Oh how I LOVE these messages I came across this week. Yes, yes, and YES!!
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Sister Marriott spoke at our stake women's conference in January. I referred to some her talk in a recent video message. It was such a great talk that many of us requested a recording. Instead we received a text copy. Here is her talk in its entirety. Enjoy!
Comments by Sister Neill Marriott
Former counselor, Young Women general presidency
Presented January 23, 2021, at the Layton Utah Legacy Stake women’s conference
I first have to thank Sister Bree Fotheringham and Sister Sara Webb for that glorious music. Oh, that was beautiful and calming too. I can’t remember who said the opening prayer but I'm so grateful you spoke of trusting Father in Heaven so He would strengthen us. I listened carefully for that, for we do need to trust in order to get that strength flowing into us.
One more thing too, I'm so grateful for Sister Wendy Brown counseling us to invite Heavenly Father into our lives. Could I add something to that from your wonderful stake Relief Society president? Could I invite you to follow that counsel today and when you get down on your knees, whenever that is that you pray today, would you say to Heavenly Father these words: ‘Heavenly Father, I invite you into my life.’ I get a little choked up just thinking about that. Think how pleased He would be. Think how more connected you would be when you said those words.
Well, I love to speak, to be of good cheer and to not fear. I looked up a lot of scriptures, some exactly what Sister Brown shared. In Doctrine and Covenants 61:36 “what I say to one I say to all, be of good cheer, little children; for I am in your midst and I have not forsaken you.”
Can we remember that? We are not forsaken. The Lord knows exactly the heartaches, the fears, the troubles that come to us. But there are ways to allay those fears. There are ways and He has given them to us. We can read them all throughout the scriptures, and the most important one probably is to remember Him, which we get to covenant and promise to do every single Sunday.
There is great power in remembering the Savior. We cannot go this alone -- I know, I've tried and I learned my lesson. The Savior is the one who lifts us up, clears our mind, heals our heart and turns us in the right direction through the Holy Ghost. Why would we not remember him? Because if you're like me you get distracted and you're in the moment and there's a big disappointment or an argument or someone coming at you or financial troubles or the doctor gave you a bad report, whatever it may be. And we get blinded and we are anxious, and gal, if you’re like me, you get all balled up inside.
What if we could ask for help to remember in the moment, just stop for a second -- turn to the Father, think of His Son and remember the power and the love flowing all around us. We are swimming in spirit, sisters. Come and reach out and bring it into our lives, invite it in. When we do, we calm down. We see more clearly and awake and open. It may not happen instantly, but don't give up. Do what that wonderful opening prayer said: trust. It will happen, but we have to take the first step, don’t we? We have to actually take our mind and turn it to Jesus Christ.
Just this morning I was reading in Alma 32-33 and praying about you, that you would come with open hearts and I would be able to speak with an open heart. As I did, my mind was led to Alma 33, verse 21. I'm going to bring it to us personally, so I’m going to change a few words, but I won't change the intent. Alma has been quoting Zenos and Zenock, and he is begging the people to come unto the Savior and he says (I'm going to say ‘sisters’) “Oh my sisters, if ye could be healed by merely casting your thoughts on Jesus Christ, would ye not cast your thoughts quickly or would you rather harden your hearts in unbelief and be slothful and be distracted as I have often been, that you would not cast your thoughts upon the Savior?”
Reading it the way Alma said, “O my brethren, if ye could be healed by merely casting about your eyes that ye might be healed...” He is speaking of the type that Moses held up -- remember when the people didn't even bother to look to be healed? “Casting about your eyes that ye might be healed, would ye not behold quickly, or would ye rather harden your hearts in unbelief, and be slothful…?”
Sisters, we promise every Sunday, by covenant, that we will always remember Him and the reasons for that are we will have the spirit to be with us and we need to prove to Father in Heaven that we will remember His Son. And as we do, wonderful things can happen. They will probably not happen instantly, but they will happen. For one thing, we will be turning our hearts to the source of all power, healing, joy, hope, direction and good. As we turn our thoughts there and hold them and if we start getting distracted, say ‘oh, Heavenly Father, I’m getting distracted. I want to turn and focus and remember thy Son, remember His love -- help me to do that.’
I'll tell you a quick instance where it did happen instantly. It was before I had to give my first talk in the Conference Center. As you can imagine, I was a wee bit nervous, sitting on the stand thinking ‘Oh no it's almost time; it's coming; I have to get up now’ and standing up, my legs were like wood. I was trying to walk across the platform and thinking ‘Am I getting there? Am I getting closer? Oh Heavenly Father, I need help! I need reassurance, oh please give me something to help me be strong.’ I was praying all these thoughts even though I had prayed for weeks. There I was -- the podium was approaching and when I got there and I turned around and looked out at the 20-something-thousand people, I had a thought -- it was a gift from God and it was simply this: these are your friends. That’s all it took. I knew He was there with me. I knew these were my friends and they were not going to judge and criticize me and say ‘well, she said that wrong.’
Did it give my talk for me? No. Did it make me sound more like an educated person? No. But it did calm my heart and help me know He was with me and it was going to be all right. So let him be, invite him into the details of our life during the day. Stop and invite Him in.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, about two and a half years ago at BYU said, in a talk, ‘this is the church of the happy endings.’ That makes me think of President Nelson's comment about the word ‘myopic’ or shortsightedness. Sisters, when we're in the throes of a problem or really struggling, let's say (Don't we all? Yes!) if we will clear our minds for a moment and look ahead to the happy ending; not be myopic -- think, take the long view. Why can we do that and have hope and have the fear dissipate and the cheer rise up? Because the Savior has overcome all. He can solve every problem the way it needs to be solved in our life. It doesn't mean that things will turn out exactly like we thought.
I won't go into the whole story of the passing of my daughter, Georgia, about 18 years ago. I will say that we were in Brazil, serving a mission, and she was hit by a truck in Indiana where she was a senior studying music performance. She died before we could get there. Elder Richard G. Scott told me something that has to do with this ‘church of the happy endings,’ and I want to pass that on to you. He said -- and this was when I was so shut down, so shocked, so numb, hardly able to function -- he said ‘the day will come when you will understand; and when that day comes, you would have it no other way. You wouldn’t change a thing.’
I’ve pondered that and think about it every week. I’ve pondered that and come to know that what he was saying was many things. Number one, we will be given to understand the reasons and the purpose of why things happen. Number two, when we understand that and how it fits in Heavenly Father's plan, we wouldn’t change it. It serves, despite the pain, anguish and hurt, it serves us and we grow. We become more tender and closer to Heavenly Father. We have a desire to do things His way and goodness begins to flow from our actions, our thoughts, our expressions and more good comes to more of his children. And we feel joy.
Do I miss Georgia? Yes. I do miss her. But Heavenly Father comprehends more than I can comprehend, or you can comprehend. This is the whole picture. He will make it right as we stay close to Him, trusting Him, and love Him and follow in His way.
Sister Brown quoted Sister Linda Reeves this morning. Actually, I saw Linda Reeves and her husband in the Bountiful Temple just a week ago when our granddaughter received her endowment for her mission. Linda has had 13 children and she is still so slender! How does she do it? But that's beside the point. I want to read to you what she shared with us in a 2015 women’s session. What she said touched my heart because it gave me perspective and helped me think: we can get through what's hard, it's worth it. Here's what she said:
“It is my personal feeling that the reward (for having lived on this earth) is so great, so eternal and everlasting, so joyful and beyond our understanding that in that day of reward we may feel to say to our merciful loving Father, ‘was that all that was required?’ I believe that if we could daily remember and recognize the depth of that love our Heavenly Father and our Savior have for us, we would be willing to do anything to be back in their presence again, surrounded by Their love eternally. What will it matter, dear sisters, what we have suffered here if, in the end, those trials are the very things which qualify us for eternal life and exaltation in the kingdom of God with our Father and Savior?”
Doesn’t that sum it up, my sisters? It’s tough here -- mortality is tough, COVID vaccine is tough, losing children is tough, being rejected, being left out, being dismissed, being ridiculed, having children go astray -- all these things are hard, but the Savior heals and there is hope, we can have great hope. Elder Oaks, quoting Elder Richard G. Scott, said “it was intended that life be a challenge, not so that you would fail, but that you might succeed through overcoming.” I believe that we can overcome, not on our own but with the help and the strength of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I know He will not forsake us, but our job is to turn to Him, invite Him in, ask Him to be with us and then keep on going, just keep on persevering.
I'm going to tell you a story of when I faced fear, anxiety, terror, almost as if it were one. It was about 25 years ago. My husband and I had set up a loan for his company and the collateral was based on the value of stock that we owned. It was a very safe loan, we thought, but not too long after we signed over a personal guarantee, our stock plummeted to about $7 and it had to be at $15 -- but it was much more than that when we signed the loan. OK, that's the financial part, but it had to be at $15 to at least cover it. Well, we were worried and David, who traveled a good bit, was in New York actually, trying to scramble and pull things together and the bank was calling our house. I knew that with a personal guarantee they could take everything -- the house, the cars, everything we owned. I found that I couldn't walk across a room in the house without becoming out of breath. I’d always been healthy and I couldn't figure out what was wrong. There was this pain across my chest, like an iron band wrapped around and cinched tight. I had to stop and hold onto the back of a chair to breathe. I wondered ‘what is this?’
So I called a friend who had faced many, many medical problems and I said ‘what do you think this is?’ And she very sweetly said ‘well, Neill are you feeling any anxiety?’ ANXIETY?! It was like the word was in neon letters -- that’s what it was. I was so anxious I couldn’t breathe. So early one morning I went to the Salt Lake Temple at about 5:45. You know how you can go into the initiatory and have your own little booth to get dressed. For me, it's the only place I've found in the temple where you can sob without having someone concerned like a fluttering angel coming over to see if there's something they can do. So, I sat down on that little, teeny bench in that booth and I began to weep. And I could hardly breathe and so my first thought, being selfish, was ‘Heavenly Father, can you take this pain away from my chest so I can breathe?’ And honestly sisters, this rarely happens but I almost envisioned a heavenly hand reaching down and turning a lock that opened that iron band and it fell away. I could breathe. The pain was gone and oxygen was flowing in nicely and the tears were falling heavily now because I knew Heavenly Father had heard that prayer.
My next thought was David -- I pictured him in New York City, frantically talking to businessmen and trying to work something out. I said ‘Heavenly Father, will you bless my husband, David? He needs comfort and direction. Will You bless him?” And sisters, I know this sounds mysterious, it’s just not normal, but I immediately had visions in my mind of a Head Angel with a clipboard standing there calling to what turned out to be two men angels -- they were my husband’s grandfathers -- and assigning them to go to David in New York City and be near him. With this, I began to feel such a connection to Heavenly Father, and I said to him ‘Heavenly Father’ -- I can’t remember the exact words but it was something to effect of ‘we are about to lose our house and our cars and the neighbors are going to talk about us and say how poorly we are at managing money. I’m going to feel pity and scorn! I'm gonna be so embarrassed -- this is so scary that we don’t know what we’ll do or where we will live.’ And I said, ‘can you help us keep our house?’
Well at that point, Heavenly Father drew the line. He could take away the pain and help me breathe. He could support David -- those prayers seemed to be acceptable. But at this point, Sister Marriott had some learning to do. I mentioned this in a talk, one of the talks in the Conference Center, I don't remember which one now, but it was at that point that I was given a quick glimpse of who I was. I was stunned. I saw my faults. I saw a prideful woman, taking credit for any accomplishment I thought I had done, or my children had done. I saw someone who was doing things her way and turning her back on Heavenly Father. I was undone. The tears that had been trickling began to roll. In fact, when I finally got out of the temple, my cheeks were actually chapped and burned. I was horrified at who I was and what I was seeing, at my sins even iniquity, I would call it, because I was having enmity toward God -- that's what pride is.
Pride is enmity toward God. That’s what I was about. I was so broken-hearted that turned to Father in Heaven and said ‘I don’t want to be that woman. But I don’t know how to change -- what do I do? How do I do this?’ I had the feeling -- turn to Jesus Christ and cling to Him. He has the power, the love and the healing to change your heart. I knew it. It broke over me in waves of assurance. He was real. He lived. He knew me. He could take care of my broken heart and even my prideful nature. But only He could do it. He had paid the price. And for the first time in my life, sisters, I will admit I felt the keenest need of a Redeemer.
I’d never felt such a need before. It had always been ‘I’ll take care of it the best I can and pray to Heavenly Father and he'll keep me safe on the road or whatever.’ Not anymore. That watershed moment when I knew I was just a little dot of nothing; valuable, yes; beloved, yes; but powerless -- powerless to change my heart without Jesus Christ to do it for me. I can't say that I became all roses and flowers and loving and joy from that moment on. My husband children will attest to that. But I can say that I knew from then on that the Savior, Jesus Christ, has the power to help us see who we are and be healed of our wounds and our sins.
I go back often -- and I need to go back more than I do -- and ask for forgiveness. I receive it and I cling to Jesus Christ. He will do that for you, sisters. Does that mean the cancer goes away, the divorce doesn't happen, the child comes right back home and gets a temple recommend? No. Those things may very well remain, but what does change is you are now yoked to the Savior of the universe. With that power, you move forward with good cheer. There is joy in your life, like a current running under all that happens. So when your feelings get hurt by a family member or you’re rejected by a group friends or you don't feel like you measure up because you gained 10 pounds or your clothes aren’t as good as the next person's or your husband left you or doesn’t make money or whatever the awful things that can happen -- you are yoked to the Savior, the Redeemer, the Light of the World. He will carry you through the times when you can’t go on the way. I know that’s true.
Back to the temple -- I changed my prayer. With all my heart, I said ‘Heavenly Father, I don’t want that house. If thou wouldst not have me and my family and David live in that home, I don’t want it. I only want what you want. If we are to move to a small, tiny apartment just remember Heavenly Father we have a really big family, but if you want us to move to any tiny apartment, I'll do it. I just want exactly what you want 'cause I know that is right, that is what is good for us, that is what will do the best for us. I trust with all my heart that it will happen that way, the way You want it to happen. I turn myself over to You and put myself in Your hands.’ I said those words and I felt like the Savior was holding me together, because I asked those things of Heavenly Father in his name, Jesus Christ.
And so, I knew we would all be all right. Whatever it was that came to us, it really didn't matter because we had what mattered. We had the covenants that yoke us to Jesus Christ, and He would carry us through as we do our part, as we repent, as we obey, as we submit to the whisperings of His spirit, as we push harder to do what your good Relief Society President Sister Brown said, as we really begin to read the scriptures and dig beneath the surface, apply it to us, pray before we read. As we really do go to the temple, searching, thirsty, hungry and praying for direction and to serve those who have gone beyond. As we really do support our bishop, even if his personality is not our type. It doesn’t matter. What matters is he’s a gift to us, he is a gift from Heavenly Father, and he will tell us what we need to hear.
So that day, I fairly floated out of the temple. I was entirely different. That night I went to the airport to pick David up. I could see him hurrying down the sidewalk with the carry-on luggage swinging, and he hopped in the car and slammed the door. I looked at him and said, ‘it’s going to all work out.’ He looked at me and said, ‘well what stockbroker have you been talking to?’ And I said, ‘I have been talking to Heavenly Father in the temple and the Savior’s in charge of us, and we will get through this, no matter how it looks.’
Well, that was in October and the bank had to give us until February to pay for the loan. During those months, sisters, October, November, December, January, it was as if Heavenly Father had taken a giant washrag and just wiped the earth clean, or maybe it was my eyes, because colors were brilliant, food tasted so delicious in ways I had never noticed, music reduced me to tears because of its purity and sweetness, people’s faces, I loved them, they were beautiful in ways I'd never noticed.
I can't explain except that it was as if the spirit had had ripped back the dinginess of our fallenness from my eyes for that period of time. I testified to David many times that we were in the Lord’s hands. Something will come of this and it will be right, whatever it is. There were days that he depended on my testimony. Sisters: your husbands, your children, your family, your friends look to you. Are you giving them your faith, your testimony in words? It doesn’t have to be formal. I would now like to testify that there are other ways to express it.
One time I was standing at the kitchen island, cooking breakfast, and David was leaving. He kissed me goodbye, he looked cheerful and got to the door and put his hand on the doorknob of the kitchen to leave. He turned it, he held still and he turned back around and looked at me and said ‘Neill, tell me again.’ And I testified to him that he would be accompanied, the Lord would walk with him. He would not leave him alone, he would not forsake him. It would all work out. And he left for work.
I'm just throwing that in, sisters, to remind you, you are a source of light to some people. Let that light shine brightly, let them know what you believe.
And so, the months rolled by and I continued in this -- I'm not gonna call it La La Land -- but it was like a spiritual pillow that was just carrying me around and the joy was real. Even though I knew we were probably going to leave our home and all those children and David and I would now be crammed into a little apartment, it felt so right. Well, February came, the loan was called for and then there was something tricky -- I don't know what it was maybe because it was a stock transaction and they had to do something else -- but in February the basic stock was coming up and I thought it may get to $15 and it may cover everything.
Well sisters, I will tell you it did get there. We did not lose our home, but we came within a razor's edge of doing so. Now why is that one of my most precious memories and most precious experiences? Because it taught me that I have this living Savior who is all powerful. If we’d moved to a small apartment, I would have known anyway. I would have learned that lesson, I hope. I will never forget it. I began to realize I need a Redeemer, and I have one. And you have one, and He stands ready, with His arms open for you to come unto Him.
And as you do, any fear you have and despondency will begin to dissipate. You will have a sense that there is solid ground you can stand on. He is the Rock of our salvation. And as we stand on Him, we cannot fall. That is the good news, sisters, that is the happy ending. Will we go through hard times? Yes, we will. President Kimball, in “Faith Precedes the Miracle,” quoted Orson Whitney as saying “no trial we have is ever wasted -- It aids us in our education and our growth.”* If we can be grateful for those trials, our good cheer and our faith and our trust will grow up and we will have an understanding that He's over all, He is greater than any movement, any political movement, any government trouble, any army, navy, whatever it may be. He is more powerful, and we are His covenant children. And He will carry us in the palm of His hand. I testify to you that we have a Savior Jesus Christ who lives and loves us, who died for us. That should teach us how valuable we are.
I testify that he will lift your heart as you turn to Him and invite Him into your life. I know because I have done this, and He has come and we are yoked. And when I fall down, which I do often, and when I make mistakes, which I do often, He picks me up and dusts me off and sends me out again. Sisters, come unto Him and be of good cheer. And I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
* The cited quote by Elder Orson F. Whitney reads: “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. All that we suffer … builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven …”
Thursday, February 11, 2021
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Sunday, November 22, 2020
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
This is so very interesting!
It will play on a desktop computer, but for some reason won't play on a phone. If you are having trouble playing it, try this link: