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.