Because of Him

Because of Him

It’s Easter! Oh, Hosanna!

Every year, I rejoice on this day. 

I feel so much gratitude for the Savior, and for all that He was willing to go through for me – for all of us. I am grateful for the strength and hope He gives me each day as I strive to follow Him more closely.

Yesterday Jay and I walked through the “Light of the World” exhibit at Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point. 

As we paused before the statue of Christ healing the leper, I felt the Savior’s love for the leper as His hand touched the man’s face. I could imagine the pleading in the leper’s heart as he reached out his arms towards Jesus, and I wondered, what must have been going through the leper’s mind. How long had he suffered with that painful disease? What gave him the faith and courage to approach Him and ask for healing? 

We walked on to the statue showing the woman reaching out to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment as He walked by. She had come to a place where He might be, hoping somehow to be healed of an infirmity that had plagued her for years. How much faith did it take for her to think that maybe that brief contact with Him could heal what no physician had been able to?

As I thought of the healing I am seeking from the Savior, I was filled with deep gratitude for the faith that I have – the complete confidence – that as He knew the leper, and as he knew the woman waiting for Him to pass by, He knows my challenges, and is aware of my desires, and is blessing me even now. 

Because of Him, I can be patient. 

Because of Him, I feel loved; I have hope; I have peace.

Hosanna!

Angels Among Us

I have read of angels and their ministry over the years, and I believe I have been the recipient of their tender care many times in my life. But the other day I saw an angel that wasn’t necessarily sent to help me in a difficult situation, but to open my eyes once more to the glory of God in ordinary people.

Last week, in one of my favorite places to worship, I turned and saw a woman who, from the moment I was in her presence, exuded faith and purity. I sensed that she had come to that place to find peace and assurance, with total faith that she would feel God near, and be able to access the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Just being near her touched me profoundly. I felt I was in the presence of an angel, and that I was blessed to have been near her.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke of angels, teaching that “From the beginning down through the dispensations, God has used angels as His emissaries in conveying love and concern for His children – in times of special need, He sent angels, divine messengers, to bless His children, reassure them that heaven was always very close and that His help was always very near.” *

That day as I drove home, my mind held the memory of that sweet face; that trusting heart, and the hope in the eyes of that sister who had come to commune with her Father and her Savior. I was reminded of people that I know who live their lives looking for ways to give service, who inspire me and help me see past my own needs and who exemplify Christ-like goodness and compassion. I need those reminders, and apparently God knew I needed another one that day.

God does use angels – mortal and otherwise – to convey His love for us – and to keep fresh in our minds and hearts that we are here to help each other. As we try to do that, I believe God can use us – ordinary people – just as He used that sister that day.

*The Ministry of Angels – Oct 2008

Your Sweet Spot During the Pandemic

Your Sweet Spot

I was reading in Max Lucado’s Cure for the Common Life, and read of something that Max was counseled to do one day when he was discouraged and feeling “hollow, robotic, and mechanical.” I thought that was a pretty apt description of what life can feel like when we are suddenly in a situation we never anticipated, and that we have absolutely no control over.

His friend suggested that Max “describe some occasions when you did something you love to do and did it well.”

Max was counseled to take a step back from his busy schedule, find a quiet place, and review his life, listing events when he had felt both satisfaction and success. These events, he was told, were his “sweet spots.” 

As Max did so, he saw a pattern emerging.  And when his friend later asked him, “What one word describes your sweet spot?”, Max was able to answer immediately: “Message.” He had felt his greatest satisfaction and success when studying, giving speeches, writing, and preparing lessons.

Not all of us have that specific gift. But each of us has some gift. It could be anything – cooking, designing things, creating beauty, speaking, writing, visiting and interacting with people and bringing cheer, working with numbers, teaching children, baking, organizing, or any of a thousand other things. You do have a gift  – and likely more than one.

When we are thrust into a situation that we have no control over, and there is no way to tell how long it will last or how different life may be after it is over (such as a pandemic,) we can begin to feel like not much matters. Life can become “hollow, robotic, and mechanical.”

When that is how we feel, it is time for each of us to find our own “sweet spots.”

Take a moment today and begin your list. When have you felt both satisfaction and success? What were you doing that produced those feelings? What do you enjoy doing that brings good to the world?

In the book, “Like Dragons Did They Fight”*, author and therapist Maurice Harker points out that we can feel uplifted and overcome darkness in our lives “by finding and doing things to include the power of our unique gifts and talents toward making the lives of others better.” He calls these things ‘Passion Projects,’ and his clients consistently gain confidence, increased self-mastery, and direction for their lives as they pursue them.

I know that our feelings can turn from “hollow, robotic, and mechanical” to feelings of accomplishment, satisfaction, and success, even during times of upheaval, when we begin doing those things that we have a gift for; those things that bring us joy and that bless the world. It has happened for me, and I believe it can happen for you.  

We all need to heal from turbulent times and the bewilderment and disorientation they bring. It just might be that finding your own sweet spot can be the turning point that will help you to find that healing. 

And that would be sweet indeed.

I can help you find your “sweet spot”. Schedule a free 30 minute consultation with me at roslyngeertsen.youcanbook.me.

 Roslyn is a Certified Eternal Warriors Mentor and Life Coach.  

* For a free download of Like Dragons Did They Fight, go to: https://likedragonsfree.com 

Sabbath Eve

This morning as we approached the table to eat breakfast, my mind was on my to-do list for the day – cleaning tasks to complete, people to contact, laundry to finish, a grandchild’s baseball game to attend…I was in my “go and get it done” mode.

Jay helped me into my chair, then sat down himself. As usual, he took my hand and began to pray.

He started by thanking God for the opportunity today to prepare for the Sabbath day, and thanked Him for the honor we will have tomorrow of partaking of the Sacrament and renewing our covenants with Him. He spoke of the blessing of family and thanked God for His hand in recent events in the lives of our children, evidence once again that He is a God of miracles and is aware of our needs and circumstances.

As soon as Jay began praying, my mind was pulled away from tasks and timetables and re-focused on promises I make each Sunday, and my heart was softened and humbled as I pictured myself sitting at church reaching for the Sacrament, knowing I have things to repent of before I do that.


Had it been my turn to pray, I have to admit that our day would likely have been a little different – at least mine would have been. Obviously Jay’s heart was already in a good place. I still did all my Saturday tasks, but that reminder that in addition to being Saturday it’s also a Sabbath eve somehow made the day different – and a little sweeter.

The Healing Power of Religion

After listening to Elder Jeffrey R Holland’s address on Religion at BYU’s Education Week, I pondered the question – why is religion important to me? How does it affect and change me, and how does it affect my world? 


I believe in a patient, loving God who sent me here to earth to learn, to grow, and to become something more than I was before. I know He is watching over me, and I have had several experiences that convince me beyond doubt that He is involved in my life, He cares about me, and He wants to help me, if I’ll let Him! (Sometimes I stubbornly try to do it on my own…and it never turns out as well as when I invite Him into my life.)

Because I believe in Him, and trust Him, I try to live His teachings. When I do, I am always happier.

My religion makes those teachings more accessible, and gives us the opportunity to understand and live them more fully. 

I try to follow in the footsteps of His Son, Jesus Christ, who God sent to be an example for us and to complete the Atonement for us. 

Through that Atonement, I find release from guilt and remorse for the things I’ve done that I regret. Through that Atonement, I find strength to do better and be better. That makes me feel happier. Through that Atonement, I find comfort for the pains and sorrows I experience through no fault of my own. I am healed, and I can face life with new hope.

My religion teaches me to be less selfish – to notice others, to forgive, and to reach out and offer support. It teaches me to notice and find joy in the beauty of God’s creations that surround me.

My religion offers me frequent opportunities for dedicated service to my fellow beings, some very different from me. I am learning to be reliable, and responsible, even when it is inconvenient and uncomfortable. I am a better person for that service.

My religion tutors me to be patient, and to grow in love. That process, though very gradual, is changing me, and allowing me more joy and peace than I thought possible.

Religion brings me growth, understanding, patience, comfort, peace and joy – and nearness to my Creator and His son, which perhaps is the greatest blessing of all.

(James 4:8 – “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you…”)

 #ChurchofJesusChristofLatterDaySaints #mormon #planofhappiness

Hope for the Broken

It was late at night. I’d remembered (as happened all too often) something I needed for the next morning, so I had left the children in bed at home and headed for the store.

It was mid-summer, and dark, and as I drove something in front of me caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. Ahead on the sidewalk something was moving, but it seemed unusual, so I slowed slightly to see what it could be.

As I drew closer, suddenly I understood my confusion. Someone was jogging along the sidewalk, but it wasn’t your usual runner. His gait was uneven, and in the light of my headlights I could see why – he had what appeared to be an artificial leg and arm. My heart was instantly flooded with a myriad of feelings…sadness, respect, compassion, and honor.  Sadness that he had experienced whatever had left him ‘broken.’ Respect for one with the self-mastery required to do hard things that require sacrifice and even cause pain now, but that lead to a greater end. Compassion for one whose challenge is so obvious, yet who goes about his business unhindered by what others may think or say.  And honor for another human being making the best with what he’d been given – even though, obviously, it was less-than-ideal.

I spoke with a student recently who said she felt “broken.” I understood. I think most of us could consider ourselves broken to some extent. We may have had a challenging childhood. We may have endured abuse. We might have lost a loved one, or a limb, or a life-long dream. We may have a broken heart, when we feel there is no hope for happiness for us, ever again.

Any of those – or a thousand other difficulties – can leave wounds that affect our ability to progress or to find peace and joy in life.

For many years I tried to hide my ‘broken-ness.’ I felt so unworthy, so inadequate because I was so aware of all the imperfections within, and could see no hope of ever overcoming them because they seemed so insurmountable.

But I’ve learned better. I’ve learned that there truly is One who can heal us. He may not restore a limb, or bring back that loved one, but if we expose our weakness, and plead for His help, He can give us the strength to carry on, and He can fill our hearts with love once more. He can open our eyes to the beauty of each moment, and He can give us hope for goodness yet to come.

We just need to ask…and keep going. We may be broken. But there is a Healer nearby, waiting for us to seek Him out, and he will be our Companion as we walk the road toward wholeness.  That is why He came. * It is His work. And if we allow Him, His work will bless our lives, now, and for all eternity. 

* Isaiah 61:1 “…he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…”

What’s Important to Remember

When we are baptized into our church, we make promises.

These sacred promises we call covenants – two-way promises with God. We covenant to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, to always remember Him, to keep His commandments, and to serve Him to the end.

One way we serve Him is by accepting “callings” to serve His children – our friends and neighbors.

These callings to serve in varied positions are issued by our Bishop, the leader of our congregation, after much prayer and pondering. We believe each calling actually comes from God, through the Bishop.

A calling is not only a chance to serve, but also an opportunity to grow, to develop new skills and to gain greater knowledge and experience.

Jay and I have been serving for three years in the Sunday School organization. We’ve been teachers for the 15-16-year olds, leading discussions weekly in our 45-minute class period. This last year we had 18 students – that’s a large class for a ward – and we came to love each one. As the year came to a close, we glanced at the list of the next round of youth that would be moving up into our class, and had already started planning our time with them.

Then we got called into the Bishop’s office – and were surprised by what happened next. We were asked if we would accept a new, different calling – that of teaching some of the youngest children in Primary – the 3-year-old Sunbeams.

We felt very sad to think of leaving the youth – but at the same time, we felt a warmth in our hearts that we’ve come to recognize as the Spirit of God, comforting us and letting us know that this calling was of Him, and that we would come to love the 3-year-olds as much as we loved the youth.

Last Sunday was our second time with them. We have five children in our class, each one with all the energy that comes bundled up in 3-year-old bodies. We talk about Heavenly Father, and how He loves each one of us, and how we are His children.  In the middle of a story we are telling, one of them will pipe up with a comment like, “We went simming – in a POOL! In a HOTEL!!”  Or, “I gonna have a birtday at my house!” We hear about their pets, their toys, their parents and their siblings.…and We often wonder how much of what we say they will remember.

One thing we hope they remember, if nothing else, is a feeling of love. We hope to convey to them each time we are with them that their Heavenly Father loves them, and that they have a Savior, and no matter what they go through in life, He is there beside them to strengthen, lift, and comfort them. If they can remember that, it won’t matter to us how many stories get interrupted. We’ll feel like we’ve succeeded. 

The Sword of the Spirit

I was studying the scriptures this morning for understanding of just what the “Sword of my Spirit” is, referred to in Ephesians 6:17, and why it is referred to as a “sword.”

That scripture says the sword of the Spirit “is the word of God.” I noted that a sword cuts down, pierces through, and wards off. I wondered, how does the word of God do that in my life?

As I thought about it, I realized that if I’m reading it regularly, the word of God cuts down the amount of pride in my soul. I am humbled, and I can see more clearly where my tendency to judge gets in the way of my ability to love.

In Psalms 34:18 I read, “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart…”

want the Lord to be near me. As I read the word of God, my heart is pierced through and broken as I recognize where I have been hard-hearted toward another of His children, and where I have said or done things that were hurtful or thoughtless. I feel a need to make amends, and to pray for a more compassionate response to those around me.

Finally, if I am consistent in my study of God’s word, it helps me ward off the attempts of the evil one to discourage me, to dissuade me from doing good, and to convince me I am of little worth. It helps me ward off indifference, and to grow in faith.

I love Neal A. Maxwell’s comment, “We must search the scriptures regularly. Unstudied, unapplied, dormant doctrines will seem to shrink in importance and relevance, for this is the atrophy that precedes indifference or apostasy.”

I am still searching for understanding. But I’m beginning to see that if I am to have any good effect on the world, I can’t just protect myself from harm. I need to study, and learn, and take up the sword. I need to cut down, pierce through, and ward off every influence that would have me live indifferent to others’ struggles and content with mediocrity.  

The hilt feels good in my hands. I pray for heavenly help as I learn to wield this sword ever more skillfully.  

Just Google It?

I was at WalMart yesterday, and as I approached the checkout stands I noticed crowds of young people in line to purchase drinks and food items. I realized it was almost noon and assumed they were all on lunch break from the high school across the street.

The students in front of me were speaking loudly, apparently discussing their scores on a test they’d just taken. One of them moaned that she hadn’t known “hardly any” of the answers for the test, and the young man next to her grinned, held up his cell phone and said, “I just googled it all. I didn’t know any of it!” They all laughed as they gathered their purchases and walked out.

I wondered how many times in life we let that happen. How many times when there’s a challenge to face do we take the easy way out, and miss the learning opportunity we could have had?

As I walked to the parking lot, I tried to think of the areas in my own life where I might be choosing not to fully invest, and to just get by, when instead I could be truly making strides toward that person I someday hope to be.  There were several things that came to mind, and it gave me something to ponder as I drove home.

I often refer to the scripture in Colossians 3:23, which reads, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord…”   Whatever task is before me, I can ask myself, if I were truly doing this to God, would I just ‘get by’? Or would I ask for His help, and then really dig in, doing my very best?

It takes work. And it takes time. But that effort changes me, and oh, how I need to change!

So, even though it sounds easier, and it may get me by for the time being, as I face challenges,

I think I won’t “just google it.” 

It Ain’t What You Don’t Know…

I was asked to substitute yesterday for a class in an online Intermediate School. It was refreshing to interact with young people who were truly interested in the subject matter, and who expressed a sincere desire to learn and grow.

As part of the class, we read a quote by Mark Twain:

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble – it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

It made me smile, and then it reminded me that so very often I’m CERTAIN I’m right….until I find out I was wrong.

I can function for quite awhile on false premises, and it’s pretty humbling when I realize, finally, that what I thought was true – wasn’t.

I’ve found two antidotes for that tendency. The first is to keep the conduit between God and me as open as possible. When I’m regularly reading His word, praying, and taking time to ponder, I feel that closeness, and it helps me recognize falsehood and truth more easily.

 The second antidote is to keep learning. I admit that the more I read, study, and attend classes, it’s a little daunting because then I realize more clearly how little I know and how much more I need to learn. However, continual learning lifts my spirits, and the more truth I learn the less time I spend living a life based on things that “just ain’t so.”

Proverbs 1:5 states it this way:

“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning…”

As I see it, it really IS what we don’t know that gets us into trouble – and I think that’s really what Mark Twain was helping us understand.