Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Philippians 2:15

Today's favorite verse: Philippians 2:15
"That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;"

Reading this I thought, does our world ever need a light in it. It is so easy for people to be torn apart over the least of things. No wonder to be a light you need to be blameless and harmless. Any blemish will be picked at otherwise. That is a tall order. We all have our flaws. As I pondered on this I realize it didn't say I had to be a perfect person, for none of us can be, only Christ. To be blameless means I acknowledge my faults so others don't have the opportunity to expose and twist them any way they can. Being repentant would not give others the right to rebuke me. If my intent was to always be harmless then I think that is achievable. Looking at things this way it doesn't sound as impossible to obtain. May the light of the gospel always shine from me, for I only want to bring honor to Christ.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Today's favorite verse: Philippians 1:23-24

Today's favorite verse: Philippians 1:23-24
"For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.
Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you."

I have had that desire to depart and be with Christ, but I am not suicidal. This desire has been my struggle since my near-death experience. I did not want to select this as my favorite verse and speak of this dilemma. Then the spirit spoke and said "I am not alone in this desire." There are other followers of Christ with this same pain. We wish to be taken, to not witness this earth, but to live with Christ. I have pondered on this many days. I think the balance is to increase in love for my fellow man. It is only out of my love for others, and what is needful for them, that I can endure the love for my Savior and the desire of my heart to be with him.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Ephesians 6:10-12

Today's favorite verse: Ephesians 6:10-12
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

I have been pondering on our nations issues. I have no hatred or malice to those that don't believe as I do what is morally right or wrong. For me to judge them puts the judgment on myself. I will not call an individual and say you are personally going to hell. I can never know their hearts and neither is it my place. I turn them over to the Lord for his judgment, for his judgments are just. Personally, I feel they are deceived by those in high places, the highest of places is Satan. He is who I ultimately hold responsible. I have the deepest of sorry, and grief for those my brothers and sisters that have been deceived. That is the most painful part of living in these latter days. I pray continually that I will not be deceived, I need the armour of God around me to stand.

After reading my scriptures I occasionally need time to let the verse that stood out to me marinate in my brain, before writing my impressions on it. Times like these I will read the news. I found something a little buried in a KSL news article today titled "Supreme Court ruling makes Pride parades historic, jubilant", and I quote "New York City expects 22,000 people marching in a 2-mile route and more than 2 million people to visit throughout the day. The event is considered a march, Studinski said, because the movement still has much to accomplish." 

That statement made me catch my breath. I ask what more do they have to accomplish?

I wrestle not against flesh and blood, its against the entity that sets an agenda. If I join a cause I better make sure I know all that they have in mind. I don't want to get caught up in any movement that will carry me on a downward stream, bashing against the rocks, into the rapids, with no way for me to get off. Brother should not content against brother, but against the false philosophies that Satan is trying to instill. Don't take it personally its the idea that is my issue, not you. My judgment can be and will always be against philosophies that turn us away from the Lord. Those with power, that spread spiritual wickedness in high places. If I did not truly love my brothers, that follow a different course than myself, I would not mourn so now for their deception. I cry.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Today's favorite verse: Ephesians 5:31

Today's favorite verse: Ephesians 5:31
"For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh."

For the past 90 days I have been recording my thoughts on my favorite verse from the scriptures, selected from the chapter I read that day. I have been working my way through the New Testament, chapter by chapter not pre-selecting the subject for the day. I have wanted to stay out of the discussion of the recent turn of events for our nation. I only want to share His gospel, and the counsel of the prophets. But it is clear from reading today's chapter covering marriage, that it is the Lord's will I give this reminder today. Marriage is between a man and a women.

I cannot tell you how I mourned yesterday for our nation. How can we ask the Lord's blessing on it when we mock his face? I witnessed last night and today the faces of my friends on Facebook proudly becoming a colorful sea of rainbows. What a reminder of the days of Noah. I pondered over this. Are people unaware marking themselves like the Amlicites? Is the six colored flag the latest mark of the beast? I have no answer, but I know a connection is coming.

For the past two months in the temple over and over the thought kept coming to me "this is real". Yesterday the spirit spoke again and said "this is real". I feel like I crossed a line yesterday. I will no longer say in the last days as if it is a time to come. I am an active participant of these times, it is real. I am in awe. I grieve, I mourn, but I know God, may I be strong. All I can do is have the scriptures, the prophets, prayer and the spirit as my guide. God bless our nation, may we survive.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Ephesians 4:26

Today's favorite verse: Ephesians 4:26
"Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath."

This verse reminds me of my wedding day. We had to travel to the Washington D.C. Temple so I received my endowment on the same day I was married. By the time our sealing came I was overwhelmed and everything was a blur. Through it all, I do remember one bit of counsel our sealer gave us that day. 

He told us to always try to be the better of the two. Being better didn't mean you were the one that was right. The way we would be the better person is to be the first to apologize, to say we were sorry, and to forgive. I had never heard that before. It struck me as a truth I needed to live by to make a successful marriage. I was familiar with "let not the sun go down upon your wrath", but now I knew how.

I have practiced this counsel throughout my nearly 33 years of marriage. We have very rarely fought with each other. When we do get angry we will go to our separate rooms to cool off. Within minutes I know I need to go apologize. Doesn't matter who was right or wrong the fact is we fought. I can always say I'm sorry we fought. It can be a race to see who will say sorry first. Once we do that, I realize how foolish I was to even get upset. I have seen the wisdom of that counsel given years ago. The better person isn't the one to win the argument, its the one able to apologize first. There is such freedom in being able to say your sorry to a person and ask for forgiveness. I have used this not only with dealing with my husband but also with my children. The counsel given me on my wedding day was exactly what I needed to hear. It has preserved my marriage. I'm so glad I listened.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Ephesians 3:9-11

Today's favorite verse: Ephesians 3:9-11
"And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.
According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord."

I know one layer to this whole chapter is about the temple, and the mysteries of God that are revealed in those holy places. I pondered on how I could search all the scriptures but not find all that is given me in the temple of the House of the Lord. That he only reveals his mystery high upon the mountains, in holy places. Yet, I will not understand the things given me if I do not search the scriptures. If I don't do both then things remain a mystery even if they are right in front of me. The LDS Temples are not secret they are sacred. It is a heavenly place where the unsearchable riches of Christ reside.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Ephesians 2:2

Today's favorite verse: Ephesians 2:2
"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience."

I sat and pondered on what it meant to be a prince of the power of the air. Air is so essential for me to breath. The lack of it would cause me to die. It's all around me, yet I cannot see it.  Air can be gentle and still, it can whisper softly. Air can blow hard as a tornado or hurricane and do so much damage. Usually when I feel it, it has a cooling effect. Why would Satan be given the power of the air?

I notice a couple of things about this verse. First, Satan is a prince, and not the King of the air. His power is limited. He can rule over only a certain group of people, the disobedient. He can have no power over me if don't go into his realm. 

To follow him would be to cut off the ability for my spirit to breath. That would be spiritual death. Satan could gentle lead me down a path of disobedience and then buffet me with harsh blows. To follow him would mean over time my heart would turn cold from his cooling effects. I may not see him but his influence would be around me all the time, it would be oppressive. I see I would not want to be in the kingdom of the prince of the power of the air. Even though his air is all around me it has no power over me, if I do not become his child. I actually have more power than him when I walk with Christ. I think that is why Satan is the prince of the power of the air, because it can appear as absolutely nothing at all.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Ephesians 1:11

Today's favorite verse: Ephesians 1:11
"In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:"

I'm not any person of significance, and believe I never will be. But, this verse made me ponder on how regardless of that, my life has a purpose. There is a divine reason why God put me here on the earth at this time, in this place. I don't know what it is, but I sure hope when I go home I accomplished whatever it was I was sent here to do.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Galatians 6:7-8

Today's favorite verse: Galatians 6:7-8
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

I just had a conversation last night with my father about how turned upside down this world has become. Including those refusing to marry and wanting to marry, they all mock God. It's not just that, there are sadly many examples of us defining our own rules to satisfy our flesh. I have to be so careful what philosophies I subscribe to. I do not want to reap what deceived behavior sows.

How do I begin to understand what God wants of me? How do I sow the Spirit? I must treasure up His words. I must search and read and ponder them wherever I find them. Then I must apply what I learn. Without application the understanding will not come. There are ordinances and covenants I must enter into and never stray from. I must pray always, especially to not be deceived. I must repent, come to Christ and never leave his side. 

Am I then bound and not a freeman? No, I still have my agency to choose my behavior, even more so when there are no addictions. The choice to do good is still a free choice. If my flesh reaps corruptions how free is that for the eternities? I want life everlasting. One day I will stand before God and be judged for the eternities. Then I will reap what I have sowed. For God will not be mocked.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Galatians 5:22

Today's favorite verse: Galatians 5:22
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,"

I just noticed this yesterday so its probably why reading the scriptures this verse jumped out at me. For years I have not liked my resting face or smile even though its an inherited trait from my mother's side of the family. When you actually smile, with the mouth closed it appears to be a frown. All my life people would say to me don't be so sad, smile! But, I was actually smiling or not sad at all. 

In the past several months people started smiling at me in the stores. Just random strangers, that has never happened before. Twice in the temple  sisters have taken me aside and told me what joy they had watching me and seeing how I happy I was to be there. In a way I was puzzled by their comments because all my life people thought I looked sad when I was happy.

Well Friday night I happened by chance to glance in the mirror and what I saw made me stop to get a better look. I had a closed mouth smile with upturned corners. I had never seen that smile on my face before. I had no idea where it came from. It's like new muscles have developed on my face. I noticed yesterday as I was on the computer throughout the day that I always had that same upturned resting smile. I pondered on why it had changed and knew it was the joy and peace I was feeling in my life coming through. I thought of my niece Amy Glick and the remarkable change I saw on her face after she came back to church. I examined the before and after pictures of her and it was remarkable. Yes, the inward joy and peace the gospel brings into a person's life can change the physical appearance of a person. That is one of the fruits by which you can know them.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Galatians 4:16

Today's favorite verse: Galatians 4:16
"Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?"

I pondered on the telling of truth. When our souls are troubled the truth can be hard to bear. People can get angry with you. I have learned to hold my tongue than say something to make someone angry. I have also learned there is freedom in telling the truth. I have found the Lord's protection when I speak the truth about things. 

I was so troubled over the temple interview question, asking if I was honest with my dealings with my fellow man. I knew this was one weakness I had to overcome, simply because I was uncomfortable answering it. I don't feel I was ever a bad lier, but not always being honest is not good. Some situations I would stress over if I was completely honest. So, I experimented with trying to be completely honest. I found it was far easier to tell the truth. The peace in my heart, the clear conscious made facing the consequences less painful. In fact I feel I was protected from the consequences. 

I think the great lie comes from Satan that not telling the truth will protect you when in fact telling the truth you have the Lord's protection. As I've watched lairs now I see how angry they get when people tell the truth to them. They also forget what story they told you. If you just wait a while you can ask them again the same thing and if they feel comfortable the truth will come out. What a hard life it must be to always worry about what lie you told and to whom. I don't need added stress in my life. Being honest is so much easier, besides that the Lord protects you. Now I wonder if my working on telling the truth made holding my tongue easier too. When you know what the truth is inside you, and the other person wants their own version, I just don't feel I have to prove my point and make them see what I see. Internal peace with the truth is all I ever have control over.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Galatians 3:28

Today's favorite verse: Galatians 3:28
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

My heart was so broken yesterday when I first learned of 9 beautiful people being killed in a Charleston, SC church. As I heard their stories I mourned. I thought about how my daily scripture reading gives me comfort and peace. I'm sure since these souls were reading their bible before their deaths, they had peace in their hearts during such a terrible event. I think these senseless deaths effected me so much because they are my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We may not be of the same church, but we worship the same Christ. We all need to be the best of what our religion and faith will have us be.

I pondered on how believers in Christ are not immune to the evil acts of others, and God can always bring good out of it. As I heard the ministers talk on the news I could hear the message repeated, calling our country to turn to God and faith once again. This is what will heal our nation. I think we are going to have every warning possible give us until we do so. There has to be a special place in heaven for people whose lives helped get that message out. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Galatians 2:16

Today's favorite verse: Galatians 2:16
"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."

I know Paul is referring to the law of Moses in this instant, because earlier he speaks of the division of those of the circumcision and not. Some of the other apostles would not eat with the uncircumcised. Paul in this verse is explaining how that is wrong.

I pondered over this verse because I know scriptures are not just a nice history lesson. Things people had to learn at a different time. I asked myself what would be the law today that separates people in His church? I could see it as going through any ordinances of the gospel, baptism, sacrament, temple ordinances for an outward appearance. It could not only be ordinances but traditional things, wearing modest clothing, obeying the word of wisdom, going to EFY, attending seminary, saying flowery prayers at church, bearing your testimony, men wearing white shirts to sacrament, eating funeral potatoes. I could go on and on and on. 

The concern is when we think we are righteous because outwardly we appear to be so. Even to the exclusion of others that don't follow these things. Even if they are of true importance or not. If I did any of this and had not true faith in Christ, being born again, all these actions are in vain. I have to check myself and make sure I don't do things for the outward appearance, but for my faith and love in the Savior. I am only justified according to my faith. Justification only comes through Christ. Once again I am reminded I cannot judge others on that outward appearance. Which made me ponder on wolves in sheep's clothing how easy it would be to appear faithful and not be and lead people astray. This scripture has a lot of meaning for today.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Galatians 1:10-12

Today's favorite verse: Galatians 1:10-12
"For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."

I pondered on revelation. How understanding the gospel comes by personal revelation. It is a witness to me. Yet I cannot receive revelation for the church. It is not my stewardship. There is a prophet on the earth that has that right. The organization of Christ's church will not change to please men or women. Otherwise it would be a man made religion and not founded on the truths of all eternity. When I see the changing world around me and all the insanity, and twisting of eternal truths, I am grateful that Christ is over his church and not man. God will not be mocked, and to try and persuade God or his prophets to do my will would leave me in a place I would never want to be. I have joy in my stewardship and the stewardship of my prophet. This brings me peace.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Corinthians 13:5,7

Today's favorite verse: 2 Corinthians 13:5,7
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates."

I pondered on something I heard said a while ago. That at the final judgment we would judge ourselves. We would know where we belong. We cannot lie to God for he will know all. How much better is it to do that self examination now, to know where I really stand before the Lord while there is still time for me to change. I at least try to do this weekly as I take the sacrament, and during my time in the celestial room. It so easy to get off course.

I pondered on the trial of honesty hitting our world now. People reinventing the truth to fit the situation. I can see how people would think it hard to know what truth is. Honesty is a foreign character trait to many. Then there is a wave of people enticing us to judge others. Satan is such a master at trying to get us to forget the Lord's commandment to not judge others. He wants us to think that no one can repent of the mistakes they make in life. No man knows fully another man's heart. I know my heart. God knows my heart. If I am to judge someone it is to be myself. To be honest with myself and present the truth to my fellowman is as He would have me do.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Today's favorite verse: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

These verse made me recall my younger married years. I noticed a pattern that I would become more faithful when I was going through a trial. When I had a trial I then turned to the Lord and was more active at church. I didn't like this pattern, because it was the trial bringing me to remembrance of the Lord. I wondered if I would have less trials if I was always trying to be faithful first. So I changed my ways. I am so glad I did.

I still have trials but they are not so painful. In fact they are sweet because the Lord protecting arm grows stronger around me. Instead of just being called to remembrance I am embraced during time of weakness and made strong.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

Today's favorite verse: 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

I sat and pondered on how I would know I was not following a false apostle?  After these verses Paul goes on to tell of all he has suffered as an apostle of the Lord. Then I saw the connection an apostle serves the Lord at all hazard to his own life. It is by their works that you know them. I reflected on all that Joseph Smith went through for the restoration of the gospel. If he was telling a lie, no man would endure the persecution he did. I thought of the apostles in jail and wearing prison strips because of the restoration of the law of Sarah. For in the fullness of times all things needed to be restored in the last days, even for a season. What the Lord commands you do. I thought upon the prophecy I believe Elder Holland gave in New York that one day we will see our leaders wearing prison strips again. What days I live in, what things are to come. If you do not believe, you do not endure, otherwise you are deceived. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Corinthians 10:5

Today's favorite verse: 2 Corinthians 10:5
"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"

This verse made me think of a little film strip I saw at church as a youth. It was based on Elder Boyd K. Packer's talk "The Mind is Like a Stage". What an impact it had on me. It showed in this film strip how our mind was like a stage and how anything playing on it had our attention. These thoughts would overtake our lives. When we didn't want bad thoughts we just kicked it off that stage. 

Over the years I have many times kicked bad thought off the stage in my mind. I honestly would talk to myself and say "get off that stage". I would replace it with a new scene, focusing on good thoughts. Over the years those bad thoughts don't try to take center stage very often. I have filled my mind with good things to dwell on. The scriptures, hymns, family history, using technology, and callings in the church take up most of the room on my stage. I am so grateful for Elder Packers words so long ago. They have truly blessed my life.