Thursday, October 31, 2013

Closer to Christ: Day 11

Question:  How can I improve my thoughts?

Read: Doctrine and Covenants 6:16 Yea, I tell thee, that thou mayest know that there is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart.
Doctrine and Covenants 121: 45-46 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.
Alma 37:35-37  O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God. Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever. Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

Ponder: Do I strive to keep all idle, unclean or negative thoughts out of my mind?  Do my thoughts affect my attitude?

What problems, concerns, worries, plans or ideas consume the greatest amount of  your thinking time?  Try today to "Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly."

When negative thoughts comes, replace them with thinking about the Savior

Ok, so the part about keeping my thoughts clean is not a problem for me.  However, the negative things gets me sometimes.  There are days that I really struggle to keep my thoughts happy and swimming above water. There are days that I feel like I am drowning in my worrisome thoughts.

My thoughts totally affect my attitude - and not just with spiritual things - with everything!  My thoughts either bring me up or take me down.  They either allow for success and happiness or they pave the way for failure and depression.  Thoughts are that powerful!

This has been perfect for me today and I wish that I would have read it earlier, but my thoughts were elsewhere and I procrastinated.  Today has been a downer of a day for me.  I'm not sure why.  I exercised this morning with a friend even though I wanted to just go back to bed.  I enjoyed it.  I love our conversations as we walk!  The day went down from there. 

My thoughts today have been on Christmas.  I know! It is Halloween!  But with six kids I have to start planning early to get it all done.  I love Christmas!  I love thinking about each of my children and planning what to get them.  I love seeing the surprise on their faces.  I love the spirit.  I love the focus on Christ and service.  I love being together.  This year though I feel different.  When I think about the upcoming holiday I get down and depressed.  Finances are tight and even though we put a little aside every month to help with Christmas, it won't go very far this year.  I know the things are not what is important, but it is still part of the fun and excitement for children on Christmas morning. 

I won't go into all the details, but that is where my thoughts have been.  So I have walked around the house today sad and down.  Not even chocolate made me feel better!  I have, however, tried to turn my thoughts to prayer.  I have tried to go to my Heavenly Father for comfort and guidance.  I have asked for His help on what I can do to make Christmas special for my family this year.  Maybe you think that is something not prayer worthy, but I think it is.  He is there for all of our worries and concerns, no matter how small they may seem.  I am not asking Him to provide us with a wonderful, present-filled Christmas, I am asking Him to help me make it special for my six children who themselves are very giving and aware of others who may be lacking.  Children who love to go and pick names off the Christmas tree at Walmart and get a present for a child who won't have any.  Children who love to draw each other's names and do special things for them.  Children who are willing to give up part of their Christmas to help a family that may not be having one.  They deserve to have something special themselves!  So my prayers have been to lead me in a direction to make it special to them.  Will He help me?  Yes, I believe He will. 

Anyways, maybe that was completely off topic for today.  I was just trying to point out that my thoughts totally affect my attitude and my day.  If I can keep focused on the Savior, if I can keep my heart turned to my Heavenly Father in prayer, if I can do those things, then I can get through my days with a better attitude and happier thoughts.  So often, when I do do this, I am able to remember the blessings I do have and the negative is replaced with gratitude and happiness.  It also allows me to remember all that He has done for me and it grows my faith to help me know that He will continue to help me.  He will "direct me for good".  He will lead me in the way I should go.  He will help me lead my children in the way they should go. 

How can I improve my thoughts?  By starting the day out with prayer, by ending the day with prayer, and by keeping a prayer in my heart.  By remembering my blessings, by surrounding myself with good - good music, good books, good friends.  By loving others and serving them.  As I go about doing good, my thoughts will be positive, my heart will be filled with the Spirit and my life will be pointed towards the Savior.

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