Living Joyfully in Troubled Times

From Dad:

I thought I would post something on our blog (my first blog post ever!).  Thanks, Tay, for setting it up.  Today, our church was cancelled because of a blizzard in Chicago.  Carrie, Alli, Mom and I had our own church services.  Each of us took a few minutes to share principles from an Ensign article or lesson.  Carrie told an inspiring story of a young woman who survived an encounter with a tornado. Mom gave a lesson on making the Sabbath day a delight. Alli shared some thoughts about true beauty vs. beauty by the world’s standards, and I shared some thoughts about the importance of continually learning.  For me, it was an enjoyable time.  We missed Erica & Alex, Tay and Tara.  I hope each of you have a delightful Sabbath.

It was a joy to have all of you home for the Holidays. Mom and I loved being with each of you.  Thanks for your willingness to participate in our Neuffer Family Mission Statement.  Erica kindly volunteered to produce the original draft of the statement based on our discussion.  Here it is:

“The Neuffer family pursues a spiritual foundation, frequent connection, brotherly kindness, wholesome fun, and holistic health. Also, contribution or retribution.”

The mission statement is brief, but carries lots of meaning.  I invite the rest of us to propose any revisions that you  would like to see to the language, which is a very good start, and represents our discussions well. You can email them to me at bneuffer@live.com.  Thanks!

As  I was reading over our Priesthood meeting lesson this morning (before church was cancelled), I was impressed with several quotes by President Benson in Ch. 4 of the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church:

“We  will all have disappointments and discouragements–that is part of life.  But if we will have faith, our setbacks will be but a moment and success will come out of our seeming failures.  Our Heavenly Father can accomplish miracles through each of us if we will but place our confidence and trust in Him. p. 71

“We have no cause to really worry.  Live the gospel, keep the commandments. Attend to your prayers night and morning in your home. Maintain the standards of the Church. Try to live calmly and cheerfully… Happiness must be earned from day to day. But it is worth the effort.” p. 72

“There are times when you simply have to righteously hang on and outlast the devil until his depressive spirit leaves you.” p. 72

“Be cheerful in all that you do. Live joyfully.  Live happily.  Live enthusiastically, knowing that God does not dwell in gloom and melancholy, but in light and love.” p. 73

“Do we realize that happiness here and now consists in freely, lovingly, joyfully acknowledging God’s will for us–and doing it in all ways and all affairs big and small? To live perfectly is to live happily. To live happily is to grow in spiritual strength toward perfection. p, 74.

I give you my strong conviction that President Benson was a Prophet of the living God. and that his words are true. I know I need to improve at living happily and joyfully, and I hope we all can find that happiness that Heavenly Father wishes for us.

Love,  Dad

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