Saturday, June 23, 2012

Choose the Right

Choose the Right
1. Choose the right when a choice is placed before you.
In the right the Holy Spirit guides;
And its light is forever shining o’er you,
When in the right your heart confides.

2. Choose the right! Let no spirit of digression
Overcome you in the evil hour.
There’s the right and the wrong to ev’ry question;
Be safe thru inspiration’s pow’r.

3. Choose the right! There is peace in righteous doing.
Choose the right! There’s safety for the soul.
Choose the right in all labors you’re pursuing;
Let God and heaven be your goal.

Choose the right! Choose the right!
Let wisdom mark the way before.
In its light, choose the right!
And God will bless you evermore.

My favorite part of this song is that we have the freedom to choose for ourselves! We can receive so many blessings if we do our part. Heavenly Father is willing and ready to bless us. One thing we can choose to do is read the scriptures.  I read the Book of Mormon every single day and do specific topic studies as well. The wisdom of the prophets of old truly do "mark the way before" us.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Losing a Friend, Gaining an Angel

I've been through a lot of different trials in my life, but I had never before experienced losing a friend or loved one until this week.

My childhood friend Ammon passed away Wednesday morning in an accident while hiking in Utah. Ammon Mark Latham and I grew up together, and I have so many fond memories of him: 
  • picking on each other in Sunday School
  • dancing at church youth dances (he always smelled like really clean soap)
  • coming over to my apartment in college and eating meals with my roommates
  • taking me out and buying me food
  • going over to his family's house before and after his mission
  • trying to keep in touch while he served in Brazil
  • looking through his mission pictures/videos with his family a few weeks before I left for my mission.

I was so shocked to hear the news. It wasn't real. You never realize the place your friends have in your hearts until you feel an unexpected emptiness when you lose them. I will have to wait a long time before I can see Ammon again, but I know that I will see him again.

God has a plan for each of us. Before we came to earth, we lived with Him, and when we die, we "are taken home to that God who gave [us] life" (Alma 40: 11). Ammon is an incredible incredible that his work is done on this mortal earth and Heavenly Father needs him in the Spirit World to continue to teach the Gospel and bless others. I know this. The Plan of Salvation is not just something to believe in because it brings peace, but it's a knowledge and an assurance that there really is more than this mortal life.
My companion lost her brother 9 months ago while on her mission. She has a great, eternal perspective on losing a loved one. She created a blog, to uplift and inspire others as she has dealt with this. She said,
"I know because of The Atonement of Christ that all of us will live again!! I know that I will see my brother again and that I will be able to live with him and my family for eternity. I know that if I listen to the Prophet's words and follow the commandments of God that I will live with my Heavenly Father and my family. I know that my brother will live again and that I will see him again. I am human and so I know that I will at times feel sad and miss my brother, but because I know God's plan, I have hope. I know good things are to come here on earth and when I return back to my Heavenly Father."
 I'm so grateful for my own testimony of Jesus Christ and God's great plan of happiness.  I know these things are true because The Gospel of Jesus Christ is on the Earth and is led by a modern prophet.

The song in my heart this week is "Each Life That Touches Ours For Good," LDS Hymns no. 293.
1. Each life that touches ours for good
Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord;
Thou sendest blessings from above
Thru words and deeds of those who love.

2. What greater gift dost thou bestow,
What greater goodness can we know
Than Christlike friends, whose gentle ways
Strengthen our faith, enrich our days.

3. When such a friend from us departs,
We hold forever in our hearts
A sweet and hallowed memory,
Bringing us nearer, Lord, to thee.

4. For worthy friends whose lives proclaim
Devotion to the Savior’s name,
Who bless our days with peace and love,
We praise thy goodness, Lord, above.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

You Can Make the Pathway Bright

You can make the pathway bright,
Fill the soul with heaven’s light,
If there’s sunshine in your heart;
Turning darkness into day,
As the shadows fly away,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.

If there’s sunshine in your heart,
You can send a shining ray
That will turn the night to day;
And your cares will all depart,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.
You can speak the gentle word
To the heart with anger stirred,
If there’s sunshine in your heart;
Tho it seems a little thing,
It will heaven’s blessings bring,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.

You can do a kindly deed
To your neighbor in his need,
If there’s sunshine in your heart;
And his burden you will share
As you lift his load of care,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.

You can live a happy life
In this world of toil and strife,
If there’s sunshine in your heart;
And your soul will glow with love
From the perfect Light above,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.
Text: Helen Silcott Dungan, ca. 1899
Music: James M. Dungan, 1851–1925

"You Can Make the Pathway Bright" LDS Hymns, No. 228

What a great pick-me-up! This song always makes me smile and remember that my Heavenly Father loves me! This goes with my favorite scripture, Mosiah 2:41. Blessed and happy are those that keep the commandments of God! See also: Mosiah 2:17 and 1 Peter 3:8-12.  Have a sunshine day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

If Thou Endure it Well

When I was a teenager, I went through the hardest trials of my life thus far. There were many dark times when I felt so alone and trapped. Joseph Smith, Jr. also went through many dark months in Liberty Jail and pleaded with the Lord, "Where art thou?"

The Lord responded: "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." These words brought me so much comfort and peace. Rob Gardner composed a musical presentation on the life of Joseph Smith, and the song I choose to share is "My Kindness Shall Not Depart From Thee." It combines words from Doctrine & Covenants 121 & 122 and Isaiah 54, which are incredible passages of scripture I encourage you to read. For those of you who have been through or are going through a hard time (isn't that all of us?), remember that the Lord is aware of your needs and He will succor you and lift you.

There are a few different versions of this song going around, but the Squire Chorus is the best. Click the movie below or here:  See the full narration and performance here!

My Kindness Shall Not Depart From Thee

For a little while
Have I forsaken thee;
But with great mercies will I gather thee.
In a little wrath I hid my face from thee
For a moment.
But with everlasting kindness will I gather thee,
And with mercy will I take thee ‘neath my wings,
For the mountains shall depart,
And the hills shall be removed,
And the valleys shall be lost beneath the sea,
But know, my child,
My kindness shall not depart from thee!

Though thine afflictions seem
At times too great to bear,
I know thine every thought and every care.
And though the very jaws
Of hell gape after thee I am with thee.
And with everlasting mercy will I succor thee,
And with healing will I take thee ‘neath my wings.
Though the mountains shall depart,
And the hills shall be removed,
And the valleys shall be lost beneath the sea,
Know, my child,
My kindness shall not depart from thee!

How long can rolling waters
Remain impure?
What pow’r shall stay the hand of God?
The Son of Man hath descended below all things.
Art thou greater than He?
So hold on thy way,
For I shall be with thee.
And mine angels shall encircle thee.
Doubt not what thou knowest,
Fear not man, for he
Cannot hurt thee.

And with everlasting kindness will I succor thee,
And with mercy will I take thee ‘neath my wings.
For the mountains shall depart,
And the hills shall be removed,
And the valleys shall be lost beneath the sea,
But know, my child,
My kindness shall not depart from thee!

Check out more from Rob Gardner and Spire Chorus here:
Read more about Jesus Christ here:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

About This Blog

When I found out that I could create a blog as part of my online proselyting, I hemmed and hawed over it for a few weeks. What could I write about? What would be my theme? How could I possibly think of something deep and inspiring to say every time I posted?

Then I dug a little deeper. Sister Nordström, I asked myself, what ALWAYS inspires you? A warm feeling began to spread inside me, and I smiled and answered without hesitation, "Music."

In the last General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke of those who are "In Tune with the Music of Faith." These saints: 
1. Love the Lord and His Gospel 
2. Continuously try to live and share His message, especially with their families
3. Are in harmony with the promptings of the Spirit
4. Have awakened to the power of God's word 
5. Have religious observance in their homes 
6. Diligently try to live Christlike lives as His disciples

In this blog I want to emphasize these characteristics as I share the songs and music that have inspired me and helped strengthen my testimony.  The things I share are very precious and close to my heart, and I hope that you will also share the music that has inspired you on this page.

One last note before I let you go: before my mission I had horrible stage fright! For years and years, I stressed myself sick if I had to perform in front of people, especially in a solo. However, since I have become a full-time missionary, that fear is gone. Yes, I still get butterflies before I sing, but the "performance" has been removed from the song and replaced with "testimony."  I have a firm testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and being in His Church, and I jump at the opportunity to share it in whatever way I can.

I've heard it said that "music touches feelings where words cannot."  So I now share with you....the music of my faith. :) 

Sister Nordström