Monday, August 31, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: Jude 1:22

Today's favorite verse: Jude 1:22
"And of some have compassion, making a difference:"

I've had a really bad day, with a lot of unplanned interruptions from others. I was simply not patient and in a foul mood because of it. I got to the point I was sharp and angry with others. I feel really bad when I get that way. I had to vent to my husband for a while before we could have scripture study. I felt peace only start to return as we said our prayer before reading. Afterwards I was getting better but still not back to normal. Then I read my personal scriptures and I had to read this chapter over and over again before I was ready to be taught.

Now I see in this verse the missing element today was compassion. That is what I lacked throughout the day. I was only thinking of myself and what I planned and what I wanted. That is not normal behavior for me. I want to go back to the old me, the one that cares about others and what I can do to help them. This selfishness I experienced today is not a good way to live. I just can't handle it. How do other people do it?  Forget that, I don't want to know, because I think its an impossible way to live and be happy. I'm just glad this trial is over, I think I got the point. Serving God and having compassion for others is the only way to live. Compassion does make a difference. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 3 John 1:4

Today's favorite verse: 3 John 1:4
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."

At one time all three of my children were not active in the church. Two of them it was a matter of laziness, and they simply didn't want to go, or want to commit. One it was active hostility, persecution of my beliefs and removing their membership off the records of the church. Let me tell you that was sorrow.

I remember one day with a broken heart praying over my children. Then comfort came for I knew one day I would have joy over my children. If not those I was raising here, it would be those I would be raising in the next life. I would not lose out on any blessings, if I remained faithful. 

I now have one that has returned to activity in the church. I have joy daily as my husband, son, and I sit and read the scriptures together. It is a blessing to hear our son read them aloud to us. I love hearing his insights on what we have read, sometimes our discussions will last for hours. This is a joy in my life, and I am grateful. The heart still longs for the others. I can only imagine the full joy it would be seeing them all gathered around me. 

My children could have degrees, great jobs, successful lives and it would not matter to me. I would rather them poor and have nothing, but strong in their faith in God and active in His Church. No matter what life brings my children I want them to have peace. That will only come if they walk with Christ, that is why I desire it so badly for them. That is why there would be no greater joy then to see them on His path.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 John 1:3

Today's favorite verse: 2 John 1:3
"Grace be with you, mercy and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love."

I pondered on peace. The source of peace is God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. It made me wonder how others that know not the Lord feel. Do they have peace? Do they understand real peace, even in the midst of trials? All my life all I have known is the Father and the Son. I know no life without them in it.  At times I have not been close to the Lord so I just have a tiny understand of His peace not right there always to comfort me. But, when pain has come I quickly right myself with the Lord and have peace once again. There is no real length of time without His peace. How lost I would be without the grace, mercy and peace God gives me. Honestly, the thought of those never knowing this peace makes me weep. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 John 5:14-15

Today's favorite verse: 1 John 5:14-15
"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."

It would be so wonderful to have all my prayers answered. As I pondered on this verse I see the key to having prayers answers is to ask according to God's will. So how do I know what I ask is according to His will? I am thinking it must be by the spirit. For the spirit would tell me if what I am asking is according to His will. That same witness would come through the spirit that my prayers are answered.

Sometimes as I pray I have no doubt my prayers will be answered. Then other times I feel no attachment to them. Now I can see that the spirit will teach me what to pray for. If I have the spirit always with me, I will be inspired on what to ask. This whole thing is a learning process. I think as I work towards understanding God's will for me, the spirit will help me understand what to ask of God. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 John 4:7-8

Today's favorite verse: 1 John 4:7-8
"Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."

I love how John calls us beloved as he speaks in the scriptures. I can feel his gentle soul and his great love for us and the Savior. This must be why the Savior loved him so.

I believe that everyone born on this earth has the light of Christ within them and the capability to love others. Though they may not understand that is where it comes from. A greater capacity to love comes from loving God. I am saddened by the evil that is in the world. Men's hearts are turning cold. How easy it is for people to kill others in thoughts and deeds. I ask myself what does our world need? How can things turn around?

The answer is to turn our hearts back to God. To be God fearing people. It is to learn to love one another. All I can do is my part. What a difference it would make in the world if we all did. I think as evil is increasing in these end times so is the spirituality and love of God's people. As the world gets darker, God's people have more light. I so want to be counted among them. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 John 3:1-2

Today's favorite verse: 1 John 3:1-2
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."

I know that the more I come to love the Father and the Son, the more I know who they are. The closer I come the less the world will understand me. I will become as foreign as God is to them. When the time comes that the Savior appears I will know him, because I loved him and tried to be like him. I imagine it will be like recognizing people after seeing their image in a photograph. Except the photograph of the Savior is only seen with spiritual eyes. I will recognize him from the image I see within myself that is like him. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 John 2:18-19, 22

Today's favorite verse: 1 John 2:18-19, 22
"Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for it they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."

What stood out to me in these verses is that John the Revelator is speaking to us about the end times. He tells us there will be many antichrists, those that deny both the Father and the Son. It's evident that at one time the antichrists were counted among God's people. They were members of His Church. Not only do they no longer believe but they deny that Jesus is the Christ, they are sinning against the knowledge of what they once knew. They will naturally leave the church. I can't help but think that their leaving is a tender mercy for us. It needs to be manifest that they do not represent all of us.  

The only protection from them is to immerse myself totally in the gospel. My whole heart must be converted. I cannot be a member in name only. As I learned long ago I must not base my testimony on anyone else's. If others fall away they won't take me with them. I will remain grounded. With faith in Christ the spirit will protect me from those that try to deceive, for I will know them for who they really are.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 John 1:5

Today's favorite verse: 1 John 1:5
"This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."

This verse reminds me of a photo I saw of a lit match. The shadow that was being cast upon the wall had no image of the flame. That is because its impossible for light to cast a shadow. 

Even in the darkest room you are drawn, like a moth, to the smallest speck of light. The more light you add to a darkened room the brighter it will become. Light dispels the darkness. It's impossible to add more darkness to dispel the light. Where light is darkness cannot stay. You can be surrounded by darkness but to have even a speck of light you can start to find your way. There is safety when there is light.

God is like that flame. He is full of light and no darkness can stand in His presence. Christ is the light of the world. To be filled with Him brings illumination to our whole souls. My hope and faith in Christ can be as small as a tiny spark. If I follow Him it will bring me into the most brilliant light. Where light is there is comfort and peace. Light is where I want to be.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Peter 3:16-17

Today's favorite verse: 2 Peter 3:16-17
"As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness."

This chapter is talking about Lord's second coming. How some will even doubt of His return. These verses remind me of the warning I have felt over people on the other end of that scale. They are obsessed with the signs of His coming. I have seen YouTube videos about the end days where every little thing is over analyzed and forced to fit into some perceived formula, to the point they wrest or twist things. The man-made 18th century rapture doctrine clearly comes to my mind as one of them. 

The spirit has repeatedly told me its just not that complicated. The preparation I need is to read and ponder the scriptures, and store them up. When the signs appear my mind will recall into remembrance all that I have treasured up. I will know the signs for what they really are. They will not be polluted with the philosophies of man. There is danger in setting up a time-line of events that sees these signs in only one way. Don't go beyond the mark. With the spirit as my guide I will know what to do when the time is right. Just have faith and believe. There is safety in trusting the Lord.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Peter 2:9

Today's favorite verse: 2 Peter 2:9
"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:"

The whole chapter tells of what happens to the wicked. I was going to find a verse to share about what happens to them, but I couldn't settle on one. That's because its not where my heart wants to be, it wouldn't be my favorite verse from today. Instead I found this little gem among the thorns.

What I notice is that it doesn't say the Lord will keep the godly from temptation, but that he will deliver them out of them. We are all tried and tempted, none are immune. The difference is through the Lord the righteous are delivered. I can see in mine own life as I have drawn closer to the Lord the period of time my trials last becomes shorter. The pain is not the same. With the spirit as my guide I have His peace. Then the answers come, allowing me to overcome what was placed before me. This earth life is hard enough I cannot imagine feeling His punishments into the next one. I need His peace now, I want it still later. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Peter 1:10

Today's favorite verse: 2 Peter 1:10
"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:"

I have often wondered over the years what it takes to have your calling and election made sure. I know I was guilty of wanting it because I wanted to believe. Now that I believe it matters not the timing of when I see His face. The key to it is in this chapter. It is a line upon line progression until one day after being fully tried and tested you are found worthy before the Lord. 

What are those steps of progression? (2 Peter 1:5-7)
Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

This is why so many prophets and apostles speak of Charity, the pure love of Christ, for it is the greatest of all. Without faith, hope and charity I cannot endure the presence of the Lord. I can read all the books I want, study all I want, but if I don't act upon what is told me, if I do not abound in good works, it is of no value. Without charity I am nothing. 

"For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:8)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Peter 5:2-3

Today's favorite verse: 1 Peter 5:2-3
"Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock."

I knew when I read this that it was speaking of priestcrafts. I decided to look up in the bible references to the word priestcraft and found nothing there. That rather surprised me, the Book of Mormon warns of this. Then I realized this is one of the plain and precious things that was removed from the bible by evil and designing men. Why would you want to warn people of this practice if it may be the very thing you are doing. Thankfully enough is preserved so we can understand its concept anyways.

This is Bruce R. McConkie's definition of priestcraft found in Mormon Doctrine.
"Nephi said that the Lord "commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion." (2 Nephi 26:29.) Priesthood and priestcraft are two opposites; one is of the God, the other of the devil. When ministers claim but do not possess the priesthood; when they set themselves up as lights to their congregations, but do not preach the pure and full gospel; when their interest is in gaining personal popularity and financial gain, rather than in caring for the poor and ministering to the wants and needs of their fellow men - they are engaged, in a greater or lesser degree, in the practice of priestcrafts.
Apostasy is born of priestcrafts, for those who engage in them follow vain things, teach false doctrines, love riches, and aspire to personal honors. Men are commanded to repent of their priestcrafts and eventually, in the millennial day, these great evils will be done away." 
I pondered on examples of priestcrafts I have read and seen around me. I can see the Lord's wisdom in the setting up of his church. There is no paid ministry. Callings are not held for a long time either. They are all safe guards for people to not get involved in priestcrafts. Money and praise can turn the hearts of men. 

Yet, there is still danger is making money off the gospel. I have twice attended a preparedness and LDS orientated conference (not sponsored by the LDS Church), where the vendors deeply troubled me. I found people selling books with their own interpretation of gospel themes. I was troubled by one man's book but still spiritually prompted to attended his standing room only lecture. What a dangerous, dangerous man, I was ill, he had many followers eating up all the garbage coming from his mouth. His vendor table afterwards sold out of all his books. The spirit confirmed to me he was involved in a priestcraft. The spirit impressed upon me the need to stop at a different booth, belonging to a man I had long questioned. A man browsing the books beside me started a conversation, come to find out he was that very author. It was a curious thing. I felt absolutely nothing. I was rather puzzled on that, then I learned what the spirit was trying to teach me. He was neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm in the mouth, to be spued out. I had never met anyone like that before. He was offering nothing of value for his spirit was dead. 

I was ill over what I was seeing, but I knew the spirit was teaching me so much. Doesn't matter what religion you are in, there are people who's heart turn from God, and only think how God's message will bring profit to them. The inspiration to twist gospel principles comes from Satan. Now that the spirit has shown me what priestcraft is I have no desire to understand those involved in it. I make sure I spend my valuable time reading the scriptures and not someone else's interpretation of them. The spirit is to be my guide.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Peter 4:6

Today's favorite verse: 1 Peter 4:6
"For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit."

This is a second witness of the preaching of the gospel to those that have died. It's follows my thoughts yesterday. I ponder on how very busy I will be in the next life. I will be searching out my family relations and preaching the gospel to those that never had an opportunity to hear it in this life. I will be doing the same work I do here, without the obstacles of life in my way. When I leave this earth life I want to be very comfortable with my life there, from the experiences I have had in this one.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Peter 3:18-20

Today's favorite verse: 1 Peter 3:18-20
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might brings us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water."

I am well acquainted with these verses. They are part of Doctrine and Covenants section 138, that I was instructed to read after my near-death experience. I saw the spirit prison, where Christ went after his death, while his body still laid in the tomb. 

He organized the preaching of the gospel to every soul that had not the opportunity in their lifetime to receive it. Those that did not have a chance for baptism. I saw all my relatives that needed their saving ordinances done. Those that accepted the gospel could not progress further and were bound in spirit prison. I marvel at how fair God is with all his children. They are denied no blessings if they will receive it. If circumstances in life prevented them from hearing his gospel, they are given the opportunity in the next. What a great work is going on, on both sides of the veil. 

If you think that what I say is not true, why then did Peter say Christ went to preach to the spirits in prison? Why would Christ teach people and then say, oh well to bad you missed that chance while you were on the earth. Sorry you were born a Gentile and that's just to bad. That would simply be cruel, and our Savior always had compassion and would never hurt in such a way. I know what I say is true, I am a witness to it, there is such a place where spirits are taught. On earth we can do proxy baptism and ordinances for them, all they need is to accept it. God loves his children and there is a way that all can be saved.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Peter 2:13

Today's favorite verse: 1 Peter 2:13
"Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;"

Reading this chapter and verse immediately made me think of our 12th Article of Faith: We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

For the second morning in a row I have woken up thinking about our coming presidential elections. I have a trouble in my heart over several people and one in particular. This morning I lay in bed thinking about what could happen if this person did become our president. How could I follow someone I felt deceptive or might call me to act in a way contrary to my beliefs?

The story in Daniel of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego came to mind. I read it over again and realized something for the first time. King Nebuchadnezzar had commanded all the people to worship his god. When all kinds of music played they were to bow down to a golden image. If the people did not bow down to worship they would be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego would not bow down and worship the King's god and golden image. I realize they didn't run, they didn't fight, they simply decided to chose the other option, to be cast into the furnace.

I can see now that any of man's law I do not believe in, I can calmly decide to chose the other option. This might not be the best example, but when I decide to speed in my car, I chose to pay my speeding fine as my option. I am obeying and honoring the law of the land by selecting its penalty. What happened to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego when they paid their price? The fire had no effect, a fourth person stood in the midst of the fire with them, an angel like the Son of God. After this miraculous event King Nebuchaadnezzar made a decree that no one was to speak amiss about the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.

So what have I learned? There is harmony and consistency in the scriptures. I have to ponder on the stories to understand them. I used to wondered how God could command me to obey and honor the laws of the land, being subject to others, when those laws might require me to act contrary to His commands. I now see I can select the other option, the penalty of the law. When we do as God commands and honor and obey the laws of the land we will have his protection. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Peter 1:7-9

Today's favorite verse: 1 Peter 1:7-9
"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."

What is the end of my faith? A person that has left the church no longer has faith. I know that is not what it is speaking about because that would not bring salvation to my soul. To no longer have faith mean I no longer just believe, I know. I have an absolute knowledge of the Lord. His appearing unto me brings that knowledge. 

What then brings that type of faith that accomplishes its requirement?  It is being tried. This understanding makes me see my trials in a totally different light. As I look at my past I see the experiences that I wished to run from, are now counted as my greatest blessings. I can see all the miracles I want, but its my trials that are the most meaningful. What I have been taught through them I would never trade. I could have learned to trust the Lord no other way. This is the only way my faith in Christ has grown. 

I think of the fireman. As the fire consumes the building people are fleeing for their lives. The fireman has the courage to run towards that building instead. He has a heavy coat to protect him, oxygen so he can breath. Training so he can find what is lost and put the fire out. He becomes a hero, though he never does it for the praise of man. My trials are that fire, the soul being rescued is mine own. The Lord has given me a coat of protect, and the spirit as a guide. My training comes from past experience in trusting the Lord. I must pass through the fire to come out on the other side. The arms of the Lord are awaiting me. I will have faith no more.