Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Letter about Coming Back

I was going through a box of lesson supplies and unfinished projects, and in an odd spot I found an unfinished letter that I started writing in October of 2011. My feelings then are so applicable now and that I thought I would go ahead and record that testimony here.

I read this scripture this morning and it touched me so, so deeply:

For the things which some men esteem to be of great worth, both to the body and soul, others set at naught and trample under their feet. Yea, even the very God of Israel do men trample under their feet; I say trample under their feet but I would speak in other words--they set himn at naught, and hearken not to the voice of his counsels.

And behold, he cometh...

And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore theyh scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. They spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.

...

Nevertheless, when that day cometh, saith the prophet, that they no more turn aside their hearts against the Holy one of Israel, then will he remember the covenants which he made to their fathers.

...

Yea, and all the earth shall see the salvation of the Lord.

-1 Nephi 19:7-17

There are so many things we think of associated with "the Church." There are people and policies we don't like or don't understand. The administration is imperfect. Mistakes--both inadvertent and blatant--are made. These things provide a lot of excuses, but when it comes down to it, it is Christ's church. He puts up with a lot because He loves us and He is patient with our imperfections. So the main concern, and the real root of activity in the Church is this: Am I willing to lay everything else aside and turn my heart to Jesus Christ?

I know that He lives. I know that He was willing to undergo humiliation and incomprehensible suffering because He was filled with love and compassion for us in our weakness. He knows you. He loves you. He doesn't care what you have done in the past or what counsels you have disobeyed. He suffered all things so that you could have the gift of repentance--of turning to Him whenever you choose and having everything cleaned and forgiven and forgotten in His book. He has waited thousands of years for the Jews--who He so lovingly led through the wilderness out of captivity only to so blatantly reject Him-- to come back to Him; that speaks to how lovingly He is waiting for us to come to Him and to receive all the blessings HE longs to give us. He wants to bless you. He wants to bless your children. He will help you qualify for those blessings. He will carry the burdens that weight on you if you let Him. I know it is true because I have experienced it over and over again. He has a work that only you can do in His kingdom and He needs you here. There is a reason you have the gift of the Gospel.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Magnifying your calling

“The Prophet Joseph Smith was once asked, ‘Brother Joseph, you frequently urge that we magnify our callings. What does this mean?’ He is said to have replied, ‘To magnify a calling is to hold it up in dignity and importance, that the light of heaven may shine through one’s performance.’”

President Thomas S. Monson, “Our Sacred Priesthood Trust,” Ensign, May 2006, 56.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Be Reconciled

Studying in 2 Nephi 10, Jacob sums up his teachings with the exhortation:

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to teh will of God, and not to the will of hte devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in an through the grace of God that ye are saved.

I dwelt somewhat on the word "reconcile." Here's the definition from dictionary.com:


  1.  to cause (a person) to accept or be resigned to something not desired: He was reconciled to his fate.
  2. to win over to friendliness; cause to become amicable: to reconcile hostile persons.
  3. to compose or settle (a quarrel, dispute, etc.).
  4. to bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent: to reconcile differing statements; to reconcile accounts.
  5. to reconsecrate (a desecrated church, cemetery, etc.).
  6. to restore (an excommunicate or penitent) to communion in a church.
Definitions 3-6 seem to be the most applicable here. In implies bringing into harmony. Note that we are supposed to reconcile ourselves to God, not the other way around; we are the ones that need to become compatible or consistent, to reconsecrate ourselves and to restore ourselves to communion (i.e. oneness, communication) with God. Then even when we are reconciled, we must rely on His grace and continue this process until the end in order to become like He is.

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.