Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Nephi 7:2

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Nephi 7:2
"And it came to pass that the Lord commanded him that I, Nephi and my brethren, should again return unto the land of Jerusalem, and bring down Ishmael and his family into the wilderness."

In this part of the Book of Mormon it appears that no sooner do Nephi and his brothers return from Jerusalem, that the Lord is asking them again to return, this time for Ishmael's family. It makes you wonder why when they were up in Jerusalem before, that the Lord didn't just tell them to go get them then? 

As I reflected on this I thought of a couple of things. First, I don't really know how much time has passed between these events. It could have been months or years for all I know. The hearts of Ishmael and his family may have not been ready when they were earlier in Jerusalem. Maybe Nephi himself was still so young and needed a little more time before he could even think of having a wife. For some reason I have to believe it wasn't the right time, that's why there was a need for two trips.

The other thing I thought of is how I receive personal revelation or inspiration. The pattern for me is having a single word spoken to my mind. After I recognize where the word came from then I understand more. I've never had a whole plan given to me all at once. Now I'm no prophet but I would think its not typical to get the whole picture given you at once. It's line upon line, each building on the other. The thing is with humans we want the whole picture before we are willing to take action. I have long learned if I wait before acting on what I know so far, then I never do get more. It's just doesn't seem like the Lord works that way. We need to walk in faith.

Thinking about this helped me realize that if I was making up the Book of Mormon story I wouldn't have made the sons take two trips. It would almost seem silly to say the Lord didn't tell them to do both on the trip back to Jerusalem. But, now I realize the way the spirit works you don't usually get a full plan laid out all at once. The two trips is just another little notch mark saying to me this story is true. That would be the way the Lord works. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Nephi 6:3

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Nephi 6:3
"And it mattereth not to me that I am particular to give a full account of all the things of my father, for they cannot be written upon these plates, for I desire the room that I may write of the things of God."

This chapter is only 6 verses long and its interesting how this verse applies to me today. My house is in chaos with the moving back home of one of my sons today. Desiring room is a big issue. As I went to my storage unit I was disgusted with the things we are keeping there. I sat my other son and husband down and told them how I was feeling. I was so done with the clutter and mess this had to be cleaned out. 

With everything going on today I had a simply to-do item on my list. I had a box of children's books I had been saving for my future grandchildren that I wanted to donate to the Zimbabwe Humanitarian Project. I realized they needed them now, not me. I stopped what I was doing to get the box and could not find it where I had put it. All I can guess is my husband moved it and now it was lost in his mountain of junk. I was so disheartened more mess causing me grief today.

I did have 3 boxes of notebooks I could donate so my son and I took them down to the church on our way to the storage unit. I was not in a good mood, upset I lost my other items, upset about the clutter in my life. But as I dropped off those notebooks there was a little shout of joy. They had just run out of notebooks needed to finish the school kits. We were told we were an answer to their prayers. That just made me want to cry along with them. 

When I came home I told my husband I'm done with this hording. All the things I don't use that are still good someone else needs it. It should be given to bless others lives. This is a sin and we need to change our ways. Only the things that matter need to be in our home. Now I see even Nephi had an issue with space. He had to decide what was the most important to add to his plates. What he wrote needed to be of value to others, the things of God. I am going to ponder over my yardstick of what has value in my home. If I have something that another person could use today instead of me, then it has no purpose being horded in my home. I am going to be a wise steward over what I keep.

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Nephi 5:21

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Nephi 5:21
"And we had obtained the records which the Lord had commanded us, and searched them and found that they were desirable; yea, even of great worth unto us, insomuch that we could preserve the commandments of the Lord unto our children."

Nephi and his brother go back to Jerusalem as commanded and obtained the Brass Plates that were in Laban's possession. Here is a list of what they found the plates contained.

Five books of Moses
Account of the creation of the world
Adam and Eve, our first parents
Record of the Jews from the beginning down to Zedekiah, King of Judah.
Prophecies of the holy prophets from the beginning down to Zedekiah reign
Prophecies of Jeremiah
Genealogy of his fathers, that they are a descendant of Joseph, son of Jacob
Laban was a descendant of Joseph, that is why he and father's kept the record.

After Nephi's father Lehi reads these records he then is filled with the Spirit and begins to prophesy concerning his seed. I sat and pondered on how reading the scriptures fills me with the spirit every day. Just losing one day makes a difference in my life. If Lehi's family had come to the promise land without a copy of most of the Old Testament they would have soon forgotten the Lord and his commandments. So not only was having the scripture important to them, its important for me. I need to cherish them and read from them daily. Not only personally but also as a family. That is one way I can always have the spirit to be with me, it makes remembering the Lord and keeping the commandments easier.

(I read this chapter out of order by mistake.)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Nephi 4:6

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Nephi 4:6
"And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do."

Though my experience is nothing like Nephi's, just this morning I had a tiny scenario with this matter. I'm known as the root beer lady by the children at church. Its one of my small pleasures in life. Earlier this week I asked my husband to purchase some root beer barrels and smarties for the children. The smarties are for the little babies that can't have hard candy.

As I was getting ready for church I discovered I had no more smarties for the little babies. I had ask my husband to buy both types of candy and even asked if he had both when he came home from the store. He confirmed that he did, then he put the candy away so I didn't see it until this morning. As I went to get the candy there were no more smarties. For some reason he didn't hear me ask for them or confirm that he got them. He heard the part about the root beer barrels just fine. Odd, but I think I know why it was a test for me.

Upon learning I had nothing for the babies I was heart sick. I could see the little toddlers running up to me for candy and having to turn them away. They wouldn't understand. I so hated to disappoint them. I sat on my bed wondering if this justified an ox in the mire situation and good enough reason to break the sabbath and run to the grocery store. I seriously considered it. But, I couldn't break my heart too over the matter, I knew it wasn't the right thing to do. I vowed I wouldn't break the sabbath. So I got up and began walking out towards the kitchen, all the while I'm thinking "What do I have in this house that I can give these babies?" Then just a single word came into my mind "Stickers". Up until that moment stickers were the furthest though from my mind. I knew that was pure inspiration from the spirit. Little children do like stickers. It made me think of when I was little and the pleasure it gave me to have a star placed on my forehead.

Now the problem was were are the stickers. I saw some a few years ago, were did I put them? I looked in a couple of spots in my computer room, nothing. I said a little prayer and the exact spot that they were came to my mind. I found all the stickers and sat down to cut them up into little sets to handout. I cannot explain to you the joy I felt because I now had something to give these little babies. Sadly, I had no little stars, but I was content. 

By that time my husband had finished his shower and I told him of what had transpired and the solution for no candy for the babies. I just had to testify of how marvelous the spirit works and could solve such a trouble to my heart. I then walked back to my computer room and spotted something on the floor under my desk. I scooped down to pick it up and there was a little tiny package of stars. This might mean nothing to anyone else, but I knew someone was blessing me. They knew how much I loved the little children in my ward. They are His children too.

I have no doubt the spirit will led and guide us in all matters of our life, no matter how small it may seem to be. As we strive to do what is right the way will open up to us.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Nephi 3:7

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Nephi 3:7
"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."

This is one of my personal favorite scriptures. I am at heart a very lazy person. I don't want to do many things. But, this verse keeps me going. It is why I say my prayers, read personal scriptures, family scriptures, go to church, attend the temple, do my visiting teaching, etc. They are all things the Lord has confirmed over and over to me that I need to do. As I have forced myself during those times I least want to, it seems then the spiritual nuggets come. They are the very things that bless my life.

I pondered over how many times I have had to do very hard things. Beyond even my physical strength. Yet when I move forward in faith the way is opened up for me, I am given strength equal to the task. I have seen countless miracles in my life. All I need is the faith to keep walking forward. Doing what is right and what I know the Lord has required of me. I am never disappointed. 

I have also learned over the years that the Lord is always steps ahead of me. He's prepared the path I have had to walk. Even my very failures have in turned opened doors in other areas, blessing me far greater than if things worked out as planned. I live and breath this scriptures, my soul knows it by heart. I would be nothing if I stopped believing it.

Years ago when someone told me to walk by faith all I could see was a dark unlit road ahead of me. I was scared and afraid, sure I would stubble with nothing to grab onto. Now after years of walking by faith I see that same road now surrounded in brilliant sunlight. Where the sun is streaming directly into your face. You can't see where you are going, but your not afraid. The sun is enveloping you in warmth, light and peace. Any moment you know you will see what's ahead of you. It will all work out in the end. The key is to continually focus on the Son.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Nephi 2:11-12

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Nephi 2:11-12
"Now this he spake because of the stiffneckedness of Laman and Lemuel; for behold they did murmur in many things against their father, because he was a visionary man, and had led them out of the land of Jerusalem, to leave the land of their inheritance, and their gold, and their silver, and their precious things, to perish in the wilderness. And this they said he had done because of the foolish imaginations of his heart.
And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their father. And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them."

Last night I was listening to someone that troubled my soul. All night I tossed and turned wishing I knew what to say to them, trying to put my finger on the issue. This morning I see the answer is in the scriptures.

We cannot setup a time table or way that our prophets and leaders need to respond in situations. Our definition of how things should run is not always in keeping with what the Lord knows is best. Yes, terrible things happen around us, but we should not take that as our leaders being misguided or uninformed. Even the prophet Alma and Amulek had to stand and watch women and children be cast into the fire and consumed, because of their faith. Even though they had the power to stretch forth their hands and save them, the Lord constrained them not to.

The Lords ways are not always our ways. When I wonder and question why I know its time for me to turn to the Lord. In this chapter I see Nephi does that very thing. As he sees his brothers murmur he turns to the Lord. As they are going on one path he is headed onto another. This is the very thing we need to do when we question or doubt, or just simply want to know what is our role. How do we serve the Lord and remain faithful. I have found the path is always open to us, even if hard things are required along the way. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Nephi 1:17

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Nephi 1:17
"But I shall make an account of my proceedings in my days. Behold, I make an abridgment of the record of my father, upon plates which I have made with mine own hands; wherefore, after I have abridged the record of my father then will I make an account of mine own life."

I cannot tell you how many times I have started this first chapter of the Book of Mormon in my lifetime. Many times I would start reading and then stop only to begin anew. Thankfully that bad habit is now gone. But over my lifetime I think I have almost memorized this first chapter of the book.

I love it when new thoughts jump out to you and today this verse did. I realized that Nephi was first abridging the record of his father before writing his own record. I pondered on what the benefit of doing that would be. Immediately I knew it had a reference to my own family history work.

I need to capture the records of my parents, preferably while they were still alive. (Sadly, my mother is now deceased.) There are always questions you wished you asked someone before they passed. When a parent is deceased all the more reason for the child to write it. The grandchildren of a person would not have the memories that their child has. If the story of the grandparents is not recorded the future generations might never come to know them at all. The further away you are in generations from a person the more that becomes lost. The living knowledge of a person is lost in only three short generations.

I also thought of how much I need a proof-reader of my writings. As Nephi abridged his fathers records I'm sure there were things he could add to or clarify. If I had all my journals laid out to my children they might be sorely perplexed on how to make a history out of it. There would be a lot of work to bring it altogether in an understandable way. 

Once Nephi completes the abridgment of his father's records he then works on his own. I need to take some lessons from this. I need to do a better job at scanning my mother's journals and transcribing them. I  have my father's history I need to go over and make sure are complete. How will I find the hours in the day to do this? Even just 10 minutes a day would account for something. I think if I make this effort the Lord will bless the hours in my day and help me accomplish all that I need to do. I must move forward in faith.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Book of Mormon: Title Page & Witnesses

Today's favorite verse: Book of Mormon: Title Page & Witnesses
The Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith
On the evening of the twenty-first of September [1823] I betook myself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God.
While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor.
He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.
He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants;"

I cannot start reading the Book of Mormon without first reading the Title Page, Introduction, Testimony of Three Witnesses, Testimony of Eight Witnesses, Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and Brief Explanations. This reminds me of the source of this ancient scripture and how the heavens were open again in our day. Not only did Joseph Smith translate these golden plates but others witnessed the reality of these plates. Three special witnesses saw the angel Moroni along with the gold plates. Eight others held them and turned their pages and saw the ancient characters on their pages. All together 12 men testify of its reality.  I love seeing that Joseph was not alone in his testimony of where the Book of Mormon came from. 

The Holy Bible also holds references to this ancient group of people and the record that would come from them. In the New Testament (John 10:16) Christ said  "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." The Jews knew not of whom he spoke. With the coming forth of the Book of Mormon we now know Christ was speaking of those on the American continent. The Book of Mormon is their record of holy scriptures. After Christ's resurrection and appearing to those ancient inhabitants on the American continent he says again he has other sheep he must go to. So they are not alone is seeing the risen Christ, though we know not who they are.

The coming forth of this set of scriptures was prophesied in the Old Testament in Ezekiel 37:16, 19 "Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
Say unto them, Thus saidth the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand."

The Holy Bible is from the tribe of Judah and I love it with all my heart. The Book of Mormon is from the tribe of Ephraim, son of Joseph, together these two books are joined into my heart. It is a record of literal descendants of the tribe of Ephraim led out of Jerusalem in 600 BC before its destruction. They were led to the American continent and it is a record of their prophets and history of their descendants. In its pages we see that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. It truly is a second testament of Jesus Christ.

As I have read the Book of Mormon I have grown to have a greater testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ, His gospel, and the Prophet Joseph Smith. To read it is to know it comes from God. An ordinary, much less an uneducated man, could never write such beautiful scripture, that also goes in harmony with all the scriptures in the Old and New Testaments. You can cross reference them and they become one in your hand. What joy it gives me to see harmony and consistency in the gospel. It helps me understand the Plan of Salvation and how I can live again with my Father in Heaven. The Book of Mormon brings me closer to God.

If you wish to read the Book of Mormon I would be happy to send you a copy of the book, along with my personal testimony in it. Private message me or make a comment on my blog with your contact information to request a copy. I won't publish that information. You can also read the Book of Mormon online at:   

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Revelations 22:10, 18-19

Today's favorite verse: Revelations 22:10, 18-19
"And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

I know there has been a lot of discussions about this last chapter of Revelations among different faiths. Some believe that these verses mean that no more revelations would come after John's. That is not what I believe. I believe that even John didn't write all that he was given to prophesy. The followings verses are a key. 

Revelations 10:4, 11
"And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I head a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings."

John has yet more to tell us, when the Lord says the time is right. The part that John could tell us is what is contained in the book of Revelations. This is not the portion that is sealed. The book of Revelations is not the final word from God. What no one is to do is alter, take away or add to John's prophesy in the Book of Revelations. 

I know the heavens are open and God does speak to prophets again upon the earth. There are apostles again as there was in days of old. I love the New Testament it is sad to leave this old friend for now. I will begin the next set of scriptures for my daily study, the Book of Mormon. It does not add to the Book of Revelations but it does compliment the Holy Scriptures. It is a second witness of Jesus Christ. If you are not of my faith I hope you will continue to read my favorite verses and learn first hand how it testifies of Christ. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Revelations 21:1-2

Today's favorite verse: Revelations 21:1-2
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."

This chapter takes place after the 1,000 years of millennial peace. Satan was loosed for a season until the final battle between Gog and Magog where he is defeated. Those not written in the Book of Life have their just reward, never to bother the saints again.

At this point the earth itself is renewed and receives its celestial glory. The holy city, new Jerusalem comes down from heaven. God himself will dwell there, and there will be no more sorrow or pain; for the former things are all passed away. 

I cannot even comprehend what it will be like. All I know is I want to be there. I wish to be surrounded by my family and loved one too. After all we have been through this is a new beginning. A new chapter in our existence. There will be no more temple for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. I shall sit at the feet of the master and be taught. That will be worth everything I went through in this earth life existence. It will and can happen if I remain ever faithful, deserving to have my name written in the Book of Life, never to be blotted out. Learning now to love the Lord makes everything it takes to get there worth it. Joy comes in knowing the Lord, my joy will be complete when I am with him. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Revelations 20:2-3

Today's favorite verse: Revelations 20:2-3
"And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

This chapter had so many favorite verses. I learned so much and it was hard to decide. I decided to focus on this one to ponder over. I asked myself "Why would God after defeating Satan loose him for a little season?"

Then I thought of all those little children that have died before the age of accountability. All those aborted babies who's spirit still needed to come to this earth. They would know nothing of the temptations of the devil. They would be innocent like Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden. These children will be raised during the thousand years of millennial peace. They are the ones that need to be tried and tested.

Our strength and wisdom will help them as we do battle with Satan during this time frame. I can see how the stories and histories of those that lived during the time Satan was upon the earth will mean so much to these children. It is only through these stories that they will have a small understanding of what trials are. How important family history work is now and will be in the future.

In a way I can see that we need to be tested too. After the knowledge we receive during these thousand years of peace we must put it to test. This will prepare us to become like God. This final battle is a prelude to the final judgment to take place. There will be no doubt on which side we stand.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Revelations 19:10

Today's favorite verse: Revelations 19:10
"And I fell at his feet, to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowsearvant, and of they brethren that have the testimony of Jesus; worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prohecy.

I just love how the angel, sent from God, cannot lie or deceive. That is one of the reasons it cannot have a person bow down to him, as John tried to do. As I was pondering on this I realized that would be a sign of where that angel comes from. If the source is not of God it would let you bow down to it. If it is a messenger of God it will tell you that you cannot do that. I see it as very important to try any angel or messenger that appears to you. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Revelations 18:4

Today's favorite verse: Revelations 18:4
"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."

In this chapter Babylon is destroyed in one day. Throughout the chapter it lists different things that happen in a space of an hour, as she is being destroyed. I am seeing a pattern as John is relating all that happens. There is at least one verse among all the destruction that tells you where God's people are.

As this verse tells us, we are called out of Babylon, so we do not partake of her sins or receive her plagues. As I was pondering on this I could see what a blessing the persecution of the saints actually will be to us in these days. It will be one of the means that Lord has for us to be separated from Babylon, so we will not be destroyed along with her. Our separation actually allows the Lord to protect us. Our trials will bring the greatest blessing.

It made me think of the early LDS saints that were driven out of Nauvoo by mobs in the dead of winter. They had to flee to the rocky mountains for safety. Yet when the civil war came they were no were near any of the destruction that took place. If you stay on the Lord's side his spirit will guide and protect you. He will always prepare a way for those that love him. Those that know His voice will receive the call and there will be no need to fear. It really matters not how Babylon is destroyed when its not you being affected.

As I have watched on the news the Syrian Christians being driven from their homeland, I cannot help but think the Lord's hand is in it. Greater blessings will come to these saints as they move to the place the Lord had prepared for them. They will be able to freely partake of the fullness of His gospel. I think this is just a taste of what we will see happening throughout the world as the Lord sets up his refuge for his saints. We must always trust the Lord for he knows what he is doing.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Revelations 17:1

Today's favorite verse: Revelations 17:1
"And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:"

Sometimes when I read the scriptures I don't understand everything that I read. But, I have learned to be grateful when my eyes are opened to one of the simplest things I have never thought of before. I know in time, after many readings and life experiences I will be given more.

Today what I noticed is that as John is mentioning the seven angels and the seven vials he never gives them a name or order. It's just one of them. I had the impression that these plagues are not coming in waves, one after another. That they are actually happening in random order. I could picture one plague building and then slowing down as another gains more momentum, only for the earlier one to begin again, a constant eb and flow. They will all be in some manner of operation during the final days.

In a way it makes me wonder if we will ever be able to say that plague is complete. Of course none of these plagues have a good ending, its pretty pronounced when their judgment is complete. What I am thinking now is that their endings might just happen all at once. When the Lord comes in his final glory, and his judgment has come.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Revelations 16:9

Today's favorite verse: Revelations 16:9
"And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over the plagues: and they repented not to give him glory."

Yesterday, I was wondering if when the time of plagues comes if men could not still repent. I see with this verse that even when these final plagues come God is giving men the opportunity to repent. The Lord's arms are forever stretched out still to us. While there is yet breath in our body we can repent. As a world all that is needed is for men's heart to turn to God and repent and all these plagues would end. As we can see with what is prophesied that sadly that is not what they do.

As I have been reading articles on the great fires across the western states, my heart is overcome seeing people praying for rain, praying for the fires to end. There is hope right now, people are still turning to God in the midst of their trials. Sadly it takes us to experience these hard times to remember God. How different the world would be if God didn't need to call us to remembrance and repentance because otherwise we harden our hearts and forget him. That doesn't mean the righteous are spared from trials. Just in general those trials are not to any extent what the wicked will endure. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Revelations 15:2, 8

Today's favorite verse: Revelations 15:2, 8
"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled."

I read this chapter while at the temple sitting in the celestial room. I love going to the temple first thing in the morning, while its still dark outside. As I approach the temple it glows from being lite up against the dark. I feel like I am leaving the darkness of the world and going into the light. When I am done with an endowment session the first light of day is streaming into the celestial room, the light can be blinding. As I leave the temple I am full of light inside and out, in the bright of day, making me ready to face the world. This morning it was dark and gloomy outside because of rain, so the celestial room was not glowing in light. After I finished reading I looked up to see the chandlers reflection in the large mirrors of eternity. The placement of these mirrors let you see your reflection into eternity and also your past. I love these mirrors. The crystals in the chandler danced a rainbow of colors. with lots of hot red. I just had to sit and watch them. I could picture the sea of glass mingled with fire in this verse. What would it be like to stand on them surrounded by the playing of harps?

In celestial glory you would see your past so clearly, and the future ahead of you. I would have a perfect understanding of what was and what was to be. I would see God and worship him. As I pondered on the last verse, being told I could not enter the temple until the last of the seven plagues had pasted I thought that would be the hardest trial of all. I was already just having a hard time missing sacrament this past Sunday because of Regional Conference. Monday I was grumpy and by Tuesday I was so ready to go to the temple. To be told I could not come to the temple would be so hard.

Then I wondered where would I be if I could not come to the temple? Then I thought of home, that is where safety would be. My home is a refuge from the storm, it would be a protection from the coming plagues. If I could not leave my home it would be the best place to be, it would become part of heaven. Every day that my family reads the scriptures together and prays our home becomes more holy. How grateful I am that all that reside in my home love the Lord. I am truly blessed.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Revelations 14:13

Today's favorite verse: Revelations 14:13
"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."

In this chapter I see the elect of God, the 144,000 called to preach the gospel one last time to all the earth. Warning that the hour of His judgments has come. I think these 144,000 will be high priest that have had their calling and elections made sure, but that's only my gut feeling. I have also considered it could be righteous young missionaries, like the armies of Helaman. We hit an all time high of 88,000 missionaries after the Hastening of the Work began. At the Regional Broadcast this Sunday we were told after that initial peak they except the average to be 80,000 in the mission field going forward. Let me just say I have an interest as those number increase.

Over the years I have seen as the number of missionaries increase the wickedness of the world has too. To reach 144,000 missionaries the world would be pretty wicked. If the call went out to every young man, elder and high priest, the number 144,000 could be raised in no time at all. There could be 12,000 representing each of the ten tribes called to preach the gospel one last time, We just never know when the last call will come.

When this time is completed several different angels come to fulfill their mission to reap the earth, for the harvest is done. Before these angels proceed we read this verse that blessed are those that die in the Lord. I think this means that while God's judgment are coming upon the wicked the innocent will die too. There is no fear of death for the righteous, for they will rest from their labors. I have often wondered how people can get so caught up in surviving the last days when this isn't where the focus or worry should be. We need to labor in the Lord's vineyard all our days and it matters not when he calls us home. Physical death is not the worst that can happen to us. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Revelations 13:8, 16

Today's favorite verse: Revelations 13:8, 16
"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads."

This chapter speaks of the beast and his mark, taken in the right hand or forehead. It also speaks of the great wonders the beast performs that will deceive. I can't help but think of Revelations 9:4 when it speaks of those spared that had the seal of God in their foreheads. I think it interesting that for everything of God, Satan makes a counterfeit. God will place a seal upon our foreheads to preserve us, Satan will mark us for destruction. In these verses I see those who's names are written in the book of life will not worship the beast or devil.

The key to survival again is worshiping the Lord. How important it is to know which master I am serving. I went on a scripture chase looking up all the references of serving two masters. I can only serve the master that I know, who's heart I am turned to. I must serve the Lord all the days of my life. It really in the end doesn't matter what the rest of the world is doing, if the master I follow is the Lord. His spirit will tell me what I need to know. His prophets will lead and direct me. His protection will be over me. There will be peace and no need to fear.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Revelations 12:7-9

Today's favorite verse: Revelations 12:7-9
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceived the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

This chapter is telling me about the war in heaven before we can here to earth. Satan was there and he and his angels were case out into this earth. In earlier verses it tells me it was a third of all the angels. Those spirits without bodies are here and continuing the war that began in heaven. I sat and thought how two-thirds of Heavenly Father's children have over the dispensations come to earth. So never at one time would the earth's population even reach a third of all the spirits God created. So that means Satan and his angels far out number us that have bodies. What a lot of opposition and grief they cause the children of men. Yet, if we keep God commandments, and have the spirit to be with us, Satan and his angels will have no power over us. They cannot prosper if we stay on the Lord's side. I shudder to think of how many spirits would be against me if I did not walk with the Lord.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Revelations 11:3, 7, 9

Today's favorite verse: Revelations 11:3, 7, 9
"And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to put in graves."

After this time frame the spirit of life enters the two prophets. This strikes fear in all that see them. Then a great voice from heaven calls them to "Come up hither", they ascended into heaven in a cloud. Then a great earthquake comes and the third woe comes quickly, the time of judgment.
The only prophets and witnesses that I know that walk the earth are the prophet and twelve apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are called as special witnesses of Jesus Christ. I feel it will be two of them that perform this mission in Jerusalem. No one will have power to kill them during this 3.5 year time frame. When the day comes that this mission is taking place then I know the end is soon. These 3.5 years may feel like an eternity. There will be plenty of notice as to what is happening. With television and the Internet you know everyone alive will witness these events. I can't help but wonder if these two prophets are alive now and serving as apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ today.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Revelations 10:4, 11

Today's favorite verse: Revelations 10:4, 11
"And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I head a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings."

John is given the words to write of the end, but then stopped and told to seal it up and not write it. The last verse tells me he has a mission in these end days to prophesy again. To me that means at some point John will give to us the prophesies of the sealed portion when they are allowed to be revealed. I know some question if John ever died. I believe he never did and yet walks this earth.

When I read this chapter and saw that the angel gave him a book and he ate it, I couldn't help but ponder on his description. It was sweet as honey to taste, but bitter in the stomach. To me if I was told I would never die it would appear sweet to never taste of death. But once I digested what that meant, that I would see all the apostles killed, the saints apostatize from the faith, the wickedness of men and perverting of the gospel, that would be bitter. There would be joy when the gospel is restored but then you know the end is also coming, the fullness of everything, he knows the things that are sealed that cannot be revealed that would also be bitter to my stomach. I do not know if that is what's fully meant by this part, but to me I think its one of the layers.

In my faith I believe that John did come to play a part in the restoration of the gospel. He appeared along with Peter and James to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to restore the priesthood keys once again. He has played one part, but the prophesies he alone has the commission to tell is yet to come. I know two-thirds of the Book of Mormon was sealed. Now we have this sealed part of Revelations to look forward to. I have always wished that I would witness these sealed portions opened and translated during my lifetime. If I had a bucket list that desire would be on it.