Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Radical Ideas

Once upon a time there were two groups of people.  One hated the other, so extremely that they would continuously find reasons to come and try to kill them.  One day, some men from the more peaceful of the two groups were so sincerely changed, that they had great desires to teach and share with the more hostile group, what had changed their hearts.  They took their royal desires to their father, the king of the land, and asked if they could be excused indefinitely while they went to try to preach to these hostile murders.

Their father was of course, quite afraid, and being the thoughtful, inspired man he was, he took the question to the Lord in prayer, seeking revelation.  The Lord promised that if he should permit his sons to do this thing, that He (the Lord) would protect them.  They should all return unharmed – or alive, at very least.

So the father took comfort and gave them permission to leave the relative safety of their more peaceful land and embark into hostile territory.

Long story short, as the brothers and friends took their journey, they ended up being quite successful.  In fact, extremely successful.  Thousands were converted away from their wicked ways, and turned to God.  They felt so extremely sorry for their previous murderous ways that when their fellow citizens came and tried to kill them for their crazy new spiritual views, they willingly fell down at their swords.

After one gnarly battle, so many of the hardened, murderous fellow-citizens were so touched by this lack of resistance that they too were converted to whatever it was that had changed their countrymen's hearts.

But after awhile, a more hardened group among the murderers started stirring the pot, as they didn't feel too keen on all the love and joy going around, so they came up to go against their fellowmen AGAIN.

Back to the sons of the king.  Their hearts were in turmoil, because these people who they grew to love so much were being slain for absolutely no reason, beyond a change of heart.  They thought if they might go and ask the people of their land if these new friends can come and dwell there, surely they would do something to help.  And so they asked.  And their request was granted.  The refugees were given a space of land to inherit, free of charge.  While these people were never a hindrance or burden, down the road they became a great blessing to the people of their new land.

Their story can be found in the Book of Alma, in the Book of Mormon.


There is a war raging in the Middle East, where believers of Christ are being murdered.  Perhaps their story is not as dramatic as the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, but their situation is just as perilous.  They have no defenses.  They are being killed strictly because of differing religion.  I propose that while this nation hangs in wait for a sword of destruction to fall for our unrepentant, hard, controlling hearts, that one spring of hope might be to offer a space of peace and freedom for these Christian refugees.  Perhaps God would spare us a little longer.  I have heard one Democratic senator, somewhere, propose such an idea, and I support it.  There is a lot to fear in opening up one's homeland to those of another culture, but perhaps these folks might prove to be a blessing to us, much like the Anti-Nephi-Lehies.  

Saturday, June 27, 2015

50+ Years of Love and Marriage

My dad always tells people on each birthday that he's turning 29.  Tonight my sister and family friends threw a 50th Anniversary party for my parents.  It was the cutest surprise party I think I've seen.  My mom was truly surprised.

My dad kinda caught on as he saw all the cars outside. :)  He joked with one of his friends in attendance that even though he was celebrating 50 years of marriage,  he was still 29.  He asked his friend how it felt to be 31.

Today while pretending not to be on Facebook, I read this, copied from someone who also copied someone else's quote.  I thought it was really worthwhile.  I hope they won't mind me copying it without citation.  If the author ever discovers this and would attrition, I'm happy to add their name.  I thought it was pretty interesting insight, especially regarding the concept of marriage.

My thoughts today. I saw that 'in honor of' the Supreme Court's decision today, the White House was being lit up like a rainbow tonight. What of this rainbow?
When we see the rainbow, we think we are remembering God's promise to not flood the earth, but JST teaches something different. The rainbow is really the token given to Enoch in relation to the everlasting covenant and Noah's seed:
JST Genesis 9:14 And a commandment I give unto you, Be ye fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly on the earth, and multiply therein. 15 And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I will establish my covenant with you, which I made unto your father Enoch, concerning your seed after you.
21 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant, which I made unto thy father Enoch; that, when men should keep all my commandments, Zion should again come on the earth, the city of Enoch which I have caught up unto myself.
22 And this is mine everlasting covenant, that when thy posterity shall embrace the truth, and look upward, then shall Zion look downward, and all the heavens shall shake with gladness, and the earth shall tremble with joy;
23 And the general assembly of the church of the firstborn shall come down out of heaven, and possess the earth, and shall have place until the end come. And this is mine everlasting covenant, which I made with thy father Enoch.
24 And the bow shall be in the cloud, and I will establish my covenant unto thee, which I have made between me and thee, for every living creature of all flesh that shall be upon the earth.
25 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant which I have established between me and thee; for all flesh that shall be upon the earth.
Isn't it interesting that the lifestyle supported by this new rainbow completely negates the covenant God made--rendering impossible the command to multiply and replenish the earth? It is prophecied that there will come a time when the Lord's token will be withdrawn and that when that occurs the end comes quickly. Could it be that the Nation's acceptance of this new (counterfeit) symbol of the rainbow will bring about the withdrawal of the Lord's true symbol of his covenant?

Tonight I watched my parents smash cake in one another's faces in celebration of 50 years.  They both came out smiling.  I have been born of very, very goodly parents.  They have multiplied and replenished the earth.  They have held strongly to their commitments and covenants in a world of increasing confusion and moral uncertainty.  They are loving to one another despite years of trials.  They are patient, kind, impatient, forgiving, hard working Americans.  They are proud yet humble, rich yet poor, backwards yet upstanding, fine, fine souls.  I love them with all my heart, and am beyond grateful for their tireless example of motherhood and fatherhood, grandmother- and grandfatherhood.  I keep telling them that they are not permitted to die, but must be translated, because I honestly could not live without them.

Their anniversary was actually about 2 weeks ago.  They always say they have two anniversaries, because they were married one day, and then sealed in the Salt Lake Temple a year and a day later.  (Or was it two years?)

Today is also the 171st anniversary of Joseph Smith's death.  How grateful I am for him for the work which transpired through his hands.  The whole concept of my life's work and aspirations would not be remotely what they are without Joseph.  Had my parents not independently converted to the LDS Church, my life would have likely been quite different.

Additionally I want to express gratitude and blessings towards Denver Snuffer.  I admit I marginalized Joseph's work in large measure, believing him to only have received part of the picture before he died.  Denver has done such an immense job at reminding me that Joseph alone has seen the heavens open to such a vast degree, and there have been few if any who have accomplished what he (Joseph) has for the returning of our hearts to the fathers.  Today Denver shared a beautiful memorial of Joseph Smith's work.  Those who are not willing to give Denver's message a chance, based on someone else's poor explanations, should really consider the climate of their hearts and reconsider where their fears and their trust lie.  Through his writings I have remembered Joseph in such a degree that my life has remarkably grown increasingly awakened.  Thank you, Jesus, for allowing me to have their influence in my life.  

To my parents, here's to 50 more years!  #1MOM and #1DAD.  Love love love you.  May you live long and prosper! :) 

Friday, June 26, 2015

For Your Money You Shall be Baptized, Mormon 8:32

Sometimes I wonder if we really know which way is up anymore.

Mormon 8:32:
Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be churches built up that shall say: Come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins.
The concept of using money to forgive sins used to be a really preposterous idea.  I used to think this verse was referring to the Catholic Church's practice of indulgences.  If you pay the church, you can receive "forgiveness" of your sins.  I would have never stopped to consider that there may be other instances of this since then, or in the future.  My disappointment appears when I discover that this is a practice now among Mormons.

"What???" you say?  "How can this be?  Jen's taking crazy pills again!"

In my church, we believe that remission of sins comes at baptism.  Below are two of many citations from missionary blogs, where as of last September, they are reporting that in order to be baptized, one must oblige several new key points.  Prospective members were required to attend church for three hours, three times, and pay a fast offering or tithing.

I completely understand the rationale being used by the mission presidents, however it is another literal fulfillment of what Mormon saw.  Juxtaposing the idea alongside the picture above is kind of repulsive, but even in sharing the situation with a family member, it was almost easy to dismiss.  Here are two accounts:

"WEDNESDAY, we taught Jean Franko about fasting because there is a new rule just for this ward, that the investigators need to fast and pay a fast offering in order to be baptized. interesting. it went really well and he said that he would do it. i feel like he has a need, but we just cant find it. he sort of avoids the topic of baptism, but with faith and patience i think we will get there!" - from a missionary's blog.
"They put in a couple of new rules for baptizing in this area. The investigators have to attend church three times, and they have to go to church all three hours three times before getting baptized. Also, they have to pay some sort of offering or donation before they can get baptized. It will make things a bit trickier but I can definitely see the wisdom in these rules, making sure that the converts remain active and faithful members of the church. We'll see what type of good results it brings!" - from another missionary's blog.

While this may be old news for some, as it was being reported last September, it has come up as an important issue in my mind.  I typed up these instances a few days ago, and hesitated to be discussing something that may be considered Mormon bashing.  A dear relative asked recently if I was leaving the church.  I hope anyone reading knows how much I love the church, and how much it pains and stresses my heart to see this happening.  I have spent 36 years of my life dedicated to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Literally, dedicated it.  What I have discovered through this dedication, is that we are so deserving of the prophetic warnings described in the Book of Mormon, and we are SO oblivious as to the stains on our garments.  They are blood red.

While on a Facebook hiatus, I decided to skim over the news feed after today's gay marriage ruling by the SCOTUS.  It's interesting to me, to see how much we stress and worry about being destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah (or about loving unabashedly), yet we are so unwilling to consider all the other prophetic warnings of potential destruction (or completely disregard them).  Is what folks do with their genitals (or our ignoring of it) the only measuring stick we use to determine our worthiness before God?  Or can there be other more heinous sins, which are more offensive to God?

While reading the many discussions among LDS and non LDS, I will say I am just as completely undecided about gay marriage as I was decided against it a few years ago.  I have no idea how God will sort this out, or if he really even cares.  But what I do know is that if I believe the Book of Mormon and Bible, I have to begin considering that there are so many instances in which I can sin, and it's time for me to stop being distracted with other people's sins.  I am worrying about my own, at least for the time being.  Please know I am not at odds with the LDS Church, but that I am deeply concerned regarding the prophetic forecasts which are coming true before my very eyes.

For more missionary blogs, referencing this fulfillment of Mormon's prophesy, see here.

Friday, June 19, 2015

So Busy You Can't Hear God

This should be a much longer post, but I do not feel the liberty to take much time to write it.

Be still, and know that I am God.

Please do not allow yourself to be so busy that you cannot hear God.

Be careful to fill your life with so many activities that you neglect what is most important.

What is most important to you and your salvation?

What is most important for your family and their salvation?

Are you too tied up in Facebook or social media to realize that you are neglecting your family?

Are you too busy with activities and having fun that you are too tired to study, to learn, to hear the voice of God speaking in your life?

If you are too busy, it is time to slow down.  When we refuse to slow down, God will give us greater incentive to do so.

Time is short.  Please use it as best you can.  But please also remember that "eat, drink, and be merry" was not a complimentary description in any scripture.

Sending love. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Truck in the House

Two or so nights ago I had a dream.  There are periods where I dream quite frequently, and lots of the time they don't make much sense.  Sometimes I dream, and I realize I am influenced by my own hopes or fears.  This one did not have any of those normal influences.  When I was awoken from this dream, I knew its meaning, and understood that I was to share.  I also knew it was not a fluff dream, nor something simply reflective of my inner thoughts and feelings.    

It is very short and simple.  I was in our kitchen, and saw down the hallway to the front door.  A medium sized, semi-dirty monster truck had pulled into the front door area, and somehow the space accommodated this.  (In real life it does not.)  The truck entered the home, and began accelerating down the hallway, towards the kitchen area.  As it accelerated, I began yelling at it, commanding it to stop, but it only grew faster.  Although I didn't see it smash into/through the wall and out the back side of the house, I knew that was its path.  I was awoken by my alarm clock before I saw it collide.  I wondered if the Lord had the dream interrupted at this point intentionally, as surely the Powers that 
Be must have some control of what content is revealed through dreams.   

The dirty destruction is upon us.  It has entered our doors, and we are in its wake, whether we like it or not.  It is accelerating towards us, but will not destroy us completely.  (I suppose the "us" would be negotiable, depending upon who is reading this, and what their interpretation is.)  We cannot use our power to stop it; it will come.  God willing, we will survive.  

Sorry it's not a more inspiring message.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Runaway Laws and School Systems

My son has missed an exorbitant amount of school this year.  Last week he missed 4.5 days, and just this evening I realized I neglected to get an excusal note turned in within the 3 day window required by law.  If I had turned the note in by 2:45 pm this afternoon (8 or so hours ago), it would have been excused.  I wrote his principal asking for a reprieve, and he said that by law, he cannot accept my excusal note after hours.

Fortunately, though, one of the 4 days last week was excused, because I signed him out early (???).  The other three, were not excused, and therefore my son has quickly expended the 3 unexcused absences permitted by law.    Not because he was running around with riff-raff or anything, and not because I couldn't submit a note, but because I simply forgot.  Human error.  Had one of those four days not been excused, we would be facing a $300+ fine from the school district.

At the end of the day last Friday, I received an email from one of his many teachers, indicating that he should have had a project turned in by the end of the day, as the marking period was closing.  So I had to navigate how to maneuver that issue, as he had been recovering from illness, had not completed the work, and I had no idea of how to turn it in.  The policy shown to us at the beginning of the year was that the students would have equal time to turn in their work to the time that they missed.  So having missed four days of school, he should have four days upon return to complete the work.  But they were not applying their own policy, leaving us scrambling.

On Monday when he returned, he also had detention, due to missing 12 assignments in his various classes this term.  I won't say anything about the fact that not ONE teacher could let me know that he wasn't turning in assignments.  Nor will I say anything about the fact that in the beginning of the year, when he received detention for also not turning in assignments, I specifically arranged with his homeroom teacher to alert me if he should miss just 3 homeworks.

On Monday after picking him up from detention, I checked in with the office for the second time that day, to see if they had received a faxed excusal note from my son's doctor, and they had not.

Then I went home, and found out my son missed turning in another final project, and began negotiating with his teacher via email to see if he could possibly turn it in on Tuesday.  The teacher wrote back Tuesday morning saying he could indeed turn it in, but my son decided not to complete it on Monday night, believing all was lost.  So he got a D grade for the term, but overall passed the class (PRAISE GOD!).

In the mail on Tuesday afternoon, I received a form from a different doctor of my son, which required teacher input.  It was miraculously sent to me just in the nick of time, as there were only 2 days of school left.  I scrambled (again) to write his teacher, asking if he had time to fill it out, if he could request that my son give him the form, and then again return it before the end of the year (tomorrow).  My son brought home a completed form.  Let's thank God again.  I could not imagine trying to get this completed once school is out for summer.  Once I get this form submitted, I have another 6 months of waiting to see the specialist we are attempting to see.  This specialist will hopefully give us some answers as to why my son has such a difficult time remembering things related to short-term memory.  (He will take off his shoes, and then five minutes later cannot remember where they were placed.  I will ask him three times to put his backpack in its designated space {so he can find it the next morning} and it still does not get put away.)  So this was a tender mercy, that the teacher was willing to get it done right away.

It was only at 9:20 pm this evening that I realized I never followed up on the doctor's excusal note, and never turned in what I already received from the doctor last week (a two-day excusal note, rather than 4).  My son, therefore, has three days of unlawful absences, which the principal says is nothing to worry about.  "No worries," he says.  Ok.

This really is no big deal.  It's not earthquake recovery, ebola outbreak, or Christian slaughter in the Middle East.  This is seriously first world problems, and complete nonsense.  However, it goes to show that in this country, we have become a country filled with some of the most asinine sensibilities, where common sense DOES NOT RULE, and unceasing nit-picky laws have been created to make life "better" for parents and educators trumps the little common sense left.  There is no leeway for the fact that I contacted the office TWICE in regards to this excusal note, but because I missed the window, the record is marred, and if for some reason the 4th day had be unexcused, I'd have a hefty fine.  Not that it matters, but I wonder if down the road, somehow, it might.  Regardless, what we put out in this world is returned to us.  I am tempted to warn the office staff and principal that yes, there are laws that govern things, but their rigidness will likely be returned to them tenfold.  May I not be so rigid with those I interact with.

Alma described this principle.

And now behold, is the meaning of the word restoration to take a thing of a natural state and place it in an unnatural state, or to place it in a state opposite to its nature?  
O, my son, this is not the case; but the meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish - good for that which is good; righteous for that which is righteous; just for that which is just; merciful for that which is merciful.  
Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again.  
For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all.
 Alma 41: 12-15  
My heart is concerned for their well being.  Do those of us who are obsessed with mercilessness realize that whether in this life, or in the next, that this will be returned to us?  I have been a little unmerciful to my children this week.  I wonder if the rigidity of the administration in following the rules is a restoration of the rigidity I showed to my kids this week.  

This is a sign of the times, people.  I pray we are woken up.  I am no better than the next. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Link Up

On the right side of my blog I have a list of blogs that I find interesting.  I don't agree with everything on all of them, but I link them because for a very long time, after starting this blog, I had a hard time finding others who were interested in similar topics as I was.  As I discovered these blogs, I listed them as a courtesy to the readers who might enjoy this blog, so that they could further their reading of similar topics.  Over the last year, the blog list has grown substantially, and I find it a really valuable list.  In fact, I visit my own blog just to check out the updates on the blogroll.  I know there are services that offer this, but time is short and I can't be bothered to investigate. ;)  

If by some chance you are an avid (yet quiet) reader of this blog and also have a blog that I should be checking out, please leave me a comment and I would be happy to list it in the blogroll on the side, if it is a good fit for the themes herein.  Likewise, as a courtesy, I appreciate any linkbacks to this blog, not because I want a following, nor because I have any aspirations of being any great influence, but I value the community that is growing through the internet's reach.

May God bless you richly, and thank you for reading.


Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness

In the Old Testament we have the ten commandments.  One of them is often abbreviated for easy remembering, to read "Thou shalt not bear false witness."  In reality, the whole verse points to interactions with one's neighbor, but for the sake of this post, we'll roll with the abbreviated version, as there is truth to be found in it.

Thou shalt not bear false witness.  Typically I have equated this to lying, however what if we take it in exactness.  There may be some variations with translation to consider, but I'm not going there.

Thou = you/me
Shalt = will
Not = not
Bear = speak or convey
False = untrue
Witness (n) = an account of something factual

What if to not bear false witness was interpreted as not acting as a witness when we have not been one?

For example, let's say I come upon a scene of an accident of some sort.  I did not witness it, but I assert to the police when they come that the driver of one car was to blame, over another.  Let's imagine that I am related to the blameless victim, and am pointing the finger of blame at the other car.  Am I an accurate witness?

Under what conditions is it safe to say that we "know" something?  Does the term only cover areas which are witnessed with the five senses?  Or can we say we know something we have felt with senses beyond the physical ones? 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Jesus, Lover of my Soul

Jesus, lover of my soul, 

Let me to Thy bosom fly, 

While the nearer waters roll, 

While the tempest still is high. 

Hide me, O my Savior, hide, 

Till the storm of life is past; 

Safe into the haven guide; 

Oh, receive my soul at last. 

Other refuge have I none, 

Hangs my helpless soul on Thee; 

Leave, ah! leave me not alone, 

Still support and comfort me. 

All my trust on Thee is stayed, 

All my help from Thee I bring; 

Cover my defenseless head 

With the shadow of Thy wing. 

Wilt Thou not regard my call? 

Wilt Thou not accept my prayer? 

Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall— 

Lo! on Thee I cast my care. 

Reach me out Thy gracious hand! 

While I of Thy strength receive, 

Hoping against hope I stand, 

Dying, and behold, I live. 

Thou, O Christ, art all I want, 

More than all in Thee I find; 

Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, 

Heal the sick, and lead the blind. 

Just and holy is Thy Name, 

Source of all true righteousness; 

Thou art evermore the same, 

Thou art full of truth and grace. 

Plenteous grace with Thee is found, 

Grace to cover all my sin; 

Let the healing streams abound; 

Make and keep me pure within. 

Thou of life the fountain art, 

Freely let me take of Thee; 

Spring Thou up within my heart; 

Rise to all eternity. 

- Charles Wesley, 1740

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Attention to Detail

When a person goes into a job interview, a highly coveted skill on a resume would be if the interviewee could claim they have fine attention to detail.  It's not something every person is born with, but imagine how this skill might be important.

Imagine the heart surgeon who does not know how to pay attention to details.
The mechanic that cannot pay attention to details.
The book editor who cannot pay attention to details.
The drunk driver who cannot pay attention to details.
The drug maker who does not pay attention to fine details.
The spelling bee competitor who cannot pay attention to details.
The mathematician who does not pay attention to details.

There are a wide variety of details that we can or cannot pay attention to in our lives.  Keeping focus on one thing at a time is something that we are hard wired to do, but the detail with which we focus is always variable, depending on a myriad of things.

For some, it could be interest level that keeps or displaces our focus.  For others, it's brain chemistry, or sometimes brain damage or excess growth.  For others, it's simply time and energy, for if these are lacking, sometimes the other factors don't even matter.

I, for one, have special arenas where I am good at keeping focus, and others where I am not.  As a young girl, I was criticized for always being late.  So I have fine attention to time ever since, however it is still difficult for me to show up places on time.  Many of the involved factors have little to do with me personally, but I can always find ways to improve in arriving on time.

I am also good at caring about how to spell people's name.  My first name is Jennifer, so this can be hard, as there are even multiple ways to spell this as a nickname.  Jen, Jenn, Jenni, Jenny, Jennie.  But don't get me started on my last name.  Inevitably no matter where I go, it is spelled wrong.  My children will receive certificates of completion or other awards, and it is a rare occurrence to have it spelled correctly.  It's gotten to the point where I laugh about it and rarely bother to correct anyone, but I also notice that whoever is spelling it has not paid attention to detail.

One detail that I notice increasingly is eye contact.  Also in an interview, eye contact is crucial.  I tease my husband because he has an extremely hard time looking anyone in the eye for more than a moment at a time.  He is more comfortable looking away from me during a conversation, than directly at me.  Why?  No idea.

I also notice this at church.  Growing up in a small town, I knew everyone's name at church.  Walking down the hall, I took great enjoyment in being able to say hello to everyone, and having them look me in the eye.  There were probably only a few exceptions to this, and it was probably the cute-ish boys that I was too awkward to say hello to.  Beyond that, I knew everyone, and for the most part, we greeted one another.

Now, I know almost everyone still, but it's a crap-shoot to know if those walking past me will look me in the eye and say hello.  It's not just in my growing ward, but in my previous ward as well.  The church is growing larger, however I don't know if it's because we just don't have time to get to know everyone, or the lack of caring to express basic greetings or recognition of one another.  I suppose sometimes it's because we don't want to get to know everyone, or perhaps we don't want to have the chance to be stopped for communication.  So we put on the blank stare and carry on walking down the hall with tunnel vision.

But the commandment is to love God, and then love our neighbor as ourselves.  If we don't have capacity to look people in the eye and simply say hello, what does it say about how we love them?  If we don't have the care, concern, or capacity to love others, even for a moment in a greeting, what does that say about how comfortable we are with ourselves?  Do we love ourselves?  Do we consider God's love for us?  Are we willing to look at ourselves with such detail?  Is it uncomfortable?  Why?  Is it possible we'll find things we don't like, and don't know how to address or overcome them?

(photo source)

We can compare just about anything in life to an iceberg.  In this case, I'll compare our weaknesses to one.  We see a small piece of ice above water (liken it to ourselves), but a giant piece of us is hidden underwater.  As it's hidden, it may be hard to recognize that it's even there, much less take a moment to examine it.  If we consider that the unknown areas might contain hidden weaknesses, what does it take to examine it in full, to help those weaknesses to be rectified?

Christ says
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. (Ether 12:27)
As in all things, Jesus is the way, the truth, the life, the light.  To get to the Father, we must examine our faults, our weaknesses, and apply Christ's grace.  For it is sufficient for those who will humble themselves.  It's like an equation.  Jesus' grace + our humility = strength through Christ to ourselves.  
What are your weaknesses?  Do you dare take them to Christ?