Encouragement File

Today I’m cleaning out my office (day 3), which includes going through and getting rid of a lot of old papers, files, and stuff. NOT my favorite job, but sometimes fun in the process!

One thing I’m learning: there’s a lot I filed away and never remembered was there or looked at again! For example: the encouragement file. I put a bunch of papers that had helped me through some hard times. I wanted to hold onto these but realized that the file wasn’t where I went for encouragement.

When I need a boost, I kneel down and pray. I talk to my husband or my children. I might call a friend. I write in my journal or maybe will compose a blog post. I open up my scriptures or the Ensign magazine. I might go exercise or eat a treat (the latter isn’t the wisest, I know). I might go serve someone. I might take a nap.

But some of these papers had some great thoughts in them, and I thought I might just include a few quotes in this little post to pay homage to previous helpful words:

D&C 123:17 “Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our poser; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”

Hebrews 4:15-16  “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our informities; but was in all poits tempted like we are, yet without sin. Let us therefor come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

“Do Not Despair” by President Ezra Taft Benson (video) (article). “To help us from being overcome by the devil’s design of despair, discouragement, depression, and despondency, the Lord has provided at least a dozen ways which, if followed, will lift our spirits and send us on our way rejoicing.”

“’When you find yourselves a little gloomy,’ said President Lorenzo Snow, ‘look around you and find somebody that is in a worse plight than yourself; go to him and find out what the trouble is, then try to remove it with the wisdom which the Lord bestows upon you; and the first thing you know, your gloom is gone, you feel light, the Spirit of the Lord is upon you, and everything seems illuminated’ (In Conference Report, 6 Apr. 1899, pp. 2–3.).”

“Good Health–A Key to Joyous Living” by Sister Barbara B. Smith (video and article)

“It Is Thy House, a Place of Holiness” by Elaine L. Jack (transcript)

“I saw a lot of people go in and out of that temple, and I never saw one drag out saying, ‘I wish I’d never come today!’ Quite the opposite. They left spiritually enriched, uplifted, ready to face what was ahead. These were good people we could count on to join with us often in temple worship and service. Some of our ordinance workers traveled five hours each way to complete their weekly assignments. President Ezra Taft Benson promised, ‘with increased attendance in the temples of God you shall receive increased personal revelation to bless your life as you bless those who have died.’ ”

“Because She Is a Mother” by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (video and transcript)

“One young mother wrote to me recently that her anxiety tended to come on three fronts. One was that whenever she heard talks on LDS motherhood, she worried because she felt she didn’t measure up or somehow wasn’t going to be equal to the task. Secondly, she felt like the world expected her to teach her children reading, writing, interior design, Latin, calculus, and the Internet—all before the baby said something terribly ordinary, like ‘goo goo.’ Thirdly, she often felt people were sometimes patronizing, almost always without meaning to be, because the advice she got or even the compliments she received seemed to reflect nothing of the mental investment, the spiritual and emotional exertion, the long-night, long-day, stretched-to-the-limit demands that sometimes are required in trying to be and wanting to be the mother God hopes she will be.

“But one thing, she said, keeps her going: ‘Through the thick and the thin of this, and through the occasional tears of it all, I know deep down inside I am doing God’s work. I know that in my motherhood I am in an eternal partnership with Him. I am deeply moved that God finds His ultimate purpose and meaning in being a parent, even if some of His children make Him weep.

“’It is this realization,’ she says, ‘that I try to recall on those inevitably difficult days when all of this can be a bit overwhelming. Maybe it is precisely our inability and anxiousness that urge us to reach out to Him and enhance His ability to reach back to us. Maybe He secretly hopes we will be anxious,’ she said, ‘and will plead for His help. Then, I believe, He can teach these children directly, through us, but with no resistance offered. I like that idea,’ she concludes. ‘It gives me hope. If I can be right before my Father in Heaven, perhaps His guidance to our children can be unimpeded. Maybe then it can be His work and His glory in a very literal sense.’ ”

“Within and Beyond Ourselves: The role of conscience in modern business” by Robert C. Gay (transcript)

“Second, I also share these experiences with you because I have found as you guide your life’s decisions by the Spirit there is no such thing as careers—only fields of service—and that it does not make any difference whether you are a scientist, a social worker, or business person. In the world of the Spirit, home teaching and business leadership are one. Moreover, I am sure as we gather here today, many view us as distant and foreign from the real issues of life. Yet, please be assured, as C.S. Lewis once remarked in a speech to students at Oxford University:

” ‘The work of a Beethoven and the work of a charwoman become spiritual on precisely the same [basis], that of being offered to God, of being done humbly, “as to the Lord”.’ ”

“The Children of Christ” by Elder Neal A. Maxwell (transcript)

“Finally, I should like to leave my own witness. In my life, whichever way I turn, brothers and sisters, there looms Jesus, name of wondrous love. He is our fully atoning and fully comprehending Savior, and in the words of scripture, ‘There is none like unto him.’

“Whether taught in the holy scriptures or in the holy temples, his gospel is remarkable. Whether it concerns the nature of God, the nature of man, the nature of the universe, the nature of this mortal experience, it is remarkable. His gospel is stunning as to its interior consistency. It is breathtaking as to its exterior expansiveness. Rather than existing without the gospel in a mortal maze, instead I stand all amazed at the wonders of that gospel that we should be privileged to be his children.”

“Finding Joy in Life” by Elder Richard G. Scott (video and transcript)

Checklist of Cognitive Distortions by David D. Burns (Google that phrase to learn more or go to this link from everydayhealth.com)

  1. All-or-n0thing thinking
  2. Over generalization
  3. Mental filter (dwelling on negatives)
  4. Discounting the positives
  5. Jumping to conclusions (mind-reading/fortune telling)
  6. Magnification or minimalization
  7. Emotional reasoning (“I feel stupid, so I must be”)
  8. “Should” statements (self-criticizing)
  9. Labeling (name-calling)
  10. Peronalization and blame (blaming yourself for something that wasn’t all your doing or blaming others for something you had a part in)

“Dealing with Stress and Discouragement” (article from “Handbook for Families” Feb.1990)

Elder Neal A. Maxwell has said, “When in situations of stress we wonder if there is any more in us to give, we can be comforted to know that God, who knows our capacity perfectly, placed us here to succeed. No one was foreordained to fail or to be wicked. When we have been weighed and found wanting, let us remember that we were measured before and we were found equal to our tasks; and, therefore, let us continue, but with a more determined discipleship. When we feel overwhelmed, let us recall the assurance that God will not overprogram us; he will not press upon us more than we can bear (D&C 50:40).” (“Meeting the Challenges of Today,” in Devotional Speeches of the Year, Provo: Brigham Young University, 1978, p. 156.)

“Instead of Yelling” by Debbie Pettey (article)

“I determined to change my behavior.”

“The Blessings of Unity” (Chapter 5, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay)

“Very frequently discords arise in the home because husbands desire to save their own dignity and have their own way, have their own wishes carried out. Wives desire the same. Some exercise their prerogative to have the last word. Husbands are sometimes even more eager to have it than wives. Each really is trying to save himself or herself, and instead of having harmony and peace in the home there arises discord. Instead of saving the life of harmony in the home, you lose it, merely because you are seeking to save your own selfish life, or have your own selfish way. Better to lose that desire. Say nothing, and in losing your desire and that feeling of enmity, of ruling, of governing, you say nothing, and you gain your life in the home.”

“Christmas Talk Valparaiso Ward” by Neil Call, Dec.24, 2006 (transcript of final page)

“Charles Dickens said, ‘Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts.'” (this was on p.3 of his talk)


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