unto the people whatsoever things the Lord put into his heart.
How far are we willing to go for the Lord? I know I ask this a lot, but sometimes I need a constant reminder. We are truly blessed to have a prophet who is called of God to lead and guide Christ's church. Through the prophet we can receive divine and pure revelation specific for our day. The more we learn, the closer we allow ourselves to come to Christ.


We had a great Thanksgiving! Spent with people we have dearly come to love. We made and delivered cookies with little notes and a DVD about Christ to some people we have been teaching. We are so grateful for them and for their willingness to listen to our message and experiment upon the words of Christ. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He has prepared the way for us to be happy and return to Him. All we have to do is to ask Him what path he wants us to take. Are we willing to try? I am grateful that I experimented on the words of Christ. I am grateful that I have found for myself that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's true church upon the earth. I have so many things to be grateful for. So grateful for this special time of year to remember my Savior and the blessings I have received for following Him. I love this Gospel and the light I have for following God's plan for me. The path I have been asked to take has been far from easy, but it has been beyond worth it! I will forever be grateful for this opportunity I am given to share the message of Christ's Gospel. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I think in many ways we are all a little lost. Without the knowledge of God's plan for us, the path we get to take, and how to best live now to experience salvation, what do we have to look forward to?  What is the purpose?
I know that God has a purpose for us. I know that He has created a perfect plan and road map for us to be able to follow to return to Him. We all get our own personal GPS. Are you going to use yours?


Tis the season. Happy Thanksgiving to all!  
The more often we see the things around us, the more they become invisible to us. We can live in thanksgiving daily by noticing the wonders and beauties of this world. What are you thankful for this season? Can you think of 1,000 things?
Elder Richard M. Romney shares the importance of living in Thanksgiving. "Great joy comes from acknowledging the hand of the Lord in all things".
Click Here to see an awesome video about how we can all live in Thanksgiving daily.

Helaman 11

11 And now behold, I command you, that ye shall go and declare unto this people, that thus saith the Lord God, who is the Almighty: Except ye repent ye shall be smitten, even unto destruction.
12 And behold, now it came to pass that when the Lord had spoken these words unto Nephi, he did stop and did not go unto his own house, but did return unto the multitudes who were scattered about upon the face of the land, and began to declare unto them the word of the Lord which had been spoken unto him, concerning their destruction if they did not repent.
17 And it came to pass that thus he did go forth in the Spirit, from multitude to multitude, declaring the word of God, even until he had declared it unto them all, or sent it forth among all the people.
The work must go on my fine brothers and sisters! How much are we willing to give?

Saturday, November 23, 2013


My MTC companion and one of my very best friends and role models has an amazing and inspirational blog that I am honored to share. Love you Sister!


 This is and will most likely forever be my saving grace. I love this quote! We can never forget that happiness is a choice. And man do we have lots of it in store for us if we choose it now.

"There will always be things to complain about—things that don’t seem to go quite right. You can spend your days feeling sad, alone, misunderstood, or unwanted. But that isn’t the journey you had hoped for, and it’s not the journey Heavenly Father sent you to take. Remember, you are truly a daughter of God!
With this in mind, I invite you to walk confidently and joyfully. Yes, the road has bumps and detours and even some hazards. But don’t focus on them. Look for the happiness your Father in Heaven has prepared for you in every step of your journey. Happiness is the destination, but it’s also the path. “Peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” is what He promises. That is why He commands us to “be of good cheer.”
As you joyfully use the map your loving Father has provided for your journey, it will lead you to holy places and you will rise to your supernal potential. You will grow into the daughter of God you hoped you would become.”
-President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Helaman 5

What an interesting chapter!
Nephi and Lehi are such amazing men. So strong in their faith and in their works that God literally sent down fire to save them! And what does God have to say to the wicked men who are not listening to His missionaries?
29 And it came to pass that there came a voice as if it were above the cloud of darkness, saying: Repent ye, repent ye, and seek no more to destroy my servants whom I have sent unto you to declare good tidings.
30 And it came to pass when they heard this voice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul—
31 And notwithstanding the mildness of the voice, behold the earth shook exceedingly, and the walls of the prison trembled again, as if it were about to tumble to the earth; and behold the cloud of darkness, which had overshadowed them, did not disperse—
God is real! His power is real. He WILL let us know exactly what we need to hear. And boy will he make sure we hear it! Listen to the voice of the Lord. "Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants it is the same" (Doctrine and Covenants 1:38).

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Heart and a Willing Mind

I haven't been on in a while so I got lots of reading done. I finished Alma and moved on to the first couple chapters of Helaman. These chapters still are not the easiest for me to follow along to. But that is okay. You can still get lots out of the chapters.
I think the biggest lesson I am learning lately is the difference between doing something grudgingly because we know we need to do it, or doing something with a positive attitude because it is the smartest thing to do. In every decision we have two choices. To do something, or not to do something. And even then, if you choose to do it, you have to decide to do it grudgingly, or to do it because you know you need to.
This morning for personal study I got a big slap in the face with lots of information about everything that I have been thinking about lately...
#1: In my Book of Mormon reading today I read Helaman chapters 2-3. In chapter 3 the people had begun to be a little prideful. This pride on both sides led to contention and war. We are all in charge of our dissensions. We don't control anyone else's pride, but we sure can control our own. If only one party is being prideful, it can't lead to contention and war. We need to make sure, for ourselves, that we are not being prideful. In verse 35 it says, "Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God." God can fill our souls with joy. He can allow us happiness even in times of turmoil. We need to allow him to.
#2: I was reading the talk "The Fourth Missionary". It is such a fabulous talk. I was reading the differences from the Third and Fourth Missionary. They both do the work. They both do their missionary things, but they do them so differently. "Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day." The Third Missionary serves with his might and strength, but his heart and and mind are missing. We can't have a missing heart and mind. We can still do the work without it, but we won't grow at all if we do. And are we not here to grow? Sometimes I grudgingly make phone calls and lead out in lessons even when I definitely don't want to. But what is that teaching me? And how is that helping anyone, especially myself? God will allow us happiness if we let him.
This talk also related this; 
"Elder Holland teaches that a great swimmer once said when asked his secret of success: 'I kick when I don't want to kick, and I stroke when I don't want to stroke.' Like the First, Second and Third Missionaries there are times when the Fourth Missionary doesn't want to kick and doesn't want to stroke either. The difference between the Third and Fourth Missionary is that the Third Missionary will kick and stroke because it is his duty, because that is what is expected of him and he will hate and resent it, while the Fourth Missionary will kick and stroke because he knows that it is the only intelligent thing to do."
" Even Jesus, the One Perfect One, prayed: 'Father let this cup pass from me...' There were things that He too did not want to do. Those desires that He '...even God, the greatest of all...might not drink the bitter cup and shrink...' (D&C 19:18) did not diminish Him; in fact, they made Him greater."
Why are we doing the things we are doing? It is because we know it will take us to the finish? Is it because we know if we don't we will be sitting ducks? Is it because we know it is the smartest thing to do?
#3: Lastly, I was reading in Doctrine and Covenants 121 verses 34-46. All about leadership qualities. I struggle being a leader. I am not very patient and I am not very good at letting others do things for themselves. I would much rather do things my way to ensure that they will get done right. But that is an awful leadership quality. So, while reading this, I decided to give it to God. To let him help me let my companion guide. To let her lead. It will be far from easy for me, and probably a bit frustrating for her, but we will live. 
I am really coming to understand what it means to be a missionary. What it means to literally give my heart and mind to the Lord. He has given us all, and what does he ask in return?
"In the end, your heart and your will is all that you have to give that the Lord does not already have. If you give your time, two years, and your strength, you give only that which He grants to you with each beat of your heart and each breath that you draw. If you dedicate your gifts and talents, you only return to Him what He already has given to you. If you pay tithing you only return to Him a tenth of what he has already given to you. Everything that you have to give to the Lord, has its origin in Him, except one thing: your will. He does not have your heart, nor your mind, unless you give them to Him. It is the only gift you have to offer that He does not already have. And so when you give yourself, you truly give everything to Him."
The Lord requires a broken heart so that He can heal it. What are we willing to give the Lord?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Plan of Salvation

Yesterday was a very hard day for me. I received emails from my family notifying me that my sister-in-law, who is pregnant with twins, was having difficulties. They told me that she would be in the hospital for the rest of her pregnancy. I later received more emails informing me that both twins were still born. They were perfect little babies. At first it was really hard for me to handle. Why wouldn't God let these two beautiful spirits be a part of my family? But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how blessed I am for the knowledge I have of the Plan of Salvation. Joshua Alvin (Joshua-named after Kyle's best friend Joshua Spencer and Alvin-named after the brother of Joseph Smith; who both died at a young age) and Adelaide (Amanda's favorite name) must have been needed in heaven. They were so perfect that all they needed was to get their precious little bodies. 
How grateful I am for my understanding that I will get to meet little Joshua and Adelaide one day. How grateful I am that I know where they are and whose they are. I know that families will be together forever because of the Plan of our loving Heavenly Father.
"Its not just about the here and now... its about eternity!"
"The key to anything is to keep an eternal perspective!"
Remember there are more important things than here and now. Remember that life continues after death. 
The way we act and respond to things have eternal consequences. Turn to the Savior. Let Him lead us through.
Click Here to see how we can be happy through the midst of trail and death.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Families CAN Be Together Forever

"We need to make our homes a place of refuge from the storm, which is increasing in intensity all about us. Even if the smallest openings are left unattended, negative influences can penetrate the very walls of our homes."
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always held the family as a central unit of our faith. Learn why, and how we can strengthen this from Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum on the Twelve Apostles.

Photo: Happy Anniversary to wonderful parents.  They have created quite a wonderful posterity if I say so myself!!

Alma 53-54

Alma 53: This basically just says it all...
11 And because of their oath they had been kept from taking up arms against their brethren; for they had taken an oath that they never would shed blood more; and according to their oath they would have perished; yea, they would have suffered themselves to have fallen into the hands of their brethren, had it not been for the pity and the exceeding love which Ammon and his brethren had had for them.
13 But it came to pass that when they saw the danger, and the many afflictions and tribulations which the Nephites bore for them, they were moved with compassion and were desirous to take up arms in the defence of their country.
16 But behold, it came to pass they had many sons, who had not entered into a covenant that they would not take their weapons of war to defend themselves against their enemies; therefore they did assemble themselves together at this time, as many as were able to take up arms, and they called themselves Nephites. 17 And they entered into a covenant to fight for the liberty of the Nephites, yea, to protect the land unto the laying down of their lives; yea, even they covenanted that they never would give up their liberty, but they would fight in all cases to protect the Nephites and themselves from bondage.
Alma 54:
This chapter scared me just a little bit. I can't believe that Moroni and Ammaron could argue like this. Sometimes I think that wars are really sad. I don't love knowing that people are fighting. I just wish that the world could be peaceful and that we could compromise. But this was needed. It will always happen unfortunately. Whose team are we choosing to be on?

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Book of Mormon

Probably one of the best talks given in the history of General Conference. Elder Holland sure knows how to get a point across. I believe the Book of Mormon to be another testament of Jesus Christ. I know it teaches truth. I know that God will testify to the hearts of all its readers that it is correct. My testimony echos that of God's chosen disciples...
"For 179 years this book has been examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart like perhaps no other book in modern religious history—perhaps like no other book in any religious history. And still it stands. Failed theories about its origins have been born and parroted and have died—from Ethan Smith to Solomon Spaulding to deranged paranoid to cunning genius. None of these frankly pathetic answers for this book has ever withstood examination because there is no other answer than the one Joseph gave as its young unlearned translator. In this I stand with my own great-grandfather, who said simply enough, 'No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.'" 
If you question the Book of Mormon, if you don't know what it is, if you want to learn more, I invite each of you to watch this video. Let the Spirit touch your hearts to testify of the truth. Christ is standing at our door knocking. LET HIM IN!

Missionary Life

Being a missionary is nothing like what I had originally expected it to be. It is a lot harder, a lot more frustrating, a lot more exhausting. But at the same time, it is a lot more joyful, a lot more loving, and a lot more wonderful than I could have ever imagined. To think about where I was a little over three months ago and compare it to where I am now, it is pretty incredible. To think about the person that I used to be, the things I used to think, the woman I wanted to become, the knowledge I thought I had... boy oh boy have my eyes been opened.
This has been the hardest three months of my life. I would be lying if I said that I loved every minute of my mission and wanted to be nowhere but here. This experience has stretched me farther than I ever thought imaginable. I have seen and done things that I didn't think I ever needed to see or do. Every minute is a struggle, but I do love my mission. I love teaching about my Savior. I love teaching about the plan that God has prepared specifically for each and every one of His children. I love sharing the beautiful and joyful message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So, in all reality, I would not like to be anywhere but here right now. And I do love every minute of my mission. In different ways than what I originally thought for sure. Sometimes I have to remind myself of the reasons why I want to be here, and why I love it here. Sometimes I feel like I am given too much to handle and reasons to quit. But I will never give up. This gospel means way too much to me to keep it to myself. My Savior means way too much to me to not follow His counsel to walk in His paths and help His sheep. How much are we really willing to do?

Alma 51-52

The war chapters in Alma are just a bit harder for me to read. I think because I have never been a huge fan on history or wars. I am not really an action girl. Anyway, there is lots to learn nonetheless.
Alma 51:
This chapter made me laugh. Mostly because I think the king-men are a bit crazy! I mean, yeah they didn't get what they wanted, but in verse 13, "And it came to pass that when the men who were called king-men had heard that the Lamanites were coming down to battle against them, they were glad in their hearts; and they refused to take up arms, for they were so wroth with the chief judge, and also with the people of liberty, that they would not take up arms to defend their country." Really? Really? I mean, I get that they are mad about the outcome of the vote to keep Pahoran in office, but they were glad when they heard that the Lamanites were coming to battle against their people. We will always be given reasons to be offended and not happy about things. That is part of life, and there is nothing we can do about that. On the other hand, we will never have a reason to dwell on those things and let them bring us down or change us. That is something we can control. Funny people.
Naturally, Moroni, being the stud that he is, whips the king-men back into shape in verses 14-17;
"And it came to pass that when Moroni saw this, and also saw that the Lamanites were coming into the borders of the land, he was exceedingly wroth because of the stubbornness of those people whom he had labored with so much diligence to preserve; yea, he was exceedingly wroth; his soul was filled with anger against them."
"For it was his first care to put an end to such contentions and dissensions among the people;"
"And it came to pass that Moroni commanded that his army should go against those king-men, to pull down their pride and their nobility and level them with the earth, or they should take up arms and support the cause of liberty."
And boy did he accomplish his goal. The people really should have thought twice before angering Moroni.
Alma 52:
Really, I just think that Moroni was too clever for his calling. I also think that the Lamanites should have been a bit smarter. But that is okay. In all honesty, you can guess for the most part who will win and who will lose. It is a given. But the Book of Mormon is still exciting to read.
I am grateful for the leaders and followers of Christ that I have to look up to from the Book of Mormon. I am grateful for the experiences they went through so that I have a standard to follow. I am grateful for the example they set and for the lives they lived. I am blessed to know for myself that, today, we have a prophet who leads and guides Christ's church. I am grateful for my knowledge of God's plan for me and how I will be able to accomplish that plan. This IS the true church. It is so simple and it just makes sense. I love my Savior. I love my God.
Until next time (Alma 53-54).
Sister Spackman 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Enoch - Qualifying the Called

One of my all time favorite stories is of Enoch in Moses 6. The Lord, in verses 27-30 commands Enoch to prophesy unto the people. To cry repentance and come unto Him.
Verse 30: "And this is a decree, which I have sent forth in the beginning of the world, from my own mouth, from the foundation thereof, and by the mouths of my servants, thy fathers, have I decreed it, even as it shall be sent forth in the world, unto the ends thereof."
Enoch's reply in verse 31 is so simple; "Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?" Don't we all sometimes feel this way? Why are we called to do the things we are called to do? How can I do this when I have little training?
The Lord's answer will always be the same, "And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good."
The Lord doesn't call the qualified. He qualifies the called!
I am grateful for this opportunity I have to be a missionary and to strengthen and bring forth Zion. I love the chances I get to teach Christ's Gospel and to allow others to feel of the joy and peace that come from following His word completely. I love this church. I love being a missionary.

Alma 49-50

How grateful I am for the knowledge and the testimony that I have. Makes me the person that I want to become and brings me so much comfort for my future.
Alma 49:
Basically this chapter is Amalickiah, the wicked king, trying to take over and defeat the lands of the Nephites. Because the Lamanites had already defeated the land of Ammonihah once, they decided to go back there again. Couldn't be any harder the second time right? Wrong! Moroni was way too smart for the Lamanites. The people of Amalickiah had even prepared themselves for this war with shields and breastplates and garments of skins to cover themselves for battle. With that and their dramatically larger army, you would think that they had the advantage. But being on the Lord's team will always leave you with the advantage my friends. So the Lamanite army gets to the land of Ammonihah and is "astonished" to see what the Nephites had done.
"They supposed that they should easily overpower and subject their bretheren to the yoke of bondage, or slay and massacre them according to their pleasure.
"But behold, to their uttermost astonishment, they were prepared for them, in a manner which never had been known among the children of Lehi." (7-8)
Moroni had prepared the land with trenches and high walls so that the Lamanites had no way to enter or to attack from the outside. The Lamanites, being frustrated, decided to try going to the land of Noah. And to their great astonishment, the land of Noah had also been prepared with walls and trenches. Because the Lamanites had no way to attack, they tried to climb over the walls or do whatever it took to get into the land to fight. But the Nephites, having higher ground to stand on, were able to defend themselves and keep their land safe. At the end, more than a thousand Lamanites were killed while only 50 Nephites were wounded. The Lord expects His people to stand on higher ground. He is preparing us to fight our battles against our own Lamanites. Are we willing to follow him?
Alma 50:
Moroni fortifies all the lands of the Nephites. He did not stop preparing his people to defend themselves and their land. He put up dirt walls, timbers, pickets, and towers to secure the land from the stones and arrows of the Lamanites (vs. 1-5). In our lives, we all have a city or a family to protect from outside "arrows" (or bad things). Are we willing to do the work to put up security? Do we equip ourselves with scripture reading and prayer (dirt walls), faith (timbers), following the commandments (pickets), and listening to our prophet and other leaders (towers) so that we can stand on higher ground? Do we have arrows (our own personal testimony of truth) to send back when others are shooting their own arrows towards us? What are we willing to do?
Because the people of God were willing to put in the work to protect themselves, to stand on higher ground, they were inviting the Lord to be on their team. And the Lord's team is always the winning team.
"And thus we see how merciful and just are all the dealings of the Lord, to the fulfilling of all his words unto the children of men; yea, we can behold that his words are verified, even at this time, which he spake unto Lehi, saying:
"Blessed art thou and thy children; and they shall be blessed, inasmuch as they shall keep my commandments they shall prosper in the land. But remember, inasmuch as they will not keep my commandments they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord." (vs. 19-20)
This promise given to Lehi over 500 years before this verse was written brings so much peace and truth. The Lord has proven over and over again that He will deliver His righteous children. Yeah, death and war still occurred and persecution was still eminent, but, as a whole, the righteous have continually been delivered throughout the Book of Mormon. And so it is today. The righteous will continually be delivered.
This chapter continues to teach us the mistakes of the righteous. The land of Lehi and the land of Morianton get in a little tizzy over the boundaries. Threats and war are announced and Moroni is forced to intervene. Don't let the little things get to you! Don't immediately turn to war when the going gets tough. We all have issues that could use resolvement. Let the Lord carry you through. Let Him carry you through.
I am so grateful for the scriptures and for the lessons I can learn as I follow the command to "liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning" (1 Nephi 19:23). As we build up our defense and stand on higher ground, the Lord WILL bless us!
Until next time (Alma 51-52)!
Sister Spackman

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Alma 47-48

I thought it would be fun to write about what I am currently reading. So anyone who reads this, feel free to follow along!
This morning I read in Alma 47 and 48. Great great chapters! As a little summary, Helaman is writing the history of the wars between the Nephites (the followers of God) and the Lamanites (the not followers of God). Moroni, at age 25, was just chosen to be captain over the Nephite armies. Amalickiah wants to be the King over the Lamanites.
So in chapter 47, Amalickiah, the little sneak, plays his cards well and ends up tricking others to do what he wants so that he eventually will end up as King. Now, Amalickiah is a pretty smart man. He knows that if the chief leader was killed, they would appoint the second leader to be the new chief leader. So naturally, Amalickiah first has to get himself to the position of second leader. At this time, Lehonti is the second leader. In verse 10 Amalickiah desires for Lehonti to come down from mount Antipas. Now, Lehonti is not stupid, so he obviously doesn't go down. In verse 11 Amalickiah asks a second and third time for Lehonti to come down. And to both requests Lehonti denies him. Amalickiah, not willing to give in, goes halfway up the mount and, a fourth time, invites Lehonti and his men to meet him there. Amalickiah had just the words to say when Lehonti met him halfway down the mount. Naturally Lehonti was impressed and accepted Amalickiah's invitation. And what is the outcome? Check out verse 18-19. Amalickiah got exactly what he wanted.
We can't give in to the adversary. We can't meet on middle ground. If we already stand on higher ground, don't let yourself lose your view by walking down the mount a bit. It is those few steps that seem innocent that come back to hurt us in the end. Every time we are taking a step down our own mounts, we are asking for danger to lurk up behind us. Hold the ground you already have! Don't let it slip away.
And as for chapter 48, it is one of my absolute favorites. The Lord loves us so much, you know it?
Verse 7, "While Amalickiah had thus been obtaining power and fraud and deceit, Moroni, on the other hand, had been preparing the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God." What a good man. This chapter is filled with how awesome Moroni is. He strengthened the land (9), was strong and mighty, a man of perfect understanding, did not delight in bloodshed, soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery (11), heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people, labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people (12), was firm in the faith of Christ, sworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, his country, and his religion (13), his heart gloried in his faith, in doing good, in preserving his people, in keeping the commandments, in resisting iniquity (14). And do you want to know what the Lord has to say about Moroni? "Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men" (17). Man oh man!! This is what I mean when I say that the Lord loves us so much. He has told us EXACTLY what we need to do to not have hell and the devil have no power over us, and to actually shake before us. Boy are we lucky.
And the next best part of the chapter is in verse 23. The Lamanites decide to go to war against the Nephites. Bad idea on their part. Right in the middle of the verse the Nephites say, "they were sorry to be the means of sending so many of their brethren out of this world into an eternal world, unprepared to meet their God". We know that this is the true Gospel and the way back. We should do all we can to help others accept that and live according to that so that we don't have to feel bad or be hurt after a death of a loved one. So that we can let them go knowing that they were prepared to meet their God.
I know that this is Christ's true church. I know He loves me and I know He loves each of you. The way has been set, the path is straight. Are we willing to follow?
Until next time (Alma 49-50!
Sister Spackman


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Doctrine and Covenants 18:10

"Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;"
"And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!"
"Ask the Father in my name in faith, believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the Holy Ghost, which manifesteth all things which are expedient unto the children of men."
I am so proud of my friend and her decision to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It took much prayer and study, but we got there together. And I couldn't be more happy. 
I know that this is the true church of God. I know that Joseph Smith saw what he said he saw. I know that through him, our Heavenly Father restored the fullness of His Gospel. I am grateful for the knowledge that I have and I am grateful that I have this very special privileged to share that with those I meet. The worth of EVERY soul is great in the eyes of God. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Where Are We Willing To Go?

The Lord knows us. He knows our strengths and our weaknesses. He knows how much we can do and when we fall short. But all in all, what he cares about is our becoming better. All he wants is for us to accept his invitations for us to act. All he asks is for us to try a little bit harder every day. Of course we should always try to be the best we can be today, but instead of falling when we don't meet every requirement, we should let that raise us to be even better. We can learn from every experience. We can be better. How far are we willing to go for the Lord?

The Life of a Missionary

I never thought that I would be posting here during my mission. But crazily enough, the Illinois Chicago Mission was granted permission to use online technology to teach the gospel online. I am grateful for the opportunity that I have been given to serve a mission. It is and has been a fun challenge that I have gratefully accepted for the last three months. And if I have learned nothing else, I know that my Redeemer lives. I love Him and His Atonement. I have come to know for myself that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's true church. And we are promised a sure knowledge for ourselves if we do three simple things. 1. Read His word written in the Book of Mormon. 2. Ponder upon these things in our heart. 3. Pray for truth and understanding. And our promise in return: "We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost". My invitation echos that of our loving Father in Heaven. Read, ponder, pray.