March Winds

In my section of the country March means wind, Nature’s house-cleaning broom, clearing away the debris of old leaves, twigs, clouds, and cold air that have cluttered up our Earth home during the winter. It is the first breath of spring and hope blowing into our hearts.

As nature is renewed by the wind that sweeps clean, I want to renew my own life, clear my mind of bitterness, slights I have brooded over, and lethargy in helping others. I want to sweep out the cobwebs that have hidden the joyousness that the gospel, pure of slander and selfishness, offers my life. Caroline Eyring Miner, Salt Lake City, Utah

Self-control—Self-respect—Self-control

I had been trying to diet for several weeks but kept putting it off. Besides, the cookie jar was still half full of gooey chocolate chip cookies. “I’ll diet after these cookies are gone,” I said to myself.

But when I finally did reach for a cookie I changed my mind and closed the cupboard door. At that moment I made a conscious choice to eat an apple instead—a small decision, but a decision nevertheless. The apple was crisp and delicious. And my small decision to eat that apple gave me the self-esteem I needed to again use self-control: at lunch I ate a salad. For the rest of the day I ate vegetables and fruits rich in vitamins and low in calories. By the end of the day I felt elated: I had actually done it—I had dieted for one full day!

Goals can be reached one small step or one small choice at a time. Each step becomes easier because of the self-esteem and faith gained at the last step. Improvement can be as simple as eating an apple instead of a cookie. Anya Bateman, Salt Lake City, Utah

[illustration] Illustrated by Scott Snow

A Mote in His Eye

After seven years, the romance and excitement of our temple marriage had faded. Crying babies, sleepless nights, financial struggles, frustrations of mingling two personalities—nothing seemed as perfect or as wonderful as an eternal marriage was supposed to be.

Since I had tried to be the perfect wife, mother, and Latter-day Saint, our problems, of course, were his fault. If only he weren’t so tired and grouchy when he came home. If only he made more money. If only he would change—we would have that ideal marriage I dreamed about!

But nothing worked: not prodding, nagging, crying, or anything else. Finally, I turned to the Lord in desperation.

I didn’t get what I was expecting. Instead, the answer was: “You are not yet perfect yourself. Work on improving yourself, and your marriage will soon take care of itself.”

That was five years ago; now things are much happier at our house. We’re still not perfect. But one thing is certain: that answer to prayer was the best advice I’ve ever received. Susan McBee, Grand Junction, Colorado

Sister Robinson’s Legacy

I recently learned again the lesson that, as a mother, I must not forget: the things I teach my children are not just for today.

Not long ago I sang with a group of women at the funeral of our bishop’s mother, Sister Doris Cunningham Robinson, whom I had honored for her vitality and sense of humor and enjoyed for our common love of music. Her own daughter, granddaughters, and daughter-in-law played violins and pianos at the funeral with the assurance of seasoned performers. A lifelong friend read an excerpt from Sister Robinson’s journal reporting her childhood. Her widowed mother sometimes did not have enough money to supply their needs, yet there was always music.

I was filled with admiration as I listened, not only for Sister Robinson but for her mother whom I’d never known. One mother’s legacy had reached out through four generations, and who could say where it would end? Laurie Williams Sowby, American Fork, Utah