Monday, April 24, 2017

Fight the good Fight

Image result for the vision of the tree of life chelsea speirs

"And so we say to all those who have in like manner taken upon themselves the name of Christ and enlisted in the cause of Truth and righteousness:  be valiant.  Fight the good fight.  Stand true.  Keep the commandments.  Overcome the world."
- Bruce R. McConkie

Some of the people in Nephi's vision made it to the tree, ate the fruit, and then began to look around and left the tree for the world.  Don't be that girl!

God made you to be a strong and righteous woman.  Satan knows that and he wants you.  Stay close to Jesus.  CLING to Him!  He will win in the end.  Let's all be on His side when he does.

Loving and praying for you daily.
Love, Sister Rhinehart

Monday, April 17, 2017

Can you Endure like the Pioneers?

pioneers and angels in snow

“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 said I can go only that far and there I must give up for I cannot pull my load through it. 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." - Francis Webster

When speaking of the handcart pioneers, Elder Rasband said, "It is important to join forces and pull together.  You are not out on the mountainsides in the winter….You need your strength to withstand the buffetings that will continue to come at you and at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Why?  Because these are the last days and Satan is running out of time.  He is throwing everything he has out there to catch the attention of God's children, to draw them and us off, to stymie their progress, to conflict their very souls."

When it comes to endurance I can't help but think of our pioneers.  They not only left their homes but their country!  All because of their testimony in God and our Savior and their hope in a new world.  I can't imagine the sacrifice.  Many left their families because they simply didn't have the money to send everyone.  For some, it was the last time they saw their families here on earth.  What a heartbreaking scene on those foreign docks.  Then, they arrive in the United States to be hated and driven out, forced to flee across the continent to an unknown desert.  The trials they must have faced are unimaginable.  They had nothing but sheer grit and determination as they placed one foot in front of the other and ENDURED hardship after hardship to arrive in the Salt Lake valley.  Let us honor their legacy by placing one foot in front of the other and enduring our trials until we make it back to our Heavenly Father.  If we can join forces and pull the load together, then our burdens will be lighter and enduring together will make us stronger.  
- Love Sister Landers

Monday, April 10, 2017

Don't you Quit

"My dear [sisters], because of the wave of confusion and doubt spreading throughout the world today, we must hold ever more tightly to our testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Then will our ability to defend to truth and justice greatly increase.  We will win the daily battles against evil, and, rather than fall on the battlefields of life, we will rally others to the Master's standards."
                - Elder Ulisses Soares

Summer 2005 was a pure test and trial for me.  I won’t go into the details, but I remember praying and telling Heavenly Father that I was done!  I could NOT handle ANYmore.  Shortly after this prayer, several new and VERY hard trials hit me at the same time.  I felt CRUSHED!  I honestly didn’t think I could handle it.  I remember sitting in a cafe in Oregon the night before my little brother’s funeral feeling desolate!  And then I remembered these words…(How Firm A Foundation Hymn #85)

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

Looking back, I see the benefit of enduring.  I didn’t think I could, but I did and I grew.  “You keep walking.  You keep trying…”  And so we do.  And so we are blessed.

I love you and pray for you in your trials.

Sister Rhinehart

Monday, April 3, 2017

Endure to the end

"You will have those who take issue with your determination to follow the will of the Lord.  We see it all around us as attacks on religious freedom increase.  Stay the course, brothers and sisters.  Hold fast to the Lord's commandments - even in the face of challenges from unbelievers."
- Elder Ronald A. Rasband

When I was in high school, I was one of 9 members of the church.  We had over a 1,000 students so needless to say, I was REALLY a minority.  Everyone knew who was a Mormon.  Everyone also seemed to know the basics about what Mormons "COULDN'T" do.  I am not sure why, but one boy in particular seemed to single me out and harass me about my religion.  He was an atheist, which is someone who does not believe in a God.  He believed in science and that we were part of evolution from the "Big Bang".  He was on the track team with me and so I had the opportunity of seeing him every day after school.  He continually questioned me with things like, "How can you believe in a God?  Have you seen Him?  How can you be such a fool to believe in a story a 14 year old boy made up?  How can you believe that Joe Smith actually found gold plates?  You are a smart person, it surprises me how dumb you can be.  You really are ignorant."  I found myself constantly having to defend my religion.  It was hard because I was the only LDS person on the team and everyone around would listen to my answers.  It was very stressful and I found it being rather embarrassing.  Many kids on the team would say things like, "I didn’t know that you believed in that!"  After a few weeks of this constant harassment and persecution, my friends and acquaintances from the team started defending me without me asking.  They started defending my faith and my right to choose to believe how I wanted.  I soon found that I had many people on my side, unlike I thought in the beginning.  The boy never fully left me alone and always hated me throughout high school.  Enduring this harassment was difficult and exhausting.  This experience strengthened my foundation to my testimony.  The more I had to defend what I believed, the firmer my conviction in the truthfulness of our church became.  "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." - Matthew 10:22  I know that if we can endure the hardships that face us because of what we believe, we will not be able to count the blessings that we receive.  

- Love, Sister Landers