The Ensign

Dear Readers,

Ugg.  Do you ever feel like your time is not your own?  There are just always so many things to do, and choices to be made, and people to help, and family to love, and you get the idea.  As with all things, time is a gift from our Heavenly Father, so we better use it responsibly (just like everything else He has given to us.......wait, that's everything!).

This was not intended to be a post about time management, though maybe I ought to make it into one.  A study on that topic would greatly bless me.  I wanted to write about the Ensign magazine, particularly January's issue, which is why I wish this had been posted before today (February), but that is my old perfectionism showing through.

What is the Ensign?  It is a magazine publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for the adult population.  The Church also publishes the New Era and Friend magazines for the youth (age 12-18) and Primary aged children (3-11).  This year these publications are celebrating 40 years (though that's more of a trivial bit of information).

Wait, you mean to tell me that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a magazine that is relevant to EVERYONE in the world?  Yes.  That is exactly what I am saying and I am inviting you to read it.  The Church publishes another publication called the Liahona magazine that is published in 50 languages that is written for those outside of the United States and contain stories and features relevant to the local population.  It has excerpts from the Ensign as well as articles for younger readers because they don't get the New Era or Friend.

Why is the Ensign relevant to everyone?  The Ensign has articles from our prophets and apostles every month!!!  Each month we can hear their words to us, which of course are words from the Lord.  I think the best part about this magazine compared to other magazines is that there is no advertising.  I don't need to flip through a bunch of distracting garbage to find the things that I want.  100% of this magazine is content.  As in the case of the January issue, that is 80 pages of content.  That is eighty, eight-zero pages of uplifting material that brings me closer to God.

What more could you want?

You can always subscribe (do not need to be a member of the Church) or check it out at  Online of course there are a multitude of awesome features such as searching through the past 30 years.  I love to hold it in my hands though with the glossy pages shining up at me.  I love to see the pictures and photo essays that illustrate each article.  I love that they put prints of famous paintings in the Ensign.  I love the smell of the pages.  I love having something tangible to show that I do have good things in my life.

So, after ALL of that....

The January issue was simply amazing.  From cover to cover, I have loved reading so many features over and over again this month, deepening my understanding on so many things.

Pres. Monson called for more missionaries, again!!!!!  Remember his conference talk?  How many times do I need to be told to get going?  How many times will I commit myself to get going?

I know the Primary children are studying about scriptures this year.  Learning about the Savior's example of using scriptures (by Jay E. Jensen) in teaching really helped me to understand how I should use them better.

I am a self-improvement-a-holic.  There I said it.  Reading Heber C. Kimball's words about being clay in God's hands to be shaped by him into a masterpiece was awesome.  This address was given in 1854, but it is so relevant now... tells me that it is true.

I loved the Visiting Teaching message.  When the Relief Society was formed there were teenagers, widows, single women and those married with children.  Relief Society has always been an inclusive group made of a diverse group of women.  I do belong there and I learned that from the Ensign.

There was a reprint of Elder Oak's address at Harvard Law School last February.  It puts in plain terms what our faith is really about.  Husband has already used this tool with his friends.

An article called "The Historical Context of the New Testament" helped to excite me about studying it this year.  I learned so many things that helped to clear up confusion and misunderstanding that I had.  Now that I understand the historical context, it will mean so much more to me.  I keep thinking of how cool it is to talk to someone who comes in contact with someone who I admire for whatever reason, or reading journals of those who knew historical figures.  The New Testament was written by such individuals that knew JESUS CHRIST.  They walked with Him.  They talked with Him.  They loved Him.  They observed the things that He did.  The New Testament is the record of those who knew Him.

There was a supplement in the middle about  Oh it made me want to hurry and finish my profile and share it.  It also inspired me to open my mouth to share the gospel.

Lastly, I loved the article called "Carrying Others to the Pool of Bethesda".  I read it about the same time that I was thinking about reaching out to others as a goal for the year.  It spoke of helping the sick and afflicted.

There were so many other little tidbits and stories that stirred within me the feeling of the Holy Ghost.  I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true.  It is real.  Jesus Christ is the head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  He directs our prophets on how to lead the Church, because leading 14 million church members and the rest of the people on Earth is no small task.  We can't all speak to a prophet individually, but we can all read their words in the Ensign and learn of the doctrines that are true.

I am so excited to open up my February issue of the Ensign.


P.S.  I absolutely feel that I must post one more great article.  Please read "Make Yours a Great Life" by Elder Paul V. Johnson of the Seventy.


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