Friday, September 30, 2016

Ponderize


I started using the Ponderize App. It is awesome! It even gives you a reminder each week to change your scripture. I am finally doing it consistently.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Rough Thoughts on Freedom

From an old notebook I picked up to use again. Dated May 6, 2013.

Society often rejects whatever is hard or makes people feel bad.

EXAMPLES:

  • Abstinence or Word of Wisdom--"It is pointless to teach because teens will do it anyway, or it is too hard to expect people not to participate."
  • Nuclear Family--"Some people don't have it, and we don't want to make them feel bad, so we shouldn't talk about the idea."
Many also want to exclude any views that include or are founded on religious principles. But why should an opinion of a professor or the producers of Glee be more persuasive than God's commandments? Belief in their philosophy has no more foundation than my belief in a Biblical deity.

People want to be "free" from standards and ideals that decry their behavior and that call for change. But what kind of freedom is that? Freedom from home? From aspiring to greater things?

Paul said: 

For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
What fruit had ye then in those things...?
But now being made free from sin, and become servants unto God, ye have your fruits unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."
         =Romans 6:20-22

President Packer, in April 2012 General Conference, said, "Life was never intended to be easy or fair." We can't water down our message with the idea that somehow we will be violating other's freedom because we teach something that is not immediately attainable for all. But we must consider each one through our individual ministry so that all can receive the portion of the Word that is theirs.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Safeguarded in the Centre

Deeper sense of sin, clearer views of the Gospel, warmer love to Christ,—these are the safeguards against backsliding. Strive and pray for these. Do not keep Christ on the surface; let him possess the centre, and thence direct all the circumference of your life.

-William Arnot, The Parables of Our Lord.

Arnot on the Seed in the Thorny Ground

The earthly affections in the heart which render religion unfruitful in the life are enumerated under two heads,—“The care of this world,” and “the deceitfulness of riches;” the term riches includes also, as we may gather from Luke’s narrative, the pleasures which riches procure. Both from our own experience in the world and the specific terms employed by the Lord in the interpretation of the parable, we learn that all classes and all ranks are on this side exposed to danger. This is not a rich man’s business, or a poor man’s; it is every man’s business. The words point to the two extremes of worldly condition, and include all that lies between them. “The care of the world” becomes the snare of those who have little, and “the deceitfulness of riches,” the snare of those who have much. Thus the world wars against the soul, alike when it smiles and when it frowns. Rich and poor have in this matter no room and no right to cast stones at each other. Pinching want and luxurious profusion are, indeed, two widely diverse species of thorns; but when favoured by circumstances they are equally rank in their growth and equally effective in destroying the precious seed.

...

 It was where the seed and the thorns grew together that the mischief was done. If the grain is permitted to occupy alone the heart of the field, the thorns that grow outside and around it may constitute a hedge of defence, not only harmless but useful. There is a place for cares, and for riches too,—a place in which they help and do not hinder the kingdom of God. Kept in its own sphere, the lawful business of life becomes a protecting fence round the tender plant of grace in a Christian’s heart. Permit not the thorns to occupy the position which is due to the good seed. Not as rivals within the field, but as guards around it, earthly affairs are innocent and safe. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

-William Arnot, The Parables of Our Lord.

Talmage on Homemaking (Mary and Martha)

By inattention to household duties, the little touches that make or mar the family peace, many a woman has reduced her home to a comfortless house; and many another has eliminated the essential elements of home by her self-assumed and persistent drudgery, in which she denies to her dear ones the cheer of her loving companionship. One-sided service, however devoted, may become neglect. There is a time for labor inside the home as in the open; in every family time should be found for cultivating that better part, that one thing needful—true, spiritual development.

-James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ.

Talmage on Prayers, Delays, and Good Gifts

There must be a consciousness of real need for prayer, and real trust in God, to make prayer effective; and in mercy the Father sometimes delays the granting that the asking may be more fervent. But in the words of Jesus: "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"

-James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ.

Talmage on Miracles and Human Agency

The procedure throughout was characterized by deep solemnity and by the entire absence of every element of unnecessary display. Jesus, who when miles away and without any ordinary means of receiving the information knew that Lazarus was dead, doubtless could have found the tomb; yet He inquired: "Where have ye laid him?" He who could still the waves of the sea by a word could have miraculously effected the removal of the stone that sealed the mouth of the sepulchre; yet He said: "Take ye away the stone." He who could reunite spirit and body could have loosened without hands the cerements by which the reanimated Lazarus was bound; yet He said: "Loose him, and let him go." All that human agency could do was left to man. In no instance do we find that Christ used unnecessarily the superhuman powers of His Godship; the divine energy was never wasted; even the material creation resulting from its exercize was conserved, as witness His instructions regarding the gathering up of the fragments of bread and fish after the multitudes had been miraculously fed.

-James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ.