Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cleaving unto God.

I have loved this verse for some time:

"Wherefore...repent, and come with full purpose of heart, and cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you. And while his arm of mercy is extended toward you in the light of the day, harden not your hearts."  -Jacob 6:5

I love the idea of God cleaving to us, and that meaning has expanded for me as a mom. I imagine how much I love to hold Ethan and Caleb close--to calm their hurts and fears, to teach them new things, to keep them safe. And they cleave to me; they run to me with their hurts and their frustrations, their wants and needs, and I am always happy that they do so. This is the kind of relationship I can have with my Heavenly Father. In order to obtain, I have to follow the instruction to become as a little child, "submissive, meek, humble, patient, easy to be entreated," etc etc.  It is so wonderful and comforting and amazing.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The King's Image

I know I've been posting a lot of Widtsoe quotes, but I LOVE this:

     "A lump of silver is but a lump of silver in the marketplace, sold by weight under the changing market price. If that lump of silver be passed through the mint it becomes something more than a lump of silver. The King's Image pressed upon it makes it coin of the realm. Thenceforth with a value above its weight and market price it is in the King's service.
     "A human life is but a human life, lost in the multitude of indifferent lives, unless it enters the King's service, unless the King's image be impressed upon it. Then it becomes current coin of the King's realm, which may purchase joy, happiness, satisfaction, otherwise unattainable. Does a life bear the King's image? That is a vital question.
     "How may we so coin our lives? How secure the impress of the King's image? It is not a secret. By losing and forgetting ourselves in a great work, a mighty cause. Thus, we enter the King's service. Thus, we come to bear the King's image. Unselfishness! Selflessness! Great words; greater ideals! Keys to the solution of the world's problems! He who forgets himself in noble service will have success thrust upon him. Whoever mingles with his eating and drinking, with his daily toil and moneymaking, with his pleasure and his pain, the act of loving service of his noblest ideal, will rise to the heights, above the clouds, with the envying multitude below. He will be in the King's service. There is really no other way to true success.
     "You ask for the parts of the spiritual minting press? Here I sum! Faith in God; love of truth; obedience to law; courage to say no; sincerity in labor; temperance in all things; generosity, virtue, and industry. These are elements out of which unselfishness is born, and by which the King's image is impressed upon human lives.
     "...[M]ore seeking after truth, more sharing of it with others, until all of life becomes a mission of service in the King's Cause, until all may know that we are in royal service, in the service of the King of Kings. So is success won and joy obtained--everlastingly."

-John A. Widtsoe, in Alan K. Parrish, John A Widtsoe, A Biography, pg. 512.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The armour of love

"[T]he truth of the restored gospel is becoming understood in the world. . . . If persecution from without is diminishing, contention within is fanned into livelier flame. Of the two methods of destruction--persecution by untruth or discord among those who have accepted truth--the latter is deadlier. . . . Persecution from without is gradually vanishing. . . . But, at the same time, the danger of jealousy, strife and evil speaking among the members of the Church increases. . . . There must be an honest endeavor to love our brethren and sisters as well as the Lord in heaven--the first law of Gospel living. Love begets love. Whenever Latter-day Saints live in love together, their armour and their shield, all their weapons are of heavenly workmanship."

-John A. Widtsoe, CR October 1933

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Scriptures = Friends

I loved how Elder Scott described the scriptures in his October Conference talk. I particularly liked how he spoke of the scriptures as friends. Who wouldn't want a friend like this?
Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high. They can become the key to open the channel to communion with our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
The scriptures provide the strength of authority to our declarations when they are cited correctly. They can become stalwart friends that are not limited by geography or calendar. They are always available when needed. Their use provides a foundation of truth that can be awakened by the Holy Ghost. Learning, pondering, searching, and memorizing scriptures is like filling a filing cabinet with friends, values, and truths that can be called upon anytime, anywhere in the world.
Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change.
Pondering a scripture like that gives great direction to life. The scriptures can form a foundation of support. They can provide an incredibly large resource of willing friends who can help us. A memorized scripture becomes an enduring friend that is not weakened with the passage of time.
Pondering a passage of scripture can be a key to unlock revelation and the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Scriptures can calm an agitated soul, giving peace, hope, and a restoration of confidence in one’s ability to overcome the challenges of life. They have potent power to heal emotional challenges when there is faith in the Savior. They can accelerate physical healing.
-Richard G. Scott, October 2011 General Conference, Saturday Morning

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Organize yourselves...

Last night our "Scripture Picture," as we like to call it with our boys, was a picture of the Kirtland Temple, and this verse:

Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.     -Doctrine & Covenants 88:119

My first thought was this: "Ouch! That does not describe my house!" I have never been really good at organizing, but I don't think I have ever had things as bad as they are currently. I just can't seem to get things cleaned and put away, and EVERYTHING in this house needs a scrub-down. Sometimes I really can't get to it, and other times I just don't feel motivated to work on it.

But as I was telling the boys about the temple I envisioned the cleanliness and beauty and order of that place and knew I needed to create that environment here for them. There is a really important reason for doing so in the next verse:

That your incomings may be in the name of the Lord; that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord; that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with uplifted hands unto the Most High.   -Doctrine & Covenants 88:120

In short, Christ cannot be the focus if we are surrounded by mess and distraction. The Spirit can't dwell where there is dirt and disorder. That seems like reason enough to get myself going when I am lacking energy.

But if that isn't enough, here is an interesting thought: our Father is an expert organizer!  He organized all of the intelligences before the world was (Abraham 3:22). He organized the heavens and the earth (Abraham 4:1). He organized man's mortal body (Abraham 4:27)--and if you've studied the human body, that really is something amazing! So it is no surprise that God asks His people to organize according to His laws under His covenant. As we do so, we learn important skills necessary to become like He is.