Friday, March 25, 2016

Weak things made strong

I was in class talking with a classmate and she and I were working on the  directed study together.  She pointed out something that helped me understand my attribute of Christ, of being humble.  I have just been diagnosed with Breast Cancer, so I have tried to become humble and live life in the moment but have been struggling a bit this last month.  We were discussing Ether chapter twelve about how the Lord can give us weaknesses to help us become humble, not that cancer is a weakness, but we sometimes think our trials are our weaknesses.  Which some do turn into weaknesses if we let them.  But she was saying, “that she believes that the Lord gives us weaknesses that we may become humble and that what I am facing now will give me the strength to endure what lies ahead”.  As I sat there and listen the spirit touched my heart especially when she said that, “when you exercise your faith in the Lord and act upon it by using the ABC’s of the gospel, then will the Lord make the “weak things become strong”, as it says in verse twenty-seven.  I have found in my life that when I feel weak it is because I am lacking in doing one or more of the ABC’s of the gospel.  I should clarify what the ABC’s of the gospel are, I feel that they are faith, prayer, scripture study, tithing, partaking of the sacrament, keeping your covenants, enduring to the end.  Basically the ABC’s are the basic Doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  So when I find myself in a place  where I am weak either emotionally, spiritually or even physically I re-evaluate my life and see where and what I am doing and what I am not doing that draws me closer to my Savior.  

You know we can have the faith of the Brother of Jared when we come before the Lord as he did.  We must be willing to accept His will, desire to do His will, and have the courage to follow through in applying it in our lives.  When we do find His will and accept it, follow it  we will find that  our faith will bring the “mountain of all righteousness” (vs. 28).  I know that in my life I am a lot happier when I humbly strive to accept, follow, and do His will than when I am compelled to do so or choose not to altogether.  The very last verse in Ether chapter twelve commends us to “seek this Jesus”.  So everything we do in our lives either helps us seek Him or draws us further away from Him.  It is our choice, that is what I love about the gospel, we can’t blame anyone else for our misery.  I love what Elder Robert. D. Hales states, “In the gospel of Jesus Christ, there comes a point in time, when we must stand accountable for who we are and what we are going to be”.  How true this statement is and once I figured this out my life changed and so will yours.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Helaman's Application to Life

Here I am reading in the Book of Mormon in Helaman chapters 10 to 12.  These are very powerful chapters that are very applicable to ones life.  Here is Nephi standing in the middle of people divided, pondering what the Lord had shown him.  He was emotionally drawn because of all the wickedness of the people.  We can think of how divided we are in our day and how our prophet could be feeling just about the same way, don’t you think?  Yeah, well the Lord then tells Nephi how blessed he is because of the things he has done, and in Helaman 10: 6-10 it states:
6 Behold, thou art Nephi, and I am God. Behold, I declare it unto thee in the presence of mine angels, that ye shall have power over this people, and shall smite the earth with famine, and with pestilence and destruction, according to the wickedness of this people.
7 Behold, I give unto you power, that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; and thus shall ye have power among this people. 8 And thus, if ye shall say unto this temple it shall be
rent in twain, it shall be done.
9 And if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou cast down and become smooth, it shall be done.
10 And behold, if ye shall say that God shall smite
this people, it shall come to pass.

What person would not want this type of power given them?  I am sure that our prophet today, has this power and could use it if called upon from the Lord.  Sometimes I wish he would use it like in time of old, because it might persuade people to remember the Lord their God, as it did for these people.  Nephi was tired of all these wars.  Once again, are we not tired of all the wars that are going on in our day? So, Nephi prayed and asked if the people could be destroyed by famine instead of by the sword, to help them remember the Lord their God?  The Lord actually answered his prayer and there came a sore famine in the land where thousands perished.  Now I myself would not want to have a famine hit us, at least a physical famine, I really feel there is a spiritual famine going on that we really needs to be addressed. Nephi did addresses it in chapter eleven he tells them what they must do in order to remove the famine in Helaman 11: 10-16 it states:
10 O Lord, behold this people repenteth; and they have swept away the band of Gadianton from amongst them insomuch that they have become extinct, and they have concealed their secret plans
in the earth.

11 Now, O Lord, because of this their humility wilt thou turn away thine anger, and let thine anger be appeased in the destruction of those wicked men
whom thou hast already destroyed.
12 O Lord, wilt thou turn away thine anger, yea,
thyfierce anger, and cause that this famine may cease
in this land.
13 O Lord, wilt thou hearken unto me, and cause that it may be done according to my words, and send forth rain upon the face of the earth, that she may bring forth her fruit, and her grain in the season
of grain.
14 O Lord, thou didst hearken unto my words when I said, Let there be a famine, that the pestilence of the sword might cease; and I know that thou wilt, even at this time, hearken unto my words, for thou saidst that: If this people repent I will spare them.
15 Yea, O Lord, and thou seest that they have repented, because of the famine and the pestilence and destruction which has come unto them.
16 And now, O Lord, wilt thou turn away thine anger, and try again if they will serve thee? And if so, O Lord, thou canst bless them according to thy
words which thou hast said.

What a blessing that was for the people to have prophet amongst them that spoke for and in behalf of them.  That saw that they repented and petitioned the Lord to remove the famine because of the peoples humble repentance.  Now in our day, we have a prophet that does the same for us, we can also go directly to our Savior for personal repentance and to the Bishop if needed.  What a blessing.  The savior did remove the famine and turned His anger from the people and returned the rain to the earth.  Now, I live in California where there has been a drought for awhile, I know how it is to be without water and what a blessing it is when rain finally came.  It is amazing to see in Helaman 12: 2-3, how people truly feel about their Savior Jesus Christ and what they do, it states:

2 Yea, and we may see at the very time when he
doth prosper his people, yea, in the increase of
their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in
gold, and in silver, and in all manner of precious
things of every kind and art; sparing their lives,
and delivering them out of the hands of their
enemies; softening the hearts of their enemies that
they should not declare wars against them; yea,
and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and
happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that
they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord
their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy
One—yea, and this because of their ease, and their
exceedingly great prosperity.
3 And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten
his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth
visit them with death and with terror, and with famine
and with all manner of pestilence, they will not
remember him.

The people here in the scriptures forgot their Savior and by doing so trampled Him under their feet because of their prosperity.  Needless to say, all their prosperity came for Him who they trampled under their feet.  I feel that is the reason He chastens His people with afflictions, is because they forget the Lord their God, and where all their blessings come from.   Our Savior literally does everything for us, increases our fields, (income), flocks, (family) and herds (ward family).  He protects us, spares us from pain when it’s for the welfare of our happiness and then when the time comes for us to show our appreciation, like the people in the scriptures, we trample Him under our feet.  The chapter goes on to explain, how great the nothingness and how we are made of dust but, even the dust of the earth moveth at the command of the Lords voice.  I thought that this was an interesting fact.  That the Savior of the world can speak and the dirt will move and obey, yet we who claim to love Him find it hard to obey Him.  In the scripture John 14:15, it says, “If ye love me keep my commandments”.  That is the sure foundation on which we can build is love, if we love our Savior we will never do anything that will take us away from Him.  We are the ones who choose to move from Him.  I know this to be true in my life, as I have felt the love of my Savior, I have had that change of heart and have had no more desire to choose evil.  I hope that everyone can have this change of heart and that they too can turn to the Lord their God and feel of His love for them.  It will change your life forever as it did mine.  

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Attribute of Obedience

So I finished the first semester of school and  received "A's" in both classes, which was exciting for all the effort I put in.  I enjoyed the two week break and now I am back at it with math and the second half of the Book of Mormon.  Math is hard for me and I don't look forward to it but I will put for the effort to do good and get my "A" in the class.  But I do look forward to the secon half of the Book of Moromon.  This half is my favorite because it teaches about the coming and ministry of the Savior to the Americas, and how He set up His gospel here as well.  I look forward to feeling and recognizing the spirit just as much as I did last semester as I studied the Book of Moromon.

So last semester I mention we had a project due called "The Becoming Project", it was where we had to choose a characteristic of Christ and set goals to become more like Christ.  Last semester my characteristic I chose was Charity.  So this semster they changed the title of the project but the principle stays the same.  The title is "Attributes of Chirst".  The principle is that you "Sow", "Grow" , and "Show".  It is meant to help us look inward, outward, and upward.  As I pondered what attribute I wanted to work on the one that kept coming into my heart was obedience.  Which was interesting because, the very next Sunday Brother Abbott gave a really go talk in Sacrament meeting about not loosing the perspective on “why” we are here on earth, and that is to prepare to return to live with  our Heavenly and to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ.  He taught me something valuable, and that is, don’t loose the “why” of why you do the things you do.  Why do you:  read scriptures, attend church, attend the Temple, partake of the Sacrament, fulfill your callings, serve others, etc.  It was an amazing learning moment that will be with me for a long time.  I can’t wait to learn more about the “why’s” of obedience.  Why are we obedient?  Is it for show?,  Is it for blessings?, Is it because it is a commandment?, or is it rooted in our deep love for our Savior Jesus Christ and our desire to follow and obey His will?  This is what I am looking forward to learning and growing as I put for the effort to apply what I learn from the spirit.

I am eternally grateful for the opportunity I have to grow as a person spiritually, I know that my Savior loves me and wants me to suceed.  I know that as I study and apply the things I learn about being obedient I will be blessed.  I know that by having my heart in the right place then my intentions behind what I do will be sincere.  I know that by following our Saviors obedience we will become like Him and be able to return to live with Him and that is my eternal goal.  This is just one step closer to achieving that.  I hope everyone takes that step with me.