Lately I've been trying to expand my studying of the gospel. Of course, we are supposed to read the scriptures and I can personally attest to how much that strengthens my testimony and love for this gospel. But there is also so many other sources we are able to study and learn from and be uplifted by. 

(I know this is not the July 2015 cover, I couldn't find a full res pic of it!)

Confession time; I have never actually really read the Ensign. 

I grew up reading the New Era and the Friend, but as an adult I have never read much from the Ensign. But the past couples months I have been trying to make sure to read at least one article from it every day. I LOVE IT! Guys! I can't believe I missed out on it for so long. And you don't have to pay for a physical subscription to have access to it (which I foolishly used to think was the case) you can access it for free online, or through the LDS Library app. Of course the physical copy is nice to have too (and is actually really cheap) but online and free works great! I read it almost entirely through the app while on the go and read a little bit throughout the day whenever I have a free second. It really helps uplift my day and add a little light to my heart when I'm having a hard time, on top of reading the scriptures. 

So to maybe convince you to start reading it if you aren't, I have compiled some (just some, not all, cause I have SO MANY) of my favorite quotes just from the July Ensign;

My absolute favorite parts are bold!

All is Well
By President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"The pioneers serve as a good reminder of why we must break away from the temptation to isolate ourselves and, instead, reach out to help each other and have compassion and love for one another."

"The pioneers, who sacrificed so much, went without and hungered for even the most basic of necessities to survive. They understood that happiness doesn’t come as a result of luck or accident. It most certainly doesn’t come from having all of our wishes come true. Happiness doesn’t come from external circumstances. It comes from the inside--regardless of what is happening around us."

April 2015 Conference Notebook
Bonnie L. Oscarson

“… Let us help build the kingdom of God by standing up boldly and being defenders of marriage, parenthood, and the home. The Lord needs us to be brave, steadfast, and immovable warriors who will defend His plan and teach the upcoming generations His truths.”

Preparing to enter the House of the Lord
By Elder Kent F. Richards

"Each time you enter the temple, you can feel of His Spirit and receive additional revelation and understanding while providing the necessary ordinances for others. You will understand and receive assurance of your eternal existence and the unending power of your covenants. If we were not eternal beings, the temple would have no significance."

"The promises in the temple are rich and noble. They are the “great favors” and “great blessings” (3 Nephi 10:18) that our Father has reserved for you personally. So smile when you think of the temple."

Filled with life and energy
By Randal A. Wright

"“If you are to be successful, you will need to be inspired. You will need to receive revelation. I will give you one piece of advice: Go to bed early and get up early. If you do, your body and mind will become rested and then in the quiet of those early morning hours, you will receive more flashes of inspiration and insight than at any other time of the day.”

"Additional blessings are pledged to those who follow the Lord’s counsel on sleep. Consider these incredible promises: “Cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated” (D&C 88:124; emphasis added). Invigorate means “to fill with life and energy.”

There must be an excellent reason for the injunction to retire and arise early [see D&C 88:124]. … The world is a more beautiful place early in the morning. Life is so much more calm. Much more can be accomplished in a shorter amount of time.”

God's plan for families
Mark A. Mathews

President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972) explained: “Marriage as established in the beginning was an eternal covenant. The first man and the first woman were not married until death should part them, for at that time death had not come into the world. The ceremony on that occasion was performed by the Eternal Father himself whose work endures forever.”

Thus, the crowning event of the Creation was not just when Adam and Eve were created in the image of their heavenly parents but when they were sealed in eternal marriage like their heavenly parents. From the beginning, marriage between a man and a woman was ordained of God and established as the ultimate purpose of our creation.

Reaping the Rewards of Righteousness
Elder Quentin L. Cook

Living worthy of a temple recommend, receiving temple ordinances, and being true to our covenants gives us the focus and vision to stay on the covenant path. When our youth live worthy to perform baptisms for the dead, their lives will be in order.

The most important thing you can do is to make sure your children and those you nurture know that you love them. Love is the key ingredient to happiness.

The Lord God is indeed a sun and shield and will give grace and glory. No good thing will be withheld from them that walk uprightly (see Psalm 84:11). My prayer is that you may reap the rewards of righteousness as you faithfully follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon
By Matthew S. Holland

Joseph translated an astonishing 588 pages of the Book of Mormon in what was, at most, 65 working days. It is also instructive to note that the translation of the King James Bible took 47 trained scholars, working in languages they already knew, seven years to complete.
But the greatest miracle in all of this is not found in how fast things were accomplished but in the complexity of what was produced in that highly demanding time frame.

“Not only are there more than a thousand years of history [in the Book of Mormon] involving some two hundred named individuals and nearly a hundred distinct places, but the narrative itself is presented as the work of three primary editor/historians--Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni. These figures, in turn, claim to have based their accounts on dozens of preexisting records. The result is a complex mix that incorporates multiple genres ranging from straightforward narration to inserted sermons and letters to scriptural commentary and poetry. It requires considerable patience to work out all the details of chronology, geography, genealogy, and source records, but the Book of Mormon is remarkably consistent on all this. The chronology is handled virtually without glitches, despite several flashbacks and temporally overlapping narratives; … and the narrators keep straight both the order and family connections among the twenty-six Nephite record keepers and forty-one Jaredite kings (including rival lines). The complexity is such that one would assume the author worked from charts and maps, though Joseph Smith’s wife … explicitly denied that he had written something out beforehand that he either had memorized or consulted as he translated, and indeed she claimed that Joseph began sessions of dictation without looking at the manuscript or having the last passage read back to him.”

You have a Brother who watches over you, ready to rescue you and advance your service with arms far stronger than your arms--far stronger, in fact, than all other arms of the flesh combined. Those arms are there to sustain and bless you, “in every time of trouble” (D&C 3:8), no matter how alone and discouraged you may feel. Therefore, as you move forward with your life, trust in those arms and “be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid … for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Joseph discovered this and changed the world. You can too.

Vine and Branches

Christ’s gospel and His Church help us overcome the tendency of the natural man to sag in sin and selfishness and to wallow in worldly things that harm us spiritually. By living the gospel and keeping covenants, we are lifted up to greater joy, peace, and service.

“Jesus said, ‘Without me ye can do nothing’ [John 15:5]. I testify that that is God’s truth. Christ is everything to us and we are to ‘abide’ in Him permanently, unyieldingly, steadfastly, forever. For the fruit of the gospel to blossom and bless our lives, we must be firmly attached to Him, the Savior of us all, and to this His Church, which bears His holy name. He is the vine that is our true source of strength and the only source of eternal life. In Him we not only will endure but also will prevail and triumph in this holy cause that will never fail us.”

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