Friday, July 31, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Hebrews 3:8

Today's favorite verse: Hebrews 3:8
"Harden not your hearts, as in provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:"

I am amazed how many times things from my day go along with what I then read in the scriptures. By "coincidence" it happened again tonight. I've been away from home most of the week for a genealogy conference. So laundry was backed up. I also ended up hurting my arm earlier this evening. It's that bad rotator cuff pain. I have a family member that starts laundry and then doesn't finish it. Over several hours I asked three times for them to finish it. I needed to wash some clothes. They didn't, so I reached in to take their wet clothes out so I could put mine in and boy did my arm hurt. I don't do well when I am in pain. This is the one area of my life I really have to work on. I can get mean when I am in pain. 

I went to this family member and told them their wet clothes were now on top of the dryer because I couldn't reach into the dryer to take their clothes out and put the wet ones in. I had hurt my arm. I then went to my computer room to sit and read my scriptures. I hadn't turned my fan on because it hurt to reach it so I called out to this family member when I heard them getting their laundry to ask them to please turn my fan on. I was told "No I don't respond to whine." Oh, that hurt my feelings and made me mad. Not a month ago I dropped everything to help them when they hurt their knee and nursed them the best I could. I wanted to point that out, tell them how ungrateful they were. In fact I sat for several minutes running through my head all the things I could tell them on how uncaring, mean and hurtful they were. I thought it but I never said any of it. I held my tongue.

I got up turned on my fan, cried a little over the pain and my hurt feelings. Continued to get madder and madder at this family member running through my head all the things I would have loved to say to them. Then I tried to read my scriptures. I read the chapter twice and nothing stuck out to me. Thinking wow, this chapter just wasn't very interesting. How am I ever going to pick a favorite verse? That just never happens to me.

Before my third pass I set my scriptures aside and thought about my evening. While reading the scriptures I was no longer thinking of hurtful things I wanted to say to a family member. I was cooling down over my perceived offense. Then I decided I better start my scripture reading over again. I said another prayer since my earlier one was before all this trouble began. I prayed to be forgiven for my thoughts towards this family member and to have the spirit. Then I read and found this verse on not hardening my heart. That is exactly what I just went through. 

When my heart is harden towards another the spirit leaves. The darkness inside just builds out of control if I don't put it in check. I also see the power of the scriptures to put things back in check. It may have taken several readings and then sincere prayer once I realized what was wrong. But, now I have a different heart over the matter and see the offense was nothing deserving all that internal energy. Now that I am back to my normal self I even see the personal growth I just made. My normal response to pain and how I take it out in others didn't happen. My family member has no idea what I thinking, since I experienced growth in holding my tongue. If I had spoken words in anger the whole house would have had a different feeling and the peace surrounding me would have taken so much more to bring back. What a powerful experience I just went through. What a gift the scriptures are.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Hebrews 2:4

Today's favorite verse: Hebrews 2:4
"God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?"
Why do bad things happen to good people? Why if I have faith do miracles sometimes happen and other times not? I am told if I have faith that signs and wonders appear. These gifts are all part of the fruits that faith bares. Why is fruit not always ripe when I need it to be?
This little verse tells me the answers to these questions. It all has to do with the will of God. Even Christ fully capable would not take himself down from the cross, due to the will of the Father. I know God sees the bigger picture. He knows the end from the beginning. As I look back in my life at the hard parts I see great things I have learned from the experiences, even more so than the miracles. They refined me. As hard as the bad times were I would not change a thing. Today I see them as blessings, when before I thought I was left alone and cursed. As I walk in faith I know God's will is always for my good. As much as I love seeing miracles, signs and wonders, my trials are beautiful too. Through them all I have a well rounded life experience. I know good from evil, pleasure from pain, light from darkness. I have knowledge.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Hebrews 1:2

Today's favorite verse: Hebrews 1:2
"Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;"

What really stuck out at me on this verse was the word "worlds" that is plural, meaning more than one. God the Father's son is Jesus Christ, and by God's word His son created the worlds. Not only our world but others. I thought about what a beautiful world this is. I pondered on how my church is the only church I know of that has preached from the very beginning that God made other worlds than this one. 

I pondered on how dangerous it is to get overly curious about these other worlds. This is a realm that I think Satan can totally deceive people with all these alien sightings. Just like people can get all caught up in the paranormal, trying to communicate with ghosts, which are simply mischievous spirits of deceased individuals or Satan's followers trying to deceive. I believe these ghosts can appear as little children, famous people of the ages, anyone in history they want to be. A true spirit sent from God would not cause us to run around foolishly after them. When a true spirit has a message he will deliver it and be done. The power to discern spirits and their true source is a gift of the Holy Ghost. I do feel bad about all the foolish time I wasted in the past on paranormal things. They truly have no lasting value and can only lead to deception.  

Honestly, if you get really down to it we are all aliens on this earth, since we were spirits before we were born. The important thing is this world was made for us. It really makes no difference to the gospel plan who or what or where these other worlds are. The important thing to know is God created this world for me. From my view they bring variety and beautify to the heavens. Some day the Lord has promised to reveal all things to each of us. I will know all the answers to science, the laws of the universe, and how these worlds were made. For now I have so much to focus on here to learn. This earth is the world for me to be tried and tested and learn to walk by faith. I love my earthly home.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Philemon 1:6

Today's favorite verse: Philemon 1:6
"That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus."

I sat and pondered on how many coincidences people could have said I had today. But, in truth they were blessings from the Lord. He has heard and answered my prayers. I did acknowledged his hand in all things. So, now I sat and thought about why I needed to do that. Why must I acknowledge Him as the source of all good things? I know it keeps me in remembrance of the Lord. Gratitude is important too. But, I think when I acknowledge the blessings the Lord has given me to others it is a testimony. I share His gospel and the good news of what He brings. It is a spiritual moment giving opportunity to come closer to the Lord. It can bring hope back into lives, develop faith and help others to desire His blessings in their lives. It will bless the lives of others in more ways than I can ever know. I'm sure its blessing my life in ways I do not yet know.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Titus 3:9

Today's favorite verse: Titus 3:9
"But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and striving about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain."

The first think I pictured when I read this were people fighting over their genealogies on FamilySearch, and other websites. Each person believing their way is right, ignoring what other evidence may prove. Going so far as deleting others work just so their version would be "correct". Causing family contentions and division.

I knew this wasn't all it was talking about, so I needed to step back and look at the verse again. The part about foolish questions stuck out at me. Don't we often hear there are no foolish questions? What is a foolish question? Then I remembered what the spirit told me about little children. To be like one I needed to adopt their way of looking at things, asking why, how come, what is this. Never with a challenge, but with an honest and sincere intent to know. Then the spirit would explain gospel truths to me.

So if I stepped back again to look at this verse. It seems the foolish question would be one that brings contention. It picks at the little things that don't matter in the scheme of things. The true intent is not to gain knowledge but to prove a vain point or purpose that has no value. This made me laugh. Don't I see people holding tight onto false genealogies, just because they want to be connected to some famous person or their pride won't admit an error. In the scheme of things that profits them nothing. For when truth is gone there is no value. Wouldn't the spirit also flee if we are seeking for things of no value?

All this made me remember an Oct 1987 conference talk by Dean L. Larsen "Looking Beyond the Mark".  My favorite part is "I am going to give more time and attention to the study and pondering of the scriptures themselves rather than to the commentaries and criticisms that others have written about them. I am going to be as open as I can be to the Spirit of the Lord so that I can understand these things for myself." He goes on to explain how people miss the mark when they focus on things that don't matter, than what really matters. I have also felt impressed to read and ponder just the scriptures, no additional commentaries, so I know what the spirit really wants me to know about them. No more picking at things that take me beyond the mark of what is really important. I have found that this really works. The spirit really does explain the scriptures to me if I ask questions like a little child. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Titus 2:3-4

Today's favorite verse: Titus 2:3-4
"The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,"

I remember reading these verses and some others a long time ago. It taught me to the value the wisdom of older women. I found at work I would gravitate towards the older women. There was just so much to learn from them.  At church I so loved the lessons they taught. Time has marched on and now I am one of these older women. I have learned a lot over the years. I have much council and advise I would love to share. But, one thing I have also learned along the way is to hold my tongue more. People only want so much advise and won't take it if its unsolicited. It makes me wonder how much I really could have learned from my older friends years ago, if I was just willing to sit and really listen to them. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Titus 1:2

Today's favorite verse: Titus 1:2
"In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began."

I pondered on the plan of salvation, reviewing it once again in my mind. I know that I was a spirit before I was born. Long before this earth was even created. That I was raised in the eternal mansions of my Heavenly Father. There I chose the plan to come to earth and gain a body. I was given my free agency to choose good from evil, to be tried and tested, and learn from mine own experiences. Through the atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ I could repent and become clean from my sins, worthy to return to God's presence. That Christ's resurrection broke the bonds of death and through that I will live again one day, taking on immortality. 

I pondered on the  difference between immortality and eternal life that can await me.  All man regardless of their earthly deeds are given the gift of immortality, to live forever as a resurrected being. Not all men will be allowed back into our Eternal Father's presence. For no unclean thing can reside there. Eternal life or exaltation, is to be allowed to live again in God's presence. To earn eternal life requires my obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. I have a hope of just not immortality but also eternal life. 

I pondered on what a great plan that is, how it's all up to me if I want to choose to live it and take advantage of the atonement of my Savior. That all men were given the light of Christ within them to know right from wrong. Even if they never heard the gospel they will be judged upon the light they walked up to. What a beautiful thing to see his ordinances being extended beyond the veil to those that would accept if they had been given the chance. I think in the very end we will all say God was fair with all his children. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Timothy 4:7-8

Today's favorite verse: 2 Timothy 4:7-8
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."

These words just touched my heart and made me cry tonight. I love Paul the Apostle and to see that he knows his end is coming just makes me weep, even though I know he died thousands of years ago. I hope it will be said of me that I also fought a good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith. What more is important. Someday I want to sit and talk with Paul and tell him how much his life meant to me. How his words inspired me. How his sins and repentance made me know I could be forgiven too. I want to be where Paul is because I know that is where God is.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 16

Today's favorite verse: 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 16
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce despisers of those that are good,
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: for such turn away.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"

I felt impressed to ponder on that list of traits we will see in the last days. Yes, I can see them all around me. I have no doubt where I stand in the scheme of this earth's life, these are those times. As I reviewed each item and pondered on today's current events, I realized there are areas here I need to take warning. As good as I am trying to be, don't I have to be careful not to boast, nor have pride, and all those other things. I can't skim them over and think they apply to others. It's listed here to warn me, to instruct me. Scriptures give me a chance to reevaluate what I am doing and what needs to get fixed. Would I not be guilty of being highminded if I thought a list of sins didn't apply to me. It is good to reminded about what to watch out for. Then correct the errors of my ways as I see them. 

I can also see the wisdom in knowing how others will behave. As much as it would pain to have someone be a trucebreaker to me, in a way knowing the Lord warned me would help me move past it. There is comfort in knowing he is already aware before it happens. Would not the spirit also warn me not to enter into truces with those that could break them. If someone is a known liar aren't you more careful about what you trust them with. Yes, I see a lot of warnings here in these verses, may I profit from what I have learned. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Timothy 2:12-13

Today's favorite verse: 2 Timothy 2:12-13
"It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:"

It pierced my heart to read "if we deny him, he also will deny us." How does a person deny Him? Is it to hear of Christ and not care? Is it to know His commandments and not live them? Is it to serve yourself and not Him? It is so many ways, when we look to ourselves as our own master. How many people do I know in this condition? Even one is to many. I can't even imagine how it would be to stand before the judgment bar and hear mine own name called and for Christ to say "I never knew him."  I don't want that to happen to me. I don't want that to happen to anyone.

Day 116 Tami Fitzgerald Harris

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Timothy 1:7

Today's favorite verse: 2 Timothy 1:7
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

I am so grateful that the love of the Lord has removed fear of the unknown from my heart. Even when the scriptures say we are to fear God, its not as man thinks of fear. It is to love, honor and respect Him. Those that don't know the Lord would truly have cause to fear Him. Having the love of God gives me the power to overcome whatever is placed before me. It is to know that I am not alone in the battle of life. It fills me with His comfort and peace.

It is Satan's plan to force and control us. If we feel fear we know he is near.

The one thing in this verse the stuck out at me was the part "of a sound mind". Am I not seeing people in the news and around me behaving without a sound mind. The logic of political correctness baffles me. The blindness and deafness that Satan brings to the logic of men not only gives them fear, it also makes them dumb. This is what I would call being without a sound mind. I just pondered on how real the gospel is, and what the world thinks is real. Some may think I am the one without a sound mind. At the end we will all find out what is really real.  For now I will go with the plan that doesn't bring fear. Loving the Lord is the only way I stay sane. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

No Flesh Shall Be Safe Upon The Waters

After reading scriptures this morning I decided to look at the news before writing. I saw another shark attack and decided to look up in the scriptures where it mentions animals turning on us as a sign of the times. There is enough going on to really feel the time of this prophecy is taking place.
Here is a list of what I have found so far. There may be more. If you want to add to it feel free in the comments below.
Ezekiel 14:15
"If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts:"
Jeremiah 5:6
"Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased."
Deuteronomy 32:24
"They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust."
Leviticus 26:22
"I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your a high ways shall be desolate."
Revelation 6:8
"And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth."
The Book of Mormon even mentions poisonous serpents that terrorized the Jaredites. We are told to liken this to our day.
Ether 9: 31
"And there came forth poisonous serpents also upon the face of the land, and did poison many people. And it came to pass that their flocks began to flee before the poisonous serpents, towards the land southward, which was called by the Nephites Zarahemla."
Then again maybe the shark attacks are not so much about the animals but about Satan's control over the waters in the last days.
Doctrine & Covenants 61:13-19
13 And now, behold, for your good I gave unto you a commandment concerning these things; and I, the Lord, will reason with you as with men in days of old.
14 Behold, I, the Lord, in the beginning blessed the waters; but in the last days, by the mouth of my servant John, I cursed the waters.
15 Wherefore, the days will come that no flesh shall be safe upon the waters.
16 And it shall be said in days to come that none is able to go up to the land of Zion upon the waters, but he that is upright in heart.
17 And, as I, the Lord, in the beginning cursed the land, even so in the last days have I blessed it, in its time, for the use of my saints, that they may partake the fatness thereof.
18 And now I give unto you a commandment that what I say unto one I say unto all, that you shall forewarn your brethren concerning these waters, that they come not in journeying upon them, lest their faith fail and they are caught in snares;
19 I, the Lord, have decreed, and the destroyer rideth upon the face thereof, and I revoke not the decree.
I have been thinking that after we experience the animals turning on us it is going to be all the more amazing when we see the lamb and the lion lie down together when Christ comes.

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Timothy 6:10

Today's favorite verse: 1 Timothy 6:10
"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

I remember when I discovered that rich people are not the only ones that need to be careful about the love of money. As a poor man I had a love of money too. I was obsessed with my lack of it and my need for it. It was an overwhelming issue in my life. I judged people that had it and had no idea how badly I needed help. I was no better than people that condemned others for being rich. Automatically thinking that because they were rich they were prideful and uncaring. It was a painful day when I discovered the errors of my way. I still hurt inside when I hear people quote this verse and get it wrong when they condemn those that are rich for their love of money. A poor man's love of money is just as bad. When you have a love of money you never feel grateful for what you have or that you have enough. The law of the fast, paying my tithing and trying to live worthy so the Lord will bless me with sufficient for my needs, has healed me from its vice.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Timothy 5:8

Today's favorite verse: 1 Timothy 5:8
"But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."

In this chapter Paul is giving counsel for providing welfare assistance to the saints. Charity does begin at home. I now have two adult children living with me with various concerns, another child needing help with medical bills. I have prayerfully sought how to help them. I have made mistakes over the years and hopefully learned from them. For those in my home the one thing I have felt right about is my obligation to provide a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs. I do not need to provide any more standard of living. I am very guarded in any other assistance. More than this requires them to get well and work. 

I have learned so much from this experience. I see the hand of the Lord blessing our home. He helps us have sufficient for our needs. I take comfort in listening to the spirit and being guided about how much to help and when to step back. 

The best parts are the peace it gives to know the Lord is pleased with our efforts. The comfort He gives me when I am denied things I would love to do or have. The sweet joy it brings seeing them have safety and security in their lives so they can focus on getting well. He has helped me learn so much from their struggles. For myself I would not change a thing. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Timothy 4:12

Today's favorite verse: 1 Timothy 4:12
"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."

I have been witnessing something remarkable with the youth since about 2006. I am so impressed with the testimonies they share even down to the youngest child. I see youth come up with their scriptures and read from them and share their testimony on something they had read. I am amazed at their insight. I really enjoy in sacrament meeting the youth speakers. Their talks are short but I find so much wisdom in them. Condensed yet thoughtful thoughts on gospel subjects. Even though they may or may not have complete understanding of what they speak on, the words they say are so true to me. I have been moved to tears from the spirit that comes from them. We have wonderful youth today. What strong valiant spirits they are. I wish I had had such a testimony when I was young. They give me such hope for the future and what they will be able to endure and handle. They will be our leaders one day. This is their day and time, no wonder they are doing marvelous things with family history.  I am proud of them.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Timothy 3:1

Today's favorite verse: 1 Timothy 3:1
"This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work."

I had always heard it isn't a good thing to desire a calling. Someone would be crazy to want to be a bishop. Now I read that he that desires that desires a good work. So, this made me ponder on the whole thing. In this chapter we read of all the characteristic of a bishop, also a deacon. Now if a man desires to have those characteristics he would be doing good works. How would that be in any way wrong? 

I think the difference is when they desire something but don't plan on doing the work necessary to qualify themselves. If desiring to be a bishop helps you to qualify then that would be a good thing. The danger I see others speaking of, that you shouldn't desire a calling, is because a person may be seeking for praise and glory, desiring to be seen above another man. That is typically why we don't seek callings. You lose humility as you do that. But now I see another side of this. What is needful is to be a person that wants to serve others regardless even if it means you will be a bishop. The whole matter is the intent of the heart.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Timothy 2:9

Today's favorite verse: 1 Timothy 2:9
"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;"

I had to look up broided hair, it means plaited or braided. I had to wonder what is wrong with braided hair? It made me think of all the YouTube videos I see posted on Facebook of all these new braided hair techniques. They look so simple to create, but intricate and beautiful at the same time. I could see why we are not to wear costly apparel but I did ponder over the braided hair part quite a bit. Then I started to see a pattern. Wearing costly apparel and fine jewels feeds our vanity or pride. We soon start to place ourselves above others with our comparisons. As I look at the videos of people's hair being braided I see a lot of pampering going on. Such a simple thing as hair can put to much focus on self.

Why the warning? Because spending to much time and attention in areas, that have the danger of feeding our vanity, can make us walk into a trap we don't need to fall into. 

So I pondered on if vanity and pride is the danger then what is the blessing of wearing modest apparel? I had actually thought quite a bit on that months ago because of what I saw at the temple. As I went more often I found I had less and less concern over the fashion of my clothes. There really was a freedom in no longer competing or even judging myself. I don't know why but modest clothing makes me feel a closer connection to God. I felt like I had found a secret, but I can't put it into words. Maybe its because when I stopped focusing on myself I began to see people's souls instead of their clothes. One thing I do know, It just feels good.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Timothy 1:12-13

Today's favorite verse: 1 Timothy 1:12-13
"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry:
Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it all ignorantly in unbelief."

I pondered on how merciful the Lord is. How his arms are always stretched out to us. No matter what we need to repent of his arms are stretched out still. I never know another man's story. What part of the gospel he knows and doesn't know, what prejudism he may have grown up under. Does he do something ignorantly because of unbelief, or is it willful rebellion. It is all not for me to judge. I am just glad that we all have a chance to turn our heart to him. I am grateful for the mercy the Lord has shown even me.