Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wise Words: Find a Friend in Duty

". . .there was a smile on her lips and peace in her heart.  She had looked her duty courageously in the face and found it a friend as duty ever is when we meet it frankly."
 (Lucy Maud Montgomery, "Anne of Green Gables," chapter 38)

Be Inspired,

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wise Women: Prepare for the Plague of Pornography in Positive Ways

I strongly believe that we don't need to fear pornography, but we do need to prepare to fight against it. We need to understand there is a reason prophets refer to pornography as a plague. We need to decide now that we will act with compassion toward anyone affected by pornography. Finally, we need to have a plan in place to combat pornography.

Faith in the wise instruction of the Savior, Jesus Christ to "Be not afraid, only believe." provides courage to fight against " The sleaze and the filth of pornography" (President Gordon B. Hinckley,"The Condition of the Church, April 2003 General Conference). President Thomas S Monson affirms, " This is not a time for fear. . . but rather a time for faith. . ." ("Be Your Best Self," April 2009 General Conference). "I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them" 1 Nephi 3:7

  We must acknowledge that pornography doesn't only affect those who seek after it, it is a plague which also infects those diligently trying to avoid it. "Just as fiery serpents swept through the camp of Israel, pornography is sweeping through our world, and even the Saints of God are not escaping unharmed." ( Overcoming Addiction  Through the Atonement, Ensign September 2012) It is not only affecting those who go out and seek it, but biting some on the heel even when they are doing their very best to avoid it.  I have heard many stories from friends who have been horribly exposed to the disgusting stuff even after choosing very carefully what movie, etc.  they went to.  Like any flu germ, we can do our very best to avoid it, and we should, but we must also know what to do if we, or someone we love, becomes infected despite our best efforts at germ control.  Being prepared by choosing now to show compassion and understanding when we encounter or hear about someone who is struggling with pornography, and not reacting with fear, disgust, or anger, is extremely important:

". . . everyone I have met struggling with addiction suffers from a terrible sense of shame and a belief that he or she is broken, defective, and beyond the love and grace of God.
But this belief, in my experience, is far from the truth. Usually I find that those who struggle with addictions are warriors with tenacity, courage, and a strong desire to be clean. They win far more battles than they lose as they march toward recovery.
This may be hard for some to comprehend—if people are so strong, why is overcoming addiction so difficult? Addiction is often misunderstood, and some believe that if a person would simply choose to recover or work harder at stopping, he or she would be able to. But the nature of addiction—and all sin, for that matter—is such that we cannot heal ourselves from it. The children of Israel could not heal themselves from the bites of the fiery serpents, and we cannot simply wish or even work addiction away. We must find our hope of healing in Christ."( Overcoming Addiction Through the Atonement, Ensign September 2012) 

Clearly one of our duties as mothers is to have a clear plan in place to deal with pornography. That plan must have our own good example of avoiding all forms of that plague very close to the top of that list."Parents need to teach children to avoid any pornographic photographs or stories. Children and youth need to know from parents that pornography of any kind is a tool of the devil; and if anyone flirts with it, it has the power to addict, dull, and even destroy the human spirit."(Marriage and Family Relations Participant manual, chapter 15).  Have a specific plan we discuss with our children such as "if you see pornography, which is pictures of immodest or naked people, be sure to turn off the TV or computer right away, don't click on another thing on the Internet, don't turn another page in that book, run to me or to another adult and ask for help!" 

 Those efforts to avoid pornography are commendable and necessary, but they must also be accompanied with a powerful testimony of the source of healing: Jesus Christ and the Power of the Atonement must be at the very top our preparation plan.  As Moms we must nurture our own testimony of our Savior and do our very best to lead our children, and all those around us to him so that if they ever are bitten by the fiery serpent of pornography, or any other sin or addiction, they know from our example that they are still loved and still important to the Savior and if they look to Him they will be saved.

Yes we live in a world of darkness and fiery serpents so we need to have our armour and our family's armour as strong as possible so that we can fight each battle with confidence that even if we can't always see it, the light of Jesus Christ is never far away, and He will always win.  All we have to do is choose to fight with His help.

Be Inspired,

Janelle Joy

Overcoming Addiction Through the Atonement, Ensign September 2012
Combating Pornography Website

My Blog Post was Featured on Deseret News!

Wow this was a surprise I found this morning!  I am glad the author mentioned the way I end each post because that is my goal for this whole blog:  hoping that even one other person might Be Inspired today! 
See "Mormon Media Observer: Covering Education Week Deserves Kudos"  by Lane Williams

Thanks Lane!  I guess one simple blog full of simple experiences really can make a difference.

Be Inspired,

Janelle Joy

Truly Tender: "E-E-GO! E-E-DO! E-A-E-Oo-OBEY!"

I started singing Nephi's Courage as I was rocking Lady Slipper.  I don't always get much reaction to this particular song but today she got very happy and had her fists ready with elbows bent (to show her courage) even before I got to the chorus where I usually do those actions.  When we did get to the chorus, she started yelling out some of the words very clearly and I could tell that the other sounds she made were intended to be words.  I slowed down my speed and allowed her time to say the words herself and she loved me clapping for her.  She even performed the chorus of the song again that night during family scripture study time for Daddy and Morning Glory to see.

I love being a Mom!

Be Inspired,

Janelle Joy

See also:
1 Nephi 3:7 song
Nephi Obeys, Mom and Me Music Lesson

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Parable of the "Less than Perfect" Performances

"There are times when we have to step into the darkness in faith, confident that God will place solid ground beneath our feet once we do. And so I accepted gladly, knowing that God would provide." (President Dieter F Uchtdorf, "The Why of Priesthood Service" General Conference April 2012)

In my journey of experiencing several miscarriages (six so far), despite specific revelation telling me of the importance of those pregnancies, I continued to have faith in the inspiration I had received and the hope I felt for the future.  However, as this sixth miscarriage was imminent, I began to wonder if it was time for me to ask more questions--to seek the solid ground underneath my faith.  With that question on my mind and in my prayers, I attended BYU Education Week, believing that even if I did not receive the answer to that specific question, it was somehow important for me to be there, where I could receive personal inspiration with more power since I was in a place dedicated for spiritual learning and I had that entire week to devote to that spiritual learning and leave other cares in the background for a time. 

I was not disappointed. As I sat listening to the campus Devotional on Tuesday, my mind started to wander away from the topic, even though the speaker was one I greatly admire and had looked forward to hearing  (Elder Tad Callister).   I have learned that when I am ready to learn and I am prepared, it is good to pay attention when my mind wanders in that way.  What came to my mind was a parable which I knew applied to me and my question about miscarriages, but I also felt may have meaning to others as they apply it to their own circumstances and so I wrote down carefully in my notebook so I could share how what seems like a "less than perfect performance" may actually be perfectly crafted just for you:

"I will look at my miscarriages as a musical performance I was asked by my father to perform.  I agreed to obey.  I prepared the best I knew how and performed the specified song at the specified event.  My performance had many flaws.  It seemed a failure.  I was tempted to question but chose to accept even the failed performance as significant in some way.

Five more times I prepared for a performance of the same song.  I did not refuse.  I prepared.  I hoped for success.  I trusted my Father and I obeyed Him.  Each time I made sure I was where I was supposed to be at the right time for the performance.  I performed to the very best of my ability and even prayed for help and received priesthood blessings for divine help and strength.  Each performance began well but seemed to fail before the end.

Each time I was tempted to believe I must have misunderstood what my Father was asking me to do" because I know He does not ask me to do something I cannot do."  Each time I chose not to question the commandment.  Each time I chose to believe that in my Father's eyes, somehow that I can't understand, His purpose truly was being fulfilled and my performance was not a failure even though the improvements in my ability to play the song showed very little measurable increase.  Each time I began preparing again to be ready as soon as Father asks me again even though each past performance was so painful for me.

Finally, I went to My Father and asked Him if He wanted me to know why or if I should just continue to obey and accept . . .I wanted only to do what He wants me to do.  He answered me.  He wants me to understand. and someday I will.  Until then I will keep obeying and keep accepting less than perfect performances."  (Janelle Joy's personal notebook, August 14, 2012)

Line upon line, throughout that week, I learned more and more of the importance of my obedience and how each one of those miscarriages has had much more significance in my life and my family's lives than I could have imagined.  Details are not important, or even appropriate to share, since they are specific answers given to me.  But I do want to testify that the answers did come.  I no longer look at those miscarriages with a feeling of sadness or pain.  I no longer look to the future wondering how many more I may be asked to endure.  Now I walk no more in darkness about that particular challenge, I walk on the solid ground of knowledge.  I know that with every challenge we are given, if we continue on in faith, there truly will be a time when we will be able to see the importance and significance of every "less than perfect performance" we perform in our efforts to obey.

Be Inspired,

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Spiritually Saving: Do My Duty to Not Be Ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

"For I am not aashamed of the bgospel of Christ: for it is the cpower of God unto dsalvation to every one that believeth;" (Romans 1:16)

"I know that our Heavenly Father has spoken in this day and age of the world, that his Gospel is upon the earth, and while I would not compel any soul to accept it, I pray that we may have power and wisdom and strength to reach out after these neighbors of ours who do not understand the truth. Let us do our duty, and draw them into the fold of the Master, that they, with us, may know that he lives"
(Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, Chapter 14, emphasis added)

Be Inspired,

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wise Words: Helaman 5: 12

"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the arock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your bfoundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty cstorm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." Helaman 5: 12 (The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ)

Morning Glory has been working on composing a song for a shortened version of this insightful scripture verse.  She chose which parts of the verse she thought were the most important, composed a rhythm and then a simple tune that we have been teaching to Lady Slipper during morning with Mom Scripture time and also during our nightly family scripture study. 
Click here for the song composition

Be Inspired,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"E-E-Up" (Giddyup)

Morning Glory,

I loved seeing how you put Lady slipper to bed tonight:

You: "Want Giddyup?" (in a fun and excited happy voice)
LS:  "E-e-up!" (with a huge smile)

Then you turned around to let her climb up onto your back with her arms happily encircling your neck and you skipped her down the hall to her room.

You already show the potential to be such a fun mom!  Thank you for being such a nice and helpful big sister and such a good example.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Truly Tender: "Eye-nose" and "Beebee Towz"

It took a while to figure out what Lady Slipper was saying so insistently as I tucked her in for a nap (for at least the third time). It sounded something like "Beebee towz." I loved that happy smile when I discovered that it meant she wanted the baby clothes for her little doll. Then I remembered her being a little concerned when I took them off to wash them this morning. I had no idea those tiny pj's were so important to her. After I found them and put them back on I got a huge "huzz" (hug) along with that same little voice saying. "Eye-nose" That one was really easy: she wanted butterfly and Eskimo kisses.

Now I am hearing tiny tears and the words "I sad, mommy I sad" over and over again through the bedroom door.
I love being a Mom!
Be Inspired,
Janelle Joy

Monday, August 13, 2012

BYU Education Week

I have planned for Education Week for several months and was so excited as the time came closer. Then, as always seems to happen, opposition struck with a vengeance. At a routine checkup more autoimmune antibodies were found in my system and the Graves Disease that has been in remission came back in full force. I also started into another early miscarriage.

Logic told me I should stay home and rest but I had felt so strongly that it was right to go. What a quandary! With the second witness that my husband also felt I should go and it would be a good and important experience for me, and going completely on faith I made it to Provo and tried to relax for the night. Soon the pain from my miscarriage tripled and was not helped at all by the normal dose ibuprofin. I felt the tears coming and wondered how I was going to make it sitting in classes all day when I was in tears while lying down. I called my husband for reassurance, made sure I took the maximum ibuprofin allowed and finally fell asleep.

So far, the miracle I hoped for has begun as the pain has receded to a dull ache this morning and I have made it through one class so far. My emotions are also distracted by learning new things so right now I don't have to look too closely at the emotional pain of knowing I am losing a baby for the 6th time despite all my research on autoimmune miscarriages and all the positive changes I have worked so hard to implement in the past few months. I know I can't run from the pain but I am thankful that I can have some time to accept it and think about it more rationally while also enjoying new experiences in a place I love so much.(BYU is where I earned my Bachelor of Science degree back in 2000 so it is full of wonderful memories).

Be Inspired,
Janelle Joy

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Simply A Supermom: Eliza R. Snow

"Sister Eliza R. Snow . . .  never had children of her own. Nevertheless, she recognized the importance of a mother’s influence. She counseled Relief Society sisters, “Let your first business be to perform your duties at home.”
("Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society," Chapter 9)

The above quote stood out to me as my focus this month has been to "Do My Duty."

I grew up loving stories about this wonderful woman.  I admired her writing ability which began as a young girl.  I admired her willingness to support and love her brother Lorenzo, Who later became President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I admired her willingness to wait to marry until she found someone with high values like she had. 

My admiration continues to grow as I experience more of life.  She suffered and rejoiced with the Saints from the very early days of the church.  I marvel at the wisdom and insight she shared as she served as the Second Relief Society General President from 1866 to 1877.  That is a long time to bear the responsibility of teaching and leading the women of the world.  She is an example of a woman with knowledge "of things both in heaven and in the earth" (Doctrine and Covenants 88:79)

She is an outstanding example of a Supermom who chose to mother all those around her despite the challenge of not giving life to her own children while she lived in this life.  She must have found ways to be optimistic and look diligently for reasons to be thankful and for ways to serve others.

Sister Snow, Thank you so much for your example for me.

Be Inspired,

Janelle Joy

See also:
"Invocation, or the Eternal Father and Mother" ("Oh, My Father") poem
"Oh My Father" (hymn)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Truly Tender: "I Singing Mommy!"

I was getting my cutie, Lady Slipper, ready for bed. She was making lots of cute little toddler noises.They were a little higher pitched than usual but I didn't really notice until I recognized a few words which clearly indicated she was talking to me :"I singing Mommy!" "I love your singing!" I replied enthusiastically and I was answered with a huge proud smile and some more beautiful little songs.

I love being a Mom!

Be Inspired,
Janelle Joy

Monday, August 6, 2012

Musical Motivation: A New Scripture Song: 2 Nephi 2:25

I composed a new Scripture song for teaching Lady Slipper (toddler) one of the scripture mastery scriptures from the Book of Mormon:

2 Nephi 2: 25 click on the link in order to see the Kodally Solfege version of the sang, as well as a version that you can play online (created on classicsforkids composition game)

See also my music Blog for inspiration to bring more music into your family

Be Musically Inspired,
Janelle Joy

Friday, August 3, 2012

Family Friendly: Am I a True Sister to All?

"How happy it will make you, if when that time comes, when you stand in the presence of the great Judge to give an account of the few years of life that have been spent in mortality, if these our Father’s children that He loves as much as He loves us, standing by us, say, 'Heavenly Father, it was this man, it was this woman who first brought to me the information of Thy glorious truth that provoked in me a desire to seek after Thee more fervently than I had done before. It was this man or this woman who did this blessed thing for me.'

"And that is not all.

"When that time comes, when you go down through the ages of eternity, that is a long time, you will have the love and the gratitude of every man, woman and child to whom you have been instrumental in bringing eternal happiness." (Teachings of the Prophet George Albert Smith, Chapter 12).

What better way could I be a true sister to all the many brothers and sisters around me than to share the precious gift of the knowledge I have of Jesus Christ and His Gospel? How well am I doing? I hope that someday I will be able to hear those wonderful words words (from the above quote)from at least two people: my daughters. I want them to be able to say that it was their mother who was the first to teach them of God.

Be Inspired,
Janelle Joy

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Wise Woman is a Wise Steward

"Remember, brethren, to return and report is the final act of the faithful and wise steward. " (see here

Obviously the above quote applies to women as well as men. I believe being a wise steward requires listening and following the Spirit. That is part of what I want to return and report.

"You will receive nudges from the Spirit, ever so quiet ones, but clearly discernible. There may be an impression to call someone, to write, to say thank you to Mom or Dad, to express love to a sibling, to contact someone you are assigned to home or visit teach. These acts usually do not take large amounts of time, although on occasion they may.

I know that when I follow my impressions and act in behalf of one of God’s children, there is a special spiritual reinforcement, a recharge of the spiritual battery, if you will, that the Lord sends. Lots of those “hugs” come in the process of ministering to others. You learned that ever so well in your missionary experience.

These little acts of service are as fulfilling as those that are given to you by formal call or assignment. There is much good to be done in the world which does not require a formal call to perform. Do not wait for the assignment to serve before serving. Service, freely rendered, is evidence of internalized Christlike attributes and is deeply soul satisfying.

No one is expecting you to return and report on these personalized promptings quietly given by the Holy Spirit to serve others. In fact, it is possible no one will notice if you do not respond at all. You won’t even be asked about them. But cumulatively they will bring you closer to the Master and prepare you for your most critical roles of all: husband, wife, father, mother, home teacher, or visiting teacher. To be successful in these sacred relationships, absolute obedience to the enticings of the still, small voice is essential. And as you thus respond, you will bask in the love and peace showered upon you by a deeply grateful Heavenly Father! (See here).

I believe those "assignments" given directly through the Holy Spirit are part of a very important personal though perhaps informal report: that which we should continually have with our Heavenly Father as we pray always and work harder and harder to notice and act on more and more of those individual promptings. I have found greatest awareness of these promptings when I write down in a special journal each one I can recognize and then record whether I responded or not.

Be Inspired,
Janelle Joy


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